Recent comments

  • Daily Topics - Thursday May 21st, 2015   19 hours 41 min ago

    I do like "out-foxed" as a descriptor for our conservative, myth-informed brethren!

  • An open discussion of Schizophrenia being a phenomena, not a cause and effect...   19 hours 58 min ago

    LysanderSpooner,

    In a technical sense schizophrenia is not a disease because it can't be spread by factors like bacteria, viruses, amoeba, etc., etc.

    Also, is there anything morally wrong with being schizophrenic? In that sense also, being schizophrenic is not a disease because being schizophrenic does not make a person "bad" or "less than human." That sort of thinking is what inspired the NAZI party under Hitler to persecute people. Not only did Hitler persecute Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, communists, those with developmental conditions, etc., they also persecuted schizophrenics. Why? Because the NAZIs believed that such state of beings made people less human. I don't buy that.

    In short, do I need to take treatments and struggle to live with my Schizophrenia? No, I don't, because being Schizophrenic does not make me less than human. However, this condition extremely, severely interferes with my life. I allow myself to be treated for ME, not for anyone else by necessity or by definition.

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   20 hours 9 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Quote mavibobo:As far as amtrak same question if the 2 plus billion dollars is not enough to keep the company running should the tax payers give them more to pissed away on 15 dollar hamburgers they sell for 5 dollars or should we make them support themselves like everyone else.
    There you go again... assuming that if there are "billions" in ticket sales, that should be enough. You clearly didn't read the Brooking s report that showed the biggest losses to Amtrak are the longer routes. But then CONGRESS mandated they be kept. So if Amtrak just ran it profitable lines it might actually run in the black.

    It should be enough in business if inbound revenues are not enough to cover your nut you either raise your rates find new revenues or go out of business.

    But you claim to run a business so you should already know this stuff. And you try to call me Einstein which might be true compared to you I must think I am einstien.

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   20 hours 12 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Quote mavibobo: You do not comprehend anything do you, so I will ask again, if the billions we currently spend from the gasoline tax is not enough to maintain the roads what dollar amount is enough. If 28 billion in gas tax a year is not enough exactly how much is enough. Enough was not enough is not an answer.
    Of course I knew you'd not bother to understand the funding problem even if I took you by the hand and led you to the answer. It's so much easier for you to bitch and moan, and call everything government does into question... except, of course, the trillions pissed away on Bush's illegal war of aggression against a nation that posed no threat to us.

    So you're again back... thinking repeating your idiotic question is some devastating insight. The answer remains... the dollar amount needed IS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE JOB DONE. I have no idea what it is. Do a goddamn search for some expert opinions.

    The American Society Of Civil Engineers said in 2013 it would take about 3.6 trillion between then and 2020 for ALL infrastructure from dams to highways to airports etc. http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ That for bridges alone we need to spend 8 billion more a year http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/bridges/overview

    But what I DO know the funding mechanism for the highway trust fund is broken and the premise underlying your question is ridiculous... that if we spent billions then that should have been enough... and if it's not, then government is incompetent or is trying to rip you off. Now since YOU are against subsidies... pray tell, how would YOU fix the highway trust fund? You wrote above that you don't mind higher gas taxes. How much are YOU willing to pay?

    Well since I drive a truck that runs on diesel fuel I already pay 24 cents a gallon in taxes where gas is at 18 cents so how about we charge 25 cents for everyone and see what happens.

    But at least you admit you have no clue how much it will take but still to your retarded answer of enough is not enough.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   20 hours 23 min ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:

    Let me try again because you seem to be missing my point. The question of secession is separate to the question of slavery.

    That's not the key question here... is it? Neither is the north's motives Those are side issues you use to avoid the topic of this thread: it's why people YOU respect... Woods and Ron Paul downplay slavery as the main reason behind southern secession. AND YOU TOO have denied it.

    WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO EVADE THE QUESTION ASKED IN THE OP?

  • Clean Water.....no water, no life   20 hours 26 min ago

    Except when it isn't.

  • President Putin has a Chance to Crush the Corrupt American Global Financial System and the Wall Street Mafia.   20 hours 32 min ago

    Russia has no friends in China. China does what it does for their own benefit. If Russian interests (read: prop up an extractive nationalistic kleptocracy) happen to parallel Chinese interests the China plays along. China seeks oil and gas from multiple sources and also knows the u.s. must continue to buy from them.

