Journal of the Shutdown: Day 16

212 Responses

  1. BBnet3000 says:

    *15% of the federal govt only

  2. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    Another funny one, Clark. You're doing a good job of parodying the college sophomore libertarian so many accuse you of being.

  3. HamOnRye says:

    Is that Rowdy Roddy Piper on the right?

  4. Sinij says:

    I hope this will serve as a warning for future generations of politicians not to gerrymander districts as much as GOP did. Without even a remote possibility of an electoral loss from other party the logical self-interested strategy is to pander to most extreme minority of your own party.

  5. Dan says:

    Really? Government-supplied birth control? Good thing your bunker is fully stocked with straw men and dog whistles!

  6. Hoare says:

    @ham

    yes … Hell Comes To Frogtown

    best Roddy ad lib?
    "I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…. and I'm all out of bubblegum" -R.Piper – They Live

  7. Damon says:

    IF the chicks all look that good after the "great default", bring it on! H

  8. adam says:

    after reading the synopsis on Wikipedia, I thought to myself, "how on earth does this shit even make it in to theaters?" Then I went to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes and found that 50% of people liked it which reminded me that sex sells and of the 50% of people that liked it, 100% are single, white men.

  9. W.B. Yeats says:

    I approve of this

  10. Troutwaxer says:

    Another funny one, Clark.

    I agree completely. I've come to the conclusion that Clark is not an ignorant Libertarian, but one of the great satirists of our time, somewhat like Jesus' General, but a little more subtle. With this in mind, I'll offer my favorite joke about Libertarians, which I made up myself:

    There are two kinds of Libertarians. One kind is unaware that Ayn Rand was writing fiction. The other kind of Libertarian is unaware that Robert Heinlein was writing fiction.

    I'm not a satirist of Clark's quality, but I think it's very funny!

  11. mud man says:

    Why is she wearing glasses?? That's weird.

  12. Clark says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    Another funny one, Clark.

    Are you under the impression that anyone confuses your sarcasm with wit?

    Are you under the impression that anyone welcomes your boorishness?

    At least @Troutwaxer, who indulges in the same rudeness, manages to be somewhat clever about it. You, though, don't even bring that to the table.

  13. gramps says:

    @ mud man: I wondered that too… and since her eyesight is enhanced you would think she would see that her nylons had runners and would have changed them…..

  14. stillnotking says:

    Careful analysis has revealed that the plot of Hell Comes to Frogtown contains several serious deficiencies, which I plan to address in an upcoming blog post, or possibly Ph.D. thesis.

  15. Asher says:

    Clark's point is that the federal government does lots of superfluous stuff. How is that point lost on anyone? I would have got it around third grade.

  16. Brought a tear to the eye, that did. I've got a child on the way, and I just don't know what I'll tell him, or her, about the way the world once was. Before the shutdown. Before the libertarians opened up the gates of hell and cackled as the endless hordes of demons shambled out to cover the world in hellfire and darkness.

    I do know that we will tell tales of brave Troutwaxer, who alone stood against the tide, who defended the priests of government and their holy church, who alone tried to preserve the wisdom of humanity, humble though it was. We will sing of the Troutwaxer, and tell tales of the mythical Ers and Eepa, of brave Osha and Usda who watched over the faithful. We will praise Lerna, goddess of the hunt, who unleashed her arrows against the barbarian Tribe of the Yellow Snake for 40 days and 40 nights, until, exhausted, she turned to stone. And how the Snake-men could not bear to let stand any works of man, and so they destroyed the homes of the medicine men and the teachers, tearing them down brick-by-brick, to make monument to the dark one, Ranpall.

    We will speak in hushed tones of Per-du, and the times of Untainted Chicken. We will weep for our destruction; for once we knew the many, acronymic faces of God, but in our pride and our hatred we turned away from Him. We will beat our breasts and wail, for our primitive fear of the One, of the strangeness of His name, and the brownness of His skin, blinded us to the radiance of His visage and dulled our ears to the holiness of His word. And we will beg the forgiveness of holy Troutwaxer, who alone among the prophets knew that man without government is no more than another brute, a wildebeest, slave to its basest instincts, stampeding hither and yon, sacrificing the old and the lame to the ravages of the lion's jaws. We will lament at how the people, without a shepherd, were such easy prey for the Wolf, Ranpall.

    And as final darkness covers the earth, and the last words we hear those of the great and terrible Devane, urging us to buy gold, we will know regret. We will know sorrow. We will know the pain of millenia without end.

  17. Clark says:

    @stillnotking

    Careful analysis has revealed that the plot of Hell Comes to Frogtown contains several serious deficiencies, which I plan to address in an upcoming blog post, or possibly Ph.D. thesis.

    Sounds like you're getting the kind of degree that correlates with wanting to be addressed as "Doctor" in social situations…

  18. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    It occurred to me a moment ago that this entire series is just an excuse to post some truly dreadful pictures. Worse than dreadful, but a more evocative descriptive eludes me.

    Admittedly, I'm not as irritated with you as I was before you began this endeavor. A decent sense of humor compensates for a lot of flaws. (Truly–it's the only reason I haven't rolled my husband into a carpet and hauled him off to the dump.)

  19. Asher says:

    Apparently, the government still has the funds to hire diversity trainers to teach soldiers that James Dobson is indistinguishable from the KKK. Hope is not lost.

  20. Clark says:

    @Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries

    It occurred to me a moment ago that this entire series is just an excuse to post some truly dreadful pictures.

    Not just. But…yes.

  21. Sinij says:

    Since this is very likely final post in the shutdown series I want to take this opportunity to write a eulogy for libertarian-tea party-christian right movement known as GOP in US politics.

    Recently deceasedirrelevant conservative right did a number of positive things for the country. For one, they managed to push deficit reduction into mainstream politics. They also managed to sideline neocon chickenhawks, but sadly not in time to stop Bush disasters. Just for these two great achievements they will be missed dearly. They also demonstrated that politicians still have to consider will of the people, by crashing GOP party going full speed into ideological wall they will restore much needed pragmatism and spirit of cooperation right after next election cycle. They also demonstrated that you can only delay reality, not entirely postpone – and that the dark power of epistemic closure demands constant blood sacrifices, and eventually you run out of offerings. Last but not least, they demonstrated that the culture wars are finally over (and they lost and there is no turning back the clock), we can all go home to progressive society that is more accepting that ever before of individual differences.

    For all of these we should be grateful. So lets lift a drink and talk only well of recently departed.

  22. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    @Clark

    Are you under the impression that anyone confuses your sarcasm with wit?

    Certainly not.

    I do think, however, that your posts on the shutdown are cutesy in that particularly college sophomore libertarian fashion which just can't fathom why anyone would care about something that doesn't affect them directly and immediately.

    I think it is a myopic view of the world that dismisses out of hand (with a smirk, no less) the real-world consequences of the shutdown.

    My apologies for any boorish behavior on my part up to this point. My intention is not to troll, but express sincere disagreement.

  23. SIV says:

    mud man • Oct 16, 2013 @9:46 am

    Why is she wearing glasses?? That's weird.

    Based on the synopsis I'm guessing it is to signal she is a nurse-scientist.

  24. Earle Williams says:

    @Not Claude Akins,

    Thank you very much for that, it was a treat!

    Edit: just a test, w00t!

  25. Asher says:

    spirit of cooperation

    Sometimes the vast chasm of real differences makes cooperation impossible. What's clear is that the US population is far too large and diverse to be governed as a republic, which is why the US has been an empire for a very long time.

    Tens upon tens of millions don't consider cooperation between different factions within the imperial ruling class conducive to their interests and values.

  26. Asher says:

    @ dr nobel dynamite

    that particularly college sophomore libertarian fashion which just can't fathom why anyone would care about something that doesn't affect them directly and immediately.

    So, do you want the government to supply everything anyone wants? Or just the stuff you like?

    And how was that obvious point lost on you? Jesus

  27. Clark says:

    @mud man

    Why is she wearing glasses?? That's weird.

    Ssshhhh. All your jabbering is distracting me.

  28. Sinij says:

    What's clear is that the US population is far too large and diverse to be governed as a republic

    This is false dilemma that is at the root of current crisis. Any population above 1 is "far too large" to govern along the ideological lines. You never get everything you want, but at the same time society as a whole does benefit from extremes, both far-left and far-right, pragmatically kept out of the governing. They are incapable of governing and should not be trusted with power.

  29. Asher says:

    @ Siniji

    Any population above 1 is "far too large" to govern along the ideological lines

    You're kidding, right? Millions and millions of people share things called "culture". Shared culture tends to make explicitly ideology very less, if not totally, irrelevant. By your reasoning, One government should be capable of governing an infinite number of individuals.

    Under and imperial system of government, on the other hand, ideology is crucial to keep people in line. Government by ideology is the product of diversity and the stark ideological divisions are only going to get more stark.

    What your comment implies is that your position is not ideological. Special pleadings, much?

  30. Sinij says:

    And by shared culture you mean Southern Strategy, right?

  31. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Sinij

    They also demonstrated that you can only delay reality, not entirely postpone

    Given the impending debt ceiling increase, that's perhaps more true than you intended. Economic reality will have it's pound of flesh, regardless of how many modern economist yes-men they can churn out to tell them that free lunches are possible.

  32. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    So, do you want the government to supply everything anyone wants? Or just the stuff you like?

    Neither. But if I have to pick, I'd definitely go with the latter.

    And how was that obvious point lost on you? Jesus

    I have to admit you lost me there.

  33. Asher says:

    @ Siniji

    And by shared culture you mean Southern Strategy, right?

    I'm sorry, did you have a point? The southern strategy relied on pre-existing cultural divides. It's an interesting historical event, nothing more.

  34. Justin says:

    At the risk of revealing that "I don't get it", after cutting through the satire, doesn't this Shutdown Journal series pretty much boil down to "It's not a big deal to me, therefore it's not a big deal."?

  35. Allen says:

    I saw Strom Thurmond drinkin' a pina colada at Trader Vic's, and his hair was perfect.

  36. Asher says:

    What does Strom Thurmond have to do with anything?

  37. Clark says:

    @Justin

    At the risk of revealing that "I don't get it", after cutting through the satire, doesn't this Shutdown Journal series pretty much boil down to "It's not a big deal to me, therefore it's not a big deal."?

    Close.

    More like: "it's not a big deal for anyone, therefore it's not a big deal.

  38. Clark says:

    @Asher

    What does Strom Thurmond have to do with anything?

    Don't use your so-called logic to step all over a perfectly good Warren Zevon reference, mannn.

  39. Asher says:

    Clark, I got the reference. It just wasn't remotely clever.

  40. Sinij says:

    I'm sorry, did you have a point?

    Personally? No. But Paul Krugman did:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/11/the-war-on-the-poor-is-a-war-on-you-know-who/

    By your reasoning, One government should be capable of governing an infinite number of individuals.

    Correct. It is possible that at some galactic-empire scale the magnitude of compromises might make this infeasible, but currently humanity has enough "in common" to be governed.

  41. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Clark

    More like: "it's not a big deal for anyone, therefore it's not a big deal.

    Let's not be too hasty, now. Of the three branches of government (the Useless, the Kleptos, and the Psychos), I'm sure the furloughed employees (aka the Useless branch) probably think it's a big deal.

    EDIT:

    @Sinij

    Paul Krugman

    Speaking of modern economist yes-men . . .

  42. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    More like: "it's not a big deal for anyone, therefore it's not a big deal.

    C'mon, that's just a cartoonish position. Do you honestly consider 2/3 of the CDC being furloughed, NIH research being interrupted or ruined, and thousands of people working without pay to be "not a big deal for anyone?"

  43. Asher says:

    @ sinij

    Personally? No. But Paul Krugman did:

    Black people in large groups have never created civilization and even when handed it have not demonstrated the ability to maintain it, ala Detroit. Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization.. Many black individuals are obviously capable of contributing to a modern civilization but, even then, they need it provided for them by another external culture.

    If all the white people in the US just disappeared tomorrow the areas in the US largely populated by black people would resemble Africa in a few short years. If all the black people in the US disappeared tomorrow the overall social infrastructure of the US would remain the same. Sure, almost all whites have personal and emotional connections with black individuals and we would feel personal loss, however, the functioning of modern civilization would remain unchanged.

    Until you address that very obvious reality you are spouting gibberish.

  44. Clark says:

    @Asher

    Clark, I got the reference. It just wasn't remotely clever.

    And yet you didn't get my response.

  45. Clark says:

    @Sinij

    It is possible that at some galactic-empire scale the magnitude of compromises might make this infeasible, but currently humanity has enough "in common" to be governed.

    Sure, it can be governed. North Korea can and is governed.

    The question is whether the government we get is worth the price we pay, whether it's better than other alternative setups, and whether it respects the rights of individuals.

    I suggest that the answer to all three is "no".

  46. Clark says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    Do you honestly consider 2/3 of the CDC being furloughed, NIH research being interrupted or ruined, and thousands of people working without pay to be "not a big deal for anyone?"

    What value was being created by these people?

    Give me actual examples. Say "program X that was doing good thing Y is shut down". So far all I've heard from anyone is "government employees want to spend their paychecks" and "government in general is good; what are you, an anarchist?"

