Jump to content


HERO Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from pinecone in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
  2. Sad
    TrickstaPriest reacted to csyphrett in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    For something like Covid to be taken seriously by the population at large, people would have to drop dead in the streets like 28 days. The fact that so many have died is easily discounted by that was some other country, an error in the news, government lying, Covid only takes the old, whatever.
    To show people they are being stupid, people would have to start dropping across their towns faster than ambulances could pick them up and take them to the hospital
  3. Sad
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Unlike tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes... COVID is covert. The casualties from the virus die relatively quietly, out of sight of most people. Even though it's as bad as or worse than any of those in its own way, there is no imagery of spectacular devastation to galvanize the public into taking serious action. For that reason it's also easier for politicians and media to turn people away from vaccination.
  4. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to unclevlad in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    The key point insofar as this thread is concerned:  Federal aid may be counterproductive, and even local officials who work their backsides off to get people to accept the vaccine, don't necessarily want it for that reason.
    Emphasis mine.
    The election fraud/lie should be temporary, altho it's increased the polarization a great deal.  It won't, I think, remain a central issue but it may well be a big underlying factor.  It's the second part...the obstinance, the hate isn't new.  This is, tho, one of the more stark examples of it.
    You can blame the politicians all you like, and they deserve a lot of it.  There's also a feedback effect...the lack of response by the lower-level governments feeds the deniers, the deniers inhibit the progressives and facilitate the non-responders/reopener types.
    And it's why the boots-on-the-ground stories can say more than the numbers.  Like the story posted, what, early this week, about the problems in Kansas City.  Covid's acting kinda like tornado-forming weather systems...there's mild impacts like rain or hail in most places...but where those twisters drop down, it's devastating small areas.
    It is revolting to think this...but probably true.
    Covid hasn't been enough of a threat, or done enough damage, so maybe we could *fix* the social problems or come together for unified action.  It's been just bad enough to make a major nightmare, but not to compel attention.
  5. Like
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from Hermit in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
  6. Like
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from Pariah in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Gotta love some malicious compliance like that.
  7. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to DShomshak in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    A teacher asks:
    <quote>"How could a teacher possibly discuss slavery, the Holocaust, or the mass shootings at the Walmart in El Paso or at the Sutherland Springs church in my district without giving deference to any one perspective?” she asked.</quote>
    Sounds easy to me: After describing the event in all its horror, conclude with, "The Republicans of the state legislature forbid me, by law, from saying that these actions were immoral." Which is absolutely factual, and thus cannot be accused of "giving deference to any one perspective." But I suspect that high schoolers, at least, will get the message. Especially if delivered with an eyeroll and an ostentatiously pious tone of voice.
    Dean Shomshak
  8. Thanks
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from Sociotard in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    This is the actual weapon, if you are wondering.
  9. Thanks
    TrickstaPriest reacted to archer in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Here it is. The story was listed under regional California news.
  10. Sad
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Cygnia in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Inspired by The Big Lie, Two Men Built Arsenal to Firebomb California’s Democratic Headquarters
  11. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lectryk in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Nothing you sent in your two replies supports your thesis (listed above, again).  How is the government not incentivized to responsiveness to the citizens, and how is the government not functional.  In answer to the points you raised, my answer would be - things you don't like will change when enough other people who don't like those things act in concert to effect a governmental change in line with their desires.  Again, I cite the last election as a prime example of the government being incentived by the people - "don't do what we like, we kick you out and try someone else."
    There are several names for governmental systems and nations that are not responsive to citizen demands, that don't work on the model of representative incentivation from their citizenry.  What are their track records on issues you think important?  How is China's record on contribution/mitigation of global warming?  Or maintaining civil rights for the population?  Our wealth inequality inside their borders?  Racial equality/treatment of ethnic minorites?
    Yes, we face challenges on several points.  I think the battle on climate is lost, and mitigation looks iffy; huge chunks of the oceans have already surpassed the 2 Centigrade mark, and oceans are a main driver of climate.  We've been seeing more forceful storms, stronger/longer fire seasons, droughts, the heat dome going on right now, etc.  These are only the precursors of what we'll see in our lifetimes, ratchets on the roller coaster ride at the start up the hill - each click should be telling us what we're going to face soon.  Even if the people of the world committed to a world wide effort tomorrow to not only decrease new inputs of carbon into our closed system but also to scrub out what is in the system currently, we're committed to the upswing of effect - again for our lifetimes.  And if the efforts to scrub go too far, our grandchildren will be facing a different cycle (not that it shouldn't be tried, but that is an agrument for not trying that I've already seen in literature).    
