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Sunday, December 02, 2012

OTP December 2012 - Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

Bitter Mouse Posted: December 02, 2012 at 11:15 PM | 6172 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   701. Dan The Mediocre Posted: December 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4317111)
They already have them but I don't think they'll catch on because there is no point to them. Self-driving buses and trains sure but cars no. Then again I doubt anyone really wants to have no one in control of a vehicle that is carrying hundreds of people.


Which is odd, considering that I'd bet that every vehicle being self-driving would be safer than none by a lot.
   702. Tilden Katz Posted: December 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4317114)
Via David Wasserman: Obama ahead in 689 out of 3,114 US counties. Dukakis won 819. Really shows the urban/rural divide in the country.
   703. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4317118)
They already have them but I don't think they'll catch on because there is no point to them.

They're already legal on an experimental basis here in California.

From what I've read, the most difficult obstacles to getting them widely used aren't so much technological as legal, having to do with liabilities. If a self-driving car has an accident, who is at fault? The "driver"/occupant? The owner? The car manufacturer? The software provider? Lots and lots of questions to be worked out.
   704. Greg K Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4317122)
Nottingham is an interesting town transit-wise. (At least to me, who knows less than nothing about transit).

It's got no tracked transit, aside from a single tram line that runs north/south through the city. It's handy for those who live right near a stop, or for commuters who can park in the "park and ride" stops further outside the city. But anywhere off the line and it's not very useful. For instance, I can see the nearest stop from my bedroom window, but it's still not the best transit choice for me. Buses absolutely rule the city. For about a block or two around the centre of the city there is only pedestrian traffic, and a block or two radius outside of that has roads, but only buses are allowed.

I guess I've spent most of my time before this in cities that either had an extensive train/subway system, or next to zero public transit of any kind. The bus-dominated city is an interesting concept to me...seems like it would take a fair amount of organization, though far less of a construction cost. It is remarkably flexible no matter where in the area you need to be.
   705. Greg K Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4317125)
From what I've read, the most difficult obstacles to getting them widely used aren't so much technological as legal, having to do with liabilities. If a self-driving car has an accident, who is at fault? The "driver"/occupant? The owner? The car manufacturer? The software provider? Lots and lots of questions to be worked out.

I was reading a legal text from the late 19th century the other day, and came across an interesting passage about hackney carriage operators. Apparently they weren't liable for the loss, theft, or destruction of any luggage you carried because theoretically you paid the same price whether you had luggage or not. Therefore he's not being paid to mind your luggage, and it's not his problem if something happens. Is this still true?

EDIT: It was a Canadian book, so I guess the more apt question in this context is, "was/is this true in America?"
   706. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4317130)
The bus-dominated city is an interesting concept to me...seems like it would take a fair amount of organization, though far less of a construction cost. It is remarkably flexible no matter where in the area you need to be.

Many "new" cities in the western U.S., most notably including Los Angeles, undertook public works programs in the 1940s/50s to tear out miles of trolley line that had been laid in earlier decades. While there is lots of legitimate question about what all the real motivations were for that to happen, a reasonable argument in favor of it was that buses would be a vastly more flexible system going forward, with the routes easily able to be adjusted as new patterns of development/traffic took shape.
   707. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:16 PM (#4317146)
i know about the google car and think it's a great idea

the push back are all based on current mindsets and habits versus thinking in terms of how the car would alleviate various challenges.

the zip car? nope. car sharing? nope

but a self-driving car acting as a communal taxi? that's a great thing
   708. Chicago Joe Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4317155)
Some in beer or strippers or cocaine.



False Dichotomy! :)


Buy enough beer and cocaine, and the strippers are usually gratis.
   709. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4317158)
and yes, i know it is more than an idea. they have had it travel to various destinations

without incident

folks need to think in terms of how somehting can work versus how something cannot work

   710. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:23 PM (#4317162)
From what I've read, the most difficult obstacles to getting them widely used aren't so much technological as legal, having to do with liabilities. If a self-driving car has an accident, who is at fault? The "driver"/occupant? The owner? The car manufacturer? The software provider? Lots and lots of questions to be worked out.

One could argue that we already have these complicated issues with person-driving cars already.
   711. Chicago Joe Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4317167)
the zip car? nope. car sharing? nope


Thing these are designed to alleviate the costs of having cars sit around all day doing nothing.
   712. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4317170)
One could argue that we already have these complicated issues with person-driving cars already.

Oh, I agree. I'm not at all sold that these issues are show-stoppers, but they're what comes up in every discussion. The technology is ready.
   713. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:31 PM (#4317176)
In theory banning cars is all well and good, but you can't possibly do it given the current state of our transit infrastructure. If you banned cars in Boston, the very next day the MTA commuter rail would be completely overrun.
   714. flournoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4317197)
In theory banning cars is all well and good, but you can't possibly do it given the current state of our transit infrastructure.


I agree on the latter, not on the former. Even as a pure hypothetical, I don't see how banning cars is more realistic or desirable than banning couches or banning oatmeal or banning telephones. If you phased it in over a decade or two, it might be feasible in one city out of every ten thousand or so in the country, but I'm afraid I don't see what is to be gained here, unless causing extreme inconvenience is the goal.
   715. phredbird Posted: December 04, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4317199)
the shuttles that carry you to various terminals at san fran int'l airport are self-driven on a monorail. first time i used one of those made me nervous, but after a couple of visits i hardly noticed. i wonder if i'd feel the same if i had to ride something similar on city streets.
   716. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4317209)
Virtually every single city in America would benefit from banning cars from at least part of the city.
   717. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 04, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4317223)
While people are talking tax rates, are most people here in favor of lower corporate income tax rates?


This is from a few hours ago, but fundamentally the corporate income tax makes no sense and should be eliminated. I can't imagine it ever will be, though.
   718. bobm Posted: December 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4317225)
Many "new" cities in the western U.S., most notably including Los Angeles, undertook public works programs in the 1940s/50s to tear out miles of trolley line that had been laid in earlier decades. While there is lots of legitimate question about what all the real motivations were for that to happen


Hmm. It was auto manufacturer GM bought the trolley cos and ripped out the tracks. Wonder why?
   719. Steve Treder Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4317227)
Hmm. It was auto manufacturer GM bought the trolley cos and ripped out the tracks. Wonder why?

Yeah, that would be prominently within the legitimate question about the real motivations.
   720. Morty Causa Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:41 PM (#4317243)
From what I've read, the most difficult obstacles to getting them widely used aren't so much technological as legal, having to do with liabilities. If a self-driving car has an accident, who is at fault? The "driver"/occupant? The owner? The car manufacturer? The software provider? Lots and lots of questions to be worked out.


If you went to law school, that's easy to answer. The prof in civil procedure would also lay out the potential defendants, then ask: "Who do we sue? Sue everybody!"
   721. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4317245)
So I'm up to Carl getting shot in the Walking Dead comics and one of things I've been amazed by is how fast we've gotten to that point as compared to the TV show. Now granted the comic book was a monthly issue so it would actually take about a year to get where I have gotten but everything in the comic moves much faster. Rick meets Shane and something like one issue later Shane is cracking up and by the third issue after meeting Shane Carl is putting a bullet into Shane.

One thing that I think the comics did a better job of showing was how long the innocence lasted and how long the group stayed naive. From what I remember of the TV show this innocence was kind of wrapped into their quest to get to the CDC but didn't really show itself as manifestly as it did in the comics.

