Shine my shoes, f*ckface

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, March 16th, 2011 - 100 comments
Categories: class war, humour, us politics - Tags: ,

Bill Maher takes a swipe at the ‘Undercover Boss’ and ‘Secret Millionaire’. “TV used to give Americans the reverse fantasy: what if you, normal person, were a millionaire. Now it says, oh who are you kidding? You’re lucky to hold your job frying chicken parts. But what if you were briefly introduced to a millionaire? You could touch his garments.”

100 comments on “Shine my shoes, f*ckface”

  1. ianmac 1

    “But what if you were briefly introduced to a millionaire? You could touch his garments.”
    But that is what John Key paraphrased with his disparaging remarks about the envy of the rich by the masses! Perhaps he could raise funds for Christchurch by allowing a feel of him for a fee?

  2. M 2

    ‘Perhaps he could raise funds for Christchurch by allowing a feel of him for a fee?’

    LOL and eeuuuwww – just make sure your immunisations are up to date.

    Anti-spam: vice

  3. Bunji 3

    Talking of shoe-shiners – they, along with windscreen-washers, are back. After a notable disappearance of them under Labour (and mass employment), they are definitely starting to be out in force again.

    This is National’s Brighter Future.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      yeah, and there’s at least three times the number of people begging on Lambton Quay these days. You hardly used to see them, now you will definitely see one, maybe two and some times more, every time you walk down the road. It’s still a low number, of course, but it’s an indication of a lot of pain for a lot more people.

      • Vicky32 3.1.1

        I have seen an increase of people begging in Queen Street.. (and that’s not counting the Hare Krishnas!) They congregate around mid-town McDonalds, and spread as far as the doors of the language school where I teach as a reliever.
        I would give money if I could, but I mostly can’t – yet they don’t know that when I walk past! I feel like scum…

  4. Kevin Welsh 4

    Bill Maher is a funny, funny man. But as with all these types of monlogues, I worry that the message is lost in the humour. The audience are having a good ol’ chuckle, but are they really taking it all in?

    I watched Inside Job a couple of nights ago and now consider myself fluent in CDO’s and Credit Default Swaps. I also have a rising anger that is increasing on a daily basis when I see what is going on around me with Big Business getting all the breaks and SME’s getting shafted.

    The current GEON (print group) debacle is a classic case in point. If it wasn’t really happening, you would laugh your ass off.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      Do enlighten us Kevin, I must have missed a news day or something.
      As a freelancer I sometimes send jobs to GEON affiliated printers.

      Re the post hil–effing–arious!

      • Kevin Welsh 4.1.1

        Where to start?

        GEON was a merger between Pacific Print Group (NZ) and Promentum (Aus) about 4 years ago backed by Gresham Private Equity (in other words, someone’s retirement money). The plan was to merge, rationalise and flick off in an IPO and make shitloads of money. Unfortunately for them, the GFC happened and they had to operate as a printing business which has been a complete disaster and shows what a flawed concept it was from the outset. (Glad I didn’t end up buying shares).

        They have haemorrhaged money like a sieve the last couple of years, and have just reported a $180M loss for the last financial year. They have a $280M loan through royal Bank of Scotland (British Govt. owned) which is now on a “pay if you can” basis but is due for full repayment in June 2015.

        Now, unless my basic economics course in 5th form at school was wrong, when your debt level exceeds your value, you are insolvent. And this is the situation GEON is now in, but… the banks keep them afloat hoping that conditions improve enough to flick them off so they can recoup their money.

        Do you think the small business owners get such a sweetheart deal from the banks? Nuh, they get hounded by the banks if they even go $10 over their overdraft.

        My advice Tiger? Support New Zealand owned and operated business. Companies that invest in New Zealand and New Zealanders. Any Money GEON make out of NZ is headed for London or Sydney.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Thanks for reply,
          Brebner was one company that I used to deal with prior to all the logos and a few people etc changing over.

          It sounds depressingly familiar to what is common in international industrial food production with leveraged buyouts etc. that Unilever and others get into.

