Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => The Coffee Corner => Topic started by: Chairman Bill on September 28, 2012, 02:22:43 AM

Title: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on September 28, 2012, 02:22:43 AM
Does Mitt Romney have a full-body halo, or is this just bad Photoshopping? Was Romney even there, or is this a copy & paste job gone awry?  I think we should be told  ;)

(https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/23866_10151074897226121_1838739506_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BernardLanguillier on September 28, 2012, 03:30:23 AM
No, it is real.

Only the candidates doing everything they can not to be elected get the halo.  ;)

Cheers,
Bernard
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on September 28, 2012, 03:36:17 AM
I wondered whether it was a side-effect of his magic underwear. Some sort of nuclear force or something. If it is, he should wear Y-fronts; they prevent fall-out.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on September 28, 2012, 03:48:54 AM
It's gas.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on September 28, 2012, 04:27:51 AM
I read that the last time around he was second best to senator McClain and McClain was second best to George W Bush before that. A fine CV? ::)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kers on September 28, 2012, 05:25:05 AM
He was not really there - it was his warp-image
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on September 28, 2012, 10:35:10 AM
 47% of that image is dependent on... Photoshop.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justan on September 28, 2012, 10:47:39 AM
It’s the only way he can appear to be brighter than concrete.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kikashi on September 28, 2012, 02:32:31 PM
Does Mitt Romney have a full-body halo, or is this just bad Photoshopping? Was Romney even there, or is this a copy & paste job gone awry?  I think we should be told  ;)

He had Ready-Brek for breakfast, Bill! Didn't you ever see the adverts?

Jeremy
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on September 29, 2012, 12:38:49 AM
It’s the only way he can appear to be brighter than concrete.

Now that is funny! :D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Dave (Isle of Skye) on September 30, 2012, 07:09:02 PM
I heard that he was once stopped in his car by the police and found to be carrying his pet dog in a box strapped onto the roof of his car. I don't live in the US, but if I did and this is true, then he wouldn't be getting my vote.

Dave
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 01, 2012, 04:52:05 AM
I heard that he was once stopped in his car by the police and found to be carrying his pet dog in a box strapped onto the roof of his car. I don't live in the US, but if I did and this is true, then he wouldn't be getting my vote.

Dave

I think there are more compelling reasons not to vote for him than that? :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 01, 2012, 05:09:13 AM
I think there are more compelling reasons not to vote for him than that? :(
There are plenty of reasons not to vote for either of the two main candidates.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 01, 2012, 05:58:02 AM
There are plenty of reasons not to vote for either of the two main candidates.
You don't have to vote (assuming you are a gringo). Here in Australia, we would be legally compelled to make a choice, or face a fine for not doing so. I actually think that is a good thing, that works well for us, but I do very occasionally perform an act of deliberate civil disobedience, and pay the fine. And sometimes I just forget, and pay the fine.

I do suppose - and hope - that Romney's halo resulted from poor technique rather than a deliberate attempt to make him look good in the eyes of some voters. The opposite of that does go on. Images of Obama in Romney material, and vice versa, certainly don't show either of those two fine men at their best.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Dave (Isle of Skye) on October 02, 2012, 06:41:14 PM
I think there are more compelling reasons not to vote for him than that? :(

Why do all US presidential candidates feel they need to do the 'Pointless Point'?

(http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/includes/file.aspx?f=5408&width=440&height=297)

You know that thing they all do when they look into the crowd of faces at rallies and point to some poor schmuck several rows back as though they know them personally (they don't) and then smile as though they are genuinely happy to see them (they are not).

It is no better in the UK, where all the politicians have now been trained to talk with a frown using clenched fist gestures for the important meaningless sentences, which also usually begin with the word 'Look', or talk softly with open flat handed gestures when uttering warm and friendly meaningless sentences.

Pox on 'em all I say  >:(

Dave
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 02, 2012, 07:05:18 PM
Pox on 'em all I say  >:(

I agree wholeheartedly Dave, no matter where in the world they are spinning their toxins.

(And I am inclined to say a pox on all their supporters too.)

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 02, 2012, 09:12:15 PM
Interesting to see how many opinions Europeans have on American elections.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 02, 2012, 11:59:57 PM
Interesting to see how many opinions Europeans have on American elections.
Antipodeans too, no doubt. The outcome has the potential to affect us too. We hope our American friends choose wisely.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 03, 2012, 04:09:31 AM
Interesting to see how many opinions Europeans have on American elections.

America rules the world...or at least it tries to?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kers on October 03, 2012, 04:21:18 AM
On second thoughts
it is not Romney giving light but everywhere he goes the surroundings darken
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 09:43:48 AM
America rules the world...or at least it tries to?

Right Stamper, I should have said "uninformed opinions."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 03, 2012, 10:15:56 AM
Russ in the UK the BBC news - usually neutral bias - he is portrayed as definitely right wing and gaff prone with few redeeming features. Lampooned for his faults whereas Obama gets an easy ride from them. As to ruling the world I saw recently on the BBC from Obama that he and America wanted to lead the world, same as rules in my book. Obviously the coverage in the UK is a lot less and probably biased towards the Democrats. :-\
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: louoates on October 03, 2012, 10:38:05 AM
The race boils down to democracy vs. socialism. Very simple choice for anyone paying attention.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 10:56:58 AM
Russ in the UK the BBC news - usually neutral bias - he is portrayed as definitely right wing and gaff prone with few redeeming features. Lampooned for his faults whereas Obama gets an easy ride from them. As to ruling the world I saw recently on the BBC from Obama that he and America wanted to lead the world, same as rules in my book. Obviously the coverage in the UK is a lot less and probably biased towards the Democrats. :-\

Afraid so, my friend, and the problem isn't isolated to the UK. Most of the Western world is running in the socialist direction, including the US; and at the moment our president is leading the pack. All of us in the West are on the brink of an economic catastrophe, and considering how far we've gone in the socialist direction I doubt anyone's politics can pull us back from the brink. I think I'm young enough that I'll witness the crash, but old enough that I'll miss most of the aftermath. On the other hand my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids are going to have to suffer through it. I was a kid myself during the "great" depression, and I can tell you that anybody who thinks the problems we've seen in the past few years are similar to those of the depression haven't a clue.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 03, 2012, 11:21:26 AM
The race boils down to democracy vs. socialism...

Quite right!

Getting 1% richer = democracy

Getting 99% less poor = socialism

 ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 03, 2012, 11:30:56 AM
Most of the Western world is running in the socialist direction, including the US;

I say we abolish all fire departments due to their socialist nature.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 03, 2012, 11:58:21 AM
The race boils down to democracy vs. socialism. Very simple choice for anyone paying attention.

why "vs", if majority votes for "socialism" here (USA) how that is not a "democracy" ? unless you mean something from the past... only white, male, landowners can vote... right ?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 12:10:41 PM
The race boils down to democracy vs. socialism. Very simple choice for anyone paying attention.

It's hopeless, Lou. As you can see from the responses: (1) there are very few people out there who know anything about history, and (2) what little they know doesn't fit their theories, so it comes down to "Which are you going to believe, the world's experience or your theories?" Bernanke, for one, has made his own choice very clear.

But I don't think "democracy" is the right word. Our own brilliant founders were scared to death of democracy, and the French revolution made clear the reasons to be afraid of it. At the moment we're seeing democracy at work in Iraq. The right word is "capitalism." Without that we're all in deep doo-doo. Even Jeremy is supported by capitalism, though I doubt he'll admit it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 03, 2012, 12:44:31 PM
The right word is "capitalism."

Nope ...  "ism"s are the problem.  Until you stop repeating 'ism'-based pablum, nothing can be discussed at all.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 03, 2012, 12:46:46 PM
Well, I have to argue with stamper about the Beeb’s political stance: in my eyes (and ears), it leans far to the left of neutral. What else can you exect from a publicly owned service full of safe-career bureaucrats? But still, outwith politics, it’s the main service I now watch other than Aljazeera, which has pretty good coverage of the middle-east events.

I also watch Sky News (when the cosy, cloying sofa broadcasting of Beeb breakfast news gets too much to stomach), and their stance regarding the US political election thing is madness: we get it stuffed down our throats whenever the carnival’s in town, and for the life of me I can’t figure why. It’s not as if the UK voter has the slightest input to make, and going by the crazy system we are running – a coalition, for heaven’s sake – we have nothing superior to offer as example to the States. Last I saw this morning, they (Sky) are totally absorbed in a five-year-old’s kidnapping. I try to stop myself being cynical, but I can’t avoid noting that the folks doing the scene-of-crime interviews with the great unwashed are almost beside themselves with excitement. Another episode of entertainment and insincerity created out of disaster and dismay.

Our own public is like the Spanish one is now: in deepest shit with debt, yet the public rallies around Madrid centre waving flags and holding up placards demanding no cuts and better wages. Obviously, the message that years of spending what you don’t have will always take you to a sticky end still hasn’t come through loudly enough. I suspect that there are people who actually believe that governments have their own secret pile of money, and they but need be pressed into spending it. The banks are blamed for everything, which is terribly convenient for all the rest of them in political office!

Having said that, I think there’s a really valuable rôle for governments to play regarding health and pensions. The problem, as with all publicly owned services, is that they become a monopoly and then no government has the guts to face them down. Correction: we once had a very strong lady do that, but she was eventually stabbed by her own tribal group. You just can’t win. People are blind and see only what suits them at the time.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 12:48:02 PM
Nope ...  "ism"s are the problem.  Until you stop repeating 'ism'-based pablum, nothing can be discussed at all.

There you go. I knew it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 03, 2012, 12:53:09 PM
The right word is "capitalism." Without that we're all in deep doo-doo.

so that Great Depression was because we did not have enough "capitalism", right ? or 99% of folks here were living a happy life when JPM said (even if allegedly) "I owe the public nothing" ?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 01:28:14 PM
See Lou, this is exactly what I was talking about.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 03, 2012, 01:53:45 PM
... But I don't think "democracy" is the right word. Our own brilliant founders were scared to death of democracy, and the French revolution made clear the reasons to be afraid of it. At the moment we're seeing democracy at work in Iraq. The right word is "capitalism."...

Russ, this looks more like another transcript from a secretly-taped Romney's campaign meeting with his buddies? ;D

And as long as we are looking for the right word (that doesn't end in -ism), how about: plutocracy?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 03:08:01 PM
Okay, Slobodan, what, exactly, do you think JPM "owed" the "public" other than to pull together disparate and scattered, inefficient bits and pieces to create things like GE and US Steel, both of which have contributed immensely to a US where we live with running water and electricity and take both for granted? It'd be interesting to hear a response on that from alphabet soup, up above, too.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 03, 2012, 03:14:30 PM
Okay, Slobodan, what, exactly, do you think JPM "owed" the "public" other than to pull together disparate and scattered, inefficient bits and pieces to create things like GE and US Steel, both of which have contributed immensely to a US where we live with running water and electricity and take both for granted? It'd be interesting to hear a response on that from alphabet soup, up above, too.

he owed protection from expropriation for starters... and if you think that his wealth could buy a force to stop that on his own w/o buying a public then just look across Bering strait for an example of what happens if you have too many hoi polloi that you owe nothing.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 03, 2012, 03:14:35 PM
... electricity...

For that you have to be grateful to my compatriot, not JPM.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 03, 2012, 03:48:59 PM
There you go. I knew it.

Do you support the concept of municipal fire departments?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 05:19:41 PM
he owed protection from expropriation for starters... and if you think that his wealth could buy a force to stop that on his own w/o buying a public then just look across Bering strait for an example of what happens if you have too many hoi polloi that you owe nothing.

Sorry, Alphabet, I haven't the foggiest idea what you just said.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 05:22:02 PM
For that you have to be grateful to my compatriot, not JPM.

You're right, Slobodan, but JPM was one of the "robber barons" who produced what was necessary to make it widespread instead of confined to the very wealthy.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 03, 2012, 05:27:15 PM
... People are blind and see only what suits them at the time.

Presumably this is something everyone but you suffers from
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 03, 2012, 05:51:28 PM
Sorry, Alphabet, I haven't the foggiest idea what you just said.

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_JmOu3H0uQxw/TEfTT9JjgAI/AAAAAAAAASA/Qhz8b5NgzZs/s1600/head+in+sand.gif)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 03, 2012, 05:53:42 PM
Presumably this is something everyone but you suffers from



I wish!

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 03, 2012, 05:55:52 PM
You're right, Slobodan, but JPM was one of the "robber barons" who produced what was necessary to make it widespread instead of confined to the very wealthy.
and that was possible only because of the society where he was born
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 03, 2012, 05:56:44 PM
The pathetic part of Romney's recent comments is that they indicate he actually believes the lies that underpin his party's rhetoric!

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 03, 2012, 06:21:53 PM
You're right, Slobodan, but JPM was one of the "robber barons" who produced what was necessary...

And that is the point Russ! It takes two to tango. For JPM, Tesla was just a member of the public (as the Brits say). And so are countless others who help both Tesla and JPM become who they are. Their teachers, for instance. For JPM, what he owes to the public as well, is, as deejjjaaaa pointed out, the legal framework that protected him via contract and property protection. Without that, we would be still in the Wild West, with the law of the jungle and "might makes right."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 03, 2012, 06:40:22 PM
Slobodan, Tesla did his thing and JPM did his thing. I certainly have a lot of respect for Tesla. After all he did a lot of this thing right here in Colorado Springs. But I have a lot of respect for JPM too. The propagandists have made him out a monster, but it takes a guy with a lot of drive to do the kind of thing he did. Somebody like that, Jobs comes to mind, doesn't have a lot of time left over to look out for the "public." The reason the US got where it got is because the "public" was, for the most part, able and willing to look out for itself. Unfortunately, we've lost a lot of that. Nowadays the "public" wants the government to look out for it. The change represents a terrible loss.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 03, 2012, 07:05:53 PM
... Nowadays the "public" wants the government to look out for it...

Not sure about that. I, for one, just want a job, as I am sure 95% of the unemployed do. And I lost it when your guys were in charge.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 03, 2012, 07:31:17 PM
The reason the US got where it got is because the "public" was, for the most part, able and willing to look out for itself. Unfortunately, we've lost a lot of that. Nowadays the "public" wants the government to look out for it. The change represents a terrible loss.

indeed... go to shorpy and look at the kids working in mines... yes, they were able and willing to look out for themselves... how unfortunate that we can't go back to the times of JPM

(http://www.shorpy.com/files/images/01099u1.preview.jpg)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 03, 2012, 07:42:07 PM
Can't see the picture deejjjaaaa posted, but that reminds me of one of my all time favorites, by Margaret Bourke-White:

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 04, 2012, 12:44:53 AM
The pathetic part of Romney's recent comments is that they indicate he actually believes the lies that underpin his party's rhetoric!

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505

Since I do not like either Romney or Obamy, I wish to keep this even.  The pathetic part of Obama's recent comments is that they indicate he actually believes the lies that underpin his party's rhetoric!  He seems to really believe that the economy in America is better now than when he started with his hope and change.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 04, 2012, 04:31:20 AM
The basic problem isn't politics, the basic problem is the difference betwen people: there are leaders and there are followers (I was going to say 'sheep' but that would have been an oversimplification since some of the followers are more rampant wolf than lamb); there are entrepreneurs and also those who need to have work handed them on a plate with strictly defined functions for them to fulfil. I know this for a fact, having worked for years in engineering on both floor and in office as well as internal photo-unit. Nothing in life is a fit-all when it comes to earning one's keep; talents lie in different capabilties, aspirations and possibilities, too. You can give that golden opportunity to the wrong person and it isn't even seen for what it is. You can't train people to be that sort of on-the-ball person that business demands - all you can do is help those in possession of the ability along the way a little bit.

Trouble is, with so much populist support for state intervention in everyday life, people come to believe that the state not only could, but should supply all the answers to a happy life. That's patently absurd, because the state has no money: it can only screw it out of those who produce the environment that allows production to flourish and folks to be needed to do something for which they can get paid. And those folks creating the opportunities/needs, unfortunately for the left, are the very entrepreneurs the left so despises.

Mention’s been made of whether such things as fire departments, hospitals, schools etc. should be state responsibilities. I think that they should be, and that they should all be well funded in order to keep the nation at a decent level of health and optimism, without which nothing works well. It’s insane to imagine that the less talented and the very poor should be allowed to die off in the gutters of our cities; those people are there because of all manner of problems and you can’t pigeonhole people quite as easily as that.

The above does not imply that there should, then, be no private alternatives to the services of state. Many can and wish to provide for private medical care etc. and why should they be denied their right to buy that? Just envy?

Where state should be more active in being careful is in where it disperses the ‘social funding’ at its disposal. Paying money to those who simply don’t want a job isn’t an option, in my view, even though it is a reality. If you are unemployed and get state funds to tide you over – or even to maintain that state of official unemployment as a way of life – you should be required to do whatever menial jobs the state needs doing. You could be an out of work accountant, but your city needs the streets cleaned: so do it in exchange for your unemployment benefit. Pride and ego shouldn’t be factors when it comes to the taxpayer helping you out: do what needs to be done to help the community, even if you might bump into your neighbour parking his Mercedes just where you have your garbage truck. It could be his turn tomorrow – little call for his gloating at your troubles.

So maybe it's also partly the fault of the American Dream, where you are supposed to be No.1 and coming in 2nd is failure. That's crazy: as long as you survive at a decent level you should feel happy within yourself, and if you don't the problem lies in you, not anyone else and not any system of governance.

Should the day arrive when children all come from baby farms, then yes, the state will be your mama and papa and should then provide you with your keep. I think that's been pretty well tried, more or less, and where did it get anyone?

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 04, 2012, 07:32:33 AM
Since I do not like either Romney or Obamy, I wish to keep this even.  The pathetic part of Obama's recent comments is that they indicate he actually believes the lies that underpin his party's rhetoric!  He seems to really believe that the economy in America is better now than when he started with his hope and change.

Well ... your argument has symmetry, but no substance.

Output was in freefall and the financial system was on the verge of total collapse ... there is very little hard data that that would support the argument that the US economy is in worse shape now than in January 2009.

Try again!  You can find something to criticize Obama for if you think about it ... my big critique of Obama is from the left ... I think we missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to regulate the assholes in the financial sector who play craps with our national credit.  We also should have given debt relief to homeowners and not just the banks.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 04, 2012, 08:40:26 AM
Quote Rob

there are entrepreneurs and also those who need to have work handed them on a plate with strictly defined functions for them to fulfil.

Unquote

I would define this in another way. Without the "those" who work the entrepreneurs wouldn't have a penny to their name. It is possible to have a workable society without entrepreneurs but without workers you will have an earth that is akin to Mars...barren. Rob the last word describes your ideas on economics? :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 04, 2012, 08:54:36 AM
Well ... your argument has symmetry, but no substance.

Output was in freefall and the financial system was on the verge of total collapse ... there is very little hard data that that would support the argument that the US economy is in worse shape now than in January 2009.

Try again!  You'll can find something to criticize Obama for if you think about it ... my big critique of Obama is from the left ... I think we missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to regulate the assholes in the financial sector who play craps with our national credit.  We also should have given debt relief to homeowners and not just the banks.

So I guess the US Department of Labor statistics are of no substance. The backbone of the economy is jobs. Google the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.  It is higher now than in 2009. You will also see that it started climbing in 2007.  It has now fallen to a level that prior to 2010 was the highest since the mid 90's. Obama (and congress- republicans and democrats) have failed miserably.  

Show me some actual hard statistics that the economy is better now. Lots of info to the contrary is very easy to find if you only open your eyes and your mind and look.

I do not trust Romney to do any better, so I am not defending him at all.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 04, 2012, 09:30:00 AM
If the employers fail to take on new employees then it is hard for any government to force them unless the government hands out large bribes for doing so? In the UK it has been estimated that large firms have about £800 billion in their accounts that should and could be spent to kick start the economy. They will have to start spending at the same time because a handful don't want to in case the economy continues to dive, meaning they will lose their spending capital. At the end of the day it isn't the government that runs society but the private holders of wealth who will spend when it suits them to make profits for their own greed and not the overall good of the people. >:(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 04, 2012, 10:51:17 AM
If the employers fail to take on new employees then it is hard for any government to force them unless the government hands out large bribes for doing so? In the UK it has been estimated that large firms have about £800 billion in their accounts that should and could be spent to kick start the economy. They will have to start spending at the same time because a handful don't want to in case the economy continues to dive, meaning they will lose their spending capital. At the end of the day it isn't the government that runs society but the private holders of wealth who will spend when it suits them to make profits for their own greed and not the overall good of the people. >:(


Stamper, you live in a dream.

The world has never worked in any other way, and all those countries that tried the other have fallen flat on their ass. Cuba awaits the end of the Castro family dynasty in order to have a rebirth; North Korea hypes up international tension to distract from its home-grown distress whilst China pays lip-service to one philosophy whilst actively pursuing the opposite! As for Iran... read North Korea. Its exchange rate has hit the skids to the extent that the currency is pretty much worthless.

Regarding your other post, and that without 'workers' there'd be no profits, of course you're right: nobody ever denied that, but that doesn't imply that the workers are some sort of sacred beast and forever noble; far from it, as I well know. Both factions need one another, and the mistake is for the 'worker' side to think it has priority and some divine right to work: it has work when work exists for it to do, and that varies all the time. Look at Spain with its crazy employment laws: most folks end up with a six-month contract, the dole all winter, and because of the expense of hiring/firing, much of the economy is black. I have lunch several days a week with a young chap running a sailmaker's business; he has a single employee and he'd love to hire another for the season, because work often comes in a tidal wave and then not at all. He simply can't afford to pay the social security that additional job would forced upon him, and so the company remains stunted, one more sailmaker has no employment, temporary or otherwise, and so it goes on, forever.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 04, 2012, 10:57:49 AM
Blimey, I only posted a crappy example of political photoshopping. If I'd thought it was going to descend into a political bitching session I'd not have bothered.

BTW, did anyone else hear of the Republicans using a photo of an old Obama rally to illustrate a piece about how Romney was pulling the crowds? When the error was pointed out, the response was, "Well, it shows how Obama's support has fallen away, 'cos he gets nothing like that size crowd now". Which might be true, but the commentator (a Rep. politician) was clearly too stupid to notice how stupid a comment it was. Politicos, eh? Oh how the world would be better off without the majority of 'em.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 04, 2012, 11:01:03 AM
So I guess the US Department of Labor statistics are of no substance. The backbone of the economy is jobs. Google the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.  It is higher now than in 2009.

Well ... unemployment peaked in October 2009 and has been falling since ... not sure what you think that shows.

It did rise during the course of 2009, but that can't be blamed on the brand new administration.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Fips on October 04, 2012, 11:56:26 AM
I'm not from the US so I'll better steer clear of this discussion. But let me express my amazement about the wording used here. 'Socialism'? Really? Before '89 part of my family lived in a country which was then actually socialistic and I can say with confidence that it was not a bit like the US of A. Yes, they did have universal health care for example but so does Norway and Switzerland. The latter are seldom described 'socialistic'. You also don't get shot when you try to leave the country and don't get arrested for reading the newspaper of a 'hostile' country.

To me it seems completely over the top and irrational how this whole debate is led. I know things always get a little rough in times of elections but by giving in to that hysteria an actual debate -- which is urgently necessary -- is made impossible.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 04, 2012, 12:06:19 PM
I'm not from the US ... I can say with confidence that it was not a bit like the US of A.
hmmm... how do you know ? I know for example because I have two passports - one red and one blue... so I can compare because I actually live/lived and not as a tourist.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Fips on October 04, 2012, 12:13:50 PM
I only have one passport to boast but I used to live in the US for a while and go there occasionally. But I must admit that I haven't been to all 50 states. Maybe I just missed the socialistic ones so far.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 04, 2012, 12:20:13 PM
Well ... unemployment peaked in October 2009 and has been falling since ... not sure what you think that shows.

Right, and it got all the way down to about 8.3%. But the only reason it got even that far down is because a huge number of people gave up and dropped out of the employment picture. At the moment the real unemployment figure, taking into account the people who've given up, is in the middle teens, and it's in the middle twenties for minorities and the young.

Quote
It did rise during the course of 2009, but that can't be blamed on the brand new administration.

Well, that's certainly what the "brand new administration" would like you to believe.

At this point I'm outa here. I'll leave the discussions on the US political situation to the Europeans and to Jeremy who's thoroughly absorbed the US mainstream media propaganda. Last night's "debate" sort of clinched things.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 04, 2012, 12:50:08 PM
Well ... unemployment peaked in October 2009 and has been falling since ... not sure what you think that shows.

It did rise during the course of 2009, but that can't be blamed on the brand new administration.



I guess my point is that the last time unemployment was at the level it is now was in February 2009, yes one month after Pres. Obama took office, and yes, that was the fault of President Bush and the congress at the time (Democratic led Congress mind you).  The last time before Feb 2009 that the rate was that high was in January 1984.  President Obama has not been able to lead America out of this situation after 3.5 years of leadership.  I do not think that after 3.5 years of leading the country, and the unemployment rate is just now dropping back down to where it started, can this be deemed a success.  Things have been worse the last 3.5 years concerning unemployment.  Like RSL mentioned, part of the reason that the number is lower now is because the number reflects only those that are actively searching for a job.  The ones that have given up the search are not included!  It is really sad now. 

President Obama has not been able to lead Congress to make the correct decisions in order for America to recover in 3.5 years.  He had his chance.  I think it is time for someone else to try.  I do not like Romney, but maybe he can make an improvement.  Maybe he can be a leader that can lead Congress in the right direction as far as the economy is concerned.  After all, the President can not spend a dime without Congress's approval.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 04, 2012, 12:59:17 PM
Jeremy who's thoroughly absorbed the US mainstream media propaganda.

Dude ... you got that backwards ... all you do is repeat talking points from the Republicans.

My views are FAAAR from the mainstream.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 04, 2012, 01:08:00 PM
... Maybe I just missed the socialistic ones so far.

If I remember right, Vermont has an avowedly socialist governor
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 04, 2012, 01:20:50 PM
... the US mainstream media propaganda...

I am confused here. The "mainstream media" is often portrayed as liberal, "liking Obama," left-leaning, etc. Isn't, however, the Fox News actually the most popular one, so much so that:

- Fox News has the 10 most viewed cable TV news shows (as of Dec 2009).

- Fox News mean prime-time viewing figures are triple that of MSNBC, and double that of CNN, and exceed the total ratings of CNN, MSNBC and CNBC combined.

- In 2006, more than half the people watching cable news were watching Fox News


If anything, it looks like that if the American people are exposed to propaganda, it would be the right-wing one, no? Or, perhaps, because they are "fair and balanced," they can not be considered right-wing?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 04, 2012, 01:30:29 PM
I only have one passport to boast but I used to live in the US for a while and go there occasionally. But I must admit that I haven't been to all 50 states. Maybe I just missed the socialistic ones so far.

that is the point - you are not actually even a permanent resident, you were a temp visitor at best on some non immigrant visa, so as we say - do not mix tourism and immigration.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Fips on October 04, 2012, 02:01:05 PM
that is the point - you are not actually even a permanent resident, you were a temp visitor at best on some non immigrant visa, so as we say - do not mix tourism and immigration.

I wasn't there as a tourist, but I guess that doesn't really matter as you don't seem to be interested in discussing the point I was trying to make anyhow. I'm out.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 04, 2012, 02:36:58 PM
I am confused here. The "mainstream media" is often portrayed as liberal, "liking Obama," left-leaning, etc. Isn't, however, the Fox News actually the most popular one, so much so that:

- Fox News has the 10 most viewed cable TV news shows (as of Dec 2009).

- Fox News mean prime-time viewing figures are triple that of MSNBC, and double that of CNN, and exceed the total ratings of CNN, MSNBC and CNBC combined.

- In 2006, more than half the people watching cable news were watching Fox News


If anything, it looks like that if the American people are exposed to propaganda, it would be the right-wing one, no? Or, perhaps, because they are "fair and balanced," they can not be considered right-wing?

You are not including the 3 big networks; CBS, NBC, and ABC.  I do not know what the current numbers are, but I found the numbers for the first half of 2011 on http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/ratings-network-news-cnn-msnbc-gain-viewers-fox-still-solid-no-1-slips-28657

These numbers are of viewers of newscasts.

Year-to-Date 2011 (Compared to first same period in 2010)

Primetime | Total Viewers
1. Fox 2,210,000 (down 13 percent)
2. MSNBC 945,000 (up 8 percent)
3. CNN 768,000 (up 13 percent)
4. HLN 456,000 (down 8 percent)

Network Newscasts | Total Viewers
1. NBC 9,168,000 (up 4 percent)
2. ABC 8,140,000 (up 7 percent)
3. CBS 5,988,000 (up 3 percent)

The total of cable news viewers combined was less than the viewers of just CBS.  So, given the fact that most cable systems also offer the three broadcast networks to the viewers, it is easy to see how the FoxNews numbers are pretty insignificant.  Most people do not watch only cable news.



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 04, 2012, 04:10:54 PM
You do realise that from a European perspective, the US 'liberal left' is our centre right (at best), and your right wing is our fascistic right. The Tea Party are just barking mad. When we hear Obama referred to as a socialist, socialists just laugh - they simply wouldn't vote for someone so right-wing.

Oh, and zuchinnis are courgettes, except in Italy, basil isn't pronounced bay-zil, and oregano isn't pronounced or-egg-an-o. Just saying.  ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 04, 2012, 06:03:15 PM
Oh, and zuchinnis are courgettes, except in Italy, basil isn't pronounced bay-zil, and oregano isn't pronounced or-egg-an-o. Just saying.  ;)

Hi Bill,

I am somewhat grieved that the lusciously smoky aubergine did not get a run in your linguistic list.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 05, 2012, 12:46:26 AM
You do realise that from a European perspective, the US 'liberal left' is our centre right (at best), and your right wing is our fascistic right. The Tea Party are just barking mad. When we hear Obama referred to as a socialist, socialists just laugh - they simply wouldn't vote for someone so right-wing.

Oh, and zuchinnis are courgettes, except in Italy, basil isn't pronounced bay-zil, and oregano isn't pronounced or-egg-an-o. Just saying.  ;)

I agree.  Being an American and living here in Germany for almost 3 years now, I am amazed at how America looks from the outside looking in.  I blame a lot of this on the American media.  When I was living there (for 44 years), I think I became so wrapped up in the 24 hour bombardment of news and political opinions that it was very easy to overlook the silliness of the divisiveness. The government and things about the government are so "in your face" in America when compared to here.  The feeling of relaxation here is very refreshing.  I think the difference is in the media.  I do not see such a strong opinion from the German media being pushed so strongly on the people.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 05, 2012, 03:48:56 AM
Hi Bill,

I am somewhat grieved that the lusciously smoky aubergine did not get a run in your linguistic list.

Doesn't look anything like an egg, does it?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 05, 2012, 04:15:10 AM
Quote Rob

Stamper, you live in a dream.

Unquote

Rob the next time you are out for lunch - a lot of people can't afford it - just think about how the nightmare you support has brought the economic world to it's knees and yet you want the same nightmare to try and repair it? There wasn't one socialist, communist or left leaning person who caused the nightmare. The entrepreneurs you worship must take ALL of the blame. :'(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 05, 2012, 05:29:38 AM
Quote Rob

Stamper, you live in a dream.

Unquote

Rob the next time you are out for lunch - a lot of people can't afford it - just think about how the nightmare you support has brought the economic world to it's knees and yet you want the same nightmare to try and repair it? There wasn't one socialist, communist or left leaning person who caused the nightmare. The entrepreneurs you worship must take ALL of the blame. :'(



Strange conclusion: if the present financial mess is caused by living beyond our means (mainly by courtesy of state overspending and lack of common sense in private debt) it's hardly the rich who have spent too much they don't have! As you suggest, they do have the money to spend.

(I can already hear the knee-jerk call of living off the backs of the poor, so no need to send that one by return!)

If I am 'rich' enough to have a menu del dia, 10€ lunch, it's because I worked my fucking ass off to get to that situation; often worked overnight through to dawn in order to make morning deliveries to ad agecies, worked weekends when the rest of the world was on holiday or in the pub; and the only 'holidays' the family had were when I went off on shoots and took them with me if I could afford the money or the time, or, alternatively, my wife and the kids went away with her parents because I was stuck in the darkroom for a week or something close... Bugger all came by itself, and why should I or anyone else expect that it might?

It's been the same tale of bloody hard work and almost no free time for the rest of my family background as for that of my wife: both did well and worked like hell to make that happen. Without one friggin' union holding up any client to ransom on their behalf, I have to add.

If I sound pissed, it's because I am: I hate this crap about silver spoons, luck and all the stuff that is held up to disguise the single factor that makes things work: work. You find it or you create it; there's nothing else.

;-)

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 05, 2012, 09:10:46 AM
Going to come into this fray a bit on the late side. Obama will win the election. The debate didn't do anything to sway those who are or were supporters prior to the debate, only the undecided and given Romney's lack of specificity, and Obamas lackluster presence, I think most of the undecided are still undecided. Even with the rest of the debates, the undecided will make up their minds the day they vote.

Unemployment is declining. Yes, its taken its sweet time getting here but if one wants to use the newly coined adage, "trickly down economics," it is right on schedule. I've always used the stock market as a gauge of how the economy is trudging along. We're certainly not back where we were before the crap hit the fan, and good that is. We are however, making steady gains. I have been a staunch Ron Paul fan since before Ron Paul came onto the scene. I really like his politics, especially his views on foreign policy. I don't want to vote for Obama but if it is between just he and Mitt the Twit, it's a hands down easy decision for me.

As opposed to Rob, while I did some professional work early on in my photo career, most of my energy was devoted to teaching young people the art of the darkroom and more recent the art of digital, though this is an area where I still consider myself quite the novice. So I cannot attest to working in dungeonic conditions for days, weeks or months on end - not that teaching is much different, but it is. The biggest difference is in the pay...oh well, I chose the career and was quite proud of how I did with all my young charges over the years. I didn't get rich as a teacher. I'm not starving and I don't have a blue chip portfolio to tide me over in my waning years, but I'm doing okay.

My problem with Mitt the Twit is that 47% he spoke of is me. I'm retired, on Medicare, on suppplemental insurance, and I don't think that man has any more idea of what its like to manage a household on  a teacher's salary than the man in the moon. Putting two kids through college meant mortgaging the house, starting a small side business meant borrowing money from a bank (it would have been nice to borrow from my parents but one was retired and the other drank himself to death), managing meant not going out to dinner very often, not having lots of toys, extras, etc. So, I canot look at him and wish this country four more years off Bush/Bush politics all of which will be determined by the Koch brothers.

For those of you living abroad, the average cost of insurance for a working American middle income family of four can easily reach $600 a month. Prescriptions, hospitalization or emergency room visits can bankrupt this average family. I had a student who went ot the hospital for a cut finger. They did an x-ray to detrermine there were no broken bones, put on a regular bandaid (they didn't even clean it) and charged her $1,867. She was an independent legally (abandoned by her parents and living in a tent in her grandmother's backyard) emancipated girl. Where in the hell did anyone think she was going to get that kind of money. Should have mentioned her school made her go to the emergency room as it happened on campus. Obamacare or whatever anyone wants to call it, will put a stop to insurance companies killing people emotionally and financially.

For a retired person such as myself, depending on the plan, the amount of coverage, and any pre-existing conditions, I could expect to pay anywhere from $170 to $675 a month for healthcare and that with a 20% co-pay. Between my me and my wife, we will pay around $340 a month or about $4,000 a year before deductibles, and before prescriptions and before any co-pays and including Medicare costs which adds another $100 a month to the tally. Plus or minus, we will spend upward of $6,000 a year barring any catastrophic illnesses. Trust me, this cuts into the retirement fund in a huge way. It means we are essentially back to the days when we had kids in high school - eat out once or maybe twice a month, limited vacations, counting every fricking penny and having to be frugal. I worked my entire life (from age 12 as a golf course caddy, to age 66) and this is my reward...whoopee. Under Romney, I would have to double my watch, double count my money and check my back pocket every few to make sure he hadn't paid a visit to my walllet in new taxes.

All I can say is it is going to be a real fun time watching all the bullcrap for the next month. Get your rubber boots out, step up on the chairs...the crap is gonna flow like honey. In the end though, I see four more years of Obama...and really, does anyone think McCain or anyone else could have cured 8 years of prior reckless spending in four years? Gimme a break.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 09:19:25 AM
Rob, what silver spoon are you referring to?

My simple view is that the vast majority of folks work their asses off to better themselves and to build a platform for their children to achieve something more.  Just as yourself.  Most of the world's larger corporations operate and are structured to take advantage of regulations that exist or not across multiple countries. Due to whatever reason, corporations exist as entities that have a broad set of rights equivalent to yours or mine in many, many places.  They also seek to influence legislation and regulation to their advantage.

Corporate motives are possibly comparable to ours: create wealth for themselves to perpetuate and help their offspring. A difference is they operate with a group mind.  Powerful stuff.

Does government do stupid stuff sometimes?  Absolutely YES.  Take mandatory helmet laws for bicycles in Melbourne.  Just my opinion, helmets are a really good idea, but having it mandated has become a detriment to uptake of the local city cycles program.

Oh and Russ, you are not off the hook.  Democracy and socialism are not mutually exclusive and I find your views backwards in many, many respects.  If you want to live life as a libertarian, making your own way, the Australian outback wouldn't be a bad place to choose.  But watch out, we actually have national health care.  I'll second someone else in that the political Left in America is shockingly Right in most other long functioning Democracies.

[full disclosure, I was born and raised in the USA.  I've worked in more than 40 countries.  I've lived in Europe for a decade, China and Japan for five years and call Australia home.]
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 05, 2012, 10:26:50 AM
Rob, what silver spoon are you referring to?[full disclosure, I was born and raised in the USA.  I've worked in more than 40 countries.  I've lived in Europe for a decade, China and Japan for five years and call Australia home.]



Hi Jennifer,

"Rob, what silver spoon are you referring to?"

The one that most of our Brit left refers to every time that a well-educated guy gets into power; then, it becomes class warfare about them 'n' us and all that sort of stuff that is the standard, pop-up item in the socialist argument library. That everyone has the same voting rights is somehow lost in that brand of argument, and the projection is that, somehow, were you to go to Oxbridge, you'd rule the world. To show it ain't necessarily so, I enclose the following item where my granddaughter, Francesca, and her buddy scored the best results in this UK-wide contest in Law, two Scottish students beating the best of England on English Law. I liked that.

"NEWS RELEASE 25th June 2010

In the 40th anniversary year, National Mooting Competition   prize goes to Glasgow

The team from University of Glasgow is the winner of this year’s ESU - Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition. It is the first time that Glasgow has won the coveted silver mace.

Francesca Ruddy and Katherine Docherty from the University of Glasgow defeated  Alexander Knight and Matilda Forbes Watson representing BPP Law School in the exciting evening final, which was held in the President’s Court of the Royal Courts of Justice last night. Earlier in the day, the teams had faced the University of Cambridge and Kings College London in the semi finals, held at Dartmouth House in London.

The grand final moot itself was of an exceptionally high standard. It was judged this year by a panel chaired by Dr Gavan Griffith QC (Australia), - a former Solicitor General Australia and now an  International Commercial and Investment Disputes Arbitrator.  The other two judges were:
Martin Griffiths QC, an Essex Court Chambers Silk best known for his work in Employment
and Professor Philippa Watson, an Essex Court Chambers barrister specialising in EU law and competition and Visiting Professor City University, London

The two winning Glaswegians, who first met each other at high school at St Aloysius’ College in Glasgow, were happy to be presented with the competition’s silver mace: “We’re absolutely delighted to bring an English Speaking Union prize to Scotland,” they explain.
“The experience of advocacy through mooting has given me a real understanding of law in practice that you just don’t get from reading text books,” commented  Francesca and “ I have really enjoyed the challenge of tackling a different legal system successfully,” continued Katherine. 

In a moot, two pairs of 'advocates' argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a 'judge'.  To win, you do not necessarily have to win the legal case, but must make the best presentation of your legal arguments.

The winners received a silver Mace and a prize of £1,000 each. Their university, Glasgow, received a donation of £1,000.  The runners up received “The Scarman Shield”, £750 each and the
BPP Law School received £500.  The other semi-finalists did not go home empty handed, with each receiving received cash prizes of £250 each.  The cash prizes were generously donated by Essex Court Chambers where all finalists will also be offered a mini-pupillage.

The competition, now in its fortieth year, is administered by the ESU, sponsored by Essex Court Chambers and supported by Legal Week as media partners
ends –
For further information or a copy of the related photographs please contact Teresa Harman
Tel 07770 425068 or Email: [email protected]

 PHOTO CAPTION: L to R Dr Gavan Griffith QC (Australia), Katherine Docherty, Professor Philippa Watson, Francesca Ruddy, Martin Griffiths QC


Editors Notes:

Essex Court Chambers
Essex Court Chambers is a leading commercial set of chambers.  Its members act for a wide range of commercial and individual clients worldwide, including major City, national and international institutions, private companies and individuals.  The work of Chambers comes from domestic and overseas law firms and from in-house legal teams, accountancy practices and other professional firms. Members of Chambers advise and act in a broad range of litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution worldwide. For further information visit www.essexcourt.net

The English-Speaking Union - Creating global understanding through English
The English-Speaking Union is an international charity founded in 1918 to promote "international understanding and friendship through the use of the English language."
With almost 40 branches in the UK and over 50 overseas ESUs in countries in every part of the world, the ESU's mission to bring people together and share their experiences has never been more relevant.
The main objectives of the ESU are to:
·   Provide a forum for international friendship and understanding through our support of the worldwide network of ESUs and the provision of secretariat facilities for the International Council at our headquarters at Dartmouth House, London
·   Facilitate and assist the establishment and recognition of ESUs worldwide
·   Focus on key current affairs issues through regular international conferences, seminars and meetings
·   Promote English in international public speaking and debate for the support of worldwide communication and dialogue
·   Encourage the enjoyment and constructive use of English through educational programmes
·   Initiate and administer international youth exchange and work experience schemes
·   Provide and create cultural activities
·   Ensure the coordination and coherence of our activities through the skill and dedication of our staff and voluntary helpers
·   Work in close and innovative partnership with our corporate members and sponsors

Legal Week, (part of Incisive Media plc) is the premier publisher of news and analysis for lawyers in the UK. www.legalweek.com.

The Competition
The annual competition provides law students from universities and colleges throughout the United Kingdom with the opportunity to gain experience in their future roles as advocates.  In taking part in a moot, students do not just show their knowledge and skill in handling legal materials, but also their ability to practise the art of forensic and persuasive argument in a concise and effective manner.  Furthermore mooting enables students to gain confidence in a courtroom setting.
The competition is run on a simple knock-out basis and this year there were 64 entries."

So no, no silver spoon, and parents who, like Chris, self-sacrifice to make it happen. And, of course, kids who do the work.

Rob C

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 10:39:31 AM
Sorry, but this has gone so far over the hill that I had to. . .

For Jennifer: Where did I say that democracy and socialism are mutually exclusive? I said two things on that general subject (1) pure democracy is scary and can be deadly as the French demonstrated after their revolution, and (2) capitalism and socialism (communism being nothing but socialism on steroids) are mutually exclusive.

But I have to go back to Stamper's blast, the idea that socialism doesn't cause nightmares. In that regard, let's look at some of the recent socialist and communist successes. I can think of three right off the top of my head: the Soviet Union, North Korea, and Cuba. There are plenty of others, but I haven't had breakfast yet. Then there are the recent capitalist failures: the United States, Britain (under Maggie), Hong Kong (I probably could add Germany, but it's a close call). And there are plenty of others.

I challenge any of you come up with an example of a socialist success -- a nation whose people are or have been free and prosperous under socialism. I'm not talking about socialism within small, voluntary societies. I'm talking about nations. Give me an example -- an example you can document with reliable data, not wishful thinking, not something like the happy faces of all those people marching in North Korea to welcome their new leader. I won't deny that there are plenty of happy socialists in Western Europe, but their balloon is about to pop. As Maggie said, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Europe is out of other people's money, and the US, which recently has been having a socialist blast, is broke enough that it's going to have to re-think whether or not it can afford unilaterally to provide Europe's defense. Prepare some morning soon, oh you infidels, for eid salat.

And, Chris, talk about going out on a limb. . .  Keep watching, my friend, you're going to be astonished in the very near future.


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 10:51:18 AM
Well, yeah, I get the Ann Richards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Richards) type reference.  What i missed was the context in this particular wankfest. 

Hi Jennifer,

"Rob, what silver spoon are you referring to?"

The one that most of our Brit left refers to every time that a well-educated guy gets into power; then, it becomes class warfare about them 'n' us and all that sort of stuff that is the standard, pop-up item in the socialist argument library. That everyone has the same voting rights is somehow lost in that brand of argument, and the projection is that, somehow, were you to go to Oxbridge, you'd rule the world. To show it ain't necessarily so, I enclose the following item where my granddaughter, Francesca, and her buddy scored the best results in this UK-wide contest in Law, two Scottish students beating the best of England on English Law. I liked that.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 05, 2012, 11:10:29 AM


And, Chris, talk about going out on a limb. . .  Keep watching, my friend, you're going to be astonished in the very near future.




I think short of someone shooting the pres or a military coup (always a possibility), the numbers aren't there for the Twit. Everything is possible, especially in American politics, but I'm still seeing 4 more years of Obama. And, like I stated earlier, I'd much rather see Ron Paul.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Fips on October 05, 2012, 11:13:12 AM
Quote
I challenge any of you come up with an example of a socialist success -- a nation whose people are or have been free and prosperous under socialism.

Norway. According to your (American) definition of socialism it definitely is. Albeit Norway is lucky to have plenty of oil and natural gas. Denmark and Sweden are doing fairly well, too.
EDIT: How could I forget Switzerland. Even if you take away the foreign money, the still have an incredibly high productivity.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 11:21:20 AM
I still think your views that i've read here are whacko.

I went back through the thread and I couldn't find a post where you directly compared socialise as exclusive to democracy.  But take a look at your last post, equating socialism with North Korea.  I haven't spent a lot of time in Korea, but my understanding is that it's driven mostly by the syndicates (There's a word I'm looking for but I've lost it).  Frankly, at a local level China is incredibly democratic and non-socialist.  Libertarian to the core.  If anything, they are struggling for something more socialist.  It's a country of capitalists.

Countries such as Australia would be considered Socialist by your standard.  I assure you, it's still a Democracy.  Your views and perspective are clear.

Sorry, but this has gone so far over the hill that I had to. . .

For Jennifer: Where did I say that democracy and socialism are mutually exclusive? I said two things on that general subject (1) pure democracy is scary and can be deadly as the French demonstrated after their revolution, and (2) capitalism and socialism (communism being nothing but socialism on steroids) are mutually exclusive.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 05, 2012, 11:50:45 AM
... Democracy and socialism are not mutually exclusive ...

Democracy & socialism are wholly entwined. You cannot have socialism without democracy
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 12:03:21 PM
I went back through the thread and I couldn't find a post where you directly compared socialise as exclusive to democracy.  But take a look at your last post, equating socialism with North Korea.  I haven't spent a lot of time in Korea, but my understanding is that it's driven mostly by the syndicates (There's a word I'm looking for but I've lost it).  Frankly, at a local level China is incredibly democratic and non-socialist.  Libertarian to the core.  If anything, they are struggling for something more socialist.  It's a country of capitalists.

Countries such as Australia would be considered Socialist by your standard.  I assure you, it's still a Democracy.  Your views and perspective are clear.

Sorry Jen, but it looks as if your reading comprehension needs work. I specifically didn't and don't in any way compare socialism to democracy. They're two completely different ideas. There's even a thing called "democratic socialism," which is a consistent, if ridiculous, political philosophy.

North Korea is socialist. The state owns the means of production. That's the definition of socialism. Yes, North Korea also is a dictatorship, but there's no contradiction in that. Socialist propaganda always has pictured Naziism as right-wing, but Nazi is a contraction of  "Nationalsozialismus," which translates as "national socialism," which is exactly what it was.

I specifically didn't include China in my list of socialist countries. It's a dictatorship, but from my experience, and I'll bet your experience, I don't think it will ever be possible to confine Chinese means of production to the state. In every Asian country I've been in, except Japan, the entrepreneurs were either Indian or Chinese. With his guns, Mao was able to capture his people for a generation, but it didn't last and never will.

With your statement on Australia you've again confused socialism and democracy as somehow antagonistic. Australia and Canada both are democracies, and like Canada, Australia has been in and out of socialism. At the moment, Australia seems to be in and Canada, thank the Lord, seems to be out.

The most illuminating comparison between socialism and capitalism, by the way, is in north and south Korea. Both halves are populated by the same race of intelligent, productive people. The results are on display for anyone with eyes to see.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 12:04:45 PM
Norway. According to your (American) definition of socialism it definitely is. Albeit Norway is lucky to have plenty of oil and natural gas. Denmark and Sweden are doing fairly well, too.
EDIT: How could I forget Switzerland. Even if you take away the foreign money, the still have an incredibly high productivity.

Right, Fips. Saudi Arabia demonstrates that if you have enough money rolling in from natural resource exports and other foreign sources that you can give your citizens plenty of goodies, even a dictatorship can keep people happy -- for a while. As far as the other Scandinavian countries you mention are concerned, and Switzerland, if you don't have to provide for your own defense you pretty much have it made. Yes, I know. . . you're going to tell me all about universal Norwegian, Danish, Swiss and Swedish military service. You don't need to do that. I went through primary pilot training with a bunch of guys from those countries. I always remember one Norwegian friend who used to sing: "Ten tousand Swedes went tru da weeds, yased by one Norweian." But rifles aren't much help against nuclear weapons. Whatever short range success socialism sometimes experiences depends on being at least somewhat isolated from the realities of the rest of the world.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 12:05:57 PM
I think short of someone shooting the pres or a military coup (always a possibility), the numbers aren't there for the Twit.

I know that's what you think, but as I said, keep watching.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 12:09:12 PM
Russ, you're right on all fronts.  No need to argue or discuss.  What would you like me to think or do?

The most illuminating comparison between socialism and capitalism, by the way, is in north and south Korea. Both halves are populated by the same race of intelligent, productive people. The results are on display for anyone with eyes to see.


Your comparisons remain interesting.  Despite being a democracy, I think South Korea exhibits socialist characteristics you'd despise as well.  The "Race" of folks living in Korea share a lot of genetics, ethnicity and spirituality of those around the region, including Japan and a few other countries.  What's happening in North Korea has little to do with socialism.  Your veneer is wearing thin. 

What's the calibre of your favourite handgun again? 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 12:12:05 PM
What would you like me to . . .do?

Pay attention.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 12:27:26 PM
Pay attention.

I will be very direct.  Show me an image of main street in Colorado.  Without opinion.  Close to adults and expressive of either socialism or capitalism at it's worst or best.  Be damned with the discussion.  Demonstrate it with your camera.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 05, 2012, 12:28:36 PM
With your statement on Australia you've again confused socialism and democracy as somehow antagonistic. Australia and Canada both are democracies, and like Canada, Australia has been in and out of socialism. At the moment, Australia seems to be in and Canada, thank the Lord, seems to be out.

I wonder if the line is not being somewhat blurred between 'Socialist' and 'Social Welfare'?  I don't recall Australia ever having been a Socialist state and I have lived here all my life with the exception of brief interludes in the UK.

