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  • osan's Avatar
    05-26-2024, 07:40 AM
    The problem with tariffs is not tariffs; it is the paranoid, avaricious, rotten little human beings who make the conditions that lead some to believe them necessary. Depending on the way one looks at it all, they become necessary under certain conditions. We've discussed this before, but let's do it again via real example. Free market economic theory rests on several pillars, one of which is called "competitive advantage". When an inventor develops a disruptive technology, this is one form of competetive advantage. Another comes with reductions in labor costs. China enjoys a strong competitive advantage in labor costs, which was the primary reason American manufacturing fled our shores to live with the communists. The naive and/or morally bereft consumer assesses this based on shelf prices. "Oh YAY... look at this! I can get a ten trillion BTU air conditioner for only $1.99. But the competent and diligent analyst digs just a mite more deeply, and what does he find? China pays maybe two percent of the American equivalent labor rate. He knows that the large majority of the cost to produce is sunk into labor, which explains to him why Walmart can sell a ten trillion BTU window A/C unit for $1.99. The diligent analyst then asks the question: how are the Chinese able to affect so vast a disparity in labor costs? A little more digging and he finds his answer: effective slave labor. Also, were the people morally and educationally intact, they would be aware of this situation and would refuse to buy anything from China. In that case, Paine's "invisible hand" would be evident in the right ways and the incentive for China would be to stop being a raft of royal pricks. But no, price drives all and so once again the corruption of men sets the conditions of quality of life. It's quite pathological and I would maintain as yet that all evidence points to the wired-in need for humanity to self-correct via mutual destruction, rather than through the intelligent use of the brains God presumably gave everyone, yet most choose to employ as mere hat racks. We remain our own worst enemies, verily and truly. The notion of competitive advantage is tacitly laced with that of "fair play". That which is tantamount to slave labor is not even on the same planet as fair play. Inventing a robot system capable of replacing all human labor in a given sector, while highly disruptive of those immediately affected, is nonetheless an example of a valid advantage which, all else equal, should lead the inventor to vast profits for a time. Forcing people to work under conditions such that when they ask for a five-cent raise per day ends them up in a reeducation camp for ten years, is not valid no matter how twisted-up one's moral outlook may have otherwise become. People do shitty things.
    69 replies | 4164 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-20-2024, 04:19 AM
    This really doesn't tell us enough. Most tribal communities are anarchic, while some have rulers such as a king. Most have a chief, which is not the same as a ruler. A chief has no authority to order anyone to do anything. One more anecdotal datapoint demonstrating the shameful human predilection for the various corruptions this represents. Cowardice, evasion of responsibility for oneself on several levels, rank ignorance, avarice, and a willingness to bow to a king so long as one believes they are thereby safe, just to name a few. Captain Broken Record reiterates: Humans are a rotten breed of which there is little to recommend.
    66 replies | 2953 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-20-2024, 03:54 AM
    They made fine work of it, too, considering the baggage the term now carries. It makes sense because anarchy is a euphemism for freedom. Each implies the other. Anarchism has become a clustercopulation, what with "ancom", "ancap", and all the other idiotic subdivisions. I'm in an anarchy group on FB and the youngins there are so woefully ignorant of the most basic sense, I don't think even a good beating with an iron bar would help them... though it might make me feel a little better. They never shut up about hierarchy and private property. They are some of the most anti-freedom sorts imaginable... the ancoms. The so-called ancaps are far more rational, but I still object to "ancap". You're either an anarchist or you are something else. There are no flavors of anarchy, just as there are no degrees of freedom, but only of servitude. The stupidity is wild-west epic. Those people leave me convinced at times that humanity is doomed to extinction for a lack of the most basic sense. Ancaps are very selective in their definitions such that it's impossible to have a rational conversation with them. I'd laugh them off, but there's a dangerous edge in their tone. Mass executions by rulers past become more understandable, given what I see on a daily basis. The stupid stand to drag everyone into the maw of hell. What does one do when rational and open-minded discourse becomes impossible due to the intransigence of stoopid people?
    66 replies | 2953 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-20-2024, 03:12 AM
    So basically Russia has won. I never thought I'd side with Russia on anything, given what those bastards did to my family, but here I am. Not really siding with them, I suppose, but certainly seeing things from their perspective. That the western Euros went for the nonsense doled by USA tells us something. I'm not sure they can be so bottomlessly stupid as to willingly go for this crap, given the last two disastrous wars. That leaves coercion in the form of "you will kowtow or we pull every penny for NATO and take our nukes and other materiel home. What's it gonna be?" An end to US NATO funding would spell the end of the EU as a neo-communist bloc, unless of course they were to choose not to maintain a military deterrent against Russia, in which case they either suck Putin's willie to evade his aggression, or Vlad marches in and takes it all, which I'm not convinced he'd do. One would hope Russia learned the lessons of their wild traipse into wholesale, ham-fisted stupidity during the soviet era. OTOH, one can never really be sure about such things where humans and political power come into question, so I suppose it's really all just a great big crap shoot.
    3 replies | 823 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-19-2024, 11:51 AM
    As often, I have no idea what you're talking about.
