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BS: How the US will finally lose its power?

GUEST 02 May 03 - 10:33 AM
kendall 02 May 03 - 10:42 AM
alanabit 02 May 03 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 02 May 03 - 11:10 AM
GUEST 02 May 03 - 11:19 AM
Neighmond 02 May 03 - 11:20 AM
Peg 02 May 03 - 11:36 AM
GUEST 02 May 03 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,pdc 02 May 03 - 12:19 PM
GUEST 02 May 03 - 12:27 PM
kendall 02 May 03 - 01:00 PM
GUEST 02 May 03 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Forum Lurker 02 May 03 - 01:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 May 03 - 01:40 PM
NicoleC 02 May 03 - 01:54 PM
MMario 02 May 03 - 01:58 PM
GUEST 02 May 03 - 02:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 May 03 - 02:10 PM
Beccy 02 May 03 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 02 May 03 - 02:32 PM
CarolC 02 May 03 - 02:33 PM
CarolC 02 May 03 - 02:36 PM
NicoleC 02 May 03 - 03:31 PM
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Amos 02 May 03 - 04:04 PM
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Subject: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 10:33 AM

I was having a conversation with a group of teenagers last weekend about the Howard Dean statement that the US wouldn't militarily be the world superpower forever, which lead to ruminating about how the US will finally lose it's grip.

The kids found it nigh on impossible to imagine how this could happen. I brought up the break up of the Soviet Union, and Russia's descent into the current era of organized crime, etc.

Personally, I think the break up of the US will also come from within, as it did in the Soviet Union. But I see the changes coming from far beyond the Beltway, which is where the majority of US national power resides, of course.

We had a very interesting conversation. Among the questions we pondered were: are we that far off from the time when there would be regional secessions from the national government, based on ethnic, cultural and ideological differences with the national government, resulting in regions wresting economic power from the national government? Is regional secession, for which there is historic precedence--the Civil War--the most likely scenario for the US breaking apart?

There are such profound social, cultural, ethnic, and ideological differences between regions (ie Northeast, Deep South/New South, Midwest, Old West, etc.) that are becoming more pronounced, not less. The Anglo Protestant power base has tried it's mighty best to maintain it's historic grip on the country. The right wing especially tries to keep up the make of a homogenized US, presenting a facade of 'True Americans' as lily white as homogenized milk. The mainstream media helps them make the case for the 'American' nationalist identity (it has never really been about one's political party affiliation). But it really isn't working.

So how long until the socio-political earthquake hits that destroys the US government, causing it to collapse, or at least attempt to transform itself as a greatly reduced national government? How do others think the eventual demise of the United States of America will unfold? Is Howard Dean right? Is this the zenith of the US military, because we will no longer be able to afford the financial drain of militarism on our economic well being?

Bush's current economic policy just boggles the mind. He is running up record deficits to pay for another surge of militarism, which now takes up half the entire US budget, cutting taxes at the same time. So, does he figure the US government will just still the defense contractors, or what? Is this the folly, along with the current run on slashing taxes to justify the axing of government services, that people will finally rebel against because it is happening in their front yards, instead of someone else's back yard?

As the current new crop of Republican governors in places like Massachusetts and Minnesota, traditional strongholds of liberalism, destroy the social fabric of those states by making draconian cuts in government services, are they the most likely places where resistance to the bankrupting of the American economy and destruction of American quality of life, will first be seen? Or will it be from a place like California, which has already seen it's share of woes with debacles like the Texas Republicrat invented energy crisis, which looted the coffers of the California treasury, and got away with it?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: kendall
Date: 02 May 03 - 10:42 AM

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power."


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: alanabit
Date: 02 May 03 - 10:47 AM

That is an interesting post, which I could well get involved with. If you wish to remain a guest at Mudcat - which is fine - would you at least post a name so that we can distinguish you from other guests who are likely to post to this thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:10 AM

It's an idea that has been proposed by a number of science fiction authors, including Heinlein. They've generally predicted the secession of Washington, Oregon, and sometimes California, as a rebellion against increasing authoritarianism. The Republican mishandling of California's economy, and the rise of neo-conservativism, might lend a little credence to such predictions. On eithnic lines, the Southwest is probably the moslt likely candidate. I don't think it's likely that it will happen soon, but 20 years from now? If the Neo-Con dynasty gets its way in the next couple sets of elections, who knows what could happen?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:19 AM

The far northern tiers of the midwestern states are moving farther from the current national political standards. I look for something in the next 10-15 years.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Neighmond
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:20 AM

That last post was me. I purged my history and forgot to reset the cookie. Sorry for the confusion.

Chaz


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Peg
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:36 AM

well, there was an ENORMOUS rally on Boston Common yesterday, protesting Governor Mitt Romney's proposed cuts to the state education system. This guy has "bad news for Massachusetts" all over his face; I am stunned he was elected, but his advertising campaign was full of his pretty wife and six smiling sons and his running mate was not all that powerful.

Romney has also pledged to help the fishermen whose livelihoods will be destroyed by the recent oil spill on Cape Cod...but how can he say that on one hand and decimate the university system on the other??


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:58 AM

Minnesota's newly elected Republican governor's budget has polarized this state in a way I have never seen happen before. The governor was actually the architect of the tax rebate giveaway/vote buying extravaganza in the last legislative session here, which combined with the bad economy (and it has been worse here than in many other states, which is somewhat unusual), has resulted in an estimated $4-5 billion dollar deficit. His supposed campaign promise that he would balance the budget without raising taxes, has been predictable. He has gutted a decades worth of bi-partisan and moderate Republican social services reforms (welfare to work, state subsidized health insurance for the working poor who don't qualifiy for Medicare, an overhaul of nursing home laws, etc) which will have some pretty devastating long term effects on the quality of life here (ie we will likely see a resurgence in poverty and homelessness that has been unknown here since the Great Depression). Double digit tuition increases throughout higher education here for the fourth year in a row. Ventura was extremely hostile to both higher education and the arts, and the effects of that are hitting both those constituencies even harder under this budget.

In many states, these hits to the arts and education might not be considered a big deal by the citizenry that is more concerned with jobs, jobs, jobs, defense industry spending, etc. But like Massachusetts, the arts and education constituencies, along with corporate philanthropy and healthy state subsidies to the poor and working poor, has made Minnesota the crown jewel of the upper Midwest in terms of standard of living and quality of life.

However, something which may well be historically unprecedented (it sent the state historians scurrying to their legislative record books), the entire Democrat delegation in the Minnesota House (the bi-cameral legislature here is divided along party lines almost identically to the US Congress, except here the Dems have retained their small majority in the Senate) voted against the governor's budget bill. It still passed, but it is clear that the battle line has definitely been drawn in the sand for the next election and the next legislative session.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 02 May 03 - 12:19 PM

I saw on the news last night that several currencies have gained substantially in value against the US dollar, all for the same reason: the American economy is in very bad shape.

This president is not taking care of business at home, which makes him a bad president. Aren't leaders elected to manage their own countries primarily? So while Bush is grandstanding, making war, being theatrical and carefully timing his speeches for sound bites, the American infrastructure, schools, health care situation, inner cities, etc. are all deteriorating further.

Although I can't predict how the US might lose its power, I think it will be from within, and that the current situation will powerfully contribute to the downfall.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 12:27 PM

Does anyone think the fall of the US will happen as a result of a hard turn to the left, as we saw as a result of the stock market collapse, the Great Depression, and the subsequent government reforms under FDR? I mean, the whole Neo-Con takeover has been a New Deal counter-revolution, really. It just seems to have gotten tragically out of hand, especially by moderate Republican standards.

I mean, when the President starts going after and devouring his own, you know the situation can't be good. All the checks and balances seem to be gone, now that the Patriot Act can be used to jail Democrats who disagree with John Ashcroft.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: kendall
Date: 02 May 03 - 01:00 PM

Don't blame the republicans. What we need is some democrats with balls.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 01:12 PM

Democrats like Europe's left-of-the-right-wing social democrats and Labourites, perhaps? No, thanks.

In the US especially, we have to break out of the tyranny of two party domination of the political system. The Red-Green German coalition is the one to watch, and has been for some time, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 02 May 03 - 01:22 PM

kendall-What we really need is a revival of civic society. Barely half of those eligible voted in the last election. Most of them voted on straight party tickets, without bothering to inform themselves about the candidates or the issues. Politics is left to professionals, most of whom care more about their own power base than the good of the nation. If we don't get rid of our cultural apathy, we're going to come apart at the seams.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 May 03 - 01:40 PM

I agree with alanabit's polite request to the GUEST who started this thread. And to whoever posted the four other GUEST (unlabelled(posts), who may of course have been the same person. Just to allow people to know whether there is one line of reasoning or five already, adopt a label, PLEASE. It's not a question of wanting to know who they are.

