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ASSTR.ORG

Obliterous

Is anyone able to contact the administration of ASSTR.ORG? The site is in major need of maintainance and most links are erroring out at this time for me.

I've been trying to contact the admins for over a year now to offer my assistance, but have been unable to reach anyone.

Ross at Play

NO!
About a year ago I contacted every email address on their list of volunteer editors and ended up with a list of the 40 editors, out of 400, who were still available.
I tried everything I could think of to get the administrators to update their list - even mailing a request to their address for sending donations.
I eventually concluded the administrators are hiding, presumeably from over-zealous prosecutors.

Crumbly Writer

I don't think the admins are hiding, though I do think they, like many story sites, are getting older, are vastly overwhelmed and underfunded, and have no idea how to draw new talent to offload their workload. Thus, they're completely adrift.

The ASSTR staff haven't responded to any communication for many years, and the ASSTR forum has had many pleas to contact anyone on the staff. A short time ago, there was a major push, and they did resolve several issues, specifically the lack of consistent author stats reporting (I was one of the lucky ones, receiving weekly reports, even though I hadn't uploaded anything in a LONG time). However, since then, there's again been nothing.

This latest crisis has again been reported in the ASSTR forum, and is tied into a breakdown in the author FTP upload site—meaning that authors are now restricted from uploading new files—as well as many of the author ftp links no longer working (possibly the cause of the link errors).

I don't know whether something simply 'broke' or whether they tried to update something and screwed it up horribly, but the site has never been as bad as it's been this past week!

Frankly, although the admins are still involved in the site's maintenance, the site is in terrible trouble, and they're unlikely to improve. Withing drawing on new talent to fix the problems, they can't resolve the bugs, with the continuation of the problems, readers can't connect, and with fewer readers, more and more authors (and readers) will abandon the site. Finally, without better communication, their income stream has likely dried up, meaning they probably no longer have enough money to institute many changes.

We've discussed several times how ASSTR get into trouble when SOL switched to their 'no sex with anyone under 14' policy. When that occurred, everyone from here (and other sites instituting the policy) gravitated to ASSTR as the only American site where the courts generally support freedom of expression. However, as the site become inundated with 'kiddie-porn', the non-kiddie porn authors and readers abandoned the site, meaning it ONLY appeals and draws those individuals, limiting anyone likely to contribute to their continued success.

As I said, the site is a mess and it's hemorrhaging badly! I'd guess the entire site is likely to fold in only a couple more years, and when it does, it'll simply close up without notice.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

The ASSTR staff haven't responded to any communication for many years

That's what led to my conclusion the administrators are 'hiding'. Courts may 'generally support freedom of expression', but an over-zealous prosecutor, looking for publicity, can still ruin someone's life before a prosecution they start is thrown out.
Why they haven't is pure supposition, but you agree, they haven't responded to anything for many years?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ross.at.Play

@Obliterous

to offer my assistance

Would you email me privately please.
You'll find a link if you right click on my pen name for this post and open a new tab.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

That's what led to my conclusion the administrators are 'hiding'. Courts may 'generally support freedom of expression', but an over-zealous prosecutor, looking for publicity, can still ruin someone's life before a prosecution they start is thrown out.
Why they haven't is pure supposition, but you agree, they haven't responded to anything for many years?

Except that, for a few isolated cases experienced here on SOL, there haven't been any suits or public condemnations of ASSTR. Thus I doubt they're 'hiding' from a non-existent threat. They're likely incredibly nervous about when the hammer may fall, but not answering inquires won't shield them from ANY convictions, as the law can get around most efforts to hide, especially if the site MUST remain accessible for it to continue.

Using the 'common sense test', the better answer is generally the simpler one. Thus, it's unlikely they're in hiding, while it's more likely they're simply overwhelmed, as that proposal explains more than the alternative, which explains nothing.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Ross.at.Play

Would you email me privately please.

Obliterous, I can no longer remember the location of the ASSTR Forum, but their email address is ASSTR_ASSM_Authors@yahoogroups.com. If you post a message there, you won't read the site administrators, but you'll likely reach knowledgeable authors who can help you figure out how to work around the existing issues.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Switch Blayde

@Obliterous

I gave up years ago. I never got a response.

Ernest Bywater

@Obliterous

I've been trying to contact the admins for over a year now to offer my assistance, but have been unable to reach anyone.


About three years ago I manage to get hold of one of the site admins via another email address I had then. I don't have that information now, but I hope it's still there when I can get the Gestapo to disgorge my computer. Anyway, at that time I got the issue fixed for someone I was helping to set up a new account. I was informed of the hundreds that started helping ASSTR in the first place only about four or five were still active then, as many of the rest had died and a lot of the others were now not able to work on the site due to their health situation and access from the nursing homes not being good enough.

Another issue at that time was the hardware and software needed replacing. They had some gear to do part of the work, but getting people with knowledge to the physical location to do the work was another issue. He checked the admins emails and found several thousand emails, backlogged, far too many for him to deal with then. He did promise to speak with the other active admins, and soon after that some work was done on the site and an advisory message posted, but he doubted much could be done on the site for some time, and it was likely to go into unattended maintenance status within a few years.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

Obliterous, would you email me privately please so I may ask you about something else.

Replies:   Obliterous
Ernest Bywater

On a side note if you go to the news groups and post a message at ass.stories.d or at alt.callahans or their associated website below and you might be able to make contact with one of the old guard who can contact one direct by a personal email.

http://www.callahans.org/

Replies:   Perv Otaku
Obliterous

@Ross at Play

Obliterous, would you email me privately please so I may ask you about something else.


Sent

Zom

Has anyone tried wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email? If that doesn't work you could stir the pot at https://www.icann.org/wicf/

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Zom

Has anyone tried wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email?

Uh, just wtf does wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email supposed to do, and why should I use that, as opposed to contacting the people responsible for making the legal decision?

Replies:   Dominions Son  Zom
Dominions Son
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Uh, just wtf does wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email supposed to do


https://contactprivacy.email/

Use this site to contact the administrator of a domain name protected by the Contact Privacy Service. This service protects the privacy of domain name holders in the WHOIS system.


Contact Privacy is listed by ICANN as the registrant of asstr.org and wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email is the listed email address for registrant contact, Admin contact and Tech contact.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Contact Privacy is listed by ICANN as the registrant of asstr.org and wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email is the listed email address for registrant contact, Admin contact and Tech contact.

Meaning what? That they'll forward the email on to the appropriate party, or that there's some management function who'll intervene when an anonymous website does something wrong or illegal?

I think not. Those breaking the law and stealing works will continue unless forced to stop. Sending them a 'please stop' letter won't get more than a momentary smirk.

Again, while ICANN won't reveal the owners behind those sites, any decent lawyer can get a court order compelling them to reveal who's breaking the law.

Replies:   Dominions Son
awnlee jawking

@Obliterous

Location seems to be a prime concern. They desperately need someone in California(?) who can reboot/diagnose/replace their main server.

AJ

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Meaning what?


1 Yes they'll forward the email on to the appropriate party.

2. That is the official email address for contacting those legally responsible for the asstr.org website.

Dominions Son

@Dominions Son

I think not. Those breaking the law and stealing works will continue unless forced to stop. Sending them a 'please stop' letter won't get more than a momentary smirk.


True, but then AFIK no one is accusing asstr of stealing anything. The op is trying to contact them for site maintenance issues/tech support.

Again, while ICANN won't reveal the owners behind those sites, any decent lawyer can get a court order compelling them to reveal who's breaking the law.


Again true, but without a court order, the contact email address returned by ICANN's Who Is page is the best you are going to get.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

1 Yes they'll forward the email on to the appropriate party.

2. That is the official email address for contacting those legally responsible for the asstr.org website.

Ahh! Thanks for the clarification. It wasn't immediately clear why you were suggesting we contact them (I thought it was in reference to the plagiarism concerns in the other threads).

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

True, but then AFIK no one is accusing asstr of stealing anything. The op is trying to contact them for site maintenance issues/tech support.

Apparently I spent too much time jumping between different threads. I can never remember which I'm responding to (and I'm too dim-witted to read the thread title at the top of the page)!

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

Apparently I spent too much time jumping between different threads.


Yeah, I kind of figured that you were getting threads mixed up. :)

tayjk

@Obliterous

I hope we're not watching the death throes of asstr. I admit I don't watch the new contributions outside their mirror of nifty when their on site search engine stopped working, but it has such a large archive of past works that it would be a shame for it to disappear.

Crumbly Writer

Latest update, from the ASSTR forum:

The short story is that our main server unexpectedly crashed earlier this week. This is the server that hosts all the ASSM admin stuff and is the machine that hosts the FTP server and author management stuff.

We have a piece of equipment that lets us remotely reboot (power cycle) our servers in case something like this happens, but we can no longer access that system for some unknown reason.

We also have a secondary web server that is supposed to act as a hot (ready-to-go) standby for the primary, but that machine died a few years ago and we have yet to diagnose and repair it.

We contacted our ISP to reboot the server and rewire the network connection to the remotely controllable power strip. The latter effort failed, and the former effort resulted in the server coming back up briefly and then crashing again shortly thereafter.

Our other admin used a standby server to bring the web site back up, but apparently the backup he used was quite old. I'm not sure if we have a more recent backup. We have a server that's supposed to
perform daily automated backups, but neither of us monitor the server regularly, so it's possible it stopped working years ago and we never noticed.

Essentially we have experienced a series of hardware issues and failures over the years, and we have managed to work around them up until this point. Presumably the hard drive in the primary server is
still good so that worst case we can get the data off of it even if we can't immediately get the server itself back operational.

The reason we haven't repaired the hardware failures is primarily due to gross inconvenience and to a lesser degree cost. The hardware is located in the Bay Area, but none of the admins live anywhere near there. We chose that location due to low cost and reliability, but it requires a plane ticket, hotel, car rental, usually taking a vacation day from work, etc. to make a trip across the country to do in-person
repairs. We used to try to get out every year or two, but our most recent trip was several years ago. Our ISP can help to an extent, but there's a limit to how much diagnosing and repairing they can do.

At this point we're not sure why the main server kept crashing. It could be anything from a dead CPU fan causing the machine to overheat to a hacker figuring out a remote exploit that is causing the operating system to crash.

Much like upgrading the site's software, we have hopes and dreams of moving the site into a cloud-based architecture, but this is something
that will take a bit of time and effort to pull off. If/when we get it in the cloud, we should be immune from most of these kinds of hardware failures.

The good news here is that we probably did not suffer any data loss; we just need to get the main server fixed (again, unsure if the problem is hardware or software), or we need to pull off the data from the hard drive and move all the services from the old server to a new one.

Unlike many of our systems, we get alerted automatically when the web site goes down, so we were made aware of the server problem as soon as it occurred. We've been working on it ever since, but the challenges of day jobs and not being physically present w/ the hardware create a difficult situation.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

so it's possible it stopped working years ago and we never noticed.


Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?


Me (raises hand).

Replies:   gmontgomery
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?


"I do! I do!" he says, raising something besides his hand. 'D

garymrssn
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?


Hear! Hear! I'll raise a glass!

gmontgomery

@Dominions Son

And me

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?


Screaming "me" while jumping up and down and waving hands. I really appreciate how responsive he is to suggested changes that you can give a good supporting case for. Anyone noticed the new "send and archive" button on the mail system - yeah.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

Screaming "me" while jumping up and down and waving hands. I really appreciate how responsive he is to suggested changes that you can give a good supporting case for. Anyone noticed the new "send and archive" button on the mail system - yeah.

Yeah, I've noticed, as I'm still getting a fair number of posts. Though, I'm never sure whether responding via the email notices also sends them to the messaging system or not (it seems they do), so all is good.

But when you compare it to ASSTR, where they've never tested their backup or their servers in years, I'm glad that Lazeez is able to keep the site afloat, functional and up-to-date.

Long live SOL (and FS and Sci-Fi, too)!

Zom

@Crumbly Writer

Uh, just wtf does wgm37silpeyp@contactprivacy.email supposed to do

As CW says, it is the nominated email for the domain registry, and is required to be monitored and responded to. If not ICANN's delegate can (and sometimes does) turn up the Bunsen if the email is not responded to reasonably. It is the option of last choice for contacting someone at ASSTR, and theoretically guaranteed.

Zom

@Switch Blayde

Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?

I do! Pick me!

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thank you guys for all the support.

Glad to be of service :)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Thank you guys for all the support.

And thank you for not having one crisis after another, for not being unreachable, and for knowing where your damn data center is and what state it's in!

Competence and financial independence count for a lot.

MrWolf_UK

@Switch Blayde

Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?

Always :)

richardshagrin
Updated:

On the other hand "Sexo" seems much more applicable to a sex site.

"1a Re: ASSTR Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:45 pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Orblover" orblover
Here's a message from Rey, the site's admin:

The short story is that our main server unexpectedly crashed earlier
this week. This is the server that hosts all the ASSM admin stuff and
is the machine that hosts the FTP server and author management stuff.

We have a piece of equipment that lets us remotely reboot (power
cycle) our servers in case something like this happens, but we can no
longer access that system for some unknown reason.

We also have a secondary web server that is supposed to act as a hot
(ready-to-go) standby for the primary, but that machine died a few
years ago and we have yet to diagnose and repair it.

We contacted our ISP to reboot the server and rewire the network
connection to the remotely controllable power strip. The latter
effort failed, and the former effort resulted in the server coming
back up briefly and then crashing again shortly thereafter.