    3 replies | 419 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-19-2024, 10:20 AM "When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil" -Thomas Jefferson For better than thirty years I have been telling this to people, at times with nodding heads in response, at others with glazed stares. On far more occasions than I care to recall, people of a certain bent would launch into a diatribe at me about how violence is never the solution, even though I never mention the dreaded "v-word". That's not to say I feel that violence is a universal evil as some do, because I don't. As with all things, violence has its place. However, it must also be noted that as with hatred, a little goes a very long way, but let me not digress so early on. The American republic has problems. Some will say our troubles root in the faults of our architecture. This is certainly a valid point, for our Constitution carries with it the DNA for the death of the republic for which it stands as blueprint. The power to tax is perhaps the greatest of these faults of design, but such flaws cannot bear the full measure of blame for the ways in which we have devolved as a people over the past two hundred years. By far the great proportion of culpability lies with we, the glorious people.
    3 replies | 419 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-16-2024, 04:57 PM
    NPR was going on about how Fico is the Slovak counterpart of Trump and that the gunman "acted alone", all this just hours after the fact. That NPR crystal ball must really be something.
    17 replies | 591 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-16-2024, 05:30 AM
    Today we speak briefly and in broad strokes for the sake of something upon which to cognitively chew. The quality of our material lives is largely determined by ratios. This is especially so in all things economic, where affordability is a key factor. The ability of someone to purchase a given product or service rests primarily with his ability to afford, all else equal. The ability to afford is primarily a question of the ratio of one's disposable reserves to price. In recent decades, that ratio has fallen, at times sharply as a consequence of economic "events" of a decidedly non-organic nature, the latest having been the disruption of economic supply chains caused by the nearly universal global responses of "governments" to the so-called "pandemic". By the way, I view such unwavering uniformity with deep suspicion. Few things human take on this character. As the ratio of reserves to price falls, the ability to afford even basics for daily life becomes ever more deeply strained. Many people do not see this simple relationship, largely due to a dangerous lack of education in basic economics†, and also in part to the vast oceans of noise with which the average man is now bombarded on a minute-by-minute basis. The signal to noise RATIO (<-- there's that word again) is now dangerously low. People on the average are now so beset with problems, most of each of which may be low in intensity, but with numbers of them legion, that they are overwhelmed such that basic living has become an overbearing burden with stresses in every nook and cranny of their daily lives. And of course, none of this is natural. Nearly every shred of it is artificially imposed upon us by those in power. The currently prevailing conditions of stress serve to keep vast proportions (another reference to ratios) of people off-balance as they struggle to move from one moment to the next in even the simplest of life's endeavors. Keeping people's eyes focused on the ground between their feet keeps those eyes off the so-called "elite" enough to allow the latter to continue their ultimately destructive machinations. To all appearances, these endeavors of power are intended to enrich those in power in one manner or another at the expense of the rest. It is so because the political class want it all for themselves, and therefore choose to see the circumstance of humanity on the whole as a zero-sum game. For Themme (those in material power), there is no other way to view things, and the attitude and decision to take the world as a zero-sum affair arises generally not of naive ignorance, but of informed (though perhaps tacit) awareness and the deliberate will to make things so, often under their purposeful subscription to delusional notions of the "greater good" to which they attach themselves, that they may proceed under the psychotic belief that they are doing good for all. It is further instructive to note the damning nature of the fact that such people never include themselves on the list of those to get the short shrift. Somehow, and however tacitly, they always find themselves on the beneficiary side of the dividing line.
    0 replies | 432 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-15-2024, 09:09 PM
    Only watched the first five minutes, but in that time it seems the situation has been a bit over-simplified. "Seventy five thousand bombs...", OOoooo... Firstly, I don't trust either party to the door, but we have to start somewhere. Thus far there is no evidence beyond reputation to suggest that the initial attack by Hamas was the result of Israeli machinations. If appearances reflect truth, then I can only ask what would YOU do, were you in Israel's position? Personally, I would have no hesitation to wipe the people of Gaza from the earth, all else equal. If Israel was "up to something" that purposefully precipitated the attack, then fie on them and let them burn to the man. But in the absence of evidence, I cannot fault Israel's response, as horrible as the results have been. They've had enough of the bullshit, I suspect. Who wants to blow up at the market on a Tuesday morning? Nobody, I suspect, who is not mentally deranged. And infants in microwaves? Is that also a lie peddled by Jooz? The information war is a disaster area such that basically nobody's word can be taken on faith and all the evidence or lack thereof serves only to make the landscape non-readable to sensible men. Between this load of bullshit, that between Russia and Ukraine, and all the other wild and wooley idiocies that beset this world, it is a wonder to my mind that things have not flown apart already. The worst of it all is that we have chosen this mess - or rather, a small subset of humanity has foisted virtually all human disaster upon the rest and, even more sadly, that remainder has idly allowed it. The Israelis have no obligation to temper their response to the attack, so all this talk against them is a steaming mountainous pile, IMO. Demanding they do so is like demanding that the man about to be murdered temper his defense reaction to his assailant. It is idiotic, prima facie, not to mention its moral depravity. Nobody owes their life to another and no nation owes its existence to another. These calls for temperance are themselves evidence of a deep soul-cancer in those who make them. My pity on both sides goes to the children who have done nothing to deserve what has been doled to them.
    1 replies | 739 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    05-15-2024, 05:38 AM
    It would seem either you missed my point, or have consciously skirted it. As in not succeeding or not failing? I'd rather not assume your meaning. Over production is, all else equal, a microeconomic decision based on that sweet spot on the efficiency curve. One can "over produce" and still make optimal profit and serve the market with equal efficiency. It all really turns on how one views these things. Use the right standard and saving the lives of sick children can be convincingly peddled as some brand of ultimate evil.
    667 replies | 61345 view(s)
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Global War On Terrorism: Are We Winning?

