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Irontruth's page

6,385 posts (6,388 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 3 aliases.


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I had a wonderful time.

I spent most of my time at Games on Demand, which is just a stellar room. GM's volunteer to run games in either 2 or 4 hour slots. Every even numbered hour, there's a lottery for players who want to play games and they get to pick from those available in that slot. It's such a wonderful environment.

For one, the organizers do a great job of being inclusive and making sure the atmosphere and environment is inclusive as well. I've never had to kick someone out of one of my games, but as a GM I feel empowered to do it if that person is being disruptive.

There's a great selection of indie games. Each GM brings with them the games that they love (or are excited about at that time). Fiasco, Apocalypse World (and many, many, many games based on it), Mythender, various LARPS, a few game playtests, Fall of Magic and dozens more were all played. Even some Feng Shui 2, AD&D and D&D 5E (though these are definitely not focuses of the room).

I got to run 4 games and play in 3 more, plus the evening of games with other volunteers was tons of fun. We played Ghost Court, a LARP that's basically People's Court... but with the addition of ghosts.

I went to eat at St. Elmo's. I love St. Elmo's. I set aside a large portion of money so I can eat there and have whatever I want. Their shrimp cocktail is so wonderful, I had to go back and get another one on a different day. My steak was one of the 5 best steaks I've ever had. The level of service and the mood there is something I love and it's a near holy experience for me.

I had a bevy of wonderful interactions with people I had never met before. It wasn't 100% positive like last year, but my % of positive to negative was still exceptionally high. I also had some lull's in action that I couldn't find something to do, but otherwise it was excellent.


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:


Anyway, as I said above, it doesn't make much difference to me if it's a question of personal venality or realpolitik. Personally, I think it's more about networking, access-peddling and influencing policy ("She's great at making deals!" I believe is one of the constant refrains of her supporters).*

Nothing out of line with that, right? Must take some squinting to see something wrong in all that mess. As I had occasion to mention regarding the Wall Street speeches, I don't think she's any more monstrous than your average power-hungry capitalist stooge, just more successful. And, I guess, if you're a supporter of international capitalism, as most of you are, or supporters of American imperialism, no matter how begruding or reluctantly, as most of you are, you probably don't see anything wrong with hobnobbing with union-busters and facilitating deals between the captains of western capitalism and blood-soaked feudal monarchies and dictatorships.

I mean, even Carter did it, right? That's the way the system works.

And then Dicey wonders why I don't vote.

----
*Although I have seen articles about the Foundation taking care of Clinton friends and...

I do support international capitalism. Not unregulated and unrestricted, but increased trade has reduced wars between strong trading partners. Until the Ukraine/Russia conflict, no two countries with a McDonald's had ever gone to war with each other. This isn't to say that McDonald's is specifically powerful or important, but that as a benchmark, it tends to show when a country enters the global market and begins to access a few of the goods and services available to Western middle-class markets.

I don't think that capitalism is good for all things, roads, health care, utilities, public safety, education are just a few examples of things that need to be provided to everyone and so can't be subject to the whims of capitalism. I even want to include journalism, but I don't think having the government control news outlets is the solution to our woes in that area.

I think war is the worst thing that can happen to the working class of the world. The rich don't get sent to die in wars, the poor and working class do. Now, capitalism when supported by imperialism does cause conflict, but that's more an effect of imperialism.

As stated many pages ago, I support increased global trade. It needs to be structured better to protect workers and prevent exploitation, but it's still better than isolationism and protectionism.

As for imperialism, that's going to exist, regardless of who is in office as long as the US is a super power. I don't see this one issue as a reason to not participate in the system though.


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Fergie wrote:
Krensky wrote:

Also, it's not like Bill and Hillary are taking money out of the Foundation.

...

The Daily Kos“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group once run by leading progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout. …

The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid. …"

More here:Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants. More than $25 million went to fund travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits. And a whopping $290 million during that period — nearly 60 percent of all money raised — was classified merely as “other expenses.”

Your second source also posts articles by "Tyler Durden".

Edit: I'm sorry... your source ONLY posts articles by "Tyler Durden".

I stopped clicking links in "Tyler Durden's" articles after the first two didn't lead to specific information, but were just home pages of the "sources".

Poking around briefly, I didn't find any articles that came to the same conclusion or had the same information that didn't reference Zero Hedge as their primary source for several different articles. None linked back to any actual information and were typically on sites with questionable credibility themselves.


Krensky wrote:
And it seems Tiny Donnie may well have broken the law by having his campaign purchase over $55,000 worth if his book from Barnes & Nobel's (because buying them from the publisher directly, which is more the norm doesn't count for the NYT Best Seller list). If he received royalties for those copies he's broken the law.

The alleged billionaire's campaign is also soliciting foreign nationals for campaign donations.

His campaign might also be making illegal tax-free payments to campaign staff... twice.

His campaign has paid for the services of the Draper Sterling firm. Someone created a legal entity with the name of a firm from Mad Men. The Trump campaign has paid them about $35,000, and another super-PAC has paid them $56,000. For what? No one knows (or at least no public information is available).


If you add all 4 years of arms sales to Saudi Arabia together (during Clinton's time as Secretary of State), it still wouldn't break into top 10 biggest years of arms sales to that country. 1982, 1983, 1986, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2014 and 2015 each had more sales of arms to Saudi Arabia in one year than Hillary oversaw in her 4 years combined.


You can use this website to make a short list of arms imports/exports by country.

You can see that yearly sales of arms to Saudi Arabia has increased since Clinton left the State Department.

2009: 231
2010: 345
2011: 398
2012: 401
2013: 615
2014: 1383
2015: 1764

Numbers are $m's in constant 1990 dollar value. It's not a small jump either after she left the administration. The amount from 2012 to 2015 has quadrupled.

Clinton's tenure in the State Department oversaw a much smaller increase in sales than Kerry's has.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Fergie wrote:
Nothing illegal, but it seems that should be the sort of thing that is frowned upon in government. I personally feel that if you are a politician who accepts large amounts of cash, you should be ineligible for a position to give favors to those who paid you a lot of money. Obviously, many people disagree with this idea. What I perceive as bribery is shrewd business dealings to others.

It's not frowned upon in the government though. You're basically describing US foreign policy since 1940 (with the Wilson and Monroe doctrines being the basis/justification for doing it).

It's so entrenched, I highly doubt Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein or Gary Johnson would be able to change it even if they were elected president. Name a president who didn't engage in this policy, and I'd bet they were born before the end of Reconstruction.

I don't like it either, but I'm not going to vote based on an issue that zero candidates can even change (regardless of their opinion on the subject). This is going to continue as long as the US is a superpower, and probably for a while afterwards too.

