Eat The Rich

Envy, there is a reason why it is one of the 7 deadly sins. Like rose colored glasses, it distorts your view of reality, but in a bad way. And like leg irons, it can hamper any progress you might make in improving your own station in life. But it also can be comforting, when used to assuage your own miserable failures or lack of any industry, coddling yourself with the notion that whatever the rich obtained, naturally they were ill gotten gains, robbed off the back of the proletariat.

Interestingly, the Bay Area, probably the single birth place for the most wealth created in the world, has become obsessed of late criticizing the rich and their peculiarities. No doubt fostered by that OWS mentality, that view of history where America is dominated by a greedy kleptocracy that exploits the remaining 99%, reaps most of the spoils for itself, and cleverly avoids paying it’s fair share of taxes, monies BTW that the rest of us are entitled to. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy. But it goes well beyond the casual interest the hoi polloi have with the hoity-toity, this is not fascination, it’s much more insipid.

Two stories in the news of late have riled folks (those folks susceptible to getting worked up), over perceived excesses of the rich. The first is here:

In Marin County, Calif., where people tend to have money, people in Belvedere tend to have more. Even so, a recent decision by Clark and Sharon Winslow of 337 Belvedere Avenue to buy the home next to theirs for $4.2 million — and then tear it down to get a better view — might seem extraordinary.

Naturally there are some that believe the rich must run their financial decisions through them:

I don’t mean to pick on them. (OK, a little.) The One Percenters are constantly pulling stunts that could be seen as arrogant, self-absorbed, wasteful, unjust, mean and, well, loopy. But what things seem are not always what they are. The problem is the One Percenters don’t explain themselves. They’re rich and explaining themselves is one of the many things they don’t have to do because they are rich.

How dare those rich snobs don’t explain themselves, don’t poll the consensus for all their financial decisions. For some the concept of private property is lost and the freedom to spend your money any damn way you want seems radical and antithetical to the common good. I’m still trying to figure out how this act is “mean”, considering that they bought the house on the open market, no duplicity or coercion involved. But I chuckle at these so called champions of the common man, how they think nothing of putting their nose in others’ affairs, and can inject hair trigger criticism over stuff that is none of their business. It is obviously lost on this chowder head that jobs are being created and sustained by the demolition, that turning this lot into a garden is more environmentally friendly, more green, and that this couple’s actions are benefiting the rest of the neighbors, thus improving the entire community.

The other spur under the saddle of the resident busy bodies is a recent real estate purchase of another local bazilionaire, Larry Elison:

Larry Ellison, the billionaire chief executive of Oracle Corp., ORCL -0.89% was identified Wednesday as the buyer of the bulk of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

—–

The Maui News reported that the asking price for the property was between $500 million and $600 million.

Ellison could be in his own Old Spice commercial. The epitome of the American Dream, a self made billionaire who works hard, plays hard, dates super models and lives extravagantly, and yes, he pays his fair share of taxes. But buying an entire island? Clearly this goes beyond the pale, what can one man possible do with his own island? Thus, all the bellyaching.

The concept of capitalism is hard for some folks. Some can hide under the blanket of self pity and point fingers at the exploitative upper crust, but economic dynamism is a marvelous thing. Entrepreneurial risk taking and the rewards of success (and the heartbreak of failure, when the government will allow economic Darwinism) is the name of the game, that whole risk/reward dichotomy that is essential for true capitalism. Allowing those so inclined to risk, to get rewarded for that risk, this is the true growth engine for real prosperity, not only for more jobs all around but for a better standard of living, for everyone.

Comments are closed.

  1. georgebalella

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Thumb up 1

  2. Poosh

    Sounds like libtards should be loving this. After all it’s stimulating the economy, and even doing a bit of broken-windowing. After all, as you point out, someone needs to be paid to bulldoze that house!

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  3. CM

    Hal, maybe you like getting f’d by the banking and finance sect of our economy but a lot of us are paying attention to…

    You’re obviously not paying any attention to who the author was.

    If the libtards wanted the house to stay, they should try to get it zoned accordingly (like most places, the city Iive in has heritage areas/sites where building demos require consent, which can be declined if certain criteria aren’t met).

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  4. richtaylor365 *

    You’re obviously not paying any attention to who the author was.

    Ah CM, now you spoiled it :(

    George was regaling all of us (the third time he has used one of my posts to yell at Hal) to illustrate how thick/dense he is by not being able to differentiate the difference between my name and Hal’s, between my avatar and Hal’s, or the glaring differences in our writing styles. Yep, he exhibits that same absence of astuteness and comprehension that is the calling card of many on the left, begging the perfunctory smack against the head to reset their brain. I was just going to let him go with it.

    If the libtards wanted the house to stay, they should try to get it zoned accordingly (like most places, the city Iive in has heritage areas/sites where building demos require consent, which can be declined if certain criteria aren’t met).

    I know this is your bailiwick so I don’t doubt you know what you are talking about, but I don’t. You say building demos require consent, from who? This house was in foreclosure so the purchase was from a bank (Oh, those evil bastards), there was no current occupants. And besides, how can the old owners tell the new owners what to do with the property, which they don’t own anymore?

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  5. CM

    Yep, he exhibits that same absence of astuteness and comprehension that is the calling card of many on the left,

    That’s a shame that you had to do that though.

    I know this is your bailiwick so I don’t doubt you know what you are talking about, but I don’t. You say building demos require consent, from who? This house was in foreclosure so the purchase was from a bank (Oh, those evil bastards), there was no current occupants. And besides, how can the old owners tell the new owners what to do with the property, which they don’t own anymore?

    I’m only talking about how it works around here. The local authority has it within their power to zone a certain area or specific site a certain way which means that a planning consent is required to knock the building down. It would be the new owners that would have to get the approval. (Yes, this is my line of work, I get evil rich people consents to do evil rich things all the time. I have a current project which is astounding in terms of what the clients are wanting to spend money on. Personally and professionally I don’t give a shit).
    If the old owners don’t like the fact that the house is being demolished, they should have sought to have the building legally protected before they sold it. I’m assuming a mechanism is available for that in that specific area.

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  6. Seattle Outcast

    The problem is the One Percenters don’t explain themselves. They’re rich and explaining themselves is one of the many things they don’t have to do because they are rich.

    No, they don’t have to explain themselves because they just don’t fucking have to. Nobody has to “explain themselves”, it’s still sorta’ a free country, douchebag…

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    Oh MooGoo, it IS you!! Using your real name and everything is really just the icing on the cake – they even spotted you at Cafe Press going by MuirGeo (I mean really, hadn’t you worn that one out?) and outed you. Good to know I spotted your particular line of psycho BS at the very beginning.

    I present to you MooGoo – aka MuirGeo and georgebalealla

    Not to belabor the point much, but you look like child molester.

    *EDITED BY JIMK*

    No. NO. Never. Do not out people on this site EVER. Especially in today’s climate of SWATings and so forth. It might be someone moogoo hates and he just took the guy’s name. Shit like this has a tendency to get out of control.

    Just know the fucking rule: NEVER, EVER OUT AN IDENTITY. If it happens, it will either be A. voluntary, or B. Someone who has committed a criminal or alleged criminal act against someone here. I can’t think of many other circumstances in which I’d be OK violating that rule. So let;s not do it. If you are ever compelled to do it, EMAIL ME THE FACTS and let me decide.

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  8. Seattle Outcast

    Not to be stunningly obvious about it, but bulldozing an existing home, regrading, removal of the debris, etc, would most likely have required a building permit, which I’m sure any contractor in the country would have obtained before even showing up to do the job.

    Also, all of these “historical landmarks” that people try to claim their homes are pretty much aren’t actual historical landmarks.

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  9. salinger

    I present to you MooGoo – aka MuirGeo and georgebalealla

    Now Harvey – are we really outing people online these days?
    Last I recall you guys liked your anonymity.

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  10. Biggie G

    I present to you MooGoo – aka MuirGeo and georgebalealla

    Is this really necessary? As much as I dislike him, I still think that he can come here and be a cunt until Jim bans him again. I think that we all get to have whatever anonimity that we want. It’s not all that difficult to find someone’s info, but we don’t need to post it.

    If my opinion has any weight, can we get this taken down?

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  11. blameme

    Uh, I think Moogoo has stated many times that he does not try to hide his identity. He may try to hide that he has used multiple usernames here due to being blacklisted, but he has stated before that he was an MD in California and USES HIS NAME AS HIS NICKNAME HERE.

    So, SO has not “outed” him – he has only shown that moogoo and this user are one and the same.

    If he wanted anonymity, he could have just not used his real name. I think you two are making a big deal out of nothing.

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  12. CM

    Not to be stunningly obvious about it, but bulldozing an existing home, regrading, removal of the debris, etc, would most likely have required a building permit, which I’m sure any contractor in the country would have obtained before even showing up to do the job.

    Here the process is: get planning approval, then get building permit. Many people here don’t know there is a difference. Building permit is just the technical details. Planning approval is about the bigger picture. Here, contractors don’t really care if planning approval has been given or not. As you say, they just care about the building permit.

    Also, all of these “historical landmarks” that people try to claim their homes are pretty much aren’t actual historical landmarks.

    Of course. And people should have the right to waste their time and money failing to have them considered as such.

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  13. HARLEY

    Now Harvey – are we really outing people online these days?
    Last I recall you guys liked your anonymity.

    I can vouch that this twats “cover” was blown a long time ago, and he was not even trying to hide who he was. as for anonymity.. HA! i for one do not give a rats ass.. most of the regulars know where i may be found.

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  14. ilovecress

    Heh – CM, I’m actually just down the road from you…

    I’m all for anonymity, but he did use his real name as his lgin ID. Not smart.

    But a word of caution – it can bite you in the ass. A few years ago someone disagreed with me on the old site (I think it was Leeinchina actually) and found my contact info, and properly tried to f*ck my life up. Found out where I was working and emailed my boss pretending to be a client who wanted me sacked. Even though it was obviously a hoax (the spammer had assumed i was in America) it still ended up going through all sorts of ‘official disciplinary channels’ and causing a massive f*cking headache.

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  15. Seattle Outcast

    Last I recall you guys liked your anonymity.

    And he used his real fucking name. Seriously, how much fucking less anonymous can you be?

    You want to be anonymous? Use a pseudonym and at least make a token effort.

    How do you know “georgebalella” didn’t just pick some random guy, say a doctor called George Balella, and replicate him into his identity …

    Other people had already done the legwork and verified it at Cafe Press when he was still using his moogoo identity. Also, the profile fits several of his claims about himself – it’s either him or his boyfriend.

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  16. Seattle Outcast

    I’ll play. You’ll never guess which of these is me.

    One looks like a perv/douchebag, anther like he sniffs his own farts, one is clueless looking, a couple of the women look sorta normal, and one like she strangles kittens when nobody is watching.

    That’s OK, all my company pictures look like a mug shot for assault and battery….

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  17. Biggie G

    I know I was being all touchy-feely, but it really comes down to this. He is a cunt and this gives him more reason to be one. He has now blown our retarded neocon minds so thoroughly that we must resort to the most personal of attacks. The best outcome is that he sprains his dick beating off tonight about how he really stuck it to us this time.

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  18. salinger

    And he used his real fucking name. Seriously, how much fucking less anonymous can you be?

    Yeah – I was pretty much just fucking with ya.
    I’ve personally thought the pseudonym thing was a little too CB good buddy handle-ish for me. I mean – what good is your opinion if you’re not willing to put your name to it?

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  19. JimK

    The link to that doctor’s profile has been removed. We don’t do that here. Moogoo could be setting up some doctor named George he hates.

    I edited the comment to reflect my policy, which is NO.

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  20. JimK

    And people should have the right to waste their time and money failing to have them considered as such.

    What a libertarian perspective. Too bad you don’t carry that same logic through more of your ideology. ;)

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  21. Seattle Outcast

    The link to that doctor’s profile has been removed. We don’t do that here.

    Your blog, your rules.

    On a side note, I doubt that moogoo has the intellectual capacity to set anyone up to take the blame for his moronic drivel. He may have had someone do it for him though…

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  22. georgebalella

    Your blog, your rules.

    On a side note, I doubt that moogoo has the intellectual capacity to set anyone up to take the blame for his moronic drivel. He may have had someone do it for him though…

    I challenge you or anyone here to a one on one debate. If the blog owners want to put up a separate post where we can have an ongoing discussion for all to see I am sure I can back everyone of you libertarians into a corner of illogic, factual error, self-contradiction, inconsistency, hypocrisy , ad hominems or some mix of all of these. Or we can set up our own side blog where others could be free to observe. The fact is the world is not as simple as libertarians want it to be. The simple-minded less government is better position is unsupported by logic or any historical evidence and that explains why this system of government exist no where in the real world except for maybe Haiti, Somalia and Antarctica. It basically results in the Serfdom we saw all through the Middle Ages. monopoly of property and monopoly of the means of production and monopoly of the government itself. Libertarianism is a bankrupt, lazy, selfish and worthless philosophy promoted as propaganda by the power elite to keep their current hold on power. It has almost no practical application in-toto to the real world of organizing societies and governments. Almost everyone I know that adheres to it when questioned has clearly not thought it through to its logical consequences.

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  23. ryansparx

    The fact is the world is not as simple as libertarians want it to be.

    Libertarians know the world is unfathomably complex. Too complex to try and top-down engineer, you fucking statist piece of shit.

    Now, we’re not trying to tell you to go choke on a cock and die or anything… but if, by chance, you decided of your own free will to go partake in phallic asphyxiation to the point where your hitpoints drop to zero, then we would most likely support your decision with no ill judgement.

    Oh, fuck, I think I now feel how SO feels every day. I’m done. I need to go find a happy place.

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  24. Poosh

    It tickled me that georgebalella responded to being accused of spouting moronic drivel, by spouting moronic drivel.

    I mean seriously. The elite promote libertarianism? IF FUCKING ONLY.

    / alternative response > oh sorry, I must have missed the Libertarian party’s sudden take-over of the White House.

    Fairly sure you don’t even know what a libertarian is, which is fucking pathetic quite frankly.

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  25. Poosh

    Too fucking right, ryansparx – you have it exactly right. Austrian economics is predicated on humans being too complex, too unpredictable and unmanageable for a government-planned economy. At best, we should be left to get on with it, and we’ll organically provide for ourselves. When a government tries to manage the unmanageable it always leads to ruin.

    Life is grubby and harsh, and a series of trade-offs. Liberalism and leftism is an attempt to control the uncontrollable and convince the masses that their fabricated reality is better than actual reality.

    // georgebalella also sounds like a 16 year old hippy loser. I doubt he’s a doctor, come on lol

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  26. Seattle Outcast

    If he was a doctor, you’d think learning proper sentence structure would have been a requirement to get into college.

    So, what tiny island in the Caribbean did moogoo go to for medical school?

