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Member since: Fri Dec 10, 2010, 10:36 PM
Number of posts: 41,172

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Glad to see you! Please use Ignore, it's bug spray! I couldn't bear it here without it...

Don't let them get to you, let us know when you need help here or in a PM.

Footing the bill for us to be there. We want to prevent WW3 starting in Europe.

And it has workd so far.

The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total. Members' defense spending is supposed to amount to 2% of GDP.

There are 28 member states, including Poland. Actually, we're a bit late to arrive in Poland as they asked for help earlier this year:

Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the 11 September 2001 attacks, after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF. The organization has operated a range of additional roles since then, including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which merely invokes consultation among NATO members, has been invoked four times: by Turkey in 2003 over the Iraq War, twice in 2012 by Turkey over the Syrian Civil War after the downing of an unarmed Turkish F-4 reconnaissance jet and after a mortar was fired at Turkey from Syria and by Poland in 2014 following the Russian intervention in Crimea.


It explains Obama's actions since he's been in office, he has to follow these treaties.

NATO came from WW2:

* World War II (1939 – 1945) represented a deep-seated trauma for the continent of Europe. The devastation caused by the war made Western Europe’s leaders understand that the future of their states depended upon greater European cooperation and integration.
* These were the most important consequences of the greatest armed conflict in history:
o Human cost: almost 60 million deaths, with 40 million of them in Europe. The majority of the victims were civilians.
o Material cost: important population nuclei and infrastructures were destroyed.
o Territorial changes: numerous European territories changed hands, while others were occupied and lost part of their sovereignty. This was particularly true of those that fell under the influence of the USSR.
o The emergence of a “New World Order”: two great superpowers emerged after the conflict. The USA and the USSR shared out their influence at the global scale within a logical division into rival blocs. This marked the start of the period known as the Cold War. A new type of institutional architecture also began to emerge at the international level. At this point, it is relevant to highlight the creation of the United Nations Organisation, The Council of Europe, the OECD, NATO, the Warsaw Pact, the OSCE and the WEU and the beginning of the process of European integration.

EI is the prediction of the EU coming into being. Here the map of NATO member nations in Europe alone, but it's not confined to just that region of the world:


Official NATO page:


That's all I have for you, unless your question was rhetorical, and in that case, the information won't help. We can't forget the nuclear proliferation that followed WW2. The other nuclear powers in Europe might finally fire one off, setting the stage for WW3 or something close to it. The major powers, including us, really do not want this:

The Nuclear Club:

NPT-designated nuclear weapon states (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States)

Other states with nuclear weapons (India, Pakistan, North Korea)

Other states believed to have nuclear weapons (Israel)

NATO nuclear weapons sharing states (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey)

States formerly possessing nuclear weapons (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, South Africa)


It's the reason we're still playing around in Pakistan. The Taliban and or other hot heads who want to bring their idea of new world under their own rules is not without influence there, and cannot be controlled, as they roam between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan is easily the most unstable nuclear power in the world, I'm guessing, and I think Little Kim just uses them as a threat to get aid. And if he ever did start something, I think the Chinese have a burial plot ready for him. Just my opinion.

Despite the hype, Russia has no intention of going postal on the USA. Some of these other nations, we don't know if they would or not.
We are not advantaged by this except in the big picture and yeah, we're tired of it.

I've come to see our military spending as less of a problem for the economy than our tax code and that is more a function of who is getting elected to keep it all effed up. Eisenhower spanked the war profiteers (who made money fighting off the Axis) in the 1950s for national infrastructure until they cried, but they paid.

The problem is local, not international. Europeans, for example, generally tax the rich as we once did, but now the American people doesn't want anyone to pay taxes, or at least the GOP Libertarian Tea Party part of America doesn't. And they sure as hell vote every time.

It's about lack of revenue and investment, income inequality and the Koch brothers Libertarian agenda that makes us tired and keep us suffering:


That's all from me.

How are the Raske Menn doing? Might help us with these Ukrainian threads. We are Derp!

Um, so it's this Sunday? I'm really out of touch. People were wishing me Happy Easter this week and

my ignorance was really showing, as I don't keep up with any holidays.

I smiled, thanked them and wished them the same. I'm not churched, but I'm hoping that you enjoy the day and the weekend.

For you:

Liked this part best, but enjoyed the squeals from the right. Can sanity/humanity return to us here?