Edit: Here's an example, Carter was the most vocal opponent of arms sales of any president in the past 70 years. Yet his administration sold billions of arms EVERY YEAR. Including:

Quote:
Even before announcing this decision, Carter had made a virtual about-face on the arms export issue. In February 1978 he authorized the transfer of two hundred advanced combat aircraft to three countries in the Middle East—-supplying sixty F-15s to Saudi Arabia, fifty F-5Es to Egypt, and a combination of ninety F-15s and F-16s to Israel. Six months later he gave preliminary approval to the sale of another $12 billion worth of high-tech weaponry to Iran. Other major sales of this sort were announced in the final months of his administration.

Text source

And that was a

...

And my response is that even presidents who morally objected to the sales of arms, didn't receive donations to their private foundations, still sold the Saudis arms. My point is that the arms sales would happen regardless of whether the Clinton Foundation received donations or not. The donation certainly seems suspicious, and maybe influenced aspects of the deal, but without something more specific, I highly doubt it affected whether the sale happened or not.

Maybe an argument could be made that they'd have received one plane less, or a model a year older. I think that is significantly harder to prove and show.

The Saudis are routinely recipients of arms from every president. During Obama's tenure, I'm not surprised that the amount of arms sold increased, as Obama's policy has been to disengage American forces and instead influence regional actors, focusing on bolstering people who at least seem to not be our enemies. Bush instead spent that money (and more) using our own forces to do the dirty work, while Obama is using drones and the Saudi military. You can't use the Saudi military though if they aren't equipped.

Again, I don't agree with this policy and lean significantly towards a pacifist methodology. I don't see anyone on the national landscape who both espouses such a policy AND has the experience and influence to effect it. Sanders and Johnson don't strike me as pacifist as much as isolationist, which is a large concern for me as well.


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Fergie wrote:
Nothing illegal, but it seems that should be the sort of thing that is frowned upon in government. I personally feel that if you are a politician who accepts large amounts of cash, you should be ineligible for a position to give favors to those who paid you a lot of money. Obviously, many people disagree with this idea. What I perceive as bribery is shrewd business dealings to others.

It's not frowned upon in the government though. You're basically describing US foreign policy since 1940 (with the Wilson and Monroe doctrines being the basis/justification for doing it).

It's so entrenched, I highly doubt Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein or Gary Johnson would be able to change it even if they were elected president. Name a president who didn't engage in this policy, and I'd bet they were born before the end of Reconstruction.

I don't like it either, but I'm not going to vote based on an issue that zero candidates can even change (regardless of their opinion on the subject). This is going to continue as long as the US is a superpower, and probably for a while afterwards too.

Edit: Here's an example, Carter was the most vocal opponent of arms sales of any president in the past 70 years. Yet his administration sold billions of arms EVERY YEAR. Including:

Quote:
Even before announcing this decision, Carter had made a virtual about-face on the arms export issue. In February 1978 he authorized the transfer of two hundred advanced combat aircraft to three countries in the Middle East—-supplying sixty F-15s to Saudi Arabia, fifty F-5Es to Egypt, and a combination of ninety F-15s and F-16s to Israel. Six months later he gave preliminary approval to the sale of another $12 billion worth of high-tech weaponry to Iran. Other major sales of this sort were announced in the final months of his administration.

Text source

And that was a president who saw arms sales as the greatest threat to peace possible.


Berinor wrote:
Set wrote:

Isn't Michelle Bachmann the one who first claimed to have been a witch, and then claimed not to have been a witch?

The Trump campaign probably could use some supernatural help, come to think of it...

No, that was Christine O'Donnell from Delaware. Bachmann is from Minnesota.

Today was my first day of classes, evidently she was here shaking hands for a few minutes.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
It reveals his hypocrisy. If he said, "I've had business dealings with both China and Goldman Sachs and believe that those sort financial deals result in both domestic prosperity and international stability," I'd have absolutely nothing to say, but it seems to me he's just pandering to his audience of choice by bad mouthing his business partners.

So? Not all business partners are sweetness and light personified. I will be more than happy to badmouth Verizon, and even to support substantial reform to the telecommunications industry while still paying them money every month because they're the only game in town in my neighborhood. The fact that I have to use them as a business partner despite their gaping flaws is, in fact, one of the issues that I have.

So I'm willing to go on record as saying "I've had business dealings with Verizon, and believe that those sort of deals result in inequity, hardship, abuse, and a loss of prosperity as well as financial autonomy. Speaking as one of their business partners, I firmly believe that this type of pseudo-partnership should be eliminated, and when I'm elected President, one of the first steps I will take is to use Federal authority to unilaterally rewrite such deals."

Of course, Verizon will probably campaign against me. It's not like China has been campaigning in favor of Trump, have they? [Putin/Russia, on the other hand, seems to be campaigning for Trump and against Clinton, and Trump has acknowledged as much. "Sarcastically," of course.]

I could be wrong, but Hitdice isn't talking about Trump's relationship with these companies. Rather, he's talking about how Trump talks about relationships with these companies.

Trump has latched onto Clinton's relationship with these companies as a way to rally support against her, but he also has a relationship with those companies. Hell, he IS one of those companies.

It's like a person ranting about the evil's of drugs when they're three sheets to the wind and have a manhattan in their hand. It lacks a certain self-awareness that undercuts the point they're trying to make.

Using your Verizon analogy, it's like a shareholder in Verizon complaining about the morality of someone because they once worked for Verizon.


CBDunkerson wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Ana Navarro, a Latina Republican strategist, wrote: "Trump's 'Black outreach' so tone-deaf & condescending, his 'Hispanic outreach', (eating a taco bowl), suddenly not that bad & stupid."

LOL

Hard to believe that anyone could poll worse among African-Americans than McCain and/or Romney vs Obama, but Trump is doing it. His 'ceiling' seems to be about 4% and some polls have rounded down to 0%. Basically, he's within the margin of error on not having any African-American support at all.

Though... it is also hard to believe that he really IS doing a little better with Hispanics. Only ~85% of that demographic hate him.

