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5551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Constitutional Law and related matters: Courting Disaster by Fay Voshell on: March 02, 2011, 01:55:05 AM
Crafty (and others) I think will recognize the author of this piece published today at the American Thinker.  (I see other writings by Fay at:  Fay is pointing out correctly I think that this President does not respect the judiciary as a co-equal branch.  It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration would continue to implement 'Obama Care' if the Supreme Court strikes it down.

It is quite a contradiction to me that DOMA Defense of Marriage Act signed by a previous President is not binding on this administration, but healthcare should be binding on this congress because it was passed by a previous congress.

March 01, 2011
Courting Disaster
By Fay Voshell
There is a malodorous wind wafting its way from the White House.  It bodes ill for the fate of the US judiciary and the Republic of these United States.

The whiff of gunfire was obvious when President Obama publically dressed down the Justices of the Supreme Court during his State of the Union address, saying to his captive audience, "With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the supreme court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations-to spend without limit in our elections...I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.  They should be decided by the American people.  And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems."

The fight between Obama and the courts was on. Much more was to follow.

This would not be the first time an American president found himself at odds with the judiciary, including the Supreme Court.  In fact, the august Supreme Court may be in jeopardy in a way it has not been since Franklin Roosevelt, whom Obama deeply admires and seeks to imitate, tried to pack the court in 1937.

At that time, angered over its decisions vitiating his favorite programs, FDR threatened to completely remake the Court's image and its constitutional mandate in order it become more amenable to his legislative agenda. The President's fireside chat on the subject left no doubt in his listeners mind he was impatient with the judiciary.

He said, "Last Thursday I described the American form of government as a three-horse team provided by the Constitution to the American people so that their field might be plowed. The three horses are, of course, the three branches of government - the Congress, the executive, and the courts. Two of the horses, the Congress and the executive, are pulling in unison today; the third is not."

The howls of rage that met his attempt to get the "third horse" in tandem with the other two branches of government eventually forced FDR to back down.

A similar assault on the judiciary would wait until another day.

That day has come.

Obama has already indicated his hostility toward court decisions he doesn't like, but more than verbal hostility has transpired since Obama's State of the Union speech, which found an obviously roiled Judge Alito mouthing responses to the president's antagonistic and historically unprecedented dress down of the high court.

Indications are the high court, along with the entirety of the judicial branch of government, may be facing more than a verbal showdown as the Obama administration is determined by any and every means to salvage its end goals, particularly its health care plan, from the counterattacks of the judiciary.

As the whole world knows, recently Justice Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola ruled the individual mandate central to the implementation of Obama Care is illegal. If Justice Vinson's ruling stands, it would make the 2,700 page, $938 billion health reform bill null and void.

Vinson wrote:

    "Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications."

Vinson's ruling, along with one which was delivered by Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, means it is probable that the U.S. Supreme Court will make the final decision about the constitutionality of ObamaCare. So far the auguries do not bode well for its fate.

Regardless, it has been noticeable that the Obama administration has paid no particular mind to the Vinson decision.  On the contrary, the WH has ignored the ruling, proceeding as if it never happened, hell bent on continuing the implementation of Obama Care.  As Mark Levin and others have noted, the president is in contempt of court by continuing to implement a law declared unconstitutional.  In fact, while the rest of the real estate market languishes, the boom in Washington, D.C. continues unabated, due in a large part to the need for office space for the multitudinous agencies, some 159 in number, mandated by the health care bill.

It's worth noting the disregard for judicial rulings concerning the Health Care bill has been paralleled by the Obama administration's quiet ignoring of the judicial decisions overturning the moratoriums on drilling for oil.

But perhaps the most ominous sign the judicial branch of our government may be in danger of being entirely overridden by the executive branch of our government is the recent decision by the Department of Justice not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that part of the act is unconstitutional.

In one fell swoop, the Obama administration has abrogated to itself the role of the judiciary and has thereby announced to the judiciary the executive branch will decide whether or not to uphold the decisions of the courts, including the Supreme Court.

The Obama administration has basically executed a coup against the judiciary and due process of law by taking to itself the duties of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.  For if the administration can decree a given law as unconstitutional without the evaluation of its constitutionality or non-constitutionality residing in the hands of the judiciary, the process of judicial review is unnecessary.  Worse, the entire system of governmental checks and balances is completely wrecked.  The executive branch would reign as supreme arbiter of law. Law would be what the executive branch deems law: law by decree, by fiat.

Further, the administration's refusal to defend an established law which has not yet been decreed unconstitutional by the courts means it may also refuse to obey the courts when and if it upholds Judge Vinson's decision, declaring Obama Care unconstitutional. It is not hard to see an administration which has declared one law unconstitutional; regardless of the fact the courts have not ruled it to be so, declaring the Health Care bill as constitutional regardless of what the Supreme Court rules.

And that may be the end game.  Declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and refusing to defend it may well be the presage for further defiance of the courts, as the Obama administration is determined not to allow its crowning achievement to be gutted by anyone or any entity, including the Supreme Court.

We have seen the Obama administration's defiance of the courts from the inception of his administration.  From day one the president has ignored or openly opposed the restraints of the judiciary.

The ultimate battle will be enjoined should the Supreme Court declare Obama Care unconstitutional.  When and if the administration chooses to defy the ruling of our most august judicial body, FDR's attempt to pack the court will seem a picayune maneuver compared to what will be an all out assault on the Republic, an assault which could conceivably send it to the graveyard of history.
5552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Music on: March 01, 2011, 10:58:59 PM
One tip and one song:

Any music in the Youtube public domain can downloaded and converted to MP3 free for home, car or workout using

A classic song for your playlist, try this brief masterpiece that just keeps getting better with familiarity - and volume.  Jupiter is the centerpiece of The Planets by Gustav Holst from almost a hundred years ago. Over a million hits on youtube for this version by Osaka Philharmonica.
5553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 27, 2011, 10:40:42 PM
To those who support Newt or are tempted, what do you make of the past personal issues? a. Does any of it offend you, b. does any of it make you think these things will hurt his chances in the general election, c. does any of it show character issues that could detract from his ability to govern?

From my point of view, Yes I will vote for him if nominated, but that doesn't count because I will vote for any of the named Republicans over Barack Obama based on vast policy differences.

Yes it offends me.  I don't see why the R. candidate has to run a nearly 2 year campaign with the apparent lesser of the moral character, and R's are traditionally hald to a higher standard IMO.  Obama's family situation is almost too perfect.  Maybe something else breaks on a guy this fond of himself and high on power, but as far as I can see he is clean as a whistle in his marriage and family life.

