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  #1  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:32 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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  #2  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:51 PM
harkin harkin is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

Word is getting out on Day Of Rage/OWS, paid protesters forbidden to talk to the press, shredding documents, ACORN relationship cover-ups......

“They reminded us that we can get fired, sued, arrested for talking to the press,” the source said. “Then they went through the article point-by-point and said that the allegation that we pay people to protest isn’t true.”

“‘That’s the story that we’re sticking to,’” Westin said, according to the source.

The source said staffers at the meeting contested Westin’s denial:

“It was pretty funny. Jonathan told staff they don’t pay for protesters, but the people in the meeting who work there objected and said, ‘Wait, you pay us to go to the protests every day?’ Then Jonathan said ‘No, but that’s your job,’ and staffers were like, ‘Yeah, our job is to protest,’ and Westin said, ‘No your job is to fight for economic and social justice. We just send you to protest.’

“Staff said, ‘Yes, you pay us to carry signs.’ Then Jonathan says, ‘That’s your job.’ It went on like that back and forth for a while.”


In related news:

"Peaceful Occupy protests degenerate into chaos"
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:49 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Originally Posted by harkin View Post
The most plausible theory/explanation I've read thus far on OWS and its raison d'etre has been by Kenneth Anderson at Volokh. To put it in somewhat simplified terms, it's the lower-upper-middle class vs. the upper-upper-middle class. Given Matt's evidence on the background of some of the protesters, the theory fits.

And if this is the case, it's all the more reason Democrats need to stop imposing price controls.
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2011, 09:36 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
The most plausible theory/explanation I've read thus far on OWS and its raison d'etre has been by Kenneth Anderson at Volokh. To put it in somewhat simplified terms, it's the lower-upper-middle class vs. the upper-upper-middle class. Given Matt's evidence on the background of some of the protesters, the theory fits.

And if this is the case, it's all the more reason Democrats need to stop imposing price controls.
If you go down to the park in New York, mainly what you see is the standard hippie kids and middle aged working class black people. I don't recognize any of them as lower-upper-middle-class. Actual lower-upper-middle-class people like myself just show up for a couple hours here or there.

The blog people who are against it want to make it sound like a bunch of young white whiners who have ivy league educations in art history, because that's a group that's easy to mock. It's analogous to making the tea party about fat racists.
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  #5  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:43 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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If you go down to the park in New York, mainly what you see is the standard hippie kids and middle aged working class black people. I don't recognize any of them as lower-upper-middle-class. Actual lower-upper-middle-class people like myself just show up for a couple hours here or there.

The blog people who are against it want to make it sound like a bunch of young white whiners who have ivy league educations in art history, because that's a group that's easy to mock. It's analogous to making the tea party about fat racists.
Heh.

A few years ago, Joe Therrien, a graduate of the NYC Teaching Fellows program, was working as a full-time drama teacher at a public elementary school in New York City. Frustrated by huge class sizes, sparse resources and a disorganized bureaucracy, he set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion—puppetry. Three years and $35,000 in student loans later, he emerged with degree in hand, and because puppeteers aren’t exactly in high demand, he went looking for work at his old school. The intervening years had been brutal to the city’s school budgets—down about 14 percent on average since 2007. A virtual hiring freeze has been in place since 2009 in most subject areas, arts included, and spending on art supplies in elementary schools crashed by 73 percent between 2006 and 2009. So even though Joe’s old principal was excited to have him back, she just couldn’t afford to hire a new full-time teacher. Instead, he’s working at his old school as a full-time “substitute”; he writes his own curriculum, holds regular classes and does everything a normal teacher does. “But sub pay is about 50 percent of a full-time salaried position,” he says, “so I’m working for half as much as I did four years ago, before grad school, and I don’t have health insurance…. It’s the best-paying job I could find.”

Like a lot of the young protesters who have flocked to Occupy Wall Street, Joe had thought that hard work and education would bring, if not class mobility, at least a measure of security (indeed, a master’s degree can boost a New York City teacher’s salary by $10,000 or more). But the past decade of stagnant wages for the 99 percent and million-dollar bonuses for the 1 percent has awakened the kids of the middle class to a national nightmare: the dream that coaxed their parents to meet the demands of work, school, mortgage payments and tuition bills is shattered. Down is the new up.


http://www.thenation.com/article/164...py-wall-street

The Nation doesn't even realize how hilarious that story reads to me.
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:46 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
The Nation doesn't even realize how hilarious that story reads to me.
probably because you're not a puppet.

the dream that coaxed their parents to meet the demands of work, school, mortgage payments and tuition bills is shattered.

