We sometimes forget how incredibly lucky the western liberal democracies are that "the rules" are so deeply ingrained in our populations. NRA wet dreams and the Civil War asside, we just don't rise up and start shooting when things don't go our way. When Bush got handed the election by the Supreme Court, some people moaned and groaned about it, but no mob of armed Demcrats started a war with the Republican Tribal Militia to see who was REALLY going to be president. No matter how much some of them wanted to, no bunch of coal miners in the 1980s UK marched on London to drag Maggie out of #10 Downing Street and hang her from the nearest tree. OTOH in Outer-Bungholio the tradition for the last 10,000 years has been strongest tribe wins. Add a layer of voting on top and all you get is AK-47s come out when the vote does not go your way
Over time populations naturally gravitate away from despotic regimes towards open and free societies.
Lovely thought. Care to back it up with a cite and tell us what defines an "open and free society."
Not sure you can. Democracies are a recent phenomena and I'm not sure the way many of them operate that many are just a shell game of "we'll have a vote and them the ruling power will tell you who won." More often than not, it seems populations that rise up to throw off the chains of a despot trade one dictator for another in short order. The motivations that create uprisings tend to not gather the wherewithal to actually govern. A bit if "we have met the enemy and he is us" result. That Arab Spring, with populations that had running water and cultivated fields when Englishmen were still painting themselves blue, doesn't seem to have moved many to that "free and open" model.
Seems to me that resource rich economies have time for the luxury of political discourse and tea time discussions of which politicians can be bought for what price. In the majority of the world, a free and open society is myth.
We are RIGHT next door to Mexico.... and Mexico is still a shithole. We're only a little way away from Cuba.... and it's still a shithole.
The fact is that while we like thinking we're the good guys, there are no good guys when it comes to these places. Everyone hates everyone, and sticking our nose in just adds one more target.
The only thing you can do is wait. When someone goes all mustard-gas on their population, swoop in and blow the shit out of him and leave immediately. Make it clear that genocide or death on a certain scale won't be tolerated. Then sit back again and wait. Hope they figure it out. Because we certainly can't MAKE them figure it out.
With all the searches you're doing... did you notice how people occasionally address Boothy as "Rick"?
And did you also notice how people sometimes address El Mariachi as... "Rick"?
And BTW, all the regulars know what Jeff does for a living.
Did not notice the 'Rick' thing. The Booth footer is a standout, saw it by accident in another thread. But if you add the two posting numbers together that's even more impressive. A truly monumental effort.
My point, which I guess wasn't all that clear, is the regulars have known each other for years & years & years. I've been hanging in this cesspit for 8 years; and they already knew each other really well when I got here.
For the most part, they know each others' real-life identities, and each other's sockpuppets.
Kinda hard for a paid shill to pass un-noticed.
Thanks for the background frenchie. Hope I did not imply that they would be un-noticed or come to think of it, necessarily paid if they are volunteers for a group. Post #8 above is about what I expected. At least some cryptic acknowledgement of the issue.
Hell, you really want to find the guy who makes money, go find that Hallberg-Rassey owning semi-moderating App-Writing Left-Wing Nutjob Mr. Porter. Other than Rick's Oyster 82, Porter's the only other one who ever made enough money shilling here that he was able to buy a boat from it.
The shills are usually pretty transparent. I worry about it far more on tech forums where they try to drive consumers to particular products.
What would shill for on SA? Your own brand of electronics or foul weather gear? Hell, anyone who buys an ad is allowed to do that anyway. SA (the Ed) has no morality or ethics when it comes to getting folks to give him money. Fuck, he regularly puts up 'contests' on the front page to drive up hits and never bothers announcing the winners (and most suspect there weren't winners in many cases).
This is the wrong place to worry about that sort of thing