  47. Asher says:

    @ Clark

    I have a very, very poor knowledge base when it comes to pop culture. the reason the Warran Zevon comment by Allen was not remotely clever was that it had no basis in actual reality. For that joke to be funny, some vague similarity between the song, Zevon, Thurmond, etc would have to exist. It would have been amusing had Thurmond and Zevon shared a striking physical resemblance. Something like that.

  48. Asher says:

    @ Nobel Dynamite

    Because if the government were providing a bunch of stuff you didn't are about then you wouldn't care if it were shut down, either. I feel like I'm trying to teach the Critique of Pure Reason to third-graders.

  49. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    @Clark

    What value was being created by these people?
    Give me actual examples.

    The CDC monitors and tracks outbreaks of infectious diseases, and coordinates our responses accordingly. I consider protecting the public health in this manner to be a valuable government service.

    The NIH conducts research that increases our ability to understand and treat diseases. I consider the ability to better understand and treat diseases to be a valuable government service.

  50. Asher says:

    What's really amusing about these interactions is that liberals don't actually think that their liberalism is an ideology; it's simply, self-evidently, what's right and true.

  51. Clark says:

    @Asher

    the Warran Zevon comment by Allen was not remotely clever was that it had no basis in actual reality.

    Agreed; my comment was implicitly goofing on him by taking on the persona of a baked hippy – the only one who'd find his comment funny – saying "don't bother me with your logic, mannnn".

  52. Clark says:

    @Asher

    Because if the government were providing a bunch of stuff you didn't are about then you wouldn't care if it were shut down, either. I feel like I'm trying to teach the Critique of Pure Reason to third-graders.

    In the immortal words of Ted Nugent: "It's like I've come down to the Planet of the Apes and have to teach people to wipe themselves".

  53. Clark says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    @Clark

    What value was being created by these people?
    Give me actual examples.

    The CDC monitors and tracks outbreaks of infectious diseases

    OK. So without them the TPS forms wouldn't be filed and collated. But what value do they generate?

    and coordinates our responses accordingly.

    What sort of responses?

    The NIH conducts research that increases our ability to understand and treat diseases.

    Asserted with out evidence. And even if it's true, (a) how much of the NIH's budget goes to this, and (b) would this not happen even in the absence of the NIH?

  54. Asher says:

    There are three possible justifications for government provision:

    A) Public goods. These are things like roads, airports and police. Basically, this is the libertarian position.

    B) Public good plus some limited provision for private goods via government. This requires that provision for private goods take precedence over that for private goods. Further, the ratio of public goods to private goods provided by government must remain high. This is where most conservatives and some liberals are at. It requires real political cooperation by all parties to keep the ratio of public goods high relative to private goods; if any of the parties advocates ever-increasing provision of private goods then this model breaks down.

    C) Unconstrained provision of private goods by government, the shape of which is dictated by political power. This is where most liberals sit.

    C)

  55. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    Black people in large groups have never created civilization and even when handed it have not demonstrated the ability to maintain it, ala Detroit. Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization.. Many black individuals are obviously capable of contributing to a modern civilization but, even then, they need it provided for them by another external culture.

    There it is, ladies and gentleman. I'm certain others share my regret for having made the mistake of extending Asher the courtesy of responding to him in a civilized manner and/or assuming his comments were made by someone with a functional brain stem.

    Clark, I apologize in advance if this is overly boorish, but people like Asher can cram it with walnuts.

  56. Asher says:

    The reason why the NIH is not being funded is because the current model of government doesn't distinguish between things like public health (public good) and providing free birth control to nearly everone (private good).

  57. Asher says:

    @ Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    Can you provide any evidence that large groups of black people are capable of maintaining modern civilization, much less creating it? Or do you think that asserting I don't have a brain stem is what passes for evidence?

    Look, no one's advocating any sort of ethnic cleansing or some sort of celebration of "white pride" or anything. This is about acknowledging the brute reality with which we have to deal.

  58. SIV says:

    2/3 of the CDC being furloughed

    What value was being created by these people?

    Homemade dog/girl porn?

  59. Allen says:

    Strom Thurmond ran for President on the Dixiecrat Ticket.
    He became a republican later.
    He's dead.
    Werewolves are mythical creatures used to frighten the ignorant.
    The Southern Strategy.

  60. Asher says:

    Strom Thurmond ran for President on the Dixiecrat Ticket.

    Why not just go hog-wild and claim that Pericles method of thwarting the Spartans is relevant, too. Nothing you're citing has any relevance to any position, at all, today.

    Since your criterion for relevancy is "non mythical" then every single non mythical instance in history is currently relevant.

    Care to restate your position?

  61. Asher says:

    @ Allen

    If you want to say that "x is relevant but not y" then you need a demarcating criterion. Obviously, "non mythical" does not cut it because by that measure every non mythical event in human history is immediately relevant to today's politics.

    But you can't be saying that … or maybe you are …

  62. Shane says:

    @Sinij

    … but sadly not in time to stop Bush disasters.

    I never liked that guy. Nor what he did. Sadly he was from TX, ::sigh::

    Hopefully next time one of his ilk comes before us, the Coke party will use government shutdown to thwart him. One can only hope.

  63. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    @Clark

    OK. So without them the TPS forms wouldn't be filed and collated. But what value do they generate?

    I do think you're being intentionally obtuse here, but on the off chance that you really don't know what the CDC does, or why it is valuable:

    Without the CDC, there is no central actor that can monitor outbreaks of infectious diseases. Which means that if there is an outbreak of Disease A in Tallahassee, Brooklyn and Des Moines, there is no one with the capability to put those puzzle pieces together and coordinate the appropriate response so that hospitals in Seattle, Chicago, and Santa Fe know what to do.

    What sort of responses?

    Glad you asked. Among other things, the CDC serves as a repository for the raw data, it coordinates the research to figure out what the disease is and how to treat it, it disseminates the information to doctors and the public, and it manage resources being used to address the outbreak, such as vaccines or diagnostic equipment.

    Being able to understand and effectively respond on a national level to outbreaks of infectious diseases is an incredibly important function for the government. I don't really think this is something on which reasonable people can disagree, to be frank.

  64. Nathaniel says:

    If Clark's intended point is that some of the stuff the federal government does is unnecessary, he's not doing a good job communicating it. It's coming across very much as everything the federal government does is unnecessary. It also comes across as making fun of those worse off than him. There are people out there who because of the government shutdown can't get their cancer treatment, or can't afford food for their children, or are getting sick from the salmonella outbreak. Clark's attitude comes across as "If you're not fortunate/rich enough to be able to deal with the government shutdown, you don't matter." This is what is making people angry. I feel a lot of people's attitudes (not necessarily Clark's) would be quite different if the situation inconvenienced them in some way – say, if access to the interstate system shut down when the government did.

  65. Asher says:

    @ Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    Again, that is a product of liberals being unwilling, or unable, to distinguish between a public good and a private good provided publicly.

  66. Shane says:

    @Asher

    Black people in large groups have never created civilization and even when handed it have not demonstrated the ability to maintain it, ala Detroit. Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization.. Many black individuals are obviously capable of contributing to a modern civilization but, even then, they need it provided for them by another external culture.

    And when the whites were just a reason for the dark ages, brown men taught them how to live outside of squalor.

    I am missing the point here.

  67. Clark says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    @Asher:

    Black people in large groups have never created civilization and even when handed it have not demonstrated the ability to maintain it, ala Detroit. Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization.. Many black individuals are obviously capable of contributing to a modern civilization but, even then, they need it provided for them by another external culture.

    There it is, ladies and gentleman. I'm certain others share my regret for having made the mistake of extending Asher the courtesy of responding to him in a civilized manner and/or assuming his comments were made by someone with a functional brain stem.

    Without endorsing Asher's views here (which seem race-baiting and inflamatory), I'd like to point out that your response is illogical and irrational, and is a perfect example of the point I made here in a cops-throwing-women-into-concrete-walls thread:

    Why don't you try arguing for your position instead of just legally or culturally outlawing the opposition?

    In this thread, you have not argued that Asher is wrong, you have merely said that his viewpoint is tabboo speech, beyond the pale.

    Yes, it is, by early 21st century norms. But it was entirely the conventional wisdom by early 20th century norms. You have, at most, identified Asher as being outside your social milieu.

    I'm not going to go full-on multiculturalist and ask you to embrace and celebrate Asher's views, but I would ask that you not use the mere fact of his views as proof that he "does not have a functioning brainstem".

    Argue the racism point, ignore the racism point, or honestly admit that you've got a culture clash with Asher and you dislike him for that reason…but don't pretend that the fact that you two have different cultural norms makes him inherently sub-human.

  68. Clark says:

    @Nathaniel

    If Clark's intended point is that some of the stuff the federal government does is unnecessary, he's not doing a good job communicating it. It's coming across very much as everything the federal government does is unnecessary.

    I'm not a semi-statist, demisemi-statist, or even a quasihemidemisemiquaversemihemidemisemi-statist.

    I am an anarchist.

    It's coming across very much as everything the federal government does is unnecessary.

    Awesome. I'm glad I'm getting through.

    It also comes across as making fun of those worse off than him.

    Really? Who have I made fun of?

    There are people out there who because of the government shutdown can't get their cancer treatment,

    Evidence, please?

    can't afford food for their children

    Evidence please?

    or are getting sick from the salmonella outbreak.

    Evidence please?

    Clark's attitude comes across as "If you're not fortunate/rich enough to be able to deal with the government shutdown, you don't matter."

    If by "comes across as", you mean "those of us who assume that government is necessary to accomplish X think that Clark's opposition to government means that Clark is opposed to X", then I agree with you – it sure seems that it's coming across that way.

    I suggest that this is a failure on your part, though, not on mine.

    This is what is making people angry. I feel a lot of people's attitudes (not necessarily Clark's) would be quite different if the situation inconvenienced them in some way – say, if access to the interstate system shut down when the government did.

    A good 2% of what the government does is of use to me. I would be happy to pay even 4% of my current tax load in return for that 2%.

  69. Asher says:

    And when the whites were just a reason for the dark ages, brown men taught them how to live outside of squalor.

    The dark ages were almost a complete myth. Further, I assume you are referring to the knowledge that was transferred to europe via Islam. Newsflash, the "islamic renaissance" involved a nearly illiterate mob of desert nomads ruling over the dying embers of greek civilization. Over the course of time the remnants of greek civilization was swallowed up and eliminated by the arab expansion, but not before transmitting greek knowledge to the rest of europe.

    Further, arabs are more evolutionarily related to white europeans than they are to sub-saharan africans and were FAR more related at the time of the islamic expansion. The "arab" population has become much more sub-saharan african because of massive slave-taking during the latter expansion.

    You don't even have your facts right.

  70. Allen says:

    @Asher

    It was a joke that bombed, that's all. The one commenter up-thread made some comment about the southern strategy, which you noted was an interesting historical event but irrelevant. I was joking about the concern over the southern strategy s/he had.

    I am just as concerned about the southern strategy as I am about encountering a werewolf. That was it, nothing more.

  71. Asher says:

    To put it more succinctly, the "islamic reneissance" was a greek, not arab, phenomenon, one of arab warriors ruling over greek scholars, who eventually converted to islam.

  72. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Clark

    If by "comes across as", you mean "those of us who assume that government is necessary to accomplish X think that Clark's opposition to government means that Clark is opposed to X", then I agree with you – it sure seems that it's coming across that way.

    Reminds me of Bastiat:

    "Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." – Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

    Same crap, different century.

  73. Shane says:

    @Asher

    The dark ages were almost a complete myth.

    Evidence please.

    I assume you are referring to the knowledge that was transferred to europe via Islam.

    Ass out of you and me. I was referring to the Romans.

    You don't even have your facts right.

    How can I have my facts right when 1) you assumed and 2) I didn't offer any.

    … because of massive slave-taking during the latter expansion.

    Evidence please.

    To put it more succinctly, the "islamic reneissance" was a greek, …

    And just what color might Greeks be, since we are playing the color game.

  74. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    @Clark

    Without endorsing Asher's views here (which seem race-baiting and inflamatory)

    Gee, ya think it "seems" that way? That's quite a limb you're willing to go out on there, Clark.

    In any event, I find it entirely logical and rational to mock racists like Asher and to regret extending them the courtesy of civilized conversation.

    In this thread, you have not argued that Asher is wrong, you have merely said that his viewpoint is tabboo speech, beyond the pale.

    I assumed a reasonable reader would find that implied in my response to him, but you apparently disagree. So, to be clear: I disagree with Asher's racist viewpoint, and find it both repugnant and wrong. I do not agree, inter alia, with his view that "Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization" and I believe anyone who expresses such an opinion should roundly mocked.

    I would ask that you not use the mere fact of his views as proof that he "does not have a functioning brainstem".

    Pure nonsense. I am perfectly capable of using his unequivocal expression of an ignorant, foolish worldview to be conclusive evidence that he is an ignorant fool.

    I feel perfectly comfortable judging his "different cultural norm" and finding it, and him, repulsive. If can't do the same, for whatever reason, then the fault, dear Clark, lies with you.

  75. Shane says:

    @Chris Rhodes

    That was a relevant and cool quote!

    +10

  76. ChrisTS says:

    Ah, Asher: the same all over the web.

