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Politics Thread
Keep it non-pretentious, guys. And make sense.
So, in response to some things HeadThump has said...

It seems to me that anarcho-capitalism requires one major thing to work properly:

1) the ability of at least one person to own capital


Doesn't politics automatically connote pretentiousness and pompousness?

Or is that too existential and maybe I should take the question to the philosophy thread?

</taking the piss> 
Anything Above The Level Of Political Tv Debates Might Be Nice 
Some visions and ideology instead of the one dimensional pie throwing popularity contests!

(hmm there's no pie icon so I'll go with the cheese) 
I'm super duper tired but this kind of sums up my stance on things: 
Edited the thread to make it a more general political discussion. I doubt things will justify having seperate "Political Economy" and "Political Other Factors" threads ;).

Carry on lads!! 
Read Through That 
No wonder you have a pathological hard-on for anarco-capitalism; anything suggesting the green eye shades of the accountant must scare the holy be Jesus out of a believer.

First question comes to mind, what incentive would there be to join such a society for anyone reading this thread? At the very least they possess a means to the internet and that would not have occurred without either the fullfillment of a a profit incentive or the intervention through of a state.

A short list of societies that sound more appealing than these various stripes of Anarchy.

1) Life in these United States.
2) Life in the EU
3) Life in Modern China,
4) Life in Maoist China
5) Life in Stalinist Russia
6) Life as a serf in Tsarist Russia
7) Life as a Galley Slave in the Roman Empire

The advantage with any of these alternatives is that you are not confronted with the all compassionate, all knowing, quintesence of reason, the demos of the 'people' 24 hours a day where every aspect of existence is by some token a political expression. Compared to that, the pint of water granted after rowing the ship for eighteen hours straight sounds quite inviting.

I didn't put Life under Pol Pot because Anarco-Primitivism is the same thing, no matter what Chomsky may say to the contrary. 
where every aspect of existence is by some token a political expression

Can't virtually any action or in-action be given a political dimension in any society though? 
I seriously have no idea what you are talking about. Rant? 
Of Course You Don't 
eventually humor is one of the things that will be on the What Anarchists Oppose list. I have even heard some radicals state that all humor is counter revolutionary.

Bear -- true, but no one else would care about how you would make a cheese sandwich. That link inert gave makes it sound like you would have to run it through a committee first under some of the forms of Anarchy described. Certainly, the animal rights oriented anarchist (not listed but it all really seems quite arbitrary) would object to udder exploitation, so no cheese sandwhich.
If you object then you have to become a cheese eating hermit under the rules of banishment. 
I wrote "non-pretentious" for a reason. 
That Coming From Someone Who 
titled the thread 'Political Economy?' You should of titled it 'the lyrics of Zack de la Rocha and how we can live by them', that would have been more your depth.

BTW, thanks Shambler, change was forward looking. 
Oh, I Almost Missed The Opportunity 
'Fuck you, I wont do what you told me.' 
the internet in its packeted splendor 
French Elections 
I'm sure you know France has to decide for a president within 2 weeks. First round occured these week-end, second round is in 2 weeks.
I'm really interested about the point of view, and the feeling of these elections you guys (i.e US, Brits, others people) can have on what happened here... and if you don't care: just say it... no problem, I can understand it ;) 
Important Political Message 
Re: Important Political Message 
I'm metlslime and I approve this message. 
I Agree... 
... but it has to applied by every people here ! 
JPL, From What I've Seen 
Royale is beautiful, and Sarkozy is likeable, sort of a Gaelic version of the recently retired Koizumi in Japan. The French elections are getting covered over here, but few people watch the news, easier to scan headlines online. 
oyale is beautiful

Are you really talking about politics here? 
From what I've seen and know from the candidates from Daily Show and Colbert Report, I'm pro-hot chick. She's liberal (socialist I think?) with some conservative views so that you know she's not a whore.

The other guy seems to be racist towards middle easterners and pro-Bush, so I don't like him.

But still, I'm like a 2nd grader when it comes to politics, and especially politics I see from Jon Stewart. 
Yeah Sarkozy is as likeable as your local mafia thugster.
And unfortunatly, despite not finding Royale so pretty, I'll agree that aside from that, there's not much to discuss about her... =\ 
Bal For President! 
JPL for president! (He's French, right?) 
Yeah But Why 
Bal is much cooler. 
You Can't Have 
a one-candidate race. That's a monarchy. 
Of the two, I support Royal. But I don't think she would bring France back to the Renaissance or anything ;) 
Zwif's Got A Point 
The other guy seems to be racist towards middle easterners and pro-Bush, so I don't like him.

There would be no better way to stick it to Bush then to open a chilled bottle of French Champagne on the day he leaves office and just before the next nightmare administration really begins. 
Are you really talking about politics here?