    Yes, there is income inequality and it is grossly accelerating in this country and around the world.  And, yes, efforts to change this are being blocked by people who are incentivized by their constituents to not change (even Manchin - his state is not exactly blue).  But, again, incentivized to take a position.
    You can even say that certain groups have disproportionate weight in the incentivation process - but that isn't the same as saying incentivation doesn't work.  How it works is just engineering and tweaking of the balances (n.b. Citizens United).
    I will probably agree to some extent with any negative example you want to provide, but the reality is there is no national will to address these issues and there won't be change until there is will to act.  Protests, demonstrations, riots, sit-ins, whatever you example you want to cite are not will.  Voting and involvement in supporting change is.  And we don't see a lot of involvement, really.  The Democrats anemic performance this last cycle shows that.
    But the system as a system (incentivation to provide certain outcomes/functions from a government or else) is working just fine.  And saying that it doesn't work is just isn't a supportable or defensible position.  
  12. Thanks
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Terminax in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I think the ideal of the United States of America is very worth having. I feel just the same about the ideal of Canada. However, that ideal isn't the reality. There is allot to be said about the damage and ugliness we have inflicted on others both here and the world in the past, present and probably the future. Ideally, we can reflect on the past, change the present and guide the future to a better world but there is still the reality that we also have to deal with.
  13. Sad
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Tom in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I’ve never flown the flag, but I’ve also never put up yard signs  and I don’t plaster my car with bumper stickers either.  I’m just not the sort of person who advertises much about myself. 
    Having said that, I’m inclined to argue that as a symbol the US flag has become too diluted and used as a symbol of division too often to be considered a symbol of unity anymore.  I haven’t read the linked article because I’m disinclined to create yet one more account to do so, but I’ve spent a lot of time on the road for the past years and the number of (what I can only consider to be) bastardized US flags being flown in conjunction with (or in lieu of) “real” US flags is disturbing.  
    Flags with a blue (or red, or green, or some combination of the two or three) line dividing it in half and the black and white variant.
    Flags with the stars removed from the blue field and replaced with “2A” and the 2nd amendment printed on the white stripes. 
    Flags with the standard 50 stars replaced  by a circle of stars surrounding the Roman numeral “III”. 
    Flags that are the US flag for one half but the Confederate Battle Flag on the other.   Plus one variation I’ve seen which has a hand reaching across and lifting up the US flag to reveal the Confederate Battle Flag underneath. 
    Flags which have a Trump campaign poster superimposed in the center. I thought I had hallucinated that the first time I saw one…
    The part which really irritates me the most is that (judging by the politics being expressed) these are mostly the same type of people who “back in the day” would be getting all lathered up about the need for an amendment to protect the flag from being burned and here the flag is being treated like another piece of poster board for politics and profit. 
  14. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to wcw43921 in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Capitol Riot Defendants Receiving History Lessons From Their Attorney
  15. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Lord Liaden in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    This is where it has to start. Fear and hatred thrive on ignorance.
    But powerful political and economic factions in America have staked their survival on keeping Americans ignorant. That's going to make reforming education that much harder.
  16. Like
    TrickstaPriest got a reaction from Dr.Device in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    The more I think about this the more it drives me crazy.
    Literally the only way the lightbulb market (that was self restricting lightbulbs to 1000 hrs of lifespan, deliberately creating an inferior product) was 'disrupted' was by inventing an entirely new technology - LED bulbs.  Windows - it's only being replaced because the entire desktop machine is being replaced... by the phone market.
    Phone market.  We are seeing the smartphone market eliminate the ability to replace batteries in their phones across the board.  I had to buy a new phone and almost none of them allow you to replace batteries anymore.  The remaining marketshare is too small, obscure, and of questionable quality, incentivizing/forcing the average consumer to buy new phones twice as often instead of replacing old batteries.
    Internet.  Not even Google has been able to disrupt that market with new and superior technology... it exists across town from me, but I literally cannot get those lines from where I am.  It only exists across town because there was no houses there...  I may never be able to get those lines this decade without moving where I live.
    Hospitals you don't generally choose, that gets chosen for you.  Friends of mine literally had to do research to figure out which hospital nearby is covered by their insurance - it wasn't the closest one!  ...Plus the health infrastructure itself is insane.  When I asked my doctor to run some bloodwork another person requested, no one told me (or probably knew) that the insurance company wouldn't cover it.  I had to pay $800 out of pocket for bloodwork done out of the same lab by the same people I always get my bloodwork done, literally at the same time I got other bloodwork done that -was- covered by my insurance.
