Robert Forte, The Softer Side of CIA Psychedelic Mind Control |407|

I am not a US citizen, but my partner and I have spent many happy holidays rambling around the rural parts of Western side of your country. I have also been over on business, which inevitably showed me the seamier side of life in US cities. Walking from my hotel to the conference center in LA, I was amazed to encounter people defecating in the street! Disgusting as this was, a gun would not have helped.

As a visitor, I couldn't carry a gun, but on the one occasion when I might have liked to have one, I am jolly glad I didn't. My partner and I had been exploring Salt Lake City and were returning to our modest hotel on the 'wrong' side of the railway - we were literally crossing the bridge, when we saw two shady characters at the other end of the bridge. It was dark, so they were hard to see clearly, but they seemed to be hesitating or waiting for something. Anyway, we carried on anxiously, and ........... they turned out to be a Japanese couple of about our age, who seemed equally relieved that we were not going to attack them!

It would be interesting to see some statistics, but I would guess that carrying a gun would greatly increase the risk of being involved in violence.



The only thing that can or should be done, is to flatten the playing field now. Positive descrimination makes struggling white people very resentful, and anyway, the people who really suffered are long dead - and are maybe relishing the learning experience that being slaves offered them - who knows?

David
I have carried a gun more years than I haven't. I don't carry one now, but I have them in the house ready if needed. Never shot any Japanese tourists. Nor Jehovah's witnesses...I understand that in your country people have trouble safely managing their cutlery and caustic chemicals ;-).
 
Ah. Another social justice warrior - and believer in social programming.

Racism? What about Africa and Latin America? Two entire continents of failure to thrive in the modern world. Of course Africans have a long history of brutally enslaving each other - but I don't think that's the source of the problem.

Irish, Armenians and Jews should be out of control killers (along with any number of other groups of people who have experienced generational oppression), but they're not.

IQ test data consistently says your theories are wrong. Read Charles Murray on the Bell Curve. He cites a lot of good research. However, I don't think that's what's at the root of this. IMO, it has to do with what gods your ancestors worshipped. IMO, that goes way deeper than you might imagine in a Sheldrakian morphic field kinda way

This is an area where even smart people refuse to follow the data out of fear and cognitive dissonance. The fact that such fear exists should be evidence against theories of rampant racism. Anything that can be even remotely construed to be racist is shunned by white culture these days.

Blacks and their communities were doing much better in the USA prior to the civil rights movement. They weren't having these problems at anywhere near the level they are today. Since you're into social programming theories, what does that tell you?

And what about the Hispanic communities that have similar issues? They were not slaves in the US - and they came here all on their own.


Black are 13% of the population and 50%+ of violent crime (FBI statistics). Hispanics statistics are more difficult to gather, but it seems that they also add to violent crime disproportionate to their representation in the over all population....Killing another human being is a really big step to the normal mind - especially killing them over nothing more than securing a street corner on which to sell drugs, or because they're wearing the wrong color of bandana, or you think his shoes are cool and you want them. Violent rape of a stranger is morally insane. Bursting into a stranger's home in the middle of the night with knives or guns drawn intent on robbery and perhaps rape and murder is pure savagery- as is killing the guy behind the counter of the liquor store over $60 in the cash register. Can you imagine doing any of that? I mean really see yourself doing it. Even if you felt like you were shunned due to some kind of prejudice? Especially when opportunities for an education and better way of life are readily available?

And...just when you thought this thread had spiraled hopelessly off topic....My point what gods your ancestors worshipped...The Mexicans were taking psychedelics and slaughtering people as sacrifices to terrible gods. They made war just to capture more people to kill up on their temples; thousands at a time in the bigger ceremonies. Psychedelics were not giving them harmonious visions. Like I said, they don't make you anything you aren't already. The y amplify the soul. Africans were (and still are) into all kinds of voodoo and dark sorcery. The power of Christianity and its Judaic roots and what it did for Western civilization should never be underestimated - it almost always is - but that is a mistake.
Thanks for clarifying your position and your source. I don't feel like it will be productive to debate the topic any further, and agreeing to disagree seems like the way to go at this point.

My main inerest is to let the broader community know that there are people who post here who--when looking at the "nature" side of the nature/nurture question--see differences among ethnic groups as superficial, and who believe that more substantial qualities like intelligence, behavior, temperment, etc are on average the same across the board. There are people who post here who believe that perceived differences in behavior are strongly correlated with the continuing legacy of historical and contemporary social factors.
 
Thanks for clarifying your position and your source. I don't feel like it will be productive to debate the topic any further, and agreeing to disagree seems like the way to go at this point.

My main inerest is to let the broader community know that there are people who post here who--when looking at the "nature" side of the nature/nurture question--see differences among ethnic groups as superficial, and who believe that more substantial qualities like intelligence, behavior, temperment, etc are on average the same across the board. There are people who post here who believe that perceived differences in behavior are strongly correlated with the continuing legacy of historical and contemporary social factors.
I don't think the nature/nurture question,or questions about average IQ are worth asking. Defining IQ is always going to be dogged by questions about whether the test is culturally skewed, and in any case the IQ's of people of any particular race follows a broad Gaussian curve:

https://www.quora.com/What-does-the-distribution-of-IQ-scores-look-like

This means that if you were assessing people from differing races for suitability for a job, or university course (say), it would always make sense to ignore their race but to test their individual IQ.

David
 
The US Supreme Court, after much research into the intent of the men who wrote the Constitution via their letters and essays, has determined, officially, that your reading of the 2A (militias, etc) is wrong. The 2A does mean that every citizen has the right (maybe even responsibility) to be armed with the same weapons the military has for purpose of self defense and as a bulwark against a tyrannical government developing.
Hi Eric

That's a fascinating Supreme Court ruling. I checked it out and this is the case. But this is the same Supreme Court that determined a corporation is a person in relation to electoral law. Pro lifers would say the same about Roe v Wade - that is that the interpretation violates human reason and duty. I make no observation about either interpretation other than there is fair argument for either case.

