Truck driver plows into people in New York bike lane, multiple deaths reported

What do you think was going to happen when Kaddafy died or for some reason stepped down?

People talk about “stable dictatorships” but it is a fiction. Dictatorships are always inherently unstable and on the brink of collapse. The efforts Kaddafy put towards keeping himself in power are the same efforts which hamper the development of a stable nation. The same ones which create the condition they have now. There was no kind of succession, rampant ethnic division/discrimination, and a military made up of nepotistic sycophants (whose previous battle experience was getting their butts kicked by Chadians in Toyota pickups See “Toyota War” for details).

Blaming intervention for the current conditions ignores the rot underneath the regime that was festering for decades.

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If not for the strict gun control laws in NYC, the guy could have killed far more people. :slight_smile:

The Las Vegas shooter killed more people in several seconds than this guy did driving a truck for a little while down a crowded bike lane.

Thats silly. First of all, lets remember how Qaddafi died. A bayonette up the arse. Secondly lets consider that his succession planning would have been for one of his sons. Saif seemed like a good bet to me. If you check who they are talking about now as the next most plausible Libyan leader - well Saif seems to be the favorite in as far as anyone is. If that happens what exactly would the violence have achieved? Other than a lot of death and a fair degree of hunger. And why does no one acknowledge that the place was a paradise before compared to its current effing disaster status now? I mean if you wanted a political career it was crap but if you wanted to raise a family, get a degree, get health care, not have your kids die, eat, its was a lot better before. Now who would like to stand up and take responsibility for fixing it for them?

Thing is Libya was fucked up cos its a post colonial state. Just like all the others. Multiple tribes vying for influence and power. Why was this post colonial settlement chosen to shake things up? Why not choose the infinitely more medieval authoritarian promoter of global wahabi terrorism? Whats their succession planning like? Its wonderful that woman can now drive cars but really, hardly the vanguard of human rights - except

As for dictatorships always being on the edge of collapse, well would you consider the Roman empire a democracy? The Persian Empire? Communist Party of China? Im not so convinced.


Thats nothing. The inventors of the concentration camp kept their names out of the frame even more effectively. Thats what I call grade a+ propaganda. Specially considering they then used the same scheme elsewhere - Kenya for example. But lets give them credit - at least they used it against Aryans first.


This seems relevant again:

The whole thing is worthwhile, but I’ve cued it to a particularly relevant bit.


I think it may go this way, and I hope ours ends up resembling the Velvet Revolution more than, say, the Russian Revolution. Frankly, racist white folks seem the closest to heading in the revolutionary direction, and I don’t think that would be a good thing.

I also think things are going to have to get a lot more difficult for average people, before it comes to any kind of progressive, ideally socialist, revolution. I didn’t foresee the collapse of American politics happening quite so fast, and strangely, as Donald Fucking Trump ending up as President, but I think we’re still a couple decades off. Automation is going to take a lot more jobs over the next decade or two, and that will likely be a catalyst.

I also give decent odds to there not being a revolution that ever really amounts to much, and it’s all likely to go totally bonkers, once climate change picks up steam over the rest of this century and into the next. That’s going to cause a lot of unpredictability that will likely affect almost everything. Who knows, maybe that will end up being the catalyst for revolution. But I think it’s going to take a century or two for things to improve. I like to think I’m contributing to the foment of the progressive revolution as best I can. I don’t think any lasting revolution will happen, until humans embrace nondualism, so I do what I can to educate people about it. Nondualism is the final revolution, and evolution, of humanity.

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Yes, defensive.

I’m also not here to make you feel better about the role the US has played in the world, that has benefited both you and I. I also do believe that as voting citizens we bear at least some responsibility for our government’s actions. You and I didn’t start international wars, but our country sure as hell did. And we’ve been beneficiaries of such wars for a long time. People don’t live in vacuums.

Also, maybe try reading some of @Wanderfound’s threads here, as he’s been posting all sorts of useful stuff about how to be more political engaged or at least aware. Not like political engagement is a huge mystery, either. There are literally centuries of ideas and tactics people can employ to help shape the political landscape in their countries.


By citizens in the 50 states and DC, yes.

