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Messages - Seriati

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1
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 19, 2019, 04:20:51 PM »
The problem though is that when you paraphrase you introduce your own bias.  All it takes to make BabylonBee seem more deceiving than The Onion, is the spin you put on the idea that you're testing.

Using the actual words keeps out the bias.  It's absolutely unforgivable in this kind of study to introduce that kind of bias.

2
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 19, 2019, 02:40:24 PM »
Lol, how funny came across this today, which heavily criticizes the study Snope's cites as manipulated.  If it's an accurate account, I agree.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/snopes-promotes-junk-science-study-in-a-continuation-of-its-bizarre-grudge-against-the-babylon-bee

I don't think there's any excuse for having paraphrased the headlines.

3
General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: August 19, 2019, 02:08:31 PM »
Lol.  As I mentioned above, Mueller applied a legal standard never applied to anyone ever "not exonerated," which is a form of guilty till proven innocent.

I grant you I was referring to his conspiracy theory (which is big stretch), but it also applies to the "not exonerated" standard.

Do you not see how you are undermining your position about who's applying two standards?

4
General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: August 19, 2019, 01:09:14 PM »
Clinton was totally exonerated

She was not, Comey was clear she was guilty of negligence - i.e. she did what it was thought she did. What he said was that they would not prosecute it.

And the reason for lack of prosecution was inability to "demonstrate intent" whatever that is supposed to mean in that particular context, as has been hashed over previously.

Actually no.  Lisa Page's released Congressional testimony was very informative on this point.  The DOJ directed the FBI that the DOJ would not prosecute Clinton for gross negligence, notwithstanding the plain words of the statute.

Comey's words well beyond what was really the case.  An accurate version of what he said is: "we have established gross negligence on behalf of Clinton and her aides, and the DOJ has exercised its prosecutorial discretion to not prosecute those violations."  The idea that anyone can say with a straight face that she was exonerated, or did not violate the law, is just a master piece in propaganda.

...the email server was not illegal and it did not violate any rules.

The email server was not illegal (as a technicality, it certainly violate multiple rules) largely because no one ever contemplated anyone would be able to override all the safeguards in place that should have prevented it from ever happening.  It's sophistry over substance to pretend otherwise.  Every single last rule related to security, use of government email and retention was premised on mandating that government employees use only governmental systems for official business.  She openly violated all those directives, she did so despite multiple people on multiple occasions telling her that she did so.

She then blatantly violated the legal requirements that were imposed on her, that she acknowledged and agreed to, about mandatory record keeping of work related files received on personal accounts.

Despite Comey's conclusion these were in fact all intentional and knowing violations.  Setting up the server and redirecting all email is not an "accident" or an act of "negligence," its an intentional act.

I think he's confusing "but members of the Bush Admin (kind-of) did the same thing" with it being legal for both groups to have done so.

That's just cover propaganda, what happened in Clinton's office has no parallel in Bush's office or anyone else's.  There is no parallel to an intentional redirection of that magnitude other than those that are for nefarious purposes (e.g., Russian and Chinese hacking), even whistleblowers have done data dumps and not real time re-transmissions.

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While the Bush White House was outed for an issue not much unlike the Trump's have had. They had an email system for the political/campaign activities, and then they had their "official business" email, where some official business wound up on the political/campaign email sever.

Don't know why this keeps coming up, it's mandatory to have separate equipment for non-government use because using government accounts for political activity is illegal.  There are clear rules about what do with official business that comes in on the non-government servers (all of which Clinton ignored and violated).

5
General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: August 19, 2019, 09:32:43 AM »
Is it like that, TheDrake?

Maybe I missed once, in the dozens of times I asked those on these boards, or in the thousands of hours of reading and coverage where someone put forward an explanation for why she set that server up, other than to avoid disclosure requirements.

Or maybe you missed it where the State Department, which knew she had a private server, returned responses stating they had no responsive records on FOIA requests where the records were on her server and not theirs?  Or where she failed to forward any of the required records to the state department, in hard or soft copy as she was legally required to do.

I agree, I don't have a memo from her, but there is still no question.

Happy to reargue on the relative merits of "obstruction" in looking at say the comparative cases of destroying your servers physically after running bleach bit on them, as compared to directing your staff to cooperate fully and giving full access to the Special Prosecutor.  I mean honestly, why are they trying to subpeona McCahn?  Oh yeah, cause they fully disclosed conversations that made the President look bad - EVER see anything equilvalent from Hillary's team?  Nope, and we know they did such things cause their emails were leaked afterwards.

So yes, there is a double standard here, just not mine.

6
General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: August 16, 2019, 06:33:51 PM »
Your incredible double standard when it comes to Mueller vs. the multiple investigations into Clinton's emails is noted.

What double standard would that be?  Mueller's investigation was a witch hunt with no proper predicate or underlying violation of a law.  He thing made up a legal standard that has never been applied to anyone in any court as the standard to apply.  Prosecuted people for process crimes without any underlying criminality.

Versus, Hillary where everyone knows she set up the server to violate Government obligations on transparency, where the DOJ refused to apply the actual law (note they didn't apply a made up standard more aggressively than on anyone in history, they just declined to apply the actual law).  There was an actual violation of law here, yet instead of prosecuting process crimes where she and her staff deliberately obstructed justice and lied to investagators they granted immunity deals in exchange for no testimoney whatsoever.

There was a double standard in play, it's just not mine.

7
General Comments / Re: Hillary: Too risky a candidate (cont'd)
« on: August 16, 2019, 05:36:14 PM »
The right wing media is still doing BUT HER EMAILS for sane and normal reasons, I'm sure.

I'm still on it because of the lies that were told.  When Comey cleared Hillary he failed to mention that the DOJ had already decided that they would not bring charges based on gross negligence (which is in the statute), whether or not it existed.  That gem turned up in Lisa Page's released testimony.

So when he said no reasonable prosecutor would bring the case it was a direct lie, that should be read as "no prosecutor in the head office of Obama's DOJ is willing to apply the law and bring the case."

8
General Comments / Re: Hong Kong
« on: August 15, 2019, 09:55:25 AM »
Just a preface, I have no idea what to do.  Seems like a tragedy in the making.

What I can tell you is that any "symbolic" or public measures the US makes are likely to increase the risk of harm not mitigate it.  China is a society that believes that it has an image to present, appearing to back down from the US is not an option for them.  If we interject ourselves we may be doing little more than sealing the fate of the protesters, same for the UK - which is particularly sensitive for HK.  Japan, just as bad.  You'd need to find a state actor that is willing to take the lead that China doesn't have to deem as an existential threat.

Anything more than symbolic interference and you have to ask if intervening is worth a war with China.  Given that the people of HK would suffer massive casualties even in a victory, you'd almost have to consider it pretextual to consider supporting them militarily.

The only real options are completely behind the scenes or stay out of it and hope the "unstated" world opinion constrains China.  It can be real condemnation if they act.

9
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 14, 2019, 07:10:28 PM »
There are things we can do to address these problems.

We can ignore or override groups that object to certain technologies.

Sure can, nuclear power coming soon to a community near you.

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We can make international treaties that certain polluting technologies cannot be used anywhere for manufacturing, or put tariffs on products made with polluting technologies.

It's a nice thought, but you can't make an international deal without the other countries agreeing, and not one of the non-western countries will agree to and then comply with pollution friendly, economically bad constraints on their business.

You can use tariffs, which is exactly what Trump is doing.  Are you saying you agree with him?

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What we need is to agree that this is a problem that must be addressed, and then use political will to find solutions.

And we already have, which is why the US has been THE LEADER in pollution control in industry for decades, and is still making substantive gains in reducing pollution and in paying to develop pollution friendly tech. 

Give us credit, and look to the countries that aren't trying to make it better.

10
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 07:05:52 PM »
It's hard to see how the thread is "poop" in a world where you want to attribute third party actions to Trump's words.  If you've decided you were wrong about that all along, then so be it.  Otherwise, you can't have it both ways, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of speculation about the message of the movie based on what's actually been released.

11
General Comments / Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
« on: August 14, 2019, 07:02:10 PM »
TheDrake, while there's some truth to that, most people understand there's a bit of irony in the harassers being harassed, and would see Cuomo as having been part of the national media that's given a forum to those pushing the harassment plan.

Much like we all cheer when the bullied kid in the movie punches the bully.  It's not really because we think it's right to hit people, we just see it as a bit of deserved justice being applied to the person who caused the situation.

I'd love it if we took harassing people and their families off the table, and stopped demonizing people for having a different belief about what's best for the country.

