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3701  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 12, 2011, 02:21:34 PM
I missed the debate and watched only the clips they made available, what someone else thinks are the more interesting moments.  Pawlenty and Bachmann wasted their time and hurt themselves attacking each other.  GM was right, Pawlenty should have been reading the forum and he didn't. 

I didn't see much of Romney.  Other than no major gaffes or punches landed, I would like to know more about what others think he did right to remain frontrunner.

The focus of the debate questions seemed to be for ratings rather than about governing.  Newt addressed that pretty well.

I think the candidates (at least 2 of them) erred by thinking the event in Iowa is the straw poll.  The event for the candidates was the nationally televised debate.  The non-binding straw poll just tells us what a small number of Iowans think about what we are all seeing and hearing.

Pawlenty was wrong to trivialize what Bachmann has been doing in congress.  He should have treated her as an ally and hoped that she stays there.  The opponent is Obama.  And her attack on him was weak.  Is there any doubt that she voted for him twice?
3702  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues: Phony fact check? on: August 12, 2011, 01:47:56 PM
CCP, Thanks for exposing the phony fact checkers.  That is a political document no better or less biased than what they claim to be correcting.

I normally don't read anything past the first falsehood - this one starts by saying regarding the individual mandate: "Nothing is unconstitutional until courts declare it to be so."  Of course an appeals court just said so today, but other courts have already declared that - in both directions.  Even if this court ruled otherwise or the Supreme Court eventually gets this wrong, she has every right running for President to question the constitutionality of everything the federal government does and declare to us her view of it - and she did.  Other cases are more questionable; this one to me is kind of obvious.  Her view of that gives us an idea of how she would govern.  Whether you like that or oppose it, that is the purpose of the debate.

They don't get anything right IMO until the ending where Bachmann (quoting a false newspaper story) says that Pawlenty said the era of small government is over.  That was just sloppy.  Anyone following his years in the legislature, two terms as governor and campaigning for President knows that Pawlenty, like Bachmann is a force on the side of trying to contain the expansions of government.  If you can find a part of a statement otherwise, it is likely false or lacking context, and she should have known that.
3703  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 12, 2011, 10:03:50 AM
"I am not a big fan of short sales, which seem to greatly exaggerate volatility, especially in conjunction with the program trading which has become such a dominating % of market transactions.  Also, I do not understand the basis for the claim to increased liquidity."

Good question and you make a number of points there.  My 2 cents: Yes vehicles other than buy and hold at times may add to the volatility already in a panicked market but they do add liquidity, day in day out.  Most of today's  volatility IMO comes from the uncertainties that lie outside the market.  In a stable efficient market with companies turning in financial results on a regular basis, the short seller provides some balance and liquidity IMO.  The short seller buys and sells too, just does it in the opposite order. If Microsoft is at 25 or Google at 565 or Apple at 378 and people want to buy, someone has to sell to make that happen.  The buy and hold people don't offer you that and issuing more stock is just a dilution.  When you need to sell, someone needs to buy.  Short selling just turns things upside down.  If they want to sell first predicting a movement down, they need to buy back when they think it gets there.  A floor in a sense.  The scorched buy and hold player doesn't ever need to buy again. 

The point of program trading dominating % of market transactions is a bigger and tougher question.  Small time individuals with limited tools and knowledge playing ball with these guys better either know what they are doing or be prepared take the consequences.

Besides the school of hard knocks in stocks, a lesson came from my grandfather who said don't take on partners in business.  Think of everything that goes wrong in partnerships and that is what is happening here.  You share ownership in companies with people that have entirely different views, goals, reasons for being there and time frames.  On the way up, that can work to your benefit.  When times are tougher, they bail much faster and more decisively than you (hundredths of a second in a computer program?) and greatly damage the remaining value.

More rules on trading in this case might or might not be warranted (deck chairs on the Titanic?) but is not IMO addressing the central problems in these markets.
3704  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 11, 2011, 06:29:08 PM
"CounterPOV:  Popped bubbles don't bounce."

Fair enough.  We will see.  But people need a place to live and they demand  location and quality, in the sense of being willing to pay a good share of their income to get it.  With gold for example, it is only a function of what other people will pay for it - more volatile up and potentially more volatile down.

More importantly (IMO), some experts say housing is still overpriced and maybe most of it still is.  I only buy when I think it is under-priced / under-valued.
3705  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: A President that shares our values? on: August 11, 2011, 06:10:22 PM
Good grief, that's all you got.  Wasted my time once again trying to answer nothing.

You use quotes around " "most Christian" ", Gov. Pawlenty "claims to be the "most Christian" " but... HE DIDN'T.  Maybe Tina Fay said it.  The quote is of 'CNN Opinion', not Pawlenty.  What a bunch of BS.  Everyone asks candidates about values and religion.  The campaign releases a video that addresses that so they can get on with questions about public policy.  You think they are lying, wearing it on their sleeve or excessively religious??  Does he preach about Jesus Christ in his Iowa stump speeches?  No, but he called for an end to ethanol subsidies in Iowa and promises to repeal Obamacare.  Is their one word or sentence in that video that actually offends you?  http://action.iowastrawpoll2011.com/  Is his view about separation of church and state wrong?  I don't think so.  Of the Founders?  No.  "My faith is very important to me, and it influences all that I do"?  Outrageous!  He turned to his faith for strength and comfort as a teenager when his mom died rather suddenly.  Wimp!  He switched churches/denominations to his wife's church before he married her.  Flipflopper!  His faith guides him in all his decisions.  Panderer!  Mary Pawlenty got her faith from her parents.  Theft!  Unbelievable.

What the hell does "most Christian" mean anyway, to the atheist liberal CNN writer (much less Teavangelical!).  He doesn't say - just throws it out there for people to repeat and pass on - in "quotes".  Christians I know don't EVER talk that way. Maybe they challenge themselves to be a better Christian -  a better religious person - to use the concept more openly in the context of threads and posts here designed to challenge people to think and behave better.  That is offensive?  Out of bounds in a Presidential campaign??

John Kerry and Barack Obama each made very strong statements about their faith, then largely ignored the teachings, as near as I could tell.  Where were you then?  Did you accuse them of trying to be the most Christian?  No because the double standard is an essential component of the criticism.

Al Gore running for President said: "I think the purpose of life is to glorify God. I turn to my faith as the bedrock of my approach to any important questions in my life."  "Faith is the center of my life. "  New York Times, May 29, 1999  Imagine THAT.

I would hope the next President knows where rights and values originate, grasp the importance of family and values life.  If the candidate is atheist, a video explaining how that will affect future decisions would be helpful too.
3706  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government budget process: Super select committee on: August 11, 2011, 02:22:13 PM
I like the pick of former head of the Club for Growth Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) to this committee.  A focus on growth will be necessary to move forward out of the current stalemate.  All 6 Republicans picked have signed no tax increase pledges.  Rob Portman also seems particularly in tune with tax reform which is potentially the fastest way to add revenue into the mix.

