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Old 2012-09-20, 19:40   Link #621
flying ^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Let those tax cuts expire and, according to the article, that number of 47% slips down to 18%.
93.4% of the 47% make less than $50K and it's about "tax breaks"?
how many of those making <$50K are filing a long form so they can take advantage of tax breaks? that's some seriously stupid stuff there
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Old 2012-09-20, 20:53   Link #622
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Although I am in support of a war on Iran, something tells me there is still a spark of leadership change, namely a reverse Iranian revolution where Ahmadinejad and Khomieni are burned alive in the public alongside their cronies in the IRGC; then we can have a REAL nuclear reactor with REAL waste disposal without it being dressed as a sham for salted or thermo bombs.

Keep the option of war off the table and focus more on political action missions. And stop making enemies out of the rest of the world.
Your two paragraphs seem contradictory. You want a war with Iran, for what reason? To scare everyone else away from nuclear weapons? Or perhaps to instill a leadership change? And yet then the advice is to stop making enemies out of the rest of the world?

Are you familiar with the United States' history with Iran? Iran didn't always hate us. The short version is that Iran was originally a democracy, but they were planning on nationalizing their oil industry. As history tells it, this was upsetting to Britain, who got the United States in on it to overthrow Iran's government. The CIA-backed 1952 coup occurred, we installed a puppet dictator, and eventually he was overthrown, leaving us with the theocratic government that Iran has today. The only surprise is that Iran's government is where most of the hatred for the United States comes from; the people of Iran don't seem to hold it against us too much (at least, the ones I've met and have read about).

Has "breaking and entering" into any country that wasn't already under foreign occupation ever earned any favors? It seems to me that it lowers the world's opinion of the aggressor, and the country that they barged into most certainly doesn't think highly of them once they're stabilized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Netto Azure View Post
I find it funny when my Global Studies professor pointed out that as a State, Iran is acting rationally for pursuing Nuclear Weapons considering that it is surrounded or close by nations with Nuclear Weapons (India, Pakistan, Russia, Israel) or allied with the US. (Saudi Araibia and the like)
They're acting extremely rationally. It seems as if any country with nuclear capabilities is negotiated with and treated as an equal by the current world powers. Those without nuclear capabilities are harassed and bullied to no end.

We can buy time by imposing sanctions and even tossing a few bombs into Iran here and there. Ultimately, I think that Iran is going to develop nuclear capabilities no matter what we do (unless we completely destroy them, which is a ridiculous proposition). I think we'd be better off trying to mend relations with them than putting ourselves into a situation where they are armed and are totally against us. The threat isn't that they would use the weapons against us, but that if they ever became too unstable in the future, those weapons could fall into the hands of people who didn't care about their own self-preservation. If we were on better terms, we might be able to do something about safeguarding the weapons, at least.

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Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
oh btw
the thing is, in 0bama's "You didn't build that" speech, in context it was even WORSE!
How was it worse? Did you build the roads that you drive on? Did you educate yourself? (Actually, I could believe that you tried that one.) Did you grow your own food, and produce everything that you use today?

No, you didn't. None of it was free, of course: you and your family contributed to those resources through taxes or straight purchases. The point is that you're not a self-sufficient island. You rely on the works and services of others in society, and in turn society relies on you. That's what community is all about, and it's a major reason why humans are dominant above all other creatures. We work together.

That's Obama's point. The government is an agent of the people, and it works for the good of the people. We have all benefited from its works, and we continue to benefit from it. We can argue about how big or small the government should be, but those government services are what contributes to our society's strength.

Many of the Republicans are practically anarchists in their views of the government. They seem to feel that everyone is capable of doing everything on their own. They don't want to see resources shared and people pooled to overcome challenges facing society. They seem to take an "every man for himself" stance, and in turn they don't want to feel that they have relied on anyone but themselves. They want to take full credit for everything. The reality is that none of us are islands, and no matter how much money you have in your bank account, you rely on the functions of society to live. These Republicans would do damn well to remember that.

It sounds like you'd do damn well to remember it, too. It's amazing, these people are so against the concept of society, and then they have the gall to call anyone who disagrees with the dog-eat-dog mantra "anti-American." They're the ones advocating against the concept of society and pose a threat to American society, and yet everyone else is "anti-American"? What foolishness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flying ^ View Post
93.4% of the 47% make less than $50K and it's about "tax breaks"?
how many of those making <$50K are filing a long form so they can take advantage of tax breaks? that's some seriously stupid stuff there
And how many making six figures or more are filing forms to take advantage of tax breaks? I believe the justification that those fine, rich folks give is that 'you take advantage of every loophole and break in the system.' You somehow expect that poorer folks shouldn't try to do the same? It's a cute effort that you put there, trying to vilify the poor and make it out as if they're intentionally trying to skirt around something. New flash: nearly everyone tries to do that, and if you create loopholes in the system, they are going to be utilized.

