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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Economics / Re: opebo was right about a $15/hour minimum wage on: September 29, 2014, 10:01:05 pm


Oh, yeah, Soviet Russia did it. It did set workers' incomes at just above starving and prohibited strikes under the penalty of death.

The Soviet Union probably ceased to be a net progressive force fairly soon after Lenin's death,

More like 20 minutes after the Bolshevik coup. Starvation, genocide, wholesale executions, concentration camps, repressing workers and peasants rights, etc. where all Lenin's favorites.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Catalan Independence Referendum (with FREE constitutional crisis!) on: September 29, 2014, 06:11:12 pm

y si no, No!
3  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jim Traficant passed away Saturday from injuries in tractor accident Tuesday on: September 29, 2014, 12:18:35 pm
The main thing I really remember about him is that he demanded a Jew-free jury during his corruption trial.

Good riddance.

At least he didn't murder babies like your buddies did.

You've really embraced the whole Horseshoe theory thing, huh?

Left and Right are not absolute concepts. What is left in one place is right in the other. It was a National Socialist Worker's Party, wasn't it?
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jim Traficant passed away Saturday from injuries in tractor accident Tuesday on: September 29, 2014, 12:16:22 pm
Better than the vast majority of politicians, let's not kid ourselves.

Well, you have long had a peculiar taste in politicians.
The ironic thing is that Traficant was also virulently anti-hispanic.

What's so ironic about that? Xenophobia and racism is xenophobia and racism.
5  General Politics / Economics / Re: opebo was right about a $15/hour minimum wage on: September 29, 2014, 12:14:58 pm


Oh, yeah, Soviet Russia did it. It did set workers' incomes at just above starving and prohibited strikes under the penalty of death.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Catalan Independence Referendum (with FREE constitutional crisis!) on: September 28, 2014, 10:09:40 pm
Their options are either a) ignore or b) engage. The latter would mean trying to change the terms of the argument in such a way that there is no unambiguous vote for independence.

I think there is no chance for the government to continue ignoring what's happening in Catalonia. The second course of action has some chances, since the consultation questions are somewhat controversial or tricky. If the "Yes-Yes" option doesn't get a majority of the electorate, that's another card to play. However, the government will have to engage in some kind of pacted solution afterwards.

They have to engage earlier. Catalans are the people who negotiate and can be negotiated with. As it stands, the Madrid government is almost provoking the catalanista electorate into turning out and voting Yes-Yes. Or, should I say, "si no, No!" Smiley
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Catalan Independence Referendum (with FREE constitutional crisis!) on: September 28, 2014, 03:01:20 pm
The stupidest thing the Spanish government could do is to resort to force, arrest Mas, or anything else of that nature. Once it goes that way, Catalan independence becomes nearly certain within a fairly short period. Their options are either a) ignore or b) engage. The latter would mean trying to change the terms of the argument in such a way that there is no unambiguous vote for independence. But force would be disastrous.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jim Traficant passed away Saturday from injuries in tractor accident Tuesday on: September 28, 2014, 09:18:29 am
Better than the vast majority of politicians, let's not kid ourselves.

Well, you have long had a peculiar taste in politicians.
9  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Jim Traficant passed away Saturday from injuries in tractor accident Tuesday on: September 28, 2014, 09:17:24 am
The main thing I really remember about him is that he demanded a Jew-free jury during his corruption trial.

Good riddance.

At least he didn't murder babies like your buddies did.

Well, killing babies was definitely not the sort of activity he disapproved of. At least, as long as those were Jewish babies.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Russia General Discussion on: September 26, 2014, 12:55:04 pm
What happened with Yanukovych can happen in Russia. It's the same situation, the same kind of people doing the same things, with everything "bigger" in Russia. But it took the Ukrainians 10 years, two "revolutions" and tens of deaths to get rid of Yanukovych, and it is unclear how far Putin would be ready to go against his own population (it is easy to jail divisive figures like oligarchs or the Pussy Riot girls, but what about "good russians" like the soldiers's mothers or normal students). 
Won't happen. Too much propaganda and fear.