Our other admin used a standby server to bring the web site back up,
but apparently the backup he used was quite old. I'm not sure if we
have a more recent backup. We have a server that's supposed to
perform daily automated backups, but neither of us monitor the server
regularly, so it's possible it stopped working years ago and we never
noticed.

Essentially we have experienced a series of hardware issues and
failures over the years, and we have managed to work around them up
until this point. Presumably the hard drive in the primary server is
still good so that worst case we can get the data off of it even if we
can't immediately get the server itself back operational.

The reason we haven't repaired the hardware failures is primarily due
to gross inconvenience and to a lesser degree cost. The hardware is
located in the Bay Area, but none of the admins live anywhere near
there. We chose that location due to low cost and reliability, but it
requires a planeticket, hotel, car rental, usually taking a vacation
day from work, etc. to make a trip across the country to do in-person
repairs. We used to try to get out every year or two, but our most
recent trip was several years ago. Our ISP can help to an extent, but
there's a limit to how much diagnosing and repairing they can do.

At this point we're not sure why the main server kept crashing. It
could be anything from a dead CPU fan causing the machine to overheat
to a hacker figuring out a remote exploit that is causing the
operating system to crash.

Much like upgrading the site's software, we have hopes and dreams of
moving the site into a cloud-based architecture, but this is something
that will take a bit of time and effort to pull off. If/when we get
it in the cloud, we should be immune from most of these kinds of
hardware failures.

The good news here is that we probably did not suffer any data loss;
we just need to get the main server fixed (again, unsure if the
problem is hardware or software), or we need to pull off the data from
the hard drive and move all the services from the old server to a new
one.

Unlike many of our systems, we get alerted automatically when the web
site goes down, so we were made aware of the server problem as soon as
it occurred. We've been working on it ever since, but the challenges
of day jobs and not being physically present w/ the hardware create a
difficult situation.

I will try to keep everyone updated via the newsgroups.

- Rey del Sexo"

Crumbly Writer

Latest update on the site (for those who still had stories on the site:

Just a quick update...

We have decided to migrate the site from our rack of server equipment
to a single server whose hardware will be owned and maintained by our
ISP. This way we will no longer have to deal with the kind of
headaches we're currently trying to resolve, and we're also cutting
our monthly costs down from $500/mo to $200/mo.

We're in the process of getting this new machine setup; hopefully it
will be all up and running before Sep 1, but no guarantees (our ISP
has not even built it, let alone started installing the OS, etc. yet).

In the meantime we're also trying to get a complete backup off the old
server. It will stay up for a random amount of time before crashing,
so we have to come up with a clever way to do a backup that can resume
where it left off after a crash.

Our ISP charges $150/hr if they have to open up a machine to work on
it, and due to the possible RAID drive configuration of the crashed
server, we may not be able to easily move the drive(s) from the
existing machine to another and get any of the data off it/them. That
said, I'm fairly confident that we'll be able to get a complete backup
from it eventually.

I appreciate all the well wishes and offers for assistance. We're not
really setup to be able to easily accept assistance right now, but in
the future we would like to be able to get some technical assistance
maintaining and improving the site.

- Rey del Sexo

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

I think it's good that there will continue to be a home for stories failing to meet Canadian legal criteria and I wish them success.

AJ

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

I think it's good that there will continue to be a home for stories failing to meet Canadian legal criteria and I wish them success.

I've love to see them climb out of that limited role, as they used to cover a wide variety of stories (all sex related, of course). But as they became known as 'the kiddie porn' site, other authors have abandoned it, figuring the readers were only there for one thing.

I'm not sure how you combat that kind of influence. Not only did the range of stories suffer, but the size of their 'new story' listings did too, reflecting the overall drop in authors participating in the site.

I pulled everything from there (over the copyright thefts they couldn't control) except for one story I wouldn't release on SOL (mm), and all it generates is 5 - 10 reads per week. Hardly an encouraging rate.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

I'm not sure how you combat that kind of influence.


It almost happened to SOL too. Before 2011 we accepted almost anything as there were no legal restrictions.

In 2005-2006, I don't remember exactly when, there was a large influx of extreme pedo authors and stories. I allowed them. However, a week into this influx, a prolific and popular author pulled his stories from the site. When I asked why I was told in no uncertain terms that he wouldn't allow his stories to be surrounded with the type of contents that was flooding the site.

It was a wake up call. So I started rejecting new authors posting that kind of stuff and kicked out a couple of authors who had the most extreme stuff for which I had received complaints from readers.

As soon as I kicked a couple out, others pulled their extreme stories on their own (it seems they were a group) and the catastrophe was averted.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

It almost happened to SOL too. Before 2011 we accepted almost anything as there were no legal restrictions.

That shows why SOL is growing, and ASSTR is crashing and burning. You're willing to work to improve the site, while ASSTR has passively sat back and watched their best authors walk away with out even questioning what was happening.

BtFH is another alternate posting site, but their extreme religious views (the fact they won't allow anyone who expressing a differing opinion) is another site seemingly intent on limiting themselves. A site can slide in either direction. The other common fault, with many sites (including Facebook) is when they allow Hate-Filled rants and blatantly false claims to fill their comments section, shutting down ALL communications (they 'combat it' by preventing anyone from seeing anything that doesn't reinforce their own positions, but do nothing to halt the hate in the first place). I've abandoned many decent sites because of 'comment creep'!

Replies:   JimWar
Harold Wilson

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

In 2005-2006, I don't remember exactly when, there was a large influx of extreme pedo authors and stories. I allowed them. However, a week into this influx, a prolific and popular author pulled his stories from the site. When I asked why I was told in no uncertain terms that he wouldn't allow his stories to be surrounded with the type of contents that was flooding the site.


I don't know how much demand there is for that stuff, in straight cash terms. But it would seem that your recent ability to generate spin-off sites with the same (excellent) user interface might serve you well here. Instead of hosting on SOL, you might create "extremesexstories.com" or something, and put them in their own ghetto^W walled garden. (Assuming the money is there, and assuming you could stay legal with it. I don't recall if 2006 is before/after the great pedo furor.)

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Harold Wilson

Instead of hosting on SOL, you might create "extremesexstories.com" or something, and put them in their own ghetto^W walled garden.


That actually makes sense. Currently we have nearly 2000 stories on SOL that are filtered out for most readers and the ability to filter out contents is complicating things in the site's engine.

I may do that at some point. Move all those filtered stories to their own site and not worry about their effect on other authors or readers who are allergic to that kind of contents.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

Who else appreciates what Lazeez does?

Very definitely Yes and Yes again.

My comments and suggestions have always been answered immediately and sensibly whilst the site is always available and up-to-date (subject to understandable maintenance of course)

Switch Blayde

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

Move all those filtered stories to their own site


What percentage of readers filter stories? I don't. What would happen is those few(?) readers who filter stories would determine what "extreme" is.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Switch Blayde

What percentage of readers filter stories? I don't. What would happen is those few(?) readers who filter stories would determine what "extreme" is.


Roughly 80% of readers don't have/don't want access to those stories. I started filtering after the legal mandate for contents in 2011. At the start it was a mandatory choice for everybody.

After all the existing members at the time made their choice, the filtering was switched to 'opt-out' only and all new members since 2011 have to switch their accounts to full access to view those stories.

The filtered stories (extreme) are the ones from before the 2011 change that have characters under 14 involved in sex.

If I ever undertake this big change of segregating under-14-characters stories to their own site, I would make an announcement on the site here telling those who are interested where the stories moved to. There will also be a link on the home page to the new site like there are now for FS and SFS.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)


The filtered stories (extreme) are the ones from before the 2011 change that have characters under 14 involved in sex.


So it would be a stagnant site, that is, no new stories would be added because of the current Canadian laws.

ETA: I don't understand why grandfathering stories that are now illegal is legal, but if you have a site with illegal stories with a link to it, aren't you making it more visible to the authorities? You will basically have an illegal site.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

So it would be a stagnant site, that is, no new stories would be added because of the current Canadian laws.


Well, if there was enough demand to support it, he could set it up so the site was hosted in the US or somewhere else with more permissive laws.

Crumbly Writer

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

If I ever undertake this big change of segregating under-14-characters stories to their own site, I would make an announcement on the site here telling those who are interested where the stories moved to. There will also be a link on the home page to the new site like there are now for FS and SFS.

I was going to ask 'what constitutes an "Extreme" story', as it could easily degenerate into whatever is currently politically expedient (i.e. no stories by gay authors, no stories by blacks or Muslims, and no transexual stories unless the characters are either victims or criminals who get their heads handed to them).

We already have too few minority voices here (including under-represented nationalities like Indians or South Africans). I'd rather not see the current shortage of voices worsened over time.

But it sounds like you've already accounted for that, and are merely trying to remove the biggest impediments to new readers joining the site.

However, I'd also like to suggest a couple 'protected' sites, like "Gay" or "Black" story sites where posters are free to venture material they feel speaks to the specific segment of the population that other readers can't shame into abandoning the site.

@D.S.

Well, if there was enough demand to support it, he could set it up so the site was hosted in the US or somewhere else with more permissive laws.

My understanding is he'd only include the 'grandfathered' stories, already allowed by the Canadian laws (as are most laws, as they weren't illegal until someone specifically forbid them).

However, you're right, it would essentially create 'dead' sites, with no new stories to maintain them and easy targets for law-enforcement to target readers stupid enough to venture there for stories they're legally entitled to read. :( (i.e. it's not a viable option for anyone).

Replies:   sejintenej
sejintenej

@Crumbly Writer


We already have too few minority voices here (including under-represented nationalities like Indians or South Africans). I'd rather not see the current shortage of voices worsened over time.


If you will excuse a perhaps stupid question but WHY are there under-represented nationalities or cultures?

It could be that their authorities (like some public ISPs sub-transmitters like McDonalds) in the UK censor out SOL or that people simply have not heard of SOL.
Yes, I would prefer to see stories in some variation of the English language though I am confident that Lazeez could conjure up say an Urdu channel (subject to his crew being able to ensure then content is legal).

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@sejintenej

If you will excuse a perhaps stupid question but WHY are there under-represented nationalities or cultures?

It could be that their authorities (like some public ISPs sub-transmitters like McDonalds) in the UK censor out SOL or that people simply have not heard of SOL.
Yes, I would prefer to see stories in some variation of the English language though I am confident that Lazeez could conjure up say an Urdu channel (subject to his crew being able to ensure then content is legal).

That might be a factor, but it isn't either the only one or even the primary one. I've studied where readers visit my stories from (those who followed my stories from both ASSTR and SOL to my site) and in both cases, I saw multiple visits from very repressive countries. Your theory also doesn't account for why American blacks, Muslims or gays don't spend any time writing on the site. Instead, it's much more likely it's the negative reception those authors receive when they post something the majority of SOL readers disapprove of. (I've also heard that from many authors and readers on both this and several other sites.)

I'm not saying that there are any reasonable solutions to the problem, but we need to be aware of the cost of the scoring system, especially how the influence of 1-bombers exacerbates the problem.

Crumbly Writer

ASSTR Status Update: The site is still up, but you still can't access any stories and they aren't listing ANY new stories at all, but ...

I just discovered they 'restored' my stories up to mid 2016 (including two series I removed from ASSTR over concern about outright piracy by its members.

I'm guessing that that's 'as good as they can do' concerning restoring their database, and that anything written after that is simply 'non-recoverable'. Still no clue when, if ever, they'll get the site back up. But, the longer it remains storyless with little feedback to encourage readers, the harder time they'll have generating the funds to fix the site.

It ain't lookin' good for out 'perverted cousin' website.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Crumbly Writer

The site is still up, but you still can't access any stories and they aren't listing ANY new stories at all, but ...


What do you mean when you say 'can't access any stories'?

I went to the site and I was able to access all the authors listing and their stories.

Do you mean you as an author aren't able to add/remove/update your files on the site? because readers still can read.

helmut_meukel

@John Demille

because readers still can read.


But not all pages are available. I just tried some from Kristen's Archive and accessed Index10, Index20,... with no problem. Index70 generated an error, Index75 and Index80 were ok. Then I tried http://www.asstr.org/~Kristen/69/index69.htm which was ok too, but there clicking on "Next Directory" generated an error. I had accessed some stories in separate tabs of my browser (Opera) and Opera hadn't reloaded the data for these tabs after a system shutdown and restart. With some of these tabs I got error messages when I clicked on them. So obviously asstr.org has still problems, even for readers.

HM.

Crumbly Writer

@John Demille

What do you mean when you say 'can't access any stories'?

I went to the site and I was able to access all the authors listing and their stories.

Do you mean you as an author aren't able to add/remove/update your files on the site? because readers still can read.

I meant, from a readers' perspective, that the main page is completely empty of stories, and although you can access individual stories, you can only access certain stories (i.e. those that belong to separate collections, not any that reside on the main ASSTR server). Thus, anything that was set up separately from the main ASSTR database is still accessible, but no one can post or access ANY new stories.

What's more, although there are more stories available, they're part of the 'incomplete' restore I mentioned. They did manage to restore several stories, but the only reliable backup they could access was from mid-2016, more than a full year ago.

My main point, though, was unless they can resume posting new stories, it'll be difficult for them to attract any funds to finance their necessary upgrades to restore the site.

