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3951  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Race - Thomas Sowell on race and Zimmerman-Trayvon on: April 24, 2012, 10:20:21 AM
Thomas Sowell, black conservative, on a roll again about race and the Zimmerman Trayvon story. (Could also go under Media Issues) Two excerpts:

"the repeated references to Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic." Zimmerman is half-white. So is Barack Obama. But does anyone refer to Obama as a "white African"?

All these verbal games grow out of the notion that complexion tells you who is to be blamed and who is not. It is a dangerous game because race is no game."

"The last line in most of the transcripts shown on TV was that of the police dispatcher telling Zimmerman not to continue following Trayvon Martin.

That became the basis of many media criticisms of Zimmerman for continuing to follow him. Only later did I see a transcript of that conversation on the Sean Hannity program that included Zimmerman's reply to the police dispatcher: "O.K."

That reply removed the only basis for assuming that Zimmerman did in fact continue to follow Trayvon Martin. At this point, neither I nor the people who assumed that he continued to follow the teenager have any basis in fact for believing that he did or didn't.

Why was that reply edited out by so many in the media? Because too many people in the media see their role as filtering and slanting the news to fit their own vision of the world. "
3952  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The electoral process, vote fraud, SEIU/ACORN et al, corruption etc. on: April 24, 2012, 09:33:37 AM
This story if true is amazingly scary.  That Obama won by 7 points and the cheating if true was unnecessary is irrelevant to the crimes.  That John McCain said nothing is also irrelevant.   Nixon won 49 states in 1972 and did not need any of the wrongdoing either.

Each fraudulent vote is a felony (?) and if the corruption reaches the top, or wherever it reaches, it is treason IMO to systematically undermine our electoral system.

OTOH, hard to believe they are sitting on "proof" and don't come forward.
3953  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - "You pay as you go" on: April 24, 2012, 09:19:19 AM
Re. GM post on Political Economics:

How do you go from getting elected by saying to the voters:

"You pay as you go.  If you want to start a new program, then you've gotta cut an old program that doesn't work" ...

to governing like he did...

to even running for reelection.

Why would anyone take him seriously?

(Republicans in name only spent way too much in the 2000s, but the deficit was $161 billion in the year that Pelosi-Reid-Obama-Biden-Clinton and a number of currently vulnerable Senators took power in Washington by sweeping both chambers of congress and it has averaged 1.3 Trillion during the Obama Presidency.)
3954  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 24, 2012, 08:49:27 AM
"...keep in mind that when the DOW was at 6500 GM and I were predicting 6000.   We have missed on that one by over 100%.   That is a rather big miss!!!"

Good points.  Also keep in mind that the DOW consists of 30 named companies who operate globally and can improve profitability by closing a store in your neighborhood, open one in Brazil and build it all in China.  The exchange Crafty and JDN had a couple of days ago over NASDAQ was telling.  Using the exuberance of it hitting an eleven year high is mathematically the same as saying that every dollar invested those entire 11 years returned a 0% return.  We added 30 million people and our technology sector grew by zero?  Did we make it all up in factory jobs?

While GM and Wesbury were arguing over the optimism in the US economy last year, Wesbury is now conceding that growth was 1.1%.  That is not lethargic, that is pathetic.  The DOW companies are up globally but in the US we are starting 600,000 fewer new companies a year than what is needed for vigorous growth (a statistic not shown in the DOW or S&P listings of existing companies) while budding entrepreneurs look at this business climate and new regulations coming and say: why bother.

Wesbury posts great data and analysis (no, let's not start snarking Scott who is more likely to read or post here) but Wesbury is read best here on the forum with the accompanying snark and criticisms for context and perspective.  

I judge economists by how well they are able to explain what has already happened, not for their fortune telling capabilities and Wesbury is very good.  PP ripped him the worst one time over housing data but that is a good reminder that all these economic measures have flaws.

Wesbury has put (IMO) some nice lipstick on a pig at times and I am regretful to say that GM in his pessimism has been at least partly right - 1.1% growth through most of last year??  For example, if we point out a 3% increase in housing starts for single family homes that needs to be in the context that they were recently almost at zero with the entire homebuilding industry shut down.  They are growing nowhere near fast enough to employ back hardly any of the former construction workers, electricians and plumbers that used to build those homes.  If the new starts are now apartments being constructed it means that many of the existing foreclosed or vacant homes will never come back.  There are banking, budget and housing value consequences that come with that.

In Detroit, formerly America's 5th largest city larger than Chicago now smaller than San Jose, I imagine there are more homes gone than remaining and a city in bankruptcy.  Other neighborhoods in other American inner cities have similar problems.  McDonalds and Coca Cola are selling well in China, that does not mask the fact that not one significant product is manufactured in the population centers of North Minneapolis, the Southside of Chicago or East LA.

In an election year I am not inclined to accept sugar coating over what is currently not getting fixed with our man made economic problems. We have growth but it is below breakeven levels and at least close to the worst case in our lifetime for not growing our way back out of the mess that we made.  One reason this badly managed economy doesn't fall off the cliff right now is because we are still sitting at the bottom of the cliff.  Just my two cents.
3955  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 23, 2012, 09:32:40 PM
"GM, can you predict the next one?"    The "Walking Dead"?

I knew you could do it!  Now we wait for the next 1% growth quarterly report and check the Wesbury July outlook (pre-written below) and see if you got it right. 

'The Walking Dead' 
Growth in the Obama economy for the second quarter of 2012 was reported at 0.00% by the US Dept of stagflation, coincidentally the same as John Belushi's 7 year GPA in Animal House.  I am Brian Wesbury looking out for your investments.  We are nowhere near recession or double dip, much less a triple axel with an ACL tear on the landing.  The outlook we see is for nothing but more smooth sailing ahead.  Some encouraging news in housing starts which tripled last month from 0.1 to 0.3 starts.  See you next month with more good news.   wink
3956  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 23, 2012, 08:56:36 PM
"I guess I just keeping hoping"

If the incumbent is forced off the ticket after the primary season, the powers of the party will put Hillary on the ballot, or Joe Biden!

We need to get rid of this guy the old fashioned way, not the Chicago way.  By defeating his ideas.  At the ballot box.  By converting some voters.  Demotivating his base and energizing ours.  By chipping some votes off of key Dem constituencies, like cutting 20 points off of his advantage with young voters and winning over a few Latinos that don't want their grandchildren paying $30 trillion plus interest in debt.  We need to double our black vote from 3 to 6%,lol.  Win the key swing states, the electoral count, the House and the Senate with a specific and identifiable mandate.

What I meant with my prediction that President Obama will not be the nominee of his own party was that moderate, non-radical Dems would rise up, reach to the middle and offer an alternative.  Jim Webb, Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, a swing state governor like Colorado's hickelberry(sp?)!  I was wrong.  Forcing Hillary or Biden up the ticket with the same management team is not a change.

It is too late now.  We want the incumbent and his record on the ballot.  MHO.
3957  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: April 23, 2012, 08:32:17 PM
I love Wesbury but yes it seems to be coming down to a reach for new metaphors.  GM, can you predict the next one?  A 3-legged plowhorse pulling as hard as he can, or: blind squirrel finds an acorn?

"slowing down to just 1.2% annualized growth in the first three quarters of 2011"

Breakeven growth used to be called 3.1%.  Just 2 points below breakeven and 23 million out of full time work but luckily no recession.

"1983-84, when real GDP grew at a 6.6% annual rate for two years and the jobless rate fell 3.5 percentage points in only 21 months."

Yes, that is what real growth with pro-growth policies coming out of a deep recession looks like.  This isn't it.

3% growth peak in one quarter along with 1% last year makes about 2% on a 2 year average, rounding up.

"not a double-dip" ... "we are a long way from recession"

Depends on what the meaning of the word is is. A recession involves negative growth for at least 2 quarters while this is just moving backwards slowly beneath the rate of breakeven growth or stuck in neutral for 3-4 years or at least until we change course.   We are a long way from a recession?  About one external shock away.  More importantly, we are about 500 to 1000 years away from growing out of our current malaise and budget problems at our current rate of growth - best case.

