jamesd on December 25, 2010, 05:08:10 pm

But my opinion is that most Russian citizens were no more afraid of the KGB than Americans are afraid of the IRS. And most citizens of Poland, Czechoslovakia etc were no more afraid of the Soviet army than most Panamanians or Salvadorans are afraid of the US army.

That is crazy.  The Soviet Union was a totalitarian terror state.  The Soviet Union had a great big wall with guards with orders to shoot to kill.  The Soviet Union killed millions of its own citizens.  The Soviet Union still had loads of political prisoners in 1989.  Not many political prisoners in the US, though you can lose your job for political incorrectness, particularly if it is a government or quasi government job.

People were not afraid of the KGB until they thought the KGB had noticed them.

Everyone everywhere thought the KGB had noticed them, and usually they were right.  The KGB kept files on everyone.  When I visited Cuba, and asked people certain questions, some people fled in abject terror, as if they feared that they might be punished for the dangerous thoughts such questions might elicit, and others, after first furtively checking to make sure we had total privacy, checking for microphones and hidden listeners, would reply in code, giving politically correct answers for the hidden microphone to pick up, while making a throat slitting gesture or some such to reverse the nominal meaning of their words - pretty much what people in America do, except in America they fear that they will lose their job, while in Cuba they expected to be diagnosed as mentally ill and given electroshock therapy followed by radical lobotomy.


terry_freeman on December 25, 2010, 06:33:43 pm
It is now the case that the Department of Homeland Security keeps files on practically everyone. The reasons for being "on the list" can be unimaginably trivial; a case was recently reported of a person observed taking pictures of a ferry. Who has not done something similar?

A man is in solitary confinement in Guatanamo Bay for allegedly leaking low-level "classified" materials which embarrass the Beltway Regime. Convicted spies who sold much more serious top secret material to the Soviets were not treated so harshly.

If this path continues, the USSA will be every bit as totalitarian as the former USSR.

The only thing preventing it is that millions of Americans still genuinely believe in - and will defend - the rights of free people. Millions of people still mock the TSA, the DHS, and all the myriads of government snoops.

J Thomas on December 25, 2010, 08:19:45 pm

But my opinion is that most Russian citizens were no more afraid of the KGB than Americans are afraid of the IRS. And most citizens of Poland, Czechoslovakia etc were no more afraid of the Soviet army than most Panamanians or Salvadorans are afraid of the US army.

... would reply in code, giving politically correct answers for the hidden microphone to pick up, while making a throat slitting gesture or some such to reverse the nominal meaning of their words - pretty much what people in America do, except in America they fear that they will lose their job, while in Cuba they expected to be diagnosed as mentally ill and given electroshock therapy followed by radical lobotomy.

You agree with me, then, but you stress that Americans are as fearful as Soviet citizens were, while I stress that Soviet citizens were hardly more fearful than Americans are.

Plane on December 26, 2010, 04:57:50 pm
Quote
If the change is big enough to already be producing observable results on the level of adult knowledge, it is far too big to be stopped.

In '06, I made a bet with a generally sensible and well-informed young friend that the US as we know it would not exist in 2016 (he bet that it would continue).  We have one US dollar riding on it.  A few weeks ago, he emailed me saying he thinks he may already owe me that dollar:  "This is not the US I was born in," he wrote, and he's only just past 30.



The USA is very flexable ,in what period of thirty years in our history has the US continued without major change of some sort?

My Father turned 50 in 1976 He was therfore "witness" to a quarter of USA history. I turned fifty in 2009 so I am just old enough to well remember segregation being the law.If I live to be seventy I wil be witness to a quarter of the history of my nation myself. I don't expect that in any thirty year period that we will be frozen into place.

Claim your dollar, but you will still hae a place to spend it.

Plane on December 26, 2010, 05:13:14 pm
If I ran a bar on Ceries ...



If I noticed that cheating was causing fights , casualties of my regulars and being bad for my business.

I might install cameras, hire bouncers , monitor for cheating and post warnings against the forms of cheating I would not tolerate.

Within my bar I might become big brother.

But would this attract patrons or repell them?

If I were to notice a cheat and want to avoid fighting , I think I would just spike his drink with phenolphthalein.Then I would be a sneak but not get known as BB.  Does government grow accidentally in ungoverned situations?


http://www.answers.com/topic/phenolphthalein

mellyrn on December 26, 2010, 06:38:07 pm
Quote
Within my bar I might become big brother.

But would this attract patrons or repell them?

Surveillance cameras would repel me, but that's just my preference.  It's your house.  Try 'em and see how business goes, and adjust accordingly.

Quote
Does government grow accidentally in ungoverned situations?

Government does seem to be the H. sapiens postagriculturis version of termite mounds or bowerbird bowers.

When we wake up and start paying attention, using more of our reason and less of our patterns & habits, we find our mounds and bowers inadequate to a fully conscious life.