For context, here are exit polling numbers for the last 36 years:

1980 Jimmy Carter, 56% Ronald Reagan, 35% +21
1984 Walter Mondale, 61% Ronald Reagan, 37% +24
1988 Michael Dukakis, 69% George H.W. Bush, 30% +39
1992 Bill Clinton, 61% George H.W. Bush, 25% +36
1996 Bill Clinton, 72% Bob Dole, 21% +51
2000 Al Gore, 62% George W. Bush, 35% +27
2004 John Kerry, 58% George W. Bush, 40% +18
2008 Barack Obama, 67% John McCain, 31% +36
2012 Barack Obama, 71% Mitt Romney, 27% +44

If he gets 15% of the Hispanic vote, that'll be half of what Republicans normally get.


bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Paul Manafort - the campaign chairman who was recently tied to what looked like under-the-table payments and pro-Russia activities in Ukraine - has officially resigned from Trump's campaign.
Obviously coming and obviously this is what the Bannon & Conway hires were setting up for, no matter how much the campaign denied it.
Perhaps, but then why not do it all at once? Surely they'd want to get changes in campaign staff out of the news as quickly as possible, rather than stretching them out over days?

To soften the blow.

Using the bandaid analogy, if you rip it off it hurts more but for a potentially shorter time. If you do it slowly and carefully, you experience less pain, but the pain you do experience lasts longer.

The question then becomes, is the short and severe pain worse than the long and dull pain?

In this case, I think they're actually going for the rip it off strategy, while trying to present it as if nothing was ever wrong in the first place.

This is all very "inside baseball", but they should have hired a new campaign manager weeks ago. During the DNC would have been a great time, as that was a perfect moment to say "Hey, the convention is over, we're focusing on the general election and this is our person to do it!" Adding two high profile people in one week while another resigns really does make it look like Trump can't figure this s~~+ out.

The part I'm having trouble looking up now is the staff by state. A few months ago is was woefully small, most states having literally one person on staff (even large, contestable states). Trying to see if I can get a new count on what kind of ground game they're running.


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As far as the "world being a s*#@ show," it's much better than most people give it credit. There are 4 major wars going on, with another 10 medium-grade conflicts. The Western Hemisphere is some of the most peaceful it's ever been, the largest conflict being the Mexican Drug War. Columbia is down to ~300 deaths/year in it's internal conflict and that rounds out the report for North and South America.

Africa certainly has some troubling spots, but the southern quarter of the continent is at peace right now.

Europe is largely conflict free, completely if you exclude Russia and it's aggression.

We live in a world where we get news from every corner and we hear about every incident in a major city in every country. Some do go largely unnoticed still in mainstream media, but it's easy to pick up on if you're paying attention. The sense that the world is crumbling doesn't come from actual analysis of the situation, but rather heightened awareness of what is going on. In the 50's and 60's, our media didn't give 2 s*%#s about what happened in Africa. 50 years before that, it was brushed off as "something those tribals did."

Data routinely shows that the world is more peaceful and is continuing on a trend towards fewer deaths in conflict. There are spikes, but the wars are getting smaller. Yes, Syria is awful and it really, really sucks that they're killing each other, but Syria is a really, really small portion of the world.


Lysero wrote:
Basically, I'm looking for tips on how to avoid railroading a plot that, at least for now, could be so easy to railroad by having the armies invading from all over. I want the situation to feel somewhat hopeless for now, while having player decisions still matter and impact the story.

I'll share a story from my current game. I'll skip most of the backstory.

After a long series of events, the players were presented with a choice. They had a god-killing dagger and there was a god who had been stabbed with it once and then imprisoned for eternity. They could use the dagger to finish the job, or they could destroy the dagger and free the god (they couldn't choose to do nothing, because that was the status quo and the Bad Guys were winning).

They had to travel to a small prison dimension where the god was. They chose to free the god, but that choice would have immediate and widespread effects on the material world. Not just because a god was brought back, but because of the desires and intentions of the mortals who did it. As they approached the threshold back to the material world, they saw the portal, but it was flitting between two versions of itself.

To make the transition they had to focus on one of the versions. Each player saw their own set of portals and it was a personal choice for each.

For example one player had to choose:

A) finding a permanent home for his nomadic and dispersed people who had long suffered at the hands of the nations they traveled between.

B) restoring an order of holy knights, of whom the player was the last surviving member.

In that decision, the player didn't just tell me what was important to his character, but what story he wanted to see in the game. What course of action he wanted to pursue in the sessions ahead.

You could easily do a similar thing with players via a fortune teller, or other in game device of similar nature. Or you could flat out ask the players what they're interested in. Perhaps even a set of questions about what their goals are and what sacrifices they're willing to make to achieve them. Then, as a cruel story writer, you make them sacrifice just a little bit more (done well, this makes for great and memorable story telling).

You have a big and open sounding game. That's awesome, because it has endless possibilities. Don't try to narrow it down yourself, see what your players want and let their decisions narrow it down for you.


Why do they worship these beings?

Also, I'd recommend looking up some information on voodoo beliefs and the structure of the religion. It's pretty interesting and there's some pretty easy, low hanging fruit to mine for a game. Not saying you have to represent it fully or accurately (though if you're not, you could change the name too), just that there's a lot of interesting stuff there that isn't hard to find or require you to do a lot of work to get at.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

I'm sure I'll get ridiculed for this, but bear with me for a moment.

To me, the message of conservatism is about raising everyone up, keeping the playing field even so that anyone, no matter their background, can succeed. That's the bottom line.

I don't disagree with this statement. What we will probably disagree is how to go about creating an even playing field.

I've become a capitalist over the past 15 years, it's a system that works really well for large portions of the economy. I think a fair and appropriately regulated economy is better than trying to determine every aspect from on high.

The issue is that you have two competing forces. Capitalism strives for inequality. This is core to it's fundamental principles, because as better businesses/ideas profit, less good ones will fail. So any capitalist system will inherently be unequal and people won't be on an even playing field. Something else to consider, capitalism's most efficient point is when it starts at a point of equality. If everything is equal, the better product/idea wins, but as soon as that happens, you no longer have equality.

This is where government comes in. We need systems in place that push back towards equality. You can't have "no system" or "just let the market decide", because that's the previous paragraph. You must instead actively work towards equality. This has an effect of being a drag on capitalism, but at the same time, also pushes capitalism towards a more efficient state.

The free market has no interest in creating a level playing field, because that means the winners have to voluntarily stop winning, which isn't capitalism. We as a society have to decide how much winners can win by and what support the losers get, despite having lost.

Do CEO's need to make 600x their average employee? Or is 35x enough? Should people be able to make a living off of owning money? Or should they have to work for it?

If your child or spouse develops cancer, should you lose your home?

I think building a life for your family, raising your kids and sending them to school (college, trade, whatever) should be hard work, but it should be possible for the average family. The conservative party has tried to convince us that if we give wealthy corporations/individuals enough money, they'll be gracious enough to make that possible for everyone else. So far, they haven't, but instead have actively worked to make it harder for poor and middle class Americans.

