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Political discussions and other rants about useless things like culture

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by Matse, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    Why, obviously so that we can go To Where Fires Cannot Feed, and walk Out of Gravity.

    Also, so that some small portion of our species can escape the impending meteor strike that will wipe the world clean of its human infection.
     
  2. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    Resources. Humanity's biggest problem is that this planet is going to reach carrying capacity at some point in the very, very near future if we continue to consume like Americans.

    Gotta get off the planet and find places to live / mine elsewhere, or we're screwed here.
     
  3. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Good one ;) .

    This damn gringos! The Chinese aren't really help either, considering that the latter surpassed the U.S. in CO2 emissions. And they kill panda's habitat, so that makes them much worse because pandas are very pretty and rule.

    Wired had an interesting article this month:

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/04/ff_stevenchu/
     
  4. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    Well, I didn't mean Americans specifically. Everyone else thinks that they should be consuming like we do, when the consensus here is starting to shift towards conservation. India and the rest of the developing bloc, for example, think it's their *sovereign* right to trash the planet just like the West did to achieve our standards of living.

    That right there is the best argument for the restoration of imperialism you could ever imagine.
     
  5. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    ^ Hehe. Yeah, countries like India do pollute a lot. But it's not only those countries. Take Costa Rica, for example. The country promotes itself as a 'green' one, and when the gringos come here, that's what they usually see. However, the country is incredibly polluted. There's no faeces control whatsoever, so every time I crap, my crap goes directly into the rivers/oceans. (Except when I crap at the Uni because there's a treatment plant there.) Even more, the government approved a huge mining project in the country. There've been massive protests (to which I went to, I'll post a pic later), and everyone I know disapproves the project. It is now on hold, but who knows for how long. I don't see (wait, of course I do see) how these projects get approved" The country would only get 3% of all the revenues obtained from the mine. Perhaps the rest is for Arias.

    http://fueradecrucitas.blogspot.com/

    Oh and the oil spill is horrible news, it's actually reaching land:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/04/gulf_oil_spill-gallery/
     
  6. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Greece is seriously not doing well, those protests were pretty violent. I'm sad that those people died, it shouldn't have happened… though I think it was bound to. As always, the people of the country pay for the corruption of the governments. I seriously want to know Siren's opinion, I think she's the only woman in Greece I know hehe.

    It's also intersting to see how this is spreading to España and Portugal too. And to the…

    U.K.!

    Elections tomorrow! I can't vote, but I'd vote for Clegg; he seems to be the most decent of the three. Brown is definitely the big loser in this election, sorry, bigot loser (some of you might get it hehe). I think Cameron will definitely win the presidential elections, but the parliament will certainly be very divided, something which hasn't happened in years. Overall, a very interesting election.

    I wonder if the new government will do anything at all, the U.K. is facing a serious crisis. Perhaps not as significant as Greece's or España's, but it's certainly the worse since The Great Depression. The U.K. is earning $1, but owes/borrows $1.3. That's a huge deficit right there, billions of pounds.

    . . . scheiße, that is, indeed, pretty bad. So when you count everyone (children and retired people), could you say that 60% of the people in the city are unemployed? That's insane. It's pretty interesting to see how this stuff is never aired on the news, I guess not many people care about Detroit. But hasn't Detroit usually been a rather poor city? I've never been there, but it doesn't have very good fame, does it?

    España's unemployment is horrible too! More than 20%, it's insane.
     
  7. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    Detroit went like this: it was the home of the American auto industry, rich as shit and very multicultural. The auto industry started to falter when the Japanese moved in with their superior products and modestly paid employees. Detroit started going south, but continued to pay generous social benefits. Waves of poor people from the south began collecting in the city, looking for work. That threw the entire thing off kilter, until eventually the city collapsed. The local auto industry is all but dead, everyone in Detroit who was employable fled to the suburbs, and now you have 900,000 people living in a city built for 2,000,000. That puts strain on municipal services, and now it has something like a 56% dropout rate.

    Seriously, they need to nuke this city and start over.
     
  8. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    General Motors was in Detroit, wasn't it? Are they still there? I guess Detroit was one of those cities really hit by the 2008 crisis. Intersting, so it's become a deserted city. Can't the government bring in some people into the city again? I guess there's lots of space to walk in :p .

    It's funny you mentioned Toyota, since even if they're definitely superior compared to U.S. cars; they still managed to screw things up with the gas pedal/brakes. I thought the company was going to file for bankruptcy at a point, which would've made me very sad. Yaris is a very nice car, and I recently saw one of the hybrid ones. (U.S.A. citizens should seriously consider getting those.)


    And O.E.D. tells me it's 'out of kilter', not 'off kilter'. I like that word a lot. Kilter, kilter, kilter!
     
  9. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    "Off kilter" is the only way I've ever heard it used. Let me be a Midwestern American, dammit! I've got a million other funny things to say...

