Politics

So, the trend is to get away from currency that is "backed" by an actual, physical, country, to go with a "currency" that "exists" in the virtual world, backed by???
Not disagreeing with you, just really don't understand how truly nonexistent "currency" can have any real value, yet seems to be accepted by a growing segment of the population. Even my local county government will now take payment in bitcoin.

With all do respective you just described the US dollar. At least with bitcoin you know how many will be made, where the US dollar has an endless supply and those with influence have said we can always print money.
 
@Red Leg Ya, that's even worse than the 19 wars America has been involved in since WW2. Killing 5.5 million in Indo-China/Viet Nam, 3.5 million in Korea, and 4 million in the Middle East. To name just 3. America apparently has the right and obligation to export brutality in the name of democracy. It sickens me .........FWB
19 wars since WW2? I’m trying to wrap my feeble brain ( not brain dead yet like Brandon though) around that figure. I count the Korean “police action” as presented by the useless UN which of course was a war. The Vietnam war and then the Asscrackistan and Iraq wars. I’m sure I’m missing some “skirmishes “ we were involved in but I can’t think of any other wars?
 
@CoElkHunter Good point. You may want to read about the "108 wars involving the United States" in Wikipedia, and also Anthony Cordesman's July 2017 article in CSIS concerning "cost of wars". The Military Times "Wars in Syria and Iraq".....and later "Libya", are good reading. The figure of 19 is from The Watson Institute.....(but your and my definition of war might not be the same as theirs.) ....the lists are readily available on the net.................good reading......(and there will be many more in the near future).........FWB
 
Allow me to be blunt. I truly believe that is a naive strawman of the type so popular with those who seem so loyal to Trump. It is one of the several reasons I am having trouble coming to grips with supporting him.

Allow me to ask how much are you willing to not spend to secure a critical national interest? I personally have zero doubts, based on a lot of actual experience, that the recreation of a powerful militaristic Russian state threatening Western Europe and our economic and military stability is actually a meaningfully greater threat than the illegals currently crossing our border or whatever else you may mean by "forfeiture" of our independence.

Assuming the border is part of your concern, it is a ridiculous notion that the US should deal with one or the other. It is an absolute false dichotomy that shouldn't fool a junior high student of Western Civilization (should we even teach that any longer). Whatever you think the threat is posed by desperate people, most of whom are coming here to work, an alliance formed between a powerful China and a resurgent Russian Empire is far more dangerous to our national well being.

It is ludicrous that a nation with a THREE TRILLION dollar budget can't find the resources to deal with both. It is even more ludicrous to make either hostage to the other for political reasons - by either party.

If your "forfeiture" of independence assertion is a political fear, then vote. It isn't a budget issue at all.
Since we are being blunt, do you believe China is less of a threat than Russia? Do you believe that thousands of military-age Chinese males infiltrating our country are less of a threat than Russian adventurism in Europe? Why do you advocate only for Ukrainian investment rather than defense of our own borders?
What is ludicrous is that our country HAS a THREE TRILLION dollar budget. We are borrowing money from our worst enemy to give to someone fighting our second worst enemy, to your wild acclaim.
And as far as forfeiture of independence, I intend to vote. YOU are the one who advocates not voting because you think that the candidate most likely to curb the military adventurism you claim to fear is less than you would wish.
 
With all do respective you just described the US dollar. At least with bitcoin you know how many will be made, where the US dollar has an endless supply and those with influence have said we can always print money.
Do we? Who knew someone would create a virtual currency? And bitcoin is not the only virtual "coin". Literally, anyone with a computer and creativity can produce another virtual coin. There is now an industry selling virtual real estate, and fools buying it, with real money. What a racket! My only real gripe is, it wasn't me that found a new way to separate the proverbial fool from his money.
I don't knock the creator of the bitcoin, or any of the virtual "money". It just seems surreal that people place actual value on something that truly does not exist other than in bytes stored on a computer, with even less backing it (faith?) than the physical currency we carry in our wallets.
Virtual currency does prove the 1st rule of economics though; something is worth something if someone is willing to pay you for it. I'm one that does have more faith in a physical currency that does carry some "guarantee" from a physical government, over a nonexistent "coin" produced by someone that promises to not mint another, backed by nothing.
 
