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#26 2016-03-07 12:41:58

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

RobertDyck wrote:
IanM wrote:
RobertDyck wrote:

But look what's happening in the US today. Corporations and billionaires donating millions to campaigns, and expecting serious considerations in exchange. That's why Canada introduced donation limits. I recommend the US do something similar.

We did, but that was overturned for nonprofits by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC as a violation of the First Amendment.

Justification was the First Amendment? That'll be hard to overturn. But it has to be. Some have said America is already an oligarchy, not a democracy. It's ruled by a few rich people, average voters don't matter. There's a book Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. It compares America to "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire". Description from Amazon...

An oligarchy is closer to what the Roman Republic was, and the United States was styled after the Roman Republic, not its Empire, as we don't have an Emperor yet! And in many ways a oligarchy is better than a dictatorship, an oligarchy after all has multiple centers of power, a dictatorship, like the one of Joseph Stalin, has just one. The only way to effectively oppose someone like Stalin or Hitler is with another Army, as those people have eliminated all domestic rivals within their own countries! An Oligarchy is more decentralized, as was the Roman Republic. Brutus had good reason to stab Caesar, because Julius Caesar was effectively the transition from Rome being a republic to its being an Empire, and all power being invested in the Emperor.

Is America an empire? Certainly not, according to our government. Despite the conquest of two sovereign states in as many years, despite the presence of more than 750 military installations in two thirds of the world’s countries and despite his stated intention "to extend the benefits of freedom...to every corner of the world," George W. Bush maintains that "America has never been an empire." "We don’t seek empires," insists Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "We’re not imperialistic."

Iraq and Afghanistan aren't part of the United States, despite what we did there, there are not 52 stars in our "Star Spangled Banner" and frankly I think they would be better off if they were, instead of getting their heads chopped off by ISIS, but that's just me. George Bush won them, Barack Obama is losing them.

Nonsense, says Niall Ferguson. In Colossus he argues that in both military and economic terms America is nothing less than the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. ... When overstretch comes, he warns, it will come from within—and it will reveal that more than just the feet of the American colossus is made of clay.

Published 2005. Before the banking system collapse of 2008. Prescient?

That would be the Democratic Party is the "Overstretch", they are feeling guilty over what they believe America has done, what you call the "Decline" is all on account to them. I think the next President will probably have enough support to eliminate ISIS once and for all, thanks to Obama's inadequacies in that subject. Obama has shown what a weak United States of America would be like, and most Americans don't like it, that is why Trump looks like such an attractive candidate to them. Just being honest! It is not our weaknesses that are causing the decline, but the policies of Barack H. Obama that are doing it, in fact that is what they are deliberately designed to do!

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#27 2016-03-07 12:45:20

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

kbd512 wrote:

All,

Ted Cruz suggested that we weaponize satellites in the last Republican debate.  What are the politics around that?  I don't think it bodes well for our current cooperative program with ROSCOSMOS, although the military space program is a program unto itself.

Thoughts?

Neither does Putin's foreign policy in Ukraine. We have quite a bit invested in the ISS however, and so do the Russians, that is what keeps us both there at the moment. I don't however think we'll be going together with the Russian over to Mars any time soon, not until Russia changes and becomes significantly more democratic and less antagonistic.

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#28 2016-03-07 12:47:58

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

Terraformer wrote:

Isn't that banned under international law? Well, WMDs are, and it's hard to see how an Orbital Death Ray can be considered something other than a WMD...

Actually it isn't, it is a weapon of precise destruction, much like a bullet is. A laser beam zaps one target, it is not designed to destroy whole cities the way nuclear weapons are, it can however destroy a nuclear weapon. the anti WMD community goes, "Hey, that's no fair!"

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#29 2016-03-07 14:07:17

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,700
Website

Re: Politics

Tom! The US government has a massive deficit, running the federal government into bankruptcy. You have to start by drastically cutting spending programs that your party supports. You do not qualify to even talk about the other party's spending until you get your own under control. The last balanced budget was year 2000, military spending that year was $288 billion. Adjusting for inflation that's $396.24 billion in 2016 dollars. Military and national security for 2016 is $625 billion. Nuclear weapons are under the Department of Energy, not military, that's why it's "and national security". That's down from $901 billion of 2010, but still not low enough. No Republican is qualified to talk about Democrat spending until you do that.

ISIS is not a problem. The military of Syria is defending the Assad government, fighting against US backed rebels. Either the Syrian military or the rebels have enough strength to wipe out ISIS on their own, but they're busy fighting each other. We don't need to do anything about ISS, just stop the revolutionary war. Find a peaceful, non-violent way to get rid of Assad, and it's all over. As long as the US tries to be in control, it will never be over. Stop trying to be an empire.

The US federal deficit for this year is $427 billion. Reducing military and national security to the level I just said will cut the deficit by $228.76. That's slightly over half. According to the Debt Clock, current US federal government debt is $19.1049 Trillion! Trillion with a "T"! How long until another financial melt-down as bad as 2008?

And no, Tom, you can't talk about anything else. To be very clear: no, you can't talk about anything but cutting military spending. No Republican is qualified to talk about anything else. And no Democrat is qualified to talk about anything but cutting Democrat spending. I'm not partisan about this.

Everyone else here has been reasonable. Please learn.

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#30 2016-03-07 14:55:34

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,834

Re: Politics

Rob,

If no Republican is qualified to talk about anything but military spending, then can you give it a rest with talking about cutting military spending?  You're clearly not a Republican based on your commentary here and elsewhere.  Your anti-logic works both ways.  Republicans can talk about cutting entitlements and Democrats can talk about cutting military spending.  Both parties always do.  Talk is cheap.  America is bankrupt because of inadvisable financial decisions and spending habits.

I'd cut both.  The military doesn't need to spend as much as it does to protect our country and nobody needs to be on hand-outs for years at a time.  There's something basically wrong about both present conditions.

There is no great society (government handouts are sign of a broken economy, not the generosity or good will of the American people), government programs (military, entitlement, or otherwise) don't produce economic growth, and no government in the history of the world reduced spending by enlarging itself.

Good grief.

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#31 2016-03-08 00:02:13

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,700
Website

Re: Politics

I am not just annoyed, but offended by hyperpartisan rhetoric. And events in Canada are getting worse. Finance Minister Paul Martin managed to balance the Canadian federal budget in the mid-1990s. He did so by cutting spending, not increasing taxes. We were already taxed to death. He balanced the budget, then created a surplus to pay down the debt. With lower debt, that meant lower debt service charges (interest) so freed money to reduce taxes. He achieved a good surplus in year 2000, but some members of the Liberal party pressured him to increase spending. He became Prime Minister in 2004, created a surplus in 2005 just as large as year 2000. We were doing well. But hyperpartisan rhetoric convinced voters to elected the Conservatives in 2006. They talked about cutting spending, but increased it. They talked about reducing government, but increased it. They threw us back into deficit. They increased debt so much that in May 2011 it equalled its previous all-time-high, undoing all the hard work of Paul Martin. And the debt has grown every day since. The Liberal party got elected again last fall, but now they're talking about increasing spending even further! If they do, we're really screwed.

Canada's economy is closely tied to the US. And the US does more trade with Canada than any other country, even China. It exports more to Canada than China, Japan, and Germany combined. The US imports a lot from China, but it doesn't export a lot; total of exports plus imports is still more with Canada. So failing US economy dramatically affects us.

Many US Democrats have pointed out how tiny US government hand-outs really are. And I would like US military spending to be much lower than year 2000, but the US federal budget was balanced that year, so let's use that. Canada's current military budget in US dollars, according to Wikipedia is $14.0 billion. According to last year's federal budget, Canadian military budget for 2014-2015 was $20.1 billion Canadian dollars. Canada's fiscal year is April 1 - March 31. The US military and national security budget for 2016 is $625 Billion. The country with the next largest military budget is China with $145.8 billion US dollars. Then Saudi Arabia $81.8 B, UK $56.2 B, Russia $51.6 B, India $47.9 B, Japan $41.4 B, Germany $36.6 B, South Korea $33.4 B, France $32.0 B, Brazil $24.2 B, Australia $22.7 B, Italy $21.5 B, Iraq $21.1, Israel $18.5 B, Canada $14.0 B. If you add up all these countries together, except US and Canada, they barely add up to the US budget alone. Russia isn't an ally, and you could argue China isn't, but all the others are.

And how many military bases does the US have in NATO allies? You could argue to keep bases in former Warsaw Pact countries, but close all others. And close the ones in East Germany since the Germanies are united. Germany can take care of their own. And an official government spokes person for Cuba said they want Guantanamo Bay back. So fine, close that too. Any prisoners who were citizens of Afghanistan when they were captured are Prisoners Of War according to the Geneva Convention. Whether they were soldiers or not doesn't matter. The Geneva Convention says all POWs must be released as soon as cessation of hostilities is declared. George W. Bush did that with his "Mission Accomplished" speech on an aircraft carrier. So the US is required to let them go, no option and not conditions. Transfer the rest of the prisoners to prisons in the Continental US. Transfer all personnel and military equipment to the US, sell the remaining buildings and land to Cuba. I know, technically the US rents the land at $1/year, but all those buildings are an excuse to sell it. Gain some money. I'm sure Cuba would be willing to pay something to get Gitmo off their island.

The total US budget for 2016 for the Department of Housing and Urban Development is $41.025 Billion. Do you want me to break that down?

If the US is going to balance its budget, it does have to cut things in addition to military. But 54% of the discretionary budget is military and national security, so cuts have to start there. If the US cut military and national security to the level I said in post #29, then Democrats would have to cut $200 billion in non-military.

But the problem is Republicans constantly demand cutting non-military, and actually demand an increase in military spending. When Democrats do the reverse. In reality they both have to be cut. And neither is going to agree as long as the opposite side demands their sacred cow is untouched.