Really? Here's what I'm thinking. Since the dream is shattered, maybe these kids should just accept their fate. Share an apartment in some cheapish neighborhood and get an undemanding job. There are lots of those, right?

Then go out and enjoy your life. Eschew all of those nasty consumer values. Buy your clothes from Goodwill. Play bongos in the park! Accept your fate. Do not resist. Your dream has been stolen, after all. And that always makes for great art.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:46 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Heh.

A few years ago, Joe Therrien, a graduate of the NYC Teaching Fellows program, was working as a full-time drama teacher at a public elementary school in New York City. Frustrated by huge class sizes, sparse resources and a disorganized bureaucracy, he set off to the University of Connecticut to get an MFA in his passion—puppetry. Three years and $35,000 in student loans later, he emerged with degree in hand, and because puppeteers aren’t exactly in high demand, he went looking for work at his old school. The intervening years had been brutal to the city’s school budgets—down about 14 percent on average since 2007. A virtual hiring freeze has been in place since 2009 in most subject areas, arts included, and spending on art supplies in elementary schools crashed by 73 percent between 2006 and 2009. So even though Joe’s old principal was excited to have him back, she just couldn’t afford to hire a new full-time teacher. Instead, he’s working at his old school as a full-time “substitute”; he writes his own curriculum, holds regular classes and does everything a normal teacher does. “But sub pay is about 50 percent of a full-time salaried position,” he says, “so I’m working for half as much as I did four years ago, before grad school, and I don’t have health insurance…. It’s the best-paying job I could find.”

Like a lot of the young protesters who have flocked to Occupy Wall Street, Joe had thought that hard work and education would bring, if not class mobility, at least a measure of security (indeed, a master’s degree can boost a New York City teacher’s salary by $10,000 or more). But the past decade of stagnant wages for the 99 percent and million-dollar bonuses for the 1 percent has awakened the kids of the middle class to a national nightmare: the dream that coaxed their parents to meet the demands of work, school, mortgage payments and tuition bills is shattered. Down is the new up.


http://www.thenation.com/article/164...py-wall-street

The Nation doesn't even realize how hilarious that story reads to me.
Same article:

But the first spark, here in New York, was generated when artists, students and academics hooked up with activists from Bloombergville, a three-week occupation near City Hall to protest the mayor’s budget cuts. This unlikely mix has proved to be a tactical boon, says Alexandre: “Artists are in a privileged position to take the terrain without too much repression. It’s harder for the police to move against you when you are clearly doing something nonviolent and artistic.”

Ugh. So obnoxious. New York doesn't seem to have any Hard Hats these days.
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:51 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
Ugh. So obnoxious. New York doesn't seem to have any Hard Hats these days.
They're all in South Dakota or Canadian oil sands country, making beaucoup bucks

Maybe the puppeteer guy should have gotten his masters in cowboy poetry. I understand there's still a big market for that...somewhere.
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:08 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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The Nation doesn't even realize how hilarious that story reads to me.
Yeah, underpaid underemployed people are a laugh riot.
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:19 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Yeah, underpaid underemployed people are a laugh riot.
Someone who quits their job to go rack up $30,000 in student debt to become a master puppeteer, and then returns to complain that he makes less money, is a fool. And yes, this person's foolishness should be subject to ridicule. The reason you feel the need for the hand of the state in most aspects of daily life is that you are unwilling to recognize the governing power of stigma. Rather than judge this person for his bad choices, and recognizing that the consequences he's facing for these choices are completely rational and justified, you want to mourn with him. Mourn the logical conclusion of his ridiculous choices.
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  #11  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:34 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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The reason you feel the need for the hand of the state in most aspects of daily life......
Yes, I feel the need for the hand of the state. LOL.


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Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator View Post
...you are unwilling to recognize the governing power of stigma.
Again, you have nailed me. It's not like I have ever said anything about the fact that there isn't enough shame in our society or anything.

