For the love of god or whoever … VOTE!

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GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
I don't think that the founding members of NATO saw it as a US protection racket scheme but as a vital part to preserve and expand democracy and liberty of what we call the Western world at that time. Your own country, Canada, was a founding member of NATO. As was mine: Norway. The other Nordic countries Denmark and Iceland are founding members, while Sweden and Finland was not. Finland had and has special issues with Sovietunion/Russia. Sweden is Sweden :rolleyes:
Well, since Norway and Denmark were both invaded by Germany, I can understand their motivation to join. Iceland has no military, but gained an air base. Sweden was maintaining her long-standing neutrality. The USSR would simply NOT allow Finland to join NATO, as that would be an end-run around the Warsaw Pact buffer zone.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
Well, since Norway and Denmark were both invaded by Germany, I can understand their motivation to join. Iceland has no military, but gained an air base. Sweden was maintaining her long-standing neutrality. The USSR would simply NOT allow Finland to join NATO, as that would be an end-run around the Warsaw Pact buffer zone.
Sweden has as a long standing public fiction of neutrality during the war, in reality they where war profiteers allowing German troops from/into Norway as well as allowing death trains of Jews to extermination camps. In Norway, after the war, there was processes to address what some Norwegians did. In Sweden: Silence.

Edit: Some of the Norwegian post WWW II processes was deeply shameful. The worst that I can come to think of just now was that the Norwegian government asked the Australian government to take care of children with German (soldiers) fathers and Norwegian mothers, which they declined. The treatment of German/Norwegian children was awful for decades after the war.
 
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Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
Well, since Norway and Denmark were both invaded by Germany, I can understand their motivation to join. Iceland has no military, but gained an air base. Sweden was maintaining her long-standing neutrality. The USSR would simply NOT allow Finland to join NATO, as that would be an end-run around the Warsaw Pact buffer zone.
It's a bit more complicated than that. North Norway was liberated from the Germans by Stalin, and after the liberation the Soviets left. Yup, they did! An occupation of North Norway would have given an ice free access to the North Atlantic shielded by narrow fjords with high mountains, far better than Murmansk. But left they did. Was Finland the price?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Irv, after reading this post, I knew I needed to respond, but I figured I would give it a couple of days. You and I agree on some things and disagree on others, but I don't think there's a huge gulf between us.

So, you were alarmed at the possibility of Bernie Sanders becoming the Democratic Presidential candidate. And, you would have been "forced" to vote for Trump if that had come to pass. I have to say that I find that alarming. Despite Trump's intellectual, temperamental and ethical/moral shortcomings; his avarice, mendacity, capriciousness, venality and narcissism - in other words, complete and utter incompetence - you would still not be willing to give Sanders a chance? I'm not saying that I think the sun shines out Bernie's back passage, but he could NOT possibly be less competent than Trump. There's far more to presidenting than having the stock markets rise on his/her watch.
I am a strong believer in capitalism and meritocracy, and Sanders believes in neither one. He and his followers want a fundamental change in the US economy, private enterprise, and private property. While I would rather not have to choose between two evils like Trump and Sanders, and I'm pleased I didn't have to, Trump for all of his many faults is not trying to change the basic economic systems of the US that have been the basis for our prosperity, and frankly my own. As you know from my past posts, I do think the US economic system needs to continually evolve and improve, and we're not doing it fast enough. But Sanders and his followers want to up-end the system to give more power to the government and "the people", whoever the hell they are. All of my life I've always wondered who "the people" are, and I just knew I was never one of them. Please don't insult me (as shadyJ likes to) by implying that all I think about is the stock market. My arguments are a lot more complicated than that.

As for Canada and Australia, I don't think we and they are any more, or less, capitalist than in the past. I'm not sure what data you refer to to give you that impression. I certainly support capitalism as the best economic system, which has unquestionably increased the overall standard of living in western developed countries. I just believe that in exchange for permitting that kind of system to operate, our society as a whole must benefit from its advantages (not just its primary participants) and protected from its excesses. I get that you are in general agreement with those principals, but we may differ on the finer points.
I'm comparing Canada and Australia of today to what I remember from the 1970s and 1980s. Australia especially because much more entrepreneurial in the 1980s, and I think that trend has continued to this day. In the early 1980s, when I actually considered becoming a Canadian, Canada's economy was more socialistic than it is today. In fact, if the Canada of the 1980s was like the Canada of today I might have a different citizenship. I view Canada as being much more about free enterprise than it was back then, especially in Ontario. The socialist message seems much more subtle today.

Has the West benefited from the American nuclear umbrella? Unquestionably. But, it's a 2-way street. If the US had simply gone back to isolationism after WW2, allowing the USSR and China to run amok, it would be awfully lonely in America.
I agree. I'm not an isolationist, but that is very much a historical American trait. Isolationism has never served us well.