History never repeats itself, but the Roman Empire probably gives a hint of what will happen...

For the end of the world was long ago,
When the ends of the world waxed free,
When Rome was sunk in a waste of slaves,
And the sun drowned in the sea.

When Caesar's sun fell out of the sky
And whoso hearkened right
Could only hear the plunging
Of the nations in the night.

When the ends of the earth came marching in
To torch and cresset gleam.
And the roads of the world that lead to Rome
Were filled with faces that moved like foam,
Like faces in a dream.


(From The Ballad of the White Horse , by Chesterton.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 May 03 - 01:54 PM

Personally, I think US power is already crumbling. The death rattles started some time ago. All world powers eventually die, and a lot of the rhetoric about trying to maintain or increase our power that we have been hearing in the last 10 years seems to be the surest sign that our foundation of power isn't very strong.

IMO it's possible that the US might split into two parts -- CA and the southwest with maybe NV, OR and WA along -- but I don't see it as likely anytime soon. The most likely scenario for such a split to me would have to be led by California, but I doubt that the other states who might philosophically join such a split would be content to let CA rule them. The probable structure would seem to me to be, at least at first, a confederacy of states with a separate joint "federal" government; much along the lines of the early US when there were strong states rights.

I tend to support such a split in theory, because I don't think that the US federal government begins to adequately represent the varying needs of this large and diverse country. I think the US would have to lose it's position as a world power first, I think, before there would be an internal split. Any split prior to that would be not only nearly impossible, but very damaging to relations. And although I meet many people who support an independant California, none of them would like to see anything other than close, friendly ties with the rest of the US.

We won't see any significant change in the world political situation that recognizes the US as the world power until there's another country or faction that is clearly the replacement. Is it a united Europe? Maybe if they can stop squabbling amongst themselves.

However, I'd venture to guess that China may be the next potential world power, but not for another 20 years or so.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: MMario
Date: 02 May 03 - 01:58 PM

Of course we already have an "in" with the King of Mississippi


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:05 PM

That is an interesting theory NicoleC, and I've heard the California secession idea too. But I can't help but wonder where California and the Southwest thinks it would get it's water from--they'd have to invade their neighbors to keep diverting it!

Actually, what most people don't realize is that water will soon be the new oil. Any futurist theorizing has to take water into account a whole lot more than it does oil. Fertile soil, lots of trees, and plenty of water is the reason why I continue to put up with Minnesota winters. And the fact that I don't think the Red/terrorist/pick your devil invasion will get this far. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:10 PM

We won't see any significant change in the world political situation that recognizes the US as the world power until there's another country or faction that is clearly the replacement

That's where I think the Roman Empire analogy is helpful - because it suggests that this might not actually be true. I imagine if they'd been thinking about this back in Roman times they'd have been speculating about Parthia and so forth. But it wasn't like that.

Rome collapsed from within because of the contradictions it involved - being simultaneously a Roman Empire and a European (and beyond) empire. It didn't fall because the barbarians conquered. The barbarians conquered because it was collapsing. No one took over. And the rump of the Empire survived another thousand years in Byzantium, increasingly irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Beccy
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:20 PM

Why not just call this thread, "How will the Republicans destroy the world?"


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:32 PM

Now Beccy, we've said the Republicans couldn't have destroyed civilization as we know it without their good ole boy Democratic friends. What's the matter? Does the thought of the End Days drawing near bother you? ;-)

Honest Beccy, just because I'm critical of the status quo, doesn't mean I don't want to hear Republican opinions of how the US will ultimately fall from it's present position as world superpower. I really would like to hear how you think it will happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:33 PM

It's not just the Republicans, Beccy. The Democrats are culpable as well. I think it would be a lot more accurate say "how will the powerful special interests and the International Coporate Oligarchy destroy the world?"


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 02 May 03 - 02:36 PM

Oops. "International Corporate Oligarchy".


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 May 03 - 03:31 PM

That is an interesting theory NicoleC, and I've heard the California secession idea too. But I can't help but wonder where California and the Southwest thinks it would get it's water from--they'd have to invade their neighbors to keep diverting it!

"California" is not synonymous which what people outside CA usually consider to be true, which is that CA = LA. Smetimes SF is included in that image, but SF isn't particularly "north" in CA, even though we call it Northern California.

So Cal is relatively deprived of water, but No Cal has plenty extra, most of which is sent down the aqueduct to So Cal. OR and WA also have plenty of potable water. The other major source of water for So Cal is the Colorado River, which serves much of CA below LA. 35% of the fresh water in So Cal comes from aquifiers or groundwater.

As for the rest of the southwest, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico get their water from the Colorado River. Lake Mead has a 2 year supply behind the Hoover Dam.

I think it's fallicious to assume that war would be necessary to procure water anyway, since water rights are a tradeable commodity. Water is an important political subject in the SW and So Cal; one that the west coast is very well practiced at negotiating.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 May 03 - 03:39 PM

Kevin -- I don't think a scenario like the Roman empire's collapse is totally applicable, although it's instructive. The world today is far more interdependant than it was then, and the pace of events much faster. It's hard to imagine the same kind of lengthy power vacuum in the wake of the Roman empire's collapse when a military threat can be mounted in terms of days instead of years. *Someone* would manage to take up the slack in a very short period of time, IMO.

But if there is an equivalent to the barbarians, it would probably be multinational corporations, plundering national resources because they are not carefully guarded by the nations. In our generation, the corporate barbarians are taking over the government by intergration instead of conquest.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 03 - 04:04 PM

I am willing to bet $100 that none of the above scenarios will happen. The paralle with the USSR was simply short-sighted and ignored the differences between the two in order to acheive tiny frissons of futurism.

There was an effort at secession in the early 19th century, but there was no secession in fact -- at most, the CSA got recognized by one or two nations, and only broefly at that. The effort was throughly kiboshed.

God spare us if the Republicans abuse the nation to the point of causing any segment of it to try to secede.   If Bush were running the Civil War, he'd quickly forget about "being from Texas", and would turn Atlanta into another Kabhul.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 02 May 03 - 04:39 PM

Amos-The fact that secession failed was a byproduct of the reason for secession. The South was ideologically split from the North in a manner which made certain that the seceding states were smaller in population and industrial base from the North. Even then, the South's advantage in generalship made things close to a toss-up. Britain considered giving the CSA aid to keep the cotton flowing.

We might not fracture as much as Russia, or as quickly. It would, however, be somewhat arrogant to claim that the American hegemony will last forever. Whether from internal division, outside attacks, or simply our own inertia, we will eventually fall from power.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 02 May 03 - 04:45 PM

Except for the fact that all things that begin must also end I must wonder at this thread.

Why bother?

   Are you asking whether the government will lose its power? It probably will and then a new government will take it's place. Happens fairly often all tho' the potential to change the government is evry two years.
   Are you asking about the democratic notion losing power? That I doubt will ever happen. Iceland, Greece, some American Indian tribes,
and some other places in Europe at different times in history have held to the notion of a democratic society. One person one vote.
The Democratic notion has disappeared in one place only to re-emerge elsewhere and rebuild on strength of the old ideal with new ideas tuned to the place and time. Read the Irish Declaration of Independence and you read the American Declaration as well as some parts of the Articles that were agreed upon to form the Iroquois Confederacy. The system continues to refine and reinvent it self.
   If you are wondering if and when the American People will lose their power I will tell you I doubt we ever will. We have continually reinvented our selves and our country for nearly three centuries. Sometimes we take awhile to be aware of things but we all eventually can tell Bullshit when we hear it and horseshit when we smell it. And after awhile we get up an do what is needed.
I have said before that we often take several steps back ward but we alway take one step more than we lost forward. We may move slowy but we advance.
The power of the United States has very little to do with the politics at play but it has everything to do with the peoples rights to change their politics and their politicians.
Is your real question when will civilization fall. It never has.
The nature of civilization is also movement and change. The idea of a civil society is another device that can't be usurped or contained.
And civilization is also defined by place and time. Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Timbuktu, Cathay, Persia, Rome... all had flourishing civilizations that flowered died and moved on to another place and time.
   Maybe I didn't understand the question. But I do understand Americans even if I don't understand politics. America will never lose its power because it's people aren't capable of stagnation.
Other countries may come to dominance on the world stage. But America will always be unique and powerful because of the people who live here and not because of the politicians who try and run the show.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 03 - 04:55 PM

Don't confuse our particular position of hegemony with our national structure. They are separate waves that are not even in synch. and draw from very different variables.

We may wax and wane in our economic and political position vis-a-vis Africa, China and Europe, for example, but it isn't going to deconsturct the Union. It just isn't in the cards, unless the oppression from the Federal government gets a lot more outrageous.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:05 PM

I should just note that I really see no reason that the US could not last forever (however that will eventually be determined). The Nation is far too interconnected to fall out (California being an excellent example). People forget that the US military is peopled from all parts of the nation, but most especially from the South, which contrary to the Civil War, is now the most patriotic of all regions. And the California National Guard is no match for the "Pros from Dover".

