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1  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: Today at 12:28:18 PM
My visits to Colo (Leadville and ski towns mostly) have not shown much change.  Otherwise law abiding people (it would seem) walk into government controlled stores.  Must have a DL to even see the products.  Not much need to sell retail illegally because users can buy it so easily.  Heavy users all have medical licenses, can you say "chronic pain"?  They buy the same product, avoid much of the tax.  I don't see much more open use of it on the sidewalks or ski areas than before or elsewhere.  Of course I don't see the real crimes that happen out of plain view. 

To my way of thinking, highly taxed and regulated is still not "legal".  You can't buy it - except through them.  You can't sell it.  You can't grow it - beyond 6 plants.  You can't take it out of state.  We can look at arrests in neighboring states to see the product leaving Colo.  Nebraska and Wyoming Highway patrol are on the lookout.  (By private message I would be interested in what state you are in.)  Out of state visitor can buy 1/4 oz per visit.  In state, 1 oz.  That isn't going to help a major dealer no matter how many visits made.  If a legal grow operation sells out the back door illegally, I assume they face loss of license, are put out of business.  I'm sure the cash register and the product inventories are targets for burglaries like a bank is, or liquor or jewelry store.  If those were new industries, they would attract new criminal attention too.

My questions, after the newness of this passes:
Do people smoke or ingest more legally than if still illegal?  Probably yes.
Do more people partake because it is legal?  Probably yes.
Do drivers under the influence drive worse?  That is still illegal but probably more widespread if usage is up.
Do marijuana users rape, murder, assault, burglarize more?   I would think mostly no.  They are just attracting a worse element from elsewhere.
Do more users of an entry, legal drug lead to more users of illegal heavier drugs, meth, heroine, etc.?
On the other side of it, will people who would otherwise have a criminal record for petty possession now have a clean record, get better jobs, etc.?   Apparently no, if the crime rate is up.

Paraphrasing Gov. Hickenlooper, We don't have this figured out yet, don't follow our lead.

New medical marijuana law in MN:  Must have terminal illness.  Must be in final year of your terminal illness.  I wonder if they will wait until the end of the year to prosecute, to see if you were telling the truth.
2  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: electoral college in Nov on: Today at 11:42:24 AM

Spoiler:  Clinton 347; Trump 191

Logic:  Demographics.

Author:  A novelist

As they say in sports, a lot of game left to be played. 
3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Colorado Legalization not working out as promised on: Today at 11:18:28 AM
Must be a fluke!‘Customer’-at-pot-shop-arrested--
In the above case, the suspect made a serious attempt to disarm the female officer that first encountered him. It was a brutal fight for her to retain her sidearm.

I'm not sure what to make of individual crime stories.  I wonder whether these non-Colorado people were attracted in because of legalization.  Some of it is counter-intuitive like gun laws, that criminals and thugs care what is legal. 

Statistics seem to say crime is up:

One point made is that since it is not legal federally, it is largely a cash business, inviting crime.  A point I would add is that fracking added crime to North Dakota.  Sudden change and an economic boom brings new people and those who can relocate that quickly and easily are not always the ones most grounded in good behavior. 

From the American Thinker link:

Retail stores opened in 2014.  This does not look good, but 1 or 2 data points is fairly short trend.
Marijuana-related crimes in Denver make up less than 1 percent of all offenses counted in the Uniform Crime Report and less than a half-percent of all NIBRS offenses.

[I wonder if there is a definitional issue in that?]

US crime rate trend:

How come we don't have 2015 data, and part of 2016? 
4  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: Today at 10:33:22 AM
I just took a stab at editing in paragraph breaks.

Also, I think that it might better fit in the Foreign Policy thread, nothing to do with the Clintons' corruption in it.

Thank you for improving the readability.
This is one answer to the question of what is in these Clinton speeches.  Of the $150 million received, some are buying influence and some just want the biggest name, best of his time speaker at whatever cost for their event.  Bill's might have been more for star power and Hillary's more for buying influence.  Either way, they are not going script something incriminating or even controversial.  This is a good speech.  Still missing are the Hillary speeches to Goldman Sachs etc.  I don't suppose they sound that much different than this.

Yes, largely foreign policy, but the genome point is interesting too.  A Whitewater reference, he is not afraid to have a laugh about that. To me, it's just 'Clintonesque', taking credit for things that happened in his time and showing off a wisdom that is quite impressive when unchallenged.  We need to be able to answer back to this kind of thinking since Hillary has access to all the same speechwriters.
5  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fed Rate Hike Coming in June... on: May 24, 2016, 09:34:34 AM
Are they done propping up Obama and setting up the crash correction to come right as he leaves?

It was a different situation but I wonder what we can learn from Paul Volcker.  He was appointed in August 1979.  By July 1981 he had the Federal Funds rate above 20% using tight money to squeeze out inflation.  Meanwhile the Reagan tax cuts were delayed and not fully in place until Jan 1, 1983.  In the time in between, unemployment spiked and people faced a hard recession.  In hindsight it seems quite obvious that those different but opposing forces on the economy should have happened simultaneously.

What is wrong with this economy, in addition to absent interest rates, is excessively burdensome (1) regulations (2) taxation, and (3) all the disincentives to produce in the social spending network that weaves its way through the lives of more than half the people.  For example, make more money and you lose your healthcare subsidy, Fafsa eligibility, SSI etc.

Zero interest rates serve to partially hide negative effects of these other problems in the short term while causing other long term problems like zero savings and zero new real investment in the economy, ensuring roughly zero growth in GDP and wages.

Monetary policy has a different decision process and team than we have for these other failed policies, yet it would be beneficial to the economy if the timing was coordinated with correction of these other known problems.

But of course we aren't even admitting what's wrong much less motivated to fix them.  The Fed rate increase is a head fake.  If they go through with it at all, it will be a 1/4 point increase in addition to the 1/4 point increase we had last December and the last before that was 10 years ago.  At this rate, savers would see 5% interest rates by just past their life expectancy.  The schedule for fixing the other problems at this point is never.
6  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Full Text, Bill Clinton speech, 3/31/15, Austin TX, China-US Private Investment on: May 24, 2016, 08:46:48 AM
$150 million value, enjoy. Link below, read it with better paragraph breaks.  Let's discuss.

PRES. BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you.

Thank you very much, Jay. I want to thank you and my longtime friend and former coworker, Debbie Schiff, for inviting me here, and Mark Lindsay, who's going to come up in a minute and ask questions.

I find if you thanks someone in advance for asking your questions, you get better questions. (Laughter.)

I want to thank Mayor Steve Adler for welcoming us back to Austin. I never had a bad day in Austin, Texas, and I've been coming here 43 years. (Applause.) And it's a wonderful place.

I want to especially welcome our friends from China, who have come a long way to be part of this, and tell you that I believe this is a very important occasion. I think the presence of a lot of people here indicates this, the former Secretary of Agriculture and head of UNICEF, Ann Veneman, who worked with me very closely in the aftermath of the tsunami in south Asia and a lot of other things we did together.

Ambassador Locke, Ambassador Randt. Mark Updegrove of the LBJ Library, thank you for the work you've done in holding your conference.

The relationship for the U.S. and China is perhaps the most important one for the next 20 years for the whole world, and it's an interesting relationship now.
And what's going on in Asia is very interesting and very important. You have a strong leader in China in President Xi, a strong leader in Japan in Prime Minister Abe, a strong leader in India in Prime Minister Modi, who has enrolled 120 million people with their first bank accounts in eight months. (Applause.)
This is all very hopeful. We're about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the reconciliation and full opening of relations with Vietnam this year, something that I was very proud of.

And we all know what the problems are, but I want to talk about the opportunities and why I think it's so important that you're here.

When I was president, I realized that the time in which I had the privilege to serve was first the first entire presidency to be conducted after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War; second, that we were rapidly evolving into the most interdependent age in human history.

Interestingly enough, since all of you are here, it's important not to say that's always going to be good, because last year we acknowledged or observed the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Before World War I, the wealthy countries in the world were actually slightly more trade dependent as a percentage of GDP than they are today.

So everyone said happy times are here to stay; yes, there are problems, but they'll never get in the way of all these people making all this money. And a crazy person killed the Archduke in Sarajevo and we were off to the races. A war people thought would only last a few months lasted through November of 1918 and claimed more lives than any conflict in history up to that point, as we fought with 20th century technology and 19th century battle tactics.
What's that got to do with today? Today, as it was in a different way when I was president, our interdependent world, which goes way beyond what happened before World War I because of information technology and travel and massive movements of capital every day across national borders, our interdependent world is full of positive possibilities, as represented by the rise of China and the presence of all of our Chinese friends here today, and the potential we have for investment both ways for the creation of new businesses, new jobs and new opportunities. It's been good to us or you wouldn't be in these seats.

But it is also a world full of significant challenges. There is too much inequality for a consumer economy to sweep the globe, around the world and even in here in America.

After the financial crash, it's gotten worse, and I didn't think it could get much worse than it has been since the dawn of the 21st century. And that's because at least in our country, with fewer conventional economic opportunities, people with funds and the financial industry as a whole put more energy into trading than investing. And if you swap out money and you don't invest it, then some people will make a lot of money but you won't make money the old fashioned way, creating jobs and businesses and opportunities that have a huge multiplier effect on the economy. So that's a big challenge.

The second big challenge we face is global instability. Look how fast the financial crisis spread across the globe, and how difficult it is to overcome in the EU for Greece, for Spain, for Italy. The Irish seem to be doing pretty well, but they're very small.

And there is enormous political instability, particularly in the Middle East and Afghanistan and elsewhere where the very concept of the nation state is under assault.

In Nigeria, the biggest country in Africa, full of brilliant, gifted people, with staggering economic achievements, a place where our foundation works on a wide range of areas, it's also the home of Boko Haram.

In Africa you have Kenya trying to finally come to grips with a lot of its serious challenges, and just next door there's al-Shabab wreaking havoc out of Somalia.

