Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

Bucky Covington – Different World

A evening pause: Performed live in 2014.

Hat tip Mike Nelson, who notes that the song probably “resonates far more to you and me than the performer. The lyrics trigger vibrant memories of my life as a kid in the 1960s going to Redeemer Lutheran grade school.” I agree, as someone who also grew up in the 1960s going to public school in Brooklyn, New York. Yet, I also suspect that Covington’s childhood, born in 1977 in North Carolina and growing up in the 1980s, was not that much different. No computers, and as a kid you played outside.

And most important of all, you grew up with a mother and a father, who were committed to staying together to raise their kids. That time is sadly long gone, and the children since have suffered terribly because of it.

.

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115 comments

  • Gary M.

    Thank goodness I grew up just like that on the family farm. Forms my perspective on the world today.

  • Lee S

    Sometimes it’s much better for children to have a mother and father that no longer live together, rather than to be raised in a war zone.

  • Lee S: The problem with you is that too often you seem totally uninterested in looking up some data, and are instead more interested in wallowing in your emotions. (See my comment to you in the coronavirus thread.)

    I cannot count the number of studies that I’ve read that repeatedly show that children are almost always better off in a home with a father and a mother. The few exceptions prove the rule.

    Moreover, this data, as well as our society’s obvious social chaos today because of an epidemic of broken homes, proves that without doubt the future is grim if you encourage parents to separate.

    You however prefer to focus on the rare exceptions, rather than these very well documented facts.

    And don’t take this personal. I am not talking about you. I am talking research and science and the knowledge that humanity has gathered over eons. Society is better off raising children within secure normal families.

  • Lee S

    Well Bob, I AM talking about me, and my children are more secure, happier and doing better at school since myself and my ex separated and devorced. Indeed, myself and my ex get on better since. Unlike your beloved US, the normal situation over here is that parents get 50% rights.. my kids have one week with me, the next with their mother. They are loved, and know it, and I’m sure they are going to grow up into well balanced wonderful adults.
    I understand this situation is not the normal over there, where one parent gets custody, and the other gets a day a week or whatever… But perhaps we have stumbled upon a subject you are willing to admit we in Northern Europe do better than the US.
    I respect your opinion on most matters Bob…. But your probably better off talking about space, and not about how to raise the perfect family.

  • Lee S: In your comment here you encapsulate all the problems you seem to have with discussing any of this stuff with the people at this website. It appears, from your own words here, that you base all your conclusions entirely on your own personal experience, and dismiss entirely any outside data. In other threads you conclude the U.S. system is failing because of what you saw, in several visits to very specific places.

    When others raise data that contradicts your personal experience, you reject it, referring repeatedly again to your personal experience.

    This is exactly what you did here. Your family is the exception. I thought I made that clear in my comment. I was referring to the copious data that proves this fact.

    Then, because the facts I cite contradict your personal experience, you suggest I should shut up and only write about space. How open-minded of you!

    Note that I am not telling you to be quiet. I am only trying to point out facts that might educate you. You should try to expand your experience and knowledge base, outside of that personal perspective.

  • Lee S

    Bob, sorry I was very short tempered last night, I snapped more than I intended.
    Whilst I do place an awful lot of onus on “boots in the ground” data… IE, my own experience, I always take in the scientifically proven data also…. Regardless of tides on Titan or tides in parenting .. but you must be aware of 2 important points here when discussing parenting outcomes…. 1, I can only presume that very much, if not all of your data applies only to the US… And almost all of the US data regarding parenting outcomes is aimed at underprivileged black families , raised in less than ideal environments, and where it’s almost normal for a mother to be single… The Nordic results are very,very different… I did a quick search and could not find anything in English, I can keep searching into the data available should you wish… I know there are studies out there in English, I have read them, but couldn’t put my finger on them tonight.
    My point Nr.2 is, You have no problems considering scientific data to be “massaged” to suit an agenda when it comes to climate change, you indeed virtually dismiss the data when you disagree with it. Now, I am not saying you are wrong, indeed I agree in many instances, but why do you consider the data I have personally collected, and report from ground truth to be less valid that data that you yourself consider to be open to misinterpretation?
    I have no agenda… I just keep my eyes open and learn from as many sources as I can… ( And this is a great source… And believe or not, I do learn a lot from Behind the Black)… But the longer I hang around this space, the more amazed at the americacentric view of yourself and the esteemed fellow patrons…
    You, and I would hope that many fellow readers here have traveled enough to realise that things can be different elsewhere, and still be fine…. The US is not perfect, Sweden is not perfect, the UK is far from perfect right now ( in my opinion..) but we are all living our lives, going about our days, and hopefully having time to check out all the cool space stuff occuring.
    I mean no disrespect or hurt…. We think a little differently is all, and I ask for that to be respected, (especially in family matters.. scientifically proven ;-)

  • Lee S

    And as a side note… Quote…”Note that I am not telling you to be quiet”…. Another reason I love this place…. You keep a remarkable space Bob…. You make me grind my teeth sometimes…. But you and your regulars keep me alert…. ( And both out counties need lerts!)

  • Lee S: Note that you did try to tell me to be quiet. I think you should dwell on this, quite deeply.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “But the longer I hang around this space, the more amazed at the americacentric view of yourself and the esteemed fellow patrons…

    That is hilarious. I got a good laugh out of it. Here you are, the guy who only considers his own personal experiences in forming his philosophies and his lifestyle (Euro-centric?), telling the rest of us that we think the universe revolves around us. (Actually it just revolves around me, since science confirms that no matter where I go I am always at the center of the universe, but that is another story.)

    Sorry. That was another laughing fit.

    You, and I would hope that many fellow readers here have traveled enough to realise that things can be different elsewhere, and still be fine

    We understand that things are “fine” elsewhere, and that is OK, but mediocrity does not interest us the way it interests you. Apparently, a desire to improve ourselves, our lives, and our country looks like national-centricity, to you.

    You have no problems considering scientific data to be ‘massaged’ to suit an agenda when it comes to climate change

    You do not recognize fudged data when you see it. You have not learned as much as you think you did, on this site.

    The data was modified without notice and without explanation. This is the very definition of fudged data.

    In addition, to add to the suspicion, the modified data almost perfectly fit the hypothesis that was trying to be proved. In some mysterious way, the “correct” data matches the expectation of the people doing the curve fitting — er — data manipulation — er — data correction (yeah, that’s the ticket). If it had been legitimate, then the changes would have been announced, explained, and the resulting miraculous fit accepted by the rest of the scientific community. Instead, climatology is now a suspect science. Methodologies in the rest of science are now being questioned within the science community.

  • Lee S

    Edward, your comment on my comments made me laugh so much I couldn’t be bothered to address your points one by one, but your obliviousness to both the points I am making, and the actual facts of what we discuss make me wonder… ( By the way… “Fine” is a compliment in the English language, somewhere between “ok” and perfect… Think “it’s a fine piece of engineering” ). The Swedish life, for the average blue collar worker is fine… The same cannot be said for the US.
    I have litteraly just been sent home from work because my ex wife, and my son are showing symptoms of Corona virus… They are self isolating, also my daughter and I are told to self isolate .. we will not lose a penny in wages due to good social insurance. This will save me digging into my meager savings, and is a welcomed return on my tax payments. The same scenario will not play out for the millions of Americans with no insurance, and those working zero day contracts, basically those millions of citizens who are forgotten in our discussions about the merits of the USA.
    I’m always attacked with comments regarding how the “land of the free” is so superior to any other place on earth, how I am deluded to think I live in a land which, heaven forbid, could be superior to the US in any possible way….
    Big news you guys…. The USA is not the best in the world at everything, indeed there are many metrics in which the US is remarkably bad a, for a first world country.
    I’m guessing all my assailants on this forum are older, reasonably affluent white guys, because no one sheds a tear for, or even acknowledges the poverty so prevalent in your oh so wonderful land. I am so sick of you spouting all the virtues and being blind to the MANY faults of your beloved homeland, while having only criticism for anywhere else. You need to get over yourselves guys…. The other 95% of the world tends to just shake it’s collective head and wish you had grown up a little less selfish and a little better behaved.
    I know I’m going to get untold abuse for this post, but sometimes honest is the best policy, and often honesty hurts.
    Once again, get over yourselves guys… If the small people you never see, but who you unknowingly rely upon start dropping like fly’s ( due to no insurance… ) Your towers will begin to tumble. Perhaps then you will understand why a little society is better than living your life “me first”

  • Lee S

    And before the abuse fly’s in….. Please show me unbiased figures about how your poverty levels are not the worst for a 1st world country, please show me some acctual proof rather than rhetoric regarding cost Vs outcome of your health system…. ( Per capita… Remember the European systems cover EVERYONE, not just those lucky enough to afford private insurance), gun deaths in the western world, unneeded wars started over lies, the list could continue…

  • Cotour

    Everything is relative Lee S:

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2015/09/16/are-there-really-40-million-poor-americans-looking-at-the-census-bureaus-definition-of-poverty/

    “According to the government’s own reports, the typical American defined as poor by the Census Bureau has a car, air conditioning, and cable or satellite TV. Half of the poor have computers, 43 percent have Internet, and 40 percent have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.

    Far from being overcrowded, poor Americans have more living space in their home than the average non-poor person in Western Europe. Some 42 percent of all poor households actually own their own homes; on average, this is a well-maintained three-bedroom house with one and a half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 4 percent of poor children were hungry for even a single day in the prior year because the family could not afford food. By its own report, the average poor person had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and was able to obtain medical care for his family throughout the year whenever needed.
    The left likes to claim that the U.S. has far more poverty than other advanced nations. But those claims are based on comparisons that set a higher standard for escaping poverty in the U.S. than elsewhere.”

    Its all relative, and the Left, just like Bernie Sanders and all the rest of them use “Poverty” in America as their preferred blunt political implement to beat the public over the head.

  • wayne

    Lee-
    Our ‘poor people’ in the USA are quite ‘wealthy’ compared to the rest of the world. Of course, this is on-average and a relative ‘thing. Poverty rate of income is pegged at about $11,500 a year for a single person. At or below that income, you qualify for food, medical, and housing assistance. “WIC” benefits, ‘woman infants & children’ assistance is an additional program for mothers of young children. Don’t quote me– I believe we currently have 30 million on food-assistance and 20 million receiving straight disability payments. IIRC the Obama-phone free cell service remains around 30 million.
    Trump has moved recently to re-institute minimal work-requirements for abled bodied 18-57 year old’s receiving straight cash-assistance (“welfare” as is commonly defined) but that has met with a lot of resistance.
    You’ve apparently been to the Appalachia area of the USA. That type of poverty has a number of causes quite separate from poverty seen in inner-city urban areas. (although granted overlapping socio-economic-political causes.)
    The average poor person in the USA has quite a variety of material consumer goods available to them; TV, computer, car, washer/drier, microwave, clothing, Medicaid, etc., etc.
    Having a low money-income, is drastically different than being a homeless person, in San Francisco, with literally nothing, and most likely a mental illness & chemical dependency.

    anyway…
    What’s the time difference between you and US?
    What is the temperature? (F please.)
    :)

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    Good stuff, you beat me to it.

  • Cotour

    Also note, Wayne and, Lee S, the population of Sweden is 10.3 million, and the population of America is 327.17 million, two very different calculations.

    And still the “Poor’ in America are relatively wealthy compared to most all other poor on the planet.

    It always amazes me when I hear the Socialist / Communist likes of a Bernie, or an AOC telling everyone how desperate the poor are in America and how “under privileged” and the inequality of wealth in America. Where do they get their personal authority to be concerned with every one else’s financial situation? Where do they get their gall to speak in such terms?

    Its just a crafted Socialist political weapon pushed on the naïve and ignorant and it threatens our country as formulated. Ultimately these are all Globalists, its a kind of thought pattern, a kind of person. Not my cup of tea.

  • Lee S

    Now this is the kind of discussion I enjoy…. :-)
    I admit to only hearing generalities regarding poverty in the US, and no doubt the sheer size of your population influences the numbers …. So I will redact my comments on that point until I get real info ( which won’t be tonight….to be honest…
    I stand by my point about health insurance tho… It’s easy to say health outcomes are excellent for those with good insurance… There is no argument there. The argument is that there are millions of people in the US with no insurance, and should they fall sick, require surgery, require expensive medication, they have the choice between staying Ill, or running up crippling debt. There is a reason Walmart are planning on releasing their own brand insulin…many US residents simply cannot afford medication that keeps them alive. You guys must know the ins and outs of your system better tha I do, but it is well documented that many, many citizens of the US cannot afford good healthcare. For all its problems, the European model does a provably better job of keeping its slaves alive, and much cheaper per capita than the US.
    Regarding time difference…. I have real problems with working out all your time zones over there, and throwing in daylight saving time..( you guys have changed, we don’t change until the end of the month… ) It becomes confusing! I know I manage to avoid speaking to our host by consistently getting the time wrong when he’s on The Space Show! But it’s just coming up to 7.30pm over here… We are GMT+1
    As for temperature, it’s about 42f right now…. It’s been the warmest winter anyone can remember this winter, we have not had snow that has lasted more than a day or 2… Weather is not climate, but even to an immigrant of 20 years, I have noticed the snowfall getting less, and the winters getting shorter in my time here…in 2000 onwards there was 3 feet of snow and temp dropping to minus 15f for days… For the last few years 20f has been the coldest. ( Really… What’s up with you guys? What’s wrong with a scale where 0 is the freezing point of water, and 100 the boiling point at sea level?? ) ;-)

  • Lee

    @ contour…. Quote “Where do they get their personal authority to be concerned with every one else’s financial situation?”
    I guess here is the basic difference in our philosophy… I think it’s their job to keep a watch…. So the poor don’t get too poor, and if they do, take a little off the rich, to protect those most at risk of harm… That’s called taxes.
    We don’t mind paying tax over here… For exactly the reasons you don’t agree with the European model.
    We can argue until the sun comes down… I don’t condemn your model out of hand, but to venomously deny there is no alternative is a little closed minded, and proves a little research goes a long way…
    Still much love to my US need friends… Stay safe!

  • Cotour

    “I think it’s their job to keep a watch…. So the poor don’t get too poor, and if they do, take a little off the rich, to protect those most at risk of harm… That’s called taxes.”

    Yeah, that kind of thinking and self serving justification is what I call, BS. Self delusional, Socialist, Leftist, BS.