    • Bored 4.2

      Kevyn, I have been wondering for years why SMEs align with corporates politically, my own business has needless dollars sucked out of it by corporates. Best examples are the banks, telcos and power companies who act like oligarchies to set prices to keep their margins high….it basically impacts my profits without adding any value. Then when we sell to them our services they try their best to squeeze our margins. The way I see it is that the corporate sector is actually a parasite upon those in the productive sector i.e the SMEs, sole traders etc. They provide infrastructural services etc which should best be delivered by highly regulated or socialised businesses.

      Dont talk to me about rentiers behavoir, landlordism, seizure of the public domain etc, apoplexy follows.

      • KJT 4.2.1

        Have this at many Chamber meetings. “National is for business” even as they admit business was better under Labour and they talk about relocating to Oz if NACT gets back in.

  5. Bored 5

    F**k thats funny. Compulsory viewing for those who vote National for aspirational purposes. Those who dont commit suicide will be queing up to join the Communist party.

  6. Jeremy H 6

    Funny stuff coming from a millionaire…

    • Sookie 6.1

      At least Bill didn’t make his money ripping people off and/or selling them crap, and employing peasants to work for him on minimum wage plus tips. The right wing wishes they had dudes this funny working for their side. Sadly, all the best comedians are leftie pinko scum. Unless you count Glenn Beck? 🙂

      • Jeremy H 6.1.1

        I forgot those evil Capitalists forced people to buy products from them and work for them instead of starting their own companies…

        • Colonial Viper

          Oh welcome back Jeremy.

          I forgot those evil Capitalists forced people to buy products from them and work for them instead of starting their own companies…

          Yeah, because starting a company up to take Apple or Toyota or the National Bank down is like, so easy, yeah.

          The basic issue is that we live in a capitalist system which means that those with capital control the economy. Workers, whose assets are generally tied up in the house where they live, are at a severe disadvantage in such a system unless they too can access readily available cheap capital.

          In summary, your one liners remain weak as ever.

          • Alwyn

            Why not start a company?
            After all Apple took down IBM (in PCs).
            Toyota took down General Motors.
            I suppose you could say that ANZ took down Lloyds (National owners)
            The third is a bit of a stretch but the first two were minnows when the firms they were competing with were giants.

            • Rosy

              Apple – huge bailout by Microsoft in 1997
              Toyota – huge publicly funded science and technology research available

              Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, James Dyson, et al even Sam Morgan – massively talented entrepreneurs (although not without some skullduggery esp. Gates) and with access to reseach and capital. Not at all like the so-called entrepreneurs who, for example, buy up farmland on the edge of town and create money-go-round finance companies and then whinge when they go under taking other people’s money about not being respected for their talent.

              It takes a lot of talent and a bit of serendipity to be the first and a lack of moral and ethical framework to be the latter. I don’t have what it takes to be one or the other.

              As for your average SME – good on them for giving it a go. You may or may not be better off than your employed counterparts, but we’re pretty much in this together so fight for the start-up strategies and research grants together for goodness sake.

              Funny how rightwingers claim that lefties don’t recognise special talent yet at the same time claim that we can all aspire to be the same.

            • Colonial Viper

              Alwyn your corporate history is nonsense.

              IBM took itself down. It did this when it allowed Microsoft to sell MS-Dos for any PC, even ones not made by IBM.

              As for GM, they also took themselves down. By paying scant attention to build quality, reliability and fuel economy.

          • Jeremy H

            I’m not saying they have to build a Fortune 500 company in a couple of weeks… Starting a company can be as simple as making gift baskets with a few $100… There are plenty of billionaires who started companies with money borrowed on their credit cards…

            Your straw man arguments are as weak as ever…

            • Colonial Viper

              Yeah OK run with the fallacy that because a few millionaires and billionaires made it big starting up in a garage, this is a good option for large numbers of people to escape from corporate clutches.

              Patently unrealistic.

              Frankly you are advocating for a system which seriously disadvantages people with limited capital, or whose capital is all tied up in their residence.

              There are plenty of billionaires who started companies with money borrowed on their credit cards…

              Name five

              BTW apart from you I don’t know of any credible advisor who suggests that loading up your credit cards is anything other than a dangerous desperation move to get a business started.

