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Bloggingheads
12-14-2007, 09:39 AM

thprop
12-14-2007, 09:58 AM
Ten minutes into this diavlog - and thinking about Jackie Shire. Wondering how many of these institutes exist. Jackie is with ISIS - The Institute for Science and International Security. (http://www.isis-online.org/) Much smaller than CISAC where Rhodes is - only three full time staff. The Center for International Security and Cooperation (http://cisac.stanford.edu/) is a big institute at Stanford. Maybe as a counter to the Hoover Institution. (http://www.hoover.org/)

Cirincione has just skipped from the start of the Cold War to the 1970's. I guess as a liberal he cannot look at the acceleration of the arms race under John Kennedy. In 1960, JFK ran at Nixon from the right - talking about the missile gap and bomber gap. JFK wanted to build a nuclear bomber - nuclear propelled that is. Eisenhower went out of his way to get a true picture of the arms balance with the USSR. He took great risks to approve the U-2 overflights. He told Kennedy that these gaps did not exist. Before leaving office, Ike warned about the military-industrial complex. Kennedy governed as if his campaign rhetoric was true and started all sorts of new arms programs.

thprop
12-14-2007, 10:52 AM
I was disappointed that the only reference to JFK was when Cirincione brought up his warning about proliferation. I have not seen the Rhodes book but he talks as if all these problems started in the 1970's - as a counter to the Carter presidency.

Remember that the neo-conservatives all pretty much started out as Democrats. Their hero was Senator "Scoop" Jackson. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoop_jackson) Jeane Kirkpatrick led the move out of the Democratic Party to the Republicans after McGovern won the nomination in 1972. Richard Perle's first job was as a staffer to Jackson. It is bad enough that Perle and his fellow travelers took over American foreign policy under Bush/Cheney. The fact that he singlehandedly got Reagan to dig in his heels on SDI is infuriating. (http://brainwaveweb.com/diavlogs/7411?in=00:32:40&out=00:34:50) That Perle considers this incident to be the high point of his public career is all you need to know about this piece of crap.

You have to go back to JFK to see where this all really took hold. Rhodes talks about threat inflation. I agree completely. The threat was inflated at the start of the cold war. Ike managed to tone it down. I have come to regard Eisenhower as one of the greatest US presidents. He managed to keep a lid on the wackos in the country - especially the China firsters. Who lost China - as if it were ours to lose. Ike used all his prestige as a World War II hero to assure the country that the threat was under control. As he left office, he warned the country about the military industrial complex. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_industrial_complex)

Kennedy comes in - after campaigning as more anti-communist than Richard Nixon. He inflates the threat and commits the US to action. In his inaugural address (http://www.bartleby.com/124/pres56.html), people took the following words as inspirational - rather than the response to the threat he had inflated:
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

Until things started to go bad, the hawks and neo-cons ran the foreign policy of the Democratic Party.

bjkeefe
12-14-2007, 12:20 PM
What a treat it is to have Richard Rhodes on BH.tv. As I've mentioned before, I've read his first two books on nuclear weapons repeatedly, and I could not recommend them more highly. I can't wait to read the new one.

I sure hope he comes back, and I'd really enjoy it if he were to debate someone who has a more favorable view of nuclear weapons.

bjkeefe
12-14-2007, 12:29 PM
thprop:

I suspected during this diavlog that there would be plenty of irritation from non-lefties. Your criticisms of the content of the diavlog are well-founded and you're right about where the neocons came from.

However, I'd say that based on my reading of Rhodes's first two books, you'll probably find a much more even-handed treatment of JFK, and Democrats in general, in the book. Rhodes is a highly disciplined historian; he is, for example, not overly kind to the Truman Administration in either of his first two books.

I think it's obvious that neither side is blame-free for the misguided policies of the Cold War and would be willing to bet you'll get the full story by reading. I suspect the one-sided emphasis in this diavlog came for two reasons: the role played by so many of the people who were responsible for threat escalation during the 1970s and 1980s who got senior positions in the GWB Administration, and the historical parallels of the Cold War and the War on Terror.

ohcomeon
12-14-2007, 12:31 PM
I agree! What a treat. I can't wait to get this book. It sounds like it may soften my disposition toward President Reagan.

bjkeefe
12-14-2007, 12:45 PM
ohc:

It sounds like it may soften my disposition toward President Reagan.