Perv Otaku

@Ernest Bywater

On a side note if you go to the news groups and post a message at ass.stories.d


You mean alt.sex.stories.d of course, accessible via google groups. Which is a better line to the admins than the user-created https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ASSTR_ASSM_Authors/

Perv Otaku

BTW they have stuff mostly working again. Some stuff is still in progress, but I uploaded a new chapter to ASSTR yesterday that went up everywhere else two months ago.

Crumbly Writer

Yep, their main page (the one that lists the most recent stories posted today) is back up and functional.

Yeah! (for all those who need their regular kiddy-porn fix.)

Vlad_Inhaler

I see that they now use https rather than http, I think that's new.

Crumbly Writer

@Vlad_Inhaler

I see that they now use https rather than http, I think that's new.

It is. They discussed it on their forum posts (I get email notifications whenever they do).

awnlee jawking

@Vlad_Inhaler

And it means that 32-bit Chrome can't access the site :(

AJ

Crumbly Writer

It's been several days since the first reported ftp failure, and I'm still unable to access the general submission site, either authors.asstr.org or secure.asstr.org. Has anyone here been able to reach the ftp submission site, or is it down for the duration?

There are plenty of new submissions, but I'm assuming they're going thru the plain text submission site.

Have they changed the ftp submission site's location or something. All in all, it's reassuring to know that they've gotten the site back up, but their inability to get more than bits and pieces up doesn't give me a lot of confidence going forward. I really have nothing to submit to them, I just want to REMOVE the files they restored that I DON'T want posted to the site.

Crumbly Writer

@Crumbly Writer

It's been several days since the first reported ftp failure, and I'm still unable to access the general submission site, either authors.asstr.org or secure.asstr.org. Has anyone here been able to reach the ftp submission site, or is it down for the duration?

Never mind. It's been some time since I last posted to ASSTR, and reviewing the site, it's apparent they've completely abandoned the traditional 'authors.asstr.org' facility, switching to a purely ftp self-posting setup, rather than a 'guided' posting arrangement.

Renpet

For those of you that have questions about the asstr.org situation, try looking at: https://status.asstr.org

You'll see what's working and what's not.

Perv Otaku

@Crumbly Writer

I'm still unable to access the general submission site, either authors.asstr.org or secure.asstr.org.


This is all talked about in the posts on alt.sex.stories.d

Due to the generally completely fucked nature of everything, they got it back up to some minimal functionality (access using an FTP client) while other stuff is still down for the foreseeable future (web access to files via authors.asstr.org).

Switch Blayde

Why does anyone even care about the status of ASSTR? I gave up on it a long, long time ago. It was dying even back then. SOL is the only place I post free stories.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

Because even if you don't like the way it has become saturated by paedo stories, it's a significant bastion of freedom of expression and I think everyone should mourn its loss.

AJ

Vlad_Inhaler

@awnlee jawking

The situation is exacerbated by the spamming which goes on - uploading the same stories on a daily basis so that the list of new stories is unusable. My "freedom of expression" does not include spamming and it was one of the two factors which killed the site for me, the other being Artie's decision to retire.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Because even if you don't like the way it has become saturated by paedo stories


That's not my reason. Years ago the support from the admins disappeared. That's when I felt it was dying.

There are two critical components for me:

1. As a reader, a search engine to find stories. ASSTR's is non-existant. SOL's is really good.

2. As an author, webmaster support. ASSTR's is non-existant. SOL's is great.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Because even if you don't like the way it has become saturated by paedo stories, it's a significant bastion of freedom of expression and I think everyone should mourn its loss.

I DO mourn it's loss, but it wasn't lost during this current kerfuffle, but back when it became a defacto pedo-only site after they effectively chased away most authors posting non-pedo stories. Given their inability to receive donations and their inability to receive and respond to direct emails, there's little chance they'll pay for the extensive changes required to the site. Frankly, I have no clue how they're doing as much as they are.

It's essentially a zombie site, dead but still stumbling forward, oblivious to the many limbs it keeps dropping as it continues. If and when they follow SOL's lead, and create a non-pedo spinoff site, THEN I'll return to it.

Oh, and Switch's reasons too. Essentially, everything is tied into their inability to solicit funding, which they permanently severed by continuing to foster the very pedo stories which drew a broader array of authors/readers they need to survive.

Replies:   JimWar
richardshagrin
Updated:

There are still authors there who post new stories I enjoy reading. One who used to be here but found the 14 or older requirement limiting is VeryWellAged. Another who has never posted here is Karen Blayne. And other sites there are of historical interest, to see what authors posted in "pre-history". Even cmsix is there with some of his early stories.

Revised to mention Apache who has a large number of authors stories cached, some with stories here, some not available anywhere else as far as I know.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@richardshagrin

And other sites there are of historical interest, to see what authors posted in "pre-history". Even cmsix is there with some of his early stories.


There _are_ good stories which can only be found at ASSTR, since they haven't been reposted elsewhere. But without a functional search engine, or access to the various collections and Author sites, the only way to track them down is to laboriously move through the directory tree of the monthly archives, once you find a link that gets you into them.

I suspect those monthly/yearly archives haven't been created for quite some time, so anything more recent isn't going to be found at all.

It is possible to access the various collection and Author pages, via the Wayback Machine, provided you know the approriate urls to enter. You do have to check to make sure that the indexing done on the date you chose to look at reached down to the story file level; sometimes they didn't quite index that far down the directory tree. And as with every other search engine I've checked on the Wayback Machine, the ASSTR search function on the archived version pages to the current site, and thus doesn't function, so the Wayback Machine's copy is only good for the Collections and Author directories.

This is a pity, I remember when I used to spend a fair amount of time looking for stories at ASSTR, but when the original core group was no longer able to maintain it, they didn't succeed in recruiting qualified people to replace them.

_That_ problem is not unique to the Internet. What happens when the founders are no longer able to maintain the organization? Far too many entities which were one individual's brain child have gone under. The track record for those with a larger founding group is somewhat better, but it still requires that they be active in recruiting new leadership from within their community, and I'm worried about some of my favorite sites longevity, as a result.

Which is one reason I've gotten very agressive about downloading stories that I like, wherever I find them; however, I haven't started doing my own off desktop PC backup of those downloads, so I'm vulnerable to a hard drive crash.

I'm _really_ worried about SOL's future, when Lazeez reaches the end of his run. My impression is that his sites have a _lot_ of hand coding in their makeup, and that requires a very special kind of person to pick up the reins. Really, it would take an extended apprenticeship, and I haven't heard anything to suggest that it's happening.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sunkuwan

If you know what you are looking for, you can always search with search machines like duckduckgo and write "site:www.asstr.org/" in the window. Searching for sci-fi would be "Sci-Fi site:www.asstr.org/"
It will list url's which have Scifi in it or in the description.

Best method after that would be to check out the links from the specific site (if it has a www site and not just a ftp dump).

Or you find a jackpot with a guy or girl doing a compilation with either his favorites or just the specific genre or kink.

Like this example: someone posted the link to a sci-fi story on asstr on a request in another thread: https://www.asstr.org/files/Authors/Apache/My%20Favorites/Web/Siath/Earth%20Base%20Alpha%20Book%201/

Just hitting Parent directory gives several other stories and authors (I saw Lazlo there) and looking a little deeper gives you the web site for this collection: http://webpages.charter.net/chiefuscg/author-list.htm

Crumbly Writer

@JohnBobMead

I'm _really_ worried about SOL's future, when Lazeez reaches the end of his run. My impression is that his sites have a _lot_ of hand coding in their makeup, and that requires a very special kind of person to pick up the reins. Really, it would take an extended apprenticeship, and I haven't heard anything to suggest that it's happening.

I worry about that too. While Lazeez does have other 'admins', they don't seem to do the heavy lifting that he does, so I worry if this wonderful site will suffer what ASSTR is now if something happens to him (which, of course, could happen at any time).

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

worry if this wonderful site will suffer what ASSTR is now if something happens to him


Yet another good reason as many readers as possible should pay for their premier membership so the site is profitable and someone will want to continue it so it remains so.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

Yet another good reason as many readers as possible should pay for their premier membership so the site is profitable and someone will want to continue it so it remains so.

Even if the site IS profitable, if no one is trained to take over the reins and knows how to manage the site, come what may, it's often all for naught.

I suspect that Lazeez may need to delegate a bit more, just to allow his admins to grow and gain responsibilities, so they feel the site is theirs, too. Face it, how many out there know the names of the other admins on the site? I've worked with several, over the years, but I'm not even sure how many admins there are in total.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@Crumbly Writer

I suspect that Lazeez may need to delegate a bit more, just to allow his admins to grow and gain responsibilities, so they feel the site is theirs, too. Face it, how many out there know the names of the other admins on the site? I've worked with several, over the years, but I'm not even sure how many admins there are in total.


Several admins? Not that I know of.

I'm the only full admin on the site. We have one additional moderator 'Vixen'. Vixen handles postings and a couple of other upkeep chores. That's all. There was never anybody else.

The main goal from having stories archived to premier only area is to hopefully raise the income of the site to afford a new programmer to learn the system's code and build the stuff that due to advanced age/family conditions/business conditions, I'm no longer able to properly focus on and finish (like the book sales site which won't be coming in 2017 like I had projected).

Currently SOL's engine is a sprawling collection of code — all written by myself, and no one else, and I'm the only one familiar with it. It supports multiple English sites simultaneously. But it needs another programmer's hand to turn it into easily maintainable code (commenting and minor refactoring) and to add multi-language support (French and Spanish have been asked of me).

So far the change has convinced more members to get premier, but not to the required level yet.

JimWar
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

BtFH is another alternate posting site, but their extreme religious views (the fact they won't allow anyone who expressing a differing opinion) is another site seemingly intent on limiting themselves.


I'm confused. Never knew the site had any religiosity on it. I've posted, I'm not religious. Never had any problems. I suppose if I wanted to post a sermon on the site they might not like it. What religious POV is the site supposed to have?

JimWar

@Crumbly Writer

I'm of mixed opinion here. Pedo doesn't turn me on but Mr. Double and other early pedo sites actually predated the internet and in my opinion a lot of the internet would never have been developed were it not for on-the-margin sex sites. It was a way that those of other sexual orientations could write and hopefully play out their fantasies in a non-harmful way. We, as a society, have greatly narrowed our tolerances since those days. I can remember when Toronto, CA made it seem like it was legal to obtain 13 year old prostitutes.

I also remember, as I grew up in Charlotte, that the age of consent was 15 in NC although you needed parental consent to marry at that age and many of my HS classmates skipped over the border to SC to marry without consent at 14.

I support Lazeez and know he has to abide by the law and I for one am glad that he does. My first few stories were Pedo by today's standards and when the wind started shifting I offered to remove those stories from the site and was told it was not needed. You can look at the stories and see they were edited by well respected editors.

My point is that we're only one law away from having no right to publish any sexual content and that is a real shame.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@JimWar

I'm confused. Never knew the site had any religiosity on it. I've posted, I'm not religious. Never had any problems. I suppose if I wanted to post a sermon on the site they might not like it. What religious POV is the site supposed to have?

She's not 'religious', but she treats conservative issues like many treat religion. If you say anything to tick her off, you'll never hear the end of it and you're likely to get kicked off the site (though I don't know of any who were). Thus you keep from saying anything mildly political, for fear of setting someone else off. The site's political rants are infamous.

Replies:   JimWar  Ernest Bywater
Crumbly Writer

@JimWar

I'm of mixed opinion here. Pedo doesn't turn me on but Mr. Double and other early pedo sites actually predated the internet and in my opinion a lot of the internet would never have been developed were it not for on-the-margin sex sites.

I never held such reactionary reviews before. Frankly, it didn't bother me that there were pedo stories here or on ASSTR, but once SOL was forced to abandon them (because of the Canadian law changes), ALL the pedo writers descended on ASSTR as the other sites all banned them too. As they did, the other more mainstream authors saw the writing on the wall, and as the balance of stories started to turn overwhelmingly pedo (again, often because the same authors kept posting the SAME pedo stories over and over just to keep their names at the top of the posting lists), they began abandoning the site, worsening their slide into irrelevance.

Lazeez is doing a noble job, trying to allow sexually free stories while trying to prevent the site from becoming unmanageable. He's now considering removing the older (early) pedo stories, just because it scares off many newer readers, reducing the number of potential new paying members. But ASSTR should be a lesson to all of us about just how quickly a story site like this can get flushed down the proverbial toilet.

Switch Blayde

@JimWar

Never knew the site had any religiosity on it.


I would say very far right rather than religious (or maybe they go hand in hand).

I had an issue with her. It was about the Iraq War (the second one). I knew it was a mistake. She blew up when I said so and attacked me. I think it was in the ASSTR forum.

Replies:   JimWar  Ernest Bywater
JimWar

@Crumbly Writer

If you say anything to tick her off, you'll never hear the end of it and you're likely to get kicked off the site (though I don't know of any who were). Thus you keep from saying anything mildly political, for fear of setting someone else off.


Well I'm not much for perusing the forums but looking over the Author list found several that are quite conservative. Many SF writers are not conservative (although there are notable exceptions) and the site has many of those. As I said, my postings and emails with her were always friendly and I don't know her except through those few exchanges. I learned growing up not to discuss religion or politics unless you want people to piss people off. Her site is fairly limited in content but there are a few good authors on there that do not publish on here.

JimWar
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

I would say very far right rather than religious (or maybe they go hand in hand).


Hmm, you say she is very conservative and Crumbly Writer alludes to her having a problem with conservatives. I also agree with you on the 2nd Iraq War but have never discussed this with her. The whole middle east problem has been one of the western world's making. Still again, that's why I try to avoid political or religious discussions in any forum.