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  27. georgebalella

    , you fucking statist piece of shit. ….go choke on a cock and die or anything… but if, by chance, you decided of your own free will to go partake in phallic asphyxiation to the point where your hitpoints drop to zero,…..

    ryansparx

    So I can put you down as not interested in the one on one scholarly debate thing??? Too busy keeping up the hitpoints are we? OK one down…. anyone else? Anyone?

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  28. georgebalella

    The elite promote libertarianism? IF FUCKING ONLY.

    Poosh

    CEI
    The Heartland Institute
    Cato
    The Heritage Foundation
    Alec
    Fox News
    Clear Channel
    American Eneterprise Institute

    There’s plenty more. Yes they promote the philosophy to the public. But as I said its just for suckers to lap up and pass along just like any other religion. The end results are favorable policies for them and stupid tything angry suckers believing in a god that doesn’t exist. Kind of like the useful idiot concept. Dopey true believers expousing the propaganda used ultimatly for their own enslavement.

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  29. georgebalella

    Austrian economics is predicated on humans being too complex, too unpredictable and unmanageable for a government-planned economy. At best, we should be left to get on with it, and we’ll organically provide for ourselves. When a government tries to manage the unmanageable it always leads to ruin.

    So what you are saying is that when we compare all the societies with governments to the ones without governments it’s clear to you those without government ( if they existed) are far superior? Brilliant!! And I guess you are also trying to say that evolution screwed up when it allowed for selection of altruistic traits that tended to make us ( most of us ) social animals. Stupid evolution!! It’s all it’s fault huh? Wow you are deep thinker. And the idea that “we should all just get on with it.”… Somalia or Haiti are calling you bro… go for it you rugged individualist. I mean really this is exactly the kind of stupid shit that comes from libertarian’s mouths when you start digging a little deeper into what it is they believe. You’re just making my case for me.

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  30. ryansparx

    Brilliant!! And I guess you are also trying to say that evolution screwed up when it allowed for selection of altruistic traits that tended to make us ( most of us ) social animals.

    FULL STOP. Kin selection and Tit for Tat are not “altruistic” by any means. They are as self-serving and internally consistent and individually enforced as anything else that libertarians espouse. Those principles are not legislated from above by a benevolent Gaia and her army bureaucratic faeries in the Department of Social Forest Justice.

    You clearly know nothing about biology, evolution, nor the central dogma that unifies genetics with the diversity of traits that we see in Kingdom Animalia. These fundamentals are serious and not for a mouthbreather like you to warp and pervert for you to stretch to fit your filthy leftist talking points.

    Shut your goddamn cockholster about things you cannot even comprehend, let alone use effectively in conversation, slave.

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  31. JimK

    I challenge you or anyone here to a one on one debate. If the blog owners want to put up a separate post where we can have an ongoing discussion for all to see I am sure I can back everyone of you libertarians into a corner of illogic, factual error, self-contradiction, inconsistency, hypocrisy , ad hominems or some mix of all of these

    Ladies and gentlemen, now that is comedy. Takes notes, people. This is a master class in hilarity.

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  32. Poosh

    CEI
    The Heartland Institute
    Cato
    The Heritage Foundation
    Alec
    Fox News
    Clear Channel
    American Enterprise Institute

    These people are elites? You’ve just listed a bunch of free- organisations.

    You clearly are an idiot, who cannot use logic, so I’ll be ignoring you.

    I enjoy how you don’t mention real elites i.e public intellectuals, Hollywood aristocracy, academia, politicians, etc.

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  33. Poosh

    So what you are saying is that when we compare all the societies with governments to the ones without governments it’s clear to you those without government ( if they existed) are far superior?

    I only read this bit, then I REALLY will be ignoring you. You clearly have holes in your education.

    LIBERTARIANS do not b believe in NO government. Are you thick? Did you watch that anti-tea party Family Guy episode and not realise Seth McFarlane was LYING TO YOU ?? If you want to talk about no government with competing police and judicial systems then that’s Murray Rothband, an anarcho-capitalist. Ayn Rand hated him. And almost NO libertarians are anarcho-capitalists. Why are you even mentioning Somalia? The primary rule of Libertarians is that you shall NEVER USE FORCE AGAINST ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. And the law reflects this.

    Humans are social animals. So what? Most of us are naturally violent. Should we, by law, be forced to fight eachother? Humans have also evolved from survival of the fitness. Should we send the disabled and Justin Bieber to concentration camps? And at any rate, Libertarians do not deny humans are social animals. They deny FORCING humans to be “social”. You’re talking crap anyway, as all so called pre-civilised “social” communities ALWAYS had someone at the top, with all the power.

    I’m not in even a f’cking Libertarian ffs!

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  34. Seattle Outcast

    I still want moogoo’s academic record. Perhaps he went to that “school of medicine” I drove by on Bonaire last month. It may have had 20 students…

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  35. salinger

    I still want moogoo’s academic record. Perhaps he went to that “school of medicine” I drove by on Bonaire last month. It may have had 20 students

    Jesus Christ SO – it’s at the link YOU posted about him. It’s this extra special attention to detail that is so endearing of many of the contributors here.

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  36. blameme

    Googoo moogoo, if you think Fox News pushes libertarianism, then yes, you actually are as stupid as you look.

    They have religious fascists on there every damn day. They do not push libertarianism.

    And comparing libertarianism to countries in anarchy? You lying POS – no libertarian wants NO government.

    But you know that or are too stupid to debate.

    Dumbass or liar. Probably a combination. Congrats.

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  37. georgebalella

    You clearly know nothing about biology, evolution,

    ryansparx

    Ryan, the party you align most with…I’m assuming Republicans…based on your rage index… believes the Earth is 6000 and 1 years old. And somehow you think these creationist are the way to move forward through this age of technology? And stop being so concerned with my wee-wee and it’s holster… you’re creepin me out.

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  38. georgebalella

    Googoo moogoo, if you think Fox News pushes libertarianism, then yes, you actually are as stupid as you look. They have religious fascists on there every damn day. They do not push libertarianism.

    That’s right…they’ve lumped libertarians and creationist and biggots and haters and fascit all together… and you all lemmingly vote for republicans ( YEAH YOU DO…) who forward policies for the elites that run things like Fox News that eventually screws you out of your tax dollars and makes them richer. That’s what is so funny. You guys when you do vote …you vote with the creationist…. because you hate us pragmatist so much. You call yourselves libertarians and you’re the most dependent people on Earth and some of the biggest promotors of the elitist policy there are. You might as well be a human battery in the Matrix.

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  39. georgebalella

    The primary rule of Libertarians is that you shall NEVER USE FORCE AGAINST ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

    and

    Most of us are naturally violent.

    Poosh… demonstrating just one of the massive logical failings of the libertarian position…in just 2 sentences. That’s what is fun about debating libertarians… they quickly make your points for you. The pretzel that is their logic is very tiny and quickly turns back upon itself. Well done Poosh.

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  40. Poosh

    As a point of fact, Fox News provides Libertarian arguments sometimes, as a real news source should. John Stossel is a man who wants to legalise drugs and prostitution on liberty grounds. He has his own show, and he debates Conservatives on Fox News, as well as Liberals. He gets some airtime. Fox News state they are a Conservative news channel and all their hosts openly state their bias (ergo they are NOT bias, unlike the BBC, or CNN, etc). When you go to Fox News you know what you’re getting. John Stossel openly says he is a Libertarian and is trying to convince you of his point of view.

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  41. georgebalella

    Ladies and gentlemen, now that is comedy. Takes notes, people. This is a master class in hilarity.

    JimK

    Yeah beause last time we tried to have a debate and you were getting a bit behind you defaulted to threats of banning… after you realized fits of rage and foul langauge weren’t gonna do the trick. How about we debate Health Care Jim. Is it a right? Do we really have any natural rights or do ALL rights come from a society organized by a government?

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  42. Poosh

    ffs dont’ want to get drawn into this,

    1. I’m NOT a libertarian. I’m a bloody monarchist and proud of it.

    2. A lot of libertarians state that man is not naturally violent (I think that’s absurd).

    3. I SAID man is naturally violent, not libertarians.

    4. But humans are naturally violent imo, and I believe most of us realise this.

    5. Libertarians believe in a first principle of never initiating violence. This is a MORAL principle that their philosophy is centred around. You cannot force someone to do something against her or his will. For man to be free, he must be free from cohesion.

    6. This is a logical fallacy HOW exactly? Because humans are naturally violent, then, we should not live in a society where violence is prohibited? If you want to live in a violent society, and you chose to, then fine – but you will NOT be free.

    You do not have the right to throw around the word “logic” you clearly have not been educated in it / lack the genetic capabilities to use logic.

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  43. georgebalella

    1. I’m NOT a libertarian. I’m a bloody monarchist and proud of it.

    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!!! That is my argument against libertarians in a nutshell. They are basically Monarchist who don’t believe in violence. And I guess from a pragmatic or maybe an evolutionary standpoint that explains why through ALL of history and ALL the wide world over there exist NOT ONE SOCIETY organized by libertarian principals. NONE, ZERO, ZILCH. But these clears facts seem not to bother their powerful genetic inclination towards selfishness and lazy thinking.

    Oh…and…God Save The Queen!!!!

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  44. Poosh

    But I’m not a libertarian … so what’s your point?

    Or were you just dodging the issue again.

    You’re the one advocating an all powerful state with the power to take the earned wealth of its citizens. Fairly sure a lot of monarchs, in the past, did that.

    I’m a British Conservative, the chances are I’m a monarchist. Duuuh. But I doubt you’re able to see the nuances in that.

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  45. Poosh

    georgebalella logic 101:

    P1: All these libertarians say they are not monarchists.

    P2: This one British tory who says he’s not a libertarian, says he’s a monarchist.

    THEREFORE: All libertarians are monarchists.

    georgebalella logic 101 in the 1800s England or whatever:

    P1: NOWHERE has parliamentary democracy for a country ever been tried throughout history!

    P2: NONE, ZERO, ZILCH!!!! These are clear facts!

    THEREFORE: Parliamentary Democracy is BAD and should never be tried in the future. Because it has never been tried in the past … The reason it has never been tried in the past is because it is bad!

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  46. Poosh

    Ryan, the party you align most with…I’m assuming Republicans…based on your rage index… believes the Earth is 6000 and 1 years old.

    This is ridiculous. You’re just saying things that aren’t even true. Making shit up. I just realised you’re a dumb troll. I apologise for feeding you.

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  47. Seattle Outcast

    Jesus Christ SO – it’s at the link YOU posted about him. It’s this extra special attention to detail that is so endearing of many of the contributors here.

    Truth to tell, I was too busy marveling at what a child molesting perv he looked like to really dig into the link, and second, he deserves to have his nose tweaked.

    After reading his profile I have to say he comes across as one of those losers you see at dating sites that spend all their time telling how introspective and in touch with their feelings they are.

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  48. ryansparx

    Ryan, the party you align most with…I’m assuming Republicans…based on your rage index… believes the Earth is 6000 and 1 years old.

    I admit that the proclivity of YEC on the Right is a stain that I find distasteful, but that is something that I will spend my life trying to correct, and not just bitch about it and just use it as an excuse to embrace other brands of idiocy.

    However, it doesn’t change the fact that is is a stupid red herring attempt at obscuring the issue at hand, which you tried to pull a fast one on everyone else by the mischaracterization of something you are wholly ignorant in to suit your propaganda. You got called out, and are too cowardly to admit it, instead choosing to hide behind what some Republicans believe. Speaking of Creationism, however, you use a creationist debate technique called the “Gish Gallop.”

    Also, just to tie my rants in more with the thread: Keynesianism is just Economic Creationism–the diversity of life wealth and prosperity found on the Earth in the country can only be top-down magic’d into existence in full-form by an almighty benevolent anthropomorphic deity Government, instead of the blasphemous notion of bottom-up generation by the trial-and-error methodology of Evolution via natural selection mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services.

    Everyone else can do fine enough ripping you a new asshole about economics or politics, but as a biochemist/molecular biologist I feel it is my duty to call you out on that obvious bullshit when it enters my domain. I don’t think anyone else would have caught it because very few people even grasp the big picture, let alone study the subtle details of descent with modification.

    tl;dr: stop it, please. You are an ignorant, slimy douchebag.

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  49. Section8

    Great post Ryan.

    We seem to have a biologist here, Hal works in science I believe. I think Alex is an engineer. I thought we’re all supposed to be living in trailers with no clue that the earth revolves around the sun. I wonder how many of our left leaning posters have a career that’s related to science (and no, I don’t think George is a doctor)? Anyhow, the left only give a shit about science when it can push a political agenda. We’ve known that for ages. Massive cuts to NASA, cuts to planetary science, China catching up to our space program. Not a word from the left about the attack on science here. Not a God damned word. And these are people who love government spending. Go figure.

    Anyhow, this 6000 years meme along with everyone is racist has run its course. I hope they keep using this stuff for now though, as it will unfortunately be more about the asinine leftist base than fresh arguments form the GOP that will finally put to rest this ridiculous regime we have now.

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  50. GripeBoy

    I believe it was me that outed Georgie many years ago. I actually never felt that bad about it. I only felt bad that I did something on Lee’s blog that was “uncool”. Anyway. Hi.

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  51. Seattle Outcast

    We seem to have a biologist here, Hal works in science I believe. I think Alex is an engineer. I thought we’re all supposed to be living in trailers with no clue that the earth revolves around the sun.

    I’m an engineer at an aerospace corporation near Seattle (not Boeing, we just sell a billion dollars of stuff to them every year).

    My McMansion is bigger than George’s trailer….

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  52. georgebalella

    I’m an engineer at an aerospace corporation near Seattle

    So what percent of your salary and heath care benefits come from government contracts and subsidies… you conformable rugged libertarian individualist you. Oh but I am sure in your case there are good explanations right? ” OH look at me…. I’m a big fat individualistic libertarian…. then 99% of the time you find they’re living off one form of government check or another….tax payers helping them along.

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  53. georgebalella

    George, I suspect this news didn’t come as any great shock to you then.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18612279

    CM

    CM, It’s no shock at all. The shock is there are people out their who can learn of this stuff and come to the conclusion we should deregulate our banking system further… and if you question that you’re apparently a communist. It’s so beyond bizarre because as we learned from the post above we have biologist, engineers and all other sort of educated people believing this stuff with no regard for the facts or basic pragmatism or history. They’ll take it up the butt from the free enterprise system because they can ALWAYS find a way to blame the problems on the government. All their oppression comes apparently from this government of, by and for the people and corporations taking over the government and screwing them is apparently the governments fault and evidence that we need even less regulations and less government. So of course their recommendations to take away government power from the corporations is to shrink the government. Yeah …right … because the corporations will sign right on to that. Yeah.. lots of real “DEEP thinking” going on there. We’re screwed…. at some point in the next 1-200 years I suspect there will be a massive die-off. It seems inevitable. The battle of the left brain dominate and right brain dominant for our future will be brutal and there is no promise either side will win or survive. It could be Madd Max for millennia and the power elites that have divided us will indeed conquer us.

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  54. Section8

    It’s so beyond bizarre because as we learned from the post above we have biologist, engineers and all other sort of educated people believing this stuff with no regard for the facts or basic pragmatism or history.

