Thursday, October 16, 2014

EVERYTHING OLD IS NUTS AGAIN.

We seem to be entering a Republican retro phase. For one thing, just like in '01 the GOP brethren are all keen for Boots on the Ground in the Middle East (Operation 'What Quagmire?'). They're even talking about WMD and citing the New York Times as evidence. Somewhere Judy Miller is laughing her ass off.

Also, a scant six years after capitalism shit the global financial bed, we're seeing a resurrection of capitalism-rocks boosterism straight out of the Reagan era. Regulate financial institutions? Hmmph! scoffs Veronique de Rugy, veteran richie apologist, at the Daily Beast. "Regulators are often captured by the industry they regulate at the expense of everyone else," so let the banks police themselves, just as corruption among the cops means we should leave street gangs free to sort out their own affairs. (Talk about little platoons!)

Hernando de Soto in the Wall Street Journal actually ties Yay Capitalism to ISIS:
As the U.S. moves into a new theater of the war on terror, it will miss its best chance to beat back Islamic State and other radical groups in the Middle East if it doesn’t deploy a crucial but little-used weapon: an aggressive agenda for economic empowerment... 
As anyone who’s walked the streets of Lima, Tunis and Cairo knows, capital isn’t the problem -- it is the solution.

"I get a closer, cleaner decapitation with Gillette!"

De Soto tells us that Shining Path was defeated in Peru mainly by capitalism ("These new habits of mind helped us to beat back terror in Peru and can do the same, I believe, in the Middle East and North Africa"), and only incidentally by increased force of arms and oh yeah, authoritarian rule funded by the U.S. via tariff relief and narco-war military aid. Well, at least in this case there's no functional democratic tradition to topple, and the next wave of Chicago Boys can implement their Shock and Awe Doctrine with a clear conscience, assuming some friendly unipolar superpower can keep their offices from being blown up by whoever replaces ISIS (but what are the chances? We'll be greeted as entrepreneurs!).

Speaking of entrepreneurs, here's Reihan Salam at Slate with "In Praise of Amazon -- Jeff Bezos’ company is not the problem with American capitalism. It’s the solution to our economy’s ills" -- and boy, doesn't that call to mind "you mark my words, [it] will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA." Salam thinks we don't give enough credit to our Titans of Industry:
Most of us believe that patents—legal monopolies that entitle you to all of the benefits from your invention for a limited period of time—are an OK idea because you have to give people some ex ante incentive to do the hard work of creating new things. You and I might both believe that the U.S. patent system has gotten way out of hand, but it’s hard to argue that patents are always a terrible idea. But what about the incentive to engage in the kind of complex coordination that creates enormous value, that raises productivity and delivers lowers prices, that can't actually be patented?
There's something wonderful about Salam having to hurriedly gin up some respect for the patent system so he can use it to show the littlebrains how important intellectual property is -- you dopes love this so-called "inventor" who just wants to clean up the environment or some junk, well how about someone who invented a way to crush his competition and capture markets? Shouldn't he get a fancy certificate, too, along with protection from the FTC?

Next they'll all start wearing red suspenders and smoking cigars again.

174 comments:

  1. They're even talking about WMD and citing the New York Times as evidence.


    And ignoring the fact that the weapons found were old, useless and deteriorating. And that we knew about them already.


    Even the Bushes admitted they weren't what they were looking for.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Halloween_Jack2:35 PM

    I can't believe that Yay Capitalism's cheerleader is someone named, of all things, Hernando de Soto. Was Cortés too busy?

    ReplyDelete
  3. edroso2:37 PM

    I think he's some kind of Opus Dei John Galt.

    ReplyDelete
  4. BigHank532:38 PM

    Mr. Pizzaro had a sore throat.

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  5. Indeed, the difference between then and now is that the NYT info seems to be factual this time.
    Somewhere Judy Miller is laughing her ass off.Maybe, but she might also be realizing that she could have gone with non-bullshit and still had the brethren spin it as validation.

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  6. De Soto tells us that Shining Path was defeated in Peru mainly by
    capitalism ..., and only incidentally by increased force of arms and oh yeah, authoritarian rule funded by the U.S. via tariff relief and narco-war military aid.I'd say "capitalism" covers all of that pretty well.

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  7. Isn't ISIS raising funds by selling oil?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Brian Schlosser2:51 PM

    We should parachute in some bankers and convert ISIS with some low interest rate small business loans!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Brian Schlosser2:51 PM

    Of course we knew about them: we still had our copies of the receipts

    ReplyDelete
  10. drspittle2:58 PM

    "Next they'll all start wearing red suspenders and smoking cigars again."

    Don't forget the bow ties and the wire rimmed glasses. Just like George Will.