But I do share one bias with the wistful ones... if it happened at all, it would most likely be the Republicans, as the Democrats couldn't take over a 7-11...


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:10 PM

The Pros from Dover? Just a bunch of golfers in Pappa-san outfits with bamboo umbrellas. They should stick with tracheo-esophogeal fistulas and leave golfing to the lawyers.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:24 PM

One possibility is one in which increased globalisation means a planet wide polity, with the people who control America in the driving seat. (By which I means the executives of the multi-nationals rather than the voters.)

Sooner or later the fact that the overwhelming number of people, and the overwhelming amount of resources, within this polity are not in America, should mean that the centre of gravity is no longer in America. Eventually, when some kind of democratic control of the globalised system gets introduced (probably after considerable struggle), it ends up with America as just a small part of the planet, with no greater control than any other part.

Or alternately in that kind of scenario, America pulls back and operates as a separate planet.

And so on and so forth.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:27 PM

Civilization/democracy moving to fit the time and place.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:28 PM

Claymore, I haven't seen anyone suggest there would be any military takeovers. Hell, even the Soviet Union's military collapsed quickly once the wall went down. The soldiers just left and went home. Or don't you remember that part?

What some of us are saying is that there would be peaceful civilian secession from the union, a breaking up of the US into regional governments. A nationalist agenda can't be supported if citizens stop sending their taxes to Washington, and the soldiers go home.

BTW, the Midwest could live without Washington or the South quite handily. Not only are we still the nation's breadbasket, but we have a good amount of healthy industries, resources, in most areas, a solid physical and social infrastructure that hasn't been destroyed (yet) by Neo-Cons.

You aren't seriously suggesting the South would invade us, are you?

I guess I'm quite surprised there are some right leaning people who can't conceive of a USA that won't live forever. As in can't even get their head around the idea.

Nothing lives forever, and that has nothing to do with human endeavors. It has to do with something much more powerful--nature. That is why all empire is folly. We can't defeat nature. Not now, not ever.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:42 PM

McGrath, I agree with much of what you say. I think globalisation will lead to the eventual break-up of the US, as it already has in the Soviet Union. I also think China is the next major player that will come forward on the world stage. No one has gotten hold of her resources, now have they? And not bloody likely for some time to come.

However, I disagree that the corporate take over of the world is now, or ever will be, solely an American thing. Globalisation is every bit as European as it is American in the West, just as it is Japanese and Chinese in the East. I think it is merely a quirk of fate that the US military ended up outlasting the Soviet military. But a lone superpower can't last long in this world. China will most certainly challenge US power. Think about it. Who is the only country in the world to challenge Bush's authority and made him back down since being elected?

That is no coincidence. Washington is scared shitless of the Chinese.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:53 PM

Two articles worth reading.

Coagulation.
How to Stir the Soup.

Let's get crackin', folks!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:06 PM

ancient & modern? civilisations?:

minoans
egyptians
aztecs
the disappeared from easter island
chinese various dynasties
mesopotamia [iraq et al]
greeks
arabs
british empire
japanese empire
german empire
portuguese empire
french empire
dutch empire
welsh empire [patagonia]
spanish empire
mongol empire

& many more

in the course of history,nations,countries, cultures, spheres of influence take turns at being big chief,number one big fella of the world.

its USA's turn just now, but after it's decline- there'll be another waiting in the wings- but looking at above list & history- its unlikely anybody gets 2 go's.

the next world power will probably be some place that hasn't had a turn yet.

what think you?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 02 May 03 - 11:37 PM

Have we already ruled out the possibility of a complete and simultaneous enlightenment of all of humanity, sort of catching us all by surprise and resulting in worldwide egalitarianism and cooperation?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Sam L
Date: 03 May 03 - 12:14 AM

CarolC, yes.

Tend to agree with Don, insofar as the example of the U.S. as a free country is it's real power, and has also been quite powerful without force or war. America's other powers, military and economic, have been about as dirty as anywhere, and I don't really care about that as a speculative question. But despite all valid criticism, there remains an example of something to try for. We fail it, of course, but at least we get to go through the motions.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 03 - 09:14 AM

I'm working on a vision of a contemporary Minoan empire, which conquers the world through an international scourge of Pottery Barns.

Do you suppose we could make up for the National Museum debacle in Iraq by opening a few Pottery Barns and Pier I stores in Baghdad?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DMcG
Date: 03 May 03 - 10:00 AM

One possible answer would be when an elected government supported by the American citizenry is unable to refuse to do something against its percieved national interest because it is unwilling to risk offending another power - such as a multinational commercial organisation.

Under that definition, you may feel it has already happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 03 - 11:34 AM

I can imagine people having a similar discussion back in the time of Peruckes, about which city is going to topple Athens, or of Italy couple of thousand yeasrs later, about which Florence and Sienna and so forth.

And then the stage got a bit bigger, and the rivals turn intio neighbours. And the same thing has happened in Europe now, you could say.

I imagine that will be the way with this too, in time.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 03 May 03 - 01:14 PM

Could be, McGrath. On the other hand, Athens did get toppled, as did Florence, the Holy Roman Empire, the British Empire, the USSR, etc. The stage might get better, but it'll take a while.

DonMeixner-I think we are definitely capable of stagnation. The situation we are in now seems rather stagnant to me, if not decaying.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 03 - 02:17 PM

I agree. The roughly 50/50 ideological split in the US that has so polarized politics, is what is behind the stagnation. Of course, some people seem to think (wrongly, IMO) that is A Good Thing, because so long as the government is polarized and stagnate, politicians can't do any real damage.

One would hope these sorts of folks would now realize that Bush proves the lie in that theory.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 May 03 - 02:47 PM

I have a question off the topic (so what's new?) but kind of tied to it: During the Great Depression, say from 1930 to 1936, what nation(s) suffered least? Was there any nation that thrived during that period? Which was the 'world power'?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 03 - 02:56 PM

There wasn't a single "world power" then, and there normally isn't. That's what is so odd about the present situation. Normally there's a bunch of rivals squaring up to each other, or makin alliances, or competing.

That's why to find anything comparable to this where there's only one power really in the business you have to go back to Roman times, when, within what was effectively a whole world, there was only on player that counted. (And up the other end of the Old World, you could say the same of China.)


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 03 May 03 - 04:01 PM

Europe suffered more, overall, than did America. Nations without global trade connections suffered least, but that was only because they had less to lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 03 - 04:20 PM

The greatest world powers militarily in 1930 were the British empire, and the American empire.

That hasn't changed since, although the Soviet Union gave us a good run for the money during the Cold War.

And China has been amassing a shitload of weaponry, technology, and training of a huge fighting force, and hasn't spent any of it's payload to date, except in some skirmishes here and there. Which is why the US doesn't want to test their military might.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,sorefingers
Date: 03 May 03 - 04:48 PM

Interesting questions. The history I read suggested Lead Poisoning as the cause of Rome's fall, not the Celts who came back after 700 years and finished what Brennus started.

The USA already well on the way towards internal collapse - see Israeli influence in foreign policy, often utterly against the long term interests of the average American - blindly follows a policy of so called liberalisation of certain regions of the globe; oddly these very regions don't want to be 'liberalised' and instead cling to a fundamentalism far far more potent than any Babble-on kind we already know in the west.

Perhaps this is the real challenge which the USA must first confront then later be froced to accept defeat.

There remains yet one factor ignored - wondering why? - by most discussions, the environment. Already we are living on a planet well on the way to radical change. Our greedy automobiles/engines eat away at the very stuff we need to survive, the air, by the cubic MILE and nobody seems to connect weather, health eg SARS, and other phenomena with it; morover those who do connect these things are fast shut down, or up, by Corporate Amurika which shouts down with Massmedia bullying any attempt to question our plight.

Perhaps that alone will first weaken then destroy the most part of the Americas leaving but Mountain regions as habitable?. In any case the arrival of Corporate Industrial mismanagement to China, esp Ag products, together with the vast numbers of carbon fuel gobbling engines sold, explains to some, not blinded to truth, what is about to happen. Put it this way, Hiroshima was irresponsible because it excused the environmentaly inexcusable for politics and HUMAN GAIN,
Mal Wart USA will SELL YOU FRESH AIR at the same time it finances the means to destroy it - the Chinese pollution of Earth's mantle. It is greed and gain for it's own sake, let those who cannot afford to move to the dwindling islands of clean air die where the choke.
Mal Wart USA... oh yeah!

Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Miami..

In that scenario Water does not matter, however it would if we survive being choked by Chinese wind driven clouds of Oxygenless Nitrogen.

