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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1701  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: opinion of mohammed morsi on: December 18, 2013, 04:54:20 pm
HP, though of course he could've easily been far worse.
1702  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Kulaks on: December 18, 2013, 04:53:41 pm
Quote
Разнообразие здесь есть ручательство жизненности, порука успеха в достижении общей единой цели: очистки земли российской от всяких вредных насекомых, от блох жуликов, от клопов богатых и прочее и прочее.
-- Vladimir I. Lenin

So, all of the first three.
1703  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is Democracy a Means to an End or an End unto Itself? on: December 18, 2013, 04:47:47 pm
A society that is capable of having a democracy that does not enact oppressive policies and does not take advantage of people for its own enrichment is an end unto itself.

Who is "it" in this sentence? I can't interpret it in any way that makes the slightest amount of sense.

The government, or the rulers, or the party in power, and so on. I had phrased that rather vaguely.
1704  General Politics / Economics / Re: Mexico votes to end 75-year state monopoly on oil on: December 18, 2013, 04:43:35 pm
Excellent news for all Mexicans!
1705  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is Democracy a Means to an End or an End unto Itself? on: December 18, 2013, 04:19:06 pm
A society that is capable of having a democracy that does not enact oppressive policies and does not take advantage of people for its own enrichment is an end unto itself.
1706  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Reid: 8 more years as leader on: December 18, 2013, 04:12:23 pm
TBH I rather doubt Sandoval will run against Reid in 2016 unless Reid retires (obviously, if Reid wants to stay powerful as leader, the caucus has to think he's permanent). The year for a solid, well-funded candidate, such as Sandoval, to take down Reid was 2010, and it didn't happen.
1707  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Scott Walker continues his conservative crusade, may eliminate income taxes on: December 18, 2013, 04:10:14 pm
http://taxes.about.com/od/statetaxes/a/tax-free-states.htm

Wouldn't be the first. Don't think it's a good idea myself, but it isn't exactly apocalyptic.
1708  Forum Community / Forum Community Election Match-ups / Re: Would the previous poster win your state in a presidential election? on: December 17, 2013, 11:45:51 pm
no way
1709  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Jim Matheson retiring on: December 17, 2013, 11:41:33 pm
This is the first real pickup opportunity Republicans are getting and it's R+14. Outside of the very few heavily Republican districts held by Democrats, there is nothing else out there for Republicans to gain.

What? Look through any analyst's list of competitive races. Count the number of races that were won by a close margin (less than 2%, or 5%, whatever) in 2012. You'll notice that there are more endangered Democratic seats out there than Republican ones. In 2012, the last eight seats to be called were all called for Democrats. It's truly bizarre not to recognize that there's significantly more opportunity out there for the Republicans than the Democrats (especially considering that even back when Democrats held a significant generic-ballot lead in October, still very few people projected House takeover).
1710  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: does SNCY remind anyone of Vosem? on: December 17, 2013, 11:28:05 pm
Reading the 'effort posts' NC Yankee makes every so often always leaves me feeling much better-informed about a situation; I'm very flattered by the comparison Smiley
1711  General Politics / Individual Politics / Salvador Allende vs. Patricio Aylwin on: December 15, 2013, 03:52:16 pm
Curious to see the discussion this question will prompt.
1712  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 02:20:17 am
Oh well that's only slightly less absurd.

1-Shining Path did not exist until 1980 and wasn't a major factor until a few years later, long after Allende's presidency and after it would've peacefully ended if Allende remained in office.
But it's indicative of the sort of leftist thought that existed in Latin American countries during the Cold War. I don't know what 'it' is you're talking about peacefully ending so I can't say anything to that.

2-George McGovern came closer to being President than Shining Path came to taking power in Peru. They might've controlled some rural areas for awhile but never came anywhere near taking Lima or any major population center, and it's virtually impossible to imagine a scenario where they did.
Shining Path was certainly active in the Lima area around 1990 or so, and it was gaining strength up until Guzman's arrest in 1993. It's perfectly possible to imagine so scenario where Peru is more turbulent in the 1980s than it was in real life leading to a Shining Path takeover.