    Tractor companies have literally fought to prevent repairs to their own products, forcing farmers to hack the tractor software to conduct repairs on the tractors they owned.  If they didn't do this, they'd be waiting for weeks to get a tractor repair done, which is the same as shutting down their income for weeks.
    We haven't even included entertainment - does Star Wardz count as a market substitute to Star Wars?  If you can only get Star Wars on Disney+, then you can only ever get Star Wars from Disney... do market substitutes apply to entertainment products?
    Companies are actively incentivized to play obstructionist and bury complaints, buy and scrap competitors, bribe governors, and that's them being nice.  Big companies buy literal death squads, arbitrarily deny energy to drive up electricity prices, or just take things like water.  How does rigging the tax code factor into the market? 

    It's a long rant, but this is what I mean (in general, not to anyone in particular) when I say I need to see the research.  I just literally don't believe what people say "about the market" anymore.  I've literally seen too much abuse.  It's all illegal, but it's only illegal because we say so.  We can just as arbitrarily say "it'll get handled eventually", and I just don't believe that any more.
    edit: Definitely as pinecone says, the government is a necessity at some times to tackle issues with the market, but i wonder how much our 'wisdom about the free market' is just bunk?
    And what other examples can we collate of this blatant kind of abuse of corporate power?  I'm interested in things beyond what I already know, beyond Enron, Coca Cola, and lightbulbs.

    I honestly wouldn't mind hearing more about economics and what can be said about the market in general - I use incidents to inform me about a subject, but that doesn't teach anything positive in this subject.
    I've heard from others saying something to the effect of:
    "The market" requires a fast turn around time on a definable take-home product in a non-critical situation. 
    It doesn't apply to a number of situations I think:
    life-or-death products (my mother flew off a highway, her car tumbled.  insurance claims it was human error, but one of the new Firestone tires exploded) any services (handymen, doctors, dentists, car repair) a company controlling a platform environment (Windows dominating PCs, Amazon dominating shipping) nor does it apply if you would find out about a problem a decade later (see all the issues with contamination - plus I have problems taking supplements because they don't list their actual real ingredients) Plus long-term products - you can't really complain much about cars until you become an expert in them, or have multiple bad experiences with the same type of vehicle... which could take 20-30 years to actually pass.  It could take ~100 years to 'adjust the market', where everyone responsible for the initial issues is literally dead and buried. And of course deliberate market collusion to make inferior products.  like the lightbulb example I had posted  
    I think it generally takes multiple "generations of product abuse from a definable abuser" for enough purchasers to create enough pressure to change the market to begin with.  But a lot of the time it's hard to say "how bad is my doctor, really?", "I need a new electrician but I don't know any of these guys", "my new tires should be fine, they won't explode or anything", and "well I guess I am stuck with an X phone because I really don't have the time to learn how to use these weird 'other software' phones".
    What kind of soft factors weigh against the power of the market to rectify a problem?
  17. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Starlord in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I do...but symbols mean different things to different people.  
  18. Thanks
    TrickstaPriest reacted to unclevlad in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    "Market forces" can frequently take a very, very long time to adjust a market, and are themselves subject to manipulation.  5 of us agree to sell a mediocre product at an inflated price.  Our cost is pretty consistently $10 per unit;  we sell for $30.  You come by;  you can make the same quality for $8, and you'll charge $16.  We agree to drop the price to $15, in a rolling manner while passing subsidies back and forth between us so our overall profit doesn't get particularly hurt...until you're so financially crippled that we buy you out.
    Microsoft cut sweetheart deals to have Windows pre-installed;  that killed OS/2, which was its only potential rival in the business market.  They leveraged that to kickstart Office.  Between them, they *dominated* their markets.  In terms of full-function desktop machines, they still have no competition.  No, neither Android nor Chrome counts, in my book, as a full-function desktop OS.  (Neither does IOS.)  They've made it, IMO, functionally impossible for a true competitor to arise.  An alternative, yes...macOS, desktop Linux...but they put you into completely different software universes.  The OS isn't critical;  the apps are.  And Windows' apps library is the elephant to Linux' or Mac's gerbil.
    IBM had a similar position into the 80's...and they got gutted.  So you can say it's possible this could happen to Microsoft.  But IBM didn't lose its market share;  it lost its market.  The PC created a paradigm shift, and thereby a complete redefinition, of the market space.  Phones, tablets, and small notebooks created a *partial* shift and redefinition, but their human-interface limitations are such that they can't function as complete replacements.  The redefinition allowed Android and iOS;  the notion that many people don't *need* a full-function desktop, but something more like a tablet...made Chromebook practical.
