More thoughts on Wisconsin

The average Wisconsin teacher has a better total compensation package than the average Wisconsin taxpayer.  After the proposed legislation goes through, the average Wisconsin teacher will still have a better total compensation package than the average Wisconsin taxpayer.  If this was 1789, events in Madison would be the equivalent of the French aristocrats taking to the streets, attired in satins, silks and jewels, and armed with pitchforks and pikes, to stridently demand even more from France’s starved and overworked peasantry.

Let’s get serious, though.  The issue, of course, isn’t compensation.  The average teacher who is taking to the street thinks it is, but the organizers, including Obama, the organizer-in-chief, know what the uproar is really about, and that is a Republican effort to diminish the power of public sector unions.

Currently, unions — all unions, whether public sector or private sector — get to speak to politicians on behalf of their membership, speech that is effected through contributions to politicians who are most likely to pass legislation favorable to union goals.  When it comes to the private sector, I don’t have a problem with that.  Corporations can and should be able to do that do.  If legislation affects a group or entity, it should have a political voice.  The same holds true with private sector unions.

When it comes to public sector unions, especially the teachers’ unions, things are different.  With regard to teachers’ unions, the unions don’t limit their efforts to wages, benefits and working conditions.  Instead, they are deeply involved with politicizing the classrooms to ensure that they raise generations of young people who understand the world through a Leftist filter.  And with regard to all public sector unions, the union dues aren’t intended to affect legislation.  Instead, they’re essentially being used to bribe the people who write the checks and pay the pensions.

One of the things Wisconsin Republicans want to do is decrease the amount of dues available to public sector unions, money that those unions have traditionally used to buy elections.  They’re doing this by proposing a law stating that non-union members in the public sector are not required to pay union dues as a condition of employment.   (I’m not sure whether this law would also apply to private sector unions but, for the reasons discussed below, it should.)

Currently, in a unionized business, employees are forced to pay union dues, whether or not they agree with union goals.  The reasoning behind this, if I remember my Labor Law class correctly, is that it would be unfair for non-union employees to benefit from the wage and working concessions wrung out of the employer by union members who did pay dues.

How much better it would be to apply the marketplace to union membership.  Assuming a perfect union, one that exists only to ensure decent wages and working conditions, if enough people belong to the union, yes, everyone benefits, including the “freeloaders.”  In vaccination terms, the latter are getting the benefit of herd immunity.

What invariably happens when the going is good is that more and more people conclude that the status quo is good regardless of their active participation.  Parents stop immunizing their children; and employees back off from the unions.

In the disease world, herd immunity vanishes and unvaccinated people fall ill.  Seeing the consequences of their actions, people start immunizing again, and the diseases back off.  In the union world, employers gain the upper hand, and workers realize that it was a mistake not to pay their dues.  Employees start paying their dues again, the union’s power returns, and the balance of power between employer and employee swings back to the center.

Forcing union membership creates a situation in which the union leadership is beholden to nothing and nobody.  No matter what the leadership does, no matter the bad deals it strikes or, in the case of the teachers’ unions, the horrid things it does to the classrooms, it keeps going and going and going.  Union leadership is like a demented, perverse, evil Energizer Bunny.  Our students are held hostage in the classroom, and we are held hostage in the legislature — in significant part because these state supported unions buy elections to ensure politicians who will maintain this twisted status quo.

I often say I hate unions.  Thinking about it, though, what I hate is a political system that has given unions unlimited power, freeing them from marketplace constraints.  They are the perfect illustration of Lord Acton’s dictum that “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Though the U.S. has the right to reasonable self-defense, the ceasefire was between Iraq and the U.N., not the U.S.


    Z here has recently said that the UN has no responsibility to get rid of child rapists in the UN mercenary forces, paid for by member contributions (which include a significant percentage from the US). Given that the UN has no army, there is no way that Iraq could have a ceasefire with a non-existent UN army. They can only have ceasefires with the member nations and their armies. Which would be the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

    If Z thinks the UN is not responsible for upholding the rule of law in the protectorates they occupy, what makes him think the UN can be responsible for upholding a ceasefire between nations?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    He wants to hold the U.N. responsible for what a Pakistani soldier may do, but not give the power to the U.N. to punish that soldier.