Finally it's really amusing to see how undark the comic was at the beginning. That isn't to say it was light and happy but as others have mentioned the beginning didn't feature unrelenting hardship and death page after page like the series does in later issues. Video games and card games have a name for it. I can't recall it but it is called something like power creep where the guns and cards have to get more and more powerful as each new edition roles out to get people to buy the stuff and I think that is what has happened to TWD comic. The story can't simply be about a survivor trying to survive anymore. It has to be about world domination. Rick has to be locked into a fight with some other mega power for a ton of marbles.
   722. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4317246)
This is from a few hours ago, but fundamentally the corporate income tax makes no sense and should be eliminated. I can't imagine it ever will be, though.
That's because corporations are people, my friend.
   723. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 04, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4317249)
658. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 04, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4316923)

Gold itself has a bubble that's just waiting to burst.

That must be why almost every country on earth outside of N.A. and the EU are massively increasing their gold holdings right now

please tell me you're not serious, if you are statement is JoeK grade* stupidity.

*proposed stupidity scale, from less stupid to more:


1: Garden Variety Stupidity
2: Willful Ignorance Stupidity
***
9: Joek Level Stupidity
10: Weapons Grade Stupidity


Johnny, who are you calling stupid here, me or the other guy? Russia, India, Brazil, China, South Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and many others are all building their gold reserves. China is adding two tons a week. But I guess since the US and the EU have such a stellar record on managing their economies over the last two decades, we should follow their lead. Gotcha.

link#1

link #2
   724. McCoy Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4317255)
Johnny, who are you calling stupid here, me or the other guy? Russia, India, Brazil, China, South Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and many others are all building their gold reserves. China is adding two tons a week. But I guess since the US and the EU have such a stellar record on managing their economies over the last two decades, we should follow their lead. Gotcha.

You do realize that is how bubbles work don't you? That isn't to say there is a bubble forming but pointing out that countries are buying tons of gold isn't really an argument against a bubble forming. It is more like evidence that a bubble is forming.

IMO gold will come down eventually. I don't know if it will collapse. I don't know enough about the mining and production to be able to say that tons of gold will be hitting the market while at the same time the market is softening. I do know that it was about 4 years ago when gold started climbing and made mining for gold in some expensive areas worthwhile and I would also assume that it would take several years to get those facilities up and running so I would expect that the gold supply is going to increase a good deal in the next few years, Now it is possible that demand will keep up with the supply of gold but if economies improve people are going to move away from gold and the prices will come down. But like I said I don't know if it will be a sudden collapse or a gradual one. In uncertain times in which the outlook is gloomy people buy gold as a hedge against uncertain times and currencies and because it isn't easy finding safe investments in other kinds of investments. In rosier times people sell their gold and invest in stocks and businesses as those investment in good times will appreciate faster than gold.

If gold collapses suddenly a lot of banks and countries are going to be in trouble financially but if I had to bet I'd say gold will start to decline gradually at some point in the next two years.
   725. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4317262)
(Did Rednecks/Southerner non-Rednecks get offended by Dukes of Hazzard? Honestly, no idea).

No.

Also, even if we do get "self-driving" cars, the Human Element will still have to be awake & alert enough to take over in an emergency / computer failure / whatever. I can't see police depts & legislatures giving up on that sweet, sweet MADD money all that easily.
   726. Langer Monk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:41 PM (#4317264)
So... how about that United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, eh? Awesome showing by the GOP there.
   727. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4317277)
So... how about that United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, eh? Awesome showing by the GOP there.


It was a pointless FU to the UN, but in reality - I think US law already covers the spirit, if not the reality, of the Convention already...

I'm not saying it was a good thing - just a sop to the NWO crowd - but it's way down on my list of things that the GOP has done which bother me.

If the GOP wants to expand its penchant for alienating groups of people, who am I to argue with them?

I do have to say - I would honestly like Sarah Palin's opinion on this... I mean, if she's seriously concerned about Obama death panels euthanizing her kid - well, the Convention was sort of speaking to that and more...
   728. zonk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4317280)
zonk

that pharma bill is a joke. c'mon.

it was a big fat check to folks who as a group don't need the cash

old folks as a group are loaded. make them pay

i know this. they are laughing at you young folks. lauuuuugggghhhhiiinnnngggg at you

s8ckers


Come on, you know that's far from universally true...

We're then getting into means testing - which I just find unworkable because it turns an entitlement into a welfare program, and welfare programs are much easier to cut, kill, or otherwise squeeze than entitlements.

In a perfect world, where concepts like public health insurance and social security/nationalized old age pensions aren't so ideologically controversial, I'd be OK with some manner of means testing... but we don't live in that world.
   729. Tilden Katz Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4317284)
So... how about that United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, eh? Awesome showing by the GOP there.


It's not as bad as the Convention of the Rights with the Child. The only other country that hasn't ratified that is Somalia.
   730. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4317285)
but these folks in congress are acting as they were told to act by their voters.

the downside of having voters play a role in the process
The downside of gerrymandering and of safe districts.

and for the record the entire party has not refused to govern. there is a subset that is now of the belief that you have to destroy the village to save it.

that is not hyperbole. they mean it.
I know a bunch of these guys, and their one distinguishing characteristic is their inability to marshal facts; they simply cannot think coherently. They have no idea how many people live in this country, they have no idea where the current tax rate is, historically. They're among the half of the GOP that believe ACORN, which doesn't exist, stole the election for Obama.When I point this out, they change the subject, and just continue with the next part of the rant.

I very much enjoy the show. My parents and sister find it hilarious because they instantly recognize/relate to the scenes where the guys play video games/board games (as my friends and I would have been good source material when we were teenagers).

The Sheldon Cooper character (and actor) is great, but the real boost to the show was adding the women to the group. The actress that plays Penny is VERY cute, but the other two women are simply funnier.
Agreed. The other two women gave the core five more to play against. The inflexibility of the core characters (rigid even by sitcom standards) meant the show was getting particularly repetitive (as of season 3? Dunno--I binge watch it from time to time and enjoy it, but am not exactly a fan).
   731. Tilden Katz Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4317287)
I do have to say - I would honestly like Sarah Palin's opinion on this... I mean, if she's seriously concerned about Obama death panels euthanizing her kid - well, the Convention was sort of speaking to that and more...


She'd toe the Santorum line---the UN would use this to euthanize the disabled. Not sure if she actually believes that, but she knows the only people left who pay her any any respect are the far-right people scared of losing their sovereignty.
   732. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4317305)
Then they can't be negotiated with.

Sure they can. Don't raise taxes, and freeze or (gasp!) cut spending. I missed the part wherein those simple things became so "radical."

I don't know how it coincides with the views of the people (royal) you insist on ostrasizing, but it's comical to suggest that the option of reducing government spending shouldn't be on the table in talks about reducing the deficit.

WTF? You have all the information you need to grasp that not raising taxes will severely damage the country sooner rather than later. The only issue for remotely responsible people is 'by how much do we raise them'? Not raising taxes in the US in 2012 is an extremely radical position (assuming one knows the facts and isn't taking the position out of plum dog ignorance). "Simple things became so 'radical' " after a decade of complete fiscal irresponsibility made them so.

So giving into Republican demands for spending cuts is exactly the wrong thing to do if one is concerned about the deficit.

