Recent comments

  • What has greed cost America?   17 hours 34 min ago

    AIW RE#7 -- I think the "great America" Kend is talking about is that America from 1933 to 1980. You know that time when the top marginal tax rate was 91%.

  • What has greed cost America?   17 hours 39 min ago

    bdangr: You gave a very good response. I've never actually been to Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Finland. I have been to The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and other places in Europe including Slovakia. All very nice places. I think more people should visit these countries to see how nice they are. It would keep myopic Americans from believing the kind of slop about other countries that Fox News propaganda puts out. The danger is that they just might discover just how unsuperior, in so many ways, they are to other countries. If one has always lived in a pig sty, and were unaware of other places to live, one might think that one is living in the best of all possible worlds.

    In lieu of actually going to these places, one can easily virtually go to these places using Google Earth. You can zoom down to a particular street..go to "street view"...and virtually walk down the street while doing 360 degree panoramic scans of the street and houses. Perhaps, most people already know this, but perhaps, some people don't.

  • Mysticism   17 hours 48 min ago

    Somehow, many think "The Sacred" has to be tied to a diety. It doesn't. It's often best not to do that....just see it for what it is. Once you see it, you're surrounded by it.

    Glad to see you back, KennyMac.

    Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

  • Mysticism   17 hours 50 min ago

    As I see and feel it, we've managed to touch upon a few bridges of sympathy between us —Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, the song Mercy Now, a mutual reverence for nature, for example— and though we may not be following the same psychological and spiritual paths entirely, at least we're traveling the same continent, if not the exact locale. That is to say, we're not aliens, not entirely. I hope, anyway, such a suggestion will find some agreement here, as opposed to its being perceived as more BS from "the enemy."

    My question is this: How can one dismiss what's known about the "Biological Underpinnings of Religiosity," without lapsing into territory that smells badly of delusion? How does one protect oneself from religiosity gone bad —cults, fakes, frauds, magical thinking, intolerance of the Other, tribal war, global crusades/war— and where do you draw the line, after you've discovered your mystic alliance with The Divine IT, whatever you wish to call it? Is it enough to commit to compassion, love and empathy, without calling out the excesses that religiosity often inspires?

  • Oppressors Feel Oppressed: The Warped "Logic" Of Far Right   17 hours 54 min ago
    Quote mavibobo:I am not trying to impose my views on anyone the only reason I even come to this page is to see what views other people hold. I can than better understand the subject by looking at my views the views of others and adjust my thinking as needed.
    ROTF... after all FO, YOU are the one who wants government to be the sword of your vengeance with your Punish The Poor program...

  • What has greed cost America?   17 hours 59 min ago

    kloro: When I traveled down to Guadalajara a number of times on business, on my off hours, I went down to the areas around Lake Chapala. Many of those communities, I've heard, were non-Mexican expatriates who have retired down there. Many of those houses looked very much like fairly decent houses. Big green lawns...well kept up. It was a very nice place.

  • What has greed cost America?   18 hours 7 min ago

    Thanks for the great links, Vegasman56 and DAnneMarc! I can't wait for the International criminals to be prosecuted! (note: that's not to be taken to mean that I will ever do anything stupid like some personal physical acts against the war criminals....got to be careful with double entendres...or I might get some unwelcome visitors...if you know what I mean. All we have to do is to give them an excuse.) ;-}

  • Questions For GMO Opponents   18 hours 8 min ago

    I am no less suspicious of the Organic food industry propaganda than I am of big agri-business propaganda. The former is based on very shakey science, and, just as the second, is generated for the purpose of market manipulation and profit protection. Monsanto is getting slammed for everything from killing honey bees to causing autism, niether of which are true. It's only a matter of time before they get blamed for the influenza epidemic of the early 20th century and the Bubonic plague ofthe 14th century.

    There are plenty of reasons for demonizing Monsanto, but things like this are not included in them.

    In answer to the OP question, "Should we oppose such GMO animals?" Oppose, no. Advise extreme caution through the usual means, yes.

  • S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks and Payouts   18 hours 9 min ago

    Calculate, throw up, and reflect on the value of a privatized account vs. SS.

