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  Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq! 
 
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Bungle Aug 09, 2010, 02:28am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 09, 2010, 03:05am EDT

 
>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
A_Pickle said:
I wouldn't identify as a "liberal" per se, but I don't identify as a "conservative" either. There are some things I disagree with "the liberals" on, and a HELLUVA lot of things that I disagree with "the conservatives" on.

I would like for everyone in the country to have a minimum standard of living. That minimum standard would be a first-world shelter (not necessarily a house, but a secure, safely-built, clean living arrangement), access to clean water and food, access to sanitation systems, transportation, electrical service, and internet service.


You're right... you're not a liberal. You're a marxist. Tell me what is the incentive to work under such an arrangement? There is none. Sure a few people will try to get a few better things here and there then the next person. But if I can sit in my government supplied housing with free food, transportation, electricity, and internet why should I do anything productive at all? This is the problem with this mentality... It ignores human nature, history, and the basic laws of economics. Take away the incentive and in a generation or so you'll have everyone equal... equally poor, equally uneducated, and equally incapable of doing anything other than sucking the government teat.

And precisely who gets to define what the Constitution means, word-for-word? Conservatives? Methinks you're just angry, because the system that the Founders established worked. Or rather, it worked to bring you the government we have today.


What needs to be done is the constitution need to be read in the same context it was written in. By that I mean interpret it in the same English everyone used the year it was written. An example of how progressives have perverted the constitution would be to look at the welfare clause in the preamble, the phrase "promote the general welfare" in 1787 when the constituion was ratified meant to allow people to exercise their rights without an oppressive government standing in their way... not actively try to ensure equality of outcome in everyone's life through redistribution of wealth programs.


Nathan Daniels
Liberals on the other hand see the constitution as an obstacle.


Your rhetoric is so full of conservative talking points, it's hilarious. Please, continue speaking for effectively an entire half of the country.


did you miss that you proved his point in the line preceding this statement when you said:

With every passing year, the U.S. Constitution is increasingly irrelevant and even harmful to our society. It was written 221 years ago in an era without automobiles and instant communications and space travel. I'm sorry, it's time for a refresh.


The constitution was meant to maximize the freedom of individuals to make decisions for themselves and to keep protect the sovereignty of the states so that the people in one state could setup the government there pretty much however they liked. Under a system like this if anyone inside one state doesn't like it they can vote with their feet and move to a different one.

What is harmful is the idea that we should hand over the power to make decisions about how we want to live our lives to a bunch of bureaucrats who don't know who we are, what we want to do with our lives, the situation we are in, and don't really care to know either.

I do not understand why people desire to give up their ability to decide what kind of health care they have, what kind of house they can live in, what kind of transportation they can use, what kind of media they can watch, or what kinds of food they can eat. The people making these decisions are just that... people. They are greedy, self centered, egotistical, see the world from only their own perspective, and have only experience from their own life on which to make judgments. You are nothing but a statistic to them how can you possibly think they will make the right choices for you?

Turns out that conservatives are guilty of using the Commerce Clause to force their morality on the rest of the country. But you don't mind that, now do you?


Which is why we should define what a person is (liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc.) by their actions and not by what political party they are in. There are many members of the Republican party that are not modern conservatives at all even though they profess that they are. Lindsey Graham, John McCain, George W. Bush, Olympia Snowe are some that come to mind.


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A_Pickle Aug 10, 2010, 01:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
MrBungle
You're right... you're not a liberal. You're a marxist. Tell me what is the incentive to work under such an arrangement? There is none.


...um... what? People wouldn't need to build and buy houses and rent apartment space? Companies wouldn't need people to build and maintain wind farms and nuclear reactors? Companies wouldn't need people to man and maintain space vehicles?

Where's the lack of incentive to work again? I think that you think that I think that the government should provide for everyone. I did not say that. I am not advocating the demise of the free market -- I'm advocating for a free market with a people-controlled arbiter called "government."

Look at the telecommunications industry right now. What do you select first, service provider or desired handset? Well, in the United States, you have to evaluate both -- because both are inextricably linked. If you want an iPhone 4 because it's the sweetest phone out, but AT&T sucks in your area... well, you're just going to have to suck it up and deal with that service if you really want that iPhone. The end result? You may be rewarding who, in your mind is the "best" hardware maker (which is good), but because of carrier handset exclusivity, you're also rewarding the WORST service provider (bad).

