Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Economic and Cyber Pirates

== Pirates among us! ==

In “Piracy on the Cyber Seas,” in The American Interest, 

Alas, the word “attribution” is sorely lacking, though all of the intel and military guys I talk to are now obsessed with it. If you can attribute bad actions - not only to perpetrators but also to their backers - then you can deter.  Of course, this lies at the heart of Garfinkle’s quandary.

“As for obfuscating or causing to collapse the distinction between the criminal and the political, ransomware attackers illustrate a piling-on to the twin attack on the state ably described in the pages of The American Interest by Nils Gilman. In his 2014 essay, “The Twin Insurgency,” he shows how criminals and plutocrats unwittingly (for the most part) reinforce each other’s attack on the state, each creating forms of porosity the other can walk right through.

According to Garfinkle, Gilman posits a third force in cyber-piracy, those whose anarchist or doctrinal leanings make them sincere in wanting to use cyberpunk methods and memes to bring down a decadent western establishment: “We may now imagine a triple insurgency, adding modern political pirates to the mix (along with plutocrats and predatory criminals). If it turns out, as I suspect is likely, that many would-be piratical hackers have a political agenda akin to the other well-known transparency saints of our time — Assange, Snowden, Manning—then we will see the concept of hostis humani generis come alive yet again before our very eyes.”

Picture the protagonists of the TV series, Mr. Robot. Indeed, a day may come when such people are right about needing to bring down a corrupt and oppressive and un-salvageable system. The problem is that romantic twits, steeped in generations of "suspicion of authority" (SoA) propaganda from every Hollywood film, tend to believe such things out of ego, self-flattery and outright delusion attributing tyranical traits to the gentlest, most tolerant and open society ever seen. This bizarre contradiction doesn't matter much, when the brave-or-foolish cyber hero aims for transparency and light shining in dark corners. Assange and Snowden -- one of them somewhat admirable and the other a jerk -- styled themselves Whistle Blowers -- and did trigger some moderate changes and reforms, but generally revealed almost zero information supporting the notion of American Dystopia.

Back to Garfinkle. In his list of attributes of the state, the author leaves out all of our recent, enlightenment innovations:

1- Protecting and enhancing the ability of citizens to take semi sovereign actions independently, under a loose state umbrella and utilizing shared infrastructure.

2- Ending the conflation of the state with its leaders, ensuring that leaders who are exposed as malefactors can be eliminated without harm to the state, and thus ensuring that light is hardly ever lethal to the nation, only to metastacized cells.

Alas, Garfinkle does not consider the weapons that won us the Cold War.  By maintaining moral high ground across the period from WWII onward, we were able to attract defectors from the ranks of the communist adversary. Luring and protecting them became an art as important as espionage.  This same method should enable us to gain attribution within the cyber-pirate communities.

At which point, what you do with pirates is sic on them agents that leave us with plausible deniability.  Privateers.

== The Unseen Revolution that was killed in its tracks ==

And now, on to economic piracy.

I have long been puzzled why not a single business theorist or economist seems to recall what had seemed the elephant in the room, back in the early seventies, which was the rapid rise of labor ownership of capital. During the 30 years after World War II, amid the flat social structure and rapid economic expansion wrought by the Greatest Generation’s Rooseveltean contract, by-far the fastest-growing accumulations of capital were rapidly-vesting union pension funds. 

By 1974, those funds had a portfolio of about $150 billion, compared with a total price for the stock market of under $500 billion, representing 30 percent of the total value of listed companies. In effect, it seemed that simply by getting a fair share of profits — something that Karl Marx proclaimed could never happen —workers were well on their way toward ownership of the means of production.

One author wrote about the implications of this trend, in “The Unseen Revolution: How Pension Fund Socialism Came to America.”  Peter F. Drucker (1909-2005) was considered the top management thinker of his time. He authored over 25 books, with his first, The End of Economic Man published in 1939. What Drucker probably did not expect is that – by pointing out a trend – he played a huge role in preventing its final realization. 

“The Unseen Revolution” made this trend very clearly seen. A youth at the time, I recall reading hand-wringing essays, especially on the American right, by those who dreaded this peaceful, incremental and entirely non-Marxist type of “socialism.” Beyond hand-wringing, the moguls demanded actions to prevent it from coming true. They crafted arguments for the Reagan Revolution, which soon had two effects.

(1) enhancement of revenue to the old, ownership-rentier castes, through major tax cuts justified by the new Supply Side theory and neo-liberal (Chicago School) economists. And

(2) systematic under-funding of pension obligations.

Sure, one could argue that some of number two was necessary to avoid bankruptcy. But number one - from the perspective of forty years of absolute and perfect disproof of an utterly mad incantation - has been a parasitical raid of vampiric proportions. To make the point plain: not once has a Supply Side prediction ever come true. At all. Ever. Even once.

But it succeeded in its hidden purpose. Today, pension funds have accumulated global value in the trillions of dollars, and yet hold a far smaller share of total equity than Drucker predicted. Indeed, they hold far less - proportionately - than in 1975. Of course there is a reason for this, rooted in Drucker’s book, which should rank high on the pantheon of “self-preventing prophecies.”

Want irony? America was defying every single prediction of the Marxists, demolishing their confident predictions by reforming and creating an ever-flatter, almost classless society while retaining vigorous, competitive enterprise-based markets. The Greatest Generation - idolized in vague, vaseline-smeared abstract by the Trumpites - adored one living human above all others -- FDR - and their social contract worked spectacularly well.  

We only started back down Marxian paths with Supply Side “reforms” that followed Karl’s description of oligarchic depredation, to a T.

No wonder Google searches for “Karl” and “Marx” have been rising rapidly, lately and young people can be seen reading works we had thought consigned to the dustbin of history. Those who most vigorously have claimed to despise Marxism have been most instrumental in seeing to it that his famous “spectre” is fast rising again, from the grave.

== The Arctic grows critical ==

The Arctic is is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. But amid rapid climate change, Vladimir Putin is setting Russia up to take advantage of new shipping routes and oil deposits.  “The scale of Russian military and economic activity—driven in part by a national mythology and pride rooted in its northern identity—means that, regardless of U.S. policy, there is competition for Arctic power and resources. Benefits accrue to early movers, and the U.S. is not one of them.”

Russian officials’ rhetoric about its Arctic presence, coupled with military re-entrenchment, has been less than diplomatic. “Dmitry Rogozin, deputy prime minister and director of Putin's Government Commission for Arctic Development Issues, has called the 1867 sale of Alaska a “betrayal of Russian power status” and has said that the Kremlin has a “right to reclaim our lost colonies.””

Yep. They're comin' for Alaska!  And you sourdoughs asked for it.

More than 4 million people live north of Earth's Arctic Circle, nearly half of them in Russia and the rest scattered among the seven other northernmost countries—the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.  Have look at the distribution of Russian bases, including new ones, ringing the Arctic.  The U.S. Navy is deeply concerned. And there are no climate denialist cultists in the US Naval Officer ranks.  

== Miscellanea ==



The horror… that hilarious send-ups should be so accurate: “Russian Officials Scrambling As Plan To Delegitimize Western Democracy Moving Way Faster Than Intended.”  -from The Onion.

Oh, and then, as the Vice-President tries to distance himself... "Pence began laying the groundwork for his own political future. On Wednesday,
 Pence filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to establish the Great America Committee, a leadership political action committee that will allow him to raise money for his political interests and make donations to down-ballot candidates."

I keep telling you folks. Pace yourselves.  Early impeachment would be a disaster!

The New Orleans mayor’s brave and moving speech about  the relocation, off of public squares, of four confederate monuments..Though a bit long-winded, he makes powerful points, especially that the Confederacy was wrong, wrong and wrong and we are all better for remembering just how wrong.  

I would quibble on one point. One particular virtue stood out from the general moral turpitude and awfulness of that atrocious “cause." That virtue was martial valor and ingenuity at war. Damn good fighters, them rebels. And I do not mind measures taken to note that one admirable quality, in the context of everything else. Sherman willingly acknowledged the fortitude with which Confederate troops battled for a cause: “though that cause was among the worst for which men ever fought.”

== Back to modern pirates! ==

It's still being fought. The new commandant of the US Air Force Academy can expect a rough reception from the surrounding hotbed of radical Christian fundamentalism – Colorado Springs. Indeed, it has long been known, even openly avowed, that such groups try to inveigle and suborn the service’s tradition of non-sectarian and adult secularity. But if any officer can ease the USAFA out of this trap, it will be Brig. Gen. Kristin Goodwin, former B-2 pilot and former commander of the Second Bomber Wing, who arrives soon with her two children and her wife. And yes, I put great faith in the stature, maturity and enlightenment-loyalty of our officer corps.

But of course, you will hear me remind you again and again: as redder political fortunes wane, they will seek distractions!  Even excuses for a clamping down. A Reichstag Fire. A Gleiwitz or Tonkin Gulf incident. What they really want is War with Iran. It would give the Saudis, the mullahs and Putin everything they want, along with all of those loving high oil prices. 

A blog commentator pointed out that back in 2001, Iran elected a moderate secular government and seemed poised to throw off the rule of the Mullahs. George W. Bush chose right then to start making noises about "the Axis of Evil" and sabre-rattling at Iran. The nation promptly retreated to the imagined safety of religious fundamentalism, a turtle pulling its head in.  And why shouldn't the GOP be secretly friendly to the mullahs and hostile to a democratic Iran?  Remember that the Mullahs destroyed Jimmy Carter and opened the way for Ronald Reagan. 

Today's GOP owes the Ayatollahs everything.

84 comments:

Tim H. said...