    Its what revolution is founded in. (In America anyway)

  • Lee S

    @Cotour… It’s what’s called “keeping people alive”…. As I’ve said many times before, sorry the people that don’t have insurance can’t pay, sorry your insurance don’t pay theirs, sorry your constitutional ramblings don’t provision for the poor, said constitution was supposed to protect…
    But it’s ok, the rest of the world realises what you are, and how you treat your “underclass”…. The American dream is just that… A dream for 99% of the population, and the truth is much less than 1% will ever have a chance to better themselves, and become important in politics.

    You may call it what you want…. But the truth is the nasty little secret you Americans hide behind…. The government you get might actually be the government you deserve…. Trump has made hay while the sun has been shining … Good luck when the curtain falls .. I mean that. . Good luck to us all!!!!

  • Cotour

    “keeping people alive”, Blah, blah, blah, not your job to be keeping anyone alive other than yourself and your family. The point about the “poor” in America flew right over your head as per usual. Oh yeah, the 1 Percent, don’t forget about the 1 percent.

    99 percent of Americans are doing just fine, its the 1 percent that are crazy and living on the streets that we all have to surrender everything that America is about in order to make them good. What BS.

    Like I have said, I can put up with a Liberal Democrat, for a while. But a self righteous Socialist or Leftist? Not for one second. Why? Because their entire argument is fraudulent and a psyc game. BS, you can keep it.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: ““Fine” is a compliment in the English language, somewhere between “ok” and perfect…

    Then you tell me that it is a compliment to call an engineer’s work mediocre. You really should have used better analogies, such as “fine wine” or “fine dining,” because engineers and software coders prefer their work to be elegant, which is so much better than just “fine.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kjOZmXKOKs (2 minutes, “It was just fine”)
    Using the word “fine” got him mocked and laughed at. So complimentary. Later, when his girlfriend finds out that he called it “just fine,” she does not take it as a compliment, is embarrassed and angry, and an argument ensues.

    Context is everything. You can have a fine life, which you, Lee S, are satisfied with, or you can have a happy life, which the rest of us seek. It is that “pursuit of happiness” concept from the Declaration of Independence. What a difference an attitude makes. Pursue happiness or be satisfied with the mess that the government gives you. It is the difference between being dependent upon government or government being dependent on its independent citizenry. Who rules whom; who is in charge?

    When you let government be in charge, all you get is what government wants, and that is just fine. When you are in charge, you get what you want, and that is far better.

    So, rather than laugh at what you say, now I am just sorry for you. But I guess that is fine, too.

    we will not lose a penny in wages due to good social insurance.

    Excellent! Getting paid to not be productive. Isn’t it wonderful that others support you? Isn’t it wonderful that the world’s governments are so panicky and panicking their own citizens, who are so dependent upon them? What a wonderful world. If only America would do the same for its less-productive citizens, you pondered. Yes, from each according to his willingness to be able; to each according to his claimed need. What incentive to be productive and to improve one’s life, or to save for retirement or a rainy day.

    (On the other hand, here in America there are schools closing down, just like schools did during the black plague, so maybe we should expect another Isaac Newton to come along from all this panic.)

    In a free society, we are able to teach each other better ways of saving and living so that we improve ourselves and our stations, over time. We do not expect instant prosperity. Here in America, we have people like Dave Ramsey who help us learn how to prosper and be charitable.
    https://www.daveramsey.com/dave-ramsey-7-baby-steps?snid=start.steps

    In Sweden, charity starts with the government, who clearly keeps you down and unable to care for yourself. It causes a panic in your life to ensure that you continue being dependent, and like it. For you, it is just fine.

    This will save me digging into my meager savings, and is a welcomed return on my tax payments.

    I hope it all turns out well, for you and your family. Of course, your taxes are so high that a gift of two weeks wages is a poor substitute for reasonable taxes, as evidenced by your inability to save money for your retirement or for a rainy day. Ah, but that just makes you that much more dependent upon your oh-so-generous government for your retirement and rainy days. But for you, I’m sure that is fine. For me, keeping my independence is better, especially since I have more than a meager savings. Maybe that is why Americans are seen as so rich, we really do save more money than most of the rest of the world.

    You seem to feel that poverty is a bad thing, and not an incentive for becoming more productive. Then again, there is the government’s definition of poverty, which puts almost everyone fresh from school as impoverished. Teen workers also fall under that same heading, especially since their wages are not “living wages” (and now America’s socialist advocates are complaining that minimum wage earners cannot afford to buy a house — as though a teen should be able to).

    But here you are, thinking that poverty is a permanent situation, not the starting point. Perhaps this is a leftover from the days of monarchy, when no one could easily move to a better station in life, but more likely it is the result of living in your socialist society, where no one can easily move to a better station in life. Here in America, moving up over time is the normal life experience, but sometimes people lose it all and have to start over, but in socialist societies, the poverty stricken have a terrible time climbing out of poverty. In America, climbing out of the poverty of youth or of failure is the normal way of things. Poverty is the incentive to do better.

    Unfortunately, the socialists in our government are willing to keep many of our people poor just to buy their votes and to keep power over them. It all started when President Johnson said that he would keep those “[ahem]s” (his word) voting Democrat for 200 years as a replacement for Jim Crow laws and other historical means of keeping certain people down. It has worked so far, but at great expense to those Johnson’s socialist ways impoverished (these are the impoverished that you lament), at great expense to those of us being taxed in order to keep them poor, and at great expense to the rest of the world that isn’t getting the prosperity that would have been provided had those people been working for a living. Thank you for advocating that socialism be forced upon us so that we subsidize another “-ism.”

    In another thread I spoke of your feeling that everyone should have equality of outcome. This is why you do not understand Americans at all. We prefer equality of opportunity so that we can rise as high as we can. Does this height happen as we graduate school? No. But in our pursuit of happiness, we improve ourselves, our neighbors, our towns, our states, and our nation. Often we even improve the world. You’re welcome.

    Redistributing wealth works for you, because you have chosen not to work hard enough to start another business, but here in America it is better for each of us to keep what he earns so that the poor are encouraged to get out of poverty. Those here who are trapped in poverty are the ones who became dependent upon government. When you complain about chronic poverty in the U.S., you are complaining about those who are on the government dole and have become wards of the state — the very redistribution of wealth that you advocate.

    It is amazing how you complain about the result of the system that you desire to see us trapped in. Maybe the correct word is “ironic,” rather than “amazing,” because to you that system is just fine.

    sorry the people that don’t have insurance can’t pay

    In your ignorance, you assume that this means that they don’t get healthcare. They do. Before Obamacare, there were systems in place to cover people who did not have enough money to pay. These days, socialized Obamacare does not care, so these systems are harder to come by. They still get healthcare, it is just added to the insurance costs for everyone else. Thank you for advocating that socialized medicine be forced upon us.

    I do not purchase Obamacare insurance, because the price is too high. I had — and could afford — insurance before it was socialized, but now health insurance has four times the deductible and costs twice as much as my catastrophic-care insurance policy from before. Obama declared those types of policies as “junk” because of the high deductible, but it turns out that Obamacare is four times junkier at twice the price. Thank you for advocating that socialized medicine be forced upon us.

    Meanwhile, I pay for my own healthcare. So far, I have saved almost $50,000 by being self insured since the inception of Obamacare, six years ago, and with the deductibles and co-pays, I now would have to rack up almost $60,000 in bills before breaking even and (maybe) regretting not selling out my soul to the government.

    Since personal experience is the only thing important to you, Lee S, if my attitude about personal experience were the same as yours then I would have to say that everyone would be better off without health insurance. Since personal experience is not so important to me, I wouldn’t make such a ludicrous statement, because for many people insurance is a good thing. You may want to consider your own personal experience as one of many inputs for your philosophy.

    A dream for 99% of the population, and the truth is much less than 1% will ever have a chance to better themselves

    Perhaps true for those trapped on socialist welfare programs, like you have in Sweden and similar to the way the class system works in most monarchies, but for the vast majority of us here in America — those independent of government in America — we rise over time as we pursue happiness and improve ourselves and our lives. It may not work like this in your socialist society, the one you have your personal experience in, but this is how it works in a free society.

    It is why we choose freedom and liberty over tyranny and socialism.

    This is why only accepting knowledge that is based solely on your own personal experiences is such a poor way to think. You miss the reality that exists in the country you complain about.

    It is also why your experience with a town that is the result of socialism has skewed your opinion of the United States. You assume that the U.S. has already suffered the full consequences of socialism but as the result of capitalism, not socialism. That town is where your country is headed, if it keeps up its socialist ways. But I’m sure that you think that is fine for you.

    Big news you guys…. The USA is not the best in the world at everything, indeed there are many metrics in which the US is remarkably bad a, for a first world country.

    There you go again. Telling us, as though it were news to us, the very thing that we keep telling you. Oops, I should have said “as though it were ‘Big news.'” But, hey, it is just fine that you keep doing this, without learning that we already know these things, or that we keep telling you these things. Just fine.

    It is also why we think that you are unable to learn anything that differs from your closed mind.

    while having only criticism for anywhere else.

    I am the one who keeps telling you that I think it is OK for you to live the way you do. I actually see it the other way around. You keep telling us how terrible it is to live in a way in which we try to improve ourselves and our country, to live in a way in which we pursue happiness. You are the one who always tries to belittle us by telling us that our country is not perfect, as though we don’t already know that. That is why we work so hard trying to improve it.

    On the other hand, you refuse to see where socialism is taking your country. This lesson has been presented all around the world for the past century, but you will not learn it.

    The other 95% of the world tends to just shake it’s collective head and wish you had grown up a little less selfish and a little better behaved.

    The rest of the world is satisfied with everything the way it is? Now that is news. I had no idea that the pursuit of happiness was considered bad behavior. That being productive was bad behavior — although that would explain why so many people complain that 5% of the world’s population is 25% of its productivity.

    Indeed, free markets are based upon the enlightened self interest (you think of it as selfishness) of human beings. Free markets drive us to improve our goods and services, the prices we ask for them, or both. There is that concept of improvement, again. And again it is the result of what you think of as selfishness and bad behavior.

    and often honesty hurts.

    Well, you often express that you have been hurt, on this site, while the rest of us are rather amused at your rationalizations your choice of living conditions. Clearly, you think that you hurt us, and apparently that is your intention, but you miss the mark, because you are so wrong. Oops, I forgot that you feel especially hurt whenever we point out where you are wrong. You have a deep need to think that your own life and chosen country are perfect, which is why you continually attack ours as imperfect in order to try to hurt our feelings with “honesty.” You think that will hurt us, despite our insistence that we already know about our imperfections and try to improve them. Honestly, we are comfortable being imperfect, so it is hard for you to hurt us by pointing it out, but we are even more comfortable trying to improve our imperfections. It is what we American’s do. This American principle is in the Preamble to the Constitution. We grow up on it.

    If the small people you never see, but who you unknowingly rely upon start dropping like fly’s ( due to no insurance… ) Your towers will begin to tumble.

    Well, this never happened when we were more of a free market capitalist nation. Now that we have more socialism than before, especially in our healthcare system, you are worried for us. Thank you for your concern, but I think that we will eventually get back to the superior (though imperfect) free market system, and everything will be just fine.

    Within three centuries, our “me first” society went from a literal backwoods village to a nation that saved the world. Twice. You keep having difficulties living up to that kind of success, and apparently saving the world is also seen as a selfish “me first” act. You, on the other hand, advocate that we reward people for being unproductive drags on our society, as though it is just fine for them to be “me first” people.

  • wayne

    Jordan Peterson / Akira the Don
    “To those who have everything more will be given, from those who have nothing, everything will be taken.”
    https://youtu.be/68X3w6uFwyw
    5:34

  • wayne

    “When they call themselves the Good and the Just, do not forget that they would be Pharisees… if only they had – power!”

    Jordan Peterson / Akira the Don
    “Tarantula”
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    https://youtu.be/7zIkUkRLJAM
    7:59

  • Lee S

    Another “war and peace” scale essay on why I am wrong…. But Edward, it’s a fine bit of writing, and it’s just fine that you feel as you do, I just hope you don’t get a fine from the word police…. After all, context is everything.
    I now have a fever also… So that makes 4 out of 4 in my inner family circle ( if you include my ex-wifes boyfriend.. which I do… We all get along just fine ) . It seems either the flu or some other fashionable virus has landed and is spreading amongst us like butter. Fortunately I have health insurance and lose of wages insurance…. Well, you guys would call it insurance, over here we call it tax.
    Thanks for helping out a bit during the world wars… It was nice of you to come, even tho you were late. I really wish you would stop gatecrashing all those other parties where you are not really welcome tho…. Although I guess the military industrial complex probably insists you attend… After all, no conflict, no arms sales.
    We really can’t have a sensible discussion about the relative merits and failures of our choose countries, because rather than discuss you choose to lecture, which is a standard tactic of those who are wrong.
    Give me a single point where I am wrong, not drowned in a soup of words, and I will argue my case.
    Wayne, as I am home today, I will watch your video links after breakfast, (for a change ) ;-) and report back with my thoughts.

  • Lee S

    Gradually working my way up the thread…
    @Cotour, one man’s BS is another man’s truth. The truth is, yes, I will keep it. Thanks for offering.
    I get constantly belittled for ” not learning” from the pearls of wisdom you guys cast my way. It never occurs to you that perhaps I understand your wisdom ,but I reject it, because the system I live in works, and I like it. I accept that you don’t approve, I also understand that nothing will ever change your mind. That is fine, you live in the system you live in … That is fine also. You may, with all my blessings, keep it.
    ( And yes, I know I left myself open to a “pearls before swine” reference… feel free to use it should you wish. In this case the swine fully understands the pearls, and still chooses to walk over them )
    Even tho we don’t see eye to eye… I’d still love to argue with all of you guys over a beer , preferably somewhere in Europe , the beer is so much better here.. and I’m pretty sure that is something we can all agree upon!
    Stay safe guys…. And actually much love from the self contained Stevenson household in pinko commie Sweden!
    ( What’s the weather doing over there by the way? )

  • wayne

    Lee-
    I was sick as the proverbial dog a few weeks ago; unlike anything I’ve experienced (something viral in the lungs, w/ a minor head cold to start)–stayed home for 3 days, and it took 2 weeks to feel 100% normal again.
    (makes one wonder…)
    [all Hail Linus Pauling– I like to take 4-6 grams of vitamin C per day while ‘sick’ with viral-stuff. ]
    As an aside– I’m semi-retired but do some contractual work a few days a week. If I don’t physically show up, they don’t pay me!
    a repeat from another post–I’m afraid our Federal Government is getting ready to drop money by helicopter to pacify everyone for their inconvenience.

    anyway….
    This somehow feels appropriate…

    Working Class Hero
    John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
    https://youtu.be/iMewtlmkV6c
    3:50

  • Lee S

    Hey Wayne…. I’m pleased you recovered from whatever you had…. I’m worried that I have that crap coming in the post. My health is not the best at the best of times… But I have my daughter with me, so I will get looked after….
    Great choice of video right there!
    On a kind of related note, and a point where I am VERY critical of my government… My whole family cannot get tested for Corona virus… The government is only providing tests for folks that have been to China, Italy and Iran, or been in close contact with someone who has.
    Now, I’m pretty sure my whole family has it…. It’s spread like nothing we have had before… ( Even tho we all got swine flu, and my ex was hospitalised ), this is faster and more severe in the “less serious” cases… At least by my boots on the ground, personal experience ( which Bob and others have dismissed as worthless, but they are wrong, so I’ll give it anyway)
    My point is, if they don’t test, they don’t have to report… So I feel like the statistics here are being massaged to the max…. Either by genuine lack of tests, or by genuine deception, the numbers posted have no relation to the genuine figures…. For a change, we are all being lied to….

