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About theguyfromtheVale

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    Curry Murderer

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  1. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    @ummester: You're barking up the wrong tree; I'm not a US citizen. ETA: As for what America has to lose, there's still a difference between a self-made millionaire daughter of small business owners and the self-declared billionaire heir of a multi-million fortune in terms of actual plutocracy. The difference, here, is between allowing the rich too much access to power - or handing the power to the rich themselves. One need not like either to still have a preference. As for what I have to lose, not much, admittedly - but many of my friends have. Sometimes, policy preferences do not have to be about yourself for you to have an opinion, you know. Everything I've seen about Clinton running so far has been indicating that she'd not pursue TPP further, yes. If nothing else, her forcing pro-TPP Tim Kaine to change his stance means she wants to display a clear position on this issue. There's various ways she might have fudged the issue; she's consistently chosen one position on TPP since starting her campaign, and that position has been not to support TPP.
  2. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    Yes, they often fizzle out. But not always, and the risk of them turning the democracy into a dictatorship is too great for me to take that gamble.
  3. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    Agreed on Austria. Luckily, Schill fizzled out rather embarrasingly. As for France, its insitutions are pretty much build around a two-party system, and indeed it was until very recently.
  4. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    Sure. But in countries with multi-party systems, movements like the Tea Party or the Trumpites never even get to the point that they influence policy to the same extent, because the party that would be representing the establishment Republicans could simply decide not to form a coalition with them, something they have no choice not to do in a two-party system.
  5. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    I agree with much of what you're saying there, HE. Not with everything; I think there are some choices too terrible to make (hence constitutional safeguards, checks and balances, and so on), in particular the democratic choice to end democracy or develop into a tyranny of the majority where the losers of the last election get entirely disenfranchised. I wouldn't claim to have the perfect answers to those problems either, though. But while I see the falsification argument for two-party democracies, I'm a bit reluctant to follow it to its conclusions. In particular, I fear that a two-party system is in some ways worse at getting rid of bad ideas if these ideas keep lingering on in the ideological background of one of the two parties. In particular, I'd argue that racism is such a bad idea. But while in a multi-party democracy, non-racist conservatives have a choice of possible coalitions to make (e.g., they can ally with pro-market libertarians, racist right-wingers, or form a "grand coalition" with the social democrats), in a two-party system they can't actually get rid of their in-party racists the same way. When more than one quarter of the populace has a certain idea that is abhorrent to the rest of the populace, in a three- or more-party democracy the other parties can still make sure that idea doesn't get into power. In a two-party democracy, that idea, discredited for the majority, will still be able to control government for about half of the time. ETA: In some ways, what I'm saying is that while multiparty democracies are bad at getting rid of moderately bad ideas, they may be in some ways better at getting rid of terrible ideas as long as the ability to compromise is retained.
  6. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    That's a bit of an exaggeration, but I don't think it's entirely wrong. I think some general directions of what they want to achieve is still desirable; that's why we should have an election, after all. But inside those rough ideological guidelines, I still want somebody who can deliberate issues with input from several perspectives instead of only their own. In a two-party system in particular, that's the case; in a multiparty democracy, the voters at least have a choice beyond the binary decision for the lesser of two evils.
  7. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    Public opinion changed because many people changed their mind. Why can't Hillary Clinton be one of them? In the oh so distant 90es, gay marriage was an absolute fringe position, after all. Hillary tried to reform Health Care in the US in the 90ies. She accepted campaign donations from the health care industry a decade later. There's no evidence of wrongdoing here. More to the point, I like politicians who listen to their constituencies and who are able to change their mind based on evidence. Even more so if they change their mind in a direction I like. Why on earth should I condemn a politician for coming to a more enlightened position, along with the rest of the populace? I want a smart person as the most powerful politician in the world, not some mindless ideologue or raging lunatic.
  8. US Elections - There is 'Ahead in the Polls' behind you

    Indeed, I wonder where this Clinton-specific distrust is coming from. If there's anyone who looks like a pathological liar in this race, it's Trump. And that impression is based on the way he has led his campaign, not some elaborate conspiracy theory.
  9. The Euro is a de facto gold standard for Greece because it's impossible to independently devalue their currency and reduce their effective debt burden or improve their export competitiveness. Yes, there were other issues with Greece. Greece's problems are far from monocausal, but Greece being part of the Euro zone is one of the bigger ones.
  10. No. Culture is no zero-sum game. The richest cultures are often those with the most outside influence. Also, cultures are constantly changing. A constant culture is a dead culture. Countries that tried to conserve their cultural status quo usually ended up far behind in just about every metric one might imagine. Just look at China or Japan during the 16th to 19th centuries. The guy in the video is a cultural essentialist. Which... eh, well, doesn't really work with the above. And no, gold standards are terrible. If you want to see the consequences of a gold standard, look no further than Greece, which operates under a de facto gold standard.
  11. Yes, but there were always clear paths to wealth for poor Romans even back then. Veterans were granted large estates after conquests, for example. So, in a way, widespread slavery enabled the military power of Rome. Also, by the time the Roman Empire fell, the worst excesses of Roman slyvery was well in the past. By the 2nd century CE, slaves had gained some rights and the number of additional slaves fell due to the reduced expansion of the Roman Empire. Or, in other words, the high-water mark for Roman slavery coincides with the high-water mark for Roman culture: 200 BCE-100 CE or so.
  12. ummester, the Roman empire had successfully integrated immigrant (or conquered) peoples for centuries by the 5th century CE. The problem wasn't new people arriving. The problem was letting the newcomers hang dry for several years until they started rioting.
  13. Cooking 5: This Time, It's Personal (Pan Pizzas)

    What kind of beans? Also, fresh beans are all kinds of delicious in the right recipe, so I guess I could help out more if I were allowed to post actual bean dish recipes
  14. US elections - may the polls be ever in your favor

    While there was plenty crazy in 2012, the sane option prevailed. None of the ones you mentioned ever came close to challenging Romney. This time around, the most crazy candidate won, and second place went to the arguably second most crazy candidate.
  15. Programming language for kids?

    I'll agree with all those who said Python. It's relatively close to natural language (compared to other programming languages, anyway), doesn't use a potentially confusing amount of different brackets, and it teaches decent programming style through its syntax.