Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
I like this idea, only I think it should be run by the government.

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Final Fantasy Politicians

Of Rendition, Dungeons and Dragons
  [vote for,

I saw Obama talk about Obamacare today and he admitted it was a bit rubbish and needed fixing. Trump moans about a lot of things but time will tell where his energy will be focused.

Trump said he wouldn't meddle in other countries, but yet again we have the US waging war in Syria (without actually declaring war), but arming rebels against a legitimate sovereign power. This basically tells us that like it started during Obama arming ISIS, Trump has zero control over the military and berserk CIA activity.

Arrrrggh !! This is like some 10 sided dice problem that only a geek could fix. It's like media whores like Obama and Trump are two sides of the same evil entity or something.

bigsleep, Sep 20 2017

Fantasy League of Nations Fantasy_20League_20Of_20Nations
[theircompetitor, Sep 21 2017]

Seriously https://www.washing...9ad6aa22_story.html
[theircompetitor, Sep 26 2017]

Jane, You Ignorant Slut https://www.nbc.com...elle-triola/2846665
[theircompetitor, Sep 27 2017]

Morgan Freeman Weaponized https://www.youtube...watch?v=pELBsPhBsrQ
[bigsleep, Sep 28 2017]


       Beyond America being operated by serial incompetents, and now a total fruit cake who can't even read, the actual idea is.....?
xenzag, Sep 21 2017

       ... Eisenhower's. You know, the military-industrial complex. Do try to keep up, [bigs].
pertinax, Sep 21 2017

       [marked-for-deletion] rant(?)
hippo, Sep 21 2017

       // It's like media whores like Obama and Trump are two sides of the same evil entity or something. //   


       Eisenhower was, quite correctly, concerned about the machinations of the Military-Industrial complex.   

       He probably guessed that, even then, this foreshadowed the evolution of the Military-Industrial- Communications-Entertainment complex (MICE), a global, interconnected system which has at its core the impulse - part directive, part "instinct" - to preserve its own existence, independent of any individual nation-state.   

       This entity does not "think", in that it's a very primitive colony creature, like some types of jellyfish*. But it seeks nutrients, grows, can defend itself, exploits new habitats, and - critically - is driven to reproduce.   

       You've created a monster, humanity. At the moment, you're useful to it. That can change.   

       *A cursory examination of the current infestation of planetary leaders will clearly show just how exact this analogy is.
8th of 7, Sep 21 2017

       Bigs, do try looking at the world from a different perspective every once in awhile.
RayfordSteele, Sep 21 2017

       one of the amazing revelations of the last election was the confirmation, for the general populace, that we live in vastly different universes (from each other).   

       Of course to all of us here this has been obvious for quite some time.   

       It's also amazing how Trump can be the AntiChrist for so many people that are otherwise perfectly happy to absorb the RT and Wiki propaganda that elected him.
theircompetitor, Sep 21 2017

       He's not the antichrist for me. He's just a mentally ill, racist bully, who appeals to a simplistic, poorly educated audience.
xenzag, Sep 21 2017

       Theoretically, then, you should really like him ...
8th of 7, Sep 21 2017

       I don't think he's mentally ill. I think he's just thick.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2017

       He shows many subtle physical signs of mental illness.
xenzag, Sep 21 2017

       Yes, but so did van Gogh and John Nash.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 21 2017

       They said King Charles VI of france was mad.
8th of 7, Sep 21 2017

       Subtle? He defines the psychology textbook.
RayfordSteele, Sep 21 2017

       Dementia looks to be the most likely diagnoses, just like Regan. The delusions, hatred, narcissus, racism, etc were obviously always there. The inability to read is just down to the endemic failure of the dismal education system in the colony, and doesn't make him unique. You don't need to be able to read much to get by in America anyway. Understanding which bullets fit into which weapons, or the correct colour of Kim Kardashian's latest stair carpet is of a much greater importance. I bet even Trump knows that.
xenzag, Sep 22 2017

       Steady on, [xen]. Have you met many actual Americans, or do they exist for you mostly as a sort of metaphysical category?
pertinax, Sep 22 2017

