Thoughts about Richard Nixon

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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby dai bread » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:42 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:
And the obverse of that is a lack of goodwill gets those troops pulled? That doesn't sound much like
a commitment to self-interest as it does a description of fickle governments. Phrases like “fair-weather friends” are cliché because they are true.

Fortunately, for you and the rest of the world that thinks like that, the U.S. generally rises above such pettiness. Is there any doubt in your mind that the U.S. wouldn’t help NZ in the event of a disaster or a threat to your sovereignty? And that that help would not be contingent on NZ’s goodwill or lack of same?

And doesn’t the knowledge that the U.S. will help, regardless, make it politically easier to criticize the U.S.?

Or do you think that Australia’s Labor government’s recent thumb-in-the-eye withdrawal of troops from Iraq (i.e. “fair-weather friend”) should result in the loss of American goodwill towards Australia?

I would propose that the question should be reversed. How much goodwill would it take to involve OUR troops in YOUR battles?


A lack of goodwill means that the troops stay home. Your comments about fickle governments are apposite, but if the U.S. had the support of the governed in foreign countries, the fickle government couldn't be so fickle. They can be fickle because they know the people don't like the war, whichever one it may be at the time.

I'm sorry to say that there is considerable doubt in my mind that we would get U.S. assistance if attacked. Any attack on us presupposes a prior attack on Australia, and that in turn presupposes a major conflagration. The U.S. was late to the game in WWs 1 & 2. It may well be late again.

Luckily we haven't had a disaster big enough to require international aid. If we did, I'm sure the U.S. would be there for us, and probably without regard to any goodwill on our part at the time. I think we have established enough goodwill credit to ensure that, just as the U.S. has with us, in those occasional disasters where we can offer a bit of help, like forest fires.

The U.S. gets criticised in places like N.Z. because it is an open society and happily publishes everything, warts & all. I'm not at all sure that we do the same, though we're pretty close to it. There are plenty of warts to criticise, in both countries, and as neither of us is going to call for the slaughter of our critics, we can be and are criticised openly. Politics has little if anything to do with it.

I would expect that the withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq would be viewed unfavourably in Washington, as I believe the withdrawal of British troops from Basra is. The recent "free trade" agreement isn't very free from an Australian point of view, and very discouraging from ours. Maybe that sort of thing is why the U.S. attitude to Australia is a bit strange, or at least it seems so to me.

Now, your real poser. Involving U.S. troops in N.Z. battles? I guess I'll have to revert to the scenario I mentioned before, where there is a major conflict involving Australia. It is possible that U.S. interests may not be involved in such a war, but highly unlikely in view of U.S. investment in both Aus. & N.Z. I'm considering here, war involving direct attacks on us; not the more usual situation where we are at war elsewhere on behalf of others, normally Britain and, more recently, the U.N.

Bearing in mind that people like Winston Churchill couldn't convince the U.S. to enter WW2 on our side until Pearl Harbour, I have to conclude that the level of goodwill required to get U.S. troops into N.Z. wars is nothing less than astronomical. There would need to be direct American interests involved, and as I mentioned, this means American investments.

I think I've covered all your points, Haggis. If not, or if anything's not clear, I'll try to explain further if you ask.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:22 pm

dai bread wrote:Luckily we haven't had a disaster big enough to require international aid. If we did, I'm sure the U.S. would be there for us, and probably without regard to any goodwill on our part at the time. I think we have established enough goodwill credit to ensure that, just as the U.S. has with us, in those occasional disasters where we can offer a bit of help, like forest fires.

Unless, of course, that assistance happens to be transported by a nuclear powered vessel.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby dai bread » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:28 am

It has been said before, and in public, that in an emergency the anti-nuclear legislation would be quietly sidelined. I think war was the emergency at the back of the speaker's mind, but I'm sure major disaster would do just as well. Sorry, I can't think of the person's name.

BTW, does the U.S. have any nuclear-powered freighters now? The "Savannah" was mothballed, if I remember rightly. I'm not sure about your aircraft carriers either. I thought all surface ships in the U.S. fleet were now conventionally powered.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:58 am

There are no nuclear powered freighters in the U.S. I'm not sure if the Germans still have the Otto Hahn or not, but I think that was the last one operating. The Navy doesn't operate freighters.

All of our operational aircraft carriers are nuclear powered now, I believe, since the retirment of the John F. Kennedy and the Kitty Hawk. The Enterprise, the first nuclear carrier, is scheduled for retirement. The Gerald Ford will replace her, and will the first of the next class of carriers, also nuclear.

I believe the Long Beach is still active, which is the only nuclear surface ship that is not a carrier. It was built as a frigate, but I believe it has been reclassed as a destroyer (I read that somewhere, but I couldn't swear by it.)

V/R
Shapley

P.S. I checked on the Navy's website. The Long Beach and the Bainbridge (I had forgotten about her) were both decommissioned in the '90s. The U.S. Navy currently has no active nuclear surface ships that are not aircraft carriers.

The N.S. Savannah was removed from service and has been bounced around. It was a museum at Patriot's Point in Charleston, S.C. in the '80s, but is currently undergoing refurbishment in Baltimore, MD. She will probably be a floating museum somewhere once she has been decontaminated and refitted.

The Otto Hahn has been converted to diesel power, and is still afloat.

