Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Distribution of Wealth

I suspect that the most flagrant cases of copious consumption would be the first casualties. Driving a Dodge Titan to drop your kid off at school would be (and should be) frowned upon, yet for many people it is currently considered a sign of wealth and privilege.

The thinking, as I see it, is that people that flaunt their wealth in these ways (meaning, without any tangible benefit or need… but rather as a way of claiming social position) would be shamed into submission. It’s the same kind of shame that we exert on other distasteful social outliers… racists, sexists, and so on.

We already exert some of this shame. Many people openly mock Hummers as being preposterously large and unnecessary for their daily tasks. I’m personally fine with this, and I also recognize that people have jobs and hobbies that require special rigs. However, we can’t all have yachting and equestrian pastimes. I recognize that in a “flat” distribution of wealth there are going to be entertainment losses.

However, I would question the viability of certain hobbies in an ever crowded planet. Yes, we probably need to reassess our taste for beef. Yes, we cannot all have expensive cars and boats. Yes, the ideal of “work = reward” is pervasive in every culture. Those incentives to work must be maintained, yet the rewards for earning are at the expense of those that do not or cannot earn.

Sadly, we often replace those that “do not” with those that “cannot” when considering incentives for work.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / The Iran Nuclear Deal

It’s a good deal. What are our alternatives?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Distribution of Wealth

Originally posted by FlyingCat:

Is everyone guaranteed the resources or do people have to work for it. If it’s guaranteed, I’d assume no one would work hard as they’d get the same as the lazy bum next door.

It may also encourage people to have more children as more children means their family is given more resources. If everyone thinks this, the population may begin to spiral out of control.

@FlyingCat: This is irrelevant as the amount distributed to each person is in accordance to their needs. There is no incentive to elevate one’s needs when the resources grow proportionately.

Yes, everyone has to work for the resources they receive.

@stanwise: That’s exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for doing the math.

The sustainable living movement focuses on reducing the ecological impact by consuming less and being more efficient. I think this is fine, of course, as most people do. To use more than you need is wasteful.

However, I think this is slightly misguided. Rather than simply encouraging us to use less, I prefer the idea that we would be encouraged to reduce to a specific standard. This allows us to better understand if we are living to a globally sustainable standard.

When we merely encourage people to “reduce, reuse, recycle” (and all of the other green movement mantras) we avoid defining “how much is enough.” This means that each participant simply identifies the degree in which they are willing to “green” their lifestyle. Perhaps they stop when it becomes too expensive to buy locally sourced foods, or it becomes uncomfortably warm in their homes (and they blast the AC “just for a little while”), or they drive to the corner store two blocks away instead of walking because they are in a bit of a rush. Being conscientious is easy provided it’s also convenient.

My source, (Wikipedia for the win!), puts the global GDP around 90-trillion (US dollars). With 7-billion people, that puts about $13,000 toward each person annually. I’m not sure if that’s enough to live on EVERYWHERE but it’s more than enough to live on in many parts of the world.

The per-capita income in Buffalo County, South Dakota is $5.2-thousand. That’s way less than HALF the global sustainability threshold of $13,000. In fact, the 100 poorest counties in the United States are ALL well under that global threshold.

That’s kind of interesting.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Distribution of Wealth

We hear a lot about the “sustainable living movement.” The premise is that we should each endeavor to live using as few resources as possible. At a fundamental level this seems like an admirable goal.

However, when people engage in sustainable practices they are freeing resources for others to use. This can result in a perception that “if I don’t use it, someone else will.”

In most cases this is great. If you have 12 pounds of rice and only need 3 pounds of rice to live on, if you return the remaining 9 pounds of rice to the common pool, three other people will have rice. If you hoard the rice, or eat it all yourself, three people will need to find rice elsewhere.

There are loads of caveats. Some people need more rice to live at the same degree of comfort as others. Some places have lots of rice while others places don’t, so rice is more expensive in some areas. For the sake of conversation, I’d like to try to limit the reasons why an equal distribution of resources is impractical and instead focus on methods for identifying how much each individual might need to live on given a fixed amount of resources globally.

Here’s the central question:

If the world’s resources were distributed evenly, what would our collective lifestyle look like?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Which candidate would you vote for so that he/she can run for president

Also Bernie Sanders. It’s a name I can spell!


Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Was math invented or discovered?

From a philosophical standpoint, math is invented (of course) because it is an abstraction of the physical environment.

At a fundamental level, math uses glyphs to represent quantities. It’s a language just like the written word. English, for example, strings together glyphs to represent concepts that we have come to agree on. You are reading the glyphs I’ve chosen to express my impressions, and those impressions are being “unpacked” by your understanding of these very glyphs to create a similar impression in your mind.

The origin of the concept of “one” is pretty easy to imagine. Hunter-gatherers must have used primitive expressions of quantity to express “a large herd” or “a small herd.” Eventually this would provide greater fidelity… “a very large hard.” Now we have several numbers; very small, small, large, very large.

