Highest Rated Comments

Enchilada_McMustang213 karma

You can say fucking here ;)

Enchilada_McMustang151 karma

I'm just gonna copy here a comment regarding why are international negotiations kept in secret, if anyone really wants to understand this issue this is a must read:

We employ a two level theory of negotiation, where a country's negotiators in essence gather consensus and form an opinion about what is acceptable and preferred internally within the country. Then based on this internal consensus, they form a negotiation strategy for external negotiations with other countries with a range of outcomes from Ideal to Walk Away. (This occurs not only on an individual subject-matter level, like IP, Pharmaceutical Patents, or even more granularly, a specific drug and generic versions, but also across the entire trade bill where higher level negotiators prioritize different terms based on tough judgement calls). Their walk away point varies on different topics based on the internal inputs, but, if the external actors / adversaries know what the negotiators internal assessments are then an adversary can work toward a position more favorable to them, and less favorable to the country I'm discussing's position because the adversary can likely guess where walk away is. This spectrum of allowed outcomes is highly coveted in treaty negotiations, and needs to be secret in order to allow some level of compromise or fairness. (As an aside, this is one reason why the NSA spends so much time and money monitoring other countries. It's very hard to know exactly what's going on in a foreign country, but a country's own government will know a lot about the political realities it faces internally. The NSA doesn't get every detail about a foreign countries negotiation strategy, but the NSA gets enough to tilt the tables in the US' favor. Consistently. Very few governments actually care about the US spying on their citizens, but if Russia and China (and even some EU member States) can use public blowback to hurt the NSA's ability to help the US in negotiations, its a win for them. Think about how valuable it would be for a US negotiator to know exactly what a foreign constituent or special interest group said to the foreign negotiator.) Remember, as a citizen, you can influence these internal inputs by say, creating a movement against our current copyright laws. If there were huge outrage against our current laws, the negotiators would say, well shit, we can't base our negotiating perspective on current law because that will probably change, so the treaty would not be ratified. But when current law is viewed as more-or-less stable consensus, then the negotiators in fact have an obligation to treat that as the political reality of what can and will be passed, and then they reach out to Congressmen, Senators, etc... to get an idea on what other measures will be acceptable to them and the populace. In this case, the only real extension to IP law seems to be an extension on pharmaceutical patents, which while there may be some objection to the reality is the objection isn't enough to undermine the treaty itself. There is some argument about fast-track here, but the counter-arguments of nothing ever passing without fast-track is persuasive, and the reality of the problem is opponents of things like extensions to pharmaceutical patents just don't have the votes because most Americans don't care. It's not that people in government negotiating are evil, it's that in republics silence equals consent and the pharmaceutical industry is noisy, makes a good case, and faces little organized opposition. Additionally, in multilateral agreements, if Country A say grants a concession about X to Country B in order to achieve Y, and a third country (Country C) finds out, it gives information to Country C about how important Y is to Country A, and Country C will try for the same concession that Country B received (or something of similar value). However granting the concession about X (or granting similar concessions) to all countries may be more than Country A is willing to cumulatively surrender in order to achieve Y, so now you have an intractable position where Country A has either given away too much and is getting a shitty deal or is now passed its walk away point and there's no treaty. Another problem, as we saw with France's TTIP gambit raising issues about transparency and sovereignty, if you create a situation where external parties can influence the negotiators internal idea of where consensus is, you then run the risk of foreign powers meddling in domestic opinion in order to make negotiations more favorable. This happens, but you don't want to incentivize it even more. France basically realized there is a part of the US population which is making a fuss about lack of transparency in treaties, and wanted to exacerbate that internal pressure to move the US negotiators needle and extract a concession. Who knows if it worked, but it's a good example of why we want these negotiations to occur in secret. Internal actors can do the same thing. If they hear they're about to get the short end of a trade deal, in exchange for some other concession that the negotiating country values more highly, they can scream bloody murder, stir up talk in the press, and try and force a reconsideration. Then the other entity who was more highly valued gets in the ring, etc... etc... and round and round we go. So to sum it up: There are a huge number of game theory reasons why these need to be negotiated in secret. If you want to argue that they should not be, you need to solve these problems and provide a strategy for negotiation that includes transparency. Until then all you're saying is the system isn't perfect. We know the system isn't perfect, but its the best one we've got, and there is a legitimate global interest in creating multilateral agreements, because even if all boats don't rise the same amount, all boats at least do rise because we succeed in converting from a competitive sometimes zero-sum game, to a co-operative positive sum game. It's like saying representative democracy is the worst form of government, except for everything else we've tried. By the way, secrecy isn't as necessary when you have a unilateral actor like a King, but its the very fact that US citizens and interests can and do influence policy which is why we have to have secrecy in negotiation. Ironic, huh.

Enchilada_McMustang40 karma

During the time of the Habsburgs they were different kingdoms ruled by the same king, but each kingdom had it own laws what is called the fueros.

In the war of the spanish succession Catalonia supported the Habsburg claimant that ended up being defeated by the Bourbons, Barcelona was the last Habsburg stronghold to fall on September 11, 1714.

The new king instituted a series of reforms called the Bourbon Reforms that aimed to centralized power around the king removing the fueros that Aragon previously had.

Enchilada_McMustang32 karma

Hi Martin, just wanted to say that my great grandmother, who passed last easter, was from the town of Salceda de Caselas in Galicia and I read your father was from Parderrubias the next town over, so theres a very good chance our ancestors knew each other cheers!

Enchilada_McMustang25 karma

What did you use in Spud's blanket scene? Was it pudding?