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A Dozen Short Points On The Big Picture

smitty_one_each (243267) writes | about 9 months ago

User Journal 231

I'd just like to respond to a variety of my good interlocutors, briefly, on a swath of topics.
Social:

I'd just like to respond to a variety of my good interlocutors, briefly, on a swath of topics.
Social:

  • Life: begins when the information that defines you is available: conception. You own your own greatness, or not. You don't own the non-greatness of others.
  • Gender: is defined by chromosomes. Become the best male or female you can: body, mind, and soul.
  • Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?
  • Freewill: if you're arguing it doesn't exist, then why're you even reading this?
  • Unscalability: people don't scale. The larger the group you consider, the less powerful assertions you can make about them, without stooping to the crudest stereotypes. There is an inverse square law afoot: the family is strongest, followed by the clan, followed by professions, citizenship, etc. This is why if you want to move a large number of people in an organized way, you have to thrash their individuality and put them in a uniform. This is why the one-size-fits-all theories of Progress are dying. To the extent it can be said to work empirically, the one-size-fits-all of Jesus Christ is the best you've got, and even Christians don't agree on what that means.

Political:

  • Conservativism: is based upon the Lockean notion of the individual.
  • Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.
  • Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.
  • Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.
  • ObamaCare: is the legislative/economic equivalent of the Doomsday Machine from Star Trek. In true Progressive fashion, it accomplishes the opposite of its title. This is a time, to quote Iron Maiden, to "Die With Your Boots On." Can this bureaucratic D&D Black Pudding be stopped? Hopefully; my metaphorical blender just 'sploded.

Historical:

  • Slavery: sucked. It had a variety of social and economic causes, including false notions of inferiority based upon extrinsic characteristics. However, the guilt for slavery is owned by those who actually held slaves, just as the guilt for Jim Crow is owned by its perpetuators in the modern Racism Idustrial Complex. I forgive those who try to pin such guilt on me, in the hope that, if forgiveness spreads, growth can occur.
  • Foreign Policy: if you think about it, our Constitution is defensive in nature: some powers were delegated by the States to a Federal government for mutual protection. Progress has begotten the Team America World Police concept since Bretton Woods. That it ran for 50 years needs to be seen as about as good as it gets. What follows is totally unclear.

So, there you have it. These are my positions, arrived at slowly, and not given to much adjustment. I'm not accepting blame, nor do I think I've blamed anyone in particular. I don't even blame Obama for ObamaCare. Our situation sucks, and it sucked Cthulhu right out of R'lyeh. If Barack had stayed a stoned Hawaiian, tearing tickets at Jack Johnson concerts or whatever, they'd've polished another tool for his role. So don't over-credit the putz. Our decadent point in American history has plenty of sad little Commies who could've done the job. Our task is to realize the dream of the Founders, with an informed, educated electorate.

231 comments

Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44433309)

I think a few of your bullets missed the mark

Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.

You seem to be confusing the progressive acts in this country - which are few, far between, and not particularly progressive - with the progressive ideals of freedom through opportunity. That said, even the progressive ideals are not Marxist in any meaningful way, they are primarily seeking to see that people actually are able to realize their full potential regardless of which vagina they crawled out of.

Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.

I'm not sure how you could possibly come up with "born to end slavery". Just because Lincoln had an R after his name doesn't mean it was his destiny to end slavery - and what happened to freewill? If someone is born to do X, then that throws freewill out the window. On top of that, the politicians who are most in favor of maintaining the current state of wage slavery are almost without exception all republicans.

Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.

Do you realize why the Federal Reserve is headed by "un-elected knobs"? It's because they aren't a government agency. The government has a little bit of influence over the fed by appointing its chair but that is pretty much the extent of the relationship. The fed is free to do what the fed wants to do, and we've seen those consequences several times - just ask anyone who lost value in their home when the coke heads on wallstreet started to shit themselves.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44434523)

I'll reply to this to include that there are a few people out there whose conservative politics considerably predates John Locke and his notion of the individual. And to point out that John Locke is considered "the father of classic liberalism", and therefore is not a conservative.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44435865)

Don't believe any of it. He, they actually, are every bit as authoritarian as you say you are. The rights of the individual, such as access to uncontaminated natural resources, which includes land and rights of way, are and always will be subservient to the market collective and religious indoctrination. If he believed in freedom, that is what he would actually advocate. In his ideal world, we wouldn't need the government facade to hide the businessman's iron fist.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44437567)

What matters isn't if it is a paradox, but whether it is a dox.

There is no problem with authoritarianism if the morality it teaches is connected to reality instead of trying to enrich a minority. The market collective is irrational.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44443401)

Well, until authority can be shown to be above and beyond nature, it's only provable 'moral' imperative is 'might makes right'. It is the denial and defiance of authority that will stop people from killing each other. The market collective may or may not be rational, but it is most logical and natural, as any collective must be. It is just another method of aggregating power and advantage employed by the naked ape.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44445655)

Denial and defiance of authority directly causes people to kill each other.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44446089)

"Enemy combatants"

Orders to kill come from above.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44449381)

Orders to kill only come when power is threatened.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452779)

Think to Schindler's List, when Amon opened up on the morning muster with the rifle.
Sometimes chaos is unleashed for simple demoralization.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44459863)

Well, yeah, every challenge is seen as a threat. So it must be violently suppressed. That's the nature of the beast. The only righteous authority beyond the animal world is one over one's self.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44441817)

will be subservient to the market collective and religious indoctrination

"market collective" is an oxymoron, but bonus points for skillfully conflating the chemical solution with the precipitate.
"religious indoctrination" is true for some cases, e.g. cults.

In his ideal world, we wouldn't need the government facade to hide the businessman's iron fist.

So you're accusing me of espousing anarcho-libertarianism, then? Regret I hadn't been clearer, I suppose.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44443333)

Market collective is not an oxymoron. It's all about economies of scale. If it were otherwise we all would be able to afford and buy individually designed cars and appliances, made to taste. And people that have to work would be paid a livable wage. The individual is only considered as part of the aggregate. By himself he is less than useless, a complete liability, unless he works for free. In today's collective we have the top 20% income bracket moving 80% of the market. The rest of us aren't even noticed, aside from the above mentioned liability. Only by your compliance are you allowed to live.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444493)

I guess you're using "market collective" where everybody else I've ever met in my entire life would say "marketplace".
On the one hand, I guess you're demonstrating the creativity you seem to think impossible in the marketplace.
On the other, I almost always suspect you're peeing in the intellectual pool, as here. Your precise purpose, while not clear, probably isn't good, judging from history.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44446901)

Your 'intellectual pool' is filled with cultural sludge. Peeing in it might be able to neutralize some of the poison. My purpose is perfectly clear, liberation without coercion, and a recognition of rights, not just for some, but for all. Your coke bottle glasses are simply distorting your view of what I put forth. Remove them, and the clarity will knock you over with a feather.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44438303)

"Classic liberalism" is, by today's standards, conservatism.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#44438949)

Funny, because by today's standards, your classical conservative is a Kenyan marxist.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44440643)

False. (ProTip: if you're going to lie, you should make your lie plausible.)

