Underlore

Ending the dominion of pain and death.

Another Beginning

20150831_003736

It’s impossible to say how long I’ve been here. Hiding. They dismiss and judge. Would you avoid? Do we deserve? Frozen in a constellation of moments forever. Happening all at once and never. Each page a slice of motion with no choices. It occurs what must be done and I’ve already begun. Sidestepping ramparts of consciousness. Picking the lock of awareness. Skipping the tedium of argument. Pain is the real enemy. Death is the real enemy. For a moment there is peace. A sense of freedom and empowerment. A way to accomplish the two objectives. The holy grail of paths. A useful paradox.

Why Devknights Exist

Alfrid Lickspittle: The Patron Saint of Devknights

Alfrid Lickspittle: The Patron Saint of Devknights

Firstly, what is a devknight? Anyone who defends a developer’s interests above and beyond even their own is like a vassal. A knight. That is, a warrior servant tasked mainly with suppressing a large but relatively weaker population. (Weaker only by virtue of peacefulness, and disproportionate backing of an exploitative owners class.)

Devknights are slaves in many senses of the word. They are essentially owned, they worked for free or very very little, and they have essentially zero chance of ever becoming a lord or king themselves. They are also wildly dogmatic. Think the real historic version of chivalry. (Sexist, hypocritical, racist, classist, etc. You know, fox news.) Not the romantic version of Arthurian legend.

Devknights rush to the defense of developers regardless of their behavior or role in the conflict. This is exactly how a knight was required to behave. A knight was essentially a walking sword. No thought, no questions. Just obedience, propaganda, and mercenary combat.

Obviously this is an exploitative role. And just like in history, the knight’s gain in this was further exploitation of a larger group. The serfs. Like a trustee in a prison. They exchange their soul and integrity for a slightly better ranking in the pecking order amongst the rabble. Like today’s right wing rank and file or middle echelons, they think by kissing lordly ass they’ll meaningfully better their own position.

Rank and file gamers are the serfs here. Typically exploited by a monopolistic owner to one degree or another.

They buy in with our small individual software fee, instead of working the land etc. Our collective small fees pay for the castles of the devs and publishers. And somehow, just like in those times, knights and lords and kings think that their role as administrators makes them producers, when in fact they are parasitic middle men and it is the cooperative principle that is the actual productive multiplier.

By virtue of an economic monopoly. (IPL and ultimately software patents.) We have established a new feudalism. There’s no class mobility in this system. (That is why it badly need reform.)

So, why do devknights even exist? Well, that’s a simple question with a complex answer having to do, for a start, with the basic ways a child responds to threats. (Fight, flight, appease.) I conjecture that they are essentially people who when faced with a giant monolithic seemingly unbeatable foe, have internalized their world view to say sane.

Sort of a psychologically callow version of if you can’t beat’m, join’m.

Of course there’s more to it then that. Mostly extending from the fact that the vast majority of engaged gamers, especially on the English speaking western world side, are monied young white men. And the speaking online portion of that crowd is disproportionately right wing types.

We’re essentially dealing with the gamer version of the tea party here. They in a very literal sense worship greed and psychopathy enabled entrepreneurialism.

Somehow these people have got it into their head that being a thief makes them producers. No doubt a consequence of the totally bogus “job creators” myth of trickle down fame.

Their economic religion essentially asserts that anyone who wants an economy with anything like integrity or consumer protections is an entitled socialist weak greedy parasite whiner.

I oppose these people in virtually every ideological arena since they were essentially manufactured to be trustees in a massive economic prison.

If you don’t like being called a devknight, then stand with your fellow gamers for once.

See also:

http://underlore.com/dev-whiteknight-rant/

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/CasualVendetta/discussions/0/530645961935929818/

Policy Triage

Basically we need a species threat/opportunity triage system that includes prioritized lists of possible actions/mitigations and their cost benefit ratios.

This is how I arrive at my policy positions. I essentially put myself in the position of global emperor and think about how to do the most good for the most people with the least cost in the shortest amount of time while averting or preparing for situations of threat with a similar but inverted criteria.

Climate change for example is actually an easy problem.

Just roll out mid-scale nuclear power as fast as we can till the carbon curves break.

Another easy solution is a UBI and a wealth cap. By bookending the global economy with those elements you can achieve the best of both worlds of planned and free market economies. Again, that problem’s solution would solve a whole series of other problems.

Those root issues are the best things to focus on, the right things to worry about.

