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Thread: Does the world seem really screwed up at the moment?

  1. #16
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rj1 View Post
    Well, more than usual. (Usual being my frame of reference which due to my age is the '90s onward.)
    As others have mentioned, 24/7 news blasting every single little incident into the household non-stop for the week can make the world look like it's going to hell in a hand basket.

    But think about this, what do these mean in the big scheme of things? Terror bombing? Few dozen to few hundred deaths. Mass shooting? A handful to a few dozen deaths. Current Gaza situation? A thousand deaths. Syria? Tens of thousand of deaths over 3 years.

    I don't mean to sound callous, but compare these numbers to wars in the past. Thousands of civilians die in every single small war. Up to hundreds of thousands would die in a major conflict. China and USSR lost close to 50 million in WW2.

    Of course man's handiwork is not close to what nature can do. Tsunami of 2004 killed almost 300k. An earthquake in China in 1976 killed almost 1/4 million. Flu pandemic of 1918 killed 3% to 5% of the entire world's population. Black death in the 14th century wiped out 30% to 60% of Europe's population.

    The world today is quite safe. Sure, terrorism is scary. It could strike anywhere at any time. But is it really scarier than the threat of nuclear bombs falling out of the sky?
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  2. #17
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I am stunned by this number.
    gunnut,

    Two things at work here: China and China.

    1) China figured out how to get people out of poverty (nevermind what you think of their other policies); if other economies follow the economic model, there will be fewer people in poverty.

    2) China got its population growth under control (same caveat), which reduced the total number of people that make up the denominator. Same thing: if population growth comes down, the numbers get better, since better-off families tend to have fewer kids.

  3. #18
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repatriated Canuck View Post
    Took that advice. That was a close one.
    That it was. The rational party of me kept screaming 'but surely we couldn't have been dumb enough to actually let it happen'. The Historian in me just shrugged his shoulders & was thankful we got lucky. I work with a lady who was living in Germany at the time with here husband, who was with the BAOR. When I filled her in on the details of this she turned a rather odd colour.


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  4. #19

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    A couple of cursory perspectives.
    Last edited by S2; 30 Jul 14, at 04:42.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    That it was. The rational party of me kept screaming 'but surely we couldn't have been dumb enough to actually let it happen'. The Historian in me just shrugged his shoulders & was thankful we got lucky. I work with a lady who was living in Germany at the time with here husband, who was with the BAOR. When I filled her in on the details of this she turned a rather odd colour.
    That was a near accident and the number of near accidents ain't small.

    The more scarier ones are the actual deliberate cocking of the nuclear trigger with the clear intent to start and fight a nuclear war and those are much scarier. It took very brave men to back down from something so stupid. And it ain't us in the West.
    Chimo

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    Well, I'm not aware of a Cuban Missile Crisis or an ABLE ARCHER 83 events lately so I don't see it as especially bad....
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

  7. #22

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    A conventional war in eastern Europe involving multiple nations is now entirely possible. The consequences would be horrid for winners or losers. That's without nukes. The momentum is all in the wrong direction at present and I don't see anybody calling a time-out because of approaching winter. All bets are off if the Russians cross and that's 50/50 IMV right now.

    For all intents and purposes the Russian Army crossed that border some time ago. An overt invasion, however, under any contrivance imagined can rapidly spin out of control. We've already seen a small example of what lies behind the law of unintended consequences two weeks ago. It shook everybody but for the one guy it most should have paused.

    Dark forces with malice are afoot. I'm dismayed by the acquiescence of civilized, educated people in so many places prepared to accept authoritarianism in all its many forms as viable governance. Or spineless, toady acquiescence. I'm fast running out of nations for whom I can truly cheer. Worst, right now it wouldn't include my nation.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  8. #23
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    I have to agree with S2 here - the whole mentality and ethos since the end of the 'Cold War' from the lack of carrying on the reforms at home to the failures in foreign policy and operational see it through till the job is done and the necessary false economics that has accompanied it wrong in my opinion. I blame nobody in particular but all of you over 50 in general. You let it slip, rested on your no doubt well deserved laurels. Nothing ends that easy.



