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Messages - Cain

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22351
Aneristic Illusions / Re: Why are we still supporting Hamid Karzai?
« on: July 18, 2009, 07:23:57 pm »
The idea is, not entirely unreasonably, that if we up and leave, the Taliban will creep in and take over again, and Al-Qaeda will return as well, and given how dangerous than can be without a base of operations, to hand one over to them on a plate is not really a good move.

Of course, Al-Qaeda already has a foothold in other weak states, like Yemen, and we haven't intervened there (yet).  I think the prospect of civilian Pakistan falling apart due to Afghani instability is now the driving force behind the "stay the course" crowd, because intervening there is both a strategic and financial impossibility.

Naturally, that invading armies may be an underlying cause of Afghani instability, and rallying cry for factions of the Neo-Taliban, are also overlooked.

Oh, and there is lots of heroin in Afghanistan.  As in, tens of billions, when cut and distributed properly.  Hey, isn't Russia suffering from a massive deluge of cheap heroin about now?

22352
Aneristic Illusions / Why are we still supporting Hamid Karzai?
« on: July 18, 2009, 06:57:29 pm »
I mean, apart from the fact we are idiots and notoriously bad at counterinsurgency?  Because, as far as I can see, the vast majority of Afghanistan see Karzai as

a) corrupt
b) stupid (he isn't, but he comes across that way)
c) inefficient

One wouldn't be a major problem.  All three are a recipe for disaster.  Counterinsugency relies on building up the legitimacy of the government over the hostiles, which means being able to provide the basic services (services necessary to live, security, economic stability etc) while not being as corrupt, violent and ideological as the hostiles in question.  Since Karzai cannot deliver, and clearly the only reason he is in power is because we, the ISAF, are propping him up via our own alliances among the warlords, why haven't we told him to get lost, and set him up with tenure at Stanford or something?

22353
Apple Talk / Re: FWD: Testing
« on: July 17, 2009, 11:06:51 pm »
I think my IQ just dropped below room temperature thanks to reading this thread.

22354
Way to get the thread back on topic, Cain.
Quote
Led by Thatcher, western governments told the countries of the former Soviet Bloc that if they wanted prosperity, they had to import the free market.  The notion that one set of policies could have the same beneficial results in the widely different former countries of the Soviet Bloc was absurd, but it was of a piece of the mindset of the International Monetary Fund that had imposed similar policies on highly dissimilar countries, such as Indonesia, Nigeria and Peru.  Along with the bureaucrats of the IMF, emissaries were dispatched to the post-communist lands, carrying the same draft constitutions in their briefcases.  No matter how discrepant the countries they descended on, these neo-liberal ideologues tried to impose the same model on them all.

The IMF is also an international loan shark, loaning billions to these same countries for "infrastructure" and "development." This money ends up getting embezzled at just about every step of the bureaucracy, which leaves little to improve infrastructure and help out anyone who doesn't work for the government. Then that government is in massive debt to the IMF forever. The IMF and its neo-liberal policies are great for maintaining colonialism now that it can't be done directly.


IMF loans are just means to another end.

The conditionals which allow countries to apply for those loans send a nation into economic shock, bringing the prices of companies placed there way below what they would normally be in a functioning economy.

One of the conditions of the IMF's loan system is privatization of government owned companies.  So guess who gets to buy previous government monopolies, on the cheap, and then, once the regulatory system is gutted (another IMF conditional), ramp up the prices until the plebs bleed?

The loans, while useful, are really only bait in this process, a dangling, shiney object which opens up doors to buying some serious real estate and infrastructure.

22355
Apple Talk / Re: FWD: Testing
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:44:17 pm »
I can assure you, the only thing likely to interest people on this site less than chain-mail spam messages that everyone has seen before is failing whatever "test" you seem to think they should pass.

Welcome, regardless.

22356
Aneristic Illusions / Re: ATTN: Mainers
« on: July 17, 2009, 02:49:35 pm »
What, you mean the Evil Liberal Overlord and Arch-Conspirator (But Totally Not In A 'Jewish Conspiracy' Way) George Soros isn't giving the pro-sodomite and men for the marriage of dogs coalition several billion in order to undermine Christianity?

WHY DID YUO LIE TO ME, RUSH LIMBAUGH?  WHY?

22357
Apple Talk / Re: OMFG HARRY POTTER IS OUT THIS WEEK LOLOLOLOLOL
« on: July 16, 2009, 11:21:28 pm »
Half the book was fluff and mytharc asspulling anyway, so shortening it is no great loss.

Book seven was an even worse offender for that.  Especially the mytharc business.  There is no fucking way she planned that ending out at all, except when she started to write book six, where there is a noticeable shift in writing style and plot complexity.  Its too half-assed, it screams retroactive relevance.

22358
Aneristic Illusions / Re: ATTN: Mainers
« on: July 16, 2009, 08:36:12 pm »
How the hell would homo-crime work anyway?

I'm envisioning biker gangs of hard gay men in tight leather, cruising around and looking to beat on anyone who disses martha stuart.  :lulz:

They do graffiti....and it looks fabulous.