    Apparently you and CM still can’t figure it out. Libertarians and/or fiscal conservatives have have no issue with a set of rules. Fraud being one of them. It’s the host of regulations that come after that give advantage to one business over another that is an issue. Anyhow, maybe one of you two idiots can explain how Haiti or Somalia is a libertarian model?

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  55. Section8

    Actually I’ll I should rephrase to not include CM in the idiot label on this one. I don’t think he’s made this ridiculous statement before but I know you have at least twice now, George. I’m pretty sure you included Mexico as a model once before when you were posting under your other handle. So anyhow, please do educate us on this economic and political model, as I really have never heard a Libertarian or fiscal conservative say gee, I wish we could be just like any of these mentioned countries.

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  56. Poosh

    Oddly enough a lot of these banks that were involved in this Libor scandal received a lot of government money instead of being allowed to fail. And apparently the Bank of England pressured Barclays in some manner, to fix the Libor rate (or whatever) for the “greater good” of London.

    Things bit more complicated than “bad banks” – it wasn’t in the banks SELF INTEREST, to do what they did. Now they may even end up in jail. Hardly rational objectivist behavior.

    And whilst the US banking system is extremely regulated the UK banks were not as regulated due to the need for them to “deal” with the large sums of money being pumped into the UK to pay for welfare (like our universal healthcare, for example). Banks were treated less harshly because the LEFTIST LABOUR government believed the banks could “hide” all this easy, borrowed money etc. Of course this also meant that the necessary regulation that even Libertarians might advocate, was not necessarily implemented.

    And it all blew up in our faces. Thanks to governments wanting a nice craddle-to-grave welfare state i.e the impossible.

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  57. Seattle Outcast

    So what percent of your salary and heath care benefits come from government contracts and subsidies…

    None

    you conformable rugged libertarian individualist you. Oh but I am sure in your case there are good explanations right? ” OH look at me…. I’m a big fat individualistic libertarian….

    I’ve see that you’ve been looking at my cock again.

    then 99% of the time you find they’re living off one form of government check or another….tax payers helping them along

    The stupid in your case goes to extremes. Why do you even bother pretending you know what you’re talking about?

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  58. ryansparx

    It’s so beyond bizarre because as we learned from the post above we have biologist, engineers and all other sort of educated people believing this stuff with no regard for the facts or basic pragmatism or history.

    Considering your facts about Evolution were wrong–which you still have not apologized for mischaracterizing like a sniveling spineless coward–it is no stretch to conclude that the rest of your facts about any subject are equally invalid, and demonstrably so.

    Just labeling the tenants of your personal ideology as “facts” do not make them so. You are hereby forbidden to use that word, because you drain all meaning and life from it, like the welfare-sucking vampire that you are.

    So once again, I ask you: stop it, please.

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  59. CM

    Actually I’ll I should rephrase to not include CM in the idiot label on this one. I don’t think he’s made this ridiculous statement before but I know you have at least twice now, George. I’m pretty sure you included Mexico as a model once before when you were posting under your other handle. So anyhow, please do educate us on this economic and political model, as I really have never heard a Libertarian or fiscal conservative say gee, I wish we could be just like any of these mentioned countries.

    Thanks, very gracious of you.

    However, as for “please do educate us on this economic and political model” the obvious answer is “you refuse to, as it’s apparently beneath you, so why on earth should I?”.

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  60. Section8

    CM you should have stopped at your first sentence.

    As far as explaining, George made a claim. It is his responsibility to back it up not mine nor anyone elses. As far as the thoughts on libertarian, and or fiscal conservative thought, there are years of archives on it here. In case you haven’t noticed, this whole fucking blog is primarily based on this point of view. No point in rehashing the it over and over again if you are too fucking stupid or lazy to pay attention, or continue with the bullshit of “no one has convinced me yet, but I’m really just an impartial guy looking for answers.”

    Now I have to apologize to George by grouping you together. At least he has integrity to point out he’s pro left wing policy and not ashamed of it apparently, where as you don’t even have an ounce of integrity. In fact, I hesitate to use the word ounce since this assumes you still have some albeit a smaller amount. You’re nothing but a time waster, and everyone has pretty much discovered that.

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  61. georgebalella

    Considering your facts about Evolution were wrong…..

    ryansparx

    Wait…what? Are you talking about this….?

    FULL STOP. Kin selection and Tit for Tat are not “altruistic” by any means. They are as self-serving and internally consistent and individually enforced as anything else that libertarians espouse.

    I didn’t even comment on this load of shit. If you believe Kin selection and Tit for Tat are not “altruistic” actions you should be stripped of your biological credentials and wee wee holster FULL STOP DUDE!!!!

    Hey if you want to tone it down and pretend to have a gentlemanly discussion I am all for that. Otherwise bugger off… I’ll not bother replying to you any more.

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  62. JimK

    Gentlemen, you are arguing science with a brick. You’re making arguments using terminology that has specific meaning in this context, and the brick doesn’t even understand what I just said much less what you all have put forth.

    Remember…you only get dirty and the pig fucking LOVES it. He said, mixing his metaphors.

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  63. georgebalella

    Apparently you and CM still can’t figure it out. Libertarians and/or fiscal conservatives have have no issue with a set of rules.

    Section8

    Ok so are you against separating commercial and investment banks?
    How about increasing capital requirements?
    How about letting lots more banks have access to the Fed window?
    If you are for enforcing anti-fraud measures you must be for increasing the budget of the SEC
    How about a small tax of trades to minimize speculation?
    How about outlawing OTC derivatives?
    If you are going to shoot down all those proposals show me you’ve at least thought about this and have some of your own.
    How would a Libertarian reform our banking system… not the make believe system of free money but some reforms that are relevant to the real world. See that’s a big part of the problem. You often only consider reform relevant if it’s full-on libertarian but since the rest of our policy milieu is NOT full-on libertarian sometimes going libertarian doesn’t make sense. You have to be able to consider pragmatic solution relevant to current conditions. If you don’t do that your positions are truly only useful theoretically and useless for real world policy applications.
    But the big picture is that on the one hand you claim you don’t want top down policy making but you still do believe in rules. So who makes the rules? There still will be some degree of top down rule making and just because you take the position of less rules doesn’t make you right and doesn’t exempt you from your own top down rule making rule. In other words you want to make the rules for everyone else and you think that’s not inconsistent because you are the one proposing the least rules regardless of the possibility that your system could be a disaster in spite of your great confidence in it.

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  64. georgebalella

    CM wrote,

    However, as for “please do educate us on this economic and political model” the obvious answer is “you refuse to, as it’s apparently beneath you, so why on earth should I?”.

    Nope she is absolutely right about this. NONE of you here or almost anywhere in the blogosphere are you libertarians interested in drilling down deep into what hit is you believe. As soon as the questions become a little too difficult you cut and run or start name calling or change the subject. None of you are interested in a good debate. You’re mostly here to preach to the choir. I almost never blog on like minded sites because I’d much rather have my own positions challenged. But having blogged first on evolution debating creationist I learned a lot about evolution and the mind set of people who have preconceived notions that all matter of proof will not change. Then I debated the climate change issue and found that indeed anthropogenic warming is real and posses much potential but uncertain danger to us now and to our grandchildren. And I found the same rigid mentality of preconception tied to free market ideology casing people to be unswayed by a tsunami of facts and evidence. Then on to the economic debate having previously leaned libertarian/ fiscal conservative I looked at the data and low and behold the evidence was the exact opposite of would I had believed all along. The economy consistently did better under democratic POLICY then it did under conservative policy. And I watched the impending collapse called out well before it happened by demand-side economist while the supply siders where like Wile E Coyote floating over a chasm. The market fundamentalist… the religion of The Invisible Hand God… these people were/ are charlatans. The economic profession is indeed guilty of the largest professional fraud ever foisted on humanity. It’s of the order of fraud that the climate science deniers would claim climate science has defrauded the public of but in fact their claims are simply a subset of the free market fundamentalist economist… shoring up their position from the onslaught of facts, and data , and history.

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  65. CM

    CM you should have stopped at your first sentence.

    Diddums. Sorry, I’m not here to suck your cock.

    or continue with the bullshit of “no one has convinced me yet, but I’m really just an impartial guy looking for answers.”

    May seem foreign to you because you apparently assume everyone has a firm and fixed opinion on everything, but there are actually many people who don’t.

    Now I have to apologize to George by grouping you together. At least he has integrity to point out he’s pro left wing policy and not ashamed of it apparently, where as you don’t even have an ounce of integrity. In fact, I hesitate to use the word ounce since this assumes you still have some albeit a smaller amount. You’re nothing but a time waster, and everyone has pretty much discovered that.

    I see, it’s ok for you to group people together, but god forbid anyone else attempt it.
    I see pros and cons when it comes to both left and right wing philosophy/policies. Why on earth would I lie and pretend otherwise? So that you can fit me into your fucked up little narrative? Huh?

    NONE of you here or almost anywhere in the blogosphere are you libertarians interested in drilling down deep into what hit is you believe.

    That is what I continue to find. It automatically turns into personal abuse instead. The double-standards are obvious and ridiculous. The excuses are lame.

    You have to be able to consider pragmatic solution relevant to current conditions. If you don’t do that your positions are truly only useful theoretically and useless for real world policy applications.

    Apparently answers to today’s specifics are buried deep in the archives.
    As you’ve been here longer than me I assume you can just use that excuse too when asked to back up a claim.

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  66. ryansparx

    I didn’t even comment on this load of shit. If you believe Kin selection and Tit for Tat are not “altruistic” actions you should be stripped of your biological credentials and wee wee holster FULL STOP DUDE!!!!

    They aren’t “altruistic” because that is a loaded word and you (hopefully) goddamn well know it. They are concise mathematically optimized ways to increase the maximum amount of genetic material, and the equations work even in entomological societies that give the largest false altruism impressions of all.

    So: shut up. I can school you all day and the best you can come up with is cowardly evasion and hiding in your own ignorance.

    bugger off… I’ll not bother replying to you any more.

    Fuck yes! Hey guys, this means I win :) All you need to do is corner him in an area that he is unprepared for and he just keels over and gives up. Time to go make a victory sammich.

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  67. ryansparx

    Gentlemen, you are arguing science with a brick. You’re making arguments using terminology that has specific meaning in this context, and the brick doesn’t even understand what I just said much less what you all have put forth.

    Remember…you only get dirty and the pig fucking LOVES it. He said, mixing his metaphors.

    Hey, it’s still slightly more palatable than the caliber of discourse that goes on in Youtube comments. You’re right, though, Jim, we should probably stop now.

    Okay. Stopping.

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  68. georgebalella

    georgebalella has convinced me! I am now a liberal!

    Naw… it doesn’t happen that way. You can only convince yourself. If you are too old or too surrounded by like minded people or just genetically a left brain person it’s not gonna happen. This is indeed an evolutionary battle. Genes for individualism squaring off with those for altruism. In a world of 7 billion and growing the latter is the favorite but by no means certain of victory as extinction is always a possibility. The battle will occur over millennia or even hundreds of thousands of years as is the case with natural selection and that’s if we survive it at all. But for selection to actually take place it’s gonna be a very messy thing… I suspect making the first 7,000 years of human atrocities pale in comparison to what may come. We weak pathetic primates have dominated all other species by use of our brains and through cooperative altruism as well as cultural evolution that works at higher orders of selection than just individuals. Nature is looking at us as a group while libertarians think it’s all about the individual. Some how those pre-civilization genes promoting individuals over the needs of the group that made small tribes of people successful still exist as detrimental vestigial caustic appendages ill suited for the modern mega-cities and rapidity of societal and cultural change. I’m not calling for a sort of culling but I’m pretty sure nature is looking at the Libertarian genes and thinking WTF… need to cut those out or this species is a goner. Nature will ultimately make the choice… and then you guys can complain to the God of Natural Selection about what a nanny statist communist Bolshevik he is…. as he tears your stupid self destrucitive genes from the populations gene pool.

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  69. Section8

    Diddums. Sorry, I’m not here to suck your cock.

    I never really offered. Whose cock are you here to suck?

    May seem foreign to you because you apparently assume everyone has a firm and fixed opinion on everything, but there are actually many people who don’t.

    You’re not one of them that’s my point, and again even though that’s been made clear many times, I find myself explaining it again and again.

    I see pros and cons when it comes to both left and right wing philosophy/policies. Why on earth would I lie and pretend otherwise? So that you can fit me into your fucked up little narrative? Huh?

    Ok, my questions to anyone here.

    Am I wrong in my assumption that CM is primarily a left wing hack that masquerades as someone who just really wants to learn or understand about right wing points of view?

    Am I correct that he has ideas he subscribes to and believes in to the point where it would be hard to convince him otherwise (just like the rest of us here, but at least we don’t bullshit about it)?

    Am I the only one who believes he likes the passive aggressive debate tactics and views it more as taking on an opponent by running in circles for as long as it takes while just trying to “understand”?

    George,

    I’ll work with you on some discussion and in good faith briefly answer some of your questions and have added a few questions, but I expect a better answer to the Haiti claim than what you’ve given, which was a paragraph of nothing related to the initial claim. Then I’d be more willing to get into more details.

    How about increasing capital requirements?

    How about not setting up costs that only big banks can afford at the expense of more responsible small ones, or preventing smaller banks from even getting started? How about not bailing out the big ones at the expense of the small ones? The more we are centralized the bigger and more corrupt things get. We’ve already seen this. This began at the turn of the previous century when the Fed began taking control, and sat and did nothing while a run on banks took place. Any prior panics were handled by banks by simply shutting down for a few days. Ironically FDR ultimately used the same methods that the market had been using years before. The Fed in both instances flooded the marked with extra money prior to melt downs that fed into the very speculation you’re worried about now.

    How about letting lots more banks have access to the Fed window?

    There shouldn’t be a Fed in my opinion. They helped bring about both depressions, and we discussed this when you were posting under your old handle.

    If you are for enforcing anti-fraud measures you must be for increasing the budget of the SEC

    We just had the biggest fraud in history AFTER SOX. Law breakers will always break the rules. Oddly enough the more descriptive you make a law or laws the more loopholes you’ll have while the vast majority of honest people struggle to comply to have to prove they aren’t doing anything wrong. I have no problem funding a court system and investigative units so a person or group can seek justice by reaching out the system, have a trial and have a ruling decided by a jury when they have a case. I have an issue with departments that do selective enforcement and hand down fines before any crime has been committed or seek proof that you are honest before you are accused.

    How about a small tax of trades to minimize speculation?

    No, I’m against bailouts when speculation fails. But what someone does with their money and their decisions good or bad are theirs. Now when we have the government stepping in and guaranteeing bailouts well why wouldn’t you treat your business like a casino? FDR was opposed to some of the these moral hazards such as the FDIC for this very reason. He ultimately passed it anyhow, but was not in favor of it. If a bank speculates and fails to notify their customers where they are risking that money clearly that is fraud. When that occurs we should be prosecuting. We generally don’t though, we bail out then do some shows in from of Congress.