    Including the premiums for disability insurance you would need to protect yourself at a level three times what SS disability would be, and you are still miles ahead with a private account.

    https://www.crystalbull.com/Social-Security-Privatization-Calculator/

  • Cell phone company dilemma   18 hours 22 min ago

    I bought an UNLOCKED Quad-band GSM Smart phone for $150 on Amazon which will work anywhere in the world. I then bought a SIM Card for $35 a month which I can stop anytime I want. Then just buy a cheap SIM card for whatever country you are in for dirt cheap phone/data service............. rather than paying $50 a min roaming chages on a US locked phone.

    https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/phones-tech/cell-phone-europe

  • S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks and Payouts   18 hours 33 min ago
    Quote al3:

    Depends where you are in your "working life." Also depends on how close to retirement - on either side of the crash. If you had planned retirement right after a crash, then you worry, and sell more than you had planned, just to protect principal. Keep in mind after 1929 it took 20-25 years IIRC for the market to come back. Even after 2001 it took 9-10 years to recover, and it took a fake bubble for that to happen. Nobody know whether that these scenarios will happen again, and those close to retirement - especially those with modest accounts - may not want to take that chance.

    Someone could theoritically throw all their money in the stock market right at the peak and then pull it out right at the bottom and lose 40%-50% of their money. That is not reality though.

    If you put $100 or so a month in over 40 +/- years you will be much better off over any any period in a reasonably diversified portfolio, regardless if your retirement falls at a downturn.

  • Are They Nuts???? LP Records Are Making A Comeback!!!!   18 hours 34 min ago

    I have CDs of many of my favorite Lps and in every case when I listen to them side by side, the LPs have a quality that brings a smile to my face. The CDs sound dead even though it may be more technically perfect. The LPs relax me and the CDs do not.

  • What has greed cost America?   18 hours 35 min ago
    Quote geochand: Our country was founded on the idea that you got what you worked for.
    That may be so for the little people but the rich and powerful few got that way by the creed: "You get what you kill , steal, cheat, and lie for." They killed, stole, cheated, and lied the American Indians out of their lands, and haven't stopped doing the same against the rest of the world since. In our early history, it was the gold and land grab. Today, it's oil and land grab (at least, taking land for US military bases so that we can lord our power over those in the region).

    Quote geochand:What our problem is that we have a society that is more and more made up of people who want the "American Dream", but don't want to necessarily work for it.
    I believe that some of that is true...there are people who will try to take advantage of a system, of other people, but they are just not as skillful or lucky enough to be as devious, thieving and murderous as some of those few at the top have been. Murderous? Yes, that's right, murderous. As these people seek to maximize their profits, by whatever means, they result in many millions of people dying. And many of those people just want to work hard to support their families and live in peace.

    Some people, perhaps through their corporations, whether it be the top executives or the controlling stockholders...even down to the minority stockholders...all give their assent to the disasters they create...all in the name of profit...and should all be held culpable for their actions.

    The little people in that structure may not know what their "investments" do in the name of maximizing profits, and they probably don't want to know, but feigning ignorance of atrocities didn't keep, for example, the victors of WWII from holding a Nuremberg trial that said, in essence, that ignorance, or subservience, of what your superiors order you to do is no excuse. And even some of the civilians of nearby death camps were herded past the massive piles of decaying bodies, the victims of Hitler's final solution.

    If you are working for a corporation that, in some way, causes, directly or indirectly, the deaths of masses of people then you are actively supporting the deaths of masses of people. And aside from the corporations in the Military Industrial Complex, there are all the other corporations that ship our jobs overseas, work to minimize wages and benefits such as decent health care. And, they have been known to screw people out of their retirement savings and to screw people out of the social programs like Social Security and Medicare.

    Yes, even you, the little investor, could be using your money to, inadvertently perhaps, kill people. But, it's more likely now that you will just eventually lose your investments to Wall Street shenanigans anyway. They have made no changes that levels the field in trading or keeping it honest. It's all a racket that ends up screwing the little guy and making the criminals wealthier.

