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  • osan's Avatar
    Yesterday, 07:41 PM
    1991, George HW Bush marches into Eye-rack. Clinton maintains US presence. GW Bush invades a second time, ostensibly to finish the job. Obama pledges how he would have us out by June of his first year, but never gets us out, though he lied and said we were. Trump seems to be ready to maintain our presence in this string of seemingly ridiculous entanglements. Democrat or Republican - it has made no difference. So why then have we remained in these ruinous endeavors for 27 years to date with such perfect consistency, despite the purported deep philosophical rift between Rs and Ds? I don't think any of this is in the hands of either side. There is something far deeper at work here. If Theye could make a creep like Obama so brazenly break his biggest campaign promise, perhaps they have something on Trump as well. The presidents in question were marketed as widely variant in terms of their personalities and world views. If this is actually true, how is it that we have had twenty seven years of such perfectly consistent circumstance where our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan are concerned?
    3 replies | 146 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 08:34 PM
    True. However, letting your rights take a back seat to what is more convenient is precisely what Theye are depending upon to allow them to screw those rights into the dirt.
    13 replies | 368 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 03:30 PM
    I'm a Kate AND a Meghan! I can do that if I want, right? Where do I get one of those hats... and the parasol... and the dress... bet her shoes are knockouts.
    248 replies | 4604 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 03:26 PM
    I typed too soon. I must agree with you - he decidedly did not err in this case, but Putin did. I discussed this with little bro. Apparently all of the ordnance detonated at once. This was a message to China: "Behold what we can do. Tread ye with utmost care." In law there are the notions of general and specific deterrents. This action served both roles. Specifically, the destruction of Syria's ability to produce, test, and field chemical and other weapons of similar class. Also, this action was Obama's doing, something of which I was unaware. Trump was bound by an agreement Obama made with the UN, pledging that the USA would respond it this or that manner where chemical weapons have been used. This was a situation where the world looks to see whether America has the oats to do as it pledged, or is just a paper tiger. I jumped to a premature conclusion. My error.
    248 replies | 4604 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 03:17 PM
    Well, that was something of a waste of time. I doubt 100 showed. That is why Theye are going to win.
    13 replies | 368 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 09:41 AM
    Well, it's difficult to know he truth in all these matters, but so far as my old eyes can tell, Trump has fucked up this time and in a big way. Question now is how will he proceed. If he is genuine, he will repair. Otherwise, he will maintain as he has chosen and will prove himself as I feared he likely would. If he proves just another one of Themme, then we the people are lost and will find no salvation without arms. Anyone thinking this will be fixed with politics is fooling themselves. America is gone. Time is here. I'm going to the Capitol, armed, to be counted. What will the rest of you do?
    248 replies | 4604 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 09:32 AM
    Putin has been quoted as saying he will fire upon ANYONE doing to on Syria. Britain and France would be the least of my worries. Russia would likely sink them without breaking a sweat. The US Navy... another story.
    248 replies | 4604 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-14-2018, 09:29 AM
    Actually, it does. That aside, we were not speaking of industries, but entire economies. BIG difference. It's one thing when your 30' cabin cruiser sinks with 3 people aboard. There is a big difference in degree when a cruise ship with seven thousand people goes under. That sucks dead bunnies, but it is not the same as having no food. The pretending was the opposite - that the world had somehow come to an end, or was about to.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-13-2018, 08:59 PM
    OK, so any upshot at this point? Putin said he'd fire on anyone firing on Assad. Has he killed his own credibility?
    248 replies | 4604 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-13-2018, 08:02 PM
    My friend Mike just sent me a message: Hang on to your hats, guys. I don't think anyone will lose their cools, but given the infantile stupidity that passes for statesmanship today, I can no longer rule anything out beyond the edges of my comfort. Stay tuned.
    248 replies | 4604 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-13-2018, 06:23 PM
    I will be at the Capitol in Charleston at 2PM.
    13 replies | 368 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-13-2018, 04:41 PM
    Ah, methinks I see the disconnect - our respective notions of the economy tanking. What I mean is ruin, not recession. Industries tank in their near-entirety. Anything less than that is an inconvenience. When I say "tanks", I mean "tanks all the way". Many Americans believe the US economy tanked in 2008 with the election of slime to the Oval Office. Such people are sorely ignorant of what a busted economy looks like. In the wake of burst bubbles and all that, the worst we can say about the American economy was that is experiences a slight bump, which is not to say some people did not lose their shirts, for surely they did. But food, shelter, heat, etc. all remained plentifully available. Compare with post-war Germany where women sold themselves just to have a couple of cigarettes such that they would have some marginal relief from the misery of their daily existences. That is the truer meaning of a downed economy, not mere inconveniences of which soft, weak, ignorant, and characterless people shriek and holler about as if the world were coming to an end. So now that we perhaps understand one another better, what say you?
