Joe Biden’s Careless Rhetoric

W.J. Astore

They do not inspire confidence

Joe Biden has done it again, calling for Vladimir Putin’s removal from office as president of Russia, and refusing to apologize for it. Being charitable, I’m calling this rhetoric “careless,” but really it’s inflammatory and even unhinged when you consider the U.S. and Russia could easily destroy the world in a nuclear war.

I’ve never been a fan of Joe Biden. When he ran for president in 1987-88, he lied about being near the top of his class (he was near the bottom, actually), lied about how many majors he took, lied about an award he falsely said he’d earned, and generally came off looking like a lightweight. He was trying way too hard, including “borrowing” without attribution, i.e. plagiarizing, from the speeches of Neil Kinnock and Bobby Kennedy. Most political commentators back then dismissed him as a has-been before he ever was.

But Biden bided his time, improved his bona fides with the big money players, and became the boring white guy sidekick to the upstart Barack Obama in 2008. Biden served loyally as Obama’s VP for eight years, failing to distinguish himself in any meaningful way. Occasionally, he’d blurt out something tough, something manly, like the time he commented about confronting the Islamic State at “the gates of hell,” but it was all bluster.

When Biden ran for president in 2019-20, he was obviously well past his prime, which was never that high to begin with. But he promised the owners and donors that nothing would fundamentally change if he was elected, the one promise he’s kept since he gained office. Throughout his campaign, he lied through his blindingly white teeth about how he supported a $15 federal minimum wage and how he’d work for a single-payer option for health care, among many other whoppers. One of those whoppers has gained considerable press lately: his son Hunter’s laptop and the emails on it, which Biden said was an obvious Kremlin plant. Wrong again, Joe. Hunter’s emails were all-too-real and incriminating, as was his phony yet high-paying job ($50,000 a month) for Burisma in Ukraine.

Politics is almost always a miserable affair, now more than ever, but during the campaign Biden showed he was a gaffe-prone liar who was nearing the end of his mental tether. No matter. The mainstream media got behind him and plenty of Americans were rightly fed up with Donald Trump and his bungling of the response to Covid-19, and that was enough to make him president.

Biden is now pushing 80, slurring words, and calling Putin a war criminal and saying that he needs to go. It’s the kind of behavior you’d expect from a blowhard who’s had a few too many drinks at the bar, not from America’s most senior leader.

I joked to my wife that I really don’t want to die today in a nuclear war due to Biden’s bizarre bombast. If any leader needs to go, it’s probably Joe Biden, but he has an iron-clad insurance policy: if he goes, we get Kamala “giggles” Harris as our new president. So I guess I have to be very careful what I wish for.

There was a time when America produced leaders like FDR, Ike, George C. Marshall, even Ronald Reagan, who had the guts to dream of a world free of nuclear weapons. Reagan may have called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” but he also knew how to negotiate with Mikhail Gorbachev for a better, safer world. America is hamstrung today by narcissistic nincompoops like Biden, Harris, and Trump; somehow, we have to take a long, hard look in the mirror and find it within ourselves to demand better.

72 thoughts on “Joe Biden’s Careless Rhetoric

    1. I supported Tulsi Gabbard. Once she was out, I preferred Bernie to Joe. But of course the fix was in for Joe, and Bernie folded with some grace but little guts.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As a fellow veteran of the Cold War, I find nothing to criticize an experienced statesman at the helm especially one who is not cozying up to a former KGB officer to eviscerate NATO. BTW, the Trump 2024 campaign manager could put your anti-Biden diatribe to good use in case they run out of material.

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      1. You do know President Bush Sr. and SoS Pompeo were both Directors of the CIA.
        You think they headed an organization of choir boys with their torture programs in black prison sites and orchestrating coloured revolutions in the former Warsaw Pact Nations to get them into NATO on the way to Russia’s border?

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  1. I was also troubled by Biden’s talk with the 82nd Airborne troopers in Poland. Another off-hand comment about “when you get there (i.e., Ukraine).” But even beyond that gaffe, the rambling and aimless shuffling did not convey the image of a steady and strong commander in chief who might have to soberly order them into war; rather that of a bumbling old man who wouldn’t remember if he had.

    And in regard to the Hunter laptop, if the allegations prove out (e.g., payments to “the big guy” and the MetaBiota labs), then it will have succeeded in one other thing: proving in the end that Trump was and is just a small-time grifter who does well on television, while the elites sold us on the Biden crime family that is the actual threat to democracy and life on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG The “Orange” Blob and Bernie–too funny! Get the Bafco! Unfortunately no truer words have ever been spoken–A smart person once said: “We all get the Government we deserve” As Pogo said “We have met the enemy and it is us!”

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    1. I have to disagree. We deserve a better government. What we’re getting is a corrupted and false bill of goods sold to us by powerful interests whose goal is always to maintain their grip on power. Hardworking and decent Americans deserve far better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On what basis, Colonel, do “hardworking and decent Americans deserve better government”? Especially when they continue to put up with and support Their side of the GoatRope [better termed GoatF**k] that is America’s $ 1 = 1 Vote system of politics? Especially when that system advances their own personal, particular “Special Interests”?

