Recent comments

  • snow apocalypse   22 hours 44 min ago
    Quote mavibobo:A snow storm is predicted for New York but instead of acting like rational adults and telling people to use caution when going outside. The mayor of new York City and the governor of new York state locked down the city/state for 4 inches of snow. The sheep that make up the population of new York blindly surrendered their God given rights to a communist dictator under the guise of "it's for your safety" so the next time their is a safety concern like the mayor needs to buy more pot without anyone knowing he can shut down the city and no one will say a word about bring held prisoner in their own home.
    Hindsight is always 20-20.

    So much for any hope that you'll ever know what you're talking about or learn about public safety.

    The fear was based 1: on the PREDICTION of a major blizzard with the NWS using words like "historic" and "crippling".... AND recent past experience where cars were stranded all over NYC streets making them difficult to clear and where they blocked emergency vehicles. That being said I thought the stopping of the subways was going a bit too far.

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 15 min ago
    Quote ChicagoMatt:Both people think they are doing the "right" thing. Both people feel like they are being moral. Both people are genuinely concerned with helping the poor. But which person has actually helped the poor more?
    Gee... you can invent any parable you want to "prove" any point you want.

    So what if the non corporate person went into politics and was the one who wrote the Food Stamp law and got it passed. How would that compare to the pittance your corporate person gave to the poor? And what if your corporate person lost their job when the GOP again crashed the economy? I wonder if s/he'd be looking for handouts from the remaining employed corporate people... or be happy there was government unemployment insurance?

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 18 min ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:
    Quote al3:
    Quote Mark the Shark:I have had an appointment with them since starting my new plan, as they have NEVER told me the costs of their appointment before having it. And I have asked for costs before the services.
    Good luck in getting anyone in the Medical Industrial Complex to quote a price. So Free Market 101 is violated from the get-go, to those who defend the U.S. “free market” healthcare system…

    Wouldn't a free market in health care have to exist for you to criticize its failings?

    No... because we KNOW from other nations with Single Payer that your precious market approach is inefficient and costly.

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 20 min ago
    Quote al3:
    Quote Mark the Shark:I have had an appointment with them since starting my new plan, as they have NEVER told me the costs of their appointment before having it. And I have asked for costs before the services.
    Good luck in getting anyone in the Medical Industrial Complex to quote a price. So Free Market 101 is violated from the get-go, to those who defend the U.S. “free market” healthcare system…

    Wouldn't a free market in health care have to exist for you to criticize its failings?

  • Antarctic glacier with ice equal to 20 foot rise in global sea levels found to be rapidly melting.   23 hours 26 min ago

    but guys like inhofe will deny it 'til the salt water reaches their nostrils.....

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 33 min ago
    Quote gumball:
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote gumball:

    If your plan is to count on the government, or anyone else, to look out for you you are going to be disappointed.

    Let me guess... that you're suggesting the market is an efficient means for creating standards/codes? One might cite the Underwriter Labs but they came into existence to protect insurance companies from unnecessary loses. But they have no licensing or enforcement power as government does. And if there's no market incentive, the market doesn't act... which is why there was no UL to guarantee food and drug safety. So I think the REAL message here is if your plan is to count on the private sector, or anyone else, to look out for you, you are going to be disappointed.

    In the end the market can't be trusted. There will always be an incentive to cut corners. It usually takes government to keep the market above board.

    No. I am suggesting that the best way to make decisions is to educate yourself.

    True... to a point. And I'm saying that if it were left up to consumers to make EVERY decision, society would be unsafe and inefficient... and sometimes it makes more sense for bad decisions... say wanting unsafe wiring in one's home, aren't available. And at other times too much choice becomes too expensive to administer... such as the case with a la carte health care for all.

    But I see we agree that the market is NOT and efficient means for creating standards/codes.

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 34 min ago

    Suppose there are two 18 year olds people who both want to help the poor:

    The first person spends 20 years protesting against things like the G-8, they gather signatures for a non-binding ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage, the research about how corrupt capitalism is and try to "spread the word" to deaf ears. They would give to the poor if they had disposable income, but that doesn't come around often for them. By the time they are 38, they've given a lot of time trying to change the system that makes people poor, but haven't given much money to the poor, and most likely will never be in a position to give the poor much money.