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-13-2018, 08:21 AM
    This is how I see it at present. We are grossly over-dependent on China for a vast array of both consumer products and commodities such as steel, rare-earth elements, and so forth. If their economy goes <poof>, pray tell where will we procure the products and commodities in question in the shorter term if our own manufacturing base is not in place to take over? I may have chosen my words less than optimally when I wrote that if China's economy goes, so does ours, but we would be negatively affected for a time. Add to that the dire state of weakness of a great multiplicity of Americans. About 10 years ago, for example, the state was late with welfare disbursements in my neck of WV. They were, as I recall, two days late - may have been three - and there were people ready to burn the county to the ground. This is not an isolated condition. What does anyone think that places like Los Angele, NYC, etc., will be like if the inept and dependent people cannot be kept passivated with the "free" stuff to which they have become accustomed? It's not just welfare recipients, either. Consider how many mentally and emotionally weak people there are out there - like college students such as those so commonly encountered in places like Yale, Harvard, Brown, and Evergreen. They have nervous breakdowns when people say things that leave them feeling "marginalized", such as when someone asks "where are you from?" This is deep psychopathology, clinically speaking. Do we believe they will suddenly buck up and become adult just because reality steadfastly refuses to kowtow to the whinging and tantrum pitching as do the administrators at their respective institutions of higher babysitting? I don't see it. There would be rioting on a mass scale in some locales, methinks. Don't misunderstand, I think this would be a good thing. Killing a few tens of thousands of stragglers in response to their as-yet unchallenged bad behavior could do nothing wrong in terms of delivering a lesson in hard reality to the rest. But that reality would still likely be as I suspect - unless you have a convincing basis for believing otherwise, to which my mind is wide open. Europe is in even worse shape. They are at least as badly dependent on Chinese products, but suffer the additional problems of out of control immigration - particularly of people innately hostile to the fundamental fabric of that which constitutes all European culture, no to mention the widespread adoption of net-loss carrying "socialism". While our debt situation is bad, Europe's is even worse, so far as I can tell. The Euro is teetering, as are nations such as Sweden which, in direct spite of the lies told about how successful they are, is balancing on a knife's edge. I do not for a moment believe that Sweden would well survive a large disruption, whether by force majeure or political upheaval such as from a Tet-style attack by jihadist moles.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-12-2018, 10:47 PM
    I'm not following you here. How does your response relate to my statement?
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-12-2018, 09:07 AM
    This is very much worth the watch. Go to heterodox academy.org for more information. The strategy here is excellent - making use of the network toward worthy causes for once. Haidt is well spoken and on the money.
    0 replies | 104 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-11-2018, 08:55 PM
    Sometimes I just get in a mood.
    4645 replies | 240444 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-10-2018, 04:03 PM
    osan replied to a thread Suzanimal? in Open Discussion
    Wonderful, innit?
    265 replies | 9336 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-10-2018, 04:00 PM
    osan replied to a thread Suzanimal? in Open Discussion
    From my back yard on 98th st. in Vancouver, I could see the remains of St. Helens. Just before I left WA, she started smoking. I used to just sit and watch, wondering whether we were in for another impressive bang. I miss the PNW.
    265 replies | 9336 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-10-2018, 03:58 PM
    osan replied to a thread Suzanimal? in Open Discussion
    If only Sandy had done the job right... Just can't get good help anymore. Sheesh.
    265 replies | 9336 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-10-2018, 03:56 PM
    osan replied to a thread Suzanimal? in Open Discussion
    Bet he claims it's his penis.
