Idiots allowed to vote.

Off topic discussion zone.

Moderators: winston, another_commander, Cody

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13637
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Cody » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:06 pm

All I can say is that wasn't what I was hearing on the old grapevine.

User avatar
Diziet Sma
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Diziet Sma » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:16 pm

Fair enough.. would love to know what you heard.. I'm aware of some other rumours, but have never seen anything to substantiate them.. anything that connects another dot would be helpful..
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6290
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Disembodied » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:42 pm

As regards Afghanistan, I suspect the fluctuations in the amounts of opium/heroin produced had, as always, much more to do with fluctuations in the global price of opium/heroin than with anything else (for example, when global wheat prices rose, opium production went down: wheat became, briefly, a more lucrative crop). I think the key words here are "... in Taliban-controlled areas".

You might be interested in this:
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n24/james-meek ... n-a-defeat

Like Cody says, it's a complicated country!

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13637
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Cody » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:47 pm

Diziet Sma wrote:Fair enough.. would love to know what you heard..
I got the impression that it was more about control and stock-piling, rather than eradication.
Again - it is a very complicated region, with many factions (for want of a better description).

User avatar
Disembodied
Jedi Spam Assassin
Jedi Spam Assassin
Posts: 6290
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:54 pm
Location: Carter's Snort

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Disembodied » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:52 pm

Cody wrote:Again - it is a very complicated region, with many factions (for want of a better description).
From the article linked above:
James Meek wrote:No story shows the labyrinthine workings of Helmand politics better than that of the Akhundzada family, scions of an Alizai clerical dynasty from northern Helmand. Nasim Akhundzada formed a mujahed band in 1978, seizing Musa Qala from the Kabul government the following year, killing hundreds of people in the process. He spent the next few years fighting under the ‘Harakat’ brand against his local enemies in the north, making strategic marriages, buying popular support through handouts and small building projects, and developing his control over the opium crop. Because he was a ‘Harakat’ mujahed, meanwhile, the communist secret police gave him money in exchange for fighting ‘Hizb’ mujahedin; the police didn’t realise he wasn’t fighting them because Hizb were his enemies, but that they’d badged as Hizb because they were his enemies. The meaninglessness to Nasim of his ‘Harakat’ affiliation is shown by the fact that he sent his opium for processing to labs run in Iran by Hizb, his supposed rival. In 1990, what remained of the post-Soviet government in Helmand split into warring Khalq and Parcham factions, which formed alliances with Hizb and Harakat respectively. ‘The two halves of the “government” were openly working with opposed “mujahedin” groups, against each other,’ Martin writes. ‘The fluidity with which two bitter enemies, Hizb and Khalq, could align with each other left many to conclude that the spirit of the jihad had been hopelessly corrupted.’

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13637
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Cody » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:04 pm

The mention of Iran in that article is expected - little happens in Afghanistan that doesn't have some influence from either Iran or Pakistan (or both). I spent some time in Balochistan, which straddles all three countries (not unlike Kurdistan), and even back then, places such as Quetta were dangerous - much more so now!

User avatar
Diziet Sma
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Diziet Sma » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:58 pm

Cody wrote:I got the impression that it was more about control and stock-piling, rather than eradication.
Interesting. Even outside of that precipitous one-year production drop, there have been some suggestive indications that someone (or several someone's, perhaps) has been stockpiling considerable quantities of opium/heroin for some time.. annual global production figures appear to far exceed annual global consumption estimates. The unanswered question, of course, is 'why'? Even the recent flooding of the US with heroin, and the concomitant drop in street prices, doesn't appear sufficient to explain the level of stockpiling that seems to be going on (in the sense that stockpiling appears to be continuing even today).

Somebody would appear to be playing a very deep game.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

User avatar
Smivs
Retired Assassin
Retired Assassin
Posts: 8408
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:31 am
Location: Disunited Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Smivs » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:02 pm

Either that or they're all so stoned they don't know what they are doing :lol:
Commander Smivs, the friendliest Gourd this side of Riedquat.

User avatar
Cody
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Sharp Shooter Spam Assassin
Posts: 13637
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:31 pm
Location: Corke's Drift
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Cody » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:17 pm

Diziet Sma wrote:Somebody would appear to be playing a very deep game.
Oh yes! Who? The Great Game still continues, in some ways. There are many possibilities, many vested interests - and never underestimate Iran. You gotta think Persia, not Iran - it's been a major power in that region for over two millennia, and its rulers have every intention of preserving that power and influence.

