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In response to:

Favors and Loot for Sale

Stuart95 Wrote: Sep 10, 2014 7:05 PM
Legend holds that two, fully-formed Congressmen would spring from each one cut in half.
The silver lining of the Obama reign is that he has given opponents of Big Government a ton of real-world ammunition. This includes Obama's dithering and duplicity on immigration, which have served to make a bad situation even worse. Now we know that he has postponed immigration reform for the sake of a half-dozen Democratic senators' re-election fights. Such is the state of our union. Given that the Republicans continue to be politically comatose, it falls to the libertarians to use Obama's failures to move politics and sentiment from socialism towards liberty. Libertarians may never get a better public hearing on the merits of their principles.
In response to:

Can Obama Win the Fight Against ISIS?

Stuart95 Wrote: Sep 05, 2014 11:45 AM
Is there any evidence whatever that the threat to the US from radical Islamists can be eliminated by killing X radical Islamists? Or, instead, does all the evidence instead show that radical Islamists can go dormant for as long as it takes for an occupying army to leave? Note that Al-Qaeda is yesterday's news. Maybe we destroyed Al-Qaeda, but now we've have exactly the same kinds of terrorists - just with a new brand name.
In response to:

Can Obama Win the Fight Against ISIS?

Stuart95 Wrote: Sep 05, 2014 11:45 AM
Is there any evidence whatever that the threat to the US from radical Islamists can be eliminated by killing X radical Islamists? Or, instead, does all the evidence instead show that radical Islamists can go dormant for as long as it takes for an occupying army to leave? Note that Al-Qaeda is yesterday's news. Maybe we destroyed Al-Qaeda, but now we've have exactly the same kinds of terrorists - just with a new brand name.
Is it just us political junkies that think the Repubs have no soul? Or are swing voters equally mystified? Without publicizing a simple list of governance principles, the Repubs have defaulted to the MSM to explain to voters what Repubs stand for. And without principles, the old-guard Repubs are less and less distinguishable from the old-guard Dems (as Kent points out). Would it kill the Repubs to spend an hour or so writing some stuff down, like "we believe citizens are better able to spend their money than are politicians" and "we believe that only a free education market can fix the problems of the public schools" and "we believe that government should not use obscure regulations and opaque tax laws to choose winners and losers" and "we believe that long-term government dependence destroys valuable social structure"? If they have any extra time, they could actually gather the data that overwhelmingly support those statements.
From what I've seen on TV, I wouldn't want to live anywhere east of the Mediterranean until you got to about Ft. Worth.
Keep in mind that if indeed, as the conspiracy theorists suggest, our primary goal in invading Iraq was to protect petroleum interests, the you have to tack onto our fuel prices the gazillion dollars we spent invading Iraq and hanging around for 10 years. Had we spent that money on energy independence (Keystone pipeline, drilling on more federal lands), we wouldn't have to worry about losing Mideast oil. What we should have done is invade Venezuela. It's a lot closer, had a rotten leader whose policies have/will cause as much total miserly as Saddam, and has more oil than Iraq, Iran, Libya, and Kuwait put together. Nicer climate, too.
Reality is one, giant what-if game on a second-by-second basis. When we ask a candidate his principles, it's in a what-if frame of reference. We have plenty of our own oil without buying it from the Mideast. I'm guessing that aside from oxygen, water is by a very wide margin the most valuable commodity on the planet.
If the interest is oil, I suppose everyone has his own opinion on how much intervention we can justify. I note that shutting off Middle East oil is a severe economic blow, but not a threat otherwise. My opinion: An enemy has to threaten US lives, freedom, and property before we rush off to kill that enemy. WWII was justified because, in our best judgment of the time, we believed that Germany would not stop at England. And we'd be justified in bombing Iran and/or N Korea if, in our best judgment of the time, we believed that they were going to use nuclear weapons on US soil. Would we be justified in bombing Iran if we judged that they were going to use nuclear weapons on Israel, but not the US? Canada, but not the US? Don't know.
fedfarmer wrote, "Our interest in the Persian Gulf is access to oil. It has never been threatened." Suppose it were threatened. Would we have the right to kill citizens of other countries to eliminate the threat? Would we have the right to invade another country to protect our interests in oil? Would we have the right to support other groups (insurgents, perhaps) that would, intentionally or unintentionally, protect our interests?
That is correct, and it is also correct to say that BO made a bad situation worse. Rand Paul opposes excursions like Iraq because are not allowed by an honest reading of the Constitution. And in practice, we see why they are not allowed by the Constitution.
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