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
Wednesday, December 4. 2019
Image borrowed from...I forget where.
Britain's First Transgender Couple to Allow Their 5-Year-Old Child To Begin Transition
What Happened To Drudge?
‘1917’ is a haunting, technical marvel and one of Hollywood’s best war films
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas all around the White House
And the "unattractive, misshapen trolls" don't like Melania's coat. I think she is dynamite.
Fewer, bigger businesses is just what the central planners want
They can be controlled
102 Media Mistakes in the Trump Era: The Definitive List
Codevilla: A Deplorable Strategy Beyond 2020 - In 2016 and since, we have learned that our ruling class has amassed the power and developed the taste to revel in making us miserable. We have also learned that to avoid this, we must undo or separate ourselves from them, their structures, and priorities.
Democrats Now ‘Say Out Loud’ Intent to Turn America Blue by Immigration
Importing votes. It's a step above buying votes.
9th Circuit grapples with nationwide injunctions in 2 cases. Both involve Trump administration immigration policies.
Good Riddance to Kamala Harris
Warren Says Her Wealth Tax Will ‘Cancel Student Loan Debt for 43 Million Americans. Shorter Comrade Warren: More free stuff!
Another way of forcing the parents and grandparents to pay for it
Bloomberg Ripped Over Recent Interview on China, Saying ‘Xi Jinping Is Not a Dictator’
Schiff Gets Phone Records Of John Solomon, Devin Nunes And His Aide, Rudy Giuliani And Lev Parnas. Talk about truly troubling action.
That is war
AG Bill Barr Refutes IG Horowitz’s Conclusion that FBI had Rationale to Spy on Trump Campaign
Not the Deep State, the Deep Industry - Why Beltway government workers are at the center of the impeachment crisis.
Without the Soviet Union, NATO Seems Increasingly Irrelevant. No number of NATO summits will re-energize an alliance against an enemy that went out of business nearly 30 years ago.
Yep. That's why Euroland doesn't pay up. We should be pals with Russia, these days.
Trump’s Foreign Policy: The Popping Point of Maximum Pressure
UK Labour Party omits Jews from campaign video promoting minority rights
New York Times Tries Explaining Away British Labour’s Antisemitism
Turkey's Open Secret: Fake Secularism
Teens from China's wealthiest regions rank top of the class in global education survey
Genetic IQ advantage. Not fair.
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Did someone say "Cebu"?
I don't think anything has happened to Drudge and I don't think he's changed much since the beginning. Just because a person is opposed to socialism and enjoys pointing out the shortcomings of many leftist politicians doesn't mean he's a conservative or Republican.
Drudge is the Woody Woodpecker of the news industry. He likes to stir things up and keep people on their toes. Why would anyone who reads Drudge think he's a supporter of Trump? I would guess he voted for him (if he votes), but I wouldn't expect him to pitch for the president. In fact, the more people think he supports Trump, the more likely he is to oppose him with headlines.
I love his book "The Drudge Manifesto." I also miss his Sunday night radio show.
About those Chinese scores in that global education survey —
Yes, any human capability (such as IQ) that has an inheritable component can be boosted in certain populations by selective breeding or reinforcement. Chinese history can be seen as a case study of this, now running for 5,000-odd years.
However, while education and test scores are important, they aren't the whole picture. Left out is inventiveness, which produces most of the innovations that improvve the life of all and which schools optimized to produce high test scores mostly select [i]against[/].
There's an old saying that A students work for B students at companies founded by D students that are run by C students.
China and in all of Asia students who are below average are dropped out of school at an early age and moved into the labor force. The remaining students, the cream of the students who are left are well aware of the expectations and the punishment if they fail to excel. So the student and families do indeed work very hard to succeed. It is a commendable system designed to better educate their best students and to quickly shuttle off the less able students to menial work. If we did this in our country I suspect we too would have the highest IQ students but we would have sacrificed equal opportunity and democracy.
As I said, selective reinforcement of heritable characteristics. It also breeds a mandarin class — China's where the idea reached fullest flower — and that's deadly not only for opportunity and democracy, it's deadly for ideas, especially the ones that don't come out of textbook training.
I also wonder about the effect of becoming literate in (Asian) countries where literacy means memorizing ten thousand (at a minimum) characters and writing them out tens of thousands of times, each character being written according to age-old specific sequences of brush strokes. That's a big enforcement of conformity.
'The report's authors stressed that the goal was not to pit countries against each other in competition, but rather to "provide useful information to educators and policy makers concerning the strengths and weaknesses of their country's education system."'
Hello! That's what competition is for: seeing what works best. Honest, it's not just a dirty word.
"Importing votes. It's a step above buying votes"
It's substantially worse than that. It's not only buying votes, it's mortgaging future votes by granting the dream of a lifetime to the prospective voter. The politicians who approve of it are giving away things that don't belong to them, far past the authorities of their sinecure. Their experimental proving ground is the welfare state industry, where newly-minted immigrants grow to maturity.