Oh, it will. After the oil money runs out. It will be a lot bloodier, though.
11  General Politics / Economics / Re: Research shows every 2nd job might disappear within 2035 on: September 23, 2014, 03:37:12 pm
As a condescending jerk, I have a hard time choosing where to start Smiley

Well, at least in the US the unions will not be much of a problem Smiley Of the 14.5 mln union members in the US (that is in a country with the workforce of well over 150 mln. people) about a half work in the public sector - teachers, police, firefighters, bureaucrats and the like. The private sector unionization rate is under 7% - they are increasingly irrelevant for the wage setting Smiley Minimal wages are fairly low  - and if unemployment is, indeed, staggering, there will be both the political pressure to lower them further and the de facto universal avoidance of those floors (not that I think that would ever come to ti - for a host of reasons). As for unreliability of humans - true enough, but, at least, they are a lot more reliable then machines (at least, machines cheap enough to compete with people in many occupations) Smiley  Of course, industrial production is increasingly automated - but there is so much for humans to do that does not involve imitating robots in industrial production Smiley

Now, none of this - except, perhaps, for the last point - was a serious comment (being a condescending jerk, I did not see anything serious to comment about). Ever since the wheels and the mules displaced human force in transportation (and, likely, earlier) the same argument has been  proposed repeatedly - it is not new, and it is not true.  It is, of course, getting more ridiculous in the age of declining fertility and increasing elderly population - if anything, I would worry about whod be wiping my ass when I no longer can.
12  General Politics / Economics / Re: Research shows every 2nd job might disappear within 2035 on: September 21, 2014, 08:01:46 pm
In the world of falling fertility, I would sincerely hope that machines are available to do more things, so that humans shift to things they do better: such as, say, caring for the aged. Otherwise, quite a few of the younger folk here would not find a decent nursing home Smiley
13  General Politics / Economics / Re: Research shows every 2nd job might disappear within 2035 on: September 21, 2014, 07:59:07 pm
Does anyone really think that the economics will still favor automation, if the economy sheds 50% of all jobs? It would require an act of economic cupidity for which there is no precedent.

Obviously, if there is 50% unemployment and the corresponding fall in wages, any idiot, who invests much in automation of something cheap labor could do would go bankrupt, pushed out by the smart capitalist hiring human beings.
14  General Politics / Economics / Re: Research shows every 2nd job might disappear within 2035 on: September 21, 2014, 07:55:36 pm
Work for much of human civilisation has been an integral part of someone's identity. You meet someone new, you ask them what they do, they respond "I'm a ________ ". A good proportion of our surnames (including my own) are a reflection of our ancestor's jobs. The whole of civilisation is built on the division of labour in the form of careers. And now we have to recognise that the idea we've cherished so long - that of "being employed in order to make a living" - is impossible to keep up.

I hope I don't sound like I'm talking garbage here, I'm slightly off.


You are, unfortunately.
15  General Politics / Economics / Re: Research shows every 2nd job might disappear within 2035 on: September 21, 2014, 07:54:51 pm
If you're afraid of this, you've missed the boat on why work exists. The reason we have work in society is because we have tasks  that need to be completed or we will all die without it. If there is no work that needs to be done, it isn't a travesty but a success.
We wouldn't necessarily die (that depends on the task), but our living standards would go down and we wouldn't be able to produce all of the stuff that people want. Machines will never replace human labor because the list of human wants is essentially infinite. When one thing we want can be more or less fully produced by machines, we just "move down the list" and go on to the next things that still require human labor to produce.

There is a slight logical problem in your reasoning Smiley If machines can do some of the job people do today, while people go on producing something else, it means the economy is bigger - and everything produced in that economy does belong to some human being, not to a machine. Likewise, everything that machines produce, in the end, will be consumed by humans. So, why exactly would living standards go down? A reasonable (though, probably, still wrong) argument would have involved the impact on inequality: the capital owners would grow richer relative to those with only labor to sell - but that is not the argument you are trying to make.
16  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: September 21, 2014, 07:49:29 pm
It has been made fairly clear to the Ukrainians, that they can count on, at most, the moral support from the West. They have to live with the hand they've been dealt. Which is crap: an army that cannot resist the Russian invasion and an economy that will be cut from most of its energy sources this winter. What are they supposed to do? So, they try to negotiate something that would, at least, postpone the full-blown Russian attack. May be, once the temperatures start going back up the Europeans would be willing to do, at least, something about Russia.

None of this, really, matters for the longer term. Putin will, at some point, go further and all these agreements will be made meaningless. If the West resists, Ukraine will get its own back. If it does not, it will be dismembered - and it will not be the only nation that will be dismembered in the process. For the moment, anything that does not involve a Russian assault on Kharkiv and Kiev tomorrow is a necessary respite.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 12, 2014, 07:29:45 pm
To summarise Sibboleth's explanation, Scotland gets 50%+1 because the British government has implicitly accepted those terms in Scotland and allowed a referendum, whereas the Scottish government has not done so for Shetland.