Yeah, me too. (*sigh*)

Bloggin' Noggin
12-14-2007, 01:44 PM
Wow! I watched this one a week ago, or somthing like that. I held off commenting to please Nate, but now I don't remember it well enough to say much about it. I guess that'll teach me that I should never both watch early and obey Nate again. Actually, I'm not sure I can watch anything early with the new set-up.
I remember enjoying the diavlog anyway. Guess I may have to watch it again.

piscivorous
12-14-2007, 03:36 PM
This whole diavlog seems to be one great session of I like the results but the policies that lead to the successful results were all wrong and if you would have done it the way that "I" prefer everything would have still been successful. I personally like that the flawed policies of Ronald Reagan which lead to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, I also like the failed policies of the Bush administration that has resulted in the decommissioning and hopefully to the destruction of the North Korean heavy water reactor, I also like the fact that the failed policies of the Bush administration has removed two of the worst regimens that existed in the world and provided the opportunity to millions of people to try and form a better way of life, I also like the failed policies of the Bush administration that has now successfully put an end to the nuclear weapons ambitions of four countries, if you believe the latest NIE, and I also like the failed policy of the Bush administration that has taken the WOT to the middle east where ever more and more Muslims get to see the results of al-Qaeda and wear their welcome out post haste.

But them I'm just a right wing fanatic. As Sun-Tzu said a leader to respect is one who plans and calculates like a hungry man”, who sanctions every manner of deceit provided it is necessary to gain strategic advantage, who is never swayed by public opinion, and “who advances without any thought of winning personal fame and withdraws in spite of certain punishment” if he judges it to be in the interest of his army and his state

Wonderment
12-14-2007, 06:28 PM
This is arguably the biggest problem facing humanity. Right up there with climate change, peak oil (peak everything!) and the plight of the bottom billion.

There is a window of opportunity with the neo-con demise in 09 for liberals and conservatives (like Kissinger and Schultz) to make serious progress on the abolition of nuclear weapons. It's going to take a major international miracle worthy of a dozen Nobel prizes, but achieving a once-in-a-century consensus on abolition may be possible. It can't be done without US and Russian leadership.

Wonderment
12-14-2007, 06:35 PM
This was Reagan at his best. He was still awful in a myriad of other ways, but he and Gorby had this very radical vision of nuclear abolition and peace, and they almost pulled it off. That would have been one of the most amazing accomplishments of any president ever.

On the other hand, the last segment of the conversation alludes to Reagan the defense spendaholic, and I won't even start on all the other reasons to despise his politics.

Bush does help ALL former presidents look good, however. Even Nixon.

bjkeefe
12-14-2007, 07:01 PM
Until today, I hadn't heard that Reagan was making a serious effort at the Iceland talks with Gorbachev. Learn something new each day!

Castaa
12-14-2007, 07:35 PM
SUCH a good diavlog. The discussion of a nuclear armed world needs to change. I applaud BH.tv for having those two folks on. I would like to see a pro-nuclear arms supporter to debate Richard Rhodes just for the sake of balance. Even though I am 100% behind what he said.

piscivorous
12-14-2007, 07:41 PM
I agree that Rhodes is an interesting fellow and it would have been a much better diavlog if he were paired with with someone that is less his ideological soul mate than Cirincione.

bjkeefe
12-14-2007, 07:59 PM
pisc:

I urge you to read his books. He's not nearly as partisan (at least in the first two -- haven't read the new one yet).

piscivorous
12-14-2007, 08:08 PM
I have read some of his stuff and like I said he is an interesting fellow but he is fairly left, in a non partisan way, and it does show through in his work but not nearly like it does here. That is a reflection of being paired with Cirincione who is defiantly partisan and vocal about it. This essentially disfigures what I thought would be an interesting diavlog when I saw that Rhodes was one of the participants.

garbagecowboy
12-15-2007, 02:11 AM
I haven't watched the diavlog (h/t Brendan) or read Rhodes's new book, but The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun are two of the greatest books I have ever read and do not come off as overly partisan; the only things I would say that seem vaguely partisan are the hagiographic tone taken towards Szilard who came to see the light with regards to nukes and the vague demonization of Teller in Dark Sun.

That said, both works are absolute tours de force in terms of historical research and absolute works of art in terms of crafting a non-fiction narrative. Hardly ever have I read a book that weighs as much as The Making of the Atomic Bomb and hardly been able to put it down until it was finished.

JIM3CH
12-15-2007, 02:50 AM
Richard Rhodes’ logic does not compute with me. He equates high military spending with decaying infrastructure. But the way that I see it, a large portion (I would believe most) of the money spent on defence went into the pockets of scientists and engineers working for defence contractors, who, in turn, were tax payers. The nation’s infrastructure, i.e., highways, blossomed during the height of the cold war. The loss of interest in maintaining that infrastructure seems to be a more recent phenomenon arising after, rather than during, the cold war.