So is raising taxes, then -- beside the fact that even letting the Bush cuts expire won't put much of a dent in the deficit. The cry for higher taxes has more to do with envy and "fairness" than actually accomplishing anything.
Sorry. Didn't realize you were trolling. Never mind.

i have no issue with supporting the sciences. research. even public radio and the arts. to me these are things a government should do as they further acquisition of knowledge

...

i am a big believer in the space program. me and newt baby. i think the country is abdicating its role as a technological leader by not working in matters concerning our universe more vigorously
Ah, you big government types... :)

yes, the tea party morphed as others seized upon it for their own purposes. but at it's beginning it was all about cutting spending.
Serious questions--Were they ever specific? I realize even at the start they weren't a monolith, but were serious proposals with dollar figures ever floated?

you can claim the group is senator kerry in that they were against it before they were for it
Hey. Mock Kerry for the thousand things he deserves to be mocked for, but when you change a bill, it's reasonable to vote one way and then another if you agree with the changes.
   733. Langer Monk Posted: December 04, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4317307)
Opponents, led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah., argued that the international standards could erode U.S. sovereignty and should not be addressed during a lame duck session of Congress. Lee charged that the treaty would threaten the rights of parents in the United States to “determine the best education, treatment and care for their disabled children.”
“I simply cannot support a treaty that threatens the right of parents to raise their children with the constant looming threat of state interference,” Lee said.
Proponents of the treaty dismissed those concerns — and others like from former Sen. Rick Santorum, who said that language in the treaty guaranteeing the disabled equal rights to reproductive health care could lead to abortions — as “myth.”


If the GOP wants to expand its penchant for alienating groups of people, who am I to argue with them?


Hey, I'm on board.
   734. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4317312)
515. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: December 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4316639)

News Flash: Not only do I already think of myself primarily as American, I don't think of myself as anything else. It's not the ethnic minority groups — especially those past the 1st generation born within American borders —who don't accept themselves as Americans, it's the previously established population here who don't accept them as Americans, and it's been thus since the 18th century.

Really? Only days ago, you admitted that you have voted — and will continue voting in the future — for political candidates strictly on the basis of their Asian ancestry (or lack thereof).

***
I do have to say - I would honestly like Sarah Palin's opinion on this... I mean, if she's seriously concerned about Obama death panels euthanizing her kid - well, the Convention was sort of speaking to that and more...

You realize the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, like a lot of U.N. efforts, is essentially non-binding on the signatories, right? ("Democrats and advocates for those with disabilities argued that recommendations from a panel created by the treaty would be advisory only, not binding, and that the treaty did not create any new legal rights in state or federal courts.")

Treaties like this are little more than an excuse for fat-cat bureaucrats to fly around first-class on a tour of the world's Four Seasons and Ritz-Carltons at other people's expense.

***
FWIW, in the last off-topic thread, I got roughed up a bit for suggesting that Clinton is one of the best three presidents in the last fifty years; a lot of that was precisely because he pursued the appropriate Keynesian program of eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt.

It's amazing how many liberals make claims like the above with a straight face. Clinton didn't "pursue the appropriate Keynesian program of eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt," he had it jammed down his throat after the Gingrich Revolution of '94.

The number of liberal politicians who have "pursued the appropriate Keynesian program of eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt" in the past 50 years is approximately zero. (To be sure, the Republican record isn't much better, but the lefty revisionist history with regard to Clinton and the '90s is really shameless.)
   735. Tilden Katz Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4317317)
The Americans With Disabilities Act passed the Senate 91-6 and the House 377-28 in 1989 and was championed by HW Bush. What are the odds it could even get through the House today?
   736. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4317321)
The Americans With Disabilities Act passed the Senate 91-6 and the House 377-28 in 1989 and was championed by HW Bush. What are the odds it could even get through the House today?

The primary purpose of that legislation was to reduce unemployment among the disabled, but it had the opposite effect due to the fear of lawsuits.
   737. Tilden Katz Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4317323)
The primary purpose of that legislation was to reduce unemployment among the disabled


And, you know, make sure the guy in the wheelchair can ride the bus and visit the public library.

but it had the opposite effect due to the fear of lawsuits.


Prove it.
   738. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 05, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4317330)
   739. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:00 AM (#4317348)
The primary purpose of that legislation was to reduce unemployment among the disabled

I'm not sure you can just interchange reducing discrimination and reducing unemployment as thesaurus-type goals. Well, you can, but it just seems rather wrong. You know me and the words.


You'll forgive me if I won't bother with Cato. I just washed my laptop recently.

As far as the other one, have any highlights?
   740. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:10 AM (#4317350)

We're then getting into means testing - which I just find unworkable because it turns an entitlement into a welfare program, and welfare programs are much easier to cut, kill, or otherwise squeeze than entitlements.

In a perfect world, where concepts like public health insurance and social security/nationalized old age pensions aren't so ideologically controversial, I'd be OK with some manner of means testing... but we don't live in that world.


And you wonder why I don't think progressives are serious about actually making hard decisions about money? Now we can't save billions and make government work better, because you're worried about the actions of future democratically-elected government? So essentially, you consider entitlements to be a tax on people who might elect politicians that disagree with you in future years?

   741. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4317352)
And you wonder why I don't think progressives are serious about actually making hard decisions about money?

My GF's parents are original Progressives from the 50s and 60s. They are thriftier than anyone I know and have spent decades making the most boring, grinding, low-yield investments conceived of by humanity. As a result they are set up fine on one mid-level art teacher salary.

This of course proves nothing, sample size, obviously; but it still makes me grin to hear 'progressives' thrown around like a dirty accusation of hypocrisy.

EDIT: This is more of a general interest point about the use of the word 'progressive' than a knock on Dan, FYI.
   742. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4317353)
This of course proves nothing, sample size, obviously; but it still makes me grin to hear 'progressives' thrown around like a dirty accusation of hypocrisy.

Did he not just admit that he thinks we should spend billions just so that people in the future can't change a law he likes? That's kind of the opposite of thrift.
   743. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 01:47 AM (#4317359)
Note to a certain person in this thread: if you want to keep separate political and non-political handles, it's not really a good idea to use the same abbreviations, the same word usage, and references that connect both handles to the same birth year. Sorry, I love solving mysteries.

Not Jack Carter - we already have him figured out as something other.
   744. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 02:41 AM (#4317365)
something other than what? I'm always happy to admit to family resemblances, but is that such a terrible thing, here?

I completely agree about the mortgage deduction. I think it's silly that the government incentivizes people to buy homes when that is not the best option for everyone.
Sure, but let's increase the possibilities while figuring that if we don't help the mortgage industry create especially fraudulent bubbles, people who shouldn't own homes usually won't.

Don't we want to help people on the margins who, without help, couldn't build the remarkable equity home ownership allows? And to therewith have a larger stake in society? It's called an ownership stake for good reason. We also know the enormous difference passing on a debt-free home to ones children can make in their lives and their opportunities. I don't think this is an issue we should simply trust to the 'free' market to sort out.

Any system in which money is created out of thin air is going to end in failure, and can only create bubbles that must be followed by busts.

The value of gold, of course, is produced through the natural and self-evident process of look! shiny~!

Value is always a function of the shared and overlapping practices of humans. If you're going to have money, its value will not derive from a "natural" process.
This bemused me as well. After all, you cannot eat gold, nor can you live in it (well, Midas, maybe). It has some intrinsic value, but that's a very small fraction of the value we give it by... wait for it... fiat.

folks need to think in terms of how something can work versus how something cannot work
Probably better off thinking in terms of both, all things considered (pun intended).

any tax deduction is accounted for in the market and thereby corrupts the market from where the true set points would be for buy and sell
I will be delighted to learn of everything that goes into creating 'true set points'.

