@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

BeautifulMind

@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world

Late-diagnosed autistic, special interest-haver, dad, cyclist, software professional

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BeautifulMind,
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It’s not so bad once you’ve got your teeth into the problem

assuming you can code, that is

BeautifulMind,
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Fun fact: spreading conspiracy theories about the evils of fluoride in the water (it’s mind control! pollutes our precious bodily fluids!) was one of the talking points that crypto-fascists threw against the wall to see if it would stick- if you recall the line about your “precious bodily fluids” in Dr. Strangelove, that was a nod to that particular vein of conspiracy theory that was making the rounds in the far-loony fringes of what was then the Republican party

BeautifulMind,
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Translation: “We can’t have it how I want it because you fucking people don’t want that”

BeautifulMind,
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Where is Russia 2 miles from Alaska?

The international border goes between the islands of little and big Diomede. Both of these islands are remote from land in either direction, and they are situated about midway in the narrowest part of the Bering Strait.

Since you asked where, here it is on a map

Yep, that’s pretty close, but nope, that’s not really tactically meaningful.

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

I’m pretty sure California could defeat Russia

California has more blue-water navy in San Diego than Russia has in the world. It also has more air force stationed there than Russia has.

(granted, these are US forces, not California forces, but there is no real-world scenario right now in which California would face invasion without the full military support of United States and NATO)

BeautifulMind,
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All of these locations (Alaska, California, Hawaii, much of eastern Europe) are ones that Russia has at one point in its imperial or soviet history had either outposts or territorial claim to. Of course, much of Eastern Europe was as recently as the 1980s under the Kremlin’s direct control, either as puppet states or as territory Russia or the USSR directly claimed. Finland and Poland in particular have both been completely invaded by Russian forces multiple times, but at the moment they are built up defensively in ways that Russia quite honestly has zero chances of winning against.

Alaska was territory that imperial Russia claimed before any European country did. It was sold to the US during the Crimean war (1853) because Russia needed the money and in all likelihood it was going to lose it to Britain. Russia established early trading outposts in Alaska and California but sold or abandoned them after wiping out the fur animals they’d come to harvest and trade.

This talk for the benefit of Russian audiences is about reminding Russians of former imperial or soviet glory, but the problem with that historically is that it wasn’t actually glorious.

The current propaganda push to get Russians thinking they really have a shot at rolling back the map changes since Imperial times is just an effort to sustain Russia’s modern project: dismantling the post-WWII order in which the West (the US, in particular, but NATO and much of the UN) upholds alliances that Putin sees as against Russia’s interests.

BeautifulMind,
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You mean something like a third Reich?

Well, yeah. In very real ways WWII was about upending the post-WW1 order (which was punitive of Germany generally). It’s really interesting to understand how crazy the flows of money were, and how badly the US in particular bungled its role as the issuer of the world’s de facto reserve currency at the time- in the aftermath of WWI, Germany and its allies were made to pay reparations, France occupied the industrial territory on their border, and any money France or Belgium or Holland received in reparations promptly went to American banks, to repay war bonds borrowed to finance the fighting (which had, in turn, been spent in American factories on war materiel, weapons, munitions, etc).

www.theatlantic.com/international/…/384034/(sorry this is paywalled now, it was a really good read when it was available so I’ll summarize briefly)

By the end of the first world war, all of the belligerent nations’ economies were in tatters, their leadership were forced to inflate their currencies to make payments- but the US declined to inflate its own currency to make it workable for them- and when the US didn’t think about its new role in maintaining a viable world order, it put everyone that owed it anything in the position of paying their debts not in their own inflated currencies, but in US dollars. This essentially collapsed the German economy and its currency, and it was just unnecessary.

BeautifulMind,
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Sorry- I didn’t know that part off the top of my head But since you asked, Russia’s presence in Hawaii was sort of like its presence in Alaska and California: early 1800s outposts established by agents acting on behalf of the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian-American_Company, which the Russian Crown had granted a monopoly on operations in North America and the Pacific but was unable to back or support such claims.