3-The Shining Path killed trade unionists, leftist politicians and even members of other leftist militant groups and were a Maoist anti-Soviet group, so the idea that Allende would've ever aided them is absurd.
You don't think that Shining Path could've benefited from a weaker leftist Chilean government, elements of which (not Allende himself, I'd agree) could've been sympathetic to it? There definitely couldn't've been more hostile leadership in Chile than Pinochet.

4-Incidentally Peru DID have an authoritarian leftist government at the time Allende was in office and there never was any domino effect...that's about as nonsensical as the crap said during Vietnam.
Yes, from 1968-1975 Peru was an authoritarian leftist state. One could argue the Chilean '73 coup encouraged the '75 Peruvian one to take place in a reverse-domino effect, but I don't think they were directly connected.

The domino effect with Vietnam definitely came to pass -- Laos and Cambodia both became Communist as well, and the Soviets established a naval base in Vietnam from which they could, had they wished, have threatened China or Taiwan or the Philippines.

And, lastly, it being 2:20 in the morning I am signing off for the night. I look forward to resuming the conversation in the morning.
1713  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 01:51:55 am
A Greek neo-Nazi party nearly came to power in Peru? What?

Gaah! Confused my nonindicative but cool-sounding extremist group names again. The Peruvian group I was referring to is Shining Path, not Golden Dawn. My mistake.
1714  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 01:46:27 am
No Vosem, you have no idea what you're talking about.

You ever spoken to anyone who lived under a dictatorship? Right- or left-wing, regardless?

Yes. Have you?

Yes. I live with, and was raised by, people who lived most of their lives under left-wing dictatorship. Until a few years ago, I also lived with someone who, in addition to that, had spent several years resisting right-wing dictatorship.

Also, you're equating Allende's policies with Pinochet's dictatorship,

Allende's domestic policies, while terrible, were not comparable with the repression of dissidents and speech that occurred under Pinochet.

with a dash of geopolitical justification.

I really do think, in the context of the 1970s-'80s, geopolitics is the key justification for all foreign policy, with only really, really egregious exceptions (I do think supporting the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s, for instance, was a mistake).

But I have one further question; if Chile had remained left-leaning, but also remained an ally of the US, would you still think that Pinochet would be the superior option?

The Pinochet dictatorship? Of course not.

Allende's redeeming qualities were not being a mass murderer, not executing political opponents, not organizing the extralegal murder of opponents on foreign soil, not signing off on the murder of thousands of political opponents, not throwing people off of planes, not torturing 30 thousand people and not being a general psychopath.

Not doing something awful isn't a redeeming quality. Doing something good is a redeeming quality. Pinochet did absolutely awful things -- much worse than Allende -- but at the same time had certain policies that helped his country, and the international community, significantly. Allende did not do things anywhere near as terrible as Pinochet -- not anywhere near -- but it's difficult for me to think of a single thing Allende did (as opposed to, say, things he could've done but didn't) that I could approve of. It's not difficult to grasp.

If you do not believe these are redeeming qualities, regardless of anything else, when being compared to a man like Augusto Pinochet,

Redeeming qualities are redeeming qualities regardless of circumstance or other qualities.
If you're counting "redeeming qualities," you must also then count negative qualities.  You're effectively equating all levels of negativity if you're only going based on who had what you consider to be "redeeming qualities."  

I'm not. I've explained why, in the context of the geopolitics of the 1970s, the superiority of the foreign policy of Pinochet over Allende makes him marginally 'better'. In the 1930s, when right-wing extremism was a greater threat than left-wing extremism, the reverse would've been the case.
Do you honestly think that Pinochet's foreign policy makes him better than Allende in spite of all of his atrocities and mass murders?
I honestly think that had Allende's foreign policy continued, radical leftist regimes would've been set up in other parts of Latin America (Shining Path, who are truly amazing levels of insane, nearly came to power in Peru as is -- can you imagine if a neighboring country aided them?), that would've caused more deaths and suffering than Pinochet ever did. For this reason, while I wouldn't say his foreign policy absolves him of his other crimes at all, I do think it makes Pinochet nebulously 'better than Allende.' So, yes.
1715  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 01:28:26 am
No Vosem, you have no idea what you're talking about.

