JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/12/more-fud.html (284 comments)


jsid-1261178071-498  Markadelphia at Fri, 18 Dec 2009 23:14:31 +0000

Well, let's take a look at these one at a time.

-Not President Obama or President Bush's fault. Our nation of "investors" have decided to invest in air or give it all to people like Bernie Madoff. Our entire economy is one giant pyramid scam propped up by a plutonomy.

-Nope. A government run economy would have never allowed the things to happen that happened. I would refer all of you to the program shown to me by Last In Line" entitled House of Cards (CNBC). This view is not grounded in reality at all. Just more paranoid bullshit.

-Again, not grounded in reality. If anything, the culture of victimhood is on the right these days (war on Christmas etc.). Also, how exactly has the government infringed upon your day to day life?

-Not the fault of the government but of...well...very simply greed. We use to have a society that had wealth accumalation, job creation, and aspirations. At that time, we had much higher tax rates. The rich were rich...the poor were poor and there was a definable middle class. So this is another lie and propaganda put forth by the people who stand the most to lose.

-Apologetic? You're fucking A right we should be for all the bullshit we've done. Another new trait of the right: "It's never our fault, Fuck You!" This notion that we should never apologize is another example of how the base is like "the base." (Arabic version). Same jingoistic garbage but in Arabic. What's worthy of emulation is a country that can admit when they are wrong. That's a lesson we learn in kindergarten which, quite obviously, the base has never left on a number of levels.

-Pulling punches...more spy drone missions under Obama than 3 years under Bush. 50K more troops to AfPak. One major and one minor threat thwarted at home. Call that pulling punches?...fine. You are entitled to your own opinion not your own facts. It's going to be very interesting if we have success in AfPak. What will you do? Oh, I know...just make up whatever you want. :-D

-I agree with this one actually. The PC thing has gotten way out of hand. It has to end. I'm sick of it.

-I sort of agree with this one. The Senate version of the health care bill is one giant BJ to the insurance industry. Of course, this proves my point that Congress is essentially an extension of corporate America wielding its power.

-Where did this one come from? If someone believes that only the right's views are challenged, I've got Fox News high ratings and Rush Limbaugh's higher than the nightly newscasts ratings. Unless we're talking about how all the media is liberal again in which case we're back to the right playing the victim...again.

-Competes? Well, we'd love to but at this point it looks as though we have tens of millions of people that want to let the Chinese corner the market on green energy. And why? Because nothing is ever their fault and they can't possibly be wrong.
And there's nothing remotely strong about the base's general attitude towards the world. It's cowardly, superstitious, ideologically weak, and filled with xenophobia--which basically sums up this entire list ;)

jsid-1261278588-479  Unix-Jedi at Sun, 20 Dec 2009 03:09:48 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261178071-498

So, you're back to repeating known and discredited lines?

That's lying, dipshit.

I've pointed out to you that while average nightly news viewers are 22 million strong, the peak audience for Rush was 15.

Our nation of "investors" have decided to invest in air or give it all to people like Bernie Madoff.

More idiocy - I thought when you'd run away from all the other times I've asked you to explain that, that you realized how stupid it was.  No, you were just hiding, and being that pig-ignorant.

 At that time, we had much higher tax rates.

Rodney King wasn't beaten as badly physically as you were intellectually when you brought this up - and ran away headlong from followup.

 Of course, this proves my point that Congress is essentially an extension of corporate America wielding its power. 

No, it doesn't, dipshit.

If you believed in that "point", you'd stop demanding more government fucking control.

  Rush Limbaugh's higher than the nightly newscasts ratings.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN... LET ME PRESENT TO YOU... THE VERY EXAMPLE OF A MODERN MAJOR-PROFESSIONAL TEACHER...

WATCH HIM DEMONSTRATE HOW 15 IS MORE THAN 22!

let the Chinese corner the market on green energy. And why?

Because it's going to cost them a shitton of money, so let them waste it instead of us?

Oh, right, another argument you've been beaten to a intellectual pulp on, and you've bravely run away, run away, run away.

Go back do doing your homework.  And stop telling us that the educational establishment isn't as abysmal as it is - it won't fail you, so  it obviously is.


jsid-1261203530-647  Adam at Sat, 19 Dec 2009 06:18:50 +0000

Oh, gee. Big surprise. Mark is back after running away from every other thread.
Tick, tock.


jsid-1261266957-885  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 19 Dec 2009 23:55:57 +0000

The Senate version of the health care bill is one giant BJ to the insurance industry. Of course, this proves my point that Congress is essentially an extension of corporate America wielding its power.

But you think the proper solution is to give the government more power. And even with that, you consider "I believe in government" to be an "inaccurate assessment" of you.

Is it really so surprising that people wonder about your sanity?


jsid-1261333644-935  Markadelphia at Sun, 20 Dec 2009 18:27:24 +0000

GOF, I respect your opinion but disagree with you regarding my sanity. How can you not see that 47 million new customers is going to be MORE money and MORE power for the insurance industry? I won't deny that the government is a tool :) here but not the driving force.


jsid-1261344818-603  Unix-Jedi at Sun, 20 Dec 2009 21:33:38 +0000

I respect your opinion 

No, you don't.

but disagree with you regarding my sanity.

Which is more? 22 or 15?

How can you not see that 47 million new customers is going to be MORE money

(Not contesting - for the moment - the 47 million bullshit number)
47 million "Customers" who aren't paying now. That's not exactly a "growth market".  That's "47 million" who will demand services that they cannot or will not now pay for.

 and MORE power for the insurance industry?

As they're forced to cover people who haven't paid in?

I won't deny that the government is a tool here but not the driving force.


Don't argue about your sanity Mark.
You claim that it's not the driving force as it passes legislation REQUIRING it.

That's the definition of driving force, idiot.

I guess we can add "driving force" to the list of things you refuse to understand and will happily lie about.

jsid-1261344880-449  Unix-Jedi at Sun, 20 Dec 2009 21:34:40 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261344818-603

Fuck.

So all the italics don't post?

What the fucking fuck?

Lemme guess, they fired the programmers behind this from MS when they were working on Vista, because of total... grrrrrrr...

jsid-1261452046-428  Ed "What the" Heckman at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 03:20:46 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261344880-449

You have to use the buttons just above the text entry area. The good news is that on some browsers, you can use Ctrl-B, Ctrl-I and Ctrl-U instead of just clicking on them. It still sucks, though. Especially since blockquoting is nonexistent.

jsid-1261512347-103  Unix-Jedi at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 20:05:47 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261452046-428

I did.  The bold posted, the italics didn't.


jsid-1261352406-815  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 20 Dec 2009 23:40:06 +0000

I won't deny that the government is a tool here but not the driving force.

Of course it's a tool rather than the driving force, that's the whole point of representative government in the first place.

That is the fundamental reason why so many of us are anti-government by default. The more powerful you make that tool, the more resources those who are already powerful have to use against those with little or no power. The less the authority to legally initiate force (the only actual power any government has), both against citizens and against enemies, the more level the playing field between rich and poor gets.

You act incensed that the current healthcare legislation looks like "one giant BJ to the insurance industry". Well you should, and so am I. The difference between us is I am not even slightly surprised that it turned out to be just that and no more. "One giant BJ to the ________ industry" has been the vast majority of everything the US government has done for nearly a century now, or perhaps nearly a century and a half, depending on how you look at it.

It's sad that you didn't see that from the moment they all started their "the sky is falling" rhetoric.


jsid-1261409597-365  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 21 Dec 2009 15:33:17 +0000

Apologetic? You're fucking A right we should be for all the bullshit we've done. Another new trait of the right: "It's never our fault, Fuck You!" 

Okay, what exactly have we done that hasn't been likewise done by pretty much every other successful culture on earth, from the Comanche to the Phoenicians to the Zulu to the Mongols? Yes, our bad points are just as bad as everyone else's. That should hardly surprise anyone, since they're largely the same bad points.
I don't think that's where people take issue with the typical leftist attitude. I think the problem is with the left's attitude that not only should we always and forever apologize to people as bad or worse than we are for being just as bad as everyone else, but we should humbly fail to point out that we have created (on average) the wealthiest, most peaceful and most productive society in the history of mankind. Or worse, that that is what we should really be apologizing for.


jsid-1261436381-706  Markadelphia at Mon, 21 Dec 2009 22:59:41 +0000

Well, I think that Barack Obama did point that out in his speech when he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize. His words are perfectly aligned with what you wrote above. The Unites States IS the best country on the planet. We are a driving force for peace, innovation, prosperity and freedom in the world. We have been this way in both Republican and Democratic administrations. I do agree that there are many on the left who do not recognize this and view us as being just as bad as everyone else ALL THE TIME. I would disagree with that...the all the time part.

We have, however, acted as bad or worse than everyone else in the past. This is why I am ideologically opposed to a man like Dick Cheney, for example, who is essentially the American version of Osama bin Laden or Mahamoud Ahmadinejad. His actions and rhetoric bear this out. Where I would part with the left is when they say that both he AND Ronald Reagan, for example, are the American versions of OBL etc. Reagan made mistakes and was partly responsible for the beginning of the economic destruction of this country but he also was vital in ending the Cold War. His international policies were masterful and quite intelligent. I'm also convinced that if Reagan were around today he would be labeled a "Commie Appeaser" by the current form of the base.

In regards to the never ending government-private industry debate, I basically think that our government has become a subsidiary of US Inc. Take them away and what is the mechanism to police industry? I'm willing to entertain any suggestions you might have but I guess I don't see any alternative to your accurate assesment of where we are at right now.


jsid-1261446247-838  Britt at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 01:44:07 +0000

Mark.....

OK. Let's walk you through this.

A company/corporation/business is an entity that a person gives money to in exchange for a product or service.

A company cannot coerce or force anyone into giving them money. The nastiest thing they can do is spam your inbox. Every single cent of profit made by an American business was freely given to that business by a customer. Not one corporation has ever compelled someone into giving them money. They cannot, because force is the exclusive province of the State.

Only governments can steal, kidnap, or kill without being punished. Only government can force people to buy insurance, only governments can force people to buy certain types of light bulbs, or shower fixtures, or demand that people purchase cars which meet arbitrary standards for fuel efficiency or safety.

Your problem Mark, is one shared by POTUS: You set up a ridiculous comparison of extremes and then insist your way is the sensible way. You suggest that those here wish to have no government all. This is patently ridiculous. The choice, you claim, is to steer the middle path of socialism between communism and anarchy. False. This government is out of control. There is a simple truth: the government is the single largest employer in America, it sucks up a third of the nations wealth, it intrudes into every facet of daily life.

__________

In regards to the never ending government-private industry debate, I basically think that our government has become a subsidiary of US Inc. Take them away and what is the mechanism to police industry? I'm willing to entertain any suggestions you might have but I guess I don't see any alternative to your accurate assesment of where we are at right now.
_________________

God you are dense. You just said, in your own sentence, that the government is a stooge of corporate America. If that's true, why do you want them to have more powe?

Do you even read what you write?

jsid-1261462594-280  Unix-Jedi at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 06:16:34 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261446247-838

Britt:

No, he doesn't.

It all makes sense to him.  Think George Lucas and "Episode I" plot discontinuity.

 So the Corporations control government, thus the "free market" has failed, and government must be given more power.

We've been through this with him before.

But just as above, he repeats his completely discredited idea that Rush has more listeners than the nightly news.

Even though he's seen it demonstrated that he's wrong.

Doesn't matter. He's got a point. Facts are irrelevant.  The plot is true, and he's a force for good.

And he gets to claim that we're projecting, we're unable to change our mind.

Try asking him, which is more, 22, or 15?  He'll run away.  Just like he did. He knows he's lying, but it doesn't matter, he's RIGHT and more importantly, he's RIGHTEOUS.


jsid-1261492014-129  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 14:26:54 +0000

In regards to the never ending government-private industry debate, I basically think that our government has become a subsidiary of US Inc. Take them away and what is the mechanism to police industry? I'm willing to entertain any suggestions you might have but I guess I don't see any alternative to your accurate assesment of where we are at right now.

The alternative is the obvious "mechanism to police industry": Customer satisfaction or lack thereof, in other words "voting with your feet". The only reason you have little or no choice in health insurance is because the government limits or outright forbids (use of force) _________ insurance company from selling the policy you want in your state. The only reason you have to patronize a particular company to heat your home in the winter is because government has forced an energy monopoly in your local area.

That's the fundamental difference. If you decide to buy wood burning stoves to heat your home with, Centerpoint Energy cannot stop you, nor can they make you continue spending money with them. Only the government has that authority. In other words, Centerpoint has to maintain a certain amount of customer satisfaction in order to keep making money and paying employees.... or at least they would, were it not for government effectively requiring people in your area to patronize them.

Once a product or service is paid for by taxes, that dynamic changes. Taxes are force, meaning you do not have the option to not spend the money. The DMV, the IRS and the VA do not have to please their "customers" AT ALL in order to keep making enough money to survive, because everyone is forced to financially support them. The only thing that can threaten their survival is the displeasure of their own chain of command, topped by those very same corrupt politicians that you and I both (and many others here) bitch about.

You have spent any amount of time bitching about corporate greed, but I don't think you realize that greed is precisely what saves us, and must be allowed to drive the economy in order for the economy to work at its best. That's the beauty of the market. Greedy? Damn straight they're greedy, and well they should be. So is Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and you and me. Deny all you wish, but before you do, I challenge you to honestly claim that you would continue in your job if it didn't allow you to buy food, to pay the rent, to do things that make your loved ones feel spoiled and happy. See? That's your greed. You may be passionate about those you teach, but you are not so passionate that you'd short your family's meals for their sake, are you? You and your loved ones come first in your priorities, which is precisely as it should be. That's greed. That's you constantly looking for ways that what you do can translate to more ability to support, pamper and spoil those you care about.


Why is that, yes, a virtue? Because it means that all I have to do to "police the corporations" is get disgusted with what they offer and refuse to spend my money with them. If they can't use government to force me to give them my money, someone else will come along and offer me something closer to what I want. A potential customer has money to spend, wants to spend it, and is keeping the money and doing without the service I make my living providing, because nobody offers what he actually wants? Flatly unacceptable, I'll find a way to make him want to give me $$$.

Ya know what put men on the moon? Greed. Ya know what put a cell phone in the pockets of half of America? Greed. Ya know what created the internet? Greed. "Let me show you why you want to pay for the product or service I offer" has built the highest standard of living in the history of man, as well as the ability for private citizens to give support and help to strangers half a world away in amounts that would completely drain any previously existing socio-economic system in history.

Some weeks ago, a commenter on your blog made a remark about "Republicans trying to make greed into a virtue." Well if no one else will cop to that one, I sure will. Because as far as I'm concerned, greed is a virtue in a free market economy. And in any economy, if there was no such thing as greed, neither me nor you would like the result.


jsid-1261507421-297  DJ at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 18:43:41 +0000

"Our entire economy is one giant pyramid scam ..."

Still can't avoid hyperbole, can you, little boy?

"How can you not see that 47 million new customers is going to be MORE money and MORE power for the insurance industry?"


He cannot see it because he understands how business works. You don't understand how business works.

Your analysis is, in effect, "Oh, neat! We'll have more customers paying premiums! We're gonn be rich! Rich, I tell you!"

Your analysis does not include, "Oh, hell! What expenses will we pay for these new customers?  How will expenses compare to income?"

Note that I make no quick assumptions here about those expenses, I merely point out that you don't consider them AT ALL. Getting rich comes about by having income exceed expenses, and you cannot predict the net outcome without considering both. You don't.  You simply do what is your most common behavior, viz., you jump to conclusions.

It's the same old shit on a different day, teacher boy. You just cannot learn, can you?


jsid-1261516687-232  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 21:18:07 +0000

Current cultural trends suggest that the entirety of the civil court system could be done away with entirely and replaced with a reality TV show.


jsid-1261518693-974  Markadelphia at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 21:51:33 +0000

"A company/corporation/business is an entity that a person gives money to in exchange for a product or service."

*chuckle chuckle*

"A company cannot coerce or force anyone into giving them money."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Are you fucking kidding me?

" Every single cent of profit made by an American business was freely given to that business by a customer. Not one corporation has ever compelled someone into giving them money."

BWAAAAAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHAH. What world do you live in? You sound like Dr. Phillip Barbay. Sheesh...

"They cannot, because force is the exclusive province of the State. "

This is the part where I urge you to seek psychological help. Britt, I'm not certain we can engage in further discussion. You perceive the world as being filled with magical unicorns who plant flowers for the little children. If you think the US government has more power than multi-national corporations like Haliburton or Blackwater...wow, dude...I'll say it again...get a therapist. There's nothing I could say anyway that would convince you otherwise.

GOF, as usual you make some excellent points. But isn't greed what essentially got us into our current economic mess? CDOs, selling of complex derivatives (see:air) and a combined mass euphoria that went unchecked by the government who has admitted as much (Alan Greenspan)? I also find it ironic that the base's complaint about wealth re-distribution combined with their blind love of corporate greed has now come back to bite them in the ass.

For if the current health care bill passes, wealth will be redistributed right into the hands of corporate America with the help of their effective little tool...the US Congress.

jsid-1261519164-924  khbaker at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 21:59:24 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261518693-974

For if the current health care bill passes, wealth will be redistributed right into the hands of corporate America with the help of their effective little tool...the US Congress.

But government can work if the right people are in charge!  So let's give the government MORE POWER!


jsid-1261520079-140  Adam at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 22:14:39 +0000

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Are you fucking kidding me?  "

Ok, Mark, let's play this bullshit AGAIN.
Give us ONE example of corporate force.

Oh, wait.. YOU CAN'T.

God, you are such a cunt.


jsid-1261525967-82  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 22 Dec 2009 23:52:47 +0000

Laughter isn't evidence. Give one example of customers being required to patronize any business of any kind where the government didn't force it to happen.


jsid-1261526931-96  DJ at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 00:08:51 +0000

Britt: "A company cannot coerce or force anyone into giving them money." 
 
Markaphasia: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH Are you fucking kidding me?"

Teacher boy, SHOW us just ONE company that can COERCE or FORCE you into GIVE them money. Just one will do. Be specific and provide proof.

Hah.

I crack me up.


jsid-1261528162-925  Britt at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 00:29:22 +0000

If you think the US government has more power than multi-national corporations like Haliburton or Blackwater...wow, dude...I'll say it again...get a therapist.

_______________________

Halliburton (Two Ls, you don't teach spelling do you?) has ICBMs? Strategic bombers? Armored divisions? Aircraft carriers? They are an energy company. They have no armies.

Blackwater has...a boat, less then a thousand employees, of which I'd say 200 or so are shooters. What do they do? The guard US government employees in warzones and free up soldiers to fight the war. They also have some armored vehicles.

See Mark, you could argue that private companies should not be allowed to have APCs and what amounts to a Force Recon company. That would be a legitimate argument, a debate worth having. Instead you claim that US government, which is the single most powerful entity in the history of humanity militarily, economically, culturally, and diplomatically, in absolute or relative terms, is superseded by a company which isn't even the largest in the world.

You're just silly Mark.


jsid-1261535430-522  EMP at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 02:30:30 +0000

Oh man, Mark typed out his "uncontrollable" laughter at you and make some oblique references to mental instability in his opponents.  You just lost all the middle-schoolers in the audience to his side.


jsid-1261575048-468  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 13:30:48 +0000

Blackwater has...a boat, less then a thousand employees, of which I'd say 200 or so are shooters. What do they do? The guard US government employees in warzones and free up soldiers to fight the war. They also have some armored vehicles.

See Mark, you could argue that private companies should not be allowed to have APCs and what amounts to a Force Recon company.


But if you made that argument, someone would have to point out that Blackwater would not be allowed to have "APCs and what amounts to a Force Recon company" were it not for the fact that they specifically work for the government.


jsid-1261589245-569  Markadelphia at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:27:26 +0000

Adam et al, I don't have to give one example....how about the entire system? We've had this debate a thousand times. I've offered example after example and it has fallen on deaf ears. Actually, they're not deaf ears...they're ears which live in fairy land....where the evil government endlessly pummels the glowing and golden private sector. Most of you will never admit that multinational corporations run our world because it's simply not within your genetic makeup to accept new information into your existing schema.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,2687256.story

Ah, science....

jsid-1261591596-43  Unix-Jedi at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 18:06:36 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261589245-569

"I don't have to give one example....how about the entire system?"

Then you fail. Plain and simple. If you can't give an *example* out of it, you do no understand even your own argument.

"We've had this debate a thousand times. I've offered example after example"

No, you haven't. But I linked you to Arbitron and Neilson ratings that show that Rush Limbaugh's *peak* listener ship* is 7 million *below* average nightly viewing. And yet you repeat your discredited lie.  Your "examples" are like "take my friend Javier, who cries a lot".

That's *it*. Just like you can't *explain* where the failure is, or demonstrate just ONE case where you're FORCED to BUY ANY PRODUCT from a company - because you *cannot*. You're running on emotion and utter lack of facts.

"Actually, they're not deaf ears...they're ears which live in fairy land"

And every one of your "points proven" above has been discredited.  Who's in fairy land, there, Fairy nut sack boy?

Kevin: now Echo isn't displaying what I type until after I click somewhere or hit enter.

This *blows*
Look, I'll help you get the comments transferred somewere decent. This blows.

jsid-1261600486-406  Adam at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 20:34:46 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261589245-569

Yes, you *do* have to give an example. That's how you demonstrate things - evidence. If you can't provide evidence for it, there's probably a good chance that it's pure monkeyshit conjecture. In your case, there's a couple of years suggesting anything you say or suggest is pure Grade A monkeyshit conjecture.


jsid-1261603958-668  DJ at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 21:32:38 +0000

"Adam et al, I don't have to give one example....how about the entire system? We've had this debate a thousand times. I've offered example after example and it has fallen on deaf ears."

HOOWEE, it's jackpot time.  How many of your Standard Responses, found at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html, do we have here?

There is Standard Response #2, the "What's the point" response. You complain that it is pointless to respond because you won't be believed anyway.

There is Standard Response #4, the "How 'bout that anthrax, eh?" response. You simply try to change the subject. This is also known as the "Hey, look! A pony!" response.

There is Standard Response #5, the "I'm drowning in stupidity" response. You simply lay on the blather, slathering on one turgid catch-phrase, slogan, and cliché after another, declaring that, by golly, you've already done what you refuse to do.

There is Standard Response #6, the "How 'bout a little fire, Scarecrow?" response. You deliberately miss the point, laying on yet another straw man, trying yet again to change the subject.

There is Standard Response #7, the "Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' camera?" response. Showing evidence to back up your statements is simply beyond you. You even deny the need to.

There is Standard Response #9, the "Nuh-uh! Am not! You are!" response. You simply assert that the other side is what you don't like being accused of.

Goddamn, liar boy, but that's gotta be a record! Six out of ten of your standard responses in only 85 words!

Listen up, sack boy. You have asserted that Britt's statement:

"A company cannot coerce or force anyone into giving them money."


is false. You cannot or will not furnish even a single example of a company which can.  All you can do is try, in your usual and customary manner, to blather your way out of showing yourself, yet again, to be a blithering idiot and a liar.

Keep it up, little boy. You do such good work for our side.

Oh, and as to the link you provided, well, golly gee, are you actually claiming that you think differently than we do because you are *gasp* a liberal?

Still can't think through the consequences of your words, can you?


jsid-1261610234-488  Markadelphia at Wed, 23 Dec 2009 23:17:14 +0000

" If you can't give an *example* out of it..."

"Yes, you *do* have to give an example..."

"to blather your way out of showing yourself, yet again, to be a blithering idiot and a liar. "

Gee, folks, I guess you're right. If I don't follow your orders and do exactly as you say (even though I've done it a zillion times), then I must be wrong. Heavens! How could I not see that if I just gave just one example out of an entire system (that only a blind and deaf person couldn't see runs the world) then suddenly--as if out of someone's ass--you would magically be able to understand what I am saying and recognize the validity of it.

More realistically, I would provide you with an example or seven and then you would proceed to laugh, call me an idiot (or a cunt), not pay attention to any of the factual basics of my argument, ignore reality and make up whatever you need to in order to maintain your fantasy of the golden glow of multinational corporations.

Essentially, you don't want to see how the world actually works. Or can't because you don't have the same synaptic connections in your brain (see above link) that I do. If any of you decide to have an open mind or perhaps learn how to think critically (like Mastiff, juris, or GOF), then I'd be more than happy to engage in a deeper discussion about the realities of our world. Until then...


jsid-1261613342-89  khbaker at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 00:09:02 +0000

Markadelphia, I've been working on an Überpost for some time that will go into great detail, but the problem isn't a lack of "critical thinking skills" or an avoidance of wanting to understand how the world works, it's a completely different understanding of human nature than you have.  I sincerely hope I can get the piece completed before the end of the year.  I don't expect it to affect you in the least, but I NEED to write it.


jsid-1261614145-454  DJ at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 00:22:25 +0000

"Gee, folks, I guess you're right. If I don't follow your orders and do exactly as you say (even though I've done it a zillion times), then I must be wrong."

Damn. And to think that you claim to be a *gasp* teacher!

No, you pathetic little troll, you are exhibiting, yet again, as shown at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html your Standard Response #6, the "How 'bout a little fire, Scarecrow?" response. You deliberately miss the point, laying on yet another straw man.

Also, there is your Standard Response #5, the "I'm drowning in stupidity" response. You simply lay on the blather, slathering on one turgid catch-phrase, slogan, and cliché after another, declaring that, by golly, you've already done what you refuse to do.

You are as predictable as the laws of physics.

"Heavens! How could I not see that if I just gave just one example out of an entire system (that only a blind and deaf person couldn't see runs the world) then suddenly--as if out of someone's ass--you would magically be able to understand what I am saying and recognize the validity of it."

Yet again, you respond with Standard Response #6.

Here it is, teacher boy:  We understand perfectly well what you are saying. What you simply refuse to understand and/or admit is that you have no reason to expect anyone to believe you are correct unless you cough up a minimum amount of evidence that you are correct. You won't cough up ANY, not even a single example. You simply hold yourself up as an authority, i.e. what you say should be believed simply because you say it.

"More realistically, I would provide you with an example or seven and then you would proceed to laugh, call me an idiot (or a cunt), not pay attention to any of the factual basics of my argument, ignore reality and make up whatever you need to in order to maintain your fantasy of the golden glow of multinational corporations."

Yet again, you cough up your Standard Response #2, the "What's the point" response. You complain that it is pointless to respond because you won't be believed anyway.

"If any of you decide to have an open mind or perhaps learn how to think critically (like Mastiff, juris, or GOF), then I'd be more than happy to engage in a deeper discussion about the realities of our world. Until then..."

Now, by golly, you have exhibited a new Standard Response #11, the "You're Not Smart Enough For Me To Converse With" response. It's a new low, as one usually finds this on the playground during first grade recess. Even kids in kindergarten do it!

Just One Example, sack boy. You can't do it, and you know it, and you aren't fooling anyone.  See why you're held in such contempt here? You are a troll, no more and no less.

jsid-1261614556-47  khbaker at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 00:29:16 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261614145-454

I've updated the post to add SR #11! :)

jsid-1261617497-757  DJ at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 01:18:17 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261614556-47

Thanks, Kevin!

I wonder how high he'll go ...


jsid-1261616836-870  Adam at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 01:07:16 +0000

So that's, what, the "waaah you're meanies for wanting me to back up my claims" defense?
Damn, Mark. You're not only too *stupid* to argue with, you're also too damned immature.


jsid-1261621706-61  Markadelphia at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:28:26 +0000

Kevin, in your piece, are you going to include all three of the basic theories on human nature (innate goodness, blank tablet, original sin)?

As to SR11, it has nothing to do with intelligence. All of you are quite intelligent. Most of you, however, think that Atlas Shrugged is real (hint: it's a work of fiction).

The world that Rand imagined has not happened, is not happening and will never happen. When you take her life into context, it is clear why she viewed government as crushing to innovation. Ironic that a group of scientists and lovers of space exploration can't see that it was government (and my favorite president) that got us to the moon.

In many ways, that book and her overall philosophy are like the "Deep Throat" of political and ideological porn for many of you. You read it and want/need the government to be that bad. Philosophically it gets you off. It has to be to fit your feelings...while all the while the corporations of this country and the world laugh their ass off at how much you let them fuck you over every day.

jsid-1261623952-905  khbaker at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:05:52 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261621706-61

Kevin, in your piece, are you going to include all three of the basic theories on human nature (innate goodness, blank tablet, original sin)?

No.

As to SR11, it has nothing to do with intelligence. All of you are quite intelligent. Most of you, however, think that Atlas Shrugged is real (hint: it's a work of fiction).

More psychobabble.  I think this comment will make it into the piece as illustration.  Do a search on "Atlas Shrugged" here, Markadelphia.  The book is DRECK, and I've said so.  That doesn't mean she didn't have some good points to make.  I've quoted one major point several times.


Ironic that a group of scientists and lovers of space exploration can't see that it was government (and my favorite president) that got us to the moon. 

Only because that president DIED.  Had he not, I doubt serously the money would have continued to flow to NASA, and the program would have been scrapped as too expensive and a profligate waste in the face of the Vietnam war and poverty at home.  Note that we haven't gone BACK since 1974, nor sent man any further than low Earth orbit.  We should be living in Lagrange point habitats and under the surface of the moon by now, and mining the asteroid belt.

You repeatedly claim that the corporations control the government, yet your solution to this problem it to give the government MORE POWER.  When called on this logical dichotomy, you never respond.  Why is that?  Because from this perspective, it appears to be pathologic.


jsid-1261622412-406  Adam at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:40:12 +0000

"As to SR11, it has nothing to do with intelligence. All of you are quite intelligent. Most of you, however, think that Atlas Shrugged is real (hint: it's a work of fiction).  
 
The world that Rand imagined has not happened, is not happening and will never happen. When you take her life into context, it is clear why she viewed government as crushing to innovation. Ironic that a group of scientists and lovers of space exploration can't see that it was government (and my favorite president) that got us to the moon.  "


Woo. Keep lighting that strawman.
(By the way, that's not an example or evidence of any of the claims you've made so far)


jsid-1261623202-556  Russell at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:53:22 +0000

"Most of you, however, think that Atlas Shrugged is real (hint: it's a work of fiction)."

Who thinks that here? Name names this time. Not like when you called us being just like Al Queda and have run away every time I've someone ask you for a specific name.

jsid-1261623977-79  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:06:17 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261623202-556

He did name names on that one. Me and Sarah. Of course, just like in this thread, he couldn't actually point to any actual similarities to Al Qaeda beyond actually believing what we believe.


jsid-1261624636-703  Russell at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:17:16 +0000

*slaps head* Oh yeah, forgot about that time.

My apologizes on that one, Markadelphia, you have named names, once. Want to shoot for 2 times?


jsid-1261624944-832  Markadelphia at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:22:24 +0000

I certainly did, Ed. Go back and read the thread.

Ayn Rand imagined a world where innovators were crushed by ever growing government power. How is that any different than what you think? Moreover, how does that not conflict with the reality of our plutonomy?

Adam, I think the Citigroup doc is evidence enough of how many of my basic claims regarding power and wealth in this country are absolutely true. It clearly shows how wealth is structured in this country and how many of your beliefs on "redistribution" are flat out false...unless you consider redistribution to the top one percent to be vaild which is, in fact, true.


jsid-1261625415-505  Russell at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 03:30:15 +0000

I'll type slower and in caps: NAME NAMES. Do not generalize. Point out someone that believes that Atlas Shrugged is not a work of fiction.


jsid-1261632235-903  Britt at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 05:23:55 +0000

Mark, No one thinks Atlas Shrugged is a non-fiction work. Taggart, Rearden, and Galt are fictional characters, and everyone knows this. You're being deliberatly obtuse.

Atlas Shrugged goes along with 1984: the point is not the names of the characters, the point is not the narrative sequence, the point is that it can happen here. The point of Atlas Shrugged, at least to me, is that businessmen, inventors, engineers, bankers, and a host of other professions villified and hated by people like yourself are absolutely neccessary to the functioning of a modern society. It would be impossible to live the life you do without these people, who you despise. Enegy companies heats your home, fuels your car, powers the computer that you dispense wisdom to us poor benighted Neanderthals. That one industry, which you consider one of the fonts of evil in the world, is something that you cannot live without.

The problem with the Left (oh if I had a quarter for every time I've started a sentence that way) is that they really believe that you can stand under the roof of the Acropolis and knock out the pillars for a better view. When the people say "wait, the pillars hold the roof up" you say "Nah, ya'll just don't understand how awesome it will be to sit under the roof without these pillars blocking the view. We need fresh, new thinking, not outmoded ideas. Just because people have always had support for their roofs, doesn't mean we can't do without the supports. It's change, and you shouldn't be afraid of change."

The point of Atlas Shrugged is this: the people who make the world work, the people who hold civilization together, we need them a whole lot more then they need us. If you do succeed in driving them away, if people like you do cause Atlas to shrug, you'll be freezing and in the dark, and you won't be able to post on your blog about how this is all Bush's fault. I know that the people like you wrap themselves in a warm quilt of "everybody is special" and "everbody matters" and "no one can do it alone". This is absolute crap. Every great advancement springs from a single individual. Governments do not innovate, NGOs do not innovate, corporations do not innovate, people do. The more incentive they have to innovate, the more they will. The higher standard of living that follows is what benefits everyone else.


Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck."

-Robert Heinlein.



jsid-1261661018-853  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 13:23:38 +0000


"I certainly did, Ed. Go back and read the thread."

