[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Tue Aug 24 23:18:26 UTC 2004

Stephen J. Van Sickle wrote:

> I find this all very distressing, since I think a strong opposition is
> essential to civil society.  Yet much of what I see from the opposition
> these days amount to personal attacks ("irrational", "honest", "Bush is
> dumb") and a refusal to debate the facts and issues.  It is ultimately
> self-defeating.  It is not like there aren't a great many sound
> arguments against the course of action being taken.  

I agree that its unpleasant to see only bad or spurious reasons
given for opposing things, but unfortunately, unless you are referring
to what's good for an email list, rather than what is good for an
electoral outcome, it isn't self defeating. 

In a two person contest like the US Presidential election only one
will win and one will loose. The system doesn't differentiate whether
a vote is cast for a candidate or against the other candidate. Two 
dummies voting the opposite way to you cancel your vote and exceed
it by exactly one. Little wonder the messages are pitched at lowest
common denominators.

The power that resides in the US Presidency is such that who is in the
role matters not just for US citizens but for the west and for the world.

Intelligence (or the lack of dumbness) matters in potential President's 
like a capacity to fly planes matters in pilots. I don't care whether 
there is a republican or a democrat in the whitehouse but I do care
that the guy (and it will be a guy) has a sufficient grasp of all the tools
at his disposal, which includes or should include diplomatic skill as
well as military might. A commander in chief will and must rely on 
intelligence agencies of course but the intelligence between his/her
own ears is always going to a decisively limiting factor regardless of
the quality of his/her advice.  

When Bush bungled the handling of the UN after getting resolution 
1441 agreed to unanimously and invaded Iraq on a timetable that he
alone was setting and against resolution 1441 and against the UN 
Charter he squandered an opportunity to strengthen civilization 
(a more capable President could have handled the UN situation
better and made the UN a better institution in the interests of the
US and of the rest of the world) instead, working to a timetable 
and/or an agenda of his own, he decided to just go ahead and 

Brett Paatsch


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