"...this thread has recently joined the ever-growing list of threads on this forum with over 100,000 reads.  A pleasure working with you gentlemen."

And thank you for hosting.  When you hear that we changed one vote, we will celebrate!
3958  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 23, 2012, 03:08:34 PM
CCP,  Yes, prove fraud and he is out.  Short of that I don't see an endgame to the birth certificate forgery story.  I don't worship snopes but it sure looks like this has been looked at thoroughly.  The Dan Rather forgery in contrast was unraveling on the internet (Free Republic and Powerline) within minutes of the story and document release.  Nothing shifts the burden back to Obama short of one renowned expert demonstrating to everyone that the document presented is without a doubt a forgery. 

There is no reason to doubt Obama was born in this country.  His mom is from Kansas and Washington state and lived in Hawaii before his birth and Washington right after.  She was never photographed offshore in that time.  9 months pregnant is no time to travel from Hawaii to Kenya - check the map on that, 10844.3 miles and further with  flight connections.  Not something the grandparents would have sprung for, just to give birth.  There are no other borders close to Hawaii.  If it was to get away from family in Hawaii they would have stayed away.  There was no reason to visit 'family' in Kenya; Barack Sr's other wives lived there, and they didn't go there as a couple or a family before or after that.  The only other theory is that Barack Sr is not the father and Barack Jr. was born perhaps earlier.  At this point, so what.  Except that IF this is BS and coverup, it becomes a Nixon-like breach of public trust.

Until then, the birth certificate issue is the shiny object distracting attention away from the issues and the record.
3959  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: April 23, 2012, 01:45:55 PM
[Romney]  "Showing good instincts , , ,"

... and good discipline.  They have not let themselves get led down the wrong road very far on distractions. 

Strong America and a robust private economy versus big government, unemployment and a stagnant economy.  No shiny objects.  No lunar colonies, no matter their merit.  No leading with issues that divide your own base. 
3960  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of RINOs on: April 23, 2012, 12:45:23 PM
"Doug, I already posted that article elsewhere."

I wonder if I already criticized it elsewhere... )

Thanks (sincerely) for that clarification, that Campbell is a Republican.  I guess this is a case then of the cognitive dissonance of trying to appease the left.  If you see a RINO thread, I will move the post.  I take back the blame insinuated at the LA Times for publishing this view no matter how flawed.   If he is a 5 term congressman, his view is newsworthy in his local paper.

I should have known no real leftist would lower personal income tax rates under any circumstance.  I noticed that some of the rest of the piece made sense but I got stuck on his false premise. With all his impressive economic training (he studied under Milton Friedman) he does not support his premise.

Answer this back on the tax policy thread then: What is the evidence that raising capital gains tax rates will raise revenues to the Treasury (as opposed to just appeasing liberal California voters for personal reelection).  All evidence of our lifetime indicates the opposite.  See the video posted of Obama being asked about that in a 2008 debate.
3961  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - the constitutional question on: April 23, 2012, 12:36:49 PM
The commerce clause gave power for our government to be the referee, not the participant or architect of private sector commerce and innovation.  And it does not negate the other clauses or even the unenumerated rights.

Promote general welfare did not mean government do everything or make all private decisions.

"I share Doug's concerns about the implications for liberty and privacy."

Lots of government programs step on liberty and privacy.  I'm just saying that this is a huge, additional theft of liberty and privacy.  That, and the fact that 26 states oppose it and the Court chose to hear the case puts a very heavy burden on the proponents of the law to show where the federal government in this case derived its authority to do that.  The arguments made before the Court were made public, were quoted and linked in this thread, and I couldn't find in any of that a coherent case for that even a politically liberal leaning Justice could honestly cling to.

Unanswered: In a structure of enumerated powers, why (other than that you don't have the votes) wouldn't you pass a new amendment to authorize a new federal government power.

I would love to hear bigdog (and anyone else) summarize this historic, constitutional case as he would decide it - before the ruling comes out.  What are the strongest arguments in the favor of the losing side of this case and what are the paramount arguments that trump those arguments and make it necessary to upheld or strike down this law?

In a short time we will know what 9 justices think.  I predict struck down 6-3.
3962  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left- LA Times lost on economic recovery on: April 23, 2012, 09:38:03 AM
"Why not raise taxes on capital gains but lower them on income?"

Yes, except that the proven way of raising taxes collected from capital gains is to LOWER the rate.

15% tax is low enough.  Make it permanent so that investors could try to build and create wealth and know with certainty what the tax rate on that effort, if successful, will be.,0,441132.story

Besides lost revenues, there is no recovery that comes out of punishing investment in America.  Other than that it all makes sense.
3963  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics - Learn 10 basic points of Supply Side, money and wealth on: April 23, 2012, 09:27:52 AM
"economists go to great lengths to obscure simple truths..."  Instead, read this!

April 23, 2012
Supply-Side Critics Offer Only Trickle-Down Inflation
By Bill Frezza     Excerpt only - Read it all at the link!

" are 10 common sense propositions I challenge political economists to refute. (forum contributors too!)

1) Money is not wealth, but merely a claim on wealth. Printing more money does not create more wealth.

2) Counterfeiting money steals wealth from others. The theft is no less when a government does it.

3) Moving money from one pocket to another does not create wealth. This is true even when small amounts of money are quietly siphoned from the pockets of the many and loudly deposited into the pockets of the few.

4) Before wealth can be consumed, invested, or redistributed, it has to be created. Consuming existing wealth does not create more of it, nor does borrowing against future wealth.

5) Wealth is created when consumption is deferred in favor of profitable production. Profits generally require selling something for more than it costs to make.

6) Profits are rarely a sure thing. Every decision to forgo consumption and invest in production seeking future returns is a gamble.

7) Private investors investing their own money generally seek to maximize after-tax profits balanced against a chosen degree of acceptable risk. Investment decisions are sensitive to policies that affect this equation.

8 ) Private investors that consistently make bad decisions, thereby squandering their wealth, eventually lose the ability to make more investments.

9) Politicians often "invest" other people's money seeking to maximize the number of votes they can garner. Whether or not these "investments" generate a future return, or are just thinly veiled redistributions, is secondary because a politician's time horizon extends only until the next election.

10) Politicians acting as public investors who consistently make bad decisions can remain in office and continue making more "investments" as long as they convince enough voters to shift the blame for their failures onto others.
3964  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney campaign - 23 million on: April 23, 2012, 09:18:05 AM
"Here's a number you're going to hear a lot on this campaign: 23 million," Eric Fehrnstrom, senior adviser to Mitt Romney, said on "Face the Nation," referring to 12.7 million unemployed, 7.7 million underemployed and more than 3 million Americans who are discouraged from finding work or have dropped out of the job search, according to the latest numbers by the Department of Labor.

President Obama did not create this recession, but his policies are not working for these people..."
3965  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Romney on: April 23, 2012, 12:48:55 AM
"I wouldn't expect Romney to do ANYTHING on gun control...Mormons are the original Disaster Preparedness people ... Mormon families in the west (UT, ID, NV, AZ, WY, CO) have at least 3 or 4 firearms in the house. Plenty of word from members of the church has already been whispered his way to STFU on gun control, and the answer back has been 'Wilco'. I'm not talking about Church leadership, I'm talking about rank and file members picking up a pen and writing to him. I did."

Very good point.  Nevada in particular is a swing state, also Colorado and Arizona.  He will have to make assurances to voters.

Governor Romney is smart enough (IMO) to know there is a difference between governing Massachusetts and governing America - on a host of issues.  He knows he won't be getting 270 electoral votes from the Northeast.  He needs at least 5 of those 6 states listed in order to win.  Colorado is tough - because they let Californians in.
3966  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re:Politics of Health Care- it's different than Medicare and social security on: April 23, 2012, 12:20:15 AM
Social security is a tax and spend program.  Medicare is a tax and spend program.  The individual mandate is not.

The GM piece covered it,  There is no explicit authority and there is no precedent.

The income tax had the same problem - then they passed an amendment.