Oh, I'm not getting roped into this little game again, [of having an honest exchange of "specifics", because I'm tired of getting my ass kicked***]



***Well, that's what I'd add if I weren't being nice. :)
   745. BrianBrianson Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:00 AM (#4317366)
It's amazing how many liberals make claims like the above with a straight face. Clinton didn't "pursue the appropriate Keynesian program of eliminating the deficit and paying down the debt," he had it jammed down his throat after the Gingrich Revolution of '94.


When you make up facts whole cloth, don't expect everyone to believe them; we don't all watch FOXNEWS and otherwise spend our time in a dark closet with out fingers in our ears. At the same time Clinton was acting this way in America, on the other side of 49 the Liberals were doing the same thing (with the power of majority parliamentary governments - them and them alone), labour was doing it in Britain; You look at his ideological mates, and they were up to the same business, with nobody else pushing them anywhere; balanced budgets, spending during busts, paying off during booms - it was the liberal philosophy of the day (which, of course, was abandoned as soon as Bush took power - the "Don't tax but spend anyways" approach. Similar happened in Canada too (funny, that).

Baseball Think Factory is simply not the place to lie about the historical record; the crowd is far too educated to fall for it.
   746. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:22 AM (#4317367)
When you make up facts whole cloth, don't expect everyone to believe them; we don't all watch FOXNEWS and otherwise spend our time in a dark closet with out fingers in our ears. At the same time Clinton was acting this way in America, on the other side of 49 the Liberals were doing the same thing (with the power of majority parliamentary governments - them and them alone), labour was doing it in Britain; You look at his ideological mates, and they were up to the same business, with nobody else pushing them anywhere; balanced budgets, spending during busts, paying off during booms - it was the liberal philosophy of the day (which, of course, was abandoned as soon as Bush took power - the "Don't tax but spend anyways" approach. Similar happened in Canada too (funny, that).

Baseball Think Factory is simply not the place to lie about the historical record; the crowd is far too educated to fall for it.

Utterly ludicrous.

If Clinton and the Democrats were doing all of the above on their own initiative, the GOP's "Contract with America" would have gotten little traction in 1994, and the GOP wouldn't have captured the House for the first time since 1954.

As Dan mentioned in #634, Democrats were so appalled by the notion of balanced budgets and welfare reform — the latter of which Clinton promised in 1992 but subsequently vetoed twice — that they screamed and hollered that people would be dying in America's streets if they were enacted. Clinton did what he did after the 1994 election out of self-preservation, not because his fellow Dems were clamoring for strict adherence to Keynesian principles. Anyone who claims otherwise is "[lying] about the historical record."
   747. SteveF Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:33 AM (#4317368)
Most of the Clinton budget surpluses were the result of Social Security payroll taxes taking more money in than it was paying out. Clinton didn't really have a surplus jammed down his throat insofar as there was little surplus to speak of...and certainly not enough of a surplus to fund future Keynesian style stimulus packages.

Beyond that, you have the fact that GDP growth during the Clinton years (and the subsequent increases in revenue) were the result of large accumulations of private debt which contributed to the financial trouble in 2008.

   748. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:36 AM (#4317369)
In theory banning cars is all well and good, but you can't possibly do it given the current state of our transit infrastructure.

Banning cars can absolutely destroy downtowns as destinations. Buffalo tried a car free Main St (and a few adjacent streets) and it just killed the bars and restaurants there, along with any night life. They even had an excellent subway system running right by Main St, and people just wouldn't use it as part of an evening out. Crime increased, too. Car traffic puts a lot of eyes on the street, in the Jane Jacobs sense of the term.

This is from a few hours ago, but fundamentally the corporate income tax makes no sense and should be eliminated. I can't imagine it ever will be, though.

That's because corporations are people, my friend.
Good God, but I'd love to have seen that sanctimonious cocks*cker answer the question, "So, should they be taxed at the same rate as people, then?"

I guess I've spent most of my time before this in cities that either had an extensive train/subway system, or next to zero public transit of any kind. The bus-dominated city is an interesting concept to me...


The pollution compared to other forms of mass transit is awful. Don't know if you know, but I think it was GE that had ripped up the electric trolley lines and essentially forced LA to go with a bus system. It hasn't worked that well.

One thing that I think the comics did a better job of showing was how long the innocence lasted and how long the group stayed naive. From what I remember of the TV show this innocence was kind of wrapped into their quest to get to the CDC but didn't really show itself as manifestly as it did in the comics.


Depending on what you mean by innocence, the group lost any sense it was going to survive the ZA intact after the 4th episode of the 1st season, when the group at the quarry was decimated by walkers, who showed up right in the middle of a lovely evening 'round a campfire and savaged our gang. That was when the menace from the outside became unmistakably clear.

That the group could be torn apart from the inside only became an issue when Shane started to openly dispute and disparage Rick's leadership as of episode 4 in the 2nd season, partly in response to his guilt over killing Otis, partly because he's deranged upon learning of Lori's pregnancy (which ends any chance he's going to go off on his own), partly because he feels Rick's making a huge mistake by giving in to Hershel's insistence they not carry guns on the farm, and partly because Shane feels that the search for Sophia is mistakenly dividing the group's attention. It's around the 9th episode of season 2 that Daryl asserts, correctly, "the group's broken".


edit: beverage to bobm
   749. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:48 AM (#4317370)
Most of the Clinton budget surpluses were the result of Social Security payroll taxes taking more money in than it was paying out. Clinton didn't really have a surplus jammed down his throat insofar as there was little surplus to speak of...and certainly not enough of a surplus to fund future Keynesian style stimulus packages.

I didn't say Clinton had surpluses jammed down his throat. The point was simply that the agenda being credited to Clinton in 1995–96 was, in reality, the resurgent GOP's "Contract with America" agenda and not a Clinton/Dem agenda. The Dems of 1993–94 had little or no interest in welfare reform, spending cuts, etc. Hell, Clinton himself was pushing Hillarycare as late as August 1994, which contributed in no small part to the demise of the Dems' House majority three months later.
   750. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 05, 2012 at 04:54 AM (#4317371)
Baseball Think Factory is simply not the place to lie about the historical record; the crowd is far too educated to fall for it.
Following a Joe post, I just go with the odds.
   751. BrianBrianson Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:22 AM (#4317373)
I didn't say Clinton had surpluses jammed down his throat. The point was simply that the agenda being credited to Clinton in 1995–96 was, in reality, the resurgent GOP's "Contract with America" agenda and not a Clinton/Dem agenda. The Dems of 1993–94 had little or no interest in welfare reform, spending cuts, etc. Hell, Clinton himself was pushing Hillarycare as late as August 1994, which contributed in no small part to the demise of the Dems' House majority three months later.


I'm familiar with your "If it was good, it must have been Republicans, if it was bad, it must have been Democrats" axiom, and it's rubbish. If it was really the GOP's position, and not the Democrats, it wouldn't have gone out the window as soon as Republicans had control of the white house, too. That not every Democrat was in favour is hardly a surprise, they're not exactly the party of party discipline.

Similarly, while deregulation under Clinton contributed to the crash of 2008, it was mostly the "Republicans have control, so it's time to reduce taxes and increase spending/payouts to the wealthy" problem. Voodoo economics is worse than regular voodoo!*

*The former is actively worse than doing nothing, while the latter is actually pretty benign.
   752. Joe Kehoskie Posted: December 05, 2012 at 05:34 AM (#4317376)
I'm familiar with your "If it was good, it must have been Republicans, if it was bad, it must have been Democrats" axiom, and it's rubbish.

Yeah, you're right, it was just a big coincidence that Clinton abandoned universal healthcare, signed welfare reform (after vetoing it twice), signed balanced budgets, etc., after the GOP took over the House in the 1994 elections. There's no chance Clinton, the master of self-preservation, took stock of the political winds and did what he had to do to reposition himself for reelection in 1996, despite howls of protest from within his own party.

