Recent comments

  • The difference between regulating behavior and punishing misbehavior...   1 day 23 hours ago

    thank you for sharing your thoughts, i believe that if we as a society do more thought sharing then we may actually be able to solve such dillemas as you describe. so here is my two cents.

    although i can see where your perspective is coming from, you have left out quite a lot of variables and i havent the time to point them all out but i am sure that with time you will learn that nothing is perfect and the shear amount of people on our planet complicates things more than most realize but thats not to say it is immposible for us all to coexist peacefuly. we are still in the process of figureing it out as a species and as long as we keep trying we might actually find a solution but as our current system is now we may end up doing just the opposite for no good reason what so ever.

  • propaganda   1 day 23 hours ago

    smh... /sigh... there is alot that i want to comment on in this reply,

    but rather than argue and try to change your opinions

    ill keep it short and to the point:

    when you (as a person) say " the fact that people no longer respect each other."

    you are admiting that you do not respect any one and are thus a piece of the exact problem you claim to denounce.

    i on the other hand personally have alot of respect for alot of people and do consider myself to be a person sooooo.....

    maybe you should try it and instead of being a part of the problem you can become a part of the solution.

  • LBJ and McNamara Were Right   2 days 25 min ago

    Since communism was no longer a threat, the MIC needed a new boogeyman to assure all the money the defense contractors get to offer kickbacks to those that got them new contracts. Wolfowitz to the rescue (after Sandra Day, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Rhenquist saved the day by appointing a war hawk indebted to MIC that would launch a military adventure based on a radio show hoax if it came to it).

    If W had been in office when Welle's "War of the Worlds" hoax was broadcast, W would've declared a state of emergency, Cheney would've launched an assault. Halliburton counted on war time contracts.

  • The difference between regulating behavior and punishing misbehavior...   2 days 44 min ago

    Punitive measures can be measured by their degree of effectiveness regarding reformed behaviour. The new wall street fines are billions but reflected the violator's opinions that it doesn't matter. One trader was quoted as saying "If you're not cheating, you're not winning" or something similar.

    The US does not punish the thieves of billions and the market manipulators, the thieves own the government and the warden.

    Finland levies speeding fines based on a % of your salary. A $100 fine is a tip for a banker/trader and will not deter him from running over children while on a cell phone. Losing a chunk of his annual or monthly earnings might make clear the seriousness the community has toward safety. If you get caught cheating, or playing the American and lie about your earnings and get caught, the fine doubles or quadruples. Some cultures do not celebrate lying, cheating, thieves.

    Scalia has stated that the state can execute a prisoner found guilty if evidence exonerates him is found after conviction. "The constitutional guarantee is only for a trial and due process, not outcome" (paraphrase) He is fine with executing innocent one because it instills respect for the law when people know they can be killed. Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" had the mayor blurt out "The people asked me to address crime. Arrange a hanging on tuesday of 10 or 12", and they did. There was not a lot of due process around the 1890s. The next decade, the guy that killed McKinley was electrocuted the next month.

  • Rewriting the Rules for the American Economy by Joseph Stiglitz, 115 pp   2 days 2 hours ago

    Couldn't agree more. However, his tax rates were the best since Carter.

    Here is another article about the programming error in the book the GOP was using as a basis for all their austerity screaming. how the -case for-austerity-has-crumbled/.

    Again and again, suggestions that, as John Maynard Keynes once argued, “the boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity”—that cuts should wait until economies were stronger—were met with declarations that Reinhart and Rogoff had shown that waiting would be disastrous, that economies fall off a cliff once government debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP.

    Indeed, Reinhart-Rogoff may have had more immediate influence on public debate than any previous paper in the history of economics. The 90 percent claim was cited as the decisive argument for austerity by figures ranging from Paul Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate who chairs the House budget committee, to Olli Rehn, the top economic official at the European Commission, to the editorial board of The Washington Post. So the revelation that the supposed 90 percent threshold was an artifact of programming mistakes, data omissions, and peculiar statistical techniques suddenly made a remarkable number of prominent people look foolish.

    This is actually from 2 years ago, but anytime prominant gop people look foolish in their statements and policy, it's worth revisiting as an oldy but goody. SNL used to do a bit "Franco is still dead" , well my version is "Republicans are still dumbschitz™" (that spelling skirted censors on national sites. As a matter of fact ™ ought to be added).