              • ianmac

                Wonder what start up capital Mr Key had?

              • Jeremy H

                Off the top of my head, the guy who started Paychex and a German billionaire who initially started an ISP on money borrowed from his credit card…

                As for other’s I’ve read about I’d have to go and re-read a lot of material again…

                Your right about using a credit card as not a good starting move, speaks a lot about their desire to succeed…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Desire to succeed?

                  Then it doesn’t matter if a few people get hurt along the way then does it? Or if a few underhanded deals are done, cheating others out of their fair share? Squeezing down wages to the very minimum possible? Cutting corners on specifications and ingredients every way possible?

                  Would that also indicate a desire to “succeed”?

                  Funnily enough your definition of success is as shallow as your arguments.

                  • Jeremy H

                    I’d never have and never would advocate for anyone do anything illegal CV, that you think that is required says a lot about your narrow world view than mine…

                    What must you think about your wealthy spouses family if that is your mindset…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Illegal and immoral are two quite different things Jeremy. What would you advocate for?

                      As for my spouses family. I prefer not to ask too many questions, keeps life simple 🙂

                  • QoT

                    Desire to succeed?

                    I’m reminded of the popular meme in US reality TV – the idea that to win you just have to “want it more” than your other competitors.

                • prism

                  Jeremy H – Like gamblers on horse racing etc. the losing bets (investments) never get mentioned only the winners. And there are far more losers than winners just like in the horsies. In new business there is the dreaded three year period during which the majority get knocked out for a variety of reasons.

              • Alwyn

                Hewlett and Packard actually did start their company in a garage in the 1930s.
                I understand, although I wouldn’t bet on it that it’s now a historic monument.
                Closer to home TradeMe started as an afterwork exercise. It was then financed by people Sam Morgan worked with, along with dad. The amount of money was pretty trivial apparently. Worked out pretty well for them didn’t it?
                Watties was started by Jim Wattie working in his family kitchen.
                The original Fletcher was a small time carpenter.
                Microsoft was two friends who dropped out of Harvard.
                So yes, it can be done.

                • lprent

                  Yep it can be.

                  In the case of NZ you have named two from before I was born and one where the source of the seed capital was crucial family based money.

                  Microsoft, the family money was pretty crucial at seed time for that as well. Don’t know much about HP.

                  The amount of seed capital required is usually pretty trivial. The problem is from whence you get it. One of the biggest problems with dealing with venture capitalists is the amount of ownership and control you have to give up. It is why the companies tend to get sold off so early.

                  Family money is crucial and allows a much stronger retention of ownership. You’ll see that over and over again when you look at the case studies on startups.

              • lprent

                I’ve been around tech businesses starting up for more than 20 years now. The constraint is lack of any significant investment capital during the startup phases in NZ.

                It is less risky and far more lucrative to put money into property in NZ.

                There are plenty of billionaires who started companies with money borrowed on their credit cards…

                Name five

                Be more specific – name 5 in NZ that went past the first prototype phase on their credit cards and became millionaires from it. You can do it to the first prototype if you can use that to get access to venture capital, but we have had very very little of that here. You can get to a small market size if you mortgage your house and use that to pay for early development and marketing.

                But the key thing to remember is that virtually none of the venture capital in NZ comes from NZ. Almost all of the small on-shore funds comes from offshore, frequently from ex-pats based offshore. Capital in NZ is almost entirely tied up in banks who are entirely risk adverse. Startups don’t get any capital from them that isn’t backed with property.

                Most startup businesses here wind up being sold to off-shore companies once they have established a market because there is no capital here to buy them. Generally the business moves offshore within a few years afterwards because there is nothing to tie them here.

                • prism

                  lprent That’s it all boxed up and tied with a knot. Our never-ending story here at the bottom of the world.