    How about outlawing OTC derivatives?

    There are many types of derivatives. I’m going to assume you’re referring to the credit default swaps since those have been the ones of discussion through the mortgage crisis. Those came in to play with such a loss as a direct result of a chain reaction of the failure of zero percent loans, and creative lending such as ARMs. Banks were encouraged to drop their standards in the first place by guess who. Now were they forced to go to even further stupidity? No, but we already had a sound system, so why was it ok for the government to start messing with it in the first place?

    AND PLEASE READ THIS BECAUSE IT’S IMPORTANT. FISCAL CONSERVATIVES AND ALSO LIBERTARIANS ARE NOT ANARCHISTS. NO ONE HAS SAID ANYONE CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. IT’S ABOUT WHEN SOMEONE SHOULD BE PUNISHED AND WHEN THEY SHOULDN’T. AND THE SCOPE OF GOVERNMENT, PRIMARILY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S INVOLVEMENT IN ASSUMING A CRIME WILL BE COMMITTED. WE BELIEVE IN A PUNISHMENT AFTER A CRIME IS COMMITTED, AND NOT ASSUME EVERYONE IS A CRIMINAL BEFOREHAND AND NEEDS TO CONTINUALLY PROVE THEY ARE NOT.

    If you are interested in the LP platform, perhaps start with lp.org

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  70. CM

    I never really offered. Whose cock are you here to suck?

    Ah, is that question the ‘re-framing’ thing some of you complain about?
    I’m sorry that I failed to stop where you wished me to, but I’m not going to just agree with you for the sake of it (equally I’m not going to disagree for the sake of it either).
    The vulgarity of my response was proportionate to the arrogant lameness of you telling me where I should stop.

    You’re not one of them that’s my point, and again even though that’s been made clear many times, I find myself explaining it again and again.

    Your extreme arrogance is (unsurprisingly) not serving you well at all then.
    I’ve repeatedly given examples of topics/subjects where I’ve either moved to a ‘right’ position (from former left or centrist positions), or didn’t have a position and after discussions/research/experience adopted a ‘right’ one. I’ve constantly corrected people where they’ve made incorrect assumptions as to what my opinion would be (for fucks sake YOU just made up shit yourself before you surprisingly outted yourself for doing so). Anyway, on those topics by far and away the biggest influence were libertarian or conservative posters at MW forums who weren’t just dicks to people that didn’t agree with them all the time. Some of them poked their noses in here but obviously saw it wasn’t a place for them.

    Ok, my questions to anyone here.

    Yeah, let’s ask all the people that constantly down-thumb me just for posting. That’ll enlighten us, as they’re clearly objective.
    Section8, I think you’d find the things that piss you off wouldn’t occur (or would occur far less) if people weren’t so keen on being pre-emptive dicks.

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  71. georgebalella

    Section8,

    You as pretty much rejected all of my reforms and it sounds like you wan to return to the pre-Fed era of banking. Do you realize how unstable that was. Recessions and depressions were more common and more long lasting. Historical recessions. Also, explain to me how a smaller government is NOT going to be influenced by those with the most money. Or in other words, how does a small government prevent a bailout?

    My point is that in our current situation those with the most money get the most favors. A libertarian set up would not change that one bit and would likely make it worse. Things need to be set up so the primary motivation for politicians is to represent the people. And I know you guys hate that idea. So you either need to figure out how a libertarian government will have the power to resist corruption and graft or you have to admit you want some sort of elitist to run the government or some sort of monarchy. I mean nothing makes logical sense about a libertarian government.

    There needs to be a balance. Good rules and politicians representing the will of the people. It’s not socialism…. its pragmatism and it worked well post FDR with the greatest economic expansion the world has ever seen with a very stable economy.

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  72. Poosh

    georgebalella has clearly read some trashjob strawman essay where the author did not understand libertarianism, and repeating the idle crap that he was gullible to consume, because it makes himself feel better. Look at the idiot. He thinks FDR is a fucking hero. Look at this shit he writes!

    Also, explain to me how a smaller government is NOT going to be influenced by those with the most money. Or in other words, how does a small government prevent a bailout?

    I mean seriously?! Governments will always be tempted into being affected by money. Why does this retard think a nice socialist government is magically exempt from this? Welfare programs are specifically created to garner votes, and you fucking know this, given welfare constantly worsens the problem (not to say that you shouldn’t have welfare). Liberatrians and many conservatives will argue that the key is to make sure that government has as little power as possible so EVEN if politicians were influenced by money, they had little power to actually do anything. LIKEWISE, this includes making sure a majority in a democracy are unable to force the 49% into tyranny. How would they prevent a bailout? BY NOT HAVING MONEY IN THE FIRST PLACE to bail out banks and second, to have a FREE MARKET. If a bank fails, then tough. The only reason banks are continuing to do shit things is because they know the government will bail them out, and that the government and the banks are in a symbiotic relationship – something created by renouncing true market principles. This may or may not be a bad idea, it doesn’t matter, the point is, don’t sit there and think libertarians have no concepts or practical ideas.

    You f*cking idiot. Libertarians believe in small government, but that basically means a government of LIMITED POWER. So-called elites would have no space to be “elite”. I don’t know why any of us bother. You’re basically demonstrating classic religious beliefs. No point arguing with a true believer!

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  73. sahrab

    I challenge you or anyone here to a one on one debate. If the blog owners want to put up a separate post where we can have an ongoing discussion for all to see

    Then get off your ass and get your own blog

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  74. georgebalella

    I mean seriously?! Governments will always be tempted into being affected by money.

    I don’t believe that has to be the case. Governments used to be and still are controlled by religion but not ours. We could separate politics and money if we chose. Who says we can’t make it illegal to lobby for hire or limit campaign donations. Who says we can’t require politicians to have live feed video of all their meetings and all their time while doing the publics business? We could put a lot of requirements on politicians that would open up the process to the light of day. But when we try to claim corporations are people and money is speech… well that’s how things get as bad as they are.

    georgebalella has clearly read some trashjob strawman essay

    No! I am looking at the evidence. I am looking at history. If a libertarian form of government is so great why do none truly exist ANYWHERE? You can’t answer that simple question and yet you want to take us back to the pre-Fed era when the economy was much more sluggish and unpredictable. So forgive me for looking at the facts. Forgive me for being skeptical of your simple fairytale solutions. I’ll take the well organized massive growth and shared property of the post FDR era over the boom and bust economy that mostly rewards graft greed and corruption.
    I am not being ridiculous… I am bringing skeptical well thought out arguments against your position and you just do not want your position challenged.

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  75. JimK

    I am not being ridiculous… I am bringing skeptical well thought out arguments against your position and you just do not want your position challenged.

    See?

    Comedy gold.

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  76. Seattle Outcast

    I think it falls into the “divorced from reality” category of comedy, or perhaps “doesn’t understand what’s really going on”….

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  77. Poosh

    Corporations aren’t people? Please explain how a corporation isn’t a group of people. Actually don’t. I’m not interested.

    So the idiot you’re just repeating is Barry Ritholtz from the looks of things. Hilarious.

    I don’t know why he’s obsessed with maligning libertarianism on a blog with plenty of conservatives.

    Mad George is mad for a simple reason. He claims the majority of us are built via an altruistic genetic make up. He provides no evidence for this, because it’s garbage. But even if it’s true he could not in a million years logically explain why something that apparently “is” should be what “ought” to be. ‘Cause he’s religious but doesn’t realise it. But at any rate, it’s this: if we were altruistic by nature, most of us, then WE WOULDN’T NEED A BLOODY LARGE GOVERNMENT to satisfy our altruism, would we? The majority of us would just get on with it. If we were all altruistic by nature, the majority, we wouldn’t even need a welfare state! The majority of us, through altruism, would provide for the needy – and non needy – automatically.

    And that’s that. End of discussion.

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  78. Kimpost

    A lot of that just doesn’t make sense, Poosh. Of course humans are altruistic, just as they are selfish. We are both, which kind of is what makes us human. Isn’t that obvious?

    Why wouldn’t we need a welfare state? Or any other state for that matter, if altruism was present? Having governments (fed, state and local) is a practical way for humans to organise themselves. At least it appears to be, seeing how we all have chosen that route.

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  79. Poosh

    Poosh. Of course humans are altruistic, just as they are selfish. We are both, which kind of is what makes us human. Isn’t that obvious?

    I could agree to some extent but thats irrelevant. Mad George claimed the majority of us were genetically (predominantly) altruistic and that this is the key driving force in human evolution. Tell that to every man and pre-man who was beaten to death by the alpha male of the tribe, George. [ To Kim > Altruism is a social construct in my view, if you think about what it is and implies, you might come to agree; what some humans have, to varying degrees, is empathy – this is a different concept entirely ]

    If humans are somehow innately altruistic in the manner Mad George claims then I grant you some aspect of a welfare state might emerge, but the vast majority of what welfare states do would simply be “done” as a matter of fact. Kid in the next village got a £20,000 medical bill or he will die of super aids? Everyone will automatically raise that kind of cash, it would be done over night (perhaps a Kickstarter campaign…)… in fact the doctor would just perform the surgery for free when he had time. No one would be homeless as every single homeless person would be invited into a house every minute of the day. I could go on. Note this is against George’s ramblings on altruism.

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  80. Kimpost

    So you would agree with me, had it not been for you disagreeing with George? :) Fine, but even if I’m not agreeing with George myself*, the following quote seems to be his basic premise on altruism/selfishness.

    This is indeed an evolutionary battle. Genes for individualism squaring off with those for altruism.

    *) I just don’t like the whole “stupid republicans/libertarians/liberals” tune. Lot’s of smart and good people have differing political views. Especially since we’re generally disagreeing on details of our social constructs. On the backbone fundamentals (democracy, freedom etc) I think we’re in agreement. Nobody here promotes anarchy, but nor do people advocate socialism. Both are ridiculous claims…

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  81. Seattle Outcast

    Moogoo George has advocated socialism frequently – only he won’t call it it socialism. Also, in his book, the only other option IS anarchy.

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  82. GripeBoy

    Hey Rich, a little bit. Enjoying the outdoors a lot these days. I miss this place…sometimes. ;-) It’s is good to see all of you alive and kicking. Politics aside, good times.

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  83. richtaylor365 *

    GB, don’t be a stranger. It’s nice to have one of the Old Guard way in from time to time.

    Kimpost:

    Fine, but even if I’m not agreeing with George myself*, the following quote seems to be his basic premise on altruism/selfishness.

    This is indeed an evolutionary battle. Genes for individualism squaring off with those for altruism.

    But it is a faulty premise, not backed by history or reality. To think that growing the size of government is somehow altruistic, that is stupid beyond words. The motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government ,more involved and more intrusive in our lives, has got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence. The statist works to enhance his own rice bowl, he is self serving and greedy, he wants to tighten his grip on the system, which is the very opposite of altruism.

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  84. HARLEY

    Question:
    Are you guys fucking with Lil G to see how pissed off you can get him?.. if so, i’m gonna get more popcorn.

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  85. blameme

    Hey Kim. How much money do you have?

    How about I take it by force and then give it away to others?

    How altruistic of me, right?

    Pfft.

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  86. Poosh

    Hey Kim, if you read Ayn Rand, look at what she says on the definition of altruism. I think it’s hard to deny the definitions there. Either way its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    On an amusing note, in the UK half the “altruistic” doctors almost went on strike because of possible reductions, small ones, to their very large pensions. This is the NHS, socialistic medicine (it is not socialist because the state does not provide the medicine etc … a lot of that, oddly enough, comes from the US… wonder why?). If the doctors were really altruistic they’d not be too concerned with their pensions, would they. But they’re trading, no different than “free market” medicine – only their salaries are all taken from the private sector by force. The idea that altruism is any forceful power in any society is a fantasy. Even the universal healthcare of the NHS is staffed by self-interested profit-wanters – but they think themselves “different” somehow.

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  87. CM

    The motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government ,more involved and more intrusive in our lives, has got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence. The statist works to enhance his own rice bowl, he is self serving and greedy, he wants to tighten his grip on the system, which is the very opposite of altruism.

    I’m sure that applies to some people, but by no means all. Just as an equally simplistic summary would apply to those seeking limited government. It’s obviously ridiculous to try and portray one group as doing it all for the ‘right’ reasons and the other doing it for the ‘wrong’ reasons.

    In terms of whether we are naturally altruistic or not, I read this article yesterday (written by a lecturer in Psychology and Cognitive Science). Might be of interest to someone.

    Neoteny is a short-cut taken by evolution – a route that brings about a whole bundle of changes in one go, rather than selecting for them one by one. Evolution, by making us a more juvenile species, has made us weaker than our primate cousins, but it has also given us our child’s curiosity, our capacity to learn and our deep sense of attachment to each other.

    http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120618-why-are-we-so-curious

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  88. salinger

    Either way its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    Others disagree.

    and here

    and another

    In fact I have read many arguments for altruism being evolutionarily beneficial right down to the cellular level.

    So – while you may not agree – it is a bit hyperbolic to call the notion absurd. Unless of course you’re a creationist – then well, no sense in saying anything.

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  89. CM

    On an amusing note, in the UK half the “altruistic” doctors almost went on strike because of possible reductions, small ones, to their very large pensions. This is the NHS, socialistic medicine (it is not socialist because the state does not provide the medicine etc … a lot of that, oddly enough, comes from the US… wonder why?). If the doctors were really altruistic they’d not be too concerned with their pensions, would they. But they’re trading, no different than “free market” medicine – only their salaries are all taken from the private sector by force. The idea that altruism is any forceful power in any society is a fantasy. Even the universal healthcare of the NHS is staffed by self-interested profit-wanters – but they think themselves “different” somehow.

    How do you conclude that UK doctors are altruistic (and to the point where they don’t care about their working conditions/benefits)? And how does it square with this:

    I’ve been a doctor for nine years this summer, after training for six years. And, far from hitting six figures, my salary is £39,995. I’m not pleading poverty;…

    First, our pension scheme is so healthy that it returns £2 billion a year to the Treasury. It’s hardly surprising that doctors feel aggrieved that the Government wants to raid the system for more.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9133652/Another-doctors-strike-Heres-a-better-idea.html

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  90. richtaylor365 *

    Just as an equally simplistic summary would apply to those seeking limited government.

    If by “equally simplistic” you mean that they, in general, are motivated by a love of liberty and a desire to keep at much of that liberty as humanly possible, then I would agree with you. For some, personal freedom, the opportunity to captain his own ship and an environment where we are NOT all forced to be equal (financially) and where I am allowed to better my station in life (and bank account) as far as my abilities and drive will take me, for some (like me) that is far preferable then “ From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.

    And I know you are not the knee jerky type that will predictably cartwheel to stupid with “See, see, those small government types are heartless and don’t care anything about the poor, sick, or indigent”, one has nothing to do with the other.

    It’s obviously ridiculous to try and portray one group as doing it all for the ‘right’ reasons and the other doing it for the ‘wrong’ reasons.