       I try to keep them at the end of a pointed stick. (the pointy end of course - exception Michael Heizer - artist)
xenzag, Sep 22 2017

       That's all very well until you realize that they are superlatively well equipped with very big, very sharp, very pointy sticks of their own, plus a terrifying arsenal of other injurious and lethal devices of all shapes and sizes.
8th of 7, Sep 22 2017

       As long as you don't live there, they'll never find you. Show them a map of the world and they think it's a photograph of a stain on a shirt tail.
xenzag, Sep 22 2017

       What if you show them a shirt tail with a stain on it ?
8th of 7, Sep 22 2017

       They will think it's a map of the world and draw a thick dotted line around the bit that looks most like America to them, then cut that bit out with a pair of scissors to make a flag for their garden.
xenzag, Sep 22 2017

       // cut that bit out with a pair of scissors //   

       They're allowed sharp objects ? Who knew, huh ?
8th of 7, Sep 22 2017

       Well, at least it's not in other: general   

       Although he'll probably be firing and hiring those as well.
normzone, Sep 22 2017

       //He shows many subtle physical signs of mental illness.//   

       I'm not sure there is much subtle about it.   

       <slaps xenzag around the face a bit/>   

       Obama funded ISIS. He did. Google that, confirm it. His best buddies in government told him to do it.   

       It's that or electing a buffoon which actually happened. It's not smooth running of the world, just like the BrExit mistake, but it happens. The whole "Institutions gone wild" was a conversation waiting to happen. Trump and BrExit are just the ice-breakers in that global clumsy reparté.   

       We'll be lucky to get global digestion of the phenomena by the end of Trump's first term so the emphasis is to get to the heart of matter rather than run into the nearest forest with your arms flailing.   

       //He's just a mentally ill, racist bully, who appeals to a simplistic, poorly educated audience.//   

       What is happening in Syria is obviously not his doing and that is the worst thing that's happened in his term ... so far. As far as I know, Trump hasn't authorised the death of 100,000's of civilians by drone attacks yet.   

       [xenzag] Why can't you deal with the world as a whole and stop demonising Trump ?
bigsleep, Sep 22 2017

       I enjoy winding you up, and you look forward to it.
xenzag, Sep 23 2017

       My immediate objection to this idea is that you didn't take the opportunity to evoke the dodecahedron in it, but instead opted for a ten-sided die. I'm imagining a kind of spinning top with a decagonal wheel but it's just not good enough.
nineteenthly, Sep 23 2017

       //I enjoy winding you up, and you look forward to it.//   

       Trolling noted.
bigsleep, Sep 23 2017

       Likewise. Baked you a cake to cheer you up:-)
xenzag, Sep 23 2017

       // Trump hasn't authorised the death of 100,000's of civilians by drone attacks yet. //   

       Oh come on, give the guy a chance. He's got a lot of other stuff to do ... maybe you should write to him and remind him ? Try twitter, he seems to like that.   

       Just because he hasn't slaughtered a whole bunch of foreigners yet doesn't mean he's a bad person.
8th of 7, Sep 23 2017


       Good stuff.   

       //You've created a monster, humanity. At the moment, you're useful to it. That can change.//   

       It's really weird when you've been thinking things used to be better like religion wasn't just an excuse for child abuse or the stock market wasn't a con game played by the collective rich.   

       I'm a little disappointed how things have turned out.
bigsleep, Sep 24 2017

       Things haven't turned out; they're still turning: it's never too late to make misconceived and poorly-executed interventions in the whole turning process, so cheer up.   

       Specifically (1) the stock exchange is not more of a con game by the rich than it was in, say, the 1920s, and possibly slightly less so; and the cost-based barriers to entry into it are much lower than they used to be, because technology.   