But carry on, keep on celebrating the fact that some dude got his comeupance for having made a bad choice (and one that harmed no one else) and is now doing work for less than he should be getting paid.
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:52 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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But carry on, keep on celebrating the fact that some dude got his comeupance for having made a bad choice (and one that harmed no one else) and is now doing work for less than he should be getting paid.
And the consequence of his choice harms no one else but him either, right? I mean he's the one paid less. And explain how you came to the conclusion about how much he should be making. He quit his job for a long period of time because he didn't like it, and spent his interim time doing a ridiculous thing. He goes back, after having revealed himself to be a flake, and now makes less money. Seems fair, no?
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:09 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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And the consequence of his choice harms no one else but him either, right? I mean he's the one paid less. And explain how you came to the conclusion about how much he should be making. He quit his job for a long period of time because he didn't like it, and spent his interim time doing a ridiculous thing. He goes back, after having revealed himself to be a flake, and now makes less money. Seems fair, no?
I would like someone to tell me when all of this entitlement stuff became such an issue. I realize there have always been murmurings about hating the rich and wanting to take advantage of government largesse but it has now become sanctioned in a way I have never seen it before and I am very old.

I can't help but feeling this whole thing reached a zenith during the debates around the Affordable Care Act. I certainly felt a shift at that time. But, maybe it was an earthquake and I am very old.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:29 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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I would like someone to tell me when all of this entitlement stuff became such an issue. I realize there have always been murmurings about hating the rich and wanting to take advantage of government largesse but it has now become sanctioned in a way I have never seen it before and I am very old.
It happened when you decided it happened, because it's happening in your mind, not, for the most part, in the real world.

The big complaints of OWS are with the very set of people who ARE getting government largesse, having been bailed out, and are raking in great rewards for tearing the economy apart.

I know that conservatives are brought to tears by the idea that some poor person somewhere is getting a can of peaches for free, but it's kind of mindboggling that they don't understand the upset about the 40 million dollar welfare queens.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:46 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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It happened when you decided it happened, because it's happening in your mind, not, for the most part, in the real world.
Indeed. The weird mating ritual conservatives have of trying to impress each other with their lack of compassion and their contempt for other people is just ... creepy.


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The big complaints of OWS are with the very set of people who ARE getting government largesse, having been bailed out, and are raking in great rewards for tearing the economy apart.
So true. Here's how Matt Taibbi put it:

Quote:
“And we hate the rich? Come on. Success is the national religion, and almost everyone is a believer. Americans love winners. But that’s just the problem. These guys on Wall Street are not winning – they’re cheating. And as much as we love the self-made success story, we hate the cheater that much more. We cheer for people who hit their own home runs in this country– not shortcut-chasing juicers like Bonds and McGwire, Blankfein and Dimon. That’s why it’s so obnoxious when people say the protesters are just sore losers who are jealous of these smart guys in suits who beat them at the game of life. This isn’t disappointment at having lost. It’s anger because those other guys didn’t really win. And people now want the score overturned.”

OWS’s Beef: Wall Street Isn’t Winning It’s Cheating | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

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I know that conservatives are brought to tears by the idea that some poor person somewhere is getting a can of peaches for free, but it's kind of mindboggling that they don't understand the upset about the 40 million dollar welfare queens.
Yeah, again, the thing I consistently have the hardest time understanding is how such a large group of people -- tens of millions of conservatives -- can be so morally depraved. So morally stunted. Their hatred is what defines them.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:01 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Yeah, again, the thing I consistently have the hardest time understanding is how such a large group of people -- tens of millions of conservatives -- can be so morally depraved. So morally stunted. Their hatred is what defines them.
I remember the day ACA passed and the sickening feeling I had. Of course the reason for this could be that essentially I have repugnance for the poor even though, based on what is now considered poor, I have been that for large portions of my life.

Then I found this little gem from Mark Steyn and I began to think my feelings might be somewhat normal, at least amongst the morally depraved:

Quote:
I’ve been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally “conservative” parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (let’s not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a “conservative”). The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:10 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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I remember the day ACA passed and the sickening feeling I had. Of course the reason for this could be that essentially I have repugnance for the poor even though, based on what is now considered poor, I have been that for large portions of my life.
I have no idea what motivated you to be uncomfortable with ACA, but I had someone tell me that ACA was going to be awful, because when you give poor people free stuff, it makes them even more lazy than they already are.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:28 AM
eeeeeeeli eeeeeeeli is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

Steyns quote about the relationship between state and citizen being redefined is interesting. But it is essentially meaningless. You could say the same thing about the opposite: that small government biases people against government. It could also just as easily be the case that people's preference for maintaining established government simply means it works; i.e. they are happy and satisfied with it. (Unlike, by the way, much of our current system, going by polls.)
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:54 AM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Indeed. The weird mating ritual conservatives have of trying to impress each other with their lack of compassion and their contempt for other people is just ... creepy.
Well it isn't just to impress each other, there is money to be made if you manage your lack of compassion correctly ( see rush and coulter or beck ) the bigger the lie ...