  77. Nathaniel says:

    Wow, Asher, that's not the subconscious racial bias I'm used to seeing, that's straight-up KKK style "blacks are subhuman". Should we be enslaving them "for their own good"?

  78. Clark says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    In any event, I find it entirely logical and rational to mock racists like Asher and to regret extending them the courtesy of civilized conversation.

    And I find it entirely logical and rational to explain patiently to people like you who claim to be logical and rational and yet who prefer mockery over actual debate that they are being inconsistent.

    In this thread, you have not argued that Asher is wrong, you have merely said that his viewpoint is tabboo speech, beyond the pale.

    I assumed a reasonable reader would find that implied in my response to him

    I don't understand how an argument over facts can be "implied".

    to be clear: I disagree with Asher's racist viewpoint, and find it both repugnant and wrong.

    I absolutely understand that you find it to be repugnant. I am making the point that you have not said "Asher, your point is repugant to my phile, therefore I will not socialize with you". You instead said, basically, "Asher, your point is repugant to my phile, therefore I will label you as intellectually deficient."

    You do understand that cultural differences are not the same thing as differences in intellectual faculties, don't you?

    I do not agree, inter alia, with his view that "Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization"

    Nor do I.

    and I believe anyone who expresses such an opinion should roundly mocked.

    I would ask that you not use the mere fact of his views as proof that he "does not have a functioning brainstem".

    Pure nonsense. I am perfectly capable of using his unequivocal expression of an ignorant, foolish worldview to be conclusive evidence that he is an ignorant fool.

    But you have not proven that it is ignorant nor foolish. You have merely proven that it is outside your cultural norm.

    This is the key point. You want to get points for being smarter and wiser than him, but you have not proven yourself either smarter or wiser. You have merely proven yourself more attuned to the prevailing orthodoxy.

    I find the confusion and conflation of "culturally deviant" with "intellectually inferior" to be evidence of an intellectually inferior thought process.

  79. Asher says:

    And just what color might Greeks be, since we are playing the color game.

    The issue has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with genetic relatedness. The issue is quite complex and if you're interested in the subject of genetic relatedness Luigi Cavali-Sforza is the most prominent authority.

    You used "brown", not I.

  80. Shane says:

    @

    In any event, I find it entirely logical and rational to mock racists like Asher and to regret extending them the courtesy of civilized conversation.

    And to see him as the subhuman that he sees black people? I just can't see this ending well, because when we see others as subhuman we are willing to inflict on them the worst kind of atrocities.

  81. Shane says:

    @Asher

    The issue has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with genetic relatedness.

    With so much mingling of the genes I don't see how on earth you can even defend this position.

    On another note you specifically pointed to skin color not to "genetic relatedness" when arguing that blacks where just short of useless.

    The issue is quite complex …

    Complexity is the realm of charlatans. You have no argument, so making it complex makes it seem like you do. Keep hand waving.

    You used "brown", not I.

    And you used black AND white, not I.

  82. Ken White says:

    Oh, great. Another turd on our lawn.

  83. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    @Clark

    Clark, there are certain viewpoints that are not deserving of the courtesy of factual, reasoned rebuttal, and there are views that demonstrate the speaker is not deserving of a place at the big kids table. I know that's going to set off all kinds of alarms for you and you're going to want a mathematical proof before we can dare judge the rightness of anyone else's ego orientation, but really, sometimes idiocy is easily and conclusively identified.

    Reasonable society isn't required to treat all ideas as equally valid cultural norms which stand until factually rebutted. I, and the rest of reasonable modern society, are quite capable of judging a person expressing blatantly racist views to be a repugnant fool.

    You can dance around the repugnance of Asher's views all you like by framing it as an issue of merely being outside the "prevailing orthodoxy," but the fact is that he believes black people are inherently inferior to other races. I don't need to adhere to a high school debate format to label him a repugnant fool, and you need to ask yourself some hard questions if you can't do the same without equivocation.

  84. Clark says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    Clark, there are certain viewpoints that are not deserving of the courtesy of factual, reasoned rebuttal

    It's funny watching you restate and agree with my point that you are not being logical, and that you're trying to use shaming to label someone as outside of your tribe as a mental defective.

    I know that's going to set off all kinds of alarms for you

    Yes, it has – you are unwilling or incapable of explaining your position, and in the absence of an ability to argue, you name-call.

    idiocy is easily and conclusively identified.

    I absolutely agree with you – my spidey sense has been tingling a lot in this thread.

    Reasonable society

    "Reasonable" – a code word for "agreeing with me", it seems.

    isn't required to treat all ideas as equally valid cultural norms which stand until factually rebutted.

    I agree. I absolutely acknowledge your right to read people out of your phile because they engage in thoughtcrime.

    I just wish that you'd understand that you are not demonstrating anyone wrong or intolerant except yourself.

    You can dance around the repugnance of Asher's views all you like

    I don't dance around the repugnance at all – I acknowledge it. But I then go on to chide you for being unable to tell the difference between "repugnant" from "wrong".

    It seems that at this point you've given up, and are willing to admit that you use the two phrases as synonyms. This near admission, however, has the down side that I am no longer willing to accept your use of "wrong" as being in accordance with the logical concept; I now know that you intentionally conflate "illogical" with "badthink"

    you need to ask yourself some hard questions if you can't do the same without equivocation.

    I see that your reading people out of not just polite society but intellectual society proceeds apace – not only do you label someone who disagrees with you on matters of fact as "without a functional brain stem", but now you're starting to label anyone who calls you on your slippery conflation of emotion and logic as also being beyond the pale.

    It's a convenient tactic, I'll admit that. Anyone who disagrees with you or embarasses you isn't worth talking with, and might not even be human.

    I've seen this before.

    …in the DSM.

    Note how @Shane does it up above. He's actually engaging with @Asher and scoring some points. I give him props for actually behaving like a logical person.

  85. Shane says:

    @Ken

    Oh, great. Another turd on our lawn.

    I could have lived without that image. Thanx Ken.

  86. Asher says:

    @ Nobel dynamite

    mock racists like Asher

    Define "racist". Make it:

    A) coherent
    B) unitary
    C) non-tautological
    D) fewer than thirty words

    a reasonable reader would find that implied

    Um, arguments need to be made. They are never implied. I cannot believe that you were typing this with a stright face.

    I do not agree, inter alia, with his view that "Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization"

    If the entire black population of the US were to disappear it would have very little effect on the overall functioning of society. If all the white people were to disappear the state of the things would quickly come to resemble Africa.

  87. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    I think we're both comfortable in our positions, Clark.

    Just out of curiosity, would you have refrained from calling out Asher for his racism if he hadn't been previously agreeing with your views re: the shutdown?

  88. Asher says:

    I have no said blacks are sub-human.

    I do not regard blacks as sub-human.

    anyone claiming differently is a lying weasel.

  89. Asher says:

    @ Clark

    You do understand that cultural differences are not the same thing as differences in intellectual faculties, don't you?

    In my experience, liberals do not generally understand this. So, the answer is that he probably does not understand this.

  90. HandOfGod137 says:

    @Clark

    But you have not proven that it is ignorant nor foolish. You have merely proven that it is outside your cultural norm.

    I suspect that some positions are both so repugnant and demonstrably wrong (Asher has clearly not encountered the civilizations of Nubia or Kush) that it is, in fact, perfectly ok to assume that the person holding to those positions is in fact a massive twat. In this case I would apply Hitchens' razor and conclude that what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence: Asher has provided no evidence, ergo he can go bollocks.

  91. Asher says:

    With so much mingling of the genes I don't see how on earth you can even defend this position.

    I suggest you look at the work by Luigi Cavali-Sforza and calculations involving "genetic distance". If you select two random englishmen and set their genetic distance to "1" the genetic distance between them and the average resident of central africa is around 265 (iirc). Their average distance to the average dane is about 2.

    No, the genes are not at all intermingled. There was almost no gene flow between sub saharan africa and the rest of the world for soemwhere between 50 and 100 thousand years.

    You've been reading people who have been lying to you.

  92. Asher says:

    you specifically pointed to skin color not to "genetic relatedness" when arguing that blacks where just short of useless.

    I did noothing of the sort. "Black" is not a reference to skin color but to the evolutionary divergence. In the past I have said "african" but, then, I got snarky responses such as "but african americans are american, not african".

    No, "black" is not a reference to skin color but to an evolutionary genetic cluster. Aborigines from Australia have similar skin pigmentation but we don't call them black.

  93. Asher says:

    @ Nobel dynamite

    cultural norms which stand until factually rebutted

    Said cultural norms are de facto enforced by government authority. It's good to know that you think might makes right.

    the fact is that he believes black people are inherently inferior to other races

    No I don't, and you're a liar. Difference doesn't imply superior.

  94. Asher says:

    @ hand of god

    ancient egyptian civilization was created by people who are genetically related to Copts. If you want to see what ancient egyptians looked like then you can do so by googling "pictures of copts".

  95. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    On edit: nevermind.

  96. Asher says:

    In case anyone's forgetting the subject of "race" didn't come up until someone pasted a link to a Krugman post asserting that Republican side of the budget debate was really about making war on black people.

    The downside of calling people "racist" at the drop of a hat is vast portions aren't going to give a crap when you use that term. Krugman is already going to call standard, mainstream conservatives "racist". What's he gonna call me? "Double racist"?

    That's what happens when words become nothing more than rhetorical weapons. Anyone with substantive disagreements is not going to care when you use them.

  97. Asher says:

    Calling anyone to the right of Chris Christie a "racist" is just going to push everyone to the right of Christie in my direction. You get that, right?

  98. Justin says:

    @Clark

    Close.

    More like: "it's not a big deal for anyone, therefore it's not a big deal.

    While I disagree with such an overarching stance (Larry Craig would be impressed), I do give you credit for not hiding behind the satire. That seems to be the norm, unfortunately.

  99. Asher says:

    which is essentially indistinguishable from anything on a typical Stomfront forum.

    the past fifty years of the welfare state has been many things, and one of those things has been a mass transfer of resources from whites to blacks. Further, the bien pensants have all spent countless time and energy attempting to "close the gap" in achievement between blacks and whites. it has remained stubbornly lodged at around one stdev for at least four decades.

    How much time, energy, focus and resources need to be expanded before liberals admit that the gap cannot be closed by anything that government does? Seriously, answer that question. If, say, 100 years down the road and with 100 trillion transferred over that time and all sorts of time and energy spent with no change in the gap will liberals admit that there's nothing that government can do to close it?

  100. Shane says:

    @Handofgod137

    I suspect that some positions are both so repugnant and demonstrably wrong (Asher has clearly not encountered the civilizations of Nubia or Kush) that it is, in fact, perfectly ok to assume that the person holding to those positions is in fact a massive twat.

    In 1940's Germany it was repugnant and demonstrably wrong to even consider a jew anything other than subhuman vermin.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    In this case I would apply Hitchens' razor and conclude that what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence: Asher has provided no evidence, ergo he can go bollocks.

    No idea is so repugnant that it can't be refuted, and only the lazy and stupid would consider that.

    Be very careful the path that you walk you might not like where it leads.

  101. Steven H. says:

    @asher:

    No, "black" is not a reference to skin color but to an evolutionary genetic cluster. Aborigines from Australia have similar skin pigmentation but we don't call them black.

    Specifically, "blacks" (at least the ones who haven't interbred with the rest of us) are Pure Homo Sapiens.

    The rest of us have a bit of Homo Neandertal genes mixed in, or Homo Denisova genes if we're, among other things, Australian Aborigines.

  102. Asher says:

    The term "subhuman" is pure gibberish. It doesn't mean anything. Ted Bundy and Adolph Hitler are no less human than is Buddha or St. Francis. The guy who robs banks is no less human than the guy who eventually discovers the cure for cancer.

    Get a grip.

  103. Clark says:

    @Justin

    Clark…
    While I disagree with such an overarching stance (Larry Craig would be impressed), I do give you credit for not hiding behind the satire. That seems to be the norm, unfortunately.

    Thanks. I aim to say what I think.

  104. Clark says:

    @HandOfGod137

    Asher has clearly not encountered the civilizations of Nubia or Kush

    Indeed.

    This is why I'm so perturbed by Dr Nobel Dynamite's trying to read Asher's assertions out of polite society by Holy Writ (written by his own hand) instead of just arguing the case. The case can be argued. So argue it!

    that it is, in fact, perfectly ok to assume that the person holding to those positions is in fact a massive twat.

    Demonizing those you ideologically disagree with? Wonderfully liberal of you.

    @Asher

    You do understand that cultural differences are not the same thing as differences in intellectual faculties, don't you?

    In my experience, liberals do not generally understand this. So, the answer is that he probably does not understand this.

    Agreed.

  105. Clark says:

    @Shane

    @Handofgod137

    I suspect that some positions are both so repugnant and demonstrably wrong (Asher has clearly not encountered the civilizations of Nubia or Kush) that it is, in fact, perfectly ok to assume that the person holding to those positions is in fact a massive twat.

    In 1940's Germany it was repugnant and demonstrably wrong to even consider a jew anything other than subhuman vermin.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

    No idea is so repugnant that it can't be refuted, and only the lazy and stupid would consider that.

    Be very careful the path that you walk you might not like where it leads.

    @Shane,

    Wonderfully, wonderfully said.