    We'll sort it.

  9. #24
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S2 View Post
    A conventional war in eastern Europe involving multiple nations is now entirely possible. The consequences would be horrid for winners or losers. That's without nukes. The momentum is all in the wrong direction at present and I don't see anybody calling a time-out because of approaching winter. All bets are off if the Russians cross and that's 50/50 IMV right now.

    For all intents and purposes the Russian Army crossed that border some time ago. An overt invasion, however, under any contrivance imagined can rapidly spin out of control. We've already seen a small example of what lies behind the law of unintended consequences two weeks ago. It shook everybody but for the one guy it most should have paused.

    Dark forces with malice are afoot. I'm dismayed by the acquiescence of civilized, educated people in so many places prepared to accept authoritarianism in all its many forms as viable governance. Or spineless, toady acquiescence. I'm fast running out of nations for whom I can truly cheer. Worst, right now it wouldn't include my nation.
    Sir,eternal peace is nothing but the domain of utopians.You and yours managed the best one man can hope.You assured peace and you did it better and longer than most generations.
    You argue little with a fool,but you have a gigantic struggle with a fool who went to shool.And right now,we have the most educated fools in world history.A diploma doesn't makes fools smart or wise.So they can accept with no drama the whip of a ruler.Because they're also natural born slaves.
    It's an eternal cycle that has gone back and forth since the dawn of man.Your president Reagan was right in this speech.It's nothing but our turn to fight the demons inside or outside our countries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3MiBI9ZRBo
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    "Sir,eternal peace is nothing but the domain of utopians..."

    Fools and perfectionists also. To that end, I camp with the perfectionists. I don't know the possibilities of eternal peace but I cannot muster arguments against it. So it is a worthy objective to seek with self-improvement marking steps of progress with no illusion where the trail might end.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  11. #26

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    Mihais,

    Great speech. Sent me searching for my rifle until I realized...I'm unarmed. Not good these days maybe.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  12. #27
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Dude,

    Those rods relaxed you way too much.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  13. #28

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    Probably not the rods now that I'm living in Vancouver, Washington.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  14. #29
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    I blame nobody in particular but all of you over 50 in general. You let it slip, rested on your no doubt well deserved laurel...


    BULLSHIT!!!!

    Not having any of that.

    We stayed engaged and got shat on. Europe couldn't do a damn thing to stop the killing in the Balkans...and the 1st Armored Division crossed the SAva River and things quieted down.

    Since the Wall came down, 49,992 and over 300 Canadian US servicemen and women and over 300 Canadian have been killed, wounded or injured in combat operations world wide. US forces have been deployed, and continue to be deployed, world wide in support of Allies and US interests.

    The one area I could agree with you on is the shocking and glaring failure to do anything regarding the genocides in Africa during the 1990s. That is a stain on our national honor...but again, it was one more mess of a European making which my country, and servicemen like S2, myself, SWO, Bluesman and thousands of others would have had been asked to fix.

    Some of our European Allies have been there for some those operations, but not all and not in their fair share. Check the stats on how the Western Europeans are doing on their MANDATORY percentage of GDP spending on military spending IAW the NATO Treaty.

    So if you want to say "They rested on their laurels", feel free to look at Europe but don't your dare look across the Atlantic.

    We have done more than our fair share.
    Last edited by Albany Rifles; 01 Aug 14, at 13:25. Reason: I inadvertently left off our Canadian bretheren from the butcher's bill.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

  15. #30
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    gunnut,

    Two things at work here: China and China.

    1) China figured out how to get people out of poverty (nevermind what you think of their other policies); if other economies follow the economic model, there will be fewer people in poverty.

    2) China got its population growth under control (same caveat), which reduced the total number of people that make up the denominator. Same thing: if population growth comes down, the numbers get better, since better-off families tend to have fewer kids.
    I know China's rise over the last 25 years had a lot to do with it, just didn't know the number to be so large.

    Of course I have not seen the study in detail. Torture the numbers long enough and they tell you anything you want to hear.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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