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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, Immigration depresses wages on: November 19, 2014, 08:35:41 AM
“...This huge influx [of immigrants added to the labor force every year] ... threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”  - Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, 2006
Who knew??
So, if one knew that,and their intent was to Cloward-Piven the U.S., they would do what exactly?

If he was trying to shrink the workforce, stop startups, stall the economy and put as many people as possible on an assistance dependency track at every phase of their life (witness "Life of Julia"), what would he do differently?  Absolutely nothing!

Obama knew the influx of Hispanics hurts economic opportunity for American Blacks (see paragraph at the link before the one quoted) and he still won 98% of blacks on reelection promising open blorders.

Is this intentional or are they stupid or ignorant.  Both.  I actually think a lot of the ivory tower academics, even in economics, appear ignorant of basic forces in economics in their writing and policies. 

Liberals and leftists know they are giving up growth with their anti-growth policies but they think what is left of the economy will have no choice but to produce and fund the programs and freebies they desire.  (And The Dual Mission Fed will print the rest!) To them, getting their side reelected indefinitely is a far bigger win than peace or economic success.

But it is not the intent of Obama and the politicians that is crucial.  It is the intent of the Obama and his Democratic voter that matters.  They don't like Republicans but they also don't like what they are seeing behind their own curtain.  At some point the results of leftist over-reach government speak for themselves.  Now we see a good number of these people become what the experts call "persuadable".
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Vanishing White Democrat... on: November 19, 2014, 08:05:14 AM
Whites are a shrinking majority, but still a pretty big group to offend and lose with all the division politics.  If you listen or study the Obama speech that rose him to prominence, it was all about unifying not dividing, where getting elected was all about dividing into groups.

The racial gap and the gender gap both cut both ways.  As pointed out, the difference is that the Republicans desperately want the votes of the groups they have been losing, and the Dems don't seem to give a damn groups outside their targets.
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness, Immigration depresses wages on: November 18, 2014, 11:34:56 PM
“...This huge influx [of immigrants added to the labor force every year] ... threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”  - Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope, 2006

Who knew??
104  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer for Victor Davis Hanson on: November 18, 2014, 11:17:57 PM
Saddened to learn that the daughter of Victor Davis Hanson, author, educator, columnist, died on November 13 after a short illness.
Susannah Merry Hanson was 27.

105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 18, 2014, 11:05:44 PM
We haven't seen a revelation of a president caught lying to the American people like this since the day Alexander Butterfield told the nation about listening devices installed in the Nixon White House:

We know who was paying Gruber.  We know what he was telling them behind closed doors.  We know the lies and deception were intentional, and we heard the lies repeated over and over, without hesitation or regret - in order to get a government takeover of healthcare.

They defrauded the American people, the CBO and the US Supreme Court.

Is there someone in the mainstream media who has fully covered the details and significance of this story?
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Republican leadership... on: November 17, 2014, 11:50:18 AM

Matthew's piece is not a hit piece on Republicans - far from it.  He's simply saying the Republicans need to stand their ground and let the blame fall where it belongs - on the Democrats and Obama.  The American people are vastly in favor of stopping Obama in his tracks - despite the fact that the media - even most pundits at Fox News - don't freakin' get it!  These idiot Republicans are so afraid of the media that they can't see this landslide victory right in front of their faces for what it is:  an unmistakable, unequivocal mandate to STOP THE OBAMA AGENDA NOW!!!

Thanks.  I get it that 'lilly-livered wimps' wasn't his characterization.  wink

It is certainly time to discuss the options available to stop the Obama agenda.  But in public and on these shows, Republicans don't need to overstate their recent win or over-reach their own new power.  That was the error made by Bush after reelection in 2004, by Obama after reelection in 2012, and by the Democratic congress when they seated their 60th Senator, all causing the pendulum of power to keep swinging back and forth.  When Obama makes his next over-reach, the story should be about Obama's over-reach, not about Republicans making scary, empty threats.  Our job is to govern soberly and responsibly, whatever that entails, and to stop his agenda mostly by winning the public and winning the next election.  Cutting back on unforced errors is part of that.  Moving forward on own positive agenda is the biggest part of that.  Investigating, answering and thwarting Obama and the Democrats is the least pleasant part of the job of governing.  

We can take unconstitutional acts by the President to the courts and to the people.  The power of the purse is a fact that does not need to be accompanied with talk of a total shutdown.

Crafty asks: "When you deport these illegals, what happens to the children?  Do you tear families apart?  Do you deport these American citizens?"

In the first place, we are deporting nearly no one before or after this coming action so the point seems hypothetical if not moot.  If you did send adults back home and THEY want their families intact, presumably they would take their children with them.  We, who support some kind of border control and rule of law, are NOT the ones splitting up families.  It would take some level of credibility and compassion on the issue to make a reasonable case of that.  To just shout, send them all home, or, to hell with their families, is to lose all Hispanic- and Asian-American votes.

Obama spells it out with  a clearer incentive than a welfare application.  Father a child while you are here and you are in forever.  And as this wave looks at getting legalization, the next wave starts rolling in.  Very hard to stop.  That's why we look for comprehensive reform.  If it doesn't end with a rule we would enforce, why change any rules?
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional Budget Office fell for Gruber's diversions on: November 17, 2014, 10:56:44 AM
Is there going to be hearings and reform of this perverted, taxpayer funded, office of stooges and puppets?

"Two well-placed sources on Capitol Hill say that the Congressional Budget Office effectively used Jonathan Gruber’s model to score Obamacare. "

Yes they did.  And the Supreme Court did not.  It was a budget buster if scored honestly and unconstitutional as it was sold.  Odd that it is those of us who saw through the deception who are most upset about it.
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Iraq, Saddam Hussein Speech, 2/27 1991, Withdrawal from Kuwait, secular dictator on: November 17, 2014, 10:44:07 AM
As we re-debate the Iraq war(s) and what to do with "secular" dictators, I have been looking for the speech that Saddam gave in March 1991 accepting the UN resolutions that ended the Persian Gulf War at that time with a conditional ceasefire.  Not finding that speech, I post this Saddam speech from a week earlier for the record.  I count at least 60 references in one speech to God, the Almighty, Infidels, Holy War, Muslims, Islam, Islamic Faith, Mujahedeen, etc. plus verses quoted from the Koran.  That is a lot of religion for a man said to be secular.

In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate.

O great people; O stalwart men in the forces of holy war and faith, glorious men of the mother of battles; O zealous, faithful and sincere people in our glorious nations, and among all Muslims and all virtuous people in the world; O glorious Iraqi women:

In such circumstances and times, it is difficult to talk about all that which should be talked about, and it is difficult to recall all that which has to be recalled. Despite this, we have to remind of what has to be reminded of, and say part -- a principal part -- of what should be said.

We start by saying that on this day, our valiant armed forces will complete their withdrawal from Kuwait. And on this day our fight against aggression and the ranks of infidelity, joined in an ugly coalition comprising 30 countries, which officially entered war against us under the leadership of the United States of America -- our fight against them would have lasted from the first month of this year, starting with the night of 16-17 [ January ] , until this moment in the current month, February of this year.

It was an epic duel which lasted for two months, which came to clearly confirm a lesson that God has wanted as a prelude of faith, impregnability and capability for the faithful, and a prelude of an [ abyss ] , weakness and humiliation which God Almighty has wanted for the infidels, the criminals, the traitors, the corrupt and the deviators.

To be added to this time is the time of the military and nonmilitary duel, including the military and the economic blockade, which was imposed on Iraq and which lasted throughout 1990 until today, and until the time God Almighty wishes it to last.

Before that, the duel lasted, in other forms, for years before this period of time. It was an epic struggle between right and wrong; we have talked about this in detail on previous occasions. The Age of the Showdown

It gave depth to the age of the showdown for the year 1990, and the already elapsed part of the year 1991.

Hence, we do not forget, because we will not forget this great struggling spirit, by which men of great faith stormed the fortifications and the weapons of deception and the Croesus [ Kuwaiti rulers ] treachery on the honorable day of the call. They did what they did within the context of legitimate deterrence and great principled action.

All that we have gone through or decided within its circumstances, obeying God's will and choosing a position of faith and chivalry, is a record of honor, the significance of which will not be missed by the people and nation and the values of Islam and humanity.

Their days will continue to be glorious and their past and future will continue to relate the story of a faithful, jealous and patient people, who believed in the will of God and in the values and stands accepted by the Almighty for the Arab nation in its leading role and for the Islamic nation in the essentials of its true faith and how they should be.