Forgiveness sucks and behavior matters from my point of view.  As clear as I keep hearing Newt say 'Calista and I' today, I remember him not very long ago always saying 'Marianne and I'.  3 wives is too many without a couple of real good excuses.  Lots of people will be offended.  These politicians parade their wives and children in front of us to for political gain, to demonstrate character.  Husband infidelity hits married women hard IMO; that is a key demographic Republicans need; R's who do terribly with single women and are challenged with women overall.  Making it worse, Newt's timing was bad - to be screwing around during Clinton's impeachment.  How can that story die and how can that not be a distraction for him and an obsession with validity for the angry left? A recent conversion to Catholic faith, during his preparation for a run, looks opportunistic to me.  God can judge his soul but I say that here among mortals you get judged as the man that you were and all that criticism is fair game. 

I honor his previous historic accomplishments, but 1994 was 18 years before 2012, and his feat of sweeping congress has now been repeated.  I honestly see him as a policy developer, spokesman and strategist,  not the nominee or the President.

There is no correct analogy for Newt, but look at the implosion of Rudy Giuliani who was an American icon before facing a little scrutiny.  Looking forward to other points of view on this.  For those who support him, tell us what your wife thinks about it all.
5554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Unions on: February 23, 2011, 09:38:54 AM
Famous people caught reading the forum: Something I have been trying to say for a long ime picked up by Joe Klen, Time magazine!

"DougMacG   Re: Unions   June 11, 2010
There was a time I suppose when organizing workers made sense because the greedy capitalist had too much power as perhaps the only employer within commuting distance of a town and whatever paltry sum they paid is what you had to accept or not work.  For one thing, that is NEVER the case with a public employees union.  There is no greedy capitalist involved - just the will of the people / consent of the governed."
February 20, 2011   Joe Klein
In Wisconsin, Protesting the Greed... of the Public?
"...far too many state legislatures, of both parties, that have been cowed by the political power of the unions and enacted contracts that force state and city governments to be run for the benefit of their employees, rather than for their citizens. This situation is most egregious in far too many school districts across the nation. The events in Wisconsin are a rebalancing of power that, after decades of flush times and lax negotiating, had become imbalanced. That is also something that, from time to time, happens in a democracy."
5555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How to cut government spending: re. Sell, Sell Sell on: February 23, 2011, 09:02:58 AM
Selling off from our federal government assets is IMO the right answer to the wrong question.  It is what do we do next when we finish reducing the size and scope of government, balancing the budget, and find ourselves sitting on a mountian of debt - and a mountain of assets, literally.  Regulate the forest, not own all of it.

Also for government's role is so called in so-called global warming, pull every non-emergency government vehicle off the road before you curtails ours.  Fewer and smaller buildings with fewer employees less heat and air conditioning.  Sell the building, lease back only the space required, scaled back  - at all levels of government. Smaller foot print, smaller carbon footprint.
5556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government programs & regulations, spending, budget process on: February 21, 2011, 10:31:38 AM
"Eloquent piece there by Ryan, but , , , where are the cuts?"

I share that frustration.  To be fair, I think they voted to defund PelosiObamaCare, a 100 Trillion Dollar value just to put a number on it. 
5557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: February 19, 2011, 12:49:02 PM
"the market is generally considered to be a leading indicator"
 - Amazingly the market has predicted 13 of the last 4 recessions.

200k per (imaginary) job saved?   - I can't find the total numbers, but I believe Bernanke was referring to the entire QE (trillion and a half, more ?) and 3 million jobs saved of course is pure fabrication.  What economic theory believes that devaluing our currency makes us wealthier?

"To call the market's wild government induced ride a doubling from the bottom, as JDN does, while mathematically correct, IMHO misses most of the picture."

 - Right, you can't buy only at the exact trough or sell only at the exact peak.  One would not meaningfully measure ocean level at the top or bottom of a tidal wave.  'Smoothing' the data is an imperfect science, otherwise pick points in time where policy or events changed to judge how the markets responded (as Crafty did).  

Wesbury is empirically optimistic.  These are modest predictions of growth.  Then they compare their predictions with actual results.  Sometimes they are wrong.  He will still tell you I believe that we are missing out on half the growth available with our excessively anti-growth policies.  I posted Kudlow recently saying that average growth when Reagan's policies took effect was 7.7% for 6 quarters, then he won 49 states.  Wesbury is not saying anything like that.  He is telling his investors that his analysis says to stay invested.  Predicting the future has (obvious) risks.  That's why I judge these economists by how well they can explain the past.  I hadn't seen Wesbury in a video before.  He speaks well.  Instead of Fed chair, I think I would like him to be VP.  I wonder if he could hold his own debating Joe Biden on economic policy.

There is an honesty there for a supply-sider to predict growth under the opponent's regime.  I think he just tells you wherever his analysis takes him, although there may be a bias in his business of wanting investors to stay in.

5558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues, Racism in the Wisconsin teachers union mob? on: February 19, 2011, 12:24:22 PM
First a comment on the previous. "CBS...sat on their own story. For five days, as reporters reveled amid giddy celebrations in Tahrir Square..."

 - That I think is how Matt Drudge got his start; he had insiders tell him the stories networks were holding.
We heard ad nauseum the tea party rallies were racist because attendees were predominantly white.

in no MSM coverage I have seen is there ANY note that the crowd is "predominantly white".... Why is that?
5559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam and theocratic politics: Tunisia the microcosm on: February 19, 2011, 11:55:27 AM
Tunisian Microcosm
February 19, 2011 John Hinderacker

Yesterday a Catholic priest from Poland who taught at a school outside Tunis was first beaten and then beheaded, presumably by Muslims. Several thousand normal Tunisians turned out to protest against the murder. The T-shirts in the photo below say "Tunisia secular." The signs say "Tunisia for all" and "Terrorism is not Tunisian."

This is, in microcosm, the battle that is taking place across much of the Arab world.
5560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 19, 2011, 09:00:28 AM
Thanks JDN. Good points.  The reference to those countries that I meant was that IF they were in the same situation, with 10 or 12  countries around them actively committed to their destruction, I would hope our foreign policy would have a focus on helping them.  Obviously we don't blindly support Israel, I think we condemned them this week for peaceful activities that offend people trying to destroy them.  People like you or Obama are not anti-semitic for disagreeing on specific policies.  We just rightfully argue the wisdom of our policies.

Obama wants to be even-handed to settle ancient differences.  I see that like wanting to be even handed with a rapist and a young woman walking down a street.

I drifted to Ron Paul because of previous points in the thread.  I think racism is a form of stupidity, and anti semitism loosely defined is a form of racism.  Ron Paul I would argue isn't stupid, (maybe unwise in some of his positions) certainly inattentive in what got posted on his site.  In the case of Hitler and today's dangerous movements, it may be more a form of empowering themselves by praying off of the stupidity of others.  In the Cairo crowd attacking the reporter, they were hollering 'Jew'.  They were wrong about her but still how other than stupidity would that justify what THEY were doing? No one here, nor Ron Paul nor our President nor any serious or intelligent person would believe that it did. 
5561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Anti-semitism & Jews on: February 19, 2011, 01:01:37 AM
JDN,  I think CCP did not want to directly say that Jewish people in America are disproportionately successful. So I said it and you said it.  Of course that is not a bad thing but people with small minds resent other people's success.