This distorts the market. In capitalism, isn't it supposed to be "the best man wins?" Well, if we intend to improve the nation's wireless infrastructure, rewarding AT&T is not the way we're going to do it. They have demonstrated abject unwillingness to improve their quantifiably garbage network even after YEARS of sickening profits from the iPhone.

Sprint and Verizon have been working on their 4G network upgrades for a long time now -- and neither of those networks ever had the iPhone. Sprint may not survive two more years, and Sprint customers are (again, due to handset exclusivity) only able to purchase certain handsets that will reward only certain handset manufacturers who may not be making the genuinely best hardware.

In Europe, one of those damnable socialist, liberal hotbeds of stupidity, they have a huge GSM network. You are able to get a phone from your carrier, but you are also able to just go out and buy the exact phone you want, and then pair it with the exact carrier you want. That puts the competitive pressure where it belongs -- hardware companies compete against other hardware companies to make the best possible hardware to win your dollar, and service providers compete against other service providers to provide the best possible service to win your dollar. That's how it is with computers here in America, why did the phone companies get to do it differently? And moreover, in evil socialist Europe, how are they more free market in this area than the United States?

MrBungle
What needs to be done is the constitution need to be read in the same context it was written in. By that I mean interpret it in the same English everyone used the year it was written.


*facepalm*

First off, language (especially English) is a very dynamic and flexible thing. English is a very context-dependent language, meaning that word meanings change depending on the words around them. This is different than, say, older Asian languages that have character sets numbering in the tens of thousands -- where each character means a very specific thing in a very specific context.

English, even in the same time period, means different things with different context. Different context could mean a different subject, different geographical location, different time of the day... anything really.

To suggest that we could just "read the Constitution in the context it was written in" isn't possible. It wasn't even possible when the Founding Fathers themselves were involving themselves inside the government they had just created, they too had disputes on the interpretation and subsequent execution of the system established by the Constitution. That's why there are debates on the Senate floor, and why the Judicial Branch of government exists -- to deliberate the real-world enactment of policy.

MrBungle
An example of how progressives have perverted the constitution would be to look at the welfare clause in the preamble, the phrase "promote the general welfare" in 1787 when the constituion was ratified meant to allow people to exercise their rights without an oppressive government standing in their way... not actively try to ensure equality of outcome in everyone's life through redistribution of wealth programs.


Give me a break. Once again, you completely overlook the wanton perversion of the Constitution by conservatives... but those damn progressives! Glenn Beck warned me about them!

You mention nothing, nothing about the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (signed into law October 17th, 2006 -- before the November elections which gave the Democrats a majority), which gave the President the authority to detain someone indefinitely without due process and deny them a civilian trial in favor of a Presidentially-appointed military tribunal. Yes, that law was voted for by the Republican majority in Congress, and signed by President Bush.

Pardon my French, but where the f**k is your outrage at that abject violation of our liberty?

Finally, how much do you actually know about "the intentions of the Founders"? You argue that we should interpret the Constitution in the old English it was written in. I dispute that, but surely we can agree on this: The Founding Fathers, the men who wrote the damn thing, surely they knew how to interpret it correctly.

Explain then, why in 1798 President John Adams signed into law the act establishing the Marine Hospital Service, a federally-operated, mandatory healthcare plan for sailors. Then explain to me why you didn't bitch about "government intrusion into healthcare" when Bush and his cronies in Congress passed Medicare Part D, unfunded, which has added hundreds of billions of dollars to our debt (like "$500-ish" billions of dollars).

MrBungle
did you miss that you proved his point in the line preceding this statement when you said:


If I were a liberal, you'd have had me.

However, I am not liberal. I'm pragmatic. Thus, when it seems to me that our social structure is fragmenting at literally every juncture, I must conclude that it is a systemic problem. And, indeed, I do see a lot of problems with the Constitution.

For one, as you mentioned, it's written in an archaic, deprecated form of English that the common person is ill-qualified to interpret. It actually makes very little sense to me that a government serving 300 million diverse people should be organized around a document written in it. The common person doesn't know to interpret old English, and even if they did -- let's not forget that the Founders, who spoke that language daily, themselves had disputes on the interpretation of the Constitution.

