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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: VDH: Elites support illegal immigration on: May 16, 2016, 01:36:49 PM

No one except criminals should support illegal immigration.
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 16, 2016, 01:35:35 PM
Want to say before being criticized that I admit taking a liking to GM's nickname for the namesake of this thread, "Little Fingers".  For all the name calling he did, he can live in that same world, Little Marco, Lyin Ted, Low energy Jeb.  Our friend Pat was calling Carly "Snarly" right from the start:
So Little Fingers it is.

Update:  I still only know one person who supports Trump without apology, regret or a lesser of two evils approach.  The ratio of Bernie Sanders bumper stickers to Trump hats I see is about 100:0.  Maybe I need to get out more.

I give Pat credit for seeing something - that I still don't see.
Trump is setting GOP primary vote records.

More than 10 million people will have voted for Trump in the primaries.  That's nearly 1 in 30 Americans.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness: we are better off now... on: May 16, 2016, 11:18:50 AM
Obama: By Almost Every Measure, America and World Are Better Than 8 Years Ago

I think he means 7 years ago.  Why won't he claim better off than 10 years ago, when his side took control of Washington.  Our littlefingers won't be able to make that distinction either since he helped Pelosi-Reid-Obama-and Hillary take control of congress and Washington in Nov 2006.

"The good old days weren’t all that good."  - Barack Obama 2016.

Really?  Well, the Obama years weren't all that good either!  45% of 20-something college grads with college debt working in jobs that don't require their quarter of million dollar degree.  Food stamps and disability (payment) epidemics!

If we take away the growth he vehemently opposed such as everything tied to fracking and fossil fuels, how would we score the 0.0% growth of the Obama Presidency? 

Candidate Romney just couldn't bring himself to say it, but almost every measure of every indicator in the country or the world,  Barack Obama came to Washington and made everything worse, from economic results to world peace to race relations and the way we talk to each other.  By the end of the 8 years, we won't know what bathroom to go in or whether we should thank a cop or shoot him.

He came to office opposing his two biggest accomplishments, gay marriage and the individual mandate, all accomplished by lying to the American people. 

This won't have any lasting, negative effect, will it?
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 16, 2016, 10:03:08 AM
Well Pravda on the Hudson already has egg on its face for its hit piece on Donald-- the main woman in question says the piece mis-portrayed her and that she has no complaints about her time with the Donald.

He is lucky this was all aired in May instead of the 1st of November.  Not much of a surprise that a man three times married who admits past cheating. owns the Miss Universe contest, claims to be a multi-billionaire, was once hitting on women.  It's like accusing Hillary of being corrupt.  What did people think she did for a living?

Maybe the personal stuff this time around will be so obvious that we will have to turn back to issues and policies by November.
The Times link, just for the record:
Don't click it; that only encourages them.

Washington Post has some 50-60 'reporters' working on similar material.  I would expect them to get into his business practices.  He already admits he had to buy off politicians to make a living; what more do we need to know?

No word on a similar team being assigned to investigate Clinton Crime Family ties between Foundation contributions and U.S. State Department actions.
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Beijing rattling sabres at Taiwan on: May 16, 2016, 09:50:59 AM
This must be one of the most Orwellian concepts of our time, that the PRC is a world and US recognized country and Taiwan is not.  "We" favor 'reunification', a one-China policy, and yet that is perhaps our biggest fear in the world.  Pres. Obama would bring America to Taiwan's side militarily in an invasion, why?  To preserve freedom?  To fight against rule by executive orders?  To oppose the big hand of government?  Because an invasion would have crossed his "red line"??

Maybe big-talk, 'little fingers' can break through the political correctness without starting a world war.

The median household income is three time higher in Taiwan than China.

Economically, wouldn't it make more sense for Taiwan (or Hong Kong) to take over China?

Who would want to do what's in the people's best interests when you have a politburo, central planning committee designing 'smart growth' that knows what's best for you?  (Like Venezuela, reminds me of here...)

Speaking of openness, freedom and self-determination that we don't seem to favor, I wonder how the next Chexit (China exit) vote will go in the various provinces...

And I wonder how our freedom and independence would be coming along by now had we not had outside help in the 1700s.
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: May 16, 2016, 09:22:43 AM
I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.

Smart girl. Now she should find a good job in Singapore or Hong Kong to develop global business skills.

I will suggest the growth industries of our time, canned goods and ammo...
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: You Tube called a criminal racket on: May 16, 2016, 09:20:58 AM

This is quite an interesting issue.  Musicians who are mostly liberals are the property owners in this case and Google who is also leftist in politics is the greedy capitalist. 

I like to think of youtube as content that is by definition public domain.  The biggest company in the field is implicitly presenting it as that.  It is quite easy to find different versions of favorite songs, convert them to MP3 and then 'own' a free version of it.

Google/Youtube teases you with free and easy viewing.  They build their own market share and monopoly status, and then slip in more and more ads, enriching themselves, never the content provider.

The accuser is right.  When content is taken down, the owner of the content is blamed, as if we had a right to their work for free that they are denying.

The music business has always been a mixture of free and paid content with I suppose only the very high end prospering from it.  We need to listen free in order to like it and buy it, but if enough is available free, do we need to buy it?

I think google builds this dispute intentionally.  In the end they will agree to a settlement that will involve payment to the artists, including a substantial cut to youtube, like eBay gets from sellers. 

And still they will interrupt our service with advertising.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the left on: May 16, 2016, 08:56:16 AM
What do you say to a graduate with a non-STEM degree?

Venti mocha on ice, please.

I'm glad you said non-STEM; my daughter's degree is in math.   grin

WHAT CAUSED THE GREAT RECESSION?  Lack of government spending under George Bush?!  Are they kidding?  Free markets running wild - in the mortgage business that is nearly 100% federal, completely infiltrated by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GSEs and CRAp.  Does anyone remember Saving and Loans, S&Ls?  Loans were once tied to Savings.  Crazy Now we have no savings.  Your credit line is your nest egg and your wealth.  Those loans are tied to government monetary creation no matter how Wesbury and Grannis want to sugar coat it.  We can adjust Fed policy with a volume switch to make  stock markets or housing markets go up - artificially.  And that's all we know.  We don't know what to do next or how to make it go down without crashing or how to ever let an economy operate under normal or real incentives again.
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela and the US socialism analogy (Cognitive dissonance of the left) on: May 16, 2016, 08:19:27 AM
We consider our states to be 50 laboratories of democracy.  We can try different polices and see how they work.  That is my fascination with Venezuela as well.  

There are a ton of stories about Venezuela recently and over the weekend.  Terrible scarcities, chaos, assassination, coup speculation, inflation and so on.

Recalling the Jimmy Carter fiasco, my understanding is that he was our election, see-no-evil, observer during a Chavez recall election when Chavez was losing 40-60 and the official government cheating made that into a 60-40 victory.  My own shock wasn't the expected cheating but the fact that 40% still supported policies of economic failure.  The cheating would have been harder to hide if that support had been closer to zero.