You ever spoken to anyone who lived under a dictatorship? Right- or left-wing, regardless?

Yes. Have you?

Yes. I live with, and was raised by, people who lived most of their lives under left-wing dictatorship. Until a few years ago, I also lived with someone who, in addition to that, had spent several years resisting right-wing dictatorship.

Also, you're equating Allende's policies with Pinochet's dictatorship,

Allende's domestic policies, while terrible, were not comparable with the repression of dissidents and speech that occurred under Pinochet.

with a dash of geopolitical justification.

I really do think, in the context of the 1970s-'80s, geopolitics is the key justification for all foreign policy, with only really, really egregious exceptions (I do think supporting the Khmer Rouge in the 1980s, for instance, was a mistake).

But I have one further question; if Chile had remained left-leaning, but also remained an ally of the US, would you still think that Pinochet would be the superior option?

The Pinochet dictatorship? Of course not.

Allende's redeeming qualities were not being a mass murderer, not executing political opponents, not organizing the extralegal murder of opponents on foreign soil, not signing off on the murder of thousands of political opponents, not throwing people off of planes, not torturing 30 thousand people and not being a general psychopath.

Not doing something awful isn't a redeeming quality. Doing something good is a redeeming quality. Pinochet did absolutely awful things -- much worse than Allende -- but at the same time had certain policies that helped his country, and the international community, significantly. Allende did not do things anywhere near as terrible as Pinochet -- not anywhere near -- but it's difficult for me to think of a single thing Allende did (as opposed to, say, things he could've done but didn't) that I could approve of. It's not difficult to grasp.

If you do not believe these are redeeming qualities, regardless of anything else, when being compared to a man like Augusto Pinochet,

Redeeming qualities are redeeming qualities regardless of circumstance or other qualities.
If you're counting "redeeming qualities," you must also then count negative qualities.  You're effectively equating all levels of negativity if you're only going based on who had what you consider to be "redeeming qualities." 

I'm not. I've explained why, in the context of the geopolitics of the 1970s, the superiority of the foreign policy of Pinochet over Allende makes him marginally 'better'. In the 1930s, when right-wing extremism was a greater threat than left-wing extremism, the reverse would've been the case.
1716  General Discussion / Alternative History / Re: Russian constitutional monarchy on: December 15, 2013, 01:19:11 am
Delay WW1 until after Nicholas dies. Alexis becomes a puppet of an elected Duma, which probably modernizes over time. In the long run, Germany can't keep up with Russian potential, and while some sort of European conflict is probably inevitable, the further into the future it happens the stronger Russia is in positioning herself.
1717  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 01:14:58 am
Allende's redeeming qualities were not being a mass murderer, not executing political opponents, not organizing the extralegal murder of opponents on foreign soil, not signing off on the murder of thousands of political opponents, not throwing people off of planes, not torturing 30 thousand people and not being a general psychopath.

Not doing something awful isn't a redeeming quality. Doing something good is a redeeming quality. Pinochet did absolutely awful things -- much worse than Allende -- but at the same time had certain policies that helped his country, and the international community, significantly. Allende did not do things anywhere near as terrible as Pinochet -- not anywhere near -- but it's difficult for me to think of a single thing Allende did (as opposed to, say, things he could've done but didn't) that I could approve of. It's not difficult to grasp.

If you do not believe these are redeeming qualities, regardless of anything else, when being compared to a man like Augusto Pinochet,

Redeeming qualities are redeeming qualities regardless of circumstance or other qualities.
1718  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 12:44:58 am
No Vosem, you have no idea what you're talking about.

You ever spoken to anyone who lived under a dictatorship? Right- or left-wing, regardless?
1719  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 15, 2013, 12:38:28 am
It didn't have to, and that's not the point. The point is that we are better off today because it won, and while, say, Pinochet was terrible, it was still better than allowing Allende and his ideology to take root.

My problem with what you're saying is that you're quite blatantly admitting you think, when the chips are down, capitalism is more important than democracy. You're happier with capitalism by the barrel of a gun and the rape of a dictator squad, than marxism by democracy. Your priorities are perverse.