The utility and morality of nuclear weapons is a different question. When I look into the eyes of Putin or Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il or even GW Bush for that matter, I don’t see much room for optimism regarding disarmament. However, I think that we can be realists in terms of the numbers of nuclear weapons that we maintain. Personally I would wish for a massive decrease in the numbers of nuclear weapons (using the recovered nuclear material to fuel fast reactors for electricity and hydrogen production for example) corresponding with a massive build-up of our conventional forces and military related R&D.

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 07:01 AM
Jim3ch:

There's a little something to your idea of paying weapons researchers, who in turn pumped money back into the economy, but I don't agree with your reasoning that their tax payments should have been able to make up the difference in maintaining the nation's infrastructure.

In the first place, only part of their income is returned as taxes. These monies get split up among the myriad programs that the government pays for, only one of which would be road and bridge maintenance. Another part, of course, would be more spending on weapons programs. So, it seems to me that you're arguing that a fraction of the money that could have been spent on roads should equate to however much more the government could have spent had it not been paying for weapons.

I do agree that the nation's highways blossomed during the Cold War, at least the building of new ones and the improving of existing smaller roads, but I don't think it's fair to say that infrastructure, overall, got this amount of attention. Certainly the railroads were neglected, especially the passenger-carrying part. I suspect that a fair amount of big bridges and tunnels were also not heavily maintained, since a lot of them had been built by the WPA during the 1930s, and so did not need much maintenance. I think you're right that the neglect of maintenance did get worse later on, due to a combination of structures nearing the end of their design lives and administrations that had other priorities. Like spending on weapons.

I'm glad to hear your voice of support for reducing the number of nukes. I don't understand why you think we need a "massive build-up of our conventional forces and military related R&D," though. R&D I can understand, although I'd rather see more non-military research spending, but why do you want so many more conventional forces? We're not likely to be fighting major wars against other nation-states at any time soon.

JIM3CH
12-15-2007, 09:49 AM
Massive is the wrong word. But I tend to believe in the “speak softly and carry a big stick” philosophy. I subscribe to the theory that investment in a large peace-time military is a good investment in pro-longed peace.

I see no evidence that having a large peacetime military is not good for the economy. It basically means jobs. Good jobs. Jobs as soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and jobs as professionals, both military and civilian. It also means more opportunities for higher education, more professionals with a broader experience base, and even a little bit more (gasp in horror!) patriotism.

And, at least in my experience, military R&D programs tend to be efficient. It’s amazing, actually, how many developments, even in disciplines as benign as mathematics (e.g., Fourier series) or thermo-dynamics (e.g., thermal conductivity), had their beginnings in military R&D. There are also lots of civilian spin-offs. The entire nuclear industry in the US was a spin-off from nuclear submarine design.

The US has a real strong suit in technological superiority of military equipment and tactics. That was the one thing we proved in Iraq. I think we should cultivate that ability further, but paid for by savings realized as we dismantle our nuclear weapons industry. There is no reason that the US could not achieve the capacity for retaliatory blitzkrieg using conventional weaponry alone.

Imagine having, maybe, a few more nuclear submarines, armed with large numbers of more and more sophisticated precision conventional weaponry. Attackers beware. Throw in some competent intelligence sources and the Bin Ladins of the world are going to find that they have a strange habit of blowing up in the night while they sleep no matter where they are…, sorry about that Mr. Musharraf.

Oh, and Mr. Amadinejad, are you sure you won’t reconsider and allow those IAEA inspectors to visit the building located at such and such coordinates? Please give me your answer before breakfast tomorrow morning…

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 09:50 AM
While I know you are opposed to the Iraq front which in and of it self show why we need to and are expanding the Army and Marines. The conflicts we are likely to face in the near to medium term are probably going to be along the lines of Afghanistan and Iraq. Short highly kinetic combat followed by long term commitments to stabilization and nation building. The current authorized force levels, of the Army and Marines, is insufficient to sustain this period of extended stabilization and nation building hence all the talk we hear about "breaking the services." We currently are unable to sustain a force of some 160,000 troops in Iraq and 45,000 in Afghanistan hence the need to expand the ground force levels.

ohcomeon
12-15-2007, 10:30 AM
Ok, where is the science?

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 10:33 AM
jim, pisc:

I buy some of both of your arguments, in particular that we could use some more troops who are good at special forces types of maneuvers, and another component trained for peacekeeping/occupation. I'd also like to see the active-duty military built up to the point where we wouldn't need to deplete the National Guard when we do get into a quagmire.

