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Messages - Cain

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Aneristic Illusions / Re: Why Fundies Love Palin
« on: July 03, 2009, 07:03:18 pm »
Um...while Sullivan is pretty sensible, for a conservative, I have to point out he is a member of a group who condemn people like him to burn in hellfire for all eternity on the basis of his sexuality.

I mean, if we want to talk about denial and lying here...

Techmology and Scientism / Re: Blog of Weird Papers
« on: July 03, 2009, 12:50:47 pm »
I think I came across this the other day.  But my browser crashed and I lost the link  :sad:

Mad science is always awesome.

Or Kill Me / Re: The Fascist Virus: Defeat
« on: July 03, 2009, 12:46:37 pm »
1.  Not so much as you would think.  The vast majority of historians who specialize in the period agree that Fascism was anti-liberalism, anti-conservatism and anti-Communist, nationalist, revolutionary, racist, sexist and expansionist.  The debate mostly comes from political hacks with partisan agendas to pursue (cf, Jonah Goldberg).  Ironically, many of those who claim fascism as a left wing phenomenon claim left-right distinctions are useless just before claiming this.

2.  OK.

3.  You're missing massive amounts of context here.  After WWI, there was a massive influx of Italian immigration and many of these Italians considered themselves liberal or socialist in origin.  They actually didn't care much for Mussolini and considered him an autocrat who was undermining the Italian democracy and rule of law.  However, immigration laws in the 20s were passed to limit the amount of Italian immigration.  This law suggested that Italian-Americans were an unwanted minority group, and caused many of them to turn to Fascist Italian nationalism as a source of ethnic pride and camaraderie.

Also, within Italy, Fascists deliberately targeted the left on numerous occasions. The talented Marxist philosopher and leader of the Italian Communist party, Antonio Gramsci, was arrested and kept in a small dirty cell, which caused his health to suffer until he died, at the age of 46.  In the north, fascism portrayed itself as the alternative to workers’ revolution; in the south, fascist armed gangs broke the back of  the peasants’ campaign for land.  In the summer of 1922, fascist gangs seized the city halls in Milan and Livorno and occupied the Genoa docks in order to break the unions. There were waves of repression against trade unionists in 1921, 1923 and 1924. In 1925, all remaining independent trade unions were closed down. Wage rates were decided by the company and workers lost any right of representation. Between 1927 and 1932, according to official statistics, nominal wages were cut by 50 per cent. In 1935, the government placed all workers connected directly or indirectly with war production under military discipline. All other workers were subject to the decisions of the Labour Court. Strikers were punished with imprisonment.

The class which benefited most from fascist rule was the upper class, especially nobles and business owners. They gained from the privatisation of the insurance sector, the telephone service, the match monopoly and the municipal power companies. The capital tax was abolished, as was inheritance tax, the tax on war profits and the taxes on managers and directors.  Mussolini received large sums of money from the Milan business community and also from the great landowners in 1919, when he founded his party. 

There were official attacks on Jews from 1934 and the state adopted Nazi-style race laws in 1938. Between 8,500 and 15,000 Italian Jews died in the Holocaust.  From 1930, the regime had plans to expand its empire in Ethiopia and Tunisia. These plans were justified in explicitly racist language. Blacks and Arabs were considered non-human. The war in Abyssinia from October 1935 was defended using racism – it was claimed that the Ethiopians were incapable of ruling themselves. The war was also conducted in a racist way: because the fascist state considered that the indigenous people were less than human, it butchered them with poison gas like animals.

Doesn't sound like a very left wing or liberal program to me.  Similar happened in Nazi Germany too, though right now I don't have the time to grab the exact dates and figures.  Believe me though, when I say I know this subject inside out.

4.  Wrong.  Hitler tolerated religion insofar as it did not overshadow him.  He didn't like Christianity much despite his support among certain Protestants (not to mention the cowardice of the Catholic Party in standing up to him) but he tolerated Nazi forays into Odinism and occult belief systems.  Mussolini famously allied himself with the Vatican when he signed the Lateran Treaty, giving them full sovereignty and recognition as an independent nation.  Oh and big lump sums of money.  In return, the Vatican kept its mouth shut and didn't get involved in Italian politics, ever.