    Dr. Nobel Dynamite, do you fully grasp what @Shane is saying here?

  106. Asher says:

    @ Steven H

    That's correct. Sub saharan african ancestral populations did not interbreed with neanderthals. You might even say that the rest of us as just a little less "human", by that measure.

    It's a silly and meaningless claim, but amusing to make.

  107. Asher says:

    I need to reiterate that "race" didn't even become an issue until someone posted a link to a krugman post asserting some republican war on blacks.

    Look, when you call someone "racist" that means you "hate them and want to destroy them". Not exactly the basis for compromise or dialogue. How is this lost on people????

  108. Christopher says:

    Just because you *can* argue with an obvious asshole, doesn't mean you *need* or *have* to.

  109. Aaron says:

    @Clark

    Demonizing those you ideologically disagree with? Wonderfully liberal of you.

    Clark, nobody has a monopoly (or even a majority share) on demonizing those that disagree with them. It's a very human thing to do. Your attribution of partisanship to HandOfGod's behavior contributes little to the argument but distraction.

    It's not your job not to obfuscate the argument, but if you advocate fair, intellectually rigorous debate, you should set an example of it, out of courtesy if nothing else.

  110. Dr. Nobel Dynamite says:

    I'm quite comfortable with my decision to judge Asher a repugnant fool without engaging the substance of his remarks. People like him want to be engaged. They want their asinine views to be considered just another cultural norm, and they see their own hateful views as merely standing up to orthodoxy. I don't care to grant them any of that.

    I'm also quite confident in my own ability to understand the difference between Nazis labeling Jews as subhuman and my labeling an explicit racist as a moron.

  111. Asher says:

    @ Aaron

    Clark, nobody has a monopoly (or even a majority share) on demonizing those that disagree with them

    In the current political context argument by demonizing the opposition is something that is heavily liberal. This very comment section is such an example and Clark is using it to make his point.

  112. wolfefan says:

    It seems to me that in the current political context argument by demonizing the opposition is one of the most bi-partisan things there is. I've seen plenty of demonizing of Obama and Pelosi, and Kennedy before them, along with Boehner and plenty on the right.

  113. Asher says:

    @ Dr Nobel Dynamite

    I'm also quite confident in my own ability to understand the difference between Nazis labeling Jews as subhuman and my labeling an explicit racist as a moron.

    Um, this is even more dissembling. It's pretty obvious that the average person mostly thinks categorically so when you call someone "racist" the average person going about their lives perceives it as "no differen from Hitler".

    You're not an idiot. You know this. That you continue to use a categorical label for two views that are worlds apart, knowing the inability of the average person to distinguish them, makes you intellectually dishonest.

    The issue is your intellectual dishonesty in refusing to define what you mean by "racist". In over ten years I have challenged hundreds of leftists to define that term in a manner that is A) coherent B) unitary C) non-tautological D) fewer than thirty words. Most don't attempt it, and the few who do end up giving a definition that either applies to virtually everyone or almost no one.

    The old definition of "racism" meant something like one who believes that the traits of all individuals are defined by their perceived race. By that definition, almost no one alive today is a "racist", probably not even most Stormfronters. What happens is that when you use the same term to describe different things that have almost nothing in common then the word becomes nothing more than a rhetorical weapon.

    When you call someone a "racist" I assume that you hate them and want to destroy them. So do they.

  114. Aaron says:

    @Asher

    The comments section on a libertarian blog where you have, without evidence, assumed a large portion of the commentariat to be liberal, is evidence that it is a "heavily liberal" trait to demonize the opposition? I do not buy this argument.

    I cite the propaganda for every war ever fought as evidence that humans demonize their opposition and that to attribute partisanship to it is just to buy into the trend.

    Also, what @wolfefan said.

  115. Shane says:

    @Asher

    I suggest you look at the work by Luigi Cavali-Sforza and calculations involving "genetic distance".

    You mean this guy:

    According to an article published in The Economist, the work of Cavalli-Sforza "challenges the assumption that there are significant genetic differences between human races, and indeed, the idea that 'race' has any useful biological meaning at all".

    Ok, got it. Race has no biological meaning.

    No, the genes are not at all intermingled.

    You have chosen two mono cultures to represent intermingling. Gratz. You might as well have thrown Japan in there while you were at it.

    There was almost no gene flow between sub saharan africa and the rest of the world for soemwhere between 50 and 100 thousand years.

    Or between England and Indonesia or China, so what. Should we claim that all of the English are deficient too?

    And yet by your own words:

    The "arab" population has become much more sub-saharan african because of massive slave-taking during the latter expansion.

    Maybe their is some intermingling happening. Maybe it didn't happen between 50 and 100 thousand years ago.

    You've been reading people who have been lying to you.

    Correct:
    - The dark ages were a complete myth.
    - The "arab" population has become much more sub-saharan african because of massive slave-taking during the latter expansion.
    - Can you provide any evidence that large groups of black people are capable of maintaining modern civilization, much less creating it.

    "Black" is not a reference to skin color but to the evolutionary divergence.

    And you are going to define the exact genetics that you are referring to when you made this statement? Cause I would be curious to know how to do that.

    No, "black" is not a reference to skin color but to an evolutionary genetic cluster.

    Ok where might the origin of that cluster be and does it still exist?

    … And then there is this:

    Black people in large groups have never created civilization and even when handed it have not demonstrated the ability to maintain it, ala Detroit. Vast swaths of the black population are manifestly incapable of contributing anything to a modern civilization.. Many black individuals are obviously capable of contributing to a modern civilization but, even then, they need it provided for them by another external culture.

    If all the white people in the US just disappeared tomorrow the areas in the US largely populated by black people would resemble Africa in a few short years. If all the black people in the US disappeared tomorrow the overall social infrastructure of the US would remain the same. Sure, almost all whites have personal and emotional connections with black individuals and we would feel personal loss, however, the functioning of modern civilization would remain unchanged.

    Curious how we are going to use genetics to make this happen.

  116. Asher says:

    @ wolfefen

    I've seen plenty of demonizing of Obama and Pelosi, and Kennedy before them, along with Boehner and plenty on the right.

    Liberals demonize the average conservative voter, not just the politicians. When a prominent liberal like Krugman implies that there's a republican war on black he's not just talking about the politicos but also the rank and file voters who do little more than vote. Can you think of a similar slander akin to "racist" that conservatives regularly apply to rank and file democratic voters?

    That is another question I have been asking for years with not one successful response.

  117. Asher says:

    @ Shane

    I suggest you look at sforza's quotes a little more closely. In most of them he talks about the meaninglessness of race in terms of discrete units. In fact, his own data clearly shows varying relatedness across populations by region.

    The anthropologist John Hawks has written on the evolution of Sforza's work. Basically, Sforza's emprical data says what I am saying and then his public pronouncements deny that there are any discrete entities known as "race". So what. Sforza's right and I agree that there are no discrete entities known as "race".

    Yes, "race" is not a meaningful concept and I don't use it. I use the far more precise "evolutionary clustering" which is quantifiable and probabilistic rather than categorical.

    Sforza is denying the concept of "race" in categorical terms while, at the same time, his data demonstrates clear evolutionary clustering. He has to do this to maintain his funding. In fact, sforza is solely concerned with constructing a pattern of lineages for our species and that is an entirely probabilistic project. Sforza's own hard data demonstrates high degrees of population divergence in the species, although these are not discrete units, as he correctly claims.

    Sforza is not saying what you think he's saying.

  118. Ken White says:

    I, for one, am perfectly fine with not engaging the crazy with "racial realists" and the like. I do not begrudge them the feelings of moral and intellectual superiority this generates in them. Socially stunted, increasingly marginal politically, generally unpleasant in every human interaction, respected by no one —– they have so little. Why not let them swell with pride over how they best the libruls and mud people on the interwebs? They can rush back to their favorite sites to crow. Surely Vox Day or some similar blog pines for Asher.

  119. Aaron says:

    Point taken, Ken. I did my best to only engage Clark, and then slipped up.

  120. Asher says:

    challenges the assumption that there are significant genetic differences between

    Sforza's project is about constructing the lineages of the human species. NOthing more. He has absolutely no expertise in population genetics or evolutionary biology. When Sforza claims this he is simply talking outside of his field of expertise.

    Or between England and Indonesia or China, so what. Should we claim that all of the English are deficient too?

    What the hell? Where do people get off just assuming that different implies deficient??? Good lord, I feel like I'm talking to kids.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Geography-Human-Genes/dp/0691087504/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1381964315&sr=8-3&keywords=luigi+cavalli+sforza

    That's a color coded map on the cover of Sforza's book that is a representation of genetic difference in populations by region.

    And you are going to define the exact genetics that you are referring to when you made this statement?

    Sforza's own work establishes genetic distance. That's all it establishes. Period. Other branches of science deal with the implications of that genetic divergence. Maybe it's possible that divergence has happened but that all the genetic divergence just happened to maintain phenotypic similarities. that's, basically, Sforza's position.

    No one calls hiim on it and he, himself, probably doesn't believe it, however, he needs to maintain the facade to keep the funding. Smart people who can understand the data and who know why he does it give him a pass. He's just trying to reconstruct the entire lineage of the human race, not make a case for anything else, at all.

  121. Shane says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    I'm also quite confident in my own ability to understand the difference between Nazis labeling Jews as subhuman and my labeling an explicit racist as a moron.

    Your confidence is misplaced, and your bias is historical. It is easy to look back now and see what happened. What if you were placed in that time without the benefit of hindsight, would you tow the line of orthodoxy or would you make rational arguments that support what you believe whether for or against the orthodoxy.

    You have yet to engage @Asher's assertions. If you are so sure that you can refute them, then by all means.

  122. Shane says:

    @Asher

    Good lord, I feel like I'm talking to kids.

    And yet you retreat into splitting hairs on racial genetics and leaving all of the other crap you unloaded steaming on Ken's front lawn.

    Take that Ken!

    … he needs to maintain the facade to keep the funding.

    The real reason why funding should be private and not public (not that this guy using public funds). This has always been and will always be a code word for intellectual dishonesty and an attempt by a sycophant to conform the master's view to their own divergent feeling driven view.

  123. Asher says:

    @ Ken White

    I do not begrudge them the feelings of moral and intellectual superiority

    If your positions are so solid and secure then you wouldn't need to so blatantly misrepresent me or infer things that are simply not there. Why is it that even the consideration that there might be *some* evolutionary divergence in the human species turns otherwise reasonable people into gibbering idiots?

    Surely Vox Day or some similar blog pines for Asher.

    I was banned there. Vox's definition of science is "science is engineering, nothing more and nothing less", very narrow. Mine is "the available physical theory that best fits, explains and predicts the observable facts", very broad. Vox is ridiculously intelligent; he also has a ridiculous ego.

  124. David says:

    @Dr. Nobel Dynamite

    In any event, I find it entirely logical and rational to mock racists like Asher and to regret extending them the courtesy of civilized conversation.

    And I find it entirely logical and rational to explain patiently to people like you who claim to be logical and rational and yet who prefer mockery over actual debate that they are being inconsistent.

    This, I think, is where Clark's approach goes off the rails.

    You see, it's not necessarily inconsistent to both (a) claim to be logical and rational, and (b) prefer mockery over actual debate.

    Indeed, and more strongly, it is not necessarily inconsistent to both (a') claim correctly to be logical and rational, and (b) prefer mockery over actual debate.

    The reason that these ordered pairs may or may not be inconsistent is that the preference of mockery over actual debate may be determined by social or other factors relevant to the discursive situation, and indeed may be rationally determined by them.

    For example, Bubba might at once
    (a") think himself logical and rational, and be right, and
    (b') prefer to mock Sue because Bubba believes that engaging in Enlightenment Era dialogues or invoking Robert's Rules of Order with a buffoon like Sue is a fool's errand that demonstrates immaturity, unseriousness, lack of judgment, or idleness.

    Pearls before swine. Becoming like the fool you engage. This is wisdom as old as civilization itself, folks. Sometimes, it is appropriate to demonstrate by reasoned rebuttal that a fool is a fool. What Clark seems to ignore is that sometimes it is inappropriate to do so.

  125. Shane says:

    @Asher

    Why is it that even the consideration that there might be *some* evolutionary divergence in the human species turns otherwise reasonable people into gibbering idiots?

    Because people that espouse this view, never, ever say what genetic expressions they are referring too, while they are hand waving away their bias. Are we talking about eye color, disease traits, muscular expression? What, what expression are we talking about?

  126. Asher says:

    And yet you retreat into splitting hairs on racial genetics

    It's not splitting hairs. There are massive similarities across all human populations, much more than dissimilarities. That said, the dissimilarities show up in different outcomes between various population clusters.

    Consider the following question:

    What is the cause of the black-white difference in outcomes like income and education?

    The liberal explanation is that it is caused because white people just *choose* to be mean and hateful to black folk and that any other explanation is just evil. An alternative explanation is that the differences in outcome are the product of evolutionary divergence.

    My position is simply that the average differences in outcomes are simply a product of evolutionary divergence, nothing more. There's nothing involving superiority or deficiency or whatever and anyone claiming otherwise is a dishonest dissembler.

  127. Ken White says:

    Too much of a freak for the Vox Day blog.

