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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 01:36PM

Debated for centuries this question has, and there is no definitive answer, so I will tell you what I think.


Before the twentieth century, war for the most part was portrayed as "glorious." You fought for the glory of the king, prince, or potentate. It was an honour to die in battle, or, as Horace put it, "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori."


"The Book Of Mormon" has cartoonish, cardboardish comic book type characters (like "Captain Moroni" being a thinly veiled version of George Washington) who are morally just warriors fighting against evil. But the real world is not always like that.


When most Americans think of moral righteousness and war, this comes to mind:

Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage
Where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning
Of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.


Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.


Modern warfare as we know it today began with the American Civil War, and the new invention of photography brought home the savage reality of combat to the public for the first time. But Europeans dismissed the Civil War as momentous but amateurish, and didn't learn this lesson until the First World War. The Great War began as a contest between empires, and turned into a moral crusade against evil at the end -- just as the Civil War began as a war to preserve the American Union and became a holy war to free humans from slavery.


The Second World War is probably the first war in the modern era that began as a "just war" between good and evil -- at least from the Allied perspective. Many Germans, fascists or not, thought that the Versailles Treaty was a humiliation and wanted revenge. But, as we all know, the war went far beyond revenge for WWI and became an experiment in evil with the mass murder of innocent human beings. When reports of the death camps first reached London and Washington, they were dismissed as fantastic or enemy propaganda. The reality didn't sink in until the camps were liberated.


The atomic bomb ended the war, but changed the nature of war. From then on, the enemy became war itself. All out global warfare now had the prospect of eliminating all life on Earth. Fear of war kept regional conflicts in Korea and Vietnam from growing global. The object of war was no longer victory over an enemy, but to end the fighting. But contrary to what most people might think, nuclear weapons are more political than they are strategic. You cannot win a war by wiping out everybody and everything. Objectives cease to exist if everything is gone.


So now we are once again faced with a war of naked aggression. The last time this happened in the West was in the Falkland Islands and the Balkans. Is it moral? Is it just? Surely it cannot be wrong to help your neighbour from being killed and losing their home.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2023 04:49PM by anybody.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 01:57PM

You didn't answer your own question.

Is there a moral justification for war?

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 04:43PM

"So now we are once again faced with a war of naked aggression. The last time this happened in the West was in the Falkland Islands and the Balkans. Is it moral? Is it just? Surely it cannot be wrong to help your neighbour from being killed and losing their home."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2023 04:48PM by anybody.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 02:05PM

"Wars come in all sizes, from man-on-man to empire versus empire. It, or its threat, is universally how the winning side gets to do things their way."

--Claus von Judic West, so pacifist he'd kill for peace

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Posted by: VegitiFiendPublius ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 04:11PM


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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 04:42PM

sometimes the opposite of war is capitulation which often doesn't give a good outcome either...

Imagine the horror for Ukrainian people if they lose to Putin or surrender.

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Posted by: shoulderwheelie ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 07:17PM

No, there is generally no moral justification for war, which is probably why all leaders who start them call them conflicts or annexation or retribution for some perceived slight.
The war against Communism, Fascism, drugs, and any other abstract enemy we make of one another is just a farce. To my mind, war is waged to justify the struggle for power and domination through undermining (extermination) and invalidation of others. IMO, it is boxed up in many guises and levels: conflict, policing, combat, surveillance, indoctrination and propaganda, bread and circuses, and religion.
If there was one overarching moral value that would end that struggle for power and domination, then I think I would actually feel that was a value worth dying for. In the end, even Jesus couldn’t stop war with ‘turn the other cheek’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. With that in mind, I think that is why there is no moral justification for war. Ever.

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Posted by: shoulderwheelie ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 07:19PM

Bl**dy h*ll, it took a lot of effort to jump down off that soapbox! I think I sprained an ankle.

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:17PM

There was some good stuff in there!

I remember "Why do humans have wars" was a big topic in an anthropology class I took eons ago. Basically what I took away is that humans, being the nasty little animals they are, simply kill each other over resources (food and mates) so that their genes survive competitors. We have created elaborate reasons to justify it.

Nothing about this topic is clear cut to me. Sometimes there is a giant aggressive power hungry creep that uses violence and can only be stopped with violence. That seems justified to me.

