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Author Topic: Just joined the forums...  (Read 14560 times)

Rocketman

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2005, 08:54:20 am »

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I'm advocating that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STOPS FORCING OUR COMMUNITIES AND SCHOOLS TO BE HAVENS FOR THE PROMOTION OF MILITARISM AND IMPERIALISM.

Government schools are havens for statism in all its ugly forms.  Green only wishes to remove one of the forms.

I'm advocating that the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STOPS FORCING OUR SCHOOLS (and by extension, our communities) TO BE HAVENS FOR THE PROMOTION OF STATISM.  Schools force students to accept, from an early age, the legitimacy of arbitrary power.  The result is widespread acceptance of militarism and imperialism, as well as drug prohibition, massive beauracracies, the two-party political system, the idea that individuals are incapable of making their own decisions, and the myth that 90% of Americans would have starved to death by now if big brother hadn't hooked people on "safety net" entitlement programs.

Also, anyone who jumps Ian for his occasionally blunt statements should probably consider just how many people his radio show recruits for the FSP.  Sometimes bluntness is what people need to hear.  I'd like to respect the military, but it's awfully hard when I disagree with 80% of what they currently do.  Same with cops... I support them 100% when they are catching real criminals, but when they are fighting the Drug War, they are my sworn enemy.  So my message to all: if you want my complete respect, don't participate in the fighting of an unjust war.

To quote an old Phil Ohcs song (yeah, I know he was a confused socialist... sorry  ;) ): "Is there anyone here who thinks that followin' the orders takes away the blame?"  Also: "If I've got something to say, sir, I'm gonna say it now."

What's your take, gho5t?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 09:00:21 am by Rocketman »
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5thconcerto

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2005, 08:59:25 am »

Re comments on Ian. I'd take Ian over 95% of the population, but if I disagree with him, I will say so. I would expect the same from him, you, or anybody.
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FTL_Ian

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2005, 03:45:51 pm »

So allow me to take offense to that as well.
Perhaps instead of just registering offense, you could explain how it is that the military is not a waste of time, money, effort, and life?

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Who asked for your pity? I merely point out that it may not be in the best interest of FSP recruitment to blanket insult a pool of potential recruits.
Allow me to point out that not all military people will consider them insults!

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Words have power.  People will interpret your statements through the prism of their own perspective, not yours.  Though you may not intend to insult, you do.  Though you may not wish to repel, you might.
Jon, I can't please everybody, and I won't try.  I'm not here to recruit people.  I do that outside of this forum.  If you were insulted by my statements, I'm sorry about that, but I'm not sorry I made them.  That's what I believe.  You believe the military is worth something, and I don't.  I eagerly await your answer as to why it is not a waste of time, money, effort, and life.

Regards,
Ian
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JonM

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2005, 04:24:40 pm »

Had we no military during say the last 60 years, what language do you expect we would be typing in?  Indeed, what would Europe look like?  We must face the world that exists, not the one we wish to exist.  While there were expansionist regimes on this planet who wished to control more territory than they already had, those who did not have the means to fend them off were subject to the very subjugation that Green brought up.  As it is now, I wonder how long before China decides the territory they control isn't enough for them.  One can hope they figure out economics is a better solution than warfare, but this does not always appear to be the case with them.  Hopefully their recent saber rattling toward Taiwan is nothing more than that.

Do we need a standing army as large as we have had just to deter someone from coming in and bombing the hell out of us until we surrender?  No, we don't.  Would the United States of America be what it is today, good or bad, if we had nothing but "minutemen" ready to take up arms at need?  I doubt it, but perhaps that's just me.  You may decry the existence of the military all you like, but you owe your ability to decry them to their existence.  Even if they were just cleaning up messes that might not have existed in the world we'd like to live in, we can only visit that world in our imagination for now.
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Green

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2005, 04:29:24 pm »

Had we no military during say the last 60 years, what language do you expect we would be typing in?  Indeed, what would Europe look like?  We must face the world that exists, not the one we wish to exist.  While there were expansionist regimes on this planet who wished to control more territory than they already had,

What, like the United States Federal Government for the last 200 years?

