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Oct 26 2012

One more reason I have no choice but to vote for Obama

He just dissed Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision. It’s not one that, I think, describes what’s best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a “you’re on your own” society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.

I read some Rand when I was in my teens, too, and I also saw through it and gave it up when I was older. About 10 minutes older, when I threw that badly written piece of crap away.

378 comments

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  1. 1
    thomasvos

    I’m surprised you didn’t accuse Obama of being sexist because he referred to Ayn Rand as a thing. Oh wait, he is black, so you can’t throw the word “privileged” around.

  2. 2
    w00dview

    Yes, we need more denouncing of this misanthropic shite. I imagine the wingnut reaction will be good enough to get the popcorn in. We need more of this type of Obama.

  3. 3
    machintelligence

    I had a girlfriend in High School who went “religion shopping” and finally settled on Ayn Rand. I got a boxed set of the complete works of Ayn Rand in paperback for Christmas that year. I read them and was not impressed.

  4. 4
    Leo T.

    As the now-immortal John Rogers quote goes:

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

  5. 5
    joed

    Ayn was a wild psychopath.

    http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=130609

    How Ayn Rand Became an American Icon
    The perverse allure of a damaged woman.
    ———-
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/04/18/159391/truth-about-ayn-rand/

    [UPDATED] VIDEO: The Truth About GOP Hero Ayn Rand

  6. 6
    nichrome

    Yeah – never mind Obama’s “Disposition Matrix”, his war on whistleblowers while at the same time refusing to hold anyone accountable for torture, or the financial meltdown, or warrantless eavesdropping, etc., etc.

    But he dissed Ayn Rand! And he’ll be better than Romney… probably!

    Go Obama Go!

  7. 7
    w00dview

    Obama obviously meant thing to refer to as “idea” but hey, don’t let that stop you from having a dig at the FTBullies!

  8. 8
    jose

    Paul Ryan: “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

    Obama: “Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up.”

    Ouch.

  9. 9
    butterflyfish

    I can never get any of these right wing Christianity + Rand people to comment on the fact that Anton LeVey is on record as saying he based precept of the Church of Satan on Ayn Rand’s work. I did piss off some teens who were experimenting with Satanism by the comparing to these right wing nut jobs once, though.

  10. 10
    butterflyfish

    Just for lolz…

    churchofsatan.com: Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is an acknowledged source for some of the Satanic philosophy as outlined in The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.

  11. 11
    chadmiller

    thomasvos, right, you managed to interpret Obama in the worst and least accurate way. Quite a talent.

    Or, you really mean that a lot of us pick up a 170 pound woman and now corpse. Not a set of ideas.

    Your disingenuous trolling is why you aren’t taken seriously.

  12. 12
    kevinalexander

    I’ve tried for years to get through Witlas Thugs but I haven’t been able to. The scene on page thirty two brings tears to my eyes. I can’t stop laughing at the part where the protagonist reveals her magnificence to to the lowly mortals and then makes a train run on time!

  13. 13
    michaelolsen

    I can never get any of these right wing Christianity + Rand people to comment on the fact that Anton LeVey is on record as saying he based precept of the Church of Satan on Ayn Rand’s work. I did piss off some teens who were experimenting with Satanism by the comparing to these right wing nut jobs once, though.

    Well, the cult of fuck-you-got-mine is widely spread. Seeing it spread among right-wing christians, satanists and Ayn Rand idiots, isn’t surprising. Regardless of other beliefs, they have one in common: Screw thy neighbor.

  14. 14
    drxym

    Selfish people love objectivism. It validates their belief that it’s okay to screw over anybody they like providing it betters themselves. Better again, it does so under the smokescreen that it’s a “philosophy”. It’s not surprising that it is a favourite text amongst certain right wing types, especially libertarians.

  15. 15
    crisrand

    @michaelolsen,

    can we be friends?

    My pseudo”SUR”nym is Rand, which is related to my middle name, but I also enjoy the idea that a Randian might think for a second that I’m one of them until I start spouting social democracy.

  16. 16
    michaelolsen

    can we be friends?

    I’m not allowed to have those.

  17. 17
    shala

    I’d rather vote for Jill Stein, the best candidate there.

    If I could vote, that is.

  18. 18
    Gregory in Seattle

    Ten minutes? You lasted longer than I did: I dumped it after reading the dust jacket.

  19. 19
    hexidecima

    Ayn Rand was quite a twit, selfish and willfully ignorant. She’s one of those examples of how being an atheist conveys nothing special onto a person. It’s no suprise that teens and religious conservatives love her nonsense.

    Should she be called a thing? She isn’t. In the context of the interview and question, “Ayn Rand” is a philosophy, poor thomasvos. And that is indeed a thing. But of course you couldn’t actually think about what Obama was saying, you had to make a baseless claim about him. Congratulations, you’ve done the tediously expected.

  20. 20
    DLC

    Never read Atlas Shrugged. saw the movie version of The Fountainhead. There’s some good reviews of both out there if you care to look. I did read an essay on Objectivism by Rand and found it morally bankrupt. There’s just not enough enlightenment and way too much self-interest for her “enlightened self-interest” to be a viable socioeconomic model.

  21. 21
    michaelolsen

    I read the whole thing, and believe me, you guys and gals made the better choice.

  22. 22
    Q.E.D

    I read Atlas Shrugged because it was literally the last book available at the time. I was hiking in Wyoming, finished the books I had bought, finished my mates’ books and the last book available, the one no one wanted to trade for, was Atlas Shrugged.

  23. 23
    Rory

    I consider myself lucky I found Tom Stoppard and Samuel Beckett before Ayn Rand.

  24. 24
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @Shala:

    Sadly, some of us live in states where voting for a third party candidate would possibly hand the election over to Rmoney. Virginia, where I live, is one of those states. Every Dem who votes for Stein is a vote in Rmoney’s pocket.

    I totally agree with the Green Party, and would love to see a Green Party candidate in 2016 with an actual chance to reach the White House, but given this country’s ridiculous love affair with the two-party system… ain’t likely.

  25. 25
    Q.E.D

    Nichrome @ 6

    I agree with your objections to Obama but there is a French expression you need to consider (and its corollary) before voting or not):

    “Le meilleur est l’ennemi du bien” (The best is the enemy of the good)

    and it’s coroloary: “The definitely flawed but not totally awful is infinitely preferable to the guaranteed complete fucking disasterfuck”

  26. 26
    michaelolsen

    Katherine, you’re both right and wrong. Nobody is owed a vote. If I were american and allowed to vote, I’d look at the state and numbers, and then decide. But you’re right. The american right to vote is basically meaningless outside of the two parties.

  27. 27
    bpcross

    Exactly. Not only was Ayn Rand a little intellectually and philosophically void – she was a horrid writer.

  28. 28
    rturpin

    The way I used to put it was that Ayn Rand, as a philosopher, was a mediocre novelist. Now that I’m older, I think that gives her too much credit.

  29. 29
    michaelolsen

    Q.E.D
    26 October 2012 at 8:45 am

    Nichrome @ 6

    I agree with your objections to Obama but there is a French expression you need to consider (and its corollary) before voting or not):

    “Le meilleur est l’ennemi du bien” (The best is the enemy of the good)

    and it’s coroloary: “The definitely flawed but not totally awful is infinitely preferable to the guaranteed complete fucking disasterfuck”

    In other words, always choose the lesser evil. Which is good advice, unless of course your “situation” is always sliding in the wrong direction, and what you’re defending now is something that would have been anathema to you a few years back. I’m no fan of Nietzsche, but the abyss is getting wall-eyed.

  30. 30
    miraxpath

    This Ayn Rand thing is a peculiarly American fetish isnt it? Rest of english speaking world reads much healthier stuff and isn’t infected with the perverse ideals of objectivism. I read Orwell, Huxley and Shaw as a teenager. Also, earliest American writers I was exposed to were Twain, Faulkner and Steinbeck. These kind of writers innoculate you against the perverse nonsense that is objectivism.

  31. 31
    Mobius

    Thankfully, I have never inflicted the horror upon myself of reading Rand. I have read some stuff written by fans of hers, Terry Goodkind in particular, and have found their concepts of social philosophy to be appalling.

    In graduate school, there was a poster to the school newspaper that was big in the Objectivist Club, and his hypocrisy was monumental. For example, he would put down those students that were in college on a scholarship for not paying their own way. He never seemed to consider, however, that this was a state school and that much of the cost of his education was being paid by taxpayers. Clueless.

  32. 32
    deniseroyer

    I’m about 400 pages in to Atlas Shrugged. I don’t find the writing itself bad, the story is holding together okay. It is the characters that are driving me bonkers. Every single one is blech. I’ll probably have the entire thousand pages done by Christmas.

  33. 33
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It is the characters that are driving me bonkers. Every single one is blech. I’ll probably have the entire thousand pages done by Christmas.

    I have a question, namely why finish it?

  34. 34
    douglas black

    From a review of Atlas Shrugged:

    “This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” ~ Dorothy Parker

  35. 35
    bargearse

    I have a question, namely why finish it?

    Why start it?

  36. 36
    A Hermit

    Most thinking people I know got over Ayn Rand about the same time the worst of the acne cleared up…

  37. 37
    Cynickal

    You know who else made the train run on time*?

    Hit… Err… Mussolini!
    *no he didn’t

  38. 38
    Chie Satonaka

    @12

    “Witless Thugs,” oh you made me snorfle my coffee.

  39. 39
    nogods4me

    From Douglas Adams’ “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish”

    [Ford said] “… On its world, the people are people. The leader
    s are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”
    “Odd,” said Arthur. “I thought you said it was a democracy.”
    “I did,” said Ford. “It is.”
    “So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”
    “It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”
    “You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”
    “Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”
    “But,” said Arthur, going in for the big one again, “why?”
    “Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

    I hate our two party system. I’ve been hearing Australians chiming in about there preference voting and that sounds pretty cool, but I guess we are stuck with the two parties until the voters wake up. I would like to vote for Stein, but I can’t. I don’t live in a battleground state, so that’s not the problem. The problem is that here in the backwards state of Oklahoma, it is so difficult to get enough people who aren’t voting with the rethuglicans to get enough signatures to get a third party cadidate on the ballot. So, my “choice” is Obama or Rmoney. Not much of a choice. I have to vote for Obama.

  40. 40
    nogods4me

    *their preference voting

    don’t crucify for a simple mistake

  41. 41
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    michaelolsen @26:

    There’s probably a whole bunch of folk on this blog who are pleading special circumstances this election cycle. If you have been on this blog long enough you would have picked up a whole lot of why Mormons are dangerous, especially when mixed with Ayn Randian economic philosophy, as evidenced by the Bain years, or free haircuts for gay students. Obama certainly would not be my first choice in an election when I was back home in Canada, and the other candidates were comparatively sane when contrasted to Rmoney. But, prognosticating the next few years with Obama losing to Rmoney is, at least peering into my crystal balls, depressing not just for me and the people I know, but people all over the planet.

    Until the collective progressive voter-will organizes itself sooner and better to present an actual viable candidate, I will always vote for the candidate that is likely to win and do the least damage, and maybe even a little good. I can’t complain about steady job growth, 30 million more people with health insurance and ending Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell while endorsing the right to gay marriage. It doesn’t undo the collaterally killed villagers in drone strikes or reinstatement of Wall St. criminals to former positions, but it’s less galling compared to the alternative last election (A possible President Palin? MORE war rhetoric? Are you fuckin’ kidding me?) or this time (Tax breaks only for multi-millionaires while expecting people below the poverty line to start paying tax? A possible President Ryan? End the EPA, and end any chance for gay marriage rights, or women’s rights? Are you fuckin’ kidding me?).

    The sad thing is, the time to start the grassroots ball rolling on the new viable candidate for 2016 is right now, and I haven’t heard squat about anyone.

  42. 42
    Enopoletus Harding

    it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a “you’re on your own” society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.

    -Rand never supported corporate welfare for corporate welfare’s sake (remember TARP)!

    Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we’re only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we’re considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that’s a pretty narrow vision.

    -Randists do think about others; they just do not feel obligated to care for them (unless they are obligated to do so by contract).

    The mainstream Republicans (e.g., Romney, Ryan, Santorum) have never been influenced by Rand-they have only been influenced by her popularity in the Ron Paul movement.

  43. 43
    skeptifem

    I read sparks notes of rand’s books because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about without having to suffer through hundreds of pages of terrible writing. I wasn’t missing much. Seems to me that the moral heros of her books seem to commit rape an awful lot (or not care if they are committing rape).

  44. 44
    blbt5

    I also read the very short Ayn Rand novel “Anthem” at 13 and really enjoyed it, but later in my ’30s happening to come across a biography and selections of her other works, quickly became thoroughly disgusted with her philosophy.

  45. 45
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    skeptifem:

    Ah, so Akin, Mourdock,Ryan,King et.al. are hardcore Randbots as well. I should have known. Rape is the opening number in their repertoire.

    PS: Sparks notes? I’m aware of Coles notes in Canada and Cliff notes in US, where are Sparks sold?

  46. 46
    bargearse

    nogods4me@39

    I wouldn’t get too excited with the preferential voting system we have down in Oz. While I do think it’s better than the US system there’s still only two parties with a realistic chance of forming government. What you sometimes get though, as we have now, is third parties and independents holding the balance of power, that can be a double-edged sword depending on which part of the political spectrum those folks are from. The other thing you have to consider is we have compulsory voting, it doesn’t matter what you write on the ballot but you at least have to turn up.

  47. 47
    md

    Greed is good. The Baker wants to get paid, people, not make loaves for love, or for that matter, love to loaves.

  48. 48
    Amphiox

    @29;

    The reason for this is because too many people did not pay attention between elections.

    The window does not and in fact cannot be moved by elections. The window is moved BETWEEN elections, by grassroots action.

    Those behind the Tea Party knew this.

    If progressives want the window to shift back more must realize this. More must be willing to engage in the long haul, not just for 2016(it may already be too late for 2016) but for 2020 and 2024. The Tea Party spent over 10 years in the background before coming to prominence in 2010. That’s how long it takes.

  49. 49
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Greed is good. The Baker wants to get paid, people, not make loaves for love, or for that matter, love to loaves.

    What a fuckwitted philosophy. Greed, that is excessive profit, is bad, as many stories, both fiction and non-fiction, will attest to. It causes people do bad things to to other people. A living wage is good thing to have though, and is different than greed. The baker can get a profit equal to a living wage and be respected.

  50. 50
    leftwingfox

    I hate our two party system. I’ve been hearing Australians chiming in about there preference voting and that sounds pretty cool, but I guess we are stuck with the two parties until the voters wake up.

    At this point I’ll accept being able to vote for lizards. Saltie/Monitor for 2016!

  51. 51
    deniseroyer

    Why finish it? Why start it?

    I like to read a book before I judge it and thus far it hasn’t been so bad that I can’t finish.

  52. 52
    Kagehi

    What is so funny, or sad, or sickening, take your pick, is that, if the right wing wasn’t so into, “Fuck you, I have mine.”, economics, and some bizarre concept of aristocracy/plutocracy (same thing, mostly, given how the former tends to get defined most of the time, i.e., successful = rich = elite = either or of those labels), they could make a good case against *some* forms of atheism, as in, “Why would anyone agree with Ayn Rand, or Neiztchi (Who I am still slogging through his nonsense about wills to power, denials of objective reality, and babble about how certain people are better than others at running things, because they are “successful”, and therefor must have worked hard at it, and everyone else is lazy (Mitt, Mitt, is that you?)).

    However, its a bit hard to attack atheists over that stuff, never mind that we have, for the most part, outgrown that sort of nonsense, when its become the backbone of your own religious and political visions. Makes you seriously go, “WTF, do these people just pick the stupidest crap from every philosophical position they can find and go, ‘Ah, hah! There is out next great idea!’?” Seriously, how do you embrace the worst ideas your supposed “enemies” ever came up with, and then claim, “This is the right path to the future.”? I would love to know, because all I can think of is clinical insanity (or what would be, if this ‘type’ of insanity wasn’t excluded from the definition).

  53. 53
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    @md:

    Thanks for the insight, Gordon Gekko.

  54. 54
    mothra

    Obligatory Ayn Randian Star Trek (selected) quote:

    Spock: “Upon what precisely will our friendship be based?”
    Lord Garth: “Upon the firmest of foundations Mr. Spock, enlightened self interest.”

    It should be noted that this episode “Whom Gods Destroy” was the only episode without quotes in the book “Star Trek Speaks” as the authors stated that it had nothing important to say.

  55. 55
    bargearse

    Amphiox@48

    I can’t remember exactly where it is,either at Greta’s or Ophelia’s blog, but recently someone used exactly that argument (could’ve even been you). They laid out a point by point plan to move the window and borrowed very heavily from how the Tea Party did things. I meant to bookmark it at the time but got distracted, do you happen to know the comment I’m thinking of?

  56. 56
    skeptifem

    PS: Sparks notes? I’m aware of Coles notes in Canada and Cliff notes in US, where are Sparks sold?

    They are free online. :)

  57. 57
    kevinalexander

    md @47

    Self interest is what drives the economy, you’re right.

    The Baker makes bread, the Barber cuts your hair, etc…etc.. All of these people either make products or provide services so there is a real trade involved where two parties agree that there are things of equal value exchanged.

    Now look at financial ‘services’ and their ‘products’ It seems to me that all they are doing is finding legal ways to connect to the economic system and suck the life out of it.

    It’s not Marxist to say that the basis of the economy is the people who get up in the morning and go to work. Adam Smith said that.

  58. 58
    Tâlib Alttaawiil (طالب التاويل)

    if only mr obama weren’t so intent on murdering brown-skinned people in pakistan, perhaps i would feel like voting for him too.

  59. 59
    skeptifem

    Greed is good. The Baker wants to get paid, people, not make loaves for love, or for that matter, love to loaves.

    from what I understand, research on motivation shows the exact opposite of what you are saying. Outside of behaviorism (like skinner’s experiments, which were mostly done on animals) most people studying the question of motivation acknowledge that there is an intrinsic motivation involved in activities such as baking bread. Introducing external rewards tends to diminish the intrinsic motivation rather than enhance it. It also causes people to do the least amount of work possible and to lose commitment to their work. The idea that you must force people to help each other (this includes doing so under threat of poverty) is really not needed. Normal people get enjoyment out of contributing.

  60. 60
    marcmielke

    While LaVey did use Ayn Rand’s Objectivism as an influence on Satanism, it differs in many important ways. LaVey’s philosophy embraces passion and emotion and acknowledges people have families and/or people they care about besides themselves and that this is to the individual’s benefit as well.

    If anything, it bears as much similarity to the Code of the Sith as it does to Rand.

  61. 61
    Lynna, OM

    Lena Dunham is not Randian, randy maybe. She is featured in a campaign ad aimed at twenty-something women. It’s cute, and it’s cutting, making some good points about the Lily Ledbetter Act for example.

    The deputy chair of the Minnesota Republican Party, Kelly Fenton, tweets that the Obama campaign’s Lena Dunham video, “Your First Time,” shows that the president is advised by Satan.

    Uh, okay. So, Satan huh? Maybe Kelly Fenton and Michelle Bachmann are friends? And specialists at spotting those telltale signs of Satan’s influence.

    I thought Ayn Rand was Satan’s surrogate. I’m so confused.

    The video in question, and some commentary, can be seen here:
    http://www.salon.com/2012/10/26/conservatives_flip_out_over_lena_dunham_obama_ad/

  62. 62
    mikeyb

    When we elect President Romney and in a couple of years Roe vs Wade is killed and we’re on the verge of a second great depression, then American’s can look themselves in the mirror and say in the words of Herman Cain “blame yourself.”

  63. 63
    sharculese

    The Baker wants to get paid, people, not make loaves for love, or for that matter, love to loaves.

    The baker also wants to work a reasonable number of hours in conditions that aren’t manifestly unsafe without having to worry about the possibility that is boss will use his need to get paid in order to not, y’know, die of starvation, to pressure him into those things because he’s a Galtian fuckwit who doesn’t care how many bakers suffer so long as his profit margins stay plump.

    This is not difficult, unless you’re the kind of dude who thinks in trite aphorisms like “the baker wants to get paid”.

  64. 64
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Greed is good. The Baker wants to get paid, people, not make loaves for love, or for that matter, love to loaves.

    Man, what utter crock.

    Greed optimizes only one thing: accumulation of money, whatever the consequences, be they social, environmental, human health, you name it.

    Production in this system is totally optional.

    Don’t believe me ?

    Look very carefully at the world we live in. Who gets the most money ? People who produce exactly diddly squat. Nothing. Neither service nor goods.

    Goods are produced by people who are lucky (for now…) if they get enough to eat and have a roof over their heads. Same for services.

    So spare me the “hard-working, productive rich” trope. It’s never, ever been true. The best way to make money is to already have money. It’s a very harmful delusion to think you can become a member of that club. It’s the carrot they use to make you strain in front of the cart while they sit on their fat ass in it, sipping martinis.

    Greed is a perversion.

  65. 65
    sharculese

    tomasvos

    Oh wait, he is black, so you can’t throw the word “privileged” around.

    Weird dude. It’s almost as if a there’s more than one kind of privilege, and Obama can have male privilege without having white privilege.

    I mean it’s sort of irrelevant because you’d have to be super desperate to twist Obama’s words to call what he said misogynist, but it’s worth pointing out that you’re wrong on multiple levels.

  66. 66
    Lynna, OM

    PZ has obviously been reading the wrong books if he has decided to vote for Obama. (That’s sarcasm, in case anyone missed it.)

    From the slimepit of far-right bile that is poisoning at least half of our election discourse, we have not just Atlas Shrugged, but the following:
    The Communist; The Muslim Brotherhood in the Obama Administration
    Where’s the Birth Certificate?
    The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and other Anti-American Extremists
    The Great Destroyer: Barack Obama’s War on the Republic
    Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama’s Dream of the Social States of America
    Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy
    How Obama Embraces Islam’s Sharia Agenda
    The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America
    To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine
    The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency
    Whiny Little Bitch: The Excuse Filled Presidency of Barack Obama.

    We really better keep Obamacare because these authors are seriously unwell.

    Excerpt from page 104 of The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency:

    [discussing foreign lands and foreign laws] … They see America’s fast-paced system as somewhat immoral, forcing people to work “too many” hours, or to work “too hard.” Some of them are like the guy at the factory who doesn’t like the go-getter on the assembly line, whose speed, focus, and dedication makes that first guy look bad. So they want us to slow down and be more like them. If cap and trade can force us to their level, then so much the better. With friends like these …

  67. 67
    Bronze Dog

    I definitely got the feel that Ayn Rand was one of those things that sounds profound when you’re a naive high schooler or young college student. Have a few secret shames in the other direction, myself. I watched part 1 of the recent films for the lulz/facepalming. When I found out the writing style (though I got hints of it from the movie dialogue), I saw the similarity to how people write when they’re naive high schoolers. Again, got a few of my own secret shames for comparison.

    I’m hesitant to watch part 2, but I heard there’s a perpetual motion machine driving the original Rapture utopia, so I might be able to extract enough lulz. If your ideal society needs a free energy device to function, I don’t think the lessons are applicable to real life.

  68. 68
    Lynna, OM

    … conservative legal activists anticipate that a Romney win would be the culmination of their decades-long project to remake the country’s legal architecture.

    Prior to the New Deal era, the Supreme Court invalidated minimum wage and child labor laws as unconstitutional. What do think an unenlightened court weighted with Romney appointees (one or two appointments are likely during the next term) would do?

    Campaign Finance (let the good times roll for billionaires)
    Women’s reproductive rights (repeal Roe v. Wade)
    Gay rights (gay marriage rights and other gay rights hit a wall)
    Gun rights (machine guns for everyone)
    Regulation of industry (much less, by god — prevent the Taxing Clause from being used to promote regulatory goals)

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/10/mitt-romney-supreme-court.php?ref=fpa

    PZ’s vote will be the one that puts Obama back in the Whitehouse, where, hopefully, he can appoint another Ruth Bader Ginsburg (she is now 79, and ever-shrinking).

  69. 69
    bcreason

    I think I’m going to have to go back and re-read those books again. People seem to be taking away a different message from them than I did.

    To me they were a warning against run away socialism. What would happen to a society if we take socialism to an extreme. Not against moderate socialism. I don’t recall any screeds against the poor and needy. All the villians were rich business men that hid behind the call to help the poor to enrich themselves. The heroes just wanted to run their business the best they could as a challenge to be faced. They never talked about power or money as an end in itself.

    Taken the way I took them they have a good morale message about being self sufficient, working hard, working smart and being honest in your dealings. I don’t recall anything about putting the screws to the poor.

    Maybe it’s just me.

  70. 70
    gworroll

    One of these days I need to read Atlas Shrugged.

    I’m pretty sure it won’t budge my politics, though I’ll try to give it a fair chance to. I mainly want to see what all the fuss is about.

  71. 71
    Alexander

    When I was in high school, one of my required reading books was Ayn Rand’s Anthem. I read through Atlas Shrugged and was left with the impression she got only about 10% of her philosophy right.

    In fact, the interview with Obama has a perfect pull quote (from the same question, in fact) that points out the primary problem I have with Ayn Rand:

    “You look at Abraham Lincoln: He very much believed in self-sufficiency and self-reliance. He embodied it – that you work hard and you make it, that your efforts should take you as far as your dreams can take you. But he also understood that there’s some things we do better together.”