       Specifically (2), if you look at the dates and numbers of clerical child-abuse claims, I gather it can be argued that the abuse was a temporary phenomenon of the seventies and eighties, probably caused by rock'n'roll. It might not be a cogent argument, but it's difficult to disprove (because the data is sparse enough to make a Rorschach test out of the whole thing).
pertinax, Sep 24 2017

       // it can be argued that the abuse was a temporary phenomenon of the seventies and eighties, //   

       It can, but it's very unlikely.   

       It's much more likely that the abuse has always happened, perhaps on a larger scale than has so far become obvious.   

       With the breakdown of deference starting in the 1960's and the erosion of hierarchical and paternalistic societies which were adept at covering up the misdeeds of the "respectable", those who were abused children in the 70's and 80's now feel able to speak out - and because of the freer flow of information, the authorities have to take notice and act, or face public censure. The downside is the usual welter of false but undisprovable allegations.   

       There are probably fewer instances now, because child protection has improved to a small extent, and potential offenders are possibly a little more cautious.   

       It's like a physical phenomenon whos existance was unsuspected until the technical means to detect it was developed, like the RF pulses from lightning.
8th of 7, Sep 24 2017

       Yes, that's also consistent with the data, so it comes down to prior assumptions.   

       For a moment there, I thought I saw a way to relate those assumptions back to the anterior //Arrrrgh// problem, but its probably too much of a stretch; an epic tale of competing paranoiae vs. existential angst vs. catastrophically narrowed ethical horizons. We'd never get the budget to film it.
pertinax, Sep 24 2017

       // that's also consistent with the data //   

       "There were several theories, which all had the following three things in common. They were internally consistent; they entirely explained the observed facts; and they were completely wrong ..."
8th of 7, Sep 25 2017

       True, that.
pertinax, Sep 25 2017

       //Things haven't turned out; they're still turning: it's never too late to make misconceived and poorly-executed interventions in the whole turning process, so cheer up.//   

       There is potential for things to turn out nice again, but I have a feeling the west is doomed to some kind of North Korea meltdown.   

       There are still way too many artificial gods at play after the christian church has been demolished. Somehow the 99% message isn't sticking and when it does then things will really collapse unless a different mindset of "Sharing and rejoicing in the collective bounty the human race can produce in an efficient, ethical and sustainable fashion" - it's all in the brochure.   

       It effectively means taxation at about 80% or higher. There's a basic rate to cover services, but the 60% premium goes to cover the costs (and total ramifications) of the industrial revolution, the great wars, automation and the IT era. If people don't like it, they can move to a remote untouched island and enjoy the Wifi and other amenities.   

       //You've created a monster, humanity.//   

       I genuinely think humanity is now trying to slay the monsters (or false gods) and this is where it gets tricky. If North Korea did have a change of government, it couldn't be democratic. The people have very little concept of what choice is, so you'd need an authoritarian government to replace it until e.g. the idea of a slight food surplus and a some liberty sinks in for a few years. Total liberty and democracy, I'm pretty sure they'd freak out. At the very least hand out some stiff laminated cards with the words "Don't Panic!" written at the top.   

       And that's also where the west is headed once people figure out who is being abused to make their iPhone and other gadgets.   

       Oh crap. It's going to happen in 2018 or 2019.
bigsleep, Sep 26 2017

       // when robots take all our jobs and make all our toys; //   

       Asimov was there before you.   

       // aliens land and piss themselves laughing at our religions, qwerty keyboards and the disconnect between our landfill crisis and energy crisis; //   

       We've been doing that for decades.   

       // and when the self-contained antiphase twin microtokomak is invented and accidentally produces time travel as an unwanted side-effect. //   

       It's already been invented. We refer you to Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's useful book.
8th of 7, Sep 26 2017

       //Total liberty and democracy, I'm pretty sure they'd freak out//   

       The favorite justification of Putin by the Russian intelligentsia that has squandered much of their hard won democracy is that the Russians will always need their Czar, that Putin is better than the chaotic mob ruled years of the 90s.   

       Lenin famously said that "we'll hang the capitalists with the rope they sell us". The irony is that he was right -- he simply did not anticipate that once he had a shortage of hard currency, he couldn't buy anymore rope, because the two forces that ultimately don't give a fuck are the universe, and by proxy, money. The failure to accept that each person is a capitalist island despite all evidence to the contrary is why socialist models will continue to fail until there's some magical grey goo solution that eliminates scarcity (and probably even then).   