Secondly, it was written 221 years ago. 221 years ago, it took an idea three weeks to travel from Florida to Maine. Today, it takes less than a minute for motion video from Iran to be uploaded to literally anywhere else in the world. It'd take maybe two or three days for a relaxed road trip to travel the same distance. 221 years ago, information could only be stored on paper, fewer people knew how to read or write and even fewer people had the ability to write and publish their ideas to other people. Today, you can get a blog, for free, which can be viewed by anyone else in the world.

That has tremendous ramifications that the Constitution did not, and does not account for. 221 years ago, some human beings decided that their status quo was unacceptable. They organized, deliberated, and acted. I think that they would be most ashamed of their posterity if we were unable, unwilling, or too ignorant to do the same.

Borderline worship of the Constitution is ignorance. If a new Constitution guarantees the individuals and the states the same rights as are currently enumerated in the existing Constitution, then why would you feel threatened by the new Constitution? Furthermore, ideally, my Constitution would offer individuals more rights and more control of their government than the current one -- you'd oppose that out of knee-jerk, hive-mind defense of the precious precious Constitution?

MrBungle
I do not understand why people desire to give up their ability to decide what kind of health care they have, what kind of house they can live in, what kind of transportation they can use, what kind of media they can watch, or what kinds of food they can eat. The people making these decisions are just that... people.


Nos**t, Sherlock. That goes for PRIVATE ENTERPRISE, as well. People are in charge of businesses -- which we have no control over. At least, in government, we can change that system and make it beholden to the public -- we cannot do that with private enterprise.

That's not to say that I believe private enterprise should be abolished -- that would be stupid. It's obvious that competition and capitalism have yielded tremedous improvements to our quality of life. I'm all for the continuation of capitalism, but I believe the government should have a role ensuring honest competition.

The only area I do not believe the free market can sufficiently address the needs of the people is in healthcare. I am for a public, universal-access healthcare system funded by the taxpayer dollar -- because private healthcare and capitalism are a poor mix. In capitalism, a company's motivation is profit. The company with the best products/services, in theory, will earn the most profit - prompting other companies to improve their products/services in order to compete.

This is not the case in healthcare. For an insurance company to profit, it must spend less money on drugs, medical tests, and medical procedures. It accomplishes this by denying people with pre-existing conditions, having specific hospitals and doctors that you must use, etc. In the health insurance industry, the profit motive is diametrically opposite from patient care. You either provide healthcare to your clients and risk going out of business because the other insurance companies have far more money to out-advertise you, or you deny your clients healthcare and survive as a company (but contribute to the laughing stock that is the U.S. "healthcare" system).

I might add, people should have choice -- but a functioning, effective free market depends on the same thing as functioning, effective democracy/republic: An informed citizenry. We don't have one.

bossa ritchie Aug 10, 2010, 03:12pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 10, 2010, 03:16pm EDT

 
>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
You're right... you're not a liberal. You're a marxist. Tell me what is the incentive to work under such an arrangement? There is none. Sure a few people will try to get a few better things here and there then the next person. But if I can sit in my government supplied housing with free food, transportation, electricity, and internet why should I do anything productive at all? This is the problem with this mentality... It ignores human nature, history, and the basic laws of economics. Take away the incentive and in a generation or so you'll have everyone equal... equally poor, equally uneducated, and equally incapable of doing anything other than sucking the government teat.


See the thing here is folks seem to think that Welfare or Income Support as we call it in the UK Pays people hundreds per week, that couldn't be farther from the truth, all you get is enough to live on and no more.

We Brits and Americans like to think we are better than the rest. Maybe we are maybe we aren't but we could and we should provide our countrymen with the basics to live.

In Scotland our water is in our Taxes which we like, but I seen a programme on telly where if you can't afford your water bill in America they cut it off and if you have children they are taken away by social services, this is terrible and should be stopped.

Water, cheap and safe housing, cheap power, food can be already bought cheap you just need to look around we have stores in the UK which cater for people who can't afford the best and btw these shops are also used by richer folks also.

Transportation and Internet I wouldn't give for free alough every libary in the UK has either free internet or you pay about 50p for an hour or 2 which is less than 1 dollar of your American money.