Russians offer kidnapped Ukrainian children for adoption.

Do you believe that?
A headline that is making the rounds in all our newspapers today.
I don't trust Putin, but I don't believe it.
Newspapers are also all talking about it in the subjunctive......
Reminds me a bit of the incubator story with Iraqi babies in Bush's day.
It was also a lie to justify the war.
You have to be very careful that this doesn't turn into a European conflagration with this rhetoric.

Qui bono, said the ancient Romans

Foxi
 
Since we are being blunt, do you believe China is less of a threat than Russia? Do you believe that thousands of military-age Chinese males infiltrating our country are less of a threat than Russian adventurism in Europe? Why do you advocate only for Ukrainian investment rather than defense of our own borders?
What is ludicrous is that our country HAS a THREE TRILLION dollar budget. We are borrowing money from our worst enemy to give to someone fighting our second worst enemy, to your wild acclaim.
And as far as forfeiture of independence, I intend to vote. YOU are the one who advocates not voting because you think that the candidate most likely to curb the military adventurism you claim to fear is less than you would wish.
You obviously either are not reading what I am writing or failing to understand what I am writing. I'll try one more time.

With respect to your questions:

No
Infinitely less
I don't

I do not indulge in either "wild claims" or breathless accusations. I offer my opinions based upon what I believe is sound reasoning, a lot of experience, and a pretty good education. As to what I believe -

I believe that China is our greatest current threat and becoming a larger one. It is simultaneously one of our largest trading partners (the US exports roughly $150 billion and imports $500 billion annually). The issue is complicated and what happens with both that military challenge and economic relationship is of an abiding critical national interest. One is just as important as the other.

Free access to the markets of the EU is even more important to the US than is that trade with China. The US exports over $350 billion annually and imports more than $550 billion. Anything that threatens that market in any way is an abiding critical national interest.

I believe Russia, under Putin, is determined to do everything in his power to recreate a Eurasian Russian Empire as close to the scope of the Soviet Union as he can manage. After all, it was he that has lamented "the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” He believed that subjugating Ukraine, was going to be a major step in that reconstitution.

As we saw in the agreements prior to the Winter Olympics, China was initially determined to strongly ally itself to Russia in that effort. If the Cold War was any guide, having a strong, militarily aggressive Russia threatening Europe and US interests there, would divert US focus from the Pacific for decades. Nipping those joint ambitions in the bud represents pennies on the dollar compared to that new cold war.

Having control over one's immigration system is a basic requirement of any nation state. Left uncontrolled, that inflow will inevitably change the nature of a nation's culture rather than the culture of the new emigres.

All of these issues are important. Because the last can be solved rather quickly and relatively inexpensively by the US government alone, it is more of a political issue than traditional critical national interest. Russian and Chinese ambitions, on the other hand, require national resolve on the international stage.

We can not afford to neglect any of them. It is why I find both the Biden administration's caution in aiding Ukraine and Trump and the Freedom Caucus's politicizing and conflating the border with the Russian threat equally reprehensible.

I am telling no one how to vote. I am certainly not advocating to not vote. I hope every member of my party takes full advantage of his or her franchise this year. I have explained my reservations about both Biden and Trump ad nauseum on this thread. If you do not agree with my reservations, that is fine. I do not care. Because of the inherent weaknesses of both lame duck choices, I believe the critical path is a Republican control of the senate. I certainly will be voting for Tom Cruz.

I hope you realize that the Chinese really are not sneaking an army into the United States through the southern border. But that sort of nonsense makes good reading over on the farthest right sites.
 
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Since we are being blunt, do you believe China is less of a threat than Russia? Do you believe that thousands of military-age Chinese males infiltrating our country are less of a threat than Russian adventurism in Europe? Why do you advocate only for Ukrainian investment rather than defense of our own borders?
What is ludicrous is that our country HAS a THREE TRILLION dollar budget. We are borrowing money from our worst enemy to give to someone fighting our second worst enemy, to your wild acclaim.
And as far as forfeiture of independence, I intend to vote. YOU are the one who advocates not voting because you think that the candidate most likely to curb the military adventurism you claim to fear is less than you would wish.
I have read several posts from @Red Leg in which he lamented and disagreed with the open border issue. He has always said that we must fix it and stop Russian aggression at the same time. Don’t confuse his unique knowledge of the military with a lack of interest in other subjects. He comments on a wide range of issues, hunting Africa and firearms.
 