Particularly since the Hawke/Keating era of the 80s and 90s all of the formerly State owned corporations and utilities have been privatised and remain so.

EDIT:  Oh, I suppose I should point out that Hawke and Keating were Labour Prime Ministers - from the left.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 05, 2012, 12:37:28 PM
North Korea is socialist. The state owns the means of production. That's the definition of socialism.
Depends whether you're using Humpty-Dumpty's lexicon or not. Where does the idea of the state owning the means of production come from? Maybe you could explain.

Quote
... Socialist propaganda always has pictured Naziism as right-wing, but Nazi is a contraction of  "Nationalsozialismus," which translates as "national socialism," which is exactly what it was.
That'll explain why Hitler sent socialists to the death camps. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

Quote
I specifically didn't include China in my list of socialist countries.
Which is good, because it's largely a state capitalist system, just like the Soviet Union was (once it moved away from the degenerate workers' state, having never actually achieved communism)

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on October 05, 2012, 12:42:56 PM
This thread was fun until some of you posters insisted on trying to insert some political substance into it. A pox on both your houses!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 12:43:53 PM
I'll add one more opinion.  Banks shouldn't have ever been allowed into the investment game.  They should have remained a boring side business handling assets others used in their wild, risky rides. That they became joined at the hip is one of the diseases that infected the economies of so many countries.

The saving grace in Australia is that the "Four Pillars" were kept out of the fray because of regulatory restrictions, despite wanting to join in to the money orgy.  They remain the most profitable banks in the world.  That, and we have lots of things in the ground that go in to modern electronics.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 05, 2012, 12:44:27 PM
A pox on both your houses!

No argument from me on that one Eric.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 12:45:59 PM
Depends whether you're using Humpty-Dumpty's lexicon or not. Where does the idea of the state owning the means of production come from? Maybe you could explain.

You might try the dictionary, Bill. Any dictionary.

Quote
That'll explain why Hitler sent socialists to the death camps. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

Glad to do it. The socialists he sent to death camps were Russian communists.

Do you actually believe that the Nazis weren't socialists? Check the definition again in your dictionary. Any dictionary.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: michswiss on October 05, 2012, 12:51:54 PM
You might try the dictionary, Bill. Any dictionary.

Glad to do it. The socialists he sent to death camps were Russian communists.

Do you actually believe that the Nazis weren't socialists? Check the definition again in your dictionary. Any dictionary.


I expect a full quote.  Is Socialism equivalent to Racism?

Edited to add: I don't expect to win any argument in this thread.  Russ has his views and that won't change.  It's sad and a rational discussion won't lead him to see things differently.  I'm only adding here to express my experiences and to thrust against his views.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 01:13:08 PM
I wonder if the line is not being somewhat blurred between 'Socialist' and 'Social Welfare'?  I don't recall Australia ever having been a Socialist state and I have lived here all my life with the exception of brief interludes in the UK.

Particularly since the Hawke/Keating era of the 80s and 90s all of the formerly State owned corporations and utilities have been privatised and remain so.

EDIT:  Oh, I suppose I should point out that Hawke and Keating were Labour Prime Ministers - from the left.

It's a good point Walter, and I probably should have tackled it earlier. A genuine socialist state, under the definition of "socialism," owns the means of production. The only states I can think of right off hand where that is or was close to absolutely true are North Korea, and to a lesser extent Russia fairly soon after the revolution. But there are plenty of situations where the state, to a greater or lesser degree, controls the means of production. The state can privatize an industry and still control it through regulation. Coal production in the US recently has become an example of that situation. Solyndra is a classic example. It was a private company, but bankrolled involuntarily by taxpayers and controlled by the state. It's perfectly possible to have degrees of socialism within a state, and it's also clear that the more socialism and the longer it persists, the less effective the country experiencing it becomes.

And, yes, "social welfare" is a bowdlerization of "socialism." And yes, Hawke and Keating are demonstrations that the name of a candidate's political party doesn't tell you much about where he actually stands. After all, both Bushes were Republicans.

By the way, I have a real soft spot in my heart for Australians. I was stationed across the airfield at Ubon from an Aussie fighter squadron in 1964. Since we had only 12 officers on the US side of the field and no officers' club, we used to hang out in the Aussie O-club. I've been stationed with Aussies, Brits and Canadians, and the Aussies are more like Americans than any other group I've been around, though they talk funny. I used to be able to beat the Aussies at darts, though, and that really pissed them off.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 01:14:14 PM
I expect a full quote.  Is Socialism equivalent to Racism?

As they say in Canada, "eh?"
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 05, 2012, 01:21:14 PM
and to a lesser extent Russia fairly soon after the revolution.
it was never 100% the case, RSL, in Russia... and more over "soon" after the revolution... not even soon after the end of the civil war... unless you are talking about mass manufacturing and things that require actually some form of factory to be manufactured
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 05, 2012, 01:30:53 PM
You might try the dictionary, Bill. Any dictionary.
Ah, so nothing technical then, like a text on political theory or something. Jut a dictionary.

Quote
Glad to do it. The socialists he sent to death camps were Russian communists.
And German socialists.

Quote
Do you actually believe that the Nazis weren't socialists? Check the definition again in your dictionary. Any dictionary.
Again, not exactly a technical source.

Anyway, can you understand the difference between the socialist idea of workers controlling the means of production, and the state doing so? And can you imagine how the workers might control the means of production without democracy? Do you understand the difference between democracy & oligarchy & plutocracy? Socialism & state capitalism?

Anyway, what any of this has to do with crappy Republican Party Photoshopping I don't quite understand.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 03:22:25 PM
Ah, so nothing technical then, like a text on political theory or something. Jut a dictionary.

What does technology have to do with it? It's the meaning of the word. It's like the word "human," Bill, it's a word. It has a specific definition, which one ordinarily finds in a dictionary.

Quote
And German socialists.

Well, I won't argue with you, Bill. The madman sent all sorts of people -- anybody he didn't like for any reason -- to death camps. But if you're going to make that kind of statement it would be useful to have a reference to a source. I gave you a reference to the meaning of "Nazi:" Any dictionary or any encyclopedia.

Quote
Again, not exactly a technical source.

The dictionary isn't a "technical" source for anything except the definitions of words. You're certainly entitled to your own ideas and biases, but you're not entitled to your own definitions of common words.

Quote
Anyway, can you understand the difference between the socialist idea of workers controlling the means of production, and the state doing so? And can you imagine how the workers might control the means of production without democracy? Do you understand the difference between democracy & oligarchy & plutocracy? Socialism & state capitalism?

Yes, Bill. It's a theory that's been around for a long time, at least since Marx expounded the labor theory of value in Das Kapital, but there's never been a case in history where "workers" actually controlled the means of production. For that to happen the state would have to "wither away," as visualized in communist propaganda, but it's never happened, and never will. For production to take place you need somebody in charge. That can be somebody who wants to produce something worthwhile and make a buck, or it can be a commissar who wants to control people. And I'm not into semantic games, so I'll let the last part of that paragraph float on by.

Quote
Anyway, what any of this has to do with crappy Republican Party Photoshopping I don't quite understand.

We finally agree. But how do you know the Republican party did the crappy Photoshopping? Can you point me to a reference? It's a sloppy enough job that it might have been a liberal in the corner print shop.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 03:34:54 PM
it was never 100% the case, RSL, in Russia... and more over "soon" after the revolution... not even soon after the end of the civil war... unless you are talking about mass manufacturing and things that require actually some form of factory to be manufactured

Right, Alphabet, it's never 100%, and if you look back and force yourself to read carefully you'll see that in the post to which you refer I was careful to qualify my statement. And you're right, the final takeover was after the civil war. Yes, I'm talking about manufacturing, but I'm also talking about agriculture. Beyond that, except for the Kulaks, who were murdered, I'm sure there were people with vegetable plots next to their houses, as they tried to survive the disaster the Communists had brought upon them. That was about the only free enterprise left.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 03:36:43 PM
Puncturing balloons is such fun!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 05, 2012, 03:58:18 PM
... there's never been a case in history where "workers" actually controlled the means of production...

I know I am entering a minefield of semantic hairsplitting of each term used above, but the closest case to it was in (former) Yugoslavia, where workers/employees  managed their factories/places of work ever since the break-up with the Soviet ideology in the fifties. There was no central planning, no state-appointed "commissars," no state property. It was basically a market economy, which also allowed fully private property for small businesses. Citizens were free to travel to the West, to have full access to the Western sources of information, keep their savings in hard currency in banks, learn both Marxist and absolutely identical economic theories to the ones taught in the West during college education. I know that for sure because I passed my exam in Microeconomics at the #1 business school in the world (according to The Economist's latest ranking) and I could have used my old textbook from the Belgrade University to prepare for it just as well.

None of the above is meant to argue any superiority of the said system, just to point out to Russ that such a system did exist.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 04:12:07 PM
I don't doubt it, Slobodan, but I also know that somebody was in charge at each factory. It may have been somebody chosen by the employees, but somebody has to make the decisions, even though the decisions might have to be reviewed by a group before they're accepted. You know that as well as I do. The other point is that the factories pre-existed the takeover by the workers. It wasn't a case of entrepreneurs creating something new. I'd also bet, considering the inefficiencies of any government-run operation (the US Postal Service comes to mind) that a lot of those enterprises folded once they had actually to compete in an open market.

But I also have to tell you that I applaud what happened in Yugoslavia. It was a wonderful thing. But as you say, it was after the breakup of the Soviet ideology, which tells you something about socialism.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 05:10:13 PM
Your comparisons remain interesting.  Despite being a democracy, I think South Korea exhibits socialist characteristics you'd despise as well.  The "Race" of folks living in Korea share a lot of genetics, ethnicity and spirituality of those around the region, including Japan and a few other countries.  What's happening in North Korea has little to do with socialism.

Hi Jen, You added this after I answered your first blast. I'd say that every country in the world "exhibits socialist characteristics" to a certain degree, but I'd say that South Korea is on the low side of the scale. As far as the relationship between what's happening in North Korea and socialism is concerned, who do you think owns or controls the means of production in North Korea? Yes, it's a dictatorship, and that accounts for most of the misery, so the pain socialism causes pretty much gets swallowed up in the murders and rapes. But it's still there.

Quote
What's the calibre of your favourite handgun again?

Well, when I was flying F84s in Korea it was a 38 cal. S&W Combat Masterpiece. When I was captain of the Richards-Gebaur AFB pistol team it was the 1911 ACP 45 cal. automatic. In Vietnam I carried the 1911 45 again, but I also carried an M16 for luck.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 05, 2012, 05:25:58 PM
What does technology have to do with it? It's the meaning of the word. It's like the word "human," Bill, it's a word. It has a specific definition, which one ordinarily finds in a dictionary.
A common misconception, that dictionaries define words - they don't, they describe common usage

Quote
... I gave you a reference to the meaning of "Nazi:" Any dictionary or any encyclopedia ...
Well, it might be illuminating to see what Hitler thought the term meant, in the context of the Nazi party. He objected to its use, but when he took over the party, decided to keep it, but chose to define it to suit his own ends. 'Socialist' was taken to refer to a commitment to the community or volk, not socialism in the sense that it had been used in the Paris Commune, or 18th century Britain, or even by Marx or Engels. You want sources, try Christopher McNab's book on the Third Reich.

Quote
... You're certainly entitled to your own ideas and biases, but you're not entitled to your own definitions of common words.
Quite. Neither are you. But there is a world of difference between common usuage and informed, expert usuage. North Korea considers itself democratic - everyone votes, and the vote for the Glorious Leader, or else. But in the People's Republic, that's defined as democracy. I don't know about you, but that's not how I'd define it.

Quote
... It's a theory that's been around for a long time, at least since Marx expounded the labor theory of value in Das Kapital, but there's never been a case in history where "workers" actually controlled the means of production.
Every co-operative fits the bill. Not that workers controlling means of production is all there is to socialism, and it doesn't necessarily require such a thing for a system to be socialist. Whether it is market socialism, municipal socialism, social democracy, details vary, but the guiding principle is of greater equality of opportunity, participation in decision-making and so on. But you're right, there's never been a properly communist (according to Marx, that's a post-socialist) state. The Paris Commune probably came closest, but that was put down. Communist states have only ever been communist in name only, never communally governed, but rather totalitarian dictatorships.


Quote
... For production to take place you need somebody in charge. That can be somebody who wants to produce something worthwhile and make a buck, or it can be a commissar who wants to control people ...
Something of a false dichotomy. But enough with the politics, eh?

Let's hope the Pope has better Photoshop techies & that we never descend into the quagmire of religion

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 05, 2012, 06:18:02 PM
Give Peace A ChanceLennon-McCartney, 1969
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 06:47:35 PM
I'll go along with that, Walter. It's been fun, but it's time to end it.

On to the next argument. Love 'em.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 05, 2012, 06:51:48 PM
Robust discussion is good Russ, but there comes a time when it becomes clear that people are immovable and matters degrade to hostility.  On a topic with little or no relevance to the craft we all are here for there seems little point to generating heat with no possibility of light.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 05, 2012, 07:42:15 PM
You're right, Walter, but it happens again and again -- not just about politics, about anything controversial.

But from what I've seen in the past we all stay friends. One or two exceptions, including dalethorn, whom I mentioned in another post. Dale just plain lost it. If I get some time I'll go back and find a couple of his final posts before he was thrust into the darkness.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Robert Roaldi on October 05, 2012, 09:46:22 PM
Two legs good, four legs bad.

(Couldn't help myself.)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 06, 2012, 03:59:14 AM
You're right, Walter, but it happens again and again -- not just about politics, about anything controversial.

But from what I've seen in the past we all stay friends. One or two exceptions, including dalethorn, whom I mentioned in another post. Dale just plain lost it. If I get some time I'll go back and find a couple of his final posts before he was thrust into the darkness.



That proves two things, I think:

1. We are still connected by the common love for photography;

2. We are probably old enough to realise that we are all products of where we come from, how we grow up, and also what we discover about ourselves on the journey.

Regardless of generated heat, I'd still be delighted to meet anyone here on the opposite side who might turn up on my patch and care to share a drink. Otherwise, if diifferences are allowed to rule relationships too far, we'd all be terribly isolated in this world.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 06, 2012, 04:15:58 AM
Russ seems to be very good at attacking left leaning systems. To my mind it is a smokescreen. I would like him to try and defend the idiots, who are all capitalist and have brought most of the "advanced" countries to their knees through incompetence and greed. What would he do about the American bankers who started this crisis? Let them get on with repairing the system in the sure knowledge that it will happen again within the next twenty years or does he have a radical solution that will let us all prosper without any more crisis? ::)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 06, 2012, 04:18:49 AM
Guess I wrote too soon.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 06, 2012, 04:41:10 AM
Russ seems to be very good at attacking left leaning systems. To my mind it is a smokescreen. I would like him to try and defend the idiots, who are all capitalist and have brought most of the "advanced" countries to their knees through incompetence and greed. What would he do about the American bankers who started this crisis? Let them get on with repairing the system in the sure knowledge that it will happen again within the next twenty years or does he have a radical solution that will let us all prosper without any more crisis? ::)

Are the bankers the only cause of the crisis?  What about the people that borrowed money from the banks under terms that were not possible for them to fulfill?  I have not heard of any banker being convicted or even accused of forcing someone at gunpoint to accept the terms of their home loan.  The same goes for the credit card companies.  It always takes two to tango.

Do you have a radical solution that will let "us all" prosper without any more crises? Please share it if you do.  I am sure that the financial world is all ears.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 06, 2012, 05:05:01 AM
The financial world doesn't have any ears because they are consumed by greed. As to tangoing then it was the bankers responsibility not to lend to people who can't repay. Do you lend to everyone who asks you for something? No you make a decision on suitability.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 06, 2012, 07:27:24 AM
That's a fine theory Stamper, and it's the way things used to be a few decades ago, but the banks were forced by a left-wing government to lend to people who didn't qualify for loans. There's plenty of blame to go around, and bankers, as well as the morons who packaged crappy loans into securities which then were given top ratings by the government-mandated rating agencies have to take some of it, but the root problem was a left-wing government mandate. I know the propaganda you read will never tell you about that, but if you do a bit of digging you can find the truth.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 06, 2012, 07:49:05 AM
... the banks were forced by a left-wing government to lend to people who didn't qualify for loans ...

Which left-wing government was that? The Republicrats & Democans are both right-wing parties. So did Hugo Chevez have that much influence on  the US banking industry? Or was it all Castro's fault?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 06, 2012, 08:16:46 AM
The financial world doesn't have any ears because they are consumed by greed. As to tangoing then it was the bankers responsibility not to lend to people who can't repay. Do you lend to everyone who asks you for something? No you make a decision on suitability.

I do not lend to everyone that asks, and I also do not borrow something that I can not return in due time.  I have to determine the suitability for myself.  Just because someone will lend me something does not mean that I need to borrow it.  I can not fly a helicopter, so why would I borrow one?

  I worked myself out of $18,000 of credit card debt and I do not blame anyone but myself.  I applied for the credit, I used the credit, and I paid the "stupid tax" (tax or charges for my own stupidity).  All of the people that took out sub prime mortgages either did not read the loan terms or did not understand them....but obviously, they signed vowing to repay the loan by the terms outlined.  Now, they are paying the "stupid tax".  We all are paying the "stupid tax" in one form or another.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 06, 2012, 08:59:36 AM
You're right, Walter, but it happens again and again -- not just about politics, about anything controversial.

But from what I've seen in the past we all stay friends. One or two exceptions, including dalethorn, whom I mentioned in another post. Dale just plain lost it. If I get some time I'll go back and find a couple of his final posts before he was thrust into the darkness.

I still love you, Russ.  X-)

I think your brain is stuck in some republican TV commercial, but I still love you. ;-)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 06, 2012, 09:21:23 AM
but the root problem was a left-wing government mandate. I know the propaganda you read will never tell you about that, but if you do a bit of digging you can find the truth.

As someone who is MUCH closer to the center of the action, I am going to wholehearterdly disagree.

The root of the problem was unregulated greed.  Guys making $10-100 million a year making bets that paid them huge sums of money when they paid off ... but leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab when the luck finally ran out.

I don't think you really understand what happened in finance in the first part of 21st century.

The subprime debacle shouldn't have mattered.  We should have been able to shrug it off if all that went south was a pile of mortgages ... It wasn't the bad mortgages that sunk the banking system ... It was all the 'side-betting' that allowed the synthetic market to grow without any connection to the real world.

I actually think a big part of the issue (ironically) goes back to the Clinton surpluses.

The burgeoning market for credit derivatives needed "pure yield" for its alchemy ... And long-dated Treasury Securities were relatively scarce as Clinton started paying down the debt.  Banks started treating 'credit-enhanced' mortgage-backed securities like they were Treasuries.

The underlying assumption was that a credit-enhanced mortgage-backed security and a Treasury bond were basically the same credit.  That combined with a bunch of cowboys in London thinking that AIG's AAA credit rating was a bottomless pool equals a disaster of historic proportions.

The sad part is that we bailed out the assholes who made the mess at the expense of those who really did nothing wrong.  Too many people lost homes and jobs for no reason while plenty of assholes who made the mess and live in $10 million apartments got to keep almost everything.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 06, 2012, 11:51:09 AM
Thanks, Jeremy, I'm glad to know we're still friends -- friends who disagree on some stuff.

Believe it or not I think your summary of the situation is pretty accurate. You mean there's greed out there? WHO KNEW? But yes, the wolves moved in as soon as they saw the herd was unguarded. The big question is: why was the herd unguarded?

I gather you've never heard of Fannie or Freddie, or the fact that both outfits are set up in such a way that any profits they make belong to their shareholders and any losses they take belong to the taxpayers. At the moment their taxpayer-backed liabilities run to about 5 trillion. And even though you're "someone who is MUCH closer to the center of the action" I guess you haven't realized that certain rating agencies were certified by the government and that if you want to have dealings with the government (or Fannie or Freddie) you need to accept the judgment of those agencies. And finally, I guess you don't know about the expansion of the Community Reinvestment Act and the pressure the act puts on banks to make "affirmative action" (subprime) loans.

But when you get into the fact that "banks started treating credit-enhanced mortgage-backed securities like they were Treasuries" you're right on the money. What you left out is that banks were able to do that because the government-backed rating agencies rated those securities as if they were Treasuries.

And I agree 100% with your final paragraph.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 06, 2012, 11:53:17 AM
Which left-wing government was that? The Republicrats & Democans are both right-wing parties. So did Hugo Chevez have that much influence on  the US banking industry? Or was it all Castro's fault?

Hi Bill, Your post raises the question: what are you chairman of? Could it be the local Communist cell?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 06, 2012, 12:46:57 PM
Hi Bill, Your post raises the question: what are you chairman of? Could it be the local Communist cell?

I am Chairman for Life, of the Brislington People's Liberation Front (BPLF), and nothing to do with the People's Front for the Liberation of Brislington. Splitters! <hawk, spit>

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 06, 2012, 12:57:08 PM
Russ ... If you believe its was the ratings agencies steering the banks wrong, I believe you've got that backwards.  I worked at S&P for five years ... Nothing to do with Ratings, but I was there.  If anyone was doing the steering in that relationship, it was the banks and other issuers from what I could see.  I used to be a banker, too ... I've seen the inside of both sides of that equation.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 06, 2012, 01:04:06 PM
... both outfits are set up in such a way that any profits they make belong to their shareholders and any losses they take belong to the taxpayers...

And people complain of the lack of true bi-partisanship!

Here we have an example of a perfect compromise: Republicans got what they always wanted (profits), and Democrats got to use taxes to promote something!  ;) :D ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 06, 2012, 01:17:02 PM
The privatisation of profit, the socialisation of debt. Not what I think of as a 'mixed economy'. Makes you wonder how a purely capitalist system would cope when all the banks go tits up.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 06, 2012, 01:50:38 PM
No system is going to be able to "cope" with that, Bill, not communist, socialist, capitalist. . .

But what's even scarier is what's going to happen as the US has to monetize it's debt. Thanks to Bernanke we may see a revival of the Weimar Republic right here at home.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 06, 2012, 02:00:50 PM
Russ ... If you believe its was the ratings agencies steering the banks wrong, I believe you've got that backwards.  I worked at S&P for five years ... Nothing to do with Ratings, but I was there.  If anyone was doing the steering in that relationship, it was the banks and other issuers from what I could see.  I used to be a banker, too ... I've seen the inside of both sides of that equation.

Jeremy, I believe what you're saying. I don't doubt that the banks were steering the ratings, but by getting what essentially were government-sponsored rating agencies to pretend crappy securities were at the same level of security as Treasuries bankers could pretend they were in better shape than they were. Greedy people, including bankers, like the poor, are always with you, but the government's fingerprints are all over this fiasco. Don't get the idea I'm blaming one party for this. Both should hang their heads in shame, though Barney Frank's and Chris Dodd's heads should be way, way down. At least Chris got caught with his hand in the Countrywide till. Barney's still running free.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 06, 2012, 02:29:04 PM
Has it escaped everyone's attention in this little skirmish that banks are not political parties? They are blameless of our vote?

Banks have thrived under all colours of freely elected governments. My bank managed to pay me a reasonable interest under all the mixtures of government that we've had in the UK since the 50s, not that I had more than a token bank book at the time, you understand; but once I began to work, got married etc. and the life-struggle began, we did manage to make deposits and gather some interest, however tiny it was because of the relatively tiny capital concerned. Now, I don't even care if the wretched banks send a statement: I know as well as they do what's left, and I know just as well that there's bugger-all happening to stem the outward flow. A pension and a little bank interest was just enough to maintain a reasonable standard of living; take away either factor and it's simply a matter of time.

So, I blame the banks for their part, I blame the governments, and especially the left ones, for being too weak to face down the massive public services that drain the country dry. I do believe in a National Health system; I do believe in a State Pension and I think these principal features could all be maintained very well if expenditure were controlled and not allowed to become abandoned to the whims and whines of the people running the games. I also think that the time has long passed when Britain should have understood that charity begins at home. We have blown zillions trying to be all things to all foreign parts. I believe we are still sending vast sums of money to India, which has an enormous economy of its own, yet unbelievable class differences at the same time; had we no slums, no one-parent families and all the other human disasters that we do, then helping others would be a different matter: we might then be able to afford it. Hell, we don't even manage to buy the affections of those we think we might be helping: they still hate us, many of them. How many dollars was that that Pakistan gets from the U.S.A.? And they love you too?

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 06, 2012, 02:44:52 PM
... We have blown zillions ... helping others...

It shall be noted that countries do not help other countries, especially not out of the goodness of their (collective) heart... ever. Countries invest in protecting their national interest. They do, occasionally, engage in PR, mostly to mask the former.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 06, 2012, 04:15:56 PM
It shall be noted that countries do not help other countries, especially not out of the goodness of their (collective) heart... ever. Countries invest in protecting their national interest. They do, occasionally, engage in PR, mostly to mask the former.

How about when the Greeks came to the Turks' aid after that big earthquake?

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 06, 2012, 04:28:12 PM
I meant to add a caveat about humanitarian add, but that would only distract from the gist of my message. Besides, humanitarian aid, e.g., in case of natural disasters, is not something Rob was talking about.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 07, 2012, 05:55:03 PM
Banks

... what you think of as a bank still exists, but that's not what's being discussed here.

That's retail.

We're talking wholesale finance here ... Not depositor-financed - financed by capital markets.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Craig Lamson on October 07, 2012, 08:13:40 PM
 We also should have given debt relief to homeowners and not just the banks.

What about us poor slobs who worked hard, and paid off our montage?  Now i get to pay for some else's too?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 07, 2012, 08:32:57 PM
What about us poor slobs who worked hard, and paid off our montage?  Now i get to pay for some else's too?

Nope, that's not at all what I said.  As it stands, mortgages can't really be restructured.  I think bankruptcy courts should be able to restructure mortgages.  Instead of only foreclosure, there would an option available to work things out and keep people (families) in their homes.

But keep thinking this is all about someone trying to rip you off ... You'll find that to be mindset with all kinds of positive karmic goodness.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Dale Villeponteaux on October 07, 2012, 09:50:31 PM
Doesn't look anything like an egg, does it?

The original veggie was off-white and quite small.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 08, 2012, 02:18:13 AM
The conversation doesn't seem to have much to do about photography, but interesting nevertheless.

I always felt at the time of the GFC that the thousands of indivual borrowers who had accepted loans for houses simply because the loans were offered by the banks and made so easy to obtain, are largely to blame for the problem. What happened to personal responsibility?

I'm fortunately debt-free, but even if I wasn't, I'd never take out a loan to buy a camera, for example. (See! By using the word 'camera' I've now made this post relevant to a photographic forum  ;D ).

I understand the mortgage default situation in America was exacerbated by the fact that many States in the US, including California, have a non-recourse situation regarding mortgage defaults, which means in effect that the borrower who finds himself unable to make the monthly repayments on the million dollar house he has bought, with perhaps no initial deposit made, can simply hand in the keys to the bank and walk away. The bank then carries the loss when the property is subsequently sold for less than the value of the outstanding loan.

What a great situation for the greedy individual. "Hey! I've got no savings and no assets, but my bank is willing to lend me a million dollars to buy a luxury house, without deposit. Heck! I can't go wrong."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Robert Roaldi on October 08, 2012, 08:15:44 AM
At the great risk of beating this dead horse, I just wanted to add one comment. A couple of contributors to this thread mentioned the irresponsible behaviour of individual mortgage borrowers. There is no doubt that many of these people took ridiculous risks when signing up for these mortgages, but to suggest that the world's financial troubles were caused by this behaviour is a little hard to swallow. Many deregulatory steps were taken over the years that set the stage for all of this to happen. It's politicians who passed those legislations but it was all done because of the lobbying by the financial industry. The revolving door between Wall Street and Washington (and other places) is incestuous, at best. When I read that it was government action that was at the root cause of the collapse, I can only laugh. It was financiers from Wall street who held the jobs in the various government departments that gave rise to the changes in legislation. We ended up with deregulation in the financial markets because the people in those sectors wanted new ways to make a buck. The change in financial regulation that made it possible for mortgage brokers to sign up unqualified borrowers is only the last link in the chain. It was insanity to allow them to offload the risk in the manner that it was done. They handed the keys to the vault over to snake oil salesmen. To blame the financial un-sophisticates at the bottom of the pyramid for signing up for mortgages they could not afford, using catchwords like personal responsibility, is a very easy but unconvincing way of avoiding the really huge stinking elephant in the room.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 08, 2012, 08:53:47 AM
At the great risk of beating this dead horse, I just wanted to add one comment. A couple of contributors to this thread mentioned the irresponsible behaviour of individual mortgage borrowers. There is no doubt that many of these people took ridiculous risks when signing up for these mortgages, but to suggest that the world's financial troubles were caused by this behaviour is a little hard to swallow. Many deregulatory steps were taken over the years that set the stage for all of this to happen. It's politicians who passed those legislations but it was all done because of the lobbying by the financial industry. The revolving door between Wall Street and Washington (and other places) is incestuous, at best. When I read that it was government action that was at the root cause of the collapse, I can only laugh. It was financiers from Wall street who held the jobs in the various government departments that gave rise to the changes in legislation. We ended up with deregulation in the financial markets because the people in those sectors wanted new ways to make a buck. The change in financial regulation that made it possible for mortgage brokers to sign up unqualified borrowers is only the last link in the chain. It was insanity to allow them to offload the risk in the manner that it was done. They handed the keys to the vault over to snake oil salesmen. To blame the financial un-sophisticates at the bottom of the pyramid for signing up for mortgages they could not afford, using catchwords like personal responsibility, is a very easy but unconvincing way of avoiding the really huge stinking elephant in the room.


There are two really huge stinking elephants in the room.  Those who were irresponsible in offering clients something that they should have known was not affordable, and those who bought something that they should have known was not affordable.  There was probably carelessness on both sides. 

The snake oil salesmen only have those that are willing to buy snake oil as customers.  In the end, I do agree that the bankers hold the most responsibility because they should be the experts that know.  But, the person signing the contract has responsibility in the matter too.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Adam L on October 08, 2012, 08:59:14 AM
And the govt that felt some companies were too big to fail has also failed all of us.   Capitalism should have watched from the sidelines as these bad investment decisions get flushed through the system.   Boards of directors would have resigned and new emerging companies would be formed to fill the void.

What we got was just the opposite.  A huge step towards socialism and half the population with their heads stuck in the sand trying to place blame everywhere except where it belongs.   Bail them out.....what a failure.  This failure needs to have consequences, and that is the removal of the POTUS.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 08, 2012, 09:55:17 AM
In the UK Gordon Brown the PM and former chancellor could have regulated the banks but chose not to. He thought he could tax the bank's profits but in reality he was taxing their debts. Watching from the sidelines is what he did. :o
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 08, 2012, 10:00:43 AM
To blame the financial un-sophisticates at the bottom of the pyramid for signing up for mortgages they could not afford, using catchwords like personal responsibility, is a very easy but unconvincing way of avoiding the really huge stinking elephant in the room.


That seems a rather incongruous argument to me. I'm under the impression that democracy and freedom is all about empowering people, and giving them the opportunity to make their own decisions that affect their well-being and their future.

You seem to be implying that a people who have been given the formidable right to personally own firearms on the understanding that such firearms will be used responsibly, should not be held responsible for agreeing to unaffordable loans. I'm getting scared already.

I agree with Bryan Connor that both parties are to blame.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Robert Roaldi on October 08, 2012, 02:03:31 PM
That seems a rather incongruous argument to me. I'm under the impression that democracy and freedom is all about empowering people, and giving them the opportunity to make their own decisions that affect their well-being and their future.

Maybe so, but it's still illegal to steal, kill, or buy and sell human slaves. We accept all kinds of limitations on our "freedom" as a reasonable price for living in a civilized society (yobs notwithstanding). Not allowing extremely powerful financial institutions to do things that are so stupid that they harm the entire globe may not be such a bad thing. And anyway, electing government representatives to curb the power of others is exactly that, a form of that very empowerment that controls our well-being and future, even though sometimes it conflicts with the wishes of others. Was it a violation of slave traders private commercial interests to abolish the slave trade. Yup, in that strict sense, it most certainly was.

You seem to be implying that a people who have been given the formidable right to personally own firearms on the understanding that such firearms will be used responsibly, should not be held responsible for agreeing to unaffordable loans. I'm getting scared already.

Be afraid, be very afraid. :)



I agree with Bryan Connor that both parties are to blame.


In the strict sense that both parties acted stupidly, I would agree as well. But if you mean to imply that both parties are comparably responsible for the GFC, that's where we would part company, I'm afraid. A semi-employed twit who takes out a $750,000 mortgage to buy a monster home on whose payments he will never be able to afford is an act so spectacularly stupid it's beggars belief, and I am unable to have sympathy for the self-imposed aggravation that results from it. But that guy does NOT have lunch with central bankers, he did NOT sit at the AIG board meetings, and he did NOT lobby for the financial industry deregulation that allowed snake oil salesmen to sell his mortgage to another party after pocketing the transaction fees, while not caring about the disposition of that loan. That's irresponsibility of another order. Those actions, enabled by people who all knew better, created the climate for the GFC (among other things, I'm sure, I'm no expert). I don't think it makes sense to compare their actions. The guy who bought the house was just a small-time moron. The guys who enabled the entire house of cards all drank the same kool-aid probably because they were all hoping to line their pockets with transaction fees in one form or another.   

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 08, 2012, 02:05:01 PM
In the UK Gordon Brown the PM and former chancellor could have regulated the banks but chose not to.

Yeah, 'cos every bugger was telling them that regulating the banks was wrong, and the market would sort things & there was no need for state interference. The banks & Tories were moaning about what regulation they did put in place. No one comes out of this mess smelling of roses, 'cept those politicians & economists who argued for greater regulation & were ignored or laughed at.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 08, 2012, 02:23:29 PM
There are two really huge stinking elephants in the room.  Those who were irresponsible in offering clients something that they should have known was not affordable, and those who bought something that they should have known was not affordable.  There was probably carelessness on both sides. 

Nope ... missing the point entirely.

What was the problem was the unregulated "shadow" banking system where the markets for instruments like "credit default swaps" grew exponentially and totally unregulated ... because they were neither securities nor insurance products ... (yeah, right.)

Mortgage excess was and is real, but that's not the real issue that sent the world's financial system into a tailspin.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 08, 2012, 10:32:13 PM
In the strict sense that both parties acted stupidly, I would agree as well. But if you mean to imply that both parties are comparably responsible for the GFC, that's where we would part company, I'm afraid. A semi-employed twit who takes out a $750,000 mortgage to buy a monster home on whose payments he will never be able to afford is an act so spectacularly stupid it's beggars belief, and I am unable to have sympathy for the self-imposed aggravation that results from it. But that guy does NOT have lunch with central bankers, he did NOT sit at the AIG board meetings, and he did NOT lobby for the financial industry deregulation that allowed snake oil salesmen to sell his mortgage to another party after pocketing the transaction fees, while not caring about the disposition of that loan. That's irresponsibility of another order. Those actions, enabled by people who all knew better, created the climate for the GFC (among other things, I'm sure, I'm no expert). I don't think it makes sense to compare their actions. The guy who bought the house was just a small-time moron. The guys who enabled the entire house of cards all drank the same kool-aid probably because they were all hoping to line their pockets with transaction fees in one form or another.   


I'm certainly not willing to pretend I am an expert on these matters, and I think it's quite likely that the collapse of the housing bubble was not the cause of the GFC but one of the consequences of the GFC, which had other, deeper underlying causes.

The general principle I adopt on all complex matters, including the technical aspects of image making (got to keep some connection with photography, however tenuous  ;D ), is, 'Does it make sense?' 'Can it be explained in the language of the intelligent layperson?'

On the one hand, there are people whom you describe as stupid, who accept loans that they should know they cannot ever repay. On the other hand, there are much more sophisticated investors, whom you would probably not describe as stupid, but who nevertheless trust their investment advisors who may recommend unbelievably complex financial arrengements which may have been designed by mathematicians with PhDs, and which neither the investor nor his advisor understand, but have faith in those who appear to be more knowledgeable, just as your stupid, unsophisticated home buyer has faith in the astuteness of the bank advisor who approves his loan for the million dollar house.

This is why I think that ultimately the individual must take responsibility for his own actions and be less ready to blame others.

I think it was Albert Einstein who made the very wise comment to the effect, 'Don't trust any theory that cannot be explained in simple terms.'
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 08, 2012, 11:58:22 PM
For all those who prefer to blame the "little guy," let see the following parallel:

Say a guy in a white coat and a stethoscope around his neck stops you on the street and starts peddling a certain "wonder drug" or vitamin or whatever. Most reasonable people would be suspicious and probably refuse, assuming he is what he looks like, a quack doctor. Very few would fall for it, but there will be some. And of course, they would have only themselves to blame.

But lets assume the next day you go visit your family doctor, and to your surprise, he starts peddling the same. Most reasonable people would shake their heads in disbelief that the doctor they knew for years has stooped so low. At this point, a few more people might fall for it. And again, they would have only themselves to blame.

But then, next week, you go to a hospital, and to your astonishment, you see every doctor there is peddling the same thing. At this point you start to wonder are you going crazy or the world is. You come home, turn on a TV and see every TV station, every anchor, every pundit, even Surgeon General is talking about it, promoting it. You finally realize it must be you, and decide to give in and go for it. And you would be in a good company, you think, as every friend, every neighbor, every in-law, everyone you ever met even is telling you the same thing: they are doing it. 

You see where I am going with this parallel: can you really blame the little guy for this mass delusion? Was there ever anyone to stand up and warn everybody, especially the little guy, that this must be a lunacy? Any pundit? Any politician? Any Republican or any Democrat? Anyone?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 09, 2012, 01:03:53 AM
For all those who prefer to blame the "little guy," let see the following parallel:

Say a guy in a white coat and a stethoscope around his neck stops you on the street and starts peddling a certain "wonder drug" or vitamin or whatever. Most reasonable people would be suspicious and probably refuse, assuming he is what he looks like, a quack doctor. Very few would fall for it, but there will be some. And of course, they would have only themselves to blame.

But lets assume the next day you go visit your family doctor, and to your surprise, he starts peddling the same. Most reasonable people would shake their heads in disbelief that the doctor they knew for years has stooped so low. At this point, a few more people might fall for it. And again, they would have only themselves to blame.

But then, next week, you go to a hospital, and to your astonishment, you see every doctor there is peddling the same thing. At this point you start to wonder are you going crazy or the world is. You come home, turn on a TV and see every TV station, every anchor, every pundit, even Surgeon General is talking about it, promoting it. You finally realize it must be you, and decide to give in and go for it. And you would be in a good company, you think, as every friend, every neighbor, every in-law, everyone you ever met even is telling you the same thing: they are doing it. 

You see where I am going with this parallel: can you really blame the little guy for this mass delusion? Was there ever anyone to stand up and warn everybody, especially the little guy, that this must be a lunacy? Any pundit? Any politician? Any Republican or any Democrat? Anyone?

Good analogy, Slobodan. I don't disagree with it. This is the human condition. We tend to be subservient to authority, especially on matters we don't understand.

It cuts across all areas of human activity from the beginning of civilization to the present day. There are those who rule, who put on priestly airs and pretend to be divine, and those who pretend to be clueless, or are conditioned to be clueless in their upbringing.

In the modern era there are those who are academically qualified in a particular area, and whose opinion must therefore be considered sacrosanct, and those who recognise the marvelous encyclopedia of the internet which allows them to check the facts and who may also have some appreciation of the history of ideas and the history of scientific endeavour, and who have a bit nous, like me.  ;D

Whilst we should always be subservient to principles of justice, equality, fair play, and friendly behaviour etc, we should not be subservient to anything that simply does not make sense, whether it's a recommendation from one's family doctor, one's banker or one's investment advisor.

This is the way forward for the human race. Education and individual responsibility for everyone, not just the little guy.

Crikey! I'm beginning to feel like a second Messiah.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 09, 2012, 02:28:34 AM
Nope ... missing the point entirely.

What was the problem was the unregulated "shadow" banking system where the markets for instruments like "credit default swaps" grew exponentially and totally unregulated ... because they were neither securities nor insurance products ... (yeah, right.)

Mortgage excess was and is real, but that's not the real issue that sent the world's financial system into a tailspin.

I think that you are missing the point entirely.  My point is that both sides are to blame in the matter.  The buyer of a mortgage that they can not possibly pay in full according to the terms agreed to are lacking common sense, responsibility, and self-control.  The financial professionals that offers such a mortgage knowing that the borrower apparently does not have the means to pay the mortgage in full according to the terms agreed to are irresponsible, immoral, and also lacking self-control.  Both sides are dishonest:  Both to themselves as well as to each other.

I think that the financial professionals have greater responsibility since they are professionals.  The customer usually has trust in the professional....sort of like the same trust a patient has in the doctor.  But, at some point, even the patient has to assume responsibility for their own health.  Common sense should enter the equation.


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Tony Jay on October 09, 2012, 03:54:30 AM
The medical analogy is very interesting and happens to the area in which I really am qualified.
I would suggest that it would only be a fellow physician that would have any hope of untangling what can be incredibly complex clinical details and making enough sense out of them to know what to do.
As a physician my job is take that complexity and decode it into much more simple information and propositions that the patient (or family, or power of attorney) can actually follow and take action on.
The physician can and does influence what the patient is told and often the decision that is subsequently made.
The best physicians can honestly and openly put the situation and sometimes several different treatment options to the patient without letting their biases or communication issues fog the issue, but it is difficult.

To reflect this back to the position of the investor, even an individual such as myself who is not financially unsophisticated (decode that as someone who knows enough to know that he can't possibly understand the fine detail of complex financial products) good advice is essential.
In retrospect now anyone can see that the sub-prime mortgage scheme cooked up by Bill Clinton could never possibly fly - it was just a gigantic ponze scheme - despite the best intentions of the legislation which was designed to make to try and make responsible homeowners out of America's poor.
It is true that no-one anticipated so many mortgage-holders just handing the keys back to the bank when things got tough - but how anyone thought that unemployed and poor individuals would ever be able to service these mortgages with their steadily rising financial obligations is beyond me.
However the whole scheme was marketed from the President down to the local banks and mortgage brokers.

Banks in two countries that I have direct knowledge of - Australia and South Africa - refused to expose themselves to these products as best they could and exited the GFC in fine shape. (Actually in humble opinion the GFC is not over but only just beginning, but time will tell.)
Unfortunately many banks (and countries) had unavoidable exposure to the big American banking houses and when the house of cards came tumbling down the process was viciously accelerated by all the financial houses calling in their debt. The rest is history with whole banks and countries becoming bankrupt overnight.

There is no doubt that several pieces of legislation promulgated in the USA dealing with how banks and other financial institutions were allowed to do business led to this disaster. In addition international business means that certain things needed to change in other countries too in order to allow other nations and their businesses including banks to deal with the USA and their businesses and banks.
Another incorrect assumption was made that the banks would conduct their business dealings wisely and responsibly. We now know VERY differently.

So, to suggest that the individual poor sod in the USA who was offered a sub-prime mortgage should have known better is correct but only in a very limited sense. This whole thing was pushed as a massive industry.
Politicians, central bankers, and commercial bankers should hang their heads in shame.

My humble opinion

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 09, 2012, 03:57:04 AM
I think that you are missing the point entirely. 

Um, no.  But that's ok.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 09, 2012, 06:46:26 AM
Um, no.  But that's ok.

Um, yes.  But that's ok.  We agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 09, 2012, 07:58:23 AM
Um, yes.  But that's ok.  We agree to disagree.

What do you THINK we disagree about?  I get the impression you haven't actually understood (or perhaps even read) anything I have written.

I haven't really weighed into the debate you've been having about borrowers and lenders and at whose feet one should lay blame for the financial crisis .... Because ...

I've been trying to point out that bad loans at the retail level were not actually the cause of the crisis.

Is that what you disagree with me about or are you just trying to be cute and clever?

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 09, 2012, 09:48:13 AM
What do you THINK we disagree about?  I get the impression you haven't actually understood (or perhaps even read) anything I have written.

I haven't really weighed into the debate you've been having about borrowers and lenders and at whose feet one should lay blame for the financial crisis .... Because ...

I've been trying to point out that bad loans at the retail level were not actually the cause of the crisis.

Is that what you disagree with me about or are you just trying to be cute and clever?



I have read and have understood what you have written.  The bad loans at the retail level may not have been the actual cause of the crisis, but I think that they must have been part of of the equation.  I have not at any point stated that you were wrong.  I think that we have been talking about two different subjects.  I disagree with your statement that I am missing the point entirely.  Maybe I was missing your point, but I have not missed my point.  And my point (once again, in more general terms) is that the blame cannot be laid only at the feet of the financial industry.  Bad decisions were made on both sides of the table.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 09, 2012, 12:28:05 PM
Bryan, you have to understand that there exists a mentality that will always preclude the so-called little guy from responsiblity for his actions. It's a form of hoping that ignorance of the law will actually be protection from the law, which it never is.

Personal responsibl¡ity is always key; where the individual proves he can't accept that, he should be prevented from acting in a manner that can only result in his dropping either himself or others in a cesspit. Too late, I fear.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 09, 2012, 02:02:13 PM
I just got to get it off my chest:

I find the idea that a Joe Schmoe is responsible for the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression mind boggling, to put it mildly. It is like accusing kindergarteners for failures of a nation's educational system. It is like not seeing the forest for the trees. It is like not being able to raise above the analysis of the isolated, individual cases, where common sense and personal responsibility are indeed key.

Most would certainly agree that spending beyond one's means, in general and over a prolonged period, is certainly not prudent, smart and responsible. And, on an individual level, it would be hard not to agree with it. But, and this is a big one, when the whole nation does that, as Americans do, is it still only a matter of individual responsibility? When it is considered un-American and unpatriotic not to "shop till you drop," "keep up with the Joneses," buy newer, bigger, better. When "spend, spend, spend" is considered as patriotic as apple pie, is it still just a matter of individual responsibility? Oftentimes, what is common sensical and individually responsible behavior is not necessarily the most beneficial for the group/system as a whole (for theoretical underpinning, see the work of the Nobel Prize Laureate John Nash - or see the movie The Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe)

If you build a huge building on a shaky foundation and you knew about it, whose fault is it when the building collapses? The foundation's?

If only the irresponsible Joe Schmoe did not default, or if only bankers knew he would do it... everything would be fine, right? But the problem is, Masters of the Universe (read: bankers) not only knew he is going to do it, they counted on it. Their PhD whores built sophisticated risk-analysis models to work around those expected defaults. They packed it and repacked it, combined, sliced and diced it, until the risk became unrecognizable and smelled so good it could be sold to the next sucker. And that next sucker could not care less about the risk as he knew he would sell it to the even bigger sucker, each pocketing the bonuses along the way. So, Joe Schmoe's single mortgage got packed and repacked, sold and resold, so many times, intertwined with so many other PdD-supported products, leveraged so high, that when he defaulted (as expected), the effect was hundred, thousand times bigger than if it were just him and his banker.

So, in conclusion, it is not that his default brought the system to its knees. Turns out, PhD models* were simply wrong... ooops!

But sure, blame it on Joe Schmoe.

* If I remember correctly, one of those guys hoped to get the next Nobel Prize for his risk models... I am sure he is currently "exploring other career opportunities"


 
 

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on October 09, 2012, 02:27:08 PM
Maybe I was missing your point, but I have not missed my point.
Finally, this discussion has provided me with a wonderful quotation to take out of context!  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 09, 2012, 03:30:49 PM


Most would certainly agree that spending beyond one's means, in general and over a prolonged period, is certainly not prudent, smart and responsible. And, on an individual level, it would be hard not to agree with it. But, and this is a big one, when the whole nation does that, as Americans do, is it still only a matter of individual responsibility? When it is considered un-American and unpatriotic not to "shop till you drop," "keep up with the Joneses," buy newer, bigger, better. When "spend, spend, spend" is considered as patriotic as apple pie, is it still just a matter of individual responsibility? Oftentimes, what is common sensical and individually responsible behavior is not necessarily the most beneficial for the group/system as a whole (for theoretical underpinning, see the work of the Nobel Prize Laureate John Nash - or see the movie The Beautiful Mind with Russell Crowe)



You are wrong. All Americans do not believe that it is unpatriotic to shop till you drop.  All Americans do not try to "keep up with the Joneses".  Please do not make such broad, sweeping statements that are not based on facts.  You do not know all Americans.  I know lots of Americans that are debt free.  Now, if you can produce facts to back up your statement that when the entire population of the nation known as the USA spends beyond their means, in general and over a prolonged period of time, I will give you credit.  But, I know for a fact that you have absolutely proof to support this.  You are only typing hot air. 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 09, 2012, 03:44:50 PM
As an antidote to the political bickering & arguing  ;) , I wonder whether this is something we can all agree is just deeply, deeply stupid, offensive, and something that should guarantee this politician (Charlie Fuqua) never gets to be much more than a foot-note in the history of failed political careers

Arkansas Times (http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2012/10/08/republican-candidate-fuqua-endorses-death-penalty-for-rebellious-children)

Quote
The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellioius children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 09, 2012, 03:58:10 PM
You are wrong. All Americans do not believe that it is unpatriotic to shop till you drop.  All Americans do not try to "keep up with the Joneses"...

I guess those who do not, already moved to Germany, heh? ;)

But you are right. If there is only one American in 300 million that fits your description, I would be technically wrong. I should have said 99%. Or, to avoid that dreaded percentage, perhaps 90%. Would that work for you? How about 2/3? Could I get away with at least 51%?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 09, 2012, 07:02:34 PM
...Now, if you can produce facts to back up your statement that when the entire population of the nation known as the USA spends beyond their means, in general and over a prolonged period of time, I will give you credit...

Happy to oblige, Bryan!

Let's see what kind of evidence you would accept. How about anecdotal, just for a warm-up:

“Americans seem to have the feeling that it is wimpish to save,” said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s in New York. From the article "U.S. savings rate hits lowest level since 1933" (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11098797/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/t/us-savings-rate-hits-lowest-level/#.UHSRWI6QtZE)

Ok, I get it, you do not like anecdotal evidence. So lets try an international comparison, where Americans historically have the lowest savings rates among peer countries, as per OECD (see the attachment International below, source here (http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/10396-household-saving-rates.html#axzz28q08mqaC)).

I see now how sitting in Germany might have given you a distorted perspective on savings though ;-)

Actually, given that different reports use different sources and methodology, it is interesting to note that a respectable U.S. source indicates a negative savings rate in 2005 and 2006 (meaning households spent more than they earned). See the attachment Negative below (as per this article (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/sav/20060308a1.asp))

Do I hear you saying: "Wait a sec, you can not consider two years to be 'prolonged period of time'"? Fair enough. So lets look at another indicator, again from a respectable U.S. source (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, as per this article (http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2011/el2011-01.pdf) - see the attachment Debt below):

"U.S. household leverage, as measured by the ratio of debt to disposable income, reached an all-time high of 130% in 2007." Meaning American household debt was 30% higher than income. In other words, American households owe more than they earn. The trend started in the 21st century and lasts to this day. i.e. 10-12 years. That is a "prolonged period of time" in my view. Most reasonable people would agree that you should not owe/spend more than you earn (i.e., live beyond your means), as any difference would ultimately have to come from the family heirloom (i.e., savings).