                • Alwyn

                  I don’t think I can be bothered answering ever more limited questions.
                  My own list gave five who did it on the equivalent of a credit card
                  If I did the research and came up with five New Zealand people, when the original “name five” was not limited to NZ, I suspect it would then be down to “name five from Christchurch” or such-like.
                  The rest of your comment on the other hand I agree with.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You have to be kidding, your examples are all from ancient history, as for Morgan, he put his hat round the family and collected several hundreds of thousands worth of funds to start up, plus having the name of his Dad to trade on.

                    Not everyone has that.

                    Hewlett Packard lol yeah they started up on credit cards – not. But you didn’t count the literal tens of thousands of others who got bankrupted in similar enterprises.

                    Its like the lottery, this approach. No way for most working people to risk their family on.

        • felix

          “evil Capitalists “

          Notice how it’s only ever the righties who use this term, but they use it as if they’re quoting or mocking some imaginary oft-stated lefty position?

          Speaks volumes about their mentality AND their grasp of economics.

        • KJT

          Yeah. It is so easy for the not already rich to obtain capital to start their own companies.
          And corporates will not use use their power to put them out of business.

      • felix 6.1.2

        “Sadly, all the best comedians are leftie pinko scum.”

        There’s a very good reason for that. Comedy – especially comedy dealing with social and political issues – inherently involves highlighting inconsistencies, which demands that the comedian’s own position in reasonably internally consistent by comparison. Contemporary right wing thought simply can’t stand that sort of scrutiny.

        • Pascal's bookie

          This makes me laugh though, every time.

          Is there another right wing song btw, or is that pretty much what they’ve come up with?

          • felix

            The Right Brothers are full of them!

            This one even employs the same use of the word “evil” as the trolls here do.

            • Pascal's bookie


              It’s like they finally managed to nail that sound they thought was the shit back in the day, needed some lyrics and genius was inspired to ‘hey let’s just drag some copy pasta off free republic, there’s heaps of good writters there’.

              Looking around I find this though,

              which is on an whole ‘nother level of disturb. The comedy though, I find in that most of his other vids are solo covers of Rush tunes. A dedicated fan.

              • felix

                Wow, that’s kinda brilliant.

                But yeah, not many if any. Apparently Johnny Ramone was quite right wing but not being a lyricist, who knew?

    • billy fish 6.2

      ” think you suffer from jealousy, tall poppy syndrome, imagined conspiracy and paranoia…

      (you did say you expected at least one of us evil Capitalist pig-dogs to say it)…”

      zaaazing 🙂

    • Colonial Viper 6.3

      Funny stuff coming from a millionaire…

      It seems not all millionaires have a born to rule, keep your boot down on the masses, mentality Jeremy.

      • Jeremy H 6.3.1

        I give over 10% of my income to some of the poorest people in the world – that I have that mentality is a figment of your imagination…

        • Colonial Viper

          So why do you keep advocating for the evil capitalists then?

          And kowtowing to the billionaires instead of paying attention to the 50% of NZ’ers who live on less than $30K p.a.?

          Personally generous yet advocating for a punishing system for ordinary workers and families.


        • Jeremy H

          CV, free enterprise has done more for the average worker than any other system invented, it’s not even close between free enterprise and socialism, despite the disparity in wealth the average American living standard has gone up 7 times over since 1900… That’s why I advocate for it because I do care…

          What you advocate doesn’t work, never has and never will…

          Wealth disparity is getting worse globally including in places like China and it will continue:

          Read through the articles in this special report – learn…

        • felix

          Jeremy I think you protest a little too much there my dear. CV didn’t accuse you of holding such an attitude, did s/he? Just pointed out (again) that YOU must hold that view for your objections and faux-outrage to make sense.

  7. felix 7

    And as usual, Jeremy runs the line that anyone rich who isn’t a complete cunt about it is an insincere class traitor.

    Here we go again. Jeremy. Why do you find it unusual that a wealthy man might care about those less fortunate?

    • Jeremy H 7.1

      I don’t find it unusual, many wealthy people give masses of their wealth to others Mssrs Buffett and Gates being a case in point… I find Maher and Moore, et al to be hypocrites of the highest order because instead of giving they criticise the system that has made them wealthy in a way that causes them to further profit from it…

      Maybe Maher should do a show where he spends a day in the life of one of the grips on his set on the minimum wage, while the grip takes his place arguing for an extra $10,000 an episode…

      • Bright Red 7.1.1

        how do you know moore and maher don’t give money away?