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        1. I don’t know. Fundamental human decency?

          People don’t support the goatfuck. People want more and better choices. But we are kept divided, distracted, and downtrodden, throughly demoralized and propagandized.

          We can do better because we’ve done better in the past.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. What do You mean they don’t support it? Which bloc of voters in Election2020 demonstrated that they didn’t support it: those who voted for Trump, or those who voted for Biden?

            And people want more and better choices of what? More goods, products, and services to be provided by the government? From there Big box store? Their streaming service?

            How about an option as to whether or not we are going to be involved in a War?

            When’s the last time the American People had a choice about that? In 1940, when they overwhelmingly elected the man who promised them no American Boys would be sent overseas? Or was that back in 1916? Same promise; different Bullshitter.

            And looking to the past for when “we’ve done better” can be very risky. Because it can also bring out into the raw, cruel open a lot of things about that past that have been very carefully and systematically erased from general knowledge or, particularly, concern.

            i’m curious, Colonel: When would You say America has “done better” most recently, and about what?

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          2. The biggest bloc of voters in 2020 voted for neither candidate. These were the voters who stayed home. Not that either party cared that much. Indeed, the Republicans are hard at work to keep the “wrong” kind of voters at home.

            When am I most proud of my country? The U.S. remains generous with disaster relief. Sometimes with foreign aid. What upsets me is that too much of this “aid” is tied to weaponry and military training.

            The system may be filthy and rotten, but there are many good people in it, doing good things. I say that as I recognize so much of the bad: the wars, the weapons trade, the imperial exploitation.

            Liked by 3 people

  3. Here’s what The President of the largest nations on earth can expect to get from his/her job today:

    1. Non-stop criticism from the media.
    2. Less pay than a typical mid-level executive.
    3. Seeing their enemies get elected to power and having to face them every working day.
    4. Fanatical public scrutiny of their personal lives, now and all the way back to high school.
    5. Accusations of favouritism if they try to benefit their families or friends.
    6. Very little privacy, endless flights for work purposes, and a succession of mass-catered public banquets
    with mediocre food and dull speeches.
    7. Eighteen-hour work days.
    8. Accommodation in ‘historic’ public buildings that are often run down and unfit for their purpose.
    9. A job they have to apply for all over again every few years.

    What smart person would want that job? The amazing thing is not that better people don’t run – it’s that anyone wants to run at all. Maybe this explains why candidates are getting older. We’re left with people who have already done all the things they really want to do, and can afford to spend some time in one of the most boring yet stressful occupations there is.

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    1. Dennis, I disagree here. Politicians like Biden often get fawning coverage from the media. They don’t get a lot of pay, but somehow Pelosi has amassed over $100 million, and presidents (like Bush, Obama, etc.) almost always cash-in with millions after they leave office (the lone recent exception: Jimmy Carter).

      Trump wasn’t known for long work days; neither is Biden. And scrutiny: as narcissists, they love it!

      What these men get is what they desire: Power. Attention. Ego gratification. They are the ultimate Big Fish. Sure, it comes at a cost, but as the song goes in Evita, “Don’t cry for me, Argentina.” I don’t cry for politicians. They’re volunteers, after all. And they always get big state funerals where they’re lionized for their greatness, regardless of how paltry their lives were.

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  4. A Nation and a People get the government, system of governance, and the politicians, bureaucrats, pundits, propagandists, and professors that they deserve,

    And for the sins of our Far ForeFathers ~ starting with FDR, Wilson, T Roosevelt, and back to Lincoln, if not Hamilton and The Federalists ~ we have inherited the sins of Near ForeFathers ~ from Truman to Ike to JFK, LBJ, RMN, the Peanut Farmer and The Soap Salesman ~ and We are now The Fathers: Leaving our Legacy of Billy Bob, Cheney/Bush the Lesser, Obomber, Corporal Bonespurs [aka POTUS Maxximmuss XLV], and of course, that Loveable Ole 50-year survivor of SwampLand, Uncle Sleepy Joe.

    The reason Biden got elected over Trump is because the owners and operators of America’s $ 1 = 1 Vote system of politics determined that they could get more out of Biden than they had already got out of Trump.

    Just like the reason Trump was enthroned in 2016 was because The Ruling Elites determined that they could accomplish more with him reading their scripts than The Hillary.

    And they were exactly right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I question the idea the ruling elites wanted Trump to win in 2016. Most were behind Hillary. Trump was a wildcard, unpredictable, less tractable.

      We don’t always get what we deserve. I’d focus on what Dorothy Day said: “Our problem is our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.” If we keep accepting it without a fight, then perhaps we do indeed get what we deserve.

      You deserve better, JGM. We all do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And if we continue to “accept this filthy, rotten system,” does that not make us complicit in how screwed up things are? And if are suffering as a result of that complicity, are we not getting at least something of what we deserve?

        So the Question then becomes : So how do we all that deserve better make that happen?

