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The Art of Photography => The Coffee Corner => Topic started by: Rob C on May 31, 2019, 08:49:30 am

Title: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on May 31, 2019, 08:49:30 am
I refer, in the above, to the political one; just a tiny effort to give the subject its own space without causing yet more confusion, distraction, misunderstanding and downright fake infomation in the Brexit one.

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 09:21:30 am
The U.S. Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is the most beautiful document in the history of the mankind.

EDIT for a typo.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on May 31, 2019, 09:31:38 am
The U.S. Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is the most beatiful document in the history of the mankind.

I admire the ardent faith of the convert!

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 09:39:34 am
I admire the ardent faith of the convert!

No need for conversion, I admired it from a distance, and continue to do so once here. While walking the streets of Washington D.C., seeing its quotes on monuments and historic buildings still brings tears to my eyes.

It helps to occasionally snap out of our usual jaded and cynical selves and see the underlying values behind our mundane existence.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 09:55:22 am
To me the most interesting thing about the Constitution is that for the first time in human history our predecessors established a republic based on a founding document – an anchor -- upon which subsequent U.S. law has been based. The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights ran counter to the history of humanity and gave power to the people, but it was power filtered through a network of restrictions that prevented it from becoming what the French Revolution became. The electoral college was a fundamental guarantee that we wouldn’t bring in tumbrils and the guillotine. Now we have a number of states choosing to give their electoral college vote to a national majority. Can tumbrils and the guillotine be far behind? Far-fetched? Check the Salem witch trials, lynchings in the south for decades after the Civil war and the day-care sex-abuse hysteria in the 1980’s. An ill-informed majority can be deadly.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on May 31, 2019, 10:09:34 am
To me the most interesting thing about the Constitution is that for the first time in human history our predecessors established a republic based on a founding document ...

AFAIK even the Swiss Constitution is based on the USC
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 31, 2019, 10:12:28 am
Check the Salem witch trials, lynchings in the south for decades after the Civil war and the day-care sex-abuse hysteria in the 1980’s. An ill-informed majority can be deadly.
Salem witch trials preceded the Constitution and the day care incidents were examples of improper law enforcemtne.  Only the southern lynchings were violative of the Constitution.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 10:19:17 am
Yes, Alan. I'm quite aware of all that. But all three examples are cases where an ignorant mob took over with catastrophic results. That's the direction in which abdication of state majorities in the Electoral College vote is leading us.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 31, 2019, 10:22:27 am
Russ writes on the Brexit thread:  "There was nothing “vague” about the Constitution, much as the left would like to believe that. Unfortunately, as TS Eliot pointed out: “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still.” So the intent of amendments has been to keep the “originalism,” which you disdain, but to apply it to changes in our condition and in our understanding of the meaning of words. All in all the effort has been been pretty damn effective.

Jeremy: yes, we probably could give up our guns, as Britain has. Then we could kill each other with knives – same thing that’s going on in London at a great rate. The problem is people, not guns or knives."


It's not that I disdain "originalism" but that I find it ill-defined and given the long history of Supreme Court decisions, a poor measure to use.  One can argue that the Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, Marbury v Madison, Martin v Hunter's Lessee and many other decisions handed down by the Court were in keeping with "orginalism."  Similarly, one can argue that Bush v Gore was an example of the Court going against "originalism."  "Originalism" ends up, as pornography, something that is in the eye of the beholder and everyone will have different views on the topic.  Constitutional scholars have fought over this matter for years.

Regarding the 2nd amendment which Russ refers to, one has to note that the Federal government already has bans on certain weapons.  They have struck down statutes in some states as well as the District of Columbia that sought to regulate firearms.  If we are to believe that States are empowered to pass laws in accordance with the 10th amendment, are not these Supreme Court decisions against the "originalism" concept.

I can remember back to when I took Constitutional Law in college that many of these issues were subject to hot discussion.  Things have not changed in the fifty years since I studied this.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 31, 2019, 10:29:13 am
Yes, Alan. I'm quite aware of all that. But all three examples are cases where an ignorant mob took over with catastrophic results. That's the direction in which abdication of state majorities in the Electoral College vote is leading us.
It is not inconceivable that President Trump could be re-elected in 2020 and lose the popular vote by a much greater margin than in 2016.  Do you not think that this would lead to a catastrophic result?  The Electoral College section of the Constitution was written for a specific time and place.  It will never be overturned by an amendment because the smaller states would never allow their 'power' of vote to be diminished.  I think by 2050 (vaguely remembering this date), 70% of the Senators will represent 30% of the American populace.  This sounds more like a recipe for minority rule than majority.  I can only see the legislative process getting worse than better.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 10:50:17 am
Russ writes on the Brexit thread:  "There was nothing “vague” about the Constitution, much as the left would like to believe that. Unfortunately, as TS Eliot pointed out: “Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place, Will not stay still.” So the intent of amendments has been to keep the “originalism,” which you disdain, but to apply it to changes in our condition and in our understanding of the meaning of words. All in all the effort has been been pretty damn effective.

Jeremy: yes, we probably could give up our guns, as Britain has. Then we could kill each other with knives – same thing that’s going on in London at a great rate. The problem is people, not guns or knives."


It's not that I disdain "originalism" but that I find it ill-defined and given the long history of Supreme Court decisions, a poor measure to use.  One can argue that the Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, Marbury v Madison, Martin v Hunter's Lessee and many other decisions handed down by the Court were in keeping with "orginalism."  Similarly, one can argue that Bush v Gore was an example of the Court going against "originalism."  "Originalism" ends up, as pornography, something that is in the eye of the beholder and everyone will have different views on the topic.  Constitutional scholars have fought over this matter for years.

Regarding the 2nd amendment which Russ refers to, one has to note that the Federal government already has bans on certain weapons.  They have struck down statutes in some states as well as the District of Columbia that sought to regulate firearms.  If we are to believe that States are empowered to pass laws in accordance with the 10th amendment, are not these Supreme Court decisions against the "originalism" concept.

I can remember back to when I took Constitutional Law in college that many of these issues were subject to hot discussion.  Things have not changed in the fifty years since I studied this.

Somehow we muddle through, Alan, even though we make a lot of mistakes. Yes, the popular vote difference may increase. But do you really want to be governed by New York and California? Check the runaway increase of infectious diseases in LA, for instance. I don't want to be governed by Cal, and I think it's just splendid that a majority of the Senate has been put in place by smaller states. The left still has the House.

Oh, and by the way, I think our next election will be a Republican blowout unless the Democrats come down off the clouds and stop chasing their impeachment flag.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Krug on May 31, 2019, 11:26:11 am
The problem with any Constitution - be it written in 1787 or an 'unwritten' one based on common Law such as that of the United Kingdom - is that without sometimes radical revision over time it can relate to circumstances that have changed out of all recognition.  Fundamental rights and principles may remain inviolate but the interpretation of those will need to be reviewed and probably updated.   For example it is unarguably clear that for good historical reasons the second Amendment was written to prevent a standing army such as that which had assisted in the persecution of the original settlers in America - both before and after they had immigrated.  In an age were the USA has one of the largest and most sophisticated standing armies and weapons themselves have developed far beyond 18th century muskets even that most 'sacred' of constitutional elements it might be thought in need of some revision.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 31, 2019, 11:36:28 am
Somehow we muddle through, Alan, even though we make a lot of mistakes. Yes, the popular vote difference may increase. But do you really want to be governed by New York and California? Check the runaway increase of infectious diseases in LA, for instance. I don't want to be governed by Cal, and I think it's just splendid that a majority of the Senate has been put in place by smaller states. The left still has the House.

Oh, and by the way, I think our next election will be a Republican blowout unless the Democrats come down off the clouds and stop chasing their impeachment flag.
The big issue for me these days is voter disenfranchisement.  Look at what is happening in Florida.  The electorate in pretty much a bipartisan breakdown voted to let convicted felons vote once they paid their debt to society.  Now the Republican Legislature wants to put some barriers in place.  I'm also against Gerrymandering in every state including my own (Maryland which has really bizarre boundaries that eliminated a Republican district). 

I don't know about the infectious disease rates in LA but the worst of the opioid epidemic is in regions that voted heavily for Trump; go figure.  I think there is a better than even chance that the House might start an Impeachment inquiry that would give them much more authority to subpoena information about the President.  Were the President to refuse, that would be clear obstruction as was the case when Nixon initially refused to turn over Watergate information.  Personally, I think there is a lot of very dicey stuff in the Trump companies finances and this is the prime reason the President has gone back on his campaign promise to release his taxes.  The dealings with Deutsche Bank are only the tip of the iceberg.  I don't think the 2020 election will be a blowout if the House goes down the route of just doing an inquiry, there are too many solid Democratic states for that to happen.  However, if the voter suppression efforts continue he could win the electoral vote again.  The Democratic candidate will get a plurality of the popular vote in the neighborhood of 5 million votes./
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 31, 2019, 11:41:25 am
The problem with any Constitution - be it written in 1787 or an 'unwritten' one based on common Law such as that of the United Kingdom - is that without sometimes radical revision over time it can relate to circumstances that have changed out of all recognition.  Fundamental rights and principles may remain inviolate but the interpretation of those will need to be reviewed and probably updated.   For example it is unarguably clear that for good historical reasons the second Amendment was written to prevent a standing army such as that which had assisted in the persecution of the original settlers in America - both before and after they had immigrated.  In an age were the USA has one of the largest and most sophisticated standing armies and weapons themselves have developed far beyond 18th century muskets even that most 'sacred' of constitutional elements it might be thought in need of some revision.
I just finished reading Jill Lepore's fine history of the US, "These Truths: A History of the United States."  I found it a very informative read.  One point she raised about the current 2nd Amendment stuff which I had forgotten about was the role the Black Panthers played in preventing gun control in the 1970s.  The Oakland chapter was armed to the teeth with legal purchases and there was a lot of concern at the time that there would be a "standing black army."   I continue to believe that a lot of gun purchases or illegal acquisitions are racially motivated on both sides based on fear.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 12:05:24 pm
I think there is a better than even chance that the House might start an Impeachment inquiry that would give them much more authority to subpoena information about the President.

Let's hope they do. That'll insure a Republican victory in 2020. The Repubs probably will get back the House along with hanging on to the presidency. All in all a development much to be desired.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 12:10:37 pm
... I think by 2050 (vaguely remembering this date), 70% of the Senators will represent 30% of the American populace.  This sounds more like a recipe for minority rule than majority....

Oh, for God's sake, Alan, you are an educated man, you surely know that's by design. Senate is not designed to represent the populace, but to represent states. In any federal state, there is an attempt to create a balance between proportional representation (population ) and parity representation (territories).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 12:13:36 pm
I suspect Alan isn't sure about the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 12:20:31 pm
The beauty of the US Constitution is in the fact that it is based on timeless principles, not current fads.

In my previous home country, I witnessed several constitutional changes in the relatively short period I lived there. Not amendments, mind you, but whole new constitutions. The last one was like 200 pages long and contained such current-fad idiocies like workers right to a lunch break (not that I think lunch break is idiocy, but putting it in a country's constitution is).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 31, 2019, 12:26:22 pm
Oh, for God's sake, Alan, you are an educated man, you surely know that's by design. Senate is not designed to represent the populace, but to represent states. In any federal state, there is an attempt to create a balance between proportional representation (population ) and parity representation (territories).

Alan K. must love that principle, being governed by a 'foreign' state ...  ;D

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on May 31, 2019, 01:52:09 pm
Oh, for God's sake, Alan, you are an educated man, you surely know that's by design. Senate is not designed to represent the populace, but to represent states. In any federal state, there is an attempt to create a balance between proportional representation (population ) and parity representation (territories).
thanks for encouraging me to depart the Coffee Corner one more time.  I was reluctant to revisit it based on past experience and thought that I might make a contribution to a topic that I have a considerable amount of knowledge on.  Once again I'm insulted and pushed out.  Adieu and I can't use the term mes amis as it looks like I have precious few on this section of the forum.  I'll be careful an confine my postings to the technical sections of LuLa for the short period that it lives on.

Have fun with the ongoing food fight.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 02:30:33 pm
Bye Alan. Stay reluctant.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 02:57:03 pm
... Once again I'm insulted and pushed out...

Seriously!? You find insulting that I called you "an educated man" and that "you surely know"!?

You made a deliberately nonsensical statement, you were called out on it, and now you are finding refuge in the righteous indignation?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Redcrown on May 31, 2019, 03:21:23 pm
Quote
The U.S. Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is the most beatiful document in the history of the mankind.

