Daily Archives: January 5, 2015

The People’s Republic of France

SHI writes:

How do you view France’s 75% millionaire tax aimed at the super rich, sports athletes, celebrities and corporation elites – as part of Francois Hollande’s “soak the rich” campaign? This has caused the flight of actors like Gerard Depardieu to Russia, led to nationalization of Arcelor-Mittal steel operations owned by Indian billionaire tycoon Lakshmi Mittal. The state’s share of the economy stands at 55%.

France is more Commie than the erstwhile Soviet Russia! But there are some advantages living there:

  1. Excellent public transport – It doesn’t cost you too much traveling anywhere in France thanks to their well-laid network of metro trains, suburban transit and trolleybuses. Car ownership is quite low.
  2. The food – yes, good food (and wine) is available pretty cheap. None of the fancy stuff which French export elsewhere, but for less than €5-10 a meal, it’s possible to eat and drink in a good restaurant. Supermarket stuff is even cheaper and high quality.
  3. Shorter working hours – They only work 33 hours a week. The ones who’re really hard-working may clock 40-45 hours. That’s it. This means more time to enjoy leisure activities.
  4. Longer duration of paid vacations – anything between 2 to 3 weeks is mandatory. People usually take unofficial vacations which could extend a week or two longer…
  5. Education is free or nearly free up to graduation. No hefty student loans. The tuition varies from €150 to €700 depending on the university and the different levels of education. (license, master, doctorate). One can therefore get a Master’s degree (in 5 years) for about €750-3,500

It sounds like France is making socialism work after all. There is nothing wrong with the state running steel mills as these are often not run very effectively by capitalists anyway, and state run steel mills in many nations seem to work very well.

I would like to see other nations copy the French model. This model seems to get rid of a lot of the problems of the Communist model such as:

  • Very low wages and poor work ethic (“We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”). The productivity of French workers is very high whereas the newly private farmers’ collectives in Cuba are having a very hard time hiring workers because it is typical for workers who are supposed to be there at 8 AM to show up at noon thinking this is absolutely normal. After all, that’s the way they always did it when they worked for the state, and no one cared then.
  • Mass theft from state enterprises and the resulting huge and overpriced black market. One of the reasons that state institutions are often poorly run under Communism is because so many workers are stealing from the establishment to sell goods on the black market. The notion that state property belongs to everyone does not help as the worker interprets “belongs to everyone” as “belongs to me” and promptly steals the item.
  • Massive shortages, unavailable goods and very high prices for “luxury items.” There are stores of all kinds all over France, small business is booming, you can buy anything you want, and prices are reasonable.
  • Lousy products and service. Service is great in French restaurants, the food is great, supermarkets are well-stocked and best of all, prices are quite cheap.
  • A relatively low standard of living. While it is true that Communist countries typically eliminated poverty, they were nevertheless able to only provide a low standard of living for their people. The French have an excellent, 1st World standard of living.
  • Lousy public transit. Cuban buses are filled to the brim. Soviet jets crashed all the time, killing thousands. On the contrary, the French transit system of all types, including airlines, is superb.
  • Lousy housing. All Communist countries have had a housing crisis. While homelessness has been eliminated, you often had more than one family sharing a residence. Soviets had small apartments with a common bathroom down the hall. Buildings are collapsing all over Old Havana, quite a few people are being injured, and there have also been some fatalities.

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Filed under Cuba, Economics, Europe, France, Government, Labor, Left, Marxism, Regional, Socialism, USSR

Comments Rules Regarding Capitalism and Economics Discussions

Mark Graybill writes:

I wish you allowed people to express capitalist ideas on your blog. Posts like these make me want to discuss your economic attitudes, but I don’t think you would allow it.

Yes you cannot cheer for laissez faire capitalism on here. You can support some sort of a market, but you aren’t supposed to cheer it on, more like you have to say at least that it has a lot of good points and also a lot of bad points.

You can support highly regulated capitalism, state capitalism, capitalism with social liberalism, social democracy, a mixed economy, market socialism, socialism with a market, or Socialism with Chinese Characteristics like in China, but laissez faire, Hell no, I ban on that.

You also have to support some sort of a safety net and some sort of social programs, even as meager as US social liberalism. You are not allowed to advocate gutting or getting rid of essential social programs. I ban on that too.