    Wow.

  128. Asher says:

    @ David

    Becoming like the fool you engage.

    I've never understood where anyone got the idea that engaging with a fool risks one becoming a fool. Avoiding looking like a fool is very, very easy: just ask questions. At some point of asking questions a fool is, eventually, tripped up and exposed.

    I find the fear of engaging a fool ridiculous and, frankly, I find those expressing such a fear contemptible. Just keep asking questions; notice that's much of what I do.

  129. Shane says:

    @David

    … sometimes it is inappropriate to do so.

    And when might that be? Some are not as far along the depth of a debate as others. Should we leave them behind and let them wallow around on their own? I am often newb and the discussions I read help me understand what is at debate and what are the implications.

    It wasn't until the pro-gun forces started to actually articulate their stances that debate even took place. And if you want to see failure, look at the Pepsi party and their lack of any articulated reason for why they didn't want to raise the debt ceiling.

    Silence means agreement.

  130. Sorry Asher.

    We're having a debate, behind the scenes where none of you people can see us, about our moderation policy. I can tell you that David and Charles are on one end, a sort of "Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend" thing, to paraphrase Mao Zedong.

    I'm a sort of desultory participant in the debate, but I'm on the other end. I'm like Mao Zedong in practice, rather than rhetoric.

    I think you're despicable. So I'm banning you.

  131. David says:

    @Asher, even if the minor differences among broadly genetically homogeneous groups determined something as consequential as a standard deviation of g, however measured, that fact would not directly entail (much less wholly determine) different cultural or socioeconomic states of affairs that are better understood as the complex product of a wide variety of historical drivers, including particular human agency in all its manifestations and institutional constraints on choice and action.

    Bottom line– you keep appealing cheaply to genetic distance, haplogroup isolation, and other inborn factors for their explanatory worth. But the conditions you seem to want to explain are vastly more complex than you take them to be, and are at best only tenuously related to the monotonic hammer that apparently starts and ends the set of analytic tools available to you. In short, you have failed to nail it.

    To better appreciate how drastically you're oversimplifying, imagine three people. Archer has an IQ of 135. Barker has an IQ of 125. Carter has an IQ of 115. The distance between Archer and Carter is more than a standard dev. Would you bet your soul that Archer will come across as more intellligent than Carter, and that Archer's behaviors and outcomes will be superior to Carter's?

    Are you sure that a culture generally including more Archers than Carters, but including some of both as well as a whole lotta Barkers, will necessarily function "better" by some relevant definition of quality or achievement? Spread these considerations across time (with concomitant Flynn Effect) and space (with a realistic model of technological change), and the explanatory potency of minor differences in a particular flavor of aptitude shrivels in significance.

  132. Allen says:

    Popehat Rule #1: Someone is always watching.
    Popehat Rule#2: See Rule #1; it might be Patrick.

  133. OngChotwI says:

    20 years before I graduated HS, they allowed students to bring guns to school. When I went through the local school system, pocket knives were allowed, and gun safety classes were held (with bb guns). Now, guns and knives are banned and bringing them into the school are suspendable offenses. Rather than deal with the issue (how to keep our students from stabbing/shooting each other) they opt for dealing with a symptom (attempt to remove access to knives/guns because stabbings/shootings usually involve guns and knives). They don't seem to worry about students bringing automobiles to school, however, even though they, too, are responsible for many student deaths in the community over the years.

    The nanny state that identifies a problem (some drunks cause problems when they're drunk) and proposes such idiotic cures as "ban all alcohol" which lead to various and sundry ills that still plague our society, such as now having a much higher rate of alcoholism than the European nations that opted for mere moderation – is something that would be nice to see stripped from our governing body's mindset.


    Does Hell Comes to Frogtown have a warm fuzzy lesson to teach us, such as A Boy and his Dog?

  134. Clark says:

    @David:

    Bottom line– you keep appealing cheaply to genetic distance, haplogroup isolation, and other inborn factors for their explanatory worth. But the conditions you seem to want to explain are vastly more complex than you take them to be, and are at best only tenuously related to the monotonic hammer that apparently starts and ends the set of analytic tools available to you. In short, you have failed to nail it.

    @Patrick Non-White:

    Sorry Asher.

    I think you're despicable. So I'm banning you.

    Between the two above approaches (David: refuation; Patrick: banning), I prefer David's. I think it's better both in individual debates and in the society it fosters. I hold this standard whether the unpopular view being debated is race, furry-sexuality, communism, libertarianism, lesbianism, Nazism, Mormonism, etc. In short: my defense of debate over banning is invariant over content.

    That said, Patrick has made his decision (which is fully within the cultural norms established by this blog long before I was kindly invited to join), and I am a junior partner here, so I will add this final note and then shut up on the topic.

    Thus ends my meta-meta commentary.

  135. David says:

    @Shane

    Silence means agreement.

    The fact that this claim is general, not categorical, is obvious from the fact that there are many hundreds– perhaps thousands– of enormities about which you (individually) are silent but with whose perpetrators you would not relevantly agree.

    Whether, in a given case, silence is agreement depends on many factors: the intention of the silent person, the relationship between that person's intentions and expression, the frames of reference within which that person's expression is likely to be interpreted, whether those who interpret that expression are properly positioned to know about, care about, and evaluate expression about the object of silence, the ethical salience of the object of silence within the contexts of evaluation, supervening factors, and countless other considerations that a rational person would, and should, take into account (however informally) when appraising whether silence is agreement.

    Easy answers are quite alluring. That lends them nothing by way of credibility, except among the credulous.

  136. David says:

    @Clark,

    Between the two above approaches (David: refuation; Patrick: banning), I prefer David's.

    Let there be no mistake: I prefer banning Asher to contending with him. As my remarks about how your approach goes off the rails makes clear, I strongly endorse the notion that there comes a point or situation where pretending that rational debate is fruitful is puerile and counterproductive. At such a juncture, banning is an appropriate response regardless of the ideal of Thorough Universal Rational Dialectical Response About Topics of Scandal (TURDRATS).

    I endorse, and associate myself with, Patrick's response.

  137. Sinij says:

    I, for one, am perfectly fine with not engaging the crazy with "racial realists" and the like.

    Please take time and effort to discern hbd (human biodeversity) from "racial realists" like Asher. HBD, like any knowledge, is morally-neutral.

    For example, health risks for African-descent males are not the same as for European-descent males. Pretending otherwise negatively impacts treatment outcomes.

    Again, please don't confuse bad actors with bad knowledge and outright dismiss whole concept of HBD.

  138. Shane says:

    @David

    Yes context may limit one to silence in some percentage of all of the possible cases where there is a possibility of speech. But one must carefully weigh how ones silence will be viewed. The idea is simple but the application is nuanced.

    My assertion was general and simple:
    When they came for the Jews, I didn't say anything etc …

    Easy answers are quite alluring.

    True without a doubt, but complexity leaves nothing but confusion and paralysis in it's application. Simple ideas help move us from paralysis to action. Stringing together simple ideas into abstract complexities may bring complexity but will still allow functional analysis by isolating the ideas and discarding the non-relevant.

    Easy answers are easily alluring, but not all easy answers are created equal.

    I endorse, and associate myself with, Patrick's response.

    This for me is sad. You quickly and concisely ended Ashers argument and helped others more clearly understand why it was wrong. I know too that he would have gone on and on, but honestly at some point people will give up and disengage, and what is said stays behind, for others to view and learn from.

  139. TomB says:

    I miss all the good threads…

    Imagine that, performance art disguised as a series of blog comments.

    It has a very Buddhist-monk-setting-himself-on-fire kinda feel to it.

  140. Terry says:

    Other than the post office being closed on Monday I still haven't seen any effect of the shutdown.

  141. Sinij says:

    I endorse and associate myself (if anyone cares) with Clark's position on Asher's issue.
    ———-
    Unintentionally as it might be, Asher illustrated Paul Krugman point I linked upthread. I hope Clark is willing to privately consider implications of this and his position on the government shutdown.

  142. Al says:

    Wow. Racism. Who could have seen that coming?

  143. Troutwaxer says:

    It also comes across as making fun of those worse off than him. There are people out there who because of the government shutdown can't get their cancer treatment, or can't afford food for their children, or are getting sick from the salmonella outbreak. Clark's attitude comes across as "If you're not fortunate/rich enough to be able to deal with the government shutdown, you don't matter."

    This is why I'm sure that Clark is engaging in satire. Nobody could possibly be that obtuse. If nothing else, he could type "damage from government shutdown" into Google and be supplied with a wealth of data. Surely before making a serious attempt to convince us that the government isn't important anyone with a brain would do at least that minimal research… This is how I know that Clark is merely playing a role and shouldn't be taken seriously.

    I have no doubt Clark understands that making sure (just to pick a very simple example) that meat comes out of a slaughterhouse without salmonella or other bacteria or viruses, that it is not rotten, has not been exposed to feces due to incorrect butchering techniques, does not carry parasites that can be communicated to humans, is properly refrigerated in transit, and isn't suffering from a multitude of other defects requires some serious expertise.

    I'm sure that Clark understands that we pay the government to provide this meat-safety expertise and to provide enforcement against companies which don't follow best meat-safety practices. I've no doubt that Clark understands that we purchase this service from the government with our tax dollars just as we purchase a number of other services, ranging from automobile-safety to territorial defense, environmental protection and a ton of other stuff, and that these services are both cheap and transparent.* (If for some reason you don't believe that these services are cheap and transparent, try contracting for them yourself and then deal with the problem of managing those services.)

    I can't imagine that he doesn't know this. So he must be joking. It's the only possible explanation.

    * Obviously meat-safety expertise and enforcement aren't transparent to the meat-packing company, but they are transparent to the rest of us. We simply go to the market, buy meat, and don't ever worry about it.

  144. David says:

    @Patrick Non-White

    We're having a debate, behind the scenes where none of you people can see us, about our moderation policy. I can tell you that David and Charles are on one end, a sort of "Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend" thing, to paraphrase Mao Zedong.

    I don't believe you have accurately represented my position and my place on the spectrum you describe.

    Why, it was only a few days ago that I posted at length (in another discussion here) in favor of banning (rather than pasting) in greater abundance as a means of addressing the repugnant non-contributors who sometimes infect this venue.

    I wish I could say that you're as precise as you are likeable, Patrick. But in truth, you're sometimes sort of sloppy when talking about others.

  145. Clark says:

    @Troutwaxer

    I'm sure that Clark understands that we pay the government to provide this meat-safety expertise

    I understand nothing of the sort. There are less than 1,500 FDA inspectors for a nation of 300,000,000 people. http://www.numberof.net/number-of-fda-inspectors/

    Note, however, that the FDA employees three times this many people in writing regulations. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/BudgetReports/UCM301553.pdf

    The FDA accomplishes almost nothing with regard to food safety. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/fda-food-regulation_n_1955074.html

    What I do understand is that

    1) the bureacracy exists to perpetuate itself
    2) the largest input to the FDA comes from industry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulatory_capture
    3) the FDA is reasonably good at propagandizing

    I've no doubt that Clark understands that we purchase this service from the government with our tax dollars

    I understand no such thing.

    The government takes our money under threat of force, and spends it as it will. Please do not sully an honorable term like "purchase" with the conotation that comes from non-consensual interactions.

    just as we purchase a number of other services, … territorial defense

    Ah! This is why we're drone murdering American citizens, fabricating terror plots out of thing air, and groping flyers ? Territorial defense? I thought it had something to do with the military industrial complex, the TSA union, and so on.

    these services are both cheap and transparent

    LOL! I'm sorry, I guess I'm a bit slow tonight – I only just now realized that you're expertly trolling me!

    So he must be joking. It's the only possible explanation.

    This is the second time tonight I've had to call someone out on an argument from incredulity. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

    Obviously meat-safety expertise and enforcement aren't transparent to the meat-packing company, but they are transparent to the rest of us. We simply go to the market, buy meat, and don't ever worry about it.

    The CDC says that 48 million Americans per year get sick from foodborne illnesses.

    http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/

    If the data do not fit you must acquit.

  146. Shane says:

    @Clarke

    If the data does not fit you must acquit.

    :) That made my night.

  147. En Passant says:

    Modernity's
    Nastier sophistries
    Are argument's leaden filigrees,
    Upon which seize
    Most toxic fleas,
    Hoping someone sees
    Their twisted sleaze
    As verities.

  148. David says:

    But eugenics, an aberration
    Inflicted upon this nation
    By Darwinist acclamation,
    Is an age-old agitation
    Lacking ratiocination
    That induces thrilled flirtation
    With antimiscegenation
    Among jerks.

  149. Jonathan says:

    I wish I could say that you're as precise as you are likeable, Patrick. But in truth, you're sometimes sort of sloppy when talking about others.

    You're a prickly fellow, aren't you?

  150. David says:

    I'm just teasing a friend who, I know, loves to wield his words masterfully.

  151. En Passant says:

    If, by "Darwinist acclamation"
    You meant "faux Darwinist argumentation",
    By notional "Progressives",
    Devotionally Regressive
    In their thinking,
    Who tried to make us give up drinking,
    Then we agree.
    Here I think the flea was he
    Whose veiled eugenics went berserk
    And proved himself again a jerk.

