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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: May 30, 2016, 09:30:19 PM
Don't worry Hill.  Bill Kristol to the rescue with a third party candidate. Presumable perrenial losers from the Romney family.

Seems like they have a timing issue.  There was a window of time to advance other candidates. 
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / One of the Statutes that Hillary broke on: May 30, 2016, 09:14:13 PM
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US troops are on the ground in Yemen on: May 29, 2016, 08:22:18 AM
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nature, animals and race relations? Grizzlies and Polar Bears are now mating on: May 27, 2016, 03:50:17 PM
To me this looks like race relations; to the authors it is a climate change story. 

"Grizzlies and polar bears are now mating"
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bernie Sanders [vs. Doug] on monetary policy on: May 27, 2016, 02:40:35 PM
Bernie's opinion on Fed policy.  [My responses.]  We need to be able to answer Bernieconomics to his supporters and to young people before these ideas get accepted any further.

This is from Bernie's own website, posted during this campaign, written by his staff member, and still up on his site as his view.

In Troubled Times, the Federal Reserve Must Work for Everyone

[In troubled times?  This is 7 1/2 years into the Obama recovery!"]

It’s been a chaotic few days for the world’s markets. Recent events do not paint the picture of a stable economy guided by rational minds. Instead, the world of global finance looks more like a playground in need of adult supervision.  [I would like to come back to this point, "a playground in need of adult supervision".  The description better fits watching Socialists putting zero interests rates on a centrally planned, government controlled and intervened economy.]

Like other nations, we have a central bank. What should the Federal Reserve do in troubled times? For that matter, what is the Fed’s role in preventing them from occurring in the first place?  [What role did the Fed play in CAUSING troubled times?]

It’s true that many of the causes of the recent stock market turmoil are global, rather than domestic. But those distinctions are becoming less important in a world of unfettered capital flow. Regional markets, like regional ecosystems, are interconnected.

Europe is struggling because of a misguided attachment to growth-killing austerity policies. Like Republicans in this country, Europe’s leaders are focused on unwise government cost-cutting measures that hurt the overall economy.
 [Government is too small in all places where it is too big?  That is his diagnosis of the causes of all troubles.]

China’s superheated markets [private sector failure is the main problem in a communist country?] have experienced a sharp downturn, and its devaluing of the yuan [agreeing with Trump] is likely to affect American monetary policy. Many of the so-called “emerging markets” are in grave trouble, their problems exacerbated by an anticipated interest rate hike from the US Fed.  [The anticipated and actual hike was 00.25%!

Plunging crude oil prices are a major factor in the events of the last few days. [Plunging oil prices are great for people - unless you are rich and own an oil company.] But questions remain about the underlying forces affecting those prices. Demand is somewhat weaker [a further indication that Obama's policies similar to Sanders' policies have led to a weakened economy or recovery], and Saudi officials are refusing to cut production. [We have been fighting OPEC for 40 years; now we want them to cut production??] But there is still some debate about whether these and other well-reported factors are enough to explain the fact that the price of a barrel of oil is roughly half what it was just over a year ago, in June 2014. [The only good news in the Obama economy.]

American Turmoil

Talk of recovery here in the US has been significantly dampened by events of the last several days. The now-interrupted stock market boom had been Exhibit A in the case for recovery.  [Since that time, the stock market has been fine.  In income inequality-centric thinking, I thought rich people losses were good and gains were bad...]

Exhibit B was the ongoing drop in the official unemployment rate. There, too, signs of underlying weakness can be found. The labor force participation rate remains very low for people in their peak working years, as economist Elise Gould notes, and has only come back about halfway from pre-2008 levels. Jared Bernstein notes that pressure to raise wages, which one would also expect in a recovering job market, also remains weak.  [Lousy recovery, no recovery as we have been saying here.]

All this argues for a rational and coordinated policy [All problems require bigger government intervention, even those caused by bigger government intervention.], one in which the Federal Reserve and the US government act together to restore a wounded economy. [As they have been doing, making things worse and kicking the can of finding real answers to real problems further down the road.] What would that look like?