This Saturday in Venezuela:
Maduro orders seizure of closed Venezuela factories, jailing of owners
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday ordered authorities to seize factories that have stopped production and jail their owners, a day after declaring a state of emergency to combat the country's economic crisis.
"We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie," he told a rally in Caracas.
"Anyone who wants to halt (production) to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV (Venezuelan General Penitentiary)," he said

It would be an exaggeration to say that these are the policies young people here in the US at Sanders and Clinton rallies are supporting, but effectively, these are the economic policies we are pursuing and they are supporting and we know they don't work.  Minimum wage is just one example, government mandates what the private sector must do whether is makes economic or business sense or not.  Even the Trump side wants to take your assets if you try to close or leave.  How is that working in places that are further along wih it?
Shortages Cause Daily Looting, Energy Crisis Worsens as National State of Emergency Approaches, May 14, 2016   Reuters: "an unraveling socialist economy"

Is there some other kind?

60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the left, NY Times, Class of 2016 on: May 16, 2016, 07:31:57 AM
Believe it or not, it's still George Bush's fault, or so they imply at the start of this hit piece on the state of the economy.   But then they go on to assess specific blame for the failed recovery at it is the  lack of government spending,  believe it or not.  We had TARP.  We had QE1234.  We had ZIRP, NIRP, Cash. for Clunkers and Solyndra.   we had a trillion dollars a year of temporary spending that became permanent. But we did not do enough with our government sector spending.  Are you f****** kidding?

Other than false cause diagnosis, this would be a perfect reply to Wesbury and Grannis optimism pieces. The underemployment rate is nearly 50% for new college grads while we tell ourselves we are back to 5% unemployment.  We set policies for a decade that perfectly emulate Venezuela, begin to see the same results, and the problem is "tricky timing" for the class of 2016?  Do these people believe their own writing?

Later this month I will celebrate a $265,000 college graduation.  Their goal for next year is to raise tuition.

The New York Times
Sunday Review

Tricky Timing for the Class of 2016
MAY 14, 2016

This year’s high school graduates were 10 years old when the economy hit the skids in 2008. Many college graduates in the class of 2016 were 14. Yet, their economic prospects remain darkened by the enduring effects of the Great Recession.

[What caused the great recession??!!]

That is not to say there has been no improvement. The class of ’16 has more and better-paying job opportunities than earlier post-crash graduating classes, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute. But for the most part, today’s graduates still face employment conditions that are worse than in 2007, the year before the recession, and are much worse than in 2000, when the economy was last at full employment.

The recent unemployment rate for college graduates ages 21 to 24 was 5.5 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in 2000. Their underemployment rate — which includes the unemployed, those who have briefly left the work force and those stuck in part-time jobs — was recently 12.3 percent, compared with 7.1 percent in 2000. And in 2015, nearly 45 percent of college graduates ages 22 to 27 were in jobs that did not require a college degree, compared with 38 percent in 2000. Over the same period, student debt has soared, which means that many of today’s graduates are trying to pay off more debt with less secure jobs.

The situation for new high school graduates is far bleaker, in part because many lower-wage jobs are being filled by college graduates. Among high school graduates ages 17 to 20, unemployment is nearly 18 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2000. One in three are underemployed, compared with roughly one in five in 2000.

The soft labor market has depressed wages, with average hourly pay for young college graduates, recently $18.53, barely higher than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. Young high school graduates are averaging only $10.66, lower than in 2000, adjusted for inflation.

Without full employment to help push up pay, wages and salaries for all workers lag even as corporate profits rise. But the consequences for young people are particularly severe, because early bouts of unemployment, underemployment and low pay can continue to harm job prospects and earnings over a long period. One’s pay and position starting out has a big impact on subsequent raises and promotions, and thus on accumulated wealth over a career.

This trap is especially dangerous for racial minorities and women, who even in the best of times have to combat bias in hiring and pay. For young black college graduates, the recent unemployment rate, at well over 9 percent, is double that of young white graduates. Young female college graduates earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers, a gap that is bound to get worse as men at the very top of the wage ladder capture an increasing share of total pay.

These persistent problems are the result of political failure. Job growth and pay growth were weak and largely ignored as policy issues for most of the 2000s, even before the Great Recession. To restore full employment after the crash would have required sustained government investment in many areas, including infrastructure, education, health care and energy technologies.

More public spending could have raised demand at a time of diminished private-sector spending. But Republicans in Congress have rejected that approach and have embraced budget cuts that have hampered broader recovery and growth, at times with the support or acquiescence of Democrats and administration officials.

Even piecemeal labor market improvements have been stymied or delayed. A higher federal minimum wage would lift wages for low-earning graduates, and updated overtime rules for salaried workers would lift middle-class pay. But lawmakers last raised the minimum wage in 2007, and it will be 2017, at the earliest, before they do so again. Similarly, the administration is expected to issue new overtime rules soon, but at this late date, putting them into effect will fall to the next administration.

In the meantime, the class of 2016, like many before it, will graduate into a tough economy in which even the college educated are not assured a toehold.
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 15, 2016, 05:10:44 PM
GM,  Are your taking that media photo out of context?     wink
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 15, 2016, 05:09:19 PM
Pat,  I would like to take you up on your offer sometime.

I appreciate the clarification, still this is kind of a serious charge.  Would appreciate examples.  

"I would once again subject myself to negative articles about Trump promoting media and political talking points that have taken Trump’s words out of  context, his history having been distorted"

Trump who constantly complained about the system being rigged, found out it was rigged in his favor.  Examples: things like 20:1 and 50:1 media coverage advantage over rivals along the way.

I admit to anti-Trump rants here that focused on his negative traits or counterproductive policies in my view without always mentioning his good traits, like that his third wife is hot and that he is not Hillary.  I have praised his tax plan - more so than he has.

I remember this:

"As to sitting home or voting for the lesser of two evils, I have done that too many times."
   - That was Pat, Nov 2015.  

That is my view today.

63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: This has to stop on: May 13, 2016, 02:00:37 PM
This is so wrong.  So 99.999% of people have to be uncomfortable for the problems of somewhere in the range 0.001 % of people?
This is not a civil right for God's sake.

Crossdresser rights.  Good grief.  If you can't figure out your gender, you might expect some public bathroom issues.  A person with penis shouldn't be in the little girls' room.  It's bad enough letting crazies into the little boys room.  If it's a matter of privacy, keep your personal issues private.  Have thousands been arrested for going into the wrong room?  Or blocked from entering?  What is the problem?

Try common core.  How many genders are there, as we teach it to our young people?  Parents might be surprised at the answer.  It wasn't just a liberal takeover of our schools, like Truman Democrats, it was a liberal leftist wacko takeover.  A birth certificate and a federal student loan application no longer can use terms like mother and father.  We were mocked for warning about this.
"In this lesson, students deepen their working concept of identity by exploring how gender expectations influence identity formation."

You can't make this stuff up.

This must be under the category of shiny objects.  The economy is in shambles, world is going to hell, but hey, look at that shiny object over there.  Let's debate that instead.  Can't manage the economy, can't manage foreign affairs, so they made a category where he is comfortable leading, bathroom rights for the 0.001%!  While the liberals slaughter their young, look what neanderthals the conservatives are on the issue of confused-gender urination!
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, China, currency manipulation? on: May 13, 2016, 01:35:22 PM
The heart of what Trump complains about with China is their currency manipulation.  It's perfect because it flies over everyone's head and gives us a boogeyman.  Like that one German leader blaming that one religion.

