In A World Of Monsters, Hypocrisy Reigns
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2014-03-07 06:58 by Karl Denninger
in International , 365 references Ignore this thread
In A World Of Monsters, Hypocrisy Reigns*

Judge Napolitano has penned an interesting essay on the Ukraine situation:

Enter Vladimir Putin. He is the popularly elected president of Russia who has designs on reconstituting the old Soviet Union. Putin is also an ex-KGB agent; he is a torturer, a murderer, a tyrant and a monster. He often has lamented the demise of the former Soviet Union.

All true.  Let's not forget that Bush and Obama have both tortured (by the definition commonly used), both have murdered (including knowingly shooting un-involved civilians with follow-up shots after alleged terrorists were hit) and more.  Putin hardly has a monopoly on this sort of behavior.  As for being a tyrant turning the IRS on political opponents was part and parcel of Nixon's impeachment.  

Of course Nixon was a Republican....

Ukraine was a part of that union until the evil empire dissolved in 1991. It was the most economically productive part of that union. Today it enjoys a mostly free market and is highly entrepreneurial, though partly a welfare state. Roughly two-thirds of Ukraine identifies with Europe and one-third with Russia.

True as well, but let us not forget what faction wants which outcome.  The two-thirds are primarily the welfare state element.  Our good Judge conveniently omits that from his dissertation, and one has to wonder why given that the data is available in pictorial form.

Putin’s invasion is profoundly unlawful, as it constitutes the introduction of military troops into a sovereign territory without governmental invitation or consent, and the absence of identifying insignia puts this invasion outside the protections of the Geneva Conventions and the rules of war. Hence the Russian troops are legally fair game for Ukrainian troops and civilian militias.

True that as well, particularly that being outside of the rules of war means that being summarily shot-on-sight is within the correct means of response for either Ukrainian troops or, for that matter, ordinary civilians.  But, as the Judge notes...

As well, don’t expect the Russians to leave. Most residents of Crimea are Russian speaking and actually welcome their invaders (again, you cannot make this up). 

Are you an invader if you're invited, insignia or no?  Hmmmmm.  That might decrease the number of people who want to shoot (legally permitted under the rules of war) materially.... in fact, it might reduce that number to zero.  Perhaps that's why there hasn't been any shooting -- other than a group of snipers in the original uprising, and there's plenty of open questions as to exactly who those people were.

Then of course there's the backdrop.  As the Judge notes we've got quite a history here, and so does Ukraine.  I specifically note that they were "invited" to give up their nukes.  They did so, and, well, how's that working out for their government now?  I suspect they'd really like to have a few of those 5,000 they used to possess back as it would provide quite the deterrent value for them, eh?

There might be some people in Iran paying attention to that little chain of events too, I suspect....

Along side this, of course, the Judge also notes our little "adventures" in both Iraq and Egypt where we openly fomented revolution and our President called for "regime change" as a public matter.  What many seem to forget is that both had governments that we had almost single-handedly installed years previous.  Did we have the right to do that in the first place -- or to foment the later actions?

Neither of those little adventures have worked out so well for us, and they certainly put the United States in a rather awkward position trying to lecture the Russians about intervention in other lands.

There's another problem too that's not being discussed much -- what actually set off this little mess.

Were we involved and did we agitate for it?  Probably.  There seems to be at least some reasonably-solid evidence for that.  But I suspect that much of the problem in Ukraine was really about corruption, "Robin-Hood" style theft and similar outrageous acts by their government.  You have seen the ridiculous palatial spread that Yanukovich had all to himself, yes?  How'd that happen, might I ask?  

And no, that doesn't tend to support Pootie's point of view in this matter, does it?

But take a close look at the industrious people in some parts of the country and those who are welfare basket cases in others.  Look at the distribution of same.  Now contemplate why one should pay for the other and whether one was being effectively forced to do so.  At what point does stealing for both the "elites" and the leaches reach the point where a group of producing people coalesce and say "No!"

More to the point are they not fully within their rights to do exactly that?

Is that the underlying problem?

Maybe.  It certainly can't be dismissed quite as easily as claiming that "western" interests were responsible, can it?  Take those two last points together and you have quite the mess, and most of it looks rather home-grown to me.

Let's ask this inconvenient question: How do you incite a people to revolution if they like their government?

Now look at our history right here in the US.  Have we ever done something like that here at home?

Why yes we did.