    The other person spends 20 years climbing the corporate ladder, making a name for themselves in their field, accept the status quo and play by the rules, invest some of their earnings in other companies, etc. They work their way into the upper middle class and, all along the way, give to the poor. By the time they are 38, they haven't given much time or effort into any causes that aim to end poverty. But they have given tens of thousands of dollars to the poor, and are in a position to just keep giving more.

    Both people think they are doing the "right" thing. Both people feel like they are being moral. Both people are genuinely concerned with helping the poor. But which person has actually helped the poor more?

    It is perfectly moral to teach children that the best way to actually help the poor is to get yourself into a position where you can help them.

    The desire to help the less fortunate is a good thing. The desire to help, and the ability to help with something more than moral support and words, is a better thing.

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 49 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote gumball:

    If your plan is to count on the government, or anyone else, to look out for you you are going to be disappointed.

    Let me guess... that you're suggesting the market is an efficient means for creating standards/codes? One might cite the Underwriter Labs but they came into existence to protect insurance companies from unnecessary loses. But they have no licensing or enforcement power as government does. And if there's no market incentive, the market doesn't act... which is why there was no UL to guarantee food and drug safety. So I think the REAL message here is if your plan is to count on the private sector, or anyone else, to look out for you, you are going to be disappointed.

    In the end the market can't be trusted. There will always be an incentive to cut corners. It usually takes government to keep the market above board.

    No. I am suggesting that the best way to make desicions is to educate yourself.

  • Paris massacre   23 hours 56 min ago

    I was browsing the Myth Encyclopedia, and Semitic myths explains the common themes of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Muhammed as a prophet met the other prophets in Heaven, Moses, Noah, and Jesus. Look at how he did this

    Many of the legends surrounding Muhammad credit him with miraculous events. Some tales say that Muhammad cast no shadow or that when he was about to eat poisoned meat, the food itself warned him not to taste it. According to legend, the angel Gabriel guided Muhammad, who rode a winged horse called Buraq or Borak, on a mystical journey through heaven, where he met the other prophets.

    Similarly, historical figures who founded mystical Islamic brotherhoods came to be associated with stories of miracles, such as riding on lions and curing the sick. In some cases, these legends have elements of traditional myths about pre-Islamic deities or heroes. Romantic tales about Alexander the Great may have colored some of the tales about Khir, an Islamic mythical figure and the patron of travelers, who is said to have been a companion of Moses.

    See also Devils and Demons ; Floods ; Persian Mythology ; Satan ; Scapegoat .

    Read more: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Sa-Sp/Semitic-Mythology.html#ixzz3Q3QqqRQ3

    Now if talking food is not ripe for a cartoon piece there is no sense of balance. An oyster could open and shut just like a mouth, and it could entice Muhammed to kiss it on the lips for the pearl it was displaying. Then it bit down on his tongue and wouldn't let go unless he convinced Moses to get Jews to quit eating shell fish, and that's why to this day oysters aren't Kosher. That's not a real myth by the way, I just made that up, but it could've been told.

  • Each of us scalped, each and every day, by publicly traded companies........   23 hours 59 min ago
    Now this is what I don’t understand about conservatives. Is it OK to fool gullible people to enrich or otherwise benefit yourself? To me, it flies against moral and religious thinking, totally. That part of conservatism I will never understand. To me, it’s total hypocrisy.

    A fair point you make. I still think this is better than the Progressive view that EVERYONE needs protection from the big bad rich people. That people can't make decisions for themselves, at least not the right decisions (get health insurance, don't buy giant sodas, etc...), so it's up to the Progressives, riding into the town like a knight on a horse, to save the citizens from themselves. "No need to thank me.... just doing my job. Now I'm off, to save the next town full of idiots who, through their own choices, are not doing what I think is right for them."

    That's why I hate when Thom and other Progressives talk about people "voting against their best interests...." It assumes:

    1. People are interested in the same things a Progressive is interested in, and

    2. People's decisions that aren't Progressive are made based off bad information.

    Maybe those poor people in solidly-red states ARE voting in their best interest, and they are mostly interested in stopping Progressivism.

  • Ocean Apocalypse   1 day 25 min ago

    "... when that vision is viewed as threatening to the people in power, whatever names we want to give them, be they Mandarins, as Chomsky calls them, or polyarchic managers of these human machines we call our institutions, then they will use the system of ideas in place to distort the truth in their favor. And people, wanting security in their beliefs, will help them."