Switch Blayde

@JimWar

and Crumbly Writer alludes to her having a problem with conservatives.


I typed my post before reading CW's, but I think we said the same thing. He said:

She's not 'religious', but she treats conservative issues like many treat religion.


So to her, conservatism is a religion.

Replies:   JimWar
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

If you say anything to tick her off, you'll never hear the end of it and you're likely to get kicked off the site (though I don't know of any who were).


he has refused to post stories for people she disagrees with. Even when the story met the criteria for the site.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I had an issue with her. It was about the Iraq War (the second one).


Legally there is only one - part 1 and part 2 ten years later. But enough said on that.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater


Legally there is only one - part 1 and part 2 ten years later.


Why do you think so?

The first one was about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

The second one was (mistakenly) about weapons of mass destruction.

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Why do you think so?


Because the first ended with a ceasefire agreement, not a peace treaty. Technically, under international law, the First Iraq war was indefinitely suspended, but never officially ended.

Iraq was in violation of a number of the conditions of the original cease fire agreement before we invaded Iraq, so from a legal perspective, the invasion was a resumption of hostilities in the first war, not a new war.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Why do you think so?


Iraq invaded Kuwait. There was some intense fighting, followed by a Cease Fire Agreement - no Peace Treaty or Surrender document was ever agreed to or signed, thus that conflict still continued, just not a hot war.

Part of the Cease Fire Agreement was for the Iraqi government to take certain actions and assist inspectors in proving the actions had been done. The Iraqi government not only didn't adhere to that, they actively hindered the inspectors.

One of the important aspects of the Cease Fire Agreement was the destruction of the poison gas chemicals the Iraqi government had for making deadly gases - a weapon of mass destruction they deployed against the Iranians and the Kurds. They deployed some of the gases against the Kurds during the Cease Fire period, and those chemicals have never been destroyed or fully accounted for.

Because there was no Peace Treaty or other document to legally end the war the active military hostilities could be started up by any signatory at any time. However, for years the US Congress had been pussyfooting around while they ignored what the Iraqis were up to and even denied they had been violating the Cease Fire Agreement the US Congress wouldn't agree to just start the shooting again. So they sought other reasons to recommence military activity.

At any point during this time it was legal for the US, or any other Allied government, to go back and start shooting again. There was no new war started, just a restart of the military activity of the original war after a long hiatus.

I know many in the US think of it as two wars, however, under International law it's only one, because the first was never concluded.

ed to add: One day I'll read all the posts before answering one. When I sent this off I then read DS had already answered it.

Replies:   Joe Long
Joe Long

@Ernest Bywater

ed to add: One day I'll read all the posts before answering one. When I sent this off I then read DS had already answered it.


But you did a good job.

It wasn't just the poison gas. A few years ago I read Hans Blix' report at the UN. He headed the inspectors who catalogued the WMD that the Iraqis possessed during the cease fire period and before those inspectors were expelled by Saddam. Anthrax, sarin, etc. When the inspectors came back the stockpiles were gone from their original locations. Saddam claimed they were destroyed, but couldn't prove it to Blix' satisfaction, but Blix didn't think it was worth resuming the war over.

Crumbly Writer

@JimWar

Hmm, you say she is very conservative and Crumbly Writer alludes to her having a problem with conservatives. I also agree with you on the 2nd Iraq War but have never discussed this with her. The whole middle east problem has been one of the western world's making. Still again, that's why I try to avoid political or religious discussions in any forum.

Sorry, you misunderstood my point. SHE is very CONSERVATIVE, and she and her minions will attack anyone who questions their basic assumptions (like questioning the justifications for starting (or continuing) the IRAQ Wars).

In general, anytime someone discussing new sites to post on, I (and others) warn them to NOT allude to politics on the site (on either side). On BtFH, you just focus on the story and don't get into more general conversations.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

The second one was (mistakenly) about weapons of mass destruction.

Rather, the 2nd one was fought (for purely imaginary reasons) in an attempt to justify his father's misguided attempts in the region.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Rather, the 2nd one was fought (for purely imaginary reasons) in an attempt to justify his father's misguided attempts in the region.


It was fought because Saddam lied about having WMD to intimidate Iran. The CIA believed him.

As to the senior Bush, he didn't want to invade Iraq. He knew better. All he did was help the Kuwaitis so, in effect, his son went against his wishes.

The 2 problems with the 2nd war are:
1. It made Iran much stronger (this is why I was against it)
2. It created ISIS (I never saw that coming)

Rambulator

Being a babyboomer I grew up in the middle of flower power and became interested in politics in the middle of Viet Nam and read all political news I could from then on. I believe rlfj pretty it on the nose in "a Fresh Start". That is all I will add on this subject because as someone said earlier politics and religion are very touchy subjects wit a lot of people.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Rambulator

Viet Nam


I saw the first episode of the History of the Vietnam War last night (it's a PBS special). I'm not only a baby boomer, but was in the Army Reserves during the war. You won't believe how it all started. It's amazing.

And Ho Chi Min (Sp?) came to us for help against the French. He even quoted Thomas Jefferson in a speech. We blew that one - big time. We even sent in a military doctor to help him when he was gravely ill.

JimWar

@Switch Blayde

So to her, conservatism is a religion.


Yeah, I understand what you are saying and I took it wrong when I first read it. I'm only a dabbler in forums and so am unlikely to get into political discussions. I have seen some stories that try to pound home one political theme or another and usually try to avoid those stories. Heinlein was the master at this and I'm not sure that the dogmas in his stories weren't a bit too impressive on juvenile minds. Still the stories gave me an abiding love for SF.

My point is that I never got anything static or even an indication that she agreed, disagreed or even read my post. Of course that was 10 or more years ago.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@JimWar

Heinlein was the master at this


Ayn Rand

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Heinlein was the master at this

Ayn Rand

Except, a LOT of different people read Heinlein, I've never known anyone who wasn't a die-hard Republican who could actually finish any of Ayn Rand's books. (I certainly never did!)

She was writing for the already converted, rather than trying to reach a broader audience to spread her message to more people.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I've never known anyone who wasn't a die-hard Republican who could actually finish any of Ayn Rand's books.


Oddly enough, despite been a voracious reader, I've never heard of Ayn Rand except when mentioned on this forum - must look them up in wiki one day.

Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

I've never heard of Ayn Rand except when mentioned on this forum

All of us shrugged.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I've never known anyone who wasn't a die-hard Republican who could actually finish any of Ayn Rand's books


I wasn't and I loved "Atlas Shrugged." Maybe it's because I was young and didn't understand her politics.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

All of us shrugged.


It may also be she's one of those who was hardly noticed outside of the USA. In my younger days I read a lot of books on political ideas, and one thing I find of great humour today is the number of people in the USA who don't realise that the real name of the Nazi party was National-Socialist German Workers' Party, and that the only real difference between what Hitler pushed and what Stalin pushed was Stalin wanted a Russian controlled socialist world named for Russia with him boss and Hitler wanted a socialist world named for Germany with him boss. Also, Musolini lead the National Fascist Party which was a socialist party with an Italian twist.

robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

...I find of great humour today is the number of people in the USA who don't realise that the real name of the Nazi party was National-Socialist German Workers' Party...

What's there to realize? It's just a name. They could have named themselves 'Beneficial Society to Save the Homeland', would it have made a difference?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ross at Play

@Ernest Bywater

It may also be she's one of those who was hardly noticed outside of the USA.

I was just having a bit of fun.
I would never read on the grounds that everyone I've seen who has it on their list of the books they most love is on my list of the people I most hate.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

What's there to realize? It's just a name. They could have named themselves 'Beneficial Society to Save the Homeland', would it have made a difference?


Not to their behaviour which was copied off Stalin's treatment of the people of the Ukraine. However, 95% of the Hitler's agenda and manifesto was lifted directly from the Russian issued material Hitler was given while a member of the Austrian Socialist Movement.

The key aspect is the US socialist think Hitler and Stalin had different ideologies and agendas, when they were exactly the same. The actions and behaviours of the extreme socialists, like Antifa, are the same as exercised by the Nazis before they gained power. Yet they accuse everyone who doesn't agree with them as being a Nazi, when they are the ones exercising Nazi behaviours, attitudes, and ideologies.

Replies:   robberhands  graybyrd  Joe Long
Ernest Bywater

@Ross at Play

I would never read on the grounds that everyone I've seen who has it on their list of the books they most love is on my list of the people I most hate.


Ahh, sorry, but I've never even seen it on anyone's Must Read list. The only reason I've read some things like an English version of Mein Kampf and the Socialist Manifesto was it was needed for certain courses I did many moons ago. Same is true of the Shakespeare I've read - required reading. It's been my experience that 90% of required reading books are there because most people wouldn't read them if given a choice.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

A sack of shit is a sack of shit, no matter what label you put on it or if you think of it as a right wing or a left wing sack of shit.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

right wing or a left wing sack of shit.


I never said otherwise, I just pointed out the hypocrisy of the current socialists in the USA saying those who don't agree with them are Nazis when it's the bleating socialists who are following the same doctrine as the Nazis and using Nazi behaviours.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

It sounds as if you'd believe the term 'socialism' would have a distinctive definition but it doesn't. Everyone who ever called himself a socialist defined the term to his personal liking - the same as people who like to use it as a derogative label.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
richardshagrin

As long as thread drift about ASSTR is going to cover "political history" I seem to recall the Spanish Fascists under Franco were one of the early adopters, fighting Spanish Communists. Of course there were a lot of flavors of communism before Stalin. And the US Democratic Party was different before Roosevelt. Not Teddy, he was a Republican with anti-trust agenda, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. AKA FDR. The Polio poster child. I was born while he was President and I have seen a lot of weird stuff happen.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Apparently God has fathered a lot of children with her ;)

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Apparently God has fathered a lot of children with her

Just another anticommaist conspiracy theory. :-)

Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

It sounds as if you'd believe the term 'socialism' would have a distinctive definition but it doesn't.


Every person who wrote a treatise of manifesto on socialism seemed to have a very good consensus of opinion on what socialism is and what a socialist is, where they differed was on how to set it up and on who should be the leader.

But even taking you statement they all have a different definitions, they all think they have a right to take away anything anyone else has that's more than what they have and do with it however they want. Through history such people were called thieves, bandit, killers, and tyrants - the name changed with the size of the gang and how powerful they became.

Replies:   robberhands  Joe Long
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Through history such people were called thieves, bandit, killers, and tyrants - the name changed with the size of the gang and how powerful they became.

...and with the literal ingenuity of their political opponents.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

I've never known anyone who wasn't a die-hard Republican who could actually finish any of Ayn Rand's books.


Her philosophy was embraced by libertarians and ultra-conservatives (who I think are really libertarians, not the far-Right religious ones) — individualism and individual freedom.

I don't remember if I read "The Fountainhead," but I saw the movie (not that it was a great movie). But I don't know why any author in this group wouldn't drool over it.

Authors here moan all the time about how the traditional publishers put the same type novels out and aren't open to "our" new ideas for fiction. Isn't that what "The Fountainhead" is about? An architect with new ideas being crushed by the established architects because he was different.

"Atlas Shrugged" is all about individualism and Capitalism. I guess a Socialist or Communist would hate it, but why would us Capitalists?

Replies:   Ross at Play
Geek of Ages

Because it's poorly written, with an unbelievable plot and unrealistic characters doing things that make no logical sense, frequently interrupted by large blocks of inscrutable political polemic.

Even when I went through my Ayn Rand Worship phase, I found Atlas Shrugged to be unbearably bad.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Ross at Play
Updated:

@Switch Blayde

"Atlas Shrugged" is all about individualism and Capitalism. I guess a Socialist or Communist would hate it, but why would us Capitalists?

Because without restraints, individualism and Capitalism would destroy everything you currently call "society".

Replies:   Joe Long
Switch Blayde

@Geek of Ages

unbelievable plot and unrealistic characters


Hunger Games?

Man, it's fiction.

Replies:   Geek of Ages
graybyrd
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

The key aspect is the US socialist think Hitler and Stalin had different ideologies and agendas, when they were exactly the same. The actions and behaviours of the extreme socialists, like Antifa, are the same as exercised by the Nazis before they gained power. Yet they accuse everyone who doesn't agree with them as being a Nazi, when they are the ones exercising Nazi behaviours, attitudes, and ideologies.


BS

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@graybyrd

BS


a perfect description of antifa and the vocal socialists in the USA.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

I wasn't and I loved "Atlas Shrugged." Maybe it's because I was young and didn't understand her politics.

It was never the politics which kept me from finishing "Atlas Shrugged", rather it was the impenetrable wall of text (this from someone who read all of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago"). The political analogies all seemed heavy-handed, overly stressed (i.e. complete unnatural) and I just couldn't get into it. Thus it seems the idea of 'political non-interference' seemed the main attraction in the story, rather than the story itself (at least in my opinion, more than 40 years since I last tried to read it—back when Reagan was all the rage and I was trying to figure out the whole basis behind his candidacy).

Geek of Ages

@Switch Blayde

Man, it's fiction.


There's lots of fiction that's bad. Atlas Shrugged happens to be just one example. 😛

Geek of Ages

Re: whether or not Nazis were socialists, didn't Germany have some sort of democratic system prior to the rise of the Nazis? Did it have political parties, that perhaps are less contentious regarding what their political agendas were?

