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Forum Post: How the Right-Wing Brain Works and What That Means for Progressives

Posted 10 years ago on Sept. 26, 2012, 2:27 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

This article is a must read for any liberal/progressive who might have an interest in attempting to bridge the gap which exists between liberals and conservatives. I have such an interest, because I can see nothing positive coming out of the present socio-economic war climate that currently deeply divides our country. Somewhere, somehow, there must be an answer to ending our hostilities. If there ever is an answer, I feel that it would likely come from a deeper understanding of each others' morality and thought processes. Is it really desirable that things continue like this with this deep division and vitriolic exchanges of open hostility? At some point, somehow, efforts must be made at reconciliation and understanding on both sides. That is the only sane way out of it that I can see, imho. The article helps to begin that understanding if read with an open and unbiased mind.



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[-] 2 points by elf3 (4203) 10 years ago

the best people to ask are married couples with opposing political views (if they manage to bridge the gap, anyone can) it's funny to watch each other go running back to our corner of the ropes - sometimes without even knowing why, we see we are ideologically doing it when we can't agree, but then we must come to a consensus on what is justice, what is right - not what our party believes..and that there are more important issues than even the very philosophical ideologies that the parties are founded on that must be agreed upon. Corporate power seems to trump party and tromp on all our rights whatever we believe. We generally agree that decisions in this country are being made not representative of the people but those who sit in the thrones of monopolies.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Yes, those are good points about commonality between the libs and cons, and it is interesting that you touched on morality ("what is justice, what is right") being at the core of it. I think it was Odin, if I recall correctly, who commented that it really doesn't come down to Left or Right as much as right and wrong. Finding the commonality of moral right and moral wrong with libs and cons is key to the unification of the country, imho. But the problem is that libs and cons have, apparently, a fundamental difference when it comes to "morality" (I place that word in quotes to empasize there probably isn't any objective way to measure it except in the most obvious ways like murder, etc...). More and more, I am viewing politics through this moral prism and now usually always asking the question about anything presented as "Ok, is this morally right or morally wrong?". Of course, someone with an entirely different set of morals might look at the exact same thing presented, ask the same question, and come to a completely different conclusion. So, if there is any validity to the assertion that libs and cons possess fundamentally different morals (because it's "deep in the DNA" so to speak), I don't know how we can bridge the gap. But there has always been a gap, and probably always will be a gap. The big difference is that now the gap is wider and wider due to uncivilized discourse and vitriolic exchanges that border on savagery. That is what needs curtailing. People used to disagree about politics without branding each other as evil. Politics has now degenerated into barbarism.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 10 years ago

Is there a problem with the link?

It just goes to http://www.alternet.org/

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I don't understand because when I click on the link it goes directly to the article. Someone else complained about that too, then they clicked around some and eventually found it. I don't know what the deal is with that site. I apologize that you are having problems with it.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 10 years ago

No worries. Maybe it's cookies on your machine, since you've already been to the article. What is the title so that we can google it?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

I'm wondering, which amendments of http://occupywallst.org/forum/free-democracy-amendment/ would the TP and OWS disagree upon?

Which of the four FreeDA/MEI initiatives would they disagree upon?

What would either find disagreeable about an exercise of direct action in voter power http://occupywallst.org/forum/freeda-template/ to change things no matter who is elected?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

While TP & OWS might agree that we must get corrupting money out of politics,
TP knows that the only way to do anything is WITHIN the political system
OWS "knows" nothing can be done INSIDE the political system.

Seriously -
can you imagine ANY tp person voting for
Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders ?
can you imagine any OWS person voting for
alan west or michelle bachmann or paul ryan or todd akin or joe walsh or joe mccarthy?

I just don't see any real cooperation

And the 95%+ groverist Rs in congress are just more proof

AND the fundamental difference between left and right ?
most people on the right want everyone to be like them
most people on the left want everyone to be what they want to be

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Yes, you have pointed out the obvious realities that exist in present-day American politics. I am currently more interested in how we might end the war, while retaining the individual differences.

The video provided by SingleVoice here is worth watching in that regard in case you have any interest.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Have you seen Lawrence Lessig's One Way Forward?


It's a very short and easy read. I think that it will speak to you. It left me with a feeling of optimism that was only dispelled when I came here and tried to start a conversation about it that sadly turned into an hate fest about how Republicans are the problem.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I haven't read the book but I just read the review from your link and it looks interesting. I am poor and will likely not purchase the book. Do you know where I could read a synopsis? Is there a free PDF somewhere?

[-] -1 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

"give me a girl in her tender years - and she's mine for life" -
Miss Jean Brody
I would guess that half of the anti-Obama lie support is based on good old fashioned - well taught - parent to child - racisim The well taught greed of crapitalism also breeds generations of hate.

I think Obama hoped he would bring Americans together and that is why he compromised with the liars - much to his regret - and my disgust

Sadly, with his brain and willingness to compromise , he failed -
I have no idea how to end this war

disconnecting money from politics would make a big difference

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

If OWS knows nothing can be done inside the system, why is everyone on here urging people to vote? Isn't voting within the system??

[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I think that most of those who advocate voting believe that until the system can be changed to what is desired, you are stuck with working with what you have. It's kinda like riding a bicycle to work until you can get a car. If you can't get to work you'll never be able to procure the means to get the car someday (poor analogy I know but all I could come up with off the top of my head).

[-] -2 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

If the world is what we make it, we are never "stuck working with what we have".

The corruption that is suffocating the "99%" is a tumor that needs to be removed. Voting assumes you can convince the tumor to turn into another kidney. Never has happened. Never will.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I understand that argument. It has a certain logic to it. But I think it represents the classic "cutting off the nose to spite the face". Voting for none means voting for somebody you didn't vote for (or against). Someone is going to be elected regardless. So if you choose to be on the sidelines watching the game, that's fine. But just realize someone is playing the game to win, and someone IS going to win. You may not agree with either team that is playing on the field, but being a perpetual waterboy isn't going to help you reach your goal. Actually, in this analogy, you should just quit watching the game and go home because your mere observation of it won't change the outcome and will just make you more frustrated. So maybe consider taking up gardening or basket weaving or something else less stressful or frustrating.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

You can infer any fantasy logic into the discussion that you like. Is a non-vote for Obama a vote for Romney? Or it is a vote for Gary Johnson? Is a vote for Gary Johnson just a missing vote from Romney? Is a non-vote for Romney a vote for Obama??????

You can confuse the discussion in any number of ways you want. A vote or non-vote can mean anything you want to say it means. Non-voting can mean that I'm lazy. Maybe it means that I'm a utopian. You can attach whatever label you want to.