What did you learn about the Civil War in school?  Did it include the fact that slavery was already on its way out economically due to mechanization (specifically, the invention of the mechanical tractor and its attachments) and within a decade or so would have disappeared all on its own purely for economic reasons?  Did your education include the fact that there were tariff and impost changes passed in the years leading up to the Civil War, championed by the north's Representatives and Senators, that effectively forced the agricultural southern states to grossly subsidize the northern ones?

Specifically there was a tariff aimed directly at foreign manufactured goods in Europe that were made from southern agricultural products, effectively boosting the price of everything the southern states imported by 50%!  The northern states didn't import those things at all and thus didn't care.  South Carolina responded by passing a state law declaring that tariff null and void -- President Jackson, with Congress clucking away, responded to that law by sending warships into Charleston harbor.  That was 30 years prior to the Civil War so perhaps I should forgive you if you nodded off in that part of your education on US History.

These situations are never as simple as they seem, are they?

Of course here, now and today we appear to be creating a whole class of people (cough-Pelosi-cough-Boehner-cough-Reid-cough-Obama-cough!) ourselves that believe stealing from one person to give to another is just fine, and, if some of it gets siphoned off for themselves or their "friends and family" that's all to the good too.  Yes, it's far less extreme than what we've seen over in the Ukraine, but isn't that really just a matter of degree rather than the offense itself?  Oh, and just out of curiosity, what does our Congressional approval rating look like again?

Speaking of such degrees, the alleged Crimean Parliament that "voted" to "affiliate" with Russia..... that wouldn't be the same Parliament that was stormed by troops in black masks with no insignia, yes? Gee, is that vote rather akin to those held in fabulously free nations like North Korea?

So yeah, if you ask me, Putin is a jackass and Crimea looks an invasion.  But in a land of 545 jackasses in Washington DC, never mind what we have seen thus far with Yanukovich, exactly how hypocritical are we willing to be when we have steadfastly done exactly what we're complaining about for decades, never mind our own internal Robin Hood games right here at home that continue to this day.

It would be fabulous if we had the moral high ground here, as if we did we could easily make a clean argument and stand tall.

But we don't -- and that's our fault.

Finally, there's this to consider:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. 

Did we have the right to lay forth those words and then enforce them 235 years ago?  Our so-called "Constitutional Lawyer cum President" seems to think not if his little speech yesterday is any indication.  But if not then he's illegitimate as a President as unless our exercise of that right was and remains valid we have no right to be an independent nation and thus he has no right to be a President.

If so then please explain why any subset of the Ukrainian people do not likewise have the very same right that forms the basis of Obama's claim on the Presidency -- assuming, of course, that they really are asserting that right on their own, independently.

I'll be waiting for your explanation; this ought to be fun to watch.

After all, we did declare that right to be unalienable.  And that, my friends means you can't sign it away in a treaty or Constitution nor can it be taken from you.  It can be respected or disrespected (and of course there may be severe consequences if you try to assert it in the face of disrespect) but an unalienable right remains yours irrespective of the passage of time or pretty pieces of paper, whether agreed to voluntarily or not.

Did we mean what we said or were those mere words?

How, in short, can we defend our Constitution and the means by which it came about, along with the legitimacy of our own government while at the same time claiming that others do not have similar or even identical rights to form or reform their government by the very process we used?

Now there's something to think about.

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Attilahooper
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New York, by way of Montreal Canada.
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It makes me think that the Soviets set a course in Ukraine back in the 90's, through their puppet government, turning a blind eye to that admins theft of billions, and general impoverishment and dependency by the masses. Not withstanding their $35 billion national debt, some of which is owed to Russia ! I heard on the radio this morn, that Ukraine's GDP was equivalent to Poland in the 90's and now it is 1/3 of that. What better way to control the masses, eh ? Get them dependent on the state, in debt up to their ears. Seems much like the ply book here. Including the mass immigration of a group that favours federalist handouts.

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Atlasrocked
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Good catch on the civil war tax issues, Karl, important aggravating circumstances behind the Civil War.

Socialism creates a gap between buyer and provider which opens frequent and sundry opportunities for introducing avarice and abuse of both buyer and providers' needs and behaviors. Capitalism reduces that gap and thus is inherently less prone to avarice, to abuse.

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Boughtthefarm
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Great summation of the whole twisted mess.
Darth
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KD wrote..
"I suspect they'd really like to have a few of those 5,000 they used to possess back as it would provide quite the deterrent value for them"


If you have 5,000 'Nukes', and you give them up, YOU'RE STUPID!!