Wonder if General Goodwin served at Whiteman AFB? Which hosted a great air show last weekend. It is also in serious Trump country, and if she thrived there, she'll have most of what she'll need to survive Colorado Springs.

LarryHart said...

Stranger than fiction. The following story on cnn.com--just posted an hour or so ago--demonstrates that Trump has no principles, but also that (for that very reason) he might be less dangerous than Pence.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/13/politics/trump-senators-health-care-white-house-meeting/index.html



TRUMP CALLS HOUSE HEALTH CARE BILL 'MEAN'

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump told Republican senators lunching at the White House Tuesday the House-passed health care reform bill he celebrated earlier this year was "mean," a source told CNN.

Trump made clear multiple times that he was pleased that the Senate negotiations appeared to be moving away from where the House version of the repeal and replace effort ended up, according to three sources familiar with the meeting.

Trump told the lawmakers that the House bill didn't go far enough in protecting individuals in the marketplace -- and appeared to use that as his rationale for why he has ambiguously called twice for the Senate to "add more money" to the bill.
...

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

there's a report today that they are going to ban press interviews on Capitol Hill. The press would still be allowed to cover public functions, but not ask Congressionals about them.


The media response to any clamping down of interviews should be to report what they guess or presume is going on, and if congress (or whoever) disputes their interpretation, they might have to find their voice.

Paul451 said...

From the last thread:

Jumper,
Re: Life on Earth.

I wasn't dismissing the effect that humans are having, only commenting on Locumranch's hysteria.

Speaking of El Loco...
"How much of Climate Change theory is David prepared to disavow as potentially incorrect? 5, 10, 20, 30 or 50% ??"

Shows how little he knows about how science works.

If the answer to a question is 157.385... and your first approximation is 140, is that 20% wrong, 50% wrong, 100% wrong or 100% right? You aren't even asking the right question.

If you argue that because the researchers moved from 140 to 150 to 158 to 157.4... that they don't know what they are doing, you don't understand science. And if, at each turn, in the face of that constant scientific development, you insist the answer is zero and always zero, you aren't capable of understanding science.

--

Aside: Had Locum read The Giving Plague, he'd know that the altruism virus wasn't extraterrestrial. Nor was the second virus that caused the rapid spread of the altruism virus.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

If you argue that because the researchers moved from 140 to 150 to 158 to 157.4... that they don't know what they are doing, you don't understand science. And if, at each turn, in the face of that constant scientific development, you insist the answer is zero and always zero, you aren't capable of understanding science.


Isaac Asimov did a great essay on that subject, describing the progression from "the earth is flat" through "the earth is spherical", "the earth is an elliptical spheroid", to "the earth is a lopsided elliptical spheroid". Each new theory is not so much a proof that the old one was wrong but a succession of better and better approximations.

One might say the same for "A year is 365 days" to "a year is 365.25 days" and "a year is 365.2425 days". The plain 365-day year is close, but deviates enough to require a leap day every 4 years. The further refinements came as a result of deviations that were, only noticed over many centuries and led to the refinements that every year ending in 00 is notare. None of which means "365 days" was a wrong answer in the same sense that 64 or 5000 would be.

LarryHart said...

That should read:

every year ending in 00 is not a leap year, except for those divisible by 400 which are.

Stupid formatting!

Tim H. said...

Locumranch, in the midst of all his un-naviable verbiage, might be a bit concerned about how a transition would be handled, with the current "Devil take the hindmost" attitude, he's right to worry. There's kind of a sick burn sort of funny that a progressive Government is more likely to perform the transition gracefully, to actually worry about it's citizens. A contemporary conservative Government could be expected to set up the more dystopian things depicted in Cory Doctorow's "Walkaway".

Alfred Differ said...

@Duncan | Any measurement not directly observed by a human tends to be used in models to figure out what was going on back before people were thinking about climate change. Take the O-18/O-16 ratio for example. We know water with the heavier oxygen vaporizes a little later than the version with lighter water in a warm climate. It precipitates faster as air cools for the same reason. That means we should be able to work backward to what was going on near a tree during various years by looking at how the ratio varies within the tree’s structure. There are similar arguments for various minerals. Together we can work out some useful climate measurements back through several geologic ages. We KNOW the ratios, but we don’t KNOW the climates in the same way. We model what the ratio means and INFER the climate information.

I’m not knocking modeling, though. Ultimately, every measurement we use is inserted into a model somewhere and then information is perceived from the model. Our brains work that way and science follows the same rules. I was trained to do physics theory work in grad school, which is really just playing with models. (Try explaining that to your wife. Heh.) That means even what we think we know should be stated in probabilistic terms.

1) Is sea ice extent shrinking on both poles. Yup. Very, very likely.
2) Is sea ice volume shrinking on both poles. Looks like it. Certainly in the Arctic. Very likely.
3) Is the deep ocean warming up? Looks like it in places, but we don’t seem to have a lot of evidence. Possible, but I’d like to look more. I seem to recall an Earth-facing satellite called Topex that was supposed to watch sea surface elevations. I’ve seen other data suggesting we have or can occasionally measure the volume our oceans occupy, and from that and a decent model, we might be able to infer deep layer temperatures.
4) Are we going to get one meter sea level rise before 2100. I rather doubt it, but that is a forwarding looking projection depending upon economic predictions. I could be wildly wrong. Based on the warming that has already occurred, though, I don’t think I’m wrong. The danger will occur in the 22nd century if we follow the business-as-usual scenario. Will we? I rather doubt it. When have we ever over such a long time span? Before industrialization? Heh. Like those rules apply to today? A century from now we might have Robin Hanson’s em’s running the place for all I know with a population count in the trillions. Economic projections are vulnerable to black swans, so I try to avoid embarrassing myself. However, if a one meter sea level rise isn’t slated until the 22nd century, then “hell no” I don’t want to spend much money on mitigating it now. Just tell people we think it likely and let the insurers deal with it.

So if we have not achieved equilibrium then we know the average ocean temperature is going to increase

No. We don’t. You are making an assumption about what happens economically going forward. That’s how difficult black swans are.

Alfred Differ said...

@locumranch | To him, Climate Change theory is GOSPEL, climate change deniers are heretics, conservatives are insane, Trump is the devil & progressives are the 'Angels of Our Better Nature'.

Was that fun to say? Got it out of your system yet? Nah. I doubt it. 8)

Our host has his gospel, but it isn’t climate change theory. It is more related to the connection he sees between Civilization and Purpose. He’s a believer in a macro-entity of which we are all components (I think) and that this entity has a clear purpose. When you demonstrate a failure to understand positive-sum scenarios and he keeps trying to reach you, THAT is him acting on his faith. As for the actual gospel, I’m not sure what he would consider. I haven’t read that particular book. I know some of what he rejects, though, as he makes that clear.

Your internal model for our host is miscalibrated. While snark is fun, I suspect you would enjoy it around here more if you took a moment to take our host at his word. If you want to accuse some others around here of taking climate change in a more dogmatic way, you would be closer to the truth than you would be for our host.

Catfish N. Cod said...

The current *measured* annual rate of sea level rise is 3 mm/yr, which would be 30 cm/century. But the 20th century saw 20 cm. The 19th saw 6 cm. And there was only 500 cm over the last 8000 years, which indicates that the 19th century was pretty typical as the interglacial goes.

And we continue to add accelerant; our trends are for the second derivative of CO2 concentration to be negative, but this does not change that we are still adding at a greater rate than plants and algae can suck it back down.

Barring massive deployment of renewable power -- I mean things like space solar power or blanketing the Sahara with windmills and silicon wafers -- I am fairly confident we will get close to one meter just from extrapolation of current processes. That is consistent with the lower end of meltwater pulse estimates during the ending of the Ice Age. The *high* end reads out at more like five meters per century.

We can, as a civilization, manage to deal with 30 cm/century; with difficulty, we can manage 1 m/century. 5 m/century -- that's two inches every year -- would be nothing less than beating a constant retreat for decades to centuries.

So the question is how much we can forestall meltwater pulses, i.e., collapses of ice sheets, and whether we can find some way for that ice to stay bloody put. Otherwise, we are going to have to spend large amounts of our species' resources reshaping our entire near-oceanic infrastructure. Did you know that 40% of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coast?

Duncan Cairncross said...

So if we have not achieved equilibrium then we know the average ocean temperature is going to increase

I simply don't understand how that could possibly be wrong
We Know that the atmospheric temperature has risen
We Know that the surface water temperatures have risen
Therefore "if we have not achieved equilibrium" -
We Know that the average ocean temperature is going to increase

I just don't see any other option - warming the surface layers is not going to cool the deeper waters

As far as the amount of sea level rise - that is modeling/forecasting - and that effects the economic requirements

Looking at this like insurance
I have fire insurance - the chances of my house going on fire are what 1/40,000 per year?

With all that is going on what odds would you give AGAINST a 2 meter sea level rise this century?

40,000:1 ??

So we should at least take the sort of precautions that are taken for every new house as well as the fire insurance

David Brin said...

Alfred, I wouldn't say that my passionate belief in civilization is about some mystical "Purpose." Rather it is about the stunning beauty of a one-time chance to escape from traps that bound our ancestors into grinding misery, dooming them and the world... and likely the same traps that doomed many other races, across the cosmos. We either invented or stumbled upon what looks a lot like a way out. And even if we fail, it will be gorgeous and glorious and people will sing about it for ages to come, by their guttering campfires or in their hovels under the shadow of a grimy castle, they will tell of a time of citizens. And how those who owned that majestic title so seldom stopped to think f what a miracle it represented.

