Nazi Smears Old & Busted? Whip Out the Race Card!

[by Mr.Hengist]

Let me just start this off by saying that “race relations”, as they used to be called when I was a boy, are of no interest to me. I was raised in a racially colorblind household, and, come to think of it, I can’t recall ever having seen even mild racism in my nuclear or extended family. I attended colorblind schools with a variety of peoples of different races, and so forth. As a result of this upbringing I believe that racism is just wrong. This was an issue to press with my parents’ generation, and my parents in particular, and press they did. As for me, well, waging eternal war against racism is just not my bag.

Here in America, the advocates of racial equality won, thankfully. I was born at a time when the first inter-racial kiss on Star Trek was a notable event, and what seemed generations away back then has, after a generation or two, come to pass: we have a black* POTUS, as well as black Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, CEOs, and so forth. America has come a long way, yadda yadda yadda. The color barrier has been broken and racism dare not show its face in polite society. However, I’m of the opinion that racism has not been and never will be eliminated; we waged a world war trying to eliminate the f’ing Nazis and yet there are still admirers of that abomination to this day; racism, likewise, will endure. It usually takes some generations to make societal changes like these. We should neither sanction racism by law nor countenance it personally. I don’t make friends with bigots, and I keep myself from slapping them.

I find myself in good company on the American Right. In the midst of my political conversion during the Spring and Summer of 2003, I found myself visiting rightwing blogs for reasons wholly unrelated to politics and, to my surprise, I found paraphrased there the famous quotation of Martin Luther King Jr. from his “I Have a Dream” speech, to the effect that he wished for a nation that would judge people not on their skin color but the content of their character. I found it on several different rightwing blogs, actually, and it took a while before I came to believe that, rather than simply being than a cudgel with which to beat the hypocrisy out of their ideological enemies, it was indeed, as it appeared: an expression of genuine desire. After a couple of years of reading rightwing blogs, columns, and publications, I came to realize upon reflection that not only was racism absent from the places I visited on the Right, but also absent too was the soft bigotry of low expectations to which I had become accustomed in my previous life as a Liberal (not that I shared it at the time, but it’s so pervasive on the Left that I’d come to hardly notice it).

Accusations of racism, however, are cudgel in the hands of Liberals. They’re also big on calling us Nazis, notwithstanding the irony. Racists, like Nazis, have no legitimate currency in our realm, and no say in our national debate. That’s why they demonize us by calling us these names; not because it’s true, but because they would have their idological competition eliminated from the debate without having to address our arguments on merit. We end up having to defend ourselves from these scurrilous attacks which in turn reduces the time we can spend talking about the flawed policy and wrongdoings of our opponents and it taints our image in minds of the gullible and uninformed. It’s a despicable political tactic.

You’ll want proof, of course. By way of example I give you Rush Limbaugh, who was most recently pilloried when he tried to buy an ownership stake in a football team. The Left used one of Alinsky’s tactics (see “Rules for Radicals“): “Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It”. The Left set their sights on Limbaugh and opened up with all guns blazing – blanks. The quotes used against him were either fabricated or decontextualized. That was the best they could do, and bear in mind that Limbaugh has been broadcasting for the last twenty-five years. That’s an hour or two a day, five days a week, most of the year, year after year, and despite the vast wealth of material through which they are free to comb for examples to bolster their charge, again, this is the best they can do. If, like me, you think as serious an accusation as racism should be backed up by evidence, then that’s not just weak tea, that’s homeopathic tea, but then, Liberals neither require proof to make accusations against their political opponents, nor do they see this as being a problem.

All this brings me to my pet piñata of a dinosaur media columnist: Eugene Robinson of the WaPo, and his latest column, “Obama needs to stand up to ‘reverse racism’ ploy” (WaPo – July 22, 2010 – A19). Let’s start with the title, which calls out the “reverse racism ploy” of the Right. “Reverse racism” is sort of like racism, but in reverse. It’s when people of other ethnicities are accused of racism – other than white, of course. That is to say that racism, as defined by the Left, is when whites discriminate against people of other ethnicities, so the reverse of that would be when people of other ethnicities discriminate against whites (or, occasionally, ethnicities other than their own). Racism is, by their definition, exclusively the province of white people; racism, when exhibited by non-whites, is the reverse of that. “Reverse racism” is, therefore, a divisive and racist term itself (it’s a racist term, in that they have a special term for wrongdoing by a particular racial group). Congratulations, Eugene! Right out of the gate, you’ve beclowned yourself.