Superficial I know my statement was, but it is impolite to talk about domestic, structural problems in another man's country, esp. when the same may exist and be even greater in my own ;) So keeping it lite is the best course until a Frenchman decides the issues need better elaboration. 
Royal Vs Sarkozy 
I'm interest by how you guys are seeing the race externally even if your comments are "superficial" and not "deep into politics arguments", it is suitable for me: at least it will be funny :D

And I don't want to compete with Bal: let me be fair and let him win.... No revolution please :P 
Put This Thread Back From Where It Done Came 
That is, the proverbial unwiped ass of the universe.

Do we really need a thread dedicated to inertia and Headthump stroking themselves vigorously with some ideological Vaseline in the mirror of their own beliefs? 
You Can Join In 
for a threesome if you like; I do like my bitches who whine and squeel and scream a lot. 
point of creating thread, blitz, was to isolate the discussion from people who aren't interested in reading or talking about this stuff.

thus, sparing them the need to make comments like that. 
so you come in a thread more than 24 hours after all of the previous acrimony has been expressed to raise some stink and at the same time declare yourself oh-so-above-it-all in that prisspot manner that you have perfected. Yeah, your pretty fucking logical. Twit. 
Inertia and Headthump have found their Napolean Bonaparte. 
My apologies to inert and Headthump...that was a bit out of line.

I guess I've just been frustrated with the state of func_msg seems like lately I've been seeing nothing but nitin's movie reviews (which I enjoy) and long rants about politics and ideology and what not.

Now that's to be expected since we're primarily a Quake-centric community, but I get frustrated when I find myself enjoying the tone and pace of other level design boards immensely more than func/Qmap which I used to get really excited about. I like giving feedback on screenshots and playing betas and talking about design.

On other level design boards, someone makes a non-sequitur about something and it might get a laugh or more likely just be ignored and expected as part of the fabric of silliness.

Here, lately, a remark about that same something gets a lengthy dissertation about it, and no one gives a shit.

(Replace "something" with "Warren G. Harding" for a concrete example)

So, again, my apologies. 
lack of vitality and humor could be due to the lack of quake mappery that has hit these parts lately :/ 
To which I direct you to post numbers 16 and 17 =) 
I kind of agree that there seems to be less and less mapping talk on here, but I think the reason is that some of the more active members aren't mappers. And many of our active mappers have become less active or gotten too busy to map. 
As a mappers, I'm very busy on several fronts: beta testing, and mapping... So don't complain please, some good news will come soon.... :) 
go fuck your self with politics who gives a shit about it? they just want to eat our money!

go fucking map 
It's quite a good summary !!! 
Touche, Trinca 
That had the directness I would expect from a Portuguese, with the poetic feeling of madfox, and a little hint of czg thrown in for 'wtf.'

Touche indeed. 
Is There More To Life Then Mapping? 
Maybe not. Some might say programming, or modeling&animating, or texture painting, and some of us bent assholes might even say 'politics'. But we are just kidding ourselves. Mapping is all there is of any value. Those other things only hold value to the extent they give mappers something to use.

Blitz, apology accepted, the 'twit' comment stricken. No grudges held. 
The reason we put a premium on on-topic discussion on this board is that there aren't a lot of alternative sources of quake mapping discussion. I can get discussion of movies, politics and philosophy from many, many websites.

I don't want us to talk less about movies, politics, or philosophy. I only wish we talked more about level design. 
I Hope #44 
come off as a case of sarcastism, something I don't view very highly; it was tounge and cheek and at the same time iterated a general agreement with Trinca.

Really, getting in a political discussion started off as a means of dealing with a bad 50+ hour case of insomnia last weekend and not meant to be a tipping point to a thermo nuclear war, but those things happen. 
Missing Word 'didn't' 
as in 'didn't come off' 
Sarcastism ? Bleh -- Delete The T 
Toilet Paper 
what's the reason for new found obsession in it by the american politics nowadays?

A short dissertation will do. 
Lol -- I May Be Wrong 
but I think it began with a recent entry the singer Sheryl Crow did on her blog about limiting
the use to one square for each go, three for realy tough ones; I didn't follow this closely so don't know if she meant political or personal edict. 
Re: Toilet Paper... 
it's nothing more than fodder for the Daily Show writers and will be forgotten within two weeks. 
Re: Toilet Paper 
the single most important question is if you are a folder or a crumpler. but this rather belongs to the philosophy thread, doesn't it... 
An Opinion On Global Warming... 
.. we are all already "cooked"... 
USA Change Of Mind ? 
Politics Vs Mapping 
people sometimes make political songs, books, films. is it possible to make a political game/level? 
I guess new monster models with Ben Laden, Bush Chirac, Sarkozy, Poutine, etc.. etc... is needed.. and the action should take place in all these leaders country (e.g Paris - France, USA - Washigton, etc.. etc...)
What do you think ? 
it's certainly possible, but it's limited only by people's general inability to make games as art -- generally, they don't know how and there's little precedent.