And, of course, we had first al-Qaeda, then al-Qaeda in Iraq, and now we have ISIS threatening the most interesting but fragile democracy in the Middle East, Lebanon.

Jordan, a progressively modernizing state, they have these massive numbers of refugees, and they're getting enough aid to feed them and keep them alive, but not enough to generate economic growth and opportunity and any sort of stability. And you have essentially a nihilist philosophy there.
So I thought about the difference in this meeting and what you represent, and one headline I saw in the paper today about how the ISIS militants are now, in addition to beheading people on television and over the Internet, and using children to walk people to their execution, they're not destroying some of the most previous historic relics of the Middle East. Claiming to return us to an ideal past, they are instead trying to erase the past, not building anything but just tearing down and trying to rule through naked terror.

And we have, of course, the regrettable and I think self-defeating path that Russia has chosen in Ukraine.

So we're dealing with all these things.

To me that makes it perfectly clear what we should all be doing, believe it or not. We should be doing whatever we can in our current situation to build up the positive forces of our interdependence and to reduce the negative ones.

And if you ask me any question on any issue in any country in the world, I would run it through a filter, and I would ask myself, will this increase the positive or reduce the negative forces roiling around in the world today? If so, I'm for it. If not, I'm against it.

One of the most distinguished people here I think academically is Mr. Khalid Malik here, and he said to me on the way out, and I took a picture with his larger family, he said, "You know, our family is the intermarriage of a Muslim and a Jewish family." And I said, "Thank God, and praise Allah." (Laughter, applause.)
And why? Because religion in the service of politics is a dangerous thing, and requires a highly selective reading of all sacred scriptures. After all, the Torah says "He who turns aside a strange might as well turn away from the Most High God." The Christian bible says that the most important commandment is to love God with all your heart, and the second is like unto it, to love your neighbor as yourself. And the Koran says that Allah put different people on the earth not that they might despise one another but that they might come to know one another and learn from one another. So you've got to get rid of all that if you really want to hate people. That takes a lot of effort and leads to a lot of loss.

So that brings me to the current moment. I have -- I'm not sure what time it is because I just got back from Singapore yesterday morning. (Laughter.) I had the signal honor of representing my country at the request of the White House and the government of Singapore, along with Henry Kissinger, at the funeral of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of Singapore.

Fifty-plus years ago, when Singapore was founded, the per capita income was less than a thousand dollars a year. Today, it's over $55,000 a year. For three years in a row the airport in this tiny country has been voted the finest airport in the world. For 31 of those years Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore, then he became the Senior Minister, and then what's called the Minister Mentor afterwards. Along the way, he and I came into contact when he was the Senior Minister, and Goh Chok Tong was the Prime Minister and my colleague.

Now, it's a little country, only 6.5 million people on a little piece of land, but in a very critical place; massive sea lanes all around, a history of ethnic conflict between Chinese and Malays. And they have a diverse population, Chinese, Malay and Indian. Everybody there is bilingual. They use English for commerce and then you are taught in the schools your own language to make sure you understand your language, your culture, your faith, and you carry it into cooperation, not conflict.

What the United States and China have to do now with renewed vigor in Japan, renewed vigor in India, restless independence in Southeast Asia and the Philippines, unresolved problems in North Korea, is to find a way to work through our differences and dramatically accelerate things that benefit us both, because the very idea of the nation state is under assault outside Asia, and we together can prove that in an imperfect world full of necessary agreements and debates and discord, it is the best vehicle for establishing the rule of law, basic opportunity, and lifting people out of poverty.

So that's how I see this. I love this meeting. And I will say this, there's only one person I'm uncomfortable with in this crowd, and that's Admiral Owens here looking at me. (Laughter.) He may be the smartest guy the military has produced in the last 40 years, and I always feel if I have to speak in front of him that I'm being quietly graded and I'm never going to get an A. (Laughter.) But be that as it may, I will try to get through this.

Now, what does that mean? Now, I want to say it doesn't bother me that we have differences of opinion. And we should not seek to abolish them or sweep them under the rug. We should instead become comfortable talking about them.

When I was president and I went to China on the longest state visit I took anywhere, Jiang Zemin, then the president, honored me by allowing me to speak to a university where university students asked me the kind of hard questions they would ask him in America when the shoe was on the other foot. Then he trusted me to have a national press conference and let me make an argument to the Chinese people that they ought to ease up on Tibet and he should meet with the Dalai Lama and he would actually like him if he did.

And we worked through the trade agreement, got to normal trading status, which led to the membership of China in the World Trade Organization, which I thought was very important.

Another lesser known thing we did together that I think will have real impact over the long run is to send a group of Americans there at the invitation of the Chinese to work for years to work through basic legal questions of commerce law, so that it would be possible for people not just in big businesses but in middle and small businesses to do business in China with rules they understood and protections everyone's entitled to. And I love that. I had a lot of the people who actually went there year-in and year-out became friends of mine and I saw how important it was.

After I left office, I began to work in China on the AIDS problem. And I was really honored when our foundation was the first non-governmental organization actually given office space in the Chinese Ministry of Health. They knew they had to deal with it, and after a few years of denial they did what the Chinese are so good at, they turned on a dime and crushed the problem.

There were actually two different AIDS problems in China. There was the big city traditional AIDS problem, basically born of drugs and sex. But there were rural Chinese villages that were literally wiped out because the younger adults who stayed behind to take care of the children and the older people while everyone else went to the city to work needed money desperately and found an honorable way to earn it by giving blood to the urban hospitals so they would have adequate blood banks. But China then had the same problem we had in America in the early '80s, which was that many of them gave blood with improperly sterilized equipment and became infected and whole villages were wiped out.

So we went into China at the request of the Chinese government. A friend of mine from Chicago with a particular love for China completely funded everything we did there for three years. And we worked to help them get adequate medicine, get adequate testing equipment.

The viral load equipment, actually the whole testing mechanism was actually developed by someone who's here in this audience today. And you have to be able to test to see what the viral load is to know whether the medicine's working or not.

And then I had an amazing encounter with the Minister of Health. First, I went to Tsinghua University more than a decade ago and gave a speech, and four ministries were represented on the platform with me.

And a young AIDS activist, who was reminiscent of the ACT UP people a decade earlier in America, stood up with a very spiky hairdo and was giving me hell about something. And so I invited him up and I put my arm around him and let him say something to the audience. And I took him over and he shook hands on national television with all these senior Chinese ministers.

Ten days later, Prime Minister Wen had AIDS activists in his office. Six weeks later, President Hu was in hospital wards shaking hands with people dying, and the whole thing turned around. It was breathtaking.

The Health Minister said, okay, we've got this under control at a national level, but you have to understand we have politics in China just like you do. And just like in America, the rural areas are more conservative than the urban areas. So we want you to go out to your Yunnan Province and to Anhui Province. And I went up to the Uighur Autonomous Region on a different trip, and we want you to sit with people who are HIV positive. Have meals with the young adults, play with the children, let us show it on television so people will understand how this is communicated and how it's not. And it's safe to treat their neighbors as their friends so we can actually do something about this. And they did.

And we don't work there anymore because they don't need us. They had the money and the infrastructure once the technology and the established practices were put in place. Now, during all this time there were arguments about trade differences and currency values, and all the stuff that occupies the headlines. But we found a way to seek common ground, get to know each other better, and work together. And along the way save a lot of lives.
So my belief is that that explains what we should do. There may come a time when the U.S. and China will become involved in some irreconcilable conflict, as many pessimists believe, but it doesn't have to happen if we work for the best and both plan for our security. Only a fool doesn't plan for the worst, but you should work for the best.

And this is a little thing, but the most encouraging thing to me about the future, if you're from China whether you ought to make a ten-year investment in the United States, and whether we should be making long-term investments in China was the announcement of the Presidency, and Prime Minister Abe about their dispute over these small islands that they've been arguing about.

And essentially what they said in plain English, like if you're an American politician and you read this rather carefully crafted statement, what it really said is, we are not going to war over this. We will both take our nationalist positions, we will stick up for national pride, but relax. We are not going to let this kill any chance we've got to make this a season of Asian ascendance. And that was really good.

And that's what I think we have to work for. There are lots of good opportunities here, and we still have a lot to learn from each other. And the rise of India and the rise of Japan creates amazing opportunities for synergy as well as for friction.

Mr. Abe is the leader of a truly great nation that doesn't have enough people to support real growth, where no matter how much technological advance they get they're not going to be able to deal with the challenge of having very small families and very long lives, but more and more people in their later years.

Since they don't want to have a lot of immigrants he's got to get more women in the workforce and convince more people who look like me to work later in life. And I wouldn't bet against him. I think there's a chance. He's trying to join security alliances in Asia. He doesn't want to be totally dwarfed by China and rendered insignificant. But, he clearly recognizes that cooperation is better than conflict.

Mr. Modi in India has exactly the reverse problem of China. China is great at aggregating and deploying capital for massive projects. India is wildly successful in entrepreneurialism. They have a million non-governmental organizations. I work with a lot of them sometimes I think I work with most of them. And I like working there. But, they have been terrible at aggregating and deploying capital so they don't have enough infrastructure to take their economic growth away from the 35 percent that are in the aura of the high-tech cities into 100 percent of the country.

So Modi is trying to learn from China how to do that. The United States, alas, has become more like India than China. That is, we spend so much of our tax money on yesterday we're not investing enough in tomorrow. And we have so much antipathy for the government we forget that public investment is necessary for private growth. So we have something to learn from China.