    "It appears from the best of our investigators that everything is in process, in motion, down to the tiniest things we can think we know to exist, quarks or atoms or whatever. We focus so hard on trying to figure out matter, we miss all the space around it."

    "What's really there in all that space between the nucleus and the electrons? What is this imageless energy that translates through matter and shocks us?"

    "Why trick ourselves into believing we can create material stability with thought creations like modern day, economically logical institutions wherein every participant obeys the rules, colors within the lines, and behaves like a machine while ignoring what they do when they fish out the sea with technology designed to scrape the last fish and all of its habitat off the sea bottom?"

    "Brilliant design. Someone made a lot of money off that, no doubt. No doubt it paid for itself, and now those expensive boats with their sonar and all that bottom scraping technology are just sitting somewhere in drydock, rusting away, waiting for the fish to come back."

    "Brilliant."

  • More background on tomorrow's Greek elections   1 day 35 min ago
    Quote nimblecivet:

    Yes, gumball, that is true. The question is how will the rest of the world respond.

    Not much they can do. The only problem that will arise will be if the Greek government needs to sell t bills in the future. That means they will have to have a balanced budget going forward.

  • Paris massacre   1 day 38 min ago

    Islamic religion seems to be the only institution without a heirarchal structure to rein or tame the disparate rogues within it. The pope has Cardinals and Bishops and a kind of congress to handle the changing of the Pope [guard] , and he has the power to excommunicate as well as moderate ignorant policies and beliefs like dietary sins. [Is a blowjob Kosher? What if it was a vasectomied recipient?]

    Since there is still a war between shia and sunni, like Catholic and Protestant rivals, a peace envoy might offer hope. I'd nominate a Buddhist like the Dali Lama. Then various imams and ayatollahs hold a conference every decade or so based on their calender [Chinese have different time scales, and Muslims do too if I remember] Madrasses that adopt the consensus with a touch of Sufism could get international aide and recognition. Alumni from said schools might be future leaders in Isalamic republics (and there are many). Monetary gain is a motivator. Surge McCain's plan was something like 10 dollars a day per person as long as there was no fighting or killing. Paying people to not blow themselves up seems odd, but it worked.

    http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/#/31114413444 is an interactive site for weighting what is important to you personally, then identifying the country most fitting for your choices. It was damn accurate for me. Note, religion was not a choice. Some ratings do offer comparisons between religious countries and nonreligious [Scandinavia, Netherlands, Austria] but this did not. I was looking for the one I saw recently that compared various development minimums between theocracies, pseudo-theocracies [USA], and seculars [Europe/Canada]. Science achievements were notably affected.

    Zenzoe, drc2 engaged with me on a thread covering various images in fable and myth as presented in the Parabola Magazine of Myth and Tradition .parabola.org and he knew all of it from Aesop to Eastern, Indian, and more. We covered .Tricksters as in this Myth Encyclopedia, fools. and more. Anyhow he provided impetus for a tutorial on ancient traditions I had not explored. I was grateful, and have learned from others too on these boards. Haven't seen polycarp lately, he knew this stuff too. I think Dr Suess is a bit of a fable source. "Star bellied Snetches had bellies with stars, Plain bellied Sneetches had none upon thars" covered prejudice on an elementary level. If it could be revised to pre-K level, the tea party might get it, too.

  • How to practically, and morally, implement Libertarianism into THIS society   1 day 1 hour ago
    Quote Dr. Econ:
    Quote LysanderSpooner:...Economically speaking, the market is a process... People trade because they believe they will be better off after the trade than before. ... I give up something in a trade that I value less for something I value more and the other person does the same.

    The problem with your high school model is that assumes that people are 'born' with some stock of things to trade.

    But many of us only have things to trade because they government helped us when we were sick, unemployed, provided us with education, or protected us from dangerous workplaces, and products, and foreigners taking our jobs, ruining our economy with financial speculation, or otherwise simplying owning all the resources.

    It is true with individuals, countries and states.

    That's right. If it weren't for government, people couldn't get any of those things. Besides, these bad things are happening anyway, with the government more powerful than ever. Can you say with a straight face that the government is providing us with a quality education, or are you just being taught to be a cog for corporate America? Protecting us from financial speculation! Ha!