If so, I think it'd be fascinating to see what parties most lost members to the Nazis, and which (if any) gained members. That might provide some insight into what the people, at least, perceived as the political aims of the Nazi party.

Replies:   zellus
StarFleet Carl

There is a reason why those of us in 'flyover' country (as well as John Ringo) tend to refer to certain states in this country, such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as the Peoples Democratic Republic of Massachusetts.

Democratic Republic means you elect your representatives - which is fine.
Peoples Republic means you're a socialist, maybe even a communist.
Democratic Peoples Republic means you think Marx and Lenin were the greatest people that ever lived, and that socialism and communism should rule everything, and that all individual rights should be subsumed to the all-knowing, omni-benevolent government.

zellus

@Geek of Ages

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_1928

IliaVolyova

@StarFleet Carl

Says someone who hasn't read a word of either Marx or Lenin.

Crumbly Writer

@StarFleet Carl

There is a reason why those of us in 'flyover' country (as well as John Ringo) tend to refer to certain states in this country, such as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as the Peoples Democratic Republic of Massachusetts.

Democratic Republic means you elect your representatives - which is fine.
Peoples Republic means you're a socialist, maybe even a communist.
Democratic Peoples Republic means you think Marx and Lenin were the greatest people that ever lived, and that socialism and communism should rule everything, and that all individual rights should be subsumed to the all-knowing, omni-benevolent government.

That's got to be, frankly, the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I've NEVER known anyone living in Boston, and I know quite a few, who has any love whatsoever for Marx or Lenin. Don't confuse trying to help people with being Socialists. That's a meaningless term thrown around, just like Nazi is, to degrade and belittle your enemies. But what they all have in common, is using 'the common good' for the 'average man' as a rallying cry, while they do whatever they feel like.

The key isn't to guard against Nazis or Socialists, it's to beware of populists, promising to 'wipe the slate clean' and 'return power to the common man'. Because, believe me, the common man will always get the shaft, every single time! Political persuasion means little.

Replies:   richardshagrin  Joe Long
JohnBobMead

The thing you have to realize about Marx and Engels, is that while they were, in my opinion, correct in the end result of unregulated Capitalism's boom/bust cycle eventually getting so bad that the lower end of the economic spectrum would realize they had nothing left to lose, and then comes the Revolution. Where they are dead _wrong_ is the result of said revolution. Not gonna be a Worker's Paradise, gonna be a Totalitarian state.

Soviet Russia: Totalitarian State. Peoples Republic of China: Totalitarian State. Cuba: Totalitarian State.

Of course, in none of those cases did the revolution occur in an industrialized nation, which Marx and Engels posited as being a pre-requisite, so it's possible that they might be right after all.

Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Ho Chi Min, Mao Tse Tung, Franco, Castro, they all cloaked themselves under various ideologies, but the fact of the matter is that they all wanted to be the person calling the shots, the ultimate arbiter of what occurred in their nation, and they didn't want to listen to what anyone else had to say about the direction things went. You look at the French Revolution, similar stuff; a slightly larger governing group, but again, they knew what they wanted to do, and didn't care what anyone else thought, and any who disagreed with them was dead as soon as they could arrange it.

It is incredibly rare for an armed revolution to result in anything resembling true popular rule; I don't quite understand how the US Revolution succeeded, for a while, in establishing such a system, but I really fear that we are on our last legs. We are becoming too polarized, which is the perfect environment for power seekers to cloak themselves in an ideology and take over a popular movement and subvert it to their own ends. Anyone who actively seeks out a position of authority is, by definition, suspect; they are either after power for its own sake, or they have an ideological agenda they seek to impose upon others; the more polarized society is in general, the more extreme a stance those seeking power can take and get away with. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but there are damned few pragmatic statesmen running around these days.

Replies:   Joe Long
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

common man will always get the shaft

The mine owner gets the coal, the miner gets the shaft.

Joe Long

@Ernest Bywater

The actions and behaviours of the extreme socialists, like Antifa, are the same as exercised by the Nazis before they gained power. Yet they accuse everyone who doesn't agree with them as being a Nazi, when they are the ones exercising Nazi behaviours, attitudes, and ideologies.

Hitler was a national while the Soviets were international socialists. The left today has convinced themselves that the Nazis are right wing. Antifa and today's white supremacists are both all about group rights. Their difference is the order they rank the groups.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Joe Long

@Ernest Bywater

hey all think they have a right to take away anything anyone else has that's more than what they have and do with it however they want.


The US is currently plagued with what I call the "Politics of Envy and Outrage." It's all based in an emotional appeal and requires a strong national government to protect the victims from their oppressors - IOW, fascists. I follow the Australian pundit Rita Panahi and unfortunately yunz folks down under appear to be cursed with some of the same types.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Joe Long

@Ross at Play

Because without restraints, individualism and Capitalism would destroy everything you currently call "society".


What restrains is choice and competition. Those who are tempted to cheat and destroy have to be in fear that the customer's dollars will go elsewhere.

Replies:   Grant
Joe Long

@Crumbly Writer

But what they all have in common, is using 'the common good' for the 'average man' as a rallying cry, while they do whatever they feel like.


Differences I've seen between Right and Left 1) group rights vs individualism 2) community responsibility vs personal responsibility 3) leftists believe that as long as their cause is just any means is acceptable, where one on the right would say ends don't justify means, process is important...and others

Joe Long

@JohnBobMead

Of course, in none of those cases did the revolution occur in an industrialized nation, which Marx and Engels posited as being a pre-requisite, so it's possible that they might be right after all.

The problem is concentration of power, which corrupts even the well meaning. I believe in the wisdom of the crowds before any self proclaimed experts and technocrats. Never trsut a politician, even the ones you voted for.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Joe Long

Those who are tempted to cheat and destroy have to be in fear that the customer's dollars will go elsewhere.

Except there is no alternative because they were all bought out.

Grant

@Joe Long

I believe in the wisdom of the crowds before any self proclaimed experts and technocrats.

Ah, yes.
Mobs of crazed idiots are so much better than anyone with some knowledge.

Dominions Son

@Grant

Mobs of crazed idiots are so much better than anyone with some knowledge.


No, but anyone with real knowledge wouldn't want the job.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@Dominions Son

No, but anyone with real knowledge wouldn't want the job.

Or they think they might be able to make a difference.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Ernest Bywater

@Joe Long

The left today has convinced themselves that the Nazis are right wing.


The problem is when most people talk of left wing and right wing politics they don't realise they're talking of European Socialist politics. If you picture the political spectrum as being a street of four city blocks and each block has twenty-five houses in it. The houses number, from left to right, 1 to 24 the left street is the cross street followed by houses 26 to 50 and middle street, then houses 51 to 75 and right street with houses 76 to 100 last. You'll find all the modern conservative parties in houses in the block 76 to 100 while the Nazis are in house 24 and the Facists in house 25 with the Markists in house 1 and the Stalinists in House 2 - houses 26 to 40 a re bunch of less totalitarian socialists and everything else is spread out down the rest of the road. Thus, to the heavy duty socialist politics of Europe of the Nazis were the right wing of the socialist group and the Marxist the left wing of the socialists.

Replies:   IliaVolyova  robberhands
IliaVolyova

@Ernest Bywater

A bigger load of bullshit I have never read, Mr. Bywater.

Do you even understand what socialism means? If you do, have you ever read a single history book on the Third Reich?

Socialism is a materialistic political theory, it sees the society in terms of who has money and who doesn't, and its entire point is that if people were compensated according to what they deserve (they were paid for all the work they did), social classes would disappear.

Nazis (right wingers) called themselves 'socialists' because they wanted to destroy class distinction within the Aryan race and place their them above everyone else. (and they purged almost everyone in the party who wanted even this version of 'socialism' in 1934 - night of knives)

Today's conservatives (what you americans call republican) and liberals (Democratic party in the US, Labour in UK and AUS, Liberals in Can) - centrist cowards the lot of them - all think capitalism is great and the current wealth distribution of society is fine and dandy.

Actual socialists want everyone to be paid the compensation they deserve. They want to eliminate the leeching bourgeoisie who do no work and live off the labor of the disenfranchised. The rich trust-fund kid who has done no work his entire life, the landowner whose entire income is based on taking rent and doing no work, the investment banker who creates nothing in his job and just makes sure other rich people don't have to work; these are the people the real leftists want to remove. And they don't want to kill them either, they just want to make their jobs irrelevant.

Note, I'm not advocating for or against any of these ideas. All I'm saying is that the drivel you write has nothing to do with the actual history of these things. Would the world end if you didn't write about things you have no knowledge of? Seriously? Like why do you feel the need to do it?

Your kind make me wish humanity had never figured out how to put words into sentences.

robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

Hitler was as much a socialist as Genghis Khan. He was a madman covering his insanity in at the time popular terminology; or do you believe his delusional idea of a superior Aryan race is also part of a socialistic doctrine?

Ernest Bywater

@IliaVolyova

Do you even understand what socialism means?


yes, i know what socialism means - it means no one owns anything, the state owns everything, you get only what the state allows you should get for doing the work they insist you do. That's what socialism means on the political stage, and what it has meant for the last 100 years.

Socialism means you can't make a life better for your children, you can't pass on anything of real value (mainly because you can't own anything of real value).

Modern socialists hide their desire for a huge totalitarian centralised government behind rhetoric of being for the workers. They claim the workers should get an equal share of the profits from all business endeavours, yet they don't insist the workers front up the money to buy that share to establish the business. In short, modern socialists want others to wear the cost of establishing a business and then take all the profits off them.

You claim socialist want people to be paid the compensation they deserve, but you don't set out how that compensation should be fairly decides what a fair share is, beyond stealing the businesses or land someone inherited from someone else who worked hard to make it to pass it on to their heirs.

If someone can't keep what wealth they create and then pass it down to their heirs, what is there to encourage them to create anything or to work any harder than the minimum needed? Nothing is the answer, and that's what the socialists want, because if no one but the centralised socialist government running things has any wealth they have a total control of the people.

BTW The Nazis are right wing socialists not right wing conservatives, and they called themselves socialists because almost all of their agenda and doctrine came directly from the socialist paperwork put out by the Markists in the 1920.

Replies:   robberhands
helmut_meukel

@Grant

Ah, yes.
Mobs of crazed idiots are so much better than anyone with some knowledge.


Reminds me of the saying: "Eat shit, billions of flies can't err!"

Seriously, the Nazis were elected. They never got the majority of votes, but that wasn't necessary:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_November_1932
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_federal_election,_March_1933

There are some basic differences in voting between the U.S. and most of Europe. In most european countries the voter registration is automatically done, in Germany by the "Einwohnermeldeamt" (residents' registration office). BTW, resident registration is mandatory.
Some weeks previous the election polling cards are send to every voter reminding of the election day (always a Sunday) and the polling station.
A few european countries have still compulsory voting: Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Bulgaria, Greece.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsory_voting#Current_use_by_countries
7 more used it in the past.

HM.

robberhands
Updated:

@Ernest Bywater

Throughout the entire human history, people abused ideas, philosophies, social theories, and religion as a means to further their personal goals to gain power and wealth. People had to die in the name of God, Allah or Jehovah. They died in the name of Socialism, Communism, and Patriotism. If you believe the name of the pretext they use matters, then you're just another sheep waiting to be slaughtered.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Joe Long
Ernest Bywater

@robberhands

Throughout the entire human history, people abused ideas, philosophies, social theories, and religion as a means to further their personal goals to gain power and wealth.


That's true, but the socialism being pushed as political agendas today are the Stalinist style which always push for a large centralised tyranny to be funded by stealing everything from everyone else.

Socialism as original suggested and is now called Utopian Socialism was tried at various time through history, and even found to work up to the village level, but once you go beyond a large village all forms of socialism fail due to them not being able to allow the society, as a whole, have a say in the running of the society. Thus the society starts to develop into stratas based on their position in the management system with those near the top doing all they can to maintain their position and power. This has been shown in the USSR, China, North Korea and everywhere else a socialist government has gained power. Every time a political party has gained office in a democratic country they pass laws to centralise power, remove power and wealth from the middle class, and to steal everything they think they can get away with.

There is not a socialist movement or party in existence today that doesn't want a strong central government where they control the power and the wealth, and those in the leadership positions of it are simply out to increase their own power and wealth. The first things they want to do are to disarm the people so they can't fight back against the government, they also want to rob everyone who has anything of any value - and they do it all by saying it's for the betterment of the poor, yet the poor never get the real benefit of what they steal, if they're lucky the poor will get 1% while the rest go to those in power of the socialist party.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@Ernest Bywater

There is not a socialist movement or party in existence today that doesn't want a strong central government where they control the power and the wealth, and those in the leadership positions of it are simply out to increase their own power and wealth.

How does a socialist government in this regard differ from any other government? And I hope you didn't mention the USSR, China, and North Korea, prior to revolution, as examples for former democratic countries. For that matter, which democratic countries were ever overthrown by a socialistic regime?

Replies:   helmut_meukel  Not_a_ID
helmut_meukel

@robberhands

And I hope you didn't mention the USSR, China, and North Korea, prior to revolution, as examples for former democratic countries. For that matter, which democratic countries were ever overthrown by a socialistic regime?

Hmmm,
how about Chile?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Allende
IMHO, Allende was overthrown before he could show that – even with best intentions – Marxism fails in real life. Sorry U.S. Government and CIA you missed a historical chance.