  • Cotour

    ” I accept that you don’t approve, I also understand that nothing will ever change your mind. That is fine, you live in the system you live in … That is fine also. You may, with all my blessings, keep it.”

    Lee S: The over arching take away here is that there is a reasonable line to be drawn. And this line must be drawn in the favor of the individual and their freedom and not the government and those who control it. Degrees of social services are fine, I do not have a problem with them, except when the politically empowered among us and their political machines realize that the more and more the public depends upon the government I.E. them, the more power and funds they have access to. And that is the nature of that beast, and it is a beast.

    That becomes a sick, perverted and corrupt model which you can see in todays Democrat party, the DNC and their leadership. And it can never ultimately become anything else. And this in America includes ALL political parties including the Republicans. The Democrats are just more lensable right now because of their blatant un and anti American desperation to retain or reacquire power.

    And drawing that reasonable line, in America anyway, is what our political warfare is all about. And in real terms it is a fight to the death, the death of freedom of the individual. A noble and worthwhile fight indeed. We dance with the beast to find that balance, and the people in Sweden have chosen to sleep with the beast. But you must understand.

    Being happy to choose to sleep with the beast because he feeds some base need that you happen to have, and one morning you realize that during the night the beast has eaten you and now there can be no escape.

    (And before you thank me, you are welcome for learning to communicate in less then 30 paragraphs.)

    Wishing you and your family all the best in this trying time and going through this health challenge. We will soon see just how big it will become here.

  • wayne

    Lee-
    no clue what I had, no clue what you have.

    –for “ordinary” influenza, there are 2-3 approved anti-virals, but they have to be taken immediately. I have no clue which if any current anti-virals handle covid.

    Ref– ‘testing,’ there is apparently an approved test for covid and pharmaceutical company’s are mass producing them here. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t expect them to be in plentiful supply at my Dr’s office.

    audio-visual interlude….

    “There’s a Fire, sir.”
    Andromeda Strain
    https://youtu.be/hhiTMClWh5s
    2:36

  • wayne

    Green Day –
    “Warning ”
    https://youtu.be/eebfMFzJHNs
    3:47

  • Lee S

    @wayne… At least your insurance is going to cover the testing costs…. https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/10/21173970/insurance-coronavirus-treatment-testing-coverage-cigna-aetna-humana-pence

    As long as you have access to them….

    And thank you for lightening the mood! It was a long time ago I watched The Andromeda Strain….. That just made me giggle!

    @cotour, you have my eternal thanks for knowing how to make a point, without causing the internet to run out of words!
    You are correct in a way in your last post… We do choose to sleep with the beast. But at least we know it, and we can always vote him out, and vote a new beast in come the next election. Unlike the views of our esteemed overly wordy friend Edward, we accept big government, big taxes, and in what we call “the social contract” we trust the government to fix healthcare, unemployment benefits ( not just money, but help in retraining etc. If needed ), pensions at a basic minimum, along with other services we “enjoy” such as subsidised childcare, “free” education up to graduate level, the snow being plowed from the roads, the emergency services etc,etc.
    We enter into this contract with eyes wide open. We know we are are sleeping with the beast, and we have a certain trust that the beast will protect us. ( I know this is the antithesis of everything American.. but that doesn’t make it wrong)
    HOWEVER.. ( and it’s a big however, hence the capitals!), I’m sure non of us are nieve enough to believe we are not getting done over by the powers that be. In your capitalist model, in our socialist model, the rich remain rich, and inspite of Edwards wild fantasy, most of the poor will remain poor.
    ( Edward, strange as it may seem to you, it is perfectly possible to work hard, or get lucky and make a fortune here in Sweden also…. It’s just that it’s possible to have a good life here, without feeling disappointed not to meet Edwards goals… )

  • Lee S

    Virus update…. Temperature of my self and little miss L rising… Up to 38c…. (About 100 of your American farenhights) … If my ramblings get more rambly than usual, please blame it on fever rather than idiocy!
    ;-)

  • Cotour

    The problem is that you in short order become the beast.

    You and the beast enter into a symbiotic relationship where both your survivals become interconnected. The beast needs you to be dependent on It and feed it with your empowerment, and you need the beast to provide for your every need, and it is happy to do so. But at what cost?

    Now you are the beast, now you become your own worst enemy.

    Now what? And that in time becomes a dark road, especially when things tend to go bad, and they do, and real existential leadership must be employed, I.E. Corona virus (?). Then you are all screwed and things become cannibalistic. And then the only way to kill the beast is to destroy all and to start over, and that is messy. The beast can only “Guarantee” that it will provide unconditionally for you. But it can never deliver because its always LYING.

    (The beast is always lying, because that’s the nature of the beast. The beast from the jump is employing pure S.O.M. and its survival becomes paramount over your little piddly individual life and in the end they care not for you when push comes to shove)

    Concise and relevant communication all in 12 lines.

  • Cotour

    Thank you, Zman.

    What is the beast?

    I recently had conversations with two different electrical contractor friends of mine, both in their early 50’s. Both are relatively small contractors and both want to just quit because of all of the pressure that “The beast” is putting upon them. What is “The beast” in this instance? Unions and the “Progressive” City of New York, the building Department to be specific.

    I used to belong to Local 3, the very strong electrical union in NYC, and I recently spoke with one of my friends that started with me and he told me that he just retired, and I know that he must have between $1 and $1.5 million dollars in his retirement fund. A very nice and hard working guy, and I wish him the best. I chose a different path and I have no problem at all with that.

    And one of the contractors told me his brother who works for another contractor had $2 million in his fund. Let me also throw in someone that I know who worked for the City Of New York, is retired and between his pension and his Social Security he collects $6400 per month. And these models in many instances creates a stronger middle class and an stronger economy, but it comes at a cost related to where the line is drawn and the nature of the beast that in time draws that line.

    In this case the pressure, the cost, the line is drawn and exerted on the business man who employs the workers and his business to pay for all of this through competition and his prices to accomplish work. This is all mandatory by law, both union, municipal and Federal. Its a tremendous number and responsibility.

    The other contractor told me about his attempt to expand a building he was able to purchase for himself and his business except for all of the building department stop work orders and fines that he has incurred. He asked me, “How much do you think the Building Department generates for NYC in a years time? I did not know, several hundred million, I guessed? He told me something like $1.5 billion per year. This is a business model for the City. He also told me about how he used to consider himself a good Democrat throughout his life, but not now. Two more years and Im out, I can’t take any more, he told me.

    (I of course gave him a mini civics and politics lesson on the spot and he agreed with me 100 percent. He is no longer a faithful Democrat for sure)

    These are but examples of what “The Beast” is and how the beast sucks more and more of the life out of the independent business man who employs the workers, and that is by design, its the nature of the beast. These are examples of how the beast always goes too far and in time kills every thing that it comes into contact with. Its the nature of the beast, and this is what Lee S and all of these other “Socialists”, “Progressives”, “Democrat Socialists” and Communists are not allowed to recognize and see. They have a Right to it all. BS.

    Why is that? Because the beast is always lying, lying to itself and those who it lords over.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “Another “war and peace” scale essay on why I am wrong

    You don’t understand the abridged versions, so I try to give better explanations. That requires more context and explanation, so in a way you are getting what you deserve.

    It was nice of you to come, even tho you were late.

    You’re welcome, even though it is a back handed expression of gratitude.

    I really wish you would stop gatecrashing all those other parties where you are not really welcome tho

    Well, when the UN stops sending us invitations, with words of desperation, then we will stop going. In the meantime, you are sending mixed messages. First we are late, then we are not welcome when we arrive on time. Somehow you think that you are right with both of these opinions, but one of them must be wrong. Again, I make you feel bad by pointing this out, but you keep trying to make us feel bad just for being at the party.

    rather than discuss you choose to lecture, which is a standard tactic of those who are wrong.

    Your poor school teachers and college professors. There they were, lecturing away yet all the while you assumed that they were wrong.

    Rather than discuss what I say, you choose to dismiss it, so who is failing at his part of the discussion. I have discussed why and how you are wrong, but you just make broad statements that contain no support. That is the real standard tactic of those who are wrong. You have no examples of why or how you are right or I am wrong. Instead, I just have to take your word for it, which is not very scientific (please remember that in the next discussion about global warming — you need to be scientific, which requires explanations and words). But then, that would require more words, and you seem to not like using many words. More likely, you just cannot demonstrate why or how you are right, so you don’t try.

    Give me a single point where I am wrong, not drowned in a soup of words, and I will argue my case.

    I have done so, but you have not. You sound disingenuous, here.

    You may, with all my blessings, keep it.

    Really? With your blessing? Then why do you keep belittling it? Why do you complain that our system is not perfect?

    Interestingly, socialists tend to think that their system is a utopia, which is why you keep bragging that you are now receiving money in order to not work. It just doesn’t get any better than that. It sure would seem like a fine system (your definition), but someone is losing while you gain. Socialist systems tend to be of the fixed amount of pie, variety, because everyone pretends to be satisfied with having only that much. Thus, when one person gets more, someone gets less.

    In America, we realized that we can bake additional pies. It is one of the reasons why we ship so much food to other countries.

    Now, I’m pretty sure my whole family has it…. It’s spread like nothing we have had before…

    Considering that the panic virus has a two week incubation period, I suspect that your illness is not the same one that everyone is panicking over, right now, but one that has a very short incubation period.

    So, who do you suppose the limited number of kits should be used on? The ones who are most likely to have the scary virus or the ones who most likely have one of the many, many other more common viruses or germs? Speaking of not enough test kits, Trump is being blamed that we don’t yet have 300 million test kits. Just goes to show how smart the naysayers are.

    On the topic of being critical, why is it that your government feels the need to pay you to stay home to be sick rather than your employer using some of the sick leave that you have earned (accumulated) over the past year or so? Having ailing employees is exactly why he budgets sick time, or do you guys do things so differently over there that the government has to take care of you even when you have the common cold or the flu?

    we accept big government, big taxes, and in what we call ‘the social contract’ we trust the government to fix healthcare, unemployment benefits ( not just money, but help in retraining etc. If needed ), pensions at a basic minimum, along with other services we ‘enjoy’ such as subsidised childcare, ‘free’ education up to graduate level, the snow being plowed from the roads, the emergency services etc,etc.

    Interesting. Here in America, we get all that, except for the free college education past second year (at least in California), but somehow our government is efficient enough to do it with lower taxes than you pay. Here we have evidence of the inefficiency of socialism. No wonder it does not work after it runs out of other people’s money.

    Edwards wild fantasy

    Actually, that is how it works, over here. You just missed seeing it on your visit, and since it is outside of your personal experience, you are dismissing it as being fantasy.

    it is perfectly possible to work hard, or get lucky and make a fortune here in Sweden also

    When did I say that it wasn’t possible? I merely pointed out that it is harder, in high-tax Sweden.

    It’s just that it’s possible to have a good life here

    When did I say that it wasn’t possible? You go all out in mischaracterising what other people say. (By the way, good examples of where you are wrong.)

  • Lee s

    Cheers Edward… I quote ““Give me a single point where I am wrong, not drowned in a soup of words, and I will argue my case.”

    I have done so, but you have not. You sound disingenuous, here.”
    I have still not managed to pull a single point where we can empirically or statistically prove each other wrong out of your posts…
    That’s fine… I babble a lot also… Just not quite as much as you… Do you really expect me to read, analyze, and reply to your essays? Try posting your points one by one… Sometimes less is more.. and that certainly applies to your babbling.

  • Lee S

    @Cotour, and @Bob… You keep telling me how messed up is the system I live under… How wrong we are to “live with the beast”… How bad it is… How wrong I am for even contemplating living in a world that isn’t to your specifications… The truth is I live in a clean, friendly environment with high taxes and a great standard of social care… You guys over the pond don’t… You rely upon personal insurance to cover essentials, and you pay less tax… I disagree with your system as much as you disagree with mine.. but please…why the need to constantly tell me I am wrong? I am not wrong, I am right… I am raising my kids to be great human beings, I like the system I am raising them in… I have a good life…. They have a good life, they have a good education, and they will no doubt do better than their dad in the job market.
    What are you so scared of, that makes you so dismissive of the rules I live under?
    I kind of like you guys…. But really… You need to both get over yourselves, and take a trip to Europe … See how other systems work. .. ( and fail, and get reborn )
    Regardless… As the coming apocalypse sets in… Keep safe crazy American dudes…

  • Lee So

    And @cotour, and @bob for agreeing, , you both are wrong.. I see your beautiful nation, shining like a beacon in the hellish darkened sky’s…. And I think….. Nahhhh…..I would rather live here… I’m just sorry that you cannot understand that different countries can have different attitudes to life… We don’t have the same… Good luck to you and yours ,.

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    I am not really telling you that you are wrong, I am telling you that there is a real slippery slope that we are all on to some degree.

    And the beast likes where we find ourselves on that slope.

    I applauded your moving your family from England, where I am certain things are much further down the slope than Sweden in certain ways. You made a choice in the best interests of your children, you are to be commended IMO. But there is a long term cost other than the taxation that you are subject to that MUST be recognized and understood.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “I have still not managed to pull a single point where we can empirically or statistically prove each other wrong out of your posts…

    I am confused as to why you are unable to show me where I said either of those last two things were not possible. If you are right then you should be able to empirically show that you are right on either or both of those specific, not drowned in a soup of words, single points. You said you would argue your case as to why you are not wrong.