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Yeah, again, the thing I consistently have the hardest time understanding is how such a large group of people -- tens of millions of conservatives -- can be so morally depraved. So morally stunted. Their hatred is what defines them.
My arterialy spurting bleeding heart compels me to say that it is FEAR that defines them more accurately. Mind you fear is still a dangerous thing and can lead to hate more often than not, still I feel the need to separate the two.

Now in either case the cerebral cortex is bypassed when fear and or hate reigns. I give you as an example, the recent tomfoolery surrounding the bill to reaffirm the "in god we trust":

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...en-not-at-work
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Now in either case the cerebral cortex is bypassed when fear and or hate reigns. I give you as an example, the recent tomfoolery surrounding the bill to reaffirm the "in god we trust":

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/th...en-not-at-work
I don't think that knowing how Congress spends its hours in useless deliberations and topics about nothing is good for our health. How much money (via each Congressperson's hourly salary rate, their staff, and other related expenses) is being lost to this kind of nonsense? Can representatives with common sense just say they refuse to participate in such nonsense and move on to other matters?

And the superidiotic Fox News Gretchen gal doesn't help a bit, does she?
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:24 AM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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How much money (via each Congressperson's hourly salary rate, their staff, and other related expenses) is being lost to this kind of nonsense? Can representatives with common sense just say they refuse to participate in such nonsense and move on to other matters?
I listened to John Dickerson on a different political podcast comment on this article:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...kdays-in-2012/

from the article
Quote:
There are just six scheduled working days in January. Three in August. And five in October. In all, the House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session 109 weekdays next year, and will be in recess 151 weekdays - meaning recess days will outstrip working days by nearly a 3 to 2 margin.
He went on to do a quick calculation that for their time in DC representitives get paid $200 and hour. Now of course to many a conservotarian this is a feature not a bug.


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And the superidiotic Fox News Gretchen gal doesn't help a bit, does she?
Of course when did anybody on FOX news actually help anybody understand anything other than they are a right-wing Pravda. How long until the word FOX in the dictionary is considered and antonym for NEWS ?
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:06 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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I know that conservatives are brought to tears by the idea that some poor person somewhere is getting a can of peaches for free, but it's kind of mindboggling that they don't understand the upset about the 40 million dollar welfare queens.
You apparently do not read what I write (except in an effort to come up with pithy rejoinders). I don't think anyone should have been bailed out. I say let the profit and loss mechanism work.

How's that Dodd-Frank thingy working in the light of the Jon Corzine and Fannie and Freddie bonuses? Wasn't that supposed to solve all of this? Or doesn't that stuff kick in until after Obama is re-elected?
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  #23  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:31 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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The big complaints of OWS are with the very set of people who ARE getting government largesse, having been bailed out, and are raking in great rewards for tearing the economy apart.
What the OWS crowd doesn't understand is that it is part of the same game. Modern society is addicted to the easy flow of cheap credit; and none more so than the class of urban professionals who take the time to major in puppeteering. The bailouts were done not simply to save the balance sheets of the banks; it was to save the way of life of OWS types.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:04 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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the class of urban professionals who take the time to major in puppeteering.[/i]
You keep making this basic assertion, that the economic pain felt by people in the OWS movement is just the result of their own stupidity in wasting money on useless college degrees in frivolous areas. And while there is some truth to that in some cases, there's no reason to think that it represents the protesters writ large. And even if it does, then that doesn't change the fact that there is a very real unemployment crisis, one that is compounded by, yes, student loans. You might not want to admit this, but the implicit bargain in a college education is that it will let you get a better job. When you graduate into crippling unemployment that hits young people the hardest, that isn't some made up yuppie problem.