Territories don’t get to vote for president, despite at least one of them being more populous than half the states that do get to vote for that!

I’d like us to come up with a definition of democracy that, say, you and lolipop could agree on. It gets so tired when discussion hang up on definitions, because then it’s just a fight over words, and not what they represent.

So, basically, I personally regret pointing out we’re a “republic”. I like the way you said it much better - You are correct. (you often are). The point is democracy in action, not in Websters.

Thanks for that. I have never seen before but I agreed entirely. He even has the accent I had before heading off to college. Norf London - irie!

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And succession to Kaddafy’s sons would have quelled the growing insurgency in the country? Not likely. Power was maintained by essentially turning the state’s resources against itself. . How much of the country’s oil wealth went into just repression or personal boondoggles of its leader. With or without UN intervention, the country was going to turn into a shithole. Probably another version of what is going on in Syria.

" And why does no one acknowledge that the place was a paradise before compared to its current effing disaster status now?"

Because its all relative. Dictatorship is great for smoothing over the cracks forming under the surface. Revolution and unrest is inherent to the system. You see the ouster as a sudden and unexpected event. I see it as the inevitability built into the type of government. What is interesting is that the point when Libya was most cooperative to the rest of the world was the beginning of its decline and the start of open civil unrest.

“As for dictatorships always being on the edge of collapse, well would you consider the Roman empire a democracy? The Persian Empire? Communist Party of China?”

The Roman Empire was never a model of stability. It was a parasitic state which started its fall when it ran out of territories to steal from. Rome was always teetering on the brink of famine and was constantly blackmailed by threats of cutting off its food supply. Persian Empire was falling apart by the time it was destroyed by the Arabs and then Mongols. The Communist Party of China is soooo stable that its oligarchs are stealing billions and parking it in real estate in the Americas and Europe.

None of those examples are societies that functioned during peaceful times. In fact peaceful conditions are largely what undermine them. Dictatorships survive only in conflict. Once people get a taste of relative comfort, they start demanding things like free speech, right to elect leaders, an end to being discriminated against.

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One of the ways climate change is likely to impact (is already impacting) people is of course terrorism.

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[Warning, I go on for much too long. Please ignore unless bored]

Growing insurgency? Was it a growing insurgency? How do you know - media sources? And why was it a growing insurgency? Lots of reasons but there are plenty of finger prints showing who was involved. And consider it was not the only insurgency - how about Egypt for example? I guess the point I would make is one might choose to ask oneself why one dictatorship is very much in need of being addressed by the “Great Powers” while another dictatorship should be free to shut its citizens up by employing the death sentence when the actually elect an “inappropriate” form of government and get rid of our preferred dictator (Anyone remember General Mubarak? Im sure General Sisi is a great improvement).

While I am at it, dictatorship is very much in the eye of the beholder. Here in the US, its very unsafe to be stopped by the police when black. If you complain about how unhealthy it is to interact with the police when black, you will not fair well whether you are a star quarterback or a humble demonstrator. Sometimes I wish the Canadians or French might have some kind of military intervention here (for humanitarian purposes) to protect a clearly mistreated minority (and might I add this has been going on for some time). But it doesn’t look likely. Its not just blacks though - anyone present in NYC during the OWS protests would have seen lots of nice middle class white people being beaten up and pepper sprayed by the forces of law and order. It can be youtubed. Im sure Libya was worse (for some) but then I hear its a tough neighborhood.

From wikipedia

Gaddafi’s administration repeatedly asserted that the rebels included al-Qaeda fighters.[146] Rebels denied this.[147] NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander James G. Stavridis stated that intelligence reports suggested there were “flickers” of al-Qaeda activity among rebels, but that there was insufficient information to confirm a significant presence of terrorist groups.[148][149] Gaddafi’s claims are supported by a 2008 secret cable from the US embassy in Tripoli to the US State Department, and an analysis by the Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy at West Point of a set of documents called the Sinjar Records, purporting to show a statistical study of the al-Qaeda personnel records. The West Point analysis of these documents concluded that Libya provided “far more” foreign fighters in per capita terms than any other country.[150] A disclosed file from 2005 on WikiLeaks found that rebel leader Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda Bin Qumu was a former Guantanamo Bay detainee alleged to be a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, to have joined the Taliban in 1998, and that he was a “probable member of Al Qaida and a member of the African Extremist Network”.[151]

My wider reading suggests that the British and French inserted Libyan jihadi fighters back into the country to assist the “organic” insurgency. One of those fighters on returning was responsible for the Manchester concert bombing (Ariana whatever her name).

