OT: Overheard at breakfast this morning

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"I am George W. Bush, you tried to kill my father, prepare to die." Actually, if Clinton had taken it, this was best justification (note I did not say reason) since trying to off a leader, even an ex-leader, has always been viewed as an act of war.

Islam has always been one of the few religions where it was practiced more as a blood sport.
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
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aemeijers wrote:

Attempting to kill a country's leader (or leader-in-waiting) is not a reason for war?
Consider Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Agreed. That part of the Muslim world is living in the equivalent of the Christian Dark Ages. Give 'em another 500 years or so and they might have their own Renaissance.
A quicker fix is to build McDonald's burger stands. Countries with McDonalds' have never gone to war with each other.
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Gordon Shumway wrote in

Protecting our freedom is fine, but Saddam, bad as he was, didn't really threaten us, nor did he harbor bin Laden or his cronies.
--
Best regards
Han
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2011 17:38:07 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Nice thought, when we could believe such fairytales.
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<Gordon Shumway> wrote in message wrote:

Sadly there is. It's the munitions makers like Krupp and others like Blackwater that rack up *incredible* profits and who often manage to maintain that wealth in the post conflict environment. Dwight Eisenhower, a general and a President warned us of a self-perpetuating military-industrial complex, because he had watched it grow to behemoth stature during his years of military and civilian service. Look at how that part of the pie is out of whack with history and the rest of the world and you'll come to realize his prophecy was correct.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/17/50-years-eisenhowers-grim-warning /
The Iraq war was a planned squandering of American money for nothing except show except an enormous debt. If we believed that they had WMDs and the UN was "pussyfooting" than we had a right to look for ourselves. And that's what most people thought they were approving of when the got behind the WMD propaganda. But where did the right to make sure that Saddam had no WMD's convert an Islamic inter-tribal balancing act to create an "arf arf:" Islamic democracy?
We spent truckloads of money trying to bring democracy to people who could not care less, who aren't are friends and will never BE our friends. We lost thousands of American lives trying to civilize people who would stone their own children to death for intertribal marriage. Why? What did it get us?
Now the bills for the decade of war debt we've accrued are coming due and there are those that want to blame lots of good government programs and steal their funding instead of facing the fact that wars cost money. Big money. And for a long time after they are ended. We'll be paying off AfRaq debts for the next 40 years and it's almost like paying off a mortgage on a house that burned down without insurance. No one wants to pay for it now that we've regained our senses. That's perfectly normal because no one can point to any serious gain we've made other than booting out Saddam, a busted out dictator who thought that by convincing us he had WMDs that we would leave him alone. We invaded without concern they would "light those nukes off" because we knew at the highest levels that he didn't really have them. It was a lie and a pretext to get everyone onboard the whack-Iraq express.

Even recently retired SecDef Gates said we must limit our involvement in wars of choice.
http://article.wn.com/view/2011/05/24/US_military_needs_flexibility_due_to_poor_predictions_Gates_ /
<< [Gates said] that the U.S. has consistently failed to predict what is just over the horizon. "Our record of predicting where we will use military force since Vietnam is perfect -- we have never once gotten it right.>>
Iraq gained us little or nothing in the way of increased national security. On the contrary, we've exposed a lot of military secrets to the Iranians, the Chinese and anyone else with the right equipment and observers. Some Arab tech students unscrambled the US drone video feeds.
http://hitechbrew.com/predator-drones-intercepted /
"Shiite fighters in Iraq used off-the-shelf software programs such as SkyGrabber - available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet - to regularly capture drone video feeds, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The hacking was possible because the remotely flown planes have an unprotected communications link."
Many more of our secrets have been lost fighting an enemy who we are trying to democratize. Why? The final nail in the coffin of the claim that Iraq was a war of need is the fact that North Korea has nukes, has missiles which CAN reach neighbors whom we have defense pacts with and he has threatened to use them. But we leave North Korea alone and even offer them bribes. It demolishes the argument that Saddam was so much badder he had to go first. It does make a case, though, for Israel to have pushed us hard to invade Iraq to have us serve THEIR goals.
Even if Saddam *had* WMDs he had no delivery system capable of reaching us. Once again, WE did the heavy lifting for Europe and Israel, the countries most threatened by the imaginary WMD's that Iran will actually have some day. Will the US have the money or the will to take on Iran if the need arises? Just remember the story of the boy who cried "Wolf!"
It's the same in the war in Afghanistan. If anyone ever needed proof that you can't deny conspirators a place to plot, it was finding Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Like Viet Nam, to prosecute the war we have to follow the bad guys into an ever-increasing number of countries. Then, it was Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. Now it's Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. The names change but the concepts don't. It turns out our fears in the 60's of Red China taking over the entire continent (the Domino Theory) have morphed into China being our BFF in trade. So *what* did we gain in Vietnam? Companies like Hughes got filthy rich while 55,000 American soldiers died.
Now, some of our own legislators, like they did in the years before 9/11, are attacking the President at every turn, making us look weak in the eyes of our many, many enemies. That, coupled with our "scheduled" withdrawals in both theaters, will really pump up the terrorists who are already saying they've bankrupted us and forced us to leave. Trying to score political points by making us look weak worldwide both financially and militarily is a game with no good consequences for the US.. With the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 just a month away, it's a very foolish thing to do. But alas, history often repeats itself.
I heard Cantor say today: "We're doing everything we can for the people who put us here." I would have said "voters" and not "people" but I guess he answers to more than the voters. With the Citizen's United decision, he could be answering to foreign powers that have contributed to his campaign and we would not be able to tell. That's what's wrong with the whole system. Congress represents Corporate America and big contributors, not the American Citizenry. Until that changes, they'll be glad to have us at each other's political throats. When Republican and Democratic voters are fighting, our politicians are laughing all the way to the bank.
-- Bobby G.
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I don't remember saying anything about Bush being the best President we've ever had. However, I sure do miss him now.
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Han wrote:

He had to cut taxes to pay for the wars!
In virtually every case where taxes have been cut, revenues to the government have risen.
We conservatives also hold that tax cuts can cure cancer and heal bee-bites.
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</sarcasm>
--
Best regards
Han
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Han wrote:

Not exactly. When tax cuts yield higher government revenues, there's more money for the National Institutes of Health to award grants for cancer research. Plus, when the general populace has more money, greater funds are given to charitable institutions of which several are devoted to cancer research and rehabilitation.
Admittedly, I haven't researched bee-bites.
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Those tax cuts are stimulus money. They do not really last. I bet you that if we announce that we will raise capital gains taxes to be equivalent to income taxes, enormous amounts of capital gains are going to be realized, and tax revenues will go up for a little while. Then they will precipitously fall, until a new equilibrium is reached.
The tax codes are really funny. Heck, when I found out I could donate stock, and realize that would give me a charitable deduction of the current FMV, and would not have to pay Cap gain taxes if I had just sold that stock, charity got a real boost and my taxes went down nicely. Apparently, the sheeple want me to avoid paying taxes by letting me give money to organizations I choose from among (in this case) 501c3 organizations.
--
Best regards
Han
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<...snipped...>

Since 1992, federal revenue has increased EVERY year EXCEPT for a couple at the beginning and end of the GWB years. Statistics are great, aren't they? You can use them to support any argument you want!
--
Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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Larry W wrote:

Well, yeah. There haven't BEEN any tax increases since 1992 (except for the ones Obama implemented early on).
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He cut taxes AT ALL INCOMES, so sure, he cut taxes at the higher incomes. Wars are not "irresponsible". That's why the power to make war written into the Constitution.
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wrote:

Do I really have to spell it out? War costs money, there is absolutely no revenue from it except for a few individuals and corporations. It doesn't increase a country's revenues (unless you mean conquering oilfields and pocketing the revenues from selling the oil, which wasn't done (yet)). Lowering taxes cannot by definition increase long-term revenue, unless you're logic-impaired. That some statistics may falsely show that is because, well, statistics lie.
Ergo, it is irresponsible (IMNSHO) to wage war and NOT p[rovide the revenue to pay for it. I am leaving ethics, being right and morality out.
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Han
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Of course wars cost money. Sometimes it's cheaper to get it done instead of pussyfooting around. 9-11 wasn't cheap, and was caused by Clinton's pussyfooting.
Lowering taxes *INCREASES* revenue, long term.

Even if it lowers revenue... Rriiiiggghhhttttt.
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wrote:

I knew it wasn't going to work. Logic isn't your strong suit ...
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Han
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You obviously haven't been paying attention.
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Han wrote:

We got the oil. Oh, not us directly (very clever that), but oil is fungible. The millions of barrels of Iraqi oil flowing into the world's market depresses the price we pay to Canada, Nigeria, Mexico, and other sources.

In 1941, the U.S. was still in the grip of the Great Depression. The country certainly had no extra funds to prosecute a world-wide war. Is it your opinion, then, that the U.S. should have simply absorbed the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam, the Aleutians, and maybe the west coast, merely because the country lacked the funds to proceed otherwise?
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Of course you know my answer, since you know I am only alive because the US and its allies defeated Germany - I was born in 1944 in occupied Holland.
WWII was a hugely deficit-driven proposition and it wasn't until the 50's with the interstate program that the post war recession was really lifted. Of course, the Marshall plan and the GI bill helped too. Oh, wait - deficit spending ...
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Han
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<stuff snipped>

Han, it's become very apparent that you do have to spell it all out, and s l o w l y because both R's & D's are deep into "magical thinking." One side believes utterly false statements like "tax cuts *always* increase revenues." The other side believes that giving out-of-work people money to sit at home and drink beer and not do public service work or sign up for retraining DAILY is going to fix unemployment.
Many on both sides seem blithely unaware that war costs money. BIG MONEY. They're too busy fixating on fighting each other over nonsense. Even the Romans eventually couldn't make it pay, and they plundered the treasuries of their victims to help offset the cost. We don't even plunder our enemies, we help them form Islamic pseudo-democracies. I can't recall seeing that last task anywhere in the Constitution except in terms so broad it makes the Commerce Clause look like a hypodermic needle.