    Without decent wages, or some source of income and affordable healthcare for all, people die unnecessary deaths. Because some people are maximizing their profits, millions of others suffer the consequences. And then, after shipping American jobs overseas, these few conniving corporate criminals label their victims as "too lazy to work". Let's say they know what "slave wages" means....it means that they will be lucky if they and their families survive even after slaving away for the master slavers for years.

  • S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks and Payouts   18 hours 43 min ago
    Quote Dexterous:

    In my opinion, listening to Thom Hartmann for investment advice will insure you will be dependent on someone else during your retirement. This guy knows nothing about investments, as he himself has mentioned and demonstrated many times on his show.

    I suspect he is wiser about his personal investments then his advice. Does anyone really not think that he has money in the stock market? Of course that does not fit the "Rich are out to get you!" meme that his show and book sales are dependent on.

    Since 1090 switched formats here in Seattle I have only been able to listen sporadically so I looked up podcasts. He charges a pretty penny for them, I guess "greed" is only evil when it is the other guy engaging in it.

  • Are They Nuts???? LP Records Are Making A Comeback!!!!   18 hours 48 min ago

    Yep, analog is still the reference base line to obtain.

    I have heard digit reproduction equal to analog but only with 10,000's of thousand of dollars spent to get it done.

    A good analog set up today? (just a guess as I've been collecting for a while) Maybe 3000 or 4000 thousand?

    I should have added earlier that I listen to my lp's when I want to actually hear music.

  • S&P 500 Companies Spend 95% of Profits on Buybacks and Payouts   19 hours 9 min ago

    Please keep in mind that radio talking heads continue to leave retirement investors with the impression that their own personal monies must be invested in Wall Street. There are dozens of perfectly safe options for those that feel the need to limit or eliminate risk with their investments.

    The IRA's that Reagan offered were the absolute best way at the time to save for ones own future retirement and defer paying taxes on ones investment, and it's growth until withdrawal after retirement.

    In my opinion, listening to Thom Hartmann for investment advice will insure you will be dependent on someone else during your retirement. This guy knows nothing about investments, as he himself has mentioned and demonstrated many times on his show.

  • Are They Nuts???? LP Records Are Making A Comeback!!!!   19 hours 21 min ago

    The world is analog-not digital. Digital is convenient, has good speed stability, solid bass and good separation. But most digital lacks the warmth and continuousness of great analog. The treble in those 80's CDs were unlistenable after an hour. I shudder to think of the music from that time made on the early harsh sounding digital equipment and cannot be improved. Plus you get the great album covers and readable lyrics with albums. Heck-the current state of the art in audio is reel to reel analog tape.

  • Greed, Retirees and minimum wage   19 hours 28 min ago

    It is sad that the very first comment is a condemnation of the poster. You don't know what, if any, investments they made. You don't know if they have a pension (though I am supposing they do). So, I am guessing they have social security and 2 pensions. They have money coming in - that wasn't the stated problem as I saw it, but the fact that everything is costing more and more. True they could have made certain investments that possibly could have made them millionaires, but then again they could have had a lot of cash tied up in the market during the various crashes over the last 30 years and lost a great deal of their capital because of it. We neglect the old in this country, and many politicians and people do not care what happens to those people as they age and the costs of living keep going up.

  • Mysticism   19 hours 30 min ago

    I empathize, rs. I can't begin to count the number of times in my life that I've had to walk away and breathe.

    Mutual respect is a difficult road, it isn't always responded to in kind.

    I saw the presumption that people who might be interested in this topic of mystery had not applied skepticism and therefore arrived at the same "obvious" linear conclusions, thus the beginnings of what became applied tautologies, of which Wittgenstein so insightfully warned us about our attempts to over-ride all with positivistic reason, nearly a hundred years ago.

    I do not know how to address that implicit affront to anyone's life long self actualization and remain mutually respectful, even gracefully acknowledging in some gentle way the clumsiness and potential unintended-ness of such an attitude. I'm not there yet. Maybe never. I gave up at some point. I know enough for my own peace and sanity to withdraw. I do not have the grace and empathic wisdom that I've seen displayed here by others, particularly, KennyMac. He shows rare courage.