Look at this http://costofwar.com/ and thats only for the USA imagine what this money could do for the folks who deserve it your countymen, this only takes into account the USA other countrys are spending millions if not billions per year in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So the if we give away stuff to others they will sit around is laughable, the poorer are given pennys to live on not hundreds of Dollars/Pounds.

We can afford to give people thousands of miles away free clean water, food, housing and safety why can't we do the same for our own country.

They do say charity starts at home, well not in the world I live in!

TamTheBam Aug 10, 2010, 04:11pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 10, 2010, 04:14pm EDT

 
>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!


Pickle said "evil socialist Europe" ?!!!

The more I read about America, the more I find it's more of a nanny state than anywhere
else in the world - ruled by mind-numbing control freaks. The country of "Freedom!". Well
there's food for thought. Fcuk the poor in America. The American Dream... wake up FFS!

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
A_Pickle Aug 10, 2010, 07:43pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
Tam, did you actually read my post?

TamTheBam Aug 10, 2010, 07:54pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
A_Pickle said:
Tam, did you actually read my post?


I did yes. And I fully understood.

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
G. G. Aug 10, 2010, 08:29pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
The US of A............ needs to level the whole middle easter area out in one big swoop.... AND then let Walt Disney come in and turn the whole area into a Walt Disney Sand Box World....



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kOrny Aug 10, 2010, 08:41pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
i have never seen such long, consecutive posts on HWA.


..of course its about politics...


what a waste of typing. ;)

Bungle Aug 11, 2010, 12:17pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 11, 2010, 12:18pm EDT

 
>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!

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G. G. Aug 11, 2010, 12:32pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
@ Bungle

You go girl !!! [left hand on hip and right hand doing the swishy thing with the index finger]

LOL

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A_Pickle Aug 11, 2010, 09:14pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
MrBungle
The act is aimed at enemy combatants that are fighting against our forces who do not wear a uniform. It calls these people "unlawful enemy combatants"


I do not care who this act is aimed at, I care about who it can affect (which is everybody on Earth). If I judged government actions based on who they were intended to affect, I wouldn't have much of a clue of how the system works. The War on Drugs is intended to protect people (from themselves), but it causes wanton harm, death, and destruction in this country and others. The USA PATRIOT Act was intended to give law enforcement and intelligence organizations the "tools they needed" to detect, pursue, and capture terrorists -- but we now know that law enforcement and intelligence organizations have largely used the new powers in counter-drug cases rather than terrorism ones.

The fact is, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 is a grevious usurpation of our liberty, perpetrated on the American people by the war-hawk neoconservatives of the Bush-Cheney dynasty. You prove my point in bullet II defining an "unlawful enemy combatant."

MrBungle [emphasis mine]
(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.


This clause enables the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to be used against American citizens. This clause verifies the claims I made about the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The President or the Secretary of Defense can drum up any ol' tribunal to "determine" someone to be an "unlawful enemy combatant."

Then, once that happens, the government can then deny you the right to a speedy trial (5th Amendment), the right against unreasonable search and seizure (4th Amendment), and more. Explain to me how liberals see the Constitution as an obstacle, again? Because it's the Republicans who actually treated it as such with the passage of this law (and the USA PATRIOT Act).

MrBungle [emphasis mine]
If you're in a war zone fighting against the us military you're not a criminal, you wont be tried as a criminal, you'll be held as a POW until the war is over then tried for war crimes. That is what the act is meant to allow. You make it sound like they're out picking up random people off the street and hauling them off to jail and holding them because they can.


...y-yes, that is what I'm making it sound like, because that is literally what we're doing. Have you read anything about Guantanamo Bay, I dunno, ever?!? Do you understand why it's so difficult for us to figure out what to do with our detainees over there? Because it's evident that you don't.

You see, in 2001 and 2003, a couple of braindead idiots decided to carry our country into two wars that would benefit the American people in no way whatsoever (history will later teach us that these wars were actually detrimental, on the whole, for the American people -- but that's a later chapter). These wars are part of the romantically-named "War on Terror," a nebulous and ill-defined concept that was invented following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed ~2,500 American citizens. In the course of these wars, we have conducted raids on homes, villages, and buildings that we suspect to be sympathetic to the terrorist cause.