But if you want to have an honest discussion, at the base level, a refusal to participate is a refusal of consent. Period.

[-] 4 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I know the view of anarchism. But we are not there yet. And this is not "fantasy logic". It is math.

10 votes out of a total of 100 means 10% input to sway the direction of victory/defeat. 10 votes out of 10,000, on the other hand, is only 0.01% to sway the direction of victory/defeat. So the individual vote has greater percentage impact when fewer people participate than when more people participate. That is why the wishes of the country are better represented when there is a large vote participation. Of course, that doesn't mean everyone is happy with any of the candidates. It just means that the people are making a choice regardless, whereas when they do not participate they are having no say in the process.

Btw, this is exactly the reason that the Republican strategy about voter suppression has been getting a lot of attention. They know that for every vote they can eliminate, the greater the percentage increase they stand to have in their favor.

Math doesn't lie.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

I will not be voting. I thought I might until Obama made the comment about creating more jobs for national security as if there is a shortage. I will not vote for the silver spoon crowd nor a fascist in democrats clothing.

[-] 3 points by Mooks (1985) 10 years ago

Why not just vote for a 3rd party candidate? There are so many, I am sure you can find one that you find acceptable.

[-] 2 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

First we need laws that force the hand of our political system to give third party candidates a level playing field for that to become a reality.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

Agree, and I assume you would include Independents as well. But if you and many others lay down your weapons, the vote. How will you accomplish your goal?

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 10 years ago

The current crisis is not over and before it is, it will lend itself to protests and the interest of the people. The powers that be will soon find themselves with no alternative.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

good choice. Hitler was voted in too, btw.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

He lost 1932 election to Von Hindenburg.


[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

nice. I am wrong. Can't remember where I read that, but I was wrong none the less. Thanks for pointing it out.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

Sure. A while back I considered not voting too. What changed my mind was people like MLK and Ghandi. Of course they fought for civil rights, and one of these was the right to vote. They risked their lives with many others just to obtain that right, the same one that some are now discarding.

The voting system was rigged against them. Poll taxes, literacy tests, denied to register to vote. Somehow in that impossible situation of racism and injustice they did prevail. It was not won in a day or a week or a year. It was won by persistence, using every available weapon (non violent) and tactic directed in the most effective manner possible.

In some ways, our battle is easier. Racism isn't a factor, and we aren't the minority. Our main battle is with the majority, waking them up to the reality of political and economic oppression that they live under and support. With them awakened, a direct assault on Congress would be an easy victory.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

I also am hugely inspired by these men (and the men and women who worked with them), but I am much more inspired by their actions.

I just watched this video recently that had mentioned something about voting that I thought was fascinating. Voting only covers the breadth of the "general will", and not the depth. Meaning: it measures exactly what everyone wants, but it doesn't measure the actions they'd take to go get it; it doesn't matter how badly they want it. It was an interesting concept I hadn't considered before. You and I both might want to raise taxes on the rich, but a vote doesn't capture to what lengths we would go to do it. Would you take a machine gun around to rich people's houses to collect the tax? Would I? It's an interesting omission from voting..

If you're interested in the full video, I thought it was excellent (though, like anything, I didn't agree with everything), it is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8rx_SDeaao

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

Would like to watch it but my connection is really slow, a 2 1/2 hour video would literally take all day to watch.

Voting is a binary choice, for or against, one dimensional. But that isn't what we're fighting against.

Our votes are being manipulated in favor of those who purchase the powerful influence of the mass media. Like hurricane force winds, they are pushing our hand away from voting for the candidate of our choice and toward the candidate of their choice.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

People can hate Ron Paul, and that's fine, but his campaign did a great job of showing the absolute corruption of the powers-that-be. In my opinion, it's not even a matter of voting and then fairly counting the votes; the elections themselves are a fraud. The votes are meaningless. In the RNC run-up, the party was changing rules as they went along.

I present for your examination, the following report http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/glenn-j1.1.1.html

In those circumstances, (and keep in mind, these are only in the reported circumstances... much like domestic abuse, quite a lot is probably unreported) how can we even have a fair election? I mean, to say that we want to record what people want is one thing, but to pretend to do so in a manipulated environment is entirely another.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

Good analogy. If you convince the body to use a scalpel (the vote), it can cut out that tumor. If the body doesn't use the scalpel, the tumor will consume the body.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

In your addition, this assumes that voting can be used as a scalpel to remove what is wrong. It is my opinion that the opposite is true. Big government is suffocating our society, and voting is a means that government uses to get larger and larger... and many charts on the size of government are readily available which would reinforce the universal growth of the state, across elections and time.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

You're right. The scalpel can remove the tumor, but it can also graft in a new blood vessel and allow the tumor to grow larger.

The vote is only as good as the knowledge of the surgeon.

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

History shows the likely outcomes.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

The outcomes are up to us. We can choose to follow the success of MLK and Ghandi, or we can choose neither and be consumed by the cancer.

Is your username related to Henry David Thoreau? His "Civil Disobedience" is a great work.

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

Civil Disobedience is the greatest political writing I have read thus far.

I agree with you.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

"everyone on here urging people to vote?"
not everyone

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 10 years ago

Have you watched "The Take"? Watch it, then tell me if nothing can be done within the system. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQHo8l92U3U

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

If I watch your video, will you watch mine? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8rx_SDeaao&feature=plcp

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 10 years ago

I've watched most of it, and I will watch the rest. It is an interesting perspective. There are, however, some glaring inaccuracies, and what I consider to be correlation/ causation fallacies. One of the glaring and rather amazing assertions; "Right to work states have done better economically". What? (Face palm)

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

In 2010, alleged state bankruptcy, 8 of the top 12 most bankrupt states were not right-to-work. http://www.zerohedge.com/article/32-states-now-officially-bankrupt-378-billion-borrowed-treasury-fund-unemployment-ca-mi-ny-w including the top 6.

Not conclusive evidence, but surely an indicator of poor economic health.

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

He says he's open to seeing data to the contrary. I'd be interested in seeing it also.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 10 years ago

I may be considering the "wrong" parameters when I read, "doing better economically. If the standard is GDP, or the condition of the state treasury, then he may be correct. I live in Florida, ( a right to work state) which is in the toilet, so thus, the face palm. I was thinking more in terms of how the citizens are doing, and have done historically, in the right to work states. You know, Alabama.Mississippi, Louisiana... China has a strong GDP, and the most new billionaires. The people aren't doing so well.