12
General Comments / Re: Fake News (the fight we needed to have?)
« on: August 14, 2019, 02:44:10 PM »
So this one seems like a fairly  dramatic example of fake news, or rather fake controversy, or possibly newly formed politically useful position.  I think we've all heard that a CNN anchor went off on a heckler that called him "Fredo," which Cuomo asserts is an ethnic slur.  I'm sympathetic to that idea, I don't see a good reason to connect an insult to ethnicity.

The problem?  Cuomo apparently doesn't consider it an ethnic slur:

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The New York Post unearthed an old video in which Cuomo playfully referred to himself as “Fredo” during a 2010 radio interview and CNN’s Ana Navarro used the moniker to belittle Donald Trump Jr. earlier this year on Cuomo’s very own show. Cuomo didn’t reprimand Navarro for using the term that he now feels is equivalent to “the N-word.” CNN anchor Jake Tapper has also used the term, while CNN legal analyst Paul Callan used it in an op-ed earlier this year.

I can get the self reference, but how is possible he allowed a guest to use it if he deems it a racial slur?

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-cuomo-lemon-ryan

I think he needs to be called out.

13
General Comments / Re: Race for the least desirable job
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:56:35 PM »
Hold up, wouldn't our Deal-maker in chief want them in a vulnerable negotiating position?  Convince them to race forward and crash out, then get them to agree to whatever you are willing to give because they need a lifeline (politically if not economically) to show Brexit wasn't a huge mistake?

Not really, a savvy deal maker isn't the same as a vulture.  Trump's history seems to me to imply he's looking for long term partners not one off scams.

In any event, support of the independent UK is about undermining EU bargaining power at least as much as it's about cutting a deal with the UK.

14
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:53:46 PM »
I love it, let's go all in on Vaporware and let the Earth burn while it "develops."

15
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 12:51:19 PM »
Violent criminals are invading your country!

That's not explicitly a call for a violent response, but it sure has played that way.

So I said, his comments are misrepresented and don't say what people claim they say, and you're response is an incediary paraphrase?  Or is that a quote of which I'm not aware?

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You want to draw a similarity, I'll meet you there. You want to draw an equivalence? I just don't see it.

For a while, Democrats were talking about abolishing ICE.

I agree there's no equivalence, the words that Dems have actually used on ICE are more outrageous than Trump's.  Abolish ICE is the nicest thing they've said.  They've called for harrassing US agents and their families, and tried to draw parallels to them and the Nazis during the Holocaust.

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We should abolish ICE and start over, focusing on our priorities to protect our families and our borders in a humane and thoughtful fashion," Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., said in a Medium post. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., said on MSNBC on Wednesday that he also believed ICE should be abolished. “They are carrying out the policies of this administration, which I think has damaged not only their reputation but their credibility,” he said.

How do you see that as inciting violence against them?

I find you citing mild mannered versions to be offensive, especially after you paraphrased the media's version of Trump's position.  Why not cite the ones accusing them of being criminals, of dehumanizing illegal immigrants, of concentration camps, if you're making a serious case?

In any event, if you're to temporize on that it just proves that the accusation that there is a connection between one persons words and another persons actions is pure political convenience in your mind.

16
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:52:11 AM »
TheDrake, you can't play this both ways.  Trump's "rhetoric" often is not accurately described and never directly calls for violence, yet the Dem's want to make the hard attribution, they can't walk back the language they've used on ICE and have any consistency in not being responsible here.

17
General Comments / Re: Race for the least desirable job
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:48:50 AM »
Lol, sure.  Pelosi says that, let's see her actually take the consequences of rejecting a trade deal with UK.  I'm sure that'll play well in the states the Democrats need to carry.

It just sounds like bluster to me.  I mean heck, the Senate sent a letter to Iran telling them specifically that Obama didn't have the authority to enter into the Iran agreement and he did it anyway, and made it stick through his term.  Love to see the Democrats trying to hammer the UK as a punishment on trade.

18
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:21:53 AM »
Wayward, that wasn't what he said.  If the Dem's theory on Trump's responsibility for mass shootings is to hold water, then it must follow that attacks on ICE can be directly attributed to the anti-ICE rhetoric of the Dems.

19
General Comments / Re: Freedom Gas!
« on: August 14, 2019, 10:19:32 AM »
So I think Rick Perry (partisan I know) kind of captures the issue that the right has with the demands that the US make major and destructive changes, while ignoring that it is leading the world on improving it's efficiency and reducing it's pollution, in the link below:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2020-democrats-climate-change-bernie-sanders-aoc

It feels like a world of massive hypocrites demanding that the US hobble itself while they do so much damage on their own that nothing the US could ever do would solve, or even slow, the problem.    Again, the US would do far more to help the world's environment by increasing it's production of carbon with production that is more pollution efficient than China and the third world can or will replicate.

20
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 13, 2019, 11:05:15 AM »
I think that's an interesting take on the review, but it's hard to say if it is really true.  If you recall The Last Supper, it wasn't really sympathetic to the "conservatives," its was completely about those on the left.

There are characters that Hollywood has produced overtime that had parts of the tone correct, but this movie doesn't sound it would have cast the "deplorables" as good people, my guess is that they'd have had the heroes be a couple that didn't "deserve" to be there (either taking the fall for someone else, or a slight that's more imagined than real).  There'll be plenty of really "deserving deplorables" who get killed, but they won't be anyone you recognize as someone you know from real life, they'll be caricatures from a 40's KKK convention or the like. 

21
General Comments / Re: ICE Raids
« on: August 12, 2019, 02:15:43 PM »
Great reference TheDrake!  The system is out there, but it's voluntary and the mandatory legal obligation, the I-9, is designed to fail.  It's a fascinating window on our political structure.

You'll still note that that e-Verify still leaves the burden on the employer (the employer can compare what they have to what the government has), and still avoids any kind of data crunching responsibility on the governments part (despite that this is now, in the big data era, trivially easy for them to do). 

Why not make e-verify mandatory, and require the government to run fraud checks around verifications that warrant it?  Politics.

22
General Comments / Re: ICE Raids
« on: August 12, 2019, 01:56:33 PM »
My point though D.W., is that there is NO federal system against which a person's employment status can be verified by an employer.  Why when we have social security numbers and tax ids is this not something automatic?  I mean heck, we have a federal background check for gun purchases, why not for work status?   Why not one that catches when the wrong name shows up on a social, or when 35 different employers withhold under the same social at the same time?

It's not a trivial process, but it's not that difficult either.  The only reason we don't have it is deliberate choice.  Like I said, this process is designed to support illegal workers not to catch them.

23
General Comments / Re: ICE Raids
« on: August 12, 2019, 01:39:01 PM »
Did you actually follow the link to the Form I-9, not just the description?  https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-9-paper-version.pdf

The list of documents that can be used includes thinks like a student ID and a copy of a birth certificate.  Not exactly difficult to forge.  The I-9 is not filed with the government, it's put in the Company's records for inspection if the government chooses to do so.  Do they have to confirm the documents?  Nope, not required, just to certify that they look genuine and like they relate to the person presenting them.

It's a record keeping law that places no obligation on the employer and provides no way to verify that the person is eligible to work.

You'll note too that it prominently states that the employer can't specify which documents can be used or it may be considered illegal discrimination.  This is a form to support illegal workers while claiming it does something.

24
General Comments / Re: ICE Raids
« on: August 12, 2019, 01:05:57 PM »
Just out of curiosity, how do the employer's know?  Should they be obligated to check every individual (regardless of suspicion) against a federal data base? 

We can't even agree to ask about citizenship on the census, how are we going to create that data base?  If the Company has socials for them should they do something to verify?

25
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 12, 2019, 12:48:59 PM »
So, if a movie depicts a graphic rape scene as despicable, does that mean the rape scene won't end up as a clip on porn sites?  Did putting it into the movie, that probably got an R rating as low box office, move the needle more than the millions (?) of men that will watch it over and over again stripped from context?

I just don't know.  I do know that a lot of people have really confused views of things like gun violence from believing the way media presents guns.  Automatic weapons show up all the time on tv, virtually never in real life.  Every tv cop fires their side arm at least every couple weeks, real cops?  Maybe never in their whole career. 

Have you never read anything (and there are thousands of articles on it) about how portraying black kids as thugs on tv led to stereotypes?  How is it possible that it's "clear" in that case, and completely impossible in the other?  Answer - it's not.  Marketing, propaganda, communication effectiveness all follow principals, and the reason this is "different" is just because some people want it to be considered so.