.......
 
Do we? Who knew someone would create a virtual currency? And bitcoin is not the only virtual "coin". Literally, anyone with a computer and creativity can produce another virtual coin. There is now an industry selling virtual real estate, and fools buying it, with real money. What a racket! My only real gripe is, it wasn't me that found a new way to separate the proverbial fool from his money.
I don't knock the creator of the bitcoin, or any of the virtual "money". It just seems surreal that people place actual value on something that truly does not exist other than in bytes stored on a computer, with even less backing it (faith?) than the physical currency we carry in our wallets.
Virtual currency does prove the 1st rule of economics though; something is worth something if someone is willing to pay you for it. I'm one that does have more faith in a physical currency that does carry some "guarantee" from a physical government, over a nonexistent "coin" produced by someone that promises to not mint another, backed by nothing.

There are 1000s of coins created every day, that is basically degenerative gambling (still entertaining). I dont think any of them are meant to be a store of value or have the use case of bitcoin.

There is lots of stuff in the "metaverse" and virtual world that don't make any sense to me and I don't attend to buy any of that. But I bet someday we will hear about some teenager who is a millionaire by 22 because he bought some weird virtual asset that I dont understand.

However, Bitcoin, at least for the time being, is a hedge against inflation. There is meme out there and if the US dollar was a crypto currency no one would buy it, centralized control, ownership not renounce, no liquidity lock, unlimited mint and 80% of the circulating supply created in the last 3 years.

For what it is worth, I remember seeing bitcoin at 30 dollars and thinking, wow people will buy anything, and laughing about it...oops.
 
You obviously either are not reading what I am writing or failing to understand what I am writing. I'll try one more time.

With respect to your questions:

No
Infinitely less
I don't

I do not indulge in either "wild claims" or breathless accusations. I offer my opinions based upon what I believe is sound reasoning, a lot of experience, and a pretty good education. As to what I believe -

I believe that China is our greatest current threat and becoming a larger one. It is simultaneously one of our largest trading partners (the US exports roughly $150 billion and imports $500 billion annually). The issue is complicated and what happens with both that military challenge and economic relationship is of an abiding critical national interest.

Free access to the markets of the EU is even more important to the US than is that trade with China. The US exports over $350 billion annually and imports more than $550 billion. Anything that threatens that market in any way is an abiding critical national interest.

I believe Russia, under Putin, is determined to do everything in his power to recreate a Eurasian Russian Empire as close to the scope of the Soviet Union as he can manage. After all, it was he that has lamented "the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” He believed that subjugating Ukraine, was going to be a major step in that reconstitution.

As we saw in the agreements prior to the Winter Olympics, China was initially determined to strongly ally itself to Russia in that effort. If the Cold War was any guide, having a strong, militarily aggressive Russia threatening Europe and US interests there, would divert US focus from the Pacific for decades. Nipping those joint ambitions in the bud represents pennies on the dollar compared to that new cold war.

Having control over one's immigration system is a basic requirement of any nation state. Left uncontrolled, that inflow will inevitably change the nature of a nation's culture rather than the culture of the new emigres.

All of these issues are important. Because the last can be solved rather quickly and relatively inexpensively by the US government alone, it is more of a political issue than traditional critical national interest. Russian and Chinese ambitions, on the other hand, require national resolve on the international stage.

We can not afford to neglect any of them. It is why I find both the Biden administration's caution in aiding Ukraine and Trump and Freedom Caucus's politicizing and conflating the border with the Russian threat equally reprehensible.

I am telling no one how to vote. I have explained my reservations about both Biden and Trump ad nauseum on this thread. If you do not agree with my reservations, that is fine. I do not care. Because of the inherent weaknesses of both lame duck choices, I believe the critical path is a Republican control of the senate. I certainly will be voting for Tom Cruz.