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   2 days 3 hours ago

    Tom Woods, like LS, advocates for "sovereign citizenship" but they're just too cowardly to identify with a group that has been linked to violent radical activity. So instead they sully the meaning of anarchy by adopting the term "anarcho-capitalism" which is exactly the same as the sovereign citizen movement only with a different label. What's really annoying is the pretense to intellectualism that these retrograde thinkers anoint themselves with. Their von Mises Institute is just a front for ultra-right wing propaganda passed off as alternative economic and political theory. It's not mere coincidence or youthful indiscretion that explains why Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Woods, Rockwell and the rest of these goons, attached to the von Mises institute, have all been linked to racist groups or have made racists remarks.

    They claim their positions are only intellectual and not rooted in racism but here's just a little taste of that "intellectualism." In this case it involves Paul the younger:

    Chris Hayes is done with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky).

    Though Paul has drawn favor from liberals for his defense of civil liberties and opposition to America's wars, the MSNBC host argued on Tuesday night's installment of "All In With Chris Hayes" that it's impossible to take him seriously after the revelation that one of his aides used to be a neo-Confederate activist.

    Earlier on Tuesday, The Washington Free Beacon published some surprising details about what Paul's social media director, Jack Hunter -- who also co-wrote a book with Paul in 2011 -- used to do in his spare time:

    From 1999 to 2012, Hunter was a South Carolina radio shock jock known as the “Southern Avenger.” He has weighed in on issues such as racial pride and Hispanic immigration, and stated his support for the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

    During public appearances, Hunter often wore a mask on which was printed a Confederate flag.

    Prior to his radio career, while in his 20s, Hunter was a chairman in the League of the South, which “advocates the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”

    This isn't an isolated incident, Hayes argued, listing the three "white supremacist strikes" Paul has racked up so far.

    "Strike one was in 2009 when Rand Paul's Senate campaign spokesperson was forced to resign over a horribly racist comment and historical image of a lynching -- I'm not making that up -- posted by a friend of his on his MySpace wall on Martin Luther King weekend, then allowed to remain for almost two years," Hayes said.

    Strike two, Hayes added, was when Paul expressed reservations about the Civil Rights Act in an interview on the Rachel Maddow Show. (Paul later said in a statement that he supports the Civil Rights Act "because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation, which was to stop discrimination in the public sphere and halt the abhorrent practice of segregation and Jim Crow laws.")

    "And now this. Southern Avenger on the Senator's staff," Hayes said. "Well, I'm sorry, Rand Paul. That's three racist strikes. You're out."

    So if LS objects to the use of the term "neo-Confederate" we can always just call him an ordinary racist. After all what else would you call someone who believes in and follows the ideology of all these known racists?

  • History Lesson   2 days 3 hours ago

    /how-the case-for austerity-has-crumbled/ is also kind of history, Keynes vs dingbat gop no-nothings has proven Keynes right once again.

    Again and again, suggestions that, as John Maynard Keynes once argued, “the boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity”—that cuts should wait until economies were stronger—were met with declarations that Reinhart and Rogoff had shown that waiting would be disastrous, that economies fall off a cliff once government debt exceeds 90 percent of GDP.

    Indeed, Reinhart-Rogoff may have had more immediate influence on public debate than any previous paper in the history of economics. The 90 percent claim was cited as the decisive argument for austerity by figures ranging from Paul Ryan, the former vice-presidential candidate who chairs the House budget committee, to Olli Rehn, the top economic official at the European Commission, to the editorial board of The Washington Post. So the revelation that the supposed 90 percent threshold was an artifact of programming mistakes, data omissions, and peculiar statistical techniques suddenly made a remarkable number of prominent people look foolish.

    Prominant republicans always look foolish, so how could one tell a difference?