As usual, you've demonstrated the truth of Standard Response #1, probably because the cognitive dissonance between what you want to believe and what the truth actually is prevents you from even seeing it. (It seems like a person who simply can't even look at or recognize an object associated with a personal trauma.) YOU need to go back and read the thread. In fact, you need to go read all of them from that time period. And do try to read for comprehension this time…

June 18-27, 2009

June 27 - July 20, 2009

August 6-8, 2009

August 7-13, 2009

And it looks like I need to remind you of this summary of what Al Qaeda actually says from The Al Qaeda Reader:

"Bin Laden and Zawahiri take much of their critique of the West from the West itself. To conclude that is not to imply McCarthyism about dissent at home, but again simply to be empirical and to read the terrorists firsthand. For all their bragging about interviews with Time and CNN, bin Laden and Zawahiri remain parochial men of the seventh century, without much experience outside the Middle East, and now in hiding in the desolate badlands along the Pakistani border. Yet, despite their isolation, and thanks to global communications, they offer precise advice about American books we should read - William Blum's Rogue State about the evils of American imperialism is a favorite. Their description of George W. Bush reading "a little girl's story about a goat" to children while the World Trade Center falls is lifted directly from Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 as are frequent references to "the lies of George Bush" and Dick Cheney's Halliburton. 
 
Even advocates of American campaign reform will find their echoes here (“rich and wealthy people, who hold sway in parties, and fund their election campaigns with their gifts,” and who “swell the bank accounts of the White House gang”). Often, al-Qaeda’s complaints against the United States read like those leveled by atheistic and socialist Europeans: the United States “refused to sign the Kyoto agreement” and excused itself from the International criminal court. Furthermore, America pollutes the world’s skies and seas. That we ended World War II with an atomic bomb is likewise a constant source of complaint."

If we are "like" Al Qaeda, Marxy, then you ARE Al Qaeda, because You Say The Exact. Same. Things.

jsid-1261661494-140  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 13:31:34 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261661018-853

Two more threads:

June 7-24, 2009

June 18-27, 2009


jsid-1261662746-825  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 13:52:26 +0000





"Most of you, however, think that Atlas Shrugged is real (hint: it's a work of fiction)."

Trying to read minds again Vizinni? Need I remind you that those voices in your head are NOT actually our thoughts?

Of course it's fiction! It's fiction in the same way that Flatland is fiction. Neither story is true. Nor are the characters. But both were written to illustrate a point. Flatland illustrates points about mathematics and dimensions, while Atlas Shrugged illustrates points about socialism. (Though in many ways, Atlas Shrugged is garbage, being about as realistic (storywise) as Dances With Smurfs and even more ham-handed and tiresome.) Would you remove Flatland from your school because it's "fiction" even though it deals with real concepts? Or have you already?

So, if you think even one of us thinks that Atlas Shrugged is non-fiction, then you should be able to prove it. Find a comment where someone claimed that Atlas Shrugged is non-fiction. Doing a Google search starting with "site:haloscan.com khbaker" still works.

Of course, I fully expect you to refuse to provide such evidence. In fact, such evidence doesn't exist. But, of course, you'll just keep on believing it despite being proven wrong, because you Can Never Admit Error®™.


jsid-1261669786-675  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 15:49:46 +0000

 I've offered example after example and it has fallen on deaf ears.

Where and when? Link to it/them, please.

So far as I know, the only "examples of private sector force" you have offered are Blackwater, Halliburton, and Centerpoint Energy. We have noted that in all 3 cases the only reason they were able to use force was because they were acting as a proxy for the government.

Adam et al, I don't have to give one example....

True, you don't. But as long as you refuse to, your argument remains "It's true because I say so."


jsid-1261674669-636  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 24 Dec 2009 17:11:09 +0000

This is so good it needs to be repeated:

Marxy: Adam et al, I don't have to give one example.... 
 
GrumpyOldFart: True, you don't. But as long as you refuse to, your argument remains "It's true because I say so."


jsid-1261840061-106  Linoge at Sat, 26 Dec 2009 15:07:41 +0000

(By the way, that's not an example or evidence of any of the claims you've made so far)

Crap on a crutch - despite four separate and distinct requests for Markaphasia to link to his own weblog to support his own words, he never actually managed to do so.  If the dolt behind the keyboard cannot be bothered to use the motivation of self-aggrandizement to substantiate his words, there really is no point in having anything even approximating a factual, rational conversation with him. 

Of course that is something of a given, considering that the reading/commenting body here has successfully categorized 95% of his response into one of 11 categories, indicating that he could hardly pass a Turing Test... 

jsid-1261840892-353  Linoge at Sat, 26 Dec 2009 15:21:32 +0000 in reply to jsid-1261840061-106

And, once I hit the "Post" button, I have an inspiration. 

The following tract comes straight out of the strawman Markaphasia is trying to foist upon the majority of the readers/commenters here: 

“‘We never make assertions, Miss Taggart,’ said Hugh Akston. ‘That is the moral crime peculiar to our enemies. We do not tell – we show. We do not claim – we prove.’”

Markaphasia is firmly entrenched in one camp, with no signs of ever trying to go anywhere else... or even without an understanding of the differences between the two camps. 

So, yes, Atlas Shrugged is fiction, and spectacularly shitty fiction at that.  But parts of it are amazingly and amusingly relevant, topical, and sometimes even true. 


jsid-1261846929-857  Guest (anonymous) at Sat, 26 Dec 2009 17:02:09 +0000

"... Atlas Shrugged is fiction, and spectacularly shitty fiction at that.  But parts of it are amazingly and amusingly relevant, topical, and sometimes even true."

A good summary.

Now, sack boy likely has no idea who Hugh Akston was and the quote lacks the necessary context unless one knows, so I'll excerpt this description from Wikipedia:

"Hugh Akston is identified as "One of the last great advocates of reason." He was a renowned philosopher and the head of the Department of Philosophy at Patrick Henry University, where he taught Francisco d'Anconia, John Galt, and Ragnar Danneskjöld. He was, along with Robert Stadler, a father figure to these three. Akston's name is so hallowed that a young lady, on hearing that Francisco had studied under him, is shocked. She thought he must have been one of those great names from an earlier century. He now works as a cook in a roadside diner, and proves extremely skillful at that. When Dagny tracks him down, and before she discovers his true identity, he rejects her enthusiastic offer to manage the dining car services for Taggart Transcontinental."


jsid-1261847450-950  DJ at Sat, 26 Dec 2009 17:10:50 +0000

Well, we have an inadvertent test of Echo, don't we?  I hit "Post" one time, and I find three copies of my comment posted, all under the name "Guest", all with the "Delete" option absent.

Harrumph.


(Fixed - with the exception of the "Guest" appellation. - Ed.)


jsid-1261853197-929  DJ at Sat, 26 Dec 2009 18:46:37 +0000

Thanks, kind sir.


jsid-1262029294-436  Markadelphia at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 19:41:34 +0000

First, I believe there was a request to link to my own Blog. Here it is

http://markadelphia.blogspot.com/

Second, in response to the usual "Mark doesn't use evidence to support his points" conundrum (aka I don't like what Mark says therefore I will attack him personally) let's take a look at one line from this post (he sighs, laughingly, as he knows what the response will be).

"From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations."

Flat out wrong. Unless, of course, he means redistriubtion upwards and not downwards, in which case, correct!

Evidence:

As of 2004 (according to the Federal Reserve), the top 20 percent of this country account for 43 percent of the income and 57 percent of net worth. The net worth to income ratio of the richest 10 perecent of Ameericans increased from 7.4x in 2001 to 8.4 in 2004.

Source: pg. 1 of http://www.scribd.com/doc/6674229/Citigroup-Mar-5-2006-Plutonomy-Report-Part-2

Further, see pages 3-4 of this same document to see how the income of the wealth has increased and not been "redistributed." This is, in fact, a lie put forth by those who want to maintain their wealth and power of our plutonomy.

To be clear, I am not making any judgments on this data. I am not offering any opinions on whether they should be taxed more or whether the bottom 10 percent is suffering more as a result. I am refuting, with facts, the statement above and showing it to be false.

As I have stated previously, read the entire document. Here is part 1

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6674234/Citigroup-Oct-16-2005-Plutonomy-Report-Part-1

This was prepared by a private company. It is a highly accurate analysis of the reality of our economy today. If you can demonstrate to me, through your own analysis (scientific method, evidence) of the facts presented in the document how Citigroup is in error, I'm all ears. Or eyes, actually. If you want to continue to heap personal attack on me, behave in an overly obssessive manner regarding statements I have made since I started posting here, or fall back into paranoid delusions of "gubmint power" laden with hate and anger, I will not respond to you.


jsid-1262029409-766  Markadelphia at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 19:43:29 +0000

Oops...that should be 10 percent, not 20 percent. Even better ;)


jsid-1262032330-524  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 20:32:10 +0000

To repeat:

I've offered example after example and it has fallen on deaf ears.

Where and when? Link to it/them, please.

So far as I know, the only "examples of private sector force" you have offered are Blackwater, Halliburton, and Centerpoint Energy. We have noted that in all 3 cases the only reason they were able to use force was because they were acting as a proxy for the government.

Thanks btw, for those links. I'll get back to you.

However, for an initial response:

 As of 2004 (according to the Federal Reserve), the top 20 percent of this country account for 43 percent of the income and 57 percent of net worth. The net worth to income ratio of the richest 10 perecent of Ameericans increased from 7.4x in 2001 to 8.4 in 2004. 

Fine and good. Let's stipulate that as accurate (not sayin it's not, just haven't checked).

Now... what percentage of the federal budget does that same 20% support via taxes in one form or another, in other words, by force? Is that number higher or lower than 57%, the higher of the two figures you used above?

If it's higher, wealth is being redistributed by force from the wealthy to the non-wealthy, plain and simple. That's the math, and there's no way around it. Whether or not the wealthy are becoming wealthier in spite of that is not germane to the question at all.

Whether it's justified is a different question entirely. From where I stand, it appears that you think the buying choices of millions of people, choices which have decreed that my doctor's, my lawyer's and my banker's time and skills are worth more than mine, should be ignored, and a "sensible" system imposed.


jsid-1262033120-552  Ken at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 20:45:20 +0000

To be clear, I am not making any judgments on this data. I am not offering any opinions on whether they should be taxed more or whether the bottom 10 percent is suffering more as a result.

Two more bare-assed lies for the pile. But who can keep count any more?


jsid-1262036666-137  DJ at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 21:44:26 +0000

Rearding the linked document, it comes up blank in my browser.  But given its title, "Citigroup Mar 5 2006 Plutonomy Report Part 2", I can't help but laugh.  Found a word you like, did you?

But I found the one comment about it to be quite interesting:

"In reading these two "Plutonomy" reports, I find them badly written, with punctuation errors, containing repeated slang and colloquialisms, too many "I" and "we" first person references, a boorish misplaced overconfidence, misstated understanding of some of the statistical data presented from limited sources, too many references to just one book, and overall an oversimplified thesis that shows a breathtaking lack of knowledge of finance and economics. It is a wonder that Citigroup paid for badly written junk like this to be published to their clients and beyond."

You searched for somthing you think agrees with you and you think is credible, a "highly accurate analysis" you called it.  This is known in the trade as "culling the data", and it is to laugh, too.   Grumpy's refutation of your statement about it is a bullseye.  And, I note that you haven't yet answered his requests for links to your examples

If you want to continue to heap personal attack on me, behave in an overly obssessive manner regarding statements I have made since I started posting here, or fall back into paranoid delusions of "gubmint power" laden with hate and anger, I will not respond to you."

Sack boy, you keep refusing to think rationally, and we keep trying to goad you into it.  You can't do it.  You keep it up, we'll keep it it.  Responding with, in effect, "Mommy, I'm gonna hold my breath until I turn blue!" is fitting, given the child that you are.  You don't fool anyone.


jsid-1262036685-711  DJ at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 21:44:45 +0000

Rearding the linked document, it comes up blank in my browser.  But given its title, "Citigroup Mar 5 2006 Plutonomy Report Part 2", I can't help but laugh.  Found a word you like, did you?

But I found the one comment about it to be quite interesting:

"In reading these two "Plutonomy" reports, I find them badly written, with punctuation errors, containing repeated slang and colloquialisms, too many "I" and "we" first person references, a boorish misplaced overconfidence, misstated understanding of some of the statistical data presented from limited sources, too many references to just one book, and overall an oversimplified thesis that shows a breathtaking lack of knowledge of finance and economics. It is a wonder that Citigroup paid for badly written junk like this to be published to their clients and beyond."

You searched for somthing you think agrees with you and you think is credible, a "highly accurate analysis" you called it.  This is known in the trade as "culling the data", and it is to laugh, too.   Grumpy's refutation of your statement about it is a bullseye.  And, I note that you haven't yet answered his requests for links to your examples

If you want to continue to heap personal attack on me, behave in an overly obssessive manner regarding statements I have made since I started posting here, or fall back into paranoid delusions of "gubmint power" laden with hate and anger, I will not respond to you."

Sack boy, you keep refusing to think rationally, and we keep trying to goad you into it.  You can't do it.  You keep it up, we'll keep it it.  Responding with, in effect, "Mommy, I'm gonna hold my breath until I turn blue!" is fitting, given the child that you are.  You don't fool anyone.


jsid-1262036801-730  DJ at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 21:46:41 +0000

Um, Kevin, it did it again.  I think Echo requires cookies to be enabled.  When it triple-posted before, and now double-posted, they were not.  When I commented about the error, I had then enabled cookies and it worked.

Food for thought, everyone.


jsid-1262038574-114  Ken at Mon, 28 Dec 2009 22:16:14 +0000

One more thing, Thimblewit: The Citigroup report (as I previously pointed out, and you conveniently, ahem, "forget") demonstrates that the mean constant-dollar income of the bottom 40 percent (no wonder you refer to the bottom 10 percent, which is nowhere mentioned and constitutes a move of the goal posts I'm sure you devoutly hope no one notices, so you can make up more baloney as you go) increased 24.16 percent from 1995 to 2004.

We have already seen there is no depth to which you will not sink, you cod-walloping invertebrate parasite, but perhaps you could demonstrate -- using facts, data, and the scientific method -- how a cohort could see its income grow 24 percent and yet be worse off.

Remember, Thimblewit, appeals to inflation are out of bounds -- the figures are inflation-adjusted.

And with that, class dismissed once more and for the last time. You want another seminar, you can damned well pay for the privilege.


jsid-1262091094-134  Linoge at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 12:51:34 +0000

First, I believe there was a request to link to my own Blog. Here it is  
 

And yet, by continuing to willfully and maliciously miss the point, you continue to fail. 

My original thesis, as proven by your continued words, that you are nothing more than a pom-pom-wielding cheerleader for Our Glorious President, and thus a hypocrite when you complain about people here supposedly complaining about everything he does, stands unrefuted by you, likely in perpetuity.  Thanks for playing. 


jsid-1262105879-183  Markadelphia at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 16:57:59 +0000

Alright, let's see what we have here today...

GOF, the statement regarding redistribution implies that the rich are being soaked. In fact, the opposite is true. They are making more money than ever before. I don't dispute that they are paying "more" money in taxes but they are retaining more wealth than ever before. The document clearly illustrates that we have an aristocracy in this country as opposed to "rentier rich" and that Citigroup should be marketing its products to them, not the lower 90 percent. Why? Because the lower 90 percent don't have enough money to buy anything. They can barely keep up with the rising costs of...well...everything.Given all of the data in this document, the concept of wealth redistribution to the middle and lower class is inaccurate.

For example, examine the date in Figure 1 on page 4 of the "Part 1" link. The top one percent accounted for 20 percent of Income, 40 percent of Financial wealth and 33 percent of net worth in the US. This is more than the net worth of the bottom 95 percent combined. This was as of 2001. Combine this with the data from 2004 and later. It's grown. Look at the numbers on the chart. The statement  that "wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations" is not only intact but beyond anyone's dream of avarice.

In regards to the use of force, it all comes down to power. If you are the one that controls the wealth (which the private sector clearly does) than you can manipulate those in office to do your bidding. You are correct in stating the government does abuse its power but it does so at the bidding of the private sector...our oligarchy...our plutonomy. The promise of wealth and power awaits anyone (Democrat or Republican) who leaves public life and enters the private sector...if they play ball. That's how the system works.

As far as your question about links, there are so many I don't know where to begin. Would it really be beneficial for me to go back through all the various threads to try to prove that I put up links supporting my arguments? Links filled with facts? I don't think so. Let's stick with the Citigroup document for right now. I've linked it in the past. It is filled with information that we can discuss for quite awhile.

Ken, as I have stated previously, I will no longer respond to comments that have personal insults directed at me. When you are ready to debate the facts without vitriol, I'll be here.

Linoge, again, this is where I will be if you want to offer your analysis of the data.

DJ, the link seems to work fine for others. As I have told Ken and Linoge, when you are ready to offer an in depth analysis of the document (both parts), this where I will be. Until then, I won't respond to your insults.


jsid-1262110662-90  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 18:17:42 +0000

I don't dispute that they are paying "more" money in taxes but they are retaining more wealth than ever before.

As are everyone else, according to the very document you cite. And yet, by your own admission, the higher up the scale you go the more you are "carrying the whole gang", so to speak. Everyone is benefiting, but the wealthier you are, the more disproportional the cost is for the benefit. At least, until you figure out how to avoid paying your taxes altogether, as Geithner, Dodd and Rangel have. So what is "progressive taxation" anyway? Obviously it's a way for the extremely wealthy to hamstring those who are merely in the process of becoming extremely wealthy, thus culling the competition. As such, I'm more than a little surprised you favor it so much.

In regards to the use of force, it all comes down to power. If you are the one that controls the wealth (which the private sector clearly does) than you can manipulate those in office to do your bidding. You are correct in stating the government does abuse its power but it does so at the bidding of the private sector...our oligarchy...our plutonomy. The promise of wealth and power awaits anyone (Democrat or Republican) who leaves public life and enters the private sector...if they play ball. That's how the system works.

While that's true so far as it goes, it dodges the issue. Money talks, sure. It always has, it always will, under any system of government, from anarchy all the way through totalitarianism. But the authority to take your money, to take your liberty, and to assault and/or kill you is reserved to government alone. That's what government is FOR. The private sector can wave its cash and persuade people to buy things. And yes, that includes persuading politicians to buy bullshit stories. But they cannot outright rob, kidnap or assault people except when and where they are acting as agents of the government.

The only exception to that is a set of rules governing when businesses can use force in defense of property or clients. In other words, once force has been initiated against them, they can respond.

Now... given that yes, money talks, and always has, and always will... why the HELL would you want to give government more power? All you accomplish by  that is to increase the number of ways the private sector can persuade governments to use force against the citizens in their behalf, which is precisely what they're doing now. You're pissed about the "giant BJ to the insurance industry" but it's exactly what you should have expected.

The moment a wealthy politician starts talking about empowering "the people", you can take it as given that what he's actually planning is to give power to his cronies and cripple his enemies and rivals, and that's all. Every time, regardless of the name, the party affiliation, the skin color or the stated agenda of said politician.

As far as your question about links, there are so many I don't know where to begin.

Begin with one link to one example of the private sector using force against its customers, when it wasn't acting as a proxy for a government. It doesn't have to be one you've brought up before, any one will do.

As a side note.... how many politicians can you name who are not wealthy?


jsid-1262114831-230  DJ at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 19:27:11 +0000

"DJ, the link seems to work fine for others. As I have told Ken and Linoge, when you are ready to offer an in depth analysis of the document (both parts), this where I will be. Until then, I won't respond to your insults."

Teacher boy, you don't respond to anything I post here except as yet another example of your 11 Standard Responses, which we find at

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html"

I stopped expecting anything else from you long ago.  If you think I care whether or not you make any response to any comment I address at you, then you have an extremely inflated sense of your own importance. But, we all know that. It's what drives you.

Here in Kevin's Parlor, we are approaching three years worth of requests for your response to our postings of relevant articles that you have ignored (see those 11 Standard Responses again). Your hypocrisy grows as your credibility shrinks.

So, when you're ready to go catch up, hypocrisy boy, you let me know.  You do such good work for our side. 


jsid-1262120049-154  Ken at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 20:54:09 +0000

Ken, as I have stated previously, I will no longer respond to comments that have personal insults directed at me. When you are ready to debate the facts without vitriol, I'll be here.

By all means hold your breath.


jsid-1262125229-307  Russell at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 22:20:29 +0000

Can we add "Poor wittle me" as one of Marxy's responses?

I mean, he's compared us to Al Queada, insulted us by claiming we believe Atlas Shrugged isn't fiction, violated the rules of logic, grammar and common decency repeatedly, heaped scorn and derision for not worshiping whatever nonsense he is currently spewing, and yet he whines that people are mean to him. Marxy, you have earned, after three long years, what you get. 


jsid-1262128578-927  DJ at Tue, 29 Dec 2009 23:16:18 +0000

Let's try a full broadside, shall we?

Teacher boy, you have insulted ALL of us, individually and en masse, day after day, month after month, and year after year, simply by treating us as if none of us can muster three functioning neurons at a time. Your modus operandi is to evade any and all requests we make of you to provide verifiable, demonstrable support for your blitherings. You are so predictable in your evasions that they are easily categorized as eleven different types, which can be found at

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html

The only one of these Standard Responses that is not an insult directed at the requester is #1, the "I can't hear you" response, in which you simply ignore the request.

Right now, you are once again engaging in Standard Response #5, in which you simply lay on the blather, slathering on one turgid catch-phrase, slogan, and cliché after another, and then declare that you have fulfilled the request made of you.

Don't think so, do you? Right in this comment thread on 12/22/09 at 3:51:33, you asserted that corporations can coerce or force you to give money to them. When challenged repeatedly to give just one example by which a corporation can coerce or force you to give them money, you have repeatedly responded with your Standard Responses #1, #2, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, and #11. You have continued with #5 yet again today, stating "As far as your question about links [to where you have so responded], there are so many I don't know where to begin."

Now you have the unbridled arrogance, the sheer gall, of telling us that you won't respond to what we write until WE stop insulting YOU? You pathetic little pissant, YOU have NOTHING whatever to complain about. As Kevin, Russell, and I (in particular) keep on telling you, you get precisely the treatment here that you have earned and that you deserve, no more and no less.

You want respect, sack boy? Then push that pathetic, childish whining back up your ass where it came from and EARN IT. Stop treating us as if we were idiots. This is trivially easy to do, but it requires, right from the beginning, that you put a pinhole in that oversized ego of yours and admit your errors. You can't do it, can you? You will NEVER get respect here until you do.


jsid-1262139757-780  Linoge at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 02:22:37 +0000

Linoge, again, this is where I will be if you want to offer your analysis of the data.  
And any time you want to back up your claims with those links you so valiantly promised in the other thread, I will be right here. 

But you and I both know that will never happen, for the simple fact that those links simply do not exist.  But, do, keep up the blustering facade of bravado - you do such a good job making a parody out of yourself. 


jsid-1262182642-803  Ken at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 14:17:22 +0000

From Vanderleun (hat tip, New Paltz Journal II):

"In response I look for the inner circle of Obami to rely more and more on the "Who are you going to believe, Obama or your lying eyes and ears?" offense. I look for that inner circle of Obami to shrink more and more until we start to sense it's time for them to repair to the bunker and start gesturing with nostalgia at maps of the 2008 political landscape."

Reflect on Standard Response #7, and then go look at the map on Thimblewit's blog, if you can stand it.


jsid-1262185389-953  Markadelphia at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 15:03:09 +0000

Alright, let's see where we are today.

GOF,

"As are everyone else..."

Did you look at figure 1 on page 4 of part one? Net worth, income, and financial wealth either fluctuated or in many cases went down. For example, the bottom 40 percent's income went from 12.3 percent to 10.1 percent where the top 20 percent went from 51.9 to 58.6. Again, based on this information, the statement "From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations" is not valid. The entire document shows that the rich are doing quite well and will continue to do better.

"and to assault and/or kill you is reserved to government alone."

But I think that they won't do that as long as they are being paid off. Or they will if they are being paid to do so. It starts with the money. If I pay someone to strong arm a person, I'm just as guilty as the one doing the actual physical work.

"The moment a wealthy politician starts talking about empowering "the people", you can take it as given that what he's actually planning is to give power..."

Agree completely. That is the problem with our current system. I think our current president had very lofty goals of changing this and is finding out that the system is set up so that only the paid off cronies are the competent ones. It's quite frightening.

" one example of the private sector using force against its customers"

Alright, how about PG & E and the whole hexavalent chromium debacle? They knew it was dangerous but they used it anyway, lied to their customers who had no choice in regards to their water supply, and people died. Of course, whether or not you see this as force (as I do) is a matter of debate as well.

" how many politicians can you name who are not wealthy?

Well, I suppose it depends on how you define wealth. Barack Obama has money from book sales but that's around 5-8 million. That's wealthy to me but not our society as a whole. Russ Feingold or Al Franken aren't loaded by these standards.
DJ, demonstrating an overly obssessive manner regarding statements I have made since I started posting here and more personal insults...again, I will state that when you are ready to analyze the facts and link I have provided (oddly, as you have requested of me and say I don't do), I'll be here.
Ken, ditto.
Russell, this thread is about the Basic Disbelief post. Once this discussion has been wrapped up, I'll be happy to respond to your comment in a similarily themed thread.
Linoge, no personal insults so I will respond to you. I am doing as you have requested right here. I have made a statement and backed it up with a links and facts. It is now up to you to review the document and offer an analysis. If you don't want to or don't have the time, that's cool. Just say so. People get busy and it's no big deal for me. Remember, though, that vilifying me for doing the same thing would be complete bullshit.









jsid-1262187464-943  Ken at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 15:37:45 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262185389-953

It is now up to you to review the document and offer an analysis. If you don't want to or don't have the time, that's cool.

'Cause, God knows, no one has looked at it at all.

Right?

Remember the old D&D thing about putting a portable hole in a bag of holding? Thimblewit is what you get when you put a memory hole in a ten-pound sack of pigeon shit.

jsid-1262195551-166  Russell at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 17:52:31 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262187464-943

"'Cause, God knows, no one has looked at it at all."

My word, I just don't understand the sheer power Marxy has to ignore the past! It's like he gets a stack overflow and forgets his currently favorite nonsense was dismantled, discredited and discarded as tripe by people more than qualified to make the assessment.  But he wheels out the carcass and points to it as if it has any sort of meaning or relevance any longer.

jsid-1262209856-254  Linoge at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 21:50:56 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262185389-953

Sorry, Markaphasia, but I am not going to abide by your restrictions on the conversation and bow to your wishes until you man up and provide the links you promised for the conversation I linked above (this one, since you seem so hell-bent on ignoring it at every possible opportunity).  Until then, you have absolutely no business dictating the terms of conversing with you.  Furthermore, just because you brougth up a specific topic does not reuqire anyone else to address it, nor does it mean that anyone's comments on other topics are inherently meaningless and pointless.  But, hey, controlling the conversation has always been a standby for those of a particular political bent (namely, leftist/control/etc.). 

Of course, you and I both know that you ran screaming from that particular thread once you realized how quickly it was coming unravelled, but that is ok - we all know the truth, and, more importantly, know that you know it, whether you are willing to openly admit it or not. 

jsid-1262212823-82  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 22:40:23 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262209856-254



Okay Vizzini, since you seem to have a short memory, allow me to refresh Linoge's challenge for you:

Markadelphia: "Completely untrue. Read my blog. Until recently, I have not been happy with his AFPak policy and am still wary of how much he will (both Johnson and Nixon like) allow the Pakistanis to fight a proxy war. Less would be better imho. There are plenty of other criticism I have of him and a veritable deluge for those on the left in general (censorship, suddenly anti-Semitic, anti nuclear energy, hypocritical about women's rights).  
 
So, you [sic] assessment of me is in inaccurate."

Linoge: "I am not going to waste copious quantities of my spare time trying to sift through the weblog of a raging bipartisan hack who writes in an more meandering, disjointed, and disconnected manner than even I do. If you want to provide specific, to-a-single-post links supporting your assertion that my estimate of you was erroneous (which should not be that difficult, given this is your weblog we are talking about), then knock yourself out. But what you did was akin to saying someone spelled something wrong by simply pointing at an encylopedia, rather than showing them chapter and verse."

jsid-1262209998-450  Linoge at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 21:53:18 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262185389-953

Also, for the sake of pedantry, I would point out that you are, in fact, responding to those who you claim you will not address...  Do you even understand what words mean? 


jsid-1262191230-612  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 16:40:30 +0000

"and to assault and/or kill you is reserved to government alone."  

But I think that they won't do that as long as they are being paid off. Or they will if they are being paid to do so. It starts with the money. If I pay someone to strong arm a person, I'm just as guilty as the one doing the actual physical work.


Um, what? I think you missed the point. Either that or phrased your response in such a way that it appears that way to me. Assuming for the sake of argument that your premise is correct, that the multinational corporations are in fact the dog and governments are the tail, nonetheless the only means by which the private sector can legally initiate the use of force is through the medium of government. Therefore the more ways you allow government to regulate, tax and enforce ____________ (fill in the blank with ANYTHING), the more tools you put into the toolbox of the very wealthy, that otherwise would not be available to them at any price. Those are the tools of legally initiating force, in other words, the authority to threaten fines, jail time or execution for failing to comply.

Want to cripple the plutonomy? Then dismantle as much government regulation of the business sector as you possibly can. That's what takes those tools out of the toolbox. More government regulation has precisely the opposite effect.

Alright, how about PG & E and the whole hexavalent chromium debacle? They knew it was dangerous but they used it anyway, lied to their customers who had no choice in regards to their water supply, and people died. Of course, whether or not you see this as force (as I do) is a matter of debate as well.

Link to something about it, please. But as a beginning, ask yourself why they had no choice with regard to their water supply. Once again, it sounds like a problem that couldn't exist if the company in question wasn't acting as a government proxy.

I think our current president had very lofty goals of changing this and is finding out that the system is set up so that only the paid off cronies are the competent ones. It's quite frightening.

I don't. I think he saw it as such a good bullshit line to get people to vote for him that he couldn't resist it. Just like pretty much any other politician at the national level really, regardless of their party affiliation, their skin color, or anything else.

His choices of cabinet members and their actions both before and after their appointment argues that my take on it is closer to reality. There's a whole lot of Chicago cronyism going on there. Not Washington cronyism, Chicago cronyism, that he brought with him. That makes it look like while he claimed to want to bring down the corruption and cronyism, his actual goal appears to be merely to put his own corruption and cronyism in control of it. Have you noticed how that "new era of transparency and accountability" is workin out? Talk is cheap.


jsid-1262195664-640  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 17:54:24 +0000

For example, the bottom 40 percent's income went from 12.3 percent to 10.1 percent where the top 20 percent went from 51.9 to 58.6.

Yes, relative to the whole. What that document appears to me to say is that pretty much everyone got wealthier. And that because they had more resources and a wider range of options, the already wealthy got wealthier still at a far higher rate than the average. So this is news? Do you consider this an injustice, a crime that should be punished? If so, why?

Take a look at part 1, page 26, the "Cost Of Living Well Index". Note how it says that as the wealthy become wealthier, the luxury connected industries boom. Well those industries don't exist in a vacuum, ya know.

Let's take an isolated example, one that I happen to be familiar with. Let's say for the sake of argument that in a given decade, the wealth increase of the already very wealthy outperfoms the national average by X amount.

That means that Eichenlaub Yacht Company, a company in La Jolla CA that makes custom sailboats, one at a time by hand, gets a business boom.

That means the homeless people of northern San Diego that they always use as day labor likewise get a business boom.

That means that the workers at whatever company makes the titanium structures they use in their frames... get a business boom.

That means that the workers at whatever company makes the epoxy blend those same day laborers put on those frames as a shell and then patiently sand down... get a business boom.

That means that the workers at whatever company makes the glaze they put on that hull... get a business boom.

That means that the workers at whatever company makes the rails and fittings they put on that hull... get a business boom.

Etc, etc...

Yes, I realize that "anecdote" is not the singular of "data". But the fact remains that neither the wealthy nor the things they spend or invest their wealth on exist in a vacuum. The scariest thing we've done in the last 20 years is allow the wealthy to ameliorate their failures with taxpayer money, a la TARP. Yes, it would have hurt millions of investors. Too damn bad. They take the same risks as everyone else. If you don't like it, put your money in a sock under your mattress.

Okay, the US is a plutonomy. Rather than argue that point, let's take it as so stipulated.

Why is that a bad thing?


jsid-1262211445-689  DJ at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 22:17:25 +0000

Part 1, due to limitations of Echo:

"DJ, demonstrating an overly obssessive manner regarding statements I have made since I started posting here and more personal insults...again, I will state that when you are ready to analyze the facts and link I have provided (oddly, as you have requested of me and say I don't do), I'll be here."

You do point out an interesting thing here. You have demonstrated overwhelmingly that you are never going to correct your errors of the past, but now you appear to demand a chance to behave better in the future. Well, you are correct, such is what I have tried to goad you into for a long, long time.  Perhaps it's time to try. The question becomes, can you deliver?

Let's try, shall we?  I'll make a deal with you, a simple quid-pro-quo. You stop ever responding with any of your Standard Responses, as I have detailed and Kevin has logged at

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html,

and in return, I'll stop eating your ass out and insulting you for doing so.  Put more simply, you save your exhibited dishonesty for other places and other times, meaning don't ever exhibit it here in Kevin's parlor, you respond to the questions and such of others always with other than evasions and lies, and I'll treat you with the decency that such behavior deserves. I'll treat you with the respect you crave unless and until you fall off the wagon.

Deal?


jsid-1262211556-702  DJ at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 22:19:19 +0000

Part 2 (due to limitations of Echo):

Assuming you agree (and why on earth wouldn't you?), I'll begin by looking at the article you cited by Citigroup.  I finally was able to read it, which I accomplished only by creating an account and downloading it via Internet Explorer. Ugh. I still feel dirty (I really don't like IE), but it worked.

Begin with a definition of "plutonomy".  Note that it is not found (yet) in The Free Dictionary online.  So, I did a Google search and found that it was invented only recently by (surprise!) Citigroup. Here is their definition of it:

"Economic growth that is powered and consumed by the wealthiest upper class of society. Plutonomy refers to a society where the majority of the wealth is controlled by an ever-shrinking minority; as such, the economic growth of that society becomes dependent on the fortunes of that same wealthy minority."