It would not include raised interest rates – something that nevertheless continues to be a topic of serious discussion. [This is the central point of Bernie's monetary non-policy.  He favors zero interest rates in all conditions.  If the time value of money is zero, isn't the value of money eventually zero?  He opposes savings, investment and accumulation of wealth.  Come back to this point.  What really do you favor when you oppose lower income people beginning to save, invest and accumulate wealth?] As Dean Baker points out, China’s currency devaluation alone should have been enough to take that idea off the table. What’s more, as Baker rightly notes, such a move would only make sense if the Fed “is worried that the US economy was growing too quickly and creating too many jobs.”  That’s a notion most Americans would probably reject as absurd. Most are not seeing their paychecks grow or their job opportunities multiply.

Anxiety about inflation, while all but omnipresent in some circles, is not a rational fear. [QE while GDP is stagnant IS inflation, it just doesn't show up immediately in price levels.] A slow rise in prices (0.2 percent in the 12 months ending in July, as opposed to the Fed’s recommended 2 percent per year) tells us that inflation is not exactly looming on the horizon.  [Inflation is the expansion of the money supply relative to GDP.  Price levels lag where there is low demand and low velocity of money. A distinction lost by the author.]

Now what?

“Everything is going to be dictated by government policy,” the chief investment officer of a well-known investment firm said this week. In that case, isn’t it time for a national conversation about that policy?

Another investment strategist told the Wall Street Journal that today’s challenges come at a time when “global central banks have exhausted almost all their tools … It’s difficult to see how central banks come in to support markets.”

If they’ve exhausted all their commonly-used tools, it may be time to develop new ones – not to support “markets,” but to promote jobs and growth for everyone.

First, do no harm. The Fed needs to hold off on any move to raise interest rates. [But zero or artificially low interest rates ARE doing harm!] But inaction is not enough. It was given a dual mandate by Congress: to stabilize prices and keep employment at reasonable levels.

Activist groups like the “Fed Up” coalition, led by the Center for Popular Democracy, are working to move the Fed toward that second objective. They’ve been pushing to change its governing boards, which are heavily dominated by big banks and other major financial interests, and have called for policies that focus on improving the economic lives of most Americans.

Those policies could take a number of forms. One idea comes from Jeremy Corbyn, the populist politician who’s on track to become the next leader of Great Britain’s Labour Party. Corbyn’s economic plan includes “quantitative easing for people instead of banks.” Corbyn proposes to grow the financial sector in a targeted way, by giving the Bank of England (the UK’s version of the Fed) a mandate to “invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects.”  [Invest WHAT? Private savings ended due to same policies.  Governments are at their limit of deficit.  Borrow more, FROM WHOM?  Print money?  That doesn't make what you have or will earn or get paid worth more!]

A headline on the website of the Financial Times says (with apparent surprise) that “Corbyn’s “People’s QE” could actually be a decent idea.”

Corbyn also proposes to “strip out some of the huge tax reliefs and subsidies on offer to the corporate sector.” ['Our side' agrees with the ending of giving preferential treatment to government cronies in exchange for lowering the burden on everyone.] The added revenue would go to “direct public investment,” including the creation of a ‘National Investment Bank’ to “invest in the new infrastructure we need and in the hi-tech and innovative industries of the future.”  [This is based on false theory that taking more from the private sector to give more to the public sector creates an improvement for whatever part of America he is purporting to be helping.]

“Qualitative” Easing

Call it “qualitative,” rather than “quantitative,” easing. It would increase the money supply, but for money that is to be invested in the real-world economy – the one that creates jobs, lifts wages, and creates broad economic growth.  [Changing the words without changing the policies.  In the same sentence he says qualitative expansion is quantitative expansion sold better.  No distinction from why current policy makers are executing current policies.  If you leave interest rates at zero, you are helping the wealthy who happen to own corporate stock in pre-existing companies listed on the Dow, S&P etc.  We already saw that.  We already did TARP, shovel ready projects, cash for clunkers...  Doing more of the same will bring different results?!!]