This anthropology paper on the topic has parts that make me question and also squirm. Women can be just as aggressive, but maybe gender is a factor. I'm not a fan of humans in general, and war is one reason why.

https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/711622

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Posted by: Kentish ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:00PM

I think you should add "starting a war". There's a big difference between initiating a war and responding to the aggression of another. The allied cause in WW2 was moral and right. The alternative was unthinkable.

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Posted by: shoulderwheelie ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:11PM

You are absolutely right, Kentish. I did mean ‘starting a war’. Yes, sometimes there is no alternative but to fight back and hope you can prevail against aggression. My position will always be that there is no moral justification for starting a war.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:36PM

I'll ask you how far your logic goes.

When does war "start?" Did it start when Austria and Russia irreversibly set their war machines in motion or when they crossed their respective borders two weeks later?

Is it irresponsible to launch a pre-emptive war such as when Hitler sent agitators into the Sudetenland to create a causus belli? Or did the allies have to wait until Germany passed over all the fortifications and then drew first blood?

Would it be permissible to start a small war to prevent a much larger one? Would it be okay to use force against Hitler when he invaded the Rhineland in 1936 so that the generals would reign him in and prevent all that followed? How about assassinating Stalin to prevent his wars all along the periphery of the incipient USSR?

My point is that while I agree with your logic, you've already qualified it. You started by saying there is no justification for war, then retreated to saying there's no justification for starting a war. Aren't there also cases in which interstate violence is justified to change a course of events that would otherwise end in an enormous war or other tragedy?

As I said to anybody above, "I'm sure you and I are basically on the same page, but the devil's in the details and there are several devils on RfM."

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:28PM

I just saw The Banshees of Inisherin this afternoon, which deals with this question on at least two levels. One was the relationship between two long-time friends, and the other was a civil war in Ireland. Was what happened moral? Was it necessary? What residual love/respect was there in spite of what happened? What was pure accident? Was the cost worth it? What is the way out?

I think the movie message was that it was not worth it, but it clearly triggered more questions than answers for me.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:46PM

War is okay with Mormons as long as there is no sex involved.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:55PM

THE ATLANTIC 1/27'23
by Phillips Payson O'Brien...

other NATO countries such as Finland, Denmark & Norway, Sweden are lobbying for an uncompromising defeat of Putin / Russia and hopefully a pause or hopefully an end to Russian aggressions.

Norway & Finland have borders with Russia...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 08:59PM

If you'd read the article you would realize that Sweden and Finland aren't members of NATO.

D'oh.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 09:53PM

'true', LW, they are both technically Applicants awaiting approval from the previous members which Russia Hates.

As I understand, the Russian aggression motivated them to gain home agreement-approval.


All, 100% of the previous member nations must assent in order for their membership to be finalized.

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Posted by: shoulderwheelie ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 09:44PM

“I'll ask you how far your logic goes.”

It doesn’t go very far this late into the night/early in the morning, I’m afraid…

Pre-emptive wars/actions to contain escalation or prevent a bad thing from becoming badder rely upon good intel, right? I mean the war in Iraq was justified (at least in the media) by the supposedly reliable intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was planning to use them.

We would all like to imagine how events would have turned out for the better, in Europe, for millions of Jewish people, gypsies, queer folk and other ‘undesirables’ if only Hitler’s writings had been taken more seriously, or if the earlier warning signs had been heeded. We didn’t though. Putin’s annexation of Crimea wasn’t really taken seriously. I think human nature will respect power until power is corrupted and then feign surprise that it got so out of hand (Trump). We will continue to underestimate tyrannical leaders until huge measures taken, eg. Defensive involvement in war. Like I meant in my initial post, tyrants rarely call their actions ‘war’. They usually call it something else. I still don’t think there can be a moral justification for engaging in warfare pre-emptively. That’s my new line in the sand drawn. Apologies for not really knowing my position on war at 2:45am GMT…

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 27, 2023 11:36PM

No worries about the imprecision. I was hoping to push towards more accuracy because I think this is a critically important question. My answer, were it sought, would be that pre-emptive war can absolutely be moral but that the definitions and judgment can be so murky as to leave us with few standards by which to judge whether it is appropriate.