I first read "beatiful" as a purposeful play on words, trying to say the Constitution is often and easily "beat." Now I'm not sure since no one else picked up on that. So maybe it was just a typo?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 03:25:06 pm
I first read "beatiful" as a purposeful play on words, trying to say the Constitution is often and easily "beat." Now I'm not sure since no one else picked up on that. So maybe it was just a typo?

Thanks for pointing out, corrected. That's what happens when one types on a phone early in the morning ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 31, 2019, 03:43:38 pm
I suspect Alan isn't sure about the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic.

Well, whatever it is, it is not a democracy. You seem to be proud of that, I wouldn't.
Whether it can be called a constitutional republic is open for debate (and there is a difference between the intended structure and the actual structure).

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on May 31, 2019, 03:56:02 pm
Thanks for pointing out, corrected. That's what happens when one types on a phone early in the morning ;)

You have my absolute sympathy; here, on LuLa I can correct later if nobody picks up and sets in amber, but on another - now the only other photography site I visit - once flown, done! (My love is the small iPad.)

Yes I know one can enlarge the screen image, but that introduces all sorts of other inconveniences.

That said, where previously the computer ruled, now it's relegated to a couple of checks a day; the tv is only watched twice a day for the news which fits perfectly with my times for the eye drops, so as I can't see anything for ten minutes, it acts as a radio. If the Beeb has some good music on Friday nights, I watch that on tv. Otherwise, the iPad is undisputed king.

I use the cellphone almost not at all.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 04:01:07 pm
Well, whatever it is, it is not a democracy. You seem to be proud of that, I wouldn't.
Whether it can be called a constitutional republic is open for debate (and there is a difference between the intended structure and the actual structure).

Cheers,
Bart

Really, Bart? Exactly what is that difference?

You're right. What we have surely (and thank Heaven) is not a democracy. The founders were pretty smart people and they were able to avoid the kind of thing we saw shortly after the founding of the US in the French revolution. The French had a real democracy, where a majority could vote to kill people who disagreed with them. On rumbled the tumbrils and down came the guillotine.

After the convention someone asked Ben Franklin: "What kind of government have you given us?" Ben replied: "A republic, if you can keep it." As it turned out the US Constitution gave us the most successful form of government the world has ever seen -- a government that, incidentally, saved Europe from destruction and enslavement twice. Now we have people who are trying desperately to make sure we don't keep our Republic.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on May 31, 2019, 04:16:37 pm
... a real democracy, where a majority could vote to kill people who disagreed with them...

Indeed.

Some of the newly minted socialists/communists were still peeing in their diapers when the Berlin wall fell, so they can be forgiven (no, not really) for not realizing that the word bolshevik - a synonym for the Soviets - means a member of the majority.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Chris Kern on May 31, 2019, 05:09:56 pm
just a tiny effort to give the subject its own space without causing yet more confusion, distraction, misunderstanding and downright fake infomation

Yer absolutely right: we norteamericanos deserve our own space on this forum for confusion, distraction, misunderstanding, and downright fake information.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on May 31, 2019, 05:49:00 pm
The French had a real democracy, where a majority could vote to kill people who disagreed with them.

That might be a mis-characterization of what happened.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 05:52:27 pm
Only slightly, Robert. They stood by as the "leaders" executed those who'd been indicted by their neighbors.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on May 31, 2019, 06:57:43 pm
That might be a mis-characterization of what happened.

Perhaps this will help the, again, sadly misinformed to understand that the French Revolution is not synonymous with democracy as we know it today:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTTvKwCylFY

or, at a slightly lower tempo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBn7iWzrKoI

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on May 31, 2019, 07:47:38 pm
Yes, Bart, democracy “as we know it today” is different from democracy during the French revolution, but as long as a majority has absolute power things can change rapidly. At bottom, a pure democracy is also a potential mob.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: BobShaw on May 31, 2019, 08:08:03 pm
To me the most interesting thing about the Constitution is that for the first time in human history our predecessors established a republic based on a founding document – an anchor -- upon which subsequent U.S. law has been based.
Yep. it anchored the US in 1776.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: David Sutton on May 31, 2019, 10:17:09 pm
Perhaps I'm getting more cynical in my dotage, but it seems that constitutions and bills of rights, while fine aspirational (and inspirational) documents, are increasingly becoming works of fiction. Was it always that way?
By this I mean that in many countries the constitution is simply ignored by the rich, by corporations, and by governments when it gets in the way of their power. I include all of North and South America, and much of Europe. Can't speak for Asia or the Middle East.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 01, 2019, 04:29:35 am
Perhaps I'm getting more cynical in my dotage, but it seems that constitutions and bills of rights, while fine aspirational (and inspirational) documents, are increasingly becoming works of fiction. Was it always that way?
By this I mean that in many countries the constitution is simply ignored by the rich, by corporations, and by governments when it gets in the way of their power. I include all of North and South America, and much of Europe. Can't speak for Asia or the Middle East.


That's an acutely accurate observation.

Regarding the French Revolution - mobs and street violence have always been associated with that country. Even its students were revolting in 1968. ;-)

It's the only land I know where mobs can close the motorways and the police and/or army do not clear them the hell out of the way. I know about that first-hand, having been diverted from one such motorway onto a series of interminable little roads through beautiful farmlands, where our queue of cars was pretty much parked. Ann and I had a little fit of mutual hysterics sitting there, immobile in our automobile, looking at a row of cows that had wandered across the field to the fence to look at us looking back at them. Sadly, if not ironically, the expressions on their faces were incredibly wise ones.

It doesn't matter what you call a political system when crowds of people go nuts together. The only difference is in whether or not they get machine-gunned into submission.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 01, 2019, 05:52:38 am
Yes, Bart, democracy “as we know it today” is different from democracy during the French revolution, but as long as a majority has absolute power things can change rapidly. At bottom, a pure democracy is also a potential mob.

You're still not getting it. The French Revolution had little to do with democracy, rather more with the lack of it. The people took the draining of the swamp into their own hands, they wanted food, and not be the only ones who paid taxes.

There are some parallels that could be drawn with the current situation in the USA. The first 'estate' and the 'second estate' as they were called in France are more or less 'elected' amongst themselves, and pay very little if any taxes. Only those with financial backing from the second estate can be successfully nominated for office. Then the 'third estate', that is paying all the taxes and who have to run multiple jobs to even earn a living wage, may attempt to pick one of these figureheads.

Maybe the (ab)use of guns (e.g. yesterday's Virginia Beach shooting) is an indication of the mob taking control into their own hands?
I prefer a Democracy that aims to avoid such things by allowing more people to shape their own future, in a mutually beneficial way.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 01, 2019, 08:15:26 am
True, about the French revolution, Bart, but in relation to what I said, irrelevant. Didn’t matter what the people “wanted.” The fact is that they cheered the tumbrils as they rattled toward the guillotine. There’s always an ignorant mob waiting to pounce when they’re stirred up by political stirrers. Again: Salem witch trials and southern lynchings, to name just two of many examples. That's true democracy at work.

In the US, the top 1% of earners pays 37.3% of income taxes. The bottom 90% pays only 20.0%. I guess you’d see the top 1% as the “second estate,” which contributes to the “first estate,” the political elite, which we call the “deep state,” or “the establishment.” Thing is, it often doesn’t work. See our last presidential election. Thanks to the electoral college, the vast funding available to the left (roughly 330 million more than on the right) simply couldn’t get the job done across the states. It got it done in places like New York and California, but couldn’t corrupt the whole country.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 01, 2019, 08:56:38 am
It is not inconceivable that President Trump could be re-elected in 2020 and lose the popular vote by a much greater margin than in 2016.  Do you not think that this would lead to a catastrophic result?  The Electoral College section of the Constitution was written for a specific time and place.  It will never be overturned by an amendment because the smaller states would never allow their 'power' of vote to be diminished.  I think by 2050 (vaguely remembering this date), 70% of the Senators will represent 30% of the American populace.  This sounds more like a recipe for minority rule than majority.  I can only see the legislative process getting worse than better.

Senators do not represent the people.  That's an argument from those who want to do away with the Electoral College and argue that it's time has come and gone.  Senators represent the individual States.  Remember we are a Federal Republic made up of sovereign states that have equal value, position and rights.  Two senators per state whether your 50 million strong California or 600,000 peopled Wyoming.  Just like there is one vote per country in the UN General Assembly whether you're 1.4 billion China or little Jamaica.  If you were let's say Jamaican, would you join an organization where your country did not have equal standing to all the other countries?  Yes, I know about the Security Council.  But the General Assembly is the answer to that just as Senators are the answer to the House of Representatives.

 

So it's the House of Representatives who represent the people and it is apportioned by the number of people in the districts in each state.  For example 53 in California and 1 in Wyoming.  But the Senate represents each sovereign State equally among the 50 states.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 01, 2019, 09:10:12 am
Yes, Bart, democracy “as we know it today” is different from democracy during the French revolution, but as long as a majority has absolute power things can change rapidly. At bottom, a pure democracy is also a potential mob.
Which the American Founders understood, hence the Bill of Rights to protect us from ourselves.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 01, 2019, 09:17:53 am
Yep. it anchored the US in 1776.

Nothing has changed since 1776 or 3000 years ago.  The Rights of Man are eternal. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 01, 2019, 09:25:54 am
Perhaps I'm getting more cynical in my dotage, but it seems that constitutions and bills of rights, while fine aspirational (and inspirational) documents, are increasingly becoming works of fiction. Was it always that way?
By this I mean that in many countries the constitution is simply ignored by the rich, by corporations, and by governments when it gets in the way of their power. I include all of North and South America, and much of Europe. Can't speak for Asia or the Middle East.
You're right.  A Constitution has value directly in proportion to the respect it has from the people.  In many countries where the constitution is basically ignored, the people lose their rights.  One of the concerns I have, is that our Supreme Court that interprets the Constitution has become a political arm of the US government.  As more and more people see it making conclusions that appear based on political viewpoints, ignoring the constitution's original intent, the Court will lose is power and respectability.  It's decisions will be ignored.  We'll then become like those other countries.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 01, 2019, 10:18:35 am
True, about the French revolution, Bart, but in relation to what I said, irrelevant. Didn’t matter what the people “wanted.” The fact is that they cheered the tumbrils as they rattled toward the guillotine. There’s always an ignorant mob waiting to pounce when they’re stirred up by political stirrers. Again: Salem witch trials and southern lynchings, to name just two of many examples. That's true democracy at work.

Indeed. 

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/413050-trump-rally-chants-lock-her-up-after-in-wake-of-bomb-threats-to

with more subtlety...

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/411765-conspicuous-irony-lecturing-to-a-trump-rally-against-mob-rule
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 01, 2019, 10:21:03 am
... Then the 'third estate', that is paying all the taxes and who have to run multiple jobs to even earn a living wage, may attempt to pick one of these figureheads...


And... off he goes into a phantasy land. Bon voyage, Bart!

Top 10% pay 70% of all taxes.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 01, 2019, 12:35:15 pm
Nothing has changed since 1776 or 3000 years ago.  The Rights of Man are eternal.
Wow, did you ever step in doo-doo with this post.  Of course it is a truism that women, until the 20th century, often had no rights at all.  Abigail Adams cautioned John about not including women when drafting the Constitution but was ignored.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 01, 2019, 12:38:01 pm
Wow, did you ever step in doo-doo with this post...

Man, you are hard to push out, no matter how hard I try ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 01, 2019, 12:48:52 pm
Wow, did you ever step in doo-doo with this post.  Of course it is a truism that women, until the 20th century, often had no rights at all.  Abigail Adams cautioned John about not including women when drafting the Constitution but was ignored.

As Churchill observed in this context, man (or Man) embraces woman.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 01, 2019, 01:00:44 pm
Wow, did you ever step in doo-doo with this post.  Of course it is a truism that women, until the 20th century, often had no rights at all.  Abigail Adams cautioned John about not including women when drafting the Constitution but was ignored.

Now now, this is growing into a byzantine discussion.
I understand very well "man" as belonging to the humans species.
I go to the doctor, not to the "she-doctor", whatever gender she or he may belong to.

Look what happened in Harvard to professor Sullivan. One should be careful not to overdo it IMHO
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 01, 2019, 01:32:45 pm
Nothing has changed since 1776 or 3000 years ago.  The Rights of Man are eternal.

Unless they're black, of course.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 01, 2019, 02:00:32 pm
Now now, this is growing into a byzantine discussion.
I understand very well "man" as belonging to the humans species.
I go to the doctor, not to the "she-doctor", whatever gender she or he may belong to.