Let’s move on to the body of the text:

“After the Shirley Sherrod episode, there’s no longer any need to mince words: A cynical right-wing propaganda machine is peddling the poisonous fiction that when African Americans or other minorities reach positions of power, they seek some kind of revenge against whites.”

Leaving aside the false pretense that Robinson or Liberals have up until now been mincing words, the “right-wing propaganda machine” is what Leftists imagine to be the rightwing equivalent of their own propaganda machines. Like, say, JournoList, in which Liberal journalists and academicians colluded to coordinated smears of their political opposition and spike stories which made their side look bad. They imagine that since they work together in this way, their opposition must as well, and having imagined it to be possible, they suppose that it’s probable, and having supposed that it’s probable, they conclude that it must be true, and so with the speed of a caffeinated ferret they know to be true that which they’ve only imagined. Proof is no longer necessary for Leftists to delude themselves. At any rate, the target of Andrew Breitbart’s posting of the clips of Sheley Sherrod was not her; it was aimed at the group to which she was speaking, the NAACP. The NAACP, which is working together openly with the openly racist “Nation of Islam“. This was in response to the NAACP calling out racism in the Tea Party, citing now-debunked accusations of racism (see Power Line’s “Don’t leave it to Cleaver”, parts 1 through 17).

This was not, however, an accusation that when “minories reach positions of power, they seek some kind of revenge against whites.” What it illustrated was that the NAACP, which hosted the event, applauded and gave approval to Sherrod’s recounting of her tale of when she racially discriminated against a white farmer, not doing all she could to help him (when she was working for a non-profit). She states that she was of the opinion that he should seek help from “one of his own kind.” She went on to say that she had since come to believe that poor whites are also worthy of her help. Middle class and rich whites should still, presumably, be helped “by their own kind.” (in her own semi-coherent words, “That’s when…it was revealed to me that it’s about poor versus those who have. And not so much about white — it is about white and black — but it’s not, you know…it opened my eyes.” )

“A few of the purveyors of this bigoted nonsense might actually believe it. Most of them, however, are merely seeking political gain by inviting white voters to question the motives and good faith of the nation’s first African American president. This is really about tearing Barack Obama down.”

This had nothing to do with POTUS Obama. The fact that this Marxist racist worked for the USDA was something of an embarassment to the Obama Administration, and she was fired for it. Now they’ve apologized for that, since, I guessing, they’re of the opinion that if you’re a Marxist racist, and not just a plain old racist, that’s OK.

“With the Obama presidency, though, has come a flurry of charges — from the likes of Breitbart but also from more substantial conservative figures — about alleged incidences of racial discrimination against whites by blacks and other minorities. Recall, for example, the way Obama’s critics had a fit when he offered an opinion about the confrontation between Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and a white police officer. Remember the over-the-top reaction when it was learned that Justice Sonia Sotomayor had once talked about how being a “wise Latina” might affect her thinking.”

Well, no, there haven’t been a flurry of charges about incidents of racial discrimination against whites by blacks and other minorities. Robinsons WaPo readers are not expected to doubt this despite having little recollection of any such thing, but rather his assertion alone, in their minds, will make it so. He imagines it, and so he asserts it, and on that basis they believe. His examples?

There’s the Gates/cops incident, in which Gates threw a tantrum, ranting and shouting about how he was being racially harassed when the police came to protect his home from burglars. They had asked him to step outside of the house, which is a standard police procedure which removes a person from any potential threat in a dwelling; even if a homeowner insists from within their own house that everything is OK, the police will ask them to step outside and say the same thing, just in case the homeowner is being coerced by, say, somebody behind the door, holding a gun on him. The problem with what POTUS Obama did was that, before any investigation, and before all the facts were known, Obama characterized the police as having acted “stupidly.” This was unpresidential and possibly racially motivated, as Gates is black and the police were mostly white, but not provably so. That was the attitude, by and large, of the Right on this flap; it was Gates who was the primary object of scorn on the Right, for playing the race card, and POTUS Obama a distant second for inappropriately injecting his uninformed opinion on an issue of minor national significance – and, predictably, automatically siding with the black guy screaming “Racism!”