    That’s an interesting whine. Saying the UN, like Climate con artists, can’t do anything because they lack power (or more funding). I believe they have plenty of power (and funding). They just don’t give a damn.

    Those occupation forces wouldn’t be in places like Rwanda or other African countries without the cover of UN resolutions and red tape saying they were authorized to do so. Otherwise an army from one nation occupying another, is usually called aggression or foreign occupation, thus can be resisted with something called insurgency or war.

    This gets us to the Left’s ridiculous world view that an occupation is only bad if the US is in charge of it, but it’s good if Communists and African mercenary armies are in charge instead. Heck, they don’t even call the later an “occupation”. They call it a “liberation”.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: When Z talks about the law of the land, he’s including aspects such as obedience to foreign courts, values, and cultures.

    “Supreme law of the land” refers to U.S. law. Take the Convention on Torture. The signatories agree to pass enabling legislation. The U.S. not only is a signatory, but they have explicit statutory laws against torture. 
     
    YmarsakarIf the local government, or the US Senate, votes by “consensus” that it’s legitimate to hand sovereignty over to a foreign power, Z believes this is something the rest of us should abide by because it was voted on by “consensus” which is the same meaning as democracy in Z’s dictionary.

    The very basis of the international system is the integrity of national sovereignty. 
     
    YmarsakarIn this respect, treaties that only determine government funding and executive behavior concerning foreign allies and territories, are in fact not any way, shape, or form the same as the laws of the United States of America, which affect all citizens, rich or poor.

    Not sure why you’re having troubles with this. The U.S. Constitution says that treaties are the supreme law of the land. They would still be under the Constitution, of course. 
     
    YmarsakarFor such treaties to become the “law of the land”, even the so called “supreme law of the land”, that would mean the Executive branch is WRITING our laws. Which is where in the US Constitution?

    Article II, Section 2, Clause 2: He {The President} shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur….
     
    Ymarsakar: This says the law made by Congress, is a real law, and of all the land, rather than something an individual state or person can overthrow.

    That’s right. Laws passed per the process outlined in the Constitution, and Treaties ratified per the process outlined in the Constitution, are the supreme laws in the land. 
     
    Ymarsakar: A treaty is thus treated as a law, a law that American governments obey for the duration of its effect. However, to say treaties are a “supreme law” of the land like the First and Second Amendment are, is distorting the original framer’s meaning here.

    That’s correct. A supreme law does not override the Constitution. Courts might declare a treaty unconstitional.

    Ymarsakar: For one thing, it cannot be law binding upon citizens.

    Well, that’s not correct. If the U.S. signs a peace treaty, you can’t make war as a private citizen. You are bound by the treaty. If the U.S. signs a trade treaty, you are bound by it. 
     
    Ymarsakar: Only Congress can write and vote on a bill to attempt to make it into the law of the land, and the President vetos or not.

    Per the U.S. Constitution, treaties require the President’s signature and two-thirds vote in the Senate for ratification. When that occurs, and assuming the treaty is constitutional, then it has the effect of law. 
     

  • Danny Lemieux


    Zach shares with us his revisionist history: If the North Vietnamese didn’t keep the peace, South Vietnam ws doomed. Short of troops in the ground, no amount of U.S. aid would have changed that. Cambodia was doomed to collapse and chaos when the U.S. bombed the countryside there (and was possibly complicit in the overthrow of the monarchy).

    So, now Zach, we know you are Chomsky acolytes. The pieces of your world views fall into place. Between you and me, this self-serving historical revisionism on the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia, pushed by people like Chomsky and the self-serving NYT reporter Sydney Sandberg is loathsome revisionism on the scale of Holocaust denial.

