Mechanical

The Useless United Nations

The next time someone tells you that the UN is a useless debating society that the US shouldn't be part of, ask them for specifics about their objection to the UN Millenium Project. Ask them how they would reform the United Nations Children's Fund. Ask them about their thoughts on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Find out what they would change about the The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations or the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

When they admit to not knowing these things, tell them to shut their ignorant ass up and stop repeating things they hear on TV because it doesn't make them sound intelligent.
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Biggest complaint the US should have is that for all the investment we've made, some here would want to see more of the benefits. Yes, I understand and acknowledge that we are delinquent in our dues, but we still provide the lion's share of money and manpower for the UN.

The UN is a good thing, but it has no spine. It won't follow through on it's sanctions against the US, nor did they with Ba'athish Iraq.

Yes, they've taken the lead on bringing 3rd world, debt ridden countries out of their self-inflicted situations, but again the US and UK are the spear carriers in these campaigns. The war crimes courts are great, but it took an American lead force to get the criminals there.

I guess the from some perspectives, the UN needs to lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way. Thank us, don't spit in our eye when we fulfill your promises.
Why? I'd agree with you that this is still hold-over from 50yrs ago. A renegotiation is needed.

Investment? 60 yrs of shouldering the UN while everyone else could catch up. Are we late $1bn, sure but what's $1bn?

Benefits? Too many people don't see how the UN may help the average american. Me? I think they do a good job, but there are those that don't want to see the US ruled by those they did not directly elect.
$1bn is 10^9 dollars. It is a lot of money that could be used in third world nations to do good things. It is a lot of money to a lot of little people. And it isn't much to the wealthy.

The UN helps the average american by providing global stability. It provides for export markets in ag, technology, and services. Large, global non-profits are too complicated in scope for the average american (bush voter) dummy to understand. They do cool shit. Trust it like you trust in god, ok?
why is a renegotiation needed? Because we're economically eating shit now because of free trade policies and tax cuts to the rich which is destabilising the world economy??
This is answered with the research I did below. Sparky is using Right Wing Research Tactics (tm) by not stating real facts and accepting things at face value. The selfishness of 'what is in this for us' is disgusting, but we get a lot out of it, which is why the greedy US Republican government is still a part of the UN. Guarantee there is stuff gotten out of it.

Don't agree to renegotiation... we're getting a deal. It is a percentage of per capita income already. We get a flat rate...
"Sparky is using Right Wing Research Tactics (tm)"

How do you define Right Wing Research? Is there Leftist Research from popular leftist publications? Are these bad places to take information from if they're both slanted. Then who should we get our info from? Today, history is written by the most sensationalist. What you did was use the self sealing argument fallacy, it just makes your own argument look weak.
I define Right Wing Research as taking facts that are slanted and out of context at face value. If there is Leftist Research, it is probably Academic Research, and those are not popular publication. I've noticed that the Left tends to cite their resources more often than the Right, especially in political discussions.

Today, history is written by everyone, and only certain people get certain snippets of it depending upon their sources. The Right voice is heard more clearly because it is piped into every home with a television. The Left voice depends on people actually researching things, and it is much more onerous and difficult to find and hear. The Left tends to not be as united in its message either, which is a huge problem. The Left, if you will, constitutes the 'everything but the kitchen sink', while the Right is the 'kitchen sink' (a large one). It is a lot easier to picture the sink rather than the 'everything but', which is the Right's advantage.
I was fairly sure that the left and the right were pretty evenly matched, in votes at least, for the last two elections. You are right that the "right" does have a huge pulpit advantage when it comes to radio. I find more left wing messages on tv and the internet as opposed to the right's message being played out more on the radio, and the 3rd party messages, not at all unless you seek them out.

I have been talking to one of my "lefty" friends who is certain that, soon the dems will get a coherent message, but I have found the left's message to be loud and clear to me "in a civilized society we take care of our citizens" (by any means necessary apparantly). But to me the right isn't much better.

I feel both parties are in search of power over our private and public dealings no matter their ideology. I don't find that either party really does a great job of reporting anything objectively. The constitution is used for little more than toilet paper in congress and the supreme court is ineffective at best. We are living a false dicotomy. Either tax everyone heavily and feed into the already bloated (and some would say dubiously effective) system, or tax every heavily and feed into the war machine.

I certainly don't have all of the answers. I just hate to see any well researched argument (yours) be trumped at the beginning by logical fallacies that tend to put off those that care about issues. I find that, on both sides, there is too much name calling and not enough action to fix our mistakes. But at least you do your research and you seem to be an active thinker, it's great to see other people around that have that kind of passion.
You definitely sound like an ally.

Would you be interested in coming to a meeting to talk about politics? I started a group with some friends called the Center for Progressive Values. It is our goal to be able to talk to both sides using their own frames and engaging them. In times of strife, it has been proven over and over that the Left and Right can unite.

The CPV is promoting the idea that, yes, the Left has values. And those values are also shared by the majority of America.

By the way, though, politics aren't about objectivity... but media is/should be. I don't see a leftist slant on TV, but maybe I'm seeing different programmes than you...
Well, if you don't mind having a Libertarian in your midst it sounds interesting. I don't agree with everything "Libertarian" it does come closest to my own values as an individual.

