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Comment: This question is so loaded it's pointless. (Score 1) 576

This question is so loaded it's pointless. You may as well as "when did the aliens stop beating their wives?" You have to assume, axiomatically, that they would have any reason to invade, but that's absurd. It's even self contradictory. The nature of the challenge put forward is that aliens have mad advanced technology... so what would they invade for? It's like a person from affluent western society giving up their life and flying to the other side of the world, to a desert island, to beat up a native, take their shack.. just because they have a tree that grows fruit you like. IT MAKES NO SENSE. In fact that makes even more sense than alien invasion because aliens will have evolved in a completely different eco-system an wouldn't consider our's very inviting. This is just another zombie apocalypse escapist fantasy distracting people from real looming apocalypses that are too boring to worry about.

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 128

because that's what you people do.

Which people? Europeans? People from the 17th Century? People who disagree with you? Over and over you have jumped to conclusions based on knowing nothing significant about me. All you know is I disagree with you on 1 specific subject. In fact, I'm not sure you even know what it is you disagree with. You just assume things based on, what? Race? You have assumed that you can legitimately assume things about 'Europeans', while assuming that 'Europeans' must think about the Americans the way you do about Europeans. Straight forward projection of your own biases.

All the super-rich crooks were actually still living it up in England, their own property safely protected from democracy through the House of Lords.

Basic order of events: The constitution was written after the revolutionary war. Those crooks had lost their stake in the US by the time the constitution came along. There was no upper-class, not by previous standards. 'Upper class' started to become what we think of it now: i.e. straight up wealth.

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 128


The people who own the country ought to govern it.

John Jay

[The Elections of England] were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place

James Madison explaining why the US government shouldn't be like England's.

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 128

I'm sorry, are you serious? Do you actually believe that federal/state distinctions are determined by who issues currency? Does that mean that Germany is part of a "European nation" because it uses the Euro while the UK is not? The current identification of currency with nations is a novel economic phenomenon, and one that probably isn't even going to last.

What formally delineates state versus federal systems is another matter. The fact that you don't understand the mechanics of modern money systems isn't my problem.

So what? The people who wrote the Constitution also wore wigs and smelled bad. What does that have to do with anything? What exactly are you trying to get at here?

You can't give out pompous indignation about ignorance of history, with credibility, while not understanding the significance of a constitution being written "by land owners for land owners" while the common modern interpretation is that it is "by the people for the people".

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 128

There is a fundamental difference between how the UK relates to the EU and how US states relate to the US government: The UK issues it's own currency. Those are all very good reasons for why your federal government should be limited, and I agree... but I never argued that there is no valid reason to limit federal government. So you listing some reasons is good but... so what? You didn't actually respond to the central point, relating back to the start of this: the proposition that the constitution was written by and for capital owners.

I know to Europeans, the US is just one big homogeneous mix of people

...which you just assumed for some reason, then...

Having spent a lot of time in Europe, I find Europeans to be profoundly ignorant of politics, history, or culture, even their own

...that's some sort of meta-irony.

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 128

It's interesting to look at this discussion from outside the US. For example, the manifest difference between the federal government and state government. They're both governments. And states vary hugely in size and population and any number of factors. The narrative seems to talk about the federal government as this monster that has to be controlled, while state governments are mostly left out of that narrative, and I've yet to see an explanation for why they are cast so differently. I can't see what the argument is for state level government being the right 'size' and federal not. It's just taken because it is. I mean why not have 1000 states? Or 6? Would those people against federal government turn their sites to state government if they ever achieved their current goals? Anyway, I was making a contextual observation. When talking about the US constitution (and for that matter I think the same is true of the magna carta) it's cast into a narrative involving two core entities: the people and the government. And then a discussion about the ratio of fed to state authority. I think, given the context in which these documents were written, it's more accurate to recognise at least 3 entities: Tenants, Landlords and the Government. In the UK and other European countries it's perhaps more like 5: Serfs, Tenants, Landlords, Nobles and the Government. Then the conversation is really about how the government reflects the wishes of the other entities. When documents like the Constitution or the Magna Carta talk about 'freemen' they refer to land owners. The magna carta was written explicitly to protect land owners from the common law. If you look at the opinions of those involved in writing the US constitution it seems clear that at the time it was understood that only land owners have a vested interest in government. So, jumping to now, there is a section of US society that sees the limitation of federal authority as a manifest goal that is held axiomatically, but you have to ask: Who is the axiomatic limitation of federal authority designed to protect, and from whom?

