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1 hour ago, Gorth said:

NATO, suffering from a decades long existential crisis seems to have found a new enemy they can agree to disagree with…

Nope, not Russia, but China

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57466210

Eh. just more posturing, nothing new.

What is actually more significant is the recent G7 meeting.  Most countries aside from the U.S. want to avoid a Cold War 2.0 like the plague so Biden's plan is thus:

1) Distribute 500 million free vaccines to developing countries in order to prove the alleged superiorty of Western advances in medicine and the alleged shoddiness of Chinese vaccines.  If successful, it would not only paint the West as the savior of Covid 19 that China started but make China look like both the culprit and and inept.  Weakening China's position significantly in it's quest for economic partnerships.

2) Spend trillions of dollars in pensions and insurance funds on infrastructure and railways in same developing countries in an effort to block China's Belt and Road Initiative, again in an effort to demonstrate superiority in Western technology and more transparency in economic deals.

If these work then it would be a serious blow to Chinese influence, at least in the short term, and Biden has picked the perfect year to do this, as domestic issues have been relatively quiet and buried under the rug.

However, the recent inflation report was not good, and all this spending to block China will only add to the already steadfast increase of consumer goods and rent prices, which could more fuel to fire once culture wars flare up again, and they will!

Very interesting times ahead, stay tuned.

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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1 hour ago, Gorth said:

NATO, suffering from a decades long existential crisis seems to have found a new enemy they can agree to disagree with…

Nope, not Russia, but China

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-57466210

Russia and China. The two are cooperating militarily, which, yes, makes them a potential threat. NATO would be foolish to ignore this completely.

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Which is why they'll almost certainly try and leverage Russia away from China*. That's going to take some compromising though, and that won't be popular with some.

Obviously that's also not going to be said outright, especially at a NATO meeting. But you can hardly argue that containing China is a part of NATO's purview, since there are only a dozen countries further away from the North Atlantic than China. Finding Putin's price is almost certainly why Biden is meeting him though, it's certainly not just to posture about things and read through a grievance list, as the press seems to want people to believe.

*not like they're actual friends and allies anyway, it's far more of a 'enemy of my enemy..' situation.

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34 minutes ago, rjshae said:

Russia and China. The two are cooperating militarily, which, yes, makes them a potential threat.

But not by choice, when you're kinda backed into a corner you eventually have to reluctantly concede to the whole "Enemy of my enemy" logic.

What's funny is that they don't see strategic partnership as an "Against the West" move but something more along the lines "For the benefit of us".  I know, strange.

EDIT:  kinda ninja'd by Zor 

Edited by ComradeYellow

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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40 minutes ago, rjshae said:

Russia and China. The two are cooperating militarily, which, yes, makes them a potential threat. NATO would be foolish to ignore this completely.

Also Trump never understood the history of NATO and never supported it properly, this led to both China and Russia becoming emboldened in certain ways during his presidency. 

Yes its a creation of the Cold War and was designed primarily to counter the USSR so I have to ask is it relevant because its not like you going to see a  traditional war between Russia or China or  the USA? But NATO makes sense more from an optics point of view and also presenting a unified front to the "aggressions " of China and Russia

The thing is NATO is more of a US aligned institution because without the contribution from  the US it becomes nothing but a talk shop. And I have no issue with this  as I absolutely believe and support the important role the US plays in ensuring a better world based on Democratic principles and encouraging healthy, sustainable globalization which benefits us all

But what happens when you get another Trump president? Are we going to see the US pulling away from NATO again which basically renders NATO impotent. So we need consistency from the US if NATO is going to be relevant 

@Gorth

Gorthfuscious this should make you happy as its a good way to address Chinas unreasonable hegemony in your region? You never know, maybe you can cancel your weekly Mandarin classes...I respect the fact you enjoy them and you committed to learning other languages but if you dont need to then you can spend time doing other things ;)

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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32 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Also Trump never understood the history of NATO and never supported it properly, this led to both China and Russia becoming emboldened in certain ways during his presidency. 