        Is there anybody on America’s political landscape that is asking that question?

        Or is the only thing they are concerned about the election in November? Assuming that there is one.

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        1. And if we don’t accept the “filthy, rotten system,” what’s our alternative? I’ve voted third-party for 42 years, I’ve canvassed for Progresive/Green candidates, and on and on. It hasn’t made one bit of difference. But I really do resent being told I deserve the mess I have to live under.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, i’m sure You and everybody else who hears that resents it as well, Denise. It’s termed “blaming the victim,” isn’t it?

            But Who is the real victim here?

            First of all: Do You, indeed, HAVE to live under this system? Is not emigration an option?

            But beyond that: What 3rd party in America has ever made a difference in any election in the last 120 years? [Historical Note: And don’t say Nader, who “cost Gore” the election in 2000. Gore is the only candidate in history to lose his own state and the state of the seated President of his own party. Had he won either Tennessee or Arkansas, what happened in Florida would have made no difference.]

            And at the moment, You are absolutely correct that there is NO alternative to either the Clinton/Obama/Biden crony capitalist neo-liberal corporatists, or the Trumpatistas and their Trumpatismo. The Bernie/Warren/AOC crowd has been rendered totally irrelevant to anything that happens in SwampLand for quite some time now.

            But somebody better come up with an alternative while the opportunity still exists, because America’s collision course with reality is approaching a kind of tipping point this Nation has not seen in over 160 years, and the eve of what was merely the FIRST American Civil War.

            So if We, The People, don’t “deserve” the mess we live under, then WHO is responsible for our being in the mess we are in? Which specific people who voted for which specific candidates? And so forth.

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            1. No, emigration is not an option. You say it as if it can be done at the drop of a hat. But it takes a lot more resources than my husband and I have.

              And We the People have no control over what the political parties do, who they put up for nomination. Money rules all in this country, and until that’s no longer true, there’s nothing we citizens can do about our government.

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              1. Denise: Something like 3 million Ukrainians have emigrated at the drop of a hat with less resources, i’m sure, than You and Your Husband have. A lot would depend upon what standard of living You wanted to either maintain or settle for, wouldn’t it?

                And how is it that “money rules all in this country”? How long has that been the case?

                Was it an issue back in Philadelphia when the Constitution was being hammered out? How about when the Confederacy tried to secede? Or at least since 1913, Woodrow Wilson, and the creation of the Federal Reserve System? Or is that just a recent development since, say, Citizens United?

                Regardless. There is one thing that We, The People and Citizens, COULD and CAN do that could and would send a very powerful message to The Ruling Elite: Stop paying Taxes.

                If every taxpayer in this country who is fed up with the Charley Foxtrot that is our politics ~ and thus our government, and thus our system of governance ~ stopped paying their taxes, what impact would that have? Especially if it numbered in the tens of millions, with widespread peaceful mass demonstrations, and other assorted activities?

                How do You think our Leaders and their Owners and Operators would react and respond to that?

                Start a war with China?

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              2. My husband and I are not refugees. No other country is going to take us in just because we’re nice people. No one is going to give us a place to live simply because we didn’t want to be in the U.S. anymore. So….yeah, we have certain standards, such as eating and living indoors, that require funds. And….the situations of Ukrainian refugees are matters of life and death, as opposed to the circumstances of those of us who merely abhor what the U.S. has become.

                As for money ruling all, I can’t pinpoint the exact time that average citizens ceased to have any clout. If one believes that the American Revolution was fought because the British tried to prevent colonial encroachment beyond the Applachians (bad for wealthy would-be land barons), and most early citizens didn’t want to fight England, then money has ruled since the country was born. But certainly, the cratering of union membership accelerated the loss of citizen power. And Citizens United was the last straw.

                Not pay taxes, huh? That would work, if 100 million people simultaneously agreed to stop remitting to Uncle Sam. How would you propose getting all of them on board? A few people here and there wouldn’t even make the news, and I, for one, am not willing to be the only person in my city who goes to jail or loses my house because I haven’t thrown money in the kitty.

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              3. Thank You for Your response and the conversation.

                First and foremost of all, Denise: At this point in the game, do You think there are any guarantees that the situation in the United States could not devolve and then degenerate into “matters of life and death” with our own set of Refugees, at least for some populations in some areas of the nation? Food Shortages coupled with a surge in the new strain of COVID in the Inner Cities, anyone?

                In any event, You are absolutely correct. No one is going to GIVE You anything just because You don’t want to live in the U.S. any more, even if You are nice people. And why should they? Especially if You are Americans? On the other hand, according to a survey in May, 2021:

                + Nearly 1 in 4 American expatriates say they are “seriously considering” or “planning” to ditch their U.S. citizenship.
                + About 9 million U.S. citizens are living abroad, the U.S. Department of State estimates.
                + More than 4 in 10 who would renounce citizenship say it’s due to the burden of filing U.S. taxes
                Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/18/the-top-reason-why-americans-abroad-want-to-dump-their-citizenship.html

                So apparently quite a few of those who have reached their limit with all the insanity and inanity at work and play here, have found quite comfortable niches for themselves.