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those who did not have the means to fend them off were subject to the very subjugation that Green brought up.  As it is now, I wonder how long before China decides the territory they control isn't enough for them.  One can hope they figure out economics is a better solution than warfare, but this does not always appear to be the case with them.  Hopefully their recent saber rattling toward Taiwan is nothing more than that.

Do we need a standing army as large as we have had just to deter someone from coming in and bombing the hell out of us until we surrender?  No, we don't.  Would the United States of America be what it is today, good or bad, if we had nothing but "minutemen" ready to take up arms at need?  I doubt it, but perhaps that's just me.  You may decry the existence of the military all you like, but you owe your ability to decry them to their existence.

Nope, I owe it to the generations of people who organized for social change, and who believed that ordinary people could change the world.  I owe it to the Haymarket martyers, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, all the IWWers fighting for working class solidarity, the Communists in the CIO, Martin Luther King Jr and all the civil rights movement, all the radical students of the New Left who fought against war, for women's liberation, for an enviromental conciousness.

I owe it to all those who have struggled in ages past for freedom, democracy, social justice, and human rights -- NOT to some statist military institution that is simply an instrument of imperialism and war.

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Even if they were just cleaning up messes that might not have existed in the world we'd like to live in, we can only visit that world in our imagination for now.

WOW!!!

You really believe that?  The United States has the most expansionist and militarist history of any nation-state in existence today.

Do you know who installed the Baathist regime in Iraq in 1968?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 04:47:30 pm by Green »
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FTL_Ian

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2005, 04:39:38 pm »

Had we no military during say the last 60 years, what language do you expect we would be typing in?
English.

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Indeed, what would Europe look like?
I don't care, that's Europe's problem.  I don't live there.

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We must face the world that exists, not the one we wish to exist.
Too bad our presidents use the military to enforce their wishes for the world.

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  While there were expansionist regimes on this planet who wished to control more territory than they already had, those who did not have the means to fend them off were subject to the very subjugation that Green brought up.
Is that an excuse for foreign interventionism?  Too bad for them.  Let them fight their own wars.

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As it is now, I wonder how long before China decides the territory they control isn't enough for them.  One can hope they figure out economics is a better solution than warfare, but this does not always appear to be the case with them.  Hopefully their recent saber rattling toward Taiwan is nothing more than that.
Are you suggesting they would invade the USA?  I hope China continues down the Free Market path they have been toying with...

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Do we need a standing army as large as we have had just to deter someone from coming in and bombing the hell out of us until we surrender?  No, we don't.
We agree after all!

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Would the United States of America be what it is today, good or bad, if we had nothing but "minutemen" ready to take up arms at need?  I doubt it, but perhaps that's just me.
It's just you.  We'd be SO much better off.  Those who died "in service" would have lived.  They would have been productive instead of destructive.  Our government would likely be smaller.  Our taxes, less.  We'd not be hated worldwide.

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You may decry the existence of the military all you like, but you owe your ability to decry them to their existence.  Even if they were just cleaning up messes that might not have existed in the world we'd like to live in, we can only visit that world in our imagination for now.
Nope, I owe it to those who fought for our freedom against the British.  Our military wasn't involved in that fight.

Regards,
Ian
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JonM

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2005, 05:41:04 pm »

Are you suggesting that if we were unable to put up a meaningful fight, the USSR would not invade and conquer the United States and Canada during the 20th century?  I mean, invading other countries to spread Communism was so unlike them . . . except for all the countries they invaded of course.