       In the meantime, various nihilistic groups taking advantage of technology to leverage centripetal societal forces like never before (though ultimately financed by the usual bad actors) -- predicted more or less in Snow Crash, the notion of self determination taking to absurdity. In the name of diversity, Catalans seeking independence or Texans dreaming secession is not very different than privileged students seeking safe spaces in their $60k/a year college -- the desire to only be next to someone exactly like me, and not be bothered with anything that violates that world view.   

       Utopia then will be each of us in our own virtual reality surrounded by cleverly disguised mirrors, while robots collect solar power and feeding us Impossible Foods. Don't you worry about Dr. Strangelove, it's not going to happen.
theircompetitor, Sep 26 2017

       "If it continues long enough, even a reign of terror may become a fondly remembered period. People believe they want justice and wise government but, in fact, what they really want is an assurance that tomorrow will be very much like today." (Terry Pratchett).
8th of 7, Sep 26 2017

       the brain seeks the elimination of extra variables
theircompetitor, Sep 26 2017

       Who is Dr. Strangeglove? Does he have weirdly-shaped isotoners or something?   

       It's happened before. There's a beautiful modern city of Hiroshima standing where the old one was.
RayfordSteele, Sep 26 2017

       (haha, fixed the good doctor).   

       It has happened primarily to avoid very significant US (and provably Japanese) casualties. For the record, I was not primarily discussing us nuking NK but the reverse scenario.   

       It is -- btw, a very big btw -- NOT Trump's fault it has come to this, and that we have two crafty megalomaniacs trading insults to the brink of war -- it is the fault of those that didn't deal with this before, back to Eisenhower. They all ultimately bought time in the hope the regime collapses -- and I guess the Kim's were doing the same thing -- it has become debatable, at least in bigsleep's nightmares and xenzag's wet dreams, whether Kim or those dead (and alive) presidents will be proven right.
theircompetitor, Sep 26 2017

       I'm blaming Truman. After all, he's the one that kept the phrase on his desk.   

       Trump can't really be blamed in the same way that a ill- disciplined 7-year old can't really be blamed for their bad behavior. It's just the nature of being an egotistical sociopath.
RayfordSteele, Sep 26 2017

       And what's wrong with being an egotistical sociopath ? Eh ? EH ?   

       <glares at [Ray] in a threatening way>
8th of 7, Sep 26 2017

       Apparently nothing in our brave new world. Have you considered running for Prime Minister?
RayfordSteele, Sep 26 2017

       //some magical grey goo solution that eliminates scarcity//   

       With the same logic, missing the price point of an iPhone can totally remove scarcity, create a massive surplus in production and completely destroy Apple and the balance of US payments.   

       Seriously, as if sinking 60% of the worlds resources into new cars and phones is the be all and end all of the global economy along with a side salad of overpriced IT data manglers and evil flappy brands. (Did the research on global economy by sector). If Apples VR kits fail, then it could cause the other dominoes to topple next year.   

       The lack of IT fads and self driving cars is not a scarcity, its total global economic collapse. The lack of food will become a scarcity, but that is down to overpopulation and the profit extraction in the food industry.   

       [TC] Do you mean that ethics dies because religion is mostly about control and child abuse ? How do we form a moral code without a financial incentive ? Are we all savages doomed to return to mud and blood without fire ? I'm calling rubbish. Humans (well most) are better than that.   

       It is a shame people are not aware what they *could* vote for. We could all be living like kings - there is no shortage of stuff there. We could be living like kings and working on inter-galactic stuff.   

       Instead we have petty politics and short term hoarding, because billionaires can never hoard enough stuff to be truly safe because they can't trust the people they've stolen all the money and resources from.
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       Macroeconomics never was your strong suit, was it?
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       Again with the calling foul without any explanation. I do totally understand the shifting of blame in financial instruments leading to the 2008 crash and the false boosting of markets since. What I am calling for is your understanding of steady state of value in respect to food, housing and quality of life.   

