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Hypothetical question

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The responses have been great! I like the idea of global nuclear disarmament, as an ideal. I'm not sure it can become reality. I also like the description of the minimal response as "turning the other cheek", because that identifies it as religious, i.e. depending on the belief that the countries and factions of the world would be affected positively by it. That's a belief I don't share.

 

I'm still convinced that a moral response fails as a political and especially psychological response. But also I'm pleased to see a high level of morality.

 

The idea that civilizations throughout the universe may have already destroyed themselves with horrible weapons merits a lot of thought; not surprising, given the source.

 

I guess I have a dim view of people, and the evil they're likely to create. We're justly negative about American conservatives, and yet I've seen that many people around the world are actually, unbelievably, much worse.

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While the idea of "turn the other cheek" probably originated from religion, you take good ideas from wherever they come. I did not intend it as a religious meme. I have seen the concept change people who were on the attack.

 

From the point of view, that the US has engaged in some pretty horrific behavior around the globe, it is not surprising that a great many people feel that they will be making the world a better place if the US would stop stealing the resources from so many places on the planet. I can understand that they will fight to make things better for their grandchildren. If the US would stand down from all these military excursions then fewer people would justify violence as their only remaining option.

 

By turning the other cheek, it puts those who commit this violence in a position of being the instigator of death and violence; and hopefully allow them to stop.

 

By responding with violence, the US would provide justification to the attack, and invite further attacks. As technology marches on, this guarantees the destruction of humanity. An eye for an eye and everyone will be blind. With nuclear weapons, everyone ends up dead. Someone somewhere must stand down, from the violence, or we will all be dead.

 

On 9/11 the US had a chance to stand down from the violence. Instead w and co decided to use the attack to increase the stealing from other nations. Iraq had nothing to do with the attack, and we were told they had so much oil it would pay for the war. That was why financing the war wasn't put on the books. The oil we would steal would more than pay for lives of those lost.

 

Had the US stand down, and stop the pillaging of so many places, we would be in a much better place today. There would be no talk of terrorism. Of course those who make weapons would lose money, and they pay enough to politicians to make sure they get to continue pillaging the world.

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Had the US stand down, and stop the pillaging of so many places, we would be in a much better place today. There would be no talk of terrorism. Of course those who make weapons would lose money, and they pay enough to politicians to make sure they get to continue pillaging the world.

While what you say is true, any plan that depends on American business-people becoming less greedy is likely to fail.

 

If you start out with some that are already less greedy, it might have a chance. (I'm thinking Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk.)

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While what you say is true, any plan that depends on American business-people becoming less greedy is likely to fail.

 

If you start out with some that are already less greedy, it might have a chance. (I'm thinking Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk.)

 

Before anything can fundamentally change, a majority of Americans need to vote in a government which forms policy independent of corporations and the super rich. Publicly funded elections would be a start.... And laws prohibiting bribery of any sort by lobbyists or anyone else. In addition, lobbyists should be allowed access to lawmakers only to the same degree as any ordinary citizen.

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Before anything can fundamentally change, a majority of Americans need to vote in a government which forms policy independent of corporations and the super rich. Publicly funded elections would be a start.... And laws prohibiting bribery of any sort by lobbyists or anyone else. In addition, lobbyists should be allowed access to lawmakers only to the same degree as any ordinary citizen.

 

Yes, I'm all for that.

 

But what happens when a politician needs to be informed about, for example, mining, in order to make intelligent regulation policy. The experts he or she will have to call will typically be involved with the industry, leading to undue influence. Anyway, that's a minor quibble, because what you described would still be a huge step in the right direction. Because at least the president could get opposing views and not be inundated with paid political advertisement.

 

To get big money out of the equation, you'd need a Supreme Court that would overturn the Citizens United decision. And for that to happen, at least one Conservative judge would have to leave the court (presumably Scalia or Thomas or both) so that a judge could be appointed that disagreed that corporations ought to have the same rights as individuals. And for that we need a Democratic president.