These values -- which had their effect in all those situations, offered the sacrifices they had offered in the struggle, and symbolized the depth of the faithful character in Iraq -- will continue to leave their effects on the souls.

They will continue to reap their harvest, not only in terms of direct targets represented in the slogans of their age -- whether in the conflict between the oppressed poor and the unjust and opportunist rich, or between faith and blasphemy, or between injustice, deception and treachery on the one hand and fairness, justice, honesty and loyalty on the other -- but also the indirect targets as well. Shake the Ranks of the Infidels

This will shake the opposite ranks and cause them to collapse after everything has become clear. This will also add faith to the faithful now that the minds and eyes have been opened and the hearts are longing for what the principles, values and stances should long for and belong to.

The stage that preceded the great day of the call on 2 August 1990 had its own standards, including dealing with what is familiar and inherited during the bad times, whether on the level of relations between the ruler and the ruled, or between the leader and the people he leads.

The relations between the foreigners among the ranks of infidelity and oppression and among the region's states and the world had their own standards, effects and privileges that were created by the Arab homeland's circumstances, and which were facilitated by propaganda, which no one could expose more than it has now been exposed.

The conflict was exacerbated by the vacuum that was created by the weakness of one of the two poles that used to represent the two opposite lines in the world. However, after the second of August 1990, new concepts and standards were created.

This was preceded by a new outlook in all walks of life, in relations among peoples, relations among states, and the relations between the ruler and the ruled, and by standards of faith and positions; patriotism, pan-Arabism, and humanitarianism; holy war, faith, Islam, fear and non-fear; restlessness and tranquillity; manhood and its opposite; struggle, holy war and sacrifice, and readiness to do good things and their opposite.

When new measures spring forth and the familiar, failed, traitorous, subservient and corrupt [ people ] , and tyrants are rejected, then the opportunity for the cultivation of the pure soil will increase in its scope, and the seeds of this plant will take root deep in the good land, primarily, the land of the Arabs, the land of the revelation and the messages, and the land of prophets. Quotes From the Koran

God says: "Like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches reach to the heavens. It brings forth its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord." [ Koranic verses ]

Then everything will become possible on the road of goodness and happiness that is not defiled by the feet of the invaders nor by their evil will or the corruption of the corrupt among those who have been corrupted, and who spread corruption in the land of the Arabs.
Moreover, the forces of plotting and treachery will be defeated for good. Good people and those who are distinguished by their faith and by their faithful, honorable stands of holy war will become the real leaders of the gathering of the faithful everywhere on earth, and the gathering of corruption, falsehood, hypocrisy and infidelity will be defeated and meet the vilest fate.

The earth will be inherited, at God's order, by His righteous slaves. "For the earth is God's, to give as a heritage to such of his servants as he pleaseth; and the end is best for the righteous." [ Koranic verses ]

When this happens, the near objectives will not only be within reach, available and possible, but also the doors will be open without any hindrance which might prevent the achievement of all the greater, remoter and more comprehensive objectives, to the Arabs, Muslims and humanity at large.

Then, also, it will be clear that the harvest does not precede the seeding, and that the threshing floor and the yield are the outcome of a successful seeding and a successful harvest. Even Greater Harvest to Come

The harvest in the mother of battles has succeeded. After we have harvested what we have harvested, the greater harvest and its yield will be in the time to come, and it will be much greater than what we have at present, in spite of what we have at present in terms of the victory, dignity and glory that was based on the sacrifices of a deep faith which is generous without any hesitation or fear.

It is by virtue of this faith that God has bestowed dignity upon the Iraqi mujahedeen, and upon all the depth of this course of holy war at the level of the Arab homeland and at the level of all those men whom God has chosen to be given the honor of allegiance, guidance and honorable position, until He declares that the conflict has stopped, or amends its directions and course and the positions in a manner which would please the faithful and increase their dignity.

O valiant Iraqi men, O glorious Iraqi women. Kuwait is part of your country and was carved from it in the past.

Circumstances today have willed that it remain in the state in which it will remain after the withdrawal of our struggling forces from it. It hurts you that this should happen.

We rejoiced on the day of the call when it was decided that Kuwait should be one of the main gates for deterring the plot and for defending all Iraq from the plotters. We say that we will remember Kuwait on the great day of the call, on the days that followed it, and in documents and events, some of which date back 70 years.

The Iraqis will remember and will not forget that on 8 August, 1990, Kuwait became part of Iraq legally, constitutionally and actually. They remember and will not forget that it remained throughout this period from 8 August 1990 and until last night, when withdrawal began, and today we will complete withdrawal of our forces, God willing. Circumstances of Withdrawal

Today certain circumstances made the Iraqi Army withdraw as a result of the ramifications which we mentioned, including the combined aggression by 30 countries. Their repugnant siege has been led in evil and aggression by the machine and the criminal entity of America and its major allies.

These malicious ranks took the depth and effectiveness of their aggressiveness not only from their aggressive premeditated intentions against Iraq, the Arab nation and Islam, but also from the position of those who were deceived by the claim of international legitimacy. Everyone will remember that the gates of Constantinople were not opened before the Muslims in the first struggling attempt, and that the international community [ placed ] dear Palestine's freedom and independence in oblivion.

Whatever the suspect parties try, by virtue of the sacrifices and struggle of the Palestinians and Iraqis, Palestine has returned anew to knock at the doors closed on evil.

Palestine returned to knock on those doors to force the tyrants and the traitors to a solution that would place it at the forefront of the issues that have to be resolved; a solution that would bring dignity to its people and provide better chances for better progress.

The issue of poverty and richness, fairness and unfairness, faith and infidelity, treachery and honesty and sincerity, have become titles corresponding to rare events and well-known people and trends that give priority to what is positive over what is negative, to what is sincere over what is treacherous and filthy, and to what is pure and honorable over what is corrupt, base and lowly. The confidence of the nationalists and the faithful mujahedeen and the Muslims has grown bigger than before, and great hope more and more.

Slogans have come out of their stores to strongly occupy the facades of the pan-Arab and human holy war and struggle. Therefore, victory is [ great ] now and in the future, God willing. 'Shout for Your Victory'

Shout for victory, O brothers; shout for your victory and the victory of all honorable people, O Iraqis. You have fought 30 countries, and all the evil and the largest machine of war and destruction in the world that surrounds them. If only one of these countries threatens anyone, this threat will have a swift and direct effect on the dignity, freedom, life, or freedom of this or that country, people and nation.
The soldiers of faith have triumphed over the soldiers of wrong, O stalwart men. Your God is the one who granted your victory. You triumphed when you rejected, in the name of faith, the will of evil which the evildoers wanted to impose on you to kill the fire of faith in your hearts.

You have chosen the path which you have chosen, including the acceptance of the Soviet initiative, but those evildoers persisted in their path and methods, thinking that they can impose their will on their Iraq, as they imagined and hoped.

This hope of theirs may remain in their heads, even after we withdraw from Kuwait. Therefore, we must be cautious, and preparedness to fight must remain at the highest level.

O you valiant men; you have fought the armies of 30 states and the capabilities of an even greater number of states which supplied them with the means of aggression and support. Faith, belief, hope and determination continue to fill your chests, souls and hearts.

They have even become deeper, stronger, brighter and more deeply rooted. God is great; God is great; may the lowly be defeated.

Victory is sweet with the help of God.
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Republican Leadership: Lily-livered Wimps... on: November 17, 2014, 09:55:02 AM
Obj,  You have two points in there that I also wanted to bring forward.  One is that, "the last government shutdown (caused by the President, not Republicans) led to the recent landslide victory of Republicans." - Obj     "The episode sent the unmistakable message that GOPers were champions of freedom of choice in health care." - FrontPage

Yes.  Republicans like Lee and Cruz and the House majority took a hard stance in defense of principles.  The immediate reaction was outrage and false blame, but the lasting effect was that, for a moment, we ended the blurred lines and lit up a clear distinction between our votes and their failed policies.  Unlike Republicans supporting federal mortgage agencies, Republicans writing Romneycare, Republicans expanding the federal Department of Education and increasing spending overall, we drew a clear line for the public to see on a crucially important matter and gained immensely from it.

Secondly, this is an amazing shift in public opinion on immigration reform brought on by the over-reaches of power by Pres. Obama:

"Oregon, a longtime Democrat stronghold, delivered a stark warning on illegal immigration to the president’s party ... the vote to overturn the statute providing driver’s licenses [to illegals] was a lopsided 66.4 percent to repeal compared to just 33.6 percent to uphold the law."