       You seem to have lost touch with all those values in favour of taking advantage in an argument.   

       Please relate in real terms rather than insults. What I detect is that you don't have a constructive opinion other than self-preservation. Quite American, very dreamer. So what about the ethics ?
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       What you detect is that I don't care to get further involved when we've been there and done that without much beneficial result. I choose to point my giveadamn where I think I'll have some meaningful input and output. You choose to see the horror in everything America has or hasn't done regardless of the rest of the situation by default. I treat you the way you treat my nation, in short. //Quite American// indeed.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       // I choose to point my giveadamn where I think I'll have some meaningful input and output.//   

       Exactly my point. If America became secular in politics and business then stripping away that convenient way of oppressing and harvesting the poor, America becomes what ?   

       Like NK without a dictator crutch, or an investor without a go-to Uber or Apple. Scared dreamers.
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       //America becomes what//   

       Like I alluded to elsewhere, Your "Bitch eating crackers."   

       The axe you grind.   


       Is there a nub left?
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       I sort of get your points about trying me to get to conform to CNN or your views.   

       But you are intelligent, I think, don't you see that a reduced interest in religion or reduced belief in the stock market could have the same or greater effect than the US dicking about in Syria.   

       I really don't get the lack of humility, besides kneeling under the flag which is quite literally a deference to the constitution.
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       It's because it's you, bigs. You rant on in big sweeping terms about 'America' and 'the rich' and whatever other bugaboos you choose for the moment. I'm just not interested in engaging with you.   

       Yes, I think America could use all sorts of things. I am not a Randian, and am quite a bit more socialist than [tc] would ever choose to become, and I don't even wear my hard- earned 'most humble' award button (to borrow a joke). As an American, I would be quite happy living in someplace like Norway where I'm taxed to oblivion but have some social equity for all. So please stop painting all Americans with the same brush. We are not the Borg. (Sorry 8th, it was a convenient archetype).   

       Yes I thought our situation with Syria was tragic. But I also see a tremendous amount of missed opportunities on the side of the Syrians, (like actually organizing themselves against Assad in some coherent, workable fashion), and plenty of blame to go around. You are very quick to point fingers at American foreign policy, but not so quick to provide some alternatives, and instead simply blame common bugaboos like 'the military industrial complex' and whatnot.   

       I have better things to do, and have learned over the years to be wary of 2 types of people: those who have all of the criticism, and those who have all of the answers.   

       //I do believe that the repeal of scarcity is coming (primarily because of capitalistic impulses), and with it, a sufficiently drastic reduction in the cost of living (and a rise in standards of living) as to make the current argument meaningless.// — theircompetitor, Nov 28 2016   

       [tc], It sounds like you believe in the grey goo yourself?
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       //that feeling you get when you come back to an online discussion and there's several pages of commentary to digest, all culminating in "Jane, you ignorant slut"// :)   

       I'm sure I'll chime in in more detail a bit later, trying to get a release out to Google. Really wish Jutta had in-idea hyper links
theircompetitor, Sep 27 2017

       // Do you mean that ethics dies because religion is mostly about control and child abuse ? //   

       Ethics and morality are philosophical concepts independent of religion. Not all religions are a carefully contrived mechanism for social control, but the Abrahamic ones seem to be the worst offenders, promising their adherents "jam tomorrow" in return for obedience today.   

       // How do we form a moral code without a financial incentive ? //   

       Why would you form a moral code without some sort of incentive ? It doesn't have to be financial- in the end, money is just a way of representing value.   

       // Are we all savages doomed to return to mud and blood without fire ? //   

       Yes. Next question ?   

       // I'm calling rubbish. Humans (well most) are better than that. //   

       You like to tell yourself that, but you're no more than three meals away from anarchy.
8th of 7, Sep 27 2017

       //It's because it's you, bigs. You rant on in big sweeping terms about 'America' and 'the rich' and whatever other bugaboos you choose for the moment//   

       Thanks for the anno, it was very thoughtful. I guess the reason the same bugaboos keep coming up is because the same global demons are still present.   

