Eupathic Impulse

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Posts posted by Eupathic Impulse

  1. 5 hours ago, alderhill said:


    The ace up the sleeve for landlords in Ontario is, like in Germany, the "family member is going to live there" clause. Also, if they plan to make renovations and upscale a place (Toronto is an ever-growing, ever-gentrifying city, and house flipping is common), the landlords usually win in the end. In that case, they can't turf tenants out immediately, but it's only a matter of time. It's called renoviction, and has become pretty notorious. Property developers run the show, IMO.



    Rocketing rent and property prices are one reason I'll never move back to TO, my hometown. There's no place like home, but even with a job that could cover expenses, I just don't think it's worth it. I know many who spend about 60-70% of their income on rent. Condos are overpriced (and deeply unattractive to me), while houses outright are out of reach even for average middle-classes. A million dollars or so for a house is not unusual. Condos maybe 500k to start (depending on size and location of course). My parents could sell their (our) home, but they probably wouldn't be able to buy something modern of the same size, and what they own isn't huge or anything. I just had a look out of curiosity, and I see more than one house selling for 1.5 million within a two block radius. In what used to be a lower-middle neighbourhood. I'm in my mid-30s, most of my friends back home are established professionals, but I don't know anyone who has bought a house in the city. A condo up to a certain size or a smaller house outside the city proper, those are the buying options unless you have a lot of money.


    Toronto is in danger of becoming like SF/Bay area -- which is totally unlivable if you aren't already securely rooted there, it's a struggle even if you make a six figure salary.  I also remember the New York "poor doors" in new buildings, for the part of the building that is merely for the highly-paid professionals, instead of the investment bankers who have access to the gym and rooftop pool.  I took a steep pay cut by not returning to the USA after crossing the ocean as I had planned to do, but I don't really regret it.  Even in the expensive German cities, it is despite everything still possible for someone with a decent education to live somewhat like a human.


  2. 11 hours ago, catjones said:


    Don't know where to start.  Buying and selling implies a contract and everyone who rents in the states does so with a contract to which both parties agree to and sign.  It's a mutual agreement.  A mutual agreement is codified in law.


    Very interesting.  So if you hold a gun to my head and force me to sign something, the agreement is still "mutual" (you agree not to shoot me, and I agree to sign or whatever)?


    Many tenants have the threat of homelessness (which definitely shortens life expectancies) hanging over their heads, unless they make an agreement with some landlord.  So, somehow this is "mutual".  Again, very interesting idea of mutuality.


    11 hours ago, catjones said:

    I can give you multiple reasons why people buy almost anything and why people sell things.  That's not the point.  In the end something is bought and something is sold.  The interest on both parts is the same: to consummate a sale.


    [resists temptation to write bad romance novel scene]


    The interest on both parts is not the same.  The sale is not a unitary, joint activity.  The buyer and the seller exist at odds, with the seller having an interest in ensuring that the buyer walks away with as little as possible but hands over the most money.  In what universe is that interest the same?  No, it is the definition of adversarial! The buyer and the seller are full adversaries, down to the smallest transaction.


    11 hours ago, catjones said:

    I have never heard of your statement where contracts become null and void with the sale of the property.  Never.  It defies contract law.  Prove it..

    Your statement about "no protection for the tenant" is flat out wrong.  There are Federal, State, County and City laws regarding rentals and the Courts therein enforce those laws.  It isn't "precious little".




    Pfff.  Many US tenants are on month-to-month leases, which is what they usually lapse into after about a year or so.  The rules vary from state to state.  Often, month-to-month tenants have no protection from termination when the property is sold regardless of length of tenure.  There may have to be an eviction proceeding, but most contesting tenants will eventually lose.  In Germany, a tenant with long tenure is comparatively better-protected with a cooling off period and specific Eigenbedarf justifications for eviction by a new landlord.


  3. 6 hours ago, lunaCH said:

    I can't answer that. We bought our flat in Germany before moving here.