While I do agree that politics isn't about objectivity, anyone who is interested in winning hearts and minds, and not washing them, has an obligation to be objective and have reality win out in the end.

I blog on here so anytime you want to let me in on the political meeting, go right ahead and thanks!
I'll talk to my group about it and see.

I think more 'thinkers' need to get together, find out what they agree on and make that happen. What we disagree on, well, we'll work with another team.

There are a lot of Libertarian ideals I aagree with, and a few I don't. But those I agree with, I agree with very strongly. That is an opportunity.


The United States is assessed 25 percent of the United Nation's general budget. That's double the assessment of Japan, the next closest underwriter. The U.N. estimates that the U.S. is more than $1 billion in arrears in payments to the U.N.

Former U.S. chief U.N. delegate Jean Kirkpatrick contends that while our dues are unreasonably high [my notes: framing assertion here... they are asserting that unreasonable is a fact, it is not... we pay LESS than the EU], we should go ahead and pay them -- then work to see that they are adjusted downward [on what basis???].

* Our 25 percent compares to 12.5 percent for Japan and 8.93 percent paid by the United Kingdom. [they're using contextless constant figures here]

* The US. is assessed 31.7 percent of the cost of peace-keeping activities, compared to 8.5 percent for Russia, 6.3 percent for the U.K. and 7.6 percent for France. [based on???]

* The U.S. donates logistical support, weapons, NATO flights, intelligence, ships and manpower to U.S. peacekeeping operations while virtually all other countries are reimbursed for such goods and services. [virtually leaves a big loophole... quantify this]

* The U.S. is also the largest donor to most of the U.N.'s independent agencies, such as UNICEF and the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees. [the US govt, or the private citizens and companies?]

Ms. Kirkpatrick argues that the U.N. should not try to fight wars, but should concentrate on non-military problem solving, traditional peace-keeping and humanitarian assistance.

Source: Jean J. Kirkpatrick (Georgetown University), "Reform the U.N. -- After Our Bill Is Paid," New York Times, December 27, 1996


Does this support your claim? That the UN needs to get out of the way? The US pays more because of the criteria outlined above. I must ask, are you suggesting that Russia pay an equal amount of dues to the UN as the US?

The NCPA's mission is to seek innovative private-sector solutions to public policy problems. By using innovative and unique approaches to these problems, the NCPA encourages individual rights, free enterprise and self-government.

This is a right-wing organisation. It is usually better to prove your case with more neutral sources, like your BCC link. The quality of that information is too easily battered. Right wing orgs skew facts and leave out context. Nowhere in there did it say what the basis for these dues were. When you leave that out, it seems unfair, but when you include the criterion, the facts, if you will, it is a totally fair assessment of dues.

The UN, like the EU, is a confederacy. In fact, the US could have been had the civil war turned out differently. Confederacies have their positives and negatives. The negative, apparently is bureaucracy, but is that any different than even federal governance? Hell, some large companies have this problem.

I'm just shooting holes in your arguments... I don't know you from Adam, and I have little emotional attachment to this issue.

I think coalitions working toward peace and alleviating hunger are a good thing. That is money well-invested, much better than war [profiteering]. Sure, they're slow to move, but you know what, they support a lot of good things. And I in turn support them because they do good things. [shrug]


above ended up being below... the argument tree got weird here... sorry... the criterion for payment is below, not above....
Biggest complaint the US should have is that for all the investment we've made, some here would want to see more of the benefits. Yes, I understand and acknowledge that we are delinquent in our dues, but we still provide the lion's share of money and manpower for the UN.

The UN is a good thing, but it has no spine. It won't follow through on it's [sic] sanctions against the US, nor did they with Ba'athish Iraq.

Yes, they've taken the lead on bringing 3rd world, debt ridden countries out of their self-inflicted situations, but again the US and UK are the spear carriers in these campaigns. The war crimes courts are great, but it took an American lead force to get the criminals there.

I guess the from some perspectives, the UN needs to lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way. Thank us, don't spit in our eye when we fulfill your promises.


Who else as a world superpower would or should be providing the 'lion's share' of the support for the UN?

Um, if you added up the EU's contributions, would it equal or surpass the US support? Let's see...

Since 1948 the formula for apportioning UN expenses has made an allowance for the low per capita incomes of many members. For example, India and the Netherlands have roughly the same national income, but because the number of people sharing that income is so disparate, it would seem that Dutch taxpayers should be able to pay more toward UN expenses than India.

The US and 15 states of the European Union have about the same shares of the world's income. The US assessment for the UN budget is a flat 25% and the EU's totals 32.7%. There is a separate account for the peacekeeping budget using the regular assessment formula. Peacekeeping missions, however, rely on external voluntary support as well as on assessed budgets Source: Global Policy Forum, 1998


Where is the room for the US to bitch there? Even though that source is old, the information is still valid.
Re: Hear! Hear!
did you know that one of our great-uncles signed the UN treaty here in SF?
he yeah I know people hear it then spew it and don't bother to actually know it where as I know nothing at all 0.0 I am just starting to get back inot watching and reading local and world news used to read it watch l;isten to it be involved in politics and such then suddenly just got tired of all the crap btu I am starting to get annoyed with not knowing anything about the world today