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

But when you look at how the chinese people are doing now, relative to how they WERE doing, it's surely an improvement. And I think that's the point that he makes overall, is that you have to compare an area to itself, based on the policies.

If you finish the video, I'd love to know your thoughts, one way or another.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 10 years ago

China is highly centralized tightly controlled system. Not what the author of the vid seemed to idealized. China has moved in the direction of state capitalism. On a different note, but related, what would you say about Denmark? http://www.alternet.org/story/152673/why_danes_are_so_much_happier_than_americans PS, Yes i finished watching.

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

Any other thoughts?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 10 years ago

Well, as I said, before, ( I had watched about 2hrs when I responded before.) I won't say there were no valid points, and it was long enough that I can't recall all the detail, so I'll offer some specific critiques. The assertion that Ireland was able to resist the Brits due to it's decentralized system. What about Japan in WW2. An emperor/deity, highly centralized, yet very hard to defeat. Then there's the Soviet union. which was also highly centralized, but bloodied Hitlers nose very badly.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

That seems like less of a contradiction than you calling yourself "Thoreau" and begging other people for money so that you can build your life. March out into the woods with an axe and build your own life.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

I'm pretty sure the only one taking that post seriously is you. lol

[-] 3 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Haha don't worry I definitely didn't take that any more seriously than your vision of a 100% boycott on voting that somehow triggers a utopian political singularity by making the government obsolete.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

Anything counter-mainstream can be dismissed as being "utopian". How well is the established system working for you? Oh, terribly? Well you must be one of those utopians (and therefore, retarded)!

You're smarter than that, right?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Well then here, try this argument: I can guarantee that your plan will never work, because I personally will always vote. You need 100% of the people to boycott voting.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

I suppose you're the master of coming up with other people's plan. Did the colonists win independence with 100% of the population? Did India get rid of the British with 100% support? You don't need 100% for anything.

I just wasted a minute of my time destroying your non-argument. Your intellectual dishonesty is irritating when it seems like you have the potential for so much more.


[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Half of the people already don't vote and it isn't making the government obsolete. It's just making those people disenfranchised.

[-] 0 points by thoreau42 (595) 10 years ago

And the goal is to find the tipping point, not hit 100%.

[-] 1 points by SingleVoice (158) 10 years ago

I happened to see this show on Bill Moyers early this year and found it interesting and it is along the lines of what you posted about understanding both ideals (conservative/liberal) and how to possibly bridge the gap.


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I just finished watching the video. It is excellent, and thank you so much for providing it. I wish everyone on this forum would watch it. Actually, I wish every adult American would watch it.

The unfortunate thing about this video is that, although I think I learned a great deal about these two polarized and opposing forces, I did not come away very optimistic for any reasonable reconciliation in the foreseeable future. What I did learn is that civility is crucial in the debate, and the tendency to demonize opposing views needs to be replaced with understanding why the opposing side holds the views that they do. It is apparently not as black-and-white as many people want to paint it.

Unfortunately, for any "tribe" (as the video explains it) to gather emotional and moral energy that sustains any movement, tools such as demonization, derision, ridicule, and other negative descriptions appear necessary, and even justified because each side believes it is engaged in a great "holy war" of which they are the righteous soldiers of truth and the other side are practitioners of evil. Of course, when one steps back and looks at the conflict objectively from a distant hill, watching the two armies engaging in their battle, it becomes readily obvious that wars need not be fought at all if the two sides can call a truce (even a temporary one) long enough to begin to place opposing viewpoints into perspective and to gain understanding...clear understanding, of what each side deems holy and sacrosanct. To me personally, that was the key learning from the video.

Thanks so much again for a great eye-opener. I have bookmarked it for future reference.

[-] 1 points by SingleVoice (158) 10 years ago

You're very welcome. When I saw your post, it reminded me of that episode. It made sense to me when I saw it.

You are correct that it is important to understand why the opposing side holds their view. I also agree that both sides are not black or white. I think that most people hold views from both sides and are a mix of both views. For example, I think a majority of Americans hold some fiscal conservative views but also social liberal views.

To move forward, I think that one thing we can all do is stop, not just demonizing but name calling and insulting. These usually end all intelligent debate on any issue. I think that when someone either feels they are losing their argument or refuses to accept that their opponent may have a point on something, they resort to either deomonizing or to insults. Both have the same effect of ending the debate with no further discussion. It also shows a disrespect and intolerance of opposing views.

I think that both liberals and conservatives can agree on several important things that could move what I feel are 3 important issues forward. These were what I thought OWS was originally protesting which is why I got involved - corruption between Wall Street and Government. Those 3 things are: Reinstating Glass-Steagle (whose repeal in 1998 resulted in banks becoming too big to fail by allowing FDIC insured depositor banks to also become investment banks), abolishment of Community Reinvestment Act (which started the sub-prime loan industry in 1993 resulting in the housing collapse) and getting rid of the FED (who continues to manipulate the dollar to benefit Wall Street and government officials and was complicit in both the housing bubble and the abolishment of Glass-Steagle). These 3 things both conservatives and liberals agree on but continue to not push forward together on.

There are many other issues of course, but these would go a long way to getting the financial sector on the right track and dealing with the initial causes of the financial mess we are in which have yet to be addressed or taken care of 5 years later. I feel these are a priority for our economy and would also help with some of the corruption between Wall Street and government. The rest of the corruption we will need to keep working on, liking getting all former Goldman Sachs execs out of the white house and cabinet and FED.

I'll keep working on it...hope everyone else will too.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Yes you are absolutely correct that OWS may have gotten off-track on it core mission, and nowhere is that more apparent than the discussions that take place on this forum. Actually, I remember reading on a post/comment sometime ago that the commenter indicated that the forum bore little resemblance at all to what s/he was witnessing on the street. That gave me pause to think. But I also believe that it could be possible that there has been infiltration into the forum with the intent to drive it off it's core message and focus (for obvious reasons). So you see it all over the place talking about everything under the sun instead of keeping its focus on its core mission as you have indicated. Thanks for reminding me (and us) of where we came from and where we need to continue to focus.

[-] 1 points by SingleVoice (158) 10 years ago

Thanks...it's refreshing to hear someone on this site that is open to trying to understand the other side so as to try to work together to make the changes we need happen.

Let's keep calling, emailing and pressuring our representatives in Congress and especially the ones running for congress now and pressing them to make if not all 3 things I listed but at least 1 of them (re-instate Glass-Steagle) as part of their platform so we can break up these big banks. And keep talking to people of all ideologies you encounter to do the same. If we can get just Glass-Steagle to become an issue, then we can work on another, and another. I keep relaying this info to people of different ideologies and they all agree, conservatives as well as liberals. This is why it's important to keep up the pressure especially on those running for office. If they see people of both sides pushing the same things, they will have to listen.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Agreed. Thanks again.