                If i didn’t already live in Alaska, i would have become an expat a long time ago.

                And a better example of money ruling America since the beginning is the fact that, unless Slavery had been built into the Constitution, that document would have never been ratified, and the experiment that was and still is United States of America would have been still born. At least in 1789.

                Also, how were the Unions “cratered”? And if they were so strong, and gave people so much power, how come they and then the people lost it? Did them pricing themselves out of the developing global market for Labor have anything to do with it? You concluded:

                Not pay taxes, huh? That would work, if 100 million people simultaneously agreed to stop remitting to Uncle Sam. How would you propose getting all of them on board? A few people here and there wouldn’t even make the news, and I, for one, am not willing to be the only person in my city who goes to jail or loses my house because I haven’t thrown money in the kitty.

                i’m glad You see the potential of 10 million Tax Revolters. If close to 150 million Americans filed taxes last years, how many Revolters would it take to to get Everybody’s attention in SwampLand?

                And to answer Your question: How did Gandhi or King go about getting done what they ultimately got done? Didn’t they both start with getting “a few people here and there” on board?

                But You are correct on another thing: They certainly didn’t get started by working with and for people who didn’t want to be the only one in their city who goes to jail or loses their property.

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      2. And as far as the Ruling Elites and Trump’s election in 2016: Remember Papa Joe Stalin’s immortal admonition: “It ain’t who votes that counts; it’s who counts the votes.” And the same thing can easily be said about 2020’s election, eh?

        And how unpredictable and less tractable did Trump turn out to be for the MIC, the oil, banking, and agriculture cartels, the infotainment matrix, and the surveillance/secrecy/security/safety panopticon?

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        1. Maybe not the exact right place for this comment in the long discussion, but two points.
          We tend to think that democracy means going to the ballot box and then hibernate until the next election. Unfortunately politicians then see it the same way if we do not hold them to account. They should be made to realise that being elected is not the end but the beginning of their interactions and responsibility towards voters. This is by no means unique of the US but of all ‘democracies’.
          As for eliminating taxes, I recommend reading ‘The Looting Machine’ an excellent account of the impact that has on governmental ‘social responsibilities’, albeit in countries with plenty of natural resources (in the book’s case African countries). As the governmental ‘swamp’ can rely on natural resources to fill its pockets, it does not need our tax money and whether we pay them or not does not make much of a difference to them. So no leverage. It reminds me of a short stop-over in Trinidad in 1979. Sweden had recently changed from left hand to right hand drive and had donated countless public transport busses to Trinidad. They had never left the huge parking lot where they had been delivered, as all the government officials had cars, running on cheap Venezuelan gas. So no incentive for the government to promote public transport and there was none, except eternally overcrowded shared taxis. I’m neither an optimist not a pessimist, rather a realist 🙂 and the only way I see to improve the performance of the governments which we elect is to constantly hold them to account – but that’s hard work and public shaming of politicians for not keeping their promises definitely is part of that.
          Media of course are a crucial part of that, as interviewers should not mindlessly follow their prepared questions, but react critically to the answers they get, keep drilling until the politician answers their question instead of repeating his/her usual PR lines.
          Well, at least we can keep dreaming …

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes. Here in America, the politicians rarely listen to the people; they listen to the donors, since money is the lifeblood of elections here. If you want politicians to pay attention to you, it helps if you have millions of dollars and plenty of lobbyists. Thus our politicians are deeply compromised. Even the best ones are deeply conflicted by a system that’s more kleptocratic than democratic.

            The answer, of course, is to get big money out of politics, but a corporate-friendly Supreme Court decided money is speech, so the more money, the more speech, meaning ordinary Americans are always drowned out. It’s the law of the land, even if it’s unjust.

            It’s hard to hold democracy to account when there is no democracy.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. However, as we’ve seen in all too many cases lately, public shaming has no effect on some politicians. In fact, they turn it to their advantage, making themselves out to be victims. For reference, see TFG, Ted Cruz, et. al. Having no shame should disqualify a candidate in voters’ eyes, but sadly, it doesn’t.

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  5. I have thought a lot about the people that have been president of the United States, especially in the last 60 years. One almost got us into WWIII with the Russians, two continued the Viet Nam war even though they knew it was unwinnable, one had the chance to eliminate nuclear weapons but wanted to keep Star Wars instead, one got us into two wars at once and both ended badly, and one instigated an insurrection. Others were too bland to get a good fix on.
    I made up a list of criteria that all candidates for president should have:

    Prerequisites to be Eligible to be President of the United States 1

    Childhood Characteristics:
    Virtues2
    Courage 3
    Prudence 4
    Justice 5
    Continence 6
    Leadership
    Intelligence
    Compassion

    Education:
    College: It is expected that completion of the following will take 10
    -12 years. This is similar to the time a student would need to
    complete a medical education and residency to be a medical
    specialist.
    A bachelor’s degree in any subject that appeals to the individual.
    7 Other required courses:
    History:
    World history: 2 semesters of:
    Asian, European, African, North American, and South
    American.
    American History: 8 semesters( four years ). Must include
    Constitutional history and Native American history.
    Philosophy: One semester in each of the following:
    logic, epistemology, pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, Aristotle,
    17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century European philosophy.
    Science: one semester in each of the following:
    Botany, zoology, microbiology, astronomy
    Two semesters in each of the following:
    chemistry, physics
    Political science: 8 semesters
    Economics: 2 semesters
    Military theory in preparation for officer rank.
    Language: 4 semesters in each of the following:
    Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and
    one elective language of the student’s choice. 8
    Theology: 2 semesters in each of the following:
    Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.