    265 replies | 9336 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-09-2018, 07:46 PM
    That is perhaps the only way to avoid a shooting war. The problem with China is that very few of their people can afford the things they make. I think I understand the strategy with the slave labor - get the bulk of the world's manufacturing through the artificially low labor costs. But once that happens, the wages must rise so that your own people can live as something better than penurious hags. The conditions out in the farmlands are pretty bleak. Not an easy nut to crack. There is a part of me that is sorely tempted to say nuke every military base and development facility in China and then dictate terms, but I don't think that would fly in today's world. Now, if you could goad China into doing something stupid... But I don't think they are that foolish. And so the status quo remains, but time is decidedly not on our side. Time is China's friend, unless what you claim regarding growth is indeed so. Then we're pretty well both screwed... that is, unless the two of us would just agree to play nicely with each other. Don't hold your breath for that.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-09-2018, 05:52 PM
    Unless the barriers to rebuilding our industrial base are relaxed, it most definitely will take years. Just consider the EPA tangle, the hoops through which manufacturers must jump to build new facilities. Such regulations are especially hostile to heavy industries like steel. One doesn't just build a steel mill and begin operating. Then there are the OSHA requirements, some of which are reasonable, many of which are idiotically designed to protect stupid people from themselves. There is the tax issue, which also drives companies away. How about zero percent corporate tax? Not sure that that is true, but I can accept it as a possibility.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-09-2018, 05:42 PM
    I'm all for wrecking China, since it is pretty clear they have that in mind for me. If Trump is smart, he will make damned sure we are firmly on our industrial feet before making any decisively ruinous move on China. If China went down tomorrow morning, we'd get sucked down as well. So would Europe, not that I give a damn about what happens to them. At least to the degree that they could then dictate terms. Our utter destruction would not be in their better interest. Making us their bitch, OTOH, clearly would. Here I must agree. In many ways the Chinese are a very timid people. I don't mean that as an insult; it is just an observation. They definitely do not possess the same drive as Americans, though they work very diligently and for very long hours. The people working at Bibi's hotel in Beijing have ONE weekend off per month. They sleep on a hard floor. During their free weekend, they will rent a room six or more at a time so they can sleep on a bed. It is very sad. Labor is treated very poorly there.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-09-2018, 01:13 PM
    Collapse China? Not sure how you come to that view, but if true, he's on a fool's errand. For one thing, we depend on China for probably at least half our manufactured goods, perhaps more - I've not checked the figures in years. Killing China might be a suicide move. Furthermore, China is huge. Killing their economy is no mean task. Further still, this is how wars get started. If China faced a return-to-stoneage prospect, an existential threat, I would see them as having nothing to lose by launching a preemptive strike against America even if they knew they could not possibly win. Humans. I am more inclined to believe this, but only to a degree. If China kills us, it may kill itself. China would certainly injure itself in the short-term, though in terms of a longer view, the price may be worth it. After all, life is very cheap to the Chinese and has been, historically. Those at the top sacrifice those on the bottom without flinching.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-07-2018, 10:10 PM
    From what I have seen on the idiot tube at a friend's place, it would appear China and USA are fixing to get into a trade war. That is, at least, the timbre of he saber-rattling being presented in the news that I have seen today. Who knows whether that is even marginally trustworthy... It they choose that path, get ready for some lousy times. The question here for me would seem to be: who stands to benefit from this, and in what ways? MIC? Anyone? I don't think we can credibly believe that this will be undertaken through ignorance, as there is far too much historical data to indicate trade wars lead to nothing good, broadly speaking. I certainly do not believe the Chinese would allow ego to drive their decisions. Trump... maybe, but I am as yet not willing to accept that he is that weak and stupid, but you never know. But if the parties in question are not that clued-out or weak-minded, then what would be driving the decision to take this road? After all, we could be talking about economic upheaval for years. It could lead to good old-fashioned hot-warfare. Could that be the objective here?
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-07-2018, 09:15 PM
    Here's one from this very thread: #4
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-07-2018, 09:12 PM
    The tariffs presumably intended to neutralize majority of the advantage of artificially low labor costs, the result of what is effectively a slave-labor market where the cost disparity is on the order of 9x-10x with American labor. Labor is commonly the single greatest factor in determining costs to produce, and by a large margin. In college I worked in various machine, cabinet, and casting shops. I once worked in a cabinet shop in Long Island City, "Carpentry Unlimited". We built nothing but custom architectural cabinetry for wealthy clients in the NYC metro area. Being low man on the totem, I mostly built carcasses. One such box was for a liquor cabinet of smallish to middling proportions. I built a very nice carcass, square and perfect. To the outer surfaces I applied an off-white Formica-like laminate. To the front, one of the more experienced makers applied Carpathian Elm burl, which in those days (ca. 1982/83) cost $360.00 for a 4x6 sheet. Even though the veneer was very costly, that element was a drop in the bucket when compared with the $35K price tag of the finished cabinet, which was about 6-6.5 feet tall, a smidge under 4' wide, and about twenty four inches deep. All told, the material costs were in the neighborhood of $1000. The rest was all labor and profit. It took me nearly a full week to complete the carcass because it had to be absolutely perfect and there were a few elements of the design that were not quite straightforward