On the D side, Max Baucus might be the most possible to persuade of the D's because the divided state of Montana is not exactly San Francisco or New York for politics.  One lesson from in his last reelection could be that needing 91% of your campaign money to come from out of state is something that conceivably could backfire.  Baucus voted for the 2001 tax cuts and in 2008 for repealing the estate tax.
3707  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: August 11, 2011, 02:03:16 PM
IIRC pp wrote a couple of months ago that real estate prices would drop for one more year due to the still large backlog in foreclosures.  Just thought I would bring the question here from the stock, gold and investment threads, have people thought about putting any of what they might have left in real estate, with the idea that there are some amazing buys available out there and it is impossible to time the exact bottom of any market.  Assuming this once great country eventually makes a strong comeback, prime property will again have real value.  Housing will turn right after (if/when) investment and employment conditions turn IMHO.

I have shared pp's wisdom with people off the board, adding that a) there is no hurry if prices are still falling and b) you can buy now if you anticipate the price at the bottom of the market and offer it now.  What does the seller have to gain by waiting for prices to fall further.

Real estate has some similarities to gold, somewhat finite quantity and not directly tied to a currency, and differences like property taxes, regulatory abuse and other things that can go wrong.  OTOH, gold is at record highs and real estate at recent record lows.  I have bought homes during this downturn for 30% less than I was paying 30 years ago, with as fast as a 2 year rough payback on purchase price from rent.  People could conceivably buy the site or land of their dream home now and build it later when incomes improve.

Each market is different.  I wonder what others are seeing.
http://www.twincities.com/ci_17826562
Twin Cities home prices down (another) 15 percent; 4 in 10 sales are foreclosures

The Twin Cities median home price fell more than 15 percent last month to $140,000 from a year earlier, according to data released today.
3708  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate: Gov't considers turning foreclosures into rentals on: August 11, 2011, 01:41:05 PM
Do we make this business look to easy?  Article WHAT? authorizes the federal government to go into the landlord business.

Gov't considers turning foreclosures into rentals

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration may turn thousands of government-owned foreclosures into rental properties to help boost falling home prices.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said Wednesday it is seeking input from investors on how to rent homes owned by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOVERNMENT_HOME_RENTALS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-08-10-13-18-31
3709  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics - We should have picked Hillary?? on: August 11, 2011, 01:32:23 PM
There is a myth circulating (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-politics/8692054/Democrats-doubt-Barack-Obamas-reelection-chances.html) that America just picked the wrong leftist to lead - that's what's wrong.  Hillary, one might recall, had identical policies but was personally not liked.  For Obama, it is the policies that failed, he is still personally well-liked.

What went wrong in 2006-2008 was that some people with certain failed poicies damaged the Republican brand almost beyond repair.   Because no prominent conservative Republican really stood up successfully against Bush and said enough is enough, no one had the stature or experience to do that later upon his retirement.  

Same goes now for Democrats.
3710  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 11, 2011, 01:11:02 PM
"...those running on their piety, or public claims of their strong Christian faith.  In Iowa, it seems to be a race to see who is "more Christian".  Each candidate is loudly proclaiming the depth of their Christian faith."

Really?  As it seems so common, I've seen no evidence of what you declare, certainly not linked or quoted in the post.

Rick Perry who is not a candidate at this point hosted a prayer conference - not in Iowa.

Pawlenty who I have followed the closest was raised Catholic and attends an extremely large active evangelical congregation and I have never heard him mention that.  He switched churches once in his life, to appease his wife not to further his career.  He never wore it on his sleeve as Governor.   Seems to me Cain pushes his business background and the Mormons in the race never brag about that - so I have no idea where this quadrennial criticism comes from.

Bachmann was never not a Christian conservative and keeps winning elections based on her values and her view of constitutional principles.  She started her public career by with knocking out an 18 year incumbent RINO from her local senate district, mainly for his support of the liberal educational agenda.  If people are offended, they can vote against her.  Better yet if RINOs were not complicit across the country in liberal governing, this home-based conservative activist's career never would have included a run for office.

Perry's (running for nothing) prayer event was for people who wanted to be part of a prayer event, political issues never came up, nor was he in Iowa.  He may have even delayed his candidacy to the highest office for the exact concern you articulate, that this long scheduled event, important to him, might be taken wrong - by people who won't vote for him anyway.

Both sides go to the places of worship to meet the people.  The biggest phony in the group is the one who boasts he is Christian but still hasn't picked a Washington church in his 7th year in Washington, or a pastor he could really relate to since the famed G*d DAMN America black separatist advocate took his retirement.  The incumbent has faith that an all-present God is over at the golf course too, on a sunny, summer Sunday morning.

The other religious phony from my point of view is Keith Ellison who thank God is not running.
3711  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed, New Constitutional Convention? on: August 11, 2011, 12:02:33 PM
Posting this as a (right wing) opposing opinion to the group at Harvard Law School putting on a conference advancing the idea of calling for a new constitutional convention, posted recently by BD.

I support the idea of a conference to discuss this seldom used provision, but I oppose calling a convention because the very few new amendments I would favor tend to be very specific in nature, mostly not structural.  (I also oppose abbreviating or truncating words that start with c-o-n.)

 August 11, 2011 by  Steven Hayward
Con-Con-Con Job?

So over the transom comes a notice about the Conference on the Constitutional Convention (or “Con-Con-Con” for short) up at Harvard Law School next month, which is bringing together figures from left and right to mull over an Article V constitutional convention.  As the participant in a couple of successful “post-partisan” right-left efforts at compromise over some knotty-pine policy issues such as energy and climate change, as well as the “Modernizing Liberalism” effort I wrote about here back in June, far be it from me to pour cold water on such an effort.  This isn’t going to sport the Kumbaya mushiness of “No Labels,” for one thing.  It’s going to feature prominent lefties such as Larry Tribe and Laurence Lessig, and right-thinking folk such as Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds (Glenn will give one of the keynotes, in fact), and Cato’s very sound John Samples, along with some Tea Party activists.

It is one thing to reach policy compromises even over deeply divisive policy issues such as the debt ceiling.  Constitutional compromise is another matter, and it is easy to predict that the Con-Con-Con effort will make little progress for an elusively simple reason: the basic condition that made the compromises of the 1787 convention possible do not exist today.  The Framers of 1787, and, significantly, their critics who became the Anti-Federalists, shared a general agreement about first principles (with one important exception which I’ll come to in due course), which made institutional compromise possible.  The Framers were all believers in the creed of individual natural rights as expressed in the prologue to the Declaration of Independence, and moreover believed that limiting government required anti-majoritarian institutions such as the Senate, separation of powers, the Electoral College, and federalism, among other things.  The modern left believes in none of these things, and every agenda of constitutional reform from the left calls for abolishing or weakening all of them.  (See, for just one example, Larry Sabato’s really bad book on the subject, and Sabato is far from being a hard leftist.)  The left would like to abolish the Senate and the Electoral College, just for starters.  Deep-dish thinkers like Cass Sunstein have argued for making the judiciary more powerful, precisely because it is more immune to popular political accountability.