BeautifulMind, (edited )
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Grew up in a rural red state. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to really understand their politics, and as best I can summarize, here it is:

  • They are angry about how life has gotten worse for them, economically and culturally.
  • They have very good reason to be angry about that, because it has.
  • They are misinformed about what changed since the 50s and 60s, and too many of them seem to think more racism and sexism will restore their prosperity and dignity
  • They have decided the only thing to do about it any more is to burn everything down until they get the respect they feel entitled to
  • They are sincerely sad and angry it hasn’t worked yet

The shorter story here, of course, is that the establishment GOP of the late 70s underestimated the willingness of its fascist wing to not die and completely didn’t do the necessary things to prevent the party from being almost completely taken over by fascists

BeautifulMind,
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Yeah and it’s also accusing libraries of being drug-infested sex dens

spoilerhttps://lemmy.world/pictrs/image/d5951b78-7f1d-46cc-90fc-829d19ecaca5.png___

It’s as if Fox News is not a reasonable source for anything but counterfactual nonsense

BeautifulMind,
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23k is the max annual contribution

If you’re over 50, you can put $30,500 in your 401k, the extra $7500 per year is called a ‘catch-up contribution’

BeautifulMind,
@BeautifulMind@lemmy.world avatar

I wonder why we can’t just decode the term ‘settler’ for what it is:

“terrorist”, but with state aegis and pliant media cooking up anodyne narrative cover

BeautifulMind,
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Has finance guru Dave Ramsey looked at the cost of housing compared to what working people earn? It’s very different now than it was when the boomers were able to buy houses on the income of a single entry-level wage earner per household.

One wonders whether ‘finance gurus’ aren’t just out-of-touch boomers any more

BeautifulMind,
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Oh but it’s super-entertaining to punch up to boomers

BeautifulMind,
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It’s true that the cultural left didn’t suppress wages or unions or offshore manufacturing jobs or cause all those farms to fail or any of those other things, but one thing that made the left vulnerable to such charges is that when the Democrats embraced neoliberalism, they implicitly became the party of credentialed professionals. When the Democrats abandoned the working class to compete for the donor dollars the right had long enjoyed, it meant that the working class went from having 1 party for it to having 2 parties actively working against its interests.

It’s so wild to me that the GOP has been considered the working man’s party by anyone since the 1890s

BeautifulMind,
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So if I’m mathing correctly, logic dictates that we break them both

BeautifulMind,
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Legitimately, how do they fix this? Like what options are there?

When it’s a feature and not a bug, you don’t “fix” it, it is working exactly as planned.

In the first paragraph the article all but prompts the Fed to jack up interest rates, which makes borrowing money more expensive and when employers don’t borrow or spend on payroll, the result is more people lose jobs and when fewer people have money, in theory that should reduce upward demand pressure on consumer goods prices. In short, jacking up interest rates is the Fed’s way of prompting layoffs and wage cuts- by making working people poorer. They’ve been doing this very effectively to keep wages under control, so much so that even when ‘inflation’ like this is just price gouging it’s the first thing Wall Street wants to hear.

Of course, this ‘interest rates fight inflation’ mantra assumes that the inflation is really caused by too much money out there competing to buy too few goods and services, but when it’s the result of price collusion or just price gouging, it means prices for things went up and wages just went down. (and that in turn makes Wall Street fat and happy)

In the case of real estate, it’s been established that real estate commissions (and prices) have been inflated due to price collusion among realtor groups- in the case of rents, there is a lawsuit over price collusion driving rents up.

When it comes to gas prices, that’s less likely to be price gouging but it is very likely to be the consequence of supply/production decisions made with politics in mind, by people that probably stand to gain politically if voters vote against the incumbent.

BeautifulMind,
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Consider the possibility that the game here does not depend on Trump winning in the Electoral college- all that needs to happen is Biden not winning 271 or more EC votes for the congress to decide the presidency via the Contingent Election process outlined in article2, sec1 clause3 of the constitution, later modified in the 12th amendment.

In that scenario, each state delegation has 1 vote- and the GOP has enough state-level gerrymanders to control enough state delegations that if it comes to pass that the 12th Amendment process decides the presidency, they are very likely going to be able to install whoever they want.

If the smart money in the GOP has decided Trump won’t win but it still wants him in the oval, anything that prevents Biden from getting 270+ gets them better odds than any other pathway

BeautifulMind,
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If the penalty for a crime is a fine, that just means it’s legal for the wealthy/only a crime for the competition that doesn’t have money to burn.

