Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   15 hours 6 min ago

    Dale Lands.. another loud mouthed fascist in the same mold as "Uncle" Mark Robinson.

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   22 hours 4 min ago

    I will be the first to admit that my opinions on this subject are complex as hell, and difficult to explain or enumerate. But I will try...

    When I was in the Army my mission was oriented around spreading and reinforcing democracy, mostly involving teaching basic Infantry skills to foreign military units that were somewhere between "barely capable" to "falling apart." It sounds challenging, but it was actually pretty straightforward. Dig in here, cover this area in front of you between x and y, interlocking fields of fire, etc.

    But after doing that for a few years, my brain started nagging me to find out how certain situations came about that required these defensive (and sometimes offensive) tactics. Why are they fighting? So when I re-enlisted I took advantage of a "semester release" option that allowed me to attend college full time for 6 months while still on active duty. So I studied history, with a focus on African affairs, and that inevitably led me to European Colonialism.

    When I discovered that maps were drawn at the Congress of Berlin in 1884, parceling out territories in the African continent with little regard to tribal boundaries, I began to understand where many of these conflicts originated. Irredentism is the desire or motivation to reclaim territories that were split by national boundaries imposed by an imperial authority. In Africa, it was European authority. In the Balkans, it was the Soviet Union. Tracing the links of American Imperialism is more difficult because it's less obvious, and more cleverly masked. But we'll give it a shot.

    Darwin's ill-fated and unwise "White Man's Burden" theory gave Europeans the moral excuse to exploit Africa back in the 19th Century, but its bastard offspring American Exceptionalism still thrives today. And when I hear a form of it being perpetuated by one of my progressive friends, I cringe. But I also check the time, to see if there's enough available to adequately explain why they are wrong. And there usually isn't enough time. If you've read this far, you are probably an exception, a minority of readers who are still interested, so I will try to be as concise as possible before I lose you as well.

    To understand where this "spreading democracy" goes wrong, you need to understand that our foreign policy is a triumvirate: Strategic-Corporate-Democracy. Democracy is last for a reason, because instead of being the driving force of this 3-fold approach, it is merely an aftertaste. A beard.

    We have always viewed our friendships and alliances with foreign countries through the lens of what it can do for us. Extend our power and influence via military bases and such. But along with that Strategic goal, (US) Corporate exploitation follows closely on its footsteps. Oil and minerals, among many other resources, are ripe for the picking. And we've also learned that Corporate involvement can economically bind a country to us, ensuring fealty to whatever goals America has.

    And bucking that Corporate vampire can lead to severe punishment. It took only 4 days to overthrow Iran's democratically-elected Mossadegh government in the 1953 coup d'état, after the oil fields were nationalized. We didn't even attempt to replace democracy with another democracy. Oh no. We put Pahlavi back on the throne, and his SAVAK kept him in power through brutal repression of dissidents for the next 25 years.

    That's only one example, we don't have time for a comprehensive list. Suffice it to say that calls for democracy are always concealing other agendas, and until we break that triumvirate, we will never be a genuine ambassador for democratic reforms.

  • Reply to: Saturday News: Because women are chattel?   1 day 12 hours ago

    Berger's a Nazi coward.

  • Reply to: Thursday News: Puerile Parenting   2 days 30 min ago

    I was going to say, "Makes sense now," but that would be a stretch. Parliamentary procedures and Robert's Rules leave me and my poor atrophied brain huddled in a corner drooling. When I hear, "Point of order!" my gut reaction is to look for the nearest exit, while calculating how many people would notice me leaving...

  • Reply to: Thursday News: Puerile Parenting   2 days 12 hours ago

    "Schumer changed his vote to “no” in a parliamentary maneuver that allows him to call up the bill again." It's some technical magic that they do. McConnell used to do it too on the rare occasion when he didn't have the votes.