    Was I right to believe that you were disingenuous?

    By the way, statistics don’t really prove anything. Statistics can supply an amount of evidence of some things, and they definitely cannot show causation.

    I live in a clean, friendly environment with high taxes and a great standard of social care… You guys over the pond don’t…

    If you mean that we don’t live with high taxes, they certainly are not as high as yours. Our environment is friendly, and we have a great standard of social care — you merely assume it is not because your limited personal experience messed up your opinion of West Virginia and the rest of the country, and you disagree with using insurance as a means of insurance against things going wrong. Much of America is clean, but there are socialist (Democrat) strongholds that are no longer clean. San Francisco being an example of a clean city that socialists turned into a crappy one, in the literal sense.

    I disagree with your system as much as you disagree with mine..

    Personal insurance provides a greater choice that allows us to choose the right care at the right price. This is a pro-choice position. Unfortunately, your position eliminates choices. That might be nice for those who do not like to think for themselves, but for those for whom optimizing our resources is important, this system is fantastic. For instance, it gives us more money for retirement, for rainy days, or for additional pursuit of happiness. How unexpected it is that you disagree with the efficient use of resources.

    What are you so scared of, that makes you so dismissive of the rules I live under?

    A repeat of the expensive Marshall Plan to bail out Sweden when its socialism crashes and burns. We have seen the failure of socialism all around the world, and we would prefer to be here, not there, when it happens.

    Somehow, with all the travel around the world that we Americans do (oh, did you not realize that we do that?), we have managed to be safer here, from the scary virus, than on that side of the pond. And we have managed, along with millions of others, to prefer it here.

    You may feel safe with your beast, but it can turn on you and bite, just as ours does here, in America.

    I would rather live here… I’m just sorry that you cannot understand that different countries can have different attitudes to life… We don’t have the same…

    Interestingly, you are the one who disagrees with our attitude to life, but we keep telling you that we understand your own attitude with your country. Of course you like living where you feel safe and protected, as though you still lived with your parents. We are just pointing out that you pay a high price, and yet are not as safe as you feel.

    But you cannot understand that we agree with your attitude and just don’t want to live that limited (though OK) life, so it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that you also cannot understand that socialism always fails. Your personal experience tells you a different story, but the rest of the world’s experience tells the rest of us that conditions eventually deteriorate everywhere socialism is tried — even here in America, where many people try to tell us that we are the right people or the right place for socialism to work. They try to boost our egos, but we know better both from our own national experience and from empirical evidence from countries around the world. You may think that we believe ourselves to be perfect, but we know that we aren’t good enough to make socialism work for long. No one is.

    So far, socialism keeps failing here, too (e.g. Chicago, Detroit (socialism’s model city), San Francisco, and others), despite having plenty of other people’s money to rely upon.

  • Lee S

    @Edward… Thanks for keeping your post to a reasonably manageble length….
    Ok, here we go again…..we pay high tax in Sweden so we get a good standard of social care… It’s our insurance… And it covers EVERYONE… Not just the ones who can afford to pay their own insurance…. It’s perfectly ok that we who can afford to pay in cover the cost of those who cannot… It has been stated in arguments against me that this is called “charity” over there, and the church has a big role to play. Very good for you. Here in Sweden we are mostly athiest, and would prefer not to rely on the hit and miss nature of charity… We prefer to have help for the needy built into our society. Personal insurance is just fine… Until you can’t afford it.
    Quote “Interestingly, you are the one who disagrees with our attitude to life”…. I have always said I’m pleased your happy with your life, so why keep explaining to me why I am wrong living the life I live?
    Quote “Somehow, with all the travel around the world that we Americans do “…. Just one question here…. When did you last visit Europe? I’m willing to bet a month’s wages it was WELL before my last visit to the states… And it might behove you to Google the percentage of Americans with passports.
    I Also am slightly peeved by the attitude of the comments from the readers here, AND our host ( yes Bob, I’m talking about you) that my visits to South Carolina and West Virginia are somehow not valid in forming my opinions on the US…. Where should I go? If the backwood places I visited, where very litteraly they had never seen an Englishman were not representative of the “real” America… Where should I go? I’ve done New York, would California, Miami, Austin give me a better impression?
    You live the life you are happy with, and I will live mine… But please stop lecturing me about how you think I am wrong. I think you are wrong. That’s basically it.

  • Lee So

    And I guess we should move this never ending difference’s of opinion to some other thread… This is now on page 2, and it’s a pain in the ass to scroll down to the bottom, click next, then scroll a load more … Feel free to pick any post you like, and continue telling someone who is happy and has a good life, is working, has great children, raised in a stable and safe environment, has a roof over their head, has food in the larder, has a decent pension, has his ass covered by good medical insurance and apart from possibly having the Corona virus, is genuinely happy with his life… That he is wrong. Life is just fine…. And I’m using the REAL definition of “fine’… Not some well researched, but totally wrong definition.
    Love and light to all.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “Here in Sweden we are mostly athiest, and would prefer not to rely on the hit and miss nature of charity… We prefer to have help for the needy built into our society.

    That speaks ill of your charitable nature. Maybe being religious is a good thing after all.

    I have always said I’m pleased your happy with your life, so why keep explaining to me why I am wrong living the life I live?

    Actually, we don’t say that your life is wrong, we keep saying that it will necessarily end badly when the other people’s money runs out, but you don’t pay attention to what we actually say, you choose to feel we said something else. On the other hand, you are the one who keeps ragging on our lifestyles, such as when you tell us that our charity is a hit and miss nature.

    As I explained before, I include quotes of what you said to make sure that we all know that I paid attention to you. That may make me seem more verbose, but I would rather be accurate.

    When did you last visit Europe? I’m willing to bet a month’s wages it was WELL before my last visit to the states…

    Interesting that you think that the United States is more interesting than Europe.

    Google the percentage of Americans with passports.

    You know, you keep having me do your work for you, but you haven’t even bothered to answer any of my questions to you.

    But then, you may have stepped in it. If the percentage of Americans with passports is average or high, then your aim was wide and your point missed, whatever it may be. If it is low, then it just shows that America is the place more people want to be, since so many come here with or without their passports.

    Where should I go?

    Have you tried Plano, Texas? That place should encompass all that you think is wrong with America. Instead, you tried a place that was the result of socialism and decided that all of America is wrong, as though we are homogeneous. Your visit to West Virginia was a visit to your children’s socialist future, unless Sweden abandons socialism before it is too late. As I said before, but you didn’t pay attention, Obamacare made it more difficult for charity in healthcare.

    This is now on page 2, and it’s a pain in the ass to scroll down to the bottom, click next, then scroll a load more

    Geez, no wonder you don’t answer questions or do research. It is just too much of a pain. Heck, you don’t even like to read. If avoiding work is typical of those under socialism, it is no wonder that it always fails. (Oh, wait. I think that was a point I made earlier.)

    Not some well researched, but totally wrong definition.

    Now it is wrong to do research? Should I still research the percentage of Americans with passports, or is that wrong, too? Do I need to research the average percentage of the world’s population with passports, too, so that you can make your point? Without a comparison, the percentage of American’s with passports is meaningless.

  • wayne

    Personally, I don’t have a Passport. I do however have an ‘enhanced ID’ which allows me to go to Canada without too much hassle.

    Lee-

    Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    “Oh Susannah”
    Americana 2012
    https://youtu.be/ei2PVpSKkF4
    5:03

  • Lee S

    @Wayne…. Good stuff! I like a bit of Neil Young, and as a lyric writer, the line “Sun so hot I froze to death” blows me away…
    @Edward… ( Rolls up sleeves… Prepares for work…)…. Ok, the percentage of Americans with passports is now 42%, which is acctually MASSIVELY up from a decade or 2 ago, when I believe it was in the 20s… It still means that over half of Americans do not have the will or the means to experience different cultures…. Make of that what you will.
    “When did you last visit Europe? I’m willing to bet a month’s wages it was WELL before my last visit to the states… ”

    Interesting that you think that the United States is more interesting than Europe.”
    Errrm, No. At current count I have visited 20 somthing countries, the USA being only one of them. I have lived in 3…. (Greece, the UK and Sweden), I am fluent in 2 languages, and can get by in a handful more. I believe travel broadens the mind. It is both fun and deeply educational to experience different cultures. You should try it sometime.
    “Actually, we don’t say that your life is wrong, we keep saying that it will necessarily end badly when the other people’s money runs out” It’s working pretty well so far… As I have said before, it would behove you to remember that Europe has a history that is far, far longer and deeper than the white man’s in the US…. Last time I was in the UK I visited a Roman site, a 2000 year old spa… https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/
    Well worth a visit!
    Now we get to a meaty bit…. The area I was raised in, in the UK, is actually the birthplace of industry… (In the 1700s it had the happy circumstance to have coal, limestone and iron ore ) It is known as “The black country” because up untill the 60s everything was covered in soot. In the 70s and 80s industry left, it was cheaper to manufacture abroad… Many, many thousands of people lost their jobs, and the effects are still obvious today… High unemployment, high teenage pregnancy, violence, poverty. My experiences in West Virginia and North Carolina reminded me very much of my hometown. The situation in the UK was a direct result of the policy of Margret Thatcher and her right wing government. Yet you tell my experience in the US is the result of socialism… I genuinely do not understand… I believe it was the same situation in WV, from the folks I met, and remember vividly seeing the strata of coal and ironstone in road cuttings… The limestone I’m not sure about, but I would have loved to take my hammer to a few ironstone nuggets… There is surely a good fossil collection to be made! But I digress…
    Please tell me how the decay of obviously formally prosperous towns is down to socialism…. By my definition, these areas , with a touch of social help would have received help to retrain, reorganize, and get back on their feet, and litteraly everyone I spoke to would rather die than accept government help… I didn’t smell a whiff of left thinking in my time there.
    On a brighter note…. “Geez, no wonder you don’t answer questions or do research. It is just too much of a pain.”…. I just found the “latest posts” button… It’s now not so much of a pain to answer you…. And for the record, even tho I do give my personal experience a high priority when weighing up subjects, ( boots on the ground data cannot be manipulated ), I also DO research… It’s embarrassing to be wrong.. I don’t like it!
    (Yay! I managed an Edward length post!)
    If there is anything I missed… Feel free to remind me!
    Love and light!

  • Lee S

    ( I genuinely am interested in the collapse of industry in WV…. it was heartbreaking to meet such kind, genuine, wonderful people who were basically living in a barter economy…. I made friends and have nothing but fond memories of my time there…. my internet research only confirms my thoughts above)….. One enduring memory is chatting to the owner in a diner… Perhaps 6 or 7 people in, and her telling me she didn’t know how long she could keep it open…. I’ve ran bars myself… And to see someone trying so hard made me sad… Then I got my ass wooped at pool by a local…. The biggest employers in the area were Walmart and NASA, strangly enough… If the diner owner came to my hometown she would probably say the same…. Except Walmart is called Asda, and Walsall has no NASA facility.

  • wayne

    Lee-
    very briefly—
    The War on Coal and Fossil fuels has been very hard for certain parts of Appalachia. Obama hated these “typical white people,” to the core.
    -Trump, on the other hand, “loves our coal-miners,” and he “loves our domestic oil production.”
    Anecdotally– price of gasoline is $1.819 the gallon here on the s-w Michigan shoreline.

    R.E.M.
    “It’s The End Of The World (and I feel fine)”
    MTV unplugged
    https://youtu.be/QdtSPhMsl9Y
    4:48

  • Lee S

    @Wayne…. We pay just under that a liter… But then we don’t have any oil ourselves … Loads of iron, and acctually rare minerals… ( I made enough to pay for a holiday for me and the fam to Greece a few years ago by buying shares in a local mining company… )
    I believe that money would be better spent on making fossil fuel carbon neutral while other tech catches up, rather than banning stuff… And I’m liking your choice of videos… That one is added to my “Armageddon” playlist on Spotify!
    What time is it there?… I understand everyone else is asleep… But you seem on a European zone!

  • wayne

    Lee–
    -It’s ‘like 9:30 am in the Eastern Standard Time Zone and I’m on the S-W coastline of Lake Michigan. (Detroit is on the other side of the State.)

    Eve of Destruction
    Kubical Xphere
    https://youtu.be/pEUiMjj3eKY
    6:55

  • Cotour

    Very interesting: What have we learned?

    lee S makes a visit to economically depressed for ever West Virginia, bases his opinion on the American culture and specifically healthcare upon it, and then says that if a woman who he met in WV came to his home town in England she would not know the difference.

    And to commend him, what did Lee S do? He moved himself and his family to better conditions and a better life in Sweden. Well done.

    I knew somewhere in all of this there would emerge some real truth eventually.

    Lee S is actually a responsible man who loves himself and his children and can make rational survival decisions. Sounds like most people that I know who are fundamentally Conservative and rational and choose to call themselves all kinds of other defining words based in their subjective and emotional preference in how they WANT reality to be. Now how do we reconcile that with his not being able to understand it all?

    Conclusion: England and specifically the small town where Lee S hails is an economic disaster area, probably due to the dying or the lack of any industry / economy and massive politically correct and growing Socialist tendencies that exist in England at this moment in time. And Lee S has escaped to another Socialist country that he determined was in better shape than the one he abandoned for the sake of himself and his children.

    Simple logic after all of the fog and political BS is cleared away: A + B = C

    Welcome Lee S, your really one of us after all. Still a bit self delusional about what is what, but one of us all the same.

  • Cotour

    Clarification: Both England and Sweden are not Socialist country’s, they in fact are Capitalist country’s that have chosen to install massive levels of social programs that have created an growing expectation and dependency in the population due to the degree that they are willing to trade off with “The beast”.

    Choose to dance with the beast to find a reasonable balance and never take your eye off of him and keep the beast exactly where YOU want him. Because the beast is a beast and does not know anything other than being a beast and in time because it is its nature the beast will in time eat all that it encounters.

    Choose to sleep with the beast and you in real terms have become the beast yourself and are everything that you know intuitively that is bad for all. But it “feels so good”.

    That is until the beast craps you out and you find that you as an individual in the end mean nothing to the beast other than what it can take from you and not what it can provide for you.