    Keep thinking like a slave.

  • Still insist that libertarians are part of the "Right"   1 day 1 hour ago

    From the late Harry Browne's, Why Government Doesn't Work

    What Is Government?

    To understand how government went wrong, we must understand what it is. Government dominates our lives; it is at the center of most news and most public discussion. And yet not one person in a hundred can explain what we mean by “government,” and no school or textbook bothers to provide a precise definition.

    What is government? What makes it different from IBM or the Boy Scoutsor a local security company? What is there about government that enables it to do what other organizations can’t?

    When a reformer decides that everyone should have health insurance or that every worker should have “family leave,” why doesn’t he take his project to the Red Cross or the Chamber of Commerce? Why does he turn to government?

    What makes government different from every other institution in society?

    Is it that only government is large enough to handle some tasks?

    No. General Motors alone had revenues of $132 billion in 1992. And in

    1995 Pacific Bell announced that it would raise $16 billion to rewire the entire state of California to accommodate the information “superhighway.” Even larger companies than these could be organized if they were needed.

    Is it that only government operates without profit?

    No — so do the Salvation Army, the Rotary Club, and thousands of other

    organizations.

    Is it that government cares more about the future than private companies

    do?

    Hardly. A corporation may last for centuries. Its management enhances

    today’s stock price by building tomorrow’s earnings, because almost any

    investor will prefer a stock that’s likely to pay dividends for 50 years over a stock whose dividends may end in 10 years. But politicians have little interest in anything beyond the next election.

    Is it that government is the only institution that considers the well-being of

    all citizens?

    No institution can do that — and certainly not government. Anything

    government gives to one group must be taken from others. So government

    necessarily plays favorites, which divides people into opposing camps.

    Government’s Unique Asset

    What separates government from the rest of society isn’t its size, its

    disregard for profit, its foresight, or its scope. The distinctive feature of government is coercion — the use of force and the threat of force to win obedience. This is how government differs from every other agency in society. The others persuade; government compels.

    When someone demands that government help flood victims, he is saying he wants to force people to pay for flood relief. Otherwise, he’d be happy to have the Red Cross and its supporters handle everything.

    When someone wants government to limit the price of a product, he is

    asking to use force to prevent people from paying more for something they want.

    Otherwise, he would simply urge people not to patronize those he thinks are charging too much.

    When Congress passes a bill mandating “family leave,” it forces every

    company to provide time off for family problems — even if its employees want the employer to use payroll money for some other benefit. Otherwise, employers and employees would be free to decide what works best in each situation.

    Nothing involving government is voluntary — as it would be when a private company does something. One way or another, there is compulsion in every government activity:

    • The government forces someone to pay for something;

    • The government forces someone to do something; or

    • The government forcibly prevents someone from doing

    something.

    There is no other reason to involve government.

    And by “force” I mean the real thing — the kind that hurts people.

    As Long as You Comply

    .

    .

    .

    In some government agencies, such as the police and prisons, the role of

    coercion is obvious. But it is at work in every government program — although a program’s supporters rarely acknowledge it.

  • Still insist that libertarians are part of the "Right"   1 day 1 hour ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:

    Asking a libertarian if they want the government to work is like asking them if they want to mafia to work. Did the governments of Communist China and the Soviet Union as well as National Socialist Germany work to your liking? Government doesn't "work"?

    Exactly... which is why your claim the Articles were "superior" is meaningless except to those who hate government. To those that expect government to function then your claim is absurd.

  • Misleading Production Tests May Have Helped Fuel The Shale Boom   1 day 1 hour ago

    Here's more.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-shale-boom-may-come-to-an-abrupt-e...

    The US Shale Boom May Come To An Abrupt End

  • Paris massacre   1 day 1 hour ago

    I keep going back to; just where are the lines of offense not be crossed? A writer like Rushie? A scholar like the one that a few years ago that wrote a comparative study of the Judaism, Christian and Islamic faiths (sorry forgotten his name) but was condemned on all sides but given a death threat (fatah) from the radical Muslims? Must everyone stop sending children to schools, and particularly girls, so as not to offend?

    So now it's cartoons and editorial oped pieces. Just when is enough enough? Just how far do they get to dictate what I or anyone says or does?

