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201  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Prayer and Daily Expression of Gratitude, on: December 25, 2014, 01:23:57 AM
Merry Christmas, Peace and Good Tidings, everyone!   smiley
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Pathological Science, Northern Europe summer temp cooling trend last 2000 years on: December 25, 2014, 12:53:15 AM

New Study: Two Thousand Years of Northern European Summer Temperatures Show a Downward Trend
In a paper published in the Journal of Quaternary Science, Esper et al. (2014) write that tree-ring chronologies of maximum latewood density (MXD) “are most suitable to reconstruct annually resolved summer temperature variations of the late Holocene.” And working with what they call “the world’s two longest MXD-based climate reconstructions” – those of Melvin et al. (2013) and Esper et al. (2012) – they combined portions of each to produce a new-and-improved summer temperature history for northern Europe that stretches all the way “from 17 BC to the present.”
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Noonan on Obama's opening with Cuba on: December 25, 2014, 12:40:16 AM
"Is it in the national interest to attempt to change this circumstance, if only gradually and hopefully, but with a sense that breaking the status quo might yield rewards?

Yes. If the new policy succeeds and leaves an old foe less active and avowed we will be better off, and it’s always possible, life being surprising, that we’ll be much better off. If the policy fails we’ll be no worse off than we were and can revert back to the old order, yanking out our embassy and re-erecting old barriers."

   - No, it removes our only policy lever at the time when it finally could be used.

"Normalizing relations with Cuba will not, as Sen. Marco Rubio passionately put it in these pages, grant the Castro regime “legitimacy.”   Nothing can grant it legitimacy."

   - Yes it does grant it an element of legitimacy.  These rogue leaders LOVE to be seen with world leaders and speaking with legitimacy at the UN, etc.  How about a State dinner for these thugs?  Instead they will dress casually, share a few toasts and say it wasn't one.

"So why not move now?"

   - One reason is that we are a nation of laws that originate in Congress and not a nation with a King or dictator.  Another reason is that acting now precludes us from doing this when these thugs die and give up power.

"Nothing magical will immediately follow normalization. The Castro brothers will not say, “I can’t believe it, free markets and democracy really are better, I had no idea!” Nothing will make Cuba democratic overnight. But American involvement and presence—American tourists and businessmen, American diplomats, American money, American ways and technology—will likely in time have a freeing effect. With increased contact a certain amount of good feeling will build. And that could make Cuba, within a generation or even less, a friend.

   - We are doing fine with the Cuban people.  They're still floating boats to here and taking refuge.  But the money will go to the regime.  What part of communist dictatorship is she not understanding?  How about under "normalization" we send the protestors there to demand free elections now?  If that was the plan, he could probably get Rubio's support.

"The opening to Cuba may also spark a re-Christianizing effect among a people who’ve been denied freedom of religious worship for generations. That would be good too, for them and us."

   - Again, what part of communist, totalitarian dictatorship is she not understanding?  Take this through Congress and couple it with at least some empty, public promises toward democracy and freedom that we can later seek to hold them to.  Not just reward them for a half century of total oppression.
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Saudi reasoning for its production levels on: December 25, 2014, 12:17:39 AM

This makes perfect sense to me.  Saudis don't mind slowing the US fracking acceleration but their direct threat is Iran and indirect threat is Russia.  What they say to save face in front of fellow cartel members is just that.
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: December 25, 2014, 12:12:20 AM
"I'm sure we here have noticed the dust up between Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio over Baraq's move with Cuba.  IMHO the implications run deep and go to the point I have been making here on this forum about the absence of a guiding paradigm for US foreign policy for several years now.

The implications for the 2016 race of the Paul-Rubio dust up are deep.

Does not Paul come closer to the current mood than Rubio?  Does he not score a telling point when he accuses Rubio of backing Hillary's policies with regard to Libya, the MB in Egypt and so forth?  The implications here for a Paul-Hillary match-up are quite intriguing.  Do any of us here want to follow Hillary in foreign affairs?  I surely would not want my son serving her in harm's way-- how can I ask such of others as she empathizes with evil-doers, and, with Huma Abedin at her elbow, supports the MB?  Do any of us trust any of the people under consideration to effectively act in the Middle East?

Pair this with Paul's clarion call against the Orwellian State that is taking form as we watch and for a return to the Rule of Law and Freem Inds and Free Markets, and we may see many assumptions about political coalitions shatter."

Very odd dust up indeed.  Too bad to see otherwise allies bloodying each other.  Paul called Rubio an isolationist.  An odd bit of flippant humor applied to a pretty serious situation.  Rubio is anything but isolationist. 

I agree that the current mood is tempted to follow the Rand Paul / Barack Obama foreign policy (as Rubio called it) which is a mix of a little talk with doing mostly nothing.  People seem to know this is not working, and current mood doesn't mean that the right answer.  That is why we hopefully have leaders.  What is happening around the world?  Russia-Ukraine, Iran going nuclear, North Korea running the US, China doing an accelerated build on their Navy and passing us economically, Europe imploding to Islamists, and worst of all I think, Islamic State is consolidating its gains by exterminating all opposition.  Cuba is harmless to us?  I don't think so.  No, it is a communist dictatorship.  All tourist revenue goes to the regime, and from there to carry out oppression.  They are friend to all our enemies.  They are the third largest spying regime against the US.  They are still allies of powerful adversaries in a very dangerous world.

Maybe this will help clarify Rubio's view, a 14 minute interview with John Hinderaker yesterday:

Rubio is FOR the opening up to Cuba.  He is for linking it to them taking steps forward toward democratization.  The Castro brothers are old and will die.  There is going to be a transition.  We would like to see it go toward freedom and self determination.  Normalization is what they want.  It is our only policy lever.  Obama gave it away and got nothing in return for it.  Now he won't ever again hold that lever.  Rand Paul supports all that.  His reason is because that might open up freedom in Cuba?  But how?  The money goes to the regime.  Didn't every other country already do that and it didn't work?  Haven't we done that since 1972 with China.  But China has a transition process.  Cuba doesn't.

Rubio previously on Cuba and Venezuela:

A Cuban exile writes in the Washington Post today:

Recent News:  Cuban Government Sinks Boat Carrying 32 Refugees, Including Children
The boat, said González, was carrying 32 people, including seven women and two children. One of the two children was her 8-year-old son.  Her husband is still missing.
Did anyone see that story?