Hopefully Ron Paul is old enough to stop running for anything and focus on pushing his best issue which is smaller government.  He was also at the forefront of 'end the Fed', a misguided, lost cause (IMHO) and in opposing foreign military operations.  I think he largely opposes our strong commitment to defending Israel for isolationist type non-interventionist reasons, not anti-semitism.  That is where conservatism and libertarianism split.  There is a moral case for defending Israel, freeing Iraq etc. and a strategic reason: Israel is on the front line of our fight.  If you disagree with the strategic reason, there is still a moral reason IMO. 

Attracted to Ron Paul's viewpoint to not defend Israel might be people with anti-semitism.  Like Reagan has said, if they endorse his view it doesn't mean he endorses theirs. 

Jewish people have a connection with defending Judaism in Israel, just like I want golf protected in Scotland (okay I'm bad with analogies).  Given the small proportion of Jews in America, I would explain the interest in defending of Israel by most of the rest of us differently.  We support and defend Israel because they are under attack. In other words the attackers chose the venue and the motive, not those of us defending them. If India or Japan today or Canada was under similar attack, I would hope our foreign policy would put the focus in those places.
5562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Gvmt spending, budget: Paul Ryan, Pro-Growth Case for Spending Cuts on: February 18, 2011, 10:24:55 AM
This was written before Obama's budget came out.  Rove covered that one above just right.  Obama projects wars out 10 years that he already committed to retreat from and then calls it a trillion dollar savings.  Then he locks in the temporary flood of emergency stimulus spending to eternity and calls it a domestic spending freeze, with trillion and a half dollar deficits.  Both claims make sense - if you own our language.

Ryan introduces reasonable cuts and explains the need.

Elsewhere today, Krugman argues that any cut in the waste and egregious excess of our trillion and a half dollar deficit spending will bring down this fragile American economy.

The correct answer of course is that we have proven the ability to collect about $2.5 trillion in federal revenues.  We should all agree then to limit spending to 2.5 trillion dollars in today's dollars and today's economy and argue only about how best to spend that money, not over how much.

February 13, 2011
The Pro-Growth Case for Spending Cuts
By Rep. Paul Ryan

When House Republicans pledged to make cutting spending our top priority, we knew it wouldn't be easy. The President and his party remain committed to the notion that the best way to create jobs and prosperity is to raise your taxes, spend your money, and then borrow some more money and spend that.

After two years, all of this borrowing and spending has not only failed to deliver promised jobs, but also plunged us deeper into debt. The problem is simple: Many families and businesses look at the size of our debt and the state of our economy and fear that we are heading for a diminished future.

If America can't pay its debts, then people, institutions and other nations will stop lending us money, or they will demand such a high rate of interest that our government will be effectively cut off from future borrowing. At that point, spiraling interest rates would force painful tax increases and steep, sudden cuts to vital national priorities.

We can avoid this outcome, and we must.

Addressing the spending problem now is the key to restoring prosperity. Right now, businesses are holding back on hiring and investment, partly because they are worried that we are headed for a future of large tax hikes and interest-rate spikes. Washington's spending spree has fueled this uncertainty.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Budget Committee this week that one of the best things Congress can do to get businesses hiring and the economy growing again is to demonstrate that we have a serious plan for tackling our fiscal problems.

Since being entrusted with the Majority only a month ago, we have been taking steps to do just that. One of our first official acts was to cut Congress's own budget by five percent. Next, we voted to cut trillions in future government spending by repealing the irresponsible new health care law. And when it comes to funding the government for the rest of this year, we are engaged in a debate that is refreshingly different by Washington standards. We are debating, not whether to cut spending, but how much spending to cut.

In these debates, we started with a simple goal: reduce the budgets for most government agencies back to where they were before the bailouts, before the stimulus package, and before the spending binge. Over the last two years, many federal bureaucracies received budget increases of 30 percent, 40 percent, or - in one case -100 percent. The numbers grow even larger when the failed stimulus is added in.

Our spending cuts are critical first steps to earn back the trust of a skeptical public - a skepticism that is surely justified. More must be done to restore confidence to a private sector that will remain cautious until it is convinced that we are serious about controlling spending. As House Budget Committee chairman, it will be my job to help chart a new course: a path to prosperity.

Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you - to show you how we intend to do things differently. We're going to cut spending to get the debt down, help create jobs and prosperity, and reform government programs. We owe you an honest debate about our biggest fiscal challenges. If we act soon, and if we act responsibly, we can gradually phase in reforms to our major entitlement programs to save them from bankruptcy and ensure that people in and near retirement will be protected.

It appears President Obama will present a very different vision in the coming days - and in my view, one that takes the nation even further in the wrong direction. And he recently asked Congress to raise the debt limit to accommodate all of the spending and borrowing that he and his party have already committed us to. But the debt crisis that is currently crippling Europe teaches us that we cannot keep making unaffordable promises without eventually hitting a real debt limit - a limit on our borrowing imposed by credit markets in a state of panic.

We must act responsibly and send a clear message: Endless borrowing is not a strategy. Spending restraint must come first. It won't be easy, but America is an exceptional nation, and Americans have risen to greater challenges and prevailed in the past. To restore prosperity today, leaders must rise to the occasion and demonstrate to families and entrepreneurs that they need no longer fear for tomorrow. Until we accomplish that, our work will not be done.

Paul Ryan represents Wisconsin's First Congressional District and serves as chairman of the House Budget Committee.
5563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation: 'Biflation' Bernanke, WSJ on: February 18, 2011, 09:52:02 AM

'Biflation' Bernanke

By AL LEWIS         * FEBRUARY 13, 2011

Ben Bernanke remarked last week on one of the few things that is still made here in America.

"Inflation made here in the U.S. is very, very low," the Federal Reserve chairman told Congress on Wednesday.

"Over the 12 months ending in December, prices for all the goods and services consumed by households increased by only 1.2%," he said.

Around the globe, people are rioting in the streets because of skyrocketing food prices. Health-care costs in the U.S. rise annually by double digits. College, insurance, utilities, the fees bailed-out banks charge their customers, various taxes from nearly bankrupt states and municipalities, basic commodities from pork bellies to gold, and, oh, gasoline -- all of this keeps going up.

But don't worry, Mr. Bernanke swears inflation -- at least as the U.S. government measures it -- will remain low because wages are stagnant. See, there's no need to worry about rising prices, because you're not getting a raise.

On the day Mr. Bernanke spoke, The Wall Street Journal's lead headline read "Inflation Worries Spread." But the story was about rampant inflation in other countries.