However, I would say that SimCity and SimEarth were both political, as they hard-wired their sociological and scientific beliefs into the game rules. These included beliefs about economic growth, sustainability, climate change, etc, which have political implications. Also, Civilization has the same sort of assumptions coded as rules:

Of course, this isn't the only kind of political game you could have. You could write a very story-heavy game where the story was politically charged in the same way a movie is.

There's also game design as performance art, where you make a game about Columbine shootings, or the WTC plane crashes, and the game itself isn't as important as the reaction from people who don't actually play it. 
Excellent Observation 
However, I would say that SimCity and SimEarth were both political, as they hard-wired their sociological and scientific beliefs into the game rules.  
Surely you remember the map inspired by COMMUNISM: 
interesting point of view.

but I meant something a little different.

civilization, simcity are not the things I mean by saying "political game". in these games people play politicians again other (AI) politicians. those believes you mentioned are quite common imo and do not make much influence on people.

Also I didn't mean making games about certain political leaders/countries.

I meant (comparing to other forms of art) making a game with a hidden political message that doesn't say clearly "i like them/i don't like them". but if player digs deeper he may see some kind of author's point of view at political situations or forms of goverment or something like that. For example a game about humans making an expansion to some planet with independent lifeforms.

I doubt my english can describe my thoughts in a good way, but i hope that you catch the point. 
Check Out "I'm OK" 
Very clearly a political title, and also freakin' hilarious. 
Alpha Centauri 
civ clone, but had factions that were very different in their beliefs and political systems... so it kinda put a highlight on how different man can live (and still be successful). 
Political Games? 
Two from the front page of metafilter:


The Redistricting Game is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting.

I played through the missions. UI kind of sucks, but the game does a good job of presenting the challenge of redistricting with varying political goals, and opponents to appease. Obviously intended as an educational device, but I think it is successful at being a game as well.


Torrent Raiders playfully addresses issues of domestic surveillance and intellectual property by putting players in the role of a mercenary copyright enforcer...

I haven't played this yet. 
Science As Input For Policy 
Very Political Game Series 
Deus Ex and DX Invisible War.

Quite politically rich and varied in that it presented multiple political groups and views and all the game conflict centered around the clashes between these groups. You could chose your alignment.

I really enjoyed both. 
A Lighter Note 
Albedo Flip 
If global warming causes the ice sheets at Greenland and West Antarctica to disintegrate, they will not reflect the sunlight anymore, and global warming will accelerate significantly.

This is very possible.

NASA:s James Hansen has a new paper about this, a short review here: 
nothing new there 
Says Mr NASA Gibbie 
Alpha Centauri is the single most addictive and replayable offline game I've played.

I've deleted it more than once just so I stop playing it. I've played it on and off since 2001.

It's like an offline WoW in the sense of it's addictive and time consuming nature, really evil stuff. Even now, just thinking about it makes me want to play it but it takes 10-12 hours to 100+ to finish a single game.

Sigh ... they shouldn't make games like that. 
A Func Length Argument Presentation 
Nice, But 
for the sake of accuracy, every one of those pictures needs a thick brick wall on the tracks in front of the trains. 
Obama Vs McCain 
I saw yesterday a short summary of a meeting with McCain. And something surprising happened, but I think it was really fair play.
MacCain acted like that: some republicans were flaming Obama saying he was an arab, a dangerous muslim terrorist, etc... And McCain stood up for Obama, saying that regardless of the their different ideas onto economy, policy, etc.. if Obama would be elected, he would be a good President of the USA (OMG !)...
Wow: are republicans (McCain first) already defeated ?
McCain was really fair, and I think he did the right thing: showing he respects a lot Obama, but rgarding the campain that drags sometimes a lot of shit, McCain was surprisingly very fair play...
Anyway... who will win now ? Wait and see... 
Hey JPL 
this is a pretty good site to keep up with the daily horse race of the election and more importantly the House and Senate races:

It is ran by two guys, one is a Republican operative the other a Democrat so you can expect a fair balance. 
Just A Guide 
each state is portioned a number of electoral points based on the number of members they have in Congress. That is determined by the population in the states calculated every ten years using the Census; the number of points needed to win I believe for this cycle is 277. Looking at today's map, Obama has 343 and McCain has 184. That may overstate the odds quite a bit as a 3 or 4 percentage point change in as little as 6 states can switch those positions, but still those are some huge odds to work with. 
Thanks for the website, and thanks for the guidance.
As far as I understood, the US president is not directly elected by US people, but rather "super-voters" (as we name then in France for our senators). I was aware of that point, but not about how complex the calculation is, according to the website...
Well, there is also a factor that is not "officially" taken into account here: the "racial" factor... What would happen at the last minute before voting if voters say: "wtf, a nigger in the white house ! Forget it"....
Well, I think this will be one of the key factor in this election, and as of today nobody knows how it will impact the election, and also how many people will change their mind at the last minute.... nobody want to be tagged as a racist ;) 
nobody want to be tagged as a racist
I wouldn't be too sure about that.