  • Climate Club   2 days 5 hours ago

    In the article 'Free Riding' is the biggest deterrent to people that know better still won't do better because they don't want to pay for a benefit that everyone gets, in spite of the fact everyone benefitting did not cause the current problem. One success story:

    A second example, also highly successful, has been the reduction in air pollution that produces small particles that are harmful to health. Major sources of these harmful particles are chemical reactions of sulfur dioxide, soot, nitrogen oxides, and other compounds. Estimates suggest that perhaps 50,000 early deaths annually in the US are caused by this form of air pollution. National and regional regulations in place largely since 1970 have successfully reduced the worst of the harmful pollutants. For example, from 1970 to 2014, sulfur dioxide emissions declined by 84 percent. It is interesting to note that most of this decline came after the introduction in 1990 of a cap-and-trade program that put a market price on sulfur emissions—this being the first major test of market pricing of emissions.
    I was and still am big on carbon taxes and cap & trade. Ford could have gotten them, but reagan would've trashed them. Clinton could've asked for them in exchange for ending Glass-Steagel and allowing the 2007 crash. "I'll let you guys have a depression upon which you will make a killing by wholesale shorting, but I want carbon taxes and carbon cap & trade".

    The Carbon Club is the means to reduce free-riders, and thus encrease membership of majors. Club members acccept a $40 per ton carbon price (currently about $1 a ton) and trade freely with members on other goods. Non-members (aka those refusing carbon abatement policies) would find trading with the Club Members almost impossible due the tariffs (and likely bribes or end runs by Koch friends by way of third party/third world members or Front Green Groups that are members).

  • I believe Comcast is purposely blocking RT News channel on certain days recently, so I can't see your shows   2 days 5 hours ago

    Sounds correct...Comcast has gotten WAAAY too big for its britches! I'm glad they didn't get to add Time-Warner, as they are big enough already. Anyone remember MONOPOLY??? We're had a weird series of audio or audio/video outages of ALL channels over the last few months, the worst of which was about ten minutes long. What are they UP TO?

  • A quick refutation of Austrian Business Cycle Theory   2 days 7 hours ago

    There is still yet another refutation of the Austrian Business Cycle.

    The ABC thinks that if the FED reduces the interest rate, this will lead to longer run projects being invested, and then no one will want the results of this investment, leading to reccession. This recession must be long, as these wasteful investments are written off.

    But we already have a way to incorporate longer run investments, and that is the yeild curve - a common way that finance people show the relation between short run and long term interest rates and bonds.

    The yield curve is upward sloping - longer term bonds have higher interest rates than short term ones. This is simply because firms already incorporate any expected inflation or risk created by the FED or other facotrs. An investor who thought the FED was lowering the interest rate too much, would charge a higher rate for future investments - which is exactly what we see.

    So interest rates for long term investments are not too low.

    The existence of the yeild curve - which incorporates expected inflation and risk, which is common to all students of finance and economics, refutes the Austrian Business Cycle.

  • Article Presents Interesting Critique of Psychotherapy and Humanistic Psychology   2 days 7 hours ago

    Robindell, marcia-angell's NYBooks page has a compendium of an author's work on the topic of your op.

  • Article Presents Interesting Critique of Psychotherapy and Humanistic Psychology   2 days 7 hours ago

    /shame-of our-prisons-new-evidence/

    The Shame of Our Prisons: New Evidence David Kaiser and Lovisa StannowOCTOBER 24, 2013 ISSUESexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011–12: National Inmate Survey, 2011–12by Allen J. Beck and othersBureau of Justice Statistics, 107 pp., available at www.bjs.gov

    Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2012: National Survey of Youth in Custody, 2012by Allen J. Beck and othersBureau of Justice Statistics, 64 pp., available at www.bjs.gov

  • Article Presents Interesting Critique of Psychotherapy and Humanistic Psychology   2 days 7 hours ago

    illusions-of-psychiatry/

    The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Mythby Irving KirschBasic Books, 226 pp., $15.99 (paper)

    Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in Americaby Robert Whitaker Crown, 404 pp., $26.00
    Unhinged: The Trouble with Psychiatry—A Doctor’s Revelations About a Profession in Crisisby Daniel CarlatFree Press, 256 pp., $25.00

    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)by American Psychiatric AssociationAmerican Psychiatric Publishing, 992 pp., $135.00; $115.00 (paper)

    The article reviewing them all is worth reading.

    They Got A Pill For That

    Micah, I second rs's words above.