Look what happened in Harvard to professor Sullivan. One should be careful not to overdo it IMHO

The point though, is that in 1789 that was NOT “well-understood,” just as slavery WAS “well understood” to mean that people who were literally owned by other people were worth precisely 3/5 as much when accounting for representation.   Which is why, (amongst other reasons) unlike Goldhammer, I absolutely do hold strict originalists in contempt, not only for their inevitable hypocrisy, but for their retrograde ideas that are inflexible when they shouldn’t be and flexible when politically convenient. 

Of course it’s not just originalists that are guilty of the latter, it’s just that they loudly trumpet such a moral base while doing so.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 01, 2019, 02:00:49 pm

And... off he goes into a phantasy land. Bon voyage, Bart!

Top 10% pay 70% of all taxes.

Do they? Any sources for that assumption? It does stand to reason that only paying a small percentage of one's sizeable income does amount to a sizeable amount of money, but it would remain a small percentage of income. For those with minimal free spending power, each tax dollar weighs more heavily.



The top 10% apparently do have 70% of the wealth, while the rest is having less and less. In fact, the bottom 50% have something in the order of 1% of the wealth ...
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-richest-10-of-households-now-represent-70-of-all-us-wealth-2019-05-24

And the gap is widening.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 01, 2019, 02:33:46 pm
Do they? Any sources for that assumption? It does stand to reason that only paying a small percentage of one's sizeable income does amount to a sizeable amount of money, but it would remain a small percentage of income. For those with minimal free spending power, each tax dollar weighs more heavily.



The top 10% apparently do have 70% of the wealth, while the rest is having less and less. In fact, the bottom 50% have something in the order of 1% of the wealth ...
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-richest-10-of-households-now-represent-70-of-all-us-wealth-2019-05-24

And the gap is widening.

Cheers,
Bart
Da, it is true Commissar.  Ve should take all the rich people's money and spread it around.  Dat seems like a fair solution.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 01, 2019, 02:41:33 pm
Unless they're black, of course.
A terrible decision that has haunted us since.  However, we fought a brutal Civil War over it, the Constitution was amended, corrected even when slaves were freed and blacks given equal status as were women allowed to vote in another Amendment.  The point is the Constitution was a brilliant document that limited government power and recognized the rights of man being innate.  The Amendment process allows the document to be improved.  No one said it was perfectly written but it left openings to be perfected.  Only God is perfect. What more can you ask of Man?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 01, 2019, 03:06:47 pm
Do they? Any sources for that assumption? It does stand to reason that only paying a small percentage of one's sizeable income...

Yes. And it is not my assumption, just statistics. Look it up, it is easy. Your "small percentage" amounts for the 1%-ers to twice as much as all taxpayers pay.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-14/top-3-of-u-s-taxpayers-paid-majority-of-income-taxes-in-2016

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 01, 2019, 03:26:47 pm
Your "small percentage" amounts for the 1%-ers to twice as much as all taxpayers pay.

As I said, that stands to reason, but you keep avoiding the simple fact that that still leaves them with a sizeable amount of free spending power, unlike the lower income brackets where every dollar counts. The formal definition is called "discretionary income". And things have not improved since 2016.

To put it in a French Revolution context, it's harder to be taxed a cow when you only have one cow than it is to be taxed a few cows when you already took a herd of cows from others.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 01, 2019, 04:20:36 pm
As I said, that stands to reason, but you keep avoiding the simple fact that that still leaves them with a sizeable amount of free spending power, unlike the lower income brackets where every dollar counts. The formal definition is called "discretionary income". And things have not improved since 2016.

To put it in a French Revolution context, it's harder to be taxed a cow when you only have one cow than it is to be taxed a few cows when you already took a herd of cows from others.

Cheers,
Bart

Bart, you seem to believe that wealthy people rathole spendable cash away in their basements. You really need a serious course in economics.

If you start cleaning out wealthy people you’ll soon put an end to productivity because productivity requires investment. You evidently believe that capital is spendable cash. It’s not. It’s stuff like the machinery in an auto plant. If you don’t have capital investment you’re screwed. Communists (and I hope you’re not one of them, though I can't tell from your posts) believe that government can invest people’s money in a smarter, more productive way than individuals. They’ve managed to demonstrate the catastrophic fallacy of that idea over and over and over, but leftists still don’t believe it.

Believe it!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: kers on June 01, 2019, 05:35:22 pm
..
Believe it!
Amen
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: David Sutton on June 01, 2019, 11:18:38 pm
Yes. And it is not my assumption, just statistics. Look it up, it is easy. Your "small percentage" amounts for the 1%-ers to twice as much as all taxpayers pay.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-14/top-3-of-u-s-taxpayers-paid-majority-of-income-taxes-in-2016
I think that data a bit misleading Slobodan. I looked up the Bloomberg article and then the 2016 data sheet it refers to.
Those earning $100,000 to $500,000 dollars in the US account for over 40% of tax payments.
Not including corporate tax.
The income from the $10,000,000 bracket looks impressive until you factor in what everyone else pays.
Then there is the issue of tax avoidance by the super wealthy, estimated at $200 billion yearly by someone who has number crunched data:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-05-23/the-wealth-detective-who-finds-the-hidden-money-of-the-super-rich

Now I agree that the ultra rich are the wealth creators of society, but the problem is that the created wealth goes in their own pockets.
They don't do capital investment. Over the last 20 years I've seen little proper capital investment worldwide, apart from China. And even that may be debt funded, heaven help us.
What I have seen is that the greatest wealth generators for most folks are small business owners. It's the small business owners who provide the most jobs in most nations. They tend to strengthen social networks and give cities more resilience by paying rates and spending and employing locally.
I don't begrudge anyone their material goods, but IMHO you could get rid of the really wealthy and life would go on just as well, but lose sight of your small businesses and the values they represent, and watch your financial system head straight to 1929.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 01:52:44 am
... the issue of tax avoidance by the super wealthy, estimated at $200 billion yearly...

Tax avoidance is completely legal and everyone who has ever filed taxes, including myself, is doing it to the fullest extent of the law. Tax evasion, however, is illegal.

Taking both into account, avoidance (legal) and evasion (illegal), doesn’t change the fact one bit that the rich pay the majority of income taxes. Add that to the the fact that about 45% of the population doesn’t pay income tax at all (that would be the lowest paid ones).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: David Sutton on June 02, 2019, 03:54:03 am
Tax avoidance is completely legal and everyone who has ever filed taxes, including myself, is doing it to the fullest extent of the law. Tax evasion, however, is illegal.
I see where you're coming from. What you call "tax avoidance", we tend to call tax minimisation. But "tax evasion" is, of course, what I meant. They're all somewhat weasel words.

Taking both into account, avoidance (legal) and evasion (illegal), doesn’t change the fact one bit that the rich pay the majority of income taxes. Add that to the the fact that about 45% of the population doesn’t pay income tax at all (that would be the lowest paid ones).

Taking into account those in the US who don't pay tax may shift the data.
But according to the IRS 2016 spreadsheet referenced and linked by the Bloomberg article, of those who pay tax, the "rich" pay the highest tax per head, but their total contribution is 8% of the total, while those who earn $100,000 to $500,000 contribute 43.9% of the total. Have a look at the source figures. Happy to be corrected.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 02, 2019, 07:19:07 am
As Churchill observed in this context, man (or Man) embraces woman.

Jeremy
While a useful quote it is not accurate in a historical context which was the problem with Alan Klein's post.  Much religious law is still patriarchal and we have nation state examples where outrageous things continue to happen.  National sufferage in the US required a Constitutional amendment.  I'm unsure of how things progressed in Britain which is governed by common law.  In the US the temperance movement that led to prohibition started as a women's movement responding to spousal abuse by drunken husbands (quite frequent in the 1800s).  The point of my earlier post is that the original Constitution and Bill of Rights was 'white male' centric.  It took some years before the 14th amendment established equal protection and some more years for the 15th amendment to establish universal voting rights.  Even though there were constitutional protections, the examples of Jim Crow laws in the former Confederate states showed that this was not always enough.  Plessy v Ferguson, as decided by the Supreme Court, stated that 'separate but equal' was a sufficient solution.

I'll spare you the discussion of treatment of the indigenous Indians who are now largely confined to reservations.

While Churchill was an admirable man and leader, this particular quote is wide of the mark.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 02, 2019, 07:33:09 am
Taking into account those in the US who don't pay tax may shift the data.
But according to the IRS 2016 spreadsheet referenced and linked by the Bloomberg article, of those who pay tax, the "rich" pay the highest tax per head, but their total contribution is 8% of the total, while those who earn $100,000 to $500,000 contribute 43.9% of the total. Have a look at the source figures. Happy to be corrected.
The problem with the Bloomberg article is that it only covers those who pay Federal income tax and does not include state and local taxes as well as those withheld for Social Security and Medicare.  These latter two taxes as well as sales taxes are regressive in that the same rate applies to all.  Social Security tax withholding has an annual earnings cap that once you reach that point you owe no tax for the remainder of that calendar year.  When I was still working, I usually reached this point by the middle of the year and I would be "tax free" for this category for the rest of the year.  Those in lower Federal tax brackets or even those who pay no Federal income tax because of the new deduction are still subject to taxation and that might be a significant part of their overall income.

As Warren Buffett has noted, his secretary is in a higher tax bracket than he is despite is much larger income.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 02, 2019, 08:58:02 am
Simpler, would be a straight ten percent taxation on whatever you earn - the moral being that ten per cent of a million feels as horrid to somebody earning that as does ten percent of ten grand, if that happens to be where you're at.

I firmly believe - know for a fact from from the small group of healthy earners I know/knew (my generation is on the extinction list) that money sitting in the bank is not thought the clever option - especially today. You invest it as cleverly as you know how, and try to make it grow. Investing it usually means into companies on the stock market, big players who in turn provide employment and, in good times, a reasonable return. Of course, the old advice holds: don't invest what you can't afford to lose.

In Spain, the reasoning is slightly different - at least at more humble levels closer to my own - where faith in governments and pensions is slim, to be generous about it. The objective is often to find enough dosh to enable the purchase of a second house or apartment with the intention of letting it out to provide the income old folks can mostly no longer earn. But even there, the taxman has spies and ears everywhere.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 02, 2019, 09:35:55 am
Simpler, would be a straight ten percent taxation on whatever you earn

Then you will have to be clear about what is meant by "earn" :-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 10:02:21 am
Once again I'm insulted and pushed out.  Adieu and I can't use the term mes amis as it looks like I have precious few on this section of the forum.  I'll be careful an confine my postings to the technical sections of LuLa for the short period that it lives on.

Have fun with the ongoing food fight.

Golly, Alan, you didn't stay off long, did you?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 10:17:27 am
... I'll spare you the discussion of treatment of the indigenous Indians who are now largely confined to reservations...

You better (spare us). Because today nobody is confining them to the reservations but their own desire to stay there. They often get off the reservation and some even run for President.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 02, 2019, 10:32:36 am
The problem isn't taxes.  The problem is spending.  We're doing too much of it more than taxes can pay for.  Even if we raise taxes, Congress would still spend more then we take in.  They're like drunken sailors, no disrespect to the navy.  Both sides - Republicans and Democrats.  They;re no different.  So we issue bonds and print money to make up the difference.  So we have have huge deficits and debt.    We can not keep that up.  It's unsustainable. 

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on June 02, 2019, 10:43:32 am
The problem isn't taxes.  The problem is spending.  We're doing too much of it more than taxes can pay for.  Even if we raise taxes, Congress would still spend more then we take in.  They're like drunken sailors, no disrespect to the navy.  Both sides - Republicans and Democrats.  They;re no different.  So we issue bonds and print money to make up the difference.  So we have have huge deficits and debt.    We can not keep that up.  It's unsustainable.

Not a problem unique to the USA that’s certain.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 02, 2019, 10:50:20 am
Then you will have to be clear about what is meant by "earn" :-)


Fair enough: let's draw the initiation line at whatever annual earning it's worth the taxman's time collecting his ten percent. If it costs more to claw in ten percent of ten grand than the one grand it brings, but worth spending time on earnings of fifteen grand, then let the percentage kick in at fifteen Gs per year.

A million ten percents of an uneconomic starting rate will still cost a million unprofitable attempts at collection. I like to think so, at any rate.

Percent on what? On all your incomings. Share the misery!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 10:59:09 am
Rob, that’s a brilliant approach!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 02, 2019, 11:19:59 am

Fair enough: let's draw the initiation line at whatever annual earning it's worth the taxman's time collecting his ten percent. If it costs more to claw in ten percent of ten grand than the one grand it brings, but worth spending time on earnings of fifteen grand, then let the percentage kick in at fifteen Gs per year.