I am a child of Cincinnatus. I will die, if necessary, for this revolution.

locumranch said...



I can't figure out the intent of this post: Is it for or against?

Every potentially negative outcome in this thread arises from the triumph of Globalism & the defeat of Nationalism, including the rise of international'cyber piracy', the despoiliage of national elections by foreign hackers, the assault on MSM by Macedonian teenagers, the disenfranchisement of local labour, the systematic under-funding of national pension obligations & financial malfeasance by multinational conglomerates.

This is the world Globalism has wrought. We are left with weak nations which cannot protect their political systems, interests, borders, communication networks & national sovereignity; we are left with powerless politicos who have ceded their authority to the Deep State, NGOs & transnational entities; and we are left with ineffective governance that cannot protect the putative rights of their citizens.

But why the long face? This is exactly what progressives demanded when they said 'Globalism Good', 'Nationalism Bad' & 'Fascism Evil'.

With the elimination of national loyalties & economic protections, you've allowed the likes of Apple, Starbucks, McDonald’s and Amazon to abandon restrictive national regulation in favour of tax havens like the Irish Republic without experiencing any adverse fiduciary consequence:

'The prevalence of tax-avoidance schemes among American corporations is hard to overstate. Fortune 500 companies have amassed more than $2 trillion overseas, denying the U.S. Internal Revenue Service a staggering $695 billion in taxes. Apple alone has avoided paying $66 billion in U.S. taxes by diverting its global revenue away from the United States, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a progressive tax policy group based in Washington, D.C. “From a worldwide public policy perspective, dropping tax rates to attract profit-shifting corporations is a race to the bottom, with the governments of the world in the aggregate realizing fewer tax dollars,” Jeffery M. Kadet, a tax lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law, told Salon.'

http://www.salon.com/2016/09/06/welcome-to-tax-haven-usa-apple-ireland-and-the-american-corporate-tax-giveaway/

So CELEBRATE this progressive victory while you may & watch as things get worse, up to & including a global financial collapse that will make Venezuela look like a picnic, because national protectionism, labour law & loyalty are things of the past.


Best
_____

Your analogies that compare climate change mitigation to buying 'fire insurance' (on a house, no less) are specious, emotional & stupid because it is quite illogical to expend high value resources on 'insurance' that costs more than the value of the resources that you wish to protect. In the absence of 'cost shifting', climate change mitigation makes as much sense as an 'extended warranty', and if you don't understand why purchasing an 'extended warranty' on global climate is a bad idea, then there's just no reasoning with you. Invest in space travel, instead. The climate will fix itself once relieved of its human burden.

David fancies himself "a child of Cincinnatus"? No revolutionary was he, but a fascist, dictator & farmer. If he fancies himself this 'child', then we best call 'Antifa' fast (or, perhaps, social services) before he self-identifies as a child of Mussolini & makes the trains run on time. FDR was a fascist, too, who just doted on Mussolini (until that whole 'Axis of Evil' thing, that is).

Tim H. said...

Wow, FDR, all things to all people? A fascist or hazardous near commie, whichever you need for the day's argument?

NoOne said...

Speaking of going beyond supply side economics, the new book "The End of Theory" by Richard Bookstaber is quite interesting. Tries to make the case (in an informal way) that economics should incorporate agent-based modeling (and move away from brittle applied math models which have characterized supply side economics especially from U Chicago). Agent-based modeling (at least as conceived by the author) is about inserting real humans as imperfect agents with bounded rationality into the loop and eschewing rational self interest models with perfect information.

Don't know if I came across information about this book here. If so, apologies.

Scott said...

Dr Brin, at this point in time, higher oil prices would only accelerate decarbonization and electrification. Electric cars, already mainstream, would push through the last barriers of "range anxiety". Heating oil prices would push some users to natural gas but others to electric heating. Yes it would embolden petro-authoritarians in Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, but only temporarily.

Jumper said...

Interesting concept, NoOne. Models run as cellular automata with reasonably "smart" but not perfectly informed "cells." Not easily done pre-computers; now we can.

Jumper said...

Cars? Let's dive into the extremely difficult problems: electric aviation and electric bulldozers & trackhoes. They will present difficulties.

Speaking of aviation, how fast can a streamlined tube of humans exit a "cannon" pointed skyward? How many gravities can the average commuter take before discomfort and risk go too high?

sociotard said...

As of this morning, it looks like the left is going to have to own up to having its own contingent of terrorists who want to initiate a civil war. My heart goes out to the families of the shooting victims.

I have seen the violent extremists, and they are us.

(Okay, we don't KNOW it was terrorism at this point, but, come on. He targeted Republican Congressmen.)

LarryHart said...

@sociotard,

I was going to respond with a punchline, but it's probably too soon. Regulars who know which lines I often quote from "The Simpsons" might be able to guess.

But I'm really curious how Republicans will continue to defend the rights of the people who shoot at them to open carry.


(Okay, we don't KNOW it was terrorism at this point, but, come on. He targeted Republican Congressmen.)


Serious question--is it "terrorism" because Republicans are targeted for their politics, but not when Democrats like Gabielle Giffords or left-identified institutions like Planned Parenthood are targeted for theirs? Is that because Republicans are real Americans and those other people are uppity pretenders?

I don't mean that you personally think that, but I do get that vibe off of the American public in general. The Orlando shooter at the gay bar was a "terrorist" because he was Muslim (and so Republicans didn't know who to root for), but if it had been an angry white Christian man who had committed the exact same act, he'd have been called a lone wolf with mental problems who had nothing to do with anyone else.

LarryHart said...

I said:

But I'm really curious how Republicans will continue to defend the rights of the people who shoot at them to open carry.


Maybe this is the first glimmer. He doesn't say this in so many words, but the implication is left to the listener that the active shooter might not have been such a problem if only the guy on second base and his teammates had all been carrying.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/us/steve-scalise-congress-shot-alexandria-virginia.html

Mr. Brooks said he went to the aid of one of the victims and used his belt as a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding from a gunshot to his leg. He said it was about two to five minutes before other officers arrived.

“My adrenaline is raging,” he told CNN. “It’s not easy to take when you see people around you being shot and you don’t have a weapon yourself.”

sociotard said...

Yep, the gunman has been identified as James T. Hodgkinson. He was a big Bernie supporter. Involved in liberal publications. Ladies and gentlemen, the age of far-left terrorism is upon us.
https://www.vox.com/2017/6/14/15801054/james-t-hodgkinson-police-alexandria-shooter

Alfred Differ said...

@David | Regarding ‘purpose’, I was going off of your imagery of a smiling God that takes incremental steps backwards as we take baby steps forward. Now I’ll push that material toward the allegory bin in my mental model of you. 8)

Cincinnatus? Heh. Definitely a romantic with that kind of mythical motivation. I get it, though, even if I’m not quite willing to do things his way. We’ve come a long way since his time… and he should get some credit for it.

Alfred Differ said...

I'm not quite willing to call this terrorism yet. I'll have to watch the news later to get details, but I'm tempted to avoid that term when someone aims at the politicians directly.

Murder? Attempted murder? Yes.

Terrorism aims to affect political outcomes and usually chooses softer targets who are not the actual decision makers. Aim at voters to affect politicians... that's properly called terrorism.

LarryHart said...

@sociotard,

I can't tell your tone from the written posts, so I might be missing a note of wry irony. I'm addressing this comment at face value, understanding that you might well have meant it differently:


Ladies and gentlemen, the age of far-left terrorism is upon us.


If you mean "White shooters aren't always right-wing Trump supporters", point taken, although the phrase "exception that proves the rule" comes to mind. I dispute that one example of such introduces an age thereof when the incidents from the other side happen with such numbing regularity that a right-wing shooter hardly seems like news any more. This particular case becomes noteworthy in precisely a "man bites dog" sense--it's not the way it usually happens.

As far as terrorism goes, I'd ask rhetorically whether there's a general feeling that armed Bernie supporters will be coming out of the woodwork now. Because I've felt that way about Trump supporters for months.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

I'm not quite willing to call this terrorism yet. I'll have to watch the news later to get details, but I'm tempted to avoid that term when someone aims at the politicians directly.

Murder? Attempted murder? Yes.


I agree on "terrorism", but "murder" might not be political enough. Attempted assassination is probably more accurate for that kind of thing.

locumranch said...


The dividing line between nationalism, fascism, socialism & communism is more complex than it seems as all are forms of collectivism wherein individuals group together for benefit of dubious equity.

Collectivism, quite rightly, assumes that groups possess more resources, force & power than individuals:

(1) Nationalism pools individual resources to collective benefit, holds those resources 'in common' (as in 'The Tragedy of the Commons') & implies that collective resources exist for mutual benefit, whether or not those benefits end up in equitable division between individual & group;

(2) Fascism demands benefit from all individuals & redistributes that benefit to the collective (in the sense of "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"), allowing the collective to increase its strength & wealth at the expense of individual effort;

(3) Socialism extracts benefits from individuals of greater wealth, adds those benefits to the wealth & strength of the collective and then redistributes much of that wealth to the benefit of other individuals of lesser wealth, without the pretence of either mutuality or equity; and

(4) Communism extracts benefits from all individuals, adds those benefits to the wealth & strength of the collective, holds those benefits 'in common' & then redistributes those benefits to the individual under the pretence of mutuality or equity.

In this sense, FDR was most certainly a Fascist, as were Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, JFK & Cincinnatus as they all demanded individual sacrifice for the collective good.

FDR, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, JFK & Mao all started off as Socialists because they engaged in resource redistribution like so many 'Robbing Hoods'.