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#44442845)

And if you're going to call something a lie, you ought to at least have some shred of refutation.

But that's just not in you, is it, pudge?

The 18th century conservatism of Adams and Burke is nowhere to be found in the cheap grifters that call themselves conservatives today. Burke's writings on radicalism and revolution probably have had more influence on today's liberals than on hucksters like Ted Cruz or Mark Levin. At least Burke had a basic dedication to honesty.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44443625)

And if you're going to call something a lie, you ought to at least have some shred of refutation.

False. I ought to refute arguments, not baseless assertions.

The 18th century conservatism of Adams and Burke is nowhere to be found in the cheap grifters that call themselves conservatives today.

Yes, you're doing it again. You're providing baseless assertion, and you're lying.

Burke's writings on radicalism and revolution probably have had more influence on today's liberals than on hucksters like Ted Cruz or Mark Levin.

Yawn. Provide an argument. Provide something to refute. Say what it is about Burke's writings that differ from modern conservatives, or is similar to modern liberals. Go ahead. Quote from Burke talking about basing society on property and commerce, and show how it is more akin to liberals than conservatives. If you want me to provide a shred of refutation, then make an argument.

But that's just not in you, is it?

At least Burke had a basic dedication to honesty.

Yes, he did. As do I.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44441381)

So what is a traditional monarchist?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44441429)

So what is a traditional monarchist?

Someone who prefers a monarchy. Shouldn't you know that?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44445673)

No, I mean, on the scale of liberal to conservative, where does the traditional monarchist fit?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44445769)

Good question.

IIRC the left and right dichotomy dates to the french assembly. The merchants and incipient capitalist class on the left, the traditional aristocracy on the right. Both were opponents of royal power, so I guess the monarchist has to be off the scale somewhere.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44446211)

Monarchists can be either left or right. While Arker is correct about the aristocrats being on the right, so too were many merchants, just like today: those that wanted the government to be the servants of capitalists and grant favors or be generally activist were on the left, while those that wanted a more laissez-faire model were on the right. And yes, they were all opposed to centralized monarchical power. But that said, a monarchist could be in favor of more or less activism in the government, more or less power to the people, and so on.

To put it more briefly: the form of government is largely, though not wholly, distinct from its political leanings.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44454679)

Maybe the whole right/left distinction is kind of useless, and something more along the lines of individualist/collectivist would be helpful.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44441767)

Absolutely. "Short Points" can't begin to offer more than a hint at the direction of the thought. And "classical liberalism" is not an insult, applied to modern conservatives.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 9 months ago | (#44445665)

It is if you're a traditionalist. The only good liberty is the right to do good, not the right to do evil.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452823)

I'm not clear on what you're identifying as "good" and "evil" here.
For a hyper-strict reading of good as "that which explicitly glorifies God", I should probably quit the Internet almost entirely (as a few I know do).

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44438293)

Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.

You seem to be confusing the progressive acts in this country - which are few, far between, and not particularly progressive - with the progressive ideals of freedom through opportunity.

No. He is talking about how the progressivism movement began, which have little to do with "opportunity" and are mostly about fairly extreme socialism.

Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.

I'm not sure how you could possibly come up with "born to end slavery".

Again, that was the explicit point of the beginning of the movement: to end slavery.

Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.

Do you realize why the Federal Reserve is headed by "un-elected knobs"? It's because they aren't a government agency.

False. It is. All claims that it isn't are pure fiction. It was created by the government, it is regulated by the government, it's within the Executive Branch, its leadership is appointed by the President, and so on.

The government has a little bit of influence over the fed by appointing its chair but that is pretty much the extent of the relationship.

You mean other than the massive regulation over it by the federal government. And whether the federal government exercises control over the Fed, is irrespective of whether it is a part of the federal government ... which it is.

The fed is free to do what the fed wants to do ...

Unless the federal government wants them to do something else, in which case it has all power to step in and mandate it.

... and we've seen those consequences several times - just ask anyone who lost value in their home when the coke heads on wallstreet started to shit themselves.

Thanks for proving the point: the federal government was deeply involved in all of those decisions you're referring to.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44442995)

Nice of you to join us, pudge. How very unexpected of you to make your first comment after a long dry spell here be a reply to one of mine. I won't say I'm honored or anything.

Progressivism: has roots in a strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx. Whatever misguided idealism informed the original Progressives, it's all a steaming loaf of debt and ersatz aristocracy now, Republican and Democrat.

You seem to be confusing the progressive acts in this country - which are few, far between, and not particularly progressive - with the progressive ideals of freedom through opportunity.

No. He is talking about how the progressivism movement began

In part, he is trying to describe (what he sees as) the start of the progressive movement. Granted, placing it as being rooted in Marxism in any real way is dishonest at best, but that isn't the biggest problem with the statement. By his giving that definition and then not making any suggestion at it being irrelevant he is directly stating he believes it to still be true. And being as there are no elected officials - at least in the federal government - who in the least bit resemble anything that in any way reflects true Marxist ideals, he defeats his own attempt to define "progressive".

Now, if he wants to claim that there are some non-elected political types who are trying to shore up support for Marxist this-or-that, of course it is not possible to disprove that any more than to disprove the notion that someone is dedicating time to getting the federal government to build a shrine in DC to the flying spaghetti monster. I would like to presume, however, that smitty actually posted these definitions in order to start a conversation, so I am pointing out the problems with them.

which have little to do with "opportunity" and are mostly about fairly extreme socialism.

I see then that you are going for the boogey man approach instead. Let me know if you can find a map for the proposed location of the FSM shrine while you're at it.

Republicans: born to end slavery, the elite of the GOP is fungible with the Democrats, perpetuating debt slavery.

I'm not sure how you could possibly come up with "born to end slavery".

Again, that was the explicit point of the beginning of the movement: to end slavery.

Are you trying to suggest that only reason the republicans left the democratic-republican party was because they were alone and united in their opposition to slavery? If so I would like to know where you get that idea from. The last person who I saw try to make such a claim was also entrenched in the idea that the civil war was fought exclusively over slavery and nothing else. H

Federal Reserve: the power to inflate the currency urinates all over the spirit of the Constitution, granting too much power to un-elected knobs. The lack of will from either branch of the Ruling Class even to audit, much less reform this beast is telling.

Do you realize why the Federal Reserve is headed by "un-elected knobs"? It's because they aren't a government agency.

False. It is. All claims that it isn't are pure fiction.

I'm not familiar with this new meaning of fiction that you are applying here.