I'm less sure about the efficiency of military research. I grant there have been plenty of spinoffs, but I think lots of that has to do with the reality that that's where the money was spent. Having spent nearly a decade doing DoD-sponsored research, I am of the opinion that there is an awful lot of corporate welfare going on. Revolving doors, pork barrel spending, and coziness between buyers and sellers are also all too common a part of the funding choices. The DoD budget, in round numbers and not counting "emergency funding" for Iraq and Afghanistan, plus various "black programs," is about half a trillion dollars. Every year. Admittedly, this is not all R&D spending. Still, I'd like to bet that we could get more bang for the buck by spending some of that money on other things, and by funding different methods of R&D.

Look at the X Prize, for example. The guy who ran that basically raised about a million bucks, bought an insurance policy against anyone winning the prize, and used the insurance payout of $10 million as the prize money. The company that won spent far more than $10 million to win, because it perceived long term benefits from the R&D that went into winning the prize.

Another example: Google effectively spends 20% of its budget for employee compensation on internal R&D -- they tell their workers that they should spend one day a week doing whatever project interests them. Seems to be working for them, from what I can tell.

Something to think about.

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 11:43 AM
...when we do get into a quagmire.

Dictionary.com
quagmire \KWAG-myr; KWOG-\, noun:
1. Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet.
2. A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament. It would be beneficial to understand what is your particular definition of "quagmire" is before I can address your concerns. As it seems that most tricky situations in life can be described as a "quagmire" of one sort or another. If it is just another repatition of a leftist talking point; conversation is moot anyways.

JIM3CH
12-15-2007, 11:54 AM
Brendan,

As usual you make good points. I don’t know how much money the US would save if nuclear weapons were to be scraped; but I would like to think there would be enough so that we could have both a stronger conventional military and bridges that don’t buckle.

Unfortunately I keep hearing about the next generation nukes, the reliable replacement weapon (RRW), and the myriad reasons why we need them.

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 12:00 PM
I find it interesting that one can call for the reduction of Military R&D on one of the very results from such Military R&D. Would the Internet exist without the expenditure of research funds from DOD and DARPA (and it's predecessor) that laid the base for it?

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 12:31 PM
pisc:

It would be beneficial to understand what is your particular definition of "quagmire" is ...

If you cannot understand "quagmire" as a metaphor for Iraq, especially after looking at the second definition you yourself took the trouble to reproduce, you really have reached new lows in denying reality. Spin recent bits of news all you want, but the fact is no one, even the most eager-to-invade neocons, ever thought (or worried) that we'd still be bogged down there, lo these many years later. Don't you remember how we were supposed to be welcomed with candy and flowers? How the purple fingers meant the Iraqi people were "embracing democracy?" How it was just a few "dead-enders, if you will" that needed mopping up? And how many times "six months" was given as the expected time to finish the job?

There's partisan loyalty, and then there's just sheer denial. In your obtuseness about the term "quagmire," you're suffering from the latter.

And please don't ask me to explain how being an angle between 90 and 180 degrees has anything to do with this.

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 12:36 PM
Jim:

As usual you make good points.

Thanks.

Unfortunately I keep hearing about the next generation nukes, the reliable replacement weapon (RRW), and the myriad reasons why we need them.

People have been selling the need for these things for more than half a century now, as Richard Rhodes pointed out. I'm not surprised, therefore, that you keep hearing the commercials. The question is whether you believe them.

I grant the reality of needing to maintain a small deterrence capability, now that the nuclear cat is out of the bag. I also don't have a problem with some upgrading. But I'd really like to see more money spent on, say, securing the Russian nukes and lobbying other countries to renounce their nuclear ambitions.

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 12:41 PM
pisc:

I find it interesting that one can call for the reduction of Military R&D on one of the very results from such Military R&D. Would the Internet exist without the expenditure of research funds from DOD and DARPA (and it's predecessor) that laid the base for it?

If you'll recall from my previous comment, I acknowledged that some good had come from military R&D. I also went on to say that this was probably inevitable, given that the bulk of government funding for R&D had been earmarked in this way.

So, sure. I'm glad DARPA developed the ARPAnet. But it wasn't the DoD that made the Internet into what it is today. It was private citizens and companies, from Tim Berners-Lee to Netscape to Google, along with thousands of open-source hackers, several for-profit companies, and the rare good sense of the government to leave it alone while it was growing.