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#32 2016-03-08 08:29:23

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

RobertDyck wrote:

Tom! The US government has a massive deficit, running the federal government into bankruptcy. You have to start by drastically cutting spending programs that your party supports. You do not qualify to even talk about the other party's spending until you get your own under control.

The military is just a drop in the bucket compared to entitlements spending, you should focus on that, because unlike your country, we do not have a neighbor to the South that will come and rescue us if we get in trouble due to lack of military spending. Mexico will not come to our rescue!

The last balanced budget was year 2000, military spending that year was $288 billion. Adjusting for inflation that's $396.24 billion in 2016 dollars.

Do you know what the national debt is? its around $18 trillion!, as I said before $288 billion is just a drop in the bucket, and cutting NASA won't do the trick either, we have to cut entitlements spending, but more importantly, we have to cut taxes and regulation so the economy grows faster, it has been growing subpar over the past 16 years! Anyway, if we get invaded and occupied, we won't be able to control our spending anyway, just ask the Poles who were under Nazi occupation during World War II! They did not spend enough on their National Defense and look what happened to them! Military spending is the absolute last thing we should cut, not the first thing, because if we cease to exist, nothing else matters!

Military and national security for 2016 is $625 billion. Nuclear weapons are under the Department of Energy, not military, that's why it's "and national security". That's down from $901 billion of 2010, but still not low enough. No Republican is qualified to talk about Democrat spending until you do that.

If we don't have defense, we don't have a country, and giving up our country is no way to balance the budget, because if we do, someone else will be calling the shots, not us, we get drafted into someone else's military, like the Austrians were, when they were absorbed by Germany. Many Austrians that thought they were getting peace, ended up "dying for the Fatherland" under Hitler's chain of command!

ISIS is not a problem. The military of Syria is defending the Assad government, fighting against US backed rebels. Either the Syrian military or the rebels have enough strength to wipe out ISIS on their own, but they're busy fighting each other. We don't need to do anything about ISS, just stop the revolutionary war. Find a peaceful, non-violent way to get rid of Assad, and it's all over. As long as the US tries to be in control, it will never be over. Stop trying to be an empire.

There was that attack in San Bernardino, California, that you seem to have forgotten about, shall we expect more of those? That was an ISIS operation. The only way to end this way is to end ISIS, otherwise they will keep on attacking whether we mind our own business or not!

The US federal deficit for this year is $427 billion. Reducing military and national security to the level I just said will cut the deficit by $228.76. That's slightly over half. According to the Debt Clock, current US federal government debt is $19.1049 Trillion! Trillion with a "T"! How long until another financial melt-down as bad as 2008?

There is a second Cold War, thanks to Putin, and you want to cut the military down from our peacetime levels? Sorry, isn't going to happen! If you want to talk about a peace dividend, lets have some peace first! The World is not becoming more peaceful, and now is not the time to cut the military!

And no, Tom, you can't talk about anything else. To be very clear: no, you can't talk about anything but cutting military spending. No Republican is qualified to talk about anything else. And no Democrat is qualified to talk about anything but cutting Democrat spending. I'm not partisan about this.

Everyone else here has been reasonable. Please learn.

Sorry, we're not Canada! Military spending isn't optional for us! It doesn't matter what Canada spends on its military, because if someone invades your country, the United States will come up and defend you, we unfortunately cannot expect the same from Mexico!

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#33 2016-03-08 11:32:18

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,834

Re: Politics

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Do you know what the national debt is? its around $18 trillion!, as I said before $288 billion is just a drop in the bucket, and cutting NASA won't do the trick either, we have to cut entitlements spending, but more importantly, we have to cut taxes and regulation so the economy grows faster, it has been growing subpar over the past 16 years! Anyway, if we get invaded and occupied, we won't be able to control our spending anyway, just ask the Poles who were under Nazi occupation during World War II! They did not spend enough on their National Defense and look what happened to them! Military spending is the absolute last thing we should cut, not the first thing, because if we cease to exist, nothing else matters!

Tom,

US national debt is $19+ trillion right now.  It'll be more than 20+ trillion by the time President Obama is out of office.

The Poles had a border with Germany.  The Poles were invaded by the Soviets (Soviet Union was run by Russia, but troops from all across the Soviet Union participated) after the Soviets pushed the Nazis out.  We did very little to help the Poles.  After all, Russia was an "ally" in WWII.  Many millions of Russians wouldn't have survived long enough to murder the Poles or to be murdered by the Nazis if we hadn't fed them in the 1920's.  It's funny how our meddling has unintended consequences (good and bad), isn't it?  I can't predict ahead of time what the consequences will be.  Can you?  The rest of the world doesn't want to get along with each other, they want to murder each other.  As long as they don't do it here, let them have at it.  Even with the most powerful military on the planet, we still can't stop them and shouldn't waste our time trying.

In any event, America is not in any danger of being overrun by the Germans, Russians, or Chinese.  None of those countries has a navy to speak of and certainly not anything that approaches the numbers or sophistication of the US Navy.  I was a part of the US Navy for the first six years of my adult life and I visited China many times through different ports.  Their ships are not a match for ours in any sense of the word.  Their submarines are more capable than their ships, but still not a match for ours.

On the other hand, the Mexicans and South Americans have already overrun our southern border and virtually nothing has been done by either party to stop that, which would be why Donald Trump is so popular.  He's right on that point.  A nations has to have borders in order to be a nation.

Want to cut the US national debt?

1. Stop propping up every dictatorship in the world (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the list would be really long if I completed it, but you get the point)

2. Send all the illegal immigrants home.  If Americans don't want to clean their toilets or cut their grass, then they can live in their own filth.  Anyone who wants to come back legally is welcome to apply and come back legally.  Apart from the Native Americans, we're all immigrants here.  The difference is that my ancestors paid didn't sneak across the border in the middle of the night.  Moreover, these illegal immigrants are often treated worse than they were in their own countries by these human smuggler scumbags.

3. While we're at it, the US doesn't need a military base in every corner of the world.  Let other countries spend their own money on their own national defense.  Specifically, we don't need so many enormously expensive military bases in Asia.

The Japanese don't want us in Japan or the Germans don't want us in Germany?  Then let's leave.  They can handle their own affairs without our intervention.  Give them another ten years to build up their military and then let's permanently recall all our forces and focus on protecting the Americas (North America, Central America, South America).

We already give the Japanese and Germans all of our most advanced weaponry, so they should pay for whatever they think is required for their own national defense using the taxes of their countries.  WWI is over.  WWII is over.  The Cold War is over.  Let's not repeat history for a third time through all this posturing nonsense between us and Russia and China.  China will not attack is largest trading partner, Russia won't attack anyone if they don't feel that we're re-creating the WWII scenario for them, and nobody else has a military worth mentioning.

That's all we really have to do for government spending to fall off a cliff.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

If we don't have defense, we don't have a country, and giving up our country is no way to balance the budget, because if we do, someone else will be calling the shots, not us, we get drafted into someone else's military, like the Austrians were, when they were absorbed by Germany. Many Austrians that thought they were getting peace, ended up "dying for the Fatherland" under Hitler's chain of command!

We're already giving up our country to illegal immigrants and corporate interests that support the Great Society plan.  The Democrat Party's master plan is to destroy America from within.  Guess what?  It's working.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There was that attack in San Bernardino, California, that you seem to have forgotten about, shall we expect more of those? That was an ISIS operation. The only way to end this way is to end ISIS, otherwise they will keep on attacking whether we mind our own business or not!

A couple Americans killed their fellow Americans with firearms.  That's nothing new.  If everyone carried their own firearm, this kind of thing wouldn't happen very often.  When everyone is armed, the maximum number of people you can kill is one or two before your neighbors kill you.  Unfortunately, there are too many Americans who haven't figured out that self defense is a responsibility you can't delegate to a third party unless 50% of the country is employed as Police Officers.  Once everyone figures that out and demand their self defense privileges back, this kind of thing will become quite rare.  Until then, Americans will continue to be killed by criminals in "gun free zones".  Maybe "flying unicorn zones" is a better euphemism for target practice areas for violent criminals.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There is a second Cold War, thanks to Putin, and you want to cut the military down from our peacetime levels? Sorry, isn't going to happen! If you want to talk about a peace dividend, lets have some peace first! The World is not becoming more peaceful, and now is not the time to cut the military!

President Putin is a class clown, much like President Obama.  Two petulant adult children living out their childhood fantasies to the detriment of everyone else.  Unfortunately, Russian media is even more biased than American media.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

And no, Tom, you can't talk about anything else. To be very clear: no, you can't talk about anything but cutting military spending. No Republican is qualified to talk about anything else. And no Democrat is qualified to talk about anything but cutting Democrat spending. I'm not partisan about this.

Everyone else here has been reasonable. Please learn.

Why can't we talk about cutting both?  I don't put as much weight on their input as input from my fellow Americans, but they can have their opinion.  Aren't we supposed to have freedom of speech here in America, even for Canadians?

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Sorry, we're not Canada! Military spending isn't optional for us! It doesn't matter what Canada spends on its military, because if someone invades your country, the United States will come up and defend you, we unfortunately cannot expect the same from Mexico!

Amen to that!  I don't tell the Canadians what to spend their money on.  And you're right.  Nobody is coming to save us if we're invaded.  If we don't defend ourselves, no one else will.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the US military is a backstop for stupid decision making on the part of politicians (ours and everyone else's).

Last edited by kbd512 (2016-03-08 11:34:51)

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#34 2016-03-08 11:36:55

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,700
Website

Re: Politics

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The military is just a drop in the bucket compared to entitlements spending

Military spending is 54% of discretionary spending. That isn't a drop int he bucket, that's the majority of spending!

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

unlike your country, we do not have a neighbor to the South that will come and rescue us if we get in trouble due to lack of military spending.