Could something like Corbyn’s plan ever happen here? There’s no reason why not. [We are already doing it.]  The Federal Reserve wasn’t created by bankers, nor is it there to serve bankers – although a lot of people inside and outside the Fed act as if it were. (The choice of a former Goldman Sachs executive for its latest major appointment won’t help change that.)

The Federal Reserve was created by the American people, through an act of Congress. Its governors and its policies are there to protect and serve the public. The Fed should use its oversight capabilities to ensure that banks don’t behave in a reckless manner or help private funds and other unsupervised institutions to behave recklessly.

We are still paying the price for allowing big-money interests to dominate both lawmaking on Capitol Hill and monetary policy at the Federal Reserve. That must change. Congress and the Fed, acting together, should ensure that our nation’s policies benefit the many who are in need of help, not the few who already have more than they need.

[This is like we did telling commercial banks to make loans based on criteria other than creditworthiness.  Now we will ask our Fed go further in pursuit of policies other than managing the value of our money.  This has worked when?  Where?]
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Watch Bernie Sanders panic at this question on: May 27, 2016, 12:22:02 PM

Q: "How do you explain the failures of socialism in Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina?"

A: "Of course I am interested and have an opinion but I am focused on my campaign [to implement those same policies here]."


Maybe DT with help from advisers can draw this out of Bernie in their debate.  The answer is simple.  Those policies lead to failure.  Anyone who looks can see that.

107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Professional Journalist Katie Couric! on: May 27, 2016, 12:08:16 PM
Excellent coverage of this!  (Here in this Federalist / G M post I mean, not in the press.)

"It’s a stunning betrayal of journalistic ethics.  This willful and malicious doctoring of evidence to support an agenda..."

The AGENDA is the point.  Subtle bias in every story in every outlet is worse.  This just blows the whole thing into daylight for everyone - who doesn't care anyway - to see.  This is not just bad journalism, like sloppy or lazy or made a mistake.  This isn't journalism at all.  An infiltration of leftist activists into our institutions has been discovered and exposed.  It was a total and complete, hostile takeover. Like Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather before her, she was the face of the CBS evening news and they all did it in their own way, night after night.  Leftists took over our most trusted institutions, from the face of our news, to our k-12 teaching and college professors, to our DOJ and our IRS.  There was a war and we lost by not showing up.  It isn't that that favor one side or the other; they are acting to undermine the foundation on which the country was formed, the Second Amendment in this case, life, national security, war and our other freedoms in other cases..  It isn't that this one incident was blatant; it is that the sum total of this is treasonous.  My humble opinion.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China reopening Silk Road? on: May 27, 2016, 07:19:05 AM

(subscriber content.)   Another look:
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Here is a free one for late night on: May 27, 2016, 07:06:52 AM
quote author=ccp link=topic=2177.msg96366#msg96366 date=1464347096]
Thanks for the post on the movie
It sounds like Oscar material -
no not that Oscar.
I mean Oscar Myer Wiener!

)    A look inside a most famous marriage that no one wants to look inside!

The author of the article is Judith Miller of New York Times and Valerie Plame fame.
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left, Huma and Weiner on: May 27, 2016, 12:12:48 AM
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tom Cotton unloads on Mr. Cleanface on: May 26, 2016, 11:24:11 PM

Wow.  Not often you hear truth.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reason Magazine, 5 Ways Capitalist Chile is Much Better Than Socialist Venezuela on: May 26, 2016, 04:31:33 PM
Re-posting this with greater detail.  I think this is important!  Two countries went different directions economically and we have results to compare.  Not all other things are equal, Chile has a population 17 million, Venezuela 30 million, but they have conducted a pretty good experiment.  Chile started much poorer and socialist, and are now freer, richer and healthier.  If the socialist country was outperforming the freer country, you can bet we'd be hearing about it!

5 Ways Capitalist Chile is Much Better Than Socialist Venezuela

May 24, 2016
The story of Chile’s success starts in the mid-1970s, when Chile’s military government abandoned socialism and started to implement economic reforms.
In 2013, Chile was the world’s 10th freest economy.
Venezuela declined from being the world’s 10th freest economy in 1975 to being the world’s least free economy in 2013 (other than North Korea).

