[ExI] Repudiating the national debt

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Thu May 12 19:41:24 UTC 2016

On Thu, May 12, 2016 at 11:00 AM, John Clark <johnkclark at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 11:41 PM, Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com>
>> While I wouldn't want to risk it, my guess is other folks in the chain
of command would likely not follow orders
> That's
> not the way things work. The only way to communicate with Trident Nuclear
Submarines when they're submerged (and they're always submerged except when
in port) is by Extremely Low Frequency radio waves, it's very
> very
> slow, only about 2 words a minute. And it only works one way, submerged
submarines don't communicate with their land based bosses at all. There is
simply no way for the submarine
> commander to have a debate about the geopolitical situation with
> .
> When the Captain
>  receives launch codes he's trained
> to open his sealed orders and verify that the launch code is correct, he
then asks
> his second in command to double check him to make sure the code is
correct. If
> they both agree that their submarine has received a valid launch code
then they
> are trained to immediately launch their  24 ICBMs with their 192 H-bombs.
> And that is exactly what they
>  will do. And there is a 25.2%
> chance
> Donald Trump will have those launch codes in 8 months.

Let me help you yet again, given that you ignored what I stated after the
part you trimmed:

"While I wouldn't want to risk it, my guess is other folks in the chain of
command would likely not follow orders. However, let's set that aside.
Let's say you're right: Trump in office would increase the odds of a
nuclear war. By how much? Maybe Caplan is right about the overall 2.5 times
risk. Let's say 2.5 times whatever the base rate would be or, better, than
Clinton or Sanders. (My guess is Sanders would be less bellicose than
either Trump or Clinton.) Now, what can you do about this? Panic? Build a
bomb shelter? My guess is very little aside from get worked up."

>> >…Why not simply advocate getting rid of the presidency,
> spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> Because that would require getting rid of the constitution which
>>> is a bad idea.
>> Why?
> Because once a standard has been set changing it is
> a
> awesome
> responsibility and is not worth doing unless you're sure the new standard
will be ASTRONOMICALLY better, and even then the transition period is going
to be extremely unpleasant and chaotic. Yes a libertarian paradise with
Privately Produced Law and Private
> Protection
> Agencies would be better than the nationalistic system we have now, but
the current standard is so well established that safely changing it now to
something radically different would be virtually impossible.

Then be prepared to have madmen get into office. Or not even madmen, just
folks who will make colossally bad decisions simply because of concentrated

Also, my question was: "Why not simply advocate getting rid of the
presidency, so that, if you succeed, there won't be a madman attaining that
level of power?"

I was presuming there that you would have about as much success at this as
in getting X or non-X elected president this year. It would be a much
longer term project: talking to people, persuading them that this should be
done, and even going over what the replacement should be. (Please note: the
replacement possibilities aren't either an extremely unlikely "libertarian
paradise" or some highly likely (according to you and Spike, I take it)
really bad society that either follows the "Mad Max" or "1984" model. There
are plenty of other possibilities, including one where there simply is no
ruler with such power, but the overall government of the US is much the
same -- as much as it can be the same without an imperial executive like we
have now.)

>> Think of the presidency as a
>> national-level chief of police, who commands the military,
>> selects supreme court justices, acts as influential cheerleader
>> and such, but still must answer to congress.
> In today's modern fast changing world some important decisions must
> be made in just hours or even minutes and there is no time to consult
> with congress. And it's not like congress has demonstrated great wisdom

I actually think that's part of the problem. In any age, problems can be
viewed as needing quick and decisive action. That was an original
justification for having a president and also not have some collegial
executive body. (The Romans, for instance, often had dual office holders.
the Federalists argued strongly against that sort of thing.) That too
easily morphs, as anti-Federalists pointed out in the 01780s, into
executive decisions being made always without approval or consent.

Let me stress again: in any age. The excuse that 02016 demands this more
than fifty or a hundred years ago is bullshit.

>> Make it so that
>> he US will be OK with the occasional madman, criminal or
>> Alzheimer’s patient in that office with little permanent damage.
> That won't work because the president is Commander In Chief
> (somebody has to be) and Nuclear Weapons can't be un-invented.
> So if the Commander In Chief is a madman, criminal or
> Alzheimer’s patient we're all dead. And there is a 25.2% chance
> Donald Trump will be the Commander In Chief in just 8 months.

Again, let's say the Trump issue passes, why keep a system like this in
place where another mad person might seek and attain the office? It's
almost like you live in a building with a basement full of oily rags that
has no secure door and instead of either moving out or cleaning up that
room, you just want to make sure one particular guy who likes to start
fires stays away from the basement. Either getting rid of the rags or
having the door firmly locked, it seems, are too radical. It's an insane,
utopian idea. But keeping things as they are, well? That's the height of
practical sanity.

I'd like to reiterate, again, for Constitutionalists: What's happened since
ratification either is because of or in spite of the Constitution, so why
put much stock in that piece of legalese that obviously even helped create
the government Americans live under or did nothing to stop it from being


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