Investopedia defines it:

"This buzz word was initially coined by analysts at Citigroup in 2005 to describe the incredible growth of the U.S. economy during that period despite increasing interest rates, commodity prices and an inflated national debt. Citigroup analysts argued that as such an economy continues to grow in the face of contradictory elements, the more important the society's ultra rich become to maintaining such growth. The analysts also believed that in addition to the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and China are also becoming plutonomies."

Now, note that these definitions, in and of themselves, do not imply that such is a good or bad thing. In particular, note the part of Investopedia's definition that I have bolded, as it implies that one could do significant harm to the economy by opposing the effect that leads to the word so defined.

Now, look at page 1 of the the first Citigroup report that you cited.  We find, in the "summary" section:

"We think the rich are likely to get even wealthier in the coming years. Implication 2: we like companies that sell to or service the rich - luxury goods, private banks etc."

Now, what is meant by "we like" in this context? Citigroup advises investors. In this context, the term "we like [blank]" means "we advise investing in [blank] because it appears to us to be a good investment opportunity."

In the middle of Part 1, we find an interesting observation:

"The rich are being perfectly rational. As their wealth/income ratios have been rising ... why should they not consume from their wealth rather than just their income?"

Now, did you notice that Citigroup understands that wealth and income are not the same things? I find that interesting. The gubmint could learn much from them ...

Skipping to the end of the Part 1, we find:

"We should make clear that we have no normative view on whether plutonomies are good or bad.  Our analysis is based on the facts, not what the society should look like."

So, what is the gist of this report? It is two things: 1) the rich (i.e. those who have wealth) are going to get richer (i.e. they will accumulate more wealth); and 2) such is not a problem and is not something to worry about, indeed it is an investment opportunity.

Part 2 simply continues in the same vein, but with more specific details.


jsid-1262211703-804  DJ at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 22:21:43 +0000

Part 3 (due to limitations of Echo):

Now, what do I think of these two reports?  I think that the only thing surprising s that it took so long for Citigroup to analyze and act on what it found.

Consider a simple question: How does one accumulate wealth from scratch? Answer: By investing a bit of scratch, even a small amount, and then continually re-investing whatever it earns.  This is called "compound growth", and it is the key to becoming wealthy.  (Note that very few people, relatively speaking, "strike it rich", but millions of people become wealthy one dollar at a time.)

If you have a small bit of wealth that you don't have to spend right now, then you could loan it to someone else who will use it for a time and then return it to you, with a bit more for you as payment for the loan of your wealth. This is called "investing", and the additional amount you receive back is your "return" on that investment. But once the investment is paid back, then you have more than before that you can invest again, namely what you loaned out before plus its return. The next time you invest it and it is repaid to you, then you'll have even more. This is compound growth.

Now, why is it that the rich are expected to become even more rich, to have an even bigger percentage of a growing economic pie? Because compound growth is like that; it grows faster and faster and faster and faster and faster over time. Thus, those who invest become wealthier, and those who don't invest do not. That bottom 40% Citigroup talked about? They don't invest, thus their wealth cannot grow in the manner that the wealth of the wealthy grows. The wealthy top end that Cigroup talked about? They have been investing in a compound manner for a long, long time, and their investments have grown and keep on growing. This is not surprising, it is simply Economics 101.

You have used these two reports to take exception to this statement in Kevin's post:

"From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations."

Wealth redistribution is not discussed by Citigroup in these two reports. But you use the data that Citigroup provided to state:

"Further, see pages 3-4 of this same document to see how the income of the wealth has increased and not been "redistributed.""

You have not demonstrated that this data shows that any wealth of the wealthy has not been redistributed, you have simply stated it.  Fact is, it is entirely possible for the wealthy to get wealthier and yet, at the same time, to have more wealth extracted from them and redistributed to others than before. You will likely not believe this, nor will you understand it, until you thoroughly understand compound growth. I believe you thoroughly lack that understanding, at least partly its mechanism and totally its significance.

High unemployment is not discussed by Citigroup in these two reports. It is higher than it has been in a long, long time, and I don't expect it to decline soon.

Stagnation is not discussed by Citigroup in these two reports. Citigroup's focus is, literally, "How do we make money from this theme?"

Thus, I find the two Citigroup reports that you cited to be not inconsistent with Kevin's post. Indeed, I think Citigroup has a good idea here, namely to invest in what benefits the rich. Perhaps I'll even try it.


jsid-1262215164-57  Markadelphia at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 23:19:24 +0000

Linoge, technically I am responding to them by reiterating their wish for me to respond in a manner they desire. So, yes, that is true. Here are some links to peruse.

http://markadelphia.blogspot.com/2009/05/same-olsame-ol.html

http://markadelphia.blogspot.com/2009/04/100-day-report-card.html

http://markadelphia.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-didnt-like-this-movie-first-time-i.html

http://markadelphia.blogspot.com/2009/05/nixon-in-1969.html

Now, let's get back on topic...

Ken, personal insult...next...

Ed, personal insult...next

Russell, now GOF and DJ have offered in depth analyses. Will you?

GOF,

"the only means by which the private sector can legally initiate the use of force is through the medium of government."

Yes, I agree. They also do it illegally as well.

"dismantle as much government regulation of the business sector as you possibly can."

Except that has already happened. Alan Greenspan himself said in House of Cards that the free market can't be regulated and we are just going to have to live with more of the same, economically speaking, as we have in this latest recession. Since Reagan took office, there has been a systamatic dismantling of goverment oversight in the private sector. For example, remember how only banks could offer loans or mortgages? Since Graham-Leach-Bliley, anyone can. I urge you to watch House of Cards the next time you see it on CNBC. Last will back me up on this one...the government was nowhere to be found and that WAS the problem. 

That being said, I do agree that the government as a tool of force by corporations of this country has to stop. That is not the purpose of government. Speaking of which...

"Once again, it sounds like a problem that couldn't exist if the company in question wasn't acting as a government proxy."

Here is some info on PG & E

http://www.energy-net.org/1NWO/PGE/1PGE.HTM

They are a legalized monopoly. As far as the hexavalent incident...

http://www.lawbuzz.com/famous_trials/erin_brockovich/erin_brockovich_ch1.htm

"Have you noticed how that "new era of transparency and accountability" is workin out? Talk is cheap."

Sure, I don't think he is perfect. But I also don't think he is Mayor Daley bad. I think his statement regarding the failure to intercept shoe bomber #2 was pretty up front and honest. But let's get back to the topic.













jsid-1262219770-657  Linoge at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 00:36:10 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262215164-57

Crap on a flying crutch - that only took, what, a dozen or so requests for you to actually provide the links?  Now do you understand why people are so unwilling to engage you in anything approximating an actual conversation - getting you to hold up your end of it is like pulling gorramed teeth. 

I would point out, for the sake of clarity, that those four posts all say pretty much the same thing - that you disagree with his current stance with Pakistan, especially since that icky previous President was doing much the same thing.  Congratulations.  There might indeed be hope that you can think for yourself.  Of course, in the same breath, you dismiss Our Glorious President's blatant violation of his promises (promises that even we conservatives/libertarians/what-have-yous agree with) as nothing major, especially in comparison to some other distinctly sucky individuals. 

Now do you understand the problem? Even when you disagree with Our Glorious President, you do so in a way that is nothing more than a backhanded attack at his predecessor, and when Our Glorious President does something markedly and obviously contrary to what he promised (and contrary to what an even bipartisan group of individuals agree is a good idea), you are right back on his knob, slobbering and sucking away.  Much though I hate the phrase, you provided the exception that proves the rule. 

And that is pretty much that.  I refuse to engage in a conversation with an individual who takes two weeks to answer a simple question, especially one so trivial as linking back to his own wretched corner of the cortex - I simply lack the patience, the inclination, and the desire.  Congratulations to you for finally providing those links you promised all those days ago (emulating your hero, are you?), but suffice to say, they were not nearly as resounding a success as you had been plotting. 


jsid-1262215923-438  Markadelphia at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 23:32:03 +0000

"the already wealthy got wealthier still at a far higher rate than the average. So this is news? Do you consider this an injustice, a crime that should be punished? If so, why?"

It's not "news." It simply means that the intimation (in the statement we are discussing) that we are now in a socialist state is false. If we were, the wealthy would be required to give all of their money to the state. In fact, they are making and retaining more wealth than ever. I do not consider this an injustice or a crime that should be punished. I do think that there is a great (and growing) disparity that could lead, as Mastiff said recently, to a socialist uprising. I really don't want that which is why, when Preisdent Obama says he wants the middle class to get breaks, he is actually trying to save captialism. As last in line recently told me (and has several times) the wealthy in this country don't invest in our economy anymore. They give it to people like Bernie Madoff who either steal it (as he did) or invest it in air. This speaks to a point DJ makes in his statements. There is no real investing anymore...it's essentially a casino mentality.

"Yes, I realize that "anecdote" is not the singular of "data""

Nonetheless, an excellent example of a time I wished we lived in again. Your example is exactly how things should be now. They aren't. This is the crux of my whole point. They do invest these days in a vaccum...a wasteland comprised of mathmatical formulas that no one understands. Or products like a CDO that no one understands. And that's another reason why a plutonomy is bad....as well as the disparity that could lead to what all of us fear (myself included)...a communist state.




jsid-1262216064-720  Markadelphia at Wed, 30 Dec 2009 23:34:24 +0000

"Deal?"

I'll take that deal but only if we stop adding to the list. And, if I run into time issues with my life, you cut me a little slack. That being said, I want to take the time to read what you wrote and respond with consideration for it.


jsid-1262230117-271  DJ at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 03:28:37 +0000

"I'll take that deal but only if we stop adding to the list."

Fair enough.  I won't add to it if you don't, and I presume you understand my meaning.


"And, if I run into time issues with my life, you cut me a little slack."

Again, fair enough.  I'll be gone elk hunting Sunday through Wednesday.

"That being said, I want to take the time to read what you wrote and respond with consideration for it."

Please do. Think carefully.

I'll give you further food for thought.

As I noted above, do not confuse wealth with income.  They are not the same things.

In this context, wealth is an investment, while income is what the investment produces. If the income an investment produces is re-invested in the investment, then the investment grows thereby.

The feddle gubmint taxes income via the feddle income tax.  Thus, the feddle gubmint can take a big, wet bite out of the income an investment produces, but what it doesn't take can be re-invested, thus adding to the wealth of the investment.  So, unless the feddle income tax rate is 100%, the investment can grow even though the gubmint taxes the income it produces. The point is that the investment can continue to grow, other things being equal, even if the gubmint increases the rate at which it taxes the income the investment produces. This illustrates how taking a bigger bite from the investment income of the wealthy and redistributing it to others does not prevent the wealthy from becoming even wealthier.  They simply re-invest the income that wasn't taken in taxes.

Simple, right?

I can hear your gears grinding now: "But, but, that means the wealthy can stand a very much higher tax rate! They got nothing to complain about!"  No, it doesn't.  Note the caveat, "other things being equal."  The analysis is not that simple.  When changing an income tax rate, one must consider ALL the effects of the change in the rate. Increasing said tax rate can and usually does have a disproportionate effect on the willingness of people to invest, on the nature and location of the investments they make, and so on the income the investments produce and on where they produce it.  The Laffer Curve is real; tax the investment income at 100% and there will be no investment to tax the income of.

Don't think so?  There is about 13 TRILLION dollars worth of earnings in foreign countries that the owners thereof will not bring back into this country. Why not? Because the feddle gubmint will tax the living hell out of it.

Do not underestimate the effects of tax rates on the behavior of investors, and do not underestimate the power of compound growth. How do you think I retired at age 48 after working as a salaried engineer?


jsid-1262230507-709  DJ at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 03:35:07 +0000

"This speaks to a point DJ makes in his statements. There is no real investing anymore...it's essentially a casino mentality."

I do not make that point. Those are your words, not mine, this is your thought, not mine, and I don't agree with either.


There is indeed real investing going on. I do it. I live off the income it produces, and such is my only source of income.


jsid-1262231820-372  Ken at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 03:57:00 +0000

Ken, personal insult...next... 

And yet you keep mentioning it. Butthurt much?


jsid-1262239012-913  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 05:56:52 +0000

Huh.

So when the commenting system changes to make it hard(er) to demonstrate Mark's dishonesty, suddenly he's willing to "reset" and start over.

Interesting.

 "I've got Fox News high ratings and Rush Limbaugh's higher than the nightly newscasts ratings."

Granted, that might have been before he realized that it will be harder to link and demonstrate his evasions and dishonesty - but I betcha I can still link to where I proved that you were flat wrong, and yet you still make a known false claim.

Care to retract that, now, since you're resetting and all?


jsid-1262269726-538  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 14:28:46 +0000

"Ed, personal insult...next"

And yet, you did respond to the substance of my post. Good for you! Seriously! We would love to see you do that far more often.

The insult was because you "somehow" forgot Linoge's challenge to post links to specific posts and posted a generic link to your blog, completely missing the spirit of the challenge. If this had been a one time, or unusual event, then I wouldn't have bothered to insult you because you wouldn't deserve it. The problem is that such incidents are common from you.

If you would actually start engaging the arguments head on, as you did here, on a regular basis, you would see the insults go way down.

BTW, how is your friend from Fort Hood doing? Is he recovering well?


jsid-1262291173-845  Markadelphia at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 20:26:13 +0000

DJ, I'll explain later what I meant by one of your points. I'm busy with family stuff today but should hopefully have time to respond tomorrow.


jsid-1262293198-2  DJ at Thu, 31 Dec 2009 21:00:01 +0000

Fine, but remember my past complaints about jumping to conclusions. If you want to know what I think, you can always ask me.


jsid-1262377601-552  Markadelphia at Fri, 01 Jan 2010 20:26:41 +0000

Right, and I expressed myself poorly in what I wrote above. I'll explain further after I digest and think more about what you wrote. I still need a little time with it.


jsid-1262390040-160  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 01 Jan 2010 23:54:00 +0000

They give it to people like Bernie Madoff who either steal it (as he did) or invest it in air.


They do invest these days in a vaccum...a wasteland comprised of mathmatical formulas that no one understands. Or products like a CDO that no one understands. And that's another reason why a plutonomy is bad....as well as the disparity that could lead to what all of us fear (myself included)...a communist state.

Correct me if I am wrong, but neither you nor I would give a damn if they'd restrict themselves to playing games with their own money, right?

It sounds to me like what you're saying is that the entire federal economy, government included, is in the hands of a comparatively few wealthy mega-investors. If that's what you're saying, I agree.

If that is what you're saying, please explain how Soros, Bernanke, Krugman, Geithner, Paulson, the Federal Reserve and the IRS are parts of the solution, rather than parts of the problem.


jsid-1262438974-919  DJ at Sat, 02 Jan 2010 13:29:34 +0000

"I still need a little time with it."

Take all the time you want. It's better to get it right than to get it right now.

I'm leaving in an hour or so and I'll be gone through Wednesday. Snow is coming and, after the Christmas Eve all-time record-setting blizzard we had, I think I'll travel ahead of the festivities.


jsid-1262653456-73  Markadelphia at Tue, 05 Jan 2010 01:04:16 +0000

"I still feel dirty (I really don't like IE), but it worked."

Agreed. IE is gross. I read it in Firefox Version 3.5.6

"as it implies that one could do significant harm to the economy by opposing the effect that leads to the word so defined. "

Right, that's the gist of the document. Citigroup is concerned that their business will shrink (and other companies as well) if they don't shift their focus to the ever shrinking group of people who have money. Remember, they are a private institution who is concerned only about making profit. They are stating that wealth is being controlled by an ever shrinking group of people. Now, if this wealth were being distributed downwards due to government intervention (i.e. "socialist" programs), this document would be much different. My point remains...the only significant distribution going on is upwards, not downwards. So the phrase "From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations" is false based on this document. If someone was reasonably wealthy, this document would buoy their hopes...they are going to get wealthier!


" why should they not consume from their wealth rather than just their income?" 

Right, but are they? It used to be that they would actually consume products. Now it seems the only products they consume are CDOs and hedge funds. They aren't investing in our economy. There is no trickle down and that's why we are having so many problems. They invest in complex mathmatical formulas that were designed to keep the government out of Wall Street. These formulas mean nothing. They aren't a new type of car, software, or shampoo. It's basically gambling. This was the point I was trying to make before and did so in poor fashion. They aren't investing, DJ, in the way that you detail they should be doing that will lead to compound growth.

"? It is two things: 1) the rich (i.e. those who have wealth) are going to get richer (i.e. they will accumulate more wealth); and 2) such is not a problem and is not something to worry about, indeed it is an investment opportunity. "

1. Agreed. 2. Of coures they think that because this is a marketing report designed to get people excited in their company about sales. Remember, they do say "we have no normative view on whether plutonomies are good or bad."

" This is called "compound growth", and it is the key to becoming wealthy."

Mostly agree. Many people in this country inherit wealth.

"They don't invest, thus their wealth cannot grow in the manner that the wealth of the wealthy grows."

And it is the fact that they don't invest that is the problem. If they weren't spending so much money on the rising cost of everything, the would invest more. They would be able to grow their wealth as well--however big or small. There have been times when this has been the case and our economy is always stronger. Why? Because the middle class (if we ever actually have one again) drives this economy. Imagine a country where people work hard, they earn money, they invest it, and more people have more wealth. Our current system is specifically set up to prevent that from happening and it's not because of the government. It's because the people that run the goods and services don't want to give up their power. Sure, they use the government as a tool to keep us in line but ultimately they run the show.


jsid-1262653776-524  Markadelphia at Tue, 05 Jan 2010 01:09:36 +0000

I am having trouble posting the rest of my comment...what the heck?


jsid-1262654078-481  Markadelphia at Tue, 05 Jan 2010 01:14:38 +0000

Fact is, it is entirely possible for the wealthy to get wealthier and yet, at the same time, to have more wealth extracted from them and redistributed to others than before."


But that's not really the case with things like the cap gains tax cuts. DJ, if people in this country are greatly benefitting from money taken by the government where are they? All I see are people barely scraping by--working three jobs--paying more and more everyday for health care and energy. Let's suppose, though, that what you say is true. So what? If I have 10 million dollars and the government takes 3 million of that away, I have 7 million dollars. If I grow my wealth to 20 million dollars and the government takes away 6 million, then I have 14 million...twice what I had. Which person has more opporunity and power...the one with 7 million or 14 million? It is true that the government is taking "more" but the wealthy still have more so, again, they get to run the show.


The general gist of the statement I am disputing is that we are becoming a socialist culture. How can this be when the wealthy are getting more and more wealthy every day? More specifically, as Mastiff pointed out brilliantly in a previous thread, a strong middle class prevents socialist revolutions. I don't want that. I don't want the government running our entire economic system, controlling distribution of all wealth, and system where everyone is the same.


If we continue down this path of plutonomy, we may end up with some sort of revolution. We have already seen signs of it (protesters storming AIG execs ) and I think it could get worse if we don't do something about it. Now, I know for a fact that you don't think the government is the mechanism to do this. Given what Bernanke said today regarding why our economy faltered so much, what do you think the mechanism is for correcting this imbalance? Or do you even think that's a bad thing at all?


jsid-1262886295-631  DJ at Thu, 07 Jan 2010 17:44:55 +0000

Part 1, due to Echo

"My point remains...the only significant distribution going on is upwards, not downwards. So the phrase "From a society where wealth accumulation, job creation and innovation are aspirations, to a society where wealth redistribution, high unemployment and stagnation are expectations" is false based on this document."

I suggest you look up the word "expectation" and try again to understand what Kevin's statement means before you attempt to disprove it. His statement is directed toward what much of the population expects from gubmint, which is that gubmint will take care of their needs and so they need have no other aspirations. The Citigroup documents do not address this expectation at all, nor do you, and so you persist in thrashing what amounts to a straw man.

"Right, but are they? It used to be that they would actually consume products. Now it seems the only products they consume are CDOs and hedge funds."

Again, you deliberately miss the point.  The notion of consuming from their wealth rather than just their income means that they spend more than their income each year, i.e. they withdraw funds from their investments, add it to their income, and buy products and services with it.

"They aren't investing in our economy. There is no trickle down and that's why we are having so many problems."

You are simply repeating dogma, which is doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof. You've been shown the fallacy of this particular statement time and again, but still you repeat it.

There is a principle known to virtually all engineers which states: "One AwShit erases all AttaBoys, but it takes a lot of AttaBoys to erase one AwShit." The meaning is self-explanatory. Among laymen, the meaning is that having a reputation for being correct is quite difficult to earn, but destroying even a stellar reputation is both quite easy to do and quite difficult to recover from.

You have spent almost three years destroying your own reputation here in Kevin's Parlor. You have no credibility here. You've been warned time and again, by me and by others, that making dogmatic statements here will earn you nothing but well-deserved contempt. If you really wish to rehabilitate your reputation here, then you need to recognize this and begin with four things right up front: 1) shit-can the dogmatic pronouncements; 2) support your statements such that they can be verified, meaning with provable facts rather than your opinion; 3) realize that other people agreeing with you (i.e. sharing your opinion) is not an indicator that you are correct; and, 4) save the blather.

To borrow from Bill Engvall, Here's your AwShit.

"They invest in complex mathmatical formulas that were designed to keep the government out of Wall Street. These formulas mean nothing."

Yet again, you simply state that something you don't like and/or agree with means nothing.

You are not an invester and it shows. Yet again, this is one of those cases wherein you reveal a lot about yourself without knowing it, all because you don't know what you don't know. One does not "invest in complex mathmatical (sic) formulas", but if one wishes to invest intelligently, one uses mathematics, including formulae, to investigate the expected return of potential investments, the better to maximize the returns thereof.

Here's your AwShit.


jsid-1262886416-115  DJ at Thu, 07 Jan 2010 17:46:56 +0000

Part 2, due to Echo


"They aren't a new type of car, software, or shampoo. It's basically gambling. This was the point I was trying to make before and did so in poor fashion. They aren't investing, DJ, in the way that you detail they should be doing that will lead to compound growth."

ALL investing is a form of gambling. The simple fact that they continue to get wealthier means they continue to invest in what provides a return, which happens because those in whom they invest WANT their investments and so provide a return to them to get it. You have illustrated that you fundamentally do not understand what investing is about. The fact that they get wealthier shows that they do.

Here's your AwShit.

"Mostly agree. Many people in this country inherit wealth."

Yes, many do, but such is utterly irrelevant to this discussion. The wealth that is inherited had to be created before it could be inherited, and the fact that it was inherited means nothing more than whoever created it died, as we all eventually do. This discussion is about how the wealth is created, and the fact that it is inherited on the death of the creator, as if this were significant, is just another straw man.

Here's your AwShit.

"Because the middle class (if we ever actually have one again) drives this economy."

Yet again, you contradict yourself, and in a compound manner. You have stated before that there is no middle class, and then that there is a middle class. Here, in a single sentence, you imply quite clearly that there is no middle class by the parenthetical phrase "if we ever actually have one again", and yet that non-existent middle class drives the economy.

Here's your AwShit.

"Imagine a country where people work hard, they earn money, they invest it, and more people have more wealth. Our current system is specifically set up to prevent that from happening and it's not because of the government."

The point of Kevin's statement that you disagreed with, which is what this discussion is about, is that people work less and less, expecting more and more largess from a gubmint that is changing more and more so as to provide it. You agree that it's happening but then deny what specifically enables it.

Here's your AwShit.

"Fact is, it is entirely possible for the wealthy to get wealthier and yet, at the same time, to have more wealth extracted from them and redistributed to others than before. 
 
But that's not really the case with things like the cap gains tax cuts."


Capital gains taxes are just another form of tax on income by the feddle gubmint. A cut in the capital gains tax rate produced more economic activity of the type that produces capital gains, thereby producing more revenue to the gubmint from capital gains taxes. Thus, more wealth was extracted from the wealthy. During the Bush administration, the feddle gubmint grew by providing more largess to the masses. Thus, the capital gains tax rate cut produced more revenue from the wealthy for redistribution to others than before.

Damn, dude, but this has been explained to you many times. You really don't understand these matters at all, do you?

Here's your AwShit.


jsid-1262886599-618  DJ at Thu, 07 Jan 2010 17:49:59 +0000

Part 3, due to Echo

"Our current system is specifically set up to prevent that from happening and it's not because of the government. It's because the people that run the goods and services don't want to give up their power. Sure, they use the government as a tool to keep us in line but ultimately they run the show."

More dogma. More gibberish.

Here's your AwShit.

"If I have 10 million dollars and the government takes 3 million of that away, I have 7 million dollars. If I grow my wealth to 20 million dollars and the government takes away 6 million, then I have 14 million...twice what I had. Which person has more opporunity and power...the one with 7 million or 14 million?"

What an eye-opener.  Read the bolded part. You do not yet understand the difference between wealth and income.  The feddle gubmint does not tax wealth, it taxes income. Come back when you've done your homework.

Sheesh, dude. Here's your AwShit.

"The general gist of the statement I am disputing is that we are becoming a socialist culture. How can this be when the wealthy are getting more and more wealthy every day?"

Yet again, you cough up a straw man. You presume that the wealthy getting wealthier or not is a measure of whether our culture is becoming more or less socialist. Note the history of fascist Germany and fascist Italy, wherein the wealthy became very much wealthier under direct control of the economy by the gubmints thereof.

Here's your AwShit.

"Given what Bernanke said today regarding why our economy faltered so much, what do you think the mechanism is for correcting this imbalance? Or do you even think that's a bad thing at all?"

We all have tried for over a year to explain this to you, and you still will not understand it. The feddle gubmint is the cause of the economic dumps we are in, and the feddle gubmint doing more of the same is not the solution to it.

I do not think the rich getting richer is a problem. Do you want a better standard of living for those at the bottom end of the scale? Then get the gubmint out of the pie-meddling business and let the pie grow bigger. It has been explained and proven to you time and again how this has happened over the course of this century and how gubmint interference in the economy prevents it, and still you deny it. Do it again, only Harder! Right?

Here's your AwShit.  That's quite a pile, and from only one episode. Now, consider the pile remaining from years passed ...


jsid-1262919439-660  Markadelphia at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 02:57:19 +0000

Generally, what I find to be most troubling about your response here is that when you don't like what I have to say, you accuse me of spewing dogma. Take this exchange, for example.

"They aren't investing in our economy. There is no trickle down and that's why we are having so many problems."  
 
You are simply repeating dogma, which is doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof. You've been shown the fallacy of this particular statement time and again, but still you repeat it. 


It's not dogma to say that the CDO, the hedge fund, and way-too-complex derivative formulas are a large part of the reason why our economy is so fucked up right now. One of my high school classmates, Charles, is a mathmatician who helped develop these formulas over a decade ago. He told me last year that once Graham Leach Bliley was passed, it was a free for all. Anyone could do anything because DC was pretty much out of the picture. The firms that Charles worked for (and the one he still does) invested in nothing. It wasn;t simply speculation that a stock for specific company was going to do better (say because of a new and improved product). It was speculation on the speculation itself. Do you honestly think this is the way to run an economy?

Further proof of this can be seen in the documentary "House of Cards" on CNBC. Repeated testamonials from everyone from Alan Greenspan to a variety of Wall Streeters say the government was nowhere to be found. They were free to do what they wanted with no regulatory interference. Put all of this next to your statement "The feddle gubmint is the cause of the economic dumps we are in" and it appears that the only dogma is coming from you.


" Do you want a better standard of living for those at the bottom end of the scale?"

Yes. But your solution to this ("get the gubmint out of the pie-meddling busines") does not work. There needs to be some sort of regulation and/or oversight. Are you suggesting otherwise? If you are, I offer the example of United Health Care as what happenes when the government falls asleep. It wasn't until the WSJ did a series of stories on UHC that the goverment stepped in. If the government was ever present (as you say they were) why was McGuire allowed to fudge the dates on options?


Here is what I can't figure out. Many of you (and I include you in this DJ-correct me if I am wrong) slam Rousseau's innate goodness theory regarding human nature. In fact, it is my understanding that you think man is inherenlty evil (original sin). So why on earth would BELIEVE that the "pie" would grow bigger for everyone if the government just stayed out of business? It's completely contradictory and makes no sense given what we have seen in the last decade.


jsid-1262934689-115  khbaker at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 07:11:29 +0000

Many of you (and I include you in this DJ-correct me if I am wrong) slam Rousseau's innate goodness theory regarding human nature. In fact, it is my understanding that you think man is inherenlty evil (original sin). So why on earth would BELIEVE that the "pie" would grow bigger for everyone if the government just stayed out of business? It's completely contradictory and makes no sense given what we have seen in the last decade.

That's because you (again) misunderstand.  Yes, we slam Rousseau's "innate goodness theory."  We do that because it's (demonstrably) BULLSHIT.  But you INSIST ON ASSERTING WE BELIEVE ITS OPPOSITE.  Two wit:  In fact, it is my understanding that you think man is inherenlty evil (original sin). 

NO.

Man (as a whole) is inherently flawed.  This is not the same as evil.  There are evil people, but not everyone is, and certainly not the majority of people.  Most people are, if you want to put a value on it, NEUTRAL.  A small minority are what would be considered truly good.  But the evil people are drawn to power

So why on earth would BELIEVE that the "pie" would grow bigger for everyone if the government just stayed out of business? It's completely contradictory and makes no sense given what we have seen in the last decade.

Is it contradictory given what we've seen over the last CENTURY?  Did not "the 'pie' grow bigger for everyone" during THAT period?  Did not the American economy DRIVE THE WORLD'S? 

Your assertion is that building mechanisms of regulation - by definition, giving some individual or small group massive power over other, larger groups - will result in a SUPERIOR outcome than . . . what?  You've already shown that you do not comprehend our hostility towards Rousseau, what is it you think we advocate when it comes to "regulation"?  I really want to know.


jsid-1262971277-64  DJ at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 17:21:17 +0000

Part 1, due to Echo:

"... you accuse me of spewing dogma."

Yes, I do, because you do. Specific examples of your dogma and blather are: 1) "There is no trickle down and that's why we are having so many problems"; 2) "These formulas mean nothing"; 3) "It's because the people that run the goods and services don't want to give up their power"; and, 4) "Sure, they use the government as a tool to keep us in line but ultimately they run the show." This is what one expects to hear from atop a soapbox; it is not reasoned discourse, and I have no interest in it. What I have tried and tried and tried to get you to understand is that writing such statements here in Kevin's parlor is not going to gain you any credibility, rather it will earn you contempt. You keep on doing it.

"It was speculation on the speculation itself."

Some people do this. I think such is a stupid and risky way to invest one's own money. I have no sympathy for those who engage in it and lose their shirts thereby. Perhaps you are unaware that the stock markets now use what are called "circuit breakers" that stop trading when such practices induce what is is known in engineering as "divergent instability"?

"Do you honestly think this is the way to run an economy?"

Ah, yes, the non-sequitur. Such practices do not "run an economy".

"Put all of this next to your statement "The feddle gubmint is the cause of the economic dumps we are in" and it appears that the only dogma is coming from you."

Ah, yes, conflation and non-sequitur in one sentence.

My statement that "feddle gubmint is the cause of the economic dumps we are in" concerned said gubmint's overregulation of the mortgage industry to the point that it, Fannie May, and Freddie Mac went into convusions, thus beginning the economic downturn we are in. My statement that the "feddle gubmint doing more of the same is not the solution to it" has two underlying components: 1) the cause of the mortgage industry meltdown was the feddle gubmint requiring mortgage companies to make loans they knew could not be repaid, loans in which 100% mortgages were granted on overvalued property to people who had no hope of repaying them, thus setting up divergent instability in which the overvalued property market collapsed, thus making the mortgage companies which held such repossessed property insolvent; and, 2) Chris Dodd in the Senate and Barney Frank in the House stated afterward that this stated activity caused the collapse while neatly sidestepping that said activity was required by legislation they sponsored and championed. Their solution is more of the same; more oversight, more regulation, more money provided by the taxpayers and/or borrowing to add fuel to the fire, as it were.

I did not explain these statements in detail because I saw no reason to. You have always ignored these arguments and the thorough explanations given the many times they were made before. It is not dogma, it is fact. But of course, you can't see that.

"But your solution to this ("get the gubmint out of the pie-meddling busines") does not work. There needs to be some sort of regulation and/or oversight. Are you suggesting otherwise?"

Are you suggesting there isn't any regulation and/or oversight? Take the previous example, the mortage industry. Imagine how that could be working now if the feddle gubmint had not required it to behave in a manner that caused its collapse. I am saying that there are such things as way too much oversight and too much regulation.  You cannot see that, can you?

I note the interesting parallel between your statements and those of the gun control crowd. Y'see, all we need are just a few simple, common-sense laws and regulations, all the while ignoring all the laws and regulations we already have and the harm they produce. And yes, your continual spouting of this meme is (wait for it) dogma.


jsid-1262971637-862  DJ at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 17:27:17 +0000

Part 2, due to Echo:

"Here is what I can't figure out. Many of you (and I include you in this DJ-correct me if I am wrong) slam Rousseau's innate goodness theory regarding human nature. In fact, it is my understanding that you think man is inherenlty evil (original sin)."

Read Kevin's response. He is correct and it is well-stated.

Your understanding is wrong. Such beliefs have no either/or requirement and it is a logical fallacy to presume they do.

Some people are indeed evil and some people are indeed good, but both are relatively rare. Overwhelmingly, people behave in response to what each believes is his own self interest. You are a classic example, but I doubt you recognize it; you act to preserve your own ego in your own mind regardless of the demonstrable reality you are shown.  I am another example, in that I could have kept on working, designing products that other people use to make a living, but I bailed out at the first acceptable opportunity because it suited me to do so.