When Marco Rubio speaks passionately and in great detail about just how awful the Cuban regime is, is anyone saying that any of it is not true??

No.  We are just tired of taking a stand. 

Free trade is something you do with free people.  Enriching enemies of the United States with either money or technology was illegal when I was in the export business.  I fully support free trade but understand that caveat.
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Carly Fiorina Hiring for 2016 Presidential Campaign on: December 19, 2014, 09:06:18 PM
I hate to say it, but we could use a little gender (and other) diversity on the debate stage.  She has executive experience and I assume her own set of ideas and has a much right to it as anyone else to court our support.  I also assume she is from the so called moderate wing of the Republican.  I hope all the moderates get in and split that vote.  It looks like all the conservatives are getting in.
Carly Fiorina Hiring for Presidential Campaign
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance, Glibness and Mrs. Glibness on racism on: December 19, 2014, 10:59:18 AM
Michelle O already used her target story for a different purpose.  She told Letterman the lady asked to help because she was tall, not because she was black.  She was giddy about not being recognized, not a victim of a non-existent racial stereotype.

But can you imagine if she had been mistaken for someone common who WORKED for a living?  OMG!

And her husband, voted twice by the American people to be Commander in Chief and leader of the free world, was mistaken for a valet car-parker because of his race!

I didn't know it was racial disparaging to associate blackness with working for a living.  This is good news, but not backed up in Obama administration (un)employment data.  In fact, Barack Obama has never parked cars and Michelle Obama has never worked in a Target store.  They are lifelong, liberal elites.
From overjoyed Regular Mom to Oppressed Martyr, can Mrs. Obama's shopping fable get any more absurd?

Mrs. Obama, perpetual victim, hopped from Princeton to Harvard to prestigious law firms, cushy nonprofit gigs, an exclusive Hyde Park manse and a crony corporate board appointment before landing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Racism is tough!
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren on: December 19, 2014, 10:31:47 AM
Absolutely.  You may need further tweeking to fit in the full spelling of forked tongue.  The Cherokee scandal has faded back to just an earlier indicator of zero personal or public integrity.  Now she is just a bitter, big mouthed, dishonest liberal elite of the worst kind.  I would prefer to just take on the principles of liberalism.  But no one ever presents it honestly.  So we have to answer liberalism's deceiving practitioners.

speak with forked tongue - to make false promises or to speak in a way which is not honest

intent to mislead or deceive

The factory owner, good for him, does not pay his fair share of taxes to build the public roads and schools that benefit his business??!  What a bunch of BS.  The factory owner who stops paying MORE than his/her share of the public goods is the own that has to close or move because of dishonest liberalism's punitive policies.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: December 19, 2014, 10:05:11 AM
"I forget her name... but she was a big fundraiser and her husband worked for Bill.  Something had happened and she was afraid for her husband's job and she came to the White House to plead for it.  Working from memory, she has formally stated that Clinton pushed her up against the wall and forcefully groped her.  Turns out that while she was there, her husband was commiting suicide."

Kathleen Willey was a White House volunteer aide who, on March 15, 1998, alleged on the TV news program 60 Minutes that Bill Clinton had sexually assaulted her on November 29, 1993, during his first term as President.  Willey's second husband, Edward E. Willey Jr., committed suicide on November 29, 1993 — the day she claimed Clinton's sexual misconduct took place.

Who knows the veracity of that story or any one encounter.  The point with the analogy to Bill Cosby is that there is too many unrelated incidents in a pattern to just shrug it off.  The point with Hillary Clinton is that she knew or she should have known.  Juanita Broaddrick alleged very strongly that Hillary knew.

NBC News held the Lisa Myers Juanita Broaddrick interview for 35 days, played it opposite the Grammys - after the Senate had acquitted Clinton in his impeachment trial.

There was Whitewater, the FBI files scandal, travelgate, and the hurried removal of documents from Vince Foster's office.  There was the failure of her healthcare task force and of all their own policies before adopting the success of the Gingrich initiatives.  But none of it matters.
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul, Cuba policy on: December 19, 2014, 09:26:20 AM
Having large national issues decided by one man (or 5 justices) is not what the founders intended.  

That said, we have tried opposite policies in different places, a trade embargo against Cuba for 50+ years and a trade opening with China since 1972 to end oppression in both places and neither worked.  Shaking up a failed policy is tempting, but this is not the answer.

What is Rand Paul's answer to Rubio's point?  If this is the policy that the regime of Cuba has wanted and needed all these years, what did President Obama get in return for surrendering our principles?  As usual, nothing.  

This isn't surrendering principles to Obama; it is the gaining of a new friend.  Coercive, oppressive government that uses the agencies of power like the IRS and DOJ to shut down opposition is not offensive to this administration.

Libertarians including Rand Paul have a foreign policy history of not giving a rip about liberty outside our borders.  They forget that at least a couple of foreign powers helped us gain ours.
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Elizabeth "Forked Tongue" Warren, Fauxcahontas, Harvard's first woman of color on: December 17, 2014, 11:19:16 AM
It's the moderator's call, but it seems to me it is time to put the cognitively dissonant left's leading voice into her own category for future search and find convenience.  For the record, I fear her the most right now.  And leftists love her the most.

Author of, [you employ a million people,] good for you.  But you didn't build that.

For today:

What Elizabeth Warren Missed in Her Big Bank Tirade  (Crony Governmentism)

Crony Capitalism: Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a stemwinder speech last Friday on the need for government to rein in Wall Street influence. But it's big government that created the monster in the first place.

Warren, D-Mass., was attacking a "dangerous provision" in the so-called cromnibus spending bill that, she said, stripped a part of Dodd-Frank that big banks, particularly Citigroup, don't like.

Her speech had the left slobbering over itself. Michael Tomasky, writing for the Daily Beast, said Warren's "weekend heroics" made her the "most powerful Democrat in America." The Huffington Post ran a column calling it "the speech that could make Elizabeth Warren the next president."

That's only possible if voters overlook the glaring problem with her argument.