Yes, America lives on credit (and runs on Dunkin').

Do you need more proof?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kikashi on October 09, 2012, 09:08:10 PM
As an antidote to the political bickering & arguing  ;) , I wonder whether this is something we can all agree is just deeply, deeply stupid, offensive, and something that should guarantee this politician (Charlie Fuqua) never gets to be much more than a foot-note in the history of failed political careers

Arkansas Times (http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2012/10/08/republican-candidate-fuqua-endorses-death-penalty-for-rebellious-children)


And in an attempt to lighten this phenomenally tedious bickering, see here (http://www.theonion.com/video/braindead-teen-only-capable-of-rolling-eyes-and-te,27225/).

Jeremy
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 09, 2012, 11:40:40 PM
 After watching the Onion video, my 13-year daughter just... rolled her eyes ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 10, 2012, 12:52:34 AM
Happy to oblige, Bryan!

Let's see what kind of evidence you would accept. How about anecdotal, just for a warm-up:

“Americans seem to have the feeling that it is wimpish to save,” said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s in New York. From the article "U.S. savings rate hits lowest level since 1933" (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11098797/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/t/us-savings-rate-hits-lowest-level/#.UHSRWI6QtZE)

Ok, I get it, you do not like anecdotal evidence. So lets try an international comparison, where Americans historically have the lowest savings rates among peer countries, as per OECD (see the attachment International below, source here (http://www.gfmag.com/tools/global-database/economic-data/10396-household-saving-rates.html#axzz28q08mqaC)).

I see now how sitting in Germany might have given you a distorted perspective on savings though ;-)

Actually, given that different reports use different sources and methodology, it is interesting to note that a respectable U.S. source indicates a negative savings rate in 2005 and 2006 (meaning households spent more than they earned). See the attachment Negative below (as per this article (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/sav/20060308a1.asp))

Do I hear you saying: "Wait a sec, you can not consider two years to be 'prolonged period of time'"? Fair enough. So lets look at another indicator, again from a respectable U.S. source (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, as per this article (http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2011/el2011-01.pdf) - see the attachment Debt below):

"U.S. household leverage, as measured by the ratio of debt to disposable income, reached an all-time high of 130% in 2007." Meaning American household debt was 30% higher than income. In other words, American households owe more than they earn. The trend started in the 21st century and lasts to this day. i.e. 10-12 years. That is a "prolonged period of time" in my view. Most reasonable people would agree that you should not owe/spend more than you earn (i.e., live beyond your means), as any difference would ultimately have to come from the family heirloom (i.e., savings).

Yes, America lives on credit (and runs on Dunkin').

Do you need more proof?


No, I do not need more proof that you were incorrect in stating that all Americans are spending beyond their means, in general and over a prolonged period of time.  You did that nicely for me!  Thanks.

Slobodan, I do not disagree that a lot of Americans have spent beyond their means.  They have, I was one of them.  I stated that I know a lot of Americans that are debt free and very conservative with money.  But, I also know Americans that over spent and under saved.  I was only addressing your falsehood that ALL Americans over spend and under save. Saying statements such as this fit the definition of being prejudiced.  None of the facts that you presented uphold your original statement that ALL Americans live such a lifestyle.  Thanks for your help in clearing up this matter.   ;D

And sitting here in Germany has not given me a distorted view on savings.  Do I detect a hint of trolling here?   :D  Or is this a typical question that comes from a jealous, east European, former (or current) socialist mentality?  Because, as we all know, ALL people born in east Europe are clearly jealous of a very successful economy.  ;)  (The previous statements in this paragraph are only sarcasm)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 10, 2012, 02:19:00 AM
(The previous statements in this paragraph are only sarcasm)
And, unfortunately, a good illustration of the usual impact of sarcasm on the credibility of its perpetrator. I was going to suggest that you gentlemen could maybe agree on the proposition that the USA leads the world in both public and private indebtedness, but brief research suggested that isn't actually true, at least on some measures. Maybe we could get back to photography, a love for which I am sure we all have in common.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 10, 2012, 02:39:12 AM
And, unfortunately, a good illustration of the usual impact of sarcasm on the credibility of its perpetrator. I was going to suggest that you gentlemen could maybe agree on the proposition that the USA leads the world in both public and private indebtedness, but brief research suggested that isn't actually true, at least on some measures. Maybe we could get back to photography, a love for which I am sure we all have in common.

I agree, Ken.  I want to make it clear that I am not a person who lumps people into one large group.  I do not for one second believe my statements about a person from east Europe being socialist, or jealous etc.  I believe that Slobodan is only trolling and I was weak (stupid) enough to take his bait.  For that, I apologize.



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 08:24:59 AM
Yes, America lives on credit (and runs on Dunkin').

Do you need more proof?


Household Debt Service to income ratios peaked in late 2007.  These ratios had been running up steadily since the Gulf War recession.

Part of the headwind holding us back from trendline growth is the 'curse of savings'.

While for each individual household savings make sense right now, in aggregate this drop in consumption and rise in savings is holding back aggregate demand.

This is why it makes sense to run deficits and support aggregate demand with fiscal stimulus. 

We can either borrow to feed the goose that lays golden eggs, or we can eat it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 08:31:30 AM
.  I believe that Slobodan is only trolling and I was weak (stupid) enough to take his bait.  For that, I apologize.

What's with all the drama queens on the forum these days?

Slobodan is having a conversation about the topic at hand ... He's an economist, not a troll.  I also have a professional and academic background in finance and economics.

You are certainly allowed to participate, but you might want to study up a bit before you start throwing such phrases around like: "you are wrong".
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: MikeB55 on October 10, 2012, 09:27:56 AM
Quote
What's with all the drama queens on the forum these days

Sighs.

I too am detecting a trend, unfortunately it's not an economic one.

Mike
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 10, 2012, 09:54:27 AM
What's with all the drama queens on the forum these days?

Slobodan is having a conversation about the topic at hand ... He's an economist, not a troll.  I also have a professional and academic background in finance and economics.

You are certainly allowed to participate, but you might want to study up a bit before you start throwing such phrases around like: "you are wrong".

So, you agree with Slobodan?  You think that all Americans spend more than they earn?  You think that all Americans believe that shop until you drop is a sign of patriotism?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 10, 2012, 10:00:48 AM
. . . the 'curse of savings'.

While for each individual household savings make sense right now, in aggregate this drop in consumption and rise in savings is holding back aggregate demand.

This is why it makes sense to run deficits and support aggregate demand with fiscal stimulus. 

We can either borrow to feed the goose that lays golden eggs, or we can eat it.

Well, that's J.M Keynes's theory. And it's been disproven over and over again. That "curse" represents capital, which is what, over time, raises productivity and the whole economy. On the other hand if the velocity of that huge stock of funny money Bernanke's created ever gets high we're all going to need wheelbarrows full of money to buy our groceries.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 10:39:47 AM
So, you agree with Slobodan?  You think that all Americans spend more than they earn?  You think that all Americans believe that shop until you drop is a sign of patriotism?

I think you are playing childish games with words while we are trying to have a discussion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 11:01:46 AM
Well, that's J.M Keynes's theory. And it's been disproven over and over again. That "curse" represents capital, which is what, over time, raises productivity and the whole economy. On the other hand if the velocity of that huge stock of funny money Bernanke's created ever gets high we're all going to need wheelbarrows full of money to buy our groceries.

I'm not sure what proof you think you have that (all else equal) increased savings does not reduce consumption and therefore reduces aggregate demand.

You are again repeating the Casandra calls of the republican party over the last several years ... it is as if reality was not happening in front of your eyes.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 10, 2012, 11:10:11 AM
So, you agree with Slobodan?  You think that all Americans spend more than they earn?  You think that all Americans believe that shop until you drop is a sign of patriotism?

Can you please stop this nonsense of a straw-man argument, putting words in my mouth and misquoting me? Can you please point out my quote that uses the phrase "ALL Americans," especially in the sense that you use it, meaning "each and every one"?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 10, 2012, 11:35:41 AM
I'm not sure what proof you think you have that (all else equal) increased savings does not reduce consumption and therefore reduces aggregate demand.

You are again repeating the Casandra calls of the republican party over the last several years ... it is as if reality was not happening in front of your eyes.

I never said that increased savings don't reduce consumption, Jeremy, but you're assuming it's a zero-sum game where the choice is between sticking your money in a sock and blowing it. Depends on what you mean by saving. If I'm an investor in Honda and Honda spends my investment (saving) on a press that makes better hoods and fenders cheaper, what I'm doing is increasing productivity, which, in the long run, is the only thing that lifts the economy. Same thing's true if my "saving" is in a bank that in turn lends it to a startup business.

In any case, my beef is with Keynes's idea that government spending can jack up an economy. It's a ridiculous idea prima facie. The government has no money. Every dollar it spends comes from the taxpayer, the guy who represents the real economy. If I take a buck from Peter and give it to Paul the transfer doesn't jolt the economy. Furthermore, since Paul is destitute and Peter isn't, it's pretty clear that Peter has a better clue about how to spend a buck than has Paul.

The Keynesian multiplier theory never has worked in practice and never will. That fact has nothing to do with political parties or Cassandra, and the reality I see happening in front of my eyes is a national disaster created by a group of Keynesians who refuse, or are too stupid to learn from experience.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 10, 2012, 11:46:09 AM
Quote

If I'm an investor in Honda and Honda spends my investment (saving) on a press that makes better hoods and fenders cheaper, what I'm doing is increasing productivity, which, in the long run, is the only thing that lifts the economy.

Unquote

Can't Honda go to a bank and get money to buy a press? In the UK the Tories - arch capitalists - are planning for a bank set up by the government to provide cheap money which means reluctant private investors are bypassed. The problem in the UK is Russ that investors like yourself aren't investing and sitting on their riches which means that government action is needed to get the economy going. More than one way of skinning a cat?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 10, 2012, 12:01:56 PM
Sounds good, Stamper, but the fly in the ointment is that neither a government run by the Tories nor a government run by any other party has a farthing of its own. Cheap money either means money taken at the point of a gun from the productive economy or funny money created by the modern equivalent of a printing press, which, even in the short run is the same thing as taking money directly from the productive economy. I don't know enough about the British situation to argue the point, but in the US, for reasons Jeremy explained, banks are sitting on tons of cheap funny money. Nonetheless small and startup businesses aren't borrowing -- for several reasons, the primary one being that they're scared to death of what the current whacko government might do next.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 10, 2012, 12:09:04 PM
I think you are playing childish games with words while we are trying to have a discussion.

So you will not answer the question which is exactly at the heart of my disagreement with Slobodan's statements.  Avoiding the question is a childish game in itself.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 10, 2012, 12:26:01 PM
Can you please stop this nonsense of a straw-man argument, putting words in my mouth and misquoting me? Can you please point out my quote that uses the phrase "ALL Americans," especially in the sense that you use it, meaning "each and every one"?
Copied from your original post:
"Most would certainly agree that spending beyond one's means, in general and over a prolonged period, is certainly not prudent, smart and responsible. And, on an individual level, it would be hard not to agree with it. But, and this is a big one, when the whole nation does that, as Americans do, is it still only a matter of individual responsibility? When it is considered un-American and unpatriotic not to "shop till you drop," "keep up with the Joneses," buy newer, bigger, better. When "spend, spend, spend" is considered as patriotic as apple pie, is it still just a matter of individual responsibility?"

The whole nation- what is the definition of whole?  Maybe I am missing the point here. Your entire statement in the above quote seems to lump all Americans into the same group. All Americans do not belong to the same group unless you are speaking of the fact that they are Americans or that they are humans.

But,you know what?  If you want to believe this, then so be it. I am not going to argue with th wall any more.  It is pointless, and getting you to change your opinion, or even getting you to open your mind will not benefit me at all. It really doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 10, 2012, 12:52:21 PM
... I believe that Slobodan is only trolling and I was weak (stupid) enough to take his bait.  For that, I apologize.

Ah, yes. For a brief moment I thought you are going to apologize for the cheap ethnic stereotype you used against me. Instead, you apologized for being "week (stupid)" in taking my "bait."

So, lets examine that "bait." I assume you are referring to this quote:

Quote
I see now how sitting in Germany might have given you a distorted perspective on savings though ;-)

Given that the quote above immediately followed my statement that "... Americans historically have the lowest savings rates among peer countries...," and given that I asked readers to check the attached graph, I think it is reasonable to expect from a reader to take the above quote in that context.

So what is the context?

The graph shows Germany as having the savings rate of 10.5% vs. U.S. rate of 1.4%, or 7 -8 times higher (I am attaching that graph below, with Germany highlighted). Thus, what I meant to say is the following: being surrounded by a nation whose attitudes toward savings, and by inference, less enthusiastic attitudes toward consumption, are orders of magnitude different that the one you are coming from, might have influenced your perspective. Please note that I used the term "might" in both cases.

Thats all there is to it. Where did you find the bait?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 01:13:16 PM
In any case, my beef is with Keynes's idea that government spending can jack up an economy. It's a ridiculous idea prima facie. The government has no money. Every dollar it spends comes from the taxpayer, the guy who represents the real economy. If I take a buck from Peter and give it to Paul the transfer doesn't jolt the economy. Furthermore, since Paul is destitute and Peter isn't, it's pretty clear that Peter has a better clue about how to spend a buck than has Paul.

Ah ... but timing is everything.  Borrowing today to smooth consumption brings utility and can keep people in jobs.

Being out of a job for a long time can have severe consequences for the individual and society as a whole.  Communcal actions that smooth consumption and reduce joblessness can have long-term benefits to whole society.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 10, 2012, 01:22:59 PM
Ah ... but timing is everything.

I won't dispute that, Jeremy, but what we're seeing isn't just a quick, temporary operation to avoid catastrophe. After two humongous bailouts with funny money that mostly went to outfits like Solyndra -- in other words, down the drain -- we're now up to which QE? And the current QE, according to Bernanke is ongoing with no end in sight. This fiasco fits Einstein's definition of insanity: Bernanke and company are doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 10, 2012, 01:47:18 PM
Wow! Those who don't, won't or can't learn from history are destined to repeat history.

We can't learn from the current economic crisis if we're not clear as to how it occurred, so I guess we're destined to repeated it some time in the future.

I prefer simplicity that makes sense, rather than complexity that I don't or can't understand.

It seems to me that everyone's prosperity is ultimately based on the true cost of energy and the uses to which we put that energy. To escape from that fundamental set of circumstances would be like kidding ourselves that the laws of diffraction do not exist. (See how I'm keeping this thread related to photography  ;D  ).
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 10, 2012, 01:55:11 PM
... The whole nation- what is the definition of whole?  Maybe I am missing the point here. Your entire statement in the above quote seems to lump all Americans into the same group. All Americans do not belong to the same group unless you are speaking of the fact that they are Americans or that they are humans..."

Yes, you are (missing the point). But I am sure you are "not missing your own point"  ;D

Btw, you couldn't produce my quote with "ALL Americans" in it. The closest you got is "the whole nation," which I used as a synonym for Americans. The word "whole" in that phrase certainly does not mean "each and every" member of that nation.

However, not being a native English speaker, I often reach for a dictionary (I am sure that you, as an English teacher, would appreciate that). So, here is the meaning of the adjective "whole," as per a dictionary (bold mine):

Quote
1 [ attrib. ] all of; entire : he spent the whole day walking | she wasn't telling the whole truth
• used to emphasize a large extent or number : whole shelves in libraries are devoted to the subject

So, Professor, emphasizing a large extent or a large number of something does not, and I repeat, does not mean "each and every." It is a simple case of non sequitur.

But forget dictionary for a moment. Lets see the common usage of the word "American," in journalism, politics, statistics etc.

For example, this: Americans to spend $370 million on pet costumes (http://www.14news.com/story/19781529/americans-to-spend-370-million-on-pet-costumes) Does, it mean, Professor, that each and every American is going to spend on pet costumes???

Or this: Are Chinese Telecoms Firms Really Spying on Americans? (http://world.time.com/2012/10/09/are-chinese-telecoms-firms-really-spying-on-americans/#ixzz28v2ooyvj) Does it mean, Professor, they are spying on ALL Americans, EACH and EVERY one?

Or, speaking about Americans and spending: Americans plan to spend record $8 billion on Halloween (http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2012/oct/10/americans-plan-spend-record-8-billion-halloween-ar-2680809/)

Or this: Americans consume 320,500,000 gallons of gasoline per day (http://Americans consume 320,500,000 gallons of gasoline per day) Does it mean, Professor, that each and every American drives every day (or drives at all)?

Do you really need any more lectures on the proper usage of English words from a lowly East European?



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 10, 2012, 02:27:20 PM
Yes, you are (missing the point). But I am sure you are "not missing your own point"  ;D

Btw, you couldn't produce my quote with "ALL Americans" in it. The closest you got is "the whole nation," which I used as a synonym for Americans. The word "whole" in that phrase certainly does not mean "each and every" member of that nation.

However, not being a native English speaker, I often reach for a dictionary (I am sure that you, as an English teacher, would appreciate that). So, here is the meaning of the adjective "whole," as per a dictionary (bold mine):

So, Professor, emphasizing a large extent or a large number of something does not, and I repeat, does not mean "each and every." It is a simple case of non sequitur.

But forget dictionary for a moment. Lets see the common usage of the word "American," in journalism, politics, statistics etc.

For example, this: Americans to spend $370 million on pet costumes (http://www.14news.com/story/19781529/americans-to-spend-370-million-on-pet-costumes) Does, it mean, Professor, that each and every American is going to spend on pet costumes???

Or this: Are Chinese Telecoms Firms Really Spying on Americans? (http://world.time.com/2012/10/09/are-chinese-telecoms-firms-really-spying-on-americans/#ixzz28v2ooyvj) Does it mean, Professor, they are spying on ALL Americans, EACH and EVERY one?

Or, speaking about Americans and spending: Americans plan to spend record $8 billion on Halloween (http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2012/oct/10/americans-plan-spend-record-8-billion-halloween-ar-2680809/)

Or this: Americans consume 320,500,000 gallons of gasoline per day (http://Americans consume 320,500,000 gallons of gasoline per day) Does it mean, Professor, that each and every American drives every day (or drives at all)?

Do you really need any more lectures on the proper usage of English words from a lowly East European?






If you look further for the definition of "whole", you will find that one of the definitions that the Mirriam-Webster lists is:" constituting the total sum or undiminished entirety ", or from Dictionary.com: Adjective; comprising the full quantity, amount, extent, number, etc., without diminution or exception;   This definition is the definition that I understood and applied to your statement.  And no, I do not need any more lectures on the proper usage of English words.  After reading your responses where you have clarified what you intended your statements to mean, I see that it was a poor choice of words that caused the problem. 

Your comment about Germany came on a day that some (not all, and not the whole of  :) ) people in Greece were protesting against Angela Merkel.  They were calling her a Nazi and referring to the German government as being Nazis.  This is because some of these people believe that Germany is being too strict by wanting to enforce the austerity measures that Greece agreed to enact before more money is given to bail Greece out of a bad situation.  I thought Germany's unwillingness to give in and ease the conditions just because they are difficult was what you were making reference to in your comment. You have clarified, and I stand corrected.
 
I never called you a lowly East European.  I was only responding (in kind) to the seemingly cheap stereotype of all Americans spending more than they earn and feeling that one qualification for being patriotic is to shop until you drop.  If you were offended by me saying:    ":D Or is this a typical question that comes from a jealous, east European, former (or current) socialist mentality?  Because, as we all know, ALL people born in east Europe are clearly jealous of a very successful economy.  ;)", then I do sincerely apologize.  I never stated your name and I did put the little smiley face, and the winking face in hope that you would understand that I was being sarcastic and speaking with tongue in cheek. You viewed my comment as being unjust in the exact same way as I viewed your comment.  One clarification:  the "very successfull economy" that I referred to is Germany's, not America's.

I sincerely hope that we can move on past this. 



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 10, 2012, 02:40:51 PM
Could somebody please post a photo of a lighthouse, taken with a D800?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 10, 2012, 02:44:14 PM
... I sincerely hope that we can move on past this.  

+1

 :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 10, 2012, 02:46:47 PM
Could somebody please post a photo of a lighthouse, taken with a D800?

 ;D

I wish I could. I mean, I have lighthouse photos, just not from D800.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 04:34:18 PM
I won't dispute that, Jeremy, but what we're seeing isn't just a quick, temporary operation to avoid catastrophe. After two humongous bailouts with funny money that mostly went to outfits like Solyndra -- in other words, down the drain -- we're now up to which QE? And the current QE, according to Bernanke is ongoing with no end in sight. This fiasco fits Einstein's definition of insanity: Bernanke and company are doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I don't understand your critique of the fed ... they have been the only sane people in this crisis.  Given the continued low inflation without deflation and continued solid external market for long term US debt, I can't see how you can argue they have dropped the ball.

The fiscal stimulus to date has been mediocre ... by my modest, back-of-the-envelope math I think we should have done roughly double the stimulus we did.  Given the size of our economy and the demand gap created by the crisis, we didn't do enough stimulus.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 10, 2012, 05:10:34 PM
Jeremy, all I can say is, we'll have to wait and see. I know you and the administration think we haven't printed enough funny money but there are plenty of economists out there who don't agree with you. Even some of the Fed folks are starting to get antsy about what Bernanke's doing and are starting to talk out of school. I think that if the velocity of the money that's out there picks up you're going to see that inflation's already in place and that there's no way for Bernanke to get things back under control. I'm not looking forward to the result.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 10, 2012, 11:29:49 PM
One of the only benefits of this crisis is that it is providing some rare data.  I predict that when the dust settles the evidence will support the efficacy of debt-financed fiscal stimulus during a lengthy financial crisis.

As you say, time will tell ... But there is already evidence comin' in, so we won't really have to wait long ...



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 07:36:32 AM
... But there is already evidence comin' in, so we won't really have to wait long ...

Yeah, that's what's scary. . . The evidence is pretty damning.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 11, 2012, 08:42:19 AM
Yeah, that's what's scary. . . The evidence is pretty damning.

Actually no.  The evidence is suggesting that during such crises, the negative impact of fiscal consolidation is bigger than previous thought.

The fiscal multiplier during such times might be as high as 1.5-1.7 ... Not the 0.5 as many people believed.

See the IMF's recent World Economic Outlook.

You are stuck in some very old-think.  You need to keep an open-mind ...  the "proof" you speak of is weak at best.

Slobodan ... What's your take on the multiplier?



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 09:01:46 AM
... What's your take on the multiplier?

I think it useful in terms of telephoto work, but I'd prefer to be without it & go FF when shooting wide angle & indeed, short telephoto work where limited depth of field is actually something I might want - portraiture, for example.

What? This is a photography forum.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 11, 2012, 09:11:11 AM
You started it. ;) :D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 11, 2012, 09:12:42 AM
What? This is a photography forum.

You must find the topic of some interest as you keep reading it ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 11, 2012, 09:15:27 AM
At the Torie's conference yesterday the ruling parties leader - UK prime minister - stated that he wasn't here to defend privilege but he was here to promote it. Talk about rubbing salt in the wounds. It will be a privilege to see his demise along with his supporters.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 09:17:39 AM
You started it. ;) :D

I know, I posted a photo & asked about crap photoshopping!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 11, 2012, 09:24:55 AM
What do you think would happen if you posted an image & asked about sex1
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 11, 2012, 09:34:35 AM
Stamper, it must be the Scottish dictionary that's confusing your listening/interpretative powers.

Anyway, diehard obsolete socialism apart, here's something from today's Spanish tv news which quite upset my lunch. Or as stamper may suspect, made it? Not.

In the city of La Coruña they are advertising a job for a qualified engineer, with very good English for €500 per month. yes, that's right, per month. Six grand a year.

"..Una oferta de 500 euros al mes para un ingeniero con experiencia
..Por Redacción
 .Entradas .Por Redacción | Yahoo! Finanzas – Hace 3 horas
....Correo electrónico
Share16Imprimir.....Que el empleo se haya precarizado en España no es ninguna noticia, pero a veces la ficción traspasa la realidad cuando se publican algunas ofertas de trabajo en los diversos portales de empleo. Una de ellas, subida a Infojobs el martes pasado, ha desatado la polémica: 500 euros brutos al mes (6.000 al año) para un Ingeniero Técnico de Obras Públicas con dos años de experiencia como jefe de obra, nivel muy alto de inglés y disponibilidad geográfica total que tendría que trabajar a jornada completa.

La cantidad, más que para un puesto de este tipo, podría pertenecer perfectamente a una beca a tiempo parcial y es irrisoria si la comparamos con el salario bruto medio anual en España (22.790,2 euros en 2010, según el INE), incluso con el más frecuente (16.500), por no hablar de los 40.000 -50.000 euros que cobra de media un ingeniero en otros países como Alemania.

La empresa, que en la oferta no se identifica, se presenta como una importante compañía en crecimiento con 1.300 trabajadores; el puesto, según se detalla, ofrece un proyecto de desarrollo profesional a nivel nacional e internacional desde La Coruña."

The punchline? In 24 hours they received 183 applications.

Hey friggin' ho.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 10:28:38 AM
€500 per month? No doubt that employee will need significant government (taxpayer) benefits to top-up a wage that won't even cover a month's rent, let alone anything more. Then the Spanish equivalent of the Daily Hate Mail will complain about benefit scroungers costing the country a fortune.

Being an obsolete socialist, I see it as a state hand-out to business, cutting business costs, maximising employer profits. More privatisation of profit, socialisation of debt. Which is pretty much how we got where we are now.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 11:21:58 AM
The fiscal multiplier during such times might be as high as 1.5-1.7 ... Not the 0.5 as many people believed.

See the IMF's recent World Economic Outlook.

Jeremy, there IS no "fiscal multiplier." If there were, our economy would be booming to the point of explosion by now. It amazes me how people who were taught Keynes's theories in school can't seem to shake the multiplier theory in spite of the evidence directly in front of their eyes. It's an academic abstraction that sounds so good nobody wants to admit it's wrong. It's a freebie, and everybody loves freebies. All sorts of con-men have made their fortunes on that principle. Some of them are in the IMF.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 11, 2012, 12:04:50 PM
Jeremy, there IS no "fiscal multiplier." If there were, our economy would be booming to the point of explosion by now. It amazes me how people who were taught Keynes's theories in school can't seem to shake the multiplier theory in spite of the evidence directly in front of their eyes. It's an academic abstraction that sounds so good nobody wants to admit it's wrong. It's a freebie, and everybody loves freebies. All sorts of con-men have made their fortunes on that principle. Some of them are in the IMF.

What you say above makes a nice political soundbite, but is intellectually vacant.

It would appear your ability to respond to new information has been compromised by your political ideology.  That's a shame ... you should never close your mind like that.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 12:47:15 PM
Oh dear, you're doing what psychologists call "projection" Jeremy. It's a dysfunction often found on the political left. It seems to go along with an inability to distinguish observable fact from theory.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 01:29:17 PM
Oh dear, you're doing what psychologists call "projection" Jeremy. It's a dysfunction often found on the political left. It seems to go along with an inability to distinguish observable fact from theory.

Would you care to offer some evidence to support that assertion? Me being a lefty psychologist an' all, I'm interested to know
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 01:36:35 PM
The evidence is right in front of you Bill. All you have to do is compare what Jeremy's saying against economic conditions in both Europe and the US. If Jeremy were able to respond to new information he'd realize that pumping funny money into our economies, rather than improving them is trashing them. "New information" to Jeremy would be the observable fact that there's no such thing as a Keynesian "multiplier." I can't comment on the significance of his "political ideology," but I think the situation speaks for itself.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 01:49:39 PM
The evidence I was asking for was with regard to the assertion that 'projection' is a dysfunction often found on the political left, and that it goes with an inability to distinguish between theory & fact.

BTW, one difference between theory & fact, is that theories explain facts. That's why I think theories are more important than mere facts.



Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 04:18:35 PM
With respect to the first statement, as I said before, Jeremy is illustrating the answer to your question. Jeremy is a member of the political left -- he's said so himself -- and he's projecting his inability to distinguish between theory and fact. He's hanging on to the Keynesian multiplier theory in the face of clear evidence that no such thing exists.

And I wouldn't go so far as to say that theories "explain" facts. I think that sometimes theories help to organize facts so that they can be understood -- however provisionally. But, for instance, the flat earth theory doesn't "explain" the fact that the earth is round any more than Keynes's multiplier theory "explains" the fact that our economy is in tragic condition.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 05:04:32 PM
And you don't think that such a limited data set is insufficient to justify a blanket statement of the kind, 'projection' is a dysfunction often found on the political left, and that it goes with an inability to distinguish between theory & fact?

And a theory is something that accounts for data. It explains facts. The best of them make testable predictions too. 'Flat Earth Theory' explains nothing, and is a misuse of the word 'theory'
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 05:27:32 PM
Really? Flat earth theory explains why when you look out over the cornfield the earth looks flat. It's a typical theory. It accounts for the data available to the theorist. That's all any theory does.

As far as the other thing is concerned, it's a theory Bill. It accounts for the data available to me when I came up with the theory.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 06:15:41 PM
But flat earth theory doesn't account for the data, just a very limited bit of data. View the earth from high up, look out over the ocean, and the world looks less flat. There's other data. Ships' sails appear over the horizon before we see the ship. If the earth was flat, we'd find an edge, and in the absence of an edge, we could expect the earth to stretch into infinity, with some edges getting burned by the sun, others disappearing off into the cold vastness of space.

So it doesn't account for the data. What it does do is show the danger of trying to construct a theory based on a very limited data set.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 06:33:52 PM
Yes, if you go up in an airplane and look out over the edge of the world it soon becomes clear that the earth isn't flat. Same thing if you're at sea and you watch a ship rise over the horizon. And when you have that much more data you can revise your theory. But if you live in Kansas and you've never been up in an airplane and you've never been beyond your cornfield, the data you have available would lead you to theorize that the earth is flat. In fact, if you had any other theory on the basis of those data you'd probably be considered a crank or a crackpot.

And yes, people used to think that the earth had an edge. I even once saw a woman with a T-shirt that said: on the front: "Minot, North Dakota isn't the end of the earth," and on the back: "But you can see it from there."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 11, 2012, 06:36:30 PM
... I even once saw a woman with a T-shirt that said: on the front: "Minot, North Dakota isn't the end of the earth," and on the back: "But you can see it from there."

 :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 11, 2012, 06:55:19 PM
€500 per month? No doubt that employee will need significant government (taxpayer) benefits to top-up a wage that won't even cover a month's rent, let alone anything more. Then the Spanish equivalent of the Daily Hate Mail will complain about benefit scroungers costing the country a fortune.

Being an obsolete socialist, I see it as a state hand-out to business, cutting business costs, maximising employer profits. More privatisation of profit, socialisation of debt. Which is pretty much how we got where we are now.


That’s a strange conclusion to arrive at, Bill.

There is no money for handouts from the State; that’s why it’s now the second-bottom country in economic terms, next to Greece.

It’s the very State’s lunacy in making employment such an expensive tax burden upon employers that’s the problem; that’s why there is such an enormous black economy here: companies simply can’t afford the levy on employees, and the self-employed pay a rate that would bring tears to the eyes of a similarly placed self-employed person in the UK. I know; I paid both sets of National Insurances for several years. So, the private individual can't pay the costs of the job he needs someone to do for him plus the VAT on top of it, and the result is that the job still gets done, but minus the invoice and the VAT charge, so over-taxation costs government lost revenue.

(But then, you and I know perfectly well that there is no way that a political attitude can ever be changed by exposure to the realities of life – it’s something that comes from background and is borne out in the way that experience is interpreted, so let’s not fight each other on this.)

If Spain had a problem re. employment, it was with its public servants. You should experience standing in a queue at the offices where they used to issue residency permits in the old days; I swear that I can remember standing at a window that carried a Closed notice whilst the pert young lady sitting at the desk behind it sipped coffee, chatted and did her nails. And the jobs of those people were fireproof. I hear an echo from across the Channel…

Private businesses here are very family-based and only if they grow quite large will they stretch to employing other people. However, the country is not safe from the generation thing associated with family firms: speaking to a local furniture shop owner one day, he remarked that times were getting difficult because of the fact that the founders of these businesses worked, the second generation more or less held steady but the third was often the final, refusing to work but wanting to enjoy the fruits, hence the fashion for BMWs. Then, when the business bled dry and folded, they would find jobs in the Town Hall and tell other people how to run their businesses.

It’s all so bloody familiar.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 11, 2012, 07:23:55 PM
... No doubt that employee will need significant government (taxpayer) benefits to top-up a wage that won't even cover a month's rent, let alone anything more...

Right on, Bill. The welcome package for new Walmart employees contains instructions how to apply for food stamps and other government-sponsored programs.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 11, 2012, 07:29:00 PM
... there is no way that a political attitude can ever be changed by exposure to the realities of life – it’s something that comes from background and is borne out in the way that experience is interpreted...

But that is true only for the opponent's views, right Rob?  ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on October 11, 2012, 07:32:37 PM
Someone back a few barbs mentioned economists. Personally, I'm willing to listen to any economist who has won a Nobel prize.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 11, 2012, 10:51:11 PM
How about an economist who's won a Nobel Peace Prize, Eric? Would you listen to him?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on October 11, 2012, 11:22:07 PM
I'll listen to him (or her) too.

But on questions of economics, I'll place greater weight on the views of an economist whose Nobel is in economics.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 02:17:30 AM
How about Aristotle? Would you place much credence on his views? Millions of people did for may hundreds of years, but we now now that most of his theories are sheer bunk.

I'd recommend always to go with what makes sense. Use your nous. Don't assume that highly decorated individuals who boast a string of letters after their name must always know what they are talking about, especially if what they are talking about is incomprehensible.

The current economic crisis, in my very arrogant opinion, is due to both the buyer and the seller, with regard to complex derivatives and other financial products etc, not understanding what the f**k they are doing. Sorry for the direct language.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: tom b on October 12, 2012, 02:59:48 AM
It's time to google Myron Scholes…

Cheers,
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 12, 2012, 03:10:15 AM
Looks as mad as a stoat in the wikipedia photograph.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: tom b on October 12, 2012, 03:38:06 AM
Myron Scholes, Nobel prize winning economist…

"The fund, which started operations with $1 billion of investor capital, was extremely successful in the first years, with annualized returns of over 40%. However, following the 1997 East Asian financial crisis and the Russian Financial Crises the highly leveraged fund in 1998 lost $4.6 billion in less than four months and failed, becoming one of the most prominent examples of risk potential in the investment industry."

His photograph was the least of his worries…

Cheers,
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 03:45:25 AM
I think at this point we should distinguish between the 'hard' and the 'soft' sciences. Physcis is a hard science. Economics is definitely a soft science. And so is Anthropogenic Climate Change.

The distinction is significant and something everyone should be aware of. The results at DXOMark are hard science that is open to correction from anyone who disagrees with it, using a relatively simple process of comparing their own cameras. (Notice my amazing ability to get the topic back on photography).  ;D

Economics is the quintessential example of a soft science because it embraces such a huge span of variables that we simply cannot fully understand or control. Climate Science is another example that embraces about 30 different scientific disciplines. It's no wonder there's so much confusion on the issue, and antagonism.

I'll quote from Wikipedia here to give my comments credence, although surely I don't need any additional credence considering I have over 8 thousand posts  ;) .

Quote
  In soft sciences, there are often numerous variables that might have an influence on some variable of interest, and many of those variables either may be non-quantifiable or may be quantifiable but difficult to obtain data on; but further, even with plentiful data, it may be difficult to disentangle the effects of such a large number of variables. In contrast, typically in the hard sciences there are only a few, readily identified, causative variables, making it easier to infer specific causative effects.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 12, 2012, 04:03:00 AM
Quote Rob

Stamper, it must be the Scottish dictionary that's confusing your listening/interpretative powers.

Unquote

You know the argument has been lost when it gets personal. Rob the post you used to state this is probably one of the worst you have made in over 8000 posts? Were you laughing at the plight of the job applicants or commiserating with them? Probably the former.

The punchline? In 24 hours they received 183 applications.
Hey friggin' ho.


The attitudes that you and Russ have to your fellow human beings is disturbing. It smacks of being one of ...I am alright Jack. Once again I will remind you that this crisis is one of Capitalism something that both of you are staunch supporters which you keep trumpeting about. A few posts back I asked Russ for his thoughts on beating the crisis which unfortunately he didn't reply to. Something positive from the two of you would be welcome? :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 04:56:42 AM
... Were you laughing at the plight of the job applicants or commiserating with them? Probably the former ...

Maybe it's just me, but I read it as Rob being of the opinion that this wasn't a good state of affairs
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 05:05:16 AM
I think at this point we should distinguish between the 'hard' and the 'soft' sciences. Physcis is a hard science. Economics is definitely a soft science. And so is Anthropogenic Climate Change.

The issue of climate change is quite clear-cut - it's happening. Overall global warming is an indisputable fact. There is some disagreement on the mechanism behind it, but the overwhelming scientific opinion points towards the atmospheric carbon increase as a major factor, and that atmospheric carbon increase is down to human activity. But I agree, we can't be absolutely sure, and why should we take a cautionary approach, improve the quality of the environment, improve air quality, reduce pollution, obtain energy independence (not realiant on foreign imports of fuels), become more sustainable, and so on, if it all turns out that we needn't have bothered?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 12, 2012, 05:05:58 AM
Obviously Rob can answer that one....but when you consider the tone of his musings on the subject it doesn't come across that way?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 05:30:32 AM
The issue of climate change is quite clear-cut - it's happening. Overall global warming is an indisputable fact.

Of course it is. Even our Australian prime Minister, Julia Gillard knows that. She's said many times that climate change is real. Anyone who doesn't believe that climate change is real, knows nothing about climate change. Climate is always changing. In fact, as a person who has a strong leaning towards Buddhism, I would say that change is the only permanent state of affairs in this world.

Amidst this undoubted change which cannot be denied, unless one is a climate change denier, and I suspect there are very few such people who are so ignorant, we have the very soft science relating to mankind's contribution to the current warming, and a very soft science relating to the ultimate consequences of mankind's possibly very slight contribution to such warming. That's the problem.

The history of past recent warming periods, such as the Roman Warming Period and the Medieval Warming Period, tends to suggest that such warm periods are beneficial for mankind, whereas the cooling periods in between such warm periods, such as the Dark Ages and the Little Ice Age, were not pleasant.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 05:41:29 AM
Thing is with the Medieval Warming Period, ice core samples & botanical records indicate that globally (as opposed to locally in Europe), overall temperatures decreased slightly. The upsurge in overall global temperatures is the fastest & most pronounced we've seen so far
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 07:05:43 AM
Thing is with the Medieval Warming Period, ice core samples & botanical records indicate that globally (as opposed to locally in Europe), overall temperatures decreased slightly.

I don't believe there is any consistent, overall change to climate that applies over the entire globe simultaneously. At the time the Vikings were leaving Greenland because it was getting too cold to grow crops and raise cattle, the people of the greatest civilization of the times in South East Asia, the Khmers of Cambodia who built the amazing temples and irrigation system at Angkor Wat, who dominated the entire region, including the Vietnamese who were later so troublesome to the Americans, suffered a different type of climate change.

For at least a couple of seasons, the monsoons did not arrive and the snows of the Himalayas did not melt, which normally flow down the Mekong and fill the lakes and irrigation systems  around Angkor Wat.

The agricultural system of the Khmer civilization was devastated. The neighbouring Thais took that opportunity to invade, and ransaked the capital in 1431.

It was always a mystery why the local population fled, never to return, leaving the temples and city to become a lost city, gradually becoming overgrown by jungle until the French colonialist discovered it in the 19th century.

The jigsaw is now making sense, thanks to some Australian scientists examining tree rings of ancient forests in the area.

Quote
The upsurge in overall global temperatures is the fastest & most pronounced we've seen so far

I think you are referring to what has been measured so far. What has been measured during the past 100 years is far, far greater than what has been measured during the past 20 million years. Statements like your above quote have to be interpreted.

I'll give  you the correct interpretation, as follows:

"The great paucity of information on global temperatures during the past 20 million years years provides no firm evidence as to whether or not current warming trends are faster than what has occurred during any similar period in the past. The resolution of our data is not sufficient. (See, we're still on the topic of photography. Resolution is very important  ;D ).

Of course, when climate scientists occasionally make such statements in line with your quote above, they are probably advised by the media experts in charge, not to tell the truth, or it may cause people to think for themselves and undermine the cause of climate-change-alarmism.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 07:18:20 AM
I don't believe there is any consistent, overall change to climate that applies over the entire globe simultaneously.
So far as I'm aware, that's not what scientists are claiming, so a bit of a strawman argument. Overall global warming is a fact, the science suggests that rise in global temperatures is faster than at any time in the last few million years at least. The impact of that rise is a disruption in climates around the globe. No one is suggesting an overall climate change, everywhere, but climate changes as various systems respond to rising temperatures averaged across the world.

Quote
Of course, when climate scientists occasionally make such statements in line with your quote above, they are probably advised by the media experts in charge, not to tell the truth, or it may cause people to think for themselves and undermine the cause of climate-change-alarmism.
Do you have an evidence that scientists are being advised by these 'media experts in charge'? Sounds all a bit 'conspiracy theory' to me. Scientists tend to publish in peer-reviewed academic journals, opening their data & subsequent interpretation to review, testing & rebuttal. Your slur, because the suggestion that scientists are deliberately lying about the data is just that, seems to have little basis in fact, unless you've got some evidence.

As for climate-change alarmism, the current unprecedented melting of Arctic sea-ice, the withdrawal of alpine glaciers, and the like, really aren't fantasy. They shold alarm us all.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 12, 2012, 08:00:36 AM
The evidence is right in front of you Bill. All you have to do is compare what Jeremy's saying against economic conditions in both Europe and the US. If Jeremy were able to respond to new information he'd realize that pumping funny money into our economies, rather than improving them is trashing them. "New information" to Jeremy would be the observable fact that there's no such thing as a Keynesian "multiplier." I can't comment on the significance of his "political ideology," but I think the situation speaks for itself.

Fine, Russ.  If you can play "I know you are, but what am I?" ... So can I.

I'm not a "member" of anything.  I am most definitely NOT a Republican, but I don't really tow the line for the Democrats either.  My underlying philosophy is one of compassion.  I believe a society is an extended family.  We take care of each other, because compassion is love and love is all we got.  Those of us who are lucky enough to succeed well beyond our needs have a choice ... We can share a bit, or we can pretend we actually deserve every bit of fortune and fuck the rest of y'all.

You, however, are nothing more than a mouthpiece for a specific political agenda called the Republican Party.

Sad part is ... Like Romney, you seem to have been repeating the mantras and half-truths so long you have forgotten the cynical basis for you platform and actually believe the bullshit.

I have far more respect for Republicans who know they are selfish sons of bitches.

With regards to your rant about theories, etc ... I find it to be even less interesting than the discussion about what is the definition of art.

The experience of the nations experimenting with austerity is pretty clear - to me and many others.

The leverage of fiscal policy during financial crises is big. 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 08:34:43 AM
So far as I'm aware, that's not what scientists are claiming, so a bit of a strawman argument. Overall global warming is a fact, the science suggests that rise in global temperatures is faster than at any time in the last few million years at least. The impact of that rise is a disruption in climates around the globe. No one is suggesting an overall climate change, everywhere, but climate changes as various systems respond to rising temperatures averaged across the world.
Do you have an evidence that scientists are being advised by these 'media experts in charge'? Sounds all a bit 'conspiracy theory' to me. Scientists tend to publish in peer-reviewed academic journals, opening their data & subsequent interpretation to review, testing & rebuttal. Your slur, because the suggestion that scientists are deliberately lying about the data is just that, seems to have little basis in fact, unless you've got some evidence.

You misunderstand me. I'm not the person reading, examining and approving for publication the scientists's papers. I'm the layperson who hears the politicised reports of the findings and who uses his nous, with a bit of help from research on the internet, to make sense of the summarised and biased statements on such matters. I don't have the skill nor time, to examine all the scientific papers in all the 30-odd scientific disciplines involved in climate science.

If I hear a 'claimed' climate scientist declare over the radio that the current warming period is more rapid than at any other period in the past 20 million years, as I have, then my entire intelligence and understanding of scientific matters, or my nous, tells my that such a statement is total bunk, especially in view of past misrepresentations such as the Hockey Stick graph which appeared to 'deny' the existence of the MWP.

It all has to do with resolution, old chap. If you were to produce a graph of temperature changes during the past 20 million years, using just 1cm on the horizontal axis to represent each 100 year period, the graph would be 200 kilometres long.

We're in a period where huge quantities of scientific instruments are taking a massive number of measurements all over the place.

Computer models may predict that as a result of global warming, whether entirely natural or not, the intensity and frequency of hurricanes and cyclones may increase. However, we simply don't have accurate global records of hurricane and cyclone activity that extend beyond 100 years in order to confirm that hypothesis.

Quote
As for climate-change alarmism, the current unprecedented melting of Arctic sea-ice, the withdrawal of alpine glaciers, and the like, really aren't fantasy. They should alarm us all.

The melting is not unprecedented. Not even nearly. About 25,000 years ago the Aborigines of Australia were able to walk over from Indonesia to North Australia, and walk over from the Australian mainland to Tasmania, at low tide.

Go back further and the first humans out of Africa were able to walk over what is now the Bosphorous that divides Europe from Turkey.

Climate and sea levels have always been changing. Statements that such changes are more rapid as a result of our CO2 emissions, than at any period in the past, are simply not scientifically established, nor scientifically proved.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 08:44:07 AM
... I'm the layperson who hears the politicised reports of the findings and who uses his nous, with a bit of help from research on the internet, to make sense of the summarised and biased statements on such matters. I don't have the skill nor time, to examine all the scientific papers in all the 30-odd scientific disciplines involved in climate science ...

... Climate and sea levels have always been changing. Statements that such changes are more rapid as a result of our CO2 emissions, than at any period in the past, are simply not scientifically established, nor scientifically proved.

So, a self-confessed layperson, lacking the skill & time to examine the scientific papers across a range of disciplines, but able to state that current climate changes & CO2 emissions are not scientifically shown to be related. OK.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 09:37:48 AM
So, a self-confessed layperson, lacking the skill & time to examine the scientific papers across a range of disciplines, but able to state that current climate changes & CO2 emissions are not scientifically shown to be related. OK.

No. Wrong again. Not scentifically proved to be related, is my point. One doesn't have to have 6 PhDs to understand the concept of proof in science. But one does have to understand that a consensus of scientific opinion on any complex matter does not constitute proof.

Quote
Do you have an evidence that scientists are being advised by these 'media experts in charge'? Sounds all a bit 'conspiracy theory' to me.

Not hard evidence, just using my nous again. I'm not involved in the mass media, apart from my presence on LL, although I have worked with newspapers in the past. Media people tend to be experts in the presentation of the news in such a way as to capture the attention of their audience.

It would be very strange indeed if a climate scientist who was invited for an interview, and who was not familiar with media techniques, was not given any advice on how best to present his argument.

For example, if I were a scientist talking about the acidification of the oceans, which was my speciality, for example, I would present certain facts on the current pH of the oceans and that there was evidence that the pH had changed since the beginning of the industrial revolution. I would explain that the current pH of the oceans varies between 7.9 and 8.4 depending on season, location and depth at which measurements are taken. I'd explain that the current levels are clearly alkaline and that the term acidification refers to a shift from the alkaline end of the spectrum to the acidic end of the spectrum, and that such a change over the past 100 years or so is in the order of 0.1pH, which still leaves the oceans predominantly alkaline, with a long, long way to go before the water becomes even neutral.

I'm sure the media experts would advise me not to bore my listeners with facts, and just get the message across that the barrier reef is in dire straits, that species in the oceans may become extinct, and that it's all due to CO2 emissions.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 12, 2012, 09:46:53 AM
So, a self-confessed layperson, lacking the skill & time to examine the scientific papers across a range of disciplines, but able to state that current climate changes & CO2 emissions are not scientifically shown to be related. OK.

How about a right-wing funded climate scientist who held that position ... and then changed his mind ... ???

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all&
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 10:12:23 AM
It's not about the politics of any individual scientist, it's about the data.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 12, 2012, 10:15:04 AM
How about a right-wing funded climate scientist who held that position ... and then changed his mind ... ???

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all&

Good article. Here's an extract:  ;D

Quote
It’s a scientist’s duty to be properly skeptical. I still find that much, if not most, of what is attributed to climate change is speculative, exaggerated or just plain wrong. I’ve analyzed some of the most alarmist claims, and my skepticism about them hasn’t changed.

Hurricane Katrina cannot be attributed to global warming. The number of hurricanes hitting the United States has been going down, not up; likewise for intense tornadoes. Polar bears aren’t dying from receding ice, and the Himalayan glaciers aren’t going to melt by 2035. And it’s possible that we are currently no warmer than we were a thousand years ago, during the “Medieval Warm Period” or “Medieval Optimum,” an interval of warm conditions known from historical records and indirect evidence like tree rings. And the recent warm spell in the United States happens to be more than offset by cooling elsewhere in the world, so its link to “global” warming is weaker than tenuous.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 12, 2012, 11:53:27 AM
Fine, Russ.  If you can play "I know you are, but what am I?" ... So can I.

I'm not a "member" of anything.  I am most definitely NOT a Republican, but I don't really tow the line for the Democrats either.  My underlying philosophy is one of compassion.  I believe a society is an extended family.  We take care of each other, because compassion is love and love is all we got.  Those of us who are lucky enough to succeed well beyond our needs have a choice ... We can share a bit, or we can pretend we actually deserve every bit of fortune and fuck the rest of y'all.

You, however, are nothing more than a mouthpiece for a specific political agenda called the Republican Party.

Sad part is ... Like Romney, you seem to have been repeating the mantras and half-truths so long you have forgotten the cynical basis for you platform and actually believe the bullshit.

I have far more respect for Republicans who know they are selfish sons of bitches.

With regards to your rant about theories, etc ... I find it to be even less interesting than the discussion about what is the definition of art.

The experience of the nations experimenting with austerity is pretty clear - to me and many others.

The leverage of fiscal policy during financial crises is big. 

Hi Jeremy. I'm glad to hear that your philosophy is one of "compassion." And those are beautiful sentiments about "an extended family" and the idea that "compassion is love."

But taking a portion of the livelihood of one person at the point of a gun in order to give to another person whom you've concluded has not been "lucky enough to succeed" is a long way from compassion. Compassion is when you as an individual or you as a member of a voluntary group -- churches come to mind -- give up a portion of your livelihood to help another person whom you or your group concludes has been disadvantaged by circumstances beyond his control.

Your use of the word "lucky" is a signal that your worldview tells you society is a zero-sum game: that people who succeed are "lucky" and those who don't are "unlucky." But that's not the way the world works -- in any sort of society with any sort of government.
 
The rest of your rant is incoherent enough and heated enough that its value speaks for itself.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 12, 2012, 12:27:22 PM
A few posts back I asked Russ for his thoughts on beating the crisis which unfortunately he didn't reply to.