Humankind is beset with two insoluble problems: 1) people, on the whole, will not think, because thinking is work ("We shall succeed only so far as we continue that most distasteful of all activity, the intolerable labor of thought." -- Justice Learned Hand); and, 2) evil people gravitate to power and good people let them, preferring not to see the evil ("All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" -- Edmund Burke).

"So why on earth would BELIEVE that the "pie" would grow bigger for everyone if the government just stayed out of business? It's completely contradictory and makes no sense given what we have seen in the last decade."

Yes, the pie can grow bigger if there is less gubmint interference in it. This is Economics 101. You show yet again that you don't know what you don't know.

The ability of the pie to grow is reduced and/or inhibited to the extent that gubmint acts: 1) as a parasite, via taxation (witness the increase in feddle gubmint revenues that resulted from the increased business activity that resulted from the reduction in tax rates during the last decade; the effect is real and it is huge); 2) as a meddler, by requiring people and/or business to do what they otherwise would not (witness the mortage industry collapse due to the feddle gubmint requiring it to behave in a way it would otherwise have not); 3) as a thief, by providing all manner of opportunity for graft, corruption, and outright theft (witness, for example, the incredible amount of corruption in Medicare, the corruption and theft in the spending of the current "stimulus" money, and the utterly amazing pork-barrel raid on the Treasury by the current Congress); 4) as a debtor, by borrowing huge sums of money, thus making capital less available for others (and forcing a huge debt burden on future generations); and, 5) as a regulator, making all manner of business activity occur more slowly, with more expense, with more paperwork, and so with less efficiency (witness OSHA, just for starters). Now be careful; this list is by no means complete, rather it is simply illustrative.

Now, go do some homework. In particular, investigate the astounding extent to which business decisions of all kinds are made because of taxes and gubmint regulation rather than because of what is in the best interest of the business, its stockholders, its employees, and/or its customers.

As Kevin notes, look beyond the last decade to the whole history of this country. The standard of living of the poorest of this country is better than the standard of living of most of the world. This happened throught compound growth and, most importantly, despite gubmint, not because of it.

Now, Kevin has asked you a very good question. I want to know your answer also.


jsid-1262977616-608  Markadelphia at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 19:06:56 +0000

"what is it you think we advocate when it comes to "regulation"?  I really want to know.

Well, I suppose none. Or very little. Am I wrong? If so, what is enough or not enough?

"What I have tried and tried and tried to get you to understand is that writing such statements here in Kevin's parlor is not going to gain you any credibility, rather it will earn you contempt."

What I find odd about this statement is that you do the exact same thing. Yours is the dogma of anti-government. Statements like this

The feddle gubmint is the cause of the economic dumps we are in, and the feddle gubmint doing more of the same is not the solution to it. 

is a dogmatic statement. I've provided you specific examples of why I think they way I do. 

DJ, we were so close. You posted a reasoned and thoughtful analysis of the Citigroup document. I agreed with some of your thoughts. I replied. You didn't like what I said so you fell back on personal attacks again (the AwShit meme). Actually, that is classic right wing dogma-Nixonian-destroy personally anyone who disagrees with you. For whatever reason, though, I'm seeing ths one through until you are tired of debating me.

concerned said gubmint's overregulation of the mortgage industry to the point that it, Fannie May, and Freddie Mac went into convusions, thus beginning the economic downturn we are in.

This is just flat out wrong. How was Joe Cassano at AIG take an otherwise stable insurance concern and destroy it? De-regulation (repeal of Glass Stegall). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were simply trying to keep up with what the market was already doing. You really need to watch "House of Cards." And the loans you speak of that were problamatic were the ALT-A loans made to people who were quite wealthy. It is wrong to state that the government forced people to make these loans due to social equality programs. I won't deny that Dodd was in it up to his eyeballs with Country Wide but again, that proves my point about the private industry using the government as a pawn not the other way around.


I am saying that there are such things as way too much oversight and too much regulation.  You cannot see that, can you? 


It's not that I don't see it. It's that it's wrong. The CRA, for example, only applied to banks and thrifts. There were so many other mortgages that failed that to say that it was due to that act, for example, is terribly dogmatic. These other mortgages failed because of, not in spite of, deregulation.

all the while ignoring all the laws and regulations we already have and the harm they produce.

We had a great law--it was called Glass Stegall. And then it was repealed in the name of increased competition and deregulation. Now if you want to say that was a government fuck up, I'll be right behind you on that one.



jsid-1262978830-388  Markadelphia at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 19:27:10 +0000

Is it contradictory given what we've seen over the last CENTURY?  Did not "the 'pie' grow bigger for everyone" during THAT period?  Did not the American economy DRIVE THE WORLD'S?  

Perhaps that was true at one time but now I see China and India as becoming (if not already) larger economic powers. I'm not going to deny our success, though. Capitialism works and I think it is the best system in the world. That's why a country like China, for example, altered the way it did business. That's where the money is really made. The problem is that we don't have capitialism any more. Take health care, for example. There was a time when you would go to a doctor, pay him a fee for his service, and, if you didn't like it, you could go to another doctor. You don't really have that choice any more. If you don't like the insurance that your employer (private industry) provides, you can go somewhere else but it will cost more. Or if you like an out of network doctor, that will cost more.

Now, if the government was overregulating the health care industry, wouldn't it stand to reason that private industry would not be allowed to do this? Or turn anyone away for pre-existing conditions? The government (Nixon first) decided that the health care industry should be less regulated and run like any other industry. Left to their own devices, witness what has happened...millions uninsured because of out of control costs. It's not just in health care. Private industry and the money (both wealth and income) that drives it are not interested in more people investing in the economy. They want less. And they have set up the system to insure that this happens.

There was a time when we were the leader in many things. To a certain extent, we still are. But when you look at how our child welfare rate continues to fall over the years (see:CDF or UNICEF data) one has to wonder where these "benefits" truly are?


jsid-1262980835-377  khbaker at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 20:00:35 +0000

Slamming my head into a wall . . .

The problem is that we don't have capitialism any more. Take health care, for example. There was a time when you would go to a doctor, pay him a fee for his service, and, if you didn't like it, you could go to another doctor. You don't really have that choice any more. If you don't like the insurance that your employer (private industry) provides, you can go somewhere else but it will cost more. Or if you like an out of network doctor, that will cost more.

Why?  Why do you get your health care insurance through your employer?  We've covered this before.  It is due to GOVERNMENT REGULATION.  During WWII, in order to stem corporations from "stealing" skilled workers from other vital industries through the offer of higher pay, the GOVERNMENT imposed wage freezes.  Corporate executives, in their own self-interest, found a way around that restriction by offering non-wage BENEFITS - one of which was HEALTH INSURANCE, something that most people DIDN'T HAVE.

Later, GOVERNMENT REGULATION prohibited insurance companies from competing across state lines - thus preventing people who were moving interstate from carrying their insurance WITH THEM.  Further regulation of the insurance industry MANDATES what insurance companies MUST COVER in the states they serve.  Finally, the insurance companies have essentially NO PROTECTION from lawsuits brought against them - in short, the government FAILS TO DO ITS JOB in ensuring that BOTH SIDES HONOR A WRITTEN CONTRACT.

I'm currently unemployed.  Picking up my health insurance through COBRA would have cost me well in excess of $1,000 per month.  Instead, I went online, did a little shopping, and found adequate health insurance for me and my wife that costs $380/mo, which I will carry until I get employed again.  IF I WAS 25 AND NOT 47 I WOULD NOT BOTHER TO GET INSURANCE.  Not because I couldn't afford it (and I wouldn't be able to - I earn more than six times what I earned when I was 25) but because I was quite healthy and it wouldn't have been a good investment.

Now, if the government was overregulating the health care industry...

PLEASE get it into your head that the health CARE industry and the health INSURANCE industry are TWO SEPARATE ENTITIES - and the GOVERNMENT OVERREGULATES BOTH

Left to their own devices, witness what has happened...millions uninsured because of out of control costs.

Prior to the 1940's ALMOST NO ONE HAD HEALTH INSURANCE.  Now only about (by your own admission) 15% of the population is uninsured.  Only in your world is this NOT AN IMPROVEMENT.

Private industry and the money (both wealth and income) that drives it are not interested in more people investing in the economy. They want less.

This is the most asinine statement you've made in the last, oh, two months.

But when you look at how our child welfare rate continues to fall over the years (see:CDF or UNICEF data) one has to wonder where these "benefits" truly are?

PROVIDE THE DATA.  ANALYSE SAID DATA.  DON'T MAKE ASSERTIONS BASED ON VAGARIES.  PROVE.  YOUR.  POINT.  Othewise you're only spouting DOGMA.  Step one:  DEFINE "CHILD WELFARE."


jsid-1262991356-789  Markadelphia at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 22:55:56 +0000

Kevin, vist either of those web sites for a trove of information regarding child welfare in the United States. There are hundreds of pages of PDF files that discuss, at length, this problem. Of course, this information is only as good as the willingness of the reader to accept the facts. As Loewen says frequently in his book, "when something good happens in our country, it's because of (insert hero's name here). When something bad happens, it's never anyone's fault and it's just an unfortunate event.

More later...

jsid-1262992658-746  khbaker at Fri, 08 Jan 2010 23:17:38 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262991356-789

More later...

Oh, I truly hope so. 


jsid-1262995242-250  DJ at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 00:00:42 +0000

Well, I suppose none. Or very little. Am I wrong? If so, what is enough or not enough?"

In general, gubmint is a medium for defending individual rights and for forcing people to honor the contracts they enter into. Beyond that, very little is often too much.

"Statements like this ... is (sic) a dogmatic statement."

Dogma, yet again, is a statement of doctrine that is offered as true without proof. You have been shown the truth of the statement of mine you cited time and again by many of us here. You simply won't accept it.

"You didn't like what I said so you fell back on personal attacks again (the AwShit meme)."

This was simply an observation that your statements will not be believed simply because you make them, and it characterizes the nature of that disbelief. To the extent that you wish to reform yourself here in Kevin's parlor, you should not expect instant results, and you will not get the desired results by continuing the behavior by which you destroyed your reputation in the past. The AttaBoy/AwShit paradigm is what engineers work under every day; you should consider it a wake-up call, and such was my intent.

"For whatever reason, though, I'm seeing ths one through until you are tired of debating me."

Dude, you don't debate, you evade. That is what your Standard Responses are about. I've been tired of what you do for a long time, but as I have often stated, you are not going to win by default.

Me: "I am saying that there are such things as way too much oversight and too much regulation.  You cannot see that, can you?"

You: "It's not that I don't see it. It's that it's wrong."

And THERE is the difference between us. I want as little gubmint as possible. You have just admitted that you think there can't be too much gubmint.

"Take health care, for example. There was a time when you would go to a doctor, pay him a fee for his service, and, if you didn't like it, you could go to another doctor. You don't really have that choice any more."

Yes, you do have that choice. Rush Limbaugh just did it, and while on vacation in another state. He paid cash and he got expert care without any gubmint bureaucracy between him and his doctors. Nothing in the law prevents it.

"If you don't like the insurance that your employer (private industry) provides, you can go somewhere else but it will cost more."


I am not employed. No one provides insurance for me. I have only two choices for health insurance: 1) IEEE (which is quite expensive and has closed enrollment); and, 2) the Oklahoma High Risk Pool (which is more expensive, has very poor quality, and ought to be avoided, according to my sister-in-law, who is a compliance auditor with Blue Cross).

"Now, if the government was overregulating the health care industry, wouldn't it stand to reason that private industry would not be allowed to do this?"

Oh, the irony. Can you see it?

I had lots of choices while I lived in New Mexico, because there were more choices available there (I had Blue Cross).  Feddle statutes restrict health insurance providers to single-state markets. I have less choice here than there because of feddle regulation.

"Private industry and the money (both wealth and income) that drives it are not interested in more people investing in the economy. They want less. And they have set up the system to insure that this happens."

Kevin is right. This is the most asinine statement you have made in a long, long time.

"DJ, we were so close."

Don't make me laugh. Your behavior is very similar to what it has always been, but it skates along the edge of simply reverting to your Standard Responses. Kevin pegs it nicely with "DON'T MAKE ASSERTIONS BASED ON VAGARIES."

Reforming your reputation is your job, not mine, and I am laying off you so you can try to do it. But, you don't get the benefit of the doubt in anything because you haven't earned it.  It is evident that you didn't like the abuse you received but you don't really understand why you received it. If I start dishing it out again, you'll know it, I'll admit it, and I'll explain in detail why you will have earned it.


jsid-1262995829-379  Markadelphia at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 00:10:29 +0000

Alright, let's start with this...

what is it you think we advocate when it comes to "regulation"?  I really want to know.  
 
Well, I suppose none. Or very little. Am I wrong? If so, what is enough or not enough?
 


I want it noted that I repsonded to this question. I have no problem if you do not with to address it further but I do want to point out that I answered.

Child welfare...can be summed up as basically the well being of a child (health, education, poverty). To put it simply, we suck.

http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/child-welfare.html

http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/child-poverty.html

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/09/02-3

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7407245

If you take the time to read the CDF stuff, you will see that my point is proven and then some. Actually, if you got out there, Kevin, and saw what life was like for many of our nation's children, you might understand even more. Let's stipulate that the government is not the solution. What is the solution?

Regarding health care-Nixon was responsible for setting us on the track we are on today.

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=3311

As soon as he found out that private industry could make a boat load of cash on health care, we went all in. Now, your point would be corrent in stating that government interference set this up but it was only at the behest of private industry...again, proving my point. There are roughly four times as many health care lobbyists as there are members of Congress.

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=i

If you want this conversation to whir out into health care, fine by me. I only brought it up to illustrate a larger point about the economy and how our government operates within it. The mistake that you make is that you start with the answer (Goverment regulation is bad) and then work backwards, acting in typical confirmation bias fashion. Given this fact, how reasonable do you think you can be regarding criticisms of the private health care industry and the insurance industry (which are very intertwined btw)?

In sum, you asked me to define child welfare. I did. You asked me to provide data. There are three links two of which has volumes of data regarding child welfare.

jsid-1263017417-635  khbaker at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 06:10:17 +0000 in reply to jsid-1262995829-379

Sowell was right.  There's no point in discussing anything with you.  When there are two conflicting Visions, you can speak at each other all day long, but the words won't mean the same things to both parties.  This is a total and complete waste of my time, but hey, it's not like I have anything better to do at the moment. 

Marian Wright Edelman created the Children's Defense Fund in 1973.  According to Wikipedia: "The organization has served as an advocacy and research center for children's issues, documenting the problems and possible solutions to children in need. To keep the agency independent, she saw that it was financed entirely with private funds."  Good - private funds.  However:  "As founder, leader and principal spokesperson for the CDF, Mrs. Edelman worked to persuade Congress to overhaul foster care, support adoption, improve child care and protect children who are disabled, homeless, abused or neglected.  A philosophy of service absorbed during her childhood undergirds all her efforts."

She's been at it SINCE 1973, yet according to your NPR and Common Dreams links:  ". . . the United States and Britain are the worst countries in the industrialized world in which to be a child. UNICEF says an examination of 40 factors, such as poverty, deprivation, happiness, relationships, and risky or bad behavior puts the United States and Britain at the bottom of a list of 21 economically developed nations."  Ergo - SHE FAILED.  But THE PHILOSOPHY CANNOT BE WRONG!  Its failure has to be because it was IMPROPERLY IMPLEMENTED.  (I.e.:  The .gov DIDN'T DO IT RIGHT, and must now DO IT AGAIN, ONLY HARDER!)


jsid-1263005937-73  DJ at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 02:58:57 +0000

I have finally had time to see part of Peter Robinson's interview with Thomas Sowell concerning Sowell's new book, Intellectuals and Society. See Kevin's post about it at:

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2010/01/quote-of-day-twofer-edition.html

I find the following excerpt from Chapter Two to be quite appropriate for this whole thread:

-----

Robinson: Two quotations. Number 1, Paul Krugman, quote: "Rising income inequality isn't new but what happened under Bush was something entirely unprecedented.  For the first time in our history, so much growth was being siphoned off to a small wealthy minority ..."

Sowell: Oh, Lord ...

Robinson: "... that most Americans were failing to gain ground even during a time of economic growth." close quote. Second quotation, Dr. Thomas Sowell in Intellectuals and Society. Quote: "The statistics that the intelligentsia keep citing are much more consistent with their vision of America than the statistics they keep ignoring." close quote.

Sowell: That's a tough one to encapsulate, but the basic confusion is between statistical categories and flesh-and-blood people.  It's true that if you look at the percentage of the income that went to the top twenty percent in some year A and then, later on, a decade later, you'll find that that percentage has gone up.  And you say, well, that shows the disparity between the people, but ...

Robinson: The rich are getting richer.

Sowell: The rich are getting richer. But when you follow statistics generated by the Internal Revenue Service, which can follow particular individuals over time, you find the people who were in the bottom twenty percent of taxpayers in the first year, their income has nearly doubled by this later period, while the income of the people who were initially at the top has increased by less and if you get down to the very top has actually gone down. So that people are simply moving between these brackets from year to year, and the number of people who are in the bottom twenty percent, let's say in 1975, who are still there in 1991 is five percent of them.

Robinson: Really.

Sowell: Twenty nine percent of them have already gotten all the way to the top. An absolute majority are in the top half. And so you're comparing what happens to these abstract categories rather than what's happening to actual flesh and blood people.

Robinson: So there's an enormous amount of churn and dynamism in ...

Sowell: Oh, my God, yes!

Robinson: ... the American ...

Sowell: Almost everybody's own personal life, I mean, what were you making when you were twenty years old, compared to what you were making when you were forty?

Robinson: Negative! I was spending my parent's money when I was twenty!

Sowell: There you are.

Robinson: So, why would the intellectuals ... what you've just made is an intellectually rigorous case. Why would an intellectual, as you use the term, be loath to look at that intellectually rigorous argument, be loath to examine the data the way you did?

Sowell: Well, he's happy with the data that he got. Why would he examine, why would he go further? He looks at the numbers, the numbers say what he thinks it should say. Hey, that's it. Q.E.D., then he moves on to the next great crusade.

-----

Why would he not go further? Because he is intellectually dishonest.

jsid-1263016114-163  khbaker at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 05:48:34 +0000 in reply to jsid-1263005937-73

I'm a perfect example of this.  In 1985 my taxable income was (according to the Social Security Administration) $2,588 - far below poverty level.  In 1986 - my first year of professional employment - it was $8,680.  The NEXT YEAR it nearly DOUBLED to $16,043.  In 2007 - twenty years later - my taxable income was $83,161 - FIVE times greater than my 2007 income, over TWENTY-NINE times greater than my 1985 income, and solidly in the fourth quintile of income for that year.

According to this June 2009 Entrepreneur article:




"The central theme that emerges from examining the very highest income taxpayers is that the composition of this group changes dramatically over time. The vast majority of taxpayers in this group at the beginning of the 10-year period are absent from this group 10 years later; that is, the very top of the income distribution is highly transient over time. Among those in the top 0.01 percent in 1996, only 23 percent remained in this group in 2005. While over 80 percent (82.4 = 27.3 + 31.7 + 23.4) of these taxpayers remained within the top I percent in 2005, 6 percent dropped out of the top income quintile. Similarly, about 23 percent of those who were in the top 0.1 percent in 1996, but below the top 0.01 percent, remained in this group in 2005. About 3 percent of these taxpayers moved to the top 0.01 percent while 76 percent moved down in the income distribution.


"The data also indicate that the incomes of many taxpayers at the highest income levels are very volatile. Table 5 shows that real incomes increased for 25 percent (25.0 = 4.6 + 3.6 +5.2 + 11.6) of taxpayers in the top 0.01 percent in 1996 and at least doubled for 11.6 percent. On the other hand, 60 percent of taxpayers in the top 0.01 percent experienced declines in real income of at least 50 percent. Similarly, 53 percent of those in the top 0.1 percent, but below the top 0.01 percent, experienced income declines of at least 50 percent. These results illustrate that the incomes of a significant portion of those in the very highest income classes in a given year are highly transitory."

--


"Table 6 shows comparable mobility data for the two time periods using the first measure of relative income mobility that compares each initial period sample to the total population in the ending year. For each initial income quintile, the upper row shows the income mobility over the 1987-1996 period and the lower row shows the income mobility over the 1996-2005 period. Thus, one can examine how income mobility changed by comparing the upper and lower rows for the various initial and final income quintile combinations. For example, the upper left part of the table shows that during both time periods 43.7 percent of taxpayers in the lowest income quintile remained in the lowest quintile. Thus, the degree of upward mobility from the lowest quintile was the same in the two time periods: 62.3 percent. Similarly, the percentage of taxpayers remaining in the top I percent was 41.5 percent in the more recent period as compared to 41.3 percent in the earlier period. Overall, 57.5 percent of individuals changed income quintiles in the more recent period as compared to 58.3 percent in the earlier period, with all of the difference accounted for by less downward mobility out of the top income quintile.


"Most of the cell differences between the two periods are only a few percentage points or less. Such differences are neither economically nor statistically meaningful . . . ."

In other words, NOTHING'S CHANGED MUCH OVER THE LAST TWENTY YEARS.

jsid-1263078736-650  DJ at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 23:12:16 +0000 in reply to jsid-1263016114-163

I'm a perfect example also, Kevin.

In 1975, I graduated from Oklahoma State University. I was almost dead broke, having just enough money to rent a U-Haul, move us 500 miles, rent an apartment, move in, buy some food, and survive until I got my first paycheck. We were even; we had no debt.

In 1976, we bought our first house. It was 650 square feet, one garage, two bedrooms, one bathroom, and 1/5 acre of land.

In 1984, we bought our second house. It was 1460 square feet, two garages, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and 1/2 acres of land.

In 1992, we bought our third house. It was 2400 square feet, four garages, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a large in-ground pool, and 1.25 acres of land.

In 2001, we retired with enough invested to live on for the rest of our lives, assuming the Trinity Study (look it up) is a proper guide for making such a decision. Our fourth house is 2800 square feet, four bedrooms, three bathroom, three garage, and 1.25 acres of land. Again, we are even; we have no debt.

Over my working years, from 1975 to 2001, my income, figured as an hourly rate, increased by a factor of 9.2. Normalizing for inflation, which is a factor of 4.02 over that time, that reduces to a net increase by a factor of 2.3. Our income now, which is what we take out of our investments to live on (all of which are IRA's) is quite modest. Thus, if one looks at only income, we went from the 1st quintile up to the 5th quintile and back to the 4th quintile.

The quality of your life, primarily meaning your standard of living, is the result of the decisions you make. For us, all it took was work and making reasonable decisions.


jsid-1263057969-631  Markadelphia at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 17:26:09 +0000

But what about this data?

http://blog.nj.com/njv_thurman_hart/2007/07/my_two_percents_worth.html

And this?

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0803/p03s03-usec.html


Between 2001 and 2004, the median income of Americans with college degrees barely budged, rising from $72,300 to $73,000 (after adjusting for inflation), according to a Federal Reserve survey of consumer finances.

So, if income has stagnated and the cost of living (energy, health care etc) have gone up, how is it that everyone is doing better, per Sowell?

I want to be clear about something. I do not want a socialist government. Nor do I want a communist one. In fact, I'd like to avoid it and I fear that we may have one if something isn't done about the aristocratic class we have created in this country. Both of you agree with Mastiff regardint the middle class, correct? So if the government is not the mechanism to redistribute wealth and, clearly, the flaws of man will not allow the free market to police itself, what is your solution?

jsid-1263079546-439  DJ at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 23:25:46 +0000 in reply to jsid-1263057969-631

"Between 2001 and 2004, the median income of Americans with college degrees barely budged, rising from $72,300 to $73,000 (after adjusting for inflation), according to a Federal Reserve survey of consumer finances. 
 
So, if income has stagnated and the cost of living (energy, health care etc) have gone up, how is it that everyone is doing better, per Sowell?"


You are doing here, by citing this quote and asking this question, precisely what Sowell described; you are conflating statistical categories with flesh-and-blood people.

Moreover, Sowell does not state, nor does he imply, that "everyone is doing better". Damn, but you do like straw men, don't you?

"So if the government is not the mechanism to redistribute wealth ..."

It isn't. That is not its function.

"... and, clearly, the flaws of man will not allow the free market to police itself, ..."

Perhaps to you it's clear.

"... what is your solution?"

Work.

You (meant generically in this context) cannot have what you want simply because you want it, and you have no right to force someone else, who has made what you want, to hand it over to you. The solution is to get off your ass and work to earn it.

My first two jobs I got by walking into a business (the first, a restaurant, and the second, a rental center), walking up to the owner, and saying (literally), "I want to work. Do you have any work I can do to earn a paycheck?" I was hired on the spot, both times. That second job, as a mechanic in a rental center, was the best job I ever had and the best boss I ever worked for. All it takes is a work ethic.


jsid-1263071979-506  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 09 Jan 2010 21:19:39 +0000


Take health care, for example. There was a time when you would go to a doctor, pay him a fee for his service, and, if you didn't like it, you could go to another doctor. You don't really have that choice any more.

How is that not an option? That's what I do. I'm one of those several million you speak of who simply can't afford health insurance, although the truth is I would consider it a questionable use of my money even if I could afford it.

I offer the example of United Health Care as what happenes when the government falls asleep. It wasn't until the WSJ did a series of stories on UHC that the goverment stepped in.

And I counteroffer the National Indian Health Service as an example of what happens when government is awake. Everyone knows what a horror it is, there's better evidence than a WSJ series, has been for decades now, and... what result?



At least corporations tend to respond to market outrage eventually.

Now, your point would be corrent in stating that government interference set this up but it was only at the behest of private industry...again, proving my point.


I think it's reasonable to ask for a link or something to your data supporting this assertion. Assuming it's true, that only supports my point: All you accomplish by increasing government "regulation" is to increase the ability of those mega-investors to attack their rivals, and get you and me to pay for it instead of having to pay for it themselves. Words like "reform" sound pretty, but that is the underlying purpose of any words used in a sales pitch, after all.

And in the meantime, it brings us back to an earlier exchange between you and me that seems to have fallen by the wayside:

It sounds to me like what you're saying is that the entire federal economy, government included, is in the hands of a comparatively few wealthy mega-investors. If that's what you're saying, I agree.

Although in fairness, we would probably disagree on just who those few wealthy mega-investors are. I'd call the core of that group a private sector banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve. Which is why I followed the above with -

If that is what you're saying, please explain how Soros, Bernanke, Krugman, Geithner, Paulson, the Federal Reserve and the IRS are parts of the solution, rather than parts of the problem.


jsid-1263150800-649  Markadelphia at Sun, 10 Jan 2010 19:13:20 +0000

"Work. "

Good Lord, DJ. Do you have any contact with people? With the exception of my uncle Bill and a friend of mine from grade school (both hard core conservatives btw), eveyone I know works their ass off. You want to talk about flesh and blood people? Some of them work 2 jobs...even 3 and they still can't afford to pay for the ever increasing prices of everything. And your answer to them is work more? Isn't the very definition of "Do it again but harder?"

It is massively ironic that Sowell talks of flesh and blood people. When was the last time he spent time with one? He oversimplifies (as do you) the enormous dynamic of our culture which, if you haven't noticed, is changing every day. The comment from the QoTD perfectly exemplifies his titanic hubris. What areas of our culture should be regulated? The military only? Or should there be oversight of Wall Street? Should, for example, my state continue to regulate the gas tanks at my local filling station? Or should that be left up to a private institution?


"All it takes is a work ethic."

No, it doesn't. What if you have a physical disability? Or a mental/emotional one? What if you have to care for someone who does? Let's assume that the government (in your utopia) doesn't care for these people. Who will? Private organizations? You know as well as I do that they don't have the infrastructure to take care of everyone that needs help. So what happens to them, DJ?


jsid-1263154030-474  Markadelphia at Sun, 10 Jan 2010 20:07:10 +0000

"If that is what you're saying, please explain how Soros, Bernanke, Krugman, Geithner, Paulson, the Federal Reserve and the IRS are parts of the solution, rather than parts of the problem."

Let's take them one by one. George Soros is interested in one thing only...George Soros. He is not a solution to anything. Neither is Rupert Murdoch for that matter. Although I read today that Murdoch wanted to endorse Obama in the Post in 2008. What a country we live in...

Krugman has a lot of good ideas and is correct in stating the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the world has occurred in this country and that it is a bad thing. However, he fails to take into account Carson's Welfare State and offers no real solution for one of the three heads of our monster (laziness...the other being fear and ignorance). He fails to see that the real economic issue in this country is a complete lack of intrinisc motivation (brought on by what I call the Michael Jordan generation) combined with people who work their ass off only to see an elite few reap the rewards in what is, essentially, one giant pyramid scam.

Doesn't is suck for Obama that Geithner knows more about our economic struggles than most and yet he is the one who helped cause it?

Paulson-another one with good ideas but sadly a shill for Goldman Sachs.

Bernanke-also a shill for Wall Street. Why on earth was he Time's Person of the Year? Nothing has changed on Wall Street. The fact is that both Bernanke and Paulson prove my point about the government being the tool for private industry. And Geithner as well. They're in place to make sure that nothing changes on Wall Street. And yet, many here complain of government involvement...sheesh.

The Fed-wow. I don't even know where to start. Perhaps with a question. Doesn't it bother anyone that a private bank essentially runs our country?

The IRS-no doubt, the tax code is far too complicated. When I think of the IRS, I am reminded of several scenes in Gilliam's Brazil. Are they as bad as people make them out? I'm sure it depends on each individual story.

So basically, I would say that the majority of your list is, in fact, not part of the solution. So what is? Like I've said before, I don't have all the answers...just some ideas.


jsid-1263163151-731  DJ at Sun, 10 Jan 2010 22:39:11 +0000

Me: "Work."

You: "Good Lord, DJ. Do you have any contact with people?"

Your whole response is what I expected, but is a bit more well-written than your usual stuff. It appears you actually thought a bit about it.

As I expected, YOU MISSED THE WHOLE POINT COMPLETELY.

Go back to your question that I responded to:

"So if the government is not the mechanism to redistribute wealth and, clearly, the flaws of man will not allow the free market to police itself, what is your solution?"

The point of my response, which you missed, is quite simple: NOTHING IS FREE.

If people are to have what allows a decent standard of living, i.e. food, water, shelter, clothing, and so on, these things all happen because people WORK to produce them, NOT because gubmint declares they are free and hands them out. The gubmint does NOT create ANTHING by redistributing wealth. The "flaws of man" of your question lead gubmint to foster an entitlement mentality that focuses on consumption without production, on getting it from the gubmint instead of working for it. Such is the problem, not the solution.

Thus, my statement ...

"You (meant generically in this context) cannot have what you want simply because you want it, and you have no right to force someone else, who has made what you want, to hand it over to you. The solution is to get off your ass and work to earn it."

... is dead on point.

Did you hear the whizzing sound it made when it went right by you?

Now, consider your final question:

"You know as well as I do that they don't have the infrastructure to take care of everyone that needs help. So what happens to them, DJ?"

Imagine how much easier it would be for the taxpayers to support those who, through no fault of their own, need help, if the taxpayers were not also required to support many, many times that number who, through intentional fault of their own, refuse to help themselves, preferring instead to live off what the gubmint hands them.


jsid-1263227335-882  Russell at Mon, 11 Jan 2010 16:28:55 +0000

And let's ignore Pareto Distributions, too, while we're at it. Unlike, say, this fellow : http://mises.org/daily/4014

Interesting to note that both Rothbard and Hoppe adhered to what Francis Bacon was enjoining people to do in his New Organon, while the new welfare proponents sound more like the Peripatetics of the middle ages.


jsid-1263241627-9  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 11 Jan 2010 20:27:07 +0000

So basically, I would say that the majority of your list is, in fact, not part of the solution. So what is? Like I've said before, I don't have all the answers...just some ideas.

I don't claim to have any good answers either, but I have a few beginnings:

1. Given, as we agreed, that the Fed, the IRS, Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner, et al are part of the problem, and in fact near, if not at, the core of it... I take it as given that someone who says the Fed, the IRS, Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner et al should be hired to fix it is either a) naive to the point of hopelessness, or b) running cover for the above and therefore part of the problem themselves. Either way, they should not be trusted, and what they say and do should be taken as equivalent to intel against an enemy.

Note there is no mention of political party in the above statement.

2. Never forget that, as DJ noted above, governments do not actually produce anything. Inherent in the limitations of what governments are is the fact that anything a government provides to any citizen is taken by force from another citizen. So anytime anyone says "_______ deserves _________, and only the government can provide it for them", remind yourself that somewhere, someone gets robbed, kidnapped or murdered in your name so that government can provide it.

Note that the above statement not only contains no reference to political party, but that it doesn't matter what you put in those blanks.

As I said before, start a charity, I'll pitch. Okay, so it won't be enough. Do you claim that armed robbery of the citizens is better?


jsid-1263336611-510  Markadelphia at Tue, 12 Jan 2010 22:50:11 +0000

Alright, I've had some time to mull DJ's post and here is what I think.

Imagine how much easier it would be for the taxpayers to support those who, through no fault of their own, need help, if the taxpayers were not also required to support many, many times that number who, through intentional fault of their own, refuse to help themselves, preferring instead to live off what the gubmint hands them.

To me, this is probably the most astute comment I have ever read on here. Why? Because it illustrates perfectly the divide between those that believe thet government is best suited to decided who needs help and those who think it should be left up to the individual. The problem lies with the definition of who "needs help." Given the many flaws of human beings (and the many more of Americans), I think that if most of this country were given the choice, they wouldn't help anyone. Let me be clear: this is regardless of political affiliation.
Having said that, one must also consider the conundrum that is political...are people in need that way because of their own choices or because of society? Talk to a conservative and it's all on the individual. Talk to a liberal and it's society's fault. The truth is actually the result of the synthesis between the two. That has to be taken into consideration. Telling someone to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" (Sowell) or that "it's all the fault of white run society (Sharpton) fail to see this synthesis.