A million ten percents of an uneconomic starting rate will still cost a million unprofitable attempts at collection. I like to think so, at any rate.

Percent on what? On all your incomings. Share the misery!

America is more successful at collecting taxes than Europe I believe.  First off, most people are employees.  The tax collector makes the employer responsible to pay upfront taxe of their employees.  So most of the Federal and State and Local tax payments are made by their employers and taken out of the regular salary check when the employees get paid.    Social Security and Medicare deduction are also made by the employer at the time he pays his employees.  There's not much "net" left.  :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 02, 2019, 11:27:47 am
Percent on what? On all your incomings. Share the misery!

Are incomings the same as earnings, then?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 02, 2019, 11:29:20 am
America is more successful at collecting taxes than Europe I believe. 

Yawn. Yes, Alan, we know America is Practically Perfect In Every Way. No need to remind us every post.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 12:11:15 pm
Actually, Jeremy, America is more successful at a lot of things, including pulling other nations' butts out of the fire in wartime.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 12:14:22 pm
You better (spare us). Because today nobody is confining them to the reservations but their own desire to stay there. They often get off the reservation and some even run for President.

Really, or is this more fake news?

In case you are referring to Senator Warren, she is not an indigenous Indian, she only made a claim to some sliver of Native American heritage, so maybe you are trying to make a (racist?) remark about someone else?

Trump also didn't back his promise on this one:
"I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you're an Indian," Trump said. "I have a feeling she will say no but hold it for the debates."

He was wrong.

Sen. Elisabeth Warren revealed that an analysis of genetic testing confirmed her distant Native American ancestry. Trump shrugged off the news and denied he made the big dollar wager.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 12:22:08 pm
He was wrong.

Sen. Elisabeth Warren revealed that an analysis of genetic testing confirmed her distant Native American ancestry. Trump shrugged off the news and denied he made the big dollar wager.

Cheers,
Bart

Bart, give me a second to stop laughing and get up off the floor. Pocahontas's "Native American" ancestry turned out to be 1/1024%. I have more "Native American" ancestry than that, along with the vast majority of Americans. Trump won his bet.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 12:24:19 pm
... she is not an indigenous Indian...

--- an analysis of genetic testing confirmed her distant Native American ancestry...

Which is it, Bart? Make up your mind.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 12:26:50 pm
... Yes, Alan, we know America is Practically Perfect In Every Way...

And you will be able to enjoy it first-hand when you become our 51st state. Or 50th, if we kick-out California first.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 02, 2019, 12:30:19 pm
Actually, Jeremy, America is more successful at a lot of things, including pulling other nations' butts out of the fire in wartime.

Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat.

Hey, we saved you from tyranny 70 years ago, so now you have to eat our poisoned GMO foods, spend your money as we see fit, especially on military, which btw you should purchase from us, because, you know, we saved you from tyranny.

saved you from tyranny.
saved you from tyranny.

The odd thing of course is that that republican camp of yours seems to have a propensity for draft dodging candidates that slander and ignore actual god honest war heros, only to subsequently send the entire army into irrational wars and then issuing congressional medals of honor like there is no tomorrow.

You of all people should see the irony in that, no?

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 12:42:01 pm
... Hey, we saved you from tyranny 70 years ago, so now you have to... spend your money as we see fit, especially on military...

Well, Americans did save you 70 years ago. But also quite recently, saved your from the Soviets, gave you back half of Germany, and the whole Poland, Baltic states, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. You are welcome.

As for the military, by all means feel free to spend however little you want on your military, once you get out of NATO and form your all-European army.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 12:48:35 pm
Actually, Jeremy, America is more successful at a lot of things, including pulling other nations' butts out of the fire in wartime.

With the help of Russian (!), Polish, Canadian, Brittish, soldiers from several other nations. After all, it was a World War. During World War II, the United States began to provide significant military supplies and other assistance to the Allies in September 1940, through a Lease-Lend deal, even though the United States officially only entered two years into the war, after the attack on Pearl Harbour. The USA formally maintained neutrality up until that moment. The American public generally resisted involving the United States in the European conflict.

But hey, nobody is complaining, also since the USA is now being led by the nose to a new war that Saudi Arabia wants your country to start on their behalf.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 12:50:01 pm
Which is it, Bart? Make up your mind.

Which part of "indigenous" do you not understand?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 02, 2019, 12:52:28 pm
Where's the button to ignore threads?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 02, 2019, 01:00:15 pm
Well, Americans did save you 70 years ago.

No, the allies did. It's enormously disrespectful to a lot of people and several nations to continuously claim superiority in this regard. In fact, most wars that the US seems to enter on its own behalf do not seem to end well for them.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 01:03:37 pm
No, the allies did...

You had Polish, Russian, etc. troops liberating Holland?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 01:04:17 pm
Where's the button to ignore threads?

The one on your mouse. Just don't click.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 01:10:34 pm
Which part of "indigenous" do you not understand?

Let me see which part  of "indigenous" I do not understand:



Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 02, 2019, 01:23:49 pm
Actually, Jeremy, America is more successful at a lot of things, including pulling other nations' butts out of the fire in wartime.

I am not sure what that has to do with anything under discussion.

But really, my question is this. Do you regret doing so? Was it a mistake? Would you have preferred a different outcome?  ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 01:32:31 pm
Let me see which part  of "indigenous" I do not understand:

As I said, she is not an indigenous Indian, but has some distant traces of an ancestor who was. Which apparently means a lot to you, for some reason, since you brought it up (and apparently were referring to Sen. Warren, so much is clear now).

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 01:48:21 pm
As I said, she is not an indigenous Indian. . .

Cheers,
Bart

No, no, Bart. You don't understand. She's not an "Indian" at all, "indigenous" or otherwise.. 1/1024% native something or other pretty much is general throughout the population. YOU might be 1/1024% "indigenous" for all you know.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 01:49:56 pm
But really, my question is this. Do you regret doing so? Was it a mistake? Would you have preferred a different outcome?  ;)

No, Robert. And it looks as if we may have to do it again if y'all keep on the way you're going. ;D ;D
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 02, 2019, 01:56:29 pm
Good grief - internet's most moronic discussion.

"Two World Wars and one World Cup, doo dah, doo dah"
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 02:36:08 pm
Good grief - internet's most moronic discussion...

Looks like this guy sidetracked it from the OP subject:


Yawn. Yes, Alan, we know America is Practically Perfect In Every Way. No need to remind us every post.

 ;)

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: DP on June 02, 2019, 02:57:22 pm
With the help of Russian (!), Polish, Canadian, Brittish, soldiers from several other nations.

and Chinese too...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 03:09:45 pm
and Chinese too...

Absolutely, and many others, it was a World War, fought on many fronts.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 03:32:54 pm
Absolutely, and many others, it was a World War, fought on many fronts.

Cheers,
Bart

Only problem with that is that the Russian, Polish, Canadian, British, Chinese, etc., etc., etc. were losing. The most important thing the US brought to the fight was the ability to produce the materiel it took to win. You guys need to go back and read Churchill’s second world war series.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 03:36:50 pm
and Chinese too...

Yes, I remember the Chinese army marching through Paris.

Face it, it was Russians and Americans that saved your sorry asses. Dutch contribution was to unscrew air valves on German soldiers' bicycles.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 02, 2019, 03:41:16 pm
Instead off this, can we get back to my camera is better than yours.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Frans Waterlander on June 02, 2019, 03:53:54 pm
Dutch contribution was to unscrew air valves on German soldiers' bicycles.
As a former Dutchman I need to vehemently object to your misrepresentation of historic facts. >:( And you can't blame me; I was only 2 years old when WWII ended. >:(
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 02, 2019, 03:57:02 pm
I can't blame you Franz. You were too young to unscrew air valves.  8)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 02, 2019, 03:58:05 pm
As a former Dutchman I need to vehemently object to your misrepresentation of historic facts. >:( And you can't blame me; I was only 2 years old when WWII ended. >:(

Of course, we also sent the germans in the wrong direction. (https://nl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9_en_Arie_Temmes)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: kers on June 02, 2019, 04:14:56 pm
Actually, Jeremy, America is more successful at a lot of things, including pulling other nations' butts out of the fire in wartime.
As they say what happened in the past wil be no garantee for the future:
With Trump in charge there will be no support in times of war unless he sees a good deal for him and his USA-family. Me, Mom and Dad First.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 04:41:19 pm
As they say what happened in the past wil be no garantee for the future:
With Trump in charge there will be no support in times of war unless he sees a good deal for him and his USA-family. Me, Mom and Dad First.

That’s why you should let him build a sufficient number of Trump Towers and golf courses throughout Europe, as your best line of defense.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 04:41:59 pm
Of course, we also sent the germans in the wrong direction. (https://nl.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9_en_Arie_Temmes)

Big deal, my gps does that all the time.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 02, 2019, 04:47:03 pm
Big deal, my gps does that all the time.

Could be TomTom then...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 02, 2019, 04:51:41 pm
Face it, it was Russians and Americans that saved your sorry asses. Dutch contribution was to unscrew air valves on German soldiers' bicycles.

"Sorry asses" ?

"unscrewing air valves"?

This would be embarrassing in a children's school yard. I think the thread has devolved sufficiently.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 02, 2019, 05:25:32 pm
"Sorry asses" ?

"unscrewing air valves"?

This would be embarrassing in a children's school yard. I think the thread has devolved sufficiently.
Perhaps that is why discussion of politics was previously banned. It was a bad decision to allow it again. No good can come of it. It certainly doesn't add anything positive to LuLa. Except maybe post count. Which is a lousy metric for quality.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 05:30:04 pm
Oh, come on Robert, we are just having fun and a friendly banter. We love you all guys, French, Dutch, Brits, even Canadians ❤️
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 02, 2019, 06:07:41 pm
Perhaps that is why discussion of politics was previously banned. It was a bad decision to allow it again. No good can come of it. It certainly doesn't add anything positive to LuLa. Except maybe post count. Which is a lousy metric for quality.
Yes. I agree with that
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 02, 2019, 06:21:25 pm
Why is it that everybody and his mother-in-law feels completely entitled to criticize, mock, and spit on America and its sitting President? None of us on the American side complained or started running for our British nanny’s skirt, wailing about locking the thread, banning political discussions, etc. But when we return the favor, mildly, everybody is offended? Grow up.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 02, 2019, 06:29:51 pm
Why is it that everybody and his mother-in-law feels completely entitled to criticize, mock, and spit on America and its sitting President?
Everybody? For better or worse, he and his views seem well represented here.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Chris Kern on June 02, 2019, 07:19:27 pm
just a tiny effort to give the subject its own space

See what you started?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 07:28:04 pm
See what you started?

FWIW, it improved the Brexit thread. ;)

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 02, 2019, 08:16:37 pm
America is more successful at collecting taxes than Europe I believe.  First off, most people are employees.  The tax collector makes the employer responsible to pay upfront taxe of their employees.  So most of the Federal and State and Local tax payments are made by their employers and taken out of the regular salary check when the employees get paid.    Social Security and Medicare deduction are also made by the employer at the time he pays his employees.  There's not much "net" left.  :)
I am not sure that this is true.  There are probably more self-employed people in the US than in Europe and the chance for faking the books is much larger in that case (not reporting certain amounts of income, fake deductions, etc.).  A number of European countries have automatic income tax calculations by the government.  Perhaps Bart can weigh in on this but I've read that in The Netherlands it takes less than 10 minutes to do ones income tax.  Just look at what the government says you earned and confirm the number; that's it.  In our own case, the government knows every bit of my wife and my income and yet we have to get Turbo Tax every year and go through all the cumbersome data entry.  The IRS should be able to do the tax calculation for us for free!!!  Both of my daughters are in the same position as salaried workers.  It's just obscene that the tax code is bonkers in this regard.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 02, 2019, 08:59:15 pm
I am not sure that this is true.  There are probably more self-employed people in the US than in Europe and the chance for faking the books is much larger in that case (not reporting certain amounts of income, fake deductions, etc.).  A number of European countries have automatic income tax calculations by the government.  Perhaps Bart can weigh in on this but I've read that in The Netherlands it takes less than 10 minutes to do one's income tax.

Unfortunately (?  ;) ), for most, that's the case.


Well (depending on one's particular situation), 10 minutes is lightly on the short side of the time it takes, but that's mostly due to the time it takes to assure that one's prefilled tax statement is correct (in case something changed vs the prior year that they didn't already know about). We remain responsible for a correct statement. There are hardly any possibilities left for deductibles, so income and possessions are basically what remains to be stated/confirmed.

Quote
Just look at what the government says you earned and confirm the number; that's it.