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Yes, I'm all for that.

me too. it has to start with the people. our Government CANNOT speak for the people, today. ONLY the people can speak for the people. there is an innate conflict of interest even here. i'm begging to believe this more and more.

 

 

But what happens when a politician needs to be informed about, for example, mining, in order to make intelligent regulation policy.

this is one of the main reasons why we need to stop electing Lawyers into office.

 

someone from Education should be running our schools (not a lawyer). a doctor should be making health care decisions (not a lawyer). lawyers are the punchline to so many jokes for good reason, and yet we continue to elect them to office.

 

i would love to have a sociologist with a specialty in poverty and experience working with poverty actually be in charge of making policy in this country.

 

(i would also love it politicians weren't so quick with their tongues - i would be just fine to see politicians make some mistakes and gaffes when they speak. it tells me they are not wizards at spinning, and makes me trust them just a bit more.)

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But what happens when a politician needs to be informed about, for example, mining, in order to make intelligent regulation policy. The experts he or she will have to call will typically be involved with the industry, leading to undue influence.

 

Once elected officials are no longer dependent on campaign contributions and lobbyist's bribes, there would be no pressure to consult only industry advocates. Experts could be called in from environmental groups like Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters and about 50 others. Also available for consultation are university professors with no industry affiliation.

 

But with the present system of financial coercion and bribery, there is strong incentive to lean heavily on the opinions of industry "experts" to the exclusion of all others.

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Once elected officials are no longer dependent on campaign contributions and lobbyist's bribes, there would be no pressure to consult only industry advocates. Experts could be called in from environmental groups like Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters and about 50 others. Also available for consultation are university professors with no industry affiliation.

 

But with the present system of financial coercion and bribery, there is heavy incentive to lean heavily on the opinions of industry "experts" to the exclusion of all others.

i agree with this too.

 

one of the things i really liked about the Green Party is their response to "how would you run the country if nobody in your party has expertise in many industries?"

 

while i don't totally agree with that statement (Green Party has some very smart people), i liked their response(paraphrase): "we would get world leaders from all areas of society, and seek the advice and opinion OF THE EXPERTS".

 

(i understand it can be argued that this goes on today, but, again, i think many of the people that are sought after today are WAY too tied to big money. and they have political relations for 2 reasons: 1) they are really good with words 2) they have connections. the Green Party (and others i assume, like Bernie Sanders) simply WOULD NOT bring people into their camp because of these 2 "characteristics/traits". <---- those are the kinds of politicians we need.

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someone from Education should be running our schools (not a lawyer). a doctor should be making health care decisions (not a lawyer). lawyers are the punchline to so many jokes for good reason, and yet we continue to elect them to office.

 

i would love to have a sociologist with a specialty in poverty and experience working with poverty actually be in charge of making policy in this country.

 

That's the way it should and could be if elections were publicly funded and bribes no longer allowed. The lawyers are in these inappropriate positions to legally enforce corporate interests.

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That's the way it should and could be if elections were publicly funded and bribes no longer allowed. The lawyers are in these inappropriate positions to legally enforce corporate interests.

Bernie Sanders will change the election process. i'm voting Bernie. pretty much made my mind up a few weeks ago i think...

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Bernie Sanders will change the election process. i'm voting Bernie. pretty much made my mind up a few weeks ago i think...

While I like Sanders, how would he (or anyone) change the election process after the Citizens United ruling? If I'm not mistaken, that would take a constitutional amendment, which takes a 2/3 majority in the House and the Senate, then working to get 38 state to ratify, all the while big money campaigns against it in each state. What could Sanders offer so many state politicians to overcome the various corporations that would be campaigning against?

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While I like Sanders, how would he (or anyone) change the election process after the Citizens United ruling? If I'm not mistaken, that would take a constitutional amendment, which takes a 2/3 majority in the House and the Senate, then working to get 38 state to ratify, all the while big money campaigns against it in each state. What could Sanders offer so many state politicians to overcome the various corporations that would be campaigning against?

i'm on the fence about a constitutional amendment on free speech.