People like Alan Blinder (or JDN) can write or talk for hours about how great the benefits will be - everyone covered - like everyone having a home because the law requires you to buy one.  If you like that, fine, but you need a super majority to write the authorization for that new power, not an act of congress.

Under Obamacare, you lose liberty and you lose privacy.  Liberty is mentioned in at least one founding document - and so is life - which includes life's big decisions, does it not?  Privacy is a Supreme Court recognized right.  Without it, Roe v Wade falls.  You have to buy the policy under Obamacare and therefore you lose privacy - you have to give them all the personal information they require including the most personal things possible, allow them to store it, read it, use it and act on it.  What if you don't want to give them your ss number, your birthdate, whether you smoke or not, drink, have sex, have guns in the house, eat right, exercise, or a lot of other things.  What if you don't want to buy exactly what is in the plan or don't want to pay for provisions that violate your beliefs or don't fit your needs.  What about the freedom to figure this all out for yourself and not subscribe to a one size fits all out of Washington.  What about the right to freely consent to your contracts.  Anything short of that isn't a valid contract anyway.  You lose the right to make all of your own choices including those that could save your life - a quality recognized in at least one founding document.  Even the right to make a wrong choice, isn't that a liberty?

If you agree to the loss of these recognized freedoms and established rights in the creation of a new federal govt power that isn't authorized anywhere in Articles One or Two or in any amendment to the constitution or in any court precedent or anywhere else - isn't that the opposite of upholding the constitution?

Is it too much to ask to have an amendment passed for every new power over us that we grant to the federal government?
3967  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 22, 2012, 02:56:43 PM
"why don't the Republicans propose just that?"

They did that at the time.  Pre-existing conditions, cross state lines, malpractice reform, all of the 'popular' pieces of Obamacare were on the table.  Democrats should have done a head fake with this monstrosity and locked in all of what at least the most moderate of Republicans were ready to agree to.  It was Democrats who did not want that deal.  They were willing to write a cornhusker kickback, exempt the Bank of North Dakota from student loan legislation, and build a hospital in Connecticut in order to buy the last Democrat vote and not need a single Republican.

"The concept is like car insurance...except with health insurance, you need a rule that says you can't opt out.  But you only have to buy the minimum.  Still, it's a start."

Constitutional distinction: a) car ins. is a state law, b) you can opt out - bicycle, bus, let someone else drive, stay home when your finances are down, etc. and c) You used to be able to post some OTHER form of financial responsibility up to the minimum and not HAVE to contract with a psuedo-private insurance company.

"you only have to buy the minimum."

Article Two, or where did that authority come from?

"As for for the European crisis, what does that have to do...with health care?"


"How does (see list below) pay for a Universal Health Care Plan?
Norway New Zealand Japan Germany Belgium United Kingdom Sweden Canada Netherlands Austria Finland Slovenia Denmark Luxembourg France Australia Ireland Italy Portugal Cyprus Greece Spain SouKorea Iceland Hong Kong Singapore Switzerland Israel"

The question in a constitutional case is - how did they authorize it?

If you are willing to skip that question then the answer is obvious, move.

GM: "Is it right and fair to confiscate money from the young to partially subsidize the care for the older population?"

Justice Alito had that point quantified and no one corrected him.  The ones hit most by the mandate will be mandated topay 6 times what their current burden is on the others.  Had that been based on actual costs, the underlying argument they made might have had truth to it.

3968  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: April 22, 2012, 10:40:57 AM
The elephant in the room is that they could have written and passed a bill to cover catastrophic injuries and unexpected illnesses in a constitutionally authorized way instead of cradle to grave governing and they would not now be faced with starting completely over - with a new group in power.
3969  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Libertarian themes - the voting conundrum on: April 22, 2012, 10:37:26 AM
In these parts we think of Al Franken as the 60th vote in the Senate that brought us Obamacare.

In Montana, the libertarian candidate in 2006 won 10,000 votes while the red state seat went to the Dems by 3500 votes.

To those voters: How are your new liberties working out for you?
3970  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama taking credit for OBL kill is like Nixon taking credit for moon landing on: April 22, 2012, 10:04:49 AM
John Bolton: Obama taking credit for killing bin-Laden is like Nixon taking credit for landing on the moon
Posted by The Right Scoop The Right Scoop on April 20th, 2012 in Politics | 58 Comments

Bolton weighs in on Obama taking credit for Bush’s successes with regard to the killing of bin-Laden, saying that the only thing Obama really did was get out of the way. The intelligence that led us to bin-Laden came from the very thing Obama railed against and thus banned when becoming president, enhanced interrogations. So for him to take credit for killing bin-Laden, Bolton says, is like Nixon taking credit for America landing on the moon.

The entire interview is great as Bolton also weighs in on much more of Obama’s foreign policy, Iran, N.Korea, Russia, intelligence, START, defense budgets, international law, sovereignty, problems growing around the world.
3971  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Krauthammer: Buffet tax is doubling the capital gains tax, will shrink revenues on: April 22, 2012, 09:51:10 AM
Video at the link.  They show the debate clip from 2008 with Obama confronted with the historical facts that lowering capital gains rates increased revenues every time and raising them lowered revenues.  The President doesn't care about the revenues. It's about 'fairness'.  Watch the clip.

"This is a preposterous statement [a quote of Obama shown defending the Buffet tax] and he know it is. Also on growth, it is equally deceptive. What the tax is, it's a doubling of the capital gains tax. It's disguised, but that's the reason why the Buffett rates are lower, it's the capital gains rate and it's lower than the rate for normal income. So he double its. The reason that's not a good idea is because when you double the rate, you actually decrease the amount that the treasury receives. And you decrease the growth because you are shrinking the pool of capital that is out there that people can invest and hire other people. The reason that we had an economic boom after the Kennedy tax cuts and the Reagan cuts, 20 years later, it's precisely that they cut rates and particularly that they cut capital gains rates," Krauthammer said.
3972  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 22, 2012, 09:41:32 AM
"Speaking of idle capacity, IIRC I have been reading of capacity utilization being rather high, with univested profits sitting on the sidelines."

Yes.  I was referring more generally to the quantity of money and workers on the sidelines, not the utilization of factories already built.

Productivity of employed workers I think is at record highs.  Improving with each new layoff.

I read in some commentary yesterday we need to be starting 1 million new businesses per year and the current number is 400,000.  A couple years back I posted analysis that we need to be starting a certain number(150?)  of companies every year that will grow to a billion dollars, bringing with them the employment that entails and the wealth it creates.  Instead we demagogue wealth and business, hire new IRS agents to address 'healthcare' and tell our young to go into social work.
3973  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Tokyo Electric and the Fukushima station blackout, 40 years in coming on: April 21, 2012, 11:28:46 PM
Long story, well researched, published in Fortune yesterday.  Short excerpts:

"how could the accident at Fukushima Daiichi have happened—and how, in particular, could it have happened in Japan, a country once known, not so long ago, for its sheer management and engineering competence?"
"When the licenses for the Fukushima Daiichi generating stations were granted in 1966 and 1972, they called for the plant to be able to withstand a wave cresting at 3.1 meters in height—a figure based on the size of a tsunami in Chile in 1960."
"There was no precedent for the magnitude of the quake and tsunami that wreaked havoc at Fukushima Daiichi. But the disaster wasn't unimaginable."
"As recently as 2008, according to the Japanese government's interim report into the accident released at the end of last year, TEPCO reevaluated the tsunami risks at the plant. New simulations the company ran showed waves could reach as high as 15 meters—chillingly, almost the exact height of the biggest wave that smashed into the coastline on the afternoon of March 11. (a 46 ft. wall of water at hundreds of miles per hour?)

TEPCO didn't believe the simulation was reliable."
"...they did have redundant power sources in place—the on site diesel generators that also eventually failed after the tsunami struck. (Despite sitting within a few hundred yards of the Pacific ocean, the generators were not designed to withstand flooding.)"
"we spent ten times more money for PR campaigns than we did for real safety measures. It's a terrible thing."
"The fact is, we still don't know what's going on inside the reactors."
3974  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: April 21, 2012, 09:02:09 PM
"... in 2010, months into our recovery, growth was about 3 percent, followed by 1.7 percent growth in 2011. The rate for 2012 could be about 2 percent—below the 3.4 percent throughout the postwar period."