    The one place I can agree with Ayn Rand — the one problem I have with the socialist philosophies Ayn Rand argued against — is that “extrinsic morality” (coercing people into positive behavior) doesn’t work.

  72. 72
    Lynna, OM

    Following up on jose’s post @#8, here is a video, (and commentary on the video) of Paul Ryan declaring his love for Ayn Rand in 2009.

    Link.

    Excerpt: “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it.”

  73. 73
    tacitus

    This Ayn Rand thing is a peculiarly American fetish isnt it? Rest of English speaking world reads much healthier stuff and isn’t infected with the perverse ideals of objectivism. I read Orwell, Huxley and Shaw as a teenager. Also, earliest American writers I was exposed to were Twain, Faulkner and Steinbeck. These kind of writers innoculate you against the perverse nonsense that is objectivism.

    That was pretty much my experience growing up in the UK. I had never even heard of Ayn Rand until I’d been in the US for several years, and only then because a friend of mine was reading one of her books.

    I think she finds an audience here because of the incredible amount of paranoia about government power that exists in this country. You will find a large dose of cynicism and mistrust of government in other nations too, but for the most part people still believe that you do need one, and that can be a force for good in people’s lives.

    Here, apparently, they just seem to believe that the government is out to get them (even as they cash their Social Security and Medicare checks).

  74. 74
    Ing

    Did someone quote Gordon Gecko unironically?

    I imagine this is a fear of every author…that despite how they frame it people will take something as an endorsment (see prowar people loving Apcalypse Now and people thinking Trainspotting glamourizes drug abuse)

  75. 75
    tacitus

    The one place I can agree with Ayn Rand — the one problem I have with the socialist philosophies Ayn Rand argued against — is that “extrinsic morality” (coercing people into positive behavior) doesn’t work.

    Really? How about seat-belt laws, or crash helmet laws?

    I also read recently that many NHL hockey players were extremely resistant to the idea of wearing a helmet, but when the rules changed and they were all forced to do it, they took to wearing them happily, because it leveled the playing field for everyone.

    The same principle works in business regulations. CEOs have gone on record as wanting stronger environmental regulations to cut things like plant emissions because they can’t afford to do it voluntarily themselves, since it would raise their costs compared to the competition who kept on polluting. They’d be happy to spend the money if they knew that they were not putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

  76. 76
    AL

    Atlas Shrugged has been taunting me from the bookshelf. I bought it a few months ago at half price books, ’cause it was 40 cents and just a really pretty and good-smelling copy. One of these days I’ll read it, but it’s hard to start a 1000 page book when you know you’re going to disagree with the author’s message.

    I’ve read Anthem a couple of times, though, and I really do like it. It’s more anti-communist (though an exaggerated caricature of communism), than pro-anything.

  77. 77
    bargearse

    bcreason

    Maybe it’s just me.

    No maybe, it’s just you

  78. 78
    Emrysmyrddin

    I’m not American, so I don’t have a vote in this. But from what I’ve seen from across the pond over the past few years, I’ve drawn this conclusion: That no matter how bad Obama might have been while currently in office, Mitt Romney would be a hundred times worse.
    .
    For the sake of international relations alone, I’m begging you guys to vote for Obama. No matter how it’s gone so far, just try and imagine how much worse would a hyperreligious, brown-hating, poor-hating, foreign-hating, women-hating, apostate-hating, science-hating Old Rich White Guy be?
    .
    I tried and came back to myself hiding under the bed rocking myself and uttering little half-screams.
    .
    Have a little pity on the rest of us out here, please.

  79. 79
    raven

    Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up.

    LOL.

    I was a Libertarian myself as a teenager.

    For a few weeks. That was how long it took me to realize how simplistic, stupid, and just wrong it was.

  80. 80
    unclefrogy

    I had the experience of seeing the Hollywood movie of “the Fountainhead” I have not read any of the books myself it was appallingly juvenile and despite having a legitimate point just condoned illegal behavior as justifiable and personal revenge as good. It didn’t even honor the contracts it purports to hold in such high esteem. Ghee that’s just like the republican party. There was only one person that was important everyone else was not. It was deeply hostile to everyone except the protagonist. Fuck you I’ve got mine does not even contain the resentment embodied in it. If the book is like the movie I think Dorthy Parker’s review is understated for effect!
    Anyone who espouses those attitudes should be deeply distrusted.

    uncle frogy

  81. 81
    ritapita

    PZ, that is absolutely not only one of the most concise, but also the best analysis of Ayn Rand. Raven, Emrysmyrddin, Tactis – You hit things right on the mark too. I live in an area where I am surrounded by Ayn Rand fanatics. So nice to log on to FTB and find reason.

  82. 82
    reinisivanovs

    I’m not from the US and I didn’t know anything at all about Ayn Rand when I stumbled upon an audiobook of The Fountainhead in some file sharing network. The overall pathos of a maverick architect, dedicated to actually being a good architect in spite of pressure to conform to less competent others, was appealing to me, and I enjoyed the book. Later I read Atlas Shrugged and found it to be a poor novel with a stupid plot. I also read many essays by Rand and others on objectivism, and bits of it were sensible, but overall it was hit-and-miss. I think I was 18 during this time.

  83. 83
    sharculese

    The overall pathos of a maverick architect, dedicated to actually being a good architect in spite of pressure to conform to less competent others, was appealing to me, and I enjoyed the book.

    I can see how you could come to that reading if you had no idea who Ayn Rand was, but it sort of divorces it from the context. Everything in an Ayn Rand novel is didactic, and the lesson is “I’m always right.” Howard Roark is a ‘great’ architect because he conforms to Ayn Rand’s rigid standards of acceptable aesthetics (one of the great ironies of Rand is that despite not being able to write for shit, she felt entitled to dictate to everyone else what art was). A city designed by Howard Roark would look terrible, because given how narrow her ideas were, every building would look the fucking same. He’s not a great architect, he’s an arrogant jerk with one good* idea who’s all set to storm off in a pissy tantrum if everyone doesn’t recognize how great his one idea is.

    *good within the context of the novel, probably not actually good

  84. 84
    vaiyt

    Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we’d pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that

    her novels are wildly implausible sci-fi and her prescriptions have no grip on reality whatsoever?

  85. 85
    Alexander

    @75 tacitus:

    … “extrinsic morality” (coercing people into positive behavior) doesn’t work.

    Really? How about seat-belt laws, or crash helmet laws?

    Yes, both have had a greatly overstated effect on reducing injury. The Peltzman Effect says that people adjust their behavior according to perceived risk, not actual risk. In each case, however, the risk was not directly mitigated back to the same people but can measured in other road users’ actions. So wearing seatbelts means more pedestrian deaths and motorcycle helmets lead to closer following of motorcyclists.

    Another case of showing that coercive morality does not work is the prison system. After all, we’re punishing these people for gang associations, violence, or drugs, so therefore we should put them in a place that they can’t do these things, right? (Unless it’s a physical impossibility, yes. Guess which one we have in the real world?)

  86. 86
    Uncle Ebeneezer

    It’s nice to hear a sitting president call out the bullshit on Ayn Rand. It takes an exceptional amount of delusion to see her ideas as any valid approach to governing a healthy society.

    More importantly, PZ reads Alicublog!! Possibly my two favorite blogs on the entire intertubez. Yay.

  87. 87
    unclefrogy

    As I said I have not read the book “The fountainhead” but in the movie the “great architect” felt justified in destroying his secretly designed building though he neither signed his name to it nor owned any of it himself it was the property of someone else and was acquitted of all charges. “Who cares about any rule of law I am right no one else counts!”

    utter crap

    uncle frogy

  88. 88
    Uncle Ebeneezer

    @82 Reini- Yeah I actually thought the Fountainhead was great as story of artistic integrity. As a musician that element really resonated with me. Then as I read more of her stuff the political elements became more and more apparent and I realized her schtick was not for me at all. Now I doubt I could read the Fountainhead again with the same enjoyment I had originally, because all the “looter/parasite” nonsense would be far too apparent to my older, wiser eyes. In short, I’d see what she’s trying to do there, where I once did not.

  89. 89
    Lynna, OM

    The Ayn Rand approach only works if you ignore all the context around whatever enterprise you are discussing. (As in Paul Ryan decrying the Obama stimulus, only to have to admit later that companies in his district benefitted from stimulus funds — funds Paul Ryan requested for them.)

    Today, we have another mini-lesson in the “I stand alone and mighty” approach failing when viewed in context. Mitt Romney is giving a speech, and as he has done before, he is giving a speech decrying the stimulus at a company that benefitted from the stimulus. Mitt “Randian” Romney will ignore that inconvenient fact. You can bet on it.

    .. Kinzler Construction Services received a $1.25 million Small Business Administration loan through the stimulus, on top of $650,000 in Obama administration grants and a $40,000 government contract to renovate a government building.

    In other words, Romney will condemn the efficacy of the stimulus at a private business that benefited from the stimulus. Shouldn’t that undermine Romney’s credibility a bit?

    What’s more, this keeps happening. In August, Romney was desperate to prove that American free enterprise thrives without the support of government, but when he pointed to examples, they all thrived thanks to the support of public institutions and tax dollars. This happened over and over [HuffPo link left out] and over and over again, ultimately proving that the entire line of attack was self-defeating.

  90. 90
    nichrome

    @Emrysmyrddin -

    Obama has already proven himself worse than “a hyperreligious, brown-hating, poor-hating, foreign-hating, women-hating, apostate-hating, science-hating Old Rich White Guy”. Remember George W. Bush? Obama is more extreme than him.

    Obama has declared that he can kill anyone, anywhere with no due process – and, in fact, is doing so right now. His actions have killed innocent people away from battlefields and in countries that the US is not at war with. How can you get one hundred time worse than outright tyranny?

    At least if a Republican were doing this maybe we’d see some opposition from the Democrats because it wouldn’t be their man doing the killing.

    But the main goal of both parties is to keep the wars and fear going so the pipeline of cash to the military industrial complex remains open.

  91. 91
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Obama has already proven himself worse than “a hyperreligious, brown-hating, poor-hating, foreign-hating, women-hating, apostate-hating, science-hating Old Rich White Guy”. Remember George W. Bush? Obama is more extreme than him.

    Funny how I don’t believe an unevidenced word you say. I smell someone who isn’t looking at all the facts, including dometic policies. While you might not like one thing Obama does, I look at all the things a president needs to do. And there is a huge difference between Obama and the democrats, and Shrub RMoney and rethugs.

  92. 92
    Enopoletus Harding

    @AL #76
    -Really? Anthem is “more anti-communist (though an exaggerated caricature of communism), than pro-anything.”? Recall the last word of the novella!

  93. 93
    raven

    troll:

    Remember George W. Bush? Obama is more extreme than him.

    Delusional bullcrap.

    Bush started two wars, one totally unnecessary that cost trillions of dollars and killed hundreds of thousands of people, including two of my friends.

    Obama got us out of Iraq and is winding down Afghanistan.

    Romney is a war monger. War with Iran is next. Iran is a huge country with a population the size of the UK. They aren’t going to be third world pushoves. More trillions of dollars gone, more thousands or hundreds of thousands of dead people. And we will probably win the battles as usual and lost the peace. As usual.

  94. 94
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    raven:

    Not to mention that war with Iran would close down the Strait of Hormuz plunging much of the world into economic chaos. But as long as the millionaires make out, all is good.

  95. 95
    laurentweppe

    You know who else made the train run on time*?
    Hit… Err… Mussolini!
    
*no he didn’t

    Reminds me of a story my mother told me: in the early 70s, she was in Italy, running late, and failed to take a train scheduled at 6 o-clock.
    Lucky for her, another train was scheduled 20 minutes later, and she caught it.
    The thing was, no one else was in the train. She was alone. Not simply alone in the wagon: alone in the whole fucking train, appart from one controller and the conductor.
    So she asked the conductor why a train with no passenger was scheduled to run.
    The conductor answered that this specific 6:20 PM line had been put in place by Mussolini to allow high-ranking members of the fascist party to travel in train without having to mingle with the rest of the public: everyone took the 6 o’ clock train to go back home, and since the fascist regime had collapsed, there was no fascist to take the six-twenty train anymore.
    “So why wasn’t this line closed?” asked my mother
    “No one dared to ask for it to be closed” answered the controller
    The tyrant had been dead for 25 years, and people were still walking on eggs around his shitty legacy.

  96. 96
    joed

    vote Anderson/Rodriguez 2012
    http://www.voterocky.org/
    ——————
    Obama is no different than Bush except Obama smiles more and has killed more women and kids with drones.
    Obama is a murderous thug that deserves prison along with the Bush/Cheney gang.
    My advise is to boycott the election or vote for third party or write-in candidates.
    Obama is a monster too. and really kids–it doesn’t matter if Obama or Romney is president. Either way many more humans will be killed and much more chaos will be created. It just doesn’t matter. So, vote for a human you would truly like to see as president.

  97. 97
    Ichthyic

    But the main goal of both parties is to keep the wars and fear going

    of course! that’s why the US pulled out of Iraq, has reduced troop numbers in Afghanistan to the point that the Taliban has started bombing any targets of opportunity again, and the US refused to get militarily involved in Syria, and chose to put sanctions on Iran instead of involving the Military (which was, btw, a documented plan of W’s – to invade Iran after Iraq).

    so, I don’t know what reality you’ve plugged yourself into, but it ain’t this one.

  98. 98
    Ichthyic

    Obama is no different than Bush except Obama smiles more and has killed more women and kids with drones.

    fucking stop it already. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  99. 99
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    My advise is to boycott the election or vote for third party or write-in candidates.

    Take your advice and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Then shut the fuck up to smarter people than you about who they should vote for. Only a fuckwitted idiot believes there is no difference between the dems and rethugs.

  100. 100
    Lynna, OM

    In past threads we’ve been through all this shit with joed (see comment 96) before.

    Differences for women, for gays, for everyone’s healthcare, for economic plans that promote broad-based prosperity — none of this matters for joed. No amount detail in terms of women’s rights, for example, will sway joed. He/she is fixated on drones, and on being an asshole.

    But what the hell, let’s take another shot at joed’s “it makes no difference” argument.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt. Governor Romney has made clear that’s his position. His running mate has made this one of the central principles of his public life. Typically, a president is going to have one or two Supreme Court nominees during the course of his presidency, and we know that the current Supreme Court has at least four members who would overturn Roe v. Wade. All it takes is one more for that to happen. — President Obama

  101. 101
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Nichrome @90:
    The point missed you by a mile. For all of President Obama’s faults, Mitt Romney is worse. He has not shown any policy that is equal to or better than Obama’s. On top of that, he wants to roll back equality for women and gays, reapeal Obamacare, screw with Medicare & Medicaid, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and he can’t be assed enough to know geography (which would be helpful in foreign relations)

  102. 102
    Ichthyic

    Joed isn’t just ignoring the myriad other social issues surrounding the vast differences in the two candidates for office.

    He’s flat wrong on the things he apparently even DOES care about.

    toss his ass into Thunderdome and leave him there to rant.

  103. 103
    joed

    you amerikans can live in your pretend dream land but most of the people worldwide see the u s as it is: a hateful, murderous government and people that want to own everything.
    amerika uses its drone warfare to do away with the idea of “Sovereign Nations”
    Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations: Djibouti -
    Around the clock, about 16 times a day, drones take off or land at a U.S. military base here, the combat hub for the Obama administration’s counterterrorism wars in the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.
    http://is.gd/DGLZZs

    Government to argue speedy trial doesn’t apply to Bradley, veterans to rally in support:
    As Army Private First Class Bradley Manning nears 900 days in jail without trial, his lawyer moves to dismiss all charges for lack of a speedy trial.
    http://is.gd/9TFL0c

    Complete with a newly coined, creepy Orwellian euphemism – ‘disposition matrix’ – the administration institutionalizes the most extremist powers a government can claim.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32855.htm

    You would never know that US citizens can now be imprisoned and executed without due process.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32847.htm

  104. 104
    Ichthyic

    you amerikans can live in your pretend dream land

    nice projection, wanker.

  105. 105
    Lynna, OM

    Maybe joed is a Republican, and has joined the Republican effort to suppress the vote of likely Obama voters. See http://www.prwatch.org/node/11815 for one example.

    Can’t win fair and square? Well then, you should be nasty and underhanded — and you can justify suppressing the vote because you are His Assholiness Who Is Never Wrong.

    Might want to take your suppress-the-vote efforts elsewhere, since it’s not really efficient to address people all over the world (Pharyngulites) when your target audience is only US citizens of voting age.

  106. 106
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    you amerikans

    Who the fuck are you to tell any american how to vote? Who the fuck cares what you have to say when it isn’t your country? Who the fuck will read your nonsense know this? Killfiled for terminal arrogance and fuckwittery. And everybody else should do the same.

  107. 107
    Lynna, OM

    For joed: President Obama talks about Wall Street.

    I will tell you, the single biggest thing that I would like to see is changing incentives on Wall Street and how people get compensated. That ultimately requires not just congressional legislation but a change in corporate governance. You still have a situation where people making bets can get a huge upside, and their downsides are limited. So it tilts the whole system in favor of very risky behavior. I think a legitimate concern, even after Dodd-Frank, is, “Have we completely changed those incentives?”

    When investment banks, for example, were partnerships, as opposed to corporations, all those partners understood that if there was some tail risk out there – some unanticipated event that might result in the whole firm blowing up – that they were going to lose all their money, they were going to lose all their assets. They weren’t protected. These days, you’ve got guys who are making five years of risky bets, but it’s making them $100 million every year. By the time the chicken comes home to roost, they’re still way ahead of the game. So I think it’s something that needs to be discussed. But that’s not something that can entirely be legislated – that’s something that also has to involve shareholders and boards of directors being better stewards of their institutions.

    Romney talks about Wall Street:

    … over-regulation caused Wall Street to retreat. …

    Romney promised to repeal the financial reform bill and to eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. http://www.prioritiesusaaction.org/mitt-romneys-america

  108. 108
    joed

    @100 Lynna
    “Differences for women, for gays, for everyone’s healthcare, for economic plans that promote broad-based prosperity — none of this matters for joed. No amount detail in terms of women’s rights, for example, will sway joed. He/she is fixated on drones, and on being an asshole.”

    Actually Lynna, i want everone to be free. I am on your side with social issues. I don’t think the potus is able to create the social world you and I want.
    That is imho left up to the states these days.
    The scotus is not concerned about social issues except where corporations are involved.
    so, i will not vote for either of the party people.
    my vote is too valuable to waste on murderous thugs.

  109. 109
    Aratina Cage

    Obama is no different than Bush

    *eyeroll*
    Except for all the ways in which he is different from W. It’s been four years, douchebag. We’ve seen numerous ways Obama is better than W ever was. Wake the fuck up!

  110. 110
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Folks in contested states need to remember any non-Obama vote is really a vote for RMoney. Make sure your votes count at the end of the day, without wild-eyed idealism.

  111. 111
    Ichthyic

    I am on your side with social issues.

    bullshit.

    if you were, you wouldn’t feel an overwhelming need to lie and exaggerate your position to try and get people to agree with you.

    you’ve been doing it for weeks now.

    fuck the fucking hell off, asswipe.

  112. 112
    Lynna, OM

    joed, we americans who still have some integrity are quite capable of addressing more than one issue at a time.

    We can address the issue of drones, of their use, and of needed regulations without ignoring women’s rights, gay rights, economic issues, energy policy, and staying the fuck out of wars.

    See? You can have a discussion around the drone issue, but you can’t pretend that that single issue obviates the need to take all other issues into consideration.

  113. 113
    daniellavine

    you amerikans can live in your pretend dream land but most of the people worldwide see the u s as it is: a hateful, murderous government and people that want to own everything.
    amerika uses its drone warfare to do away with the idea of “Sovereign Nations”

    In case you didn’t notice, this thread is a criticism of exactly those “people that want to own everything.” Many of us in “amerika” are really upset about the actions of our government in perpetuating war and suppressing economic freedom around the world — pretty much anyone commenting in this thread will probably feel that way. Many of us are very concerned about the institutionalization of greed and arrogance in our culture.

    And yeah, Obama has done some pretty bad stuff as president. I agree and I’m not thrilled to be voting for the guy. But please acknowledge that those of us in the US have a better sense of political realities in our country than you do (I gather you’re not in the US). As bad as Obama may be, do you think McCain/Palin would have been better? Because that was the alternative. For the record, McCain was the guy who light-heartedly sang to the tune of an old surf pop song: “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” That was in response to a question about his foreign policy should he be elected.

    There’s good reasons to think Romney/Ryan would be worse than McCain/Palin, let alone Obama/Biden. There are no other viable alternatives. No one besides Romney or Obama will win this election. This is a fact that pretty much anyone (besides maybe a few pie-eyed Ron Paul devotees) will acknowledge. Please allow us to make our own assessments of the political realities and make the best choice as we see it.

  114. 114
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I am on your side with social issues.

    And you find no differences between the dems and rethugs on social issues? Liar and bullshitter.

    fuck the fucking hell off, asswipe.

    QFMFT

  115. 115
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Actually Lynna, i want everone to be free. I am on your side with social issues. I don’t think the potus is able to create the social world you and I want.

    Absolute bullshit. Obama has pushed things forward on many fronts. Romney wants to go back to the 1950s. Or 1870s. Or earlier. The GOP record on expanding rights for human beings who are not white, straight, and middle class or rich is execreble. So go peddle your voter suppresion bullshit somewhere else. Preferably where no one can hear or read you.

  116. 116
    Aratina Cage

    The GOP record on expanding rights for human beings who are not white, straight, and middle class or rich is execreble.

    And male.

  117. 117
    joed

    ok folks, i will only say this one time,
    a vote for the lesser of 2 evils is evil in itself.
    if you aren’t voting for a person you truly want to see as president then you are selling your self short.
    obama has killed more women and kids with drones than bush killed with drones. This may be of little consequence to you but to billions of people being terrorized by Obama’s Drones it is dealdy serious and meaningful. I will not vote for a person that kills defenseless people.

  118. 118
    Aratina Cage

    Thanks, joed. We’re all such moral monsters because we are voting for Obama instead of nobody. Boo us.

  119. 119
    joed

    Oops!
    one more, if you have to vote for a person that can “win” the presidency then you have already lost. It’s rigged folks. your vote hasn’t counted in over 10 years
    this link is probably too radical but it is worth watching.
    http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Subconscious_War_2011/

  120. 120
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    joed,

    a vote for the lesser of 2 evils is evil in itself.

    If we’re going to declare things evil, then I would say that it is evil that people are forced to choose between two evils. Although I think unfair, depressing, anger-inducing would be better descriptions. But people who do it aren’t evil. They just live in the real world. Apparently, you are the one living in a fantasy.

  121. 121
    Aratina Cage

    if you have to vote for a person that can “win” the presidency then you have already lost.

    I don’t know how much dumber joed can get in this thread.

  122. 122
    Ichthyic

    , i will only say this one time,

    There you go, Nancy.

    lying again.

    fuk.

    off.

    you.

    asswipe.

  123. 123
    Ichthyic

    I don’t know how much dumber joed can get in this thread.

    I do, considering he’s polluted threads before.

    time his ass was tossed.

  124. 124
    daniellavine

    @joed:

    one more, if you have to vote for a person that can “win” the presidency then you have already lost.

    I’m essentially voting on the basis of women’s rights at this point. Also to avoid starting any new wars. I can “win” on both those issues by voting for Obama.

    I’ll watch your video and probably enjoy it because I am fairly radical and agree that the election system as it exists is mostly a sham. But I’m also not going to stick my head in the sand and pretend that the policies of the next administration — especially regarding the two issues I just mentioned — will depend heavily on which candidate gets elected.

  125. 125
    daniellavine

    Should be *won’t* depend on which candidate wins. If Romney wins it’s pretty clear there’ll be a steady push against women’s rights and a steady push for more wars while those trends will be at least somewhat moderated by an Obama victory.

    It has occurred to me that this might all be “part of the plan” but I feel I should follow my conscience rather than my paranoid fantasies in this particular election.

  126. 126
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I don’t know how much dumber joed can get in this thread.

    He certainly seems set on seeing RMoney gets elected for some strange reason which he can’t articulate.

    Considering this isn’t his country the only polite thing he can do is to quit telling us how to vote. I certainly don’t tell the Canadians, British, French, Germans, Aussies, etc., how I think they should vote. That is simply crass; their country, their decision.

  127. 127
    daniellavine

    OK, so just to make clear what I was trying to say:

    I’m not going to pretend that the policies of the next administration *won’t* depend on which candidate is elected. Because the policies will at least somewhat depend on which candidate is elected.

  128. 128
    Endorkened

    Hey, I live in Illinois, so my vote doesn’t count anyway–I get to actually express myself with my tiny iota of political voice, because I’m safely marginalized and nobody has to listen to me anyway.

  129. 129
    anteprepro

    I don’t think the potus is able to create the social world you and I want.
    That is imho left up to the states these days.

    Ahahaha. What color is the sky in the world where you live, joed? Was DOMA never a thing there? Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? No Supreme Court at all? Where states can be trusted to maintain Separation of Church and State themselves?

    a vote for the lesser of 2 evils is evil in itself.