1. As economic freedom increased, so did income per capita (adjusted for inflation and purchasing power parity), which rose from being 31 percent of that in Venezuela to being 138 percent of that in Venezuela. Between 1975 and 2015, the Chilean economy grew by 287 percent. Venezuela’s shrunk by 12 percent.

2. As its economy expanded, so did Chile’s ability to provide good health care for its people. In 1975, Chile’s infant mortality rate was 33 percent higher than Venezuela’s. In 2015, almost twice as many infants died in Venezuela as those who died in Chile.

3. With declining infant mortality and improving standard of living came a steady increase in life expectancy. In 1975, Venezuelans lived longer than Chileans. In 2014, a typical Chilean lived over 7 years longer than the average citizen of the Bolivarian Republic.

4. Moreover, more Chileans of both sexes survive to old age than they do in Venezuela. As they enter their retirement, the people of Chile enjoy a private social security system that was put into place by Cato’s distinguished senior fellow Jose Pinera. The system generates an average return of 10 percent per year (rather than the paltry 2 percent generated by the state-run social security system in the United States).

5. Last, but not least, as the people of Chile grew richer, they started demanding more say in the running of their country. Starting in the late 1980s, the military gradually and peacefully handed power over to democratically-elected representatives. In Venezuela, the opposite has happened. As failure of socialism became more apparent, the government had to resort to ever more repressive measures in order to keep itself in power—just as Friedrich Hayek predicted.

Marian L. Tupy is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and editor of
113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Diabetes 2 reversed in rats with a single shot on: May 26, 2016, 04:09:11 PM

I didn't know Type 2 Diabetes in rats was a major issue.  wink

Let's hope our speedy, streamlined, patient health oriented FDA makes this available to humans as well!
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Monetary Policy on: May 26, 2016, 10:48:38 AM
I am studying Bernie Sanders' views on monetary policy.  We need to learn all we can about Bernie and the Bernie phenomenon before it soon ends and becomes even more irrelevant. 

There is a viral Sanders video going around of Bernie ripping Alan Greenspan in about 2003-2004:

This is clipped to make Bernie look good (and angry).  He is taking off on things Greenspan said about the economy being good but it wasn't good then for working people and then-Rep. Bernie let him have it.  We had just come out of the Clinton / 911 recession and they were looking at data prior to the Bush tax cuts fully taking effect.

I take from the context that Greenspan was tempted to raise interest rates as the economy rebounded that were being held artificially low then, like today, and that Bernie wanted them left at near zero.

As stated elsewhere, that means Bernie at least unknowingly favors zero savings, zero new investment, zero productivity growth and zero wage growth.  It also means he favors higher income inequality because the cheap and easy money favors rich who can take advantage of it more than the poor who can't.

Bernie favors the part of the Fed Dual Mission that people here tend to oppose, that the Fed should focus more on employment where it has virtually no effect than on inflation where it has primary control.

That Bernie doesn't get capitalism isn't a shock.

On the other side of it, he is one of the most credible voices against big bank, big corporate, bug government cronyism.  I have always believed there are areas where the far left and the more libertarian, freedom loving, level playing field side can find agreement.

In hindsight, the Fed made a GIANT mistake in the mid-2000s by flooding the economy with money during the bubble years that led to the crash.  Bernie Sanders would have gone further than Greenspan with that catastrophic error.
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 26, 2016, 10:26:55 AM
1. Update for Pat who can't resist sneaking a peak at the forum, I now know two people who support Trump.  Pat and my sister-in-law who said she likes Trump and has liked him from the start.  She also liked his TV show which I think is an under-appreciated part of his media experience and appeal.  Her support I think is not directly about issues but about strength of personality to stand up to the elected politicians currently screwing everything up.  The number of people I know supporting Trump could jump to 3 or 4 as I touch with conservative cousins over the summer.  Must of the rest of my family voted for Rubio without much push or pull from me.  Some liked Scott Walker but that choice was gone before we voted here.