    Has anyone here done that, couched their beliefs in absolute terms like that where self interest is denied?

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  91. georgebalella

    The idea that altruism is not a real and significant feature in biological systems and evolution is even dumber than being a creationist. This is something we can visibly observe and measure.

    When you see people denying hard evidence and facts that conflict with their presuppositions that is when you know you have an unthinking non-objective ideologue on your hands. These glaring facts are as Al Gore called them inconvenient truths only denied with healthy dose of cognitive dissonance.

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  92. georgebalella

    SALINGER!!!! You and your references to supporting data…..TWO THUMBS DOWN FOR YOU!!! HHHHHARRUUUMMMPPPHHHH!!!! LOL I think they are presuming we are talking about the existence of alturism in Trogladytes, Neanderthals, Libertarians and other Knuckledragging species. In which case… they may have a point.

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  93. Poosh

    I wrote in more detail but my pc decided to backtrack the browser so I’ll just say

    salinger: pointless links for this debate. no idea. you are projecting a social construct onto biological processes which are not engaged in maximising well-being etc. Replication of the species is the prime mover here. That’s not altruism. It’s pretty self-interested actually, selfish. It’s also one of the reasons the “rich” accumulate so much money. It’s not greed: that money is there to protect their children: genetic replication.

    “ur deep sense of attachment to each other.” < nothing to do with altruism, as a MORAL duty to sacrifice yourself for those whom you have no value for.

    cm: that's the lowest band of doctor pay. There are like 30 different bands overall, and go up to over £100,000. The average doctor salary in the UK, at least a few years ago, was $118,000, which is, eh £52,000 or something. They are not altruistic but until recently were seen as such. The point is they are traders expecting to be paid and are no better than those "awful" American doctors who work for profit. Not that all Doctors in the UK claimed to be anything else. I gave more in depth answers, but as I said, my browser decided to flip forwards, and erase what I had written.

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  94. Seattle Outcast

    Moogoo George,

    You need to quit after hitting rock bottom on the “don’t know what the hell I’m talking about” scale.

    You’ve already been spanked by a biologist once this week, are you going for a full-on beating about evolutionary biology?

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  95. Poosh

    Note: Altruism is NOT empathy. NOR is it benevolence.

    * this is not to say you shouldn’t be altruistic in your actions towards others

    These glaring facts are as Al Gore called them inconvenient truths only denied with healthy dose of cognitive dissonance.

    lols

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  96. salinger

    salinger: pointless links for this debate.

    That whooshing noise is the goalpost moving.

    It is not pointless when the comment I am responding to is:

    its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    It’s sloppy premises like this that make me doubt the veracity of the commenter – and why I called you on it.

    I could provide more links and discussions re: altruism being beneficial on a societal level but that would actually be ignoring your inarticulate statement above. You didn’t say anything about society – you said biological. You were wrong – be a man (or woman whichever) and admit it.

    I think maybe you should look up the word altruism – I don’t think it means what you think it does.

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  97. CM

    And I know you are not the knee jerky type that will predictably cartwheel to stupid with “See, see, those small government types are heartless and don’t care anything about the poor, sick, or indigent”, one has nothing to do with the other.

    Rich, that ‘cartwheel’ is exactly what I’m arguing AGAINST. Of course all those who seek smaller government aren’t just heartless and don’t care anything about the poor sick etc. I would totally reject that. But, and this is my point, I would equally reject your claim about the “motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government”. Sure it will apply to some. But so does the ‘selfish’ motivation for smaller government. To try and pretend one side is solely comprised of people with ‘good’ motivation and the other is solely comprised of people with ‘bad’ motivation just seems silly.

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  98. Poosh

    It’s sloppy premises like this that make me doubt the veracity of the commenter – and why I called you on it.

    You were wrong – be a man (or woman whichever) and admit it.

    Blah blah blah? I was not wrong. Altruism does not STEM from genetics, it has nothing to do with biology, as George claims. His claim was that evolution selects altruistic traits. Evolution has nothing to do with altruism or biology. Even taking away the clearer definition that one could give and simply state it as “sacrificing that which you value towards others without the expectation of anything in return” we find no altruism at play in biology. Even your own links, I assume, will explain to you that altruism has nothing to do with biology, that what you think at first glance is altruism at work in biology, are actually selfish concepts such as replication of the species/genes and other concepts AS RYANSPARX EXPLAINED ABOVE. You are imposing altruism on them… i’m just repeating myself now. The goalposts have not been moved. I am responding to George.

    To repeat: THE APPEARANCE OF WHAT YOU SEE AS ALTRUISM IN BIOLOGY DOES NOT MEAN ALTRUISM EXISTS IN BIOLOGY.

    Even so, EVEN SO, I also stated above, that even if humans were altruistic at a genetic level (which they aren’t) that does not mean you should enforce rules or power to spread altruism. Merely because humans are X does not mean humans ought to be X.

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  99. richtaylor365 *

    I would equally reject your claim about the “motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government”

    .

    What motivations, specifically, are you rejecting? You don’t think that the desire to keep as much control as possible on your life and your life’s decisions is a prime motivator for those advocating smaller government? That was the only motivation I mentioned.

    But so does the ‘selfish’ motivation for smaller government

    But of course, naturally self interest is the prime motivator in a capitalist society. Your first year economics major learns that the pursuit of profits is essential for a successful economy (both individual and collective) Adam Smith noted ,” It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, brewer, or baker that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest”. It is this self interest that motivates the entrepreneur and allows him to innovate and produce. It is this pursuit and the existence of competition (another example of fettering big government and its want to even the playing field, pick winners and losers, and decide who is too big to fail) that pits new ideas against existing practices and prunes away the less capable alternatives, ensuring that only the most robust and practical (and profitable) remain.

    To try and pretend one side is solely comprised of people with ‘good’ motivation and the other is solely comprised of people with ‘bad’ motivation just seems silly.

    Seems silly to me as well, but as I asked before, who is doing that?

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  100. salinger

    Even your own links, I assume,

    Which means you haven’t read or listened to any of the links.

    What’s the point in my continuing this then – you have struck on a no-lose strategy though. You wioll never be wrong if you refuse to look at the evidence that would prove it.

    Good Day.

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  101. CM

    “ur deep sense of attachment to each other.” < nothing to do with altruism, as a MORAL duty to sacrifice yourself for those whom you have no value for.

    I don't see how it's different. It makes sense that humans would develop traits that support the continuation of the species. A "deep sense of attachment to each" is one of those (seeking to assist a group over an individual is consistent with species protection). Of course how 'altruism' should be reflected, and to what degree, in terms of how limited or unlimited our government should be is something that can be debated separately. But it's not surprising that people wish to extend the concepts to the role of government.

    They are not altruistic but until recently were seen as such. The point is they are traders expecting to be paid and are no better than those “awful” American doctors who work for profit. Not that all Doctors in the UK claimed to be anything else. I gave more in depth answers, but as I said, my browser decided to flip forwards, and erase what I had written.

    Sorry I can’t make sense of what you’re saying. It’s all full of (and based on) vague value judgements. By your logic they should be happy to work for nothing. Which is just silly.

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  102. georgebalella

    THE APPEARANCE OF WHAT YOU SEE AS ALTRUISM IN BIOLOGY DOES NOT MEAN ALTRUISM EXISTS IN BIOLOGY.

    Yeah… and just because the sun is shining does not mean its light outside.

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  103. Poosh

    Which means you haven’t read or listened to any of the links.

    I did not read your links. I skimmed bits and the title of the first two, so I did not read them. They merely seem to confirm what I and others have said. Which is why I deemed them irrelevant. I revisited the Standford, and note they say this:

    So by behaving altruistically, an organism reduces the number of offspring it is likely to produce itself, but boosts the number that other organisms are likely to produce. This biological notion of altruism is not identical to the everyday concept.

    So that’s two different concepts with the same term note. How many times have I, and no doubt others, said this above? SPECIES REPLICATION? Do I need to quote myself? Doing things that you are genetically driven to engage in, such as fighting to defend your tribe (or ‘collective’ property you could argue, such as territory), and giving up your life, let’s say, is not altruistic in this sense. You are driven to do it because such behavior ensures replication of your tribe – that is not an act where you, from a biological perspective, gain nothing in return. Your tribe and genes are protected in this manner. That is why a mother or father will die for their child: replication. You will find a whole host of scientific examples of humans seeming to be altruistic but are actually getting something in return, and I note SOME OF THEM IN YOUR LINKS. I mean ffs, there’s one I read where “behavior that seems altruistic is designed to ATTRACT MATES”.

    Is sharing food in the hope of getting pussy at the end, altruistic?

    So I didn’t read your links because I didn’t have to. A quick skim of them seems to be merely talking about exactly what we’ve claimed here anyway. So the real question is: DID YOU READ YOUR OWN LINKS?

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  104. CM

    Has anyone here done that, couched their beliefs in absolute terms….

    You said:

    .The motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government ,more involved and more intrusive in our lives, has got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence. The statist works to enhance his own rice bowl, he is self serving and greedy, he wants to tighten his grip on the system, which is the very opposite of altruism.

    You’re saying that anyone who favours the ongoing existence of an “expanded government” is only doing it to enrich themselves. That sounds pretty absolute to me. And wrong.

    What motivations, specifically, are you rejecting?

    I’m rejecting your premise that anyone who favours the ongoing existence of an “expanded government” is only doing it to enrich themselves. Sure, no doubt that applies to some. But certainly not all. I’m sure there is both a wide spectrum in terms of the size/control of government, the also the degree to which the desire for that is influenced by potential personal gain.

    But of course, naturally self interest is the prime motivator in a capitalist society.

    I agree. That we don’t pratice unbridled capitalist is a reflection and acknowledgement that there are other important ingredients which need to accounted for.

    Your first year economics major learns that the pursuit of profits is essential for a successful economy (both individual and collective) Adam Smith noted ,” It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, brewer, or baker that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest”. It is this self interest that motivates the entrepreneur and allows him to innovate and produce. It is this pursuit and the existence of competition (another example of fettering big government and its want to even the playing field, pick winners and losers, and decide who is too big to fail) that pits new ideas against existing practices and prunes away the less capable alternatives, ensuring that only the most robust and practical (and profitable) remain.

    That doesn’t mean that people who favour the “existence of an expanded government” reject the basics of that. Some obviously do. But I would say the vast majority would consider that as part of the grand equation of how to structure government/the economy/society, not the be-all-and-end-all.
    I.e., again, the motivation for favouring the “existence of an expanded government” doesn’t necessarily have to be personal greed.

    Seems silly to me as well, but as I asked before, who is doing that?

    Then I must not be understanding you correctly. The paragraph I quoted at the start of this post was absolute (it included absolute terms such as “nothing to do with” and “everything to do with”).

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  105. Poosh

    My basic point CM, if I remember, is that the NHS is a prime example of altruistic principles converted into a massive government machine – the NHS is the third largest employer in the world, last time I checked. Altruism (you have to forgive me, I think it’s possible I’m starting to use George’s terms and language, which might not be the same terms I’d use with you or others) is central to the NHS, and indeed it’s seen as a wonderful example of universal healthcare for all, where all are forced to give a % of their labour to sustain those who are sick, irrespective of their wealth.

    But at the core are people who are out to make profit, are selling their labour (medicine) for money (their salary). This is simply what I meant. There is nothing altruistic about the NHS. The doctors are seen as altruistic (as Michael Moore’s sad fictional film portrayed them) but they are nothing of such. George thinks society should be based on altruism. I took the NHS as a good example of something I assume he is all for, which is centered around self-interest and profit-making (I don’t know a single doctor who thinks he should be paid merely enough to sustain the bare life).

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  106. Poosh

    Yeah… and just because the sun is shining does not mean its light outside.

    No. More like just because the sun appears to move with purpose and conscious intention does not mean it actually has purpose or conscious intention.

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  107. salinger

    You are driven to do it because such behavior ensures replication of your tribe – that is not an act where you, from a biological perspective, gain nothing in return. Your tribe and genes are protected in this manner.

    So sacrificing the self for the good of the whole is NOT altruistic.

    You make no sense.

    al·tru·ism
       [al-troo-iz-uhm]
    noun
    1.
    the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others ( opposed to egoism).
    2.
    Animal Behavior . behavior by an animal that may be to its disadvantage but that benefits others of its kind, as a warning cry that reveals the location of the caller to a predator.

    Please replace the above definition with one that is more correct than Webster’s Collegiate.

    Just because some behavior that on the surface seems altruistic may not be – does not mean altruism does not exist. I saw a moth yesterday that looked like a hummingbird – it’s existence doesn’t mean hummingbirds aren’t real.

    Your argument, if we use the consensus definition of altruism above, is really faulty.

    Again – I do not think the definition of altruism is what you think it is. So please – that I might understand you better – define altruism.

    Then I would like to be done with this – I don’t have the interest to play thread the needle ’til you are right tonight.

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  108. CM

    Poosh you need to read beyond the first paragraph.

    E.g. the second paragraph:

    Altruistic behaviour is common throughout the animal kingdom, particularly in species with complex social structures. For example, vampire bats regularly regurgitate blood and donate it to other members of their group who have failed to feed that night, ensuring they do not starve. In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives help in raising its young from other ‘helper’ birds, who protect the nest from predators and help to feed the fledglings. Vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked. In social insect colonies (ants, wasps, bees and termites), sterile workers devote their whole lives to caring for the queen, constructing and protecting the nest, foraging for food, and tending the larvae. Such behaviour is maximally altruistic: sterile workers obviously do not leave any offspring of their own — so have personal fitness of zero — but their actions greatly assist the reproductive efforts of the queen.

    From a biological perspective, those sterile ants gain nothing in return.

    This does remind me of the Friends episode where I think Phoebe has a bet with Joey that he wouldn’t be able to do something for purely unselfish reasons…..

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  109. Poosh

    I did read that CM. That is consistent with what I’ve said. And what Ryansparx said.

    Instinctual and genetic (etc) behavior (which denies free-will note!) that we engage in to protect the species/tribe/race are not altruistic, in that they are not a zero-sum game. Keep in mind George is claiming moral altruism and then justifying this man-made concept with biology at the genetic level, which is nonsense

    In fact, if a human, let’s say, puts himself in danger to protect his group, then clearly he VALUES the protection of the group. He has some invested interest. I would call this moral behavior. I’d call this duty.

    And in fact this is what Heinlein speaks of. Self-sacrifice is moral, to protect the species or nation – to ensure man’s survival, or your blood-line. This is not the same as altruism.

    But should you be altruistic? I.e, should you give money to the homeless, who you have no value for? Or sacrifice yourself for random people? Or whatever real act of altruism comes to mind? (giving money to the poor in order to feel good about yourself is NOT altruism note). Yes. I think you should. We should be altruistic, in this sense. But that’s my RELIGIOUS belief. And I don’t believe you should force people via the government to do the same.

