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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 PM   #41
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The protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 were pretty impressive, both from the number of demonstrators and the extent of the police and military response. At least DW and I were impressed while we were there.......

No Internet or social networks existed at that time. Somehow it all happened anyway.
youbet and Ha,
A good friend of mine was a Marine at the time. At the time of the 68 convention, he was in full battle dress with his company in a plane that was circling over Chicago.

Yes, it can happen here. It almost did.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:08 PM   #42
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I wish PollyAnna would come along and explain how all this is actually a good thing. The last thing the US government wants is democracy in the middle east, no matter what they might say. The people mostly hate us, ...
It is a good thing, and we do want democracy in the middle east. Maybe they hate us, but we can deal with that. Sometimes we hate us, too. Not a problem. Our interest is in stability and trade.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:19 PM   #43
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The underlying assumption is that the president will line his and his relatives pockets. A certain amount of corruption is inevitable. If the president is doing a reasonable job, letting his cousin collect kickback for construction project is pretty minor drain on a country's treasury.
Yes, on the balance, better. Still far from good though. Don't know the solution... not in my pay class, lol. Had relatives flee two African countries in the past 2 decades because of the government.

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Italy, Greece, Turkey, not to mention Illinois and Louisiana have all operated that way for decades and life goes on.
Funny.

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I assume zero. Here is an interesting question can you have good property rights without a democracy and check on government power. I'm not great on European history but were there Monarchys say in the 1700-1900 range that actually respected private property?
US Common law concerning property rights came from England, and extended to most of its colonies. These included not only inheritance, but land, copyright and mineral rights. Spain's model was taken to it's colonies. In Mexico, for instance, land owners do not own rights to minerals, they belong to the state. I don't know much more about other European countries so far as property rights back then, but it would be an interesting case-study!
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:35 PM   #44
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dex, the oilsands [I prefer "tar sands", but that is highly politically incorrect ] of Alberta aren't the whole story.

By coincidence, yesterday a colleague's comments prodded me to look up the Bakken Play, an oil shale deposit in southern Saskatchewan, Montana and North Dakota: Bakken Formation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have a pretty big position in an MLP that has Bakken minerals interests. I expect that over time there will be considerable production on some of these leases.

Ha
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:43 PM   #45
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I have heard several talking heads comment on Qadhafi's son's speech as being dis-jointed. No one has opined on the posibility that 'dad' has told the family that if he goes down they will too, 'six feet under'. He would not be above killing his entire family and those around him IMHO.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:16 PM   #46
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Another little problem is that a democracy of messed up hungry people is still a bunch of messed up hungry people. So they may fool around with voting for while, but since the advanced world is full of problems of its own there is limited money to be thrown at them and they will soon tire of voting and some other overlords will come along. We should remember that Hitler was elected- barely, but elected. And it took a long time for him to demonstrate to the German people that he was bad news

Likely the most most stable governments in these hopeless places coming up against Malthusian limits will only be governments with better secret police, better dossier keeping, and more effective torture.

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They only know how they have been governed in the past...so it is their teacher for the future.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:44 PM   #47
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:35 PM   #48
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This message comes from Libya via another forum I frequent:

My friends,


Please don’t let your perception of what can and what can’t be done discourage you from taking action and doing your best to make a change. If you, living in the greatest democracy and the bastion of freedom, would give up so easily, what should we do? We are fighting the fight with what we have and we have absolutely nothing. The most lethal weapon I have is my speargun, nothing else. My neighbors have even less. Food is low, water reserve is being depleted, fuel supplies are no more and he may eventually cut off electricity. The dead are taken out of the hospitals to be incinerated elsewhere as to leave no traces of their crimes. With all of this, we are not giving up. Please don’t give up on democracy, don’t give up on us. This is for REAL!!!! This is not an academic exercise or an abstract debate. I am begging you.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:39 PM   #49
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And another:

"My good friends in the US,

To help the situation in Libya and to prevent the impeding massacre that Qaddafi just promised in his speech this evening and as first steps, we need the US to push in the UN for the following:

1. Complete embargo/blockade on Libya (air, sea and land)
2. Instituting strict no fly zone over entire Libya except for a specific air corridor to bringing in aid and supplies.
3. Total prohibition of ANY type of exportation to Libya of weapons or any type of lethal instruments that can be used against the population to cause death or injury.
4. Prohibition of providing ANY type of military and security aid or cooperation with the Libyan regime including sending any type of military or paramilitary personnel.
5. Freezing ALL assets of the current regime members including the Mr. Q and his entire family.
6. Independent investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya.
7. Preventing any and all members of the regime from travel anywhere in the world.
8. Declaring in very clear and unequivocal terms that current measures used by the regime against the unarmed civilian population to quell civilian protest is unacceptable and that the entire world stands against the regime and demands that the regime in Libya to cease all punitive measures the regime has taken against the population.

These are first steps. Please note if you have any other ideas, please let me know. If you also see that you need to improve English above, please do so. You need to take action immediately. You wouldn’t believe how ominous Qaddafi’s threat was in his speech this evening.

Please spread the word WITHOUT any direct attribution to me or use of my name. My life and my family’s life is at stake.

The real battle is just beginning. They are really out to kill and opposition with punitive measure not only against the protesters, but also against their ENTIRE families as Mr. Q promised."
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:01 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by clifp
I assume zero. Here is an interesting question can you have good property rights without a democracy and check on government power. I'm not great on European history but were there Monarchys say in the 1700-1900 range that actually respected private property?
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US Common law concerning property rights came from England, and extended to most of its colonies. These included not only inheritance, but land, copyright and mineral rights. Spain's model was taken to it's colonies. In Mexico, for instance, land owners do not own rights to minerals, they belong to the state. I don't know much more about other European countries so far as property rights back then, but it would be an interesting case-study!
For a very interesting linkage of property rights and modern prosperity, including a history of property rights from ancient times, check out William Bernstein's (author of 'Four Pillars' and other ER.org favorites) 'The Birth of Plenty':

The Birth of Plenty: How the ... - Google Books

He argues that property rights, the scientific method, modern capital markets, and rapid communications/transport are prerequisites for modern prosperity and growth rates; and that once in place, these things tend to encourage democracy.

The book has several case studies of different nations and how they've been influenced by the above factors. I'd highly recommend it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:05 PM   #51
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For a very interesting linkage of property rights and modern prosperity, including a history of property rights from ancient times, check out William Bernstein's (author of 'Four Pillars' and other ER.org favorites) 'The Birth of Plenty':

The Birth of Plenty: How the ... - Google Books
+1. A very interesting read.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:58 AM   #52
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I lived in Venezuela when Chavez rose up, left but remained very close (family, closest friends, primary home) as he began brutalizing the country and the people. We (my son, friends and I) participated in many protests. The conflict, pain and tragedy that results is unimaginable and widespread. It is no different in the middle east now.

The people rising up are repressed, and hungry. There is no guarantee what they are doing (Egypt & Tunisia) will lead to a better outcome for them, and based on the past two or three decades, once the developed and democratic world has finished moralizing and applauding, it will stand aside and let the pieces fall as they may. The institutions needed to prevent others from coming in to exploit this are not in place.
There are no guarantees what will come from all the unrest in the ME but decades of brutal repression have brought us to this point. I don't believe that most people there hate us, they are like most people in that they want a chance to have a family, feed them and educate them. They want an opportunity to better themselves. The largest percentage of people in the ME are under 30 and they are better educated than their parents and they can see what opportunities the world has to offer. They just want their fair shot at those opportunities. The U.S. and the Western world has to stand up and support them now or we'll be seen as total hypocrites and serve as the best recruiting tool the extremists have.