Although a tax break isn't really a loophole. It's kind of an... umm, what's the term... oh, it's a damn tax break, why the hell do you think they called it that?

So yes, this is about tax breaks. Remove the damn breaks and these people won't be eligible to avoid the taxes. What's so difficult to understand about this?
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Old 2012-09-20, 21:06   Link #623
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The only industry where "you didn't build that" does not work that well would be the railways, where most of the infra from the past decade or so was self-funded.
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Old 2012-09-20, 22:13   Link #624
Ridwan
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Although I am in support of a war on Iran, something tells me there is still a spark of leadership change, namely a reverse Iranian revolution where Ahmadinejad and Khomieni are burned alive in the public alongside their cronies in the IRGC; then we can have a REAL nuclear reactor with REAL waste disposal without it being dressed as a sham for salted or thermo bombs.

Keep the option of war off the table and focus more on political action missions. And stop making enemies out of the rest of the world.
No one sane should ever want a war with Iran. No one sane should ever want to stay an Israel proxy. (Yeah, Samurai Ron Paul is at least sane in that regard)

I don't think the fall of Ahmadinejad and the office of Supreme Commander of The Revolution post will be followed by a violent revolution, nor will it be preferable. Until about less then a year ago it seemed that Presidential office will increase in power on the expense of Ayatollah but then Dinner Jacket shot himself in the feet. If anything Khamenei's position seems pretty secure at the moment, but I might have to check it over with my sources again one of these days.
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Old 2012-09-20, 22:15   Link #625
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Originally Posted by Sumeragi View Post
The only industry where "you didn't build that" does not work that well would be the railways, where most of the infra from the past decade or so was self-funded.
It always works. Did a single man build the entire railway? No, of course not. Many men were hired to build it. People from other industries supplied the raw ore that would be used to forge the rails, and people from other industries performed the actual forging. Even aside from the rails, others were involved in clearing and leveling the land before the rails could be laid and connected. The police maintained the peace and prevented building materials from being stolen. The farmers labored to grow food so that all of the people I just mentioned could spend time and energy doing those jobs, instead of growing food or hunting.

As I said, this is why humanity has risen to the top. We can specialize labor and organize labor to accomplish great feats. Why do some people feel that this is a mark of shame? It's our greatest strength, and it's what has allowed us to change the world.

While people are taking the whole "you didn't build that" sentiment to an extreme, I think I understand what's really behind it. At the core is people's desires to be recognized for their work and given credit. A railroad baron may not have ever touched any building materials, but if he funded and pushed for a stretch of railroad to be constructed, then he could rightfully claim that he did build it. I don't think that many would contest that point. However, it should be recognized that he was one among many who made that happen. This is where people come to a disagreement: the guys at the top are seemingly claiming that they did everything by themselves, and they're writing off the people who work for and around them. That isn't right. In their desire to seize the credit that they rightfully deserve, they are denying credit to other deserving people.
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Old 2012-09-21, 01:00   Link #626
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
-Snip-
Well, my main point was how other industries (especially trucking) have a sense of entitlement where the roads they use were funded almost completely by public money, whereas the railways were mostly self-funded. Yet the truckers lobby to regulate the railways for "unfair" competition and the like, while also complaining that the government don't help them.
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Old 2012-09-21, 02:25   Link #627
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Your two paragraphs seem contradictory. You want a war with Iran, for what reason? To scare everyone else away from nuclear weapons? Or perhaps to instill a leadership change? And yet then the advice is to stop making enemies out of the rest of the world?

Are you familiar with the United States' history with Iran? Iran didn't always hate us. The short version is that Iran was originally a democracy, but they were planning on nationalizing their oil industry. As history tells it, this was upsetting to Britain, who got the United States in on it to overthrow Iran's government. The CIA-backed 1952 coup occurred, we installed a puppet dictator, and eventually he was overthrown, leaving us with the theocratic government that Iran has today. The only surprise is that Iran's government is where most of the hatred for the United States comes from; the people of Iran don't seem to hold it against us too much (at least, the ones I've met and have read about).