And of course this is all particular galling when the standard riposte to arguments about inequality and stagnating wages hinge around the information economy and the increasing returns to education. Many of the people hurting today listened to that argument, took it to heart, piled on student debt in order to take advantage of this grand new economy, and now have graduated into an economy that doesn't keep any of the promises that were made.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:16 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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And of course this is all particular galling when the standard riposte to arguments about inequality and stagnating wages hinge around the information economy and the increasing returns to education.
I agree and I think that instead of heading off to college, the wiser choice would be to head for South Dakota. But who is peddling the education myth? Let's identify those assholes and string them up. Or maybe, just maybe people should learn to take what they are being told with more than a grain of salt and to think for themselves.

Quote:
Many of the people hurting today listened to that argument, took it to heart, piled on student debt in order to take advantage of this grand new economy, and now have graduated into an economy that doesn't keep any of the promises that were made.
But I've listen to the beloved professors like Glenn and never have I heard him mention that maybe he's making more than he's worth. Everyone in this play believes what they are selling is worth the price that is being charged for it.
It is really too bad that students have piled on debt that isn't justified but I don't see that any promises were made explicitly. People just made assumptions that proved to be wrong. How does walking around with a sign do anything to remedy the situation? Hopefully you don't think that these debt obligations should be forgiven.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:00 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Hopefully you don't think that these debt obligations should be forgiven.
Also with AIG and Goldman Sachs
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:53 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Also with AIG and Goldman Sachs
As I have said many times, yep!

And yet folks of all stripes believe that if these bastions of the economy hadn't been bailed out the whole thing would have collapsed. I think this is the big lie. Surely there would have been some pain but the folly of letting these folks think that they will always eventually get bailed out just encourages further recklessness.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:16 AM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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As I have said many times, yep!

And yet folks of all stripes believe that if these bastions of the economy hadn't been bailed out the whole thing would have collapsed. I think this is the big lie. Surely there would have been some pain but the folly of letting these folks think that they will always eventually get bailed out just encourages further recklessness.
I don't know if it would have been disastrous or not, but I do think things should not be too big to fail in the first place. If Goldman is too big to fail, then the CEO of Goldman is, not figuratively but literally, the highest paid bureaucrat in the government.
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  #29  
Old 11-04-2011, 07:51 PM
Sulla the Dictator Sulla the Dictator is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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You keep making this basic assertion, that the economic pain felt by people in the OWS movement is just the result of their own stupidity in wasting money on useless college degrees in frivolous areas. And while there is some truth to that in some cases, there's no reason to think that it represents the protesters writ large.
The reason why it is a valid theory (There seems to be a curious absence of polling on the matter, unlike the Tea Party where the media was eager to dig up data) is because of the ubiquitous mention of student debt. Now, we know that college degrees vary in utility and value, and we know that even at the worst point of this economic nightmare certain types of profession were desperate to hire.

Thus it is assumed, with reason, that the actual unemployed parties of students are both sizable enough to justify including their outrageous demand, and we can assume that there is a legitimate doubt about the utility of degree they sought since they are underemployed or unemployed. QED, yes?

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And even if it does, then that doesn't change the fact that there is a very real unemployment crisis, one that is compounded by, yes, student loans.
You might note that the apathy, and in many cases hostility towards OWS types in the rest of the country comes from the fact that among that crowd, unemployment is not a crisis. The unemployment rate among college graduates is much lower than among the public at large. The people are irritated that these privileged youths are complaining, given that fact.

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You might not want to admit this, but the implicit bargain in a college education is that it will let you get a better job.
I do not admit it, because that wasn't the founding purpose of colleges. And it shouldn't be. They should be centers for knowledge and learning, not glorified trade schools. These kids should be attending a trade school for electrical engineering or air conditioner repair if they want quality jobs; not studying Queer Music theory or Feminist literature and expecting the city to hold a triumph down main street the second they leave.

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When you graduate into crippling unemployment that hits young people the hardest, that isn't some made up yuppie problem.
I never lied to these people. Neither did my side of the political spectrum. It has been a clique of cultural and political elites who have told them that just like the selfish Boomers, the world would be their oyster if they spent 6 years in college "following their dreams". There was a very interesting dialogue about that a few weeks back.