        Buffett’s a good guy but he doesn’t give much to charity as far as I’m aware, he just takes a small salary.

      • Tiger Mountain 7.1.2

        Jeremy, you are attempting to defend both the indefensible-because capitalism oppresses and exploits, and the impossible–‘all of us’ can never become squillionaires because large numbers of producers, consumers and other underlings are required under the private ownership model to enable tiny groups of supreme bludgers to exist. Aspirational memes (be the best job seeker you can be), msm, state forces and consumerism and mortgages keep most people in line. But maybe not for too much longer. Things have moved beyond incremental improvements for all over time.

      • felix 7.1.3

        Jeremey: “I find Maher and Moore, et al to be hypocrites of the highest order because instead of giving they criticise the system that has made them wealthy in a way that causes them to further profit from it”

        So wealthy people are or aren’t allowed to criticize society? That can be a one word answer if you like.

        Also this:

        Jeremy @ 2:01 pm “Funny stuff coming from a millionaire…”

        felix @ 2:45 pm “Why do you find it unusual that a wealthy man might care about those less fortunate?”

        Jeremy @ 4:01 pm “I don’t find it unusual”

        If you don’t find something inherently inconsistent about a wealthy person advocating for the needs of those worse off than themselves, then what is your point? Why say it’s “funny stuff coming from a millionaire”?

        You were full of shit then or you’re full of shit now. Or both, as it usually turns out with you.

      • Morrissey 7.1.4

        While Jeremy H’s vacuous praise of the super-greedy and the criminally rich is so foolish as to serve as its own negation, there is one thing he says that demands to be firmly countered, viz. this pearl of blithering worshipfulness…
        “…many wealthy people give masses of their wealth to others…”

        No they don’t. Gates and Buffett are still obscenely rich. The money they have sequestered for themselves is money they have stolen from the community.

        Gates was, and is, a sharp and ruthless chancer, an ethics-free corporate pirate whose second-rate product is the regret and curse of corporations and governments all over the world conned and cajoled into buying Microsoft systems. How many convictions, all over the world, for gross violations of business practice has Microsoft had?

        And what was the public good that Warren Buffett provides, again?

  8. felix 8

    For those who can’t be bothered reading all of Jeremy’s hard work today, here’s the cliff notes:

    “If all the poor people just wanted to be winners and worked harder and took more risks and stopped spending all their money on booze fags and gambling they’d all be rich too and there’d be no more poor people”.

    [lprent: this is a reframing of JH’s position, not only today, but for at least 6 months back that I could see.. See my note here. First time I could find where felix has done it. ]

    • Pete 8.1

      Not quite – but wouldn’t there be quite a few less poor people? And a few corporations would be poorer than they are now (but a few of their workers would be poorer too).

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Corporations cannot be poor. They are not people. They also cannot be cold and they cannot be hungry.

      • felix 8.1.2

        Sorry Petard, which part are you agreeing with? Be specific, please.

        • Pete

          ““If people worked harder and stopped spending so much money on things like booze, fags, gambling, phones, technology, appliances, plastic for kids, poorly selected food, “anti-aging” crap, anti-bacterial and other faux health crap, seasonal clothes, cars and chupachups many would not be so poor”.

          [lprent: And that is a reframing as well. Because based on my reading tonight – JH would never say that. I can’t be bothered checking if I’ve warned you before because my brain is fried (from tedium) after reading JH’s repeated arguments in comments. ]

          • felix


            You don’t even want to pay minimum wages. That means you’ll always have a massive supply of poor people.

            Start again and try to maintain some consistency this time. Or would you rather I ignored everything else you’ve ever written here and at Kiwibog?

            • Pete

              No. My quotation is factual, your quotation is craptual. You’re just trolling.

              • felix

                Really Pete? So show me where you “quoted” it from, thanks.