I disagree with you both.  Had the United States had no military during the 20th century, there would be, in my opinion, no United States in the 21st century.  We would at best be a territory of a country that did have a good sized military and knew how to use it.  We could have sat back and done nothing during the second World War, and let the Germans eventually wipe England off the face of the Earth.  Perhaps the USSR kicks their ass, but absent the threat of the U.S. on the western front maybe Germany is able to handle the USSR.  Or perhaps the Nazis develop atomic weapons first and nuke the crap out of Moscow.  Non-Interventionist America gets the surrender or be nuked option.  Either way, what would stop the Axis powers from taking over the entire planet?

The British were an expansionist empire, and they were fairly good at it.  The Spanish did pretty well at it as well.  We appear to suck at empire building.  If we were as expansionist as Green thinks, why not just annex Afghanistan once we invade?  That's what a real empire builder would do.

If we decommissioned every piece of military equipment we had and retired every soldier, sailor, airman and marine and got rid of all our nukes, do I think someone would invade us?  Damn straight I do, what would stop them?  Perhaps I'm overly paranoid, but that's my opinion.
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Green

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2005, 05:52:29 pm »

Are you suggesting that if we were unable to put up a meaningful fight, the USSR would not invade and conquer the United States and Canada during the 20th century?  I mean, invading other countries to spread Communism was so unlike them . . . except for all the countries they invaded of course.

I disagree with you both.  Had the United States had no military during the 20th century, there would be, in my opinion, no United States in the 21st century.  We would at best be a territory of a country that did have a good sized military and knew how to use it.  We could have sat back and done nothing during the second World War, and let the Germans eventually wipe England off the face of the Earth.  Perhaps the USSR kicks their ass, but absent the threat of the U.S. on the western front maybe Germany is able to handle the USSR.  Or perhaps the Nazis develop atomic weapons first and nuke the crap out of Moscow.  Non-Interventionist America gets the surrender or be nuked option.  Either way, what would stop the Axis powers from taking over the entire planet?

The British were an expansionist empire, and they were fairly good at it.  The Spanish did pretty well at it as well.  We appear to suck at empire building.  If we were as expansionist as Green thinks, why not just annex Afghanistan once we invade?  That's what a real empire builder would do.

If we decommissioned every piece of military equipment we had and retired every soldier, sailor, airman and marine and got rid of all our nukes, do I think someone would invade us?  Damn straight I do, what would stop them?  Perhaps I'm overly paranoid, but that's my opinion.


You realize that you are defending the most statist, authoritarian, and single most expensive department of our Federal government when you say things like this?  The United States spends as much on its military-industrial complex as nations #2-8 combined, and at the current rate, will be spending more than the rest of the world combined by 2012.

The military (and police) are the very basis of the state.  You cannot legitimately claim to be against big government while defending the United States military.
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JonM

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2005, 05:56:53 pm »

Do we need a standing army as large as we have had just to deter someone from coming in and bombing the hell out of us until we surrender?  No, we don't.
We agree after all!
I never said I totally disagreed with you, I said I found the way in which you presented your case to be insulting.  The military wastes tons of money, as any government agency is wont to do.  We spend billions upon billions needlessly and inefficiently.  But I do disagree that they are completely useless, which is the implication I got from your statement.  Simply as a deterrent to those who wish to control more than they currently control they are useful.  In July of 1990 we thought we no longer lived in a world where one country would invade and annex another.  In August we learned we were wrong.  Was it right to hire out our military basically as mercenaries to Kuwait to get their country back for them?  Perhaps not, perhaps we could have let them fend for themselves and worked on a better source of energy while Saddam invaded Saudi Arabia and took control of much of that region.  It's not really our business if we can just kick our oil habit.  I'm sure there are people who would be very comfortable with that option.  And it's possible that given the necessity to develop a better energy strategy we might have come up with something that let us thumb our nose at the whole region.  I wish I could know the answer to questions such as those.  But someone decided otherwise and we live and die with the consequences of that decision.  Our adventures in foreign policy have dug us many holes that we simply can't turn our backs on and walk away from without repercussions.  Perhaps over time we can extricate ourselves from these messes and not leave people wanting to turn our country into the world's largest radioactive wasteland.  Perhaps
« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 06:06:53 pm by JonM »
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JonM

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2005, 06:06:07 pm »

You realize that you are defending the most statist, authoritarian, and single most expensive department of our Federal government when you say things like this?  The United States spends as much on its military-industrial complex as nations #2-8 combined, and at the current rate, will be spending more than the rest of the world combined by 2012.