    The South Vietnamese were hardly doomed. In fact, according to (North Vietnamese General) Giap’s memoirs, it was the North Vietnamese who were twice doomed by the Americans and South Vietnamese (the first being the Tet offensive, the second being the bombing campaign that led up to the Paris Accords), only to be rescued from the jaws of destruction by the American Left and their lapdog media (Walter Cronkite especially comes to mind). By the time the North Vietnamese launched operations (knowing the Americans had betrayed the South Vietnamese by cutting off  their resources), they themselves had been nearly destroyed.

    Perhaps the Cambodians could not have ultimately resisted the Khmer Rouge (we will never know), but the U.S. Left idolized the Khmer Rouge as ‘liberators” that would bring peace to Cambodia. For the Democrat Congress to deny the Cambodian government the arms and resources to resist to the bitter end (and perhaps win…we will never know), in violation of our agreements, was an atrocity for which they deserve to be excoriated.

    As for the rest, a Treaty is only good as long as all parties benefit. When it actively works against the interest and survivability of a nation, it cannot continue.

    I don’t know where you get the idea that the Gulf War coalition was an arm of the UN, btw. Maybe you could elaborate. Where I think President Bush I screwed up was in not wiping out the Iraqi air forces when they were committing genocide against the Shiites, after the U.S. had encouraged them to revolt. That was awful.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: Z here has recently said that the UN has no responsibility to get rid of child rapists in the UN mercenary forces, paid for by member contributions (which include a significant percentage from the US).

    Please try to be more precise. The U.N. doesn’t have an army. U.N. forces are comprised of national forces that report to their respective governments. Everyone has a responsibility to protect the innocent within their power, but the U.N. does not have the authority to enforce laws, only the individual national governments. If a U.S. soldier commits a crime while wearing a blue helmet, it is up to the U.S. to enforce the law through the appropriate tribunal. 
     

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Zachriel: If the North Vietnamese didn’t keep the peace, South Vietnam was doomed.

    Danny Lemieux: So, now Zach{riel}, we know you are Chomsky acolytes.

    Sigh. (And is it always necessary to try and smear by association?)

    If free elections had been held, Ho Chi Minh would have won overwhelmingly. A corrupt government, seen as a colonial puppet, could only have survived over the long run with direct American involvement.   
     
    Danny Lemieux: In fact, according to (North Vietnamese General) Giap’s memoirs, it was the North Vietnamese who were twice doomed by the Americans and South Vietnamese 

    That is simply not correct. At no time did Giap suggest defeat in his memoirs. As for the strategy of wearing out the occupation army and the public, that is exactly the same strategy the Americans used against the British, as Ho, a student of the American Revolution, was quite aware. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: Perhaps the Cambodians could not have ultimately resisted the Khmer Rouge (we will never know), 

    What we do know is that the American incursion into Cambodia sent millions into flight, swelled the ranks of the Khmer Rouge, and flooded the capital with refugees, and destabilized the government. We also know that the monarchy, which had tried to remain neutral was overthrown with at least tacit American support (and possible CIA intervention) and replaced with a government more friendly to the war effort. Today, that monarch is known as the King-Father of Cambodia. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: As for the rest, a Treaty is only good as long as all parties benefit. When it actively works against the interest and survivability of a nation, it cannot continue.

    Treaties typically involve a give-and-take. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: I don’t know where you get the idea that the Gulf War coalition was an arm of the UN, btw.

    It was a a U.N.-authorized coalition force. (The U.N. doesn’t have armed forces.) The ceasefire was between Iraq and Kuwait and the Member States (Resolution 687). 
     

     

  • suek

    >>but the U.N. does not have the authority to enforce laws, only the individual national governments>>
     
    That kind of contradicts your statement that the ceasefire bound the UN, not the US.  If the UN has no army, then it cannot engage in a military action.  If it cannot engage in a military action, then it cannot establish a ceasefire.  For it to do so would be like a child telling two other children “Hey you guys – stop fighting!  Because I said so…”

  • suek

    >>If the North Vietnamese didn’t keep the peace, South Vietnam ws doomed. Short of troops in the ground, no amount of U.S. aid would have changed that.>>
     
    So we only have to keep our treaties if we like how they will turn out?  If as you say, our word is our bond, then we should have continued to supply the money and weapons we agreed to supply unless and until the N.Viets actually took power.  We didn’t.  We didn’t because Congress decided not to abide by our treaty and agreements.
     