We used to have Libertarians and economic conservatives on here all the time, and all I did was argue with them constantly. It took up a lot of time, and I do not feel like wasting that energy anymore. I also had to waste a lot of time chasing down rejoinders to their arguments, which were almost always lies or untruths of some sort.

At one point, almost everyone on here was an economic conservative, and I thought, “Wait a minute! I am a socialist, and this is supposed to be a pro-socialist website, and all the commenters are free marketeers! Screw this, this is stupid!”

So I made some rules about that. I hate to say it, but economic conservatives actually bug me a lot more that White nationalists, anti-Semites or White racists. One Republican is worse than 100 American White nationalists. I consider those racist types to be unpleasant yet mostly harmless, but the economic conservatives are in power now, and they are committing tremendous harm to millions of  people. Lots of people are being hurt, and lots are dying. They are the enemies of all mankind, are dangerous as Hell, sadly are quite popular in some lands, and they really need to be resisted.

6 Comments

Filed under Capitalism, Conservatism, Economics, Government, Liberalism, Meta, Political Science, Socialism

We Are All Commodities Now, or The Catastrophe of Laissez Faire Capitalism

The great Chris Hedges writes:

Corporations have captured every major institution, including the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government, and deformed them to exclusively serve the demands of the market. They have, in the process, demolished civil society. Karl Polanyi in The Great Transformation warned that without heavy government regulation and oversight, unfettered and unregulated capitalism degenerates into a Mafia capitalism and a Mafia political system. A self-regulating market, Polanyi writes, turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities. This ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment.

I love Polanyi! A great Marxist thinker, and like Marx himself, his analysis of capitalism is on it.

The 99% is a commodity now? Yes! No way is this going to work. Societies like this one die badly.

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Filed under Capitalism, Economics, Government, Left, Marxism

Female to Male HIV Transmission: Much Ado about Nothing

The Nancy Padian study is the gold standard for heterosexual HIV. It came out in 1989 and has since been blasted from here to Kingdom Come mostly by stupid and crazy gays. They have been beating her to death for “underestimating the risk of heterosexual HIV.” This is a big deal for the gays because the gays, like the religious right, have long sought to portray HIV as a disease that straights are very much at risk of getting. You know, Mr. and Mrs. Jones next door can get it from doing it missionary style.

The reason they do this is very sleazy, cynical, pure politics. Gays think that if HIV is seen as a “gay men’s disease,” which it is at least as far as males are concerned, then most straight people will not want to spend much money on cures, treatments, vaccines, prophylactics, etc. that does not effect them.

So the political gay lunatics have been beating poor Ms. Padian over the head endlessly in a modern day version of a Salem Witch Trial. She was forced to do a number of mea culpas where she lied and said that her study very much underestimates the risk of heterosexual HIV, and she apologizes very, very much to the poor wronged Identity Politics gay nuts. Thing is her apologies were all a big lie. She did this to cave in to PC mandarins who probably threatened to ruin her career unless she told these lies they demanded she tell. Padian’s figures are as relevant today as they were then.

That study followed serodiscordant HIV couples over five years. I do not believe they used condoms, but I am not sure. 20% of the men seroconverted over a 5 year period in which they probably had sex with their wives perhaps ~700 times. So even if you have sex with an HIV positive woman 700 times over years, you only have a 20% chance of getting HIV. See how hard it is to get?

And even in the cases that did transmit – that 20% – there was a high rate of instances of penile and vaginal bleeding. So you see, if you have sex with an HIV positive woman 700 times over several years, you still have an 80% chance of not getting HIV. And even if you do get it, it looks like vaginal or penile bleeding is involved in many cases.

There is also a theory that heterosexual HIV may need multiple dosings in order to infect. In other words, you may have to receive a dosage infection a number of times, maybe quite a few times, for the disease to transmit. Simply getting one dose may not be enough to transmit. This is almost certainly true in the case of men.