The military (and police) are the very basis of the state.  You cannot legitimately claim to be against big government while defending the United States military.
I say their existence is not all bad and I'll stand by that.  I'll agree that they are by far bigger than they need to be to protect our country from all the people we've pissed off over the years.  I am not anti-state, I signed a pledge to reduce the size of government in New Hampshire, not to eliminate it.  Nothing in what I signed up for has anything to do with the size and shape of the Federal Government, though I wish its size were smaller.  Perhaps (is this my favorite word in this thread or what?) in time I will come to agree with the more anarchist point of view that most things are better left to non governmental solutions.  I can at least see the logic of it now, even if I don't quite agree with it at this point for all functions.

And I do believe the single most expensive department in our Federal Government is Health and Human Services.  Defense is second to the Treasury at third.
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lloydbob1

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2005, 06:19:55 pm »

  The United States spends as much on its military-industrial complex as nations #2-8 combined,

We're probably defending 2-8, as well.
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gh05t

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2005, 07:17:08 pm »

Wow - I seem to have generated (or at least highlighted) some healthy debate here.  Sorry I took so long to get back on this topic, I visited my parents over the weekend and had no time to check the forum.  I spent the whole time talking with my good friend Christian from Germany about everything, including politics.

Warning, the following is quite long.  If anyone wishes to skip it, then just jump ahead to the dotted line near the bottom.

A lot of what he had to say makes sense, but only when taken in the context of what seems to be conventional wisdom in America.  He tells me that Germany is quite divided about the Iraq war.  I had no idea - how could I, since no news agancy other than Fox would report such a thing?  We discussed a lot of percentages (for example, he told me that he believes that Farenheit 9/11 was about 60% real facts, and 40% hype and propaganda) - but this one shocked me.  We are almost constantly reminded that everyone who is not an American wild-eyed conservative whacko red-stater is absolutely opposed to the Iraq war.  This is simply not the case.  Granted, the numbers are not scientific, but my friend estimates that about 60% of Germans oppose the war (for whatever reason), 35% support it and 5% either do not know or do not care.
Later on, when we went to a concert on Saturday (Sage Francis & Atmosphere) - and by the way, these musicians are VERY politcal, and VERY anti-Bush - one of the performers talked about how Fox News is merely republican propaganda.  He then suggested that we read Aljazeera instead.  I've had Aljazeera's Arabic version translated for me.  It's not the same stories that they put on the English version.  In fact, there's a lot of what I would call gross manipulations of facts...
Here's an interesting idea - instead of propaganda A, let's go get some of propaganda B and then act like we know what's going on better than everyone else.  As if lie #1 were superior to lie #2 or vice versa...
My point is bascially in reference to the first rebuttal that I recieved - about Iraqis being unhappy with the war.  Certainly some Iraqis do not want us there.  Certainly some Germans oppose the war.  But if we rely on information given to us second- third- and fourth-hand by people who have demonstrated their agenda to mislead us rather than the first-hand accounts of those who we trust to tell us the truth, then can we really claim to be making a strong point based on that information?  Certainly, some Iraqis are unhappy with the course of the war - perhaps even a majority, although given the situation in that country it is unlikely that poll data is reliable - however, that simple statement overlooks the relevant fact that most of these unsatisfied are unhappy about the length of the occupation, and not the original action of the invasion.  I would venture to say that most Iraqis - overwhelmingly - supported the original action.  While I accept that argument that some Iraqis don't want us there, it does not follow that all Iraqis are very angry and never wanted

