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Milton's Achievements


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  1. Oh I'm not saying it's going to happen, in fact its highly unlikely any government would revert to a gold standard. It would be a safe and stable alternative to fiat currency, but its probably too big of a swing for financial markets, governments, and banks who rely on free and easy money.
  2. We either need to go back to a gold standard, or have people who are disciplined, ethical, and transparent managing the currency and peg inflation to GDP growth (e.g. 2% per year). Since the latter is nearly impossible due to inevitable human corruption and a fickle, disinterested citizenry, the former is probably the best solution.
  3. Well done, Comrade. Seven social credits have been added to your account.
  4. You are a strange bird indeed. You state that you voted for Trump, elude to following the economist Minsky, play dumb in response to a satirical (but hilarious) comment about social issues, and post all sorts of drivel about banking, MMT, and the like to "educate" others as if you're slowly revealing what's behind the curtain in the modern banking and economic system. Stop trying to play cat and mouse with your posts. If you have ideological priors or foundational beliefs, just state them instead of trying to play Socrates on an anonymous forum.
  5. Unfortunately the notions of "left" and "right" today are obscured by cultural and historic definitions, as the left and right "wings" harken back to the national assembly during the period of the French Revolution. The two-dimensional "political spectrum" only muddies these concepts as, in practice, separating economic and social liberty (or control) is near impossible. People tend to form political associations based on broad ideological beliefs (e.g. freedom vs control) or by more empirical or granular issues (e.g. tax rates, abortion, gun control, regulation, etc), none of which are easily placed in a single quadrant. Assuming the "far left" and "far right," meaning the commonly understood totalitarian ideologies of communism and fascism, don't come close to "meeting" presents a false choice, with the "moderate" position simply being placed between the two. Communism (or in practice, socialism) and fascism have more in common than most realize as they are both collectivist ideologies that subordinate the individual to the group, whose locus of control is by default the state. Unlike classical liberalism, neither recognizes the sanctity of the individual, and their rights, if any, are merely utilitarian and subject to the whims of the state and the party. The term "fascism" has latin roots, symbolically as a bundle of sticks fastened together (symbolizing the strength of the group under the leader). The ideological origins of fascism in Italy, first authored by Giovanni Gentile and practiced by Mussolini, were actually socialist in character. https://fee.org/articles/theres-no-denying-the-socialist-roots-of-fascism/ Gentile was influenced not only by Karl Marx, the father of authoritarian socialism, but also Hegel, who was essentially the ideological grandfather of authoritarian socialism (Marx's main man), having developed the notions of dialectical historicism and German idealism (awful!). His convoluted philosophy ultimately boils down to nothing more than nineteenth century alchemy that influenced a number of terrible ideas and regimes. While many historical and contemporary advocates of socialism have decried any common ideological roots or practical similarities between socialism/communism and fascism/nazism, these splinters are regular features in their ideologies. For example, the infighting between Bolsheviks & Mensheviks during the Russian Revolution, the left-opposition against the Stalinist "right," the purging of party members following Lenin's death (and Trotsky's ultimate demise by icepick to the skull) under Stalin, the Night of the Long Knives (Nazi "socialist workers party" members killed by Hitler), and so on. These ideological "splits" demonstrate that just because one faction is opposed to the other, they are not polar opposites but merely dissenting factions. Practically speaking, both Nazism/fascism and socialism/communism as political and economic systems concentrate power under the state. Both are opposed to free market capitalism, private property rights, and individual liberty. Its well understood that both systems restrict or eliminate civil liberties and clamp down on dissent, freedom of speech/expression, privacy, etc. What's more telling is the similarity in their economic systems. Many socialist ideologies propose that the means of production will be owned by "the workers" which, due to its absurdity, gives rise to the state ownership of production, i.e. a centrally planned, state-run economy that eliminates market and price signals and private property rights. Fascism and nazism likewise take control of existing private enterprises, eliminate or restrict property rights, and establish wage and price controls under state mandates. https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html Here's an even better example. Look at the proposed economic policies of a Bernie Sanders (Democratic Socialist) or an Elizabeth Warren (Progressive Dem) type and compare them to Fascist Italy... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Fascist_Italy I'm sure none of us favor a political or economic system that is "far left" (communist) or "far right (fascist)" but given this dichotomy would likely describe ourselves as "moderate." But placing oneself in between fascism and communism is...absurd. If one were to ask your political beliefs, would you say "Well, I'm somewhere between Stalin and Hitler"? That...doesn't sound right. If we look at the ideologies and history of these regimes, it becomes obvious that liberal, free-market capitalism (what we nominally have in the West) is not in between the far left and far right, but rather completely separate and opposed to either system. If anything, fascism is between free market capitalism and communism.