But what about our currency manipulation?  Has anyone ever heard of QE?  ZIRP?  NIRP?  (zero interest rate program, negative interest rate program)  Going on 20 years of monetary expansion?  TARP, temporary emergency spending that became permanent, totally unfunded.  Deficit spending to the tune of $19 trillion accumulated and projected to double, triple etc.   And all this is enabled by funny money, intentional inflation, borrowings we'll never pay back and Federal Reserve and Treasury collusion supported by the White House and Congress.  The Fed says they can't let interest rates go to normal levels yet, after seven years of expansion, because the economy is still too fragile??!  That is fair trade?

How about we get our own act together first, then accuse others. 

Does Trump think savers should get zero interest?

Does Trump deny that new investment (non-existent) tied to new savings (non-existent) is locked out by our wrong-headed policies?

Has anyone ever heard Trump address this?  Or Clinton for that matter, but no one expects truth or solutions from her.

Does Trump deny that labor productivity and labor income are tied to new investment - and that is not happening when an economy has no interest rate and no savings?  No.  He sees it from his own crony business perspective, just cheap money, a false free lunch like any other government welfare program.

Some of these problems come from our tax code.  He addresses that.  Some come from our strangulating regulations.  But underlying all of it is that WE ARE MANIPULATING OUR CURRENCY.

If Trump were running for 'President' of China, he could propose a tariff war against the US and have just as much ground to stand on.
65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trade Issues / Freedom to Trade, Reagan exceptions continued on: May 13, 2016, 01:07:17 PM
Thank you ccp.  There is always more to the story.  Looking into this further I find two pieces on the Harley Davidson protection, Japanese motorcycle tariffs.

NY Times announcing the policy, 1983:
tariffs will rise by 45 percentage points, to 49.4 percent, in the first year. But the rate will be scaled back to 39.4 percent in the second year; to 24.4 percent in the third year; to 19.4 percent in the fourth year, and to 14.4 percent in the fifth year, according to the order. After the fifth year the tariff returns to 4.4 percent.
The order, however, permits 5,000 motorcycles to come in without duty increases from West Germany, and provides for increases to 6,000, 7,000, 8,500 and 10,000 in the four subsequent years.

   - Yes this was Reagan but look at it.  Do we really want Washington DC technocrats in conjunction with the company being protected telling us exactly how many BMW motorcycles and what engine sizes we may buy - during an economic expansion?  Like the 1979 Chrysler bailout, this is not government governing but designing the economy, preventing the future and preserving the past.  Yes, we want to keep those jobs.  No, we don't want a centrally planned and controlled economy.  Are we better off for ALL of the cronyism actions taken in their entirety in our economy?  No!  Would we better off with government that as limited (by an upheld constitution) to play referee, maintain a level playing field role instead of constantly jumping in as a participant?  Yes!
33 Years Ago, Tariffs Saved Harley-Davidson Inc. -- or Did They?
 it's estimated the tariffs accounted for only 6% of the sales increase Harley enjoyed in the aftermath; the rest was due to the bike maker's own efforts.

And it wasn't necessarily because Harley had become so profitable and strong that it requested the tariffs be lifted. Because Honda and Kawasaki had manufacturing plants here, they also enjoyed trade protection from their overseas rivals. With the probability they were shifting production to those U.S. plants, Harley risked seeing its competition get even stronger the longer the tariffs remained in place.  (The tariffs were phasing out anyway.  I would suggest they ended them early for PR/publicity  reasons.)
Presidential politics are raising the specter of protectionism as a valid policy option once more, but using Harley-Davidson as a case study to validate them indicates that perhaps the wrong history lesson has been learned.

Also note that the program as designed only delayed the market consequence, did not protect against long term comparative advantage.
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trade Issues / Freedom to Trade, Reagan record on: May 13, 2016, 12:14:42 PM
ccp from the thought pieces thread:
"But Reagan utilized some protectionism.  At least when it came to national security.  Was Reagan wrong with this?"

I agree with Reagan on national security exceptions to free trade.  His other exceptions less so.

Reagan was President when I entered the export business.  We were selling high tech products globally.  I was 'online' with export license applications.  In the case of some countries, you had to submit an application and wait for all the relevant department to respond to it.  The same semiconductor programming system that tells an elevator exactly where each floor is might also be used in a weapons control system.  A ban on anything that might remotely be used to aid an enemy is common sense and completely acceptable.  

We used opposite strategies on trade with Cuba and China and both failed.  Still I find it perfectly acceptable to ban trade that enriches an oppressive regime whether they pose a direct threat to us or not.

That said, when you are the greatest country in the world, all trading partners might look a little inferior to you.  Let's say one country has crazy low wages by our standards and some other country has coercive slave labor.  I would trade with the first, but not the second which is not free trade at all.

Trump is talking a different tune and carving out a different course than Reagan.  Trump claims that he can get what he wants by threatening tariffs and not have to impose them.  That violates his own rules for deal negotiating.  (I read his book!)  And it doesn't work.  That is not what Reagan did.

We want Mexico to benefit from US trade.  We would be FAR better off to have a more prosperous neighbor to the south for many reasons.  Not at our expense, mutual benefit.  We would be better off if China prospered too.

Reagan of course was not just a theorist, he was an elected politician with constituencies and needs to cut deals in congress to get other things done.  These two pieces draw different conclusions:
The Reagan Record On Trade: Rhetoric Vs. Reality
a 100 percent tariff was placed on selected Japanese electronics products. "The health and vitality of the U.S. semiconductor industry are essential to America's future competitiveness," he said. "We cannot allow it to be jeopardized by unfair trading practices."
...imposition of a special 45 percent tariff over a five-year period (on top of the regular 5 percent duty) on Japanese heavy motorcycles as a favor to Harley Davidson. With less than a year to go in the five-year program, Harley Davidson asked that the tariff be removed.(23) Reagan took the occasion to celebrate Harley's comeback with an appearance at the plant. He declared that "American workers don't need to hide from anyone,"
Reagan Embraced Free Trade
“Our trade policy rests firmly on the foundation of free and open markets. I recognize … the inescapable conclusion that all of history has taught: The freer the flow of world trade, the stronger the tides of human progress and peace among nations.”
It was the Reagan administration that launched the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 1986 that lowered global tariffs and created the World Trade Organization. It was his administration that won approval of the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement in 1988. That agreement soon expanded to include Mexico in what became the North American Free Trade Agreement, realizing a vision that Reagan first articulated in the 1980 campaign. It was Reagan who vetoed protectionist textile quota bills in 1985 and 1988. ...
Critics of trade note correctly that Reagan negotiated “voluntary” import quotas for steel and Japanese cars and imposed Section 201 tariffs on imported motorcycles to protect Harley-Davidson. All true. But those were the exceptions and not the rule. They were tactical retreats designed to defuse rising protectionists pressures in Congress.

That he made exceptions for specific reasons and perhaps in error I don't think negates the core principle that he most frequently espoused.
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trade: 3600-year-old Swedish Axes Were Made With Copper From Cyprus on: May 13, 2016, 11:12:21 AM
3600-year-old Swedish Axes Were Made With Copper From Cyprus

Back up on my trade soap box, comparative advantage goes back a ways!  Maybe these materials were acquired through rape and pillage, but my point about free trade today stands.  Comparative advantage exists in more ways than populist, protectionist politicians (or bureaucrats) can see.

