General Buck Turgidson

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    • #30065

      also i think the numbers are bogus…they will probably start massaging some stats they call apples to apples but the only good data has been from iceland and south korea that has totally normal stats as in this is a regular cold flu pneumonia season with old people – people at a high risk of death every flu season – at a high risk of death…we can have a theoretical discussion about what govt should do in a pandemic but the risk of one in the world today is negligible without being fostered from above IMO

      So, absolutely, some of the numbers are bogus, but when we talk about South Korea or Iceland we have to keep in mind what their cultures are not like ours to start with. In South Korea, people regularly wear masks and have them on hand for any cold/flu season (given history with SARS, incredibly dense population centers, and a rather conservative culture that places an emphasis awareness of others). In Iceland there’s a culture of general cleanliness, a small population, and less travel in and out of the country. In both cases, they were already disposed to have a small outbreak. I am not sure that comparisons to/from those countries is all too helpful. While I admit that this disease doesn’t have a particularly high kill rate (it’s not tuberculosis or anything), it’s still a problem that we have a new strain of the common cold that has become deadly, and it’s definitely a problem for people with lung, kidney, or immune problems. While government action is immoral and while knowing that governments are going to take advantage of the problem, having a new way to get dead is, in general, not a good thing.  Just my thoughts on the issue.

    • #30062

      I think that Coronavirus is a real health threat for a lot of people. The disease is apparently highly contagious, and further it has nearly a 2% mortality rate and roughly a 10% hospitalization rate. That may not seem to high as a percentage goes, but it would be crippling if people did nothing. 10% of 320 million people is still 32 million.

      Okay, so despite that, I think that the government is taking and will take advantage of this just as they do any other crisis. Likewise, I don’t find it too far fetched to think that this was known and/or planned, but I do not find it too useful to spend brain cycles on where this started or how. As far as what advantage they are taking however, that is useful.

      Every single right guaranteed by the US Constitution is now gone. The USA is no longer a free nation in any way at all. To the extent that you are able to exercise any freedom is merely because your rulers are somewhat benevolent, but as this event and others have shown, you have no rights.

      I think that the second big thing is cover. COVID-19 has provided the perfect scapegoat at just the right moment for the collapse of the global economic system. This was starting before the crisis with the bond yield inversion and the first tumbles in stocks. The Fed had started subsidizing the overnight repurchase markets, and the Fed had stopped shrinking its balance sheet and started growing it again. With the start of this crisis, we see the Fed printing, the government engaging in massive spending bills with tons of riders. This is … really just sort of fascist/socialist economic planning at this point.

      The third big one, the digital dollar was scrapped from the stimulus at the last minute, but the fact that it made into the bill at all is big. I had long thought cryptos to be a public beta, but I do believe that a government owned/controlled blockchain with zero anonymity will be the next global currency. It’s just to tempting a thing for those who want complete surveillance and control. I suspect that will come before too long. The Keynesian stuff I mentioned previously will make this economic depression so much worse than it ought to be that people will clamor for rescue. The government will have this new currency on standby and roll it out to save everyone. Naturally, all of the economic bills involve cronyism (some outright with bailouts, others through exclusive government contract work).

      Finally, the world culture has become more atomized than ever. Civic society is largely dead. Most people don’t know many neighbors. Private media consumption has become the biggest of hobbies. That was all before COVID-19… with COVID? Man oh man, has this worsened. Telecommuting has spiked, obviously. I imagine that some of these changes will be permanent no matter what government chooses to do. For example, the telecommuting thing had been successful for many companies. There are major companies that have no physical office building, and as many business owners are discovering, people will still be productive and the company will save huge amounts of money. Skyscrapers and other big office buildings are super expensive, but even modest office buildings are expensive. The heating and cooling costs, the water costs from toilets and sinks, the food costs, the property costs, the cleaning services, the lighting, the equipment, etc… it’s way cheaper to do everything virtually. For those who needn’t be physically on-site, from an economic perspective, they ought not. Not only would their presence increase business costs in an immediate sense, there are unseen costs too: spreading of seasonal colds and flu that make people take sick days, people with long commutes tend to work fewer hours and be a little less productive overall, those long commutes also increase staff turn over, a boss people don’t see is a less hated boss which further reduces turn over. The increase in curb side pickup, delivery, and so on I do not expect to ever go away. I also expect that hoarding and saving will increase permanently.