    Also, too, shorter De Soto/Salam mash-up, free shipping with Amazon Prime could be a cost effective distribution channel for ISIS training DVD's.

    ReplyDelete
  11. humanoidpanda2:58 PM

    The sad thing about De-Soto that after 2008, he showed some signs of remorse and retrospection. Backsliding is a bitch..

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  12. but it’s hard to argue that patents are always a terrible idea.

    It's hard to argue anything, when your writing style is so circuitous that your sentences collide with themselves and fall down.

    But this is what happens when you write for bullies who are hyper-vigilant about apostasy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sign 'em up for dubious mortgages!

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  14. Megalon3:38 PM

    They're basically the Klingon captain from Star Trek III at this point. We must oppose it because Obama wishes it! And we must wish it because Obama opposes it!

    Also, I'm very happy to learn that the YPG and their allies have almost won in Kobane, fuck you very much Turkey. This is the biggest loss for IS yet. They wanted to finish the Syrian Kurds off very badly. But of course the "national security" conservatives will dismiss it, if they mention it at all. If their Middle Eastern war can't be a success, then by God no-one else's will either!

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  15. humanoidpanda3:46 PM

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_19/b4227060634112.htm

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  16. humanoidpanda3:47 PM

    It's not like he is a socialist here, but he is clearly recognizing that capitalism is not magic, but human institution, and that what we have in the last 20 years or so is a parasitic mutation rather than anything approaching a producting investment cycle.

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  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqBOMBSDQsI
    2001? Hell, Bill Hicks died in 1993 and I have a recurring problem of listening to him and thinking his routines were recorded last night.

    ReplyDelete
  18. mgmonklewis3:50 PM

    Economic advice from DeSoto? Say, that's a capital idea! http://img.readtiger.com/wkp/en/ChryslerDeSoto1946side.jpg

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  19. I feel like I fell asleep and woke up with a desire to tease my hair and wear big shouldered faux men's suits with enormous floral bows at the neck.

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  20. mgmonklewis3:53 PM

    Really, is there a more inane, Goldbergian template than, "But it's hard to argue that [noun] is always a terrible idea."?

    I mean, unless you're talking about plague or genocide, it's indeed hard to argue that most things are always a terrible idea. Jeez, the strawman practically tripped, fell over, and set himself on fire in that argument.

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  21. The image I'm getting is a clown car filled with words got up with red noses and frizzy hair, floppy feet and enormous bow ties, all emptying out into a tiny circus ring and colliding with one another until trampled by enraged elephants--if we are lucky.

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  22. mgmonklewis3:55 PM

    Foreclose on them without paperwork or title. It's all the rage over here, why not try it over there?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Reminds me of the best headlines in the history of the Onion:
    Retro Crazed German Youth Invade Poland

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  24. Davis3:55 PM

    Capitalism increases productivity, also known as longer hours and lower pay.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jay B.4:01 PM

    As anyone who’s walked the streets of Lima, Tunis and Cairo knows, capital isn’t the problem -- it is the solution.


    Who is arguing otherwise? The problem is that in hellholes like Lima, Cairo and Houston the capital is taken by the haves, leaving the have nots rather agitated.

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  26. Spaghetti Lee4:05 PM

    Tech startups! Whiskey! Sexy!

    Can it really be called 'retro' if they never had a modern phase in the first place?

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  27. Spaghetti Lee4:07 PM

    Capitalism! Whiskey! Sexy!

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  28. Does anyone know where this libertarian opposition to intellectual property came from? I mean, there's the obvious "boo Big Gubmit," but these guys usually thrive on being nonspecific. Here they're singling something out, and it doesn't make a lot of sense.

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  29. As the U.S. moves into a new theater of the war on terror, it will miss its best chance to beat back Islamic State and other radical groups in the Middle East if it doesn’t deploy a crucial but little-used weapon: an aggressive agenda for economic empowerment...

    because radical groups in the middle east know nothing about high finance or how to spend money.

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  30. Helmut Monotreme4:48 PM

    Roger Waters' solo album Amused to death was released in 1992.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GlrU7h8E9Y
    and "The Bravery of Being out of Range" is more relevant than ever.

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  31. Gromet4:57 PM

    Yeah, what? They're against the independent genius getting paid for his invention now? How does that even… what?

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  32. satch4:58 PM

    "...but it’s hard to argue that patents are always a terrible idea."


    Very good, Reihan; that WOULD be a terrible idea... if anyone were actually arguing that. But thank you for bringing that up. Have a cookie...

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  33. Derelict5:00 PM

    You and I might both believe that the U.S. patent system has gotten way out of hand, but it’s hard to argue that patents are always a terrible idea.