       The UK has a great tradition of self-deprecating humour. Imagine a culture that -   

       a) Makes fun of itself but still believes it can survive. Humility.
b) Is totally secular and does not rely on religious oppression to keep minorities or the poor in check.

       The UK also has a national healthcare system, but some checks and balances need putting in place. May I suggest -   

       1) Any surgery, rehabilitation, or palliative mental or post-war disease care be borne by the state. And this is because most young people haven't reached the stage to sort out their future before having it destroyed. This is just simple logic in the same way McCain can vote "however he pleases because he was willing to die for his country".   

       2) Drug companies to be penalised severely for abusing medical insurance schemes e.g. by prescribing opiates for headaches to adults and children. If people knew this was just the same as the tonic sellers of the wild west they would sue as well.   

       3) Provide a sensible upper ceiling for life saving care. This is just in respect of a broken arm costing a few thousand, cancer care costing a few tens of thousands vs the insurance industry sucking the life-blood out out of the healthcare system over a few cases. I'm not sure this is an issue, but again badly managed fringe care could skyrocket the costs of otherwise ordinary premiums. (Prevents early adoption of machines that just go 'bing').   

       So to summarise. I'm not attacking any particular party but continually refocusing on systemic failures in society.   

       CNN is supposed to be a critical news network, but apparently only has one election corruption bone to play with this year.   

       Yes, I'm saying my global contribution of political digest as off-beat and radical as it is, is better than CNN continually regurgitating its Russia meddled with the US bone, despite the US meddling in virtually everything starting with killing off most of a native population.   

       Gobble gobble.
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       //Thanks for the anno, it was very thoughtful. I guess the reason the same bugaboos keep coming up is because the same global demons are still present.//   

       Maybe try a different prescription and you'll see them as windmills instead?   

       The UK is a lovely place, that firmly embraces western capitalism in large regard. I wouldn't mind adopting some of its policies here. Not that you'd be able to tell that from sitting way up on whatever stallion you ride on.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       //you're no more than three meals away from anarchy// Three?? I get dangerously grumpy if I miss breakfast.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 27 2017

       It's an average.
8th of 7, Sep 27 2017

       Average over time, or over people?   

       Sturton did once miss four consecutive meals, and had to survive on nothing but canapés for the day. It was hard to tell if he became more anarchic or not.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 27 2017

       // I wouldn't mind adopting some of its policies here//   

       Well obviously the UK's problems are no where near as bad as the US's, but the healthcare reforms I put forward could go a long way to help fix the current debate in the US and the long term in the UK.   

       What I say about the US is just a self help group moderator starting a discussion.   

       Another discussion is how much rest your leader should be getting and whether he should be attempting 280 words between naps.   

       //I get dangerously grumpy if I miss breakfast.//   

       The difference between a hard and soft breakfast is apparently no more than 2 minutes according to Delia.
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       Does Delia say anything about hard and soft Brexits ?
8th of 7, Sep 27 2017

       //Does Delia say anything about hard and soft Brexits ?//   

       Way to ruin the yolk.
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       //Self-help group moderator//?   

       Try tiresome prattling soap-box climber bringing his own religious bent in which capitalism = bad, America = evil, and nevermind the Cubas of the world.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       //capitalism = bad, America = evil//   

       Again with the ramming things down peoples throats.   

       //and nevermind the Cubas of the world//   

       Cuba has the largest foreign medical aid program in the world, sending doctors worldwide for general and emergency care.   

       Or was I supposed to comment on how Kennedy saved the US from Nuclear war with the Russians ? To quote Clinton "It was those darn Cuban cigars !".
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       OK, in reverse order:   

       [Ray] yep, I'm on record that the repeal of scarcity, which initially made itself felt with digital goods, will over time alter the economy such that some, and perhaps nearly all supply-demand arguments would become meaningless.   