 

however, what i do know, is "Free Speech" was meant to counter the most powerful organization in the country in the 18th century. today, the most powerful "organization" is not the government - it's the corporation. 300 families own 1/2 the wealth in the world - they have a "monopoly". and we don't have anything to balance that power. and that's what the 1st amendment was for.

 

but i'm sure you agree with all this.

 

so what will Bernie do?

 

1. bring attention to it, as much as possible, thus assisting in the education of the country on the problems in our election process.

 

2. i believe he still wants to create a national holiday out of election day. i'm on the fence about this too. i can see how this could result in less voter turn out if people decide to take this day to go to the beach instead. however, i like the importance it highlights about voting. and i think this is the way to go. i can see it being "celebrated" and taught in schools leading up of the holiday, a bit more than it is now. there is definitely a problem with working class having the time to go out and vote, and this addresses that.

 

3. Bernie believes in "the protest". he plans on using protests to get his message to congress, and the American people. this is a great idea.

 

4. Bernie believes in education. and i think an educated society is a much better way to tackle the election problems than changing the constitution. an educated population doesn't need government "protection" from negative, untruthful add campaigns. critical thinking is their protection. (but this will take decades to implement, but at least he will start the ball rolling.)

 

what Bernie should do:

 

5. make voting mandatory. it has worked soooo successfully in Australia. they can get around the "Freedom of Speech" the same way "Jury Duty" does : people have to show up (and have it written down somewhere that they showed up) but they are not forced to "check a box". if they show up, and don't check a box, there is no fine. if they don't show up there is a minimal fine ($35). fines are handled the same way parking tickets are handled.

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300 families own 1/2 the wealth in the world - they have a "monopoly". and we don't have anything to balance that power. and that's what the 1st amendment was for.

 

I doubt that this is correct. According to this web page it's 1% of the world's population (which is 7.125 billion) that owns 50% of the wealth. That amounts to 71,250,000 people. That would only be 300 families if each family had on average 237,500 people. So it's not 300 families.

 

I'm not sure wealth is a better measure than income. Here's why. Imagine two identical upper middle class families, making the same income. They have enough money to invest a bit and live comfortably. One family does invest, doesn't spend foolishly and drives used cars, which they take good care of. By retirement age, compound interest rewards them with about $1 million. Each of their children, cut from the same cloth, inherits part of that and grows it. Three generations later you have multimillionaire families. The other family buys the latest and greatest gadget, car, clothing, etc, and invests nothing. At retirement, they have nothing but social security, and definitely nothing to pass on. Their children, cut from the same cloth, also leave nothing.

 

There's still something good to be said for education, perseverance, industriousness, and thrift.

 

For voting, perhaps a combination of part of #2 and #5. Compel employers that hire more than x number of employees to give their employees two paid hours of on election day. Which hours is up to the employee. Two hours is enough to go vote, but not enough for a holiday. And then fine them if they don't show up at the polls. that way, they can, and they'd better. :P

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I doubt that this is correct. According to this web page it's 1% of the world's population (which is 7.125 billion) that owns 50% of the wealth. That amounts to 71,250,000 people. That would only be 300 families if each family had on average 237,500 people. So it's not 300 families.

 

you are correct. it's 85 families, and they own more than the bottom 1/2 of the population (85 families owe more than the bottom 3.5 billion people).

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-in-the-world-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-3-5-billion-poorest/

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For voting, perhaps a combination of part of #2 and #5. Compel employers that hire more than x number of employees to give their employees two paid hours of on election day. Which hours is up to the employee. Two hours is enough to go vote, but not enough for a holiday. And then fine them if they don't show up at the polls. that way, they can, and they'd better. :P

 

that's a good idea. definitely a way around people taking the day to enjoy the weather. instead of a full day off, a 2-3 hour extended lunch or something. i like the work ethic it employs.