    This is not arbitrarily a Wall Street or corruption issue. This is the inherent instability of financial capitalism.

  • A quick refutation of Austrian Business Cycle Theory   20 hours 37 min ago

    Maybe you should state the theory a little better.

    Here:

    According to the theory, the boom-bust cycle of malinvestment is generated by excessive and unsustainable credit expansion to businesses and individual borrowers by the banks.[5] This credit creation makes it appear as if the supply of "saved funds" ready for investment has increased, for the effect is the same: the supply of funds for investment purposes increases, and the interest rate is lowered.[6] Borrowers, in short, are misled by the bank inflation into believing that the supply of saved funds (the pool of "deferred" funds ready to be invested) is greater than it really is. When the pool of "saved funds" increases, entrepreneurs invest in "longer process of production," i.e., the capital structure is lengthened, especially in the "higher orders", most remote from the consumer. Borrowers take their newly acquired funds and bid up the prices of capital and other producers' goods, which, in the theory, stimulates a shift of investment from consumer goods to capital goods industries. Austrians further contend that such a shift is unsustainable and must reverse itself in due course. Proponents of the theory conclude that the longer the unsustainable shift in capital goods industries continues, the more violent and disruptive the necessary re-adjustment process.

    I would add that the reason it is unsustainable is because consumers reassert their preferences for consumer goods which the new economic conditions don't support. Many of the capital goods investments are discontinued.

  • An open discussion of Schizophrenia being a phenomena, not a cause and effect...   20 hours 42 min ago

    Micahjr34,

    I suggest you read Insanity: The Idea and its Consequences and Schizophrenia: The Sacred Symbol of Psychiatry, both by the late Thomas Szasz.

    Contrary to the opinion of his detractors, Szasz never states that human suffering, what he calls "problems in living", don't exist. He ONLY says that it is not a disease.

  • Tax Cuts for the Rich Derailed the Train in Philadelphia   20 hours 43 min ago
    Quote mavibobo:How refreshing you are going to get back on topic instead of trying to prove you are smarter than me and failing. So let's get back on topic, if amtrak is funded through ticket sales and the fuel tax, how exactly do lower individual income tax rates affect amtrak? No irresponsible tax cuts is not an answer, no blaming it on wars will not do, I know this will take all of your answers away but try to come up with some thing.

    As I already answered in the other thread.... there you go again... assuming that if there are "billions" in ticket sales, that should be enough. You clearly didn't read the Brooking s report that showed the biggest losses to Amtrak are the longer routes. But then CONGRESS mandated they be kept. So if Amtrak just ran it profitable lines it might actually run in the black just as Conrail did.

    As for the Amtrak - income tax -war connection AGAIN I didn't make that argument... did I, Einstein? Ask Logan.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   20 hours 43 min ago

    Good then we're all in agreement. So leave already.

  • Clean Water.....no water, no life   20 hours 46 min ago

    Private ownership of water with strict protection of the ensuing property rights is a much better way to keep water clean.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   20 hours 49 min ago

    Let me try again because you seem to be missing my point. The question of secession is separate to the question of slavery. I'm pro-secession and anti-slavery. Did many of the Southerners have bad motives? Yes. Did many want to defend their homeland, which at the time was their country? Yes. Did the Northerners who supported invasion has good motives? Mostly not. Slavery didn't become an issue for the North until later. Lincoln said it himself. The war was to preserve the Union and it did matter one way or the other what the fate of the slaves were. Lincoln was a white Supremacist. He also wanted to send blacks away. He supported recolonization.

    I support the principle, the right of a person or group of people removing themselves from the jurisdiction of one government and setting up a new one, or having none at all.

  • The banned   20 hours 52 min ago

    Commercial trolls:

    brookhiggins007
    RitaJ

    jeffjames

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   21 hours 9 min ago
    Quote mavibobo: You do not comprehend anything do you, so I will ask again, if the billions we currently spend from the gasoline tax is not enough to maintain the roads what dollar amount is enough. If 28 billion in gas tax a year is not enough exactly how much is enough. Enough was not enough is not an answer.
    Of course I knew you'd not bother to understand the funding problem even if I took you by the hand and led you to the answer. It's so much easier for you to bitch and moan, and call everything government does into question... except, of course, the trillions pissed away on Bush's illegal war of aggression against a nation that posed no threat to us.