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  110. CM

    The basic idea of kin selection is simple. Imagine a gene which causes its bearer to behave altruistically towards other organisms, e.g. by sharing food with them. Organisms without the gene are selfish — they keep all their food for themselves, and sometimes get handouts from the altruists. Clearly the altruists will be at a fitness disadvantage, so we should expect the altruistic gene to be eliminated from the population. However, suppose that altruists are discriminating in who they share food with. They do not share with just anybody, but only with their relatives. This immediately changes things. For relatives are genetically similar — they share genes with one another. So when an organism carrying the altruistic gene shares his food, there is a certain probability that the recipients of the food will also carry copies of that gene. (How probable depends on how closely related they are.) This means that the altruistic gene can in principle spread by natural selection. The gene causes an organism to behave in a way which reduces its own fitness but boosts the fitness of its relatives — who have a greater than average chance of carrying the gene themselves. So the overall effect of the behaviour may be to increase the number of copies of the altruistic gene found in the next generation, and thus the incidence of the altruistic behaviour itself.

    The importance of kinship for the evolution of altruism is very widely accepted today, on both theoretical and empirical grounds.

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  111. HARLEY

    2.
    Animal Behavior . behavior by an animal that may be to its disadvantage but that benefits others of its kind, as a warning cry that reveals the location of the caller to a predator.

    Just curious here, but such action are more likely in heard animals than any other grouping… right, you wont see individualistic animals or predatory animal displaying such traits right?
    It might also depend on how you interpret their actions.. such as a mother cat feeding a puppy , or such?

    now back to the show…

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  112. CM

    And I don’t believe you should force people via the government to do the same.

    But by your own definition those government actions aren’t altruistic. From what you are saying, altruism can only really occur at a personal level.

    Obviously people who favour a larger government than you do will argue that they’re doing it to protect the ‘group’. You can argue that larger governments harm the group in response, but you can’t prove that they are acting altruistically, because you can’t demonstrate (as fact) what their motivations are.
    Just like I could say that your motivations for wanting smaller government come purely from selfishness, but I could never prove it.

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  113. Poosh

    the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others

    the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others

    work it out yourself.

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  114. CM

    Jorge Moll and Jordan Grafman, neuroscientists at the National Institutes of Health and LABS-D’Or Hospital Network (J.M.) provided the first evidence for the neural bases of altruistic giving in normal healthy volunteers, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA in October, 2006,[14] they showed that both pure monetary rewards and charitable donations activated the mesolimbic reward pathway, a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food and sex. However, when volunteers generously placed the interests of others before their own by making charitable donations, another brain circuit was selectively activated: the subgenual cortex/septal region. These structures are intimately related to social attachment and bonding in other species. Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism#Neurobiology

    They’re not getting anything back. I.e. the studied responses are unselfish. Therefore how is the human brain not genetically pre-wired to be altruistic? You’re trying to say that it’s just your religion that makes you want to give (unconditionally and unselfishly). But these are obviously going to be blind research studies, and you can’t say that religion changes the way the different parts of your brain work.

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  115. Poosh

    But by your own definition those government actions aren’t altruistic. From what you are saying, altruism can only really occur at a personal level.

    Yes. How can a government be “altruistic” ? A government is people. Just like a corporation is people.

    If people who are altruistic outvote people and enact policy etc that, let’s say, takes 5% of the opposed labour and gives it to the needy, then they are having altruism imposed on them: forcing people to be charitable, in other words. Because I think specifically altruism is a moral concept, religious in fact (even if you don’t believe in God) I would not force it on others. Note that’s not the same as saying the tribe or nation should be protected, or demanding tax revenue to protect the tribe or nation – but that is not altruistic.

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  116. Poosh

    Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

    So not altruism then. If “altrusitic” behavior occurs to increase sociality and bonding then it’s not altruism, is it.

    I’m more interested in empathy. The more you can emphasize with others, the more likely you are to help them, etc. Altruism is a social construct. You repeatedly have shown that altruism does not exist in biology and is actually used to describe behavior and processes which have nothing to do with actual altruism. To repeat, altruism as “sacrificing value for that which has no value to you” or from wiki: ” Pure altruism consists of sacrificing something for someone other than the self (e.g. sacrificing time, energy or possessions) with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct, or indirect (for instance from recognition of the giving)” . Empathy, which I recall is genetic, is far more important. I think empathy is always key. An inability to see people suffer is what drives one to engage in real self-sacrifice.

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  117. richtaylor365 *

    Has anyone here done that, couched their beliefs in absolute terms….

    Next time, instead of 4 dots, how about including the entire quote, for purposes of fair play.

    Has anyone here done that, couched their beliefs in absolute terms like that where self interest is denied?

    And in defending my side I freely admitted that self interest is a motivating factor, where defense of the other side included nebulous terms like “altruism” where it’s very definition denies self interest.

    You’re saying that anyone who favours the ongoing existence of an “expanded government” is only doing it to enrich themselves.

    I never said they were doing it just to “enrich themselves”, only that it was in their self interest to expand government because it facilitated their “grip on the system” and furthered their power and influence, you don’t think this is correct? Sure, other motivations exist, the guy who’s dad died of heart disease feels compelled to support any legislation that pumps money into medical research, or the woman who butted heads with sub standard teachers ruining her kid’s education will feel compelled to support any legislation that , in her mind, betters the school system regardless creeping governmental influences, but even these motivations are self serving and enhance their control or power within the system.

    that there are other important ingredients which need to accounted for.

    Such as?

    again, the motivation for favouring the “existence of an expanded government” doesn’t necessarily have to be personal greed.

    No, it does not have to be personal greed, but it can involve other areas of enrichment, such as keeping a particular ideology in power, because you profit by riding on it’s coat tails.

    And regarding absolutes, yes, nothing is a hundred percent, but I feel pretty confident discounting altruism as a prime big government motivator, at least in this country.

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  118. CM

    Poosh, it sounds like you’re actually suggesting that there is no such thing as altruism, because selfless actions give us pleasure, and therefore anything we do that we might potentially consider ‘altruistic’ would fail to meet the definition because we’re never acting entirely without self-interest. BTW that was essentially the conclusion reached in that episode of Friends (if I remember is correctly).
    And if there is no such thing as altruism, then it follows that there is no such thing as biological altruism.

    Next time, instead of 4 dots, how about including the entire quote, for purposes of fair play.

    Huh? The only part of your ENTIRE post I didn’t quote was:

    But it is a faulty premise, not backed by history or reality. To think that growing the size of government is somehow altruistic, that is stupid beyond words.

    How does that change your absolutist claim about motivation?

    And in defending my side I freely admitted that self interest is a motivating factor, where defense of the other side included nebulous terms like “altruism” where it’s very definition denies self interest.

    I’m not attacking ‘your side’, I’m pointing out that you are making an absolutist claim about the ‘other’ side. You’re not even saying it’s A motivating factor, you’re claiming it’s THE motivating factor.

    I never said they were doing it just to “enrich themselves”,

    What does “enhance his own rice bowl” mean then?

    only that it was in their self interest to expand government because it facilitated their “grip on the system” and furthered their power and influence, you don’t think this is correct

    Not at all. In my opinion plenty of people simply believe society would function better, even if it means they personally lose out (their power and influence could be reduced). Obviously you can disagree with their ideas, but it is actually possible for people to simply believe that.

    Sure, other motivations exist, the guy who’s dad died of heart disease feels compelled to support any legislation that pumps money into medical research, or the woman who butted heads with sub standard teachers ruining her kid’s education will feel compelled to support any legislation that , in her mind, betters the school system regardless creeping governmental influences, but even these motivations are self serving and enhance their control or power within the system.

    Not necessarily. Those people may believe that there are other areas where the funds to pay for their wants could be taken. To automatically believe that they’re seeking has everything to do with “power, control and influence” and that they’re only seeking to “enhance his own rice bowl”, and are “self serving and greedy” and only want to “tighten his grip on the system” is to rely on a considerable number of assumptions.
    As I said, I’m sure there is both a wide spectrum in terms of the size/control of government, the also the degree to which the desire for that is influenced by potential personal gain.

    Such as?

    The other ingredients that some people might genuinely feel should be added into the mix when determining what sort of society they live in? Off the top of my head these could be:
    – the benefits of providing systems to enable children to get a good start (that first 3 years thing)
    – the benefits of providing the means to maintain a minimum standard of the health in the population
    – environmental standards,
    – basic amenity protections to stop someone doing something next to your land that ruins your enjoyment of your land
    – education systems which attempt to provide a well-rounded ciriculum
    – a system to enable people to stop working when they get old (‘old’ to be defined by consensus) and recieve a pension of some kind
    – a public welfare system, so that people don’t need to rely on private charity to survive at times of need (i.e. not Dickensian England).

    No, it does not have to be personal greed, but it can involve other areas of enrichment, such as keeping a particular ideology in power, because you profit by riding on it’s coat tails.

    If you, like Poosh (apparently), are saying that EVERY action can be explained as a selfish act, then it’s an impossible argument/discussion, because all your arguments will be based on that opinion.
    Again, the whole point of my response was to dispute that the motivation of someone on the left “has got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence”. I say nonsense.
    If I vote Green because I’m concerned about, say, climate change, does that mean I’m enriching myself? Even if it means that my vote means they get into power, and I pay more tax? Am I riding on their coat-tails? How? Because in 100 years I believe the planet might be considerably more liveable (providing considerably more people with subtantially more freedom)?

    And regarding absolutes, yes, nothing is a hundred percent, but I feel pretty confident discounting altruism as a prime big government motivator, at least in this country.

    As above, surely it depends on how you define altruism?
    “Prime’ is significantly different language than you were using in your “stupid beyond words” post.
    How about those who want to keep the government about the same size that is, but who want a reprioritisation of spending?

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  119. CM

    where is AlexInCT damn it?

    WTF? How on earth would he help? He’d ignore what we were trying to discuss and just post the same generic mindless “the left are retards and hitler and stalin” garbage. Nobody can deny that, or that it would do anything for anyone’s argument, or any sort of understanding of anyone’s position.

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  120. CM

    So not altruism then. If “altrusitic” behavior occurs to increase sociality and bonding then it’s not altruism, is it.

    If people vote because they want to increase sociality and bonding, then they’re not voting altruistically then are they, by the same logic. And yet you stated earlier:

    If people who are altruistic outvote people and enact policy etc that, let’s say, takes 5% of the opposed labour and gives it to the needy, then they are having altruism imposed on them

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  121. richtaylor365 *

    Huh? The only part of your ENTIRE post I didn’t quote was:

    You didn’t include the whole sentence, just a part of it which skews the context. Adding a few more words, the entire quote would have been more accurate and fairer to the poster (me).

    You’re not even saying it’s A motivating factor, you’re claiming it’s THE motivating factor

    I’m pretty sure I did, here:

    Sure, other motivations exist

    What does “enhance his own rice bowl” mean then?

    It can mean many things other then financial gain, I even provided an example for you with the coat tail reference.

    Not at all. In my opinion plenty of people simply believe society would function better, even if it means they personally lose out (their power and influence could be reduced)

    But their power and influence is not reduced. Assuming that liberals in general want a big government nanny state, having a big government nanny state with those in power of like mind doing their bidding for them enhances their power and influence because they are getting exactly what they want. Yes, they believe society is functioning better and they (bless their altruistic souls) feel they have had a hand in all that bounty. Their “rice bowl” is enhanced because their big government solutions are in full bloom.

    The other ingredients that some people might genuinely feel should be added into the mix when determining what sort of society they live in? Off the top of my head these could be:

    I guess I mis understood your question. I thought we were talking economy and not government. Yes, all your examples are reasonable and as an unabashed capitalist I see the need to fund those areas with my tax money. But as a tax payer I demand a certain fiduciary husbanding of my money and a say in how my taxes are spent. And here is where my power and influence is improved when I place those of like mind into positions of power within the government.

    If you, like Poosh (apparently), are saying that EVERY action can be explained as a selfish act, then it’s an impossible argument/discussion.

    No, I’m not going there, although an argument can easily be made for that. Me putting money into the collection plate at church, knowing that money will be used for charity, to help the poor, build that well in Africa, or help the down and out in my own community, some could say this is altruism in it’s purest form, but since I see it as a condition of my faith and an obligation, some could say it’s doing is to curry favor with my creator, I really don’t think about stuff like that. We each have our own motivations for whatever “good deeds” we decide to do. But I still think it is lunacy to translate liberalism, nanny stating, or big government anything and think this somehow equates to altruism.

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  122. Poosh

    If you, like Poosh (apparently), are saying that EVERY action can be explained as a selfish act, then it’s an impossible argument/discussion.

    I never said this…..

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  123. hist_ed

    I would just like to take the opportunity to point out that I have a really nice ass. Take a look. Wooooo boy now, that is a nice ass. I would also like to say that by sharing this nice ass, I am being altruistic. I think we can all agree that sharing nice asses is altruistic.

    Now, someone mentioned CM giving blowjobs a while back. Giving head is also quite altruistic, unless one gives head only because one expects to get head. I’d be happy to get some head from CM as long as CM really looks like that avatar (and hey there Kimpost, I’m eyeing you too).

    Moogoo George, before flinging some poo, also mentioned tit for tat a while back. I like tits. Don’t know why you trade one for a tattoo though. Some tits have tats. Don’t like that, though tats on asses are great. Why do I have an aversion to tats on tits but like tats on asses (some, not all I hasten to add)?

    So now we come to moogoo. Welcome back bro!! We really have been deficient in the semi-rational dung flinging department for a while; it’s good we’ll have that covered again.

    So to the original post. My brother ownes a car that cost new almost as much as my house. He pays like $5000 for a tune up. Know what? It’s his fucking money. Another brother bought a nice 3/4 acre lot in an expensive suburb of Seattle. Tore down the house and planned to put up three and sell. Know what blocked his plan? A tree. He could get all the permits he wanted to do every damn thing he wanted except to chop down a fucking cedar. There wasn’t an actual law that said “you can’t chop down the tree” but a neighbor complained and filed some sort of I am the fucking lorax I speak for the tree thing at court and the hippy tree hugger judge said my brother couldn’t chop down his own tree. Wound up selling the lot to someone with deeper pockets who could afford the fight the don’t mess with the tree injunction.

    So, to recap, nice asses are great and sharing them is altruistic. Tats on tits suck. Some of my brothers have a lot more money than me. Moogoo throws poo (hey that was a poem) and the government should let people do what they want with their own shit.

    Oh, and I should aviod logging in here after downing half a fifth of whiskey (go team Laphroig).

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  124. CM

    Epic! GREAT post hist. I think you’ve pretty much encapsulated everything that’s both right and wrong in the middle, and you’ve had a decent attempt at everything in between. Maximum points. I’m almost tempted to click on one of those retarded thumbs!

    You didn’t include the whole sentence, just a part of it which skews the context. Adding a few more words, the entire quote would have been more accurate and fairer to the poster (me).

    This is what you said:

    But it is a faulty premise, not backed by history or reality. To think that growing the size of government is somehow altruistic, that is stupid beyond words. The motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government ,more involved and more intrusive in our lives, has got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence. The statist works to enhance his own rice bowl, he is self serving and greedy, he wants to tighten his grip on the system, which is the very opposite of altruism.