Russia was relatively quiet during the Trump administration, that logic applies to the Obama administration in regards to Russia.

China yes, saw Trumps reign as a golden ticket to raise the bar on spreading its influence.

Personally, I don't support N.A.T.O because it antiquated at this point, even the people who created it cautioned that it shouldn't last longer than a human lifespan.

Also, China has lots of money with its trade surpluses and the U.S. is broke so even if Biden succeeds at containing China to a degree, I'm fairly certain he'll quietly tone down the rhetoric in regards to the tech and trade war later on and take their money to help keep the U.S. economy afloat.  So yeah, contain China, but keep buying their stuff seems like the best long term strategy for the U.S.

Edited by ComradeYellow
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“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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5 minutes ago, ComradeYellow said:

Russia was relatively quiet during the Trump administration, that logic applies to the Obama administration in regards to Russia.

China yes, saw Trumps reign as a golden ticket to raise the bar on spreading its influence.

Personally, I don't support N.A.T.O because it antiquated at this point, even the people who created it cautioned that it shouldn't last longer than a human lifespan.

Also, China has lots of money with its trade surpluses and the U.S. is broke so even if Biden succeeds at containing China to a degree, I'm fairly certain he'll quietly tone down the rhetoric in regards to the tech and trade war later on and take their money to help keep the U.S. economy afloat.  So yeah, contain China, but keep buying their stuff seems like the best long term strategy for the U.S.

Comrade, its unpatriotic to not support NATO if you a US citizen !!!

Its traditional as apple pie and cream for the US and I am sure you like apple pie and cream ?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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1 hour ago, Zoraptor said:

Finding Putin's price is almost certainly why Biden is meeting him though, it's certainly not just to posture about things and read through a grievance list, as the press seems to want people to believe.

This. I do not doubt for a moment, that there will be a lot of public posturing for the benefit of the press and going through the old cliches of human rights blah blah Navalny blah blah (an ultra nationalist, like Putin on steroids who thinks all Muslims should be summarily killed) blah blah Ukraine blah blah etc. Once the doors to the public are closed (notice how the US press is whining about how limited the access of the press is at this summit?) and roll up the sleeves and discuss realpolitik. Like what is going to be the "price" for leaving eastern Ukraine alone and not support China in the Pacific region...

 

Edit: Belarus's obvious airline hi-jacking and violating any and all international rules about air space is probably too new to have been incorporated into the strategic planning before the summit, as that could probably have reduced the "cost" for Biden to get his agenda through.

 

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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4 minutes ago, HoonDing said:

Why would any country want to make any long term deal with US when the next GQP moron will tear everything up.

Hoonding please dont demonstrate unnecessary GOP bashing, their is no guarantee that we will see another Trump candidate 

Yes I share your concern with another Trumpish type US president but remember we have seen many excellent GOP presidents in the history of the USA and I still believe that we will see another GOP president that espouses the traditional values of the GOP which many of us appreciate 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

remember we have seen many excellent GOP presidents in the history of the USA

Define "many"? 🤔

The Bush clan and Trump were utter failures in my book. Last one from top of my head would've been Reagan for his contribution towards reducing tensions with the USSR in the 1980's.

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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2 hours ago, BruceVC said:

Gorthfuscious this should make you happy as its a good way to address Chinas unreasonable hegemony in your region? You never know, maybe you can cancel your weekly Mandarin classes...I respect the fact you enjoy them and you committed to learning other languages but if you dont need to then you can spend time doing other things ;)

Ah yes, the Mandarin classes. I've been a bad student. Too old and too lazy to learn new languages these days. If anything, I would probably start practicing my neglected French skills. Reciting a French menu card just sounds sexier than reading out loud from a Mandarin menu card 😋

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“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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1 minute ago, BruceVC said:

Hoonding please dont demonstrate unnecessary GOP bashing, their is no guarantee that we will see another Trump candidate 

Yes I share your concern with another Trumpish type US president but remember we have seen many excellent GOP presidents in the history of the USA and I still believe that we will see another GOP president that espouses the traditional values of the GOP which many of us appreciate 

The vast majority of Republicans support Trump, so the idea that there's a mystical GOP that's more like the Democratic Party is Lost Cause style of thinking.