"soulless globalism that treats humans as interchangeable widgets in the world market"  - from a Jeff Sessions comment.  To the naked eye, perhaps, but innovation works best when it runs freely.  So do economies and trade arrangements.

All voluntary trade requires mutual benefit (or why would either side do it).  Therefore every trade transaction benefits both sides, even those of the imaginary 'trade deficit' type.  

The alternative to free trade is to have bureaucrats, technocrats and cronycrats devise a mostly static system in a phony attempt to bring advantage to their own in a way that is smarter than a free market can do it.  Good luck with that.  Look at history.  Those who were the explorers, traders prospered, while those who closed trade borders for an enclosed economy were the economic losers.  Compare Denmark and Albania.

The benefit you receive when your competitor beats you to an innovation or efficiency gain and you lose all your customers is not immediately apparent for you to see!  But yes, you benefit from competition, even global competition.  Is a steelworker from Youngstown Ohio a "steelworker", or is it a person with brain and brawn, a need to support a themselves and a family and the ability to constantly learn new skills that apply to an ever-changing world?  Do we want the security that we will never change what we do or what we build decade after decade, generation after generation, in a centrally planned, failed state, or do we prefer growing our knowledge, skills and incomes in a free and dynamic economy?

Fortunately or unfortunately, it is a false choice.  If you stand still and try to erect artificial protections and mandate that people buy from you or tax them when they don't, you only delay the inevitable, not prevent it.  If you are not competitive and refuse to change, you will perish, not stand still, economically.  This is not hyperbole but observable fact.  You can buy votes with (false) promises but you can't buy prosperity for what is no longer competitive.  Examples of failure to innovate replaced by a government program, the Soviet Union and 100 million working age people not working in this country today.  It simply does not help the people it is designed to help.
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants & interesting thought pieces, Sessions on: May 13, 2016, 10:09:53 AM
"soulless globalism that treats humans as interchangeable widgets in the world market"

"We give up our nation to the world or we stay a country."

Sessions is a great guy, one of the best, but there is a difference between judging the lousy products that come out of free enterprise / free trade and protecting our sovereignty. 

Trump constantly conflates sovereignty with trade protectionism.  The lowering of tariffs in Nafta wasn't the problem, the infringement on sovereignty was.  Same with WTO, TPP, etc.  Trump threatens NATO which has been successful and gives the sham called the UN a pass. 

My view: No global taxes.  No global laws.  Just voluntary agreements among countries.  Regimes who systematically rape, torture and poison their own, support terror and invade other countires might find themselves deposed by force, with or without a UN resolution.  For Trump, all those violations plus the shooting at American planes didn't justify use of force against Saddam in Iraq.

Note that Jeff Sessions and Trump were diametrically opposed on Iraq: 

69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: May 13, 2016, 09:46:17 AM
shocked shocked shocked

I note that Trump's foreign policy speech sure sounded like he said we would war to stop Iran from going nuke , , ,

But no problem if Saddam had done the same.  Stopping that is called nation building, creating a power imbalance, lying our way into war.

With Iran, Trump had seemed more concerned with the billions than with the threat.  Seems happy to have them sort out Syria for us.  Remove ISIS set up a shia caliphate terror state in it's place.

If you find a guiding principle in his proposed foreign (or domestic policies), let us know.
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: May 10, 2016, 12:35:01 PM
Sorry gents but as best as I can tell neither of you are responding to the assertions of the article.

Respectfully disagree.  The quality of the reporting is quite suspect, noticeably agenda driven and non-scientific, unlike the actual study to which they refer:  The highest levels could be eyedropper size while the map shows gallons, not contamination levels.  The assertions of the article are badly in need of context, IMHO.

Shock reporting is great, but where are the deaths?  Where are the overflowing hospitals?  Where are the photos of dead wildlife?  Where is one example of this showing up in a city's drinking water?  Is there an instance or data sample of a North Dakota spill issue bleeding over to another state, making the problem federal?  - No.

They show a beautiful photo of the Missouri River.  What are the Radium, Lead and Selenium levels in the Missouri River downstream before and after fracking?  I'm sorry Crafty, but it's just not in there.  What specifically are the allegations to address?

Should fracking be regulated and should spill cleanups be mandated? - Yes.  Should negligence that harms others be subject to civil and criminal actions?  - Yes.  Is there a case of that cited?  - No.

The study itself focuses largely on saline solution (salt).  Where I live, the DOT puts that on every highway, every snowfall in the interest of public safety.  The I-35 bridge that collapsed had a sprinkler system of it - right over the Mississippi River!
Of course radiation is a great concern for public safety.  In the study these elements are called NORM, naturally occurring radioactive materials.  At the TSA, radioactive exposure is mandated for every traveler.  Again, context is needed.

They are producing a million barrels of oil per day and there have been 3000 incidents of a valve leaking etc. reported over the last decade.  That is terrible, dangerous, and unacceptable, COMPARED TO WHAT?  I'm afraid that understanding this story is ALL about context.  

Here is a compared-to-what story:
Three million toxic gallons were "spilled" by the regulators contaminating drinking water and irrigation in 3 states plus the Navajo Nation.  EPA initially denied two million gallons of it and falsely called it unavoidable.  Whatever.

The result of the (federally funded) study above is that further study is warranted.

Should we take more from that than they do?
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of the Left, Piketty war on income inequality continued on: May 10, 2016, 10:57:04 AM
When you put fight income inequality first, some things tend to come out upside down, such as the poor get poorer and the nation gets poorer.  I wonder if the average leftist could find a flaw in the Piketty model using the examples below.  Meanwhile, Piketty is making an estimated $1,000,000 /year off of inequality book sales.  I should write leftist books...

In Piketty’s world, it would be a bad thing if someone were to develop a drug that cured Alzheimer’s. This is because that person would certainly become a multi-billionaire, and that would increase inequality.

The only thing worse than the scenario described above would be if, because his/her newfound riches hadn’t been confiscated by Piketty’s income and wealth taxes (as they certainly should be), he/she used the capital to develop a cure for cancer. Even more inequality!

Under Piketty’s tax system, it would have been impossible for Elon Musk to leverage his success with PayPal to fund Tesla Motors.

In Piketty’s model, it would be a disaster if 15 million unemployed Americans went out tomorrow and got jobs paying $8.00/hour. This because is creating new jobs that pay less than the average wage of the “Bottom 50%” will increase labor income inequality.

In contrast, it would be good if all of America’s minimum wage workers quit their jobs and went on welfare, because then labor income inequality would be reduced.

On page 309 of Capital, Piketty notes approvingly that the minimum wage in France has been higher than that of the U.S. since 1985. However, Piketty doesn’t mention that, since 1985, French unemployment has averaged about 9%, vs. about 6% for the U.S.

Seizing all of the venture capital firms in America and giving the funds to Amtrak would be good, because it would not only reduce wealth inequality, but also allow the federal government to build much needed high-speed rail infrastructure.

