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Comment Re:Predictable... (Score 1) 260

>All they're doing is hiring critical US journalists and satirical comedians to report facts however they want to (as long as they're not critical of Putin or the Kremlin). It's not that hard to do.

RT, DW, BBC, Al-Jazz, etc., don't have to make shit up to make the US look bad. This "hurr the Russians were fucking up our election" bullshit pales in comparison to the actual shenanigans (seals on WI voting machines *visibly* broken, the latest news... and going back to the restriction on voting venues in many states, even my home state, Rhode Island, during the primaries, as just two examples off the top of my head) that took place during the election season.

And the US media mindlessly repeating Clinton gas lighting was particularly infuriating to Bernie voters so much that much of them stayed home, because ... "fuckit, we don't need your vote" and "deplorables."

The only people who buy this "russian" nonsense are low-information people that get their news /only/ from the OTA broadcast networks. Or something. I don't know. Whoever keeps forcing this issue expects everyone to be dumb, I guess.

And one of the latest "we don't fucking get it" things is that Nancy Pelosi is now Minority Leader. Because the public didn't shout loudly enough that they're tired of the same old shit by electing Trump.

So yeah, it's all the fault of the Russians.


Comment Re:Those who something, something (Score 1) 494

>Left-wing government-funded "news" service

If you think that NPR is left wing, you are a fucking idiot. It hasn't been left wing since the end of the Clinton administration. Indeed, it has become completely corporatist since then.

There isn't any"left wing" on media today except outside of the us and random YouTube channels. It's all corporate oriented programming, especially considering that the mainstream media is owned by just a handful of companies.

Lastly, the Koch brothers are major donors to NPR.

Wake the fuck up.


Comment Re:At least Trump may actually do some good (Score 1) 351

>OMG, I don't have to make anybody do absolutely anything! Free market is literally one single property: absence of government regulations, nothing else.

No it isn't. Go crack open a textbook. Even though I disagree with the Austrian school and the Chicago school, which is where modern "free market" economics comes from, you need to read up on them and their theories. And it's obvious you've never even taken a survey-level macroeconomics course.

>I know exactly where I stand and my position

I know where you stand too, and down that path lies madness for society.


Comment Re:At least Trump may actually do some good (Score 1) 351

>I only believe in self interest. Self interest. Self interest. Self interest. Self interest. Self interest.

Yeah? So what? People go against their own self-interest all the fucking time. They are also irrational. All the fucking time they are irrational - do I even have to mention "The Madness of Crowds"? Fucking free-market theory /depends on/ everyone acting in their own self-interest - sellers and buyers all. But you know what?


And that's the thing - people espousing free-market theory and insist on society working that way ignore human behavior outright and say "things would be just fine if everyone did X." Freemarketism is an "ism" that people "believe in" like you "believe in" - it's not something that can ever exist. It's religion. It's faith. It's a fictional idealized thing that if you believe that it can actually ever happen, you should also believe in frictionless inclined planes in physics, which also don't exist, and in this universe, can't.

>private enforcement

You mean like the fucking Pinkertons during the Carnegie steel strike?

So instead of one tyrant, you want thousands of tyrants. Brilliant.

>you absolutely do need private means of protecting yourself, and this includes private police, private insurance, private courts, weapons as well

This is warlordism. You want warlords, with their own little fiefdoms, probably imagining yourself as one of them.


Comment Re:At least Trump may actually do some good (Score 1) 351

>I see private courts, competing with each other as the only legitimate courts that can address the issue of government corruption.

What part of society makes arbitration (private courts) enforceable?

You can have courts without enforcement, but then the losers in court would just give it the middle finger and walk away. The only way this would work is if everyone cooperates voluntarily.

The problem with libertarianism, anarchism, communism, *ism is "if people only behaved the way I told them to, this idea would work."

The famous last words of every tyrant.

The only way I can see is to be practical and try your best at good governance (being fair/not oppressive/solving real problems). That /doesn't/ require a specific ideal to be followed, but it does require some sort of ethics among politicians, and that politicians that violate those ethics be punished.

Which is asking too much. So ... fuckit.

And people wonder why Trump got elected.