26
Assume my novel is in the fantasy genre, using the background of the biblical book of Genesis from Noah through Jacob fleeing Canaan (an alternate assumption is that it was in the biblical fiction genre, but I am assuming more Ornery people are fantasy readers). I wrote up this blurb in 20 minutes, but if you saw something like this on the back of a 560 page paperback book, what would be your expectations about the novel?

Big fantasy reader and I'd take a hard pass.  If you are using the bible as a backdrop then I'd assume one of two things:  One, you're a Christian author and a major component of the book will be effectively mission outreach.  I tend not to enjoy being preached at and even less when the story suffers to get the correct message.

Or, two, you're an Atheist and the point of the book is to demean the religion its based on.

Neither of those circumstances is greatly appealing to me.  It's hard to imagine, what gloss could be on the back cover that would intrigue me enough to convince me that I'm neither going to be preached at or insulted when an author has deliberately chosen a religiously signficant background for a story.   To put it in movie terms, remember Russell Crow's "Noah"?  It got a lot of people riled (maybe without much justification).

Is your audience Christians?  If so, the license you're taking is going have the story deemed heretical.  Is your audience Atheists?  It might do better, but expect a lot of hostility from offended Christians?  Is the audience fans of historical fiction?  Then the Christian's will still be mad and the non-religious will be scared off by the subject matter.

You may have difficulty finding a publisher.  Christian publishers will want a story that's consistent with doctrine, non-Christian publishers may or may not want to deal with protests.

That said, I think good historical fiction is generally interesting and maybe you can find a way to make it clear that you're not writing a religious book, if that's the case.

27
General Comments / Re: What effect would actual "gun control" have?
« on: August 12, 2019, 10:47:15 AM »
ScottF, background checks are more often than not non-issues because they don't turn up the kinds of things that would prevent a gun buy.  If you are legally barred from owning a gun - sure - but that would pretty much be things like having a felony record (after you're an adult, most of the stuff you did before 18 wouldn't show). 

Mental health?  Not very likely, it would generally have taken a health professional going to the police to assert you were a danger to yourself or others (and that's something they are reluctant to do even when warranted).  Couple that with the ability to voluntarily stop seeing a mental health professional at any time after 18, and someone really sick will never even be in the position in the first place.

These shootings don't track well to illegal purchases.

There is no "gun show loophole" that's just a talking point.  The "loop hole" is the private sale provision, which is what allows a person to sell a gun to a family member - or even give it a as a present, or to see a collector's piece to an interested buyer without going through a dealer.  Heck, for many years you could order guns out of a catalog that were sent through the mail.  To get a license from the ATF you have to be in the gun sale business, they won't even consider a large private collector who buys and sells several guns a year for registration.

Registration?  Not seen a sensible method of doing it, or one argument for how it would help.

I think demystifying guns would help.  I think encouraging women to carry guns would help.  It's not a coincidence that young men are behind most gun crime (well honestly, behind most violent crime).  Let's not be PC here, a program that focused on young men and required extra vetting of them would be the single most effective and reasonably limited thing that has a chance to fix these problems.  Not to mention it would go a long way to addressing the "unspoken" gun crimes that make up the massive amount of actual gun deaths (murders by gangs, and people someone knows).

You can't adequately fix suicide risk with our current "voluntary only" mental health system (nor would you like living under a system where pyschologists have to certify you mentally healthy before you have rights).

28
General Comments / Re: Jeffrey Epstein arrest
« on: August 12, 2019, 10:34:21 AM »
Pants and/or shirt would be more than sufficient to the task for self-strangulation for most people.

You should read the article about the impossibility of this happening.  Your assuming he was in normal clothes, he wasn't.  Everything given to the prisoner is designed to fail in a suicide attempt.  It's also fascinating that he wasn't checked for hours, and that his cellmate was transferred out hours before.

This is one of those times when the conspiracy formula almost has to be correct.

29
General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 12, 2019, 10:30:24 AM »
No there isn't a double standard. People who deplore movie and video game violence in general are largely consistent about that.

I think the double standard he's looking at is that the same people who run Hollywood and Big Tech, which produces extremely violent content with massive amounts of murder and gun crime, strongly align politically, with those calling to ban guns and decrying the President's "hateful rhetoric."  Honestly, they claim the President wants to murder brown people because he wants to enforce the actual laws on immigration, and that's hateful rhetoric, but a movie about murdering your political opponents is just entertainment that doesn't have an impact on the national conversation. 

To make that clear, the President is responsible for a mass shooting because his words disagree with them politically, even though he's never remotely said anything that calls for a mass shooting; but they can put out a movie about murdering their political opponents and you'd be "crazy" to claim they have a responsibility for any uptick in violence.

30
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 09, 2019, 02:47:58 PM »
A lot of conservatives think Rush Limbaugh is hilarious, I already cited that example of mean spirited laughs. Is he a comedian? No.

I don't think conservatives tune it to Rush to seek out humor.  Most hosts are personable and that often includes humor.

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But I also pointed out theories that explain WHY there aren't conservative comedians, including the lifestyle of a comedian. Conservative people are unlikely to huddle in a crappy loft in Manhattan handing out flyers to tourists and hoping to pick up a 5 minute set at a second rate comedy club at 1am.

But you're confusing the issue.  There's a claim about why Conservatives don't become comedians, and that makes some sense (I note, it's the kind of soft psychology that people really object to when it's used to explain gender differences), even if it is seriously doubtful that out of 10's of millions of conservatives none would have the target mentality.

But it's the second issue you are ignoring.  If there's an audience of 10's of millions that are looking for a humor type, you wouldn't even have to be a conservative to see the money opportunity.  In fact, if you remember the end of The Last Supper you'd know that would occur. 

There should be demographic evidence that conservative households follow specific "mean humor" shows in preference to others.  Whether you think they shy away from comedy clubs is barely relevant in a world where they are consuming 6+ hours of entertainment a day.

31
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 09, 2019, 01:42:22 PM »
Definitely rare. As I linked, there's an academic that tries to explain why. When it does occur, like just reading comments of people on breitbart, it tends to be direct and nasty rather than clever.

If that were a true statement, then we could point to the nasty direct conservative comedians.  If it were true, then there would be an open market with millions of fans (and conservatives have money to spend) for nasty direct comedians.  Instead you see them going to see Jim Gaffigan with generally family friendly humor or Seinfield, with humor that tends to steer clear of direct politics.

You can not convince by stating a premise as true, and then not being able to actually point to it being implemented in practice.  People of all stripes like mocking humor, the Germans even have the word Schadenfruede for one branch of such negative humor, and again it appeals to a lot of people of all stripes.

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A breitbart comment on BLM : “Some people need to lighten up. Ha ha ha pun intended.”

It's anecdotal, but I discovered this with a simple "ha ha site:breitbart.com" search.

That's just racist, I've heard liberals make racist jokes (less now than before), and jokes that play on racist tropes.  I mean some of Chris Rock's performances are nothing but playing on racist memes.

But that's a very odd thing to cite.  Are you asserting that Breitbart is a comedy site?  Or that the racist joke has a broad appeal?  Finding nasty jokes isn't evidence that a comedian could get a broad audience on them?  I mean last I checked, a straight up KKK comedian would be more likely to get killed than to sell out any show no matter how small the venue.

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On huffpost.com, I find an article about the healing power of laughter that somehow includes yoga.

I'm not pretending that I've proved anything by this tiny sampling, just trying to illustrate my hypothesis.

I don't think the hypothesis can be illustrated anecdotally.  If the claim is about 10's of millions of people having a specific humor preference, then the evidence should appear in something they watched.  I mean I've heard Tim Allen's show is appealling to conservatives (didn't watch it however), is it based on this meanness idea?  What about RoseAnne before she got kicked (I'd heard it was more compassionate, and she specifically got rejected for the kind of nastiness that you seem to be implying).

Seriously, evidence of a trend preference should be easily visible in a large population.

32
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 09, 2019, 11:47:03 AM »
I can't find anything related to a joke about AOC in a football helmet on Google.  I'm honestly not even sure I can designate a comedian that's "conservative," or more particularly that does "conservative" humor mean or otherwise.  There a couple of comedian's that are religious (Rabbis and such), but I have no idea of their politics, there are a couple that focus on patriotic lymrics, and a few that touch on issues that appeal to conservatives (Colin Quinn for example has several bits about the Constitution), but again I can't say that aligns with their polictics.  There are a few, like Joe Piscapo, that have come out as conservative, but I'm not even aware of anything funny he's done.