To Piketty, a rising ratio of wealth to national income is bad, and a falling ratio is good. Accordingly, Piketty’s bad periods have names like “la Belle Epoch” (the beautiful era), the “Roaring Twenties,” and “the Soaring Sixties.” In contrast, his good times have names like “World War I,” “World War II,” and “the Great Depression.”
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of left, Thomas Piketty wrong on history, data and analysis on: May 10, 2016, 10:18:02 AM
Better not learn American History from the left:

"The Great Depression of the 1930s struck the United States with extreme force, and many people blamed the economic and financial elites for having enriched themselves while leading the country to ruin. (Bear in mind that the share of top incomes in US national income peaked in the late 1920s, largely due to enormous capital gains on stocks.) Roosevelt came to power in 1933, when the crisis was already three years old and one-quarter of the country was unemployed. He immediately decided on a sharp increase in the top income tax rate, which had been decreased to 25 percent in the late 1920s and again under Hoover’s disastrous presidency. The top rate rose to 63 percent in 1933 and then to 79 percent in 1937, surpassing the previous record of 1919."
   - Thomas Piketty from his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century pages pages 506-507

The top rate was lowered to 25 percent in 1925, not exactly “the late 1920s” and not by Herbert Hoover.  The top rate was jacked up to 63 percent in 1932, not 1933, and it was done by Herbert Hoover, not by FDR.  This isn’t an arbitrary screwup on Piketty’s part: On the contrary, it serves his narrative. It would be really great for Piketty’s story if the right-wing business-friendly Herbert Hoover slashed tax rates to boost the income of the 1%, thereby bringing in a stock bubble/crash and the Great Depression. Then FDR comes in to save the day by jacking up tax rates. Except that’s not what happened.

Robert Reich , Paul Krugman , Chris Matthews and other statists tell you that Herbert Hoover cut federal spending during the depression.
Herbert Hoover Increased Government Spending 67%

Calvin Coolidge balanced the budget every year and cut the national debt in half!

More on (moron) Leftist Piketty:  (Finding the flaws of Piketty and the income equality snipe hunt is still relevant this campaign season.)

Professor Piketty's supposed history of changes in the minimum wage is not tarnished by a single error, but by a vast array of systematic errors.  His history is pure revisionist fiction, and revisionist fiction with a political purpose: making Democratic presidents look magnanimous and Republican presidents look uncaring. Yet, over the past quarter century, the period Piketty describes as showing a dramatic increase in inequality, Republican presidents signed into law larger percentage increases in the minimum wage than did Democratic presidents.

Piketty suggests that America copy France, where the minimum wage in 2013 was 9.43 euros ($13 dollars) an hour. But the consequences of the minimum wage can be seen in the differences in youth unemployment rates in the two countries. In 2013, young people aged 15 to 24 had an unemployment rate of 24 percent in France and 16 percent in the United States, according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development statistics. Germany has no minimum wage: its youth unemployment rate was 8 percent last year.  
Another reason we might not want to copy France: OECD data also show that in 2012 France's per person GDP was 70 percent of per person GDP in the United States.

Getting CEO pay right is surely a challenge, but does anybody on earth think it is the defining challenge of our time?

Piketty’s fans ignore the obvious answer to this problem. Instead of attacking capital and capitalism, why not expand the number of people who participate in the benefits of having capital?

The problem is that worldwide labor statistics [used by Piketty] do not have a category that relates the poor to their entrepreneurial activities, nor to their aspiration to be part of the global market.

It is literally shocking that Piketty ignores the impact of welfare programs on the effective distribution of capital.
Entrepreneurial activity is inchanged by high tax rates, :Pikeety alleges, yet no private French company founded in the last 100 years has ever reached the top 100 globally.
73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela, Opposition leaders assassinated on: May 10, 2016, 09:29:25 AM
Thanks Denny.

I see similarities to Saddam's Iraq.  It's hard to organize a take to the street movement when they shoot opposition leaders in the head - openly in public, ignore it on the news and then there is barely any news of it anywhere else either.  Where is Venezuelan election observer Jimmy Carter on this?  Whether you get 99% support in elections under threat of death or lose 2/3rds and stay in power anyway is the same result.  Elections don't matter; it is rule by force.  Sometimes regime change support can only come from the outside and nobody ever seems to want that. 

American colonist revolutionaries had help from the French, Spanish, the Dutch and others and would not likely have succeeded without all of that.
74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mark Levin takes aim at Trump Trade, More Bernie Than Reagan on: May 10, 2016, 09:00:19 AM
Further to our discussion at 'Freedom to Trade', I'll mark this one down as famous people caught reading the forum.  )

I like Mark Levin - only when he agrees with me.

Mark Levin on ‘TrumpTrade’: More Bernie Than Reagan

"...when it comes to Trump’s own financial dealings, he is an unrepentant globalist, from which he has made a fortune. But these days, as he runs for president, the billionaire is a radical protectionist who has repeatedly declared his intention to impose massive tariffs aimed at the economies of other countries, such as Japan and Mexico, and a forty-five percent tariff on products from China. Such broad tariffs would most certainly result in retaliation by the targeted countries. This is a sure job-killer that would also drive up costs of everyday products to low- and middle-class Americans. The net result: economic misery, not just for those hard-working, tax-paying Americans who work in industries that rely on international commerce and trade, but mostly everyone."

Not to belabor this, but I don't get where he calls Nafta the worst trade agreement ever, the worst, where it was mainly Mexican tariffs on USA goods that were lowered.  Wasn't letting China into the WTO without agreement to honor patents and trademarks far worse?

Like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the lips move and what comes out has nothing to do with the truth, what they believe, or how they intend to govern.  Obamacare will lower family premiums by 2500 and  a new round of tariffs on American consumers will make Indiana great again.  It is all just noise in the room, insulting to people who study these things.
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 10, 2016, 08:46:19 AM
He is going to negotiate even lower rates.   grin

Seriously , I agree we need to hold him accountable.  We cannot simply jump on board all blindly gung ho .

We got to repeatedly yank him to as far to the right conservative spectrum just as the left will like drug induced amazon warriors yank him as far to their end of the political spectrum.

The Trump tug of war.

Everyone of us need to man the tug of war rope. 

The actual quote of needing to negotiate his tax plan is true; that is exactly what I was hoping for with Rubio and Cruz.  The unrealistic or counter-productive parts of their plans could have been fixed in a conservative-Republican House - then lost in a divided Senate.  (

As you suggest with the humor, Trump isn't gong to make a good plan better; he is planning to make it worse because 69 years of his experience come from flirting with the other side.  Still, the backing off of a deficit busting plan is a good, get-elected tactic.  Te Dems are foaming at the mouth to attack him on details, but he isn't a detail guy.

Maybe he won't need an income tax at all as he gets companies to pay 45% tariffs, neighboring countries to build walls and allies to take their turn at defending us...
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Interesting gun trivia, criminals don't wear holsters on: May 10, 2016, 08:37:31 AM
Violent Criminals and Holsters are Seldom Found Together

Police have long understood that violent criminals almost never use holsters.  The obvious reason is that a gun is readily abandoned by tossing it from a car, in a dumpster, down a drain, or off a bridge.  A holster, normally worn on a belt, is much harder to discard, and can result in embarrassing questions when found in a search.  Having a holster on ones person when you are not allowed to carry or possess a firearm becomes rather problematic.