[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 10 years ago

"Somewhere, somehow, there must be an answer to ending our hostilities. "

I would nominate that the socal contract called the US consitution is the key.

Unfortunately free speech is meaningles and negotiations are being falsely conducted by the media and a cognitive infiltration of the activist groups.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Not following you. Can you elaborate please?

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 10 years ago

Without free speech having its needed meaning, the media creates whatever perspective it wants, then the cognitive infiltration prevents those not assimilating the media manipulation from creating a unified opinion.

Default negotiations between parties that espouse support for the constitution using facts are prempted at the fringe and moving to the core by the above. Then the only remaining mass, the parties themselves is manipulated by the party leaders that only respond to $.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

So let me make sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying the media is primarily to blame, through setting the tone/climate etc., for the nature of these discussions, and that is why liberals/conservatives have become so nasty in the conversations/accusations that they have? And the media is motivated to make these conversations "nasty" because it gathers more viewers, thus market share, thus revenue?

I'm having a little difficulty understanding you fully, but I think that's probably due to your conversational style that I have not become accustom to yet.

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 10 years ago

Yes, you've got it, but media is motivated by more than revenue. There is a carefully crafted agenda with lots of cover participation and reinforcement. It is infiltrated too and takes advantage of the dumbing down and fear to create zealous opposition where there really is no controversy with actual basis.

Also, working with that is the cognitive infiltration. It prevents people on the fringe of parties from realizing that Americans who are of partisan beliefs, really do believe in constitutional principles, by creating confusion and promoting misinformation based in false or artificially created/promoted controversy.

I was a victim of that until I started reading the perspectives on Article 5 that I found posted here. This link really opened my eyes to the fundments of what can work. It fosters a simple understanding that represents the needed unity for Article 5.


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I went out to the link you provided and browsed it for about 5 minutes. I must admit large ignorance on the Article V effort. Based on what you now know, what do you anticipate its chances of success to be?

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago


Since you felt it was important to link to an article about a book written supposedly exposing the thinking of the "right wing brain", I think in all fairness in the spirit of understanding thought processes and morality this thread needs a link to a book about the "liberal mind" as well.

Maybe part of understanding conservatives is understanding how they view liberal behavior. I'm sure someone wise once said something about not being able to understand someone else until you understand yourself...insert quote here.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 10 years ago

It is not a liberal/conservative divide. It is a divide over control. One side wants central control the other side wants liberty. There are both liberals and conservatives that think they are more clever than most and believe it their duty to dominate the less enlightened. They are both wrong. Liberty is a right, not some blessing we get from Gov.

An example of common ground from the article:

"More recently, Haidt and his colleagues added a sixth moral foundation: “Liberty/oppression.” Liberals and conservatives alike care about being free from tyranny, from unjust exertions of power..."

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I understand your point. But the difficulty I have with this "Liberty" is that we are not only talking about social liberty but economic/financial liberty. In the spirit of Ayn Rand, economic/financial liberty (at least in a capitalistic system) taken to the extreme results in enormous concentrations of wealth at the top and, as a result of that wealth, abuses using wealth to manipulate individuals and governments. This, imho, is why Occupy was born. The masses will only tolerate such for so long and then they rise up and try to do something about it. History bears this out time and time again.

It sort of comes down to an inate sense of fairness (for lack of a better word) that millions of people feel instinctively. That is when morality enters the picture...the feeling that there is a clear right and wrong about it. I think this fundamental idea about the morality of our current crisis is at the core of what liberals and conservatives differ about. The author of the article seems to imply, without actually saying so, that liberals and conservatives are possessed of two fundamentally different sets of morals. I, for one, am trying to understand the conservative moral foundation better without passing judgement. I must admit, however, that I find it a very difficult thing to comprehend.

[-] 0 points by 1sealyon (434) 10 years ago

Liberty is just one of many rights that we enjoy as human beings. These belong to us; they are not bestowed by any Gov. Owning property is also a basic human right and we should resist Gov that wants to steal it.

What specific moral tenets do you find different between lib and con?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Owning property is also a basic human right...

I have heard conservatives make that argument before. I must confess that I have a difficult time understanding it. It is certainly within Western cultural tradition to be sure, and since we have been born and raised in that culture we naturally assume that it is "a basic human right". But other cultures in other places and times do not view that which Nature has provided as being their "personal property". If anything, they view that which they temporarily possess as being generously provided by Nature as a means whereby Mother Nature sustains her children (we are all products of Nature and thus her children). The "ownership" thus remains with Nature herself, and there is a gratitude upon the part of such cultures toward our Mother that does not exist in the Western mind. Thus Nature is viewed in Western culture as something to be exploited like a pimp using his Whore rather than a child being grateful and respectful to his/her Mother. The Native Americans were like this. So have other cultures been in various places and times.

[-] 1 points by 1sealyon (434) 10 years ago

The world (If you believe that the UN represents a universal agreement among nations) believes that property ownership is a basic human right.


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

The UN is a product of Western culture. So naturally they would affirm this. That fact doesn't address my original point about Mother Nature vs. Mother Whore.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

Do you view Nature as a being/entity capable of human emotions such as generosity and benevolence? Or anger? Native Americans (some) worshiped earth as a God/Spirit that had created them. Do you understand spiritual beliefs to have merit or not? Some ancient cultures beliefs were also strictly Tribal and territorial in nature and some loved to sacrifice their people and compete in fierce rituals etc. What is your point?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

I clicked on the link but can't find the article, just something about sex, nothing about brains.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

You're joking right? i clicked on both of the links I provided and went right to the article in both instances. I know you're joking.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

OK, so I went back and did some double-back clicking and found it.

I admittedly self describe as a "socially liberal paleo-conservative" meaning that I believe conservatism is evolutionary; as such you would probably describe me as "conservative."

There are some flaws in this study in that they first fail to define "morality" - their definition is flawed - and then they fail to grasp or even consider the ways in which humans actually interact, or in other words, 'a' , the power structure and 'b', its actual construction as the product of interaction.

Hierarchy is rooted in interaction; interaction "constructs." Viewed in macro, governance itself is merely interaction extended.