On the definitional question, what is "pre-emptive" violence? The West had a treaty obligation to react with force to Japan's aggression in Manchuria in 1932; Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia in 1935-1936; and Hitler's serial assaults on the Rhineland in 1936, then against Austria, then against the Sudetenland, then Czechia; and finally Poland. Both sides opted for a charade in each of these cases, with the aggressors claiming they had not violated international law and the Western powers refusing to call it the illegal aggression that it was because they didn't want to fight. Both sides therefore pretended that an attack on Japan/Italy/Germany would have been pre-emptive war and therefore unjustifiable.

But in none of those cases was appeasement the proper course of action. In all instances the pusillanimous states were afraid to do what they had promised to do. Words have meanings; treaty provisions have meanings; and countries and politicians will dissemble whenever they want. Legally and geopolitically necessary small wars consequently became huge ones.

More generally, are there not international laws, international norms, whose contraventions SHOULD trigger pre-emptive war? Is it moral for the world to stand by while a country engages in genocide? Is it moral to refrain from attempts to assassinate Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot or Putin when they have already embarked upon their aggression? I'm asking that on a moral level because there are all sorts of practical reasons not to take up the gauntlet, some of which must sometimes be respected.

There are instances when it would be both pragmatically and morally imperative to launch a pre-emptive attack. When those moments--Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939, Poland in 1940--are missed, history properly judges the hand-wringing cowards responsible for the tens of millions of deaths that ensue.

Where does that leave us? In my view we are left to think that war is tragic, should be avoided whenever possible, and is nevertheless essential in certain cases. It therefore becomes critical to choose leaders capable of judging events well rather than electing cowards like Chamberlain in the late 1930s; Obama, who drew a red line in the Syrian sand but then ignored it when Russia used WMD only then to cower in the corner again when Putin invaded Ukraine and the Crimea; or Trump, who surrendered Hong Kong despite US treaty obligations to intervene and cravenly applauded Putin's attempt to conquer the rest of Ukraine.

Restraint is always a good idea, cowardice is not. And it's often impossible to define "pre-emptive" in the first place, so that term is not particularly helpful.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 04:32AM

So are you handing out white feathers?

I would love to see your ear necklace.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 04:41AM

Yawn.

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 12:31PM

"It therefore becomes critical to choose leaders capable of judging events well rather than electing cowards"

Well, there's the rub, how to we choose leaders that are not <cough> cowards? Interpreting world situations and deploying armies accordingly is not that simple. What might be humanitarian to one group might not be to another. i.e. Freedom fighters vs terrorists. Yes, in hindsight we should have deposed of the Hitlers and Pol Pots early on. In the case of Chamberlin, England was still recovering for WWI and was not in a hurry to enter another war. Yes, Churchill was right but you need the backing of the people to start a war. In the US, FDR was saying publicly, we will not send our boys to the European war. Do you think he would have been re-elected if he was banging the war drum?

To the original question, I doubt there is a satisfying answer. Personally, putting the words "moral" and "war" in the same sentence does not make sense to me.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 12:57PM

Yes, this is the complexity that I was suggesting. There are no clear answers except to say that there are no clear answers.

But that does not get a country or a person out of the need to make decisions.


----------------
> To the original question, I doubt there is a
> satisfying answer. Personally, putting the words
> "moral" and "war" in the same sentence does not
> make sense to me.

Here I think you go too far. The war against Hitler was a morally just one. There have been countless other just wars, and unjust ones, and even more that fit somewhere on the spectrum between the two poles.

What your sentence does here is to rebel against your preceding conclusion. There are no hard-and-fast rules and yet you want there to be such a rule, which is itself a contradiction.

I don't think anyone can do any better. We would all like a moral clarity that rarely exists in this world, still less in the arena of inter-state relations.

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Posted by: moehoward ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 01:11PM

"What your sentence does here is to rebel against your preceding conclusion"

I'm not sure I really had a conclusion. My final line was just expressing the frustration with the whole situation of war, nothing more.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 01:26PM

We are on the same page.

I would just observe that there are unquestionably moral wars and unquestionably immoral ones. It's the much more frequent everything else that's problematic.