With that being said, I also see few institutions, especially political and legal, in place to help bring about the outcomes that most sane people would desire. Some of the possible negative outcomes are downright scary to consider. I do think that hundreds of years from now the digital history file for this period of time will warrant more than a few paragraphs.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:21 AM   #53
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Another message from inside Libya:

Dear Friends,

We are doing OK so far. I have been busy today driving around Tripoli checking things out. It appears quiet around Tripoli in the most part. People are scared and they are all inside their homes. Few food stores were open. Everything else is closed. Rations for bread per family are half of what they were yesterday. Almost all gas stations in Tripoli are closed. I was able to get gas for my car outside Tripoli. There were no lines for food but bakeries had lines but it wasn’t not too bad.

In my tour around the city, there were check points all over the city at every major intersection or traffic light!! People at the check points had AK47’s. These armed men were stopping drivers and doing car searches for some of them especially if the driver was a younger person. I was waved to go in all check points. It seems that I looked too old for them to be a protester J (I let my hair and beard grow over the last several days and the signs of wisdom and maturity, grey hair, is very visible).

The people with guns were in civilian clothing in the most part. The infamous Toyota Landcrusiers are visible all over the city. I also saw other types of cars without any license plates and they all had men with guns. In major intersections there were trucks with heavily armed men parked in an inconspicuous places to provide support to the armed men directing traffic. The area around the main “Revolutionary Committee” station (the Revolutionary committees are the main supporters of the regime.) had extensive display of armament (It is about a mile up the street from Q’s main barracks). Mini-bus Taxies that were transporting what appeared to be migrant workers to the Tunisian borders were being stopped and searched heavily. The security personnel were making the passengers take all of their luggage out of the car and lay them on the street to be searched.

It was very obvious that the regime did massive cleanup to remove any signs of the protest that took place over the last few nights. All graffiti on walls with slogans against the regime was painted over. There were city cleaning crews (black Africans) in their orange uniforms cleaning up all over the city. Security buildings were all burned up except the Internal Security HQ building which is heavily guarded and fortified.

I was told by an East European friend I know very well that people from his country who worked in hospitals in Tripoli told him that the regime’s guards came to hospitals and shot up all patients in the emergency rooms including patients who were there due to various ailments and not necessarily protestors. All patients were killed and bodies were taken away from the hospital!!! I have seen it myself that ALL hospitals now especially the trauma centers are heavily guarded by armed security personnel. This means that any protestor who is injured won’t be able to get medical treatment at all!

The weather in Tripoli is very windy and cold. There is an eerie feeling around the city. You can feel the tension and the anticipation that something big is going to happen. Everyone is waiting for it.

We hear reports that substantial confrontations between protestors and Q’s Security Battalion in Azzawiya City (about 60Km west of Tripoli) took place. It appears that heavy artillery, tanks, helicopters and even jet fighters were used. There is talk that the pilots that are flying the aircrafts attacking the protestors are from East European countries, primarily Ukraine and Serbs. It seems that the regime no longer trusts Libyan pilots anymore since Libyan pilots who were ordered to attack their fellow countrymen either defected to Malta or crashed their planes in the desert east of Libya.

Q’s in his latest TV talk (he called the Libyan TV station and addressed the rebels in Azzawiya earlier this evening with his voice but no picture), he appealed to Azzawiya “elders and wise men” to control their youth and to “seek treatment for their drug and alcohol” dependencies. He blamed all of these events on Osama Bin Laden. Q compared himself to rulers around the world who had honorary positions but no political responsibility. He specifically mentioned the Queen of England and he compared himself to her. Qaddafi basically wants to be a Queen!!!!

We wait and see what tomorrow will bring. We pray for a quick ending to this nightmare with minimum bloodshed. No one is naive, however, to believe that Q is going to go easily. Unarmed protestors in Tripoli are not going to be able to do it alone. Rebels in all neighboring cities and towns encircling Tripoli will need to eventually march to Tripoli to overcome Q and this Thugs once they have consolidated their control and power in their own locales. The Libyan military will need to be involved in the march. The regime supporters especially the lower rank types will give up easily when they see that they are outnumbered. I highly believe that these regime supporters don’t understand the magnitude of rebellion around the country. They are now “intoxicated” with the perceived might they have in their hands and don’t know or understand the volcano that is going to erupt from under their feet.