    Oh, it wasn't just GM. Ford and Chrysler were both centered here as well. Detroit is the American auto industry. I think we still have all of the headquarters (at least GM). It's just that so many plants have closed that there are no jobs in that class. Theres a deserted plant a few miles from me. It's this three mile structure (it seriously takes ten minutes to pass it in traffic), completely empty. They laid off thousands of people when the closed it. We had such a one-function economy here that there's no work left for the common man.
     
  10. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Hehe alright. But you shouldn't disagree with Mr Oxford. Oh such a normative comment! Hehe you can say it however you want, I get the meaning.

    Oh, yeah I'd forgotten about the other ones that were shut down. Then, you still have all the plants, but basically they're not being used, right? A tad of a waster of machinery I guess. Amazing, a three mile plant, that's pretty insane/big. Even with all the rescue plans Obama had, and all the millions he gave to GM, a lot of people were still laid off. The people always pay, the people always pay.

    But in general the U.S. was somewhat a one-fucntion economy, isn't it? As soon as the housing market collapsed, the entire country went kaputt.

    To look on the positive sides of things (from a US point of view); when you compare it to the U.K, the U.S. is actually doing better now.
     
  11. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    It's quite depressive that the Liberal Democrats only have 42 seats, compared to 212 Labour :)rolleyes:) and 268 Conservative :)rolleyes:). I'm sure lots of people made a last-minute decision, and sadly went to Labour.

    I wonder what's in for my beloved Britain, the future seems grim.
     
  12. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    scuse me, double post...
     
  13. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Heh it's been a while since anyone posted on here, so I will now I suppose.

    Things are going pretty well here in The Netherlands, and with the elections coming up in 3 weeks the racist PVV is down from a leading role to the fourth place, with VVD (sort of LibDems) and PvdA (sort of Labour) now leading with 31 and 33 seats. Third in line is the christian democratic CDA. I hope they don't win though, they've set the same guy as a candidate for PM and I really think we've had enough of Harry Potter (if you don't know what I mean, just look for pictures of Jan Peter Balkenende). I hope the PvdA wins. Well, I'd hope for SP (Socialist Party) but the chances are rather small, so of the parties that actually have a good chance of winning, I hope for PvdA. In the end, they will have to form a coalition anyway, and I hope it will be PvdA, SP and GroenLinks (GreenLeft, literally translated, environmental party, also kind of socialist, originally formed of, among others, some leftovers of the communist party).

    We'll see in three weeks..
     
  14. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    No, no... it's the most burly, diverse economy in the world. The reason the housing bubble collapse was so devastating was because... well...

    To explain it in simplest terms, the housing boom resulted in a giant swath of people taking out mortgages for homes they couldn't really afford. Those mortgages, when taken in big chunks, are marketed by banks on the stock market as securities. When people defaulted on the loans, whoever was left with these ended up with a worthless thing. By and large, it was banks that traded / possessed them, so basically the banking sector had been trading in fictitious money.

    Since banks are responsible for holding people's money and giving out credit to businesses in totally unrelated parts of the economy, people / businesses who had absolutely nothing to do with the housing bubble collapse found themselves unable to get credit for normal economic activity. This also caused a panic on the stock market. The net result was that economic activity slowed down, people lost jobs when an entire sector of the U.S. economy basically collapsed, taking jobs from rich and poor alike en masse.

    The scale of this cannot be overemphasized. States like California and Florida have economies larger than most countries in the world, and these were the places where the housing boom was biggest (Arizona and Nevada, too).

    If there's any economy in the world that's not a one-trick pony, it's the American economy. But... we consume so much more than we produce. So we got into the fictitious money business in the last 30 years to compensate, and finagled money to create more money.
     
  15. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    ^ Of course it's very diverse, but what's the point if everything collapses when one area goes kaputt? 'Burly' is, to be honest, an inaccurate adjective.

    - - -
    There's a lot of controversy here because the deputies, with only one, yes, one week in office, already want a salary rise. They currently earn USD 4K, plus benefits such as 500L of petrol, per month. Now they want their salaries to be increased to USD 8.5K, something totally ridiculous, considering that most people here don't earn USD 2K per month. I sincerely hope the salary rise is not approved.
     
  16. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    @Defiance: That puts things in perspective! I make multiples (though not many) of what your corrupt politicians are trying to shovel into their pockets. It's disturbing to see what America has done to its neighbors.

    The U.S. economy is huge and diverse, it's just has several points of centralization. Namely, certain auxiliary markets, like housing and the financial industry, went nuts. The ripples in the financial sector, tremors in a fictional reality, decimated the reality that kept it all going. I was reading something interesting the other day about how credit heavy markets actually pass around ten times the real amount of wealth. For example, I put $100 in the bank, the bank keeps $10 as a reserve and loans out the other $90. Now, $190 exists. The fictional $90 eventually ends up in banks, which keep $9 and loan out the other $81. Now, $271 dollars are out and about in the economy. It continues to grow until we think we're way the fuck richer than we really are. Next, there's an event and I call my $100 back. $1000 dollars of fictional wealth held by others ceases to exist. Everyone does it, and a whole world of non-existent wealth disappears.