China, I believe, will move sooner or later from creating more economic freedom and social mobility and the Chinese have lifted more people above the extreme global poverty line in less time than any entity in history. And that, too, is a form of freedom. Being able to choose where you go to college and what you learn and what you do for a living is a freedom. But, there is still a lot of nervousness about dissent. Singapore had the same thing, a radically different economic system, much smaller country, but sharing the fear of the Chinese that if you have too much dissent you could have disintegration.
One of the things I learned when I was President working with Boris Yeltsin about expanding NATO, he said to me why? I said, Boris, you surely don't believe that I would use an air base in Poland to bomb Western Russia. He said, of course you wouldn't. But, a lot of little old ladies in Western Russia think you would, which is why Putin got so much support when he took over Crimea.

He said, look, Bill, he said countries are like individuals, they have hopes and fears, dreams and nightmares. You didn't ever have Napoleon or Hitler all the way up in your belly. And we have people who lived through Hitler and whose grandparents told them stories about Napoleon. And so perhaps we are too nervous about trying to control the near abroad. But, you have to work with me on this.

So China also has dreams of nightmares, memories of bad things that have happened in the form of disintegration. I understand that. But, I do think that it's too bad these women have been arrested in the run up to the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Conference. And I'm glad so many Chinese are saying the same thing. And I think that there's a way to be a strong country and tolerate dissent.

It became comical when I was president because I liked Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji so much, and once I got a cartoon in the mail when I was fighting out that Whitewater business. And Jiang Zemin and I are sitting together at a state dinner, and in the first frame I say to President Jiang, I said, "You know, you're doing great economically, but our country has more human rights." And he looked at me and he said, "Yes, and if you were the leader of China Ken Starr would be in prison making running shoes." (Laughter.) So I saved that cartoon for a long time. I must say there were days when I wondered who had the better model. (Laughter.)

But I say that for the serious purpose. We are all moving toward a time when greater creativity is more important. When we will all have to -- if President Xi hadn't changed the one child policy, the United States would have been younger than China within a couple of decades because of our immigration policy. We're barely above replacement in America with families that are static here, but we have enough immigrants, and that's another reason we need immigration reform, that we have continued to be young and we continue to grow more diverse, and we've continued to be able to function well.
But China is going to change that policy, and I think as it gets more comfortable with its world role. And I'm very grateful for the work we did on disarmament, on North Korea, on the Asian Financial Crisis together, where 20 years earlier China would have devalued its currency to keep from getting hurt by the Asian Financial Crisis, and they didn't. And it got us through it a lot faster.

I think the security will build up and they will see that having a creative economy requires the ability of people in public life to take criticism from private citizens, and it won't kill you. And so I hope for that day and I hope for that debate to go on. Meanwhile, we should be doing what we can do. China has made real strides in trying to move away from the pollution of its old reliance on coal to generate electricity. You've done great with solar and wind. You'll find a lot of opportunities in America today, Texas, Iowa, and Minnesota, all three today have a base load electric generating capacity that's 20 percent wind.
And almost every American state now without any subsidies wind is cheaper than coal. Solar would have total parity with coal today if there was parity of financing. And I won't bore you with all the details, but it's economical today without much subsidy in probably 20 states. And it won't be long until it will be economical everywhere. The idea that moving away from a greenhouse gas-based economy to one that reduces greenhouse gases has to be bad for the growth of jobs, businesses and incomes is simply not true, not if we do it in a smart way.

The agreement President Xi made with President Obama to reduce hydrofluorocarbons creates an enormous potential market because most HFCs in China, in India, and in older American cities are produced by antique room air conditioners. And you can convert them, but actually it's cheaper to build new ones, which means there's an enormous market for that just to keep the agreements that have already been made, and then an enormous market for what to do with the scrap mountains high of all those old air conditioners. And that's just one example.

The sequencing of the human genome, if you're an American I spent $3 billion of your money on it, and I keep reading all the time about how we spent all this money and we expected miracles and what has happened? Well, the year before last what had happened already was $176 billion in new investment just in America spinning out of the genome. That's pretty good return on investment. And we've identified the two genetic variances that put women at high risk of breast cancer at an early age.

We are not far from being able to send home every young mother with a young baby girl, something I'm partial to now that I'm a grandfather, with a little gene card that says whether your child has this variance or not. If so she should start having tests at about age 25. And then everybody else can do what the American Medical Society says and wait until they're 50.

St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, which is the premiere children's cancer center in America, with staff from over 100 nations discovered something they can now test with the genome test, which is that there's a rare of form of child brain cancer for which there has been for some time a drug that guaranteed 80 percent of the children that had this cancer 100 percent chance of recovery and a normal life, but mysteriously kills the other 20 percent, ended their lives early.

So just experimenting, a doctor there started giving a half-a-dose to the other 20 percent and they all got well. Then the doctor gave a half-a-dose to the 80 percent and they stayed sick. So they sequenced all their genomes, identified the differences, now when every child comes in there because of the genome they get the treatment that they should get in the beginning and they all recover and they all have normal lives. This is the beginning.

With nanotechnology it won't be very long before every person in the United States and every person in China, and increasingly in other countries, can stand in a tube and be scanned four times a year and tell you more than an expensive physical will tell you today. And it will create a lot of opportunities.
So what I want to say is in the meanwhile, we can't let our differences override what we have in common. And we have to find ways to cooperate on these big problems. China has a lot of investment in Afghanistan, which has probably a trillion dollars worth of various things underground that can be mined, maybe more. It's very important that that be done in a responsible way that doesn't rip off the Afghans, builds their own capacity, preserves their environment, and gets enough people involved in that that they just as soon do that rather than drive a truck with a bomb on it. And you can do that. You have more money to do that with state funds than we do right now.

So there are all these places in the world where we can work together for mutual benefit. But it is very, very important to do what you are here to do. We need more Chinese investment in America, just like we need more American investment in China. We need people who work together, who talk all the time who come to trust each other. You don't want all the differences of opinion to go away that will make us stupid. Nobody is right all the time. Differences of opinion are healthy and debate is important, but it is really important to find a way for what we have in common to trump our interesting differences.
That's really the story of what Lee Kuan Yew pulled off in Singapore. In a microcosm, it's what the United States and China have got to try with working with Japan, working with India, finding a cooperative way for China and the states of Southeast Asia to resolve their disputes over the wealth in the South China Sea and elsewhere, around the disputed islands with the Philippines. We've got to find ways to do that.

You cannot do it without trust. You cannot do it without people believing that it is a good thing that the modern world is organized around nation states that work and private economies that pay off. And if we do it we have to find a way then to lift the people who believe that in the most troubled part of the world, the Middle East, and the Afghan-Pakistan area, to do the same thing.

There are lots of unresolved issues here, which are not the subject of this conference. But, I'm just telling you in addition to the fact that I think you can make a lot of money if you're Chinese investing in America and I think you can make a lot of money if you're American investing in China, every time we do something and people come to know each other and trust each other, we increase the chances that the 21st Century world will be one of shared prosperity instead of shared despair, one of shared security instead of shared vulnerability, one of a shared sense of community rather than an endless bleak conflict of competing religious and ethnic identities.

And it will open up all kinds of other things we can do, building the capacity of nation states to function in Africa. I spent a lot of time on that in my healthcare work. If somebody asks our foundation to go in and work on AIDS and malaria, and reducing infant mortality, we try to get the donors to give all the money to the African countries. So they buy the medicine, not us. They buy the equipment not us. We want to build the capacity of government to work. And I have strict no-corruption contracts that require oversight, because corruption is a major reason for the failure of nation states all over the world.
But, we can do this together. If you're Chinese, and I was just trying to make the sale in the next 30 minutes I'd say, look, America is coming back, we're growing well and we're just at the beginning of our capacity to grow, which his one reason wage levels haven't risen as much as the stock market has. The labor markets aren't tight enough. We do have a lot of work to do in our K through 12 education. We don't have the kind of apprenticeship programs we need. And we could learn a lot from Germany in that regard. But, this country has lots of natural gas, more oil. We'll be exporting energy soon, as well as all the clean energy sources.

It's got a great information technology base, even though we have lousy national broadband download speeds, because it's a big old country and we haven't done what South Korea did, which we should all learn from, where the government built the infrastructure and they didn't have to worry about an open Internet. It's cheaper to use there and must faster, on average four times faster than ours. And all this fight we've been having in America about net neutrality it's all because we depended on the big companies to build the infrastructure and they have a right to recover their investment. And the only way they can recover it on current terms is to charge more for people who can pay for faster. And that violates what we want, but we, Americans, we've got to grow up. We didn't want to pay to get a system that would give us net neutrality and cheap fast download speeds, and every country has got some of that where we say what we want and then we don't act like we're prepared to do what it takes to get it.

That is also something we'll learn from each other. More Americans who understand what the strengths of the Chinese economy are the more likely we are to make good economic decisions here. The more Chinese who understand what the strengths of the American economy are and how you will need a whole creative class to move to the next stage of development, the more likely the Chinese are to feel comfortable with political dissent, and to believe you can have national cohesion, national unity, national loyalty and still allow people to say they disagree with you.

And I will just close with this thought. The most important political book I have read in the last five years by far was written by a Nobel Prize winning microbiologist who is now almost 90, E.O. Wilson. It's called The Social Conquest of Earth. And Chinese and Americans will find something to identify with. Wilson in about 250 pages traces as best he can from the evidence we have the history of all life on planet Earth, not just people, all life, from the emergence of single cell organisms.

He said if you look at the history of life on Earth and you make allowances for the fact that, let's say, the dinosaurs were destroyed 65 million years ago because of the after effects of an asteroid hitting the planet. You have to conclude that there are four species who have been the hardiest. They've been the most successful in avoiding destruction when they could have been killed and they weren't the biggest or the strongest. They are ants, termites, bees, and people.

Twenty years ago I read one of Professor Wilson's books and I learned that the weight, combined weight of all the ants on Earth is greater than the combined weight of all the people on Earth. That's sobering. They laugh because in places where ants are subject to predators when the predator is chasing the ants some of them will run up on the highest blade of grass and sacrifice themselves so everybody else gets away. In very hot climates termites build underground homes with air conditioning. They drill five holes in their roof and they'll only go in and out of one. The others are just to circulate the air. And when it's about to rain they won't go in at all. They sense when they're going to be destroyed if they do that.

