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Member since: 2002
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Several questions are neoliberal bilge.

I got everything right, but only by lying to give answers I knew the test prefers because they fit the dominant economic and political ideology, even though they are false.
Free enterprise or capitalism exists insofar as:
experts managing the nationís commerce are appointed by elected officials
individual citizens create, exchange, and control goods and resources
charity, philanthropy, and volunteering decrease
demand and supply are decided through majority vote
government implements policies that favor businesses over consumers

It expects answer b, of course. This is nonsense. In real capitalism, "individual citizens" don't control jackshit (not even their own lawn) unless they happen to be very rich or organized into large aggregates.

"Free enterprise" and capitalism are two different things. "Free enterprise" is a fiction, a fairy tale unrelated to any empirical reality, an ideology. It is deployed to justify the real economic system of capitalism, which in its present form is described as a whole by none of the above answers, although answer e (bolded) truthfully describes an aspect of it better than the rest.

There's more of that, including this:

International trade and specialization most often lead to which of the following?
an increase in a nationís productivity
a decrease in a nationís economic growth in the long term
an increase in a nationís import tariffs
a decrease in a nationís standard of living

As good Ricardans they expect answer a, obviously.

As this issue is debated even within the establishment "economics" cult, the writers of the question know it is explicitly and consciously ideological. So no excuses for them.

How's this for transporting your assumptions (and tipping your hand)?

Free markets typically secure more economic prosperity than governmentís centralized planning because:
the price system utilizes more local knowledge of means and ends
markets rely upon coercion, whereas government relies upon voluntary compliance with the law
more tax revenue can be generated from free enterprise
property rights and contracts are best enforced by the market system
government planners are too cautious in spending taxpayersí money

Might as well do it like this: "Miley Cyrus is a more wonderful performer than Justin Timberlake (the only other option of a performer in the world) because..."

Did you bother to click on the homepage of this institute? Libertarian intellectual commandos of the Austrian kind, of course.

Actually, among automotive historians...

not to mention the automotive industry, there is a pronounced tendency to minimize or outright deny, still, the well-documented GM-led effort to destroy commuter rail and trolleys. And there are some ridiculous talking points to justify it, along the lines of, well the commuter rail was going to die anyway (the same argument could be used on behalf of poisoning very old people, if you see what I mean).

This is because interest can, in the mentality of those who have one, consistently trump reality. As it is doing in your case with JFK. Not just interest, but denial, an incredibly powerful force.

I've heard people call Noam Chomsky a "conspiracy theorist" for saying there is a ruling class! There is a whole body of pluralist political theory that still purports to deny that there is a power elite, contrary to all the evidence.

Cover-ups only need to last long enough to establish stable relationships of power. Mossadegh, Diem, Lumumba, Gulf of Tonkin... the realities of these episodes were denied for decades! The State Department first owed up officially to Mossadegh in the 1990s, if I remember correctly. Until then it was "conspiracy theory" to say CIA-UK-Anglo-Iranian orchestrated that coup, even though everyone in Iran knew what had happened.

So the hilarious thing is your premise that the coup d'etat of November 1963 has been kept secret. Here you're confused about the difference between secret and taboo, or between truth and hegemony, or, as seems likely in your case, between reality and denial.

In this case, apparently unwittingly, you've bought into a fairly invincible hegemonic opinion, despite the best evidence to the contrary. There are and have always been countless loose ends in the official JFK narrative, especially on the construction and cover-up side with the intel asset Oswald, his mafia killer Ruby, and the hopelessly compromised, Dulles-steered WCR.

The loose ends don't matter. It's not about keeping it a total secret. It's not about super competence. It's about toughing it out and holding tight. It's about who has the power (in the case of elites) or the privilege (in the case of those who echo them) to define what is important -- or to keep repeating the same bullshit over and over definitively, as if this makes it true.

The Kremlin knew JFK was the one...

who kept the likes of LeMay and Lemnitzer at bay, when they wanted to have a nuclear war if necessary in October 1962.

"It always amazes me how LHO went to the USSR and Cuba then gets allowed back into the US and kills JFK. Like a ghost."

Or like a patsy. Who had been an intel asset in the Angleton false-defector efforts. Heights of the Cold War and this guy who tried to renounce his citizenship at the U.S. embassy in Moscow wants to come back to the U.S. with a Russian bride! After a routine bureaucratic procedure, he is given his papers and a loan, no biggie, and he and Marina are let back in. No interrogations, nothing. A real defector who had acted as he had -- who was implicated in the exposure of the U2 program and the shootdown of Gary Powers! -- would have never got this soft treatment. Or hung out with White Russian exiles like De Mohrenschildt. Or pretended he was with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, as the only New Orleans member, with an office address at Guy Bannister's anti-Castro nest! Let's finally get real about the "loner." He was with the spooks, and they served him up when they took out JFK. This is "Occam's Razor," the least complex explanation for the available facts, if we must use that tired trope. And when he maddeningly survived the day, a mafia killer throws himself at him as a self-sacrifice to kill him on live national TV! But a palace coup d'etat can't happen in America, therefore lone gunman acting alone murdered the president. Repeat for 50 years.