There's a good reason why the Supremes are thought of in terms of their political leanings.

There is actually no rational way of interpreting the 2nd amendment in that manner without deciding that the words employed do not mean what they otherwise appear to mean. There is no doubt the 2nd amendment needs review.

So while I agree my reading of the 2A is "wrong" in then context of what the Supreme Court has determined, it remains 'right' in terms of how we normally employ and interpret language - and interpret the intent of the writers - that is to say that it is deeply perilous to project meaning onto plain language and so alter it as to render the interpretation not apparent from the innocent reading of the text.

A Supreme Court differently constituted could reverse that decision with no difficulty. Interpretation of law based upon such a knife edge is not a good place to be. I am grateful I do not live in the USA.

Any way I am not about to have an argument about the matter. I am grateful for your direction to the decision.
 
The fact is that white NRA/Patriot types who live outside of Urban ghettos, but who have lots of guns and ammo rarely kill each other. In fact, the murder rate for this demographic is about the same as anywhere else in Western civ - even anywhere there is gun control. And I do believe that this demographic makes the govt think twice before seriously infringing on our rights. We are not going to give up our guns and rights because a bunch of ghetto savages can't behave themselves and act like violent third world tribalists.
But this group of 'white NRA/Partiot types' also seems to flat out oppose any sense of a 'well regulated militia' that might lead to controlling who gets to now a gun. Obviously if you know you neighbour is armed to the teeth with military grade weapons you are less likely to piss them off.

I have no desire to argue for the surrender of guns if there is a bona fide need for them. But when having a gun is interpreted as some existential right that strikes me as a step too far. I grew up in rural Australia and having a gun was normal. I gave up my gun because I ceased to have a need for it - and I did use it to ward off a bunch of dangerous and drunken home invaders - because they believed me when I said I would shoot any body who took a step toward me. I would have, and they were right.

What strikes me as odd is that the advocates for freedom to own weapons cannot imagine that there are those who should not own them, or that ownership should be regulated. I do not know how the 2A wording "well regulated" can be interpreted other than to provide the regulators (government) with a duty to regulate - and the devotees of the 2A to support such regulation.

I get the US history that has created a culture that is anti-government. But there is a distinction between just cause and cultural paranoia. Also, to an earlier point you made about the right of citizens to be armed against the risk of an oppressive government - we know the US military has famously failed against 'insurgent' combatants. An armed US militia opposing government may have an advantage up to a point. But don't imagine that such a scenario hasn't been gamed.

An armed militia will not have Apache helicopters or any of the other catastrophic weapons the formal military may have. There will never be an equivalence. The defence against an oppressive government is not getting armed to the teeth. It is engaging in political processes like elections - and having enough knowledge about how a culture works. It is almost idiotic to imagine that the only people who are prepared to stand against an oppressive government are the people with guns. The people without guns have a deeper commitment to liberty through rational means. The thinking that makes people with guns opponents against those without guns is silly.

The argument that gun control is the thin end of the wedge is stupid. The more gun control is opposed the more it is seen to be the solution. I favour strong gun control. Contra the USA, any idea that an Australian could survive against a determined military action driven by an oppressive government is lunatic. That's not going to happen. We have to make sure our government does not become oppressive - and I can tell you the devotees of gun ownership I have encountered are not up to the job. It is we, the unarmed, who are going to ensure that the armed and paranoid never have to live out their fantasies.
 
But this group of 'white NRA/Partiot types' also seems to flat out oppose any sense of a 'well regulated militia' that might lead to controlling who gets to now a gun. Obviously if you know you neighbour is armed to the teeth with military grade weapons you are less likely to piss them off.

I have no desire to argue for the surrender of guns if there is a bona fide need for them. But when having a gun is interpreted as some existential right that strikes me as a step too far. I grew up in rural Australia and having a gun was normal. I gave up my gun because I ceased to have a need for it - and I did use it to ward off a bunch of dangerous and drunken home invaders - because they believed me when I said I would shoot any body who took a step toward me. I would have, and they were right.

What strikes me as odd is that the advocates for freedom to own weapons cannot imagine that there are those who should not own them, or that ownership should be regulated. I do not know how the 2A wording "well regulated" can be interpreted other than to provide the regulators (government) with a duty to regulate - and the devotees of the 2A to support such regulation.

I get the US history that has created a culture that is anti-government. But there is a distinction between just cause and cultural paranoia. Also, to an earlier point you made about the right of citizens to be armed against the risk of an oppressive government - we know the US military has famously failed against 'insurgent' combatants. An armed US militia opposing government may have an advantage up to a point. But don't imagine that such a scenario hasn't been gamed.

An armed militia will not have Apache helicopters or any of the other catastrophic weapons the formal military may have. There will never be an equivalence. The defence against an oppressive government is not getting armed to the teeth. It is engaging in political processes like elections - and having enough knowledge about how a culture works. It is almost idiotic to imagine that the only people who are prepared to stand against an oppressive government are the people with guns. The people without guns have a deeper commitment to liberty through rational means. The thinking that makes people with guns opponents against those without guns is silly.