That’s not so distant to our understanding of numbers today. We have one, two, three, and four… but we also have impossibly small subdivisions of those… 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and so on.

The entire construct is a perceptional overlay. The quantities exist in nature but our understanding of them (represented by numbers) is a product of our minds.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

Pro flag.

Haha! I can totally see why this WOULDN’T rustle yours.

The evolution quip is entirely true. The Brownback quote confirms it. He believes that the planet and all of the things that are upon it and within it were created by a sentient being that resides in an unfathomable cosmos in about a week.

What’s not crazy about that? Nothing. Just because it’s a popular belief doesn’t mean it’s not certifiable nutbar.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

Issendorf, very few liberals hate Brownbeck for being FISCALLY conservative. We hate him for being an asshat.

• No funding for the arts.
• Unilateral restrictions on abortion.
• Allows doctors to decide whom they treat (and whom they won’t).
• Opposed to universal healthcare.
• Cut taxes to Kansas wealthy by 25%.
• Deep cuts to education.
• Voted to make death penalty repeals more difficult.
• Supports drilling for oil in the Arctic Wildlife Preserve.
• Doesn’t believe in evolution.
• Rejects a two-state solution; believes Israel should annex Palestine. (Export Palestinian residents to Jordan.)
• Anti-gay-marriage, of course.
• Believes homosexuality is “immoral.”
• Pro censorship.
• Anti minority business.
• Pro flag.
• Supports stiffer sentences for drug offenses.

Mitigating factor:
• He’s pro-immigration.

Everyone hates this guy! Even his fellow Republicans hate him. He’s a royal dipshit and EVERYTHING that liberals laugh about when they make fun of Conservatives.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why we glorify violence

I don’t believe that’s true, denamo.

I believe that we have an innate fight-or-flight response to threats. That’s part of our natural biological response… be it nature or nurture. We physically draw back from pain in order to preserve our bodies.

I don’t think that bloodlust is within us. I believe that is a conditional state brought on by sustained exposure to high amounts of stress and severe threat.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we relax marriage laws even further?

I think there was an idea floating around a few years back regarding licenses for “temporary” marriages of particular durations… 5 years, 10 years… that sort of thing.

I like this idea.

“You are the love of my decade. Will you marry me for 10 years?”

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

Issendorf, you make a cogent point about the shift in congressional seats. I know that there has been a lot of frustration with government by the American public. It’s good that we, the people, fired a bunch of do-nothings.

It’s awesome what congress has been able to do with its Republican control, don’t you think? I still stand by Obama as a great president that has helped turn the country around after a miserable effort by some shrub.

And I’m going to vote for Bernie Sanders. I thought you might enjoy that, issendorf. In fact, I’m going to vote for him twice.

I do think most conservatives (especially social conservatives) are:
• White dudes
• Selfish
• Idiots

In no particular order.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we relax marriage laws even further?

What if the opposite?

What if we make marriage more restrictive? Not in whom may get married, but rather whom may get divorced. What if we abolish divorce; “’til death do us part.”

That should do wonders for the sanctity of marriage.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / GST stuffs poor

Well large international corporations don’t really give a damn about where they produce their stuff and who they sell it to, they have no sense of ‘patriotism’ to tie their allegiances to any one country, they just want what’s most profitable.

I certainly agree with this mostly but do believe there are exceptions for the world’s 5 economic powerhouses… the USA, European Union, China, Japan, and Germany. These countries are largely unified as far as large corporations go (anyone want a Starbucks to go with your Mobil gas?) but I don’t believe any large multinationals consider it their specific responsibility to ensure a thriving middle-class in these places. Rather, I think it makes sense to them from a marketing standpoint to encourage policy that leads to a strong middle-class (even at the expense of their wealthiest shareholders).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why we glorify violence

We find depictions of both sex and violence titillating, but violence is at the heart of every action movie. Action means violence… violent car crashes, violent gunfights, violent threats.

I don’t have a problem with it. Bring it on. I love a good western. I don’t think it’s hypocritical of us to put violence on par with sex as our most celebrated human act. What does James Bond do? He kills people then has sex. What do most guys do? They beat up the bad guy and get the girl. It’s a formula that resonates deeply within men and women.

Attitudes about sex vacillate over the generations. We are somewhat prudish today but are a lot less prudish about some sexual things than from our grandparents’ time, and I believe this trend will continue. We are also less prudish about images of violence. What squeaks into a PG-13 rating today would have easily been rated R not so long ago. (citation needed)

Less than the comparison between the two similar topics, however, I am more interested in hearing why we (as a people) think that violence is often noble and heroic (on one hand) or abhorrent and monstrous (on the other). It’s vilified when ISIS does it and makes us proud when the US does it. (The opposite is certainly true among many Muslim countries.) The context of the violent act — the narrative that frames it — is fueled by powerful ju-ju.