Didn't find the AOC football helmet comedian, but I think we all recall mini-AOC and that was definitely mocking humor.  Not particularly nice, but I think we also recall that it was shut down by death threats to her whole family.

But I'm not seeing evidence of "Republican" or "Conservative" humor being primarily mean, just primarily rare.

33
General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 08, 2019, 08:35:09 PM »
I think that's what's going on for SNL and the left, and for comedy and the left.  But I think it's really hard to find any comparable major conservative comedy centers.  If you listen to a comedy channel long enough, you'll find some conservatives and the humor is rarely meanness based.

I'd be happy to test out any conservative meanness humor sources you can identify.

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General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 08, 2019, 08:14:12 PM »
And finally, the quote you gave "Poll Finds 84% Say Americans Angrier Than Generation Ago"? That is an actual study, its part of the onion's segment where they take a real news story and then have fake man-in-the-street interviews.

Yep, now think about the implications for what you said above if the Onion deliberately mixes in real news with their fake news satire.  Still want to make the claim that the Onion is more obviously satire?

My own experience on humor is that some people like it and others don't and it's not strongly linked to ideology.  I love to laugh, and I love to find people that love to laugh, that reaches across ideology with my liberal friends who laugh being smarter and more open minded and my conservative friends who love to laugh being smarter and more open minded.  I think what I was really talking about is things like SNL, where the "humor" is really just meanness that's designed to demean a political viewpoint.  That hasn't always been the case.  I haven't found the "right wing" humor sources that are based on meanness rather than funniness.

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General Comments / Re: Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 08, 2019, 05:32:40 PM »
It is useful to look at the listings of articles under Snopes Junk News category.

Many of these come from places that claim to be satire, but instead tend toward inflammatory clickbait.

"Claim to be satire."   Really?  How about obviously are satire.  The labelling and write up you quoted really is just one sided eye of the beholder nonsense.

It's been a long observation of mine that while the left produces far more comedians than the right, the left has less ability to laugh when its the but of the joke.

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There's also the matter of their titles, they don't look quite as obvious as the Onion's, at least to me.

One such: Did U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar Say ‘If Israel Is So Innocent, Then Why Do They Insist on Being Jews?’

That's more mean spirited than funny, and honestly the things that she says are over the top enough that anything would be hard to rule out.

Compare to the Onion: New Amazon Service Lets Customers Boost Shipping Speed With Easy One-Click Charge To Whip Delivery Person

Really?  On the front page, "Rep. Crenshaw Crashes Through Roof of Capital Building Wielding Axe Forged in the Heart of a Dying Star."  Including a picture of him as Thor with lightening shooting out.

If that's not obvious, then all I can say is obvious is apparently in the "eye of the beholder."

Or how about, "Biden Aides Forced to Use Spray Bottle Again"?   Anyone with a brain (or without) not see that as satire?

Or how about, "Men Agree to Let Women Rule the World if they'll Stop Asking Questions During Football Games."?

I guess I could see how someone could believe this headline could actually be real, "California Mandates Conversion Therapy for Straight Kids."  But I've certainly, seen onion headlines that could be real.

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Now, they don't deserve to lose their rankings over being less funny than the Onion, but I think it demonstrates how it is much easier for BB to be retweeted as actual news.

You think that's less likely to be confused with real news than this one from the onion, "Poll Finds 84% Say Americans Angrier than a Generation Ago."  That wouldn't shock anyone as a real news story.

I think the argument you're making is kind of silly.  The fact that a good Satire could fool someone doesn't make "A Modest Proposal" into fake news.

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General Comments / Re: The Hunt
« on: August 08, 2019, 09:19:33 AM »
It could be. I very much enjoyed a film that postulated libruls who poisoned their dinner guests. Didn't mean I was cool with people actually doing that.

The Last Supper right?  I enjoyed it too.  That was a self reflective piece where liberals explored how their belief in their goodness was confronted as they eliminated cartoon versions of conservatives.

I think this film is in poor taste, but so is most of the horror porn genre.  I would find interesting if those who defend the piece would think of it differently if we "correctly" dog whistled by say having it be  a release of KKK films and the hunted being minorities?  Or would you recognize that for the dangerous piece of propaganda encouraging the events that it is?

To me the appropriate response here is to consider what the actual message is and if it's truly a message of hate to condemn and even blacklist those behind the film as the hate mongers they are. 

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General Comments / Conservative Onion equivalent
« on: August 07, 2019, 03:03:08 PM »
So I'd never heard of Babylon Bee before today, but it's pretty funny.  I particularly enjoyed this one:

https://babylonbee.com/news/democratic-socialists-forced-to-communicate-via-interpretative-dance-to-avoid-offending-any-attendees

I also think it's funny that it came to my attention because Fox did an interview with it's owner (?) where he was complaining that Snopes has repeatedly "fact checked" his satirical stories to label them as fake news rather than satire.  I understand that the Onion has occasionally had a similar problem.

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General Comments / Re: Socialism
« on: August 07, 2019, 02:36:53 PM »
Fen,

I'm still not understanding why you want to remove the actual core features of the definition in favor of non-core components.  This seems like social engineering designed to support a motte and bailey argument.

Here's the first 2 definitions from Merriam Webster:

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1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

The core is about the state owning property and controlling distribution.  Period.  Altruism is a separate matter that differentiates between the goals of a system, it's not a core of the system.


I know that the word "socialism" has often been used in the past as a catchall term referring to government simply seizing everything and 'the people' having collective ownership over everything.

That is justifiable under socialism.  But the point is neither here nor there, as I didn't claim that is the "whole" picture.

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Many forms of socialist theory hold that human behaviour is largely shaped by the social environment. In particular, socialism holds that social mores, values, cultural traits and economic practices are social creations and not the result of an immutable natural law. The object of their critique is thus not human avarice or human consciousness, but the material conditions and man-made social systems (i.e. the economic structure of society) that gives rise to observed social problems and inefficiencies.

Which is flowery language that translates directly into "Rights are granted by the Government, and are exactly and only what the Government determines."  Everything I said flows from that reality.  It's perception of injustice that creates recourse, not objective standards.  There is no recourse against government misconduct (which is definitionally impossible in such a system).

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If you insist that the word "socialism" must essentially mean totalitarianism (that basically the government can do anything at all it wants and no one has any rights), then of course it will be nonsensical to you to admit that it can have anything to do with good will.

I said the philosophy was concordant, and I walked through why I thought it is the inevitable result.

Neither here nor there though because I'm still objecting to reading in "good will" to the definition.  It's not part of it, nor is it necessary.  If you want to believe that application of good will through socialism is possible go ahead, you can even make the argument, but you're damaging speach if you define socialism as good will when its not.

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...in my view what you're saying is that mixed economies are the only reasonable form, in which case we'd be in agreement.

Economies and governments are different things.  Confusing "government" with "socialism" by inferring that all regulation is socialism is not true.

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But to be clear - mixed economy means that there is a blend of purely free market and of socialist and/or centrally controlled elements mixed together to use the best of both worlds.

And this why that distinction is important.  One does not have to believe ANY PART of central control is desirable to believe that regulations are.

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Again, socialism in the way I'm using the term doesn't have to mean "the state controls and owns literally everything", but rather designates the state as having the authority (morally and legally) to shape the economic landscape in any way that will serve the greater social good.

I think I'm going to have to say I can't discuss this with you.  There's no way to come to a meeting of the minds on higher topics, when you're defining the term in such a non-standard manner.

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The UBI is a good example of socialist policy that is clearly not just an 'expression of altruism' but amounts to a definite claim about the state of production and what the general interest actually requires.

In my view, the UBI is just a gimmick promise designed to grab votes by re-labelling communism as a right.  There's no difference behind the curtain between a UBI and the Soviet style right to access common goods. 

Don't believe me?  Play the game of imagination and actually model out what would happen at varying levels of UBI.  If the theory really is sound, then you should be able to scale up to just about any income level you want.  Would giving everyone $1 million a year, make it so we could all afford to buy yahcts?  No, it's make the price of yahcts and every thing else rise dramatically.  Basic housing would cost millions in rent and tens of millions to buy.   Trips to the grocery store would cost tens of thousands.  The fact that we can "play games" with small amounts because we have a strong economy does not protect us from the nonsense that would ensue if we decided to proactively eliminate the connection between income and effort.

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You asked me above to list examples of redistributive policies that have nothing to do with socialism, so here are a few:

Lol, it's a bit of a trick question.

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-QE (quantitative easing), which is only a special case of a general practive of slowly shifting wealth around subtly so that most people don't notice it's happening. It increases the money supply for strategic purposes, but in so doing certain parties benefit far more than others. Further, the inflation of the currency also shifts real spending power around.