SandySandfort on December 26, 2010, 07:50:12 pm
Claim your dollar, but you will still hae a place to spend it.

My best guess is that within a dozen years, there will be no dollar. Maybe a variety of "new" dollars, but not what we have today. Variety, because there will be no United States as we know it today. Remember the economic implosion of the USSR? The man in the street didn't see that one coming either. Good luck.

SandySandfort on December 26, 2010, 08:00:17 pm
If I ran a bar on Ceries ...
Within my bar I might become big brother.
But would this attract patrons or repell them?

Yes, both. That is the free market in action.

If I were to notice a cheat and want to avoid fighting , I think I would just spike his drink...

So let me get this straight, you would initiate force against someone, just because you think he is cheating. Hell, why not just use arsenic and kill the cheater? Man, you are going to lose your bar, your reputation and maybe your freedom. Again, good luck.

Plane on December 27, 2010, 06:57:43 am
If I ran a bar on Ceries ...
Within my bar I might become big brother.
But would this attract patrons or repell them?

Yes, both. That is the free market in action.

If I were to notice a cheat and want to avoid fighting , I think I would just spike his drink...

So let me get this straight, you would initiate force against someone, just because you think he is cheating. Hell, why not just use arsenic and kill the cheater? Man, you are going to lose your bar, your reputation and maybe your freedom. Again, good luck.

I notice a guy cheating a group of brusers who will surely kill him when they notice , and I do what ? Sell tickets?

SandySandfort on December 27, 2010, 07:44:23 am
I notice a guy cheating a group of brusers who will surely kill him when they notice , and I do what ? Sell tickets?

Aside from your own violent fantasies, what reason do you have to believe:

1) The cheated "bruisers" will take any action much less extreme physical action? They could just stop playing with the guy.

2) If they took action, they would start with a physical, instead of a verbal, confrontation? I think, "Hey, give us back the money you cheated from us!" might be more then sufficient when demanded by your mythical bruisers.

3) If they they took physical action it would be violent? After all, they are bruisers and the cheat is only one person. They could just reach across the table and confiscate his chips. Do you think the cheat would start a fight with the bruisers?

Your response reeks of special pleading concocted to reach your pre-determined conclusion. Before we can accept it, you have to justify your assumptions that are addressed in my three questions, above.

J Thomas on December 27, 2010, 08:08:30 am

If I were to notice a cheat and want to avoid fighting , I think I would just spike his drink...

So let me get this straight, you would initiate force against someone, just because you think he is cheating. Hell, why not just use arsenic and kill the cheater? Man, you are going to lose your bar, your reputation and maybe your freedom. Again, good luck.

I notice a guy cheating a group of brusers who will surely kill him when they notice , and I do what ? Sell tickets?

It's your call. You could just tell him to leave and not come back, make a scene. He's likely pretty clueless if he's cheating dangerous people in a way that you notice, so he'll likely yell about his rights and so on. And he could be clueless that way and still be far more dangerous than he looks. He could be carrying any sort of concealed weapon in existence.

Bartenders have traditionally used chloral hydrate for this sort of thing. There are surely better drugs available.

If your customers trust you, you could have electronic cards. Arrange it so they get a fair deal and no mechanical chances to cheat. That could reduce problems. Do they trust you? You could buy an open-source sealed system from me, if they trust me....

So anyway, you have a customer that you think is about to cause problems for you and maybe for himself. You drug him. You protect his unconscious (or excrement-spurting) body from anybody who might hurt him, and you protect his property. He later gets evidence that he's been drugged and he sues you. Did you have a right to do that? It depends on local custom, Was he drinking alcohol, a drug that in excess would leave him vomiting or unconscious? Some places you could make the argument that you had that right, and you swear you'd only do it when it was necessary in your mature judgement, and customers who trust you and your judgement would not hold it against you.

If you actually have evidence he was cheating (video or whatever) he'll likely not want to sue. Your evidence comes out and he has his own troubles. But will he sue anyway? Then it comes out that he was cheating and you protected him (and his early winnings) from your other customers. Maybe that makes you look bad too. Depending on what he has to lose, he might try to blackmail you. You have an established business which could lose its reputation. He has to survive in your town for two days before he ships out to parts unknown. Who comes out worse?

Your rights as a bartender depend entirely on local custom. Giving somebody a mickey is obviously illegal by government law, but there are bars within 30 miles of my home where it happens, and for that matter where customers can sometimes pay to have it done to other customers at the bartender's judgement.

On the other hand, you could wait until a fight has broken out and then take sides. You could make all your furnishings bulletproof. You could have a bulletproof holo display of your decorative bottles behind the bar..... Then you don't have to initiate force against anybody until after he has initiated force against your property by for example shooting somebody who then bleeds on it.... There's people who'd prefer a bar like that.