  152. Allen says:

    Yes Troutwaxer, he does mean it, he's a self-avowed anarchist.

    But, he can't really be serious about that.

    Wanna bet?

  153. Sami says:

    The closure of national parks is far from a non-issue for some. In the vicinity of the northern rim of Yosemite, for example, where the locals only just got back from evacuating for fire, the closure of the parks produces a severe hardship – tourism is their livelihoods.

    But hey, it's not like the American economy would be drawing benefit from tourists bringing money into the country and spending it here, or anything.

    Fun fact: my friend and I, currently travelling in the USA, have in fact rearranged our plans to spend a week in Canada that we had originally planned to spend here, and will be spending our money on food, accommodation, souvenirs, etc in Canada instead of Montana.

    Because Canada is open for business, and America isn't.

  154. Allen says:

    Oh for pity sake. We are the Donner Party.

  155. David says:

    To put it more succinctly, the "islamic reneissance" was a greek, not arab, phenomenon, one of arab warriors ruling over greek scholars, who eventually converted to islam.

    BTW, anyone who would like to flush away that stench of reductionism and ignorance can achieve the desired purification by listening to Peter Adamson's brilliant and accessible podcast overview of philosophy in the Islamic world at http://historyofphilosophy.net/formative-period.

  156. Allen says:

    @David
    My favorite bit of work was some tile work I did in Yemen.

    Be thou not too proud.

  157. Max says:

    Even the minor shutdown of some elements of government caused a lot of people grief and took $1.5 Billion a day out of the economy. Some people can't afford birthcontrol as their benefits are calculated to just provide survival levels of food and clothing and no more, and those people also can't afford to provide for children so the state will have to step in to provide for any offspring.

    Given this situation there are a few choices.
    1) Raise benefits to the level where very poor and unemployed people have discretionary spending power and hope they spend it on birthcontrol rather than cheap booze.
    2) Rely on their self control in not having sex. These are people with lives where moonshine and really great sex are the only affordable pleasures.
    3) Spend lots of money on some kind of publicity campaign which will be as effective as all other publicity campaigns.
    4) Spend comparatively little money on free birth-control for those that need it.
    5) Do nothing and spend lots of money on caring for extra children.
    6)) Do nothing and extend that to not providing benefits, and step over the bodies of starving children congratulating each other on anarchist ideological purity.
    7) Rely on there being some minority of mugs that will willingly give over their income to stop those around them starving. Those mugs will have to hand over a lot more to make up for those that opt out of caring, thus condemning themselve and their children to poverty.
    8) Wait for the anarchist utopia to spontaneously order itself where everyone willingly enters into a social compact to benefit the less well off, and creates systems to do so that will function so much better because they won't be true bureaucracies as they will be 'anarchist'.

    Obviously 8 is the best option. In the meantime, can the evil State just buy people johnnies and pills?

    Oh, and banning Asher and the use of the Mao quote? Excellent stuff.

  158. Clark says:

    @Max

    Even the minor shutdown of some elements of government caused a lot of people grief and took $1.5 Billion a day out of the economy. Some people can't afford birthcontrol as their benefits are calculated to just provide survival levels of food and clothing and no more,

    1) your assertion that "benefits are calculated to just provide survival levels of food and clothing and no more" is factually incorrect
    2) monitoring the spending of the poor verifies that this
    3) even if you were right, it's too bad that there are no other ways of avoiding pregancy

    Raise benefits to the level where very poor and unemployed people have discretionary spending power

    Then finally the poor will be able to afford large TVs, bling, grilles, and smart phones, which they currently do not have access to, yes?

    Rely on there being some minority of mugs that will willingly give over their income to stop those around them starving.

    It's not a minority.

    64% of Americans donate money to charity. 68% of Americans help strangers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Giving_Index

    It's true, the rates are much lower in blue state Democratic areas

    http://philanthropy.com/article/Generosity-in-the-States/133707/

    but I am confident that with sufficient proselytizing, the ethically backwards areas of North America (Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, etc.) could eventually be raised to civilized norms of morality.

  159. Clark says:

    @Sami

    The closure of national parks is far from a non-issue for some. In the vicinity of the northern rim of Yosemite, for example, where the locals only just got back from evacuating for fire, the closure of the parks produces a severe hardship – tourism is their livelihoods.

    Indeed. A friend of mine is a free market operator of national parks. He is insanely angry that the government has chosen to spend money during a "shutdown" to dispatch agents to his locations to padlock his privately owned facilities and thus to reduce the inflow of cash to the US Treasury.

    The government is not uncaring; it is actively malignant.

    Canada is open for business, and America isn't.

    If US businesses are shuttered (and they are), it's the fault of the permanent bureaucracy, which is intentionally causing damage. This has nothing to do with the shutdown.

  160. Max says:

    Oh how I hate 'Charities' and 'Charity'. There is something of contempt in all pity, and so much charity is from pity. Respect due to a fellow human done down by circumstance brings with it a commitment to change the culture that created that circumstance. Changing culture is the job of politicians and states, as is enforcing rights.

    And you think Government is bad? Hang around charities for a while and then you will see incompetent, do-gooder, do-nothing, wishy-washy, time-serving, lip-service, patronising, arrogant types in their natural habitat.

    In socialist UK benefits are enough to buy the basics and nothing more, and some argue not even that. There are some wicked scare stories about large screen tellies and latest phones, especially in the most repellent and right-wing tabloids, but they always turn out to be infuriatingly wrong and savage propaganda.

    Glad to see that in the Capitalist USA you are more generous to those hardest hit by inequality, and actually do give them gold-plated taps gushing hot and cold liquid diamonds.

    I notice that the Scandinavian countries are comparatively low down the giving index, despite their wealth and thriving economies. Still, they pay a lot in tax and have genuinely generous benefit systems. They also have a fair system with people achieving because of ability rather than luck.

    Obviously, in the land of the free people don't just get born into and stuck in poverty through no fault of their own. No…wait. This can't be right?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Intergenerational_mobility_graph-1.jpg

    Downton Abbey land with its socialised healthcare, hereditary aristocracy and Labour party is only marginally worse than the US. But, forcing people to have rich family or take safe jobs if they want health care is bound to encourage people to start businesses? All those Food Stamp scroungers with their phones and their tellies, no-one is looking down at them based on their backgrounds. Why can't their children find jobs?

  161. Clark says:

    @Max

    Oh how I hate 'Charities' and 'Charity'. There is something of contempt in all pity, and so much charity is from pity.

    There is a bit of X in Y. There is a bit of Y in Z. Therefore we should destroy Z and replace it with the naked use of force.

    Well argued.

    Respect due to a fellow human done down by circumstance brings with it a commitment to change the culture that created that circumstance.

    And EBT cards, project housing, and taxpayer subsidized abortions do that?

    The poor will be with you always.

    Changing culture is the job of politicians and states

    Asserted with out evidence.

    In fact, I think that this idea is downright evil and pernicious. Governments exist at the discretion of the citizens (or, at least, the legitimate ones do). We create governments to solve coordination problems, not to give the snooty elites the power to change us.

    And you think Government is bad?

    Yes.

    There are some wicked scare stories about large screen tellies and latest phones, especially in the most repellent and right-wing tabloids, but they always turn out to be infuriatingly wrong and savage propaganda.

    US Census bureau spreadsheet http://www.census.gov/hhes/well-being/files/p70-136/tab1.xls

    * people below poverty line with a refrigerator: 98%
    * with a computer 58%
    * with a cell phone: 81%
    * with air condition: 83%
    * with a television: 96%

    and my personal favorite:

    * with a chest freezer to hold food that doesn't fit in their refrigerator 26%

    Scandinavian countruies also have a fair system with people achieving because of ability rather than luck.

    They also have a culture of hard work and self reliance.

    http://www.newgeography.com/content/002287-sweden-a-role-model-capitalist-reform

    A Scandinavian economist once stated to Milton Friedman: "In Scandinavia we have no poverty." Milton Friedman replied, "That's interesting, because in America among Scandinavians, we have no poverty either." Indeed, the poverty rate for Americans with Swedish ancestry is only 6.7 percent, half the U.S. average.

    Obviously, in the land of the free people don't just get born into and stuck in poverty through no fault of their own. No…wait. This can't be right?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Intergenerational_mobility_graph-1.jpg

    I note that in the US most people born to short parents are also short. What evil capitalist conspiracy is responsible for that?

    All those Food Stamp scroungers with their phones and their tellies, no-one is looking down at them based on their backgrounds. Why can't their children find jobs?

    Because they are genetically disadvantaged with lower IQs (on average), because they are the harmed with horrific government-monopoly "education", and because jobs are destroyed by left wing social engineering.

  162. Anony Mouse says:

    I hope this will serve as a warning for future generations of politicians not to gerrymander districts as much as GOP did.

    It's cute how you assume only the GOP gerrymanders the hell out of districts.

  163. cpast says:

    @Clark

    What evidence do you have for "Changing culture is not the job of politicians and states"? That statement (or the opposite, which you said was asserted without evidence) seems more like a base premise of a value system, less so something that would have evidence. Reasons, yes, and the reasons can be backed up with evidence, but I don't see how any evidence can directly support the statement.

  164. Justin says:

    @Clark

    It's true, the rates are much lower in blue state Democratic areas

    but I am confident that with sufficient proselytizing, the ethically backwards areas of North America (Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, etc.) could eventually be raised to civilized norms of morality.

    Leaving aside the wisdom of outsourcing charity to government, haven't those areas of the country, generally speaking, simply set up a more systematic way of handling charity?

  165. Troutwaxer says:

    Clark, you obviously need a straight man to do your schtick, so I'll bite one more time (then I've got important stuff to do):

    There are less than 1,500 FDA inspectors for a nation of 300,000,000 people.

    From your article, a little less than 1400. This means that if two weeks is spent by each of them (assuming some vacation time) inspecting a plant and writing up their results, that these inspectors could visit up to 35,000 plants and farms a year. Clearly that's not enough. The Huffington Post article you cite notes that:

    …the FDA, the federal agency assigned to monitor the safety of all food sold in the U.S. save meat, poultry and dairy, does not have the resources to adequately inspect the food Americans eat. As a result, the FDA outsources much of its inspection duties to private agencies, which are often supported by the food industry itself and which are often subject to little (if any) government oversight.

    So we probably need more Federal inspectors, not less, and we certainly need better inspections. (It looks to me like you cherry-picked a quote and didn't notice that the tone of the article actually works against your ideas – once again, this is evidence that you are writing satire; a person as intelligent as yourself would certainly have read the whole article and maybe even gone a step further and read the Bloomberg article that spawned the Huffington Post article. I should also note that the FDA doesn't actually monitor meat, poultry, and dairy, which is what I was writing about above – once again, a clear satirical case of pretending not to understand someone else's argument! The Bloomberg article makes the need for more and better inspections by non-private inspectors very, very clear. Your satirical persona would clearly disagree.

    As to your contention that the FDA doesn't do much, according to the Bloomberg article, the FDA agrees with you completely – per the Bloomberg article they asked for an additional 3 billion dollars to improve their inspection programs:

    The FDA is trying, so far without success, to wrest back control of food inspection from the industry. In 2008, the agency estimated that it would need another $3 billion — quadrupling its $1 billion annual budget for food safety — to conduct inspections on imported and domestic food, the FDA’s former food safety chief David Acheson says.

    Instead, the food industry lobbied for, and won, enactment of a law in January 2011 that expanded the role of auditors — and foreign governments — in vetting producers and distributors of food bound for the U.S.

    As to regulatory capture, that's probably true. Interestingly enough, the Liberals you pretend to fulminate against hate regulatory capture, and try to limit the political contributions and lobbying that lead to regulatory capture. (In your satirical persona you may seem to be against regulating political contributions. The way you pretend not to understand the morally deficient idea that "money equals speech" is masterful. As someone who sometimes attempts satire himself, I must also admire the way you cite articles which, when read or followed to their source, prove your ideas wrong.*)

    As to the statistic that 48,000,000 people a year experience a food-borne illness, your satirical persona is easily impressed by large numbers. (I'm sure your real self is smarter than that and is capable of employing a calculator and a little logic.) But just for the record, I'll note a couple facts:

    First, The United States actually knows the number of people each year who have problems with food-borne illness. Many countries can't state such a number with any confidence. The number you cite to prop up your satire probably comes from a government agency tasked with dealing with health issues. (Using a government number that not all governments can produce to support your "ideas" is evidence of your artistic brilliance!)

    Second, assuming that each person who suffers a food-borne illness is out for 3 days, America currently has 394,521 people who are sick because of something they ate. That's .12% of the population, (approximately one out of a thousand.) I guarantee that the statistics, as a percentage of the population, are much worse in all of Africa** and South America plus most of Asia. This is because their food-inspection process is much worse than ours!

    As for the idea that the government steals our tax dollars, it would be a great bit of satire would be to figure out what it would cost to get all the services the local and national government give you (police and fire protection, street lighting, education, funding of your retirement, etc., all the way up through national defense) then find a way to claim it would cost you less than you pay in taxes each year, including management time.

    * It would be very easy to prove that your satirical self is wrong by referencing blog-posts which state an opinion as fact and don't provide any citations. Picking a Huffington Post article that kinda disagreed with your ideas which cited a Bloomberg article that destroyed your thesis was a very smart move from the satirical perspective!