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 01:21 PM
If you cannot understand "quagmire" as a metaphor for Iraq As suspected your just a leftist talking point. I can remember a certain earlier president Clinton I believe was his name who assured us that Bosnia would only take a year then two now better than a decade latter we are still evolved in that quagmire. One that looks to get interesting again given the current intransigence there.

As far as Spin recent bits of news... I don't really need to do so as the elected leadership of the Democratic party is doing that just fine for me when you contrast the latest musing from the likes of Harry "the war is lost" Reid and John "redeploy over the horizon" Murtha and quite a number of others.

Don't you remember how we were supposed to be welcomed with candy and flowers In many instances and places we were and in still are. But candy and flowers are not bombs and explosions so rarely if ever make the news.

Do I gloss over the problems in Iraq I don't believe so as I have provide plenty of links that tell both the good and the bad. Right now the good is outweighing the bad as is evident of the dearth of coverage, compared to say May and June or most of 2006, yet the message is getting out that there has been considerable progress in the security front in Iraq, as recent polling data shows. Half of the Iraqi provinces are not under direct Iraqi control, in many parts of Anbar province, the heart of the insurgency, life is returning to a semblance of normality as are large sections of Baghdad.

I have never particularly thought that any accomplishments in Iraq were going to be achieved in a 6 month time frame. I don't believe that any country that has been brutalized and subjugated for two to three generations is going to change like a flip of a coin. If you did then shame on you. It is only with a long term commitment to producing change can the societal problems introduced by the brutality of a multi generational dictatorship be over come. It is the children and grandchildren of the current generations of adults that will cement this change which means that we will have to be there for quite sometime yet. I expected 5-10 years of low intensity warfare when we went into Iraq so I am not as convinced that Iraq is a "quagmire" in the derogative sense you wish it to convey.

JIM3CH
12-15-2007, 01:36 PM
For starters, how about almost anything having to do with Aviation. Certainly all flight avionics, all aviation navigation developments, and many airframe enhancements including light weight high strength composites and high efficiency jet engines. I don’t think I exaggerate at all when I say that the overall high safety record and relatively cheap travel cost realised by civil aviation worldwide has its roots in developments achieved through military aviation R&D.

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 01:55 PM
pisc:

Never fails. Mention a Bush blunder and the right can't wait to say "What about Clinton?"

The rest of your post was pretty good. I can only say I wish I heard more talk like your last paragraph from the people who sold the war in the first place.

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 02:00 PM
Yes it's great that a bunch of capitalists used the basic research and tools made available through R&D efforts funded by the DOD and DARPA. If one looks at the development of HTML and it's progenitors, the magic behind the WEB, it to comes from funds provided by DARPA and the DOD. Just got to love those capitalists though as they will always find a way to make a buck from the efforts of others.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants Sir Issac Newton

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 02:08 PM
I only bring President Clinton into this to highlight the hypocrisy of your position that since we are still in Iraq and everything is not perfect it is therefore a "quagmire." One could very well argue that since the congress can't fulfill it's legal responsibilities of passing spending bills it is the biggest quagmire of them all and we should redeploy to say Russia which is a bit of a "quagmire" itself but I don't hear the call for retreat from representative governance or disengagement with Russia.

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 02:21 PM
pisc:

I don't see how anyone -- even you -- can compare Bosnia and Iraq, especially considering the amount of troop levels, the duration of the commitment, the casualty rates, and the financial burdens. Let's not forget, as well, the lack of support shown by the Republican-controlled Congress to the then Commander-in-Chief.

As for comparing the current Congress to Russia, you've stumped me. I can't debate something that I don't understand.

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 02:39 PM
Well we are finally getting around to your definition of what a quagmire is. It has to to do with ...troop levels, the duration of the commitment, the casualty rates, and the financial burdens it is a solely a measure of costs human and financial. With no considerations of what are your goals, in any undertaking, and evaluations of what progress you are or are not making towards achieving those goals, so that you can make adjustments and course corrections, by your stipulated measures most difficult undertakings will sooner or later fall into the definition of "quagmire."

bjkeefe
12-15-2007, 03:16 PM
pisc:

... adjustments and course corrections ...

I nominate you for the BH.tv Euphemism of the Week, Iraq Division.

rigger
12-15-2007, 03:20 PM
No matter which side of the aisle you inhabit, this interview is a brilliant example of why historians need to break out of these divisions we keep dividing time into. To see the same group of individuals popping up again and again, using their ideological cant to influence decisions, shows us the error of hard and fast historical divisions. It is not just a pendulum swinging back and forth. Many thanks to our blogging heads for a new line of historical analysis.

piscivorous
12-15-2007, 03:34 PM
Thats why I enjoy conversing with you so much Brendon your propensity to use rather poor attempts at snide humor and implied insult to keep the focus on the conversation.