 

i would go with that idea more if i thought we had enough holidays in this country. we suck compared to other countries. seems like EVERYTIME i go to Montreal they are always on vacation. at least once a month, they get a long weekend.

 

plus, it would be kind of cool to have the entire day off, and the only thing you need to do is go vote - like you said, would only take a couple of hours most, and then you have the entire day, in your community, with your neighbors, talking politics, community bar-b-ques, picnics, outdoor events, etc...

 

what a great way to celebrate democracy.

 

i think the whole day off would be worth it. could grow into something huge, and promote everybody actively being democratic.

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Great post. I for one, would be better informed if you posted more often.

 

 

 

Yes. I have often thought of it. What a bold, pioneering act of forbearance it would be. As a PRACTICAL matter, we must end the practice of legalized mass murder by war.... Or go extinct as lethal technologies improve. Who better to set the very first example but the most powerful military force on Earth.

 

 

 

Economic warfare is another form of violence that people have practiced on each other since the neolithic revolution. It too must be brought to a close so that all people can have a strong sense of self-worth.... And the will to carry our species forward.

 

 

 

Exactly. As for now. We need to stop this endless war and cease our foreign aggression.... And use the money, manpower and resources to increase homeland security to the point where large scale domestic attacks are nearly impossible. In fact, if we started doing it now turning the other cheek would not even be necessary

Thank you for your kind words. Each person has his/her own experiences and thus learn different things. It is a wise person indeed who can learn from the point of view of others. We can all benefit from each other, as long as the discourse is civil.

While I like Sanders, how would he (or anyone) change the election process after the Citizens United ruling? If I'm not mistaken, that would take a constitutional amendment, which takes a 2/3 majority in the House and the Senate, then working to get 38 state to ratify, all the while big money campaigns against it in each state. What could Sanders offer so many state politicians to overcome the various corporations that would be campaigning against?

From what I have heard, FDR faced a similar situation and he threatened to appoint many more judges to the supreme court. In fact he was going to more than double the number of judges, all with his point of view on the constitution. Bernie could do the same. (yes they might need to be approved by congress, but there might be ways of doing that as well.)

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From what I have heard, FDR faced a similar situation and he threatened to appoint many more judges to the supreme court. In fact he was going to more than double the number of judges, all with his point of view on the constitution. Bernie could do the same. (yes they might need to be approved by congress, but there might be ways of doing that as well.)

 

Yes. The Constitution makes no mention of the number of judges.

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I doubt that this is correct. According to this web page it's 1% of the world's population (which is 7.125 billion) that owns 50% of the wealth. That amounts to 71,250,000 people. That would only be 300 families if each family had on average 237,500 people. So it's not 300 families.

 

 

you are correct. it's 85 families, and they own more than the bottom 1/2 of the population (85 families owe more than the bottom 3.5 billion people).

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-in-the-world-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-3-5-billion-poorest/

 

It's pretty bad either way you look at it, I guess, but your quote actually horrifies me more.

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While what you say is true, any plan that depends on American business-people becoming less greedy is likely to fail.

 

If you start out with some that are already less greedy, it might have a chance. (I'm thinking Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Elon Musk.)

I suggest we need a plan that understands that we have greedy people, and I don' t know of any way to make them less greedy, or any way to cure that disease.

 

Instead we need a government that protects us from people with that problem. I am not saying I know how to make that government but I think we need it. I would argue as well that human history is full of examples of greedy people taking away from so many others. Unless we are insulated from the problems they create, we are doomed as a species.

 

Many have tried in the past. The founding fathers tried, with some success, but the greedy took over again to the misery of many. FDR tried with some success, but then we had Reagan undo enough of the protections to let them reek havoc yet again. This is not to mention the centuries of royal rule,where the king owns everything.