However, that doesn't make it right.  Taken from any angle, the Iraq war is questionable at best.  There's the WMD argument:  True, we know that he HAD WMD - after all, we sold them to him.  If he did not destroy them under UN supervision then they are now in the hands of those who have more of an intention to use them against us.  There's the argument that it was done to spread freedom and democracy, but this becomes questionable under scrutiny as well.  I personally believe that if it had been the original intention of the invasion, then it would have been quite hard for the Security Council to refuse to cooperate.  However, we used the existence of WMD to justify the war originally...Also, some argue that the war is a means to steal or control oil.  I find this argument to be lacking the necessary flavor of truth in that it makes more sense to deal with a crooked dictator who has a stranglehold on his people and therefore the resources of the country than to remove said dictator and create a lawless war zone where oil producing and transporting infrastructure are easy targets.
We must consider this argument:  It is possible that Bush is evil, and it is possible that Bush is stupid.  However, it is not possible that he is both stupid and evil.  If Bush is evil, then he invaded Iraq for evil purposes.  However, that requires us to assume that everyone who is participating in the war is also either evil or stupid, and that is not likely.  If Bush is stupid, then it is possible that he is being controlled by evil people.  However, this also requires that everyone else be either stupid or evil as well; as well as requiring us to believe that Bush is stupid, which is not likely.  Therefore, we must consider the possibility that the invasion of Iraq was done with good and honorable intentions by at least some of the people who have participated in it, although some others may have bad intentions.  I personally believe that this is true of most government actions:  That some people are doing what they believe to be the right thing - indeed, some who are doing wrong believe this as well - and some are doing evil.

----------------------------------------------------------------

On the Iraq war, short version:  Invading Iraq on the cause of WMD was a bad idea.  Staying one second longer than we absolutely have to is a bad idea.  That being said, we have to move very quickly to disengage correctly from this situation, although we cannot leave immediately.
On the idea of disbanding the military:  The current state of military affairs on this planet require advanced systems for viable defense.  These systems require constant training in order to operate and maintain.  Therefore, disbanding the military leaves a country wide-open to attack, and other coutries would certainly take advantage of that opening.  However...
On the military in general:  The branch system is outdated and must be done away with.  All naval operations should be handled by the navy, all air operations by the airforce, and all land by the army.  The three "branches" should become one, and train together much like the navy and marine corps do.  A standing, professional military is a requirement in this day and age.  That will not change for a while.  If we were still using muskets, then minutemen would be enough - but we are not, and more's the pity.  If we wish to revert to a self-defense posture of lightly armed volunteers, then we can expect to fight a guerila war much akin to what is now going on in Iraq and Chechnya, and I'm sure we do not want that.  American needs jets, and ships, and patriot missile systems, and all of those systems require full-time training and maintenance.  However, the military should be pulled back to American soil - this is not to say that training deployments are out of the question, but full-time duty stations should be in America only.
On military recruitment in schools:  If you send your child to a government school, then you are already exposing them to a pretty heavy dose of indoctrination, misinformation, and statism.  I would worry less about the idea that a recruiter might give them a pamphlet and more about the "information" they are being "taught" and tested on.  My girlfriend didn't know that there was a difference between communism and nazism.  Thank you, public schools!  No one is being forced into the military.  These kids have the option to quit at any time during boot camp.  They have the option to tell the recruiter to **** himself.  Once we ban the recruiters from the schools, we'd logically have to ban them from the malls, then the restaurants, etc...The end result is conscription, and in my opinion that is not morally or qualitatively superior to allowing recruiters access to government schools.  However, I do see why some take issue with it, and I can concede that it is not a perfect thing.  I simply believe that the end of state-sponsored education will be more effective to resolving the issue than banning recruiters from schools.