In 1812 it was the UK that came to our aid. Oh wait! That was invasion *BY* the US. Of course we were a colony of Britain at that time, so they saw invasion of Canada as invasion of Britain itself. Today the US is like a larger, older brother. Borne of the same parents. We have stronger French heritage, less Spanish, but you get the idea. Still, although our brother is family and we will always defend it, our brother can do some really stupid things.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Do you know what the national debt is? its around $18 trillion!, as I said before $288 billion is just a drop in the bucket

The US federal debt (not counting state, county, city, or private debt) is now $19.1 trillion. According to the US debt clock. That is achieved by spending more money than you got every year. Living on a credit card will get you in very deep trouble! The US federal deficit is now $427 Billion. With a "B"! That means you increase the debt by another trillion every other year! That's how your government go you into this mess. But taxpayers have to pay that. In 2008 you found out what happens if you try to not pay it all. With the US federal debt increasing this fast, another financial meltdown will happen soon. And this time Europe won't be able to bail you out, and China just won't. Since Congress seriously talked about not paying China back, they're now dumping US treasury bonds as fast as they can without dropping their value. They certainly won't lend more money. So you the taxpayers have to pay the bill for irresponsible brats in Washington.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

and cutting NASA won't do the trick either

The US federal government gets more money in tax revenue from the space industry than it spends on NASA. If investment in NASA stops, then innovation in space will stop. Very quickly all that business will go to other space providers: Europe, Russia, now China. Congress already tried to do that, and already saw that happen. EELV was an attempt to revitalize the US space industry. It worked somewhat, but Old Space contractors got greedy, so launch cost did not drop to the point that majority of launch business came back to the US. Today, Congress earns more by tax revenue from the space industry than it spends on NASA, so cutting NASA's budget would be really, really stupid! Never mind accomplishing something, just dollars.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

we have to cut entitlements spending, but more importantly, we have to cut taxes and regulation so the economy grows faster, it has been growing subpar over the past 16 years!

Republicans obsess about that. I already told you, military and national security is 54% of discretionary spending. 54%! That is the majority right there! Yes, I agree in general with cutting taxes. Yes, there's too much regulation. However, Republicans always seem to cut the wrong regulations! Congress introduced banking regulation in 1929 to prevent another stock market crash like that. That one started the Great Depression. There was already a major worldwide recession teetering on the brink of depression, but that stock market crash pushed the US and the world over the brink. Some have claimed the stock market crash was caused by the massive recession, but still! Regulation was established to ensure it can't happen again. Congress started dismantling those protections the following year. Starting in 1930! Removing those regulations was slow but steady until George W. Bush when it became rapid. The result was the Junk Mortgage crisis. Actually, Congress is primarily to blame. Congress likes to blame the guys on Wall Street, but they're known to be greedy. Regulations created in 1929 were there to constrain them, to ensure Wall Street didn't cause another Great Depression. Removing those regulations was just asking for it. But there's more: the US banking system ran out of money. They didn't have money to fund the economy and continue to fund the massive federal deficit. They tried borrowing money abroad, but got worried when Arab states owned so much of the US debt. They were afraid foreigners were buying America. They wanted America to own the government, so demanded domestic banks find a "creative way" to fund the federal deficit. Congress demanded the banking system do this. So they did, it was junk mortgages. You saw the result.

Watch this video. A very powerful speech.
Opening scene of the movie "The Newsroom"

The movie says the US spends more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of which are allies. I checked that. In year 2010 the US spent $901 Billion on military and national defence. Again, "national defence" is primarily the Department of Energy, responsible for nuclear weapons. That budget is greater than the next 28 countries combined, including Russia, China, and North Korea. I don't think you could claim any of them are allies, but the other 25 are. Today it's greater than the next 13 countries combined; North Korea drops off the list but Russia and China are still there, so 11 are allies. You don't need that much! Estimates of foreign military budgets on the website Global Firepower is a little different than Wikipedia, but not much. Using their figures, the total in US dollars of military budgets for China, Russia, and North Korea is $248.8 Billion. I said reduce the US military and national security budget to $396.24 Billion. That that's $288 Billion plus inflation since year 2000. That would still be 59.24% more than the total of all those countries combined!

Military and national security for 2016 is $625 billion. Nuclear weapons are under the Department of Energy, not military, that's why it's "and national security". That's down from $901 billion of 2010, but still not low enough. No Republican is qualified to talk about Democrat spending until you do that.

Ronald Regan started the SDI. The media called that "Star Wars". From his statements through the media, I believe he actually believed it would work. Very quickly they determined it wouldn't. For example, proton particle beam satellites looked like they would work, and would shoot down incoming Soviet ICBMs, but constructing just one satellite would require 100 launches of the Space Shuttle. And you would require several to ensure at least one is over the Continental US at any time, at least 24 satellites. The most Shuttle ever launched was 6 per year, so that would require how many years? But the Soviet Union was tricked into an arms race. They overspent on military. When this became apparent, Ronald Regan continued. It became a bet: let's see who's economy collapses first. Ronald Regan knew the US couldn't sustain that level of military spending forever, try to do so would collapse the American economy. But he felt the US economy could withstand it longer than the Soviet's could. So it became a game of Chicken: let's see who's economy goes over the cliff first. It worked! It worked better than anyone could have hoped. But the US was left with a $3 Trillion debt! Economists at the time were horrified! But it was better than global thermal nuclear war. It took 2 presidents after Regan to balance the budget. Unfortunately George W. threw the US into it's own trap. Into the trap that Ronald Regan created for the Soviet Union. The result was the financial meltdown of 2008. Now you still haven't learned? You want to do it again? You really want the US to break up like the Soviet Union, don't you?

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There is a second Cold War, thanks to Putin

Nope. US military contractors were upset their business was cut from the extreme levels of Regan's "Star Wars". They wanted that back. They didn't care it would cause the US economy to collapse, they were just greedy. So those US military contractors tried everything they could to stir up trouble, create a new Cold War, and pressure Congress to do even more than they could directly. They pushed Russia until Putin had to respond.

One useful clip from the Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan: 
Sanders: "When you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in mental health."

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#35 2016-03-08 11:56:51

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

kbd512 wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Do you know what the national debt is? its around $18 trillion!, as I said before $288 billion is just a drop in the bucket, and cutting NASA won't do the trick either, we have to cut entitlements spending, but more importantly, we have to cut taxes and regulation so the economy grows faster, it has been growing subpar over the past 16 years! Anyway, if we get invaded and occupied, we won't be able to control our spending anyway, just ask the Poles who were under Nazi occupation during World War II! They did not spend enough on their National Defense and look what happened to them! Military spending is the absolute last thing we should cut, not the first thing, because if we cease to exist, nothing else matters!

Tom,

US national debt is $19+ trillion right now.  It'll be more than 20+ trillion by the time President Obama is out of office.

The Poles had a border with Germany.  The Poles were invaded by the Soviets (Soviet Union was run by Russia, but troops from all across the Soviet Union participated) after the Soviets pushed the Nazis out.  We did very little to help the Poles.  After all, Russia was an "ally" in WWII.  Many millions of Russians wouldn't have survived long enough to murder the Poles or to be murdered by the Nazis if we hadn't fed them in the 1920's.  It's funny how our meddling has unintended consequences (good and bad), isn't it?  I can't predict ahead of time what the consequences will be.  Can you?  The rest of the world doesn't want to get along with each other, they want to murder each other.  As long as they don't do it here, let them have at it.  Even with the most powerful military on the planet, we still can't stop them and shouldn't waste our time trying.

In any event, America is not in any danger of being overrun by the Germans, Russians, or Chinese.  None of those countries has a navy to speak of and certainly not anything that approaches the numbers or sophistication of the US Navy.  I was a part of the US Navy for the first six years of my adult life and I visited China many times through different ports.  Their ships are not a match for ours in any sense of the word.  Their submarines are more capable than their ships, but still not a match for ours.

On the other hand, the Mexicans and South Americans have already overrun our southern border and virtually nothing has been done by either party to stop that, which would be why Donald Trump is so popular.  He's right on that point.  A nations has to have borders in order to be a nation.

Want to cut the US national debt?

1. Stop propping up every dictatorship in the world (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the list would be really long if I completed it, but you get the point)

2. Send all the illegal immigrants home.  If Americans don't want to clean their toilets or cut their grass, then they can live in their own filth.  Anyone who wants to come back legally is welcome to apply and come back legally.  Apart from the Native Americans, we're all immigrants here.  The difference is that my ancestors paid didn't sneak across the border in the middle of the night.  Moreover, these illegal immigrants are often treated worse than they were in their own countries by these human smuggler scumbags.

3. While we're at it, the US doesn't need a military base in every corner of the world.  Let other countries spend their own money on their own national defense.  Specifically, we don't need so many enormously expensive military bases in Asia.

The Japanese don't want us in Japan or the Germans don't want us in Germany?  Then let's leave.  They can handle their own affairs without our intervention.  Give them another ten years to build up their military and then let's permanently recall all our forces and focus on protecting the Americas (North America, Central America, South America).

We already give the Japanese and Germans all of our most advanced weaponry, so they should pay for whatever they think is required for their own national defense using the taxes of their countries.  WWI is over.  WWII is over.  The Cold War is over.  Let's not repeat history for a third time through all this posturing nonsense between us and Russia and China.  China will not attack is largest trading partner, Russia won't attack anyone if they don't feel that we're re-creating the WWII scenario for them, and nobody else has a military worth mentioning.

The people you have to convince are Russia and China, this second Cold War was their idea after all, they United States is mostly ignoring them or responding with words only. The Second Cold War is Putin's Child, he can put an end to it anytime he wants, We're busy fighting terrorists, and Putin is reliving the Cold War instead.