    Tell ya what: Find me someone--ANYONE--who argues that patents are always a terrible idea. We can continue this discussion right after you introduce me to this person.

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  34. Gromet5:02 PM

    Patents are "legal monopolies"? Pff, I'd prefer to see Reihan call them "permissible colonizations." Or "approved slaveries." Maybe "patriotic ethnic cleansings, of the ethnicity called sharing." Let's be serious, here.

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  35. Derelict5:03 PM

    Sure he was a pain in the Aztec. But he did bring his own sort of liberation theology to the New World. And he WAS a proto libertarian--if the indigenous peoples were not strong enough to protect their possessions (or even their liberty), he was right to steal all their shit and enslave them.

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  36. satch5:03 PM

    ISIS ends up bankrupt, but not before beheading the mortgage brokers. Wins all around!

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  37. satch5:06 PM

    Through Turkey, which is probably why Turkish troops are a quarter mile away from Kobani and not letting anything disturb their naps.

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  38. Derelict5:07 PM

    Yep. Wear the shoulder-pad blouse with the shoulder-pad jacket. Guaranteed to impress at any business meeting--provided the impression you're trying to make is of someone ready to play nose tackle.

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  39. More evidence that the libertarians and the conservatives are morphing into one heaving, oozing stench beast.

    Because it wouldn't surprise me if the word "intellectual" now sets off the skreegasms.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I like this image. I like it a lot. Could you make it into a story book and read it to us before bed?

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  41. Derelict5:10 PM

    . . . as the US moves into a new theater in the war on terror . . .

    I seem to have a vague recollection of the US sending troops to Iraq at some point fairly recently. It was under president what's-his-name.

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  42. Bizarro Mike5:11 PM

    See, most libertarians have invented squat. So laws protected inventions only get in their way and never help them. They want to free-ride on other peoples intellectual labor.


    That, and they want to torrent porno without fear of a lawsuit.

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  43. Spaghetti Lee5:14 PM

    Something like this? http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=297

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  44. Spaghetti Lee5:15 PM

    Shorter Salam: You know what you can't patent, libs? FREEDOM.

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  45. Look for it on Blurb. Its called "Mommy, Mommy, There's a Psychotic Clown Car in My Congress."

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  46. I hated the return of the shoulder pad era (missed the 40s). Hated it. Especially if those fuckers were really sewn in there so it required surgery to get them out with out damaging the clothes.

    Sorry. To go OT, but hate them. A lot.

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  47. Socialist Cubone5:26 PM

    "Egypt just needs its own Pinochet"
    "Syria just needs its own Fujimori"


    Wingnuttery doesn't repeat itself, but it definitely rhymes.

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  48. gocart mozart5:29 PM

    Sometimes one can be too lazy to knock over one's own strawman, therefore one must build it pre-knocked over.

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  49. It's already on tour in the sticks:

    https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/bakersfield-police-wasco-clown.jpg?w=640&h=542

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  50. Socialist Cubone5:48 PM

    Wasn't one of the suggestions from the #fullcommunism Rolling Stone article getting rid of all patents. That was pretty funny.

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  51. BigHank535:48 PM

    Well, the more Kurds ISIS shoots the fewer there are to cause any problems for Turkey, right?

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  52. Spaghetti Lee6:03 PM

    As it so happens, Pacheco Road Clown Arrest is the name of my new band.

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  53. Your typical wingnut's attitude towards Middle Easterners:

    Ripley: They cut the power.
    Hudson: What do you mean, "*They* cut the power"? How could they cut the power, man? They're animals!

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  54. High heeled sneakers.

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  55. I think this "capitalism will save us" thing is like a dim echo of the old "McDonald's Rule"--http://news.fresno.edu/07/26/2007/mcdonalds-theory-conflict-prevention-peace-through-franchising

    Democracy is great, but wouldn't we be better off spreading McDonald's franchises around the world? Think of the cost savings on defense.

    What is it about McDonald's that creates peace? The simple answer is that a country that has stabilized to the point where someone is willing to invest close to a million dollars per store in a franchise operation is very unlikely to be a threat to its neighbors, or have neighbors who are a threat to it. McDonald's restaurants are owned by the mother corporation, or by individual franchisees. Neither one is interested in seeing riots, corruption nor banditry destroy their investment. American towns and other countries have to earn their McDonald's.



    Which in turn was nothing but an echo of the mother of the Rothschilds who is supposed (apocryphally) to have reassured politicians that there wouldn't be a war (WWI) because "her sons" who were each spread out banking throughout all the important countries wouldn't let war begin.

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  56. Lately I've seen so many women clumping glumly down the road on those platform boots that are so in. Its rather staggering, in every possible sense.