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 01:07PM

Lot's Wife wrote in part:

"Where does that leave us? In my view we are left to think that war is tragic, should be avoided whenever possible, and is nevertheless essential in certain cases. It therefore becomes critical to choose leaders capable of judging events well rather than electing cowards like Chamberlain in the late 1930s; Obama, who drew a red line in the Syrian sand but then ignored it when Russia used WMD only then to cower in the corner again when Putin invaded Ukraine and the Crimea; or Trump, who surrendered Hong Kong despite US treaty obligations to intervene and cravenly applauded Putin's attempt to conquer the rest of Ukraine."

This wouldn't have applied to Chamberlain, but it applys now and has done so since the end of World War II; namely, the availability of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear and otherwise, to "our enemies." It was this fear (as far as I know) that led President Eisenhower to fire Douglas MacArthur as top U.S. general when the latter wanted to strike cities in China because that country was aiding North Korea. In fact, it is the primary reason that since the Second World War, all wars the U.S. have been involved in, including the latest Russian incursion into Ukraine, have been proxy wars with our hands, so to speak, somewhat tied behind our backs. For these reasons, I don't fully consider President Obama to have been a "coward" for refusing to act in Syria, though I do fault him for laying down a gauntlet the U.S. couldn't hold to--that was definitely a mistake on his part.

But Russia's actions in Ukraine have put the situation in a new light. Putin wishes to recreate the Russian empire he sees as having been destroyed by Gorbachev and Yeltsin. And China's current leader looks set to try to take Taiwan and declare himself the leader of all Chinese people, no matter where they are located. Thus far, both countries have not used weapons of mass destruction to reach their goals but when cornered, who knows what will happen.

This brings me back to the original question. Given what weapons of mass destruction can actually do, it seems highly unlikely that an offensive or defensive war by those who have such weapons can be morally justified. But there are major costs to that kind of stand, too, so I'm not sure where I would morally stand, especially on defensive wars.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 01:53PM

Good points.


-------------
> It was this fear (as far as I know) that
> led President Eisenhower to fire Douglas MacArthur
> as top U.S. general when the latter wanted to
> strike cities in China because that country was
> aiding North Korea.

No, it wasn't MacArthur's prospective desire to employ nuclear weapons. It was his (immediately past) decision to violate Truman's orders that he not press north towards the Chinese border. That disobedience brought massive Chinese intervention and prolonged the war for years.

On Chamberlain, you draw too fine a distinction between WMDs and overwhelming conventional power. In the first place, WMDs were available and had been used--in the mustard gas clouds of World War One, in Abyssinia/Ethiopia in 1935-1936, and in the German death camps. There was every reason to fear that Hitler would do the same and, even if he wouldn't, the terror bombings of 1940 were very bit as horrible as what WMD could do. In that sense Russian military doctrine is correct: the distinction between the two categories is artificial--regardless of what Westerners want to tell themselves.


--------------
> . . . I don't
> fully consider President Obama to have been a
> "coward" for refusing to act in Syria, though I do
> fault him for laying down a gauntlet the U.S.
> couldn't hold to--that was definitely a mistake on
> his part.

Bear in mind also that penalizing Russia or others for misbehavior is not a binary choice. Russia used the Wagner Group to fire those WMD in Syria so that it could claim innocence, and by the same token the US could have struck the Wagner forces while saying they weren't Putin's army--which was technically true. And in fact the US did the same thing a couple of years later when the Wagner Group attacked the Kurds: it bombed the aggressors.

So it was cowardice of Obama not to react aggressively when in 2014 Russia's stooges used chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. More on that below.


-----------
> But Russia's actions in Ukraine have put the
> situation in a new light. Putin wishes to recreate
> the Russian empire he sees as having been
> destroyed by Gorbachev and Yeltsin. And China's
> current leader looks set to try to take Taiwan and
> declare himself the leader of all Chinese people,
> no matter where they are located.

Neither power wants nuclear war; both are susceptible to dissuasion. And both powers have probed the West and found it wanting. Russia did that successfully in 2007, when it announced plans in Munich to re-establish the Soviet empire; in 2008, when it destroyed Georgia; in 2014, when it used chemical weapons in Syria and invaded and occupied Ukraine; and when it throughout that decade used radioactive weapons to assassinate Russian dissidents in London and elsewhere. In none of those instances did the West do anything to suggest that further aggression would entail a significant cost.