People, he says, are the most remarkable cooperators of all and that's what he says. He said ants, termites, bees, and people have prevailed because they cooperate better than all other species. Last week in the Science Times section of the New York Times there was an article saying of all the hundreds of species of spiders on Earth, for reasons no one can explain, 24 separate species have begun to cooperate and instead of solitary spiders spinning webs they're spinning their webs together and they're dramatically stronger. So that they're safer from predators and they get more food.

What's the point of all this? The point is that what you would do to earn a profit and make a living happens to be in my opinion what we need to do to
ensure that the 21st Century is a good news story not a bad news story. And the more we can find ways to cooperate and elevate cooperation over constant conflict, the better we're going to do. So I urge you to look at this. It's a really good time for this conference, because America ought to have about five or six really good years now. It's a good time to be investing here.

I think the Chinese President is doing things that make sense. It's a good time to invest there. I think China and Japan have sent a signal to the world that they will cooperate in a healthy, not a -- I mean they will compete in a healthy, not an unhealthy way. And the more we can build trust across all these lines that divide the more we can create a world that avoids the identity politics that bedevil people everywhere. And in the end that's the most important thing. We should be proud of our differences, but we should believe and act on the fact that our common humanity matters more.

Commerce advances that when done fairly, lawfully, and honorably. And so don't feel any pressure, but the whole future of the world may depend upon whether, to what extent and in what manner China and the United States build a common economic, social and political future.

Thank you very much.
7  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interesting thought piece on: May 23, 2016, 02:24:34 PM
From a Chinese fortune cookie:

Good writing is clear thinking made visible.
8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 23, 2016, 02:22:27 PM
@ 1/4 million per speech that is over 2 "speeches a week for 2 years.

Didn't we know from day one of the  Clinton Foundation that it would be used as a front for campaign money?

the scale of it and how they get away with it is truly breath taking though i would admit.

Chelsea , her in law is a crook, her parents are crooks.  But she is a star.

Part of the Sanders craze and the Obama Phenomenon before it is and was about at least some Democrats wanting to distance themselves from the moral ugliness that is the Clintons.  Even among her supporters now there really is an awareness about all of these issues.  Big question now is whether Sanders supporters come back to her.  The answer is, not all of them and not with great enthusiasm.
9  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Why is socialism failing in Venezuela? on: May 23, 2016, 02:16:36 PM
I am dating a Sanders supporter (the rest of the relationship must be pretty good!).  We are starting to risk everything with talks about politics. 

I asked why the move toward socialism has led to economic failure in Venezuela.  They  take from the wealthy and from the corporations but life just keeps getting worse for everyone else.  I agree with her answer:

"Maybe they went too far."

(Yes they did!  Too far in the wrong direction.) 
10  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Clinton Crime Family, Expensive Air, Follow the Money on: May 23, 2016, 12:32:47 PM
We already know this but the numbers and details are quite mind boggling. just the two years from April 2013 to March 2015, the former first lady, senator and secretary of state collected $21,667,000 in “speaking fees,” not to mention the cool $5 mil she corralled as an advance for her 2014 flop book, “Hard Choices.”

Throw in the additional $26,630,000 her ex-president husband hoovered up in personal-appearance “honoraria,” and the nation can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the former first couple — who, according to Hillary, were “dead broke” when they left the White House in 2001 with some of the furniture in tow — can finally make ends meet.

At least Trump builds Towers.
11  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: South China Sea is Lost, The Singapore to Taiwan Sea on: May 23, 2016, 12:20:05 PM
Leftists since Rules for Radicals have known that those who control the language control the issue.  Why doesn't the man who renamed Mt. McKinley rename the South formerly China Sea?

My suggestion:  The Singapore to Taiwan Sea. 

Other ideas: The Sea of Freedom or the Sea of Deposed Communist Leaders.

Is he courageous enough to stand up to Americans but not to the Chinese?
12  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Hillary goes after Trump taxes on: May 23, 2016, 11:55:16 AM
Right out of the Harry Reid playbook, force the release by telling a bald faced lie: Hillary says Trump pays no federal income tax:

“If you’ve got someone running for president who’s afraid to release his tax returns, because it will expose the fact that he pays no federal income tax, I think that’s a big problem,” the former secretary of state said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  (HuffPost)

Wouldn't this type of attack hurt her??

On the one hand:  I can't run for public office because I would hate the scrutiny and yet this guy is a complete public figure and runsfor the highest office without disclosing anything he doesn't want to.

On the other hand:  
Larry Elder last week on why Trump won't release his taxes:
In a nutshell, the biased media botched their handled of the Romney tax return release so badly that there is no way a person in the position of Trump or Romney should ever give them a shred of material to work with ever again.

If I were Trump, my story now would be that she is the career politician, she and her cronies wrote the tax code.  He is the outsider; he opposes this tax code.  His tax return tells how her laws applied to his business and his private data.  If she has a problem with that, why didn't she reform these bad laws when she was in the White House for 8 years, the Senate for two terms and then again in the executive branch another four years?
13  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: May 23, 2016, 10:24:56 AM
Al Gore's TV channels could have done a documentary on this, but he sold it to Gulf Oil Sheiks. Oh well.

Sand-gate.  Is this really all they have left?
14  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trump Takings on: May 23, 2016, 10:00:50 AM
" I was told by our own Trump advocate that was not a big issue"

The rationalizations by the Trumpets is to such an extent that it is "irrational".   While I have professed I will vote for him I do not just turn the other way about his huge negatives, uncertainties, and repeated contradictions.

If contested in my state, I might vote for him too but I am not going to sit quietly in my opposition to much of what Trump believes and says.

I like the exposure of an "irrational rationalization"!  (I got my name in the WSJ credits for catching Al Gore accuse his opponents of an "explicit implication", James Taranto's column.)

Private takings put our side on the wrong side of the crony economy concern shared by more than 50% of voters, and it puts people like Bernie on the right side.  (    THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN!

In tennis, we call these "unforced errors".  You don't aim for the last inch of the court when it wouldn't be a winner anyway in the low percentage chance you actually that spot.  One casino gets a couple of parking spaces while we all lose a part of being secure in our homes.  In sad fact, Pfizer build no plant and Trump paved no lot while we all lost a basic right and freedom - for no God Damned reason.
15  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: Fracking sand vs. farmland, and the Short Corn Society on: May 23, 2016, 09:41:31 AM
May I  respectfully ask how the news of this health and safety crisis was spread, through Facebook suggested readings?

Quoting a different post, "People think backwards.  They choose the position that makes the emotional statement they wish to make about who they are, then they learn the facts and reasons to justify it. ( - Crafty)

Did this professor come across these facts and develop opposition or do these activists oppose industry and search for facts?  If fracking is so bad, (it has lowered our greenhouse gas emissions enormously), then does same activist professor support no-sand, no CO2, nuclear energy?  I didn't think so.

We weren't polluting the drinking water so now sand coming from the ground put back into the ground is the new pollutant!!
The Sand Mines That Ruin Farmland (excepted for response)
A less well-known effect is the destruction of large areas of Midwestern farmland...
Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota are home to some of the richest agricultural land anywhere in the world.

   - Is farm production down because of fracking in IL, WI and MN?  Same activists oppose advances in farmland productivity.

In the Upper Midwest, this sandstone deposit lies just below the surface. It runs wide but not deep. This makes the sand easy to reach, but it also means that to extract large quantities, mines have to be dug across hundreds of acres.

    - A huge amount of land is measured in "hundreds" of acres?  In another area of our state, BWCA, we ban production of everything in "millions" of acres.

At the end of 2015, there were 129 industrial sand facilities — including mines, processing plants and rail heads — operating in Wisconsin, up from just five mines and five processing plants in 2010.

    - Sounds like a lot of jobs in areas that were losing jobs!

At the center of Illinois’s sand rush, in LaSalle County, where I am counsel to a group of farmers that is challenging one mine’s location...

    - Neighbors opposing what other neighbors produce.  The definition of leftism - or sand-envy?

The Chicago Tribune found that mining companies had acquired at least 3,100 acres of prime farmland from 2005 to 2014.

    - Looking at average farm size excluding hobby farms, that is roughly one farm acquired in ten years.  OMG!

In the jargon of the fracking industry, the farmland above the sand is “overburden.” Instead of growing crops that feed people, it becomes berms, walls of subsoil and topsoil piled up to 30 feet high to hide the mines.

    - Would also block the wind and minimize the environmental impact.  No?  Again, show us the loss of total crop production.  Meanwhile the fracking industry showed us the only economic growth in the country over a two term presidency.

These mines are destroying rural communities along with the farmland. Homesteads and small towns are being battered by mine blasting, hundreds of diesel trucks speed down rural roads dropping sand along the way, stadium lighting is so bright it blots out the night sky, and 24-hour operations go on within a few hundred feet of homes and farms. As a result, some farmers are selling and moving away, while for those determined to stay, life is changed forever.

    - The ugly sound of economic activity.  Factories open, product shipped. It was so much more peaceful when these communities were losing all their young people and becoming ghost towns.

Silica is a human carcinogen and also causes lung disease...

    - We are taking this poison, sand, out of shallow ground where our food is produced and putting deep in the ground.  Ms. Loeb, how many deaths?  Meanwhile fracking replaced hundreds of millions of tons of far more dangerous and environmentally damaging coal production, also carcinogenic:

Because of the recent slowdown in the fracking industry, many of the sand mines stopped or slowed production, providing temporary respite to these rural communities.

    - Sounds like a self-correcting problem.  No need for the highly paid, federally funded activists??

The sand mines do promise jobs. But it’s shortsighted to rely on a new fracking boom when we’ve already seen how vulnerable the business is to cyclical dips. America’s frac sand industry shrank to about $2 billion last year from $4.5 billion after the price of oil plummeted in 2014. As mines were mothballed or shuttered, hundreds of miners and truckers were laid off.