Another possibility is being discovered by some Alien race which may or may not eat us, consume our planet, perhaps they may arrive take one look and leave. In anycase the possibility is so remote as to be irrelevant.

I vote for a Tornado erasing the White House off the face of the earth the very day that the Republicans decide to go ahead with Program China Air (lessness)


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 03 May 03 - 05:02 PM

The US seems to have become like the "Edgar bug" in the movie Men in Black. A shell of its former self that has been taken over and is being animated from within by something malevolent and destructive.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 May 03 - 05:06 PM

I suspect that if the US falls as a world power, it will be for the same reason that the USSR did. It'll go broke, spending its resources on things with little or no bebefit to its citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 03 - 05:21 PM

You mean like an invasion and occupation of Syria, on the heels of an invasion and occupation of Iraq, on the heels of an invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, all while running up the credit card on a new Star Wars plan, with no job to pay for any of it?

When you see that the military budget is half the entire budget (by rooting out all those secret hiding places for defense spending), it doesn't take too long to figure out, with this bunch of warrior-O boys in office runnin' up the deficits and cleaning out the treasury, ordering out for new tanks, smart bombs, etc. that we'll be broke sooner, rather than later.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DougR
Date: 04 May 03 - 01:15 PM

Dream on you dreamers of a world government of some sort. How will the US finally lose it's power? It won't. It just ain't gonna happen.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 04 May 03 - 01:18 PM

It just ain't gonna happen.

DougR, as I recall, that's what you said a few months ago about the US waging a first strike war against Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 03 - 01:39 PM

Who is talking world government?

I'm talking about making the Twin Cities the provincial capital of the North Star Dakota Territory. Well, I can dream, can't I? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 May 03 - 02:02 PM

". . . . it just ain't gonna happen."
                        —quoth Caesar

Or better still:—

Ozymandius
by: Percy Bysshe Shelley
(First Published in 1817)

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandius, king of kings:
Look on my words, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 May 03 - 02:19 PM

That will teach me to cut from a poetry web site and paste without rereading it carefully. My apologies to Shelley and to those who know his poetry. Those lines should read

"My name is Ozymandius, king of kings:
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!"


Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 May 03 - 04:12 PM

DougR must have heard the same man I heard on PBS (I thought you listen only to Fox, Doug?); the man said that the US will hold its power for another hundred years...

What hubris. My mother would have said, Don't tempt fate. I say that there's many a scenario possible that would change the geo-political outlook for generations. Just suppose that 20 years-10 years-5 years- 2 months- from now someone hit 4 or 5 of our major cities with some weapons of mass destruction- whether nuclear or chemical. You don't think it would change our world - and its balance of power- as we know it, Doug?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: mg
Date: 04 May 03 - 06:43 PM

It all depends on population problems...if the population growth halts and reverses (hopefully by choice instead of by AIDS and other horrors) there will be such better times ahead for everyone. If not, maybe we'll adapt and maybe not.   

Good scenario:
We won't need U.S. power. Goody. We can keep our prosperity and others can have theirs.

I think we won't need roads because we will have aerocars using magnetic levitation or something. Just float above the surface and if an obstacle arises, zoom over it.

We won't need big cities. Population will be better distributed, like back to South Dakota. Fuel will be non-existant because we will harness the wind and sun and turn sewage into electricity. Wait and see.

Food will be more local, if we can ever gather our wits together about this. We won't look for the cheapest food, but the healthiest (we are well on our way to this now that we have a substantial working and middle class).

There will be more village dairies and gardens and orchards like in bygone days. We will wonder why in the world we bought food from Chile and South Africa.

We will know much more about people's nutritional needs and taylor nutrition accordingly. There will be much much less obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and all the drugs they dose people with.

All this information and knowledge will spread via the internet rapidly..good science will be done and applied.

Once tyrants tremble and quit oppressing people, all sorts of stuff can be delivered to poor people, if necessary, like emergency food in famines, vaccines etc...what keeps it from them now is often having to fight their way in. Through micro loans etc. poverty can be eliminated.

So if the world gets better it won't need US power. If it gets worse, there are way worse scenarios than the US taking charge. Remember these words: by our sons in servile chains..by Robert Burns. Think of it. Whoever else would be in charge might not be benevolent.

mg


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Gareth
Date: 04 May 03 - 07:08 PM

Don - Errr ! Shouldn't you attribute your comment of -

"Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DonMeixner - PM
Date: 02 May 03 - 05:10 PM

The Pros from Dover? Just a bunch of golfers in Pappa-san outfits with bamboo umbrellas. They should stick with tracheo-esophogeal fistulas and leave golfing to the lawyers."

To the original M.A.S.H. - or was this one of your tests to determine how well read 'Catters were ??????

Mind you, and I heard this from a Peace Corp member in Malawi many years ago. " Most of America is waiting for he San Andreas" fault to move again, and it's 'Goodby California'"

On the other hand, and I forget the title and wrriter, of a Sci Fi story about a California Earthquake, where the Tectonic block of 'California remains above sealevel, and the rest of thee US of A submerges !!

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 03 - 08:57 PM

Well, the Third Reich was supposed to last a thousand years. Came in a bit short though. One hundred years? Possibly. But just think back one hundred years.

Assuming a non-catastrophic future (which is pretty optimistic), the differential between the wealth of the USA and other parts of the world can be expected to diminish in time, and ultimately the people and government in that part of the world won't have any more power than any other equivalent region of the world.

And I would assume that that would be what Americans would want to happen - it would definitely be more in keeping with the ideas of the Founding Fathers, as I understand them, rather than getting saddled with holding down some kind of world empire.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: kendall
Date: 04 May 03 - 09:28 PM

Change is enevitable, and, resistance to change is also enevitable. Nothing in the universe is static, the only constant is change. How many hundreds of years did Rome last? Did arrogance help bring it down?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Bobert
Date: 04 May 03 - 10:12 PM

Ebbie:

Yes, if someone hit several of US cities that would indeed bring about an accelerated change of geo-political circumstances.

But the same could be said for a rash of assasinations of government leaders or media folk. This, now doubt, would have the same effect as the "circling of wagons" began and America, as we know it, wouold begin to crumble under it's own paranoia.

A more likely scenerio, which I have mentioned in another thread, is that the ruling class looses it most important voting block: The NASCAR, country music and Budweiser group. IF this happens, then Boss Hog is "outta here". Like yesterday! And I think that this can and will happen when this group figgures out that there just ain't no money in social programs that have:

1. Paid for Nursing Home services for granny and now she's movin' in with them.

2. The highways aren't gettin' fixed, let alone improved, because it was more important to give back a lot of money to Boss Hog's friends, then to spend it on maintaining infastructure.

3. That heath insurance becomes so unaffordable that Joe Sixpack can't pay it any more.

4. That schools just fall apart from a lack olf funding to keep the dooors opens and the roofs not leaking.

5. When homelessness becomes common in every community and mentally ill people walk aimlessly thru the streets of every American community.

Yeah, when these thing come to a neighborhood near Joe Sixpack, he's gonna turn on Boss Hog and when that occcurs... ahhh, there won't be enought TV ads to smooth things over...

So, yeah, America will be eaten, like cancer, from the inside!

And you can take that to the bank...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DougR
Date: 05 May 03 - 03:18 AM

Wishful thinking, Bobert.

Ebbie: if you read my posts more carefully, you would note that I often repeat things I have heard on PBS. You HAVE to listen to the opposing view, otherwise, how would you know what to bitch about?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,Larry Kaufman
Date: 05 May 03 - 11:29 AM

The only logical split is for California to be part of Mexico.   This would make a lot of sense.   They are 35 billion in debt (thaks Grey Davis and democrats) which would fit in perfectly to the lousy economy in Mexico.   It would eliminate all the ilegal alliens from sneaking into California since it would be part of Mexico.   All the hollywood liberals who threatened to leave America if Bush were elected would get their wish. Finally, all hollywood films would be foreign films would would give them more stature with the critics.

The next step would be for the USA to annex the Canadian Maritines once Quebec suceeds from Canada.

A few facts to put the military in perspective.   The USA spends about as much on the military as most of the other countries in the world combined. However, this accounts for about 13% (not 50%) of our budget and is at the lowest level as a percentage of our GNP since world war two.   How is this possible?   The USA accounts for 43% of the world GNP (per newsweek magazine)    This is the greatest percentage in the history of civilization.   And the percentage is growing as the USA accounts for 50% of the world expense on research and development.   The bottom line is that we are not only the world superpower in military, we are also the world superpower in economy. The European economy is in shambles and deteriorating.   The Japenese stock market is at a 20 year low.   While the USA economy is stagnant it is still outperforming the rest of the world.

In many ways we are paying the price for business coruption which came from changes to the laws made during the Clinton administration which gave us a false inflated economy in the 90's until the bubble burst and they were exposed.    We are also paying for the foreign messes left by the Clinton administration- ignoring Al Queda, Ossama, Sadaam, and North Korea.