Oh but the revenue they get. Blackwater made out very nicely in this last war. If only we could have all done as well. As long as guys like them make big bucks from war, wars will continue.

The Iraqis just concluded a deal to sell their oil to the Chinese. So much for taking their oil. IIRC, you've been involved in military procurement, Han. Anyone who hasn't really doesn't have a good "gut" feeling of what wars cost. In the Iraq war, we were not allowed to see returning coffins which helped hide the human cost of wars. The money part was hidden in accounting tricks. The Iraq war hardly effected most Americans - until now, when all the big bills are coming due along with all the debt TSA and Homeland Security racked up for us. Or does the magical thinking extend to believing those government functions, like war, are also paid for by the War Fairy?
People just don't understand how slow the government payment pipeline can be. There's still billions in mortgage aid appropriated but unspent. This is a teaching moment: Wars cost money. The Civil War gave birth to the nation's first income tax. Why? We ran out of money fighting the war. Simple, logical, easy to understand. Yet very few seem to get it. And even fewer want to pay for it now that it's almost over. IMHO, the people who started both wars were very active in concealing their costs from us.

Precisely! I shudder when I hear people constantly make the claim: "Lowering taxes ALWAYS increases revenue."
That statement's remarkably false and it's based on a few times in our history where revenue *coincidentally* soared after a tax cut for a very LARGE number of reasons: cheap money, hot economy, new economic sector, paybacks from some accounting change, etc. Receipts often climb after tax cuts, but not necessarily *because* of them. Income-tax payments tend to naturally rise year-after-year because of population growth, wage increases, GDP growth, and inflation. Monetary policy, government spending, and the business cycle also have major impacts. So to pick out a few times when cuts occurred and revenue increased and point to them as a rule is losing the difference between correlation and causation. The sun does not rise because the rooster crowed but simple observation might lead someone to believe that relationship is something more than coincidental.
We are not in a period that looks anything like the times when revenues rose and taxes fell. It's illogical to think that what works in one set of very specific circumstances will work in all circumstances. When Greenspan kept dropping interest rates to spur more lending, he was feeding gasoline to a fire. Lots of that cheap money bought overvalued real estate and mortgage "jelly rolls" filled with toxic waste that temporarily made the economy look good, but actually brought us to our current mess.

What's that line so famous in the Pentagon: "If you torture the data long enough, they'll confess to anything!"
"The last half-dozen years have shown us that we can't have both lower taxes and fatter government coffers. The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all say that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been - even if they spur some economic growth. And federal revenues actually declined at the beginning of this decade [2000-2010] before rebounding.
http://www.factcheck.org/taxes/supply-side_spin.html
> Ergo, it is irresponsible (IMNSHO) to wage war and NOT p[rovide the

Like a rat eaten by a snake, the cost for war works it way very slowly through the economy. Usually, wars START by producing a surge of employment and economic growth because the GOVERNMENT is spending money. (How ironic - GWB was running a public works project in disguise.)
The money (tons of it) goes to defense plants, for Army wages and care, for base maintenance, cruise missiles, drones, tanks, Humvees, helos, etc. The good times roll until quite a bit later (now) when the bills roll in. Then the plants shut down, the Guard & Reservists try to get their old jobs back and the government spending winds down causing tax receipts to sputter and the deficit to soar.
The people that started those two wars of choice would have you believe that the War Fairy will pay for them - and for the TSA and for Homeland Security, too. They work hard to con people into believing that the current administration is responsible for the current mess, but these debts were incurred a long, long time ago.
The bills will keep coming in as expensive tanks, planes and other equipment need replacing. The trillion dollars we'll need to care for horribly wounded vets will come due slowly over the next 40 years, according to the CBO. Wars cost blood and treasure and our modern hi-tech, 10 year long "surgical" wars are outrageously costly compared to wars like WWII. Like a deadbeat moving his debt from credit card to credit card to stall the inevitable, we're now in a place where all the budgetary magic has expired and it's time to pay up.
If both the R's & D's don't abandon their magical thinking and their belief that 10 year long wars can be prosecuted for free, we're just going to spin our wheels while the rest of the world leaves us behind. We're already running in the middle of the pack in lots of areas where we once were the world's leader.
-- Bobby G.
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