    The “lesser of two evils” is perhaps the greatest way that mealy-mouthed fence-setters have invented to justify apathy. So a politician has done some bad shit, but another politician would do that same shit and more? BASICALLY JUST AS BAD. So a politician is basically good on most issues, but isn’t perfect, and the alternative is terrible on most issues? BASICALLY JUST AS BAD. It is impressively lazy. You don’t even have to show that the “lesser evil” is even evil. You can even admit that the “lesser evil” is actually not as bad as the other evil. All you have to do is sneer and feel superior for your commitment to not voting for anyone who has a chance of doing anything.

    one more, if you have to vote for a person that can “win” the presidency then you have already lost.

    If you vote for a person that can’t win, then you aren’t really voting. Yes, the fucking system is fucking broken. Voting for a candidate that, due to the system’s failures, can’t possibly win, is like trying to fix a broken vending machine by putting quarters in until it FINALLY gives you that Orange soda, tutting anyone who dares to just settle for ginger ale. It is fucking delusional. Deal with fucking reality, please.

  130. 130
    Ichthyic

    I’m safely marginalized and nobody has to listen to me anyway.

    did you hear something?

    ;)

  131. 131
    anteprepro

    obama has killed more women and kids with drones than bush killed with drones.

    I really can’t quite find the words to completely explain why I find this statement so hilarious.

  132. 132
    Ichthyic

    obama has killed more women and kids with drones than bush killed with drones.

    Obama has way better hand-eye coordination than Bush did.

    hey, it’s a tough video game to play!

  133. 133
  134. 134
    John Morales

    [meta]

    nichrome, what anteprepro called funny was Joed’s statement, not the drone strikes themselves.

    (Who started the war, and who inherited it?)

  135. 135
    anteprepro

    Yeah – it’s just knee-slapping funny isn’t it!

    So, you obviously don’t see the idiocy in saying “Obama killed more people with drones than Bush”? Are you that illiterate? Or did you understand what I was talking about and you’re just an asshole?

    You do realize that it isn’t just drones killing people, right? And that it isn’t just drones killing children? And that 3000 deaths pales in comparison to deaths by other means?

    But yeah. I had the gall to laugh at the idiocy of someone who seemed just as ignorant about all of that as you are. Shame on me.

  136. 136
    anteprepro

    What the fuck is up with people and making a big fucking deal of drones, anyway? Does it just get more attention because it is a more high-tech, impersonal, sleek and sexy way of doing the same bombing people to death we’ve been doing for decades? Does the fact that there is no person physically in the vehicle doing the bombing somehow make the indiscriminate killing of people in “wars” that much more objectionable?

  137. 137
    michaelolsen

    I’m sorry if I helped spark off this discussion. But the thing I was railing against wasn’t specifics. Though we can argue them if anyone wants, I guess. My point was that the left and right in the U.S. are insanely positioned. The right keeps running further and further right, and the “left” is doing it’s best to play catchup. It’s a poodle chasing a pittbull. Were I american, I’d vote for Obama, because it’s too late to do anything else. But I wouldn’t be happy about it, and I’d be working overtime to change the formula for the next run.

  138. 138
    Ze Madmax

    antepro @ #136

    Does the fact that there is no person physically in the vehicle doing the bombing somehow make the indiscriminate killing of people in “wars” that much more objectionable?

    Actually, that may be part of it. I can’t help but think that things like that and explicitly noting the number of children killed reflect a cheap attempt at emotional blackmailing. Essentially, it boils down to a) You should feel bad because children died (apparently adults are presumed guilty? Not as important?) and b) You should feel bad because DRONES, VIDEO-GAMES OF DEATH, COWARDLY ATTACK (because somehow, indiscriminate killing of civilians is a-OK when the people doing it put themselves in the line of fire, apparently)

  139. 139
    michaelolsen

    Does the fact that there is no person physically in the vehicle doing the bombing somehow make the indiscriminate killing of people in “wars” that much more objectionable?

    No, indescriminate killing is always bad. You could make the argument that not even being willing to risk your own ass to do so, makes it even easier to shrug off the cost. But the more interesting thing is that you seem to only have a problem with killing if it’s done by the wrong people. Shouldn’t WHO get’s killed be more important?

  140. 140
    anteprepro

    You should feel bad because DRONES, VIDEO-GAMES OF DEATH, COWARDLY ATTACK

    I’m guessing that is the key. Perhaps with a little bit of media sensationalism and a dash of “TECHNOLOGY, LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE WROUGHT!” mixed in.

    You could make the argument that not even being willing to risk your own ass to do so, makes it even easier to shrug off the cost.

    Or maybe it is just an obsession with “cowardice”.

    But the more interesting thing is that you seem to only have a problem with killing if it’s done by the wrong people.

    lolwut? What the fuck are you on about?

  141. 141
    michaelolsen

    Or maybe it is just an obsession with “cowardice”.

    Or maybe it’s a good point that has shit to do with “fear of technology”.

    lolwut? What the fuck are you on about?

    Just that blaming Bush and pardoning Obama for doing the same thing is sorta weird. And if you think that’s defending Bush, you’re hilarious.

  142. 142
    anteprepro

    Or maybe it’s a good point that has shit to do with “fear of technology”.

    A “good point” that drone attacks are EXTRA BAD because the person doing the attacks isn’t risking anything? Do you REALLY think that people bombing civilians from planes are risking much more?

    Just that blaming Bush and pardoning Obama for doing the same thing is sorta weird.

    Are you illiterate? I am arguing against someone who is saying that Bush didn’t use drones, ergo Obama is worse than Bush. That is an incredibly stupid position. I am pardoning no-one, I am just not willing to buy into the bullshit that Obama is JUST AS BAD or worse than the person who started these fucking wars, not because he has responsible for more deaths, or more civilian deaths, or for escalating conflicts, but because he is using new technology. The fact that you think that my arguing against such idiocy is akin to my saying that Obama has no blood on his hands is just fucking low.

  143. 143
    Ze Madmax

    michaelolsen @ #141

    Just that blaming Bush and pardoning Obama for doing the same thing is sorta weird. And if you think that’s defending Bush, you’re hilarious.

    And where exactly did antepro do this? Xe’s just pointing out that the statement “obama has killed more women and kids with drones than bush killed with drones” is a stupid way of looking at the issue, because (even if true) it ignores all the casualties by troops on the ground in Afghanistan and the WHOLE GODDAMN IRAQ WAR.

    Seriously, if somebody is so bent on defending the idea that Obama and Bush (or Romney) are “just as bad,” it could at least be done without such a callous disregard for people who’ve been killed in the past decade of Middle Eastern conflicts, simply because they didn’t die at the hands of the flavor-of-the-month boogeyman (i.e., drones)

    So again, to recap: if somebody thinks Obama is “just as bad,” and they blatantly cherry pick the data to support their point, maybe they should re-think their initial assessment of the situation.

  144. 144
    Endorkened

    It’s not the means that’s objectionable, it’s the mass killings–and the way they’re carried out. Using RC toys from hell to do it does distance the killer from the act even more than doing it with a high-altitude bomber, which has ethical implications–but the real issue is the fact that the military is taking out entire blocks to get one person, and retroactively classifying everyone who dies as a terrorist. Even 16-year-old American citizens. Do you think anyone would be able to get away with doing this to white people?

  145. 145
    michaelolsen

    The fact that you think that my arguing against such idiocy is akin to my saying that Obama has no blood on his hands is just fucking low.

    Sorry, I DID misread you. But the sad fact remains, as you say, that blood is still freely flowing.

  146. 146
    anteprepro

    michaelolsen:

    Sorry, I DID misread you. But the sad fact remains, as you say, that blood is still freely flowing.

    Whew. Thank you for the apology/clarification. And I agree that it the blood still being spilled is unacceptable.

    Johnathan:

    Using RC toys from hell to do it does distance the killer from the act even more than doing it with a high-altitude bomber, which has ethical implications

    The “ethical implications” being, supposedly, that people can psychologically distance themselves more. So, in other words, there really isn’t anything inherently worse about using drones, it is just that it is assumed that people using drones will be more willing to do atrocious things using the drones than if they were there in person. File under “Speculative”.

    but the real issue is the fact that the military is taking out entire blocks to get one person, and retroactively classifying everyone who dies as a terrorist.

    Yes, that is an issue. An issue independent of whether drones are being used for it or not .

  147. 147
    SallyStrange

    a vote for the lesser of 2 evils is evil in itself

    It’s also a vote for LESS EVIL rather than more. I prefer less evil to more evil. I don’t know about you all.

  148. 148
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    it’s the mass killings

    Where are the hundreds or thousands dying in one strike? That’s mass killings. The hyperbole of those who deliberately stretch the truth of five people killed for emotion effect actually makes them sound stupid.

  149. 149
    michaelolsen

    Whew. Thank you for the apology/clarification. And I agree that it the blood still being spilled is unacceptable.

    It’s just that since the hasty written word, alone, coupled with the dumbass nature of most internet comments, has a high failure rate at getting meaning across, I like to be explicit.

  150. 150
    Endorkened

    Ante, drone doctrine actually does differ from traditional bomber doctrine in a few ways–I don’t ever recall hearing about manned bombers swinging back for another pass to take out civilian first responders.
    The odd irony is that “officially” bombing Pakistan might actually get people more pissed…

  151. 151
    Endorkened

    And Nerd, that’s stupefyingly ignorant. The official death toll is at best a whitewashing, and at worse just flat-out lies. Read the Stanford/NYU report.

  152. 152
    michaelolsen

    It’s also a vote for LESS EVIL rather than more. I prefer less evil to more evil. I don’t know about you all.

    Yes, it is. But when you continually vote for the lesser evil, and the place you’re voting is continually sliding in deeper, you’re at most doing a failing holding action. You’re trying to stem a tide while drowning. Like I said, I’d vote for Obama because it’s too late in the game for anything else. But I wouldn’t see it as anything but a stop-gap measure. Which is the problem. Since Reagan, the U.S. has swung so far right that even Agnews pendulum has got the bends.

  153. 153
    Ze Madmax

    Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe @ #150

    Ante, drone doctrine actually does differ from traditional bomber doctrine in a few ways–I don’t ever recall hearing about manned bombers swinging back for another pass to take out civilian first responders.

    When “traditional bomber doctrine” allows for things like turning an entire city to rubble or systematically leveling an entire nation, things like “second passes” seem kinda redundant.

    Of course there’s differences between doctrines, given that we’re talking about different things (bombers vs. drones). But again: why is drone doctrine allowing for bombing of first responders necessarily worse than causing thousands of deaths due to the collapse of a country’s infrastructure through more conventional means of warfare?

  154. 154
    joed

    @136, anteprepro
    “What the fuck is up with people and making a big fucking deal of drones, anyway?”

    the folks that have to pick up the body parts of their children, loved ones families and friends fine the drone attacks to be “a big fucking deal”.
    You may not understand that but the folks terrorized by the drones understand all too well.
    you sound numb, as though empathy is not part of your being? I am probably wrong about that but you sound that way.

  155. 155
    vaiyt

    These comparisons are confusing. It’s like trying to decide if it’s worse to get a hammer to the testicles or a drill to the eye.

  156. 156
    anteprepro
    It’s just that since the hasty written word, alone, coupled with the dumbass nature of most internet comments, has a high failure rate at getting meaning across, I like to be explicit.

    There’s also the fact that, although would think of myself as a good writer and thinker, I am no people person. So I imagine communication suffers, especially considering that I can’t get my point across to people in Normal Face-To-Face conversation. I can only imagine how I come across in a medium where tone is a product of word choice. I’m probably missing certain elements that people normally pick up on and wind up confusing people when I think I’m conveying things clearly. Oh well, I get by.

    I don’t ever recall hearing about manned bombers swinging back for another pass to take out civilian first responders.

    I’ll give you that one. It is not inherent to the drone attacks, but it seems to be unique to them.

  157. 157
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And Nerd, that’s stupefyingly ignorant.

    Why? The drones don’t have much excess capacity, and a bomb to take out a block and hundreds of people is several hundred pounds, and the rocket to propel increases that. No link either, just vague accusations.

  158. 158
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    the folks that have to pick up the body parts of their children, loved ones families and friends fine the drone attacks to be “a big fucking deal”.

    Just as the folks who pick up pieces of their loved ones after suicide bomber attacks. Either slam both sides or shut the fuck up.

  159. 159
    Endorkened

    Ze, we aren’t at war with Pakistan. They’ve repeatedly offered to try and hunt down the people we’re after themselves–even offered to fly the drones for us. We refused. And instead of declaring war on us, they’re organizing hundred-thousand-person nonviolent protests against us.

  160. 160
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Keep in mind folks, the target of the drone attacks may have a supply of explosives such as nitroglycerin on the attack site, which can detonate sympathetically.

  161. 161
    Ze Madmax

    joed @ #154

    the folks that have to pick up the body parts of their children, loved ones families and friends fine the drone attacks to be “a big fucking deal”.

    Because nobody ever has to pick up bodies (or pieces of bodies) of loved ones killed by means that aren’t drones. That must be it, unless joed is so morally bankrupt that xe’ll selectively ignore war casualties in order to justify some idiotic worldview that serves little purpose other than to justify inaction and empty symbolism by framing it as the only moral choice.

    Nah, must be the first one.

  162. 162
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They’ve repeatedly offered to try and hunt down the people we’re after themselves

    Then why wasn’t bin Laden turned over? You fail to understand the lack of government control outside of the capital. The tribal areas in the north-forget any government control/policing/etc.

  163. 163
    Endorkened

    So it falls to a country on the other side of the planet to keep order by blowing up three thousand civilians with killer robots. Goooootcha.

  164. 164
    anteprepro

    Yes, it is. But when you continually vote for the lesser evil, and the place you’re voting is continually sliding in deeper, you’re at most doing a failing holding action.

    There’s only so far that the right can possibly go, and there’s only so far that the left will be willing to follow them before realizing that it is more beneficial to distinguish themselves from the right. Basically, the Democrats are already pretty moderate and the Republicans are already viewed as too far right, too loony. The informed moderates see how absurd Republicans have become and if the Republicans go further right, more people will notice. The Democrats already seem emboldened to stand their current ground. It is possible that Democrats might continue to slide, but I think that they might just let Republicans hang themselves.

    When “traditional bomber doctrine” allows for things like turning an entire city to rubble or systematically leveling an entire nation, things like “second passes” seem kinda redundant.

    Good point.

    the folks that have to pick up the body parts of their children, loved ones families and friends fine the drone attacks to be “a big fucking deal”.

    Again, not unique to drones.

    I am numb. Because I have a vague idea of how much violence actually goes on. Because I know that we’ve killed at least 100,000 civilians in Iraq. Because I know that coalition forces have killed more women and children per X deaths than the fucking “terrorists”. Because I am aware that the war on terror is bullshit, the war in Iraq was extra bullshit, and there is enough fucking death and horror and tragedy in the world without these unnecessary battles being done by my country, that pretends to be a moral authority while slowly throwing any principle it claims to stand for under the fucking bus. I am simply not one to be bought by emotional appeals. It is why 9/11 didn’t have me chiming in with the chorus of people who wanted to soothe the pain of being attacked by invading a country or two. And it is why I don’t think that drones are significantly worse than any of the shit that we’ve been doing since we gave up our morality in the name of vengeance 10 or so years ago.

  165. 165
    Ze Madmax

    Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe @ #159

    I would argue that being or not being at war with Pakistan is a moot point (I mean, the U.S. was never technically at war with North Korea), given the transnational nature of the War on Terror. My general point was that because of the differences between bombers and drones, there will be differences in strategy, but these differences will not make that much of a difference in terms of human suffering (i.e., whether you’re killed by a drone strike or by a B-2 bomber or by lack of proper healthcare due to infrastructure damage, you’re still dead, and that’s a bad thing)

    Furthermore, I highly doubt Pakistani drone operators would be any better than American ones. Yeah, it’d be nice to assume that they would be more careful at looking after their own… except that there’s a plethora of psychological mechanisms that can come into play that would make the people in northern Pakistan seem as alien to a Pakistani drone operator as it does to an American drone operator.

  166. 166
    michaelolsen

    There’s only so far that the right can possibly go, and there’s only so far that the left will be willing to follow them before realizing that it is more beneficial to distinguish themselves from the right. Basically, the Democrats are already pretty moderate and the Republicans are already viewed as too far right, too loony.

    Already? Yeah, it only took the so-called “informed moderates” (which would be what, 1,2% of the possible votes. How the hell one could be both informed AND moderate, is a paradox for the ages) 25 years to catch up. The democrats aren’t moderate. They’re where republicans were years ago. Hence my slippy-slide comment.

  167. 167
    Endorkened

    But to return to the actual topic, I thought I’d hold forth on the one thing that my religion* hates more than lame Christian metal!

    Randian thought is way older than Rand, by my way of thinking. If anything, it dates back to the first republics and the dawn of capitalism–the Roman elite were just as convinced they were the best and the brightest as ours are. In fact, I think I can put together a decent argument for fuck-you-I’ve-got-mine-ism–or, in fact, conservatism in general–as a major contributor to the fall of Rome.

    Western Rome fell in part because of social trends that stymied any attempt at arresting the civilization-wide freefall that characterized the Valentinian-Theodosian dynasty. Somehow, the dregs of the old senatorial elite rediscovered the marvels of racism, and decided that the real best and brightest, mostly German generals, wouldn’t ever get the legitimate power they’d fall all over themselves to give any Latin or Gaul or Iberian with half the talent Aetius or Ricimer had.

    Meanwhile, this same elite–who had grown increasingly cloistered and detached as the western provinces’ Gini coefficient skyrocketed in the third century and beyond–began to withdraw from the system completely. They’d long since mastered tax dodging, sheltering their best workers (now essentially serfs) from the military drafts, and generally hiding their vast resources from the Empire by slipping into the social order that eventually became feudalism. Confusing power for competence and privilege for virtue, they never realized that a self-absorbed Italian was as much a threat to the Empire as any rampaging Greuthungus–and when the system collapsed completely, the handful who managed to survive without it did so only by hunkering down in their estates and shamelessly forming the ranks of the medieval looter rich.

    The biggest reason that the Byzantines survived and became the Byzantines, while the actual Roman-Romans faded into the background until they were just the backdrop for feuding generals, is because they lacked these flaws. The East had a flourishing middle class (who manned the Diocletianic bureaucracy in place of lazy, entitled nobles), and grudgingly admitted barbarians like Zeno into the Imperial college. This, coupled with the intact trade routes that the West lost when they signed Africa over to Genseric and his Vandals, let them survive intact where Rome itself imploded under the weight of its own bloated oligarchs.

    *The Antagonistic Order of Prometheus Lucifer, of which I am founder, sole member, and Supreme High Muckety-Muck. Like Pastafarianism for antitheistic trolls.

  168. 168
    Travis

    I was going to bring this up back when third parties were being discussed but was not able to get to an internet connection to do so.

    Maybe I am just an ignorant Canadian, but wouldn’t it be easier to get people used to third parties by concentrating on trying to increase their numbers in congress and the senate? There are already some independents, third parties can work with the other parties to create and pass legislation, it is not nearly as all or nothing as the presidential election. The method used to elect the president seems to make it difficult for a third party candidate to break through, but the barrier appears to be much smaller to get a third party block in the other houses.

  169. 169
    Lynna, OM

    Ogvorbis, thanks for that comment @115

    Many of the people who will vote for Romney will do so because they are actually casting a vote against Obama, not really for Romney.

    I could make a case for voting for Obama in order to cast a vote against Romney. Romney is fucking incompetent. Last night, Romney lied so brazenly about Jeep and Chrysler that one has to wonder is all that lying hasn’t destroyed any hope he ever had of functioning as a normal human being.

    In Defiance, Ohio he said, “I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China.”

    … the Bloomberg News report “Fiat Says Jeep® Output May Return to China as Demand Rises” stated “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

    Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

    Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

    Oh, and by the way, the Detroit News reported that Chrysler is adding an additional 1,100 new jobs. To build more Jeeps in the United States.

  170. 170
    Lynna, OM

    wouldn’t it be easier to get people used to third parties by concentrating on trying to increase their numbers in congress and the senate?

    Quite true. Good idea for third parties to prove themselves, and to win public recognition by working on increasing their numbers at lower levels of state and federal government.

  171. 171
    Endorkened

    I sometimes wonder if the reason Republicans come across as so deranged and incoherent is because they speak entirely in buzzwords and dog whistles until even they have no idea what they’re actually saying.

  172. 172
    michaelolsen

    I was going to bring this up back when third parties were being discussed but was not able to get to an internet connection to do so.

    Maybe I am just an ignorant Canadian, but wouldn’t it be easier to get people used to third parties by concentrating on trying to increase their numbers in congress and the senate? There are already some independents, third parties can work with the other parties to create and pass legislation, it is not nearly as all or nothing as the presidential election. The method used to elect the president seems to make it difficult for a third party candidate to break through, but the barrier appears to be much smaller to get a third party block in the other houses.

    This is the heart of the matter. I’ve been yelling at americans to do this for years. Vanity runs for president are a waste.

  173. 173
    SallyStrange

    Yes, it is. But when you continually vote for the lesser evil, and the place you’re voting is continually sliding in deeper, you’re at most doing a failing holding action. You’re trying to stem a tide while drowning. Like I said, I’d vote for Obama because it’s too late in the game for anything else. But I wouldn’t see it as anything but a stop-gap measure. Which is the problem. Since Reagan, the U.S. has swung so far right that even Agnews pendulum has got the bends.

    Yeah yeah yeah. So let’s organize a constitutional amendment campaign, because that is what it will take to reform the voting system so that it’s a touch more representative. Several constitutional amendments actually.

    The thing is, it takes activists to make constitutional amendment happens. And guess who doesn’t do activism? People who are so preoccupied with basic survival that they can’t spare a moment to go to a protest, pass a petition, vote in a primary, or whatever. Guess which candidate is more likely to make it difficult for people to move past basic survival and engage in political activism? Romney, by miles.

    So, spare me the yada yada about sliding into evil. No fucking shit man. Let’s focus on what’s going to make it easier for us to fight the evil. Letting Romney win isn’t it.

  174. 174
    Endorkened

    Just realized I aspergered a bit there… not in that I wrote a long-winded exposition, mind you, but in that I wrote a long-winded exposition without ever actually stating my central thesis.

    Ancient Roman nobles were “going Galt” and experimenting with small-government Libertarianism fifteen hundred years before Mrs. Rosenbaum ever put feces to wall–the result was the Dark Ages.

  175. 175
    anteprepro

    Maybe I am just an ignorant Canadian, but wouldn’t it be easier to get people used to third parties by concentrating on trying to increase their numbers in congress and the senate?

    Yes, it would. I think they are too caught up in the rush to fix the two party problem in the highest offices to think about laying the groundwork by fixing the problem in lower positions first. Not only should they think Congress before White House, but they should think State Government before Federal Government. They need to build a foundation. They need to advocate for a change in the system. And yet so many just want to vote Third Party President right off the bat and somehow are unaware of how fucking HARD it will be to get that to actually work.

    I sometimes wonder if the reason Republicans come across as so deranged and incoherent is because they speak entirely in buzzwords and dog whistles until even they have no idea what they’re actually saying.

    *Epiphany*

  176. 176
    joed

    @173, SallyStrange: Elite Femi-Fascist Genius
    “Yeah yeah yeah. So let’s organize a constitutional amendment campaign , because that is what it will take to reform the voting system so that it’s a touch more representative. Several constitutional amendments actually. ”

    all it would take is people voting for the person they really would like to see as potus, or boycotting the election. that’s what it would take to make some real change–voting for the person you want to be potus. don’t you realize that the urgency to vote for your candidate is created for you. your vote has not counted for at least 12 years.

  177. 177
    Endorkened

    No, all that would do is put the wrong lizard in office. You think they care what the voter turnout is if it favors them?

  178. 178
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Maybe I am just an ignorant Canadian, but wouldn’t it be easier to get people used to third parties by concentrating on trying to increase their numbers in congress and the senate? There are already some independents, third parties can work with the other parties to create and pass legislation, it is not nearly as all or nothing as the presidential election.

    Actually, most “independents” were previously associated with a political party, and simply don’t caucus when congress forms. Or will swing depending on who offers them the best deal/voice. True independents are like unicorns.

  179. 179
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    here are already some independents, third parties can work with the other parties to create and pass legislation, it is not nearly as all or nothing as the presidential election.

    Name the third party candidates elected at the local level….I’m waiting….then they can’t effect legislation, can they….

  180. 180
    anteprepro

    that’s what it would take to make some real change–voting for the person you want to be potus.

    Yeah, if EVERYONE did that. Good fucking luck. And even then, the change might not necessarily be for the positive.

    What color is your sky, joed?

  181. 181
    joed

    @177, Jonathan, der Ewige Noobe
    well, then just continue with the system as it is.
    it’s your choice and one lizard is as good as any other. the system is all the way broken.
    here is a surprise.

    Third Party Presidential Debate Moderated by Larry King
    Video
    Four alternative candidates for president of the United States debated Tuesday night in Chicago and agreed America needs a good dose of what they could provide — clear, straight talk that has not been market-pasteurized.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32842.htm

    ————
    Blood is Their Argument: The Real Campaign Trail
    By Chris Floyd

    Even as the presidential candidates meet in ersatz agon to spew their self-serving lies and scripted zingers in a “debate” on foreign policy, the real campaign — the campaign of blood and bone, of death and terror, being waged in Pakistan by the American government — goes on it all its horror.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32843.htm

  182. 182
    Travis

    Actually, most “independents” were previously associated with a political party, and simply don’t caucus when congress forms. Or will swing depending on who offers them the best deal/voice. True independents are like unicorns.