That's just my perspective. I don't expect you to suddenly become a Bernie-bro. ;)
That would be impossible.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
I am a strong believer in capitalism and meritocracy, and Sanders believes in neither one. He and his followers want a fundamental change in the US economy, private enterprise, and private property. While I would rather not have to choose between two evils like Trump and Sanders, and I'm pleased I didn't have to, Trump for all of his many faults is not trying to change the basic economic systems of the US that have been the basis for our prosperity, and frankly my own. As you know from my past posts, I do think the US economic system needs to continually evolve and improve, and we're not doing it fast enough. But Sanders and his followers want to up-end the system to give more power to the government and "the people", whoever the hell they are. All of my life I've always wondered who "the people" are, and I just knew I was never one of them.
What kind of capitalism and meritocracy do you have in mind that accepts what @GO-NAD! wrote "Despite Trump's intellectual, temperamental and ethical/moral shortcomings; his avarice, mendacity, capriciousness, venality and narcissism - in other words, complete and utter incompetence - you would still not be willing to give Sanders a chance?"

Please don't insult me (as shadyJ likes to) by implying that all I think about is the stock market. My arguments are a lot more complicated than that.
Not really. Wordy, yes. Content, debatable, to be charitable.

Edit: Fix quoting.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
What kind of capitalism and meritocracy do you have in mind that accepts what @GO-NAD! wrote "Despite Trump's intellectual, temperamental and ethical/moral shortcomings; his avarice, mendacity, capriciousness, venality and narcissism - in other words, complete and utter incompetence - you would still not be willing to give Sanders a chance?"

Not really. Wordy, yes. Content, debatable, to be charitable.
I know you're trying to be a bully, but you just come off as pathetic and desperate.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Ugh, do you really have to go through your predictable formulaic manchild peeves again instead of being a grown-up?
Except for annoying me, and perhaps a few others, what value do you really add here? None that I can see. Every post you make is just arrogant attempted bullying of anyone who doesn't agree with you.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Field Marshall
Except for annoying me, and perhaps a few others, what value do you really add here? None that I can see. Every post you make is just arrogant attempted bullying of anyone who doesn't agree with you.
You're an insecure manchild that is unable to handle facts that contradicts your uninformed view of the world, and you lie easily, very easily. That latter part should concern you if you care about credibility, as people around here read posts even though they don't reply nor mark posts. But they do read, and remember.

So why not cut out that crap of yours and respond like a grown-up and not like a bad copy of Trump?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
You're an insecure manchild that is unable to handle facts that contradicts your uninformed view of the world, and you lie easily, very easily. That latter part should concern you if you care about credibility, as people around here read posts even though they don't reply nor mark posts. But they do read, and remember.

So why not cut out that crap of yours and respond like a grown-up and not like a bad copy of Trump?
I know I'm wrestling with a pig here, and I'll probably regret it, but what is it I've lied about?
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
You're an insecure manchild that is unable to handle facts that contradicts your uninformed view of the world, and you lie easily, very easily. That latter part should concern you if you care about credibility, as people around here read posts even though they don't reply nor mark posts. But they do read, and remember.

So why not cut out that crap of yours and respond like a grown-up and not like a bad copy of Trump?
21 dumb responses in five minutes! You really have anger management issues.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Spartan
I am a strong believer in capitalism and meritocracy, and Sanders believes in neither one. He and his followers want a fundamental change in the US economy, private enterprise, and private property. While I would rather not have to choose between two evils like Trump and Sanders, and I'm pleased I didn't have to, Trump for all of his many faults is not trying to change the basic economic systems of the US that have been the basis for our prosperity, and frankly my own. As you know from my past posts, I do think the US economic system needs to continually evolve and improve, and we're not doing it fast enough. But Sanders and his followers want to up-end the system to give more power to the government and "the people", whoever the hell they are. All of my life I've always wondered who "the people" are, and I just knew I was never one of them. Please don't insult me (as shadyJ likes to) by implying that all I think about is the stock market. My arguments are a lot more complicated than that.
To say Sanders doesn't believe in capitalism is a bit overblown, I think. While he certainly leans toward the Nordic-model, that's far from saying the means of production should be in the hands of the proletariat. And, while meritocracy, as a concept, makes great sense, in practice, it's falls far short.

I guess I would be less concerned about any changes Sanders would try to implement - his reach would fall short of his grasp anyway - than the cleptocratic clown show being put on by Trump. It's just fortunate that his attempted coup (let's be honest - that's what it is) is just a continuation of his habitual incompetence.