Mr. Bernanke swore this inflation would not spread here. But then Mr. Bernanke once predicted the subprime mortgage mess would not spread, either. I swear, if he shaved off his white beard, he would not look like an economist at all.

Mr. Bernanke defended the unprecedented actions he has taken to save us from the economic calamity he helped cause. Holding interest rates at zero to prop up the stock market, and buying up Treasurys and worthless paper from banks, seems to be working for now. But what price will we pay when the next bubble pops?

Republicans gave Mr. Bernanke a pretty hard time, challenging his boast that as soon as higher inflation inevitably rears its head, he'll guillotine it with a gentle pull of his interest-rate lever.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), deploying a common Dairy State analogy, said he didn't think the Fed would even notice inflation until "the cow is out of the barn." But it's difficult to believe Mr. Bernanke would ever let a cow out of the barn without first allowing the bankers to milk it dry.

To Mr. Bernanke's point, though, plenty of things have either fallen in price or stayed flat to keep consumer prices from spiking: furniture, appliances, electronics, automobiles and stuff you find at all those going-out-of-business sales.

"It's cheaper to buy a new home today," notes Charles Farrell, author of "Your Money Ratio: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security" and a principal at Northstar Investment Advisors in Denver. "You could benefit from that...if you could sell your old home."

Yeah, if.

A new form of inflation is increasingly described in the blogosphere. It better explains the pricing paradox Mr. Bernanke has failed to embrace.

It's called "biflation."

Everything you already own -- a house, a car, a stock portfolio -- has rapidly declined in value. Everything you actually need to buy -- food, gasoline, medicine, education -- is going up.

Biflation is apparently what happens when the Fed creates trillions of new dollars out of nothing, but mostly just gives it to the banks.
5564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Stock Market on: February 18, 2011, 09:44:47 AM
More money chasing fewer companies.  The reversing of expansionary monetary policies is a certainty, we just don't know when.  The revitalization of entrepreneurial capitalism is uncertain and unlikely (?)

Do people remember when markets always contracted on inflation news.  Not because of inflation but because of the expectation/fear of the Feds reaction to it.  For the time being, that check and balance is gone.  The longer they wait to respond, the more severe the correction will need to be.
5565  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Economics: Disparity agenda rears its ugly head again on: February 17, 2011, 12:18:36 PM
JDN, Thanks for sharing. IMO that is the worst kind of economic journalism that I know of.  They throw a very limited amount of economic generalizations out there - with partial true, to see how many false inferences they can get the reader to make.  Since they make no economic study themselves, they really just are a reader who also fell for false inferences off of someone else's distorted study.  I have written extensively about this in the past and will be happy to take it up again (but not today). 

A few quick observations:

When they say one group is "stuck in neutral", what percentage of their readers stop to think on their own that is not 'a group' but an ever changing composition where the vast majority have extreme income mobility?

When they say that one other group benefited more (the rich), I wonder how many draw the intended inference that group was taking winnings that otherwise would have gone to the middle class?  Total falsehood, just not explicitly stated in the article.  Imagine the plunge the middle class would  take if not for the risk investment made by others.  See Republic of the Congo for one example. Instead it is inferred that the middle class are perfectly justified in taking up "warfare" against those who are more productive in this economy than themselves.  Or did I read that wrong?

Here's one of my favorite of the loser arguments: "the wealthiest people continue to eclipse their middle-class counterparts."

If an economic study were to link income to height, weight, age, religion, race, hair color, eye color, marital status or left handedness to income - that would be newsworthy. Instead the disparity alarmists link income disparity to people making more money - am I the only one to see a redundancy in that?  Teams that score more goals than their opponents are winning the most games, the best fighters keep winning fights, it is wettest out on rainy days...

They compare group to group over an extended time period but don't ever disclose that the results measured later are NOT the people from the original group, no matter what time frame is chosen.

In America, no one is branded middle class or any other class.  You can join any class you want to and people do exactly that every day.  You can also move BACKWARDS in income as you enjoy some of your previous years' accomplishments.

Questions: How can we manage or minimize disparity while maximizes wealth creation, revenues to the Treasury, economic growth employment, etc.?  We can't.  Reminds me of the Fed dual mission.  We need to encourage money making, open up opportunities, prohibit unfair roadblocks, and let people run with it.

What is the correct or optimum level of disparity? Zero? Some reasonable multiple between richest and poorest?  High growth requires high disparity.  Do the disparity alarmists oppose high growth?  In many cases, yes.

Where in the following did God get it wrong regarding disparity and class warfare- (King James version) Deuteronomy 5:21: Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any [thing] that [is] thy neighbour's.
5566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Reagan recovery growth averaged 7.7% for 6 quarters on: February 16, 2011, 11:40:52 AM
Just for a yardstick of comparison, the economic growth rate during "Reagan's first six recovery quarters: real GDP averaged 7.7 percent annually."

3-4% growth would be normal if we weren't digging out of a hole.

0-2.5% growth is the kind that keeps you in a hole. Negative growth coming out of a bad spell is probably no time to call yourself The Gipper.
5567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: February 15, 2011, 06:45:08 PM
"Common Cause maintains that Justice Thomas should have disqualified himself from last year’s landmark campaign finance ruling in the Citizens United case, partly because of his ties to the Koch brothers."

Maybe bigdog can elaborate but I think recusal on the highest court is largely a personal decision. The way to put pressure on Thomas would be for Elena Kagan to recuse herself from review of all policies she helped advise, write and enact, like healthcare, which is not likely to happen.  If Thomas took expense money or money for a speech, I still don't think his is a vote that can be bought.  I doubt Common Cause thinks so either. 

I wonder if this public interest group will push NASA's Hansen for disclosure of monies he received for his work on 'An Inconvenient Truth' or is just selectively offended.  Common Cause: "Nonprofit, nonpartisan citizen's lobbying organization promoting open, honest and accountable government."
5568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 15, 2011, 06:19:25 PM
Crafty: "interesting circles"

More interesting of course if not for him being banned by law from ever saying anything at all about a publicly traded company.  It is a great story. Thanks for having a place to share it.  They were a rumored takeover target for 2 years.

The anti-capitalists will say that his share is more than anyone deserves, but what the economy needs is for him to do it again, this was this 3rd startup success, and for people everywhere to be inspired by success and give it a try.
5569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential: Allen West on: February 15, 2011, 04:44:36 PM
JDN: "...waiting to hear why his "experience" qualifies him to be President?"

I answered that from my point of view and I would like to elaborate on my answer. First though to help frame my answer, may I ask you what experience is required to be qualified?

George H.W. Bush was the resume President, served in congress, was Ambassador to China. Director of the CIA, Ambassador to the UN, served 2 terms as VP, you don't get much closer to CiC than that.  He won one landslide running for 'Reagan's 3rd term'.  Broke with Reagan policies and on his own he lost to the Governor of Arkansas.