       This hardly requires grey goo, the actual implementation of which is likely closer than most think but likely much farther than Kurzweil thinks. Automation and the deflationary results thereof is showing us the way. You wouldn't have venture Capitalists start promoting basic income unless the writing was on the wall.   

       The problem with the basic income idea -- which I support on at least an experimental basis -- is exactly human selfishness. If "sufficiency" was the problem, then surely housing assistance, welfare, foodstamps and iPhones, plus the occasional splurge on a tattoo would be sufficient to quell any talk of income inequality.   

       The problem with sufficiency is that it's blatantly obvious that so many have so much more, and it's not just the Queen, or Kim, but it's literally millions of people, some of whom may have gone to high school with you. This is intolerable, and the more your life sucks, the more intolerable, unfair, and stacked against you life is, and it truly doesn't matter that you can go on SSI or Social Security and have buses take you for free to Atlantic City, when rappers and HHS secretaries are flying there on private jets.   

       The speed with which the human brain is capable to switch from "why do they need 3 cars and that big house" to "honey, why don't you buy that" is pretty frightening, ask any lottery winner.   

       That's what you cannot repeal, possibly not even with grey goo -- perhaps VR can do that if we're all Antoinettes in our own private universes :)   

       And no [bigsleep], people are not better than that. Nor should anyone expect them to be better than that. More on that later.
theircompetitor, Sep 27 2017

       // Cuba has the largest foreign medical aid program in the world //   

       Presumably the impoverished citizens with a dearth of consumer goods and a low standard of living are totally behind that policy.   

       A nation-state's first responsibility is the security and welfare of its own citizens .
8th of 7, Sep 27 2017

       Cuba also has kangaroo courts if any at all, a perpetual dictatorship, and an infamous human rights record.   

       The difference between a soap-box preacher and a self-help group moderator is largely the response of the group as willing or unwilling listeners.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       And this is where [tc] and I part ways. People can be better than that. At least for awhile. Cobwebs grow on every system and so change is always required after awhile.   

       Sufficiency is rather more concrete. Food, water, shelter, safety.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       //The speed with which the human brain is capable to switch from "why do they need 3 cars and that big house" to "honey, why don't you buy that" is pretty frightening, ask any lottery winner.//   

       So in 3 generations when we have the iPhone 85 with a 0.001 increase in titanium casing content, the expectation is that society, unable to adapt to ask a lift from the neighbours is going to die in complete anarchy ?   

       I do appreciate the rolling out the problem, but the failure to address it is really my point, as in why don't we see those points raised on mainstream news and only just on John Oliver, by Jon Stewart or on an RT investigative report (RT pick up on a lot of Jon Stewart style stories now he's not in the game).
bigsleep, Sep 27 2017

       //RT// Another reason I don't bother listening to your "help."
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       yes, as I said RT is propaganda, which is conveniently believed in every aspect except the "Trump Good" aspect :)   

       As to religion -- I grew up knowing, in my bones, that religion is the opiate of the people. Though I've been out of the Soviet Union since 1973 and had only the beginning of my education there, I'm safely indoctrinated against any religiosity. I don't know why people feel the need to troll the US regarding religion - though tension on Church & State separation existed practically from day one, the Constitution is fairly in-volatile in this regard, it'd be fairly low on my list of concerns.   

       I'm skeptical that religious helps morality in any meaningful way -- respect for law and order can accomplish the same thing and better. I'll give you one anecdotal example: In the formerly atheist Soviet Union, the most common bribing of an official was the slipping of a high coupon ruble note to a cop that stopped you for speeding. No doubt despite their new found Russian Orthodoxy, it's still quite common. Though I'm sure statistically it can happen, I've never heard of a person in the US, outside of a sitcom scene, try to slip a cop a $20 to get out of a fine.   

       Now, as to US trolling: when I arrived here -- and when I say here I mean the Halfbakery in late 2003, I was simply interested in posting technical inventions that I wouldn't otherwise pursue commercially. A handbag that's also a cellphone was my first HB idea, i think.   