  6. Many of these physical or kinetic storage systems are indeed hypothetically possible, but run into the same geographic, environmental, hydrological, and size constraints that nuclear systems do (for similar or varied reasons). The upfront costs for nuclear generation are significant - you need a large piece of real estate, access to freshwater, and buffers to natural and human environments in the event something bad happens. It also takes a shit ton of concrete, steal, and other infrastructure to get a plant up and running. But once they're running, you have several decades of reliable, consistent generation. With a pumped storage system, you need to have the right environmental and geographical factors in a watershed that will allow a large delta in water flow between high/low levels (California...good luck!). That's a shit ton of water to smooth demand in a large metro area. This has massive effects on hydrology up and downstream from the generator. That's a lot of earth, construction materials, and water just to store energy. You then need all the space for a solar or wind farm for generation. Nuclear has hurdles, but really doesn't need storage or peaking capacity like renewables do. We are still going to need fuels for aviation, transportation, and heating in the near future but nuclear is the best way forward for clean and reliable electricity.
  7. Pumped storage has been around for a while, and its only used at small scale to smooth peak loads. It was primarily used as a revenue source over periods between high and low demand and supply constraints...e.g. hot summer days constrained by supply and thermal factors and night time when demand decreased. This works by using excess load during the night to pump water up into a reservoir, then use the same penstock/turbine as a generator system during the day to meet increased load. It basically allowed small generator systems to make revenue by meeting demand during a niche period. After all of the infrastructure costs and efficiency loss in the system, they can squeeze out a small profit during a specific period of time. At scale, this is limited by a number of factors, e.g. geographical location, topography, environmental and hydrological concerns, and system size. I believe the linked video demonstrates the difficulty in achieving any sort of net returns at both small and large scales...there's small "sweet spot" that can smooth demands at local or regional levels. This technology has been around for 100+ years and every so often it gets brought up by alternative energy advocates and activists. Its basically a feel-good story that has numerous constraints that limit its practical application. The same tree huggers calling for alternative energy are going to be pissed when massive areas are cleared for a reservoir and aquatic ecosystems are destroyed.
  8. We are supposed to have a federal gov whose power is limited and well defined. We DO NOT have one in practice, and havent had one since the early 20th century. The federal government is not completely subservient to the States. By incorporation, the States cannot violate federal law, specifically the Constitution and its Ammendment. Your statement seems to imply one or some of the States can ignore or suspend the Bill of Rights (eg California could eliminate free speech, due process, or the right to bear arms). The federal gov would only be "subservient" to the States in these matters if, by Constitutional Convention, state legislatures voided the Constitution (I think...Im not a legal scholar). Unless you meant something different. Ive made a grand total of like 5 or 6 posts on this board, mostly regarding AFRC stuff. My only other was primarily about the cultural differences between the US and AFG.