It should be 4.5% or greater with this much idle capacity.  Growth below 'break-even growth' is not growth in my book.

"private sector hiring through June 2011 was 10 times slower following the passage of President Obama's healthcare bill compared to the prior 16 months."

Unemployment is twice what it should be.  You don't ever get it back at this growth rate.  The federal budget - same thing.  We do not have the internal strength to handle the next external shock.  Another term of this and we might jeopardize our economy for more than a century.

We don't need an election win.  We need a win with a real mandate for change.

The world does not have a contingency plan for American collapse.
3975  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential, State of the race might change... on: April 21, 2012, 08:43:08 PM
Excerpt from Paul Mirengoff, a founder of Powerline back from a one year absence:

"Oddly, it may be Obama, the incumbent, whose image changes significantly. Polls show that his personal popularity is what’s keeping him afloat. Voters don’t very much like his policies and his results, but they continue to like him.

The reasons are pretty straightforward. First, he made a great first impression, and such impressions tend to last. Second, people want to like their president. Third, people want to like the first black president.

As his presidency has faltered, though, Obama has become increasingly irritable and negative. It’s unlikely that many voters have noticed because few follow the day-to-day utterances of the president.

But the electorate pays attention during the final months of the campaign, and especially during the presidential debates. If they see the whiney, defensive, and nasty side of Obama, he will pay a price.

In theory, Obama should be able to avoid this pitfall. His surrogates can do the attack dog thing, while he takes the high road. As for the debates, history shows that the sitting president is allowed one bad debate, especially if it’s the first one. So Obama just needs to keep his inner nasty partisan in check for a few hours.

But Obama’s arrogance works against him here. This is the man who famously proclaimed himself a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, a better political director than his political director, etc.

Presumably, he also considers himself a better attack dog than his attack dogs. If Obama continues to sense that his presidency may be slipping away, he is unlikely to leave to others the dirty work he feels is needed to preserve it.

The adverse consequences of such self-indulgence may well be more than marginal."
3976  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Education - home school on: April 21, 2012, 07:38:40 PM
Funny line at the end:  "And that’s why homeschooled kids are so annoying.  Because no one tells them that the way God made them isn’t cool enough."

Looking forward to any first hand home school stories or info.  My nephew did it for a year at age 12 and got caught up in academics.  He needs the socialization.  The Boy Scouts for one thing has been very good for that.  They do a lot of great activities and the dads are very involved keeping the atmosphere fun and positive.

Home school is of course not really home school.  It is a parent directed education (like public schools are supposed to be).  Those kids often get out and about way more than school kids and have academic and social networks.  They are eligible here for school sports and other activities as well which can help them stay connecting if they later come back in.

Thye teacher union comment is funny.  Around here each home school choice cuts about 10k/yr out of their funding.  Every bit of competition with the public school is a force for good for all of the kids.
3977  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care - Alan Blinder piece on: April 21, 2012, 07:20:48 PM
"Though we Americans spend a much larger share of our GDP than any other nation on health care, we are not healthier."

Do you mean healthier than every other nation?

My answer to that point is - unquantifiable.

a) Remove all American treatments, equipment, medicines and innovations from their systems and let's do a comparison. Canadians are getting better rates on American meds than Americans do, for example.  But what do they need those for if their system is superior, lol.

b) Compare SURVIVAL RATES for the afflictions most likely to hit you such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer.  America beats European in these measures.

c) Remove genetic and cultural factors if you are comparing health care delivery systems.  The USA is a melting pot.  To compare healthcare systems with a homogenous society like Japan or Norway compare healthcare outcomes of Japanese Americans with the Japanese, Norwegian Americans with the Norwegians, and compare Mexican Americans with Mexicans and African Americans with Africans.

d) The measure the statists always follow with is the percent or number of uninsured which is a healthcare finance outcome, not a healthcare outcome.

"It would be a shame—and I mean that literally—if Republicans repealed the law or if the Supreme Court voided it."

No matter if it violates the constitution?  People like that shouldn't be allowed to vote in a constitutional republic, MHO.

"The U.S. health-care payment system has a few oddities we'd be better off without. For one, the tax code incents employers to pay part of workers' wages in the form of health insurance, which is why insurance became tied to employment in the first place."

Repairable without Obamacare.

"For another, we have somehow decided that the state should provide anyone age 65 or older with health insurance, while everyone younger should fend for themselves."

No one is denied healthcare.  The argument is over payment systems.

"Now the big question: Does anyone think it is sensible to have nine lawyers decide what sort of health-care payment system the nation should have?"

It wouldn't be before the US Supreme Court if Congress hadn't passed and the President hadn't signed a bill that ELECTED officials in 26 states found to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL. That would be a large number of states opposing even if we did have government by majority rule - AND WE DON'T.

"Why does the law require people to purchase health insurance?"

Do you mean why would they do that when they have no power like that authorized to them in the constitution?

" question that the federal government can regulate interstate commerce."

And no question Americans have a COMPETING right of privacy in their affairs. Or is there?

"So what happens if the justices void the mandate but leave the insurance reforms in place?"

Why would they.  There is an unseverability clause in the final version. (?)  If not, as Justice Scalia suggested, they won't be inclined to go back through 2700 pages not even read by the people who passed it and re-write it.  That is the legislative branch's job.  Looking forward to an improved legislative branch next year.

"I [Alan Blinder] claim no special expertise in constitutional law"

Finally got something right!

"In cases in which there are clear Democratic and Republican positions on an issue—which certainly includes this case—the Court will vote 5-to-4 Republican."

Does that reflect badly on the 5 or on the 4?

"This is another real shame. If we are going to have political decision-making, at least elected politicians should do the deciding."

With no constitutional restraints?  He isn't the first or highest up to regret living in a country where we place constitutional limits on governmental powers.  
3978  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 21, 2012, 06:33:04 PM
"leave last word to Doug"   - Thanks for the offer Crafty but it has all been said.
3979  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 21, 2012, 01:45:02 PM
"Pre-tax income is a ..."

It is an amount of money that is not yours.  Not yours to hold, to spend, to invest, and not to falsely inflate and compare with a real number - like it grew over the next several decades when it can't because they that isn't the amount George Romney started with.  It didn't and you know that.  Drivel on.

"rather than the fictitious 78% Doug quoted, if you do the math "The figures indicate he paid $1,099,555.18 in taxes on an 1968 income of $2,972,923.58 in 1968."  I think that's about a 37% tax rate."

No I said 78% was the top combined rate federal plus Michigan in that year and YOU said he earned in a single year.  Why lie?  Now you say he paid 37% which means it was largely LONG TERM CAPITAL GAINS which are NOT made in a single year.  (Was 37% the combined tax rate or federal only?  Source?)  If he did NOT earn it in a single year and you say REPEATEDLY AD NAUSEUM that he did, which is it?  And why lie?  Why post on things you don't know or care about?  Why make attacks against the person "silver spoon".    What you said he made in a single year was earned over a period of 1954-1968 which is 15 years, at great risk and with great faith is his own accomplishments to leave it invested in the company all that time.  That said, who the f*ck cares.  That was GEORGE Romney taking EARNED gains after Mitt left the home.  George is dead FYI, not running for President in 2012 (Do you understand that?) and his estate has been properly executed.  Mitt born with a silver spoon?  He was born in 1947 before ANY of this and George started with nothing.  George was NOT head of AMC when Mitt was born.  They had good money later.  Very good money.  They had ENOUGH money.  No one said he grew up poor or undernourished.  They did not live like they had obscene wealth which is no crime either; it just wasn't the case.  (Wikipedia: "The Big Three, when used in relation to the automotive industry, most generally refers to the three major American automotive companies: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler." Show me Rambler in there, lol.)

"And what Doug seems to interchange rather conveniently is that in today's dollars George Romney made $20,000,000 in 1968."