It is far more than that. It is "replacing" citizens with immigrants with the intent of stealing the country from the citizens. When the shit hits the fan from this "scheme" it will end badly. Probably a civil war, an actual shooting war with some very nasty results. When the government must raise your taxes beyond your ability to pay them simply to give the replacement citizens the promised "free stuff" THAT is when this all gets real.
It's also not especially new. This has been going on since the ward heelers first went down to the Battery to meet the ferries from Ellis Island. What's different this time is that the little donkeys have came face-to-face with the realisation that the coalition of the disaffected is not a good substitute for the old ethnic constituencies. The current TERF water is only one example of why not. When the only substance they have to offer is division, the only option they have left is to revert to their original playbook.
"Teens from some of China's wealthiest regions are outperforming their peers in the world's richest countries in reading, math and science"
It is equally true that Teens from some of USA's wealthiest regions are outperforming their peers in the world's richest countries in reading, math and science. My children went to Langley HS in VA, in one of the wealthiest regions in the USA. All the kids of rich parents went there. Rich parents didn't become wealthy by being dumb and their children are usually intelligent.
Just because your kids "went there" doesn't mean they were outperforming the average.
Yeah, if they were really that smart, they would have gone to McLean!
Another way of forcing the parents and grandparents to pay for it
Meanwhile, the boomer grandparents are raiding my paycheck to pay their greens fees at The Villages or where ever they may be despite retiring as the wealthiest generation. I propose we all stop using the federal treasury to steal money from one another.
Really? This boomer has paid into social security since he got his first job at 16. Certainly at this point given the government's prudent investment of what I gave them, I have millions owed to me. What has the government done with all the money I paid into their pockets?
I also spent 10 years paying off my student loans, making those payments every month. Under Warren's plan, shouldn't I now get a refund of that? Fairness and everything.
Who owes it to you? The people you paid for with your SS and medicare taxes are retired and still drawing if they're still alive. They're not going to be paying you back. Do I owe it to you? Why? By virtue of being born? That sounds like the logic that gave us the Obamacare mandate. If you started paying at 16 and start drawing at 67 (meaning you were born 1960 or later; other boomers were able to draw at 65 and 66), that's 51 years. Well, I've been paying this tax since I was making $3.35 an hour at 14 years of age and still paying it over 31 years later, but I know I won't be getting it. Not only do I expect the system to be bankrupt before I can draw, I don't want to draw because if I'm wealthy in retirement it's morally wrong for me to do so. If I happen to be destitute, I would prefer private charity over the government forcing my children and grandchildren to pay me.
You seem to have forgotten a step in that process.
As an employer, we are FORCED to deduct payroll taxes.
Retired old people aren't at the door every with their hands out demanding money from us to pay themselves. If we don't send it in, we're shut down and our bank accounts -and more are confiscated.
The IRS considers you guilty before presumed innocent.
Payroll taxes are simply the cost of employing someone. It is considered part of their pay. It isn't "your" money any more than your employee's pay check is "your" money. It isn't the governments money it was always intended to be kept in an account for that individual it was associated with. If you don't believe that last point check the yearly update you get from the SS office it shows YOUR contribution and your employees contribution in YOUR name.
Boomers aren't stealing anything from you but your government might be.
You're just factually wrong. Yes the Social Security Administration sends us yearly reminders of how much we'll supposedly collect but it never says it's in an account or set aside for us. Nor will you find it in law where the money is saved or banked for individuals or even future generations. Social Security has always been a transfer tax and it remains a transfer tax. Payers are paying for current recipients. If there is excess after paying recipients, Congress just spends that money and promises they will put money in if it ever goes negative. Well I have news for you, no Congress can bind a future Congress. So if you are collecting now, you are collecting from me and my children while we work now. And it Social Security will go negative; most likely before I am 67. Should I be so selfish and enslave future generations to pay me even if I'm wealthy enough to pay for myself in retirement?
You are wrong the SS DID say it was it did say it's in an account or set aside for us. So I'm guessing you are younger than 50. The government began taking the SS excess funds in the 50's and to make it look legit they "promised" that our SS account was safe. They continued taking the funds out of SS and continued promising us it was in an account in our name. But eventually they stopped talking about that account in our name. So I'm guessing you came of age after the government quit making that promise and have no knowledge of the history. However it changes nothing. They made a contract with us and it would be enforceable in a court of law. I paid into SS for 48 years and if I had invested it conservatively over those 48 years it would be worth over $2 million today. So the small amount I get every month is piddling compared to what they should be paying my from my account.
"no Congress can bind a future Congress". That is true to an extent. But I live in a state that tried to back out on the contract they made with state employees on their retirement. I am sure they thought that no legislature can bind a future legislature. But the state Supreme Court said flatly that the previous legislature had entered into a contract and a succeeding legislature could not legally break it. So we don't know what the court will decide if congress tries to break the contract that they made.
There is no account for you. You have "credits". That's it. [url](https://www.ssa.gov/history/trustfunds.html)Here is a chart from SSA itself of the trust fund[/url]. Note that the payouts are always within 80 and 90 percent, and many times close to 100 percent, of the income. This is from day one in 1937. It has always and will always be a transfer. It never was a savings account for individuals.