(In your world, I suppose Clinton allowed the government to shut down twice in 1995 and '96 because Republicans weren't cutting enough.)

Similarly, while deregulation under Clinton contributed to the crash of 2008, it was mostly the "Republicans have control, so it's time to reduce taxes and increase spending/payouts to the wealthy" problem. Voodoo economics is worse than regular voodoo!*

LOL. "If it was good, it must have been Republicans; if it was bad, it must have been Democrats" is "rubbish," but "If it was good, it must have been Democrats; if it was bad, it must have been Republicans" is mostly accurate. Good stuff.
   753. BrianBrianson Posted: December 05, 2012 at 06:25 AM (#4317378)
I laid part of blame on Clinton, I somehow doubt you could say a bad thing about a Republican if the alternative was slamming your dick in a sliding glass door. The difference between being a conservative (like me), or a Republican (like you). In the former, I can acknowledge that the economic policy of Reagan is a complete disaster (which is why the last good Republican president is Nixon. Ford was okay; but good is probably too strong), and you can't.

That countries that have universal healthcare spend less per capita on it than America does is strongly indicative that it might make good economic sense to leverage the buying power of a single payer. That he couldn't get that done is perhaps a fault against him, but it's a fault against every president, so it hardly matters. What's more interesting is comparing what a president did (or didn't do) against a replacement level president (presumably this is Ford, since he is closest to the "Some guy you can find lying around" model, though I could believe it's Carter or Bush I).

When Republicans took control of the white house, the "pay down the debt, don't run a deficit during a boom" left the day Clinton did; it's daft and counterfactual to argue it must've been the Republicans doing it.
   754. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 08:39 AM (#4317402)
Note to a certain person in this thread: if you want to keep separate political and non-political handles, it's not really a good idea to use the same abbreviations, the same word usage, and references that connect both handles to the same birth year. Sorry, I love solving mysteries.


. . . The irony here is kind of thick.
   755. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:00 AM (#4317406)
This bemused me as well. After all, you cannot eat gold, nor can you live in it (well, Midas, maybe). It has some intrinsic value, but that's a very small fraction of the value we give it by... wait for it... fiat.


Look, I know you guys don't like the fact that the vast majority of humanity is not coldly rational like yourselves, but that doesn't mean you can just wave it off. The value that humanity places on gold may not stand up to a material cost/benefit analysis, but its not going to change, and it remains a function of supply and demand. Brass is just as shiny as gold - how come we don't have vaults full of brass, if shininess is what we value so? You cannot just go get some more gold - like any other element with a high atomic number, it is relatively scarce across the entire universe. This is physics, not economics. On the other hand, you can easily have QE to infinity made up of ones and zeroes with an inherent value of absolutely nil. Paper money only has value as long as it is backed by a stable central bank, which is why hyperinflation has occurred in many economies in the past that were once thought to be impervious to it.

As for the future value of gold (and silver, and other precious metals). All emerging economies, comprising a majority of the world's population, are betting that we are not in a bubble, otherwise they wouldn't be building their reserves. Like I said earlier, if you think the fiscal record of the EU and the US is a better indicator of competence than China's, Russia's or Brazil's over the last 20 years, be my guest and deride the gold bugs. I don't understand how anyone with a functioning brain could believe the EU and the US have a ####### clue what they're doing, but everyone has a right to their opinion.
   756. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4317407)
You realize the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, like a lot of U.N. efforts, is essentially non-binding on the signatories, right?


So does this mean you are for it or against it? And no claiming it is "a politicians excuse to fly around and ..." is not a real reason to be for or against anything. You realize that it is internationally embarassing when the US and a collection of dictatorships and third world crap holes are the only ones who don't agree to this stuff.

From what I read it is the home school hard right kooks (I am not saying everyone who home schools is a kook, most of them are though and their lobby certainly is) that allegedly derailed the treaty.
   757. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4317417)
All emerging economies, comprising a majority of the world's population, are betting that we are not in a bubble


This is no evidence at all that there isn't a bubble, by the way. Part of the definition of a bubble is that most people don't know it's happening.
   758. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4317427)
I am still confused as to why some countries hoarding gold means we should go to the gold standard. One has zero to do with the other.
   759. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:42 AM (#4317428)
Look, I know you guys don't like the fact that the vast majority of humanity is not coldly rational like yourselves, but that doesn't mean you can just wave it off. The value that humanity places on gold may not stand up to a material cost/benefit analysis, but its not going to change, and it remains a function of supply and demand. Brass is just as shiny as gold - how come we don't have vaults full of brass, if shininess is what we value so?


You've just about got it, but are missing the last step. Yes, there are things that are shiny, like gold, that are not as valuable as gold, so the value of gold cannot lie in its shininess. There are also things as scarce as gold, but don't have the value of gold, so it can't be scarcity that gives it its value. The value of gold, historically, has been its compactness and liquidity -- you can exchange it for other things. Liquidity is very important. An original Van Gogh may be worth more than its weight in gold, but it's a very illiquid investment. That's in part because you can't cut it into pieces and have it retain its value.

So supply and demand does play a role, but not the only or even the predominant role, in determining the value of gold. Indeed, like any commodity, the price of gold is pretty volatile and rises and falls due to speculation as much or more as any rise or fall in the supply.
   760. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4317431)
All emerging economies, comprising a majority of the world's population, are betting that we are not in a bubble, otherwise they wouldn't be building their reserves.

I'll just say coke to Voxter though technically he's saying what I already said and Rants has conveniently ignored to rail on about gold.
   761. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4317432)
An original Van Gogh may be worth more than its weight in gold, but it's a very illiquid investment. That's in part because you can't cut it into pieces and have it retain its value.

- spit-take while holding scissors amidst piles of 2" x 2" colored fabric -

Oh crap.
   762. BDC Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4317436)
I dunno, Lassus, sell the scraps to Topps and have them embed them in special cards.
   763. formerly dp Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4317439)
Note to a certain person in this thread: if you want to keep separate political and non-political handles, it's not really a good idea to use the same abbreviations, the same word usage, and references that connect both handles to the same birth year. Sorry, I love solving mysteries.

. . . The irony here is kind of thick.
Ironic and shameless. It's a nice combo.
   764. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:56 AM (#4317441)
So the circular firing squad reloads over Boehner and committee assignments that seemed aimed at diminishing the right flank of the GOP.

My favorite quote:

Kibbe said Boehner’s proposal doesn’t reduce enough spending.

“I think [Boehner] is negotiating with himself,” Kibbe said. “I wish Republicans would lay out a more substantial vision.”

   765. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4317443)
Ironic and shameless. It's a nice combo.