In terms of psychoanalysis, I will grant you some insight... Conservatives tend to be extremely independent in ways many cannot even fathom; if the lawn mower dies and we really want the grass cut, it's getting cut even if we have to use scissors to do it; if the car goes defunct and we have to get to the other side of the world, we're getting there even if it means a long and hellacious journey by foot. This is the kind of individualism and determination that carved our original America from a wilderness inhabited by the unknown; it's the kind of individualism that enabled us, just as a minor example, to transport four thousand pound millstones miles upland without the use of motorized power or even aid of others - our ancestors did these things routinely.

Contrary to belief, we do not voluntarily defer to power; in fact, we tend to be very strongly anti-authoritarian. But "conservative" is also a matter of degree - some amongst us, for example, those of Roman Catholic persuasion, of particular ethnic backgrounds, while yet "conservative," tend to defer to authority more than others - it is part and parcel of that particular cultural mindset. The African American also tends to defer more; certain tribes were favored over others in Africa because they were, in fact, far more submissive; these are "facts"; they are documented facts. And just as an aside, they were also of course a monarchical entity with large slave populations that were in the habit then of deferring to power.

But just to give you an idea of how truly independent conservatives are - when everyone else was shouting "the British are coming," the conservatives in the crowd actually debated siding with the enemy, simply because they were not in the habit of running with the in-crowd; they considered siding with the enemy even as that enemy was stealing their livestock, simply because they found the deference to others of the community in the form of a "yes" as personally repugnant; this is about "power" and many conservatives view themselves as the masters of their world even if contrary to self interest.

As such they could never envision themselves then as Roman Catholic, and in fact, four hundred years later we are still find ourselves infuriated by the ceremonial authoritarian occurrences in these churches, even if we today are very casual in our own religious view.

To continue in this same light with more historical analogy... which you will probably dismiss as BS... we tend to think of Lefties in the very same way the Native American thought of homosexuals - as "men that act like women." What they were referring to was not strength but power - the men that acted like women were far more emotionally impulsive, far more emotionally dependent on others for self image, self esteem, and value, and far less personally independent - as such they are on the far outer fringe of power structure interaction.

You can't pound us into some cookie cutter form that allows psychoanalysis because we will not permit it; we won't even allow you to label us as "conservative" - see the above.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Thank you for that very detailed response. I appreciate your forthrightness in bringing forth your opinion/analysis of what "conservative" means to you personally.

Regarding the article, I would be interested in knowing what you thought about the author's analysis regarding what I would consider a rather controversial assertion -- that the greater the intelligence/education of the conservative the less likely he/she will respond to facts. This seems extremely strange to me and completely counter-intuitive to common sense. I don't remember all the details of what the author asserted about this, but that is the jist of it if memory serves. Do you remember reading it?

Appreciate your opinion on this.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

You seem to have accepted the author's assertion on its face. Did you follow up on that assertion yourself to find out if his assertion was based on FACTS? If so-how much fact? Enough to support making the claim? Enough to make the claim true? Did it occur to you that the more educated a person becomes in distinguishing facts from opinions and theories, the more they would reject anything that does not meet factual criteria?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I do not accept the author's assertion on its face. Is it not obvious that I actually found it hard to accept? Re-read my comment. Your conservative bias is now becoming obvious in your comments to me because our previous exchanges has struck some kind of emotional nerve in you and you are losing your "scientific" objectivity and seem determined to now follow me around with some type of dogged determination to do your best to "expose" me as some type of mental defective. But I have been on this site as long as you have and will likely continue to make contributions that you don't agree with. So get used to it. Our "affair" is done.


[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I do not have a photographic memory. Do you? But I can recognize a good article when I read it.

Is there no end to your nitpicking? I know I've made an enemy with you, but I would really prefer if you would just kindly go away. Soon, there will be no responses to you from me whatsoever.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

Very few people truly have an eidetic memory, if any. I do know when I've read a convincing article and when I haven't. What made the article "good" to you if its statements were unsound to you?

Saying that you know you've made an enemy with me is an example of emotional, irrational thinking. You claim to want to understand how conservatives think and feel, yet you continually tell me how I feel or think with absolutely no evidence that you are correct. Or you tell me to leave or say you are no longer going to respond to me (but do it anyway).

How exactly does your behavior encourage and facilitate bridge building?

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

You started this thread RECOMMENDING that authors work as a key to understanding the conservative brain. One of the main pillars of the author's argument in the article is the one you brought up. If you found it so hard to accept on its face, either you continued to read and he produced a perfectly reasonable explanation which caused you to embrace it yourself, OR he didn't and even though you can't remember the details, you chose to submit the article as a "must read".

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

It's not counter-intuitive, it's disingenuous.

Although intelligence is implied the author didn't actually say that; he said the greater the "education" the more likely the "Republican"... this of course begs of an example as evidence of the assertion, and the author here chooses global warming. But the issue has never been one of global warming, it has always been one of the greenhouse gas contribution to global warming - this is the point of dispute. But the Republicans, of course, are under attack here because they do not support cap and trade. And I don't want this to devolve into a political discussion of Left/ Right world economics.

But if those who choose college over manual labor and a life on easy street rather than a life in the trenches.... who ultimately choose to self appoint as intellectual elitists, our supposed superiors, are not aware enough to realize that all thoughts, and the eventual vocal response, or actions, are driven by subliminal desire... then they themselves are guilty of an unreasoned emotional response.

It's not that we've lost the ability to reason, it's that we've lost the ability to communicate; there is a reason this has occurred and this piece is but one example.

There's more to this, too... as those in power come under fire there is a tendency to become less generous, less liberal, more defensive and more conservative; why academia so often feels the need to attack those in power is a question in and of itself - what creates a Bill Ayers? And they are everywhere, as evidenced through our vocalizations, in thought if not in deeds.

It's time we examined the examiners.

To answer your question more directly... the examiners here ask the question, why are Republicans so unreasonable on issues of global warming; the Republican response is: why are you so intent on stealing dollars from other Americans, what data supports our supplication to an increasingly anti-American UN which seeks to not only grow the world's money mongers but also place Americans at a distinct competitive disadvantage?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

You said we've lost the ability to communicate. I certainly agree that it appears that conversations between liberals and conservatives appear to be much more difficult, uncivilized, and vitriolic than I can ever remember them being. How do you think we can remedy that? I am genuinely interested in trying to stop this verbal war that seems to be forever escalating and resulting in a general disintegration of our social fabric.

One thing that kinda bugs me a bit is when one question is posed and is not directly answered (as in your global warming question being "answered" by stealing dollars from Americans, etc.). Maybe this is misunderstanding on my part, but I fail to understand why people are afraid to use the words "I don't know" if they don't know the answer to a question. It is not an admission of weakness. It only indicates a temporary lack of knowledge that can usually be remedied via a little research. I understand that both sides hold staunch viewpoints. But my personal preference is that people, regardless of ideology, answer questions directly and not answer a question with another question that is completely unrelated to the subject of the first question. Or is it related? Have I misunderstood you?