After 3 times told that was false, post it again.  I recognize the pattern.  What a blockhead. 

"So yes, in today's dollars (that's when Obama got his inheritance) Romney made 40 times Obama's inheritance in one year is accurate."

Just can't get off of a G*d D*mned lie.  An inheritance in that amount isn't taxed and the 20 million is.  The comparison is false.  A lie.  Plus you are comparing what one of the candidates actually received versus a what dead former Governor NEVER received by a factor of 10, AFTER his children were grown.  Please give some indication you are smarter than that.  ANYTHING!

"That man [GEORGE ROMNEY] was very RICH."    - SO WHAT!  He is also very DEAD.  And running for NOTHNG.

"Sorry Doug,..."    For what?  Wasting my time.  Pissing me off.  Bringing down the discussion.  Lies.  What are you sorry for when you just keep doing it.

We are stuck on stupid discussing his father's salary and tax rate as if we were uncovering unbelievable wrongdoing of his son when in fact everything went very well and nothing wrong is even alleged.  Everyone should have a career like George Romney.  But still, who cares.

Digging out info for this worthless argument keeps exposing more success and virtue in the Romney family.  George Romney was a moderate Republican and quite an honorable.  Barack Senior was a polygamist (irony) who left his kid unsupported on an island.  One built up an American auto company.  The other advised a poor country on how to stay poor.  The abandoned kid writes a book for his own profit (makes $20 million in one year, tomorrow's dollars) to honor an absent parent.  The one who inherited from his Dad gave the money to something his Dad would have liked.  How far do you want to go with this?  When you finish your hate speech you ought to go back and admit GEORGE ROMNEY is the type of Republican that YOU might have supported.
3980  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 20, 2012, 06:30:46 PM
 "The most important factor is that Mitt grew up in a loving and intact family while Buraq..."

GM, that point is huge.  That was a missing ingredient for Bill Clinton.  For all his brilliance he acted out his deviance to embarrass the nation.  Fatherless Democrats deserve a fair shot at everything including President and pursuit of happiness, but only in progressive-America is growing up in a functional home considered a BIG negative.
Gotta love JDN, trying his hardest.  I point out that was pre-tax income during high tax rate days is NOT what the family gets, and so he repeats it - and again.  Let's try again.  3 million doesn't grow or inflate to 20 million today if government took 78% the combined top tax rate then before he got it.  But in 1968 George Romney was governor of Michigan on a public servant salary.  What JDN passes as a single year income is the exercising of options, investments that he made, earned and saved over a period of time, at risk, that happen to pay off due to leaving the company and shareholders (and workers) in a nice situation.  Greedy capitalist.
Romneys Reported $3-Million Income From 1955 to 1966

Gov. George Romney of Michigan and his wife Lenore had a total income from-1955 to 1966 of nearly $3-million. Of this amount they gave $561,000 to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and another $115,000 to charity, it was disclosed yesterday.

($3 million over 12 years, pre-tax? and a large chunk went to charity.  Greedy capitalist with silver spoon babies.)

My suggestion: Substitute the word accomplished or successful for wealthy and then see if he was around too much of it.  George Romney did not work his full career as an auto executive.  He was also a Governor and HUD Secretary.  

The only trapping of wealth on Mitt the detractors could come up with on the Romney family was that they paid his airplane ticket to come home from Stanford.  Wow...  He also worked as a night security guard there so he could fly back more than they knew.  Devious!

So he had less money than John Kerry.  Less than the Kennedys.  Higher grades than Gore or Kerry.  But JDN rips Romney for his grades ("he was nobody in high school") - while his opponent won't show his.  The drivel continues while the 'growth' plan is 'ask' the 'rich' to pay their 'fair share'.  Strange priorities.  
NY Times continued: "whenever [George Romney] felt his salary and bonus was excessively high for a year, he gave the excess back to the company... he developed a good relationship with United Automobile Workers leader Walter Reuther... AMC workers also benefited from a then-novel profit-sharing plan. Romney was one of only a few Michigan corporate chiefs to support passage and implementation of the state Fair Employment Practices Act."
Greedy capitalist.
JDN wrote further: "She "willed him [Obama] somewhere between a quarter and a half a million"?  Wow!  Romney's Dad made 40 times that in one year alone!!!  

Actually it was 6 times that and it was exercising options earned over a 10 year period, not indicative at all of his salary.  "Wow"  A quarter to a half million quoted were dollars Obama got to keep.  Compare that to a non-existent $20 million figure of falsely inflating a one-time gain of his Dad's, that did NOT come to his Dad or Mitt, except for a part a quarter century later that Mitt received and gave away in his father's name.  Mitt was 21 and gone in the year JDN says the Romneys made the windfall.  Undisguised dishonesty.  Makes Obama is a pretty good fit, lol.  Looking forward to more distortions and worthless discussions on non-issues from now until the election.

Meanwhile half of black teenage males unemployed under Obama:

No problem.  Let's come down harder on employers.
3981  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 20, 2012, 01:37:47 PM
I love the silver cocaine spoon analogy.  Reminds me of Ted Kennedy never being able to get away from tragic water analogies.  Every cliche he used seemed to fall into it:  drowning in debt, swimming upstream, head under underwater, water under the bridge, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, asleep at the wheel... it just never ended.  Now the blew-some-coke guy tries a worn out spoon cliche on his opponent to kick off the general election.  Is that all ya got?  That line was Hilarious when Texas Gov Ann Richards used on Geo. W Bush - to an audience of partisan Democrats, not from a 'unifying' President crossing the country on Air Force One on official government business. Interestingly, Bush won and Richards lost; I wonder if Obama's teleprompter-writers knew that!  Watch for more Freudian screwups; this campaign has its wheels falling off.
Thank's for the clarification on George Romney's wealth, '3 million is like 20 million now' and I agree with your conclusion: "That said; so what".  For further clarification, big personal wealth now is measured in billions with a B, a starting factor 50 fold greater than 20 million.  And why would you quote Pre-TAX income from those days?  You show more what he did for his country more than for his family.  You have friends, neighbors, acquaintances richer now than George Romney was then, right?  Not exactly unimaginable wealth.  Again, "so what".

Funny that you then skipped in your wealth clarification the part about the family of 7 traveling in the station wagon, or the couple's first apartment rent of 75/month - that would be nearly $350 today?! But still in the basement, lol.

Understanding wealth and how it is created comes better from Romney's environment than from demagoguing with radical professors and then organizing for welfare rights.  JMHO.
Mitt Romney: "Well, he (George Romney) didn’t have as much as I think some people anticipated. And I did...inherit some funds from my dad. But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor. ... And that’s where his inheritance ended up."

(Once again, the money by that time belonged to Mitt, but was given by Mitt in the name of his Dad.  Selfless like the guy who says his "whole life is a testament [Biblical term] to American exceptionalism.)

Politifact verification:

"There's no evidence we saw that Romney's parents helped buy him a business career."

"According to a short history of the George W. Romney Institute of Public Management at BYU, the family provided an endowment in 1998, within a few years of George Romney's death."
3982  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: April 20, 2012, 12:19:14 PM
"Those aren't my socks".  wink  They found that substance in Randy Moss' car when he couldn't break free from single coverage, a cop on the hood, and he said, I can't think of who's been driving this lately.
"Photographs help Americans see the wars"

GM is right about lack of restraint but that is a given.

Making the adjustment to waging war in an age of instant cameras and photo transmission everywhere was a failure of a few troops in a couple crucial situations with tremendous cost.  The giddiness you may feel after a necessary kill needs to be internal - even thousands miles away from the LA Times or al Jazeera headquarters.

There once was an NFL coach (Bud Grant) who told his players that when you get to the end zone, act like that is where the play was designed to go.  Eleven years into the war, how are we not training soldiers what to do in the event of a kill - and enforcing the policy.

We also failed to make the adjustment in Washington to waging war in the age of daily tracking polls.  Always hard to sell the public on the necessary war you command when you personally oppose it.