I hope you realize that the Chinese really are not sneaking an army into the United States through the southern border. But that sort of nonsense makes good reading over on the farthest right sites.
Mr. Red Leg, with all due respect, please take your blinders off. Yes, we get it, you have expertise in the Russian military and governmental matters due to your military experience. The majority of registered republicans doesn‘t agree with the vast amount of military aid being provided to Ukraine, they prefer the focus be on our failing nation. I’m not sure I agree or disagree but I understand why. I agree, maintaining a strong foreign policy that at the very least maintains checks and balances of nations hostile to the free world and democracy is vital. However, where we diverge: The U.S. Is going to hell in a hand-basket! Our focus should be on our failing nation.

I believe you’re older than me, I’m 59. Never in my lifetime would I believe what’s happening to our once great country. DEI infiltrating every aspect of our lives including the government and our military. A literal circus is taking place in the Whitehouse. Mentally ill men wearing dresses assigned to high government positions, representing our country? Are the best and the brightest in the military anymore? I think not, forced out or refused to serve with the current insanity taking place. Is our military full of white racists like the dems would have you believe? What a joke. Have we lost focus of the primary mission, maintaining the best fighting force in the world irrespective of color, sex or sexual preference? Are we just going to rely on AI and technology only? Without a strong military, how do we maintain our influence in the world.

Elected officials who literally hate our country? A biased mainstream media which is really a propaganda machine for the Democrat party which has been allowed to be highjacked by far left wing bat s@#$ crazy people. Why is Soros being allowed to fund the instability in our country? Rhetorical question, we all know why. The dems, some republicans and the media are bought and paid by him as well as by China. Please watch the movie, Idiocracy, a 2006 science fiction comedy. Some of it is strikingly true now, especially when you listen to AOC and Kamala Harris. And Biden, well he’s just gone. I suppose you could lump Trump into the circus although I don’t think him unintelligent.

The point is we are a rapidly failing nation. All the signs are there. Out of control crime, corrupt government which is now going after political opponents, no rule of law being applied anymore, biased media propaganda machine, schools and colleges are now indoctrination centers, critical thinking no longer taught, an uncontrolled border to allow millions of illegals in solely because someday they will vote democrat, the means always justifying the ends with the dems and we saw with Covid, the suspension of constitutional rights all in the guise of “safety.”

I would almost say, put a cork in it we are done. The few remaining who landed on Normandy or fought in the pacific during WW II, I wonder what they are thinking? Thousands fought and gave their lives for this? Others, who put there ass on the line for our country and the free world, which I’ll include myself, fought for this? I read a recent poll, a comparison of the fighting spirit of Ukraine to the U.S., and only 55% of Americans are willing to fight a foreign invader In stark contrast to the brave people in Ukraine. This is another sign of our failing nation. Please refer to your byline here on AH by Rudyard Kipling, is that even valid anymore here in our country? The famous saying by Admiral Yamamoto prior to WW II, “We can never invade America, there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass,” still hold true?

The point is we need to focus on our domestic problems right now or there won’t be much of a country left that you or I will recognize. My fear is it’s too late, what kind of future are we leaving for our children and children’s children? Look, I’m not a blind Trump follower nor a blind follower of the Republican Party, it’s just that they have changed the least over time unlike the dems. I dislike all politicians, the vast majority if not all have been corrupted. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Still holds true. I vote the lesser of two evils that is all.
 
I would also add that Trump’s relentless attacks on NATO certainly did not help.

Trump never did anything to NATO other than to tell them to their faces in a public forum that some have not been paying their fair shares or have been delinquent on their contributions. Threatening to pull the U.S. out of NATO, and not protect those that are not paying was political rhetoric. And, despite what the critics have said, it was effective in getting many of the lagging NATO members to commit to increase their contributions. Despite the pearl-clutching by Trump's critics, he never did and never will withdrawal the U.S. from NATO, and he will absolutely defend any NATO members regardless of their delinquency of contributions.

However, if Trump were to win in 2024, he would have to start over with his demands for NATO compliance... Sadly, Brandon has not held the lagging NATO members their commitments. As of 2023, only 1 in 3 NATO members are contributing the 2% of GDP agreed upon.