From a comment:  “95% of criminals carry their guns on their strong side, mostly stuck in the front of their bodies, inside the waistband without a holster.”  – From a US Secret Service Seminar on detecting concealed weapons
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump dumps his own tax plan on: May 09, 2016, 08:28:02 PM
IIRC, his tax plan was the only thing I liked about Trump.

"By the time it gets negotiated, it's going to be a different plan," Trump told George Stephanopoulos on ABC News' "This Week."
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Bernie Sanders, health care plan is short $17,000,000,000,000 on: May 09, 2016, 08:20:52 PM

Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed paying for his proposals to transform large sectors of the government and the economy mainly through increased taxes on wealthy Americans. A pair of new studies published Monday suggests Sanders would not come up with enough money using this approach, and that the poor and the middle class would have to pay more than Sanders has projected in order to fund his ideas.

The studies, published jointly by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the Urban Institute in Washington, concludes that Sanders's plans are short a total of more than $18 trillion over a decade. His programs would cost the federal government about $33 trillion over that period, almost all of which would go toward Sanders's proposed system of national health insurance. Yet the Democratic presidential candidate has put forward just $15 trillion in new taxes, the authors concluded.
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: May 09, 2016, 08:13:45 PM

Know anyone who has passed along liberal stories from FB?     )

Another link on that:
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: May 09, 2016, 07:53:22 PM

They took the urinals off the walls in our hockey locker rooms a few years ago as the sport became more co-ed and now we have to look both ways before showering after playing because of unisex locker rooms.  Eventually we will get sued for exposing in front of young girls or just drive home all sweaty from now on because people can't figure out a bathroom assignment.
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential, Elizabeth Warren rips Trump on: May 09, 2016, 07:44:32 PM
Maybe you have to be a Dem to realize what a perfect story or phonyness all the way through that this is. Warren delays to endorse either Hillary or Bernie, then shuns Hillary to endorse Sanders after she starts to win, then goes back to Hillary with the street-cred to help bring Sanders voters to Hillary.  Now she auditions for the role of Veep by attacking Trump.

Add Newt or Rudy to the Trump ticket and we will have 4 people in their 70s fighting for the youth vote.

But only one Cherokee.
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Truth or Dare with Drumpf, Trump is -46% with suburban women on: May 09, 2016, 07:34:40 PM

"Pat points out that the Cook poll did not predict his victory."

It isn't the pollster, it's the people who are polled that are saying this.

67% of suburban women view Trump unfavorably. 

Is it Cook or suburban women saying that?

"Trump is viewed negatively by 67 percent of suburban women and 63 percent of white women."

This is not the first impression of an unknown.  It is a studied reaction after 12 months of wall to wall coverage of a guy already the most well-known in the country.

I suppose it is so 2012 to think suburban women decide Presidential elections.
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela, Opposition leader assassinated? on: May 09, 2016, 07:05:03 PM
Venezuela, Opposition leader assassinated, shot in the head.  I saw this headline over the weekend.  I thought this is a huge, terrible and startling development.  Now I see almost nothing on it.  A search mostly brings up a previous assassination of an opposition leader.

[Why are we following Venezuela's lead on policies and in returning the Clintons to the White House?]

Looking forward to reports from Denny.

Leader of opposition party in Venezuela assassinated,    May 07, 2016

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Assassinated Days After 1.8 Million Sign Petition To Oust Maduro

Venezuela opposition politician Luis Manuel Diaz killed   (26 November 2015)
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gay, Lesbian, Trans, All-gender bathroom bill passes California Assembly on: May 09, 2016, 06:44:26 PM
It's 2016, peak ISIS, Boko Harem on the rise, droughts, floods, collapsed economies around the world and the lead story is bathroom attendance.  Is this a media issue?

How did gender become a political issue.  Gay bi or otherwise, you are man or you are woman.  No?  What has changed since Adam and Eve in the world of gender??  Is this really that complicated?

I've got an idea, let's have government impose a burden on the private sector every time 0.0% of the people are suddenly up in arms about the way things have always been with no problems..
All-gender bathroom bill passes California Assembly

North Carolina Governor is looking for a federal government solution (PBS News Hour).  Left and right both need to unzip and determine whether or not they have a penis.  A clue to the clueless, most males have an awareness of theirs almost every hour of the day.  We could go on with more clues.  If your erection is measured in inches, you're probably a male.  If you were born as a Gene and now identify as a Jean, you are probably still a guy unless you had work done.  If you think constantly all day about eating p*ssy, you're probably a lesbian, the symbol with the skirt even if you're wearing pants.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fracking Spill Map on: May 09, 2016, 04:59:31 PM
Spill map from the anti-fracking post:

Very impressive. How many deaths, none?   Nowhere in the history of their publication do they publish a map showing all locations of actual bird deaths from wind energy.  These are cases of actual wildlife deaths, not just 'health risks posed'.  You would think 'ecowatch' (and Duke University) would be all over that, or are birds not wildlife, or are they agenda driven?
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science, Left rags say no to nuclear... on: May 09, 2016, 04:52:44 PM
From that same publication, "ecowatch", as the fracking scare:

"It [30th anniversary of Chernobyl] also comes as advancing efficiencies and plunging prices in renewable energy remind us that nukes stand in the way of solving our climate crisis."

[What the hell does the Soviet debacle of Chernobyl have to do with 2016 nuclear energy production?]

   - In fact it is because nuclear is so clean, safe, abundant and efficient that nuclear energy is the enemy of the planet. In comparison, nuclear energy makes solar and wind projects look puny, limited, inefficient, helpless and foolish.

The more that we delay or oppose new nuclear capacities, the more fossil fuels we burn, the more radium we spill, the more children will die, and the more we will warm the planet.  We have no time to wait on this...

87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: May 09, 2016, 04:37:34 PM
"Trump himself started it..."  [call each other names, etc.]

Trump was being Trump.  His candidacy was a joke.  If his polling had been low enough he could have been left out of the first debate and ignored.  It is the people who jumped on board and thought all this is okay and supported him and voted for him over 16 pretty good others who got this going.  To them I would ask, now what's your idea...
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Contamination from Fracking in North Dakota? on: May 09, 2016, 04:32:08 PM
We will have to keep an eye on this.  Industrial activity in ND is also up by about 50,000-fold, so of course there are more accidents and more problems.  Banned are pipelines that specifically eliminate most spills.  Not mentioned.  Enforcement no doubt can't keep up; they are busy making their own spills out in Colorado  How do all these combined match up with that one?  No mention made.  Also checked the site, they are 100% negative on nuclear as well, not just fracking, even though it doesn't tend to have these emissions.  Were the spills all a result of the Obama administration refusing to approve a pipeline - that is proven to reduce spills?  No mention of that.  Just that these micro-spills could pose a 'health risk' to wildlife or humans.  But is there a known case of a health issue that came out of this?  No mention of that either.  I assume not, or they don't follow a story all the way like the National Enquirer would.  Enquiring minds want to know!  The levels reported are always the "highest level" recorded.  Three thousand spills were not at that level.  Mixing those measures is what activists do, not what scientists do.  If lead or selenium spills, it has lead or selenium in it at the site of the spill.  It also had lead and selenium in it wherever it was before or without fracking.  What caused the spill, let's stop doing that.  No mention of that.  Highest recorded levels are only compared to a regulatory standard, not to actual levels occurring elsewhere.    What are considered poisons here are minerals from the ground going back into the ground.  The earth is radioactive in places, with or without a spill and contains lead and selenium.  If these are known spills above a regulatory standard, were there known tickets written? Were any regulators fired?  Disciplined? There seems to be a lot missing from this story.  Aren't these minerals that filter out of drinking water quite easily?  Not mentioned.  What did von trappe say to the Nazis, we seem to suffer from a "deplorable lack of curiosity".
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Truth or Dare with Drumpf on: May 08, 2016, 05:24:44 PM
"Pat points out that the Cook poll did not predict his victory."