Will Bush fix the economy or make it worse? Time will tell.   Keep this in mind- the top 10% of wage earners make 46$ of the income but pay 67% of the total taxes.   The bottom 40% of wage earners pay nothing in federal income tax.   Yet most people say this isn't fair. How much should the top 10% pay- 80%, 90% 120%? The top 50% of wage earners pay 96% of the taxes.   It doesn't seem right to me that half the people pay all the taxes, while the other half pay nothing.   The real question is not whether the USA will lose its military power but whether it will lose its economic power.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 May 03 - 11:59 AM

"...the top 10% of wage earners make 46$ of the income"

Shouldn't that read "The top 10% of wage earners take 46$ of the income"? Though surely most of the loot doesn't come in the form of wages, it comes in share options and stuff like that.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 May 03 - 12:23 PM

GUEST,Larry Kaufman, can you cite any sources for your figures?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:36 PM

Gareth,

That would be "How well read Catters are."

I don't need to test Catters for their literacy. I find Catters to be most literate. I am probably the least literate and worse speller of the bunch.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:57 PM

"...the top 10% of wage earners make 46$ of the income"
Shouldn't that read "The top 10% of wage earners take 46$ of the income"?

Shouldn't it read 46 % in both posts?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 May 03 - 01:57 PM

CarolC, the figures depend upon the sources, of course.

The percent of the US budget that is devoted to military spending isn't easily tracked, because so much of it is hidden away in nooks and crannies outside DoD.

Here are some interesting figures from Center for Defense Information (pro-military spending think tank):

http://www.cdi.org/budget/2004/world-military-spending.cfm

Here is a Quaker/Friends website that provides figures on the 2000 military budget, which it claims totals 41.3% of the federal budget:

http://www.fcnl.org/issues/mil/sup/mil_taxsuprt.htm

There are three main figures to look for when trying to determine anything about the military budget. Present spending (new programs, current bills like military pay, etc); past spending (what we are still paying on for old systems, like the failed Star Wars of the 1980s, decommissioning costs of weapons systems, fleets, etc); and finally discretionary spending, which is the amount that doesn't quite make it into the budget, but still accounts for a substantial amount of military spending. For FY 2004 military budget, this will include the war against Iraq & Homeland Security.

So, the figures usually bantered about now (especially since the huge defense spending increase Bush put in the FY 2003 budget) is actually a summation of the FY 2001 budget, because the figures aren't yet available for 2002 & we haven't finished FY 2003. The budget being considered by Congress & the President right now, is the FY 2004 budget.

So, the general consensus is that present military spending in FY 2001 amounted to approximately 24.2% of the total federal budget. The past military spending accounted for 16.9%, which totals 41.1% of the federal budget, which does not include discretionary spending. I don't know what that was for 2001.

So now, when you hear that the military budget is half the entire federal budget, people are talking about projection estimates for FY 2004, which WILL include the hefty increase in military spending in FY 2003, the discretionary spending for the Iraq war and bringing Homeland Security online (which include discretionary spending in both FY 2003 and FY 2004), and the discretionary spending amounts which remain unknown for FY 2004.


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Subject: BS: A small digression
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 May 03 - 02:51 PM

I've recently finished reading Time Travel in Einstein's Universe by J. Richard Gott III, a highly readable treatise on the origins of our universe by an award-winning scholar, professor and writer eminently qualified to author such a book. The last chapter of the book, Report from the Future, is a delightful treatise on the implications of the Copernican principle.

You'll recall that Copernicus created quite a stir by claiming (c. 1530) that the earth was not the central point in the universe about which everything else revolved. The key insight that allowed Copernicus to see this basic fact was his realization that there was nothing special about his location, his point of observation. To quote Gott:

The Copernican principle works because, by definition, out of all the places for intelligent observers to live, only a few special places and many more non-special places exist. You are simply likely to be at one of the many nonspecial places. Christiaan Huygens (Newton's clever contemporaty, who developed the wave theory of light and the most accurate clock of his day) used this principle to correctly predict the distances to the stars. He reasoned, Why should the Sun be special, the brightest light in the universe? He noted that if Sirius, the brightest star seen in the sky, was intrinsically as bright as the Sun, he could figure out its distance simply by estimating how far away you would have to move the Sun to make it look as dim as Sirius. Later investigators found that Huygens had gotten the distance to sirius right to within a factor of 20, a remarkable accomplishment for that day.

Gott realized the Copernican principle can be used to make all kinds of predictions. For example,

Our species, Homo sapiens, has been around for about 200,000 years. If there is nothing special about our time of observation now, we have a 95 percent chance of living sometime in the middle 95 percent of human history. Thus, we can set 95 percent confidence level limits on the future longevity of out species. It should be more than 5,100 years but less than 7.8 million years. The average, or mean, duration of all species lies between 1 million and 11 million years.
Gott goes on to predict future longevity for a number of things including the good old U.S. of A. He states, with 95 percent accuracy, that the USA is likely to last for more than 5.7 years but less than 8,736 years. This is a large span to be sure, no country has ever lasted that long, so the prediction could be improved with the addition of other data, still it means many of us could actually witness the end of the USA and still be within Gott's estimate.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: DougR
Date: 05 May 03 - 05:58 PM

My, Mark, you almost sound gleeful to be among those "lucky" ones that might get to witness the demise of the U. S. I don't suppose you would want to take any bets on the accuracy of the writer's projections would you? Hmmm?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 05 May 03 - 09:07 PM

"If the game is lost, then we're all the same. No one left to place or take the blame. Will we leave this place an empty stone, or that shining ball of blue we can call our home?"

"Throwing Stones"
       Bob Weir


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 May 03 - 10:45 PM

Relax, Doug. It's only mathematics. Nothing political in either Copernicus or Gott. Besides, I strongly suspect the USA I grew up loving, a USA based on human ideals even if imperfectly executed, a USA that admired fair play and cared about the little guy, has already met its end while we all watched.

All hail, Oceanna. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength—or at least ubiquitous.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: CarolC
Date: 05 May 03 - 10:53 PM

Very elegantly put, Mark.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose it's power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 May 03 - 11:39 PM

How the US will finally lose its power?

Well...here are some possibilities:

1. William Shatner will move back to Canada. This would be a fatal stroke to the greatness of the USA.

2. The USA will bomb and invade numerous other countries until there are no "enemies" left anywhere to bomb. The military will still have to do something to justify their expensive existence, so they will have to bomb the USA itself, lacking other identifiable targets...thus causing national suicide. End of story.

3. Jim Carey and most of the other top comedians in the USA will move back to Canada, where they came from. The USA will self-destruct, due to a combination of too much political correctness and too few good jokes.

4. The Neo-Cons, in a desperate attempt to win one last election despite having TOTALLY f*cked the economy, will cut ALL upfront taxes (except to poor people, of course) to absolute ZERO! Enough fools will vote for them on this basis so that they actually get elected, but then there will be almost no money left to run anything. No money for schools, roads, law enforcement, utilities, medicine, etc... The government will collapse. The rich will fortify themselves in sealed enclaves, surrounded by heavily armed mercenary soldiers. The public will riot and go berserk. The armed forces will fragment into warring bands and battle over the ruins. BUT...the Republicans will at least have the honor of winning the last presidential election before everything falls into total chaos...and they may get to crown their candidate emperor while Washington burns.

Looking over the above, I think the Shatner possibility is the scariest, all things considered...but the USA's demise could be Canada's ticket to World domination and a kinder, gentler era in which arms expenditures dwindle to almost nil and there's a Tim Horton's on every corner.

Taking that into consideration, I'm all for it. C'mon home, Bill!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 May 03 - 01:28 AM

The bottom 40% of wage earners pay nothing in federal income tax. (Larry Kaufman) Are you saying that 40% of Americans pay NO income tax? Or that 40% of those people below a certain minimum of income pay no income tax? Until the advent of Earned Income Credit (first under Reagan and expanded under Clinton)I always paid income tax; I was a single mother with a VERY low income.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 May 03 - 01:29 AM

The bottom 40% of wage earners pay nothing in federal income tax. (Larry Kaufman) Are you saying that 40% of Americans pay NO income tax? Or that 40% of those people below a certain minimum of income pay no income tax? Until the advent of Earned Income Credit (first under Reagan and expanded under Clinton)I always paid income tax; I was a single mother with a VERY low income.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: DougR
Date: 06 May 03 - 01:33 AM

Ebbie: maybe they made a special exception for you! You are opposed to tax cuts aren't you? :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 06 May 03 - 04:25 AM

The bottom 40% of wage earners pay nothing in federal income tax

It sounds unbelievable to Ebbie and I guess it is.
- 40 % of all US-Americans (including babies, handicapped,...) I'd believe at once without another thought
- 40 % of all potential and real wage earners (that is those in the right age, including the unemployed, those in training like students,...) I could also believe
- 40 % of actual wage earners is a figure I refuse to believe without documentation.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 May 03 - 08:14 AM

In my working life, from 1958 to date, I've seen the 'Western Powers' get steadily poorer, and I would attribute a good deal of this decline in 'wealth' to globalisation.