Wonderment
12-15-2007, 05:23 PM
I grant the reality of needing to maintain a small deterrence capability, now that the nuclear cat is out of the bag. I also don't have a problem with some upgrading. But I'd really like to see more money spent on, say, securing the Russian nukes and lobbying other countries to renounce their nuclear ambitions.

Modern and ever-improving surveillance and inspection regimes make real abolition possible. It's a matter of committing to the goal. Perhaps it was premature when Gorby and Reagan proposed abolition, but not any more. There is an international campaign that sets the year 2020 as a viable abolition date.

If we were capable of a Manhattan Project that recruited the best and brightest scientists to create nukes, we can surely put together an Abolition Project that will safely eliminate nuclear weapons and ensure against future nuclear arms races. It's the political will that's lacking.

The good news is that the vast majority of nations are already on board. This whole hemisphere is a nuclear free zone (except for the US). Africa is nuclear free. There's a huge anti-nuclear consensus already out there.

bjkeefe
12-16-2007, 05:10 AM
Wonderment:

It's a nice thought you express, and some days, I pretty much agree with it. However, I usually don't think surveillance and other detection schemes can give full confidence.

First, I don't agree with your comparison to the Manhattan Project. In effect, that was an existence proof -- the team at Los Alamos showed something hypothetical could actually be done. The flip side -- assembling a team of the best and brightest to come up with a way to ensure the absence of nukes -- would be much like attempting to proving nonexistence. As we know, this is very hard, if not impossible, to do.

There's a second problem: human nature. As we moved towards a state of complete abolition, there would almost certainly be some who would not trust "those others" to be keeping their word, and they would not be convinced by claims from their own side that no weapons had been detected. Whether those who would remain unconvinced would be thinking rationally about it is not really the issue. Demagoguery and preying on people's fears have long been successful political tactics. I remind you of the oft-repeated "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud" statement of just a few years ago.

Therefore, I tend to think that maintaining a small nuclear capability may be the better approach, at least until we as a planet are more capable of overcoming xenophobia and provincialism. I am happy to hear you advocating complete abolition, and I'm happy every time I hear someone pushing for this -- it helps move us in the right direction. The good thing is that whether one believes zero nukes or a few nukes is the desired goal, the path is the same, at least for a good part of the journey. So, at minimum, you and I can be allies on this issue until we get down to tens of weapons.

There is one other reason to maintain a nuclear capability, it seems to me: The possibility that we might want to use these devices to nudge away an object headed for Earth. It may turn out that there are better ways to deal with such problems, but for the time being, I think we can't discard this option. Ideally, we'd place these under some kind of international control, but I think we're a ways away from setting up such a program yet.

bjkeefe
12-16-2007, 06:55 AM
pisc:

Thats why I enjoy conversing with you so much Brendon your propensity to use rather poor attempts at snide humor and implied insult ...

Oddly enough, it is for those very reasons that I dislike conversing with you.

If you look at some of my other comments, you'll note that my tone tends to reflect who I am responding to. Unlike the vast majority of people who post comments on this board, you seem unwilling to acknowledge the worth of anyone else's viewpoint. Instead, you invariably respond by characterizing people who disagree with you as speaking in "leftist talking points" (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=66559&postcount=27) or as coming from a different planet (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=66616&postcount=4).

I am also annoyed by your evident unwillingness to budge on any of your viewpoints. I have yet to see you say, to anybody on this board, "you might be right about that" or even "I understand your point." You seem unwilling to entertain even the possibility of changing your mind on issues where the evidence continues to mount against you; e.g., the Iraq invasion and global warming. Instead, you redouble your efforts to search out obscure links that support your preconceived notions and accuse everyone else of avoiding "fact-based" arguments. Finally, whenever it's clear that someone else is making a better case than you, you tend to go off on a tangent of blaming Clinton, blaming the Democratic members of Congress, blaming the media, or blaming scientists for being politically motivated.

I don't mind that you fundamentally disagree with me on just about any issue we could name. In fact, I welcome that. It's just that I'd like to see you display a modicum of flexibility about your cherished beliefs once in a while, or acknowledge that someone else's opinion might have as much merit as yours. But you don't. Worse, the longer anyone goes back and forth with you, the more strident you become. It is not possible to have a reasonable discussion with you.