That's all we really have to do for government spending to fall off a cliff.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

If we don't have defense, we don't have a country, and giving up our country is no way to balance the budget, because if we do, someone else will be calling the shots, not us, we get drafted into someone else's military, like the Austrians were, when they were absorbed by Germany. Many Austrians that thought they were getting peace, ended up "dying for the Fatherland" under Hitler's chain of command!

We're already giving up our country to illegal immigrants and corporate interests that support the Great Society plan.  The Democrat Party's master plan is to destroy America from within.  Guess what?  It's working.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There was that attack in San Bernardino, California, that you seem to have forgotten about, shall we expect more of those? That was an ISIS operation. The only way to end this way is to end ISIS, otherwise they will keep on attacking whether we mind our own business or not!

A couple Americans killed their fellow Americans with firearms.  That's nothing new.  If everyone carried their own firearm, this kind of thing wouldn't happen very often.  When everyone is armed, the maximum number of people you can kill is one or two before your neighbors kill you.  Unfortunately, there are too many Americans who haven't figured out that self defense is a responsibility you can't delegate to a third party unless 50% of the country is employed as Police Officers.  Once everyone figures that out and demand their self defense privileges back, this kind of thing will become quite rare.  Until then, Americans will continue to be killed by criminals in "gun free zones".  Maybe "flying unicorn zones" is a better euphemism for target practice areas for violent criminals

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There is a second Cold War, thanks to Putin, and you want to cut the military down from our peacetime levels? Sorry, isn't going to happen! If you want to talk about a peace dividend, lets have some peace first! The World is not becoming more peaceful, and now is not the time to cut the military!

President Putin is a class clown, much like President Obama.  Two petulant adult children living out their childhood fantasies to the detriment of everyone else.  Unfortunately, Russian media is even more biased than American media.

If he is like a clown, he is like the Joker from Batman. Russia may have an economy the size of Germany, but it still has nuclear weapons, Russia needs to be deterred, it must not be allowed to think that it can win if it starts a war.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

And no, Tom, you can't talk about anything else. To be very clear: no, you can't talk about anything but cutting military spending. No Republican is qualified to talk about anything else. And no Democrat is qualified to talk about anything but cutting Democrat spending. I'm not partisan about this.

Everyone else here has been reasonable. Please learn.

Why can't we talk about cutting both?  I don't put as much weight on their input as input from my fellow Americans, but they can have their opinion.  Aren't we supposed to have freedom of speech here in America, even for Canadians?

The thing is, if we aren't spending enough on defense, somebody will conquer us and tax us, and our money will go into their military and our people will be drafted into their armed forces, and we won't have a choice! We will have to learn to goose step and march to our enemy's drum.

The problem is, it is hard to tell how much it is safe to cut National Defense, there is no statistical metric we can use to "fine tune" our defense spending so we get just the right amount. Generally, if our enemies are deterred from attacking Americans, then we got Defense Spending about right. I think the World has become a more dangerous place during the Obama Presidency, if anything we need more defense spending, not less. We didn't have Russia threatening to nuke us, during the Bush Administration after all, as if that was all we needed.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Sorry, we're not Canada! Military spending isn't optional for us! It doesn't matter what Canada spends on its military, because if someone invades your country, the United States will come up and defend you, we unfortunately cannot expect the same from Mexico!

Amen to that!  I don't tell the Canadians what to spend their money on.  And you're right.  Nobody is coming to save us if we're invaded.  If we don't defend ourselves, no one else will.  Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, the US military is a backstop for stupid decision making on the part of politicians (ours and everyone else's).

Here is a thought experiment, what would we do if Canada decided to get rid of the Defense Ministry? What if some left wing PM decided that all military spending was bad, and to save money for those social programs he has in mind, he wants to get rid of all defense spending, he lays off all of the soldiers and sailors and tells them to go find work in the civilian market.

Now maybe Putin would want to annex Canada, do you think the United States would let it?
I don't thing we want a border with Russia, the Canadians would be drafted into Putin's Army, there'd be a build up of Russian tanks and missiles along the former US/Canada border, so do you think the United States would let that happen if Canada were to do something so stupid as to get rid of all of their armed forces, because they wanted "peace?" A disarmed Canada would be a military threat to the United States because it would represent a power vacuum that Russia could flow into, so for our own protection, we'd be forced to annex Canada if Canada disarmed, either that or Russia would annex Canada, and that would be worse for us. An armed Canada is as much for US Security as it is for Canada, the United States has a national interest in Canada being able to defend itself.

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#36 2016-03-08 12:48:15

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

RobertDyck wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The military is just a drop in the bucket compared to entitlements spending

Military spending is 54% of discretionary spending. That isn't a drop int he bucket, that's the majority of spending!

You added the qualifier "discretionary spending" the majority of our spending is non-discretionary, that is what needs to be cut if we balance the budget, because that non-discretionary spending is growing at a rate that is faster than the Economy, so cutting all of Defense spending will not solve our problems, so cutting some of our defense spending won't solve them either, and if we have no defense, someone else will take us over and decide to tax us and spend our money however they like, whether it is for our benefit or not! In order to have a country, we need national defense, as much as you need food. Now if you are running a personal household deficit, the first thing to be cut is not food, you don't choose to starve yourself in order to make rent payments do you? The same could be said of National Defense.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

unlike your country, we do not have a neighbor to the South that will come and rescue us if we get in trouble due to lack of military spending.

In 1812 it was the UK that came to our aid. Oh wait! That was invasion *BY* the US. Of course we were a colony of Britain at that time, so they saw invasion of Canada as invasion of Britain itself. Today the US is like a larger, older brother. Borne of the same parents. We have stronger French heritage, less Spanish, but you get the idea. Still, although our brother is family and we will always defend it, our brother can do some really stupid things.

Trying to lay the guilt trip on us eh? Back in 1812, Canada was part of the British Empire from which the United States just secured its independence, the British Empire was considered an Enemy back then, many people were alive back then who were veterans of the American Revolutionary War. Invading Canada was considered to be completing the Revolution, after all weren't Canadians Americans too? Many Americans thought so, and wished to liberate Canada from the British Empire as well. Now why did we invade? Perhaps because Canada wasn't spending enough on Defense to deter us, someone in the war department thought they saw an opportunity to take Canada and kick the Brits off the continent once and for all, because we assumed, they would want to take their 13 colonies back someday, and they did make the attempt during the War of 1812, even went as far as to burn down the White House and Capitol building. the point being of course that Wars start when someone thinks they can win, and someone thinks they can win when they see some country not making adequate preparations for their own defense, so they see an opportunity to conquer them. If the United States wanted to, would could take over Canada. Canada depends on our good will not to. Every time they cut defense they make themselves a more tempting target for military takeover, cut defense too much and someone will invade, because that is human nature.
You can't really depend on the moral argument, to say to your potential enemies that a military takeover is morally wrong, what you need is a deterrence, you need to make it clear to whoever that if they invade Canada, they will pay a price, if you don't do that, then all the moral arguments in the world will get you nowhere. Canada depends on the morals of the United States not to invade Canada, and on the United States to step in militarily if someone else invades Canada, some people will argue that is not a good position for Canada to be in.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Do you know what the national debt is? its around $18 trillion!, as I said before $288 billion is just a drop in the bucket

The US federal debt (not counting state, county, city, or private debt) is now $19.1 trillion. According to the US debt clock. That is achieved by spending more money than you got every year. Living on a credit card will get you in very deep trouble! The US federal deficit is now $427 Billion. With a "B"! That means you increase the debt by another trillion every other year! That's how your government go you into this mess. But taxpayers have to pay that. In 2008 you found out what happens if you try to not pay it all. With the US federal debt increasing this fast, another financial meltdown will happen soon. And this time Europe won't be able to bail you out, and China just won't. Since Congress seriously talked about not paying China back, they're now dumping US treasury bonds as fast as they can without dropping their value. They certainly won't lend more money. So you the taxpayers have to pay the bill for irresponsible brats in Washington.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

and cutting NASA won't do the trick either

The US federal government gets more money in tax revenue from the space industry than it spends on NASA. If investment in NASA stops, then innovation in space will stop. Very quickly all that business will go to other space providers: Europe, Russia, now China. Congress already tried to do that, and already saw that happen. EELV was an attempt to revitalize the US space industry. It worked somewhat, but Old Space contractors got greedy, so launch cost did not drop to the point that majority of launch business came back to the US. Today, Congress earns more by tax revenue from the space industry than it spends on NASA, so cutting NASA's budget would be really, really stupid! Never mind accomplishing something, just dollars.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

we have to cut entitlements spending, but more importantly, we have to cut taxes and regulation so the economy grows faster, it has been growing subpar over the past 16 years!

Republicans obsess about that. I already told you, military and national security is 54% of discretionary spending. 54%! That is the majority right there! Yes, I agree in general with cutting taxes. Yes, there's too much regulation. However, Republicans always seem to cut the wrong regulations! Congress introduced banking regulation in 1929 to prevent another stock market crash like that. That one started the Great Depression. There was already a major worldwide recession teetering on the brink of depression, but that stock market crash pushed the US and the world over the brink. Some have claimed the stock market crash was caused by the massive recession, but still! Regulation was established to ensure it can't happen again. Congress started dismantling those protections the following year. Starting in 1930! Removing those regulations was slow but steady until George W. Bush when it became rapid. The result was the Junk Mortgage crisis. Actually, Congress is primarily to blame. Congress likes to blame the guys on Wall Street, but they're known to be greedy. Regulations created in 1929 were there to constrain them, to ensure Wall Street didn't cause another Great Depression. Removing those regulations was just asking for it. But there's more: the US banking system ran out of money. They didn't have money to fund the economy and continue to fund the massive federal deficit. They tried borrowing money abroad, but got worried when Arab states owned so much of the US debt. They were afraid foreigners were buying America. They wanted America to own the government, so demanded domestic banks find a "creative way" to fund the federal deficit. Congress demanded the banking system do this. So they did, it was junk mortgages. You saw the result.