    **South Africa possibly excepted.

  166. Clark says:

    @cpast

    @Clark

    What evidence do you have for "Changing culture is not the job of politicians and states"?

    The fact that the US Constitution lists the legitimate powers of the government, and that's not listed.

    The observation that the very idea is odious to any conception of freedom or morality.

    a base premise of a value system

    Yes. A value system that notes that governments claim to serve people.

  167. Shane says:

    @Max

    … and took $1.5 Billion a day out of the economy.

    … Uhhhh no

    Why are the most hysterical, the ones that are least able to do math?

  168. Clark says:

    @Justin

    @Clark

    Leaving aside the wisdom of outsourcing charity to government, haven't those areas of the country, generally speaking, simply set up a more systematic way of handling charity?

    Sure. And the Nazis simply set up a more systematic way of population self-assortment that normally happens naturally.

    "Systematization" combined with "violence" does not a pretty combination make.

  169. Shane says:

    @Justin

    … generally speaking, simply set up a more systematic way of handling charity?

    Charity is a voluntary act. So no.

  170. Justin says:

    @Clark

    "Systematization" combined with "violence" does not a pretty combination make.

    If I understand you correctly, you are commenting on why it is not wise to outsource charity to government (as well as all other things). Is it this unwise decision that makes these areas ethically backward or because they don't give directly to charity as much as others?

  171. Clark says:

    @Justin

    If I understand you correctly, you are commenting on why it is not
    wise to outsource charity to government

    I'm speaking more broadly: I'm saying that things that are voluntary and decentralized are in every way better than things that are enforced at the point of a gun and centralized.

    Is it this unwise decision that makes these areas ethically backward or because they don't give directly to charity as much as others?

    Primarily the latter.

  172. Justin says:

    @Shane

    Charity is a voluntary act. So no.

    But voting for representatives that will setup and administer this system is. I understand that it will not be voluntary to everyone given majority elections and all. So fine, haven't they setup a system that aims to accomplish the same thing as charity?

  173. Justin says:

    @Clark

    Primarily the latter.

    I think that is where I disagree with you. I think you've made a good argument for calling them naive, not ethically backward.

  174. Clark says:

    @Justin

    Charity is a voluntary act. So no.

    But voting for representatives that will setup and administer this system is.

    Sure. And mugging an old man for his pocket change is a voluntary act.

    …but the person who does it.

    But not by the person who is mugged.

    I understand that it will not be voluntary to everyone given majority elections and all. So fine

    I'm glad you're fine with the initiation of force being used in your name.

    I am not.

  175. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Clark

    You just don't understand, Clark. In this age of instant information and viral content, where the CEO of a food company couldn't sneeze into his hand without thousands of tweets about it circling the globe, corporations just don't have a single incentive not to poison and kill their customers wholesale.

    Anonymous FDA employees, however, who are not only legally unaccountable for failure but for whom increased funding depends largely on well-publicized failures (Troutwaxer here does an admirable job campaigning for increased funding himself) are really the ones with your best interests at heart.

    The FDA is also responsible for ensuring that the meat you buy in supermarkets comes from large, crowded, environmentally-disastrous centralized feedlots, where Angus lives up to his knees in feces, is fed garbage, is injected with anti-biotics, and is slaughtered (preferably) right before his internal organs give out from abuse. But the important part is, all of that is done according to regulation, which is how we know it's safe and correct.

    Our glorious overlords are keeping us all healthy!

  176. Justin says:

    @Clark

    I'm glad you're fine with the initiation of force being used in your name.

    I am not.

    Wow, that's what you got out of that? Not that I was choosing to grant the point that it wouldn't be fair to call the system voluntary?

  177. Shane says:

    @Justin

    Wow, that's what you got out of that?

    Justin whenever the government does something there will always be the threat of physical violence to back it up. This is by design. It is best that this be used only in rare circumstances to limit it's damage and increase it's good.

  178. Max says:

    @shane. Yup Standards and Poor. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/16/government-shutdown-has-cost-us-economy-15bn-a-day-sp-says
    They are so 'hysterical'.
    And yes, thanks for realising how hysterically amusing I am. I do try.

    @Clark and one of the reasons I don't want a 'charity' deciding what is necessary for people's existence ? Perhaps I might get someone who thinks that in the modern US a fridge, a TV and digital inclusion are luxuries that the poor should just learn to live without.

    I used to be an anarchist when I was at University. Then I met some. Put me right off. The Wobblies? Now they were Anarchists, but they didn't want to replace State power with that of Big Business.

    I'm all for jobs. People having the dignity of work. I'm all for people starting businesses and have done myself. Scandinavian countries have high rates of employment and social mobility because of their socialist policies. Put in place by governments. Their economies are booming because of culture not because of their superior genetics.

    And if force is used in my name to make people pay their fair share towards society, make them do what they should do out of basic human sympathy but they would choose not to, I'll somehow avoid not crying myself to sleep.

    If that force is abused, if that power we transfer to these people to do good with they use to do evil? Then we fight that with every fiber in our bodies.

  179. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Max

    I don't want a 'charity' deciding what is necessary for people's existence

    Hmmm, you might have a point here. Better that kind of thing is decided by elected sociopaths.

    they didn't want to replace State power with that of Big Business

    You incorrectly imply that there exists a difference between the two. State power is big business. Who do you think controls the state? The voters? *snort* Big business relies on the state. They absolutely do not want the state to go away.

    Scandinavian countries have high rates of employment and social mobility because of their socialist policies. Put in place by governments.

    1. I take a group of healthy people.
    2. I wave my magic rock over them.
    3. Result? I have a group of healthy people.

    Conclusions:
    1. The magic rock works.
    2. We need magic rocks for everybody.
    3. If we didn't have magic rocks, we'd all be sick.

    make them do what they should do out of basic human sympathy but they would choose not to

    You're correct: On my own, I would choose not to fund people who grope toddlers at airports and blow up children overseas. Luckily, there are people who think like you to wave a gun in my face and make me. Basic human sympathy in action! Sleep tight, you defender of human dignity.

    Bonus Round: Define "fair share".

  180. Justin says:

    @Shane

    Justin whenever the government does something there will always be the threat of physical violence to back it up. This is by design. It is best that this be used only in rare circumstances to limit it's damage and increase it's good.

    Yeah, I understand that point. I clearly just did a very poor job of arguing what I was intending to argue–that I think the "ethically backward" label was a bit of cheapshot.

  181. Clark says:

    @Max:

    @Clark and one of the reasons I don't want a 'charity' deciding what is necessary for people's existence ?

    I suggest that you do want a charity (why the scare quotes, by the way?) deciding what people need. Or, at least, you don't care.

    Your issue is that you also want an armed gang deciding, and you want that gang to have sufficient weaponry and manpower that it can take what it deems appropriate.

    This is where I find your view shocking and wrong.

    And if force is used in my name to make people pay their fair share towards society, make them do what they should do out of basic human sympathy but they would choose not to, I'll somehow avoid not crying myself to sleep.

    That's might kind of you (to yourself) to be at ease with your own ease with violence.

    Touching, really.

    If that force is abused, if that power we transfer to these people to do good with they use to do evil? Then we fight that with every fiber in our bodies.

    Tell me about how you've recently fought "with every fiber in your body" about police brutality.

    No, I'm serious. You're trying to pose as someone who is absolutely OK with force being used in your name, except when it's not. So tell me how you've tried to stop bad touch from happening in your name.

  182. Troutwaxer says:

    The FDA is also responsible for ensuring that the meat you buy in supermarkets…

    FYI, the FSIS, a division of the USDA, regulates meat and poultry. The only meatlike product regulated by the FDA is seafood. If you're going to complain about government, at least complain about the right department!

    On the subject of Charity, I wonder how the number of donations by group/region/political party change if one counts (or doesn't count) churches as charities? IIRC they are all 501(c)3 organizations and may be counted as one group.

  183. Bill says:

    Then finally the poor will be able to afford large TVs, bling, grilles, and smart phones, which they currently do not have access to, yes?

    Clarkslap doesn't have the same ring as Bitchslap, but dayum, that was painful

  184. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Troutwaxer

    Correction noted!

  185. Max says:

    @clark I haven't done enough ever. Still. I have a reputation as a trouble-maker, a challenger. I've tuned that down recently and I'm doing better in my career and financially. Should I fight harder and be forced onto benefits and charity, or soften my line further and get on in the world?

    I might have a chance to make a small difference if I play the game a bit more diplomatically.

    A friend is a whistle-blower against government corruption. An unemployed suicidal whistle-blower. He tells me that I would have done the same in his situation. I think he judges me too highly.

    What hurt my friend was not a monopoly of force but sheer corporate malice. Innuendo and bullying through words. Being seen as a trouble-maker it is too dangerous to employ.

    That frightens me as much as guns.

    I'm beginning to get a career. Some money and influence after a lifetime as a despised minority. Someone who @Bill laughingly assumes is living it up on his tax dollar. If that is a 'Clarkslap' it felt like a very mean-spirited one and reminded me of how much I have to lose.

    This caricature you have of minorities is an abuse of power, Clark and Bill. So you ask what I have done lately, well, I have stood up to you.

  186. Max says:

    Oh, and @clark, if you had ever been dependent on a charity you would understand the scare quotes.

  187. Clark says:

    @Max

    Oh, and @clark, if you had ever been dependent on a charity

    I have been.

    you would understand the scare quotes.

    I don't.

    Can you explain?

  188. Clark says:

    @Max

    @clark I haven't done enough ever. Still. I have a reputation as a trouble-maker, a challenger.

    Oh, well if you've got a reputation as a challenger, then I guess it's entirely moral to endorse State violence.

    My apologies for ever suggesting otherwise.

  189. Max says:

    @Chris Rhodes so now the reason the Scandis are doing well is not genetics, but magical rocks? What about their social and economic system? And no, I'm not missing the point, you were.

    If Big Business doesn't want the State to disappear, why are they funding the Tea Party and radical Republicans to make it happen?

    And, I said I was happy to accept force would be used to enforce common understandings of human responsibility to each other. I was quite clear that I was against abuse of power. So, if you say 'are you happy for people who refuse to pay for libraries to be put in prison?' I say yes.

    Groping toddlers, I'm against, obviously. Which is why I'm favour of a State enforced legal system which says kiddy fiddlers are bad. Now you have raised the 'won't anyone think of the children' strawman.

  190. Max says:

    @clark my charities treated me as less than human. An object of pity and contempt, and obviously saw the 'charity' as a way of making a living for proper white, middle-class, non-disabled people as they smugly forced the 'beneficiaries' to fit in with demeaning caricatures in order to get the scraps. And then congratulated themselves on how holy they were.
    Glad yours treated you better.

    And I'm not happy about the need for the state to enforce basic human dignity. It would be great if most people were not the way they are. Not bad as such, but easily influenced and only caring about their immediate family and perhaps their tribe.

    It might be better in the future as the best of humanity is brought to the fore, but at the moment, we humans only seem to be the best we can be when we are told so by authority. Guns aren't the main thing. Power is. But guns go with power. Which is why powerless people fetishise them so much.

  191. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Max

    so now the reason the Scandis are doing well is not genetics, but magical rocks?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

    If Big Business doesn't want the State to disappear, why are they funding the Tea Party and radical Republicans to make it happen?

    You might have noticed that neither the Tea Party nor the Republican Party are anarchists, or even very much in favor of free markets. Ask one of them what they think about importing Chinese goods, for example ("DEY TOOK ER JERBS!"), or what they think about military spending ("MORE MORE MORE!"). They aren't anti-state, they just want the state to spend more on things they like, rather than things they don't.

    Groping toddlers, I'm against, obviously. Which is why I'm favour of a State enforced legal system which says kiddy fiddlers are bad.

    Unless they wear government uniforms, of course. Then it's just a shared public good, enforced by wise authority figures, and anyone who doesn't pay for it should go to prison.

    So, if you say 'are you happy for people who refuse to pay for libraries to be put in prison?' I say yes.

    There are a very limited number of reasons I might find it moral pull a gun on someone, but their refusal to fund a library hadn't crossed my mind. I'd be scared to live next to someone like you.

  192. Shane says:

    @Max

    Yup Standards and Poor.

    This kills me, NO where in that article or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one did any author link to the article or statement that justifies these numbers. All that was said was that everyone knows that the GDP went down and here is a number that was removed from someone's nether regions to prove it.

    Business insider and Time at least attempted to guess at numbers:

    $152 million per day in lost travel spending, according to the U.S. Travel Association
    $76 million per day lost because of National Parks being shut down, according to the National Park Service
    $217 million per day in lost federal and contractor wages in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area alone

    You might want to read extra careful from Business Insider:

    We believe that to date, the shutdown has shaved at least 0.6% off of annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth …

    Notice what is said "We believe …", in other words we have no stats or facts to back this up.

    Also " … GDP growth" This is not the same as GDP, and the reason that growth didn't grow as fast was because of the fucking Keynesian multiplier (velocity) that favors spending over investment/saving. The money went somewhere it just didn't get spent by the government today. That means it is in the gross investment category.

  193. Shane says:

    @Max

    If Big Business doesn't want the State to disappear, why are they funding the Tea Party and radical Republicans to make it happen?