I'm willing to listen to "conservative" solutions on how to achieve a level playing field, but if it involves giving more money to the wealthy, you're not going to sway me.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Despite the ludicrous failure of the Britebart polls to give Trump an appearance of winning, I'm not that sure that the election is in the bag for Clinton. All of the conventional wisdom that's been used to "predict" Trump's failure has fallen flat on it's face,...

Remember, all the "conventional wisdom" during the primaries was flying in face of polls and primary/caucus results. Experts kept coming up with reasons why he would lose... except for poll results.

Shortly after announcing his campaign, Trump was 2nd in national polling among republicans. By September 2015, he was 1st and essentially never lost his top spot (except for a couple days to Ben Carson, but it literally lasted days) all throughout the primaries. Trump led in Republican polls for 10 months.

People were predicting why would would drop in the polls, but he didn't. So remember, there were strong indicators that he would win, but people were searching for reasons he wouldn't and ignored the ones that said he would.


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"Hey, I've got an idea. Why don't we split up so we can cover more ground.... with our blood!"


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We know Billy stole candy, was caught and punished. Since we can see Sally eating candy, we can therefore assume she also stole it.


GreyWolfLord wrote:


However, you could get a house for 5K in that 1967 period. That same house in California today costs 500K. For housing that's a 100X rise in cost. Instead of spending 1/6 to 1/3 of your total income on a house, you might not even be able to afford that house right off the bat once you got a good job. Instead you'd have to save for a massive downpayment, and after that 100K downpayement, you'd still owe a major payement each month.

OR, perhaps you got a house at today's costs in a better (cheaper) area than California (though in 1967 costs were basically more equal, today I admit CA is far more expensive than KS). Let's say instead you got a house in 1967 in Kansas for around $5000. You expect that You can spend around a $1000 for a downpayment after saving for a few months, and at 20% interest (yes, interest rates...

Your housing costs are off, they were more expensive. Median price in 1960 was $11,900. Hawaii, New Jersey, DC and New York were the most expensive markets ($20k for Hawaii, $15k in NY). The cheapest markets were in the $7k range.

By 1970, the median housing price had risen to $23,600.

Accounting for inflation, the median price (1960) would be $97,000 in 2016 dollars. The median house price in Los Angeles is $480,000 right now. That does represent a 500% increase in real dollar price. But as others have noted, homes come with better insulation, more efficient heating and cooling, more plumbing and typically are much bigger by square footage.

My guess would be that if we broke down the price by square footage, we'd still see an increase, but it'd be a smaller disparity.

Something to consider in home prices also is the structure of home loans. In the 40's and 50's, 10 and 15 year loans were common and 20 year loans would be very rare. Banks didn't want to speculate that far out on loans. As the Great Depression became a more and more distant memory, loan lengths increased. Currently, 20 year loans are still rare, but 30 year loans are the norm, with some even issuing 40 year loans. Switching from a 10 year to 30 year structure dramatically increases how much house you can buy with the same monthly mortgage payment, you're just paying it off for longer.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
When there's 17 candidates you only need a fringe faction of the party to take a lead,
Very true, but the RNC also didn't account for the fact that this "fringe faction" was, in fact, a much larger and less controllable bloc than they had bargained for. And that's something they should have known, given the fact that the Tea Party has been systematically destroying the Republican political apparatus since long before 2016. If you don't believe, me, drop by Eric Cantor's congressional office, or John Boehner's.

Not precisely true. Iowa had 12 candidates at the time of the caucus.

Cruz: 27.6% (8 delegates)
Trump: 24.3% (7 delegates)
Rubio: 23.1% (7 delegates)
Carson: 9.3% (3 delegates)
Paul: 4.5% (1 delegate)
Bush: 2.8% (1 delegate)
Fiorina: 1.9% (1 delegate)
Kasich: 1.9% (1 delegate)
Huckabee: 1.8% (1 delegate)
Christie: 1.8%
Santorum: 1%
Gilmore: 0%

The bottom 9 candidates combined would have gotten 25% of the vote, putting them just ahead of 2nd place Trump, but only barely. But if you keep it at even a 5 or 6 person race, the % of left over votes to distribute is small enough that you'd have to combine them all onto one candidate to cause a shift in the results.

In New Hampshire, where there were 30 candidates on the ballot, you have a bigger showing in the 4-8 spots, but you also see a much bigger lead of the front runner, Trump (35% of the votes with a 20 point lead on 2nd). Trump still beats any two candidates combined and only 2-4 have a chance if they completely absorb the voters of two other candidates. The bottom 21 candidates got 215 votes or less each, with a combined total of 1165 votes. Trump beat Kasich by 55,000 votes.

I don't think the depth of field is what caused Trump to win. Trump just really appealed to Republican voters during the primary.


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Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:


The point is either you should complain about all instances of racism or you should complain about none.

You said this... right?

If you can't find the post I'll link to it ->here<-

Here, I'll show you a simple way why this doesn't work by applying that logic to you.

You're not allowed to complain about people unevenly complaining about racism unless you can point out all the instances of people unevenly complaining about racism.

Using your own logic, you can't complain about the issue unless you do it with perfect consistency and accuracy and cover the entire breadth of the issue. I also need only find one example on these message boards where someone has complained about racism and YOU DIDN'T speak up to prove my point.

How much you want to bet I can find someone calling someone else racists, they did a bad job of it, and you didn't respond? Cause if I can, by YOUR logic, you're not allowed to comment on the issue ever again.


GreyWolfLord wrote:
thejeff wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Oh, I pay attention. I know what I say here about Fox is most likely unpopular, but when analysis has been done on the actual reporting of organizations...ironically only PBS showed it was actually conservative [though overall neutral as well] (Even Fox News [- the opinion shows] was liberal in it's news slant!).
You have the source for this, I assume?

Sorry, got busy with other things rather than the forums and a LOT of discussion has occurred since I posted.

The old study was from from several years back, a new one apparently was completed around 2 years ago.

It is simplified at BI, but with a graph which shows basically my own thoughts in regards to Fox News (it is about as conservative on the right as CNN is to the left of neutral, with MSNBC being more liberal then CNN, and the Opinion shows (such as Breitbart or Colbert) being FAR more on their respective sides than any of the news given by far.

The updated results of the study (which actually correlate MORE to my thoughts than the original one ironically...with EXCEPTION that where I listed PBS as more neutral, apparently they are far more left of what I thought, and the same with BBC...so I suppose my news sources tend to be further left then normal according to the graph) is linked here...

Political ideology of viewers

Now this study was done differently than the original study from 2005 which was lead by a Professor from Missouri and accomplished in cooperation with UCLA. It has slightly different conclusions and thoughts than the UCLA study (which at this point is a little over 10 years old).

The UCLA study which was the one I was referencing to, took a little searching for the original media release of it.