Hi Stamper. Somehow I missed your request for a plan to beat the "crisis." Here's a plan:

Leftists can't distinguish between tax rates and tax revenue, but history tells us that if you reduce tax rates you increase tax revenue. Bush, for instance, is accused of breaking the US federal fisc by reducing taxes. But once tax rates were reduced tax revenue increased substantially. Same thing was true with Reagan. As Casey said: "You could look it up." There are plenty of reasons for this, but you could look those up too, so I won't gild the lily.

The first part of my plan would be to reduce tax rates on everybody. Oh dear, the "wealthiest Americans" will benefit from that plan. Of course they will. They pay the vast majority of taxes. But the people who will benefit most will be small businesspeople. Most of those folks are sole proprietors or sub-S corporations and they pay taxes on their business income as if it were personal income, at tax rates much higher than corporate rates. Small business -- not the government or big business -- is what keeps the unemployment rate down, and more money in the hands of small businesspeople means more employment.

The second part of my plan would do away with death taxes. The people who'd benefit most from that change would be small businesses and farmers whose inheritors often have to sell their businesses or farms to pay the death tax. That kills a lot of businesses we can't afford to lose.

The third part of my plan would do away altogether with corporate taxes. Corporate profits are double taxed -- taxed once as corporate income and then taxed again as personal income. Besides being an incredible drag on the economy the whole idea of double taxation is outrageous.

There's more, including doing away with the unfunded mandates levied by over-regulation, but by now I think you can see some parallels between my plan and a certain candidate's plan. The whole idea would be, as John Kennedy said when he was campaigning: to "get American moving again." Raising taxes and increasing regulation isn't going to bring down the deficit. Only getting the economy back on track is going to do that.

But let me make a prediction:

Next year Angela Merkel will lose her election. Shortly after that the Greek economy will tank and the Greeks will have to dump the Euro and monetize their debt with a hugely inflated drachma. Not too long after that the Euro will go down altogether along with the socialist European economy. The US won't escape the result. So, everybody batten down the hatches. We're in for a wild ride.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 12, 2012, 12:31:27 PM
Buy gold!  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 01:08:31 PM
Leftists can't distinguish between tax rates and tax revenue ...

... the socialist European economy ...

Just. Too. Funny.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 12, 2012, 01:54:45 PM
Just. Too. Funny.


Well, from the perspective of anyone who imagines that Europe is anything but a socialist mess, I suppose there's cause for a giggle.

There hasn't been any other kind of governance in most of it for decades; none of the leaders in any of the parties has the balls to implement a right-wing agenda, never mind stand on one.

The interesting thing is, Scotland fields hardly any rightist candidates anymore, and Independence there (without British subsidies, of course) would, proportionately, help the right to a greater chance of more permanent power in England and the remaining bits of greater Britain. Yet, those selfish right-wing bastards in England are doing their best to keep Scotland 'enchained' to the rest of Bitain; how curious... how blind. Oh, wait! Altruism! How rare.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 02:02:47 PM
I think you'll find that we've had some right wing governments in Europe. Some have had a wide-ranging influence on world events. OK, none of it good ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 02:04:10 PM
Why do I, every time I hear Republicans crying over the fate of small businesses and farmers, or middle-class in general, think of... crocodile tears?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 12, 2012, 02:39:27 PM
Why do I, every time I hear Republicans crying over the fate of small businesses and farmers, or middle-class in general, think of... crocodile tears?

Maybe you're a pinko commie enemy of freedom, or something? You know, someone to the left of Genghis Khan.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 12, 2012, 04:26:53 PM
These debates are usually sterile. Maybe that's because if social democrats can't see that compulsory charity with other people's money is immoral and corrupting all round, then there's no rationale for a meeting of the minds.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 04:33:09 PM
... immoral and corrupting...

And your views are a perfect invitation for a friendly "meeting of the minds."

EDIT: On a side note, does it mean that our right-wing friends think that ALL taxes are "immoral and corrupting"? O,r perhaps, only taxes for national defense are "moral"?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 12, 2012, 06:10:19 PM
I guess the plot has given up and gone home.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 12, 2012, 06:20:31 PM
On a side note, does it mean that our right-wing friends think that ALL taxes are "immoral and corrupting"? O,r perhaps, only taxes for national defense are "moral"?

The primary and only legitimate function of government is to protect its citizens from all threats, foreign or domestic. Which is why we have laws in the US that require you to drive on the right side of the road, and why the government taxes us so it can enforce them. Since the Brits drive on the left side, had we remained a colony there'd be endless pileups on our freeways. That's why we broke away and fought the Revolutionary war: so we could decide for ourselves which side to drive on without causing highway mayhem.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 12, 2012, 06:21:22 PM
And your views are a perfect invitation for a friendly "meeting of the minds."

EDIT: On a side note, does it mean that our right-wing friends think that ALL taxes are "immoral and corrupting"? O,r perhaps, only taxes for national defense are "moral"?
This is elementary stuff. There are many treatises on the difference between government functions to enable 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' versus re-distribution. Try 'The Road To Serfdom' if you're at a loss. The high tax and the low tax positions aren't equal and opposite. One presumes to use my money for your preferred causes, the other wants to leave you and me alone as far as possible. It follows that the burden of proof falls on the high tax position. The practical outcome of the low tax postion is that charity (a beautiful word in its pure sense) is voluntary. Yes, involuntary 'charity' is immoral and corrupting.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 12, 2012, 06:46:02 PM
That's why we broke away and fought the Revolutionary war: so we could decide for ourselves which side to drive on without causing highway mayhem.
Well, I'll be watching the election from US territory where they drive on the left:
(http://thelightcavalry.zenfolio.com/img/s2/v59/p1189661136-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 12, 2012, 06:47:56 PM
This is elementary stuff. There are many treatises on the difference between government functions to enable 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' versus re-distribution. Try 'The Road To Serfdom' if you're at a loss. The high tax and the low tax positions aren't equal and opposite. One presumes to use my money for your preferred causes, the other wants to leave you and me alone as far as possible. It follows that the burden of proof falls on the high tax position. The practical outcome of the low tax postion is that charity (a beautiful word in its pure sense) is voluntary. Yes, involuntary 'charity' is immoral and corrupting.

I love how you invoke morality as if somehow that instantly makes you right.

If your house catches fire, put it out yourself.  I wouldn't want your moral compass to be damaged by your neighbor's 'involuntary charity'.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 12, 2012, 06:54:31 PM
I love how you invoke morality as if somehow that instantly makes you right.

If your house catches fire, put it out yourself.  I wouldn't want your moral compass to be damaged by your neighbor's 'involuntary charity'.


Non-sequitur. Whence do you deduce an objection to a publicly funded fire service?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 07:00:56 PM
Ok... both Russ and Mark elegantly evaded my question, so I will assume their position is that low taxes are moral, and high taxes are not. But who decided what is low and what is high? What you consider high I might consider optimal or low. And who says the current taxes are high? They are the lowest in decades, no? And as such, they generated the historic high corporate profits and the increase in personal wealth of the 1%, even under Obama. So, what exactly is the problem?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 07:01:52 PM
Non-sequitur. Whence do you deduce an objection to a publicly funded fire service?

You said that taxes are "immoral," no?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 12, 2012, 07:09:24 PM
You said that taxes are "immoral," no?
These debates are usually sterile. Maybe that's because if social democrats can't see that compulsory charity with other people's money is immoral and corrupting all round, then there's no rationale for a meeting of the minds.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 07:13:35 PM
Gee, man, I can read, no need to repost what you already wrote. Your sentence implied a simple equation: taxes = compulsory charity = immoral and corrupting.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 12, 2012, 07:24:32 PM
Gee, man, I can read, no need to repost what you already wrote. Your sentence implied a simple equation: taxes = compulsory charity = immoral and corrupting.
No. For example I'd support a tax for elementary logic exams for citizens to pass to earn the right to vote.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 07:29:39 PM
No. For example I'd support a tax for elementary logic exams for citizens to pass to earn the right to vote.

The forum just got a new sarcasm contender, ladies and gentleman! Welcome! It felt so lonely here for a while.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 12, 2012, 07:44:27 PM
Ok... both Russ and Mark elegantly evaded my question, so I will assume their position is that low taxes are moral, and high taxes are not. But who decided what is low and what is high? What you consider high I might consider optimal or low. And who says the current taxes are high? They are the lowest in decades, no? And as such, they generated the historic high corporate profits and the increase in personal wealth of the 1%, even under Obama. So, what exactly is the problem?

The size of taxes doesn't matter, Slobodan. The only thing that matters is what the taxes are for. Our Constitution very clearly lays out the legitimate functions of the U.S. government. The problem with our current taxes is that most of them are for things that, under the Constitution, aren't legitimate. That kind of thing is called "ripoff."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 12, 2012, 10:09:26 PM
... The problem with our current taxes is that most of them are for things that, under the Constitution, aren't legitimate. That kind of thing is called "ripoff."

And that would be the current administration's fault?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 13, 2012, 04:16:25 AM
No. For example I'd support a tax for elementary logic exams for citizens to pass to earn the right to vote.

You see, I'm a socialist, so I find this an appalling idea - limiting the right of the people to vote, that's for fascists, statists, oligarchists, & dictators. So the people sometimes vote for stuff you don't like; live with it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 13, 2012, 04:24:05 AM
Russ you stated that businesses benefit the most from lower taxes? You prefaced that with a lowering of tax for the rich as part of your plan for the future. Why not raise taxes for the rich.... they can afford it? Meanwhile I am still trying to work out how lowering taxes brings in more money. Is it because the turnover in the economy will increase? You should have stated that as part of the plan!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 13, 2012, 06:59:55 AM
You see, I'm a socialist, so I find this an appalling idea - limiting the right of the people to vote, that's for fascists, statists, oligarchists, & dictators. So the people sometimes vote for stuff you don't like; live with it.


No, that's not the point and the danger.

In Scotland, they are now hoping to include sixteen-year-olds in the Independence issue vote. Sixteen.

Do you remember what you used to believe when you were sixteen? You can sell a kid any dream you like; the street corners are always well populated by folks selling them what they want, and of which they imagine they understand the consequences, should they think that far. You also know sixteen-year-olds with an understanding of politics, or even many adults with a sophisticated knowledge of it?

I read here these bleats about exploitation, the horrors of the rich etc. et bloody cetera. I enclose a little collage of what it means to be moderately successful as a middle-class person. The lad who owns this stuff is my brother-in-law. He started life with few qualifications other than a very good set of parents and a comfortable home life. Akin to my own. I’ve known him from when he was about eight. (His is a Brabus LWB S Class Mercedes and hers has the AMG toys.)

He left school, became apprenticed to a firm where he worked all day, went to college and eventually qualified as an Associate of the relevant professional Society. He studied harder and became a Fellow. His wife worked just as hard. She ended up supervising a staff of over three hundred people, and he created and developed a chain of estate agencies which he finally sold and he then continued in another branch of the profession. He now consults.

In the evenings and at weekends, they would entertain a vast number of business people and he’d also play at least two full rounds of golf per week. It’s a work-load that would have scared the shit out of me, quite apart from killing me off physically. They have a home in Spain, a very nice one in Scotland.

Now, someone tell me they were lucky?

Those are the people that make life tick; they create the jobs within their professions; their spending creates work in many, many others, they devote their lives to the work ethic. Does someone really hate them for their success, for the fruits of their labours? Many clearly do. And all it proves is how fucking useless many of the rest of us really are. I could have done much the same, but I chose to chase dreams of beauty instead. I enjoyed it; it was fun; it never brought many of the material benefits of a real job. But, it fed the family, showed us the world and much happiness. I envy no one their success because I know it never comes by itself.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 13, 2012, 07:13:53 AM
Quote

In Scotland, they are now hoping to include sixteen-year-olds in the Independence issue vote. Sixteen.

Unquote

By the age of sixteen most Scots - if they have applied themselves - will have had a good education. Yesterday on the news I heard of plans to educate them on the Independence issue - impartially I hope - so letting them vote is a good idea. They can die for their country and marry and the females can legally have children. Independence if it comes about will affect them the most because they have their life ahead of them. Some of them will be more open minded than their grand parents! Rob think again. :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 13, 2012, 07:24:10 AM
And that would be the current administration's fault?

No, they've just ballooned the problem. It started around 1932.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 13, 2012, 07:31:07 AM
Sixteen year olds in Scotland can have sex, get married, start a family, work, pay taxes - why on earth shouldn't they get to vote?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 13, 2012, 07:39:48 AM
Russ you stated that businesses benefit the most from lower taxes? You prefaced that with a lowering of tax for the rich as part of your plan for the future. Why not raise taxes for the rich.... they can afford it? Meanwhile I am still trying to work out how lowering taxes brings in more money. Is it because the turnover in the economy will increase? You should have stated that as part of the plan!

You need to read more carefully, Stamper. As usual, you're confusing tax rates with tax revenue. If you lower tax rates for the "rich" the revenue they contribute increases. I know you can't figure that out, but I'd suggest getting on Google and asking the question. One thing that happens is that people -- even those "millionaires" who make $200,000 -- take their money out of tax shelters and start taking chances again. That's what boosts the economy. Every time tax rates have been lowered, tax revenue has increased. In recent history it happened under Kennedy, Reagan, and most recently Bush. But that's a fact leftists will try to deny, even in the face of the data.

No, it's not because of "turnover," whatever that is. It's because people try new things that might make them a buck. New things get invented. People get hired. More people working and earning an income means more tax revenue. It's something socialists never will be able to figure out.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 13, 2012, 07:41:55 AM
Sixteen year olds in Scotland can have sex. . .

Careful Bill, you'll have every pedophile in the world heading for Scotland.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 13, 2012, 08:05:53 AM
Legal age of consent in the UK is sixteen. It was sixteen when I was sixteen, and that's well in excess of sixteen years ago.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 13, 2012, 08:06:19 AM
Russ, since you are the only one who is capable of interpreting economic data correctly ...

How do you explain the following two facts?

  1) The economies that are doing the worst are those that have cut back the most on fiscal spending.

  2) The forecast errors in GDP growth rates are highly correlated with the level of fiscal pullback.

As you don't like my explanation ... that the impact of fiscal spending in times of severe financial crisis is amplified and much bigger than "anti-keynesians" like yourself would have us believe ...  

Provide your own.  Please provide a sound analytical framework that explains these two FACTS.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 13, 2012, 08:07:55 AM
Russ as stated in an earlier post it is reckoned that the business rich in the UK are sitting on about £800 billion that could be spent on the economy. The Conservatives along with their poodles the Liberals are in charge. They are moving further to the right into the equivalent of the Republicans type of politics but even they aren't saying cut taxes for the rich and the economy will benefit. In the UK it is called the trickle down effect that has been effectively discredited and they won't foist it on the public. However at their recent annual rally the party members were calling for a cut from 45% to 40% which would merely feather their nests. No thought for the worse off. I suspect Republicans want to feather their nests and tell the gullible public in the USA that they will benefit by cuts for the rich? It is far fetched by you that they will simply spend the extra instead of adding it to their bank accounts. :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 13, 2012, 08:08:29 AM
No, it's not because of "turnover," whatever that is.

This just shows how little you actually know about the world.

Turnover = Sales, in the UK.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 13, 2012, 08:11:20 AM
I suspect Republicans want to feather their nests and tell the gullible public in the USA that they will benefit by cuts for the rich?

Stamper, while I don't really agree with your entire platform ... you've nailed it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 13, 2012, 08:20:22 AM
No, they've just ballooned the problem. It started around 1932.

Russ, there's another question you'll have to answer in your role as the only one who knows what's up ...

What's the difference between the Great Depression, this Great Recession, the Japanese Financial Crisis ... and your garden-variety recession?

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 13, 2012, 08:27:11 AM
Non-sequitur. Whence do you deduce an objection to a publicly funded fire service?

Ok, great.  I got you to agree that a house fire - even one caused by you - is something the community will and should pitch in to put out.

Guess what?  There's a big fire ... and it is threatening people's homes.  It's called the Great Financial Crisis.

And guess what?  Most people whose ability to stay in their own homes is threatened by it are not to blame ... not one bit.

I'm willing to pitch in to put the fire out and keep families in their homes.

Sorry to hear you are not ... but I don't think it's a clean question of "morality" ...

... but if you want to frame it that way ... is it immoral to stand by and let your neighbor's house burn down when you could have done something about?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 13, 2012, 08:52:41 AM
Sixteen year olds in Scotland can have sex, get married, start a family, work, pay taxes - why on earth shouldn't they get to vote?


The greater question should be: why are they allopwed all this stuff so far beyond them?

The vast majority has no job at sixteen, can offer no needed skills at sixteen, shouldn't be having sex at that crazy age, and as far as marriage and procreation is concerned, who the hell do you think pays all the social security bills to support those young idiots and their offspring?

Because the law might be wrong on all those counts doesn't imply that it is therefore right to add an additional madness to the permitted list.

But let's not play games: the idea is that the sixteen years age group is easy prey to the buying of the socialist vote. You offer all the free, somebody else pays, goodies without the slightest implication that work is needed, your work, to get there and of course that appeals to a chap of sixteen whose greatest commitment in life is to Rangers or Celtic football teams. But I forgot: so it is with many adults there, too. So why would either age group refuse the bait?

Instead of "I like what he's got; I'll work my asss of and go one better," some rejoice in "fuck him: I haven't got it so why should he have it? I'll scratch it. See how he likes that, Jimmy."

Clearly, this thread has turned into another black/white/black/white with no hope of an honest self-examination, so I'm out of this. Envy rules.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 13, 2012, 10:57:25 AM
... Clearly, this thread has turned into another black/white/black/white with no hope of an honest self-examination, so I'm out of this. Envy rules.

Rob C

Which, of course, is expected only from the opponents, right? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 13, 2012, 12:39:29 PM
Quote from: markadams99
No. For example I'd support a tax for elementary logic exams for citizens to pass to earn the right to vote.
The forum just got a new sarcasm contender, ladies and gentleman! Welcome! It felt so lonely here for a while.

No sarcasm on my side. I mean it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 13, 2012, 02:21:32 PM
No sarcasm on my side. I mean it.

I must admit I find the idea pretty seductive.

Actually, I would be, on occasion, on the verge of succumbing to its siren call, but then I would remember all those Nascar fans, all those rednecks, all those "clinging to guns and religion," and would start to feel really sorry to disenfranchise so many honest, hardworking people and put Republicans at a disadvantage in elections. Just not fair.

Oh, wait, you actually meant the poor, Blacks and Latinos would fail the test. I got ya!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 13, 2012, 02:31:18 PM
... The problem with our current taxes is that most of them are for things that, under the Constitution, aren't legitimate...

Why are you guys so evasive and secretive when it comes to actually spelling out what are those "illegitimate things"? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, school lunch milk, unemployment benefits...? What else would you eliminate?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 13, 2012, 03:56:58 PM
Why are you guys so evasive and secretive when it comes to actually spelling out what are those "illegitimate things"? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, school lunch milk, unemployment benefits...? What else would you eliminate?

Don't forget Big Bird.  The key to fiscal health is the cancellation of Sesame Street.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BartvanderWolf on October 13, 2012, 07:43:10 PM
Don't forget Big Bird.  The key to fiscal health is the cancellation of Sesame Street.

Finally. It's already taken too long before someone got to the point in this thread. Big Bird should be eliminated. I never liked the character, the freeloader (one of 47%) is always looking down on people ... Elmo might be a problem, too many people eligible to vote can relate to his point of view.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 13, 2012, 08:14:59 PM
A few quotes for some of you guys to contemplate upon.

It has often been mentioned that Aristotle once remarked that one can judge a nation by the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens.

Other variations on this theme include:

"A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization."
~Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

"The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children."
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 14, 2012, 12:44:22 AM
I must admit I find the idea pretty seductive.

Actually, I would be, on occasion, on the verge of succumbing to its siren call, but then I would remember all those Nascar fans, all those rednecks, all those "clinging to guns and religion," and would start to feel really sorry to disenfranchise so many honest, hardworking people and put Republicans at a disadvantage in elections. Just not fair.

Oh, wait, you actually meant the poor, Blacks and Latinos would fail the test. I got ya!

Some politicians would also fail the test....don't forget them.  ;D  Oh, and what about the Nikon shooters?   ??? 

 But realistically, probably an even number of people (supporters as well as politicians) from both Democrats and Republicans would fail.

 I would not (and could not) support such a measure, but I understand the logic of those that do support it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 14, 2012, 05:08:40 AM
One important point not mentioned. What guarantee do the Republicans and Democrats who are doing well out of the system have that they will always do well? A lot of the suffering people have being doing well and suddenly they are destitute and wondering what hit them. The money they had in the bank swallowed up by a bank crash or a ponzi scheme. Job lost or the wife has scampered with the lover and the bankbook. The "handouts" are there as safety net for ALL citizens when it is needed and nobody can guarantee they won't need them at sometime? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Rob C on October 14, 2012, 06:29:55 AM
I'm out of here, as declared, but can't resist that final statement of truth from stamper's pen: the naked base of lefty politics.

Nobody, anywhere, must be allowed responsibility for their own future or past stupidities.

Now you see it all: freedom in enslavement of the mind disguised as safety net.

Have a good day.

Rob C
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 14, 2012, 06:49:23 AM
Rob getting personal doesn't do you any favours. You don't need to have "lefty" politics to understand the need for a safety net. It is basic compassion for all despite their politics. I think you have exposed your lack of compassion in this thread. Sometimes in life no matter how much you strive you end up in the smelly stuff and need a hand out of it? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 14, 2012, 07:32:16 AM
I'm out of here, as declared, but can't resist that final statement of truth from stamper's pen: the naked base of lefty politics.

Nobody, anywhere, must be allowed responsibility for their own future or past stupidities.

Now you see it all: freedom in enslavement of the mind disguised as safety net.

Have a good day.

Rob C

And you want to talk about losing the plot? I think you were watching a different movie!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 14, 2012, 07:39:22 AM
I would not (and could not) support such a measure, but I understand the logic of those that do support it.

For the records, and for the benefit of the non-Americans who may not know our politics ...

Such fascist nonsense was outlawed in 1965 with the Voting Rights Act and have not really been part of the political dialogue since.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 14, 2012, 08:26:23 AM
For the records, and for the benefit of the non-Americans who may not know our politics ...

Such fascist nonsense was outlawed in 1965 with the Voting Rights Act and have not really been part of the political dialogue since.

Correct, and it should have been outlawed.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 14, 2012, 05:10:12 PM
For the records, and for the benefit of the non-Americans who may not know our politics ...
Such fascist nonsense was outlawed in 1965 with the Voting Rights Act and have not really been part of the political dialogue since.
I suspect such fascist nonsense is out there on the fringe in most other countries too, Jeremy. America is not an exception there.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 14, 2012, 05:56:34 PM
I suspect such fascist nonsense is out there on the fringe in most other countries too, Jeremy. America is not an exception there.

Of course.

My point was to make sure nobody was confused by such comments and infer that there actually was some kind of political debate going on in the US about restricting voting rights.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 14, 2012, 06:05:39 PM
... to make sure nobody was confused by such comments and infer that there actually was some kind of political debate going on in the US about restricting voting rights.

Jeremy, pardon my limited comprehension of English, but it seems to me that the above sentence is meant to say there is NO political debate going on in the US about restricting voting rights? If so, how about the current legislative efforts (i.e, way past debate stage) regarding voters registration, which, in turn, effectively results in restricting voting rights?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 14, 2012, 06:09:29 PM
Russ, since you are the only one who is capable of interpreting economic data correctly ...

How do you explain the following two facts?

  1) The economies that are doing the worst are those that have cut back the most on fiscal spending.

  2) The forecast errors in GDP growth rates are highly correlated with the level of fiscal pullback.

As you don't like my explanation ... that the impact of fiscal spending in times of severe financial crisis is amplified and much bigger than "anti-keynesians" like yourself would have us believe ...  

Provide your own.  Please provide a sound analytical framework that explains these two FACTS.

Jeremy, if you're gong to write BS like this, how about giving me references? Last time I checked, Germany, which has been careful not to swallow the Keynsian myth was doing better than the rest of socialist Europe.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 14, 2012, 06:22:57 PM
Russ, that came from the latest IMF Outlook (also, please note my bold):

"... IMF forecasts have been consistently too optimistic for countries that pursued large austerity programs. This suggests that tax hikes and spending cuts have been doing more damage to those economies than policymakers expected. (Conversely, countries that engaged in stimulus, such as Germany and Austria, did better than expected.)..."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 14, 2012, 06:37:01 PM
Russ, that came from the latest IMF Outlook (also, please note my bold):

"... IMF forecasts have been consistently too optimistic for countries that pursued large austerity programs. This suggests that tax hikes and spending cuts have been doing more damage to those economies than policymakers expected. (Conversely, countries that engaged in stimulus, such as Germany and Austria, did better than expected.)..."

Yes.  Everything you need to know can be found in these two documents:

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/02/pdf/c1.pdf

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fm/2012/01/pdf/fm1201.pdf


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 14, 2012, 06:52:13 PM
if you're gong to write BS like this

Sorry ... I'm just reporting facts ... not my problem they don't mesh with your world view.

Might be time to consider that some of your long-held chestnuts of "economic truth" aren't quite as sacred as you had previously thought ... 

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 14, 2012, 07:02:51 PM
Jeremy, pardon my limited comprehension of English, but it seems to me that the above sentence is meant to say there is NO political debate going on in the US about restricting voting rights? If so, how about the current legislative efforts (i.e, way past debate stage) regarding voters registration, which, in turn, effectively results in restricting voting rights?

Yes ... you are right.  There are some state efforts that have made it much harder for non-profits and other groups to engage in voter registration drives.  I believe there are still over 50 million eligible and unregistered voters. 

Good point.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Robert Roaldi on October 14, 2012, 10:17:47 PM
There are some state efforts that have made it much harder for non-profits and other groups to engage in voter registration drives.  I believe there are still over 50 million eligible and unregistered voters. 

I had only heard passing reference to this (I'm in Canada), but I find this amazing. They are trying to restrict some groups from engaging in voter registration? I would have thought that ANY effort to get more people to vote would be considered a good thing.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 12:46:34 AM
Jeremy, pardon my limited comprehension of English, but it seems to me that the above sentence is meant to say there is NO political debate going on in the US about restricting voting rights? If so, how about the current legislative efforts (i.e, way past debate stage) regarding voters registration, which, in turn, effectively results in restricting voting rights?

How does showing an ID to prove who you are in order to vote restrict voting of rights of anyone?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 12:56:50 AM
How does showing an ID to prove who you are in order to vote restrict voting of rights of anyone?

That's not at all to what he's referring.

Study up.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BartvanderWolf on October 15, 2012, 05:17:40 AM
How does showing an ID to prove who you are in order to vote restrict voting of rights of anyone?

It's not the showing of an ID, but getting an ID that will be a hurdle to a lot of people. The new laws are going to apparently affect mostly non-republican oriented voters ...

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1033872/gop%27s_new_voter_id_laws_could_impact_10_million_voters/#paragraph3 (http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1033872/gop%27s_new_voter_id_laws_could_impact_10_million_voters/#paragraph3)

See for example : http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2012/07/18/wisconsin-gop-voter-obstruction-act-23-permanently-halted-by-judge/ (http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2012/07/18/wisconsin-gop-voter-obstruction-act-23-permanently-halted-by-judge/)
or
http://www.aclu.org/voter-suppression-america (http://www.aclu.org/voter-suppression-america)
or
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/pennsylvanias-voter-id-law-spurs-debate/
or even more obvious
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8


Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 06:29:34 AM
Here's a decent review of the voter registration topic ...

My bad for being overly focused on literacy tests.

http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/policy_brief_on_restrictions_on_voter_registration_drives/
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 07:58:33 AM
I thought that the voter ID controversy centered around the fact that a person would have to show a photo ID at the voting place in order to vote.  The link you referenced is concerning restrictions on voter registration drives which a different topic.  An interesting topic, but a different one.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 15, 2012, 08:01:16 AM
... socialist Europe.

Sorry, but in what universe is Europe socialist? I wish it was, but unfortunately it is not the case.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 08:20:38 AM
I thought that the voter ID controversy centered around the fact that a person would have to show a photo ID at the voting place in order to vote.  The link you referenced is concerning restrictions on voter registration drives which a different topic.  An interesting topic, but a different one.

With all due respect, it was you who changed the topic.

Read what both Slobodan and I wrote.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 08:26:47 AM
It's not the showing of an ID, but getting an ID that will be a hurdle to a lot of people. The new laws are going to apparently affect mostly non-republican oriented voters ...

http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1033872/gop%27s_new_voter_id_laws_could_impact_10_million_voters/#paragraph3 (http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/1033872/gop%27s_new_voter_id_laws_could_impact_10_million_voters/#paragraph3)

See for example : http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2012/07/18/wisconsin-gop-voter-obstruction-act-23-permanently-halted-by-judge/ (http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2012/07/18/wisconsin-gop-voter-obstruction-act-23-permanently-halted-by-judge/)
or
http://www.aclu.org/voter-suppression-america (http://www.aclu.org/voter-suppression-america)
or
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/pennsylvanias-voter-id-law-spurs-debate/
or even more obvious
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8


Cheers,
Bart

Voter ID is there to protect the citizens from someone voting under their name.  No, it is not a widespread, documented problem, but it is a possibility that it can happen, and it does happen.  I am originally from Mississippi.  There have been several instances of dead people voting.  Before I moved to Germany in 2010, all I had to do to vote was to walk up to the table in my voting precinct, tell the person my name, say yes when they read me the address next to my name, take my ballot and go into the booth.  So, there was nothing to stop a person from claiming to be me and voting for John McCain in the last election.  Now, if I went to vote and was told that I had already voted, then I could correct the problem after a lot of paperwork etc.  Also, if a person has died recently, a person could claim to be that person and vote as long as they new the address.  This type of information is publicly available.  If two of the people at the voting place know that the person is indeed deceased, this can be prevented.  But if no one knows, then there is nothing to stop the fraud.

Everyone that has any sort of interaction with the government must have a picture ID.  Most of the poor in America have interaction with the government for their social assistance.  All of these people already have a picture ID.  If a person has a bank account, they have a picture ID.  Unless they opened it many years ago.  Sure, some people will have to get a friend or relative to take them to the local courthouse that is in each county in order to get one, that is not a big deal to most.  The ID is free in all states to those that need one.  The only time a person is required to pay for a voter ID is if they already possess a state issued voter ID- drivers license, school ID etc.  These people do not need a new ID, they already have one.  If they want an extra ID, then they can pay for it.

I can not think of any real reason not to require a person to prove that they are 1. a citizen that has the right to vote. and 2. that they are indeed the person they say that they are.  Why would a person not want to show an ID?  The moment that they are asked to show the ID comes when they are physically standing in the voting place (everyone can see them walk in and out) and after they have already stated their name (the people in the immediate vicinity can hear this) so the person's identity is not a logical issue, therefore voter intimidation is not the issue.

So, again, why would a person not want to show a photo ID?  Why would a person not want there to be a mechanism in place to prevent someone from casting your (or your deceased family member's) vote?    
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 08:31:18 AM
Sorry, but in what universe is Europe socialist? I wish it was, but unfortunately it is not the case.

In the current political climate in the US, it is intended to be the "kiss of death" to tag someone or something as Socialist.  The word "Liberal" as been replaced ... Now the bad guys are all "Socialists".

It was Socialist to suggest we might have a collective interest in some kind of universal health insurance program, for instance.

As you can see from the lack of familiarity with the term "Turnover", we’re a fairly provincial culture ... sadly.

New York City, however, isn't ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 15, 2012, 08:35:17 AM
How does Vermont get along with a socialist senator? Surely Texas should have invaded by now.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 08:37:27 AM
With all due respect, it was you who changed the topic.

Read what both Slobodan and I wrote.

You are correct. My mistake.  It is very difficult to follow this meandering thread about Mitt Romney's halo.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 08:43:22 AM
In the current political climate in the US, it is intended to be the "kiss of death" to tag someone or something as Socialist.  The word "Liberal" as been replaced ... Now the bad guys are all "Socialists".

It was Socialist to suggest we might have a collective interest in some kind of universal health insurance program, for instance.

As you can see from the lack of familiarity with the term "Turnover", we’re a fairly provincial culture ... sadly.

New York City, however, isn't ...

When I hear other Americans saying things like "We are turning into a socialist country", or something like "The democrats are trying to turn us into something like Europe", I think that it is ridiculous.  America has had a social system for many many years.  Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.  I support having a national healthcare system.  Call it socialized medicine if you want. I really like the system that we have here in Germany.  It has worked very good for me in the 2.5 years I have been here.  I have spent less money for the same care that I spent on average in the USA with private health insurance/high deductables/high co-pays etc.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BartvanderWolf on October 15, 2012, 08:54:27 AM
So, again, why would a person not want to show a photo ID?  Why would a person not want there to be a mechanism in place to prevent someone from casting your (or your deceased family member's) vote?    

Again, it's not about showing an ID (with or without photo), it's about creating obstacles for millions(!) of eligible voters in an attempt to prevent them from exercising their constitutional rights. What's more, it is intentional, in an attempt to have Romney elected and is primarily funded by the states that are trying to swing the vote.

It's a multi-million dollar solution to a virtually non existing problem (except for a few cases which are already punishable by existing law), with an obvious goal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8)

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 09:27:30 AM
Again, it's not about showing an ID (with or without photo), it's about creating obstacles for millions(!) of eligible voters in an attempt to prevent them from exercising their constitutional rights. What's more, it is intentional, in an attempt to have Romney elected and is primarily funded by the states that are trying to swing the vote.

It's a multi-million dollar solution to a virtually non existing problem (except for a few cases which are already punishable by existing law), with an obvious goal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuOT1bRYdK8)

Cheers,
Bart

I disagree.  I do not see how it is creating an obstacle for millions of eligible voters most of whom probably already have an ID, even a photo ID of some sort that is recognized as being accepted.  It is not an attempt to have Romney elected.  It is an issue at the local level in local elections.  http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/29/mississippi-naacp-leader-sent-to-prison-for-10-counts-of-voter-fraud/  is a link to the type of thing that goes on in many areas.  About half of the states currently either require some sort of ID, photo or non photo, or request an ID before a person can vote.  I do not see anything in the news where these people are protesting this and saying that their rights have been violated in anyway.  So, I think that the protest against voter ID is a protest against a virtually non existing problem.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 15, 2012, 09:43:50 AM
I suppose you all know that registering to vote is mandatory in Australia, if one is an Australian citizen and over the age of 18.

If one doesn't vote in either a State or National election, one will be fined, unless one has a good excuse. During the last state elections in the State where I live in Australia, I was out of the country at the time. Shortly after returning to Australia I received a letter from the Electoral Office asking why I had not voted. I was given a deadline to reply, after which I would be fined, and also fined if my explanation wasn't acceptable.

Fortunately, my explanation was acceptable. Very reasonable of them.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 10:29:20 AM
Voter turnout in America is very bad.  In the 2008 Presidential election, only about 58% of registered voters cast a vote.  This percentage is much lower than here in Germany where almost 71% of registered voters cast a vote in the 2009 elections. I am not sure how many voters in each country were living or not.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BartvanderWolf on October 15, 2012, 10:51:58 AM
I disagree.  I do not see how it is creating an obstacle for millions of eligible voters most of whom probably already have an ID, even a photo ID of some sort that is recognized as being accepted.

Read, then look at your response again:
Quote
54 million eligible Americans are not registered to vote. More than 25% of the voting-age citizen population is not registered to vote. Among minority groups, this percentage is even higher - more than 30% for African Americans and more than 40% for Hispanics.
Quote
Laws restricting voter registration drives do not address any real “problems.” Some state lawmakers claim that these new laws protect against “fraud” and help voters by ensuring that their forms are submitted on time. The evidence shows that voter registration drives do not change the patterns of when and how voter registration forms are submitted, except by increasing the number of voters who register.

Quote from: Bryan Conner
So, I think that the protest against voter ID is a protest against a virtually non existing problem.

It's not about voter ID. That argument is only used as a smoke screen for the gullible.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 11:14:12 AM
Why would you want somebody to vote who's too stupid or too apathetic to go to the local library and get a free photo ID? The idea that increased voter turnout means participation by a more enlightened electorate is ridiculous. I'd like to see voting restricted to those who have at least a remote clue about their government and the issues at stake. In fact, when I'm President I'll pass a law that requires you to pass a small test before you're allowed to continue into the voting booth. The test will have one question on it: "Please name the branches of the United States government." You'll notice that the test didn't say "three branches." Most of the people without a photo ID don't even know that we have three branches. (And if you believe a US president can pass that law or any law, you're too stupid to vote.)

But when thinking about voter ID, consider this datum from the July 7 edition of "Commentary:" "100 percent. That’s the percentage of registered voters who voted at a number of Philadelphia voter precincts in the last several elections. Indeed, as Republicans in the state capital pointed out during the debate about the voter ID law, in many parts of Philadelphia, a Democratic stronghold, voter turnout in contested elections routinely exceeds 100 percent of registered voters." (emphasis added) (Yes, "Commentary" is a conservative pub, but if Jeremy and Slobodan can toss propaganda from the IMF at me, I think turnabout is fair play. Oh, I forgot, this isn't propaganda. You can look it up.)

I've been away for a couple days. Now I'll have to go back and take a further look at the stuff Jeremy and Slobodan posted while I was gone.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 11:52:05 AM
... when I'm President I'll pass a law that requires you to pass a small test before you're allowed to continue into the voting booth. The test will have one question on it: "Please name the branches of the United States government." ... (And if you believe a US president can pass that law or any law, you're too stupid to vote.)...

Hi Russ, welcome back! Hmmm... I do not know about voters, but I think I know at least one (quite recent) US president that probably couldn't pass your little test either... Nor some other equally simple life tests, like being able to handle pretzels safely ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 11:57:40 AM
Russ, that came from the latest IMF Outlook (also, please note my bold):

"... IMF forecasts have been consistently too optimistic for countries that pursued large austerity programs. This suggests that tax hikes and spending cuts have been doing more damage to those economies than policymakers expected. (Conversely, countries that engaged in stimulus, such as Germany and Austria, did better than expected.)..."

Yes.  Everything you need to know can be found in these two documents:

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2012/02/pdf/c1.pdf

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fm/2012/01/pdf/fm1201.pdf

Okay, if you guys want to see why I tend to discount stuff put out by the IMF, check this editorial from today's WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443675404578056952578987258.html. (You might have to subscribe to read the article, but that would be beneficial for you both.) The article pretty much sums up my view of the IMF's effectiveness.

But let's cut to the chase. Slobodan quotes from the latest IMF Outlook: ". . . countries that engaged in stimulus, such as Germany and Austria, did better than expected." My first question would be: "What does 'better' mean?" Does it mean unemployment was lower? Productivity rising faster? Prices stabilizing or dropping? A smaller number of people involved in government? More liberty for their people? My second question would be: "Did this 'study' control for other obvious variables, like the fact that both Germany and Austria have some of the highest savings rates in the world?"

I went through both articles Jeremy gave as references and all I could find was groaning and moaning about how bad the European economic situation is and predictions that it'll get worse. I agree with those predictions. I say again: Angela will lose her next election, Greece will go under and drop the Euro. The Euro will go down shortly thereafter. We're now on the brink of another recession, and neither US party is going to be able to prevent it, though one will exacerbate it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 12:02:18 PM
Hi Russ, welcome back! Hmmm... I do not know about voters, but I think I know at least one (quite recent) US president that probably couldn't pass your little test either... Nor some other equally simple life tests, like being able to handle pretzels safely ;D

To quote another president: "let me say this about that:" http://www.doobybrain.com/2008/10/03/joe-bidens-smile-compared-to-the-cheshire-cat/

 :D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: louoates on October 15, 2012, 12:13:23 PM
Let's require voting by phone. Since the sugar daddies in Washington are handing out free cell phones courtesy of us taxpayers surely that couldn't restrict anyone's vote.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 12:14:52 PM
propaganda from the IMF

You are funny, Russ ... you have a habit of getting things backwards these days ...

If anything, the IMF has always had a bias towards austerity prior to this 'mea culpa' in the latest Fiscal Monitor and Economic Outlook.

That's the whole point, if the IMF says austerity is bad ... it's kinda like Nixon going to China ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 12:33:18 PM
Jeremy, I don't know where you got the idea that I think austerity is a plus. The idea that austerity can save Greece or Spain from their coming disaster is absurd. That's one of the IMF's problems. They seem to think that if Germany keeps pumping money into Greece and that if the Greeks save that money, somehow that's the equivalent of the Maya tossing a virgin or two into the cenote and that it'll bring on prosperity. You and the IMF seem to see everything in terms of money. Money's neither the problem nor the solution. To save Greece the Greeks are going to have to decide it's time to get back to work instead of lying back in the lounger with an ouzo or two. To do that they're going to have to get their government off their backs so they can get back to work. But it ain't gonna happen in the near future, and it ain't gonna happen soon enough to prevent an economic catastrophe. Just keep watching.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 12:58:02 PM
To quote another president: "let me say this about that:" http://www.doobybrain.com/2008/10/03/joe-bidens-smile-compared-to-the-cheshire-cat/

 :D

Then it looks like I am in a good company: ;D ;D ;D 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on October 15, 2012, 01:03:48 PM
... they're going to have to get their government off their backs so the can get back to work ...

Wunnerful stuff. It's the way he tells 'em you know. The deadpan delivery, perfect timing.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 01:04:20 PM
... My first question would be: "What does 'better' mean?"...

Right on, Russ! Great question! Humanity has been grappling with it ever since the dawn of the mankind. Great philosophers tried to answer it, though they undertook a simpler task, starting with "What does 'good' mean?"
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 01:05:50 PM
Then it looks like I am in a good company: ;D ;D ;D 

If that's "good company" I'm a cheshire cat.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 15, 2012, 02:10:50 PM
In fact, when I'm President I'll pass a law that requires you to pass a small test before you're allowed to continue into the voting booth. The test will have one question on it: "Please name the branches of the United States government." You'll notice that the test didn't say "three branches." Most of the people without a photo ID don't even know that we have three branches. (And if you believe a US president can pass that law or any law, you're too stupid to vote.)

what a good idea ! I 'd expand that in fact to firearms purchases...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 02:13:20 PM
... I'd like to see voting restricted to those who have at least a remote clue about their government and the issues at stake...

Basically, you would like to restrict voting to those more educated? Be careful what you wish for, Russ! If you are white, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to vote Republican (http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/03/23/voting-patterns-of-americas-whites-from-the-masses-to-the-elites/) (duh!)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 03:32:31 PM
You're confusing education with the kind of indoctrination and training dished out in schools nowadays, Slobodan. But I wouldn't consider that test to require a graduate education to pass. On the other hand, looking at the recently documented inability of college seniors to answer questions like that, maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 15, 2012, 03:41:12 PM
Basically, you would like to restrict voting to those more educated? Be careful what you wish for, Russ! If you are white, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to vote Republican (http://themonkeycage.org/blog/2012/03/23/voting-patterns-of-americas-whites-from-the-masses-to-the-elites/) (duh!)

Education does not equal intelligence.  I think the most intelligent people vote for the person and not the party.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 03:49:06 PM
... I think the most intelligent people vote for the person and not the party.

What!!!??
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 05:29:49 PM
+1
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Robert Roaldi on October 15, 2012, 06:56:00 PM
I suppose you all know that registering to vote is mandatory in Australia, if one is an Australian citizen and over the age of 18.

If one doesn't vote in either a State or National election, one will be fined, unless one has a good excuse. During the last state elections in the State where I live in Australia, I was out of the country at the time. Shortly after returning to Australia I received a letter from the Electoral Office asking why I had not voted. I was given a deadline to reply, after which I would be fined, and also fined if my explanation wasn't acceptable.

Fortunately, my explanation was acceptable. Very reasonable of them.  ;D

If voting is mandatory in Australia, do they include a "none of the above" choice on the ballot? The commonly accepted way of indicating that sentiment is to spoil the ballot, but giving an explicit choice might be an interesting experiment. Of course if that choice won a majority, I'm not sure how anyone would be better off.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 15, 2012, 08:26:14 PM
Why are you guys so evasive and secretive when it comes to actually spelling out what are those "illegitimate things"? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, school lunch milk, unemployment benefits...? What else would you eliminate?
All of those. The Feds have no enumerated constitutional authority for any of them. The States do.

Franklin Pierce's refusal to release federal land to aid the insane is a superb text on this: http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/misc/1854-pvm.htm

In general compulsory 'charity' is badly done and crowds out voluntary charity as well as introducing socially corrosive perverse incentives.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 09:19:14 PM
Don't forget Big Bird. There's absolutely no excuse for taxpayers being forced to cough up for NPR. And, as Mark pointed out there's no provision for Big Bird in the United States Constitution.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 09:24:05 PM
Russ, is there a provision in the Constitution to have military budget bigger than all the military budgets of the rest of the world combined?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 09:27:30 PM
All of those. The Feds have no enumerated constitutional authority for any of them. The States do...

So, are you against those only at the federal level, but in favor at the states level? Or against them whatever level they are?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 15, 2012, 09:32:29 PM
Russ, is there a provision in the Constitution to have military budget bigger than all the military budgets of the rest of the world combined?

Article 1, Section 8.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 09:52:53 PM
That's great Russ, but it bypasses my question, which was not about the defense function itself, but about the size of it.

But while we are at the Article 1, Section 8, one thing caught my attention:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; "

I admit I am not a constitutional scholar, so I am sure someone will enlighten me in that respect (no sarcasm here): what does that "general welfare" entail? Sounds awfully close to the "unconstitutional" and "forced charity" things I enumerated earlier, no?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 15, 2012, 10:16:31 PM
If that's "good company" I'm a cheshire cat.

Hmmm... given that, for you, "best" does not mean "best," "education" does not mean "education," IMF is not conservative... no, I would not agree with your self-chosen characterization as a Cheshire Cat... but you could be quite easily another character from the same pool, say, Humpty Dumpty:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

 ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 10:17:00 PM
Franklin Pierce's refusal to release federal land to aid the insane is a superb text on this

All one can say to that is tht it was also legal to own slaves in 1854.

Times change ... that was the century before last century!

Wake up and smell the modern world ... We settled all that crap in the 1930s.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 15, 2012, 10:28:24 PM
If voting is mandatory in Australia, do they include a "none of the above" choice on the ballot? The commonly accepted way of indicating that sentiment is to spoil the ballot, but giving an explicit choice might be an interesting experiment. Of course if that choice won a majority, I'm not sure how anyone would be better off.

I'm not sure how useful that would be, but it might serve some purpose to get an idea of the extent of the "donkey" vote. At present, for the Federal elections and most State elections, we have a preferential voting system. The ballot paper contains a list of all the candidates for a particular seat, maybe half a dozen or so, and the voter is supposed to place a number in each box next to each candidate's name (from 1 to 6) in order of preference.

When a reluctant voter who may not be interested in politics and doesn't want to think about the issues, places his preference in numerical order from 1 at the top of the ballot paper to 6 at the bottom of the ballot paper (instead of, for example, 314562 which might indicate a thoughtful vote), the vote is described as a "donkey" vote.

However, in situations where there are fewer candidates for a particular seat, the percentage of donkey votes becomes less certain.

The other issue is in the definition of compulsory voting. It's really a misnomer. What is compulsory is attendance at the voting booth. If a voter wishes to fill out the form incorrectly, or deface it, thus making the vote invalid, he's free to do so. There's no-one looking over his shoulder as he fills in the ballot paper.

I believe such 'informal' votes, as they are known, constitute about 4% to 5% of the total votes on average, but who knows how many donkey votes there are! Impossible to calculate precisely.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 15, 2012, 10:31:52 PM
That's great Russ, but it bypasses my question, which was not about the defense function itself, but about the size of it.

But while we are at the Article 1, Section 8, one thing caught my attention:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; "

I admit I am not a constitutional scholar, so I am sure someone will enlighten me in that respect (no sarcasm here): what does that "general welfare" entail? Sounds awfully close to the "unconstitutional" and "forced charity" things I enumerated earlier, no?

This is where it gets tricky.  The strictest interpretation has been that the paying off of national debt was the only form of "general welfare" and that unemployment and social welfare programs are for the "specific welfare" of certain individuals, while others have successfully argued a much broader interpretation.

The supreme court ruled Social Security was constitutional ... But Russ will probably remind us that FDR stacked the court ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: louoates on October 15, 2012, 10:43:06 PM
Here's a good source re "General Welfare": http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/General+Welfare
The original General Welfare term was a very strict one, simply describing paying for expenses directly incurred in the limited scope of the federal government and had no bearing whatever on any other general welfare schemes that the states decided to pass on their own, as they had full and exclusive powers to do so as set out in the tenth amendment.
   As most would observe, the courts haven't weighed in much to keep the federal hands out of our pockets under the guise of General Welfare.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 16, 2012, 12:09:19 AM
So, are you against those only at the federal level, but in favor at the states level? Or against them whatever level they are?
1. They're all unconstitutional at the federal level.
2. Personally I'd vote against all non-emergency welfare programs dependent on government with a very few exceptions, principally involving a safety net for children.
3. I'm ok with a state democratically voting for welfare programs providing the electorate is confined to those who'd pay for it, ie net taxpayers.
4. If a state acts like a typical blue state in borrowing money for exorbitant government salaries and pensions and load the debt onto our grandchildren, then that's ok by me because sane Californians can migrate to Texas. 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2012, 11:06:40 AM
This is where it gets tricky.  The strictest interpretation has been that the paying off of national debt was the only form of "general welfare" and that unemployment and social welfare programs are for the "specific welfare" of certain individuals, while others have successfully argued a much broader interpretation.

The supreme court ruled Social Security was constitutional ... But Russ will probably remind us that FDR stacked the court ...

Good for you, Jeremy. Right on both counts. And the battle's not over yet. Once things get bad enough in the US I'd start looking for a return to the principles that made us what we were before the decline of the last 80 years. FDR put us on the path to disaster but that doesn't mean we have to stay on that path.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2012, 11:46:06 AM
That's great Russ, but it bypasses my question, which was not about the defense function itself, but about the size of it.

Why do you suppose the Soviet Union finally packed it in, Slobodan? Are you suggesting we should let Europe provide for its own defense? If so, I'd agree with you. I'd love to see us pull out and let Europe deal with its own defense problems, many of which are brewing in Afghanistan and Pakistan at the moment. It's laughable when you realize that in Europe a military band is considered an army, but for far too long the US has been willing to put up with that kind of crap and be the shield for the Western democracies. The only reason the Euro hasn't already collapsed is that Europe hasn't needed to pay for its own defense since WW II. Considering your own background it's astonishing to me that you'd even ask a question like that.

I live in a city with Fort Carson at one end, the Air Force Academy at the other end, and NORAD in the middle. I watch the periodic funeral processions at Carson as bodies come back from repeated deployments of our troops who, thanks to the gutting of the military (designated "the peace dividend" by Slick Willie) since the Reagan years, hardly get a chance to say hello to their families before they're on their way back overseas to protect Europe's ass. I'm sick of this kind of bullshit, so be careful that you don't get me started!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 16, 2012, 11:50:00 AM
1. They're all unconstitutional at the federal level.

Not correct.  According to today's law of the land they are explicitly constitutional.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 16, 2012, 12:06:29 PM
... Considering your own background it's astonishing to me that you'd even ask a question like that...

Considering my own background!?

