What the frick?!

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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:08 pm

Conclusion: BR talks too much.
This post is intended for information only. Please do not reply to this message as responses cannot be read or acknowledged due to the stupidity of the user.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Mathias » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:09 pm

I conclude that QU needs to get laid by BR.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Mirak's Mod Ghost » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:15 pm

What an exciting new development.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby DaCrum » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:04 pm

This thread is meh.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Grey » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:17 pm

so many posts in this thread are just way too long for me to read
even this one
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby DaCrum » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:18 pm

So how long is short enough?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Tuor » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:48 pm

The Mirak wrote:To be honest most of the time i don't know what the fuck they're talking about, but i keep visiting the thread because the aura their post give me is the same as when somebody's having a very heated flame war, this is just like one, only more civilized. =P


Haha, exactly.
"Suddenly Frodo noticed that a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting in the shadows near the wall, was also listening intently to the hobbit-talk. He had a tall tankard in front of him, and was smoking a long-stemmed pipe curiously carved. His legs were stretched out before him, showing high boots of supple leather that fitted him well, but had seen much wear and were now caked with mud. A travel-stained cloak of heavy dark-green cloth was drawn close about him, and in spite of the heat of the room he wore a hood that overshadowed his face; but the gleam of his eyes could be seen as he watched the hobbits."
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:04 pm

I say we just choose some nice robot overlords. Calm, rational, logical thought processes. None of this human emotion crap thrown in to wreck the wheels of the train of progress.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Mathias » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:05 pm

Least not until they overthrow humanity.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:29 pm

They can't overthrow us if we've already submitted.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Mathias » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:59 pm

Enjoy the Matrix.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Valhallen » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:54 am

Q.U. wrote:
in theory, a benevolent dictatorship works great. The problem with implementation is that reliably benevolent and competent dictators are in short supply. There seem to be a lot more Caligulas than Marcus Aureliuses in the world, and as such, dictatorships in practice tend to be less efficient than democracies, as they lack self-corrective mechanisms.
And a highly corrupt democracy is just as self-corrective as Caligulas' tyranny. I rest my case.
Can you name one in all of history? A real democracy, not a dictatorship with show elections; one with something comparable to the Bill of Rights.

Q.U. wrote:
Useful, sure, but there have been non-monetary economies through history. Mostly barter and gift economies, which tend to be small and simple by modern standards.
Indeed, but the more globally you're trying to apply the standards and concepts of economy and trade, the harder it becomes without a currency.
Sure. You'd just said that every civilization developed money.

Q.U. wrote:
While a single world government may look good on paper, I think that it should wait until after there is a significant self-sustaining offworld presence. Having all of humanity under one government represents a single point of failure for bad policy, and different nations doing different things can help show what works and what does not as circumstances change. For the current situation, continent/subcontinent scale government and economic blocs are probably about right. Merging things together too quickly would cause all sorts of economic problems, even ignoring all cultural resistance (which I think you are simplistically underestimating there).
Of course I don't mean doing it straight away in one jump. But that's the general direction we should be heading. The primary benefit of merging countries together throughout time is that in the end there is next to no need for military and war equipment.
That only applies if everything is united, and there is no internal conflict. What do you think the prospects are of uniting India/Pakistan, Israel/its neighbors, or Switzerland/anything? And how would a nation without military-like forces deal with civil unrest, piracy, and organized crime?

RuffDraft wrote:I agree that we should dramatically cut spending and attempt to increase revenues, but increasing revenues is heavily determined by the private sector, taxes tend to discourage growth, and a raise of taxes might actually reduce revenues depending on how much money large businesses and corporations are able to make.
Consider the Clinton, Reagan, and other administrations with both higher taxes and better growth than the present. Sure, there should theoretically be a disincentive to growth from increasing taxes, but we seem to be quite a ways from the point where that becomes significant (also recall that taxes pay for things that greatly help growth, like functioning infrastructure). With that in mind, remember that the Laffer Curve has both an increasing and a decreasing slope. And that the far side derives from reduced incentive for investment in things subject to tax, not immediately shutting down businesses.

RuffDraft wrote:Raising taxes can increase revenues to a point, but because of the uncertainty as to the adverse consequences to raising taxes, it would probably be better to keep them where they are for now;
And what is that point? History indicates that it's quite a bit higher than present rates. Increasing just the top bracket to its Clinton-era rate should go a long way to closing the deficit, and businesses did just fine at that rate in the past. Do you think that, in order to "attempt to raise revenues," any tax rates should be increased? Which bothers you more, the deficit, or raising tax rates to what they were in the Clinton years?

RuffDraft wrote:Even if the government does some things better than the private sector, that doesn't mean they should run everything.
Except that no one was proposing that the government should. Conversely, rhetoric to the extent that the government is less efficient than the private sector full stop is popular these days (like "education, mail, health care; all of these are worse in the public sector versus the private sector").

RuffDraft wrote:Lastly, yes, the US economy has started to improve. The question is whether it had anything to do with the stimulus bill, which we were told would create jobs and prevent unemployment from rising.

If you look at this chart here, it seems that unemployment really started dropping since November, after the Republicans gained control of the House. What I think this means is that most businesses thought that the Republicans were going to keep taxes at their current level so they started hiring more. And while I don't have any concrete proof of this, it's an argument based in the following sequence of events:
Questionable. First, the data table there indicates that the graph is a month off (if the table is off instead, it's even further from your point). Unemployment actually went up in November, and December was in line with the preceding trend. If the tax rate makes such a difference, why was there job loss in the first place (there's a reason, and it relates to why the stimulus was needed)? Can you point to anything that the House Republicans have actually done that would explain the faster decline in unemployment in the last few months (or could it be that the economy is recovering from the recession?)? And recall this graph that I posted earlier. It indicates that the economy was shedding jobs at an ever increasing rate prior to Obama taking office, and when the stimulus passed, the job loss slowed down and reversed. Do you think that anyone expected it to immediately stop job loss?