The other with that level of experience was Walter Mondale, 1984.  He served in the army, was elected state attorney general, served 12 years in the senate in the Hubert Humphrey seat, was Vice President of the United States (later was Ambassador to Japan) lost all 49 states other than his home state in 1984, took Wellstone's place in 2002, lost his home state becoming the first and only person in history to lose in all 50 states.

Reagan was a large state governor two terms, W. Bush the same, Clinton a two term (non-continuous) smaller state governor and Carter a one term governor.

Saving Obama for the comparison with Allen West or whoever will run against him.
5570  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 15, 2011, 08:51:42 AM
My favorite economic quote of the last year was that our economy needs to generate x number of (many, many) new start up companies every year that grow to a billion dollars. While I was dithering about whether the economy would go up or down, my tennis partner founded, built from scratch a storage networks company and just announced the sale of his suburban Mpls company to Dell for 960 million.  Part of that economic story is that to build a data storage product for medium sized companies with success and have 140 million in the bank in this economy means that someone out there is making capital investments if you have a product that delivers what they need.
These stories are too few and far between, but I am grateful that it is still possible.
5571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Allen West CPAC on: February 15, 2011, 08:31:05 AM
This video looks like it starts near the beginning of that speech.  The other one (removed)I think cut off with CSPAN near the end.
5572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 15, 2011, 12:21:33 AM
It is a little early but I am going to make my 2012 prediction right here, right now.

There will be fewer women fainting in the front rows of Obama rallies in 2012.  Mark my words, you heard it here first.    wink


Both West and Cain are amazing black conservatives.  Just from what I saw, West spoke out very strongly but with carefully chosen words that he can back up and stand by.  Cain has an amazing business background and a powerful presence at the podium.  Like others in talk radio though, he left himself with a headline less impressive than his speech: 'Cain says we are ruled by stupid people'.  That falls into the trap CCP describes, the media ready to chew up a very successful man on one inartful slogan.  It is our job to make the case that the opponents are wrong on their policies, not stupid.
5573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Government spending, Wesbury on: February 14, 2011, 11:58:55 PM
Always a worthwhile read.  Yes he is both an avid opponent of the Obama agenda and a predictor of modest growth.  I think just being honest in both cases.  I think he would tell you growth rates coming out of this type of hole should be 4, 5, 6% of more if we implemented bold, pro-growth policies.

"The last time spending grew more slowly than GDP was under President Clinton, when spending fell from over 22% of GDP in 1992 to 18.2% in 2000."

He goes on to give one valid contributor: "The end of the Cold War gave the US a peace dividend, which allowed for defense cuts."  (Put another way, gut intelligence and suffer unprecedented attacks)

Another partial explanation to keep in mind is that the end year 2000 was a bubble economy that was pierced during that year.  If you take a longer look and smoothed out the erratic data of the bubble and trough that followed, the change in that ratio would not be so dramatic.  A chart at this 2002 CBO link shows how that percentage worsens in 2001 just continuing the path of the same policies.  (Note also how wrong they are within a decade even though they had the confidence to forecast out 75 years.)
We need IMO a budget amendment to cap federal spending at 20% of previous year GDP with a 2/3 supermajority required for every penny above that.  Tell Democrats and independents we just want to lock in the success of what worked for President Clinton.
5574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: February 14, 2011, 11:19:07 PM
Ya,  Welcome!  That was a great post - very insightful thinking.   It is strange that the more people don't solve a problem, the more we are willing to pay.

I wonder why the reward for bin Laden doesn't work.  That is an example of at least trying to pay for results.
5575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Issues: Time Magazine on: February 13, 2011, 08:17:51 PM
Crafty I don't know specifically what your beef was when you came down so hard on Time magazine recently (mindless liberal drivel?), but they have embarrassed themselves beyond belief on this one - falling for a Sarah Palin spoof and going to press without even clicking on the source, much less having someone listen to it.  The National Enquirer's coverage of John Edwards is Pulitzer material compared to this slop they call journalism.  Most of the past criticisms of what Palin has said came down to quotes of Tina Fey.  This one was a hoax marked COMEDY at the original source and Time bought it hook, line and sinker.  Dan Rather had higher standards.  The correction apologizes to the singer not the character they were trying to assassinate.
5576  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Fed, Monetary Policy, Inflation, & the US Dollar on: February 13, 2011, 01:33:50 PM
"If I have my zeros correct, that is $200,000 per job?!?"

Even then, 3 million jobs saved meant unchanged 10.3% unemployment, so there is no multiple of $200,000 investments that would brings the rate down to 4-5% where it started.

I hate to one-up Bernanke but while he was saving 3 million jobs and record unemployment remained unchanged, I was helping to keep the sky blue and making sure the sun rose;I have similar proof of results.  Good grief.
5577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 13, 2011, 01:22:46 PM
Not quite that simple, depends on which assets, when, and if indirectly on the hook has the same legal meaning as a direct guarantee.  A lot has changed since the fall 2008, huge amounts I believe, were brought in and directly guaranteed. Pose this to Scott G...
5578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Housing/Mortgage/Real Estate on: February 13, 2011, 12:36:37 PM
Crafty: "Is the US government obligated as a matter of law to cover the FMs debts?"

IIRC, during the collapse of 2008 the answer to that question was 'no' for most of those assets as a strict, direct, legal obligation, but 'yes' as a practical matter that the full faith and credit of the USA was being used to sell the securities.  In other words the guarantee was with the GSE, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, but everyone knew that the GSE is the US Government.

That was then, I don't know what changes are in the latest 'financial reform' or other new laws.  My understanding is that from 90% of mortgages going through the federal government (citation needed for article authorizing that) we are moving toward 100%.
5579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fed Monetary Policyr: Paul Ryan, Bernanke: QE2 will be reversed on: February 13, 2011, 11:55:30 AM
A couple key points:  Ryan has called for the end of the 'dual mission' (again, more famous people caught reading the forum).

Bernanke said: "Bernanke said a Federal Reserve study found that the QE policy has created or saved as many as 3 million jobs."  - Right out of the Krugman Obama school of economics.  A Nobel Prize coming?

(Next is inspired by Clapper calling the MB secular), Bernanke said that the QE policy did not represent “a permanent increase in the money supply,” calling it a “temporary measure that will be reversed.”

Either that statement is true and a relief to know we worried for no reason, or he should be tried (and hanged) for treason. I'm not seeing middle ground here.
Warning, Federal Reserve hearings aren't like seeing Allen West speeches.
5580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential: Allen West on: February 13, 2011, 11:49:08 AM
Wow. I will be happy to have him lead this country.  Sharing our values is one thing, but choose for President the one who best articulates them. 

On Meet the Press he was soft spoken and humble, so they showed a video of his passion at the rallies making a strong claim about the administration.  West calmly stood by what he said and gave specifics to demonstrate that it was true.