Power to the People!!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:36 AM   #54
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Another message from inside Libya:

Q compared himself to rulers around the world who had honorary positions but no political responsibility. He specifically mentioned the Queen of England and he compared himself to her. Qaddafi basically wants to be a Queen!!!!
I thought this was beyond bizarre. Hoping this Queen song describes Q's situation soon....

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Old 02-25-2011, 06:43 PM   #55
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BTraveling thanks for posting this, I am humbled by this man's courage driving around Tripoli and than reporting it to the outside world, which must be both difficult and dangerous.

Now that many American are safely out of the country by ferry and plane, I am embarrassed by US government's timid response. We should be helping this people way be on just talking about talking and threatening sanctions.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:46 PM   #56
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I am embarrassed by US government's timid response. We should be helping this people way be on just talking about talking and threatening sanctions.
Are you supporting the idea that the USA should be the world's policeman?

Libya is in the headlines right now. Is that the criteria selection for where the USA fights? What about the other conflicts?

BBC NEWS

There is oppression from dictators. What about the oppression of poverty?
What about starvation?
Starvation.net - The Three Top Sins Of The Universe by Mark R. Elsis

What about the oppression of malaria?

WHO | 10 facts on malaria

Are you equally embarrassed by US government's timid response to the other oppressions?

+++++

Old men have been sending young men into battle and to die since the beginning of time.

Maybe the solution is for young people to direct old people into battle and to die.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:01 PM   #57
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It strikes me that if there were a million people protesting in Washington DC, occupying public buildings and calling for the ouster of the government, we would see far more dead people than we have seen so far in Egypt and Libya.

It happened during the Great Depression. 4 people killed. A couple of later to be famous players involved.

Bonus Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I do not mean to equate what is going on in Africa with the smaller deals in the US. We haven't seen anything like Lybia since the Civil War.

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:09 PM   #58
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BTraveling thanks for posting this, I am humbled by this man's courage driving around Tripoli and than reporting it to the outside world, which must be both difficult and dangerous.

Now that many American are safely out of the country by ferry and plane, I am embarrassed by US government's timid response. We should be helping this people way be on just talking about talking and threatening sanctions.
He asked that his message be widely spread so people would know what is going on. Happy to oblige.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:19 PM   #59
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He asked that his message be widely spread so people would know what is going on. Happy to oblige.
Who do you suppose he is? Any reason to believe he lives in Libya?

The net is a great "place," but countries and interest groups have learned that a small investment in manpower and a few computer lines can create a reality online that doesn't exist in the real world. We used to count on the press to be our information clearinghouses: AP, CBS, et al would confirm information before reporting it, because a loss of credibility would hurt their bottom line. They didn't always get it right, but at least there was somebody to hold accountable. Now, faceless Twitter feeds and blog postings form a new reality, and they just fade away when no longer needed. And, a lot of people just make up new identities and post stuff on the net for fun--it's easy, it's not illegal, and it gives them a kick to know they've got a bunch of folks on the string. There's just no way to know what's real unless you are there in person or someone you trust is there.

Heck, maybe I don't exist.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:49 PM   #60
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Who do you suppose he is? Any reason to believe he lives in Libya?

The net is a great "place," but countries and interest groups have learned that a small investment in manpower and a few computer lines can create a reality online that doesn't exist in the real world. We used to count on the press to be our information clearinghouses: AP, CBS, et al would confirm information before reporting it, because a loss of credibility would hurt their bottom line. They didn't always get it right, but at least there was somebody to hold accountable. Now, faceless Twitter feeds and blog postings form a new reality, and they just fade away when no longer needed.

Heck, maybe I don't exist.
Hopefully, I'm not talking to myself here but I type therefore I exist.

Anyway, this person is known to an individual I've conversed with elsewhere for almost five years. They are professionals and have worked together previously.

Besides, there's nothing sinister about their message. They're tired of being repressed, they're making a grab for the gold ring and, at the very least, they'd like for us to speak up for them through whatever means possible.
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