For the Framers in 1787, most of their arguments were over how to limit government power and secure individual liberty most effectively, which meant they were arguing over small differences.  You might almost say that the Philadelphia convention was a group of rightists arguing with themselves.  Today’s left, starting at least as far back as Woodrow Wilson, who dismissed the natural rights philosophy of the Declaration of Independence and attacked the principle of the separation of powers, wants to remove as many limitations on government power as possible.  As such the Con-Con-Con exercise has little hope of reaching a principled compromise over constitutional reform, and even if a suite of reforms might get the necessary ratification of three-fourths of the states, it is likely the reforms would make our political divisions worse.

The one case of where the Framers had to compromise because they had a serious difference of first principles is instructive—slavery.  Even though there was probably majority sentiment for abolishing slavery in 1787, tolerating slavery in the South was unfortunately necessary if there was to be a union and a constitution at all.  And, of course, it required a civil war to resolve this problem ultimately—not an encouraging precedent for constitutional “compromise” today.

The way the modern left has willfully misconstrued the convention’s compromises over slavery is revealing and significant, as it shows the left is unable or unwilling to distinguish the first principles of the Constitution from its compromises.  The left likes to criticize the Founders for their toleration of slavery, for example, by claiming the three-fifths clause means that black Americans were only “three-fifths of a person.”  In fact the intent and action of this clause was to diminish the political power of slave states, which wanted slaves counted as whole persons for the purpose of apportioning House membership.  I always have fun pointing this out to students, and asking if they’d feel better about the Founders if they had allowed more political power to slave states in 1787 by counting them as whole persons.  It usually elicits dumbfounded looks, silence, and subject-changing to Jefferson and Sally Hemings or something.

Moreover, the entire treatment of slavery in the convention and in the text of the Constitution is significant.  Note that the term “slave” is never used; instead, the drafters employed euphemisms, such as “persons held to service” or “other persons.”  Even the fugitive slave clause does not use the term.  Here’s an interesting point that only emerges from Madison’s notes on their deliberations.  The original proposed language for the fugitive slave clause was “No person legally held to service in one state. . .” Madison himself objected to the term “legally;” he told the convention that he “thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men,” and that the word “legally” seemed to favor “the idea that slavery was legal in a moral view.”  So the term was struck.

It is for these and other reasons that Frederick Douglass was able to make out that the Constitution was an anti-slavery document at the level of principle, yet somehow modern liberals can’t make this out at all because they have rejected the principles and logic of the Founding (following, I might add, the same ground of reasoning as Calhoun and other pro-slavery southerners of the mid-19th century, a fact that seems not to embarrass modern liberals, but this is a subject to dilate more fully another day).

Finally, one last observation.  The Con-Con-Con organizers downplay the risk of a “runaway” constitutional convention on the grounds that nothing radical would ever get the approval of three-fourths of the states.  This makes some sense, until you recall that the Philadelphia convention of 1787 was a “runaway” convention.  How so? It was called for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation, and required the unanimous consent of all 13 states for revisions to be adopted.  Yet what the convention produced was a wholly new Constitution that would go into effect if only nine states ratified it.  So much for following the law as it was spelled out explicitly in the Articles.  I often pose this problem to students, asking whether the convention acted illegally or unconstitutionally, or what possible justification they could claim for their acts.

Madison discussed this very problem in Federalist #43:

    Two questions of a very delicate nature present themselves on this occasion: 1. On what principle the Confederation, which stands in the solemn form of a compact among the States, can be superseded without the unanimous consent of the parties to it? 2. What relation is to subsist between the nine or more States ratifying the Constitution, and the remaining few who do not become parties to it?

    The first question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self-preservation; to the transcendent law of nature and of nature’s God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed.

In other words, Madison is here making a very delicate reference to the right of revolution as it is expressed in the Declaration of Independence—in fact this is the only place in the Federalist Papers where there is a distinct echo of the Declaration. I note that whenever Tea Partiers or their sympathizers like Michele Bachmann invoke the Declaration’s right of revolution today, they are called “dangerous extremists.”  I’ll happily stand with “extremists” like Jefferson and Madison any time.

About the second question Madison’s long answer is less convincing, and rests ultimately on the hope, subsequently borne out, that it will be a moot point if every state ratified the Constitution, as in fact happened.  Madison finally repairs behind the formula “The time has been when it was incumbent on us all to veil the ideas which this paragraph exhibits.”  In other words, let’s avert our gaze and hope for the best.  That worked then; I don’t think we can do it now, because, as bears repeating, the modern left does not agree with the principles of 1787.  As such, I don’t want to try even agreeing with them about the lunch menu.
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/08/con-con-con-job.php
3712  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 10, 2011, 09:18:17 PM
GM,  The ink is barely dry where I gave the Pawlenty campaign all of that material.  I love the commercial, I'm glad they are reading the forum and as CCP suggested, I am happy to work for an IOU until they can get together the cash to put me on payroll.  wink

Bigdog, I agree with the D.U. professor / LA TIme piece regarding third parties.  Now is the time for centrists on both sides to flex their muscles and have some say on who will be the nominee. especially IMO on the Dem side. Picking up from a precious discussion, can you imagine the waves that could be made if someone like Sen. Jim Webb distanced himself from the President and announced his candidacy right now or after Labor Day?  Giuliani is still looking at it from the R. side, also Huntsman is considered centrist.  Voters in primaries have been known to deliver surprises.

If someone as far to the right as Bachmann (or Cain or Paul or Santorum) becomes the nominee, I think the emergence of at least one prominent 3rd party entrant is near certain.  I can't read into the views of the author but I'm sure the LA Times gets it that the only way a Bachmann type can win is if a serious third party contender steals the energy from the center of the room.
3713  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / BREAKING NEWS: Libya recognizes UK rioters as official government of the UK on: August 09, 2011, 11:47:25 PM
Satire from Wikileaks twitter feed
3714  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Rants & interesting thought pieces - Thomas Sowell on: August 09, 2011, 12:52:47 PM
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Random thoughts on the passing scene:
By Thomas Sowell

The next time a member of the British royal family gets married, I hope they elope and spare us all another 24/7 media orgy.

Does the "not guilty" verdict in the Casey Anthony child murder trial mean that the jury succumbed to the confusion between "beyond a reasonable doubt" and "beyond any conceivable doubt"? The word "reasonable" is not put in there just for decoration.

We seem to be living in an age when nobody can be bothered to answer their telephone, but everybody has a recorded message telling us how important our phone call is to them.

President Obama often talks about wanting to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" but — in his actual tax proposals — higher taxes usually begin with couples earning $250,000 between them. Apparently that makes you a millionaire or a billionaire.

It doesn't seem very scientific to have a good-looking nurse taking a man's blood pressure.

As the British have lost their empire and, more important, lost their respect for laws and standards, Britannia has gone from ruling the waves to waiving the rules.

The difference between mob rule and democracy was never more sharply demonstrated than by labor unions' attempts to prevent the Wisconsin voters' elected representatives from carrying out their official duties at the state Capitol. What would it matter what the voters want if any mob can stop it from happening?

My favorite birthday card this year said on the outside, "Ageing is Inevitable" — and, on the inside: "Maturity is optional."

Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to speak softly and carry a big stick. Barack Obama's foreign policy in Libya has been to speak loudly and carry a little stick. Too often Obama's foreign policy around the world looks like children happily playing with fire.

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Class-warfare politics is bad enough when it is for real. But often it is as phony as a three-dollar bill, when the same politicians pass high tax rates on "the rich" to win votes — and then get financial support from "the rich" to create loopholes that enable them to avoid paying those high tax rates.

It is amazing how many people seem to think that, if you give them your phone number or e-mail address, this means that they are authorized to pass them on to others.

Three little words — "We the people," the opening words of the Constitution of the United States — are the biggest obstacle to achieving the political goals of the left. For that, they must move decisions away from "We the people" — from individuals to government; from elected officials to unelected judges; and from national institutions to international institutions like the United Nations — all safely remote and insulated from "We the people."

Some hotels have been called "historic." But to me that just means old. I don't like staying in old-fashioned hotels. There is usually a reason why those fashions went out of fashion.

Learned scholars still debate the reasons for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Learned scholars of the future, looking back on our decline and fall, may simply be baffled as to how we could have been so stupid.

Awkward and uncomfortable hospital gowns for patients just add a needless complication to the problems of people who are already sick. Surely someone could design something less bothersome.

I have never believed for a moment that Barack Obama has the best interests of the United States at heart.

Many liberals who consider themselves friends or allies of blacks are usually friends or allies of those particular blacks who are doing wrong things, often at the expense of other blacks.

At one time, it was well understood that adversity taught valuable lessons, which reduce the probability of repeating foolish decisions. But, today, the welfare state shields people from the consequences of their own mistakes, allowing irresponsibility to continue and to flourish among ever wider circles of people.

Amid all the concerns about the skyrocketing government debt, a front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal said: "Families Slice Debt to Lowest In 6 Years." It is remarkable how differently people behave when they are spending their own money compared to the way politicians behave when spending the government's money.
3715  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: Fascist Fairy Tales on: August 09, 2011, 12:41:05 PM
JAMES TARANTO, WSJ quotes Time's Joe Klein bringing Carter and Reagan into the comparison, then answers him:

Kline: "At a similar point in his presidency, Jimmy Carter delivered his famous "malaise" speech--the word was never actually used--that was an accurate description of the problems we faced then (it reads very well 30 years later) but a complete bummer. The public needed to hear more than a description of what wrong [sic]; it needed to be told what was necessary to make it right. Ronald Reagan came along, posited optimism and an easily comprehensible set of principles--and Carter was history.

    I am not suggesting Obama is Carter. But they do share a trait: an inability to tell a story. The most popular stories have good guys and bad guys. If he wants to be re-elected, Obama is going to have to start telling us who the bad guys are and what he plans to do about them."


Tarranto (WSJ): In citing Reagan, Klein unwittingly underscores the liberal misunderstanding of his success at "communication," which Peggy Noonan explores in her most recent column. There's a world of difference between "an easily comprehensible set of principles," which Reagan did offer, and a fairy tale about "good guys and bad guys." The former is for adults, the latter for children (or for adults seeking mere entertainment).
3716  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - Harry, I have a gift on: August 09, 2011, 12:21:30 PM
Funny that the Bret Stephens piece Crafty/WSJ) uses the word 'Glibness' while the rest includes a theme of cognitive dissonance.  IIRC this thread started as the 'Obama phenomenon' and was presciently renamed to the above after his election or around the time of inauguration?  A bit negative I think but we have found 18 long internet pages of material to support it.

WSJ 4/30/09  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124105013014171063.html
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid...tells of congratulating freshman Sen. Obama on a phenomenal speech. Without a hint of conceit, Mr. Obama replied, "Harry, I have a gift."
3717  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: August 09, 2011, 11:05:25 AM
"Saw Pawlenty interviewed by Chris Wallace yesterday.  A much better performance than I had seen previously."

I saw that also.  Better but still just slightly off message.  The question should not still be, does a two term governor have more executive experience than a 3rd term congresswoman.  Instead of dismissing her efforts, he should have emphasized how badly we need her holding feet to the fire in the House - to get things done in his administration.  The question in this race is, who will stand next to President Barack Obama a year from this fall with a limited government, pro-growth agenda and win the debate, the election and the mandate to turn this ship around.
3718  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 09, 2011, 10:53:09 AM
"...How does the dollar affect me?  Well, not much, except when I want to travel abroad or if I buy foreign goods."

It will affect you more than you admit.
-----
"If you are an American living in MN and exporting, well a weak dollar gives you a competitive advantage.  That means more jobs in America..."

All expressed economic relationships include 'all other things equal' implied, if not spoken or written.

No measurable competitive advantage  for exporting comes from a weak dollar if we chased the last manufacturer out more than 10 years ago with a host of other anti-competitive practices, mostly taxes and regulations.  The remaining successful companies like Target and Best Buy have their products made elsewhere and make the majority of their income in other states.  Even Medtronic was attacked by the latest round of new Obamacare taxation and is tanking.
----
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Renewable/Energy/Resources/Press_Releases/?PC_7_RJH9U52308NR50I0NISNKB32G3_assetId=1273681515461
3M to Expand Manufacturing in China for Solar Markets
St. Paul, Minn., Shanghai -- April 6, 2011 – 3M today announced—in conjunction with the Hefei High-tech Industrial Development Area--a plan to build a manufacturing site for photovoltaic solar materials and renewable energy products in Hefei High-tech Park...
The new plant, 3M Materials Technologies (Hefei) Co., will produce a variety of products at the new facility, including 3M Scotchshield Film, an advanced solar backside barrier film used in crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic modules. The project will be 3M’s ninth manufacturing facility in China.

3719  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 08, 2011, 10:36:38 PM
No interest in tying policies to results and results to policies?  My mistake -I thought this was one of the triple digit threads.
3720  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: August 08, 2011, 06:38:53 PM
CCP: I love the story about the Stanford trained statistician winning 4 million plus lotteries - "The odds of this has been calculated at one in eighteen septillion and luck like this could only come once every quadrillion years."  I hate the lotteries and maybe this will disrupt some of the enthusiasm.

I can't remember what qudrillion and septinllion mean.  I just remember S. Palin saying 'don't anyone tell Obama what comes after a trillion.'
----
Down down 634: Are people reading these pages this year still in stocks?

Dow up 50% during the early part of the Obama administration?

Things like inaugurations or New Years make lousy benchmarks.  If that is the test, Democrats in reality took control of the domestic agenda Nov 2006 / Jan 2007.  Result was the end of 50 months of growth, stagnation and collapse.  Then they took the White House.  I would assume that the selloff of 2008 was oversold.  People sold everything and had to wait 30 days plus until charts started upward to buy back in, with capital gains paid at the old rate.  I would guess this rise was over-bought. Dow companies like CocaCola and McDonalds have 75-80% of their business outside Obama's jurisdiction.  Did these investors know they were buying into 0.4% growth?  Did they know that 90% of Obama's job growth rate ended the day Obamacare was passed.  Chart below. Obama is not done.  This carnage is on his watch too.  I would estimate approaching 10 trillion is losses just the last 2 market days.