I come from a country known for fighting and winning for itself and by itself (for better or worse), not enjoying anyone's protection or even help, the least of which would be yours. From fighting off the Ottoman Empire and effectively giving Europe a breather in the 14th century, to fighting and ultimately driving out Austro-Hungarian Empire in WW I and Germans in WW II, to fending off Soviet Empire in the late 40s. Even the American Empire did not dare to enter its territory on foot in the 90s, but chose to bravely bomb it instead.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2012, 12:20:02 PM
I agree with everything you said, Slobodan, and I know how many downed pilots owed their lives to the Serbs during WW II. But do you really believe the Czechs would have been able to keep the Germans or the Soviets out in the absence of the US during the war or during the reign of the Soviets after the war? As far as the bombing in the 90's is concerned, have you forgotten whose idea that was?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 16, 2012, 12:22:38 PM
Why do you suppose the Soviet Union finally packed it in, Slobodan?...

Once again you are bypassing my question. I was raising the issue of constitutionality, not strategy. Was it "constitutionally enumerated" that the definition of national defense will entail patrolling the world, having military presence in 100+ countries,  with "662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries," (that counts only those outside war zones). If it wasn't enumerated, according to your logic, it must be unconstitutional then.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 16, 2012, 12:31:53 PM
Considering my own background!?

I come from a country known for fighting and winning for itself and by itself (for better or worse), not enjoying anyone's protection or even help


only because other countries did the work for your country elsewhere... do you really think that Tito can do anything w/o Axis being annihilated from the East and the West ?  ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 16, 2012, 12:51:42 PM
only because other countries did the work for your country elsewhere... do you really think that Tito can do anything w/o Axis being annihilated from the East and the West ?  ;D ;D ;D

That's a silly comment, sorry. Do you really thing any Allied country would be able to single-handedly defeat the Axis!?

I was talking about our territory. No other country ever entered out territory to help us defend ourselves. The exception was the in the last few months of the WW II, when Russians passed through our northern parts on their way to Berlin, and even for that they got our permission.

The Allies certainly did not do any work "for us," but for themselves. Given that we were on the same side, it certainly helped, but the same logic works in reverse too: it was easier for them as well, as we kept a fair share of German armies busy fighting us, not the Allies. As a matter of fact, as we were the first ones to stage an uprising against the Germans in 9141, that delayed their attack on Soviet Union for seven weeks (if my memory serves me well). Those seven weeks meant the Germans reached Stalingrad (and its oil supplies) seven weeks later, thus entering into the dreaded Russian winter, freezing their butts (and I mean literally). The same Russian winter that defeated Napoleon. Had Germans reached the oil fields earlier, had they captured them, I am not sure the Allies' victory would be so soon and easy (relatively speaking, of course).
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 16, 2012, 12:57:22 PM
The Allies certainly did not do any work "for us," but for themselves.

Nothing unusual there Slobodan.  'Twas ever thus.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2012, 01:06:56 PM
Those seven weeks meant the Germans reached Stalingrad (and its oil supplies) seven weeks later, thus entering into the dreaded Russian winter, freezing their butts (and I mean literally). The same Russian winter that defeated Napoleon.

Hitler's strategic blunder -- one of the worst in military history -- had nothing to do with that? I'm not sure the Germans' invasion would have succeeded if that hadn't happened, certainly Charles XII's and Napoleon's experiences make it seem unlikely, but considering how close the Germans were to success before Hitler screwed up, I wouldn't rule it out.

Quote
Had Germans reached the oil fields earlier, had they captured them, I am not sure the Allies' victory would be so soon and easy (relatively speaking, of course).

Soon? Easy? You need to hit the history books, Slobodan. If the Germans had reached the oil fields earlier we might not have had a victory at all.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 16, 2012, 01:14:59 PM
Once again you are bypassing my question. I was raising the issue of constitutionality, not strategy. Was it "constitutionally enumerated" that the definition of national defense will entail patrolling the world, having military presence in 100+ countries,  with "662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries," (that counts only those outside war zones). If it wasn't enumerated, according to your logic, it must be unconstitutional then.

What about Article 1, Section 8 don't you understand, Slobodan? It's pretty straightforward. Article 1, Section 8 also establishes post offices but doesn't say how many or how large they can be. Article 1, Section 8 allows the feds to coin money and regulate its value, but it doesn't put a limit on inflation.

But I agree with you about our overseas bases. With a few exceptions I'd love to see us turn them over to the locals. In most cases the locals hate that idea, though. Maybe instead of bitching about the size of the US military you ought to try bitching about the fact that Europe doesn't want to spend a dime to defend itself.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on October 16, 2012, 01:53:58 PM
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."

 ;D

Or in the words of the great Liberal One, Bill Clinton, "It depends on what the meaning of the word is is."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 16, 2012, 02:30:32 PM
In most cases the locals hate that idea, though. Maybe instead of bitching about the size of the US military you ought to try bitching about the fact that Europe doesn't want to spend a dime to defend itself.
reducing the size of the military can be done starting w/ bases abroad w/o any regard to the Europeans... no need to bitch about them, just withdraw and that's it... they will swim then.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 16, 2012, 03:05:31 PM
That's a silly comment, sorry. Do you really thing any Allied country would be able to single-handedly defeat the Axis!?

but Yugoslavia/Tito/his partizans made no meaningful difference there at all... it was just a dust speckle in that picture... Allies means US/UK/Russia - everything else (French, Polish, Yugoslavian, Romanians deciding to switch sides, the same for Bulgarians...) was irrelevant to the point that outcome could be delayed by several weeks, but that's it... except may be Finns... they really mattered more because they decided not to aggravate their relations with the West and did not proceed further into Soviet territory after reclaiming what was lost pre WWII to USSR... they could tip the scale on the Eastern front, but ex officer of the Imperial Russian Army of German origin Mannerheim was too smart to do that... so didn't... so Germans were stalled in the north... Leningrad did not fall, Murmansk port was able to start getting supplies from US/UK later in the war, the road from Murmansk was not cut by Finns, but they could.


I was talking about our territory. No other country ever entered out territory to help us defend ourselves. The exception was the in the last few months of the WW II, when Russians passed through our northern parts on their way to Berlin, and even for that they got our permission.

Slobodan, you continue to ignore the fact that Tito was allowed to operate like he did just because Germans were too busy elsewhere and could only spare few forces to operate against him... so be grateful to Allies that you are alive today...


The Allies certainly did not do any work "for us," but for themselves.


Indeed, except that is where Germans were tied/destroyed... fighting in Yugoslavia was miniscule in comparison both in manpower tied there and duration

Given that we were on the same side, it certainly helped, but the same logic works in reverse too: it was easier for them as well, as we kept a fair share of German armies busy fighting us, not the Allies.

Did you bother to calculate the size of those "armies" and for how long they were busy w/ Tito...  and compare w/ size that actually were on East/West fronts...



As a matter of fact, as we were the first ones to stage an uprising against the Germans in 9141, that delayed their attack on Soviet Union for seven weeks (if my memory serves me well).

your memory does not serve you well... nothing happened in Yugoslavia like this before June 22 and what happened later (formation of the partizan forces) was again done by communists trained/educated/directed by exactly Soviets (and not on your own... just by Soviet puppets = the communist party of Yugoslavia)  ;D ... check calendar of the events... it was only after the war that Tito was lucky to be sufficiently far from Soviets who were busy w/ the West and US A-bombs and dared to play against pro-Soviet faction in its own party.



Those seven weeks meant the Germans reached Stalingrad (and its oil supplies)

except that there were no supplies there (oil was much-much further south... Chechnya, Azerbaijan - that is where oil was sourced back then and the river (Volga) itself could not be used for oil transport at that moment... so the error (German error) was to try to actually cross the river and cut oil delivery by land from the southern oil fields instead of aiming for the oil fields directly... it had nothing to do w/ Soviet organized communist movement in Yugoslavia... I understand that it hurts your feelings to know that Soviets were as usual behind, sorry... that is unlike Poland where at least there were genuine non Soviet backed pro Allies forces...


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 16, 2012, 03:30:01 PM
... I understand that it hurts your feelings to know that Soviets were as usual behind, sorry... that is unlike Poland where at least there were genuine non Soviet backed pro Allies forces...

And yet, Poland needed Soviets to free it and remained Soviet for the next 50+ years, while Yugoslavia freed itself and remained independent from Soviets for the same time period.

Look, this thread has meandered way off the original topic (loosely defined as Romney/Photoshop) and I do not want to stir it any further in my personal direction, my "feelings," or my country of origin. All three are rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I responded, perhaps foolishly, to a challenge directed at me. I said what I said, and those who know history know what I am talking about. Those who do not, are free to disagree, peddle their silly logic and their own theories or whatever. 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 16, 2012, 08:46:42 PM
Not correct.  According to today's law of the land they are explicitly constitutional.


The law is wrongly decided. Exceeding the enumerated powers + amendments is unconstitutional.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 16, 2012, 09:48:13 PM
The law is wrongly decided. Exceeding the enumerated powers + amendments is unconstitutional.

You can disagree with the decision ... but you can't say it is unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court gets to say what is and what is not constitutional ... and it said it was.  Case closed - see Marbury vs Madison - 1803.

As far as the case itself that decided the constitutionality of Social Security ... The court directly addressed your concerns and ruled against you, saying:

"Congress may spend money in aid of the "general welfare." . . .  There have been great statesmen in our history who have stood for other views. We will not resurrect the contest. It is now settled by decision. . . .  The conception of the spending power advocated by Hamilton and strongly reinforced by Story has prevailed over that of Madison, which has not been lacking in adherents. Yet difficulties are left when the power is conceded. The line must still be drawn between one welfare and another, between particular and general. Where this shall be placed cannot be known through a formula in advance of the event. There is a middle ground, or certainly a penumbra, in which discretion is at large. The discretion, however, is not confided to the courts. The discretion belongs to Congress, unless the choice is clearly wrong, a display of arbitrary power, not an exercise of judgment. This is now familiar law ...

Nor is the concept of the general welfare static. Needs that were narrow or parochial a century ago may be interwoven in our day with the wellbeing of the Nation. What is critical or urgent changes with the times.
The purge of nationwide calamity that began in 1929 has taught us many lessons. Not the least is the solidarity of interests that may once have seemed to be divided. Unemployment spreads from State to State, the hinterland now settled that, in pioneer days gave an avenue of escape. . . . Spreading from State to State, unemployment is an ill not particular, but general, which may be checked, if Congress so determines, by the resources of the Nation. If this can have been doubtful until now, our ruling today in the case of the Steward Machine Co., supra, has set the doubt at rest. But the ill is all one, or at least not greatly different, whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it. Rescue becomes necessary irrespective of the cause. The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house, as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey's end is near."

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 16, 2012, 10:05:12 PM
You can disagree with the decision ... but you can't say it is unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court gets to say what is and what is not constitutional ... and it said it was. 

This is semantics. Eg Roe v Wade is constitutional according to the Supreme Court, but unconstitutional according to the dissenting reasoning from inside and outside the Court. That which exceeds the enumerated powers + amendments is unconstitutional irrespective of Supreme Court decisions.  In practice such a fundamental disagreement should and probably will be settled by 'We, the people' through elections resulting in the make up of the Supreme Court and the demeanour of the other branches which have their own interpretations of their constitutional prerogatives.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 16, 2012, 11:19:35 PM
Whatever you Americans do, please ensure that the US dollar does not fall significantly below the value of the Australian dollar, because I still have some US dollars on my Travel Card. Thank you.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 17, 2012, 12:34:09 AM
This is semantics.

No.  This is constitutional law ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 17, 2012, 06:47:04 AM
The American constitution is in serious need of amendment. Currently about 67% of all Americans are overweight and about 34% obese. The trend is upwards. I've seen estimates of 50% obesity, or greater, by 2030.

For a strong constitution I would recommend regular exercise, both aerobic and anaerobic, and consumption of only wholesome foods in moderation.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 17, 2012, 07:48:06 AM
The American constitution is in serious need of amendment. Currently about 67% of all Americans are overweight and about 34% obese. The trend is upwards. I've seen estimates of 50% obesity, or greater, by 2030.

For a strong constitution I would recommend regular exercise, both aerobic and anaerobic, and consumption of only wholesome foods in moderation.

I hate to break it to you, but the UK and the rest of Europe is headed in the same direction. By 2020 it is estimated that more than 75% of the "Western" world will be obese to morbidly obese.

As to the constitution, it is amended as necessary and only after great thought (well, in theory). In most cases, it's not the constitution in need of overhauling; it is the interpretation of its host (Washington, D.C. and its lofty minions) who need to step back and examine their role and their agendas in how the document should, would or can take care of its people. I am so disappointed every day in how this beautifully written document has been tossed about indiscriminately by those elected to protect it from just that.

Time and experience have a way of returning with bigger, sharper teeth. It's going to be interesting.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 17, 2012, 08:45:45 AM
I hate to break it to you, but the UK and the rest of Europe is headed in the same direction.

Sure! But the USA is top dog in this respect. Refer attached graph from the OECD on obesity rates, taken from http://www.oecd.org/els/healthpoliciesanddata/49716427.pdf
Obese means not just overweight but very much overweight, ya know. It would be nice if America could show a good example to the rest of the world.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on October 17, 2012, 08:53:41 AM
... the gutting of the military (designated "the peace dividend" by Slick Willie) since the Reagan years ...

I hear you Russ, but you can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the gutting until you look at some numbers.  Here are the official government numbers for the Department of Defense military spending.

1988 (Regan’s last year in office and his highest military spending) -- $282 billion (inflation adjusted = $527 billion).

2011 -- $721 billion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 17, 2012, 09:19:15 AM
Sure! But the USA is top dog in this respect. Refer attached graph from the OECD on obesity rates, taken from http://www.oecd.org/els/healthpoliciesanddata/49716427.pdf
Obese means not just overweight but very much overweight, ya know. It would be nice if America could show a good example to the rest of the world.

I'm doing my part. Since I retired on June 6, I've lost two inches off the belly, one pant size, one off the chest and gained inches and mass in all the other extremities. My BMI has dropped from 28 to 24. A hard workout on the old Bowflex which I dusted off and began to use again, lots of long, fast walks and eating less have all contributed to this change. I feel so freakin' much better, sleep better and have a sharper outlook on life. Now, if we can just get the Europeans to quit smoking, I might visit again.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 17, 2012, 10:52:02 AM
Now, if we can just get the Europeans to quit smoking, I might visit again.

I'm sure they'll eventually follow the example of Australia and require all tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging. I don't like to boast (you must have sensed I'm very modest) but it seems Australia will be the first country in the world to legislate for plain packaging, effective from December this year - a dull, brown packaging.

I quit smoking about 38 years ago, in favour of the antioxidant-rich red wine. ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 17, 2012, 11:31:29 AM
I quit smoking 18 years ago and boast very clear, healthy lungs at age 66 and haven't had a chest cold, bronchitis or any other sinus/pulminary infection since quitting. And while I applaud Australia for the plain packaging, it was the USA that first went smokeless (for all intent and purposes) in all public and government venues. The few exceptions are North and South Carolina who grow the nasty stuff. They promote smoking everywhere and other than public places and government buildings will smoke like nasty little chimneys wherever they can get a lung full. It is a vile habit and I am glad to be rid of it. I wish the world would follow suit; clean air is so refreshing.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 17, 2012, 12:47:23 PM
The American constitution is in serious need of amendment. Currently about 67% of all Americans are overweight and about 34% obese. The trend is upwards. I've seen estimates of 50% obesity, or greater, by 2030...

Ray,

Thanks for stirring the debate away from Mitt Romney's halo to Chris Christie's (http://wonkette.com/454114/is-monstrously-obese-chris-christie-even-too-fat-for-republican-voters) jell-o  :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 17, 2012, 04:45:31 PM
You can disagree with the decision ... but you can't say it is unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court gets to say what is and what is not constitutional ... and it said it was.  Case closed - see Marbury vs Madison - 1803.

Yes Jeremy. And then see Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson. Both were considered constitutional -- for a while -- until they were found to be unconstitutional. Eventually the same thing will happen with garbage decisions like Roe v Wade. Supreme courts are short, the Constitution is long.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 17, 2012, 05:14:56 PM
I hear you Russ, but you can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the gutting until you look at some numbers.  Here are the official government numbers for the Department of Defense military spending.

1988 (Regan’s last year in office and his highest military spending) -- $282 billion (inflation adjusted = $527 billion).

2011 -- $721 billion.

Right, Dean. But the US Navy now has less ships than it had before WW I. It's hard to make comparisons for the USAF because of immense changes in technology, but from the standpoint of personnel and aircraft the AF is at its lowest point in decades. The Army is in even worse shape, considering the fact that they're the guys who when they come home get rotated right back into combat before having time to say an extended hello to their families. In 1988 we had enough troops that unaccompanied tours could be one year in length, with considerable resting time between rotations. Now we're breaking our army with this kind of crap.

I've been retired from USAF active duty since 1977, but I remember what happened in the sixties in SAC with rotation schedules like these. The divorce rate went out of sight, and morale, which is as important a military weapon as are guns and bombs, was in the pits. The highly advertised suicide rate among army troops doesn't surprise me a bit.

And now, under this administration, we're facing another huge reduction. If you don't think that's scary you haven't been paying attention. And you might want to ask yourself how much of that "military spending" actually is military.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 17, 2012, 06:30:26 PM
... And you might want to ask yourself how much of that "military spending" actually is military.

Aha! Excellent question!

I think the answer must be somewhere near the dreaded Obama's redistribution of wealth: he takes it from the military and gives it to welfare queens. Damn you food stamps!

And the nerve of some people to point fingers at Halliburtons and Blackwaters of this world instead!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: degrub on October 17, 2012, 07:36:08 PM
More likely for the military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about, certainly not for the troops.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 18, 2012, 06:07:39 AM
Ray,

Thanks for stirring the debate away from Mitt Romney's halo to Chris Christie's (http://wonkette.com/454114/is-monstrously-obese-chris-christie-even-too-fat-for-republican-voters) jell-o  :)

Very amusing Slobodan.  :) It wasn't really my intention to focus on the obesity of specific individuals. I was rather trying to make the point that most Americans seem to have already voted with their constitutions that being overweight is a desirable, or at least an unavoidable state of affairs.

However, we do have a couple of rather wealthy Australians who are frequently in the news and who would appear to be just a little bit, just a tiny, weeny, bit ..er!!...hmm!!...overweight.

http://www.bigpondmoney.com.au/clive-palmer

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/9510025/Gina-Rinehart-attacks-jealous-poor.html

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 18, 2012, 07:15:15 AM
Ray perhaps you could post three images of yourself, front side and back, and we can pick out a feature of yourself that we can poke fun of? ;) ;D  BTW Slobodan has already obliged which has caused great merriment to the members.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 18, 2012, 10:31:30 AM
Stamper,
It's not my intention to make fun of people who may have an eating disorder, but there is clearly a very serious world-wide issue here. We have a rising world population and concerns about sufficient food production to feed even the existing population, yet maybe as much as one quarter of the the world population is eating far more than it needs whilst another quarter of the world population is either starving or undernourished.

Okay! You want a photo of me to poke fun at. In the attached photo of me and my religious friends, I'm praying. Not sure for what, though.  ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 18, 2012, 11:10:22 AM
Hi Ray,

You haven't told us where you are, though your use of the word "whilst" is a fair clue. Looks as if you and your friends are having a very healing praying session. Here in Manitou Springs folks do a lot of the same thing and some of Manitou's sessions even look like your prayer session.

But I have to suggest that world hunger hasn't anything to do with a shortage of food. The problem is a shortage of enlightened politics. For instance, when a starving people's leaders react to the opinions of a group of over-indoctrinated know-nothings' propaganda about bio-engineered food and prohibit it to their people, the result is hunger in the presence of abundance. There are plenty of other examples of politics interfering with nourishment. The only effective way to prevent obesity is to bring about world dictatorship by the ignorant.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 18, 2012, 12:07:53 PM
Hi Ray,

You haven't told us where you are, though your use of the word "whilst" is a fair clue. Looks as if you and your friends are having a very healing praying session. Here in Manitou Springs folks do a lot of the same thing and some of Manitou's sessions even look like your prayer session.

But I have to suggest that world hunger hasn't anything to do with a shortage of food. The problem is a shortage of enlightened politics. For instance, when a starving people's leaders react to the opinions of a group of over-indoctrinated know-nothings' propaganda about bio-engineered food and prohibit it to their people, the result is hunger in the presence of abundance. There are plenty of other examples of politics interfering with nourishment. The only effective way to prevent obesity is to bring about world dictatorship by the ignorant.


Hi Russ,
You may not wish to know, but I was at a Hindu temple complex in Kathmandu, known as Pashupati, which appears to be, from my perspective, an open-air crematorium.

Attached image is not for the squeamish.

You are right that world hunger has little to do with a shortage of food production, and I emphasise the word production. We actually currently produce, world-wide, enough food to provide a healthy and ideal diet for a population of 20 billion or so.

The problem is food wastage. Food is wasted on a number of levels, which I won't go into now because the post would be too long. To summarise, I'll just quote a figure of 1.3 billion tonnes of wastage per annum, a quarter of which would be sufficient to feed all the current starving and undernourished people in the world. (For those who might be a bit incredulous, that's 13 hundred million tonnes of food that is wasted each year due to inadequate handling, storage and a host of other reasons.)

When one combines this general wastage with the excessive consumption amongst the wealthy, resulting in obesity, plus the very inefficient practices of feeding huge quantities of grain to cattle in order to provide an unhealthy amount of prime beef to the wealthy, we begin to get a glimmer of the problem.

The world simply cannot sustain American practices of food consumption.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 18, 2012, 12:20:58 PM
Yes Jeremy. And then see Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson. Both were considered constitutional -- for a while -- until they were found to be unconstitutional. Eventually the same thing will happen with garbage decisions like Roe v Wade. Supreme courts are short, the Constitution is long.

Well ... it took a few Amendments to the constitution the overturn Dred Scott ... and Plessy wasn't overturned, per se.

The framework for Plessy was that "separate but equal" was ok as long as it was truly equal.  Brown vs Board ruled that separate was not equal. 

Good luck with outlawing Social Security.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 18, 2012, 01:17:34 PM
Good luck with outlawing Social Security.

If things continue as they have in the past, which is the plan of the current administration, luck won't enter into it; social security will end up outlawing itself.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on October 18, 2012, 03:02:45 PM
... the gutting of the military (designated "the peace dividend" by Slick Willie) since the Reagan years ...

I hear you Russ, but you can’t really appreciate the magnitude of the gutting until you look at some numbers.  Here are the official government numbers for the Department of Defense military spending.

1988 (Regan’s last year in office and his highest military spending) -- $282 billion (inflation adjusted = $527 billion).

2011 -- $721 billion.


Right, Dean. But the US Navy now has less ships than it had before WW I. It's hard to make comparisons for the USAF because of immense changes in technology, but from the standpoint of personnel and aircraft the AF is at its lowest point in decades. The Army is in even worse shape, considering the fact that they're the guys who when they come home get rotated right back into combat before having time to say an extended hello to their families. In 1988 we had enough troops that unaccompanied tours could be one year in length, with considerable resting time between rotations. Now we're breaking our army with this kind of crap.

I've been retired from USAF active duty since 1977, but I remember what happened in the sixties in SAC with rotation schedules like these. The divorce rate went out of sight, and morale, which is as important a military weapon as are guns and bombs, was in the pits. The highly advertised suicide rate among army troops doesn't surprise me a bit.

And now, under this administration, we're facing another huge reduction. If you don't think that's scary you haven't been paying attention. And you might want to ask yourself how much of that "military spending" actually is military.


It must be a bitch, Russ, when reality intrudes upon your world.  It seems, however, that the effect, if any, was fleeting.  ;)

Russ, your reply to my post is just as silly as your initial claim that a 37% budget increase amounts to a gutting of the military. For example, take just the first few sentences of your reply:

“But the US Navy now has less ships than it had before WW I. It's hard to make comparisons for the USAF because of immense changes in technology … “

You imply that immense changes in technology apply to the USAF but not the Navy.   You want to compare numbers of ships without regard to their size or capabilities, thereby equating a pre-WW I era ship to a modern aircraft carrier or nuclear submarine.  Both such notions are obviously silly.

Then you go on to state that “from the standpoint of personnel … the AF is at its lowest point in decades.”  According to the USAF, the total number of active duty personnel was 327,379 in 2009 and 332,724 in 2011.

All this nonsense is in just the first few lines of your reply.  I could go on, but I don’t see any point in doing so. 

I assume that you’re a nice guy, Russ, but it appears that your ill-informed preconceived notions and biases make you immune to facts or reasonable discussion.   You’d hope that my noting the absurdity of your “gutting the military” claim might give some small impetuous for pause or reflection, but alas not.  So, wail away with your inane comments … I’m over and out. It’s neither interesting nor productive to try to have a rational discussion with someone who refuses or is unable to reciprocate.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 18, 2012, 03:51:28 PM
What a wonderful and welcome breath of fresh air your pictures provide Ray.  Thanks for remembering the core business of this website.

Cheers,

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 18, 2012, 04:46:02 PM
What a wonderful and welcome breath of fresh air your pictures provide Ray...

Like open-air cremation? Hmmm... Wrong choice of words/metaphor, perhaps? Or, de gustibus non est disputandum? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: ErikKaffehr on October 18, 2012, 05:12:24 PM
Hi,

My take on the issue is that the problem is not food over production in the US but food underproduction in poor countries. In the long term it would be better to increase agricultural output in the poor countries than ship excess food from US and other rich countries to the poor world. When people are starving, that is another issue, than we need to help, immediately.

Best regards
Erik


Hi Russ,
You may not wish to know, but I was at a Hindu temple complex in Kathmandu, known as Pashupati, which appears to be, from my perspective, an open-air crematorium.

Attached image is not for the squeamish.

You are right that world hunger has little to do with a shortage of food production, and I emphasise the word production. We actually currently produce, world-wide, enough food to provide a healthy and ideal diet for a population of 20 billion or so.

The problem is food wastage. Food is wasted on a number of levels, which I won't go into now because the post would be too long. To summarise, I'll just quote a figure of 1.3 billion tonnes of wastage per annum, a quarter of which would be sufficient to feed all the current starving and undernourished people in the world. (For those who might be a bit incredulous, that's 13 hundred million tonnes of food that is wasted each year due to inadequate handling, storage and a host of other reasons.)

When one combines this general wastage with the excessive consumption amongst the wealthy, resulting in obesity, plus the very inefficient practices of feeding huge quantities of grain to cattle in order to provide an unhealthy amount of prime beef to the wealthy, we begin to get a glimmer of the problem.

The world simply cannot sustain American practices of food consumption.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 18, 2012, 05:21:57 PM
I think you guys are both right. There's a lot of wastage as Ray said, but Eric pointed out the major problem. Nobody's going to solve that problem with handouts or even overseas shipments of food. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Politics, as usual, is what keeps the hungry part of the world from being able to fish.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 18, 2012, 05:56:03 PM
Then you go on to state that “from the standpoint of personnel … the AF is at its lowest point in decades.”  According to the USAF, the total number of active duty personnel was 327,379 in 2009 and 332,724 in 2011.

I assume that you’re a nice guy, Russ, but it appears that your ill-informed preconceived notions and biases make you immune to facts or reasonable discussion.   You’d hope that my noting the absurdity of your “gutting the military” claim might give some small impetuous for pause or reflection, but alas not.  So, wail away with your inane comments … I’m over and out. It’s neither interesting nor productive to try to have a rational discussion with someone who refuses or is unable to reciprocate.

I can't find the budget numbers you've been quoting, so I can't discuss them. On the other hand gross budget numbers don't tell me a thing. We'd both need details before either of us could come to grips with how much of the DOD budget actually goes to military procurement and operations. With the administration and Senate in their current configuration I'd guess a lot of the "military" budget goes to local boondoggles.

I don't  know where you got your active duty numbers, but according to the data I have, in 1985 total military strength was roughly 2.151 million, and USAF strength was about 602,000. In 2011 total strength was roughly 1.468 million, and USAF strength was about 333,370. And yet, in 1985 we weren't engaged in a hot war. Now, with half the troops, we're rotating people again and again into combat with no recovery time between tours. The problem for all the services including the navy's problem with ships is that a single soldier or a single ship can't be in two places at once.

Yes, I'm a nice guy, so I won't respond to your ad hominem insults, but yes, that's what I'd call gutting the military. You can call it anything you want to call it.


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 18, 2012, 06:26:24 PM
Well ... it took a few Amendments to the constitution the overturn Dred Scott ... and Plessy wasn't overturned, per se.

The framework for Plessy was that "separate but equal" was ok as long as it was truly equal.  Brown vs Board ruled that separate was not equal.

I was out of time and skirted these revelations earlier, Jeremy.

Yes, overturning Dred Scott took amendments to the constitution and a civil war, but that's what "progressives" call a "living Constitution." I always wonder how many liberals turned "progressive" realize that back in the thirties that's what our communists were calling themselves.

You can call it anything you want to call it but in my lexicon Plessy was overturned by Brown the same way Roe eventually will be overturned by a new decision. Above all, the supremes can't admit they were wrong, especially about decisions based on penumbras and emanations.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on October 18, 2012, 06:59:35 PM
Russ, you wrote “... the gutting of the military (designated "the peace dividend" by Slick Willie) since the Reagan years ...”.   The “peace dividend” referred to a decrease in defense spending.  Your attempt to now pretend that you meant a decrease in the number of personnel is dishonest.  

All I tried to do was point out that your “gutting the military” statement was wrong.  I made no comment on the merits of our military spending or troop strength or whether our military has been gutted.  But instead of just admitting that your statement was incorrect, you changed the subject and made additional silly statements.

Let me see if I can describe what it’s like to try to discuss just your initial dozen word false statement.  It’s like trying to hold a runny, soft turd in your hand.  No matter how you try to contain it, it oozes out between your fingers.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 18, 2012, 09:33:33 PM
Defense spending in 1985 was around 7% of GDP. In 2001 it had dropped to about 3.6% of GDP. In 2011, with a hot war going on and the surge, it got back up to about 6%. Now it's back down to below 5% and forecast to drop to 4.7% by 2015. Looking at the drop during the Clinton years it's clear that most of the "peace dividend" came from a massive reduction in defense spending. Part of that is understandable, but one thing neither Clinton nor anybody else in that administration seemed to understand, and something those of us who went through the aftermath of WW II and Korea understood only too well, is that it's infinitely less expensive to keep the forces up than to rebuild them once they've been gutted. We've been re-learning that lesson lately.

You go ahead and mess with that stuff in your hands, but your figures don't cut it, and I'm finished responding to your unfortunate "arguments."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 18, 2012, 11:55:23 PM
My take on the issue is that the problem is not food over production in the US but food underproduction in poor countries. In the long term it would be better to increase agricultural output in the poor countries than ship excess food from US and other rich countries to the poor world. When people are starving, that is another issue, than we need to help, immediately.

I think you guys are both right. There's a lot of wastage as Ray said, but Eric pointed out the major problem. Nobody's going to solve that problem with handouts or even overseas shipments of food. "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Politics, as usual, is what keeps the hungry part of the world from being able to fish.

With all due respect, I think you guys need to read the following report from the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology.
http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf  

The essential problem is that large quantities of food are wasted both in industrialised countries and in developing countries, but often for different reasons. In theory, there is no need to produce a single carrot more food than is currently being produced. We just need to tackle the various known causes of wastage.

According to the above report, percentages of food losses are just as high in developing countries as they are in industrialized countries, the difference being that more than 40% of the food losses in industrialized nations occur at the retail and consumer level, whereas more than 40% of the food wasted in developing nations occurs at post-harvest and processing levels.

The main causes of food wastage in developing countries are due to a lack of infrastructure such as transportation and roads, proper storage facilities such as fridges and cool rooms, lack of processing plants to handle seasonal fluctuations of food quantities, unhygenic practices involving contaminated water and unsafe use of pesticides, and unhygenic methods of handling food in general.

I may have missed a few points. Read the report.

In terms of calories, vitamins and minerals, that is, everything required for an ideal, healthy diet, the world already produces more than three times as much food required for every man, woman and child on the planet.

It would be crazy to think we can solve a localised food shortage problem by ripping down yet more forests. There has to be a smarter approach.

Here endeth the lesson. Thank you.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on October 19, 2012, 12:22:48 AM
Russ, you do your best to cherry pick any number you can find to bolster you position, rather than provide a fair and reasonable picture. Maybe you’ll find these numbers interesting.  By the way, for some reason you switched to defense spending rather than military spending.  In case you don’t realize it, there is a difference.  The government publishes numbers for both, but since you now refer to defense spending, I’ll do likewise.

Perhaps the thing you’ll find most surprising is that, compared to Reagan or Bush, defense spending has increased under Obama by almost every metric. (By the way, I'm not an Obama supporter.  I am a supporter of honesty, however.)

Defense Spending as % of GDP:
1985: 6.47%
2008 (Bush’s highest defense spending): 5.08%
2011: 5.82% (Note the increase over Bush)

Defense Spending Per Capita (Inflation Adjusted Dollars):
1985: $1,243.50 ($2,598.15)
2008: $2,404.80 ($2,500.99)
2011: $2,819.40 (Note the increase over Reagan and Bush)

Defense Spending (Inflation Adjusted Dollars):
1985: $253 billion ($529 billion)
2008: $616 billion ($641 billion)
2011: $750 billion (Note the increase over Reagan and Bush)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 19, 2012, 03:03:25 AM
Like open-air cremation? Hmmm... Wrong choice of words/metaphor, perhaps? Or, de gustibus non est disputandum? ;)

Do I detect a small degree of sarcasm here?  ;)

Did you notice the river in the background, Slobodan? I can provide better views of that river, if you'd like. But only on special request. I don't wish to upset anyone.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 19, 2012, 03:58:10 AM
One of the major problems with food production is profit. Most of it is produced for the market. If a profit can't be made then it isn't produced and locals who need it and don't have the money don't get fed. Charities then have to step in and buy it - at inflated prices - and feed the poor. An example of profiteering was in Ireland in the nineteenth century. There was a famine that killed over a million people who mostly ate potatoes. At the time there was more than enough food produced to feed the population but most was exported because it was more profitable. The locals couldn't afford the prices so they starved or migrated to other countries. To alleviate the problem food that was cheap and unsuitable for local consumption was imported from the US. The bottom line as has been pointed out is more than enough can be produced world wide but profiteering by markets prevent it getting to the poor. Ironically it is the poor who actually do the producing but can't afford to buy what the create. The lucky ones have a patch of land they own and can feed themselves. :( BTW there are some people who are over weight that eat less food than some who are possibly less than half their weight. Some thin people eat enormous amounts but their bodies don't turn it into fat and some obese people to their horror seem to have everything they eat turned into fat. Athletes can consume three times the amount of calories that normal people eat but exercise burns it up.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 19, 2012, 12:13:28 PM
One of the major problems with food production is profit. Most of it is produced for the market. If a profit can't be made then it isn't produced and locals who need it and don't have the money don't get fed. Charities then have to step in and buy it - at inflated prices - and feed the poor.

You're not making much sense, Stamper. Making a profit is the incentive that drives most people to work. The major experiments in Communism have been a spactacular failure, especially in China under Mao. It's the profit incentive that has brought China, in just a few decades, to  being the second largest economy in the world. In another decade it might exceed the USA.

In a global market where nations have low tariff barriers, those who work hard and can produce things efficiently, whether food or electronics, get rewarded, as well as the consumers who pay less for the products, whether local or imported. We all benefit.

However, in most countries there are a certain number of desperately poor people who may be jobless and homeless and who can't afford to buy anything. Such people obviously need help and usually get help in countries that have a safety net, such as the UK and Australia.

Some countries don't have a safety net and sometimes don't even have the infrastructure in place that allows Aid agencies to access the needy, not to mention political obstruction, internal wars and corruption etc.

Quote
BTW there are some people who are over weight that eat less food than some who are possibly less than half their weight. Some thin people eat enormous amounts but their bodies don't turn it into fat and some obese people to their horror seem to have everything they eat turned into fat. Athletes can consume three times the amount of calories that normal people eat but exercise burns it up.

It's true that people's metabolism varies so that not everyone will put on weight to the same degree when eating the same excessive quantity of food whilst leading the same lifestyle.

But the idea that anyone can get overweight without eating too much is total nonsense. There's a very simple, basic law of physics that applies here. If energy output equals energy input, it is impossible to put on weight. If energy output exceeds energy input, it's impossible not to lose weight.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 19, 2012, 08:46:33 PM
Do I detect a small degree of sarcasm here?  ;)...

No sarcasm Ray, at least none intended. I was just teasing Walter for an awkward choice of metaphor :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 19, 2012, 10:12:09 PM
No sarcasm Ray, at least none intended. I was just teasing Walter for an awkward choice of metaphor :)

Slobodan,
Do I take it then that you are not enthralled, or at least a little bit fascinated, by the way that certain cultures conduct their funerals, by cremating their loved ones on a bonfire by the riverside?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 19, 2012, 11:40:58 PM
No, I am definitely not. I simply find it next to impossible to associate a "breath of fresh air" with open-air cremation.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 19, 2012, 11:56:06 PM
No, I am definitely not. I simply find it next to impossible to associate a "breath of fresh air" with open-air cremation.

Doesn't it depend upon which way the wind is blowing?  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 01:08:24 AM
In order to redress the balance, having shown a dead bloke on a burning pyre with his feet sticking out, I think I should also show the other dimension of grieving. Hope no-one thinks I'm being insensitive.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 20, 2012, 04:00:22 AM
Quote Ray

You're not making much sense, Stamper. Making a profit is the incentive that drives most people to work.

Unquote

I am afraid Ray that you are the one not making sense. The vast majority of people in the world work for a wage therefore the profit incentive doesn't apply to them. Profit is made after wages and production costs has been deducted from the price of goods. The profit mostly then goes to one or two individuals. A better system imo would be when the people who made the goods kept the profit. That is when the profit incentive would work for the producers. The market artificially inflates the price because people are gambling with the money gained from the market and the price rises. Thus poorer people struggle to pay for the goods because one or two people have skimmed off a good profit for their own greed. The market isn't democratic in any way and benefits only a few instead of the many. :( BTW with regards to China we have multi Billionaires and poor people still slaving in the fields for a pittance. Even their factories have long hours, low pay and bad conditions. Fabulous wealth for some and grinding poverty for the majority. The low wages make them competitive in the market hence the booming economy but the wealth isn't fairly distributed.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 05:55:30 AM
Quote Ray

You're not making much sense, Stamper. Making a profit is the incentive that drives most people to work.

Unquote

I am afraid Ray that you are the one not making sense. The vast majority of people in the world work for a wage therefore the profit incentive doesn't apply to them. Profit is made after wages and production costs has been deducted from the price of goods.

You're confused, Stamper. Profit is made after all costs of engaging in whatever your productive activity is, have been deducted. If your activity does not involve employing others, then there are no wages to deduct. If you're a wage earner, then your costs consists of all expenses involved in doing your job, which would include transportation to the office or factory, and specific clothes, or tools that your job requires.

After all such expenses have been deducted, you have a net profit from you labours. What part of the Outer Hebrides do you come from?  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 20, 2012, 08:20:25 AM
I found this equation interesting:

"But the idea that anyone can get overweight without eating too much is total nonsense. There's a very simple, basic law of physics that applies here. If energy output equals energy input, it is impossible to put on weight. If energy output exceeds energy input, it's impossible not to lose weight."

I am a type two diabetic who controls his diabetes with diet. The formula, under "normal" metabolic rates is probably relatively accurate though I recall some rather rotund Russian potato farmers who might tend to disagree.

I mention this because for me, it is simply a matter of sugar intake and in this case, sugar translates to carbohydrate intake. 1 carb equals one sugar. I weigh exactly the same thing I did eight years ago. I have never altered my daily carb intake (145) or the schedule in which I intake my sugars (30-15-40-15-30-15), thus maintain a steady weight. However, as true as it is stated, I have been engaged in a 45 minute Bowflex workout every morning with a two to three mile hard walk every afternoon and I still weigh the same. I did change some of the types of sugars I had eaten in the past, replacing things like ice cream with apples but that's about as much a change as I have made. I can note that my BMI has moved from 30 to 26.4 since I began this schedule (June) but my weight hasn't changed one iota. Perhaps I am merely replacing fat with mass, but even if, it sort of queers that intake-outtake theory.

I'll keep you posted if this changes.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 09:25:36 AM
I can note that my BMI has moved from 30 to 26.4 since I began this schedule (June) but my weight hasn't changed one iota. Perhaps I am merely replacing fat with mass, but even if, it sort of queers that intake-outtake theory.

I'll keep you posted if this changes.

You'll have to explain this in more detail to me. I don't normally fuss about my Body Mass Index because I don't have a weight problem nor any specific health problem. But recently, just out of curiosity, I did check on how to calculate one's BMI.

As I understand, one calculates one's BMI by dividing one's weight in kilograms by the square of one's height in metres. If one's BMI falls from 30 to 26.4, as in your case, then either you have lost weight or you have lost height. A BMI of 25kg/m2 is the threshold between normal weight and overweight.

Moderate exercise, like a brisk walk 2 or 3 times a week, is not a particularly effective way of losing weight in itself. In fact, the exercise may increase own's appetitie, resulting in an increased food intake. But any exercise is better than no exercise for one's health in general.

As I understand, in general terms, all food represents energy. Such energy is needed just to keep the body systems functioning, even if you are just sitting down all day watching TV. If you move around and exert yourself, take a walk or go to the gym, you'll inevitably use more energy. If you eat more food as a result of your increased activity, your weight may not change. If you don't eat more as a result of increased activity, you must lose weight.

One further point, self-reporting on the amount of food one eats is very unreliable for scientific purposes. People tend to kid themselves where weight matters are concerned.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 20, 2012, 10:58:30 AM
You can lose inches and gain mass (muscle) and still not lose or gain weight. My doctor has a scale which does the BMI caclculation so not sure of the formula you used, but I am sure it has accuracy. I've lost one waist size and one inch off my chest, but gained inches on my arms and legs.

As to a brisk walk, few people can walk with me without doing a bit of a jog. I walk quite fast. I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for my weight stability despite the exercize.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 11:20:19 AM
You can lose inches and gain mass (muscle) and still not lose or gain weight. My doctor has a scale which does the BMI caclculation so not sure of the formula you used, but I am sure it has accuracy. I've lost one waist size and one inch off my chest, but gained inches on my arms and legs.

As to a brisk walk, few people can walk with me without doing a bit of a jog. I walk quite fast. I am sure there is a reasonable explanation for my weight stability despite the exercize.

From that infallible source of reliable information, Wikipedia, I quote: The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2

Yes, there is a reasonable explanation for your weight stability. Your energy output equals your energy input (ie, food intake). If you were to stop exercising but continue eating the same quantity of food, you would put on weight.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 20, 2012, 01:37:58 PM
From that infallible source of reliable information, Wikipedia, I quote: The body mass index (BMI), or Quetelet index, is a heuristic proxy for human body fat based on an individual's weight and height. BMI does not actually measure the percentage of body fat. It was devised between 1830 and 1850 by the Belgian polymath Adolphe Quetelet during the course of developing "social physics". Body mass index is defined as the individual's body mass divided by the square of his or her height. The formulae universally used in medicine produce a unit of measure of kg/m2

Yes, there is a reasonable explanation for your weight stability. Your energy output equals your energy input (ie, food intake). If you were to stop exercising but continue eating the same quantity of food, you would put on weight.


In the first part of my opening statement, I noted I hadn't changed weight in 8 years and that it has only been since June that I have been doing this vigorous exercise routine...sooooooo how does this fit in with the input-output theory?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 20, 2012, 01:49:16 PM
By the way, for some reason you switched to defense spending rather than military spending. 
nukes cost was in DOE budget, not DOD budget... you can find some (and expensive) defense related items in the budget of rather civilian agencies.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on October 20, 2012, 01:56:34 PM
And yet, Poland needed Soviets to free it and remained Soviet for the next 50+ years, while Yugoslavia freed itself and remained independent from Soviets for the same time period.

again - Yugoslavia just happened to be not in the way, that's it... Poland lies en route to Berlin and Yugoslavia is not, hence Tito was allowed to "liberate" yourself...

said what I said, and those who know history know what I am talking about. Those who do not, are free to disagree, peddle their silly logic and their own theories or whatever.  

the whole point is that it is you who do not... as your mistake with the dates and oil in Stalingrad, etc clearly showed.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on October 20, 2012, 04:14:24 PM
... as your mistake with the dates and oil in Stalingrad, etc clearly showed.

What mistake?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on October 20, 2012, 05:04:52 PM
The vast majority of people in the world work for a wage therefore the profit incentive doesn't apply to them.

Maybe this self-refuting sentence is the fallacy at the heart of left-wing illogic.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 20, 2012, 06:11:11 PM
In the first part of my opening statement, I noted I hadn't changed weight in 8 years and that it has only been since June that I have been doing this vigorous exercise routine...sooooooo how does this fit in with the input-output theory?

The energy for the additional exercise you've engaged in must have come from somewhere. Do you expect to drive your automobile an additional distance without consuming additional petrol?

Moderate exercise by itself is not considered a particularly effective way of losing weight because the amount of additional energy consumed during, say, a half-hour's walk may be provided by one bottle of coke, or one can of beer, or one glass of milk or orange juice which one may take in order to quench one's thirst as a result of having gone for a walk.

When people start an exercise routine, their appetite usually increases and they tend to take in additional food and drink in lots of subtle ways. Unless you're on a very strict and simple diet and meticulously weigh every scrap of food or drink you take throughout the day, and analyse it for its calorific content, you probably wouldn't be aware that you were eating or drinking more as a result of increased exercise.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 21, 2012, 08:33:23 AM
When I was first informed there was a high possibility I was a type 2 diabetic, I was told I needed to lose weight as that was one of the worst offenders in controlling one's blood-sugar. I am always a great follower of doctor's orders so I immediately embarked on a weight loss regimen consisting of limiting my sugars, drinking only water (which I still do to this day) and walking pretty vigorously every day. I went from 216 to 189 lbs in three months.

When the diagnosis was confirmed, I was sent to a group of diabetes specialists who put me on the carb intake diet I described earlier. I do not deviate from this diet enough to count. I get blood work taken every three months measuring my AH1C and in eight years it has never varied by more than one tenth of a point (5.6 or 5.7) and my weight has been a steady 191, 192 lbs.

Life got in the way of the hard core exercise routine but because I never wanted to go on the diabtes control meds, I was (am) exceptionally diligent in my sugar counting. I agree, you can only get some many miles out of a liter of petrol but you can stretch those miles by changing tyres, waxing the car, living in an area with fewer hills or go hybrid.

So, here I am, back to the hard core exercise, counting the same sugar intake, still only drinking water, living in a quite flat environ, a lot less hair (wind resistance) and I neither gain nor lose weight but I am changing mass. I'll let you know in three months where I am as per weight, etc. I suspect because of my age, my metabolic comsumption rate is being altered and in time I will even out and the pounds will start to melt away. My goal is to get from 191 to 171 lbs.

As an aside, for a man my age living in the US, my combined cholesterol is 97, my triglycerides are 128 mg/dl, my BP is 110/68, pulse at rest 60. My cardiologist says no visit for 8 years, gastroenterologist 6 years, urologist 5 years. For age 66, these are damn good numbers. I take one pill a day to control my heart rate but take a pediatric dose (a hieritary condition). I haven't had a headache in so long, I honestly cannot remember when it was. I've never had the flu or flu-like symptoms and I never get the shots. I don't smoke (though I once did) and rarely consume alcohol.

Ta-ta for now.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 21, 2012, 08:52:40 PM
I went from 216 to 189 lbs in three months.

Around seven years ago when I was overweight, I went from 92kgs to 82kgs in 3 weeks. I achieved this by walking in the Himalayas everyday, almost all day long. The combination of unappetising food and the occasional first signs of altitude sickness (which are a loss of appetite), also helped.  :)

Quote
...and I neither gain nor lose weight but I am changing mass...

I presume that you mean your ratio of muscle to fat changes but not your overall weight? As I understand, weight is the result of the effects of gravity on a specific mass. If you increase or decrease your mass, you also increase or decrease your weight to the same degree, unless you fly to the moon where you will definitely weigh much less, but your mass will remain the same.

I appreciate the fact that different individuals have different metabolic rates and that not everyone will put on weight to the same degree when overeating by the same amount. I made that point initially many posts ago. I also appreciate that drugs and medication can change one's metabolic rate and body chemistry, so that without changing one's diet by one iota, nor the amount of exercise one takes, one could theoretically either put on weight or lose weight.

However, putting on weight as a result of overeating is a normal and healthy state of affairs. It would have provided an evolutionary advantage in the past to carry a person through the lean times. Those who were not able to put on weight during times of plenty would have had less chance of surviving during periods of drought.

The point I've been making is that one cannot become overweight or obese without overeating, but some people like to kid themselves that they are not overeating when they start to put on weight after some change to their metabolism or body chemistry has taken place. What is really happening is that such changes to their metabolism have revealed that they were always overeating but didn't realise it.

The bottom line is, excess body weight can only result from an intake of excess food, whatever one's metabolic rate. Modern science is a wonderful thing, but we haven't yet discovered how to make something from nothing.

If a human were able to put on weight without overeating, such a miracle would be of great interest to agricultural scientists. Farmers might be able to apply the same technique when feeding their livestock and make more profit.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 21, 2012, 10:27:43 PM
I avoid the Himalayas most days...too far a walk.  ;D

Also would agree with your argument that you can't get fat if you don't overeat...and agree there is far to active a trend toward obesity...of course the bright side to that is those people won't be able to catch the skinny people stealing their surplus of food when it all comes crashing down.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 22, 2012, 03:24:29 AM
Most threads deviate from their original post pretty quickly. However I feel that weight loss and gain wasn't anywhere relevant to the original. Perhaps the two interested parties can continue the discussion via private messages and leave the rest of us to bitch about politics which has some relevance to the original post? ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on October 22, 2012, 04:16:55 AM
leave the rest of us to bitch about politics which has some relevance to the original post? ;D

However tenuous that relevance might be Stamper.

The entire thread is days, if not weeks, past its usefulness for me and has managed to show some very unflattering facets to some of the personalities involved.

Cheers,

Walter
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 22, 2012, 05:02:59 AM
Including yourself? Why are you sill participating in it? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 22, 2012, 07:27:47 AM
....... and leave the rest of us to bitch about politics which has some relevance to the original post? ;D

What's stopping you then, Stamper? Do you feel that a few posts about something which doesn't interest you, prevents you from making your own posts about matters which you think are more relevant?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on October 22, 2012, 07:46:29 AM
Stamper says Ray and my running commentary on caloric intake had no relevance to the original thread. I hate to break it to you, Stamper but none of this had much relevance to Mitt Romney having a photoshopped halo. Frankly, I think most of the ones involved in this thread simply like a good fight and they have enough historical fact to prove bathroom tissue is the driving force of socialism or democracy.

I am sure at some point during all this political discourse there was a point; the point was made after a fashion or several and it is at this point this thread should have died a day after the election day death....one big sigh.

Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on October 22, 2012, 10:38:35 AM
It's a celeb thing dontcha' know.  ;)

I could only get excited about this whole exercise if it were truly the the president who ran the country but since there are so many different and opposing groups all with billions to spend on lobbying and buying off politicians I think the place has become pretty much ungovernable, and that's before we even mention the influence of the oil and arms industries.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on October 22, 2012, 11:16:15 AM
The entire thread is days, if not weeks, past its usefulness for me and has managed to show some very unflattering facets to some of the personalities involved.

What does it say about you that you feel compelled to read and comment - twice (!) - on threads that hold no interest or usefulness to you?

Hmmm ... would seem to indicate a severe lack of alternatives ... how unflattering ...

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 22, 2012, 05:27:52 PM
...threads that hold no interest or usefulness...
Well - I am not sure if it ever aspired to be the useful variety of Lula thread, although I have to confess that it did prompt me to read the US Constitution for the first time (an impressive document, BTW), and that I am still puzzling over how it is possible to rationally believe that something which the Supreme Court has unambiguously held to be constitutional is in fact unconstitutional.

As for interest, its continued survival is not without interest, with the attempts at putting it out of its misery only prolonging its life.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 22, 2012, 06:16:25 PM
Ken, It's extermely rare for a Supreme Court decision to be unambiguous, and there are several cases where what was once found to be constitutional is later deemed unconstitutional, sometimes, as in Dred Scott, and as Jeremy pointed out, by changes in the Constitution itself, and sometimes, as in Plessy v. Ferguson, by a later decision (Brown v. Board) that makes the original decision moot.

But the Supreme Court isn't the only branch of government that can interpret the constitution. Probably the most famous contretemps between the Court and the President was when, after the supreme court decision in Worcester v. Georgia, Andrew Jackson said,: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it." Marshall, the chief justice, couldn't enforce the decision without the help of executive branch headed by Jackson. But in the long run the decision established the doctrine that the federal government rather than the states has authority in Indian affairs.

Don't believe everything you read, especially in the Coffee Corner.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on October 22, 2012, 06:40:25 PM
...there are several cases where what was once found to be constitutional is later deemed unconstitutional...
Thanks for the clarifications, Russ. My difficulty was that the Constitution seemed to say that what the Supreme Court finds to be constitutional at any point in time is, in the only meaning for which it (the Constitution) provides, constitutional - but to not exclude the possibility that might change - along the lines of your sentence as modified above. I guess the difference is semantic. Your later point about implementation seems to belong in a different discussion.

Now, on the question of how best to lose weight....
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on October 22, 2012, 08:58:30 PM
I think Jeremy gave the best explanation of how the change happens, Ken, with his point that though Plessy said that it was all right to have separate but equal schools, Brown decided that separate couldn't possibly be equal. Yes, you can argue that Brown didn't reverse Plessy, but, the argument is a distinction without a difference, or, as you put it, the difference is semantic. The bottom line is that a supreme court decision isn't always the final word. Some decisions are reversed, even though the Court won't admit that's what happened.

Good luck with the weight. What you need is the right genes.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on October 22, 2012, 09:57:10 PM
This discussion about whether a Supreme Court decision determines if something is constitutional reminds me of the recent, infamous Seattle – Green Bay football game, where the replacement refs blew the last second call, giving the game to Seattle.  Even the NFL acknowledged that the call was wrong, but said that Seattle’s win was final. Now, if you bet on Green Bay and tried to avoid paying off your bookie by claiming that Green Bay was the real winner, your bookie might prove you wrong by breaking your legs!

When the Supreme Court makes a ruling, then that’s it, period.  That’s the current law of the land.  Arguing that the Supreme Court may in the future reverse the decision, or that the Constitution may be amended, is a red herring, it’s irrelevant. 

To argue that the Supreme Court’s ruling is not the law would be to advocate the abolishment of the rule of law.  If every person could decide for themselves what is constitutional or lawful, then we wouldn’t have the rule of law.  We wouldn’t have a civilized society as we know it.

There are of course a lot of Supreme Court decisions that a lot of people disagree with.  Even the Justices often can’t agree, hence a lot of 5-4 decisions.  But once a decision is made, that’s it.  So, when someone says that something is or is not constitutional, contrary to an explicit Supreme Court decision, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that what they really mean is that they disagree with the decision.  Of course there will always be a few irrational wing nuts out there who really do mean what they say, but I doubt that there are many.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 23, 2012, 08:43:45 AM
Good luck with the weight. What you need is the right genes.

I don't think one can blame one's genes for being overweight, Russ. Whilst it's true that what we are is essentially an interaction between our genes and learned behaviour, the learned behaviour aspect has far more to do with being overweight than any specific genetic condition, though there will always be exceptions.

The essential problem is that most of us are victims of the food industry and its clever advertising. For most people, I would say that the two main priorities when choosing a food to eat is Appearance and Taste. You can change the order if you like, but it doesn't make much difference.

For some of us, and I'm one of them, the first priority is Nutrition, then Taste, and Appearance last.

What  is essentially happening, in my very arrogant opinion, is that the food industry is lacing all its processed foods with huge amounts of sugar to improve the taste. Just recently when deciding whether or not to choose a particular brand of Baked Beans in a supermarket, which had an attractive price tag, I checked the list of ingredients on the label, and discovered to my amazement that the sugar content was 20%. Beans!  20% sugar! That's ridiculous!

The problem is not so much that sugar provides lots of energy and causes one to put on weight if one doesn't exercise it off. The problem is far more devious.
Firstly, there's increasing scientific evidence that sugar is an addictive substance.

Secondly, there's increasing scientific evidence that excessive amounts of sugar interfere with the neurotransmitter processes that inform the brain that a person has eaten enough and is full.

People who are concerned about their weight may takes steps to cut down on sugar, such as refraining from adding sugar to their coffee and cutting down on the number of icecreams and chocolates they consume.

However, the real problem is the hidden sugar in all the processed food we buy. People get fat because they don't know when they are full. They keep eating, despite being full, because the food is very tasty and they don't get any sensation that they are full because of that interference of sugar in the brain processes.

It's a very clever strategy the food industry is employing, even if it may not be aware of the scientific basis of its strategy.

Why don't most people put nutrition first when choosing a food to eat? Here I'll get back to the subject of photography and use a photographic analogy.

To put nutrition first, one has to have a certain amount of knowledge and understanding of what nutritious means. I don't recall attending any class at school on nutrition.

Most people's understanding of nutrition is analagous to most people's understanding of photography. Most people use P&S cameras or iPhones which have preprogrammed effects to produce a pleasing result, like a processed food.

Those of us who are serious about photography, learn about image resolution, accutance, dynamic range, noise, color fidelity etc, and we search for these qualities in the cameras we buy.

Likewise, those who are serious about their weight and health, learn about the health-promoting qualities of the foods they buy and eat.

Am I the only one able to keep this thread related to photography?  ;D

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on October 23, 2012, 01:27:43 PM
Am I the only one able to keep this thread related to photography?  ;D

No, Ray, below is a photo of one of our more famous constitutional wingnuts, Wesley Snipes. Wesley didn’t pay his taxes, claiming that the federal income tax was unconstitutional. While the government didn’t prove him wrong by breaking his legs, it did make him an offer he couldn’t refuse -- a stay in federal prison.

Perhaps once Wesley finally gets out of prison he’ll have a better understanding of the difference between what is in fact constitutional and what he believes is constitutional.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on October 24, 2012, 03:35:15 AM
Quote Ray

Am I the only one able to keep this thread related to photography?  Grin

Unquote

Ray this is the coffee corner so it means that photography need not be discussed but sticking loosely to the original poster's point would be appropriate? With regards to your last post then it could do with little slimming down. ;D

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on October 24, 2012, 09:50:57 AM
Stamper,

Ya know, some people are replete with great globules of fat. and others are replete with great, scintillating ideas.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 06, 2012, 11:24:19 PM
well, good riddance Mitt !
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on November 06, 2012, 11:38:09 PM
Oh yeah!!! Mitt the Twit can go peddle his crap someplace else.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on November 07, 2012, 12:34:25 AM
well, good riddance Mitt !
+100.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 07, 2012, 01:18:18 AM
You mean, Gawd & Mitt's Magic Underwear wasn't enough? BTW, has anyone ever seen Mitten's birth certificate?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 07, 2012, 06:11:23 AM
I honestly think that the country would be no better or worse off with Romney as President.  I feel that President Obama has failed to be an effective leader of Congress so far.  I do not trust that Romney would have done better.  I hope that President Obama can be a better kindergarten teacher the next for years and get the kindergarten kids (congress) to act nice and play (work) together like good boys and girls.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 07, 2012, 06:20:20 AM
The world - imo - will be a safer place under Obama. If Romney had got in then the green light would been sent to Israel to bomb Iran which would probably started a third world war?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on November 07, 2012, 08:42:28 AM
I truly believe the Congress will have to work and play well together or forever cede the presidency to the Democratic party. If the Republicans didn't get it last night then there is little or no hope they'll ever get "it." The demographics of this country have changed quite significantly over the last eight to twelve years and it would appear Obama understood this in a way the Republicans couldn't fathom or wouldn't believe.

I've stated throughout this campaign that while I was not a particular great fan of Obama politics, I was a staunch disbeliever of Mitt Romney, especially of Paul Ryan, the Koch brothers and their cronies. Neither Romney or Ryan took their own states in the popular vote or in the electorial college and that alone should tell the republicans the truth about politics today: The white "right" may control the money, but the non-majority "mix" controls everything else. It's going to be interesting. If I was a Republican member of the house today, I'd find a way to make nice so I could be there after the next congressional election or I'd most certainly be looking for another line of work.

More importantly, to all this: Thank God we don't have to listen to any more *#&*$^%# political ads. Sheese, enough already!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 07, 2012, 08:52:58 AM
BTW, has anyone ever seen Mitten's birth certificate?
I did not see his tax returns, that is for sure.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 07, 2012, 09:50:01 AM
You mean, Gawd & Mitt's Magic Underwear wasn't enough? BTW, has anyone ever seen Mitten's birth certificate?

Do you think he is/was a bastard? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 07, 2012, 10:26:33 AM
Guys, a little bit grace in victory wouldn't hurt.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 07, 2012, 10:29:21 AM
Guys, a little bit grace in victory wouldn't hurt.

+ 1
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justan on November 07, 2012, 10:57:59 AM
Yes!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 08, 2012, 11:54:11 AM
Guys, a little bit grace in victory wouldn't hurt.

Not my country but I doubt that the Republicans would have been particularly generous to the the other lot if they had won. Can you imagine Donald Trump being graceful in victory? Y'know, the Donald Trump who called for a revolution upon realising his side had come second.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 08, 2012, 12:22:24 PM
Donald Trump needs either a straitjacket & a padded cell, or an orange jumpsuit & a stay in Gitmo. Oh, and a haircut. The man desperately needs a haircut.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 08, 2012, 12:54:45 PM
Not my country but I doubt that the Republicans would have been particularly generous to the the other lot if they had won. Can you imagine Donald Trump being graceful in victory? Y'know, the Donald Trump who called for a revolution upon realising his side had come second.

Perhaps they/he wouldn't. But is that really a good excuse for us (i.e., members of this forum, regardless of political inclination)? How different would we be then from him?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 08, 2012, 01:57:30 PM
Donald Trump needs either a straitjacket & a padded cell, or an orange jumpsuit & a stay in Gitmo. Oh, and a haircut. The man desperately needs a haircut.

I hear an awful rumour that a stiff breeze will have much the desired effect.  ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 08, 2012, 02:08:23 PM
Perhaps they/he wouldn't. But is that really a good excuse for us (i.e., members of this forum, regardless of political inclination)? How different would we be then from him?

"WWDTD" is not something any normal person would promote as any kind of "best practice".
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justan on November 08, 2012, 04:29:05 PM
I honestly think that the country would be no better or worse off with Romney as President.

I do not agree with this.

Quote
  I feel that President Obama has failed to be an effective leader of Congress so far. 

This is simply untrue. The Republican dominated house of representatives vowed to obstruct Mr. Obama at every opportunity, and they have. One can’t succeed at leading when the other party overtly conspires to attempt the president’s failure. It’s telling that this not only didn’t work out for them but lead to a huge embarrassment for the GOP at this election.

Despite the obstruction, Mr Obama had some extraordinary achievements in his first term. All by itself the affordable care act (aka Obama care) is an achievement that has eluded every other president. The fact that we did not drop into a Depression is itself another extraordinary achievement. There are many more examples.

Quote
I do not trust that Romney would have done better.

Romney's pandering to all sides of so many issues makes me think he would have done far, far worse. He lacks credibility.

Quote
I hope that President Obama can be a better kindergarten teacher the next for years and get the kindergarten kids (congress) to act nice and play (work) together like good boys and girls.

While I don’t understand the kindergarten reference, i join you in hoping that that the House majority will change their tactics. On the other hand, the design of the 2 party system serves to insure that gridlock takes place on the federal level, and in that regard, it is doing as intended. Unfortunately millions of Americans suffer for the arrogance and obstinance of the GOP. I'm certain far far more would suffer with a Republican president. After all, the last one was at the helm and lead the charge to the destruction the US and most of the global economy.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on November 08, 2012, 05:13:08 PM
I wonder if the elephant in the room is that the adversarial model of government is well past its use-by date and it is high time to give rule by consensus as suck at the sauce bottle.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 08, 2012, 05:39:31 PM
why americans (let me forget my blue passport for a moment) think that their model is good ? Rome in each of their incarnations (republic or w/ emperors or whatever) lasted much longer than USA till now... yet it failed (granted what others inherited was not so bad, thank you, Romans)... so why such a belief in what you built that it will last a century longer ?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 08, 2012, 05:49:46 PM
why americans (let me forget my blue passport for a moment) think that their model is good ?

Because no society in the history of mankind has provided more equality of opportunity to so many people.

... and that opportunity is REAL.  See Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton as perfect examples.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BlasR on November 08, 2012, 07:02:52 PM
Yup, I voted for Clinton,,While his wife in  the white house (the I paid for to they use it), he having sex, when he supposed be working,,Excellent example..In Baca, hussein Obama,

if u make more then $250,000 U need to support those the don't want to work,in pay more taxes..(if U don't know about taxes, here is a real, example, my house taxes, $7,600.00 a year..taxes for water,trash,electrical,natural gas,tooth paste, tooth brush, food,tires for your car, taxes for your car, taxes, for the plate of your car, taxes for the oil, the gas, to clean it, no vacum it, even for the battery, in case it die., i have a pool, taxes for that, if u want to watch tv that as well too..Even walk in the street, taxes coming from your teeth.)  huseein obama ,promise paradise, and be the next messiah,those the want all free still believing on him...gas went up , housing, and even to clean the toilet, ...all,

,,,so take the example, people do not want to die, now, they wil pay taxes for the gasket, as well the spot in the cemetery, or if they get burn, they need to pay taxes for that as well...oh boy, I am afraid to die, wandering how much taxes they will charge., free school..wandering why they call it free, when u paying for it..taxes for 911...taxes to drink your wine...taxes in top of the taxes

World coming to the end..Read the Bible, they will come dress as messiah, as barraca hussein, WE, all the same..take a look at obama 2016, U can take a look, in you will see.

Its in the Bible, God will punish those, the want free stuff..So he send hussein.

Oh boy, I know this will cost me more taxes as well....what a great example!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on November 08, 2012, 07:07:11 PM
Because no society in the history of mankind has provided more equality of opportunity to so many people.

Look, I don't believe that I am in any sense anti-american. My children are US citizens, I love the american landscape and american culture. And so on. But what you have written above reads to me as the kind of thing that gringos like to say about themselves to generate a warm feeling. I might be wrong about that, but a few metrics wouldn't go amiss. Social mobility is surely measurable. Are there measurements that prove your case? I would assume that in the USA as in every other human society, where you start heavily influences, but does not absolutely determine, where you end up. Do you have evidence that the relative influences are different in the USA? At the level of anecdote, it would surely be easy to instance French or Argentinian or New Zealand leaders who come from humble backgrounds and Americans in high places who were born with trust funds awaiting them. And if you are talking about raw numbers (a dubious approach, but let that pass), what about China right now? Plenty of careers open to talent there, it seems to me, at the same time as plenty of easy paths for the children of the party elite.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: AFairley on November 08, 2012, 07:23:36 PM
Look, I don't believe that I am in any sense anti-american. My children are US citizens, I love the american landscape and american culture. And so on. But what you have written above reads to me as the kind of thing that gringos like to say about themselves to generate a warm feeling. I might be wrong about that, but a few metrics wouldn't go amiss. Social mobility is surely measurable. Are there measurements that prove your case? I would assume that in the USA as in every other human society, where you start heavily influences, but does not absolutely determine, where you end up. Do you have evidence that the relative influences are different in the USA? At the level of anecdote, it would surely be easy to instance French or Argentinian or New Zealand leaders who come from humble backgrounds and Americans in high places who were born with trust funds awaiting them. And if you are talking about raw numbers (a dubious approach, but let that pass), what about China right now? Plenty of careers open to talent there, it seems to me, at the same time as plenty of easy paths for the children of the party elite.

I can't lay my finger on the citation right now, but recent metrics show that social mobility in the U.S. is in fact lower than in many other of the industrialized nations.  The reason for that is not the system of government per se, but the degree of wealth inequality which has the effect of stripping opportunity from those at the bottom of the social heap, think quality of education for one.

Unfortunately, although the United States was founded on the most profound principles, American "execeptionalism" has become a myth the deluded right wing fringe cling to along with their guns and religion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Kirk Gittings on November 08, 2012, 07:52:54 PM
Quote
World coming to the end..Read the Bible, they will come dress as messiah, as barraca hussein, WE, all the same..take a look at obama 2016, U can take a look, in you will see.

Its in the Bible, God will punish those, the want free stuff..So he send hussein.

Oh boy, I know this will cost me more taxes as well....what a great example!

Hard to follow that really but if I have learned anything in my 62 years it is that those who wave the bible most ardently are the least likely to practice its principles............

..........just saying......
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 09, 2012, 12:58:41 AM
I do not agree with this.

This is simply untrue. The Republican dominated house of representatives vowed to obstruct Mr. Obama at every opportunity, and they have. One can’t succeed at leading when the other party overtly conspires to attempt the president’s failure. It’s telling that this not only didn’t work out for them but lead to a huge embarrassment for the GOP at this election.

Despite the obstruction, Mr Obama had some extraordinary achievements in his first term. All by itself the affordable care act (aka Obama care) is an achievement that has eluded every other president. The fact that we did not drop into a Depression is itself another extraordinary achievement. There are many more examples.

Romney's pandering to all sides of so many issues makes me think he would have done far, far worse. He lacks credibility.

While I don’t understand the kindergarten reference, i join you in hoping that that the House majority will change their tactics. On the other hand, the design of the 2 party system serves to insure that gridlock takes place on the federal level, and in that regard, it is doing as intended. Unfortunately millions of Americans suffer for the arrogance and obstinance of the GOP. I'm certain far far more would suffer with a Republican president. After all, the last one was at the helm and lead the charge to the destruction the US and most of the global economy.

It was amazing that the President and the democratic controlled congress were able to push through the healthcare bill, to vote for it, without everyone having time to read it.  That is really amazing.  Do I agree with most of Obamacare?  Yes, I do. But I think the process was a terrible example of how a government should work.  And the process was led by/approved by President Obama.

One of the President's main job is to find a way to get the opposing sides in Congress to reach a compromise...to work together.  The President must be an effective leader and help guide the government in order that the country's business is taken care of.  Bill Clinton was very good at this. Either President Obama has not been able to do this, or he has not really wanted to do this.  The method used with Obamacare is a very good example of not working with people.

I think that GW Bush was a terrible president in his last term.  He was the one in charge, but the congress was completely controlled by the Democrats.  The Democrat Congress are to blame for allowing the financial problems to happen.  They could have headed this off, or maybe lessened it at least, but they did not.  And President Bush and his people should have done more to prevent the problems also, so both are to blame.  You can not simply blame Bush and give the Dems a pass.  They were in charge.

Currently, I do believe that the Republicans in Congress have been more guilty of acting like upset kindergartners.  Once again, the President has to try to correct this.  He has to try to get them to play nice together.  It is his job. 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 09, 2012, 04:22:07 AM
... World coming to the end..Read the Bible, they will come dress as messiah, as barraca hussein, WE, all the same..take a look at obama 2016, U can take a look, in you will see.

Its in the Bible, God will punish those, the want free stuff..So he send hussein ...

Er, either your account has been hacked, or you need to put down the snakes & start taking those meds. No really. The rantings of Bronze Age, desert-dwelling goat herders are all very interesting, but the relevance to the world today is pretty much zilch.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 09, 2012, 04:39:41 AM
Er, either your account has been hacked, or you need to put down the snakes & start taking those meds. No really. The rantings of Bronze Age, desert-dwelling goat herders are all very interesting, but the relevance to the world today is pretty much zilch.

Not so sure Bill, I agree with much of the sentiment but with what do we fill the vacuum in peoples lives if we take away religion or organised belief? True, much misery and death has been caused through the actions of various churches over the centuries but much joy, comfort and good has been brought about by them as well. There is a trend towards spiritualism in the modern world with much talk of personal journeys etc, which is certainly an improvement on the more way out cults but it hardly addresses the role of the individual within a society.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on November 09, 2012, 04:44:09 AM
...The rantings of Bronze Age, desert-dwelling goat herders are all very interesting...
You can't judge a book by (all of) its readers.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 09, 2012, 04:46:53 AM
I wonder if the elephant in the room is that the adversarial model of government is well past its use-by date and it is high time to give rule by consensus as suck at the sauce bottle.



That is pretty much the situation in Ireland with hardly a discernible difference between the two main parties. It's fine when the money is flowing but an utter disaster when decisions need to be made and there is no apparent mechanism for holding the government to account in the form of a strong or even visible opposition.

Nope, give me adversary politics anytime. The alternative sounds all very well and jolly but where are the success stories?  China hardly counts.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 09, 2012, 06:01:51 AM
... what do we fill the vacuum in peoples lives if we take away religion or organised belief?

What vacuum? Taking away supernaturalism doesn't leave a vacuum. But if it did, how about filling it with rationality?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 09, 2012, 06:07:24 AM
The Republicans aren't interested in democracy even though they took part in the process. They see it as a win win situation. Try and win the election and if they fail then sabotage everything they can afterwards. They represent the money men of America who in reality own and control the economic system. That is what Obama is trying to win against and in reality is failing. You can't democratically defeat the REAL owners of the country. ::)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 09, 2012, 06:09:51 AM
... what do we fill the vacuum in peoples lives if we take away religion or organised belief?

The reality of everyday life? Religion and organised belief is an attempt to forget about it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RobertJ on November 09, 2012, 07:07:54 AM
World coming to the end..Read the Bible, they will come dress as messiah, as barraca hussein, WE, all the same..take a look at obama 2016, U can take a look, in you will see.

Its in the Bible, God will punish those, the want free stuff..So he send hussein.

Oh boy, I know this will cost me more taxes as well....what a great example!


LOL, Blasr, you're the best troll I've seen so far.  Nice job.  Keep up the good work!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 09, 2012, 07:13:00 AM
The Republicans aren't interested in democracy even though they took part in the process. They see it as a win win situation. Try and win the election and if they fail then sabotage everything they can afterwards. They represent the money men of America who in reality own and control the economic system. That is what Obama is trying to win against and in reality is failing. You can't democratically defeat the REAL owners of the country. ::)

The United States is not a democracy.  Never was.  But, you are correct about the Republicans trying to sabotage the Democrats.  Plenty of the Democrats in the government are also wealthy.  Including President Obama.  As a matter of fact, if you do a search for the richest members of congress, you will find that the richest member of congress is indeed a Republican, but 7 out of the 10 richest are Democrats.

Like my father in law says about politicians in general (he is German and has never visited America), you can put all of them in a sack, shake them up real good and pour them out on the table, and you can not tell who is who.  They are all the same.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 09, 2012, 07:28:53 AM
Being wealthy doesn't automatically mean you are part of owning the economic system. The wealthy who own or are large shareholders in big businesses are partly the owners and wield great power. Those who inherit, win the lottery and possibly steal don't have that power. There is a distinction. The Democrats who own big businesses will possibly have a social consciousness , but the Republicans less so. They may give to charities but they aren't giving away their power.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 09, 2012, 08:10:10 AM
Being wealthy doesn't automatically mean you are part of owning the economic system. The wealthy who own or are large shareholders in big businesses are partly the owners and wield great power. Those who inherit, win the lottery and possibly steal don't have that power. There is a distinction. The Democrats who own big businesses will possibly have a social consciousness , but the Republicans less so. They may give to charities but they aren't giving away their power.

When is the last time either a Democrat or Republican gave away their power? 

Can you show proof where Republicans have less of a social consciousness than Democrats?  I am not a Republican or a Democrat, but I am curious. 


It seems to me that Democrats tend to view the government giving people the taxpayers money as being charity while the Republicans tend to view charity as being a personal thing.  A private individual voluntarily donates money.  It is a choice, not a law.  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 09, 2012, 09:05:53 AM
I can't lay my finger on the citation right now, but recent metrics show that social mobility in the U.S. is in fact lower than in many other of the industrialized nations. 

It's not about outcome, it's about the framework.

Sure ... social mobility is higher in Finland than the US ... but Finland is tiny country of 5 million people without the same level of immigration and demographic diversity as the US.  The US is a true melting pot of 300 million people. 

We also have an financial system that supports entrepreneurship in a fashion that is unique.

The availability of capital for start-up businesses, the flexibility of the workforce, the LACK of a sense of entitlement (contrary to Republican BS) and the true equality of opportunity that exists makes the American Dream something that is very real from what I've seen ... and I've lived and traveled and done business all over the world.

In baseball statistics, we are starting to realize you need to adjust stats for "park effects" ... baseball stadiums differ, and the outcomes need to be viewed relative to the conditions under which they were achieved ... I feel that this topic calls for that kind of perspective.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on November 09, 2012, 10:03:42 AM
Just got this from a friend down under. I laughed my butt off, I guess in part because I just finished watching Karl Rove try to explain why his strategies didn't work and of course put the blame somewhere besides his lack of understand the shifting demographics of this country.

"TO THE REPUBLICANS
WHO SAID THEY WILL MOVE
TO AUSTRALIA IF OBAMA WON:

AUSTRALIA HAS UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE,
COMPULSORY VOTING,
NO GUNS, NO DEATH PENALTY,
PRO-CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO CONTRACEPTION,
OPENLY GAY POLITICIANS AND JUDGES,
EVOLUTION IS TAUGHT IN ALL SCHOOLS,
AND THE FEMALE PRIME MINISTER IS AN UNMARRIED ATHEIST.

BE SURE TO DECLARE YOUR PITCHFORKS
AT TULLAMARINE."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2012, 10:03:53 AM
The United States is not a democracy.  Never was...

This thread is getting weirder and weirder by the minute... pass that bong, dude! ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chris Calohan on November 09, 2012, 10:06:04 AM
Just don't pass the bong to the DEA agent sitting next to you in Colorado, cause he's gonna bust your buns...it's still against federal law.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 09, 2012, 11:20:59 AM
the flexibility of the workforce
myth...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 09, 2012, 11:24:00 AM
Because no society in the history of mankind has provided more equality of opportunity to so many people.

... and that opportunity is REAL.  See Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton as perfect examples.


I am sorry, but Romans have Emperors from much more humble beginnings...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2012, 12:40:57 PM
I am sorry, but Romans have Emperors from much more humble beginnings...

This thread is getting weirder and weirder by the minute.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2012, 12:52:15 PM
A new meaning for the term "cutting your losses":

Mitt Romney's campaign cancels staff credit cards on election night (http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/11/mitt_romneys_campaign_cancels.html)

"When Mitt Romney’s staffers tried to take cabs home after the Republican presidential nominee’s election night concession speech, they discovered a problem. According to NBC, the Romney campaign cancelled staffers’ campaign credit cards in the middle of the night."

I guess there is no grace in losing (at least when TV cameras are turned off).
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Kirk Gittings on November 09, 2012, 01:31:21 PM
A new meaning for the term "cutting your losses":

Mitt Romney's campaign cancels staff credit cards on election night (http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/11/mitt_romneys_campaign_cancels.html)

"When Mitt Romney’s staffers tried to take cabs home after the Republican presidential nominee’s election night concession speech, they discovered a problem. According to NBC, the Romney campaign cancelled staffers’ campaign credit cards in the middle of the night."

I guess there is no grace in losing (at least when TV cameras are turned off).

Wow, taking care of employees the "Romney Way".
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 09, 2012, 06:44:48 PM
A new meaning for the term "cutting your losses":

Mitt Romney's campaign cancels staff credit cards on election night (http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/11/mitt_romneys_campaign_cancels.html)

"When Mitt Romney’s staffers tried to take cabs home after the Republican presidential nominee’s election night concession speech, they discovered a problem. According to NBC, the Romney campaign cancelled staffers’ campaign credit cards in the middle of the night."

I guess there is no grace in losing (at least when TV cameras are turned off).

not that I am pro-Romney, but I am not sure why there were thinking in the first place that they can use "corporate" credit cards to pay for the cabs in question... that actually goes to the feeling of entitlement that is not totally alien from GOP ranks...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2012, 07:42:20 PM
not that I am pro-Romney, but I am not sure why there were thinking in the first place that they can use "corporate" credit cards to pay for the cabs in question... that actually goes to the feeling of entitlement that is not totally alien from GOP ranks...

I guess you never worked for a company, so the concept of travel expenses must be alien to you. You might want to check IRS Publication 535 (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/index.html) for details.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 09, 2012, 07:48:43 PM
I guess you never worked for a company, so the concept of travel expenses must be alien to you. You might want to check IRS Publication 535 (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/index.html) for details.

It wasn't standard practice in the Roman Empire, so ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2012, 07:54:56 PM
It wasn't standard practice in the Roman Empire, so ...

 ;D ;D ;D

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 09, 2012, 07:56:25 PM
I guess you never worked for a company, so the concept of travel expenses must be alien to you. You might want to check IRS Publication 535 (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/index.html) for details.
on the contrary I do work for a company (US based, publicly traded here) and we do not pay our non local employees to attend any celebrations neither do we pay our local employees to take cab rides home after such events... being born in a "communist" country I guess my work ethic is a little different  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 09, 2012, 08:06:19 PM
That would make Mitt Romney a... communist, I guess?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: deejjjaaaa on November 09, 2012, 08:27:19 PM
That would make Mitt Romney a... communist, I guess?
see what kind of a tragedy we were able to prevent by voting Obama... now all those federal/state/etc "staffers" will be able to breath that sweet air of freedom... to ride the cabs  ;D, on your dime.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 10, 2012, 12:52:48 AM
This thread is getting weirder and weirder by the minute... pass that bong, dude! ;)

I think that you need to put the crack pipe away, you can not read for the smoke.  The USA is a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 10, 2012, 02:22:30 AM
What vacuum? Taking away supernaturalism doesn't leave a vacuum. But if it did, how about filling it with rationality?


Much easier said than done, Chairman Bill. Some of the greatest scientists and rational thinkers have professed a belief in some sort of God, including Albert Einstein, although Einstein's belief seems to have been more along the lines of Intelligent Design rather than a belief in a personal deity who intervenes in human affairs.

Voltaire was a fairly rational and enlightened sort of guy, wouldn't you agree? Yet one of his most famous sayings is, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

Be careful now, lest Judgement Day be upon you.  ;D

(Attached image was processed on my Dell Notebook. Not sure about color calibration, so if it looks a bit odd, that's the explanation.)

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 10, 2012, 03:02:43 AM
Just got this from a friend down under. I laughed my butt off, I guess in part because I just finished watching Karl Rove try to explain why his strategies didn't work and of course put the blame somewhere besides his lack of understand the shifting demographics of this country.

"TO THE REPUBLICANS
WHO SAID THEY WILL MOVE
TO AUSTRALIA IF OBAMA WON:

AUSTRALIA HAS UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE,
COMPULSORY VOTING,
NO GUNS, NO DEATH PENALTY,
PRO-CHOICE WHEN IT COMES TO CONTRACEPTION,
OPENLY GAY POLITICIANS AND JUDGES,
EVOLUTION IS TAUGHT IN ALL SCHOOLS,
AND THE FEMALE PRIME MINISTER IS AN UNMARRIED ATHEIST.

BE SURE TO DECLARE YOUR PITCHFORKS
AT TULLAMARINE."

To add to the list, I think Australia was amongst the first few countries in the world to give women the right to vote and to stand for parliament. With regard to the right to stand for parliament, I believe the state of South Australia actually was the first in the world to give women this right, in 1894, well ahead of the USA.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 10, 2012, 03:45:54 AM
I think that you need to put the crack pipe away, you can not read for the smoke.  The USA is a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

The billions spent on the elections were wasted? ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 10, 2012, 05:12:53 AM
The billions spent on the elections were wasted? ;D

Most of it was...LOL.  But, the United States is ruled by the Constitution (or is supposed to be), a Democracy is ruled by the majority (the mob rules).  Granted, the USA has been in a steady slide down the path of evolving into a democracy, but it is still a Republic.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 05:44:28 AM
That would make Mitt Romney a... communist, I guess?

It has been suggested by various teapots that it is indeed the case.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 05:58:34 AM

Much easier said than done, Chairman Bill. Some of the greatest scientists and rational thinkers have professed a belief in some sort of God, including Albert Einstein, although Einstein's belief seems to have been more along the lines of Intelligent Design rather than a belief in a personal deity who intervenes in human affairs.

Voltaire was a fairly rational and enlightened sort of guy, wouldn't you agree? Yet one of his most famous sayings is, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

Be careful now, lest Judgement Day be upon you.  ;D

(Attached image was processed on my Dell Notebook. Not sure about color calibration, so if it looks a bit odd, that's the explanation.)



Ray, I had prepared an answer to Chairman Bills post along these lines but find that you have expressed my thoughts in a more intelligent manner than I ever could.

I would add though that if it was not for a belief in 'something else' then would mankind have achieved what he has? Would simple rationality have led to the pyramids, cathedrals, stupendous works of art and so on. Further to your list of philosophers I would also add the name of that most rational of men, Buzz Aldrin, he would hardly have got to the moon if he was thought to be otherwise, and yet his first act upon landing was to take communion.  
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 07:34:40 AM

Much easier said than done, Chairman Bill. Some of the greatest scientists and rational thinkers have professed a belief in some sort of God, including Albert Einstein, although Einstein's belief seems to have been more along the lines of Intelligent Design rather than a belief in a personal deity who intervenes in human affairs.
Einstein is usually trotted out as theist, by those making this sort of case. He was at best, a deist, just like most of the US 'Founding Fathers'. As for the Intelligent Design idiocy - I don't think he'd have gone for anything like it. There's certainly no evidence whatsoever that he did. More a 'if there's a god, it lit the blue touch paper & stood well back, then let the cosmos do its thing' sort of bloke.


Quote
Voltaire was a fairly rational and enlightened sort of guy, wouldn't you agree? Yet one of his most famous sayings is, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
Voltaire was a deist, and at a time when science had barely begun to scratch the surface. No theory of evolution - a tipping point in humanity's journey from supernaturalism to rationality - and so like many people of reason, god/God filled the gaps. Those gaps have got so small now ...

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 10, 2012, 08:23:13 AM
I think that you need to put the crack pipe away, you can not read for the smoke.  The USA is a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

What a silly and pedantic statement.

I will therefore assert that according to my authoritative sources, the US is - in fact - a "democracy".

Can you please share your source of definitions?

I pulled mine out of my ass ... Where did you get yours?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 10, 2012, 08:54:37 AM

... Voltaire... "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."...

Which we did.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 09:32:14 AM
Which we did.

Which poses the obvious question as to why did we do that?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 10, 2012, 09:49:13 AM
What a silly and pedantic statement.

I will therefore assert that according to my authoritative sources, the US is - in fact - a "democracy".

Can you please share your source of definitions?

I pulled mine out of my ass ... Where did you get yours?

Article 4 Section 4 the US Constitution. 

The United States is a Republic.  It has a representative democracy form of government which is a type of republic.

Government; Republican government. One in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whome those powers are specially delegated. In re Duncan, 139 U.S. 449, 11 S.Ct. 573, 35 L.Ed. 219; Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. (21 Wall.) 162, 22 L.Ed. 627. [Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, p. 626]

Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, pp. 388-389.


I am interested in seeing your sources...well, on second thought, you already shared your source, so never mind.  Oh, maybe your pledge of allegiance states:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Democracy for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  If that is true, then it is so for you.  ::)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 10:34:13 AM
Which poses the obvious question as to why did we do that?

Gods are simply argument from ignorance & incredulity. That and a means of dealing with existential angst & fear of death. Where does lightning come from? Er, must be some magic thing, maybe a god. Where do we go when we die? There must be some nice place where we meet all our ancestors, etc, yada, yada, yada.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BlasR on November 10, 2012, 11:42:55 AM
Gods are simply argument from ignorance & incredulity. That and a means of dealing with existential angst & fear of death. Where does lightning come from? Er, must be some magic thing, maybe a god. Where do we go when we die? There must be some nice place where we meet all our ancestors, etc, yada, yada, yada.

Where we going after we die?  Well, I know u going direct to hell...U won't be able to see where i am going U will be blind as U are now, with your messiah of Baca huessin Obama...

Whatever u smoking, its getting to you...Should be a new LAW, U want to smoke, the weird stuff, u must work for it, if Hussein obama give to you, U should be hung in the street, in a tree in a public park...bet the smoke will stop, a list I will pay less taxes, in people will think before  get free stuff.

U R young, go to work...


God, the real Messiah one, help us all for the next for years.

U blind already, so your messiah, won't help U ,,,sorry u done...


Oh what I take for med? or if I took my med,,yes..I paid for, work for it...No free, in paid taxes as well..oh lord!, , its Remy Martin, when is cold, if its hot, I drink Santa Margarita , in for dinner I drink every night chateauneuf-du-pape..wine...Nice, but, cost cash, in if u smoke the other stuff, will not be cash left for this..sorry
So there u go with my med....I know yours, so, keep it for your self. WOW

Thanks.....



Should this be about God now?  the real one? or the one U think its for U? hussein obama
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 10, 2012, 12:00:00 PM
Gods are simply argument from ignorance & incredulity. That and a means of dealing with existential angst & fear of death. Where does lightning come from? Er, must be some magic thing, maybe a god. Where do we go when we die? There must be some nice place where we meet all our ancestors, etc, yada, yada, yada.

You do seem a rather cynical sort of bloke, Chairman Bill. But I think your cynicism might be preferrable to BlasR's rantings.  ;D

Just a small point; don't you mean, "Gods are simply argument from ignorance and credulity."  Surely it is the atheistic argument that would be from incredulity.

We should not forget that what we know, pales into insignificance compared with what we don't know. We don't even know what 95% of the matter and energy in our universe consists of. We give it the euphemistic name of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. In reality, it's not only dark, it's completely invisible and undetectable in any shape or form.

Most astronomers presume it exists, because, if it doesn't, many of their current theories will have to be revised, modified or junked.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 12:01:21 PM
Gods are simply argument from ignorance & incredulity. That and a means of dealing with existential angst & fear of death. Where does lightning come from? Er, must be some magic thing, maybe a god. Where do we go when we die? There must be some nice place where we meet all our ancestors, etc, yada, yada, yada.

Now now Bill, with all due respect you're just being a teeny bit silly.

Let us forget about gods for a moment, and it is possible for even Eistein favoured God as a presence, a combination of attributes rather than a spirit or anything more solid still. Instead, let us think about belief. Belief in what though? As I see it there is an irrational and a rational answer depending upon your upbringing, education, philosophy or anything else that has influenced your approach to the question.

The irrational answer is the 'magic thing' as you put it. Something else that is hidden from us, a spiritual world where souls reside occasionally manifesting themselves in a space that we call reality before returning to another place. However you dress it up this is the basis of most religions, it's the binary code or DNA of the churches and belief systems that now represent the spiritual nature of society throughout the world. It is what many people believe in whether through choice or cultural influence and that is to be respected.

The rational approach is to consider why it is that mankind is so susceptible to the irrational and here the answer may lie in man's need for survival, or more precisely, our genes need to ensure they get propagated. If man, as a sentient being, is aware that he is alive then he is also aware of the possibility of not being alive and not being alive means that that genes don't get passed on. Darwinism will insist that there needs to be a mechanism to ensure we make every effort to stay alive and so continue with the survival of the species. If we had no internal emotion that urged us to live then we probably wouldn't bother hence the success of the instinct to consider the state of living to have some purpose.  

No doubt Bill you have some sort of motivation to get up each morning. What is it? My guess is that it is belief in yourself rather than a god, or are you going to claim that you believe in nothing?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 12:03:59 PM
Where we going after we die?  Well, I know u going direct to hell...U won't be able to see where i am going U will be blind as U are now, with your messiah of Baca huessin Obama...
When I die, my remains will rot away. Just like everyone else's. As for Obama being my messiah ... wow. The depth of stupidity in the suggestion is profound. Obama is a right wing politician. I'm not going to look to him for my political (or any other) guidance. The implied spiritual aspect ('cos messiah does imply that) is irrelevant. I don't believe in magic sky pixies, and I don't need a messiah to save me from said sky pixie.

Quote
Whatever u smoking, its getting to you...Should be a new LAW, U want to smoke, the weird stuff, u must work for it, if Hussein obama give to you, U should be hung in the street, in a tree in a public park...bet the smoke will stop, a list I will pay less taxes, in people will think before  get free stuff.
I don't smoke, have never smoked, and as I'm a Brit, Obama is giving nothing to me. As for the suggestion that I should be hung from a tree in a public park ... well, I can just feel that Christian love.

Quote
U R young, go to work...
Actually I'm not young, but I do work. Thanks.


Quote
God, the real Messiah one, help us all for the next for years.

U blind already, so your messiah, won't help U ,,,sorry u done...
Thanks. I'd never have worked out that your invisible friend won't help me, without you telling me first, though I did know that he doesn't cure blindness, just as he doesn't make amputees limbs grow back either.


Quote
Oh what I take for med? or if I took my med,,yes..I paid for, work for it...No free, in paid taxes as well..oh lord!, , its Remy Martin, when is cold, if its hot, I drink Santa Margarita , in for dinner I drink every night chateauneuf-du-pape..wine...Nice, but, cost cash, in if u smoke the other stuff, will not be cash left for this..sorry
So there u go with my med....I know yours, so, keep it for your self. WOW
Wow indeed.

Quote
Thanks.....
You're welcome

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 12:14:55 PM
You do seem a rather cynical sort of bloke, Chairman Bill. But I think your cynicism might be preferrable to BlasR's rantings.  ;D
A skeptic rather than a cynic

Quote
Just a small point; don't you mean, "Gods are simply argument from ignorance and credulity."  Surely it is the atheistic argument that would be from incredulity.
No, I meant argument from incredulity. It's of the kind, 'I can't believe all this happened/is here, without a god being behind it all'. The argument is one from a position of incredulity.

Quote
We should not forget that what we know, pales into insignificance compared with what we don't know.
Quite. And about a huge amount of things, the best & most honest answer I can give is simply, I don't know. And rather than make stuff up, I just accept that I don't know. Some others tell me what I don't know, but then go on and assert the existence of a god to fill those gaps in what is known & not known. The implication is that they do know - goddidit. Of course, they're just making stuff up, rather than admitting that they don't know.

Quote
We don't even know what 95% of the matter and energy in our universe consists of. We give it the euphemistic name of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. In reality, it's not only dark, it's completely invisible and undetectable in any shape or form.
I'd like a referecne or three for the assertion that we don't know what 95% of the energy/matter in the cosmos is, and as for what scientists are calling 'dark matter', we haven't detected it yet. That doesn't mean it's undetectable. Measurements suggest the presence of something.

Quote
Most astronomers presume it exists, because, if it doesn't, many of their current theories will have to be revised, modified or junked.
Astrophysicists posit the existence of something (currently termed 'dark matter'), because measurement data suggests the presence of something. That's what theories do - explain data. The best of them also make testable predictions, and all of them are falsifiable. All it takes is data they can't/don't account for.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 12:21:30 PM
Now now Bill, with all due respect you're just being a teeny bit silly.
How so?

Quote
... The rational approach is to consider why it is that mankind is so susceptible to the irrational and here the answer may lie in man's need for survival, or more precisely, our genes need to ensure they get propagated.
Of course the susceptibility to supernaturalism has its roots in evolutionary processes. I've no doubt that jumping at shadows & being afraid of the dark have survival advantages, albeit they bring stress, and superstitions can help cope with that stress, and over time ... well that's the history of religion. I've never doubted the utility of it, but like so many things, it brings its own problems. The point is, however helpful some may find it, whatever its utility, that doesn't make it true, nor does it mean that it is helpful to persist with it. We have an appendix, which once served some useful purpose - it's still there, but more a potential problem than anything else.

Quote
... No doubt Bill you have some sort of motivation to get up each morning. What is it? My guess is that it is belief in yourself rather than a god, or are you going to claim that you believe in nothing?
The alarm clock does it, if the birds haven't got there first. Did god invent alarm clocks?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 01:09:24 PM
How so?

Exhibit A

Quote
There must be some nice place where we meet all our ancestors, etc, yada, yada, yada.

Exhibit B.

Quote
The alarm clock does it, if the birds haven't got there first. Did god invent alarm clocks?


Quote
Of course the susceptibility to supernaturalism has its roots in evolutionary processes. I've no doubt that jumping at shadows & being afraid of the dark have survival advantages, albeit they bring stress, and superstitions can help cope with that stress, and over time ... well that's the history of religion. I've never doubted the utility of it, but like so many things, it brings its own problems. The point is, however helpful some may find it, whatever its utility, that doesn't make it true, nor does it mean that it is helpful to persist with it. We have an appendix, which once served some useful purpose - it's still there, but more a potential problem than anything else.
The alarm clock does it, if the birds haven't got there first. Did god invent alarm clocks?

And you can prove that it's not true, that there is no other universe or altered state that science is unaware of? The metaverse theory has been around a long time time now and is not totally discredited, likewise the Higgs field was only a 'belief' until billions were spent on proving it's existence and if that is one force that we were unaware of how many others might there be? These are not arguments for the existence of God or another world, just suggestions that we should keep an open mind for 'God' may turn out to be something totally unexpected that neither the romantics or rational envisaged. Besides which having a belief in something makes makes you little more finished as a human and can add an extra dimension to life. Try it sometime.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 01:43:34 PM
And you can prove that it's not true ...
No, because you can't disprove a negative. And in just the same way, you can't disprove the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh), or the dragon in Carl Sagan's garage, or Russell's Flying Teapot.

Quote
... that there is no other universe or altered state that science is unaware of?
The thing is, without unambiguous, incontrovertible evidence, why shouyld anyone believe in such things? These things might exist. I don't know. I'm not going to assert that they do on the basis of whim or fanciful imaginings.

Quote
... The metaverse theory has been around a long time time now and is not totally discredited, likewise the Higgs field was only a 'belief' until billions were spent on proving it's existence and if that is one force that we were unaware of how many others might there be?
The multiverse is a theory, derived from mathematics, and is just one explanation for the data we have. It is indeed not totally discredited, but to be a scientific theory it must be falsifiable, and all it takes is data that it can't account for. The Higgs Boson was something predicted by a theory, and data now suggests it does indeed exist. Theory & data (evidence) is a different category from 'belief'.

Quote
... These are not arguments for the existence of God or another world, just suggestions that we should keep an open mind for 'God' may turn out to be something totally unexpected that neither the romantics or rational envisaged.
An open mind is just fine. I still lack belief in gods. I'm not stating that something that we might terms god(s) definitely does not exist, but the lack of any positive evidence for such things is cause enough to doubt. Equally, leprechauns & gnomes might exist, and the Tooth Fairy may well be true. I keep as open a mind in respect of these things as I do god(s).

Quote
... Besides which having a belief in something makes makes you little more finished as a human and can add an extra dimension to life. Try it sometime.
Any evidence for this assertion? I see the Westboro Baptist Church believe in something - are they 'more finished' human beings? Hitler had lots of beliefs in all sorts of supernaturalist nonsense ... and having invoked Godwin's Law, shall we leave it there?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 10, 2012, 01:45:17 PM
I'd like a referecne or three for the assertion that we don't know what 95% of the energy/matter in the cosmos is, and as for what scientists are calling 'dark matter', we haven't detected it yet. That doesn't mean it's undetectable. Measurements suggest the presence of something.
Astrophysicists posit the existence of something (currently termed 'dark matter'), because measurement data suggests the presence of something. That's what theories do - explain data. The best of them also make testable predictions, and all of them are falsifiable. All it takes is data they can't/don't account for.

The problem is that what has been observed in the distant galaxies has not been predicted or explained by the existing theories. What has been observed is in fact drastically different from what the theories predict. We have observed behaviour that is inconsistent with existing theories, so an hypothesis has been created that supposes the existence of huge quantities of, so far, undetected dark matter and energy which would preserve the validity of our currently accepted theories, if and when we are able to detect it.

That there was something odd going on with regard to observed data in the universe, which was inconsistent with our theories, occurred as long ago as 1932. Since that time we've been frantically searching for the hypothesised dark matter stuff, but so far not a single dark atom, dark electron, proton or photon equivalent has been found. Zilch, Nada. It's even more invisible than the HG Wells' Invisible Man.

But there's great hope the stuff will eventually be detected. The recent discovery of what is presumed to be the Higgs Boson particle has renewed hope that sooner or later we will detect the elusive dark stuff, which it is assumed is completely different from the usual protons and electrons, ie. non-baryonic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 10, 2012, 02:06:54 PM
Article 4 Section 4 the US Constitution. 

Article 4 guarantees the states a "republican form of government".  It does not state that the US is NOT a democracy.

Ever occur to you that it isn't a one-to-one, mutually exclusive thing?

Ever occur to you that the US can be BOTH a republic AND a democracy?

Your quote actually proves my point ...

"Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, pp. 388-389."

Democracy is NOT distinguished from a republic.  By this definition, the US is unambiguously a democracy.

You are very argumentative and confrontational about semantics ... it would be preferable if you stuck to ideas as your semantic arguments aren't terribly interesting.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 03:24:04 PM
No, because you can't disprove a negative. And in just the same way, you can't disprove the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh), or the dragon in Carl Sagan's garage, or Russell's Flying Teapot.
The thing is, without unambiguous, incontrovertible evidence, why shouyld anyone believe in such things? These things might exist. I don't know. I'm not going to assert that they do on the basis of whim or fanciful imaginings.
The multiverse is a theory, derived from mathematics, and is just one explanation for the data we have. It is indeed not totally discredited, but to be a scientific theory it must be falsifiable, and all it takes is data that it can't account for. The Higgs Boson was something predicted by a theory, and data now suggests it does indeed exist. Theory & data (evidence) is a different category from 'belief'.
An open mind is just fine. I still lack belief in gods. I'm not stating that something that we might terms god(s) definitely does not exist, but the lack of any positive evidence for such things is cause enough to doubt. Equally, leprechauns & gnomes might exist, and the Tooth Fairy may well be true. I keep as open a mind in respect of these things as I do god(s).
Any evidence for this assertion? I see the Westboro Baptist Church believe in something - are they 'more finished' human beings? Hitler had lots of beliefs in all sorts of supernaturalist nonsense ... and having invoked Godwin's Law, shall we leave it there?