Cutting off ears, instantly transmitted photos and daily tracking polls do not mix or add up to a successfully sustained war effort against a fully committed enemy - who has our own media on their side.
3983  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 20, 2012, 11:24:53 AM
Bigdog, That is a great story and quite an example that the guy does have a core and a heart.

In the Romney dog story, he built the dog it's own windshield!  In this part of the country what we might call 'garage logic' not 'silver spoo'n thinking.  Dogs love sitting in the front of a boat or the back of a pickup.  A family of 7 plus a dog traveling in a station wagon or that he and Ann lived in a 75/mo. apartment when first married.  On the upbringing part, his dad was an executive not owner of a big company and that company made Ramblers not Mustangs or Corvettes.  George Romney was a well liked Governor but a failed Presidential candidate, more like Lamar Alexander or Paul Tsongas than growing up a Kennedy.  

People criticize the type of company that Romney ran but besides exercising many positive qualities there such as competence, being organized, setting priorities, making hard choices, managing staff, he had the rare personal ability to leave that work while on top.  He was good at it but that dog eat dog world (pardon the expression) wasn't all that he is.

In 2008 so many of the choices including the final 2 or 3 came out of the senate, without executive experience.  That is a big distinction.  The senate has its own aura, great deliberations, strategy and oratory, but it alone is not the experience of running an executive branch somewhere.

Obama's executive experience was that he ran an amazing campaign in 2008, but it was centered around running away from hard choices of governance with the blank canvas speeches. That, along with the main theme of blame Bush and the Republicans worked for the election but it did not establish a roadmap for successful governing.  He had no experience or ability to adapt and change course as a successful business executive is trained to do.

Back to Romney, he won't be bragging about his Mormonism but that he served in his religion and rose to such a high level is another demonstration of character.  That was not something he had to do - he could have written books about himself, played golf, visited beaches around the world...

Re. GM's post `Obama Isn’t Working': Remember that McCain's refusal to take off the gloves was a key point in not getting this inexperienced opponent with his misguided direction fully vetted.  Crafty had complained or pointed out that Romney was outspending these primary opponents ruthlessly and I saved a Romney piece that came to my mailbox days before our caucus viciously taking a former Speaker down to size, who in his time changed Washington and made a huge difference.  Sorry to say but that willingness and ability to go critical and negative now becomes quite a strength in the general election where Barack Obama with his record is far more vulnerable than was Newt.

Romney isn't cool or hip to the (unemployed) younger generation, but if he is still projecting competence and readiness on Nov.6 he will be the next President.
3984  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of Health Care: Barney Frank - Obama made a mistake on: April 19, 2012, 01:55:57 PM
My first post ever (half) agreeing with Barney Frank:

Barney Frank: Obama Made 'Mistake' With Health Care Push

By Jonathan Miller
Updated: April 16, 2012 | 6:35 p.m.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said he advised President Obama against taking up health care reform following a special election in 2010 that changed Democrats' fortunes in the Senate, saying that he should have instead turned his focus to financial reform.  (No, that was a disaster too!)

Frank referenced former President Bill Clinton and his failed health care plan from the 1990s. “Obama made the same mistake Clinton made,” Frank said in a wide-ranging interview with New York magazine. “When you try to extend health care to people who don’t have it, people who have it and are on the whole satisfied with it get nervous.”

The outgoing representative from Massachusetts added that after Republican Scott Brown won former Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s seat, breaking Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority, Obama should have backed down: “I think we paid a terrible price for health care. I would not have pushed it as hard. As a matter of fact, after Scott Brown won, I suggested going back. I would have started with financial reform but certainly not health care," Frank said.

He said that if the president had followed his advice, “you could have gotten some pieces of it.”
Frank is right on this last part.  In the heat of the debate, Obama could have gotten the 'popular' parts of Obamacare passed with bipartisan support - if that was what he wanted and he could have avoided the fiascos of the Cornhusker kickback, deemed passed, broken promises about open debate and time to read the bills and all the rest.  He chose not to and paid a heavy price in 2010 and likely became a one-termer. 

Jumping the gun here on the upcoming Supreme Court decision, he also could have avoided the fiasco of having his signature achievement ruled to be unconstitutional.  His second term election theme then could be to do more instead of creating the need to go back and undo what he got wrong.
3985  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics: Vindication of Wisconsin Gov. Walker - Property taxes down on: April 19, 2012, 01:42:25 PM
Calif could learn something from the other 49.  It used to be the other way around.

"the typical homeowner's bill would be some $700 higher without Mr. Walker's collective-bargaining overhaul and budget cuts"

A Wisconsin Vindication        Excerpt, more at the link...

Property tax bills fall as Scott Walker's reforms start to kick in.

The public employee unions and other liberals are confident that Wisconsin voters will turn out Governor Scott Walker in a recall election later this year, but not so fast. That may turn out to be as wrong as some of their other predictions as Badger State taxpayers start to see tangible benefits from Mr. Walker's reforms—such as the first decline in statewide property taxes in a dozen years.

On Monday Mr. Walker's office released new data that show the property tax bill for the median home fell by 0.4% in 2011, as reported by Wisconsin's municipalities. Property taxes, which are the state's largest revenue source and mainly fund K-12 schools, have risen every year since 1998—by 43% overall. The state budget office estimates that the typical homeowner's bill would be some $700 higher without Mr. Walker's collective-bargaining overhaul and budget cuts.
The real gains will grow as local school districts continue repairing and rationalizing their budgets using the tools Mr. Walker gave them. Those include the ability to renegotiate perk-filled teacher contracts and requiring government workers to contribute more than 0% to their pensions. A year ago amid their sit-ins and other protests, the unions said such policies would lead to the decline and fall of civilization, but the only things that are falling are tax collections.

The political lesson is that attempts to modernize government are always controversial, but support usually builds over time as the public comes to appreciate the benefits of structural change that tames the drivers of a status quo that includes ever-higher spending and taxes. The Wisconsin recall donnybrook in June will test whether voters value their own bottom lines more than the political power of unions.
3986  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / programs & spending: Government funded research on: April 19, 2012, 01:03:37 PM
I'm no fan of government funded research but doesn't it make sense that the product of that research belongs to the taxpayer and the public?

When research is funded by the taxpayer or by charities, the results should be available to all without charge

"...a year of the Journal of Mathematical Sciences will set you back $20,100. In 2011 Elsevier, the biggest academic-journal publisher, made a profit of ($1.2 billion)...  Such margins (37%) are possible because the journals’ content is largely provided free by researchers, and the academics who peer-review their papers are usually unpaid volunteers. The journals are then sold to the very universities that provide the free content and labour. For publicly funded research, the result is that the academics and taxpayers who were responsible for its creation have to pay to read it. This is not merely absurd and unjust; it also hampers education and research."
3987  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: April 19, 2012, 12:37:43 AM
"three times this week, Buraq's team has tried to lob attacks at Mittens and each time they've spiked it back in Obozo's face, the dog being the latest and best of the three. I think Mitt is serious about winning. And if he keeps it up, he will."

People can say what they will about Romney for President but I wouldn't vote for Obama for dogcatcher.
3988  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Glibness: The owner of the dog is upset on: April 18, 2012, 11:59:22 PM
3989  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fisker - Another government green co. down the drain on: April 18, 2012, 04:32:43 PM
$200 million from the taxpayer to build cars.  No cars.  No jobs here or even where they manufacture - in Finland!  Taxpayer is blamed for not putting up more money.  The only innovation that came out of it was to shift the entire innovation sector over to lobbying government for their dollars - while we mock and despise venture capitalists.  Go figure.