It was created by the government

Only partially true.

it is regulated by the government,

Not true at all. In fact we saw recently that the fed regulates the government more so than the other way around.

it's within the Executive Branch

What does that have to do with anything? They don't bend to the will of the president or anyone else.

its leadership is appointed by the President

Once again you are only partially correct. The president appoints some leadership for the fed, the fed chooses the rest on its own. On top of that the president can't just put anyone he wants in there, it has to be approved by congress.

The fed is free to do what the fed wants to do ...

Unless the federal government wants them to do something else, in which case it has all power to step in and mandate it.

Being as there is no meaningful case of that happening, your argument holds no water. That statement makes about as much sense as the people who claim that Canada should pay the US $49B / year for the nuclear protection that we give them.

... and we've seen those consequences several times - just ask anyone who lost value in their home when the coke heads on wallstreet started to shit themselves.

Thanks for proving the point: the federal government was deeply involved in all of those decisions you're referring to.

I'm sorry that you didn't pay attention to the near collapse of wall street that came from allowing wall street to run around and do whatever the fuck they want without consequence. What happened, happened because we were so certain that wall street could self police and that we should roll back every regulation we possibly could. The federal government was involved only in so much as to say "we don't know what you want to do, so just go ahead and go for it". If the government was

deeply involved

as you claim, then why didn't the federal government hold anyone responsible for it?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44443887)

your first comment after a long dry spell here

False.

placing it as being rooted in Marxism in any real way is dishonest at best

Nonsense. The movement, begun over 100 years ago, was heavily rooted in a Marxist understanding of the economy and labor. Wilson certainly held those views. Despite your protestations, this continues today. Obama believes -- or claims he does -- in the fundamental conflict between labor and owners, that owners primary gain wealth through exploitation of labor, and that government has all authority and responsibility to regulate owners in any way they see fit, without regard to morality or liberty.

Are you trying to suggest that only reason the republicans left the democratic-republican party was because they were alone and united in their opposition to slavery?

You're a bit confused. First, they didn't leave the Democratic-Republican Party, which had ended 30 years before the Republican Party began. Mostly, they left the Whig Party, but many of them were Democrats or came from other third parties.

But yes, the one unifying position they shared was opposition to slavery.

If so I would like to know where you get that idea from.

The words and deeds of the founders of the party, including their first platform in 1856, which was dominated by anti-slavery language.

[The Fed] was created by the government

Only partially true.

I'm not familiar with this new meaning of "partially" that you are applying here. The Fed was created by an Act of Congress, signed into law by the aforementioned Woodrow Wilson. Period.

it is regulated by the government

Not true at all.

So according to you, there aren't many laws on the books governing the behavior of the Fed. OK. I don't know why you are expressing such an obviously false position, but OK.

it's within the Executive Branch

What does that have to do with anything? They don't bend to the will of the president or anyone else.

Unless the President demands them to. In fact, all executive authority belongs to the President. Therefore, all the power the Fed has, belongs to the President. That's what the Constitution very clearly says.

Being as there is no meaningful case of that happening, your argument holds no water.

Nonsense. The original point was that "un-elected knobs" are granted the power. The criticism of that point was that the Fed is outside government. I pointed out that this is false, and further, that government could step in if it wanted to, because it is under the authority of the President and Congress, regardless of what anyone wants to pretend. All you are saying is that they are not usually overruled by the President, which isn't arguing against any point being made.

Further, no less than JFK himself wrote an executive order asserting control over the Fed, and the assertion isn't controversial: he literally did have power over the Fed. (I do not hold to any Fed involvement in any conspiracies to kill JFK; I agree with those that claim the executive order ultimately enhanced the power over the Fed, but it did so through asserting that the Fed is under the authority of the President.)

What happened, happened because we were so certain that wall street could self police and that we should roll back every regulation we possibly could.

Please stop lying. In fact, the amount of regulation significantly increased during the Bush years, including financial regulation.

The federal government was involved only in so much as to say "we don't know what you want to do, so just go ahead and go for it".

On the contrary, the federal government was explicitly saying what the financial institutions should do, and the increased regulation contributed to moral hazard, which was the real cause of the collapse. There was nothing inherently wrong with what most of these financial institutions did, other than the dishonesty: the problem was that people trusted that the investments were sound because they thought that if government allowed it, it must be sound. Government created the problem.

If the government was deeply involved as you claim, then why didn't the federal government hold anyone responsible for it?

It seems to me that you answered the question.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44447783)

...JFK himself wrote an executive order asserting control over the Fed...

Yeah, and look what happened [wordpress.com]...

You're wagging the dog. Money controls government, not the other way around.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44447879)

You're wagging the dog. Money controls government, not the other way around.

You're confused: I never said or implied it was the other way around. You're just saying that the people who control the money, control the government; I didn't contradict that, I am just saying that the President and Congress control the Fed, which controls the money.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44447991)

When it comes to the fed and monetary (or any other, for that matter) policy, the president and congress are middle management, at best. They are hired professional bureaucrats. They don't make policy. They are there to enforce it. They are following orders, from the party, its financiers, and other people you don't see on camera.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44448357)

When it comes to the fed and monetary (or any other, for that matter) policy, the president and congress are middle management, at best.

False.

They don't make policy.

False.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44452645)

Eh, whatever. You can keep on believing your grade school civics books if you wish. That will do nothing against the gangsters who really run the show. So, feel free to play your little game as you see fit. I've already detached and am merely retired to the role as observer.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452857)

What fascinates me about your arguments is that you're more or less saying our entire economic system is farce, and we're all under the thumb of " gangsters who really run the show" (an interesting proposition, for which I'll give you a "maybe"), and yet, up the page [slashdot.org] you're all:

My purpose is perfectly clear, liberation without coercion, and a recognition of rights, not just for some, but for all.

Now, which is it going to be: slavery, or liberty?
For my part, I gained liberty when I understood Christ as the meaning of life; Progressive attempts to legislate the flesh, or your attempts at beat-downs, are kind of a laugh.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44455261)

De facto, I suspect there is some truth to what he is telling you.

De jure, you are clearly right of course. Congress created the Fed, quite possibly exceeding its own authority in the process, and Congress may undo them.

How the Fed would deal with a Congress which represented their constituents actively here is an interesting question. Dr.Pauls efforts, starting from a point where he was the only person in all of Congress concerned about this, to the point where he was able to have hearings and some partial auditting and force Bernanke to come down and answer a fe questions certainly made some important people visibly uncomfortable. Have you watched the public hearings?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44455373)

De facto, I suspect there is some truth to what he is telling you.

De jure, you are clearly right of course. Congress created the Fed, quite possibly exceeding its own authority in the process, and Congress may undo them.

