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Old 01-03-2013   #81
carl
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Backwards Observer:

You provide good links.

That one says more or less that the good stay good and the bad stay bad. Our elites, to me, seem to be trending bad. I don't know why either. Maybe it has something to do with the paramount importance of being nice. That may sound paradoxical but in order maintain the right (thank you RCMP), you have to say no at times, which isn't nice.

I don't know, I am still trying to puzzle this out.
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Old 01-03-2013   #82
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Hell yea. Sometimes when people act upon opinions that differ from mine, damn right they lack moral courage or moral foundation. If an officer messes with a prisoner and another officer doesn't say anything because he want to get along, he lacks moral courage. When somebody says torture is ok if, if, if...he lack moral foundation altogether. So yea, at times.
I would suggest that matters of economic policy may not be one of those times.

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I have a question. How come when I wrote #### as part of a quote in post 77 it came out ####, but when you write crap, it comes out crap? I don't understand that.
Try $#!t. It's comprehensible and passes. Or "scheisse", "merde", or the translation of your choice
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Old 01-03-2013   #83
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Try $#!t. It's comprehensible and passes. Or "scheisse", "merde", or the translation of your choice
$#!t you're right! It works!

(Your response made me laugh.)
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Last edited by carl; 01-03-2013 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013   #84
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I did understand. Though I had to read it real slow and then put my thinking cap on and cogitate hard before I got it. Because, wow, if government provides perverse incentives and subsidizes moral hazard, it may tend to lead to dubious groupthink.
Wow. Just... wow.

Wow.
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Old 01-03-2013   #85
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Wow. Just... wow.

Wow.
Yep. That's what they all say.

(stage direction: that is to be said in a drawling Clint Walker sort of way. Like when he said to Kim Novak in a movie "Just because I talk slow don't mean I'm peculiar.")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOiqicU5-tk
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Old 01-03-2013   #86
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Carl,

As long as we are considering things, 'a man's character is his fate' is attributed to Heraclitus...

...PBS Frontline always has some interesting programs:

The Crash: Unraveling the 1998 Global Crisis, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/crash/

Money, Power, & Wallstreet, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...r-wall-street/

...and the Open Secrets: Money in Politics website is always interesting, http://www.opensecrets.org
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Old 01-03-2013   #87
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Surferbeetle:

That Open Secrets site had an interesting quote by an airline captain. I'm sure he still has his job. You can do a lot as a captain, sometimes it's sort of fun.
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Old 01-03-2013   #88
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Originally Posted by carl View Post
Backwards Observer: You provide good links.
Better nip this in the bud.

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Dorakyura Tsū: Noroi no Fūin

Simon thought he had destroyed him - but Count Dracula may have the last laugh. Castlevania is facing disaster, and Simon is turning into a vampire. Unless Simon can defeat Dracula once and for all, Castlevania is doomed.
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Old 01-03-2013   #89
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Backwards Observer:

When did this turn into improv night?

I'm still laughing at that. Castlevania is doomed!
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Old 01-03-2013   #90
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Originally Posted by carl View Post
Yep. That's what they all say.

(stage direction: that is to be said in a drawling Clint Walker sort of way. Like when he said to the dance hall girl in a movie "Just because I talk slow don't mean I'm peculiar.")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOiqicU5-tk
Mm. I'm posting this so that I'll remember to not engage with you in the future: you are, without a doubt, the least intellectually honest person I've ever tried to have a discussion with. If you put half as much effort into being smart as you do into trying to be clever, you wouldn't have to resort to shifting the discourse every time someone raises a solid point against your position. There are good, reasonable, convincing arguments against the arguments I'm putting forward--I know this, because other people have made them. You haven't. You've obfuscated, you've avoided, you've deliberately misunderstood, but you haven't debated with anything approaching honesty. It's a tiresome habit that you really ought to work yourself away from.
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Old 01-03-2013   #91
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Mm. I'm posting this so that I'll remember to not engage with you in the future: you are, without a doubt, the least intellectually honest person I've ever tried to have a discussion with. If you put half as much effort into being smart as you do into trying to be clever, you wouldn't have to resort to shifting the discourse every time someone raises a solid point against your position. There are good, reasonable, convincing arguments against the arguments I'm putting forward--I know this, because other people have made them. You haven't. You've obfuscated, you've avoided, you've deliberately misunderstood, but you haven't debated with anything approaching honesty. It's a tiresome habit that you really ought to work yourself away from.
We all have our faults. But at least my mother liked me.