The argument that gun control is the thin end of the wedge is stupid. The more gun control is opposed the more it is seen to be the solution. I favour strong gun control. Contra the USA, any idea that an Australian could survive against a determined military action driven by an oppressive government is lunatic. That's not going to happen. We have to make sure our government does not become oppressive - and I can tell you the devotees of gun ownership I have encountered are not up to the job. It is we, the unarmed, who are going to ensure that the armed and paranoid never have to live out their fantasies.
Michael,
You assume that US military would be 100% siding with the tyrannical govt. - a misguided assumption. Once again, the "government" (+ CIA, military, etc) is not a monolithic entity.

Maybe it's different in Australia because it's such a small population. I don't know. But it sure isn't that way in the USA. In the USA, military personnel take an oath to uphold the Constitution against "all enemies, foreign and domestic". The oath is taken seriously by most and that includes a large number that are dedicated to that oath after they have left the service. As I have said elsewhere, part of the training to become an officer in the US armed forces involves instilling the knowledge that an officer is ultimately responsible for making the decision to follow orders and not following illegal orders. Firing on US citizens that are also trying to uphold the Constitution would be interpreted as an illegal order by many in the military. Furthermore, military and former military tend to be the biggest block of gun owners on a per capita basis. And yes the scenario has been discussed and is regularly discussed and that is why the Leftists in the US want to take the guns. They know I'm correct in my assessment of the outcome.

Also, there is a lot more to fighting and winning a war than shooting and bombing people. In fact, if all you can do is shoot and bomb, you will lose (see Vietnam). For example.... The divide in the US (today) is along lines of urban elites v rural and working man. The rural being the smaller population, but by far and away the greatest amount of land. It is the land that produces the food. The working man drives the trucks that haul the food to the big cities. A big city, like New York City, only has enough food on the shelves and in storage to feed the populace for three or four days. Politically, the truckers could be easily swayed to side with the revolt (assuming the conflict is based on current issues of oppressive leftist globalist democrat elites and their urban minority welfare dependents versus conservative free market constitutionalists). A few bridges get blown, a few cell towers, rail lines, electricity hubs and a few water sources are destroyed and armed militias control remaining key road junctures and NYC is starving to death in a week. All of the urban welfare dependent savages turn on their elite masters and they kill each other off cannibal style. Ditto for Washington DC, Chicago, LA, San Francisco. Pleas for terms of surrender would ensue rather quickly.
 
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Michael,
You assume that US military would be 100% siding with the tyrannical govt. - a misguided assumption. Once again, the "government" (+ CIA, military, etc) is not a monolithic entity.

Maybe it's different in Australia because it's such a small population. I don't know. But it sure isn't that way in the USA. In the USA, military personnel take an oath to uphold the Constitution against "all enemies, foreign and domestic". The oath is taken seriously by most and that includes a large number that are dedicated to that oath after they have left the service. As I have said elsewhere, part of the training to become an officer in the US armed forces involves instilling the knowledge that an officer is ultimately responsible for making the decision to follow orders and not following illegal orders. Firing on US citizens that are also trying to uphold the Constitution would be interpreted as an illegal order by many in the military. Furthermore, military and former military tend to be the biggest block of gun owners on a per capita basis. And yes the scenario has been discussed and is regularly discussed and that is why the Leftists in the US want to take the guns. They know I'm correct in my assessment of the outcome.

Also, there is a lot more to fighting and winning a war than shooting and bombing people. In fact, if all you can do is shoot and bomb, you will lose (see Vietnam). For example.... The divide in the US (today) is along lines of urban elites v rural and working man. The rural being the smaller population, but by far and away the greatest amount of land. It is the land that produces the food. The working man drives the trucks that haul the food to the big cities. A big city, like New York City, only has enough food on the shelves and in storage to feed the populace for three or four days. Politically, the truckers could be easily swayed to side with the revolt (assuming the conflict is based on current issues of oppressive leftist globalist democrat elites and their urban minority welfare dependents versus conservative free market constitutionalists). A few bridges get blown, a few cell towers, rail lines, electricity hubs and a few water sources are destroyed and armed militias control remaining key road junctures and NYC is starving to death in a week. All of the urban welfare dependent savages turn on their elite masters and they kill each other off cannibal style. Ditto for Washington DC, Chicago, LA, San Francisco. Pleas for terms of surrender would ensue rather quickly.
Hi Eric,

I wonder if there is a hypothetical "tipping point" that would trigger the kind of revolt you speak of? Is there some specific, visible turn of events that folks who discuss these things would consider to be the "line in the sand?"

And then, in your view, how likely would it be for a revolt of this kind to happen in the next ten years or so?
 
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Hi Eric,

I wonder if there is a hypothetical "tipping point" that would trigger the kind of revolt you speak of? Is there some specific, visible turn of events that folks who discuss these things would consider to be the "line in the sand?"

And then, in your view, how likely would it be for a revolt of this kind to happen in the next ten years or so?
I think we're pretty close now. I say 50/50 of it happening in the next ten years.

A move to confiscate guns would be a tipping point. If they had impeached Trump in both the house and the senate and removed him from office, that would have done it.

I don't understand the left. So I can't speak to their tipping point. I don't think it matters though because they have no guns. They're a bunch of guys in dresses, harpy women and metrosexuals. So they can cry and whine all they want. They can't do anything but attempt womanly shaming, which just makes the right laugh. The ball is in the Right's court. They won't serve unless the Left crosses a line (unconstitutional gun control, undoing a lawful election, excessive taxing/confiscation of earnings and wealth). Illegal immigration might be a breaking point. Taking control of children and medicating them to change their gender is another flash point issue. Erasing history and further denigrating American culture like tearing down statues of George Washington.....I dunno, the left has so many bizarre racial and sexual fetishes and ideologies - and they're so out of touch - that you never know.

I just don't see how US society can remain united given the vastly different cultures and animosity between the urban elites and the rural working people. Congress doesn't care about us. They seem more intent on fracturing the country and satisfying themselves as opposed to the needs of the people.
 