Allen West is President Obama's worst nightmare.  He won't walk into a Presidential debate unsure about what he believes or how to express it.  Let's see the one with the community background or ordinary Republicans question his experience or readiness to serve and to lead, 20 years in the U.S. Army he served in Operation Desert Storm, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, was battalion commander for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, and in Afghanistan, where he trained Afghan officers to take on the responsibility of securing their own country.

2 Masters degrees I see, West is 'an avid distance runner, a PADI Master certified SCUBA diver, motorcyclist, ...His wife, Angela, holds an MBA and PhD. and works as a financial planner.'

So many points in the speech (the constitution is a restraining order is against big government) I hate to single any out, but West picked up the point that cash for clunkers is a symbol of our current, failed leadership (famous people read this forum).

Allen West, Take your own advice, "the time is now". Good leaders don't come around very often. 
5581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Political Economics: Unemployment 10.3%, U6 almost 20% on: February 12, 2011, 08:14:33 PM
GM posts the Gallup data, unemployment at 10.3% and so-called U6 the larger measure at 19.7% and asks: "**Whom to believe?"

The government publishes two main measures, the unemployment rate from BLS and another figure measured completely differently the household survey from the Census Bureau.  The Gallup figure gives you a third source.

Serious answer on economic data is trust none of them precisely.  More practical is to use all of them for trends from previous measurements, commonalities, differences, being careful to know how they measure and what the weaknesses or flaws are.  A good opportunity to remember that all economic data is loaded with measurement errors.  Best follow up is to read economists you learn to trust who watch this closer than we do and see how they analyze what comes in.  On this board those have become Brian Wesbury and Scott Grannis who are honest about numbers published, separate from having their own take on the future.  Other sources of analysis: look at the Fed's own analysis or look to other economists.

Simple answer to unemployment numbers is that they are too damn high by more than two-fold;  tenths of a point are not significant.  U6 is an interesting measure including underemployment, or to measure by sub-group like black teenagers, or by state: MN is in the 6% range and ND is 3.5,  meaning the colder it is the harder people work, or just some states lure in fewer lazy, confused workers than others.
5582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2011, 07:45:43 PM
First off for JDN, I asked for your views and you elaborated nicely so I thank you! Secondly we have areas of agreement and disagreement we can followup on.

I have to brush up on my history, off hand I would say I'm no fan of T.R. but would be happy to return to the tax, spend and regulatory levels were during his Presidency 1901-1909.  I like that you picked a period prior to the 1913 16th amendment authorizing income taxes.  I may be to the left of you; I favor keeping the income tax. but limiting it to a high single digit percentage.

To just pick a year of his progressive Presidency, 1906 revenues were 595million, spending  570million and surplus 25million. (p.25)

Spending and taxes were roughly 8% of GDP which is about right to me. I would go up to about 9.9% today but would fight to keep it in single digits.   In 2011 the numbers are roughly spending $4 Trillion, revenues $2.5 Trillion and deficit $1.5 Trillion, about 27% of GDP for spending not counting state, local etc.  Note we skipped over billions unit somewhere in there. We jumped form millions to trillions.  A trillion is a million million, so spending jumped roughly 2000-fold since then.
5583  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Egypt - Freedom and Democracy / consent of the governed on: February 12, 2011, 11:37:15 AM
Buzzwords like democracy can be easliy mis-used.  I don't know how it translates in Arabic.  To us, democracy is shorthand for consent of the governed.  Rule by the majority (mob rule, MB rule) is  the exact opposite.  When Reagan discussed the subject, it was "freedom and democracy" and spelled out that freedom includes religious freedom along with the other freedoms.  Religious freedom includes in this case the right to be Muslim, the right to not be Muslim, the right to practice Christianity, even to be Jewish??, the right to be of no religion at all, and the right to NOT be ruled by someone else's religion.  When that does not happen, you do not have consent of the governed, which was the point of removing the dictator.
5584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Intel Matters: single most foolish statement ever on: February 12, 2011, 11:15:36 AM
Mark Steyn has it right.
John Bolton: "It's a sad day for the intelligence community.  That statement made by Clapper I think is the single most foolish statement ever made by a senior intelligence official." time stamp 6:40 on this interview.
Surprised to find out Clapper is an 'idiot'?  Obama also picked Joe Biden.

Politico points out bipartisan opposition to the Clapper appointment, PeterHoekstra was the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee related the existence of "bipartisan opposition" to Clapper's nomination, and complained that Clapper failed to brief Congress on "an extraordinarily sensitive program."

Powerline suggested that the American intelligence community badly needs The Muslim Brotherhood for Dummies, unfortunately, the book doesn't exist.
5585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 12, 2011, 10:49:59 AM
[The Gipper] "is an expression I've heard long before (I'm old)Reagan was President"

True, but the point wasn't that Reagan claimed authorship; it is an association that everyone our age has with Reagan that Obama who recently studied up on Reagan intentionally co-opted for himself.

"I don't think any disrespect was meant to President Reagan."

True, it was just the opposite.  Again the point was to falsely self-compare, something Dan Quayle would have been well-advised to have avoided.

The parallel in a nutshell is this.  Both were elected in a mess.  Both took on transformation - in polar opposite directions.  Both had popularity issues at this point in their Presidency.  In Obama's case his main problem is popularity with his policies.  At Reagan's low point, his policies that would set off a quarter century of economic growth, bring down the Soviet empire and end inflation were already in place.  He had the confidence of knowing the American economic engine was going to roar and it did at growth rates almost never seen before and went from popularity in the 30s to winning 49 states.  President Obama has none of that going for him, talks out of both sides of his mouth, and would like to win 49 states.

I'm not a crook was a far more memorable moment but equally false.  In the age of youtube and a billion(?) to be spent on reelection, don't think we are done seeing whatever turn out to be symbols of his failures.  See GM youtube post for an example.  His longing to be like Reagan I am saying could very easily and likely backfire on him.

Nixon was multi-faceted. With hindsight on past Presidents and their stewardship of economies, I can't get past something he did called the price-wage freeze by government on the entire private economy (Fascism, no?) to squeeze out 7% inflation that continued in spite of that up to 14% by the end of the decade.  Add Gerald Ford's program (in Nixon's second term) of wearing buttons called Whip Inflation Now, the idea that inflation is caused by citizen's greed and solved by talking people out of acting in their own self interest or by tying their hands.  These are(IMO) dunce level understandings of economics and examples of why I draw a distinction between supporting conservative policies and supporting people who place an R by their name to get elected.
5586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness - The Gipper??? on: February 11, 2011, 11:16:47 PM
Any one of these slips is the downfall for ordinary politicians.  It takes a little more to bring down a religious figure.  You recall he starting biting his lower lip to show compassion after studying predecessor game films.  I mentioned on the other thread that the 'cadence' was developed sometime after 1995 tape.  His whole oratory style is learned or contrived.