FDR & JFK remained Socialists, while Hitler & Stalin abandoned the pretence of resource redistribution in favour of despotism, as did Mao who justified his despotism under the pretence of Communism.

And, of course, all-of-the-above were Nationalists.


Best

___

The attempted murder of US Republicans was not 'terrorism' because it failed to produce 'terror' from the would-be targets. It just pissed them off instead, encouraging them to use deadly force in self-defence, whereas actual terrorism is coming to the leftist provocateur very soon.

Paul Robert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarryHart said...

I think Donald Trump commented pseudonymously a few comments up.

Tim Wolter said...

24 hour rule and all, but I think it is not too soon to say that the assasination attempt today was the work of somebody with mental health issues and politically driven anger. The exact mixture is tbd.

Parallels to the Gabby Gifford shooting have already been made.

It strikes me that there is a difference, and a warning to all of us.

To the best of my recollection Rep Gifford was a fairly average Congressperson and a decent human being. If there were any public threats to her I had not heard of them.

Compare and contrast. We have B level comediennes considering it appropriate and funny to pose with the severed head - ala ISIS - of the President. Some sort of Shakespeare in the Park outfit is making the stabbing of an orange haired "Caesar" the centerpiece of their nightly performance.

I have to occasionally take a break from this forum because of the caliber of the invective. I take particular exception to the terms "Traitor" and "Monster" as applied to one of our political parties.

Throughout history the penalty for traitors has always been the same.

I don't think expressing your Freedom of Speech will suffer from a bit of moderation of language. Do only nut cases take "Sic Semper Tyrannus" literally?

Yep. But they are not in short supply.

Tacitus
(for those who have not aclimated to my new moniker)

donzelion said...

Inadvertently posted to the previous post -

Dr. Brin: "At which point, what you do with pirates is sic on them agents that leave us with plausible deniability. Privateers."

Not a viable strategy. One does not sic criminals to defeat criminals; one builds a police force and alters society itself. Privateers expanded piracy; navies reined it in. Navies backed by astute middle class merchants...

The better recipe comes from actual history:
(1) Identify the bases for the pirates, and 'destroy' them - not by burning them down with big cannons, but by co-opting the residents and redirecting the use of the ports and resources. Commercial agents exploring the Caribbean stopped more pirate ships from launching than ships of the line ever did.
(2) Eradicate slavery. Piracy, brigandage, and banditry prosper wherever slave/serf economies persist. Today's #1 'slavery' structure lurks in immigration rules; not the worst place to start.

As for modern oligarchs -

"What they really want is War with Iran."
Some, maybe. The most powerful - the financiers - want threats of war as an insider trading card. When they move positions, knowing whether a threat is real or a ploy, they make billions in seconds. The Rothschilds are the first super-dynasty to achieve its fortune through information (getting news of Waterloo a few hours before rivals saved their fortune; similar news created it). Most large fortunes operate similarly.

But there's trading 'information' among a select set of 'pirates' - and intentional opacity among the other, lesser sorts. Small, brutal investors financed the scramble for Africa and the dispossession of Native Americans - mostly by blocking government intrusion (today: 'inefficiency' in right wing press, historically, restraints on the agendas of would-be robber barons). For this group, 'government' is the threat to their multiple agendas - and more than a war with Iran, they want distractions to prevent government from raining on their various wells. And this group loves 'hacker cowboys' - who like most armed men of history (but not romance), are easily turned to serve their ends.

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

To the best of my recollection Rep Gifford was a fairly average Congressperson and a decent human being. If there were any public threats to her I had not heard of them.

Compare and contrast. We have B level comediennes considering it appropriate and funny to pose with the severed head - ala ISIS - of the President...


I also think it's a time for civility, but to your specific point there...

This shooting was not directed at Trump, but at congressfolk who I daresay were probably as ordinary and unheralded as Ms. Gifford was prior to her shooting.

IIRC at the time (2011?), there were threats being made against Democratic congressfolk (in general) such as websites with gunsight targets over their faces. Some such insinuations were even being made by a former Republican VP candidate.

I think there's a bias in this country that allows right-wingers to threaten lefties with guns (though not so much to actually shoot them) much more than the other way around. But even discounting that, let's compare apples to apples, ok?

matthew said...

Tim,
Tacitus,
What evidence do you have that the current Republican Party are not "Traitors" or "Monsters?"
I've seen piles of positive evidence of both, here and elsewhere.
If you have some examples that show that they are not traitors, not monsters, I'd like to see it.
Not a "when did you stop beating your wife-" style gotcha question, but an honest question for an honest conservative in this day and age. What do you see in the conservative movement right now that us liberals do not see? All I see is an embrace of fascism, racism, and overt religiosity from the conservative sphere. I don't see a damn thing that I regard as beneficial.
So, you disagree, as you have said upwards of here.
What do you see of worth from the conservative movement? Please help me CITOKATE on this one.

locumranch said...



The game-changing term Tacitus is looking for is 'incitement', but Donzelion is better equipped to discuss the potential consequences of this charge on progressive mainstream media bias, including the applicability of current 'hate speech' doctrine in regards to NPR, MSNBC & CNN.

Best

donzelion said...

Alfred: "However, if a one meter sea level rise isn’t slated until the 22nd century, then “hell no” I don’t want to spend much money on mitigating it now."

Actually, assuming that spending money does not result in 'lost' money that evaporates magically, and instead in some new form of behavior, perhaps now is exactly the right time to start spending it. Or rather, 'hell no, I don't want to invest on mitigating it now' - as in, you see much better investments elsewhere.

If so, fine. But when you do survey those investments, the field is stacked. The U.S. invests hundreds of billions of dollars to ensure oil flows globally, putting the bulk of those costs onto taxpayers and ultimately subsidizing a tiny handful. That's one distortion.

The bigger, more important distortion is private sector interactions with the public. Oil companies can do an incredible amount of secretive, behind-the-scenes work through zoning, land ownership, rights-of-way, etc. to raise costs for solar. Financiers can do far more with grants targeting hidden pages in legislation, or more often, regulatory adjustments, or simply replacing the 'wrong' person with the 'right' one in a position of power. Absent government, they will fight battles through courts that most people will never understand but will far more completely dictate the climate (both the investment and the actual climate).

I buy the notion that black swans can (almost certainly do) disrupt long-term projections, casting doubt upon them. But the fact of unpredictability does not discharge the imperative for predictably committing to certain healthier practices. And given the reliable, predictable effects of cost-shifting that are fundamental to business, this is an area where spending some money to transfer the costs back to those who created them early may save us a fortune in the long run (and a planet as well).

LarryHart said...

@donzelion,

Radio host Norman Goldman quotes some ancient philosophy which I paraphrase from memory:

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is now, because it will be twenty years from now at some time."

Tim Wolter said...

Again, I hesitate to go into too much depth early, as information can be conflicting, partial or just plain wrong. But a list of Facebook groups the would be assassain is said to have been part of:

▪ “The Road to Hell is Paved with Republicans”
▪ “Donald Trump is not my President”
▪ “President Bernie Sanders”
▪ “Illinois Berners United to Resist Trump”
▪ “Boycott the Republican Party”
▪ “Expose Republican Fraud”
▪ “Terminate the Republican Party”

This seems more focused than the man who shot Gifford... you recall he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

I condemn any and all violence in the name of politics. If you are inclined to join me in this - without any weasly qualifications - feel free to do so.

matthew

I am struggling to answer your post. It strikes me as a bit nebulous and written from a perspective far different from my own. You take as a given that the conservative movement is fascist and racist. I do not.

If you are using conservative movement and Trump Administration as synonyms, and I don't know that this is fair, then I would say that the thing of great merit is simple:

It is what the electorate chose.

Yes, our system is flawed. Yes, it is far from a consensus choice. But those who would somehow set the result aside (or overthrow it by force main?) are opposing not a man but our system of governance. We probably agree the man is a jerk. But vote him out in 3.5 years if you/we feel that way.

Lets hope todays events are an isolated flash of violence. They have happened before. But if it begins a trend...that way lies Weimar. And the darker places beyond.

T.

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

I condemn any and all violence in the name of politics. If you are inclined to join me in this - without any weasly qualifications - feel free to do so.


I agree. While I can imagine events when violence is the only option left for resistance, we're not there yet, and I hope we never are.

What gets me is that you see this one incident as a trend in a way that you don't when a white separatist kills black people in a church, or when a religious fanatic shoots up a gay bar, or yes when a Democratic congresswoman is shot and others around her are killed. Somehow, this shooter is emblamatic of liberals, portending a tide of left-wing violence, while the real tide of right-wing violence meant to keep uppity minorities in their place is just a series of unrelated, isolated incidents, crazies every one.


This seems more focused than the man who shot Gifford... you recall he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.


Focused on Trump maybe, but again, that's not who he shot at (IIRC, no one is actually dead except the shooter). Only two of those Facebook groups you list (the first and the last) indicate anything close to a call to violence against Republicans whose names are not Donald Trump.

I'm not defending the man's actions. I'm pointing out that you seem to be spotting a horrifying trend and attributing it to liberals in general in a way that you argue with anyone else for doing with conservatives. I'm wondering what's got you that spooked.


If you are using conservative movement and Trump Administration as synonyms, and I don't know that this is fair,


That comment was for matthew, but I'll say that I don't equate the two, but they're each enabling the other. Trump is allowing the right-wing to push its agenda, including a Supreme Court seat. The Republicans are allowing Trump to squander our country's leadership and dignity and endangering the world thereby.


then I would say that the thing of great merit is simple:

It is what the electorate chose.


Don't forget voter suppression. And there's starting to be more evidence that voting machines actually were hacked.