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  57. *wads up patent application disgustedly*

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  58. Well, the Kobane thing is good news, anyway.

    First I heard the Kurds were winning, then Kobane was on the verge of falling, now it's secure again. Things seem to move VERY quickly in this new conflict - which doesn't make me confident for how well our asshole Congress will be able to keep up with it.

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  59. Wrangler7:01 PM

    Salam's article is really disjointed. He cites this Foer guy's argument that Amazon is just waiting to be the last retailer standing so it can fuck everyone over, and that does appear to be a reasonable worry, but Salam never does anything to rebut it. And actually, this other guy Ben Evans who Salam cites approvingly, appears to think it's very obvious that that's exactly what Amazon must have on it's mind, otherwise there's no incentive to buy its stock:

    When you buy Amazon stock (the main currency with which Amazon employees are paid, incidentally), you are buying a bet that he can convert a huge portion of all commerce to flow through the Amazon machine. The question to ask isn’t whether Amazon is some profitless ponzi scheme, but whether you believe Bezos can capture the future. That, and how long are you willing to wait?

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  60. +1 apone, i want you to lay down a suppressing fire with the incinerators and fall back by squads to the APC

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  61. though i would add that one include a fair amount of liberals as well, particularly ones with cable teevee talk shows.

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  62. satch7:15 PM

    "It's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto."


    Whattaya mean, I'm old? What makes you say that?

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  63. With the Window shifted as far right as it is these days, yeah, good point.

    I mean, sheesh, I haven't seen this kind of right wing asskissking since just after 9/11.

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  64. satch7:19 PM

    "What is it about McDonald's that creates peace?"


    Umm... Listeria?

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  65. Megalon7:22 PM

    What's the Matter With Fresno?

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  66. Victor Davis Davis Handjob what would Xerxes do about my stolen gas powered snow globe?

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  67. Lodginess from fat overconsumption?

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  68. vista7:34 PM

    "Arrested for annoying a minor..." LOL, I didn't know that was a thing. I should have called the cops on my older brother when he annoyed me.

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  69. Spaghetti Lee7:40 PM

    Is there such a thing as the 'uncanny valley' when it comes to writing? I'm having trouble believing a human being wrote that.

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  70. Spaghetti Lee7:45 PM

    I guess if you think, as libertarians do, that college professors, public schoolteachers, postal workers, and unionized electricians are part of the ruling liberal elite, it's not really a stretch to assume that small-time independent artists and writers who have the most to gain from strong IP protection are part of that elite too. Besides, after John Galt and Ayn Rand so generously laid down the rules for constructing a completely perfect society, nothing that some lesser mind comes up with could possibly be worth protecting.

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  71. Megalon7:47 PM

    Don't fuck with the Literary Lacedaemon! I heard he once slew an entire phalanx of Nubian chainsaw thieves with no more difficulty than Odysseus slew the suitors, while wearing nothing but a leather thong and shouting "THIS. IS. FRESNO!" after each he struck down.

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  72. Derelict7:48 PM

    Hand rolled!

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  73. "TONIGHT WE DINE... AT CARL'S JR.!"

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  74. M. Krebs7:55 PM

    Some people have trouble with the difference between correlation and causation. That guy thinks causation works in reverse.

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  75. M. Krebs7:58 PM

    Now I'm cheering for Amazon to destroy Walmart.

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  76. M. Krebs8:17 PM

    Fat + carbs + salt = irresistible!

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  77. Rugosa8:24 PM

    and your wighat on your head

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  78. P Gustaf8:33 PM

    Can't help buy think of an SCTV parody of Humoresque, where the John Garfield character says to the Joan Crawford character (played by Catherine O'Hara) "Bronco Nagurski called. He wants his shoulders back."

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  79. John Wesley Hardin8:36 PM

    Somewhere in an obscure corner of Hell, the soul of Ayn Rand just felt a little thrill of arousal.

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  80. John Wesley Hardin8:44 PM

    Let me give that a whack. "But it's hard to argue that Infinite Hitler is always a terrible idea." Fucking refuting a negative, how does it work?

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  81. Upvote but EEEEEEWWWWWW

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  82. John Wesley Hardin8:58 PM

    Oh, who am I kidding? She didn't have a soul or a heart, but she did think they were delicious, fresh out of a living victim.

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  83. smut clyde9:18 PM

    the return of the shoulder pad era
    Think of the whisky flasks you could hide there.

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  84. smut clyde9:20 PM

    As anyone who’s walked the streets of Lima, Tunis and Cairo knows, capital isn’t the problem -- it is the solution.


    Pshaw. Your information is useless until you take a taxicab ride through those streets and have the taxi driver validate your opinion.