Having reread what I said, I can see how you'd interpret that to be my views, and it's not the case. So let me say it clearly: one system allows for democracy and free speech. Another never, when it fully came to power, ever allowed for democracy or free speech. Which is what makes the triumph of the first important (though, thankfully, this is close to a completed task). In and of themselves, in Chile, Allende was not anywhere close to being as repressive and terrible as Pinochet, but the implications of Allende consolidating power in Chile over the long run were much worse, because the ideology would've spread to Chile's neighbors and the economic devastation it would've wrought, the way it did everywhere else in the world where it came to power, would've been far more deadly and awful than the terrible, and, yes, fascist regimes that governed South America in the 1970s-'80s.

No, in fact it's the single most significant thing. In the Cold War you had one side, which, although supported by some very flawed elements (such as Pinochet), had leadership whose ultimate goal was one that envisioned democracy, free speech, and free markets

Even if it had to bully, overthrow, murder, or declare war on everyone involved to get there. Three hurrahs for freedom, democracy, and justice.

It didn't have to, and that's not the point. The point is that we are better off today because it won, and while, say, Pinochet was terrible, it was still better than allowing Allende and his ideology to take root.


No?
Oh, so it's worth overthrowing a democratically elected leader with no intention of eliminating democracy and to replace him with a brutal, mass murdering dictator if we like his ideology better? 

No. Pinochet was wrong to seize power for himself, rather than giving it to the Congress and holding fresh elections, which after three years like as disastrous as 1970-1973 would certainly have resulted in a defeat for Allende. Because of the circumstances, it can be argued (and I'm unsure of this point) that the coup itself was justified, but certainly the actions taken later in its name were not. Unfortunately, something similar is going on in Egypt now.

No, in fact it's the single most significant thing. In the Cold War you had one side, which, although supported by some very flawed elements (such as Pinochet), had leadership whose ultimate goal was one that envisioned democracy, free speech, and free markets, that set about taking apart its worst creations at the end of said conflict; and another side that stood for total worldwide dictatorship, economic ruin, repression, and famine

don't you realize how easily this can be turned around?  'despite their faults, on one side you had a commitment to equality, the historical self-realization of the working class, economic liberation, an end to hunger and scarity; on the other, a dedication to exploitation by forced labor, control of the resources necessary for life by the few, false scarcity...'

I would say literally not a single thing inside your quote is the truth, so no.
1720  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 14, 2013, 11:26:44 pm
No, in fact it's the single most significant thing. In the Cold War you had one side, which, although supported by some very flawed elements (such as Pinochet), had leadership whose ultimate goal was one that envisioned democracy, free speech, and free markets

Even if it had to bully, overthrow, murder, or declare war on everyone involved to get there. Three hurrahs for freedom, democracy, and justice.

It didn't have to, and that's not the point. The point is that we are better off today because it won, and while, say, Pinochet was terrible, it was still better than allowing Allende and his ideology to take root.

The extent of the threat to humanity that existed during the Cold War and the existence of an objective 'good side' and an objective 'bad side' cannot be overstated.

Yes it can. In fact, you're doing it by saying that.

No?
1721  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of smoltchanov on: December 14, 2013, 10:57:55 pm
FF. And considering he is Russian, he is knowledgeable about US politics and is probably to more liberal than most of uis peers.

Does he currently live in Russia, or is he just a more nebulous 'Russian'? Because he's far from the only one in that case.
1722  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 14, 2013, 10:53:05 pm
Not that I'm a particular fan of his, but Pinochet at least has some redeeming qualities.
Being a non-dictator isn't a redeeming quality?