Gov’t-Subsidized Company Goes Through Another Round of Layoffs: Plant Is ‘Absolutely Empty’

Govt Subsidized Company Goes Through Another Round of Layoffs: Plant Is Absolutely EmptyAn electric car manufacturer that was awarded more than half a billion dollars in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy has gone through a second round of layoffs.
Analysts blame the lousy state of Fisker’s finances on the fact that the DOE has denied the company the second round of its loan.
Fisker Automotive is given $193 million of a $529 million DOE loan to produce two lines of plug-in hybrid cars and, presumably, create jobs.
    The company is unable to find a contract manufacturer in the United States, so it outsources manufacturing jobs to Finland (the company vehemently denies charges that it has used any part of the federal loan to fund manufacturing operations in Finland).
    The automaker falls behind its production schedule and experiences “delays” in its sales (i.e. poor sales), depleting its capital.
    But to qualify for the rest of the $529 million loan guarantee, the company has to maintain a certain amount of capital.
    Therefore, in order to meet this DOE benchmark, Fisker Automotive decides it will save money by laying off an “undisclosed number” of employees.

Or as Axelrod will call it, another example of failure in the private sector.
3990  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Like father, like Son - Economic Glibness - Dreams from my father on: April 18, 2012, 04:06:06 PM
"After leaving Hawaii he (Mr Obama Snr,) took a PhD in economics at Harvard and later became a senior economist with the Kenyan government."

Kenya per capita income nearly 50 years later: US$ 2.00/day, $60/mo.  - Living the Dream!

I wonder what they teach for economics over at those Ivy League Schools... Fairness?

3991  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: April 18, 2012, 03:48:00 PM
Obama would never put a dog on top of a car. It dries out the meat.
3992  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: April 18, 2012, 01:38:03 PM
A longer version of repetition, still with falsehoods, still refuting nothing I wrote.  I asked you to go back and read what she wrote in its entirety and you refuse.  Then tell me I'm wrong about what she wrote.  Great discussion (sarc.).
3993  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Glibster sticks it to the UK - and Argentina - over the Falklands on: April 18, 2012, 01:24:22 PM
Barack Obama addressed the Summit of the Americas in Colombia and spoke about the conflict between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falklands. Obama seemed to tilt toward Argentina by calling the islands the “Malvinas” rather than the Falklands, which Argentina insists is their proper name.

Only Obama didn’t say Malvinas, he said Maldives–an entirely different group of islands located thousands of miles from the Falklands in the Indian Ocean:

So with one word, Obama both offended the British and made himself a laughingstock with the Latin Americans.

 - John Hinderacker, Powerline
3994  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Economist: Over-regulated America on: April 18, 2012, 12:53:25 PM
In the category of famous people reading the forum I offer you The Economist cover story Feb 18 2012 that I spotted yesterday:

Over-regulated America

The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation

AMERICANS love to laugh at ridiculous regulations. A Florida law requires vending-machine labels to urge the public to file a report if the label is not there. The Federal Railroad Administration insists that all trains must be painted with an “F” at the front, so you can tell which end is which. Bureaucratic busybodies in Bethesda, Maryland, have shut down children’s lemonade stands because the enterprising young moppets did not have trading licences. The list goes hilariously on.

But red tape in America is no laughing matter. The problem is not the rules that are self-evidently absurd. It is the ones that sound reasonable on their own but impose a huge burden collectively. America is meant to be the home of laissez-faire. Unlike Europeans, whose lives have long been circumscribed by meddling governments and diktats from Brussels, Americans are supposed to be free to choose, for better or for worse. Yet for some time America has been straying from this ideal.

Consider the Dodd-Frank law of 2010. Its aim was noble: to prevent another financial crisis. Its strategy was sensible, too: improve transparency, stop banks from taking excessive risks, prevent abusive financial practices and end “too big to fail” by authorising regulators to seize any big, tottering financial firm and wind it down. This newspaper supported these goals at the time, and we still do. But Dodd-Frank is far too complex, and becoming more so. At 848 pages, it is 23 times longer than Glass-Steagall, the reform that followed the Wall Street crash of 1929. Worse, every other page demands that regulators fill in further detail. Some of these clarifications are hundreds of pages long. Just one bit, the “Volcker rule”, which aims to curb risky proprietary trading by banks, includes 383 questions that break down into 1,420 subquestions.

Hardly anyone has actually read Dodd-Frank, besides the Chinese government and our correspondent in New York (see article). Those who have struggle to make sense of it, not least because so much detail has yet to be filled in: of the 400 rules it mandates, only 93 have been finalised. So financial firms in America must prepare to comply with a law that is partly unintelligible and partly unknowable.

Flaming water-skis

Dodd-Frank is part of a wider trend. Governments of both parties keep adding stacks of rules, few of which are ever rescinded. Republicans write rules to thwart terrorists, which make flying in America an ordeal and prompt legions of brainy migrants to move to Canada instead. Democrats write rules to expand the welfare state. Barack Obama’s health-care reform of 2010 had many virtues, especially its attempt to make health insurance universal. But it does little to reduce the system’s staggering and increasing complexity. Every hour spent treating a patient in America creates at least 30 minutes of paperwork, and often a whole hour. Next year the number of federally mandated categories of illness and injury for which hospitals may claim reimbursement will rise from 18,000 to 140,000. There are nine codes relating to injuries caused by parrots, and three relating to burns from flaming water-skis.

Two forces make American laws too complex. One is hubris. Many lawmakers seem to believe that they can lay down rules to govern every eventuality. Examples range from the merely annoying (eg, a proposed code for nurseries in Colorado that specifies how many crayons each box must contain) to the delusional (eg, the conceit of Dodd-Frank that you can anticipate and ban every nasty trick financiers will dream up in the future). Far from preventing abuses, complexity creates loopholes that the shrewd can abuse with impunity.

The other force that makes American laws complex is lobbying. The government’s drive to micromanage so many activities creates a huge incentive for interest groups to push for special favours. When a bill is hundreds of pages long, it is not hard for congressmen to slip in clauses that benefit their chums and campaign donors. The health-care bill included tons of favours for the pushy. Congress’s last, failed attempt to regulate greenhouse gases was even worse.

Complexity costs money. Sarbanes-Oxley, a law aimed at preventing Enron-style frauds, has made it so difficult to list shares on an American stockmarket that firms increasingly look elsewhere or stay private. America’s share of initial public offerings fell from 67% in 2002 (when Sarbox passed) to 16% last year, despite some benign tweaks to the law. A study for the Small Business Administration, a government body, found that regulations in general add $10,585 in costs per employee. It’s a wonder the jobless rate isn’t even higher than it is.

A plea for simplicity

Democrats pay lip service to the need to slim the rulebook—Mr Obama’s regulations tsar is supposed to ensure that new rules are cost-effective. But the administration has a bias towards overstating benefits and underestimating costs (see article). Republicans bluster that they will repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and abolish whole government agencies, but give only a sketchy idea of what should replace them.

America needs a smarter approach to regulation. First, all important rules should be subjected to cost-benefit analysis by an independent watchdog. The results should be made public before the rule is enacted. All big regulations should also come with sunset clauses, so that they expire after, say, ten years unless Congress explicitly re-authorises them.

More important, rules need to be much simpler. When regulators try to write an all-purpose instruction manual, the truly important dos and don’ts are lost in an ocean of verbiage. Far better to lay down broad goals and prescribe only what is strictly necessary to achieve them. Legislators should pass simple rules, and leave regulators to enforce them.

Would this hand too much power to unelected bureaucrats? Not if they are made more accountable. Unreasonable judgments should be subject to swift appeal. Regulators who make bad decisions should be easily sackable. None of this will resolve the inevitable difficulties of regulating a complex modern society. But it would mitigate a real danger: that regulation may crush the life out of America’s economy.
3995  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: April 18, 2012, 12:26:47 PM
"Doug, you are missing the logic"

No JDN you are twisting a technicality ("not full personhood" under "Jewish Law") into a genocidally wrong conclusion.  That you can say what is alive and human is not human life does not contain logic, it contains self deception assuming you even believe what you post.  You refuse to acknowledge what was already posted by people you defer to and you misquoted what you linked.  Trivializing 163 million dead does not put you in logical or moral equivalence with Rachel who I linked and quoted in effect called abortion evil (why would it be evil if you are not killing human life) and it is in direct contradiction to your own citation - why would it "frustrate the propagation of more people" (that is a tortured way of saying kill) if it does not end a human life.  Your feigned logic is more akin to the writings and teachings of different time that would argue the justification of killing negro slaves, Jews or infidels where others have denied recognition for what is obviously human life.  Jewish Law does NOT argue that there is nothing of value in the womb and no loss in killing it as you do.  That is simply untrue.  