Has "breaking and entering" into any country that wasn't already under foreign occupation ever earned any favors? It seems to me that it lowers the world's opinion of the aggressor, and the country that they barged into most certainly doesn't think highly of them once they're stabilized.
How the heck do we even know if they will actually ship the radioactive dust to Islamic extremist groups to make dirty bombs? Black markets are highly unpredictable - technically, walking around the streets of Asia can net you a couple or a group of members running a profiteering business dealing with anything; all you have to do is to show the money and ask.

Smuggling has always been a major problem worldwide and police often confounded by operations; minor stings are often reported in the news to assure the public of their capability and the rings often reap awards 5-10 times bigger than that. And arms smuggling is so heavily monitored by both shipping authorities AND the military arm of countries that most of their operations are vague and unknown to policing forces, having been forced more than six-feet under.

Money helps loosen lips more than it seems. Given how the Iranian military contributed covertly to insurgency in the Mideast, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually help fund the creation of an Islamic Caliphate here - how fantastic it is that now we don't know how well armed they are and government continue to keep stay in the bubble of complacency?

P.S For those who have heard rumours of the sale of "metal parts" in Beach Road in Singapore, it is true - at least 5-6 years ago. They probably ran the operations since the early 80s or 90s to help those unlucky guys who broke or lost weapon parts during training. Those operations died down because we aren't using the M16 anymore.
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Old 2012-09-21, 02:42   Link #628
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People here should start following blogs of independent observers like this and start looking for rotarian and academic connections in order to sufficiently familiarize themselves with Middle East.
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Old 2012-09-21, 02:50   Link #629
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Originally Posted by Aegir View Post
People here should start following blogs of independent observers like this and start looking for rotarian and academic connections in order to sufficiently familiarize themselves with Middle East.
I wish they would talk louder. Unfortunately, they don't have as much money.
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Old 2012-09-21, 02:57   Link #630
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Money helps loosen lips more than it seems. Given how the Iranian military contributed covertly to insurgency in the Mideast, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually help fund the creation of an Islamic Caliphate here - how fantastic it is that now we don't know how well armed they are and government continue to keep stay in the bubble of complacency?
What is Iran's motivation for funding and arming insurgent groups? Do you think that they want to create some sort of empire? Maybe some wish for that, but I suspect it's linked to their desire for self-preservation. The world is currently ganging up on them. Is it realistic that they will give in and let the other countries dictate what they can and can't do? Has any country ever done such a thing, unless forced to by military action? Yet Iran can't directly fight back, because that would just cause all of the other countries to up the ante as well, and Iran would undoubtedly lose. Instead, they can fight by proxy, attempting to weaken, drain, and distract the countries that have aligned against them.

The question is, how do we (the world community) befriend Iran? They don't trust us, and we certainly haven't given them any reason to. We're playing this game with sanctions and threatening military action, and for what? Do we really expect that Iran will go along with our wishes? Gaining nuclear capabilities is Iran's only shot at getting us all to back off; they'd be foolish not to pursue it, especially with all of the pressure that we're applying. Sooner or later they're going to gain that capability, and then what? Will we have an armed conflict and stir up more bad blood?
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Old 2012-09-21, 03:02   Link #631
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
For those who "don't want Iran to have Nuclear Weapons", I have a serious question; are you willing to invade, militarily occupy, install a puppet leader, and continue to lose your soldiers's lives for the next few generations to ensure another country can't have what America has?

For that matter, if you could go back in time, would you be willing to invade, militarily occupy, and effectively colonise Pakistan AND India if that means they would not have became the nuclear powers they are now?

To say "I don't want Iran to have Nuclear Weapons" is a big deal. This isn't a position that just involve a simple war, this will require the subjugation of an entire nation because you don't like their choices. Invading Iraq to kill Saddam was at least achievable. Killing Osama was at least accomplished. But "Do not want Iran to have nukes" is an open-ended commitment that doesn't have a conclusion. A commitment that future generations would have to live with, to pay for, and to die for.

Is that truly worth it?

I don't want a war with Iran, yet I don't want them to have nuclear weapons. It isn't just about them "having something America has". The biggest reason I don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons is that I think they would sell weapons and materials to terrorist factions. I don't know, maybe that is unfounded. Maybe that is just what the American news media tells people. Or maybe that is a real concern. But if Iran having nuclear weapons does lead to terrorists getting a hold of dirty bombs and nuclear bombs, that is a very big deal. Dirty bombs could be concealed in a suitcase, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility for a nuclear bomb that is used by being dropped to be made and then some terrorists just drop it from a plane.