So Moscow and Beijing moved forward.


----------------------
> Thus far, both
> countries have not used weapons of mass
> destruction to reach their goals but when
> cornered, who knows what will happen.

You presume that Moscow and Beijing are not afraid of nuclear war. But they are. They hope to achieve their geopolitical aims through conventional means while rattling their nuclear sabres to dissuade the West from countering that conventional aggression. Historically, at least, when push comes to shove they have always backed down.


------------------
> This brings me back to the original question.
> Given what weapons of mass destruction can
> actually do, it seems highly unlikely that an
> offensive or defensive war by those who have such
> weapons can be morally justified.

I disagree. That's exactly Chamberlain's logic, and it eventuated in a war as sanguinary as a medium-sized nuclear war would be. Carpet bombing of civilian populations resulting in tens of millions of deaths *is* WMD and is so recognized by international law. Chamberlain's cowardice was far more reasonable than Obama's would later be.

Recall that when he was elected, Obama said he wanted to concentrate exclusively on domestic affairs and that his foreign policy would be "don't do stupid shit." That's why he didn't want to be dragged into Syria: it might have cost him political support he wanted for his domestic agenda. So the foreign problems festered. . .


---------------
> But there are
> major costs to that kind of stand, too, so I'm not
> sure where I would morally stand, especially on
> defensive wars.

Agreed.

And defining "defensive war" is nearly impossible. There are, for instance, pre-emptive wars that are defensive--like when your enemy is amassing a huge invasion force on your border and you decide to attack first or to destroy its supply lines before they can be put to use.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 01:16AM

Hear us roar!

Here us war!



If your group is stronger than another group and that less powerful group has something the more powerful group wants, the American hemisphere natives can kiss their butts goodbye.

It isn’t rocket science, White People, so stop the soulful wringing of the hands . . . Now someone adopt me, or give me a casino!!

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 03:59AM

Is it too late for forced assimilation?

Every day, the border looks like the ending of "Born in East LA". At least you speak Spanish. More new friends. But I think they will be America's new underclass. Business wanted cheap labor so Biden opened the border. Maybe they needed a replacement for Chinese cheap labor.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 08:01AM

The border is not open any more than it has been in recent years. There was little immigration during covid because of covid, and deep unemployment in service jobs, a double whammy.

Now that pent up demand is free to travel again, and there are plenty of low-wage jobs in the US, so many that the wages aren’t all that low.

Meanwhile, actual population growth in the US is essentially zero. We seem to be short of entry level employees. Any ideas on what to do about that?

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 08:08AM

Misplaced



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2023 08:09AM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 10:28AM

"We seem to be short of entry level employees. Any ideas on what to do about that?"

Ban abortions?

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 01:43PM

They're trying that. Not working out so well.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 03:20PM

bradley Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Is it too late for forced assimilation?
>
> Every day, the border looks like the ending of
> "Born in East LA". At least you speak Spanish.
> More new friends. But I think they will be
> America's new underclass. Business wanted cheap
> labor so Biden opened the border. Maybe they
> needed a replacement for Chinese cheap labor.

If you are referring to the international border in southernmost California, it looks normal and just fine. California (especially from mid-state down) is, and always has been (since at least the 1700s) a state which is heavily Latino/Anglo mixed. Certainly, if you grow up in southern California and especially if you go through the public school system, you grow up understanding (and, at least to some extent, speaking) Spanglish, eating Mexican food, and being totally comfortable with Mexican holidays and Mexican holiday observances.

The "underclass" designation is likely misleading in the way you intend it to be understood, and does not even begin to cover the actual colorful, and totally comfortable, ways of southern California life. (The same would apply, through probably to a somewhat lesser extent, to northern California--especially in the heavily agricultural areas.)

Nationally, California has the largest Hispanic and Latino population numbers (15.6 million) of any state, and we Californians are the Number Two most Hispanic/Latino state in the union. (New Mexico's Hispanic/Latino population is 47.7%!).

I have always said that the best gift my parents ever gave to me was my birth certificate, because not only does it prove that I am a born citizen of the USA, it also proves that I am a fundamental part of La Ciudad de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, and our state at large.