Watch this video. A very powerful speech.
Opening scene of the movie "The Newsroom"

The movie says the US spends more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of which are allies.

which is why the World is mostly at peace, because most countries know that to directly take on the United States is national suicide. Saddam Hussein found that out, as did Panama's dictator Manual Noriega. Most countries find it in their national interests to maintain peaceful relations with the United States. North Korea makes empty threats for domestic purposes, but they know they would lose if they got into an actual shooting war with us, so they don't start one. if you want to save money on defense spending, then you risk some foreign leader deciding they could win a war against the United States, and risk going to war, and in wars people die! I'd rather spend a lot of national defense, because we can afford it, and not go into an actual shooting war and spill the blood of our young people defending us. Money is cheaper than blood. I don't want to risk going to war, because we wanted to save money on National Defense!

I checked that. In year 2010 the US spent $901 Billion on military and national defence. Again, "national defence" is primarily the Department of Energy, responsible for nuclear weapons. That budget is greater than the next 28 countries combined, including Russia, China, and North Korea. I don't think you could claim any of them are allies, but the other 25 are. Today it's greater than the next 13 countries combined; North Korea drops off the list but Russia and China are still there, so 11 are allies.

How much does North Korea spend on nuclear weapons? Does the fact that North Korea doesn't spend much relative to us, mean they couldn't destroy one or a couple of our cities with those nuclear weapons? Does the fact that we spend more money on Defense than does North Korea by itself protect our cities from those crude North Korean nukes? Look the visible component our our military is just as important as its ability to actually defend us! The North Koreans need to know that we are spending way more than they can afford on their own military, they need to understand that will crush them if they ever started a war with us! That is why they don't risk war, they know they will lose, they might hurt us, but still they would lose. There would be no one left there to surrender to us if they ever unleashed their nukes, which is why it is a good thing we spend way more than they do, and our military is a highly visible reminder of what will happen to them if they attack us, that is what I want, because all those tanks and ships and missiles, and our soldiers marching around in parade showing themselves is the one thing preventing them from actually having to fight in a battle.

You don't need that much! Estimates of foreign military budgets on the website Global Firepower is a little different than Wikipedia, but not much. Using their figures, the total in US dollars of military budgets for China, Russia, and North Korea is $248.8 Billion. I said reduce the US military and national security budget to $396.24 Billion. That that's $288 Billion plus inflation since year 2000. That would still be 59.24% more than the total of all those countries combined!

Military and national security for 2016 is $625 billion. Nuclear weapons are under the Department of Energy, not military, that's why it's "and national security". That's down from $901 billion of 2010, but still not low enough. No Republican is qualified to talk about Democrat spending until you do that.

Ronald Regan started the SDI. The media called that "Star Wars". From his statements through the media, I believe he actually believed it would work. Very quickly they determined it wouldn't.

Did not the Cold War end? The Soviets believed it would work, and that is all that mattered, that ended the Cold War and so it worked! I judge the military by its ability to prevent wars, not just win them!

For example, proton particle beam satellites looked like they would work, and would shoot down incoming Soviet ICBMs, but constructing just one satellite would require 100 launches of the Space Shuttle. And you would require several to ensure at least one is over the Continental US at any time, at least 24 satellites. The most Shuttle ever launched was 6 per year, so that would require how many years? But the Soviet Union was tricked into an arms race. They overspent on military.

The Soviets decided after World War II to have a Cold War, that was their decision, they wanted to spread their revolution and they actively sought the overthrow of nations friendly to us, if the Soviets didn't do that, there would have been no Cold War. The Cold War was never our decision, we cut the military budget after World War II, we wanted peace, but the Soviets wanted conquest, that is why they built up their military, and it is why the Russians are doing so now. In the 1990s the Soviets gave up because they realized they weren't going to win, that was what ended the Cold War.

When this became apparent, Ronald Regan continued. It became a bet: let's see who's economy collapses first. Ronald Regan knew the US couldn't sustain that level of military spending forever, try to do so would collapse the American economy.

How do you know? Our level of defense spending is decided on by our enemies. If our enemies spend more, we spend more,  so long as everything is in balance, there is no actual war! An arms race is certainly preferable to an actual World War where nuclear weapons might be used. I wish we could have had an endless arms race with Nazi Germany rather than World War II, we could have spared the lives of 50 million people, yeah they'd be marching around in uniform and spending more on the military, but at least they would be alive!

But he felt the US economy could withstand it longer than the Soviet's could. So it became a game of Chicken: let's see who's economy goes over the cliff first. It worked! It worked better than anyone could have hoped. But the US was left with a $3 Trillion debt!

What sort of debt were the Russians left with? if we did not spend on our military, the Soviets would have conquered us, they would have occupied us just as they have Eastern Europe, and they would have ruined our economy with their central command decisions. Eastern Europe is still recovering from what the Soviet Union did to them, I do not want that for the United States!

Economists at the time were horrified! But it was better than global thermal nuclear war. It took 2 presidents after Regan to balance the budget. Unfortunately George W. threw the US into it's own trap.

9/11/2001!
George Bush didn't do that! The threats outside our borders determine the amount of money we need to spend on defense! We spent more because those threats grew, and they are even larger now because of ISIS! We by ourselves do not determine whether there will be war or peace! Us spending less on Defense doesn't make for a more peaceful World, we need our enemies to threaten us less, and if they don't do that, we cannot create peace by spending less on defense!

Into the trap that Ronald Regan created for the Soviet Union. The result was the financial meltdown of 2008. Now you still haven't learned? You want to do it again? You really want the US to break up like the Soviet Union, don't you?

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

There is a second Cold War, thanks to Putin

Nope. US military contractors were upset their business was cut from the extreme levels of Regan's "Star Wars". They wanted that back.

No, it was Putin invading Ukraine! He didn't do that for US Military Contractors, he did it for Russia! or at least what he thought Russia needed!

They didn't care it would cause the US economy to collapse, they were just greedy. So those US military contractors tried everything they could to stir up trouble, create a new Cold War, and pressure Congress to do even more than they could directly. They pushed Russia until Putin had to respond.

One useful clip from the Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan: 
Sanders: "When you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in mental health."

US Contractors didn't start the Second Cold War, it was aggressive actions by Russia!

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#37 2016-03-08 13:00:43

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,834

Re: Politics

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The problem is, it is hard to tell how much it is safe to cut National Defense, there is no statistical metric we can use to "fine tune" our defense spending so we get just the right amount. Generally, if our enemies are deterred from attacking Americans, then we got Defense Spending about right. I think the World has become a more dangerous place during the Obama Presidency, if anything we need more defense spending, not less. We didn't have Russia threatening to nuke us, during the Bush Administration after all, as if that was all we needed.

I can think of quite a few military hardware programs that don't work very well, if at all.  Regarding President Obama, I don't think he created the situation we have in the Middle East right now.  He's certainly made a bad situation worse, if that's what you mean.  Russia can threaten us all they want.  They know what will happen if they start a war with us.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Here is a thought experiment, what would we do if Canada decided to get rid of the Defense Ministry? What if some left wing PM decided that all military spending was bad, and to save money for those social programs he has in mind, he wants to get rid of all defense spending, he lays off all of the soldiers and sailors and tells them to go find work in the civilian market.

That's their prerogative.  It's not for us to decide.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Now maybe Putin would want to annex Canada, do you think the United States would let it?

If that means only Russians are subjected to Celine Dion or Avril Lavigne, maybe it's worth having the Russians as neighbors.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I don't thing we want a border with Russia, the Canadians would be drafted into Putin's Army, there'd be a build up of Russian tanks and missiles along the former US/Canada border, so do you think the United States would let that happen if Canada were to do something so stupid as to get rid of all of their armed forces, because they wanted "peace?" A disarmed Canada would be a military threat to the United States because it would represent a power vacuum that Russia could flow into, so for our own protection, we'd be forced to annex Canada if Canada disarmed, either that or Russia would annex Canada, and that would be worse for us. An armed Canada is as much for US Security as it is for Canada, the United States has a national interest in Canada being able to defend itself.

Are you actually worried that the Canadians might be overrun by the Russians?  Europe is just as left wing as Canada, if not more so, and last time I checked all of those countries still have standing armies.  The new left wing Canadian PM has made no mention of getting rid of their military.  But somehow a disarmed Canada would then become a military threat to the US because they would be drafted into the Russian Army after the Russians invade Canada?  How many other "though experiments" have you conducted wherein the Canadians suddenly become a military threat to the US?

If the Russians ever invade Canada, nobody in Canada will be joining the Russian Army.  Promise.

We can wipe out the Russian military in less than a month using perhaps a third of our military and that's being pretty conservative.  If the war goes nuclear, then everybody dies and it doesn't matter who was armed or unarmed because nobody I'm aware of can survive temperatures that can melt sand into glass, never mind the blast overpressure or radiation.

Last time I checked, DoE was more concerned with making sure all of our nuclear weapons still work than getting rid of any of them and that effort hasn't stopped under President Obama.  Right now we're working on nuclear "smart bombs".  Because somewhere, someone was worried about what would happen if we're "off" by a couple hundred yards or so when we drop a 250kt bomb.  This would be an example of a "stupid" military expenditure that I previously referenced.

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#38 2016-03-08 16:01:33

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

kbd512 wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The problem is, it is hard to tell how much it is safe to cut National Defense, there is no statistical metric we can use to "fine tune" our defense spending so we get just the right amount. Generally, if our enemies are deterred from attacking Americans, then we got Defense Spending about right. I think the World has become a more dangerous place during the Obama Presidency, if anything we need more defense spending, not less. We didn't have Russia threatening to nuke us, during the Bush Administration after all, as if that was all we needed.