Then there’s the then-nominee for the SCOTUS Sotomayor, who made an arguably racist statement in a 2001 speech to law students at the University of California at Berkeley: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” That remark was less about wise Latinas as it was about how white men are not as wise or fair as Latinas.

That should have disqualified her for the nomination to the Supreme Court. Don’t think so? Fine, let’s try a little thought experiment. Imagine the SCOTUS nominee of a Republican POTUS had said the following: “I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina who hasn’t lived that life.” Kinda pops out at ya now, doesn’t it?

Remember, these are Eugene Robinson’s cited examples of false charges of racism by the Right against POTUS Obama.

He goes on:

“Before Sherrod, the cause celebre of the “You Must Fear Obama” campaign involved something called the New Black Panther Party. Never heard of it? That’s because it’s a tiny group that exists mainly in the fevered imaginations of its few members. Also in the alternate reality of Fox News: One of the network’s hosts has devoted more than three hours of air time in recent weeks to the grave threat posed by the NBPP. Actually, I suspect that this excess is at least partly an attempt by a relatively obscure anchor to boost her own notoriety.”

Robinson will not let his lack of comprehension of the arguments of his opponents stand in the way of his characterizing them as being frivolous or malevolent – a pitch-perfect Liberal. In this case, what has the Right outraged has less to do with the New Black Panther Party than the Department of Justice. The New Black Panther Party is, indeed, a tiny group of violent racists who are, on the whole, of little consequence. During the 2008 election two of them, one armed with a billy club, were stationed just outside a polling station, and were intimidating voters. It was a clear violation of law, and regardless of the merits of the case, the DOJ had the case won through a default judgement, had they but taken it. The New Black Panthers did not show up, nor did they send representative council, and so would have lost the civil suit filed against them by the DOJ had only the DOJ accepted it. Deliberately, they did not do so, and it is the contention of J. Christian Adams (and initially corroborated by two of his colleagues, now a third) that it is the internal policy of the DOJ that the voting rights laws will not be enforced in the defense of white voters. The Right has a problem with that. So should the Left, but they don’t. Instead, they mischaracterize these allegations and their political opposition.

The last thing the Left wants is to have a serious discussion with their political opposition about the future of this country and Liberal vs. Conservative policies. Instead, as always, they seek to eject their opposition from the discussion by manufacturing accusations of racism against them. Granted, when your ideas are as bankrupt and divisive as theirs, it’s understandable why they would like to avoid that debate, even if it means throwing serious accusations of evil around. It’s understandable, and shamefully so.

Shame on Eugene Robinson, shame on the Left, and shame on you willing Liberal dupes who live in your Liberal bubbles. You will never understand your political opposition, or have a coherent political discussion with them, until you start to listen to what they have to say for themselves. When you let fools like Robinson (or the busted ThinkProgress) explain the Right to you instead of actually listening to the Right, you end up sounding incoherently disconnected from reality and dishonest.

* Regarding my usage of the word “black” instead of the more PC “African-American”: yes, that’s right, I still say “black”. I know, I know, black people aren’t actually black, they’re brown, in the same way that I’m not white. As inaccurate as these hues are in describing our relative pigmentation, they are a more accurate description of the thing we’re talking about than the term “African-American”. There are lots of black people who are not from and have never been to Africa, just as there are lots of people who are fishbelly white who actually live there, and, perhaps just as confoundingly, black people who were born in, say, Canada are not, obviously, African-American. As far as our use of language goes, black beats colored beats negro beats darkie beats the-n-word-I-can’t-say-because-I’m-white-even-if-I-do-so-in-contempt-of-it, but African-American is just silly and so I generally avoid it.

58 responses to “Nazi Smears Old & Busted? Whip Out the Race Card!