    In other industries, utilities being a major example, the fundamental barrier is the initial infrastructure investment.  If more than one company tries to work its way into an entire, larger market (say the greater El Paso area) then each is having to amortize their infrastructure costs over only a fraction of the populace...which means probably both higher prices to consumers and slower rollout.  Whether it's one or several companies...as the rollout does happen, the window for another company narrows.  Their chance to create an alternative...they'd have to build yet another backbone structure, and their potential customer base has been reduced...shrinks rapidly.
    Not quite sure what you mean by purity laws;  there's a few things I think that could mean.
    But...labeling laws didn't exist.  Why were they developed?
    --Societal needs were recognized...allergen information, for example.
    --Correct abuses.  "Low sodium!!"...the regular version has 400 mg, the "low sodium" has 350.  Hardly noticeable.  The potential consumer is swayed by the unjustified qualifier.  If there is no labeling requirement, the smart consumer can't tell anything...and it's utopian to assert that with optional labeling, that only a very small minority *won't* be swayed by just the misdescriptive label. 
    --Eliminate ambiguity.  What does it mean to label something "organic"?  Organic, non-GMO...pesticides go back millenia, but the recognition of their hazards came about in the 50's and 60's.  GMOs date back only to 1973;  selective breeding is something completely different.  So what exactly is necessary to be considered organic?
    More generally...new problems will always be recognized.  Some of them can be managed within the existing framework;  others disrupt it.  Precedents get built up under a set of social and technological conditions;  they fly apart at times similarly.
    BTW:  the diamond cartel controls the market by colluding to not pay anything CLOSE to wholesale for pre-worn stones, thereby ensuring the demand for new stones.  The "blood diamonds" marketing is something completely separate.
  19. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to unclevlad in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    CNN is reporting that the Arizona Republic has published an article detailing that Trump et al pressured Maricopa County election officials, a la his Georgia actions.  CNN played 3 calls to election officials, 2 from the Court Jester and one from Kelli Ward, the Trump sycophant who is the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.  They're pretty bad.
    Can't link to the original article;  it's for Arizona Republic subscribers only.  
  20. Thanks
    TrickstaPriest reacted to DShomshak in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    One of the people I used to game with was a Libertarian (though he claimed he wasn't a Rand Cult Objectivist) and the rest of us brought up questions like this. As one of my friends put it, "Surely there must at least be a law that if the label says 'steak,' the package can't contain Play-Doh." And Mister Libertarian said, "No, there mustn't." If businesses start pulling shenanigans like this, that ceates a markt for private rating agencies that consumers can check to see whether a company that proclaims to produce steak is in fact selling steak. It took the rest of us all of one second to suggest how that would fail: Fake rating services, or fake reviews by paid reviewers, but Mister Libertarian still insisted it would work.
    I know there are varieties and degrees of libertarianism, that many (or at least some) insist they don't want anarchy, just a more skeptical eye to what needs legislation. It's not hard to find instances of laws and state actions that are foolish, frivolous, or blatant attempts to privilege one business or segment of society. That doesn't mean that law and government are the problem. We *know* what happens when the State will not or cannot assert itself, and the result isn't political liberty or a free market: it's state capture or outright gangsterism.
    Dean Shomshak
  21. Thanks
    TrickstaPriest reacted to unclevlad in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Of course it is.
    I read Atlas Shrugged back in high school.  Tail end of it, after things totally fall apart and one of the characters is writing the new Constitution based on Rand's Objectivist notions, one of the core lines is "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade."  Does this mean that my store's scales can read 10% heavy?  Or I can engage in collusion and price fixing?  Can I take apart a company's hot new product and duplicate the design?
    There are few, if any, real-world, human interactions and behaviors where a blanket "anything goes" policy can work.  
  22. Sad
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Pariah in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Well, if buying senators and representatives isn't enough to get your point across, I suppose you can buy the National Guard, too.
    GOP donor funds South Dakota National Guard troops in Texas
  23. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to unclevlad in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    I have to disagree.  That ship never existed.  It was less real than the Discovery One...but Trump does do a good job of being HAL, so the confusion may be understandable.
    On one hand, the threat of a civil war is just hot air, IMO.  And, realistically, why should their minds have changed?  It was utter delusion from the start, and nothing has happened to disturb that delusion.  On the other hand, tho, you do have to be concerned that there's enough of a mass of these fools to potentially cause a serious problem.
  24. Haha
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Simon in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Could be worse -- when someone asks me how I managed to pay for college, I can honestly tell that that I used to strip and grind for cash.
    I was materials science and engineering -- spent summers working in a concrete research lab, stripping and grinding samples.  
  25. Like
    TrickstaPriest reacted to Matt the Bruins in Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)   
    Didn't it give them to everyone? 😬
  • Create New...