The first from one of the actual professors involved...

biases revealed...

Is there a study that analyzes all of the shows on the network?


If you went to your doctor with a broken leg and he gave you that argument "Well, there are many broken legs, so I can't address yours until we have a solution for all of them." Would you be satisfied?

It's the perfect solution fallacy/fallacy of relative privation. Because you aren't addressing the bigger issue, you aren't allowed to address the smaller issue. It's b$$~%~#!. Hence why it's a logical fallacy.

I'm not saying we have to address and solve racism right here, right now. But that defense of it, or at least attempt to subvert/stop debate on it is b#&@~~@$. I don't want to get into what is and isn't racism. I don't think this is the thread for it. It has to be a completely separate discussion from RPG's first, before we complicate it further, and this is a thread about RPG settings, not racism.


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GM Rednal wrote:
Aren't there regulations about what you're allowed to do with election money donated to your campaign? I think a local figure got in trouble for misusing funds recently... though I'm not sure if that applies to national campaigns... hm. Might be worth looking into.

Campaigns are required to pay market price for goods and services. So, if the Trump Campaign rents an airplane, they have to pay market price for it. If they organize a fund raiser at a golf club, they have to pay to rent the space.

It does mean that Trump can't just take the money directly, but he can use the campaign to patronize whatever holdings he has that need a boost.

That said, there have been some indications of shady accounting in the campaign so far. For example, during the primary staffers claimed more in mileage than the Obama AND Romney campaigns combined for the entire election cycle in 2012. They're also making payments to a firm called "Draper Sterling" which is just all sorts of weird.


I love the math behind why homeopathy doesn't work. Nevermind the chemistry of why it doesn't work, which is also interesting, but less awe-inspiring.


Let me see if I get that last sentence right...

Because racism happened somewhere else, towards someone else... we shouldn't try to be aware of other times it's happening.

That's how you want to apply it, right? Because Europeans have been stereotyped and presented as a monolithic block, therefore, no one is allowed to point out that it happens to other cultures.


Guy Humual wrote:
thejeff wrote:


and Stein's equivocation on vaccines and homeopathy is pathetic at best.
Source? Clinton has a well known smear machine and this seems pretty unbelievable.

Jill Stein's twitter feed. I'm going to paraphrase, cause I'm lazy and don't feel like looking it up, but I think about 2 weeks ago.

Original tweet: There's no evidence linking vaccines with autism.

Altered tweet: I'm not aware of any evidence linking vaccines with autism.

Now, I don't think this means that Stein believes in the anti-vaxxer movement, but she's purposely trying to put herself in a position so that she isn't alienating them by making her statements appear as if they could support their beliefs.


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thejeff wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Oh, I pay attention. I know what I say here about Fox is most likely unpopular, but when analysis has been done on the actual reporting of organizations...ironically only PBS showed it was actually conservative [though overall neutral as well] (Even Fox News [- the opinion shows] was liberal in it's news slant!).
You have the source for this, I assume?

I've seen some of the studies. The thing is they ONLY look at shows like Special Report w/ Brit Hume.

People can argue all they want about how the other shows are "entertainment". But when you look at the screen, it still says FOX NEWS in the corner and has all the trappings of a news show, with a person (or persons) sitting behind a desk, telling the audience about events that happened, with all the screen paraphernalia of a news show.

See, on a different channel, like Comedy Central, the non-"news" shows are completely different. They're cartoons, don't have current events scrawls and don't have logos that say "news" in the corner.

Hannity, O'Reily and others are news shows. They try to claim they aren't, but that's b*~&%&@+. They look like news shows, they talk like news shows. They're f@*+ing news shows.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

I'll differentiate from the rest and say MSNBC is actually FAR more biased than Fox News. Fox News is probably just right of Center, CNN is probably left of Center, and normally I watch neither.

I think more of the youth are Left of center these days, and so see Foxnews as far more conservative than it really is. In that light, I think it's far more maligned than it should be.

On the otherhand, a TON of news sites that are far more left or right of these should be considered the same as the gossip rags, but oddly enough they are considered news instead of gossip rags in todays society.

Foxnews itself may be relatively closer to center than people say, but it's their special programs with opinion centered celebrities which is far right (and the same could be said of some other news channels).

The news itself on the channels tend to be closer to center, but the people (like Hannity) are the ones that can be really far on one side or the other.

Those programs probably be considered the same as a news gossip rag (and I actually used to like watching Maddow to tell the truth).

For actual news...

I prefer listening NPR (which is also left of center, and these days probably farther left then CNN), or BBC (which some say is pretty darn near center) or watching PBS news hour (which is considered one of the more non-biased news out there).

Maybe you don't pay enough attention. Here's the cycle at Fox:

Gossip shows: they say something outrageous.
Pundits/politicians: then cite these shows as if they were journalists.
Fox "News": then cites the pundits/politicians saying those things.

This has been documented REPEATEDLY.


Speaking of higher bars, a favorite bar tender made me a "dirty sazerac" the other day. He adds a splash of Laphraoig 10 to the concoction and it was wonderful. I like a sazerac now and then, but this was sublime.

Several of my friends keep giving Trump a lot of credit. They paint a picture how every move and comment is calculated and part of a long term strategy. That he's a master manipulator of the public and media.

I think that's too much credit. I think he's just a blowhard who's stumbled upon something that works and is giving it a go. He doesn't plan 7 moves ahead, he barely plans 1 move ahead (hence why he pre-empted his own free media coverage by calling in to shows during the RNC).

It's clear he has no understanding of the Christian right or how to talk to them. The core concept of the born-again story is so foreign to him, I don't even have a good way to describe how much he doesn't get it. He has no reference point for their social norms or how their values are derived. Romney for all his lack of human warmth at least knew how to talk to them on their level. Trump just precedes to make comparisons between himself and Jesus/God.

He can't even flip-flop on issues correctly sometimes, if you remember when he said that he thought women who get abortions should be prosecuted. Even some of the most hardcore pro-lifers don't want to do that.


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Kryzbyn wrote:
Or, you know, 2nd amendment people can vote in congressional folks that could block Clinton appointees. But, sure, murder is quicker, I suppose :P

Just curious, what sort of special voting powers does the 2nd amendment grant people? Because the second amendment portion of the quote follows directly after a statement that if she's elected, she'll nominate anti-gun judges. So at this point in his statement, the assumption is that she's already been elected.

Are "second amendment people" granted special voting rights that I'm unaware of?


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Kolokotroni wrote:

This is quite true. And its the biggest cause of the deadlock in congress. The word compromise has been turned into a dirty word. When our entire political system is specifically designed to REQUIRE compromise. It is explicitly designed to not allow people to just strong arm others into their way of thinking.