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  85. As the U.S. moves into a new theater of the war on terror, it will miss
    its best chance to beat back Islamic State and other radical groups in
    the Middle East if it doesn’t deploy a crucial but little-used weapon:
    an aggressive agenda for economic empowerment...


    If only the Saudis were economically empowered, they'd sure do a thing about Islamic fundamentalism.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Mutually assured destruction would be nice in this case.

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  87. "We'll be greeted as entrepreneurs"



    LOL


    or derivatives traders, or LIBOR riggers, or Ponzi schemers, or robber barons

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  88. glennisw9:59 PM

    My mom would be a repeat offender.

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  89. That's it! I'm going to sell pre-deconstructed straw men for every occasion. For an extra $200 the pdsm can be [ahem] specially modified. IYNWIM&ITYD.

    I'll be rich!

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  90. Don't forget the golf courses!

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  91. BigHank5310:12 PM

    See? That's why the libertarians are in such a snit: various Saudis had out millions of dollars to any wild-eyed religious wannabe. Frequently this money comes with strings attached, like "Go be a pain in the neck someplace else. Like Afghanistan. Or Syria. Germany? Anywhere but here, really."

    Only the Kochs give money to libertarians here, and everyone else is too broke to make them go the hell away.

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  92. Tehanu10:42 PM

    Was listening to the Firesign Theatre's 2000 album, "Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death," today. Talk about prescient - it has a whole thing about "the Ebola Virus Ball" and wearing your yellow Ebola ribbon to "keep the deadly organisms from getting across our designer borders." But then, the FST was always way ahead of its time.

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  93. M. Krebs11:15 PM

    I'm calling in sick tomorrow with a case of the 24 hour Ebola.

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  94. AGoodQuestion11:21 PM

    So scientists engineered an even stupider Tom Friedman and called it "Hernando de Soto"? Freaky.

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  95. AGoodQuestion11:31 PM

    They're against anything that might require people with All The Money to share it with an inferior.

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  96. You got to wear your Princess Plague ribbon to keep the disease from crossing our designer borders!

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  97. "But then, the FST was always way ahead of its time."

    Not to pimp (much) but waaaaay ahead.

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  98. AGoodQuestion11:40 PM

    If only the Saudis were economically empowered, they'd sure do a thing about Islamic fundamentalism.
    Ah, but in Saudi Arabia only a few at the top are economically empowered. Surely our great conservatarian thinkers couldn't approve of this state of affairs.

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  99. You'll be having some personal time with your hat, eh?

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  100. aaand here come the celebaratzzis, taking pictures of each other...

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  101. AGoodQuestion11:52 PM

    I'm rooting for both of them to be destroyed by MomCorp.

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  102. sigyn1:54 AM

    I think if anyone were preaching about 'economic empowerment' and 'new habits of mind' to the average Saudi citizen we'd be seeing some of those fancy official beheadings instead.

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  103. DocAmazing3:23 AM

    You scoff, but it is a little-known fact that Shamrock Shakes were instrumental in bringing about the Good Friday Agreement.

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  104. DocAmazing3:28 AM

    For detail, I recommend (as always) the War Nerd:

    http://pando.com/2014/10/16/the-war-nerd-nobody-could-have-predicted-islamic-states-retreat-from-kobane-except-me/

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  105. DocAmazing3:38 AM

    How many of you who sit and judge me
    Have ever walked the streets of Lima, Tunis and Cairo?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yotVGV4BxhQ

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  106. Christopher Hazell4:40 AM

    These three articles are an interesting progression.

    De Rugy, whatever else you can say for her, is at least making an argument: The Fed is so useless/malicious that its existence actually makes things even worse than they would be with no regulators at all.

    There's a lot more gibberish in De Soto's article, such as:

    "To make this agenda a reality, the only requirements are a little imagination, a hefty dose of capital (injected from the bottom up) and government leadership to build, streamline and fortify the laws and structures that let capitalism flourish. As anyone who’s walked the streets of Lima, Tunis and Cairo knows, capital isn’t the problem—it is the solution"



    Which I would argue is a paragraph that communicates less information than most Dada poetry.


    Still, there is some content, and most of the gibberish can be explained as De Soto selling his services by saying "Look what a great job I did in Peru!"


    So at least that makes sense to me on that level.


    But explain to me what Salan's thesis is, and why he wrote that article. He doesn't have any particular point about Amazon other than that shadowy, vague critics are wrong about Amazon in some sketchy, undefined way.


    Given that he doesn't actually run or own Amazon, he's not selling himself like De Soto, so what is he doing, and why?

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  107. smut clyde5:46 AM

    As long as I get to keep Fecal Occult Blood Test as the name of my new band.