I agree there is some truth to what he is saying, but the part that is bizarre is that he assumes the moneyed interests controlling things are necessarily distinct from the people with the legal authority, that the President is necessarily a puppet rather than the master. There's no reason to assume that.

How the Fed would deal with a Congress which represented their constituents actively here is an interesting question.

Not to me, since the Congress would necessarily have to bend to the shared will of the Congress and President, if they asserted it upon the Fed.

Have you watched the public hearings?

Only a few clips.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44456063)

"I agree there is some truth to what he is saying, but the part that is bizarre is that he assumes the moneyed interests controlling things are necessarily distinct from the people with the legal authority, that the President is necessarily a puppet rather than the master. There's no reason to assume that."

I am not sure it is unreasonable to think that the more stable parts of the system, the "deep government" and the big donors and lobbying complexes, collectively bear the same sort of relationship to the US President that the Supreme Ayatollah bears to the President of Iran. That is to say they, at least de facto though not de jure as in Iran, control which candidates the people are allowed to vote for, and furthermore that they retain the practical ability to un-elect him later if they feel it is necessary. I am not saying a President elected to oppose them would have no chance - but he would have to expect a fight. And just getting there is nearly impossible.

A President anointed by those powers has little reason to even try to buck them. He most likely shares their beliefs and wants to do exactly what they command, which is why he was put where he is in the first place.

I am not sure that is exactly what your sparring partner here is arguing, of course, he must speak for himself.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44456717)

I am not sure it is unreasonable to think that the more stable parts of the system, the "deep government" and the big donors and lobbying complexes, collectively bear the same sort of relationship to the US President that the Supreme Ayatollah bears to the President of Iran.

That wasn't what I said though. He was the one saying my view -- that, in essence, the President is essentially indistinguishable from the "deep government" -- is unreasonable. If the "deep government" were that powerful, wouldn't they want one of their own in charge, rather than a puppet that had the power to do things they didn't like?

His argument is that the moneyed powers are distinct from the people with the actual legal authority. I am saying there's no reason to assume a difference exists.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44457351)

Thanks for the clarification. I think you might be talking past each other to some degree. It seems to me the two groups can be distinguished, although they are close and there is overlap. I doubt any of us have enough information to be certain and precise on the subject.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44459967)

It's pretty simple. Legal authority is subservient to monied interests. Legal authority is defined by monied interests. Monied interests ARE your legal authority. Everything else is showboating.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44449821)

your first comment after a long dry spell here

False

Your own comment history [slashdot.org] supports my claim. You had last written a comment here in April. Three months is a long dry spell in comparison to the frequency with which you used to post. Furthermore the first comment you posted was in reply to the comment I made.

Being as you couldn't even be honest with your first word in this most recent reply, I don't see any reason to expect that you actually want to have a conversation with me. I keep hoping that maybe someday you will want to be civil, but you keep showing me that hope is misplaced. What exactly is it that you want when you come and reply to my comments, if you don't actually want to have a discussion with me? Are you just out to waste my time?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44450721)

Three months is a long dry spell in comparison to the frequency with which you used to post.

False.

Being as you couldn't even be honest with your first word in this most recent reply

False.

I don't see any reason to expect that you actually want to have a conversation with me.

Translation: "I got my ass handed to me. Again. And I have no rebuttal that won't sound stupid, so I'll resort, as usual, to ad hominem."

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44451087)

I can't force you to acknowledge reality, pudge. You can choose to be petty and hateful if you see that as being a useful tool for your agenda. I don't expect you to ever answer this question but why do you even bother to write messages to me when you don't want to have a discussion? I have never seen someone who wanted to have an actual honest discussion respond in the way that has been your standard M.O. towards me for years now.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44451997)

I can't force you to acknowledge reality

Yes, but that is not the problem. The problem is you are incapable of actually presenting an argument that backs your view of reality. (ProTip: this is a sign that maybe your view of reality needs adjustment).

You can choose to be petty and hateful

I am neither. Please stop lying. Thanks!

why do you even bother to write messages to me when you don't want to have a discussion? I have never seen someone who wanted to have an actual honest discussion respond in the way that has been your standard M.O. towards me for years now.

You do realize -- don't you? -- that I am the one who made serious arguments to you, and you're the one who responded with ad hominem ... right? I mean, anyone looking at this knows that I am the one engaging in honest conversation, and you're the one who isn't.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452881)

I, for one, hope the two of you have the breakthrough that damn_registrars and I did, and seek minimize the talking past each other. Neither of you are dummies, in my estimation.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44453525)

I, for one, hope the two of you have the breakthrough that damn_registrars and I did

Smitty you and I were able to come to a point where we can have actual discussions because we are capable of showing respect for one another in spite of our differences. Don't discredit your own value as a human being by comparing yourself to people who cannot accomplish that.

I would like to see a breakthrough such as what you describe, but I don't have any hope for one to occur in this particular pairing, ever. There are now multiple years of back and forth that indicate there to be no reason to ever expect one to happen. I am leaning more and more towards the conclusion that someone is just coming around to waste my time, which means I have repeatedly been feeding a troll. Shame on me, shame on me.

I don't recall now if you and I ever did pick up on the last conversation that we started in a JE that was subsequently closed. I should go through my old JEs and see if I can find it, that should be a good point for you and I to start from again as I may have stepped on some toes here and I apologize if that is the case.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44455283)

I am leaning more and more towards the conclusion that someone is just coming around to waste my time, which means I have repeatedly been feeding a troll.

You're lying.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44455653)

I am leaning more and more towards the conclusion that someone is just coming around to waste my time, which means I have repeatedly been feeding a troll.

You're lying.

I stated that to be my opinion. My opinion cannot be a lie if I state it to be my opinion. I did not state it to be an irrefutable fact. I am sorry that the distinction between the two appears to confuse you so greatly. My stating my opinion that you appear to be trolling me is no different than someone declaring their opinion that there is a deity of some sort responsible for the state of things; you cannot prove it to be the case one way or the other, it is just an opinion. Opinions are not right or wrong they are just opinions. You can claim them to be supported or unsupported by facts, but that doesn't make them into lies. More so, they most certainly do not become lies just because you disagree with them.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44456685)

I am leaning more and more towards the conclusion that someone is just coming around to waste my time, which means I have repeatedly been feeding a troll.

You're lying.

I stated that to be my opinion.

Yes, you dishonestly stated it to be your opinion.

My opinion cannot be a lie if I state it to be my opinion.

It can be if it is not your opinion. But I'm on to you. You know what you're doing. You know that I gave you a reasonable response [slashdot.org] to your comment to me, and that you responded with pure ad hominem back [slashdot.org], whining about a disagreement over what began as your ad hominem directed at me.

I don't believe you are self-deluded enough to believe that I am the one who took this conversation sideways, that I am the troll, that I am the one out to waste your time. I think this is not your opinion, but that you are lying when you say that it is.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44459081)

I am leaning more and more towards the conclusion that someone is just coming around to waste my time, which means I have repeatedly been feeding a troll.