I can think of quite a few military hardware programs that don't work very well, if at all.  Regarding President Obama, I don't think he created the situation we have in the Middle East right now.

 
Didn't he? Who prematurely pulled troops out of Iraq, who called ISIS "the J.V. team?" If George Bush were still President, we'd still have troops in Iraq and ISIS wouldn't be there. The part that is George Bush's fault is the fact that the war lasted his entire administration and then some, his rules of engagement didn't bring us complete victory, the enemy licked its wounds and recovered, we relied too heavily on native troops, that we now know we can't trust! We should have just occupied Iraq with enough troops to do the job. If we wanted to eventually pull out, we should have brought in nonmuslim troops from outside the middle east, probably Christians from sub-Saharan Africa would have been best, our occupation government would then naturalize those troops as Iraqi citizens, and then we induct them into Iraq's new Army. No shifty Muslims with tribal loyalties to worry about. We needed to Nationalize Iraq, no more tribes!

He's certainly made a bad situation worse, if that's what you mean.  Russia can threaten us all they want.  They know what will happen if they start a war with us.

So you think we should just build a great big thermonuclear bomb with the explosive yield equivalent to the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? Instead of an Army, a Navy and an Air Force, we just completely disarm except for that bomb, so if anyone invades the US, because they just can't resist the temptation, we should end humanity right then and their with that one doomsday bomb?

What do you think of that idea? It would show how peaceful we were wouldn't it? This idea or relying 100% on mutually assured destruction, instead of just the assured destruction of our enemies brings to mind this idea. Do you think everyone should die if we had a nuclear war? If so, then their is no need for missiles, all we need is one huge bomb!

As for myself, I see a role for a conventional military, even though it is more expensive than a pure nuclear force. For instance we can give our enemies a choice of whether they want to fight us with conventional weapons only and be beaten, or go nuclear and be destroyed! We could for instance beat North Korea with conventional weapons only, our military is bigger than theirs, that leaves the choice to the North Korean leadership as to whether to use nuclear weapons. We can promise we won't use them first, but if the North Koreans use theirs, we will destroy North Korea with ours, making sure that no one was left. At least if they are simply beaten by our conventional forces, they will likely survive, we will even put them back on their feet, like we did with Germany and Japan. Nuke us however, and they won't get such tender treatment from us, the choice is theirs. But if we go cheap on defense, all we will have is nuclear weapons, we won't have any forces in South Korea, all we can do is nuke North Korea if they invade the South. Which alternative would you prefer?

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Here is a thought experiment, what would we do if Canada decided to get rid of the Defense Ministry? What if some left wing PM decided that all military spending was bad, and to save money for those social programs he has in mind, he wants to get rid of all defense spending, he lays off all of the soldiers and sailors and tells them to go find work in the civilian market.

That's their prerogative.  It's not for us to decide.

If Putin invades, we invade, we cannot have Russia on the continent. If Canada creates a power vacuum, then either we or Russia will fill it, there is no other choice. Remember Belgium was neutral in World War II, and they did not like France building up their defenses along their border, so Germany invaded right through violating their neutrality to get to France. Canada has resources, and it has a population that can be taxed and drafted into an Army. Canada literally cannot go down to zero with its military, if they did, some other country would take over and bring the defense budget back up so they could keep their newly captured territory. Defense is what keeps a country independent and separate, otherwise they will become part of someone else's empire.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Now maybe Putin would want to annex Canada, do you think the United States would let it?

If that means only Russians are subjected to Celine Dion or Avril Lavigne, maybe it's worth having the Russians as neighbors.

How much is it going to cost to fortify the entire US/Canada border if Canada is occupied by Russia, and lets compare that cost with how much it would cost us to occupy Canada ourselves if the Canadians completely disarm?

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

I don't thing we want a border with Russia, the Canadians would be drafted into Putin's Army, there'd be a build up of Russian tanks and missiles along the former US/Canada border, so do you think the United States would let that happen if Canada were to do something so stupid as to get rid of all of their armed forces, because they wanted "peace?" A disarmed Canada would be a military threat to the United States because it would represent a power vacuum that Russia could flow into, so for our own protection, we'd be forced to annex Canada if Canada disarmed, either that or Russia would annex Canada, and that would be worse for us. An armed Canada is as much for US Security as it is for Canada, the United States has a national interest in Canada being able to defend itself.

Are you actually worried that the Canadians might be overrun by the Russians?  Europe is just as left wing as Canada, if not more so, and last time I checked all of those countries still have standing armies.

 

Yes, but there are more than one country in Europe, and some countries, particularly on the border with Russia, are decidedly right-wing, Poland for instance in one such place. the left-wingers are in Western Europe, where they feel safe from Russia for a while at least. Germany relies on Poland to be its buffer against Russia, France relies on Both Germany and Poland as its buffer against Russia, both are making the assumption that Russia won't be able to Blitzkrieg through Poland and then through Germany, they are hopping that Poland will be so well armed that the Russians will get bogged down in Poland that the other two will have time for some emergency measures to build up their militaries at the last moment. Such is wishful thinking, you might as well hope that Putin gets struck by lightning.

The new left wing Canadian PM has made no mention of getting rid of their military.  But somehow a disarmed Canada would then become a military threat to the US because they would be drafted into the Russian Army after the Russians invade Canada?  How many other "though experiments" have you conducted wherein the Canadians suddenly become a military threat to the US?

That one would be the most plausible, because all the Russians would have to do is move weapons, they already have into Canada, that would include nuclear missiles by the way. Canada doesn't itself have to be a military Juggernaut for its land to be a place from which Russian weapons and troops can threaten us. I don't want the Russians on the same continent with us, if the Canadians let them in, they become a threat!

If the Russians ever invade Canada, nobody in Canada will be joining the Russian Army.  Promise.

Join? You ever hear of the draft? Ever hear of the East German Army? The Russians employed those to threaten NATO, who's to say a Russian drafted Canadian Army couldn't do the same to us?

We can wipe out the Russian military in less than a month using perhaps a third of our military and that's being pretty conservative.  If the war goes nuclear, then everybody dies and it doesn't matter who was armed or unarmed because nobody I'm aware of can survive temperatures that can melt sand into glass, never mind the blast overpressure or radiation.

The thing is, the people who start those wars, don't see the nukes until its too late! If we give Russia the impression that they can take Canada without out opposition, then we are bringing ourselves closer to nuclear war. Every time a war starts, it is by someone who thinks he can win, if we make our military might apparent and obvious, then war becomes less likely, but if we make a big to do about cutting our military, we will basically be just inviting them in!

"Hey we're weak, come in an attack us!"

Last time I checked, DoE was more concerned with making sure all of our nuclear weapons still work than getting rid of any of them and that effort hasn't stopped under President Obama.  Right now we're working on nuclear "smart bombs".  Because somewhere, someone was worried about what would happen if we're "off" by a couple hundred yards or so when we drop a 250kt bomb.  This would be an example of a "stupid" military expenditure that I previously referenced.

What about a 5kt bomb or even a 1kt bomb? If we use lower yield nuclear bombs, we'll need more accurate missiles, and a 1 kt bomb could destroy a 1 megaton thermonuclear warhead if it was accurate enough. But if you really want to imperil humanity, we could go in the other direction by building "dinosaur killer" nuclear weapons, just one would do, no delivery vehicle required. Which would you rather have a 1 kt nuclear bomb or a "dinosaur killer" nuclear fusion bomb?

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#39 2016-03-08 17:41:11

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,834

Re: Politics

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Didn't he? Who prematurely pulled troops out of Iraq, who called ISIS "the J.V. team?" If George Bush were still President, we'd still have troops in Iraq and ISIS wouldn't be there. The part that is George Bush's fault is the fact that the war lasted his entire administration and then some, his rules of engagement didn't bring us complete victory, the enemy licked its wounds and recovered, we relied too heavily on native troops, that we now know we can't trust! We should have just occupied Iraq with enough troops to do the job. If we wanted to eventually pull out, we should have brought in nonmuslim troops from outside the middle east, probably Christians from sub-Saharan Africa would have been best, our occupation government would then naturalize those troops as Iraqi citizens, and then we induct them into Iraq's new Army. No shifty Muslims with tribal loyalties to worry about. We needed to Nationalize Iraq, no more tribes!

You wanna nationalize Iraq?  So we can be $40t in debt?  Let those morons kill each other.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

So you think we should just build a great big thermonuclear bomb with the explosive yield equivalent to the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs? Instead of an Army, a Navy and an Air Force, we just completely disarm except for that bomb, so if anyone invades the US, because they just can't resist the temptation, we should end humanity right then and their with that one doomsday bomb?

Where are you getting this from?  You're not reading between the lines, you're not even reading the same book.  I never said anything like that.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

What do you think of that idea? It would show how peaceful we were wouldn't it? This idea or relying 100% on mutually assured destruction, instead of just the assured destruction of our enemies brings to mind this idea. Do you think everyone should die if we had a nuclear war? If so, then their is no need for missiles, all we need is one huge bomb!

You're way too excited about this.  I never suggested, nor so much as thought, killing each other using nuclear weapons was a good idea.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

As for myself, I see a role for a conventional military, even though it is more expensive than a pure nuclear force. For instance we can give our enemies a choice of whether they want to fight us with conventional weapons only and be beaten, or go nuclear and be destroyed! We could for instance beat North Korea with conventional weapons only, our military is bigger than theirs, that leaves the choice to the North Korean leadership as to whether to use nuclear weapons. We can promise we won't use them first, but if the North Koreans use theirs, we will destroy North Korea with ours, making sure that no one was left. At least if they are simply beaten by our conventional forces, they will likely survive, we will even put them back on their feet, like we did with Germany and Japan. Nuke us however, and they won't get such tender treatment from us, the choice is theirs. But if we go cheap on defense, all we will have is nuclear weapons, we won't have any forces in South Korea, all we can do is nuke North Korea if they invade the South. Which alternative would you prefer?