    Fair enough, though I still think concentrating on the other houses, and as others have mentioned, state and lower areas of government, would be much more effective and might actually cause some changes after a few election cycles, rather than obsessing over the presidential election.

  183. 183
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Fair enough, though I still think concentrating on the other houses, and as others have mentioned, state and lower areas of government, would be much more effective and might actually cause some changes after a few election cycles, rather than obsessing over the presidential election.

    And where is this seen in the last 50 years? I’ve always seen at least 5 political parties on each ballot. But only two seem to break out of the decimal digits at any level.

  184. 184
    anteprepro

    Name the third party candidates elected at the local level….I’m waiting….then they can’t effect legislation, can they….

    Umm, Nerd…

    Since the end of Reconstruction, there have a total of 30 U.S. Senators, 111 U.S. Representatives, and 28 Governors that weren’t affiliated with a major party. Currently, there are two U.S. Senators (Lieberman and Sanders), one Governor (Chafee), zero U.S. Representatives, and four major city Mayors. Hundreds of third-party officeholders exist at the local level (including those in nonpartisan positions who are affiliated with a third-party), including 135 Green Party members[1] and 151 Libertarian Party members. [2]

  185. 185
    Endorkened

    And if we do things your way, joed, nothing will change either. We need to start small, and keep the worst lizards out of office while we build a human power base on the local and state level, let the right-leaning moderates and ultra-right loony toons alike know we’re on to them and we’re breaking their hegemony the same way all true change comes–from the bottom up.

    So, killer robots in the sky, all the politicians are lizards… anyone else feeling like we’re suddenly living in the same universe as David Icke?

  186. 186
    Kagehi

    Outside of behaviorism (like skinner’s experiments, which were mostly done on animals) most people studying the question of motivation acknowledge that there is an intrinsic motivation involved in activities such as baking bread. Introducing external rewards tends to diminish the intrinsic motivation rather than enhance it.

    Hmm. So, we should just make sure everyone has the basics, and let them all work, as much as they feel they are motivated to, at what ever they like, right? Seems like that got tried before, more or less, too. The majority of people, for some reason, where such dumb fucks that they decided that the thing they most wanted to do was nothing at all, or only when they felt like it, or, where even stupider, and thought, “Gosh! Why am I not being rewarded for being so good at this?”

    Besides which, this moronic idea assumes that a) everyone is as good at the job they actually want that they can do it right (anyone watching American Idol knows that is complete idiocy), b) there are no resource bottlenecks, like every moron in a city trying to mow lawns, and no one baking bread, c) no problems of distribution (this means not just getting things places, so I hope you have enough people that really love driving long hours, without external rewards, in big trucks…, but also “people”, who you have to convince to move from where they are, to where they are needed, hopefully without getting the guy that “thinks” he can bake, but makes total crap.

    Welcome to reality, where 99% of the entire population isn’t doing the thing they are best at, or like the most, or want to be doing, and the only ones that are, are rich assholes, who just think that everyone else isn’t trying hard enough to do what they love, and can’t figure out why the fuck people want to be paid for things.

  187. 187
    Kagehi

    Oh, and note: This, in security design, is called, “Trying to engineer the people to the system, instead of the system to the people.”, and has been tried, over and over, and over, and over, by various idiots, who couldn’t grasp why basic altruism, laziness, or other human traits, invariably resulted in said systems failing, being gamed, side stepped, or, due to there total uselessness, sometimes disabled.

  188. 188
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Already? Yeah, it only took the so-called “informed moderates” (which would be what, 1,2% of the possible votes. How the hell one could be both informed AND moderate, is a paradox for the ages) 25 years to catch up. The democrats aren’t moderate. They’re where republicans were years ago. Hence my slippy-slide comment.

    Gay rights?
    Women’s rights?
    Welfare?
    Medicare?

    Are you really saying that the previous Repulicans supported these things?

    I understand there has been Democrats that have sucked, but by that much?

    Maybe it’s because I’m young but citation fucking needed.

  189. 189
    Travis

    Nerd said,

    And where is this seen in the last 50 years? I’ve always seen at least 5 political parties on each ballot. But only two seem to break out of the decimal digits at any level.

    I have never seen a US ballot as I do not live there, but from what I have seen there does not seem to be that much of a push in the US by these parties to concentrate on improving how many of these candidates get elected. In the last 20 years I have seen a huge amount of noise about presidential elections from these parties, but little actual grassroots activism.

    Perhaps there is no solution, people in the US will never vote for a third party, all I am saying is that it lower levels of government seem to be the place to start making changes, not the presidential race.

  190. 190
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Currently, there are two U.S. Senators (Lieberman and Sanders), one Governor (Chafee),

    All of which ran under dem/repub prior to becoming independent.

    Currently, there are two U.S. Senators (Lieberman and Sanders), one Governor (Chafee),

    And their real effect on legislation? Close to zero, given the number of local officials.

  191. 191
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Perhaps there is no solution, people in the US will never vote for a third party, all I am saying is that it lower levels of government seem to be the place to start making changes, not the presidential race.

    Actually, not much will change until we state by state adopt an instant run-off like Oz has, were by voting for a third party candidate as our primary choice, we can still effect who gets the true majority of votes by putting those most likely to be elected as our second choice.

    If this was in effect in Florida in 2000, Shrub, who had a plurality, not a majority, after the first round, would have lost as most of the Nader votes would have selected Gore as their #2 choice. Giving Gore the state. This is the only scenario I see third party voters getting their voice through.

  192. 192
    Endorkened

    Didn’t Dunning do a whole Skeptoid ep of all the different ways you could design a fair electoral process?

  193. 193
    Kagehi

    Arizona just had a proposal for a “runoff” sort of thing, with the top two candidates being presented. A good argument is made against it, “With the sort of money in the races that exist now, the only people that will get them is who ever spends the most money, which might both be from one party.” You can’t fix half the problem, and fix the problem.

  194. 194
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    A good argument is made against it, “With the sort of money in the races that exist now, the only people that will get them is who ever spends the most money, which might both be from one party.” You can’t fix half the problem, and fix the problem.

    Didn’t we see several instances of this reported in various congressional districts?

  195. 195
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I guess I’m lucky that at the congresscritter level, I have a semi-progressive democrat versus a teabagger rethug. And for the first time since I lived here (24 years), the state dems are putting a lot of money into the election.

  196. 196
    SallyStrange

    all it would take is people voting for the person they really would like to see as potus, or boycotting the election.

    You’re a paid Republican ringer. There’s no other plausible explanation. Nobody is this stupid.

  197. 197
    Ing

    This isn’t just an election between candidates. It’s an election test of concept for campaign strategies. If Romney wins it will validate forever Super Pacts, Voter Suppression, and Post-Factual discourse. Romney winning isn’t just a danger because of him, but because of what a win says about the public and how they can be manipulated or controlled.

  198. 198
    SallyStrange

    your vote has not counted for at least 12 years.

    My vote for mayor, for city councilor, for county legislator, for state assembly and state senate, for governor, and for U.S. Congress certainly has counted.

    You’re a fucking fraud, joed. Don’t come back here.

  199. 199
    Ing

    Didn’t Dunning do a whole Skeptoid ep of all the different ways you could design a fair electoral process?

    Yes he did it was a very good episode to my unexperted ears.

    I especially liked how by the math a random lottery from all available votes is more fair than the electoral college.

  200. 200
    Ing

    bears repeating 3rd parties should run for local elections

    a) it has surprising influence on your local community

    b) lower barrier to entry due both to lower scope and scale

    c) You can frelling win

    d) it is a building block for further civic action and work

    running a candidate for POTUS should be a goal not step one, jackass. In order for a party to have a chance it has to have power, it has to have a bloc, which is something you need to build first.

  201. 201
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    running a candidate for POTUS should be a goal not step one, jackass. In order for a party to have a chance it has to have power, it has to have a bloc, which is something you need to build first.

    Amen, in every presidential election I have voted in (since 1972), there has not be a third party candidate holding office at any level in the districts I voted in. Makes it hard to take third parties seriously (even though I voted for John Anderson when Reagan was running.

  202. 202
    yuenhao

    I know I’m late to the party here and I’m not sure if this is a derail, but I want to point out that in world war two, the firebombings of Japan had an official three pass strategy specifically to kill the firemen.

    (Notkieran here)

  203. 203
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Outside of behaviorism (like skinner’s experiments, which were mostly done on animals) most people studying the question of motivation acknowledge that there is an intrinsic motivation involved in activities such as baking bread. Introducing external rewards tends to diminish the intrinsic motivation rather than enhance it.

    This is the exact reason I never wanted to be a professional painter. I had art teachers wondering why I didn’t want to pursue drawing or painting as a career.

    Besides my prejudice that artists rarely made enough to live off their art, I kind of suspected that it would ruin it as a hobby.

    I draw and paint to relax, to enjoy the performance. And also to “study” things. I like each of them to be a novel experiment. Attaching the need to pull out money off it would make it merely another boring job – I’d have to make things that people want to buy. Commonly, the same things over and over and over again. Like an assembly line.

    Turns out this is exactly what it is to be a professional painter. Produce, produce, produce. And don’t do anything out of the ordinary. Dont’t you start making portraits if people are used to your landscapes.

  204. 204
    Amphiox

    3rd Party candidates for potus are almost all invariably been either jokes or vanity projects for the individuals involved.

    When it comes to voting for someone I really would like to see in power, well at least for me one critical criteria for someone I would like to see in power is actually having the ability to fulfil one’s promises and platform, and that means having the ability to actually win.

    A third party candidate who knows he or she cannot win can say anything he or she wants, knowing that they will never actually have to be called upon to actually turn those promises into reality. They can promise me the moon, tick off every imaginable progressive talking point, say everything and anything I want to hear from them, and it means nothing. However individually sincere they may or may not be, their promises cannot be practically trusted anymore than Romney’s flipflops and lies.

    Because they can only keep those promises if they can win, and if they can’t win, then they can’t keep their promises.

  205. 205
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Nerd, it’s tangential, but really I’d be quite happy to hear your opinion on how I should vote. And I don’t see why you’d object to mine, just because I live in another country. We live in an international world; we are all entitled to opinions. So PLEASE don’t vote for Rmoney; it will hurt more than just the US.

  206. 206
    What a Maroon, oblivious
    Currently, there are two U.S. Senators (Lieberman and Sanders), one Governor (Chafee),

    All of which ran under dem/repub prior to becoming independent.

    Small correction: Bernie Sanders was never a Democrat. He’s a Socialist, though he caucuses with the Dems.

  207. 207
    Endorkened

    Yuenhao, that’s a good point. Maybe we should start wearing ear necklaces, too!

  208. 208
    joed

    @6, @90, nichrome
    “Yeah – never mind Obama’s “Disposition Matrix”, his war on whistleblowers while at the same time refusing to hold anyone accountable for torture, or the financial meltdown, or warrantless eavesdropping, etc., etc.”

    nichrome seems to understand and see the terror that Obama is creating.
    the u s system is run amok. the world is terrorized by u s foreign policy and the u s people can’t seem to see it.
    it is most difficult to overcome the propaganda and cultural nonsense that u s people have been subject to since the 1950′s. most folks don’t have a clue of how terrorizing their govt is, the death chaos and destruction caused by the u s.
    here is a short 29 minute video that can help to see what your govt(and you)are doing.
    http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Subconscious_War_2011/
    This romney vs obama tension is entertainment created just for you.

  209. 209
    Aratina Cage

    @michaelolsen #137

    The right keeps running further and further right, and the “left” is doing it’s best to play catchup. It’s a poodle chasing a pittbull.

    But this just isn’t true on numerous fronts. In 20 years since Bill Clinton, we now have a Democratic Party that is much more liberal and secular than it has ever been. Cripes, they barely put mention of “God” back into the party platform this year. It’s unheard of from my perspective.

  210. 210
    carbonbasedlifeform

    I suppose someone should mention Duverger’s law, which says that in a plurality election system, you will have two parties.

    “Plurality voting system” means that voters have a single vote for a single political office, which they can cast for a single candidate. Because the system gives only the winner a position, a party which consistently comes third in every district will not gain any posts, even if it receives a significant proportion of the vote.

  211. 211
    anteprepro

    This romney vs obama tension is entertainment created just for you.

    And joed remains clueless, while still believing that he is the only one who sees The Truth. Hopeless.

  212. 212
    Nick Gotts

    So, we should just make sure everyone has the basics, and let them all work, as much as they feel they are motivated to, at what ever they like, right? Seems like that got tried before, more or less, too. – Kagehi

    No, it hasn’t. Ever. Anywhere.

  213. 213
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Joed, 1) not your election, and 2) the “other guys” who would be elected aren’t better, only worse. If you can’t see that you have blinders one.

  214. 214
    Nick Gotts

    joed,

    Quite apart from the annoying stupidity of your “arguments”, you add an extra layer of irritation by refusing to use upper-case letters where appropriate. There is a functional reason for them: they make what you are writing significantly easier for others to read; so your refusal to use them is evidence that you really couldn’t give a shit about those you are addressing. Either the stupidity of your arguments, or your evident contempt for those you are addressing, would make me unlikely to sit through a half-hour video you recommended; both together make this certain.

  215. 215
    chigau (違う)

    and also

    blockquoting

  216. 216
    joed

    @214, Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    Well, I sure don’t want to contribute to the “irritation” you mention. I will endeavor from this point to use upper-case letters where appropriate.
    It’s just that I am somewhat lazy when writing but not lazy when it comes to thinking.
    Hope this helps narrow your complaint list.

  217. 217
    joed

    @214, Nick Gotts (formerly KG)
    Also,
    The mentioned video is probably way beyond you any way. So, don’t bother yourself to learn something from that video. Here is the address once again, so you wont blunder into it.
    http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Subconscious_War_2011/
    How am I doing with the uppercaseness?

  218. 218
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    No, it hasn’t. Ever. Anywhere.

    I was wondering about that.

    The other thing I’m wondering about is what kind of people, who having complete freedom of their time, would choose to do absolutely nothing. Continuously. Day after day.

    They would have to be people who enjoy nothing.

    That’s called anhedonia, and it’s one of the main symptoms of major depression.

  219. 219
    Ing

    It should be pointed that out that in my experience pay motivates you to actually go into work rather than just blow it off…actually feeling some pride or a sense of accomplishment from work is what makes you do more than just enough not to get canned.

    I’ve worked skilled and unskilled labor jobs and it seems a universal problem for unskilled labor is the inability to convince workers that they should give a damn about what they do. They get no real feed back (unless they fuck up), no one shows gratitude, no thanks. Do a great job and no one notices but make one mistake and get yelled at. No sense in working harder because that just gives you more work and thus more chances to fuck up. Do just the bare minimum and keep your head down.

    On the other hand working at a pig farm had the motivation that you’re caring for another life form. You get to see the results of work and know that something is directly depending on you doing a good job. Messing up isn’t just some package being slightly disorganized or some other shit no customer will notice, it’s an animal whose health could be affected. It was a much dirtier, disgusting and draining job than other unskilled labor, but it felt more important.

  220. 220
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    In the same line of thought, one interesting thing I have observed as a university student is that, if you look at the actual amount of effort dedidacted to coursework, the ones that people sweat the most over are those that must be done in teams.

    For instance, the most work-intensive, don’t-count-your-hours classes I’ve ever taken are “design” classes, where a team of 4 to 7 people have to complete an engineering/software project during one term.

    In this particular case, our “pay” is the credits we get for completing the class and our final marks. This mark, however, is attributed to the entire team effort, and tends not to have a huge variation across teams. You might think most people would have a tendency to work less in this setting, letting a few dedicated ones work for them.

    But, if that sometimes happened in the first such classes (in a smaller proportion than what might be expected), it certainly didn’t happen afterwards – the people who would not work were not selected again on good teams.

    So against your immediate self-interest, that is, other coursework that gives you an individual mark and might raise your global mark above that of other students, there is this stronger pressure to keep a good relationship with potential teammates.

    Also, there was this undeniable sense of pride in solving real-life problems as opposed to earning a mark (“pay”). That is what makes you go that extra mile and keep on working through the night subsisting on red bull and cold pizza.

  221. 221
    Nick Gotts

    It’s just that I am somewhat lazy when writing but not lazy when it comes to thinking. – joed

    Your thinking is far, far lazier than your writing.

    The mentioned video is probably way beyond you any way.

    I have been involved in campaigning against the evils of capitalism and US foreign policy, and for a just and sustainable socialist world order, for over thirty years. But unlike you, I’m not stupid, lazy or immoral enough to convince myself or pretend that there is no difference between the lesser and the greater evil, or that the US presidential election is “entertainment created just for you”.

  222. 222
    michaelpowers

    I’ll admit than when I first heard about her, I was intrigued. But the more I learned, the more horrified I became. I never made it all the way through Atlas Shrugged. I’m not a masochist, after all. She was offensive on so many levels. Including, from what I gather, personal hygeine (Some passive/aggressive thing going on there, no doubt).

    Devolve into that? Never!

  223. 223
    skeptifem

    She was offensive on so many levels. Including, from what I gather, personal hygeine (Some passive/aggressive thing going on there, no doubt).

    what?

  224. 224
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    This romney vs obama tension is entertainment created just for you.

    Look, I think most people in the US realize that neither candidate will profoundly change anything for the better.

    In fact, I think politics rarely if ever solves anything, and that its subversion and corruption by corporate interests that care more about money than people is inevitable in the perverted system that is capitalism.

    However, neither the reproductive rights of women or other decisions that affect the wellbeing of real, actual people are “entertainment”.

    Voting for the lesser evil costs you very little to secure at least some rights, and does not keep you from working against the system you despise.

    Voting in a way that might bring the most insane, bug-fucking nuts candidate into power has real-life consequence for some people and does nothing to change this system, in fact it actually makes things worse!

    Unless you think that things are got to become worse before they get better, I don’t understand this logic. And I would take this affimation with a grain of salt the size of a chevy truck. Sometimes when things get worse, the only thing that happens is that they get even more worse. Not everything can be described as a negative feedback.

  225. 225
    anteprepro

    I’ll admit than when I first heard about her, I was intrigued. But the more I learned, the more horrified I became. I never made it all the way through Atlas Shrugged. I’m not a masochist, after all.

    Like someone else upthread, I was only familiar early on with Rand due to reading Anthem. Which was innocuous compared to her other work. Considering that the only thing the book actually promoted was “individuality” it was hard to object. But then you think “individuality compared to what”? Then you realize that the Collectivism in the book was supposed to actually map onto a real ideology, in real life. It was supposed to be bashing communism, because communism completely denies individual identity, apparently. Then came the realization that Ayn Rand might be a bit of a dumbass. Learning about her other works and her “philosophy” left me without doubt. As far as Atlas Shrugged: I’ve read book reviews and summaries of it. That’s been more than enough.

  226. 226
    Kagehi
    So, we should just make sure everyone has the basics, and let them all work, as much as they feel they are motivated to, at what ever they like, right? Seems like that got tried before, more or less, too. – Kagehi

    No, it hasn’t. Ever. Anywhere.

    Yes, lets just ignore the reality of how humans think, and nitpick over the fact that every attempt to do this has been imposed by lunatics, for their own reasons, instead of addressing my point. Everyone wants to be “something” huge. Unless you reduce everyone to total mediocrity, and rob them of every possible thing to do, other than the ones that are ‘necessary’ for the state, no art, no singing, no music, nothing which isn’t in some way directly productive, nearly ***everyone*** is going to try to be something other than the bread baker. If your city *needs* 500 backers, and you have 3 people that absolutely love doing it, and 498 people that, because they have no incentive to do anything else, want to be just about every other damn thing possible… well, you kind of have a problem, don’t you.

    There is a reason why no one has ever successfully done it, and its not just who, and how, they came to power. It doesn’t work, because it is just as naive a theory as pure, unchained, capitalism, and thus can *only* work where there are, in principle, unlimited resources. A small commune might function under it, because they only need one, that’s *ONE* bread baker, and they have hundreds of thousands of candidates to pick from, at least one of which is likely to decide, “Gosh, I would love to live in such a place.” Scale it to a major city, and it becomes much harder. Scale it to even a small country, and it starts falling apart, because the logistics of providing ‘everything’ minimum a person needs, and supplying it, become an increasing problem, the more different subgroups of people, with different “minimums” there are. After all, as just one example, for some damn reason, “artists” seem to *need* more pencils, paint, canvas, possibly computer technology, etc., than the rest of the population. For them to do their best work, there must be an imbalance, between what they need, and what everyone else has. And, what do you do to supply that exactly? Give everyone thousands of dollars of equipment, even if they are a baker, so they are not “left out”? Because, its not just about everyone having the minimum, its about everyone having the means to get what they need to do their best. Because if there is no means to gain that, or even start with it, well..

    I suppose its a easy way to get more bakers, just make it impossible for anyone to gain access to the resources they need to be a painter. Wait.. That sounds a lot like the stupid situation we have now, where money is involved, and the people that have all of it don’t need it… Odd.

    You want someone to try such a system. Well, we don’t live in the “Next Generation”, Star Trek universe. Limited resources, limited means to get things where they need to be, even if we could provide the minimums, we would still need a non-socialist system, to provide a market, or other means. And, once you have that, you have the situation Kemit talks about. People asking you do to what the want, or thing they need, instead of what you want. Its become product, not passion.

    No, I am sure we could provide “some” of the minimums, but allow for incentives, and passions, both, to drive the rest, but you are never going to do away with a) hobbie turned shitty job, b) people that think they have talent, who resent not being able to succeed at their passion, or c) people just not able to pursue those things, to their best, because they don’t happen to be where they can get the additional resources that are not covered by the “minimum”. To think otherwise puts you in the same camp as people that, “read a study”, and concluded that eating raw foods and taking the flavor of the week supplement, which let you live to be 200.

    Frankly, one reason the animal studies are likely to be more accurate is its starting from a “baseline”. There is no baseline with people. They all come into any experiment with biases, and hang ups, and problems they are dealing with, and just the pure novelty of being able to do something different can drive behavior. Once the novelty has worn off though, and more natural behaviors start to re-emerge… its why studies on long term cooperation are problematic with humans, when based on ideas that contradict the animal studies, just as much as studies on “long term effects of watching X.”, are. Its unethical to even try the real experiment, and the ethical ones, by nature, only show short term results, and are mixed up with the factor of it being a novel change from the person’s daily routine. You, know, sort of how becoming the best sniper in a TPS doesn’t, with rare exceptions (usually already nuts), led to everyone that thinks they are good at being a sniper buying a rifle, to shoot people with. Its “novel”, when its done some times, or even once. It is routine, and therefor not sustainable (for many reasons in the case of this example), unless its your job, in the long term. Same with becoming a space minor, or farming fictional animals, or saving the world from the Orc menace, or just dabbling in something interesting, while knowing it may *never* be something that you do all the time.

    You can’t drop a high level intelligence in a novel situation, and draw conclusion about how well the result “scales up”, when all of the factors you carefully removed from your experiment come into play. The complexity itself alters the behavior, causing other reactions to surface, instead of the ones you so carefully studied.

  227. 227
    Kagehi

    Sigh.. FPS in there. lol

  228. 228
    joed

    @221, Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    well, since you have been working for a just and sustainable socialist world order, for over thirty years. you probably have already read this article.

    Institutionalized State Assassinations and the November 6 Election
    By Bill Van Auken

    The erosion of democratic rights within the United States is far more advanced than most people realize.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32876.htm

  229. 229
    Ing

    Joed shut the fuck up. You are literally not telling us anything we don’t already know. And this has been explained to you.

  230. 230
    Ing

    @Kagehi

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but I literally cannot follow your sentences. What are you trying to say exactly?

  231. 231
    joed

    So, you guys will vote for Obama because he is less evil than Romney.
    Well, Obama has arbitrarily killed innocent humans. How is that less evil? Obama is a murderous thug.
    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/paths-of-resistance-i-refusal-to.html
    ” Paths of Resistance (I): The Refusal to Identify and Reject Evil
    The essence of my argument in “Accomplices to Murder” is contained in these two paragraphs:

    As I have written before: “the claim of a ‘right’ to dispense death arbitrarily — the claim that the State may murder anyone it chooses, whenever it desires — constitutes a separate category altogether, a category of which this particular claim is the sole unit. When death is unleashed, all possibility of action is ended forever.” For this reason — and it is the only reason required — it is not “perfectly rational and reasonable” to decide that “the evils of their candidate [Obama] are outweighed by the evils of the GOP candidate.”

    There is no evil beyond the claimed “right” to murder by arbitrary edict, to murder anyone, anywhere, anytime. If you support this particular evil — and if you vote for Obama, you support it — then you will support anything.

    The fuller argument will be found in the preceding article.

  232. 232
    Ing

    Well, Obama has arbitrarily killed innocent humans. How is that less evil? Obama is a murderous thug.

    Because Romney isn’t any different there or actually worse considering his rhetoric with Iran.

    Romney is also worse economically, which will harm or kill people more than Obama’s plan. He is also worse on gays and women, both of which will indirectly kill people.

    It’s the trolly question. Refusing to choose means 100 people die instead of 1. Some of us figured this out when we were fucking teenagers.

  233. 233
    Ing

    There is no evil beyond the claimed “right” to murder by arbitrary edict, to murder anyone, anywhere, anytime. If you support this particular evil — and if you vote for Obama, you support it — then you will support anything.