  • Ralph Nader Said that Progressives Do Not Know How to Communicate   2 days 7 hours ago
    Quote Robindell: Imagine what might be possible if these progressive senators all wrote to one another and stayed in contact. They could come up with different ideas for campaigns, legislation, and so forth. If they didn't answer Ralph Nader, it can be assumed that they don't communicate much with each other, and progressives don't have the kind of network-building that has gone on among many conservative groups.
    I don't know what happened. But I have to comment on the lack of a coherent ideological framework which so called US progressives work in.

    I don't know about Nader, but I've never seen ANY evidence that Warren or Sanders have any understanding of how antidemocratic and virtually reformproof our federal government is, or how our dysfunctional electoral system narrows the political spectrum and punishes all too many citizens for voting their conscience.

  • Article Presents Interesting Critique of Psychotherapy and Humanistic Psychology   2 days 8 hours ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:
    Quote rs allen:

    For what it's worth micah I think spooner is certifiable. Ninety percent of what he says is delusional and the other ten percent has obviously been said under the influence of heavy drugs.

    That's a nice way of debating. Name calling.

    Name calling? He was offering an opinion of a product, nothing more nothing less. I think most of what you produce is noise, or graffitti for noise in print form. Hip hop, rap, and graffitti have many celebrated artists. I haven't a clue what their names are because I can't stand that tripe. Some performance artists get followings, some don't. I won't be a follower of yours LS.

  • The difference between regulating behavior and punishing misbehavior...   2 days 9 hours ago
    Quote micahjr34:

    As far as I can see from my discussions, there are two main paradigms for this. What is confusing to me is that both the "right" and the "left" seem to share different elements from both paradigms. Let me explain:

    Paradigm #1 - Behavior needs to be regulated in society. The job of government within society is to help guide and assist people towards whatever goal the people in society deem admirable.

    Paradigm #2 - Misbehavior needs to be punished in society. The job of government within society is to make it difficult for people to commit crime, defined as what people in society deem inexcusable.

    Aren't these both really the same? A society... (or perhaps any organization) sets up a series of positive and negative reinforcements to "guide" citizens/members to promote the ideals/mission of the society/group. In the end, the citizens/members usually exhibit internal control to stay within limits and therefore there's little need to use external controls for punishment.

    But individual motives within this context are important. Does someone not shoplift because they are honest and respect the property of the store owner... or they fear the punishment for being caught? Outwardly the behaviors are the same but the internal motivation is different. So what motivations a society/group chooses to cultivate in its citizens/members is important.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   2 days 10 hours ago
    Quote ulTRAX:...and Woods was a member of at least TWO neo-confederate groups... League of the South... a cover for blatant white supremacists, and Abbeville Institute... then tries to sanitize his past to hide those associations... then the neoconfederate label might be too kind.
    Woods is so determined to whitewash his past he had this VERY incriminating article removed... even from Archive.org

    http://web.archive.org/web/20130921175243/http://reformed-theology.org/h...

    Here's an excerpt from it from dailykos

    So the War Between the States, far from a conflict over mere material interests, was for the South a struggle against an atheistic individualism and an unrelenting rationalism in politics and religion, in favor of a Christian understanding of authority, social order and theology itself. The intelligent Left knows this, and even the incurably stupid, like [former Democratic Senator from Illinois -- the first African-American woman to be elected as a U.S. Senator] Carol Moseley-Braun, must at least sense it. For all their ignorant blather about slavery and civil rights, what truly enrages most liberals about the Confederate Battle Flag is its message of defiance. They see in it the remnants of a traditional society determined to resist cultural and political homogenization, and refusing to be steamrolled by the forces of progress.

    I have been a Northerner for my entire 24 years. But when we reflect on what was really at stake in the "late unpleasantness," we can join with [Confederate Vice-President] Alexander Stephens in observing that "the cause of the South is the cause of us all."

    AND THAT CAUSE WAS PROTECTING SLAVERY

  • Has California Gone Too Far?   2 days 10 hours ago
    Quote smilingcat:

    California holds more than 10% of US population. The environmental laws and requirements have not hampered the economic growth. If that were the case, places like Louisiana with its cancer alley, Houston, Tenn, W. VA and other places would be so much further ahead but looky see.

    Need for me to explain?