We/they used to import materials. Now it's importation of goods for sale. This means JOBS were exported, and the jobless are still around.
Disenchantment. How many people no longer TRY to get a job, because they are better off on the dole, because of the meagre wages available.
And how many turn to crime, because that is the easy option to poverty? How many of the worse-off suffer from crime, because they are the easiest targets?
The gap between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' seems to grow yearly, and I don't like it. A nations success is based on the success of its citizens. Once you had to be a pretty forlorn individual to be unemployable, and now you only have to be over 45!
I have no experience of the US, but the countries I have lived in were once reasonably wealthy.
OK, a simplistic view, but I feel that if everyone had a job, most other problems would sort themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 May 03 - 10:30 AM

The jobs were exported because there is cheaper labour in Asia and Latin America. When companies were small, and owned by local people, they naturally employed local people. When companies become huge multinational entities (with no loyalty to anything except their own bottom line), then they simply moved the jobs where the labour is the cheapest...like Mexico, Korea, China, and so on.

That is why our traditional jobs have been exported.

The corporate big boys have systematically destroyed the free enterprise system as it once existed, and simultaneously put themselves beyond the reach of the law, to all intents and purposes. This is the ugly truth that the Neo-Cons dance around and refuse to recognize (cos they're being paid off). They pretend to support traditional capitalism while they actually consent to its destruction and its replacement by a corporate oligarchy which resembles Communism in a number of ways, but has a very different outward style of presenting itself...it advertises consumer goods through garish advertising instead of mythologizing a political party and leader through garish posters.

In either case, the local people are disenfranchised and enslaved by a system that is beyond their reach and insensitive to their actual needs...and doesn't care.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:02 PM

Gurney-America doesn't have nearly the unemployment/welfare problem that Europe does. Our unemployment rates have been below 10% for as long as I remember, and they aren't getting worse as quickly as many feared when the economy started souring. I imagine that the booms of the 50's and 90's are primarily responsible. I agree that employment is a very important thing, but we have educational apathy to blame for most of our problems.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:09 PM

And the educational apathy may be due to a society that has been sedated by television and consumerism, and lost touch with the pioneer strengths on which it was founded. That's certainly my impression.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: DougR
Date: 06 May 03 - 04:22 PM

L. H.: there you go again (borrowing the words of a former GREAT president of the United States)!

You talk as though the corporations that are taking the jobs overseas are fully owned by all those crooked executives running the company. Not so! They are owned by stockholders, and as I reminded folks in another thread, all stockholders are not conservatives. Actually, it is conceivable that some of the largest shareholders in the corporations you bitch about could be union trust funds! I don't know that for a fact, but it is certainly possible.

The shareholders expect results, and if taking the labor cost to other countries is the most cost effective way of showing a profit, the executives are going to do it, and you won't find many shareholders up in arms because of it.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 May 03 - 07:16 PM

You're right, Doug, and that's what's so sad about it. Most people are entirely willing to cut the nose off their own face (or their neighbour's) in order to put a quick dollar in their hands...without the least regard for what lies a little farther down the road. It's the disease of selfishness and shortsightedness.

The fools who are cutting down the Amazon are doing the same thing, regardless of whether or not they are big corporate players or just poor dirt farmers.

The only thing that can change that sort of blind drift into waste is solid moral leadership from the top...and solid legislation to back it up!

Now how can we get good leadership from the top when the leaders have (almost) all been bought out by the big financial players?

Darned if I know. I just try to govern my own life as decently and wisely as I can. I know the World will never be perfect, so I live with it as best I can.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: DougR
Date: 07 May 03 - 01:20 AM

L. H., I think you missed my point. The stockholders of the corporations you love to hate are not villians, they just want the money they invested to pay-off so that they can enjoy a reasonable retirement after many years of toil. They obviously want the companies they invest in to produce well so that their retirement income will be assured.

There has been many a hue and cry (even here on the Mudcat) about the Enron debacle. And that is what it was! The executives of the firm looted the shareholder's (which included the employees) investments in the company. If, however, the bubble would not have burst, and Enron would have continued to prosper (say for ten years or so) do you think the shareholders would have been complaining? I don't think so.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 07 May 03 - 02:00 AM

LittleHawk used this phrase: "and a kinder, gentler era..." Isn't it amazing to think that that phrase was used by Bush Senior in his first presidential campaign. That, and "a thousand points of light."

Have the Bushes produced anything kinder or gentler? The thousand points of light were bombs going off over Afghanistan and Iraq (twice).

And who knows what is yet to come?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 May 03 - 10:12 AM

Okay, Doug, granted. But what is life actually about...in the final analysis? Is it about money? I don't think so.

Why do you help out your family members when they are in trouble? Would you refuse to do so if they didn't put some money in your hand first?

Why do you defend your country when it is invaded? Would you refuse to do so unless the government paid you a handsome fee first?

Why do you treat your neighbours decently? Would you refuse to do so unless there was a "profit to be made" first by so doing?

Life is actually about love, and we are ALL family...and as a matter of a fact even the animals and plants are family...in a more indirect sense. Without each other, without a bountiful nature around us, our lives would be barren and without hope.

These are philosophical considerations, but they are what lies at the heart of life.

I submit that we are living in a society which has so over-emphasized "the bottom line" that it is digging its own grave in the process.

And it won't matter how much money you have in the bank when they lower you down into that grave...or how many possessions you accumulated...but it will matter who loves and remembers you for the love you demonstrated to them.

It is because the business world denies or is blind to that greater truth that I get upset with the business world. Oh, they may pay lip service to it occasionally, but only so they can sell more product.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 May 03 - 11:11 AM

Really well put, LH. Thanks.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST, Claymore
Date: 07 May 03 - 11:43 AM

Hey folks... a reality check. We have had many comments about how the Republicans are responsible for trying to take over the world and that such hubris will eventually cause our down-fall.

Try this one on: Bush has just won two military engagements demonstrating conclusively that the US is vastly the most powerful nation in the history of earth. Yet, virtually all political commentators have stated that if he doesn't do something about the economy, he may well lose the next election and be out of power. And he must carefully submit his budgets, selctions for public office and even his war plans to a democratically elected legislative body This is not conjecture; it's exactly what happened to his father. It's what happened to Churchill. It is not what happened to Saddam, Stalin, or Mao.

I would like to suggest that a Nation that has the ability to change leaders who do not provide for the wishes and concerns of it's citizenry, has a great chance to go on for many many years, and is functionally capable of existing for the duration of Earth itself.


And DonMeixner, their next demand was the best of all, "A nurse who could keep her tits out of the way while working close..."


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 May 03 - 01:12 PM

Yes, Claymore, your forecast may prove accurate if Bush doesn't manage to improve the economy soon. The main thing that worries me is that Karl Rove may talk him into another convenient war shortly before or just around the time of the next presidential election...and that it will be fought primarily to disarm the Democrats (!) rather than the Koreans/Syrians/whoever. Disarming them will be a merely secondary consideration. The first concern of any political administration is staying in power. That was Saddam's first concern, and Stalin's first concern too. It's universal among politicians.

In 1939-40 Hitler proved pretty convincingly that Germany was, at that moment, the most powerful and effective military power in the history of the World...and the German public was mightily impressed and delighted by how things were going. So...winning military victories is not necessarily a guarantee of longterm political success (though it beats suffering military defeats... ) (*grin*).

The Russians, by the way, also proved to be " a Nation that has the ability to change leaders who do not provide for the wishes and concerns of its citizenry"...only they did it through a far less democratic mechanism...the Communist Party bureaucracy. What I mean is this: After Stalin's death, they repudiated Stalinism and considerably liberalized the system under Kruschev. In so doing, they were certainly partially responding to the desires of most of the general public...to a point. They subsequently changed leadership in a peaceful manner several times, and made further attempts at liberalization, culminating in Gorbachev's "Glasnost" and "Perestroika". These again were attempts to meet the wishes and concerns of the citizenry, as well as to simply deal with practical realities in a changing world (which is another way of saying the same thing). Gorbachev's only error was in assuming that his populace was mature enough to embrace such radical change and not capsize the boat in the process. They were not. Yeltsin promised them unrealistic dreams, and they fell for it. Too bad. They could have done better.

But I have to disagree with your final statement. No nation-state or political entity is "functionally capable of existing for the duration of Earth itself". Not Rome. Not Assyria. Not the Egyptian empire. Not Atlantis. Not the Incas. Not the USA.