Bolded above for emphasis.

RuffDraft wrote:If "Revenues - Expenses = Profits", then businesses have to determine how to keep their profits high in order to maintain a business.
Financially, a business can operate indefinitely with zero profit, since profit exists only after operational expenses have been met. Economically, low profits provide a poor return on investment, and so encourage moving capital to more profitable ventures. This case is like refitting a sprocket factory to produce cogs when cogs become profitable enough in comparison to justify the refit. Economic activity still goes on, and taxes are still paid - it's just different than before. In the recession, businesses couldn't meet operational expenses (due to the financial system not providing loans and from decreased demand) and downsized or shut down to cut losses. That economic activity stops and provides no tax revenue.

RuffDraft wrote:2009, we were looking at a debt of about $10 trillion, and as you said, the government operates by having high revenues and (at least, ideally) low expenses, so to eliminate that debt, they need to do something. And what they ended up doing was spending over four trillion dollars in just the first two years, compounding the nation's debt even further.
It was a bad situation with various unpleasant options available. In this case, money was spent to get the financial system working again and jump-start demand, at the cost of a large deficit that must be brought down once the economy improves. Alternatively, the government could have carried on as usual, not doing TARP, the stimulus, etc.

RuffDraft wrote:Any good businessman knows that (most) Democrats are in favor of higher taxes.
The "raise taxes bad, lower taxes good" rhetoric is simplistically misleading. For a given situation and set of goals to accomplish, there is an optimal tax structure to pay for it (as Q.U. said earlier). If tax rates are above that, taxes should be cut. If they're below that, they should be raised. In the current situation, the US is facing a large deficit and cuts to important programs. Looks like it's time to raise taxes. Any good businessman should know that slightly higher taxes and a government that works is usually preferable to keeping taxes the same while programs that maintain a good business environment are cut.

RuffDraft wrote:Short of saying outright that they intended to raise taxes, the Democrats wanted to let the Bush-era taxes expire and rise to what they were before, and the Republicans were fighting to keep them the same.
BUSH HIMSELF INTENDED THE CUTS TO EXPIRE WHEN HE SIGNED THE CUTS WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE! Do you remember when the cuts were debated, how concerns were raised that it could lead to large deficits? Because that's where we are now. "Raise taxes bad, lower taxes good," though stupid, seems to have embedded itself in the electorate somehow. A few decades of Republican rhetoric, perhaps?

RuffDraft wrote:Because businesses rely on the amount of taxes they pay to determine how much of their profits they keep (and reinvest in their company), the uncertainty of whether or not those taxes would rise prevented them from hiring;
Some validity there, but there are such things as tax credits for investment, and if it is profitable to expand business (wages of new workers, as mentioned before, are not taxed), the business could take out a loan rather than relying on its own funds. Here again we see why a functioning financial system is really important for the normal operation of a business, but small differences in tax rates really are not.

RuffDraft wrote:some may have even laid off some of their workforce as a precaution.
A precaution against what? Operating as they have been for years? Keep in mind that corporate income tax does not inhibit a business's ability to meet operational expenses, as income that went to that is not taxed.

RuffDraft wrote:In November, a clear majority of Republicans were elected into the House; businessmen then predicted their taxes would not rise, so it would be safe to hire more people. And so unemployment drops.

At least, that's what think happened. As I said, I don't have evidence (written statements by businessmen, letter of intent to hire, etc.), so I can't back that up with anything but my own logic, which as we have seen hasn't always proven to be the best, but I'm confident that the truth is not far from the above.
Are you familiar with Plato? Fairly logical and all, but the huge thing he got wrong was that logic is terrible at predicting things in the real world unless based on relevant empirical data. In this case, your argument is based on a misunderstanding of the relation between labor costs and corporate tax combined with an unemployment rate in slow decline for more than a year, past the election, which dropped more sharply in January (a drop that does not signify a larger trend at this point).

RuffDraft wrote:You're missing something here. In the video I posted, the entire discussion was about the bank bailouts. Listen to Grayson at about time 0:10 in which he asks about Lehman Brother's bankruptcy and the Federal Reserve's decision not to bail them out.
Which was specifically... NOT a bank bailout.

RuffDraft wrote:At time 1:21 he asks whether or not they know who received the $1 trillion dollars missing off their balance sheet.
The discussion there is not about money that is missing. Rather, it's about the expansion of the Fed's balance sheet. A balance sheet keeps track of what an organization is doing financially, and this indicates that the Fed was doing more than it had been. As I said earlier, Grayson is basically saying "I read in some article that the Fed is doing some stuff with a value of trillions of dollars. Are you investigating it? I'm shocked that you don't know specifics of what's going on with the things I vaguely alluded to." As would be expected given the economic situation, the Fed did more stuff than it had previously. That does not itself warrant an investigation because it is entirely expected as part of normal operations.