    • #30061

      Hotels are not really equipped, and they are not equipped in several different ways. First, most hotels only have cameras in hallways, and not in rooms. Second, the HVAC systems do not sterilize the air in most hotels as the recent legionnaires outbreak in Atlanta shows. This HVAC problem is a VERY big and not often considered issue. If a bed is close to a return, and an infected person coughs? Whoops. Third, hospitals have much larger hallways to allow for easy passage of medical personnel, equipment, and patients. I sometimes struggle to make it around housekeeping with my luggage in hotels.

      I hope I have outlined this well enough, but in summary, No. Hospitals are not prepared or suited for hospital style use.

    • #29912

      I think it will be especially disturbing just how much they’ll have at colleges like Stanford which directly feed IC and the MIC.

    • #29814

      So, Byron, you and I have had a few discussions here, and I want to thank you for providing thoughtful discussions. It’s good.

      I agree with you a lot here. I really just want to an add an observation. I’ve been mulling this over a bit, and it may make some people angry.

      I think that the group of “vulnerable” would largely encompass the same people as “hate crime” depending upon what is deemed as vulnerable. For example, if a male attacked a woman, it is arguable that the woman was “vulnerable” as men are often more powerful physically than are women. This would also hold as true for mobs. So, if a group of WASPy dudes went after a group of Jewish folk, the Jewish folk are far outnumbered and therefore vulnerable in a certain sense. Legally speaking, a black man is vulnerable to a white man as the courts are often far harsher on blacks than on whites. These comparisons could be made ad nauseum. Essentially, it would seem that only a cis gendered straight white male would be capable of committing a hate crime in the anglosphere.

      The part of this that I find rather odd (and just a bit humorous) is that the left is the side arguing for legal protections of minorities and vulnerable groups while simultaneously arguing for more direct democracy, and it is direct democracy that is the single most dangerous political innovation for minorities.

    • #29779

      So, yeah the UK had a very big head start. They began the process of mechanization in the late 1700s, while the French came along in the early-mid 1800s. The Belgians were around the same time. The USA and Germany were really getting economically powerful in the late-mid 1800s (the USA obviously falling behind with an internal struggle).

      The issue is, continental law is and was primarily legalist in nature. Most of European law was still somewhat loosely based on the Corpus Juris Civilis until the first World War. Even the governments were largely the same (excepting France) with Royal families even being mostly blood relations to one another, enough so that Czar Nicholas was referred to as “Cousin Nikki” by Queen Victoria. The systems of raising capital were all of mixed market origin with some merchantilism, some free markets, and some landed-elite origins. This extended into the Ottoman Empire, and even into some European colonies still extent at the time.

      This arrangement really only started to change as Germany began gaining more and more economic power and starting modernizing and industrializing at a rapid rate. They started making deals to get oil out of the Near East, and started threatening English dominance. As gold and coal had been the power basis of the past, oil would be the power basis of the new, and Germany had to go.

      In Germany’s deperation, they helped foment a rebellion in Russia that created the USSR. Subsequently, in the second World War, the split between East and West was more easily made, but it was still mostly propaganda based. The USSR never had the power to challenge the USA. The only even remotely close call would be total nuclear war, which even then the USA would have easily prevailed. The USA had created a semi-fascist government at home that required constant enemies to run the MIC. The divide legally and economically between the USSR, the rest of Europe, the Anglosphere, China, etc is only one of degree not of nature.

      As such, my point that Quigley, while a good historian, served as a propagandist for the elite… imho stands.

    • #29769

      Thank you.

      Also…

      Yeah. I like Quigley and I like Toynbee, but my main disagreement is that they take too much away from the individual. They’re only looking at aggregates. Quigley also ignores a few things that I feel are very important even within his own view of history. As an example, he says that there is a definite Eastern and Western European civilization with the USA on the periphery. I would vehemently disagree.