Lets hope todays events are an isolated flash of violence. They have happened before. But if it begins a trend...that way lies Weimar. And the darker places beyond.


That's the part I don't get--why you are so hot to see that trend. Do you think that liberals really think they have to resist at French Resistance levels (or French Revolution levels)? Do you think that because the liberals are angrier than the situation warrants, or because you're afraid that the situation really does warrant such a reaction?


Tim H. said...

It seems unlikely that I'll ever vote for a Republican again, but I hope Trump survives the Presidency. I would agree Trump does not equal conservative, but conservatism is not a simple thing to nail down anymore, multiply forked...

Alfred Differ said...

@donzelion | For me, the choice to invest now or later is almost entirely about the numbers. Population growth is currently 1.1%/year and trending down. Gross world product is growing at about 3.5%/year. That means there is a structural growth of 2.4%/year that grows the incomes of people. On a per capita basis (I know how hollow that sounds to some near the bottom), that means incomes double about every 30 years. So… if those numbers hold on a per capita basis, by 2107, that is an increase of 8x. However, population growth is expected to drop to 0.5% by 2050. If GWP falls similarly, the structural growth would be the same. Will it do that? Who knows, but we can certainly toss it into a collection of scenarios. Piketty looks more at a structural growth rate near 1.5% and that can be considered too. What about a world with Hanson’s Em’s, though. Yikes. That scenario is completely, utterly different.

On the cost side, a sea level increase of 1 meter by 2100 would involve a large expense. If one makes a reasonable estimate of it, we can run the numbers backward and figure out what the NPV of an investment would be that would deliver the required amount then. We can even run a number of scenarios, make probabilistic estimates for branching ratios, and calculate the XNPV (expected NPV). Compare that to what would happen to the money if it isn’t spent now dealing with future sea level by taking a difference. Whether the difference is above or below zero informs us whether it makes sense to invest now. One can argue with others about branching ratios and return rates and all that and have a lot of fun with the details, but the technique itself isn’t complex. I was taught the basics by a mining engineer who did consulting work. 8)

What the investment technique fails to do however, is account for the costs of fear and ignorance. What is the value of feeling safe now about a future threat? Sigh.

I get your points regarding return rate distortions. I’m not thinking about the tiny details, though. Yes. They are a problem. However, I’m inclined to use the insurance industry to manage them before I’ll turn to government for help. I trust the profit motive of underwriters more than I do the ability of politicians to avoid being bought. I also trust people like you to work to defend us. No doubt we will all be paying attention to the details, but I want a short pause to look at the landscape first. A century is a long time in the modern economic era. Humans could fly a century ago, but only just barely. How many black swans have disrupted plans since then? Did we really think Europe’s empires would commit suicide? I doubt it.

I’ve reached the ripe ‘old’ age of 55 this year and realized that I’ve lost count of the number of things I never thought I’d live to see that have already happened. It seems to be the black swans are going through their own baby boom. Seriously. I have a copy of my genome results! What next?

Jumper said...

Here's a rundown on costs of reining in carbon vs doing nothing. It's by the crazy liberals at America’s third-largest bank.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/aug/31/citi-report-slowing-global-warming-would-save-tens-of-trillions-of-dollars

.............................

I can't add much over nutball's shooting today. From the guy who shot Reagan to Squeaky Fromme, the nutballs will always be with us. I think Jesus said that.

donzelion said...

re the shooting - interesting factoids and spin on what is going to be well-spun...and a focus on the officers on duty who may have averted a massacre - here's an interesting tidbit that merits a pause for thought, but will surely get overlooked:

-David Bailey, shot in the line of duty, is the Brazilian immigrant credited by Paul Ryan with averting a massacre. Details are sketchy though...how did he get his citizenship? Was he an 'illegal immigrant' at any point in time, as so many are who come here and go to school? How many other 'illegal immigrants' have put their lives on the line to protect the very same people determined to deport them, in one capacity or another? Currently, there's an extremely loooong (as in decades) waitlist for Brazilians applying for citizenship (though as an employee with Capitol police, one has to assume he did it somehow).

...this sort of thinking about shootings is more useful in my book than psychoanalyzing the shooter, a parlor game played by folks who wish to put themselves into the position of God and read the souls of other men. Who stopped it, and how? What did they do right? What mistakes? What, if anything, should we do differently as a result?

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart | As I was pondering my burger at lunch, I was thinking about word choices. Assassination attempt is what I finished with, so I agree with you.

Such attempts are rarely more useful than terrorism, though. I really wish our angry neighbors would get that through their heads. It is far, far better to let one's opponent physically survive a character assassination.

donzelion said...

Alfred: There are at least two ways of measuring an investment; yours is certainly one of them.

Then there's "if this goes wrong, who can we get to foot the bill for our errors?" This is the world of climate change, but it's a bigger world than the billions spent determining if any specific investment is worth pursuing - orders of magnitude bigger.

"On the cost side, a sea level increase of 1 meter by 2100 would involve a large expense."
(1) According to Savills' estimate, all the world's real estate is worth a bit over $200 trillion today (whatever that means at any point in time). I would imagine that most of it - probably close to 90% of it - is located in the coasts, or near rivers and lakes, all of which would be affected dramatically by any change (far less than 1 meter would suffice).
(2) How many billions are spent today on sea related infrastructure? 10s? 100s?
(3) Is there a possibility that a change in sea level might have a 1% change on the valuation of that real estate? Absolutely.

"We can even run a number of scenarios, make probabilistic estimates for branching ratios, and calculate the XNPV (expected NPV)."
Indeed, we could do that...but better still, we could have someone else do it, and then make them foot the bill (unless a government gets involved to stop us from shifting those costs). This is how real estate always operates: someone figures out a way to get someone else to pay for bits and pieces they didn't anticipate - and the more powerful the player, the more capable they are of shifting those costs around.

"What the investment technique fails to do however, is account for the costs of fear and ignorance. What is the value of feeling safe now about a future threat? Sigh."
They also fail to account for the possibility of cost shifting. A bank evaluates a credit risk on a $1 million loan differently than on a $1 billion loan. In this, we're talking about trillions (or potentially worse - like all of civilization). The normal processes simply haven't been repeated enough to give reliable methodologies. When normality fails, strength prevails in its place: I am not confident I can protect my planet from feudalists who will shrug as they raid it and convert it into their piggy bank.

"How many black swans have disrupted plans since then? Did we really think Europe’s empires would commit suicide? I doubt it."
Europe's empires were built by carefully orchestrated operations enabling one person to exploit others while making those others bear the risks for any miscalculation. A little starvation here? Not the investor's problem (not really, he feels 'pain' in the sense of lost opportunities). War can be regarded as a manifestation of egregious cost-shifting behavior at the nation-state level. There are a lot of other, simpler approaches within reach of smaller actors who can dictate policy, whenever policy is made without transparency.

While many, many things will change about human beings, I am skeptical that the 'cost-shifting' behavior of those who can do it will change. Since it's a factor we'll have to deal with, we might do well to start by removing some of the subsidies for petrol (charging a national defense tax on gasoline, and stripping defense budgets out of the income tax? regressive and painful, but forms a proper linkage that would otherwise tend to be missed...and whenever some congressman needs a military base expansion in his district to secure his votes, it gives everyone a plausible reason to second guess the intention).

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

matthew

I am struggling to answer your post. It strikes me as a bit nebulous and written from a perspective far different from my own. You take as a given that the conservative movement is fascist and racist. I do not.


I looked to see if matthew had already responded, and I don't see one. I'll throw in that I believe he said the Republican Party appeared fascist and racist, not the conservative movement. You may disagree, but they are different things (though not exactly opposite things).

To the earlier discussion about an age of liberal terrorism--on my way home, I heard Norman Goldman discussing the fact that the reason this one is news is not because it's Republicans or Democrats being shot, but because the targets are prominent people. As evidence, he mentioned that there was also a mass shooting in San Francisco today (a UPS facility?) in which people actually died, but that's not getting anywhere near the attention the congressmen are. Normal Americans getting shot is just "dog bites man" now. Only "dog bites congressman" makes a headline.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

@LarryHart | As I was pondering my burger at lunch, I was thinking about word choices. Assassination attempt is what I finished with, so I agree with you.


I can't help but remember Sideshow Bob's rant in "The Simpsons" (voiced by Kelsey Grammar of "Frazier" fame) :


Imprisoned for a crime I didn't commit! I mean "attempted murder"? Do they give Nobel prizes for attempted chemistry?



Zepp Jamieson said...

Alfred wrote: "Murder? Attempted murder? Yes."
In this case, I would say "Assassination? Attempted Assassination. Yes."
I think it's safe to assume that the guy deliberately targeted Republican politicians. He even stopped to ask someone if the players on the field were Republicans. NRA safety rule #1: Know exactly what and where your target is. He then approached with an AR-15 and a 9mm (NRA safety rule #2: Never draw your gun unless you intend to use it.
Just lucky he was a rotten shot. 50-100 rounds at 40 targets from about 100 feet away, and he only hit four. As I said, lucky.
What we're learning about the guy's history is pretty horrifying. He beat up one daughter and two of her friends. Ten years before that, he beat up another daughter. She subsequently went to her car, pour gasoline on herself, lit it, and committed suicide. Her homelife, what ever it might have been, was no deterrence to a horrific act of self immolation.
He claimed to have been involved with the Sanders campaign, and a big fan of the Rachel Maddow Show, but neither organisation can find any record of him making contact with them.
We can conclude he had some strident political views, and serious temper and self-control problems. In gun-happy America, that's usually a deadly combination.
By the way, it wasn't even the most serious mass shooting of the day: someone shot up a Fedex facility in SF, killing four, including himself.