Warren isn't wrong to complain that big business has too much influence over public policy. But that influence isn't the result of insufficient government intervention. It's the result of a government that is too massive and too willing to intrude in free markets.
To take just one example: Up until the mid-1990s, Microsoft had virtually no lobbyist presence in Washington, D.C., and gave almost no money to political campaigns. Then the Clinton Justice Department decided to sue Microsoft for antitrust violations.

By 1998, the company was pouring $3.7 million into lobbying and giving more than $1.4 million to political campaigns. Influencing Washington became part of Microsoft's business strategy only after Washington decided to butt into Microsoft's business.

Warren and her compatriots also fail to understand that big businesses like costly, intrusive regulations when they handicap new competitors.

It's no surprise that Dodd-Frank — which was supposed to rein in the excesses of big banks — not only didn't get rid of the "too big to fail" problem, it hampered community banks that used to compete with the big ones.

"It was not the intent of Congress when it passed Dodd-Frank to harm community banks, but that is the awful reality," Dale Wilson of the First State Bank of San Diego told Congress this summer.

If Warren and her ilk really want to reduce the influence of Wall Street in Washington, they should start by calling for a drastic reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bill Clinton has his own Bill Cosby problem on: December 17, 2014, 10:41:28 AM
I wonder if the Clinon's want the Bill Cosby story to continue to rise throughout the campaign?  The Statute of Limitations does not prevent one's public image from being destroyed.  If they go through with this, it's hard to say which Clinton scandal or weakness will finally catch up with them.
Why Hillary Is Not Inevitable: Bill’s Sordid Past

The new public scrutiny of Bill Cosby is problematic for Bill Clinton. I am not talking about consensual sex but, in some cases accusations of sexual assault, torn clothing, and at least three victims who say he bit their lips as a disarming move and to get them to remain silent. In short, Bill Clinton has a Bill Cosby problem.

Eileen Wellstone, a 19-year-old English woman, said Clinton sexually assaulted her after she met him at a pub near the Oxford where Clinton was a student in 1969. In fact, Clinton was expelled from Oxford and earned no degree there.

Juanita Broaddrick, a volunteer in Clinton’s gubernatorial campaign, said he raped her in 1978. Mrs. Broaddrick suffered a bruised and torn lip, which she said she suffered when Clinton bit her during the rape. Broaddrick gave a stunning interview to NBC’s Lisa Myers about the assault.

Carolyn Moffet, a legal secretary in Little Rock in 1979, said she met Gov. Clinton at a political fundraiser and was invited to his hotel room. “When I went in, he was sitting on a couch, wearing only an undershirt. He pointed at his penis and told me to suck it. I told him I didn’t even do that for my boyfriend and he got mad, grabbed my head and shoved it into his lap. I pulled away from him and ran out of the room,” she said.

Elizabeth Ward Gracen, the Miss Arkansas who won the Miss America crown in 1982, told friends she was forced by Clinton to have sex with him shortly after she won her state title. Gracen later told an interviewer that sex with Clinton was consensual. Her roommate Judy Stokes has said the ex-Miss Arkansas told her she was raped after the incident.

Paula Corbin Jones, an Arkansas state worker, filed a sexual harassment case against Clinton after an encounter in a Little Rock hotel room where the then-governor exposed himself and demanded oral sex. Clinton settled the case with Jones with an $850,000 payment.

Sandra Allen James, a former Washington, D.C., political fundraiser, said Clinton invited her to his hotel room during a political trip to the nation’s capital in 1991, pinned her against the wall and stuck his hand up her dress. She fled.

Oddly, the rationale for the Hillary Clinton campaign is empowerment of women.  People's tolerance of all this, especially Hillary's, is abominable.
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Way Forward for the American Creed, Governing vs. Giving, John Stossel on: December 17, 2014, 10:22:23 AM
It is an argument I have called tax vs. charity or welfare vs. charity.  John Stossels frames it well in the this piece called Governing vs. Giving, which is really government forced redistribution vs the free will of giving and accepting responsibility with assistance.

Personally I find that since the government has taken my income, with my taxes more than 100% of take home income, and nothing left over, and they are spending the majority of that on redistribution, I really have no time or interest in charity unless and until we change that dynamic.

It is the essence of the differences between the two competing philosophies and the smoking gun of liberalism that they don't trust people to do the right thing without coercion.  Instead of helping people, we spend trillions and trillions pretending to help people.
Governing vs. Giving
John Stossel

It's the season for giving.

That doesn't mean it's the season for government.

Government creates loyalty in the minds of citizens by pretending to be Santa Claus, doling out gifts and favors. Politicians claim they help those unfortunates who aren't helped by coldhearted capitalism.

The truth is, government gets in the way of charity, making it harder for people to help others and for the poor to help themselves. It also gets in the way of commerce, which is what really makes people better off.

When I was in college, President Lyndon Johnson declared "an all-out war on human poverty. ... For the first time in our history, it's possible to conquer poverty." I believed him. But then I watched government poverty programs fail. America spent trillions of your dollars on the poor, and the poor stayed poor.

Actually, the poverty rate did fall after the "War on Poverty" began. But it had already been falling prior to initiation of welfare. Sadly, the poverty rate stopped falling about seven years after Johnson's programs began, mostly because government handouts encouraged people to be dependent.

Simple capitalism does much more for poor people. On my show this week, Marian Tupy, editor of, speculates on why people don't appreciate that.

"Our minds evolved tens of thousands of years ago when we lived in small groups of between 50-200 people," says Tupy. "We would go out, kill game, bring it back, share it." The idea of everyone getting an equal share still makes us feel warm and cozy.

"Some of the anti-capitalist impulse goes back to that hunter-gatherer mentality and not comprehending the complexity of the market economy," says Tupy. "The complexity outpaced our ability to understand it.

But even those who don't understand markets should open their eyes and acknowledge its benefits: World-wide, wherever economic freedom is allowed, millions of people have lifted themselves out of stoop labor and miserable poverty.

Of course, not everyone can reap the benefits of markets. The sick, the mentally ill and other truly helpless people need a hand.

But why assume government must provide that help? Government doesn't do anything very well. Why not let private charity handle it?

I once assumed there was too much poverty for private charity to make much of a difference. But now I realize there is plenty of money, and private charity would do much more if government didn't discourage it.

When the welfare state took over poverty relief, it crowded out "mutual aid" societies that the poor ran for themselves.