And one last question. Do you feel threatened in some way? You have mentioned "territory" before. Do you feel somehow entitled to your "territory" and perceive it being invaded? Do you believe in your own personal "Manifest Destiny" of the 1800s? Is your personal view of reality all a Darwinian "Survival of the Fittest" kind of thing?

I am not trying to be insulting. I am sincerely interested in understanding conservatives better. I understand that everyone is an individual and there is room for variation within groups. But I'll never understand the conservative mind in general if I don't get answers from individuals within the group.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

My personal opinion is that behavior is 100% guided by evolutionary desire, yes. And I intuitively see in your own posts, a personal evolutionary motivation.

No one can exist without some future vision - why would you choose the words "Manifest Destiny"? Is this yet again an attempt to understand an "aggressive acquisitiveness" present in earlier generations of Europeans, who were likely your own ancestors as well? Why did it exist?

Threatened? Yes, everyone today feels threatened because we ARE threatened; our present politics is the root cause.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I do not personally feel threatened that I am conciously aware of. That is because I have come to the personal conclusion that my measly individual existence means absolutely nothing in the big scheme of things. I'm only here for an instant and then gone. That is a very humbling realization. To me personally I know that I could easily not even be here 10 minutes from now. So that results in more of a gratefulness for the wonder of life and the priviledge to be able to observe it rather than a desire to keep it at all costs and to feel threatened that it will be removed from me. I realize that it will be removed from me very soon anyway whether I want it to be or not.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

I think you misunderstood; I wasn't referring to a physical threat, I was referring to our present financial health and the eventual territorial threat.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Ohhh. So what is the eventual territorial threat in your opinion?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

The territorial threat will be from all sides.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

A little vague. Can you be more specific? Who are "all sides" from which you feel threatened?

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 10 years ago

That is the best articulation of that argument I have heard in awhile. But the problem I have with it. is that American scientists are making the same claim, and if they are in on the hustle too, well that means the state of our politics is so decrepit that no solution is possible. If something as serious as whether we have a future on this planet or not can be made into a political football, then there is no point in debate, something more drastic has to happen.

Also, if the Republicans can so easily call the global warming argument a devise being used to redistribute wealth, then I have to wonder how many talking points have they devised in order to expropriate our nation's wealth. It takes a hustler to know one. You feel me?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

I didn't want this to devolve into a discussion of the Kyoto protocol. I don't support cap and trade or anything that either places America at a distinct disadvantage or unnecessarily drives up energy costs to the Americans that I live amongst; they are already hard pressed.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

The vast majority of the people dont give a fuck. The small 20% that do, about 19% of them have been brainwashed by one side or the other.

The only thing that MAY change that is a SHTF moment. Hopefully they dont just rally the other 80% against each other as well.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

That is an interesting opinion. Is that just a "gut feel" or do you have some kind of evidence or background that could lend support to it (btw, I am not trying to trap you or anything...I am genuinely interested in how you came to that opinion).

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

Well, 30% dont even bother to register. Of the remaining 70%, about half vote in presidential elections. The real measure is the mid term elections, of which about 30% vote, which equates to roughly 20% of the general population.

The majority of those get their news from the MSM, which is NOt the spot to get it from.

At least thats what Im thinking. The 30% not registered is an official gov stat, along with the election turnout numbers.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Thanks for that. i'm still having a hard time understanding how those statistics correlate with the intent of the original post, which is that both sides need to understand each other better if we ever stand any chance of eventually coming together to heal this deeply divided nation.

[-] -3 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

You've already admitted that you don't have an open and unbiased mind, so why do you think that anyone else here can read it with one?

Calling conservatives names, making false assumptions about them as if they are all identical clones of each other, and being emphatic about ALL of humanity being incapable of comprehending or accepting rational facts (ape brains) MIGHT JUST BE UNDERMINING EVERY FREAKING THING YOU SAY. Even ape brained people view such things as HOSTILE and DIVISIVE and that results in an atmosphere NOT conducive to positive solutions.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

When/how have i admitted such? Just because humans are deeply flawed and irrational most of the time doesn't mean they are not capable of moments of sanity. You have completely distorted and perverted what I have presented because you have your conservative bias and have some type of agenda (of which I currently do not fully understand) that causes you to defend your point of view that is the antithesis of what many on this forum advocate (but of course not all).

I will freely admit that I have a liberal bias. People who are completely centrist and lacking in strong opinions are of little value in political discussions. I just wonder what you are trying to prove by being on this forum. You've been here a long time. What are you trying to accomplish?

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

" I just wonder what you are trying to prove by being on this forum. You've been here a long time. What are you trying to accomplish?"

Me? Exposing readers to facts, and reason and rational scientific data and seeing how they react to it. You might call it a Social science experiment. The evidence clearly suggests that the "majority of the people here" are exactly as you described the "majority of the population below-

"Despite your desire to believe otherwise, the majority of the population is NOT rational, and they ignore facts ALL the time."

[-] -2 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

Elsewhere I said that the things you bow down to are not facts, but opinions that match your own beliefs, and you said QUOTE:

"And yours do not? Have you been elevated to godhood? Are you the new Saint Betsy? GET REAL!!! ALL people believe whatever they want to believe regardless of the degree of fact or fiction that exists to support it. That is the living absurdity of which human populations are afflicted. Have you not lived on the planet long enough to know how people are wired up?"

You also said QUOTE:

"Despite your desire to believe otherwise, the majority of the population is NOT rational, and they ignore facts ALL the time. Politicians know this and use it to win elections. World religions confirm this as well. People are walking contradictions, and it is not difficult to prove this as has been done by psychologists time after time in study after study. Our ape brains are this strange mixture of emotion, logic, assumptions, beliefs, and absurd notions. These are the facts regarding populations. I didn't make up these facts. Since you appear to worship facts, just check them out here."

And this: "People are driven to "get off their asses" by fear...one of the deepest and strongest of emotions. Rationality doesn't have anything to do with getting people motivated. Emotions are what motivate people, not logic or rationality. So any appeal to getting people off the couch can't be made rationally or logically. People have to see how they are personally going to be impacted in a negative way. Then they act.

But sometimes they wait until it is too late. By the time they wake up, it is already over."