  • Lee S

    Errrm…. Cotour, why are you talking about me in the third person … It’s kind of insulting when I’m right here.
    Yes, I’m pleased I have moved to where I live, and yes, I’m pleased to be raising my kids here… Sweden is a fantastic country to live and work in. I hope you feel the same about your land of choice..(sorry, I forgot you have never bothered to look at other cultures… Stay where you are… It’s probably for the best..)
    If you had bothered reading my post you would have noticed I stated that my home town died under the most right wing government that the UK has had in my lifetime, and that I am curious why I am constantly told industry in WV died because of socialism…. A genuine question….

  • Lee S

    Quote….
    “Clarification: Both England and Sweden are not Socialist country’s, they in fact are Capitalist country’s that have chosen to install massive levels of social programs that have created an growing expectation and dependency in the population due to the degree that they are willing to trade off with “The beast”.”
    Go drink some coffee… Eat breakfast, and come back when coherent…

  • Cototur

    Yes, sometimes really cold, objective analysis can appear to be insulting, but it is not meant to be.

    Remember, in the end I give you two thumbs up and a gold star for your decisions in where you CHOOSE to live and raise your children. Again, well done. I know some people in Sweden (I know people from all over the world really) and they really like it very much there. And they are very nice people, as I am certain are the individuals / people in England.

    “That is until the beast craps you out and you find that you as an individual in the end mean nothing to the beast other than what it can take from you and not what it can provide for you.”

    Remember, after the beast craps you (Society) out and finds that it has no one else to “Help”, then it dies. But no one wants to voluntarily get to that point, not as long as we still have the right to choose anyway. And in time the beast must eliminate that.

    Its funny, I was having my coffee and eating a toasted raisin bagel with cream cheese as I was writing my “insulting” comment.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    How are you taxed for all the stuff your government provides? In the United States it’s mainly (Federal) withholding straight from your paycheck.
    You have a VAT tax? (and what is it) I assume you have high gasoline taxes?

    “The British Attempt to Construct a Socialist Commonwealth, 1945-1951”
    Gresham College 2011
    Prof Vernon Bogdanor
    https://youtu.be/TEgvxQ_OhcU
    1:01:24

  • Lee S

    Ha!!!… That made me giggle!!! Cototur, at the end of the day, we are just people doing what we need to get thru the day…. I do feel constantly under fire because I like where I live, I’m a fan of the system I live under, and to be honest, it gets a bit boring being told that the socialist system I enjoy being part of will inevitably end in collapse, fire and brimstone. It’s stood me in good stead for almost 20 years… And I see no reason for that situation to change…. Regardless of the opinions of a bunch of foreigners who think they know better than me because of stuff they read on the internet.
    Come and let me buy you a beer… Come and enjoy the beautiful old town of Stockholm with 600 year old buildings… Come and see how oppressed and downtrodden we are ;-) Your eyes would be in shock and awe at how wrong your opinions are…. Boots on the ground guys… Boots on the ground.

  • Lee S

    @Wayne…. We pay 31% income tax, our employers are responsible for paying our pension fund, and we also pay 25% tax on most purchases…. ( 6% or12% also depending on the product…. For example, kids stuff is taxed less)
    I know these numbers will make your hair curl, but we also reap the benefits .. earlier in this thread it was suggested that Swedes are not charitable because we prefer not to depend upon charity to help the most vunerable…. I actually believe we are more charitable, because we all pay every day, in an understanding that our high tax, paid to”the beast” helps everyone…. And a rising tide raises all ships
    It’s fine you guys don’t like our system, it’s fine you believe it’s doomed to fail, it’s fine you think I’m deluded…. It’s also fine I can sleep tonight knowing that if any sort of poop hits the fan…. Me and mine have our asses covered….

  • Lee S

    And still no one has told me why the WV economy died because of socialism?
    I am genuinely asking…. I have no clue…

  • Cotour

    To be clear Lee S, my issue is not with the people, who just like you just want a better life for yourself and your children.

    My issue is with the system that has been fashioned to live under. The people are good, the system however has all of the potential to become what no one in their right minds would want.

    Your system is fashioned in, if the George Soros’s / Globalists of the world have their way, would be to become an ever intrusive force in the individuals lives and in time everything that you found to be worth while would be but a façade.

    Read and understand the messages of Aldous Huxley, read, Thomas Payne, read, Thomas Freidman and understand what they came to understand about the ultimate nature of such social arrangements / the nature of the Beast.

    And to be clear, these things that we are discussing, namely the degree of acceptable state / government involvement in ones life is from the American perspective offensive and to be limited to reasonable parameters that do not interfere with the individuals Rights to be free.

    And if you or the world does not heed the clear warning over time this is everyone’s Sorosian reality:

    Prisoners in “The Dance Of The Dead” https://youtu.be/z0rio3IPXXU

  • Lee S asked “And still no one has told me why the WV economy died because of socialism?”

    I am sorry to say this, but people have been telling you this repeatedly, in long detail. The government under Obama decided it was best that the coal industry be destroyed, while encouraging the importation of as much manufacturing as possible out of the country. This bankrupted middle American, which is why we got Trump.

    The reason these actions by Obama and Washington are socialist is that they were the use of the government and its power to manage society for the betterment of all (to paraphrase your words), based on the opinions of a few people in Washington. As Cotour has noted, “the beast.”

    And as Edward has said repeatedly (it is almost a mantra), those few people in Washington got what they wanted, not what the people in West Virginia wanted.

    Which is also why we got Trump.

  • Cotour

    To EVERYONES point related to this subject.

    https://mia.mk/putin-signs-sweeping-constitutional-changes-into-law/?lang=en

    And as long as we are here, the other night I had dinner with some friends and the subject of Hillary came around, the woman I was speaking with hates Trump and loves, loves, loves Hillary. Her point of view, Trump is corrupt and a puppet of the Russians.

    I asked her: Did you ever hear of Uranium One and how the RUSSIANS pumped $125 million into the Clinton Foundation?

    No, I never heard of that, she replied.

    You can not make reasonable decisions about what kind of government you should have if you are not educated in at least the fundamentals and the evidence. The same for Bidens son and his ride on his daddy’s jet to China and his collecting that $1.5 billion in Chinese “investments”. I shaketh my head.

  • Lee S

    Ok, one by one….Cotour….. The funny thing is, Putin is classed as a hero by every Russian I know..( I know a few…. Perhaps 7 or 8 guys and gals..) it seems he remains a bit of a hero to the masses ( I know it’s personal experience again!! But how many Russians do you guys know?)
    As for Putin pumping money into Clinton… ( Whom I detest… just for the record… )… I am left scratching my head… I thought the Ruskies were all in for trump???

  • Lee S

    Bob…. You also may address me directly.. I may be sick, but I’m not dead yet! ( I hope you and your family are better by the way, you host an argumentative forum…. But I wish you nothing but the best regardless!)
    Don’t you feel it’s a bit strange that industry in my home area was destroyed by the right, and in WV by the left? To the same effect… ( And to be honest, anything Obama did was hardly socialist, apart from trying to introduce universal healthcare, but that is a subject for another thread).
    No one has acctually commented a reasonable explanation about the reason for the decline of industry in WV .. And from my personal experience ( I know this means very little to anyone… But your getting it anyway. ), The decay there has been going on for decades… It seems to me the rot set in WAY before Mr Obama.
    You also seem a little passive aggressive regarding Mr Trump…. He has acctually turned out to be a better president than I expected… And he’s funny!!
    I have repeatedly said here that I’m happy he got the position rather than Hillary… it seems like you cherry pick my comments to those which suit your arguments.
    As regards the beast I choose to live with…. I choose to live with it…. My eyes are wide open, I approve, I think it’s fine… It’s you guys who insist on repeatedly telling me I’m foolish, and the system we have is broken. It would be a breath of clean fresh air if anyone here would turn around and say “ok… Your life is different to ours, but we all live in democracies.. “… Instead I am constantly bombarded with insults to my intelligence… Come on Bob and the crowd… I’m not stupid, and I like the system I live with…you like yours… You might think mine is doomed to failure, I think yours is selfish and self centered…. And never the twain may meet… But let’s live and let live??

  • wayne

    Lee–

    Steppenwolf
    “Monster/Suicide/America”
    https://youtu.be/CXP4tRUuqUY
    9:17

    “And though the past has it’s share of injustice,
    Kind was the spirit in many a way.
    But it’s protectors and friends have been sleeping,
    Now it’s a monster and will not obey.
    The spirit was Freedom and Justice,
    And it’s keepers seem generous and kind.
    It’s leaders were supposed to serve the country,
    But now they won’t pay it no mind.
    ‘Cause the people grew fat and got lazy,
    And now their vote is a meaningless joke.
    They babble about law and order,
    But it’s all just an echo of what they’ve been told.
    Yeah, there’s a monster on the loose,
    It’s got our heads into a noose,
    And it just sits there watchin’…”

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    Things you wrote:
    Please tell me how the decay of obviously formally prosperous towns is down to socialism …

    … I am genuinely asking…. I have no clue…

    I told you when I first said this and a couple of other times, too, but you don’t bother to pay attention, so there is no use repeating myself. Again. wayne explained it to you, too, but very briefly. You don’t understand briefly stated facts, and you don’t understand facts meticulously explained to you. If you had paid attention, then you would have had a clue. I hope you paid attention to Robert’s explanation. By the way, Robert addressed you directly, when he used the word “you”.

    Oh, rats. That means that you didn’t pay attention to him, either.

    I do not believe that you take this discussion seriously, so for me it is merely practice, and I have already practiced that explanation. Instead of taking the discussion seriously, you relate a different location under different circumstances and conclude that the results you noticed there and here must necessarily be caused by the same thing. Next, will you try to compare apples to Cadillacs and conclude that they both come from the same tree?

    We pay just under that a liter…

    Is that before or after taxes? We capitalists don’t tax our fuel to death, but you socialists do.

    it gets a bit boring being told that the socialist system I enjoy being part of will inevitably end in collapse, fire and brimstone. It’s stood me in good stead for almost 20 years… And I see no reason for that situation to change….

    Ahh. The call of the complacent. You don’t look about you to see that your system doesn’t work, and you don’t explain why you believe that time will not change your country’s situation as it has done to all the other socialist utopias (utopia?). On the other hand, we have told you exactly why and how socialism has always failed, even here in America.

    earlier in this thread it was suggested that Swedes are not charitable because we prefer not to depend upon charity to help the most vunerable….

    Actually, you are the one who made this suggestion, then you explained it, again, in the next sentence. Forced charity is not charity at all, but it is theft.

    And a rising tide raises all ships

    Of course, you said that you like the tide at its current level. Meanwhile, the tide rises here in the free market capitalist countries, and we like it that way.

    It’s also fine I can sleep tonight knowing that if any sort of poop hits the fan…. Me and mine have our asses covered….

    Do you considered yourself to be covered by your meager savings (what little is left after all those taxes — er — charitable gifts) or by the government whose poop hit the fan?

    You might think mine is doomed to failure, I think yours is selfish and self centered…. And never the twain may meet… But let’s live and let live??

    You have confused enlightened-self-interest with selfishness. For our system to work, each of us must be selfish enough to produce something that someone else will pay for. They want the something, and their lives get better, we want the money, and our lives get better. This is the win-win that results from being able to bake additional pies.

    But when your socialism fails, you will still have your hand out. Only this time it will be demanding something from us, not demanding it from your failed socialism. Your live and let live tune will be different, where you will be singing give and let live.

    That is what has us most concerned.

  • Lee S

    Fine lyrics … Without doubt!
    It’s now almost 2am and I’m burning up with fever… Feeling crappy is the same wherever you are I guess.
    I really have one burning take away from this whole thread…. And it is a question…
    How, in your opinions, are our lives really different?, I mean on a genuine day to day basis?.. I understand you are all much more free than I am, I understand you have much more freedom to seek liberty and happyness, I’m guessing you all probably have running water and paracetamol in the medication cupboard, but apart from you having the most boring bank notes in the world ( they are a bit rubbish… No other country has a 1 dollar that looks just like a 50!) How are we different? I will hopefully wake up tomorrow, do some cleaning, cook Sunday lunch… Heard my kids to clean their rooms… Take the Micky out of my lads GF when she comes around, applaud my daughter’s piano skills, cook evening meal, we will all sir down and eat…just another Sunday… With added sickness…
    Really, society is not collapsing just yet… And if it does or doesn’t… what is the difference between here and there? I have a decent bus and train service, you all undoubtedly have a gun…. Otherwise what is the reality of the difference between us? If feeling healthy I will go and do my 8 hours on Monday .. I will make tea rather than coffee… Scratch my nether regions, brush my hair and head off to the job that keeps the lights on…. How is my socialist utopia different to your capitalist one?
    Unless stinking rich, I can imagine no difference between our day to day lives… Bob is lucky enough to run a news source which apparently supplies enough to support him, and many readers of this site are retired… (Good for you guys…. I’m waiting for mine..), but genuinely, what is the difference between your free and capitalist Sunday, and my Terrible socialist Sunday?
    I hope you all have a nice chilled day.,.. and look forward to arguing with your replies tomorrow!

  • Lee S

    Good morning Edward…. I hope this Sunday morning finds you fit and well..
    “You don’t look about you to see that your system doesn’t work, and you don’t explain why you believe that time will not change your country’s situation”
    My counties system works…. I don’t understand your problem with it… I can assure you that, apart from feeling like crap, I have no problems with my life right now… I even have a decent healthcare system where I can call an ambulance and not get charged… I’ve already paid.
    The system I live in works … What is your problem? Why feel you have to denigrate the Swedish system when you have never even left the boarders of your country??… As I have said here MANY times…. Come and have a look for yourself, you are just proving yourself ignorent by condemning something you genuinely have zero knowledge about.
    Love your system, it’s all yours…. Leave mine alone, and shame on you for calling something you obviously have no idea about wrong…. When you actually have the slightest idea about how society works over here, get back to me… Until then .. perhaps book a holiday beyond your own boarders … If you have a passport.

  • Lee S

    And still no one has told me why the WV economy died because of socialism?
    I am genuinely asking…. I have no clue… What happened? I’ve been told I’ve been told…. I’ve been told it was because Obama… ( Cheers Bob), but I’ve got no real information so far…. I seem to get much abuse here, but very little information.