       As the anti-W fever was gripping Europe and as the US elections drew closer and being who I am politically I felt mostly like a hounded animal. Whatever impressions I have from that time no doubt remain.   

       It's no particular fun to read statements like this: //Well obviously the UK's problems are no where near as bad as the US's// -- and I would have to acknowledge that this is a particularly mild statement as far as you or [xenzag] are concerned. But it's hard to understand what it means without being [are you fucked in the head] rude, or getting into Godwin's Law debates. Blaming the US for Syria? Since Christianity comes from the Middle East, might as well blame the Middle East for the US :) Certainly the Puritans didn't help any.   

       So no doubt people here have felt I've trolled them on days when I read something particularly frustrating being done by President Obama, or during one of the now four Presidential elections that have passed since I've been here. Maybe your or [xenzag]s nasty posts come on such days as well. Just don't be shocked that they are irritating.   

       [Ray] -- I do not mean to imply that the guys putting the flag up on IwoJima are not better than that when it comes to their camaraderie. Or that there are no worthwhile altruistic causes or genuine altruistic impulses in people. It's been scientifically proven those play a role, I'll spare the bonobo lecture as well :)
theircompetitor, Sep 27 2017

       I feel that many people here would greatly benefit from reading and/or listening to Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Pinker. If you have already, and still feel dystopian, by all means carry on
theircompetitor, Sep 27 2017

       I hate the way this rant has degenerated into a discussion.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 27 2017

       I've read Malcolm's book, and Friedman as well. And Steven Gould. Pinker I haven't read, but he is not without his critics. These days I mostly read Paw Patrol and Thomas the Train.   

       In regards to bribery, puritanism is as much in our blood as respect for the law.
RayfordSteele, Sep 27 2017

       //Thomas the Train//   

       Oh for fuck's sake.
EnochLives, Sep 27 2017

       No, more for the result of a fuck's sake.
RayfordSteele, Sep 28 2017

       I suppose re Pinker the greatest manifestation of privilege is to say but wait, everything is getting better :)
theircompetitor, Sep 28 2017

       //Thomas the Train .... Oh for fuck's sake. //   

       If [Ray] means Thomas the Tank Engine, then you're treading on thin ice, [Enoch] ... if you diss the Reverend W. Awdry, you go in peril of your life.
8th of 7, Sep 28 2017

       //Blaming the US for Syria? Since Christianity comes from the Middle East, might as well blame the Middle East for the US :) Certainly the Puritans didn't help any.//   

       Another spin is that it was the collapse of a caliphate - the Ottoman empire that has caused most trouble in the middle east, mainly due to them siding with Germany in WWI and then France and Britain doing a hack-job of rezoning.   

       //yes, as I said RT is propaganda, which is conveniently believed in every aspect except the "Trump Good" aspect :)//   

       I'm not sure what that means, but I watch a mix of channels and RT usually has the least propaganda. Seriously, CNN needs to get another chew toy. RT stopped reporting on US reports of hacking etc because it just wasn't news anymore.   

       ... Until Morgan Freeman stepped up and they couldn't stop themselves [link].
bigsleep, Sep 28 2017

       yes, CNN is pretty unwatchable. Right now they've latched on to Puerto Rico, but Russia will creep back in soon.
theircompetitor, Sep 28 2017

       // mainly due to them siding with Germany in WWI //   

       That was just the final event in a long, slow decline. Even before the Crimean war, the Ottoman empire was recognized as suffering from terminal decay. Their final bit of opportunism backfired very badly, but was probably a good thing in the end.
8th of 7, Sep 28 2017

       //If [Ray] means Thomas the Tank Engine, then you're treading on thin ice, [Enoch] ... if you diss the Reverend W. Awdry, you go in peril of your life.//   

       I couldn't agree more. I was expressing a concern for the youth of today. Since when was Thomas a train? What does that make Annie and Clarabel? Are they a subset of Thomas?
EnochLives, Sep 28 2017

       //Annie and Clarabel//   

       Just groupies. Tag-a-longs. Why, they don't even get speaking or even tooting roles.
RayfordSteele, Sep 29 2017


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