The key term here is "suspect." Some of the people we detained during raids are genuinely dangerous, horrible people who should never see the light of day. Some of them are taxi drivers who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're in the wrong place again -- Guantanamo Bay.

Why? For driving Osama bin Laden from the mosque to Uncle Ahmed's poppy field in Kabul? That's not a crime, yet we deprived a human being of their liberty (by detaining them without their consent, and locking them up in Guantanamo) without due process, and worst of all, without any chance of being heard by their peers. Guilty until proven innocent, how very... American.

MrBungle
The constitution applies to US citizens not people engaged in war against the United States.


Actually, no, it doesn't. The Constitution only applies to the government, by specifically enumerating what it can do. Whatever isn't in there, the government can't do - and the government can't magically deny you free speech because you aren't a U.S. citizen (and I would find it hard to believe you would actually support that policy).

Now, explain to me where, in the Bill of Rights, it says the words "U.S. citizen?" I believe it says "the people." Moreover, you and the rest of Conservative Punditdom (thankfully) aren't in charge of interpreting the Constitution. The Supreme Court is, and it has heard many cases throughout history dealing with the U.S. Constitution and how the powers enumerated to government apply in issues dealing with foreigners.

In fact, the case Boumediene v. Bush challenged this very notion by calling into question the Constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act which we discuss. The Supreme Court held that it was unconstitutional for the Military Commissions Act to deny habeus corpus to Guantanamo Bay detainees (how many of them are American citizens, do you think?)

MrBungle
The thing is I fundamentally believe that people need to take care of themselves.


And what if they cannot? Let them die?

MrBungle
What I don't want to see is millions of people that get health insurance paid for by the tax payers by simply existing.


You don't think that some of those millions of people getting health insurance are taxpayers themselves?

MrBungle
It says that we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, that our representatives are elected and that they serve terms of predetermined lengths. These ideas are not obsolete and they will remain valid unless there is a fundamental change in human nature.


Right. So, if they're not obsolete (which I agree that they aren't), and were implemented into a new Constitution... then what would hold you back from supporting a new Constitution?

MrBungle
The constitution is meant to provide the foundation for the functions of the federal government and protect the rights of the citizens from the government overstepping its bounds.


Agreed. Now what about business overstepping its bounds by encroaching on the rights of the individual?

MrBungle
I reject this not as a knee-jerk reaction but because I do not believe that our rights are granted by the government.


I agree.

MrBungle
If you're a person like myself you believe in the idea of "natural rights". Natural rights are something that every person is born with, they are not granted by the government and you do not need anything but your own body to exercise them. You have the right to life, the right to make choices for yourself (liberty), the right to possess property, the right to think and speak freely, the right to defend yourself, etc...


I agree.

MrBungle
I reject the idea that you can "grant" me any extra rights through some "ideal constitution" because nobody has the ability to grant rights, not you, not the government, nobody.


I agree. I may have worded it wrong. Let me put it this way:

You have certain natural rights that the U.S. Constitution (the document that currently serves as the supreme law of the land) is designed to protect. However, under the current system, there are some exercises of liberty that are not only prohibited, but are punishable by law.

In short, your natural rights are being constrained by the very system you insist protects them.

MrBungle
What many people on the left like to do is start calling essential services "rights" and make justifications for what they are doing by making purely emotional arguments that are not based on economic reality.


I'd say this isn't a partisan trait. I remember many, MANY appeals to emotion made by the right-wing in order to drum up support for invading another sovereign nation.

"You're either with us or you're against us."
"Do you want to fight terrorists on our shores, or in their land?"
"Support our troops!" (Codename for: "Support the war!")

MrBungle
Big business is beholden to the public because the majority of large corporations are publicly traded.


Public trading = shareholders. If that's the system you claim makes business "beholden to the public," then you're kidding yourself. Shareholders are the reason that big companies are dicks. Shareholders, specifically, shareholders with voting power, get to control the group of people that controls the company. If the company doesn't do well, then the shareholders will probably fire some folks from the executive board.

Thus, members of the executive board (the CEO's, the COO's, the CTO's, the CFO's, etc.) have an incentive to keep the company profitable -- and because it's their job that's at stake, they will keep the company profitable by any means possible. This may mean cutting corners like only having two SATA ports per motherboard, even though the chipset for that motherboard can support up to six SATA ports. The ability for a consumer to upgrade his or her product means that his or her product will last him or her much longer, which means that he or she won't be buying a new computer anytime soon.