In Russia the democratic forces never got a chance, they were overthrown by the Bolsheviks.

HM.

Replies:   robberhands
robberhands

@helmut_meukel

how about Chile?
IMHO, Allende was overthrown before he could show that

I'd concede the point but Allende and his 'Partido Socialista de Chile' were socialists themselves, albeit democratic socialists.

Joe Long

@robberhands

Throughout the entire human history, people abused ideas, philosophies, social theories, and religion as a means to further their personal goals to gain power and wealth.


Which is why I have an inherent distrust of concentrating power in anyone's hands, public or private. The temptation to misuse is great.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@Joe Long

The worst people of all to entrust with power are those who want it the most.

Dominions Son

@Grant

Or they think they might be able to make a difference.


If they think that, they don't have real knowledge.

Replies:   Grant
sejintenej

@IliaVolyova

Actual socialists want everyone to be paid the compensation they deserve. They want to eliminate the leeching bourgeoisie who do no work and live off the labor of the disenfranchised. .......... the investment banker who creates nothing in his job

I beg to disagree. On both sides it is the yah-boo wallas who force their opinions on others and seek to take over control for the benefit of their own pockets. Any subject is appropriate - we have those who demand TV hours (and generous handouts)to claim that some colony of nineteen legged newts is being threatened by a roads being repaired. We have gtrades union bosses who sign agreements and then call out the workers because the agreement is not to their liking (oh and the Trades Union wallah is on a huge salary and benefits paid for by workers who lose their jobs if they don't pay him his dues. We have a situation where might is right and morality is an insult.
As for the investment banker what toddle! Without his efforts there would be no money for companies to expand, to employ people ...... Not quite my field but I was in a parallel game and reckoned that I made enough tens of millions of dollars from abroad to finance weeks of imports of cheap Chinese rubbish and nice clean food. We may look like pains in the arse but the country needs us to export our brainpower. Of course Labour considers such work and exports irrelevant because it doesn't produce soundbites to persuade the hoi polloi

Replies:   awnlee jawking  Grant
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

When the zombie apocalypse comes, we must make sure to keep the investment bankers safe because they're so much more important than the military, engineers, farmers etc ;)

AJ

Grant

@Dominions Son

If they think that, they don't have real knowledge.

Of others in the system; not what needs to be done.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Grant

@sejintenej

As for the investment banker what toddle! Without his efforts there would be no money for companies to expand, to employ people ......

That's toddle.
There were ways of making money available for business before Investment banking came along. Manipulating currencies does not add value or produce goods or services.

Replies:   sejintenej
richardshagrin

I am reasonably sure there is difference between Fascism and Socialism. And Fascism and Communism. My recollection is that it has to do with who owns manufacturers. Fascism does not require the State own the production of goods.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Grant

Of others in the system


If you actually want to accomplish anything in government, that is vitally important knowledge.

Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Fascism does not require the State own the production of goods.


Both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy nationalized (government takeover) at least some industries.

richardshagrin

Great Britain, when the Labor Party was in power nationalized some industries. That doesn't mean they were Communist or Fascist.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

Great Britain, when the Labor Party was in power nationalized some industries. That doesn't mean they were Communist or Fascist.


No, but they very much had a socialist government at the time. Communism and Fascism are ultimately variations of Socialism.

sejintenej

@Grant

There were ways of making money available for business before Investment banking came along. Manipulating currencies does not add value or produce goods or services.

Just look at the origin of the words bank, bond, bankrupt .... The banker was the middleman between those who had money and those who needed it.

Manipulation was and is illegal - until the Americans flooded the London market in the 1960's if there was the simplest whiff of funny business the person was hounded from London and often the country.

There was a case in the late 1800's where someone had to leave the UK after a fraud and died a pauper in Havana. Ten years ago, because of the disgrace, all members of his family refused to put up even a penny fund the return of his body to the UK

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@sejintenej

Just look at the origin of the words bank, bond, bankrupt .... The banker was the middleman between those who had money and those who needed it.


A traditional banker takes deposits from account holders and lends the money back out to people who want to start/expand their companies or buy houses etc.

Investment bankers are like leeches, developing pseudo-investment products to sit on top of traditional banking and suck money out, hence reducing interest payments to account holders and raising interest payments for loanees.

AJ

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play
Updated:

@awnlee jawking

Investment bankers are like leeches, developing pseudo-investment products to sit on top of traditional banking and suck money out, hence reducing interest payments to account holders and raising interest payments for loanees.

Not entirely true - some of the funds they play with leech out into productive enterprises - but the vast majority is a zero-sum game with the sole intention being they and "the 1%" come out on the plus side, or as Douglas Adams puts it, they are "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes."

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Ross at Play

Overall it's a zero-sum game, but since investment bankers usually make eye-watering profits, that means your food, your mortgage, your pension etc are subsidising them them :(

AJ

John Demille

@IliaVolyova

Socialism is a materialistic political theory, it sees the society in terms of who has money and who doesn't, and its entire point is that if people were compensated according to what they deserve (they were paid for all the work they did), social classes would disappear.


And that is exactly what's wrong with socialism: it goes against every instinct and everything that makes us human.

Socialism is a scam that lazy people use to take wealth from those who are capable of work and wealth generation. It uses people's jealousy, sense of unfairness and their worst fears and directs it where the scammer wants. Every socialist experiment failed. Socialism has failed everywhere that it was tried. It failed because it ignores human nature. People aren't all the same. They can't be treated all the same. A highly intelligent person can't be expected to learn, behave, work and get compensated in the same manner as a dumb one. An intelligent person is capable of more. We aren't all the same despite what Marxists say.

Marxists play on people's feelings that somebody else might be inherently more capable and more gifted than themselves. It abuses humans' fear that they might not be as capable as others. I plays on unsuccessful people's resentment of successful people.

Marxists peg the whole world as an unfair fight between rich and poor. It creates this terrible image that the world's economy is a zero sum game. That for somebody to make money, somebody has to lose money. The gloss over Capitalism's wealth creation where by economic cooperation wealth is created and everybody is better off. They play the game that capitalism is an economic system where the rich rob the poor. Where the rich exploit the poor unfairly and take from them undeservedly. It's the most insidious of philosophies that had ever been invented.

Capitalism is what humans truly want. Capitalism is another word for 'economic freedom'. You're free to own, you're free to do and you're free to be whatever you want to be. You are not some cog in a giant socialist machine where you're forced to do what the powers that be deem is good enough for you.

Marxists paint all capitalism in the same brush as 'crony capitalism' where wealthy people/organizations buy laws to give them an economic advantage. Cronyism is bad. True capitalists hate cronyism as much as everybody else.

Nothing has given the world and poor people as much as capitalism. Capitalism has eliminated poverty way, way, way more than any attempt at socialism. On the contrary, socialism has succeeded in destroying vast amounts of wealth. Proof: Venezuela. Rich country, rich with resources. Took up socialism and now, barely after twenty short years of socialism, people are going hungry.

The most underreported thing about humanity ever is the progress we've made in eliminating poverty.

https://medium.com/future-crunch/global-inequality-is-getting-better-fdbfde215b73

Do you think any socialist system could have resulted in the great wealth generation that trickled down to the poor in Africa? Do you think a socialist system could have ever resulted in something like smart phones that equalized global access to resources and allowed people to better their lives?

Every socialist experiment has shown that socialism doesn't work. Every failed socialist experiment has been described by socialists as 'Not true socialism'. This is the biggest line of bullshit that every socialist tries to sell you and it's based in arrogance. As every person whoever says this to you means that 'If I were in power then I would implement a true socialist utopia'. Even if that person was indeed so benevolent as to be in power and yet treat everybody else as equal, people around that person are sure to be power hungry and will eliminate him/her to replace them and take power for themselves. A socialist system needs to be controlled by somebody otherwise human nature will prevail. That controller will have almost absolute power. We know how power corrupts. Why push a system that will only result in corruption and power abuse?

How many people died from socialism? Tens upon tens of millions starved, suffered and died because of socialism. Why do people refuse to learn?

awnlee_jawking

@John Demille

Capitalism is what humans truly want. Capitalism is another word for 'economic freedom'. You're free to own, you're free to do and you're free to be whatever you want to be.


People want freedom for the things which are important to them. But they also want confidence that the things they don't care about are looked after for them.

I an forum such as this, where the unifying factor is an interest in literature, I would expect the majority would want their health to be taken care of, and not to have to worry about constantly changing eg utility and insurance providers because of the 'loyal customers are mugs' escalator.

There's a lot of nostalgia for the simpler life under the communist regime in the former Soviet Union.

AJ

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille
Updated:

@awnlee_jawking


There's a lot of nostalgia for the simpler life under the communist regime in the former Soviet Union.


Maybe there is, but it's only because the country hasn't transitioned to a capitalist system in a proper way. And only the youngest have lived under a non-communist regime. They've yet to experience the benefits of capitalism.

One of the seductive things about socialism is that people are told that the government will take care of them. One takes care of his slaves. Doesn't mean the slaves are better off under slavery. The common people are nothing more than slaves under a strictly socialist regime. They're called comrades, but they are nowhere near the top of the hiararchy comrades.

Everybody wants less responsibility. Many women prefer to be submissive because it means they don't have to live with the consequences of being wrong.

The capitalist system means that you are free economically, you're free to make any decision you like, but it also means you have to live with the consequences of your decision. You do good business, you make good money. You make stupid decisions and you pay the price for those decisions. Most people prefer to have jobs instead of starting their own business. There is always a very strong certainty in a job. You don't need to make the hard decisions. You do your job according to your job description and you get paid the agreed wages. It's easy. But somebody has to make the decision for you. Somebody has to write your job description for you. A business person has to make a lot of decisions. Do we make a deal with this company? is it good? do we produce this product? will it be profitable? The wrong decision can have dire consequences.

The decision making done in a Capitalist society rests in the hands of the bosses. To be a boss in a capitalist society means you have to be smart enough to make the right decisions. The simple consequence of making the wrong decisions is you go bankrupt.

In a communist society, the most ruthless and most psychopathic tend to reach and hold power. To gain a position you just have to figure out how to eliminate the ones occupying it. That's why there is great destruction and great suffering under a communist system.

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@John Demille

In a communist society, the most ruthless and most psychopathic tend to reach and hold power. To gain a position you just have to figure out how to eliminate the ones occupying it. That's why there is great destruction and great suffering under a communist system.

This sounds remarkably like the current version of Capitalism in the USA today.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Wheezer

This sounds remarkably like the current version of Capitalism in the USA today.


In the US currently, there is a lot of crony capitalism. By allowing lobbying and 'campaign contributions' congress people became for sale to the highest bidder.

I remember ten years ago a senator threatening Apple with unspecified legal action because Apple at the time had no lobbyists paying congress anything. They stopped when Apple hired lobbyists and started spreading some of its money on Capitol Hill.

This is corrupt government. I don't know how to get enough honest people to change things when they reach this degree of corruption. But when it's corruption like this, it has nothing to do with capitalism or socialism. Although, it's very easy to blame the existing system for what's going on and usually the logical reaction is to go for the opposite system, which in the case of the US it's seductive to go for socialism even though socialism is terrible and it will only result in tears.

richardshagrin

We have the best government money can buy.

Trump is not a socialist and certainly not a communist. Although he has expressed admiration for Putin. If I had to pick an "ism" for him, it might be Fascism. He is willing for private ownership of business to continue, he just wants to tell the owners things to do that suit his plans, like not moving jobs overseas.

There are certain similarities between the two major political parties. The Go Pee Party and the Go Shit Party, also called the Democrap Party. The symbol of the GOP is a urinal, everybody pees standing up for themselves. The Dem symbol is the toilet, everybody sits, equally.

JohnBobMead

@John Demille

Capitalism is what humans truly want. Capitalism is another word for 'economic freedom'. You're free to own, you're free to do and you're free to be whatever you want to be.


Um. Free Market Capitalism, which is the variant of Capitalism you are referring to, is a economic system that works in an acceptable manner so long as there are no natural or created monopolies, the start up costs of entering the market are comparatively low, and there is large demand for the product. If the answer to any of those variables is "no", entry into the market is restricted.

Given the above, competition for customers is supposed to keep prices down to where the greatest number of people can afford the product.

High demand, low setup expense, results in enough units being produced that the amount required from each unit sold to pay for fixed costs is low, allowing a lower price charged per unit while still making a reasonable profit.

In a low demand market, fixed costs needing to be recouped on a per unit basis are much higher, resulting in a higher price having to be charged in order to obtain a reasonable profit.

Non-monopolistic markets form where the start up expenses required to enter the market are low when compared to the expected return on investment per item sold, given the number of items expected to be sold. In other words, if it doesn't cost much to gear up for production, you have a chance of being able to price your product such that you draw potential customers away from the established producers. If it costs a lot to gear up for production, demand needs to exceed current product availability such that a price per item high enough to recoup your startup expenses within a reasonable period of time will be acceptable to the market.

Once a market is saturated, it will only gain new producers if the entry costs are low, and the prospective new producer can think of a way to "spin" their product to make it more attractive than those already being produced.

In a monopolistic market, there is little or no competition to drive prices down, and if a high demand market at the same time, every incentive to keep prices as high as the market will bear.

Natural high demand monopolistic markets are those for which the resources required for production of the product are scarce or otherwise subject to restricted access; once the initial product producers are established, there are no resources available for the use of potential competitors.