The greatest evidence I have for the assertion that an open mind and some form of belief makes us a little more human is presented within your postings. The calculated denial of anything that smacks of sitting outside of mainstream science suggests a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility which are all traits that most of us find attractive in people. Your belief that nothing can exist until there is a sound and demonstrable explanation indicates that either you have little experience of the world or that you have deliberately isolated yourself from anything that that induces uncertainty in your model of how nature operates. Why are yo so afraid of embracing ideas that, at best, are considered to be on the fringe?

So what evidence is there that rational western science may not have all the answers? Well there is water dowsing for a start. My brother had rather a knack for it, but it doesn't work for me. Look it up on Wikipedia and you are faced with a tirade of denial quoting all sorts of laboratory based trials that appear to disprove it, so obviously it can be dismissed as bunkum. But wait a minute, another experiment based in the real world shows remarkably different results -

To do this, researchers teamed geological experts with experienced dowsers and then set up a scientific study group to evaluate the results. Drill crews guided by dowsers didn't hit water every time, but their success rate was impressive. In Sri Lanka, for example, they drilled 691 holes and had an overall success rate of 96 percent.

"In hundreds of cases the dowsers were able to predict the depth of the water source and the yield of the well to within 10 percent or 20 percent," says Hans-Dieter Betz, a physicist at the University of Munich, who headed the research group.


http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/1281661 (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/1281661)

So who do we believe, the sceptics sneering at poor lab results or workers in the field relying on dowsers to help alleviate the suffering of the poor?

The more I experience life the more I come to think that science is often asking the wrong questions, it is too hidebound, too scared to really experiment, it follows ever narrower channels of investigation rather than sitting back and looking at the bigger picture. There maybe a great deal to be discovered about how the universe operates but it will remain unexplored because science 'won't go there', and it won't go there because Chaiman Bill and others will laugh from their ivory towers.


 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on November 10, 2012, 03:48:23 PM
Here's a quote from an article I wrote 32 years ago: "Science, effective as it may be at providing better living through chemistry and better destruction through physics, isn’t capable of providing the beliefs that hold a society together. As someone once said, 'Science can tell you how everything works, but it can’t tell you what anything is for.'” For anyone interested, the article's at http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/commoncause.html. I doubt anybody will be interested since it's clear most of the minds in this thread have long been made up and don't want to be bothered with arguments or facts.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 03:49:47 PM
The greatest evidence I have for the assertion that an open mind and some form of belief makes us a little more human is presented within your postings. The calculated denial of anything that smacks of sitting outside of mainstream science suggests a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility which are all traits that most of us find attractive in people.
You hear what you choose to hear. And if you choose to hear a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility in what I say, then it says more about you than me.

Quote
Your belief that nothing can exist until there is a sound and demonstrable explanation indicates that either you have little experience of the world or that you have deliberately isolated yourself from anything that that induces uncertainty in your model of how nature operates.
Or you could be setting up a straw man.

Quote
... Why are yo so afraid of embracing ideas that, at best, are considered to be on the fringe?
Where do you get the idea that fear has anything to do with it? I lack warmth, compassion, emotion & humility, and I'm afraid. And you can garner all this info about me, yet have never met me. Amazing. Or maybe you're talking bollocks & just engaging in a little bit of ad hominem attacks.

Quote
So what evidence is there that rational western science may not have all the answers?
Well there's the fact that science makes no claim to have all the answers. If science had all the answers, it would stop.

Quote
... Well there is water dowsing for a start. My brother had rather a knack for it, but it doesn't work for me. Look it up on Wikipedia and you are faced with a tirade of denial quoting all sorts of laboratory based trials that appear to disprove it, so obviously it can be dismissed as bunkum. But wait a minute, another experiment based in the real world shows remarkably different results -

To do this, researchers teamed geological experts with experienced dowsers and then set up a scientific study group to evaluate the results. Drill crews guided by dowsers didn't hit water every time, but their success rate was impressive. In Sri Lanka, for example, they drilled 691 holes and had an overall success rate of 96 percent.

"In hundreds of cases the dowsers were able to predict the depth of the water source and the yield of the well to within 10 percent or 20 percent," says Hans-Dieter Betz, a physicist at the University of Munich, who headed the research group.


http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/1281661 (http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/1281661)

So who do we believe, the sceptics sneering at poor lab results or workers in the field relying on dowsers to help alleviate the suffering of the poor?
False dichotomy time, eh? What if I said that I can't explain the successes claimed by dowsing? I've never said it is unexplainable. But when it is explained (whether shown to be nonsense or otherwise), it will be science that explains the mechanism, not religion.

Quote
The more I experience life the more I come to think that science is often asking the wrong questions, it is too hidebound, too scared to really experiment, it follows ever narrower channels of investigation rather than sitting back and looking at the bigger picture. There maybe a great deal to be discovered about how the universe operates but it will remain unexplored because science 'won't go there', and it won't go there because Chaiman Bill and others will laugh from their ivory towers.
Oh, OK. Now I know. So which god has all the answers? Because I'm sure you know. Do tell. Or could it be that you're talking bollocks, again, setting up more straw men to knock down? Come on, tell us what it is about the universe that will remain unexplored because science won't go there? Let's see your evidence that science 'won't go there'. And don't cite dowsing, 'cos the study you mentioned was done by scientists, which suggests that maybe they will go there.

 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 10, 2012, 03:52:00 PM
Here's a quote from an article I wrote 32 years ago: "Science, effective as it may be at providing better living through chemistry and better destruction through physics, isn’t capable of providing the beliefs that hold a society together. As someone once said, 'Science can tell you how everything works, but it can’t tell you what anything is for.'” For anyone interested, the article's at http://www.russ-lewis.com/essays/commoncause.html. I doubt anybody will be interested since it's clear most of the minds in this thread have long been made up and don't want to be bothered with arguments or facts.

But who said that science ever offered to provide the beliefs that hold a society together? It's not what science does. You might as well complain that your butcher doesn't sell bread & the baker doesn't sell bacon.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on November 10, 2012, 04:29:45 PM
The United States is a Republic.  It has a representative democracy form of government which is a type of republic.
What I don't get, in your line of reasoning, which seems to be shared by other Americans, is why a country can't be both a democracy and a republic. We Australians consider ourselves to be a democracy and a constitutional monarchy. If we ever amend our constitution to remove the connection with the House of Windsor and create an Australian Head of State, we will consider ourselves to have become a republic, but without ceasing to be a democracy. You seem to believe that no republic can also be a democracy but the definitions you quote seem to lead more comfortably to the proposition that some but not all republics are also democracies (and vice versa). Only semantics, of course, but what is interesting is why this particular semantic insistence?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 10, 2012, 04:44:55 PM
Which poses the obvious question as to why did we do that?

Oh, I don't know... when we were living in caves, our minuscule brain couldn't explain thunder and lightning otherwise?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 10, 2012, 04:49:36 PM
You guys are talking about a different, parallel universe?

Then it must be true, since in my universe, Einstein wrote the following (the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954):

"... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions..."

(The letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 10, 2012, 04:53:02 PM
You hear what you choose to hear. And if you choose to hear a lack of warmth, compassion, emotion and humility in what I say, then it says more about you than me.

I'm sure you're an excellent fellow who loves fluffy kittens and so on but I hear what experience has generally shown me to expect, to be honest it's not something I want to hear because I'm generally rather an optimist when it comes to peoples nature.


Quote
Or you could be setting up a straw man.
Where do you get the idea that fear has anything to do with it? I lack warmth, compassion, emotion & humility, and I'm afraid. And you can garner all this info about me, yet have never met me. Amazing. Or maybe you're talking bollocks & just engaging in a little bit of ad hominem attacks.

So what does drive your insistence  in dismissing everything that doesn't conform to strict scientific rules as you see them? And now you are jumping up and accusing me of talking bollocks. That could be taken for a small degree of panic although I'm sure there is a more innocent explanation.

Quote
Well there's the fact that science makes no claim to have all the answers. If science had all the answers, it would stop.

False dichotomy time, eh? What if I said that I can't explain the successes claimed by dowsing? I've never said it is unexplainable. But when it is explained (whether shown to be nonsense or otherwise), it will be science that explains the mechanism, not religion.

Straw man time again, you do it so well.  I never suggested that religion would explain it, only that here we have a phenomenon which cannot be replicated in the lab but is real to many people, including university physicists. It was merely presented as an example of what is regarded as quackery and yet there is good evidence that it works, just like acupuncture was. Many spiritual experiences are real to people and one day they may be explained by science as well but you choose to dismiss them out of hand.


Quote
Oh, OK. Now I know. So which god has all the answers? Because I'm sure you know. Do tell. Or could it be that you're talking bollocks, again, setting up more straw men to knock down? Come on, tell us what it is about the universe that will remain unexplored because science won't go there? Let's see your evidence that science 'won't go there'. And don't cite dowsing, 'cos the study you mentioned was done by scientists, which suggests that maybe they will go there.

Now that is so inconsistent with my postings it really is laughable. Where have I made the slightest suggestion that I believe in any god, why do you jump to such a conclusion, where is your beloved empirical evidence?

Presently science won't go anywhere it can't apply the maths to, If it can't be measured then it doesn't exist is the basic assumption, it has served us well but maybe we need a rethink, perhaps new units of measurement need to be established but this will not happen until the mainstream scientific community is open to the idea that there could be other routes to follow, I don't know what these routes may be but I certainly do not condemn out of hand any attempt to think outside of the box. However, if you want me to name my hunch, tell you where my gut instinct thinks new avenues may exist then I would suggest that getting a better grip on evolution could open up all sorts of doors, and no, I don't think any answers are to be found in Genesis.



 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 10, 2012, 05:10:45 PM
Article 4 guarantees the states a "republican form of government".  It does not state that the US is NOT a democracy.

Ever occur to you that it isn't a one-to-one, mutually exclusive thing?

Ever occur to you that the US can be BOTH a republic AND a democracy?

Your quote actually proves my point ...

"Democracy. That form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation, as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy. Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, pp. 388-389."

You have done a terrible job proving your point. Go back and study some more.  You are wrong Jeremy. I do not care if you never understand. You probably would not admit being wrong if the truth bit you in the but, so I am not wasting my time trying to get you to think otherwise.

Democracy is NOT distinguished from a republic.  By this definition, the US is unambiguously a democracy.

You are very argumentative and confrontational about semantics ... it would be preferable if you stuck to ideas as your semantic arguments aren't terribly interesting.


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 10, 2012, 05:55:41 PM
You are wrong Jeremy.

About what exactly?  Are you really insisting the US is not a democracy because it can also be described as a representative republic?

Oh yeah ... I forgot ... you are the Supreme Law of the Land ... so I guess it really is up to you whether or not the US is a democracy ...

Sorry.  I'll bow to your magnificence and accept your arbitrary and pedantic definitions.

You are right, sir, the United States of America is not a democracy ... it is whatever YOU say it is.  Ok?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 10, 2012, 06:50:54 PM
Only semantics, of course, but what is interesting is why this particular semantic insistence?

I'm sure there's some whack-job who wrote a pamphlet wherein it was asserted that because the US is a republic and not a democracy the federal income tax and social security were unconstitutional.

Wesley Snipes ended up in prison because he fell for that kind of BS ...

(http://probatelitigation.typepad.com/.a/6a01053645c43a970b0133f6498deb970b-250wi)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 11, 2012, 01:36:11 AM
About what exactly?  Are you really insisting the US is not a democracy because it can also be described as a representative republic?

Oh yeah ... I forgot ... you are the Supreme Law of the Land ... so I guess it really is up to you whether or not the US is a democracy ...

Sorry.  I'll bow to your magnificence and accept your arbitrary and pedantic definitions.

You are right, sir, the United States of America is not a democracy ... it is whatever YOU say it is.  Ok?

HaHa.  :D    Excellent typical response from you Jeremy.  You need to go back and read some more! 

In my original response to your childish challenge where you said  you were pulling things from your ass, I stated "The United States is a Republic.  It has a representative democracy form of government which is a type of republic."

I am not magnificent. I am the same as you, except I do not pull things from my ass as you admittedly do.  Whatever I say is not always ok.  But I did not pull the words from my ass.

But, once again.  I can accept that you are unable to read the words and take them at face value.  That is your problem, not mine.  I will offer some advice though.  If you find yourself continuing to pull things from your ass, you should see a Proctologist.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 11, 2012, 05:17:00 AM
A major problem is that some leaders of countries in the world eg Israel pray to something in the sky for guidance rather than using their brains - and the brains of advisers - to decide what is right and wrong in solving the problems of the world. When the "answers" turn out to be wrong and misguided then they pray again looking for more "answers". The belief system is imo counter-intuitive to rational thought and a major problem in the ways of running things? An example. If Romney  - a Mormon zealot - had got elected he would have been itching to bomb Iran of the map, another country that relies heavily in the power of prayer to guide them. I find this very strange. :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on November 11, 2012, 05:18:23 AM
I'm sure there's some whack-job who wrote a pamphlet ....

"Whack-job" was new to me, as an antipodean. The nicest citation I found on looking it up was this: “GFYS and that goes for the rest of your bongwater drinkin whackjob freinds.” But I guess yours would be an 18th Century pre-bongwater whack-job (or wackjob...the spelling doesn't seem to have regularized), as he went in for pamphlet writing. Or have pamphlets made a comeback?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 11, 2012, 06:19:58 AM
A major problem is that some leaders of countries in the world eg Israel pray to something in the sky for guidance rather than using their brains - and the brains of advisers - to decide what is right and wrong in solving the problems of the world. When the "answers" turn out to be wrong and misguided then they pray again looking for more "answers". The belief system is imo counter-intuitive to rational thought and a major problem in the ways of running things? An example. If Romney  - a Mormon zealot - had got elected he would have been itching to bomb Iran of the map, another country that relies heavily in the power of prayer to guide them. I find this very strange. :(

Certainly organised religion has an awful lot to answer for and is hardly the force of peace and goodwill that protagonists of the various creeds assure us it is. However, it as the base level of belief, at the binary code of all religions that there lies the assumption of another experience that awaits us, or is running parallel to us, or from where we emerged and here there lies the conflict between modern science and ancient romance.

Now as I see it science evolved by creating a system of measuring what could be observed and from this basic concept grew the ability to theorise and experiment and so confirm, or not, the validity of those predictions. It is a model that has achieved spectacular results but over the last century or so there has been a shift in emphasis and now rather than observing a phenomena and trying to measure it we have the situation where if a phenomena cannot be measured then it is assumed not to exist and instead we look to the frailties of the observer to explain why it was 'observed'. I'm not at all happy that this approach is particularly clever or enlightened but I do understand why, given the zealously of many of the romantics in promoting their faiths, modern science also gets very concerned about defending it's methods. The chasm widens daily until we see that science itself has come to mimic organised religion in the promotion of its high priests and past saints. It's a little like Orwell's man/pig scene in Animal Farm and the poor Joe Bloggs's of the world get to feel a little left out of it all as neither entirely accommodates or explains their lives and experience.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 11, 2012, 07:56:13 AM
You guys are talking about a different, parallel universe?

Then it must be true, since in my universe, Einstein wrote the following (the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954):

"... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions..."

(The letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954)

Slobodan, as you must know, there are many quotes about God and religion from Einstein.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, Einstein did not believe in the conventional, personal God who intervenes in human affairs, listens to peoples' prayers, and bestows individual favours or punishments. So thanks for elaborating on that concept.

However, having told us what aspects of religion, and ideas of God, Einstein did not believe in, I think you should have included some quote from Einstein that gives us an idea of what religious notions he did believe in, lest we think you are biased.  ;)

My understanding has always been that Einstein had deeply religious convictions, albeit of an unorthodox character.

A quick search on the internet came up with the following website which attempts to summarize Einstein's views on religion.  http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/religioncomments.html

I'll post just a few of my favourite quotes from that website, to whet your appetite.

(1) I'll start off with the New York Times quote in their obituary, April 19, 1955.

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God."

(2) Next, a letter to a child who asked if scientists pray, January 24, 1936; Einstein Archive 42-601.

"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man.... In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive."

(3) 1920; quoted in Moszkowski, Conversations with Einstein p. 46

"In every true searcher of Nature there is a kind of religious reverence, for he finds it impossible to imagine that he is the first to have thought out the exceedingly delicate threads that connect his perceptions."

(4) When asked by an astounded atheist, if he were in fact deeply religious, Einstein replied:

"Yes, you can call it that. Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious."

H. G. Kessler, The Diary of a Cosmopolitan, (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971), p.157; quoted in Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer (Princeton University Press, 1999) pp. 39-40.

Just trying to redress the imbalance, Slobodan.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 11, 2012, 09:27:41 AM
"Whack-job" was new to me, as an antipodean. The nicest citation I found on looking it up was this: “GFYS and that goes for the rest of your bongwater drinkin whackjob freinds.” But I guess yours would be an 18th Century pre-bongwater whack-job (or wackjob...the spelling doesn't seem to have regularized), as he went in for pamphlet writing. Or have pamphlets made a comeback?

We've definitely got 21st century paphleteers and George Washington prolly had a bong or two on the farm ...

Here's a published guide on how to avoid falling prey to such losers ... http://www.fraudguides.com/tax_protesting.asp

... And here is an example of a modern day pamphlet ... http://www.tax-freedom.com/Federal-Estate-Tax-Is-Unconstitutional.htm

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 11, 2012, 09:46:37 AM
The chasm widens daily until we see that science itself has come to mimic organised religion in the promotion of its high priests and past saints.

You are on a real bullshit kick lately.  That's just pure nonsense.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 11, 2012, 11:13:48 AM
You are on a real bullshit kick lately.  That's just pure nonsense.



And would you mind explaining why or is just sneering dismissal the extent of your thoughts upon the subject?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: BlasR on November 11, 2012, 11:15:43 AM
Payne,

Start, to smoke the same smoke of those the voted for hussein obama, U going to need it.. u should start doing it now...( I believe u do )..U said how serious was Clinton...serious with this?

Lewinsky claimed to have had sexual encounters with Bill Clinton on nine occasions from November 1995 to March 1997. According to her published schedule,

Deposition by Bill Clinton in the Pula Jones Case ... I don't have any specific recollections of what the issues were, what was going on...


....Barack hussein Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright  ... " God damn America "  He is so good...Payne, I think U will be in so much pain now.  The wife, said , for the first time she was proud of America.

I guess they are, Feel sorry for those the staying here.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 11, 2012, 12:39:27 PM
And would you mind explaining why or is just sneering dismissal the extent of your thoughts upon the subject?

You simply asserted that science has become a religion ... nice soundbite, but amounts to nothing more than saying: "I know you are, but what am I."

I don't see any evidence of the scientific method in organized religion.  I see plenty of scientific method in real science. 

Until religion adopts the scientific method, or science drops it ... your statement is just pure bullshit.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 11, 2012, 01:18:36 PM
You simply asserted that science has become a religion ... nice soundbite, but amounts to nothing more than saying: "I know you are, but what am I."

I don't see any evidence of the scientific method in organized religion.  I see plenty of scientific method in real science. 

Until religion adopts the scientific method, or science drops it ... your statement is just pure bullshit.

Not at all Jeremy. What I said was that to those that stand outside the mainstream of both there would appear to be many similarities in their attitudes and positions. Reading the posts of both you and Chairman Bill I conclude, maybe incorrectly, that you each consider science to be the single truth. Mmmm.... now where have we heard that before? The Catholic church is just one such institution that has also propagated this idea and talking of which we may consider the case of Archbishop John McQuaid who is probably second to only St Patrick when it comes to influential religious figures in Ireland. Before he was sent back to Ireland John McQuaid was a scholar in the Vatican, doing research into the Old Testament if I remember correctly, and during this time he developed a methodology and thoroughness which was to stay with him throughout his career and was indeed central to the success of his work. He would have made an excellent scientist y'know.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 11, 2012, 01:32:36 PM
Reading the posts of both you and Chairman Bill I conclude, maybe incorrectly, that you each consider science to be the single truth. Mmmm.... now where have we heard that before?

Wow ... are you just playing dumb?  If you truly believe science is just another religion I would respectfully suggest you have no idea what science is.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 11, 2012, 01:43:53 PM
Wow ... are you just playing dumb?  If you truly believe science is just another religion I would respectfully suggest you have no idea what science is.



OKaaaay, I can see you are having some difficulty here so I'll try and use easy words.

I have not said that science is just another religion. I have said they can look the same to someone who is not deeply involved in either.

Please, if you have difficulty in understanding any part of that then let me know and I'll give it another go.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 11, 2012, 02:16:08 PM
OKaaaay, I can see you are having some difficulty here so I'll try and use easy words.

I have not said that science is just another religion. I have said they can look the same to someone who is not deeply involved in either.

Please, if you have difficulty in understanding any part of that then let me know and I'll give it another go.

May I give it another go as well, please?

I think you may want to rephrase it to something like this:

"...they can look the same to someone who is not deeply involved in... thinking."
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 11, 2012, 02:33:38 PM
May I give it another go as well, please?

I think you may want to rephrase it to something like this:

"...they can look the same to someone who is not deeply involved in... thinking."

I have yet to see much evidence of that desirable habit from yourself.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 11, 2012, 03:04:39 PM
Please, if you have difficulty in understanding any part of that then let me know and I'll give it another go.

It would appear that you are saying that people who don't know what they are talking about ... don't know what they are talking about.

You would appear to be putting yourself in that category.

That sounds about right.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on November 11, 2012, 03:38:06 PM
Wow ... are you just playing dumb?  If you truly believe science is just another religion I would respectfully suggest you have no idea what science is.

This thread has turned into a classic rattling of empty heads, but this one really cracks me up. Jeremy, 500 years ago a Roman priest would have put it this way: "If you truly believe Catholicism is just another religion I would respectfully suggest you have no idea what truth is." (He might not have used the word "respectfully.")

Let's face it. To a real scientist,science isn't a religion, and that kind of scientist has a very precise picture of science's shortcomings and of the things science not only can't answer, but that science can't even approach. But the great unwashed masses have been taught that science is capable of what religion used to be thought capable of. To those masses science most certainly has become not only a religion but the religion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 11, 2012, 05:40:16 PM
This thread has turned into a classic rattling of empty heads, but this one really cracks me up. Jeremy, 500 years ago a Roman priest would have put it this way: "If you truly believe Catholicism is just another religion I would respectfully suggest you have no idea what truth is." (He might not have used the word "respectfully.")

Let's face it. To a real scientist,science isn't a religion, and that kind of scientist has a very precise picture of science's shortcomings and of the things science not only can't answer, but that science can't even approach. But the great unwashed masses have been taught that science is capable of what religion used to be thought capable of. To those masses science most certainly has become not only a religion but the religion.

 The great historical duality of politics and religion has now been joined by science in scrabbling for power and influence (and accumulation of money) over the population. I guess that politics was thinking that it might be a great ally in the fight against religion but it has grown up to take a position of its own. Not an original thought I'm sure but still an interesting one.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo, soon to be edged out by Sigma DP2 Merrill
Post by: NancyP on November 16, 2012, 11:55:26 AM
The original photo was pretty funny, and I can GUARANTEE that you won't see that halo with the Sigma DP2M (currently on page 24). ;)
This thread is becoming obsolete, but a thread on Truly Awful Photoshop Examples might be amusing.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: yoss3145 on November 19, 2012, 02:51:43 AM
Obama needn't be jealous...

(http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/4597/th95barackobamahalo.png)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 04:51:19 AM
The difference between science & religion is essentially this; religion seeks evidence to confirm beliefs held, whereas science looks at the evidence & derives beliefs about the world from those.

In religion, those who question are heretics. In science, those who question are, er, scientists.

Religion is concerned with the truth as revealed to a select few. Science is concerned with the truth as revealed to everyone who bothers to look.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 05:35:43 AM
The difference between science & religion is essentially this; religion seeks evidence to confirm beliefs held, whereas science looks at the evidence & derives beliefs about the world from those.

In religion, those who question are heretics. In science, those who question are, er, scientists.

Religion is concerned with the truth as revealed to a select few. Science is concerned with the truth as revealed to everyone who bothers to look.


But science is unable to explain some things.  I choose to believe in God because if I am wrong, I have not lost anything of value.  Now, those that do not believe in God are in a different situation.  It could really matter if they are wrong.  This is my personal choice that I have made and I respect the next person for not believing.  To each his own.  I see no need in arguing about it or trying to "convert" anyone.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 05:40:27 AM
The difference between science & religion is essentially this; religion seeks evidence to confirm beliefs held, whereas science looks at the evidence & derives beliefs about the world from those.

In religion, those who question are heretics. In science, those who question are, er, scientists.

Religion is concerned with the truth as revealed to a select few. Science is concerned with the truth as revealed to everyone who bothers to look.

A very broad statement made from a very narrow viewpoint. Faith and science are not mutually exclusive and the seeking of explanations that science cannot yet provide should not be so casually dismissed. In fact I rather feel sorry for those who have gone through life without experiencing small episodes of 'connection' or pre knowledge or the 101 other manifestations of phenomenon to which science has yet to give an explanation, which is not to say it never will, but it first has to look beyond it's present dogma. This is not an easy option I know because it has dug itself something of a hole insisting on the immediate visibility (or measurable evidence) of whatever is to be studied and to be quite honest I don't know if I want it to explain everything for mankind will only devise ways of using it against itself just as both science and codified religion has done. On the other side of the coin science gave us the moonshots and anaesthetics just as religion gave us many photogenic relics such as the Pyramids and cathedrals as well as inspired and financed great art.

Right, I'm off to see if I can get a game of dice with God, yer coming?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 19, 2012, 06:32:27 AM

But science is unable to explain some things.  I choose to believe in God because if I am wrong, I have not lost anything of value.  Now, those that do not believe in God are in a different situation.  It could really matter if they are wrong.  This is my personal choice that I have made and I respect the next person for not believing.  To each his own.  I see no need in arguing about it or trying to "convert" anyone.

This is not a reliable argument. When a person believes in God, it is a God imagined and expressed through the human imagination.

When a person disbelieves in God, it is a disbelief also imagined and expressed through the human imagination, but with greater courage because belief is easy and just requires a conformity to tradition, whereas disbelief requires genuine intellectual activity and questioning of a sort that leads to truth, or at least the scientific framework our society is now based upon.

There was a time, just a few hundred years ago, when science did not exist, and I imagine that life must have been truly awful when those in control were sorcerers, witches, magicians and popes.

I'm so grateful I live in an enlightened era, but so saddened that so many people in this enlightened era are still stuck in the mire of religious bigotry.

Of course there are still many things that science is unable to explain. It's because the standards of scientific explanation are so much higher than the standards of religious explanation.

I hope no-one takes offense. I'm simply expressing an honest opinion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 06:34:47 AM

But science is unable to explain some things.  I choose to believe in God because if I am wrong, I have not lost anything of value.  Now, those that do not believe in God are in a different situation.  It could really matter if they are wrong.  This is my personal choice that I have made and I respect the next person for not believing.  To each his own.  I see no need in arguing about it or trying to "convert" anyone.

Of course there are things science can't explain - yet. If science could explain everything, it would stop. Scientists admit that they don't know things, but unlike some, don't make shit up to fill in the gaps. 'Science doesn't know everything, therefore God' is not a rational, logical argument.

As for your belief in God - as a matter of fact, if you're wrong, you might have lost something. What if you've chosen the wrong god? What if God is testing people, such that those who believe in him based on certain religious texts for instance, don't get into heaven, but those who reject him based on rationality, do? What you're offering is in essence, Pascal's Wager. It's a false dichotomy.

And yes, to each his/her own. I see no point in trying to convert people. Except that I regularly get believers trying to convert me, or arguing that I can't be good without their particular god, or specific version of religion. They keep trying to influence social policy, educational policy, and so on. If only it really was just a private matter.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on November 19, 2012, 06:56:29 AM
And yes, to each his/her own. I see no point in trying to convert people. Except that I regularly get believers trying to convert me, or arguing that I can't be good without their particular god, or specific version of religion. They keep trying to influence social policy, educational policy, and so on. If only it really was just a private matter.
You're so right. They belong to the Establishment religion of 'Scientism', which has perverted Science into a series of pc dogmata to which one must do obeisance for preferment. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus on the other hand have never pressured me.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 07:08:03 AM
This is not a reliable argument. When a person believes in God, it is a God imagined and expressed through the human imagination.

When a person disbelieves in God, it is a disbelief also imagined and expressed through the human imagination, but with greater courage because belief is easy and just requires a conformity to tradition, whereas disbelief requires genuine intellectual activity and questioning of a sort that leads to truth, or at least the scientific framework our society is now based upon.


There was a time, just a few hundred years ago, when science did not exist, and I imagine that life must have been truly awful when those in control were sorcerers, witches, magicians and popes.

I'm so grateful I live in an enlightened era, but so saddened that so many people in this enlightened era are still stuck in the mire of religious bigotry.

Of course there are still many things that science is unable to explain. It's because the standards of scientific explanation are so much higher than the standards of religious explanation.

I hope no-one takes offense. I'm simply expressing an honest opinion.


Bigotry can work both ways Ray and the recent flare up against the the Catholic church (I am not their greatest fan BTW) in Ireland and how it's teachings caused the death of a women is a case in point.

I'm not sure if the story made the impact in the US that it did over here but basically a women (dentist by training) died due to a complication during pregnancy. The distraught father took to the airwaves blaming the Irish doctors and their 'faith', the Irish law and it's vagueness (which may have some validity) and the Irish people for not yet having turned the Pope out of Ireland in the 21st century. His assumption was that his wife had been denied a life saving abortion because abortion wasn't allowed in Ireland. Well, yes it is in cases like this but that fact is dismissed by the Paddy bashers and 'rationalists' who insist it is all the fault of the church. Further investigation suggests that in certain cases an abortion may not be best medical practice anyway and the hospital concerned has kept a most dignified silence on the whole episode. Throw into the mix that Ireland has one of the worlds lowest maternal death rates and that the unfortunate women's family have yet to make a formal complaint of manslaughter to the police as they have been threatening to do and all of a sudden the bigotry of the rationalists looks just as vindictive and ugly as any that we have seen from the church over here in recent years. It's almost enough to make me to take up holy orders!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 07:55:22 AM
This is not a reliable argument. When a person believes in God, it is a God imagined and expressed through the human imagination.

When a person disbelieves in God, it is a disbelief also imagined and expressed through the human imagination, but with greater courage because belief is easy and just requires a conformity to tradition, whereas disbelief requires genuine intellectual activity and questioning of a sort that leads to truth, or at least the scientific framework our society is now based upon.

There was a time, just a few hundred years ago, when science did not exist, and I imagine that life must have been truly awful when those in control were sorcerers, witches, magicians and popes.

I'm so grateful I live in an enlightened era, but so saddened that so many people in this enlightened era are still stuck in the mire of religious bigotry.

Of course there are still many things that science is unable to explain. It's because the standards of scientific explanation are so much higher than the standards of religious explanation.

I hope no-one takes offense. I'm simply expressing an honest opinion.

No offense taken.  One of the things that science can not explain is how something can be created without a creator.  I think that it takes a whole lot more faith to believe that everything (Humans, plants, animals etc) just "happened".  This way of thinking would lead one to believe that you could take a watch, disassemble it, put it in your pocket, and at some point (maybe in a million years) the watch would just happen to not only be reassembled, but be running and have the exact time.  That takes an awful lot of faith.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 19, 2012, 07:57:14 AM
......... and all of a sudden the bigotry of the rationalists looks just as vindictive and ugly as any that we have seen from the church over here in recent years. It's almost enough to make me to take up holy orders!


Sorry! Your term 'Bigotry of the Rationalists' destroys your argument. It's an oxymoron. Rationalism by its nature is against bigotry. What more can I say!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 08:00:10 AM
Sorry! Your term 'Bigotry of the Rationalists' destroys your argument. It's an oxymoron. Rationalism by its nature is against bigotry. What more can I say!

That they are therefore not rationalists at all, but simple bigots cloaking themselves in rationalisation. You ought to go and have a word with them.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 19, 2012, 08:10:25 AM
...  One of the things that science can not explain is how something can be created without a creator...

Neither could religion. Otherwise, who created the "creator"?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 08:14:07 AM
You're so right. They belong to the Establishment religion of 'Scientism', which has perverted Science into a series of pc dogmata to which one must do obeisance for preferment. Christians, Buddhists, Hindus on the other hand have never pressured me.
Evidence?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 19, 2012, 08:17:43 AM
Evidence?

No, no, Bill, you got to believe! ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 19, 2012, 08:18:05 AM
No offense taken.  One of the things that science can not explain is how something can be created without a creator.  I think that it takes a whole lot more faith to believe that everything (Humans, plants, animals etc) just "happened".  This way of thinking would lead one to believe that you could take a watch, disassemble it, put it in your pocket, and at some point (maybe in a million years) the watch would just happen to not only be reassembled, but be running and have the exact time.  That takes an awful lot of faith.



C'mon now Bryan. That's an argument that leads nowhere. If there's a creator, then who or what created the creator?

Another issue which boggles my mind, is how anyone could believe that he has a direct insight into the mind of an imagined creator of this vast universe, the extent of which was not even remotely envisaged by the originators of our main current religions.

Belief, in anything, is a force in itself, whether in reality it is true or not. It's known as the placebo effect.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 08:18:53 AM
Neither could religion. Otherwise, who created the "creator"?

Chuck Norris?   ;D

Why does religion have to prove that it's Creator is real?  The burden of proof always lies on the accuser.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 08:19:53 AM
No offense taken.  One of the things that science can not explain is how something can be created without a creator.  I think that it takes a whole lot more faith to believe that everything (Humans, plants, animals etc) just "happened".  This way of thinking would lead one to believe that you could take a watch, disassemble it, put it in your pocket, and at some point (maybe in a million years) the watch would just happen to not only be reassembled, but be running and have the exact time.  That takes an awful lot of faith.

A number of things follow from this though - who created this 'Creator', being one of them. And the 'just happened' bit is a straw man. Compare the scientific explanation for humans (all that complicated evolution stuff) with the simple-minded 'goddidit' of religious explanations. Which is closer to a 'just happened' explanation?

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 08:22:43 AM
Chuck Norris?   ;D

Why does religion have to prove that it's Creator is real?  The burden of proof always lies on the accuser.

The burden of proof lies on the one making the positive assertion. You claim there's a god, you provide the unambiguous, incontrovertible evidence to support the claim. In the complete absence of such evidence, I'm perfectly justified in not accepting your claim.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 08:25:44 AM
C'mon now Bryan. That's an argument that leads nowhere. If there's a creator, then who or what created the creator?

Another issue which boggles my mind, is how anyone could believe that he has a direct insight into the mind of an imagined creator of this vast universe, the extent of which was not even remotely envisaged by the originators of our main current religions.

Belief, in anything, is a force in itself, whether in reality it is true or not. It's known as the placebo effect.

The argument that there is no creator also leads nowhere.  You are back to believing that everything just happened at random.  And, like you said, belief in anything is a force in itself, whether it is true in reality or not.  I firmly believe (LOL) that this debate will never end.  I do not think that either side will ever be able to prove the other side wrong.  The debate will always exist as long as Humans exist.  
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 08:28:11 AM
The burden of proof lies on the one making the positive assertion. You claim there's a god, you provide the unambiguous, incontrovertible evidence to support the claim. In the complete absence of such evidence, I'm perfectly justified in not accepting your claim.

We can play word games all day.  You seem to be of the belief that people that believe in God are wrong....that there is no God.  Correct?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 08:31:57 AM
A number of things follow from this though - who created this 'Creator', being one of them. And the 'just happened' bit is a straw man. Compare the scientific explanation for humans (all that complicated evolution stuff) with the simple-minded 'goddidit' of religious explanations. Which is closer to a 'just happened' explanation?



Evolution had to have a beginning.  I accept that you believe that God is not real.  I have no problem with that.  I can not explain either side of this argument beyond a doubt, no one can.  So, we will just have to wait until the end to find out...like everyone else since the beginning of time.....oooops.....who created time... ???
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: markadams99 on November 19, 2012, 08:36:04 AM
A number of things follow from this though - who created this 'Creator', being one of them. And the 'just happened' bit is a straw man. Compare the scientific explanation for humans (all that complicated evolution stuff) with the simple-minded 'goddidit' of religious explanations. Which is closer to a 'just happened' explanation?


Evolution (to which I subscribe) is not a 'scientific explanation for humans', it's a scientific explanation for speciation from earlier species or a common universal ancestor of which 'the ascent of man' is one example. The origin of Life isn't explained. There simply isn't a scientific explanation for Life, Matter, Time etc. The Big Bang may be a singularity that stops further enquiry. The only scientifically accurate position is that of Hamlet (a Christian as it happens):

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 08:41:49 AM
Evolution (to which I subscribe) is not a 'scientific explanation for humans', it's a scientific explanation for speciation from earlier species or a common universal ancestor of which 'the ascent of man' is one example. The origin of Life isn't explained. There simply isn't a scientific explanation for Life, Matter, Time etc. The Big Bang may be a singularity that stops further enquiry. The only scientifically accurate position is that of Hamlet (a Christian as it happens):

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

I believe in evolution too.  But, I know that there had to be a cause of evolution.  Everything in our existence (as we know it) is cause and effect.  Action and reaction.  I can not find (in my way of thinking) any logic in the thought that a creator (the cause) is not necessary.  If I meet the creator, I will ask him who was his creator.  If I do not meet him, I will probably not have a question to ask...or exist in order to ask.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 19, 2012, 08:51:34 AM
 You are back to believing that everything just happened at random.

You've reminded me of another Einstein quote in response to the Heidelberg Quantum Mechanics principle of uncertanty; "God does not play dice".

That everything may happen at random is not necessarily a belief, but may be the truth according to best observation and thought. Photonic shot noise is an example of this. Wow! I've just made the thread relevant to Photography again.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 19, 2012, 08:56:26 AM
The best description of religion that I have read is that it is a psychological crutch. When life throws up problems then some people turn to faith and pray for an answer. They believe that when an answer is provided then it comes from above. Like most I was taught to be a Christian and for the first few years of my life I believed what I was taught. I then, like most, looked for evidence of a God and when I found that there wasn't any I stopped believing and relied on rational thought to get through life. Religion unfortunately is the source of most of the problems in the world. Many wars have been started because the practitioners of faith can't agree on who has the best faith. A good life without religion is certainly possible and in the long run there would be less problems in the world?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 19, 2012, 09:00:01 AM
Quote Ray

Wow! I've just made the thread relevant to Photography again.

Unquote.

Ray this is the coffee corner. For all things unrelated to photography. You are trying to take the thread off topic. Please desist or a bolt from above will render you to six feet under. ;) ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 19, 2012, 09:08:19 AM
I can not find (in my way of thinking) any logic in the thought that a creator (the cause) is not necessary.  If I meet the creator, I will ask him who was his creator. 

And who was the creator of his creator, and so on. I know I have a grandfather, and great grandfather, and great, great, great grandfather. So does God have grandfathers?

Let's be sensible for Christ's sake.  ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 09:16:19 AM
We can play word games all day.  You seem to be of the belief that people that believe in God are wrong....that there is no God.  Correct?

No, I just see absolutely no evidence that they're right. I see as much evidence for God as for any other deity, including Quetzalcoatl, Zeus, Odin, Ra, the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh), and so on. Hell, even the Tooth Fairy has as much going for her/him as any god. The lack of evidence leads me to have no belief. That's not the same as having a belief in the absence of something, just an absence of belief.

If you make a claim about reality (that there are gods), that impacts my reality. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of facts. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. Claims about reality require evidential support, or they are blind assertions, and that which can be asserted without evidcence can be dismissed without evidence.

Some 'god claims' can be dismissed because they are lacking in internal consistency. For example, a claim of an omnipotent god falls because omnipotence is a nonsense concept. Can this god create a rock too big for him/her to lift? Either way, something is then beyond its ability, and so omnipotence can't be supported. Other god claims can be dismissed because there is no evidence and they are unfalsifiable - see Russell's Teapot. But the latter are dismissed only because the same argument can be extended to anything. It's not a killer argument against all possibilities. So in the final analysis, unless a concept can be falsified, it can't be falsified, and if it can't be falsified, we can't 100% dismiss the possibility, however slight.

So there might be a god, or gods. I don't know. But equally I can't 100% dismiss the invisible dragon in Carl Sagan's garage, or the pixies at the end of my garden. Do you believe in pixies?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 09:21:36 AM
Evolution had to have a beginning.
Of course. It requires life to have come into existence before that life could evolve. That's a question of abiogenesis, and science has revealed some tantilising things regarding that.

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... I accept that you believe that God is not real.
I have no beliefs about gods generally. Do you believe in Quetzalcoatl? What about Hera, or Lugh?

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... I can not explain either side of this argument beyond a doubt, no one can.
There's always room for doubt in science. Unless you're claiming that all swans are white for instance.

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So, we will just have to wait until the end to find out...like everyone else since the beginning of time.....oooops.....who created time... ???
Ah, the ultimate get out - we'll have to wait 'til we're dead to find out. Except that we'll be dead.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 09:26:51 AM
Evolution (to which I subscribe) is not a 'scientific explanation for humans', it's a scientific explanation for speciation from earlier species or a common universal ancestor of which 'the ascent of man' is one example.
And as humankind is a primate species, with clear DNA ancestry indicating a commonality with earlier hominids, and going back, with other apes, other mammals, and so on, evolution does seem to explain us quite well.

Quote
The origin of Life isn't explained.
That's because that's abiogenesis, not evolution.

Quote
There simply isn't a scientific explanation for Life, Matter, Time etc. The Big Bang may be a singularity that stops further enquiry. The only scientifically accurate position is that of Hamlet (a Christian as it happens):

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Well, science is increasingly casting a light on all these things, and there are indeed scientific explanations for many of them. And those many things in heaven & earth - most of what we know about them derives from science, and precious few (if any) from religion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: opgr on November 19, 2012, 09:29:32 AM
Enough already…

Read your classics... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prolegomena_to_Any_Future_Metaphysics)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 09:50:08 AM
And who was the creator of his creator, and so on. I know I have a grandfather, and great grandfather, and great, great, great grandfather. So does God have grandfathers?

Let's be sensible for Christ's sake.  ;D

So you agree that you have a creator?    ;D 

 Does God have grandfathers?  I can not answer that one, but if I get to meet Him, I will be sure to ask for you if you have not already gotten the chance!
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 10:01:04 AM

I have no beliefs about gods generally. Do you believe in Quetzalcoatl? What about Hera, or Lugh?

  Maybe, I do not know the name of the Creator.
There's always room for doubt in science. Unless you're claiming that all swans are white for instance.
  So far, you have proven that there is doubt on both sides. So the score is tied.

Ah, the ultimate get out - we'll have to wait 'til we're dead to find out. Except that we'll be dead.
  It is not a get out.  I do not have to "get out" of anything.  Or, are you trying to make me "believe" the way that you believe?  ;D

Maybe both of us are wrong.  Maybe the "Hokey Pokey" really is what it is all about. 

So, now I am waiting with open eyes and an open mind to accept your proof that there is no Creator.  Heck, I can not even think of something without a Creator...except the Creator.

So, you can begin with giving me a list of things that exist without a creator...something that just appeared out of nothingness.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 10:18:49 AM
Maybe, I do not know the name of the Creator.
You don't know that there is a creator. You believe there is. Belief & knowledge are not the same thing

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So far, you have proven that there is doubt on both sides. So the score is tied.
So many theists seem in so little doubt about things.

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It is not a get out.  I do not have to "get out" of anything.  Or, are you trying to make me "believe" the way that you believe?  ;D
Saying that we'll find out when we're dead, is indeed a get out. You can believe whatever you want, but saying that the argument ends until we're dead, means the argument is never likely to be solved.

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Maybe both of us are wrong.  Maybe the "Hokey Pokey" really is what it is all about.
I'm sure that I'm wrong about all sorts of things. I'm not wrong about the fact that I don't believe in god(s).

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So, now I am waiting with open eyes and an open mind to accept your proof that there is no Creator.
How would anyone prove the absence of something that possibly isn't there? You want me to disprove a negative? Can you prove the non-existence of the Lesser Spotted Three-toed Snortiblog?

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Heck, I can not even think of something without a Creator...except the Creator.
Ah, argument from personal incredulity. I have no need of a belief in a creator. Where does that leave us?

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So, you can begin with giving me a list of things that exist without a creator...something that just appeared out of nothingness.
How about your creator? If a complex, ultimate being can just pop into existence, or always exist, something we have no evidence for whatosever, then why not the cosmos (something we do have evidence for)?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 10:28:05 AM

How would anyone prove the absence of something that possibly isn't there? You want me to disprove a negative? Can you prove the non-existence of the Lesser Spotted Three-toed Snortiblog?
 

I will keep my eyes open for one, if I see one before either of us is dead, I will take a picture of it and send it to you.

Ah, argument from personal incredulity. I have no need of a belief in a creator. Where does that leave us?
 

Back to square one as I have no need for disbelief in a Creator.

How about your creator? If a complex, ultimate being can just pop into existence, or always exist, something we have no evidence for whatosever, then why not the cosmos (something we do have evidence for)?

Do we have evidence that the cosmos just popped into existence from nothing?  Do you believe that the entire cosmos just began?  I think that it could be possible as I have no information proving that it did not.  So, it is possible.

Could the existence of the cosmos be evidence of the existence of a creator?

The computer that I am using is definitely evidence of it's creator.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 19, 2012, 10:33:01 AM
We know that people existed in the past because we can see the things that they created.  We can not see the people.  So just because we can not see the people, does that make the existence of what they created of no significance?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 10:54:44 AM
Enough already…

Read your classics... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prolegomena_to_Any_Future_Metaphysics)

No point in bringing to this table any ideas that don't immediately accord with either side of the god/science argument as they will only be ignored.

If evolution is an effect what was the cause, and was that cause an effect of something else? Religion places the ultimate cause firmly in the hands of a god, deity or life spirit etc  whilst the scientists can see no further back than the big bang.  Neither side will satisfy the other that they have the real answer which leaves the non committed grasping for something else and that there may be 'something else', a compromise or even alternative between the two is an anathema to the zealots of either side.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 11:03:34 AM
No point in bringing to this table any ideas that don't immediately accord with either side of the god/science argument as they will only be ignored.

If evolution is an effect what was the cause, and was that cause an effect of something else? Religion places the ultimate cause firmly in the hands of a god, deity or life spirit etc  whilst the scientists can see no further back than the big bang.
And that is the difference. Scientists make no claims for that which is beyond their ability to enquire. Those asserting the reality of supernatural agencies tend to make such claims.

There's a humility involved in science, not least in the fact of scientists having to say "I don't know" in response to a variety of questions. Contrast that if you will, with the supreme arrogance of those who are equally (or more) in a state of unknowing, but who claim to know - goddidit.

And that is the root of it all. That is the two sides of this argument. Science saying "We don't know, & in the absence of evidence, we're not going to make claims to know", with various theists arrogantly saying, "Ah, but we know. It was God/Allah/Zeus/ etc."

Quote
... Neither side will satisfy the other that they have the real answer which leaves the non committed grasping for something else and that there may be 'something else', a compromise or even alternative between the two is an anathema to the zealots of either side.
But science isn't claiming to have the real answer. More straw-manning. Really, where is the zealotry in saying "I don't believe"? Where is the zealotry in saying, "show me the evidence"? Do tell.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 11:52:41 AM
And that is the difference. Scientists make no claims for that which is beyond their ability to enquire. Those asserting the reality of supernatural agencies tend to make such claims.

There's a humility involved in science, not least in the fact of scientists having to say "I don't know" in response to a variety of questions. Contrast that if you will, with the supreme arrogance of those who are equally (or more) in a state of unknowing, but who claim to know - goddidit.


And that is the root of it all. That is the two sides of this argument. Science saying "We don't know, & in the absence of evidence, we're not going to make claims to know", with various theists arrogantly saying, "Ah, but we know. It was God/Allah/Zeus/ etc."
But science isn't claiming to have the real answer. More straw-manning. Really, where is the zealotry in saying "I don't believe"? Where is the zealotry in saying, "show me the evidence"? Do tell.

If science is so full of humility why do its more ardent  disciples insist on rubbishing religion at every opportunity? If it does not know all the answers then perhaps it should be a little more modest in decrying other peoples beliefs until it does.  Even your good self has suggested -

it will be science that explains the mechanism, not religion.

Hardly the most humble of thoughts and what evidence have you to support that assertion or is it just a belief you have. Do tell.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 19, 2012, 11:58:31 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUnH9NECSUU

This says it all.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 12:14:39 PM
If science is so full of humility why do its more ardent  disciples insist on rubbishing religion at every opportunity?
Maybe because various religionists would have us base our educational, health & social policies on the fevered ramblings of Bronze Age goat herders, who thought that you could change the colour of an animal's offspring by getting it to shag alongside different coloured sticks.

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If it does not know all the answers then perhaps it should be a little more modest in decrying other peoples beliefs until it does ...
Again, you are free to hold whatever beliefs you want, but when theists (of various stripes) start making claims about reality that are faith-based, rather than being grounded in evidence, when religions make claims to know, when they have nothing more than fantasy & made-up shit, I think pointing & laughing is appropriate. 

As for thinking that it will be science, not religion that explains things - a simple matter of looking at the track record. Name one fact determined by religion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 12:34:41 PM
Maybe because various religionists would have us base our educational, health & social policies on the fevered ramblings of Bronze Age goat herders, who thought that you could change the colour of an animal's offspring by getting it to shag alongside different coloured sticks.

Oh yes of course, all religions base their beliefs on the reproductive management strategy of bronze age goat herders just as all chemists are still seeking to turn base metals to gold and naturally the searcgh for the perfect solvent continues. Then of course there is the scientific pursuit of eugenics....


Quote
Again, you are free to hold whatever beliefs you want, but when theists (of various stripes) start making claims about reality that are faith-based, rather than being grounded in evidence, when religions make claims to know, when they have nothing more than fantasy & made-up shit, I think pointing & laughing is appropriate. 

Eugenics is also shit.

Quote
As for thinking that it will be science, not religion that explains things - a simple matter of looking at the track record. Name one fact determined by religion.

Populations can be motivated by belief?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 12:43:21 PM
Oh yes of course, all religions base their beliefs on the reproductive management strategy of bronze age goat herders just as all chemists are still seeking to turn base metals to gold and naturally the searcgh for the perfect solvent continues.
Alchemists aren't chemists. Nice try though. 


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Eugenics is also shit.
Here you're mixing up the science with what people choose to do with it

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Populations can be motivated by belief?
Indeed. But can you name a fact that has been determined by religion?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 01:10:14 PM
Alchemists aren't chemists. Nice try though. 

So where did chemistry originate, how much of our knowledge of the elements came from alchemy, does modern day science owe anything to methodology developed by the alchemists, when did alchemy end and science begin? Your superficial dismissal is disingenuous to say the least

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Here you're mixing up the science with what people choose to do with it

And of course you are not by your blanket condemnation of all faiths and religions and how they are practised.

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Indeed. But can you name a fact that has been determined by religion?

I'll give you a scientific fact determined by religion when you give me a religious fact determined by science.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 19, 2012, 01:47:42 PM
... Populations can be motivated by belief?

Indeed... into wars.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 01:48:06 PM
So where did chemistry originate, how much of our knowledge of the elements came from alchemy, does modern day science owe anything to methodology developed by the alchemists, when did alchemy end and science begin? Your superficial dismissal is disingenuous to say the least
The point is that religion is based on the beliefs of scientifically ignorant people. The whole god-concept is not one based on evidence & reason, but from uninformed superstition.