  1. [Re: Hostile words of Iran & North Korea]Mr.H>So, by your standard of what qualifies as a threat […] are these words actionable?Mike> Well, if Iran could obliterate the US at the push of a button without the US standing a chance of being able to retaliate, it would certainly be actionable in the sense of closing that gap as quickly as possible.MH>So, let me get this straight: Iran and North Korea would have to achieve the capacity to obliterate the United States without our being able to retaliate before we should act on their threats to obliterate the United States, whereas they are justified in acting on POTUS Bush calling them part of an “Axis of Evil”. Wow – just, wow.No! That's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that the situation is highly assymetrical. If the U.S. threatens Iran even subtly, Iran has to take the threat very seriously because the US can wipe them off the map at the push of a button, without the ability for Iran to retaliate. If Iran threatens the US overtly, the US can pretty much laugh it off for the same reason. So to reiterate, were the situation reversed, Iran's threats would certainly be actionable, at least as far as closing the defense gap as quickly as possible. And as it is, even a subtle threat from the US toward Iran justifies the same actions.This is not to say Iran's leadership generally behaves in a rational or justifiable manner but rather that on this one issue their behavior is at the very least understandable.Mr.H> This brings me back to your ideal small army which wouldn’t have had the capability of doing this, and your assertion that “forward projection should never be necessary.”Mike> OK, let me clarify here: my ideal small army is for a country with a very different foreign policy than that of the US.MH>To believe that you have to convince yourself that Iran is only building nukes as a result of U.S. policyWhich it clearly is, as we discuss further below.MH>Otherwise, you might have to consider Iran a rogue, hostile countryWell, by the standard US definition of rogue state: "any state that does not behave as instructed by the US in a timely manner," it clearly is one.MH>which is a threat to the world all by itselfNewsflash: The US is not the world. MH>On the other hand, as above, you also believe the U.S. shouldn’t act on their threats by using military strikes to stop them from getting the bomb (something you said you would have supported, say, five year ago, even though you think the U.S. should neither have nor use forward projection)I said they might have been *advisable* 5 years ago by *Israel*. Firstly, Israel is in a very different situation than the US. Secondly, even the advisability of said actions by Israel 5 years ago is only the consequence of previous US, UK, etc. interference in the region.MH>Mr.H> Besides which, I’m not inclined to pander to their religious superiority and bigotry.Mike> Nor am I. It makes me sick to my stomache when material that is "offensive to Islam" is suppressed in the supposedly free world. That said, if I walked into a mosk and started urinating on a copy of the Koran, I would expect a rather violent response, justified or not.MH>Between those two extremes is a middle ground – which they reject,There is, in fact, a middle ground, but tanks driving around "holy" sites with the words "Jesus Kills Mohammed" written on them is not it. I can't say for sure whether or not they'd accept a middle ground, but it hasn't been offered to them.MH> so I see no reason to pander to their bigotry.We are very in agreement here, and I suspect we feel equally strongly about the subject. However, as a practical matter, there is a big difference between a cartoon portrayal of Mohammed and tanks in "holy" sites.[Re: Iran interfering in Iraq]MH>Yes. I expected them to sit this out

  2. for fear of getting their asses kicked. They apparently judged the protection afforded them by American liberals better than I.Really? You'd have the US now invade Iran for interfering in Iraq? How many more of these campaigns do you expect the Chinese to finance?[Re: replacing oil with alternatives]MH>I don’t see the oil economy getting more entrenched,Every car that rolls off an assembly line further entrenches the oil economy. Every oil well that gets drilled does the same. MH>Have you seen the price of crude lately?Yes, I follow it regularly. It's about half what it was 2 years ago. Also, if you plot it against gold, it's remarkably flat over the last decade or so, even dipping down a bit. The perceived increase in the price of oil is simply a refelection of the declining value of fiat money vs useful things.MH>It seems to me that, despite subsidies, alternative technologies are becoming more attractive as it goes up.They are indeed becoming more attractive and more viable. [Re: The reasoning behind the Iraq war]Mike> […] this was less about the oil flowing from Iraq proper and more about making sure that Hussein didn't pull the same kind of shit Iran is now pulling. MH>Mission Accomplished!For now, and at great cost, only to be troubled by exactly the same problems right next door. Well done!Mr.H> As for the motivation to keeping the money flowing to the military & contractors, well, no.Mike> That's a really convincing argument. I'm sold :).MH>I wasn’t going to try to refute an argument you hadn’t made.I'm not sure what you consider an argument, but my point was that funneling funds to the military was a major motivation for the Iraq campaign. These people did, after all, need to justify their budgets post Soviet Union. What would be required to make this an argument? Would it need to take place in room 12A, next door, YOU VACUOUS TOFFEE-NOSED MALODOROUS PERVERT!? :DMH>Your attitude seems to be that America should just take it on the chin every so often, shrug our shoulders, and that’s about it. Oh, sure, maybe we’ll deploy a squad of ninjas to hit ‘em back, but nothing too expensive because it probably won’t do much good anyway.That's pretty close (BTW, you have a knack for very nearly summing up my positions :D ). The only thing I would add is basic security measures. And maybe replace the ninjas with pirates :).MH>I like our way better. We overthrow an awful government and give the people a chance to have a constitutional republic of some sort, with freedom of expression and open markets.OK, I assume you're talking about policy in the current conflicts as opposed to the attrocities of the past (Iran, Nicaragua, etc). If so, all you've done so far – and it's been quite a while – is overthrow two awful governments and replace them with two different awful governments at great cost in both resources and human lives.MH>and it beats the alternative of bombing them until we’re only bouncing the rubble.I know there are a lot of bombs just sitting there in storage and a lot of brown people just sitting there un-bombed and these things bothers Americans (to paraphrase Geore Carlin). But there are alternatives that do not involve any bombing.MH>Needless to say, I reject outright what I perceive to be your preferred course of action, as I described it, because it is detrimental to the security interests of the United States – taking it on the chin and shrugging.Whether or not it's detrimental to the security interests of the US is of course debatable. But it would certainly have been beneficial to the economic interests of the people of the US.MH>Right, because you believe that transitioning away from the oil economy is not cost-effective specifically because the oil eco