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You assume that US military would be 100% siding with the tyrannical govt. - a misguided assumption. Once again, the "government" (+ CIA, military, etc) is not a monolithic entity.
I don't actually. I know that American military culture is deeply knitted into community is ways we do not know here. That would mean that the military would be at least split. How do you define a domestic enemy? For me the problem would be defining when a government become tyrannical too. That idea that armed citizens are a defence against a tyrannical government is, for me, deeply problematic. The point of failure is not at then point of invoking armed response, but at the point of conception of a civil society and engagement in political processes.

The divide in the US (today) is along lines of urban elites v rural and working man.

Sorry, but this is complete BS and typical of divisive propaganda that is peddled by both sides. In just about every Western nation you have the city/bush divide, and you have divides between this so-called elite (God knows who these folk are supposed to be) and the 'working man' that have been around for ages and hardly caused a problem.

I have lived in cities and large country towns. I grew up on a farm and in a small country town. These days I live on the fringe of Sydney and have an office in a country town yet travel into the city a lot. I am a country boy at heart. I have found the 'leftist' attitude toward country folk to be utter disgraceful - and the resentment flowing the other way deeply saddening.

The divide you describe is a deliberate lie that is exploited and magnified for commercial and political purposes - on both sides. It exists so long as you believe the BS that is confected to exploit it. There are people who are deeply invested in you believing your particular set of ideas.

There is one fundamental difference between Australia and the US that is a direct result of population size. You have markets that may be a small portion of your population but they are viable, in terms of size, for predatory manipulators. We have the same predators seeking to create hatred, fear and division here. But they are small in number and would be totally weak, were it not for our political system.

When yo live in a country in which less than 20% of the population have close on 90% of the wealth you have to figure that it is in their interests to have the rest of the country at each others throats over utterly contrived disagreements - so they are left alone.

You are governed by tyrants as it is, but they have convinced you that the enemy is each other.

I don't want to seem disrespectful to you, because that is not my intent - but what you think and believe depends so much on what you know.

I'd like to recommended a few books that woke me up:
Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra - we have been screwed for centuries essentially
White Working Class - Overcoming class cluelessness in America by Joan C Williams - a hint to urban elites to stop being so stupidly up themselves.
The Righteous Mind - why good people are divided by politics and religion by Jonathan Haidt - is actually amazing how much we agree on when we stop getting manipulated.

I know I am somewhere between being an urban elite and a rural and working man - neither wholly one nor the other - but definitely leaning toward the latter. (Alex the Italic switch is not working).

I just have no interest in class hatred - and certainly not what other folk say I should think or feel.
 
I don't actually. I know that American military culture is deeply knitted into community is ways we do not know here. That would mean that the military would be at least split. How do you define a domestic enemy? For me the problem would be defining when a government become tyrannical too. That idea that armed citizens are a defence against a tyrannical government is, for me, deeply problematic. The point of failure is not at then point of invoking armed response, but at the point of conception of a civil society and engagement in political processes.

The divide in the US (today) is along lines of urban elites v rural and working man.

Sorry, but this is complete BS and typical of divisive propaganda that is peddled by both sides. In just about every Western nation you have the city/bush divide, and you have divides between this so-called elite (God knows who these folk are supposed to be) and the 'working man' that have been around for ages and hardly caused a problem.

I have lived in cities and large country towns. I grew up on a farm and in a small country town. These days I live on the fringe of Sydney and have an office in a country town yet travel into the city a lot. I am a country boy at heart. I have found the 'leftist' attitude toward country folk to be utter disgraceful - and the resentment flowing the other way deeply saddening.

The divide you describe is a deliberate lie that is exploited and magnified for commercial and political purposes - on both sides. It exists so long as you believe the BS that is confected to exploit it. There are people who are deeply invested in you believing your particular set of ideas.

There is one fundamental difference between Australia and the US that is a direct result of population size. You have markets that may be a small portion of your population but they are viable, in terms of size, for predatory manipulators. We have the same predators seeking to create hatred, fear and division here. But they are small in number and would be totally weak, were it not for our political system.

When yo live in a country in which less than 20% of the population have close on 90% of the wealth you have to figure that it is in their interests to have the rest of the country at each others throats over utterly contrived disagreements - so they are left alone.

You are governed by tyrants as it is, but they have convinced you that the enemy is each other.

I don't want to seem disrespectful to you, because that is not my intent - but what you think and believe depends so much on what you know.

I'd like to recommended a few books that woke me up:
Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra - we have been screwed for centuries essentially
White Working Class - Overcoming class cluelessness in America by Joan C Williams - a hint to urban elites to stop being so stupidly up themselves.
The Righteous Mind - why good people are divided by politics and religion by Jonathan Haidt - is actually amazing how much we agree on when we stop getting manipulated.

I know I am somewhere between being an urban elite and a rural and working man - neither wholly one nor the other - but definitely leaning toward the latter. (Alex the Italic switch is not working).

I just have no interest in class hatred - and certainly not what other folk say I should think or feel.
Michael, sorry, but it is you who are not understanding.

Enhanced engagement in civic life is the answer? Really? Gosh...why didn't the Russians think of that under Stalin? Or the Germans under Hitler? or The Iraqis under Saddam?

Are you sure understand what a tyrant really is?

The urban/rural divide in this country is very real; sorry if you don't like that fact. Look at a color coded map of the USA showing voting by county. There's a vast sea of red (indicating republican/conservative) and then these little specks of blue (for democrat/liberal) where the big cities are. The urbanites are dependent on govt. The minorities for their welfare and the elites for power and control.

I'm very much NOT interested in discussing your Marxist notions about wealth distribution. Suffice it to say that you are horribly mistaken in that area as well.
 