    OK, I wasn't sure how long I would stay on this side of the Atlantic, originally it was supposed to be for a few months only but you know how these things go...


    My suspicion is that even among anglophone immigrants to Germany, the overwhelming majority at least start out renting even if they can afford to buy, and very few have the money to put down right away on a property in any case. But TT's regular population is disproportionately weighted towards property-owners (meaning still majority renters, but much more owners than usual).


  4. 6 hours ago, LeonG said:


    When I lived in Edmonton, my landlady made up some "damages" to the apartment after I left to have a reason to keep my damage deposit.  She actually had the gall to even ask for another $100 on top of it, maybe thinking I'd leave her the DD and who cares if I pay the extra $100.  I threatened her to tell the health authorities about the black mold in her building.  She quickly decided to give me half of my DD back.  I left it at that.  So at least that is one thing you can threaten a landlord with.  Here in Germany, black mold is usually just blamed back on the tenant.



    Some provinces of Canada have better protections than many US states.  Decades ago, I had friends in Toronto who lived in a student house owned by a notorious slumlady.  They had two years of hilariously dragging her before the Ontario rental tribunal where she lost every time.  However, it didn't make a whole lot of difference, the roof still leaked everywhere, she would rather suffer a rent reduction than do any repairs whatsoever...


    I successfully threatened an annoying landlord with the Mieterverein for years until they started to behave.


    Mold is a very special category of rental nightmares that only seems to happen that way in Germany.  When I moved to Germany, I didn't realize how much moldfighting was just taken for granted as a part of daily life...


  5. 9 hours ago, catjones said:


    Spent a lot of time in US and rented in many cities.   Landlords have something to sell, tenants want something to buy. While you see that as 'opposite', I see that as mutual.  As for "no protection", that's ludicrous and even more so, " acquiesce to every landlord demand".


    You should get out more and see the world.


    Lo and behold: I also lived in the USA and rented in many US cities.  Tenants don't just want "something to buy", like a hoodie or a vase, they want a roof over their heads where they can live a healthy life and be close to the things they need to get to, like work, groceries, family.  Landlords don't just have "something to sell", rather they sit on one of the principle means of life and the key to avoiding homelessness for many.  Buyer and seller have opposite interests (the buyer wants the most for the least, and the seller vice versa).  Landlords and tenants have opposite interests for exactly that reason.  This relationship cannot be mutual, you are deluding yourself.


    In many places of the USA, even the sale of a property from one landlord to another does not oblige the following landlord to honour the rental contracts, there is no permanent tenure.  There is almost no protection for the tenant's right to have a place to live.  There is little enforcible protection against numerous forms of landlord exploitation. There's no Mieterverein, because there is precious little you can threaten a landlord with.


  6. I'm sure there are bad tenants (I know there are), but at a society-wide level, the power imbalance between landlord and tenant is huge. The landlord, even a small-time one, by definition has a surplus of resources relative to the tenant.  The law needs to protect landlords against damaging abuse of the property (narrowly construed) and chronic non-payment of the agreed rent. That's it, at most.


  7. 37 minutes ago, catjones said:


    I know everyone here is used to this, but someone from the outside would truly wonder about a country where you must joint an adversarial group to live there.  On top of that, buy legal insurance.  What does that say about the german culture?


    I think it's great! The interests of landlords are necessarily opposite to the interests of tenants.  In places where there are not tenants associations with teeth, what it usually means is that the tenants have no protection, not that there is no adversarial relationship.  It's that tenants must acquiesce to every landlord demand.


  8. I'm carrying coals to Newcastle by saying that Trump is worse than Obama, but Obama probably won't be remembered kindly by history. The Obama presidency ended up being about a futile attempt at preserving a ideological and political status quo that had already expired, making compromise after compromise with bad-faith players in the hope of preserving technocratic "norms" that never existed.  The Trump presidency is the "reward" for the Obama presidency.  Much better would have been to pre-empt the right and run a presidency devoted to overturning ideological norms, in the opposite direction.  But that would have been against Obama's entire discourse and style.  That's why he wasn't a good president.