Also, HoonDing has a point, you wouldn't think it by reading posts by old fossils on the dark web, but there are tons of people around the world who are starting to see representative democracy as an abject failure and are finding the predictability of an authoritarian government more attractive.  That's a card in China's favor right now, and Biden's goal is to try to prove them wrong.  Time will tell whether this strategy will work, but he certainy gets an A for effort!

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“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” 

-Ulysses S. Grant

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10 minutes ago, ComradeYellow said:

The vast majority of Republicans support Trump, so the idea that there's a mystical GOP that's more like the Democratic Party is Lost Cause style of thinking.

Also, HoonDing has a point, you wouldn't think it by reading posts by old fossils on the dark web, but there are tons of people around the world who are starting to see representative democracy as an abject failure and are finding the predictability of an authoritarian government more attractive.  That's a card in China's favor right now, and Biden's goal is to try to prove them wrong.  Time will tell whether this strategy will work, but he certainy gets an A for effort!

Sure I concur, their are  tons of people who find authoritarian governments more attractive but yet they dont actually live in these countries and normally live in liberal, Democracies that have advanced economies based on the working and successful free market principles ( Capitalism )  and repeat this false narrative on the Internet 

But actions speak louder then words so when we see mass immigration to these great authoritarian countries I will agree with you :thumbsup:

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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12 hours ago, rjshae said:

Well if Japan can have a nuclear meltdown, it can probably happen anywhere. At least with the older style nuclear technology.

That only took an earthquake and a tidal wave to create. This one, if true, is shoddy  construction and incompetent management 

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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6 hours ago, HoonDing said:

Why would any country want to make any long term deal with US when the next GQP moron will tear everything up.

Exactly why it was a mistake to back out of the agreement with Iran. Yes it was a bad deal and yes they were still developing fissile material for weapons. But an agreement made with the United States should have been honored by the United States.

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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5 hours ago, ComradeYellow said:

 

Also, HoonDing has a point, you wouldn't think it by reading posts by old fossils on the dark web, but there are tons of people around the world who are starting to see representative democracy as an abject failure and are finding the predictability of an authoritarian government more attractive. 

Buddy you are speaking only for yourself there. I would rather die with my rifle in my hand fighting against that than to live under it. I am not a huge fan of representative democracy or any other form of government. I prefer just to be left alone. But while that will seldom happen under a democratically elected government it will never happen under an authoritarian one. It makes the choice pretty clear to me.

it’s true there are people who will sell their liberty for a few free things provided by the state. That’s like selling your soul for a piece of bread. Count me out. Me they will have to shoot.

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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14 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

Buddy you are speaking only for yourself there. I would rather die with my rifle in my hand fighting against that than to live under it. I am not a huge fan of representative democracy or any other form of government. I prefer just to be left alone. But while that will seldom happen under a democratically elected government it will never happen under an authoritarian one. It makes the choice pretty clear to me.

it’s true there are people who will sell their liberty for a few free things provided by the state. That’s like selling your soul for a piece of bread. Count me out. Me they will have to shoot.

What about a semi-Autocratic state, would you live their instead of fighting to the death? For example lets say the US was colonized by China and the CCP shipped US citizens to different countries based on the state they lived in. It was decided that the citizens of Tennessee would be sent to Turkmenistan ...would you accept that  as its not a true autocratic state ?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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8 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

What about a semi-Autocratic state, would you live their instead of fighting to the death? For example lets say the US was colonized by China and the CCP shipped US citizens to different countries based on the state they lived in. It was decided that the citizens of Tennessee would be sent to Turkmenistan ...would you accept that  as its not a true autocratic state ?