User avatar
Wildeblood
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Wildeblood » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:46 pm

Disembodied wrote:I still think the USA lacks the sheer brass neck of e.g. the British, who were prepared to indiscriminately shell Chinese towns and murder Chinese civilians, just because the Chinese government wanted to stop the British flooding their country with opium. Now THAT's imperialism.
No, that's mercantilism, isn't it? China was never an imperial possession. Not coloured pink on any map I've ever seen. And it's directly comparable to USA-Somalia, which you thought didn't reflect poorly on democratic USA, just those pesky "capitalists". The difference between Britain/China and USA/Somalia being that the British knew when to stop.
Diziet Sma wrote:Really? Ever wondered what the real reason was for the US invading Afghanistan in "retaliation" for the 9/11 attacks on the WTC?

1) The country had to be secured for a proposed gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean...
2) The Taliban shut down virtually the entire Afghan opium poppy/heroin trade overnight...
I don't believe opium production was a factor at all, because I don't believe the propaganda about the CIA and the drug trade. I think you're a victim of the disinformation our old frenemies in the Illuminati put out there, Dizzy.

The pipeline and the mineral deposits in the mountains were their motivation to invade Afghanistan. The CIA persuaded the elected dummies they could wage a revenue positive war; that the profits from the gas and minerals would be greater than the (dollar) cost (ignoring the cost in lives) of invading. That's not a secret, and you don't need to go to fringe sources for confirmation.

It's the same theory they had invading Somalia; the resultant fall in oil prices would supposedly more than offset the (dollar) cost of invading, so the invasion would be a net benefit to the US economy.

Venezuela was next in line to be liberated. Fortunately it didn't happen, it would have been another disaster like Somalia. History will falsely record that Obama was smarter than Bush & Clinton, but it will be a lie. The rise of Putin the Loon has been a good thing in as much as it has re-focused the US military planners onto the business of opposing a credible military threat, rather than seeking out defenceless mineral-rich places to invade.
Diziet Sma wrote:So.. I reckon Afghanistan alone tops anything the British did in China.
If the "wisdom of the crowd" actually worked, we could just have a little poll: "China, Somalia or Afghanistan, democrato-citizens, which was worst?" And the result of that poll would be TRUE HISTORY, by definition.

User avatar
Diziet Sma
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 6310
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:20 pm
Location: Aboard the Pitviper S.E. "Blackwidow"

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Diziet Sma » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:32 am

Wildeblood wrote:I don't believe the propaganda about the CIA and the drug trade. I think you're a victim of the disinformation our old frenemies in the Illuminati put out there, Dizzy.
There we will have to agree to disagree.. I'm pretty careful about my sources, and I very much doubt they're disinfo agents.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

User avatar
Wildeblood
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Wildeblood » Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:44 am

Diziet Sma wrote:
Wildeblood wrote:I don't believe the propaganda about the CIA and the drug trade. I think you're a victim of the disinformation our old frenemies in the Illuminati put out there, Dizzy.
There we will have to agree to disagree.. I'm pretty careful about my sources, and I very much doubt they're disinfo agents.
I wouldn't say it's never happened, but I don't believe it still goes on. Post 11/9/2001, all governments have been throwing money at "intelligence" agencies faster than they could burn it in a bonfire. There's just no motive for them to do any off-the-books fundraising any more. The US government has been giving its espionage agencies an effectively unlimited budget for a lot longer.

As to where the "missing" heroin production goes, I vote for Russia and its satellites; drug addicts lack the wherewithal to form effective secessionist movements. Hmm, you see I don't discount governments being involved in the drug trade as a weapon, just that old chestnut about the CIA being in it for the money.

User avatar
Cmdr James
Commodore
Commodore
Posts: 1267
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Berlin

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Cmdr James » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:34 pm

There is more to having money "off the books" than covering costs. Money that doesnt officially exist can be used for politically dubious purposes (see Iran Contra affair for an example).

And there are many other reasons, most obviously being embedded in the industry gives a huge amount of knowledge about who the key players are, and might have any number of ways the connections could be useful for international influence. There must be, for example, any number of rich people with slightly dirty money and the ability to make a few hundred kilos of whatever show up on a ship whenever you want gives a great cover story for searching, impounding, whatever not to mention the PR coup of "cracking a smuggling ring".

Is the CIA stockpiling heroin? Hard to say but personally I doubt it. But I am sure they maintain some interest in the drugs market because it would be ridiculous for them not to.