It isn't the pollster, it's the people who are polled that are saying this.
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Hillbillary Clintons long, sordid, and often criminal history on: May 08, 2016, 11:50:55 AM
"She never *intentionally* met to compromise security.  And this *is important* because no crime was committed if she did not *intentionally* risk security"

   - That is a false premise, as I understand it.   The criminal test for the mis-handling of classified information is "gross negligence" which she most certainly committed.  That is a felony. 
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump, 11 states just flipped to the Dems on: May 08, 2016, 11:42:26 AM

11 states flip toward Democrats in latest Cook Political Report analysis

MN doesn't count in the 11 even though Rubio was leading Hillary here.

Saying 'I told you so' to conservative leaning Trumpists isn't very satisfying.
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Not so sure on: May 08, 2016, 10:28:15 AM
I really don't know who to believe.
Many other places in the news claim just the opposite.
I recently read something about Kilimanjaro's ice cap is clearly disappearing though maybe not as fast as Gore had us believe
Same is true for Greenland.
I have different sources making different claims.  So how the heck can I possibly have any clue?

There is warming and there is human caused warming.  The real warming started at the peak of the last ice age.  It started hundreds of years before the industrial age' and the hockey stick, sharp uptick of late theory has been proven false.  The current peak has held 18 years without warming even though CO2 levels are still increasing.  We had a cooling in the 1970s too.  Which means other factors are coming into play.  Factors not factored into the models.

Agreed, CO2 is a greenhouse gas and fossil fuel combustion releases it.  Therefore some warming effect comes from man.  That CO2 came from decomposed plants, fossil fuels, which in turn took it from the atmosphere where it is being returned, not an unnatural process.  These 'high levels' of CO2 we are experiencing measure at 0.4 parts per thousand, not exactly smothering us.  And what is there is enhancing plant life, greening the planet and producing more oxygen for the animal life.  Again, not an unnatural or unprecedented cycle.

The models and forecasters have been off by a factor of about 7 fold.  They don't account for negative feedback effects, and were skewed by the lying and manipulation of the data.  Alarmist politicians, Al Gore, etc. get it wrong by a factor of maybe 100-fold.  

None of the proposed solutions solve anything, they just cause poverty.  

Nuclear is safe and CO2-free, it could power the whole grid and is being ignored, which means no one is serious about this anyway.

Do you know any climate scientists who refuse travel or work summers without air conditioning?
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Donald Trump on: May 08, 2016, 10:24:57 AM
“I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”
   - Full faith and credit of the US government takes on new meaning.  [No meaning]

"Dollar replaced by Euro or Yuan?"

"...not an "interesting thought"[Donald Trump’s Idea to Cut National Debt: Get Creditors to Accept Less], it is a profoundly stupid and ignorant thought of the sort the Peronists of Argentina have used to destroy the Argentinian economy various times."

"this might make a gold backed yuan the new global currency"

If a currency was truly gold backed, would it matter what country issued it?

Yes, Europe and China are in worse shape at the moment and would be pulled down with us if we collapsed.

As we move toward all transactions being electronic and immediately convertible back to any other currency, is there really going to be a 'world currency' of the future?

Yes, Trump's idea is profoundly stupid, yet we are devaluing our debt continuously at a targeted rate of 2% per year - while we continue to add to it. 

Other than having to borrow in some other country's currency, aren't we already following quite closely with the rest of our policies in the footsteps of Peron-Argentina, Chavez-Venezuela, and the other third world failures that could be and should be first-rate economies?

Yet Trump would mostly copy failure the way I hear him.

94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom on: May 07, 2016, 03:27:34 PM
"...Vincente Fox has said he knows more Mexicans are going back to Mexico than are coming.  O'Reilly did not question him on it.  However Fox also says he has no idea how many Mexicans are in the United States.  So how can he know more are returning."

Packed suitcases headed south or not, they are all admitting it is still a porous border.

I thought we passed a law to fix that.

Republicans and Democrats ignored the law, should arrest themselves.  Now we have Trump.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Seven Takeaways from the NY Times Profile of Failed Novelist Ben Rhodes on: May 07, 2016, 03:21:33 PM
More on this Obama genius here:

"Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. ..."     Uuuugh.
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science - An Inconvenient Scam, 10 years later on: May 07, 2016, 03:08:49 PM
Who knew these predictions would all be false.  Probably everyone who knew the models were wrong, like the designers of the models and the manipulators of the data.

GORE, TEN YEARS LATER   - Steven Hayward, Powerline
Hey, kids—did you realize it’s the tenth anniversary of Al Gore’s Academy Award and Nobel Prize winning movie, An Inconvenient Truth? Michael Bastasch of the Daily Caller has gone back and checked on some of Gore’s near-term predictions and found—spoiler alert!—that lots of them look pretty silly now:

One of the first glaring claims Gore makes is about Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. He claims Africa’s tallest peak will be snow-free “within the decade.” Gore shows slides of Kilimanjaro’s peak in the 1970s versus today to conclude the snow is disappearing.

Well, it’s been a decade and, yes, there’s still snow on Kilimanjaro year-round. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure this out. One can just look at recent photos posted on the travel website

In 2014, ecologists actually monitoring Kilimanjaro’s snowpack found it was not even close to being gone. It may have shrunk a little, but ecologists were confident it would be around for the foreseeable future.

“There are ongoing several studies, but preliminary findings show that the ice is nowhere near melting,” Imani Kikoti, an ecologist at Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, told

Actually that one was easy to knock back at the time, since there’s good data showing the slow retreat of Kilimanjaro’s snow going back well into the 19th century, before Ford and GM built their first SUVs.

Bastasch goes through several more Gore howlers, but I’ll just add one of my own from recent studies. Gore made much of Greenland’s ice sheet melting so rapidly you’d think the continent was a grilled cheese sandwich in a pizza oven. Science magazine reports this week that the interior of Greenland’s enormous ice mass appears to be . . . completely stable. Here’s the University of Illinois’s press release about it yesterday:

Study finds ice isn’t being lost from Greenland’s interior

Scientists studying data from the top of the Greenland ice sheet have discovered that during winter in the center of the world’s largest island, temperature inversions and other low-level atmospheric phenomena effectively isolate the ice surface from the atmosphere — recycling water vapor and halting the loss or gain of ice. A team of climate scientists made the surprising discovery from three years of data collected at Summit Camp, an arid, glaciated landscape 10,500 feet above sea level in the middle of the Greenland ice sheet.