RuffDraft wrote:Time 1:54, he asks about the trillions of dollars of off balance sheets transactions, and at time 3:45 he clarifies the question to include that according to Bloomberg, the sum of off balance sheets transactions now totals more than $9 trillion dollars. Even if she doesn't know the Bloomberg article in question, it doesn't excuse her from not doing her job, which is to keep track of the money that goes in and out of the company's accounts.
"Off balance sheet transaction" is a pretty broad term that covers... anything not on a balance sheet, typically things that don't involve things of calculable value going in or out of a company's accounts. For example, loans (as you seem to think that this is about) are on balance sheet transactions. Something like person A giving $B to financial institution C to manage is an off balance sheet transaction (except the fees for the service), since A maintains ownership of the money despite C having it in hand. Anyway, the article Grayson is referencing doesn't mention off balance sheet transactions. According to the video, Coleman is responsible for keeping track of things done by the management of the Federal Reserve, and as the video I posted earlier suggests, much of the money mentioned in the Bloomberg article can be accounted for by short term loans, which would not have been managed by the board of directors, and hence under Coleman's jurisdiction.

RuffDraft wrote:Also, he did not vaguely allude to things.
A vague allusion is something like, "What about the one trillion dollars plus expansion of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet since last September. Have you conducted any investigations regarding that? (0:30)" The expansion itself does not imply a problem, so Grayson seems to be suggesting that there is a problem that should be investigated, though he doesn't say what the problem is supposed to be. Something more specific would be, "What about the acceptance of poor collateral in some of the loans made to banks over the last few months. Have you conducted any investigations regarding that?"

RuffDraft wrote:He referenced the article when talking about the $9 trillion, but when she said "I don't know the article," he clarifies that what he's asking is whether or not she had investigated the money missing off the balance sheet.
Except the article doesn't say that it's missing. Or that they're off balance sheet transactions. Would you expect Coleman to know what "$9 trillion in off balance sheet transactions according to Bloomberg" refers to when the Bloomberg article itself doesn't mention them?

RuffDraft wrote:On the other hand, if I were a betting man--not to mention a conspiracy theorist--I would probably think that Obama is trying to create economic strife, rather than eliminate it.
Why would you think that? Also, if you think that Obama is conspiring to cause economic strife, that really does make you a conspiracy theorist.

RuffDraft wrote:his unwillingness to cooperate with the Republicans when they call for less spending (the budget with a $1.65 trillion deficit),
Have you been paying attention the last couple years about who is cooperating with whom? Did you know, for example, that the Republicans have had a standing order to threaten a filibuster on any legislation proposed by a Democrat (this is why the Republicans effectively gained control of the Senate when the Democrats lost their 60th vote)? Also, consider the difference between the spending in Obama's and the Republican proposals. Is the difference more than would be had by increasing the top tax rate to 39%? Who do you think really cares about dealing with the deficit?

RuffDraft wrote:the fact that he thought the stimulus bill was working when unemployment rose (perhaps he meant his Green Agenda was working? I dunno),
Again, there's this. Where does a Green Agenda come in?

RuffDraft wrote:the fact that he doesn't seem to think that a national debt of ~$14,000,000,000,000 is a major cause for concern...
Other countries are carrying on with similar or greater debt loads (relative to their economies, which is what matters for this). Such a debt is cause for careful planning, but it's not an immediate catastrophe. Obama thinks that it's concerning enough to warrant raising taxes, but the Republicans seem to disagree.

RuffDraft wrote:There is a such thing as being buried under circumstantial evidence. Even if, with all the circumstantial evidence, an incomplete image is formed, there should be enough for a reasonable individual to say that something is amiss. The question is, how does one fill in the blanks if someone else doesn't want you to know what they are?
Actually, there isn't such a thing (if by circumstantial evidence you mean things like you've presented here that don't support the conclusion you're going for). Lots of bad arguments do not combine to make a good argument. The way to do it is to find solid things, however small, and see what they build when put together. You can distinguish between the two cases by asking, "if the conclusion turns out to be incorrect, is some of the evidence used necessarily wrong?" If not, the conclusion doesn't follow from the evidence used.

BeeAre wrote:so hey i have some questions for a few of you

valhallen: in a simple economy, what is the analog for corporations and stock shares?
That really depends on how simple you mean, but the short answer is that there isn't any. Corporations with limited liability funded by selling shares makes investment easier for investors and less risky for entrepreneurs. Without that, an entrepreneur would have to rely on personal loans and/or personal wealth with the risk of personal poverty should the business fail.

DaCrum wrote:There's a little bit of truth between most lies.
Except Beck's lies. His lies are 100%. They're brash.
It's hard to be coherent with 100% lies (Bizarro speech, say). Beck is effective because he takes bits of information (many of which are correct, if taken out of context), says where he got them (to establish credibility among people who don't check them), then makes up a conclusion he says is based on the information presented. It's easy to see that the bits of information often don't mean what he says, but that takes independent research, and is more time consuming to check than something made up from scratch.

RuffDraft wrote:If you want to make the case that he outright lies, you have to show me that A) what he was saying was not true and B) that he knew prior to saying it that he knew it was not true. So far, you have not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he has lied about anything; at least not the stuff that you were talking about.
In past discussions, I've pointed out how several things he's said are not true. As for whether or not he knew about it, as I pointed out before, the sources he cited clearly contradict the conclusions he drew. So he's either implausibly stupid or intentionally lying. Certain things lean toward the latter, like an interview with Forbes.
Forbes interview with Beck wrote:With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company," Beck says. He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazine Fusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported Glennbeck.com and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million.
That doesn't produce the "beyond a shadow of a doubt" standard of proof, but then very little in reality does. There's a reason why the standard in criminal cases is "beyond reasonable doubt."