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The divide in the US (today) is along lines of urban elites v rural and working man. The rural being the smaller population, but by far and away the greatest amount of land. It is the land that produces the food. The working man drives the trucks that haul the food to the big cities. A big city, like New York City, only has enough food on the shelves and in storage to feed the populace for three or four days. Politically, the truckers could be easily swayed to side with the revolt (assuming the conflict is based on current issues of oppressive leftist globalist democrat elites and their urban minority welfare dependents versus conservative free market constitutionalists). A few bridges get blown, a few cell towers, rail lines, electricity hubs and a few water sources are destroyed and armed militias control remaining key road junctures and NYC is starving to death in a week. All of the urban welfare dependent savages turn on their elite masters and they kill each other off cannibal style. Ditto for Washington DC, Chicago, LA, San Francisco. Pleas for terms of surrender would ensue rather quickly.
The urban/rural divide in this country is very real; sorry if you don't like that fact. Look at a color coded map of the USA showing voting by county. There's a vast sea of red (indicating republican/conservative) and then these little specks of blue (for democrat/liberal) where the big cities are.
Hi Eric,

I have been thinking about your idea of armed revolt. I understand what you're saying about the urban/rural divide, and I have seen those red/blue maps as well. For me, though, those election maps don't really tell the whole story of how folks would react to a violent revolt like you described earlier.

I was thinking that if you surrounded all those cities, you would be including all kinds of innocent citizens--like children who aren't allowed to vote. If you were planning an armed revolt that would end up with the deaths of innocent children, for example, and end up with billions of dollars of property damage, I think you'd want to look at polling data that suggests how strongly folks support/oppose that type of action. Because looking at polling data of how people VOTED is going to look significantly different than maps of how many people support cutting off food/water to children, elderly, infirm and blowing up bridges, cell phone towers, etc. My gut instinct (and this is from having spent a majority of my life living in small town and rural America) is that the vast majority of folks would be strongly opposed to cutting off food and water to their city cousins, shooting people trying to flea, blowing up infrastructure, causing enormous chaos and destruction, etc.

I don't think a revolt of this type would ever even get off the ground in any serious way. It's one thing to create internet groups where radical folks discuss these plans. But, in my opinion, when it comes to actually executing this kind of violent revolt, it seems there would be a big drop off in numbers between the online commenters and the folks who actually show up at those bridges and start firing guns on unarmed US citizens. I think that's why we see situations where one or two folks go out shooting or bombing... coordinating thousands of people to show up and violently hold whole cities hostage just seems like a pretty tall order. For another thing, it wouldn't take much for the FBI or other agency to catch wind of that type of plan ahead of time. And when you talk about military folks or other government folks getting involved on the side of the "revolt", I think they start weighing the risk of going to jail and the risk of losing their pension against the slim odds that at the end of the day, the revolters get the policy changes they want and everybody goes home and there's no consequences. I mean, if you turn a bunch of major American cities into internment camps and stop the flow of food/water/communications, thousands of innocent people die, billions of dollars of damage, I think there would be charges brought against you, to say the least. You would have to take control of all kinds of law enforcement agencies and the judicial branches of state and federal governments to avoid having charges brought, which just seems, again, to be a pretty tall order.

And yes the scenario has been discussed and is regularly discussed and that is why the Leftists in the US want to take the guns. They know I'm correct in my assessment of the outcome.
Ultimately, I see this question very differently. The main time that I hear folks talking about gun control is after mass shootings. In my day-to-day life, I have never heard anybody talking about being afraid of armed revolt within the US.
 
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Hi Eric,

I have been thinking about your idea of armed revolt. I understand what you're saying about the urban/rural divide, and I have seen those red/blue maps as well. For me, though, those election maps don't really tell the whole story of how folks would react to a violent revolt like you described earlier.

I was thinking that if you surrounded all those cities, you would be including all kinds of innocent citizens--like children who aren't allowed to vote. If you were planning an armed revolt that would end up with the deaths of innocent children, for example, and end up with billions of dollars of property damage, I think you'd want to look at polling data that suggests how strongly folks support/oppose that type of action. Because looking at polling data of how people VOTED is going to look significantly different than maps of how many people support cutting off food/water to children, elderly, infirm and blowing up bridges, cell phone towers, etc. My gut instinct (and this is from having spent a majority of my life living in small town and rural America) is that the vast majority of folks would be strongly opposed to cutting off food and water to their city cousins, shooting people trying to flea, blowing up infrastructure, causing enormous chaos and destruction, etc.

I don't think a revolt of this type would ever even get off the ground in any serious way. It's one thing to create internet groups where radical folks discuss these plans. But, in my opinion, when it comes to actually executing this kind of violent revolt, it seems there would be a big drop off in numbers between the online commenters and the folks who actually show up at those bridges and start firing guns on unarmed US citizens. I think that's why we see situations where one or two folks go out shooting or bombing... coordinating thousands of people to show up and violently hold whole cities hostage just seems like a pretty tall order. For another thing, it wouldn't take much for the FBI or other agency to catch wind of that type of plan ahead of time. And when you talk about military folks or other government folks getting involved on the side of the "revolt", I think they start weighing the risk of going to jail and the risk of losing their pension against the slim odds that at the end of the day, the revolters get the policy changes they want and everybody goes home and there's no consequences. I mean, if you turn a bunch of major American cities into internment camps and stop the flow of food/water/communications, thousands of innocent people die, billions of dollars of damage, I think there would be charges brought against you, to say the least. You would have to take control of all kinds of law enforcement agencies and the judicial branches of state and federal governments to avoid having charges brought, which just seems, again, to be a pretty tall order.
I didn't say it would be pleasant or desirable. I just said it could happen.