Not a redistribution.  This is an accounting trick where the government prints extra money without taxing anyone to do so.  It's literally a distribution without taking.  A strong economy like the US can get away with it, Zimbabwe on the other hand destroyed the value of their currency by doing the same thing.

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-Bailouts: literally shifting wealth to specific parties, and effectively coming out of the public coffers (through inflation).

Bailouts also don't qualify directly as re-distribution - there's generally no seizure to support them.  Pyrtolin was correct about what money actually is, government spending is not actually connected to taxation, we just pretend it is for good reasons.  But let's assume we could construe taxation as a "taking" and redistribution for a bailout.

Even then, it's literal socialism.  The government is distributing to a specific economic actor for the purposes of the government, not for any other person.  The government has not identified an injustice, or even necessarily correctly identified a problem (collapse of a company while tramatic often opens up at least as many new opportunities as it closes).  Yet the government has decided to "take" in the form of taxes from the many to give to a single actor to "correct" that problem.  It doesn't matter if it's doing so save the economy or save jobs, or because the CEO of the solar panel plant is a friend of the administration's.

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-Corporate welfare: this includes stimulating the economy through tax breaks, where some companies effectively pay zero tax;

That's a hard claim for a taking.  All taxes are a destruction of currency, and could be construed as a taking, lifting a burden on some to encourage a government policy to be construed as a taking would have to be seen as a "taking from others."  Generally speaking not taxing is the opposite of a taking so you're really drawing an inference from taking less?

Whether taxes even exist in a socialist society is questionable.  The state owns the property, is it a tax to take it?  So tax policy is frequently used by capitalistic societies to drive social good.  Tax breaks for charities encourage charitable donation for example. 

Refundable tax credits - those meet the bill.  Zero effective tax rates speak more to either a really vital government need being met, or a poorly drafted law (which may be the result of corruption or rent seeking, or just bad thinking).

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it includes creating policy to suit particular corporate interests (pharma, military, etc);

Another super tangential connection, and not one that distinguishes well from socialism, where ALL corporate policies are designed to suit the corporate interests of the state (China for example, super subsidizes and favors tech and military endeavors).

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it includes creation of budget cycles where public monies are earmarked for private enterprise on a recurrant basis; and it also includes the revolving door of insiders in government positions, which often involves regulatory capture but can also just be described as an old boys' club.

That sounds more like a pet peeve than an example of non-socialist redistribution.  In any event, I completely concur that corruption manipulates the share of public resources.  In socialist societies, as the government is the only relevant actor, corruption tends to be enshrined as the "ordinary course" of business where even official actions often require bribes to the officials involved. 

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-I'll list this separate, even though it could be seen as being part of the above: the military-industry model whereby the government is beholden to regularize contracts to military companies, and in turn that material is needed to be used (or sold) in order to justify subsequent purchases, therefore resulting in overly aggressive foreign policy, as well as a habit of selling armaments to 'questionable' parties.

I don't even get what you're implying here.  Where is the non-socialist redistribution.  Protection is part of the basic social contract of all governments regardless of form or philosophy.  Providing for the common good is not a redistribution.

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Sorry if this went on a bit long, but really I don't see how there can be any discussion about 'socialism', or socialist theory, or socialist-type policies, if any time it's ever brough up the answer of "no, socialism is just when the government seizes everything including the kitchen sink." That can be how the word is used, but it certainly does not capture how it generally is used, and especially doesn't even apply to discussions about social democracy.

It's like if we wanted to have a discussion about Monarchy as a form of government and you insisted that the monarch is not a relevant part of the Monarchy. 

Whether the government takes the kitchen sink isn't the question, it's whether the government already owns the kitchen but is letting you use it (so long as that's consistent with their goals).  Socialism is literally about giving up your property to the collective without any say.

39
General Comments / Re: Socialism
« on: August 07, 2019, 01:42:53 PM »
But you are not drawing a line on the profits, only on the legal borrowing options.  That just leaves the black market or whatever otherwise avoidable consequence there is to not having access to money.  Tearing something down as "wrong" when it serves a specific purpose, without putting in place a replacement to address that purpose is misguided at best.

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General Comments / Re: Socialism
« on: August 07, 2019, 01:06:45 PM »
TheDrake, none of that is actually responsive.  How do you replace an emergency banking system?

Making the poor bite the bullet and fix the problem themselves is at best missing the point.  Bankruptcy is irrelevant (and just as possible after the payday loans).  Having a social support network is not guaranteed, and often puts a burden on other people that can barely afford it.  It also completely ignores that many at this level of destitution have already burned those bridges and exploited those opportunities and borrowed and not paid back their family members.

Pay day loans are there because people have no other options, not because they're choosing not to use them.

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General Comments / Re: Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 07, 2019, 12:42:55 PM »
The Democrats have assigned a near mythological power to Russian influence that didn't exist, solely to avoid the cognitive dissonance inherent in realizing that as unpopular as Trump is, Hillary is less popular and Democrat policies are not fundamentally more liked that Republican ones.

I guess you missed the part where Clinton won the popular vote? By the results of the only poll that matters, Clinton was more popular.

I didn't miss it, and that's one fair interpretation.  I've also looked at the state by state numbers and the margins of victory, Hillary's popular vote margin really comes down to winning CA by a lot (margin in victory in CA is bigger than Hillary's total margin of victory) and winning by a lot in certain Democratic strongholds, specifically, Illinois, MD, NY and NJ come to mind.  But margin of victory with the base isn't really what makes a good President.

I'll revise to say, Clinton was popular with hardcore Democratic base voters, but was not popular with independents, Republicans or moderates.

42
General Comments / Re: Socialism
« on: August 07, 2019, 12:05:01 PM »
Fen,

You seem to be talking past me rather than to me.  Altruism has nothing to do with the distinction between socialism and capitalism.  Fundamentally the conflict between the two is a simple property dispute.  In socialism, the state ultimately owns all property, and it suffers private use only to the extent it advances the state's goals.  In capitalism, private ownership of property is the rule (while not pure capitalism, every modern capitalistic society recognizes the right of a state to take and use private property, generally after fair compensation to the private owner, and to impose usage restrictions at the least designed to limit externalities from a use of the property (which fairly recharaterized as prevent encroachment on others)).

Altruism or social good is something else.  Altruistic socialists see the government and the people as one and make look to protect the poor, non-altruistic socialists see the people as subject to the government and seek to control them and maximize government power.   Altruistic capitalists (which was the dominant ethos of the US) see an obligation to use part of their property to benefit the less fortunate, they do so directly, through organizations (charities and churches) or even through supporting government programs by giving them cash to spend on those efforts (ie taxes) and they seek to fairly account for externalities.  Non-altruistic capitalists seek to exploit and extract all gains, without regard to externalities.

There is nothing about "Socialism" that is inherently connected to a belief in social welfare.

I think this is closer to the core of the issue than you may realize. Part of the M.O. of the conservative position on the public good is the presumption that any good that needs doing can, and likely will, come about as a result of individual choices and good will, and that paternalistic government is not the answer.

That's not really accurate.  You seem to be talking about charity - vaguely.  Most of the public good that "needs doing" is not about charity, building roads is not charity, supporting schools is not charity.  Taking care of the impoverished is.  I think small communities do in fact take care of the disadvantaged (though they often have social costs), bigger ones do not as they easily treat it as "someone else's problem."

If you think the socialism inclined will actually take care of these people ask yourself why homeless problems are largest in blue big cities.  You can look at the heat maps and see it.

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Part of the M.O. of the liberal position is that this simply will not function in practice and that if government doesn't act as arbiter of the public good then the public good will in practice not be served enough.

I note that "liberal" is not the same as socialist, nor is Democrat the same as either term.  I do agree that the left endorses more government control (but I deny the assertion that this is all good natured caring for others). 

But acting as "arbiter" of public good can take on many forms only some of which are socialist.  Market regulations, enforcement of contracts, enforcing liability for foreseeable (and even unforeseeable) externalities, are all parts of capitalism.  Many of the "socialist" positions - like rent control, minimum wages - have known harmful impacts on the poor.  Rent control benefits those in the apartments that are controlled and raises the prices on all other apartments, which disadvantages the poor who didn't win the rent control lottery, makes a whole other class of previously middle class poor and harms everyone who has to pay the higher rents.  It also has the unintended side effect of reducing the amount that landlords are willing or able to expend to maintain those units, which leads them to become increasingly run down and unsafe over time.  Was it really "altruistic" to favor "doing some" and "leading with your heart" over the long term creation of a slum and making everyone else poorer?  I don't care which effects you believe are true, if you acknowledge that the other side can reasonably believe its position then "altruism" is clearly not linked to one side or the other.