All of that said, I don't see why an opinion piece about Democrats ready to obliterate the constitution for political gain has to be written as a hit piece on Republicans.   
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: November 17, 2014, 09:27:14 AM
" Grubering is when politicians or their segregates engage in a campaign of exaggeration and outright lies in order to “sell” the public on a particular policy initiative.  The justification for Grubering  is that the public is too “stupid” to understand the topic and, should they be exposed to the true facts, would likely come to the “wrong” conclusion.  Grubering is based on the idea that only the erudite academics can possibly know what’s best of the little people.  Jefferson would be turning in his grave."

This is a great point and a great post.  The concept applies way beyond healthcare and climate alarmism as well.  The whole leftist economic model is based on Grubering.

I only regret that we couldn't make a more universal verb out of the entire Democratic party of the last 10 years instead of out of one obscure academic whose work they used.
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul on Bill Maher on: November 17, 2014, 08:58:32 AM

Rand Paul is a very talented and thoughtful guy.  However, I don't agree him on these points in question nor do I like the way he frames his arguments on them.  See the current Oval Office occupant, any bozo can have opposed the Iraq war from the start and be consistent in that now.  But then what?  Do nothing in Iraq in light of the 23 reasons given in the military authorization in Iraq?  Allow a rogue regime to gas its own people, support terrorism, shoot at American planes and attack 4 neighbors with no consequence?  Stick with the failed consequences of sanctions that empower the regime and weaken the people?  There is a burden is on opponents of war at this level to say what is the other way.  Open dialogues with murderous dictators to change their ways?  Just hope for the best?  At the least we could have toppled Saddam and left the place in chaos a lot earlier with more of our own resources intact.  Or we could have greatly weakened Saddam, without toppling his regime, if leaving regimes like this in place is the policy.  But to say no consequence for complete violation of Iraq's surrender terms a decade earlier is to make the word of the US, UN and coalition utterly meaningless.

Dropping the entire 'war on drugs' is not a of action from here.  We haven't yet digested the data coming from cannabis edibles and we want to legalize meth?  What else, wouldn't we also end FDA and the entire prescription and pharmacy process if illegal drugs are legalized?  End medoical licensing too, let people be responsible for their own choices.  I might prefer all of that, but it would be last on the list of basic freedoms lost that I want back first.  Keeping the fruits of our labor, dismantling coercive government and ending the welfare state would come first.  You need to bring back personal responsibility before making all dangerous choices legal.  On those points with Bill Maher and the reachout to the left, Rand Paul is silent.  

Federal decriminalization of personal quantities of pot is what can be done right now with majority support and then expressly leave that jurisdiction to the states.  If you favor full legalization, that is your first step.  If you favor keeping laws in line with acceptable behavior of the times, that is the logical step.  If you favor moving power out of Washington, that is one move you can make right now in the right direction.

Releasing all non-violent criminals is not the best course or the best rhetoric for a politician.  See posts by our ccp, perhaps we are imprisoning too few of our white collar criminals, not too many.  Laws need teeth, and enforcement.  Laws we don'[t want to enforce should be repealed.  Aren't theft and fraud non-violent crimes, and bilking the public and taxpayers?  We want no meaningful consequence for those?  Repeal the unhelpful laws and release the people being held on those repealed laws, but to trade reckless rhetoric for popularity is what sank so many other up and coming politicians - like Obama.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: November 11, 2014, 09:14:01 PM
It's time for a 'way forward' discussion.  We need to a) stop or slow down the Obama era growth of government, b) govern in a way that keeps control of congress in the next election cycle, c) make proposals that are realistic and possible to pass now, and d) set the table to win back the Presidency.  

Bipartisan policies imploded at the end of the Bush years.   Wrongheaded policies like government-based mortgage finance were supported by Democrats and many elected Republicans known as RINOs.  The Obama years in contrast involved mostly a straight partisan divide, like Obamacare on one side and trying to repeal it on the other.  This election saw the first split in the Democrats, with 'red state Democrats' trying to running away from the President's agenda for their own survival.  

Now we have divided government in a divided nation and need to build gently on this to win going forward.  Many Dem voters lost faith in their party and policies, but have not yet jumped fully to the other side.  

Some conservatives are now pretending we hold all the cards. But we hold more like half the cards and should proceed with that in mind.   There needs to be a way forward for the right in between RINOism and purity.  We need proposals that follow, not violate, our principles, and attract support from the middle.  We need to take small steps in the right direction and make the left's accusations against us clearly false.  When they say handouts to the rich, starving the poor, taking away Granny's meds, shutting down roads and bridges or anything like that, we need to be ready to show it is not true.

Here is the beginning of a list, not in order of importance:

1)   Crack down on Cronyism.

2)  End Too Big to Fail.  Big enterprises get the protections that small enterprises receive.

3)  De-criminalize small quantities of pot at the federal level.  

4)  Take the lead legalizing safe, over-the counter birth control.  

5)   Give anti-abortion activism an anti- late term abortion focus.

6)  Drop the subject of gay marriage.  Let  the states and courts sort it out.

7)  Repeal or cut only the taxes that are really unpopular and unproductive for now.  No Democrat ran on a platform of supporting the medical device tax.  Most Democrats won't oppose its repeal.  No Democrat ran on having the US corporate tax rate highest in the world, driving out our best companies.  No reasonable Dem will oppose reform.  Pass what can be passed now with at least some bi-partisan support and put it on President Obama's desk.

8.)  Replace and re-name Obamacare.  Take a version of what Dick Morris called the Republican plan, get some support from the other side and re-name it.   Provide tax credit subsidies for all who need them to buy health insurance and incorporate the basic consumer protections.  Insurers cannot discriminate based on pre-existing conditions nor can they either terminate coverage or raise rates when their customers become ill.  Eliminate the coercive aspects of ObamaCare.  Nobody has to buy insurance nor does any employer have to offer it.  Those who do purchase insurance can get as much or as little coverage as they want.  One size will no longer attempt to fit all.  Extend Medicare coverage to those who are sickest with the highest medical bills, so the government pays for all their costs.

9)  Pass real immigration reform.  Enforce our borders, really, enhance security overall, and offer a tough set of criteria for staying here legally if you are already fully established here and contributing positively to the well-being of the country.  Make the main parts inseparable; people here stay legally only if the inflow stops.

10)  Restrain and prioritize spending but have every statement about restraint start with the affirmation that we are committed to retaining a safety net for the truly needy.

11)  Pass laws that require adherence to constitutional law, such as a law requiring Presidents to go to congress in order to launch military interventions of the type he launched in Libya.  Limit the UN and other international encroachments on national and individual liberty.   Reaffirm specific states' rights and responsibilities in federal law.

12) End the federal 21 drinking age.  They vote.  They drive.  They serve.  Leave it to the states.

13) Keep the internet private, tax free, and retain US sovereignty over it.

14)  Last (for now) but not least, reform the dual mission of The Fed.

113  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics - What do we need jobs for? on: November 10, 2014, 09:55:01 AM
One more political economic lesson from the cartoon front:

114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Economics - Minimum Wage on: November 10, 2014, 09:43:15 AM
Minimum wage laws seems like a good and popular idea only because of economic ignorance and logical laziness, IMHO.  Maybe a picture replace a thousand words of why it hurts the people it intends and pretends to help:

115  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older Warrior on: November 10, 2014, 07:52:07 AM
Thanks Spartan for the encouraging words!  We had a great tournament.  Did not leave with the title we wanted but won a first set off the team that gets to call themselves national champions.  I was hit by a car at 17.  Decades later, I get to compete with guys who played Division I college or pro tour back when I was working my way out of handicapped parking.  Now in 55 and over, everyone has physical limitations, though our opponents never seem to show it.  I couldn't be more lucky and grateful to still be at it.  We are fortunate to love a sport that can last a lifetime.
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Republicans and Hispanics on: November 10, 2014, 12:19:09 AM
Despite holding a pretty hard line views on immigration, Texas Republicans won about 45% of Hispanic votes. 

(This is partly due to low turnout due to the turn-off of Hispanics to Democrats.)
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Willie Brown: Hillary Clinton is going to lose on: November 10, 2014, 12:13:23 AM
No intent to obsess on her, just saying that I am not the only one saying this...