    - "Crisis?  What Crisis?  (Supertramp, 1975)

In the Midwest, we badly need more legal restraints on how frac sand mines operate. People must be protected from blowing silica. Sand piles should be covered and mines set a safe distance from homes, farms, schools and public spaces.

    - Fair enough.

Unfettered frac sand mining is ruining the rural communities of the Midwest.

    - The largest problem today in rural communities is meth.

Nancy C. Loeb, the director of the Environmental Advocacy Center, is an assistant clinical professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.

    - Who knew?  This article was written by lawyer, not a scientist.  70% of research funding at this "private" university comes from the federal government.  We are quickly running out of under-regulated businesses;the activists with their rich research and activism budgets are getting nervous.

This reminds me of the concerns brought forward by the Short Corn Society that the corporate media won't cover.  Tall corn must be banned because small children can get lost in it.  How many children have been lost so far, you ask?  Isn't the possibility of one child lost too great a risk?!!
16  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Retirement, pensions, social security, and related matters on: May 23, 2016, 08:41:27 AM
When the individuals representing government negotiate with public unions they know that the unions will be supporting or opposing them in the next elections with both money and manpower.

Going back a century, unions were justified in their bargaining power because one greedy capitalist in a town could have unfair and disproportionate negotiating power over all the workers in a town or an industry.  Collective bargaining equalized that advantage.  In the case of public sector unions, the alleged evil, completely unfair force is the will of the people.

Market forces apply just fine to public employee compensation.  If a city hall or county office offers too little in pay or benefits, that position would go unfilled until they make the adjustment.  Our local elementary school had one thousand applicants for every open teaching position.  Underpaid?  I don't think so.
17  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Natural Law, the right to self-defense, gun rights, and the Second Amendment on: May 23, 2016, 08:32:43 AM

If I might say so, this is quite a valid and profound point.

Maybe more obvious to more people, freedom of speech is a fundamental right whether it had been put to words and given and amendment number or not.  The right to have a plan in place to protect you and your family is perhaps a higher right than speech, whether enumerated or not.
18  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Four Reasons Donald Trump Cannot Be Trusted On Gun Rights on: May 23, 2016, 08:14:32 AM
Four Reasons Donald Trump Cannot Be Trusted On Gun Rights (summary)
Reason 1: Trump supported an assault weapons ban in 2000
Reason 2: Trump has been friends with Michael Bloomberg for over a decade
Reason 3: Trump praised President Obama’s remarks following the Newtown shooting

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.
If there’s even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that’s visited Tucson and Aurora and Oak Creek and Newtown and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that, then surely we have an obligation to try.

Reason 4: Trump has banned guns on his properties for years

My reaction to reason 2, assault weapons ban, was that one has to be informed through a site like this to know why such an innocent sounding thing is bad.  You would not know that living in a city where Michael Bloomberg is considered a Republican and the NY Times is considered objective.

The Obama Newtown reason is different.  Instead of coming together as a nation to grieve our loss and ask ourselves how such a shooter could be stopped (shoot the shooter before he shoots again), this President immediately used the dead children tragedy as a political opportunity to push forward with his own pre-ordained, anti-constitutional agenda - and every honest observer knew it.  Except Trump, apparently.

Are YOU a second amendment guy (or gal)?

Reminds me of a favorite trick question, WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE AMENDMENT?  If you believe in the constitution, hopefully it is ALL of them!

My favorite clause of the constitution I suppose is Article 5.  If the Founders got something wrong, they gave us a process to AMEND it.  And it doesn't say have one pandering guy issue an executive order to violate it.

I tried to make the point early on, that a private takings advocate is not going to be overly hung up on any constitutional limit on government.  I was told by our own Trump advocate that was not a big issue.  In terms of primary votes and nomination, he was right.  Still it was illustrative in separating the central planner from the freedom advocates.  Even in politial loss, I will hang with the latter.
19  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Portland's one way bus ticket - anywhere on: May 21, 2016, 05:10:46 PM
Nothing says leftist compassion for the homeless like a free, one way bus ticket out of their jurisdiction.
20  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 21, 2016, 05:01:35 PM
I am still wrestling with this decision. Do I hold my nose and vote for Littlefingers, because the Dowager empress would be much worse, or do I go 3rd party protest vote? I won't tell you not to vote for Trump, but steel yourself for when he fcuks us.

From my point of view it would depend on what state you are in.  Trump is not going to make my state competitive, so why vote for a candidate I don't support.  For people in Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, etc. they have to deal with the guilt of getting Hillary elected if they don't vote for the most competitive alternative.

Pat suggests:  "Better to have a Dem in and know I will get screwed than to vote for a [RINO] ..."

Trump is proud to be Republican In Name Only.  He hates the party, called Bush a liar, helped Democrats take the House and the Senate, didn't want to support the nominee if it wasn't him.  Now he is the definition of GOPe; he sits at the head of the table when they cut the back room deals.
21  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / In 2011 Iraqi General speaks on: May 20, 2016, 10:10:10 AM
The Iraq war debate, war, exit, ISIS takeover, and lessons learned issue never seems to get settled unless you are comfortable like our nominee saying falsely that Bush lied and people died.

Larry Elder is now a national show, on evening radio here.  Yesterday he replayed an interview he had with an Iraqi General in 2011.  His version of events match what was posted on the forum at the time only he has much more detail to offer.  Judge the veracity for yourself.  Getting this story right is still relevant.

March 30, 2011
Bush lied, people died?

I recently interviewed General Georges Sada, who served as the second-highest ranked general in the Iraqi Air Force. A two-star general, he wrote a recently published book called "Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein." Here are some sound bites from that interview:
Elder: General, as you know, the president has been accused of lying about the intelligence, fabricating it, cherry-picking it, that he wanted to go to war, he really didn't believe that Saddam had WMD. It was all a big smokescreen. When you hear people accuse the president of lying about WMD, of misleading the country and the world, your reaction, Gen. Georges Sada, is what?

Sada: Let me tell you. I am really surprised how people are speaking like this and their soldiers are still in the battle. You see, a soldier when he is in battle, he wants to feel that all his nation are backing him and they are with him. And now I tell you I feel very sorry when I see some people in this country, their soldiers are in the battle, and they are discussing political things making that soldier to feel that he is there in the wrong place. That's one. Second, if there was something right had been done in this country, it was the best decision taken in the proper time, to go and liberate Iraq from an evil dictatorship who only God knows what he was going to do in the region, and maybe even to America, because that man was possessing the weapons of mass destruction and then he was with very evil intentions towards all the West, especially America.

Elder: Fifteen months before we invaded Iraq, the president began talking about what our intentions would be if Saddam would not comply with the U.N. resolutions. During those 15 months . . . did Saddam have WMD, have stockpiles of WMD, and, if so, what type?

Sada: Iraq possessed WMD and they were there, and they were chemical and biological, and nuclear weapons. He have also deals with China to make it in China this time, not in Iraq, because F-16s of Israelis have destroyed the Iraqi nuclear project, therefore, he designed a new system to have the atom bomb to be done in China, and he would only pay the money, and he did for $100 million, and $5 million were paid for down payment. I know the bank, I know the branch, and I know the accountant who did it.

Elder: What happened to the chemical and biological weapons?

Sada: The chemical and biological weapons were available in Iraq before liberating the country, but Saddam Hussein took the advantage of a natural disaster that happened in Syria when a dam was collapsed and many villages were flooded. So Saddam Hussein took that cover and declared to the world that he is going to use the civilian aircraft for an air bridge to help Syria with blankets, food and fuel oil, and other humanitarian things, but that was not true. The truth is he converted two regular passenger civilian aircraft, 747 Jumbo and 727 . . . all the weapons of mass destruction were put there by the special Republican Guards in a very secret way, and they were transported to Syria, to Damascus, by flying 56 flights to Damascus. . . . In addition . . . also a truck convoy on the ground to take whatever has to do with WMD to Syria.

Elder: I've always thought it incredible, bizarre, unbelievable, that our intelligence could have been wrong, British intelligence could have been wrong, the French, the Germans, the Russians, the U.N., the Egyptians, the Jordanians, all of whom thought he had WMD. I never felt comfortable with the idea that everybody got it wrong. . . .

Sada: Your intelligence said that Saddam Hussein had WMD. . . . I agree with them. They were there in Iraq. But they didn't find them after liberation of Iraq, because they were searching not in the right place. These things were transported by air and by ground.

Elder: General, why would Saddam, knowing we were about ready to invade, transfer WMD out of the country instead of using it on American and coalition troops?

Sada: Because he knew that the power of America to liberate the country is more than what he can do. And maybe not all WMD were ready to use then. And that's why he transported to Syria and he thought that he's going to maintain in the power as he was maintained in 1991 and then he was going to get it back again and then proceed to complete the whole project of WMD.   ...
22  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 20, 2016, 10:00:05 AM
"Don't try confusing us with your elite arguments, Doug."

I know, flaunting my elite public school education.  Like most upper class elites removed from reality, I worked all the way through college, commuted from my parents house to the nearest public university during the Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter boom years.  Today, like a lot of ivory tower elites, after a little writing I will go up to north Minneapolis, clean tenant debris and see if I can get a couple of toilets to flush more smoothly - 2 blocks from where Jamar Clark was shot.

Economics is all theoretical to me.  I already have it made, born like George Bush with a silver foot in my mouth.

23  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 20, 2016, 09:44:24 AM
Reminiscing about how unfair we were to Trump and his emotional appeal proponents, I recall that nearly all conservative media outlets had to be trashed in order to explain why they weren't jumping on board for Trump.  Hot Air, National Review, Wall Street Journal, Townhall, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, and on and on, all bought and paid for by the establishment, or else why wouldn't they see the brilliance of Great Depression economics and letting Saddam Hussein go nuclear?  In fact, all of the above regularly rip Republicans especially establishment when they go off the track, based on their own published views.