Particularly when you try so very hard to demonize people instead of simply attacking their policy and ideas. You end up with an impossible task when you actually try to govern. Republicans are not exclusively responsible for this, but they have truly embraced the idea. Compromise is how a society works. You literally cannot have society without compromise. But when you paint the other side as morally wrong, as opposed to just politically so, you cannot then later sit down and negotiate with each other. Which you will have to do. Even if you somehow win a majority in the house, senate and win the white house, there are still mechanisms for your opponents to block you if you don't sit down with them and work things out.

I agree that people on the left certainly do engage in the demonizing tactic, but it tends more towards individuals or fringe groups. There were certainly calls of baby killer and warmonger towards Republicans, but it wasn't included in major speeches at conventions, on the house floor, etc. There's a difference between a guy wearing a boot on his head shouting with a megaphone on a street and a congressperson speaking on the House floor.

The conservative party has made an active and strategic choice to shift the public debate to one of morality. Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority is the official beginning of the process IMO. There were rumblings and attempts at marrying morality with politics before that, but it was usually on a more individual level and more to paint themselves in a moral light to attract voters. Falwell's Moral Majority really tried to paint the Republican party as representing Christian Values and as the party of morality.

Initially it really was an attempt at drawing in voters. Fundamentalist Christians had existed outside of the political sphere for a long time. There are a whole host of reasons why they weren't particularly active, especially on the federal level, but suffice to say, they didn't see the political sphere as a place for good Christians. The Moral Majority was a push to bring them back into politics and use their voice to control the government. It's hard to build a coalition of religions together on secular issues though, like taxes, roads, industrial regulation, etc. You have to push moral issues, that's how you get the religion involved and utilize an already existing network of people to your advantage.

On the Left, there certainly groups that approach things from a morality perspective, but groups like PETA have extremely limited influence in the Democratic Party. No one from PETA has served as a political appointee as far as I know. I can find you a list of Christian ministers who've been appointed roles in the federal government though.

And the Left has certainly reacted to the Right's strategy. MSNBC isn't a terribly balanced news organization, but they didn't pop up in a vacuum and are more of a reaction to Fox News. That doesn't excuse or forgive mistakes they make in their zeal, but it does help explain it.

I don't know what the solution is, other than to say "I wish they'd stop doing that." Maybe this election will help push us away from moral absolutes and start talking about solutions. For example, I'm pro-choice, but I'd certainly be willing to listen and engage a discussion about how to reduce the number of abortions. I support a woman's right to choose, but I think as a society we can do a better job at providing support to alternative choices. I'm not looking to start a debate on this, just presenting how on this normally tricky topic, there IS room for a middle-ground.


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To me the core reason why the republican party is going off the rails is because they decided to change the political debate to a debate on morality.

If you and I are discussing the best way to change a tire, we may initially disagree on the best course of action, but eventually we'll get a first step done, then a second, etc. If we disagree a lot, we might take a long time to finish it, but it'll get done eventually.

If instead I start with the premise that it's morally evil to change the tire, progress is going to happen much slower, if at all.

What started happening 30-40 years ago is that one party stopped talking about how to solve issues and instead started talking about whether things were moral or not. The problem with debating morality in the public sphere is that there isn't much room for compromise on morality. We can agree that there might be grey areas and how far something is towards one end or the other, but there are clear and definite things outside the grey area, things that are black and white.

Once something is placed in the black or white area, there's no real discussion to be had. It's just shouting and demonizing. It's no longer a debate or argument, but a fight. You either agree or disagree, there's no compromise or persuasion.

When people talk about the parties being the same, go back and listen to the rhetoric used at the conventions. During the RNC they were chanting "lock her up". They don't want to just defeat Hillary in the election, they want to throw her in prison. Conversely, at the DNC, it was about going to the polls and defeating Trump. When you paint the opponent as a criminal who needs to be imprisoned, you can't sit down and have a conversation with that person. Why would you? They're a criminal! It's the same reason no one invites NAMBLA to debate relevant sections of the criminal code, you'd be morally disgusted by what they have to say.

Before Trump, you see the effects of this strategy in the Senate and House. Routinely members of both houses refused to negotiate across the aisle because they had campaigned on the morality of their beliefs and refusing to compromise on them. John Boehner regularly had issues bringing votes from his own party on negotiated deals that were acceptable more broadly. The Tea Party caucus in general could be described as having a general strategy of refusing to compromise.

Thinking about it now, it's probably part why Trump did so well in the primaries. He's built a reputation of being tough and getting what he wants in a deal, which stomping your opponent in a negotiation sounds like "not compromising". It isn't his pure morality that is appealing, but rather his image of being able to get what he wants, regardless of the opposition. He seems pure in the sense that he doesn't compromise with others.


It's more likely that a 2008 Clinton campaign staffer is the source of the birther theory, since it arose during the 2008 primaries.

Initially they were lobbing attempts to disprove his citizenship through various legal theories that were all half-baked and relied on untruths (state department travel bans, the age of his mother at the time of his birth). They were actual legal challenges that had zero merit, since they relied on things that never happened (and were provably so) or incorrect readings of the law.

Trump joined the bandwagon 3 years later.


An elector almost went off the reservation.


Rednal wrote:
I think Trump's campaign is finally starting to implode. I'm not gonna count him out - he's shown an amazing ability to overcome such expectations - but it seems people are really starting to turn away from him now that the general election has started.

Something to remember, while many experts did indeed count Trump out... he's been the leading Republican candidate since August 2015. A couple of minor blips, but once he took the lead, no one jumped ahead of him for more than a few days (if at all). Ben Carson had a strong showing in October, but since then, Trump dominated Republican polls.

Everyone gave reasons why it wouldn't last. They turned out to be wrong, but the polls consistently showed him winning the nomination.

Now, lots could happen between now and November 8th. People claiming to predict the future are often wrong. The polls are our best reading of who is most likely to win right now.


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Several people IMMEDIATELY start their arguments with something along the lines of "well, some of you must not like roleplaying."

Stop doing that. I will start flagging posts that continue to do it. It's insulting.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
More open trade with Arab countries can actually help stabilize them, politically and economically. People who can get jobs, buy food and send their kids to school don't need to start wars or murder their neighbors.
Absolutely. And the reverse happens in the West. People lose jobs, the countries destabilize. It's not mutual benefit. Plus for some, minus for others.

No, we've seen improvements in the West as well. Cheaper goods, more available goods. It also reduces the impact of recessions, by stabilizing our economy. You're also over estimating the actual unemployment impact of trade deals.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
But the unemployment in Arab Spring countries wasn't the result of the existence of trade agreements.
As you quoted me above, I never claimed it was.