So, if we can't leave it up to individuals and we can't let the government decide, who does? Perhaps an answer might lie here:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/finance/goldman-force-execs-donate-charity---times/
We'll see if this actually happens. At least it might be the start of something.
Did you hear the whizzing sound it made when it went right by you? 

DJ, I have no doubt that there are people who are lazy and don't want to work. I know them. Oddly, they are all quite conservative. I think the central quandry here is that the "welfare mom with a cadillac" propaganda has caused you to think that everyone who gets government help is lazy. It's just not true. In fact, it's less true now than it ever has been. Many people are terrified to death of relying on the government for anything. Either that or they don't want to go through the hassle.  One of the greatest lies perpetrated on the American public is that millions live off the government teat, are lazy, and never want to work. Certainly, there are people like this but it is far less than you would think. Again, you need to experience this for yourself...in person. You're retired. Get out there and talk to people. Listen to their stories. You might be surprised. I am every day.

The gubmint does NOT create ANTHING by redistributing wealth.
Hmm...so all those people that benefit from welfare over the years and then got jobs because some programs worked (i.e. built ladders out of poverty) weren't creations of redistribution?




jsid-1263336800-454  Markadelphia at Tue, 12 Jan 2010 22:53:20 +0000

DJ, juris sent me this amazing article.

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/keeping-americas-edge

It addresses many of the issues we have talked about on here in a very balanced way. I'm going to be talking about on my blog and I hope Kevin will as well here.


jsid-1263337316-384  Adam at Tue, 12 Jan 2010 23:01:56 +0000

"I think that if most of this country were given the choice, they wouldn't help anyone"

I can barely express how fucking sick I am of reading this bullshit. It's the same moronic statement that suggests unless I'm taxed for it, I'd never contribute to a fire department, police department, or local charity.

You are suggesting that most people in this country - 51% of the population, or about 155 million people - must be robbed of the fruits of the labor because otherwise they would not act and would not lend a hand to another.

I used to laugh at religious people who talked of the "death culture" of the left. Watching you blunder through the English language and through random chains of half-thought has been a real fucking eye-opener.


jsid-1263337605-881  Markadelphia at Tue, 12 Jan 2010 23:06:46 +0000

Either way, they should not be trusted, and what they say and do should be taken as equivalent to intel against an enemy.

I disagree. I think Richard Nixon was an awful human being. In essence, he was pathologically criminal. He quite literally defined the core of the current GOP's ideology. Yet, his China play was brilliant, his dealings with the Soviets exemplary, and a few of his domestic programs were decent (Earned Income Tax Credit, for example). Sometimes the most qualified person for the job is a fucking asshole. Obviously, I don't think President Obama is an asshole nor a criminal. I do think that Bruce Bartlett should have been included on his economic team, though.

Do you claim that armed robbery of the citizens is better?

I've had some time to think about this one (as it has come up before) and I have to say, this is a terrible exaggeration. First of all, how many people do you know who haven't paid their taxes in years? In my case it's at least half my friends. The IRS grants extensions and is very friendly about charging you more money the longer you take to pay. Second, I also know several people who have never paid taxes and live off the grid. No one has ever come after them from the government or threatened them with a gun. I think we can all agree that the government is terribly unorganized. If any of you decided to stop paying taxes and move off of the grid, I doubt anyone would come after you.

However, if you want to stay in your homes and enjoy the benefits of American society, then you do, in fact, have to pay taxes. Remember, as I am often reminded on here, you DO have a choice. Just like I have a choice on whether to heat my house with gas or wood, so do you ;)


jsid-1263339135-348  Adam at Tue, 12 Jan 2010 23:32:15 +0000

"I've had some time to think about this one (as it has come up before) and I have to say, this is a terrible exaggeration"

Then I'm not going to bother.

"Just like I have a choice on whether to heat my house with gas or wood, so do you"

According to you and the discussion on the use of "force" by one of your utility companies, that's a contradictory statement.


jsid-1263341525-977  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 00:12:05 +0000

If any of you decided to stop paying taxes and move off of the grid, I doubt anyone would come after you.

Isn't this the "if the police don't actually enforce it, it's not actually illegal" school of thought?


jsid-1263351392-422  DJ at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 02:56:34 +0000

Me: "Imagine how much easier it would be for the taxpayers to support those who, through no fault of their own, need help, if the taxpayers were not also required to support many, many times that number who, through intentional fault of their own, refuse to help themselves, preferring instead to live off what the gubmint hands them." 
 
Markadelphia: "To me, this is probably the most astute comment I have ever read on here. Why?"

Because it describes reality, that's why, but you just can't admit it.

"The problem lies with the definition of who "needs help."


Horseshit. If you can't make that distinction easily, then you have no business whatever discussing it.

"Given the many flaws of human beings (and the many more of Americans), I think that if most of this country were given the choice, they wouldn't help anyone."

Again, horseshit. You are, yet again, just making shit up to suit your case. The people of this country, overwhelmingly, are among the most generous on the planet.

"DJ, I have no doubt that there are people who are lazy and don't want to work. I know them. Oddly, they are all quite conservative."

Know them all, do you? Would you have us believe this is representative, or even believable? Don't make us laugh.

"I think the central quandry here is that the "welfare mom with a cadillac" propaganda has caused you to think that everyone who gets government help is lazy."

Yet again, you jump to conclusions. I have stated time and time again that, if you want to know what I think, you can always ask. Yet again, you just make shit up.

I do not, and never have, thought that everyone who gets government help is lazy, and I have given you no reason whatever to think that I do.

"It's just not true. In fact, it's less true now than it ever has been."

And you can't prove one iota of it, can you? You keep shitting this crap in Kevin's parlor. Damn, but you just can't help yourself, can you?

"Many people are terrified to death of relying on the government for anything. Either that or they don't want to go through the hassle. One of the greatest lies perpetrated on the American public is that millions live off the government teat, are lazy, and never want to work."

Many people just love relying on the gubmint for everything and don't mind the hassle. It's easier than working. For example, we saw them here for years, by the tens of thousands, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and thereby we are quite certain they exist.

"Certainly, there are people like this but it is far less than you would think."

Yet again, you make shit up and jump to conclusions. You don't know what I think and you don't have the decency to ask. As usual, you don't show any evidence to support your blather, and you whine if we don't believe it.

Me:
"The gubmint does NOT create ANTHING by redistributing wealth. 

Markadelphia: "Hmm...so all those people that benefit from welfare over the years and then got jobs because some programs worked (i.e. built ladders out of poverty) weren't creations of redistribution?"

No, they are people, not "creations of redistribution."

When a person works to make something and gives it to another, that involves the work of creating that something. When the gubmint takes something from someone and redistributes it to another, the gubmint's redistribution does not do any work to create any wealth, it simply changes who owns wealth that already exists.

Damn, but you persist in your Standard Responses. This is #6, yet another straw man.


jsid-1263352012-473  DJ at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 03:06:52 +0000

Allright, teacher, it's time to put up or shut up.

You asked for some slack and I offered you a deal, specifically a quid-pro-quo. The offer I made was, verbatim, on 12/30/09, at 4:17 PM:

"I'll make a deal with you, a simple quid-pro-quo. You stop ever responding with any of your Standard Responses, as I have detailed and Kevin has logged at 
 
http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html, 
 
and in return, I'll stop eating your ass out and insulting you for doing so.  Put more simply, you save your exhibited dishonesty for other places and other times, meaning don't ever
exhibit it here in Kevin's parlor, you respond to the questions and such of others always with other than evasions and lies, and I'll treat you with the decency that such behavior deserves. I'll treat you with the respect you crave unless and until you fall off the wagon."

Your response was, verbatim, on 12/30/09 at 5:34 PM:

"I'll take that deal but only if we stop adding to the list."

My response was, verbatim, on 12/30/09 at 9:28 PM:

"Fair enough.  I won't add to it if you don't, and I presume you understand my meaning."

That exchange constitutes a meeting of the minds, an offer that I made and you accepted.

Note the key word of the offer: "ever". I meant it, and you accepted it.

You are sliding steadily back into your old habits. You make shit up, you spew out unsupported and unsupportable statements, and you continue to respond with your Standard Responses. Respect has to be earned, and you are not earning it.

You are failing to hold up your end of the agreement.

"Gave you lots of chance. You wouldn't take it." -- Heinlein

I've had just about enough of your horseshit. If you keep it up, I'm taking the gloves off.

Is that what you want?


jsid-1263353962-171  Markadelphia at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 03:39:22 +0000

The people of this country, overwhelmingly, are among the most generous on the planet. 

I think they used to be. I don't know. Maybe I've gotten cynical in my old age and am feeling that way more so today. Everyone seems so much more interested in the latest gadget or trinket...it's all extrinsic, shiny objects that do nothing for the soul. Look at those people Kevin talked about the other day who are sad over the fictional world of Avatar. Honestly, how generous do you think they would be? I have a friend named Paul who rants and raves about how society has fucked him over. He complains constantly and nothing is ever his fault. He used to like Obama but now says he has sold out. And yet, Paul has done nothing for anyone and expects everyone to do for him. In fact, he has been downright mean to people that have helped him. It's pathetic.


I do not, and never have, thought that everyone who gets government help is lazy


The solution is to get off your ass and work to earn it. 

All it takes is a work ethic.

So who are you talking about then, if not America in general?

As far as the rest goes, I don't really know what to do. I've answered honestly regarding my thoughts and feelings...that's right the f word (gasp!) because I am human being after all...based on my knowledge and experiences in the world. When you get a chance, read the link that juris sent me. There is mucho info in there that dove tails quite nicely with what we are talking about here. I'd be happy to continue to talk about this stuff. I'm not going anywhere and really...it makes no difference to me whether the gloves are "on" or "off." You've slid back several times into the personal stuff earlier in this thread and it doesn't really bother me.


jsid-1263363215-433  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 06:13:35 +0000

No one has ever come after them from the government or threatened them with a gun. I think we can all agree that the government is terribly unorganized. If any of you decided to stop paying taxes and move off of the grid, I doubt anyone would come after you.

Well then I have to agree with Sowell, there is no point in talking to you. Once you've decided you're comfortable with declaring anyone who fails to support your agenda a criminal, as you've done here, the rest of the argument becomes pointless. Now you see the fundamental divide between you and the "right wing base", and why it's there. You don't consider criminalizing disagreement with the "social justice" agenda an unacceptable use of government force, and I do.

Either that or you are comfortable with the current atmosphere of "we don't have to give a shit about the laws, since no one enforces them anyway". Or both.

Since no, I don't read minds, and yet I'm claiming to know what you must believe, please correct me if there's another option I'm missing here. But if it's any of the above, it's no wonder the differences are irreconcilable. To paraphrase the '92 Clinton campaign, it's the integrity stupid.


jsid-1263397260-986  DJ at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 15:41:01 +0000

Me: "The people of this country, overwhelmingly, are among the most generous on the planet."
 
Markadelphia: "I think they used to be. I don't know."

Then stop pretending that you do. Stop making shit up.

"Maybe I've gotten cynical in my old age and am feeling that way more so today."


You are not old, not physically, mentally, or emotionally. Try not projecting yourself on others. Stop making shit up.

"Everyone seems so much more interested in the latest gadget or trinket...it's all extrinsic, shiny objects that do nothing for the soul. Look at those people Kevin talked about the other day who are sad over the fictional world of Avatar. Honestly, how generous do you think they would be?"

I haven't any idea. Their stated responses to watching that movie don't give any clue. Stop making shit up.

"I have a friend named Paul who rants and raves about how society has fucked him over. He complains constantly and nothing is ever his fault. He used to like Obama but now says he has sold out. And yet, Paul has done nothing for anyone and expects everyone to do for him. In fact, he has been downright mean to people that have helped him. It's pathetic."

You friend, Paul, is an example of what I wrote:

"The "flaws of man" of your question lead gubmint to foster an entitlement mentality that focuses on consumption without production, on getting it from the gubmint instead of working for it. Such is the problem, not the solution."

Me: "I do not, and never have, thought that everyone who gets government help is lazy. 
 
"The solution is to get off your ass and work to earn it.  
 
"All it takes is a work ethic."
 
Markadelphia: "So who are you talking about then, if not America in general?"

I'm talking about the opposite of your friend, Paul.

Yet again, you revert to your old behavior. Yet again, you will not admit to understanding what someone else writes. Yet again, you will not admit the truth of what someone else writes. Yet again, you throw up a straw man. Yet again, you do not debate, you EVADE. THAT'S WHAT YOU DO. THAT'S ALL YOU DO.

"As far as the rest goes, I don't really know what to do."

Yes, you do, but you cannot do it.

You cannot admit significant error. As I have stated many, many times before, and you have never, ever denied, your precious little ego is so fragile that you cannot admit to significant error because you cannot suffer even the tiniest pinprick to it.

Further, you cannot admit that anyone else is correct about anything significant. If someone else is right and what they write differs from what you think, then said admission is an implicit admission that you are wrong. You just can't do it.

Because you cannot admit significant error, you cannot unlearn what is wrong so you can learn what is right. Thus, any discussion with you becomes an endless round of your evasions, your lies, and your digging the hole you are in even deeper.

You've had nothing but opportunity to reform yourself, at your own request. You won't even try. You couldn't even make it out of this comment thread, could you?

"... it makes no difference to me whether the gloves are "on" or "off."

They're off, sack boy. From me, you'll get only the treatment you've earned, nothing more and nothing less.


jsid-1263404299-928  Markadelphia at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 17:38:20 +0000

GOF, a simple question for you. Have you or anyone you know been threatened with the use of force, by the IRS, and thrown into jail? No one I know has. In fact, I know just shy of a dozen people living off the grid, not paying their taxes, and doing just fine. I'm sure the IRS is trying to find them but with all the laziness and bureacracy, do you think they will? I also know over two dozen people (surprisingly) that havn't paid their taxes (or paid only some of them) for years. They are not in jail, have not been threatened with the use of force, and no one from the government has entered their home. Isn't this a good thing?

Once you've decided you're comfortable with declaring anyone who fails to support your agenda a criminal

When did I say that? I'm not tracking this one at all. Unless...are you saying that the IRS are criminals?


You don't consider criminalizing disagreement with the "social justice" agenda an unacceptable use of government force, and I do.

So do I. If people want to believe that blacks are inferior or that all Muslims are murderers, fine by me. They can think whatever they want to think. It's the actions that they take as a result of these thoughts that are potentially criminal. I really don't get where this is coming from at all.

DJ. because I am a reflective man, I decided to have my wife take a look at this thread and see what her thoughts were. I thought...hey, maybe I'm out of line here. She's a fairly balanced person and isn't one to be inherently biased...especially when it comes to me. ;) Her only thought regarding yourself?

"Who is this asshole?"

I don't think you are an asshole, DJ. For whatever reason, your style of debate is hyper abrasive. I don't think it's possible, given your obssession with me (as noted by another poster here), that you can be any other way. What's more frustrating and highly hypocritical is that it's just fine for you to say things like "All it takes is a work ethic" but not fine for me to say "given a choice, most Americans wouldn't help anyone" even after you said that people need to "get off their ass and earn it." All are opinions and/or observations. OK for you...not OK for me.

It's OK (and cheered) for Thomas Sowell to say "Actually, I would say only one word: Goodbye. Because I know there's no point talking to them."

but not fine for me to invoke SR#2 which is EXACTLY the same thing. Actualy Sowell's comment is SR#2 with a dash of SR#4 and #11 thrown in for seasoning.

And it's obvious where the problem really began here. As it has in the past, when I ask a question ("Good Lord, DJ, when was the last time you had contact with people?") followed by a simple truth (Eveyone I know works their ass off. You want to talk about flesh and blood people? Some of them work 2 jobs...even 3 and they still can't afford to pay for the ever increasing prices of everything.") concluding with a direct
query that challenges your ideology while at the same time betraying its hypocrisy ("And your answer to them is work more? Isn't the very definition of "Do it again but harder?" ), you revert to your Nixonian roots--attack+ destroy. Why this is for certain, only you know. But I do have some pretty good ideas why. I've been debating conservatives for a long time, sir, and the majority of you respond just like this...all the time.


In some ways,  you have become unhinged, sir, but that makes no difference to me. I'm going to continue to respond with facts, thoughts, and opinions just as everyone else does on here. If you don't like them, too bad. I'm not leaving this thread and am going to start quoting the article I linked above as it pertains to much of our earlier, substanitive conversation. If you want to be a part of that, great. If you don't and won't to continue sans gloves, great. If you want to bring up something else, great. It doesn't matter a wit to me.


jsid-1263405177-356  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 17:52:57 +0000

GOF, a simple question for you. Have you or anyone you know been threatened with the use of force, by the IRS, and thrown into jail? No one I know has. In fact, I know just shy of a dozen people living off the grid, not paying their taxes, and doing just fine. I'm sure the IRS is trying to find them but with all the laziness and bureacracy, do you think they will? I also know over two dozen people (surprisingly) that havn't paid their taxes (or paid only some of them) for years. They are not in jail, have not been threatened with the use of force, and no one from the government has entered their home. Isn't this a good thing?

Um, no, it's not.

1) I'm sure the IRS is trying to find them... and why? Because according to US law, they are now criminals. If you are okay with that, and you think taxes should be used to support a social agenda, you are therefore okay with those who refuse to support your agenda being declared criminals. A+B=C.

And your defense of this is

2) ...but with all the laziness and bureacracy, do you think they will? So... not only is criminalizing failure to support a social agenda no big deal, but the reason it's no big deal is because lax, shitty enforcement of existing laws is a feature and not a bug?

Whatever you're smoking, I hope you brought enough for everybody.


jsid-1263415113-239  DJ at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 20:38:33 +0000

"GOF, a simple question for you. Have you or anyone you know been threatened with the use of force, by the IRS, and thrown into jail? No one I know has."

I'll answer that.

I personally know three people who did hard time in prison for not following IRS rules. Perhaps you should dig up Al Capone and see what he thinks about it.

"DJ. because I am a reflective man, I decided to have my wife take a look at this thread and see what her thoughts were."

I suggest you have her begin with your first ever comment in Kevin's parlor and read ALL of your comments therein and ALL the responses that other people made to them. I submit that neither she, nor anyone else, can understand why my comments to you are what they are without doing so, and I submit that you know quite well why. Yet again, you fool no one, teacher boy.

"I don't think you are an asshole, DJ. For whatever reason, your style of debate is hyper abrasive."

No, I am not an asshole. My style of response to you is abrasive to you. It is what you have earned. My style of comment elsewhere is quite mild, but you wouldn't know that.

"What's more frustrating and highly hypocritical is that it's just fine for you to say things like "All it takes is a work ethic" but not fine for me to say "given a choice, most Americans wouldn't help anyone ..."

Frustrating to whom? To you? The statement "... given a choice, most Americans wouldn't help anyone ..." is something that you cannot possibly know the truth of. This the sum and substance of many of your comments, just crap that you make up out of thin air.

"... even after you said that people need to "get off their ass and earn it.""

I did not write the statement that you quoted. A simple search of this comment thread does not show it.

I wrote the following:

"You (meant generically in this context) cannot have what you want simply because you want it, and you have no right to force someone else, who has made what you want, to hand it over to you. The solution is to get off your ass and work to earn it."

Yet again, you simply evade the truth of what I wrote. It's what you do.

"It's OK (and cheered) for Thomas Sowell to say "Actually, I would say only one word: Goodbye. Because I know there's no point talking to them." ..."

Thomas Sowell directly confronts the irrationality, the illogic, and the lies of those he debates, using demonstrable, verifiable facts and eloquent language. So do I, but without approaching his eloquence. You don't. His response was a factual observation; your Standard Responses are nothing more than evasions. It's what you do.

I would echo Sowell's comment here as it pertains to you, but as I have stated several times, you will not win by default. You will not spew your blather here here unopposed.

That is not obsession, dude. You do SUCH good work for our side; I am simply the counterpoint to it.

"As it has in the past, when I ask a question ("Good Lord, DJ, ...")".

Go read my response to your question again. I stand by it. YOUR STATEMENT MISSED THE WHOLE POINT COMPLETELY and I responded quite appropriately.

In response to your question, most everyone I know works, many working two jobs. To your ending question:

"And your answer to them is work more? Isn't the very definition of "Do it again but harder?"

No, my answer is that you should notice that they got what they have by working for it, that gubmint creates nothing by taking it from one person and handing it to another. The solution to the country's economic doldrums is not to foster an entitlement mentality in which people look to the gubmint for their sustenance. You persist, yet again, in evading that. It's what you do.

"It doesn't matter a wit to me."

No, only your ego matters to you. You fool no one.


jsid-1263416056-782  Markadelphia at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 20:54:16 +0000

GOF,

1. Sure, by the strict letter of the law, they have broken it. But it's not for me to judge. It's their lives...their choice...and they aren't really affecting mine that much. My original point in all of this is that the picture that is painted here is that of jack booted thugs beating down doors and arresting the first person that trims his nose hairs improperly. It's simply not the case. In addition, our tax dollars do not exclusively go to support a social agenda (which, when put this way, really sounds dark and evil. Coincidence?). They support the infrastructure of our country...roads...our military...education...a veritable plethora of things. Do you (and others here) get to define what is and what is not part of the (dum dum dah!!!) SOCIAL AGENDA?

For example, no one here supports public health care. Yet, I'm sure most would support defense against a biological or chemical terrorist attack that would involve a public health component. So, it's not OK to provide government health against diseases or viruses unless they are used as a weapon by hirabists?

2. No, it's just a fact of bureaucracy.

I'm not smoking anything, GOF. I am mulling the complexity of the situation in a very gray way.


jsid-1263418548-757  DJ at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 21:35:48 +0000

"For example, no one here supports public health care. Yet, I'm sure most would support defense against a biological or chemical terrorist attack that would involve a public health component. So, it's not OK to provide government health against diseases or viruses unless they are used as a weapon by hirabists?""

Look at the definition of the term "public health"

public health n. The science and practice of protecting and improving the health of a community, as by preventive medicine, health education, control of communicable diseases, application of sanitary measures, and monitoring of environmental hazards.

You are conflating the concept of "public health" with "health insurance". They are not the same, but this conflation is a common error. One can read it every day in the news.

No one here, except you, supports the notion that other people, in particular the taxpayers, should be forced to pay for your medical needs.

I, for one, greatly support the notion that gubmint should play a key role in the support of "public health", as defined above, in particular the tracking of, prevention of, and response to epidemics and such. I believe the country derives a tremendous benefit from the taxes it pays to support this.

If you want to understand that thoroughly, and why there is no contradiction in what I stated, I suggest you read a series of books by Laurie Garrett: "The Coming Plague", "Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health", and "Virus Hunters of the CDC". They are quite readable, despite their length; indeed, the first one is spellbinding.


jsid-1263418868-795  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 21:41:08 +0000





While it's been entertaining to watch DJ beat Marxy down, I have to admit that Marxy completely blew any credibility early on with this simple exchange:

DJ: "what is it you think we advocate when it comes to "regulation"?  I really want to know."

Markadelphia: "Well, I suppose none. Or very little. Am I wrong? If so, what is enough or not enough?"

This is a perfect demonstration that Marxy doesn't understand, process, or learn from what we write. This wasn't a question about which argument is correct, it's about what we, as conservatives, believe.

And once again Marxy proved that he prefers listening to the voices in his head rather than what we actually write.

We beat you over the head with what we think the appropriate role for government regulation is only 4 months ago. Then we repeated that beating only 2 months ago. (Since we can no longer link to specific comments (Have I said how much I dislike Echo lately?), you can find the appropriate comments by searching for "fraud".) Yet even though we pointed out exactly what kind of regulation we think is appropriate in crystal clear language, Marxy still manages to pretend that he is right, and we are wrong about what we ourselves actually believe!

So here it is, once more with feeling — what conservatives define as a free market economy and government's appropriate role as defined by Ludwig von Mises:

Market economy, the free or unhampered. A pure or unhampered (i.e., free) market economy is an imaginary construction which assumes:


1) The private ownership (control) of the means of production;


(2) The division of labor and the consequent voluntary market exchanges of goods and services;


(3) No institutional interferences with the operation of the market processes which generate prices, wage rates and interest rates which reflect the actual conditions of supply and demand for all goods and services;


(4) A GOVERNMENT, THE SOCIAL APPARATUS OF COERCION AND COMPULSION, WHICH IS INTENT ON PRESERVING MARKET PROCESSES WHILE PROTECTING PEACEFUL MARKET PARTICIPANTS FROM THE ENCROACHMENTS OF THOSE WHO WOULD RESORT TO THE THREAT OR USE OF FORCE OR FRAUD.

John Stossel just wrote an excellent piece reiterating what DJ has been saying about government regulation being used (and abused) by large companies as a tool to stifle competition:

"The role regulation plays in crony capitalism is unappreciated. Critics of business assume that regulation is how government tames corporations. But historically, regulation has been how one set of businesses (usually bigger, well-connected ones) gains advantages over others. Timothy Carney's book about this, "The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money," explains why Phillip Morris joined the "war on tobacco," General Motors pushed for clean-air legislation and Archer Daniels Midland likes ethanol subsidies.


As economist Bruce Yandle writes, "[I]ndustry support of regulation is not rare at all; indeed, it is the norm."


If you wonder why, ask yourself: Which are more likely to be hampered by vigorous regulatory standards: entrenched corporations with their overstaffed legal and accounting departments or small startups trying to get off the ground? Regulation can kill competition – and incumbents like it that way."


jsid-1263422268-236  DJ at Wed, 13 Jan 2010 22:37:51 +0000

GOF, a simple question for you. Have you or anyone you know been threatened with the use of force, by the IRS, and thrown into jail? No one I know has."

Try a simple search on Google.  Use the search terms "IRS tax cheaters prison". It returns with "about 32,500 hits."

The first hit is:

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=122541,00.html

It is a report, labeled IR-2004-48, dated April 6, 2004, and titled "Civil and Criminal Enforcement against Tax Cheats On the Rise". In it, we find:

""People who engage in, facilitate or promote tax fraud are increasingly likely to be on the receiving end not only of civil enforcement actions, but also of criminal prosecution,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. “If you participate in a scheme to defraud the IRS, you can wind up in federal prison, and you will still have to pay taxes, along with interest and penalties.”"

and

"The Department of Justice also has obtained injunctions against employers who fail to withhold, account for and pay over employment and withholding taxes. One federal court recently ordered the imprisonment of an employer for failing to comply with the court’s order."

It includes twelve examples of criminal defendants who were sentenced to prison time during the previous year. The first is:

"Bradford G. Brown, an Athens, Georgia physician, was sentenced to serve 41 months in prison and ordered to pay a $40,000 fine. At trial, the evidence proved that Dr. Brown had failed to report more than $1.5 million in income, which monies he used to purchase a luxury car, a radio station, real estate and other personal assets."

This is the proverbial tip of the iceberg of the data available, as it is only the first hit produced by Google. Imagine what we would find if we read all 32,500 hits, and if we used other search terms.

Damn. What did we ever do before OwlGore invented the internet?

Now remember, if you are sentenced to prison and you don't show up at the appointed time and place, the courts will send police with guns to drag your ass into custody.

Enjoy!


jsid-1263427350-552  Adam at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 00:02:30 +0000

"It includes twelve examples of criminal defendants who were sentenced to prison time during the previous year. The first is:  "

Really, you shouldn't have bothered with that example. The man in question makes more than Mark, so he's undoubtedly one of those evil exploiters of bad capitalism.


jsid-1263434211-344  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 01:56:51 +0000

In addition, our tax dollars do not exclusively go to support a social agenda (which, when put this way, really sounds dark and evil. Coincidence?). They support the infrastructure of our country...roads...our military...e‚Äčducation...a veritable plethora of things. Do you (and others here) get to define what is and what is not part of the (dum dum dah!!!) SOCIAL AGENDA?

Say, here's a revolutionary notion... how about referring to the United States Constitution? Under the US Constitution, there are supposed to be only two kinds of taxes. To paraphrase, they are 1) payment for services rendered, like gasoline taxes going to road maintenance. If you don't drive, you don't pay. And 2) general taxes that every citizen pitches an equal amount.

So.... in exactly what fashion is _________ rich billionaire paying for services rendered by being forced at gunpoint (okay, actually at lawyer point. Personally I think guns are a quicker, cleaner way to go) to buy health insurance for a thousand poor people, whose insurance is now "free" (read: extorted from someone else)? Or would you rather explain how actually he isn't paying any more into the system than anyone else is?

If that answer doesn't clarify things for you, refer to the 4 points Ed posted above. The purpose of government is to limit the use of force and attempt to cripple the use of fraud as much as possible. Those are the only purposes of government, that's why those tools of force are put into government hands. One of the main reasons I oppose, for example, government health insurance, is because it expands the use of force and opens up whole new vistas of opportunity for fraud, precisely the opposite of what government is for.


jsid-1263479706-544  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 14:35:06 +0000

If people want to believe that blacks are inferior or that all Muslims are murderers, fine by me.

Sure. But only as long as the law requires them to pay to support what you believe about blacks and Muslims. They are welcome to bitch all they like, as long as you still get to take their money and do what you want with it.

So no, you don't think disagreeing with your agenda should be criminal... but you're okay with refusing to pay for it being criminal, whether they agree or not. You seem to be unaware that if someone's budget blows up in their face, their taxes are the one thing they do not have the option to adjust. So even if they agree with you, their funding of that agreement must take priority over feeding the children and paying the rent. Don't think so? If suddenly you have to pay for a major investment (car, for example) and you don't have the money in the bank collecting dust, what do you do? You may skimp on groceries, you may skimp on clothes, you may skimp on school supplies.... at the extreme end you may even get evicted... but you can't pay less tax.


jsid-1263483509-115  DJ at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 15:38:39 +0000

Hmmm ...

http://boortz.com/nealz_nuze/2010/01/haiti.html

and

http://boortz.com/nealz_nuze/2010/01/earthquake-in-haiti.html

The links are in reverse order, the first being from today and the second from yesterday.

In the second, we find this:

"EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI

"And a devastating one at that. High casualty numbers are expected. So, what happens next? America comes to the rescue, that's what. American taxpayers will spend tens of millions of dollars helping the people of Haiti. The American military will soon be involved. The U.S. Southern Command was gearing up for a relief effort within hours after the earthquake. Why? Well .. because that's just what we do, that's why. Frankly I would rather see the money spent to help the innocent victims of an earthquake in a neighboring country than on enabling single mothers, drunks and druggies in this country. You see pictures of the children trapped in the rubble in Haiti and you can't help but want the do something. Not only American government, but American relief agencies will be stepping forward. My wife is a Red Cross volunteer ... If she wasn't involved in another project she would have been packing her bags last night. Americans will step forward .. and the world knows it and expects it. Can't help but wonder, though, what Hugo Chavez will be doing. How much aid will be coming from Fidel Castro and Venezuela's socialist whack job? Token help, at best. And what about the United Nations? Care to guess whether or not the wonderful U.N.'s efforts will exceed that done by the people of America. Right. Didn't think so. And the aftermath? Chavez and his ilk will continue to preach their anti-American rhetoric and Central American will continue to bask in its hatred of the United States. The United Nations will continue to work day-after-day on its anti-American agenda. Then ... the next time a disaster strikes ... we'll be there, as usual."


Now, note the source of these two links. Americans aren't generous, particularly conservatives and libertarians, are they?

I just sent a check to the American Red Cross for two hundred dollars, just as I did after the Indonesian tsunami. How much did you send?


jsid-1263487519-532  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 16:45:19 +0000

With respect DJ, I feel like that's entirely beside the point. Even stipulating for the sake of argument that Americans are greedy, selfish and stingy, and would send a HUGE GOOSE EGG if allowed the choice.... to me, the point is that I don't think greed should be treated as a crime.

That's the bottom line. If I refuse to give monetary support through tax dollars to, say, the NEA or ACORN.... or AIG or Goldman-Sachs or GM... then under US law, I am a criminal.

If someone suggested I should be imprisoned for failing to donate to the Salvation Army or the Catholic Church or UNICEF, everyone would think that person was insane, would they not? How is it any more sane to think people should be jailed for failing to "donate" to the UAW through the auto bailout, or to trial lawyers through healthcare legislation?

Mark:

If people want to believe that blacks are inferior or that all Muslims are murderers, fine by me. They can think whatever they want to think. It's the actions that they take as a result of these thoughts that are potentially criminal.

Does this mean you are against "hate crime" legislation? The entire premise of "hate crimes" is that the quality of the thoughts make an otherwise identical crime somehow worse, is it not?


jsid-1263497115-998  DJ at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 19:25:16 +0000

"... to me, the point is that I don't think greed should be treated as a crime."

I agree, and always have.

greed

n. An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth

That's what I've always understood its definition to be. Evil? No, and one finds it everywhere in nature.

But its modern usage by such as Marxie is to mean a desire to keep what one owns but others want, said desire being labeled evil.  What I find amazing, indeed insane, is that one is treated as evil if one desires to keep what one owns, but is treated as behaving properly, even virtuously, if one covets, and tries to obtain by gubmint theft, what others own.

Your point is well made and I agree with it.

I was discussing generosity, not greed, in response to Marxie's statement:

"Given the many flaws of human beings (and the many more of Americans), I think that if most of this country were given the choice, they wouldn't help anyone."

"Most ... wouldn't help anyone." That's quite a strong statement, and it is, in my unhumble opinion, pure horseshit.

I believe Americans are quite generous, willingly so, to those who need aid beyond what ordinary people can bear and to those who, through no fault of their own, cannot help themselves. Witness, for example, U.S. relief efforts after the Indonesion tsunami, the coming relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake, the post-war relief efforts to rebuild those countries we stomped flat, such as Germany, Italy, and Japan, the post-war relief efforts in aid of those who were our allies, such as France, Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, China, the Phillipines, Australia, and Korea, the huge relief efforts after the hurricanes of recent years, and so on, and so on, and so on.

