We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, May 14. 2018
Is Maternal Instinct Only for Moms? Here's the Science.
‘The Big Bang Theory’ Pays Sweetest Tribute To Stephen Hawking In Deleted Scene
What Stephen Hawking Couldn’t Unlock About the Mystery of the Cosmos
Eat breakfast every day? Here's how it affects your weight
What Ken Burns Omits From The Vietnam War
What Is It With Male Feminists?
An "Audible Gasp" Was Heard When The Chicago Fed Unveiled Its "Solution" To The Pension Problem
NYT: Liberals, You’re Not as Smart as You Think
‘This is why people HATE YOU.’ POLITICO’s hit piece on Hillsdale College BACKFIRES spectacularly
Kelly States Obvious Truths, Leftists Go Crazy
MUELLER INDICTS A HAM SANDWICH
Denying Trump's Accomplishments Is Increasingly Irrational
Evangelical crooner Pat Boone to fete Jerusalem with gala concert - The 83-year-old singer will be accompanied by Shiri Maimon, David Broza and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at May 13 performance
London Mayor Sadiq Khan plans TfL 'junk food' advert ban
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re Eat breakfast every day? Here's how it affects your weight
Calling BS on that one.
I've probably lost 500# over the last sixty years, 10-40# at a time. Latest is about 15# over the last couple of months. I do it by cutting all intake by half and cutting out all between meal eating. I've always eaten three meals a day when I do this, breakfast included. If history repeats itself, I'll soon drift out of this regimen, revert to my old habits, and slowly start putting on weight. Then when my pants get too tight, I'll impose the weight loss regimen on myself once again.
Correct! If you look at all selections they contradict themselves about every other one. Low fat BS.....
London seems nice. First we take away the knives and potato peelers (although the stabbing attacks continue), then we start moving on to seizing silverware, and now - let's ban the kind of food that you can eat without knives and silverware, since we think it's unhealthy. Give it some time, it ought to start looking like Venezuela soon, with this kind of leadership. Some people will put up with anything, and the UK has been criminalizing self-defense and the survival instinct for years, but this still surprises me.
I'm old enough to have encountered opposition to feminism when it took the form of doubting and resenting my efforts to enter a profession--though I was lucky enough to come of age when the resistance was crumbling. Now I have to sit through opposition to feminism in the form of some kind of nutso social justice chauvinism perpetrated by self-appointed superwomen. I'd really like to have preserved that sweet spot when we just judged individuals by their abilities instead of their plumbing.
MUELLER INDICTS A HAM SANDWICH ... That company didn’t exist as a legal entity during the time period alleged by the government.
Ham sandwiches exist.
"The catering company Concord-Catering has been working in the field of catering for a long time. For 19 years now, we have been providing professional catering services for our valued customers... If our esteemed client wants to rent a luxurious banquet hall, then we can offer for him such famous places as Gostiny Dvor, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Atrium of the Bolshoi Theater."
Wow, you can Google.
Nobody said that the company didn't exist, period.
Attorney Eric Dubelier speaks on behalf of Concord Management. ... When discussion turns to the question whether he represents Concord Catering (another charged Russian entity), Dubelier states: “I think we’re dealing with the government having indicted the proverbial ham sandwich. That company didn’t exist as a legal entity during the time period alleged by the government.”
Christopher B: during the time period alleged by the government.
The website says they have been in business for 19 years, which means they were in business during the time period in question.
Trump’s chaotic style is starting to make sense
Sure. Trump is realigning the U.S. from strong democratic nations, such as France, Germany, and Japan, to weak autocratic regimes, such as "Putin called me a genius" Russia, "very honorable" North Korea, "glowing orb" Saudi Arabia. China is quietly advancing their interests in Asia and Africa, while Trump is carving out an exception for a Chinese corporation which violated sanctions on Iran.
Cartograms of World Population and GDP
" "Solution" To The Pension Problem"
Imagine there was a huge pile of money and crooks had access to it and then you will understand the pension problem. Legislatures have used their state pensions to dole out gifts to supporters and to make promises they would never have to keep in their lifetime. The only "solution" that will work is to roll back some of these terrible mistakes that the legislatures have made in their effort to loot the pension systems. For example:
Police and firemen get to retire at full pension at age 50 (varies slightly from state to state). While the tough job of police and fire may indeed deserve early retirement it was never funded and became an incredible drag on the retirement funding for everyone else in the system. This should be corrected.