Comment Re:At least Trump may actually do some good (Score 0) 351

" The actual enemy is the government and while businesses can create problems, including environmental problems, at least it is possible to fight them in court"

What part of society are courts?

Where are laws made that allow you to sue in court and have the court's findings enforced?

If you think government is the enemy, go look at places where there is ineffective government and no government. They're hellholes. They're places where you either become a warlord or are beholden to a warlord.

Go live in Somalia.

Libertarians are so stupid.


Comment Re:Bah! Who needs Russians? (Score 4, Interesting) 272

Putin is leading a full-scale propaganda war against the west, intended at undermining trust in our democarcies and our institutions.

Putin did?

The Republicans spent the last 40 years undermining trust in our institutions and democracies. The whole fucking last 8 years was a de-legitimization campaign against the executive branch. Stupid shit like "starve the beast" and the "norquist pledge" are the rallying cries for a race to the bottom in governance. And the Democrats let them do it. Because they've been running away from "common man politics" because anything left of the John Birch Society is "socialism." Political cowardice has governed the Democrats ever since Reagan won.

And the Press have shown even more cowardice, refusing to call out obvious bullshit and giving bloviating idiots like Trump FOUR billion fucking dollars of free air time. Because a clown-car wreck is more entertaining than covering issues. And any politician caught talking about issues (and their supporters) was ridiculed or ignored. And anything coming out of Hillary's mouth was golden, somehow, even if it was disingenuous (standing on stage next to Bernie mouthing the issues we all know damn well that she would abandon if elected).

Hillary's only selling point that she emphasized was that she "wasn't Trump." Big fuckin' deal. If you're going to elect "not trump" then a ham sandwich could stand in for that position. At least a ham sandwich didn't have the awful negatives that Hillary had. Hillary's campaign was the most tone-deaf thing I have had to waste my time watching go over a cliff.

The cynicism, self-dealing, gas-lighting, all of it made voters turn their noses up in disgust.

Putin didn't have to do a goddamned thing to undermine faith in our democracy and institutions. The people charged with running them have abdicated their responsibilities in favor of their own prurient interests.

I suggest that it's you who has to wake up.


Comment Re:This is a good thing (Score 5, Insightful) 395

I find that those who oppose any kind of societal safety net have never had to use the resources of one.

And they never expect to.

This.... is delusional. You will age. You /will/ fall ill. Be it 6 months out of work for a septic knee (like what Tom Brady had), or full disability because nobody wants to hire someone who has to go to doctors' appointments 1/4 of the days out of a month on a regular basis. BAD SHIT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU SOMETIME IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PLAN FOR.

I don't like wishing bad things on people. I don't need to. Because they happen anyway.

Against the safety net? Good luck to you. You'll need it.


Comment Re: How to prevent it? Raise taxes! (Score 1) 284

You're an AC but so you won't get this, but the breathlessness (starting straight away in the introduction) with which TWIF was written strikes me as a piece of fan-fiction, almost.

But that's just my impression.

That's because Friedman wasn't talking to people like me. He was talking to people who have capital to move. Which is definitely not me. The world being "flat" where you can just move capital wherever the cost is lowest in a hydraulic press downward effect on wages would be good for someone to make a quick buck in the short run.

For everyone else? not so much.


Comment Re:How to prevent it? Raise taxes! (Score 4, Insightful) 284

A 'science' built on false assumptions is what we call a pseudo-science. Much like homeopathy.

>what friedman says

Friedman can go piss up a rope. I read his book "the world is flat" and I have come to the conclusion that he entirely believes his own bullshit. Which is what it is. He argues that capital /should/ be fungible and it's a great thing that it is. The problem is that people aren't. There is no such thing as the free movement of people which is what you'd expect in a true free-market where capital is allocated.

And he sees none of his views as harmful. So he can go fuck himself with his own book.

>what we can do

Deal with the market as it is, instead of trying to do it through gedankenexperiments-as-religion based upon nonsense.

They (economists like Friedman) keep trying to make Economics a hard science, when it's not - it's a soft science at best like Sociology. It's not physics and will never be like physics.

But they will keep trying, and getting people to buy their tomes. Because witchcraft still sells.