2.  The tax problems in the previous post look pretty trivial, disputes totaling 13,000 over many companies dealing with dollars in the trillions.  The tax law is open to interpretation and the IRS is the side wrong plenty often.  Trump cos. could just pay that if they didn't want to dispute it.  Trump is never going to open his private dealings beyond what is leaked or visible from the outside.  Hillary jumped on the bankruptcy aspect, but that charge didn't hurt him in the primaries and isn't new anymore.

3.  What is up with Trump attacking Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico?  Woman, Hispanic, head of the Republican Governors Association, re-elected with 57% of the vote in a swing state, get a grip! It looks like loose cannon material but it has to be intentional.  Punishing her for not jumping on board and sending a message to others?  Whatever happened to humbly asking people for their support, politics of the past?
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (& Japan, South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: May 26, 2016, 10:06:20 AM
Nice response.

" compares who is generating more patents. Relevant I suppose, but with the Chinese stealing out trade secrets and ignoring our patent rights to our face, just how significant is that really?"

Within that observation is the fact they are actively conducting cyber warfare against us.  so... we aren't driving our innovation forward at all like we could be while they are catching and passing us in terms of raw size of the economy.  They are more motivated militarily, less restrained and have far more manpower available.  Project that forward and they can have twice the arsenal and fleet based on our last years' technology, while ours at half the size will also be based on last years' technology.

It comes back to a previous point, the constraint they face now seems to be business relations, not fear of President Obama led military response. 

To me, this rivalry isn't about China who has its own problems.  It is about unleashing America's economic growth engine if we don't want others to surpass us economically, technologically, militarily or to simply implode from within.
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: May 25, 2016, 06:18:22 PM
Funny enough, the people with medical Marijuana cards in Colorado seemed to be 20-somethings with dreadlocks and the sort of terminal illness that allows you to snowboard 5 days a week.

Might also want to cross check disability payments and food stamps with the snowboarder season pass rolls.  Not a bad life...  And now free health care as long as you don't work.
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: May 25, 2016, 06:13:34 PM
"Even her supporters deep down know how evil and corrupt she is

but do they care?   Not enough obviously.   cry

Everyone knows, but I guess by definition, her supporters don't care.  Still [lack of] enthusiasm matters in politics.  Nobody is excited to support her.
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: changes nothing, Rule of Law? on: May 25, 2016, 06:10:30 PM
But what does "public scolding" mean? 

Are there any consequences?

Should not the state or DC bar take action against these attorneys?

What good is public scolding anyway?  It will not really be in the MSM domain.

What consequences? 

I assume there is no controlling legal authority.

Agree!  Where are the consequences?  The IRS commissioner, the Attorney General is Fast and Furious, the private email server and on and on.  Break the law, break the rules, no consequence.

Can't wait to see the upcoming pardon season.  No one went to jail, maybe there won't be any pardons.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy, Why China Won’t Overtake the United States on: May 25, 2016, 06:05:46 PM
Typical ivory tower academics who wish to paper over all the damage done by Buraq Hussein. The US military is a shadow of it's former self, as is this country. The next war is unlike any of the previous, and is ongoing as we speak.

Our enemies see our unwillingness to project force whether we have arm ourselves or not.  They saw the protests and missing patience that shut down our war efforts.

There are so many unknowns.  If China takes Taiwan tomorrow, would Pres. O lift a finger over that?  The Chinese might think so, but why?  He didn't with Crimea.  Does he fear Putin more?  

China is the largest exporter in the world and the US is their biggest customer.  Maybe our arsenal or unwillingness to use it isn't the concern.

We are unbelievably self-destructive to stand still while a totalitarian regime runs by us economically and militarily.  
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: May 25, 2016, 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.
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: electoral college in Nov on: May 25, 2016, 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. 
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Colorado Legalization not working out as promised on: May 25, 2016, 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? 
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 25, 2016, 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.
125  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.
126  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.
127  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.
128  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.
129  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.) 
130  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.
131  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?
132  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?
133  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?
134  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.
135  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?!!
136  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.
137  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.
138  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.
139  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.
140  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.
141  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.   ...
142  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.

143  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?"
144  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...
145  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"
146  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. ...
147  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.
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Compilation video on: May 19, 2016, 06:39:30 AM
149  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.
150  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.
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