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"Government" just properly means collective action through a central proxy (at least when it's not acting for corrupt, self-serving purposes).

That's agreed.  However, I read your position to effectively be equating "socialism" with "government" or even worse with "good intentioned goverment," and neither is accurate.

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The "ideal" is that wealth has been unfairly distributed and that it should be redistributed by the government "fairly."  That's it.  Even if you could demonstrate - as a fact - that continuing an unfair distribution results in greater wealth and even those at the bottom are better off than they would be without that unfair distribution, socialism still rebels at the "unfairness."  Ergo, it's not primarily about caring about society or what's best for society, it's about redistributive justice as a primary value.
On this point I generally think you're too specific in what you think socialist policy does. It's true that redistribution of weather is a tool that socialist policy can employ.

It's not a "tool" of the philosophy.  The philosophy believes that the collective/government is the true owner of property, and believes that correcting individual uses that stray from the collective/government's goals is required. 

I don't get why you're soft selling what socialism is.

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But as I mentioned earlier there is plenty of redistrubition of wealth going on that is clearly not socialist in the slightest.

Out of curiosity where do you see something like this?

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This is part of what I meant about this definition creating contradictions. The tool of redistribution is by no means exclusive to socialist intentions.

Redistribution /= to taxing and spending on the common good.  Redistribution is taking from one private actor to benefit another private actor.  There are other systems that also believe in the tool, authoritarians, monarchies, anarchies and oligarchies come to mind.  Theologies, if corrupt, also fit the bag.

Capitalism does not agree that taking from one to give to another is anything but theft. 

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The toolkit of what steps can be taken to pursue 'socialist goals' can include anything the imagination can conjure up. If you release a PSA pushing the idea of thinking of the well-being of others before greed, that's politically socialist.

It's not.  That's just altruistic.  There's nothing about thinking of others, or even using your wealth to benefit them that remotely speaks to use of governmental intervention to achieve the goal.

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If you designate certain land as wildlife reserve, that's socialist on the grounds of it being for the public good rather than for the betterment of any particular group.

That's a greyer example.  But it exists in all forms of government.  If you believe that the persons who owned the land have to be fairly compensated it's actually a socially conscious capitalistic action, if you believe you can just take the land without compensation for the "public good" THEN its a socialist action.

Take a look at how Venezuela nationalized the oil industry.  They simply decreed that the industry would revert to the country without compensation for any of the equipment or development.  That's a socialistic action.  Compare that to how a US government seizes property to build a building and the valuations and compensation that they have to provide.

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There are many, many courses of action that can be taken that are aimed at using the central force of government to guarantee certain conditions for all that I would consider to be socialist. Legislation guanteeing labor conditions would be another example of this, where the free market negotiation between employer and employee is deemed to not be equitable enough to leave it as a purely private matter.

I think interference in employment certainly trends more socialist.  But it was a capitalist society that pioneered worker's rights and still provides higher and better worker rights than the purely socialist ones.  Why do you think that is?  It's because socialism (state ownership of property) is barely removed from state ownership of people.  When the people's rights are a gift of the government, rather than a right of the people, there's little real incentive for the government to negotiate against itself and grant more rights.

Much of how labor rights have developed in the US markets centers around removing unfair advantages.  We real debt slaves, we had company towns and stores, we had corporate armies, none of which was consistent with a free negotiation of labor.  All the corrections on that front improved the negotiations between the parties by making them more equitable. 

When you go beyond that in search of "social" goods you actually make the negotiations worse and the results worse.  Mandating a $15 minimum wage, for example, has the direct (and known) consequence of impairing the ability of the young and the poorly skilled to get a legitimate job.  Employers over emphasize experience and refuse opportunities.  They rigidly cap overtime (the opposite happens when you mandate excessive benefits, they ruthlessly exploit overtime), they shut down or don't expand.  Your social policy denied many people an opportunity to work at wages they'd have been happy to have (and not abused by receiving) because of a one size fits all conclusion.

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Capitalism is just an ideal, you can agree or disagree with it, but agreeing does not oblige anyone to make a statement that they believe it requires free markets?

Socialism is about government control of industries.  It's an economic philosophy not a moral one.

I have to say I think this is backwards. That is, unless I have mistaken your meaning with the part I bolded. If I understand you correctly, you're trying to reverse what I said about socialism being an ideal, and are saying that actually capitalism is an ideal, whereas socialism is just a tool to leverage redistribution.

Fen, it was attempt to demonstrate the absurdity of your original passage.  You can not divorce socialism from what it is to define it in other terms.  Socialism is a specific philosophy, as is capitalism, they both involve ideals as well, but "socialism" is not defined by altruism, it's defined by state control of property.

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It may, *or may not*, be the case that allowing free negotiation of labor and resources in a free enviroment will lead to wealth for the most and the greatest conditions for the most. There has literally never been an example of this occurring in history, and 100% of cases demonstrate that this doesn't happen, notwithstanding the fact that a 'true capitalist' enviroment has never been allowed to be tested.

I tend to think "pure capitalism" pursued by non-altruistic people, is not a real philosophy.  That construct would for instance support a slave trade if it were profitable and interested persons were able to impose it.  In fact, even pure capitalism as a philosophy requires certain prohibitions and restrictions to protect the right of free negotiation.

That said, it's really indisputable that capitalism generates wealth.  The entire design of capitalism is about allocating resources to pursue wealth maximization.

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Socialism, on the other hand, doesn't (to whit) make definite statements about exactly which conditions will lead to what result as a long-term projection.

Agreed in part, socialism is not a sensible projective philosophy.  It's a philosophy about punishing mistakes by redistributing assets from "non-conforming" uses to conforming uses.  The fact of how the communists have operating is clearly demonstrative that such a system can be used for non-altruistic goals.  I tend to believe that this result is always inevitable as power seekers in such a system will inherently move to government roles and there are no mechanisms that control their abuses.

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Rather, it seems to be reactive to actual injustices or problems, with the view that it is the right and probably the obligation of government to 'interfere' in the public state of affairs in order to make corrections to things that don't work.

If you replace "actual injustices or problems" with "perceived injustices" you'd be closer.  Like the injustice of someone owning a building, or running a successful shop.  Or someone not having bread while their hardworking neighbor does.

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It says not that redistribution is mandatory, but rather that it's a legitimate tool that can be employed is the current state of distribution is fubar.

It says redistribution is right and proper and does not limit its use to "fubar" situations.  Private use is tolerated to varying degrees, but fundamentally is not a right and the state may take it away to serve any purpose no matter how petty or trivial.

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As a philosophical position all socialism says is that "it is legitimate and right for government, on behalf of the people, to make corrections to malfunction in the system."

Again, that's not "socialism" that's just a part of "government."  There is no governmental system operating today that doesn't believe its legitimate and right for government to make corrections to malfunctions in the system.  You seem to be defining "capitalism" narrowly and claiming the field is "socialism," it's not.

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An opposite philosophy to this wouldn't be 'capitalism', but rather maybe something like 'individualism', which might read as something like "the government has no sovereign right to tell me what to do, even in the case where my choices harm others and the government's actions would improve the public good."

Actually, you've just circled back to "anarchy," which is the rejection of a social contract that we refer to as "government."  Socialism is a philosophy of how to form and operate a government, not a term that is synomous with government.

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The question of rights here is orthogonal to the question of results. Socialism says that government can and should be interfering, and the opposite belief would be that it shouldn't be interfering regardless of the quality of the situation.

This is why I'm having such problems with your definitional conclusions.  You've misdefined socialism which leads to this mush.  Socialism is about property rights, I tend to believe that those who believe the state owns all property will trend to believing that all rights are granted by the state, but it's not required, its just a concordant philosophy. 

Socialism says all property is the government's only rightly used when it benefits the government, and interference is warranted when this is not occurring.  This is why capitalism is the opposite philosophy.

It doesn't say government should be interfering, only that it has the absolute right to do so.  Socialism is not the opposite of anarchy (the belief that there should not be a government or that a government can never intervene).

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The matter of importance is not the consciousness that some action is needed, but specifically the license givern to government to take this actions. It makes it the government's direct job to practically effect what on an individual level is what you're calling social consciousness philosophy. It basically centralizes that conciousness and acts based on that collective feeling using its central power.