RuffDraft wrote:What about that one, "Obama wants to take away our guns?" I proved Obama's stance on gun control to be quite clear. He does want to take away our guns. He has supported numerous handgun bans, and he was against a bill protecting gun owners who defend themselves in their own homes against invaders.
The available information seems to indicate that Obama wants to make it more difficult to get guns, not take guns away from people who already have them. That's a very large difference that specifically makes "Obama wants to take away our guns" false.

DaCrum wrote:So what's the difference between when the Democrats used a convention loophole to pass the health care bill, and when Wisconsin Republicans changed the CB bill to bypass the Democrats who voted no?
In the Wisconsin situation, the Republicans reclassified the union restrictions as non-fiscal to remove the requirement for a quorum. Recall that the stated reason for the restrictions was to help the fiscal situation. So either they were lying about their reasons for the restrictions, or they intentionally misused procedure. What are you referring to with the health care bill? It was voted on by regular sessions of Congress.

DaCrum wrote:QU you're mixing up correlation for causation.
Correlation and causation between what and what?

RuffDraft wrote:@Q.U.: You should try doing some actual research, instead of relying on someone even less reputable than Beck.
But were Olbermann's points there correct? A reputation doesn't make a person right or wrong.

RuffDraft wrote:If you did, and if you would perhaps research the show itself instead of letting others do it for you, you might learn some things...
Q.U.'s response here is worded a bit differently than I would have said it, but those are some problems with Beck's argument there. Keep in mind that Beck is making the argument, so the burden of proof is on him to solidly support his points. Failing to do so, as Q.U. pointed out there (and I did with some of those bits earlier), leaves Beck's argument unsupported.

RuffDraft wrote:specifically how Beck is not actually blaming Soros for what he had to do to survive Nazi Germany; and yet on the other hand, Soros doesn't feel bad about it. He said that his years in Nazi Germany was the happiest time his life.
So? That's his judgement to make, not yours or Beck's. That was more or less the last part of Soros's childhood there, as after that he went to England for college, and then began work. So it seems to be a fairly standard "happiest time of life" to pick. How is this supposed to show that Soros is sinister, and why should he feel bad about it?

RuffDraft wrote:Also, in a 1998 interview with Steve Kroft, he said "I don't deny the Jews their right to a national existence, but I don't want to be a part of it."
Valhallen, the last time you raised this point wrote:Soros is an international capitalist and secular Jew who never lived there. What would you expect?
Seriously, what would you expect? Do you think that Soros would try to deny Israel its national existence or want to be a part of it?

RuffDraft wrote:These are all facts, many of which are drawn, not from the top of Beck's head, but from interviews, public statements, and in many cases Soros' own published books.
But they don't actually support Beck's argument, which is a problem.

RuffDraft wrote:Anyway, a little research into Soros reveals that he is a major globalist; he wants things like an international currency, and a central world government.
Did you actually read those? Because they don't support either point there. If evidence you're citing to support the conclusions that Soros wants an international currency and a central world government doesn't actually support those things, it raises serious questions about how you arrived at those conclusions. So, how did you arrive at those conclusions?

RuffDraft wrote:Lastly, I wonder if I could get you to stop watching people like Keith Olberman for news. It's not very healthy (for your mind).
And how have you reached that conclusion?

DaCrum wrote:After all, it is an American concept, world government.
Because there were no attempts or even conceptions of ruling the known world before America?

RuffDraft wrote:@Q.U,: I'm sorry, I don't really see you doing much (or very good) research, all I see you doing is making bad arguments and pointing out obvious things like how the Prime Minister of Malaysia forgave and apologized to Soros in person. I mean, really---Soros is a very good speaker. He sounds very reasonable most of the time. I'm sure he could convince someone that blue is red or something. Either way, the Prime Minister having a talk with Soros in person, at length, and then shaking his hand at the end is something that even I could have predicted if I had heard that the two would be meeting to discuss this.
How about, instead of just claiming that arguments are bad or "obvious" (which makes it wrong somehow?), or saying that research is insufficient, you actually explain in detail what is wrong with the argument or research? In the case of Soros and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, you had claimed that the Prime Minister's statement that Soros was bad meant that Soros was bad. It kind of matters (a lot) that he recanted the statement after the economic crisis. Unless Soros actually coerced the Prime Minister to say that, the circumstances of the meeting (which actually imply that the Prime Minister changed his mind beforehand) don't really matter.

RuffDraft wrote:I'm not going to cover the rest of your stuff. Go ahead and believe what you will. But if it turns out the Beck is right, maybe you'll start listening to him? Yeah I know that's too much to hope for.
Q.U. just pointed out several things where it turns out that Beck is NOT right or at least unsupported. Maybe you'll start acknowledging that? Is that too much to hope for?

RuffDraft wrote:@DaCrum: Valhallen agreed with me in another thread that an international currency would actually do more harm than good; more than likely it would destroy economies and create massive financial strife before being fully implemented. And then, it would be too susceptible to worldwide events; for example, if China experiences a massive natural disaster (volcano, earthquake, misdirected microwave beam from space, etc) and as a result there is famine, disease, destruction, whatever, they have to spend boatloads of money just to fix the problem and get everyone back on their feet; in this case, with the current system, only China's economy is directly affected (yes, there will be indirect effects, but those are minuscule by comparison). If that happens in the "global economy" thing, all countries are affected. Imagine if Canada were directly affected as a result of something stupid that happens in America. Is that what you want?
That's somewhat true, but local disasters have global effects already. If the US experiences economic disruption, Canada would probably be affected, as it is the US's largest trading partner, and the US and Canada have many other financial ties. One of the big problems a global currency would cause in the present economy is that it would prevent national economies from using exchange rates to rebalance things as economies change over time. That would be less of an issue if the single currency came with a single economic organization that set global economic policy, but it wouldn't go away.