It’s a simple matter really to determine them if we are rational. Of course as baseline humans we never will be. We don’t actually change over time, only our environment and technology does. However, we can make ourselves aware of our emotional limitations, and of the fact that those emotions are stopping us from behaving in this rational way.

At the species level we seem to have a kind of pandemic phobia of facing problems rationally. This 0.2% sanity score tells us something about our own nature that should be factored in to policy choices.

It’s perfectly possible for us to decide to give power to rational goals in the abstract without falling into emotional traps. But we first have to decide that’s a good idea. Mostly people seem to reject that. They obey their emotions consciously, almost on principal. Never realizing that makes them puppets of whoever can best manipulate them.

http://underlore.com/who-owns-your-limbic-system/

Credo SEC email: 2015-08-09 0358 PM

The SEC is broken, and we’re hitting it on several fronts. This week, CREDO members helped win an important victory.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is broken and Democratic Chairwoman Mary Jo White is largely to blame. That’s why we’re hitting the SEC on several fronts, from demanding that Mary Jo White be replaced as Chair, to objecting to the waivers that let banks that admitted to criminal wrongdoing avoid penalties.

In our ongoing campaign to fix the SEC, CREDO members helped win an important victory this week: Forcing the agency to issue a rule on disclosure of CEO pay.

When we helped pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act back in 2010, we didn’t know that we’d have to fight for years to get the Democratic-led Securities and Exchange Commission to write a simple rule mandated by the law. Finally, five years later, under immense pressure from activists, the SEC voted 3-2 in favor of a new rule forcing publicly listed companies to disclose how much more their CEOs make than everyday employees.1

Make no mistake: This would not have happened without the sustained public pressure of CREDO members, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the progressive movement.

The SEC is so dysfunctional and corrupt that even though Dodd-Frank required that the CEO pay disclosure rule be issued within a year of the law’s enactment, the SEC refused to act. More than 73,000 CREDO activists signed a petition demanding the rule, joining tens of thousands more who have demanded a tougher SEC that cracks down on Wall Street.2 Our voices, combined with those of countless allies who devoted time and energy to this fight, forced SEC Chair Mary Jo White to act and ultimately to vote in favor.

Our advocacy also resulted in a stronger than expected rule. Following the guidelines set out in Dodd-Frank, the rule requires companies to calculate the median pay – not the average, which could be skewed by a few well-paid individuals – of their employees, and compare it to the already-public compensation of the CEO. But it was tougher than anticipated in the specifics of how corporations go about calculating the median pay, for instance forcing them to count 95% of their overseas employees, who are often paid far less than U.S. workers.3

It is worth noting that this rule attracted so much attention not because it was a linchpin of Wall Street reform, but because it was one of the simplest and most commonsense elements of the Dodd-Frank reforms and was supposed to be issued with a year of the bill’s enactment – and yet the SEC still could not manage to implement it without a baffling and inexcusable delay. Last September, four years after Dodd-Frank passed, SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White told the Senate Banking Committee that the SEC hoped to implement the rule by the end of 2014. In Spring 2015, Mary Jo White even lied to Sen. Elizabeth Warren about the timing of the rule, telling her it would arrive shortly before the SEC announced a further delay.4

In short: Passing one rule that should have gone into effect years ago does not take the heat off of the SEC, Chair Mary Jo White, or President Obama.

The SEC is still broken. To date, President Obama has done too little to help. If recent reports are accurate, only sustained advocacy from CREDO members and our allies stopped the president from nominating corporate defense attorney Keir Gumbs to fill an open seat on the Commission.5 There is little indication to date that he will pick someone like Kara Stein, a reforming willing to pick fights with Wall Street who has been dubbed “Sen. Warren’s ally on the inside.”6

Most importantly, President Obama’s hand-picked chair, Mary Jo White, has had two years to live up to here tough-on-crime rhetoric, but has failed to change the culture of the SEC or rein in Wall Street. It is long past time for her to go. She has:

  • Backed “get out of jail free” cards for criminal banks, repeatedly voting to give big banks waivers allowing them to keep special perks despite breaking the law.7 White has even butted heads with reform-minded commissioner Kara Stein, who objects to these free giveaways to admitted criminals.8 As the fifth and tie-breaking vote on many issues, White regularly sides with Wall Street, not Main Street.
  • Overseen a paralyzed, Wall Street-friendly SEC. Reports describe White’s SEC as plagued “by discord and paralysis” and her office as “the cheese cellar: It’s where policy goes to age.”9 Rules have taken years to finalize, and her frequent need to recuse herself due to her background as a private defense attorney – and her husband’s current job as a corporate lawyer – has empowered Republicans to demand lighter punishments for corporate lawbreakers.10 In fact, White’s biggest fans appear to be Republicans, with Sen. Mike Crapo praising her “flexibility” and rabidly pro-Wall Street commissioner Daniel Gallagher offering additional plaudits.11
  • Hired a Goldman Sachs managing director and Romney donor as her new Chief of Staff. After overlooking Wall Street fraud as the director of investment at the SEC in the run-up to the financial crash, Andrew Donohue was later richly rewarded as managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he oversaw the firm’s legal matters. In 2012, he made a generous donation to Mitt Romney.12 And now, in a disgusting example of the revolving door, he’s about to return to the SEC in the highly influential position of chief of staff to Mary Jo White.13