You're lying.

I stated that to be my opinion.

Yes, you dishonestly stated it to be your opinion.

Wow, even for you that is a new level of arrogance to claim that you know someone's opinion better than they do. Can you also tell me my birthday, my underwear size, and what color car I like? You claim to know me better than I know myself, so you should have no trouble answering those questions for me.

You know that I gave you a reasonable response

That response was not reasonable. You started with your usual level of arrogance in your first line, later came in with a tidal wave of half-truths, and occasionally peppered in utter bullshit. You then closed with more arrogance and more insults. You would have been closer to reasonable by not saying anything at all.

and that you responded with pure ad hominem back, whining about a disagreement over what began as your ad hominem directed at me.

That was not an ad hominem attack, that was a direct observation based on facts (I know you are a natural enemy of facts, but these facts are equally available for all). You hadn't written a single comment here on slashdot in over three months, and you chose to write your first comment after that dry spell as a reply to a comment I posted here. You then chose to take it personally when I pointed out that you were gone for three months.

I don't believe you are self-deluded enough to believe that I am the one who took this conversation sideways, that I am the troll, that I am the one out to waste your time

You certainly haven't demonstrated any reason to expect that you are here to have an actual discussion. The possibility that you are here to waste my time is one option.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44455275)

I, for one, hope the two of you have the breakthrough that damn_registrars and I did, and seek minimize the talking past each other. Neither of you are dummies, in my estimation.

I respond to what is in front of me. That's all I can do. He chooses to go off on personal-attack tangents.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44453505)

I am the one who made serious arguments to you

No, you did no such thing. You replied with a few half truths, a laundry list of partisan lies, and a collection of insults as well. You have followed this same pattern of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance for years whenever you have found yourself in a conversation with me here on slashdot.

I mean, anyone looking at this knows that I am the one engaging in honest conversation, and you're the one who isn't.

You can insist on living in your own reality, if that is what you want. I don't know why you would expect thinking people to accept it as theirs as well though.

If you were actually capable of honesty, I would recommend you to ask yourself the honest question of what you are trying to accomplish by entering into a discussion where I am present. It seems to anger you when I expose your lies, based on the fact that you always respond to that exposure by insisting that down is up rather than actually participating in a discussion of anything meaningful. Even this latest trick - you declaring yourself the "winner" after I show that you are not here to have an actual discussion with me - is not a new tactic for you.

So really, what is it that you want from this? Are you finding enjoyment in wasting my time?

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44455333)

I am the one who made serious arguments to you

No, you did no such thing.

You're a liar.

You replied with a few half truths, a laundry list of partisan lies, and a collection of insults as well.

You're a liar. I replied with not a single instance of any of those things.

You have followed this same pattern of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance for years whenever you have found yourself in a conversation with me here on slashdot.

You're lying.

If you were actually capable of honesty, I would recommend you to ask yourself the honest question of what you are trying to accomplish by entering into a discussion where I am present.

This is where you are deluding yourself: my replies to you do not take you into account. They have nothing to do with you. You are not the center of my world. You're barely on its periphery, and I do not do or say anything in particular regards to you. I am simply responding to your comments as they are.

It seems to anger you when I expose your lies

You're a liar on both counts. I rarely if ever get angry on Slashdot, and I don't recall that I've ever lied near you, nor that if I had, you'd exposed any such lie.

But the other way around? Hell, I regularly expose your lies. You're lying throughout this conversation, as usual. The difference is that I actually identify your lies and point them out to the point where you cannot rebut my identification. The opposite doesn't actually happen.

... based on the fact that you always respond to that exposure by insisting that down is up rather than actually participating in a discussion of anything meaningful.

Provide a single example of me lying, or insisting that "up is down." Just one.

And -- again, you realize this, don't you? -- that you are the one who sidetracked this discussion. Anyone reading along knows this. I responded with a series of reasonable comments, and you responded with nothing but ad hominems, as you continue to do now.

Even this latest trick - you declaring yourself the "winner" after I show that you are not here to have an actual discussion with me

Dude, who do you think you are convincing with your lies? I didn't declare myself a "winner," and you never even attempted to "show" that I am not here to have an actual discussion, you merely asserted it.

I don't generally call people trolls, because I don't care why they say what they say, as long as they are making somewhat rational arguments ... but the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44455807)

I am the one who made serious arguments to you

No, you did no such thing.

You're a liar.

This is exactly why you and I cannot have a conversation, and I am puzzled why you even pretend to want to try. You enter into a discussion with the attitude that your opinion is god's own truth and wholly irrefutable.

You replied with a few half truths, a laundry list of partisan lies, and a collection of insults as well.

You're a liar. I replied with not a single instance of any of those things.

That suggests that you did not read my reply to your reply, where I showed those things to be the case with your reply. I can't force you to go back and read it. I won't even suggest you to re-read it as you just gave strong evidence that you likely haven't read it for a first time yet.

You have followed this same pattern of condescension, arrogance, and ignorance for years whenever you have found yourself in a conversation with me here on slashdot.

You're lying.

Any literate person who has read what you just wrote would disagree with you.

It seems to anger you when I expose your lies

I rarely if ever get angry on Slashdot

How do you explain your insistence on putting me on your perma-hate list [slashdot.org], then? You were more than a little angry when you added me to it and you tend to get angry every time I ask you about it. Hell, you are angry right now as demonstrated by your high frequency posts, short replies, and repetition of the same old baseless claims that you keep laying against me.

and I don't recall that I've ever lied near you

You have lied multiple times in this very conversation. You have lied many times before as well.

nor that if I had, you'd exposed any such lie.

I have exposed numerous lies from you. Just because you don't understand the difference between your opinion and factual reality (amongst other things) doesn't make your lies magically into truths.

Provide a single example of me lying, or insisting that "up is down." Just one.

I have provided many. Just because you ignore them doesn't mean they are not there.

I didn't declare myself a "winner,"

Another outright lie from you [slashdot.org]. Let's look at your comment, shall we?

Translation: "I got my ass handed to me. Again. And I have no rebuttal that won't sound stupid, so I'll resort, as usual, to ad hominem."

That is clearly a declaration of winning. As per your usual, it is utterly baseless, but nonetheless it is you declaring yourself a winner.

I don't generally call people trolls, because I don't care why they say what they say, as long as they are making somewhat rational arguments ... but the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

I am suggesting that you may well be trolling me because

  • you have shown repeatedly you don't want to have a discussion with me
  • I had started a discussion that you injected yourself into
  • I have asked you several questions that you have (as per your usual) refused to answer
  • ...amongst other things

Of course, you accusing me of trolling - even though the slasdhot definition of trolling fits your behavior here almost entirely and mine pretty well not at all - is not a surprise coming from you. I expect you will respond by claiming you didn't accuse me of trolling.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44456633)

You enter into a discussion with the attitude that your opinion is god's own truth and wholly irrefutable.