Assuming the border is part of your concern, it is a ridiculous notion that the US should deal with one or the other. It is an absolute false dichotomy that shouldn't fool a junior high student of Western Civilization (should we even teach that any longer). Whatever you think the threat is posed by desperate people, most of whom are coming here to work, an alliance formed between a powerful China and a resurgent Russian Empire is far more dangerous to our national well being.

It is ludicrous that a nation with a THREE TRILLION dollar budget can't find the resources to deal with both. It is even more ludicrous to make either hostage to the other for political reasons - by either party.

I don't think anyone here has ever suggested that it's a "one or the other" proposition with the border crisis versus Ukraine... Comparing the two situations is not a false dichotomy when you are considering the messaging and the optics behind the apparent prioritization by this current Administration of one over the other... Regardless, of the politics driving these issues, the appearance of ignoring our own border while funding a seemingly endless war in Europe in the name of "national security" not only looks like insanity, but it's a slap in the face to the American people who are struggling to pay their bills in a hyper-inflated economy that Brandon created... That comparison, in regard to questioning the priorities of this Administration, is absolutely fair...

For the last 3 1/2 years, they have assured the American public that they take both seriously and can manage both. The reality is that they couldn't competently manage both even if they wanted to... My contention is that the inaction at the border along with their feckless, non-descript foreign policy with regard to both Israel and Ukraine is absolutely deliberate...

Anyone critical of Brandon's border policies must first recognize that these policies are not incompetence... They are calculated and deliberate measures that are effectively flooding this country with future democratic voters. Brandon is allowing exactly what he promised to do in the campaign which was to openly welcome all comers... I guess nobody took him seriously or simply didn't care when he said it... By the next decade, this country's electorate will be dominated by an additional 20-30 million new democrat socialist voters...

What he is doing should be no surprise to anyone. However, how he is doing it is absolutely risking our national security to pre-9/11 levels... It's not the poor immigrants coming from Latin America looking for work that I fear... It's the multi-national flood of Middle Eastern, Chinese, and African males that pose the real threat... When the next 9/11 type event happens, tell me then how border security is not a national security issue that is not more dangerous and relevant as the threat of Russian expansion in Europe over the next decade...

As you suggest, with a 3 trillion-dollar budget, the notion that we can and should address both issues is certainly plausible and smart, but as I said, I believe the failures to do so by these numb-nuts on both issues are deliberate. His foreign policy positions with respect to Israel and Ukraine are an attempt to walk a thin line of support, but not too much support, in an election year where any expansion or direct U.S. involvement would sink his re-election bid... The border situation is shockingly not hurting him in the polls nearly as bad as it should be especially with democratic voters. What should be outrage is more like "meh" with the democrats... The border will be Brandon's legacy to the party...
 
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I will leave Bitcoin to the people who understand it. To me, it is nothing more than a scam. I may be wrong, but I am not willing to risk my money to find out.
I somewhat agree but I do wish I would have purchased some back in 2009 for .0009 cents each. I believe it’s at 66,919.80USD each currently!
 
I don't think anyone here has ever suggested that it's a "one or the other" proposition with the border crisis versus Ukraine...
Oh? He is not the only one, just the latest in the post above yours.
Our focus should be on our failing nation.
The point is we need to focus on our domestic problems right now or there won’t be much of a country left that you or I will recognize
As you suggest, with a 3 trillion-dollar budget, the notion that we can and should address both issues is certainly plausible and smart, but as I said, I believe the failures to do so by these numb-nuts on both issues are deliberate. His foreign policy positions with respect to Israel and Ukraine are an attempt to walk a thin line of support, but not too much support, in an election year where any expansion or direct U.S. involvement would sink his re-election bid...
I agree with you there.

In regard to Israel and Ukraine what amazes me is that both the left and the right are using the same argument. Those on the left saying Israel should capitulate to Hamas to "save lives" and those on the right saying Ukraine should capitulate to Russia to "save lives". A "Bizarro World" for sure.

Furthermore, whether people like it or not we are in a global economy and what happens over there effects what is happening in "our failing nation". Trust me I'd love the war to be over as the Russian sanctions has cost me quite a bit of business revenue that I will never get back. However, the alternative, EU dominated by Russia is much worse for generations to come.
 