Ripping conservative media to advance a candidate, even when false, case in point:

 Re: Donald Trump   on: September 14, 2015, 04:02:16 PM
Powerline is owned by Salem, which is in the tank for Bush.  - pp

Unfortunately, facts are stubborn things.  Paul Mirengoff of Powerline ripped Rubio throughout Gang of 8 more ruthlessly than anyone in media.  I wrote to him multiple times to complain.  John Hinderaker endorsed Rubio, not Bush.  Steven Hayward, the most pro-Trump of the group, doesn't take marching orders from anyone - have you met the guy?  Read his work.  None of them ever supported or endorsed Bush.

In fact, they aren't "owned by Salem", a right wing conservative group, and they weren't in the tank for Bush.  Whatever.
Google search for  "Powerlineblog is owned by Salem Communications"

Salem Media Group
Salem Media Group, Inc is an American radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and ...
Missing: powerlineblog

Power Line
Missing: salem ‎communications

"What difference, at this point, does it make?"
24  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, the Depression President: Smoot, Hawley, Trump on: May 20, 2016, 08:52:23 AM
Without anyone to defend our nominee, we are stuck with words already posted:

You really need to read the Section on Taxes in his book, Time to Get Tough. It spells out his thoughts on taxation. He cites:
The problems with High Corporate Taxes and overseas issues. ...
For companies who outsource to other countries, 20% tax rate. If they return, 0%
Imports get hit with a 20% "tax".
(To be fair, Trump also eliminates and reduces other taxes.)   - Pat P.

Brilliant.  That's what the world economy needs right now, a shutdown of world trade.

To be fair to Smoot Hawley, the Depression triggering legislation raised tariffs on only 20,000 items by only 6.3% to 19.8%.  Trump proposed (in 2011) raising it from 0% to 20% on ALL imports.  

What the "emotional appeal" to replay the Great Depression is, is beyond me.  Can anyone tell me what the US economy looks like without world trade?  (see below only it would be far worse now)  What will security issues look like when Europe, China and Mexico all fall into economic collapse?  That won't hurt the border issue, will it?

Among other ill-conceived miscalculations, is a tax on an activity you are trying to eliminate a reliable revenue source??

On this important economic point, that wasn't an issue, Hillary Clinton has a better track record and appears smarter.  (

"Better to have a Dem in and know I will get screwed than to vote for a [RINO..." and get the same bad policies and results, or worse.
For those who don't like world trade, take a look at our economy without it.  Note that this is a far greater increase and we are far more reliant on trade now than we were then.
U.S. imports decreased 66% from $4.4 billion (1929) to $1.5 billion (1933), and exports decreased 61% from $5.4 billion to $2.1 billion. GNP fell from $103.1 billion in 1929 to $75.8 billion in 1931 and bottomed out at $55.6 billion in 1933.[20] Overall, world trade decreased by some 66% between 1929 and 1934.[21]

Note that this was a net "improvement" in our "trade deficit", for you trade deficit hawks.  Imports fell 66%, exports fell *only* 61%!  

GDP (we call it now) fell over 25%!  Probably an unrelated development...
25  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elites on: May 19, 2016, 11:49:43 PM
GM:  "There is a club. We aren't in it."

If I am an "upper class elite", this economy is in worse shape than we knew!

PP: "Better to have a Dem in and know I will get screwed than to vote for a GOPe praying that the nominee will win, while knowing that even if he does win, he will go RINO."

"I am not going to vote for Bush, Rubio or any of the others outside of Cruz or Carson. If Bush or the others are pushed down my throat, it doesn't matter because the results will be the same as if Hillary were the President."

No empathy for any of us having Trump 'pushed down our throat'.  Pat has been ripping the other candidates since August, "neutered pigs", "weasel Politicians", "Burn the GOP down!", but feels "just so abused, put upon, denigrated and simply castigated by the "elites" and those who are anti-american" when someone expressing genuine reservations about his chosen one. 

"[Trump] "needs to reduce the personal attacks. It will backfire at some point"
26  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy, 1/3 pay federal income tax on: May 19, 2016, 10:16:44 AM
Tax issues, 40% of our country, keep falling to page two while shiny objects, bathroom issues, are front and center.  To the top...

One third of our country pays federal income taxes.  Two thirds do not.  7% make over 100,000 and pay 80% of the taxes.  Getting 93% to raise the taxes on 7% does not impress me as consent of the governed, but also doesn't help us grow the economy or ed the stagnation for anyone.

Looking around at cost of healthcare, homes, property taxes, insurance costs and the cost of raising kids and putting them through college, people living in mainstream America need to make over 100k in tday's dollars in order to pay their own bills.  Looking forward, that number keeps getting higher.  But if you do make enough to be self sufficient and tuck a little away, we punish you and punish you and punish you, while we propose to punish you further.

We have a tax code that rewards failure and punishes success.  What could possibly go wrong?  Look around.

US 2016: Failure is a Better Option Than Success
Bryan Crabtree May 18, 2016

Two-thirds of Americans do not have any taxable income. The most recent IRS data shows that Americans earning over $100,000 per year pay roughly 80% of all taxes in America. This means that roughly seven percent of our nation pays the overwhelming majority of everyone else's government expenses.

I'm a big fan of the idea of a nationwide flat tax. But here's the problem: We already have a flat tax and an income tax. Almost every item we buy has a federal tax somehow levied on it.

When you pay your cell phone bill you pay a universal access fee which goes for programs such as the Obama-phone which are wrought with fraud. Your cable bill, home telephone bill, automobile, gas, utilities, alcohol and many other products and services have federal and state taxes baked in the cost or on the bill.

Most Republicans and Democrats loathe the discussion of abolishing the IRS because of its likely impact on many of their pet projects and donors. They also realize that each of them are complicit in scamming you. Many argue the federal income tax, compared to historic levels, is low. But, when the top income tax bracket was as high as 90 percent, we didn't have the ‘scam’ taxes (re: flat consumption tax) outlined above.

With numbers as staggering as the foregoing, there's no wonder why our country is becoming lazy, complacent and apathetic. When I read this data, my first thought was “why am I working so hard to give half of it to the government and provide many others with a free ride?”

...why should I work hard, take time away from my family and remain in a constant state of stress only to have the long arm of the federal government strip away half or more of what I earn to fund entitlements, fraud and waste?

We all pay Medicare and Social Security, but there's even a conversation about limiting that to some sort of a means test so the system doesn’t go bankrupt. So, again, we get to pay into a system but never receive benefits commensurate to our input, because we are above average in success?

We are clearly in a nation that penalizes success at almost every level and encourages failure at every other level. ...
27  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 19, 2016, 09:59:47 AM
"a specific demographic which represents the majority of the people in this country, the upper lower class, the middle class person and upper middle class people. These are the people that will Make America Great Again, not the insufferable upper class"

I will leave this alone shortly, but once again it is all about class and the politics of division - not unlike what has been used so successfully by the Dems.

I respectfully disagree.  Correction, I vehemently disagree.  There aren't groups or classes that will make us great again, and others that will not.  Nor do the patriots mentioned in the article fall neatly in those classes.

"The majority of the people in this country, the upper lower class, the middle class person and upper middle class people" include Suzette Kelo, Vera Coking and are exactly the people who a new round of regressive tariffs will hit the hardest.  Attention Walmart shoppers, prices are going up by 45% in aisles 1-247 if you believe what is said in campaign rhetoric.

"Insufferable" (upper class), meaning intolerable, unbearable, unendurable, insupportable, unacceptable, oppressive, overwhelming, overpowering, conceited, arrogant, boastful, cocky, swaggering.  (Synonyms) As mentioned previously, blaming the boogeyman worked for Dems and worked for that one German leader who used emotion and divisiveness to perfection and nearly ultimate power.  Our problem isn't the economic activity of the upper class; it is the voting pattern of the whole electorate.  And this solves that how?

The GOPe is now Trump and the old guard are now GOPformerE.  Trump cut the back room deals with Christie, Carson, Palin, Jindal and whoever he needed to crowd the field and then clear it.  Trump is the one who sets the platform, picks the VP, picks the Supreme Court nominees (if he wins).  Trump decides if Paul Ryan runs the convention and who speaks on which nights for how long.  Trump lines up the sponsors, works the donors and buddies up with wall street, or not.  Trump overthrew the (non-existent) establishment.  Now he IS the establishment.  And guess what?  We get to criticize.  That's what people out of power do.  It's all we have left with no candidate and no path forward.

"Trump Americans=makes scientologists look like a meeting of a skeptic's group."  - That was over the top while everything Trump said, bleeding out of her wherever, was Presidential?  Good grief.
28  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Compilation video on: May 19, 2016, 06:39:30 AM
29  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 19, 2016, 06:22:53 AM
"the insufferable upper class who believe themselves to be smarter and wiser than anyone else."

That retort was probably easier than addressing my specific objections,  where I find him wrong on economic policy, lacking on foreign policy, and oblivious to constitutional limits on government.
30  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 18, 2016, 11:50:58 PM
Pat, I don't expect to change your mind: I never have. With due respect, I think you're operating with a little double standard here. Both you and Trump freely insulted other candidates, with  humor, then take offense when it comes back.

On the first part, I see your point that you were appealing to a certain audience with emotion. I read the comments and I think you were successful.

A different argument is needed for this group.

PS,  I was for Rubio, not Cruz.
31  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left, vasectomies for young bucks on: May 18, 2016, 11:45:09 PM
32  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Pat on "Trump Americans" on: May 18, 2016, 06:44:24 PM

I read it but I am still wondering who are the Trump Americans.  It seemed quite general and fluffy.  Motherhood and apple pie but no new data.

I read the agenda and it omitted every objection I have had with the candidate which are rather numerous.*  Can we vote for only the good stuff mentioned?