  9. "In the meantime, American citizens will separate into their usual camps and identify all of the obvious causes and culprits except for one: themselves." https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/08/afghanistan-your-fault/619769/ Of all the things the American public and our elected leaders in Congress regularly pontificate about, the discussion about one of our most fundamental and somber duties, the ability to wage war, is rarely debated. In the past week its now on the forefront of the American mind, as if the Afghanistan conflict suddenly arose out of thin air. The American public argues about mundane and irrelevant issues, and expects a Congressional inquiry into everything from steroids in the MLB (2004's hotbutton issue which had more time on the House floor than GWOT) to who can use what bathroom. If only we maintained some semblance of "limited but well defined" in our federal government we'd have the attention span to discuss the more important issues while leaving irrelevant ones to individuals, or at least to the state gov's. I usually hate the idea of raising taxes to fund central govt, but the concept of a wartime tax, as an additional line item on every tax paying American's weekly pay deduction (to include Social Security and welfare benefits) might possibly be enough to remind them there is a conflict being waged somewhere on their behalf. Ideally people would engage with their elected leaders and hold them to their Constitutional duties to declare war (Art 1 Sec-8 ) while holding the executive accountable (War Powers Act) but that might be asking a bit much. Maybe a 1% War Tax as a fiscal constraint, would translate into moral inquiry or social responsibility. As was said ~15 years ago, "America is not at war, America is at the mall" (exception to those serving or having a loved one in the military). That quote remains true today, although Id update to reflect the decline of shopping malls in favor of online shopping... The growth of the Executive Branch and an impotent Legislature, combined with an indifferent public is not only bad for National Security policy but governance in general. That, and the Fed's ability to print money/buy up debts doesnt help.
  10. When I did SOS online a few years ago, the points posted everytime I finished a class (there were 8 or so modules). But that was the old system, pre-ASU.
  11. 1. Geopolitical enemy (USSR/China) involved on 3rd world 2. Arm/equip Mujahadeen 3. ?? 4. Profit/democracy/hearts 'n minds
  12. I tried finding this out recently (currently in ACSC/OLMP). I submitted a ticket/inquiry to ASU but, not surprisingly, they had no idea since ECI points are an AFRC/ARPC thing, outside of the school. I asked on some AU board (forget the site, might have been an AU commercial website), got a random phone number that ended up being an AU staffers cell phone (wtf?) and called other various numbers at Maxwell to no avail. Aggravating, yes. Surprised, not in the least. Seems like AU has completely divested themselves from involvement in the distance learning platforms, which in most cases is great, but for the few AF-specific issues, good luck getting any help. Would be curious to see what others have found.
  13. "The Taliban are desperate to get supplies of medium range surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) from China"
  14. To think that the "country" of Afghanistan, made up of some 50 dialects and numerous tribes and villages, would somehow embrace twenty-first century democratic governance...is a bit flawed. Our military did just about everything asked of it at the tactical and operational levels...from counterterrorism, intel, local stability ops, close air support, airlift, provincial reconstruction, logistics, etc. The broader strategy was a farce. We ousted al Qaeda and crippled the Taliban in short order. It took 10 years, but we got bin Laden (in Pakistan, go figure). But we evolved and expanded objectives foolishly. Rebuilding Afg, installing democratic governance, and the like. What we should have realized is that Afghanistan is not so much of a country, but a place simply bounded by other sovereign borders. Its mostly tribes, living in an ancient, almost savage like subsistence. Vulnerable to takeover by extremists like the Taliban, but incapable of modern governance, foreign to human rights and civil liberties. Its painful to think of the handful of decent people there who, for a fleeting moment grasped some form of western ideal. The young women and children who saw a glimmer of hope in that they might be treated as equals, and have some form of opportunity without violent oppression. All if this overshadowed by an arcane savagery, cowardice, or ambivalence in the face of the Taliban. While I feel sorrow for some, I am nearly indifferent to the many who are indifferent themselves. Beyond political struggle, economic development, and social progress is one immovable hegemon: culture. Their culture, to the extent it can be defined...sucks. If you were to find a bum on the side of the road and place him into Harvard Medical School, what would happen? To think a western coalition, in a matter of two decades would transform Afghanistan into a modern democracy is a fools errand. The world is a strange place.
  15. Question for reservists currently in or have completed ACSC/OLMP in ASU: do Retirement (ECI) points get automatically updated in vMPF? Do we still get points for OLMP classes? I finished my first class several weeks ago and havent seen anything. Called a bunch of different numbers between ASU and AU and the only answer I got was to submit a request through mypers and/or contact TFSC. When I did SOS online a few years ago they auto-updated the points from AU, but since its thru ASU now maybe that doesnt happen.
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