Mr. Red Leg, with all due respect, please take your blinders off. Yes, we get it, you have expertise in the Russian military and governmental matters due to your military experience. The majority of registered republicans doesn‘t agree with the vast amount of military aid being provided to Ukraine, they prefer the focus be on our failing nation. I’m not sure I agree or disagree but I understand why. I agree, maintaining a strong foreign policy that at the very least maintains checks and balances of nations hostile to the free world and democracy is vital. However, where we diverge: The U.S. Is going to hell in a hand-basket! Our focus should be on our failing nation.

I believe you’re older than me, I’m 59. Never in my lifetime would I believe what’s happening to our once great country. DEI infiltrating every aspect of our lives including the government and our military. A literal circus is taking place in the Whitehouse. Mentally ill men wearing dresses assigned to high government positions, representing our country? Are the best and the brightest in the military anymore? I think not, forced out or refused to serve with the current insanity taking place. Is our military full of white racists like the dems would have you believe? What a joke. Have we lost focus of the primary mission, maintaining the best fighting force in the world irrespective of color, sex or sexual preference? Are we just going to rely on AI and technology only? Without a strong military, how do we maintain our influence in the world.

Elected officials who literally hate our country? A biased mainstream media which is really a propaganda machine for the Democrat party which has been allowed to be highjacked by far left wing bat s@#$ crazy people. Why is Soros being allowed to fund the instability in our country? Rhetorical question, we all know why. The dems, some republicans and the media are bought and paid by him as well as by China. Please watch the movie, Idiocracy, a 2006 science fiction comedy. Some of it is strikingly true now, especially when you listen to AOC and Kamala Harris. And Biden, well he’s just gone. I suppose you could lump Trump into the circus although I don’t think him unintelligent.

The point is we are a rapidly failing nation. All the signs are there. Out of control crime, corrupt government which is now going after political opponents, no rule of law being applied anymore, biased media propaganda machine, schools and colleges are now indoctrination centers, critical thinking no longer taught, an uncontrolled border to allow millions of illegals in solely because someday they will vote democrat, the means always justifying the ends with the dems and we saw with Covid, the suspension of constitutional rights all in the guise of “safety.”

I would almost say, put a cork in it we are done. The few remaining who landed on Normandy or fought in the pacific during WW II, I wonder what they are thinking? Thousands fought and gave their lives for this? Others, who put there ass on the line for our country and the free world, which I’ll include myself, fought for this? I read a recent poll, a comparison of the fighting spirit of Ukraine to the U.S., and only 55% of Americans are willing to fight a foreign invader In stark contrast to the brave people in Ukraine. This is another sign of our failing nation. Please refer to your byline here on AH by Rudyard Kipling, is that even valid anymore here in our country? The famous saying by Admiral Yamamoto prior to WW II, “We can never invade America, there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass,” still hold true?

The point is we need to focus on our domestic problems right now or there won’t be much of a country left that you or I will recognize. My fear is it’s too late, what kind of future are we leaving for our children and children’s children? Look, I’m not a blind Trump follower nor a blind follower of the Republican Party, it’s just that they have changed the least over time unlike the dems. I dislike all politicians, the vast majority if not all have been corrupted. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Still holds true. I vote the lesser of two evils that is all.
And your point is what?

If you read through this whole Tolstoyan thread, someone periodically attempts to lecture me as you just have. I frankly do not disagree with you that much except your last paragraph which I find extraordinarily naive for a man of your apparent experience. It is a similar view expressed often by others in this discussion who seem infatuated with neo-isolationism.

The United States is a global power absolutely and totally dependent upon the stability of the markets that feed its economy. That fact has zero to do with the term "globalists" and everything to do with the reality of the American Empire and the "Pax Americana" we have largely maintained since the end of WWII in Europe and the Far East. That stability is something we created and maintained not out of a desire to be the world's policeman, but through the lens of cold-blooded national interests. NATO is one of those creations to further those interests - interests that are largely shared by the alliance membership. In fact, that is a role which we really have not had the option to ignore since the industrial revolution. We have paid a great cost when we tried.