BeeAre wrote:I really cannot fathom someone who would try to make the truth that they understand about the world be the less positive outcome.
Except that the truth is positive or negative regardless of what people would like it to be, unless people first change the world themselves.

BeeAre wrote:Why do people insist that everyone cannot agree? Eventually, it becomes the issue that the only ones who won't agree are those who insist they can't.
When people have incompatible goals, they really can't agree on goal-related stuff without first changing the goals.

BeeAre wrote:That's why I keep bringing up this philosophical point when we go political. The ultimate or absolute weight of someone's opinion comes down to whether or not they will dare to hope for something that they believe is beneficial or not, and then, in that hope, acting to try and make that beneficial outcome come true.
Not whether they're right or wrong?

BeeAre wrote:The reason why I believe perspective is irrelevant in this discussion, the argument that "everyone believes in different goods and different evils" is because yes, you can make scenarios of contrast and dischord, but you have to go out of your way to make those scenarios dischordant.
Except that people are discordant in real life. People often go out of their way to antagonize each other.

BeeAre wrote:It's a crap-out to say then that people won't be motivated to do anything if the system we have now changes to something more communist. it is saying that "so much bad will happen naturally that the system will, on its own, cease to function". That isn't what happened in Soviet Communism, and isn't what's happening in Chinese Communism at all, and neither of these was or is even near to being the complete expression of communism.
Except that kind of is what happened in the Soviet Union. "For the good of the system" was insufficient motivation to keep workers productive and the leadership efficient over the long term. China has avoided such a breakdown by introducing reforms, including a large degree of capitalism.

BeeAre wrote:I dunno, I just genuinely believe cooperation is LOGICALLY more sound than competition, ultimately.

I'd want to hear some people's thoughts on this, maybe I am forgetting some obscure school of thought that dismisses my concerns of the 'potential moralities' of mankind.
Like Q.U. said earlier, pure competition and pure cooperation are degenerate cases that are outperformed in practice by a mix tailored to the situation at hand.

BeeAre wrote:I just figure, if we start looking to try and make people suffer less, we have to admit to ourselves that certain indulgences and appetites are counter-productive to the goal of making people suffer less. Some of the things we do as a species have to change. I believe that the ultimate act of capitalism, which has plenty of well-documented and better-argued cases against it describing its pathway to imperialism and tyranny (in exactly the ways ascribed TO communism by its detractors), the ultimate act of capitalism is, if not outright self-destructive or sadomasochistic as a species, then counter-intuitive to its progress. :\
Free capitalism is short-sighed and systemically self-destructive to a large extent. Regulated capitalism is the best system ever discovered for improving the human condition over the long term. Seriously, compare the last century in mixed capitalistic nations to any other century anywhere.

Q.U. wrote:People are different! In all ways and meanings of that statement. Some of them are twisted in your perspective, there is no ultimate right or wrong, there is no ultimate good future or bad future. Different people, different points of view, different tastes, different ways of thinking. That's why you cannot just put them all equal and say "live in peace and harmony". Because they are too different from one another. And THAT, was the main problem all communist governments came across in the past. And one of the main reasons they failed. Because they failed to embrace that people cannot all be counted and measured with the same tape, and treated all equally.
Also problems of motivation and resource allocation.

DaCrum wrote:An oligarchy is an economic monopoly where the majority of a market is controlled by two competitors, either singular companies, or trusts. See cola.
Almost. An oligarchy has a "small number" of entities that control a state. The market analogue is an oligopoly. Two is a duopoly; one is a monopoly.

BeeAre wrote:I don't give a shit about GAMES, the particular competitions we go through each day in literary terms: "Man vs Man, Man vs Nature, Man vs Himself"; that's pure mathematics at work.
Not really. People really do compete against each other and nature for resources or other things important to them.

BeeAre wrote:When I see an argument like that, "people are too different", I see the argument "entropy can't be fought ever so I cannot clean my room". :\
You can clean your room, but the decrease in entropy of your room is more than made up for by the increase in entropy of the chemicals you burned while cleaning. Entropy really does win in the end. What matters is how you lose. Likewise, what matters is how society deals with discord.

Q.U. wrote:We are able to, it's happening right now, people with all sorts of illnesses and inabilities living a decent life. Sure we can overcome nature, to a large extent even. Which begs the question, is that really good for us, as a species, in the end? And I'm not implying an answer here, because I don't know it, just putting up the question.
Theoretically, curing diseases and helping people live with disabilities should remove such things as strong drivers for natural selection. As such, genetic problems should accumulate over time as genetic drift causes breakdowns that are not immediately removed by selection. This effect should become stronger the better the social safety net works, so it's probably only been significant since modern medicine and social welfare programs came along in the last century or so. As medical technology improves, it should become stronger until the point where large scale genetic manipulation becomes practical, at which point it disappears. From then on, it's directly in our own hands. Keep in mind that nothing ends.

Q.U. wrote:Thus you're making authority appear, meaning that you're no longer in anarchy. Anarchy is a very specific term.
And that's why anarchy is probably the most fragile system ever devised. It's gone as soon as a demagogue / mob boss / plutocrat / warlord shows up, which in real examples of government collapse is pretty much immediate.