Yet you keep bringing it into the trade agreement discussion.

More open trade with Arab countries can actually help stabilize them, politically and economically. People who can get jobs, buy food and send their kids to school don't need to start wars or murder their neighbors.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Samy wrote:
If free trade can stop wars, that's certainly a big plus. Having said that, increasing domestic unemployment can lead to *civil* wars (see Arab Spring et al). So unless things are carefully balanced and skillfully led, it can become a choice between foreign wars and civil wars. You don't want MAJOR unhappiness on the home front, and that's what the Western world is currently headed towards, our own Arab Spring time.
Trade agreements weren't the cause of unemployment in Arab countries.

I don't think I claimed that. I only claimed that

a) unemployment by itself, inherently, (whatever the cause in each country) was a major cause of Arab Spring
b) proliferation of free trade and decline of protectionism has, for the Western world, increased unemployment as applicable jobs have been offshored
c) rise of unemployment in the West will likely, if it goes far enough, ultimately lead into Arab Spring like scenarios in the West as well

But the unemployment in Arab Spring countries wasn't the result of the existence of trade agreements. Any linkage to trade agreements would be via the corrupt governments. Regardless of any type of government initiative, a corrupt government will always screw over the poor and working class.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Samy wrote:
If free trade can stop wars, that's certainly a big plus. Having said that, increasing domestic unemployment can lead to *civil* wars (see Arab Spring et al). So unless things are carefully balanced and skillfully led, it can become a choice between foreign wars and civil wars. You don't want MAJOR unhappiness on the home front, and that's what the Western world is currently headed towards, our own Arab Spring time.
Trade agreements weren't the cause of unemployment in Arab countries.

I don't think I claimed that. I only claimed that

a) unemployment by itself, inherently, (whatever the cause in each country) was a major cause of Arab Spring
b) proliferation of free trade and decline of protectionism has, for the Western world, increased unemployment as applicable jobs have been offshored
c) rise of unemployment in the West will likely, if it goes far enough, ultimately lead into Arab Spring like scenarios in the West as well

Do you stop reading after the first line? Just curious, cause that's the only part you ever respond to. If you do, that's fine. I'll just make shorter posts.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Samy wrote:
that the less trade barriers (taxes et al) there are, the easier it is to offshore jobs.

There's a couple things to me that are bigger than protecting outdated or inefficient jobs:

1) reducing the amount of armed conflict in the world.

Granted. If free trade can stop wars, that's certainly a big plus. Having said that, increasing domestic unemployment can lead to *civil* wars (see Arab Spring et al). So unless things are carefully balanced and skillfully led, it can become a choice between foreign wars and civil wars. You don't want MAJOR unhappiness on the home front, and that's what the Western world is currently headed towards, our own Arab Spring time.

Trade agreements weren't the cause of unemployment in Arab countries. Corrupt governments and reliance on select few industries that largely profited a wealthy few were responsible. You can see the same thing in Venezuela, a highly protectionist country that relies on oil production to prop it's economy up.

Trade agreements only increase unemployment when there's a trade deficit. For example, if the US has a 3% trade deficit with Germany and those two countries sign a more open deal, it can lead to a small increase in unemployment, usually on the order of the size of the trade deal, but this is a % change in unemployment totals, not a flat increase in the unemployment %. Example, right now we're at 4.9%, or just under 8 million people. A 3% increase wouldn't be 7.9%, but rather an additional 240,000, which would increase it to about 5.3%. At the same time though, average wages would also increase, which helps maintain demand and prevent the increase in unemployment leading to a recession (meaning it's easier for those people to go get a new job).

I think we don't just have an obligation to the people of our country, I think we have an obligation to the world. People in Bangladesh deserve to work just as much as people here do. If we could use the leverage of a trade agreement to improve working conditions there and bring that country out of poverty, I think we should do that.

I would agree with you that most trade deals are built around serving the needs of business owners and shareholders. I think that's wrong. I want to see trade deals that improve the lives of workers. That doesn't necessarily mean that we protect jobs where they are now. It means we build a healthy and fair world economy and put in place support for workers who lose their jobs in the process. It might mean some people have to switch careers multiple times in their life, but the world is changing faster and faster. Trying to stop it just means you get run over.

More connected trade also reduces prices. Cheaper clothes, cheaper food, cheaper cars, all this improves the lives of everyone. I don't think everyone should live like we do in the US (maybe we shouldn't live this way either), but certain amenities are crucial for advancing society. For example, one of the most influential modern conveniences in the world is the washing machine.

Ever wash your clothes by hand? It's extremely time consuming. For a small family it can easily take one person a whole day to do a week's worth of washing. If you have a large family, it can take two days. Hans Rosling (a wonderful demographer, check him out) pointed out that because his mother got a washing machine, she had more time to teach him to read, which boosted his education and helped get him where he is today. Poor families that get something so simple suddenly have 1-2 days of free labor they can spend on something more productive, like either working another job, improving their own education or their children's education. Poor families around the world deserve the chance to live better lives, including in this country. The best way to do that is through fair trade.

I'm with you, I don't like a lot of things about the trade agreements so far. That doesn't mean we shouldn't make trade agreements though, we just need to make better ones. As the global economy becomes more efficient, people will have higher wages and access to cheaper goods.


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Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Are you making the claim that it is impossible for two countries to engage in trade that is mutually beneficial?
Nope. Only the claim that the less trade barriers (taxes et al) there are, the easier it is to offshore jobs.

There's a couple things to me that are bigger than protecting outdated or inefficient jobs:

1) reducing the amount of armed conflict in the world. Increased trade between nations reduces the chances that they fight. A less violent world isn't perfect, but the working class and poor get hurt the most during a war, so anything that prevents war is good, even if it hurts their economic standing. Being dead would hurt it even more.

2) people in other countries have the same right and claim to work for a living as people in the US. Just like people in Ohio don't deserve jobs more than people in Pennsylvania, people in Mexico have as much right to a job as those in either state.

3) even without trade agreements, technology is replacing workers. Not just blue collar jobs either, legal aids and research lawyers are losing jobs because of better search engines, as an example.

I agree with you in that most trade agreements hurt workers involved in the industries effected. Often times though, those workers are already hurting, the trade agreement is just the last nail in the coffin.

We don't need to stand against "free trade" (I don't mean completely unregulated, but more open and increased trade). The world is more connected and that's a GOOD thing. What we need to do is stand up for better safeguards for all citizens. Increased wealth distribution, job retraining, better working conditions everywhere, etc.