They were like a cross between private unemployment insurance and "moose" or "elks" lodges that encouraged members to help each other out. They were better at helping the poor because their members, unlike government poverty workers, were free to make judgments about who deserved help and who didn't.

Today, there are fewer mutual aid societies because people say, "Why do it myself when we already have giant welfare bureaucracies? My taxes pay for Obamacare, food stamps, housing vouchers and so on. I'll let the professionals handle it."

But those "professionals" do a poor job.

Fortunately, charities still try to do what government cannot do. I give money to the Doe Fund, an organization that helps addicts and ex-cons discover the benefits of work. I give because I can see the results: Doe Fund participants work as caterers, exterminators and street-cleaners, and they do it with a spring in their step.

Somehow, the charity teaches these men (they only work with men) to take pride in work. That pride changes people. Unlike other ex-cons, those who are Doe graduates rarely go back to jail.

If government didn't discourage it, more charities would do even better work with the poor. Human beings don't sit around ignoring the suffering of their neighbors. But we are most likely to neglect these moral tasks when government insists it has everything covered.

Get government out of the way and just watch what we can do.
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, deep Republican bench, Gov. Mike Pence on: December 17, 2014, 10:09:41 AM
Add one more name, Mike Pence has both congressional and executive experience.

If success at the state level were enough to recommend someone for president of the United States, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana would be among the frontrunners for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

...last year's 5 percent income tax reduction, the largest state tax cut in Indiana history." In addition, the state corporate tax rate was reduced from 6.5 percent to 4.9 percent, making it the third lowest in the country and contributing to Indiana's increase in the labor force

He served for 10 years as a congressman

Pence's education agenda includes a goal of taking children in underperforming schools and putting them in good schools...largest education voucher program in America.

215  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: December 17, 2014, 10:00:36 AM
At least Cruz fights, unlike the rinos that just pissed away their mandate.

Byron York doesn't buy the storyline that all these confirmations are Ted Cruz' fault:
The whole point of the nuclear Senate was to do this.
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeb-fever! Catch it! John Ellis Bush on: December 17, 2014, 09:50:33 AM

This is where I vote 3rd party or don't even bother.

That is why he is announcing this so early - to give us more time to recover from the initial stomach emptying reaction.  He is not my candidate.  But, ...  He was a successful, two term governor, an otherwise divided state,  the only Republican to ever serve two full four-year terms as Governor of Florida.  Many of the better policy oriented candidates have no executive experience.  He was considered the most conservative of the 3 Bushes in politics.  His record in Florida was more conservative than Reagan's was in California (they say).  This will be a long, substantive campaign (I think).  He will be known for his own strengths and weaknesses more than family name by the end of it.  Support for "Common Core" and amnesty look like his big obstacles to me.   

John Hinderacker has an anyone but jeb Bush column out.  He admits that his current favorite is Marco Rubio

"Hillary Clinton ... can be had by someone younger: a fresh face, a new voice, someone who changes the dynamic. Pretty much anyone but a Bush, in other words.
Polling data suggest that there are more conservatives in the U.S. than there are Republicans. There certainly are plenty of conservatives to put a Republican presidential candidate over the top. But they need a strong candidate to rally behind. This cycle, I think there are a number of Republicans who could fit that description–Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio (my current favorite), maybe Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal or John Kasich, maybe Chris Christie if he can define himself as a conservative. There are others who could jump into the race, both plausible candidates (John Thune) and less plausible (Ben Carson)."

217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fed judge rules Obama Amnesty EO unc'l on: December 16, 2014, 09:29:11 PM
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: December 16, 2014, 03:45:22 PM
Well, I'm thinking having 9 more Rep senators would have made for different results overall.

They're coming in 3 weeks, but we're funding amnesty (and Obamacare) as permanent programs that can't be removed by the new majority.  Someone stood up and called for a vote on that.  Only in Washington does that cause 88 liberal judges to get lifetime appointments.  Rules are set or changed on the whim of the majority. Then blame for the result goes to anyone who disagrees.

Don't use logic, common sense or passed laws to try to understand this.
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz on: December 16, 2014, 09:21:39 AM
I'm still hearing he got played by Dingy Harry and now a bunch of nominations have gone through thanks to his (Cruz's) move.

And now 88 judges will get lifetime appointments.

I'm having a hard time believing that wasn't going to happen anyway.  That was the entire point of Harry Reid changing the Senate rules and this is their last shot.

Here is Ted Cruz on Mark Levin:
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ummmm , , , Teddy? on: December 15, 2014, 09:45:41 PM

I have heard this story too, but the bias throughout this report is a bit hard to swallow.
"Cruz, who almost single-handedly caused the last government shutdown"
  - Who caused the 16 day, 17% shutdown??  The people who funded the government or the people who wouldn't?

  - Whose fault is it that the vote to defund the executive action over existing law failed?

Why are R's voting to fund a Democrat budget for one year after the Republicans take the Senate?
Why does it have to be a CRomnibus no one has read instead of funding the government, department by department, line by line, through to the start of the next congress?
Why is it Republicans fault if Democrats shut the government down, again?  Because Obama and MSNBC said so?  Who cares if Obama gets a radical Surgeon General at this point?  Will they order more new laws for Republicans to fund?  3 quotes are from Lindsey Graham who favors unilaterally surrendering the filibuster back to the Democrats, immediately, anyway.

When the leaders make a deal, should everyone fall in line, no matter your view or your conscience?
Maybe the vote he forced WILL matter in 2016.  Maybe he was right about that last time.  The midterms went pretty well.
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: Grannis and I were right, you DBMA guys were wrong on: December 15, 2014, 07:03:39 PM
Crafty is trying to stir it up again...    wink

Stocks are up because corporate profits are up; P/E's are up also.  Corporate profits are up for reasons like being able to hire fewer workers to achieve the same output (improved productivity), while over-regulation is locking out competing startups and disruptive innovation, and more money is chasing fewer companies.  It's not like the US or world economic growth is on fire.

Wesbury was right about stocks - they went up during all this time of zero interest rates and unprecedented QE.  Good for him. (Said with a little Elizabeth Warren-style sarcasm.)

Now we have "tapering", which is even more QE (at a slower rate) on top of all previous QE.  It is not a reversal of QE.