If a man runs into a crowd of his enemies and detonates an explosive device, he is a hero. (Depending on who is telling the story.)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / GST stuffs poor

My earlier response edited.

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Topic: The Arts / Rate my picture please

Wow, it looks just like a photograph. Because it does not look like a drawing, I’m rating it a 1.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / GST stuffs poor

Wow! Really, Vika?

It’s a simple staging device meant to demonstrate that they are BOTH equally equitable, depending on the following viewpoint.

I actually offered my opinion, and it’s this: The goods and services tax scheme that most benefits the middle class is the optimal solution.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / GST stuffs poor

Here are a few definitions that may help make the OP more accessible.

GST is the goods and services tax. It is a tax on things you buy.

There are two ways to look at it.

Flat-rate for everyone
If everyone pays the same rate, there’s no denying that there’s an inherent fairness.

Scaled rate by income
If everyone pays the same percentage of their income, then wealthy people will pay the same proportionally as the less wealthy.

I disagree with your assessment than the rich want more of a gap between them and the poor. I think what the rich actually want is a strong middle class so that there’s more income to draw from. You can’t get as rich from poor people as you can from moderately wealthy people. A strong middle class benefits everyone.

The better question to ask is whether a flat goods and services tax benefits the middle class.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why we glorify violence

We humans enjoy violence. We like watching it, we like participating in it vicariously, and some of us like to engage in it. We celebrate violence as it is reflected as bravery, and when it’s cowardly it is equally celebrated as notorious and despicable. Violence gets ink.

Many of us consider it a trait that is locked deeply in our DNA and that it is an unavoidable component of life; that life itself is violent. We are born in blood and we die in blood.

Violence and conflict trigger in us deep impulses that make us feel alive. Violence engages us in ways that other stimuli does not.

Yet, at the same time we enjoy peace. (I’m defining peace as the absence of violence or conflict.)

• Why don’t we recognize proponents of peace as heroes like we do those that exhibit exceptional bravery?


Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we relax marriage laws even further?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we relax marriage laws even further?

There’s an economic downside to polygamy as it’s often currently practiced. Because it’s illegal, the practicing “family” has a man and first-wife and that relationship is recognized by the state for legal and economic reasons. The second-wife, and all subsequent wives, are seen as single mothers in the eyes of the state.

So, there are some details to work out. In a polygamist marriage, how does it work if a person wants a divorce?

Does the Church of LDS embrace one wife / several husbands?

Incidentally, Doomlord, attributing the restrictions on polygamy to liberals is kind of silly. It actually comes from the evangelicals. It’s the conservative critics that are “warning” us that polygamy is next. Like who, exactly? Well, like Scalia. Is he one of the liberals you’re talking about?

The argument against polygamy is fundamentally a religious one. You cannot blame liberals for that… since all liberals are child-aborting heathens.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Modern Feminism and SJW's.

Kazeelex makes a good argument for white male privilege, conformity and the status quo.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does SD need more Right Wing regulars?

Not necessarily.

Certainly political conversations are widely accessible and tend to get a lot of attention, but there are loads of topics in SD that are argumentative and don’t fit along traditional liberal / conservative lines.

Even if there were a desire for more “traditional” arguments, I don’t think we could find any articulate, thoughtful right-wingers. Even the few that we have don’t seem to want to talk about anything but instead want to bludgeon any dissent with impenetrable rhetoric.

The reason so many of SD patrons have “almost identical” political and religious views is because that’s what so many people in the world have. (The conservatives would have you believe that they are the “silent majority” but we all know what they actually are is the “geriatric few.”)

What we need is for more people to present topics that they are passionate about but that do not incite the ridiculous outrage that we see from our resident hysterics (on whatever side of the position).

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Confederate Flag and Civil Liberties

Jhco, all of the things in that list are factually true. You know that much.

If you want “historical knowledge,” I suggest you start with Howard Zinn. The point of my response was obviously NOT to provide detail; that would have disrupted the entire theme of the response. I’m happy to expand my opinion of the one fact that you were kind enough to elaborate on:

You can defend the dropping of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki all you like, JHCO, but you will never be able to convince me that it was the right thing to do. Those bombs kills 80,000 civilians. You claim that those bombs saved “a lot” of allied lives… so I’m happy to see that your priorities are firmly entrenched along political boundaries. You would consider 80,000 civilian lives a fair exchange for “a lot” of your allies’ lives. That seems utterly corrupt, to me.

Why is is bad to say “love it or leave it?”

It’s not “bad.” Go ahead and say it all you want. You’re suggesting that all of the people that are critical of the way our nation conducts itself simply pack up and go to another country to that conducts itself more to our liking. Is that what you do, JHCO? Do you run away from your problems?

I notice in your avatar that the flag is upside down. Are you distressed? Maybe it’s time for you to consider moving to Canada.