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  108. smut clyde7:12 AM

    a hefty dose of capital (injected from the bottom up)

    An interesting admission there that the previous generation of Wealth Creators, having stripped the assets, have no intention of plowing anything back, so new investment will have to come from the lootees.

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  109. smut clyde7:24 AM

    What's all this about "boots on the ground"?

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-AdlpWSvMPHg/VDhJpsRlU2I/AAAAAAAAPng/J4OzL1ycWW8/s1600/boots.PNG

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  110. Derelict7:59 AM

    Amazon stock (the main currency with which Amazon employees are paid, incidentally),

    This needs some clarification. Seems that the Amazon employees being paid with stock (or stock options) are also taking home pretty healthy paychecks. As for the rest of the Amazon employees, well, they're being forced to stand in line on their own time to make sure they're not pocketing DVDs at the warehouse. Then they get their min-wage paychecks at the end of the week--provided the contractor deigns to actually pay them.

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  111. Derelict8:02 AM

    That struck me, as well. It seems like a pretty frank admission that the entirety of conservative economic philosophy cannot be made to work, and that only a Keynesian approach can make capitalism function properly.

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  112. M. Krebs8:54 AM

    Maybe it is Friedman moonlighting under a nom de plume.

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  113. redoubtagain9:16 AM

    (Strawman Manufacturing is a subsidiary of NRO-Goldberg Internships LLC)

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  114. redoubtagain9:22 AM

    ISIS < NINJAs

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  115. redoubtagain9:27 AM

    "What is it about McDonald's that creates peace?"

    Dunno, but the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery has a few thoughts.

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  116. Upvote for "pain in the Aztec".

    You people.

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  117. satch9:33 AM

    What I find hilarious is that here in western Mass, where there are Air Force Reserve and an Air National Guard bases, the free market geniuses who blather on endlessly about how "gummint spending doesn't create jobs" are the loudest protesters when cuts in the budgets of these bases are proposed, as in "Good God, man... think of the JOBS!!!"

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  118. JennOfArk9:41 AM

    He has a point, though.


    The biggest and most profitable innovations in American capitalism aren't protected by patent. Stuff like split-second stock trading that allows our friends at Goldman Sachs and others to skim off the top of every stock trade. Stuff like buying congressmen to pass tax incentives for outsourcing production to slave-labor states. Things like capture of the regulatory and judicial systems. The innovators of these and more have been robbed of recompense for their pioneering ideas and have had to share the trillions generated by them with other rich fucks. It just ain't fair, man.

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  119. BigHank5310:07 AM

    Here's everything you need to know about Jeff Bezos: when he moved to Seattle to start Amazon, he looked for a house with a garage so he could claim (in the fine tradition of Ford, Hewlitt-Packard, and Apple) that he started his business in his garage.

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  120. Derelict10:10 AM

    One of the people I deal with regularly here in southern Vermont is a retired Air Force colonel (who flew C-5s from your neighborhood). He's a deep-red Republican who's always whining about people depending too much on government. The fact that his entire adult life from age 18 on has been dependent on the government escapes him.

    Similarly, a friend of my father was a municipal firefighter in New Jersey. He, too, spent his entire adult life working for government. He was also a union member who now collects a pension. And he's adamantly opposed to unions and those money-grubbing leeches (including current firefighters!) who work for the government and insist on collecting their union-provided pensions.

    Is there something about being conservative that renders people incapable of listening to their own arguments?

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  121. BigHank5310:15 AM

    I think you've got the cause and effect backwards there. Politically speaking, if you're a self-centered dingleberry, is there anyplace for you to go other than conservatism?

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  122. Government creating jobs in a collectivist organization, yet.

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  123. Magatha10:32 AM

    "...As for the rest of the Amazon employees...." The pertinent point being, as you indicate, that the line-standin' folks aren't really Amazon employees: they work for the temp agencies retained by the real Amazon employees.

    OT, and I know I should do this myself and not resort to Jonah Goldbergian research techniques, but does anyone have any info about whether Zappos' remarkable order fulfillment capacity is fueled by a work 'em to death policy like Amazon's?

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  124. "where they make a Big Mac, they call it peace"

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  125. Magatha10:36 AM

    Yeah, there is kind of a Carlos Danger vibe.

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  126. Helmut Monotreme10:37 AM

    No, it's the actual conquistador resurrected. Turns out he has a lot in common with modern conservatives.

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  127. Halloween_Jack12:01 PM

    Just the idea of Ayn Rand in Hell reminds me of the concept from an older run of Swamp Thing (either Alan Moore or Rick Veitch), that damned souls could become demons themselves if they were nasty enough.

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  128. J Neo Marvin12:05 PM

    Now some things come and some things have gone, but wig hats are forever, yeah they just go on and on and on...