  • Lee S

    Perhaps it’s my fever, but Edward…. You really should perhaps engage brain before engaging typing fingers … Have another razz thru your last post and count the nonsense..
    If you just wanted to wind me up…. You succeed..( at 3am with 39c temperature… Google your archaic temperature scale yourself if you don’t understand )
    I quote “Ahh. The call of the complacent. You don’t look about you to see that your system doesn’t work, and you don’t explain why you believe that time will not change your country’s situation”…. Could you be any more arrogant? And make less sence? My countries system is broken yet I should believe time will change it? It’s not the first time I have said this, but let those in glass houses throw the first stone?…. The US is just as broken as any other country, I am happy that I live in Sweden, and not in the US. I am happy to be seeking my love, life, and happiness (or whatever it is you delude yourself is self evident) over here rather than there…. I’m not knocking your system, so stop trying to tell me I’m always putting you guys down…. You can fill your boots with the American dream…. I’m just not buying in…. I’ll live my European dream, thru intention, not circumstance. If that makes you mad…. That’s down to you… Get yourself a passport, come to Sweden and see the hell we live in… Or go to Germany, Holland, England, France, Spain, Denmark, Croatia, Finland, heck… There is a whole bunch of countries you could visit if you had the inclination to broaden your mind… Unfortunately I can do nothing for you from here…. But if you take my advice you might end up slightly more open minded….

  • Lee S

    @Wayne, while re-reading my way thru this thread…. ( It’s actually quite educational, even tho no one has still explained what socialist policy killed WV .. Mr Z has explained that it has been explained… But I can’t find it!), I realized I didn’t explain VAT… it stands for “Value Added Tax” and applied at point of sale…. ( It’s called MOMS here in Sweden) and generally applicable to the net value of the product. Here it is generally 25%, and in the UK it is 20%, ( it was 15% when I was a lad.. ). This tax can be reclaimed come tax time, if it was paid for business related goods or services. One interesting factoid is that in the UK there is no VAT on children’s goods… I tend to take an extra bag with me when visiting the UK to stock up on clothing for my daughter… I used to stock up for both of them, but my lad refuses to stop growing and is almost as tall as me already….. Just not as fat… He gets the clothes that have shrunk on me over the years!

  • wayne

    Lee–
    We call it (paracetamol) acetaminophen in the USA.

    Obviously, the entire State of West Virginia is not a poverty-zone, but selected areas are, and this didn’t start yesterday. They mine a lot of coal and they have a lot of trees—various do-gooder snob know-it-all’s have constantly objected to the mining of coal and the harvesting of trees. They would prefer everyone in WV was on food-stamps or disability.

    Civil War
    Slash & Myles Kennedy
    https://youtu.be/3NY9O1C0_Ho
    8:48

    “Look in the doubt we’ve wallowed,
    Look at the leaders we’ve followed,
    Look at the lies we’ve swallowed,
    And I don’t want to hear no more.”

  • Lee S

    @Wayne… I was in the “City” of Mannington, population C. 2000….. ( Folks… Forgive me for telling my personal experiences… Boots on the ground and all that)
    Although the unemployment level was high, nobody I met admitted to recieving social welfare… If true or not, I do not know…
    I do know that every second big beautiful house was deserted… I genuinely wished I could buy one and ship it back to Sweden .. I can fix stuff made of wood, and seeing things with such fine workmanship decaying made me sad.
    However, there were signs everywhere regarding selling the mineral rights to your land… The friend I visited owned a pretty huge chunk of the hillside behind her house, which seemed to me to consist of not much more than a creek and a great assortment of trees…. But she assured me that she had been offered a considerable sum for it from a mining company…. So there must be value left in the ground… I don’t know if it’s iron, coal or something else… I just hope that if/when it is extracted, it benefits the locals as much as the mining company.

  • Lee S

    And I love guns n roses .. Slash grew up just up the road from my home town…
    The lyrics to civil war are as pertinent to those who are arguing against me as for me…( Ermmmmm… non… But it won’t stop me!)
    “I don’t need your civil war
    It feeds the rich while it buries the poor
    Your power hungry sellin’ soldiers
    In a human grocery store
    Ain’t that fresh
    I don’t need your civil war”

  • Lee S

    One for you
    https://youtu.be/s88r_q7oufE
    “We get some rules to follow
    That and this
    These and those
    No one knows
    We get these pills to swallow
    How they stick
    In your throat
    Tastes like gold”
    We are all slaves at the end of the day….

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    Here is a good real world example of how the now Socialist / Leftist Democrat party in America, in Maryland specifically, which is fairly close to West Virginia is operating. A part of America which is now dominated by the Left among them and they are destroying freedom through their constant push to relieve the public of their wealth (through more and more taxation, they just can not have enough of it for that is where their power lies) and wealth means freedom in all of its forms.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/14/maryland-tax-increase-education-coronavirus/

    This is the way that the Left among us acquires power and retains power, and this is how they feed the beast that protects and inspires them ever onward. Remember, government and those who are involved in administering it are powerless unless the 1. They are empowered by the public, and 2. When they are empowered they need funds to fund their “Much needed” programs and wealth redistribution programs to those who would for some reason have empowered them. This is the sick and perverted cycle and it is ever growing.

    So while Lee S sees government involvement in peoples lives in only one manner, as a helping and a benevolent force in the lives of himself and his fellow Swedonians, that is an incomplete model. In America the drive of the Left for more and more control of the power that comes along with political empowerment and the ability to pass legislation that confiscates more and more wealth from the populous is ultimately a selfish malevolent act that results in the destruction of what America is fundamentally about, individual freedom.

    So, Lee S, be healthy and enjoy the benefits as they are in Sweden at the moment, but understand that you are willfully choosing to not see the full spectrum of what in fact is going on right under your nose. Are Sweden and America different? Yes, but not really. These principles of freedom are universal and have always been, it just depends on what system you find yourself immersed in and living in.

    And in your case you have had the luxury of being able to choose one over the other and incrementally improve your lot in life, and not everyone has that luxury as is evidenced by all of the illegals that seek a better life somewhere other than the Socialist, Leftist and oppressive and economically vacant places that they found themselves because of exactly what we are discussing in this thread: How Socialism and Leftist doctrine ultimately destroys freedom for the individual.

    The fundamentals are the same, people desire reasonable degrees of freedom and when they are willing to trade those principles away for some perceived degree of safety they may not fully understand exactly what they are trading away. The Founders of America wrote extensively about it all and came to certain decisions on the subject, you might want to focus on understanding them and how they arrived at what they arrived at. That might settle this entire controversy.

    And so their must be a balance arrived at, but only with the full understanding of what in reality is underway and what it is that we are all immersed in. Ignorance is its own reward. Be happy in your situation as you find yourself immersed within, but just understand that there exists something fundamental about the human condition that you are unable to see and understand. In essence you have chosen willful blindness and are unwilling or even unable to “See”.

    Live the best life that you can, but outside of your door lurks the beast and to choose to just not see him is just not an option for me and many others. Feel better.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    IIRC, Cotour enjoys the Guns & Roses.
    Ref taxation– our whole history is emmeshed with the concept that your money is yours from the start. The King doesn’t have a claim on your labor. Our original federal government was tasked with specific duties, none of which require taking a large portion of my income. Not speaking for everyone, but broadly– “we think you guys are overtaxed and it breeds an entire sorta creepy political & cultural ‘thing that is ‘foreign’ to us, for lack of a better word, and it’s not a good long term plan to turn people into sheeple tended by the Chief Herder, even if you all like it to some degree.”

    pivoting…

    “America First – Sweden second?”
    (Parody)
    https://youtu.be/mPGk0GQQR8Y
    4:21

  • Lee S

    @Wayne…. My point exactly….. You guys don’t understand the philosophy I live under…. And (not you, but other commenters) feel it is their duty to school me on why I ( and my millions of fellow Europeans ) are wrong.
    I understand you all feel that the social system I live under is doomed to fail.
    I disagree…. and am actually happy to be living where I am.
    I am still running a fever, and if anyone can explain why my feet are aching, it would be appreciated!

  • Lee S

    @Cotour… (Rolls up sleeves again…)…
    If accurate, the piece you linked to proves 2 things…. The government of Maryland is being very sneaky… Something I disagree with very much. And that teachers over there are better paid than here, which I agree with very much! ( The pay rates for teachers and nurses over here in Europe are scandalous!) Even tho im a smoker, I would have no problems with a few extra crowns on my cigs to increase the pay of those that actually are safeguarding out future.
    I have actually learned something from hanging around here, and it’s that the American definition of “left”, and the European definition are 2 completely different things. Your left seems to be a bunch of fascist thugs, our left are reasoned politicians, with a history of political socialism going back generations…. Nothing too extreme, just a different method of government, one which I like, and one that works.
    Quote.
    “And so their must be a balance arrived at, but only with the full understanding of what in reality is underway and what it is that we are all immersed in. Ignorance is its own reward. Be happy in your situation as you find yourself immersed within, but just understand that there exists something fundamental about the human condition that you are unable to see and understand. In essence you have chosen willful blindness and are unwilling or even unable to “See”.”
    I am not blind, I am not stupid, I have my eyes wide open…. Never forget we all have democracy here also… You guys didn’t invent it! I just choose to live under a different system than you choose. And should we ever feel the oppression that you seem to believe we live under, we can use our vote to change the government.
    I cannot repeat this enough…. Come and have a look if you don’t believe me…. You will have a wonderful vacation… And more importantly, you might get to understand it’s possible for something to be different and not wrong!

  • Cotour

    At this point all I am attempting to demonstrate to you and anyone else that may confused about this subject is that to willfully ignore the full spectrum of these issues and ONLY see the one that you are immersed within is not really the best policy.

    Just be aware of the potentials that exist is my driving point here. I am happy you are happy with the situation that you have been able to craft for yourself and your family.

    Just because you can not or will not “See” it does not mean that it does not exist.

    If you were at sea on a nice comfy boat and it was a hot day and you chose to take a swim and you were either ignorant of or you just refused to recognize the existence of a Great White shark, and it ate you in two bites as your children watched, does that mean that the Great White shark does not exist?

    The authorities ask your children: “What happened to your dad, where did he go?”.

    Lee S jr: “Well it was hot and he went for a swim and a gigantic Great White shark came up and cut him in two pieces and ate him”.

    And the authorities said: “That can not be, there are no sharks around here”.

    And the official report reads: Lee S, assumed dead, went for swim and assumed drowned, body not recovered.

    And your kids are left with the two realities, the “official” reality, and the reality that they saw with their own eyes. Which are they to believe? Maybe they will get it.

  • Lee S

    Ok, I’m giving this one last try…. Industry in the UK was destroyed by the most right wing government in my lifetime… The coal industry, the steelworks, the shipbuilding….
    Literally millions made unemployment… Google Margret Thatcher if you want more details.
    And still not one person has given me any info on why it was was leftist policy which bankrupted WV… ( And no Bob… It has not been repeatedly explained to me, it has never been explained)
    I am genuinely interested.. it’s just I seem to have received no detailed answers … “It was Obama” is not really the kind of answer I am looking for.

  • Cotour

    England as a general rule has been destroyed by ever growing Socialist / EU / Globalist type policies, political association is irrelevant.

  • Lee S

    @Cotour…. I actually like you… You argue a good point.
    Consider the Australians…. They are fully aware of the existence of sharks…. They are also not scared to swim.
    Not stupid, not blind, but happy with their situations.
    I really still don’t understand why you guys don’t understand that there are other options than the US model…. I’m sure your lives are just fine…. As mine is just fine… I’m just not as scared of the sharks as you are. Indeed, I trust the intelligence of my fellow voters enough to have faith in my countries future…. Make of that what you will.

  • Cototur

    Ditto.

    Just rational, reasonable conversation and argument. No yelling, no screaming, no finger pointing.

    Its what, including respect, the best relationships are made of.

    We are more alike than different.

  • Cotour: I have fixed the url in your post.

  • Lee S

    And although your link was a bit broken.. cutting the whole thing works!!! And made me giggle! Thank you!
    The smiling shark is behind us all my friend…. The politics of the US are a much deeper quagmire than perhaps any other country…. ( I am not critical here .. ) … Perhaps India is more corrupt, but let’s be honest…. Sweden has a population of C.10 million, we have no chance for the depth of corruption you guys have with 30+ times to population. Government is reasonably transparent, we can track where our tax money goes… And at the end of the day, as I have said, we use our votes…. And we have a much more viable pool of political parties to choose from. We always end up with a coalition government…. With the parties the people choose working together to enact the will of the electorate. I consider that to be democracy in its purest form.
    Trump will be the next president in the US…. As has been discussed on here, your other party has a choice between two old men, one so left he stands no chance ( although I do love Bernie), and a guy who is obviously going senile….
    I don’t actually think trump is doing a bad job…. He gets an awful amount of criticism in the leftest press I frequent… But his figures remain impressive.
    It’s just a shame you don’t have a broader viable base to choose you politicians from.
    Anyway, I’m taking my aching body to bed…. I hope you all remain healthy and well…. Much love from my friends over that pond. Enjoy your days!

  • Cototur

    (Thank you Zman, got a new computer, it runs Windows 10, does some different things)

    “The smiling shark is behind us all my friend…” Exactly! Just recognize that the beast exists and it waits for you (And everyone else) and he does not care whether you recognize that he exists or not. But there he is all the same.

    We are all “Free”, its just a matter of to what degree, no one is FREE. We all exist within some structure of governance. And ALL and every government that has ever existed is and was corrupt from its inception and looks to control and “own”, its just a matter of to what degree. And they all are always, no matter if they are Democratic, Capitalist, Socialist or Communist, threatening that degree of freedom that you may or may not enjoy.

    We make some measurable progress, and then you say something like this ” ( although I do love Bernie)” and you throw it all out the window. While liking someone is not a crime, rooting for an avowed Communist and “Democrat Socialist” to become the American president is a whole nother thing. And I certainly hope that you can begin to see the difference there also.

  • Cototur

    And here we have the illustrious (Not) “progressive” mayor of NYC, DeBlasio suggesting:

    “New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested Saturday morning that the coronavirus pandemic might be justification enough to begin nationalizing what the Democrat said are “crucial industries.”

    I have no idea who voted for this useless SOB, everyone that I talk to about him despises him on both a personal and a job evalutation basis.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/14/deblasio-coronavirus-nationalize-industries/

    “By any means necessary”, as they say, and “never let a good crisis go to waste”. And the mean it!

  • Cotour: Two things: You seem to have changed your nickname. Please change it back. Keeping it the same facilitates searches.

    Second, watch your language. I will tolerate using acronyms for curse words to a point, but you are beginning to do it all the time. Find some other more thoughtful way of expressing yourself.