    You are so full of shit. Stop pretending you actually give a shit about people killed. Because if you did you would very much want to prevent someone else who is apparently all ra ra ra for the next war into entering office. You do not give a single fuck about anyone else only about your moral purity.

  234. 234
    Ing

    Seriously Joed, you want to call everyone else an accomplice to murder? What are you if your fucking vote leads to someone getting elected, who increases the murder?

    You know what if you really felt this way you wouldn’t be bitching at us on the internet, you would be plotting an assassination against a tyrant. So do you not want to kill Obama because you’re a coward (and thus an accomplice as much as anyone else due to inaction) or because you acknowledge that one person is not the problem? Which is it self righteous hypocrite or cowardly hypocrite?

  235. 235
    Ze Madmax

    joed @ #231

    Because a Romney presidency won’t reduce drone programs, and indeed, it may lead to a war against Iran. Which would mean more innocent deaths than those caused by the current drone policy.

    And that’s not even mentioning the fact that a Romney presidency would lead to increased suffering within the U.S., as the dismantling of what little is left of the social safety net exacerbates the problems currently faced by people who rely on these programs. Similarly, a Romney presidency would likely lead to a nationwide abortion ban, which in turn will lead to an increase in preventable deaths from (among other things) back-alley abortions.

    I don’t understand why this is so difficult to understand. If killing innocents is evil, then wouldn’t it be MORE evil the MORE people you kill?

  236. 236
    Ing

    Oh wait my mistake I forgot the obvious answer. That according to you if given a chance to kill one person to save everyone else you wouldn’t do it because [derp] that’s the lesser evil [/derp]

  237. 237
    Ing

    @Ze madmax

    because joed doesn’t care about effects of actions, even blatantly easily predictable ones, he cares about intent because it’s fucking magic to a dumb Kant brain like him

  238. 238
    anteprepro

    Well, Obama has arbitrarily killed innocent humans. How is that less evil? Obama is a murderous thug.

    Seriously joed, what the fuck is wrong with you? Did you sleep through 2001 through 2008 and just wake up for the last year or so? “Arbitrarily killed innocent humans” is PAR FOR THE FUCKING COURSE if you are only paying attention to MOST RECENT PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION (to say nothing of Vietnam, Desert Storm, various “police” actions…) and the fact that you CONSISTENTLY FAIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE AWARENESS OF THIS FACT makes any kind of conversation with you completely pointless. You are thick as a brick and twice as dull.

  239. 239
    anteprepro

    The people working themselves up into a tizzy over OMG DRONES and arbitrary killings seem to be privileging War as much as the people who seem to not give a fuck about killing filthy foreigners. Drone attacks are so obviously OMG MURDER because it isn’t happening within the context of their gestalt for traditional warfare. Just like the tactics of OMG TERRORISTS are considered to be beyond the pale for harming innocent bystanders, when traditional warfare just might occasionally also harm people as collateral damage. No biggie, though, of course.

    Here’s a tip for the people so concerned about arbitrary killings via drone: We’ve started an arbitrary war, and war includes killing people. Thus we have been arbitrarily killing people for quite a while now. People who have had the arbitrary label of terrorist/insurgent, and occasionally killing people who didn’t even fit our own arbitrary label. And we’ve been doing it for roughly ten years now. The drone attacks are just a new that our glorious nation is doing the same sordid deeds they’ve been doing the whole time. You all are way too late to the outrage party.

  240. 240
    firstapproximation

    Obama has arbitrarily killed innocent humans. How is that less evil?

    Because it’s less innocent people killed than Bush, who started a war that killed >100,000 in Iraq, and it will almost certainly be less than Romney, who seems more eager to go to war. Romney would also cause great harm by repealing environmental and economic regulations and “Obamacare”. In addition, his administration would be worse for minorities, women and the poor. The two parties aren’t that far apart, but far enough to make a difference on which one you should vote for.

    It’s like the trolley problem. You can be pure, do nothing and let five people die. Or you can choose the less worse option and have only one person die. In the real world a ‘less evil’ option is the best you can hope for.

    “Choosing the lesser of two evils isn’t a bad thing. The cliche makes it sound bad, but it’s a good thing. You get less evil”
    - Noam Chomsky

  241. 241
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Before the third debate, we knew that Romney was planning to continue the program of drone attacks. He was perfectly clear about this.

    Romney praised the killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi: “The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki is a major victory in our fight against Islamist terrorism and proper justice for the numerous attacks and plots he inspired or planned against America. I commend the President, the members of the intelligence community, our service members, and our allies for their continued efforts to keep Americans safe. Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant and continue the fight against those who seek to destroy us and our freedoms.”

    Romney said “It is appropriate. When someone has, is engaged in treasonous behavior and has allied themselves with a force that has declared war on the United States of America and is in that sense an enemy combatant, we have every right to fire on them, as they would fire upon us — and have — fired on us.”

    It was irrational to pretend that this does not indicate an intention to continue the program. Nevertheless, some people were irrational and tried to pretend.

    +++++
    After the third debate, there is no excuse for anyone to not be aware of his intention to continue the program: “Well, I believe that we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. And it’s widely reported that drones are being used in drone strikes, and I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends. ”

    There is no uncertainty. Romney will kill a lot of innocent people, and a few guilty people, with drones. It is one of his campaign promises, to kill a lot of innocent people with drones.

    +++++
    So the fact is that it is impossible to cast a vote which will end extrajudicial killings. There are two possible outcomes of this election: Obama wins, or Romney wins.

    In the real world, these are the options, and one or the other must be chosen. To pretend that there are other options is to abdicate one’s own responsibility to everyone else in the world, the responsibility each of us has to treat the world as really existing for everyone and not only for one’s own solipsistic sense of purity.

    Barring a gamma ray burst or other catastophe which ends civilization between now and January 20, Obama or Romney will become president on that day.

    A vote for another candidate besides Obama, or the failure to vote at all, means you are willing to look past the tens of thousands of people who would be killed by Romney’s reversal of Obamacare.

    There is plenty of evidence that more people will suffer and die under Romney than Obama. It is therefore preferred to vote for Obama.

  242. 242
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Joed, ever stop to think the people the US is targeting with drone attacks are also killing innocent civilians, even more so? Suicide bombers take out innocents. Stray rocket fire takes out innocent civilians. Those who fire at troops from behind civilians take out innocent civilians. Three girls dead/wounded in a botched attempt to stop the education of girls. Look at what those who you are fuckwittedly defending are really doing. And the blood lies on who’s hands? Reality, not propergander.

  243. 243
    joed

    @240, firstapproximation
    “Choosing the lesser of two evils isn’t a bad thing. The cliche makes it sound bad, but it’s a good thing. You get less evil”
    - Paul Ryan
    Actually Paul Ryan said that. Chomsky did not say it.

    I wont vote for a person that kills women and kids.
    Morality and reason stops me from voting for Obama because of his arbitrary killings.

  244. 244
    vaiyt

    Well, Obama has arbitrarily killed innocent humans.

    So did Bush. And so will Romney if he gets elected, IN ADDITION OF starting new wars, trying to turn the United States into 90′s Brazil and taking civil rights away from people he doesn’t like. So yeah, I can see why some here are not convinced.

  245. 245
    anteprepro

    I hope that joed will eventually find his Equal and Opposite Reactionary, StevoR. Maybe their idiocies will cancel each other out and we can finally be spared the headaches arising from their respective brands of nonsense.

  246. 246
    strange gods before me ॐ

    @Kagehi

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but I literally cannot follow your sentences. What are you trying to say exactly?

    Kagehi is trying to say that all socialists everywhere are Stalin, and because Nick Gotts is a democratic socialist in the UK who votes Green or Scottish National Party or Labour depending on the particulars of each race, Nick is a “lunatic” who wants to send Harrison Bergeron to the gulag.

  247. 247
    anteprepro

    Morality and reason stops me from voting for Obama because of his arbitrary killings.

    You’re a ten year old who is just being introduced to politics aren’t you? It’s okay, you can admit it. We were all young once. Unable to adequately understand the context of current events. Naively thinking we know it all. Not knowing how to adequately integrate information provided by others into changing our political perspective, and thus relying on simply using confirmation bias to shut out contradictory new information until you can sleep on it long enough to really understand it. You don’t get a coherent political ideology overnight. It takes work and it takes maturity. You’ll get there eventually. Just give it another five or ten or twenty years.

  248. 248
    John Morales

    joed, did you see ॐ’s #241?

    (What you ostensibly claim is virtuous principle would reek of moral cowardice, were it not that the stench of disingenuousness masks it)

  249. 249
    strange gods before me ॐ

    “Choosing the lesser of two evils isn’t a bad thing. The cliche makes it sound bad, but it’s a good thing. You get less evil”
    - Paul Ryan
    Actually Paul Ryan said that. Chomsky did not say it.

    Chomksy said it. Don’t just make up bullshit, joed.

    I wont vote for a person that kills women and kids.

    Then you are helping Romney win. You are complicit in drone strikes no matter what you do. There is no exit.

    A vote for another candidate besides Obama, or the failure to vote at all, means you are willing to look past the tens of thousands of people who would be killed by Romney’s reversal of Obamacare.

    +++++
    We’ve gone over this before:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/06/16/jesus-freakin-christ-obama/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/11/paul-ryan-really/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/08/15/wanna-see-something-funny/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/09/29/the-race-is-over-obamas-going-to-win/

  250. 250
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Heh. It is no surprise that Nerd of Redhead goes for defending the policy of drone strikes as a good thing.

    Folks, you have here another specimen of the authoritarian follower personality type. Be glad at least that he’s a true believer in liberal leaders rather than conservatives.

  251. 251
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    @Strange gods

    I suspected that much.

    What I also think he’s saying is that the profit motive is the only thing that can drive human progress and that without it we’ll all become fat couch potatoes who do nothing but watch reality shows all day.

  252. 252
    Ichthyic

    . It is no surprise that Nerd of Redhead goes for defending the policy of drone strikes as a good thing.

    as opposed to say… strike teams that also slaughter innocents ?

    cluster bombing?

    what?

    it’s all fucked, basically.

    frankly, you sound much more interested, as per usual, in knocking another internet poster rather than examining real options.

    You could have attacked the concept of drones with numbers, or basically anything.

    but no, you chose to try and ram your fist down Nerd’s throat for the fucking fun of it.

    you’re an asshat.

  253. 253
    joed

    @249, strange gods
    Actually, I see in your link that Johann Hari made that quote attributable to Chomsky. I can’t see anywhere Chomsky said it. But I am not the best at researching the net.
    “Then you are helping Romney win. You are complicit in drone strikes no matter what you do. There is no exit.”
    Well, actually I am complicit in drone strikes, the blood drips from my hands. I am aware of this and in my own feeble half-assed way I try to make the drones stop or at lease make others aware of the murders commited today by Obama. And like I say I will not vote for a person that arbitrarily kills other humans. And that’s my stand. I try to be a moral kind human, I am not perfect at it but I know who I can vote for. And that is not Obama or Romney or any of those pols.
    If I could vote I would vote for a person I would really like to see as POTUS. Or boycott the vote for POTUS. See lots of exits.
    Also, from my view it matters not if Obama or Romney is POTUS. The murders will continue and I will not support these deaths by voting for one or the other.

  254. 254
    John Morales

    joed:

    If I could vote I would vote for a person I would really like to see as POTUS.

    So, you can’t vote.

    But, if you could, you’d be a single issue voter (relating to drone strikes) because such things as (for example) social welfare and economic policy are irrelevant to you.

    (Sad specimen, you are)

  255. 255
    Amphiox

    Romney’s sabre rattling over Iran means that drone strikes will most likely INCREASE if he should win.

    Which administration is more likely to be susceptible to progressive activism aimed at reducing and stopping the drone strikes (because that is the ONLY way the drone strike policy can actually be stopped), a Romney administration stocked with all of Bush’s old neo-con hawks, or an Obama one whose stated overall foreign policy thrust is the gradual disengagement from overseas conflicts?

    Under an Obama administration drone strikes will most likely stay the same or decrease.

    Under a Romney administration drone strikes will most likely increase, be replaced by even more aggressive means of arbitrary killing, or stay the same.

    Anyone who actually cares about reducing arbitrary killings and drone strikes as a practical reality, rather than just a rhetorical opportunity to show off being a “better” person, should be voting for Obama.

    Joed, your position on this is pure hypocrisy.

  256. 256
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I wont vote for a person that kills women and kids.

    You aren’t voting in the US election, so who the fuck cares what a hypocritical asswipe like you does or doesn’t think on a subject. You are Heinlein’s well meaning fool one asks and then does the opposite. Try shutting the fuck up. Not your election, your OPINION is dismissed as propergander, and your logic lacks logic and reason. Only your ego is undeminished.

  257. 257
    anteprepro

    Also, from my view it matters not if Obama or Romney is POTUS. The murders will continue and I will not support these deaths by voting for one or the other.

    firstapproximation nailed it on the head:

    It’s like the trolley problem. You can be pure, do nothing and let five people die. Or you can choose the less worse option and have only one person die. In the real world a ‘less evil’ option is the best you can hope for.

    In joed’s case, for the sake of purity, he’s just passing the buck to someone else in order to not have to sully his good name by having to choose to either run down one person or run down five. He can’t choose a course that results in zero deaths, so he is taking his ball and going home. Those lesser people, with less principle can deal with those muddy little details. joed doesn’t want to even see the wheel of the trolley until all the blood is cleaned off the tracks and there is no-one else to run over. Anything short is just vulgar . And no, you can’t hold him accountable for the decision arrived at by the people he left with the problem. He didn’t make a decision himself, so he is faultless and can go on his merry way , tut-tutting everyone who makes the best of a bad situation in a world that isn’t as full of sunshine and rainbows as his own.

  258. 258
    strange gods before me ॐ

    as opposed to say… strike teams that also slaughter innocents ?

    This, since they can more easily identify their targets and minimize collateral damage.
    Or, in many cases, as opposed to nothing at all — the “need” to kill so many targets is exaggerated.

    You could have attacked the concept of drones with numbers, or basically anything.

    I’m glad you agree.

    but no, you chose to try and ram your fist down Nerd’s throat for the fucking fun of it.

    Nah. I like Nerd. I believe I’ve joked that if Nerd did not exist then it would be necessary to invent him.

    But sometimes he says dangerous shit which indicates an unquestioning attitude toward authority. I think it is worthwhile to point this out, to limit the chances of that attitude spreading.

    I notice you make no complaints about anyone calling joed an idiot, which he is. I point out that Nerd is exhibiting traits of the authoritarian follower, and you have a problem with that. Don’t pretend that you care about “knocking another internet poster”. That’s not quite what you care about.

  259. 259
    Amphiox

    Even as a single issue voter, joed should be voting Obama, if he actually cared about increasing the chance that this issue will actually be improved in the real world.

    But it should be pretty clear by now that he actually does NOT so care, and the only thing he really cares about is pretending to be morally superior on a forum where such demonstration does jack squat real world good.

  260. 260
    Amphiox

    The danger in joed’s actions is that if his asinine and hypocritical arguments go unchallenged and find their way to a susceptible audience they could influence voted and enthusiasm for voting in places that do matter, and thus result in the world becoming a worse place.

    FSM help us from the self-righteous.

  261. 261
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Heh. It is no surprise that Nerd of Redhead goes for defending the policy of drone strikes as a good thing.

    I didn’t say they were good things. But I won’t condemn them out of hand either. I’ll look at the total picture, which does include targeting terrorists at their homes. Which can save the innocent lives that Joed is so worried about if it causes them to tone down on the terror against their fellow people.

    My point was that innocent people weren’t targeted per se. Unless, of course, one thinks all terrorists are innocents despite the blood on their hands. Joed, are you a partisan, not a neutral?

  262. 262
    unclefrogy

    given the state of things as they are here and in the Muslim world today there is going to be killing for some time to come no mater what you or I would rather happen.
    Drones our remote controlled reconnaissance and weapons platform are here to stay. They are an improvement over cruise missiles in size and accuracy and over smart bombs for the same reasons they deliver a much smaller payload causing less damage.

    In Vietnam during the war there were Buddhists monks who felt so badly about the war and the senseless killing that they set themselves on fire, it did not stop the war. If you don’t like it find some effective way to fight it not some piddling ineffective empty gesture of not voting the better candidate because he is not as good as you would have him be.

    uncle frogy

  263. 263
    Amphiox

    The drone strike issue is no different from any of the other issues of progressive concern. Improving them is a two-step process. The first is triage – preventing the problem from getting worse or at least slowing down the rate it is worsening. The second is setting the stage for the political preconditions that will enable real world solutions to actually become politically viable and thus have a chance to be implemented. The third is then getting the solutions implemented.

    The first step absolutely REQUIRES an Obama victory in this election. And all the following steps will be either stopped completely or greatly impeded if Obama doesn’t win.

    And the second step requires dedicated grassroots activism from the progressive left, and what potential administrations are more likely to respond to such activism, a Republican one or a Democratic one?

  264. 264
    chigau (違う)

    link
    At about 10:20 Chomsky says something like
    “…there is nothing wring with voting for the lesser of two evils…”
    I didn’t hear “… you get less evil …”.
    This interview was about the 2008 election.

  265. 265
    anteprepro

    I can’t see anywhere Chomsky said it. But I am not the best at researching the net.

    For fuck’s sake, is there anything you won’t deny joed?

    http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20081021_noam_chomsky_theres_nothing_wrong_with_picking_the_lesser_of_two_e/

    The quote is on the video (I know how you love videos) at 10:15. Oh, but he doesn’t actually say that quote EXACTLY. He says “You’re doing something good” instead of “You get less evil” in that video. But still, if you search for that quote EXACTLY, the vast majority of results attribute it to Chomsky. And yet you not only deny that Chomsky ever said it, but asserted, without evidence, that it was in fact Paul Ryan. When nothing of the sort comes up when you Google search it.

    Yeah, you are definitely not the best at searching on the net.

    But I won’t condemn them out of hand either. I’ll look at the total picture, which does include targeting terrorists at their homes. Which can save the innocent lives that Joed is so worried about if it causes them to tone down on the terror against their fellow people.

    My point was that innocent people weren’t targeted per se. Unless, of course, one thinks all terrorists are innocents despite the blood on their hands.

    Speaking of StevoR…

  266. 266
    anteprepro

    (Sees content of post immediately before mine. Sees one minute gap between posts)

    Chigau!!!

    *Shakes fist*

  267. 267
    Amphiox

    The drone strikes are not “arbitrary” killings. They are killings done in response to a perceived threat, rightly or wrongly. One way grassroots activism can end them is to convince the policy makers using them that threat either no longer exists, has been successfully dealt with so no further drone strikes are needed, or can be dealt with by a different means other than drone strikes.

    So if you really care about this issue and want the drone strikes stopped, you would want to have policy makers that would be most likely to be responsive to these lines of grassroots argument.

    And who would that be right now, Obama of Romney?

  268. 268
    strange gods before me ॐ

    joed,

    Actually, I see in your link that Johann Hari made that quote attributable to Chomsky.

    Hari is not the only one. I’m not sure where Chomsky said it, but it is consistent with other things Chomsky has said, his stance on electoral politics in general, cf. “cages” — so it is not out of character, unexpected or implausible.

    Paul Ryan sure as fuck didn’t say it. Don’t make up bullshit.

    And like I say I will not vote for a person that arbitrarily kills other humans.

    Then you are helping to elect another person who will do the same thing but will kill even more people. Your choice is therefore morally wrong.

    Also, from my view it matters not if Obama or Romney is POTUS. The murders will continue

    Yes, I can see it doesn’t matter to you.

    A vote for another candidate besides Obama, or the failure to vote at all, means you are willing to look past the tens of thousands of people who would be killed by Romney’s reversal of Obamacare.

    I can see that those tens of thousands of people don’t matter to you. You don’t care enough about their lives to do what you can to help them — whether that is voting, or if for some reason you are not allowed to vote in the USA, then explaining to other people why a vote for Obama is advisable.

    And, as Nick and I have told you before, Romney has indicated his plans to initiate an aggressive war against Iran, in which many more people would die. Probably hundreds of thousands, or millions, if the Iraq war is any indication.

    You don’t care about tens of thousands of people who will die in the USA if Romney is elected. You don’t care about hundreds of thousands or millions who would die in Iran if Romney is elected. You don’t care about anything but your own feelings of personal purity. That is immoral of you.

  269. 269
    Ing

    @Nerd

    I would agree with your stance if it weren’t for our “double tap” procedure.

    Not that that’s new to war, but if the drones are touted for their fucking precision using them in such a way is a pure dick move that makes them no better than bombs.

    I’ve actually argued with and become somewhat convinced of the fact that in the long view military drones my be a good thing if the goal of using them is reducing casualties and atrocities. The fact that we’re using a tech that is supposed to do that and programing them intentionally to fuck people over is the problem. So no it’s not the drones at all, it’s our fucked up perspective that everyone else can go fuck themselves for the sake of apple pie

  270. 270
    Ing

    @SGBM

    OT (possibly take to TD) what are your views on automated weapons or potential AI weapons? As I said above the idea of removing the possibility of human bias, prejudice, spite and fatigue from the decision making seems like an improvement?

  271. 271
    chigau (違う)

    anteprepro
    Yeah. We both haz major google-fu.
    “chomsky lesser of two evils”
    badabing
    What is joed’s problem?

  272. 272
    Ing

    What is joed’s problem?

    SG you start, I’ll pick it up once you get carpal tunnel

  273. 273
    anteprepro

    My working hypothesis has been he is from an alternate universe, where drone strikes really are significantly more horrific than the rest of America’s recent wartime misdeeds, where third party candidates really are viable, where Paul Ryan is actually Noam Chomsky. He has yet to tell me what the color of the sky in his world is, though, so I can’t be sure yet.

  274. 274
    Ze Madmax

    antepro @ #273

    He has yet to tell me what the color of the sky in his world is, though, so I can’t be sure yet.

    The color of a head bashing itself against a brick wall, perhaps?

  275. 275
    chigau (違う)

    Ing #272
    I meant about joed’s “researching the net” problem.
    But, yeah, I know there’s more.

  276. 276
    Ichthyic

    But sometimes he says dangerous shit

    wait, you’re trying to convince me that your response… was because you think he’s saying ‘dangerous shit’?

    ROFLMAO

    I do hope others are starting to at least get a glimmer of your pattern of behavior.

    Do better.

  277. 277
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    I meant about joed’s “researching the net” problem.

    Maybe he doesn’t know about that “Google” thing all of you people are talking about ?

  278. 278
    anteprepro

    The color of a head bashing itself against a brick wall, perhaps?

    Or perhaps the color of drinking antifreeze and rubbing alcohol on a cool summer evening.

  279. 279
    anteprepro

    Maybe he doesn’t know about that “Google” thing all of you people are talking about ?

    In his universe, there is only Bing. Weep for him.

  280. 280
    John Morales

    [meta]

    ॐ to joed,

    Then you are helping to elect another person who will do the same thing but will kill even more people. Your choice is therefore morally wrong.

    joed claims to choosing to avoid choosing between the only candidates, and abrogation of choice is itself a choice.

    (A craven one)

  281. 281
    joed

    @249, strange gods
    “Then you are helping Romney win. You are complicit in drone strikes no matter what you do. There is no exit.”

    Well, actually I am complicit in drone strikes, and as Noam Chomsky said, “the blood drips from my hands and the hands of the Anerican people.”
    I want to stop the murder and stop the drones but seems the best I can do is speak up and not support the terrorist foreign policy of the POTUS.

  282. 282
    strange gods before me ॐ

    SG you start, I’ll pick it up once you get carpal tunnel

    Oh, it’s pretty simple.

    joed’s problem is apparently deontology, as you already noted, probably coupled with a heightened disgust sensitivity. There may also be a lack of education or interest concerning domestic policy, which can unfortunately be a side effect of an otherwise commendable interest in anti-war activism when pursued single-mindedly — however, this might also be attributable to deontology: a notion that what “we” do to “them” is all that matters, while what “we” do for “us” is only immoral selfishness, or neutral at best.

    what are your views on automated weapons or potential AI weapons?

    They’ll be overhyped, and we’ll be told that they’re much better at distinguishing “enemy combatants” from civilians than they are. Watching American troops explaining that Iraqi households are allowed to have a number of AK-47s, seeing them check for compliance and then leaving those households alone, makes me prefer the judgment of humans at this time.

    But what about “well programmed” weapons? I just don’t know when we’ll see such a thing; it’s entirely possible that they won’t exist during our lifetimes. But I do know we’ll be sold the idea that they exist. And the hype concerns me.

    I am also not excited to see what degree of permanent global war we might be entangled in when economic superpowers can fight battle without human losses or even deployments abroad, i.e. when no one is waiting for their families to come home from war.

  283. 283
    Ing

    The color of a head bashing itself against a brick wall, perhaps?,

    Cranibangvander?

    Or perhaps the color of drinking antifreeze and rubbing alcohol on a cool summer evening.

    Reddish Pukece?

  284. 284
    Ing

    @SGBM

    I was thinking more along the lines of a hypothetical AI soldier. Your point about it reducing the stigma of war is well met

  285. 285
    anteprepro

    I want to stop the murder and stop the drones but seems the best I can do is speak up and not support the terrorist foreign policy of the POTUS.

    joed seems to think that voting for someone and not voting for someone maps neatly onto supporting them and not supporting them. He doesn’t seem to grasp that one can easily support somebody enough to vote for them while opposing them on specific actions and policies. That simply has to be the case when both officials and voters aren’t as ideologically homogeneous as the two party system seems to imply.