In most states the employee and employer contribute 6% each to the employees retirement. By law each employees 6% must be in the system by the end of each quarter. The state/employer however can wait forever before they contribute. That resulted in actual funds dedicated by the legislature to be spent on other things by the supervisor of each state agency rather than put it into the retirement system. Because of the law of compound interest this has created a mountainous debt for the state. A stupid move that they then made even worse by covering up the cause and allowing the media to make it appear that the problem was excessive benefits paid to the workers. Ask 100 citizens of any state what the problem with the pension system is and 99 will tell you it is excessive benefits. How can you fix a problem if you won't acknowledge what the cause is?
A third problem is that the legislature inexplicably created two retirement systems. One where benefits are determined based on the retirees actual money balance in the system. This is a logical and consistent with good accounting principles. But the legislature created a second system to determine payout which is based on the last 2-3 years of pay rate. In other words an employee could work 25 years as a clerk and thanks to a friend in the legislature or management get promoted to a managers position for the last three years and retire at twice the rate they should get. A nice gift but it comes at the expense of everyone else in the system who paid in as required and didn't have a friend at the top.
Fix these things and you can fix 90% of the problem. If they simply add more money at the expense of the taxpayer the problems will still be there.
Denying Trump's Accomplishments Is Increasingly Irrational
Let's take a look.
The economy is robust and growing, with unemployment at 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2000.
As noted many times before on this blog, the drop in unemployment is consistent with the Obama expansion, which started in 2009. There is no noticeable change in trend since Trump took office.
The promised tax law is producing record revenues, despite cynics' predictions to the contrary
Same story here. Nor is the increase in receipts sufficient to make up for the deficits created. It's amazing what you can do with borrowed money.
a wave of optimism throughout the business sector
There is a better argument for increased business confidence. This should lead to new investment, and the consequent rise in productivity over the long term.
North Korea (nukes and hostages)
It's very premature to declare victory on North Korean disarmament.
Islamic State group
To some degree, the defeat of IS was inevitable, but certainly the U.S. has been an important part of that victory. The region is still engulfed in chaos, though, which may metastasize new forms of terror.
Afghanistan is still a mess.
Trump has weakened NATO, going so far as to call into question U.S. security guarantees in Europe.
Iran (keeping his promise to withdraw from Obama's disastrous deal)
Europe may still salvage the deal. Not sure what Trump thought would be gained by releasing Iran from its commitments, but he has eroded U.S. credibility.
Israel (recognizing Jerusalem, announcing his plan to move our embassy there and finally treating the country as an ally instead of an enemy)
The U.S. has always been an ally of Israel, providing billions in arms every year. However, they have tried to be an honest broker for peace negotiations.
Gloriously, we've withdrawn from the Paris climate accord.
Again, further eroding the U.S. credibility.
We were in an economic depression the entire Obama regime. We've only started coming out of it once Trump took office.
Reference: Labor participation rates, real unemployment rates (ShadowStats), homeless which is still totally out of control.
Huge numbers of companies and amounts of capital fled the country because of oppressive corporate taxes (highest in the developed world) and the constant threat they would be raised even higher. We have huge numbers of illegals in the country which are also dragging the country down, take away jobs from Americans, and artificially suppress wages. The externalities are that illegals harm the country more than they help, but corrupt capitalists in power love labor whose costs they can pass on to the public sector, and Democrats like them because they provide a huge supply of (illegal) voters that will put and keep them in power.
Obama turned the country into a ghetto. Or Third World country, if that sounded racist. Our infrastructure is falling apart because of inability to maintain it since the Democrats took power in 2008 and collapsed the economy. And worst of all, China has now surpassed us economically and militarily. Our military looks ok on paper, but it is basically falling apart and much of its equipment is inoperable, especially its planes and helicopters.
We won't even get into his total negligence on virtually all foreign affairs matters. And both the Paris Agreement and the Iran Treaty were totally illegal and void, because Senate consent was not obtained as required by the Constitution. So those were already dead on arrival when Trump took office.
By any measure, Obama was by far the worst president this country ever had. Despite all the propaganda to the contrary.
You are correct.
Jim: We were in an economic depression the entire Obama regime.
GDP dropped at the end of the Bush Administration, but has been climbing steadily since then. GDP 2008-present.
Jim: Labor force participation rates
Labor force participation has been dropping since 2001 or so, leveling off in 2016. Workforce Participation 2001-present.
Jim: real unemployment rates (ShadowStats)
Have no idea about your fantasy statistics, but U-6 has shown steady improvement since 2009. U-6 Unemployment 2008-present
Jim: Huge numbers of companies and amounts of capital fled the country because of oppressive corporate taxes (highest in the developed world) and the constant threat they would be raised even higher.
Few corporations paid the statutory rate due to the number of deductions available. It can be argued corporate rates should be lowered, however, it was done through increasing the deficits.