OK that’s kind of a weird question because I don’t really see what the difference between that and autocracy is. If I would not handover even one of my possessions to my own government without fighting to the death for it would I hand myself over? 

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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12 minutes ago, Guard Dog said:

OK that’s kind of a weird question because I don’t really see what the difference between that and autocracy is. If I would not handover even one of my possessions to my own government without fighting to the death for it would I hand myself over? 

Okay I see what you saying, its just their are different types of autocratic states and not all of them deny freedom in the same way. For example you could be left alone to live in the wilderness in a country like Turkmenistan but you wouldnt be able to vote without intimidation  or criticize the leadership 

So it depends which autocratic country you live in, China is not the worst ( NK is  is much worse for example ) but it limits certain freedoms but you could own property and be wealthy in China as long as you dont go against the state 

 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Okay I see what you saying, its just their are different types of autocratic states and not all of them deny freedom in the same way. For example you could be left alone to live in the wilderness in a country like Turkmenistan but you wouldnt be able to vote without intimidation  or criticize the leadership 

So it depends which autocratic country you live in, China is not the worst ( NK is  is much worse for example ) but it limits certain freedoms but you could own property and be wealthy in China as long as you dont go against the state 

 

Democratically elected governments don’t exactly have a sterling record of respecting the liberty and freedom‘s of the people. But generally speaking you were much better off with them because they do a much better job than any kind of autocracy.

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"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

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https://secondnexus.com/trump-victory-fund-disclosures-fec

The Daily Beast is reporting that state Republican parties are "baffled" by extensive gaps in their fundraising disclosures—gaps that were brought to their attention by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) months ago.

The violations lie in the failures to disclose transfers from the Trump Victory Fund, a small network of megadonors with whom state parties signed legal joint fundraising agreements, some of which weren't disclosed to the FEC.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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As I understand it, the underlying GOP grumble with NATO is that the US nuclear umbrella allowed the other NATO nations to keep their military budgets relatively low. More spending on butter and less on guns. Why the US can't do the same is unclear. It was always the GOP that wanted more, bigger, better guns.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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6 minutes ago, rjshae said:

As I understand it, the underlying GOP grumble with NATO is that the US nuclear umbrella allowed the other NATO nations to keep their military budgets relatively low. More spending on butter and less on guns. Why the US can't do the same is unclear. It was always the GOP that wanted more, bigger, better guns.

https://www.upi.com/Defense-News/2020/10/21/10-NATO-countries-now-spending-2-of-GDP-on-defense-report-shows/7731603295420/

Its a legitimate complaint from the USA because all NATO members are suppose to spend 2% of GDP on NATO but not all member states do and not all still do. So this is not just a GOP issue, their was an agreement and countries are suppose to adhere to it  so Trump was right when he  raised this 

But the reality is without the USA NATO lacks the ability to hold Russia, and other countries,  in check but also NATO is  how the US is able to implement certain geopolitical decisions that benefit the objectives around its own foreign policy 

Trump raised the failure of NATO members to pay the 2% in a  way that was belligerent, condescending  and all it did was alienate the US traditional allies that the US needs for different objectives

Thats why Biden is prudently reestablishing the NATO alliance, its in the best interests of everyone but the US will always be the biggest funder in the same way the US is by far the biggest funder of the UN and all its important institutions that benefit the world and help ensure a better and Democratic world

US isolationism doesnt help anyone and only emboldens the likes of China and Russia who start acting with impunity  

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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5 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Its a legitimate complaint from the USA because all NATO members are suppose to spend 2% of GDP on NATO but not all member states do and not all still do. So this is not just a GOP issue, their was an agreement and countries are suppose to adhere to it  so Trump was right when he  raised this 

The thing is, Trump didn't create this complaint. It has been around for a long time. Obama and Bush did the same thing. Trump was just more undiplomatic about it (diplomatic language for a lying jerk).

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