Comment: Re:Since when (Score 1) 818

by Marc D Hall (#46794089) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
What does my country have to do with anything? The UK is an Oligarchy. Why d'you think I think my country is special? I never said anything to give that impression. You have implanted your own interpretation of my mind. What's with the 'us-and-them' attitude? "Electing leaders is democracy if you are given distinct choices in candidates with differing philosophies. " Democracy is a theoretical abstraction, perhaps one that can never exist. Who knows. In the real world there are pragmatic steps that have to be taken and what you call 'direct democracy' might not be practical. Electing leaders is just a pragmatic approach. One of many. This is the difference. But having an election to decide who runs the country is just that: voting for a leader. Just like voting for the best singer on TV doesn't ensure democracy, it just applies the procedure of voting to choosing a winner. Whether electing leaders creates a democratic government depends one whether those leaders implement the public's policy choices. If the political system, by it's design, doesn't ensure that those 'leaders' implement the peoples policy then that system can't be said to be a democracy, but rather what some people call a procedural democracy.

+ - Bitcoin: The Gamification of Waste->

Submitted by Marc D Hall
Marc D Hall (3600315) writes "Bitcoin is a way to get people to tie up physical resources to produce entities that exist for no reason other than as a means to transfer physical resources into their possession. We have produced a system that encourages people to tie up resources in order to gain resources while doing literally nothing productive. You could argue something similar about gold coins; but at least an argument could be made (IMO an invalid one) that the upside is we get gold out of the ground. Not even this upside exists for Bitcoins. Bitcoins are literally useless whether we have them or not."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Since when (Score 1) 818

by Marc D Hall (#46765599) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Oh crying out loud, not this shit again? No wonder your country is so messed up. You are confusing structure with whether your representatives are elected democratically or not.

You are confusing Democracy with Representation, illustrated by you not seeing that 'partial democracy' is a contradiction in terms. Democracy isn't voting for things or electing leaders. Democracy is implementing policies reflective of the population's requirements. Representation and voting for representatives are just pragmatic routines. I would argue that in a real democracy you vote for policies and the people in office should be instantly recalled when they deviate from agreed policy. Representatives should be interchangeable, and 'leaders' shouldn't even exist in a democratic government. Electing leaders is not democracy

Comment: Re:power honeypot (Score 1) 128

The US Constitution was also created on the concept of a limited federal government, states rights, and local self-determination.

The US Constitution was written by Google's ancestors. They had the same motivation to limit the federal government then as Google does now: The federal government is a competitor. Geographically connected states can be spanned, with little cost, by any company with enough resources, so a company can grow big enough to go toe-to-toe with a state government. Federal government, on the other hand, is harder to fight with.

Comment: Re:What a bunch of hooye, total garbage (Score 1) 91

by Marc D Hall (#46639409) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography

The fact that inflation harms savings is simple elementary-school-level math. And since the real health of an economy is measured largely by production capacity + savings, any harm to savings is relative harm to the economy.

Savings are government deficit. For the non-government sector to save there has to be a surplus. For the non government sector to have a surplus the public sector must run a deficit. Every dollar in existence was issued through a deficit. Money is created out of nothing because that's the only way it can be created, but the government is almost always the last step in the process. And the obsession with inflation is pretty weird. Eco-metrics don't suffer. Numbers don't feel pain or starve to death. A real threat to sentient beings is from things like unemployment, social immobility, lack of education or healthcare. These are real social problems with real effects that are for more of a threat than the inflation boogy-man. The government issues currency mostly IN RESPONSE TO the non-government sector issuing debt. That debt HAS TO BE issued in order to fund savings and investment, which HAS TO happen in order for new jobs to be funded. Refusing simply stops new employment from being funded. These real social problems cause the economy to become deficient, reducing the usefulness of the economies sovereign currency, causing the government, when it HAS TO issue new currency to issue more and more as a simple reflection of the failing value of the currency caused by real social problems. The US can never be forced to default on a debt denominated in dollars. It just isn't possible. It can't even be forced to pay interest to foreign holders of debt. Governments pay interest to purely control interest rates. And dollars can only be spent in the US, so all add to aggregate demand for US products. If the debt is denominated in gold, it can default if it can't get enough gold.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.