in terms of execution. Then Mike did the finish work which was probably on the order of a full two to three weeks, though I no longer quite recall exactly. The labor costs were perhaps 4-5 times that of materials. On virtually all of the software development projects I have managed, labor represented ca. 90% of the budgetary outlays. On one such project I was responsible for nearly half a billion dollars of allotted monies toward implementation. The hardware costs were trivial in comparison with those of labor - I would estimate ca. 2%-3% of the total. Labor is the killer in most endeavors today and China is artificially depressing their costs in comparison with those found in America to a factor of about ten. Any advantage greater than 50% can definitely be considered as artificially and I consider anything over about 25% as suspect. Competitive advantage in free markets is supposed to be "organic". Tyrannical maintenance of an artificially low labor market prevents other players from being able to compete as the result of felonious treatment of Chinese workers by their government. Nobody with a shred of basic sense is going to claim or agree that a 10x discrepancy in labor costs is due to a natural and valid advantage enjoyed by the Chinese laborer. In my opinion it was a grave error to have allowed China the opportunity to drag its miserable self out of the stone age. We should have let them fend for themselves, come what may. But what is done is done. China is clearly a bad economic actor and I have no problem with any measures taken to neutralize their artificial and criminally enforced advantages in labor cost, so long as they actually work as intended. As of now, it is not clear that the tariff will produce the desired result, but the one thing that has been demonstrated is the disproof of the assertion that prices would immediately rise. Clearly, there is more going on in the equation than just the effects of the tariff. So sit back and observe. Conventional theory may prove out. But if it doesn't, there will have opened a door to some intriguing possibilities, as well as hazards, I am fairly certain. TANSTAAFL. :)
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-07-2018, 08:20 PM
    And did you not discover that such isolations in multivariate systems often would not paint a sufficient causal picture? Synergistic effects based on complex balances of many factors often constitute a vertitable Gordian Knot. I must agree that this seems unlikely. There must be more to the truth than this. It does, however, demonstrate that imposition of a tariff does not perforce lead to a rise - at least not immediately. Once again, complex systems can be painfully difficult to analyze correctly, one of the real sticky-wickets being the question of how do we know when the analysis is in fact correct. As of this moment, that is resolutely disproved by reality, at least in the short term.
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-07-2018, 07:47 PM
    I don't see how his supports your position. Rather, it would seem to support mine. The longer US facilities remain idle, the more practical knowledge is faded or lost. In a better world where nations do not plot and scheme against others, this would not be a problem. In this world, it is a problem. China is not our friend by any stretch and if they think they can get away with it, they would endeavor to cripple us piecemeal. Some would say that that would not be in their better economic interest, but they would be mistaken. The economic bottom line take a back seat to that of ultimate material power. After all, in this sense economics is warfare by other means, to borrow a notion. A problem I see with people is the apparent inability or unwillingness to recognize and accept that the world is not as they would have it. Our liberty-normalized ideals cannot be fully practiced in a hostile world full of alien states that have no desire for liberty, whose people lack the same desire, and whose leaders scheme and scam to get over on other nation states. This has been going on forever in the "civilized" world. Such problems were not at all common in most anarchic societies, so far as human study of such populations reveals. The very structure of the Empire fabric brings this evil quality of humanity to the fore. The point here is that until we learn to live with each other as proper human beings, some the measures taken that offend our ideals of liberty will remain as necessities in order to avert greater evils. I'm sorry that it is this way, but on the whole humanity accepts the current scheme of things as somehow unavoidable. The mental juggernaut that this represents is difficult to overstate. Thoughts form reality. So long as people think they want this or must do that, things that are anathema to human liberty, the practicalities will continue to hamstring we who are prepared for true freedom and all that it requires of us, risk as well as reward. Think of Israel as a good example. They maintain stern control of borders. Why? Because if they opened up, the Arabs would wipe them from the earth in no time. That is an issue of material national defense against genocide, but it is directly and strongly analogous to the economic equivalent. The fact is that there are nations out there of non-trivial economic reach who would love nothing more than to see America set to wrack and ruin. Many Islamic nations hate us, rightly or otherwise. Russia is not our buddies, not China. Right there you have a set whose combined power easily rivals ours and whose regard for us is less than warm on the best of days. I want the world to be free, but most of the world has no interest in it. What do we, the truer liberty lovers of the world, do? I don't see much hope here. Recall in days past how I noted that Americans cannot even get it up to take over one measley, miserable, mostly frozen shit-dump of a state to restore proper Constitutional rule. How on earth are we to accomplish this in an area 406.1 times the size and a population 242.56 times as large, nearly half of whom would see the throats of your children slit before accepting liberty?
    91 replies | 1728 view(s)
  • osan's Avatar
    04-07-2018, 09:55 AM
    Methinks you have completely misconstrued, but if you can substantiate this with solid facts, I will demur. Otherwise, the rest of your post face-plants with a <thud>.
    91 replies | 1728 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.
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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.
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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.
and

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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