  • Pensions Instead Of College-99 Pension Perks   19 hours 32 min ago
    Quote al3:
    Quote DynoDon:

    With your logic, nothing will ever change in the private or public sector. I disagree with not reforming the public sector since taxpayers are the ones stuck with the bill for all the abuses in the public sector. You're saying don't proscecute rapists unless all murderers are caught first. They're separate issues and need to be dealt with as possible.

    While the public sector does need work, the private sector caused the mess we're in so if I have a choice, I say THEY need to clean up their act first, otherwise let's just drive this thang into a ditch far as I'm concerned because I will never budge on that.

    The one who should examine their logic is not me.

    I hope it is a big ditch. You are using child's logic. "Don't call me out on what I did-look at what Jimmy did!"

  • don't say benefits are "free" in Denmark   19 hours 37 min ago

    Though I agree that this should be put into practice in this country, it never will happen here because of our history and prejudices. We have immortalized the rugged individual, however, things were rarely ever done by an individual but by a community. Even people who didn't live close to towns had neighbors who often banded together to help each other out in times of need. Secondly, any tax increases will almost always be placed upon the shrinking middle class, because a whole wing of our political system will NOT raise taxes on the people who donate to their campaigns and provide them with jobs after they leave congress. Third, Any action that benefits a majority of the populace at the expense of a few (often wealthy people), is seen and decried as communistic - which we have a long and serious hatred of because of a skewed and biased perspective.

    Sadly, for a nation that once claimed strong ties with northern europe, we do not take the examples and advancements of those nations and use them to our benefit here.

  • Pensions Instead Of College-99 Pension Perks   19 hours 37 min ago

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-pension-payments-20141029-...

    "Los Angeles city pension agency voted Tuesday to rein in its long-range earnings forecast, putting in place changes that could throw the city's budget $50 million deeper into the hole next year.

    The City Employees' Retirement System board responded to financial consultants who said the agency should no longer assume that its investment portfolio — money that helps cover the cost of employee pensions — will deliver an average yearly return of 7.75%.

    That decision could make it harder for Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council to restore services trimmed during the recession, since it forces them to set aside more money in the short term for retirement benefits.

    The retirement fund relies on three sources of revenue to cover pensions and healthcare for retired civilian city employees: contributions from workers' paychecks, money taken from the city's budget and earnings on the system's $13.9-billion investment portfolio. When investment returns fall significantly below the agency's projections, the gap has to be made up by the city budget, leaving less money for taxpayer services.

    In a report released in April, the commission said the city's pension earnings assumptions should be significantly decreased, so that they are in line with the earnings forecast of Warren Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway.

    The commission raised the possibility of a 6% yearly earnings assumption in its report. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, the high-level budget official, responded at that time by warning that such a move, if carried out for public safety and civilian workers, would rip a $566-million hole in the budget."

  • Daily Topics - Wednesday October 29th, 2014   19 hours 41 min ago

    If I could single-handedly rewrite the Second Amendment, I'd phrase the right as belonging to the community, so that it wouldn't be interpreted as an individual right. It would strike a balance by letting the exact level of armament allowed vary from place to place.

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/mathboy/blog/2012/12/revised-second-amendment

  • "Obama Asserts Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Claim for Holder’s Wife"   19 hours 44 min ago

    This article from 2012 is the most recent thing I've found on this issue. It's hard to understand exactly what Judicial Watch is up to with this claim.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/the-facts-behind-obamas-executive-priv...

  • Wealth Inequality   19 hours 46 min ago

    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-us-income-inequality-is...

    U.S. income inequality is bad, but wealth inequality is a bigger problem

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Should public radio program in the public interest?

NPR is supposed to be our national public radio, but they're barely covering climate issues that are in the public's interest.

Only one month ago, a national New York Times/CBS News poll found that half of all Americans think that global warming is already having a serious impact. Sixty percent of those surveyed even said that protecting our environment should be a priority “even at the risk of curbing economic growth.”