Artificial monopolies are generally the result of collusion between resource providers, manufacturers, and retail outlets to limit entry into the marketplace, to keep prices, and thus profits, artificially high. The Diamond market is an excellent example of this. Some would argue that the actions of the Energy companies to prevent the widespread entrance of Solar energy products into the energy market is an example of this.

Unless there is an artificial limit placed upon the number of licenses issued, educational requirements for licensing to participate in a particular market does not really meet the requirements for the creation of an artificially monopolistic market, the educational expenses just become part of the start up expenses for entering the market. In general, educational requirements for being allowed to enter the market are a result of substandard product being produced by those lacking that educational background. Substandard meaning just that, below the standards established for the product; this presumes that the standards are set where they are for good reason.

In a monopolistic low demand market you have to balance the fixed costs per unit, the amount of profit you'd like to make, and the maximum units your market would consume, to arrive at your final price.

In a low demand market, you really hope that within that market the need for your product is high, so that you can accurately calculate the maximum number of units sold, and set your price correctly to cover your start up and fixed costs while still providing a reasonable profit.

Low demand markets where the need within that market is low, even if not a natural monopoly, tend to become monopolistic because the market is too small to justify the start up expenses for anyone looking to compete with the established players.

Note: I keep using the phrase "reasonable profit". This differs from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, what they consider a reasonable profit per item sold, which is influenced by how much they feel they should set aside for maintenance and replacement of their means of production, and explains why some are willing to attempt to enter markets that others have decided aren't economically viable. It also explains the Open Source movement; these are individuals who have decided that they can have a reasonable return on investment without that return being monetary; they may cloak that with prattling of ideology, etc., but it really boils down to their gaining enough emotional satisfaction from making their product available to those who need it that they do not feel the need for financial remuneration; this only works for those with some other secure means of support; economic reality will always trump ideology in the end.

Democracy, Fascism, Communism, Socialism, Theocracy, etc., are all socio-political systems that modify the environment within which Capitalism functions, and how they modify it determines how easy or difficult it is for an individual to enter the market outside of true economic expense, and how much of the gross profit per unit sold they retain.

At least, that's what I remember from the economics classes I took 15+ years ago.

Grant

@John Demille

The gloss over Capitalism's wealth creation where by economic cooperation wealth is created and everybody is better off. They play the game that capitalism is an economic system where the rich rob the poor. Where the rich exploit the poor unfairly and take from them undeservedly. It's the most insidious of philosophies that had ever been invented.

It has nothing on the fantasy world you're living in.

It would appear that Capitalism, without any limits or boundaries, moral or otherwise, it the panacea to the world's ills.
Yet the greatest losses of wealth, have been as a result of such behavior (the original Wall St crash, and the GCF for example).
It is obviously, your religion. You believe in it. There is no room for dissenting opinion, even less room for facts that don't support your belief.
Enjoy your world, divorced as it is from reality.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Grant

It is obviously, your religion. You believe in it. There is no room for dissenting opinion, even less room for facts that don't support your belief.


Where the hell did that come from? No room for dissenting opinions? Huh?

Relax man. Did I shut you up? Did I even address you in my reply?

I already said that cronyism is bad and government shouldn't collude/be bought by big business, or did you miss that part?

I'm a moderate libertarian. I believe in free markets, but I also believe that monopolies are bad. I'm against those who push marxism and hard left socialism.

Why don't you tell us about your "religion"? Are you a marxist? If you are a marxist, then yes I'm against you all the way.

JohnBobMead

@John Demille

The gloss over Capitalism's wealth creation where by economic cooperation wealth is created and everybody is better off


Nowhere in any economics textbook I've read or class that taken, has "Capitalism" and "economic cooperation" appeared in the same paragraph, let alone sentence. Nor have I ever heard it claimed by reputable economists that Capitalism results in everyone being better off; quite the contrary, in fact, in an unregulated marketplace.

Capitalism is not about the creation of wealth for the masses, it is about the maximization of profit for the Entrepreneur.

The only pricing restraint placed upon the Entrepreneur in a non-regulated market is that imposed by their competition's ability to undercut their price if their price is higher than justified by their fixed costs, direct costs of production and marketing, and reasonable profit.

That restraint is there only so long as there is _no_ economic cooperation on the part of the various Entrepreneurs; once they start to cooperate, competition goes out the window as the very first things they agree to cooperate on is _not_ undercutting each other's pricing, preventing outsiders from entering the market, and preventing the formation of labor unions, and preventing government interference in the market. In other words, anything that would result in lower net profits for the Entrepreneur.

The very first step of maximizing profits is to minimize expenses; you pay the least you possibly can for your raw materials, your labor, your production infrastructure, etc.; you produce the cheapest non-differentiated product you can that the market will purchase.

Anyone not doing this is driven out of business by those who _do_ operate in this fashion, as they can't meet their price, unless they are able to establish themselves as marketing to those who's desire for quality outweighs their concerns for cost; in other words, they move into a niche market that has voluntarily removed itself from free market economic competition, making their purchasing decisions based upon quality of product, rather than price of product; yes, within this market they _do_ still consider price, so if two firms are producing an item of the quality they seek, they will purchase from the least expensive of the two, _unless_ there is higher social status granted to those purchasing from the more expensive producer, in which case, if they are concerned with social standing, they will pay the higher price because the higher regard of their peers is an added value they are willing to pay for; what this means is that the producer of the higher priced product has succeeded in adding higher social standing to the product they are marketing, so that it is no longer an equivalent product to their competitor's product. To put it bluntly, snobs will pay for snob appeal, all other things being equal, or nearly equal.

The other part of maximizing profits is to charge as high a price for your product as the market will allow.

The combination of paying the least for your labor that you can, and charging the highest price that you can, is that things get pretty bleak for those actually involved in producing the product where skilled labor is not required. Their income is low, and their expenses are high. Where skilled labor is required, well, it's an unregulated free market economy, if there is competition for skilled labor positions, the skilled laborer who asks the least in regard to pay is the one who will be hired, presuming they have the skills required. So things aren't necessarily any better for the skilled laborer.

The reality of unregulated free market Capitalism is this: Those who are successful in entering the market and securing a reasonable share of the market are financially well off, while those working for them are not. And there are limits to how many individuals can enter the market, as all markets have a maximum number of units of production desired; once the market is saturated, it is not economically viable for someone new to enter the market, unless they have a new method of production resulting in lower total costs of production after the expenses of installing the new technology is taken into account.

Once you start regulating an economy, it is no longer a true free market economy. The Entrepreneur will fight regulation every inch of the way, unless he sees a personal benefit from it, which generally means a restriction on who can enter his subsection of the market.

Crumbly Writer

@JohnBobMead

Once you start regulating an economy, it is no longer a true free market economy. The Entrepreneur will fight regulation every inch of the way, unless he sees a personal benefit from it, which generally means a restriction on who can enter his subsection of the market.

I think my record for prolonged, extravagant rants has officially been bested. Luckily, my "Most Curmudgeonly Author" award still stands!

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Crumbly Writer

@JohnBobMead
Once you start regulating an economy, it is no longer a true free market economy. The Entrepreneur will fight regulation every inch of the way, unless he sees a personal benefit from it, which generally means a restriction on who can enter his subsection of the market.


I think my record for prolonged, extravagant rants has officially been bested. Luckily, my "Most Curmudgeonly Author" award still stands!


Hm. Looked up "rant" on Google, almost all the definition sites on the first page characterize it as something akin to "to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave". "lecture" would be more appropriate. "An exposition of a given subject delivered before an audience or class, as for the purpose of instruction"

Research the economic history of the United States over the last two hundred years and say I misrepresented what occurred. Going further back, look up the Hanseatic League for an occurrence of economic cooperation between businesses.

The principles of market competition hold true. They can be modified by constraints placed upon them by Government, but within those constraints, they still hold true.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Ross at Play

@JohnBobMead

"An exposition of a given subject delivered before an audience or class, as for the purpose of instruction"

It is a rant when you KNOW the "audience" are determined to stick with all of their prejudices.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
JohnBobMead

@Ross at Play

It is a rant when you KNOW the "audience" are determined to stick with all of their prejudices.


OK, under that definition, then yes, it _was_ a rant, because, in my heart of hearts, I knew the person I was responding to is a "true believer" who would not be swayed by an outline of mainstream thought on the subject. For others, not set in their thinking but not familiar with the subject matter, potentially swayed by the OP, it was a lecture. For those familiar with the subject matter, probably boring as hell, and overly simplistic.

Replies:   PotomacBob  Ross at Play
Joe Long

@JohnBobMead

The goal of regulators should be to ensure that a competitive market exists - buyers free to choose from a variety of sellers.

Don't allow barriers to entry of new competitors
Don't allow cooperation between sellers
Don't allow barriers to consumer choice
Make sure accurate information is available to consumers to make an informed choice
Enforce contract terms on both buyer and seller
and a few others.

PotomacBob

@JohnBobMead

My two cents: If you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still couldn't reach a conclusion. I've seen tax cuts that "worked" and tax cuts that did not. I've seen stimulus that worked, and stimulus that did not. Which economic theory is the right religion? Santa Claus!

Ross at Play

@JohnBobMead

For others, not set in their thinking ...

Who is this Lone Ranger?

John Demille

@JohnBobMead

Where skilled labor is required, well, it's an unregulated free market economy, if there is competition for skilled labor positions, the skilled laborer who asks the least in regard to pay is the one who will be hired, presuming they have the skills required. So things aren't necessarily any better for the skilled laborer.


Interesting rant. You have the worst case scenario point of view ever. You even rant about how bad it is for skilled labourers it would be when they're in high demand. Once you go that far, you're clearly ranting for the sake of ranting. Market dynamics will mean that whatever is in demand commands the highest price possible, including labour. If you deny that, then you're not thinking straight or you have a very skewed point of view.

Yes. Many of the things you listed happen, but the net result of a capitalist system vs a socialist ones cannot be denied. I was talking about Capitalism vs Socialism. In a socialist/communist system if you don't do the work you end up in some gulag. Which is better?

Everything has good side and bad side. No arguments there. For example:

I've been in a union job when I was younger and let me tell you, that shop was screwed. I got kicked out of the union because I worked too hard. One day I was approached by the union rep where I worked and was told to slow down. He said I was making all the others look bad because I worked hard. The next week there were $800 on my pay check that weren't supposed to be there. When I enquired about the extra money it turned out to be my union dues refunded. They kicked me out of the union and I was fired a week later in a deal between the union rep and the shop manager. That branch company went bankrupt a year or so after I was fired.

That experience coloured my view towards unionized workers ever since and I'm always very cautious when dealing with places where the workers are unionized. This anecdote shows you that even things done with the best of intentions can have bad consequences.

I remember a factory nearby that closed after a prolonged workers strike in the early 90s. That factory's owner made a pretty penny from that strike. /sarcasm.

StarFleet Carl

@John Demille

I've been in a union job when I was younger and let me tell you, that shop was screwed.


At one time, unions served a valid purpose in this country. It's very difficult for me to argue otherwise, considering my grandfather had to start working in a coal mine when he was 8 years old to feed his family. The United Mine Workers had a valid reason for existence. THEN.

Now ... realistically, most unions no longer serve a needed purpose. What actually does MORE good in this country now is the THREAT of a union. I worked 15 years at a Japanese transplant auto factory. We weren't union - yet for the most part (certain American managers excepted - who had come FROM union car plants), the workers were treated fairly and paid appropriately. We also worked our butts off. As a forklift operator, I changed my own battery. In a union shop, it required an electrician to do that.

And don't get me started on government employee unions. Reagan had the proper response to those - fire everyone.

sejintenej

I'm a moderate libertarian. I believe in free markets, but I also believe that monopolies are bad.

Sounds good but it cannot work. The problem is the extent of design protection.
To give you an actual example relating to razor blades; they appear to wear out fast because of the hair and gel sticking to the blades. An inventor created a device which cleans the blades and gives a life many times the "normal"; that would be prohibited under the terms of the razor maker's patent. In fact the cleaning device could be used for anything but it would be the mention of razors which would make that company sue.

Using another method I have emulated that - a month or more per blade, 14 months (so far!) for an aerosol gel can but if I was to tell you a certain merkin outfit would be on my back immediately. It's a bit like muckydee banning certain people from using their own names

JohnBobMead
Updated:

@John Demille


Market dynamics will mean that whatever is in demand commands the highest price possible, including labour.


Only if demand exceeds supply. If supply exceeds demand, it's a buyers market. If more qualified individuals apply for a position than are needed, all things being equal, the one asking for the lowest salary will be hired.

Yes, I paint a worst case scenario, because that is my experience. It's what I've observed in the market. It's what I see when I study the history of railroads in America. When I look at the history of the petroleum industry. The meat processing industry in Chicago; read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, an excellent description of practices that led to the founding of the Food and Drug Administration, just ignore his socialist polemic in the final portion. The history of Quack medicine sales, before the requirement that statements to the efficacy of medications had to be verifiable, which led to standards for verification, which then led to the whole "supplements" versus "medications" clash that is currently going on.