David Brin said...

No One, thanks, interesting.
Scott, sustainables have real momentum now. I am far more worried about the Putin/Koch/Saudi axis wrecking the entire Western Enlightenment. They are waging all out war upon us. Meanwhile, we can finally ignore events in the Persian Gulf! This is worth a lot.

sociotard, there are imbeciles in all directions. I have always said the FAR-left CONTAINS some. FAR is not ENTIRE and CONTAINS is not CONSISTS. Make those substitutions and replace “left” with “right.”

Tim/Tacitus… every single year… let me reiterate EVERY single year… there are productions of Julius Caesar portraying the sitting president in the title role. Obama and Clinton did not get their panties in a twist. Nor in fact, did GW Bush (to his credit).

Every… single… year.

Jiminy man, do you really want to create a list comparing the actual numbers of hate declarations on the right to those on the left? TODAY at my gym a burly former Jr. High bully (one can tell) loudly proclaimed that “Christians are gonna come for all of you.”

W cannot draw conclusions from anecdotes -- not even horrific anecdotes like today's nasty-awful-insane shooting. Policy is based on statistics. And it is enemies of the West -- al Qaeda, Isis, Alex Jones-listeners -- who are statistically vastly more eager to commit violence.

David Brin said...

Ah, the artiste:
“We are left with weak nations which cannot protect their political systems”

Bullshit. America has never been stronger. We need to slap down international IP thieves, who rob us of our national treasure... our creativity... which has let us uplift the world. But beyond that, globalism is mostly working as planned, reducing world poverty, especially for children, at rates that no one imagined possible.

The ONLY problem we have is civil war. If the US political system had not been deliberately destroyed by evil traitors and international oligarch conspirators, we would have adult conservatives arguing and negotiating with adult liberals and with adult libertarians, comparing evidence and actual facts and making reasonable deals. Example, 20 years ago senior dems and goppers negotiated entitlement reform, which would have gradually ramped up the retirement age in return for expansion of Medicare and stopping the Supply Side insanity. Most of the red ink would almost instantly vanish while millions would get Canadian-style health. It was there. A deal, on the table, negotiated with sincerity by fact-using adults. Logical and ready to go… till Fox weighed in and then the Tea Party lunatics.

None of your litany of real and hyper-imagined grudges is a “progressive Victory.” It is all on your cult, sir. You are the fact-hating, negotiation-forbidding lunatics.

Locum’s later list of definitions is a pile of tendentious nonsense that has little to do with the actual terminologies. But notice he left out (5) Feudalism, and (6) Plutocracy and (6) corporatism and (7) Theocracy and (8) slaveholding/racist confederatism. Gee, I wonder why?

Because he is a lickspittle servant of feudal lords and he thinks this record of "yes, massa" paeans to lordship will be on record when they take over. And he'll then be given a nice, liveried servant slot in some castle.

Paul451 said...

Alfred,
Re: GDP growth
"On a per capita basis (I know how hollow that sounds to some near the bottom), that means incomes double about every 30 years."

Not "near the bottom". Everyone from the bottom to almost the top. Share of GDP is falling for everyone except a tiny proportion of the top 1%. And the bulk of the accumulation of that GDP growth has gone to the 1% of the 1%.

There are two US economies, one for the very very rich, which is doing very very well, and one for everyone else (including the moderately rich), which is stagnating at best.

That didn't used to be the case. Ever since the "New Deal" there was a strong correlation between US GDP growth and median household income growth. A relationship that broke about 40 years ago.

"that means incomes double about every 30 years."

Which means around 50% of the potential current wealth has been stolen from the "bottom" 326,323,000 of the estimated 326,356,000 Americans.

[Aside: That argues against your believe that GDP equals capacity to prepare for (or repair after) AGW-driven coastal flooding. If a tiny fraction of the population gain almost all of that growth, and they can buy increasing exemptions from being taxed, then there won't be either mass market forces nor government funding with access to that added financial capacity.]

Paul451 said...

"your believe"

My "typos" are purely a wetware limitation. No auto-correct required

Jumper said...

We should ponder that Mr. Progressive Assassin did not advance, but set back, the progressive movement by his actions.

LarryHart said...

Tom Wolter:

Yes, our system is flawed. Yes, it is far from a consensus choice. But those who would somehow set the result aside (or overthrow it by force main?) are opposing not a man but our system of governance.


Hmmmm, our system of governance currently involves congressfolk avoiding when possible and dismissing otherwise any communication from their constituents while they meet in secret to do the bidding of the donors who fund their reelection campaigns. Vote them out, you say? What more can I do than elect the two Democratic senators, Democratic congresswoman, Democratic-majority state legislature, and send electoral votes to the Democrat as we have done here in Illinois? It's the representatives from your home state of Wisconsin and my other neighboring states who are trying to kill me and my family.

So yes, something is broken in our system of governance. For violence not to be the answer, the system has to be responsive to less objectionable methods. Do you think that it is? Again I ask, are you spooked by the notion of violent resistance catching on because you suspect the ruling class of mimicking their 1789 French counterparts?


We probably agree the man is a jerk. But vote him out in 3.5 years if you/we feel that way.


We don't have a system where you can give a vote of no-confidence. Voting someone out requires voting someone else in. And these days, that means not an opponent who is better at governing, but one who is better at media manipulation. Trump may be the king at that.

I do see a good chance that he will be gone in 1316 days, but that's a lot of time in which to do a lot of damage. The best time to have not damage our country was seven months ago.

Tim Wolter said...

David

I was quite prepared to call bullshit on your assertion that an Obama equivalent has ever been the focus of Julius Caesar. I would have expected the shock waves of outrage to jiggle seismic meters all the way out past the Crab Nebula.

But a quick internet seach shows that I was wrong. A 2012 production at the Guthrie theater not far from me did just that in 2012.

When I am wrong I have no qualms about saying so.

LonnyHart

We live in a Republic. Not all states are alike. Its the system we have and it has served us better than any other I am aware of. My UK friends for instance are not especially happy with their politics just now.

Violence is not the answer.

And the best time to do something about it was 7 months ago. I'm not gonna go into "blame the victim" mode here but how on earth could the Democratic Party put up a candidate so crappy that they could lose to this bozo?

Tim Wolter

Treebeard said...

"The ONLY problem we have is civil war."

LOL. Maybe you need to get out more?

"If the US political system had not been deliberately destroyed by evil traitors and international oligarch conspirators, we would have adult conservatives arguing and negotiating with adult liberals and with adult libertarians, comparing evidence and actual facts and making reasonable deals."

This assumes that everyone wants a strictly technocratic government, which they clearly don't. See, the New Global Axis of Evil-Doers isn't actually a conspiracy hatched by Putin in collusion with the Koch Brothers, the Saudis, Alex Jones, etc. to destroy your freedoms. It's more of a shared reaction by normal people to the cultural terrorism of the Axis of Liberal Weirdos who Want to Destroy your Culture, Erase your Heritage and Turn Your Sons into Daughters. And there is no polite, technocratic way to settle such a disagreement.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Tim, I try not to get caught up in the manufactured media frenzy du jour (this is where throwing away your TV is especially good for psychological health and memetic hygiene), but maybe this shooter should've targeted Hillary Democrats, since they screwed over his guy in the first place and prevented President Sanders. Maybe Putin hacked this guy's brain? Oh well, I guess the technocratic solution is to ban guns.

matthew said...

One of my college buddies running for Congress in Cali. Not a retired colonel but a techie engineer. http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-sn-political-science-updates-patrick-madden-1497393480-htmlstory.html

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

I was quite prepared to call bullshit on your assertion that an Obama equivalent has ever been the focus of Julius Caesar. I would have expected the shock waves of outrage to jiggle seismic meters all the way out past the Crab Nebula.

But a quick internet seach shows that I was wrong. A 2012 production at the Guthrie theater not far from me did just that in 2012.

When I am wrong I have no qualms about saying so.


It's not so much a matter of whether you're wrong about "Democrats are targets too." What concerns me is your focus on very particular incidents--Republican congresspeople being shot, or Trump depicted as Julius Caesar--and act as if these individual incidents are so egregious that liberals and conservative alike should unite against them the way warring neighbors in "The Postman" unite against Holnists. The counterexamples that I and others point out to you are not meant to demonstrate that Democrats are victims too, but to rather to demonstrate how utterly normal "Dog bites man" these types of incidents are.

It's commendable that you haven't succumbed to the normalization of mass shootings, but really the only difference with yesterday's incident was that the victims were famous, and that nobody actually died except the shooter. As to theatrical portrayals of politicians, now that we know that over-the-top allusions are fairly regular things, can we not pretend that they rise to the level of real violence (or even incitement to real violence) and respond proportionally?


LonnyHart


Who-za what now?


We live in a Republic. Not all states are alike. Its the system we have and it has served us better than any other I am aware of. My UK friends for instance are not especially happy with their politics just now.


No system is perfect. I'm just saying "vote him out of office" isn't something I can do anything more about than I already am doing. It's up to you, living in Wisconsin, to vote him out. I have to try to convince you (not just you, you) to do so.

Our system depends not just upon voting every two years or so, but on persuading others of the rightness of our cause. Hence my profligacy. If you want me to stop arguing, then you vote him out of office and remove the cause (but not...the symptom!)

continued...

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter (continued) :


Violence is not the answer.


And on this, I do not argue and stand with you.

What I was asking was in the nature of "Look inside yourself". You seem to be on a hair trigger (pardon the reference) expecting a tide of liberal political violence and jumping very quickly to the conclusion of "See, it's starting." I ask myself, and therefore ask you why that is. I wonder if you think the Republican Party has acted in such a manner as to foreclose on any lesser reaction.