If the U.S. government just hypes that up, okay, but if that is a legitimate concern, than that is one reason to go to war against Iran up against many reasons why it would be bad to go to war with Iran, and it is just something I feel conflicted about.
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Old 2012-09-21, 03:10   Link #632
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Read the blog I linked to just above. Khamenei has fatwa'd against nuclear weapons for years, yet that has never gotten publicized.
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Old 2012-09-21, 03:26   Link #633
Urzu 7
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Originally Posted by Aegir View Post
Read the blog I linked to just above. Khamenei has fatwa'd against nuclear weapons for years, yet that has never gotten publicized.

I looked into the blog. I found the link to the main site. I went to the sitemap and couldn't find it under Iran.

Even if Khamenei doesn't want nuclear weapons, it is likely they are going for that. As others have pointed out, it'd make sense for them to go after that with the large quantity of U.S. bases surrounding Iran and with the enemies of Iran in the region that have nuclear weapons.
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Old 2012-09-21, 03:28   Link #634
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
What is Iran's motivation for funding and arming insurgent groups? Do you think that they want to create some sort of empire? Maybe some wish for that, but I suspect it's linked to their desire for self-preservation. The world is currently ganging up on them. Is it realistic that they will give in and let the other countries dictate what they can and can't do? Has any country ever done such a thing, unless forced to by military action? Yet Iran can't directly fight back, because that would just cause all of the other countries to up the ante as well, and Iran would undoubtedly lose. Instead, they can fight by proxy, attempting to weaken, drain, and distract the countries that have aligned against them.
It is hardly self-preservation when they keep up the "wipe Israel off the map" doctrine. They need to stop, and either ignore or recognise Israel to get some bit of stability back.

As for Iran's motivation for funding and arming insurgent groups, the "Muslim Brotherhood", despite being an aged moral that has little or no place in the modern world, still runs deep - the idea of "a muslim must help another muslim" still runs deep in anywhere with Islam because they don't have anything synonymous to profiteering megachurches that divide humanity for profit in the context of their religion - they still see themselves as servants to Allah. The extremists used this to coerce moderates into insurgencies, which is a disgusting act. Combined with the substantial political power they can gain, why not get an agent to bomb an Israeli Embassy in Thailand?

Quote:
The question is, how do we (the world community) befriend Iran? They don't trust us, and we certainly haven't given them any reason to. We're playing this game with sanctions and threatening military action, and for what? Do we really expect that Iran will go along with our wishes? Gaining nuclear capabilities is Iran's only shot at getting us all to back off; they'd be foolish not to pursue it, especially with all of the pressure that we're applying. Sooner or later they're going to gain that capability, and then what? Will we have an armed conflict and stir up more bad blood?
Then you are going to let their nuts glass the rest of the world?

Look, the option of war is still a choice on the table, but it is a black ball not to be touched unless everything else had went in. Being a carebear is going to get us all killed if their mentality has degraded to the extent of kill-or-be-killed and they aren't interested in befriending the rest of the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegir View Post
Read the blog I linked to just above. Khamenei has fatwa'd against nuclear weapons for years, yet that has never gotten publicized.
Now I am more for killing him - a dead mufti cannot rescind a fatwa. [/sarcastic]
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Old 2012-09-21, 03:38   Link #635
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Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I don't want a war with Iran, yet I don't want them to have nuclear weapons. It isn't just about them "having something America has". The biggest reason I don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons is that I think they would sell weapons and materials to terrorist factions. I don't know, maybe that is unfounded. Maybe that is just what the American news media tells people. Or maybe that is a real concern. But if Iran having nuclear weapons does lead to terrorists getting a hold of dirty bombs and nuclear bombs, that is a very big deal. Dirty bombs could be concealed in a suitcase, and it isn't out of the realm of possibility for a nuclear bomb that is used by being dropped to be made and then some terrorists just drop it from a plane.

If the U.S. government just hypes that up, okay, but if that is a legitimate concern, than that is one reason to go to war against Iran up against many reasons why it would be bad to go to war with Iran, and it is just something I feel conflicted about.
You know, Pakistan already have both nuclear weapons and have a history of hiring terrorists. At no point do I see why you should think a nuclear capable Iran would change anything.

You know why there are talks of attacking Iran but no talks of attacking Pakistan? Because Pakistan has nukes.

Pakistan proves that the only way to protect yourself from being invaded is to go nuclear. Please convince me why you think Iran is better off rendering themselves vulnerable to an invasion.