  3. nomy is artificially supported by subsidies. You have made that assertion but you have not yet made that case. I would need to have a better handle on what subsidies there are and in what amounts, as compared to the costs of transitioning to an alternative technology.Well, there are unfortunately no hard numbers available. To obtain them, you'd have to answer questions like, "what would the US military budget be if there was no need to import oil from the middle East?" and "how much of the national highway budget amounts to an oil subsidy?" How about tax rebates on SUVs? Bailing out the car companies? The list goes on and on.TBH, I may have overstated my case regarding oil alternatives, and I would not at all mind being proven wrong absent the myriad market distortions currently present. Let's say I have a strong, well informed intuition that the true cost of alternatives is lower than that of oil.Perhaps the most obvious argument I could make for it is that whereas oil has a very high energy density, the energy density of the overall mechanism required to extract the energy is actually quite low. The reciprocating engines required max out at around 55% efficiency, are very heavy, run very hot thus requiring cooling, and have very tricky torque curves. All the alternatives involve much simpler and more efficient machinery using less dense energy gradient sources and yield higher energy densities overall. This may appear less relevant in the context of stationary applications, but the cost of fuel transportation (along with all the inherent risks) must be borne in mind.Mr.H> Crashing our oil economy would certainly provide motivation to make an immediate switchover, or it might just destroy the economy before we can manage the transition.Mike> I'm thinking the second thing. It's gotten to the point where rebuilding from scratch is just easier and more feasible than fixing what's there.MH>Considering your disdain for America and Americans, I can see the appeal.Please bear in mind said disdain is (hopefully) temporary. It is my sincere hope that both people and country will change drastically for the better when suddenly confronted with the consequences of their folly. I'm not holding my breath or anything, but it's sincerely what I'm hoping for.MH>No wonder you advocate an oil shock. Why do you even try to convince me, a patriot, that an oil shock would be a good thing, when you think it would destroy our economy before we could make the transition to another energy source?Well, it's been my experience that patriotism, like other religions, does not respond well to reason. However, it's all I'm willing to use, so here goes: The "economy" you're concerned about amounts to almost nothing. Not quite nothing – some very valuable stuff is produced in the US – but nearly nothing because as a whole, Americans consume a great deal more than they produce. As a consequence, not only is the national debt growing, but the rate at which it's growing is increasing (which is to say the deficits are increasing).Compounding this problem is the fact that the federal government, though subsidies, bailouts and monetary manipulation, is preventing any meaningful price (and hence value) discovery from taking place within the market. The result is a sort of zombie economy in which debt keeps accumulating and resource misallocation keeps increasing because nobody knows what anything is worth.The "credit crunch" in 2007 should have corrected much of this, and would have absent Fed interference. To some, it seemed like the magnitude of the crash was such that it would overwhelm even the Fed's ability to interfere (for the record, I was on the fence but leaning toward that camp and learned some very valuable lessons from what did end up happening). Alas, they were wrong and the zombie economy continues.Going forward,