Hence my tone, when responding to your replies.

scrongbaps
12-16-2007, 04:38 PM
Has anyone else tried to download the podcast (audio) version of this diavlog? When I downloaded it, I got a diavlog from Science Saturday instead. The same thing happens if I manually download the MP3 from the website. Does anyone know where I can find the MP3 audio of this diavlog, so I may stick it on my iPod?

bjkeefe
12-16-2007, 05:09 PM
scrongbaps:

For an issue like yours, I recommend emailing support@bloggingheads.tv. They're generally quick to respond, and I'm sure they'd want to know about this soonest.

TwinSwords
12-16-2007, 05:54 PM
If one looks at the development of HTML and it's progenitors, the magic behind the WEB, it to comes from funds provided by DARPA and the DOD.
No, you're wrong.

The foundational technology for the internet, including (and especially) TCP/IP was the result of DARPA.

But HTML, HTTP, and the World Wide Web were all invented by Tim Berners-Lee while he was working at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research).

Yes, that's right: the godless socialists!

piscivorous
12-16-2007, 07:18 PM
You are correct the the HTML itself was invented by Tim Berners-Lee. But HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is an extension of SGML (Standardized General Markup Language) which grew out of GML (General Markup Language) which much to my chagrin was an effort by IBM and Charles Goldfarb as a means of allowing for the text editing, formatting, and information retrieval documents independent of systems architecture and operating systems. This was done primarily with benefits in mind to the publishing and printing businesses the DOD was only one of the early adapters.


Those dam capitalists and there socialist collaborators.

P.S. When I was getting my CS degree from A&M I took some courses by a professor who insisted everything we turned in be written in C using a software system called TeX (LaTeX for PCs nowadays). It to is an offshoot of SGML but it has in integrated compiler so that the finished work was in this format. Block of text explaining the code that follows repeated by another block of text explaining the code that followed..... As much of the stuff we were doing was integral calculus and differential equations requiring matrix manipulation the basic <table></table>to represent the matrices was heavily used. This is in the same time period Tim Berners-Lee was developing HTML.

TwinSwords
12-16-2007, 07:48 PM
You are correct the the HTML itself was invented by Tim Berners-Lee.
Along with HTTP and (thus) the WWW.


But HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is an extension of SGML (Standardized General Markup Language) which grew out of GML (General Markup Language) which much to my chagrin was an effort by IBM and Charles Goldfarb as a means of allowing for the text editing, formatting, and information retrieval documents independent of systems architecture and operating systems.
Much to your chagrin?

Why's that?



This was done primarily with benefits in mind to the publishing and printing businesses the DOD was only one of the early adapters.

Those dam capitalists and there socialist collaborators.
Piscivorous: I haven't followed this entire discussion, so I don't really know how you got onto this tangent. But as a general rule, I would agree with what appears to be the point you are making: That federal funds can lead to massive benefits for the nation and the economy.

I wouldn't expect you to be making that point. Aren't you a conservative? And shouldn't you therefore try to disprove and undermine any suggestion that government can do anything worthwhile?

Or is it just because it was a military project that you are defending it?

piscivorous
12-16-2007, 08:42 PM
I hate it when I rely solely on my memory, instead of refreshing it first, and it fails me so much to my chagrin. The tangent of how and where HTML was derived from is just that to emphasize the meaning behind the quote from my original comment

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants
Sir Issac Newton

While I greatly appreciate Tim Berners-Lee contribution, the WEB is defiantly much better than telnet and FTP, it is the perfect example of the quote. Take two existing tecnologies throw in a little ingenuity and what marvelous results.

I generally only tend to comment on a few themes here on bloggingheads and since I hold points of views contrary to the majority of commenters I can understand why many believe I am a right wing fanatic. Such is life

garbagecowboy
12-16-2007, 08:45 PM
There is one other reason to maintain a nuclear capability, it seems to me: The possibility that we might want to use these devices to nudge away an object headed for Earth. It may turn out that there are better ways to deal with such problems, but for the time being, I think we can't discard this option. Ideally, we'd place these under some kind of international control, but I think we're a ways away from setting up such a program yet.

I don't think that we're going to get rid of nukes for deterrence, but as mentioned in the other diavlog... the only technology we have for nudging earth-bound space junk out of the way is nukes.

The nuclear genie is out of the bottle... and it's not going back in.