Regardless of our various and highly disparate blood ethnic backgrounds (and I think we very likely have representatives of every culture, race, and ethnicity on the planet here), culturally we Californians tend to very proud coyotes [Coh-YOH-tess], which means: mixed Anglo/Hispanic/Latino backgrounds.

Those people crossing north across the international line are a fundamental part of US [Californians] and OUR joint history, even if by blood we as individuals are 100% Anglo or whatever, because by daily culture we are--all of us--members of the same Californio family.

Please stop the dissing.

I may be about 100% Anglo by blood (there is some question as to just how much--if any--Native American blood I carry), but your words are disrespecting MY family members, even if they live--or have lived in the past--south of the international border.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2023 04:26PM by Tevai.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 05:58PM

Thank you, Tevai.

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Posted by: Tevai ( )
Date: January 29, 2023 01:06AM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you, Tevai.

You are welcome.

:)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 29, 2023 01:24AM

It's got to be said. The crypto-racism needs to be called out.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 29, 2023 11:25PM

"Please stop the dissing."

That is some creative reading between the lines. I like your Pollyanna worldview, but all immigrants are not Cheech Marin. Some are MS13. Some are psychopaths. Willy Nilly entry of anyone who says "boo hoo" is an invitation for trouble.

My point was purely economic. You know, the thing with workers, employers, money, etc. Money doesn't care about race.

The pattern I see is that of deconstruction of all of labor's gains since the New Deal. The latest is the railroads who see record profits while screwing their workers. Wouldn't management love it if these fresh immigrants were given work visas? That would fix the union real good.

So I'm not sure I see your point. Are you for abolishing borders? Let's talk about that. On one hand it's problematic for the reasons I just mentioned. On the other hand, why not let everyone in and let cities and states sort it all out? I could go both ways. The Mexicans I know don't like illegal immigration. Are they racist?

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: January 30, 2023 04:54AM


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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 30, 2023 06:21AM

Yep.

Again, it had to be said.

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Posted by: Rubicon ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 03:57AM

I would say most wars are a racket. Nefarious people want war for various reasons. I would say war is justified to protect one’s home and family. War of course is best avoided but sometimes necessary after every other option has failed.

Of course it’s easy to say these things sitting in a comfortable chair by a nice fire in nice home in a peaceful area. For the average person war is about survival. When it comes you are in it and you try and survive.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 05:06AM

War is business backed up by a monopoly of force, making it extremely profitable. Is there a moral justification for business? I think so.

Well, I suppose there's a moral justification for anything.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2023 05:10AM by bradley.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 30, 2023 06:43AM

> War is business backed up by a monopoly of force,
> making it extremely profitable.

What does that mean, bradley? Are you trying to paraphrase Max Weber's definition of the state? And how is it a "monopoly" rather than a "duopoly" or a "oligopoly" if there are two or more sides involved in the conflict?

Further, if war is so profitable, why does it normally result in big increases in government and societal debt--often even corporate debt? Where do the "extreme profits" go?

You can look it up if you want. Pick a war and then google national debt and the facts will be there. You care about facts, don't you?


--------------------
> Well, I suppose there's a moral justification for
> anything.

No, not if you're a clear thinker.

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Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 08:42AM

When referring to Mr. Hitler,, we should remember that his armies not only wanted the sudetenland, wanted to eliminate 'undesirable' Jews, gypsies, homosexuals & Polish, they also occupied NORWAY, Bombed
England/G.Britian too.

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Posted by: One ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 08:53AM

Moral justification or not, be glad there are those who train and stand ready to protect those who can't do it.
There will always be power hungry people willing to do anything to take what they want. Do you really need "moral justification" to stand against them?

You do what is needed - you get rid of the threat to peace and safety.

Yep, I'm a veteran and glad of it. If you aren't - why not?

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 09:03AM

I'm a veteran, and I think you've wrapped yourself in the flag so tightly that it has cut off the circulation to important body parts. You're sounding a little self-righteous.

ETA: in particular, a significant portion of the Jan 6 insurrectionists were veterans and felt entirely morally justified in their actions of that day, and they also perfectly fit your description of the type of people that must be stopped, because they are threats to peace and safety, not to mention the rule of law. A good many of them are getting prison sentences where they will have plenty of time to rethink the moral justification of their actions.