Which state is worse - Colombia or Venezuela?

The Colombian government receives U.S. aid and is considered a partner in the U.S. government's war on drugs.

The government of neighboring Venezuela is often treated as a U.S. enemy and frequently condemned by the U.S. government.

Based on what you know about both countries in recent years, which of the two represents the more repressive regime?

Feel free to debate.

"We" made a wrong turn?

Does it occur to you that the only "wrong turn" would have been that by Kubrick and Clark, by overestimating what would be possible by the year "2001" in their fictional work?

Or that it's not even wrong of them, since it's... fiction? And rather clearly full of allegory? You know, a myth (in the transcendent sense)? What about the part with the apes, do you think that was historical footage, perhaps?

Would the movie have signified all that differently if it were called "2101," or "1899"? (It would still rock the universe, of course.)

And I'm big on the space future. Just without illusions that any of us are going to live to see the eventual colonization of other planets, or that it requires an immediate rush-rush.

Maybe to placate some transhumanists?

The release of all files

about Ioannides and Oswald, and those from Angleton, might do so. There is no reason left to be keeping any secrets about this case any more -- no reason, that is, if "Oswald acting alone murdered the president."

In fact, the millions of pages released through the ARRB have already changed things. Whatever was left of the official story is already demolished, and eventually the historical record, the one by people who don't feel an emotional stake in defending the myths of 1963 America, will reflect that.

Accountability? History still matters, even if the perps can't be brought to justice any more. The question is how much longer we will tolerate this aggressive empire that does no good for Americans, this constant rule by crisis and exception, this permanent war industry that eats the national surplus product, this deep state and its countless parapolitical tentacles, this intel-security complex that generates the very problems it purports to address? The truth about the November 1963 coup d'etat can be an important impulse toward ending all that, though there's no pretending it's a magic pill.

No, your game is a diversion.

If the Warren Commission story fails, then those who point this out are not required to set up a complete alternative. (Although plenty have done so in plausible fashion, and again you should read Douglass, Newman and Di Eugenio for more; I'm willing to defer to those who have put in the decades of research and present it with evidence and logic intact, unlike the sophistry of plagiarist whores like Posner.)

If the WC fails, then there has been a cover-up with complicity from government agencies for 50 years. That becomes relevant.

If CE399 did not cause seven separate wounds, then I don't need to make a diorama of Dealey Plaza showing what did. That is a total diversion.

I want to see the release of the Ioannides and Angleton files, and the release of all the thousands of pages of material about Oswald that are still classified despite the ARRB act.

What's your theory about why, instead of a trial of Oswald, we saw a mafia killer sacrifice himself in a desperate act to murder Oswald on live TV, and then, in describing his "motive," made a barely-veiled threat to Jackie Kennedy to keep her fucking mouth shut?

My choice would be for the U.S. to stop supporting Saudi Arabia.

How about yours?

Not only has the U.S. ceded any moral standing to complain about the situation in other nations, it is directly responsible for the situation in several of the nations you are now complaining about:

Imagine if Vietnam had not been invaded in the greatest international crime after 1945. Imagine two million people in Indochina had not died because of the U.S. invasion and war of aggression there. Perhaps conditions in Vietnam would be better today? Perhaps the U.S. would have any kind of moral standing to complain about conditions in Vietnam?

Saudi Arabia is one of the world's most horrible regimes, no doubt. And it exists thanks to UK and U.S. imperialism. It is the most important U.S. ally in the key Middle East region alongside Israel.

Cuba, the target of a U.S. invasion and long-running blockade, absolutely merits a seat on that council, if any state does. Compare its history to those countries in the region that were unable to resist U.S. imperialism, like El Salvador or Guatemala, where U.S.-backed death squads killed hundreds of thousands. Also, probably the only torture chambers in Cuba are found in the U.S. military base at Guantanamo. Cuba's human rights violations are by any measure a) to be condemned and b) not comparable to the United States's, even on U.S. soil where a "war on drugs" rages and the highest imprisonment rate in the world obtains.

Russia is in a special class since it is the only nation that can be said to be quite in the same league as the United States - the only other one that has launched wars of aggression in recent years, and thus committed the highest of all international crimes, according to Nuremberg principles.

Let's have a poll on JFK

Keeping it simple:

(1) Warren Commission: Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, murdered the president.

(2) President Kennedy was assassinated in a coup d'etat by elements within the U.S. military and intelligence complex.

(3) Other. (Feel free to elaborate.)

This is not exactly what was announced...

After an audit in 2000-2001 the Pentagon failed to square a couple of decades worth of its own balance sheets, with the unaccounted-for portion estimated at $2.4 trillion. This indicates that the enormous secret budgets and the waste and inefficiency allow room for potentially hundreds of millions in diverted funds as well as graft and embezzlement, but it does not mean that $2.4 trillion was simply lifted and disappeared in one day. To a large extent it's because they're unable to track or assess values on obsolete equipment and old programs dating back to the 1970s.

Again, there is a real problem here, the Pentagon is an open gateway to public-private plunder as well as secret program budgets that make a mockery of democracy. It should have been the scandal of 2001, and 9/11 conveniently covered it up.
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