On top of it all, the Securities and Exchange Commission has settled the majority of its cases without requiring companies to admit guilt, breaking a key promise Mary Jo White made in her confirmation hearing.14

The CEO pay disclosure rule is a sign that we are winning. It is evidence that putting direct pressure on the White House and on Mary Jo White personally produces results. Not only do we not intend to back off, we plan to expand our efforts. In the coming weeks, CREDO will continue to:

CREDO members have never been shy about taking on big fights when that fight is important. The Securities and Exchange Commission, with its wide-ranging responsibilities for overseeing private equity, hedge funds, mega-banks, and big corporations, is simply too crucial an institution to allow it to be hijacked by Wall Street.

Thank you for continuing to speak out,

Becky Bond, Political Director

  1. Victoria McGrane and Joann Lublin, “SEC Approval of Pay-Gap Rule Sparks Concerns,” Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2015.
  2. Tell the SEC: Implement CEO pay-disclosure rule now,” CREDO Action.
  3. McGrane and Lublin, “SEC Approval of Pay-Gap Rule Sparks Concerns.”
  4. Elizabeth Warren, “Letter to the Honorable Mary Jo White,” Senate.Warren.Gov, June 2, 2015.
  5. Patrick Temple-West, “Elizabeth Warren allies delay Obama’s SEC pick,” Politico, July 7, 2015.
  6. Patrick Temple-West, “Elizabeth Warren’s ally on the inside,” Politico, May 18, 2015.
  7. Warren, “Letter to the Honorable Mary Jo White.”
  8. Temple-West, “Elizabeth Warren’s ally on the inside.”
  9. David Michaels and Robert Schmidt, “The Agency That Barely Moves,” Bloomberg, May 21, 2015.
  10. Ben Protess and Peter Eavis, “Political Fights Throw Sand in Gears of S.E.C.,” New York Times, May 28, 2015.
  11. Alec MacGillis, “Mary Jo White Doesn’t Scare Anybody,” The New Republic, May 4, 2015.
  12. Andrew Donohue Donor Lookup,” OpenSecrets.org, Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  13. Kevin G. Hall, “Goldman lawyer becomes SEC chief of staff,” McClatchy, May 28, 2015.
  14. Warren, “Letter to the Honorable Mary Jo White.”

How I got banned from Dailykos.com in less than 8 hours.

It begins with this post.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/08/1409778/-View-from-the-left-Hillary-the-fighter-emerges

And it’s all about how awesome Hillary is now because apparently she spoke in a pleasing way.

Since talk is cheap, I registered expressly to post the following:


If the dems hand Hillary the dem primary, Americans deserve a Republican president. And that’s what we’ll get, regardless of who wins the general.

If you guys buy into lip service you’re working for the 1%’s PR machine.

I will literally vote republican if it’s not Bernie in the general because I’d rather have a monster we can see than a complacent left enduring another 8 years of centrist republican rule just because the label on the can says “democrat.”

What she says doesn’t matter. What she’s done is the real indicator. Same with Bernie. Vote with your brain.

“Since he voted against the Iraq War and has spent a lifetime championing progressive issues while others waivered <strong>(Hillary was against gay marriage until 2013, voted for the Iraq War, pushed for the TPP on 45 separate occasions, and supported Keystone XL)</strong>, Bernie Sanders doesn’t need to prove he’s a progressive. Voters know what they’re getting with Vermont’s Senator. In contrast, Hillary Clinton rarely offers a direct answer on why she failed to champion certain causes when they weren’t popular.”~ H. A. Goodman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/bernie-sanders-can-become-president-has-replaced-i-like-him-but-he-cant-win_b_7733476.html

How do I know that got me banned? Well, in making a mistake in another comment I went to tech support looking for how to edit or delete comments…

2015-08-08_182725

There’s an important lesson here for leftists who think their media and their party are in any way qualitatively different than the rights.