      So, the root of the divide between “East” and “West” in Europe goes back to the late Roman Empire. The West was conquered by German tribes, and the East kept on trucking. There were some loose relationships maintained between the two halves: church, trade, etc until sometime in the 500s. We know roughly what the timeline had to be because Emporer Justinian “reconquered” the West. This was short lived because of the first wave of plague. This was the true death of Rome the way we think of it. Plague. Quigley would say that somehow magically the West created a new civilization, and the East created a new civilization, but I do not believe this to be true at all. The selfsame civilization went two different directions. In the West people who thought of themselves as Romans created France, Spain, Italy, Romania, and so on. In the East, the Roman identity was somewhat put down by the Ottomans but it took time and the Sultan did hold the title Qayser-i Rûm which was recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church which survived the conquest. Much of the legal system remained in place for some time and only slowly did things really change. Bulgaria and Russia and Hungary and many other countries in Eastern Europe were Byzantine satellites. Some in Russia claim that Moscow is the third Rome.

      So, in both cases (East and West), we have people of the same nationality going about their daily lives after a plague wiped out a very large number of the population. They form new legal bodies that go to war and conquer each other, but for most people their daily lives change little. At some point, they become different civilizations because slowly the small things change with each individuals actions day by day. The split between the East and the West? A peasant lived much the same life in Czarist Russia anywhere in Germany or Italy or Spain until the mid to late 1800s. The real split was that France and the UK were industrializing before everyone else. The USA and Bismark’s Germany followed, and Germany freaked everyone out. For my $0.02, this is when the split really happened.

      In this sense, Quigley is serving more as a propagandist for the elite. “The East and West split was always there!!! TRUST ME!!! It’s not just that your rulers are paranoid about Germany and Russia building oil pipelines through the Near East! That has nothing to do with it! They are a separate and evil OTHER!!!!”

    • #29760

      I apologize for my absence. I recently moved and now have a family and stuff.

      I have read Anatomy of the State. It was well after I had made my conclusions about the nature of Democracy, power, and the military industrial complex. Mostly, I figured that out through a brief stint in the USMC and through the brave words of General Smedley Butler in War is a Racket.

      Many of my thoughts and opinions are also informed by history. There are certain rhymes that play out in civilizations again and again and again. In no particular order: Rome, interwar Germany, Constantinople, Karakorum, Enkidu/Ur, the Delian League, and others have all shown me that civilizations follow some very set patterns… and also lead to my opinion that history mostly teaches us that no one ever learns from history.

      My biggest book recommendation is The War State by Mike Swanson

    • #29761

      So, I think this is just a pattern of power. First, the government steps into an industry seen as “powerful” within our society: medical, legal, financial, etc. Then they require licensing. They take your right to do something and sell it back to you, and they make it difficult enough to ensure that only the privileged few can enter certain ranks. They do this in the interest of “public good” and of course everyone then says that this is reasonable. I mean, you wouldn’t let just anyone perform surgery on you?! RIGHT?!

      After a time, people will forget that things were ever any other way, and when bad things do happen they will argue that it would naturally be worse without the government but that nothing is perfect and so we must just accept that sometimes the system fails us.

      “Science” has entered this arena by other means. The State has created a research industrial complex through which they can control a decent percentage of “scientific” voices. They can, through appeals to authority/majority, now reliably control any narrative that even tangentially approaches the “Scientific community.” This started, as far as I can tell, with Tech. The State started recruiting young minds from Stanford in Palo Alto for various intelligence programs and technology programs during the Cold War. This eventually created many of the “Big Tech” companies of today: Oracle, Google, etc. This process, naturally, didn’t stop. There was LifeLog, which given its supposed end of life, I suspect was turned into Facebook. The research scientists at labs in Stanford, UC Berkley, LLNL, etc are still funded by the State. At this point, any research done at a major University or megacorp that is not expressly against the State should, imho, be treated as governmental.