TwinSwords
12-16-2007, 08:54 PM
I hate it when I rely solely on my memory, instead of refreshing it first, and it fails me so much to my chagrin.
Good point. Me, too. I recently told a wingnut from memory that 90% of the torture victims at GITMO were innocent and eventually released. The wingnut demanded a source, so I looked it up, and it turns out the number reported by the US military was 70% - 90%. Needless to say, the wingnut made the entire debate into the difference between "90%" and "70% - 90%."



While I greatly appreciate Tim Berners-Lee contribution, the WEB is defiantly much better than telnet and FTP, it is the perfect example of the quote. Take two existing tecnologies throw in a little ingenuity and what marvelous results.
Good point. It's an important concept, and the Newton quote is perfect.



I generally only tend to comment on a few themes here on bloggingheads and since I hold points of views contrary to the majority of commenters I can understand why many believe I am a right wing fanatic. Such is life
Oh, so you're not a right wing fanatic? ;)

Actually, now that you mention it, I guess none of us probably fits the crude characterizations made by our opponents...

TwinSwords
12-16-2007, 08:59 PM
I don't think that we're going to get rid of nukes for deterrence, but as mentioned in the other diavlog... the only technology we have for nudging earth-bound space junk out of the way is nukes.

The nuclear genie is out of the bottle... and it's not going back in.

For users who aren't using the threaded display mode, there's no way to tell who you are responding to without scrolling back through the whole thread, searching with CTRL-F, or switching to Threaded Mode.

This is the kind of thing that will make the forum more trouble than it is worth for many users.

You can indicate whom you are replying to by simply adding an equals sign and their name in the quote tag, like this:

[quote=garbagecowboy]

The result will be like this:

some text here


Of course, it is even easier than that if you just use the Quote button on the post you are replying to. (Why wouldn't you?)

piscivorous
12-16-2007, 09:07 PM
Well let me offer you another obscure link to reinforce your contention where the evidence continues to mount against you; e.g., the Iraq invasion the British center/left rag called the Prospect. http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?search_term=Mission+Accomplish ed&id=9804

I found this part interestingUnderstanding this expensive victory is a matter of understanding the remaining violence. Now that Iraq's biggest questions have been resolved--break-up? No. Shia victory? Yes. Will violence make the Americans go home? No. Do Iraqis like voting? Yes. Do they like Iraq? Yes--Iraq's violence has largely become local and criminal. The biggest fact about Iraq today is that the violence, while tragic, has ceased being political, and is therefore no longer nearly as important as it was. Some of the violence--that paid for by foreigners or motivated by Islam's crazed fringes--will not recede in a hurry. Iraq has a lot of Islam and long, soft borders. But the rest of Iraq's violence is local: factionalism, revenge cycles, crime, power plays. It will largely cease once Iraq has had a few more years to build up its security apparatus.

P.S. Took me awhile to refined this "obscure link" concerning your second contention where the evidence continues to mount against you; e.g., the Iraq invasion and global warming. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-12/w-nsi121107.php

ROCHESTER, NY (Dec. 11, 2007) — A new study comparing the composite output of 22 leading global climate models with actual climate data finds that the models do an unsatisfactory job of mimicking climate change in key portions of the atmosphere.

This research, published on-line Wednesday in the Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology*, raises new concerns about the reliability of models used to forecast global warming.

piscivorous
12-16-2007, 09:17 PM
Of course I am! I eat the stray dogs and cats for breakfast and lunch and keep the neighborhood kids locked in the closet after school counting my pennies.

garbagecowboy
12-16-2007, 09:23 PM
I actually just did; check out the Bob/Mickey diavlog; I quoted your defense of not using the threaded view to write why I think the threaded view is better. Ironic.

TwinSwords
12-16-2007, 10:46 PM
I actually just did; check out the Bob/Mickey diavlog; I quoted your defense of not using the threaded view to write why I think the threaded view is better. Ironic.

LOL.

Further irony: when I read your response, I had no clue it was a response to me, since you didn't use the Quote option or address the person you were speaking to. I had to switch to the hybrid mode to find out whom you were addressing.

You called it: Format war.

I need to finish up some stuff at work so I don't have time right now to respond to your other more detailed post in the other forum -- the one where you sound level-headed, reasonable, and serious. I promise I will get to it as soon as I can, however.

garbagecowboy
12-17-2007, 12:01 AM
I need to finish up some stuff at work so I don't have time right now to respond to your other more detailed post in the other forum -- the one where you sound level-headed, reasonable, and serious. I promise I will get to it as soon as I can, however.

Hope you will get this response, since I quoted your text, TwinSwords:

Sounds good. I look forward to reading what you have to say about it.

Brenda
02-13-2008, 03:19 PM
This is just a test.