  4. oil shock or no, a fracture point will inevitably come. The feds overcame the last crisis, and maybe they'll even overcome the next one, but eventually and hopefully soon, something will happen that will force them to allow nature to take its course.Why hopefully soon? Because the sooner it happens, the less time there is for resources to be misallocated as a consequence of these gross price distortions.For example, there are already many malls in the US whose existence can no longer be justified by present consumer patterns. Yet, they remain open and continue to employ people who add absolutely nothing to the overall economy. And while these people are thus employed, they are not obtaining new skills which are actually needed in the economy. And they continue to get older which makes skill acquisition more difficult.Of course, in spite of all this, there are many who argue that it is possible to engineer a "soft landing." But, much as I wish they were right, pretty much all of human history contradicts their position. It's going to be a very hard landing, and the more it's delayed the harder it will be.So, if you want what's best for the US populace, you should welcome an oil shock, and the sooner and the bigger the better. It would, with the help of the internet, bare the bulk of the deception currently being perpetrated, tear down the entrenched powers, and allow a new, more sustainable structure to emerge.Jefferson famously said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." The tree is indesperate need of manure.MH>Hey, what have you got against Canada? :)Two words: Bryan Adams :( . MH>I think it’s safe to say that we have different criteria when it comes to evaluating the degree to which America is hindering or facilitating human progress as compared to other countries. I think it’s also safe to say that this is not a topic we really want to get into now; Unfortunately, you're right. It's a topic I'd love to get into, but I couldn't design a worse medium for it if I tried (Been too long since I took a shot at Blogger :) ). More on which after the rest of my response.MH>perhaps you were just burping up some anti-American spew.You're right, Hannity. That's exactly what it was :).Mike> First of all, the attacks have been more, not less frequent. Before 9/11, the last attack on US ground by AQ was in 1992.MH>Nice exclusion of the attack on the USS Cole: didn’t take place on U.S. ground (or even in U.S. waters), and (from your perspective) it was only there because of the oil.Thanks :).MH> Still counts, though.OK, let's count it then. Still more frequent attacks since than before. Especially since if you count the USS Cole, you need to count at least the London attacks as well :). MH>What was 9/11 but a bunch of guys with boxcutters; had they been caught before they got on the planes you would probably be dismissively waving your hands at that, too.9/11 would indeed have failed had the US implemented the most basic of security measures prior to the attacks. The fact that the attacks worked coupled with the US response is proof positive that the US was still fighting the last war. Unfortunately for everyone (with the possible exception of China and its partners) it still is.Mr.H> At any rate, I’d rather play whack-a-mole than not to whack them at all.Mike> Which is exactly what they want as far as I can tell.MH>Is that supposed to make me feel bad or something?Nah, just an FYI.MH>Training camps are not necessary to carry out terrorist attacks, and I never said they were. They do, however, facilitate exactly that, and more. They train recruits in how to make explosive devices specifically for in-country manufacture and use. They also train recruits in the use of small arms and the