Again it doesn't.  Communistic countries are direct evidence that altruism is not inherent to the philosophy.  If you want to argue that the means and the thought are required, then I'm left with pointing out the absolute nonsense of resting all power in a government and expecting it to remain altruistic long term, when by definition there can be no contrary power centers with the ability or right to resist the government's decisions or even abuses.

If what you mean by "socialism" is tantamount to choosing government by "philosopher kings" its pretty much useless.

Practically speaking, the biggest problem with socialism is that there is no actual limit on government authority and abuse.

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I didn't argue that good will is irrelevant, only that socialism is not properly defined as good social will.

Well, not if you're already defining it as "the evil practive of stealing from people." Historically speaking it is indeed muddy to try to extract the 'true meaning' of a loaded word like this one, which is why I'm trying to to sort mine out the stated intentions of socialism historically as opposed to the doublespeak uses of its terminology in the employment of despotism.

It just feels like you're trying to sanitize a word that doesn't need it.  The word has a specific meaning.  If you want to argue for state ownership of property and/or absolute right to redistribute is not all "socialism" is then then you need to lay out controls that separate that from what those policies mean.  Socialism is not good will.

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In my claim, at least, I am also not defining socialism as good social will. I am defining it as the concept that good social will should properly be integrated into the mandate of government as an obligatory policy intent.

Definitionally all government is, is the embodiment of a social contract.  Government is literally the integration of the polity's agreement of what  "good social will" actually is into an enforceable practice.  The US for example cedes authority to use force proactively to the government, feudalism retained that to the local lordship.  That's a different choice about good social will.

I think what you mean is that social welfare should be added to the governmental mandate.  There's nothing stopping a capitalistic society from doing so, nor is there any thing that mandates a socialist one will do so (unless you think say re-education camps are for the social good). 

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And as I write this I know you feel that this often (or usually?) leads to misery, and that paternalistic government is bad at knowing how to create good conditions for anyone. My answer to this last point is only that I'm not advocating in favor of socialist government, and especially not on the grounds that I'm claiming it's good at achieving those goals; I'm only trying to state what I think it is, and it would be another discussion to assess whether it's a good idea to have a government with a socialist agenda.

Again, by confusing "socialism" with "social good will" you are in fact confusing the point and making it much harder to be persuasive. 

43
General Comments / Re: Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 07, 2019, 10:31:05 AM »
Read it again.  What I cited to is pulling Mueller's quotes and actual data.  What you cited to was a direct misrepresentation of what it was purported to reference
Not true.  Yes, what you cited made reference to some of the Mueller report's findings.  However, where it goes wrong is using only the ad and YouTube buys in its analysis of the totality of Russian interference, and making its hand-waving conclusions based on those smallest of efforts, whereas the vast majority of Russian interference was not related to either.

It is true, what I cited to focuses on the actual report and data.  You still are not acknowledging that your source's implication of a $1.25 million per month ad effort was a misrepresentation?  Here's the paragraphs from the indictment that set out that number.  You'll note the US operation is "part" an the effort, that included efforts in other places including inside the Russian Federation, and that the total budget for the project hit $1.25 in September (my bad on June, it's actually the later date to which they ramped up to that amount).

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CONCORD funded the ORGANIZATION as part of a larger interference operation that it referred to as "Project Lakhta." Project Lakhta had multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in various countries, including the United States.

By in or around September 2016, the budget for Project Lakhta submitted to CONCORD exceeded 73 million Russian rubles (over 1,250,000 US. dollars), including approximately one million rubles in bonus
payments.

The fact is that your source directly implied a $1.25 million US focused ad campaign, and that is misleading interpretation, false information and a lie.  There's no effort to actually parse the US portion or US focus in the indictment, or the portion that focuses on ad campaigns, and Mueller's report explicitly included that FaceBook determined the total ad buy from the organization in the indictment was about $100k.  Flat out that's a completely accurate statement.

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Those involved spent some $1.25 million per month on ad campaigns and measured their efforts much as an ad agency would, according to the indictment.
That's not what the indictment said.
???
That is quite literally what the indictment stated, in the very section you reference, and which I quoted directly in yesterday's quote. I even bolded the reference to monthly budgets.

I note you didn't bold the "on ad campaigns," which is the part that is a lie.  Deception is the word of the day.  I think I've laid out a clear refutation of the inference in the sentence of above.  Certainly, I don't see any reason for you to continue to claim its truthful without providing direct evidence that there was an established $1.25 million per month US focused ads (which if true Mueller's report would have included instead of the $100k (in total) reference it did include).

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Nowhere does that section make reference June of 2016.

That's correct, it actually says it was ramping up through September to that amount, which means in June it was even lower.

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At any rate, my point was simply that your linked article ignored the vast majority of Russian efforts (probably about 98%, financially) so it's analysis and conclusions are flawed at their root.  This doesn't disprove their hypothesis, but it clearly shows that they have not made a convincing argument.

The article I cited was specifically focused on the actual impact of the Russian influence.  It cited to Mueller's statements, and to the conclusions of social media companies and the total size of their user activity.  All of which is facts (other than Mueller's statements - which have not been tested on an adversarial basis).

The citation you included as explained above includes an unspecified amount of non-US focused activity, and large amount of non-Ad factors.  If you really want to go there, we're talking about 80k posts (not ads) on FB, which I walked through above, that were found to have reached 29 million people with absolutely no facts provided about how many reached any one person.  I note Mueller's report cites things like the following:

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The First known IRA advertisement explicitly endorsing the Trump Campaign was
purchased on April 19, 2016. The IRA bought an advertisement for its Instagram account "Tea
Party News" asking U.S. persons to help them "make a patriotic team of young Trump supporters"
by uploading photos with the hashtag "#KIDS4TRUMP."

Take a look at the report.  The stuff Mueller cites to generally wouldn't move any needles and would generally be indistinguishable from what was already flooding social media.  he made absolutely no efforts to describe statistically the support level for Trump (odd omission that should be read against him), or to describe the reach of any particular efforts or messages (also an add omission that should be read against him).

There's no factual basis to conclude this stuff was significant. 

Now if you want to talk about the real Russian influences there are two.  First, assuming they were in fact behind the DNC and Hillary hacks, those releases of truthful information did a lot of damage to Hillary's chances.  Second, the Democrats have been completely complicit in helping the Russians achieve their primary goal of sowing dissent and calling into question our institutions.  The Democrats have assigned a near mythological power to Russian influence that didn't exist, solely to avoid the cognitive dissonance inherent in realizing that as unpopular as Trump is, Hillary is less popular and Democrat policies are not fundamentally more liked that Republican ones.

44
General Comments / Re: Socialism
« on: August 07, 2019, 09:43:12 AM »
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How much should a lender spend to evaluate the terms of a $300 loan?  The problem is that decisively verifying an ability to repay involves hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  Giving a payday loan (effectively a secured loan)?  Not so much.  Note however, it's still not risk free in these communities and the default rate is much higher than you'd expect.

They are most definitely not secured.

You are correct on this, they're not secured.  I should not have used that word.  What I should have said is that they are intended to  minimize risk to the lender on a very risky borrower because they default if they aren't paid back on the next pay day.

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Seriously? An auto dealership runs a much more complicated evaluation. A credit check could easily weed out most of them. Standard answers on a form would catch more. It's not like they are going to take it to an underwriter.

How much do you think it costs to run that credit check?  Is it free?  The interest value on a 5 year loan on even a $10k car justifies that.  The "interest" on a two week loan for $300?  If you ditched the pay day model and forced an annual rate (even at 30%, which is illegal in most places) that would only work out to about $3.50 for that 2 week period.  What level of process is justifiable there?  How do you account for high default rates?  If one of those loans defaults it eats the entire profit from about 85 loans, and the default rate is much higher than 1 in 85. 

That's before you remove the costs of the process you want to include - auto dealer level credit check is going to work out to more than $3.50 per loan, and it's going to return the results that the borrower is not credit worthy in more than half of the situations.  Then you have to factor in the costs of having the facility in the first place.  Effectively, you'd be asking lenders to operate at a loss to provide those loans, therefore they will deny lending instead and leave an entire undreprivileged class with no options but the black market.

It's a nice dream, but it still amounts to denying any credit to the extremely underprivileged.

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Payday loans do a great job of delaying financial ruin while also making it more likely.

I agree with that.

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One more piece of bad luck and you're going to have crippling late fees as well. There is a small percentage of people who might take out one payday loan and then pay it back weathering a gap.

It's a larger percentage than you think, but I agree, payday loans end up trapping individuals who cannot manage their own money or that are in impossible situations.  The alternative of course is that they get no credit and what ever $300 emergency they absolutely had to have funds to avoid, now hits them smack in the face.