    Military Service:
    Any of the armed services until the rank of major is attained and the individual has completed Advance Officer Training. This will typically take 10 years.

    Civilian Service:
    All of the following for 2 years:
    Manual Labor: Any job that is considered ‘blue collar’.
    All other: office, managerial, technical, teaching, health care.

    Foreign Service: This may be done in the military or civilian service.
    At least 1 year in each of the following countries:
    Mexico, Germany, France, England, India, China, Japan, one Muslim
    country, one South American country, and one African country ( not
    North African ).

    By the completion of all these requirements the individual will be close to 60 years old.

    The following requirements must also be satisfied:
    1. No felony criminal record.
    2. Age over 60 years.
    3. Health: no major physical or mental diseases as determined by
    medical examination.
    4. American born citizen
    5. Honorable discharge from the military.
    6. Letters of recommendation from each supervisor of all ranks and
    positions held.

    Notes:
    1. In The Laws by Plato, the Athenian’s ( Plato himself ) penultimate statement, says that he will not or can not lay out a specific curriculum for the Guardians who are the supreme rulers of his ideal city state. He does say that age, intellectual attainments, moral character,
    and way of life are necessary points to consider. He also states that Theology is the most important field of knowledge. By this he means an education similar to what the Jesuits undergo to give a rational basis for belief.

    2. These are the cardinal virtues of classical Greece.

    3. Courage heads the list because ‘Courage is the one virtue without which all others are useless’ Ed Abbey.

    4. Prudence is called wisdom by Plato, but this is a mistake on his part in that wisdom is the totality of all virtues. Prudence to the ancient Greeks meant circumspection, perspicuity, and judgement

    5. Justice in ancient Greece meant impartiality, duty, and reciprocity.

    6. Continence is the ability to endure, restrain or control one’s
    emotions, and steadfastness.

    7. Students who choose one of the required subjects would get
    through college in less time.

    8. One of the required languages may be chosen, however an
    additional 4 semesters is needed.

    Too ambitious? When this one person can decide the fate of humanity and most of the other species on the planet, I believe it should be ambitious. Yet, there are no requirements to be president other than age over 35 and a natural born citizen with no felony record.

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      1. Come to think of it : a few cherry-picked European countries, but just one ‘African’ and one ‘South American’ one – because you can blindly pick any of them, won’t make any difference ? On what basis I wonder do you allow yourself to ignore these continents’ great diversity and put all their countries into one bag ? The difference between say Senegal, Kenya & Namibia is at least as big as that between their ex-colonial masters … The fact that the lawful inhabitants of all three countries happen to have dark skins does not mean that their countries have no specific identities, cultures, that they are interchangeable. Amazing how such Trans-Atlantic exceptionalism still thrives.
        And by the way, I read Plato in the original in prep school but it did not make me a better person in any way. Living and working in several African and Asian countries did.

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        1. I cannot, as I do not pretend to be an expert in that field. My question also was provocative :-). But I seem to remember hearing about some Confucius from China and I presume there were fascinating ones from for instance Iran or the Middle East. We tend to forget the amazing contributions to science from the Arab world – often making crucial discoveries much earlier than the European scientists whom we credit for them – or Persian litterature. I am convinced that whoever is interested in philosophers who can contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the world can find such examples in that part of the world.

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    1. I disagree with mandatory military service. Aside from the fact that it tends to inculcate a rigid, adversarial mindset (present company excluded, of course), military service isn’t noble or selfless by definition. I’d much prefer a leader who volunteered fir the Peace Corps or an environmental cause. So, I’d change the requirement to simply mandatory service of some type.

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      1. What’s the difference between “mandatory service” ~ whether military or civilian ~ and involuntary servitude? One volunteers to be Drafted?

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        1. The topic was requirements for the office of President, not citizenship in general. That said, I believe that service to the nation in some form other than the military is a better qualification for the Oval Office. I used the Peace Corps as an example, because it exposes one to different cultures and belief systems. There are many equally worthy possibilities, of course.

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          1. i understand all that, Denise. My question was if mandatory service to the government ~ in public works, the military, whatever ~ is involuntary servitude: whether it’s directed at National Leader Wannabes or anybody else.

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            1. No one said anything about involuntary servitude. The point was that, to be considered for the Presidency, one must have served in some organization that benefits others. It’s a qualification. It’s not mandatory for everyone to pass the bar examination a given state, but to qualify to practice law, one must gain the necessary knowledge and pass the exam. If one has a given ambition, one voluntarily accepts the requirements thereof.