If North Korea invades South Korea again, then we should nuke them.  General MacArthur had the right idea.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

If Putin invades, we invade, we cannot have Russia on the continent. If Canada creates a power vacuum, then either we or Russia will fill it, there is no other choice. Remember Belgium was neutral in World War II, and they did not like France building up their defenses along their border, so Germany invaded right through violating their neutrality to get to France. Canada has resources, and it has a population that can be taxed and drafted into an Army. Canada literally cannot go down to zero with its military, if they did, some other country would take over and bring the defense budget back up so they could keep their newly captured territory. Defense is what keeps a country independent and separate, otherwise they will become part of someone else's empire.

Putin's not invading, Tom.  He doesn't have enough ships or planes to send the invasion force and he probably never will.  It's safe to come out of your foxhole.  Join us up here at sea level.  Even if Putin does invade, you get a better look at the enemy that way.  It's easier to pick out targets.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

How much is it going to cost to fortify the entire US/Canada border if Canada is occupied by Russia, and lets compare that cost with how much it would cost us to occupy Canada ourselves if the Canadians completely disarm?

Canada is in no danger of being overrun by the Russians, either.  Canada is not disarming.  Nobody is.  The "you, first" mentality reigns supreme, as it always has.  Nothing has changed here.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Yes, but there are more than one country in Europe, and some countries, particularly on the border with Russia, are decidedly right-wing, Poland for instance in one such place. the left-wingers are in Western Europe, where they feel safe from Russia for a while at least. Germany relies on Poland to be its buffer against Russia, France relies on Both Germany and Poland as its buffer against Russia, both are making the assumption that Russia won't be able to Blitzkrieg through Poland and then through Germany, they are hopping that Poland will be so well armed that the Russians will get bogged down in Poland that the other two will have time for some emergency measures to build up their militaries at the last moment. Such is wishful thinking, you might as well hope that Putin gets struck by lightning.

France and Germany aren't relying on Poland to do anything.  Everyone over there knows that our military will wipe the floor with Russia's military.  If Putin ever decides to invade any NATO countries, he'll figure that out rather quickly.  Last I heard, President Obama sent our military back over to Europe as a kinder, gentler way of letting Putin know what will happen if he gets froggy.  Very few people in Europe objected, so I can only assume that having our military in their countries doesn't really bother them that much.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

That one would be the most plausible, because all the Russians would have to do is move weapons, they already have into Canada, that would include nuclear missiles by the way. Canada doesn't itself have to be a military Juggernaut for its land to be a place from which Russian weapons and troops can threaten us. I don't want the Russians on the same continent with us, if the Canadians let them in, they become a threat!

Sure.  And the Canadians would just sit on their hands and watch that happen.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

Join? You ever hear of the draft? Ever hear of the East German Army? The Russians employed those to threaten NATO, who's to say a Russian drafted Canadian Army couldn't do the same to us?

Ask the Russians how that worked out for them in East Germany.

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

The thing is, the people who start those wars, don't see the nukes until its too late! If we give Russia the impression that they can take Canada without out opposition, then we are bringing ourselves closer to nuclear war. Every time a war starts, it is by someone who thinks he can win, if we make our military might apparent and obvious, then war becomes less likely, but if we make a big to do about cutting our military, we will basically be just inviting them in!

"Hey we're weak, come in an attack us!"

You're obsessed with this Canadian invasion scenario.  If you ever see any flying unicorns, you let me know and I'll start digging a foxhole.

We have the most powerful military on the planet.  If that's not apparent, then watch what happens when you attack us or an ally.  There's only, I don't know, at least five decades of history or so behind that.  Trust me, everyone knows.  More importantly, they believe!

Tom Kalbfus wrote:

What about a 5kt bomb or even a 1kt bomb? If we use lower yield nuclear bombs, we'll need more accurate missiles, and a 1 kt bomb could destroy a 1 megaton thermonuclear warhead if it was accurate enough. But if you really want to imperil humanity, we could go in the other direction by building "dinosaur killer" nuclear weapons, just one would do, no delivery vehicle required. Which would you rather have a 1 kt nuclear bomb or a "dinosaur killer" nuclear fusion bomb?

A 5kt device is the same thing as a dirty bomb or inefficient nuclear weapon, which is something we no longer use.  If you don't understand this, I'll explain it.  Our missiles are already so accurate that they can easily hit a football field (and many have far greater accuracy) and all are armed with 250kt to 750kt yield devices.  Due to various aspects of how nuclear weapons work, there's virtually no difference in physical size.

All of our nuclear weapons use fusion and I'm pretty sure the Russians and Chinese only use thermonuclear weapons, too: Thermonuclear weapon

And no 250kt device wiped out the dinosaurs.  Try 100s of megatons.

The warheads used in the "smart bomb" program are 250kt nominal yield devices mated to JDAM hardware.  It's ridiculous.  The bombs aren't that inaccurate.  If we can't get a stealth bomber within striking range of a target, we have stealth missiles.  If none of that works, we have ICBM's.  If our bombing accuracy is really that bad, then our Air Force is in dire need of more ordnance delivery training.

I think I'm done here.

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#40 2016-03-09 07:10:34

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

France and Germany aren't relying on Poland to do anything.  Everyone over there knows that our military will wipe the floor with Russia's military.  If Putin ever decides to invade any NATO countries, he'll figure that out rather quickly.  Last I heard, President Obama sent our military back over to Europe as a kinder, gentler way of letting Putin know what will happen if he gets froggy.  Very few people in Europe objected, so I can only assume that having our military in their countries doesn't really bother them that much.

Relying on the USA is just as flawed as relying on Poland to stop the Russians! I like an alliance where every member does his part rather than rely on "Big Brother" to come to their rescue. As I said before Russia has an economy that is equal in size to Germany's. Germany should be abe to deal with the Russian threat, it shouldn't need to rely on the USA to come to its rescue.

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#41 2016-03-09 11:22:04

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,700
Website

Re: Politics

Tom! You keep going on about this. I posted military budgets. The US has the largest military budget in the world. The US could reduce its military budget to the level I asked, and still have 60% more than the total of China, Russia, and North Korean combined! That's after the cuts. You have more than enough.

As for Canada, you realize we have a larger military budget than most countries of the world. Our military budget is that of a middle power. We aren't puny, but we aren't a superpower either. If Russia invaded, they would have great difficulty, and would never be able to hold anything. They weren't able to hold onto Afghanistan, and Canada's military is far stronger, more organized, more professional, better equipped. And if they tried, all of NATO would counter attack. Even if the US sat that one out, France/UK/Germany would kick their ass while their military is bogged down in Canada.

But even though Canada could do that without US help, I doubt the US would sit it out.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2016-03-09 11:22:37)

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#42 2016-03-09 15:10:47

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Politics

The largest-yield thermonuclear device ever exploded was the Russian "Tsar" test dropped over Novaya Zemalya (sp.?) from a Bear bomber.  This was in the late 1950's or about 1960.  At the time it was ballyhooed as a "100 megaton" device.  History actually records it as really closer to 60 megatons.   

This was an air burst at around 20,000 feet.  The fireball just touched the surface,  and rose very little before breaching the edge of space.  It was a very good demonstration of why megaton-range weapons don't do much more damage than 100's of kiloton weapons.  Too much gets wasted;  there is no blast wave in vacuum. 

The Russian ICBM fleet for a long time carried a 5-MRV cluster of individual 25 megaton warheads.  We now know they don't have to be anywhere near that large to destroy underground hard structures,  if the accuracy is good.  Our Minuteman-3 ICBM's use a 3-MRV cluster of 100 kiloton-range weapons.  Circular error probable is now just about 0.1 mile (around 500 or 600 feet).  That's close enough and big enough to destroy just about any buried hard structures within about a quarter mile of the surface. 

If the entire world's aggregated ICBM fleets number a few hundred to 1000 missiles,  then just how many of these things do we really need?  Bear in mind,  they're ineffective to counter submarines or aircraft.  All they can do is destroy cities and missile silos.  And all life on Earth if all get used. 

What's needed isn't more of these things,  there are already 100+ times more than is required to destroy all life on Earth.  But the threat of destruction they pose does demonstrably stop major war.  And as small ones used in onesy's and twosy's,  they can definitely help to end a more ordinary war,  as we so effectively demonstrated in 1945. 

The only problem with these arms (other than that there are way too many of them) is that they age,  requiring replacement.  That includes both warheads and rocket motors.  Ours and those of the Russians do indeed face that problem.  But it need not be done fast,  and it need not increase defense budgets. 

And as the wars of the last 40 or 50 years prove rather well,  none of us:  not the Russians,  not us,  nobody;  is configured to successfully overrun and occupy another major country.  Not even some minor countries. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#43 2016-03-10 06:08:47

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

RobertDyck wrote:

Tom! You keep going on about this. I posted military budgets. The US has the largest military budget in the world. The US could reduce its military budget to the level I asked, and still have 60% more than the total of China, Russia, and North Korean combined!

We know that the current level of Defense Spending keeps the World relatively peaceful, how do we know that spending less won't invite more wars? There will be more countries that will think they can beat us, and thus they will start wars that would exist at the current level of defense spending, then we'll have to spend money and lives to fight a war and to defeat them, just to prove that they were wrong! Also less spencing on defense means a higher casuality rate, as our weapons won't be as good, more GIs will have to sacrifice their lives because of the lousy weapons they have. Do you want that?

That's after the cuts. You have more than enough.

As for Canada, you realize we have a larger military budget than most countries of the world. Our military budget is that of a middle power. We aren't puny, but we aren't a superpower either. If Russia invaded, they would have great difficulty, and would never be able to hold anything. They weren't able to hold onto Afghanistan, and Canada's military is far stronger, more organized, more professional, better equipped. And if they tried, all of NATO would counter attack. Even if the US sat that one out, France/UK/Germany would kick their ass while their military is bogged down in Canada.