Not really when the only thing stopping you is the military and you support communism in your foreign policy, no. Obviously, Allende was better than Pinochet in the field of human rights, but that's a rather low bar; and Pinochet could at least boast of supporting the right side in the Cold War and improving the state's economy. That doesn't excuse his crimes against human rights -- not at all -- but it is at least something his supporters can point to.
Allende did not intend to make himself dictator.  There is no credible evidence to suggest he did.  He turned his foreign policy toward the Soviets because we ended all trade with him, in spite of his attempts to maintain relations with us, and forced him to turn to the Communist bloc.
Allende was elected through copious Soviet donations, and while we'll never know what his further plans were (and to be honest I doubt he actually intended to do away with democracy), his policies while in government (some examples of which I've given) were not conducive to such. He was like an earlier Chavez, though he was more dangerous because of the chronology.

Pinochet was an awful murderous thug. Allende was not. It doesn't really matter whether one or the other supported the "right side" in the Cold War, Allende was objectively better than Pinochet.

No, in fact it's the single most significant thing. In the Cold War you had one side, which, although supported by some very flawed elements (such as Pinochet), had leadership whose ultimate goal was one that envisioned democracy, free speech, and free markets, that set about taking apart its worst creations at the end of said conflict; and another side that stood for total worldwide dictatorship, economic ruin, repression, and famine. The fact that Duvalier and Mobutu happened does not mean that America should've followed policy that would've aided Mao or Brezhnev, who were incomparably more dangerous to more people. The extent of the threat to humanity that existed during the Cold War and the existence of an objective 'good side' and an objective 'bad side' cannot be overstated. Whatever Pinochet did -- and he did a lot -- ultimately he was on the right side of the Cold War.
1723  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 14, 2013, 08:02:34 pm
Not that I'm a particular fan of his, but Pinochet at least has some redeeming qualities.
Being a non-dictator isn't a redeeming quality?

Not really when the only thing stopping you is the military and you support communism in your foreign policy, no. Obviously, Allende was better than Pinochet in the field of human rights, but that's a rather low bar; and Pinochet could at least boast of supporting the right side in the Cold War and improving the state's economy. That doesn't excuse his crimes against human rights -- not at all -- but it is at least something his supporters can point to.
1724  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Salvador Allende vs. Augusto Pinochet on: December 14, 2013, 07:32:39 pm
Not that I'm a particular fan of his, but Pinochet at least has some redeeming qualities.
1725  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: An Experiment Regarding Senate Elections 1990-present on: December 14, 2013, 05:37:54 pm
In 1998, the popular vote was 50% Democratic, 48% Republican, 1% Libertarian, and 1% Reform. If we correspond to the mathematically correct laws of rounding, this becomes 17 Democratic seats, 16 Republican seats, and 1 vacancy. The party that came closest to another seat was the Libertarians, who are therefore given the seat.

This is the first election fought with different incumbents compared to our timeline. In the interests of accurately representing the incumbent advantage, I have added 5% to all "alternate-party incumbents" (Republicans Thomas Hartnett of South Carolina, Bruce Herschensohn of California, Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, and Rod Chandler of Washington; along with Libertarian James Perry of Pennsylvania).

Thus, in reality, Democrats won these Senate elections, 18-16. With the adjustments noted above, Wisconsin switches to the Republicans, making these 17-17. With the adjustments noted above, the best-performing Libertarian is James Perry of Pennsylvania, switching the distribution of seats to 17D-16R-1I; exactly what is needed. However, since there are three pickups (by Democrats in California, South Carolina, and Washington) that did not occur in our timeline, three "alternate incumbents" must be named. I have chosen Evan Mecham in Arizona (who joins the GOP after being elected as an independent), Al Checchi in California, Elliott Close in South Carolina, and Maria Cantwell in Washington.

So, here is the map:



Thus, the ultimate result of the 1998 elections is is six Democratic pickups and three Republican pickups, with Libertarians remaining constant. The result of the net Democratic gain of three seats was a 'hung Senate', with 50 Democrats (led by Tom Daschle), 48 Republicans (led by Trent Lott), and 2 Libertarians (led by James Perry). Since most likely despite these changes the Clinton Administration would've taken place, I judge that Al Gore would've provided the 'fifty-first vote', leading to Democratic takeover of the Senate in 1998 in this world.

In the aftermath of the elections, Republican Tom Coverdell died and was replaced by Democrat Zell Miller. This would likely still happen, formalizing the Democratic majority, to 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans, and 2 Libertarians.


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