(especially when you have potentially hostile neighbors)

That would be like deciding to take a midnight stroll through a city neighborhood where the "Youths" are known to play the "knockout game" with Ol' Whitey, and tossing your carry gun and other weapons as you're entering the city limits.

KD wrote..
There might be some people in Iran paying attention to that little chain of events too


You can bet they are. I'd wager that China is also watching this with great interest as well.
Apotheoun
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"What did you learn about the Civil War in school? Did it include the fact that slavery was already on its way out economically due to mechanization (specifically, the invention of the mechanical tractor and its attachments) and within a decade or so would have disappeared all on its own purely for economic reasons? Did your education include the fact that there were tariff and impost changes passed in the years leading up to the Civil War, championed by the north's Representatives and Senators, that effectively forced the agricultural southern states to grossly subsidize the northern ones?

Specifically there was a tariff aimed directly at foreign manufactured goods in Europe that were made from southern agricultural products, effectively boosting the price of everything the southern states imported by 50%! The northern states didn't import those things at all and thus didn't care. South Carolina responded by passing a state law declaring that tariff null and void -- President Jackson, with Congress clucking away, responded to that law by sending warships into Charleston harbor. That was 30 years prior to the Civil War so perhaps I should forgive you if you nodded off in that part of your education on US History."


NONE of that was taught in my school. It was only as an adult did I realize I was LIED to. Same goes for almost everything I was told about the founding fathers. Our school system needs to be destroyed.

I am so glad I made the choice to teach my own kids instead of our edumecation system.

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Flappingeagle
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Quote:
There might be some people in Iran paying attention to that little chain of events too


FWIW, I've always felt like the mantra that "the Iranians will nuke Israel if they get nukes" was a distractor. Think of this way, a foreign country (the USA) invades Iran, Iran nukes the foreign invader on Iranian soil, the foreign invader whines about the use of nukes, the Iranians say **** OFF! If you are the invader what can you say in return? We want you to play nice while we invade your country?

Awesome synopsis of the events in the Ukraine. Perhaps a key point and perhaps a tangential point is the flow of Russian nat gas through the Ukraine to Europe. That situation is not exactly what I thought it was due to nat gas supplies from Africa. There is a nice discussion of that with a map here: http://www.charleshughsmith.blogspot.com....

Flap

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Blackswan
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KD - C'mpon it's Rocky IV facts be dammed. We have the moral high ground we are USA USA!

(Captain obvious.. Just saying I love our ideals but we have fallen waayyy short the last 20+ years or more..)

Inline

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Equalitarian
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The entire article is worth a read and supports the U.S. minding their own business for the very same reasons that Karl states so well here.
Aquapura
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Quote:
What did you learn about the Civil War in school?


How does that saying go? History is written by the victors. It's a travesty how the civil war is taught in this country - and I imagine all of western civilization. 99 of 100 people think it was about freeing the blacks, racism, oppression, etc.
Degaston
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To understand the reasons for the American Civil War of 1861-1865 I think its important to know what the rationale used by the legislatures of the States who withdrew from the Union in 1860-1861 was at that time.

http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/reasons.... Carolina

Am I reading this wrong? If so then why? I think slavery was certainly the central issue in their minds.

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Docberg
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Well, President Putin could retaliate for American meddling in the Ukraine by causing problems in a country bordering the U.S. He might try to destabilize Mexico, for example. How might he best accomplish this? Perhaps by selling Kalashnikov rifles to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel. That would surely show President Obama who was boss! Oh, wait...
Catman
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I'd really appreciate links and or book recommendations regarding the mechanization and tariff issues surrounding the Civil War. While I knew "state's rights" was one of the main issues, these two are new to me and I'd like to learn more. Thanks!
Tickerguy
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One More Banned wrote..
Am I reading this wrong? If so then why? I think slavery was certainly the central issue in their minds.

I tire of people who cannot be bothered to actually read the material they cite.

The Cited Article wrote..
The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.

Of course slavery was one of the issues behind the Civil War. But it was hardly the only issue, and in fact the others were repeatedly cited by the States in question including in the very piece that the now-banned claims makes his point.

Further, if you were anti-slavery why would you press for a war that you knew would destroy a material part of the nation's prosperity, property and people when on a purely economic basis all you had to do is wait as slavery had ALREADY become uneconomic by the time of Ft. Sumpter?

That makes no sense as a practical matter; what you wanted to achieve (the end of slavery) was already happening without a shot being fired.

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Gantww
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I would still make the case that the civil war was about slavery, but not like you're thinking...