Think about the American Civil War (or any countries' civil wars). Americans were perfectly capable of slaughtering each other not only on the battlefield, but in besieged cities some of which were eventually burned down by the North. Yes. These destroyed cities were occupied by women and children. These events are never pleasant or desirable; yet they happen. I include the French revolution in that list. People cheering as more and more of their fellow citizens went to the guillotine.

You fail to comprehend what people are capable of doing to each other once some psychological tipping point has been reached. I am a student of history and warfare. I have no delusions about our rationality and better angels.

Also, don't think for a moment that such an event would require the internet to get started. Throughout history - long before the internet - these things have gotten started in more organic ways.

let's review where we are. We have entire cities defying federal immigration law (i.e. sanctuary cities). Representatives from these same districts are trying to impeach a lawfully elected President over nothing other than there dislike of the man and his policies. The more their investigations of him turn up nothing actionable, the more they amp up the impeachment hysteria. Racism against whites is prevalent and is expressed openly in the liberal media and by liberal politicians.

Meanwhile conservative local law enforcement are defying liberal attempts at gun control. In Western NY, the sheriffs have told Gov Cuomo to go suck an egg with regards to enforcing his draconian gun control measures. This has happened elsewhere in the country.

Anyhow, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most of the law enforcement and military combat arms (as opposed to motor pool) are conservative. The Left doesn't have a chance, which is why they resort the feminine passive aggressive techniques. They want to "dialogue" about issues and move the mean further toward their wackiness. There's a point at which a good chunk of the population is going to have had enough. That's just the way it goes. Always has and always will.
 
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I didn't say it would be pleasant or desirable. I just said it could happen.

Think about the American Civil War (or any countries' civil wars). Americans were perfectly capable of slaughtering each other not only on the battlefield, but in besieged cities some of which were eventually burned down by the North. Yes. These destroyed cities were occupied by women and children. These events are never pleasant or desirable; yet they happen. I include the French revolution in that list. People cheering as more and more of their fellow citizens went to the guillotine.

You fail to comprehend what people are capable of doing to each other once some psychological tipping point has been reached. I am a student of history and warfare. I have no delusions about our rationality and better angels.

Also, don't think for a moment that such an event would require the internet to get started. Throughout history - long before the internet - these things have gotten started in more organic ways.
Fair enough. My response is that I believe we are much further away from that tipping point.

Folks on the right are quite successful these days on issues like abortion and guns. And it seems like the supreme court could add another conservative member sometime in the near future. To me, it doesn't look like anything is going to change on the gun-control front.

As far as the other items on your list of possible causes, in my view, they don't have enough "juice" behind them to actually get people to take such radical action. There are plenty of (wealthy) conservatives who support a healthy flow of immigrants because they provide cheap labor and keep wages low. On the question of taxation--programs like universal health care poll well across parties. If anybody can figure out how to actually lower costs on the health care side, that would enjoy popular support as well. Anyhow, when it comes to taxation, the right passed their big tax reform bill, so seems like a non-issue, at least for now. The same goes for election issues -- the most contested elections were ultimately decided in favor of the right (W. Bush), so that is a non-issue for now, as well. Gender issues I don't think effect a high enough percentage of the population to lead to revolt. And I don't think thousands of people are going to start blowing up bridges, etc, because statues have been removed.

So, that is my two cents. I agree that popular violent uprisings happen. I think we're far off from a wide-scale "revolt" happening in the US.
 
Fair enough. My response is that I believe we are much further away from that tipping point.

Folks on the right are quite successful these days on issues like abortion and guns. And it seems like the supreme court could add another conservative member sometime in the near future. To me, it doesn't look like anything is going to change on the gun-control front.

As far as the other items on your list of possible causes, in my view, they don't have enough "juice" behind them to actually get people to take such radical action. There are plenty of (wealthy) conservatives who support a healthy flow of immigrants because they provide cheap labor and keep wages low. On the question of taxation--programs like universal health care poll well across parties. If anybody can figure out how to actually lower costs on the health care side, that would enjoy popular support as well. Anyhow, when it comes to taxation, the right passed their big tax reform bill, so seems like a non-issue, at least for now. The same goes for election issues -- the most contested elections were ultimately decided in favor of the right (W. Bush), so that is a non-issue for now, as well. Gender issues I don't think effect a high enough percentage of the population to lead to revolt. And I don't think thousands of people are going to start blowing up bridges, etc, because statues have been removed.

So, that is my two cents. I agree that popular violent uprisings happen. I think we're far off from a wide-scale "revolt" happening in the US.
Well, I said 50/50 chance. I only offered examples; not an exhaustive list of hot topics. I don't totally disagree with you on the current state of things. Yes. conservatives are winning. Should one of the radical leftists get into the Oval Office, the situation could deteriorate rapidly. Also, I think that abortion is as much a moral crusade for many as slavery was circa 1860. And, I think you are seriously underestimating the importance of the gun control issue to both sides, but particularly to conservatives.

On a side note, since I work in the industry, on healthcare - most people are actually quite happy with what they currently have. They tend to say they favor universal/Medicare For All in the polling because they have made to perceive that others are suffering. They don't want to give up what they currently have. They have been duped into thinking the MFA is something that it isn't and that the need for it is far greater than it actually is.

Yes, there are wealthy conservatives that support lots of illegal immigration. Notice that those guys' facemen got blown out of the water by Trump in 2016. They are no longer favored by conservatives, who see them as just so many more elites destroying the country.

To be fair, Republicans of the McCain/Bush ilk could set off the revolt too by getting us into some kind of war that turns into something bigger than expected (though Democrats have never seen a war they didn't like either).