I give to charity, and I choose the American Red Cross because I have seen first hand the good work they do. It includes aid to my mother, whose house burned in 1970, to my wife's sister, whose house was drowned in 1986, to my older brother, whose house burned in 1995, to my younger brother, whose house was eaten by a tornado in 1999, and to my brother's sister-in-law, whose house was eaten by a tornado in 2007.

Am I greedy? Yes, I am. I am also quite generous. It's MY CHOICE what I do with what I own, and that makes all the difference to me.


jsid-1263510752-780  Russell at Thu, 14 Jan 2010 23:12:32 +0000

"American public education is a remarkable enterprise; it succeeds best where it fails. Imagine an industry that consistently fails to do what it sets out to do, a factory where this year's product is invariably sleazier than last year's but, nevertheless, better than next year's. Imagine a corporation whose executives are always spending vast sums of money on studies designed to discover just what it is they are supposed to do and then vaster sums for further studies on just how to do it. Imagine a plant devoted to the manufacture of factory seconds to be sold at a loss. Imagine a producer of vacuum cleaners that rarely work hiring whole platoons of engineers who will, in time, report that it is, in fact, true that the vacuum cleaners rarely work, and who will, for a larger fee, be glad to find out why, if that's possible. If you discover some such outfit, don't invest in it. Unfortunately, we are all required to invest in public education.

Public education is also an enterprise that regularly blames its clients for its failures. Education cannot, after all, be expected to deal with barbarous and sometimes even homicidal students who hate schools and everything in them, except, perhaps, for smaller kids with loose lunch money. If the students are dull and hostile, we mustn't blame the schools. We must blame the parents for their neglect and their bad examples. If the parents are ignorant and depraved, then we must blame ``society.'' And so forth -- but not too far. Those who lament thus seem not inclined to ask how ``society'' got to be that way, if it is that way, and whether or not public education may have made it so.

The theme of the educators' exculpation, in its most common terms, goes something like this: We educators are being blamed for the corporate failures of a whole society. Our world is in disarray, convulsed by crime, poverty, ignorance, hatred, and institutionalized materialism and greed. The public expects us to cure all these ills, but that's just impossible. We are being given a bum rap. Besides, we're not getting enough money to do the job.
"

From Less Than Words Can Say, by Richard Mitchell. Written over 20 years ago. I haven't finished reading the whole thing yet, but so far I recommend it.


jsid-1263595797-986  Markadelphia at Fri, 15 Jan 2010 22:49:58 +0000

So no, you don't think disagreeing with your agenda should be criminal... but you're okay with refusing to pay for it being criminal, whether they agree or not.

Well, there are degrees of being criminal. I think that perpetual jay walker is not quite as bad as a perpetual speeder. Someone who doesn't pay their taxes isn't as bad as a rapist or a murderer. We do live in a country, though, that if you really wanted to, you could live off of the land in the middle of nowhere and no one would bother you for taxes. Large areas of Montana and Oregon come to mind. As I reminded quite a bit on here, we do have a choice. In fact, aren't there several here who espouse the very essence of the rugged individualist? So....how about it? Isn't that what our founding fathers had in mind?

Does this mean you are against "hate crime" legislation? The entire premise of "hate crimes" is that the quality of the thoughts make an otherwise identical crime somehow worse, is it not?

Here is what I think about hate crimes. In a perfect world, if someone killed someone, they would be prosecuted. We don't live in a perfect world. We live in a biased one. If a gay man is killed, there are places in the country that are less likely to prosecute the murderer, right? So, if there is no hate crime legislation, how do you propose actually enforcing the law?

I just sent a check to the American Red Cross for two hundred dollars, just as I did after the Indonesian tsunami. How much did you send?

Sadly, I'm going to have to wait to donate money. I give every year at Christmas to DAV Charitable Service Trust and I gave a little extra this year for personal reasons. More important than money is time, though, and I've already done that. I helped some colleagues set up a relief effort here in town that will funnel goods and services to Haiti.

After reading the rest of the comments regarding greed, regulation and the economy (the central theme of this thread), I am going to offer some quotes from the link I put in above (sent to me by juris) and see what everyone thinks. I have been talking about it on my blog as it has really changed my way of thinking on some things. Here is the link again.

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/keeping-americas-edge

And the quotes...

Conservatives have correctly viewed the policy agenda of the left as an attempt to undo the economic reforms of the 1980s. They have ­therefore, as a rhetorical and political strategy, downplayed the problems of cohesion — problems like inequality, wage stagnation, worker displacement, and disparities in educational performance — to emphasize the importance of innovation and growth.

Liberals, meanwhile, have correctly identified the problem of cohesion, but have generally proposed antediluvian solutions and downplayed the necessity of innovation in a competitive world. They have noted that America's economy in the immediate wake of World War II was in many ways simultaneously more regulated, more successful, and more equitable than today's economy, but mistakenly assume that by restoring greater regulation we could re-create both the equity and prosperity of that era.

And here's the conundrum

The conservative view fails to acknowledge the social costs of unrestrained economic innovation — costs that have made themselves ­powerfully apparent in American politics throughout our history. The liberal view, meanwhile, betrays a misunderstanding of the global economic environment.

This is essentially the problem. Manzi has some interesting ideas on solutions but really leaves up to our leaders to come up with more of them. Feel free to comment on this on my blog as I think you will be surprised by how much this article has altered my way of thinking. The question is...will it alter yours?


jsid-1263603083-306  Adam at Sat, 16 Jan 2010 00:51:23 +0000

"Large areas of Montana and Oregon come to mind. As I reminded quite a bit on here, we do have a choice. In fact, aren't there several here who espouse the very essence of the rugged individualist? So....how about it? Isn't that what our founding fathers had in mind?  "

Really, Mark, you're advocating that our having a *choice* to move out to areas where government won't bother us is an indication of our having *choices* in the areas we are now? So, what, our freedoms can be mapped against population growth and expansion of "civilization" in the United States over time?

"'Does this mean you are against "hate crime" legislation? The entire premise of "hate crimes" is that the quality of the thoughts make an otherwise identical crime somehow worse, is it not? '
 
Here is what I think about hate crimes. "


WOOSH. Oh, look, a pony.

"Sadly, I'm going to have to wait to donate money."

OH MY GOD HOW DO YOU MISS THE POINT THAT BADLY AFTER HE CLARIFIED?!??!
AGHHH.


jsid-1263609526-481  Adam at Sat, 16 Jan 2010 02:38:46 +0000

"So, what, our freedoms can be mapped against population growth and expansion of "civilization" in the United States over time?"

Actually, thinking on this, I'm wondering now if part of Billy's use of "cannibal culture" (partially paraphrasing - not sure if that exact word combination has been used by him in anything I've read) might refer to not just the expansion of "civilization" (HOA-mentality social groups), but to the general growing *hunger* of an enveloping, smothering collective.

This... belief of yours that you operate in some sort of free society while, somehow not in contradiction of said definition, constantly using the force of government to squash and oppress those around you is disgusting.

The only *rational* way individuals exist in a social framework is as freely interacting individuals, and yet you persist in identity through majority consensus. 


jsid-1263609679-919  DJ at Sat, 16 Jan 2010 02:41:46 +0000

"We do live in a country, though, that if you really wanted to, you could live off of the land in the middle of nowhere and no one would bother you for taxes."

You're a city boy, ain'tcha? I'm a hunter, and I was raised on a farm. You have no idea how funny this is. Yet again, you don't know what you don't know.

Lessee now ...

Well, there's meat. You can get meat by hunting. If you "live off the land", you eat meat almost daily, because hunting is damned hard work, so you better kill almost daily, because meat goes bad fairly quickly in the heat of all but the winter. Oh, wait ... you can hunt meat only during the hunting seasons. Meat is available only over a short period each year, even in Montana. Well, there's always rats, or carrion.

Geez, if only you could store the meat so you can eat it later ... Hey, you could freeze it! Oh, wait ... that requires electricity, or propane. That takes money. Gotta earn money. Gotta work to earn money. Earning money means income. Income means income taxes.

Lessee again ...

Well, there's veggies. You can get veggies by farming. If you "live off the land", you eat veggies almost daily because farming is damned hard work, so you better have something ripe almost daily, because veggies go bad fairly quickly in the heat of all but the winter.  Oh, wait ... you can grow veggies only during the growing seasons. They're ripe only over a short period each year, particularly in Montana.  Well, there's always grass, or weeds.

Geez, if only you could store the veggies so you can eat them later ...  Hey, you could freeze 'em! Or can 'em! Oh, wait ... that requires electricity, or propane, for heat. And canning jars and lids. That takes money. Gotta earn money. Gotta work to earn money. Earning money means income. Income means income taxes.

And you wanna be taken seriously ...


"Here is what I think about hate crimes. In a perfect world, if someone killed someone, they would be prosecuted. We don't live in a perfect world. We live in a biased one. If a gay man is killed, there are places in the country that are less likely to prosecute the murderer, right? So, if there is no hate crime legislation, how do you propose actually enforcing the law?"

The same way it would be enforced if I am murdered. Murder is against the law. I would prosecute the perpetrator for murder.

Have you ever considered that hate crime laws discriminate against ordinary people, that they are a violation of the 14th Amendment? Y'see, they deny equal protection under the laws, as they presumably are a greater deterrent to, by prescribing a greater punishment for, committing crimes against one variety of person as opposed to another variety, and so us ordinary people are not as protected by the law acting as a deterrent as others are.


jsid-1263610333-538  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 16 Jan 2010 02:52:13 +0000

Well, there are degrees of being criminal.... (etc.)

Well, yes. But once again, you're saying that it doesn't really matter if the government declares you a criminal because law enforcement is so slipshod. Stipulating that as so, for the sake of argument...

Back when being gay was literally illegal under sodomy laws, hardly anyone was ever actually hunted down by the law for being gay. Are you telling me that was okay, no big deal?

And once again, if that works for you, the only reason it does so requires you to regard sloppy law enforcement as a feature rather than a bug. Suddenly laws must not be enforced to the limit of human ability, lest the "it doesn't matter cos nobody enforces it" consequences actually start to happen. I honestly can't see why you'd regard that as acceptable, either.

If a gay man is killed, there are places in the country that are less likely to prosecute the murderer, right? So, if there is no hate crime legislation, how do you propose actually enforcing the law?

See above. Rather than expect, nay demand, equal enforcement of laws upon everyone, you'll band-aid deliberately unequal laws over the top of everyone, whether they were enforcing the law properly or not? Does this make clear to you why some people think you are coming out in favor of deliberate, planned corruption? How do I propose enforcing the law? You begin with the premise that equality under the law must be thrown under the bus immediately, and then have the nerve to ask anyone how they propose enforcing the law? Enforcing the law becomes automatically unjust, discriminatory and counterproductive under such conditions, does it not?

Excellent link, btw. One caveat that he points out, but doesn't stress and doesn't put quite this way: If whatever is done to strike a balance between innovation and cohesion isn't done voluntarily, the entire concept of representative government and personal liberty become not only meaningless, but a waste of resources put toward maintaining an illusion that no one believes in anyway, no? Any talk of "liberty", "freedom" or "rights" immediately raises bullshit flags, no?


jsid-1263610803-970  Adam at Sat, 16 Jan 2010 03:00:04 +0000

"If a gay man is killed, there are places in the country that are less likely to prosecute the murderer, right? So, if there is no hate crime legislation, how do you propose actually enforcing the law?" 

I just saw this, actually. This is funny. I'll try to explain the hilarity by summarizing your argument:

1) There exists a place, call it X.
2) In place X, crimes against victims (though how there is any other I don't understand) of people of characteristic Y are less likely to be pursued.
3) The perpetrators (presumably those of characteristic not(Y)) are less likely to be prosecuted for those crimes.

Yet passing another law for those *same* crimes with special punishments due to characteristic X involvement will increase the likelihood of the crimes being pursued? You're stating that the law enforcers are discriminating against characteristic X (for not pursuing or prosecuting as much), yet another law enforced by those *same* enforcers will somehow correct that problem?

It's not that your argument is just stupid and not addressing the actual point made (you chased that tangent hard), it's that you're implying the need for punishing those who commit crimes more in order to try and make the enforcers of those punishments less likely to shield them.

Wtf?


jsid-1263864151-64  Markadelphia at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 01:22:31 +0000

"And you wanna be taken seriously ... "
And you want to be a rugged individualist...tsk tsk ;)

"Murder is against the law. I would prosecute the perpetrator for murder."

Well, you would, DJ but I can guarantee you that several wouldn't if they victim were gay depending upon what part of the country you reside.

"Have you ever considered that hate crime laws discriminate against ordinary people, that they are a violation of the 14th Amendment?"

Yes, and your point is well taken. It may very well be a violation of this law. I have every confidence that if you were in charge murderers would all be treated equally. Sadly, you aren't. Instead, we have several law enforcement officials that are biased as well as juries that have bias as well. So, we have hate crimes. I'll admit it's not perfect and may even be a violation of the law. Do you have a better solution? One that addresses these biases? I'd be happy to throw out hate crime legislation in favor of your new solution. For you as well, Adam.

" hardly anyone was ever actually hunted down by the law for being gay. Are you telling me that was okay, no big deal?"

Watch the opening of the film "Milk." This statement is not quite accurate.

"How do I propose enforcing the law? You begin with the premise that equality under the law must be thrown under the bus immediately, and then have the nerve to ask anyone how they propose enforcing the law? Enforcing the law becomes automatically unjust, discriminatory and counterproductive under such conditions, does it not?"

Possibly. I'm simply wondering how you deal with the police officer or country prosecutor who hates gay people. If the federal government steps in and tells them how to do their job, that's a problem. Not prosecuting a murderer, that's a problem. Or giving him a pass because he killed a fag...that's a problem. I didn't mean to offend you. I'm just looking for an answer other than hate crime legislation and " Murder is against the law. I would prosecute the perpetrator for murder." As I have said several times on here, life is gray. There is not a simple answer but I am interested in how you would get around human bias. This speaks to Adam's points as well. If not a law by the federal government, what then is the solution?


As for the link, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have been talking about it on my blog for the last week and there have been some good discussions. Feel free to join in.


jsid-1263869958-672  Adam at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 02:59:18 +0000

" This speaks to Adam's points as well. If not a law by the federal government, what then is the solution?"

Telling me the world isn't black and white does not speak to my points. The statements you made that I quoted and argued against were fucking ridiculous and moronic. Cut the "you're all narrow-minded and I'm trying to take a broad view" bullshit, address the points at hand, and stop evading the understanding of basic fucking English

"I have every confidence that if you were in charge murderers would all be treated equally. Sadly, you aren't."

The right people aren't in charge. Of course.

" Do you have a better solution? One that addresses these biases? I'd be happy to throw out hate crime legislation in favor of your new solution. For you as well, Adam."

You're seriously asking if I have a better solution to addressing bias in the enforcement of law than passing two laws to be enforced by that same arm? The passive way is to legislate, vote, or otherwise move to get rid of those corrupt individuals already refusing to act on the legislation in place. The somewhat less passive way is to shoot them. I don't know what I find more annoying: your usual evasiveness (in this case, make incredibly stupid statements, and then cry, "well what should we do?!"), or the fact that you still implicitly maintain that passing two laws to effectively do the same thing will somehow be effective. The entire issue you describe is not with the offenders of the law, but with the enforcers. When those who are entrusted with the use of force misuse it, the only solution is to remove those same people. 

If a student in one of your coworker's classes was caught cheating, and the coworker openly allowed this, the solution is not to make the punishment for cheating extra bad.

Yet, when this is pointed out, you cry, "The world isn't just black and white! What would you do about my coworkers letting students cheat?!"

You want my answer? I gave it. Since you have trouble thinking and connecting basic dots, I'll even do it for the scenario above - I'd fire your godamn coworkers. If passive means didn't work, I'd fire at your coworker. Simple enough?


jsid-1263871613-50  Markadelphia at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 03:26:53 +0000

But it still doesn't answer the broader issue of hate crimes. The fact is, Adam, that these laws were passed for a reason: crimes were being committed against certain groups of people because of a certain ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. These same crimes weren't being prosecuted to the full extent they should because of these individual's ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. So, hate crime legislation was passed. You say those laws aren't fair either. Both you and DJ do have a point regarding the 14th amendment so let's do away with them. They're gone.

Now we live in a world with no hate crimes. Let's say we have a state that is filled with elected officials that hate fags. And potential jurors as well. If crimes are committed against these people and the law isn't followed--exactly--because of this bias, are they simply fucked until the next election? Or maybe not even then? What about their rights under the law? Maybe the fags should just move...

I never said I had the answer, Adam. I'm wondering if you do. I guess I'm also wondering if you want to continue to spew hyper vitriol at me (no prob btw) or read the link I provided above regarding the balance of innovation and social cohesion as it relates to the Citigroup plutonomy document, our economy, and our future.


jsid-1263871937-503  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 03:32:17 +0000

I'm simply wondering how you deal with the police officer or country prosecutor who hates gay people.

Well my usual solution is to begin with seeing what existing laws have to say. Your scenario is that someone refuses to arrest or prosecute a murderer because the victim was gay. To be fair, this beginning of a solution could not have happened before the "information age", and is only now beginning to become possible. But the obvious answer here is that the above scenario constitutes obstruction of justice, accessory to murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. Note that these are not state crimes, these are federal crimes, meaning the FBI has jurisdiction. Note also that this addresses Adam's point, that you aren't counting on an already unreliable enforcement agency to enforce a second law when they already failed to enforce the first.

In the 50s in Alabama, it wouldn't have mattered. Now? In the age of the internet and LEO information sharing? I think you could get as much benefit, possibly more, by making it clear that such actions will be prosecuted as such, and that those convicted will go into the general population at the prison. Think the prospect of being an ex-Sheriff in the general prison population wouldn't make anyone think twice?


jsid-1263909864-879  Adam at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 14:04:24 +0000

"But it still doesn't answer the broader issue of hate crimes. The fact is, Adam, that these laws were passed for a reason: crimes were being committed against certain groups of people because of a certain ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. These same crimes weren't being prosecuted to the full extent they should because of these individual's ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation."

Which, ONCE AGAIN, means that these laws were passed to address the WRONG ISSUE.

Deliberately ignoring certain points that people have made to you is your specialty, yes. But this is the *third* time I've dealt with the *same* nonsense of yours. So, in response to your most recent post... see previous posts. Knock yourself out with your recursive fuckheadedness.


jsid-1263916606-738  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 15:56:46 +0000

These same crimes weren't being prosecuted to the full extent they should because of these individual's ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but... isn't the short version of what you're saying that since some gays aren't getting equal justice before the law, rather than address ways in which to demand and require equal justice and equal enforcement, we should pitch the entire concept of equal justice out the window and just focus on making sure gays are made happy enough to vote for the guys who changed the law? Well, that idea will certainly cut down on cronyism and corruption, now won't it?

And this is what you consider a solution? It sounds like permitting, nay demanding, despotism to me. The fact that the new despot now favors a group that was being shafted before does not change that in the slightest, does it? Once again, you have not only declared sloppy law enforcement to be a feature, you have declared equality of law and law enforcement to be a bug, that must be done away with at once.


jsid-1263917485-7  DJ at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 16:11:25 +0000

"And you want to be a rugged individualist...tsk tsk"

I am a rugged individualist.

Yet again, you miss the point as if such were your only skill.

"But it still doesn't answer the broader issue of hate crimes."

Teacher boy, "hate crimes" are just "crimes". The only weapon we have to deter crimes, even crimes committed out of hate, is just that, deterrence. The principle is quite simple, even for your tiny mind: If it doesn't cost, then it doesn't deter. Prosecution of offenders is not a deterrent if the prosecutor won't prosecute offenders. The solution for that problem is not to increase the penalty for the crimes, the solution is the replace the prosecutor with one who will prosecute.

"I never said I had the answer, Adam."

All you have is (apparently) endless repetition of the question. But, golly, don't you sound totally all like, suffistikated, and stuff.

"The right people aren't in charge. Of course."

Thanks, Adam. You beat me to it.


jsid-1263935851-920  Markadelphia at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 21:17:31 +0000

But the obvious answer here is that the above scenario constitutes obstruction of justice, accessory to murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. Note that these are not state crimes, these are federal crimes, meaning the FBI has jurisdiction.


Now? In the age of the internet and LEO information sharing?

Given these points, then I would say, yes, let's do away with hate crimes. Great points, GOF! You have convinced me. The question now becomes are there people in federal law enforcement that would actually do their jobs? One starting point would be to legalize all drugs which would free up a large amount of personnel. Credit where it's due, though...this was Willaim F Buckely's idea and a damned fine one...


Knock yourself out with your recursive fuckheadedness.
Ah, well..I guess I don't win for Miss Congeniality :*

Still interested in your thoughts on the Manzi article, Adam. And you as well, DJ.

DJ, here's what I don't get. You say you are a rugged individualist. OK, you are. But in your last post above you list off a series of situations which all lead back to depending on services regulated by the government. Doesn't that limit your freedom? If so, isn't that a form of....oh....I just can't say it ;)


jsid-1263939943-764  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 22:25:50 +0000

Doesn't that limit your freedom? If so, isn't that a form of....oh....I just can't say it.

Don't confuse "individualism" with advocating anarchy.


jsid-1263940709-292  Adam at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 22:38:29 +0000

"Still interested in your thoughts on the Manzi article, Adam."

Still not interested in reading it. You continue to conflate my views with "conservatism" and have no idea of my convictions or why I hold them. Moreover, your continued ignorance and deliberate stupidity in the face of all argument, facts, information, and basic tenets of logic does not exactly stir in me a need to share my thoughts with you.

You want my view on economics, regulation, and freedom? Summed up in five words: "Leave me the fuck alone." 


jsid-1263944708-231  DJ at Tue, 19 Jan 2010 23:45:08 +0000

"Ah, well..I guess I don't win for Miss Congeniality"

Nor for honesty, nor intelligence, nor ...

"Still interested in your thoughts on the Manzi article, Adam. And you as well, DJ."

You confuse me with someone who gives a shit.

I have told you for more than two years that you just might have something to say that is worth reading, but it isn't worth wading through the manure you submerge it in to find out. I have also told you that your thoughts on almost any subject, politics in particular, don't interest me. As Adam has so aptly characterized it, your recursive fuckheadedness is simply not worth dealing with.

I continue to poke holes in your ego because, as Trapper John so aptly put it, "You invite abuse. It would be impolite not to accept it."

"DJ, here's what I don't get. You say you are a rugged individualist. OK, you are. But in your last post above you list off a series of situations which all lead back to depending on services regulated by the government. Doesn't that limit your freedom? If so, isn't that a form of....oh....I just can't say it"

I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about, but then likely you don't either.


jsid-1263948103-581  Markadelphia at Wed, 20 Jan 2010 00:41:43 +0000

Well, I guess I'm wondering if you think our government restricts our freedom and, if so, isn't that a form of slavery?

Funny you bring up MASH..one of my favorite shows...Hawkeye Pierce has always been one of my mythical heroes. Now, which party do you think currently has more in common with Franks Burns and Colonel Flagg?


jsid-1263956315-552  DJ at Wed, 20 Jan 2010 02:58:35 +0000

Me: "I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about, but then likely you don't either."

Marxalittleboy: "Well, I guess I'm wondering ..."

Yup, I was right, you don't know what you're talking about either.

You also don't understand the simple statement, "You confuse me with someone who gives a shit."

There are grownups here, little boy. You aren't up to it, and nobody cares, not even you.


jsid-1263994562-563  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 20 Jan 2010 13:36:02 +0000

All government restricts freedom, by definition. Any rule of any kind in any circumstances restricts your freedom.

The point of "self-government" is to only restrict your freedom to use force and fraud against those around you, while leaving you free to do as you will otherwise. That's what I meant when I said don't confuse individualism with advocating anarchy.


jsid-1264091371-96  Russell at Thu, 21 Jan 2010 16:29:31 +0000

"
XLVI
The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects, in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate. And therefore it was a good answer that was made by one who, when they showed him hanging in a temple a picture of those who had paid their vows as having escaped shipwreck, and would have him say whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods — "Aye," asked he again, "but where are they painted that were drowned after their vows?" And such is the way of all superstition, whether in astrology, dreams, omens, divine judgments, or the like; wherein men, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happen much oftener, neglect and pass them by. But with far more subtlety does this mischief insinuate itself into philosophy and the sciences; in which the first conclusion colors and brings into conformity with itself all that come after, though far sounder and better. Besides, independently of that delight and vanity which I have described, it is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human intellect to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives; whereas it ought properly to hold itself indifferently disposed toward both alike. Indeed, in the establishment of any true axiom, the negative instance is the more forcible of the two.
XLVII
The human understanding is moved by those things most which strike and enter the mind simultaneously and suddenly, and so fill the imagination; and then it feigns and supposes all other things to be somehow, though it cannot see how, similar to those few things by which it is surrounded. But for that going to and fro to remote and heterogeneous instances by which axioms are tried as in the fire, the intellect is altogether slow and unfit, unless it be forced thereto by severe laws and overruling authority."

Francis Bacon, The New Organon.


jsid-1264094508-297  Russell at Thu, 21 Jan 2010 17:21:48 +0000

"
Perhaps the best illustration of the current misconceptions of the individualism of Adam Smith and his group is the common belief that they have invented the bogey of the "economic man" and that their conclusions are vitiated by their assumption of a strictly rational behavior or generally by a false rationalistic psychology. They were, of course, very far from assuming anything of the kind. It would be nearer the truth to say that in their view man was by nature lazy and indolent, improvident and wasteful, and that it was only by the force of circumstances that he could be made to behave economically or carefully to adjust his means to his ends. But even this would be unjust to the very complex and realistic view which these men took of human nature. Since it has become fashionable to deride Smith and his contemporaries for their supposedly erroneous psychology, I may perhaps venture the opinion that for all practical purposes we can still learn more about the behavior of men from the Wealth of Nations than from most of the more pretentious modern treatises on "social psychology."
However that may be, the main point about which there can be little doubt is that Smith's chief concern was not so much with what man might occasionally achieve when he was at his best but that he should have as little opportunity as possible to do harm when he was at his worst. It would scarcely be too much to claim that the main merit of the individualism which he and his contemporaries advocated is that it is a system under which bad men can do least harm. It is a social system which does not depend for its functioning on our finding good men for running it, or on all men becoming better than they now are, but which makes use of men in all their given variety and complexity, sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes intelligent and more often stupid. Their aim was a system under which it should be possible to grant freedom to all, instead of restricting it, as their French contemporaries wish, to 'the good and wise.'"

-- Friedrich A. Hayek

jsid-1264192489-82  khbaker at Fri, 22 Jan 2010 20:34:49 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264094508-297

Oh, Russell, I am SO going to use that quote in my next Überpost! :)

jsid-1264196610-817  Russell at Fri, 22 Jan 2010 21:43:30 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264192489-82

Hayek is eminently quotable!


jsid-1264109900-801  Markadelphia at Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:38:20 +0000

Now that Russell has steered us back on point, I was just sent this today and wondered what you all thought.

Actually, “naive optimism about business is dangerous. In a political arena, business power is used to influence politicians primarily with the goal of to creating barriers to competition or even eliminating competition in markets. This has the effect of retarding many of the benefits of having a free market system. For a competitive free market to flourish what is needed is a government that is powerful enough to resist the pressure of business power so that it can be the voice of the people.

What has really been hurting the US economy for a long time is that businesses have found it more profitable to use their influence over politicians to create regulation and conditions favorable to their interests than to innovate and to compete. The lack of competitive forces at work in health care (really, health care insurance) is one of the more egregious examples of this.

With the recent reversal of Federal campaign finance laws we can only expect to see more of this sort of thing.


jsid-1264111157-510  Adam at Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:59:17 +0000

...Mark, do you even know what a free market is?


jsid-1264113530-493  Russell at Thu, 21 Jan 2010 22:38:50 +0000

Look! In the sky! That was the point that just sailed on by.

Ah well.


jsid-1264115751-434  Markadelphia at Thu, 21 Jan 2010 23:15:51 +0000

Do you, Adam? I suspect that we each have different versions. Cue the part where you stomp your feet and scream, "Words can only have one meaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Russell, I think the two are very much related. Your Hayek quote speaks to the issue of the balance of innovation and social cohesion. If the government interferes in the free market in order to strengthen cohesion, innovation suffers. And, as Hayek states, man will not be forced by his circumstances to "carefully to adjust his means to his ends." The state provides for him. 

But what happens when private industry uses the government to create barriers or elminate competition? Or create regulation? That is the point of TH...the author of the above quote.


jsid-1264169254-381  Adam at Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:07:34 +0000

"Do you, Adam? I suspect that we each have different versions. Cue the part where you stomp your feet and scream, 'Words can only have one meaning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'"

*Snort*

No, Mark, I've never claimed words have single definitions or meetings. Having spent two weeks when I was sixteen copying the contents of a five-inch thick dictionary to paper using a pen, I can say with some certainty that there are very few words with single definitions or meanings. Those that do are usually followed with additional context for clarification.

What I do, and I think most of us continue here to do, insist on is that words and terms do have meanings, while you clearly treat them as mutable placeholders for whatever warped terminology enters your head. You change the definitions of words as you are proved to misuse them. You throw about any term you've read that you think could even possibly bring some air of sophistication to the drunken meanderings you call critical thought. 

That, however, is beside the point. The definition of a "free market" is not the concatenation of the meaning of its two component words. Rather, it's a well-understood (maybe not with your ilk) concept and idea entailing a market which is not controlled and, by extension, experiences little to no regulation. You trying to use the term to describe anything, particularly to argue against libertarian, conservative, objectivist, minarchist, or other ideologies, reminds me of a conversation I once had with a friend about tiramisu. We were talking about where we'd found good examples, and he kept going on about how they never cook the meat right or how cooks always use the wrong kind of noodles. What should become readily apparent is that he clearly wasn't talking about tiramisu. He had an idea of something in his head, conflated the definitions, and argued from that confused perspective. Mark, that's you in a nutshell.
You've redefined every word, term, phrase, or other point of contention (but only ever once it's become apparent that you've received your daily intellectual bitch-slapping) here. I was directed to a post on your blog on the use of corporate force where you apparently view force as anything that makes you uncomfortable.
The fact is that there is no alternative embodiment of economic freedom to a free market. History has shown us time and time again that social and economic freedoms walk very much hand-in-hand, and that the growth, stability, and health of a market is almost exactly inversely proportional to the amount of government regulation and meddling.
[continued]


jsid-1264169262-602  Adam at Fri, 22 Jan 2010 14:07:49 +0000

Yet you, in your typically astounding, dig-through-other-planets stupidity, continue to try and pretend that a corporation is somehow capable of "gaming the system" (curious that only your ilk [those who believe in a necessity for regulation] use terminology which suggests a confusion between basic economic principles and a slot machine). You continue to point to cases of entities making use of government force, either through tort system or lobbying for power. You continue to assert that power belongs to these huge, faceless corporations while at the same time acknowledging their use of lobbying, bribery, etc. I can't imagine what bizarre, twisted train of thought led you to think that having to appeal, bribe, and beg to someone, even with the use of copious amounts of money, was an indication of power over that person. Yet you continue to believe it.
The premise of a "free market" is not an idealized-but-failed-in-implementation one like communism. It is not a victim of the True Scottsman Fallacy. Without fail, the closer any group ever gets to such a market, the faster it grows and the more quickly a standard of living goes up. How many "failed ideologies" can you say that about?
Moreover, even if such a market was a failure, it's still the only one fundamentally embodyingentirely voluntarily participationentirely voluntary trade, and absolutely and above all else employing individual freedom to its greatest extent. Yet you continue with your conflated ideas of "good capitalism" and "bad capitalism" (definition still pending, apparently, as you've still supplied nothing but the absolute most vague idea and hypothetical examples), despite missing that capitalism is the greatest economic system in the entire history of the universe while not even being a system. Despite an avalanche of evidence that should sway any pragmatist to support it and fundamental characteristics of freedom which should sway any man of principle, you continue to shit on the only premise of a market that has ever truly deserved you worship.
You shouldn't wonder why we continue to tell you to go fuck yourself, but your blatant ignorance demands it, yet again.
Go. Fuck. Yourself.


jsid-1264199365-896  Markadelphia at Fri, 22 Jan 2010 22:29:36 +0000

Well, now that Adam appears to be done with me...anyone else? Like I said, I'll hang around this thread for as long as it takes.


jsid-1264204193-370  DJ at Fri, 22 Jan 2010 23:49:53 +0000

"Like I said, I'll hang around this thread for as long as it takes."

As long as it takes for what? Have you no shame or self respect at all?


jsid-1264205214-588  Russell at Sat, 23 Jan 2010 00:06:54 +0000

I'm amused that Marxy acts like this is a good thing.

Adam: "...Mark, do you even know what a free market is?"

No.

Marxky: "That is the point of TH...the author of the above quote."

No.

"It is a social system which does not depend for its functioning on our finding good men for running it, or on all men becoming better than they now are, but which makes use of men in all their given variety and complexity, sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes intelligent and more often stupid. Their aim was a system under which it should be possible to grant freedom to all, instead of restricting it, as their French contemporaries wish, to 'the good and wise.'"

Only someone as shockingly dense as Marxy can proclaim that the "right people" just need to be in charge and then turn around and try to use Hayek as a support to his mindless drivel.

DJ: "Have you no shame or self respect at all?"

Given his actions here in Kevin's lenient parlor, I have to assume that would be 'no' to at least the former. As for the latter, he's certainly earned all the respect I currently give him.


jsid-1264269437-564  Markadelphia at Sat, 23 Jan 2010 17:57:17 +0000

As long as it takes for what? Have you no shame or self respect at all?

In the past, I have been accused of running away from threads. Now I have no shame or self respect? Hmmm...

I have put my thoughts and opinions out here backed up by facts and links. As much as possible, I have stuck to the central issue of this thread which was the economic situation in this country. I have offered a varity of insight that knows no bias...the Manzi link which I am certain none of you have read save GOF is an example of this fact.