“This is a place, unlike the rest of the ice sheet, where ice is accumulating,” says Max Berkelhammer, assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Berkelhammer is first author on the study, reported in Science Advances, an open-access online publication of the journal Science.

For fans of classic films, here’s my 46-minute rebuttal of Gore’s movie, though it is way out of date now, since it was done before climategate, before the duration of the temperature pause became evident, and before the numerous recent studies concluding that most of the UN IPCC computer models overestimate climate sensitivity.

And here’s the seven-minute update I did one year later—complete with a Bruce Jenner reference!

97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: are we at war or not? on: May 07, 2016, 02:59:19 PM
This officer does have a good point.  Why are we always conducting war like military operations without approval from Congress.  OTOH we have a President who will not name the enemy for who they are.
The JV squad is somehow exempt. Obama has a pen and a phone.

I think Rand Paul had an authorization of force proposal.  Even if you oppose use of force, you should support taking and up or down vote.  Are we at war with ISIS or not?  To be at war, the constitution requires that congress declare it.  Even against a "JV team".  I don't know a sports analogy that works for people who blow up civilians and decapitate innocent people.
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Jeb Bush on: May 07, 2016, 02:52:38 PM
I don't blame him for not supporting Trump.  How could he after what Trump did to him AND his family.

I agree with everything he says but one crucial point:
AFter 12 years of Bush's this is where we are.  They deserve some blame.  He takes none for the family.  He still doesn't quite get it.  That is a shame.  Denial I guess:

The time to defend the George W Bush administration was while it was happening.  The economic implosion was avoidable, just repeal leftist policies and agencies.  They didn't.  He could point blame to those failings and give credit to their good policies but no one wanted to re-argue those years or that Presidency.

Jeb had a great record as a two term Governor of the largest, politically divided state.  Primary voters didn't care about that.  Peggy Noonan put it best.  It was Jeb's job to persuade them of why that mattered.  He didn't.

I agree with you.  Jeb doesn't owe Trump an endorsement.  Trump is the politics of destruction.  He can win by destroying Hillary next, not by lining up people like Jeb, Ryan, Reince (or Doug) to pretend to like him.
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bring back the jobs promise is a lie on: May 07, 2016, 02:40:02 PM
Manufacturing employment peaked in 1977.  NAFTA was passed in 1994.  Nafta didn't cause a trend that started 17 years earlier.  And Nafta repealed Mexican tariffs; we already had the lowest tariffs.  A tariff here is a tax on the American consumer, not on a foreign manufacturer.  The Chrysler bailout is a major league stadium subsidy, like o.  We crony up with whoever is big and visible or trendy at the expense of everyone else.  We have government pick winners and losers with all the best intentions tying to have an economy as efficient as Venezuela, where they run out of beer, milk, gas, water and electric and (except in the opposition) have no idea why.

Oddly, this is a good article printed in the Minneapolis StarTribune today.

Protectionists like Trump and Sanders can't repeal the law of gravity nor can they return manufacturing to the 1950s and 60s. Globalization didn't start with Nafta.  We compete with the world and we sell to the world.  It's an unrepealable fact.  That helps those who compete well and it buries those that are inefficient, stubborn or stupid, such as Chrysler in the 1970s while the Japanese ran right by them.  Yes, there will be disruption and that is good except when you are the one being disrupted and refuse to respond and adapt.   When GM pays for 10 times as many healthcare policies as it has workers and they spend more on that than all materials combined, they might fail if someone else manufactures smarter and more efficiently.  Overall, international trade is inevitable and beneficial.  If you don't like the latter, see the former.  Whoever you are, you compete in a global market.

'Bring back jobs' promise? It is, quite simply, a lie
Midwesterners longing for a return to a manufacturing heyday of the 1960s need to look elsewhere for answers than to the misleading slogans of Sanders and Trump.
By Michael J. Hicks  MAY 6, 2016 — 11:53PM
The crowd waved pro-jobs signs when Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis last week.

A primary election swept through Indiana this week. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both won comfortably with some version of a promise to “bring back jobs and manufacturing to America.”

Midwestern voters clinging to this hope need to steel themselves for a letdown. Here’s why:

No matter how you measure it, 2015 was the record year for manufacturing production in the U.S. Right now, manufacturing in the Midwest and across the nation is at record levels. There is no ambiguity on this. Inflation-adjusted dollars are the best measure, but by any available metric, we are at record manufacturing production. We’re just doing it with far fewer workers.

The Midwest (Great Lakes Census Region) has lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs since our peak year of factory employment back in 1969. The U.S. has lost 7.5 million manufacturing jobs since 1977, when manufacturing employment peaked nationwide.

These are facts deviously hidden in every public library in the country and on the Internet, accessible only via the 550 million smartphones and computers in use in America.

Did NAFTA cause these job losses? Well, NAFTA was implemented in 1994, so if Sanders and Trump are to be believed, American firms must have anticipated NAFTA by some 20 years (so much for all that short-term thinking on Wall Street). Moreover, in the 45 years since peak manufacturing employment, the Midwest has created more than 6.1 million nonmanufacturing jobs and the U.S. has created roughly 75 million jobs.

To be sure, our trade deficits have cost us manufacturing jobs. The high-end estimates are that today we have 1.5 million fewer manufacturing jobs across the nation because of foreign trade. All of the other 6 million or so lost manufacturing jobs are due to mechanization, better technology and better production practices. Today, the typical factory worker makes twice as much “stuff” in an hour as he or she did in 1977.

For every manufacturing job lost to trade, nearly nine have been lost to machines. But trade also creates jobs. We have 7 million more transportation and logistics jobs alone, likely attributable to trade growth since the 1970s.

But that is sophisticated analysis, and this is a column about Sanders and Trump, so I’d better stop there.

Quite simply, for every manufacturing job lost since the 1970s, we have created 10 jobs elsewhere. And for every job lost to trade we have created 100 more jobs elsewhere.

This isn’t based on fancy econometric modeling or theory. It is simple data and middle-school algebra. Every campaign knows it well, and every voter should.

The “bring jobs back” promise is simply a lie. It isn’t blue-collar workers in Juarez or Beijing who have stolen factory jobs. Folks with master’s degrees in robotics working in Palo Alto, Calif., have taken those jobs. The only way to get those jobs back would be to adopt Sanders’ energy policies, which would leave many places without electricity.

There may be noneconomic reasons to support these candidates (a longing for a Syria invasion, perhaps, or for heat-free Tuesdays in February). But Midwest voters looking for a return to the 1960s factory scene richly deserve the bitter and lasting disappointment that awaits them.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reagan loved tariffs that helped American industry on: May 07, 2016, 02:07:26 PM
and lets not forget his bail out of Chrysler as well as this.  I don't see why we cannot protect American industry and workers at times:

Reagan loved taxes on businesses and consumers?  I'm not buying it.  Reagan had a dream of a hemisphere-wide free trading zone.  No doubt he made some deals in violation of his principles.

An investment that requires a subsidy is not an investment worth making.  - paraphrasing Milton Friedman, IIRC, economic mentor to Reagan.
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