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The Good Prince
From Chapter XVI
of The Prince
, by Nicolo Machiavelli:
Therefore, a prince, not being able to exercise this virtue of liberality in such a way that it is recognized, except to his cost, if he is wise he ought not to fear the reputation of being mean, for in time he will come to be more considered than if liberal...
We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean... A prince, therefore, provided that he has not to rob his subjects, that he can defend himself, that he does not become poor and abject, that he is not forced to become rapacious, ought to hold of little account a reputation for being mean, for it is one of those vices which will enable him to govern...
[T]here is nothing wastes so rapidly as liberality, for even whilst you exercise it you lose the power to do so, and so become either poor or despised, or else, in avoiding poverty, rapacious and hated. And a prince should guard himself, above all things, against being despised and hated; and liberality leads you to both. Therefore it is wiser to have a reputation for meanness which brings reproach without hatred, than to be compelled through seeking a reputation for liberality to incur a name for rapacity which begets reproach with hatred.
Perhaps Mr. Obama is learning to be a good prince.
Even at this late hour, perhaps it is not too late.
We learn from history, or not.
Why does the U.S. involvement remind me of a parody of a game show;
To Bush, Cheney, Gates, Obama, Petraeus, and McChrystal:
Are you smarter than a Soviet General, never mind a fifth grader?
Wars by proxy are more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, we can't seem to find any willing proxies, these days. Unless, of course, one might consider our private mercenary armies a sort of proxy force.
In that case, capitalism might yet save us.
Blackwater bullet sponges: they might be expensive, but at least we don't have to count them as American combat casualties.
On the head on that one, DW. The lack of accountability for private contractor deaths/wounded makes them an irresistible asset for our chickenhawk government.
FT, are they so scared that the lost revenue streams, and the massive influx of now-unemployed soldiers/mercs would be most inconvenient, especially during our present economic distress?
From Fark: PunchDrunkPanda 2010-06-26 10:02:05 AM
Global warming is just God hugging us closer.
As per General Bullright, "War is Good Business!"
40 million in the military and we have no unemployment.
Perennial war? The Romans did it and they're remembered throughout history! We can do no less! The only thing missing is the title change to Caesar.
That's pretty shallow of you! After all, Blackw--er Xe would have to retrain over 5 thousand to replace those mercs who would have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (instead of those Amurikan lads) and the cost to the U.S. would have been less. We can't have that! How can Xe and companies like Halliburton survive on only eleventy billion a year? Poor babies!
Sooner or later, we'd start to run out of qualified young'uns and our "Prince" of a leader would have to hire himself some Eagle Scouts to get the new 'I killed 'em' badge. Lucky for us, only straight hetro boys get the chance to die for their country!
Good afternoon, Father Tyme.
Just like our colleges and universities (including, now, community colleges) provide taxpayer-paid farm teams for private, for-profit major league sports franchises, the U.S. armed forces will increasingly become a system of semi-pro farm teams—complete with low pay and rules for public consumption—for the major league private, for-profit franchises of war making, which will become more and more like the "companies" of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The farm clubs will sort out the best of the best, who can then move from the minor leagues and earn big money in the professional ranks until they become irreparably injured or too old to provide the level of service needed in the pro leagues.
If the parallels between sports and war sound creepy when I describe them this way, then you have officially entered the Enlightenment of the Cloud, where we are all part of the Everything.
Let me know if you, trog, or any of the other gentlemen (and ladies, what with equal opportunities to be killers) who visit here are interested in trying out for a coveted slot in the major leagues of war-for-profit.
My agent's commission is really a good bargain for what I have to offer the qualified soldier of prospective fortune.
"Let me know if you, trog, or any of the other gentlemen (and ladies, what with equal opportunities to be killers) who visit here are interested in trying out for a coveted slot in the major leagues of war-for-profit."
I was thinking of "Designated Procurer." (I tried the best of the best thing once and that was enough.)
But I do have questions.
Is there a signing bonus?
How about a no-trade clause (I might want to try out free-agency)?
What about seasonal bonuses? Quotas?
I expect decent accommodations during travels, no local water.
What about vacation time?
What's the work schedule? Do we have to be up before 7:00A.M?
About retirement...how's chances at becoming a recruiter?
Remember! It's your 10% you're after!
You'll have to forgive me, I have a question that has to do with finances, taxes, economics or all of them rolled into one. (Don't know what came over me!)
Let's pretend that someone, such as yours truly has been working for the last 40 years (instead of being independently wealthy! LOL!) and has paid into unemployment insurance as has his employer. My understanding in my state is that if I become unemployed, the criterion for determining eligibility is that they go back the previous 15 months, figure how much I made in my highest quarter and base my benefits on that. Ok, well and good.
BUT...what aboot (the hockey fan in me!) the unemployment tax money I paid the previous 38 years? Obviously I don't get it, at least directly. I'm reasonably sure it doesn't vanish into thin air.
So where does it go? And who benefits from my generosity, my employer? And why the hell can't I write it off?
For all purposes related to you, Father Tyme, that money did disappear into thin air. It became part of the pool and thereby vanished to any possible claim you could have on it other than as a petitioner begging for it as an unemployed worker.
It's a little more complicated than that in terms of the actual finance (and "public" finance is, in almost philosophical ways, different from business finance, given the structure and complexity of claims and especially the sources of revenue and other money to satisfy those claims in a timely manner).
That having been noted, if you are unemployed long enough to max out your time of eligibility, trust me that you could very well have drawn more from unemployment benefits than you and your employer contributed. While it might be good and humane public policy to lengthen the time of eligibility in a recession, the benefit stream loses its character as a fully funded insurance program and becomes more of the character of a welfare program paid from general funds.
An interesting aspect of that flexibility is this: as a teacher at state colleges, I would be very unlikely to ever be able to make a claim under any unemployment compensation plan. I would, however, be a contributor to general tax revenues that would provide the umbrella for those who can make claims.
That disparity in "fairness" is not a cause for some Teabagget Tax Revolt fury, but it is certainly something reasonable politicians should contemplate before they become too willing to display humane generosity to those who are allowed to benefit from that largesse of the commons.
Good evening, Dark Wraith.
I just now read your "For Men Only" article.
• Never use the word "cougar" to describe a woman over the age of 30. I don't care if she's walking on all fours and stalking deer. Women have words to degrade men that will make Viagra turn to dust before the dope clears your cake hole. Don't start a war where your BB gun is up against a nuclear arsenal.
...Loved the line about about walking on all fours and stalking deer! It was an exact description of me! The term, "cougar", isn't as bad as some.
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