    LOL please. Eight donors does not constitute big business unless of course you have a more recent donors list.

    Which is why I'm favour of a State enforced legal system which says kiddy fiddlers are bad.

    Unless it is a friendly TSA agent that is doing the groping.

  194. Max says:

    Standards and Poor, but they are a great American institution, and if you mock an American institution you mock the USA itself then we are out of here. I'd link to the Animal House clip but you get the point.

    And the thing is, all you Libertarians are white and middle-class and non-disabled and mostly male. Mostly male. You can't even get a majority in your meta tribe.

    There is an armed State line between you and us. The amount of contempt you show us when there is a line between us. Remove that line and you would be on us like wolves.

    Even in our current fucked up system Libertarians don't seem like a better option. They seem like angry white, middle class males who want their natural rights back, and if only the darned state would get out of the way. 'Dayum, we would 'Clarkslap' the kind of people who wear grilles/bling'.

    Well. I'm glad that Popehat sticks up for us but I'm also glad there is an armed cordon between me and and Clark's supporters.

  195. Shane says:

    @Max

    Thing is, there is an armed State line between you and us.

    Thankfully you have guns, because heaven forbid you should ever have to make arguments on logic.

    Remove that line and you would be on us like wolves.

    Really, and what would we do to you? Force you to do things against your will at the end of a gun? I think you have seriously miscalculated who are your friends and who are your enemies.

    Well. I'm glad that Popehat sticks up for us but I'm also glad there is an armed cordon between me and and Clark's supporters.

    Better check where those guns at your back are pointed.

  196. Max says:

    Start sticking up for the powerless rather than your own priviliged tribe and I'll believe you.

    In the meantime, I'll look at the cordon you claim is against us. I see black and working class people. I can work with them. They are working for the system in the first place because they understand their place as minorities and advantage.

    That is the problem you have with 'socialism'. It doesn't give you power.

    Well, neither does 'Libertarianism' and the contempt your comrades show daily to BME, gay, disabled and just plain working class people daily means 'you' have chosen not to make common cause with us.

    'Your' choice. If you as an individual choose to join us, 'we' welcome you. You can also choose to be a left-wing anarchist and condemn the class and race bias shown in this thread. If you don't think there is any class and race bias In this thread? You made your 'choice'. Based on where and in what circumstances you were born.

  197. Chris Rhodes says:

    Remove that line and you would be on us like wolves.

    You're the one who delights in threatening people with a gun in order to build libraries, and somehow you have the nerve to tell me that I'm the violent one, just barely restrained by "an armed state line".

    You are wrong, and I'm having a hard time believing that anyone could survive that level of cognitive dissonance.

    EDIT:

    Start sticking up for the powerless rather than your own priviliged tribe and I'll believe you.

    The rich-poor divide is an intentional, engineered effect of the state apparatus, but somehow dismantling that apparatus means I don't care about the poor? How do you figure?

    That is the problem you have with 'socialism'. It doesn't give you power.

    I don't want to have power over anyone, and I don't want anyone to have power over me. This is very much unlike you, I might add, from your admissions in this very thread.

  198. Max says:

    I'm just happy with a political system that means minorities should be protected.

    Minorities as a whole are the majority. Minorities that have a problem with you Libertarians and your contempt for our 'grilles/bling' we extort from you with our over generous benefits.

    You chose the armed cordon with your contempt for us.

    Oh, and libraries, you aren't prepared to pay your fair share towards them? Contemptible libraries where poor people go to learn independently? Why can't they have books in the house from the day they were born like the kind of people who become Libertarians?

    And that is why we need states.

    Jesus, you need to be threatened with a gun before you will fund a library? That was an example. Like 'have to be threatened with a gun before they will give a starving man food'.

  199. Chris Rhodes says:

    Where have I had contempt for minorities? Where have I expressed any violent tendencies (unlike you)?

    (I would also point out that minus a state, there would be no copyright laws, and books/ebooks would be so dirt cheap as to be ubiquitous).

  200. Max says:

    I may be being a dick. If so, I apologise. I still like libraries though.

  201. Max says:

    But. My 'violent tendencies' are just an ex anarchist accepting the state is necessary. The state, at core, does rely on force. That much I still believe.

  202. Chris Rhodes says:

    Actually, someday I would like to create a Tor hidden site like the now-defunct Silk Road, but instead of a marketplace for illicit substances, it serves up free eBooks.

  203. Max says:

    Free eBooks is a thing I would totally get behind in a Tor, contemporary knowledge kind of way rather than just Gutenburg. But, I have been assured on this thread that computers are something a leading Libertarian thinks poor people shouldn't be allowed to have access to. So, my efforts to end digital exclusion around where I live are just giving luxuries to the kind of people who wear 'grilles'. Therefore scum.

  204. Max says:

    And what you should have said is:

    'My anarchist cell is full of different people, all united against the common enemies of state and religion. We keep the spirit of Joe Hill alive while you talk of surrender and collaboration.

    You confuse me with these fools who wish to lick the zombie tuppence of Ayn Rand. They are not anarchists. All they taste is futility and rot.

    They will be swept away or see the error of their ways as the people united realise their power.

    You have to rely on the barricades erected by the state. But I see only people, groaning under the oppression not just of the state but the propaganda of difference it uses to keep the oppressed apart. The oppressed are all secretly anarchists, but I am proud to to be one.

    Down with the power of monopolistic industry but we cheer the revolutionary spirit of the 'start-up'. The future is here if only we have the courage to join together with those the military-industrial complex would have us see as enemies. Together we can seize the future and make it ours'.

    Ho-hum. That would have been foolish talk, of course. Or at least over dramatic. People would have suspected you had got into the rum.

  205. Shane says:

    @Max

    Just out of curiosity, what country are you a citizen of?

  206. Bill says:

    @Max, you have to be kidding me. I could thump my chest about what I've done and do for many poor people, and gays (well with Gays, it's mainly just solidarity – living in the Bible Belt though it causes a decent amount of ostracism) but it's tacky and anyone can say anything on the internet. I'm confident that my contributions to both groups are significantly more than darned near any blog critic of mine could cite. Working with poor children, I feel tremendous sadness that many of them are pretty much doomed at birth – sure, some can beat the odds but many do not and will not. It's heartbreaking to me and if i could change it by say, paying substantially more taxes, I'd gladly do it. B/c I deal with it regularly, I see many parents that have no problem spending money on selfish or idiotic things but not things that benefit their children. For instance, two mothers I can think of had no problem buying their sons new Lebron James sneakers but 'couldn't afford' a computer. Buying the Lebrons gives them something to brag about and in their particular circles that means something. I can think of quite a few 'families' I've come across that made a major priority of getting custom rims for their cars but again, couldn't 'afford' computers. they have all the time in the world to go to high school football games but never have time to take their kids to the library. I'll grant you that there are many cold-hearted sobs that hide behind libertarianism but there are many that aren't. And there are unquestionably a large lot of the poor that care much more about Rims, TVs, specific brands of shoes and clothes than they do about their kid's futures. Grills are passe these days but it wasn't long ago that they were. I will say though that there are many that have plenty of money for Weaves (as they're called) and brag about the fact their weaves are several hundred/a thousand dollars but don't have any money for necessities. Poverty is a tragedy and I wish it could be eliminated, but in the US, there's also no denying that one of the biggest plagues of the poor is obesity, something unimaginable in other countries. If standing up to me (and Clark) is what you did and you feel proud of it, you've got a very twisted sense of right and wrong. For one thing, blog comments , if you'll pardon my cliche theft, never fed a starving child. You're doing a lot of assuming my friend… just b/c I think the government does a terrible job of it, just b/c I think the 'compassion' the govt doles out for the poor is cruel and heartless (sorry man, but any housing project I can think of in my area is pretty much hell), just b/c I think the poor are being destroyed by predators of all persuasions (the govt being the alpha predator of the group) doesn't mean I don't care about them. I'd be willing you and I probably agree 100% on outcomes, we just seem to differ on the road to get there.

  207. Bill says:

    @Max, I just saw your last comment about how the poor shouldn't be allowed to have computers. The irony is delicious. Allowed is an interesting way to put it. In the sense you're using it, I guess I'm not allowed to have a Ferrari. Even in a crap state like the one I live in, public schools have an abundance of computers, the public libraries do as well. I volunteer teaching 10-12th graders how to program and work with a few others to go to Churches (I don't like Churches but that's one of the only reliable venues to get access to many disadvantaged families) to encourage kids to pursue careers in technology and teach them to program. One really big problem at the schools and libraries was people arguing over computer time b/c of Facebook/Instagram/YouTube and Twitter. The public libraries still allow access but the schools blocked it (the schools I know of, I can't speak to all of them here) which immediately killed most of the demand for computer time. There were a more than a few kids who were enrolled in the program I speak of who wanted nothing to do with learning to program but use Social media and the like (that's certainly not a poor people thing, it's a teenager thing but if your'e going to argue disenfranchisement – you'd think people wouldn't dream of squandering an opportunity to learn a valuable skills and instead waste it on Social media- but it's the same dynamic at play on disallowing EBT card users from buying lottery tickets, cigarettes and alcohol). If there was a 500.00 a year tax I could pay to ensure all kids in america had access to computers to learn with, I'd be happy to pay it – sadly, many of the kids that need it most would probably have the computers sold by and large by their parents or would sell them for money for new Lebrons. I'm all for kids having internet access to learn, even if it's of non-monetary stuff, but I don't think the ability to engage in Twitter/Instagram Beefs or post on WorldStar is a right. TVs? No, I don't think that's a right nor do I think anyone is disadvantaged by not having one. Smartphones – again, I don't think that's a necessity by any stretch nor do I see anything wrong with having people spend their own money to buy them. The more I read of your stuff, the more I'm at a loss to see what you and I are so at odds over, other than perhaps the means of getting there.

  208. Mike_C says:

    Leaving aside the wisdom of outsourcing charity to government, haven't those areas of the country, generally speaking, simply set up a more systematic way of handling charity?

    As a Massachusetts resident, I can say from local experience: No, this region does not do a better or more systematic job of handling charity or other assistance to the disadvantaged. What does happen however is that people who like to think so can say to themselves, "Well, I did my part by voting for the people who want a government program for X. And because X will probably get some sort of government program that ostensibly supports it* I have no further responsibility in the matter, because government will take care of it". Contrast that attitude with the people whose attitude is: I am concerned about X, and I will try to personally do my part to help, because I think X is important, but it's not the government's job to coerce other people into thinking it's important. But that latter attitude tends to be more prevalent in flyover country than in our progressive Northeast.

    *As opposed to actually supporting legions of functionaries who then owe patronnage-fealty to the politician/party that created their job. ("Legion" can be interpreted in the biblical sense of having to do with demons and pigs if one likes.)

  209. Chris Rhodes says:

    @Max

    I have been assured on this thread that computers are something a leading Libertarian thinks poor people shouldn't be allowed to have access to.

    Who here has said that poor people shouldn't be allowed access to computers? Again, you seem to be of the opinion that "I don't think violence is an appropriate method of helping poor people to obtain things" = "I wish poor people would fuck off and die".

    If you go into arguments assuming bad faith on the part of your opponents, there's no end to what you can't accomplish.

  210. Max says:

    @Bill. You seem like an excellent person.
    I also worked with excluded young people trying to give them opportunities that their parents and communities didn't. Try to stop them going feral by telling them they were 'geeks' now and that overcame any of the nonsense they were told they were.

    I'm from the UK, but our 'scallies' and 'chavs' are not kind to people who don't fit into their tribe. Unless they are told they can be in any tribe they want to be and they believe it. They also get demonised because they tend to be on benefits.

    I'm from a middle-class family but have characteristics that make me and them seem different.

    I always did my good stuff partly for money, and partly from my role in a technology company. A small one. I've started my own company now. Tech. Doing well. This is work avoidance. But tech for good. Which involves finding ways of giving poor families and individuals access to the internet.

    Above, the blogger called Clark suggested that a PC was a luxury, like a fridge or a TV, proof that people on benefits could afford extra stuff so they could spend money on birth-control.

    I think, asking someone to chose between having a PC or spending money on birth-control is weird. This is about just giving them birth-control even. No choice. But Clark reckons both are irrelevances we tax-payers should not fund. Free birth-control means less kids to support. But that isn't ideologically pure enough for Clark and others.

    That said, I don't think tax-payers should fund computers. Charities and housing associations should and they should be the most rubbish and basic PCs possible with locked in systems so parent's can't sell them for drugs because their use is monitored. Not very anarchist. But kids have something for homework even if their parents are substance abusers.

    And libraries are places where kids go when they have no-where else. You whiners who don't want to fund them are not very nice people. I hope they create a Libertarian island where you can go and live your Nozick fantasies and see how they turn out.

    Hah, what am I saying? As if you have heard of Nozick. Your Ayn Rand weirdness. You genetic supermen who worship the likes of Ayn Rand. Oi!

  211. Max says:

    @Chris Rhodes. Clark listed evidence of discretionary spending people had that was equivalent to 'Bling/Grilles'. Apparently, the fact that 58% of people on benefits have access to a computer in the US was an example of discretionary spending power. Stuff Libertarians shouldn't have to fund through their taxes. Even though, they just have access, probably through a previous job or a charity.