Is this hope and Change again only under the words Make America Great Again?  Blank easel offered, paint your own picture on it?  Will he build a bridge to the 21st century too?

*  No word about ending rule by executive order and returning to coequal branches of government.
    No word about reform or an end to unconstitutional private takings.  Yes I'm still stuck on this as he has doubled down against me and against constitutional limits on government
    No word on trade protectionism.  This is a divisive question even if the easily deceived support depression era policies.
    No word on minimum wage where he has been all over the map, mostly with the big government planners and controllers.
   The last big government conservative was G.W. Bush.  Trump is offering big government without the conservatism?
    No word on whether he ever thought about a different plan to counter Saddam in Iraq while he would have left him in power, supporting terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons.
    No clarification of whether the written plan with tax rate decreases is his tax plan or if the spoken one with tax rate increases supersedes that.  
    No backtracking on previous namecalling of those he now wants or doesn't want for allies.  Is Carly still ugly?  Was Ted really the biggest liar?  Was Marco too short?  Was Megyn bleeding out of her wherever?  Did McCain serve his country badly?  Did any of these ugly episodes serve to bring down the general level of discourse?
    No coverage of the Chris Christie bailout plan where we found out payback was part of the secret backroom deal that got him nominated.
    Did Nafta really cost us jobs?
    Do the Chinese manipulate their currency any worse than we do?
    Does he now know Quds from Kurds?  Nuclear triad?
    This one from GM, does he know which is the bad Korea?
    Is there a new reason we should get excited about the lesser of two evils - that has happened "too many times"?
    Should we vote for him for winning, even if the principles that would win aren't our own - or what will make America great again?
    If he is so great at winning, why does he need anyone's vote!
33  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 18, 2016, 04:43:00 PM
Buchanan is NOT a great guy in my opinion, there have been repeated whiffs of antisemitism from him over the years.

34  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Buchanan,Trump, Smoot, Hawley on: May 18, 2016, 11:26:30 AM
Pat Buchanan is a great guy but I have long disagreed with him on trade protectionism.  Now and because of that issue he has stepped forward as a self-appointed surrogate for Trump.  In that role I post this here, Buchanan's words to distance himself from or not. 

This was on Hannity radio.  Buchanan says raise tariffs 20% across the board.  Repeal corporate taxes altogether with this in their place.  The 20% on imports of $xbillion would raise $***.   STOP!

1)  Our side believes a 20% tax won't change the flow of goods that are assessed the new tax?  No disincentive effect?  No, it is their side who denies the laws of economics.  Actually, he wants it both ways.  We raise all that money AND manufacturing here is supercharged by the loss of imports.

The fact is, the cost of living goes up by 20% in the applicable categories, whether you buy it made here or brought in.

2)  No other country will retaliate.  To the extent that that do retaliate, we will be unaffected by that?  Again, it is our side that denies the laws of economics and of human behavior?  Our side denies policies like these caused or triggered the Great Depression?

3)  Our side believes government intervention is the answer?  No.  Government over-meddling is the cause, not the solution of the problems across the states where Trump is selling this message.  A new tax isn't the answer.  Lower tax rates on everything is the answer - to the extent that we can curtail spending to pay for any revenue losses.

4)  Our side wants government to pick winners and losers and curtail individual economic freedom?  Not me.
35  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 18, 2016, 11:11:42 AM
"Kasich is a loathsome turd who makes Trump seem decent and ethical in comparison."

As Obama calls Biden, an insurance policy.

I may need to borrow some twist or turn of these words when I write my endorsement of Trump.
36  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / It wasn't Sykes-Picot on: May 18, 2016, 11:05:37 AM

An interesting history most around here don't know about anymore.  It's not fun to study failure and dysfunction.

There was more to it that just Sykes-Picot:
37  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillbillary Clintons long history, 13 minute Hillary Lie Compilation Video on: May 18, 2016, 10:51:52 AM
7 Million served, please add a click to this 13 minute Hillary Lie Compilation video.

Spread it around.  The more people see of Hillary, the more they dislike her.  Nothing new in here to me, just a nicely organized proof in her own words just how worthless and duplicitous her own words are.

13 minute Hillary Lie Compilation Video
38  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump - Kasich on: May 16, 2016, 04:04:05 PM
I wanted to get this on record, if I haven't already, before it is any more obvious.  Media seems fascinated right now about Trump's VP choice and are kicking around all the other names.   Hannity is talking with Newt about it as I write.   Kasich is my prediction, not my choice.

"Trump will pick Ohio Gov. John Kasich for VP and Kasich will accept."  - Doug,  May 16, 2016

Trump, in Trump's mind, is about what?  Winning.  He didn't win Ohio.  He has to win Ohio.

Timing?  I suppose he will pick him at the last minute to keep the talk going for as long as possible.

Yes, he could use a woman or a black or Hispanic or someone who is two or three of those, but this isn't about window dressing.  It isn't about finding someone else who can steal the show.  It isn't about having the right person in line for the good of the party, furthering the movement or to protect the country.  It is about Trump winning (period).

Kasich had the best general election poll numbers nationwide.  Yes those would have collapsed if he started to lead, have a chance to win or come under attack.  He helps carry a large swing state.  He has large government executive experience, one of the two term governors.  He comes from the group of 17 where the vetting is largely done.  Why pay your own team?  He has congressional and foreign policy experience.  This is about as opposite to a bold decision as he can make.  Why should DT let someone else's risk add to his own.  Kasich is as qualified and likable as Joe Biden, and makes slightly fewer gaffes.  His gaffes tend to bounce off.  He told women to come out of their kitchens to support him once, well he is just that old.  He won't likely be caught with a prostitute or a gambling addiction at this point in his life unless they already have that in his file.  Kasich helped knock out Cruz,; that's worth something if you look for the personal side and Trump and Kasich mostly avoided striking at each other.  Kasich can help Trump walk back the slams he made against Ohio, that all the growth came from fracking.

Why would Kasich take it?  Unlike Newt and some others, Gates, Condi Rice, John Bolton, Rudy G, etc. Kasich currently has the ambition and plans to be out campaigning most of this year -other than the part now about having Trump at the to of the ticket.   Kasich doesn't have to agree or pretend to agree with Trump on everything; he can answer the questions about Trump's unconventionality the way Priebus did this weekend.  'People aren't using the old rule book anymore, they are looking for who can set off an earthquake to the status quo in Washington'.  Trump (and Kasich) is the only choice left for doing that.  What is the better offer Kasich is waiting for if he still has ambition?  There isn't going to be one.

Kasich just turned 64, a pretty normal age for this position I would think and young for a person with his experience.  He doesn't have rap in his playlist like Rubio, but is younger than Trump, Biden, Hillary, Bernie, Newt, Rudy, Warren, Gates, and quite a few others. 

The biggest problem with Kasich is the way he has turned into a moderate in his older age, hardly a slur in a general election and the more the left attacks him for other things the more the base will like him in comparison to Hillary and Castro or whoever.

Christie offers a better attack machine but Kasich helps more directly with winning.  In a one on one, Trump can attack by himself and with plenty of willing surrogates.  All the gals new or newer to the national scene, Susana Martinez, Nicki Haley, Mary Fallin, etc. bring new risk to the equation. He can't give up a sitting Senator, Kelly Ayotte, unless she loses and that's too late. If one of them had the track record of Kasich and could help carry a crucial state, he would pick a woman.  Trump wants the questions to be all about Trump, so he will pick his Joe Biden, John Kasich.
39  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: More civil forfeiture abuse on: May 16, 2016, 01:44:16 PM

You'd think we have a court system to protect these kinds of rights.

Of course half of our politics is based on seizing others people's assets, so it looks and sounds pretty normal when you see it happen.  They took his business but the money went to a good cause so it was overall a good thing...   ...if ends justify means and if rule of law means NOTHING.

I keep saying, look at how we look like Venezuela.  This is nearly the same story as posted there, seizing businesses, jailing owners.  We just haven't traveled as far yet down the same path.
40  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: VDH: Elites support illegal immigration on: May 16, 2016, 01:36:49 PM

No one except criminals should support illegal immigration.
41  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 16, 2016, 01:35:35 PM
Want to say before being criticized that I admit taking a liking to GM's nickname for the namesake of this thread, "Little Fingers".  For all the name calling he did, he can live in that same world, Little Marco, Lyin Ted, Low energy Jeb.  Our friend Pat was calling Carly "Snarly" right from the start:
So Little Fingers it is.

Update:  I still only know one person who supports Trump without apology, regret or a lesser of two evils approach.  The ratio of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers to Trump hats I see is about 100:0.  Maybe I need to get out more.

I give Pat credit for seeing something - that I still don't see.
Trump is setting GOP primary vote records.

More than 10 million people will have voted for Trump in the primaries.  That's nearly 1 in 30 Americans.
42  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: we are better off now... on: May 16, 2016, 11:18:50 AM
Obama: By Almost Every Measure, America and World Are Better Than 8 Years Ago

I think he means 7 years ago.  Why won't he claim better off than 10 years ago, when his side took control of Washington.  Our littlefingers won't be able to make that distinction either since he helped Pelosi-Reid-Obama-and Hillary take control of congress and Washington in Nov 2006.

"The good old days weren’t all that good."  - Barack Obama 2016.

Really?  Well, the Obama years weren't all that good either!  45% of 20-something college grads with college debt working in jobs that don't require their quarter of million dollar degree.  Food stamps and disability (payment) epidemics!

If we take away the growth he vehemently opposed such as everything tied to fracking and fossil fuels, how would we score the 0.0% growth of the Obama Presidency? 

Candidate Romney just couldn't bring himself to say it, but almost every measure of every indicator in the country or the world,  Barack Obama came to Washington and made everything worse, from economic results to world peace to race relations and the way we talk to each other.  By the end of the 8 years, we won't know what bathroom to go in or whether we should thank a cop or shoot him.

He came to office opposing his two biggest accomplishments, gay marriage and the individual mandate, all accomplished by lying to the American people. 