Jim: Our infrastructure is falling apart because of inability to maintain it since the Democrats took power in 2008 and collapsed the economy.
Democrats never had a sufficient majority to enact legislation without Republican support. In any case, the market bubble was already fully formed by that point. Case-Shiller 2000-present
Jim: And worst of all, China has now surpassed us economically and militarily.
Hardly. China is still industrializing, while the U.S. is a fully-developed information and service-based economy. The U.S. military is still far more advanced than any other, but continuous strategic mistakes have cost the U.S. dearly, including the fraying of U.S. alliances.
Jim: And both the Paris Agreement and the Iran Treaty were totally illegal and void
Just because they weren't treaties doesn't mean they were illegal and void. Countries frequently enter executive agreements. Withdrawing from such agreements will make it much harder for presidents to negotiate in the future.
Z: Trump has weakened NATO, going so far as to call into question U.S. security guarantees in Europe.
That's rich. Most of the European countries were not spending the 2% of GDP on their defense spelled out in the NATO guidelines. Trump called them on it and now defense spending is rising, ergo, unless their spending is being thrown away, they are more militarily secure.
mudbug: Most of the European countries were not spending the 2% of GDP on their defense spelled out in the NATO guidelines. Trump called them on it and now defense spending is rising, ergo, unless their spending is being thrown away, they are more militarily secure.
The increase in defence spending was negotiated in 2014, and announced in the Wales Summit Declaration at that time. Trump does deserve credit for keeping pressure on NATO countries to increase spending, but he doesn't deserve credit for when he played games with Article 5 obligations.
mudbug: unless their spending is being thrown away, they are more militarily secure.
It doesn't work that way. Without the alliance, smaller countries can be taken out in detail regardless of their level of military spending.
But the kiddiez are just so darned mockable especially when they start talking "basic facts".
Hardly, but rather based on the basic physics of heat flow. Start with this basic fact: The Earth can only gain or lose heat radiatively.
#2.3.1 Zachriel on 2018-02-11 10:24 (Reply)
See what I mean.
Re: ...audible gasp...
Property taxes expose the lie of owning personal property. You are really renting it from the government.
It's called "fee simple". Allodial title, meaning not subject to a superior landlord, is relatively rare, and may apply to aboriginal lands, crown holdings, or ecclesiastical properties.
Regardless, if I don't pay my "rent" (i.e. property taxes), the government will evict me therefore even though I paid for my house and the land it's on, it really doesn't belong to me but to the government.
Quite right mudbug.
Here in Nebraska, the government will sell your property for the property tax owed.
A couple of years ago a guy in my area lost what was perhaps a 100k piece of property over a couple thousand in delinquent taxes.
The investors bought the property for the amount of the taxes owed. He got nothing. It's criminal.
mudbug: Regardless, if I don't pay my "rent" (i.e. property taxes), the government will evict me therefore even though I paid for my house and the land it's on, it really doesn't belong to me but to the government.
Allodial title is good to have. Are you royalty by chance? Do you have a beard?
If your state is a Tax Deed state that's true but the new owner still has to pay off any other outstanding liens and mortgages.
In a Tax Lien state, the lienor would have to foreclose on the property assuming the homeowner didn't pay the lien, then pay off other liens and mortgages.
Since most cities don't sell a property or a lien for at least 3 years after the taxes haven't been paid the property owner has plenty of time to pay what's owed. Some states even allow redemption by the property owner after the property has been sold.
I believe you are correct on all counts.
In this case, the property owner made no attempt to save his property, even though he owned it free and clear.
He was lazy and stupid and hoped the problem would just go away.
Yes it defies logic and common sense.
And mudbug's point stands.
If you don't pay your property taxes you will lose you property.
Re Ken Burns.
Everybody knows liberals lie. When they aren't lying by commission they are lying by omission.
I had to laugh when all the TV personalities from every network came running to McCain's defense over the "songbird" reference. The songbird tapes do indeed exist and other POW's vouch for them. What is worse is that they don't even want to talk about the POW's left behind that were eventually executed. Both McCain and chickenshit Kerry were behind that cover-up. Want to revisit the scene of the crime try reading a piece over at the American Conservative by the title of McCain and the POW cover-up. McCain and Kerry are beyond redemption and neither should be buried anywhere near a military cemetery.
Trump hasn't weakened NATO...it is NATO countries that fails to contribute their share to a common defense. From OAN news...Germany to step up money to NATO from the current 1.2 percent to 1.5 percent by 2025. They aren't paying 2 percent...they aren't serious about their own defense. They are being invaded by muslims and can't even defend themselves from them. More and more of the EU countries are loosing their democracy to Brussels..,.the ruling elite want total control.