And the best time to do something about it was 7 months ago. I'm not gonna go into "blame the victim" mode here but how on earth could the Democratic Party put up a candidate so crappy that they could lose to this bozo?


This is part of the problem, and it is not inherent in our constitutional system. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are private entities who can pretty much run their affairs any way they want. And the harm caused by the 2016 outcome was not just to the Democratic Party, but to the country. Even if you blame the Democratic Party, they are not really the "victim" here.

We get to elect which of the candidates these private entities present to us, but we have little say in which choices we are given. I say that understanding that many voted for Jill Stein or wrote in Bernie Sanders or stayed home, and I expect that those people helped cause the opposite of "vote him out" and got the outcome they were least rooting for.

And I'm not convinced that weaponized fake news wouldn't have been wielded against Bernie just as stealthily and effectively. Pizzagate would have been there with "Hillary Clinton" scratched out and "Bernie Sanders" written in in crayon. And in any case, you're chastising my party for metaphorically nominating the candidate who is so soft on crime she let Sideshow Bob out of prison, while your side nominated Sideshow Bob (who won that election too).

raito said...

LarryHart,

It's 'terrorism' because the curve of the usage (and de-valuing) of the term has been exponential in the last few years.

And I've maintained for years that 'none of the above' ought to be on every ballot. There's oddities that can occur with that, but I find them preferable to having to vote for the lesser evil.

Tim Wolter said...

LarryHart

Oh, I know its not Lonny. You called me Tom Wolter a few posts up! I have been called worse.

I should stick to my 24 hour rule on commenting. If the initial reports bear up this latest had some new disturbing features. Asking somebody at the scene "are they Republicans or Democrats?" before opening fire for instance. As to attacking Congresspersons vs the guy he is really angry with, well, the latter undertaking would be exponenetially harder. And as more info comes out this does look to be a chaotic, destitute loser. A man who "a la Postman" had nothing (more) left to lose.

As to other connecting of dots I am dismayed by some of the "Antifa" stuff. Riots with a decidedly political bent in which the authorities seem unable/disinclined to make significant arrests.

I have not, and will not, normalize mass violence. Those of variable political inclinations definitely should come together. And often do. Charleston for instance (I would not spare the term monster for that a*****e, and consider him 90% political anger/10% mental illness), had the opposite effect than that which was sought. The Confederate flag gets consigned to SC History and rather than incite a race war the families of the victims forgave him. And so far as I can tell almost the entire R side of the political spectrum thought the death penalty was appropriate.

Look, I have zip influence on mass culture. My entreaty was simply that in this tiny microcosm of same where my voice is perhaps listened to I am suggesting that terms like Traitor, Monster etc have some potential to foment tragic actions.

You are all Free to exercize your speech as you deem appropriate. I am just sounding a note of caution.

Perhaps this will be one of those isolated things....I seem to recall long ago that Puerto Rican nationalists attacked Congress....a one off and forgotten by almost everyone.

If nobody died but a guy who....sorry I am not as Good as I ought to be...had it coming, and this is ultimately a forgotten footnote...I would be well pleased.

Tim

David Brin said...

What do you do when the proto-feudalist ent declares that adult negotiation among all stakeholder groups is the same thing as “technocratic government”? The enemies of our civilization no longer even pretend logic or sapience.

He want fierce, domineering rule by macho males, but will squeak when those guys squint down at him and crush him like an... ent. No, the restored lords will not raise you high just because you fantacized about being one of them.

Dig it, fellah. You have declared you want no part in a fair negotiating process that would listen to your concerns and dicker a just and reasonable balance with your neighbors. You are openly declaring that you intend to impose your will on us by force.

Watch when this leads to the same realization that boggled Hitler, Stalin, the 9/11 hijackers and Robert E Lee... that reasonable and scientific people also have deep reserves of manliness. In fact, more, and we don't feel any need to 'prove' it by unzipping in all directions. Thoughtful and sapient Americans are slow to rouse, but we vastly outnumber the rash feudalists among us, are braver and tougher and stronger, — and smarter — by far. Watch when he whines then for fairness.

---

Tim, Hillary was flawed and you might recall how I tried to staunch her candidacy with the “Bush Bush Bush Clinton Clinton Bush Bush” chant?

But she was qualified, stable, science-supporting and eager to negotiate and would have appointed scads of the same. A majority wanted that. A bigger majority does now.

Paul SB said...

Alfred,

I have a medical appointment to run to, so I'm going to make this quick, then try to get back later. And if you or someone else pointed it out already and I missed it or forgot, please accept my apologies in advance.

Re; black swans. Betting on black swans is like betting on miracles. You might get mad, walk out of your job, and expect that God will give you a better one because you have always been a good minion and deserve better, then find yourself collecting unemployment for a very long time and end up accepting a worse job out of desperation. Miracles sound great, but are pretty much always identified as such in retrospect.

The other thing about black swans is that, while they do happen with some frequency, you can't predict when they will happen or in what area. It might not happen before Mara Lago is permanently inundated, and it might not happen in the energy sector at all. Maybe the black swan of the 21st C will be in medicine, cybernetics, metallurgy or textile engineering. And it might not save our collective anatomy.

If this sounds a little serotonal (Builder temperament) well, we're all a mix of traits, even if some people can't accept that they are. I'll have more to say about that later.

Jumper said...

For some reason all this screaming and shooting has me thinking today about the movie The Fisher King, from 1990, a good effort by director Terry Gilliam starring Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams among others. I recommend it highly to anyone who missed it. I was wondering if I should distribute copies to my local Republican representatives.

sociotard said...

David Brin: sociotard, there are imbeciles in all directions. I have always said the FAR-left CONTAINS some. FAR is not ENTIRE and CONTAINS is not CONSISTS. Make those substitutions and replace “left” with “right.”

And that statement right there is part of the problem. Making those substitutions: the entire right consists of imbeciles. No. You are shifting the Overton Window and making ALL Conservatives idiots. Its fine to do that to a conservative policy (like supply side voodoo) but not to people. You are feeding the memetic beast that encourages borderlines to treat political enemies as subhuman threats.

You are not promoting an adult negotiation among all stakeholder groups, comparing evidence and actual facts and making reasonable deals. You are tribalizing and demonizing and no good will come of this.

Tim/Tacitus… every single year… let me reiterate EVERY single year… there are productions of Julius Caesar portraying the sitting president in the title role. Obama and Clinton did not get their panties in a twist. Nor in fact, did GW Bush (to his credit).

Don't try that. I remember when "mockery done for all other Presidents" was an appeal that mollified no one.

donzelion said...

Paul SB: "Betting on black swans is like betting on miracles."
I do not read Alfred as 'betting' on a black swan, so much as disturbing convictions arising from projections about the future in view of black swans. Black swans are not miracles or lottery wins, but are statistically so highly improbable as not to factor into calculations of those professionally disposed to trying to account for every possibility - but despite their improbability, they are nearly certain to actually occur. Black swans cannot by definition be counted on - rather, they create a basis for humility.

In contrast to Alfred, I believe you are thinking about the reasoning and rhetoric typical of Bush Jr., who certainly preferred to bet on miracles ('why worry about climate? God will save us').

Trump comes from a different investor tradition: so long as others pay the price for your errors, the more times you gamble rashly, the more brilliant your occasional wins appear, while the losses are forgotten - and people hurt are impoverished into irrelevance. The cost-shifting side is pernicious, opaque, and durable.

Alfred is a skeptic, not apparently coming from either tradition. Actually, most 'environmentalist' Democrats are as well - demanding ample evidence before acting. Of recent politicians, I'd liken his thinking more to the Bush Sr. camp - hardly an 'environmentalist' - yet he signed both the 'Oil Pollution Act' and the 'Clean Air Act' in 1990, and the latter is the focus of efforts to rein in climate change today.

Paul SB said...

Jumper,

I saw that movie way back when! I even showed it to my mother, but she thought it was weird. Thanks for the reminder!

Donzelion,

The point about the basis for humility is huge, and it's basic to old-school scientific philosophy (pre-Popper). But if he were not taking the idea of the black swan to argue for inaction (or at least appear to be), then you wouldn't have written: "But the fact of unpredictability does not discharge the imperative for predictably committing to certain healthier practices." The point should be obvious enough. But Alfred is in the habit of arguing for non-interference, letting things just happen because having a plan is always bad, and assuming that some invisible hand will make everything work out just fine (if your tolerance for human misery is fairly high). As is usually the case, I can't find anything to disagree with you, here, and I do have to accept that my perception of Alfred could be off the mark, too.

Paul SB said...

Treebeard’s latest rant made me think about how so many people think they know things that they really don’t because they are come from very outdated concepts, and sometimes concepts that were once supported by science or even generated by science, but were shown to be false ages ago. An easy example would be the 10% of our brains myth. This comes from EEG studies going back to the mid-20th C, when all the technology could detect were electrically-active cells. It was simply assumed that all brain cells would turn out to be the same. We have known that this assumption is wrong since the 1980s, but there are still people hawking fake cures to intended to get you to use the other 90%.

Of course, this isn’t what got me thinking in this direction, referencing our occasional ent infestation. It’s his assumptions about testosterone and what out means to be male that are so outdated and wrong. This idea that testosterone makes men aggressive and domineering dates back to the 19th C, but has been shown to be wrong for a few decades, now. This came up in Robert Sapolsky’s new book, “Behave” which has the look of magnum opus, especially given his age. It’s thick as a brick and has a very different (and I would say ingenious) way of organizing itself.