Horses for courses. Do it the way you think best, and then if the wrong sort of customer walks in you could get sued almost no matter what you do. Hope for a good arbitrator. "The outcome of a bona fide fair trial is always something of a tossup."

mellyrn on December 27, 2010, 08:12:01 am
Quote
I notice a guy cheating a group of brusers who will surely kill him when they notice , and I do what ? Sell tickets?

Ooo, could be a good one, with the right bar owner!

What, specifically, would you do, your own self, if you were in a bar and the owner suddenly started hawking tickets like a carnie, for a ringside seat at a fight between patron A, "The Great Flying Lizard!!!" and patrons B, C, and D, "The Killing Quartet!!!"  (yes, I know I listed 3; so I'm not a stand-up comic, OK?)

What would [insert real-life known person, like your best college bud, here] be likely to do?

If the owner were funny enough, the whole thing could collapse, ending in the cheater's searing public humiliation.

If the bruisers were regulars, they might well have seen the performance before, which (since they have obviously returned to this bar or they wouldn't be "regulars") would then be even more effective, as they played along and had their fun watching the consternation of the cheater.

If it were me -- not funny enough -- I'd loudly remind the bruisers (and everyone else) of the house rule:  No Killing Other Patrons Under My Roof And Most Especially NO Killing Other Patrons Before They've Paid Their Tab.

Outside, after his tab's paid?  Not my business.  A free society is a dangerous place to live.  A statist society is even more dangerous, owing to its illusion of safety.

Holt on January 01, 2011, 09:03:13 am
It is now the case that the Department of Homeland Security keeps files on practically everyone. The reasons for being "on the list" can be unimaginably trivial; a case was recently reported of a person observed taking pictures of a ferry. Who has not done something similar?

A man is in solitary confinement in Guatanamo Bay for allegedly leaking low-level "classified" materials which embarrass the Beltway Regime. Convicted spies who sold much more serious top secret material to the Soviets were not treated so harshly.

If this path continues, the USSA will be every bit as totalitarian as the former USSR.

The only thing preventing it is that millions of Americans still genuinely believe in - and will defend - the rights of free people. Millions of people still mock the TSA, the DHS, and all the myriads of government snoops.


Yes but once the millennial generation becomes a voter block that'll change since the majority of them are completely amoral puppets of anyone they perceive as having authority. The Boomers are a mixed bag on it as they're the ones demanding all this extra safety but they're also speaking out against it. Fucking worthless bunch I say. Gen X is even more mixed and Gen Y tends to be pretty consistent in hating government (not that we ever have enough money to use planes or warrant the government snooping in our lives).


quadibloc on January 01, 2011, 02:13:39 pm
A free society is a dangerous place to live.
No wonder I don't understand AnCap properly.

I had believed that a necessary condition that a society must fulfill in order to be free is to be utterly safe. If there are people who are threatening you with violence that you need to be concerned about, then you are not free - even if it is not the government that is your master.

Now, it may be that you are able to defend yourself against them, so that you have the hope of becoming free, which may be lacking in some statist societies, particularly the non-democratic kind. But freedom is what you have in between attempts to rob you or bully you - when the reward for leaving others in peace is that you are left in peace, and the fruits of your labor are yours to keep.

J Thomas on January 01, 2011, 03:06:51 pm
A free society is a dangerous place to live.
No wonder I don't understand AnCap properly.

I had believed that a necessary condition that a society must fulfill in order to be free is to be utterly safe.

OK, that's one possible way to look at it.

So, for you to be utterly safe from everybody else, and for everybody else to be utterly safe from you, perhaps everybody should be locked up in cages that will keep them apart where they can't hurt each other?

Here's another way to look at it. Maybe human beings don't feel fulfilled unless they get some occasional excitement. And maybe one of the ways they can get some excitement is to face the possibility of danger. (Which reminds me of a line from RA Lafferty's Annals of Klepsis. A slave came to an important foreign dignitary with a plate of grapes and she said she did not want grapes, she only wanted fruit that had the possibility of worms. Sometime later the slave came back with apples and peaches etc, and she found a worm in an apple. She complained vociferously. "I said I wanted the possibility of worms! I sure do not want the actuality of worms!")

If you interact with a lot of other people, and there is a chance that they will overstep all polite boundaries, and if so you can threaten them over it and probably they will apologize but just maybe you'll wind up fighting them to the death or something -- that might be a more satisfying way to live than when there is a government that prevents all possibility of anything like that. At least for some people. Maybe a lot of people. I guess you could try it both ways and see what's true for you.

Obviously you don't want a society where other people often rob you and get away with it. Or commit rape or other personal indignities. We want a reasonable balance between excitement and loss. But societies go every which way. I can even imagine in an AnCap society it might be possible to make a living by getting paid to threaten people and then back down, so they look good. Stranger things have happened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7etaaeMr-FY&feature=player_embedded

 

anything