    So you're again back... thinking repeating your idiotic question is some devastating insight. The answer remains... the dollar amount needed IS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE JOB DONE. I have no idea what it is. Do a goddamn search for some expert opinions.

    The American Society Of Civil Engineers said in 2013 it would take about 3.6 trillion between then and 2020 for ALL infrastructure from dams to highways to airports etc. http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ That for bridges alone we need to spend 8 billion more a year http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/bridges/overview

    But what I DO know the funding mechanism for the highway trust fund is broken and the premise underlying your question is ridiculous... that if we spent billions then that should have been enough... and if it's not, then government is incompetent or is trying to rip you off. Now since YOU are against subsidies... pray tell, how would YOU fix the highway trust fund? You wrote above that you don't mind higher gas taxes. How much are YOU willing to pay?

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   21 hours 11 min ago
    Quote mavibobo:As far as amtrak same question if the 2 plus billion dollars is not enough to keep the company running should the tax payers give them more to pissed away on 15 dollar hamburgers they sell for 5 dollars or should we make them support themselves like everyone else.
    There you go again... assuming that if there are "billions" in ticket sales, that should be enough. You clearly didn't read the Brooking s report that showed the biggest losses to Amtrak are the longer routes. But then CONGRESS mandated they be kept. So if Amtrak just ran it profitable lines it might actually run in the black.

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   21 hours 19 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote mavibobo:Every president since Carter has been saying our infrastructure is crumbling. We as americans pay in billions in fuel tax plus hundreds of billions more in extra support for infrastructure yet it is still failing.
    Gee, are you suggesting that infrastructure, once built, lasts forever and therefore everyone's lying? Does your James Bond spy car last forever or does Q give you a new one for every few years? What's the service life of a interstate highway bridge? Here in the NE it's maybe 20 years before the deck needs replacing and maybe 40-50 years before it has to be reconstructed... stripped down to the girders. A mile long elevated section of I91 here in Mass is falling apart and must be reconstructed. It opened in 68.

    As usual, you look at anything government does as unneeded and therefore are automatically suspicious of everything... except, apparently, Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq. Now THAT, 2 trillion pissed away to you, was totally justified.

    It has been calculated at projected cost to be 5 trillion. The gas tax in the us is pennies and ridiculously low compared to the civilized world, red states I guess should be compared to 3rd world gas taxes, and Venezuela has gas cheaper than water. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/gas-prices-around-the-world-cheaper-than-water-i-and-i-10-a-gallon/ Like I said earlier, Amtrack is not needed for 3rd world status.

    Under Franco, Spain slid into 3rd world standards, taking 20 years to return to pre-civil war standards. That's when Catalonians were the most advanced state until the US's depression screwed the world. The new US fascism might not go Franco's extreme. Fascist Lite is not usually seen, but a taste of power creates a thirst for more power.

    Franco waged war on journalists, too. Authors adopted a lot of Magical Realism to stay alive. In the US that would be Grim tv show, super hero movies, Daredevil, Arrow, etc. Glen Greenwald and Greg Palast just get published outside of the country.

  • An open discussion of Schizophrenia being a phenomena, not a cause and effect...   21 hours 26 min ago

    Yes, we need to differentiate between psychological problems caused by environmental stresses and biological problems within the brain itself.

  • Tax Cuts for the Rich Derailed the Train in Philadelphia   21 hours 29 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Quote mavibobo:So what you are saying is the the people's right to own a weapon as stated in the second only applies to the militia. Which is complete hog wash, the people in the amendment is all people in the u.s. if you are in the militia or not.

    Sorry Pickles... I'm not going to disrupt this Amtrak thread any longer. If you're interested in who "The People" are... I've already addressed in here

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2015/05/if-right-hates-activist-judges...

    You KNOW that since I was addressing YOU... AND YOU RESPONDED. But from your response it's clear you didn't bother to actually read what I wrote or visit those sources. So it comes as no surprise you're here playing dumb... you just are incapable of intelligent debate.

    How refreshing you are going to get back on topic instead of trying to prove you are smarter than me and failing.

    So let's get back on topic, if amtrak is funded through ticket sales and the fuel tax, how exactly do lower individual income tax rates affect amtrak?