  • Cotour

    Name was just a typo, the key board is a little bit shifted, ironically to the Left.

    And, will do.

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You asked: “How, in your opinions, are our lives really different?, I mean on a genuine day to day basis?..

    Well, you just don’t understand the feeling of having freedom, which is one day to day difference. You don’t have to make choices on important life decisions such as which healthcare insurance plan to buy — your government gives you whatever, and you feel as though you like it. But these things are a genuine difference. With freedom, I can have an insurance plan that is best for me, not best for the whole country. One size does not fit all, and I can have something that was tailored more for my own needs at an affordable price that allows me with money left over to improve my lifestyle while I save for a rainy day.

    You may think that this is selfish, but it is not. That insurance plan fits a lot of people, not just me. It is like choosing clothing off the rack. It does not fit as well as couture clothing, but it does so much better than the one-size-fits-all clothing. If I want a more expensive couture policy, freedom allows me to buy that, too, for the price it takes for an insurance company to tailor such a policy.

    Free market capitalist insurance leaves us with better care than you get, but we have enough left over to save for a rainy day as well as to live better day to day.

    On a genuine day to day basis, I do not have to worry about the government paying me to stay home sick, because not only do American employers generally provide sick leave but we also have money left over after taxes to save for a rainy day.

    By the way, today it is literally raining where I am, but also we are shutting down schools, libraries, sports, and other places where people gather in close groups, making life seem a little rainy, or seem like we are suffering Isaac Newton’s plague. I expect some bright young scientist to make a major discovery in the coming weeks.

    The difference between here and there is that we do not look forward to a collapsing government. Unless we continue down the road to socialism.

    I will hopefully wake up tomorrow, do some cleaning, cook Sunday lunch…

    Heck, even slaves get to do that.

    Meanwhile, a working system does not break down after it runs out of other people’s money (OPM). A working system is self sustaining, and socialism is not self sustaining. Plymouth Colony, and thus America, learned that lesson the very hard way.

    I’m sure that you live high off the hog while you have OPM to pay for it, and just like the Venezuelans, you don’t see the end result. Your dream is coming true, you just don’t want to see that the piper has to be paid, just as in every other socialist country.

    What is your problem? Why feel you have to denigrate the Swedish system when you have never even left the boarders of your country??…

    What an assumption that you make. I have left the borders of my country, which just goes to show how little you know of me, Americans in general, or the American economic or governance system.

    I told you my problem in my last comment, but you did not pay attention, as per usual. There you are, today, with your hand out to your government, and after socialism fails, you will not be prepared to handle that failure, as per usual. The Soviet Union is a classic example of socialism failing then the country failing to recover. Poland is a classic example of the opposite, where they revolted against socialism before it failed, then they chose to ease into free market capitalism so that the black market gangs did not take over, as they did in Russia when they just let anything happen. Even free market capitalism needs some amount of regulation in order to prevent monopolies from muscling out the competition.

    You still have yet to explain why Sweden’s socialist society will work after it runs out of OPM. I do not have to have been to Russia to know that its socialism failed, or Venezuela, or any number of other countries. Even China and India are moving toward free market capitalism, and I don’t have to be in either of those two countries to know that. In fact, with you as an example, going to another country may limit my education of it, just as your visit here limited yours. I agree that you are fooled into believing that your system works, just as Detroit worked in 1960 when the socialists took over and declared it their model city. But even with plenty of national government money coming in, it is a terrible failure. With all that influx, they still do not have enough OPM to keep it as a model to follow.

    I noticed that you did not recommend that I go to Greece, where they ran out of OPM and are now having trouble with their piper. Just as America is not eager to bail out your butt when the time comes, the EU was not eager to bail out Greece when their time came — but Greece had a fine time up until then. I don’t have to go to Greece to know that. What did you think of Greece when you went there during their austerity kick?

    Nor did you recommend Cyprus, which stole everyone’s bank account, leaving many businesses in deep doo doo. As I recall, that was a result of a deal that they made with the EU in order to keep up with their mandates for national financial security. What did you think of Cyprus when you went there after their mass confiscation?

    So, who isn’t open minded? Me, who considers what happens around the world, or you, who only looks inward at Sweden?

    I’m not knocking your system, so stop trying to tell me I’m always putting you guys down….

    Actually, your left-handed compliments put us down. It would have been better for your case if your sentence previous to this one had not been an example of you putting us guys down. “I am happy to be seeking my love, life, and happiness (or whatever it is you delude yourself is self evident) over here rather than there….

    Of course you are happier there than here. Over there, someone else is in charge of taking care of you, just not anyone who knows you, who knows who you are, or who cares whether you are. Apparently, over there, it is delusional to think that it is self evident that a person has a right to life. This right, at the very least, should be self evident, because without that one basic right then what other rights do you think that there are to be had?

    It’s actually quite educational, even tho no one has still explained what socialist policy killed WV .. Mr Z has explained that it has been explained… But I can’t find it!

    Yeah. I think this explains why you feel that you are treated badly, here. You tell us that you are getting educated, but apparently not the education that we are giving to you. Robert gave a not-too-brief explanation in that same comment, yet you couldn’t find it? That is just like when you missed that he addressed you directly.

    Rather than counter Roberts explanation (even I can find arguments, and I agree with Robert), you either pretend to miss it or you truly did not understand that it was an explanation. Franky, I just don’t know what to say here that won’t get my comments banned for a week, and that is just not worth it.

    My countries system is broken yet I should believe time will change it?

    Yet another example of you not paying attention. It appears that you have conflated words and their concepts. Let’s blame the fever.

    The U.S. is less broken than your adopted country, because we have been working for the past quarter millennium improving it. We still have problems, such as creeping socialism, but we are confident that we can fix that, too.

    I tend to take an extra bag with me when visiting the UK to stock up on clothing for my daughter…

    So much for you being glad to pay all those taxes for the things your government gives to you. It is yet another example, soft as it is, of how you rely upon OPM.

    Oh, and we Americans know what a VAT is. You assume ignorance on our part, but we don’t have to go to Europe or Sweden to learn about value added taxes or most of your other ideas, successes, and failings.

    Although the unemployment level was high, nobody I met admitted to recieving social welfare…

    Why would anyone admit to such a terrible thing? Unlike Europeans (if we choose you as our personal-experience example), we Americans are proud to be adult enough to be able to take care of ourselves,our children, and each other. It is, after all, what growing up is all about. It is also what charity is all about.

    I have a friend who, at 68 years of age, is not adult enough being around twelve years old emotionally and intellectually, but his sister and her husband take good care of him. It is so much better and personal than having the impersonal government bureaucracy do it, because he gets to build Legos and play with trains (earlier today I was at his house fixing his layout).

    I don’t know if it’s iron, coal or something else… I just hope that if/when it is extracted, it benefits the locals as much as the mining company.

    There is an unexpected ironic twist to your story. For some reason that you don’t explain, they could make personal fortunes and provide jobs for the others in town by selling to mining companies. So, why don’t they?

    I really still don’t understand why you guys don’t understand that there are other options than the US model….

    Actually, we do understand other options, as we have told you so many times, you just don’t pay attention. The other models fail to provide nearly as much prosperity as ours, and our prosperity gets spread around much of the world, making your life better, too, sometimes at our expense. You’re welcome.

    Your explanation of Margret Thatcher’s evil deeds is far more sketchy than any of our many explanations of our points have been. Googling Margret Thatcher does not come up with anything about millions of lost jobs. I got suckered into that one, thank you.

    Our lives may be fine, now, but they will be less fine once you have your hand out asking us to help after your socialist Swedish system fails.

    I’m just not as scared of the sharks as you are.

    Now we know that you weren’t part of the crew of the USS Indianapolis.

    With the parties the people choose working together to enact the will of the electorate. I consider that to be democracy in its purest form.”

    Actually, no. The different parties must compromise away from what any of the various parts of the electorate wanted. You describe a republic in which nobody’s will is enacted. At least in America, a greater percentage of the time legislatures enact the will of the electorate of whichever party has the majority.

  • wayne

    The Character of Twentieth Century Britain –
    Professor Vernon Bogdanor
    Gresham College
    https://youtu.be/qPKt_9gAiCg
    55:40

    “During the 20th century, Britain underwent a major transformation. A country in which a law-abiding individual would hardly notice the existence of the state had become one in which, from the cradle to the grave, no one could avoid it. An empire controlling the destiny of one-quarter of the human race, having no allies because she needed none, had become an offshore island with an ambiguous relationship towards the Continent. How did this come about and what were its consequences?

  • To all, a note about Margaret Thatcher. When she took over as prime minister, the UK was a mess, caused mostly by union strikes, a weak leftwing government pandering to them, and expensive socialist polices that the country could no longer afford. It was in this context she made her well quoted statement about socialism, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.”

    Her generally free-market response to these problems eventually straightened out both the country’s economy as well as returned the British government to solvency. Her policies however required some tough decisions that were definitely despised by the union-controlled industries (such as mining). Many did lose their jobs in those industries, mostly because their jobs were no longer required for their industry to become efficient and competitive in the global and domestic market.

    This quick description is obviously a thumbnail simplification of what happened under Thatcher. Nonetheless, it captures the basic facts: the overall result of her policies was a thriving economy, fueled mostly by allowing greater freedom for British businesses and citizens.

  • wayne

    Rush –
    “The Trees”
    1979
    https://youtu.be/JnC88xBPkkc
    4:56
    “There is unrest in the forest,
    There is trouble with the trees.
    For the Maples want more sunlight,
    And the Oaks ignore their pleas…”

  • wayne

    Ah…
    I have a video on that…. (Thatcher)

    Britain in the 20th Century:
    Thatcherism, 1979-1990
    Professor Vernon Bogdanor
    https://youtu.be/lOiJnNN8bmc
    1:03:59

  • wayne

    On a brief more serious note from me–

    Lee brings up a good point (somewhere I can’t find readily) about the different definitions of various political ideologies between the USA and “Europe.”
    –we ran into this problem with our friend from New Zeeland as well.
    I would put forth– we’re probably arguing past each other until and unless we all agree on what Name goes onto What Movement.

    Personally– I’m a Conservative, Libertarian, Republican. (generally in that order)
    I like to keep doing the things we know work, maximum freedom of action for the individual, and representative divided government responsible for specified duties. (at the Local, State, and National level.)

  • Lee S

    Sorry for my late replies….. I’ve been laid pretty low with fever, and struggled to even go out and shop for food… At least I didn’t have to drive, I took our state subsidised public transport, with a 3M mask on… (Obtained from work, but I’ve only got 3 left… I must Google if I can sterilise them out in the oven..)
    It’s genuinely scary to see the empty shelves in the supermarkets, I’m still convinced it’s more hyperbole than fact regarding the danger… I’m still breathing, and the kids are fever free now, but the global reaction is concerning.
    Now down to work ! ;-)

  • Lee S

    @Bob… There is no doubt that the UK was in trouble due to extreme left wing policies before Thatcher’s election, I’m a moderate leftist, and I understand. The fact remains however that Thatcher presided over the highest unemployment in the UKs history, the economy recovered a little, mostly due to her selling off 90% of national industry, and a huge amount of social housing.
    A lot of people got very rich by having the right to buy their social housing at a fraction of market price. The ripples are still being felt today… The money went to Spain and the south of France….who doesn’t want a home in the sun? And the difference between the UKs and the USs homeless problem is that we did have enough housing… Until the right sold it.
    Check out the financial situation at the end of her time in power…. It didn’t recover until the 90s…. When labour regained power. (Fortunately coinciding with my youth in the UK!)

  • Cotour

    The fundamentals:

    1. The concept that there is or should be a “national industry”.

    2. The concept that there is “social housing.”

    The government has no business in neither, and that is fundamentally wrong think in how government, specifically the empowered Left thinks things should be. Private property I.E. Capitalism for the most part provides freedom and wealth to the individual. Why is that concept such an offensive concept to the Leftist among us. Where do they get their authority to think in such terms?

    They fabricate their authority by fashioning social dependency, and that in itself is a perversion. Why does the Left think in a perverted manner? Its none of your business how people choose to live.

    And again, there is an associated word “Choice”, people deserve the Right to choose and suffer the consequences of those choices. Its called FREEDOM!

  • Lee S

    Sorry…. Posting delayed due to daughter asking a million questions regarding Corona…
    Edward…. I will try to plow thru your post tomorrow…. You raise some interesting points, but you do tend to bury them deep! A couple of points a post would go a long way towards a better discussion!
    Unfortunately, I need to hit the sack… I wish you all a good morning, evening or night, wherever you are!

  • Lee S

    @Cotour…. Wow! Your venom gives me the energy to stick around and try and be coherent!
    We have plowed over this ground for what feels like a million times…. And this is why we will never see eye to eye.
    I ( and many millions of others ) consider it to be the duty of the government to provide social care for the needy ..
    You do not.
    I ( and many millions of others ) would consider our elected officials to NOT be doing their jobs if this didn’t occur.
    We have very little problems with our taxation because on the whole, we get the social system we want
    I quote “Its none of your business how people choose to live.”, It’s non of your business either my friend.. and I ( and many millions of others ) choose to live this way.
    I think your society is essentially selfish and uncharitable to the most underprivileged, you think my society is intrusive and over dominating…. We think very differently. I would still buy you an over taxed beer should you decide to visit. ( The beer prices in bars makes MY hair curl… You would have an accident!)
    Regarding public industry, I’m still undecided… There was a lot wrong with the coal, steel, telecommunications, shipbuilding and manufacturing industries that were government owned, but I think nothing that could not have been fixed with better management and oversight. To close down, or sell them off caused genuine hardship in the UK, and I believe if better run, they could have contributed not only by employment, but also profit into the governmental coffers… For redistribution obviously.
    We have completely different philosophy’s regarding the role of government…. And that is just fine… You don’t have to live here… I don’t have to live there. It is also presumptuous of either you or I to consider either system doomed to failure…. The socialism I enjoy, and contribute to is VERY different to any of the failed states mentioned in this thread. We both admit our systems are in no way perfect, but we both have democracy…. And surely that is something you agree with!

  • Cotour

    “It’s non of your business either my friend.”

    And that would be fine, if you did not demand through legislation to confiscate others wealth who disagree with you.

    YOU make it my business by confiscating my wealth.

    Do you get it? Its you being compelled to “DO” for others that sets this all up to the point where government becomes the enemy of EVERYONE and their freedom.