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              1. If You are talking about any mandatory activity that is a “qualifications” to serve in public office, You are talking about something that is involuntary.

                And just out of curiosity: Who, in Your mind, are the five Greatest Presidents in American history, and what was their prior experience in an “organization that benefited others”?

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              2. So, by your reasoning, the qualifications of being a U.S. citizen and being 35 years old to be President should be abandoned, correct, because they’re involuntary? Extrapolated to the extreme, the requirement to get a certain number of signatures to be placed on a given ballot would also be abolished. And so on. No one is forcing anyone else to serve in public office. If one wishes to serve, one must meet the requirements, same as with many other things in life. I must undergo so many hours in a classroom and in a training car if I want to pass the driver’s test. If I don’t want to do those things, no one says I have to, but then, I won’t get my license. If there are proficiency qualifications to drive, shouldn’t the requirements to be the leader of this country be at least slightly more stringent?

                As for the five greatest Presidents, I decline to answer on the grounds that I’ve already gone too far into masochism.

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              3. GMAFB, Denise. Tell You what. Just answer a simple question with a simple “Yes” or “No,” OK?

                Were the Americans who were drafted against their will and sent to Vietnam to kill and to be killed, maimed, or otherwise crippled physically, physiologically, and psychologically… Were these folks the victims of Involuntary Servitude any more than the folks on the Auction Blocks in the Slave Markets?

                You are talking about administrative requirements to hold public office, and i am talking about a form of Slavery that could be brought back any day now, should the folks in SwampLand deem it necessary, appropriate, and/or, especially, profitable.

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    1. I will take your comments as an ad hominem attack. If you have a disagreement with something in my post, say so and present the arguments for your position, but please do not come at my ‘American mindset’.

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      1. WJS, I just wanted to say that Americans have been culturally conditioned to war. History becomes myth. You will not argue that America’s rich history of conflict, and it’s resulting consequences that made it into a superpower, has become modern myth and the power of that myth influences the belief of American exceptionalism. Americans fight and argue for what they value. America likes to think of themselves as a peaceful people and their country as a benevolent force in the world and are raised from young children to accepted that militarism is responsible for this – and that having a military man as a leader is paramount. I immigrated to in America as a teenager and lived there my whole life. Acquiring very much an ‘American mindset’ – but this New Zealander was never convinced that the President needed to be a military man.

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        1. Thank you for explaining your position. In the future I hope you address the issues and not the person making them.

          My point is that the leader of a country must be knowledgeable about the military in order to be in control of it. He must understand military logic to be an effective and respected commander in chief. We have seen how inept presidents have gotten the U.S. into disastrous wars mainly due to their lack of knowing what a military action is about and when it is necessary and when it is not necessary.

          War is a fact of life and any leader of a country must be familiar with the military, and there is no better way than to have been in it. Ignoring the military and pretending one need not bother understanding it is like ignoring your automobile; someday you will need it, and you will not have maintained it or learned how to drive it.

          I am not glorifying war. If you have read my posts you would know that. I think the myths of American violence are despicable. Canada became independent without a ‘Revolutionary War’. Mexico and all of Latin America rid themselves of slavery without a ‘Civil War’. Americans have the deep shame of resorting to violence when they could have done things peacefully.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. We are not going to have a nuclear war because of what Biden said. I agree, however, that it was not prudent. Now, the choices we had were, Biden it Trump. It’s not like Americans ar idiots to vote for one. Americans had a very hard choice and chose the less worse.

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    1. With all due respect, we probably indeed won’t have a nuclear war because of Biden’s mindless stupid grandstanding, just a lot more dead Ukrainians, but who cares ? For Putin’s revenge for this umptiest insult will not be bombing Biden or any city in the US. He will take it out on the most defenceless victim at hand : Ukraine. Just like Bush did not have the guts to bomb Saudi Arabia to avenge the humiliation of 9/11 but chose Afghanistan, a much ‘softer’ target. But Biden’s messing things up even more than they already are to me was not a surprise. I long ago realised that US ‘diplomacy’ consists of four B’s : Bully, Bribe, Blackmail, Bomb…
      The most mind-boggling opinion was from some other US politician (or maybe just some press secretary ?). That a no-fly zone was out of the question, as it might lead to WWIII (fair enough, no one wants that) but then added, that if a country which is a NATO member would be attacked, there of course would have to be a strong reaction.
      In other words, WWIII is OK to defend Estonia or Poland, but Ukraine can be thrown under the bus as it is not a member of this exclusive military members-only-club ? It just has been exploited by that club and made to believe that if it cooperated and let NATO forces hold ‘war games’ there, on Putin’s doorstep, one day it might be allowed to become a member too. Now they know what ‘friendly relations’ with that criminally self-serving outfit mean in practice…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “: Bully, Bribe, Blackmail, Bomb…” not getting a disagreement from me, but that also describes Putin. It is sad that it seems as though Zekensky had the impression that the Western countries would do more for Ukraine than they are actually doing. I don’t know why he might have thought that, but also a miscalculation on his part?