Part of the problem is that we've been making economic gains the past 30 years, but most of the benefits have been going to the top 0.1%. We need to spread those benefits out, so that all Americans see gains from a stronger economy. Robots replacing people shouldn't put people into poverty, it should mean that we all just work a little less to accomplish the same or more than we did before. If that makes sense.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

Because you're more wrong than Samy is. Which, given Samy's fundamental misunderstanding of "free trade," is quite an accomplishment.

What part specifically did I say that was wrong?

[...]

1. I said I'm for better trade agreements. I'm generally for free trade, because I'm not in favor of protectionism. I don't believe in unregulated trade, because I'm not for an economy without regulation. I believe our economy should be highly regulated and I would extend that to our trade agreements as well.

2. I posted how I was against a reductionist view of someone else's definition of the term "free trade agreement".

Both points 1. and 2. You did not post that you were for better trade agreements -- you posted that you were for "better free trade agreements," a point that evidently confused Samy, and you didn't actually correct him.

You did not post that you were against a "reductionist" anything.

The fact that you're unfamiliar with the contents of your own posts doesn't bother you?

I don't even know where to start. I guess you're just looking for a fight or something? I posted to clarify my stance, because it was clear that I failed to do so. You've responded in a manner where you are clearly trying to NOT see what I'm saying. So I guess whatever.

I stand by both those points. If you'd like to discuss them, I'm willing to. If you just want to "win"... I concede. You know more than me.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

Because you're more wrong than Samy is. Which, given Samy's fundamental misunderstanding of "free trade," is quite an accomplishment.

What part specifically did I say that was wrong? Don't veer off into things I didn't say, or parts I haven't talked about yet. Stick to what I've said.

Cause I whole-heartedly agree with everything you've said on trade agreements. Your analysis is pretty much the analysis I would write, so I'm SUPER interested where you and I are both wrong.

Edit: let me do a longer edit before you respond.

1. I said I'm for better trade agreements. I'm generally for free trade, because I'm not in favor of protectionism. I don't believe in unregulated trade, because I'm not for an economy without regulation. I believe our economy should be highly regulated and I would extend that to our trade agreements as well.

2. I posted how I was against a reductionist view of someone else's definition of the term "free trade agreement".

That's the extent of what I've posted concerning economics in this thread. What thing in either of those points do you consider particularly heinous and wrong?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
See the part where I said we need better free trade agreements?
"Better" and "free" are more or less mutually exclusive here. Either you restrict trade so that companies can't offshore, providing domestic jobs -- but then it's not a free trade agreement. Or you have a free trade agreement, which by definition is free, and allows for convenient offshoring and loss of domestic jobs.
Are you making the claim that it is impossible for two countries to engage in trade that is mutually beneficial? Because for what you're saying to be true, it would have to be impossible.
That's not the claim Samy is making,
Do you see the part where Samy said "more or less mutually exclusive"? Did you read that part? Do you agree with it?
I did, and if you accept an unrealistically absolutist definition of "free trade agreement," (the one Samy posed) there exists only one possible free trade agreement, and hence there can be neither a "better" or "worse" free trade agreement. It only makes sense to talk about comparatives when there are two items to actually compare.

Did I indicate that I hold to this unrealistic definition of "free trade"? I don't think I did. If I did, I apologize, because that's not my intention. So, you can stop trying to explain how it's an unrealistic definition, because I agree, it's not a good definition, nor was it the one I was working with.

In fact, my post was about how it was an unrealistic definition.

So.... I'm not sure why you're responding to me and not someone else.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
See the part where I said we need better free trade agreements?
"Better" and "free" are more or less mutually exclusive here. Either you restrict trade so that companies can't offshore, providing domestic jobs -- but then it's not a free trade agreement. Or you have a free trade agreement, which by definition is free, and allows for convenient offshoring and loss of domestic jobs.
Are you making the claim that it is impossible for two countries to engage in trade that is mutually beneficial? Because for what you're saying to be true, it would have to be impossible.

That's not the claim Samy is making, although it's also certainly defensible when you consider that countries can "benefit," in the abstract, from things that don't necessarily benefit everyone in those countries.

Quote:


Let's start with a simple concept. I have some milk cows. You have some chickens. Would it be possible for you and I to trade milk and eggs that resulted in us both being able to have nicer meals? Or do you consider this concept to be impossible?

This trade doesn't necessarily benefit the person who was selling you eggs before you cut a trade deal that undercut him. In fact, it's probably to his detriment.

The same thing applies at the country level; if Freedonia has an excess of dairy capacity which it sells to Sylvania in exchange for their eggs, then the Freedonian egg farmers are going to be hurt. Indeed, the whole point of such a deal is that it raises the supply of eggs for Freedonia, which reduces the income of the Freedonian egg farmers.

This is probably to the overall benefit of Freedonia as a whole -- after all, everyone gets the advantage of cheaper eggs, while only a small minority of egg farmers (and people who make egg farming equipment, and egg wholesalers, and so forth) will be hurt. So economists can correctly claim that this is a beneficial trade.... but whom does it benefit? The...

Do you see the part where Samy said "more or less mutually exclusive"? Did you read that part? Do you agree with it?

I don't want to go off on other tangents. I want to talk about THAT ONE PART first.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
See the part where I said we need better free trade agreements?
"Better" and "free" are more or less mutually exclusive here. Either you restrict trade so that companies can't offshore, providing domestic jobs -- but then it's not a free trade agreement. Or you have a free trade agreement, which by definition is free, and allows for convenient offshoring and loss of domestic jobs.

Are you making the claim that it is impossible for two countries to engage in trade that is mutually beneficial? Because for what you're saying to be true, it would have to be impossible.

Otherwise, if it IS possible that two countries can engage in mutually beneficial trade, your point is false.

Let's start with a simple concept. I have some milk cows. You have some chickens. Would it be possible for you and I to trade milk and eggs that resulted in us both being able to have nicer meals? Or do you consider this concept to be impossible?

If this seems like an ultra simplification, well, I had to make it super simple, because this is a basic concept you're attempting to disprove.


Samy wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

We need better free trade agreements, but free trade agreements are crucial to maintaining a stable and peaceful world.

Free trade stops wars. Then we figure out...

Free trade, however, has also resulted in all the blue collar jobs going away, when manufacturing is offshored to Bangladesh. And that's going to result in cities burning probably within our lifespans. True, countries won't go to war because they have so much to lose anymore. They'll burn from within because the people have nothing anymore.

See the part where I said we need better free trade agreements? Did you read that part, or just skip over it? Cause it's important. Like, really important to my stance. It's so important, that skipping over it or ignoring it makes a response to my stance a little pointless.

I'd like to stress once more, it's important.

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