Claseless society?  Don't make me laugh.  Even ignoring what I said above, the fascist assault on genuine working class movements and support from the upper classes of society because of this, you fail to take into account fascist policies towards Jews, Romany gypsies, homosexuals and Slavs.  All of which were considered subhuman and were butchered because of it.  And women's sufferage?  German fascists thought a woman's place was in the kitchen or making good little Aryan troopers.  Women who actually worked were despised by fascists, who had a highly traditional view of society in that (and many other) respects.  Fascism was only anti aristocracy insofar as aristocrats were traditional conservatives (and allied with them anyway, when it suited their needs) and were anti-capitalist in rhetoric only, with all genuine anti-capitalist fascists either ending up dead or out of positions of influence once fascist parties came to power.

Try reading some actual history books.  You know, the sort written by people who can read German and Italian, and have had access to primary sources from the period as well as later analysis.  The sort of thing historians write, I guess is what I'm saying.

Also, if you think the above described policies are a core part of the Democratic party, then you are seriously deluded.

Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: July 03, 2009, 12:01:01 pm »
I preferred the longer version of The Stand.  It added a lot to some of the characters.

Literate Chaotic / Re: More proof the War Nerd is in fact John Dolan
« on: July 03, 2009, 11:58:54 am »
Yeah he was one of their editors and their sort of literature guy/book review person.

However, many believe he is secretly the War Nerd.  There is quite a bit of evidence for this, including Dolan's background (until his early 20s he considered himself a Republican, of the old-skool variety, he wrote in his biography about spending time in the library reading military manuals and history books and that whenever the War Nerd is busy, Dolan's articles seem to vanish, and vice-versa).  Both Dolan and The War Nerd deny it, of course.

Russ Meyers: Apple Talk / Re: TV Tropes, I hate you so much....
« on: July 03, 2009, 11:44:52 am »
As an aside, now is a brilliant time to wind up the Harry Potter fandom.  They hate when films come out, because they wont be faithful to the novels, they'll portray characters to different ways then they are in their head (WHICH IS THE REALLY REAL WAY THEY ARE) and basically get all pissy because a different medium is being used to tell the story.  Oh, and the Harry/Hermione shippers and Snape fans will be upset, too.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Many bloodsucking insects
« on: July 03, 2009, 11:38:15 am »
Funnily enough, this was pretty much the biggest change since the introduction of the BIP forum.

Yeah, they're going downhill.

The Post was always a little too defensive of the powers that be in Washington, especially on the right.  Their actual field reporters are great - people like Tom Ricks for example, who have extensive knowledge and sound judgement on their topics of choice (incidentally, read Rick's Fiasco and The Gamble if you want a political-military history of the run-up to the war in Iraq and the surge, highly recommended).

The problem is the editorial team, and especially the people around Fred Hiatt.  They're very much pro-Neocon in their worldview.  In addition to this, they have used financial cuts at the Post to get rid of reporters they ideologically disagree with.  I can't remember the name of this one in particular, but he wrote the third most popular story, in terms of links, in 2008, and yet they junked him recently because...well, they don't like his opinions.  Great reporter, brought the punters in...but none of that mattered.

That was Eric.

He had a thing for hitting on member's younger sisters.  As in, 12 years old.

Principia Discussion / Re: An experiment with Babylon and LMNO
« on: July 03, 2009, 11:25:36 am »
This shouldn't be interesting. But I will have plenty to think about if it is.

Also: this experiment should be done at least twice, to ensure that the results can be reliably replicated. Not necessarily immediately after this one, but at some point.

I would suggest at least three times, and with a sceptic doing the guessing once.

Also, someone with statistics experience (NIGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL!) should look at the results, because there is a particular test (chi-squared?  I can't remember) which you can apply to tell you if deviations in answers fall within a reasonable range or if they indicate something else is going on.

What? Oh hi. What am I supposed to do? Interpret the statistical deviation of the results if they fall outside of the expected range of probability?

Thats what I was hoping for.

Though devising a better test might seem like a plan as well.

Principia Discussion / Re: An experiment with Babylon and LMNO
« on: July 02, 2009, 09:01:13 pm »

Urgh, that sucks.  Infections can happen to anyone, as well, which makes it worse.

Oh?  Were they suffering from some sort of underlying condition?  I ask because I've never heard of someone who wasn't very old or very young dying from it without suffering from something else, too.

Water and sugar in syringes = "Swine flu vaccine"

So there could be hundreds of thousands of cases of swine flu by the end of August in the UK.

People are starting to panic, its wonderful.

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