Wesbury:  "Yes, the Federal Reserve has done a massive amount of QE. And, yes, interest rates have been low. But, correlation does not equal causation."

Proof of causation isn't the question or issue.  Correlation is enough. Low interest rates accompanied QE, and if we are done with QE, then we are done low interest rates. No Latin lecture on Post hoc, ergo proptor hoc is required.  If QE and low interest rates are coming and going hand in hand, what difference does proof of causation make?

Look at it more closely.  When the federal government was in deficit in amounts of a trillion a year for multiple years, it did not have to go out and find willing buyers for all those bonds.  If they did have to, they also would have had to raise the yield way up to do that, which is the interest rate.  QE was the government "buying" their own bonds with an accounting entry, without having to first secure the funds anywhere and without having to offer an attractive interest rate to a buyer.  That looks like causation of lower interest rates to me.  Oh well.

Here is Scott Grannis trying to explain how QE is not money creation:  "I suspect that a great number of market participants and observers do not fully understand how QE works. The myth that QE means the Fed is "printing money" persists. All the Fed can do is buy bonds from banks and "pay" for them by crediting the banks' reserve account at the Fed. This is equivalent to the banks selling bonds to the Fed and simultaneously lending the money to buy them. (Zero interest is lending?  Sounds more like crony graft.) It is also equivalent to the Fed acting like a massive hedge fund, borrowing money at a short-term interest rate (0.25%) that it sets in order to buy notes and bonds. It is also equivalent to the Fed "transmogrifying" notes and bonds into T-bill substitutes. (Gruber, is that you?) No money creation is involved in the QE process. Money is only created if banks use their reserves to back up an increase in lending. Banks have only recently started to do this in earnest."  (Quote is from the comments section.)

Reserves are created out of thin air (an accounting entry) but that isn't money creation unless someone, by chance, uses that money created as money, which they are now starting to do (as of last March).  So QE IS money creation?  

Wesbury quoting Janet Yellen (December 2008):  “As Japan found during its quantitative easing program, increasing the size of the monetary base above levels needed to provide ample liquidity to the banking system had no discernible economic effects aside from those associated with communicating the Bank of Japan’s commitment to the zero interest rate policy.”  [Japan has been having nothing but economic trouble before and since Dec. 2008.  Zero interest rates screws up nearly everything and so does a lot of other unforced errors they are committing.]

(Back to Wesbury) "In other words, by ending QE, the Fed is implicitly ending its commitment to low rates. As a result, the 2-year Treasury yield has jumped from 0.31% in mid-October to 0.64%. Not because of tapering, but because rate hikes are now expected.  There is no mystery here. QE signals a low interest rate policy."

Splitting hairs to me, that sounds like causation.  

"[QE is ending,] ... interest rates will rise. That’s happening in the U.S. right now."  - Wesbury again.

On a better note, here is Wesbury caught reading the forum:
Wesbury: "What’s missing from just about every conversation about central banks is their inability to offset the damage done by excessive taxes, government spending, or regulation.

Doug, preciously: [That is] "applying the wrong solution to the wrong problem", "like putting more gas in the tank when the tires are flat".

Wesbury closes: [QE is over] That means higher interest rates are on their way.

  - Right.
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: December 13, 2014, 12:35:09 AM
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A Coal Plant That Buries Its Greenhouse Gases on: December 12, 2014, 10:23:09 AM
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: December 12, 2014, 09:43:29 AM
I'm saying that your quote of her is in reference to Yemen and other countries.

SOMEONE got the idea that this meme could be blended into the Benghazi cover up, but this quote, as best as I can tell, proves nothing with regard to whom that may have been.

Fair enough.  Same thing here, HRC speaking at the Benghazi killings memorial: of the memorial service
Clinton comments occur from 16:25-17:45:
“This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing do to with."

Crafty, her separation of these events is technically valid, but her effort to merge them is pathological IMHO.  It took me multiple readings of this to see that separation as she stood over the caskets from Benghazi.

She reportedly told the victims families, we will get the people responsible for this video. No separation there.

If this isn't smoking gun material, it is at least a peak into a character flaw you wouldn't want (again) in a President.  Unlike Susan Rice, she can't say they gave me the talking points.
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: December 11, 2014, 07:50:26 PM
Ummm , , , wouldn't this be legit with regard to events in countries other than Libya?

Interesting point.  Are you saying that makes it legit, or that it gives her cover?

The topic of the day, on that day, IMHO was Benghazi.
Pres Obama made an address with HRC at his side on Sept 12.
No mention of a video.  No mention of Yemen. etc.

By Sat. am with HRC speaking, we were back to the video.

Sunday, I watched Susan Rice to find out what happened in Benghazi, not various other protests.  Same with the questioners on the various shows.

Here is wikipedia on the "video" protests:
It was a big deal across many nations, however...  In Cairo, the leader/organizer didn't know the name of the video.  Egypt's prime minister Hesham Kandil said "a number" of protesters later confessed to getting paid to participate.  None had seen the video; organizers were trying to show protesters the trailer.  Yemen was a copycat and most of the others followed that..  Benghazi was an organized terror attack.  My point is that this video did NOT cause these protests.  The video trailer was a pretense to protest.

Back to Hillary.  My point is that she and/or her people likely wrote the 'blame the video' script.  But let's take it the other way around; take her at her word.  The video IS to blame.  This is the prequel to empathy for the terrorists.  It is something WE are doing that makes them want to kill us.  In the Sept 13 remarks and when she met the deceased families, she vowed to get the video maker, not the terrorists.  That view is not a political winner.  Take down free speech; leave terrorists in place.  Seems to me these views or her sloppy expressions leave her politically culpable.

226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary gave video talking point before the White House gave them to Susan Rice on: December 11, 2014, 10:49:35 AM
Sec Clinton:  I want to say a few words about the events unfolding in the world today. We are closely watching what is happening in Yemen and elsewhere, and we certainly hope and expect that there will be steps taken to avoid violence and prevent the escalation of protests into violence.  I also want to take a moment to address the video circulating on the Internet that has led to these protests in a number of countries."

WSJ reported on her remarks at 11:34 am ET, Sep 13, 2012, Saturday morning.