That means less profits, which means the CEO might lose his job. Cut corners, save job.

MrBungle
I reject the notion that business exists to rape, pillage and plunder their way into every dollar that they can get their greedy paws on.


As do I... but I'm also not so naive as to think that they're out for our best interests. Make no mistake: Business, specifically big business, exists to make a profit. That is their first goal. That means that they will try to genuinely improve the product(s) and/or service(s) that they offer, which improves our quality of life.

But you blithely overlook what it also means: That businesses, in addition to genuinely out-competing one another in a manner that results in benefits to society (e.g. the improvement in technology, reduction in cost, etc.), also try to compete with one another in the television set with misleading advertising, or try to compete with one another in the courtroom to solidify anti-competitive positions.

Look at literally every industry. Telecommunications companies don't compete based on quality of service, they compete with handset lineup first and quality of service second. Look at internet service providers. The United States has among the slowest average internet speeds among the first world countries. Our average internet speed in 2008 was actually faster than our average internet speed in 2009 (yes, that means we decreased over time). Look at banks, which literally f**ked over our entire economy and intensified our inevitable spin towards decadence and collapse. Look at airlines, which have consistently reduced their service and increased their price. Look at our energy industry, predominantly powered by fossil fuels -- the United States has had record numbers of blackouts this year.

I'm sorry, but business, while essential to the rapid progression and advancement of citizen's technology, cannot and should not exist without some force that holds it accountable to the people. That force is called government.

MrBungle
The genius of capitalism is that it uses greed against itself, sure greed is what drives people to try and make money, but they know that too much greed will cause them to lose favor with their customers and they will lose money if that happens so good business people will temper that greed. It also keeps prices as fair as possible with the technology available at the time, if more than one service provider is available the prices will naturally work their way down to the lowest possible level that still allows a business to make a profit.


I hear what you're saying here, and what I'm saying is this: I understand how capitalism works. However, the notion that capitalism perfectly deals with greed by making it work "against itself" is as dismissable as the notion that communism perfectly deals with equality by allowing everyone to own everything equally. Capitalism isn't perfect. Businesses can literally get away with usury, theft, and even murder -- and no actual human being is held accountable (because after all, corporations are people!).

That's not to say all businesses do commit usury, theft, or murder. Most don't. Small businesses are especially beneficial, because they work on a much more human level. And big businesses can be beneficial. The world owes a lot of thanks to the likes of Intel, AMD, HTC, Microsoft... the whole lot of companies that keep thousands of people employed in the pursuit of simplifying our lives.

But when companies do commit usury, theft, and/or murder, should not someone be held accountable, if indeed gross negligence can be proven? When an oil company destroys a swath of the ocean in an environmental disaster literally visible from space, shouldn't someone (like maybe the guy who, year after year and safety violations after safety violations, did nothing) be held accountable for that? They skimped on safety, on environmental stewardship, and on spill contingency procedures so that they could sell oil more cheaply. Now the entire goddamned Gulf of Mexico will have oil in it for 20, 30, 50, 100 years maybe?

Don't even get me bitching as to why we're even getting oil in the first place. This oil spill is incredibly bad, and one of very, very many which happen every year. Yeah, thanks, I'll take my chances with a meltdown (even though a full one has never actually occurred in the United States for the half century that nuclear power has been around) and thorium power, which would generate f**ktons more energy than what's generated by the incredibly technical process of "drillin' fer some stuff and then settin' it on fire".

MrBungle
Of all people we as technology enthusiasts should know this.


Actually, the computer industry is one of the most liberal (not politically) markets out there -- capitalism really does, for the most part, work its magic there. But it's not all roses and pink bunnies. Look at Intel -- why do they have two sockets for their Core i3/i5/i7's? And why is no one allowed to make chipsets for Intel Core i3/i5/i7's?