So, let's try this again...can we, as a country, have a system that strikes a balance between innovation and social cohesion? If not, why not and what is your solution to the issue of social cohesion that will most assuredly erode in a truly free market?


jsid-1264275819-502  DJ at Sat, 23 Jan 2010 19:43:41 +0000

"which I am certain none of you have read"

Yet again, you jump to conclusions. You know no such thing. I read it, but I have no desire whatever to even attempt to discuss it with you.

You are nothing but a troll.  You have nothing to offer but endless, circular noise for the sake of noise. I am not interested.

Me: "As long as it takes for what? Have you no shame or self respect at all?

Marxatroll:  "In the past, I have been accused of running away from threads. Now I have no shame or self respect? Hmmm..."

Yet again, you run away from straight answers to two straight questions.

Now, try again. You say you'll be here for "as long as it takes." As long as it takes for what?

And again. Have you no shame or self respect at all?


jsid-1264281518-640  Markadelphia at Sat, 23 Jan 2010 21:18:38 +0000

I read it, but I have no desire whatever to even attempt to discuss it with you. 

This would be part of the answer to "as long as it takes." I'd like to see if you can understand the flaws in your ideology, DJ. I certainly understand mine. In fact, the Manzi article illustrates them quite nicely.

If you are done with me in this thread, just say so. I have no shame and plenty of self respect to keep going, dude.


jsid-1264284289-88  Adam at Sat, 23 Jan 2010 22:04:49 +0000

"I'd like to see if you can understand the flaws in your ideology, DJ. I certainly understand mine"

Would someone please explain to me what kind of nutjob can hold an ideology with known flaws in it? Either Marky does not understand what an accepted ideology actually is (although, I seem to recall him saying something along the lines that Obama was a man of principle because he wasn't rigid in his principles [adjusted them pragmatically]...) or he's got some serious mental issues.


jsid-1264287444-988  DJ at Sat, 23 Jan 2010 22:57:25 +0000

"I'd like to see if you can understand the flaws in your ideology, DJ."

Horseshit. I've admitted the flaws in what I think, many times.



"I certainly understand mine."

You've been shown the flaws in your ideology for nearly three years, liar boy. You have never admitted understanding them. You cannot admit significant error, you've never denied it, and you don't fool anyone.


"If you are done with me in this thread, just say so."

I've been done with you for years. You won't improve and you won't go away.

Try taking Adam's advice. Use something long, sharp, and barbed.


jsid-1264295553-37  Markadelphia at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 01:12:33 +0000

Would someone please explain to me what kind of nutjob can hold an ideology with known flaws in it?

Well, classic liberalism is a central ideological tenet of capitalism and several here have admitted that capitalism does have its flaws. I think capitalism is, in fact, the best system on the planet and I know it has flaws. So I guess that makes me an idiot then, hmm?


jsid-1264299687-93  Russell at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 02:21:27 +0000

DJ: I think he is trying to make this his "AttaBoy" thread by sticking it out. Never mind the 3 years of "AwShit".


jsid-1264300589-807  DJ at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 02:36:29 +0000

"So I guess that makes me an idiot then, hmm?"

No, what makes you an idiot is your behavior.


jsid-1264301180-824  DJ at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 02:46:20 +0000

"DJ: I think he is trying to make this his "AttaBoy" thread by sticking it out. Never mind the 3 years of "AwShit""

Could be, Russell. But I think it is just another example, and a particularly strident one at that, of his Standard Response #6, which can be found at

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/08/standard-responses-of-markadelphia.html

Yet again, he deliberately misses the point, which is that he repeatedly runs away from questions, from requests that he explain his blitherings in plain English, and from the plain and simple demonstration that his blitherings are factually incorrect and/or illogically reasoned.  He lays on the straw man that we complain about his running away from threads, and so, by golly, he'll fix us; he's just gonna stay here until he gets permission to go away.

Yet again, he doesn't think through the consequences of his words.  He wants permission to go away, but we've been telling him to go away for years.  He fools no one.


jsid-1264306614-304  Adam at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 04:16:54 +0000

"Well, classic liberalism is a central ideological tenet of capitalism"

There is that conflation of meanings again. Sigh.
Would that be "good capitalism" or "bad capitalism"?


jsid-1264341604-412  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 14:00:04 +0000

And since when does classic liberalism have anything in common with modern "liberalism"?


jsid-1264346021-926  Adam at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 15:13:41 +0000

"And since when does classic liberalism have anything in common with modern "liberalism"?"

I considered noting that, but, seeing as Mark can't decide from day to day as to the existence of modern liberalism in the U.S., I didn't see the point. As usual, terms and phrases are whatever he wants them to mean whenever he uses them. Or, equally often, whatever he wants them to mean after he's been demonstrated to not being using them correctly in their original context.

Broaching this, finally:

"I have no shame..."

...we know


jsid-1264348422-522  DJ at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 15:53:42 +0000

"As usual, terms and phrases are whatever he wants them to mean whenever he uses them."

Or, equally often, terms and phrases mean whatever he wants them to mean whenever someone else uses them.


jsid-1264348559-577  DJ at Sun, 24 Jan 2010 15:55:59 +0000

"I have no shame and plenty of self respect to keep going, dude."

And this is what brands you a troll.


jsid-1264440707-55  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 25 Jan 2010 17:31:47 +0000

You consider "criminalizing refusal to support your agenda" an exaggeration, and say you can "live off the grid", comparing it to my statement that you can heat your home with wood rather than gas if you wish.

Let's put that in perspective, shall we?

1) I know a programmer living in Missouri who heats his home with wood. Yes, it's a little more expensive, but it's not the Amish lifestyle you are apparently picturing in your head. It's an efficient, modern central heating system, with the advantage that there's no such thing as running out of hot water.

2) Moreover, he doesn't have to wonder if he's going to be arrested for refusing to buy gas.

3) A person "living off the grid" is, in a practical sense, denied access to the entirety of the banking system, because at any time any account can be frozen for collection of back taxes, and the paper trail can lead the IRS to his house. Therefore he can't buy a home or a new car. He has to be very cautious about how he drives because what would be a ticket for a broken taillight for anyone else can easily become federal prison for tax evasion for him. If he wants to have any "savings", he'd better put it into something tangible and store it in his home, since a bank account is an invitation to arrest. He can't really make any kind of investment of any sort, including the kinds people make to provide for their kids' future or their own old age.

And you consider this an acceptable alternative to mandatory support for the National Endowment for the Arts, do ya? They're funded by tax money, therefore those are your only two options.


jsid-1264452399-976  Markadelphia at Mon, 25 Jan 2010 20:46:48 +0000

Actually, there are many choices when one thinks about it. If you don't like the tax system in this country, leave. I suspect, though, that many other countries have higher taxes and that might not be an option. Another option is to get involved politically and change the system. I'm not a fan of the tea baggers but at least they are putting their time where their mouth is and clearly having an effect on elections.Who knows what might happen?

Sorry to hear that you don't like the NEA. I'm sure there are many who don't like supporting the DoD. Yet, their tax dollars are used by the people we elect to be representative of us...the people. I don't think one dime should go to some ass hat on Wall Street and I let my Congressmen know about it.


jsid-1264454565-985  Adam at Mon, 25 Jan 2010 21:22:46 +0000

"If you don't like the tax system in this country, leave."

That's not an option. "Pay it, get out, or we'll arrest or shoot you" is an ultimatum.

"Another option is to get involved politically and change the system."

Ah, yes, the "if you don't vote, don't bitch" statement. Except that, considering you're dealing with roves and roves of Markadelphia clones, who feel that they are entitled to the use of your money (not to mention all of the "we need funding for just this one little thing!" types), this is more of the "if you don't expend every ounce of possible energy, spend every spare dollar, and fight like all hell to change the inevitable, don't bitch" statement.

"Yet, their tax dollars are used by the people we elect to be representative of us...the people"

No, the people you elect, Mark. You're assuming our implicit support of your people precisely because we have not left or shot them.

So, tell me, Mark, what is the amount of required effort in combating the growth in tax rate and the usage of that tax money (cute how you imply that we accept that taxation in itself is just, and that we're only complaining about its use) before it's not longer consider an option?

We're trying to live our lives without your and your ilk's interference. Telling us that we have the "option" to leave is laughable.

"I don't think one dime should go to some ass hat on Wall Street and I let my Congressmen know about it."

Aren't you the same guy that's been claiming on and on that the "ass hat on Wall Street" had power over those Cognressmen?

If you were right, and corporations (specific ones or just all of them somehow - you're never able to articulate) did have control over the political body, please explain to me why leaving and voting would be options.


jsid-1264459666-124  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 25 Jan 2010 22:47:46 +0000

Gotcha. Lots of choices. Armed robbery, exile or being held hostage. Or waste your life in the endless struggle against the millions who, like you, think this is no big deal as long as it supports what you already agree with.


Sweet.

And yet for a supplier of explosive gas under pressure to require a safety inspection to keep you from blowing up the entire fucking neighborhood is government intrusiveness and an unacceptable use of force.

'Nuff said.

P.S. I don't dislike the NEA. I dislike the fact that I am required by law to give it a higher priority than buying food or paying the rent. If my budget goes to hell, I can cut back on my groceries, but I don't get to cut back on my taxes. At least, not unless I decide to be a Democrat politician like Tim Geithner or Charles Rangel.


jsid-1264459873-159  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 25 Jan 2010 22:51:13 +0000

Since you consider the comparison with the DoD an equivalent one, that implies that you consider support of the arts as on a par with defense against invasion. Or for that matter, equivalent to the importance of the Haitian rescue effort, which the US Navy is currently heavily involved in.

Ah, priorities.


jsid-1264460498-722  Markadelphia at Mon, 25 Jan 2010 23:01:38 +0000

Adam, where did you get the idea that I think I'm entitled to your money?

We're trying to live our lives without your and your ilk's interference.

What strikes me as hilarious about this statement is the fact that there is no doubt in my mind that you take for granted...every day...the things that the government does provide. For example, when I was filling up my gas tank the other day, I noticed that the tanks are inspected on a regular basis by the state of Minnesota. Is this something that you deem to be "interfering?"

"what is the amount of required effort in combating the growth in tax rate and the usage of that tax money"

To begin with, this question contains a factual error. The marginal tax rate has steadily gone down over the years an has held steady in the last six years.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

So there has been no "growth." As far as the whole discussion regarding options, I'm confused. I have been told (several times, in fact) that we live in a free country and no one is coercing us to do anything. In fact, I was assured repeatedly that we are in no way slaves and have the freedom to do what we want. So are we or aren't we?


please explain to me why leaving and voting would be options.

If you don't like the way our society is poltically organized, what entity is preventing you from leaving? It's not just the simple act of voting. If you don't like the system, get involved and change it. The Tea Baggers are and they are having an effect. Don't you think they have seen some early success? I don't agree with them but I think it's great.

That being said, the recent SCOTUS decision proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, how corporations really do run this country.


jsid-1264472067-714  Adam at Tue, 26 Jan 2010 02:14:27 +0000

" I noticed that the tanks are inspected on a regular basis by the state of Minnesota. Is this something that you deem to be 'interfering?'"

Yes. A private company could and would make a profit doing inspections and putting its name in front of those tanks which it bases its reputation on the accuracy and safety of. Next question.

"What strikes me as hilarious about this statement is the fact that there is no doubt in my mind that you take for granted...every day...the things that the government does provide."

Well, "no doubt in your mind" doesn't mean much. You do not know what I do and do not take for granted. You could, y'know, ask, but seeing as you're so good at divining things by pulling them out of your ass, I'll leave you to that.

"To begin with, this question contains a factual error. The marginal tax rate has steadily gone down over the years an has held steady in the last six years."

Ah, well, fucking fantastic, then. Six years of declination versus one hundred and fifty of growth from zero to where it stands now. I pay more in taxes than I do in rent. I pay more for bullshit I don't care about and stand absolutely against than I do feeding myself. So, congratulations, Mark. You began with a question, but otherwise completely avoided it.

"As far as the whole discussion regarding options, I'm confused. I have been told (several times, in fact) that we live in a free country and no one is coercing us to do anything. In fact, I was assured repeatedly that we are in no way slaves and have the freedom to do what we want. So are we or aren't we?  "

No, you stupid, cockmongering motherfucker. Go back and read what we have written and what we wrote it in response to and about. You know, context is an important thing. You assert that slavery is working at a job. You're still maintaining that leaving to avoid being arrested or shot for not fucking a unicorn to change a growing system is an option.

"If you don't like the way our society is poltically organized, what entity is preventing you from leaving? It's not just the simple act of voting. If you don't like the system, get involved and change it. The Tea Baggers are and they are having an effect. Don't you think they have seen some early success? I don't agree with them but I think it's great. "

Once again, leaving is not an option.

I asked you, point blank, so I'll repeat it ("correcting" for your nonsensical evasion):

What is the amount of required effort in combating this bullshit before combating it, in and of itself, is no longer an option to you? What level of involvement is required?

If we have 9 men in a room and 1 woman, what level of effort is required her in trying to counteract their 9 votes to rape her before you admit that the vote, in and of itself, does not make the action just?

Then I ask you this:

 Why the FUCK do I have to, Mark? Why do I have to spend my time, effort, and money to keep you motherfuckers from taking it from me?  


[continued]


jsid-1264472073-289  Adam at Tue, 26 Jan 2010 02:14:33 +0000


"That being said, the recent SCOTUS decision proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, how corporations really do run this country."

 

Except that, you know, that legal body had to make a decision and it wasn't foregone, establishing, in and of itself, the directionality of control. But we've had this discussion. We've beaten it into your head over and over.

 

I saved this for last:

 

"Adam, where did you get the idea that I think I'm entitled to your money?"

 

BECAUSE YOU KEEP VOTING FOR AND DEFENDING THE THEFT OF IT, YOU STUPID WHORE.

 

Because you continue to defend the acts of groups that actively campaign and work to take money out of my pocket and put it for causes that you either explicitly support or, by supporting such groups, implicitly support.

 

Because you continue to argue against anyone who takes issue with that. 

 

Because you are here arguing that if I don't like being forced to pay for the bullshit you support on threat of imprisonment or death I can leave

 

Show me who the fuck else here I can point at for which those qualifications apply.


jsid-1264511025-608  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 26 Jan 2010 13:03:45 +0000

Adam, where did you get the idea that I think I'm entitled to your money?

Perhaps not you specifically, but you've made it quite plain that you consider anyone poor who wants to buy a house as entitled to other peoples' money. You've made it plain that you consider anyone who doesn't have full comprehensive health coverage as entitled to other peoples' money. Your support of Obama suggests that you think UAW workers employed by GM and Chrysler are entitled to other peoples' money.

For that matter... should government get out of the education business? It's nearly impossible to fire a teacher at a public school (including state funded colleges), no matter how incompetent or even dangerous they are, if they're senior enough. It's as tough as firing someone from the post office, for precisely the same reasons. And much tougher than firing anyone from pretty much any job in the private sector (Damn that corporate immunity to the needs of the people).

So... since you think people should be forced to pay taxes to support your job, and you are apparently okay with the system that demonizes any expectation or demand of competence in that job (not saying you aren't competent, just pointing out that if you aren't, your customers [students and their parents] have no recourse to stop paying you for it).... yeah, I'd say it's reasonable to say you think you're entitled to other peoples' money.

Oh I'm sorry, I forgot, they do have recourse. They can leave the country or "live off the grid" and thus lose any chance to build a better life for those same children. That makes it all better I guess.


jsid-1264526031-970  Russell at Tue, 26 Jan 2010 17:13:52 +0000

"Adam, where did you get the idea that I think I'm entitled to your money? "

Says the public school teacher who supports the majority of Obama's government spending schemes...

And I meant to comment on something earlier.

Marxy: " And, as Hayek states, man will not be forced by his circumstances to 'carefully to adjust his means to his ends.' The state provides for him.

This is so wrong that I'm not sure where to start. Should I tell of the history of Hayek and how he was a follower of Mises and a very influential member of the Austrian School of economics? Or how his brilliant "Road to Serfdom" encapsulates his critique of socialism and collectivism? How Solzhenitsyn, the Russian dissident, was impressed that Hayek could see the effects of socialism without living under such a system? Or that Hayek's work in price signals lead to a solid working solution to the economic calculation problem? That the quote I used was his simplification of Adam Smith and his group's concept of man, and then Hayek in the same quote admitted that this was a simplification? Should I point out that Hayek, as well as the entire Austrian School, fought against the idea of "the state provid[ing] for him"?

And at this point I'm not sure what is more appalling, your abysmal reading comprehension skills, your ignorance of history, or your lack of curiosity as to who I was quoting and why.


jsid-1264530531-154  DJ at Tue, 26 Jan 2010 18:28:51 +0000

"And at this point I'm not sure what is more appalling, your abysmal reading comprehension skills, your ignorance of history, or your lack of curiosity as to who I was quoting and why."

Not that it matters, really. His (ahem) thoughts go no deeper than the retort of the moment.


jsid-1264608135-91  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:02:18 +0000

"If you don't like the way our society is poltically organized, what entity is preventing you from leaving?"

How do you think this country was created? By people leaving the kind of crap you're trying to foist on us now!

Here's what's preventing US from leaving: There is no other place to go. Every other place in this world is closer to your ideal political system than we are.

On the other hand, there are plenty of other countries which are implementing exactly the kind of policies you espouse. What entity is preventing YOU from going there?

Or to paraphrase one of my favorite exchanges of all time:

Q: "Why don't all of you conservative nuts go off and start your own country?"

A: "We did. Who let you in?"


jsid-1264636370-488  Russell at Wed, 27 Jan 2010 23:52:50 +0000

"From the center of our civilization -- our system of education, the largest single enterprise we have -- the fog of thoughtlessness and imprecision spreads in all directions. People who cannot get their thoughts straight through the control of language live baffled and frustrated lives. They must accept stock answers to their most vexing questions; they are easily persuaded by flawed logic; they cannot solve their problems because they cannot express them accurately. Worst of all, they cannot even discern their plight, for to do so requires a kind of 'discerning' of a world not present to immediate experience, a world that 'exists' only in the discourse that they have not mastered."

-- Richard Mitchell, "Less Than Words Can Say"


jsid-1264830243-291  Markadelphia at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 05:44:03 +0000

Ed, I feel bad that there is no place for you to go. Perhaps that means you're wrong? Wait...what am I saying?!!!!?

Oh, and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin let me in, b to the w.

GOF, there are many teachers that are against tenure. I am one of them. I think that, for the most part, teachers are very lazy. This can change if they don't have tenure. So, basically, I agree with you. That law needs to be changed.

Adam...well, let's see..

you stupid, cockmongering motherfucker.


to keep you motherfuckers from taking it from me?    


YOU STUPID WHORE. 

Yeah, I think I'm done with you.


jsid-1264842118-708  Adam at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 09:01:58 +0000

Wow. It's almost like you're suggesting you've ever dealt with my points before.


jsid-1264848697-731  Adam at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 10:51:37 +0000

Hm.. or, thinking on that, it's almost like you actually believe you deserve some semblance of anything but blatant disrespect here. Repetitive, recursive stupidity I can deal with. Onion layers of ignorance I can nearly reach a point of not respecting but not actively disrespecting. You, however, are a very special case.

But, again, it's not like you've even so much as acknowledged what I actually said, nor what those others here who have said different but valid things, echoed what I stated, or stated something similar with more eloquence.

That you latch onto the insults as an excuse for your typical avoidance is kind of pathetic, though. Perhaps you've managed only to delude yourself into believing that you have enough respect here that we'd think anything else of you other than to avoid statements. To dodge. To repeat. Really, man, you don't need an excuse. You don't need relatives with random illnesses or deaths, nothing needs to eat your homework, and you don't need to pretend to be patently offended by words (particularly given your flexibility in changing their definitions as the situation merits). Fact is, it doesn't surprise anyone here when you continue to follow your standard response as if by rote.

Still, this might be a new pattern. I don't know if avoiding dealing with content due to the excuse of somehow being offended - somehow guiding yourself into believing you deserve something different here - is included in one of the standard responses. 

Seriously, Mr. Teacher? You've moved beyond offensive in your breathtaking ignorance. You've moved beyond the realm of providing guffaws are your ineptitude. You've entered a realm of such starting, predictable stupidity that my interest you in has taken a scientific edge. I find myself interested in you as a psychological case - as something to be examined and observed. We can almost append to your ramblings an Australian voice-over asking the audience, "How does it function? How does it not manage to drown itself while washing its hair?"


jsid-1264864355-370  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 15:12:35 +0000

"Ed, I feel bad that there is no place for you to go. Perhaps that means you're wrong?"

A) WHY do we have to do the same thing as the rest of the world? (Especially given C, below)

B) Are you ready to argue that the rest of the world isn't going bat-shit insane? Especially the countries that have implemented your ideology more thoroughly?

C) America is currently the only superpower in the world. Hasn't it ever occurred to you that there is a REASON why this is so, and that it has to do with the principles upon which this country is built?

Why do you consider it so wrong for even one country to implement and test the principles of conservatism? If we're wrong and the rest of the world is right, then the results will be obvious and only one country will fail. As it is, I think the results already are obvious, demonstrating that the principles of conservatism are the principles which work best.

Oh, and I repeat (in slightly different form): What is keeping you from going to another country which is already implementing the policies you like?

"Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin let me in, b to the w."

Really? Only those two? How did they do that?

Was it because of the Declaration of Independence? You do know that Jefferson didn't write that by himself, right? He was the one who put pen to paper because he was the best wordsmith, but he was far from alone. John Adams was the number two man on the committee (Jefferson was the head, but only because he was a Virginian), which also included Robert R. Livingston, Roger Sherman, and yes, Benjamin Franklin. Furthermore, the entire Continental Congress enforced changes to it. In effect, Jefferson was more of a speechwriter of the Declaration than a mastermind. (Not to minimize his contribution. He did, after all, write the first draft based on points which had previously been discussed and debated for several years, and organized them in a spectacularly effective fashion. But there was nothing in there which the entire Congress did not agree with.)

Are you talking about the Constitution? First, Jefferson was in France for the entire time the Constitution was being developed, debated and passed. He had nothing to do with it. Period.

Second, even though Benjamin Franklin was involved in the debate and was a signer of the Constitution, he was far from the driving force behind its principles. Rather, James Madison was the principle architect of the Constitution.

Third, if the Constitution is how they "let [you] in", what gives you the right to disobey/undermine that Constitution?

Or is there some other way that those two—and only those two—waved some sort of magic wand to let you in?

BTW, tories/loyalists were basically forced out of this country during and after the Revolutionary War. As far as I can find (so far), Franklin and Jefferson never wrote anything in defense of those people who had openly chosen sides with King George against the Colonies.

"This can change if they don't have tenure. So, basically, I agree with you. That law needs to be changed."

Tenure is a law??? I thought it was a contractual thing, which is enforced by contractual law.

jsid-1264866095-210  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 15:41:35 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264864355-370

"Tenure is a law??? I thought it was a contractual thing, which is enforced by contractual law."

Well, well, I learn something new every day. Apparently some—but not all—aspects of tenure are codified in law.

(Marxy, in case you missed it, this is an example of admitting that I was wrong. It happens fairly regularly. I do admit I'm wrong when I discover that I am. Can you point to any examples of you admitting you were wrong other than the two I'm already aware of?)


jsid-1264865627-793  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 15:33:48 +0000

"You've entered a realm of such starting, predictable stupidity that my interest you in has taken a scientific edge. I find myself interested in you as a psychological case - as something to be examined and observed." 
 
You should compare notes with DJ. He's been studying Marxy like this for a while now.


jsid-1264867005-293  DJ at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 15:56:54 +0000

"You've entered a realm of such starting, predictable stupidity that my interest you in has taken a scientific edge. I find myself interested in you as a psychological case - as something to be examined and observed. We can almost append to your ramblings an Australian voice-over asking the audience, "How does it function? How does it not manage to drown itself while washing its hair?""

Been saying that, albeit not with such vivid imagery, for a very long time.

"You should compare notes with DJ. He's been studying Marxy like this for a while now."

When the psychopathology of a single individual becomes so interesting to an electrical engineer, a person who's own personality is rooted in reality, rationality, and logic, then you can bet it's something worth examining. I've stated before, several times, that a research psychologist could make a whole career studying him; there's several textbooks worth of material there.


jsid-1264871122-302  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 17:05:22 +0000

Here's a interesting data point which demonstrates Marxy's cargo culting:

Me: "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action."

Marxy: "Your little parable about "enemy action" pretty much tells me that you buy the propaganda."

The interesting thing here is that the parable I quoted describes the scientific method as applied in a military context.


jsid-1264886589-417  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 30 Jan 2010 21:23:09 +0000

What I consider fascinating is that someone claiming to be so enamored of "rights" and "freedom" apparently considers the rule of law and equal enforcement of law to be inconveniences, that should be the first things scrapped anytime existing laws and/or regulations fail to answer a specific problem. Despotism, by definition. And yet he apparently firmly believes that such despotism is the best way to guarantee "freedoms", "choices" and "rights". Riddle me that one, if you can.

jsid-1264901643-846  khbaker at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 01:34:03 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264886589-417

I'm working on that - among other questions.


jsid-1264910789-404  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 04:06:29 +0000

And since I think I can safely assume that Marky won't see any connection between the above and his opinions, let me clarify. "Begin by throwing the concept of equal justice under the law out the window" is the standard Democrat/liberal response to:

- Banking & Finance, in both the private sector and in government

- Healthcare

- Racism

- Gay Rights

- Poverty

- the Arts

- Religion

- Freedom of speech

...and that's just the ones so glaringly obvious I can think of them off the top of my head.

jsid-1264918411-72  khbaker at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 06:13:31 +0000 in reply to jsid-1264910789-404

You might be interested in the latest Überpost.


jsid-1264948355-528  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 14:32:35 +0000

Yeah, I was. Excellent. Thanks.


jsid-1264977383-841  Markadelphia at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 22:36:27 +0000

WHY do we have to do the same thing as the rest of the world?

We don't and we shouldn't.

Are you ready to argue that the rest of the world isn't going bat-shit insane? Especially the countries that have implemented your ideology more thoroughly? 
I don't think the rest of the world is going bat shit insane although I think parts of our country are going bat shit insane ;)

My ideology revolves around capitalism with sensible government regulation and oversight as opposed to what we have now. Actually, what we need are people that can have width of vision when it comes to finding a balance between innovation and social cohesion.

America is currently the only superpower in the world. Hasn't it ever occurred to you that there is a REASON why this is so, and that it has to do with the principles upon which this country is built?  

Yes. We should not adopt the political and social structures of France, for example. By the same token, however, any socialist leanings we might have do not make us the Soviet Union in the 1950s. My point in asking you to "leave" was to perhaps cause some reflection on your part regarding your hyper sensitivity about government run social programs. 

If we're wrong and the rest of the world is right, then the results will be obvious and only one country will fail. As it is, I think the results already are obvious, demonstrating that the principles of conservatism are the principles which work best. 

Well, that's the problem, Ed. We had conservatives running this country for six years and look what happened. I know they weren't "real conservatives" but the ideology to which you subscribe completely fails to take into account erosion of social cohesion. Any failures in this area you dismiss or downplay. In other words, even if your way fails, you just pretend that it hasn't. There is no recognition of reality. I understand that true innovation comes with little or no government interference. Do you understand the ramifications that a free market has on social cohesion?

Can you point to any examples of you admitting you were wrong other than the two I'm already aware of?)

Read my entire recent series on my blog regarding the Manzi article that juris sent me. There are plenty of examples.


jsid-1264977536-456  Markadelphia at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 22:38:56 +0000

GOF, could you elaborate further on what you are driving at regarding my view points? I don't want to comment until I hear what you have to say but so far I think there has been a serious misunderstanding. I'm more than happy to take the blame for it.


jsid-1264981908-253  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sun, 31 Jan 2010 23:51:48 +0000

"We don't and we shouldn't."

Yet you argue for ideologically similar governance. In fact, you argue that we MUST do things your way. Why "must" we?

"My ideology revolves around capitalism with sensible government regulation and oversight as opposed to what we have now."

Your definition of "good capitalism" is nothing like the classic definition of capitalism and more closely resembles socialism. Or are you planning to correct your definition?

"Actually, what we need are people that can have width of vision when it comes to finding a balance between innovation and social cohesion."

You wrote this after Kevin posted his latest überpost? Ooooookkkkkkkaaaaaaayyyyyy…

"My point in asking you to "leave" was to perhaps cause some reflection on your part regarding your hyper sensitivity about government run social programs."

You've heard this quote before:

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
—George Santayana

Since I've already learned that lesson, I'm none to thrilled with having to sit through class while the rest of you lemmings have it beat into your head one more time. I refuse to apologize for being "hyper sensitive" about putting up with the beatings while waiting for morale to improve.

"We had conservatives running this country for six years and look what happened."

Dude! This country didn't just pop into existence 6 years ago! Not even 60 years ago! Nor is our country the only source of history lessons. There is roughly 6,000 years of recorded human history. Limiting your vision to just six years—especially when nearly every elected official is to the left of where everyone was a mere 50 years ago (even the Democrats)—demonstrates just how little you actually know or understand.

"erosion of social cohesion."

Oh goody, here comes Standard Response #5. What the heck does this mean? It sounds catchy, but it just sounds like fancy words to hide the idea of people just doing whatever the hell they want, and damn the consequences. If you can actually explain what this means without dipping into your reservoir of turgid catch phrases, then I will show you how my ideology understands and deals with it.

"I understand that true innovation comes with little or no government interference."

So then you're fine with never allowing true innovation?

"Do you understand the ramifications that a free market has on social cohesion?"

That depends… Are we using YOUR definition of "free market" or the classic definition?

"There are plenty of examples."

How about some links?


jsid-1264982401-208  Adam at Mon, 01 Feb 2010 00:00:01 +0000

Still clinging to that pretense of being offended, are we? Oh well. If I were a spineless little shit, I'd probably do the same. I mean, when the alternative is dealing with the actual substance of what was said...


jsid-1265003586-652  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 01 Feb 2010 05:53:06 +0000

Mark: Read the latest uberpost. It says it better than I can.


jsid-1265159279-336  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 01:08:15 +0000

DJ and Adam,

Here's another fascination glimpse into the mind of Marxy from the same thread I pointed to earlier.

We've been discussing how Michael Moore twisted Charlton Heston's words into a lie in "Bowling for Columbine". Then Marxy wrote this:

"The scene at the end with Heston is very similar to the O'Keefe videos. I actually hate that scene but only because I love CH so, again, the bias thing."

It's interesting that what bothered Marxy wasn't that Moore was dishonest (when Heston wasn't (as opposed to ACORN, which was dishonest)), but that Moore hurt someone Marxy admired. It seems that Marxy's standard of good and bad isn't whether or not what was done was true, it was whether or not harm was done to someone he admires. In other words, a cult of personality is more important to him that the standard of truth.

That certainly explains why he can't understand it when (or that) we complain about something done by someone he thinks we're supposed to be absolutely loyal to. He thinks that we also use the same cult of personality standard he does, and when we act otherwise, his brain seems to throw an error and do a memory dump. I've always wondered why he thinks we're absolutely in love with George W. Bush in spite of our complaints about him. Now it makes sense.

jsid-1265165541-886  DJ at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 02:52:21 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265159279-336

"Now it makes sense."

Yup, it makes a lot of sense, Ed.

"He thinks that we also use the same cult of personality standard he does, and when we act otherwise, his brain seems to throw an error ..."

Consider the combination: 1) an advocate, not just of A personality, but of the cult of personality; 2) who will NOT understand that a statement in opposition to demonstrable evidence CANNOT be correct; 3) who CANNOT admit that someone else is significantly correct; and, 4) who CANNOT admit significant error. It gives rise to a simple question: How the hell did he become so thoroughly fucked up?


jsid-1265164355-924  Markadelphia at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 02:32:36 +0000

I read it and, while parts of it were interesting, it's similar to many other things he has written. It's also in line with Clarence Carson who I regularly teach in class so there are certainly some good points. I'm more interested in your thoughts, not Kevin's. You have said some very profound things in this thread that have definitely made me think. You have a different tone...a different voice than Kevin's and I'd like to hear it. In addition, I think there was some sort of misunderstanding regarding the law that we need to clear up.


jsid-1265164382-55  Markadelphia at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 02:33:02 +0000

Oh, that last post was meant for GOF.


jsid-1265177391-457  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 06:09:51 +0000

All right then...

- Banking & Finance, in both the private sector and in government

The Democrat/liberal approach to banking, finance and government funding is that the successful must be charged more for the services they receive, and indeed charged for services for which they are ineligible, to support those who are not successful. It cannot be allowed for people to merely choose to support those less successful than they either, they must be required by law to do so. Sure, they can voluntarily give to charity in addition if they wish... "Charity" at gunpoint.

- Healthcare

The Democrat/liberal approach to healthcare is as above, the successful must be required at gunpoint to pay for the unsuccessful. Note that controlling costs by limiting the damage malpractice lawyers can do is flatly refused. Increasing competition and thus lowering prices by allowing insurance providers to sell in all states is likewise flatly refused. Since these are the simplest, cheapest, most obvious and arguably most effective methods of controlling costs and increasing choice, it strongly suggests that the priority here is to take money from the wealthy and put it under government control, not to "reform" the healthcare system.

- Racism

Affirmative Action. Whether you agree with its purpose or not, the actual fact is that its method is to pass out advantages to people for not being white. Racism and inequality written into the fabric of the law. 'Nuff said.

- Gay Rights

Hate crime legislation. See Affirmative Action, above. As for gay marriage, for the record I disagree with the most common Republican position as well, which happens to be identical to President Obama's.

- Poverty

See Banking & Finance, Healthcare and Racism, above. Note also that the Democrat/liberal position also seems to assume that there is no such thing as a poor white man, or if there is, he's a redneck flat earther civil war reenactor and doesn't deserve any help anyway.