We do not live in a theocracy (and you and I are not Jewish) so why would Jewish Law be controlling if you could get it right?  The waste of time theme continues.

If you insist on refuting what Rachel posted, you might answer the question begging nine times in her post on the subject:  The "mother" in the abortions is the mother of a WHAT??  If not a human life, is there a raccoon in there? A reptile? A rodent?  What is it?  It has has distinct DNA, fingerprints, and a beating heart and you say it is "property" -  like a book? In a moral and a civilized society?  With 21st century scientific evidence with ultrasound photography available?  Even after we know it could live and grow outside the womb?  A slave was property too, in the eye of those who justified that, not a human life.  Killing a Jew was moral(?) in Nazi society because ..... why? No life of value was lost?  FYI, they were wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Go ahead and continue to "not discuss" this.  So far, I agree with you that you haven't.
3996  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - Dick Morris - indications of a Republican landslide on: April 18, 2012, 11:17:25 AM
Dick Morris posts some indicators that this is not going to be the electoral tie of 2000 that the currently vacillating polls might indicate.

"Six of eight presidents seeking reelection (since 1964) performed worse than the final Gallup poll predicted, while one finished the same (Reagan in 1984) and one gained votes (Bush in 2004). "

..."of the total of 
19 points that shifted between the final poll and the election results, 17 points or 89 percent went to the challenger.

The implications of these findings are that the current polls, while seemingly close, portend a strong Republican victory. The average of the past eight presidential horse race polls shows Obama with a 47-44 lead over Romney. But among likely voters, in the Rasmussen survey (all others were of either registered voters or adults), the president was running behind Romney by 48-44.

But given the historical fact that the final results are almost always worse for the president and almost never better, we really need to focus on the Obama vote share rather than his lead or lack of one against Romney. If Obama is, indeed, getting 44 percent of the vote, he is likely facing, at least, an 11-point loss. If he is getting 47 percent of the vote, he is looking, at least, at a 6-point defeat. (Given the fact that six of the eight incumbent presidents not only lost the undecided, but finished lower than the pre-election survey predicted, it would be more likely that Obama’s margin of defeat would be greater than even these numbers suggest.)

There are other indications of a Republican landslide in the offing. Party identification has moved a net of eight points toward the GOP since the last election. In Senate races, there are currently eight Democratic-held seats where Republicans are now leading either the Democratic incumbent or the Democratic candidate for the open seat."
3997  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion - Jewish Law says thou shalt not kill on: April 18, 2012, 09:54:54 AM
"I did not nor do I intend to discuss abortion."

Good! But what thread do you think you are in??  Drifting from "human being" to "full personhood", do we argue over humans interpreting God's law or go to the source? 

From JDN's link: "Jewish law suggests that abortion is wrong..." - but in the author's opinion, for different reasons, lol.

I don't know how this became about Jewish Law, but I quote and link what I know below.  This is more about liberals denying science and denegrading human life.  And it's about a logic string implied below that because they are going to do it anyway, let's make it legal. It's alive and human, not full personhood, but it is a human life.  What are you to link to make that obvious reality go away?

The point in an abortion thread of discussing whether or not it is a human life is to discover what we think about KILLING it.  Right?  Go to your source and a) it is evil and b) it is against Jewish law.

Rachel said she wasn't going to discuss it further and so for the third time I suggest you could go back and read the ENTIRETY of what she wrote on the subject if she is your guide on this matter.  

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the facts established in science that a developing fetus is alive and human with the following "Jewish Law":

You shall not murder or You shall not kill, KJV Thou shalt not kill (LXX οὐ φονεύσεις, translating Hebrew לֹא תִּרְצָח lo tirṣaḥ), is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments in the Torah,[1]

Exodus 20:13
Deuteronomy 5:17.

As GM points out, the life of the mother fits the distinction between kill and murder.  Killing in self defense has never been considered a violation of the commandment.  For the record, Rachel confirmed exactly what GM wrote here: "As a general rule, abortion in Judaism is permitted only if there is a direct threat to the life of the mother..."

In that post alone there are NINE references to the "mother".  May I please ask again, the mother of WHAT?? ?? ??  (Obviously she is mother to a new, innocent, developing human life and it is evil and forbidden in religious law to kill it except to save your own life.)

98% of abortions are for convenience reasons.  I fail to see how a commandment-following Jewish woman takes the innocent life of her own unborn baby for reasons other than saving her own life. 

"Thou shalt not..." does not give a lot of wiggle room for justifications like that I need the money to continue my health club membership or prefer not finish my degree by extension.  God's answer to that is Thou Shalt Not.

Rachel wanted out of this conversation so I did not want to selectively bring her words forward, but if you reference her posts but refuse to go back and read them I will post this:  

"I just see legal abortion as a much less evil than illegal abortion"

I may disagree with that but is that not still saying abortion is evil?

A women's rights issue? Hardly:
The War Against Girls
Since the late 1970s, 163 million female babies have been aborted by parents seeking sons

What rights did those dead girls acquire?
3998  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: April 17, 2012, 07:55:46 PM
"If I recollect the position of Rachel..."

Unless the posts were removed you do not have to recollect.  That was not all she said before withdrawing from the conversation.
3999  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Abortion on: April 17, 2012, 09:28:52 AM
"Apparently hiding in plain site in the Roe v. Wade decision is language addressing the matter of defining the beginning of life.  In the passage he quotes, it seems to read rather clearly that the Congress could pass a law defining the beginning of life and were it to do so SCOTUS would defer to it."

VERY interesting.  If one were to look back through the discussions here, Congress could take positions laid out by Rachel and from the science of beating hearts, fingerprints etc and define as human life the point where a fetus is more like born baby than like a sperm cell or an embryo.  That still would allow women control over morning after type treatments of what is inside her own body.  If you let it develop into a distinct recognizable human, civilized society is going to protect it.

Unlike other ways of addressing this, you would lose the distinction of keeping track of whether the origin came from rape or incest.

Obviously Roe v. Wade can be addressed also by amendment.  What is lacking as with other contentious issues is the supermajority that would require.  That is why I have tried to address it in this thread to challenge people to think of this in terms of right and wrong more so than in law.  You need to change the thinking toward life before you can prohibit or criminalize what others find analogous to wart or cyst removal.  As Pres. Reagan said (paraphrasing), a fetus is a) alive, b) of the human species, and c) of distinct genetic composition from anyone else including the father and the mother. 

Even pro-abortion activists and justices refer accidentally to the woman carrying the fetus as the mother.  The mother of what?
4000  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Men & Women on: April 17, 2012, 09:09:35 AM
"I think the intention of those who take the position is usually to disparage women who choose to put as much time and effort as they can into raising their children.  Time is finite, and if you are, for example, working as an attorney, your children are going to get A LOT LESS of your time and effort."

One point to that would be that it is a private, family decision, outrageous to be disparaged publicly for it implying she is unworthy of having an opinion to express on civic matters. 

The attack on stay at home moms I believe is borne out of the guilt the others often feel for subcontracting and outsourcing the experience of raising of your children.

Among my own experiences with the soccer moms and girl scout moms I found that the stay at home ones tended to be equally educated and informed and usually more so than the career moms.  In Ann Romney's case she has a Harvard degree at least by extension.  In most neighborhoods that is impressive alone besides serving on all the boards posted previously.  In fact and in law these women and a couple of stay at home dads are in equal partnership with the careers and accomplishments of the spouse.  These successful men (or women) did not marry the maid or the babysitter; they mostly married their equal.  If Ann Romney's economic thoughts were naive or stupid wouldn't you think you could attack them on the merit instead of on the person.

FYI to anyone who hasn't tried it, taking off 2 or 3 decades to raise children may be the most rewarding experience possible, but when you are done companies don't just put you back to either the level where you would risen or even to where you left off.  That is the difficult transition the women's activists, if they cared, should be addressing.  MHO.
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