You're lying. I never, ever, do that. I do nothing less than you: I make assertions that I believe are true. Of course, my assertions are more often backed by facts and reason, but that's beside the point.

That suggests that you did not read my reply to your reply, where I showed those things to be the case with your reply.

False. I read that, and responded to you with more arguments, mostly refuting your claims. Then you replied with no more arguments, but went full frontal ad hominem, and then dishonestly claimed that I was the one who was not wanting to have a discussion.

How do you explain your insistence on putting me on your perma-hate list [slashdot.org], then?

I have no such list. Please stop lying. I have a list of people who repeatedly demonstrate the inability to have reasonable discussions, and yes, you're on it (for reasons you're proving again).

You were more than a little angry when you added me to it and you tend to get angry every time I ask you about it.

You're a liar.

Hell, you are angry right now

You're a liar.

You have lied multiple times in this very conversation.

You're a liar, as evidenced by the fact that -- as usual -- you don't back up this claim.

I have exposed numerous lies from you.

You're a liar, as evidenced by the fact that -- as usual -- you don't back up this claim.

I have provided many.

You're a liar, as evidenced by the fact that -- as usual -- you don't back up this claim.

That is clearly a declaration of winning.

You're a liar. I never said I won. I said I beat you up. Not the same thing. I don't see it as a contest at all, but I do see it as opposing sides battling, not for victory, but for shared enlightenment. Unfortunately, sometimes -- as happened here -- one side is dishonest or otherwise abusive to the discussion, and gets its ass handed to it in due course.

you have shown repeatedly you don't want to have a discussion with me

You're a liar. Now truth be told, I do not want to have a discussion with you; but I do want to have reasonable discussions, with whomever else wishes to engage in them; but you demonstrate a lack of ability to do so, as proven by your rejection of my reasonable replies to you with ad hominems and obviously false claims that I was the one who was rejecting reasonable discussion.

I had started a discussion that you injected yourself into

Um. Smitty started it. And you replied, and then I replied to your confused and false statements with corrections. Are you new to the Internet? That's how it works, and it is not evidence of trolling.

I have asked you several questions that you have (as per your usual) refused to answer

You're a liar. I was the one who was responding to your arguments with arguments, and you are the one who ended the actual discussion to make it purely personal.

the slasdhot definition of trolling fits your behavior here almost entirely and mine pretty well not at all

Again: says the guy who refused to respond to my arguments and then resorted to pure ad hominem. You can't simply ignore that fact and hope that no one will notice. We all noticed. You took a disagreement over what categorized a "long dry spell" as proof that I don't "actually want to have a conversation with" you. Come on. No one takes a garbage claim like that seriously, especially given that I had just written a significant reply with many serious claims in it. You were the one bowing out of the discussion, not me, and to protect your ego you said I was the one with the problem.

Everyone knows what you did. You can stop pretending.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444509)

placing it as being rooted in MarxismCould you please quote me accurately? I said strange intellectual love affair between Rousseau and Marx This is nowhere near "being rooted in". If I had wanted to say I thought Marx was inheriting directly from Rousseau, I would have said that.
The essential issue I have with collectivist notions is that, in chemical terms, they seem to contend that the molecule precedes the atom.
The silliness of saying the group precedes the individual wouldn't be as economically devastating as we see, if certain diabolical individuals weren't manipulating the group to enslave people, e.g. ObamaCare.
This argument is not some pure libertarian silliness, either. That's the other extreme.
Rather, I'd put forward that some kind of, I don't know. . .Federalist?. . .system would suck less as an operating point between the extremes of collectivism and anarchy.

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44443471)

..the federal government was deeply involved in all of those decisions you're referring to.

Heh, puppets on a string, doing what they are told, by the people who "financed" each of them into their position, and can easily have them taken out. So, waddya got? Old money vs. New Money...

Re:Political mumbojumbo (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444515)

What we've got is an internet-driven opportunity to move more in the direction of an informed populace keeping power from becoming too concentrated. Or do you seem strangely comfortable with authoritarianism?

Disagreements (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44438353)

Gender: is defined by chromosomes. Become the best male or female you can: body, mind, and soul.

Sex is defined by chromosomes. Gender is defined by a combination of nature and nurture. What does it mean to be the best male or female you can be, without looking to society?

Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?

True, but freedom says they should be allowed to be married if they wish (whether or not government recognizes that, or any other marriages, is a separate question).

Re:Disagreements (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44441861)

What does it mean to be the best male or female you can be, without looking to society?

Optimization, especially in the spiritual sense, involves rejection of societal confusion.

True, but freedom says they should be allowed to be married if they wish (whether or not government recognizes that, or any other marriages, is a separate question).

I don't dispute, particularly at the federal level, that attempts to legislate behavior are a mixed bag, on their best day. Furthermore, outings like the DOMA put conservatives on the path of embracing statism. Gross boo-boo.

Re:Disagreements (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44443667)

Optimization, especially in the spiritual sense, involves rejection of societal confusion.

But spiritual growth involves embracing and extending societal confusion. It isn't efficient, but it's worthwhile.

Re:Disagreements (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44443585)

Marriage: has its premise in the production of life...

True

No, that's false. The original premise of marriage is the peaceful transfer of property. The reproduction of life, aside from survival of the species, is to keep it in the family. And the religious angle didn't enter into it until the church became the state a few short thousands of years ago. And yes, all governments should be forced into recognizing "non-traditional" marriage contracts amongst humans (seeing that non-humans can't give consent) as a recognition of inheritance and visitation rights that all people are entitled to. "Traditional" marriage laws are nothing but warmed over Jim Crow.

Re:Disagreements (1)

pudge (3605) | about 9 months ago | (#44443663)

Marriage: has its premise in the production of life...

True

No, that's false.

False.

The original premise of marriage is the peaceful transfer of property.

Nope. The premise of the union itself is production of life. The premise of the social institutions around marriage, including the laws and customs, is largely about property. But that comes after.

And the religious angle didn't enter into it until the church became the state a few short thousands of years ago.

Nonsense. Religion was an inherent part of the marriage unions and customs long before the church became the state.

... all governments should be forced into recognizing "non-traditional" marriage contracts amongst humans ...

False. The Amish should feel perfectly free to not recognize gay marriages, for example.

Re:Disagreements (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444531)

I'm not sure that an Amish community is intellectually capable of grasping the idea of gay marriage, any more than an honest accountant would intentionally insert false arithmetic in the books, or a sober man drive against traffic.