True. But the Parliament would still have to act to implement the referendum decision. As far as I understand, it has not committed to the exact shape of Scottish independence. It would be, let us say, interesting Smiley
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 18 September 2014 on: September 12, 2014, 07:28:10 pm
If Scotland can dissolve its union with a 50%+1 vote, why shouldn't some of the council areas dissolve their relationship with Scotland with the same such vote?

Scotland is a nation. Council areas are not.

"Nation" is but a legal definition. The Parliament would be able to create a few, if it so desires.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who would you rather be President? on: September 10, 2014, 06:02:52 pm
Cuomo, of course.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: September 10, 2014, 01:14:06 pm
If you thought that the far-right battalions were an invention of Russian propaganda and would not create any problem:

Quote
"I have nothing against Russian nationalists, or a great Russia," said Dmitry, as we sped through the dark Mariupol night in a pickup truck, a machine gunner positioned in the back. "But Putin's not even a Russian. Putin's a Jew."
[...]
But there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions might be Ukraine's most potent and reliable force on the battlefield against the separatists, they also pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government, and perhaps even the state, when the conflict in the east is over. The Azov causes particular concern due to the far-right, even neo-Nazi leanings of many of its members.
[...]
Poroshenko will be killed in a matter of months, Dmitry said, and a dictator will come to power.
"What are the police going to do? They could not do anything against the peaceful protesters on Maidan; they are hardly going to withstand armed fighting units."
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/10/azov-far-right-fighters-ukraine-neo-nazis

https://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/know-your-volunteer-battalions-infographic-363944.html

Azov is an actual right-wing neo-fascist battalion - at least, its leadership is (most of the fighters by now are there simply because it was a fighting unit which they could join - they have been taking all volunteers). Unlike the Right Sector, at least, this one is not a fiction. It, also, should not be compared to the other units - it IS the one about which this is well-known and acknowledged by most Ukrainians as well. In fact, I heard a very detailed analysis of this that had been broadcast on Ukrainian TV.

The other volunteer units, for the most part, are not ideologically similar. Yes, they are real irregular forces, some of them pretty ruthless - but they do not come from the same ideological core as Azov. And, in any case, Azov is precisely local, Eastern Ukrainian - that is where such views are a lot more common. it is not a Western Ukrainian import.

Then, again, these sorts of statements are a lot more common among the "Novorossiya" fighters and among the Russians in General. They are all convinced that Poroshenko is, really, a Waltzman - and are not at all embarrassed about saying that (no more embarrassed than they are about, say, spotting Swastika-like tattoos). At this point, such views (sans accusing comrade Putin himself) come close to being Russias official ideology. They are most definitely the official ideology of nearly the entire "Novorossiya" leadership. This is not what Putin and most of the Russians call "fascism" - that is healthy patriotism for them. As far as they are concerned, Ukrainians are fascists not because of the Azov (ideologically, they find precisely these guys the most similar and easiest to understand) - but because they do not consider themselves Russian and even sometimes dare to speak Ukrainian. BTW, same is true of the Jews - they are not Russian, and, therefore, they are fascist. The word "fascist" in the current Russian parlance simply means somebody who does not like the Russian policy of reclaiming its rightful territory. That is as simple as that.

There is a good reason Ukrainian Jews are so united in support of their "fascist" government. They know what Russian "anti-fascism" means - and it means nothing good for the Jews.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cuomo v. Teachout on: September 10, 2014, 12:38:16 pm
She almost hit 40% - to all the people who scoffed earlier, ha.


34.3% to be more precise (with 99% reporting). Hard to round that up to 40%, though, of course, still respectable. Cuomo is at 62.2% and Credico at 3.6%. Hochul is just a whisker below 60%.
22  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Fracking Spurs Rust Belt Revival on: September 10, 2014, 12:55:20 am
Manufacturing is coming back because American labor is so much cheaper now.

It sounds crazy, but some manufacturing is offshored to Singapore, which has 64% higher cost of living than Detroit.

http://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/comparison/detroit/singapore?

If you are an expat. In the Socialist Republic of Singapore you get subsidized housing - and a lot more - if you are a native.  And you do not have to be paid much if you are a migrant worker (not to be confused with an expat). It is not a free market paradise it is rumored to be - if anything, it is a planned economy. But the government sure takes care of business.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cuomo v. Teachout on: September 10, 2014, 12:37:26 am
With 98% reporting, Cuomo is at 62.1%.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cuomo v. Teachout on: September 09, 2014, 11:51:54 pm
The question is: will he win 2/3 in November?
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cuomo v. Teachout on: September 09, 2014, 11:36:53 pm
Cayuga voted for Cuomo.

By 11 votes Smiley
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