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And of course this is all particular galling when the standard riposte to arguments about inequality and stagnating wages hinge around the information economy and the increasing returns to education. Many of the people hurting today listened to that argument, took it to heart, piled on student debt in order to take advantage of this grand new economy, and now have graduated into an economy that doesn't keep any of the promises that were made.
I never made them a promise. Nor have I ever made that argument. I believe education is its own reward; my particular field of work has nothing to do with my college experience. Indeed, I worked in this field while attending college. I also attended school without very much student debt as I labored full time as I went to school, and paid most semesters as I went.

Other people should do it the same way. And parents should save from the birth of the child onward, if it is so important to them. If not, these people should question their cultural assumptions. To borrow money to live frivolously during your most productive biological years is self indulgent. To then complain about the person who lent you money for such self indulgence seems insane to me.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:54 AM
Hume's Bastard Hume's Bastard is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
You keep making this basic assertion, that the economic pain felt by people in the OWS movement is just the result of their own stupidity in wasting money on useless college degrees in frivolous areas. And while there is some truth to that in some cases, there's no reason to think that it represents the protesters writ large. And even if it does, then that doesn't change the fact that there is a very real unemployment crisis, one that is compounded by, yes, student loans. You might not want to admit this, but the implicit bargain in a college education is that it will let you get a better job. When you graduate into crippling unemployment that hits young people the hardest, that isn't some made up yuppie problem.

And of course this is all particular galling when the standard riposte to arguments about inequality and stagnating wages hinge around the information economy and the increasing returns to education. Many of the people hurting today listened to that argument, took it to heart, piled on student debt in order to take advantage of this grand new economy, and now have graduated into an economy that doesn't keep any of the promises that were made.
And, why aren't these commenters and the media heaping ridicule on the banks that made bad loans to some of these people they are so willing to ridicule as self-evident failures. I'm talking about the German and American banks that resisted banking reforms that would have required they maintain capital for emergencies, as well as the Chinese banks making rotten investments too. There are two sides to every loan, the fool who took the money and the idiot who gave it, should have known better, and was supposedly educated precisely to know better. Instead we give the idiot the benefit of the doubt and society's forgiveness, laud him as a job creator, and HOPE he will not screw up again. Should we treat the fool and the idiot any differently? What good is to let the idiots heap capital in private accounts, that isn't being invested, and also to keep mortgage and loan debt inviolable?

And, what's with the attitude? Just because you follow the leader doesn't mean your paltry savings can survive if the bottom falls out. You're not going to get saved just for being a good boy. The fool, the idiot, and a whole bunch of chumps....America!
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  #31  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:10 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: The Week in Blog: Defense Against the Political Dark Arts (Bill Scher & Matt Lewis)

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And, why aren't these commenters and the media heaping ridicule on the banks that made bad loans to some of these people they are so willing to ridicule as self-evident failures.
It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.
Caveat emptor is wise because it instructs the consumer. That is where the power lies in a potentially catastrophic transaction.

The lure of huge gains will always be with us. Look at the recent MFGlobal debacle, headed by the very liberal Jon Corzine. This is in the wake of Dodd-Frank. It is a feature of human nature to take risks. It is up to the consumer to pay attention and pull out when the risk is too high.

But instead we like to create bandaids. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at a cost of 3 billion this year, is now going to school the American public about how to read a contract and apply for a credit card, I assume because American schools and parents aren't up to the job.

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The fool, the idiot, and a whole bunch of chumps....America!
yeah, and it's so sad.
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  #32  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:18 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.
Caveat emptor is wise because it instructs the consumer. That is where the power lies in a potentially catastrophic transaction.
Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them. Particularly with consumer banking, applying this moralistic language to the debtor but not the creditor is silly, since there's a substantial information asymmetry in the creditors favor. Either we shouldn't be deploying this moralistic language at all, or we should be heaping at least as much scorn on banks for making stupid loans.
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  #33  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:35 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them. Particularly with consumer banking, applying this moralistic language to the debtor but not the creditor is silly, since there's a substantial information asymmetry in the creditors favor. Either we shouldn't be deploying this moralistic language at all, or we should be heaping at least as much scorn on banks for making stupid loans.
I have lots of scorn for everyone. OK? particularly people who say stupid stuff like this:Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them Typical nanny state thinking.
And...my language is not moralistic. It's practical. Something people like you can never seem to get your head around as you busily try to think up ways for the government to protect us from ourselves.
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  #34  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:45 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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I have lots of scorn for everyone. OK? particularly people who say stupid stuff like this:Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them Typical nanny state thinking.
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Originally Posted by badhatharry View Post
It's not that commenters aren't heaping ridicule (scorn would be better) on the banks but the banks could never have done what they did without willing consumers. No one forced people to buy or invest in these loans.
How do these statements even begin to make sense? Also, I can't for the life of me understand why you're dead set against bailouts, since you seem unconvinced that the banks actually did anything wrong.
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  #35  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:52 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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How do these statements even begin to make sense? Also, I can't for the life of me understand why you're dead set against bailouts, since you seem unconvinced that the banks actually did anything wrong.
You might try to actually read what I say some day. And what does being against bailouts have to do with not thinking the banks didn't act unwisely and unprudently and should bear the consequences of their actions? This isn't about right and wrong. It's about people bearing the consequences of their actions which is the way things in life get sorted out.

