Interesting, this is why people from the US are such an enigma. By and large
many don't appear to be capable of putting two and two together and deduce
the obvious. See, for example, the US's (ie the present administrations)
claim re Iraq and the nigh on unamious acceptance of their claim by the
people .... regardless what other countries, the UN etc had to say. Then
Tom comes along and has his finger on the pulse ..... there is hope
On May 5, 8:42 pm, email@example.com (Guenter Scholz) wrote:
First, there is no question at all that Iraq at one point did in fact
have WMDs and that they had actually used them on numerous occasions.
Just prior to the Iraq war, not only did US intelligence believe they
still had WMDs and were continuing to try to reconstitute more WMD
programs, but so did British, Russian and Israeli intelligence.
Now, let's look at this in a balanced perspective. Has intelligence
ever been anywhere near 100%? It's virtually impossible for a foreign
govt to know for sure exactly what is going on when a country engages
in projects they are trying to keep secret. Was it even up to the
rest of the world to have to figure out what was going on in Iraq?
The answer is no. Iraq had invaded Kuwait and part of the cease fire
agreement that ended that agression that was internationally condemned
was a provision that provided Iraq must account for all their WMDs,
end their programs, come clean with the world. They were required to
allow full and open inspections by the UN weapons inspectors.
For years they played cat and mouse games with the inspectors, kicking
them out of the country, denying them access to key facilities,
refusing to produce witnesses, etc. On the eve of the Iraq war, in
his final report, UN weapons inspector Hans Blix clearly stated that
the Iraqis were still not fully cooperating with the UN weapons
inspectors and consequently there was much that could not be
documented as to the status of WMDs. It was not the job of any
intelligence service to guess what was going on. What was required
was for Iraq to fully disclose and cooperate so the UN could ascertain
for sure. And keep in mind that this was with 300,000 international
troops massed on Iraqs borders ready to invade if full cooperation was
not forthcoming. Had Iraq not been invaded, Saddam would have simply
continued to play his games and the troops that were staged and ready
could not stay there indefinitely.
The same crowd that is bitching about Iraq and no WMDs would instead
be demanding Bush's resignation had he done nothing and then it turned
out Iraq did produce WMDs that were later used. The line of argument
would be that Iraq was not complying with the UN resolutions, not
allowing full inspections, that US, British, Russian, Israeli
intelligence all said they were in various stages of continuing to try
to make WMDs, so how could Bush be so stupid? It's easy being a
Monday morning quarterback.
Another outrageous and disgusting statement, taking this whole thing
eactly where the likes of Bruce want it to go. I'd like to see
where the Republicans in any significant, sanctioned or organized way
engage in religious slander, hate, or violence. It's simply untrue.
I'm a Republican and found Bruce's statements equally offensive.
I guess gasoline was cheaper in Kalamazoo at times than the national
average. We moved to western Montana in 1973 from Kalamazoo, and the
price of gas at the little general store on the highway was 36.9,
which seemed high, and it was there that my wife, who was working at a
local cafe, started hearing that gas was going to go to $1 a gallon!
Gold was $35 an ounce until around that time too. As you know, it's
over $1000 an ounce now.
So we probably should be framing this discussion in terms of the value
of the dollar. I think the total U.S. indebtedness right now is
something like $49 trillion, up from $11 trillion at the start of
Reaganism, so crank up the printing presses and launch the
helicopters! Was it Bernanke who suggested we could avoid a repeat of
the Depression by dropping bales of cash from helicopters to make sure
the economy kept afloat?
They better use semi trailers or print large bills if they want to
distribute $49 trillion. Or maybe boxcars. I personally would prefer
electronic direct deposit, in case you're listening Big Brother.
I just ordered "Bad Money" by Kevin Phillips yesterday. It's an
analysis of how the books have been cooked to overestimate growth and
underestimate inflation for so long that you just can't trust the
numbers. He argues that Social Security checks are 70% less than they
should be because of manipulations like taking food, fuel and housing
out of the inflation calculations.
When you remove fuel, housing and food from the inflation figures and
they skyrocket, it distorts growth numbers, so you can have negative
growth in reality but "no recession" officially. That seems to be the
situation we are experiencing now.
Phillips has an article in the May issue of Harper's Magazine
outlining the arguments from his new book.
You're trying to imply cause and effect which doesn't exist. The
TOTAL Federal Debt today is under $10 trillion, so clearly the entire
amount of federal debt is only 20% of your $49 trillion number. The
rest, is state, local govt, business, private debt, etc, which Reagan
had no control over. I'd also point out that it had been steadily
rising at about the same rate during the Clinton years and both Bush
presidencies, so try to turn to link it to Reagan?
And while I would agree that there is some valid concern over debt
levels in the economy, why do you always take things in the most
negative view possible? Should total debt today be what it was in
1981? Of course not. The economy today is much larger than it was
then and rising debt goes hand in hand with growth.
Was it Bernanke who suggested we could avoid a repeat of
Virtually every reconomist will tell you that it's a good thing to
have a central bank that can adjust liquidity to prevent a depression
or inflation. Have they not done an excellent job of it, except
during the Great Depression, when they did not do the right thing and
add liquidity? What is your solution?
Which makes no sense, because of course the FED would never pay off
all public and private debt.
Which is false.. The SS cost of living increases are based on the
CPI, which includes food, energy and housing. The author may be
arguing that he doesn't like the WAY they are tracked, but that is
very different than claiming they aren't part of the inflation
calculation. I hope that is the case, or else you wasted money,
because the author's an idiot.
Again, this is looking for either a negative or some kind of
conspiracy angle in everything you look at. The call on recession is
made by a private, non-profit group that has been doing it for
decades. They use a variety of indicators, some of which obviously
have to be adjusted for inflation to be valid, and some, like
employment, that do not. And I'd rather leave it to them and go with
their official call, which continues to be made the same way as it has
been, rather than going with what you think "seems" to be going on.
Kevin Phillips is a widely read and highly respected author of non
fiction. His most recent bestseller was "American Theocracy." He
wrote the best selling "An American Dynasty" about the Bush family.
He first came to be known nationally as a speech writer and strategist
in the Nixon White House. He is sometimes described as "Nixon's Karl
He states in his article in Harper's that this is not a conspiracy
concept. Politicians of both parties have seen it to be in their best
interest to overestimate growth and underestimate inflation, so there
has been a gradual loss of integrity which he calls "POLLYANNA CREEP"
of our economic indicators to the point where international financial
analysts are on the verge of completely losing confidence in them,
which could have serious negative consequences, like loss of
investment and movement away from the dollar as a reserve currency.
You can find the Harper's article here: http://www.owensriverdemocrats.org /
Scroll down and look for "Numbers Racket: Why the Economy Is Worse
than We Know"
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