"By the way, if you invested money in the stock market for the duration of the Bush eight years, you lost money.  A lot."

Once again, a FLAWED analysis.  The market crash started with NASDAQ March 2000, 6 monthsw before the election, 9 months before the name changed on the door.  The downturn was going on no matter WHO was in power, until conditions and policies changed.  The attacks of 9/11/2001 were planned and happening no matter whose watch, unless someone else would have prevented it.  The recovery started the day policies changed, the 2003 tax rate reductions.  The recovery ended the day the policy arrow changed with the Nov 2006 election.  Why lump those those 3 distinct periods together and lose all meaning to the pretend analysis?

Instead, look for peak to trough or inflection points and look for causation.  Track the results to policy changes implemented or expected rather than the nameplate on the door.  I would love to see a comprehensive supply-side, pro-growth package passed and signed overnight tonight (impossible).  New flat and simple tax code, regulation rollback, corporate tax rolled back, loopholes gone, cap and trade scrapped, Obamacare repealed, energy projects approved coast to coast, all pending trade agreements passed, states add capital gains preferences, reform all major entitlements .  Obama can take credit.  Chart THAT!  We could have 8% growth tomorrow IMO if people really wanted to solve this.

US Job growth following Obamacare passage:

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/economic-recovery-stalled-after-obamacare-passed
3721  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Greenspan, we can always print money on: August 08, 2011, 12:59:05 PM
Is he far enough out of power now that it is safe to say this...

Alan Greenspan is a buffoon.  Intelligent on some level I'm sure but loaded with confusion, inconsistency and hypocrisy.

He was Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Ford, a distinction I would leave off my resume if I were him.  He was chosen Fed Chair by President Reagan in June 1987 (first sign of Alzheimer's?) for credibility in the markets because he was a (so-called) Republican opponent of Reaganomics and therefore an intentional check and balance on our tax and fiscal policies.  He was considered to be from the root canal wing of the Republican party, cut spending growth but don't do anything radical to grow the economy.  Had he wrote Reagan's policies, we would still be in the Carter years.  His speeches were open jokes on the market, inventing his own language so no one would know what he was saying.

We had expansionary policies following the crashes starting in March 2000 and following the financial and economic crises following 9/11/2001.  Why did we still have expansionary monetary policies as we were approaching 50 consecutive months of job growth /economic growth?  Obviously the excesses of his time led to the 'irrational exuberance' of housing, the fall of which is still haunting us.

In his memoirs he criticizes Bush and Cheney for the excesses in spending.  That makes sense.  Why wasn't he screaming bloody murder about it THEN, while it was happening, when he had his own bully pulpit?
3722  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: August 07, 2011, 02:49:43 PM
I can't tell if you are disagreeing with my characterization or his policy.

I took that from the SSA life expectancy page;the majority of workers were men at that time.  I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to look at it, like yesterday's revelation that oral surgeons clean teeth.  Life expectancy of your teeth, BTW, in the 1930s was less than 58 years.  Do you disagree with the 1% tax too?  Is there any difference in terms of productive disincentives between that (1%) and now, a self employment tax of 15.3% ? http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98846,00.html   When you are done quibbling, the point remains that we are nowhere near the insure-against-outliving-your-ability-to-work vision that FDR first articulated.  People retire very often early, healthy and generally far wealthier than the younger workers who labor to help support them, instead of investing in their own challenges and opportunities.  It is a Ponzi scheme, not a lockbox, an insurance policy, or a savings plan.

Life Expectancy for Social Security

If we look at life expectancy statistics from the 1930s we might come to the conclusion that the Social Security program was designed in such a way that people would work for many years paying in taxes, but would not live long enough to collect benefits. Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/lifeexpect.html
3723  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hope and Change on: August 07, 2011, 02:20:25 PM
Sinking like a stone, but maybe people will like us better without all that prosperity.
3724  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: August 07, 2011, 01:28:58 PM
Federal taxes of 1794 would be great.  How about a return to the fundamentals that FDR started with social security, a 1% old age insurance tax with the payout age set 7 years beyond worker life expectancy.  These days he would be called a tea party terrorist, though he was far more extreme.
3725  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China (and South China Sea-- Vietnam, Philippines, etc) on: August 07, 2011, 01:13:45 PM
One of the articles on that story says the cellphone would be 3 pounds without the use of so-called rare earth elements.  Why don't we have people carry those for a couple of days until they tell the oppressionists in Washington, loudly and clearly, that we need to open this country for business, and that necessarily includes mining, drilling, processing and manufacturing - or someone else (like China) will.

I can only think of what Dean Wormer said to Flounder in Animal House: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."  What is the matter with our globally competitive, strategic economic team??  Terms like deaf, dumb and blind aren't fair to people who really suffer those afflictions.
3726  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 07, 2011, 12:56:21 PM
How do you handle the stress, as Commander in Chief, of identifying Navy Seal Team Six as the group who "got him" [bin Laden] only to have them shot down over an enemy territory within just a few months, worst loss in 10 years in Afghanistan, that he has already announced abandoning?

How do you respond to the worst financial slap in our history, to have S&P Frriday after market closing downgrading the United States of America, for the first time in our history, leaving 18 countries with higher ratings, and planning to downgrade us further if you continues on the same course?

What is your next course of action, if you are President, on both fronts, not to mention jobs?  He must be swamped in advisory or deep in his own thought, brainstorming for solutions and direction.  Maybe even praying for wisdom and solutions to come to him in church?

Nope, he's commanding his SUV motorcade over to the golf course today.  Followed by a beer and cheeseburger.  It's Sunday and he's the leader of the free world and he will do what he wants, whenever he wants.  Crisis? What Crisis?

Right now, saving bogey is more important than any economic or military setback.  Those can be led from behind.  The golf ball just sits there on the tee until you take a swing at it.  Good luck America.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/08/where-is-the-leader-of-the-free-world-golfing/
3727  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US-China - Rare Earth Elements Find in Nebraska on: August 07, 2011, 12:11:40 PM
Said to be 'huge', this discovery could break China's lock on rare earth elements, the minerals required for basic technology manufacturing of our time.  (If only the Obama EPA will allow them to mine there.)

http://www.businessinsider.com/elk-creek-rare-earth-2011-8
This Nebraska Village May Be Sitting On The World's Largest Untapped Deposit Of Rare Earth Minerals   Aug. 3, 2011

3728  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Treasury Secretary on S&P Downgrade in April 2011: No risk of that! on: August 07, 2011, 09:52:38 AM
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/06/flashback_geithner_says_no_risk_to_us_aaa_credit_rating.html

Flashback: Geithner Says No Risk To US' AAA Credit Rating

"No risk of that, no risk," Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner said on the Fox Business Network in April. (source The Hill)    Video at the link.
3729  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government spending, budget: S&P is Incompetent? on: August 07, 2011, 09:42:40 AM
The gift that just keeps on giving, Rep. Barney Frank, recent Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee during the collapse of the nations financial systems, says that S&P is incompetent.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/06/barney_frank_trashes_sp_as_incompetent.html

Meanwhile, S&P says the USA is on the negative side of AA+ meaning (to me) another downgrade is coming down the pike if the status quo continues.
3730  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 03:49:58 PM
JDN, I will try to split my answer, libertarian issue here and the rest over on health care politics. 