Calling himself The Gipper, coincidentally with this Reagan birthday - unbelievable.  Like Dukakis on the tank, Nixon I'm not a crook, Dan Quayle called out on comparing himself to JFK, Clinton I did not have sexual relations with that woman Ms. Lewinsky, George Herbert Walker Bush amazed to see grocery checkout.  I don't know which of these personal stories or political mis-steps will become the symbol for his failure.  I thought it would be "Cash for Clunkers - The Documentary of a Disappointing One Term Presidency".
5587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential - backwards thinking on: February 11, 2011, 11:00:40 PM
GM,  That youtube is quite revealing.  Side note is that we hear the same voice before he learned the cadence that makes him sound like... Obama impersonators.

FYI to the CiC, White executives out in suburbs actually do pay taxers that pay for inner city youth, even in the dark ages of 1995.  It is the other way around.  Fathers and mothers of the poorest inner city youth that aren't paying for the white executives kids to go to school - or for their own.  Or paying for their own housing, food or healthcare.  The wealthy who wouldn't pay their fair share he put in the cabinet.

The theme of inner city community organizing was welfare advocacy and welfare rights, not self sufficiency or individual excellence.  If you succeed, then he cuts you down - or does that depend on your race.

The healthcare law is 2000 pages about redistributionism and zero pages about new surgical procedures or life saving drug advancement.

I like what JDN wrote about creativity and entrepreneurship.  That is how you judge tax rates, regulating schemes and welfare dependency.  Do the policies in total leave the people across the whole spectrum wanting to innovate, create, build something, start something, risk, borrow, invest, hire, expand etc, etc or more like now - fight with each other and mostly sit on the sidelines and argue over who gets what.  The answer at this point in time is mostly negative.

5588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: February 11, 2011, 12:47:53 PM
Exactly assbackwards.  The UN should be kept, downsized and de-emphasized.  If America hosts it, these dignitaries like Ahmadinejad and Chavez should visit Peoria or Sioux Falls instead of NYC with all its distractions.  If the US gets one seat and one vote, then the US pays one share - whatever Djibouti is paying. It should exist as a discussion and networking hall, not a voting or governing body, or a taxing authority.

We should know now if not sooner that we don't have friends or reliable allies and neither do they.  We sometimes have other nations who at the moment share a common interest on a particular matter.  We need open communications with all these players.  Skype is more cost effective.
5589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 11, 2011, 12:14:05 PM
JDN, That was good but what I was trying to draw out was what about Obama's governance gives you inclination to vote against him, if an acceptable alternative emerges.  

Cap and trade, and 'smart growth' advocacy were concerns that your good post about his conservatism made me forget about Huntsman.

On the positive side, what caught my attention to Huntsman was his leadership on CNG in cars.  Much of the population of Utah is in a valley where the air gets trapped in by a wall of mountains.  For each cloud to get through, it must first drop its weight - to the tune of 500 inches/yr. of snow at Alta.  CNG (compressed natural gas) burns much cleaner, 20-25% less CO2 is emitted, better cost and mostly north American origins. (Hardly should need subsidizing) Great idea with a cart before the horse problem - if there are no stations, there are no vehicle sales.  Leadership made sense and the cause is a good one, but huge subsidies to the tune of getting other taxpayers to buy a big part of your ride does not.

Cap and trade is up there with Romney care in importance.  With the Climate gate exposure being only a year or so old and plenty of new reports to refute alarmist urgency, people like Newt and Huntsman may get a chance to reconsider proposals to turn our economy upside down.

'Smart growth' is an innocent sounding phrase meaning that elitist leaders know better where your family should live than you freedom seekers do.  Utah has unique geography for some justification, but the nationwide movement is the antithesis to conservative values or a red state map.  Often liberal Utopians want us all to live in high density near light rail stations that they will locate for us at the mercy of government services provided, instead of further out, on our own, in Republican 'xurbs' where you can have a driveway, a yard and a distance to your nearest neighbor, not a shared wall.  I don't mean a yard with one chair in the shade of a high rise, I mean room to hit a pitching wedge, set up a soccer game, have a horse if you want, in our case a boat, a dock and a skating rink. Perhaps not a national issue, but his affinity to the cause of the moment could be an indicator of governing philosophy.
5590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2012 Presidential on: February 11, 2011, 12:20:11 AM
True, Mandarin is important because of our friendship and common interests with ... Taiwan.   smiley

JDN, Great post.  Now can I ask it the other way, if Republicans can come up with a good candidate, still what would motivate you want to vote against Pres. Obama?
5591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / 2012 Presidential - John Thune on: February 10, 2011, 02:52:43 PM

Something like 8 times the experience that candidate Obama had. Served both in the House and Senate. Knocked off (electorally) a sitting Senate Majority Leader.  Married to his (first) wife.  Never socialized medicine.

Watch for conservatives to speak at CPAC this week.
5592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: February 10, 2011, 01:28:35 PM
Good news today from our intelligence, Muslim Brotherhood is secular.  Who knew?    huh

Close the thread.  We worried for no reason.
5593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Newt Gingrich on: February 10, 2011, 01:23:39 PM
Very funny work their by our moderator! 

JDN, Huntsman, why? "He seems trustworthy and capable." You base that on ...
(maybe answer over on Pres. 2012)
5594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / We the Well-armed People - Tucson continued on: February 10, 2011, 01:02:23 PM
Ann Coulter has one thing right.  The Tucson shooting needed one conceal carry citizen to emerge sooner.  Concealed carry was legal there which is why the shooter was saying good bye before he started.  A suicidal, certifiable nut, whatever the medical or legal term may be. 

Concealed carry resurgence has been a great trend both for safety and a symbol of retaining one founding right and a seriousness about keeping the rest.
PC wrote previously: "It's already illegal for a confirmed nut to buy or own a gun."

What I want is for that one safeguard only to happen. If you qualify for the insanity plea for example, we need to know that sooner whenever possible.

I oppose fetal thumb or trigger finger removal.  smiley
5595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Education - Parent choice, Local control on: February 10, 2011, 12:21:40 PM
Home school works like this for us:  My daughter loves school so I just threaten home school with Dad all day and any problem is solved.  smiley

My nephew began home school this year.  Bright kid with some learning 'differences' was being left behind by a big public school and testing below grade level.  We will see how that goes.  He hated school so has to get his work done or he goes back.  Choice, competition, alternatives.

The name home schooling understates the resources, curricula and networking that these highly organized moms have in place, as I'm sure the documentary will show.

The education dollar here is about 10k per kid per year, 30 to a classroom and the teacher supposedly makes on average 52k - an almost negligible part of that 300k. If the dollar followed the kid with school choice, two things would happen, marvelous alternatives get funded and the public school sees real incentive to improve.