RuffDraft wrote:Said "discourage." Taxes "discourage" growth. As an example, Norway has one of the highest taxes in the world. What have they produced in the last few decades that has been of any real use? I mean, besides the obvious gas, food, paper products and fish. The last major invention by Norway that I can find was the aerosol can in 1926 (the best invention ever being beer, by the Babylonians prior to 6000BC). And while I can't currently find a link to this statistic, I heard that about 1/3 of all medicines and vaccines in use today (more than any other country) were invented in/by the United States.
Norway has a higher GDP (PPP) per capita than the US, and produces about 60% more science papers per capita. That figure about medicine sounds reasonable, since the US has by far the largest economy and population among the highly developed countries, with an intellectual property and regulatory structure friendly to large biotech corporations, and with a lot of government-funded basic research over most of the last century. For example, penicillin was first mass-produced as the result of a government research program to support efforts in WWII.

RuffDraft wrote:My point was that in many cases the government can not provide as good or better service than the private sector. In many cases, government health care is actually worse than private health care. And that goes for education; charter schools and private schools often (not always, but often) outperform public schools. Most public schools are significantly below standards for math and reading (D.C. was the lowest that I recall, something like 12-14% of standards).
I responded to this point when you raised it earlier. Do you really think that education in the US would be better if the government left it to the private sector?

RuffDraft wrote:However, it seems a lot of failing public schools are close to bad neighborhoods; maybe that has something to do with it. Perhaps the problem deals not only in the number of bad tenured teachers but also in the living conditions surrounding those schools. How much money would it take to clean them up?
And it seems that the children who attend private schools usually have parents who can afford to send them, with the attendant socioeconomic benefits that that implies. Perhaps this is another reason why urban renewal and programs that help the poor are important. Oh wait, that's a socialistic redistribution of wealth that interferes in the free market state of affairs, paid for largely by growth-reducing taxes on the wealthy.

RuffDraft wrote:
BeeAre wrote:and obama constantly makes the political move to work with republicans
Let me stop you there. Do you not recall on October 25th 2010, less than eight days before election day, Obama called Republicans "our enemies?" And then, on November 1st, he went back and said "I probably should have used the word 'opponents' instead." Then, after the election was won in the favor of the Republicans, on January 1st, he said "I'm willing to work with anyone of either party who's got a good idea and the commitment to see it through."

Translation: "Shit, we lost---time to put on a good face."
You seem to be placing a great deal more importance here on words than actions. Remember back when the Democrats controlled the House and had 60 in the Senate? They faced unified Republican opposition on most things both before and after "compromise" alterations to bills. After the Democrats lost their 60th Senate vote, Republicans threatened to filibuster anything that wasn't just what they wanted. Republicans have held up Obama's appointees too. So, what exactly do you think that Obama should have done in the sprit of bipartisanship?

RuffDraft wrote:
BeeAre wrote:and offers real numbers to programs for the cutting of spending.
Does he, now?
Seeing as how that talks about and puts numbers to cuts he proposes... yes, he does.

RuffDraft wrote:
BeeAre wrote:do you really deny that republicans are not equally or at the very least partially responsible for delaying the progress of cutting spending when both parties publicly speak out for that as a goal?
In nearly every discussion you and I have had, I have used a similar argument to describe the Democrats fiscal irresponsibility. And I've realized...

...it's not a very strong one.
Like oil subsidies, say? Or military spending?



And back on topic, Wisconsin Republicans stripped public unions of most of their collective bargaining rights without a quorum, leading many observers to call shenanigans, and prompting recall efforts.

Also, this.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:21 am

Can you name one in all of history? A real democracy, not a dictatorship with show elections; one with something comparable to the Bill of Rights.

I don't know really, there is no perfect example for such things, since it's hard to tell what you'd classify as real democracy. Still, let's think about India. Highly corrupt, elective government, constitution present, and a 3.3 on corruption index. With quickly rising remittances and a negative net migration.
It's not doing very badly, sure. But would you say that they are developing as fast as they could, in their current situation?

Sure. You'd just said that every civilization developed money.

Every civilisation ends up developing money, after growing sufficiently. That doesn't mean we haven't seen some that got conquered or went extinct before they got there.

That only applies if everything is united, and there is no internal conflict. What do you think the prospects are of uniting India/Pakistan, Israel/its neighbors, or Switzerland/anything? And how would a nation without military-like forces deal with civil unrest, piracy, and organized crime?

I don't see them uniting, at least not until they learn how to coexist.

And to answer your other question:
civil unrest - police/riot police
piracy - coast guard
organised crime - FBI
We have all of them already. And no, you're mixing ideas here, the point is not that it would take fewer cops to keep peace. It would take more. But surely less than a regular army takes. Hell, if we shoved 30% of each country's army personnel to police forces they would have been able to afford to put a cop on every corner, making the place much safer.
All I'm saying is that there would no longer be a need to keep a militarised force designed to defend against foreign aggression. And that's a huge weight off of a country's shoulders. And we know it. We've seen it. In Switzerland for instance.

Also problems of motivation and resource allocation.

Well, BR already made points about motivation (creative jobs being sufficiently rewarding without money incentives) and resource allocation (communism that provides everything to everyone equally). So I'm not bordering on those any more, since we've already discussed them once.