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It's pretty bad either way you look at it, I guess, but your quote actually horrifies me more.

right? very scary. the corporation has overtaken the government on who's in control. when this happened in the past, the constitution was written to check an obvious imbalance of power by the government. and yet nobody thinks we need a similar document to control these 85 families??? (or at least they don't vote that way.) they ironically scream "socialist!" and all but stone you.

 

i shake my head every time i watch a movie like "Hunger Games" and after the movie nobody makes the comparison to our world today.

 

or when learning about serfdom and shaking their head at the massive lack of freedom 'back then', not even considering that most people today work just as hard and have relatively the same rewards as the serfs did: homes we don't own, food on the table, and protection from the evil doers across the pond.

 

yes - we have better health. we also have an increasing age of retirement.

 

yes - we have MUCH better technology - but none of that technology has shortened the work day or made it easier to own a home or made food cheaper for the end consumer. soooo strange!

 

but the system doesn't bother me as much as the innocent naivety of the people...

 

i'm not a conspiracy guy - to me, this oligarchy is human nature - it's psychology and sociology 101. i don't believe for a minute the US government played an active roll in 9/11, or the Golf of Tonkin, or the sinking of the Lusitania - i just think the men in power acted in the best interests of the country at the time, and those interests have very little to do with the people of the country. if they were in line, we wouldn't send our boys out to die unless it was to specifically stop an imminent threat on our soil. and as long as our boys are being sent out to die... this is a good fight to fight.

 

 

i like this documentary because of the way it depicts the wars we've fought this century, and how they all have common aspects: evil doers that want to murder us in our beds, the need to build up arms and raise taxes, and NO mention about how these wars have benefited these 85 families.

 

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/new-american-century/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suggest we need a plan that understands that we have greedy people, and I don' t know of any way to make them less greedy, or any way to cure that disease.

 

Instead we need a government that protects us from people with that problem.

very good point. totally agree. that's the fundamental problem.

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I suggest we need a plan that understands that we have greedy people, and I don' t know of any way to make them less greedy, or any way to cure that disease.

 

Bernie's ideal model would be government similar to those of Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. They appear to have the problem solved on a more permanent basis than the US has ever done.

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Ahem.... cough cough... getting back to the hypothetical question lol....

 

Laripu, name the baddies in your nuke scenario, so we can get back to planning their demise haha

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Ahem.... cough cough... getting back to the hypothetical question lol....

 

Laripu, name the baddies in your nuke scenario, so we can get back to planning their demise haha

 

The hypothetical involved a nuclear weapon detonated on US soil, specifically NYC. At the moment there are a few groups that have threatened to hit the United States.

 

North Korea: They have nuclear weapons and are developing delivery technology, but the likelihood that they'd use it is 0, because they know that they'd be utterly destroyed, since as a nation-state, they have no place to hide.

 

Al Qaeda: In 1998 Osama bin Laden said it was his duty to try to acquire WMDs. In 2007 he repeated the promise in a video. There was a fatwa that ruled that it was permissible and desirable to kill Americans. From the above web page, in 2002 "Al Qaeda spokesman Sulayman Abu Ghayth al-Libi, under "house arrest" in Iran, says al Qaeda’s fatwa justifies the use of WMD to kill four million Americans." and in 2003 "Radical Saudi cleric Nasir al-Fahd writes a fatwa justifying the use of WMD. Another radical cleric, Ali al-Khudair, endorses it."

 

ISIS: experts are playing down their ability to get a nuke, but they've at least threatened recently. They've stolen Uranium. They have at least made mention of a plan to buy a nuke from Pakistan, then smuggle it into the US via the Mexican border.

 

American ultra-right wing terrorists: In Oklahoma, a government building was destroyed and many people killed. But as far as I know, there is neither a plan for them to get nukes, nor the skills to make them functional. While the various American ultra-right continues to be a threat, I don't beleive they're a nuclear threat.

 

So the hypothetical, while not immediately likely, is not implausible. We have threats, plans, and will from two groups, both of them motivated by, or at least using, extremist Islamic religious fervor.