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  129. whetstone2:28 PM

    "Microloans" is the international-development parlance. I'm sure payday loan lenders would be extremely interested in this.

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  130. DerBrunoStroszek2:44 PM

    If only the Saudi royal family were even richer, the wealth would surely begin to trickle down!

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  131. kennyg3:58 PM

    Considering that Zappos is owned by Amazon I would say "yes".


    I can haz upaid internship nao?

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  132. ckc (not kc)5:06 PM

    Traditional greeting for entrepreneurs

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  133. Magatha5:21 PM

    O CRAP. Teh moar u no, the more it sucks. Internship is yours. Your introductory case of Cheetos is on the way via AmaZappo-Drone. Brace for impact.

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  134. M. Krebs7:01 PM

    So of a gun. I had never thought twice about where "ridden out of town on a rail" meant. Now I know!

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  135. Christopher Hazell8:41 PM

    Uh...


    Yeah, so, not sure this is true, or at least, it really depends on what you mean by strong IP protection.


    IP protection, in reality, tends to be as strong as the lawyer you can hire, and large corporations benefit from it pretty heavily.


    Superman, for example, was the creation of two kids just playing around. Superman is not owned by his creators, or by his estate, but by a company that is getting rich off him, due entirely to strong IP protection which has, whatever else it has done, doesn't protect the Siegel and Schuster estates.


    The fact that Mickey Mouse is still under copyright may do many things, but protecting small artists sure isn't one of them.

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  136. Makayla Oxley9:18 PM

    There's something amazing about Salam having to hurriedly gin up some regard for the certain program so he can use it to demonstrate the littlebrains how essential ip is -- you dopes really like this so-called "inventor" who just wants to fresh up the surroundings or some trash, well how about someone who developed a way to grind his competitors and catch markets? Must not he get a elegant certification, too, along with security from the FTC?

    Dukan Diät Plan

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  137. montag210:55 PM

    It's almost ancient history now, but in 1998 or 1999, in the same week, Bezos laid off about 1400 American workers in order to transfer their jobs to an overseas call center, and cashed in $70 million worth of Amazon stock, and when I wrote Amazon to say that this was just the sort of fucking greed that I despised, some Amazon PR flunkie wrote me back to say that Bezos had the right to do what he did.

    Haven't given them a nickel since, and don't intend to in the future. Beyond that, they've been pretty much fucking writers and smaller publishers for short money, and that sticks in my craw, too.

    The surest way to sink Bezos' boat is to not buy fucking anything from the bastards. Powell's has gotten a lot of my business--even though I don't get discounts from them, they're a union shop and that's worth my business.

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  138. Spaghetti Lee11:09 PM

    I'm referring to stories I've heard from designers, freelancers, etc., who got ripped off because they were strong-armed into work-for-hire or something like that, and made peanuts while whatever rich client made money off their work for an indefinite amount of time. Maybe IP isn't the right word.



    I'm of the opinion that copyright protection should be weighted similar to a progressive income tax system. A small-time, small-market artist doing freelance design work has infinitely more to lose from someone stealing their creations than Disney or DC Comics.

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  139. billcinsd1:53 AM

    who got ripped off because they were strong-armed into work-for-hire or
    something like that, and made peanuts while whatever rich client made
    money off their work for an indefinite amount of time.

    so basically every scientist/engineer that works for a large corporation and many at smaller outfits. Academia's a little better but usually not that great

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  140. billcinsd2:12 AM

    but who needs its own Alfredo Stroessner? He was so bad even Reagan wouldn't support him, so Lebanon I guess. I assume Ronnie didn't really support them after he did the old cut-and-run

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  141. billcinsd2:20 AM

    So you missed the scene where that was done to Homer Stokes in O Brother Where Art Thou

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  142. billcinsd2:25 AM

    More like Ron Mexico I think

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  143. Derelict8:28 AM

    Hear! Hear! I avoid Amazon as much as possible, though I'm stuck buying bandsaw blades from them since I haven't been able to find any other source on line, and there are none less than a two-hour drive from me.

    I'm fortunate enough to have two independent bookstores nearby, and three used-book stores as well. As for Bezos, I think he should try flossing his teeth with a running chainsaw.

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  144. Derelict8:40 AM

    Obviously I can't speak for others, but the vast bulk of writing I've done over the last 35 years has been so ephemeral that owning the copyright is pretty meaningless. For example, a feature article I wrote back in 1987 on the new LORAN navigation sets that were becoming available for general aviation was valuable to my publisher at the time, but became completely worthless within six months of its publication date. (And with LORAN completely phased out of aviation, that article is now as useful as a piece on navigating your covered wagon on corduroy roads.)