The Russians have a nuclear powered cargo ship, as well as several icebreakers.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:39 am

BTW, I thought the moratorium was on vessels carrying nuclear weapons, not nuclear powered vessels. It was my understanding that U.S. naval vessels were allowed to visit, as long as they would sign a document stating that they carried no nuclear weapons on board. It is naval policy never to conform nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board any vessel (since doing so would help enemy combatants determine which ships to target), so no U.S. naval vessels have visited ports in New Zealand since the moratorium.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:43 pm

While traveling down the East Coast, My wife and I saw this painting by Andy Thomas:

Image

and bought a reproduction of it through an art gallery in Charleston, SC.

Nixon, of course, would win the game. It is said that he was an excellent poker player, amassing quite a bankroll while stationed in the Pacific during the war. I believe there was a character based on him in the movie Mr. Roberts.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:39 pm

According to the PBS miniseries Carrier the Nimitz is nuclear powered. And it carries a heck of a lot of cargo that would be of value to a country experiencing a disaster.

According to Wikipedia, "In 1984, Prime Minister David Lange barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. Under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987, territorial sea, land and airspace of New Zealand became nuclear-free zones."

Now I'm the last one to tell another country how to run their land, but to my way of thinking, this really limits your options.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby dai bread » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:02 pm

Shapley wrote:BTW, I thought the moratorium was on vessels carrying nuclear weapons, not nuclear powered vessels. It was my understanding that U.S. naval vessels were allowed to visit, as long as they would sign a document stating that they carried no nuclear weapons on board. It is naval policy never to conform nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board any vessel (since doing so would help enemy combatants determine which ships to target), so no U.S. naval vessels have visited ports in New Zealand since the moratorium.


Technically, yes. However, activists don't like anything nuclear, and will only accept radio-active isotopes for medical use reluctantly.

The anti-nuclear legislation I referred to above is wider than just shipping, and purports to stop any NZer having anything to do with pretty well any nuclear matters other than medical isotopes. There was even a great hue & cry about irradiation of food to preserve it, until the manager of the facility pointed out that it was an x-ray machine and was switched off when the staff went home at night.

IMO this legislation was passed to shut up the left wing of the Labour Party while the right wing shafted us under Rogernomics.
Last edited by dai bread on Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:07 pm

dai bread wrote:...activists don't like anything nuclear, and will only accept radio-active isotopes for medical use reluctantly.

Oh dear. How do they feel about X-rays, luminescent watch dials, and microwave ovens?

I worry about people who don't distinguish between use and misuse of an entire technology.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby dai bread » Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:16 pm

Some of them don't like those things either, Selma. Luckily for them, most of us still have our feet on the ground, so the facilities are there when they're needed.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:55 am

It tends to make solar energy a bit dicey, since the sun is a thermonuclear reaction.

But that's what happens when those whose skill is getting elected try to tell those whose skill is science what to do. Note how fetal stem cell research is effectively throttled in the US.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:59 am

X-rays, luminesence, and microwaves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum--so lets do away with radio, tv, electricity, light bulbs, and gravity too!
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby jamiebk » Wed Jul 02, 2008 12:55 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:X-rays, luminesence, and microwaves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum--so lets do away with radio, tv, electricity, light bulbs, and gravity too!


I think the jury is still out on what gravity actually is. :rofl:
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby barfle » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:11 pm

jamiebk wrote:I think the jury is still out on what gravity actually is. :rofl:

Gravity is just a theory, on a par with the theory of intelligent falling.
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:45 pm

jamiebk wrote:
Giant Communist Robot wrote:X-rays, luminesence, and microwaves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum--so lets do away with radio, tv, electricity, light bulbs, and gravity too!


I think the jury is still out on what gravity actually is. :rofl:


Gravity is one of the four forces of nature. What jury is disputing that?
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jul 02, 2008 2:50 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:
jamiebk wrote:
Giant Communist Robot wrote:X-rays, luminesence, and microwaves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum--so lets do away with radio, tv, electricity, light bulbs, and gravity too!


I think the jury is still out on what gravity actually is. :rofl:


Gravity is one of the four forces of nature. What jury is disputing that?

Along with Newton's Laws, Einstein's Law, and Murphy's Law?
And I think there are rules about Conservation of various things... :dunce:
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby jamiebk » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:16 pm

Giant Communist Robot wrote:
jamiebk wrote:
Giant Communist Robot wrote:X-rays, luminesence, and microwaves are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum--so lets do away with radio, tv, electricity, light bulbs, and gravity too!


I think the jury is still out on what gravity actually is. :rofl:


Gravity is one of the four forces of nature. What jury is disputing that?


The "dispute" is over whether it is an "EMF". No one seems to know quite what makes up gravity or what the actual force is that causes the attraction
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:47 pm

No one seems to know quite what makes up gravity or what the actual force is that causes the attraction


Gravity is the actual force. The orthodox idea is that gravity is a distortion in the time-space continuum caused by objects of great mass, such as planets. I don't think its unusual to see gravity waves included in the electromagnetic spectrum--even though they have never been detected.


I just wanna know if NZ will be outlawing it soon. :lol:
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby dai bread » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:48 pm

Only if someone can figure out a way to do without it. It's rather like driving- we don't ban that, even though many people die or are injured each year from doing it. Likewise, gravity causes many injuries each year, resulting in huge costs to our tax-funded health system and therefore needless expense to taxpayers. :wink:
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Re: Thoughts about Richard Nixon

Postby Shapley » Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:28 pm

Ex Khmer-Rouge Admirer Says "Sorry"

Europeans, it seems, are finally coming around to admitting that they were wrong about who was the oppressor and who the oppressed. Will the U.S. press and the Politician who praised the Viet Cong and the Khmer Rouge come around as well?
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