GM put it succinctly (as he does), "If I'm paying, I have a say in your behavior".

I don't care if you don't care (but you are certainly entitled to that opinion) that you might lose your freedom or preferred recreation because I care about mine and I know plenty here care about the right to fight which would most certainly be among the first to go.

If you can ride Dukatis for recreation, not exactly third world poverty behavior, you certainly should not need someone else to be picking up your basic living expenses, healthcare, so you you don't have to dip into your own resources.


No intent to hit while you are down, but theoretically your choice of riding superbikes at higher speeds on mountain roads, in a nanny state system, jeopardizes my right to putz around carefully at 80 mpg on my Honda 200.  Soon they will all be prohibited.  Or they will limit you to what mine is and that is a different sport, likely of no interest to a Dukati enthusiast.  You are perhaps willing to lose what you have.  I am not.

Your right to your pursuit without harming others and my right to not pay for it are both clearly enumerated in the 9th amendment IMO.

"I choose to smoke cigars and ride motorcycles, someone else may choose to eat too much fatty food, etc. still there is not a 100% direct cause and effect.  In many/most health issues a direct cause and effect cannot be found."

Government prohibitions and regulations and penalties have been issued with far less certain causation than those examples.

Let's take one of my summer favorites, waterskiing, passed down in our family through at least 4 generations.  I remember my grandfather skied on one ski on his 70th birthday and my mother into her 80s, while my award winning daughter just got her first successful one-ski ride at 17, last weekend.  Others pull hamstrings and fill up chiropractic wards with their pulls and twists.  It burns fossil fuels.  Why is that necessary - in some Washington bureaucratic view - it isn't!  Banned.  Dessert - banned.  How would you like your shrimp cooked, battered with french fries, just kidding, we'll tell you how your food will be prepared.  Whoops, shrimp was banned too.  It just isn't necessary.  Even lean beef is inefficient and oatmeal is on the latest list of foods to not advertise to children.  There is no end when the alleged consequence is a public expense.

"My grandfather was a small town surgeon near Milwaukee, albeit he was quite famous in WI.  If you were rich, my grandfather charged you top dollar, if you were poor my grandfather would take vegetables or whatever as payment.  He never turned anyone away."

My grandfather and father were dentists serving the downtown community including some of its most famous citizens like our current govenor in his childhood, charged low, fair rates that no one ever questioned, worked long weeks and long hours well into their 80s because they loved what they did and serving people and did not charge people extra or give better service for being rich. Good grief.

"While I understand your point, ..."

No, I think that you don't.
3731  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 06, 2011, 03:48:08 PM
We drifted to govt healthcare on libertarian issues http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1565.msg52640#msg52640 where it also belongs and I wanted to answer part of it here.

GM wrote: Yeah, it's funny how a free market can make products and services cheaper for everyone to access but somehow that can't be used for healthcare.

Yes, that was a point a tried to make with a highly educated liberal relative recently.  She was arguing that single payer is the most efficient system and I kept answering with the question: "for everything?"  No, only healthcare because that was all she had looked into, but has someone looked into the most efficient and effective ways to allocate scarce resources if they look at one failed example.  What about housing?  I see areas here where the average price has adjusted from $3 million to $2 million.  At either level, the price is astronomical and the product exceedingly complex and extravagant because that is exactly what people are wanting and able to afford.  Those prices in a free market continuously adjust so that is true under changing cicumstances and the product built adjusts too - if left alone to adjust.  In healthcare, not so.

JDN wrote: "Do you know what cancer costs?  Or a heart attack?  Even just a "routine" visit to the emergency room is $1000's of dollars, Etc.

Yes.  Do you know why??

I put it in a previous reply: "If we paid our own medical bills (for the most part), the cost levels set by providers would be limited to what people could generally afford and were willing to pay (imagine that!), not what an entity with the power to print money could possibly spend."

That does not mean there won't be a safety net for the needy, there already is.  It means as you expand that to include routine care for ordinary income Americans, the entire system with the only known, effective force for cost control is gone.  That can't happen!  Look at Europe! Yeah, look at Europe.

The welfare state like Scandinavia or even Japan relied on a culture of homogeneous people all possessing an unending work ethic and not interested in taking advantage of the system, where the safety net goes only to the truly needy no matter what are the rules.  Hardly a description of Europe today, or the US.
3732  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Doorbell on: August 06, 2011, 12:45:03 PM


http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/07/doorbell.php
3733  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 12:14:25 PM
Or maybe we should pay our own medical bills and then take personal responsibility for our individual choices.

And if we paid our own medical bills, the cost levels set by providers would be limited to what people could generally afford and were willing to pay (imagine that!), not what an entity with the power to print money could possibly spend.
3734  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: Lost advisers on: August 06, 2011, 12:06:19 PM
Some turnover is normal, but what happened to economic advisers Volcker, Buffet, Summers, Roemer and now Goolsby?

Austan Goolsby, Obama's current Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, will leave his position this summer and return to teaching.

http://www.news-gazette.com/opinions/editorials/2011-06-10/bad-economy-taking-its-toll-advisers.html

"Goolsby, a longtime Obama adviser, has been one of the leading proponents of the idea that increased government spending would stimulate the economy into a roaring recovery."

SHOULD HE BE TEACHING?
3735  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Geithner: Stimulus "remarkably effective", 2nd one not necessary - Oct 2009 on: August 06, 2011, 12:04:22 PM
CCP, Yes, 'it was worse than we thought'.  George Bush screwed up left field so badly that nobody can play it.
-----------------------
CNBC Oct 16, 2009

http://www.cnbc.com/id/33342777/My_Interview_With_Treasury_Secretary_Tim_Geithner

...
Sec. GEITHNER: Well, recovery is going to work for Americans requires a recovery led by the private sector, requires recovery led by private demand that's going to be strong enough to be sustainable. And that means that you're going to have to still make sure there's enough support to reinforce that process of recovery. But when we have growth back in place, we also got to bring down those long-term deficits, make sure we go back to living within our means. And that's like the difficulty--that's the--that's the difficult balance to get right. But I think we're going to get that right. We're not going to make the mistake many countries made in the past of putting the brakes on too early and creating risk that we have a, you know, weaker recovery with even higher levels of unemployment going forward.
...
Sec. GEITHNER: Stimulus has been remarkably effective, and the combined effect of stimulus, as it was designed and the efforts we took to stabilize the financial system, bring capital and private capital in, have been remarkably effective in arresting the freefall in economic growth we saw here and around the world and laying the foundation for growth. Now, you're seeing growth now for the first time, really, in almost two years. And that's a very encouraging sign. But it's very early still, and again, our job is to make sure that we're encouraging that process. And recovery act was designed so it's going to provide support over a two-year period of time, and you're just now starting to see--probably in the summer you started for the first time to see money start to flow and projects start to get financed. But a key part of stimulus was tax cuts to businesses and families and support to state and local governments, and those things had very immediate, very powerful effect.
...
BARTIROMO: So do we need a second stimulus? ...
BARTIROMO: A good case for a second stimulus?