But yeah, we're not there yet and I hope we never are. Still, the animosity expressed by both major sides against each in other, publicly and officially (e.g. media and politicians) is probably more intense than even circa 1859. the same sentiments are expressed by many private individuals on social media and in private conversations. That is a cause for concern to me.
 
Enhanced engagement in civic life is the answer? Really? Gosh...why didn't the Russians think of that under Stalin? Or the Germans under Hitler? or The Iraqis under Saddam?


Well, they didn't. Plainly you have not taken the opportunity to study history. So I am not exactly sure of the basis of your opinion. Certainly the Iraqis did better under Saddam than they have done under the US efforts at liberating them.

The Russians had no chance to engage in civic life until the revolution - not that worked out well for a hell of a long time. They got free education and health care in time when states were generally extremely controlling. I am not saying killing millions of citizens intentionally is a a good way to run a nation - but neither is doing so by neglect and incompetence - as is increasingly common in some western countries.

Hitler rose to power because he actually did improve the lot of the German people - and then he went overboard into evil stuff. And that's a message that disturbed the opponents of popularism at the moment.

Some people will assert that President for Life Xi Jinping is a tyrant, and while there are flagrant abuses of 'human rights' in China then improvement of the physical life of Chinese people is undoubted.

Are you sure understand what a tyrant really is?

Without wanting to seem disrespectful to you, I think I have a far better idea than you do, since I have made the effort to inquire, rather than listen to pre-disgested propaganda. I have been reading in politics and economics and sociology for decades. What is the basis for you opinions?

Tyranny is exactly what you have in the USA -as is being foisted upon other countries. The USA has a lot of blather about being the 'home of liberty and freedom'. That's what your tyrants want you to believe. You are supposedly the richest nation on the planet - and look at you. Your levels of poverty and homelessness are a disgrace, your infrastructure is crumbling, your education is a mess and your health care is the laughing stock of the planet. And yet you are armed to the teeth to a ludicrous degree. Let's not even get into your levels of incarceration. Exactly how does this jibe with you claims to be the home of freedom (which, by the way, nobody else outside the US believes)?

What you have is what the Russians had pre revolution. What Stalin did was simply transfer power and wealth to a different class - something Putin has perpetuated. Kindly don't confess the problem with the solutions enacted. Since Reagan your economic well being has declined. You don't need external enemies - your are internally your own worst enemy - something Putin exploited in the 2016 election.

Your domestic tyrants are constantly pointing your attention abroad (incidentally something Putin was recently accused of doing) to imagined external enemies.Your are more armed than the next 10 countries put together in terms of expenditure -despite the fact that, geographically, you are the most remote major nation. You are hardly likely to be attacked by Canada or Mexico.

Why the logic for all those weapons? Post WW2 it became an industry and the perfect commercial scam - funnel the bulk of the nation's 'commonwealth' into private hands - and ensure a complaint milk-cow populace that keep on pumping the financial milk into the pockets of the arms makers.

In NSW, where I live, there are two major zoos - Taronga (Sydney) and Western Plains (Dubbo). They are both zoos, but Western Plains offers spacious acreages, conspired to the cramped quarters of Taronga. This is not just compassionate but smart.

We live in a Western Plains tyranny, and we are fortunate, because for others the alternative is a Taronga not run well at all.

The urban/rural divide in this country is very real; sorry if you don't like that fact. Look at a color coded map of the USA showing voting by county. There's a vast sea of red (indicating republican/conservative) and then these little specks of blue (for democrat/liberal) where the big cities are. The urbanites are dependent on govt. The minorities for their welfare and the elites for power and control.

I know the map. Its a symptom, not a cause. It is the fruit of political machinations and corruption at high level that has worked out over history. Its how things are now, not how they have to be.

Just to give you a reality check here, what you call urbanites are often just as dispossessed and disenfranchised as you are. But what they have is the 'accident' of proximity and the ability to connect in numbers to create community and have influence. There are simply objective facts about cities versus rural communities that mean different kinds of ideas flourish and different ways of influence express themselves. It does not mean that country and city people are fundamentally different. Of course there are predators who will insist otherwise is true.

Yes, obviously the 'elites' engage in power and control in cities because that's where most administrative functions sit. I agree that this is a function of corruption, because its not necessary. In this day and age there is no impediment to 'decentralising' government functions - something my state government does.

I would observe that, compare to here, US state politics are remarkably corrupt. We have independent electoral authorities that determine electoral boundaries. We don't do gerrymandering.

We also have a federal welfare system so 'minorities' are not place dependent on access to welfare services. Now I get that there are major and legitimate concerns about immigration that are not well responded to and, as a consequence generated well-founded concerns.

But there's a standard issue here. Communities exposed to diversity adapt more quickly - so if the greatest exposure to diversity is in the cities the adaption rate is going to be far higher than for rural areas with less exposure. Here I am making no value judgement, just conveying well established understanding. The result of this phenomenon is that a radical divide quickly opens up between city and rural folk - and this usually results in city folk calling rural folk racist and worse.

I am deeply familiar with our city based ABC radio hosts disgracefully lampooning members of the One Nation party established in rural Australia in the late 1990s. It was a disgraceful instance of smug leftist city elites exhibiting all that was arrogant dumb and ignorant about them. That arrogance has driven One Nation into extremes it has not intended, and now we are paying the price, because we have created an extreme right party that has the chance of winning the balance of power in the upper house.

In instances where 'minorities' have been settled in rural communities it does seem that they are generally judge not "by the colour of their skin by the content of their character". At least, this has been the case in Australia. I wouldn't like to think that rural Americans would be any different.

I'm very much NOT interested in discussing your Marxist notions about wealth distribution. Suffice it to say that you are horribly mistaken in that area as well.

