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Member since: Tue May 13, 2014, 06:50 PM
Number of posts: 6,392

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It is not a moralistic judgement to observe a behavior and note its significance.

If your question is: is torture wrong, you have to decide for yourself based on your set of ethics and moral standards.
You can justify ethically that to save a life you may need to torture a person to save a city under threat from an atomic bomb, yet, morally you can hold the view that torture, no matter what the circumstances, is wrong.

The role empathy requires is an emotional response based in part on one's morals in understanding the difference between the two

A person who tortures and holds a moral view that it is necessary to do so, because they are defending what they think is under a legitimate threat and has remorse for their actions is showing empathy. Torture is a last resort and not the primary means to gather information from this person's perspective.

While a person who tortures for the same reason and has no remorse, shows no empathy, is displaying a trait found among psychopaths. A behavior that can not be morally justified or ethically condoned.

As a Nation that has attempted to minimize cruel and inhumane punishment, a standard based both on moral and ethical considerations, walking a line of "enhanced interrogation" makes a mockery of what we are attempting to defend. Your view may differ. And I sure many will disagree with me.

What in fact they are arguing for is an exception to the law based on selective ethics under the guise of a moral view not held by the majority of Americans. Their view is it may happen as it has in the past, but, it is still wrong.

Yet, they will tolerate an exception, if and only if, a treat is so out of proportion and no other means are available, that it may be necessary to do so. They would not be happy about it. They show empathy collectively and have remorse that such actions take place.

That's my observation. In my opinion, torture is not morally acceptable.

Demand creates jobs.

Demand for luxury goods that are beyond the means of the majority of working people has minimal impact on the over all economy.
What impacts the purchase of such goods is the desire of wealthy people to purchase such goods. If for example seaside villas in Italy are what's in among the rich, the purchase of these villas will have no effect on the general economy in this country.
Should the rich employee numerous staff to care for the property, again no impact here.
Perhaps, Swiss watches purchased here? Supply chain to customer here would be effected. The larger manufacturing base and that supply chain there would be effected. Imposing a 10% lux tax on a $10,000 watch will not discourage the wealthy if they want the watch. So no effect here or there.
As to a big expensive hole in the water where the money goes, any one spending over a million plus will have a broker find them the best deal. If they want a classic. However, that same million will get something new and custom made by any number of builders world wide. You would not be in the super class at a $million. Or $10 million for that matter. Considering the fuel bill of a $million boat, do you worry about the tax upon the purchase?
How about my favorite, horses. Show jumpers. Dressage. Running a barn is not cheap. Trainers and vet bills. Hauling and accommodations on the show circuit. A well papered jumper can run $80,000. There are more expensive ones and less expensive ones. How much does that add to the general economy? It's pretty much a closed circuit. Like the hole in the water. Expensive in dollar terms, but limited in employment terms.
Would this effect the limited number of people in that industry should there be a major down turn in the economy? Those on the margins would fall off. Belts would be tightened some what. Over all? You would not notice it.
How about land yachts, custom motor homes? What happens when there's a recession? Sales drop. Is it because of the sales tax? No. Gas mileage? No. Supply chain competition? No.
There's a perfectly good one parked down at the barn. Ok, so it's a few years old. Choice is between a refurbish of the hole in the water or a condo near the campus miss horsey has decided on or a new motor home ?
The condo (supply chain) employees many many more people than either of the two closest options. Do you have any idea what it costs to board a horse at a college?
The hole in the water was owned in partnership, the barn was already in the family for two generations, the motor home was bought from the neighbor who bought a new one and the horse is back home. Miss horsey decided he was lonely for his barn mates. Condo is shared between the three most likely to cause a party to happen cause college. And no I did not pay $80,000 for the horse.
This may add some perspective to the discussion. Or not.

You're confused.

It's the Congress that is corrupt and voted back in. Year in and year out.

Having sold their office for a fee while knowing they can't be fired for four years at a minimum.

With automatic raises. All inclusive health care. Free of charge. And a generous pension for life after one term.

The thousands of veterans who make up the large part of the government workforce have every right to join or not join a union that represents them in collective bargaining. They earned that right.

According to the Constitution, all American citizens have a right to associate and assemble in lawful pursuit of economic prosperity. That would include joining a union while working for the government.

Close the borders.

Open the FEMA camps.

Good as an excuse as any.

You give him too much credit.

He played a role. He was pretty good at it. Still fools a lot of people.

When you look at who was around at the time, neo-con wise, many reappeared with Bush the Lesser.

Had they not taken on the unions, NAFTA would not have happened under Clinton.

Had they not supported Saddam and Bin Laden, we wouldn't have what we have today in the middle east.

Go back a little farther to Nixon.

Who opened up communist china?