    So…just exactly what does it take to abrogate a treaty?  The treaty is between the US and country A.  Congress has approved the treaty and the Pres has signed it.  Now…for whatever reason, the situation on the ground changes, and the treaty becomes a bad thing for the US.  Can the Pres declare it no longer in effect?  Does it take a Congressional action of some sort? Does the State Department (or DOD) simply ignore it?  What has to happen?  Obviously, Congress _can_ take action to make it null and void – that’s what they did in the Vietnam situation.  But is it _necessary_ for Congress to act?

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    suek: That kind of contradicts your statement that the ceasefire bound the UN, not the US.  If the UN has no army, then it cannot engage in a military action. 

    The United Nations is an international organization. Member states provide military support to enforce its provisions. An analogy might be local militias that are called up to defend a confederation. The confederation makes war or peace, but the militias fight the battles and are required to keep their own order. 
     
    suek: So we only have to keep our treaties if we like how they will turn out? 

    North Vietnam should have kept faith with their treaty obligations, and found a peaceful path to reunification. 
     
    suek: Now…for whatever reason, the situation on the ground changes, and the treaty becomes a bad thing for the US. 

    Many treaties have an opt-out provision. Legal withdrawal would maintain the letter of the law, though not necessarily its spirit. The President can withdraw from a treaty. Congress can abrogate a treaty by statute. The U.S. repeatedly abrogated Indian treaties. Another nation could take the U.S. to the world court, but the court has no enforcement mechanism for non-trade matters, so the only consequences would be diplomatic and the credibility of U.S. promises. 
     
    “These lands will belong to the Siouxs as long as grass is green and rivers flow”.
     

  • suek

    >>North Vietnam should have kept faith>>
     
    Shoulda woulda coulda.
     
    It’s like the “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns” thing.  The problem the world has isn’t with decent law abiding people, which most people probably are – it’s with the despots and law-breakers.  As I said before – if you have no enforcement of a law, or no way to enforce a law – treaty, agreement, contract etc – then you _have_ no law etc.  It’s merely a suggestion of how someone would like someone else to behave.

  • Charles Martel

    Good point, suek. The United Nations is toothless, and the analogy to militias carrying out the warmaking powers of a confederation falls short when you realize that the only military power strong enough to carry out non-rape UN expeditions is the United States. The rest of the UN’s “military” efforts are simply a way of distributing U.S. funds to semi-functional armies to keep them busy and away from home.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I don’t know if it’s behind a paywall or not (since I’m logged in), but John Bolton wrote today about the ICC’s toothlessness, which is just a good overall reminder that institutions that are most responsive to tyrannies tend to be useless.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Incredible, Zach.
     
    The U.S. attacked a small part of Cambodia (the Parrot’s Beak) through which passed the Ho Chi Minh trail and which had been conquered and militarized by the NViets. In other parts of the Cambodian countryside, the Chinese-supported Khmer Rouge were brutalizing the population. Both actions were creating waves of refugees trying to escape to safer grounds (Phnom Penh) and the pro-American government (note, they weren’t fleeing toward the Khmer Rouge or the North Vietnamese).
     
    Yet, you find a way to put the U.S. at fault for this.
     
    So, let’s sum-up what we know about Zach’s world view: 1) America is criminally at fault when it destroys vicious dictatorships; 2) when dictatorships like Vietnam attack others…well, it’s regrettable but c’est la vie; 2) America is bound to observe Treaties even when such are against its own interests, but when others do it, its…regrettable but c’est la vie; and 3) we need to have faith in international institutions like the UN, because they are reliable, reasonable and logical intermediaries to the world.
     