A little over a year into Francis’s tenure, debate continues to rage throughout the church over the question of just how radical this pope really is, and the degree to which he might shift the Catholic spotlight from issues of sexual morality onto those such as poverty, immigration, torture, and even the environment. Not that issues of poverty and human dignity haven’t always concerned church leaders: “They just never got much attention if they didn’t involve a conflict over some sexual issue,” says John Carr, who served 25 years as the director of justice, peace, and human development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). But in the Francis era, says Carr, “the same work takes on added meaning and, you hope, takes on added visibility and passion...”

It's about time! I've seen some Cow of Bashan in her expensive car with a sticker on the back saying that women who had abortions are going to hell. I think she needs to buy some flame proof underwear herself. I do no want to see anymore of these sexually obsessed people who find one flaw in another person and seek to legislate their lives from a distance, that they would never help in the first place. They make the world ugly.

Indeed, Rep. Paul Ryan may talk a good game about the poor, but his policies still give social-justice advocates an ulcer. Similarly, John Boehner may have invited the pope to address a joint session of Congress, but that doesn’t mean the speaker is looking to become his party’s point man on immigration reform.
Still, the wheels of government—like those of the church—move slowly. And just getting Washington talking about these issues in even a slightly new way is seen by many social-justice advocates as a solid first step.

I don't think anyone with an eye to what Ryan is up to would say 'he may talk a good game,' as I'm not fooled. His words about the poor and women are so full of hypocrisy, as to be what some would call demonic in the level of blatant hubris and deception. According to the words of the Man he purports to follow, or the Woman who gave him birth, he's going straight to hell. The real man that Ryan worships is Charles Koch and the Woman he worships, Ayn Rand, and as long as he does not denounce those things, he cannot co-exist on the same spiritual plane with any version of Jesus. His and their nihilism needs to be shut down for good.

And it is long past time to give up the love of power and wealth and champion equality and bring up the poor and the suffering. This was once a staple of media, at least it was when I was growing up. Now media promote the death of the poor as if it is a virtue. This was prophesied, but it's does not need a religious verse to say it is wrong. It has always been evil and it has kept mankind in chains. Ubuntu, where enjoyment is for all, not just a few, is a version of the Golden Rule. The cynics proclaim that Gold Makes the Rules, but that is because they are now satisfied with the status quo, despite their complaints. So I don't listen to them:

The ones you are noticing are more terrified than anything else. They are lashing out because they are comfortable; and to acknowledge what is happening is a threat to that comfort. Ignore them, for they are not the voices that will rise in the coming days, months and years. They are not the voices of our collected humanity. They are the old voices of fear and impotence.


That the powerful cannot be curbed, that the poor are not worth loving, is not what Obama and many of us believe. The old Might Makes Right, he has said, must give way to Right Makes Might. The power of a good example. Mankind has known this forever.

Pope Francis is out to challenge “couch potato Catholics,” politicians most definitely included, chuckles Carr. He points with delight to passages from the pope’s Evangelii Gaudium that address the role of political leaders, including: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor! It is vital that government leaders and financial leaders take heed and broaden their horizons, working to ensure that all citizens have dignified work, education, and health care.” 

After 50 years of the GOP smearing minorities and the poor, this must make their heads explode. Obama has quietly done more for the poor and minorities in this nation than anyone else, but is demonized for his efforts. The right will continue their wailing and gnashing teeth over the ACA. I am almost tempted to go to the Red State website and see them. Or Freeperville. But their filth is like a cesspool. I'll just take the good report.

“This guy is a real challenge to the whole libertarian-leaning laissez-faire political idea,” says Winters of Francis. “There is a palpable sense among those of us on the Catholic left that the wind is at our back in a way that it has not been in at least 40 years.”

That is just what we need to go forward and leave the dark age we've been in for too long. Love and freedom cannot be separated. Love one another or perish.

Thanks for the news of some change coming for the better. It needs to be looked at and examined, nurtured and helped to grow.

Wow, that's a good thumping there. Will work unless their consciencs are already seared...

Or they are like the Cows of Bashan, which is of those who profit on oppressing the poor to live well. A Texas pastor spoke on that series of verses up in support of taking care of the poor and others.

Because Reagan is Gawd to the RWNJs, and they suffer no other gods before him. Or else:

Yeah, I think that's exactly where this is going. 'Where Russian troops are, there will be peace.'

They can be reached at:


Join the United Federation of Planets.

Small print:

Uh, Russia, not Planets.

It could always be worse.

ACA Reality > GOP Rhetoric. n/t

And K& R for that joyful pic at the link:

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