Theoretically, curing diseases and helping people live with disabilities should remove such things as strong drivers for natural selection. As such, genetic problems should accumulate over time as genetic drift causes breakdowns that are not immediately removed by selection. This effect should become stronger the better the social safety net works, so it's probably only been significant since modern medicine and social welfare programs came along in the last century or so. As medical technology improves, it should become stronger until the point where large scale genetic manipulation becomes practical, at which point it disappears. From then on, it's directly in our own hands. Keep in mind that nothing ends.

I agree completely. The only threat in going that way is that by being protective over people who should normally be excluded from society through natural selection will build up over time X, where X is the time we have left until we can deal with all of that through our means of control and technology. It becomes dangerous when you're taking a leap of faith about "we will get to X before our systems collapses from overbearing disabled units of our societies". Because we don't really know that. We can only hope.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby NeoWarrior7 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:22 am

Or invest in more genetics programs.

Honestly, I can't take Ruff seriously through his blatant standard Republican rhetoric. Taxes are bad and kill jobs. Obama's a terrible person. The Democrats are always to blame. Beck isn't a greedy lying bastard. The Government is evil (Well, that's true enough when they take office...).

Honestly, the main problem is I can't take them seriously until they stop being huge dicks about everything.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:50 pm

And Obama was born in Kenya. Don't forget about Obama having been born in Kenya! Birthers love that.

Or invest in more genetics programs.

Yes, but then conservationists will protest that it's unethical and against god. Plus compassionate people will complain that instead of "wasting" money on questionable research we should be spending them on the poor and underprivileged.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:01 pm

Yes. I talk way too much. I had to do it recently because my mouth got all sore and coldy and fluy so I couldn't flap my real jaws as well so I had to ejaculate it onto all of your cyber faces. I am sorry for that (unless you're into that sort of thing, then you're welcome).

so hey, i'd love to continue the arguments about authority and anarchy and how my even bringing up dischord means i concede that it actively exists and did concede that even before the argument began so bringing it up when i am merely making the ultimate claim that our system is too skewed in the favor of competition vs cooperation is rhetorically irrelevant yet it keeps happening again and again as it i am not paying attention to it (of course i know what entropy is, my argument by referencing it must be a reference to resisting it, not beating it :{ ) and thus i want to say right here and now that i understand the practical limits of how things work and merely want to implant an idea into people's heads that perhaps just a weensy bit more in the other direction would be good and frankly i'm a huge hug fanatic gay pants unicorn, but:

I mostly agree with your points, and the parts i don't agree on merely relate to how i have contextualized the world, and since you guys won't accept any other answer except live and let live, i'll let you have it, because eventually you guys will either make the partial concession personally in the context of your relationships to others (that competition is the main thing that should be limited, vs the seeming world standard now that it is cooperation that mainly should be limited) or never make it and be FOREVER ALONE (<- funny joke ha ha);

so I would like to see Ruffdraft's response to Valhallen's response to his response to my response.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:51 pm

Actually, BR, I'm not going to argue that we should or should not limit competition and develop more cooperation. As long as you agree that both of them, when applied in the right place and to a reasonable extent, are beneficial. You claim that in today's capitalist world we have too much competition, is that it? Well, I don't have an opinion, I really can't tell if we do or don't. So I'm actually curious as to how you arrived at that conclusion. Too many reported cases of competition gone wrong? Or is it something else?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:32 pm

Q.U. wrote:Actually, BR, I'm not going to argue that we should or should not limit competition and develop more cooperation. As long as you agree that both of them, when applied in the right place and to a reasonable extent, are beneficial. You claim that in today's capitalist world we have too much competition, is that it? Well, I don't have an opinion, I really can't tell if we do or don't. So I'm actually curious as to how you arrived at that conclusion. Too many reported cases of competition gone wrong? Or is it something else?


there are reported cases, and the ones that are reported have far reaching effects that negatively impact more than they positively impact, and in ways that are very classically bad for a majority and good for a select minority, but it is not so much the individual cases as the similar theme to the practices that generate the cases.

I keep writing out several examples of it, but I mean, they're anecdotes, so, I dunno, maybe a catchy song/political essay against it is a decent way to summarize a few of the exploitations of the system that are being done today with little to no accountability: http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart this is an attack against Wal-Mart, of course. I don't agree with the whole thing, but the cycle of "cheap, buy it, cheap, can't avoid it, cheap, work for it" in the video is an actual thing that is happening with several different stores.

It's really easy to see then why Vladimir Lenin made a more scathing essay about the nature of capitalism being a very easy parallel to colonial imperialism: that if a company constantly evades the systems attempting to contain it, it becomes like its own nation (or religion? heh) very fast, with its own goals of expansion and conquest, if you will.

I understand the differences of course, but then there are actual companies for mercenaries like Xe (formerly Blackwater) who are ACTUAL ARMIES THAT WORK FOR HIRE. Thank God America is Rich, right?

Privatizing War is a scary thing. War at all is horrendous, but that people can CAPITALIZE not merely on the effects of it, but the act of beginning it at all, that's pretty scary to me.

The constant and sole adoration of the individual is just as dangerous as falling prey to the mindless focus of mob rule, and effectively the same issue with different names, given the conditions, method, and results.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:26 pm

BeeAre wrote:I would like to see Ruffdraft's response to Valhallen's response to his response to my response.
Working on it. In the mean time, I would like you to provide valid answers to the questions I posed earlier but that you refused to acknowledge. Also...
Valhallen wrote:
BeeAre wrote:That's why I keep bringing up this philosophical point when we go political. The ultimate or absolute weight of someone's opinion comes down to whether or not they will dare to hope for something that they believe is beneficial or not, and then, in that hope, acting to try and make that beneficial outcome come true.