Or alternatively- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6cxNR9ML8k
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Old 01-03-2013   #92
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Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I think Entropy effectively addressed the OP's original question: torture is intentional, collateral damage is accidental. Apples and oranges.

The point of thread diversion arrived here, as far as I can tell:



That sparked a digression into the impact of tax rates on government revenues.

Not that it's any less a digression, but I must say I think it would be a good idea to have entry into a war accompanied by a mandatory war tax, partly because that would help pay for a war, but far more because it would make politicians think twice, or thee or four times, before they decide to go to war.

The idea that moral degradation or a lack of moral courage could result in the use of torture may have merit. It's also true, though, that the idea of "moral courage" can also be twisted into a conviction that the morally courageous know what is right and must do what is right no matter where that leads. People who know they are right are a good deal scarier to me than people who accept that they might be wrong, or at least not completely right, even though doubt may in some circles appear to signify a lack of moral courage.

I don't know that moral courage or moral degradation have anything to do with the current economic problems.
Actually Carl responded promptly to my post and addressed the issue I was addressing regarding morals, but then he had to add a p.s. and Fuchs couldn't let go and several posts later we get torture

I think your point about moral degradation having nothing to do with our current economic problems is about as far from reality as one can drift and not disappear into a black hole. It certainly wasn't the sole factor, but it definitely contributed to it.

One can argue the morality associated with torture, and while I may be wrong, I generally assumed our intelligence agencies (not the military) always were prepared to use coercive interrogation methods in extreme cases if they truly believed it was the only method to prevent an atrocity. That sure as hell doesn't mean it should have been approved as general policy, or to make matters worse then out sourcing it to incompetent contractors who had no expertise in conducting interrogation.
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Old 01-03-2013   #93
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One can argue the morality associated with torture, and while I may be wrong, I generally assumed our intelligence agencies (not the military) always were prepared to use coercive interrogation methods in extreme cases if they truly believed it was the only method to prevent an atrocity. That sure as hell doesn't mean it should have been approved as general policy, or to make matters worse then out sourcing it to incompetent contractors who had no expertise in conducting interrogation.
If it is done by intel agencies doesn't that make it a de-facto approved policy?
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Old 01-03-2013   #94
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There is a big difference between extremely limited (assuming it ever happened prior to the Bush administration) exceptions to policy that are not overtly advertised as a change in policy by an administration.

We're discussing the possibility for an exception to policy, not a change to policy, and keeping it on the low. I still agree it is a method the weak and twisted, but I still allow for a potential exception.
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Old 01-03-2013   #95
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New title:

Torture versus taxation; the bigger evil?

That should make for a short thread.

- - - - - - -

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Torture is intentional, collateral damage is accidental.
The first part seems obvious. But I’m not sure that the intentionality of the act is what makes it intrinsically immoral. Going to war in the sandbox was also intentional, and so is the death penalty.

Collateral damage may be unintended, but I should think that in many cases it is clearly possible and probable. So it would seem an accepted side effect to the intentional action.
Is the acceptability contingent on the (un)predictability of its scope? Does that provide a smoke screen over the morality of it?
Craphappencidental seems to hover somewhere between accidental and intentional.
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Old 01-03-2013   #96
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We're discussing the possibility for an exception to policy, not a change to policy, and keeping it on the low. I still agree it is a method the weak and twisted, but I still allow for a potential exception.
That isn't an exception to policy. It is still a policy to torture. If we torture but only sometimes and keep it quiet, we still torture. That is just an attempt to convince ourselves we aren't weak and twisted
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Old 01-03-2013   #97
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In the long run free is better even with the ups and downs. Creative destruction and all that.
You're also talking about the "too big to fail" sector here...