    • #29399

      I am not entirely certain the USA was ever a representative Republic, or a Republic at all. In my eyes, it began as a somewhat aristocratic oligarchy, and became an aristocratic oligarchical empire. I mean… it’s even a vast territory of previously sovereign states ruled by a city state. Even if we wanted to say that the USA were originally a federated Republic, that most certainly changed during the Civil War. The USA emerged from the Civil War as a centralized state in which only an elite minority can take power. Then under McKinley, you can no longer argue that the USA is not an empire. The slaughter of the Philippine people, the conquering of several Caribbean states and their subsequent annexation all point to the imperial nature of US foreign policy. Then, with the Cold War, the military industrial complex was solidified and the USA completely left the gold standard ensuring that popular will no longer mattered at all. If people get too out of line, just kill them (Waco, Kent State, etc).

      Personally, I believe that any democratic system will result in a large and fascist government. I do not believe that any other outcome is possible. When politicians must be elected, they must also be funded. That funding will come from corporations looking for spoils, and the politicians will be purchased. The rise of MIC was an inevitability IMO, because the government was purchasing weaponry. The people who make that weaponry would absolutely look to purchase politicians to ensure that their gravy train never ever stopped.

    • #29295

      It’s a freedom… as such the government will take it from us one way or another.

    • #29279

      People are falling to their deaths! We have to fund a federal Department of Science which will be subservient to the UN Science Council and they will first tackle an antigravity system that will detect when you are falling and save you! Because this gravity is getting us down! Gravity Kills!!!!!!!! OMG!!!! WE HAVE TO HAVE GOVERNMENT SAVE THE WORLD FROM GRAVITY YOU SEE?!

    • #29278

      I mean, we really do need prison reform. All of these victimless crimes for which people are thrown in prison should be done away with. Plea bargaining should be done away with. Jailing and imprisonment without trial should not be a thing. All of this requires incentives for imprisonment to be ended, which would require the funding mechanisms for prisons and jails to be changed.

      I don’t see anything like that happening. Instead, it will be some stupid law change that will make everything worse. It’s government. It’s what it does.

    • #29176

      So, she aborted a guy’s kid and the guy killed her? This is one of the things that really complicates abortion for me.

      I dislike the eviction idea presented by many Austro-libertarians. To me, while abortion is a competing rights issue, the kid didn’t ask to be brought into existence, and the right to live would outweigh any other potential right. So, while I believe that women have the right to bodily autonomy, the woman chose to bring the child into existence (assuming consensual sex and insemination) and assumed responsibility for the outcome through failure to use some method of birth control because the child could not have chosen to be brought into existence on his/her own accord. I think this is further complicated because the other part responsible for that child also has no voice: the father. A man cannot choose to keep a child if a woman chooses to abort a child. A man’s reproductive right is forfeit by the woman’s exercise of bodily autonomy and murder of her unborn child.

      Yet, I do not find governments to be a good idea, and I do not believe them to be legitimate. I believe that any governmental system is inherently utopian dreaming, and that they are all doomed to complete and utter disaster because humans cannot be trusted with power. Even God warned man against government in Solomon.

      So, I am stuck believing that abortion is murder (through the denial of the right to life of a child), and kidnapping and murder through the violation of a man’s parental rights, and yet should not be made illegal because government authority is invalid and evil.

      One more note, I think abortion cannot be made completely illegal just to the insanity of what is being proposed by such a ban. When we ask that government do a thing we must imagine the worst possible implementation of that thing, because that is what government will ALWAYS do. So, you’re holding a gun to a woman’s head and saying: get the abortion and we kill you. Now, assuming she goes through with it she gets shot, and the baby dies anyway (most likely). As such, no law against abortion really makes any sense in its most extreme form. More realistically we say, someone tips off a police department that there’s a black market abortion clinic and a SWAT raid happens. The women and doctors are shot repeatedly by out of control police officers, and many women and unborn children are killed in the process. Again, the law failed in its enforcement to achieve the goal intended by law.

    • #29175

      My $0.02:

      Captchas and the like work to some extent, but I usually pair it with a hidden input field that a bot would see and a human would not (hiding the field’s presentation with CSS or JS) and then if the field gets populated, just stop the script execution. To make sure that a bot fills it in you have to name the field something like “email” or “username” in the HTML form.

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