"Hillary Rodham Clinton must be wondering whether she really wants to run for president. Unless there are some serious readjustments to the Democratic operation, she is going to lose."   - Willie Brown, SF Chronicle, 11/7/2014.
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics, Two midterm elections have hollowed out the Democratic Party on: November 09, 2014, 11:47:47 PM
This article sparks a number of interesting points.  While it seems that Republicans have a limited number of good potential candidates with great executive experience, Democrats now hold 18 governorships?!  The crowned prize of California was just held again by Jerry Brown, 76, so it will be 2026 at the earliest before some new, up and coming Dem can win and govern two successful terms of experience in the country's largest state as preparation for future leader of the free world.

"Meanwhile, Republicans control governorships in Florida, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia and Massachusetts. Democrats were hoping to knock off Republicans Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida and Rick Snyder in Michigan. All survived. In Ohio, John Kasich won by the second-largest margin in state history"

Mentioned previously, Governors Hickenlooper (D-Colo) and Walker (R-Wisc) are ascendant if they win and they won.

Andrew Cuomo (Gov. NY) who I don't know much about is, they say is too tied to the Clintons.
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: November 09, 2014, 10:48:49 PM
Excellent points on the specifics which can be used to prove the more general point, but it is the general point that is crucial.  Her candidacy will be perceived as the third term of Obama, and that just got poll tested and failed miserably.

She ran in 2008 with the exact same positions as Obama on the exact same issues.  There wasn't a micron of distance between them.  She wanted the same healthcare plan and supported his.  She supported all the Fannie Mae, CRAp of government particpation and interference in housing finance and everything else.   She ran in support of the tax rate increases that triggered the collapse. She and Obama were both the co- de facto Senate and Congressional Leaders of the country from the peak to the meltdown, down it went, and she favored everything that went wrong.  She ran the commercials against Obama that questioned who was ready for the 3 am phone call.  She got that call at 5 pm - and did NOTHING.  She never even explained or apologized.  What difference does it make.  She has her fingerprints and DNA all over his failed foreign policy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS and the setup for whatever goes wrong next.  To the extent that she wasn't in charge of negotiating things like the non-existent Status of Forces Agreement or anything else, it was because he never did trust her and instead relied on 24 special envoys who reported to the White House, to Pres. Obama or Valerie Jarrett maybe, but not to Hillary Clinton.

As ccp suggests, she is trial ballooning a little distance between herself and Obama and it is not going well.  She must choose between two opposites and both are career ending.  She is his third term, or she can run against the policies she supported and the incompetencies she was part of.  She supported nearly all of it so running against is phony, won't convince anyone, AND it will piss off the Obama machine that just won the last two Presidential elections.  They own the big voter ID, data mining, and get-out the-vote operations that are tied to the inner cities and expanding social spending roles of identified, government-dependent persons.  You don't piss off the (other) powers that be and then expect them to go all out for you.  It doesn't work that way.  

As George Will suggests, she was elected twice in 69 years, none in the last 10, and all in a totally, uncontested, 'blue' state.  The first time was with all the sympathies and popularity of being the First Lady and humiliated spouse, and the other was as an unchallenged incumbent in totally Democratic environment.  When she was tested, she failed.

She doesn't own the 98% black vote that Obama got.  They don't own the Hispanic vote anymore, it is slipping away at the margins.  At 69 and running on a return to the 90s, she doesn't own the young vote that already turned on them.  With gay marriage a fact, gays who happen to be enterprising and seek liberty are free to start voting pocketbook and economic issues.  She doesn't have a positive economic record.  She voted against the policies that succeeded earlier in her time in the Senate.  She tried foreign policy and failed badly.  

A resume is a list of capabilities and accomplishments, not a list of past work addresses.

Electing her as a presidential and national failure is not an advancement for women.  They are losing married women (and all men) by double digits.

She can't count on paybacks from Alison Grimes, or Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Begich, Michelle Nunn or Sen. Udall, Gov. Crist ... or Pres. Obama, Axelrod or Joe Biden.

There are SO many fundamentals running against her right now.  If the Clintons are so smart and shrewd, then they know all of this.

On the other hand, with as little as a friendly softball press conference bombshell, she can walk away from this and never face an unpleasant reporter or question, ever again.  I know everyone else says she's in, including herself talking to herself, but the other choice has got to look tempting.

Don't get me wrong.  Our side might be better off with her in and running against a known, failed candidate instead of seeing one more newcomer step forward and re-package the same old big government BS as if it is new and exciting again.
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / George Will, Re-thinking Hillary 2016 on: November 09, 2014, 01:52:44 AM
It's nice when George Will expresses my view for me since he gets paid for it and I don't.

Hillary will be the next President if people want an Obama third term, a nearly unimaginable scenario.


Rethinking Hillary 2016
Her candidacy makes sense only if voters will be in the mood for a third Obama term.
By George Will

Now that two of the last three Democratic presidencies have been emphatically judged to have been failures, the world’s oldest political party — the primary architect of this nation’s administrative state — has some thinking to do. The accumulating evidence that the Democratic party is an exhausted volcano includes its fixation with stale ideas, such as the supreme importance of a 23rd increase in the minimum wage. Can this party be so blinkered by the modest success of its third most recent presidency, Bill Clinton’s, that it will sleepwalk into the next election behind Hillary Clinton?

In 2016, she will have won just two elections in her 69 years, the last one ten years previously. Ronald Reagan went ten years from his second election to his presidential victory at age 69, but do Democrats want to wager their most precious possession, the presidential nomination, on the proposition that Clinton has political talents akin to Reagan’s?

In October, Clinton was campaigning, with characteristic futility, for Martha Coakley, the losing candidate for Massachusetts governor, when she said: “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” Watch her on YouTube. When saying this, she glances down, not at a text but at notes, and proceeds with the hesitancy of someone gathering her thoughts. She is not reading a speechwriter’s blunder. When she said those 13 words she actually was thinking.

You may be wondering, to use eight other Clinton words that will reverberate for a long time: “What difference at this point does it make?” This difference: Although she says her 13 words “short-handed” her thinking, what weird thinking can they be shorthand for?

Yuval Levin, whose sharp thinking was honed at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, is editor of the National Affairs quarterly and author of two books on science and public policy and, most recently, of The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left. He is one of conservatism’s most sophisticated and measured explicators, so his biting assessment of Clinton is especially notable:

She is smart, tough and savvy and has a capacity to learn from failure and adjust. But . . .  people are bored of her and feel like she has been talking at them forever. . . . She is a dull, grating, inauthentic, over-eager, insipid elitist with ideological blinders yet no particular vision and is likely to be reduced to running on a dubious promise of experience and competence while faking idealism and hope — a very common type of presidential contender in both parties, but one that almost always loses.

Her husband promised “a bridge to the 21st century.” She promises a bridge back to the 1990s. Or perhaps to 1988 and the “competence” candidacy of Michael Dukakis, which at least did not radiate, as hers will, a cloying aura of entitlement.

The energy in her party — in its nominating electorate — is well to her left, as will be the center of political gravity in the smaller and more liberal Democratic Senate caucus that will gather in January. There is, however, evidence that the Left is too untethered from reality to engage in effective politics. For example:

Billionaire Tom Steyer’s environmental angst is implausibly focused on the supposed planetary menace of the Keystone XL pipeline. His NextGen Climate super PAC disbursed more than $60 million to candidates who shared — or pretended to in order to get his money — his obsession. The result? The gavel of the Environment and Public Works Committee is coming into the hands of Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe, the Senate’s most implacable skeptic about large-scale and predictable climate change driven by human behavior.

Is Clinton the person to maintain her party’s hold on young voters? Democrats, in their misplaced confidence in their voter-mobilization magic, targeted what have been called “basement grads.” These are some of the one-third of millennials (ages 18–31) who, because of the economy’s sluggishness in the sixth year of recovery, are living with their parents. Why did Democrats think they would be helped by luring anxious and disappointed young people out of basements and into voting booths?

The last time voters awarded a party a third consecutive presidential term was 1988, when George Herbert Walker Bush’s candidacy could be construed as promising something like a third Reagan term. A Clinton candidacy make sense if, but only if, in 24 months voters will be thinking: Let’s have a third Obama term.

— George Will is a Pulitzer Prize–winning syndicated columnist. © 2014 The Washington Post
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 06, 2014, 01:47:30 AM

114th Congress, House of Representatives map
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 06, 2014, 12:11:32 AM
When dem's took over Colorado's state legislature, they changed the voting to make it very fraud friendly. I fear Udall with be rescued by this.

