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devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:20 pm

George wrote:Every single human generation ever has thought that it was on the edge of annihilation.
Anyone seen "The Fog of War"? Film Documentary tracing Robert McNamara's life, particularly his time as US Secretary of Defence. Well worth a look.

selfishbi_atch101
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Post by selfishbi_atch101 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:52 pm

devilsadvocat wrote:
George wrote:Every single human generation ever has thought that it was on the edge of annihilation.
Anyone seen "The Fog of War"? Film Documentary tracing Robert McNamara's life, particularly his time as US Secretary of Defence. Well worth a look.
Cheers for this:) My date (a cheeky bottle of Valpolicella) and I 'got drunk' last night watching up to Lesson #8. Looking forward to finishing it this evening after a long slog back at work (although, can't complain, managed to squeeze a million and one things into my week off!)

McNamara certainly comes across as more human/humble than current Defen's'e Secretary - I read the Time article about him when I was on my hols and this got me a bit aggrieved:
'Gates thought for a moment... "... and I believe that we are, as a country, the greatest force for good in the history of the world"

That doesn't appear to be a rational approach?!
Perhaps he was joking, and I just don't 'get it' (this is highly likely knowing my logic/knowlege/view)

I'm not going to 'get all Chomsky' and act like America is evil or anything (I've just spent the best part of a week with two American friends and appreciate that nationality is not necessarily a criterion for personality), but I do *think* (i.e. IMO) America's political standpoint holds an over-inflated sense of their international worth.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:21 pm

Id tend to agree. I think McNamara would have too after hearing his views on the Vietnam war. Makes you realise how few checks and balances there are on Presidential power concerning war compared to everything else. Obama's struggling to push through watered down health care reforms but Bush took a country and its allies to war with relative ease.

Clur
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Post by Clur » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:42 pm

Pete wrote: but oil is used for nearly everything else (plastic etc, the production of nearly every product). the major problem will be in the handover from an oil based economy to one based on another resource.
Wez wrote: Necessity is the mother of invention, and the nice thing about free market economics is that necessity comes a lot sooner than, "Ok guys, that was the last of it!". Wouldn't surprise me if the tech was already in place, but just squeezing the last profit out of the black stuff first.
Thing is that when oil 'runs' out, we technically won't have run out of plastics at all. We have great piles of the stuff just lying around in the ground.

I don't believe its about using up resources, more about being sent in our ways about how we use them. Our problem isn't necessarily about what we use, but our attitude to getting the most out of what we do have. It applies to most resources - food is another great example of it.

Until the Western world feels the need to be less wasteful, then it will carry on. But at some point it may become actually economically viable to mine waste dumps or in some other way, reuse the resources we already have. We aren't at that stage yet. There simply isn't the financial rewards for going down that route, but we are getting there perhaps quicker than we expect.

As you've said, necessity is the mother of invention. Look at how resources are recycled in India...

selfishbi_atch101
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Post by selfishbi_atch101 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:21 pm

Listening to Radio 4 this morning; debating about freedom of expression and the press. Unchecked ranting in very public arenas used to trouble me (e.g. Grump_BNP_Griffin on QT) but have changed my mind. Especially after finding out more about libertarianism (I think I'm moving more towards non-propertarian :shock: - but then my opinions are often like English weather :roll: ) and after following this:

http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2010/02 ... -suit.html

Considering now that no-one should be publicly 'gagged' (well, bar Heather Mills (sat through the pain-staking Shrink Rap last night), shame it's only her marriage she can't talk about - is that woman for real?! - discussing her in the office: my work colleague has just said 'yeah, spend a week on the Kursaal Estate and then see how hard done by you are love' haha)

Pete
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Post by Pete » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:47 pm

The Singh case is discussed a lot on badscience.net which is a great source for scientific debate, even if it is full of tree-hugging warmists ;)

Re Heather Mills, I may be wrong but I thought she was brought up on a really nasty estate in Newcastle? (I've just checked, I am indeed correct)
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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teamescape
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Post by teamescape » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:49 pm

selfishbi_atch101 wrote: discussing her in the office: my work colleague has just said 'yeah, spend a week on the Kursaal Estate and then see how hard done by you are love' haha)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEnK145M9-A

"Get on the bus with me' daysavar. Smoke da reefar in da cornar"?

Thanks.
Stu

Pete
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Post by Pete » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:59 pm

teamescape wrote:
selfishbi_atch101 wrote: discussing her in the office: my work colleague has just said 'yeah, spend a week on the Kursaal Estate and then see how hard done by you are love' haha)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEnK145M9-A

"Get on the bus with me' daysavar. Smoke da reefar in da cornar"?

Thanks.
You fucking legend, brilliant
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:15 pm

Jesus wept, it really is another world.

I have an interesting module on public sector managment this term, this weeks lecture was on egalitarianism touching briefly on libertarianism. Had an interesting case study from the Blair years, with sink estaes being given around £20 million directly provided the community could agree how to spend it. In many cases there was such disagreement the money went completely unspent. Im pretty sceptical that people can be left to govern themselves, without some degree of hierarchy in the form of government intervention.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:25 pm

devilsadvocat wrote:Jesus wept, it really is another world.

I have an interesting module on public sector managment this term, this weeks lecture was on egalitarianism touching briefly on libertarianism. Had an interesting case study from the Blair years, with sink estaes being given around £20 million directly provided the community could agree how to spend it. In many cases there was such disagreement the money went completely unspent. Im pretty sceptical that people can be left to govern themselves, without some degree of hierarchy in the form of government intervention.
So why give them a vote at all? If they're so dumb why not just impose a dictatorship and be done?
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:32 pm

When left to their own devices those people could not come to a necessary agreement. If one of them had been given the power to count votes and carry out the majority verdict the community would still have been better off. Its not about government silencing the community, but about helping them make a decision.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:35 pm

So it's about conditioning and environment and the psychological aspects of self governing? Because so much power has been taken away from people they struggle to make some of the most basic decisions in life (or at least make some blindingly obvious ones correctly) and need people to hold their hand or they fuck up. So lets keep propping them up, offering them get outs and doing stuff for them.

And that's how we got to the youtube video posted above.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:44 pm

Its not about that at all. Those communities made individual decisions on how the money should be spent, i.e new childrens playgrounds or improved lighting etc. Naturally however, these opinions differed, and a unanimous decision couldnt be reached. Instead of handing power entirely to the community groups, government could have invited suggestions from the public, acting on the most popular ones.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:49 pm

So the community could run itself and govern itself without central government intervention, just so long as they had administrative capabilities to do so?
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:05 pm

devilsadvocat wrote:Jesus wept, it really is another world.

I have an interesting module on public sector managment this term, this weeks lecture was on egalitarianism touching briefly on libertarianism. Had an interesting case study from the Blair years, with sink estaes being given around £20 million directly provided the community could agree how to spend it. In many cases there was such disagreement the money went completely unspent. Im pretty sceptical that people can be left to govern themselves, without some degree of hierarchy in the form of government intervention.
And as a side note, chucking £20m at a group and saying 'do as you will' isn't any sort of example of Libertarianism. It's not some do or die every man for himself form of Darwinism, it's about decentralising power and allowing communities to run themselves. If someone wanted to donate £20m or an any other large amount to a community to do so they would need to put in place some kind of trustee board in charge of deciding where the money would be allocated and how. In much the same way endowments and foundations in the US, that distribute hundreds of billions of pounds a year with no help from any government, do. It doesn't matter whether we are ruled by Chris Mounsey or Joseph Stalin, drop a shitload of cash onto a group of people with no structure put in place on what to do with it and of course there will be arguments on how / what to spend it on.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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