    You are one cool cat! :-)

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   2 days 10 hours ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:The brain dead establishment’s contribution to this discussion is to shout “neo-Confederate!” or express outrage that we peons would even raise what our betters have told us is a closed question.
    Even more deflections away from the motives of Ron Paul and Tom Woods. When Paul gives a speech in front of the Confederate flag saying secession was mostly about tariffs, and Woods was a member of at least TWO neo-confederate groups... League of the South... a cover for blatant white supremacists, and Abbeville Institute... then tries to sanitize his past to hide those associations... then the neoconfederate label might be too kind.

    From League Of The Sourth

    http://dixienet.org/rights/our_survival_as_a_people.php

    Today, the descendants of those European-American whites behave as a shamed and defeated people. Not only do they refuse to proclaim the God-ordained superiority of their own civilization and its venerable institutions; they also refuse to defend the very ethnic and racial particularities that gave form and definition to that civilization. "White" has become a dirty word, and few whites can even use the term now without wincing and casting furtive glances to and fro. But to deny one's identity in such a manner is to dishonor the God who made us what we are and who separated us from the other races for His own eternal purposes. While blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other groups revel in their natural peculiarities, whites will not dare even admit that race is one of the primary factors that determines who we are and what we create on this earth. This is a simple and fundamental fact of God's creation. We are who we are simply because He has commanded it.

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   2 days 11 hours ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:
    Quote Antifascist:

    Thanks, mdhess for giving some very good rebuttals to secessionist crackpot legal reasoning and White Supremacist slavery denial neo-history.

    Back then, most of the country, including Lincoln, were White Supremacists. So that's a wash. Is anyone denying slavery? How do you explain Lysander Spooner, who was pro-secession and anti-slavery. He even funded anti-slavery activities in the South.

    'Mike Church and Brion McClanahan have produced what looks to be an excellent new edition of Albert Taylor Bledsoe’s 19th-century work Is Davis a Traitor? or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War of 1861? Having read the book myself years ago, I can tell you it is indeed an excellent work, full of information no one encounters in school, but which helps you break out of the establishment’s suffocating box.

    There you go again, evading the topic and trying to deflect the discussion to Lincoln the North's motives while giving the South a virtual free pass. And you STILL refuse to confront the intellectual dishonesty of some of your libertarian buddies who are trying to rewrite history to say the South DID NOT secede to protect slavery... and why YOU are joining them. One person is anomaly... but now where THREE libertarian extremists are doing the same... and I think I saw some similar sentiments at Mises... then the red flag goes up that there's some agenda.

  • Democratic messaging ideas!   2 days 11 hours ago

    I suppose the phrase could be taken out of context.... dunno

    Could easily be such the case if it was a Repug phreak - Ha!

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   2 days 11 hours ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner: Back then, most of the country, including Lincoln, were White Supremacists. So that's a wash.

    Lincoln's election proved that the US - like other countries were going to outlaw slavery.

    That is why the South broke away.

    Ultrax has gone to a lot of trouble (and I have joined a bit) to pove that is the case.

    Ultrax has listed the separation documents and the constituiton, and no other interpretation is possible.

    I have addressed the points you raised about Lincoln's Liberia excursion, and article from the New York Times, and several staet Republican party leaders. It all adds up to nothing.

    The subject of this thread is why people are white-washing the confderacy to be less anti-slavery.

    It is likely because they are racists, although I can't be sure.

  • Democratic messaging ideas!   2 days 11 hours ago

    hmm... still didn't attach.

    found pure .jpg then (not a website)

    https://i.imgur.com/3kFvT0f.jpg

  • Democratic messaging ideas!   2 days 11 hours ago

    Okay... Here's the raw image I saw somewhere earlier. This is from what I believe is the creator 'Justin Russell's' work selling over at redbubble dot com's site. Should say something maybe like... 'Come, Feel the Bern'!

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/jrstees/works/14122148-bernie-sanders-fo...

  • Why Do Neoconfederates Rewrite History To Justify Secession?   2 days 11 hours ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner: As for the 3/5's Compromise, here is Tom Woods:

    This thread is not on the 3/5's compromise.

    The 3/5's compromise is evidence that the constituion is pro-slavery.

    Which it is, since it recognises the existence of slavery, and instead of doing something about i.e, - making it illegal, it simply goes ahead and treats blacks differently than whites.

    Woods does point out that this reduces the power of the South, but that is not the point.

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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.