  9. On 6/23/2019, 10:30:22, john g. said:

    Why isn´t anybody talking about the societies these poor refugees come from? It surely can´t only be about Trump? Who is causing this misery in El Salvador, Nicaragua and the rest of them in Central America? They have their own Trumps. And their own latifundarios and street gangs etc. It is not ONLY about the US.


    This is of course an excellent question, although @AlexTr is right and it really deserves another thread, which I may or may not participate in depending on demands on my time.  Unfortunately, this is one of those cases where US foreign/economic policy has had huge direct and indirect effects, helping to keep disconnected elites in power in Latin American countries to the detriment of economic justice and indeed, the overall livability of these countries.  Either the USA must drastically change its policy towards these countries or, if it must maintain those practices, accept much larger migrations northward.  (The other alternative being as you have seen here: punitive imprisonment of migrant children.)


  10. On 6/23/2019, 9:42:33, Kommentarlos said:


    There is indeed a lot of superficial chit chatting and point scoring going on. It is difficult to discern from either side an inclination to examine matters in a critical and emotionally insightful manner. A manner in which compromises need to be made and points conceded.


    "Critical and emotionally insightful" commentary is well and good, but some compromises are demanded in bad faith. Emotionally insightful commentary may also imply rage and blame, at those who are blameworthy.


    On 6/23/2019, 9:42:33, Kommentarlos said:


    At what point did people stop listening to each other and start talking over each other instead? Do they not realise they have become the very thing the claim to despise?


    Among the things I despise is the refusal to admit to the moral consequences of what appear superficially to be "common sense" and "pragmatic" positions. I know that building a better world will require overturning a lot of what exists presently, so I hope I am never one of those who deal in false equivalence.


  11. 15 minutes ago, AlexTr said:


    This line of discussion is unproductive. Americans cannot move forward on the concerns of the people who are morally and ethically the worst of us. We move forward by mobilizing the best of us.


    Mobilizing is very good, the question is, whether the mobilization focuses on the underlying conflicts or on the symptoms of the conflict. One of the problems I have with the approach that many American liberals have taken is conflation of cause and effect and an excessive focus on superficial procedural conflict rather than the emotional and political/ideological underpinnings of the conflict.  Just like the refugee crisis in Europe, the US southern border is the type of conflict in which the reality of the situation defies any attempt at procedural fix or appeal to legal interpretation.


  12. 25 minutes ago, AlexTr said:


    All of this assumes that applying for asylum is illegal and, therefore, punishable. It is not. This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Asylum seeking border crossings did not cause the Trump regime's cruel policy; the cruelty existed and the existence of asylum seeking border crossers gave it a stage.


    Who said anything about legal or illegal here? From the perspective of Trump's supporters, crossing a border uninvited in a moral offense against them, a source of paralyzing fear; that's all that matters.


  13. 3 hours ago, El Jeffo said:




    Cue alt-bicus criticizing me for "virtue signaling" again.


    Conqy used to defend the baby prisons. That was before we knew they were baby concentration camps.


    The old chap did that? I don't come around these parts very often these days. It's so in character. I assume his Guatemalan neighbours (he must have these? He's best friends with every other ethnic minority, I'm given to understand) have assured him that it is normal in their culture to keep children forcibly separated from their parents by strangers.


  14. 10 hours ago, AlexTr said:


    Illinois just enacted a law prohibiting for profit detention centers. Other states are on the way. Whatever venal motivations the Trump Republican regime has, there are still many ways to counter it. 


    I appreciate efforts to curtail the enormously corrupt business of prison (especially, but not only, in the USA), although it will take more than forbidding for-profit detention centers, which are just the tip of the iceberg. There is an entire supply and procurement chain, down to the jobs for the guards, that also creates bad political incentives to expand the prison/detention/whatever population. 