    And again, I still don’t understand the preoccupation with drones. joed hasn’t explained why it is significant, aside from screeching about how it results in dead women and children (because pre-drone bombings only hurt adult men in joed’s dimension). I still don’t understand how joed can continue blurting out this nonsense in the face of third parties being impossible and the face that Romney wants to do everything that Obama did and more. If only I could understand the psychology of someone he is such a unique combination of obstinate and illiterate.

  286. 286
    strange gods before me ॐ

    wait, you’re trying to convince me that your response… was because you think he’s saying ‘dangerous shit’?

    I’m telling you that is the fact. I don’t expect that you can be convinced of a fact that you don’t like, but if I see you misunderstanding me, then I’ll try to set the record straight for everyone.

    Yes, this is dangerous rhetoric, as is this.

    I do hope others are starting to at least get a glimmer of your pattern of behavior.

    Yes, I do hope others are noticing that I like Nerd, and I have always had many good things to say about Nerd, and so I am not interested in prosecuting a general case to support my claim that he does exhibit traits of an authoritarian follower* — when doing so would only serve my self-defense against you, but would probably not do any other good, and would probably make Nerd unnecessarily uncomfortable. I am already uncomfortable with the way this is going; I only wanted to bring it to attention, not focus repetitively on it like you are doing.

    *I also hope people notice that I don’t believe being an authoritarian follower is inconsistent with being a good person. It’s not; I think of Nerd as generally a good person, so far as I think of anyone as good or bad; I am glad he is here with us. I was serious when I said “Be glad at least that he’s a true believer in liberal leaders rather than conservatives”, since that is preferable.

    I hope we can drop it now.

  287. 287
    anteprepro

    Muphry’s Law dictates that I would have to say “he” instead of “who” in the exact sentence that I accuse someone of not being fully able to read or write. Just another way The Man is keeping me down.

  288. 288
    chigau (違う)

    joed
    If you type
    <blockquote>and then paste your quoted text here</blockquote>
    this will result.

    and then paste your quoted text here

  289. 289
    Ing

    @Chigau

    Very helpful…now do one for voting

  290. 290
  291. 291
    Amphiox

    And now with #281, joed has sunk to outright lying.

    No joed, you have NOT been just speaking up to oppose the policy of drone strikes, you have been speaking up quite explicitly against Obama himself and his reelection in general. If you had truly been interested in just speaking up against the drone strikes you would have taken care to make the distinction between that one policy and the rest of the reelection platform in general, and you would have refrained from leveling attacks against the PERSON in specific.

    You did NOT do that. You are LYING.

    And since, as already explained to you, the surest way to make the drone strike policy continue and the harm it inflicts WORSE is to not vote for Obama, while the best available practical means to even have the possibility of reversing the policy begins with voting FOR Obama, it is clear from your words and actions that you do NOT, in reality, want the drone strikes to stop, as you are actively engaging in a course of action whose only possible consequence is to increase the likelihood of the drone strikes continuing and getting worse.

    You are LYING. You do NOT want the drone strikes to stop. You just want to look pure and holy by fapping out useless disapproving platitudes about them.

    You are a hypocritical fundamentalist ideologue of the same ilk as the Tea Party and Taliban. You would rather have the world become a worse place and have actual real people suffer greater harm and loss just so you can put on the appearance of cleaving more rigidly close to your own personal definition of morality.

    You by your own words here are the type of person who would rather look good criticizing something than make the hard and difficult real world decisions and compromises that are necessary to actually change, in real life, that thing which you are pretending to be offended by.

  292. 292
    chigau (違う)

    Ing
    I cannot say anything about voting in the impending American election because I am not an American.
    and, as Nerd will tell you, the American election has no impact on the rest of the planet, so none of the rest of us 6.7 billion people are entitled to an opinion.

  293. 293
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Looks like bedtime for Nerd. Gnaw at the chew toy. I’ll check back in the morning an see how Nerdster (Buster equivalent) fared in being shark meat.

  294. 294
    Ing

    @Amphiox

    hell the “Paul Ryan said that” was clear and blatant lying.

  295. 295
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Perhaps the trolley problem of voting might be best understood with this modification:

    The mechanical switch/lever is malfunctioning, and flipping back and forth on its own. You can intervene hold the lever in place to ensure that the trolley goes down the less-occupied track and kills fewer people. Otherwise, either outcome is possible. But if you do not intervene, and the trolley ends up killing more people instead of fewer, then you are to blame for not stopping it.

  296. 296
    strange gods before me ॐ

    stopping it / diverting it, depending on the variant.

  297. 297
    Ing

    @Strange Gods

    No that makes it worse as now Joed is just going to argue that somehow not voting for Obama stops the train or moves it to the better option. It was fine as it is as a Sophie’s choice

  298. 298
    John Morales

    ॐ,

    stopping it / diverting it, depending on the variant.

    Attempting to stop/divert it, in either variant.

    (This is relevant, since that is the very point of the claim, invalid as it is (i.e. that it will be futile to even try, so that not trying is the morally virtuous course))

  299. 299
    John Morales

    PS And obviously it’s the diversion variant (cf. “lesser of two evils”).

  300. 300
    w00dview

    There may also be a lack of education or interest concerning domestic policy, which can unfortunately be a side effect of an otherwise commendable interest in anti-war activism when pursued single-mindedly

    That mindset seems to be common in some of the Ron Paul supporters. They love the idea of him being anti-war so much they completely ignore that his domestic policies would destroy more lives than even Romney’s.

  301. 301
    John Morales

    [meta]

    joed’s counsel of despair has fallen on stony ground.

    (This. Is. Pharyngula!)

  302. 302
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    chigau,

    I cannot say anything about voting in the impending American election because I am not an American.
    and, as Nerd will tell you, the American election has no impact on the rest of the planet, so none of the rest of us 6.7 billion people are entitled to an opinion.

    That bothers me too.

  303. 303
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    No one has wheeled out the aphorism about good people doing nothing that allows evil to thrive? Not voting for anyone or voting for a third party in a closely fought state, knowing full well this may allow the worst candidate in decades into office, isn’t a sound strategy for playing the politics game. It seems especially profound at this point in time where analysts have suggested the GOP could be put on their heels for a very long time with a defeat.

    I hate to wheel out a cartload of histrionic in ham sauce, but I will risk it anyway. This may be a pivotal moment in the country’s history. They’re never easy to identify when they’re coming at you, but obvious when they’re in the rear view mirror. Reduce the GOP to a long sequence of internecine warfare, empower the Democrats to a stronger position where they could actually make the bold and progressive moves while the Rethugs are divided.

    Yes, Obama is guilty of continuing drone strikes. How does this stack up against all of the presidents of the last century and their body count using more mediocre methods? The problem is US foreign policy, which sometimes, from afar, seems to be run by quite insane military staffers and weapons suppliers. It certainly needs to change, but one has to empower an administration to change it. Contrast the current administration’s seeming policy to avoid open war, with that of the Bush Jr. band of cabelleros and having two open wars (with the drumbeats of a third when McCain was running) which the UN has estimated cost anywhere from 100K to several hundred thousand of dead. Things aren’t as black and white as they were during the Clinton administration, where he took too long to address the situation in Kosovo, and Bush Sr. had a near global green light to invade Iraq, but these still caused collateral deaths, and lots of them. Perhaps the drone attacks are unwarranted, perhaps there’s information that will come out in fifty year’s time that suggests Obama was being too conservative with the drone strikes. We, unfortunately, do not have the power of that perspective. I wish they would stop, but I am also aware of how this particular evil stacks up against other evils, and certainly the evils of another GOP run hawkish invasion of Iran which will be utterly devoid of any kind of sanity or restraint. Not to mention even more Middle Eastern animosity and domestic paranoia.

    One also has to take into consideration the people that will be obvious victims of tickets to the underbus with no voting or being in a state that is close enough to let Rmoney win. The GOP has so far declared war on education and critical thinking skills, science – hell, anything STEM related (including stem-cell research), LGBT AND their marriage/civil union rights, women’s reproductive rights, immigrants, the middle class, the poverty class, black and hispanic voters, non-Christians…ad nauseum. At least the current administration has stood up for all of these people at some point in the last 3.5 years, even if modestly and/or late. Rmoney will be attacking all of them full-frontal, and who the hell wants to see Rmoney full frontal????////??/?/?//??/questionmarx??///

    Painting this election in purely black and white terms (which should be purely left to the racist rednecks) doesn’t weigh the ethical choice of what results will do to people you know, and even people you don’t know. You might feel fantastic voting for that Green Party member, but how will people in Iran feel who had nothing but hatred for their leaders and weapons programs. How will people under the poverty line feel when Rmoney wheels out his flat taxes and they’re selling their personal goods to pay his fucking tax because his friends are now the moochers and tax cheats? How will every single gay or lesbian couple in this country feel when some theocratic law makes it through a newly re-balanced Supreme Court that bans their right to become married and they lose all their civil rights in addition? How will all those girls and women feel who have to go across the border to Mexico to get an abortion and they develop deadly infections as a result? How will people in equatorial countries feel when their countries keep getting hotter to the point they can’t grow or raise a single pound of food and necessarily have to start flooding North and Southwards while the US does fuck all about the climate, because Jeebus? How will my daughter feel being in a public school classroom and made to pray each morning while being told she can’t be a scientist because she’s just a girl, and don’t you dare think about any of it? No, this isn’t a black and white election where you get to feel good as a result of your vote. What you do get to do is have the opportunity to possibly steer an entire country onto a long-term course for progressive values and equal rights for everyone. Not every Democratic candidate will be ideal, but that is where the opportunity comes in to run the aggressive progressive candidates against the dead weight when they stand a chance of winning because of disorientation in the GOP ranks. Voting in the best way possible to defeat Rmoney at this moment buys the opportunity to do that. If that opportunity isn’t taken now, it only emboldens the theocrats, TeaBaggers and other freakishly dim cartoon characters, and they will become much, much harder to budge the next time around when they have solidly entrenched horrible Supreme Court candidates and whatever draconian laws they can manufacture to become un-budgable.

    I know my arguments aren’t perfect, but the situation isn’t perfect, and I desperately want to come out of this endless and shitty election cycle to the best good available at this moment, not fucking depressed because theocracy and stupidity triumphed when they could have been checked by people who should know better when to pick their battles.

  304. 304
    joed

    @249, strange gods
    “Then you are helping Romney win. You are complicit in drone strikes no matter what you do. There is no exit.”

    Well, ACTUALLY, YES, I AM COMPLICIT IN DRONE STRIKES, and as Noam Chomsky said, “THE BLOOD DRIPS FROM MY HANDS AND THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” At about 17:40 of this link video,
    http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Subconscious_War_2011/

  305. 305
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Well, ACTUALLY, YES, I AM COMPLICIT IN DRONE STRIKES, and as Noam Chomsky said, “THE BLOOD DRIPS FROM MY HANDS AND THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” At about 17:40 of this link video,

    If that is the case, why then do you want to be accomplice in even more of the war and death abroad plus the suffering within the US that a Rmoney victory will cause? Don’t you have enough blood on your hands already ?

    That makes no freaking sense !!!

    There’s no way to reconcile the logics your position with that of a good and ethical person.

  306. 306
    Lynna, OM

    Cross-posted from the [Lounge] thread:

    So, the New York Times has endorsed Obama. And the New York Post has endorsed Romney. The NY Post wasn’t satisfied with one endorsement editorial. Oh, no. They published twelve anti-Obama editorials to back up their endorsement. The editorials are right-wing, poorly-argued red meat, including rants about Obama’s “radical agenda,” the “cost of ObamaCare,” supposed lies the President told, and a doozy by John Bolton on the Nobel Peace Prize. There’s more, including an editorial that rests on calling the President “pathetic” … you get the idea.

  307. 307
    Lynna, OM

    I desperately want to come out of this endless and shitty election cycle to the best good available at this moment, not fucking depressed because theocracy and stupidity triumphed when they could have been checked by people who should know better when to pick their battles.

    Quoted for emphasis, and to note my agreement.

  308. 308
    Lynna, OM

    Oh, FFS, is anyone else fed up with Romney and his surrogates, (including Ann Romney), dismissing the issue of women’s reproductive rights as not important. “Let’s not discuss such minor issue,” is basically what they’re saying. Then they segue into how it is the economy that we should be discussing. As if reproductive rights were not an economic issue, that’s Ann Romney’s tactic, as well as Paul Ryan’s and Mitt Romney’s. Sheesh.

    Women’s reproductive rights are so unimportant that Romney surrogates even place the attack on the consulate in Benghazi above them. joed would like that approach.

    HuffPo link.

    Video and commentary at the link.

    Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said on Sunday that the issue of abortion will not play a role in the elections next Tuesday, despite media attention to it. … Johnson said on Fox News Sunday. “It’s just — it’s not even an issue here in Wisconsin, it doesn’t even move the radar at all.”

    …”Abortion doesn’t even show up,” Johnson said, insisting that the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi is a much more important issue to voters.

    Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) disagreed. “Our state legislature made Virginia frankly a laughing stock with some of its ultrasound-type procedures it was proposing.” …

    The Republican’s “small government” decides to force women to have invasive, medically unnecessary, procedures … and the women will pay for those procedures. Vaginal probes courtesy of a bunch of clueless guys who would also love to make more money selling ultrasound equipment.

    Not important?

    Forcing women into baby-factory mode will negatively affect the economy. So, guys, if you automatically demean women and you just can’t learn not to do that, please at least think of the economy.

  309. 309
    joed

    @305, kemist

    There’s no way to reconcile the logics your position with that of a good and ethical person.

    kemist, seems you and I disagree. doesn’t really mean either of us are other than people that want to do good and be ethical. At least I try to do such!

    @288, chigau
    please excuse my ignorance of blockquoting. I tried several different ways to do this but can’t seem to make it happen.. So thanks for the help.

  310. 310
    skeptifem

    @226

    Everyone wants to be “something” huge. Unless you reduce everyone to total mediocrity, and rob them of every possible thing to do, other than the ones that are ‘necessary’ for the state, no art, no singing, no music, nothing which isn’t in some way directly productive, nearly ***everyone*** is going to try to be something other than the bread baker.

    I stopped reading right about there, because that is bullshit, and it informs your entire position on the matter of motivation. People want to be lots of different things at different points in their lives, and the fact that you put baking bread as being a “mediocre” job is a bunch of shit. Its based entirely on your personal judgment of what is worth doing and what isn’t, and the world doesn’t rely on your personal judgment. Why the fuck do you think singing or art or anything else is better than baking a good loaf of bread? Feeding people good food is incredibly rewarding to many people. Why do you think people try to open restaurants despite the abysmal success rate? I don’t personally understand having passion for a lot of things that other people are passionate about, but I don’t deny that they exist.

    You know what else? Mothers have been doing caring work *for free*, and at their own economic disadvantage, for a long fucking time. They do it despite being told that they are doing it wrong and that it isn’t a ‘real job’. Maybe you should talk to some about why they continue to care for others despite the personal cost. I think you’ll find that the jobs that you’ve deemed beneath everyone’s imagination are actually incredibly meaningful to the people who actually do them. This applies to other underpaid jobs (teaching, CNA, social worker, etc).

    You also seem to think that other people literally believe that shit about how they can be anything they want. I know I didn’t, and I had a lot more advantages than most other people. Being something “big” means something different to different people. We don’t all have the same starting point in life and that cannot realistically be corrected. Other people make a big dream but find that one of the stops along the way is much better than what is imagined to be the top. I highly suspect that when you say ‘everyone wants to be something big’ you mean ‘everyone I know wants to be something big’, while ignoring how similar you are to the people you know.

    Other people don’t invest their entire self-worth in their profession, and therefore don’t believe that their job makes them a mediocre person (or an awesome person, for that matter). Some folks just want to do their part because it is the right thing to do and will fill whatever position is needed at the time because they lack a strong preference. You will find this kind of attitude often if you volunteer regularly. I’ve done 5 or 6 different jobs at a single charity, depending on what was needed that day.

    Its kind of irrelevant if people want these jobs or not anyway, there are many possible solutions to completing work that no one really wants to do besides forcing specific classes of people to disproportionately fill those roles full time. People could work to increase automation or they could split the jobs evenly between many people or something else.

  311. 311
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    At least I try to do such!

    Nope, not if your “vote for anybody but Obama is your way of being ethical. But the, what you think is irrelevant given your lack of proper solution to your problem.

  312. 312
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    kemist, seems you and I disagree. doesn’t really mean either of us are other than people that want to do good and be ethical. At least I try to do such!

    How?!?

    Do you actually think Rmoney will cease war in other countries, or not use the damn drones that you seem to think are so much worse than conventionnal warfare ? When you’ve been shown, unambiguously, that this is not the case ?

    Or that your refusal to admit that your actions will directly lead to his election vs a candidate who at least wont start any new war on a whim will change anything about the actual results ?

    Doing good things isn’t just a matter of intentions, but of results, real world results.

    For instance, it does not matter what your intent is when you promote abstinence-only sex ed for teens, when you know, you cannot in good conscience ignore, that it will cause untold suffering. Intent does not influence the outcome.

    You’re still, objectively, an evil scumbag – your actions made the real world a worse place. And you had all the possible tools to foresee that result.

    Even I can see it, cynical as I am, and I fear that I am more so than you.

    I think politics has never and will never solve any human problem, anywhere. No matter the candidate or his/her ideas about how the world should be run. Once they are elected, or show any hint of being elected, they will be bought. If they cannot be bought they’ll be discredited or even assassinated by the people who are really in control. The electorate has a very small amount of control, and has to act strategically to keep that small amount of control.

    The real action has to be taken outside of the political circus, where the rules are different. But to have any chance at that, we need to buy time, and keep whatever small amount of control we have.

    Voting fo a unelectable third party, or abstaining from voting, does exactly diddly squat towards your stated goal, and you do seem to understand that. The only people it benefits are people who would make the situation even worse.

    Do you think the military-religious-industrial complex that lobbies for lenghty wars or the corporate interests that benefit from them will bat an eyelash if a growing amount of people stop voting ? Hell no. Some of them even think all this voting schtick is overrated and consider themselves an aristocracy ruling over miserable peasants. The only message you send them by stopping voting is that you’ve accepted it.

  313. 313
    gravityisjustatheory

    anteprepro
    26 October 2012 at 8:32 pm

    that’s what it would take to make some real change–voting for the person you want to be potus.

    Yeah, if EVERYONE did that. Good fucking luck. And even then, the change might not necessarily be for the positive.

    What color is your sky, joed?

    Looks a bit like the Prisoners’ Dilema.

    If everyone voted for their “best” candidate, then the results would (probably) be better.

    But if all the Democrats voted for their “best” candidate, and the Republicans all still voted Republican, then it would mean 100% victory for Republicans.

  314. 314
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Its kind of irrelevant if people want these jobs or not anyway, there are many possible solutions to completing work that no one really wants to do besides forcing specific classes of people to disproportionately fill those roles full time. People could work to increase automation or they could split the jobs evenly between many people or something else.

    Automation has already driven many people out of their jobs. In my parents’ generation, most people worked in some kind of production job. Those jobs have now been made obsolete or have been exported to other countries.

    The only reason all production is not yet completely automated is that some people in emergent countries are still desperate enough to do the job for a ridiculous wage.

    This is a temporary situation. Soon, these jobs won’t exist anymore, and they won’t be replaced. When faced with the costs of worker strikes and social unrest, it is only a matter of time before companies realize an investment in automation is economically optimal.

    How then can our economy, based on the fact that people must earn money to buy manufactured goods, continue as it is ? If practically nobody has money to buy the goods it takes almost no one to produce, what’s the point of continuing to make them ?

  315. 315
    Amphiox

    joed, LIAR, continues to LIE about trying to be ethical.

    If joed, LIAR, actually cared about being ethical, joed, LIAR, would have been arguing that people should vote for Obama, because Obama’s reelection means more good and less harm to millions of people. If joed, LIAR, actually cared about the drone strike policy then joed, LIAR, would have been telling people to vote for Obama and then lobby for him to end the drone strikes because while both Obama and Romney have the same policy on drone strikes, Romney wants to expand foreign policy adventurism in a way that will do even more harm, and Obama is much more likely to be responsive to lobbying to end them.

    But joed, LIAR, does not say such things. So it is clear that joed, LIAR, does not actually care about being ethical, but only wants to APPEAR ethical so that it can boost its own ego over how upstandingly moral it is.

    Utterly pathetic, and utterly useless.

  316. 316
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    We need to confine SteveoR and Joed to one thread and let them argue with each other until the sun swallows the earth. Much better all around.

    Though they both argue for the election of Romney — one to protest drone attacks, the other to encourage not only more drone attacks but full-scale war with Iran.

  317. 317
    joed

    @312, kemist

    Do you actually think Rmoney will cease war in other countries, or not use the damn drones that you seem to think are so much worse than conventionnal warfare ? When you’ve been shown, unambiguously, that this is not the case ?

    kemist, you have seen my point.
    It doesn’t matter which becomes president, the blood will continue to drip from the hands of all Americans. I will not vote for Obama or Romney because they have or will be directly responsible for the arbitrary deaths of women and kids.
    My morality will not let me endorse or support the system that allows these murders. I just can’t
    vote for either of’em.
    There is a quaint historic notion of “the nation state”. countries have boundaries and governments and control the skies above and the seas to a certain point. These drones laugh at the nation state idea. There are no boundaries as far as U S is concerned.

  318. 318
    Kagehi

    I stopped reading right about there, because that is bullshit, and it informs your entire position on the matter of motivation. People want to be lots of different things at different points in their lives, and the fact that you put baking bread as being a “mediocre” job is a bunch of shit. Its based entirely on your personal judgment of what is worth doing and what isn’t, and the world doesn’t rely on your personal judgment. Why the fuck do you think singing or art or anything else is better than baking a good loaf of bread? Feeding people good food is incredibly rewarding to many people. Why do you think people try to open restaurants despite the abysmal success rate? I don’t personally understand having passion for a lot of things that other people are passionate about, but I don’t deny that they exist.

    Well, the bold part certainly explains why no one seems to comprehend what I said. Its not that they don’t understand it, they didn’t bother. And no, all socialists are not Stalin (for the edification of the other ass that didn’t bother to read or understand my point).

    No, bread baking isn’t “mediocre”. And, I didn’t say “Restaurants”. I am talking about the realities of resources. We can afford to have whole communities that are “art” communities, because the people there can sell things they make to others, and get back enough in return to stay an art community. Sure, there are people that, because they know they can make money from it, open places that cater to that community.

    But, here is my problem, presenting in one question: “If you plan to not merely provide housing, and other basic needs, then allow incentives to drive the rest, by what measure does a *state* determine that its of any value to them to direct limited resources to a community that is entirely dedicated to something like art?”

    Unless its propaganda, or some other “useful” thing, or you have some “benevolent dictator”, who actually likes what ever there is going on there (and what in a long and endless list of stuff does he/the state not like?), why would they waste resources on supplying the needs of that community, since it needs more of many specific resources, than other communities?

    That is my problem with the claim that a pure socialist system would work.

    I have no problem with people like Berne Sanders (I wish he was running for the damn Presidency), or Nick Gotts, or the people trying to balance things better, but who also recognize that there is some value to an “incentive” driven system, as long as means exist to curb its excesses, and provide *help* to those that want to pursue a dream. But help isn’t, “Supply them with everything, just because.” Its also not the naive idiocy that everyone working at a place “loves” to be there. Sure, someone may open a restaurant, for example, and not be “mediocre”. I do regret using that term, but only because people chose to misinterpret it as literal, rather than understanding that, in context, there is no job that I could have mentioned someone wouldn’t have “defended” as, to me, valueless. But, I wasn’t talking about me, I was talking about a “state”, trying to work out how to give everyone everything. But, what about the people working for them?

    My job works in this “theory”. Even if people where paid a living wage, that would, by definition, be the “minimum” they need, right? They get discounts for food, but then, that wouldn’t be a problem, since you get the “minimum” of that too, etc. But, here is the thing… Where, in that system, is there a place for fine things you “don’t” need? I mean, wouldn’t being allowed to pick out somethings you don’t need once in a while be an “incentive” of some sort?

    I am really trying to understand how the people defending the idea that the system might work, if ever really tried it, think it actually would work…

    And again, just to be clear, since some people can’t read past things they read things into and get pissed at, I want a more balanced system, with some minimum things covered. That isn’t what I am talking about. It never was. Its about, “How the hell would a pure socialist system, without some sort of money/incentive driven economy over top of it, actually work, at all, without reverting to something that *is* like every other, “its never been really tried”, version out there?

    There seems to be an almost Atlas Shrugged level of magical thinking going on, when it comes to, “It might work, since people will just do stuff they like, and somehow enough of them will do what is needed, so it works, thus it would work, if someone actually tried it!” Right…. Evidence? Even from, I don’t know, game theory, or an actual game with such a system, or.. any place at all? Give me some numbers, not just claims that it makes sense, if you squint at it enough.