This won't have any lasting, negative effect, will it?
43  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 16, 2016, 10:03:08 AM
Well Pravda on the Hudson already has egg on its face for its hit piece on Donald-- the main woman in question says the piece mis-portrayed her and that she has no complaints about her time with the Donald.

He is lucky this was all aired in May instead of the 1st of November.  Not much of a surprise that a man three times married who admits past cheating. owns the Miss Universe contest, claims to be a multi-billionaire, was once hitting on women.  It's like accusing Hillary of being corrupt.  What did people think she did for a living?

Maybe the personal stuff this time around will be so obvious that we will have to turn back to issues and policies by November.
The Times link, just for the record:
Don't click it; that only encourages them.

Washington Post has some 50-60 'reporters' working on similar material.  I would expect them to get into his business practices.  He already admits he had to buy off politicians to make a living; what more do we need to know?

No word on a similar team being assigned to investigate Clinton Crime Family ties between Foundation contributions and U.S. State Department actions.
44  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Beijing rattling sabres at Taiwan on: May 16, 2016, 09:50:59 AM
This must be one of the most Orwellian concepts of our time, that the PRC is a world and US recognized country and Taiwan is not.  "We" favor 'reunification', a one-China policy, and yet that is perhaps our biggest fear in the world.  Pres. Obama would bring America to Taiwan's side militarily in an invasion, why?  To preserve freedom?  To fight against rule by executive orders?  To oppose the big hand of government?  Because an invasion would have crossed his "red line"??

Maybe big-talk, 'little fingers' can break through the political correctness without starting a world war.

The median household income is three time higher in Taiwan than China.

Economically, wouldn't it make more sense for Taiwan (or Hong Kong) to take over China?

Who would want to do what's in the people's best interests when you have a politburo, central planning committee designing 'smart growth' that knows what's best for you?  (Like Venezuela, reminds me of here...)

Speaking of openness, freedom and self-determination that we don't seem to favor, I wonder how the next Chexit (China exit) vote will go in the various provinces...

And I wonder how our freedom and independence would be coming along by now had we not had outside help in the 1700s.
45  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: May 16, 2016, 09:22:43 AM
I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.

Smart girl. Now she should find a good job in Singapore or Hong Kong to develop global business skills.

I will suggest the growth industries of our time, canned goods and ammo...
46  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: You Tube called a criminal racket on: May 16, 2016, 09:20:58 AM

This is quite an interesting issue.  Musicians who are mostly liberals are the property owners in this case and Google who is also leftist in politics is the greedy capitalist. 

I like to think of youtube as content that is by definition public domain.  The biggest company in the field is implicitly presenting it as that.  It is quite easy to find different versions of favorite songs, convert them to MP3 and then 'own' a free version of it.

Google/Youtube teases you with free and easy viewing.  They build their own market share and monopoly status, and then slip in more and more ads, enriching themselves, never the content provider.

The accuser is right.  When content is taken down, the owner of the content is blamed, as if we had a right to their work for free that they are denying.

The music business has always been a mixture of free and paid content with I suppose only the very high end prospering from it.  We need to listen free in order to like it and buy it, but if enough is available free, do we need to buy it?

I think google builds this dispute intentionally.  In the end they will agree to a settlement that will involve payment to the artists, including a substantial cut to youtube, like eBay gets from sellers. 

And still they will interrupt our service with advertising.
47  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: May 16, 2016, 08:56:16 AM
What do you say to a graduate with a non-STEM degree?

Venti mocha on ice, please.

I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.   grin

WHAT CAUSED THE GREAT RECESSION?  Lack of government spending under George Bush?!  Are they kidding?  Free markets running wild - in the mortgage business that is nearly 100% federal, completely infiltrated by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GSEs and CRAp.  Does anyone remember Saving and Loans, S&Ls?  Loans were once tied to Savings.  Crazy Now we have no savings.  Your credit line is your nest egg and your wealth.  Those loans are tied to government monetary creation no matter how Wesbury and Grannis want to sugar coat it.  We can adjust Fed policy with a volume switch to make  stock markets or housing markets go up - artificially.  And that's all we know.  We don't know what to do next or how to make it go down without crashing or how to ever let an economy operate under normal or real incentives again.
48  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela and the US socialism analogy (Cognitive dissonance of the left) on: May 16, 2016, 08:19:27 AM
We consider our states to be 50 laboratories of democracy.  We can try different polices and see how they work.  That is my fascination with Venezuela as well.  

There are a ton of stories about Venezuela recently and over the weekend.  Terrible scarcities, chaos, assassination, coup speculation, inflation and so on.

Recalling the Jimmy Carter fiasco, my understanding is that he was our election, see-no-evil, observer during a Chavez recall election when Chavez was losing 40-60 and the official government cheating made that into a 60-40 victory.  My own shock wasn't the expected cheating but the fact that 40% still supported policies of economic failure.  The cheating would have been harder to hide if that support had been closer to zero.

This Saturday in Venezuela:
Maduro orders seizure of closed Venezuela factories, jailing of owners
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday ordered authorities to seize factories that have stopped production and jail their owners, a day after declaring a state of emergency to combat the country's economic crisis.
"We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie," he told a rally in Caracas.
"Anyone who wants to halt (production) to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV (Venezuelan General Penitentiary)," he said

It would be an exaggeration to say that these are the policies young people here in the US at Sanders and Clinton rallies are supporting, but effectively, these are the economic policies we are pursuing and they are supporting and we know they don't work.  Minimum wage is just one example, government mandates what the private sector must do whether is makes economic or business sense or not.  Even the Trump side wants to take your assets if you try to close or leave.  How is that working in places that are further along wih it?
Shortages Cause Daily Looting, Energy Crisis Worsens as National State of Emergency Approaches, May 14, 2016   Reuters: "an unraveling socialist economy"

Is there some other kind?

49  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, NY Times, Class of 2016 on: May 16, 2016, 07:31:57 AM
Believe it or not, it's still George Bush's fault, or so they imply at the start of this hit piece on the state of the economy.   But then they go on to assess specific blame for the failed recovery at it is the  lack of government spending,  believe it or not.  We had TARP.  We had QE1234.  We had ZIRP, NIRP, Cash. for Clunkers and Solyndra.   we had a trillion dollars a year of temporary spending that became permanent. But we did not do enough with our government sector spending.  Are you f****** kidding?

Other than false cause diagnosis, this would be a perfect reply to Wesbury and Grannis optimism pieces. The underemployment rate is nearly 50% for new college grads while we tell ourselves we are back to 5% unemployment.  We set policies for a decade that perfectly emulate Venezuela, begin to see the same results, and the problem is "tricky timing" for the class of 2016?  Do these people believe their own writing?

Later this month I will celebrate a $265,000 college graduation.  Their goal for next year is to raise tuition.

The New York Times
Sunday Review

Tricky Timing for the Class of 2016
MAY 14, 2016

This year’s high school graduates were 10 years old when the economy hit the skids in 2008. Many college graduates in the class of 2016 were 14. Yet, their economic prospects remain darkened by the enduring effects of the Great Recession.

[What caused the great recession??!!]

That is not to say there has been no improvement. The class of ’16 has more and better-paying job opportunities than earlier post-crash graduating classes, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute. But for the most part, today’s graduates still face employment conditions that are worse than in 2007, the year before the recession, and are much worse than in 2000, when the economy was last at full employment.

The recent unemployment rate for college graduates ages 21 to 24 was 5.5 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in 2000. Their underemployment rate — which includes the unemployed, those who have briefly left the work force and those stuck in part-time jobs — was recently 12.3 percent, compared with 7.1 percent in 2000. And in 2015, nearly 45 percent of college graduates ages 22 to 27 were in jobs that did not require a college degree, compared with 38 percent in 2000. Over the same period, student debt has soared, which means that many of today’s graduates are trying to pay off more debt with less secure jobs.

The situation for new high school graduates is far bleaker, in part because many lower-wage jobs are being filled by college graduates. Among high school graduates ages 17 to 20, unemployment is nearly 18 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2000. One in three are underemployed, compared with roughly one in five in 2000.

The soft labor market has depressed wages, with average hourly pay for young college graduates, recently $18.53, barely higher than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. Young high school graduates are averaging only $10.66, lower than in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

Without full employment to help push up pay, wages and salaries for all workers lag even as corporate profits rise. But the consequences for young people are particularly severe, because early bouts of unemployment, underemployment and low pay can continue to harm job prospects and earnings over a long period. One’s pay and position starting out has a big impact on subsequent raises and promotions, and thus on accumulated wealth over a career.

This trap is especially dangerous for racial minorities and women, who even in the best of times have to combat bias in hiring and pay. For young black college graduates, the recent unemployment rate, at well over 9 percent, is double that of young white graduates. Young female college graduates earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers, a gap that is bound to get worse as men at the very top of the wage ladder capture an increasing share of total pay.

These persistent problems are the result of political failure. Job growth and pay growth were weak and largely ignored as policy issues for most of the 2000s, even before the Great Recession. To restore full employment after the crash would have required sustained government investment in many areas, including infrastructure, education, health care and energy technologies.

More public spending could have raised demand at a time of diminished private-sector spending. But Republicans in Congress have rejected that approach and have embraced budget cuts that have hampered broader recovery and growth, at times with the support or acquiescence of Democrats and administration officials.

Even piecemeal labor market improvements have been stymied or delayed. A higher federal minimum wage would lift wages for low-earning graduates, and updated overtime rules for salaried workers would lift middle-class pay. But lawmakers last raised the minimum wage in 2007, and it will be 2017, at the earliest, before they do so again. Similarly, the administration is expected to issue new overtime rules soon, but at this late date, putting them into effect will fall to the next administration.

In the meantime, the class of 2016, like many before it, will graduate into a tough economy in which even the college educated are not assured a toehold.
50  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 15, 2016, 05:10:44 PM
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