22359
Apple Talk / Re: OMFG HARRY POTTER IS OUT THIS WEEK LOLOLOLOLOL
« on: July 16, 2009, 03:07:49 pm »
He comes out of the closet.

22360
Apple Talk / Re: OMFG HARRY POTTER IS OUT THIS WEEK LOLOLOLOLOL
« on: July 16, 2009, 03:04:03 pm »
I'm sure the film is pretty good.  Most of the previous ones have been alright, or above average viewing so I would expect that to be the case here.

However, it wont be good enough for the fanbase.  Nothing is good enough for the fanbase.  If you think Star Wars fans are unpleasable, wait until you see the screeching reaction this film will get from the Potter fan forums.  The next film will get an even worse one, because of all the Harry/Hermione shippers, but this one will be pretty bad too, because of all the Alan Rickman In Leather Pants, Evil Is Cool, OH NOES DUMBLEDORE nonsense.

22361
Oh yeah.  Adam Smith makes this pretty explicit, in The Wealth of Nations.  This relates back to the whole "people don't actually read Adam Smith, just rape his intellectual corpse" discussion TGRR and me were having.

22362
Quote
The neo-liberal worldview that Thatcher accepted by the end of the 1980s was the successor-ideology to Marxism.  Ideological thinking tends to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to society and so it was at the end of the eighties, when the close of the Cold War gave neo-liberal ideas a catastrophic boost.  Led by Thatcher, western governments told the countries of the former Soviet Bloc that if they wanted prosperity, they had to import the free market.  The notion that one set of policies could have the same beneficial results in the widely different former countries of the Soviet Bloc was absurd, but it was of a piece of the mindset of the International Monetary Fund that had imposed similar policies on highly dissimilar countries, such as Indonesia, Nigeria and Peru.  Along with the bureaucrats of the IMF, emissaries were dispatched to the post-communist lands, carrying the same draft constitutions in their briefcases.  No matter how discrepant the countries they descended on, these neo-liberal ideologues tried to impose the same model on them all.

Quote
With minor variations, F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and a host of lesser lights subscribe to these beliefs.  All were exponenets of a late-twentieth century Enlightenment ideology whose basic tenents - despite being advanced as the result of scientific enquiry - are rooted in religions faith.  Neo-liberals aim to recover the lost purity of liberalism before its pollution by collectivist thinking, and like all fundamentalists they end up with a caricature of the tradition they seek to revive.  Neo-liberalism was a late twentieth century parody of classical political economy.  The classical economists of the eighteenth century believed all societies passed through definite stages of development leading to a single destination - a commercial civilization based on market exchange - but they had a clear understanding of the flaws of market society.  Lacking this insight, neo-liberals turned classical economics into a utopian ideology.

Quote
A conception of providence underlies the idea of a natural system of liberty advanced by [Adam] Smith, and liberal thought as a whole is shaped by Christian belief.


Quote
In the early nineteenth century, the chief argument for free trade was that tariffs thwart the divine design.  [...] Free trade was a means to brotherhood under the law of God.  In the 1840s, Richard Cobden waged a successful campaign against the protectionist Corn Laws in Britain under the slogan "Free Trade is the International Law of God".  For him, this was not a metaphor but literal truth.  Later economists tried to reformulate arguments for free trade in secular terms of comparative advantage, but they have never been very successful. [...]  The resulting body of thought is more dogmatic than Smith's faith-based political economy.  The free market only became a religion when its basis in religion was denied. 

22363
Yes.  Gray is convinced, however, this is the secret hiding at the heart of all major Western ideologies.  He is quite "liberal" in his own beliefs, but has major problems with Neoliberal and libertarian philosophy.

I'll try and write out some extracts now.  I was just blogging, and so didn't really get around to it.

22364
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8146487.stm

Quote
Couples should have a compulsory three-month "cooling off" period before they can start divorce proceedings, a Conservative think tank will recommend.

A report commissioned by ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith will also propose a network of family relationship centres to advise before and during marriage.

[...]

The report - titled Every Family Matters - urges that estranged husbands and wives should be required by law to undergo a three-month period before launching divorce proceedings to reflect on their marriage and examine the possibility of reconciliation.

The idea behind this is that social breakdown in Britain is caused by marital breakdown and so doing everything possible to keep families together will stop children becoming drug-taking knife-crimers.  Because, as you know, couples staying together for the sake of the children can never go wrong, and divorce will automatically lead to a wasted life full of substance abuse and crime.

Also, um, small government?  Empowering the people?  Tax cuts?  Any of this ringing any bells?

Goddamn I hate the Tories.  Just when you think they've gotten over the worst of their social conservatism-induced psychosis, they start acting like morons again.

22365
Literate Chaotic / Re: Book club planning thread and suggestions
« on: July 16, 2009, 11:34:50 am »
Ah, you downloaded the pdf of that too?

I remember reading reviews of that last year.  Harpers Magazine also did a huge article on them a couple of years back.  They appear to have some serious global clout, if what I have read is true.

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