Yes, that's basically what it boils down to.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 02, 2019, 10:28:16 pm
Why is it that everybody and his mother-in-law feels completely entitled to criticize, mock, and spit on America and its sitting President? None of us on the American side complained or started running for our British nanny’s skirt, wailing about locking the thread, banning political discussions, etc. But when we return the favor, mildly, everybody is offended? Grow up.

Don't be so sensitive.

As to why people make fun of your sitting president, you have to admit he kind of attracts attention to himself.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 02, 2019, 10:48:49 pm
I am not sure that this is true.  There are probably more self-employed people in the US than in Europe and the chance for faking the books is much larger in that case (not reporting certain amounts of income, fake deductions, etc.).  A number of European countries have automatic income tax calculations by the government.  Perhaps Bart can weigh in on this but I've read that in The Netherlands it takes less than 10 minutes to do ones income tax.  Just look at what the government says you earned and confirm the number; that's it.  In our own case, the government knows every bit of my wife and my income and yet we have to get Turbo Tax every year and go through all the cumbersome data entry.  The IRS should be able to do the tax calculation for us for free!!!  Both of my daughters are in the same position as salaried workers.  It's just obscene that the tax code is bonkers in this regard.

A little off-topic maybe, but this quick 22 min podcast about simplifying income tax from NPR Planet Money seemed relevant to this "sidebar": https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/03/22/521132960/episode-760-tax-hero (https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/03/22/521132960/episode-760-tax-hero).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 03, 2019, 02:55:52 am
Why is it that everybody and his mother-in-law feels completely entitled to criticize, mock, and spit on America and its sitting President? None of us on the American side complained or started running for our British nanny’s skirt, wailing about locking the thread, banning political discussions, etc. But when we return the favor, mildly, everybody is offended? Grow up.

Dry your eyes, blossom. Nobody is "spitting" on anyone, just pointing out that it is rather distasteful for the supporters of Private Bonespurs to belittle the victims of Nazi occupation.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 03, 2019, 03:56:09 am
Yes. I agree with that

You are not forced to take part; if it hurts, don't play.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 03, 2019, 03:57:17 am
Perhaps that is why discussion of politics was previously banned. It was a bad decision to allow it again. No good can come of it. It certainly doesn't add anything positive to LuLa. Except maybe post count. Which is a lousy metric for quality.


You are not forced to take part; if it hurts, don't play.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 03, 2019, 06:44:31 am
You are not forced to take part; if it hurts, don't play.

Rob

I'm sorry to say this but this is a common-commonplace.
But:
If you see a group of  adults you respect- say - as photographers (or philosophers or whatever) - behaving like children, it hurts even if you don't "play".
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 03, 2019, 07:06:28 am
Oh, come on Robert, we are just having fun and a friendly banter. We love you all guys, French, Dutch, Brits, even Canadians ❤️

Interestingly even if you have probably a US Citizenship, I perceive you as Serb.
That's OK with me, don't get me wrong.

“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone ...” said Jesus, I am told.
Wise sentence

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 03, 2019, 09:03:52 am
 
I am not sure that this is true.  There are probably more self-employed people in the US than in Europe and the chance for faking the books is much larger in that case (not reporting certain amounts of income, fake deductions, etc.).  A number of European countries have automatic income tax calculations by the government.  Perhaps Bart can weigh in on this but I've read that in The Netherlands it takes less than 10 minutes to do ones income tax.  Just look at what the government says you earned and confirm the number; that's it.  In our own case, the government knows every bit of my wife and my income and yet we have to get Turbo Tax every year and go through all the cumbersome data entry.  The IRS should be able to do the tax calculation for us for free!!!  Both of my daughters are in the same position as salaried workers.  It's just obscene that the tax code is bonkers in this regard.

I was responding to Rob C post regarding that it doesn;t pay to go after the ten percent of taxes due on people earning 10,000 or 15,000 per year.  Those people aren;t self-employed but rather get paid salaries where the employer deducts taxes due up front.  So there's little chance for those  cheating the IRS.  It is true that self-employed people or those who get paid cash cheat more.  The IRS estimated in 2010 that $400 billion in taxes were not paid that should have been. 

Filing taxes were pretty simple this year with the new Trump tax legislation.  It still cost me the accountant's fee.  I haven't switched to doing it myself.  Maybe next year.  Regarding the IRS knowing you and your wife's income, of course that's true.  But that's not the only income and deduction you make. YOu have mortgage payments, local property and state taxes, etc.  Your medical bills may be deductible if they exceed the minimum.   If you're over 70.5 years, you have to start taking out minimums on your tax deferred 401K plans.  The IRS can;t know those things. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 03, 2019, 10:06:05 am
Interestingly even if you have probably a US Citizenship, I perceive you as Serb...

What that has to do with anything? My statement you quoted still stands, whether I am a Serb, American, or both.

And the Jesus quote... care to elaborate?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 03, 2019, 10:39:56 am
What that has to do with anything? My statement you quoted still stands, whether I am a Serb, American, or both.

And the Jesus quote... care to elaborate?

Why is it that everybody and his mother-in-law feels completely entitled to criticize, mock, and spit on America and its sitting President? None of us on the American side complained or started running for our British nanny’s skirt, wailing about locking the thread, banning political discussions, etc. But when we return the favor, mildly, everybody is offended? Grow up.
Face it, it was Russians and Americans that saved your sorry asses. Dutch contribution was to unscrew air valves on German soldiers' bicycles.

As you can see, you are suggesting your American Citizenship all the time.
This is a great thing, make no mistake. I would also be proud of it.
Now read you statements quoted above.

I don't care to elaborate much on the Jesus quote. It's easy.
But I don't find right to mock the British, the French, the Dutch or even the Germans as a group.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 03, 2019, 10:55:00 am
...But I don't find right to mock the British, the French, the Dutch or even the Germans as a group.

Funny you didn’t include Americans in the above groups. As I already noted, it seems it goes without saying that America is a fair game for everyone.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 03, 2019, 11:10:25 am
Funny you didn’t include Americans in the above groups. As I already noted, it seems it goes without saying that America is a fair game for everyone.
You extrapolate wrongly.
I admire Americans for many reasons even if they're not "perfect"  :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 03, 2019, 11:53:24 am

I was responding to Rob C post regarding that it doesn;t pay to go after the ten percent of taxes due on people earning 10,000 or 15,000 per year.  Those people aren;t self-employed but rather get paid salaries where the employer deducts taxes due up front.  So there's little chance for those  cheating the IRS.  It is true that self-employed people or those who get paid cash cheat more.  The IRS estimated in 2010 that $400 billion in taxes were not paid that should have been. 
The IRS has insufficient resources to do the number of required audits to recover all the taxes that should be paid.  Maybe if they quit spending so much time auditing the President (at least according to him his returns are always under audit which is why they cannot be released).

Quote
Filing taxes were pretty simple this year with the new Trump tax legislation.  It still cost me the accountant's fee.  I haven't switched to doing it myself.  Maybe next year.  Regarding the IRS knowing you and your wife's income, of course that's true.  But that's not the only income and deduction you make. YOu have mortgage payments, local property and state taxes, etc.  Your medical bills may be deductible if they exceed the minimum.   If you're over 70.5 years, you have to start taking out minimums on your tax deferred 401K plans.  The IRS can;t know those things.
You still have to go through the exercise to see if the standard deduction is all that you will be permitted.  In most cases it will be but those who want to be sure that they are paying the minimum amount of taxes will have to go through that exercise.

You are wrong about certain things reported to the IRS.  IRA earnings (along with all brokerage earnings) are reported to the IRS as both my wife and I are mandated to take this out now.  Mortgage interest payments are also reported on a form that is copied to the IRS IIRC (our mortgage was paid off 15 years ago so I cannot be sure).  State and local taxes are not reported to IRS but if the US were to move eliminating all tax preferences there would not be any need to deal with these with your Federal tax return.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 03, 2019, 02:40:01 pm
Can't speak for the States, of course, but I take exception to the throwaway that the self-employed cheat more than other people.

For a start, nobody paid me cash. Everything was invoiced and paid by cheque that was paid into the business account. I can't speak for those working for the general public, but I sure wouldn't trust a cheque from one of them! In the brief period where I let the great British public cross my humble threshold, I was on a rapid learning curve about just how uncommon is common decency. From clients who vanished with proofs, to those who simply never showed up to collect, it was an unmitigated disaster. Had I not had my Damascene moment described some time ago, I would just have shut the studio door and handed back the keys.

Apart from that, I took advice and used an accountant from year 1, the advice being that it was the one way to keep a friendly relationship with the taxman. Expensive, but also saved me a lot of grief and even more painful learning curves which, clearly, did not begin with digital photography.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 03, 2019, 03:34:00 pm
Can't speak for the States, of course, but I take exception to the throwaway that the self-employed cheat more than other people.

For a start, nobody paid me cash. Everything was invoiced and paid by cheque that was paid into the business account. I can't speak for those working for the general public, but I sure wouldn't trust a cheque from one of them! In the brief period where I let the great British public cross my humble threshold, I was on a rapid learning curve about just how uncommon is common decency. From clients who vanished with proofs, to those who simply never showed up to collect, it was an unmitigated disaster. Had I not had my Damascene moment described some time ago, I would just have shut the studio door and handed back the keys.

Apart from that, I took advice and used an accountant from year 1, the advice being that it was the one way to keep a friendly relationship with the taxman. Expensive, but also saved me a lot of grief and even more painful learning curves which, clearly, did not begin with digital photography.

Rob

Leet me give you a couple of anecdotes. Years ago, we helped a friend of ours move into her new house in Toronto. This was in mid-October. The brick fireplace in the house needed some work and she called in a specialist for a quote. She asked him if he could do a cash job, off books. He declined because it was October and his accountant had told him to put a few jobs on the books before year's end to avoid suspicion and tax audits.

Several people I know had summer jobs in small firms where we were young and still at school. We have compared notes over the years and every one of those firms had family members on the books as employees and consultants in "no-show" jobs.

I've also known barbers and hairdressers who spent their evenings doing off-books work at clients' homes.

I'll disclose to being a complete cynic, so take this next statement with that caveat in mind. I believe that in some sectors of the economy, where audits are next to impossible to do without expensive clandestine surveillance (so basically it never happens), doing work off-books for many businesses is the only way they can stay in business, because it's the only way to keep prices low enough to compete with all the other businesses that are dong the same thing.

And that's just businesses that are doing legal work, I'm not including the criminal sector. I'm sure most of them don't declare all their income either. :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 03, 2019, 04:26:08 pm
Leet me give you a couple of anecdotes. Years ago, we helped a friend of ours move into her new house in Toronto. This was in mid-October. The brick fireplace in the house needed some work and she called in a specialist for a quote. She asked him if he could do a cash job, off books. He declined because it was October and his accountant had told him to put a few jobs on the books before year's end to avoid suspicion and tax audits.

Several people I know had summer jobs in small firms where we were young and still at school. We have compared notes over the years and every one of those firms had family members on the books as employees and consultants in "no-show" jobs.

I've also known barbers and hairdressers who spent their evenings doing off-books work at clients' homes.

I'll disclose to being a complete cynic, so take this next statement with that caveat in mind. I believe that in some sectors of the economy, where audits are next to impossible to do without expensive clandestine surveillance (so basically it never happens), doing work off-books for many businesses is the only way they can stay in business, because it's the only way to keep prices low enough to compete with all the other businesses that are dong the same thing.

And that's just businesses that are doing legal work, I'm not including the criminal sector. I'm sure most of them don't declare all their income either. :)


I never heard of one of our accountants coming up with stuff like that. It would appear career-suicidal.

That Atlantic sure makes a difference!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 03, 2019, 04:46:59 pm
Leet me give you a couple of anecdotes. Years ago, we helped a friend of ours move into her new house in Toronto. This was in mid-October. The brick fireplace in the house needed some work and she called in a specialist for a quote. She asked him if he could do a cash job, off books. He declined because it was October and his accountant had told him to put a few jobs on the books before year's end to avoid suspicion and tax audits.

Several people I know had summer jobs in small firms where we were young and still at school. We have compared notes over the years and every one of those firms had family members on the books as employees and consultants in "no-show" jobs.

I've also known barbers and hairdressers who spent their evenings doing off-books work at clients' homes.

I'll disclose to being a complete cynic, so take this next statement with that caveat in mind. I believe that in some sectors of the economy, where audits are next to impossible to do without expensive clandestine surveillance (so basically it never happens), doing work off-books for many businesses is the only way they can stay in business, because it's the only way to keep prices low enough to compete with all the other businesses that are dong the same thing.