    I guess what I'm trying to say here is that for many freelancer writers, IP doesn't really do much because what you write doesn't have much value beyond its initial pub date.

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  145. Magatha9:21 AM

    Slowly I turned...to the Urban Dictionary. You may be right. And ewww.

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  146. John Wesley Hardin1:09 PM

    It was better before, before they voted for what's-his-name; this is supposed to be the new world.

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  147. billcinsd3:11 PM

    Well for most people who get a job writing it's because they are a good writer, here he got a job writing therefore he is de facto a good writer

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  148. This is more at the individual level, not necessarily relevant to the movement ideology, but there's a sizable bloc of libertarians in the software industry-- and while it might theoretically be possible to make the patent system work in a non-insane way for software technology, in practice it's been pretty awful.

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  149. Arctic outpost, eh?

    Shackleton had the good sense to go south -- where there'll be some dry land well above sea level, to stand on after all the ice melts.

    -dlj.

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  150. It's so beautiful it must be Cuban...

    I met a guy carves cylinder heads out of raw stock, gets $750 for a 1938 Ford flathead. 'Nuther guy, up the street, gets $800 for plating the bumper on a fifties Olds '88. Couple of those a month is enough to make up for not having a union at your job.

    Open up business with Cuba, and guys like them are out of business. Not in the same league with Cuban mechanics.

    -dlj.

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  151. Brian,
    Um. Islamic finance? Fatwa? Uh, knife?

    -dlj.

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  152. Derelict6:15 PM

    Aliens know from capitalism.

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  153. Another Kiwi7:21 PM

    capital (injected from the bottom up)/
    Bend over 'Murica, it's time for your injection!!

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  154. smut clyde7:29 PM

    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/21/ba/26/21ba26008593f73ea5e47ba4e02b5051.jpg

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  155. M. Krebs8:41 PM

    No, I've seen that a couple of times. I just never put 2 and 2 together, I guess. Or I forgot.

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  156. Meanie-meanie, tickle a person10:29 PM

    Saint John Galt, Book of Unravelations...

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  157. Wm Kiernan7:09 AM

    When you buy Amazon stock you are making a bet that this spin of the roulette wheel will come up even, in which event you will buy a case of champagne!

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  158. gocart mozart6:52 PM

    Your WTF moment for today.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpiUtIpyQTI

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  159. I used to collect those. I should go back and reread them.

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  160. Halloween_Jack11:52 AM

    I think that they generally hold up very well, although Moore himself has regretted some of his more purple prose (picking out one scene in which he describes a sunset as "clouds like cotton wool daubing the slashed wrists of the sky" or something like that). He invented John Constantine and had Jack Kirby's Demon speak in rhymes.

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  161. I remember them very fondly and really, can you overwrite scenes where a woman is scrubbing her skin off after being raped by her zombie uncle? Before her plant life husband finds her?

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  162. Mooser3:23 PM

    "It's hard to argue anything, when your writing style is so circuitous that your sentences collide with themselves and fall down."


    It's hard to deconstruct something which demolishes itself. Sorta like figuring out what happened at WTC3

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  163. Mooser3:26 PM

    "I didn't know that was a thing."


    It happens to be the name of my band.

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  164. M. Krebs8:52 PM

    I sure hope Roy is enjoying a much-deserved vacation long weekend.

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  165. Lex Luthor10:07 PM

    Not to discount all the money the US sent to Fujimori, or the brutality of that regime. But most Peruvians I've talked to say that what turned the tide against the Maoists were regular people getting fed up with them and forming militia committees. They figured that both sides were murdering people indiscriminately, but the Maoists were more unpredictable and harder to bribe. And the rebels didn't even try to provide services, like roads or electricity; they were destroying all that.

    So rural people you would have thought would oppose the government instead banded together to oppose the rebels. These "rondas" are still prominent at patriotic celebrations in the countryside, because everyone credits them, not the regular army, with saving them from the rebels.

    But none of those guys were capital letter Capitalists. Some were shopkeepers or the owners of tiny restaurants or minibus drivers, but many were also water commissioners or farmers or union leaders or shamans. It wasn't about ideology for the rondas; it was about protecting their communities from murderous maniacs. It's delusional to think as de Soto does that reducing the informal economy in cities like Lima was the key to defeating the rebels. Most of those rural shopkeepers are still operating in the underground economy, too undercapitalized to make change for routine purchases, paying no taxes, not registering their vehicles, their businesses, their land, or their marriages. They have little or no stake in the establishment or the government, but they fought the rebels anyway. The rondas were a response to the failure of the capitalist state to protect people, evidence of its weakness in comparison to non-capitalist communitarian solutions.



    The "cure for terrorism"? Don't be worse than the terrorists.

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