                • Pete

                  It’s a quote from me.
                  Where is your quote from? It looks craptual, is it just trying to stir shit?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As I said, I think Felix’s synopsis is particularly concise and pithy. If you smell shit it’s because the stuff Felix wrote about stinks.

                  • felix

                    lol, you “quoted” yourself? With actual quote marks?

                    You’re a dangerous man Pete.

                    • Pete

                      So what about your “quote” felix? Did you “quote” yourself? With actual quote marks?

                    • felix

                      No you moron it was a summary of Jeremy’s argument (which no-one but OBB has disputed and he’s busy now) and I said so at the time.

                      You’re really slipping Pete. Let me know if you ever intend to have an actual discussion about the post that isn’t scrawled in your excrement.

                      Here’s something to start with: According to the video above, the richest 400 people in America have more money than the poorest 150,000,000 combined.

                      Do you think the rich are 375,000 times better than everyone else? Do you think they work 375,000 times harder? Are they 375,000 times smarter?

                      If you answered “no” to those 3 questions I’d like to know how you reconcile those answers with, well, everything you’ve ever written on teh internet.

                      I’ll be back tomorrow to see how you’re getting on. ‘Nighty night. Mind the glaring contradictions in your third-rate philosophy don’t bite.

                    • Pete

                      So it wasn’t actually a quote. But with quote marks. Quote marks usually signify a literal quote, not someone else’s interpreted summary with exaggeration (deliberate or otherwise) added.

                      I don’t know enough about you, so I don’t know if you are slipping or just sloppy.

                    • felix

                      Well my hopes weren’t high, but I thought you’d at least have a go.

                      Any chance of an answer to those 3 very easy questions, Pete? Or would you rather just carry on distracting attention away from the subject of the post?

    • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.2


      The moderators don’t take kindly to people rewriting what authors (or even commentators) write. Re-framing is a particularly annoying type of diversion trolling that inevitably leads to some of the most stupid flame wars.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        I thought Felix got his synopsis spot on. But if Jeremy thinks that any particular aspect is not quite right he’s welcome to clarify.

        • Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          You’d have thought so but, apparently, that’s not the rule.

          • felix

            So point out where I’ve re-framed Jeremy’s position and you get a lolly.

            Or are you just trying to start one of those stupid flame wars?

            (I like your lprent impersonation btw, that made me lol)

            • Oleolebiscuitbarrell


              I am going to have to go with here. Or are you using “re-framing” in some way other than the way in which Lprent and I use it?

              [lprent: fixed the link so I could read it. you missed the http and added a single quote. You need to use right click, and copy link. Then paste. ]

              • felix

                Que? I don’t see any re-framing there. It’s the same argument Jeremy has been running all day.

                [lprent: Actually OOB is correct. It was reframing in that it is your interpretation of the effects of JH’s attitudes – not what JH explicitly or implicitly said.

                If you look back through JH’s comments (and I went back through a few hundred back to October), you’ll find that JH largely talks about reducing tax and his attitudes about how to achieve it and what the benefits are. His belief that wealthy people will voluntarily donate to worthy causes. And that a pure capitalistic system is inherently equitable to pople in society and today that anyone can get ahead starting from nothing.

                He doesn’t talk about the poor apart from a discussion in November on minimum wage vs beneficiary families.

                It is everyone else who talks about the effects of his ideas on the poor and equality of opportunity. JH never mentions them.

                Consider yourself chastised for paraphrasing JH’s arguments incorrectly. Apparently it is for the first time for reframing in th last year (had to write a frigging SQL query to scan your comments looking for notes).

                Incidentally, I had thought he’d argued the old conservative saw of the poor deserving what they got. That was the reason I scanned back so far. I was incorrect.

                However reading my way through JH’s comments, I’d have to say that I think he needs to read books on why unions formed when economic conditions were more like his ideals. ]

                • Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  OK. Let’s forget about the re-framing (even though I would have thought it is obvious that that is what you have done). I understand, on good authority, that a mere rewriting of what commentators have written is poor form. Usually, it leads to angry black correction (although perhaps you are special).

                  Do I get a lolly for that?