The only way your assertion could prove true would be if the World ended a lot sooner than I think it's going to....like quite soon, in other words.

Face it, man. You will shortly reincarnate as something other than an American, and your loyalties will then be given to some other temporary beneficiary. This life is a stage play. I appreciate the fact that you play your particular part in it with real gusto.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 08 May 03 - 10:40 AM

LH, I appreciate your response, but I think your point makes mine.

The Soviets did not have a political system that not only mandated regular change, but defined rules for doing so. To those of us who thought Clinton was the worse thing to happen to the honor of a serving government, we still knew that it would only last 8 years, and that the rules for changing it were well defined. Even to those who disagreed with the outcome of the last election, and the Supreme Court's role in it, they never attempted to oppose the Courts eventual role in that process. It is the way we do things... There was never a history of anything similar in Russia.

Not every culture is destined to survive for any great length of time. The Incas and Aztecs murdered and enslaved millons of its local populations to the point where 138 Spanish soldiers and 30 horses took the whole empire. The French language is dying and so will it's culture. German used to be the language of science, now a few phrases are used to discribe phychological problems. English is the language of the sea, the sky, and space beyond.

And I believe that language is an intergral part of culture. English is growing at a rate 10 and twenty times of any other language. It has proven the most adaptable of any language, by borrowing the concept of prefixes and suffixes form the Germans, without the stilted constructs. The English dictionaries add words every year, at a rate matched by no other language.

Thus, it is my conceit that, with the most adaptable form of governance, coupled with a language and culture that drips adaptation will, in the end, triumph over all but the most physical termination of the Earth. And who knows, by then it may be the stars.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Amos
Date: 08 May 03 - 10:47 AM

Ah, CLaymore, what a delight to detect the visionary and poet hiding inside that crusty shell!! And here I had thought you were a hopeless reactionary!! My apologies. Just goes to show you...


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: MMario
Date: 08 May 03 - 10:58 AM

to backtack a bit - the figures in the US for un-employment are skewed - as just one example - last month I listened to a report which simultaneously claimed that state-wide un-employment was down - and that due to lay-offs, etc, 150,000 additional people had been rendered jobless. can't happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 08 May 03 - 02:10 PM

Claymore-I don't think that English is going to work out quite that well. Its very facility in absorbing new words is driving it to unwieldiness. If it survives at all, it will be due to a continuous shedding and regrowth, as it has been doing for its entire history. Chaucerian English is no more akin to modern English than is French to Spanish. While I will admit that the language and culture are quite adaptable, I see little difference between total adaptation and complete revolution. We change too much to last: even if it's still called America, it won't be at all the same thing as is now, which is in turn completely different than it was 150 years ago (though scarily similar to the Gilded Age).


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 08 May 03 - 04:04 PM

I was discussing this thread with a friend, who said (I'm paraphrasing him):

"The US has already lost its power. There's something very wrong there, which is why George W. Bush was able to get close enough in the election to steal it. I mean, think about it -- a cocaine abuser, an alcoholic who never held a job, didn't get a decent education, at least not properly, who deserted from his military requirement, who isn't very bright -- this man would never have been taken seriously as a presidential candidate if there wasn't something awfully wrong already."

Comments?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: NicoleC
Date: 08 May 03 - 04:40 PM

Many Presidents in our history have had equally unsavory backgrounds, but it's all about the packaging. GWB isn't the first one that shouldn't even have been seriously considered as a candidate, let alone for a major political party.

If there's an indication of the weak state of democracy in the US, I think it lies more in the family history. GWB was hardly a political star with a long and illustrious career of service, but his father was. And ultimately, most Republicans seemed to support GWB as much for his father's reputation and name recognition as they might have for his views. I suspect England felt the same sense of unreality when Edward II died and left a son who clearly was not equal to his father's ability.

Gore, too, is a hereditary politician, like many others in Washington. Breaking into the political inner circle without large sums of money and family ties is becoming harder each election. We may get to vote, but almost always the choices are only for the members of a selected oligarchy that most citizens have no control over or access to. Potentially brilliant leaders who don't have those connections are left out in the cold; the few that break through (like Clinton) are contantly reviled for their inferior background, and just because someone (like Clinton) might have the ability to climb the politcal ladder, doesn't mean those abilities are synonymous with the abilities needed in great leaders.

Can you imagine yourself, even if struck with political brilliance tomorrow, ever managing to successfully become President?


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 08 May 03 - 04:50 PM

To NicoleC

Well stated, you have made some extremely valid points. You ask:

"Can you imagine yourself, even if struck with political brilliance tomorrow, ever managing to successfully become President?"

No, of course not. I also wouldn't want "political brilliance," as it is defined today.

Good points.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 May 03 - 05:22 PM

You raise some interesting points there, Claymore. I agree that English is the most influential language, and becoming more so. I think Canada may have a great future ahead of it, simply because there's still a lot of really good land and fresh water here...and not that big a population.

It depends, though, on any number of other factors which could affect us...like what the USA does or what China does in the next few decades. We'll have to play our cards carefully, I'm thinking.

The flexible political tradition you laud in the USA (quite rightly) was a further development of the British tradition, which has also been a very lasting and successful one. Canadian society is another offshoot of the British tradition, as are Australia and New Zealand.

But don't go telling the French that they are going to vanish into the sunset! :-) They are firmly convinced, and always have been, that they are the most sophisticated and civilized culture on the face of the Earth. As for the Germans, well, the Germans will adapt and endure. They're a tremendously capable people.

But the political structures? Those come and go.

Like you, Claymore, I look to the stars. Yes, I believe we will go there, and it's not too far off. I hope we are a united World when we do.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 May 03 - 05:36 PM

There is a statement that seems to be all too appropriate to this era. The statement is by a Venita Cravens, and who she is, I have no idea, nor have I been able to find out. Anyway,
"When small men cast long shadows, the sun is going down."
The Founding Fathers assumed an "informed electorate." But I wonder how an electorate can truly be informed when the news media is dedicated primarily to "info-tainment," and otherwise behaves like a rooting section for whatever conservative administration happens to be in, or a rumor-monger for scandal if the administration is of a more liberal bent. How informed can an electorate be if there are serious issues at stake, but more than fifty percent of the voters can't work up enough interest to get up off their butts and go vote?

That last. Perhaps I can answer my own question. One wonders what difference one's vote can make if there are no really genuine alternatives? Somebody once commented that "between a real Republican and a fake Republican, the real Republican will win every time."

I'll repost THIS LINK, just in case somebody missed it the first time around.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 08 May 03 - 05:46 PM

Well I do know that if the Canadians and the Germans make it to the stars with us, the place will be neatly kept. With the Brits we'll have well-tied cravats and excellent diction. And the Aussies will convert all the potable water to beer...

And the French won't know we left...


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 May 03 - 07:36 PM

Nor will they care... :-)

Don, I read that link. Great article, and right on the mark. If I was an American, I believe I'd become a Democrat on the strength of that article, and I never thought I'd say that!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: DougR
Date: 09 May 03 - 01:25 AM

Intersting commentary, Don, and totally unbiased too, right?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Amos
Date: 09 May 03 - 09:38 AM

Today the NYT off-leads and the WP and LAT go inside with the defeat of some Senate Republicans in their efforts eliminate the 2005 sunset clause on sweeping new law-enforcement powers included 2001's Patriot Act. It was a brief victory for civil libertarians, however, as the Senate then went on to approve another expansion of federal surveillance powers--which the NYT calls the "lone-wolf" measure and the WP labels the "Moussaoui fix"--that would allow secret surveillance of suspects who are not thought to be members of terrorist organizations. Under the current law, the Feds must establish some link to a foreign terror group to request a secret warrant.

Big Brother's baby steps keep trundling.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 May 03 - 11:33 AM

Anyone who has an opinion on anything is biased, Doug. You want an unbiased opinion? Go and talk to Lincoln's statue, and see what he has to say.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,k
Date: 09 May 03 - 11:47 AM

Do you people not realize that those who are actually controlling things (ie. multinational corporations, etc) don't give a fuck about Democrat, Republican, Left wing, Right wing, Liberal, Conservative. All of this idealogical and political bickering is just a cheap dog and pony show to keep you all occupied while they gain more and more control. Bread and circuses folks.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 09 May 03 - 11:50 AM

To Guest k:

Right on!!


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 May 03 - 03:33 PM

Guest k, read the link I posted (twice). Unless you are dedicated to just sitting on your keister, all is not lost. . . yet.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 May 03 - 10:01 AM

The ruling elite (see bread and circus comments) are much more conservative than the general population, and so manipulate the system to their advantage. They are the only interest group, in the US or in any other country in the world, with the power, access, and wealth, to manipulate entire political systems to their advantage, whether they are doing it in Nigeria or Florida.