The barrage of Susan Rice appearances occurred Sunday, Sept 14, 2012.  Those talking points were given to Rice on Saturday afternoon, Sept 13, 2014.  Rice was asked late in the day Friday to be the White House mouthpiece.
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ramesh Ponnuru: Getting beyond Obamacare, Replace it! on: December 11, 2014, 09:48:33 AM
Very important piece, IMHO.  He discusses the balancing act Republicans will face as they attempt to undo this mess.  The public disapproves of Obamacare, but doesn't want empty repeal with a return to all that was wrong before.  And conservatives will revolt if they see Republicans acting like Democrats, tinkering around the edges or replacing with their own government monstrosity.  Not having a plan isn't going to work any longer.  Take the best of the market driven, conservative plans and start making the positive case for change. 
Getting beyond Obamacare 
It’s time to make the case for replacing it, not fixing it. 
By Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, December 8, 2014
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gruber remembers to forget on: December 11, 2014, 09:20:54 AM
The gaffe was that he told the truth, right up until he was sworn in to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Then this 40-something, apparently healthy economist started to lose all important recollections.

Read Byron York:

"Complicating the picture, Gruber's was a specialized type of memory loss: the more difficult and challenging the question about his notorious descriptions of Obamacare's birth, the more tenuous Gruber's memory became."
The questioner, again, was Turner. "You said this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the individual mandate as taxes," Turner said to Gruber. "Did you ever speak to anyone in the administration who acknowledged that to you?"

"That was an inexcusable term used by — " Gruber began.

"I'm not asking you about how you believe that whether or not you should have said that or not," Turner replied. "It's a factual statement you're making. Did anybody in the administration ever have that conversation with you?"

"I do not recall anyone using the word 'tortured,' " Gruber said.

"Did they have the conversation with you that it had to be drafted in a way that the CBO did not score the individual mandate as taxes?" Turner persisted.

"I don't — " Gruber began.

"You're under oath."

"I honestly do not recall."

When the talking point (what I said was inexcusable) didn't work, and then when the parsing (no one used the word 'tortured') didn't work, Gruber went to Plan C, the last resort: I don't recall. And just for emphasis, he added that he honestly did not recall.
In all, Gruber said "I don't recall" or some variant of the phrase about 20 times during his testimony, frustrating the Republicans who had hoped to elicit actual information during the hearing. What the GOP got instead was one of the nation's foremost experts on healthcare who, for a few hours at least, could barely remember his name.

229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ: The Power of the Omnibus on: December 10, 2014, 11:48:08 PM
The rule or promise that you have to read all of a bill to vote for it is apparently no longer operative.  They will spend over a trillion dollars in over 1500 pages,  $.654 billion per page - and no one has read it.
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics, The economy is great under Obama? on: December 10, 2014, 11:35:54 PM
Refuting liberals is hard work - because their lips just keep moving.

Here is "Forward Progressives" pushing the idea that 5 charts demonstrate what a great economic success the Obama administration has been:

(Read progressives as always in quotes.)

Unsurprisingly, there are flies in their ointment.

1.  Progressives compare minor upward results with the depths of the crash (that they caused), not with previously successful periods.

2.  They judge job growth as positive even when most of it was below the level required to break even.

3.  They call it unemployment falling when the real change is a rapidly declining workforce participation rate.  There are more people not working now than ever before.  Even with funny math, the stated unemployment rate is worse than when they took majority power in Washington.

4.  Progressives claim stock gains with the blatant hypocrisy that they would most certainly be criticizing these gains if it was someone else's policies sent the financial gains only to the wealthiest among us.  The rich and powerful gained while the middle declined.  Startup under Obama were like a Neal Young song; they "start off real slow and then fizzle out altogether".

5.  Progressives chart the highest debt added in history to look like a trend line down when in fact their own budgets and forecasts have it going right back up.

6.  Lastly, how do you say Chutzpah?  From the author of Audacity, they claim oil production in the US is way up under Obama!  Yes it is!  Is there one person smart enough to vote that doesn't know that Obama fought against oil production at every turn?

Take a close look at a liberal viewpoint and most often you will find a lie or deception in the first substantive point.  And here is no exception.
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Venezuela Will Be The First Domino To Fall With The Price of Oil (?) on: December 10, 2014, 10:42:45 PM
It looks like Stratfor has already covered this.  I wonder what Denny S. sees happening there.  Does this weaken the regime or just make things worse?
Venezuela, Not Russia, Will Be The First Domino To Fall With The Price of Oil
Venezuela: U.S. flooding market with fracking-produced oil
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare won't be part of new Senate! on: December 10, 2014, 10:33:21 PM
Where is Ben Nelson with his Cornhusker kickback, anyway?  (Head of lobby group.)

They used to talk about incumbents having a 98% reelection rate.  Incumbency is quite powerful; even Obama won reelection.

Yet 30 of the 60 Senators who voted for Obamacare are now gone from or leaving the Senate in just 5 years, with Mary Landrieu being the latest.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Late Term Abortion, What is Human? on: December 10, 2014, 10:21:35 PM

Please see if this link works.  Very powerful video.  A nice woman apparently has a hidden camera and asks the clinic staff a lot of innocent questions about what is happening in a late term abortion.

What is human?

By the end, one might ask, what is inhuman? says, inhuman is a: lacking pity, kindness, or mercy : savage <an inhuman tyrant> b : cold, impersonal.  Sound more like the abortionist than the fetus.
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left - The Feinstein Torture Report on: December 10, 2014, 10:05:28 PM
When people in these lands learn about all the bad Americans have done, it creates a whole new generation of terrorist.  So the liberals say. 
Now they want the whole world to know all they can release of details, methods, locations, partners, etc.
And they exaggerate what was done while playing down its value.

Torture in an al Qaida manual is when you scoop out the eyeballs one by one.  When the enemy says we'll kill your children ... they kill your children.
Why do we want to tell future terrorists that we won't hurt anyone.

Who did we hurt, by the way?  Who got injured by a US interrogator?
No one that I know of.

What did we get with these strong techniques?
Names, places, dates, plans, organizations, arrests, attacks stopped.  That kind of thing.

We would have had that information anyway? 
Yeah, right.  Maybe after the fact.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Columbia Law School Postponed Finals for students Tramatized over Ferguson on: December 10, 2014, 09:49:34 PM
The Grand Jury getting the non-indictment right posed an "existential worry" to some students.
"It’s an existential worry. Then having to apply the very law that’s being used to oppress us.”