I remember Jesse Jackson arguing with George Will on 'This Week' against vouchers and how bad that would be for the already failing DC public schools.  Will closed with: we will just have to agree to disagree - see you tomorrow at school.  Their kids were in the same elite Washington private school, same as Sasha and Malia now, as their parents fight against opening up parent choice.

Innovation in the public sector, government or education, will begin IMHO the day that public unions are disbanded.
5596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Egypt on: February 10, 2011, 09:49:54 AM
"Know how the Saudis could afford to bankroll Egypt?"

We drove up the world price of oil from $20 to $100 with our failure to produce or use our own energy?

Woolsey makes perfect sense, but how other than 'benevolent' military rule do you accomplish that? Parties must renounce non-democratic governance to participate, but falsely renounce is what they do. He gave examples from across the planet and across the last century, not just MB.  What then?  No freedom or real vote for others ever because no one can sort out who really supports freedom and democracy?
5597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science vs. God on: February 09, 2011, 08:04:01 PM
Just teasin' a little for fun.  I am very appreciative of fact corrections (as well as other opinions).  I remember a pass around email about Oliver North in the 1980s needing security because of threat from Osama bin Laden that was false and I hated that I had retold that false story.  This format is great for the opportunity to get a quick correction before we get headed too far in the wrong direction.  Crafty's story stands fine on its own as a story without the name drop at the end.

Regarding the Science v.God question, if God as a concept is a being far beyond our intelligence or comprehension, why do both sides keep claiming knowledge or definition.  To the most intelligent of the disbelieving scientists I would like to hand them a bucket or basket of molecules and say make me a mammal or a reptile or an ecosystem if it's so easy. 

Science at any point IMO is a very, very primitive human attempt to understand very, very little about God's creation.  But our curiosity and intelligence came from our Creator so we keep on trying.
5598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Science vs. God on: February 09, 2011, 04:22:37 PM
That is a great post.  Don't let GM or Snopes spoil a great story.  I kept checking to see if I was in the humor thread.

Continuing to the science of economics:

There is wealth.  You can see it, touch it, feel it, smell it and hear it.

There is no such thing as poverty.  Poverty is an absence of wealth.

You can study wealth.  You can study all the factors that contribute to earning wealth, creating wealth, accumulating wealth, protecting wealth.

You cannot study poverty, it is the absence of something.  You can't study the absence of something.  You can only study wealth and then look at its absence to figure out what else regarding wealth creation is missing to cause its absence.
The roughly is my memory of how the book Wealth and Poverty by George Gilder begins.  Before snopes nails me, I picked up a copy to try to get it right and  oops, that isn't how it starts. (30 years slipped by.)  Anyway, something like that I think is in there somewhere.  His last chapter studying wealth is called The Necessity for Faith.
5599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tax Hike Damage without tax rate increases, Mr. President on: February 08, 2011, 04:15:19 PM
A few of us have been pointing this out here, but it bears repeating in the face of our President's economic ignorance.

From Nov. 2006 on, the economy faced the promise of increased tax rates on new investment.  Returns follow investment years later so the tax rate facing investment decisions (build a plant, hire people etc) is the future rate, not the present one.  As the Obama Presidency became a reality to join the Pelosi-Reid majorities in congress and pass the tax rate hikes they promised, that impending increase played a big role in the asset and investment selloff of 2008 that tanked this economy.  In order to sell for value, sellers had to get ahead of those increases and ahead of the other sellers and acceleration (if not panic) set in. The selloff, collapse in value and doubling of unemployment delayed the tax hikes for 2 years and the shift back of congress created even more uncertainty with no settlement reached until the final hour temporary deal was struck with the outgoing congress.  That temporary deal means two more years of uncertainty continuing to put the brakes on new investment.  Obama's point is that the rates never went up, but his continuing promise to  raise them does the same economic damage or worse adding in the uncertainty.

The fact check articles list 2 dozen tax hikes under Obama from the healthcare bill, but the real ws damage done by this mismanaged sequence of events, and was largely unreported.  

Government revenues got the worst of both worlds: income lowered by the (impending) increases, but taxed only at the old, lower rate, leaving us trillions short, compounding the uncertainty of the policies going forward.

Uncertainty and unpredictability is what makes third world countries poor.  We gave it a try, suffered badly and learned nothing from it.
5600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 08, 2011, 01:14:25 PM
Bigdog,  Thank you and I respect that. I understand from a citizen and layman's point of view the importance of stare decisis, a higher standard required to overturn what was wrongly decided, and I believe this case  gives ample wiggle room to each Justice to either say as Prof. Tribe did, that this is no different than what they have always done, as well as to very reasonably say this goes considerably further than we have ever read that ever-expanding power to go. (Same newspaper predicting precedents will fall unpredictably in this Court:

Having read Prof. Tribe on many occasions, I find him to be more effective as an advocate for one side of interpretation than as a predictor of how others will reason and decide a case.  You disagree?  In this piece I read him to be taunting or leading the so-called other side to see this as a continuation of past decisions rather than a serious prediction that Scalia and Kennedy are "open and shut" with him because of the established power to regulate and that no rights of any value are violated in the process.

The Florida judge said (something like) if this power isn't limited, what power would be?  I posted the food insurance question and Obama when opposing the mandate suggested facetiously that we could mandate home purchases to end homelessness. I can't say whether he thought that was unconstitutional or just a stupid idea, but unlimited power certainly was not the intent or language used to define central government power.

I agree Scalia (or any of those 5) would vote against his presumed political position to be consistent in his constitutional interpretation. I don't find Tribe persuasive though.  As I pointed out, he started with a false premise (that is a big deal to me in logic) and then trivialized a right of private affairs to not have terms and choices of private contracts coerced and tracked by central authorities. Even auto insurance is a state mandate and avoidable by choosing other OR NO transportation. Kennedy I find unpredictable but people say he is strong on states' rights.  Regulating commerce across state lines has not meant in most other industries that there can only be one set of rules.  There were state based solutions available to address this issue that disappear with a federal mandate. Separate from merit, 26 states suing is a pretty strong indicator that states' interests are being tromped on, at least in their view.
Prof. Tribe: "Since the New Deal, the court has consistently held that Congress has broad constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce." - True.

Synonyms of 'regulate' :
manage, organize
adapt, adjust, administer, allocate, arrange, balance, classify, conduct, control, coordinate, correct, determine, direct, dispose, fit, fix, govern, guide, handle, improve, legislate, measure, methodize, moderate, modulate, monitor, order, oversee, pull things together, put in order, readjust, reconcile, rectify, rule, run, set, settle, shape up, square, standardize, straighten up, superintend, supervise, systematize, temper, time, true, tune, tune up
* Thesaurus ran through the whole alphabet without hitting 'mandate', 'coerce', or 'participate'.
Synonyms  of verb 'mandate':
delegate, designate, depute, assign
order, prescribe, dictate
* Accepted interpretations of the English language include the root word of 'dictatorship' but not 'regulation'.
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