So here’s an excerpt on the relevant hormone:

“Testosterone has far less to do with aggression than most assume. Within the normal range, individual differences in testosterone levels don’t predict who will be aggressive. Moreover, the more an organism has been aggressive, the less testosterone is needed for future aggression. When testosterone does play a role, it’s facility - testosterone does not ‘invent’ aggression. It makes us more sensitive to triggers of aggression, particularly in those most prone to aggression. Also, rising testosterone levels foster aggression only during challenges to status. Finally, crucially, the rise in testosterone during a status challenge dos not necessarily increase aggression; it increases whatever is needed to maintain status. In a world in which status is awarded for the best of our behaviors, testosterone would be the most prosocial hormone in existence.” (p.135)

Not your granddaddy’s testosterone at all. The last 2 sentences are especially useful here. Those who maintain the illusion that male aggression and domination is “natural” have effectively created a self-fulfilling prophecy. A society that rewards aggression creates aggression. A society that rewards kindness creates kindness. This is old news for people who have been following the science, but in the world of Popular Memes it is unheard of.

More on self-fulfilling prophecy later. I have yet another medical appointment this afternoon.

donzelion said...

Sociotard: "[Dr. Brin is] tribalizing and demonizing and no good will come of this."

Not if it becomes the focus of his work, no it will not. Luckily, there's a lot more work, and the occasional venting isn't a distraction from it.

That said, it is remarkable that one side is proud to disparage evolution, and by extension, science and knowledge in general. Once that is acknowledged, it is less remarkable that a candidate whose only public service was questioning the sitting president's birth certificate, and championing the death penalty for a number of persons later found to be innocent of a crime - should come to dominate this tribe. Railing against the tribe will be unheard by its true believers: they cannot be appeased because their unifying theme is spite. However, if a sufficient number of folks do demonize and disparage the tribe, those on the fringe of joining it may reconsider. That's a little good.

David Brin said...

sociotard, while my agenda is to restore a nation of negotiating adults, that will require first an end to deliberately fomented civil war. We are not the ones who made this zero-sum. But you cannot negotiate positive outcomes with folks who deem you to be satanic.

There is one way out of this... for ten or twenty million sincere and sane American conservatives to realize their movement was hijacked and has "left them." And they will not do that till they realize that we are fully roused and awakened and determined. There is no point in offering to negotiate with Rupert Murdoch.

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul451 | I’m not dismissing your concerns, but I think you are missing the point.

If a tiny fraction of the population gain almost all of that growth, and they can buy increasing exemptions from being taxed, then there won't be either mass market forces nor government funding with access to that added financial capacity.

Nonsense. Our decedents will steal the money when it comes time. If that tiny fraction does what you say, they will get their heads chopped off when the time comes as retribution for the large number of deaths that will occur before that.

I get your point about two economies. I have my copy of Piketty right next to me and I’m finally at the chapters that start talking about individual inequality. His arguments so far, though, leave some serious wiggle room for interpretations. He admits many of them. For example, the inequality projection depends crucially on the expected structural growth rate. I think he is lowballing it. If so, preserved capital doesn’t figure as prominently in the incomes people generate. Labor matters more. In that case, it isn’t a tiny fraction that captures the income. When you argue that things have essentially gone to hell in the last 40 years, you are adopting as a baseline a position that has proven to be an extreme. The strong correlation you observe started mostly after WWII and continued until the financial shocks from WWI through WWII were complete. The first decade of the 20th century was standard economics. The next six were examples of empires committing suicide and hardly the stuff to consider as a baseline. Well into the middle third of the century, both Britain and France were playing inflation and default games to deal with war debts. Asking us to return to economic policies relevant to that era is lunacy. On top of that, the US is an oddball. Our growth rate is different for good reasons. Our savings rate is different for good reasons. Using us as a baseline for the world is nonsense.

Bascially, SOMEONE (several of us actually) is getting rich at quite a clip. Do we pay to fix things now… or later after investors have a chance to choose NOT to maintain their property values in the face of depreciation? Whether the money comes out of our pockets or theirs later is just a matter of coercion, right?

donzelion said...

Paul SB: "Alfred is in the habit of arguing for non-interference, letting things just happen because having a plan is always bad, and assuming that some invisible hand will make everything work out just fine (if your tolerance for human misery is fairly high)."

Well, he is ultimately a libertarian; I think you and I come from a more 'progressive' orientation.

As I see it, the problem with libertarians is that they tend to be more optimistic about the prospects for controlling robber barons through social suasion, or shrug them off as irrelevant, or fear removing them will make things worse. They expect that reasonable, rational people will make decisions a certain way.

Libertarians see progressives as 'optimistic' and themselves as 'cautious, pragmatic' (you guys think you can make things better? beware of unintended consequences!). Progressives can benefit from listening to libertarian critiques when issued with good faith, because their predisposition toward skepticism is a challenge worth meeting.

But many libertarians misconstrue the 'progressive' tribe: we seldom are interested in utopian ideals so much as in (1) stopping robber barons and real-world problems they create through their ingenious devices, and (2) leaving things a bit better than we found them. They fear 'unintended consequences' of changing something - we fear the 'intended consequences' of a deck stacked to very specific people's benefit, or the highly probable consequences of persistent ignorance.

matthew said...

Here is the problem with libertarianism in a nutshell-

Alfred - " Our decedents will steal the money when it comes time. If that tiny fraction does what you say, they will get their heads chopped off when the time comes as retribution for the large number of deaths that will occur before that."

So by our resident libertarian's own words - Put off the true cost ("large number of deaths") in order to appease the feudal lords now.

No wonder his movement is jibberingly insane.

It's OK for "a large number of deaths" as long as the power to build monopolies is unimpeded.

Oh, and that ain't a "Adam Smith Liberal-" type statement you made there Alfred.

Alfred Differ said...

A large number of deaths is certainly NOT okay. As for stealing, I'm pointing out what is likely to happen in a feudal scenario I don't like.

Paul451 makes the two economies argument where the top layer acts like overlords hoarding their property in a way that the lower layer can't use when the time comes to use it. I'm pointing out that it won't work that way because... well... tumbrels.

I don't think the scenario is likely, though, and I'm not convinced big expenditures now make sense. TWODA makes sense, but I'm not willing to support 'stealing' at this point. I don't think we are in a dire enough situation for that.

donzelion said...

Matthew: "No wonder [Alfred's libertarian] movement is jibberingly insane."

Not insane, just naive.

"If that tiny fraction does what you say, they will get their heads chopped off when the time comes as retribution for the large number of deaths that will occur before that."
Perhaps heads will indeed be chopped off when the time comes for retribution, but generally not the heads that perpetrated the theft. The thieves immigrate and buy Manhattan apartments and gated communities. The ones who will experience the suffering will typically be lesser thieves, their adversaries who tried (and failed) to stop them, and whatever bystander group the thieves themselves target as objects of retribution.

"Asking us to return to economic policies relevant to that era [the 1930s-60s] is lunacy."
He's quite right about that: reenact the gold standard? Sure, it can work if most of the world's economies are too destroyed to compete effectively. Revert to pre-Sarbanes-Oxley? LOL, sure, we can go back to a world where a series of Enrons can rip apart public infrastructure for their own advantage. Revert to an 70% income tax bracket? Ineffective when 90%+ of asset gains come in forms other than income...

"Whether the money comes out of our pockets or theirs later is just a matter of coercion, right?"
He's actually right about that: it is just a matter of coercion...as are most financial transactions (in my view, but my view is the diametric opposite of the libertarian assumption). Thing is, even in the face of coercion, we can make things better once we acknowledge who is doing the coercion, and set restrictions upon how much they coerce (aka, government).

Rochrist said...

@sociotard

I'd say the right forfeited the right to adult negotiation sometime during the past 8 to 25 years during which they're refused to engage in anything remotely resembling 'adult' negotiations. There comes a point where you've tried again and again and get slapped down and ridiculed again and again that it becomes hopeless to think that such a course is possible.

David Brin said...

Matthew, just as the "left" is too simplistic a term, jumbling together positive-sum liberals with zero-sum radicals, so it is with libertarians. Many of them recite propertarian catechisms and reflexive hatred for government because oligarchs have bought up all the libertarian media and that is what they hear, forgetting that oligarchy and feudalism suppressed freedom and markets vastly more often than civil servants have, across the millennia.

When they are cornered into admitting that "competition" should be their core word and not "property," then many come to realize that propertarianism leads to feudalism and death to freedom.

As Adam Smith pointed out! Do not badmouth him. Read him! He was the founder of liberalism.

Jumper said...

"90%+ of asset gains come in forms other than income"

Look, the guy running the three-card Monte game thinks actual magic is happening! LOL

David Brin said...

onward


onward

locumranch said...



I call 'bullshit' on the accusation that conservatives do not negotiate like 'Real Adults', as this argument is a mere variant of the 'No Real Scotsman' fallacy, designed to allow the progressive contingent infantilise conservative viewpoint & desire. Bullshit.

The conservatives aren't 'out-of-order'. You're 'out-of-order'. This whole damn progressive kangaroo court is 'out-of-order'. ;)

Now, onward.


Best

Jumper said...

Just for the record. Al Pacino was protesting a guilty guy getting off Scott free, not an unjust conviction...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA0glbG6c-8

David Brin said...

Locumranch, give us an example instead of calling bullshit.

You can't. Except for Supply Side raids on the middle class, the last dozen GOP led Congresses have been accomplishment free and the laziest in US history, doing almost nothing at all. Show us any actual negotiation. Your cult is treason to all reason.

onward

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