    Sheesh! I can imagine what your rhetoric would have been like in 1936. I am sure that you all would have seen a Utopia of the reasonably minded just over the horizon then as well. You all really need to get out more.
     
     

  • Charles Martel

    Encore, avec une patience tres grande, Danny parle a la mur.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The whole point of this evolution cycle of running Z through the necessary paces on the geo-political scene is to go back and review the executive summary.
     
    You will find a condensed version of vital information there.
     
    If a U.S. soldier commits a crime while wearing a blue helmet, it is up to the U.S. to enforce the law through the appropriate tribunal.

    But somehow it’s not up to the US to enforce the ceasefire with Iraq, even though it was American and British pilots getting fired upon from surface based sams.

    A rather convenient way to shed responsibility and accountability here. Reminds me of Z’s whole justification of how the Climate Change pyramid scheme is “legit” because the investigation into corrupt practices ended up saying that there were no corrupt practices. It just so happened that the country doing the fake science, was in charge of the investigation as well. Coincidentally.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Right on schedule:
     
    It appears that the UN’s Human Rights Council has prepared a report praising Libya for its human rights.
    The report has been enthusiastically endorsed by Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Venezuela, Myanmar, Syria…and other stellar exemplars of the international community. A more complete summary appears at Taranto’s WSJ Best of the Web here….
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704506004576174543383325126.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion
     
    And the report itself, here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/16session/A-HRC-16-15.pdf
     
    Because it is the UN, it must be so. To say otherwise is anathema. Thus sprake Zacharoosta!
     
    So, to build on Mark Steyn’s question: if you take a gallon of horse manure and mix in a tablespoon of premium vanilla ice cream, will it taste more like horse manure or more like vanilla?
     
    For some, the answer is clearly “vanilla”.
     
    For the rest of us, the whole mess needs to be flushed into Turtle Bay or, better yet, far asea.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Er, if I have offended any horses with that last comment, I am truly sorry.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    As mentioned before, until AQ signs the Geneva Conventions, there’s no agreement between the US and AQ on anything. If other countries want to start lecturing us on how to treat AQ, first of all, they aren’t even in the fight, so they don’thave  standing to say anything. For those that are in the fight, like some NATO countries in Afghanistan, being part of a defense alliance doesn’t give them any rights or power to decide how we will treat people we were able to capture for intel. If they want to do something to captured people in one way, let them capture em. No part of the GCs ever said that being part of an alliance meant that alliance members could dictate how enemy prisoners were treated or on which condition they would be released. And if something did say it, they couldn’t enforce it. Which is the same deal.
     
    Much of the Indian treaties were with the federal US government. The local state level government did, not in fact, like those treaties so they ignored them. And the federal government had not the power to enforce such treaties, so those treaties naturally contracted and were abrogated.
     
    The sole reason for the Trail of Tears is because the Indians didn’t have the firepower, money, or bullets to fight off the white settlers. So Jackson told em to leave or else he knew they were going to get annihilated. The locals, unless you didn’t notice, weren’t paying much attention to what the US federal government way up there in DC were saying at the time. South Vietnamese didn’t have the money or bullets to fight the NV plus the Chinese and Russians either, btw. But Z wanted to see the Republic of Vietnam cut down, while Z likes to bolster monetary support to the N Indian tribes. Funny how that’s rather inconsistent and self-contradictory.
     
     
    http://www.generalhieu.com/arvn-sorley-2.htm
     
    The real story is basically that Congress cut off logistics to the ARVN and no air support from the US. Those were the two key factors. Without food, fuel, or bullets, not even elite US military units can hold out for long. Also without air support, the Chinese/Russian armored columns just could not be defeated or even appreciatively held up.
     