Well, largely because of Intel policy. Segregating the mainstream and value chips from the performance chips with a pin-incompatible socket strikes me as a decision made on political whim rather than engineering necessity. Now, people who buy an affordable ol' i3 are stuck with it, and if they want to someday upgrade to an i7 with hyperthreading then they'll need a new motherboard with that, thank you very much. Oh, and did I mention that both of those motherboards will be running an Intel chipset? That's because Intel no longer allows third parties to make chipsets for Intel products that feature "an integrated memory controller."

Interestingly enough, AMD has neither of these policies and seems largely capable of making competitive products.

MrBungle
Health care is an area where we should encourage as much capitalism as possible because as I said earlier it will drive down prices and improve services.


Except that we did, and it hasn't. In fact, quality of care has gone down, and cost of care has gone up -- literally the exact opposite of what you suggest will happen with more capitalism.

MrBungle
Until we have the absolute best care physically possible a profit driven system is going to march us forward faster than any public system could ever hope to. You must take into account greed because it is constant... every thinking being down to insects is greedy on some level and the administrators running your public health service are no different.


Ah, but where it differs it succeeds. First off, a government system is publicly beholden. Funded by the taxpayers, there would be an obvious obligation on government to make the system completely transparent to its beneficiaries (and source of funds). The people are not entitled to such transparency in private companies or publicly traded ones.

Sean Costello Aug 12, 2010, 12:15am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
Well, this all sucks for my friend who's in the middle of basic going for EOD training. Guess he'll be outta a job before he starts.

______
Story of My Life- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c764JWVt5Fw
A_Pickle Aug 12, 2010, 03:45am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
Nah, don't worry man. There's plenty of war over in Afghanistan...

TamTheBam Aug 12, 2010, 12:10pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
A_Pickle said:
Nah, don't worry man. There's plenty of war over in Afghanistan...


There's always a war somewhere in the world. It's what makes the world go round.
What would the world be like - if there hadn't been any form of war since WWII ???

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
A_Pickle Aug 12, 2010, 01:54pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 12, 2010, 01:55pm EDT

 
>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
TamTheBam
What would the world be like - if there hadn't been any form of war since WWII ???


Nice, maybe?

TamTheBam Aug 12, 2010, 02:04pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 12, 2010, 02:04pm EDT

 
>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!

A_Pickle said:
TamTheBam
What would the world be like - if there hadn't been any form of war since WWII ???


Nice, maybe?


Yes I know it'd be nice. But I mean our way and standards of living with all the other
countries around the world.. and Vice Versa

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
A_Pickle Aug 12, 2010, 04:09pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
Oh. Well, to be honest, I don't think investment in war results in a net increase in standards of living. The Department of Defense in the United States receives $700 billion a year... to protect against what? The terrorists who, nine years ago, attacked and killed 2,500 Americans?

Yes, we should take countermeasures to prevent that from happening. No, it is not necessary to sacrifice our liberties to have an effective countermeasure. Airport security is still a joke, but Air Marshals along with armored cockpit doors effectively prevent hijackings.

I'd love a U.S. military that could get by on a paltry $200 billion. We don't need 800 bases abroad, and we don't need that much military infrastructure and R&D. We just need a ready, capable, competitive military. We can increase funds as necessary, but that's it.

The rest? I'd invest it in:
- Research and development of Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors
- Research and development of electric air transportation
- Research and development of electrical storage tech, supercapacitors, batteries, etc.
- Deployment of a smart energy grid nationwide

We can maintain if not increase our quality of life while dramatically reducing the resource consumption necessary to do so. We can also avoid getting attacked by terrorists and/or hostile nations by not being dicks. Utopia, anyone?

Sean Costello Aug 12, 2010, 07:01pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
I thought he was pulling out of Afghanistan too

______
Story of My Life- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c764JWVt5Fw
A_Pickle Aug 12, 2010, 08:40pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
No. We completely ignored the Afghan front to pointlessly create the Iraqi front (we invaded Iraq), and thens**t backfired in Iraq. We focused on creating stability and peace in Iraq, and right as Iraq seemingly became more stable and peaceful, Afghanistan began to swirl out of control. That's happening now -- we're in the midst of preventing that collapse while hoping that our pull-out date from Iraq won't incur massive violence by that point.

Sean Costello Aug 12, 2010, 10:22pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Obama confirms plan for US troop withdrawal from Iraq!
eh i'm not too worried about Iraq, they should be fine.

______
Story of My Life- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c764JWVt5Fw

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