Please prove that I distorted and perverted what you presented.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

All of those statements are open to personal interpretation. Each person evaluates such statements through their own personal filter. Someone who thinks similarly to myself will not give them much thought in terms of my intentional derision of humanity, for they will be able to interpret the spirit in which the words were given (or they might be only slightly offended, idk). Someone with your filter will interpret them totally differently. Such is the case with the poor medium of language that we must use to communicate.

You are very clever. You like to use other people's words as swords against them to trap them into intellectual corners...as if this were all some kind of intellectual chess game with your goal being that of checkmating your advisary. That is called sophistry, and I do not engage sophists. I have better things to do than waste my time with useless discussion like this. The things that matter and that are of importance to people on this forum do not include being a part of your "Social science experiment". Go find another lab rat for your intellectual amusement.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Congratulations to both of you for having the discipline to avoid descending into calling each other names.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I have already indicated my intentions of attempting not to engage in name calling here, but Betsy seems to think that i have not lived up to her standard of what name calling amounts to, so thank you for your support in that regard.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Nobody's perfect. But watching you guys call each other "sophist" instead of "motherfucker" has been refreshing. There is actual conversation occurring here.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Without her actually admitting such, I am making an assumption that Betsy is a conservative. And the whole intent of this particular post is that liberals and conservatives ought to make some attempt at reconciliation. The article I provided above provides some perspective on how a liberal might begin to understand the conservative brain, so if I engaged in "gutter talk" toward conservatives I'd probably be pretty hypocritical wouldn't I. :)

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 10 years ago

Fair point indeed. But I got the impression that her comments were not limited to just this thread.

Either way, a conservative and a liberal both generally agreeing that the name-calling is counter-productive is nice. I'm just sitting on the sidelines with popcorn...

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

You are correct. Betsy followed me to this post from another one where there was a fair amount of contrary opinions expressed. Apparently she finds this particular lab rat's behavior fascinating (or maybe it's just my natural animal magnetism). :-)

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

The best way to study any given subject is to observe it in its natural habitat. You're the one insinuating that this forum is a lab, and its participants as rats, not me.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Did you not say you view this whole forum as a "Social science experiment"?


[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

I said I was here to present facts and see how those facts are treated. I said you could call it a social science experiment. Are you arguing that rats and a lab are required for such?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

And you now stoop to literalism? Are you that desperate?

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

Nope. Hence my actual wording that you "could" call my purpose here... I assumed that it was obvious that I wasn't being literal, which is why I found your use of the literal words "lab" to describe this forum and "rats" to describe its members to be derogatory and pejorative.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago
[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Master, I have contemplated my navel for many hours. I do not understand.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

we have/had a mother

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

chirp, chirp, chirp...the sounds of crickets.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

You have a choice my friend... you either win the intellectual chess game or you lose the war; which is it?

Your arguments cannot stand - they are bullshit. And people get tired of bullshit; they want to be informed, they want to learn continuously, endlessly... in the hope that that newly acquired knowledge may some how guide them.

We, the conservatives of America (everyone in the entire world is a "conservative," even the "liberal")... are tired of pseudo-intellectual bullshit. Put on a thinking cap, G-damnit, and "get real."

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

The bait is in the water, but the fish aren't biting.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

Nah... you're gonna have to fish elsewhere.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

I was referring to your bait being in the water, and I was the fish that wasn't biting.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

losing the war sounds like a great start

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

You and Obama are obviously kindred spirits.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

is that torment to get a reaction ?



building bombs 'til bunkers boil

getting paid for shell filled toil

if I am to work tomorrow

lobe the load on foreign soil

yep US only pays 41% of the total world military budget

World Military budget in Billions (percent total) by Nation

  • 1,630 World Total
  • 711 United States 41%
  • 143 China 8.2%
  • 71.9 Russia 4.1%
  • 62.7 United Kingdom 3.6 %
  • 62.5 France 3.6%
  • 54.5 Japan 3.3&
  • 48.2 Saudi Arabia 2.8%
  • 46.8 India 2.5%
  • 46.7 Germany 2.8%
  • 37.0 Italy 2.3%


Global Arms Sales By Supplier Nations

39% United States

18% Russia

8% France

7% United Kingdom

5% Germany

3% China

3% Italy

11% Other European

5% Others


TOP 10 Arms Produces

Notes: An S denotes a subsidiary company. A dash (–) indicates that the company did not rank among the SIPRI Top 100 for 2009

  • Lockheed Martin USA 35,730 33,430 78
  • BAE Systems UK 32,880 32,540 95
  • Boeing USA 31,360 32,300 49
  • Northrop Grumman USA 28,150 27,000 81
  • General Dynamics USA 23,940 23,380 74
  • Raytheon USA 22,980 23,080 91
  • BAE Systems Inc. (BAE Systems, UK) USA 17,900 19,280 100
  • EADS Trans-European 16,360 15,930 27
  • Finmeccanica Italy 14,410 13,280 58 +L-3 Communications USA 13,070 13,010 83
  • United Technologies USA


Widow Winchester's riffle wealth warped her house.

Stairs to ceilings. Windows to walls.

Always slept in a new room,

hiding from shot souls

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

It's not just torment; you are my enemy.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

say hey now enemy

come out and fight with me

I've my canons three

sing from my hanging tree

slide down my mortar

into my dungeon door

and we'll be enemies

forever more

-third grade outsiders

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

This is a rapidly growing population; if you make the mistake of trading land for peace you will have neither.

At the dawn, you will be ordered to the front where you will immediately bury your head in the sand, to serve as an example to others; the enemy is not a benevolent soul.

War is going to find us whether we like it or not and it has nothing at all to do with oil; it's about territory.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

oil is territory

we are not doomed to war

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

It's not about the oil and it's not about religion; it's about a comfortable place to inhabit. Give them your land in exchange for peace, and I guarantee, you'll have neither land nor peace. And war is definitely coming because while you are rolling over, in your multicultural tolerance, we are going to be rolling up and rolling on.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Please excuse me for butting into your conversation with Matt, but I have noticed you have a tendancy to express your opinion in military terms, as if you view the world from a warlike point of view, us vs. them, negotiation not possible, etc. Do you have a military background? Do you think having "a comfortable place to inhabit" is your right? And this oil / land discussion -- are you talking about the Middle East and Israel, etc. or are you making some kind of reference to territory in the US which you might feel is being "invaded" by illegal immigrants?

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

Absolutely, yes. Look... everybody is possessed of a personal presence. But you are only "entitled" to that spatial presence to the extent that you are willing to defend it. Call me militaristic, or whatever you like, but no one is taking my space. And more, I have extended this protection unto western Europe.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago


[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

Yes. those that are immigrating and in many cases, invading, have no interest at all in oil; nor is their presence guided by a desire to Islamicize the world - it is strictly a territorial case of seeking a more comfortable environment; they are being attracted to western Europe for its welfare benefits.