As NicoleC pointed out, Clinton was impeached not for what he did, but for who he was--a president who rose from the ranks of the American untouchable caste. He was not a Roosevelt, a Bush, a Kennedy, a Gore...

Carter was never successful as president for the same reason--he was a Washington outsider from humble beginnings.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Doug_Remley
Date: 10 May 03 - 05:33 PM

"Toto, do you see Kansas anywhere?"

Guests seem to appear uncomfortable with names allowing recollection of previous points, thus I am confused. How widespread IS the use of novels as reference materials, or, is it simply P.T. Barnum's old saw that hits the mark? At first-hand it was clear to anyone with leadership experience that Carter's failure (and maybe Clinton's, to an extent, but that was only through observation from afar) was due to very poor staff choices. Their presence in office without the family names mentioned becomes prima facie evidence of the fact.

As an aside, that was true of Daniel Ortega, as well. Though Socialism is a requirement for heavily agrarian economies in transit to healthier, mixed economies with good distribution infrastructure and modern education, denial of US support creates vacuums happily filled by neo-socialist/communist (no point in beating bushes) thugs. Often a good dog dies of its own worms and fleas. Guests, if it suits. That may be also why the US finally loses what power it has. They are called parasites. Not necessarily a generalized infection, but oddly, an infection of generalization and innuendo. Feelings as fact rather than fact affecting feeling.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 May 03 - 12:14 AM

Well, yes, GUEST (DG)...you are quite right. It is a dog and pony show to delude the masses, and the rich elite rule no matter who wins. Sad but true. The same was true when a small elite of royalty and nobles ran the roost a couple of centuries back.

On the other hand, there's no harm in trying to influence things through radicalizing the Democratic Party at this point...while making other preparations in case it doesn't yield any useful results.

What really needs to be done is to change the political $ySStem in the USA so that it is not totally dominated by the two traditional parties, but has proportional representation. I doubt that there is a dog's chance in hell that the people at the top will let that happen.

We have the same basic problem in Canada. A MINORITY vote can produce a majority government with absolute ease in this country...and the smaller players can end up with no representation at all. 60% of the voters can be opposed to a major policy...like "Free Trade" (ha, ha) and the 40% of voters in favour of it can end up voting their guys in anyway, because of the way party politics works here. It's ludicrous.

And it is anything but democratic.

It used to work to the benefit of the Federal Conservatives (in the 80's). Now it's working to the benefit of the Federal Liberals (because the Conservatives fractured into two parties which divides the Conservative vote so the Liberals always win).

Then we've got a supposedly socialist party (not very), which used to split the non-Conservative vote, but has lost a great deal of ground since the 80's.

It's a system that simply does not work in terms of actually representing the public in an effective manner. And that is all to the benefit of the ruling elite who do not WANT the public to have any real power.

It's even worse in the USA.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,Claymore
Date: 11 May 03 - 12:44 AM

Well, in the humble origins class, you do have a haberdasher (Truman) a brace of WWII naval officers from poor backgrounds (Nixon and Johnson) and an actor (Reagan). It looks even up to me...


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,Guess who?
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 12:22 AM

Personally, I think the US will not lose its status as a superpower for another hundred years or so. They may have spikes and declines, but it will remain known as a superpower for a very long time to come due to it's gigantic cultural, economical, military, and governmental influence it has on the world. They make the old British empire look like wusses, and the Brits made the old Roman empire look like wusses. This is just a time of decline due to reactions of the events of 9/11 which was the reason that the American economy plumeted shortly after. I'll give the Americans 150 more years of superpower, followed by some 350 years as being a normal world power, followed by 500 years of being around as a nation, and maybe 1000 more years of being a civilization before it is finally assimilated into another civilization and/or nation. Unless, of course, the world ends within this time period. I get my predictions from history. I look at the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Germans (Holy Roman Empire), Britain, and see that they held onto power for a very long time, and lasted for even longer. The Holy Roman Empire is no longer around today, but the Brits still are. Rome lasted for more than a thousand years, it's power for more than half of that. Sure the US may change, both landwise, and culturally wise, but I still believe it will hold onto power for some time to come.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 04:46 AM

The US losing power is not just a little local difficulty. When the top dog dies his place is taken by another, and usually that's after a fight with the other contenders.
The real question is, 'Who will take their place?' It is hard to look beyond Asia to find the most likely candidates, and if they impose their culture on us the way we imposed ours on them, then we're all in for a bit of a culture shock.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 07:51 AM

Claymore, you may stand in awe of our (Military) power, but just remember, "The smallest dog can piss on the biggest building."

Yesterday, I was watching the coverage in the Senate where they were debating the CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT BILL. Next week they are going to take up amending the constitution to forbid same sex marriages! At a time when we have just received word that Al Quada is planning a major attack right here in the USA, and Homeland Security is still not funded. The republicans control the House, the Senate, the White House and the Supreme Court, yet they blame the democrats for gridlock. Well, guess wjho I will blame when the dirty bomb gores off in NYC.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Teribus
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 10:05 AM

Somebody will forget to put the money in the meter.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 01:48 PM

Howard Stern will be elected President. That will be the beginning of the end.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: kendall
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 08:56 PM

It already started with Alfred E. Bush.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 08:59 PM

"The Holy Roman Empire is no longer around"

It wasn't Holy, it wasn't Roman and it wasn't an Empire.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: DougR
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 09:54 PM

As John Wayne was wont to say, "That'll be the day, Pilgrim" (when the U.S "finally" loses it's power).

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,IMHO
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 05:29 PM

Regarding attacks in the US: I would worry about Indian Point Nuclear Power Facility. But then, I'm sure someone already is. Right? RIGHT??


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 07:14 PM

Doug, my friend, Marion Morrison never spoke a word that was not scripted, and he never served a day in the military. He was hardly a prophet.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 12:53 PM

Within the next generation or two, China will have the world's biggest economy. The US can do nothing about it, without cutting severely into the living standards of its own population. The American economy, as others have pointed out above, is a giant bubble that could burst at any time.

Meanwhile the US has discovered that for all its monstrous spending on "defence" (which embraces a huge spend on offensive capability) it has just found out that policing the world is not as easy as it had supposed. Right now it is struggling to make its writ run in a tiny part of one of the poorest nations on earth (Afghanistan) and in Iraq, which has been bombed to ruins by two wars.

For better or worse, the Romans introduced a degree of civilisation to the territories of their empire; likewise the British. The US, having destroyed Iraq, finds it has no capacity even to make good the damage it's done. Iraq now has less electricity than under the Saddam regime, and out of 2,300 construction projects identified and promised, 140 have been started. Bridges destroyed during the war have yet to be repaired, and water supply systems in the south of the country, similarly destroyed, are still not working. (Why it was necessary to destroy civilian water systems was never explained.)

Anyone who thinks so tenuous an empire could survive for centuries (even ignoring the fact that the empire is intent on destroying the global environment well within that timespan) is living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. Its days are numbered, and I just wish DougR could hang in long enough to count them down.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 01:16 PM

Without trying to upset my US friends, this is how it looks from my side of the pond.
America is a superpower, it calls the shots, and all should obey, and at the same time love them for it. But shock horror, some countries have the effrontery to argue, and to fight back. HEY! says the US it seems you don't like us, in fact nobody loves us, and after all we tried to do for them. Showing them how to run their country and all that.
Neither the US, the UK or anybody else is the world's policeman, it has fuck all to do with us how other people run their countries. And when it come to criticising how other folks do things, we disregard the mote in our own eyes. It looks like you/we are interfering, and that pisses people off, so that's why they get mad.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: kendall
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 01:34 PM

The truth never offends me, Giok.


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: DougR
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 03:22 PM

Giok: you sound much like a isolationist. I guess Kendall is one too. Not very realistic I think.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: Jeri
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 04:40 PM

Doug, it only sounds like isolationism if you see two extreme ways of interacting nationally, think telling other people how to run their countries is the opposite of isolation, and see no middle ground whatsoever...oh, sorry. Forgot who I was talkin' to...


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 05:37 PM

Doug if you want to help people you ask them what they want, not tell them what you think they want. I'm not an isolationist, but we stand on very shaky ground when we criicise other peoples human rights record etc. I'm all for helping, but I'm dead against interfering.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: How the US will finally lose its power?
From: GUEST,IMHO
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 06:12 PM

The USA used to be a very respected country. Now, it is a very feared country. And her White House is filled with treason, greed, avarice and insanity. I once saw the USA as the light of hope for this world. Now, I no longer perceive it that way. It is in rut with its desire for more, more, more, and G-d alone knows where it will end. I think the day will come when even people like Doug can share the sense of disgust many former friends are beginning to feel. This is not an indictment of the American people. It is however a statement of opinion about the filthiest bastards ever to call the White House home. It is a House that no longer belongs to its owners.


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