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Comments by Sully

On “Wikileaks: Anti-Imperialist in the American Interest

The State Department cables are kid stuff. If Assange ever gets close to the records of Saudi cash transfers to American politicians he'll be a dead man in two shakes of a drone's tail.

To be fair and balanced, of course, it must be noted that Winston Churchill's views on the middle east may well have been, uh, influenced by Bernard Baruch's, uh, tangible expressions of enduring friendship in the 1930s; so one may well wonder if current day Israelis and their allies and agents of influence are completely innocent of, uh, relationship building efforts with politicians.

On “Hanging out in the sacrifice zone

@ bob:

I'm feeling gracious and generous. Everybody else eligible should collect until it is impossible for whoever ends up with custody of my body to hide from the feds the fact that I am no longer eligible to collect.

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@ fuster:

That's covered under article 1:28

. . . fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

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@ bob:

Am I far right or far far right for believing that the Fedal guvmint shouldn't be doing anything not plainly listed in black and white in the Constitution and its Amendments?

Aside from printing and mailing my monthly SSN check of course.

On “Portland narrowly non-escapes non-detonation of non-bomb by non-entity

Congress needs to fully investigate why the FBI Terrorism Task Force was investigating a planned attack in a city that specifically rejected participation in the Terrorism Task Force. Who ordered the investigation to be continued once it was learned that the Somali Religion of Peace member specifically intended to attack in Portland?

Even if laws weren't broken, budget money was certainly wasted.

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@ miguel cervantes:

If that idiot is representative of the attendees at the tree lighting I have to agree with him that the FBI should not be hounding guys like that Somali.

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I can't comment on this story until I learn the liberal versus conservative percentage breakdown of the typical tree lighting crowd in Portland.

On “New universe, just like the old universe

An interesting article. We need to start looking closely at Penrose's rings to see if there's a message encoded in them; like the one out there beyond the nth billionth digit of pi.

On “One Last “Is Palin Running?” Book Boomlet Piece

Based on her guest appearances on Fox News, Palin has convinced my wife and I that she's only marginally more competent and intelligent than Obama. We haven't watched the Alaska thing; but I take it as a sign she's not serious about running. Same thing goes for her daughter's appearance on Dancing with the stars.

Having seen what a shallow, flighty, inexperienced poseur can do since 2008 the country will go for someone with actual credentials in 2012, or at least I hope it will.

On “How to make money: James M Buchanan on completing the American Revolution

@ CK MacLeod:

Buchanan argues that the stability of the unit of account should be one of them – that the entire system would function more efficiently if everyone’s financial calculations weren’t subject to radical aggregate revaluation.

If that's what he's arguing I agree with him completely. Where I have an issue is his (I assume based on your piece and the foregoing discussion) belief that an "independent" group of bureaucrats can be expected to be more trustworthy and wise in managing the money supply than the market will be if the fiat currency has to be backed up with reserves of a commodity ala the gold standard.

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@ narciso:

The political class and the public "economists" still believed in the 1960's that government bureaucrats could better allocate resources than the market, hence the experiment with wage and price controls ala WW2.

Currently the political class and the public economists still believe that the money supply can be better managed by government bureaucrats than by the impersonal market; but the market keeps on keeping on biting them in the rear. Eventually it will bite them in the rear to the extent that it did during the Great Depression which was arguably worse by far than the panics and shorter sharper lesser depressions and inflations that plagued the gold and silver years.

One nice thing (for the political class, government bureaucrats and unscrupulous "investors" who subvert and ultimately own them) is that control of the money supply allows them to make such depressions and inflations relatively painless for themselves while they work to increase their power. Until common folks realize what is happening and rise up with pruning hooks to upset the whole system.

People in general come to have reason to hate it when that happens, of course.

"

The "bad" thing about the gold standard was/is that it prevented all wise and all just governmental experts from playing money value games. We've long been off the gold standard; but there it (gold) is still, inhibiting governmental experts from playing money value games, it's trading price serving as a check on the real value of fiat money.

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Control of the money supply corrupts. Absolute control of the money supply corrupts absolutely.

If I understand your understanding of Buchanan, he believes that a new "independent" controller of the money supply can be constituted which will be capable of resisting the political pressures that have corrupted the previously constituted "independent" controller of the money supply.

On “Who “they” is

@ CK MacLeod:

guilt-by-association

The other day, unless I'm misremembering, you asserted that buyers of Middle Eastern crude share guilt by association since their money spawned and feeds the extremism.

And, in another thread you hold with the NAACP that Tea Party people are responsible for purging those who associate at their rallies without pure motives. And you appear to go further and argue that the mere holding of certain ideological beliefs about the size of government grants a group of people the right to believe that another whole group of people is guilty of meaning them harm.