America has not invaded a single nuclear armed nation. America has invaded multiple nations in recent memory that are not nuclear armed. So what conclusion should Iran draw?
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Old 2012-09-21, 04:06   Link #636
Urzu 7
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
You know, Pakistan already have both nuclear weapons and have a history of hiring terrorists. At no point do I see why you should think a nuclear capable Iran would change anything.

You know why there are talks of attacking Iran but no talks of attacking Pakistan? Because Pakistan has nukes.

Pakistan proves that the only way to protect yourself from being invaded is to go nuclear. Please convince me why you think Iran is better off rendering themselves vulnerable to an invasion.

America has not invaded a single nuclear armed nation. America has invaded multiple nations in recent memory that are not nuclear armed. So what conclusion should Iran draw?
Would America want to invade Iran if they weren't trying to develop nuclear capabilities? If they decided to abandon following that path, would America still want to invade them? Depending on what the answers are to those two questions makes a big difference. If America only wants to invade Iran to stop them from becoming a nuclear power, there is a lot of irony there. If America wanted to invade Iran regardless of them becoming a nuclear power or not becoming one, then it'd be very understandable why Iran would want to gain nuclear capabilities.


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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
It is hardly self-preservation when they keep up the "wipe Israel off the map" doctrine. They need to stop, and either ignore or recognise Israel to get some bit of stability back.

The "wipe Israel off the map" comment wasn't actually made. I read up on it in the past. The Iranian president said that "Israel shouldn't be on the map", as in he thinks that the nation should have never been established back in the 1940s. He was talking about historical events that he feels should have never taken place. It was then translated as "wipe Israel off the map" - whether that was a mistake or on purpose, I don't know - but then the U.S. media and U.S. government took that and ran with it and to this day many think the Iranians want to "wipe Israel off the map"; reading that as them wanting to make a nuclear strike on Israel.
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Old 2012-09-21, 04:17   Link #637
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Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
I looked into the blog. I found the link to the main site. I went to the sitemap and couldn't find it under Iran.

Even if Khamenei doesn't want nuclear weapons, it is likely they are going for that. As others have pointed out, it'd make sense for them to go after that with the large quantity of U.S. bases surrounding Iran and with the enemies of Iran in the region that have nuclear weapons.
I got this from single "Iran" hit on the search function (Look at the second article)

From geopolitical judgement, it's indeed sensible for Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, and that was what I thought myself as well. But it has been repeated to me over and over again that IAEA hasn't found any evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapon capability and it does seems that Khamenei's opinion has gathered more respect then it seems at glance.
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Old 2012-09-21, 04:25   Link #638
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Urzu 7 View Post
Would America want to invade Iran if they weren't trying to develop nuclear capabilities? If they decided to abandon following that path, would America still want to invade them? Depending on what the answers are to those two questions makes a big difference. If America only wants to invade Iran to stop them from becoming a nuclear power, there is a lot of irony there. If America wanted to invade Iran regardless of them becoming a nuclear power or not becoming one, then it'd be very understandable why Iran would want to gain nuclear capabilities.
You are talking about hypotheticals; but America has already overthrew a democratically elected Iranian leader in the past.

You can't just pretend Iran has nothing to fear, people REMEMBER when you destroy their country for your personal gain.
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Old 2012-09-21, 04:36   Link #639
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
You can't just pretend Iran has nothing to fear, people REMEMBER when you destroy their country for your personal gain.
Not to mention how the same country recently invaded and occupied two countries that it borders, fucked them up considerably and all the while smiling to everyone else giving the thumps and saying "We're the good guys! We're the good guys!"

I'm pretty sure the general perception of America in Iran is one of a scary and belligerent psychopath.. Sure, the truth maybe more complicated than that but that kind of simplification is no different to what we're seeing on the other side as well.
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Old 2012-09-21, 04:46   Link #640
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
Not to mention how the same country recently invaded and occupied two countries that it borders, fucked them up considerably and all the while smiling to everyone else giving the thumps and saying "We're the good guys! We're the good guys!"

I'm pretty sure the general perception of America in Iran is one of a scary and belligerent psychopath.. Sure, the truth maybe more complicated than that but that kind of simplification is no different to what we're seeing on the other side as well.
What is your evidence that America isn't a scary and belligerent psychopath? I am not trying to mock anyone, I seriously would like an answer. If we can't convince ourselves that America has the moral right to tell Iran what to do, what is the odds of convincing Iranians themselves?

I mean, China still think the Japanese are all rapists.
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