Obama has been named Osama on the voting notes in some NY district or something, go figure. Well, it will be interesting if anything changes in the US foreign affairs, if at all. 
Obama has been named Osama on the voting notes in some NY district or something, go figure

Good thing that NY is a democrat safety then, if they did that in a swing state it might actually change that. (Although I don't think he did him self any favours making the ticket Obama Bi[n la]den).

And McCain's support of him after the arab comment was mirrored (publically at least) by Obama in respect to his war service [ skip first 2 paragraphs], it's a combination of basic politeness and trying to appear positive in their campaigns (positive as in the opposite of negative advertising). 
*change things

There are probably others. My head stings slightly... 
I Do Wonder 
how much in control of their campaigns and all the mud slinging those guys really are anymore? They might have gotten quite sick of the "culture war" already.
The opposing side is portrayed as such a devil and the US seems very divided.

I don't know if any policies will change much if either is elected. 
says it's basically a one-party system. 
"one-party" System 
Well, it is not obvious for us european people, but it seems that in between Democrats and republicans, there are not that much differences... the only visible difference for us is War in Irak :P
Any others ? 
When I say "War in Irak", it is bcause McCain want to satay there, when Obama wants to leave... but I guess it is more complex than that :P 
I prefer Hicks; "puppet on the left hand, puppet on the right hand". But same principle as Chomsky's view 
Dunno... Maybe there are more subtelties... though... :P 
There Are Differences... 
but the presidential candidates are usually pretty centrist compared to their parties, so they can also grab votes from the middle. 
I Think 
Every president in every country must be centrist during the campaign to grab most of votes 
... the biggest liar ever ;) 
You Have To Vote For One Of Us 
I Don't HAVE To Vote For Any Of Them 
.. I'm french :P 
Vote For Scampie 
US goes into Iraq - chaos ensues
US leaves Iraq - REAL chaos ensues

I sure hope they don't let Turkey into the EU, because then WE will have THEIR shit on our hands.

I also would like to see which oil drills are owned by what kind of people afterwards, and what the deals are


the suckage won't stop after they have a new president... problems may come slower or faster for us, that's all. 
It's Getting Surreal Over There 
This could be from the Onion...

Both the material and the ad... 

So good to see America's hordes of unwashed mindless protestant evangelicals getting their stupid retarded creationist asses hand to them. 
Obama is a Protestant christian. 
Obama... And What Else ? 
I'm now very curious to see the real effect of this change...
What past shown us is that between Republicans and Democrats, the difference is very small.. or maybe I'm not enough informed to see the differences in between the 2 parts...
Anyway, wait and see for the effects and results... 
What The Past Shows Us... 
What past shown us is that between Republicans and Democrats, the difference is very small.. or maybe I'm not enough informed to see the differences in between the 2 parts...

Actually what the past shows us is that when the difference between Republican and Democrat CANDIDATES is very small, the Democrats always win. 
So, are there any differences then ? Please elaborate... 
"Obama is a Protestant christian."

Yes, but he's not an asshole about it. That's the difference. 
So, are there any differences then ? Please elaborate...

Between the Democrats and the Republicans? They have huge, huge differences in almost every political area, and huge differences in the demographic that votes for them. You seriously can't spot any differences? 
Democrats=D and Republicans=R.

D: Some
R: A lot

D: Some, at least for rich people
R: Less, at least for rich people

Government spending?
D: Some
R: Less, except, in reality, more, so its more taxes or more debt

They don't differ that drastically from each other when you compare to other countries. Stuff like free education is unlikely to happen in USA, or other services that would be provided via higher taxes. I'm not really up to speed on the status of healthcare, not even over here. 
Healthcare in the US is not as bad as it's cracked up to be. When I was unemployed a few years ago with no insurance, I had to go to the ER and I was afraid I was going to have a gigantic bill waiting for me a month later.

After my visit, I met with some financial lady at the hospital to tell her my situation and came out with the good news that I wouldn't have to pay a dime!

So yeah the system worked for me anyway :) 
D: Some
R: A lot

D: Some, at least for rich people
R: Less, at least for rich people

Government spending?
D: Some
R: Less, except, in reality, more, so its more taxes or more debt

It's pretty unrealistic to expect answers like:

D: Yes, all of them
R: None

To those sort of questions. These are mainstream parties. One (still) acts a bit Reagan-era and the other prefers a bit more state involvement, but if you're expecting a choice between communist russia and the wild west then I agree. They're not *that* different. 
It Isn't Entirely Unrealistic 
to expect stuff like:

D: yes
C: no 
...if you're expecting a choice between communist russia and the wild west then I agree. They're not *that* different.

So if I understand correctly, there is a middle right party (Democrats) and a right party (Republicans)... a kind of right party "flavours".. and then it explains why it is so difficult for non-US citizens to "feel" the differences...