    Economics sucks, especially at the high level, but the core of the U.S. economy is pretty good.
     
  17. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    ^ Now I get it! Thanks both to you and Naglfar for the explanations, I guess I needed the math part to understand (who'd expect that from an English professor hehe?). It's, without doubt, very interesting, and will help me explain 'gringo society' to my students (har har).

    It's transfixing to see that the U.S. is 'kind of' out of the crisis, but that the U.K. and Japan are facing major ones. Especially the latter, mainly because they don't fuck as much as we do.

    It's certainly disturbing to see what the U.S. (not America ;)) has done to its neighbours, but a lot of our problems come from ourselves. I like to attack gringo society because I don't agree with ca. 80% of the things you do, and believe that, in general, gringos are quite stupid (I'm sorry if you feel offended, it's not a direct attack to any of the U.S. Americans here. 'Tis just a general perception that a lot of people have, including me) since, e.g. they don't know the capital of Canada (and when they think they do know they say Toronto :lol:); however, I like to attack in a somewhat critical manner. Some people here are pro-Chávez, so they say everything is the 'damn gringo's' fault. Even if the U.S.'s intrusion in Latin America was devastating to most countries, many (most?) of the problems come from within each particular country itself.

    The U.S. didn't incite CRn deputies to get a salary rise, as far as I know.
     
  18. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    The root of so many issues is money. As an example, democracy can't function with a poor, uneducated majority. It needs a middle class.

    The Grand American Drug Trade causes a lot of social decay in the U.S. and supports a lot of really awful shit, like fake democracy, dictatorship, and the world's largest terrorist organizations. It's a pretty good bet that you could kill the appeal of growing drugs (or at least decrease it) if you could create viable ways of earning a living. If we didn't have banana cartels artificially controlling the price of bananas, we'd be doing a lot of good in the war on drugs. Maybe we could stop with all this high fructose corn syrup and start importing cane sugar from your rich tropical soil. Shit, four or five hundred years ago Haiti was the center of wealth in the region; now it's the poorest.

    Sensible, fair trade in the hemisphere would provide a lot of resources for everyone involved. I think it would be awesome to buy products from you folks, and give you a chance to build things for yourselves (and us!) in exported industry. Of course, it would have to be done gradually: NAFTA sent huge portions of the American auto industry to Mexico, screwing over the American worker at the same time that it flooded indigent Mexican markets with cheap, factory food. That ruined things for both countries. I think that there's a lot of room for growth via positive relationships in the hemisphere, sort of like the E.U. with bigger cultural barriers.

    The mix of CIA interference in foreign governments and trade policy set to protect ineffective domestic industries destabilized foreign economies and denied them the wealth necessary to grow along with us. Hence, Haitians starving and dieing in a shithole 500 miles from the (overall) richest country on Earth.

    P.S. I will confess to not knowing the capital of Canada before you mentioned it. There are a lot of U.S. states I don't even know the capitals for. It's not really important, I feel. I do know lot's of awesome things that come from Canada, though. I think of them as sort of a hat for my country. Up there, keeping the cold air out. And sending us some of the greatest culture in the world.
     
  19. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    It IS burly. The country is a 1,200 pound economic gorilla. A similar thing happened in Spain and the country is basically insolvent. Not many economies in the world (any economy?) could survive the self-inflicted wound we inflicted on our own stock market.

    And it's not that everything collapsed. People here are used to abundance and prosperity, and when that kind of prosperity becomes harder to achieve, and things are less abundant... we freak out.
     
  20. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    But actually I think you can buy products from CR, since the controversial CAFTA is already (finally?) fully approved.

    The situation in Haiti is very sad, as you said they're pretty close to the U.S., but still one of the poorest countries on Earth. The U.S. (nor any other countries) never bothered to help; you need a massive earthquake to go and help. In general I think that Mexico lost a lot more than the U.S. with the NAFTA. Come to think of it, NAFTA probably caused a lot immigration to the U.S., ironically enough. So just build a wall and cover it up, or make stupid laws in Arizona.

    It's true what you say about drugs, Latin America has been going down the drain because of the 'carteles' (Mexican), previously Narcos (Colombian) that sell drugs to the U.S. All that drug crap always reminds me of 'Pulp Fiction' (great movie, Tarantino's best IMO), in which these issues are portrayed brilliantly.

    Haha one more gringo that doesn't know, I've been counting and now it's 3:2, three that didn't know and two that did know. It's Ottawa, by the way. And I'm glad you think it's not just beavers up there hehe.

    BTW, the capital of Australia is Canberra, not Sidney. I thought it was Melbourne, actually hehe.
     

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