I don't get people's twitch regarding posters who change handles (It is the internet, who cares?) but why is what Dan said shameless and ironic? He has two handles, but is very upfront about why and that both are one person. I might be missing somethign though.
   766. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4317448)
Someone mentioned the show Jericho the other day so I downloaded the series the other day and watched the first 5 episodes so far. Don't ruin it for me. Pretty good show for a network drama but I also think this show highlights the differences between a 22 show drama on the networks and a 12 to 14 show drama on cable. Network shows still have a very strong element of the self-contained problem solving story element in every show and generally focus on a "hero". The only change is that since the creation of Sopranos the networks now have included and beefed up season long and show wide story arcs. X-Files on steroids so to speak. What I like about Jericho is the very same thing I like about zombie stories and that is the concept of it all. The characters in Jericho are your basic cardboard network characters but so far I've been intrigued by the story as a whole. Though the Hawkins is some kind of mystery character that is involved in the whole thing doesn't make me happy and kind of reminds me of Jeremiah in that instead of having a story about a community living after the fall of a country we have forced drama us and them. The teen boy in love with snobby shallow teen girl is weak filler as well. But anyway getting back to my main point, virtually every show so far features the main character, played by Skeet, solving a self contained problem that only exists in that one episode. The solving of that problem doesn't really further the main story arc along or create depth in characters. It's simply adventure for the sake of filling up 41 minutes of time. Whereas in shows like Mad Men and Sopranos the writers didn't really focus on some problem that had to be solved in that one episode and instead focus building stories revealed characters and built to resolutions, one way or the another, of season long and storywide problems.
   767. BDC Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4317449)
Banning cars can absolutely destroy downtowns as destinations. Buffalo tried a car free Main St (and a few adjacent streets) and it just killed the bars and restaurants there, along with any night life

That's a peculiarly American phenomenon. Many European cities of various sizes have pedestrianized central districts that thrive. It's probably a matter of concentration. The towns I've been to in Germany and Denmark, for instance, that have more-or-less pedestrianized centers also have tons and tons of businesses there, as well as council offices and attractions (churches, markets, galleries, etc.) If you've got a district that is basically just bars and restaurants for evening business, and people are walking from an outlying lot to the one or two places where they're fixing to get food or drink, it does become a lonely and unpleasant proposition. Pedestrian zones work best when they're active 16 or more hours out of the day, or alternatively as mostly-daytime venues.
   768. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:04 AM (#4317450)
I don't get people's twitch regarding posters who change handles (It is the internet, who cares?) but why is what Dan said shameless and ironic? He has two handles, but is very upfront about why and that both are one person. I might be missing somethign though.

So who is Dan talking about anyway? Which person is doubling as someone else and how many people are doing it?
   769. formerly dp Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4317458)
McCoy-- when you're done with the show, which got cancelled before the plot ran its course, you should check out the comic. There's a good amount of bad acting in the series, but I really enjoyed it.

TWD TV show and comic are following some fairly divergent paths-- I don't think of Carl getting shot as a parallel event, for example. I think Kirkman has pretty much said as much. Part of the fun of the show, for me, is seeing how he changes the story and plays with the expectation of readers in the act of translating from page to screen. I was a late-comer to the comic, but my wife had read it, and she freaked when they showed the prison teaser at the end of last season, because she knew how everything went to hell there.

Is anyone excited about the possibility of Powers making it to FX?
   770. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4317459)
So how about some worldwide corruption talk. For those inclined to blame the problems of Greece and Italy on their too generous safety net I would suggest corruption has more to do with it (especially in greece's case).

Oh and regarding cars and downtown, a few years back a major Minneapolis street (Nicollet) was made car free (but not bus free) and it doesn't seem to have hurt things long term. Of course Minneapolis has the worlds largest skyway system so who knows it may be an outlier.
   771. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4317463)
So who is Dan talking about anyway?


I think it is "something other" and "Jack carter" but I honestly am not sure (and don't care that much either way honestly). I was just curious about the counter claims, because Dan is many things but hypocrit is not something I would tag him with - he generally says what he feels when he feels it from what I can tell.
   772. zonk Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4317464)
We're then getting into means testing - which I just find unworkable because it turns an entitlement into a welfare program, and welfare programs are much easier to cut, kill, or otherwise squeeze than entitlements.

In a perfect world, where concepts like public health insurance and social security/nationalized old age pensions aren't so ideologically controversial, I'd be OK with some manner of means testing... but we don't live in that world.

And you wonder why I don't think progressives are serious about actually making hard decisions about money? Now we can't save billions and make government work better, because you're worried about the actions of future democratically-elected government? So essentially, you consider entitlements to be a tax on people who might elect politicians that disagree with you in future years?


I applaud the attempt by the esteemed representative from Libertania to pretend he's above the ideological rigidity that afflicts us lesser mortals - a show quite well done... from gilding the lily with the clever "hard decisions about money" sleight of rhetoric to the "make government work better" pablum.

Good show... a quite effective way of pretending this isn't rooted in a fundamental disagreement with the existence of entitlements.

Now, if the good sir is ready to dispense with the charade - and we can just agree to disagree on the very existence of these duly passed and still majority-supported programs - perhaps we can talk about those 'hard decisions about money' and focus on non-ideologically charged ways to "make government work better".

To wit -

There are plenty of ways to cut Medicare spending that don't involve radical changes to the very foundation of the program... I've suggested several - from large-scale, radical movement away from a PPS-based system to real, non-radical changes like eliminating the 8-9 billion annual whole subsidization of residency programs.

Social Security, given its funding mechanisms and the basic health of the program - shouldn't really matter in the fiscal cliff debate, but if you want a bone here -- fine, I'd accept the changeover to the chained CPI in regards to benefits calculation.

Since the deficit and national debt are fundamentally discretionary spending issues - I'll give you 1 to 1.5 trillion in savings... slice 20% from the Defense budget, which, given the current DoD budget would easily pass one trillion in savings over 10 years.

Now then, presumably, since you've entered this discussion in good faith -- and this is about "hard decisions about money" and "making government work better" -- I assume that you would be willing to present your proposals regarding those "hard decisions about money" and "making government work better" that require the other side of the equation... namely, revenue.

Would you care to present those proposals that at least meet my spending cuts part of the way with some increases in revenue?
   773. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4317465)
TWD TV show and comic are following some fairly divergent paths-- I don't think of Carl getting shot as a parallel event, for example. I think Kirkman has pretty much said as much. Part of the fun of the show, for me, is seeing how he changes the story and plays with the expectation of readers in the act of translating from page to screen. I was a late-comer to the comic, but my wife had read it, and she freaked when they showed the prison teaser at the end of last season, because she knew how everything went to hell there.

I don't know if Darabont is a terrible or good showrunner but I do question some of his choices for the first season and I wonder how much of the first half of the second season is because of him. The second half of the second season and so far all of the third season have been much much better than the first part of the show.

I think keeping Shane around longer was a good thing, don't know if killing off Dale sooner was a good thing but I understand the symbolic reasons for it, thought the CDC plotline was dumb, Darryl has turned out to be a great character but the addition of Merle is just TV adding something to add something, and T-Dawg was a pointless addition. I'm trying to keep the criticism to just the first season since I don't really know how much of Frank's vision was kept for the second season. Might just watch the first season over again to refresh myself on that storyline.
   774. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4317467)
Oh and regarding cars and downtown, a few years back a major Minneapolis street (Nicollet) was made car free (but not bus free) and it doesn't seem to have hurt things long term. Of course Minneapolis has the worlds largest skyway system so who knows it may be an outlier.

I think a carless downtown is a change that will take time to work and there will be a transition. I mean carless areas work perfectly well in many European cities. For instance Rome with its piazzas and such have tons of areas that you cannot get to by car. They aren't totally carless in that all areas have auto arteries but they have a society that is used to walking a couple of blocks here or there to get things and to socialize.

   775. zonk Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4317468)
As for the future value of gold (and silver, and other precious metals). All emerging economies, comprising a majority of the world's population, are betting that we are not in a bubble, otherwise they wouldn't be building their reserves. Like I said earlier, if you think the fiscal record of the EU and the US is a better indicator of competence than China's, Russia's or Brazil's over the last 20 years, be my guest and deride the gold bugs. I don't understand how anyone with a functioning brain could believe the EU and the US have a ####### clue what they're doing, but everyone has a right to their opinion.