    And no one is arguing that there should not be social programs to some degree, but by your and your country’s own experience and the fact that you yourself MOVED AWAY from it all. This is not an either or argument, its a discussion about degrees and where the line is drawn. But the Left can not draw a reasonable line, they always want more and ever more until its all a pile of crap. And then you move away to Sweden.

    Really! Your way of thinking is an insult on so many levels.

  • Lee S

    After a spot if research ….GNI per capita in the US…. $60,200, life expectancy, 78.7 years
    Sweden…. $50,980, life expectancy 81.0 years.
    When you take into account the health insurance, education, childcare costs, and no doubt more that I cannot pull from the top of my head, the wages are on parity…. ( The average healthcare cost for a US citizen is $10,000 a year…. Feel free to Google my figures.)
    I don’t see much difference… We live a bit longer than you do… ( When not struck down with the deadly Contra plague!)
    So why oh why am I constantly told I am wrong…. I am open minded enough to admit I do not like the US governmental model…. But I don’t keep telling you all it is doomed to failure…. And I see no reason for you to tell me mine is… You have no proof or reason to consider this likely…. The USSR is not really a good comparison.
    And a thought just occured to me…. Cotour…. Government has no right having any nationalised business….. Errrm… NASA?

  • Lee S

    Man your angry tonight Cotour…. Take a deep breath!
    I don’t plan on stealing any of your money…. Chill out…. Your money is safe.
    I moved from England to much more socialist Sweden…. It’s not the other way around… I prefer it here… ( Although yes Edward, I do stock up on kids clothes when I visit England, they are cheaper there, and I’m socialist, not stupid!)
    Quote… “Do you get it? Its you being compelled to “DO” for others that sets this all up to the point where government becomes the enemy of EVERYONE and their freedom.”
    No Cotour… I don’t get it, indeed, let me ask you a question…. What is your government acctually for? It seems you either do, or would prefer to give them as little power as possible. Why do you even bother with a federal government? As a collection of states, if you hate government so much… Why not get rid?
    Now, please try to hear me here thru your rage…. I’m going to genuinely try to explain the mindset of the system I live under.
    We pay high taxes…. And we hold our government responsible for providing a certain level of social care. They ARE held responsible, and if they do not, they are voted out in the next democratic election.
    This is our choice of governance, this is the way we like it… This is the system that, believe it or not, works remarkably well for us. I genuinely fail to understand the anger that a slight suggestion that there could be other systems that work in the world provokes. Why get so mad my friend…. I have plenty of valid reasons I disagree with US politics, but they are just that… Problems with politics… I have never once suggested your system is broken… It’s yours, and seems to be working, and to be honest, ours seems to be working also…. You might disagree… And that is your right…. And also where you are wrong.
    When western European politics collapses into a huge mess… Then come and tell me I was wrong, I will probably give you a home brew beer… ( Still better than US beer!), But until that day, which I don’t think is going to arrive… Chill out a bit, and accept that different systems can actually work. 2 things can be right, without one being wrong.

  • Lee S

    I’m actually really enjoying the back and forth here…. Obviously I disagree deeply with the opinions of my US fellow patrons, as you guys do with me, but it’s fun to argue, and occasionally we learn a thing or two!
    I’m burning up with fever once again, it’s strange but it seems to climb in the evening.. I just wish I had some Corona beer to ironically drink…
    Stay safe guys… I’m sure this storm in a teacup will blow over… And good whatever time you have to you all!
    ( Why can’t you be like a normal country, with 1 time zone???). ;-)

  • Cotour

    The only thing you are transmitting here is the fact that you prefer the nice neat, thorough and more organized Socialism that the Swedes provide over the incestuous and corrupt crap system that the English provide, which is what you fled from. You want quality Socialism, and I do not blame you.

    I gave you a two thumbs up for making the choice for both you and your children.

    But it is still what it is, enjoy it while you have got it.

  • Edward

    Lee S ,
    You suggested: “A couple of points a post would go a long way towards a better discussion!

    Or I could just comment a zillion times a day and make it more difficult to find which of the many posts has the point you want to reply to. I spend a lot of my time searching for things you said so that I understand your overall viewpoint before I post my comments. We all have our own styles for our comments. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could learn to live with reading a lengthy comment and with scrolling around to plow through post after post, all of which sum up to being just as lengthy?

    I ( and many millions of others ) consider it to be the duty of the government to provide social care for the needy ..

    This is why you are not generous. Your day to day life is different because you do not have to worry that there are needy people who are not contributing to the prosperity. You don’t have to care that no one is getting them off of social care, because they are out of sight and out of mind; they are someone else’s problem. That contributes to making your day to day life that much better, as it is one less problem you don’t have to worry about, but the government does your worrying for you.

    Oh, and that poor needy person worries, too. He is shackled with poverty, because no one is really looking out for his interests, just providing him with a fish a day rather than getting him onto the fishing boat.

    But that poor person is the one who is dragging your socialism down and will ultimately cause its demise. But don’t you worry; be happy in your fool’s paradise.

    I think your society is essentially selfish and uncharitable to the most underprivileged

    That is another difference between our daily lives. I am assumed to be uncharitable and selfish because I choose to personally be charitable. You think it is better for the uncaring bureaucracy to do your charity for you, but that bureaucrat finds that keeping the poor needy helps him build his empire within the government. Keeping someone needy is hardly charitable. U.S. charities prefer getting people back on their feet so that they can get back to contributing to our prosperity. My charities teach people to fish, if necessary, and get them onto a fishing boat.

    But do I get any credit for my charity?

    Nooo. Some guy in Europe figures that if government doesn’t do it then it doesn’t get done, and declares me to be selfish and uncharitable. And that comes after he had said: “I’m not knocking your system, so stop trying to tell me I’m always putting you guys down….

    Some people’s children!

    There was a lot wrong with the coal, steel, telecommunications, shipbuilding and manufacturing industries that were government owned, but I think nothing that could not have been fixed with better management and oversight.

    There is something that we can agree upon. Government does poorly with management and oversight, but competition and free market capitalism tends to provide better management as overseen by the shareholders. If management is bad, then the shareholders stand to lose their entire investment, so they have much more at stake than some government bureaucrat who will still have a job when the stuff hits the fan.

    To close down, or sell them off caused genuine hardship in the UK

    This is what happens to the employees of any poorly managed company, nationalized or not. Capitalist Warren Buffett is well known for turning around dying companies, but this comes at quite a price to the employees who had worked at the poorly managed companies. They have to find other jobs, because the previous management just was not up to keeping the company in good shape. Buffett, on the other hand, manages to save many jobs that would have been lost if the previous management had continued. In Britain’s case, previous management was the supposedly-good socialist government.

    It was yet another case of failed socialism. Like all the others, it looked like a worker’s paradise. Right up until it ran out of OPM.

    in the US…. life expectancy, 78.7 years

    Which started falling when the socialist Obamacare took effect.

    So why oh why am I constantly told I am wrong…

    Because you are.

    I am open minded enough to admit I do not like the US governmental model….

    Case in point. That is not being open minded; you are wrong yet again. You have thought that from the beginning.

    But I don’t keep telling you all it is doomed to failure….

    Because it isn’t. Hey, you got one right! Unless you think that is doomed to failure but aren’t saying so, in which case you are wrong again.

    The USSR is not really a good comparison.

    So you say. What about China or India? How about Greece or Cyprus? Poland or East Germany? Britain pre-Thatcher?

    Of course you don’t think those are good comparisons either, because those are examples of failed socialist systems, and Sweden’s hasn’t failed, yet, so only comparisons with successful socialist systems count. Right?

    Government has no right having any nationalised business….. Errrm… NASA?

    *Sigh* Wrong again. NASA is not a business, nationalized or otherwise.

    I don’t plan on stealing any of your money…. Chill out…. Your money is safe.

    Wrong again. Just as with Greece, your hand will be held out for money when the failure comes.

    Edward, I do stock up on kids clothes when I visit England, they are cheaper there, and I’m socialist, not stupid!

    It is humorous how many socialists are really free market capitalists at heart. It is also humorous that you fail to see that this demonstrates that Sweden’s socialism is failing.

    What is your government acctually for?

    It is stated clearly in the Preamble to the Constitution, and it conforms to the only three functions of government.
    1) To provide protection for the people from enemies, both foreign and domestic: [to]”insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare
    2) To peaceably resolve disputes as a disinterested third party: [to]”establish Justice
    3) To stay out of the people’s way: [to]”secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

    When we give government as little power as possible, we have the most liberty as possible. This is not the same as not needing any government. You really don’t pay attention to what people say. We have told you this in a variety of ways, but you assume that your system is the correct one, that more of it should be applied, and that it will last forever unchanged.

    As a collection of states, if you hate government so much… Why not get rid?

    Yet another leftist assumption. Disagreeing with something or wanting a limited amount is not the same as hatred. Speaking disagreement and a desire for liberty is not the same as rage.

    We understand the mindset of your system. There are plenty of people here who think that your system will work here in the United States, either because it is the right place for such things to work or because the people to work it the right way are here in the United States (usually, they consider themselves to be the right people to work it). We hear from them all day long, and many of them tell us how utopian your country is due to its socialism. They fail to point out to us that everything is so expensive there that you guys buy as much as you can when you visit overseas.

    No wonder you go out of country so much.

    When western European politics collapses into a huge mess… Then come and tell me I was wrong

    You still would argue about it. I would rather tell you that you are wrong before the socialist systems in Europe fail, otherwise it will be too late to save ourselves from your outstretched hand. A hand that you would argue our government should fill with money, because that is the duty of government.

    Eastern Europe was a mess all through its socialist decades. Greece turned into a mess. Cyprus stole its citizenry’s money when it ran into a mess. The UK ran from the EU. But for you, western European politics is just fine, so I should not tell you about how wrong you are when you say that your system works. Just like Greece, Cyprus, the Soviet Union, China, and India, it looks like it works, but it only hasn’t yet run out of OPM. Even Venezuela looked like it worked, when its good, socialist friend, Obama, became president, but by the time he left office Venezuela was a big mess, and it was blaming the U.S.

  • Lee S

    Ok, I feel stimulated enough to string together a coherent argument… And Edward… I will address your points in reverse order.
    Regarding the EU. I would have voted for GB to leave if I was able, I did vote for Sweden to not join the monetary union, we still have the Krona. I would have no problems with being part of a free trade agreement, but when they start talking about a “European army” it’s time to leave. Regarding Greece ( having lived there… And I know it’s only personal experience ), I said “this isn’t going to end well”… And it hasn’t.
    If we ever get into a deeper dive on the subject of Greece, I will explain how it was a planned do-over, and Greece’s financial woes made many people rich… But that is a rabbit hole for another day.
    NEXT!

  • Lee S

    This one is easy.
    “No wonder you go out of country so much.”
    I visit England once or preferably twice a year…. The bulk of my family, and childhood friends live there. I also go on a company jolly once a year… A long weekend in a European destination, basically to drink, eat new foods, and party with my workmates.
    From time to time I take my kids somewhere warm for a break… Even tho the Swedish summer is generally very nice, it’s nice to get away for a while. And travel broadens the mind.

  • Lee S

    The next few paragraphs of your rambling argument are not so easy to parse… But I will try…
    I have already explained that our expectations from government are different to yours. They are both governments, but obviously the population of your country, and the population of mine expect different things from our ELECTED leaders…..
    One thing that sticks out from your point is that your government has a duty to “promote the general Welfare”…. That’s what my government does…. Not in a method you agree with, but in a method my countrymen and I agree with.
    Would you rather we give up our chosen method of social care? Would you rather impose your will upon us, or allow us to continue in our chosen path? How very in American of you.

  • Lee S

    Ok, I’m only up for picking holes in the tangled web you weave for one last point….
    Charity.
    We, all Swedes, pay our way, every day, for the greater good of the greater numbers.
    Americans may be very charitable, and good for you guys. But in my opinion, it is so much better that the state has one eye on the disenfranchised masses, has systems in place to help, ( and no, we don’t just just give a fish…. The system re-trains those who need it, help with writing a CV, gives language lessons when needed… The system is geared up to teach to fish ), and those in need do not need to be reliant on the fickle, optional charity of others. It is built into our system.
    Like I have reiterated SO many times…. Our system works…. The Swedish economic situation is just fine, even with all the current events… We will not come begging, cap in hand to our family over the water…. I promise…
    You can keep threatening our impending collapse… But as a reasonably (believe or not) intelligent man, I have no fear about living here…. And I consider you wrong.
    It has been commented that people cannot work out my alignment…. That is because I have my eyes wide open…. I am very left leaning, but accept there needs to be some capitalism in the mix…. I do love Bernie… I love his passion for socialism, even at his age… And I also understand his unelectable platform. There will not be a left leaning government in the US or the UK for a generation.( And if you remember the meat of any of my previous posts… You will remember I actually like many things the Trump presidency has achieved)
    I hope I have addressed most of your points…. If I miss any, then please feel free to address them… But one by one please… Your posts are thought provoking, but genuinely WAY to long!

  • wayne

    Lee–
    Ref time-zones, didn’t they used to say “the sun never set on the British empire?”

    Topped off my tank at $1.679 the gallon this am.,
    let’s go for a drive…

    Eisenhower Pass Tunnel (Interstate-70) in Colorado
    The Highwayman 2011
    [music by Joe Satriani]
    https://youtu.be/iLSRVaqG5-o
    4:44

  • Lee S

    @Wayne…. “Ref time-zones, didn’t they used to say “the sun never set on the British empire?””… They did… But twas a long time ago… Back before we allowed your little colony back ;-)
    Enjoy your drive my friend! And drive safe! ( And I hope your enjoying your cheap as chips gas, but I also hope your driving an eco-friendly car… Cheap gas is no good if your driving a SB 305…. preferably with headers and a 2 1/2 inch double system with an X pipe and straight thru mufflers…. That would be environmentally unfortunate…. ) Brummmmmmm!

  • Edward

    I have already explained that our expectations from government are different to yours.

    Yes, but the three purposes for government are the reasons it was invented. Yours suffers from mission creep, which ends in tyranny, if not checked before it gets there. We Americans know all about this. It is why we formed our own nation.

    We, all Swedes, pay our way, every day, for the greater good of the greater numbers.

    Except for those times when you avoid it by, for instance, buying stuff while overseas.

    You can keep threatening our impending collapse…

    It is not a threat but a warning. Perhaps this is another difference in our daily lives. We are not paranoid. Perhaps it is the lack of control that you have over your government or the control your government has over you that makes you automatically think that someone helping out has a different motive.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

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