- the Arts

See "Charity at gunpoint", above. For the record, I have been a singer, actor, musician, poet, composer and stagehand for most of my adult life. There's nothing I like better than paying gigs. Deciding that someone is a criminal for refusing to buy a ticket is frankly insulting, not just to my audience but especially to me, the artist. An artist is, at bottom, a whore, someone who provides entertainment for pay. An artist who can't survive other than by extorting money from the taxpayers is an incompetent whore.

- Religion

The Democrat/liberal approach to religion is that all religions must be respected.... unless the person you're talking about is a conservative christian, then he's fair game. Jeremiah Wright's or Muslim terrorists' views must be respected... but Pat Robertson's or Pat Buchanan's must not. For the record, I detest both conservatives I mentioned above. Nonetheless, to call them accessories to murder because of their views says more about their accusers than it does about them.

- Freedom of speech

Fairness Doctrine. "Fox News is not a legitimate news organization." Once again, SOP. Require by law that the successful support the unsuccessful, or be outlawed entirely. People carrying posters depicting the murder of sitting President Bush are witty, ordinary citizens showing up at town halls to demand straight answers of their representatives are "nazis" and "evil-mongers".
I also note that Democrats are very quick to use terms like "social justice" and "fairness", but tend to shy away from "equality". Perhaps it's because equality can be measured, but "fairness" and "social justice" are just matters of opinion.

In short, it is quite plain to me that Democrats don't give a rat's ass about justice, and actively oppose equality and the rule of law. It's not about justice, it's about revenge for perceived wrongs, whether they are real or not. It's not about equality, it's about privilege where they want it. It's not about the rule of law, it's about rule at the whim of someone whose prejudices you agree with. That's why there's a tax cheat in charge of the IRS and a Supreme Court Justice  appointed because she refuses to treat everyone equally under the law, and nobody seems to mind.


jsid-1265212851-905  Guest (anonymous) at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 16:00:51 +0000

"In short, it is quite plain to me that Democrats don't give a rat's ass about justice, and actively oppose equality and the rule of law"

You realize this is all Mark is going to see, and then he's going to turn it into defense of his "team?" I mean, it's not like he's capable of something other than deflection. On that note, keep pretending to be offended Mark! If you pretend hard enough, ...wait, no. Sorry. I was confusing your imagination with reality. That explains the smell of unicorn farts for a minute there. Woo. Light-headed. People could get high snorting the contents of your head.

I just don't think it'd be an enlightening high. I'm pretty sure it'd kill brain cells.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh, yes. When you say, "Democrat," Mark just flips to "Republican" and instantly drops back to 2005 and getting his political views from indie rock bands whose entire political framework consists of "hating Bush is cool, so let's do that."

He's going to read your post and just assume that you're stating the Republicans are actively working to improve freedoms (nevermind years of posts on this blog and comments from probably everyone here stating the opposite).

He isn't capable of discussing politics without going into football "my team"-"your team" mode. He latched onto the Manzanita (or whatever his fucking name was) piece because it looked sooo bipartisan (nevermind that, if he was truly open to having points made, the last two years on here would've made SOME dent). Like, omigod, it sounded sooo smart!!11!!

He's on his blog right now trying to claim Moore works really hard to main truthful in his.. er.. films. Imagine that.


jsid-1265213083-387  Adam at Wed, 03 Feb 2010 16:04:43 +0000

That last post, if not heartily evident, was mine. Changed systems and lost the cookie. Poor, delicious cookie.

Though I wonder if he's mentally capable enough to connect my name with that post without this one.


jsid-1265397698-829  Markadelphia at Fri, 05 Feb 2010 19:21:38 +0000

GOF,

BandF, Goldman Sachs, for PR purposes is considering forcing its employees to give to charity. Is that a more acceptable approach to balance social cohesion in this country? That is the central issue I take with Kevin's long post: he has not considered any of Manzi's points regarding balance. I will stipulate that the government overregulates some of the finanical sector and needs to step back to encourage innovation. But let's take a look at the series of events leading up to this melt down.

1. The Clinton Administration and the GOP chuck Glass Stegall out the window. Our finanacial system becomes very interconnected.

2. This new and underregulated financial sector "gets drunk" according to President Bush. He was right.

3. With their companies on the verge of bankruptcy, they come hat in hand to DC. Many here say to simply let them fail but we can't because of the interconnectivity...again, due to the free market notion that an insurance company should be able to sell mortgages. It was this "classic liberal" idea that forced a bail out...what irony.

4. Both Bush and Obama bail them out.

5. They use our money (which is also their money technically as they all pay taxes) to maintain a third vacation home. And you guys defend this? Not only that but many of you and the folks at places like Goldman Sachs then bitch about higher taxes? 

So, what I want to know, GOF, is do you think that welfare is welfare regardless of how much it is? What's the difference between funding a social progam or funding AIG?

Health care, it won't be enough to reform malpractice and allow portablity. People still want to make a shit load of money off of health care. And why wouldn't they? Prices will keep going up because they have to show a profit. Check out why a mandate is necessary to control costs.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2010/Senate/Maps/Feb01-s.html#2

Racism, we've talked about that a lot in this thread. There are plenty of people in this country that won't hire non whites. This is a fact. How would you deal with it if affirmative action were magically gone?

Gay rights, we are in agreement here. And I disagree with President Obama as well.

The Arts, this is a fairly cynical assessment of the NEA. Art is a part of our culture and the government should be involved in fostering that at the very least for historical purposes. Compare the Arts budget with the defense budget.So, they can take your money with the butt of a gun to build a gun but not to paint something? Remember, I'm a big fan of defense spending...it means jobs...so don't misinterpret my question as being all hippie-dippie. I'm just curious how you justify them taking your money for certain reasons.

Religion, hey, I like Pat Buchanan! He's softened over the years and seems more balanced. The central problem with the right is that they think they are God's mouthpiece. They also presume to know how God thinks. They judge and tell people how to live their lives regarding morality. If they stopped doing that, the left would have nothing to bitch about.


jsid-1265398426-371  Markadelphia at Fri, 05 Feb 2010 19:33:46 +0000

I decided to leave freedom of speech for last...

What makes me ROTF and LMAO is the right's bitching about the Fairness Doctrine. Fox is the number one rated news station. It's not going anywhere. Rush Limbaugh has more listeners than the nightly news. He's not going anywhere. There is a veritable plehtora of conservative media out there. Why are people on the right still bitching about the "liberal media calling us Nazis?"

Let's take a look at the rest of what you said...

it is quite plain to me that Democrats don't give a rat's ass about justice

Yeah, I would agree with that. They are more interested these days in preserving their business interests...most of them anyway.


and actively oppose equality and the rule of law. It's not about justice, it's about revenge for perceived wrongs, whether they are real or not.

Revenge? I doubt a group of people who a) have no spine b)suffer from an Incredible Hulk version of analysis-paralysis and c)micro manage everything to death are even capable of revenge. This does illustrate a core problem with the right....they think the left thinks like them. They don't.


It's not about equality, it's about privilege where they want it. It's not about the rule of law, it's about rule at the whim of someone whose prejudices you agree with.

I agree that privilege is something that both parties seem Moses like in trying to define. Everyone has prejudice, though, GOF. The question is, if the government is not the mechanism to counter it, who or what is?


That's why there's a tax cheat in charge of the IRS and a Supreme Court Justice  appointed because she refuses to treat everyone equally under the law, and nobody seems to mind.

I have become less and less thrilled with Geithner. He causes much of the problems on Wall Street and then is hired to fix it? Yeah, he needs to go. I'd be up for Bruce Bartlett. I disagree with you regarding Sotomayor but I have to say, I am impressed. This was the only part of your entire post that was Glenn Beck like ;)


jsid-1265467777-188  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 06 Feb 2010 14:49:37 +0000

I doubt a group of people who a) have no spine b)suffer from an Incredible Hulk version of analysis-paralysis and c)micro manage everything to death are even capable of revenge.

Yeah, right. The same people who build bombs, burn down people's houses, spike trees specifically in the hope of injuring or killing a logger... they're not capable of revenge. Pull the other one.

You're not saying they're incapable of revenge, you're saying they're incapable of having the balls to admit that's what they're after. A point with which I agree, btw.

Everyone has prejudice, though, GOF.

Exactly. Which is an admission that Affirmative Action cannot be successful in the long run. So what's the net result? The writing into the law the idea that "your" prejudice is bad, but "my" prejudice is okay, and that's all it is.

I have become less and less thrilled with Geithner. He causes much of the problems on Wall Street and then is hired to fix it? Yeah, he needs to go.

And there you have it. Your problem isn't that the leaders aren't obeying the law, it's just that they're not getting the results you hoped for. In other words, you've just proved my point for me with your answers. You are frantically anxious to pitch equality under the bus, in hopes of gaining rule by a despot you approve of. This explains why "he needs to go", but the stupid ass who thought "He causes much of the problems on Wall Street and then is hired to fix it" was a smart idea is still someone you have a man-crush on and consider the answer to all the US's problems.

 I disagree with you regarding Sotomayor

Then you disagree with reality. Her "wise latina" remark and her decision regarding the firefighters were praised by the left, and considered an asset to her resume.

'Nuff said. You've proven my point for me with your replies. As with much of the Democrat party, you consider equality and the rule of law to be inconveniences, the first things that should be abandoned if it fails to deliver 100% perfect results. As you noted above, everyone has prejudices, which means in the long run Affirmative Action cannot solve anything. Not will not, cannot. But that's okay, cos it helped everyone think of equality under the law as a bad thing, so mission accomplished.

I'm done.


jsid-1265484062-387  Ed "What the" Heckman at Sat, 06 Feb 2010 19:21:02 +0000

"social cohesion"

Once again, Marxy is using this phrase without defining it. Why bother with the rest? He's just pulling a concept out of his a__ and waving it around like it's a golden egg.

C'mon Marxy. I already challenged you to actually define this, but you appear to have refused even though you're acting as if you did. Or are you just sticking to Standard Response #5?


jsid-1265504823-46  Markadelphia at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 01:07:03 +0000

You're missing the point regarding Sotomayor, GOF. Like anyone, she is proud of her cultural heritage. And like everyone, she has bias. The Sotomayor "wise Latina" flap is a perfect illustration of how the right does their thing. People like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh know that their base is made up of old Dixiecrats. So they play to them...dangling their toes in the water with things like "Barack the Magic Negro." They also know that these same people live in a perpetual state of denial/ignorance regarding bias and racism. So, they trot out Sotomayor and pull the RRR (Reverse Racism Re-Direct) to deflect attention away from their obvious bigotry.

But, hey, by all means let's get rid of Affirmative Action. Let's see if everyone is treated equally under the law and, if they are, I'd be happy to be wrong :-D


jsid-1265512671-597  DJ at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 03:17:51 +0000

"But, hey, by all means let's get rid of Affirmative Action. Let's see if everyone is treated equally under the law and, if they are, I'd be happy to be wrong"

Teacher boy, Affirmative Action is, by definition, NOT treating people equally under the law. Are you REALLY that fucking dense?

jsid-1265521597-429  khbaker at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 05:46:37 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265512671-597

"Are you REALLY that fucking dense?"

I thought we'd established that beyond any reasonable doubt long before this point.

jsid-1265556981-220  DJ at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 15:36:21 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265521597-429

Yup, we did it years ago, Kevin.

This Igli insists on putting his own feet in his own mouth, but instead of disappearing, he continues to yammer.

jsid-1265639510-523  Adam at Mon, 08 Feb 2010 14:31:50 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265556981-220

Or, in my case, pretending that the use of three or four words in the entirety of my post(s) justifies ignoring the rest. I have to admit, it's an improvement, since he usually doesn't even bother trying to justify it (except with the "my dog ate it" or some relative conveniently having some health issue).

I'd like to just chuckle and state that he can't contend any of the points I made, but that would require postulating that A) he read it, and B) he understood it. It's a little difficult getting behind point A, and B is clearly waaaaaay out of his ability. 


jsid-1265517745-606  Adam at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 04:42:25 +0000

"Let's take a look at the rest of what you said...  "

That would require that you stop pretending you're offended and deal with the substance of what I said, Mark - which sort of relates to the other 240 comments on here.


jsid-1265518669-125  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 04:57:49 +0000

No I am not missing the point. You could make that argument if the "wise latina" remark existed in a vacuum, but it doesn't. By her decision regarding the firefighters, she showed unequivocally that she would throw the law away to give preference to her own prejudices and/or desires. The Democrat party and President Obama found that to be an acceptable, even praiseworthy, quality in a Supreme Court Justice. In the precisely the same way, they found Tim Geithner's cheating the IRS perfectly acceptable behavior for a Treasury Secretary, quite aside from causing "much of the problems on Wall Street and then is hired to fix it".

And that's only the tip of the iceberg. The Democrat party has shown time and again that the rule of law, and equality under said law, only figure into their politics and tactics as obstacles to be overcome. And you have shown by your words on this thread and others that you're okay with that.

'Nuff said. I'm out.


jsid-1265569072-318  Markadelphia at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 18:57:52 +0000

Let's see if we can look at this from a different angle.

Throughout our history, women, non-whites, gays, lesbians, and people with disabilities have not been treated equally under the law. So laws were passed to make certain that they were treated equally under the law in regards to hiring practices and university admissions.

Let's imagine a world without affirmative action. How would any of you then addressed this issue? Would you have erased the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment?


jsid-1265575553-144  DJ at Sun, 07 Feb 2010 20:46:06 +0000

The 14th Amendment requires equal treatment under the law. Affirmative Action requires precisely the opposite. Affirmative action does NOT "make certain that they were treated equally under the law in regards to hiring practices and university admissions", rather it does precisely the OPPOSITE.  The 14th Amendment and Affirmative Action are mutually exclusive. The 14th Amendment is part of the Constitution and so trumps Affirmative Action, which is subordinate to the Constitution. So, I would keep and enforce the 14th Amendment and I would shit-can Affirmative Action.

This is called "thinking", teacher boy. You should try it sometime. It would open up a whole new world for you.

I keep telling you and telling you and telling you. You're trying to converse with grownups here, and you're just not up to it.


jsid-1265665858-548  Markadelphia at Mon, 08 Feb 2010 21:50:58 +0000

But DJ, I can guarantee you that any Federal enforecment of that law would be met with cries of Big Government don't you think? I mean...that is what happened in our country from Post Civil War to 1964.

Here's what I'd like to know: There are two states in our country that have outright bans on Affirmative Action...California and Michigan. Is there any data out from these two states that show how this is working out. In other words, are the best people being hired for the job regardless of their race? Or sexual preference? And are their opportunities for non whites equal for whites as well from an education stand point?


jsid-1265670729-297  DJ at Mon, 08 Feb 2010 23:12:09 +0000

Not my job, troll boy.

If YOU would have us believe the 14th Amendment should not be the law of the land, or should not be enforced, or has bad side effects when it is enforced, then it's up to YOU to SHOW us why.


jsid-1265678147-605  Markadelphia at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 01:15:47 +0000

No, I think it should be the law of the land and should be enforced. The problem was that it wasn't and that's where Affirmative Action was born.

Your lack of answers to my questions are quite illustrative of how well you complain but how little you solve.


jsid-1265680018-409  DJ at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 01:46:58 +0000

"Your lack of answers to my questions are quite illustrative of how well you complain but how little you solve."

My lack of answers to your questions are quite illustrative of how little I care about what you think concerning any subject.


jsid-1265680622-572  Adam at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 01:57:13 +0000

"The problem was that it wasn't and that's where Affirmative Action was born. "

Aaaand we come full circle to that discussion we had on the 15th in this SAME thread, where I outlined to you the stupidity of trying to solve one law not being enforced by passing another to be enforced by the same people not enforcing the first.

You also completely and totally fucking ignored the substance of that post, too, and that's before I rightfully called you out for the son of a bitch you are and you started this dainty, I'm-offended-and-am-pretending-you-don't-exist bullshit.

"...how little you solve"

Once again, the American populace is a problem to be solved.


jsid-1265682317-47  DJ at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 02:25:21 +0000

He WON'T learn, Adam, and he CANNOT admit error.

jsid-1265683944-116  Adam at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 02:52:25 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265682317-47

Oh, I know. But I'll be damned if common sense will lose its vigilance in the presence of such monstrous idiocy.

jsid-1265728708-998  DJ at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 15:18:29 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265683944-116

"Oh, I know. But I'll be damned if common sense will lose its vigilance in the presence of such monstrous idiocy."

Exactly.


jsid-1265684074-286  Russell at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 02:54:34 +0000

I'm still waiting for him to name names about who believes Atlas Shrugged isn't just a book.


jsid-1265685046-491  Ed "What the" Heckman at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 03:10:46 +0000

Russell,

At one point I tried starting a list of Marxy's unanswered questions, but it got too big to handle. After repeatedly posting some of them for a while, he even answered a few… with answers that didn't actually fit the questions or the discussions which led to those questions.

Heck, he's got a couple dozen hanging out from this thread alone. 'Course, that is Standard Response #1.

jsid-1265731795-482  Russell at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 16:09:55 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265685046-491

Ha! Same here. I stopped after about 10 big ones that he avoided. Seems to be a pattern, one can almost distill his responses into a list of standard responses... :)

jsid-1265737334-805  Ed "What the" Heckman at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 17:42:14 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265731795-482

ROTFL! Good one!  8-)


jsid-1265726227-1  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 14:37:08 +0000

Okay, so...

This reminds me of living in Albuquerque, NM. In Albuquerque there is an "alternative" newspaper" called the Alibi. I know it's not strictly local cos I've seen a virtually identical format in the Dallas Observer. No matter. Anyway, for six years in the Alibi I'd see an ad every month for a gay bar, with the notation "100% gay owned and operated" along the bottom of the ad. I have little doubt that those ads are still running to this day, just like the job ads from the University of New Mexico saying "Equal Opportunity Employer, Native American Preferred" along the bottom.

Now stipulating for the sake of argument that the folks at Project 10 are correct and 10% of the population of the US is in fact gay... by Marky's logic that place should have been sued and forced to close years ago for failing to have 90% of its workforce be heterosexual, right?

jsid-1265728820-952  DJ at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 15:20:20 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265726227-1

Be careful, Grumpy. Such would involve thinking through the consequences of your words, and he doesn't do that.


jsid-1265738280-212  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 17:58:00 +0000

It gets really.... 'special', if you follow out the logic.

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League should be forced to hire Nazis.

The KKK should be forced to hire blacks.

The American Nazi Party should be forced to hire jews.

The NAACP should be forced to have over 50% of its employees be white.

NOW should be forced to have over 50% of its employees be male.


I'll grant you, some of those would be highly amusing... as long as you didn't have to be one of the "new hires" in question. But to call any of the above "equality" or "justice" is stretching things more than a bit.


jsid-1265757665-807  Markadelphia at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 23:21:17 +0000

Fellas, re-read what I wrote above. I have no problem if we throw out the AA. What I want to know is how equal hiring practices should be enforced. I'd also like to see data from California and Michigan since AA is banned there. Does anyone know of any?

There's also a decided lack of sensitivity to the history of bias in this country in these last few posts but I guess that's sadly not surprising.


jsid-1265759410-268  Ed "What the" Heckman at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 23:50:10 +0000

"There's also a decided lack of sensitivity to the history of bias in this country in these last few posts but I guess that's sadly not surprising."

…so you're "solution" to this bias is to make the law biased too…

Pure genius, Vizzini!


jsid-1265759699-781  Russell at Tue, 09 Feb 2010 23:54:59 +0000

"There's also a decided lack of sensitivity"

I traded my sensitivity for cash and a trip to Hawaii.

What did you get for trading your ability to think and reason?


jsid-1265760272-332  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:04:32 +0000

It's not a lack of sensitivity. It's conceding your point, that bias is going to be with us regardless of what we do. We are not going to get a perfect result. And since we are not, "solutions" like AA not only pitch equality and the rule of law under the bus, they do it to no real purpose.

I'm all for as good a solution as you can get. But don't feed me some kind of bullshit line about how it has to be done ________ way because "anything less won't be good enough." Nothing, including any solution you, me or anyone else may offer, will be "good enough". So since it's going to be a compromise no matter what you do, don't compromise equality under the law. That does no one any good and everyone harm, including the people you claim to be trying to help.

And just for the sake of avoiding misunderstandings, I'd like to clarify what you considered a "cynical" assessment of artists:

1) When I called them "whores", it was intended as a job description, not as a moral judgment.

2) That's what they are. They are a class of people who, by definition, offer the use of their bodies, their minds, their emotions and their skills for the entertainment of whoever chooses to be their audience. That's how they make their living. You can say what you like about the degradation, the emotional intimacy, the physical intimacy, the lack of self-respect... and I could make a case that Jim Carey acting like a complete idiot on film, for the purpose of making you have no respect for the character portrayed, is every bit as degrading, he's just not socially ostracized for it, and paid so handsomely that it's a wise use of his time and talents. Any of the things considered "why would anyone do that?" in a hooker can be found elsewhere in the job market, it's only society's perception of it that differs.

In fairness Jim Carey, Robin Williams and many others are such consummately skilled whores that they are worth what they charge. The above is not a statement of disrespect. But when an artist of whatever type cannot survive without having the government criminalize those unwilling to pay for his work... sorry, it is what it is. He is a whore of such low skill as to be effectively incompetent.

3) This is not an assessment based in mere "attitude" or solely from watching TV or what have you. J.P. Richardson ("The Big Bopper") was my father's second cousin. I started singing harmony when I was 4, started acting when I was 12, started working as a stagehand at 16, started playing bass guitar at 18, started composing at 23. I have been part of the entertainment industry every single day of my life. I know what we are.


jsid-1265761369-828  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:22:49 +0000

Oh, and I'd appreciate it if you'd define what you mean by "lack of sensitivity to the history of bias in this country". Pointed out specifics that you consider "insensitive" and explain why you consider them so, please.


jsid-1265761470-382  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 10 Feb 2010 00:24:30 +0000

I traded my sensitivity for cash and a trip to Hawaii.

Does this mean that Russell is Barack Obama's evil twin :-$ ?

jsid-1265765573-466  Russell at Wed, 10 Feb 2010 01:32:53 +0000 in reply to jsid-1265761470-382




Well, I am bitterly clinging to my guns and religion, and I believe in the free market, small government and fiscal responsibility, so it's within the realm of possibility... ;)


jsid-1265764512-369  DJ at Wed, 10 Feb 2010 01:15:13 +0000

What I want to know is how equal hiring practices should be enforced."

Rule #1 of solving problems: Do not perpetuate the problem you claim to be trying to solve.

Now, given how you deliberately misunderstand what is written here, I'll spell it out for you, and I'll use small words:

You DO NOT cure the problem of people and/or businesses hiring and/or firing employees based on intrinsic factors such as race by REQUIRING people and/or businesses to hire and/or fire employees based on intrinsic factors such as race. You do not solve the problem by using the same method that you would stamp out, simply swapping your standards for theirs. Thus, the gubmint should NOT enforce "equal hiring practices"; when such practices are based on intrinsic factors such as race, then the term "equal hiring practices" is an oxymoron. The principle involved matches the rule: If you believe in equal rights under the law, then don't enforce unequal rights under the law.


jsid-1265772334-26  GrumpyOldFart at Wed, 10 Feb 2010 03:25:34 +0000

Okay Mark, you deserve a better answer than you're getting, or at least one you're more capable of seeing the implications of from where you personally stand.

As DJ notes above, you cannot erase bias by force of law, all you can do is move it around, and in the process undermine the value of law itself. Nothing can erase bias entirely, and so far as I know the only thing that can erase it at all is experience, education, the same things all good judgment is built from, no?

So... not to put too fine a point on it, but... you're the educator, you tell me. Without ending up at some form of "re-education camps", thank you very much. And don't lose sight of the fact that "mean doesn't happen overnight", and neither does "nice".


jsid-1265937017-791  Markadelphia at Fri, 12 Feb 2010 01:10:30 +0000

Thanks, GOF. I needed to do some digging before I came back to comment. I haven't been able to find much data regarding the bans of AA in California and Michigan but what I did find showed that there seemed to be no difference in university admissions before or after the ban. I found out that Washington State also has a ban on AA. As of yet, though, I haven't found any real data on hiring practices in those states.I did come across something that says that construction companies in CA won't hire women anymore but there was a decided lack of data to address this issue.

So, I guess what I'd like to see as an educator is volumes of data from these states. I'd like serious analysis done on hiring practices as well as admission to universities. If AA is banned in these states and there have been no discernable changes in bias, I think we could all chalk up a giant victory against bias. In many ways, we have come a long way and it would be nice to showcase these facts...if they turn out to be true.


jsid-1266038157-402  GrumpyOldFart at Sat, 13 Feb 2010 05:15:57 +0000

What I want to know is how equal hiring practices should be enforced.

Hmmm... are you suggesting that yes, that gay bar should in fact hire 90% or more straight people? I mean, if "equal hiring practices" = "proportional to overall demographics" then that's the result, is it not?

My bottom line is that I don't think "equal hiring practices" should be enforced at all. I'm sure you'll consider that heartless, but perhaps that means I've just thought it through farther than you.

If that gay bar wants to be "100% gay owned and operated", I say let em.

If the Dew Drop Inn out in God's Country, Alabama wants to be "100% white racist redneck owned and operated", I say let em. You will be doing no favors to straights or gays, whites or blacks, or anyone else for that matter, by trying to change it. It will change when the old guard dies, as it has every generation. Don't think so? Two words: Jeremiah Wright.

Statistics show that blacks aren't competing well against whites in the tech fields at IBM, Lockheed or Texas Instruments? That's a different problem, one of making sure those demographics are getting access to the skills they need for those fields. In short, that's your problem. If Texas Instruments would be idiotic to refuse to hire ________ based on his skin color because they need his skills, they'll hire him. And if they don't, they'll fail because they chose to be less effective against their rivals in a fiercely competitive field. Either way, problem solved. 

As it stands, "equal hiring practices" legislates racism. It says everyone is entitled to assistance except straight white males. It assumes that there isn't even one poor ignorant white man with no connections living in a ghetto anywhere in the US, or if there is he doesn't matter. And it says if you refuse to support that deliberate racism, you should be treated as a criminal.

In short, Mr. Educator, "equal hiring practices" points a gun at everyone's head to avoid your bosses having to figure out how to do their fucking jobs.


jsid-1266103498-689  Markadelphia at Sat, 13 Feb 2010 23:24:58 +0000

are you suggesting that yes, that gay bar should in fact hire 90% or more straight people?

No, that example does illustrate how ludicrous quotas can be. Your example of the Dew Drop Inn is fine by me as well. Why would someone who is gay want to work there anyway?

Of course, one of the issues with these examples is that it creates a world that is quite divided. Is that something you really want? The gay tribe and the redneck tribe?

One question to consider is can we live in an inclusive society? The military has finally come around and has realized that DADT drives people away--people who are Arabic translators for example--that they desparately need right now.


jsid-1266156964-908  GrumpyOldFart at Sun, 14 Feb 2010 14:16:04 +0000

Of course, one of the issues with these examples is that it creates a world that is quite divided. Is that something you really want? The gay tribe and the redneck tribe?

Bullshit. It only "creates a world that is quite divided" if you assume that people like you and me actually don't exist. The vast majority of people in this country don't give a rat's ass what someone's skin color is or who or what they have sex with. On the latter subject, most of them don't want to know, I'm willing to bet. Even aside from the fact that refusing to force people to do other than they would normally do doesn't create anything.


jsid-1266188060-542  Markadelphia at Sun, 14 Feb 2010 22:54:20 +0000

Yeah, that's a fair point. Most of them don't want to know.

So I take it that means if we did away with all AA laws and everyone was given equal rights under the law...would that mean that you think our society would be inclusive?


jsid-1266198617-903  GrumpyOldFart at Mon, 15 Feb 2010 01:50:31 +0000

Whether it is or not is not the business of the police. I'm willing to listen to any plan to try to help people be more accepting and understanding of one another's foibles... but when everyone has prejudices, deciding that any given individual or group should be criminalized because their particular prejudices are at variance with your own is declaring tyranny to be a good thing. And it doesn't matter who they are or what the prejudices in question are.

In short, if you can't make it voluntary, the "cure" is worse than the "disease".

And using concepts that don't have a single objective definition, like "inclusive" applied to societies, doesn't help any.


jsid-1266248573-162  Ed "What the" Heckman at Mon, 15 Feb 2010 15:42:53 +0000

Grumpy, when has Marxaphasia been interested in using words with an objective definition? Or not applying his own private definition to normally objective words?


jsid-1266271063-274  Markadelphia at Mon, 15 Feb 2010 21:57:43 +0000

Those are fair points as well. So, does that mean that because the Civil Rights Act wasn't voluntary (or Brown v Board of EDU) that you think the cure was worse than the disease?

The laws on the books right in in CA and MI state that it is illegal to base hiring practices on race, thus effectively doing away with quotas. Now, suppose it is discovered that someone is doing that. Would the person experiencing the discrimination sue? Because that would bring in the lawsuit conundrum and that's a whole other issue. Or would the police get involved?


jsid-1266342595-382  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 16 Feb 2010 17:49:55 +0000

That means that the Civil Rights Act, AA and Brown vs. BofE were all admissions of failure by the public education system.

I don't know the current demographics, but let's say for the sake of argument that 45% of the American population is black. If refusing to hire blacks equated to a blanket refusal to avail yourself of 45% of the best and brightest the market had to offer, the only place you'd see a refusal to hire blacks would be where "whiteness" is part of what the "company" is "selling", as in the KKK. In the same way, the only places that would decline to hire whites would be places like the NAACP. Anywhere else, it would be a fast track ticket out of the business world, because the companies who hired the people you refused would be cleaning your clock. The logic behind this is simple and straightforward, with no way to really get "lost", right? And yet, the rights of citizens to dispose of their own property as they see fit (a business owner is a citizen, yes? His money is his property, yes?) and to associate with whom they choose remains untouched. An all-black nightclub is not a legal problem, and no one is forced to spend money on an employee they don't want.

So... is the problem that "businesses won't hire blacks"? If you demand adjustment of hiring practices according to skin color, you are immediately faced with a choice between demanding integration of the KKK and the NAACP, or declaring that all are specifically not equal before the law, as we've seen.

But what if you state the problem as "the black demographic is not acquiring sufficiently superior skills so as to make racism against blacks self-defeating", what else changes? Things start lining up with reality, that's what else changes. You start accepting the fact that, yes, unfairly, blacks are going to have to excel well beyond the standards of "the establishment" to become accepted... just like the Japanese had to. Just like the Vietnamese down here on the Gulf Coast had to. Just like the Irish had to a century or so ago. Just like the Hispanics had to in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, and just like the white minority in New Mexico is having to do today.

Does that make it right? No, it doesn't. But 1), it actually works, it has over several iterations so it can be proven to work, and 2) it doesn't hand you the long term problem of having scrapped equality before the law to get there.

That's why I stated above that AA is actually nothing but an excuse for your bosses to not have to figure out how to do their jobs. Because the actual problem is a problem of education.


jsid-1266369514-236  Markadelphia at Wed, 17 Feb 2010 01:18:34 +0000

That means that the Civil Rights Act, AA and Brown vs. BofE were all admissions of failure by the public education system.

Good point. Perhaps they were....

If you demand adjustment of hiring practices according to skin color, you are immediately faced with a choice between demanding integration of the KKK and the NAACP, or declaring that all are specifically not equal before the law, as we've seen.

Right and that was the logic behind CA, WA, MI's decision to ban AA. I really wish there some aggregate data out there in those states on hiring practices!


Does that make it right? No, it doesn't. But 1), it actually works, it has over several iterations so it can be proven to work, and 2) it doesn't hand you the long term problem of having scrapped equality before the law to get there.

VERY good point. A good perspective to think on...

Because the actual problem is a problem of education.

Exactly. So how does one educate a large group of humans who all have bias? Who look at others as "less than?" That's where we get into the slippery slope and why it's oh so much fun being a teacher in the year 2010 :-E


jsid-1266516764-752  GrumpyOldFart at Thu, 18 Feb 2010 18:12:45 +0000

So how does one educate a large group of humans who all have bias? Who look at others as "less than?"

I don't know. There are very good reasons why I'm not a teacher, and they mainly involve personality traits of mine that would make me a walking disaster if I attempted it. You could say I refuse to even attempt to teach, as a public service. But:

1) I never claimed teaching was, or should be, easy. If it's any comfort, neither is being a stagehand, or a computer/copier/fax tech, or pouring concrete, or being a musician, or cutting trees, or being a carpenter. I can personally testify to those.

2) Ditching equal justice in preference to trying to achieve equal result by whatever means are expedient only achieves a false balance, not a true one. Not only can you never actually achieve true equality for the original reasons (imbedded bias in all humans including the teachers) no matter what method you try, even the false balance can only be maintained by refusing to allow equality under law, in other words by refusing to allow the only thing that can at least come close to achieving a true balance.

3) My grandfather stood by his bias that "Jews are all cheap, shifty and dishonest". When his teenage daughter (my mother eventually) asked him, "What about your close friend Benny Moskowitz?", well, "That's different." In his view, "the Irish are all drunken, stupid and violent". "What about your best friend Jimmy O'Hara?" "Well, he's different." "Blacks are all lazy, none of em want to work for a living." "What about your friend Johnny Thompson, who you said was the most 'burn up the wall' bricklayer you've ever seen?" "Well, he's different."

See? No one says it's easy, no one says it's pleasant, and sure as hell no one says it's fast. But the old guard does eventually die off, I promise they do.

The conservative objection to _________ rights I think is primarily along the lines of, "If you can't bother to take the time to do it right, how will you find the time when you have to do it again?"


jsid-1266527032-835  DJ at Thu, 18 Feb 2010 21:03:54 +0000

"If you can't bother to take the time to do it right, how will you find the time when you have to do it again?"

Why, Grumpy, haven't you heard the motto of losers everywhere? It says, "There's never time to it right, but there's always time to do it over, and over, and over ..."


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