Statistically if a man had sex with a woman who was HIV positive, this is his risk of getting HIV:

700 times = 20% risk
350 times = 10% risk
175 times = 5% risk
87 times  = 2.5% risk
35 times  = 1% risk
3.5 times = .1% risk
1 time    = .03% risk

As we can see in this link, The Truth about AIDS and Heterosexual Transmission, a commenter notes that his friend, an infectious disease physician, has treated a number of HIV patients over the years. This doctor said that he has had quite a few men come in over the years who claim to have gotten it from a woman. Subsequent examination of their bodies revealed either needle tracks from recent drug use and/or examination of their anus revealed signs of recent receptive anal sex (How they figure this out, I have no idea). So in almost all cases, the men who said they got it from women either got it from a sharing a needle with a fellow doper or from getting fucked in the ass by another guy.

In the one case in which he found no signs of homosexual anal sex or IV drug abuse, the man had an active case of genital Herpes when he acquired the infection. The doctor felt that the active Herpes infection may have been an adequate vector to transmit the disease from female to male. Studies in Africa imply that active Herpes infection is a risk for HIV transmission.

Another problem is vaginal HIV titers. Titers are the levels of HIV in various parts of the body. HIV titers have to be pretty high otherwise the disease simply will not transmit at all. Saliva titers are ridiculously low, and it is assumed that they cannot possibly transmit. I have looked closely at vaginal titers of HIV, and honestly they are so low that I wonder how they can ever transmit the disease.

HIV is a bloodborne illness.

People keep forgetting that. And it is hard to transmit even compared to other bloodborne illnesses. Hepatitis B is also a bloodborne illness, but it is 50X easier to transmit than HIV.

Receptive anal sex provides a perfect environment for HIV transmission. Anal linings are very fragile, and there is often microscopic bleeding that takes place in the anal lining during anal sex. Semen has a very high level of HIV, and semen can enter the bloodstream directly via small breaks in the anal lining.

The vagina was built to take a pounding by penises on a regular basis, and in addition must stretch out dramatically to do the seemingly impossible delivery of a baby through that tiny hole. The vaginal walls are very thick compared to anal walls. Nevertheless, semen can still get into the bloodstream via the vaginal walls although this is much harder than via anal sex.

The only entry point for the male in heterosexual sex is the urethra, barring cases of penile bleeding. Vaginal titers are so low that one wonders how they can transmit, and these very low titers would have to go through the urethra which has no link to the bloodstream. So anatomically, transmission is going to be pretty difficult female to male.

There was a lot of female to male transmission happening in Thailand among prostitutes a while back. These prostitutes serviced many men a day, and after a while, they were not aroused anymore and they failed to lubricate. So they were basically dry-fucking. This causes vaginal bleeding, and the men were contacting blood in the vagina this way. Presumably this is how the men contracted HIV.

In Africa, many women use vaginal drying techniques because for some bizarre reason, men think it it more pleasurable to have sex with a drier vagina than with a wetter one. Once again, apparently there is quite a bit of vaginal bleeding and the men’s penises are coming into contact with blood once again, presumably causing HIV transmission

There was a famous case of a Black male pornstar named Darren James who went down to Brazil on a porn shoot. He did not have sex with an actual woman. Instead he had sex with a male to female transsexual of some type. He had insertive anal sex with this person, who was infected with HIV, possibly because when they had a more male body, they were living as a homosexual man and caught HIV the usual way that gay men do. I am not sure how relevant the fact that James caught it from a transsexual and not an actual genetic female, but it deserves mention.

It is very much worth noting that while there have been 30-35 HIV cases in the straight porn industry, most were among females who often got it from receptive anal sex with a male star. James is the only one who caught HIV from sex with a “woman.”

A smaller number of men in the industry have gotten HIV, but it has been proven that all of these men except for James got HIV either from IV drug use needle sharing or via engaging in receptive anal sex. Quite a few straight male pornstars also act in the gay porn industry because it pays better. A significant number also work as gay prostitutes, often as escorts. They do this again because the only real way a man can make money as a prostitute is by serving men as there is hardly any market for gigolos or male prostitutes for women.

In all cases but one in the porn industry, the men got it from receptive anal sex with other men or from sharing needles and then gave it to women during filming, often by having insertive anal sex with the women.

Insertive anal sex with a female may be more risky as the penis may come in contact with a small amount of blood via microscopic bleeding in the anal wall of the receptive partner.

The bottom line to all of this is that it in general seems quite hard for a man to get HIV from a woman.

21 Comments

Filed under Africa, Asia, Biology, Cultural Marxists, Health, Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Illness, Politics, Pornography, Public Health, Regional, Science, SE Asia, Sex, Thailand