I also think it will not change that much the US international policy, maybe much more the US internal policy, regarding all the "social" things Obama would like to put in place... Well, wait and see ;) 
Continue racism / immigration discussion HERE. 
No, this is not the right place. We need a thread called '"Other's" politics'. 
We also need a racism thread. Also, a script that automatically moves all of Trinca's posts into it. 
LOL mines?

don't think so... 
Good Idea! 
We also need a racism thread. Also, a script that automatically moves all of Trinca's posts into it.

i LOL'ed :) 
How About Just "Trinca"? 
In his honour :P 
how about fuck you :p 
Well I Didnt Make The Thread 
I was joking man. Freedom of speech - YEAH!!! 


What's happening ! 
Really Zwiff? 
Wanna try a little bit o' Italy?

Yeah, I didn't think so... 
Is Your PM Involved In Sex Scandals Again? 
Politics Make Me Angry. 
United States = Interesting Place 
40 years ago the United States had things like investigative journalism, freedom of speech, a constitution. Today, our "news" is mostly American Idol chatter and celebrity gossip and very superficial political news.

Today, disclosing "secret" information and the government has no regard for, say, what the US constitution says about freedom of speech, due process. Laws are written by "regulation", not passed by Congress. Wars are conducted without a declaration of war [although Vietnam was an undeclared war and so was the Gulf War]. All information about the conduct during the war is a state secret.

Revealing said info leads to brute force bully behavior.

The United States is sure acting a lot like China. Who are we to criticize China's censorship of things like Tienanmen Square and massive web censorship and jailing people arbitrarily without a trial.

There is a big and powerful religion that worships at the altar of "big government" and Washington culture and citizens must sacrifice freedoms and must not know government secrets. The Fed even sought to keep spending of the bank bailout and stimulus money secret [it failed, and several large companies like General Electric, Ford, Toyota received several billion $$$].

Both parties are fully immersed in this Washington culture.

And this system of government shrouded in secrecy, behaving in my opinion corruptly, free from oversight, waging a permanent war in Afghanistan for unclear reasons, with the ability to incarcerate or detain without trial is a kabillion dollars in debt.

And is on a collision course with a massive financial crisis unseen in the history of mankind ...

The immovable object --- a behemoth government deeper in true debt [including future obligations] than the wealth of the entire Earth times 3 -- is going to collide with the irresistable force of utter lack of credit and bankruptcy.

Part of me is very concerned about what will happen when this train runs off the track. Greece got bailed out by Germany. The Greeks protested reforms in the streets for months and resisted all change.

The entire world couldn't begin to bailout the United States. And yet, whatever happens, the sun always rises and years will go by. But it is quite puzzling how this all will resolve itself. 
The Party System And Justice 
The United State (singular) has no party system, not even a two party system. The State has a hydra, and either of its heads are 'elected' to serve its purpose. It serves no purpose other than to take social power and replace it with State power.

It is certainly true that the business of gov't, in maintaining freedom and security, and to secure those rights is to make recourse to justice costless, easy and informal; but the State, on the contrary, is primarily concerned wih injustice, and its function is to maintain a regime of injustice; hence, as we see daily, its disposition is to put justice as far as possible out of reach, and to make the effort after justice as costly and difficult as it can. One may put it in a word that while gov't is by its nature concerned with the administration of justice, the State is by nature concered with the administration of law--law, which the State itself manufacturers for the service of ts own primary ends. Therefore an appeal to the State, based on the ground of justice, is futile in any circumstances, for whatever action the State might take in response to it would be conditioned by the State's own paramount interest, and would hence be bound to result, as we see such action invariably resulting in as great injustice as that which it pretends to correct, or as a rule, greater. 
Nah ... 

I think the quote "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" is a better description.

The US governmental system is tragically dysfunctional and without a mechanism to change it.

I imagine the next few years the federal government is going to spend like crazy. The one misguided party will push for unfunded tax cuts and the other misguided party will push for unfunded social spending.

They will compromise and we will get BOTH!

In a few years, the US economy and government debt will finally hit that last point, where some sort chain reaction credit meltdown occurs over the course of 90 days or so ... and no one will be willing to lend the US government money.

What will happen at that point remains a mystery, but if somewhat like Greece there will be protests of some sort against who knows what.

But then, like now --- nobody is actually running the show. 
It seems more likely that the State is trying to take power, albeit incompetently. What do you think regulation is? The State decides that x industry isn't running their business the way the State wants it to be run, and passes legislation to force them to run it the way the State see's fit. Taxes are nothing more than theft. 
Well ... 
It would have to be incompetence.

The reason is ... the current state of affairs cannot last much longer (a few years at best). When government credit runs dry, the next stage is "printing money" (yes this will happen, it actually started last year when the Federal Reserve pulled $1 trillion out of thin air to buy securities to stabilize the market --- peeving China a bit).

That will kill corporate investment and the collapse of the economic system ensues.

Any system that's actions lead to the demise of the system by definition must be incompetent.