    No irresponsible tax cuts is not an answer, no blaming it on wars will not do, I know this will take all of your answers away but try to come up with some thing.

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   21 hours 40 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote mavibobo:so how much is enough, when do we ask them to justify the trillions they have been given over the last 20 years only to tell us the infrastucture is still faling apart?
    Thanks for proving what I've observed years ago... that you really have a reading AND numerical comprehension problem. You toss "billions" around as if somehow it means, gee... billions... can't spend more than that... so it MUST have been enough. But infrastructure needs to be constantly maintained and if "billions" wasn't enough it's BECAUSE IT WASN'T ENOUGH BILLIONS.

    Gettin' it yet Einstein?

    Didn't think so.

    Not that you'll comprehend this 2012 CBO report...

    http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo33789/05-02-CAFE-brief.pdf but since 2008 the highway trust fund has been insolvent... requiring a transfer of money from the general fund...

    There is no requirement that receipts credited to the fund in a particular year either match or exceed outlays in that year but, by law, the trust fund must maintain a positive balance. For about 30 years, annual receipts were roughly equal to annual outlays. Then, in the mid-1990s, receipts began to rise, primarily because of an increase in the gasoline tax rate (see Figure 1).

    By the end of 2000, the fund’s balance had reached $31 billion. But starting in
    the late 1990s, various laws were enacted that led to a subsequent decline in the balance.

    From 2001 through 2011, the fund’s outlays exceeded its receipts by $44 billion. (In 2011, receipts amounted to $37 billion, and outlays totaled $46 billion.) By 2008, the balance had
    become insufficient to cover the shortfall in receipts relative to outlays, and over the past few years, lawmakers transferred almost $35 billion from the Treasury to maintain a positive balance in the trust fund.

    So Einstein... the question isn't how much is enough BUT WHETHER IT'S BEEN ENOUGH.

    So if you're against subsidies... then I fully expect you to support a hike in the gas tax. But I won't hold my breath. You've always wanted to have your cake and eat it... so you can complain about high taxes while you bitch about government not meeting its obligations.

    You really don't know anything about the world or how it works do you. I have no problem with high gas taxes as long as it goes to maintain the roads and bridges. I do have a problem when my gas tax goes to a fat lazy slob who refuses to work but still demands we pay to support his life.

    As far as amtrak same question if the 2 plus billion dollars is not enough to keep the company running should the tax payers give them more to pissed away on 15 dollar hamburgers they sell for 5 dollars or should we make them support themselves like everyone else.

  • Would THIS Be An Illegal 5th Amendment Taking...?   21 hours 41 min ago
    Quote gumball:

    No. I was just pointing out that your opening post would open up this can of worms, not trying to suggest that government should start reimbursing folks for reasonable regulations.

    But you do realize that there will be some who will try to expand the doctrine of regulatory taking to game the system not just in the US but internationally... just as there are those who work to expand the concept of corporate personhood.

    For example Mexico sued the US for permitting the dolphin safe label on tuna... and Mexico won the first round

    http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2011/05/us-dolphin-safe-tuna-labe...

    I can't find any updated info since the US appealed in 2012... but do we really want foreign corporations to interfere with our ability to write domestic regulations? I know this will benefit US corporations who sue other nations... but who wins and who pays?

  • Do We Need Amtrak?   21 hours 45 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Quote mavibobo:
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote mavibobo:so how much is enough, when do we ask them to justify the trillions they have been given over the last 20 years only to tell us the infrastucture is still faling apart?
    Thanks for proving what I've observed years ago... that you really have a reading AND numerical comprehension problem. You toss "billions" around as if somehow it means, gee... billions... can't spend more than that... so it MUST have been enough. But infrastructure needs to be constantly maintained and if "billions" wasn't enough it's BECAUSE IT WASN'T ENOUGH BILLIONS.

    Gettin' it yet Einstein?

    Didn't think so.

    And yet you are not capable of answering my question or really even understanding it judging by that weak attempt at an insult at the end. So over the last 40 years we have spend trillions on our infrastructure and yet we are told it is failing apart.
    OK, so you think if you magically now say "trillions" then that somehow "proves" we spent enough? If it wasn't enough to maintain and improve infrastructure... THEN IT WASN'T ENOUGH.

    I have an idea... since, as you recently said you're "not on crack, and I am just fine at math" and maybe you even know what CPI is.