Frankly it’s about damned time criminal corporations had to worry about having their charters yanked

BeautifulMind, (edited )
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There’s a couple of things at play here:

Where the infra (say it’s the road) isn’t adequately engineered to accommodate cycling and driving at the same time, it’s going to give drivers the experience that the road is a scarce resource and when resources are scarce, some folks are going to think in eliminationist terms (e.g. if those people just didn’t exist, everything would be fine) or the part of their brains that descends from people that wiped out competing clans and took their resources rules the moment and they set about violently defending ‘their’ resources.

The folks most-triggered at being made to share the road with cyclists really do some mental gymnastics to frame it in a way that they’re really the victims here and it’s cyclists, not the road engineering, that are the problem. Oh, poor me those cyclists don’t pay taxes and I subsidize their use of my roads bla bla bla and eventually that comes out in the form of vehicular assault to teach cyclists a lesson to stay off their roads. It’s bullshit all the way down of course, but that way they get to feel like the good guys while still bullying and murdering cyclists.

Also, it’s not by accident that the ‘everything is woke’ people are the first to engage in whatever moral panic that’s directing political violence at today’s boogeyman- whether it’s trans people in bathrooms, or gay people generally, or pregnant women that have ideas about bodily autonomy, their targets are always a tiny vulnerable demographic and uniting to put them in their place is an exercise in maintaining or restoring what they think order ought to look like. If they’re not putting people into the bottom rung of whatever hierarchy they think they’re defending, probably they think it’s the end of order or civilization or the like and they’ve failed in their duties to uphold order. Keeping them agitated about (and acting out about) moral panics is an effective way for lobby groups to pit people against scapegoats to keep their ire focused away from themselves or their patrons.

BeautifulMind, (edited )
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When you have financial engineers overriding the decisions of mechanical engineers, you get crashy airplanes and eventually, caught up murdering people that might talk to investigators in order to defend those juicy profits

…sort of like how when administrators and insurance folk and lawyers and judges override the decisions of doctors and nurses, you end up with highly profitable hospitals and people dying for it

…all a bit like when the bean counters run your software company, layoffs designed to boost stock price by showing investors ‘fiscal discipline’ leaves your engineering teams shorthanded and forces them to de-prioritize bug fixes and dealing with technical debt and rigorous testing and you end up shipping lots of bugs when you release your product

BeautifulMind,
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The US is monetarily sovereign and can always issue enough currency to meet any demands upon it.

Yes. When congress appropriates funding and it’s signed into law, the effect is that the US Treasury spends that money into existence. The mechanism, of course, is that Treasury directs the fed to issue bonds to create the money, and when you pay taxes that money doesn’t go into an account Congress can spend from, it goes back to the fed to zero out the bonds used to create it.

Of course, if we continue cutting taxes the way we have, that will eventually balloon the amount of currency in circulation and that can be problematic if it’s untethered to reality

BeautifulMind,
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Damn you, I’m in

BeautifulMind, (edited )
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“should we get rid of the cap so the rich pay a fair share or keep it and collectively pay for things by way of inflation?”

The problem with the latter is honestly that inflation hurts the poor a lot more than it does the wealthy and if anything, gives the wealthy a lot more power. Power is really the issue here- when the rich have the ability to override democracy by spending money, that’s a big damned problem

BeautifulMind, (edited )
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Also it occurs to me that there are other factors that disqualify candidates from being president- the bit about being 35 or older means AOC can’t be president right now and the bit about being a natural-born citizen disqualifies Schwarzenegger and isn’t it interesting that the court hasn’t taken up the issue on how that denies voters their democratic rights? I mean, when you want to understand how to apply the constitution as it pertains to who may not serve in office, don’t you want to consider all the disqualifiers and their mechanisms?

If you’re under 35 or foreign-born, it doesn’t take an act of congress to bar you from office, those things are the law and already in the constitution with plain wording. A plain reading of sec 3 of the 14th amendment basically reads as if the authors of the amendment intended it to take an act of congress (with 2/3rds majorities, in both houses) to allow an insurrectionist that previously took an oath of office to serve again, but the court magically inverted that by asserting the only congress could invoke section 3

Nope, this is the court bending over backwards to deliver a political outcome

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