I'm just saying that if it is deliberate then the goal is self-defeating and shortsighted.

Taxes are nothing more than theft

Not really. Government isn't bad, they provide the public resources and the public goods to support the best interests of citizens (safe water, safe food supply).

But the US government suffers from a massive inefficiency of scale. The sheer size is absolutely unmanageable and gets a low return on investment. It could be several times more efficient, but the structure of the government and the administrative overhead of that structure was not designed to support the massive size of the federal government.

And our political system -- as you implied with your book reference -- is a duopoly not designed to allow any self-correcting behavior.

Governments in Europe are far smaller in comparison, more able to change, managed far better and closer to the citizens. 
When America collapses, will any of you Euro peoples let me room with you? 
The fed has been printing money since the U.S. went off the gold standard, in the 70's. That's nothing new.

Taxes have to be theft. I, and many other people, did not consent to give the United States gov't money from my paycheck, plus the plethora of other places the State dips it's greedy hands into. There's nothing that a government can provide that private business couldn't. 
You Can Come Stay With Me, Zwiff :) 
We can go on a big pub crawl :) 
Dear WikiLeaks Avengers 
As much as I understand your anger and support your course - or rather WL's - would you please stop hammering Mastercard and Paypal so I can complete my Steam purchase? For I also see a point in the notion that these rage attacks may well prove counterproductive on the underlying debate in the long run. 
Or redirect the ddos attacks at Steam, because they're cleary incapable of making their paypal option work flawlessly. 
Paypal, &c 
Attacking Paypal, Amazon because they stopped/closed WL related services is dumb. They stopped because of threats from the gov't. ddos or something. 
negke wants it and he wants it now! Just get to a store and buy the game there? Has the added benefit of less DRM. So you could probably play it even if Steam itself was denialing its service to you.

jt_, you are kinda dumb. 
*rolls Eyes* 
There's nothing that a government can provide that private business couldn't.

That's not really true. Private business has the need to make a profit. The government is about providing public services.

Roads, vaccinations, power plants, space programs, police, the legal system, libraries ... many of these things have no direct approach for a profit angle so no private business would ever have incentive to provide them.

You are correct in the sense that most of these things could be contracted or outsourced to private business and get far more bang for the buck. The US government is grossly wasteful.

One reason the United States is, in the short term, a lost cause is due to isolation.

In Europe, people get to see the way that other governments do things all the time.

In the United States, ignorance rules and the "way things are" is an institution.

To save the United States political system, you'd have to break the country into 8-15 pieces to get it functional again.

In the USA, people are numbed into thinking that the one party and that the other party have all the 2 points of the same view that are possible. It is reinforced in all news media.

And both parties are so very wrong, it is like watching 2 drunk people argue and issue without understanding both of them are absolutely wrong.

For instance, one party is "for" big government and the other party is "against" it. What about the idea of an efficient government?

And in the quest to fix the economy, they argue tax policy or monetary policy. But the real issue is no corporation has any interest in building factories in the US due to red tape, our legal system which fleeces large employers -- and since we have free trade with other countries .. no corporation needs to build anything here.

Taxes are theft

Money is an imaginary currency. So how can it be theft when it doesn't really exist to begin with?

Putting that aside, there is a lot of truth that the government is super-tax hungry because it is totally out of control. Rather than do an actual tax increase, they add backdoor fees to everything from phone service, car rentals, airlines increasing the cost of everything.

Taxes in some sense are a necessary evil. Yes people could survive without a government ... just look at Somalia ... 
UK Government Aint So Bad I Guess 
But they also waste a lot of money.

How about this for a question - is it worth putting troops in Afghanistan? I mean that costs a lot of money. Put it also provides a lot of employment for starters..... If fuels the economy because its a collaboration of the usages of an awful lot of government and charitable services.

Do we have the right to pass judgement on the enemy there? Possibly - as a collective, western governments are playing god with it. We are a united front and military superpower, and we can judge you on our moral standards because no-one's gonna stop us.

How does a nation fight a war in the 21st century? With our wallets. Our Value Added Tax on purchased items (almost everything we buy in he shops or on-line or from public services) here in the UK is about to go from 17.5% to 20%. Our governments will mess around doing this and that, rebuilding roads, putting people in prison, paying doctors huge sums of money to do their jobs etc., and they will spend a shed-load on the military.

What would happen if they didn't do that?

There would be less employment for starters. Our government would probably give the unemployed load of money so that they can still spend and keep the economy rolling.

I wonder if less people would get killed by terrorists? Or more? 
I highly recommend

As for number of people killed by "terrorists": Wikipedia says that about 10,000 people are killed by lightning strikes per year. Something makes me feel that this is higher than the number of people killed by terrorist attacks as portrayed in the western media. 
.. And It Largerly Under... 
.. number of the people that die in car accident.. :P

I propose the US Army to bomb all car manufacturers as they are killing more people (even indirectely) than terrorits :D 
Money is an imaginary currency. So how can it be theft when it doesn't really exist to begin with?