     

    Many Americans would not like hearing it said that the totalitarian states of China and the Soviet Union had proven to be better and more faithful allies than the democratic United States, but that was in fact the case. William Tuohy, who covered the war for many years for theWashington Post, wrote that “it is almost unthinkable and surely unforgivable that a great nation should leave these helpless allies to the tender mercies of the North Vietnamese,” but that is what we did.
    Until the progressive and draconian reductions in assistance began to have drastic effects, the South Vietnamese fought valiantly. In the two years after the January 1973 signing of the Paris Accords, South Vietnamese forces suffered more than 59,000 killed in action, more in that brief period than the Americans had lost in over a decade of war. Considering that such losses were inflicted on a population perhaps a tenth the size of America’s, it is clear how devastating they must have been, and the intensity of the combat that produced them.
    Merle Pribbenow has pointed out that North Vietnam’s account makes it clear that during the 55 days of the final offensive much hard fighting took place. This is a tribute to the South Vietnamese, who had to know at that point what the eventual outcome would inevitably be. Noted PAVN Lieutenant General Le Trong Tan, during the final campaign “our military medical personnel had to collect and treat a rather large number of wounded soldiers (fifteen times as many as were wounded in the 1950 border campaign, 1.5 times as many as were wounded at Dien Bien Phu, and 2.5 times as many as were wounded during the Route 9-Southern Laos campaign in 1971.” Pribbenow calculates that “this would put PAVN wounded at 40,000-50,000 at the very minimum, and possibly considerably higher, not the kind of losses one would expect in the total ARVN ‘collapse’ that most historians say occurred in 1975.”

     
    Z’s generation didn’t make such decisions, but the 300 million US dollars diverted from the Republic of Vietnam, rounded up, went into Democrat coffers, personal bank accounts, union special interests, and other cronyies of the Left. Z’s generation didn’t make the decisions that brought the Republic of V to its end, but they sure bask in the warm of the redistributed wealth. And that is not something people should expect me to forget, especially when the new generation of Democrats are now being ushered into new realms of power and totalitarian impulses by the Old Guard. Obama’s youth campaign not withstanding.
     
     

  • suek

    >>Encore, avec une patience tres grande, Danny parle a la mur.>>
     
    Heh.  I took French for my entire 8th grade year because I was required to.  I started it again in HS, but dropped it in favor of German.  Started it one more time in college, but dropped it to take Greek instead.
     
    But.
     
    I didn’t need a translator to understand the above…
     
    (also the other one Danny used … about le cheval and l’eau… )

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    So far Z’s SOP and modus operandi goes something like this. He says something ambiguous sounding like this.
     
    Modern democracies are successful largely because they distribute decision making at various levels, including strong institutions that act as checks on one another.

    And then in actuality, he supports something called public sector unions and calls them democracy.

    So you have what he says and then you have what he would actually do in terms of real life consequences. Which part of public sector unions “distribute decision making” at various levels? The members can’t even stop paying their dues, they get to be “forced” to be in cause the “union” is a so called quorum that can make decisions for them whether they like it or not through “collective bargaining”. What kind of “distributed decision making” is that again? And what strong institutions act on to check the public sector unions from giving politicians more money so politicians can give public sector unions more money?

    It all sounds nice and sufficiently vague when you hear Z talking. But in reality, things are very clear and very harmful to America, those things Z is actually going to do or support.

  • suek

    Z is slippery.  He uses bait and switch.  He won’t state specifics – but if you get close to pinning him down on a specific point, he just slips out and onto another point.
     
    It’s why such debaters/politicians are successful – there are a number of us, but when we are one person alone, there just isn’t time to go through the permutations.  It’s how they win arguments even when everyone knows they’re wrong.

  • Charles Martel

    The real goal here is to be the center of attention, like the kid who doesn’t care that his parents yell at him all the time, at least they’re paying attention.

    Skeet’s done this on other websites, garnering much the same disdain that he has earned here. Eventually, when we get tired of toying with him, he’ll head elsewhere.

    But for now, he is a delicious snack, and ever since whatshername the liberal white racist poet lady abandoned us, we’ve needed a reminder why conservatism is clearly the left’s intellectual superior.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Danny Lemieux: The U.S. attacked a small part of Cambodia (the Parrot’s Beak) through which passed the Ho Chi Minh trail and which had been conquered and militarized by the NViets.

