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Posts posted by J.C.MacSwell

  1. 5 hours ago, MSC said:

    Statistically false; most countries don't have nuclear weapons, getting nuclear weapons reduces national security by making a country a target for countries that do have them and because of that fact, nuclear weapons are ineffective and dettering countries that don't have them, from building them. 

    You can disagree, but you need to go some to make the claim that eliminating your nuclear weapons is letting your guard down is "statistically false". It didn't work out for Ukraine, and the jury's still out on any of very few the others that eliminated them.  (or for that matter curtailed any nuclear weapons program, for which your argument would at least make some sense)

  2. 13 hours ago, TheVat said:

      I don't know if the Ukraine war would end or not - it's being fought with conventional weapons.  And the military budget would effectively increase for Russia, absent the cost of maintaining and manning a nuclear strike force. 

    The limitations on Ukraines use of supplied conventional weapons would disappear. Why would the West continue to tell Ukraine not to use them on Russia proper when they are being attacked from there? The West's concern with Russia's nuclear threats are the only thing stopping them from allowing that and likely more.

    Russia can't match the West economically, even if they saved the costs of nuclear weapons maintenance and improvements. Their war factories would suffer from conventional means. How would anyone justify allowing them to continue to produce weapons considering how they use them, if they had ready means to stop them?

    China might take a liking to Putin's current way of thinking and view the eastern parts of Russia that are closer to Beijing than Moscow as "historically" their own, or at least decide they better "save" them from the West.

  3. 19 minutes ago, TheVat said:

    Ehrfurcht vor dem leben (3 genders, 4 cases, how do Germans do it?).I hope folks here won't conflate that desire to lay groundwork for global zero with a naive sensibility.  We all know how far away a true START agreement is, let alone global zero.  As that Brookings fellow pointed out, the latter goal is pragmatic WRT to a longterm winding down of proliferation.  Why would all those dictators abandon nuke ambitions so long as the big boys have them?   Nothing really happens until Cold War (and hot war) issues are resolved with the big three, and that would require regime change in Russia and liberalization in China to even get parties to the arms reduction table.

    Well that has been the standard assumption.  I think maybe we should test that against the current reality, maybe a thought experiment.  What would happen if, right now, one of the big three dismantled all its nukes, fed the fissile material into power plant reactors, and said hey we're done.  And then, one assumes, put some of the billions saved into more conventional weapons.  (maintaining a large nuclear arsenal is expensive)

    Obviously Russia doing that and confirming it would end the war in Ukraine pretty quickly and leave them vulnerable to China in their East.

    China (are they even big three nuclear?) doing it might not change overly vs threats (so Chinese in defense) from the US and Russia but would change their posture with India.(their "nothing more than sticks and rocks" agreement might break down). Their offensiveness in the South Pacific would certainly need rethinking, as would any hope of ultimately claiming Taiwan. 

    US doing it would be throwing the dice. 

  4. 1 hour ago, MSC said:


    Nobody is suggesting that anyone should let their guard down. 

    Nuclear weapons are the deterrent to nuclear weapons. Eliminating your nuclear weapons is putting your guard down.

    Russia would not be in Ukraine if Ukraine had them.

  5. Ukraine did the right thing...and now has to beg for support it would not have needed.

    That support is in a large part limited by the fact Russia has a lot of them (nuclear weapons).

    With states like Russia, who would be foolish enough to put their guard down?

  6. On 4/21/2024 at 7:42 PM, MigL said:

    Proportional response is highly over-rated.

    Deterrence of any particular action depends on the realization that the consequences could far outweigh any benefit.
    If I steal $100, and my only punishment is a $100 fine, I'm no worse off than I initially was, so I may as well attempt it.

    True. But if you destroy $100 worth of my fence, and I destroy $100 worth of yours, you have to make a judgement as to whether you got $100 worth of entertainment, if you are rationalizing it in economic terms when deciding to do it again.

  7. 1 hour ago, MSC said:

    I wonder then what influences a person if they didn't attend higher education at all? Topic for another day I guess.

    I would expect regardless of how good the source was, first exposure, assuming the recipient considered it a valid source, would tend to be believed at that point and make counter exposures more difficult to believe.

    My first exposure would have included the "saving American/Allied lives version" though I do remember thinking "why was the second bomb necessary, why so soon after the second, and was it not in part revenge?".

    But that version, "saving more lives" isn't set aside in my mind by knowing Emperor Hirohito was in favour of, or considering, capitulation prior. It's just sad to think that the bombs were used, regardless if they were better used that not. I find it extremely hard drawing lines with regard to civilians and war in most cases. Sometimes it's easier than others. Sometimes I agree with what, say, the UN or international community might find acceptable and sometimes I find it bizarre.