Alchemy deviated from science in a number of ways - not least the involvement of arcane symbols & other 'magical' concepts. Once those were stripped away, the science started to emerge.

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And of course you are not by your blanket condemnation of all faiths and religions and how they are practised.
I'm generalising. Do you want a point-by-point refutation of every different belief emanating from every religion & cult?

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I'll give you a scientific fact determined by religion when you give me a religious fact determined by science.
So that's a no then? I can give you facts about religion(s), but I'm not sure what would constitute a religious fact. Various religions make claims about how the cosmos is & came into being. We can test those claims & generally find them wanting. The point is this - given that Bronze Age tribes knew so little about physics and the like, given that we today put so little stock by their claims regarding the observable universe, why should we take any notice of their claims about gods, angels, demons, pixies & shit?


Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 02:05:24 PM
Indeed... into wars.

And great monuments.

Modern wars tend to be about resources rather than religion, resources that science has shown us how to use in increasing the comfort of our lives. If it was not for science, and I include technology in that, would we be fighting over oil reserves? In fact, when was the last major war fought over purely religious differences?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 19, 2012, 02:25:31 PM
... Modern wars tend to be about resources rather than religion, resources that science has shown us how to use in increasing the comfort of our lives. If it was not for science, and I include technology in that, would we be fighting over oil reserves?

You, Sir, are known by now by incredible stretches of logic (e.g., WWII sacrifices and modern financial troubles), but you've outdone yourself here: wars fought because of religion paralleled by wars fought because of... science??? What!? Since future wars will probably be fought over another resource, water, shall we blame science for that too?

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In fact, when was the last major war fought over purely religious differences?

Ah, Sir, by including those weasel words "major" and "purely," you wisely pre-empted any possible reply by not being "major" and "purely" enough for you. Well done.

But let me try nevertheless: all current conflicts in the Moslem world, Middle East, Asia have a significant religious component. Also the civil war in former Yugoslavia: Moslems vs. Catholics vs. Orthodox Christians, in various alliances. Or, closer to your home, the conflict in Northern Ireland.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: RSL on November 19, 2012, 02:46:30 PM
The whole god-concept is not one based on evidence & reason, but from uninformed superstition.

Bill, you need to stop playing with words, step outside your dungeon, and look around you. The information to inform you is all there. All you have to do is open your eyes and look.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 02:48:53 PM
The point is that religion is based on the beliefs of scientifically ignorant people. The whole god-concept is not one based on evidence & reason, but from uninformed superstition.

'God does not play dice' according to Einstein, and yet he acknowledges the presence of god, or a god, in that very sentence. Consider also the case of the latest Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby whose Wikipedia entry states -

Welby worked for 11 years in the oil industry, five of them for the French oil company Elf Aquitaine based in Paris. In 1984 he became treasurer of the oil exploration group Enterprise Oil PLC in London, where he was mainly concerned with West African and North Sea oil projects. He retired from his executive position in 1989 and said that he sensed a calling from God to be ordained.

A successful 11 year career in the oil industry is hardly the mark of "scientifically ignorant people"

So just what are you trying to tell us Bill. Those who choose to hold a faith are lesser and ignorant people? There are plenty of people who manage to live quite excellent lives without great knowledge of science, or any religion come to that.

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Alchemy deviated from science in a number of ways - not least the involvement of arcane symbols & other 'magical' concepts.

But didn't those  arcane symbols and magical concepts serve well even though the assumptions that led to them proved false. They also served the purpose of keeping the 'research' confidential to the practitioners and their paymasters before we invented patents. The promotion of the 'magic' may have been as much about obscuring the actual recipes as it was religion. The advancement in pigment technology during the renaissance is a case in point. You should think a little wider. What is the Periodic table if not a modern arrangement of symbols?

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Once those were stripped away, the science started to emerge.

Evidence?

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I'm generalising. Do you want a point-by-point refutation of every different belief emanating from every religion & cult?

If you have the time then yes please.


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So that's a no then? I can give you facts about religion(s), but I'm not sure what would constitute a religious fact. Various religions make claims about how the cosmos is & came into being. We can test those claims & generally find them wanting. The point is this - given that Bronze Age tribes knew so little about physics and the like, given that we today put so little stock by their claims regarding the observable universe, why should we take any notice of their claims about gods, angels, demons, pixies & shit?


Oh dear.

Bill, the only facts that are acceptable to you are scientific facts so when you seek to source them from the pool of religion you are bound to come away empty handed. That's the ultimate straw man argument! Religion is not about scientific facts but if that is your understanding of it then no wonder you struggle accept other peoples less blinkered view of the world and the way it works. If 'facts' were all that life was about then then every successful person in every field of human endeavour would be a scientist and obviously that is not the case.

Bronze age tribes have moved on a bit you know and so has the interpretation of what they believed in. Rather than pander to your rather unscientific fixation with the ancients and their goats let us look once again at the influence of later religions whose desire for symbolism led to flying buttress and vaulted domes, both of which were architectural developments which came about due to religion. I have already mentioned the improvement of pigments which was fuelled to a great extent by money from the church but art led us in all sorts of directions such as the desire for decoration and enlightenment, so lets celebrate the good that religion has brought us  rather than dismiss it's pagan origins and influence as being nonsensical and inconsequential
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 02:54:12 PM
You, Sir, are known by now by incredible stretches of logic (e.g., WWII sacrifices and modern financial troubles), but you've outdone yourself here: wars fought because of religion paralleled by wars fought because of... science??? What!? Since future wars will probably be fought over another resource, water, shall we blame science for that too?

Ah, Sir, by including those weasel words "major" and "purely," you wisely pre-empted any possible reply by not being "major" and "purely" enough for you. Well done.

But let me try nevertheless: all current conflicts in the Moslem world, Middle East, Asia have a significant religious component. Also the civil war in former Yugoslavia: Moslems vs. Catholics vs. Orthodox Christians, in various alliances. Or, closer to your home, the conflict in Northern Ireland.

B*llocks, much of the fighting is over land, which is a resource, religion is often dragged into disputes to merely justify the battles and that goes as much for the Irish situation as it does anywhere else.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 19, 2012, 03:33:25 PM
Everything in our existence (as we know it) is cause and effect.  Action and reaction.  

Bryan, your statement sounds like classic Newtonian physics, which in many respects has been supplanted by quantum physics.   Maybe it’s nitpicking in the broader context of this discussion about religion, but your statement does not reflect the generally accepted view of physicists.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 03:38:27 PM
Bill, you need to stop playing with words, step outside your dungeon, and look around you. The information to inform you is all there. All you have to do is open your eyes and look.

Are you saying that evidence of gods is out there? What sort of thing? Thunder as evidence for Thor or Zeus, perhaps? The sun as incontrovertible proof of Ra?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 19, 2012, 03:48:15 PM
Bryan, your statement sounds like classic Newtonian physics, which in many respects has been supplanted by quantum physics.   Maybe it’s nitpicking in the broader context of this discussion about religion, but your statement does not reflect the generally accepted view of physicists.

Indeed. And not only physicists. There is a great deal, greater than we are willing to accept, of chance, randomness, probability, etc. that affects our lives. See the Black Swan theory, for instance.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 03:54:25 PM
So just what are you trying to tell us Bill. Those who choose to hold a faith are lesser and ignorant people? There are plenty of people who manage to live quite excellent lives without great knowledge of science, or any religion come to that.
Pretty sure I haven't said this, but those who assert that dinosaurs walked the earth 6000 years ago, or that Noah's ark really did hold seven of each clean animal & two of every uclean one, and the flood is all true ... well the jury's in on those, and the verdict isn't good.

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Bill, the only facts that are acceptable to you are scientific facts ...
Oh. OK. Thanks for letting me know.

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so when you seek to source them from the pool of religion you are bound to come away empty handed. That's the ultimate straw man argument!
Really? How have I set up a straw man here? Religions make claims about reality. Reality is subject to scrutiny. Where doctrine & observable facts fail to coincide, are you suggesting that doctrine wins?

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Religion is not about scientific facts
but it makes claims about reality, so opening itself up to scientific testing.

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... but if that is your understanding of it then no wonder you struggle accept other peoples less blinkered view of the world and the way it works.
Please explain how a scientific view, that amends its understandings in light of data, is blinkered, yet a religious view that seeks to make reality conform to doctrine, isn't.

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If 'facts' were all that life was about then then every successful person in every field of human endeavour would be a scientist and obviously that is not the case.
Really? Good job I never claimed that all life is about, is facts, isn't it?

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... Rather than pander to your rather unscientific fixation with the ancients and their goats let us look once again at the influence of later religions whose desire for symbolism led to flying buttress and vaulted domes, both of which were architectural developments which came about due to religion.
Er, no. The development of architecture owes nothing to religion, and plenty to human ingenuity. The church might have been calling the shots & paying the wages, but the problem solving wasn't based on reading entrails or conjuring up spirits. More to do with an understanding of angles than angels.

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I have already mentioned the improvement of pigments which was fuelled to a great extent by money from the church but art led us in all sorts of directions such as the desire for decoration and enlightenment, so lets celebrate the good that religion has brought us  rather than dismiss it's pagan origins and influence as being nonsensical and inconsequential
I'm quite capable of seeing the good things that have arisen from human effort & ingenuity, however inspired. None of that says anything about the truth of a religious viewpoint.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 04:05:21 PM
Well I think this sums it up -

Er, no. The development of architecture owes nothing to religion, and plenty to human ingenuity.

That just suggests an advanced and quite frightening state of denial. What are you scared of Bill?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 19, 2012, 04:38:33 PM
Well I think this sums it up -

Er, no. The development of architecture owes nothing to religion, and plenty to human ingenuity.

That just suggests an advanced and quite frightening state of denial. What are you scared of Bill?
State of denial? You think they prayed & an angel came down to give 'em the architectural drawings? Religion might have been the inspiration, but it was plain human ingenuity & problem solving skills that delivered.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 05:39:10 PM
State of denial? You think they prayed & an angel came down to give 'em the architectural drawings? Religion might have been the inspiration, but it was plain human ingenuity & problem solving skills that delivered.



We don't have to call on angels to provide us with a link to faith in the building of cathedrals but instead let us think of belief, self belief that is. The ingenuity of man is not just the ability to solve a problem but the faith within himself to make real that solution. The Romans were great soldiers and engineers but I doubt very much that they would have laid there mark on Europe with quite so much gusto if they didn't enjoy the confidence brought about tremendous belief in themselves, their colleagues and their social structure. We don't need to invoke gods or deities (Roman creeds were many and varied),  just a recognition that forces other than those measurable by modern science can create situations, bonds between people, where noble, and not so noble, things can be achieved. Whether it be the conquering of the known world, the building of incredible structures, the landing on the moon, all these achievements required something that went beyond the purely rational, something more than logic was involved and to blindly refute this, to dismiss out of hand something that we all have felt but it cannot be measured is a very sad stance to take.  

Now I have not asked you to believe in any type or form of god, I don't think that I do myself, but maybe one day you might take a little time off and lower your rigid defences to anything you consider unscientific. I have had periods in my life where, like you, I have confined myself to the unbendable cage of logic but then events and experience wore away at my self imposed bonds of rationality and now, if nothing else, I am far less grumpy and aloof than of yore and I actually like and get on with a lot more people.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 19, 2012, 05:45:56 PM
... now, if nothing else, I am far less grumpy and aloof than of yore and I actually like and get on with a lot more people.

Yes, we noticed ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 19, 2012, 05:57:31 PM
Yes, we noticed ;)

Jeez you should have seen me before, there are a couple here who will vouch for that.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 19, 2012, 08:42:34 PM
Yes, we noticed ;)

 :)

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 20, 2012, 12:47:54 AM


Here you're mixing up the science with what people choose to do with it


Bill, you have been mixing up the religion with what people choose to do with it too.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 20, 2012, 12:58:09 AM
Bryan, your statement sounds like classic Newtonian physics, which in many respects has been supplanted by quantum physics.   Maybe it’s nitpicking in the broader context of this discussion about religion, but your statement does not reflect the generally accepted view of physicists.
So a physics theory is the truth?  Do you have faith in this physics theory?  It is a theory, so it is unproven as a fact.  Just like religion.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 20, 2012, 01:10:59 AM
Geez.  This entire argument is over two opposing views that neither can prove the other wrong.  Scientists have not been able to disprove religion.  No scientific discoveries can be used to disprove religion.  Religion does not factually disprove science.  I have an open mind and have decided on the side that I feel the most comfortable with.  I have not intended to try to make anyone believe the same as I believe. I respect the person that does not believe in religion.  It would be nice if the certain non believers of religion would be decent enough to show respect to the ones of us on the other side.  Or, is respect for others beliefs something that is religious and not scientifically proven?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 20, 2012, 03:35:15 AM
Scientists have not been able to disprove religion.

That is because there isn't any evidence that a God exists.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Tony Jay on November 20, 2012, 03:53:43 AM
Actually, there is plenty of evidence that God exists but an empiric proof is something else again.

Tony Jay
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 20, 2012, 04:18:12 AM
I would be interested to see a link to your assertion. :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 20, 2012, 05:56:13 AM
First of all we have to define what is meant by 'god' and thousands of acres of forest have been felled over the centuries in pursuit of firmly nailing down that concept.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 20, 2012, 06:40:01 AM
If that is so then it is more proof that one doesn't exist.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 20, 2012, 07:09:56 AM
If that is so then it is more proof that one doesn't exist.

No, only that there are many different interpretations of what many billions of people over the years have felt as a presence of a higher order or state. They could all be wrong or we could just settle for the cop out that God is whatever you think it is.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 20, 2012, 07:11:49 AM
http://fixed-point.org/index.php/video/35-full-length/164-the-dawkins-lennox-debate

This is a very enlightening and lively debate that I recommend watching.  Two very intelligent men make very good points.  
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 20, 2012, 07:25:23 AM
No, only that there are many different interpretations of what many billions of people over the years have felt as a presence of a higher order or state. They could all be wrong or we could just settle for the cop out that God is whatever you think it is.

The fact that there are so many "models" out there and probably that some more are being invented means that it is all someone's mind? I would hesitate to call it a delusion but a psychiatrist might.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 20, 2012, 11:01:35 AM
So a physics theory is the truth?  Do you have faith in this physics theory?  It is a theory, so it is unproven as a fact.  Just like religion.

Damn, Bryan, get a hold of yourself.  :)  I didn’t say anything about religion.

You’re the one who stated a theory (i.e. “Everything in our existence (as we know it) is cause and effect.  Action and reaction.”).  Evidence has shown that you are wrong.  

Many, many experiments have shown that you are wrong.  Those experimental results initially were wholly unexpected and contradicted centuries of generally accepted wisdom.  There was great reluctance to overturn the old ways of thinking, but when faced with new evidence, scientists altered their theories to conform to the new evidence.  That ability to follow the evidence is one of mankind’s greatest achievements.  

Moreover, your short diatribe against scientific theories is quite common, but reflects a misunderstanding of scientific theories.  This issue has been explained countless times. If you have any interest in learning about scientific theories, there are plenty of sources freely available over the internet.  As an example, consider that gravity is merely a scientific theory.  So, yes you can say that gravity “is unproven as a fact”, but most people accept it as true, even if they don’t fully understand the theory.  Interestingly, the scientific theory of gravity is another great example of scientists modifying their theories in the face of new evidence.  Faced with new evidence, Newton’s theory of gravity was overthrown by Einstein’s relativity.    

Bryan, you also appear to be rather dismissive of quantum physics.  At the risk of getting too far off topic, may I suggest that perhaps if you learned more about it you would appreciate what a stunning achievement it is?  It’s not only one of the greatest intellectual achievements in human history, but has been one of the most successful and useful scientific developments in human history.  Countless experiments around the world have confirmed the often mind-bendingly bizarre predictions of quantum physics.  Without quantum physics there would be no internet, no computers, no digital cameras, no GPS, etc, etc.  Our world would be radically different without quantum physics.  In other words, you certainly can be skeptical and even dismissive of quantum physics, but like it or not, quantum physics has had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on your life.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 20, 2012, 11:03:57 AM
Bryan ... are you a teacher?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 20, 2012, 01:32:30 PM
B*llocks, much of the fighting is over land, which is a resource, religion is often dragged into disputes to merely justify the battles and that goes as much for the Irish situation as it does anywhere else.

Ah, so it is just another real-estate issue?

I knew you were going to connect it somehow to those greedy bankers ;)

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 20, 2012, 01:53:47 PM
Actually, there is plenty of evidence that God exists but an empiric proof is something else again.

Tony Jay

Proof is for philosophy, mathematics & distilling; science deals in evidence. Evidence can disprove, but doesn't prove things. It's to do with the tentative nature of knowledge, an issue of epistemology. As for evidence, I'd certainly be interested in the unambiguous  & incontrovertible evidence for god(s) of any stripe.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 20, 2012, 03:42:26 PM
Ah, so it is just another real-estate issue?

I knew you were going to connect it somehow to those greedy bankers ;)



Pretty much so when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it all. Just looking at the rather complex history of Ireland you will see that there have always been protestants fighting for a united and independent country over the centuries, it was never really considered a  Catholic cause until the last century or so and just to add to the confusion there are plenty of Catholics nowdays who'd like to see Ireland return to the British fold.  The Balkans have always been in turmoil since ancient times, long before Christianity and Islam were even invented, same old wars under a new guise, it's tribal rather than religious and so on.

The bankers? Oh they just make money from it all. Will there ever be peace whilst there are billions to be made from war or the threat of it?  :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on November 20, 2012, 04:28:14 PM
As for evidence, I'd certainly be interested in the unambiguous  & incontrovertible evidence for god(s) of any stripe.
Or evidence against them. There are different varieties of agnostic. I am what the Australian philosopher Tamas Patacki has described as a naive agnostic. I haven't encountered God, or a God, but I am not quite certain that I never will and not quite hopeful that I will. Not being pure in heart, it probably won't be the Christian version. Krishna would  be recognizable from a distance, being blue. The Greek ones tended to disguise themselves as humans, or swans, or such things, so maybe I have met one but not just recognized her.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Ray on November 21, 2012, 12:42:50 AM
So a physics theory is the truth?  Do you have faith in this physics theory?  It is a theory, so it is unproven as a fact.  Just like religion.

I see you appear not to have much of scientific background, Bryan. It would be helpful if posters in this discussion were to make a clear distinction between theory and hypothesis. It's unfortunate that the words are often used interchangeably, even in Wikipedia, as though they are synonyms.

Quite often, disputes never get resolved as a result of the protagonists not realising they are assuming different definitions of the same keys words they are both using in their arguments.

Now my understanding of a theory, when the word is used in a scientific context, is that it is always based upon evidence, and a theory is only as true as the consistency of the evidence which supports it and upon which it is based..

An hypothesis, on the other hand, is of the nature of conjecture and speculation. The evidence to support it is at best tenuous. As more evidence accummulates, the hypothesis may eventually reach the staus of a theory, at which point the theory tends to be of practical use, helping us to construct models of reality and predict outcomes. We don't build digital cameras and plasma TV sets using speculative hypotheses. We need sound, reliable and consistent theories.

Belief on the other hand, doesn't require the knowledge, understanding or appreciation of a sound, evidence-based scientific theory. Belief is emotional in nature. Presumably, those who believe in God get a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling from their belief, especially when they contemplate those endless years of joy and delight in heaven that await them after they die.

However, I'm sure the emotional nature of belief also affects scientists, but in a different way to the usual effect of conventional and traditional religions, Einstein's belief in God being an example previously mentioned.

I still remember my susrprise when I first learned that Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was rabidly and obsessively religious. However, he kept his religious views pretty much to himself because they differed so much from the established dogma of the time, and he lived in an era when religious heretics were still being persecuted.

I find it fascinating that despite the great scientific endeavours of the past centuries, and despite our apparent mastery and understanding of the nature of matter and energy at such a fundamental level that we can create atomic bombs, nuclear power plants and amazing computers etc etc, we still haven't got a clue what 96% of the matter and energy in the obervable universe consists of.

Or to put it in another ways, recent observations of our universe using increasingly sophisticated technology, such as the Hubble telescope, have revealed that the universe is not behaving as our theories predict. Our theories predict that we should observe a slowing down of the expansion of the universe at its outer reaches. It was predicted, once upon a time, that the forces of gravity would eventually halt the expansion of the universe which would then begin to contract and fall in on itself.

Our best current observations, which rely upon interpretation through existing theories of Physics and Astrophysics, reveal that the outer reaches of the universe are expanding at a much faster rate than predicted by our theories of gravity, which of course must be of immense relief to those who were once worried about their world eventually collapsing in upon itself, causing great loss of property and wealth.

Our theories also predict that the stars in spiral galaxies at the edge of the universe should be rotating much slower than our observations now reveal. So what's going on?

In order to explain this observed phenomenon, we either have to modify our existing theories of gravity, so that our theories will then match our observations, or cling to our existing theories, and hypothesise the existence of calculated huge quantities of truly invisible and so far undetecable matter and energy, the existence of which, if we ever detect the stuff, will preserve the integrity of our existing theories.

I find that to be an incredible situation. We're not talking here about minor discrepancies. We've discovered all the elements of matter described in the Periodic Table. We've split the atom and identified its constituent components, including numerous sub-atomic particles. We've analysed the Electromagnetic Spectrum and identified the properties of the various types of radiation, a part of which is visible light which we are all so interested in as photographers. We've even discovered particles of anti-matter, the existence of which was hypothesised by Paul Dirac many decades ago.

But all this "stuff" which we've observed, analysed and documented over the centuries, is now claimed to represents only 4% of the total mass and energy in the universe (or maybe it's 5% or 6% -estimates vary). The other 96% is totally invisible and of the nature of pure conjecture or hypothesis. Not a single particle nor wave of this mysterious Dark Matter and Dark Energy has so far been detected by any scientific instrument or process known to mankind. Makes one wonder, eh?

If the best scientific minds of our species do not know what 96% of the stuff in our universe consists of, what else don't we know?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 21, 2012, 04:42:29 AM
Morning Ray

An interesting post and I must admit I hadn't realised the missing matter was quite so large, last I heard it was around 60% (ish) but doubts were beginning to be cast upon this figure, but that's me not keeping up. It's certainly a fascinating development.

I appreciate where you are coming from in your arguments but I am not sure that approaching religion in a scientific manner is going to solve anything one way or another. Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  :)

At the end of the day why does religion have to prove itself scientifically?

Anyway, busy day today so I'll return to the discussion later.

Justin.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 04:46:31 AM
... what else don't we know?

Trouble is, for some people, that 'don't know' bit is where god(s) live. The old 'God of the Gaps'. Places for him/her/it to hide were diminishing swiftly, but now science is opening huge new gaps for said god(s) to hide away in.

Remember, science doesn't know everything, therefore supernatural stuff.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 05:07:35 AM
... Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  :)
Indeed I would refute that. Having trust in the science & technology, some self-confidence & trust in others involved in a venture, doesn't amount to religion.

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At the end of the day why does religion have to prove itself scientifically?
When religions make claims about the cosmos, claims that are so very much in opposition to all that we currently know, and where religious doctrine conflicts with known facts, and still religious people want special treatment & influence on the basis of those religious doctrines, I think we're entitled to say, 'where's your evidence?'.

We've got people in the UK (as you have in the US), who want schools to be teaching a six day creation, the literal reality of Noah & the Flood, a 6,000 year old earth, and similar nonsense. We have people trying to influence social policy, including the establishment of Sharia Law ('cos it says we must in the Quran). We've got people demanding an end to certain scientific research because their god or holy book says it's wrong.

Now I don't care what people choose to believe, and what consenting adults do in private is their affair. I don't even mind people bringing their superstitions & philosophies into the public realm, but if they do, and base arguments & claims for changes in how I live my life, based on those superstitions & philosophies, I think I'm entitled to challenge, question, & ask, 'where's the evidence to support your claims?'

You see, I have friends who are monotheists (Christians, Jews, Muslims & one Zoroastrian), as well as pantheists, panentheists & polytheists. We get on just fine, because none of them tell me how to live my life, & I don't tell them how to live theirs. They vote for candidates in elections, maybe on a religious basis, and that is their right. But were they to demand special treatment for their beliefs over anyone else's (and some do), or demand special treatment in terms of tax (and some do), or special consideration for their fanciful notions about the cosmos in science lessons & the like, then we would fall out, and rightly so.

But you don't have to agree with me. Just know that if we scrapped the idea of evolution, it would come back & bite you on the arse; no more need to worry about drug-resistant antibiotics, 'cos bugs can't evolve, obviously. Er ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 21, 2012, 05:09:27 AM
I see you appear not to have much of scientific background, Bryan. It would be helpful if posters in this discussion were to make a clear distinction between theory and hypothesis. It's unfortunate that the words are often used interchangeably, even in Wikipedia, as though they are synonyms.

Quite often, disputes never get resolved as a result of the protagonists not realising they are assuming different definitions of the same keys words they are both using in their arguments.

Now my understanding of a theory, when the word is used in a scientific context, is that it is always based upon evidence, and a theory is only as true as the consistency of the evidence which supports it and upon which it is based..

An hypothesis, on the other hand, is of the nature of conjecture and speculation. The evidence to support it is at best tenuous. As more evidence accummulates, the hypothesis may eventually reach the staus of a theory, at which point the theory tends to be of practical use, helping us to construct models of reality and predict outcomes. We don't build digital cameras and plasma TV sets using speculative hypotheses. We need sound, reliable and consistent theories.

Belief on the other hand, doesn't require the knowledge, understanding or appreciation of a sound, evidence-based scientific theory. Belief is emotional in nature. Presumably, those who believe in God get a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling from their belief, especially when they contemplate those endless years of joy and delight in heaven that await them after they die.

However, I'm sure the emotional nature of belief also affects scientists, but in a different way to the usual effect of conventional and traditional religions, Einstein's belief in God being an example previously mentioned.

I still remember my susrprise when I first learned that Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was rabidly and obsessively religious. However, he kept his religious views pretty much to himself because they differed so much from the established dogma of the time, and he lived in an era when religious heretics were still being persecuted.

I find it fascinating that despite the great scientific endeavours of the past centuries, and despite our apparent mastery and understanding of the nature of matter and energy at such a fundamental level that we can create atomic bombs, nuclear power plants and amazing computers etc etc, we still haven't got a clue what 96% of the matter and energy in the obervable universe consists of.

Or to put it in another ways, recent observations of our universe using increasingly sophisticated technology, such as the Hubble telescope, have revealed that the universe is not behaving as our theories predict. Our theories predict that we should observe a slowing down of the expansion of the universe at its outer reaches. It was predicted, once upon a time, that the forces of gravity would eventually halt the expansion of the universe which would then begin to contract and fall in on itself.

Our best current observations, which rely upon interpretation through existing theories of Physics and Astrophysics, reveal that the outer reaches of the universe are expanding at a much faster rate than predicted by our theories of gravity, which of course must be of immense relief to those who were once worried about their world eventually collapsing in upon itself, causing great loss of property and wealth.

Our theories also predict that the stars in spiral galaxies at the edge of the universe should be rotating much slower than our observations now reveal. So what's going on?

In order to explain this observed phenomenon, we either have to modify our existing theories of gravity, so that our theories will then match our observations, or cling to our existing theories, and hypothesise the existence of calculated huge quantities of truly invisible and so far undetecable matter and energy, the existence of which, if we ever detect the stuff, will preserve the integrity of our existing theories.

I find that to be an incredible situation. We're not talking here about minor discrepancies. We've discovered all the elements of matter described in the Periodic Table. We've split the atom and identified its constituent components, including numerous sub-atomic particles. We've analysed the Electromagnetic Spectrum and identified the properties of the various types of radiation, a part of which is visible light which we are all so interested in as photographers. We've even discovered particles of anti-matter, the existence of which was hypothesised by Paul Dirac many decades ago.

But all this "stuff" which we've observed, analysed and documented over the centuries, is now claimed to represents only 4% of the total mass and energy in the universe (or maybe it's 5% or 6% -estimates vary). The other 96% is totally invisible and of the nature of pure conjecture or hypothesis. Not a single particle nor wave of this mysterious Dark Matter and Dark Energy has so far been detected by any scientific instrument or process known to mankind. Makes one wonder, eh?

If the best scientific minds of our species do not know what 96% of the stuff in our universe consists of, what else don't we know?


Thanks for the information Ray.  No, I do not have much of a scientific background.  I am an English teacher.  My science experience ended with freshman Biology in college.  Your information that you have provided is very interesting. I am grateful for your time, and most importantly, with the manner in which you have conducted your explanation.  It is very refreshing in light of a few of the others that have shown their rear-ends in this thread.

I do not understand all of what you stated, but I understand a lot of it.  The thing that interests me is that people can be so quick to declare that the unknown can not be x, but must be y.  I do not know for sure that everything the Bible states is 100% true.  I have found a lot of the teachings in it to be of benefit in my own personal life.  But, I also can accept that it's teachings are not for everyone.  Each person can choose to believe what he wishes to accept.  When a person tries to force their own beliefs on another, I think it is wrong.  Sometimes, I feel very strongly about my belief in a variety of topics and I end up arguing about it.  I am learning that the argument is generally a waste of time.  A discussion is different.  I can discuss and usually can see value in the different opinion.  I can even accept the possibility that there is no God.  But, in my opinion, the possibility of God existing seems to be clearly greater.  

I do not think less of a person when they have a different opinion.  I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being.  I would never state that evolution is nonsense.  I would never state that science is nonsense.  To do so is nonsense.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 05:13:13 AM
... I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being.

Nicely little ad hom there, Bryan. Care to name names? Better still, how about explaining what leads you to this claim. Some evidence & insight into your line of reasoning would be good.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 21, 2012, 05:55:37 AM
Quote

Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley

Unquote

The Russians managed to put people and Sputniks into space without any religious faith to back them up. For a while they were ahead of the USA. Therefore religion is meaningless Justin in this context. Just good old scientific planning. ;)

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Bryan Conner on November 21, 2012, 12:14:34 PM
Nicely little ad hom there, Bryan. Care to name names? Better still, how about explaining what leads you to this claim. Some evidence & insight into your line of reasoning would be good.

No, I will not stoop completely down to the level of making it personal by naming names.  If the shoe fits, feel free to wear it.
If it is not evident by reading what I have read, it would be futile for me try to explain my reasoning. 

I am finished with this discussion.  I see no further point in discussing it.  I have read your opinion and respect your right to make your own decisions.  We do not have to agree.

With all due respect.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 12:18:23 PM
News from NASA - http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016/big-news-from-mars-rover-scientists-mum-for-now (http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016/big-news-from-mars-rover-scientists-mum-for-now)
Quote
Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

It's a bind scientists frequently find themselves in, because by their nature, scientists like to share their results. At the same time, they're cautious because no one likes to make a big announcement and then have to say "never mind."

The exciting results are coming from an instrument in the rover called SAM. "We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting," (cont)


If this is what I think it may indicate - clear evidence of extraterrestrial life - it's just about the biggest news since forever. So long as they aren't Vogons.

No doubt various cults will be claiming them as evidence for our new alien overlords.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 12:20:59 PM
No, I will not stoop completely down to the level of making it personal by naming names.  If the shoe fits, feel free to wear it.
If it is not evident by reading what I have read, it would be futile for me try to explain my reasoning. 

The shoe doesn't fit me, and I'm unable to see who here it does fit.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 21, 2012, 12:26:50 PM
Bryan, perhaps you’ll appreciate the irony in your assertion that “Everything in our existence (as we know it) is cause and effect.  Action and reaction.” It has been argued, rather persuasively by some of the greatest philosophers in history, that your view of the universe precludes the existence of god (as commonly understood), free will, and good and evil, since your view would mean that everything in the universe, and everything that happens in the universe, from its birth through infinity, was preordained at the birth of the universe.

Countless books have been written about this philosophical debate, so no need to debate it here, and I’m not saying that that view is correct, but I enjoyed the irony.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 21, 2012, 12:37:41 PM
 I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being. 

I agree with Chairman Bill on this one.  I don't see anything to support your assertion, Bryan.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 21, 2012, 03:48:46 PM
Quote

Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley

Unquote

The Russians managed to put people and Sputniks into space without any religious faith to back them up. For a while they were ahead of the USA. Therefore religion is meaningless Justin in this context. Just good old scientific planning. ;)



Not at all, no doubt the Russians to had belief in themselves.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 04:04:38 PM
Not at all, no doubt the Russians to had belief in themselves.

Having trust/confidence in one's own abilities is hardly the same as having a belief in some supernatural agency.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 21, 2012, 04:20:21 PM
... there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion...

Damn, I did not know that having bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning would make me religious! I had faith that I can crack an egg, that I won't cut myself cutting bacon, and if I do, I had faith I can apply a bandaid. ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 04:27:01 PM
Damn, I did not know that having bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning would make me religious! I had faith that I can crack an egg, that I won't cut myself cutting bacon, and if I do, I had faith I can apply a bandaid. ;)

I'm a proper atheist - I had fried babies for my breakfast
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 21, 2012, 05:06:48 PM
Indeed I would refute that. Having trust in the science & technology, some self-confidence & trust in others involved in a venture, doesn't amount to religion.
When religions make claims about the cosmos, claims that are so very much in opposition to all that we currently know, and where religious doctrine conflicts with known facts, and still religious people want special treatment & influence on the basis of those religious doctrines, I think we're entitled to say, 'where's your evidence?'.

We've got people in the UK (as you have in the US), who want schools to be teaching a six day creation, the literal reality of Noah & the Flood, a 6,000 year old earth, and similar nonsense. We have people trying to influence social policy, including the establishment of Sharia Law ('cos it says we must in the Quran). We've got people demanding an end to certain scientific research because their god or holy book says it's wrong.

Now I don't care what people choose to believe, and what consenting adults do in private is their affair. I don't even mind people bringing their superstitions & philosophies into the public realm, but if they do, and base arguments & claims for changes in how I live my life, based on those superstitions & philosophies, I think I'm entitled to challenge, question, & ask, 'where's the evidence to support your claims?'

You see, I have friends who are monotheists (Christians, Jews, Muslims & one Zoroastrian), as well as pantheists, panentheists & polytheists. We get on just fine, because none of them tell me how to live my life, & I don't tell them how to live theirs. They vote for candidates in elections, maybe on a religious basis, and that is their right. But were they to demand special treatment for their beliefs over anyone else's (and some do), or demand special treatment in terms of tax (and some do), or special consideration for their fanciful notions about the cosmos in science lessons & the like, then we would fall out, and rightly so.

But you don't have to agree with me. Just know that if we scrapped the idea of evolution, it would come back & bite you on the arse; no more need to worry about drug-resistant antibiotics, 'cos bugs can't evolve, obviously. Er ...

I think we may be failing to draw the line here between what I mean as belief and what you think I mean by repeatedly bringing various ancient tracts into the fray. I am not at all concerned about the bible for it contains far too much nonsense and is highly selective in the stories it tells with approx 20 non-canonical gospels being recognised as having been written. However, as a general guide to living within a society it has some merit. Not coveting thy neighbours oxon for instance is not a bad idea if you want to get along with folk and we could do with a bit more throwing of the money lenders from out of the temple.

Religion as organised faith systems is declining in the west with the average of priests in Ireland being 64, an ageing laity within the Church of England voting against women bishops and declining attendance figures for churches in America all being symptomatic of a crisis in structured groups of believers. So let us look forward to the happy day of empty churches and cobweb covered shrines for that will mean that people have become totally rational, that science has triumphed and that we are all completely logical in thought and deed. Or will it?

I don't think so; for what we are seeing is not the dismissal of the unprovable but the rejection of the fairy tale trappings that always accompanied churches or creeds. These trappings and interpretations of holy scripts have mainly been used to control and motivate populations and it is that aspect of religion that is being discarded, not the human tendency to believe or have faith in forces that as yet lie undescribed by science, that aspect of humanity is as strong as ever and I have to use the word 'strong' carefully because of course we cannot measure it. Neither can we measure emotion, so straight away we have two facets of everyday human experience that science has not been able to reliably record or predict despite many years of trying and I am not at all certain that the assay of minute levels of hormones really is the answer because as free thinkers we can modify emotions through will power, which is of course a third facet that has not been nailed down by scientific method. Exploring the cosmos is probably quite easy compared with attaching a reliable scale to human behaviour.

So as humans there are many parts of our lives that have so far proved impervious to scientific method and yet science keeps reminding us that it is the only true explanation of everything. Presently, I think I am safe in saying, that is demonstrably untrue by pointing to emotions, will power and belief as just three areas that science cannot not pin down as yet. Politics and medicine may have tried to modify them but any success tends to be short term and does not alter the underlying cause. Religion has recognised and harnessed them but the the strictures they have erected around them them are now being repulsed leaving a bare spirituality that lies unanswered by either science or codified religion. This will lead to a proliferation of smaller sects and a rise in spiritualism orientated beliefs and I am not too sure if that is a good thing for they can elevate the self over society and where will that lead us?

As for evolution I don't doubt it but I also have a feeling that we really don't know the half of it yet.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 21, 2012, 05:15:23 PM
I'm a proper atheist - I had fried babies for my breakfast

Then you should source your eggs from a farm without cockerels.  ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 21, 2012, 05:22:59 PM
Cockerels? Don't you know that any True Atheist eats babies?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 21, 2012, 06:36:26 PM
Quote

Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley

Unquote

The Russians managed to put people and Sputniks into space without any religious faith to back them up. For a while they were ahead of the USA. Therefore religion is meaningless Justin in this context. Just good old scientific planning. ;)



When they were not firing Sputniks into space it seems those dasterdly Ruskies were exploring the paranormal - www.scientificamerican.com (http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=us-and-soviet-spooks-studied-parano-2008-10-29)

No idea what success they met with although they kept at it for a while.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo - is this a record thread length?
Post by: NancyP on November 21, 2012, 06:42:14 PM
Sigma DP2 Merrill camera thread hangs its head in shame, with only 24 pages worth... :D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 22, 2012, 04:12:20 AM
When they were not firing Sputniks into space it seems those dasterdly Ruskies were exploring the paranormal - www.scientificamerican.com (http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=us-and-soviet-spooks-studied-parano-2008-10-29)

No idea what success they met with although they kept at it for a while.
When they were not firing Sputniks into space it seems those dasterdly Ruskies were exploring the paranormal - www.scientificamerican.com (http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=us-and-soviet-spooks-studied-parano-2008-10-29)

No idea what success they met with although they kept at it for a while.

I didn't know that extrasensory perception was a religion? Justin it looks like you are flailing around for evidence of God and failing? ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 04:18:03 AM
I didn't know that extrasensory perception was a religion? Justin it looks like you are flailing around for evidence of God and failing? ;)

But I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about belief.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 22, 2012, 04:19:02 AM
Sigma DP2 Merrill camera thread hangs its head in shame, with only 24 pages worth... :D

Nancy the thread

Love those trees. Tim Wolcott.

Is way out in front as the longest current thread. It seems as though the tree huggers always get the most attention? BTW the length of the thread is down to it's originator bumping it up. He probably has about 95% of the posts.  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 22, 2012, 04:20:16 AM
But I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about belief.

Changing the goal posts once again Justin? :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 04:26:48 AM
Changing the goal posts once again Justin? :)

I wonder if you could indicate where you think the goalposts were originally sited.  :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 22, 2012, 05:01:47 AM
A few posts back you were on the defensive concerning the existence of God. Furiously kicking everything off the line and at the same time conceding own goals. ;D Now if you want another metaphor: you are as slippery as an eel on this subject, just like the other believers. ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 05:55:29 AM
A few posts back you were on the defensive concerning the existence of God. Furiously kicking everything off the line and at the same time conceding own goals. ;D Now if you want another metaphor: you are as slippery as an eel on this subject, just like the other believers. ;)

I have certainly been understanding of peoples desire to hold a religion and defending their right to do so against the scientific onslaught of rationality, but you will also note that I have stated in response to CB that I am not beholden to any particular god myself.

You obviously assume that I am a believer, which may be the case, but what is it that you think I believe in?

The trouble is that most people assume that there are just two schools of thought, science or religion and each of those disciplines requires a total commitment to it's convictions. The fact that I have questioned a basic tenet of scientific belief in pointing out that science is digging a hole for itself by condemning anything that cannot yet be quantified should not automatically qualify me as a sky pilot. Science is a wonderful thing, but it is rapidly adopting the arrogance that was once the preserve of the church(es) whom it so delights in decrying.

A further division that you may wish to consider is that between religion and belief. We all have an innate belief in something, be it mom's apple pie or a bearded fella up there in the clouds. We all have self belief, we wouldn't bother getting up in the morning if not and it is this inbuilt faith in something, if only ourselves, that religion takes and moulds to it's own ends. Belief is the binary code or foundation of all religions, but it can also exist outside of religion and what I am saying is that I feel that to gain a better understanding of the human experience we need to to look beyond the strict boundaries of science and the self interested guidance of religion. Religion is the worship of something that is unknown, and although I find myself accepting that there are forces or currents that have not yet been directly observed or measured I do not worship them or build a system around them to gain benefit over others. This is where spiritualism enters the scene and I can't say I am happy with that either for, to my mind at least, it is a magnification of what many of us experience rather than any sort of explanation.

BTW, eels can be quite shocking as well as slippery.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 22, 2012, 06:23:28 AM
I believe that Laphroig is a really good single malt - personal opinion, doesn't in any way impact on your reality

I believe that water is wet - personal experience of phenomena (qualia) - impacts on your reality, but a quick check reveals that just about everyone experiences water as 'wet'.

I believe that the speed of sound at sea level = 340.29 m/s. Impacts on your reality, but is subject to testing & clear evidence can be provided to support the claim.

I believe that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh) spreads her loving pinkiness throughout humanity & is solely responsible for all the good things we do, and if you don't share that belief, you should be covered in pink vinyl emulsion - impacts on your reality, but no shared experience, no evidence, impossible to subject to testing and so on.

Belief is a word with application to a range of situations. Those situations are not all of a kind. To conflate the fact of someone having a belief in one of those first three categories, with belief in the fourth, is disengenuous at best.

I've had people previously argue that because I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, I have faith in the same way that people who think that handling snakes & speaking gibberish is some profound religious gift from a magic man in the sky. It's complete bollocks.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 06:43:17 AM
I believe that Laphroig is a really good single malt - personal opinion, doesn't in any way impact on your reality

I believe that water is wet - personal experience of phenomena (qualia) - impacts on your reality, but a quick check reveals that just about everyone experiences water as 'wet'.

I believe that the speed of sound at sea level = 340.29 m/s. Impacts on your reality, but is subject to testing & clear evidence can be provided to support the claim.

I believe that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh) spreads her loving pinkiness throughout humanity & is solely responsible for all the good things we do, and if you don't share that belief, you should be covered in pink vinyl emulsion - impacts on your reality, but no shared experience, no evidence, impossible to subject to testing and so on.

Belief is a word with application to a range of situations. Those situations are not all of a kind. To conflate the fact of someone having a belief in one of those first three categories, with belief in the fourth, is disengenuous at best.

I've had people previously argue that because I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, I have faith in the same way that people who think that handling snakes & speaking gibberish is some profound religious gift from a magic man in the sky. It's complete bollocks.

Spoken like a true priest of the new order!

What's all this about pink unicorns BTW? I don't think they have been mentioned up until now. Strikes me as being a little straw manish.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: stamper on November 22, 2012, 06:46:23 AM
Quote

I have certainly been understanding of peoples desire to hold a religion and defending their right to do so against the scientific onslaught of rationality, but you will also note that I have stated in response to CB that I am not beholden to any particular god myself.

You obviously assume that I am a believer, which may be the case, but what is it that you think I believe in?

Unquote

A lot of people have doubts about "leaving God behind" and keep wondering if they are doing the right thing. Personally I am past that stage and on to territory that Bill espouses. Justin I think you are still on that journey and probably some day all doubt will vanish and you will become a happy atheist, no longer burdened by beliefs. I seem to remember a TV program about a priest - or it might of been a minister - who doesn't believe in God but believes in religion. What ever rocks your boat. :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 08:12:57 AM
Quote

I have certainly been understanding of peoples desire to hold a religion and defending their right to do so against the scientific onslaught of rationality, but you will also note that I have stated in response to CB that I am not beholden to any particular god myself.

You obviously assume that I am a believer, which may be the case, but what is it that you think I believe in?

Unquote

A lot of people have doubts about "leaving God behind" and keep wondering if they are doing the right thing. Personally I am past that stage and on to territory that Bill espouses. Justin I think you are still on that journey and probably some day all doubt will vanish and you will become a happy atheist, no longer burdened by beliefs. I seem to remember a TV program about a priest - or it might of been a minister - who doesn't believe in God but believes in religion. What ever rocks your boat. :)


Not at all, even as a I choir boy I never really bought into the whole 'God on a cloud' scenario but we used to get 2/6" for weddings which was good money back then.  ;D

But I note that you are still insisting on people believing in a God if they don't believe in science, why so? You say you have moved on but yet are still stuck with the idea of just two opposing states, God or Science with nothing in between. I happen to think there is a lot more to the human experience than science has shown us but that does not automatically equate to believing in a god, why should it! God is a construct that has evolved with religion and religion is a worship of a belief. There are no idols or beliefs that I am in thrall to. Eastern beliefs don't always assume a god as Oppenheimer would of pointed out I'm sure, seeing as he had an interest in the subject.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 22, 2012, 09:34:38 AM
Spoken like a true priest of the new order!

What's all this about pink unicorns BTW? I don't think they have been mentioned up until now. Strikes me as being a little straw manish.

Are you sure you understand a) analogies, and b) what a straw man argument is?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 10:08:32 AM
Are you sure you understand a) analogies, and b) what a straw man argument is?

I always thought I did Bill until you started accusing me of using them.  :)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 22, 2012, 10:25:12 AM
Our friend Justin seems to be reaching for a Humpty Dumpty dictionary way to often ;)

Pages after pages in defense of God and religion, and it turns out in the end he had in mind a good, old spiritualism!?
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 22, 2012, 10:26:49 AM
Of course there are things science can't explain - yet. If science could explain everything, it would stop. Scientists admit that they don't know things ...

... Scientists make no claims for that which is beyond their ability to enquire. ... There's a humility involved in science, not least in the fact of scientists having to say "I don't know" in response to a variety of questions. …

... yet science keeps reminding us that it is the only true explanation of everything.

I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being.  



In the immortal words of Arte Johnson in Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,   “Verrrry interesting…”.  :)  Two of the more vocal supporters of god and religion do so not merely by arguments in support of god and religion, but by dishonestly denigrating science, scientists and others here who have expressed different views.   :o  ???  ::)   :(
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: dmerger on November 22, 2012, 10:43:40 AM
Perhaps a short diversion would be helpful.  How about a short digression about single malt scotch?   :)

Chairman Bill, I really enjoy Bowmore 12 year, but find Lagavulin 16 year to be a little too assertive for my taste.  Can you say how Laphroig compares?  I've never tasted it.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 12:56:33 PM
Our friend Justin seems to be reaching for a Humpty Dumpty dictionary way to often ;)

Pages after pages in defense of God and religion, and it turns out in the end he had in mind a good, old spiritualism!?

Oh dear oh dear....

No, not really, but I fear that you may also have fallen into the polarity trap of thinking that there can be no more than two sides to any discussion.

Should you read the posts a little more carefully you will note that

a) I have said quite a few nice things about science.
b) I have pointed out that I am not in the habit of worship, therefore do not subscribe to any religion.
c) I worry that with the demise of the present established churches other forms of expressing belief will dominate which  may not be a good thing. Spiritualism is one of them.

Now, how you work out that I have been fighting God's corner and promoting spiritualism from that I just don't know but no doubt it makes sense to those who want it to.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 22, 2012, 01:10:56 PM
Oh dear oh dear....

Oh please.

You basically stated that belief in one's own abilities was "religion" ... but ... To be fair, you've equally misrepresented "science" and "religion"  ... and many other related concepts.

Slobodan's point is spot on ... You've defined and redefined core terms and concepts so many different ways that your message has disolved into something very personal that only you can truly understand.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 22, 2012, 01:36:03 PM
Perhaps a short diversion would be helpful.  How about a short digression about single malt scotch?   :)

Chairman Bill, I really enjoy Bowmore 12 year, but find Lagavulin 16 year to be a little too assertive for my taste.  Can you say how Laphroig compares?  I've never tasted it.

I good ole scientific fashion, I will go & check, a few experiments, note the results, then I'll get back to you.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on November 22, 2012, 02:23:11 PM
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Theists, Deists, Atheists and Spiritualists!

I am thankful for this forum and the opportunity to show how smart I am... or not ;)
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Justinr on November 22, 2012, 03:24:19 PM
Oh please.

You basically stated that belief in one's own abilities was "religion" ... but ... To be fair, you've equally misrepresented "science" and "religion"  ... and many other related concepts.

Slobodan's point is spot on ... You've defined and redefined core terms and concepts so many different ways that your message has disolved into something very personal that only you can truly understand.

You basically stated that belief in one's own abilities was "religion"

Err.. are you sure about?

Anyway, I'm off out. Have fun.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: jeremypayne on November 22, 2012, 03:32:28 PM
... I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion

Justin.

Yes, I am sure you said that.

Must be hard to keep track of what you say when you just make things up as you go ...
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 22, 2012, 06:13:47 PM
So, Laphroaig - peaty, smoky, with a salty sweetness about it. Bowmore - a smoky sweetness, with a peppery then smooth aftertaste. Aberlour - really smooth, a hint of vanilla & Xmas spices (like liquid Xmas cake). Highland Park - even smoother, quite silky-smooth in fact,  with hints of heather (as if it's been distilled from Fraoch Ale) & honey; superb.

So there you have it, a scientific foray in spirits. Results are inconclusive, so I'll repeat the experiment, maybe adding Glenmorangie to the test subjects, if the current floods subside enough for me to get to a shop/off-licence.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: WalterEG on November 22, 2012, 06:22:06 PM
Thank you Bill,

I had faith that if I lurked lonbg enough I might gain such useful spiritual guidance as you have so generously proffered.

Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 22, 2012, 06:53:48 PM
Thanks. It's hard, generally thankless work, but somebody has to sacrifice their time & get the job done.
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: kencameron on November 22, 2012, 07:36:22 PM
... maybe adding Glenmorangie to the test subjects...
Recommended. My personal favorite. According to their website "with fresh fruits, butterscotch and toffee. Silky smooth in the mouth, slightly less spice and with more toffee than before, Original is nutty, with well-mannered spices coming through more in the medium length finish. The finish has less caramel character than previously, and a final hint of ginger." And that's just the cheap version. I can't say I notice all that, particularly the "well-mannered spices", at least until half way down the bottle, and then you wouldn't believe what I notice. 
Title: Re: Mitt Romney's halo
Post by: Chairman Bill on November 23, 2012, 02:42:36 AM
Recommended. My personal favorite.

I had a fantastic 17 year old Ardbeg. Possibly my favourite. Just a miniature bottle left now - it's discountinued, so I'm reluctant to open it, just saving it for a special occasion. Ardbeg do some fantastic whiskies, and some at quite fantastic prices too. Try £600 a bottle for some special releases. When I win the lottery, I'm buying the distillery.