I was just being flippant with regard to the stock market. I know you are far more complex than that and I meant no offence.

I'm comparing Canada and Australia of today to what I remember from the 1970s and 1980s. Australia especially because much more entrepreneurial in the 1980s, and I think that trend has continued to this day. In the early 1980s, when I actually considered becoming a Canadian, Canada's economy was more socialistic than it is today. In fact, if the Canada of the 1980s was like the Canada of today I might have a different citizenship. I view Canada as being much more about free enterprise than it was back then, especially in Ontario. The socialist message seems much more subtle today.
Canada's economic system has not fundamentally changed in my lifetime, operating somewhere between a typical northern EU country model and the US. There's been no real change that I can see. Sometimes, there will be major policy changes that might indicate a major change in economic policy, but they go both ways. In the 1980's, the airline market was deregulated and in 1988, Air Canada was privatized (It had been crown corporation). That was a big deal.

But, beginning in the 1970's, maternity/parental leave was introduced and steadily expanded over the course of the next three decades. It started as a maternity benefit of 15 weeks. Ten weeks were added in 1990, which could be used by either parent. In 2000, another 25 weeks were added. This is all funded under the Employment Insurance program.

So, the economic pendulum swings back and forth, but the I don't see any fundamental shift in philosophy. In Ontario, they've had Liberal, NDP and Conservative governments over the decades, each with its own economic policies. But, fundamentally, there isn't any wholesale change in economic direction that I can see.
 
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Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
Corruption & nonsense lawsuits, and add to the mix some Republicans, and they just seem to go hand-in-hand.

How better to get a pardon, just in time, from our Fearless Leader. :mad:

 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
Corruption & nonsense lawsuits, and add to the mix some Republicans, and they just seem to go hand-in-hand.

How better to get a pardon, just in time, from our Fearless Leader. :mad:

Sadly the folks running my state aren't any better than those in D.C. Our AG and assistant governor are two of the worst.
 
R

rnatalli

Audioholic Ninja
"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty." --Abraham Lincoln
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty." --Abraham Lincoln
poor wolf, just trying to have dinner .........
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
To say Sanders doesn't believe in capitalism is a bit overblown, I think. While he certainly leans toward the Nordic-model, that's far from saying the means of production should be in the hands of the proletariat.
Here's the transcript of a speech Sanders made last January:


It's long rambling diatribe, with a lot of the usual political bluster up front that takes a while to get through, mostly about the toil and nobility of our lowest earners. Some credit-taking for pay raises to $15/hr and above pay rates at Amazon, which had nothing to do with Bernie and everything to do with attracting more motivated employees, and Amazon's compensation includes benefits. Walmart's pay scales are about 25% lower, but they also include benefits. These companies are hiring hundreds of thousands of workers between them, and you won't get what you need on federal minimum wages and no benefits. But Bernie takes credit for it all, ignoring the obvious reality of a free labor market.

But the claiming credit nonsense aside, one of my favorite paragraphs is:

"Even while macroeconomic numbers like GDP, the stock market and the unemployment rate are strong, millions of middle class and working people struggle to keep their heads above water, while the billionaire class consumes the lion’s share of the wealth that we are collectively creating as a nation."

Excuse me Bernie, are you saying that the nation "collectively" creates the wealth and the billionaire class just consumes it? This is profoundly dumb. Jeff Bezos did not "take" $200B from the American "collective", as if it was a pie waiting to be divided up and he got first in line. The US did not collectively create Amazon. Bezos and his company did. He didn't "take" $200B, he created $1.5T in value. If Bezos didn't do it there were others in the line just waiting for an allocated opportunity, so the Sanders premise goes. I've heard this vile bullshit before, that any success created is more due to environment and the common wisdom than to the individual's contributions. Such drivel.

Then Sanders introduces the notion of "unfettered capitalism". This is code for capitalism not bounded by democratic socialist laws and dictums. Mandatory unions, union representation on the boards of directors, pay limits for leaders enforced by heavy taxes based on a ratio of CEO pay to average worker pay, forced benefits to "societal stakeholders". (Don't laugh, Portland, OR implemented an early version.) I can see it now, Bezos can be paid no more than what 100 warehouse workers make without paying onerous taxes. In fact, that's not capitalism at all, it's state-managed companies. Basically, Sanders wants to dictate to companies how they operate for the benefit of The People. I'd say that's a pretty hefty remake of how capitalism works in the US. So from unfettered capitalism, meaning no Bernie content, to what Bernie wants is a form of capitalism just to benefit his political base. Bernie wants state controlled capitalism, and I don't really know what that is. It's a recipe for disaster, since who in their right mind would invest in it? And of course remember, Bernie doesn't know the difference between revenue and profit:


He's mixed up these concepts multiple times in multiple speeches. Just the guy you want to drive a reformation of the US economy. Not.