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        1. The double play of “Uncle Sam” in all its former and current incarnations, including the current Joe Biden, does not bode well for the current head of Ukraine. Uncle Sam teaches his students too well how to destroy and destroy their own country.
          Having adopted the “string” from Petro Poroshenko, President Zelensky is doing an excellent job with his puppet role of the US pleaser.

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        2. I absolutely agree that the four B’s (add Boast & Blunder ?) apply to Putin at least equally. In fact he’s much worse on the Bombing. Both in Ukraine and Afghanistan his country went all out for carpet bombing. But he does not lecture the rest of the world on democratic values, unprovoked attacks on sovereign countries etc etc., in fact he cynically parrots some of them. And we have no way of influencing his behaviour, while we do in the case of our own governments.
          As for Zelenskyy, he certainly was made to believe Ukraine (as well as Georgia) might in foreseeable future become part of the NATO club and he cannot be blamed for having been naive in that field. He has been manipulated into believing that if he hosted NATO drills, be armed by us (and whatever else that I have no idea about), he would be a ‘trusted ally’ and could count on support in case of trouble with Russia. We – the west and first and foremost NATO – have been grooming Ukraine to act as a buffer for ourselves, not in any way for Ukraine’s own security. Zelenskyy already whispered a few weeks ago that becoming a member of NATO might not be as good an idea as he has thought, having realised that his country is being exploited for a proxy war between two superpowers, none of which can be trusted, both of which defending their own ‘national interests’. The military base some 20 km from the Polish border which was bombed a few weeks ago, only a few months ago had hosted NATO drills.
          Much as I sympathise with Ukraine, my next-door neigbour and the country where my mother was born in 1904, and host Ukrainian refugees myself, I think military neutrality is the only reasonable option. While I in no way defend how Putin is persuing his crazy imperial hallucinations, I do acknowledge our own responsibility as after Gorbachev proposed a true ‘detente’, instead of pursuing diplomacy concerning European security, we increasingly were ridiculing, ignoring, isolating Russia.
          I am not a historian and even in school thought that all history lessons achieve is keeping alive nationalistic resentment and past grievances. If we look at the last century in Europe, we did not learn a thing from WWI. Germany having been left destitute and humiliated after that war, created a perfect breeding ground for maniacs with extended ego’s such as Hitler to dream of revenge, of ‘making Germany great again’ by whatever means, including blaming minorities as scapegoats for the sorry state the country was in. That inevitably appealed to a fair part of the population.
          After WWII we remembered that mistake and did not repeat it. Defeated Germany received support for economic revival, which soon led to the ‘Wirtschaftswunder’ which continues until this day. When the Soviet Union fell apart and remaining Russia was badly hit by the bleeding in Afghanistan etc, instead of applying the post WWII option we reverted to the fatal WWI one. Wallowing in our victory and arrogantly rubbing it in, we contributed to the emergence of yet another bloated ego who sooner or later would decide to ‘make Russia great again’ … Even in the weeks leading up to this war, we continued provoking the already furious wild bear instead of trying to ease tensions.
          No guarantee whatsoever that would have worked, but it might have been worth a try ?

          Sorry Bill, this again is not a short answer and encroaches on your professional field, I wonder what your take is on my amateur assessment of our lack of historical learning :-).

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It’s a good and fair assessment.

            We must also factor in Russian and Soviet history. It’s not like they haven’t felt the sting of war before. Invaded and controlled by the Mongols for 250 years. Invaded by Charles XII of Sweden. Invaded and devastated by Napoleon. Invaded and devastated by Germany in two world wars. Even U.S. forces intervened in the Russian civil war in the aftermath of WW1.

            The Russians have long memories; they also have pride. NATO expansion to their doorstep was bound to be seen as a threat, and, as I think we’ve seen, an intolerable one for an autocrat like Putin.

            Not excusing Putin’s behavior, but it was predictable, and many people did in fact predict it.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Taibbi is always worth hearing. I subscribe to him and to Glenn Greenwald on Substack.

      A thought on choosing candidates. I wonder what the effect would be if (I know this is impossible) all those running for an office, right up to the Presidency, would never be seen or heard. Instead, the only thing the voters could access would be written. The candidates would be interviewed, they could write essays or books, they would certainly have to answer questions put to them either individually or as a group, but it would all appear in print. Due to this requirement, one could never be influenced by appearance, height, weight, pulchritude, race, sex, a lovely voice and diction, accent, a winning smile, mannerisms, the things that Taibbi mentions that the press loves to emphasize. I don’t think we realize how influenced we are by the visual and that is exploited in campaigns. Appearances may not be everything, but they are very powerful in making impressions that have nothing to do with reason.

      This requirement would quickly reveal a candidate that knew what he/she was talking about. Ignorance could not be hidden. Ideas, or the lack of them, would stand out. Gaffes such as Biden’s would, in print, stand out as nonsense. Just a thought.