  8. 8 hours ago, Phi for All said:


    Looks like Republicans all down the line will be cash starved due to TFG's legal bills. The argument that the money will be used to fight "the illegal witch hunts" continues to work. The RNC is now funding TFG first, then the Save America PAC, and finally the RNC and the rest of the Republicans running for office.

    When the campaign installed its own people, including daughter-in-law Lara TFG, they fired a lot of folks and invited the rest to reapply, and many didn't. The RNC is supposedly dangerously understaffed going into a presidential election. 

    And, of course, if TFG is convicted of any of the many charges against him, he may not even be able to vote for himself.  

    Hopefully, at least he'll never get in a position to pardon himself.

    Are the funds raised a tax right off? If so, unless Trump is a registered charity how is this possible?

  9. On 6/22/2023 at 12:12 PM, Phi for All said:

    And Noah famously turned away the pair of sasquatch who showed up at the ark riding unicorns, so they never survived the flood.

    Not true. And even if it was a Yeti told me Bigfoots are excellent swimmers, often making ocean passages well over 40 days without food or water.

    Need more proof? How do you think they got to both sides of the Atlantic?

  10. On 4/8/2024 at 9:23 PM, Moontanman said:

    img (1).png

    Obvious fake...there's only one turtle...

    On 4/8/2024 at 7:07 AM, John Cuthber said:

    For a moment, I thought that looked like this.  But it's probably just me...

    LOL. (quietly...yeah no...I won't go there!)

    9 hours ago, toucana said:

    He's also facing the wrong way, towards the back of the pew !


    In his defence I also would photoshop in some extra...ah...fingers, if my ah...hands were that small...

    On 4/8/2024 at 7:07 AM, John Cuthber said:

    For a moment, I thought that looked like this.  But it's probably just me...

    Hard to make any future claim you're "just a patsy" after that post! 😄

    ...and I'll see myself out!

  11. 25 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

    I don't know anything about that. I was responding to the post where you conflated the financial aid Elon Musk got from the government with swansont's government salary. It was wrong when you said it, it's still wrong,and it really has nothing to do with how you define "self-made". It's about the difference between getting paid by an employer and getting financial incentives, tax breaks, and infrastructure help from a government entity.

    I don't think you can defend this point, and I was really hoping you could admit you had this part wrong so we can move on to other areas in this discussion. This is NOT semantics, and it's not a translation error. Being hired to work for the government is different from being awarded government contracts, subsidies, and tax incentives. Does that make sense?

    I don't think Swansont used any capitalist leverage to pry his salary out of the government, but just as there are differences there are similarities.

    If that's what he was getting at...he's still right.

  12. On 3/31/2024 at 8:00 AM, J.C.MacSwell said:

    Make Christianity Great Again!

    Looking forward to seeing him in court making water into whine...

    Of course, only one perfect man ever lived, mathematically as per the golden spiral...not to mention every other way...


  13. The problem with the term "self made" is that it's often used well outside typical use with the context being that no social obligation should be felt by those "self made" and that such things as taxes are considered something ranging from "generous donations" to outright theft

    All the while with the expection that the managed economy by the government and wealth security from police institutions etc should be more directed at maintaining and "opportunizing" that and other established wealth than for benefiting everyone more or less equally. 

  14. 2 hours ago, swansont said:

    I don’t know what you mean by cooperation. Government subsidies and tax breaks are not the same as government contracts. 

    Yes and no, depending on how you view it. Generally speaking, corruption aside, governments use subsidies and tax breaks as incentives toward something they seek to encourage for the benefit of "The People". Generally speaking, corruption aside, governments use contracts to obtain something for the benefit of "The People".

    They can be different, they can be essentially the same, and both can be good or corrupt.

  15. 15 hours ago, MigL said:

    That the Earth is not flat is factual, and can be proven.

    That vaccinations are beneficial is also factual, and can also be proven.

    I stand by my claim that subjective opinions are NOT factual.
    Just like a rectum, everyone has one.
    And society decides which opinion is 'fashionable'; dissenting opinions only get you labelled, and the fashionable opinion 'du jour' must then be protected against the dissenting views.
    What the hell is 'revealed faith' anyway ?
    I may tolerate it,but I see no reason to protect such garbage.

    That vaccinations can be detrimental is also factual, and can be proven.

    I realize the two statements are not on equal footing, scientifically speaking. 

  16. 17 hours ago, Gian said:


    So after 10¹⁴ years, that's it. No more life?


    That's a pretty long time, and I'm assuming it's correct for the sake of argument and that your suggestion to extend is based on technologically creating new replacement stars also...but stars are a pretty inefficient way to go, even if corralling bits of previous stars to create new ones was possible.

    How long could some idealized society potentially last tucked but protected inside some mostly dead gas giant?


    Probably nothing remotely approaching a small fraction of a percentage of any round off errors in that number?

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