The gov't's money is imaginary, that's why it's called fiat money. Real money can be anything, gold, silver, chickens, camels, cows, &c. Money is just a means of exchange between people. So you're half way right, sort of.

Roads, vaccinations, power plants, space programs, police, the legal system, libraries ... many of these things have no direct approach for a profit angle so no private business would ever have incentive to provide them.

Roads, vaccinations, power plants, space programs, police, the legal system and libraries do all have profit incentive. Fairly obvious profit incentives, in fact. 
Oh Yeah? 
So then, how do you measure the profit of a library? There are things that private businesses cannot provide as well as the state can. Baker has listed lots of examples. Here's an example: say there is a small town that has access to public transportation services. This may not be profitable for the service provider. Does that mean that the town ppl should be cut off from those services? I think not, so this is an argument against privatisation of public transp. services. Sometimes, the many have to take care of the needd of the few. This would nor happen if profit is the only driving force. 
That implies that people have a ``right'' to use buses. Bus transportation is a service, not a right. 
I posted that while I was pretty drunk last night. Just ignore it. I don't want to discuss this with you. It's a waste of time. 
The Irony Of "capitalism" 
What makes Western civilization the best isn't fat cats in mansions.

It is that the common man/woman has roads, vaccinations, public schools, libraries, clean water, safe food, access to phones, electric, power and sewage.

With those, you can rise as far as your work ethic and -- reality is --- gene pool will take you.

In third world countries, you don't have most of those things. And you might not have a chance to use whatever talents you have.

The wealth of the United States and of Europe isn't "capitalism" -- it is that everyone gets the closest thing you can have to a "fair chance" at being all you can be.

Contrast with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, China, Russia and any number of truly third world countries.

Capitalism is important, it is the natural vehicle of necessary competition. But the investment of a small portion of that to draw the "floor" level of a country is what makes Western civilization different.

The United States has a dysfunctional federal government. That doesn't make all government bad. Even in the US, local governments are typically very kickass and responsive to the citizens and their needs. It is our federal government that do things like the TSA airport security screenings of grandmas and 4 year old little kids. 
OK This Is Relevant I Guess 
And I would like to say that I dont necessarily agree with him, but: 
With those, you can rise as far as your work ethic and -- reality is --- gene pool will take you.

The wealth of the United States and of Europe isn't "capitalism" -- it is that everyone gets the closest thing you can have to a "fair chance" at being all you can be.

It might be the closest available today but definitely not the closest to "fair chance" available. There are still many inequalities that have nothing to do with your work ethic or gene pool. 
Glass Half Empty Or Half Full 
Bear, as you know the average lifespan in the West is 70 years. If you throw out the top 3% of good luck stories and the bottom 3% of hard luck stories, the average person has quite a long time to pursue their interests, happiness, talents etc.

Someone might start out with disadvantages but in most cases there are several chances to overcome them. Likewise, many people who start out with a lot of advantages have plenty of opportunity to fritter them away [Hey, I used fritter in a sentence].

Is the glass half empty or half full?

I'd argue that the answer to that question means everything in the world.

If the glass is half empty, someone thinks they don't have a chance and will never try, which is a forfeiture scenario.

If the glass is half full, you may suffer setbacks or several, but you will keep at it and given enough time find what you hope for. 
Every Time... 
Someone talks about opportunities, good or bad luck, disadvantages, and so on, I always think about Kinn's post, below, which was awesome enough that I saved it, and added it to the "quotes" section on my website:

Consider this - unless you believe in reincarnation, then just consider the unlikeliness of your position - over all time and space, consider all the possible sentient beings that have ever lived, are currently living, and will ever live. It's a large number. You're one of them.

What the christ are the chances that out of all the times and places that you could have been born in, you happen to be living in one where you can sleep at night without fear of being eaten by a monster; you know exactly when and where your next meal is coming from (and have the luxury of being able to pick and choose about it). If you're ill, or injured you can be healed by technology, and what's more there's a good chance all your children are going to survive you.

For most of us, our biggest worry is what danger-free occupation we're going to concern ourselves with for one-third of each day (well, for 5 out of 7 days at least). The rest of the time we are either sleeping or entertaining ourselves with sex, drugs, or the latest toy.

We are privileged bastards.

Yeah, this isn't very political. Sorry. A little. I guess. 
Baker: are you arguing that there isn't any work to be done except changing perspective for those that aren't optimists?

And what's your criteria for a third world countries your list makes me wonder. 
Italian Riots 
This has something to do with Italian politics I assume. 
Third World 
A won't define a third world country, but a first world country you have:

1. Freedom of thought and political views
2. The right to travel or move
3. A government responsive to public opinion where the government has clearly defined limits

Baker: are you arguing that there isn't any work to be done except changing perspective for those that aren't optimists?

Nope. There is plenty of work to be done.