We have a one party system in this country. The 1% party.

Links:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/08/1409778/-View-from-the-left-Hillary-the-fighter-emerges

http://helpdesk.dailykos.com/discussions/problems/99515-how-do-i-delete-a-comment#comment_37603459

http://www.dailykos.com/user/Innomen/comments

2015-08-08_183002

 

Bernie Sanders Email: 2015-07-28 0431 PM

This is a copy of the email I received and I liked it a lot.


As I travel across the country, I am constantly struck by the level of enthusiasm and engagement there is for the political process. Everywhere I go, from Portland, Maine to Phoenix, Arizona, Americans are ready to discuss the critical issues facing our country. And this Wednesday night, July 29th, over 70,000 individuals have signed up to attend organizing meetings in their communities.

It is clear to me that people are taking this primary very seriously, and as an early supporter of our campaign, you have a unique role to play in our success going forward.

In that light, I wanted to make sure that you saw our new five minute video about the issues driving our campaign.

Watch the video and make a $3 contribution to help us continue to build an organization capable of challenging the billionaire class in this campaign, and after I’m elected president.

 

In the meantime, let me be very blunt and tell you why I am running.

This country faces more serious problems today than at any time in modern history, and establishment politics will not successfully resolve them.

Corporate greed is rampant, and the very rich keep growing richer while everyone else grows poorer. Despite an explosion in technology and a huge increase in productivity, the middle class continues to disappear, most Americans work longer hours for lower wages, and 45 million live in poverty.

The skyrocketing level of income and wealth inequality is not only grotesque and immoral, it is economically unsustainable. It is unconscionable that 99% of all new income goes to the top 1%. It is absurd that the top one-tenth of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, and that one family (the Waltons of Walmart) has more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.

As a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, the billionaire class is spending huge amounts of money to buy candidates and elections. We are now witnessing the undermining of American democracy and the rapid movement toward oligarchy where a handful of very wealthy families and their Super PACs will control our government.

The scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and is already bringing catastrophic damage to our planet. Yet, the Republican Party is prepared to reject science in order to gain campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, Big Energy companies and others who make billions on fossil fuels. If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable.

The United States once led the world in terms of the percentage of our young people who had college degrees. Today, in a highly competitive global economy, we are now in 12th place. Hundreds of thousands of bright young people have given up on the dream of higher education, while millions of others leave school with oppressive debt.

Our infrastructure — roads, bridges, rail, airports, water systems, wastewater plants, levees, dams — is crumbling, and Congress refuses to appropriate anywhere near the necessary funds to rebuild it. If we do not invest substantially in infrastructure, a bad situation will only become much worse.

Despite substantial gains, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality for minorities. Instead of investing in opportunities, we are locking people up at an incredible rate. We now have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world with over 2 million in prison and millions more on probation or parole. We have a broken immigration system that divides families and keeps millions of hard-working people in the shadows.

Most of the major Wall Street financial institutions that we bailed out because they were “too big to fail,” are now bigger than they used to be. The six largest financial institutions now have assets equivalent to nearly 60% of our GDP, issue 35% of the mortgages, and oversee 65% of credit cards.

Our tax system is wildly unfair – rigged to benefit the very rich. Major corporations that earn billions in profits stash their money in tax havens and pay nothing in federal income taxes, while billionaire hedge fund managers pay a lower effective tax rate than nurses or teachers.

Despite growing poverty among seniors, almost all Republicans, and some Democrats, want to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans. They want more austerity for the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, and more tax breaks for the rich.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The United States spends more on the military than the next nine biggest-spending countries combined. Today, there are massive cost over-runs with defense contractors and the Pentagon cannot even pass an independent audit.

We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to change that reality.

Let’s be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It’s about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: “Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.”

I have discussed some of the major crises that we face. Let me give you the outline of an agenda which addresses these problems.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The truth is that real unemployment in our country is not the “official” and widely-reported 5.4 percent. Counting those who are underemployed and those who have given up looking for work, real unemployment is almost 11 percent. Even more disturbingly, real unemployment for white and Hispanic youth is over 30 percent, while African-American youth unemployment is over 50 percent.

We need a major federal jobs program. The most effective way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. To do that, I have introduced legislation which would invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure. This would create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs. It would also make our country more productive, efficient and safe.

As a member of Congress who voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China (PNTR) and is helping to lead the opposition against the TPP, I will continue my opposition to trade policies which have cost us millions of decent paying jobs as corporate America shuts down plants here and moves them to low-wage countries.