So it doesnt seem quite as organic as you suggest it was. That’s ignoring the well documented presence of SAS and French Special forces groups on the ground - I imagine assisting with targeting and providing tactical leadership and guidance for the “insurgency”.

In fact British SAS soldiers are still in Libya. “Helping” I would imagine.

Now - for the much more interesting points on history. Rome lasted some 700 years or some 1700 years depending on whether you consider Byzantium Roman. That’s pretty much as long as the modern English state, and way longer than the UK. I think you have your own definition of stability which ignores modern wars cos they havnt happened on your soil for quite a long time. Im sure someone sitting in - say Vietnam or Iraq or Syria etc might feel differently. So I dont think of these as peaceful times. Yes Rome was a parasitic state after its first 300 years or so. But so was the UK. So is America today. Global resources are consumed well in excess of population and this consumption is explained as because of “superior production/productivity” when the terms of trade are artificially manipulated using war and other levers of power. China’s oligarchs are not special in stealing billions. I think you have probably not noticed the increase in inequality in the US/UK/Western Europe because the media you read characterize it as benign and natural and a product of the ‘merit’ of the rich. Well that’s what exactly what the Chinese say too! For me its bullshit, and stealing in both cases. So we half agree.

I often wonder whether promoting chaos in the rest of the world is in the interest of a place like the UK. After all what is the UK selling these days? Relative stability and a good reliable business climate (to stash your loot if you are a foreign oligarch). There are two ways to promote relative stability. One of which involves sowing havoc everywhere else. Particularly where there is oil.

I go on way too long. But you were warned. So some bald statements of my world view.

There is no ethical argument for what the West did in Libya. Any ethical arguments were manufactured to justify a baldly self-interested policy of regime change. One of the inescapably obvious consequences of regime change was making the lives of people who live in Libya much much worse. It is obviously so - how would you feel about people rescuing Americans from the idiot Trump by bombing your local electricity generating company and empowering Jihadis to come and “liberate” you?

Just for color - this was in the Guardian today.

Apparently both sides thought a bit of male rape was good for public order - my suspicion is Jihadis are especially keen users. As far as I am concerned the place has NOT been improved by our intervention, and I think the burden of proof for using such interventions should be much much higher. Otherwise you are guilty of engaging in aggressive war to achieve policy ends. The Allies defined that as a war crime in Nuremberg.

Forgive the blather.


That depends: who are you thinking of as “average people”? Remember that, statistically, the median American is a working class woman.

The “likely voter” demographic is very different from the general population. But in an era of non-electoral street politics, “likely voter” status is irrelevant.

You don’t need everyone in the streets, just enough. Look at the numbers from the first few weeks of St Louis.


Mine too.


Well said!

And there is this hideous bullshit:

I am starting to think I should NOT work on my pessimism-biased world/human view, sigh…


Thank you!

Also… this story makes me rage out. Fuck this asshole who will never have to be pregnant or worry about such things…



This is FACT. Just look at the record of our Vice President, who is openly deeply religious and spent his time as Governor of Indiana signing bills attacking womens’ health, LGBT rights, and worker protections.

Now the man is a heartbeat away from the presidency and the ability to shape our country’s political policy even more than he already can. As a woman, this idea terrifies me. I don’t have the luxury of ignoring the rising wave of Dominionist politicians imposing their narrow version of “Christian” morality upon every person in this nation, despite the “separation of church and state” we are supposed to have. It’s my life at stake too.


It’s a tempting sentiment, but given the fact that the guy recently moved from Florida to New Jersey and also spent some time in Ohio — I suspect the biggest barrier to obtaining a gray market (ie. gunshow) firearm was likely his appearance.


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