That wasn't enough to rescue Udall, but it might be how Hickenlooper squeaked out a win.

The Scott Walker win in Wisconsin, 3rd in 4 years, is paradigm shifting.  Wisconsin has gone for the Dem Presidential candidate every time since Reagan 1984.  Yet Scott Walker has been able to win there as a reformer, and Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan too.
123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 06, 2014, 12:05:00 AM
Nice to see such an epic asskicking!

Yes it is.  It was hard for me to realize this is a win because of the bad outcomes we had in my home state.  A very good Senate challenger in MN lost by 10 points to a very mediocre incumbent, Al Franken.  An even worse Dem Governor was re-elected.  You could write it off to it being a leftist state, but the state House did flip to Republican so being across the board Dem doesn't explain the poor choices.  Prosperous suburbs that went for Obama reelected Dems this year while the inner cities voted nearly 100% Dem.  When will they learn? 
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: November 05, 2014, 11:45:26 PM
Reality check for the Clintons.  Bill Clinton put it all on the line for Alison Lundegren Grimes.  ANd Grimes called herself a "Bill Clinton Democrat".
Grimes spent $20  million and lost by 16 points.

For Hillary, she put it all on the line for who?  Kay Hagan of North Carolina.  The more Hillary went there, the more we knew Hagan's lead would evaporate.
Hagan and backers spent $48 million and lost by 2 points.


Hillary Clinton — politician and grandmom — plays to Kay Hagan’s base in North Carolina

Hillary Clinton, Kay Hagan make appeal to women during Charlotte rally

The Clinton magic never did transfer over to anyone but Bill Clinton.

Another election observation is that 28 of the 60 Senators who voted for Obamacare are now out.
125  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Older and Aging Warrior ? on: November 04, 2014, 08:42:48 AM
Not Martial Arts, but...   I am heading out to compete in the USTA (tennis) over-55, national championships this week.  It is a team competition, all doubles, and all teams that have won their section from around the country.  At 58, I am working the delicate art of playing and training without over-training.  Part of our preparation was to play a competitive college team this fall. The old guys held their own pretty well.   ) 
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races. ELECTION DAY TODAY on: November 04, 2014, 07:50:22 AM
Republicans have to win beyond the margin of fraud and litigation.

Sad but true and so many of these races look to be extremely close.

It will be interesting to see how well the pollsters got it this year.  They have been all over the map but only get judged for accuracy by their final tally.

127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The US Congress; Congressional races on: November 03, 2014, 11:58:06 PM
Predictions before the polls open/close?

In the House, people say double digit (barely) gains for Republicans.  (Hard to track 435 of these.)

In the Senate, as it sits now with polling, R's hold two close ones,Kentucky and Georgia,  lose Kansas (?)  and pick up 7, West Virginia, South Dakota. Montana, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and eventually Louisiana IF this really is a so-called national wave election, that number needs to jump to 9, possibly 10.  So add to that: Kansas and New Hampshire for nine, and then one of the following:  North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia or Minnesota to make ten. (It is also possible that the Dem ground game combining smart strategies with hard work and cheating again bursts the Republican bubble.) 

R's need a pickup of 8 or more IMO to have a decent chance of holding the Senate in 2016 when they have to defend something like 23 seats to their opponents 9.

Go vote, everybody.  Margin of victory matters.
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics at the State & Municipal level on: November 03, 2014, 11:32:25 PM
We are getting down to the last chance to prognosticate on tomorrow's election...  I have a conservative bias and these surprises are only possible if this does turn out to be a big Republican year. 

For my own state of MN, the entire state House of Representatives could flip to Republican.  They are currently down by 12 seats, and under one party rule of all branches and chambers.

The US Senate race, Mike McFadden vs. Al Franken, and MN Governor's race:  Jeff Johnson (R) vs Mark Dayton (D - incumbent) will both end up closer than predicted, I predict.  Both of these were VERY recently picked to be double digit Dem wins.  Both could close essentially to a tie.  Unfortunately in MN, the tie goes to the Democrat.

All the Governor's races around the country are crucial and many are tossups.  Especially important (IMO) are the reelection contests of Wisconsin with Gov. Scott Walker (R) and in Colorado with Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).  If Walker wins, he becomes a 2016 factor with quite a few pluses on his side, executive experience, electoral success in a yellow state, and a record of taking on tough fights and succeeding.  If either loses, maybe they end up as an ambassador somewhere, someday.  I think the Fla. Gov race is important too.  Another loss for the slimy Charlie Crist would be good for Florida and mankind.
129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: November 03, 2014, 11:07:07 PM
All good points.  Regarding McCain/Obama, it's true but I don't think the it was necessarily Republican vs Democrat.  More the fact that a very specific tax increase was coming, on these gains, on these stocks, in that time frame.  The Obama Presidency meant the presumed certainty that the 'Bush tax cuts on the wealthy' would expire.  Even if you didn't need to take your profit, you knew that everyone else did and would be selling.  They could buy back in too with a delay, but people wouldn't during a mass sell off.  Once the profits were gone, the ame impending tax hike the next time around (the first one got canceled) didn't have the same, immediate meaning to investors.

I'm not sure if the market cares too much about the current election.  We will have divided government either way.
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: IMHO Wesbury scores well here on: November 03, 2014, 05:52:25 PM
QE: It Didn't Work
Brian S. Wesbury, 11/3/2014

"Conventional Wisdom says that greedy, crazy, speculative, bankers almost destroyed the world back in 2008 and the government saved it with TARP and QE. Many analysts believe QE has kept the US from lurching back into recession. Some even think QE means hyperinflation is on the way."

   - I think the view around here is that government bungled its regulatory role and government became a participant in the market, greatly skewing and screwing up all kinds of things.  This had nothing to do with free markets (or greed) running wild.

...QE started in September 2008, while TARP was passed a month later. But between October 2008 and March 2009, the S&P 500 fell an additional 40%, while the recession only got worse. Inflation never took off and nominal GDP growth has remained subdued. 

  - The market fell another 40% with QE + TARP, but we don't know how far it would have fallen without QE+TARP.  Wrong solution for the wrong problem.

By contrast, our minority view is that the crisis was never as bad as many think; that mark-to-market accounting turned a large, but not economy-killing, problem, into a Panic. Supporting our case is that the equity market, and the economy, bottomed when mark-to-market accounting was fixed in March/April 2009. In other words, this is not a “sugar high” driven by monetary stimulus.

   - I'm not sure how much of the market rise to date is a sugar high driven by monetary stimulus.  Good point on mark to market, but this was not the only error government made controlling the housing and financial markets.

Only history can prove which one of these views is correct.

   - Don't hold your breath.  History is still arguing over the Great Depression and the failed remedies.

But, now that the Fed has tapered, we have some real evidence to digest. The Fed has reduced its monthly purchases from $85 billion per month to zero. Yet, instead of a calamity, U.S. real GDP grew at a 4.6% annual rate in Q2 and a 3.5% rate in Q3. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.9% from 7.2% a year ago (with a big assist from ending extended benefits). The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday. And, the yield on the 10-year Treasury is lower today than it was in December 2013.  In other words, it looks like ending QE3 made the economy stronger, not weaker. Intellectually speaking, those who believe that QE was driving economic activity have a problem.

   - This part at least does not address the question of whether equity values were run up by QE.  We know there is a disconnect between equities market GDP growth.

Remarkably, many analysts who claim to believe in free markets support the conventional wisdom. They give credit to government or the Fed for driving growth, when in fact it has been government that has held growth back.

   - I think they believe it is driving false growth, an illusion of growth.

We believe new technology (like fracking, the cloud, 3-D printing, apps,…etc.) has driven profits higher. The stock market is up because it represents the returns from investment by the private sector in these new technologies.

   - Margin levels and PE's are at or near record highs, no?

Meanwhile, government spending, regulation, and tax hikes have held the broader economy back – to a tepid 2.3% annual real GDP growth rate since the recovery started in mid-2009.

   - I believe that is growth below the break-even rate.  False growth.  Stagnancy.

The economic drag from forced redistribution and a large misallocation of credit are holding back overall growth.
As QE ends, this misallocation of credit is diminishing...

   - Agreed.

and the private sector is expanding.

   - Huh?  Because the Obama administration released a preliminary number, 3.5%,  just before an election?

It’s time for investors to focus even more on what’s been driving equities higher the past five years: the power of entrepreneurship, not QE.