It's still a communist country, only now it's our main rival economically, militarily, and politically.

What happened to the American economy?

Carter: the oil crisis economy.

Regan: the service economy.

Bush1: It's not that bad economy.

Clinton: Borrow it while you can economy.

Bush2: No body saw it coming economy.

Obama: You better hope it changes economy.

And let's not forget our Congress. Either side.

and so it goes


Maybe you missed it.
Maybe you didn't get what was happening.
Think about this.
Why are drone attacks that kill civilians at weddings, birthday parties, holiday celebrations reported ?
Often with the tag line of "suspected terrorists" in the vicinity.
Just who do you think are being targeted?

I'm thinking in a broader context.

I see the structure of the American version of slavery modeling the caste system of Indo-Asia societies. Not that the very lowest caste weren't slaves in a sense, rather the view of how institutionally and culturally their plight remained unaddressed well into the modern era.
It wasn't a group of Europeans that defined that system or set it in motion. Though, they are the same group of Europeans who imported the varying degrees of slave labor into the Americas. My take is, having had used that system, there was a preexisting influence made to order or adapted to fit the circumstances.
It in no way lessens the effects to look at a possible overview of that history given what we know. It certainly does not remove the culpability of those responsible.
As far as emancipation is concerned, I personally don't think that was in any way intended to bring equality. Whereas, the abolition movement was a "holy war to end slavery" if my reading of John Brown is correct. They are complimentary as hand in glove, yet different still.

Why is the Ottoman Empire excluded when slavery is the subject matter?

That's a rhetorical question, in so far as it did not influence what happen in the New World for the most part.

What it does bring is the notion slavery ended earlier then we are led to believe.

The Coolie trade?

Human trafficking currently?

The western powers as well as those of the east were/are more likely to cast a blind eye when the need for throw away labor suites them.

America is not unique in its history in this regard.

And here we are today parsing the what's worse for who and why so?

Degrees of suffering are tragically commonplace.

I agree and disagree with you.

That isn't that confusing.

If we were to leave the power in the hands of congress, it would really not matter how many persons were among its membership. Here is where we part company. I don't want to leave the power to govern with congress. What I want is a congress that proposes laws that are then place on a referendum.

You get to log in and vote on the bill up or down. Direct democracy. If we can put a man on the moon, we can work out the logistics. Besides we need a new net that's secure. No more expensive than one carrier fleet. This is the 21st century, why be bound by the conservative conventionalism of the 18th century?

In the past we needed enough members of congress to represent the population due to constraints in communication, time and distance. U tube. Face book. Twitter. Cable. Internet. Cell pones. I think we are past due for an overhaul of the basic processes of governance.

Rearranging deck chairs is not worth the effort. That's my view.

Money can still buy access. The people, the nation's voters could not. Take 2A. 25% want it changed, 60% do not, the other 15 don't care. if some rep wants to run that past their fellow members an manages to get a bill out, we still get to vote. That would take a fair amount of the wedge issues out of the twosomes' hands. Let's settle it.

I think most Americans would not have voted to bail out the crooks who caused the great recession. How about funding higher education on line? I'd vote for that. How about funding fifty new medical schools. One in each state.
Training, teaching, providing medical care, advanced research. Some thing that we need. We might get the votes for that. Of course some would opt out just because.

So we do see things that need correcting. Just being in that position is a positive. We just have different views on where and how to do it.

Corruption is status quo.

Corruption can be addressed separately. May be we should start there?

Pick a number lower than 434. Say 382. It's just a number. It's not etched in stone.

Would I prefer 382 members gain seeking by office holding or 3300? I'll choose the smaller number.

Call it what you like. Streamlining. Enforced efficiency. Downsizing. The entry into 21st century politics. Change.

Cutting the two party's into four parts with minor additions simply relabels the status quo. That's not good enough.

What's so important in preserving R r vs D d structure?

To those of us who see neither main stream party as appealing and still wishes for a system of governance as a straight forward process based on the will of the common people, why should we subject ourselves to the current swamp residing in Washington? Or the local state house?

Independents may also choose who they like as opposed to the choices of the R D divide if a third party was funded. The R and D's have no trouble finding funding. Funding finds them.

Which is why I want none of the above on the ballot. If we have a congress that simply votes to negate a president's agenda, we may at some point actually get a decent one, what better response than denying the entrenched interests with a taste of their own medicine.

Or a congress that foists a trade bill endorsed by a political party coalition, president included, sending jobs and capital overseas at the expense of the American people. For that matter a war incited by a president for reasons beyond the defense of the Nation supported by a collation of the party's deserve the none of the above vote also.

To change direction will require we alter the existing structure. But that's just me.

About corruption, your thoughts.

and I do appreciate your thoughts and time

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