    The area was militarized as far back as the Vietnamese War against the U.S. allied French. It was not the only area that was attacked. They carpet-bombed wide areas.
     
    Danny Lemieux: In other parts of the Cambodian countryside, the Chinese-supported Khmer Rouge were brutalizing the population. Both actions were creating waves of refugees trying to escape to safer grounds (Phnom Penh) and the pro-American government (note, they weren’t fleeing toward the Khmer Rouge or the North Vietnamese).

    The effect was to create a power vacuum in the countryside, and destabilized the central government, leading to a coup, then collapse. Trauma, then chaos. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: So, let’s sum-up what we know about Zach’s world view: 1) America is criminally at fault when it destroys vicious dictatorships;

    War has terrible consequences, often unintended consequences, so peaceful means to resolve conflicts are preferred, when possible. Prudence is a conservative value. The incursion into Cambodia wasn’t so much criminal, as it was unwise.
     
    Danny Lemieux: 2) when dictatorships like Vietnam attack others…well, it’s regrettable but c’est la vie; 
     
    All nations have the right to self-defense, however, Vietnam was a civil war, the country was divided as a result of WWII, was supposed to reunified, and there is little doubt that Ho would have won in free elections. Instead, despite what Roosevelt had planned, the Americans supported French re-colonization. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: 3) we need to have faith in international institutions like the UN, because they are reliable, reasonable and logical intermediaries to the world.

    Certainly not. International institutions are still weak and ill-formed. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: I can imagine what your rhetoric would have been like in 1936.

    That was the year the Spanish Civil War began. The fascists used the opportunity to try out their modern weapons, while leftists tried to raise the alarm. History isn’t always so simple. 
     

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: But somehow it’s not up to the US to enforce the ceasefire with Iraq, even though it was American and British pilots getting fired upon from surface based sams.

    And they have the right to self-defense, but not to cause hundreds-of-thousands of casualties, and millions of refugees, when the Iraqis had not shot down a single allied plane. Proportionality is another conservative value. 
     
    Ymarsakar: It just so happened that the country doing the fake science, was in charge of the investigation as well. Coincidentally.

    There were at least five investigating agencies, including a U.S. Inspector General.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2011/02/noaa-climate-sicentists-us-report/1
     
    Ymarsakar: As mentioned before, until AQ signs the Geneva Conventions, there’s no agreement between the US and AQ on anything.

    That’s right. However, the U.S. has agreed to abide by certain standards with regards to any prisoners. 
     
    Ymarsakar: If other countries want to start lecturing us on how to treat AQ, first of all, they aren’t even in the fight, so they don’thave  standing to say anything.

    Of course they do. Everyone has a responsibility to stand up for human rights. 
     
    Ymarsakar: Much of the Indian treaties were with the federal US government. The local state level government did, not in fact, like those treaties so they ignored them. And the federal government had not the power to enforce such treaties, so those treaties naturally contracted and were abrogated.

    And sometimes the Federal government would abrogate them by statute. Most people consider these to be broken promises and a blot on American history. 
      
    Zachriel: Modern democracies are successful largely because they distribute decision making at various levels, including strong institutions that act as checks on one another.

    Ymarsakar: And then in actuality, he supports something called public sector unions and calls them democracy.

    Unions are one of the many institutions that make up modern democratic societies. Each entity exerts pressure at various levels, and their interactions form a dynamic system. 
     

  • Danny Lemieux

    I think that, at this point, we need to let Zach’s words stand as testimony to themselves. Or, self-parody.
     
    I am truly amazed. There really is an alternate universe.

  • suek

    >>Skeet’s done this on other websites,>>
     
    Really??  Do tell…!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    However, the U.S. has agreed to abide by certain standards with regards to any prisoners.

    It’s like someone calling on me to repay my debts but refusing to tell me who I borrowed money from.

    In some ways, that’s like mafia extortion, rather than legitimate banking and loaning. Try again and next time state who has a debt with whom.