So yes, try as much as we can to get our domestic house in order, but none of that debate has anything to do with the realities of the international situation and our responsibilities to our "empire." Ignore them, and the economic foundations which fuel everything associated with your standard of living and the prospects of your progeny could collapse. At that point, the last thing anyone on either side of the aisle will then be worried about is a rainbow flag.

So, no I have zero patience with the "we have to focus on our domestic problems right now" to the exclusion of our broader national interests. Both are vitally important and it is a false dichotomy to compete one against the other. Both the Russian and Chinese bots seem to be having a field day pushing us to do just that.
 
Trump never did anything to NATO other than to tell them to their faces in a public forum that some have not been paying their fair shares or have been delinquent on their contributions. Threatening to pull the U.S. out of NATO, and not protect those that are not paying was political rhetoric. And, despite what the critics have said, it was effective in getting many of the lagging NATO members to commit to increase their contributions. Despite the pearl-clutching by Trump's critics, he never did and never will withdrawal the U.S. from NATO, and he will absolutely defend any NATO members regardless of their delinquency of contributions.

However, if Trump were to win in 2024, he would have to start over with his demands for NATO compliance... Sadly, Brandon has not held the lagging NATO members their commitments. As of 2023, only 1 in 3 NATO members are contributing the 2% of GDP agreed upon.



I don't think anyone here has ever suggested that it's a "one or the other" proposition with the border crisis versus Ukraine... Comparing the two situations is not a false dichotomy when you are considering the messaging and the optics behind the apparent prioritization by this current Administration of one over the other... Regardless, of the politics driving these issues, the appearance of ignoring our own border while funding a seemingly endless war in Europe in the name of "national security" not only looks like insanity, but it's a slap in the face to the American people who are struggling to pay their bills in a hyper-inflated economy that Brandon created... That comparison, in regard to questioning the priorities of this Administration, is absolutely fair...

For the last 3 1/2 years, they have assured the American public that they take both seriously and can manage both. The reality is that they couldn't competently manage both even if they wanted to... My contention is that the inaction at the border along with their feckless, non-descript foreign policy with regard to both Israel and Ukraine is absolutely deliberate...

Anyone critical of Brandon's border policies must first recognize that these policies are not incompetence... They are calculated and deliberate measures that are effectively flooding this country with future democratic voters. Brandon is allowing exactly what he promised to do in the campaign which was to openly welcome all comers... I guess nobody took him seriously or simply didn't care when he said it... By the next decade, this country's electorate will be dominated by an additional 20-30 million new democrat socialist voters...

What he is doing should be no surprise to anyone. However, how he is doing it is absolutely risking our national security to pre-9/11 levels... It's not the poor immigrants coming from Latin America looking for work that I fear... It's the multi-national flood of Middle Eastern, Chinese, and African males that pose the real threat... When the next 9/11 type event happens, tell me then how border security is not a national security issue that is not more dangerous and relevant as the threat of Russian expansion in Europe over the next decade...

As you suggest, with a 3 trillion-dollar budget, the notion that we can and should address both issues is certainly plausible and smart, but as I said, I believe the failures to do so by these numb-nuts on both issues are deliberate. His foreign policy positions with respect to Israel and Ukraine are an attempt to walk a thin line of support, but not too much support, in an election year where any expansion or direct U.S. involvement would sink his re-election bid... The border situation is shockingly not hurting him in the polls nearly as bad as it should be especially with democratic voters. What should be outrage is more like "meh" with the democrats... The border will be Brandon's legacy to the party...
I think we essentially are in agreement. Instead of "false dichotomy" - which I do believe is how the Freedom Caucus has portrayed support for the border and Ukraine - I'll try to put my position in the vernacular.

We can not afford the luxury of ignoring our critical international interests because we are PO'ed about the border.
 
I will leave Bitcoin to the people who understand it. To me, it is nothing more than a scam. I may be wrong, but I am not willing to risk my money to find out.

I owe my pvs-14 to bitcoin. I invested (gambled) a guns worth of money on bitcoin when it was down during covid and sold it relatively recently. Got a nice white phosphor unit with some great specs. 300% return on investment in 2 years is nothing to sniff at. Bitcoin keeps making steps towards being a legitimate investment and not just a long term gamble. As my brother and I joke only when mom and dad’s 401k have crypto in them will bitcoin achieve maximum value.
 

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