Sec. GEITHNER: No
3736  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama: turn around economy in 3 years or this is "a one-term proposition.” on: August 06, 2011, 11:36:01 AM
A family man with a wife, 2 small children and a dog named BO wouldn't want to spend this special birthday during August recess with his family, when the opportunity presents itself to sell tickets to big donors for big money.
------------------------

Here a clip you just might hear during the campaign:

Today Show with Matt Lauer Feb 1 2009 (with Gallup approval rating at 66%):

“Look, I’m at the start of my administration. One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years,” Obama told The Today Show’s Matt Lauer on February 1, 2009.

“A year from now I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress,” said Obama. ”But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/28975726/ns/today-today_people/t/obama-were-suffering-massive-hangover/#.TjsAwL9bapU

Video at the link.
3737  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Wisconsin 'Recall' vote on: August 06, 2011, 11:11:49 AM
I don't suppose anyone, anywhere is following this, but there is a campaign going on right now that is the preview to the 2012 House, Senate and Presidential campaign and election.  It is very, very ugly.  The money being spent is unbelievable and the message on both sides is 100% negative: Moore means More Taxes and Harsdorf is backing [Gov.]Scott Walker's agenda every step of the way.

In the case of one western Wisconsin legislative district, they have to pay for the entire 3 million person Twin Cities (MN - wrong state) media market in order to reach their own district with television and radio ads, and they are nearly continuous on every channel - in August.  New records for spending, they are spending more in one state senate district than was spent statewide in a real election a short time ago, and (believe it or not) the money is not all local: http://www.workdayminnesota.org/index.php?news_6_4951
The Minnesota AFL-CIO will run buses of union volunteers into the district Aug. 8 and 9, assisting get-out-the-vote efforts on Moore’s behalf. And the Minnesota State Council of the Service Employees International Union  already is operating phone banks out of its St. Paul headquarters.

Who knows what the outcome will mean for having a special election at such a strange time. 

For unbiased coverage wink there is a blog at Huffington Post covering the campaign.  For current liberal governing views, just read the comments.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/14/wisconsin-recall-elections-2011_n_898144.html
Also Hudson WI newspaper: http://hudson-wi.patch.com/articles/wisconsin-senate-recall-harsdorf-vs-moore-links-for-aug-3
3738  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 10:44:21 AM
JDN, with you on those agreement points.   smiley

"I think it's better if the government stays out of it."

But they can only do that if it is your responsibility, meaning all the consequences of your actions.

Some nanny state laws are good in their effect and result, like seat belts, but then how do we stop there and not end the other things mentioned.  I forget my seat belt sometimes and find myself reaching for it every time I see law enforcement.  I rode with my youthful 87 year old dad driving the other day.  Just a short drive but I got in and buckled up.  He saw that and stopped to do his.  One sibling of mine has been harping on him to do that.  Hard to change old habits and the law gives people an excuse to say - just do it, but that is in the context that everything relating to driving is regulated.  Everything related to living is not regulated or at least shouldn't be.

Our state was first I think to enact smoking bans, with a mixed effect on liberty.  Then we repealed the helmet law.  A gain I suppose for liberty, but I can't imagine getting on a motorcycle without a helmet so it seems like a lousy symbol for liberty.  Still they require eye protection and I'm sure we have both been hit with bugs in the glasses enough to know why.

True libertarianism would oppose all these restrictions and true liberalism of today (fascism) would put an end to nearly all personal choice and responsibility.  It seems to me we could have a very few, very carefully considered laws and restrictions without going hogwild but experience seems to prove that I am wrong.
3739  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Tao of Sex on: August 06, 2011, 10:16:48 AM
Slow, gradual escalation, with full respect for the power of what you are considering, culminating in marriage is better than an entitlement, instant gratification mentality.

Does anyone know what Judaism, Christianity (and the other great religions) say specifically about it.

Crafty, I appreciate the dilemma you are presenting with young people delaying marriage longer and longer and many couples not marrying at all, but what are you saying is the answer?  What will you say to your son and daughter?

May I state unequivocally that, moral issues aside, one or the other partner saying they are using birth control is not foolproof, and that moral issues aside, single uncommitted people having babies is not the same thing as having a mother and a father under one roof in a committed attempt at a lifelong relationship.

Also an observation, if the responsible people are having fewer children and the irresponsible are having more, that is not a healthy dynamic for our civilization.
3740  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 06, 2011, 09:46:09 AM
"I didn't go to law school, but the answer is simple; one is legal on is not."

The point of libertarian issues is to dare to question what should or should not be law, not just blind support fro whatever they are.

When you expand the public role in maintaining our health, you cause the erosion of the liberty to do things considered risky.  Motorcycling, stickfighting and putting penises where they weren't designed to go.  Is driving a car today without a seatbelt more dangerous than riding a motorcycle?  One is legal, one is not (in 49 states).  That can change.

Can't have it both ways.  If you are the risk manager of you, then you decide.  If the Sec. of Heath is in charge, then she decides.  You might not like the next czar's decisions.
3741  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: August 06, 2011, 09:23:46 AM
"I'm not really comfortable with that last line at all."

The odds that a 50-50 committee will do the right thing is not better than 50-50.

Yes, the wrong 'solution' exacerbates the problem.  You can't raise taxes in a recession, but you also can't say, as we do now, that we will raise them the instant we are out of the recession either.  It has the same destructive effect without capturing any additional revenue.

The only thing I can think of to head off the wrong answer out of committee is to take offense with the public before they act, instead of playing defense after.

The serious, leading Pres. candidates need to shift from saying in 2011 what they would do as President in 2013 to being the leaders of the opposition party now, and call loudly and persuasively for a specific list of actions now.  Call on the House and Senate, in response to the downgrade, to finish the job in September that could not be completed before the August 4 birthday deadline.  The save the nation later plan is not capturing anyone's imagination or attention whatsoever.

If your house is on fire now (Marco Rubio's analogy is that you save the whole house), the discussion about what to do after it is just ashes smoldering seems rather academic.
3742  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: August 05, 2011, 02:15:20 PM
"She has kept her job and her insurance (great boss) but now they are thinking of laying her off as well as other employees.  It's the times."

She has coverage because she of the job (private sector inferred).  They are laying off employees because of the economy.  Number one cause of the continued bad economy with almost no new hiring: healthcare reform with non-existent cost savings, along with two dozen new tax increases, new regulations, penalties and heavy burdens on employers.

JDN: "With her pre-existing condition no one will offer coverage at any price."
Crafty: "IMHO the matter of people getting kicked out of their insurance due e.g. to a job loss and while having what then becomes a pre-existing condition is a genuine problem."

Pre-existing condition - instantly - was one of the planks offered in the Republican alternatives and turned down by the ObamaPelosi-ites.  It is a feature of Obamacare but implementation was delayed I believe to 2014.  IT DID NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY.  That was solvable in 2009 but they wanted the whole enchilada, not compromise or even a single Republican vote.  If Obamacare did not utilize financial deception to pass, the good features would be law now.