PS if the banks violated laws on the books they should be prosectued for criminal action. Apparently, either the Justice Department is in bed with them or they didn't violate any laws.
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  #36  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:57 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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You might try to actually read what I say some day. And what does being against bailouts have to do with not thinking the banks didn't act unwisely and unprudently and should bear the consequences of their actions? This isn't about right and wrong. It's about people bearing the consequences of their actions which is the way things in life get sorted out.
I can read you perfectly well. You wrote a post defending banks by pointing out that they can only issue irresponsible loans if people are willing to take them out. I responding by saying that it goes both ways, and that people can only take out stupid loans if banks are willing to make loans to them. You then said that my statement was ridiculously stupid. I'm still trying to figure out what could possibly have been going through your head.

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PS if the banks violated laws on the books they should be prosectued for criminal action. Apparently, either the Justice Department is in bed with them or they didn't violate any laws.
Plenty of actions are wrong and harm others but are not illegal. I can't believe that I have to spell something this obvious out to you.
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  #37  
Old 11-05-2011, 12:02 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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I can read you perfectly well. You wrote a post defending banks by pointing out that they can only issue irresponsible loans if people are willing to take them out. I responding by saying that it goes both ways, and that people can only take out stupid loans if banks are willing to make loans to them. You then said that my statement was ridiculously stupid. I'm still trying to figure out what could possibly have been going through your head.



Plenty of actions are wrong and harm others but are not illegal. I can't believe that I have to spell something this obvious out to you.
I didn't defend banks! I pointed out that the best way to insure that the banks don't make stupidly structured loans is for people not to take them out. And, yes it does go both ways. When banks structure loans in such a way that people don't take them out, the banks will withdraw the product. Unless what the banks did was illegal it doesn't do much good to handwringingly say that what they did was wrong, morally. And the morality of offering loans is quite debatable.

Please don't bother spelling anything out to me. You do much better when you're chatting with people who totally agree with you.
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  #38  
Old 11-05-2011, 11:55 AM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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I have lots of scorn for everyone. OK? particularly people who say stupid stuff like this:Those consumers could never have taken out those loans if there hadn't been somebody willing to make them Typical nanny state thinking.
Just like laws against drug dealers.
Who not only sell drugs, but do so fraudulently.
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  #39  
Old 11-06-2011, 11:41 AM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Just like laws against drug dealers.
Who not only sell drugs, but do so fraudulently.
So much to balk at here. The banks who made the loans in question were not operating outside the law. If you doubt this, please tell me who has been sent to jail?

It is certainly reasonable to say that the laws which were in place were not sufficient to prevent this mayhem. It is also reasonable to say that the watchdogs which we taxpayers employ were asleep or anesthetized by their power and paychecks. It is also reasonable to say that ratings agencies who hold so much sway in the financial life of our country are improperly structured.

What would have been a better set of laws? I would say that the best law would have been prudent banking practices, which until a certain time were firmly in place because banks didn't want to fail but instead, thrive.

This argument is all around why and where prudent banking practices gave way to imprudent ones and that is a very complicated subject. It seems to me that the simple answer that the banks are evil and need to be punished won't solve anything but the kind of victim mentality which is on display in the OWS movement makes for great election cycle rhetoric.
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  #40  
Old 11-06-2011, 02:11 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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So much to balk at here. The banks who made the loans in question were not operating outside the law. If you doubt this, please tell me who has been sent to jail?
I assumed we were discussing what the law SHOULD be.
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