  319. 319
    Nick Gotts

    ACTUALLY, YES, I AM COMPLICIT IN DRONE STRIKES, and as Noam Chomsky said, “THE BLOOD DRIPS FROM MY HANDS AND THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. – joed

    But how can you possibly live with yourself, knowing that you are complicit in drone strikes, and blood is dripping from your hands? At the very least, I would expect you to spend the next 20 years as a penitent hermit, living in a cave, forswearing all contact with others and flogging yourself daily with thistles and stinging nettles* or the local equivalent. Surely nothing less will do if your confession of guilt is sincere?

    I will not vote for Obama or Romney because they have or will be directly responsible for the arbitrary deaths of women and kids. – joed

    But if blood drips from the hands of the American people, and since you have to be one of the American people to stand for the Presidency, you surely couldn’t vote for anyone.

    Oh, and before you get on an even higher horse, I’m not laughing at the evil of drone strikes or the other killings the candidates have performed or would perform – I’m laughing at you – and in this case, Noam Chomsky. Such self-dramatizing nonsense helps nobody.

    *Do you have these in the USA?

  320. 320
    consciousness razor

    I will not vote for Obama or Romney because they have or will be directly responsible for the arbitrary deaths of women and kids.

    If they were non-arbitrary deaths of women and kids, or if they were only “indirectly responsible,” would that make a difference? If not, why are you using these arbitrary words?

    My morality will not let me endorse or support the system that allows these murders. I just can’t
    vote for either of’em.

    Let’s suppose Obama and Romney were both equally likely to bomb just as many people or start wars in just as many places. Let’s also suppose their foreign and domestic policies were the same in every other way.

    Here’s the thing: that’s not a fact. It’s false. Whether you’re a liar or have been lied to, your morality is broken, not because murdering people is good (you’re not wrong about that), but because you either have the facts about their policies wrong or you’re ignoring them. And you can’t just ignore those facts because they’re inconvenient, to say what amounts to an obvious statement like “murder is bad.” That’s useless. Meanwhile, people actually will suffer more if Romney wins, so at best you’re doing more harm than good by trying to convince people your useless nonsense isn’t useless.

  321. 321
    Kagehi

    How then can our economy, based on the fact that people must earn money to buy manufactured goods, continue as it is ? If practically nobody has money to buy the goods it takes almost no one to produce, what’s the point of continuing to make them ?

    Some of them already see the writing on the wall. First – how many of those people would want the jobs taken by automation, if it wasn’t the money that drove them to take it? That goes back to the prior point I tried to make. While its true that a lot of kids think, “Wow! Bagging groceries looks so fun, and might think the same of factory work, how many actually would, as adults, for more than a few weeks?

    Second, and more to this specific, “The jobs are disappearing.”, thing, everything is now “services”. You have a cell phone, which costs $300-$400 dollars, but its “free” with the service. It can do 500 different things, but each of those is a “service”. If you want to transfer things on/off the phone, to save them, its a “service” (at least in some cases).

    Every damn thing is a bloody service, and, 90% of the people, and services, suck at providing the services. Certain companies, like the energy companies, see that *everyone* will keep needing them, since even if you automated things like cable laying, and installs, etc., the “service” is one that will never go away, unless.. people can get their own sources of power, thus killing their “services”.

    If I here one more idiot, from my bank, to my cell company, to who ever else, say, “Well, everything is becoming a service industry now, so that is why we are screwing you over.”, I am going to scream.

    That said, there isn’t an excuse, yet, for this, other than it being cheaper to ship jobs some place else. It might be in the future, but.. these people can’t stop alternative energy from becoming available, or even slow it much (one breakthrough and they are screwed), they are losing “manufacturing” to people developing home milling machines, 3D printers, and DIY sites, etc.

    Unless they change, corporations are going to find themselves in the position of trying to compete in an internet market, with tens of thousands of people that can make their own stuff, and their *only* saving grace will be that they can do volume (if that wasn’t true.. just look at how many “corporate” products existing in something like the virtual world of Second Life…), where the guy in his house can’t. But, in the mean time, they plan to screw us every way they can, to hold on as long as possible.

    But, to retract, to some extent, my prior statements on the subject, assuming you can still ship things (so you still need some money, of some sort, to pay the shipper, unless everyone has a printer, and some sort of magic supply of materials to print with), the whole system of “pay” and/or “trade” for items that can be home produced, could completely bypass the entire existing economic system. No one would need any much of it. What they did need of it might become a “virtual” exchange, like the Linden Exchange, where money for the “DIY” economy was translated to “real” money, for things that can’t be purchased via the online trade system.

    You think they are panicked now. Unless they are complete idiots, they have got to be trying to think up every bloody method they can to curtail, control, or kill it, before it happens. The smarter ones are already looking at, “How could be come up with a way to supply people with designs to print?” Going to be another DRM mess over that one though. lol

  322. 322
    Ichthyic

    kemist, you have seen my point.

    how could anyone NOT see it, since you’ve endlessly spewed it forth?

    that does not mean it’s a valid point though.

    I’m sorry to see so much engagement with you. You’re just not worth it.

    I’m guessing it’s simply because it’s so slow with PZ in travel mode and CC being sick.

  323. 323
    Lynna, OM

    Writing for Salon, Arthur Goldwag posted an article today that I think gets to the heart of why we should not give the reins of power to the far-right, nor to their stooge, Mitt Romney. And we should not hand over those reins as the default result of having decided to stay home, to not vote, and to prefer massaging our egos by claiming we are just too noble to vote.

    All the details of policy differences aside, (compelling as those are), I decided to stand up the kind of hatred that begets bus tours featuring a photo of Barack Obama sporting a Hitler mustache. That “Impeach Obama” campaign is emblematic of a thousand sub-threads of batshit crazy hatred running through the right wing.

    The specious argument that there are extremists on both sides fails to address the fact that, from Mitt Romney on down, we are looking at significant numbers in the Republican Party that who see everyone but themselves as foreign. And they hate “foreign.”

    the kind of hatred that I’m talking about goes way beyond ordinary politics and deep into the realm of abnormal psychology. In its full-blown manifestations, it is akin to what an ophidiophobe feels at the sight of a snake: visceral and existential; categorical and absolute. It turns on the gut certainty that your adversaries aren’t looking just to raise your taxes but to destroy your whole way of life: that they are not only wrongheaded, but preternaturally evil. Comparatively few people experience these feelings on a conscious level, but they lie latent in many more of us than we might suspect.

    It is precisely because appeals to those kinds of feelings work below the level of consciousness that I am so alert for them — and they have been very much in evidence throughout this whole campaign. When Mitt Romney promised to “keep America America” and Michele Bachmann launched a witch hunt against Muslims in the State Department, when Newt Gingrich called Obama a “food stamp president” and Rick Santorum railed against the “elite, smart people” who will never be “on our side,” those were the buttons that were being pushed.

    Conspiratorial shibboleths are seeded throughout the GOP platform, which, among other things, gestures toward a return to the gold standard and repudiates the John Birch Society’s favorite bugaboo, the United Nations’ Agenda 21 ….

    “White Christians are threatened with extinction as a separate and identifiable people,” writes Dr. Michael Hill, the president of the neo-Confederate League of the South….

    a wounded or cornered quarry is the most dangerous. Even as the white, patriarchal, Christian hegemony declines, its backlash politics become more vicious. They may succeed in turning back the clock for some time.

  324. 324
    consciousness razor

    But, here is my problem, presenting in one question: “If you plan to not merely provide housing, and other basic needs, then allow incentives to drive the rest, by what measure does a *state* determine that its [sic] of any value to them to direct limited resources to a community that is entirely dedicated to something like art?”

    Why would a state need to do that?

    First, why would there be a community entirely dedicated to art? (Assuming you mean only fine arts?) I doubt that’s a relevant scenario anyway, but maybe you’re thinking of a different problem than I am.

    If people want to do that work and not be “mediocre,” that means there doesn’t need to be any economic incentive to do it. Not even in capitalism. You don’t need to pay people to want to be great artists. They already want to do it, and they get paid a lot because we think it’s valuable.

  325. 325
    Lynna, OM

    Essential correction to my post @323: “I decided to stand up the kind of hatred ..” should read “I decided to stand up to the kind of hatred

  326. 326
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    kemist, you have seen my point.

    You don’t seem to have understood mine.

    My morality will not let me endorse or support the system that allows these murders. I just can’t vote for either of’em.

    Then you think endorsing or not endorsing these people is more important than the real world result of your actions.

    You think intent trumps reality.

    You are just like the abstinence-only proponent: screw that avoidable suffering. You morality is more important than mere human lives.

    There is a quaint historic notion of “the nation state”. countries have boundaries and governments and control the skies above and the seas to a certain point. These drones laugh at the nation state idea. There are no boundaries as far as U S is concerned.

    Do you seriously thinks this is new ? That drones are a drastic departure from conventional war, coup or assassinations the US has indulged in for decades ?

  327. 327
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I will not vote for Obama or Romney because they have or will be directly responsible for the arbitrary deaths of women and kids. – joed

    Since you acknowledge you aren’t a USAin, this is pure and utter fuckwittery/bullshit. You won’t be voting for a third party either. In fact, you have no say in the matter, and should acknowledge that fact with your silence. And your word, because of such abject fuckwittery, is trash.

  328. 328
    Lynna, OM

    As a sort of follow up to my post @323, I’d like to point out that right-wing politicians don’t just give voice to batshit craziness, they act on it. They bring their ideas to fruition. That’s the scary part.

    Let’s look at just one example, Todd Akin.

    Link: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/28/todd_akin_right_wing_hero/

    Todd Akin, the Republican challenger for Claire McCaskill’s U.S. Senate seat representing Missouri, has made himself a national figure so far this election season by declaring that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape” and claiming that abortion clinics routinely perform abortions on women who aren’t actually pregnant. But what’s garnered less attention, until this week, has been Akin’s history of not just saying but also doing disturbing things. His history shows a lifelong dedication to a misogynist right-wing ideology that flirts with using force to get its way when persuasion fails. …

    Akin’s is a worldview in which women don’t ever get to be full adults but are, at best, little girls. That persists even when he’s not accusing them of inventing rape to cover up for having consensual sex, or suggesting they’re so stupid that doctors routinely trick them into thinking they’re pregnant so they can perform unnecessary abortions on them. It’s easy to see how a man with such a low opinion of women convinced himself that he has the power and the right to physically stop them from exercising their reproductive rights….

  329. 329
    Anri

    kemist, you have seen my point.

    Pity it doesn’t seem mutual.

    It doesn’t matter which becomes president, the blood will continue to drip from the hands of all Americans.

    It can be more blood or less blood.
    It can be more deaths or fewer deaths.
    You can have a say in that matter or you can refuse to care about the difference between more killings and fewer killings.
    The people who would be killed in the greater of the two evils presented do not matter to you. If they did, you’d see that fewer preventable dead is better than more preventable dead.

    I will not vote for Obama or Romney because they have or will be directly responsible for the arbitrary deaths of women and kids.

    And by making this decision, you have endorsed the one who will create more arbitrary deaths. You would be complicit in every one of those deaths if people like me, and other folks here, fail to do more than you and elect the better choice.

    My morality will not let me endorse or support the system that allows these murders. I just can’t
    vote for either of’em.

    What is the functional difference between voting for a totally inviable candidate and sitting in your house praying for war to end?
    I’m serious, I’m asking – what is the difference between these two, for the people who would be killed by the worse of the two, but not by the better? Will they die with smiles on their faces knowing your fee-fees remain unruffled? These people you claim to care about – they aren’t really all that important compared to your internal monologue, are they? Not when it actually comes to doing something about it.

    There is a quaint historic notion of “the nation state”. countries have boundaries and governments and control the skies above and the seas to a certain point. These drones laugh at the nation state idea. There are no boundaries as far as U S is concerned.

    Drones are the only things that kill beyond borders, of course.
    And, since there will be no discernible difference between the two domestically, the drones are the only thing worth worrying about (*GENIUS!*)

    A lot of people in my old workplace disliked mechanical law enforcement systems such as traffic cameras and automatic radar guns. Although one can certainly make valid points about the validity or lack of it, in the end, their arguments always seemed to boil down to “It’s not fair – we don’t get a chance to get away – it’s not sporting!”
    Given the fact that you don’t seem upset about anything other than the remote nature of these devices, is that the source of your obsession? They are somehow ‘not fair’? Are you so bent out of shape because there’s no way to gain honor under these circumstances, no chance for glory, to way to be heroic?

    While you’re pondering that, may I ask – who will you be voting for? And how much legislation will they pass in the next four years regarding drones, or any other form of combat, or anything at all, for that matter?
    Not ‘if they are elected’, but ‘what will actually happen’, I mean.
    In other words, how much real-world good will the candidate you’re voting for actually do in the government?
    If the answer is “well, gee, none, actually” then you’re grasped what everyone here has been trying to tell you. One part of it, anyway.

  330. 330
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    Second, and more to this specific, “The jobs are disappearing.”, thing, everything is now “services”.

    Service jobs are no more immune from automation and new technology than production ones.

    In fact, some of them are already automated and/or exported.

    Call centers in India or Africa for instance. When’s the last time you called customer service and were answered by a flesh-and-blood human residing in your own country ?

    Thing is, our economy has the seeds of its own destruction built into it. The corporate panick won’t change anything to this – it can’t since it is by it’s own design incapable of long-term planning. Everything is driven by short term profits. The more it goes on, the less rational and the more greedy it becomes. The faster it drives towards its own destruction.

    This is not necesserily a bad thing – if we stop hanging on to this system and trying to rebuild it, and start looking for alternatives. Rationaly, without ideological bias.

  331. 331
    Nick Gotts

    In fact, you have no say in the matter, and should acknowledge that fact with your silence. – Nerd of Redhead

    Don’t be ridiculous. There is no reason at all non-citizens of any country should not have and express views on that country’s elections or other political affairs.

  332. 332
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Nerd,

    joed is a fuckwit, but I would appreciate it if you didn’t dismiss opinions of all non-US citizens together with his, concerning your presidential elections. We are usually welcome to comment on other topics about US politics, but suddenly expressing a preference about your president is wrong?

  333. 333
    Amphiox

    My morality will not let me endorse or support the system that allows these murders. I just can’t
    vote for either of’em.

    More pathetic posturing from joed.

    It is NOT MORAL to stand by and let the greater evil triumph just because the lesser evil is not perfect.

    It is NOT MORAL to engage in a course of inaction that will increase the chances of greater harm to occur.

    And since in this particular election Obama’s chances are positively correlated to voter enthusiasm and turnout, while Romney’s are negatively correlated, rhetoric like joed’s directly increases the likelihood of a Romney victory. For all intents and purposes, joed IS voting for Romney.

    joed HAS NO MORALITY. Period.

    It is only pretending to be moral in an act of egotistic self-fappery. Nothing more.

  334. 334
    Lynna, OM

    Let’s take a look at how Romney used his ideas about the 47% to affect the population of Massachusetts when he was Governor. He had promised not to raise taxes, so he raised fees instead, a way of taxing the population that disproportionally affects the poor to middle class citizens.

    Created a $10 fee for a “Certificate of Blindness” issued by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. [Source: 2003 Massachusetts Budget]

    Created a $10 duplication fee for an identification card for the blind. [Source: 2003 Massachusetts Budget]

    Increased the inspection fee for a nursery (between 1 and 5 acres) from $45 to $90. [Source: 2003 MA regulations]

    Increased the cremation inspection fee from $50 to $75. [Source: 2003 Massachusetts Session Laws]

    Increased the municipal police training committee fee from $2,300 to $2,500. [Source: 2006 Massachusetts budget]

    Created a $120 fee for a bus shelter sign permit from the Outdoor Advertising Board. [Source: 2003 MA regulations]

    Created a $50 fee for information requests with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. [Source: 2005 MA regulations]

    Created a $600 fee for conservation and management permits for less than 5 acres of disturbance with the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. [Source: 2005 MA regulations]

    Created a fee of $20 for appealing a non-criminal motor vehicle violation. [Source: 2003 Massachusetts

    Increased the fee for a mammography facility x-ray machine license from $100 to $300. [Source: 2003 MA regulations]

    That’s a slim sampler of how Romney treated operated in Massachusetts. He increased or created more than a 1000 new fees. Want to have your children play in the youth hockey league? There’s an increased fee for that. Do you have a senior citizen pass to a golf course? There’s a new fee for that. It goes on and on.

    These “47%” concepts have consequences, and none of them are good. Mitt Romney’s Olympics office refused to give free or discounted tickets to family of firefighters who died in 9/11, though it provided tickets to Utah legislators. Furthermore, Romney’s claim that he balanced the budget for the Olympics ignores the fact that he used over a $1 billion in federal funds to do so … and then he wouldn’t provide tickets for the family of a dead firefighter. We the taxpayers bailed out the Olympics and accidentally made Romney look good.

  335. 335
    Amphiox

    It is particularly telling in light of joed’s admission that he is not an US citizen and therefore cannot vote. “I just can’t vote for either of them”. Of course it can’t. So why say it? It is the useless, self-serving declaration of a pathetic hypocrite who, knowing it can’t anyways, realizes it can say anything it wants to, without any consequence to itself. Screw everyone else who might be harmed by those words.

    Pitiful.

  336. 336
    Amphiox

    It should also be noted that joed’s last bit of fappery is essentially a word for word regurgitation of its earlier barf-fests. It has completely ignored and failed to address pretty much anything said to it in response in the interim.

    Behavior identical in its intellectual dishonesty as other lying trolls like the texpip and gooey.

    And equally pathetic.

  337. 337
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    We are usually welcome to comment on other topics about US politics, but suddenly expressing a preference about your president is wrong?

    My comment is for Joed alone. The regulars understand the concept of discussion and being assertive, and don’t go beyond it. I don’t have any problems with such discussions. Joed goes well beyond the bounds of assertive discussion into aggressive behavior, essentially demanding I and the rest of the USA vote for a third party/boycott the election for his good feeling, and I am responding to that aggression. He has had his say. Now he needs to show intellectual maturity and cease pestering the rest of us with his nonsense.

  338. 338
    Anri

    Ok, I see that I have asked the wrong question, so I will rephrase:

    Please alter

    While you’re pondering that, may I ask – who will you be voting for?

    to

    “While you’re pondering that, may I ask – who would you be voting for?”

    Because otherwise, I presume joed would simply dodge the issue by saying “Oh, hully gee, I can’t vote in the US.”

  339. 339
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Who the fuck are you to tell any american how to vote? Who the fuck cares what you have to say when it isn’t your country?

    Considering this isn’t his country the only polite thing he can do is to quit telling us how to vote. I certainly don’t tell the Canadians, British, French, Germans, Aussies, etc., how I think they should vote. That is simply crass; their country, their decision.

    In fact, you have no say in the matter, and should acknowledge that fact with your silence.

    Then make it about Joed alone. Thank you.

  340. 340
    joed

    @319 Nick Gotts
    “But how can you possibly live with yourself, knowing that you are complicit in drone strikes, and blood is dripping from your hands? At the very least, I would expect you to spend the next 20 years as a penitent hermit…”

    Actually your passage says more about yourself that about me. We do have to be careful with our expectations don’t we!
    I am well aware of my complicity in the murderous system of the U S. I do acknowledge the blood on my hands and try to do something to help make the world a bit better. In taking responsibility for our bloody hands we can become aware of the terror we are causing in much of the world. Obama and Romney are probably aware of the murderous terrorism the POTUS creates. I will not vote for either because of my morality. Actually the Anderson/Rodriquez team would make great POTUS and VPOTUS.
    They can’t win but that’s ok with me because I can’t cast a vote for the systems candidates because they will continue to murder women and kids in far away lands.

  341. 341
    Ichthyic

    Obama and Romney are probably aware of the murderous terrorism the POTUS creates.

    lolwut?

    why is anyone paying attention to you? It boggles the mind.

  342. 342
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Anderson/Rodriquez team would make great POTUS and VPOTUS.

    Nope, no possibility of being elected. Ergo, fuckwittery. What an abject loser. Quit telling people how to vote. Especially since you can’t.

  343. 343
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Considering this isn’t his country the only polite thing he can do is to quit telling us how to vote. I certainly don’t tell the Canadians, British, French, Germans, Aussies, etc., how I think they should vote. That is simply crass; their country, their decision.

    This is like someone who insists on getting married, even though every single one of their friends can see that the prospective partner as a major league asshole. There is such a thing as third party perspective, and if more people paid it some heed, less stupid shit would happen.

  344. 344
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    There is such a thing as third party perspective, and if more people paid it some heed, less stupid shit would happen.

    There is also the principle its not your vote. I don’t mind general political discussion outlining options. When Joed demands I vote his way that is beyond general discussion. And my statement was to him to get him to back off telling folks in other countries how they must vote. That’s more than just discussing options. And I don’t understand local politics outside of the US, and as most of politics is local, my OPINION on the subject isn’t worth the electrons to post it. So I don’t.

  345. 345
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Nerd @344:

    I completely understand your point. There’s a huge difference between perspective and trying to crawl up your nose to control your brain.

  346. 346
    Amphiox

    I do acknowledge the blood on my hands and try to do something to help make the world a bit better.

    More pathetic lying and posturing from joed. Every word it has posted here has the direct potential effect of increasing the chance that the world be will become significantly worse after November 6.

    So joed is NOT doing “something to help make the world a bit better”. joed is LYING once again. Posturing once again, assuming the appearance of being ethical while actually doing NOTHING useful, just to look good.

    I will not vote for either because of my morality.

    More lying and more posturing. joed will not vote for either because IT CANNOT VOTE, not being a US citizen. And yet it persists with this blatant lie, which can have only one effect – that of dissuading people who actually can vote from voting, and that directly benefits Romney.

    Once again joed is doing nothing but flaunting its self-proclaimed “morality” like an invisible set of clothes.

    And notice how this last piece of excrement from joed is just another EXACT rewording of its previous statements, still without any acknowledgment whatsoever of the arguments presented to it as to why such behavior is directly harmful.

    Intellectual dishonesty and ethical bankruptcy all the way down.

    Pathetic.

  347. 347
    Ing

    and as Noam Chomsky said, “THE BLOOD DRIPS FROM MY HANDS AND THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.” At about 17:40 of this link video,

    You’re wrong, that was said by Paul Ryan

  348. 348
    joed

    @344 Nerd of Redhead
    ” When Joed demands I vote his way that is beyond general discussion.”
    I have made no demands. Anri @338 asked me who I would vote for and I said @340, “Actually the Anderson/Rodriquez team would make great POTUS and VPOTUS.
    They can’t win but that’s ok with me because I can’t cast a vote for the systems candidates because they will continue to murder women and kids in far away lands.”
    Gosh Nerd try to relax a bit.

  349. 349
    Ing

    Gosh Nerd try to relax a bit.

    Learn to blockquote jackass

  350. 350
    joed

    @347, Ing
    well, the video is at http://www.filmsforaction.org/Watch/Subconscious_War_2011/

    if you go to 17:40 you can see Chomsky say it.

  351. 351
    Ing

    @Joed

    Nope you’re wrong it was Paul Ryan

  352. 352
    Anri

    Anri @338 asked me who I would vote for…

    I also asked you what you thought they’d get accomplished, legislatively, in the next four years.
    You didn’t bother answering that, I can’t help but notice.

    I also asked this:

    What is the functional difference between voting for a totally inviable candidate and sitting in your house praying for war to end?
    I’m serious, I’m asking – what is the difference between these two, for the people who would be killed by the worse of the two, but not by the better? Will they die with smiles on their faces knowing your fee-fees remain unruffled? These people you claim to care about – they aren’t really all that important compared to your internal monologue, are they? Not when it actually comes to doing something about it.

    That didn’t get answered, either.

    Of course, you don’t owe me – or anyone else – answers. But speaking for myself, I don’t owe you respect or consideration, especially if you can’t be bothered to answer my questions.

  353. 353
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Kagehi, confused:

    Well, the bold part certainly explains why no one seems to comprehend what I said. Its not that they don’t understand it, they didn’t bother. And no, all socialists are not Stalin (for the edification of the other ass that didn’t bother to read or understand my point).

    Right, you didn’t say it, you just very clearly implied it:

    So, we should just make sure everyone has the basics, and let them all work, as much as they feel they are motivated to, at what ever they like, right? Seems like that got tried before, more or less, too. – Kagehi

    No, it hasn’t. Ever. Anywhere.

    Yes, lets just ignore the reality of how humans think, and nitpick over the fact that every attempt to do this has been imposed by lunatics, for their own reasons

    And now you want to pretend you didn’t.

    But, here is my problem, presenting in one question: “If you plan to not merely provide housing, and other basic needs, then allow incentives to drive the rest, by what measure does a *state* determine that its of any value to them to direct limited resources to a community that is entirely dedicated to something like art?”

    Unless its propaganda, or some other “useful” thing, or you have some “benevolent dictator”, who actually likes what ever there is going on there (and what in a long and endless list of stuff does he/the state not like?), why would they waste resources on supplying the needs of that community, since it needs more of many specific resources, than other communities?

    This is probably the strangest part of your confusion. One moment you seem to understand the concept of “basic needs”, and then the next moment you imply that artists eat more food than other people do.

    But why would a country give food to artists? Under your reasoning, there would not currently be any countries giving food or minimum incomes to artists. And yet, such countries exist. Spooky!

    That is my problem with the claim that a pure socialist system would work.

    Haha! I’m always amused when some guy tells me that a “pure socialist system” is this thing which he dreamed up, without reference to actual socialists’ writings, and all these other possibilities are therefore not “pure socialist systems” because they aren’t what he dreamed up.