How do those jibe with your position here?

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@ Rex Caruthers:

I think we are at war with the Muslim countries of the Near East over oil,but we’re not allowed to have a direct oil war,so we pretend it’s about National Security.

I yield to very few in the intensity of my cynicism and the depth of my low opinion of the competence of politicians; but even I don't believe our politicians are stupid enough to have run the war since 9/11 the way they have if their objective is to fight "the Muslim countries" over oil.

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@ Rex Caruthers:

The problem has been undeclared wars that are defined as “minor”,”Police Actions” that are not wars of survival. Maybe we’re on the same page here?? but requiring Declarations and a Draft will weed out these “limited”wars as it weeds out the all professional Military.

In a perfect world you would be able to distinguish between a minor police action and a significant war; but that turns out to be hard. I think congress tried to address this by putting a limit of 60 days or 120 days on the president's latitude to order troops into action without some sort of congressional action; but that has become a dead letter because in practice it's all but impossible in a political sense for congress to pull the funding plug while troops are in action.

So we're back to square one. Clearly the president needs the power to order something like the drone strikes in Afghanistan, Yemen, etc. on a real time basis without a declaration of war; but it's hard to stop whoever is president from turning that power into the power to enmesh us in a real war.

As to our current situation I think the problem is that even those of us who think we're at war because war has been made on us don't come close to agreeing on who we are at war with so I imagine it would be pretty hard to write a declaration.

I could write a declaration of who I think we are at war with; but I suspect that would launch CK into orbit even though it wouldn't necesarily surprise him.

I would actually be interested in seeing precisely who CK thinks we are at war with.

Who do you think we are at war with right now?

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@ Rex Caruthers:

I think it was pretty clear then and it's still clear now that Japan might run wild for a while; but it had no potential to achieve a position, production potential, etc. that could prevent us from winning over it whenever we chose. Germany, on the other hand, if it conquered Russia and drove Britain out of the war, had the potential to be unbeatable. Hence the Europe first decision, which had nothing (or at least very little) to do with what the Germans were doing to anyone in already conquered Europe.

And that was a right decision. Nation states should only fight major, full mobilization, wars for survival since the act of drafting a major portion of the population for purposes less than survival is itself an evil of large magnitude.

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@ CK MacLeod:

Had I looked him up I would have been more respectful. And I should have looked him up based on Cato's publication of that piece.

On “All the little Tea Party Americans in the world

General Order Number Sixty Seven - First Draft by Cornelius Thadeus MacLeod

General Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau has brought it to the attention of this command that certain impetuous and even rough members of this force have been insufficiently respectful of the forces of His Hispanic Majesty Alfonso XIII. In addition there has been talk of charging up San Juan hill instead of proceeding at a stately walk as has been ordered. . .

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@ CK MacLeod:

Actually I think a couple of grandmas did say they had turned back from that polling place after seeing the fellow with his club.

But you are right that it isn't a big deal. I'm sure there won't be more than a few thousand or so fellows packing heat on election day this year. Which may actually be why the Justice Department let that fellow off, since a violent incident would serve their leader's purposes.

On “Who “they” is

@ Rex Caruthers:

That fellow Buchanan is clearly educated to a point so far beyond you that he's reached an ethereal realm almost completely detached from reality.

It's not you who should feel gratified that his conclusion matched yours (taking your word for it that he actually reached a conclusion). Rather he should feel gratified that his outpouring of hig blown academic semi-sense ended with a conclusion that matched your common sense analysis.

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@ Rex Caruthers:

A very good question, but perhaps to be answered after pondering the fact that in the school and church I attended as a youth the primary object of veneration for the majority of the parishioners and some of the priests wasn't a member of the Trinity, or at least that's how it appeared to me.

On “All the little Tea Party Americans in the world

@ CK MacLeod:

Declaration of Independence - final draft by Jedediah MacLeod KCB

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should first denounce any and all adherents to their cause and sympathizers with their objectives who are accused by their oppressors of failing the strictest tests of purity of heart and disinteredness of motives regardless of the flimsiness of evidence presented by their accusers and the ulterior motives of said accusers lest. . .

On “Who “they” is

@ Rex Caruthers:

I wonder how many economists and writers CATO had to interview in order to find one who expresses his thoughts as crisply, clearly, concisely and grippingly as James Buchanan.

Can someone explain to me what he was getting at in one paragraph?

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@ narciso:

You're wrong to refer back to that wholly pure of heart opposition to Lieberman as though it indicates any sort of bias. The left took out after all Democratic Senators who supported the war just as vociferously.

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