Re:Disagreements (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44446641)

It shouldn't matter. A contract is a contract, and nobody is requiring them to be part of the contract, only that they recognize it as legal. Marriage is (or should be) like copyright (in that you don't have to actively apply to the state for it to be recognized by the state), if the vows are witnessed by two people, or whatever the standard is, and papers are signed, then the state must recognize it as legal, and all benefits provided by the contract must be adhered to, until it is nullified by the signatories, and only by the signatories. What cannot be allowed is for the state to decide who, within the standardized rules of consent, can be part of a contract. Inside their church the Amish are free to define marriage as they wish, but on the outside they must adhere to the law of the land, hospital visitation rights, property rights, etc etc etc...

Re:Disagreements (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452903)

What cannot be allowed is for the state to decide who, within the standardized rules of consent, can be part of a contract. Inside their church the Amish are free to define marriage as they wish, but on the outside they must adhere to the law of the land, hospital visitation rights, property rights, etc etc etc...

Kinda looks like you're playing guitar and drums simultaneously there, boss.

Re:Disagreements (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44453111)

Yeah well, I got two more tracks for bass and keyboards, and if I mix them all down, I can put in a horn section, in fact I can go full 'Phil Spector' if you want. But you know the deal, equal rights are equal rights. Being traditional does not make bigotry okay.

Re:Disagreements (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44454701)

If I'm bigoted for pointing out that a fruitless tree is fruitless, then call me a bigot.
Because isn't it better to feel empowered by calling another a "bigot" than to consider whether there is merit to the point being made?

Re:Disagreements (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44456773)

It doesn't matter if it's 'fruitless'. That's not the point. Procreation is not the only issue. There are many other legal ones that have already been brought up that you conveniently ignore. You have no right to legislate against it. Another person's marriage, no matter what form it takes, is none of your business. Butt out.

I'll jump in (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44441777)

I actually disagree with a lot of this, to one degree or another, and for whatever it's worth.

  • Life: Began once, a very long time ago.
  • Gender: is linguistic and cultural, not (directly and necessarily) biological. In a lot of ways the reason this entire issue is so hard to deal with (and why both pro and anti have lots of passion on it) is because it is a genuine culture war phenomena. There is a clear cultural and linguistic divide between those that admit only two genders and expect their contents to line up precisely with a pseudo-biological gross morphology division, and on the other side those that accept less rigid notions of gender and dont understand why anyone gets upset over such trivial things. I have no magical answer but I think the principle that is important here is that the government should in all respects remain scrupulously neutral between the two groups and resist any attempt on either side to draw it into the conflict and choose a winner.
  • Marriage: Has as its purpose not simply the brute 'production' of life, no, I think that misses the mark badly. The purpose is to provide a suitable environment for the life that we produce to grow into adults. The 'atomic family' pattern that most today think is traditional is actually a post-war invention of the state, part of a pattern of breaking down the larger and more hearty family structures that characterised our nation before the horrors of the 20th century, and thus creating the opportunity for larger and more intrusive government to replace what has been broken down. There are any number of different possibilities, and approximately any of them would actually be better at providing for the children. But the whole point is actually to make sure that the state must step in for the good of the children - in that sense it's a roaring success.
  • Freewill and Determinism: are two sides of one coin. In analogue to light, which is both a particle and a wave, depending on how you look at it, both Freewill and Determinism are correct, and incorrect, depending on how you look at it. Ultimately I think reality here simply doesnt make a good fit with the way our brains work, and this is why it seems so difficult to understand.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44443661)

Your take on marriage is a bit "modern", to say the least. The real deal behind it is how much land a family can accumulate without having to fight a war. Something that made polygamy very advantageous, until all the bickering made it unworkable. I mean, really, imagine having 20 or 30 sets of in-laws.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444539)

The real deal behind it is how much land a family can accumulate without having to fight a war.

No. Your formula is almost Chomsky-esque in its authoritative sound, but, as with Noam, I think perhaps it's time to cut back on snorting the Drano.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44445093)

It's really not 'modern' at all, again, this pattern that's been pushed as 'traditional' was essentially unheard of in this country before WWI, and only after WWII did it really become the dominant pattern.

Before that, the typical home was larger, the typical household larger, and children were the beneficiaries. It was not unusual to find three generations together, it was unusual NOT to find that. This means more adults to provide for them, materially and otherwise, and greatly reduces their chances of being orphaned.

Polygamy was common in certain ancient societies because they expected (and produced) high rates of early male mortality. Just like today, a male needed to make a name and a nest-egg to attract females. But in some times and places, a very large number of males would die in the attempt.

Females tend to have safer courses, are not expected to expose themselves to danger like that (and in many societies would be forcibly restrained if they tried.) So if the upshot is when there are twice as many marriageable women as men, it makes perfect sense that a man take two wives. A three person family with two women, to whatever degree bickering and squabbling can be avoided (and it can be, there are mormons that can tell you about this) is a stronger unit for the child. Either one of the women could be lost, but the child would still have a mommy.

Polygamy in a situation where the number of males and females is nearer to equal, however tends to cause more trouble and lose its edge as a result.

This was probably often the scenario, but humans are adaptable and in other situations entirely different patterns formed instead. In Tibet (and relatively few other places) it was the practice since very ancient times that one woman marry several men, normally all the brothers in a family. This was because land itself, arable, workable land, was what was in shortest supply. Splitting a family plot in two woud leave neither heir with enough to continue in many cases, and where are the children then eh? So all the brothers in a family would be obliged to settle on a woman together, work there plot together, and treat all her children as their own children equally. There was a problem of unattached women causing trouble to deal with then.

The common standard in the US in former times, outside of the Mormons and groups like them, was a little closer to our nuclear family model, but only a little. A child normally grew up living among 3 or more generations of his own blood, and with 'uncles' and 'aunts' who were no blood relation being quite common in homes as well. More teachers, more providers, more security in case of disaster, etc.

WWI began breaking this up, and after WWII tax money was spent lavishly to finish destroying our traditional way of life in this country, building endless miles of single-family homes and pulling young couples off far away from their own families to start raising the nuclear family of the future, a unit more conveniently sized from the point of view of the propagandists, the advertisers and the state itself.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44446261)

I have to admit it is very refreshing to hear the more correct anthropological view of things in place of all this religious bullshit used to to rationalize the bigotry against the 'non-traditional', or what they like to call 'decadent' or 'hedonistic'.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452925)

correct anthropological view

Maybe. But at what point of demographic cratering would you allow that, for all you may not like the adjective 'decadent', it captures the societal implosion as well as anything else?

Re:I'll jump in (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44453077)

...or all you may not like the adjective 'decadent', it captures the societal implosion as well as anything else?