And that's just businesses that are doing legal work, I'm not including the criminal sector. I'm sure most of them don't declare all their income either. :)

My question with this is, there is only so much cash you can actually hold onto at once.  Eventually, when the sums get big enough, you need to put it into the bank, creating a paper trail. 

Not to mention, any commercial work is going to be a writen off and reported by the client. 

If I had a sudden influx of cash, regularly, I can't think of what I would spend it on without it eventually going into the bank.  Groceries, the occasional diner and show with my wife, etc., but how much does that add up to.  I mean eventually, if I wanted to use it for any kind of major purchase (mortgage, car, etc.), doing so would create some kind of paper trail.  Maybe I'm just boring; I don't gamble, go to strip clubs, drink in excess.

PS, not that I am saying you are wrong, just how do you manage large sums of cash without it eventually getting noted somewhere. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 03, 2019, 04:54:03 pm
My question with this is, there is only so much cash you can actually hold onto at once.  Eventually, when the sums get big enough, you need to put it into the bank, creating a paper trail. 

Not to mention, any commercial work is going to be a writen off and reported by the client. 

I just may be a boring guy, but if I had a sudden influx of cash, regularly, I can't think of what I would spend it on without it eventually going into the bank.  Groceries, the occasional diner and show with my wife, etc., but how much does that add up to.  I mean eventually, if I wanted to use it for any kind of major purchase (mortgage, car, etc.), doing so would create some kind of paper trail.

That's how they always fall. It's just not worth being greedy. If the work exists for you, do it, pay up and look good. Having an accountant encourage and collude means you'd be better changing accountants. A hunded to one, that paper trail won't end in his office. Like Atlas, he'll just shrug and deny any knowledge at all beyond the paperwork he produces for the fuzz.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 03, 2019, 05:33:35 pm
One word: Bitcoin.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 03, 2019, 05:44:05 pm
My question with this is, there is only so much cash you can actually hold onto at once.  Eventually, when the sums get big enough, you need to put it into the bank, creating a paper trail. 

Not to mention, any commercial work is going to be a writen off and reported by the client. 

If I had a sudden influx of cash, regularly, I can't think of what I would spend it on without it eventually going into the bank.  Groceries, the occasional diner and show with my wife, etc., but how much does that add up to.  I mean eventually, if I wanted to use it for any kind of major purchase (mortgage, car, etc.), doing so would create some kind of paper trail.  Maybe I'm just boring; I don't gamble, go to strip clubs, drink in excess.

PS, not that I am saying you are wrong, just how do you manage large sums of cash without it eventually getting noted somewhere.

Of course. It doesn't work for everyone, depends on the business, and if you go too far it becomes easier to get caught. If all the groceries you buy for your family over a 15 year period, say, was bought with cash from off book sources, that would be trivially easy to manage and would add up to a tidy amount. It's not millions, but it doesn't need to be. And it would require some effort for an investigator to discover, so they probably don't bother. Some recently disclosed (hit the news about a year ago) private papers show billions of dollars have escaped the Cdn tax man into offshore tax shelters. If they can't do anything about that, how are they going to track down some barber who doesn't report every 10th head of hair he cuts.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 04, 2019, 07:16:38 am
My question with this is, there is only so much cash you can actually hold onto at once.  Eventually, when the sums get big enough, you need to put it into the bank, creating a paper trail. 

Not to mention, any commercial work is going to be a writen off and reported by the client. 

If I had a sudden influx of cash, regularly, I can't think of what I would spend it on without it eventually going into the bank.  Groceries, the occasional diner and show with my wife, etc., but how much does that add up to.  I mean eventually, if I wanted to use it for any kind of major purchase (mortgage, car, etc.), doing so would create some kind of paper trail.  Maybe I'm just boring; I don't gamble, go to strip clubs, drink in excess.

PS, not that I am saying you are wrong, just how do you manage large sums of cash without it eventually getting noted somewhere.
Joe - the problem is that the IRS is doing far fewer audits these days because resource constraints.  Obviously banks will have records of deposits but what are the chances of an audit?  Look how long it takes authorities to uncover true money laundering that involves huge amounts of money.  I serve on a non-profit board and one of the members is a retired forensic accountant.  We were talking about this matter a couple of months ago and he noted how much time and effort it takes to uncover fraud at the corporate level.  Things can go on for years before malfeasance is discovered (good examples are Enron and Madoff at the macro level).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 04, 2019, 07:38:44 am
Of course. It doesn't work for everyone, depends on the business, and if you go too far it becomes easier to get caught. If all the groceries you buy for your family over a 15 year period, say, was bought with cash from off book sources, that would be trivially easy to manage and would add up to a tidy amount. It's not millions, but it doesn't need to be. And it would require some effort for an investigator to discover, so they probably don't bother. Some recently disclosed (hit the news about a year ago) private papers show billions of dollars have escaped the Cdn tax man into offshore tax shelters. If they can't do anything about that, how are they going to track down some barber who doesn't report every 10th head of hair he cuts.

Regarding that barber: I may have got a garbled account of it - I didn't want to pry - but I feel fairly confident that a local bar owner told me that when you have a small business such as his, there's a system where you opt for a given band of business activity/estimated earnings, and it gets resolved on a broad basis of a standard charge according to the expected grade. For the two years that I ran an offshoot of my photo business here, nothing like that applied, and I had to make official VAT/IVA returns every year, regardless of what did or did not come in.

Differently, in the UK, you only had to register for VAT if you were turning over in excess of 30 grand p.a., or, alternatively, if you weren't, you could register voluntarily in order to take advantage of its benefits.

Which, incidentally, puts the lie yet again to those who swallow the gospel of a European tryany that always trumps (oops!) national law.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 04, 2019, 08:07:21 am
Regarding that barber: I may have got a garbled account of it - I didn't want tp pry - but I feel fairly confident that a local bar owner told me that when you have a small business such as his, there's a system where you opt for a given band of business activity/estimated earnings, and it gets resolved on a broad basis of a standard charge according to the expected grade. For the two years that I ran an offshoot of my photo business here, nothing like that applied, and I had to make official VAT/IVA returns every year, regardless of what did or did not come in.

Differently, in the UK, you only had to register for VAT if you were turning over in excess of 30 grand p.a., or, alternatively, if you werenit, you could register voluntarily in order to take advantage of its benefits.

Which, incidentally, puts the lie yet again to those who swallow the gospel of a European tryany that always trumps (oops!) national law.

Rob

Maybe all those barbers should move their money to Ireland, like Apple does. :)

I can't remember the exact anecdote, or even if it was real, but wasn't there a story once about Warren Buffet paying less tax than his secretary. And I think I remember Trump bragging about not paying any tax. But I'm sure we're all better off for it. If we let the 1% keep more of their money, they will create jobs for the rest of us. Some economist said so. They've been saying that since 1980 or earlier. But now it takes two people working to pay for a house, and their kids are paying crippling tuition increases, but I'm sure it's all working out as it should.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 04, 2019, 08:32:19 am
Maybe all those barbers should move their money to Ireland, like Apple does. :)

I can't remember the exact anecdote, or even if it was real, but wasn't there a story once about Warren Buffet paying less tax than his secretary. And I think I remember Trump bragging about not paying any tax. But I'm sure we're all better off for it. If we let the 1% keep more of their money, they will create jobs for the rest of us. Some economist said so. They've been saying that since 1980 or earlier. But now it takes two people working to pay for a house, and their kids are paying crippling tuition increases, but I'm sure it's all working out as it should.


Valid points, all.

My own take on the double-incomes need is simple: when women were made to feel embarrassed about being "mere" housewives, despite a constantly present mother being the greatest influence on the bringing up of children (and thus our civilization), more so than a father in that respect, excluding, of course, his financial input to keeping the concept of family life afloat, it went pear-shaped - which is not a reference to a certain demographic of city people of a sedentary disposition - but to the result of the business truism: price expands in proportion to the budget available.

As family income grew, so did prices of everything. Stands to reason. Family earns almost double, where did anyone expect prices to head - downhill? The payoff is that singletons are screwed very hard, trying to make it on one paycheck. The resulting social upheavals are obvious and self-perpetuating unless the system changes back again. Equal rights for both sexes was not the issue; the issue was a strident feminism that failed to see that all women do not fit the same mould, and a women's magazine world that seized upon the new ethos as a splendid opportunity for creating an entirely new form of journalism. That's what led to the introduction of Cosmopolitan into the UK; I can't remember a trip where the models didn't head for the airport magazine kiosk and sit there on the 'plane with their noses deep in Cosmo. Forget Vogue or 'Bazaar, they never bought that stuff anyway.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 04, 2019, 09:44:02 am

Valid points, all.

My own take on the double-incomes need is simple: when women were made to feel embarrassed about being "mere" housewives, despite a constantly present mother being the greatest influence on the bringing up of children (and thus our civilization), more so than a father in that respect, excluding, of course, his financial input to keeping the concept of family life afloat, it went pear-shaped - which is not a reference to a certain demographic of city people of a sedentary disposition - but to the result of the business truism: price expands in proportion to the budget available.

As family income grew, so did prices of everything. Stands to reason. Family earns almost double, where did anyone expect prices to head - downhill? The payoff is that singletons are screwed very hard, trying to make it on one paycheck. The resulting social upheavals are obvious and self-perpetuating unless the system changes back again. Equal rights for both sexes was not the issue; the issue was a strident feminism that failed to see that all women do not fit the same mould, and a women's magazine world that seized upon the new ethos as a splendid opportunity for creating an entirely new form of journalism. That's what led to the introduction of Cosmopolitan into the UK; I can't remember a trip where the models didn't head for the airport magazine kiosk and sit there on the 'plane with their noses deep in Cosmo. Forget Vogue or 'Bazaar, they never bought that stuff anyway.

I think you left out an important component in the formula for pricing - women's production.   Doubling incomes for households when women went to work did not raise prices due to more income because the woman produces her share of the goods.  Her work adds to more production doubling the amount of goods a country produces which balances the prices.  (Assuming one to one man to woman production and the number of workers).  Otherwise, if you;re correct, when you double a country's population, prices would double also.  But that doesn't happen because the amount of goods a country produces doubles as well.  So the prices stay constant.


The problem of having to work harder today is because of the government, not private industry, not the rich.  It is that taxes have gone up enormously.  Additionally, deficit spending, debt, and money printing (inflation) raises prices.  Business owners are protected the quickest when this happens because they can raise prices.  Workers on the other hand have to wait for salary increases which follow much later.  So they feel inflation the worse. 


Regarding escalating high tuition mention by Roaldi, that's another government caused problem.  By guaranteeing college loans to every Tom, Dick and Harry, half who should be learning a trade rather than going to college, you have too much money chasing too little goods.  So naturally the price of tuition has gone up four fold compared to inflation for everything else.  Meanwhile, you have all these kids in debt who won;t be able to get a starter house and buy other things due to all the debt.  Another government boondoggle.   Same thing happened 15 years ago with government mandated loans to buy homes given to people who couldn't afford it.  Artificially raised the price of homes until the market collapsed and we had the 2008 worldwide recession.  Another clever government attempt at equalizing wealth and advantage that took the country off the rails. 





Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Ivo_B on June 04, 2019, 11:11:27 am
Oh, come on Robert, we are just having fun and a friendly banter. We love you all guys, French, Dutch, Brits, even Canadians ❤️

This a severe form of discrimination.




Ivo the Gaul from Belgica

(https://focusonbelgium.be/sites/default/files/styles/belgian_biography/public/ambiorix_bio_johan_neven.jpg?itok=CWeMKwTE)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 04, 2019, 11:17:08 am
That six-pack must be from the time before they invented beer in Belgica 😉
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Ivo_B on June 04, 2019, 11:22:00 am
That six-pack must be from the time before they invented beer in Belgica 😉

It is a kind of idealistic representation of an average Belgian Gaul, I admit.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 04, 2019, 11:37:17 am
It is a kind of idealistic representation of an average Belgian Gaul, I admit.
Axt, Sword...I'm missing the Magic Potion
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 04, 2019, 12:08:33 pm
1. I think you left out an important component in the formula for pricing - women's production.   Doubling incomes for households when women went to work did not raise prices due to more income because the woman produces her share of the goods.  Her work adds to more production doubling the amount of goods a country produces which balances the prices.  (Assuming one to one man to woman production and the number of workers).  Otherwise, if you;re correct, when you double a country's population, prices would double also.  But that doesn't happen because the amount of goods a country produces doubles as well.  So the prices stay constant.


2. The problem of having to work harder today is because of the government, not private industry, not the rich.  It is that taxes have gone up enormously.  Additionally, deficit spending, debt, and money printing (inflation) raises prices.  Business owners are protected the quickest when this happens because they can raise prices.  Workers on the other hand have to wait for salary increases which follow much later.  So they feel inflation the worse. 