JDN, I'm glad you are okay.  That said...

By your own description, you were a) on a motorcycle, and b) going too fast. (Did I read that right?) Those are two risks that someone else might not want to pay for, and will be likely be freedoms you would lose as we shift the financial consequences to others... or it could void your warranty.

You were burning fossil fuels for the enjoyment. (?)  I'm surprised that freedom wasn't already taken the day Al Franken took the 60th vote in the Senate.  So many potential prohibitions.  So little time.

'Base plan' means disparity and arguing the unfairness to eternity.  Probably a better way than Obamacare to get to full coverage, single payer.

Base plan will however include everything controversial, abortion, birth control, sex change operations, smoker, motorcycle, sky dive coverage.  Anything less will be unfair.  French fries and stick fighting might be the only exclusions?

We already, at least in our state, have full coverage for the financially challenged.  We are talking about a middle class entitlement.  Paid for by whom?

You were going to be treated, like it or not, in this case.  We are only talking about who pays for it.

"My father has Medicare; he loves it.  He also has a great, albeit expensive supplemental plan ($800.00 month) that covers everything else in the world that Medicare doesn't that Dad pays for himself.  He's happy.  I just want the same choice."

a) You will be there soon.  smiley
b) Medicare is bankrupt.  Let's expand it.  sad

"Why not have a base government plan covering everyone"

Third party pay for millions is already the reason why costs for the rest of us are OUTRAGEOUS.

Healthcare was mostly affordable back when most service was fee for service.  That was when prices had to match affordability.

"then the fire trucks showed up; 5 of them.  I guess it was a boring day."

Would that happen in the private sector?

"Flipped, hit my head and slid"

Hope you mean - hit my helmet.

"3 have died on bikes on this road in the last 3 weeks"

Sounds like fun ...  huh
3743  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People - John Birch on: August 04, 2011, 01:56:46 PM
"Is the John Birch society a bad thing, and if so, how? (From a Conservative- Libertarian frame of mind)"

I don't know exactly when or where they went too far to be so widely discredited.  As we are all (conservatives-libertarians) constantly accused of being extremists, it is important to not be unnecessarily guilty of it - in order to influence swing voters and win elections.

Looking through wikipedia and a few articles I find that the main core beliefs  mostly match conservatism, but there are a number of planks of John Birchers that I disagree with.  I see they had quite a feud with the Wm F Buckley types of conservatism in their time - and lost.  The main point I think would be to not go back now and re-fight those fights.  More constructive IMHO would be to join forces with the best of the new groups and keep them focused on the right issues and right solutions.
3744  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: August 04, 2011, 01:41:07 PM
Thank you Hello Kitty for the kind words.

"What if I'm allergic to peas..."

Very funny!

It turns out fresh peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C.

But if you are allergic or are fighting hypermagnesemia, the answer with an all-powerful central government is still eat your peas.  If a new federal minimum wage law does more harm than good in an isolated village somewhere in America, the answer is fire everyone working below the new minimum wage.  If 26 states don't want Obamacare, their answer is Obamacare.  If your kidney, heart or diabetic condition could be eased with raw milk (http://www.realmilk.com/milkcure.html) or some new drug bogged down in the FDA bureaucracy, the answer is... tough luck.  Government knows best and you just don't realize that how good coercion can be for you.
3745  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 01:08:16 PM
JDN, FYI we also discussed that book/author here http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1337.msg45036#msg45036 and here http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1337.msg45036#msg45036
3746  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: August 04, 2011, 11:02:02 AM
The reason that a producer can't sell or even consume a raw food product on their own property, if prohibited by federal law, is because they are engaging in interstate commerce.   huh

The police state accusation IMO is not of the police tasked with enforcement, but a tyranny of the majority - tyranny of the do-gooders, enabled by some bizarre court rulings over the years where government over time seems to no longer have meaningful limits.
3747  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education/Parenting on: August 04, 2011, 10:44:54 AM
I read as much 'liberal drivel' as I can stomach (opposition research) and I have not seen the specific BS points that I identified ever substantiated.

"I'm not going out of my way to copy articles for you."

Not exactly in the spirit of;
 http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=961.msg7530#msg7530
"If you are pasting something from elsewhere, please be sure to specifty the source (name, URL, that sort of thing).  If you do not have the source, please explain why."

It was not for me, BTW.  It is your lost credibility I was trying to help rescue.
3748  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government regulations: 608 new federal regulations added in July on: August 04, 2011, 10:27:42 AM
http://www.usnews.com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2011/08/03/report-obama-administration-added-95-billion-in-red-tape-in-july
http://static.usnews.com/documents/whispers/8-2-11-31-days-updated.pdf

Report: Obama Administration Added $9.5 Billion in Red Tape in July

Many House and Senate conservatives are reviving their battle against federal regulations, claiming that the president hasn't stopped issuing job-killing rules during the debt ceiling fight. "While Washington and Americans have been focused on the debt ceiling, the Obama administration has continued to roll out more crushing red tape," said a spokesperson for Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, who's been championing the regulation fight.

At Tuesday's GOP Senate caucus lunch, the lawmakers said that they will renew their efforts, supported by business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a memo Barasso handed out to the lawmakers, he claimed that the administration in July only has put in $9.5 billion in new regulatory costs by proposing 229 new rules and finalizing 379 rules. Among those he cited were EPA, healthcare reform, and financial regulatory reform rules.
3749  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: August 04, 2011, 10:17:35 AM
The country's debt situation in real terms actually got worse this week under the continuing anchor of Obamanomics.  Debt is measured in dollars but most judged as a percentage of income.   Because of sudden new borrowings and the economic growth downgrades and the past economic results downgrades, total debt now exceeds total GDP of the US economy for the first time since 1947 according to US Treasury figures:

http://news.yahoo.com/us-aaa-rating-still-under-threat-204040123.html

US borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury  AFP
 
US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government's debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country's spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit -- a slightly tighter definition -- was $14.53 trillion as of the end of Tuesday, rising from the previous official cap of $14.29 trillion a day earlier.

Treasury had used extraordinary measures to hold under the $14.29 trillion cap since reaching it on May 16, while politicians battled over it and over addressing the country's bloating deficit.

The official limit was hiked $400 billion on Tuesday and will be increased in stages over the next 18 months.

The last time US debt topped the size of its annual economy was in 1947 just after World War II.
3750  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, US Dollar & other currencies, & Gold/Silver on: August 04, 2011, 10:04:48 AM
In the US we suffer from a continuing devaluation of our weakened currency.  Elsewhere they are suffering from currencies that are too strong.  Both scenarios cause other economic problems, as does the volatility and uncertainty.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/currency/8680740/Japan-follows-Switzerland-by-weakening-currency.html

Japan follows Switzerland by weakening currency
Japan has intervened to halt the rise of its currency aganist the dollar, to protect its own economy as investors piled into the yen as a safe haven on heightened fears about growth in the US and Europe.
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