Unless I'm mistaken, haven't both Brazil and Russia defaulted on their debt in the last 20 years? Or are we talking other kinds of "fiscal records"?
   776. zonk Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4317470)
Just thought I'd post this from Politico --
From USA Today, Nov. 26, 2012:

Three Kentucky counties — Owsley, McCreary and Wolfe — are the only places that rely on government programs such as Social Security, food stamps and Medicaid for more than half of income.

The results of the 2012 presidential elections by county, per AP:

Owsley: Mitt Romney 83%; Barack Obama 17.9%

McCreary: Mitt Romney 80.0%; Barack Obama 18.7%

Wolfe: Mitt Romney 60.3%; Barack Obama 38.1%

   777. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4317476)
On the topic of gold I've read that China is basically the big bull in the room driving up demand as they mine and keep their own gold and buy and keep foreign gold as well. When China pulling gold out of the world's supply is factored in it reveals that the supply of gold worldwide is really really low. China's demand for gold is propping up gold.
   778. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4317480)
758. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4317427)
I am still confused as to why some countries hoarding gold means we should go to the gold standard. One has zero to do with the other.


Its not like I'm making this stuff up guys.

China is … increasing its monetary gold reserves at an alarming rate. Five years ago China surpassed the US in gold production and five years from now it will own more gold than the US Federal government.
China is preparing for a world beyond the inconvertible paper dollar, a world in which the renminbi, buttressed by gold, becomes the dominant reserve currency.
The Chinese government has recently removed all restrictions on personal ownership of gold; legalized domestic gold exchange traded funds; is currently purchasing 100% of domestic gold mine production; has imported over 750 tons of gold (27% of global output) in the last 12 months; stated publicly its intention to add 1,000 tons per year to its central bank gold reserves; and is buying major stakes in foreign gold mining companies. The scale of this initiative is extraordinary.


Link - unless Forbes is too conspiracy minded for you

As for Brazil and Russia, they defaulted, yes. If you think the US and EU is going to get out of their current crises without a default or a full on depression, you're dreaming. You can only kick the can down the road for so long.
   779. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4317485)
I agree with the above criticisms of Jericho. It was a good but not great show. I would love to see what some talented writers and directors could do with that concept on AMC or HBO.

But overall it's a fun show. I thought its politics (more apparent in season 2) were especially interesting for a network drama. It's an unusual mix of left wing and right wing ideas.
   780. zonk Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4317487)

Its not like I'm making this stuff up guys.

China is … increasing its monetary gold reserves at an alarming rate. Five years ago China surpassed the US in gold production and five years from now it will own more gold than the US Federal government.
China is preparing for a world beyond the inconvertible paper dollar, a world in which the renminbi, buttressed by gold, becomes the dominant reserve currency.
The Chinese government has recently removed all restrictions on personal ownership of gold; legalized domestic gold exchange traded funds; is currently purchasing 100% of domestic gold mine production; has imported over 750 tons of gold (27% of global output) in the last 12 months; stated publicly its intention to add 1,000 tons per year to its central bank gold reserves; and is buying major stakes in foreign gold mining companies. The scale of this initiative is extraordinary.



Link - unless Forbes is too conspiracy minded for you

As for Brazil and Russia, they defaulted, yes. If you think the US and EU is going to get out of their current crises without a default or a full on depression, you're dreaming. You can only kick the can down the road for so long.


In other words -- the fiscal record of two nations that have defaulted over the last 20 years trumps a nation and a currency union that haven't? And you don't see the problem with your statement based on that fact?

As for China, I wish them best of luck pushing the world towards a reserve currency that's artificially controlled by the state issuing it (even backed by gold) and won't play nice in the international market.
   781. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4317488)
For sheer scenery-chewing glam-rock TV insanity, American Horror Story is pretty fun.
   782. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4317491)
I am still confused as to why some countries hoarding gold means we should go to the gold standard.


I'm still confused as to how some people hoarding gold is evidence that there is NOT a bubble...

   783. formerly dp Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4317496)
For sheer scenery-chewing glam-rock TV insanity, American Horror Story is pretty fun.
Seconded. I liked last season more than the current one, but the decision to recycle the actors in different plotlines/times works better than I thought it would.
   784. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4317497)
China is a country that for hundreds of years now, if not thousands of years, has loved to hoard gold. China hoarding gold is why we had the Opium Wars and why China was carved up at the end of the 19th century.
   785. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4317502)
Its not like I'm making this stuff up guys.


Wait a minute I really think I am not understanding you because you seem to be saying ...

1) The US (and the world) should move to the Gold Standard -and-
2) China is preparing for the Gold Standard and is buying up huge amounts of gold

And using #2 to prop up #1? Really?

So our (arguably) #1 world rival going into the 21st century is moving in a direction and preparing for it and that is a reason we should move in that direction? They want it so we should do it? They want it and so it is credible? I am really not following the logic here.

Who cares if China is buying gold? Have a good time guys. Having gold scattered across the globe or concentrated in a few countries is either irrelevent or is an argument against the Gold Standard (since among other things we have seen in Europe what a terrible idea it is for a country to lose control of its currency - say hi Greece, Italy and Spain! AND it shows that a cartel of countries could dominate money under the gold standard which is obviously bad).

Unless you are suggesting that China hoarding gold will force the rest of the world to convert to the gold standard or something. Maybe you think China will unilaterally go to the Gold Standard? Oh no!

No I really am not understanding the inference I guess.
   786. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4317505)
China is … increasing its monetary gold reserves at an alarming rate. Five years ago China surpassed the US in gold production and five years from now it will own more gold than the US Federal government.
China is preparing for a world beyond the inconvertible paper dollar, a world in which the renminbi, buttressed by gold, becomes the dominant reserve currency.
The Chinese government has recently removed all restrictions on personal ownership of gold; legalized domestic gold exchange traded funds; is currently purchasing 100% of domestic gold mine production; has imported over 750 tons of gold (27% of global output) in the last 12 months; stated publicly its intention to add 1,000 tons per year to its central bank gold reserves; and is buying major stakes in foreign gold mining companies. The scale of this initiative is extraordinary.


That is this guy's opinion, not a fact. In fact, it's not like Forbes is reporting this, it's a quote from this website.
   787. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4317509)
To be clear I don't want China (or anyone) to convert to the Gold Standard because it would be terrible for the world economy. I would rather a smaller slice of a larger world pie and want the whole world to do well economicially at the expense of US world economic hegemony.

The only upside to China going to the Gold Standard would be the relative loss they would suffer vis-a-vis the US and Europe thus helping maintain Western Democracies relative economic power, but I don't think that is worth it at the cost of the rising tide lifting everyone's boats.

EDIT: Some minor edits, nothing to see here, move along.
   788. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4317510)
Oh, christ, we have a LaRouchie in our midst. There goes the neighborhood.
   789. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4317511)
Darryl has turned out to be a great character but the addition of Merle is just TV adding something to add something


The actor who plays Merle (Michael Rooker) is really good.

He plays crazy/sociopathic great (most actors told to act crazy simply over act- but Rooker plays crazy/sociopath on the nose)
Plus the last scene of the mid-season finale- the look of complete and utter bewilderment on Merle's face as the Governor turned on him...