Can you imagine a case far away, that you know nothing about, not going your way, right before finals?  Who could fight through that kind of trauma?!

NY Times credits Powerline blog for breaking this story:
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: December 09, 2014, 05:44:56 PM
The reification of John Edwards "two Americas"  cry

There are two Americas, but not divided by rich and poor as Edwards asserted, IMHO.  There is the America where your household participates or particpated in the productive economy and there is the America living where no one has done that.  To me, that means the school janitor and the successful business owner are in the same, interconnected economy.  They have more in common with each other than with people who don't have to get up in the morning, work and pay taxes.
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: POTH: US Tax Policy causing some overseas Americans to give up citizenship on: December 09, 2014, 05:28:29 PM

Out with the rich.  In with the poor.
238  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics, Income Inequality Is Greatest In the Most Liberal States on: December 07, 2014, 12:38:16 PM
Famous people caught reading the forum?  This has already been widely reported here.  No one is saying which direction the cause and effect arrow is pointing...

Income Inequality Is Greatest In the Most Liberal States

239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China, We're Number Two! on: December 07, 2014, 12:34:57 PM
I don't happen to believe this.  Just reporting what's being reported.  Another feather in Obama's cap.

It’s official: America is now No. 2

There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.

The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.

As recently as 2000, we produced nearly three times as much as the Chinese.

240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs, Another Govt-Backed Solar Company Crashes on: December 07, 2014, 12:30:24 PM
Are we so big that we don't even report our program failures anymore?

Another Govt-Backed Solar Company Crashes

Better solar technology is coming next year.  Why wait for a private market to function freely when you can pretend to command an economy - like the highly successful Soviets.
241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Foreign Policy, Pearl Harbor attack, May we never forget! on: December 07, 2014, 12:22:32 PM
Happy December 7th everybody.  I wonder how long a period FDR meant by "May we never forget!"?

What were the lessons?

Peace comes through strength and deterrence.

There are people and regimes out there who would love to harm us.

Never has this been more true than now.

FDR did not say, may our strength and resolve oscillate with the polling data of current era focus groups!
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, George Will: Government for the strongest on: December 07, 2014, 12:10:48 PM
Perhaps George Will's best column ever, IMHO.

We rightfully worry a lot around here about elected Republicans not governing conservatively and not representing our own best interests.  A much greater failure has been elected Democrats not representing their constituents best interests.  Who else is pointing THAT out?

Government for the strongest

By George F. Will Opinion writer December 5, 2014

Intellectually undemanding progressives, excited by the likes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — advocate of the downtrodden and the Export-Import Bank — have at last noticed something obvious: Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives’ promptings, serves the strong. It is responsive to factions sufficiently sophisticated and moneyed to understand and manipulate its complexity.

Hence Democrats, the principal creators of this complexity, receive more than 70 percent of lawyers’ political contributions. Yet progressives, refusing to see this defect — big government captured by big interests — as systemic, want to make government an ever more muscular engine of regulation and redistribution. Were progressives serious about what used to preoccupy America’s left — entrenched elites, crony capitalism and other impediments to upward mobility — they would study “The New Class Conflict,” by Joel Kotkin, a lifelong Democrat.

The American majority that believes life will be worse for the next few decades — more than double the number who believe things will be better — senses that 95 percent of income gains from 2009-2012 went to the wealthiest 1 percent. This, Kotkin believes, reflects the “growing alliance between the ultra-wealthy and the instruments of state power.” In 2012, Barack Obama carried eight of America’s 10 wealthiest counties.

In the 1880s, Kotkin says, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s railroad revenues were larger than the federal government’s revenues. That was the old economy. This is the new: In 2013, the combined ad revenue of all American newspapers was smaller than Google’s; so was magazine revenue. In 2013, Google’s market capitalization was six times that of GM, but Google had one-fifth as many employees. The fortunes of those Kotkin calls “the new Oligarchs” are based “primarily on the sale of essentially ephemeral goods: media, advertising and entertainment.”

He calls another ascendant group the Clerisy, which is based in academia (where there are many more administrators and staffers than full-time instructors), media, the nonprofit sector and, especially, government: Since 1945, government employment has grown more than twice as fast as America’s population. The Founders worried about government being captured by factions; they did not foresee government becoming society’s most rapacious and overbearing faction.

The Clerisy is, Kotkin says, increasingly uniform in its views, and its power stems from “persuading, instructing and regulating the rest of society.” The Clerisy supplies the administrators of progressivism’s administrative state, the regulators of the majority that needs to be benevolently regulated toward progress.

The Clerisy’s policies include dense urban living as a “sustainable” alternative to suburbia, and serving environmentalism by consuming less. Hence the sluggish growth and job creation since the recession ended in June 2009 — a.k.a. the “new normal” — do not seriously disturb the Clerisy. It preaches what others — including the 43 percent of non-college-educated whites who consider themselves downwardly mobile — are supposed to practice. The result, Kotkin says, is a “more stratified, less permeable social order.” And today’s “plutonomy,” an economy fueled by the spending of the relatively few people who guaranteed that luxury brands did best during the recession.

Michael Bloomberg, an archetypical progressive, enunciated a “ ‘Downton Abbey’ vision of the American future” (Walter Russell Mead’s phrase) for New York. As New York City’s mayor, Bloomberg said: “If we can find a bunch of billionaires around the world to move here, that would be a godsend, because that’s where the revenue comes to take care of everybody else.” Progressive government, not rapid, broad-based economic growth, will “take care of” the dependent majority.

In New York, an incubator of progressivism, Kotkin reports, the “wealthiest 1 percent earn a third of the entire city’s personal income — almost twice the proportion for the rest of the country.” California, a one-party laboratory for progressivism, is home to 111 billionaires and the nation’s highest poverty rate (adjusted for the cost of living). One study shows that young Californians are less likely to become college graduates than their parents were. “The state’s ‘green energy’ initiatives,” Kotkin observes, “supported by most tech and many financial Oligarchs, have raised electricity rates well above the national average, making it difficult for firms in traditional fields like manufacturing, fossil fuels, agriculture or logistics.” California is no longer a destination for what Kotkin calls “aspirational families”: In 2013, he says, Houston had more housing starts than all of California.