    The federal gas tax has been 18.4c per gallon since 1993. If simply adjusted to inflation today it would be 29.9c And then gasoline sales have been down because of more fuel efficient cars. Sales today are at 1998 levels http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/charts/inflation/gasoline-sale... If you look at sales per capita they are down 21.7% since 1989 http://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/charts/inflation/gasoline-sale...

    Go back and look at all the federal gas tax revenue for each of the past 22 YEARS... adjust each to current dollars, and then tell us all what revenue we've LOST over those 22 years and you might be closing in on the answer.

    Since you're "just fine at math" you should be do this in your head... right Einstein?

    I see the trend, but, why do I suspect that you really don't care. You just like to bitch and moan... and magically always find a way to absolve right wing ideas YOU support from the blame.

    You do not comprehend anything do you, so I will ask again, if the billions we currently spend from the gasoline tax is not enough to maintain the roads what dollar amount is enough. If 28 billion in gas tax a year is not enough exactly how much is enough. Enough was not enough is not an answer.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   21 hours 59 min ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:

    Most Southerners didn't own slaves.

    And this matters why? Slaves made up close to 1/3 of the population in the slave states and in some were the majority. Here are the numbers from the 1860 census from http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/the_vault/2013/09/4/BigSlav...

    S CAROLINA 57.2%
    MISSISSIPPI 55.1%
    LOUISIANA 47%
    ALABAMA 45.1%
    FLORIDA 43.9%
    GEORGIA 43.7%
    N CAROLINA 33.4%
    VIRGINIA 30.7%
    TEXAS 30%
    ARKANSAS 25%
    KENTUCKY 19.5%
    MARYLAND 12.7%
    MISSOURI 9.7%
    DELAWARE 1.6%

    FREE POPULATION 8,289,953
    SLAVE POPULATION 3,950,343
    PERCENT SLAVES 32.2%

    If the vast majority in the south didn't own slaves, those who did obviously had the preponderance of political and economic power. Secession was to protect THEIR gravy train.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   22 hours 11 min ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:
    Quote Executive:

    I always find discussions of conservatives wanting succession both interesting yet sad at the same time. If the gun nuts and survivalists are so worried about government takeovers they should just LEAVE unofficially. So my suggestion to them is to stop trying to politicize your fear and disdain of federal law, take your guns and other provisions, and move up to Canada. There's a huge portion of land up there that was never settled that would be ideal for you if you can stand the cold winters in the wilderness !

    I'm not a conservative. Most conservatives are nationalist Lincoln worshippers, just like progressives. They don't favor secession. I'm only arguing for the right of secession.

    Why should peaceful people who just want to live their own life and not be dictated to by a government they didn't consent to have to leave?

    And in LS's post we see the pro-secessionist dilemma. They need to make secession sound oh so moral... yet the only time in US history there was secession was to protect the rights non-peaceful slave owners to keep and exploit nearly 4 million slaves

    So these neo-confederates apologists must do EVERYTHING they can to bury slavery as a motive for secession... but in doing so it raises the issue of whether this is an attempt to legitimize racism via the backdoor.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   22 hours 28 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:These sovereignty claims are largely made up of smoke and mirrors. And Wood's argument is no better... claiming that if a state is sovereign, it can NEVER give it up... it's sovereign forever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=oPn-vYH2eYc#t=156 Gee, how can this be so? Because Vattel said so in the Law Of Nations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Law_of_Nations

    Is this a legal treaty all nations of the world signed on to? No, it's merely a philosophical work.

    So the legal basis of secession claimed by Woods and others is based on a the writings of a Swiss political philosopher? And Vattel alone can declare that states or the People of those states are prohibited from ever giving up their state sovereignty even if Vattel says that the sovereignty of the state COMES FROM THE PEOPLE?

    What? No response from LS to defend the core argument in Wood's sovereignty forever argument? Of course if Wood's premise collapses, then ALL of these moral and legal arguments legitimizing southern secession fall apart. So since LS will maintain his position regardless of the holes in it, his evasion is understandable

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Can we make California the last oil spill?

A state of emergency has been declared in California after crews realized that the Rufugio Beach oil spill was five times worse than original estimates. This week, the Plains All American Pipeline ruptured and dumped crude oil over a four-mile stretch of pristine California coastline.