Comment Re:How to prevent it? Raise taxes! (Score 4, Insightful) 284

A supposedly free market depends on fully informed consumers and producers both making rational choices for their own interests.

Just look at that statement. Look at the assumptions built into it. Tell me that's not a lot of horse shit. Information imbalance always existed. People are hardly rational. Free markets never existed, even when humanity consisted of 300 or so person pre-metal tribes.

And then Led Zeppelin came along.

But seriously, a free market is like a unicorn, with wings and the whole nine yards - a unicorn can be described, even painted, animated, carved into wood/stone/titanium, and stories and games written around it, but it doesn't exist and never will. Just like a free market.

It is a figment of imagination and always will be. The fact that so many believe that it's a real thing says that a lot of people are willing to believe bullshit. It's not a fact. It's a religion. It's like believing that My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is a documentary. Rational adults know better.


Comment Re:Oh dear (Score 1) 742

>If you're a high school dropout and your dad and grandad spent their entire lives working in that mill,

If you went to school and became an engineer, millwright, or toolmaker or machinist (which you /also/ need besides just machine operators to run a manufacturing business) or a computing professionals (Database admin, IT, and probably a couple of programmers, some of whom are probably the aformentioned millwrights, toolmakers, machinists and engineers) or accountant, you were also SOL.

Manufacturing doesn't just employ "high school dropouts." It employs a bunch of people with 2 and 4 year degrees and 4-5 year apprenticeships.

And all that shit has gone to China.

That's why people cheered when Trump said he was against TPP and that NAFTA was a raw deal and why people like me (a toolmaker) who are /liberal/ saw Clinton's pick of Tim Kaine as a giant middle finger. (I couldn't bring myself to vote for Clinton. I wound up voting for Stein instead. Because, what the hell, I may as well contribute to a possible 5% vote for the greens instead of wasting my vote).

And with all that manufacturing going to China, so will the management. All those people /also/ with 4 year degrees are SOL.

And all the "free trade" assholes don't see /any/ of this as harmful.

Free trade isn't fair trade, and the election of Trump is "calling bullshit" on the whole concept of "free trade" because it was never "free" in the first place and the neoliberal fuckfaces like the Clintons never bothered with fair trade because it didn't line the pockets of their donors. If you can't have actual "free trade" then "fair trade" is what you should strive for, but according to the globalist neoliberals, we should /never/ have that. Because it cuts out arbitrage. Because arbitrage what matters most in society.



"Free Trade" doesn't exist. It is a mythical construct like a unicorn or like a friction-free inclined plane in physics.

Comment Proof (Score 5, Insightful) 160

Anyone with a passing familiarity with malware knows that such spear-phishing scams may be /anyone/ /anywhere/.

So they're Russian, you say? (picture of Putin glowering at the top of the article) How come you're so /certain/ it's the Russian government and not, you know, the Russian Mob (Russian Business Network and affiliates) or someone in the RBN pretending to be FSB or any combination of Russian speaking expatriates or even the CIA posing as FSB or RBN or something much more mundane?

>passed by the filters


This has been standard operations for malware for the past, oh, nearly 20 years. Because the filters are only as good as the latest definitions and anything not in the definitions is going to skate right on by. THIS IS NOT NEW.

I'm treating these nearly fact-free vague news stories like this as pure propaganda, because that's what they are. Like our top-secret-hush-hush "CLANDESTINE" retaliations at the putative "russians" /announced/ on NBC News (fucking really?).

This fucking forced march into a new Cold War is fucking stupid. The clowns that have been pushing for it since the collapse of the Soviet Union need to be imprisoned at the very least.


Comment Re:Wow (Score 3, Interesting) 1368

Back in the 90s and early 00s I used to go back and forth from Rhode Island to Toronto every weekend or every other weekend (and off to Bobcaygeon).

I was envious of the prosperity across the border. American Exceptionalism became less exceptional.

>more stringent ecological rules and laws
>higher taxes
>universal healthcare (OHIP).
>whole corridor from Windsor to Oshawa more prosperous than anything with comparable population south of the border.

Somehow it seems that there's been a bunch of lyin' by certain politicians over the decades.


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