3. Regarding escalating high tuition mention by Roaldi, that's another government caused problem.  By guaranteeing college loans to every Tom, Dick and Harry, half who should be learning a trade rather than going to college, you have too much money chasing too little goods.  So naturally the price of tuition has gone up four fold compared to inflation for everything else.  Meanwhile, you have all these kids in debt who won;t be able to get a starter house and buy other things due to all the debt.  Another government boondoggle.   Same thing happened 15 years ago with government mandated loans to buy homes given to people who couldn't afford it.  Artificially raised the price of homes until the market collapsed and we had the 2008 worldwide recession.  Another clever government attempt at equalizing wealth and advantage that took the country off the rails.

1. The world is full to capacity with overproduction; don't you read the papers, see the ads for Black Frdays, etc, etc.? There is more crap on sale today than ever. Steel production: China makes enough to supply the whole bloody world, at prices the west can't match, and it simply doesn't matter why that's the case: it just is. We don't need more production, we need less, and stable prices where value is tied to reality, not the screw ever variable pitch, of price based on ability of buyers to pay. Milk: there is so much around that our farmers can't get a decent price for it anymore. Our supermarkets are already filled with chicken, eggs, fruit-out-of-season, vegetables and on and on, never mind the threat of a post-Brexit world and us being forced to buy American food products filled with added chemicals nobody in Europe wants... Need a car? the dealers offer all sorts of incentives; why? It's obvious: they have too many. In Britain last month, car sales dropped over 40%, which is a measure of the crazy prices for basic cars, fiscal fears of job tenure if Brexit goes sour; the mess over fuel types and the promise of pie in the sky electric vehicles only the rich can afford. We have problems producing the electricity to service our daily lives as it is; imagine if cars suddenly switched to a total reliance on the plug in the wall! We couldn't service it. The problem is the opposite of what you state: we make too much stuff and so create what used to be referred to as mountains. More hands ensuring more production is the last thing this world needs, of any gender or sexual persuasion.

As for your neat equation of more production, more hands at work balancing the prices, we have more production since at any time, massively growing populations, and prices everywhere have rocketed: your theory is filled with blissful holes.

The work many women did back then was often secretarial and admin. and they seemed to be very capable at it, too! It's my experience from the females I have known that they genuinely are better at multitasking, whatever convenient new theories come along to dispute that. Just consider the busy women you know, and be honest in your appraisal of their abilities to organise. Women used to run a household, balance the domestic budget and keep that smile on every family face; all men did was try to do one job well enough not to get fired. Those essential women at work, those doctors, nurse, lawyers, teachers, they do their jobs well, too, and we could not do without them. But they are not the ones leading to overproduction of goods.

2. I am sure that the very rich will be the first to agree with you; especially those in politics.

Your differentiation between "workers" and business owners is mildly amusing. Both are hit hard. Those who skin the noses of the rest of us are the megas, the invisibles, the Googles of this world, the banks and the money lenders of all stripes; the financial gamblers who brought about the disaster of 2007/2008, where I found myself trying to switch banks as my wife was dying of cancer, trying to help her hold papers steady as she countersigned her name to enable the swapping of accounts in time. We, the little people, always end up in the shit. Those giving advice to governments, toothless, blind watchdogs of the institutions those are meant to oversee, seem to have retained their jobs in the Ivy League business colleges, haven't they; did any go to prison for neglect...? Those sub-primes had nothing to do with political social engineering and raising/lowering people to a common level: they had everything to do with poor surveillance that let them play the game, which was all pure, greedy, and recklessly irresponsible speculation on the part of the moneymen selling fantasies: they just passed the buck to the next guy in their chain. It was bound to crash.

3. Yes; higher education has been touted in Britain for a few years now, and anecdotal reports tell me of kids wanting to leave school earlier than allowed so that they can become plumbers or electricians like their older brothers or mates, and earn massive sums of money a week doing jobs for which there is ever a queue of waiting customers. Those cats don't give a fig for Hamlet. Shakespeare? That's a motorboat, innit? And if they want one, they will probably be able to buy it pretty damnd quickly. Instead, they have to waste a couple more years at school disturbing those who want to study and annoying the teachers. But, but, politicians aspire to being loved for providing higher education to all, even at the price of creating a sub-class of professional students wasting their parents' money or just getting laid. And even some of those who work, what do they study? Esoteric stuff that doesn't give them a snowball's of using the resulting degree to get a job. There's something far wrong with that. You don't need to fund departments that lead nowhere. If you want to do esoteric do it in your own time and wholely on your own buck.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 04, 2019, 12:16:50 pm
It is a kind of idealistic representation of an average Belgian Gaul, I admit.

With so much hanging below the belt, it's a miracle people didn't keep tripping over their bits and falling onto their faces. Or perhaps they did, but kept quiet about it. Brings to mind the fall of Rome; maybe they all did it at once.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 04, 2019, 01:41:31 pm
1. The world is full to capacity with overproduction; don't you read the papers, see the ads for Black Frdays, etc, etc.? There is more crap on sale today than ever. Steel production: China makes enough to supply the whole bloody world, at prices the west can't match, and it simply doesn't matter why that's the case: it just is. We don't need more production, we need less, and stable prices where value is tied to reality, not the screw ever variable pitch, of price based on ability of buyers to pay. Milk: there is so much around that our farmers can't get a decent price for it anymore. Our supermarkets are already filled with chicken, eggs, fruit-out-of-season, vegetables and on and on, never mind the threat of a post-Brexit world and us being forced to buy American food products filled with added chemicals nobody in Europe wants... Need a car? the dealers offer all sorts of incentives; why? It's obvious: they have too many. In Britain last month, car sales dropped over 40%, which is a measure of the crazy prices for basic cars, fiscal fears of job tenure if Brexit goes sour; the mess over fuel types and the promise of pie in the sky electric vehicles only the rich can afford. We have problems producing the electricity to service our daily lives as it is; imagine if cars suddenly switched to a total reliance on the plug in the wall! We couldn't service it. The problem is the opposite of what you state: we make too much stuff and so create what used to be referred to as mountains. More hands ensuring more production is the last thing this world needs, of any gender or sexual persuasion.

As for your neat equation of more production, more hands at work balancing the prices, we have more production since at any time, massively growing populations, and prices everywhere have rocketed: your theory is filled with blissful holes.

The work many women did back then was often secretarial and admin. and they seemed to be very capable at it, too! It's my experience from the females I have known that they genuinely are better at multitasking, whatever convenient new theories come along to dispute that. Just consider the busy women you know, and be honest in your appraisal of their abilities to organise. Women used to run a household, balance the domestic budget and keep that smile on every family face; all men did was try to do one job well enough not to get fired. Those essential women at work, those doctors, nurse, lawyers, teachers, they do their jobs well, too, and we could not do without them. But they are not the ones leading to overproduction of goods.

2. I am sure that the very rich will be the first to agree with you; especially those in politics.

Your differentiation between "workers" and business owners is mildly amusing. Both are hit hard. Those who skin the noses of the rest of us are the megas, the invisibles, the Googles of this world, the banks and the money lenders of all stripes; the financial gamblers who brought about the disaster of 2007/2008, where I found myself trying to switch banks as my wife was dying of cancer, trying to help her hold papers steady as she countersigned her name to enable the swapping of accounts in time. We, the little people, always end up in the shit. Those giving advice to governments, toothless, blind watchdogs of the institutions those are meant to oversee, seem to have retained their jobs in the Ivy League business colleges, haven't they; did any go to prison for neglect...? Those sub-primes had nothing to do with political social engineering and raising/lowering people to a common level: they had everything to do with poor surveillance that let them play the game, which was all pure, greedy, and recklessly irresponsible speculation on the part of the moneymen selling fantasies: they just passed the buck to the next guy in their chain. It was bound to crash.

3. Yes; higher education has been touted in Britain for a few years now, and anecdotal reports tell me of kids wanting to leave school earlier than allowed so that they can become plumbers or electricians like their older brothers or mates, and earn massive sums of money a week doing jobs for which there is ever a queue of waiting customers. Those cats don't give a fig for Hamlet. Shakespeare? That's a motorboat, innit? And if they want one, they will probably be able to buy it pretty damnd quickly. Instead, they have to waste a couple more years at school disturbing those who want to study and annoying the teachers. But, but, politicians aspire to being loved for providing higher education to all, even at the price of creating a sub-class of professional students wasting their parents' money or just getting laid. And even some of those who work, what do they study? Esoteric stuff that doesn't give them a snowball's of using the resulting degree to get a job. There's something far wrong with that. You don't need to fund departments that lead nowhere. If you want to do esoteric do it in your own time and wholely on your own buck.

Sorry, more production lowers prices and raises standards of living as money goes further.  Who argues for higher prices?  Do you shop for higher camera prices so you can pay more?  I don;t. 

If prices are going up it's due to inflation and taxes.  Both caused by stupid government practices of deficit spending and money printing.  They devalue the dollar, Euro, Pound, etc.  So what you earn doesn;t go as far as it use too.

We agree on college costs and value of higher education for many losers.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 04, 2019, 01:48:09 pm
The problem of having to work harder today is because of the government, not private industry, not the rich.  It is that taxes have gone up enormously.  Additionally, deficit spending, debt, and money printing (inflation) raises prices.  Business owners are protected the quickest when this happens because they can raise prices.  Workers on the other hand have to wait for salary increases which follow much later.  So they feel inflation the worse.   

Is it true that taxes have increased so much? How can they have with so many Republicans in office? I thought Reagan put a big stop to all that (especially high marginal rates) and that all subsequent administrations haven't tampered with the basic formula all that much. Are current tax rates higher than they were in the 1950s/1960s, a period of healthy growth at all income levels. It has been since the 1980s that middle incomes have stagnated and I find it hard to believe that's because of high taxes.

Which brings up another question. Why do Americans (in general) criticize the "socialism" of other countries if their own taxes are so high that it is crippling your economy? Are you socialists too then?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 04, 2019, 02:16:31 pm
Is it true that taxes have increased so much? How can they have with so many Republicans in office? I thought Reagan put a big stop to all that (especially high marginal rates) and that all subsequent administrations haven't tampered with the basic formula all that much. Are current tax rates higher than they were in the 1950s/1960s, a period of healthy growth at all income levels. It has been since the 1980s that middle incomes have stagnated and I find it hard to believe that's because of high taxes.

Which brings up another question. Why do Americans (in general) criticize the "socialism" of other countries if their own taxes are so high that it is crippling your economy? Are you socialists too then?

Republicans are just as bad as Democrats.  They also want to get re-elected.  God forbid Federal benefits are lowered.  So they spend more than they take in in taxes, and have to print money, issue bonds, etc.  Trump complains about the Fed, but then winks at them because he knows he needs them to print money and issue bonds to cover the bigger deficit caused by his new tax legislation. 

Regarding taxes, yes they have gone up.  When I was a teen and working at my first job in 1962, Social Security deduction from my salary was 3%.  There were no Medicare deductions.  Now, combined Social Security and Medicare deductions are 7.65% or 2 1/2 times as much.  Also, the employer has to match the 7.65%.  So the actual "tax" amount is really 15.30%. This really hurts low income people the most because these are mandatory deductions most felt by poorer people.  (Just like the VAT in Europe). Also, Federal taxes are only one component of taxes generally.  There are also State and Local taxes, sales taxes, property taxes.  All these have gone up by huge margins since the 1950's and 1960's.  I'm paying $10,000 in property taxes in New Jersey and I have an average house.  2/3's of those taxes go for local schools to educate kids I don;t have here.  ($18,000 per child)  Sales tax is around 7%, all much higher than it use to be.  So between foreign competition and all sorts of new and increasing taxes, the average worker is squeezed.  I'm sure it's similar in Europe and elsewhere where VAT taxes were added around 1985.  Frankly you can't blame the politicians.  The voters demand all sorts of "freebies" but don;t you dare raise my taxes to pay for them.  Now the Dems are demanding free college education for kids who can't read, $1.7 trillion for climate control, etc. So they'll issue more bonds and print more money.  Who pays for this stuff?  The chickens are coming home to roast.

Also, the 1950's and 1960's were very good for America.  We were the only country left standing after WWII.  We switched our dynamic war production to civilian use and the economy boomed.  Cars instead of tanks.  We were the world's biggest creditor nation producing 40% of the world's production.  Today we are the world's largest debtor nation. We owe everyone.   As nations throughout the world built up their post war economies, we started to have major competition.  Jobs fled overseas as did manufacturing. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 04, 2019, 02:26:31 pm
Republicans are just as bad as Democrats.  They also want to get re-elected.  God forbid Federal benefits are lowered.  So they spend more than they take in in taxes, and have to print money, issue bonds, etc.  Trump complains about the Fed, but then winks at them because he knows he needs them to print money and issue bonds to cover the bigger deficit caused by his new tax legislation. 