Final point:  There is no need to be anti-military.  While some few are here only for college money and some other few are sadists who want to kill all the brown people, I will tell you in no uncertain terms that the majority of us in the services are here because we chose to defend a country that we love.  In this we are little different that the patriots of the past.  The nature of the government is the responsiblity of the American people.  While I hold ultimate responsibility for my actions, the American people are responsible for installing leaders who give me good orders...I only have one vote - and beyond that I am merely able to refuse orders if I believe that they are illegal...The larger ethical quandary is in the hands of the people, and not the military.  It is irrational to say that servicemembers are here for college money, beause there are easier ways of getting it.  It is also irrational to make the comparison to the postal service...I personally believe that while the employees of the US Postal Service are on the whole good people, their lot is markedly different...I'm not taking offense to the argument, just saying that I do not find it to be cogent.

*ahem*  /ramble.

I'm sorry for going on so long, but I've got nothing else going on right now, honestly.  Once again, no offense intended to anyone, and thanks to everyone for the warm welcome as well as the lively debate.
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Green

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2005, 08:06:24 pm »

So here we have, what, 3 (i think?) pro-war "Libertarians" shilling for the occupation of Iraq and US military?

Herself, nonluddite...

This is exactly what I was telling you earlier.  Redefining "Libertarian" from meaning anti-state socialist to meaning capitalist has severly perverted our entire political system, and is directly responsible for the right-ward shift of recent years.

There is only one principled anti-war position, and that is "TROOPS HOME NOW!"  Its funny how I'm having such a hardtime finding LP and FSP members who agree with this.  It is making it more difficult to build the anti-war movement, in order to demand an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, and thus is helping the pro-war cause, and by extension is helping the state.  In other words, your ideology feeds the statist beast we live under.

There is no excuse for someone professing to be a Libertarian that does not calling for an unconditional and immediate withdrawal of all United States troops.  I'm never going to convince these guys of it.  Its up to you.

We need to end this war.  Its not going to happen by talking about comprimising with the neo-cons and liberal hawks.  We need a unified front against militarism.  Remember: WAR IS THE HEALTH OF THE STATE.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 08:10:10 pm by Green »
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lloydbob1

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #43 on: March 21, 2005, 08:29:52 pm »

I didn't go back and count, but, I hope your not including me in you count.
I don't think the US has been, legimately, involved in any war since 1812, and, we could have avoided that one, if privite trade ships took responsibility defending themselves.
I have stated, in this forum,  probably, half a dozen times that we should bring our troops home from everywhere they are stationed, put them on our borders for as long as we have any kind of welfare state, and, danger of terrorism.
Dissolve all of the traditional, Branches of the military and create one, highly electronic defense agency to detect and respond to any possible attack.
Develop an effective method of detecting and destroying any missiles that might be delivered by our enemies using technology that we gave them.
This has been my position since men my age were dying in Vietnam.

Oh, and a lot of people on this forum are not libertarians.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 08:32:40 pm by Lloyd Danforth (lloydbob1) »
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SteveA

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Re: Just joined the forums...
« Reply #44 on: March 21, 2005, 08:41:05 pm »

Welcome aboard Gho5t :)  Glad you found us.

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We're probably defending 2-8, as well.

Or occupying them, depending on your viewpoint.

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Dissolve all of the traditional, Branches of the military and create one, highly electronic defense agency to detect and respond to any possible attack.
Develop an effective method of detecting and destroying any missiles that might be delivered by our enemies using technology that we gave them.
This has been my position since men my age were dying in Vietnam.

I agree that technology, not manpower is the only possible solution long-term.  We'll suffer the same fate as other large military nations if we continually devote a large percent of our available manpower to the military.  In the long run we'll have slower growth and ultimately lose economically.  Putting those resources back into the economy provides longer term growth and technology that can let us stay ahead of the arms game (well at least until someone develops a really really big weapon that noone can do anything about ... but that's a different discussion).

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Oh, and a lot of people on this forum are not libertarians.

True
« Last Edit: March 21, 2005, 08:42:48 pm by SteveA »
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