It is a pyramid scam. It always was. I'm sorry you believed them when they told you it was yours and they promised to make it work for you. They have made the same promise to me except that I don't believe them because the facts are that it cannot be sustained.
You are conflating. Yes there is no account in the SS system just for me. But YES they promised/contracted that each SS contributors money would be treated like an account and in fact I can chart over the years all the way back to 1958 exactly what my contribution and my employees contribution was. AND as I pointed out in my state the state tried to do exactly what you claim by denying that they had contractually agreed to safeguard the employer and employer contribution and the courts struck them down dumbfounded. So don't be surprised if the courts tell you that you are wrong.
Is/was SS a pyramid scheme. Yeah in the general definition of it. Does that mean it is not an enforceable contract??? Nope!
You can hate on SS all you want but it is the law and until the Democrats/communists can stack the Supreme Court and control congress and the presidency we are going to continue to have SS. Get used to it.
I am conflating nothing. You stated right above:
It isn't the governments money it was always intended to be kept in an account for that individual it was associated with.
This is factually incorrect as you have slowly acknowledged. There is no account, but there is a trust fund. As history has shown, it was never funded for future recipients. If it was intended to become a source of funds for future recipients such as yourself, then your taxes would have been much higher to make it large enough to pay for your cohort. You seem to understand this by acknowledging that Social Security is and has always been a pyramid scheme.
As for some court case binding a state, the federal government is not a state and federal law is not a contract (though it may authorize contracts). If it was a contract, then the appropriations to pay for the contract would have to be made at the time the contract went into force. In other words, Congress would have had to sell bonds to pay for projected Social Security obligations to that your projected draw would be covered. That never happened and it was never part of the original or subsequent bills.
Regardless, you are correct about one thing; I and my children are saddled with this enormous obligation for as long as boomers can outvote us and for as long as younger people are fooled into believing it will take care of them.
You seem to have forgot a step; retired people and boomers keep voting for politicians who promise to "save" social security. I went to a few TEA party rallies. It was wonderful to see so many people realize that government taxing and spending was not the answer, but inevitably there were a number of boomers (and older) with signs for "preserving" or "fix" social security, whatever that means. They're at a rally because they're "t"axed "e"nough "a"lready but also rallying to increase my taxes for their retirement? What kind of logic is that?
Well I actually would be willing to give up my SS. Simple. The federal government ends all welfare, all subsidies, all free stuff and cut taxes by the amount of the savings and I will give up my SS. But if you believe that everyone who put into SS will roll over while the government continues to give trillions away to the lazy and ignorant you are dead wrong. WE paid into it, the Welfare bums didn't. Don't even think we will stand still for being screwed over.
I would be happy to get the federal government (and states, but that's a fight for another time) out of the welfare business. Private charity should take care of the truly indigent. "The poor you will always have with you." (Mat 26:11)
On the other hand, you exhibit why boomers are despised by younger generations. So, because you were mugged for $10 by people who are no longer alive or have the money to pay you restitution and you see 5 other people mugging me it means it's OK for you to mug me for $10 plus interest.
There are several types of parents who are rewarded for being "victims", i.e. single mothers, transgendered parents and parents of young children (babies) who are identifying as transgender. The willingness to come public and be used as an example guarantees that the liberal machine will see to it they get better incomes, either from government programs, or better still from better jobs. I'll bet if you did some research on this couple two years from now you would see that their yearly income has gone up. The machine is immense.
Re: Transgender parents
Does anyone here remember Cindy Sheehan? (Google search for wikipedia entry) She was the anti war activist mom who camped outside of George Bush's house to protest the war in Iraq. She was just a part time employed mom when her son died, but her willingness to be a visible representation of the liberal cause provided her with the necessary funds to leave her family, move to another state, and live for years without a visible income. It pays well to be a visible protester! Do you remember the family in Seattle whose little girl wanted to be boy? I'll bet they both have better jobs now. It pays to be among the first willing to go public. It is very interesting to read Mrs. Sheehan's rise in the political world since allowing herself to be used as a visible example--spend a minute reading her wikipedia.
Melania's hand does not work falsely so she does not produce the misshapen things that comes from the chattering class.
"And the "unattractive, misshapen trolls" don't like Melania's coat. I think she is dynamite. "
It is possible for the mind to indulge in false logic, to make the worse appear the better reason, without instant exposure. But for the hand to work falsely is to produce a misshapen thing—tool or machine —which in its construction gives the lie to its maker. Thus the hand that is false to truth, in the very act publishes the verdict of its own guilt, exposes itself to contempt and derision, convicts itself of unskillfulness or of dishonesty.—Charles H. Ham, Mind and Hand: manual training, the chief factor in education (1900)
Bloomberg: There has to be some major reason he's kissing Xi's feet. Either his company is much too dependent on business it does in China, or maybe China is funding his campaign and will expect something in return if he wins. I can easily picture him as another Manchurian Candidate.