Moral justification is perhaps more important than your comment seemed to imply.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2023 01:25PM by Brother Of Jerry.

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Posted by: Richard Foxe ( )
Date: January 28, 2023 05:28PM

THE WAR OF 14-18‎

War has had it's apologians,
Ever since history began,
From the times of the Greeks and Trojans,
When they sang of arms and the man,
But if you asked me to name the best, Sir,
I'd tell you the one I mean,
Head and shoulders above the rest, Sir, was the War of 14-18,
Head and shoulders above the rest, Sir, stands the War of 14-18.

There were the wars against all those Louis,
There were Caesar's wars in Gaul,
The was Britain's war in Suez,
Which wasn't a war at all,
There was the war of the Spanish succession,
Many other wars in between,
But they none of them made an impression like the war of 14-18,
They didn't make the same inpression as the war of 14-18.

The war of American independence,
That was enjoyable, by and large,
Watching England's free descendants
Busy defeating German garge,
But the Boer war was a poor war,
And I'm still inclined to lean,
Though Sir, it possibly isn't your war like the war of 14-18,
Though, it probably isn't your war, Sir, the war of 14-18.

There are certainly plenty of wars to choose from,
You pick whichever one you please,
Like the one we've had all the news from
Liberating the Vietnamese,
Or those wars for God and country,
Be it Korean or Philippine,
Sir, if you'll pardon my affrontry, give me the war of 14-18,
If you'll pardon my affrontry, Sir, the war of 14-18,

Every war has it's own attraction
From total war to border rage,
Call it rebellion, police action,
War of containment or crusade,
I don't underrate the late war
We see so often on the screen,
But that wasn't the really great war like the war of 14-18,
No, the late war wasn't the great war like the war of 14-18.

No doubt Mars, among his chattels,
Has got some really splendid war,
Full of bigger and bloodier battles
That we've ever seen before,
But until that time comes, Sir,
When that greater war comes on the scene,
The one that I on the whole prefer, Sir, is the war of 14-18,
Yes, the one that I still prefer, Sir, is the war of 14-18.‎


(The original French, Georges Brassens:

Depuis que l'homme écrit l'Histoire
Depuis qu'il bataille à c ur joie
Entre mille et une guerr' notoires
Si j'étais t'nu de faire un choix
A l'encontre du vieil Homère
Je déclarerais tout de suite:
"Moi, mon colon, cell' que j'préfère,
C'est la guerr' de quatorz'-dix-huit!"

Est-ce à dire que je méprise
Les nobles guerres de jadis
Que je m'soucie comm' d'un'cerise
De celle de soixante-dix?
Au contrair', je la révère
Et lui donne un satisfecit
Mais, mon colon, celle que j'préfère
C'est la guerr' de quatorz'-dix-huit

Je sais que les guerriers de Sparte
Plantaient pas leurs epées dans l'eau
Que les grognards de Bonaparte
Tiraient pas leur poudre aux moineaux
Leurs faits d'armes sont légendaires
Au garde-à-vous, je les félicite
Mais, mon colon, celle que j'préfère
C'est la guerr' de quatorz'-dix-huit

Bien sûr, celle de l'an quarante
Ne m'as pas tout à fait déçu
Elle fut longue et massacrante
Et je ne crache pas dessus
Mais à mon sens, elle ne vaut guère
Guèr' plus qu'un premier accessit
Moi, mon colon, celle que j' préfère
C'est la guerr' de quatorz'-dix-huit

Mon but n'est pas de chercher noise
Au guérillas, non, fichtre, non
Guerres saintes, guerres sournoises
Qui n'osent pas dire leur nom,
Chacune a quelque chos' pour plaire
Chacune a son petit mérite
Mais, mon colon, celle que j'préfère
C'est la guerr' de quatorz'-dix-huit

Du fond de son sac à malices
Mars va sans doute, à l'occasion,
En sortir une, un vrai délice
Qui me fera grosse impression
En attendant je persévère
A dir' que ma guerr' favorite
Cell', mon colon, que j'voudrais faire
C'est la guerr' de quatorz'-dix-huit.)

Made even more ironic by the singing of Brassens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2F5qaHzkj0

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