You apparently know nothing about Marxism. I have said nothing about wealth distribution other than to observe that a very few of your countrymen have most of it. That's not a Marxist observation, but one of plain fact. As an aside, I have no particular sympathy with Marxism. As a critique of Capitalism I think it has some value because it forces us to be reflective. But that does not mean it has a solution to the problems identified.

Wealth distribution is not a Marxist idea. Evidently you got this from folk whom want you to think that way. Wealth distribution is not about taking wealth away from those who have it. Its about creating a value system in which, for example, the CEO of Disney is not paid $65m a year (whatever the amount was it was around that). That's $178,000 per day, each day of the year. That's $7,416 per hour, or $123 a minute.

You think that's okay? I don't. A Disney heiress thought it was not okay either, and said so, just recently. Did your news feeds cover that? I get a decent wage for what I do. In fact I think I am underpaid when I look at what other people get paid and what they deliver. One thing I like about the American system is that you can better ask to be paid that you worth. But nobody is worth $4 an hour. In Australia we have a minimum wage at US$11.80 (I thought it was higher than that - and it should be).

It isn't socialist to be paid a fair wage, or to expect that the management elites stop deluding themselves that their labour is worth somebody else's years wage in a day or a life's wage in a year. I am stunned that the USX oppressed defend their oppressors with no awareness of the insane inequity.

My point about tyranny is that during the Feudal times it may have been true that some, but certainly not all, vassals believed that the Lords were entitled to their wealth and power, and had the right to impose upon the peasants their right to force labour at poor wages and under conditions they determined. The Black Death put a brake on that tyranny for a time. The Lords died out more than the peasants did, so there was a time when a 'working man' got a decent wage for a fair day's work. But it took until the hard won labour laws of the early 20th century to put a constraint upon the view that workers were disposable components in a production system that paid no heed to their safety or welfare.

It is evident that whoever is educating you does not want you to know the history of worker rights in the US or elsewhere.

I am not a socialist, but I am also not a fool. In my country we have an agreement that some things are paid for by the state with our taxes - health, education (up to tertiary these days), roads, defence of the nation, police, health services - and other essential things. The idea that essential service should be privatised was popular for a time, but reality has shown that such passions were misguided. Now not even our most right wing parties dare go down that path and expect to be elected.

The notion of limited government is greatly favoured by tyrants so long as they get to say what is limited and what is magnified.

While you are entirely entitled to your own opinions, you should draw a distinction between opinions that are crafted by others to express political philosophies that are carefully crafted by master manipulators and ones formed by individuals on the basis of free and informed inquiry. Unless, of course, you are an adherent to the view that any kind of informed or educated opinion would render a person vulnerable to elitist corruption - and hence should be suppressed.

Tyranny is not just what you have been told it is. That's what tyrants do. They say what they give you is freedom and destiny - and anything else is a lie. They tell you that what they say is true is the only truth. These tyrants permeate our cultures, and they aspire to power in politics, in commerce and in religion. There are marxist tyrants and capitalist tyrants. Democracy is the the current best defence we have against them, but it is deeply vulnerable to corruption and distortion. Tyrants encourage non-participation and act to exclude those they think will vote against them. Gerrymandering is what petty tyrants do.

There are many millions of Americans who share a common desire for peace, safety and prosperity, but assuring you will never work together is a highly developed and very lucrative art. Its an art worth investing in - and the people who invest in that art are your tyrants. And, of course, they will always want to misdirect your attention away from what they are doing to whoever happens to be the hate figure of the moment. I had to pause, because right at the moment the tyrants of the world are your President's favourite people.

You are, of course, entirely free to believe as you do - and you will own the consequences of your belief. It is not my intent to persuade you to another way to thinking. I will, however, respectfully, counter your arguments and assertions where I sincerely disagree with them.

I am convinced that a decent understanding of history is a necessary defence against the persistent and pernicious efforts by manipulators and liars to distort understanding and disempower individual liberty. I think I have done a decent job at ensuring I am not prey to predatory actors. Can you say the same thing of yourself? i have to say that none of you comments convince me you have.
 
Its about creating a value system in which, for example, the CEO of Disney is not paid $65m a year (whatever the amount was it was around that). That's $178,000 per day, each day of the year. That's $7,416 per hour, or $123 a minute.
Always of interest to me when this topic comes up is the proposed solution. There never seems to be a cogent one offered.

Even the first question: How much is too much? seems ever elusive.
 
Always of interest to me when this topic comes up is the proposed solution. There never seems to be a cogent one offered.

Even the first question: How much is too much? seems ever elusive.
Yep. of course, despite Michael's denial, the proposed solution is always Marxist redistribution of wealth and assorted socialist market controls - which are all killers.

Another problem with Michael's point is that it is meaningless. There isn't a finite amount of money such that if one person makes a lot, then there's less for everyone else. Money reflects value and if you create value, then more money is created and you will have more. Michael's position is one of jealousy and misunderstanding of economics.

BTW, most of these huge CEO salaries are based on stock awards. The only people impacted are shareholders because there is some diluting of market value when more shares are issued. of course the major shareholders vote for the distribution to the CEO. So they must understand what they are doing and be ok with it.
 
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A
I found this most interesting.

A couple more immigrant America haters that sit in this country, soaking of the benefits of freedom and prosperity and griping the whole time. The shrink should go back to whatever Latin American crap hole he came from.

Pop psych analysis with a heavy bias. Hateful Mumbo Jumbo signifying nothing - though it is funny to watch the clips of liberal heads exploding over RUSSIA ATTACKES US!!!!!! WAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!

In fairness, the shrink does kind of accurately describe the problems liberals are having with the situation
 
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