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Keep it non-pretentious, guys. And make sense.
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Ricky 
I highly recommend http://jontaplin.com/the-cost-of-empire/

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. 
Shit 
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:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/jeremy_clarkson/article681768.ece 
 
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.
-Kinn


Yeah, this isn't very political. Sorry. A little. I guess. 
Blah 
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.

http://www.newser.com/story/107573/rome-streets-in-chaos-after-berlusconi-victory.html 
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, thesaurus.com 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. 
Yeah 
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. 
Zqf 
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.

[1] http://mises.org/daily/5010
[2] http://mises.org/daily/5011 
 
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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