The first review I read for that episode had the reviewer wonder why the Governor turned on Merle- really? Not paying attention- from the Governor's POV:
1: He sends Merle to execute Michonne- she's a threat who must be eliminated- she may lead people back to Woodbury, etc.
2: Merle comes back "empty handed" - no Michonne- although he claims to have killed her, and the 3 Woodburyites with him allegedly offed by walkers... wait he's not empty handed- he brought back 2 people who allegedly know where Merle's brother is
3: Merle can't get Glenn to talk- but that's because Glen must have "grown hair on his balls" out in the wilderness- he even survives when Merle tries to kill him with a walker...
4: The Governor succeeds where Merle fails, he gets Maggie to talk- but then when Merle and another Woodburyite is transporting the prisoners- they escape and the other Woodburyite gets offed.
5: Michonne shows up and tries to kill the Governor
6: The "terrorists" escape through/over the walls- one is captured- Merle's brother

so the Governor is obviously adding this up like:
1: Merle let Michonne go- maybe they were always working together, maybe he struck a deal with her regarding his brother- the Governor's men had to be silenced...
2/3: They were brought back to scope the place out, the Governor holding them in abasement rather than letting them wonder around like Michonne and Andrea actually put a crimp in that plan- Merle's murder attempt was obviously staged, Merle either untied and armed Glen beforehand, or even killed the walker himself...
4/5/6: Merle obviously let them escape, let Michonne and Darryl in...

I don't think that Merle is long for the show- I don't think Rick's group is gonna take him (no matter what Darryl says about it) and he's dead man in Woodbury- even if he "wins" whatever fight is beig arranged between him and Darryl the Governor plans on putting Merle's head in a tank- or on a pike staff outside the walls...
   790. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4317513)
I don't think Forbes is part of a conspiracy but they do have a track record of not really being right. Perhaps it's just their lists and their articles and such are better researched.
   791. formerly dp Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4317514)
Johnny, have you read the comic?
   792. JuanGone..except1game Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4317515)
TWD TV show and comic are following some fairly divergent paths-- I don't think of Carl getting shot as a parallel event, for example. I think Kirkman has pretty much said as much. Part of the fun of the show, for me, is seeing how he changes the story and plays with the expectation of readers in the act of translating from page to screen. I was a late-comer to the comic, but my wife had read it, and she freaked when they showed the prison teaser at the end of last season, because she knew how everything went to hell there.


The Prison scene in the comic was horrifying. I so wasn't ready to ready that. For those who have read the comic, there was a part in the last episode of TWD that seemed to at least allude to the prisoner in on "tax evasion" but it might just be a bone thrown to the readers.

Is anyone excited about the possibility of Powers making it to FX?


I've read a couple of issues and thought it was pretty good overall. The casting looks really good with Charles Dutton, Jason Patric and for eye-candy purposes the T-Mobile girl.
   793. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4317518)
So who is Dan talking about anyway?

I think it is "something other" and "Jack carter" but I honestly am not sure


No, he's saying that someone else is now doing this...

f you want to keep separate political and non-political handles, it's not really a good idea to use the same abbreviations, the same word usage, and references that connect both handles to the same birth year.

hmmmm

I'm have no idea
I also have no idea why people think Dan is being unintentionally ironic, he doesn't hide who he is, he doesn't alternate handles within a thread [I have, but I had an excuse :-) for doing that]
   794. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4317519)
BTW - I recommend reading the forbes article it is awesome.

The GOP plank calling for a commission to study “possible ways to set a fixed value for the dollar” — with an unmistakable nod to gold — is the most prominent element of the 2012 GOP platform still being heard to “reverberate around the world.”


Both Grant and Lehrman outlined the severe problems that the Fed’s central planning of our financial system are causing. Rather than focusing on the fiendish problems caused by paper money, Lehrman extolled the dignity and moral heroism of Ron Paul for keeping the issue of monetary reform alive ...


To quote one of the great supply-siders of modern history, Deng Xiaopiing: “To get rich is glorious.”
   795. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4317520)
Johnny, have you read the comic?


just a synopsis or two.
   796. McCoy Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4317523)
re 789

Or it is all part of the Governor's plan to infiltrate the prison as he suggested doing in the beginning of the episode. The teaser for the second half kind of indicates that someone from within does betray them.

As for Merle, I think Rooker is the kind of actor that can pull off psychotic racist redneck (hell, half his roles are just that) but I don't think he was necessary to the story and I especially don't think he was necessary to the first season. The Governor is psychotic enough as is and doesn't really need a sidekick in that department. Merle exists to give Darryl something to do onscreen and that is about it.

One of the things I liked about the comic is that people who hung on to the old ways, the good and the bad, paid dearly for doing that. If you didn't flip a switch and turn yourself into an animal focused on survival you got killed and generally pretty quick. People who thought of revenge got wiped out, people who wanted love got killed, people who wanted a nice home got killed, people who wanted canned apricots over canned peaches got killed, so on and so on. In this new environment there is no time to be racist or to have personal agendas that have nothing to do with survival.
   797. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4317524)
some people hoarding gold


This is not Bre-X or real estate, and it is not "some people". The government of the oldest civilization in the history of the world, which has absolutley fleeced the US over the last two decades, is hoarding gold. They have kicked it into overdrive in 2012, despite the fact fiat lovers think its currently in a bubble. I'm betting that its not. Will it be at some point? Probably, but I don't believe we're in that phase now.

In other words -- the fiscal record of two nations that have defaulted over the last 20 years trumps a nation and a currency union that haven't? And you don't see the problem with your statement based on that fact?


Every fiat currency that has ever existed has collapsed at some point. The EU has only been around for 17 years, and its already obvious that its untenable. Once Germany either decides to stop financing the largesse of the rest of the EU, or slips into recession itself, the Euro is done. Most central banks have enough foresight, or have enough respect for the citizens of their country, to pull the plug on a bubble before it gets so large that popping it would result in chaos, but not the EU and the US. They have the concept of "too big to fail" and think that there is such thing as a sustainable economy that does not produce material goods. They are moving into uncharted territory with the misguided belief (or at least they tell people its a belief) that this time is different, we have rewritten the rules of economics, and nobody has to really suffer despite the fact that our "growth" over the last 30-40 years has been financed almost entirely by debt, which for some reason will never have to be repaid.
   798. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4317527)

I think it is "something other" and "Jack carter" but I honestly am not sure (and don't care that much either way honestly). I was just curious about the counter claims, because Dan is many things but hypocrit is not something I would tag him with - he generally says what he feels when he feels it from what I can tell.


As I said, I just love solving mysteries/problems/riddles. It's fun to play detective and I sometimes daydream about having gone into forensic linguistics.
   799. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4317530)
1) The US (and the world) should move to the Gold Standard -and-
2) China is preparing for the Gold Standard and is buying up huge amounts of gold

And using #2 to prop up #1? Really?


I'm saying that any currency not backed by something real, whether its gold, oil, a broad manufacturing base, or something else that can be sold on an open market is eventually going to fail. You can deny it if you want, but many countries around the world are realizing that there isn't much of anything real behind the trillions of US dollars floating around, and are signing trade agreements with other countries to be settled in currencies other than US dollars. Obviously having a dominant world reserve currency facilitates global trade, which is why China is positioning the yuan/renminbi to take over from the USD.
   800. formerly dp Posted: December 05, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4317533)
just a synopsis or two.
There's a lot going on with the Governor that's a direct reference to the way the character was developed in the comic. The comic Governor is a bad, bad dude. Not sure how much of that is going to come out in the show. It's worth reading-- if you have a tablet, they're available for downloading. You'll chew through 104 issues in a day.

As for the irony of Dan's comments, if you ask him to list the handles he has posted under on this site, he'll probably leave a few off. There's no reason to go any further with it, except to note that Dan's the last person here who should call people out for handle-switching.
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