While I think Western civilization is the best that history has been able to produce up to this point, I'm sure it pales in comparison to what will exist in the future.

In the United States, I am particularly disappointed with the way we have 2 state-sponsored political parties that each have some incredibly great views, some incredibly poor views, and both have consensus agreement on some things that neither should find acceptable at all.

I think in the United States, corporate influence is WAY out of control. It is almost like a partership with the government. One that is on a collision course with absolutely bankrupting the nation. I can't speak for Europe, but Germany is certainly expected to do the heavy financial lifting for Greece, Ireland and such. This is just one issue, there are social justice issues and imaginary rights issues [libel laws, patent system and other IP related matters ... one example: what Mastercard, Visa and Paypal has done with Wikileaks under duress from the US government without any "due process" for reasons that would be unconstitutional (right to free speech) if Wikileaks were US-based) mostly because, as Ron Paul recently said, Wikileaks embarrassed the American government's aspirations of Empire.] 
Just Out Of Curiosity 
How does publishing stolen classified documents fall under freedom of speech? Disclaimer: I'm not against wikileaks. It's just that that particular argument doesn't make sense to me. 
It Actually Falls Under Freedom Of The Press, Supposedly. 
So, Besides Egypt... 
Besides not talking about that whole Egypt thing going on, we in America have been ... celebrating? Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, even though he's dead, and a lot of talk about how he's the conservative ideal, while liberals are quick to point out all his negatives.

Not having been alive through Reagan's administration, I'm unsure of all the details, but it seems he's kind of a douche bag.

Any thoughts? 
Conservatism is an empty program, and regan was a war monger.

I hope things go well in egypt, and hope that their dictator is either overthrown or leaves. There's also high hopes for souther sudan seceding from northern sudan.

I need a good synonym for hope, has failed me. 
Reagan and Thatcher were essentially the figure heads for the neo-conservative movement. To de-power unions and labour, and to allow market forces to be unleashed and wealth and power to move further from the people and deeper into private hands.

Either they believed their bullshit, that market forces magically create a utopia for you or they didn't care and knew that it was just about making them and their friends rich. Either way, both were utter cunts. 
just as my detestation of the Bush Administration's "evil neocons manipulating theocrats into supporting them for their own purposes" strategy was beginning to wear off at due to sheer disgust/horror at Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, and all that "Tea bag" stuff, I watched "No End in Sight." Jesus Christ is Iraq ever fucked up. Interestingly, the documentary does not assume that failure was a foregone conclusion, but convincingly argues that a number of outcomes were possible, almost all of them much better than what actually happened, due to the Bush administration's cronyism, disdain for expertise and traditional checks and balances, idiots like Rumsfeld and his underlings got to make all the decisions almost unilaterally. Wtf.

Obama proves how much the US system is based on corruption and inertia, since he's changed next to nothing. If winning a landslide right after the bush administration's disaster doesn't give you a mandate to fix some of the problems, what does? What a bunch of status-quo sellouts the obama administration has turned out to be.

My opinion on Ronald Reagan is about the same as Bill Hicks' opinion of him. Same with Rush Limbaugh actually (lol). As for Egypt, I hope things go well, but theocrat militias better not take over ffs, that's largely what's wrong in Iraq. 
Conservatism has nothing to do with free markets, it's a philosophy of preserving what exists, rejecting all change. Conservatives end up tacking on a "pro free market" position because it helps them in the polls. If you take a look at the policies that a "liberal" and a "conservative" make, with regards to the economy, they're mostly the same (this is especially true with regan[1][2]).

Neither democrats nor republicans care about what the people think or how free they are, if they did, they would repel the mass of regulations that they have decided are for the peoples "well being." A bureaucrat or politician centralized in D.C. can't know what's "good" for an individual in Washington, Alaska, or any other state. No one knows better what they want and need better than them self.

I said neo-conservative I meant neo-liberal...

It's late and I can't sleep okay :p 
Also the reason both parties make similar decisions is simply down to the fact they're both essentially the party of wall street. They aren't necessarily pro-free market because it's popular with the masses, it's because that's what those funding them want, and that's what they are selling, so they won't have anything said against it.

I still think it's interesting to wonder what their internal thinking is...
Thatcher was obsessed with Churchill and saw herself as a modern version of him, trying to preserve England and it's power, and this new form of economics seemed to be the way to do it. She quite possibly does think she was doing the best thing at the time, certainly that's the excuse that is trotted out... she did what had to be done.

Whether she believed it herself in the end... actually, given the fact she'll be surrounded by people who adore her, she probably does think she did great things. 
The World Is Returning To Fuedlaism 
We thought we escaped it. And! For a few centuries, it looked like we did.

But alas we are returning to class rule. But on the up side, we have a little bit of wiggle room with the idea of class mobility.

I guess you take what you can get. 
Don't Judge Me By The Typo 
Rather judge me by being impatient and not adequately reviewing my spelling. I spelt it wrong. Thanks and goodnight! 
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