                  [lprent: it wasn’t that obvious because the statement can relate to older comments. I check previous history, which in the case of JH takes some time because I don’t follow his arguments as closely as I do for people that I have to warn frequently.. Then I have to check if we have warned Felix for that previously – which takes even longer. It takes time – don’t be so frigging impatient ]

    • felix 8.3

      Sorry Lynn, I think I got my Jeremys and Petes mixed up with the references to the booze and fags.

      However I believe the rest of it stands as an accurate representation of Jeremy’s position – that anyone with a credit card can start a company and become a billionaire and we can all be richer than astronauts – which he’s put forward several times on this thread.

      • lprent 8.3.1

        Oh I’d have agreed with that. Along with the benevolent rich putting their hands out voluntarily to support the poor, an argument he has used today and in the past. It does happen. But I always remember how the charities of Liverpool got built on the profits of the slave trade.

        It was the poor people and their sins part that just wasn’t JH.

  9. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 9

    I just knew that whole thing was going to end with you showing me your dick.

    [Well this moderator was rather enjoying this sparring match …up until about now. RL]

    • lprent 9.1

      It is rather idiotic old style slagging, but he did cause me to expend half an hour and creatively write a generic SQL query for moderator notes. He does seem to be the impatient type and it was probably frustration

  10. felix 10

    Remember, all of this horseshit from Pete, Jeremy et al is only to distract you from what you’ve just watched. Those numbers bear repeating:

    The richest 400 people in America have more than the bottom 150 million people.

    Let that sink in. That’s what they want you to forget about.

    • Pete 10.1

      You presume far too much felix. I’m well aware of the obscenity of the wealth imbalances in the US especially. To a lesser extent here. It’s all very well saying it ain’t fair. But what is a fair way to fix it? A way that could actually work, not some idealistic wand waving fairy dust.

      Rampant capitalism is obscene. But capitalism may be like democracy, the least worst system. In practice communism is a proven, greater, failure, with communes of more than a few people. Even small communes have usually failed quite quickly, due to lazy pricks and greedy pricks and power pungry pricks.

      Funny, one of the main problems with capitalism is lazy pricks and greedy pricks and power hungry pricks too. Common denominator – fallible people, no matter what the system.

      What’s your solution?

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        Less fallible people?

      • felix 10.1.2

        The solution, Pete my dear, is for the obscenely rich to not take so fucking much of the world’s resources.

        Why do you find that so hard to comprehend? If I’ve got 375,000 time more than you, and you’re starving, anyone who says they can’t see the solution is a liar, a thief, a cheat, a scoundrel or a dullard.

        Have you watched the video yet? The “THAT’S SOCIALISM!!” guy, that’s you right now Pete.

        • Pete

          That’s not a solution, it’s a naive wish.

          How can the disparity in wealth problem be solved? I don’t mean some idealistic slogan, I don’t mean crude attempts to abuse people you know little about, I mean how can it really be solved? Real world. In a democracy? And what possible downsides and unintended consequences could there be to your solution?

          • KJT

            91% wealth taxes in the USA worked.

            That was when the USA was most prosperous.

          • felix

            Appararently you haven’t noticed – in your crusade against ideology – that your creed of “finders keepers” and “must not share lest we anger the gods of the market” is in fact an extremely ideological position to hold to. You should think about that. I mean it.

            I also note that you have totally failed to answer my simple question:

            Are the richest 400 people in America…
            a) 375,000 times better
            b) 375,000 times smarter
            c) 375,000 times more hard-working
            … than the poorest 150,000,000 people?

            Do you need more time to come up with an answer or have you passed already?

            • Pete

              Apparently you haven’t noticed – in your lame attempts to discredit people – some comments directed at you above, including Consider yourself chastised for paraphrasing – you seem to have a habit of posting “quotes” of other people that are bullshit misrepresentations. You should think about that.

              While you repeated your three questions you didn’t repeat your followup comment:

              If you answered “no” to those 3 questions I’d like to know how you reconcile those answers with, well, everything you’ve ever written on teh internet.

              That’s a pathetic attempt at trap questions isn’t it? You don’t want to know what I think or write, you’re trying to frame it yourself. A paraphrase pussy.