Oh yes, absolutely, decadent is a perfect description for authority, which is definitely killing off all chance of human advancement. It is a monkey trap. Only our animal nature can prevail in such circumstances.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44454717)

I hope that I have been pointing out the futility and deadness of the "animal nature" to you. But, then, you might be among those who buy off on

. . .which is still the all-time most daft utterance I've ever read by a public figure, making #OccupyResoluteDesk seem some kind of actual, legitimate, no-kidding genius by comparison.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44457137)

Try as hard as you want. You will not circumvent the biology that defines you. As long you as you will live you will remain under its control. All your religions and cultures are nothing but very complex versions of every other herd of water buffaloes or gang of chimpanzees, following all the same routines and rituals. Tools used to define the alpha male. Which goes a long to way to explaining your obsession with controlling other peoples' sexual proclivities.. Only the alpha shall enjoy the harem. Only the alpha shall determine who is allowed to marry whom.

And regardless of 'climate change' you should take a hard stand against contaminating our resources. Emptying your piss pots onto the street should be avoided. Unless you live downwind or downstream, I wouldn't expect you to understand. That would be your own solipsism at work. Since it's not part of your own reality, you don't accept its existence, just like racism..

Re:I'll jump in (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44457467)

"And regardless of 'climate change' you should take a hard stand against contaminating our resources. Emptying your piss pots onto the street should be avoided."

Being a bit skeptical of the current 'climate change' dogma myself, I would point out that it is quite possible to agree with this and still have no use for the recommendations of global warmers. All this focus on 'carbon' leaves real pollution somewhat under the radar, and that's a shame.

Re:I'll jump in (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 9 months ago | (#44458273)

Being a bit skeptical of the current 'climate change' dogma myself...

Same here. Could not agree more. It's just another gang who wants control. Their function is distraction and profit. But sometimes the results can be pretty impressive [pachamama.org]...

Mr. Smith, however is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he tries to say this is an assault on individual rights while completely accepting prohibition [cornell.edu] and political regulation of womens' health.

Freewill and Determinism (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444545)

Now, I think you're moving in an interesting direction here. I'll reply that I think of Destiny and Freewill as orthogonal planes, intersecting along a line we call "time". Thus, I think one can argue, for any moment in life, that you're both a free moral agent, and influenced by the Diety (who tends toward a subtle hand).
But that veers into mysticism, and I was trying to confine the discussion to the intellectual level.
The rest of your ideas seem rooted in Postmodernism [amazon.com], at the feet of which I lay the blame for the bulk of our contemporary ills. You can burn down my culture, sir, and all you'll get is a "Kiss my ash" from me.

Re:Freewill and Determinism (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44445953)

Well from the inside, we understand that we have freewill when we make decisions, when our bodies react to our thoughts. Occasionally, in cases that are typically considered 'mental illness' (but may be understood quite differently) we may feel this is not true - we may see our body moving without it being our conscious will, but those are exceptional cases.

On the other hand, from the outside, if I can predict your responses well enough to treat you as a machine, to do x in order to elicite y, then freewill appears to be an illusion. And people are so predictable, it seems hard to deny that this point of view is valid too.

Indeed, it would seem our creator (or any sufficiently knowledgeable being, for those that dont believe in $deity) should be able to predict our every thought and reaction from the start, from long before we were even born.

I dont think my ideas are rooted in postmodernism at all, but I also would not blame it for ills. I dont want to burn down any culture (I am rather saddened by the destruction of my own as well.) I do think there should be room for multiple cultures to live in harmony, even if that might sound cheesy to you.

Re:Freewill and Determinism (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44452977)

Well, sure; if one ascribes omniscience to $deity, then that implies total knowledge of universal state, and the capacity to predict/calculate any future state of the universe.
And yet, the Sage comes off with:

Kind of stunning. Whatever cosmological theory one would set forth had better balance the notion of omniscience with "if ye will receive it". While the $diety keeps reality on course, omniscience balances freewill (or something existentially indistinguishable therefrom). That one can model behavior with accuracy seems a "So, what?" point to me.
For some background on my general rejection of Postmodernism, there is this [theothermccain.com].

Re:Freewill and Determinism (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44455131)

"Kind of stunning. Whatever cosmological theory one would set forth had better balance the notion of omniscience with "if ye will receive it"."

  I dont see any problem there. Your choice to receive or not - but your creator would be able to predict your choice ahead of time.

Marriage (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 9 months ago | (#44443043)

You said

Marriage: has its premise in the production of life. Understood, other variations. But what difference, at some point centuries hence, do they make?

So then if you place the premise of marriage as being to create children, do you then not have an opposition to polygamy? After all, that can produce a lot of children. And how about incestual relationships? You didn't specify healthy children...

That said, the topic many people are discussing regarding marriage is what the government should or should not recognize. Please, for the sake of posterity, clarify your stance again on this. You've almost certainly said it before, but just for the audience...

Re:Marriage (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#44444573)

what the government should or should not recognize

I think that our Federal Constitution properly handles multi-state and international issues. SoCons (and I am one) need to recognize that DOMA was political judo, and affords an opportunity for DC to be far too involved in far too many individual choices, e.g. marriage.
As with abortion, we come to the discussion of marriage after already having shanked the discussion of what the government should be permitted to tax. Marriage is a hot button because the government likes to live in your wallet, and incentivize people to grow the tax base. Yet we never ask the question: should the government be in the business of sculpting society through the tax code? The IRS is the ultimate homesick abortion.
So that's the real issue. You can have a ceremony and a piece of paper, and "marry" your horse, your house, Mt. Hood, or 72 whores claiming virginity. Knock your benighted socks off, sir. What I'm unsure you can do with any of that silliness is impress the Almighty. As a concerned human, I feel compelled to point out that foolishness is foolishness, and, if asked for my vote, I will support wisdom. What I just can't do for you, and I apologize profusely for this, is make foolishness into wisdom. I'm sorry.

Also re: slavery, republicans (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#44457731)

I have a little perspective on that to share as well.

Let me say that my family has been Republican since the 1850s and one of my twice-great grandfathers was a Republican candidate before Lincoln. Same man served in the Confederate Army until being wounded and discharged, and then continued in the Virginia Home Guard until the end of the war.

I dont think the Republican party, or any other significant group in the USA at the time, wanted to end slavery in the sense we think of it today. Both sides of the mainstream debate at the time were racist to the core, and there was sadly no voice on either side saying the Blacks were equal to Whites and should be treated the same. "Free states" were not states that welcomed FMCs and treated them as full citizens - they were states for whites only. They excluded white planters only in order to exclude the blacks that they would bring with them.

The abolitionists (aside from occasional maniacs like John Brown, who tried to start a race war) did not advocate for equality - to the contrary, they denounced slave states simply because the institution of slavery entailed being exposed black people, which they held was inherently degrading to the whites!

So the 'solution' of the abolitionists was to sell their slaves south, or to ship them 'back' to a continent their distant ancestors once lived on.

In context I really dont think either party has any right to crow about their involvement in that issue.

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