    Martel, you sound like you are bored. That may be decidedly a bad state to be in. Oh wait, you’re in California already. Too late.

    Proportionality is another conservative value.

    You don’t know much about violence and how it works in the actual world, do you Z. Especially concerning SD laws and realities that people have to face in their daily lives. Proportionality is a Leftist meme and doctrine concerning the escalating ramp up of violence. Meaning, if someone comes at you with a knife, you can’t blow them up with a bomb or a gun. That’s what Leftist doctrine decrees. What conservatives abide by is called reasonable use of force. Which is a lot more reasonable than waiting for someone to bring a knife or a gun to a fight and then trying to counter them by matching equal force with equal force. Reasonable force simply means that there is a reasonable chance that the level of force will protect the individual from GBI or death. If there is a threat of death, then any level of force, up to and including lethal force, can be employed. If a person reasonably judges that his life is in danger, he can use lethal force, even though no weapon had been shown to him. If it’s a bar stool argument over whose basketball team should have won, then lethal force is not reasonable nor necessary for that problem to be resolved. Reasonable force also means that if a person thinks they will be attacked, they can initiate a first strike using greater force than the force used on them. Reasonable force continuums also take into account incidents where equal force is not enough to safeguard the individuals involved. Disproportionate force, such as the use of a gun against a dog’s bite or the use of a gun against a knife wielder, may become necessary.

    You, Z, may think your way is better, but then again, nobody here has said your way was reasonable. That’s yet to be proven, demonstrated, or acquitted.

    I have no idea where you get the idea that proportionality of force is a conservative value. Certainly the Jacksonian wing of America would find that remarkable.
    Which part of public sector unions “distribute decision making” at various levels? The members can’t even stop paying their dues, they get to be “forced” to be in cause the “union” is a so called quorum that can make decisions for them whether they like it or not through “collective bargaining”. What kind of “distributed decision making” is that again?
    Vietnam was a civil war

    Last time I checked, civil wars don’t usually have one side being backed by a hyperpower, the Soviet Union, plus their Chinese allies. There Z goes again with his nebulous claims. They don’t stand up to reality. When the light of dawn comes, the will o wisp disappears.

  • Charles Martel

    suek, just Google Zachriel. He’s done pest stints on intelligent design sites, where I guess he’s fancied himself as an expert in evolution. Same pattern there as here: a seemingly informed commentary that other readers quickly begin unraveling and refuting until the almost uniform response is to start joking, as Danny has above, about alternate universes.

    I don’t know what the clinical term is for the mindset at work here, but it is radically disengaged from the notion of give and take that involves an actual exchange of ideas versus the endless plating and replating of Wiki-derived memes. I’ve reached the point where I feel sorry for him.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Zachriel: However, the U.S. has agreed to abide by certain standards with regards to any prisoners.

    Ymarsakar: It’s like someone calling on me to repay my debts but refusing to tell me who I borrowed money from.

    It’s not that difficult. The U.S. has promised never to torture prisoners. From the comments on this thread, you would think that the promises of the U.S. seem to be empty. Contrarily, most Americans do take their national commitments seriously. 
     
    Ymarsakar: You don’t know much about violence and how it works in the actual world, 

    Pproportionality means you don’t shoot up the neighborhood because someone stole your wallet. 
     
    Danny Lemieux: I think that, at this point, we need to let Zach’s words stand as testimony to themselves. Or, self-parody.

    Ymarsakar: Proportionality is a Leftist meme and doctrine concerning the escalating ramp up of violence.

    Juxtaposition. Proportionality is not a “Leftist meme”. It’s a foundation of conservative thought.
     
    Zachriel: Vietnam was a civil war.

    Ymarsakar: Last time I checked, civil wars don’t usually have one side being backed by a hyperpower, the Soviet Union, plus their Chinese allies. 
     
    The Soviets and Chinese were no longer allies, and great powers often manipulate civil wars for their own ends. 
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    More Z sense. Which is analogous to non sense.