              Thanks for all the attention, but I can speak for myself ok.

              [lprent: That was the first time I can recall having to pull Felix up on misrepresenting the opinions of someone else in the last 3 years. As he said, he was probably just confusing two people.

              But remember that the moderators set the behavior standards here, neither you or any other commentator does. You can draw comments to our attention, but you cannot presume to tell people what they should do here. We view it as trying to tell us how to run our site – which is a self-martyrdom offense.

              You can try to tread the line but it is risky as hell, especially the IrishBill risk. ]

            • felix

              Call it a trap question if you like, call it anything you want. Should I call you Sarah Palin? She famously complained about “Gotcha journalism” by which she meant “being asked straight questions”.

              And that’s pretty much what you’re doing now. You’ve been asked a straight question and you’ve been lawyering over the phrasing of it for days rather than just answering it, which pretty much says all anyone needs to know about you.

              It’s a yes or no question, Pete. And it couldn’t be straighter. The fact that you’re worried about your previous statements being scrutinised in light of your answer is neither here nor there to the straightness or otherwise of this particular question.

              But your dilemma is clear. See to an empathic living breathing human there’s only one correct answer. And you can’t admit it because to do so exposes your entire philosophy for what it really is.

              So if it’s a trap, it’s one you’ve set for yourself. Hoist by your own Petard, you might say.

          • Billy Fish

            “In a Democracy?”

            Asujming you are referrign to the US then you are making the mistake of stating it is a democracy. It is not, it is a Republic. May sound like symantics but it is actually a crucial difference.
            In a Democracy it would be unlikely to see wealth disparities of such a huge level

            There is some very interesting debate going on in the states on this subject – how to actually become a democracy and make peoples opinions count

            • Colonial Viper

              Remember that a Republic is supposed to allow elected members of Government to consider and deliberate upon complicated issues of importance and make decision for the well being of the people and of the country.

              In the US this is not happening. Elected officials are making decisions based on the wellbeing of wealthy business interests and themselves.

            • Adele

              Teenaa koe, Billy Fish

              The classic definition of republic is simply a form of government whose head is not a monarch. The USA is a republic and a representative democracy whose powers are constrained by a constitution that protects the rights of the individual (whether it does or not is another discussion).

              Wealth disparity is simply fuel to the capitalist creed. A democracy that favours capitalism will always have wealth disparities. The hugeness of the disparity is a subjective call and raises the question – is there an acceptable level of wealth disparity?

  11. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    Hats off, ‘n’ that. I really thought the whole you-can’t-paraphrase-someone-else’s-argument-to-point-out-how-stupid-it-is would not be applied even-handedly. The revered Felix was a pretty good test of my scepticism and, to your complete credit, Lprent, you have applied it even-handedly.

    But don’t you think re-framing an argument really is a valid way of exploring it?

    • lprent 11.1

      Nope. I have seen too many flamewars started that way. You can see a minor version in these comments. But they can run to hundreds of turgid comments about nothing. Boring as hell to read.

      The safest way is to just ask if your rephrased interpretation is correct. You will see hundreds of examples on site. That is requesting clarification and invites discussion. Clearly satirizing will also work. There are many other techniques that do as well.

      But simply restating and asserting this is what someone said is always fraught with problems of deliberate or accidental misinterpretation. It is frequently interpreted as a dominace behavioral ploy by our hardwiring with the usual results.

      So when it gets raised in comments I (or one of the other mods) will look at it when we see it – our styles differ about what we handle and how we handle it..

      Since I get to clean up the mess, I will wave the ban and sit in judgement. It has to be handled fairly (within and with my known quirks of bluntness and sarcasm) for people to accept it.

      I have to expend effort, so the person making it had better not have wasted my time. Playing the lawyer with nuisance suits is a self-martyrdom offense that I virtually always reward it with a ban.

      If it is a valid argument I give it a pretty good look to give a judgment, and always explain my reasoning so people understand what I am looking for.

      I am going to sometimes be wrong and there really is no appeal. But the cost of that is less than having an unreadable comments section.

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