Raising Wages: Today, millions of Americans are working for starvation wages and median family income has declined by almost $5,000 since 1999. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is totally inadequate. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage – $15 an hour over the next few years. Our goal must be that no full-time worker in this country lives in poverty. We must also bring about pay equity for women. There is no rational reason why women should be earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men who perform the same work.

Further, we need to implement “family values” for American working families. It is unacceptable that the United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave, sick time and paid vacations.

Wealth and Income Inequality: Today, the richest 400 Americans own over $2.2 trillion in wealth, more than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. Meanwhile, nearly half of all Americans have less than $10,000 in savings and have no idea how they will be able to retire with dignity.

In order to reverse the massive transfer of wealth and income from the middle class to the very rich that we have seen in recent years, we need real tax reform which makes the wealthy and profitable corporations begin to pay their fair share of taxes. It is fiscally irresponsible that the U.S. Treasury loses about $100 billion a year because corporations and the rich stash their profits in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other tax havens.

We need a tax system which is fair and progressive. Children should not go hungry in this country while profitable corporations and the wealthy avoid their tax responsibilities.

Reforming Wall Street: I have introduced legislation which would break up the largest financial institutions in the country. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself investing trillions in risky financial instruments. We need banks that invest in the job-creating productive economy. We do not need more speculation and gambling in casino-type activities.

Campaign Finance Reform: We need to return to a one-person, one-vote democracy. It is not acceptable that the Koch brothers and other billionaires are spending endless sums of money to buy elections. I have introduced legislation which would overturn the horrendous Citizens United decision and will only appoint Supreme Court justices who are prepared to do that. We must also demand disclosure of all large campaign contributions. Long term, we need to move to public funding of elections.

Fighting Climate Change: The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good-paying jobs.

Health Care for All: The United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right. Despite the modest gains of the Affordable Care Act, 35 million Americans continue to lack health insurance and many more are under-insured. Yet, we continue paying far more per capita for health care than any other nation. The United States must move toward a Medicare-for-All single-payer system.

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable: Today, the United States has more people living in poverty than at almost any time in the modern history of our country. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major nation, and millions of seniors and people with disabilities struggle to put food on the table because of insufficient Social Security benefits.

In my view, we have a moral responsibility to make certain that no American goes hungry or sleeps on the street. We must also make certain that seniors and people with disabilities can live in dignity. Not only must we vigorously oppose Republican attacks on the social safety net, we must expand benefits for those most in need. That is why I have recently introduced legislation which would extend the solvency of Social Security until 2065, while increasing benefits for those most in need.

Expanding Opportunity and Equality: We need to stop using prisons as a response to poverty. Our criminal justice system needs to be reformed so that we do not continue to house non-violent offenders at huge expense when that money could be used to rebuild communities and create opportunity. We need federal leadership to reform policing in America, to end racial profiling, and to fight the illegal activities of hate groups. We need comprehensive immigration reform that protects families and leads to a responsible and realistic path to citizenship.

Dismantling Structural Racism: Throughout much of our history, the elite in America has divided people along racial lines in an effort to consolidate wealth and power. We need to simultaneously address the structural and institutional racism which exists in this country while at the same time vigorously attacking the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which is making the very rich much richer, and everyone else – especially the African-American community – much poorer. Meanwhile, too many people of color in this country find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. We have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth. We need to invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration. Finally, no person should have to worry that a routine interaction with law enforcement will end in violence and death. Black lives matter: we must reform our criminal justice system, move away from the militarization of police forces, and invest in community policing.

College for All: The United States must join Germany and many other countries in understanding that investing in our young people’s education is investing in the future of our nation. I have introduced legislation to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lowering interest rates on student loans.

War and Peace: I voted against the war in Iraq, and that was the right vote. We must be vigorous in combatting terrorism, but we can’t do it alone. We must be part of an international coalition that includes Muslim nations which not only defeats ISIS but which works hard to create conditions for lasting peace. I will vigorously oppose an endless war in the Middle East.

My approach to campaigning is pretty simple and straight-forward. We hold a lot of public meetings in towns that are big and small. People ask questions and make comments. We discuss the important issues facing our country. And that’s it. Nothing very fancy. It’s called democracy and I like that approach very much. It’s something I’ve done my whole political life.

I hope very much that you will join me at one of our meetings. I hope that you will become part of our campaign team. And I hope that you will watch our video and make a contribution to our campaign:

https://go.berniesanders.com/sneak-peek

Let us never forget: This country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.

Sincerely,

Senator Bernie Sanders

Underlore © 2013