  • Why was slavery wrong?   1 day 1 hour ago

    Stupid question. How about answering why it was right?

  • Still insist that libertarians are part of the "Right"   1 day 1 hour ago

    Asking a libertarian if they want the government to work is like asking them if they want to mafia to work. Did the governments of Communist China and the Soviet Union as well as National Socialist Germany work to your liking? Government doesn't "work"?

  • American Sniper film (2014)   1 day 1 hour ago
    Quote mavibobo:He did brag about killing enemy combatants not civilians. There is a huge difference.
    That may be a rather self-serving, if not meaningless, distinction. With the Iraqi army disbanded... even ex-military were "civilians". And are you saying NO civilians tried to resist the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq?

    As usual, you sweep under the rug the fact that the US invasion WAS ILLEGAL under treaties THE US RATIFIED. With that legal technicality out of the way, you then go on to condemn anyone who dared resist our war of aggression as valid targets.

  • Michael Moore on American Sniper   1 day 1 hour ago

    mavibobo ~ Seriously though! The words you've shared with us here really don't mean anything. We are in no position to judge you. Only you can do that. Only you know what is really in your heart. If you believe you did something wrong it is up to you to repent about it. The BIG GUY is very forgiving. If you don't think you did anything wrong then forget about it. In the big picture the only person who's opinion you really have to worry about is yourself. You don't have to convince us of anything. Just convince yourself about your own actions. Thinking you need to convince everyone else that it is right to kill under orders in any circumstances is a sign YOU have a problem with it. After all, the vast majority of people here who feel differently, never did it themselves. We have no such sin to justify. Therefore, it is really impossible for us to even walk in your shoes, let alone, see what is in your heart.

  • Daily Topics - Tuesday January 27th, 2015   1 day 1 hour ago

    Did you know that in the constitution of the Confederacy, which is just a modification of the U.S. Constitution, both mentions of the general welfare were removed? They also removed "provide for the common defence", a grave mistake as it turns out.

  • Daily Topics - Tuesday January 27th, 2015   1 day 1 hour ago

    I'm working on an SF novel (which I'm sure I will never get done) that's intended to show off some of my ideas on improving the U.S. Constitution.

    One of those would set the number of representatives at 5 times the number of states. I realize that would make for a small House, but there are other aspects to it that aren't important here.

    Another is requiring that for a territory to be admitted as a state, it would have to have, say, 1.6 times the population of an average House district (so that it gets rounded up to 2 representatives). So if Wyoming were the last state to be admitted, it would have to choose between waiting until it has enough population, becoming part of another state, and taking on more territory. That would be negotiated.

    But I came up with a phrasing of the rule that would not just put a floor on state population, but also effectively put a ceiling on it.

    Because of the first idea, admitting a state adds 5 representatives, but if this new state gets apportioned fewer than 5, the other states get some more representatives. This means the average district gets smaller.

    However, if California were the last state to get admitted, the other 49 states would have 245 representatives (49 x 5). Adding one state adds 5 representatives, but California would get 34, so the other 49 states end up with only 216, and the average district would get bigger. It's possible that the increase of the average district would put some existing state below the minimum (presuming every other state was legally admitted to begin with).

    So now we can put that ceiling in place by disallowing admission of a state if an immediate reapportionment would put any state below the minimum. This would force a negotiation to either break up the over-sized territory (and eventually admit the pieces as separate smaller states) or change borders of the smallest existing states. Either way, state populations get evened out a little.

    If enacted now, the rule would have no effect until the United States was on the verge of admitting a 51st state. Without that circumstance, the only way to force some change would be occasionally push a state out to territory status (maybe on the 250th anniversary of admission?), with the intention of quickly readmitting it, so that the readmission could be negotiated.

  • National Grid of Massachusetts during the Blizzard 400,000 people could lose power... Time to remove National Grid   1 day 1 hour ago

    It is time to use “Eminent Domain” to take back the utilities from the National Grid. National Grid has massively failed to provide energy to the people during crisis. National Grid has violated the public trust with price gouging. National Grid is unable to control costs and keep rates affordable for consumers. National Grid has become a public hazard and must be removed as a public utility.

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The Deficits Republicans Don't Want to Talk About

I agree with Republicans - America has a deficit problem. It’s just not the same deficit problem Republicans are freaking out about.