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Comment: Re:More than PR (Score 1) 355

by khallow (#49761829) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

It's her ignorance of the USA, especially functioning capitalism and a functioning state with elected officials where she has such breathtaking ignorance.

I glanced at her biography and saw that not only had she lived in the US for many decades, but she had also worked for a campaign. It appears to me that part of her wit and rhetorical ability was sharpened in the very sort of functioning democracy that you claim she was ignorant of.

Her aristocratic manifesto was taken seriously be far too many people who take it far more seriously than a shallow SF book should be.

So what? I hope you have actual arrows in that rhetorical quiver.

If you pay attention you'll notice that they have ALL been that from George Washington onwards.

No, I don't see that at all and really that is an absurd claim to make about such an ideologically varied group. For example, we have US Presidents, Coolidge, Eisenhower and Reagan. None of them share the radical viewpoint of Ayn Rand, but they do have share some common ground such as a philosophical emphasis on individuality and independence over collective action.

Comment: Re:More than PR (Score 1) 355

by khallow (#49761767) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

Not critical enough that such a delay achieved anything other than sending a message.

Better than anything you or I have done.

I see the filibuster as a flaw in democracy

Why a flaw? Just because it was used some years back to block stuff you like? I consider that sort of thing a feature not a flaw. Legislative bodies aren't supposed to be a instantly responsive control system. They don't nor should be instantly reacting to any mood we happen to be in.

Look at all the silly media frenzies that happen each day in the US. Do you really want many of those to end up in law just because someone could get bills passed during the peak of the hysteria? Filibusters are one of the many tools out there to make sure crazy stuff of the moment doesn't turn into laws that last decades or centuries.

That's exactly how the Patriot Act passed in the first place. Do we really want more law like it? Somehow I doubt it.

Comment: Re:Yes to Brexit (Score 1) 339

If you support a strong EU (which is a necessary counterweight to the aggressiveness of Russia and the instability of the Middle East), then the UK should be in.

Unless you don't.

I don't. I have endured silly ISO business standard rituals because of crazy EU protectionists. The whole EU affair has failed to make sense for the past twenty years. You achieved the free trade end game and then... kept going? WTF. Nobody really cares about most of the stuff that the EU does these days aside from the narrow interest groups that benefit from it.

European countries already have figured out how to wipe their asses. Nobody needs another, very thick layer of nannies on top of what's already there and already working well enough.

And I greatly despise the "That Hideous Strength" style of embrace and extend tyranny that the EU engages in (that is, bribing elected politicians to betray their country's interests via cushy jobs with the resulting EU bureaucracy). As a result, I'm rooting for the whole thing to end in ignominy. So far so good.

You know, it would be nice if we all had societies and systems that were worthy of respect by everyone else. I feel that we're collectively letting ourselves down though things are better than what they've been in the past. Maybe as we did before, something better will come of it eventually.

Comment: Re:More than PR (Score 1) 355

by khallow (#49758555) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

I just can't see why so many people think of her in an American context when she knew fuck-all about the west.

America is not just the West. After all, there's a lot of people in America who know a lot about America, but very little about the rest of the West. If you look at Atlas Shrugged, it's quite clear that everything is deliberately vague beyond the borders of the US, which might be her ignorance of Europe and South America or that she was writing for a mostly US audience (who would not be familiar with those places either).

But even granting that, she had lived in the US for over a decade before the publication of Anthem, her first libertarian-style fiction and over three decades by the time of the publication of Atlas Shrugged.

If Stalin had parachuted a writer into the USA with instructions on writing something to undermine democracy it wouldn't have been as effective as the damage that Rand did with her rants about anything that wasn't aristocracy.

And I'm sure, if I had parachuted into Mother Russia with instructions to undermine the regime with my knowledge of orgami, that would have been super-effective too.

It's "twilight" for people who think they were born to rule.

You might find this hard to believe, but people who think they're born to rule, don't need a book to justify their world view. Rand was a bit crazy, particularly in her later years, but it's ridiculous to assert she was undermining democracy with words (actually it would be ridiculous to assert that she was even trying to - she does have a long pro-democracy history, let us note). It is impossible to do that just as it would be impossible to overwhelmhe USSR with a few small bits of folded paper.

What I believe happened here and why Rand was so influential was because she was a voice for groups and ideas which had long been neglected and derided. I speak not just of the imaginary people who supposedly thought they were born to rule, but somehow couldn't avail themselves of the multitude of utopian, authoritarian belief systems tailored to them, but also the people who grew tired of the ever increasing dysfunctionality, demands, and hypocrisy placed on them by society and authority.

And seriously, how is Rand supposed to have undermined democracy anyway? I note that we in the US currently have a president who is the antithesis of anything Rand believed in, who is casually slipping the US into another Vietnam-style war in Iraq, created the most destructive social program (the Obamacare thing) in forty years, has a variety of 0-9 losses at the Supreme Court from breathtakingly irrational, unconstitutional actions and arguments (typical looter logic in Atlas Shrug but without the compliant judicial branch to make it work), and a variety of creeping acts of tyranny.

Meanwhile we have a senator, named after Ayn Rand herself, who just opposed renewal of the Patriot Act, which is probably the single biggest step toward US tyranny in the last half century, by filibustering it at a crucial period prior to its renewal.

I suspect you might not have a clue what undermining a democracy entails. It's not words that undermine a democracy, but the crushing of freedom to act, to speak, to think, which undermines democracy.

Comment: Re:WSJ is owned by NewsCorp now, right? (Score 1) 224

by khallow (#49756577) Attached to: WSJ Crowdsources Investigation of Hillary Clinton Emails

By only running three or four hours of news every day, they don't have to sensationalize news in-general just to survive, the bulk of their other programming does that for them.

Well, that and their ability to regenerate crime sprees on the fly. I've seen a number of such stations which don't go beyond reading the local crime blotter and cute pet stories.

Comment: Re:wrong (Score 1) 355

by khallow (#49756005) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?
Well, I've been READing and UNDERSTANDing you and I have yet to see an actual fact backing your assertion that the tax is regressive. If we actually look at the proposed mechanics of the tax, it's a a flat tax on everything past a certain base amount. That right there makes it slightly progressive. And that's pretty much it.

Comment: Re:Socialist here (Score 1) 355

by khallow (#49755433) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

There's just no way a weak, decentralized govt can stand up against a modern corporation.

Except by taking their stuff or putting people in jail, of course. The thing missing in your argument is the vast power differential between even a "weak, decentralized" government and a corporation.

It just doesn't matter to us if the jackboot in our v necks is public or private, so we'll take our chances with the govt and try to hang onto it..

Sure, it does. A business's power is far easier to break. Just destroy or take their capital or stop buying their stuff, then they stop making a profit. That jackboot goes away when the business can no longer pay for it. For better or worse a small group of people can considerably harm even a large business, if they target it with effective sabotage or high profile bad publicity.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?