  354. 354
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ah, habit. That was supposed to be an abbr tag. Spooky!

  355. 355
    Ing

    Well, the bold part certainly explains why no one seems to comprehend what I said. Its not that they don’t understand it, they didn’t bother.

    No I can assure you it’s because you’re a shitty communicator

  356. 356
    firstapproximation

    At about 10:20 Chomsky says something like
    “…there is nothing wring with voting for the lesser of two evils…”
    I didn’t hear “… you get less evil …”.

    The quote is on the video (I know how you love videos) at 10:15. Oh, but he doesn’t actually say that quote EXACTLY. He says “You’re doing something good” instead of “You get less evil” in that video. But still, if you search for that quote EXACTLY, the vast majority of results attribute it to Chomsky. And yet you not only deny that Chomsky ever said it, but asserted, without evidence, that it was in fact Paul Ryan.

    Thanks. I’ve seen the quote elsewhere (I’m pretty sure sgbm has even used it here too) and never bothered to look it up since it seems consistent with his views. It’s possible he did utter that exact phrase I quoted somewhere else (Chomsky does have a tendency to repeat himself), but until proven otherwise I’ll put it down as a misquote. Still, the different wording doesn’t change the basic idea.

    As for “Paul Ryan said that”, I’m not sure what joed was getting at. Failed attempt at humor seems to be the most generous interpretation.

  357. 357
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    so you still need some money, of some sort, to pay the shipper, unless everyone has a printer, and some sort of magic supply of materials to print with

    Why?

    You said something earlier about ressources needing to be “infinite” to make a system that supports everybody feasable. I don’t agree with that – ressources merely need to be enough. There is a very important distinction between these two.

    Enough can be calculated and quantified. Infinite is an impossible mathematical abstraction that allows an easy cop-out, and is, in fact, false. Even if every human were to be granted everything that crosses his/her mind for the rest of his/her life, that still wouldn’t be infinite.

    If there are enough ressources, and you don’t have to make anybody work to produce the things people need, or to ship them, why would you need any money ? Wouldn’t it be more logical to produce and distribute things according to need ? And why should the means to produce things be owned by someone ? Nobody actually needs the machine. They just need what it produces – that is, some time off the machine. Why should everyone or anybody have one ?

    But, here is my problem, presenting in one question: “If you plan to not merely provide housing, and other basic needs, then allow incentives to drive the rest, by what measure does a *state* determine that its of any value to them to direct limited resources to a community that is entirely dedicated to something like art?”

    Why would communities organize themselves like this ? Do villages naturally organize themselves according to interests or professions ? And why should people who are entirely free of their time restrict themselves to a single interest ? Can’t scientists or cooks also paint, and vice-versa ?

    And for that matter, why should we still need states ?

    Unless its propaganda, or some other “useful” thing, or you have some “benevolent dictator”, who actually likes what ever there is going on there (and what in a long and endless list of stuff does he/the state not like?), why would they waste resources on supplying the needs of that community, since it needs more of many specific resources, than other communities?

    What if nobody owns the ressources ? What if you’re only allocated your fair share as per actual need, and what you can make of it comes down to how efficiently you use it ? Wouldn’t this, in itself, be an incentive for people to come up with ideas?

    That is my problem with the claim that a pure socialist system would work.

    Socialism, as actually practiced by real world countries (I live in one ! And it’s just up north from the US !), is a system that still exist within capitalism and can and does coexist with a democratic political system. Socialism is about providing safety nets and basic needs in order to prevent the worse excesses of greed, and, it should be added, the civil unrest they inevitably cause. It contains some of this but it is still restricted by private monetary interests.

    I think you mean communism (and I don’t quite understand why americans keep on equating the two, maybe it has to do with propaganda), which is where ownership itself is restricted to the state.

    Well, communism still applies the same basic principles as a capitalist state, except the entity that you’re now working boring and useless jobs for and that owns things is a state.

    The communist philosophy still took into account that people had to work to produce things. It could not be otherwise when you consider that it was born at the very beginning of industrialization, when human labor was still essential to produce everything.

    The ability to produce and manage things without human labor is quite new, and no existing economic system has ever taken it into account.

  358. 358
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I’m pretty sure sgbm has even used it here too

    Yeah, I picked it up from Hari, who I assume got it right. I still figure he probably did — as you point out, he often says things over and over in slightly different ways, since he gives a lot of speeches — but since others in this thread found a more readily verifiable variant of it, I’ll try to remember it as well.

    +++++

    I don’t quite understand why americans keep on equating the two, maybe it has to do with propaganda

    It’s some propaganda and some misunderstanding.

    Most communists consider ourselves to be a variety of socialists as well, and socialism is understood as an immediately plausible goal to work for right now: “Since the immediate successor to capitalism can only be socialism, the Communist parties,-like the Socialist parties, have as their goal the establishment of socialism.”

    Well, Marx of course knew there were other varieties of socialists, but when I was in high school here in the USA, I was only taught about Marx saying socialism was the predecessor to communism. For a few years then I had the impression that this was all anyone understood socialism to be. So there’s the propaganda, I think. Really I don’t know if my civics teacher understood that the lesson was incomplete, but the idea that all socialism is basically Soviet communism, or will lead to Soviet-style communism, serves US government interests so well that I suspect something deliberate somewhere along the line.

    communism [...] which is where ownership itself is restricted to the state.

    Some ownership. Communists make a distinction concerning what we call personal property, which refers to your stuff. Your home, your car, and all the stuff you keep inside them.

    It is ownership of the means of production which would be publicly shared. You’d still keep your personal property in a communist system, though extreme wealth would probably be taxed at a high rate to avoid any great disparities of wealth.

  359. 359
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    extreme wealth would probably be taxed at a high rate to avoid any great disparities of wealth.

    It should be taxed at a high rate. Looking at the weasels in this country sitting on enormous piles of money, with no intent to part with any of it, is intensifying an already grotesque wealth gap. Rmoney is a prime example of this. The base tax rate for his tax bracket is supposed to be 35%, yet he actually publicly brags about paying 15%. What a fucking patriot! I’m sure he considers his 10% tithe to be part of it, but as Lynna has shown in multiple stories, he even evades doing that out of any of his own wealth with manipulative money juggling. And the vast majority of that tithed money is being used to buy property, businesses and wealth generation devices instead of anything remotely resembling ‘charitable’ uses.

    Meanwhile, there’s a lady in shit-stained pants whose sole possession is a shopping cart full of mostly plastic bags five blocks from my house that can’t get room at the charity shelter because of the stench and lack of mental illness counselling. There’s enough money on one pair of that jackwad Rmoney’s cufflinks to supply 100 such ladies the means of helping them out of their nightmarish existence, but he will wave his hands and explain that the lady wouldn’t be in that situation if Gawd didn’t want it to be so, and she must have done some horrible things to deserve Gawd’s wrath so. Plus, you know, she’s only a woman, not a man, and she’s hispanic or mixed race-looking as well.

  360. 360
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Speaking of communism, the Communist Party USA wishes to remind you why it is important to work on the Obama campaign this year.

    An excerpt:

    But the existence of capitalism is not the issue before the voters in this election. The issue before the voters is the continued existence and health of democracy and it is only through democracy that the path to end capitalism can be found. [...]

    But that is for a later day. Today we have an emergency. As Vice President Joe Biden has said, the barbarians are at the gate and only labor and its allies can stop them.

    All who love our country and cherish our democratic rights and traditions must unite and pour their energy, knowledge and skills into beating the Romney-Ryan extremists.

    Here’s the whole pamphlet: Democracy at Crossroads: Class Warfare and 2012 Elections

    +++++
    I should have written above:

    “Yeah, I picked it up from Hari, who I assume got it right. I still figure he probably did — as you point out, [Chomsky] often says …”

    +++++
    Damn right, McCthulhu.

    There’s this documentary called Born Rich, made by Jamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. In it (I’m paraphrasing from memory) he or one of his rich friends mentions being quite conscious that the pursuit of so much money is basically pointless — they actually treat it as game among themselves, and the game is all it really means to them.

  361. 361
    strange gods before me ॐ

    … as a game …

    Anyway I was paraphrasing the statement, but the word “game” is indeed used, I remember.

  362. 362
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    I read it as what you meant, not what you actually tpyoed.

  363. 363
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    They can’t win but that’s ok with me because I can’t cast a vote for the systems candidates because they will continue to murder women and kids in far away lands.”
    Gosh Nerd try to relax a bit.

    You first Joed, relax your paranoia. Shut the fuck on how I should vote. Period, end of story. Your OPINION is fuckwittery, and shouldn’t even be said in polite company.

  364. 364
    bjornakerblom

    For the record, I’d like to clarify that most of us non-american earth-adjacent humans are entirely in the clear that the US government and the US citizenry are two very different things. We’re also on the clear with how much worse Romney would be than Obama, despite any misgivings we might have about Obama. The truth is, though, that because of its current position as the world’s “only superpower”, the US presidential elections are a global affair. Not just America, but Earth, has a great deal to lose from having Romney’s finger on the button.

    To quote Iranian graphic novellist Marjane Satrapi:

    The world is not divided in East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don’t know each other but we talk and understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you. And our governments are very much the same.

  365. 365
    Kagehi

    Why would a state need to do that?

    First, why would there be a community entirely dedicated to art? (Assuming you mean only fine arts?) I doubt that’s a relevant scenario anyway, but maybe you’re thinking of a different problem than I am.

    If people want to do that work and not be “mediocre,” that means there doesn’t need to be any economic incentive to do it. Not even in capitalism. You don’t need to pay people to want to be great artists. They already want to do it, and they get paid a lot because we think it’s valuable.

    First off. There are whole communities, now, which tend to gravitate around certain things. Film makers don’t all spread out to random areas, for example, they tend to group among like minded people, share ideas, etc. So, I am going to assume you just haven’t thought out that question.

    As to why the state would need to do it… you are talking about a situation where someone/thing has to figure out how to distribute limited resources. The key part being “limited”. So, unless you are imagining some system by which people just grab what they want, and take off with it… you end up needed some sort of controlled distribution, or trade. Since some people are invariably best at collecting, or acquiring things, or otherwise, in this context “anti-social”, you either jail everyone that isn’t playing fair, or you make allowances for it, by allowing a barter system. If you have that, its only a matter of time before someone goes, “I can’t barter for that now, but I can pay a little over time.”, and you are right back to the current system. Right?

    The only way to stop such a system from developing is if **no one** is bad at everything, other than those things that do not promote a socialist system, or you somehow enforce fairness, and dictate where and how things get distributed.

    And, yeah, most people would do what they are good at, without all the mess. Its just that the system is always inherently imbalanced, and not everyone will have the opportunity, the skill, or the resources. Unless you have some way to equalize all of those things, some people are going to go for something they are good at, but don’t necessarily like, if for no other reason than to just have something to do. Some.. will just do nothing, because there is nothing to encourage them to do otherwise, and they have failed at everything else.

    I would argue that it also doesn’t account for the draw of entertainments, games, online/cell chat, or even drug use, all of which can take someone that should be baking the bread, or making clothes, or some other things they “love”, and instead side track them into other things, which produce nothing at all. So, I suppose, we just ban all that stuff? Oh, wait, no.. because that would narrow the range of things for other people to like to do…

    I am not saying that, given the right conditions, these things couldn’t be overcome. What I am saying is that it would require a radical change to a huge number of things, including, probably, more automation of jobs that very few people would take, at all, and far fewer than strictly “needed”, to make it work. To think otherwise ignores imho, reality.

  366. 366
    Kagehi

    Call centers in India or Africa for instance. When’s the last time you called customer service and were answered by a flesh-and-blood human residing in your own country?

    Sorry, but “call centers” are not “services”. If anything they are the direct opposite of that. If they wanted to provide “service”, they would hire people based on knowledge, let them off script, and not place time limits on actually giving people help. Instead, the purpose of the vast majority of these things is: Get them off the phone, play stupid, don’t escalate to higher authority, and follow the pre-designed script, because every minute they are on the phone costs the company money, especially if the “solution” involves sending something back, providing a real fix, or giving something away for free.

    The reason the system is killing itself with this logic is that the people running it want to make every dime they can get, with as little effort as possible. This is not a condemnation of the system, so much as a condemnation of the attitude held by CEOs and boards of directors, who only care about shipping defective product, and saving money for their own bonuses, not the customers. This also wasn’t as big a problem originally, and only became one when more and more people, at the top, became concerned only for their own greed, than quality, actual service, or anything else.

    Some of the automation has been due to this as well. Unfortunately, some of it has been due to the fact that some modern stuff is not possible to produce in quantity, or, ironically, quality, without it. But, its the idea of “automate even the stuff that we shouldn’t”, that, again, is the problem.

    There are companies that do all of those things right. But.. They a) can’t compete if its in a non-specialist product line, b) don’t have as wide a margin on wealth, between the top and bottom, and c) if they have a problem, invariably get bought up by someone, like say.. Bain, and turned into the same crap as everything else is.

  367. 367
    Kagehi

    This is probably the strangest part of your confusion. One moment you seem to understand the concept of “basic needs”, and then the next moment you imply that artists eat more food than other people do.

    Where the frack do I say “food” is the thing they need more of? When you are not trading for things, which is the assumption here, that you are creating from materials you get some someplace… then “basic needs” are not food, and housing, and like electricity. Basic needs, without some class of trade system, which would be… capitalist, means also studio space, paints, canvas, etc. I.e., the basic things the artist “needs” to actually paint. Or is this person supposed to collect leaves and use mud?

    You can’t delete trade from the equation. If it is in the equation, then you get some people with more, and some with less, and some keeping more than they need, and others not being able to get all of what they need, and the whole mess of other issues. The only way you get rid of capitalism, entirely, is if you somehow supply “everything”, because, basically, everything is now “basic needs”, if it in any way, shape, or form, determines whether or not they can do what they in fact want to do.

    How long, without making the paints, and canvas, etc. all “basic needs”, before the guy is trading his favorite paintings, or shelling out crappy requested art pieces, to “trade” for something that, due to some problem some place else, there is a short supply of? How long before you are right back where you just escaped?

  368. 368
    Kagehi

    Oh, and the reason I said, “infinite”, is that “enough” isn’t. Enough, logically, has to take into account things like shortages, which happen all the time, even when people are stockpiling against them. And, of course, that means that someone **has** to be stockpiling, which means having stuff they don’t need. The state perhaps? Yes, “infinite” is an indefinite and undefinable term, but so is any useful prediction of shortages, or sudden increases in need, do to factors that even the best math can’t predict effectively.

  369. 369
    Amphiox

    They can’t win but that’s ok with me because I can’t cast a vote for the systems candidates because they will continue to murder women and kids in far away lands.

    More pathetic and blatantly dishonest posturing from joed.

    joed, self admitted non-US citizen, can’t cast a vote for any candidate BECAUSE IT IS NOT A US CITIZEN AND THUS CANNOT CAST A VOTE.

    So why does it insist on repeating the “I can’t vote for X because of Y” rhetoric, which is plainly a lie, a presentation of a useless hypothetical as dishonest and ridiculous as the old “aborting the newborn baby still connected to the umbilical” hypothetical that trolls like gooey used to go on about.

    It is nothing but an attempt at preening and ostentatious display of false morality.

    Simply pitiful.

  370. 370
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Sorry, but “call centers” are not “services”. If anything they are the direct opposite of that. If they wanted to provide “service”, they would hire people based on knowledge, let them off script, and not place time limits on actually giving people help. Instead, the purpose of the vast majority of these things is: Get them off the phone, play stupid, don’t escalate to higher authority, and follow the pre-designed script, because every minute they are on the phone costs the company money, especially if the “solution” involves sending something back, providing a real fix, or giving something away for free.

    What experience do you have in or with call centers?

    I’ve worked in a lot of call centers. I’ve worked and dealt with call centers in other countries like India and am aware of their policies.

    How else would you hire off of “knowledge” if you didn’t hire and train them? I’ve working in a call center for pool supplies and was trained on it. If I didn’t know, there were manuals and co-workers to ask. I did a major mistake once. I gave a wrong quote, which was extremely lower than the actual cost. Do you know what happened? The company honored that and lost several thousand dollars for it. The customer was served very well that day.

    I provided a fucking service and did a good job doing it. I’ve never been told not to escalate a call. The thing with call centers in India and sticking to the script? Just answer their fucking questions. Don’t be a douche and give them a hard time just because they insist on reading you the paragraph on the form. That’s what they are told to do and if you follow with them, you get helped just fine. I’ve done with while being the customer and calling a call center in India for service.

    If your problem is with the company not sending something back, or fixing something either read the fine print or that company just sucks. I’ve done SO many refunds, etc and have received them any time I’ve had a problem. The only time I’ve heard of someone not getting satisfied is when they won’t pay the postage to send their broken product back. I know their are plenty of stories of companies sucking, but you don’t fucking blame the person working minimum wage taking your call. Having worked in customer service for years, I’ve found be fucking nice to the employees and understand where they are stuck at in the situation gets you a fuck lot farther than whinging about not speaking to someone who sound American. Which by the way, being accused of the sin of being foreign happens to plenty of Americans who have accents and is fucking insulting and frustrating.

    It is a fucking service and the problem with service is the customers are too often stupid douchebags who make your day suck.

    So, fuck you.

    Also, clearly this isn’t the attitude I take while working with customers. I work very well with customers and remain professional even when I have people making bomb threats or jumping over the counter at me because they didn’t fill out the one page form for Financial Aid and are now pissed there isn’t a magical check waiting for them.

  371. 371
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Firstly,I forgot to add, I have never worked at place where there was a time limit. Obviously, you aren’t encouraged to take a call for an hour, but I’ve done that more times than I can count. All I’ve ever gotten is my supervisor asking my why that was such a tough call. They bring up points I need to work on, like memorizing facts or something to move quicker but if nothing could have been done, that’s it. I want names of companies who have a time limit and shove you off the phone when you call in with problem because I just don’t buy that. Customer service is paid hourly, so how is the company losing money?

    Okay, so all that was a rant because customer service gets shit on a lot. There’s also the fact I’ve had customers on hold who rant to someone near them about the call and their account is vastly different from what actually happened. It helps that it’s all recorded and when they get transferred to my supervisor they can listen to call to get the truth. I bet you that what that customer rants about our customer service later it’s more fiction and hype than fact.

    Just like my experience as customer service worker is taken with a grain of salt, so is all the customers claims of shitty service.

    This is why I love the site The Customer Isn’t Always Right.

    I think I’m going to go there or hide in a book because fuck getting shit on as a minimum wage customer service representative. I can get that from working.

  372. 372
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    I work very well with customers and remain professional even when I have people making bomb threats or jumping over the counter at me because they didn’t fill out the one page form for Financial Aid and are now pissed there isn’t a magical check waiting for them.

    Whaaaaaa?

    Didn’t you have somebody to report them to? Some security to assist?

    I do answer clients on the phone in my job (I am a claims analyst for a disability insurance company) and if it gets to threats we are required by our bosses to report and tape the call.

    We never, ever meet clients face to face without security guards. Heck they don’t even get to know our phone extensions or email adresses.

    And I do agree with your rant about customer service.

    Oh, and the reason I said, “infinite”, is that “enough” isn’t. Enough, logically, has to take into account things like shortages, which happen all the time, even when people are stockpiling against them.

    Have you given any thought to the idea that most of these “shortages” might be entirely artificial and made up by the monstruously wasteful system that is capitalism ? Do you actually believe a company that when they tell you to get yours now, or there might not be enough, it’s anything else than a stupid marketing scheme ? Or that you always really, really need whatever they’re trying to sell you ?

    Another thing is that capitalism pushes you to actually destroy products in order to keep prices high. It does so daily with foodstuff, even though some people are starving. It makes you produce things which break down way earlier than their actual lifetimes might be. It fills up landfills on an unprecedented scale with ressources that took a mighty lot of effort to extract and transform.

    Why does this happen ? Because you can only make money out of things when there aren’t enough (or there is the perception that there aren’t enough) of them for everybody. So it is in the best interest of people who sell you things to maintain this shortage, whether it is a plain lie, a completely made-up “need”, or a contrived scheme based on good destruction and planned obsolescence.

  373. 373
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Whaaaaaa?

    Didn’t you have somebody to report them to? Some security to assist?

    I do answer clients on the phone in my job (I am a claims analyst for a disability insurance company) and if it gets to threats we are required by our bosses to report and tape the call.

    We never, ever meet clients face to face without security guards. Heck they don’t even get to know our phone extensions or email adresses.

    And I do agree with your rant about customer service.

    Thank you.

    We had campus security escort those student who get physical out and usually they get arrested. They also threat a lot of bullshit which gets all written down and reported to campus and police. There were a few times restraining orders were needed.

    Threats over the phone are all reported the same way, with the copy of the tape going along with it. One sticks in my mind particularly, since this man was older, republican, talked about the hippies trying to take his guns when he needed to defend his house and threatened to come get his money by gunpoint if we wouldn’t give it to someone so very clearly an American citizen. The reason we couldn’t process his application? He refused to send us a copy of his BC, SSN and diver’s license. *snort*

    Almost every place I’ve worked at had us at least give out extensions, with a few exceptions. The difference in the financial aid office was that it was a small campus, with a small staff and I took classes there as well as some other employees. It wasn’t hard to find any of us.

    Also, that’s not the only place threats have been placed. Every job in Customer Service I’ve worked in and has gotten them.

  374. 374
    Kagehi

    What experience do you have in or with call centers?

    I’ve worked in a lot of call centers. I’ve worked and dealt with call centers in other countries like India and am aware of their policies.

    Well, good for you. You happen to work at one of the few, apparently, who isn’t doing it the way I described. But I am speaking from the perspective of dealing with the occasional problem where it took me 3 tries, and bloody long talks, just to get them to understand what the hell the problem actually was, only to be told, “No, that can’t be fixed.” In reality, it could be, but it was a non-acceptable solution, and took almost as much time to find via searching the web as it took to get someone to understand what the damn problem was in the first place.

    Also, its not my “opinion” of this that I am stating either, based on experience, its the opinion of other people, at other call centers, who, unlike yours, had the actual policies I stated “in place”. So..

    I did, after all, state that some companies still provide real services, so your “single case”, doesn’t prove anything.

  375. 375
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    My single case? Try years of experience in other places with just as many co-workers and people who’ve been working in call centers their whole careers.

    So, no unless you prove it with documents, both our anecdotes means the exact same thing – which is jack fucking shit.

    And you’ve noticed I’ve never denied some companies are shitty. I’ve merely said stop shitting on the minimum wager worker trying to do their job, asshole.

  376. 376
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    But I am speaking from the perspective of dealing with the occasional problem

    Oh, poor, poor you. It seems like an epidemic you are speaking of, which happens occasionally and you have brought up all of one company! Which, you then take to slander everyone in every call center, the good ones merely being an exception in your world. When it’s actually only occasionally.

    And like I said either, I take customer’s take on service calls with a grain of salt.

    In reality, it could be, but it was a non-acceptable solution, and took almost as much time to find via searching the web as it took to get someone to understand what the damn problem was in the first place.

    Just like people who fix the fatal red ring of death on their XBOX 360′s or the red ring of death on their ps3′s. You don’t like how the company fixes it and you’re warranty is out, you can fix it yourself.

    I fail to see how this is the fault of the call centers. They didn’t have a solution to give you because it’s not reasonable to have people talk you how to do such a thing over the phone. And teaching people how to crack open their products is stupid, it creates more problems like liability.

  377. 377
    Kagehi

    I’ve merely said stop shitting on the minimum wager worker trying to do their job, asshole.

    And I did this, and not the **policies**, where exactly? I don’t blame the people for not knowing what is going on. I blame the companies, both for actually paying minimum wage people to deal with problems that often require paid expertise, and on the “training”, which more often than not consists of punching what it sounds like someone has said, into a computer, and having it read back to them “answers”. That is just about as helpful as going online to most companies and trying to find your “solution” in one of the, “Common questions, otherwise email us and hope someone gets back to you.”, pages most places have.

    There is no blame to be laid on the people doing the job. I am sorry you seem to think that is what I meant.

  378. 378
    Kagehi

    Have you given any thought to the idea that most of these “shortages” might be entirely artificial and made up by the monstruously wasteful system that is capitalism ? Do you actually believe a company that when they tell you to get yours now, or there might not be enough, it’s anything else than a stupid marketing scheme ? Or that you always really, really need whatever they’re trying to sell you ?

    Careful, your paranoia is showing. Not that this doesn’t necessarily happen, its just.. its actually illegal, and much more profitable to take advantage of real shortages, by buying up when there seems to be more than needed, then selling at a 100-1,000 markup. This happens with some drugs. Once they are deemed “too mass market”, and therefor don’t turn as much of a profit margin, other companies take over production. There are much fewer such factories that there are for the major manufacturers, so a bad batch, due to accidental contamination, or other issues, and end up leaving hospitals picking between using much more expensive, and new, “brand name” drugs, or paying a sort of “drug scalper” for them.

    And, yeah, if you took the profit out of such a system, you would probably have much fewer of those problems, but, I am betting, there would be other problems. In any case, you wouldn’t eliminate shortages (especially since many drugs actually do, also, have limits on their effective shelf life).

    We can go round and round all week on how you solve every problem by removing profits, and how that just isn’t plausible, but its not going to get us any place, because all you do is keep going, “No, that wouldn’t happen, somehow.”

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