      An unrelated thought – Bernie blew it. Rather than being true to those of us who supported him, he dumped us and went up against Hillary, she who repulsed many of his followers and who successfully pulled the rug out from under him. He silenced the voices that would have registered in votes, even if he lost running as a third party candidate. As someone so conscientious, no typical Democrat and certainly no Republican, he was the man to make the move. But there’s more to it than this. As I recall there was some pledge that he had to make, an avowal that if he went into the Democratic debates, he could not then declare as an independent. Didn’t it have to do with not being able to appear on ballots if he didn’t declare as an independent by a certain date? There you go, another fix that likely can be traced to an agreement between the two parties: lure in the potential independent and then destroy him/her. It worked. This would support an argument that we are not allowed to have the variety of candidates we deserve.

      Then again, Jill Stein, my choice, and certainly a candidate with different views, got about 1% of the vote though I believe she appeared on all the state ballots. The Europeans, with a political scene that puts ours in the shade, shows that we are far too apathetic. If the press says something can’t be done politically, we believe it. I have to hand it to Trump, he got out the mad-as-hell vote, people willing to vote for anyone who wasn’t more of the same (or so they thought), but his is a retrograde movement driven by fear, not progressive by any means.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I voted for Jill Stein, too, clif, because, as you said, I was repulsed by Hillary. Just to anecdotally show how the Dems think, I was chastised on a phone call from HRC’s campaign. When I said I wasn’t going to vote for her, the caller asked in horror, “But SURELY you aren’t going to vote for TRUMP???” I said that, no, I wasn’t. The caller then had to know for whom I was voting, and when I told her, her response was, “You’re going to vote for someone who can’t possibly win???? Why would you do that?” I said I was voting for Stein because, of the choices, she was the one I wanted to see in the White House. The campaign worker scolded me and tried to make me see the light until I hung up on her. Not a good sign when they’re trying to bully you into voting a certain way….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m sure those manning the phone banks are coached on the most effective ways to get a vote, whether by intimidation or whatever.

          Speaking of Jill Stein. Now that I know you voted for her too, we really should try to find out who the other 6 are. : )

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Whether candidates for president should have prior military experience is an interesting question. The short answer is no, or so the American people have concluded. Bill Clinton had none. Barack Obama had none. Donald Trump had none. Joe Biden had none. Even that most imperial wannabe president, Dick Cheney, had none.

    Meanwhile, presidents with a modicum of military service, like George W. Bush, didn’t exactly excel in the job.

    Last time around, two Democratic candidates had military experience, Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard. Mayor Pete spent a few months driving high-ranking officers around in Afghanistan. Tulsi is now a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaiian Army National Guard.

    Mayor Pete, as a candidate, was an ass-kissing toady and a spouter of platitudes. Tulsi remains an outspoken critic of the military-industrial complex and of neo-con foreign policy platforms.

    In short, military service is no guarantor of a better, wiser, more balanced candidate. Just look at Senator Tom Cotton, for example. If he ever runs, watch out …

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The wide diversity of opinion expressed by readers of this forum gives one an idea of how difficult it is for Americans to elect a President who represents the views of the majority. (And realise that this site attracts many like-minded readers.)

    Most non-Americans do not realise how huge and diverse the United States is. The Founders idea of having each State govern itself – States Rights – was a good one. And works well. But the governance by the Feds of issues effecting the whole nation always was going to be a challenge. And continues to this day. In particular, setting of Foreign Policy by a few folks in the Beltway, and the power of The President in the Executive Branch, has always going to be contentious.

    Indeed some would say that the United States has become too big to be governed and is need of substantive structural changes. Another discussion for another day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One more interview if you great Bracing View readers have the time.
    Jimmy Dore is becoming a superstar with his work.
    Sadly, less than 3,000 viewers had watched this interview this morning.
    And Jimmy Dore is never going to aired by mainstream media

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  10. Another incisive report from Jonathan Cook.

    Joe Biden has confirmed to Russia that the US really wants regime change
    Biden’s comment – given the US record in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere – serves Putin’s claim that his Ukraine invasion was pre-emptive

    Did US President Joe Biden say the quiet bit out loud at the weekend when he indicated that Washington wanted regime change in Moscow? It may well have looked that way to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

    Earlier this month, Biden accused Putin of being a “war criminal”, even though the charge drips with hypocrisy. Biden himself has played a critical role in Washington’s own historic war crimes: from ensuring Congressional authorisation of the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 to his part in the Obama administration’s expanded campaign of drone strikes across the Middle East.

    Then on Saturday, Biden characterised Putin as a “butcher” who “cannot remain in power”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Washington officials quickly backtracked, while European allies scrambled to limit the damage of comments suggesting the US might seek to depose the leader of a rival nuclear power. Biden himself backtracked later.

    But Putin has only to look to other recent examples of Washington meddling around the globe – from Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya to Syria, Iran and Venezuela – to see that regime change has regularly been front and centre of its playbook. Based on that record, why would Putin imagine his own government would fare better…………………………………………………?

    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/2022-03-30/biden-russia-regime-change/

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