But even though Canada could do that without US help, I doubt the US would sit it out.

I'll bet Canada would be spending more if there was no United States, the fact that there is a large neighbor to their south, has entered their calculations on how much they will need for Defense.

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#44 2016-03-10 09:01:34

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,700
Website

Re: Politics

Tom: America is not the world's policeman. Any policeman has to focus on community and not the interest of any one member. All American presidents have publicly admitted they are focussed on America's best interest. Anyone focussed on the best interest of any one country is not qualified to be the world's policeman.

Peace? You have engaged in war with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria. You've participated in combat in Somalia and Bosnia/Herzegovina. The war in Iraq has been continuous since 1991, you just don't know how to get out and go home. No excuses.

Again, Ronald Regan baited the Soviet Union into overspending on military. Causing the Soviet economy to collapse. It worked better than anyone could have hoped, the entire Soviet Union fell apart. It took two presidents to reduce American military spending an balance the budget. Unfortunately George W. Bush fell for lobbyists from military contractors, causing America to fall into its own trap. This resulted in the banking collapse of 2008. If you don't learn, if you don't undo military overspending, another collapse as bad as 2008 will happen again. This time Europe won't be able to bail out the US, and China just won't. Your continued argument for military spending is sabotage of the US of A.

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#45 2016-03-10 09:48:29

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Politics

What I tried to point out in post 42 just above with these statements:

"The only problem with these arms (other than that there are way too many of them) is that they age,  requiring replacement.  That includes both warheads and rocket motors.  Ours and those of the Russians do indeed face that problem.  But it need not be done fast,  and it need not increase defense budgets."

"And as the wars of the last 40 or 50 years prove rather well,  none of us:  not the Russians,  not us,  nobody;  is configured to successfully overrun and occupy another major country.  Not even some minor countries."

...  is that it takes a defense establishment and military spending to prevent world war,  but it does not require current spending and force levels to do so. 

What that says is Tom's basic notion of strong defense is right,  but his perception that only current spending levels can do the job is absolutely wrong.  We can do this at 100 times less spending,  if run wisely.  We can do this at 10 times less spending,  even run as badly as it is today. 

Fear of a 12-foot tall enemy is the root of all arms races.  Self deception is very powerful,  because there are no 12-foot tall people.  All of us are nearer 5 ft 8 inches.  What lacks in the defense business is remembering that fact.

All that being said,  the budget problem isn't driven by defense,  it is driven by political promises.  Who gets the corruption goodies,  who is going to pay for those corruption goodies.  Politicians in recent decades have made a lot of promises,  and they do not follow through and be responsible about implementation.  THAT is what requires correction. 

As to how to correct it,  the current political campaigns are an example of how NOT to. 

My grandfather once told me the tools for good government were tar,  feathers,  guns,  and ropes.  I do believe he was right.  Called to account for their misbehavior physically and painfully,  all these office-seeking,  power-hungry clowns might actually behave better. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-03-10 09:50:27)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#46 2016-03-11 06:48:47

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

RobertDyck wrote:

Tom: America is not the world's policeman. Any policeman has to focus on community and not the interest of any one member. All American presidents have publicly admitted they are focussed on America's best interest. Anyone focussed on the best interest of any one country is not qualified to be the world's policeman.

Peace? You have engaged in war with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria. You've participated in combat in Somalia and Bosnia/Herzegovina. The war in Iraq has been continuous since 1991, you just don't know how to get out and go home. No excuses.

Who started those wars? Your complaining about our participation in those wars, all those wars have been started by someone else, not by the United States. So please tell me how can we mind our own business if other people keep starting those wars and disturbing the World Peace? Show me an instance where there was World peace and the United States started a war where their wasn't one before? I bet you can't think of a single instance! What you complain about are wars that already exist that the United States gets involved in, mostly to end those wars!

Again, Ronald Regan baited the Soviet Union into overspending on military. Causing the Soviet economy to collapse. It worked better than anyone could have hoped, the entire Soviet Union fell apart. It took two presidents to reduce American military spending an balance the budget. Unfortunately George W. Bush fell for lobbyists from military contractors, causing America to fall into its own trap. This resulted in the banking collapse of 2008. If you don't learn, if you don't undo military overspending, another collapse as bad as 2008 will happen again. This time Europe won't be able to bail out the US, and China just won't. Your continued argument for military spending is sabotage of the US of A.

How do we make sure Wars don't happen? Shall we let the World just go to Hell? Let the little dictators have their day, let them conquer other countries and build death camps. Usually what you call "warmongering" is us interfering in the little dictator's plans to build their little Empire's, or to spread their little "revolution" to someone else's country. If they'd stop doing that, we would stop getting involved in those wars. So can you promise there would be World Peace if we didn't get involved in those wars? If there is not World Peace, then we still have work to do in keeping the peace!

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#47 2016-03-11 06:54:37

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Politics

GW Johnson wrote:

What I tried to point out in post 42 just above with these statements:

"The only problem with these arms (other than that there are way too many of them) is that they age,  requiring replacement.  That includes both warheads and rocket motors.  Ours and those of the Russians do indeed face that problem.  But it need not be done fast,  and it need not increase defense budgets."

"And as the wars of the last 40 or 50 years prove rather well,  none of us:  not the Russians,  not us,  nobody;  is configured to successfully overrun and occupy another major country.  Not even some minor countries."

...  is that it takes a defense establishment and military spending to prevent world war,  but it does not require current spending and force levels to do so. 

What that says is Tom's basic notion of strong defense is right,  but his perception that only current spending levels can do the job is absolutely wrong.  We can do this at 100 times less spending,  if run wisely.  We can do this at 10 times less spending,  even run as badly as it is today.

 
An assertion you have not proven, the only thing we can do is cut the budget until something bad happens, and then someone will say we cut too much! Do you want us taking that risk, leaving someplace vulnerable and then some dictator invades and we have a war on our hands? Putin invaded Georgia and Ukraine because they were not spending enough on their defense budget, they saw an opportunity and they took it. So how much did it cost Ukraine, their cut in their Defense Budget? Should they have given up those nukes they inherited from the Soviet Union? They lost some territory, because someone their thought it would be a good idea to be cheap on Defense!


Fear of a 12-foot tall enemy is the root of all arms races.  Self deception is very powerful,  because there are no 12-foot tall people.  All of us are nearer 5 ft 8 inches.  What lacks in the defense business is remembering that fact.

All that being said,  the budget problem isn't driven by defense,  it is driven by political promises.  Who gets the corruption goodies,  who is going to pay for those corruption goodies.  Politicians in recent decades have made a lot of promises,  and they do not follow through and be responsible about implementation.  THAT is what requires correction. 

As to how to correct it,  the current political campaigns are an example of how NOT to. 

My grandfather once told me the tools for good government were tar,  feathers,  guns,  and ropes.  I do believe he was right.  Called to account for their misbehavior physically and painfully,  all these office-seeking,  power-hungry clowns might actually behave better. 

GW

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#48 2016-03-11 13:11:36

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 5,700
Website

Re: Politics

Tom: You forgot the budget for protection from flying pink elephants.

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#49 2016-03-11 14:22:01

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,523
Website

Re: Politics

It's this stark and simple:  On the one hand,  current overall budgets are not sustainable,  and running up debt will eventually destroy us. On the other hand,  we have to have some level of defense capability to stave off the big wars and quickly end the little ones. 

Tom thinks we do not know what level of defense spending that takes,  but we do. 

It's one missile per potential enemy silo,  each with good targeting and a MRV of 3 100-200 KT weapons.  If your MIRV capability is "real",  then it's one warhead per silo,  for 1/3 the number of missiles as enemy silos.  If it's not good enough,  then the missile/silo ratio is larger,  but it need never exceed 1. 

It's a fleet of about the same number of missiles with the same warheads on submarines,  and about that same number of bombers carrying that same number of bombs about that same size.  There's around a thousand such targets to cover,  maximum.  Likely about half that,  really. 

Those items do not have to be the latest and greatest,  but they do need an update now and then.  When you ditch the political idiocy of nonsense programs for pork in powerful districts,  it's about half what we're spending on defense right now.  No more than about 2/3.  We already have more weapons than we need. 

As for the small wars,  I prefer nuking the bad guys from a distance to any sort of invasion.  I would have nuked every known terrorist training camp on the planet on 9-12-01,  and the so-called war on terror would have been over in under 12 hours. 

But if you do it that way,  then the arrogant neocons have no excuse for invading for control of oil (which they were so inept that they botched in Iraq,  or hadn't anybody noticed?)

It's those people who want to invade for oil that I wish to line up and shoot.  Skip the tar and feathers.  If you run out of bullets,  use the ropes.  They are the reason our deficits have been so high.  Those wars were never financed.

That being said,  there are good reasons to wage wars.  Such as the 1991 coalition to push Iraq out of Kuwait.  Which would not have been necessary if our ambassador to Iraq hadn't been so inept:  failed to tell Saddam we said "no".   I hate using ambassadorships as political plums.  Treason.

Doesn't anybody realize the real reason why Bush 41 left Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq at war's end?  Simply because he knew Iraq would crumble,  and we needed a strong Iraq to counter Iran.  Bush 43 listened to his all-neocon advisers,  and undid Saddam,  with the deplorable but very predictable results we have seen.  Utter stupidity. 

Stupidity motivated by hunger for power,  regardless of the consequences.  Treason,  that is. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2016-03-11 14:27:15)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#50 2016-03-11 14:36:25

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,047
Website

Re: Politics

Er what? You want to make nukes a weapon of first resort when it comes to warfare?

We're seeing what happens when you decide to take out "terrorists" from afar without any ground troops, right now. It's... not very popular among the collateral damage.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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