   - The factors that support new entrepreneurial growth are still all pointing downward.  Even tomorrow's election can't change that.

     If one starts with a simple assumption that MV=PQ.  We know the output Q of the economy has been flat.  We know the price level P has been reasonably flat.  Conclude that The Fed pumped additional money M into the economy (trillions) at a rate roughly offsetting the rate that velocity of economic activity has decreased.  Wrong problem masked by the wrong solution.  But yes, "tapering" it to zero is good thing, long overdue.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Reagan We meant to change a nation and instead we changed the world on: November 03, 2014, 08:21:23 AM
Please give The Gipper 5 minutes of your time this election season:
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race, discrimination. black family, white privilege on: October 31, 2014, 10:22:23 AM
From Media Issues:

I didn't see the anything racist in the Bill O'Reilly comments other than the entire topic of analyzing people by group membership.

Former Sen Jim Webb wrote about the myth of white privilege here:

O'Reilly accurately commented on the breakdown of the black family, which is true but not unique to blacks.  White families are breaking down at the same rate; they are just at a different point on the same time line.  What O'Reilly has right is that the breakdown of the family for all is the biggest problem in our culture and our economy.  It is not unique to blacks but it hit them first and it hit them hardest.

The blame, I very strongly believe, is not white privilege but white guilt that is driving our massive welfare programs that are throwing blacks and black families disproportionately into the eternal dependency of the government.  When you choose to receive food stamps, or SSI, or Section 8 housing, or free Medicaid or subsidized Obamacare, or the free Obamacare phone, or cash welfare benefits, you enter into an agreement with the government that you will keep your earned, reported income under a livable level, or lose your benefits.  As an inner city landlord, I very commonly witness families afraid to list the husband or father of the children on the lease for fear of losing their benefits.

When a woman sees the government as the provider, instead of the husband and father of the children, the loyalties go toward keeping that support.  When a man does not take the responsibilities of a family he started, he very often goes on and fathers more children and creates more non-("treaditional") families.  Then if he ever earned significant reported income it would mostly go to child support that he otherwise does not have to pay - so he doesn't.  Both the man and the woman living in so-called poverty face effective marginal tax rates far higher than either Warren Buffet or his secretary.

There is no simple, easy solution for this but it is crazy to deny or ignore this enormous unintended consequences of our policies that are ripping our society apart from its foundation.
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: October 30, 2014, 11:45:27 PM
It's funny that the first estimate would come out so high just before an election.  Meanwhile, 80% believe the administration would lie to them about something important. 

Even if true, that is a quarterly growth rate that was surpassed during 27 of the 32 quarters under Reagan.  (Source:  The Economy in the Reagan Years: The Economic Consequences of the Reagan Administrations,  By Anthony S. Campagna)
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 30, 2014, 01:49:59 PM
"Doug, You and I both know that overall trickle down will work better than trickle up. "

   -  ccp, Trickle down was a misnomer.  We didn't give money to the rich hoping they would spread it around and some might get to the poor and middle class, as alleged.  We sometimes allowed people (including the rich) to keep part of what the earned, because it is the right thing to do.  Yes, producers tend to invest, grow businesses, build factories, hire people etc. and that is good too.

"Yet the widened gap between rich and poor does give the enemy ammo that enriching bankers while everyone in the middle stagnates and those at the bottom do worse as a counterargument."

    - Income inequality got worse under liberal-progressive policies.  We need to promise to do what is right and articulate it MUCH better.

"I still think the right has to do better with the concept of leveling the playing field."

    - Agree.  Social spending should be aimed at helping those who can lift themselves up and out of the need for assistance.  Not mentioned in your response to your liberal aunt, we DO support a good safety net for those truly in need.  It should be part government, part charity and it will be much better funded in the long run if we have a healthy, prosperous economy than it is in a sinking ship.

"As one who is a big victim of those without scruples and with access to influence and money I know full well how hard work and talent can be thwarted and robbed."

    - These crimes and so many others are already against the law.   Setting up a system where less influence is peddled is a start and enforcing laws already on the books is a must.  Rand Paul sends the opposite message when he says, let people out who committed only non-violent crimes.  Maybe some financial crimes could be paid back with something like three-fold damages instead of time served, but as you suggest, the perception of tolerance for white collar BS is part of our political problem, even while it seems to be Dems committing most of it.

"That said one idea the concept of leveling taxes to a flat rate.  I prefer one rate for everyone without deductions including all economic rungs.  Since the left will seize upon this to say this hurts the poor the most I would be willing to compromise for two rates.  Not a zero one but a lower and a higher one."

    - Agree!  There should be a minimum and a maximum tax rate based on efficiency and moral principles, and the only deductions should be the expenses incurred generating the income.  Tax capital gain same as ordinary income, but allow a subtraction for the inflationary component of the income at the same CPI adjustment rate that we use for social security.  Move corporate tax rates down from highest in the world to within the lower one-third of OECD countries, our economic competitors, and let companies operate where they want around the world.

"Republicans can do more to reach out to minorities and promoting them to positions of political power within our party (as obviously they are doing)."

    - Yes!  Reach out by treating them like people, not interest groups.
"It would be highly ironic if the first Black President germinated the first real minority movement away from the Democrat party.  That is from within the urban areas and not just religious minorities. "

    - That would be the logical reaction to what we learned from the effects of these policies.  They might also be tired of the pandering, pressuring, guilting, etc. in exchange for nothing but being stuck in bad place.

"In '08 Obama stated the way we were was not working.  Instead many are (finally) waking up to the fact this his way is the old way and already proven wrong."
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, etc. on: October 30, 2014, 01:11:11 PM
There ought to be a law against subverting our electoral process and betraying the principles of our constitutional republic - felony treason I am thinking, punishable by capital punishment with mandatory deportation of the remains if the offender is found to be here illegally.

Alternatively, we could set aside some land for all the people who do not wish to live within the agreed framework of this country.
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in Europe, A place formerly known as Sweden now has 55 Police No Go Zones on: October 30, 2014, 11:38:54 AM
The Swedish police has released a map of 55 areas where they publicly admit to having surrendered control to the criminal gangs. The report describes outright attacks on police officers trying to enter the areas, which is a step up from the previous problem with attacks on mailmen, fire trucks, ambulances and similar services; it used to be that fire trucks and ambulances had to wait for police escort to enter the areas, but now the police themselves need protection.

The no-go areas heavily coincides with the map of the 186 “exclusion areas” aka. crowded, predominantly muslim immigrant ghettos, where education is low, employment is lower, and the only local business thriving is that of the drug dealing (which takes place openly and continues to do brisk business.)
55 ”no go”-zoner i Sverige
(I used "Google Translate" to get the following roughly to English.)

55 "no go" zones in Sweden

October 28, 2014 at 16:49, Updated: October 29, 2014 at 21:37
The number of residential areas in Sweden where the police can not maintain law and order now totals 55. National Criminal Intelligence Section has identified the geographic areas where local criminal networks is considered to have a major negative impact on the environment. There are areas where bargains among criminals can result in gunfire on the streets, where residents do not dare to testify and where the police are not welcome.

The report "A national survey of criminal networks with major impact in the local community" was published last week. It describes areas where "unattended police cars are attacked," where police officers will be "attacked" and where it is "common for police officers exposed to violence and threats." Traders suffer from vandalism, burglary, robbery and extortion. Drug Sales are open, and although not the gangs control the territory "occurs checks on vehicles" in the battle over the drug market.

The police do not want to talk about parallel societies, but in some areas experiencing residents to "ordinary justice system to some extent eliminated", while police notes that "a wider clientele turn to the criminal justice environment." The residents believe "that it is the criminals who control the areas."

It is about famous places Rinkeby / Tensta and Alby / Fittja in Stockholm, Bergsjön and the Bishop's Palace in Gothenburg and manor / Rosengård in Malmö, but also about Copper farm in Landskrona, Araby in Växjö and brown in Gavle, to name just a few. On these 55 locations, the police have little power to curb crime. Police Call-out services are greeted by stone-throwing and investigations is difficult because people do not want to testify, for now even the crimes reported.

The police do not use the term "no go" zones. It is originally military slang for rebel-controlled areas. But the question is whether there is a clearer description of the places where "the public in several cases, understands that it is the criminals that control in the areas" and where "the police are not able to fulfill its task."

Police are talking about older gangs and younger, with the former work more professional and structured, while the latter as soon as is loosely connected networks, '' mayflies' that comes and goes in different configurations "where the common denominator is the social context and the geographical area .