In regard to modern abuses by Unions, that's because they haven't bought into the relationship that should exist between Union and Management. The Union protects the workers from abuse by management, but in return has an obligation to self-police, protecting management from abuse by workers; in return for fair treatment, workers should give 100% to their work. Just as the Union works to insure fair treatment, if the Union documents that a worker is shirking, they should remove their representation for that worker. Quid pro quo. Unfortunately, I've also experienced a work situation where the Union's attitude was that the Worker was _always_ in the right, and Management was _always_ in the wrong, and it just wasn't true. Yes, sometimes Management targeted a Worker who was doing their job as described in their contract, but was difficult to manage (I supervised one such worker, and was asked to document her so they could get rid of her; I refused, because 1) she _was_ doing her job, and 2) we _weren't_ documenting the other workers in such a fashion, so it would be an open and shut discrimination case that I wanted no part of), but other times it was as clear as could be that the Worker _wasn't_ fulfilling their job responsibilities, there was no way the Union Reps weren't aware of that, but still the Union fought Management's application of proper disciplinary measures tooth and nail; in one of those cases, once the non-productive Worker was fired, another Worker, who gave 100% but was a little slow mentally, and had low self-esteem, had a sudden, lasting, upwards shift in his self-image. After all, he hadn't been fired, so his work must be appreciated. He had one of those jobs that was repetitive, monotonous, but had to be done just the same each time, and by God, that's just what he did. Worse case market dynamics at work, once the Union had a lock on the supply of workers, they became abusive of Management, acting toward Management as Management had acted toward the Workers prior to the Union being formed. So long as Unions refuse to accept the responsibility to self-police, they will be abusive of Management, and of those who do accept the obligation to give 100% during work hours in return for fair treatment. Management and Union share the responsibility for enforcing the contract between Union and Management, but far too many Unions don't accept that. It's not a failure of theory, it's a failure of practice, a failure on the part of one party to the contract to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@JohnBobMead

If more qualified individuals apply for a position than are needed, all things being equal, the one asking for the lowest salary will be hired.


That's still the highest price possible for the given market conditions.

JohnBobMead

@Dominions Son

Yes.

richardshagrin

@Dominions Son

That's still the highest price possible for the given market conditions.

In the theoretical perfect market, but in what we have here in the real world are other issues, like minimum wages, reasons to keep an existing worker working rather than replacing him with someone who will work for one cent less (for example, training costs and effects of termination on other workers) and family and friend issues where other people who are related to the worker to be fired will do things the employer would not like. There are also costs of unemployment insurance the employer has to pay based on how often workers are fired and apply for and get unemployment insurance payments. In the real world once you are employed, workers tend to stay employed. Of course employers move to Mexico or other countries when significant savings are expected, but even then there can be issues including political backlash for mass unemployment. There aren't a lot of perfect markets in the real world.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@richardshagrin

In the theoretical perfect market, but in what we have here in the real world are other issues


Even in the labor market we have in the real world, it's still the highest price possible given current market conditions.

Vlad_Inhaler

Address Not Found

www.asstr.org could not be found. Please check the name and try again.

The browser could not find the host server for the provided address.

Did you make a mistake when typing the domain? (e.g. "ww.mozilla.org" instead of "www.mozilla.org")
Are you certain this domain address exists? Its registration may have expired.
Are you unable to browse other sites? Check your network connection and DNS server settings.
Is your computer or network protected by a firewall or proxy? Incorrect settings can interfere with Web browsing.

Ernest Bywater

@Vlad_Inhaler

asstr.org is off-line , it may be for major maintenance - I just checked with a site validation site

Ernest Bywater

@Vlad_Inhaler

I just checked the Domain information, I'm not sure what showed before, but it was just updated on 9 Nov 2017, is down for expiration on 9 Dec 2021, which indicates renewed on 9 Dec 2016 for 5 years, and registered via Contact Privacy In Customer 1241107443 in Toronto, ON, Canada

Interesting it's down just after an update.

awnlee jawking

@Ernest Bywater

Canada


Isn't that the death knell for all the underage stuff?

AJ

Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

Interesting it's down just after an update.


Not necessarily. It could mean that someone took the time to renew the registration and is now actively working to bring it back up to par. Being down could be because they are finally getting things reloaded to bring back online.

Besides, I wouldn't really consider 9 months later as being 'just after'. That's like years in internet time.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@awnlee jawking

Isn't that the death knell for all the underage stuff?


I can't find out much about the Canadian company, but what i can find out makes it look like a company you use as a cut out for contact services, not the real owners. It also looks like it may be a Google subsidiary. The bit with the customer number is a bit of a give-away.

Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp

Besides, I wouldn't really consider 9 months later as being 'just after'. That's like years in internet time.


Information details updated on 9 Nov 2017 isn't 9 months ago, but a day or so ago.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Ernest Bywater

if the DNS server info changed it may take time for that to promulgate through the net.

Vlad_Inhaler

@awnlee jawking

Isn't that the death knell for all the underage stuff?

We can always hope, not that it will make much of a difference if the same nifty stories are still uploaded on a daily basis.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Not_a_ID

@Joe Long

The US is currently plagued with what I call the "Politics of Envy and Outrage." It's all based in an emotional appeal and requires a strong national government to protect the victims from their oppressors - IOW, fascists.


And the media pushes it along because bleeding hearts are just as good for ratings as other bloody content. Gotta feed that 24 hour news cycle with something, so bloodshed and irrational emotions it is.

Not_a_ID

@robberhands

How does a socialist government in this regard differ from any other government? And I hope you didn't mention the USSR, China, and North Korea, prior to revolution, as examples for former democratic countries. For that matter, which democratic countries were ever overthrown by a socialistic regime?


A recent example, with a reasonably industrialized nation even, would be the ascension of one Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. They were on track to be on par with several "first world nations" in Europe, if not quite to the U.S. standard.

Then this one guy gets voted in, mysteriously becomes a multi-billionaire while in public office, then dies from cancer. But hey, "the people" still are in control down there at least, as their economy and infrastructure collapses around them.

Replies:   robberhands
Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

Besides, I wouldn't really consider 9 months later as being 'just after'. That's like years in internet time.

Information details updated on 9 Nov 2017 isn't 9 months ago, but a day or so ago.


The way I read it, the information on the site that said the domain registration was updated 9 months ago was updated on 9 Nov 2017. That's like a website that hasn't been changed in years showing on one of those 'website information' sites showing as their information was updated, not the actual website.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
robberhands

@Not_a_ID

A recent example, with a reasonably industrialized nation even, would be the ascension of one Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.

An example for what? For a democratic government overthrown by an election?

Replies:   Joe Long
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Capt. Zapp

The Whois website shows a lot of information, part of which I summarised. The important part is:

Domain Information

Domain: asstr.org
Registrar: Google Inc.
Registration Date: 1998-12-10
Expiration Date: 2021-12-09
Updated Date: 2017-11-09
Status: clientDeleteProhibited
clientHold
clientTransferProhibited
clientUpdateProhibited

While I'm not sure what is meant by the status information, I do know the Updated date is the date some of the client details were updated on the system. The reason for the update can be many things like a change of the Name Servers, or the owner, or the owner's details, or the renewal of the registration. My own Whois report shows an update of the recent date when I renewed my registration.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp  sejintenej
Capt. Zapp

@Ernest Bywater

Ah, I see. I went and checked my own website to see what it had for update and it was the day I renewed the reg. Perhaps ASSTR's update was when they took it offline to work on it?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Capt. Zapp

Perhaps ASSTR's update was when they took it offline to work on it?


Could be. The people who host my website were bought out some years back, and the new owners transferred all the clients over to their Domain Name Server. For about 30 minutes I couldn't access my website. A check of the Whois showed the Name Server had changed that day. I later learned all the new clients lost website access for some period due to the Name Server change taking time to promulgate through the other Internet servers. They usually make such changes in the wee small hours to minimise impact, but the tech people of the new owners were overseas and did the change in their wee small hours which matched our prime time. The new owners got a lot of complaints, and they started up a local tech group to do maintenance during our night. Since then it's been bought again, but by a local owner now.

Joe Long

@robberhands

An example for what? For a democratic government overthrown by an election?


Hitler was elected too.

Chavez attempted a military coup and was jailed. Let out early, he became a politician and got elected by promising free shit to the underclasses. When congress failed to pass his fundamental transformations he disbanded them and unilaterally rewrote the constitution. Free shit worked as long as the oil money was rolling in, but then the prices dropped...

Dominions Son

@Joe Long

Free shit worked as long as the oil money was rolling in, but then the prices dropped...


The fatal flaw of socialism. Eventually you run out of other people's money.

robberhands

@Joe Long

Hitler was elected too.

Although it hardly is important, but Hitler never was elected as 'Reichskanzler'. He won 37,3% at the election from 1932 and only 33,1% at the new election, held as the parliament wasn't able to form a government.

Furthermore, I never stated Hugo Chávez was a nice man. Still, winning an election is something else than overthrowing a democratic government. U.S. Americans should know best, every democratic country gets the President it deserves.

Replies:   Joe Long
sejintenej

@Ernest Bywater

While I'm not sure what is meant by the status information,

Client Delete Prohibited defined as

This status indicates that it is not possible to delete the domain name registration, which can prevent unauthorized deletions resulting from hijacking and/or fraud. If you do want to delete your domain, you must first contact your registrar and request that they remove this status code.

The Whois data is quite exhaustive and the update could be something like a change in name of the person i/c IT though in this case it could be something about Privacy Inc, Toronto such as a phone number.

Crumbly Writer

@awnlee jawking

Isn't that the death knell for all the underage stuff?

A temporary outage isn't a death knell. SOL goes offline frequently, but it's typically late at night when few notice, and it's not for very long. What IS a likely death knell, was the news by the site Admins who can't easily access the site to know, that the Feds have obtains a court order to start tracking log-ins to the site. Thus, if you visit the site, expect to find yourself under investigation. Also, knowing their modus operandi, if you communicate electronically with anyone under investigation (emails, messages, whatever), expect the same.

I'm not about to visit the site until AFTER whatever draconian legal actions have been resolved. It just ain't worth the risk.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Vlad_Inhaler

We can always hope, not that it will make much of a difference if the same nifty stories are still uploaded on a daily basis.

Personally, if ASSTR hopes to survive, they'll have to following SOL's lead and limit the underage content, as their pedo fans are chasing away everyone else, as more and more mainstream authors and readers are abandoning the site because of the overabundance of kiddy porn. With few other options, the pedo crowd is feverishly working to kill off their last remaining refuge.

I love the freedom of expression and diverse material, but not at the exclusion of everything else. When a niche group eliminates your bread and butter customers, it's time to fish or cut bait. ASSTR's biggest single problem is their inability to pay for new staff and equipment updates, and they have few options for increasing contributions.

Thank God, Lazeez plans ahead and is making plans to keep the site operational into the future (or at least until he dies, then all bets are off).

Replies:   Switch Blayde
awnlee jawking

@Crumbly Writer

I was referring to the Canadian registration.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

if ASSTR hopes to survive, they'll have to following SOL's lead and limit the underage content,


In the ASSTR Yahoo group, I suggested people switch to SOL when ASSTR was down and no one knew if it would be back up. The response was: "My stories aren't welcome on SOL."

Joe Long

@robberhands

Still, winning an election is something else than overthrowing a democratic government.


Yes, but this concept is "One man, one vote, one time" Once the guy gets elected he tears up the democratic institutions so that there are no longer any fair or competitive elections.

Ernest Bywater

asstr down for 2 days now.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

asstr down for 2 days now.


There had been some possibility before that it had been taken over by law enforcement. Maybe they now have whatever they were looking for and have turned the servers off.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Dominions Son

There had been some possibility before that it had been taken over by law enforcement. Maybe they now have whatever they were looking for and have turned the servers off.


or the servers finally died and couldn't be brought up again.

Vlad_Inhaler

All this is wild speculation. The "ASSTR under LEA control???" thread promises more, unless the signal:noise ratio drops there again as well.

Pookie

ASSTR is back up now.

Ernest Bywater

ASSTR is back up now.


The most interesting aspect is the site management status page at:

https://status.asstr.org/

states there have been no issues or incidents for over a week, and the status is as it was some weeks back.

makes you wonder if someone killed a trunk to where the server is, or similar.

Replies:   John Demille
John Demille

@Ernest Bywater

states there have been no issues or incidents for over a week, and the status is as it was some weeks back.

makes you wonder if someone killed a trunk to where the server is, or similar.


The servers were up. But their DNS record got wiped. When a DNS records gets wiped, the site disappears from the internet. If you know a site's IP address (ASSTR's is 64.71.155.222), then you can keep accessing the site without the need for a DNS record.

I don't know if ASSTR's DNS record was accidentally wiped or intentionally. They have their DNS records at a very leftist/intrusive/censorious entity.

oyster50

It's back up as of this afternoon.

Emanon_Pen

11 December 2017 - ASSTR.ORG is partially up, but the important parts are still down. I was able to post a chapter to a story mid-November. Any and all activities surrounding the web and ftp site that deals with upload/download by authors is not functioning. Using my Internet Investigative Skills ( 40 years in IT and a business owner ) I have uncovered certain public information, but have not acted on any of the contract information ( not that it would help because they are not site admins ).

Anyone have any ideas?

Would like to know if it is a hardware issue or a monetary issue.

I really would hate to lose all that asstr has to offer.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Emanon_Pen

I really would hate to lose all that asstr has to offer.

I gave up on ASSTR some time ago. The last time I used it, was to post a gay sex story I didn't want to post on SOL, but there are plenty of other sites I can post those to (everyone was over 18 in the story, so ASSTR offers me nothing but pedophiles at this point). It stopped being a 'literary' site a long time ago.

P.S. The only stories of mine are the ones I deleted and they then 'restored' after they lost their system. With the LEA monitoring who signs in, I'm not about to sign in just to delete them again.

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