Seriously, there's not much creative destruction any more in the U.S. economy or in European economies. Cassette tapes got pushed aside by CDs and there are some other anecdotes, but the big creative destruction moves don't happen because the existing winners are entrenched and have much influence on politicians and media. They can also pervert the patent and other copyright laws to their ends, by using them to kill off true innovators with fraudulent challenges.
It's also very difficult to innovate and destroy something old in a world where technology has advanced so much that tech wizards in garages simply don't cut it any more. You need teams of dozens of people even for smallish development enterprises. There aren't many Dysons around.
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Old 01-03-2013   #98
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Fuchs:

Sadly I must agree. Little that is established is allowed to fail, especially in the financial world. We made noises about not letting things be to big to fail but the banking world is more concentrated than ever. I read an article in the Atlantic (that used to be a good magazine until it went straight party line about two years ago) years ago that said if the IMF was handling the US crisis in 2008, all those big banks would have been nationalized, broken up and sold. But of course it wasn't because the too many of the superzips would have been hurt. As you say, the existing winners protecting themselves.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...t-coup/307364/
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Old 01-03-2013   #99
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I think your point about moral degradation having nothing to do with our current economic problems is about as far from reality as one can drift and not disappear into a black hole. It certainly wasn't the sole factor, but it definitely contributed to it.
Again, setting up circumstances that seem almost designed to reward and encourage "immoral" financial behavour and then blaming "moral degradation" for the consequences seems... well, see the analogy above with the dog and the ground beef.

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The first part seems obvious. But I’m not sure that the intentionality of the act is what makes it intrinsically immoral. Going to war in the sandbox was also intentional, and so is the death penalty.

Collateral damage may be unintended, but I should think that in many cases it is clearly possible and probable. So it would seem an accepted side effect to the intentional action.
Is the acceptability contingent on the (un)predictability of its scope? Does that provide a smoke screen over the morality of it?
Craphappencidental seems to hover somewhere between accidental and intentional.
Has there ever been a war that was not marked by accusations of torture, atrocity, etc? One might call those parts of collateral damages, as they inevitably seem to accompany war. Of course it was... clumsy, to put it mildly, for the administration to openly sanction that behaviour, rather than expressing shock and carrying on, as the habit of the past has generally been.

Going to war brings a host of miseries, torture and collateral damage among them. It guts the finances too, if we want to get taxes back into he picture. Still we do it... because we believe we must? Because we know it's right? Because we have the "moral courage" to stiffen our upper lips and take on the grim tasks that we know, or maybe believe, must be done?
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Old 04-22-2014   #100
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Default The (in)effectiveness of torture for combating insurgency

An academic paper 'The (in)effectiveness of torture for combating insurgency' by an American academic; the abstract is quite long, so this is from the opening passage:
Quote:
It is commonly believed that torture is an effective tool for combating an insurgent threat. Yet while torture is practiced in nearly all counterinsurgency campaigns, the evidence documenting torture’s effects remains severely limited. This study provides the first micro-level statistical analysis of torture’s relation to subsequent killings committed by insurgent and counterinsurgent forces. The theoretical arguments contend that torture is ineffective for reducing killings perpetrated by insurgents both because it fails to reduce insurgent capacities for violence and because it can increase the incentives for insurgents to commit future killings. The theory also links torture to other forms of state violence. Specifically, engaging in torture is expected to be associated with increased killings perpetrated by counterinsurgents. Monthly municipal-level data on political violence are used to analyze torture committed by counterinsurgents during the Guatemalan civil war (1977–94). Using a matched-sample, difference-in-difference identification strategy and data compiled from 22 different press and NGO sources as well as thousands of interviews, the study estimates how torture is related to short-term changes in killings perpetrated by both insurgents and counterinsurgents. Killings by counterinsurgents are shown to increase significantly following torture. However, torture appears to have no robust correlation with subsequent killings by insurgents. Based on this evidence the study concludes that torture is ineffective for reducing insurgent perpetrated killings.
Link:http://jpr.sagepub.com/content/early...313520023.full
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