They established gangs - which are held together by "ethnicity, kinship or friendship" - can probably be countered with targeted efforts against organized crime, while the younger ones can hardly be achieved without broad approaches in the local community. Police are now investigating whether overlap with those the government deemed as "exclusion areas", to possibly identify socioeconomic and other factors behind the development.

And, of course, plays the role of exclusion. But it may be worth recalling that many so-called exclusion areas do not seem to have lapsed into lawlessness, and that the vast majority of people in isolation rather victims than perpetrators. The 55 identified areas need first and foremost safety and security. Only then can the fields evolve in a positive direction. We need a permanent police presence - well staffed police stations - to remove criminals from the streets and to regain control of the areas.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: The Elections-- sticking with Statism on: October 30, 2014, 11:13:20 AM
Brazil Sticks With Statism
Odds are that the country’s reputation for economic mediocrity is safe for another four years.
By Mary Anastasia O’Grady

Nice analysis.  Too bad that potentially great countries like Brazil, (and Argentina, Venezuela and others) can't get their act together.  (And too bad we don't set a better example.)  Vote for failed policies, expect better results.  Good luck with that.  Only bright spot was that it turned out to be a close election.

I like this quote:  “It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.”
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 30, 2014, 10:54:13 AM
Like liberal aunt asks me when I explain why I am a Conservative, "what about the poor".   My response is why cannot the poor take care of themselves.  Who is stopping them?
She looked at me with an aghast look as though I am heartless.  I said your answer to everything is more government more tax.  Why is it my job to support those who make it a lifetime of being poor despite many programs already in place to help them?

No answer.  Just left with the her thoughts that she is for the poor and I am heartless.

She asks a great and serious question.  We need to answer it better. 
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: October 30, 2014, 10:38:37 AM
"While Obama’s people anonymously taunt Netanyahu as a coward, it’s their boss who acts like a coward, stabbing Israel in the back, slandering its leader anonymously through the media and then trying to sell himself to Jewish donors as the Jewish State’s best friend in the White House."

Projection of their own faults is so common with this crowd.  Of what they accuse, almost certainly you will find them doing it.  The example above is good, but for the most part I think they are the opposite of chickensh*t.  They push through bad policies, like complete abandonment of a war zone, tearing down the whole healthcare system, launching a war against investors and employers, with no fear whatsoever of the consequences.
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nelson Mandela supported voter ID on: October 30, 2014, 10:31:20 AM

That makes a pretty good bumper sticker answer to a difficult question: 

I agree with Nelson Madela on Voter ID.

Voter ID is an obvious way to guarantee honest elections.  Oppression would be if you found a state office somewhere, anywhere that denied or took months or years to issue ID's to blacks or some other group.  Or if the IRS did that granting 501 status to conservative groups.  It would be outrageous, un-American, unconstitutional, prosecutable.  Right?

141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces on: October 30, 2014, 10:11:23 AM
That is quite a post by Newt from Crafty.  Really it's sad that it's so easy to find fault with this President.  I failed to comprehend then or now what voters saw in him.  I think we nailed it here on the forum, that he was (intentionally) a blank slate where the voter could imagine him as their own wish list.  He was against gay marriage but those with that interest knew that he was not against it, just needed to say that to get elected.  He was for getting past racial divisions but he would still exploit them enough to win and advance an agenda.  He was against war but presumed to be smart enough to not let the world go to hell.  Whoops.  He opposed and dismantled all the precepts of growth economics but people believed the economy would magically grow anyway.  It didn't.

What should come out of this is that we learn from and focus on the failure of these policies rather than of the failures of this one man who is leaving office anyway.

We could learn (again) that peace comes through strength and deterrence, not through wishful thinking.  Economic growth comes from a foundation of economic policies that support growth, not from one that attacks vital components of the economy like energy and investment.  We get past racial divisions by adopting racial blindness, where we look past color into character *Who said that?), not from expecting people to vote for you because of color.  We get the best healthcare when we have a say in our own choices and decisions, not decries from far away bureaucracies.  
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Banking, Monetary Policy, Dollar & other currencies, Gold/Silver on: October 29, 2014, 03:45:50 PM
Interesting posts Doug.
With regard to the proffered justification of protecting savers, unless I am missing something the author fails to address the protections in place by FDIC, SIPIC, and the like. 

Yes, savings would have been insured but I don't think the author was referring to the small amount of savings that the little guy doesn't have anyway.  I think he is saying that in a complete meltdown the little guy would lose everything else too, such as his job, his home, and the local businesses.  His argument has possible merit when looking at the moments of panic, where total financial collapse was possible, and maybe he justifies the extra-constitutional response we took, bailing out investment houses that were not federally guaranteed, and providing unprecedented liquidity.  He is assuming FDIC would have been overwhelmed as well.  But I agree with you that it is wrong to ignore the corrosive cultural effect that comes from punishing savings over such a long period of time that new generations now have no idea why they should save.  We are not in a panic meltdown economy; this is a "plowhorse economy".    )

He also misses the damage done by QE.  We overinflated stock returns (more money chasing a fixed number of shares of a fixed number of businesses) while we pushed interest rates on savings down to zero.  The small to medium player has to put funds at risk that otherwise would be insured, or else receive no return and no benefit of compounding interest. 

Also, a point inferred in the original piece is that accommodative monetary policy enabled irresponsible fiscal policy.  If not for the extreme actions of the Fed, the fiscal policy makers would have been forced to make better choices.  We don't even borrow all the money that we spend but don't collect from taxes.  How does anyone see that as anything other than unsustainable?  And that takes us back to Peter Schiff's point, what happens when QE ends?
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Money, the Fed, Monetary Policy, lack of inflation, lack of velocity on: October 29, 2014, 11:11:45 AM
To follow a post of what I disagree with, I would like to post Steve Hayward of Powerline (famous people reading the forum?) expressing my view:

"One factor that ought to be mentioned as to why the enormous monetary growth hasn’t led to inflation, in addition to the factors mentioned above, is the collapse in “velocity,” i.e., the speed with which money turns over in the economy basically.  This factor—”V” in the famous basic equation of monetarism that Friedman made famous, “MV=PQ”—fell sharply during the recession of 2008-2010, and has kept falling since then.  You can see the chart from the Federal Reserve below.  I believe this is unprecedented in the history of Post-WWII recessions, but I haven’t gone back and looked.  There are some reasons to think a new, lower level of velocity might endure, but if it doesn’t?"

The collapse of velocity will endure until economic policies change.  The policies we call Obamanomics really started with political-electoral shift that elected Pelosi-Reid majorities (see hayward's velocity chart or any other economic chart).  This shift of power ensured that higher levels of taxes and regulations were coming zapped the energy our of the economy - what economists measure as "velocity".  The new levels of ever-expanding money supply are not too great for this continually collapsing economy, but it is a case of applying the wrong "solution" to the wrong problem.  It is what I call putting more gas in the tank when two or three tires are flat and what Brian Wesbury calls the "Plowhorse economy".  Moving forward without velocity. When we do re-energize this economy with pro-growth policies we also have to address the oversupply of money that was poured in for this period of doldrums.  If you squeeze the money supply before the pro-growth policies fully take hold, you will get what those like Peter Schiff predict.  Witness the recession of 1981-1982.  If you wait even longer to fix what is really wrong while pouring in more and more money, the correction later will be all the more difficult.
144  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, QE, pro and con on: October 29, 2014, 10:41:49 AM
Peter Schiff says what goes up must come down and that the end of QE will plunge the market and the economy into recession.  Though he is labeled an eternal and extreme pessimist, the Fed must agree somewhat with his view noting their fear and reluctance over all these years to right-size money supply and interest rates.

On the other side of the coin, I don't agree with this but found it to be a strong defense of QE and at least partly true:
(The writer owns a private equity investment company.)

I want to offer some perspective on QE. As an investor and professional participant in the markets and a conservative, I thought I would try to offer something of a defense of the Fed and its decision to pursue what has been called QE, printing or what I remember being called open market purchases in my macroeconomic classes. The opposing case is typically what I think of as a populist case that doesn’t really reflect an understanding of some important topics which inhere to a functioning capitalist economy and, very importantly, our fractional reserve banking system and the need for liquid (i.e. functioning) markets with a bid and offer.