 

Your blithe "haha" would be appropriate if I were discussing the likelihood of attack by aliens from Mars. Since we've already been attacked by extremist Muslims, and since they've openly expressed plans to do so again, and already expressed the desire to use nuclear weapons, "lol" and "haha" is a callous reaction.

 

Moreover, I assure you that the American right will want to respond to a nuke with nukes, and they're half the population. Some on the left will too.

 

The American left will need to have an organized response that defuses political opposition outside the country while satisfying the psychological needs of Americans in side the country. I can tell you that "turn the other cheek" won't do the latter, and will result in the right taking over for at least a generation. "Turn the other cheek" might be moral and the correct thing to do, but it will result in the political end of the American left. The right will say: "Four million Americans dead and the left did nothing!"

 

That's why i brought up this uncomfortable topic. The left needs a non-nuclear plan that doesn't make us look like damp washcloths. Because 70% of the population will see us that way: the right and the center.

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After a single nuclear bomb was set off in the US, there would be no time to consider opposing ideas of how to react. There would be no time for such a discussion.

 

At such a time, the commander-in-chief holds all the cards. Even a democratic president is likely to order a nuclear retaliation . In the event the blast happened in Washington DC, the decision would be made by the first eligible survivor in the presidential line of succession. If they were all dead, the decision would go to the first eligible survivor in the military chain of command.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_line_of_succession

 

And there would be no such thing as an "organized response by the American left".... Before the fact at least. Military reaction after such a horrendous event would surely be ordered near instantly..... Based on best estimates of who the perpetrator is. Afterwards, martial law would prevail.

 

After the explosion of one nuclear bomb on our soil, return strike(s) would be launched before the expected nuclear hail.

 

As long as we have nuclear warheads on missiles poised to deliver devastation at a moments notice, There is no control. We have nuclear submarines with nuclear strike capability roaming every sea. Domestically, we have ICBMs with nuclear warheads poised to go.... And long range heavy bombers. And we have nuclear ballistic missiles in friendly foreign countries.

 

Nuclear retaliation to a nuclear event is assured. M.A.D. Terrorists would surely get their nukes from one of the nuclear armed countries. And that's why we need global nuclear disarmament sooner, not later.

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...

 

The American left will need to have an organized response that defuses political opposition outside the country while satisfying the psychological needs of Americans in side the country. I can tell you that "turn the other cheek" won't do the latter, and will result in the right taking over for at least a generation. "Turn the other cheek" might be moral and the correct thing to do, but it will result in the political end of the American left. The right will say: "Four million Americans dead and the left did nothing!"

 

That's why i brought up this uncomfortable topic. The left needs a non-nuclear plan that doesn't make us look like damp washcloths. Because 70% of the population will see us that way: the right and the center.

I appreciate your point of view. I might argue that after 9/11, bush did nothing useful. Yes he attacked Iraq, but Saddam had nothing to do with the attack, and was no threat to the US. The main reason for the attack was to steal Iraqs oil. bush would not even allow an investigation of what happened. The stories that were told to "explain" what happened were so ridiculous that a great many Americans simply cannot believe the so-called official story. As far as I am concerned our government did nothing about the 9/11 attack. Killing and torturing innocent people doesn't count as doing something.

 

But your point still stands. The right will make that claim. In my opinion, the right will make that claim no matter what. I would argue that unless the right is defanged, by taking the excessive power away from the rich, the left is finished in the US anyway. One small group of people getting to write all the laws(Lobbyists), getting to control the dissemination of information (Media), getting to control all money (banks), getting to control all elections (Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia)makes me think they have already taken over. It is up to us to take it all back.

 

You are suggesting pragmatism, but unless the power is removed from the ultra-rich, the pragmatic approach just plays into their hands. We cannot count on them being willing to negotiate with us. Just like Obama never got even the slightest negotiation from the GOP.

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