Not whether they're right or wrong?
...this.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby EagleMan » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:05 pm

my government reading will actually be useful for once

the pages I just read talked about regulation and such, and how the deregulation of the airline or food industries (or lack of any on the latter, like for instance the milk or grain farmers) basically screwed everything since competition killed so much

of course it also balanced it with how regulation is beneficial to businesses and sometimes isn't (since regulation can in instances make sure your opponents don't gip you with underhanded practices, but the next day you might be the one complaining for not being allowed to do something similarly dubious).
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:08 am

I keep writing out several examples of it, but I mean, they're anecdotes, so, I dunno, maybe a catchy song/political essay against it is a decent way to summarize a few of the exploitations of the system that are being done today with little to no accountability: http://sendables.jibjab.com/originals/big_box_mart this is an attack against Wal-Mart, of course. I don't agree with the whole thing, but the cycle of "cheap, buy it, cheap, can't avoid it, cheap, work for it" in the video is an actual thing that is happening with several different stores.

Oddly enough, that problem would disappear with global currency and global economy. But yes, outsourcing can lead to such situations. Which is also a reason not to increase taxes, for international companies will move their production/HQ/services to other countries where it is cheaper, in the end you're loosing jobs.

I understand the differences of course, but then there are actual companies for mercenaries like Xe (formerly Blackwater) who are ACTUAL ARMIES THAT WORK FOR HIRE. Thank God America is Rich, right?

Privatizing War is a scary thing. War at all is horrendous, but that people can CAPITALIZE not merely on the effects of it, but the act of beginning it at all, that's pretty scary to me.

I don't see how this relates to the competition issue any more. You can start up a company providing any legal service/product you want. It's not an issue of competition buy of lax laws.
Though it is a dangerous situation when private armies for hire grow large and powerful. I can easily imagine a future where the government tries to force regulations on the big banks and companies, and they suddenly fight back with hired armies. In 3 more centuries your grandpa will be telling grandkids "I lost my left arm in the war against Microsoft" or something.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:05 am

to RD: the right and wrongness of the situation is a dubious thing to make as a singular claim, moreso for valhallen than you. if you guys want to agree on a thread-based definition, we can go from there, but my argument would include the idea that because perspective varies there would be a moral formula if you will that would involve some relationships between values both by literal trade-offs, emotional/cultural trade-offs, and the aggregate of all the major forms of those opinions as contrasted against one another. what i mean is: if we take every available or demographically identifiable opinion on earth and begin crossing out the things that contrast against one another logically and marking the compatibilities of several perspectives, i believe we won't have an ultimately empty sentence left. :\

if we then proceed to use the aggregate definitions, the compatible for "good" and the ultimately dismissed or irreconcilable positions as "bad", we can make some neat if purely speculative suppositions towards the nature of decisions being right or wrong.

As Q.U. pointed out, it's all context, so if we know every context, or can suppose the upper and lower limits of a context's range, we can generate a rubric for movement within that context.

i'm not sleeping well so let's see if i can try and make my point coherent.

my argument in that statement I made earlier is the conclusion of this moral generalizing: that the beneficial outcome IS right and not wrong because it first avoids conflicting against the methods of other 'morally' sound positions on beneficial outcomes, and second in interacting with those other 'morally' sound positions, it works to achieve them as well.

in an anecdotal example: Ebenezer Scrooge is portrayed as a dick because his 'morality' before his christmas ghost stuff both dismisses and conflicts and is irreconcilable with the morality of the other characters in the story. After his Christmas Wake The Fuck Up Alarm suddenly he takes the reverse, and this is seen as purely and completely beneficial for all involved in the presented circumstances.

This is why I cede that conditions are not the same, nor need they be: because the likelihood of the conditions being completely and utterly irreconcilable is minuscule given the beginning supposition that the two parties will try to agree at some point.

did anybody read the rest of the Ender series? The hierarchy of aliens? Roughly, The people you understand because you know them, The people to which you talk, the people to which you haven't talked yet (but can), the aliens to which you can talk, the aliens to which you cannot talk.

I'm not going to use this as an ultimately accurate scale (because I can't even tell if I'm being accurate in this particular state of mind), but it might help me explain through my. uh. haze.

in that hierarchy, communication is possible until the last step: the irreconcilable and unknowable alien. I personally believe that no person on Earth is of the last two steps, but even if I were more cynical, it would be hard to convince me that people exist on this world would go to that last step.

uh, i'm tired, maybe. well. i'll talk briefly to QU here:

do you think it's reasonable that such a war with microsoft could happen? that's pretty directly tied to the aims of competition in a company or an empire.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:57 pm

BR, I had a couple specific questions that you refused to acknowledge, and they are as follows:
RuffDraft wrote:So if someone who makes $1 billion a year who owns a competitive business [EDIT: meaning, they create jobs] donates $10 million (1% of their income) into medical research towards curing Crohn's disease, what is your opinion of that person?

What if you don't know that someone is donating money to a cause that benefits you and you bad-mouth that person? Should that person then give that money to another cause?

Suppose someone is making huge donations to your cause but he regularly employs tactics that gets other businesses to file for bankruptcy, causing thousands of people to become unemployed?

Could you answer those questions, please?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Valhallen » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:38 pm

Unions.

Wisconsin.

Shenanigans.

Thoughts?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:17 am

Still working on my reply, VH1. It's a little difficult, being employed nearly full-time and then hanging out with friends, to get a timely reply in that isn't a two-sentence paragraph.
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