    This is what I quoted:

    The motivations behind those wishing and working for the existence of an expanded government ,more involved and more intrusive in our lives, has got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence. The statist works to enhance his own rice bowl, he is self serving and greedy, he wants to tighten his grip on the system, which is the very opposite of altruism.

    The lead-in sentence, which I left out, didn’t skew the meaning of what you said. However as you’re now saying I left out PART of a sentence, I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing. So now I have no idea.

    I’m pretty sure I did, here:

    Later you did yeah. The only way I can reconcile it with your original paragraph (quoted above) is that the ‘other motivations’ are all still “nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence”.

    It can mean many things other then financial gain, I even provided an example for you with the coat tail reference.

    I find that extremely vague. You’re assuming motivation based on something fairly indirect. To me (at least) motivation has to be obvious (and really the only option) before you can start claiming it for others. Motivation has to at least be direct. That would seem to be a fundamental part of what defines it.

    But their power and influence is not reduced. Assuming that liberals in general want a big government nanny state, having a big government nanny state with those in power of like mind doing their bidding for them enhances their power and influence because they are getting exactly what they want.

    How is a poor person doing that any different from a rich person voting for less government so they can assert more power and influence?
    I think much of this is about degrees/extent. Sure we can argue extremes but it’s hardly realistic.

    Yes, they believe society is functioning better and they (bless their altruistic souls) feel they have had a hand in all that bounty. Their “rice bowl” is enhanced because their big government solutions are in full bloom.

    Ok, well, I’ve never heard the term ‘rice bowl’ used in any other way but about material gain (to me, a larger rice bowl indicates a larger physical share of some sort of bounty).
    Obviously you don’t believe the “bless their altruistic souls” part because as you originally stated their desire to shape society in a manner they think works best has “got nothing to do with altruism and everything to do with power, control and influence”. So I assume you are being sarcastic there.
    If their ‘big government solutions’ are in full bloom, and yet they are not personally benefiting from it (which is the case for many liberals) then how are they “self serving and greedy”? Again, if I voted Green because I consider that only they would undertake measures to ensure a liveable planet in 100 years time, how does that fit in with your motivation claim?

    I guess I mis understood your question. I thought we were talking economy and not government.

    Ah ok. Yes, I was talking about how a “capitalist society”.

    Yes, all your examples are reasonable and as an unabashed capitalist I see the need to fund those areas with my tax money. But as a tax payer I demand a certain fiduciary husbanding of my money and a say in how my taxes are spent. And here is where my power and influence is improved when I place those of like mind into positions of power within the government.

    That’s fine, but again I was responding to your original claim. I’m not going to assume you are just self-serving and greedy. I think you honestly believe that society would function better with a smaller government. It’s blindingly obvious to me that many conservatives sincerely hold their beliefs (and that their favoured level of government would benefit all), and don’t just have them because they’re evil, or selfish. If I dismissed it all as selfishness, I would be at all interested in understanding it because there would be literally nothing to understand.

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  125. CM

    I never said this…..

    Well then I have to agree with Salinger. I can’t make head nor tail of what you’re trying to say. You seem to be saying that altruism can only exist within an individual, but then at the same time you claim that governments can act altruistically. You claim that all doctors in the UK are altruistic and therefore presumably they should presumably be happy to work for nothing otherwise they’re arseholes. You claim there is no such thing as biological altruism, even though you’ve been given links to long detailed discussions about it (about how it’s hardwired) written by people far more qualified. Then all of a sudden you seem to be saying that you didn’t mean altruism all along because you’re only talking about social constructs, so now you want to call it ethics.
    So that was as close as I could get to trying to tie it all together.

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  126. Poosh

    Like speaking to a child. I wrote a long post but deleted it. Why bother? If we’re not talking about ethics then what the hell are talking about. Just about every sentence you’ve said there shows you just cannot understand things. So why bother talking? We’re not talking about “being nice” or just “caring for others” or “giving to the needy” we’re talking about altruism. And if your little brain wasn’t aware that we were talking about morality, ethics, and that somehow I changed topics, then you’re ever stupider than I thought you were. I mean if your tiny mind cannot understand that corporations are people, then I guess you can’t understand that a government is people either.

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  127. Poosh

    To quote Ryansparx:

    Kin selection and Tit for Tat are not “altruistic” by any means. They are as self-serving and internally consistent and individually enforced as anything else that libertarians espouse.

    This is really all that should have been said, and I should not have bothered to say anything after. If you couldn’t understand that – and its implications – then you certainly couldn’t understand anything else.

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  128. salinger

    To quote Ryansparx:

    And a (most likely) pseudonym using poster to a blog has more creditability than the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and a noted expert on evolution lecturing at Yale (Prof. Stearns founded and has served as president of both the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and the Tropical Biology Association and was founding editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. He has been a vice president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) because?

    Like I said earlier – you’re never wrong if you ignore the facts which prove you so.

    I really had no intention of rejoining this one – but c’mon, this is just weak. It’s the wanton and unjustified dismissing of contrary evidence / experts, and then the contortionist parsing of terms to try and weasle out of having clearly made an uninformed assertion that is just so feeble.

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  129. Poosh

    The same we, website which distinguished between altruism as we’re talking about and “biological altruism” which is something quite different. You can’t even understand your own links.

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  130. sahrab

    So I didn’t read your links because I didn’t have to. A quick skim of them seems to be merely talking about exactly what we’ve claimed here anyway. So the real question is: DID YOU READ YOUR OWN LINKS?

    Of course he didnt, might as well get used to it. Salingers been caught numerous times posting links and claiming they say {SOME BULLSHIT HE MAKES UP}.

    Yet, after a simple read through his “Source”, you find out his “Proof” actually refutes whatever claim he was trying to make.

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  131. salinger

    Poosh says:

    The same we, website which distinguished between altruism as we’re talking about and “biological altruism” which is something quite different.

    Poosh earlier said:

    its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    So which is it? You’re arguing with yourself now. I’m gonna grab some popcorn while you do the acrobats needed to solve this equation. Let me give you a leg up.

    Altruism has nothing to do with biology except when it does.

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  132. sahrab

    There are 2 definitions for Altruism:

    1: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
    2: behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species

    Let us see if your examples are altruistic or not

    Altruistic behaviour is common throughout the animal kingdom, particularly in species with complex social structures. For example, vampire bats regularly regurgitate blood and donate it to other members of their group who have failed to feed that night, ensuring they do not starve.

    Bat rely upon others in the colony for survival (temperature control, protection against predators, and food). Food sharing isnt considered altruistic, per the definition (not the one continually being redefined by George and Salinger), if the entity thats doing it gets a benefit from it. target=”_blank”>Reciprocity with Altruism. The vampire bat feeding a neighbor, to ensure it gets fed if it falls into the same state (lack of food) is not Altruism. Your blending (or confusing) <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reciprocity&quot;

    One Down

    In numerous bird species, a breeding pair receives help in raising its young from other ‘helper’ birds, who protect the nest from predators and help to feed the fledglings.

    Not Altruism, this is reciprocity. Help and protection for their young to ensure help and protection when its their turn.

    Two down

    Vervet monkeys give alarm calls to warn fellow monkeys of the presence of predators, even though in doing so they attract attention to themselves, increasing their personal chance of being attacked.

    If the Vervet monkeys sacrificed themselves for the colony, that would would be altruism. Notice the wording? Increasing their chances (but not taking the chance).

    The Female Vervet’s are known to alarm to a predator while their own offspring are in danger (not altruistic), not so often when non-related animals are at risk and usually when surrounded by others (not altruistic). Male Vervets alarm when females are at risk (not altruistic), not so much when its other males at danger and usually when surrounded by others (not altruistic). (Link)

    Three Down

    In social insect colonies (ants, wasps, bees and termites), sterile workers devote their whole lives to caring for the queen, constructing and protecting the nest, foraging for food, and tending the larvae. Such behaviour is maximally altruistic: sterile workers obviously do not leave any offspring of their own — so have personal fitness of zero — but their actions greatly assist the reproductive efforts of the queen.

    Another blending of definitions. what is being described is Kin Selection, not Altruism. The individual increase his fitness not by having its own offspring, but by helping a close relative (Queen)raise its offspring, since they share genes

    Last One down

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  133. salinger

    There are 2 definitions for Altruism:

    1: unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others
    2: behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species

    So your point then is: The second definition does not really exist.

    Plain and simple – you are wrong. No amount of parsing is going to change that fact. Poosh misspoke and then began adding qualifiers when he/she was called on it.

    You – on the other hand – are just drilling extra holes to let the water out of the leaking boat. Every one of your refutations requires the erasing of individuality. Not the most libertarian view I would say – nor one that is accepted by the vast majority of educated people.

    Well, that’s enough for today. Have a peachy day.

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  134. richtaylor365 *

    The lead-in sentence, which I left out, didn’t skew the meaning of what you said.

    It’s a simple request, and really an expected protocol in blogging, when you quote someone, quote the entire sentence, not just a snippet. If you want to reference it to another quote, that’s cool too, but don’t parse sentences, come on.

    I find that extremely vague.

    Well, I’m sorry about that, but you do realize that there are other forms of gain besides financial, don’t you? I have tried to use other examples of this for you. Power, influence, esteem, these are all gains.

    How is a poor person doing that any different from a rich person voting for less government so they can assert more power and influence?

    It’s not, which is what I’ve been saying all along. Some guy allergic to work (just an example) is benefited by a more accommodating government who wants social programs extended, isn’t this obvious? If one party wants unemployment benefits limited, and one party wants it unlimited, doesn’t he benefit when the big government party runs things?

    Ok, well, I’ve never heard the term ‘rice bowl’ used in any other way but about material gain

    I’m glad I could broaden your horizons. As stated before, gain comes in many flavors.

    Again, if I voted Green because I consider that only they would undertake measures to ensure a liveable planet in 100 years time, how does that fit in with your motivation claim?

    Because (and I’ve explained this before in an earlier post) having a government in place of like mind with you increases your power and influence. As a non greenie, my voice would not be heard in that administration, I would be impotent and weak, You OTOH would benefit by their actions because you think them just and your voice would be heard. Just like the wealth distributors in this administration are benefiting, but those set against such practices, we don’t have the power.

    I think you honestly believe that society would function better with a smaller government.

    Guilty as charged. I guess I could retort and say that I honestly think you believe society would function better with a larger government. Smaller is better, by far.

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  135. Poosh

    Don’t bother with Sal, a lesson I learnt the hard way. I can’t believe he actually thinks he is “calling people out”. He cannot critically understand concepts or use reason, and when people are forced to explain things to him, he interprets that as “moving the goalposts” or “qualifying things”. If altruism was just caring for eachother and giving to eachother, we would hardly be objecting, would we. But their tiny little brains can’t understand this.

    Everything Sal posted, then CM posted, repeatedly confirms what people here have said.

    They can’t, for whatever reason, figure out that altruism is a man-made concept, a moral concept, and that all their links dissect the claim that humans are altruistic, revealing quite selfish causes, often species replication, survival of the species: which no doubt they recoil in horror from, as they instantly think “omg, Hitler”.

    This is all beside the point, of course. Because merely because a human being is such-and-such, does not mean he SHOULD be such-and-such. You’re making a jump in logic, in other words. Thinking the natural order of man is to sacrifice himself for the collective, or majority, despite that majority having no value to him (if it had value to him, then it wouldn’t be altruism) is what has lead to billions murdered, the gulags etc. THAT might be why we’re so disgusted by such loose and carefree use of the term “altruism”.

    WE KNOW WHERE IT LEADS.

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  136. salinger

    He cannot critically understand concepts or use reason

    Okay – explain the reason behind these two statements – or ignore them again – whichever you choose.

    Poosh says:

    The same we, website which distinguished between altruism as we’re talking about and “biological altruism” which is something quite different.

    Poosh earlier said:

    its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    Until you can reconcile these two statements your argument is baseless. It’s so simple. You misspoke with your comment about altruism having nothing to do with biology when you made it with no qualifications whatsoever.

    That is all I commented on – but you are so insecure you cannot admit misspeaking, much less that you may be wrong. All the insults or pretzel machination attempts at gas-lighting isn’t going to change it. As the adage goes – You have a right to your own opinion but not your own made up facts.

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  137. Poosh

    Until you can reconcile these two statements your argument is baseless. It’s so simple.

    I’m at a complete loss. I would be repeating myself for the 3rd time.

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  138. salinger

    I’m at a complete loss. I would be repeating myself for the 3rd time.

    You’re kidding right – you are obviously being purposefully obtuse. Tell me where my interpretation is wrong then:

    First you unequivocally state:

    its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    then in the same thread you say:

    “biological altruism” which is something quite different.

    You do not see the dissonance by first saying – Altruism has nothing to do with biology and then saying Biological altruism is different.?

    In one case you are asserting altruism does not exist in biology and in the second you are saying it does. I am merely asking – which is it? I am fully willing to accept that you misspoke with the first statement – but somehow you think you can talk your way out of it. Good luck with that.

    I don’t really expect an answer – have a swell day – I’ve got things to do now.

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  139. JimK

    Sally, you’re being a cunt.

    As for the topic, words have meaning, yes, but they also have context, you fucking dick.

    Poosh, you have this 100% correct. Altruism is a construct of man. What animals do “selflessly” isn’t the same thing at all. Instinct is different from logic, reason and choice.

    Altruism is bullshit. People are inherently selfish, and that’s by design. “Biological altruism” is a misnomer, but it’s the one we’re stuck with. What animals without emotion and reason do is distinct and different from human “altruism.”

    Which Sally already knew, but he wanted to be an asshole again.

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  140. Kimpost

    This is all beside the point, of course. Because merely because a human being is such-and-such, does not mean he SHOULD be such-and-such. You’re making a jump in logic, in other words.

    We’ve actually not made a jump in logic, since we’re pretty much still busy with being dicks. We want you to admit your poor wording first.

    “Look, I mis-spoke. I never really meant to discuss biology. I was more interested in altruism in a human ethical context.”

    ;)

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  141. hist_ed

    Sally, you’re being a cunt.

    Hey Salinger, perhaps a new avatar thingy? Someone called me an ass a while ago (maybe here maybe another site) and I used it as inspiration. CM and Kimpost have done their part to beautify this lil’ joint, how ’bout yours? (See secretely I am hoping that someone calls me a cunt, too so that I can change my photo).

    So anyway . . .

    I woke up, fed my boys and ate, read the paper and then got lil’ hist_ed mark IV off to his morning nap. I had a vague, headachy memory of posting something round these parts (something that in my whiskeyed state I thought was very amusing and my wife did not-“You woke me up laughing at that? I have to work tomorrow.” (guessing no Fourth of July holiday ass for me this year) Logged in and lo! there it was. I know that somewhere in my ramblings I was trying to make a single coherent point (and it wasn’t “Hey you guys suck at arguing”) but I can’t for the life of me tell what it was.