He goes on to talk about drugs that were developed with "taxpayer funded research". Some research is taxpayer funded, though a lot of university research is funded by industry grants. Telling one part of the story without the other is called a lie of omission. Then he switches gears and proceeds to attack Amazon, calling them a monopoly, which they are provably not in *any* of their businesses. But that lie doesn't bother Bernie. He also says they get $100s of millions of dollars of subsidies to place their facilities (true, from state and local governments trying to bribe Amazon and other companies to set up shop in their districts), and wraps it up by saying Amazon doesn't pay any federal income taxes, which *is* true lately. Amazon is legally using a strategy called loss carryforward, which was cooked up by, wait for it, the US Congress. Amazon and thousands and other companies, very big and very small, take advantage of this loophole.

By the end of this turgid diatribe, Bernie finally gets to the real meat of his philosophies:

What I believe is that the American people deserve freedom – true freedom. Freedom is an often used word but it’s time we took a hard look at what that word actually means. Ask yourself: what does it actually mean to be free?

Are you truly free if you are unable to go to a doctor when you are sick, or face financial bankruptcy when you leave the hospital?

Are you truly free if you cannot afford the prescription drug you need to stay alive?

Are you truly free when you spend half of your limited income on housing, and are forced to borrow money from a payday lender at 200% interest rates.

Are you truly free if you are 70 years old and forced to work because you lack a pension or enough money to retire?

Are you truly free if you are unable to go to attend college or a trade school because your family lacks the income?

Are you truly free if you are forced to work 60 or 80 hours a week because you can’t find a job that pays a living wage?

Are you truly free if you are a mother or father with a new born baby but you are forced to go back to work immediately after the birth because you lack paid family leave?

Are you truly free if you are a small business owner or family farmer who is driven out by the monopolistic practices of big business?

Are you truly free if you are a veteran, who put your life on the line to defend this country, and now sleep out on the streets?

To me, the answer to those questions, in the wealthiest nation on earth, is no, you are not free.

While the Bill of Rights protects us from the tyranny of an oppressive government, many in the establishment would like the American people to submit to the tyranny of oligarchs, multinational corporations, Wall Street banks, and billionaires.

It is time for the American people to stand up and fight for their right to freedom, human dignity and security.

This is the core of what my politics is all about.

In 1944, FDR proposed an economic bill of rights but died a year later and was never able to fulfil that vision. Our job, 75 years later, is to complete what Roosevelt started.

That is why today, I am proposing a 21st Century Economic Bill of Rights.

A Bill of Rights that establishes once and for all that every American, regardless of his or her income in entitled to:


  • The right to a decent job that pays a living wage
  • The right to quality health care
  • The right to a complete education
  • The right to affordable housing
  • The right to a clean environment
  • The right to a secure retirement

Okay... a few additions to the Bill of Rights, which would make the US one of the deepest welfare states in the world.


And, while meritocracy, as a concept, makes great sense, in practice, it's falls far short.
These articles are about implementing meritocracy in corporations, while I was discussing meritocracy in the economy as a whole. I agree that many corporate meritocracies, such as implemented by "Stack Ranking" are flawed in my experience, and they were never intended to take racial or gender inequalities into account.

I guess I would be less concerned about any changes Sanders would try to implement - his reach would fall short of his grasp anyway - than the cleptocratic clown show being put on by Trump. It's just fortunate that his attempted coup (let's be honest - that's what it is) is just a continuation of his habitual incompetence.
I'm not defending Trump, I was making a value judgement about Sanders.


Canada's economic system has not fundamentally changed in my lifetime, operating somewhere between a typical northern EU country model and the US. There's been no real change that I can see. Sometimes, there will be major policy changes that might indicate a major change in economic policy, but they go both ways. In the 1980's, the airline market was deregulated and in 1988, Air Canada was privatized (It had been crown corporation). That was a big deal.

But, beginning in the 1970's, maternity/parental leave was introduced and steadily expanded over the course of the next three decades. It started as a maternity benefit of 15 weeks. Ten weeks were added in 1990, which could be used by either parent. In 2000, another 25 weeks were added. This is all funded under the Employment Insurance program.

So, the economic pendulum swings back and forth, but the I don't see any fundamental shift in philosophy. In Ontario, they've had Liberal, NDP and Conservative governments over the decades, each with its own economic policies. But, fundamentally, there isn't any wholesale change in economic direction that I can see.
You are looking at the Canadian economy with far more granularity than I am, like more frames per second, because you live there. As an outsider, seeing far fewer FPS, the changes look greater to me.
 
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