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago


We, conservatives, have a hard time believing in liberal opinions when nearly 32,000 actual scientists disagree with them enough to sign their names and reputations on it.


[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago


The fact that is it getting hotter is NOT in dispute-but many liberals want you to believe that.

The abstract of their work is:

"A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth's weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO2 do not conform to current experimental knowledge. The environmental effects of rapid expansion of the nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries are discussed."


[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

"Peter Sinclair is a long time advocate of environmental awareness and energy alternatives. An award winning graphic artist, illustrator, and animator, Mr. Sinclair runs Greenman Studio from his home in Midland, MI."

Another claim made by someone who is NOT and never has been a "leading scientist". Which does nothing to debunk the data and studies referenced or done by the actual scientists. Even your new favorite "skeptic turned believer" STILL says:

"It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed."


[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago


Only 11% of Americans believe that there is no climate change happening. (More than 11% of US Citizens are Republicans...so clearly they don't ALL believe what you want to imply that they do. You should stop trying to maintain that lie)

But 36% of Americans believe that climate change is happening but is due to natural causes.

And 49% believe climate change is happening AND due to humans.

I'm in an unrepresented category-I believe it is happening and that man does contribute to it, but that we currently don't know how MUCH man contributes to it.

I could care less what politicians of any stripe or platform think about Global warming. I don't base my viewpoints on positions or opinions.


[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

Well, I think people have questioned global warming from its very inception simply because on initial analysis it made no sense - to the casual observer it would immediately appear that chemical particulates have diffusive and reflective properties; the earth should therefore cool rather than warm, and in fact I'm not certain that it hasn't.

All the more perturbing when it was learned they had falsified a congressional report and that there were plans of a global super authority.

I think we gained valuable insight though respecting atmospheric conditions which we will no doubt use in the future. And it has initiated a trend in tech which is cool for both the consumer and the toy man; far less cool for the man who is supplying our crude.

I don't like the anti-American stance of our current oil politics, either.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

I think the technology and research done because of the whole issue is fabulous. The more we learn, the more we realize we didn't know before. I'm all for tons of research being done regarding our environment. I was extremely disappointed when NASA's Carbon monitoring satellite crashed.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

Crystal solar... cool.

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

I don't even have to engage in sophistry to expose YOU as the ultimate sophist. All I have to do is put your past statements up against your current ones and the propaganda becomes obvious.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 10 years ago

We can take this to the next level... the "fact" is that human beings are very likely the most emotional creature that has ever walked, ran, crawled or swam, the planet Earth.

Emotional sorting, the need of cognitive ability, is precisely what has created language... without language we cannot speak to others; more importantly, we cannot even speak to ourselves - without language there can be no cognitive ability.

Desire is the fuel of our vehicle; without desire one does not put one foot in front of the other.

We wouldn't even get out of bed in the morning is it wasn't for the fact that we are no longer happy being there.

Sexual tension... has always existed between the parents and child, between generations, and rightfully so... because parents understand not only the value of sex which serves both family and societal structure but also the danger wrought through the squander of this value.

Believe me, you have to be like 50 years old to understand this... it's not until grandchildren impose adulthood on you, until they look to you to be the respectable adult (you can blow off the children because there it's about power and control but there is no escaping this when it concerns grandchildren, there are no "power" issues between child and grandparent) that you being to understand - grandchildren will force you to be the adult. And only then, do we, and males in particular, begin to understand that sex and sexuality have a value, and that we need to take a step backwards to defer to some cause higher than self.

The 60's Sexual Revolution was not the first in America's history - it was our third. And those that preceded it, occurred for very similar reasons.

The Right, unfortunately, is not wrong regarding sexual matters. We should be more respectful of each other, we should value sex more than we do; we should organize family and the resultant societal structure better than we do. And the only way to do this is to rein in sexuality, to grow it's value.

I don't measure the Right in sexual terms; I see them as more religious for both communal and economic reasons. And anything that is not "immoral" and serves their microcosm of society well, I will grant a full approbation, whether I fully agree or disagree - so call me a "liberal" - but I am not, and you won't

Conservative and Liberal are very easy to define - the Conservative owns his or her house outright and sweats no one, on any issue, he doesn't really even care... the Liberal owes everyone and attacks everybody because he wants a greater share. And THIS is what caused our "sexual" revolution... it has caused ALL of our sexual revolutions. But unfortunately this last one freed women to be wage slaves to our purpose and that in turn has ramped up the tension of sexual freedom.

I don't care what women do as long as they bring home the bacon and frie it up for me in a pan; I earned the right to be here.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

You seem to make constant reference to the fact that I have used the somewhat colorful words "ape brains" to describe our evolutionary history, to which we are all inseparately linked. I asked this before and you did not respond, so I will ask it again -- Do you deny our evolutionary past? or do you think that somebody upstairs just snapped his fingers and Presto! -- out popped Adam and Eve, or some such similar story?

The similarities between the great apes and humans have been well documented by science. My use of the word "ape brain" is primarily intended to represent that humans should not be considered in some special category above the rest of the species on this planet. As a matter of fact, in some ways, I have greater respect for the so-called lesser species that co-inhabit this planet with us than I do for homo sapiens. They do not knowlingly destroy their environment and the environment of others. They take only what they need from Nature and do not exploit Nature far above-and-beyond what Nature can provide. They are pure and innocent and only want to co-exist with us and to be left alone. And we reward them with extinction or near-extinction.

So, yeah, based on everything I have had an opportunity to observe about humanity in general for several decades, I do not necessarily hold homo sapiens in high regard as a species. Does that bother you?

[-] -1 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

Why do you lack the same regard for homo sapiens that you have for other species? We just evolved this way. It's not our fault. I find your expectations for us to perform at some higher level than we have currently evolved to, to be completely irrational.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 10 years ago

Sorry Betsy. As previously indicated in another comment, I'm not going to come out and play with you anymore. You have proven that this forum is all some type of game or amusement for you...your "Social science experiment". I am not interested in wasting my time with such frivolity.

[-] 0 points by BetsyRoss (-744) 10 years ago

I never even suggested that I find science, or specifically the study of human behavior to be a game or amusement. But clearly you personally find at least Social Science to be frivolous. That belief will surely complicate your quest to understand others in society and why they think and react the way they do.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

calls for campaign finances reform existed before I was born

but I think the hold on politics is more social than financial

those with money do have more time and ability to work with each other