  5. like, skills that are useful vs. the second-rate armed forces found throughout the ME.So the upshot is that this whole long war thing won't eliminate terrorist attacks but may force these training camps to change their host countries once in a while? And that's worth the financial and human cost? Really??MH> Even disregarding the merits of destroying their training camps, if you want to kill Al Queda terrorists, that’s where to find them.True dat. Mike>Do remember that this whole situation in Iran right now is continuing blowback from Project Ajax. Had the US not interfered 60 years ago, it would not be facing this situation today.MH>Sort-of, sort-of not.Seriously, it's not a sort-of situation. Cause and effect are very clear here. MH> The Iranian government keeps such wounds festering because it serves to keep them in power by focusing anger outside and in support of their own aggressiveness. You, of all people, should appreciate that aspect of the “Operation Ajax” grievance mongering in Iran.Absolutely. But had project Ajax not been carried out, this bunch would not be anywhere near power at this point. Further, the fact that they have a legitimate gripe adds a lot of strength to their rhetoric.MH>Mr.H> […] you’re being ridiculous in calling me a xenophobe.Mike> It's not just you. It's almost your entire country.MH>Xenophobe? Me, and America the nation-of-immigrants? Yup, a nation of immigrants each wave of which does its level best to prevent the next. Currently, it's the Mexicans coming in and the present American population is freaking out in its typically ugly way.MH>You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.From Wikipedia: "Xenophobia is the uncontrollable fear of foreigners." It fits the US better than any other place I've ever visited. Mr.H> Secondly, taking what you want can be a lot cheaper than paying for it.Mike> Only in the short term. Eventually, there's always a much higher price to pay. MH>Not true – not by a long shot. Why, just look at the shameful history of this country, what with the taking of land from the natives. Not a whole lot of blowback from that, it seems to me.Oooh, good point and excellent counter example. I guess it does work sometimes, though I suspect it's substantially more difficult these days than it was 200 years ago.MH>Superpower America protects its allies and trading partners from external threats. It’s an American thing – you wouldn’t understand.That right there is one of the things that you (as a nation) need to ditch before you can make any progress.Mr.H> If all they want to do is take Taiwan by force and keep the U.S. from defending them, then a temporary blockade would be a sound part of an overall strategy,Mike> Oh, come on! A blockade on the US is an act of war pure and simple.MH>Yes, it certainly would be an act of war. However, acts of war seldom lead to war;When committed on the US they almost inevitably lead to war. In fact, I can't think of any exceptions off the top of my head but I really think there are a couple. Please feel free to jog my memory.MH>Remember that this hypothetical example I gave you was supposed to demonstrate to you that having a strong military, in this case a strong blue water navy, would preclude this scenario from becoming a reality.Oh, ok. I thought you were really starting to reach there…Mike> I don't think you appreciate the scale of Chinese holdings or the effect that liquidating them would have on the US. MH>First of all, American armed forces have sufficient strategic reserves that they can continue to operate in the complete absence of international trade.Indeed, they can for some time. Question is, assuming this has happened and China decides to take Taiwan, would it even show up on anybody's radar in the US? My feeling is tha

  6. it wouldn't, since trying to maintain order within the US would require all available resources. Worst case scenario from China's perspective: they'd have to wait a few years until the reserves ran out.MH>On the other hand, we have nukes, and we could retaliate against an economic kill-shot by nuking them until all that’s left of China is an empty wasteland of roads leading to glass craters.True. But I don't think even the US is fucked up enough to obliterate a country in retaliation for selling their bonds.MH>And, as you said, having nukes means never having to use them, so by your reasoning China would never ever do this.Yes, if the US makes it clear that they would retaliate for a bond sale with nuclear annihilation, it would leave China in a bind. It would also create geopolitical havock. Should such a thing happen, it would make me very glad that I'm in the Southern hemisphere…———-OK, I think I've had all I can take of this Blogger shit. I'd written most of the above by the time I realized this, so I figured I'd (mostly) finish it and post it. Please feel free to reply again, but I will reply to you only if I have once again failed to make my views clear.Noocyte and Mr. Hengist: I have a hosting account that I use primarily for backups and data transportation. If you guys want, I would be happy to host any domain you want with any software you want and give you both full admin access to it. If interested, please shoot an email or something and we'll discuss. I'm really enjoying having these conversations but I'd enjoy it a lot more if I didn't have to wrestle with this archaic, poorly designed crap.

  7. Hey Mike,Well, one thing upon which we both agree is that Blogger kinda sucks. Thanks for taking the time to express and clarify your views; please do feel free to step into the Blogger sandtrap when the spirits move you. Even if we don’t get into an extensive discussion your comments are welcome here. Thanks also for the generous hosting offer; as for myself, I have no desire to have a blog of my own, and what Noocyte decides regarding this blog is entirely up to him.

  8. Excellent. I'm glad you enjoyed it too. One more thing I think we can agree on: the Left in the US is much less open to discussion and disagreement than the right (try this at a dinner party in NYC: "I'm really not sure about this whole global warming thing…" :D).Also worth pointing out: this back and forth has inspired me to seek out better media for it and I've come up surprisingly empty handed. this looks at least somewhat promising, but I haven't really had a chance to look at it in any depth. If it turns out to suck, we may have accidentally identified a completely unserved niche.I'll look into it a bit further and if I decide to host something, I'll definitely let you guys know.If I'm not mistaken, is available :).

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