User avatar
SteveKing
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:09 am
Location: DownUnder (W Aus)

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by SteveKing » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:38 am

Diziet Sma wrote:
SteveKing wrote:The difficulties with this sort of society is that they are inherently inefficient in some ways - not maximising the potential of the local resources and having to leave the (renewable) resources idle for a period of time to allow them to recover. With these inefficiencies, there is a size/sustainability limit to the group with respect to the local environment and unit type of the group. The size for division is probably determined these days by some sort of fancy sociologist algorithm and (I would think) measurably stable (if not entirely accurate).
I would submit that long-term stability, allowing groups to exist as a part of the ecosystem, rather than as an exploiter of the ecosystem ("maximising the potential of the local resources") is, in fact, more efficient, not less. Excessive resource use, or "maximising the potential of the local resources" as you put it, is practically a defining feature of hierarchical societies, and has typically been at the heart of every collapse of civilisation in recorded history. Civilisations last only a few hundred to a couple of thousand years at best. Tribal societies, on the other hand, changed very little and were relatively stable over hundreds of thousands of years.. so which is the more "efficient" way to live?
Sorry, yes, 'inefficient' is probably not the right word, but 'maximising potential' is better than 'underusing'. Maximising potential is not necessarily 'to the detriment of the environment'. There are probably fomulae that can determine (for any given environment) what the optimum population is for environmental sustainability, which I expect would be more than the size of a prehistoric tribal society. At the time of introducing mass agriculture, I expect that limit had been reached for the given environment and therefore a different approach was sought because the population growth didn't stop and the 'far flung' groups had reached the limit of favourable environmental conditions.
Diziet Sma wrote:
SteveKing wrote:there are (ultimately) finite resources and at each split means the groups have to travel further to find resources for sustainability. Ultimately the farther flung groups have to adapt to changing geographic and/or environmental conditions. They either else die out or be faced with returning to a favourable environment and have to compete for the finite resources. Struggles ensue and the cycle of survival of the fittest continues.
Indeed.. in fact, our present global civilisation has stripped most resources to the point that production levels are falling, or are about to do so. As you're aware, most mineral and metal deposits worldwide have been extracted to the point that all the quality ore is gone, and we're now mining ore that 50 years ago was considered crap. After this present civilisation collapses (and it will), it will be a long time before there are enough raw materials available to allow another technological society to arise.
In this I have a slightly different viewpoint. Yes I agree that the 'easy' raw materials to access have well and truly reached their "peak oil" threshold, but I am confident that there are still 'hard' raw materials in abundance. The limiting factor of extraction is technology and cost. As with all things economic, only when the cost of extraction is lower than the price of demand, will these resources be realised. The easiest example is that of Shale Oil, which when I was at primary school was considered 'crap' - as the availability of easily extractable oil dwindles, the price of oil has risen and is now at the point that Shale Oil is commercially viable to extract. In this context, there is no such thing as 'crap' ore, just 'currently non-profitable' ore.

This in no way puts me at odds with the understanding that raw minerals are 'finite' and at current (world) population levels, the extraction of which cannot be sustained at any level. But this part of the discussion revolves around the economy of accessing these 'easy' resources. Social 'entities' are trying to 'survive' in a crowded environment because no-one has yet thought of a popular 'better' way.

As far as using renewable resources; the opium discussion (and related ideas): In a broad overview, this is not much more than a means to an end (as has been intimated), to ultimately allow those that have (the popular 'democratic' capitalist tribe) to control more and more of the environment and resources from the 'weaker' other tribes (who have not) to sustain their (ultimately) unsustainable position of perceived comfort and privilege (survival).

day wrote:I think this is a consequence of a) resources availability, b) history around them since their creation.
I mean, I don't think it's a cultural difference. With different neighbours and resources availability, these generalisation wouldn't have been made along this axis.
I agree, culture has little to do with it. In a broad sense, it is (primal) human nature that drives all the difficulties in any or all societies - the belief that if we have less, survival would be more problematic and therefore undesirable; as Dismb says "..human greed..", and probably the best we can hope for is that the species will survive when it does fall in a heap.

Following this line, what WB infers is that the 'idiots' are not helping, indeed are actually hindering, what to the minority 'not-idiots' see as solutions to obvious failings in the progression of 'society' with a little logical thought (and a lot of co-operation), if only they weren't allowed to vote :roll:

Lastly - to all in this surprisingly involved thread, it is a pleasure to have something to get some teeth into.
SteveKing
(not quite the author)

User avatar
Wildeblood
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:07 am
Location: Western Australia
Contact:

Re: Idiots allowed to vote.

Post by Wildeblood » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:27 am

Some random just posted this to twitter:

Image

Post Reply