    But it is not only venality, in a monetary sense, that is at issue. There is also self-aggrandizement, of course, and a deep ideological nucleus that has brought this about.  People move. Children move. If you want to stop them from moving, you have to punish them. The punishment must be severe enough to outweigh the cost/benefit analysis of moving.  In this world, that punishment must involve conditions one would otherwise consider to be torture.


  15. 33 minutes ago, AlexTr said:


    Except this is not the position they just argued in court. The Trump DOJ literally just argued that toothbrushes, toothpaste,  soap, and bedding are not included in any definition of safe and sanitary.  The judge, per news reports, was markedly incredulous. 


    What they argued in court and what I wrote are not incompatible. To the court, they will argue that they don't have to give the basics of existence to small children in their power if they don't want to. To Congress, they will argue that if Congress does want to give the basics of existence, it should allocate more money to the camps. To DHS/ICE, they will say, take any new money and build more camps, but deny the basics to small children as a deterrence. If Congress denies them the money, they will say to their supporters in the public, "See? Even the Democrats don't really believe their own moral posturing, they won't give any more money to the children in the camps," and as you probably know, their supporters will eat it up.


    It's all win-win for them.


  16. Part of the point of maltreating children in these camps is to demand that Democrats send more money to fund them, which will then be used to expand the detention camp system, which will then be individually underfunded leaving more children in squalid conditions, and so on.  The political benefits of this are vast: convincing the border control rubes that the invaders (children) are being punished for making them feel unsafe, sending money to their cronies, who charge rates per child far higher than expensive hotels, and so on.


    What is happening to those children is what borders are for.


  17. On 4/28/2019, 6:35:37, AlexTr said:


    What you're talking about is self-segregation. I am old enough to have seen the results of Jonestown and the Branch Davidians. Your "utopias" are only pleasant for those in power over them...again, look at the demographic. I believe we already have proper segregation for people who believe their personal prejudices should be enforced with violence. They're called prisons.


    So I think this is exactly the problem I was pointing out. You automatically associate utopic thinking with the worst form of cultist, denying the possibility of a spectrum of ideal-driven individual thinking, voluntary utopic community, etc, etc. The problem is that we now have a world in which, increasingly, the only means to express idealistic affiliation and community are via acts of consumption.


    Unfortunately I think there is a supply and demand issue here: there is demand for the possibility of utopia, and by squeezing out all possibility of enacted utopia in visible, public space, we have left this to the worst forms of clandestine online recruiters. It's basically like other forms of prohibition.  What you're proposing is a utopia-to-prison pipeline, so to speak.


  18. 7 hours ago, AlexTr said:

    Let's go ahead and call this what it is. Most of the mass violence by white men in western democracies is spawned by the anger at their diminishing dominion, an abject rage at losing primacy. Oh, and apparently 8chan is a haven for losers.

    One person dead, 3 wounded. Nobody on 8Chan thought enough of it to call the police.




    This is definitely a factor. I would say that there is another factor at work, and not just on white men in Western democracies. One of the flaws in the modern world, really starting from the mid-70s, is the drastic reduction in the spaces where we can imagine and construct positive utopias, utopic experiments, communities aspiring to utopic goals.  The reasons why we became suspicious of utopia, well, some of them are good, but I think things went too far.  When you squeeze out the positive utopias, what do you have left?  The negative utopias, the ones psychologically founded on individual resentments, the ones that punch downward, that are willing to break the rules and hurt people.


  19. 7 hours ago, jeremytwo said:


    Eup, I strongly urge you to perform one of the pillars of your faith, Haj. I believe you'd have an eye opening shock at what the House of Saud has done to that sacred place. Take a look at Google Earth. Your faith is actually peaceful (I have said this countless times) and there are millions of good Muslims, yet the problem is the West promoted the most nasty brand of the faith to unite the peninsula to extract the oil, from which we reap the whirlwind. 


    I don't understand why you think I'm a fan of the House of Saud or somehow approve of their stewardship of the holy sites or somehow don't know that they're propped up by other powers in order to control the price of oil.