Slavery of the south to the whims of the north was the issue at hand. Plantations had nothing to do with it. The descendants of puritans were still trying to create their heaven on earth, their utopia (as they are doing now with socialism and ever-narrowing interest groups claiming the right to force others to do business with them). This was about northern interests trying to force their will on people they considered inferior to them, much as liberal democrats are doing today (listen to them talk about rural folk and replace the word "redneck" with derogatory words for any other group, and you'll find it to be an eye-opener).

I would argue that this war is still underway, although open hostilities are rare, except via proxies. Fast and Furious was a shot fired, so was George Zimmerman, so is the attempt to mandate government paying for birth control. The intent isn't to create something; the intent is to shame a people into accepting what they consider abhorrent until their will is broken. The chains go on after that. You don't put a saddle on a horse until it's comfortable with a bridle...

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Jackl
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Quote:
If you have 5,000 'Nukes', and you give them up, YOU'RE STUPID!!


This is the ultimate outcome regardless of what happens.

Non-proliferation is DONE.

No one is going to protect you. Protect yourselves. The only way to do that is with a gun. Or on the national level a very large explosion.
Darth
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Not to drift too far off topic, but if REAL sanctions go up, hope folks are well stocked on Russian/Russian-made ammo, and if you're looking to get a Russian made Rifle or Shotgun, and know where one is, you'd best be getting it. I know Saiga Shotguns and AK type rifles are quite popular. Also, (good)Wolf brand ammo.
Analog
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Lincoln wanted to keep Europeans from helping the South. The incentive for them to help was Europe needed the South's agricultural products.

Making it "about slavery" he knew would appeal to European intellectuals.
Hence the Emancipation Proclamation" which applied only to states that were rebelling.
Quote:
Emancipation Proclamation summary: The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, as the country entered the third year of the Civil War. It declared that "all persons held as slaves shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free"but it applied only to states designated as being in rebellion, not to the slave-holding border states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri or to areas of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control. The careful planning of this document, with Lincoln releasing it at just the right moment in the war, ensured that it had a great positive impact on the Union efforts and redefined the purpose of the war.
http://www.historynet.com/emancipation-p....

Great strategic move.


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Joyce
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Great ticker, and spot on about the untold causes of the civil war. The truth always hurts those with an agenda.

I've read this sentence over and over again; I knew this piece of history before reading this ticker (at least I have in mind what you're referring to) but I'm struggling with how it's phrased:


"Specifically there was a tariff aimed directly at foreign manufactured goods in Europe that were made from southern agricultural products, effectively boosting the price of everything the southern states imported by 50%!"

There was a tariff placed on foreign good imports that the south needed for it's agriculture... correct?

...should it read 'that were made FOR south agri products'...
Tickerguy
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That AND importation of clothing made with southern-grown cotton, which was a particularly ugly insult considering where the raw materials came from.

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Joyce
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Ah, I see. Thanks
Fedwatcher
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In high school I did learn about the tariffs that aided the industrial interests of the North and hurt the agricultural interests of the South.

I also learned that slavery was becoming uneconomic but that the invention of the cotton gin extended its economic life and King Cotton was born. Also slaves were counted as 3/5ths for purposes of determining how many Congressman a state got. As new states were to be introduced into the Union, the issue of slave free states was a major hot topic even though the North still allowed slavery in most states.

There were many issues separating the industrial North from the agrarian South.

Lincoln was losing the war until the Emancipation Proclamation. There were draft riots in New York as you could buy your way out of the draft. England had become anti-slavery decades earlier and this reduced their willingness to intervene.

Ultimately the industrial might of the north and the blockade of southern ports wore the south down.
Gantww
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Whose idea was it to consider slaves to be 3/5ths of a free man for the purposes of representation, by the way? :-)

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Pissing on the host in the middle of the living room with guests present is a pretty good reason for the host to forcibly remove one from the scene, in my humble and correct opinion. - Jack_Crabb
Susanjbear
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The GOP in the meantime has a bad case of invasion envy.

Nice article Karl and nice reminder on the drivers of the civil war - tariffs don't play nicely in Hollywood, but slavery sure does!

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Susan
Godzillaman
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3 quotes.

"Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mundane educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom, go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts." - Frank Zappa


"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." - Joseph Stalin


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong." - Voltaire


Bonus quote:

"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion." - Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany



Here's the kicker.

"I have opinions of my own - strong opinions - but I don't always agree with them." - George W. Bush
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