In 2010, there were 27 million more Americans than in 2000 — but fewer births, a reflection, surely, of what Kotkin calls “the end of intergenerational optimism.” The political future belongs to those who will displace the progressive Clerisy’s objectives with an agenda of economic growth.
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, unemployment smoke and mirrors on: December 07, 2014, 12:01:06 PM
ccp:  "Someone called into Mark Levin and wondered if the 5 million illegals who are now legal will be added to the unemployment rolls.  Since I believe the vast majority who are not children are working Obama could  claim he "added" a million or two new jobs to the rolls.  That assumes these people will also admit to working."

We have illegals working her in numbers greater that all the working class citizens looking for work.  If we wanted to absorb new immigrants at a faster rate, we should combine that wish with policies that enhance the starting and growing of new businesses and jobs, instead of the opposite.

"The point is the unemployment numbers are all just smoke and mirrors.  And this is one more example to prove it. "

Lead story yesterday on our local paper was just how great the employment situation now is.  Twin Cities' unemployment is now back to 3.6%.  No mention that the majority of adults in north Minneapolis are now permanently out of the workforce.

Meanwhile, the number of adults completely out of the workforce in America will hit 100 million by the end of the Obama administration.  More adults have left the workforce than work full time in the private sector, 92M to 86M.

Yes, ccp, we need new ways to measure and talk about employment and unemployment.
244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: A World Without Israel Part One... on: December 07, 2014, 11:44:49 AM
Thank you for posting this, Crafty.  It is superb.  I am looking forward to parts 2 through 4.  Well worth the members here watching.  Profound discussion.

Agree.  Besides Israel, great points made about the failure of the UN.  Why does it seem to be off limits to propose a better way for peace seeking nations to organize?
245  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rumors of sanctions on Israel instead of Iran on: December 07, 2014, 11:26:13 AM
Makes sense, our president likes  Iran much more than Israel.

Oddly, our first female President, Valerie Jarrett, was born in Iran.

I'm no conspiracy buff for what we can't see behind the scenes, but you would think someone would want to hold this administration accountable for what we can see.

Why is it an easier political position to take, to choose sides with radical Islamic terrorism rather than with our only ally in the region?
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Jefferson, 1823: Law and common sense on: December 05, 2014, 10:19:24 AM
"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure." --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 1823

This is why I don't hold the views of the experts much higher than our views on important Supreme Court cases.  For one thing, the experts do not always get it right.  Often they attempt to use "metaphysical subtleties" to arrive at contorted opinions of the law or constitution.  Tests like strict scrutiny, intermediate scrutiny, rational basis, and adhering to precedent are useful to a point.  Also valid is for a citizen to read the facts, law, article or amendment in question and apply common sense to it.
247  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: NYC: The Garner "chokehold" death, the Grand Jury, and the no indictment on: December 04, 2014, 05:42:20 PM
Here's the facts as I currently understand them to be:

Local merchants (all or most black?) went to the police station to complain about 6'3" 350 pound Garner (31 arrests to his credit) causing problems in front of their stores and driving away business.   The squad sent was led by a black female sergeant sent by a black precinct commander.

In the footage we have all seen repeatedly I am not seeing ANY "chokehold" at all.  I see a basic "over/under" as part of a team takedown.  

As far as the numerous times Garner says "I can't breathe" goes, a) people being arrested say excrement all the time (You're breaking my arm!  You're killing me! etc) b) if he can't breathe, he can't talk.  Bottom line, readily understandable that the cops blew this off.

Coroner's report shows he was seriously overweight, diabetic, and asmatic.

For me an easy call that the police acted correctly and that the racial pandering has begun.   AG Holder has announced an investigation and the President has already blathered about uneuqal justice.  Somehow this goes unnoticed

I like Crafty's take on this.  I was disturbed to see Charles Krauthammer call the Grand Jury verdict incomprehensible.  I have not viewed the video.  Good point that if you can hear him on audio/video saying he can't breathe, then he is breathing.  The law against selling untaxed, loose cigarettes is a whole, other issue.  I have pointed out many times that no one knows how many laws a simple lemonade stand is breaking.  This takedown was because of resisting arrest.  They could have used mace, stun gun,or  taken him down in other ways that also could have resulted in death, if it was because of his condition,  A black captain ordered a black sergeant to arrest him.  Blacxk store owners too?  This isn't racial.  You simply don't resist arrest.  When a cop is wrong, we have a system for that.  When a law is wrong, we have a system for that.  In a libertarian state, if it was legal to sell an untaxed product, it still would not be legal to block public access to someone else's business to do that.  That was the complaint that started this, as I understand it.
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market on: December 04, 2014, 11:02:27 AM
1)  I give due credit to Wesbury and other bulls for calling the good stock market over these times.  (Not for the reasons they give.)

2)   There is such a disconnect between the US economy and the stock market that maybe they are separate topics...

3)   Wesbury gets this right on two important counts:

 "don't blame the private sector for slow growth, blame government"

This is slow growth, and this is government's fault.  Growth could be, should be, 4-5% or more - consistently, under pro-growth policies.

4)  Actual, real growth in per person consumption expenditures is up (only) 1.4% over the past year.  Real GDP growth per person was up only 1.7%.  Source:

This is pathetic and almost unprecedented stagnation for coming out of such a deep hole.

249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ACA erodes work incentives ELEVEN times worse than Mass. Romneycare on: December 04, 2014, 10:38:18 AM
Too bad candidate Romney never understood or articulated this point.

"Overall, the ACA erodes nationwide average work incentives about eleven times more than Romneycare did in the state of Massachusetts"
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / America, Who pays the taxes? on: December 04, 2014, 10:29:17 AM

Source:  CBO

Read through the table carefully.  It begs a number of questions. 
Why are lower earners mad at or blaming upper earners for our problems and their problems?
Why do we subsidize second and third quintile voters I mean earners more than low income earners?
At $16 trillion in debt, why is someone making 50k getting a net subsidy at all?
What is missing here is the marginal tax rate each person faces.  The size of that all the way up and down might surprise you!
Why do we have any marginal rate above 20% as a disincentive when we collect so much less?
What tax system would collect more or the same and motivate people all the way up and down to produce more?
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