by osan on 03-25-2017 at 07:19 AM
Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
Short answer: If you are still fighting it you are losing it.
After 26 years, I'd have to agree.

Global War On Terrorism: Are We Winning?

by osan on 03-25-2017 at 07:19 AM
Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
Short answer: If you are still fighting it you are losing it.
After 26 years, I'd have to agree.

Guns and Marijuana in Missouri

by osan on 01-02-2017 at 08:51 AM
Quote Originally Posted by Mach View Post
"castle doctrine," which permits homeowners to use deadly force against intruders. The revised law will allow invited guests, such as babysitters, to use lethal force.
I find it amazing to consider just how hopelessly corrupt a land we are, and have been for so very long a time when I read things like this. To think not only that some people would dare usurp the authority to remove those which are the most obvious prerogatives of free men, but also that we as a people would

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RP: Who Brought the World to the Brink of World War III?

by osan on 10-17-2016 at 11:14 PM
Quote Originally Posted by osan View Post
We did.

Quote Originally Posted by PierzStyx View Post
Uhm, no. Not all of us. Only most of the countries involved. We few radicals and rebels do what we can to prevent it. Whether that works or not still doesn't change whether it is our fault or not.
To which I responded thusly:

The number of people out there who are putting their asses on the line is vanishingly small. My statistical assessment therefore stands. To wit...

The fact is this: we failed from the earliest days.

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How to defend liberty and property in a stateless social construct?

by osan on 04-15-2016 at 07:22 AM
Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
How would you defend liberty and property in a stateless social construct? The use of private security firms is a stock answer, but let’s consider some more detail. Consider the following situations…
And it has its problems. It is a partial answer at best.

1) A band of thugs is going around robbing people, how do you defend your home from invasion?
By killing them to eliminate them from the book of immediate and potential future threats to others, including

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