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Mostly these loans roll over or default. Luckily there are state regulations that limit rollovers and other such activity.

Are you listening to yourself?  "Most" default.  That's exactly why these loans are set up as they are.

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I'd be shocked if any advocate for the poor thinks these loans are helping those communities, nor can I imagine they would object to their elimination.

Cause black market loan sharks are so much better for the poor.  I suspect you are correct, but advocates for the poor are not ivory tower thinkers that would make them illegal without implementing a replacement support system.  The CPFB rules amount to a denial of banking, not a replacement with something better.

Try to work out the superior system.  You have a class of people who can not or will not repay loans.  How do you structure a lending program for them - other than as a charity.

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I know you'll not likely see it that way, and many people claiming to be objectivists probably wouldn't either because they look at any agreement as a mutual decision between equals, when that simply isn't the case.

I actually fully admit the bad on these.  They're a terrible product with terrible consequences.  But they are filling a specific need that is completely unaddressed by any other means, and simply cutting them out will leave desparate people even more desparate.

45
General Comments / Re: Socialism
« on: August 06, 2019, 07:23:38 PM »
A true objectivist society would not have predatory payday lenders. Lenders would evaluate the value of what they are doing, and only offer terms that they felt the customer could live up to.

How much should a lender spend to evaluate the terms of a $300 loan?  The problem is that decisively verifying an ability to repay involves hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  Giving a payday loan (effectively a secured loan)?  Not so much.  Note however, it's still not risk free in these communities and the default rate is much higher than you'd expect.

It's a rough solution to an even rougher problem.  Specifically, there's a chunk of our population that is not credit worthy and should not be loaned money.  That creates a real problem for them when they have an immediate cash need.  Need $400 bucks to fix your car or you'll lose your job?  Gonna need a pay day loan even with all the negatives.

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The Payday Lending Rule finalized in January 2017 under former CFPB Director Richard Cordray was set to go into effect on August 19, 2019. The rule also targets single-payment car title loans, in which borrowers use their car or truck title for collateral, and loans requiring a single, large, balloon payment.

Further, under the rule’s Mandatory Underwriting Provisions, payday lenders would have to confirm their borrowers’ ability to repay short-term loans of up to 45 days without incurring late-payment penalties, such as higher interest rates, while meeting living expenses.

Yes please. They should absolutely have let this rule go into effect. It's responsible banking.

It's more like denial of banking.  Put this rule into effect and we're right back to claiming that banks are discriminating against poor and minority customers who don't qualify for credit.

46
General Comments / Re: Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 06, 2019, 06:36:41 PM »
Social media lets you engage with identified groups very precisely. A given ad campaign might reach only 500k people. If 80% of those people were in the three deciding states and effectively influenced the votes of 25% of them, that ad campaigned could be said to decide the election despite reaching only 0.4% of voters (please let my math be right). That assumes the that states in question would have been won by a different party without the extra-legal ad campaign but that's a very difficult thing to know.

NobleHunter, that's an incredibly sensible point.  Now ask yourself why that data isn't in the Mueller report.

I can tell you the answer.  It's not there because it didn't show that targeting.

Less you think I'm being partisan, it's a simple deduction.  Evidence of such targeting would be an element of collusion.  They went to great lengths in the report to walk though Manafort sending polling data to a "Russian" (who it turned out was not actually a Russian, and was in fact a long term employee of Manafort's whose more likely connections were Ukranian, or even western, but hey no one said Mueller had to prove his allegations).  They clearly looked at that angle and were desparate to show it - as it would have been evidence useful to establish conspiracy.  It's lack of inclusion should lead to the negative inference it wasn't helpful (or you could argue Weissman chose to let slide facts that he could have used to make his case).

47
General Comments / Re: Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 06, 2019, 06:29:17 PM »
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DonaldD, I don't find that particularly responsive
Was it supposed to be responsive? You just posted a poorly researched article with conclusions that were convenient to your own position.  I just posted other articles, as easily searchable, that came to different conclusions.

I also later showed that your article misrepresented the scope of the Russian efforts, which were off by at least a factor of 100.

Read it again.  What I cited to is pulling Mueller's quotes and actual data.  What you cited to was a direct misrepresentation of what it was purported to reference

48
General Comments / Re: Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 06, 2019, 06:25:13 PM »
From Seriati's link:
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Some more numbers from the Mueller report help put the issue in perspective. Between January 2015 and August 2017, Facebook identified 470 IRA-controlled accounts out of more than 1 billion active daily users. "The IRA purchased over 3,500 advertisements," the report says, "and the expenditures totaled approximately $100,000" — roughly 0.0004 percent of Facebook's ad revenue in 2016.

But from adage.com (https://adage.com/article/digital/russia-spent-1-25m-ads-acted-agency-mueller/312424) there is a claim that in the indictment announced in February 2018, Mueller's team claimed that the 13 Russian nationals (and the 3 Russian entities) were spending 1.25 million dollars per month:

Just to be clear, the numbers you quoted as "from my link" are in fact quotes from the Mueller report.  Maybe you should direct your belief in the discrepancy between the Mueller report and the indictment to Mueller's team.  That particular quote is on page 25 of part 1.  If you read the section it becomes clear that "may have reached 129 million people" is a reference to their total effort, which included 80k total posts only some portion of which were supportive of Trump.  They don't tell you what portion, my guess because that would undermine the point they want to make.  It is clear that they were operative long before they posted anything pro-Trump.

The reality is that they only confirmed 29 million people "reached" in total and that number includes posts that didn't support Trump or disparage Clinton.  That's a number that is absolute dwarfed by the amount of FB messages that actually played out during the election.  80k?  Wouldn't be surprised if the total posts didn't exceed that by a factor of 1000 or more.  What does it mean to be reached?  29 million got one or more posts, many of which had nothing to do with helping Trump or hurting Clinton?  How many got 3 or more?  Guessing quite a bit less.  Meanwhile how many political posts hit the average FB users mailbox over the same period?  Hundreds?  Thousands?  More (I had at least a dozen friends that average 6 or more political posts and forwards a day). 

It's just a fact, Russian "influence" was an infintismal drop in the "influence" bucket.  I'm sorry that causes you dissonance.

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Those involved spent some $1.25 million per month on ad campaigns and measured their efforts much as an ad agency would, according to the indictment.

That's not what the indictment said.  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4380529-Internet-Research-Agency-Indictment.html  Check out page 6, Section 11(b).  Their entire budget (including employee hundreds of people as alleged by Mueller's team) reach $1.25 million by June of 2016.  That's not the ad spend amount, nor is it an average spend.

On the other hand the total 2016 spending by all parties was massive.  $2.3 billion on just the Presidential election.  If you assume an even spend over 12 months (some spending was before, but there's a massive backload), then you get $191 million per month, the election in total by the way was at $6.5 billion, which works out to $541 million per month.

So, even when you pick your facts (and get them wrong) you've still barely identified a drop in the bucket.

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Now, why would the creators.com article exclude the vast majority of the known funding of the Russian efforts during the 2016 election?

Answer, they didn't, they quoted the Mueller report not the misinterpretation of an activist group.

Again, quote battles are going to increase the lies and confusion if you don't take the time to actual parse the links.

49
General Comments / Re: Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 06, 2019, 02:45:14 PM »
DonaldD, I don't find that particularly responsive, the first isn't really facts based analysis, and it certainly doesn't touch or even try to refute the miniscule impact of Russian inteference.

The 538 article was written off the indictment from a year an a half ago, not the report itself.  An indictment is a prosecutors document, it's not designed to be fair only to state the case as harshly as possible.

In any event, if you're not responding to the actual claims, a citation battle is just throwing shade.  Partisans have written on this from every angle (mostly false), but how do you reconcile say your first link, with the user impact that does not differentiate significantly from zero on those platforms?

50
General Comments / Perspective on Russian Influence
« on: August 06, 2019, 02:17:48 PM »
Here's straight forward read about how uninfluential Russian influence efforts really were on the 2016 election.  A lot of this stuff is actually in part 1 of the Mueller report but it's buried (I noted some of it as I read the report, but I've never seen even one media follow up on it until now).

https://www.creators.com/read/jacob-sullum/07/19/the-puny-reality-of-russian-election-meddling-if-moscow-aimed-to-sow-chaos-it-needed-a-much-bigger-budget

The DNC hack was influential.  The Russian influence campaign was not.  Period.  If any of this comes as a surprise to you after 3 years of intense media coverage, ask yourself why that would be.

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