    I would like to add something though. Sematic arguments can be fun, but really aren’t worth all the sound and thunder above. We all know that there are words in the English language that have multiple meanings (tits for tats anyone?) and in particular those science nerds often take a plain old English word and make it mean something else when applied to particle physics, astronomy, anatomy, etc. I really suck as a mediator, but maybe, just maybe, we can agree that “altruism” means one thing when addressing human behavior and something else when talking about naked mole rats. Adding an ajective to noun modifies that noun, right? Sometimes is changes the meaning completely. So just as “social Darwinism” ain’t really Darwinism at all (at least Darwin didn’t think so) and “compssionate conservatism” ain’t really conservatism at all, perhaps, just perhaps “biological altruism” ain’t really “altruism”? Just a thought.

    Looking forward to that cunt picture Salinger, I personally like a little hair on ‘em.

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  142. Poosh

    I will not admit poor wording. Altruism has NOTHING to do with biology.If you want me to say “some people mistake selfish biological impulses/processes for altruism, and we call this biological altruism, but it has nothing to do with altruism, which has nothing to do with the biological” then fine, I’ll say that, despite that being obvious from the start. “Biological altruism” is the same as calling out private schools in the UK, PUBLIC schools, despite them having nothing to do with being open to the public. Even JimK has come in an pointed this out now, but to no avail.

    It’s almost as if you think altruism is just being nice, and looking after people, or being generally social. This is not what altruism is.

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  143. hist_ed

    But hist_ed, one of the links Sal linked to SAID EXACTLY what you just said!

    Really? About tits and tats and all that? Did it have pcitures?

    I guess I have to admit something here and it make come as a shock to all y’all. I hope that the high level of esteem and respect you all hold me to does not suffer too much, but, here it goes, ummmmmmmm, I don’t always read every link on this blog (gasp! cue ominous music). Even when i am heavily invested in an argument. I even, sometime, just skim the posts (especially when they are five page long series of quoting other posts, links and long winded statements explaining and/or refuting said links and posts) And, as is obvious, I wasn’t too heavily invested in this thread.

    I’ll take your word on it Poosh.

    Now I must take more advil and drink more coffee. Then shoot some electronic bad guys because nothing scres a mild hangover like Battlefield.

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  144. Poosh

    I know I know, it just pained me to see you wright in detail something you need not have written had Sal read the links he had posted and understood them. Let’s face it, him and CM both typed “altruism is biological” into Google and thought they had a “gotcha” moment.

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  145. salinger

    Sally, you’re being a cunt.

    Funny – I get that every time I call someone out for contradicting themselves around here.

    Poosh, you have this 100% correct. Altruism is a construct of man. What animals do “selflessly” isn’t the same thing at all. Instinct is different from logic, reason and choice.

    Except when it is defined by biologists as biologic altruism. Funny how context only counts sometimes around here. Excuse me if I don’t subscribe to your being the ultimate authority on linguistics and word meaning – unless of course you are claiming a particular RTFLC vernacular of the English language, which often seems the case.

    Let’s face it, him and CM both typed “altruism is biological” into Google and thought they had a “gotcha” moment.

    Actually this is a subject I came a cross and subsequently read up on rather extensively while doing brain research study in reading comprehension. That’s why your initial uninformed statement rankled my spidey sense so quickly.

    I rarely comment here when ideology is concerned because I figure it’s a waste of breath – but I am willing to call bullshit when someone spouts forth on something they obviously know nothing about and is 100% factually wrong. As you are in this case. Cunt or not – I am right. No amount of brow beating is going to change the truth.

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  146. Poosh

    willing to call bullshit when someone spouts forth on something they obviously know nothing about and is 100% factually wrong

    Then why do the links you provide confirm what I have said, and reject what you, CM and George seem to think? You seem to think, or at least George, than man is driven by altruism, and pesky libertarians are in the way of this. You seem to think man is naturally altruistic. But biological altruism shows this is not true, and that what is behind behavior that appears altruistic, is far from altruistic. The whole point of altruism is that you sacrifice and receive nothing in return. Altruism is also a duty that we should be subject to. Not a single case in biology shows this. Every single time there are at the very least indirect reasons why altruistic behavior arose THUS it’s not altruistic, you are merely mentally imposing it for idealogical reasons.

    And no one here believes you did reading comprehension.

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  147. JimK

    Sidebar:

    When you actually are a thing or have actually plainly done a thing, you don’t need to constantly tell people. They already know.

    I find it interesting to note where that pattern pops up. It appears, to me, anyway, to correlate with certain political ideologies. It also goes hand-in-hand with obsessing over thumb ratings.

    Probably doesn’t mean a thing.

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  148. salinger

    When you actually are a thing or have actually plainly done a thing, you don’t need to constantly tell people. They already know.

    Except when they obviously don’t because of accusations they fling i.e.

    Let’s face it, him and CM both typed “altruism is biological” into Google and thought they had a “gotcha” moment.

    Of course the grammar is fucked – but I think I got the gist of what poosh was trying to say.

    So sweet to see you in den mother mode Jim.

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  149. CM

    I find it interesting to note where that pattern pops up. It appears, to me, anyway, to correlate with certain political ideologies.

    Yeah, real objective sample there Jim. For fuck’s sake. I know you have no interest in even attempting to be even-handed on this blog, but that’s just ridiculous.
    The non-righties here aren’t the ones constantly resorting to calling people names.

    Yet again, it appears that blog posters claim to know more than experts in the field. Guess we should do away with all the experts then, there’s no need for them.

    Salinger, you’ve hit the nail on the head the whole way through.

    Altruism is bullshit. People are inherently selfish, and that’s by design. “Biological altruism” is a misnomer, but it’s the one we’re stuck with. What animals without emotion and reason do is distinct and different from human “altruism.”

    Bollocks.

    Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism#Neurobiology

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  150. Kimpost

    Stop it, CM. That altruism isn’t really altruism. ;)

    …and then Poosh takes things even further by suggesting that biological altruism isn’t biological altruism, except when he’s trying to explain that he’s not talking about (non-existing) biological altruism, but rather about altruism as a exclusively human ethical concept.

    :)

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  151. Poosh

    Altruism, the experiment suggested, was not a superior moral faculty that suppresses basic selfish urges but rather was basic to the brain, hard-wired and pleasurable.

    seriously …. you’re dumb dumb dumb

    dumb

    dumb dumb dumb

    dumb

    good night!

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  152. CM

    Not a single case in biology shows this. Every single time there are at the very least indirect reasons why altruistic behavior arose THUS it’s not altruistic, you are merely mentally imposing it for idealogical reasons.

    Altruism……basic to the brain…..hard-wired.

    But no, the experts are full of shit, you know better…..and so, predictably, you respond by calling people dumb. Seriously lame.

    Please explain how these test subjects are able to trick the researchers into seeing altruism as biologically hard-wired, when in fact (according to you) it’s just an imposed non-biological concept?

    You also seem to have ignored the NHS issue we were discussing.

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  153. CM

    It’s a simple request, and really an expected protocol in blogging, when you quote someone, quote the entire sentence, not just a snippet. If you want to reference it to another quote, that’s cool too, but don’t parse sentences, come on.

    As I pointed out, I did quote the entire sentence. I didn’t post the first sentence from the paragraph because it wasn’t relevant. It didn’t change the meaning of what I quoted. I wasn’t doing anything that isn’t done all over the place, all the time. There was no attempt to be deceptive. As I’ve said previously, deceptive/dishonest behaviour is pointless because it’s obvious. So I’m still unclear what the issue is.

    Well, I’m sorry about that, but you do realize that there are other forms of gain besides financial, don’t you? I have tried to use other examples of this for you. Power, influence, esteem, these are all gains.

    You’re saying that people only vote left for personal gain, and I’m disputing that. You’ve watered it right down to ‘esteem’ but that doesn’t really match up with the absolutist wording you used. It matters that you’re now referring to vague ways of obtaining personal gain, because you were so absolute in your initial claim. Your initial claim doesn’t carry nearly the same meaning now because exactly the same thing could be said of those who vote according to other beliefs. Which makes the whole thing meaningless because it’s not saying anything. My point is that some people vote in a way which reflects the way they believe society should be ordered. Some of these are on the right and some are on the left. But some others (on both sides) will vote according to the single (or couple) of issues which are most important to them (and even though some or much of the rest of the platform isn’t consistent with their view of how society should be structured). And some others (again, across the spectrum) just vote on what will financially benefit them the most.

    It’s not, which is what I’ve been saying all along. Some guy allergic to work (just an example) is benefited by a more accommodating government who wants social programs extended, isn’t this obvious?

    Yes, but that would be a result, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s his motivation. A better example might be an unemployed person who votes the same way he did when he was employed, and the same way he will later when he’s employed again. He might have always voted that way partly because he feels that it’s in society’s interest to assist people during periods when they don’t have employment. But it’s a little simplistic to suggest that he’s just voting to benefit his position at any particular point in time. I wouldn’t assume he’ll vote left when he’s unemployed and right otherwise.

    Because (and I’ve explained this before in an earlier post) having a government in place of like mind with you increases your power and influence. As a non greenie, my voice would not be heard in that administration, I would be impotent and weak, You OTOH would benefit by their actions because you think them just and your voice would be heard. Just like the wealth distributors in this administration are benefiting, but those set against such practices, we don’t have the power.

    I’ll be dead in 100 years. I’m not talking about the entire Greenie platform – that’s why I was specific. So how would I benefit from their actions? Presumably I’d pay more tax, so I’d be worse off financially. How does seeking a more liveable planet after I’m dead make me “self-serving and greedy”? My kids and grandkids won’t benefit any more than yours? The most significant benefits will be to a vast number of kids and gradkids of people I’ve never met and will never meet. This is why I’m saying that your assessment is far too simplistic. It assumes far too much about motivation. Presuming motivation is fraught with danger.

    Guilty as charged. I guess I could retort and say that I honestly think you believe society would function better with a larger government. Smaller is better, by far.

    Well no, I think the size (in terms of spending) is large enough. I’d probably seek to reduce it if anything. In terms of regulations, I’m sure I could remove as many as I added. Some regulations (which you would no doubt define as contributing to government size) are there to ensure (or at least attempt to assist) the flow of capitalism.

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  154. Seattle Outcast

    But no, the experts are full of shit, you know better

    You shouldn’t take an “expert” at face value a lot of time. There are lots of “experts”, and they quite frequently disagree with each other a whole lot. Also, a lot of “experts” are complete frauds and/or incompetents.

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  155. CM

    You shouldn’t take an “expert” at face value a lot of time. There are lots of “experts”, and they quite frequently disagree with each other a whole lot. Also, a lot of “experts” are complete frauds and/or incompetents.

    What did JimK JUST say about context (notwithstanding that in his last interaction with me, which also involved Poosh, he completely misrepresented what I posted because he stripped it of ALL CONTEXT)?

    Anyway, of course we shouldn’t take an ‘expert’ at face value. But it’s illogical and irrational to not prefer an expert (more likely and often a group of experts, or body of expert work) to an ideologue on an internet blog with no qualifications in the field. It would also be illogical and irrational to assume an expert is a fraud or incompetent without any evidence whatsoever, just because what they say doesn’t suit your worldview.

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  156. richtaylor365 *

    So I’m still unclear what the issue is.

    Nevermind

    I’ve explained to you six ways from Sunday what you did and why it was uncool, but your obstinance dictates that you dig in your heels and feign ignorance, whatever.

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  157. Section8

    And a (most likely) pseudonym using poster to a blog has more creditability than the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and a noted expert on evolution lecturing at Yale (Prof. Stearns founded and has served as president of both the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and the Tropical Biology Association and was founding editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. He has been a vice president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) because?

    So let’s quote the expert.

    So by behaving altruistically, an organism reduces the number of offspring it is likely to produce itself, but boosts the number that other organisms are likely to produce. This biological notion of altruism is not identical to the everyday concept. In everyday parlance, an action would only be called ‘altruistic’ if it was done with the conscious intention of helping another. But in the biological sense there is no such requirement. Indeed, some of the most interesting examples of biological altruism are found among creatures that are (presumably) not capable of conscious thought at all, e.g. insects. For the biologist, it is the consequences of an action for reproductive fitness (i.e. self serving and not out of kindness, goodness, or empathy. added by me) that determine whether the action counts as altruistic, not the intentions, if any, with which the action is performed.

    How does this differ from Ryan’s statement regarding George’s use of ‘altruistic’ traits?

    Nevermind

    This is usually the end result of interaction with the resident time waster.

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  158. salinger

    So let’s quote the expert.

    Yes let’s – and to make it even a bit more interesting let’s take the quote from the passage you already cited:

    But in the biological sense there is no such requirement. Indeed, some of the most interesting examples of biological altruism are found among creatures that are (presumably) not capable of conscious thought at all, e.g. insects For the biologist, it is the consequences of an action for reproductive fitness (i.e. self serving and not out of kindness, goodness, or empathy. added by me) that determine whether the action counts as altruistic, not the intentions, if any, with which the action is performed..

    Can you read this and honestly say altruism does not exist in biology?

    And let’s look at the comment by poosh (again) which I called into question:

    its absurd to think altruism has anything to do with biology.

    Pretty cut and dry statement wouldn’t you agree?

    A simple misstatement – but one I thought should be clarified since the term biologic altruism is actually a field that is studied. Any thinking person would have responded by saying something along the lines of “Okay, yes – biologic altruism does exist – but that is not what is being discussed here.” He almost got there saying the links presented didn’t apply to this argument – but then he dove back in going on and on and on and on – about how biologic altruism does NOT exist. Well that is just not true.

    Then – because I didn’t roll over and agree I was called a cunt by the mother hen protecting her chick. So – I am so sorry if I wasted anyone’s time – I only responded to comments that were directed specifically to me.

    But then I’m sure I am being too hard on the poor guy – I mean look at the leeway you guys give anyone who you believe to have a liberal leaning. You’d never point out a flaw in an argument presented by someone who you believes disagrees with you. My bad.

    I’m really done with this now, I have a couple picnics to hit – be careful with those boom booms ladies and gentlemen.

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  159. CM

    I’ve explained to you six ways from Sunday what you did and why it was uncool, but your obstinance dictates that you dig in your heels and feign ignorance, whatever.

    Ok, well if I mangled what you meant I certainly apologise. It was not my intention (as I say, it’s counter-productive). Next time it might be helpful for you to explain how I mangled it, rather than just saying I did over and over again.

    This is usually the end result of interaction with the resident time waster.

    This is usually the type of statement we expect from the chief resident leg-humper.

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  160. Section8

    Pretty cut and dry statement wouldn’t you agree?

    Yeah, I won’t argue the word is used in biology, and does have meaning in biology, and from what I’ve seen (and by no means am I an expert of any kind) it’s used quite often. It’s just not in the same context as it was brought up originally to bring about this discussion prior to your first post. That was my point, about how it was originally used, and not really taking sides on the side bar discussions. I just happened to use your quote to initiate my post, but my response wasn’t really directed to you,

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