Let’s first consider a world without the Fed and without QE. In effect this is what we experienced, briefly, when Lehman went bankrupt, when Washington Mutual was seized by the FDIC (and lots of other banks essentially became insolvent). If you think about it, when that happens – markets freeze and liquidity evaporates — savers lose all of their savings. Depositors at a bank are savers. Buyers of money market mutual funds are savers. When Lehman went bankrupt, their related money market mutual funds “broke the buck” – they were worth less than par.

The only thing that prevented this phenomenon from spreading was the willingness of the Fed and the Treasury to replace the banks as providers of liquidity and backstop deposits and so forth.

During the Depression, the Fed did nothing like QE and the Treasury wanted to force liquidation of excess assets and inventories and debts. The result is economic cataclysm, especially in a leveraged economy with a fractional reserve banking system. Banks cannot liquidate and satisfy their depositors need for cash. Deposits are borrowings for the bank. They in turn lend out the money they have on deposit to generate a return, and this pays savers a return. But when an economy goes into recession, this system malfunctions because the credit that originally justified the loan can no longer support it. This is the natural course of the business cycle. But the banking system on the way down is equivalent to the problem of a fire in a crowded theater. Everybody cannot get out at once. Not even close. It’s a fire in a vault really. Those lines of depositors waiting to take their money out cannot be satisfied.

It is easy to castigate the Fed and the Treasury for “bailing out” lenders and management teams, but the truth is more complicated. They were backstopping a system which holds the savings for the vast majority of Americans. As for the continuance of QE, I would revert to the Depression data and again observe that the Fed allowed the money supply to collapse by 1/3. This was devastating to the economy. Allowing monetary contraction through forced liquidation (which is the policy antidote to QE) would be beyond cataclysmic – it would make the Depression or today’s Greece a walk in the park. Unemployment would be 30%, people’s savings would be wiped out all at once – and the beneficiaries would be a tiny fraction of wealthy who would be able to buy assets for pennies from desperate sellers.

The primary criticism viz QE is that we are destroying the dollar and sowing the seeds of inflation. Maybe. But we are currently not inflating. At all. Commodity prices are falling or have fallen dramatically – gold, oil, you name it. The dollar has strengthened viz its alternative currencies, including gold and silver. There may be particular areas of price rises, but that means it’s not a uniform monetary phenomenon. Measured inflation is tame. One of the “inputs” which drives inflation is something called monetary velocity, or the speed with which people spend their money on items. As it did in the depression, it has collapsed. During the depression, it was this particular input which was responsible for the collapse in the money supply. You can think of QE as effectively offsetting the decline in velocity.

Monetary authorities always dance on the head of a pin in this way, trying to balance all of these inputs and avoid catastrophe. It’s a difficult task.

The truth is, the deflationary forces in the global economy are extraordinary. Technology, innovation, credit, freer movement of capital and labor – all of these forces have combined to create massive excess capacity in most of the world. This is fundamentally deflationary. Those who long for deflation are being a bit glib (which we would get without monetary intervention, believe me). William Jennings Bryan railed about being nailed to a cross of gold. That’s deflation that arises from the gold standard – truly hard money). He was a populist. In today’s world, modest deflation would – as it always does – redound to the benefit of lenders (unless it also consumed them to in a deflationary spiral , as it likely would in the end). Rapid inflation is to the benefit of borrowers at the expense of lenders. There is a reason why all of these quasi populist, socialist third world countries inflate and destroy their currencies rather than deflate. Stable, predictable and modest inflation is probably best for us all, dancing on the head of the pin.

All in all, while he gets tremendous criticism (as did Volker, Greenspan and now does Yellen), Bernanke probably deserves a great deal of credit and a big thank you from all of us, wealthy, middle and lower classes. Middle classes have been more significantly damaged by tax policy and Obamacare than anything else (i.e. fiscal transfers away from them). But the Fed really has preserved the stability of the banking and monetary system from which we all derive extraordinary benefit.
(more at link)
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The war on the rule of law on: October 29, 2014, 10:17:14 AM
If people don't go to prison for this,then we no longer have the rule of law at all.

The story has sneaked into the Washington Post:

"Sharyl Attkisson’s computer intrusions: ‘Worse than anything Nixon ever did’"

They say the fish stinks from the head, but I was wondering who started the attacks on reporters and news organizations that are not supportive of this administration?
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Never count a Clinton out. on: October 29, 2014, 10:08:44 AM
Missing from the statement is exactly what or who does create jobs if businesses don't.

I hazard to assume she meant big government.   In hers and Obama's world she is to a limited degree correct.  Expand big government wildly and yes we now have many more jobs.  Just that those people are now paid for by taxpayers. 

But lest never take our eye off the ball when speaking of the Clintons.  Remember when Bill said the "era of big government is over"?  And his approval ratings went from somewhere in the 40+% to well over 50%?  Myself along with Rush were astonished at this.  One darn speech is all it took.

Their economics comes out of focus groups testing what Dem constituents like to hear.  So Hillary mumbles something about trickling from the ground up and the middle out as a fictional alternative to their fictional construction of trickle down.  How about we just recognize the positive qualities in an economy required for healthy economic growth and run that direction.  If you want jobs, you need investment.  If you want investment, stop punishing it.  If you want more people to work and fell like they are contributing, don't pay them more to do the opposite.  If you want people to rise freely up the income ladder, don't chop off the lower rungs.

147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: October 29, 2014, 09:55:01 AM
It's frustrating that this technology is commercially a decade out, but it is also disingenuous to hype climate predictions for a century as if technology advancement is over.  All that is needed to solve our energy and environmental challenges is the will to do it and prosperity - the means to do it. 

The centrally planned governments always had the worst environmental records, and still do.
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: October 29, 2014, 09:47:15 AM
I wondered what ankle injury could take a leader out for 6 weeks.  Maybe they flew him to the best in the world, in Cuba, where Hugo Chavez was treated.

"the agency also believes that North Korea recently used a firing squad to execute several people who had been close to Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was considered the country's No. 2 power before his sudden purge and execution in December 2013."

And Joe Biden thinks he gets rough treatment. 

I wouldn't want to be the doctor who tells Dear Leader he's overweight and smokes too much.
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: October 28, 2014, 11:33:09 PM
IBD Editorials

Hillary's Backtracking Balderdash About Jobs

"Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs," Hillary Clinton said at a campaign rally for Martha Coakley...
 [Boston Globe has Coakley trailing the Republican in Mass. Governor race by 9 points!]

Politics: In case you haven't heard: Hillary Clinton wants to retract the statement she made at a campaign rally last Friday in front of adoring fans that businesses and corporations don't create jobs.

Never mind that it's all on camera and that she certainly looked like she was in full command of her faculties and having a grand old time ripping the nation's job creators.

After becoming a national laughingstock, she now says she meant to say: "Our economy grows when businesses and entrepreneurs create good-paying jobs here in America, and workers and families are empowered to build from the bottom up and the middle out — not when we hand out tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs or stash their profits overseas."

That's right: She really loves businesses, always has.

This is the same Hillary whose first contribution to public policy was 20 years ago, when she foisted the wildly unpopular HillaryCare on the nation. When informed then that it would drive many businesses into bankruptcy, she haughtily replied: "I can't go out and save every undercapitalized entrepreneur in America."

Yes, she's a real champion of the nation's employers.

But almost equally absurd is her new spin that what she's really against is "tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs" and the "trickle-down economics" that has "failed spectacularly."

Oh really? We're losing iconic American companies and "good-paying jobs here" because of our highest-in-the-world corporate tax rate, which she has opposed cutting. Her line about "trickle-down economics" is the liberal fairy tale that refuses to go away.

Under Reaganomics, which the left disparages as trickle-down, the economy expanded at 4%, and middle-class and black incomes went up.

Under Hillary's old boss, the economy has grown at barely 2%, middle-class incomes have lost ground to inflation, and black incomes have seen their fastest decline. Under Obama, nothing has trickled down, and poverty rates remain near record levels.

If supply-side economics was such a failure, why did Clinton's husband sign into law a capital gains tax cut? Why did he agree to welfare legislation that replaced government handouts with work?

Hillary originally wanted to run in 2016 as her husband did two decades ago — as a centrist, pro-business "new Democrat." Alas, hers isn't the party of moderation any longer. To be pro-business, it believes, is to be an enemy of the people.

Hillary Clinton has been exposed. Her radical beliefs about how a modern economy works were on display for the world to see last weekend. It was her Howard Dean moment, and it won't go away soon.

 Investor's Business Daily:
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: October 28, 2014, 11:20:16 PM
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