Regarding taxes, yes they have gone up.  When I was a teen and working at my first job in 1962, Social Security deduction from my salary was 3%.  There were no Medicare deductions.  Now, combined Social Security and Medicare deductions are 7.65% or 2 1/2 times as much.  Also, the employer has to match the 7.65%.  So the actual "tax" amount is really 15.30%. This really hurts low income people the most because these are mandatory deductions most felt by poorer people.  (Just like the VAT in Europe). Also, Federal taxes are only one component of taxes generally.  There are also State and Local taxes, sales taxes, property taxes.  All these have gone up by huge margins since the 1950's and 1960's.  I'm paying $10,000 in property taxes in New Jersey and I have an average house.  2/3's of those taxes go for local schools to educate kids I don;t have here.  ($18,000 per child)  Sales tax is around 7%, all much higher than it use to be.  So between foreign competition and all sorts of new and increasing taxes, the average worker is squeezed.  I'm sure it's similar in Europe and elsewhere where VAT taxes were added around 1985.  Frankly you can't blame the politicians.  The voters demand all sorts of "freebies" but don;t you dare raise my taxes to pay for them.  Now the Dems are demanding free college education for kids who can't read, $1.7 trillion for climate control, etc. So they'll issue more bonds and print more money.  Who pays for this stuff?  The chickens are coming home to roast.

Also, the 1950's and 1960's were very good for America.  We were the only country left standing after WWII.  We switched our dynamic war production to civilian use and the economy boomed.  Cars instead of tanks.  We were the world's biggest creditor nation producing 40% of the world's production.  Today we are the world's largest debtor nation. We owe everyone.   As nations throughout the world built up their post war economies, we started to have major competition.  Jobs fled overseas as did manufacturing.


Hang on a minute. You're saying that deductions have gone up to pay for all these additional services (Medicare, Social Security), so it's not as if the money is disappearing, you're just buying yourselves insurance for your old age. Are you saying that's a bad thing?

And I believe you when you say that your property taxes have gone up, but have they gone up relative to inflation?

You criticized deficit spending. How else can you build the interstate system, public transit, schools, laws, police, essentially all infrastructure. Those aren't costs, over the long run they return far more than what they cost, no different than any investment. Did you think Amazon could deliver stuff to your door so cheaply if they had to build their own private road system? Your categorizing of all government spending as "costs" is absurd. You need to account for the "costs" of NOT doing those things.




Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 04, 2019, 03:05:32 pm

Hang on a minute. You're saying that deductions have gone up to pay for all these additional services (Medicare, Social Security), so it's not as if the money is disappearing, you're just buying yourselves insurance for your old age. Are you saying that's a bad thing?

And I believe you when you say that your property taxes have gone up, but have they gone up relative to inflation?

You criticized deficit spending. How else can you build the interstate system, public transit, schools, laws, police, essentially all infrastructure. Those aren't costs, over the long run they return far more than what they cost, no different than any investment. Did you think Amazon could deliver stuff to your door so cheaply if they had to build their own private road system? Your categorizing of all government spending as "costs" is absurd. You need to account for the "costs" of NOT doing those things.

1. Whether it is a good or bad thing is utterly irrelevant for the initial question whether taxes went up: what matters is that they were doubled in Alan's example.

2. Yes.

3. You don't need a deficit for all those purposes. Just a (balanced) budget. Deficits increase interest rates.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 04, 2019, 03:44:27 pm

Hang on a minute. You're saying that deductions have gone up to pay for all these additional services (Medicare, Social Security), so it's not as if the money is disappearing, you're just buying yourselves insurance for your old age. Are you saying that's a bad thing?

And I believe you when you say that your property taxes have gone up, but have they gone up relative to inflation?

You criticized deficit spending. How else can you build the interstate system, public transit, schools, laws, police, essentially all infrastructure. Those aren't costs, over the long run they return far more than what they cost, no different than any investment. Did you think Amazon could deliver stuff to your door so cheaply if they had to build their own private road system? Your categorizing of all government spending as "costs" is absurd. You need to account for the "costs" of NOT doing those things.






To add to Slobo's succinct response, Medicare and Social Security are good thing for people who are collecting, like me.   I'm 74.  But if you're just a young, poor schnook, trying to raise a family, SS and Medicare deductions take a huge amount out of your disposable income, money you might rather have for your kid's education, or camp, or clothes, or whatever.  And the money has been disappearing.  The government has been taking the surplus of Social Security collections and spending it on other government expenditures rather than setting it aside for downstream Social Security payments.  So now, the program is going prematurely broke.  Good luck to those young schnooks paying in now when they get old enough to collect.  They'll be getting nothing back as I'm spending it all up with the payments the government is making to me now.

Also, I could of had a lot more if I was allowed to save the money on my own rather than giving all that money over the years to SS.  Plus, if you die before collecting, your heirs get nothing of what you gave all your life.  That happened to my mother and sister-in-law both who died in their 50's.  With private savings, you could leave your money to your children.  Also, Medicare payments do not end when you become a senior and collect.  You have to pay roughly $1500-$3500 annually for Medicare depending on your income.  They deduct it right out of your Social Security payment which by the way 85% of which gets taxed as regular income.    So you really don;t get the SS payments they promised you as it's taxed too. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 04, 2019, 04:05:03 pm
The problem of having to work harder today is because of the government, not private industry, not the rich.  It is that taxes have gone up enormously.  Additionally, deficit spending, debt, and money printing (inflation) raises prices.  Business owners are protected the quickest when this happens because they can raise prices.  Workers on the other hand have to wait for salary increases which follow much later.  So they feel inflation the worse. 
I believe the total tax burden has gone down since the Reagan years with the exception of a few states who raised their state and local taxes.  Our tax burden in Maryland has been pretty much constant for as many years as I have been doing my own tax returns.  Inflation has been non-existent since the housing collapse in 2008.

Quote
Regarding escalating high tuition mention by Roaldi, that's another government caused problem.  By guaranteeing college loans to every Tom, Dick and Harry, half who should be learning a trade rather than going to college, you have too much money chasing too little goods.  So naturally the price of tuition has gone up four fold compared to inflation for everything else.  Meanwhile, you have all these kids in debt.
The real problem is that there are too many students for too few places at the existing colleges.  This sparked a rise in the new on-line and "trade" schools many of which were just scams and the Department of Education just stood by not saying anything.  Take the eight Ivy League schools as a simplistic example; the number slots in their freshman class has been constant and applications are through the roof.  At my undergrad school, UC Santa Barbara which is public, it's the same story.  They can only admit about 20% of the qualified applicants.  Also, nobody is forcing any student to take out a loan.  there are ways to go to college cheaply - two years at a community college and then two years at the state college or university.

Quote
who won;t be able to get a starter house and buy other things due to all the debt.
In our area there is pretty much no such thing as a starter house.  One or two bedroom condos in the suburbs are the starter homes of today. 

Quote
Same thing happened 15 years ago with government mandated loans to buy homes given to people who couldn't afford it.  Artificially raised the price of homes until the market collapsed and we had the 2008 worldwide recession.  Another clever government attempt at equalizing wealth and advantage that took the country off the rails.
this is a total misreading of history.  What happened is the shadow banking industry made NINJA loans to lots of people and then used Wall Street to package these into collateralize securities which few people other than those documented by Michael Lewis in "The Big Short" could understand.  The same thing is happen today as loans to dicey corporations are now being packaged in the same manner and nobody seems to care as they are all chasing yield.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 04, 2019, 04:24:16 pm
And the money has been disappearing.  The government has been taking the surplus of Social Security collections and spending it on other government expenditures rather than setting it aside for downstream Social Security payments.  So now, the program is going prematurely broke.
You are wrong.  Social Security can only invest in special interest bearing government securities.  It is not going prematurely broke.  I think you are confusing Medicare which has more immediate solvency problems but could be easily corrected if the US moved to some form of national health care be it single payor or government regulated private insurance as is the case in several European countries.  Social Security can also be fixed in a number of ways as well.

Quote
Also, I could of had a lot more if I was allowed to save the money on my own rather than giving all that money over the years to SS.  Plus, if you die before collecting, your heirs get nothing of what you gave all your life.  That happened to my mother and sister-in-law both who died in their 50's.
You are presuming that you are a knowledgeable investor, perhaps you are; the vast majority of American are not.  the number of people who rely 100% on Social Security is extremely high.  Also, if you have other retirement income up 85% of your Social Security income is taxed and goes back into the trust fund (we pay such a tax).  I don't know the particular case that you cite, but there are survivor benefits under Medicare for both spouse and children.

Quote
Also, Medicare payments do not end when you become a senior and collect.  You have to pay roughly $1500-$3500 annually for Medicare depending on your income.  They deduct it right out of your Social Security payment which by the way 85% of which gets taxed as regular income.    So you really don;t get the SS payments they promised you as it's taxed too.
As I noted above, you only pay tax on your Social Security earnings if you have additional retirement income.  People who only have Social Security are not taxed at all.  Yes, there is a Medicare premium you have to pay for both Part B and D, what's the big deal.  If Medicare did not exist, you would have to get private insurance and think about what the market rate for a private policy for someone in there 70s would be!!!  Most of us also have Medigap insurance to cover the Medicare co-pays and deductibles; this adds additional cost in retirement.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 04, 2019, 04:38:03 pm
When it comes to the housing crisis, both Alans are using a binary approach, that is the extremes. It is neither exclusively Clinton's housing initiative to push banks to lend to less qualified buyers, nor exclusively collateralized securities, but both, on top of several other reasons.

However, the chain reaction could not possibly start at the end of the chain (collateralized securities) but at the beginning, at the colletteral level (people unable to pay off their mortgage they shouldn't have gotten in the first place). The securities just multiplied the effect and spread the initial ignition across the world like a wildfire.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 04, 2019, 07:41:17 pm
1. You are wrong.  Social Security can only invest in special interest bearing government securities.  It is not going prematurely broke.  I think you are confusing Medicare which has more immediate solvency problems but could be easily corrected if the US moved to some form of national health care be it single payor or government regulated private insurance as is the case in several European countries.  Social Security can also be fixed in a number of ways as well.
2. You are presuming that you are a knowledgeable investor, perhaps you are; the vast majority of American are not.  the number of people who rely 100% on Social Security is extremely high.  Also, if you have other retirement income up 85% of your Social Security income is taxed and goes back into the trust fund (we pay such a tax).  I don't know the particular case that you cite, but there are survivor benefits under Medicare for both spouse and children.
 3. As I noted above, you only pay tax on your Social Security earnings if you have additional retirement income.  People who only have Social Security are not taxed at all.  Yes, there is a Medicare premium you have to pay for both Part B and D, what's the big deal.  If Medicare did not exist, you would have to get private insurance and think about what the market rate for a private policy for someone in there 70s would be!!!  Most of us also have Medigap insurance to cover the Medicare co-pays and deductibles; this adds additional cost in retirement.
1. I am right.  Money is fungible.  The government investing in secial government securities still means the government has to come up with the money.  They still owe it and will have to print it, raise taxes or issue more bonds to get the money.  Yes, they can fix it.  One way is to reduce the payout or start paying out when you get older.  That was my point.  The youngsters today will never see full payments made to them.

2. Relying on SS 100% means you are going to live poorly in retirement.  You can't get enough from SS to live on.  Investing in simple and risk free 2-3% insured bank account over your life would probably double what you would get from SS.  And if you die, unlike SS which the government keeps, your estate and savings go to your family.  Survivor benefits would only help your spouse if they make less from SS then you do.  Then they get the additional difference.  But the rest of the dead person;s SS goes back to the government.  They keep the SS money you and your employers contributed all your life.  How's that fair? 

3. Also, 85% of my SS is taxed and goes back to the government.  What sense does that make? 
  So my wife and I pay over $5000 to Medicare although we're retired and do not work.   Me and my employers have also contributed to Medicare since Medicare was conceived decades ago.  Most people think Medicare is free.  It's not.    That's the main point I was making.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 04, 2019, 07:46:09 pm
You are wrong.  Social Security can only invest in special interest bearing government securities.

Securities secured by the taxpayers, who will have to cough up the money when these "securities" are cashed in.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 04, 2019, 07:53:15 pm
When it comes to the housing crisis, both Alans are using a binary approach, that is the extremes. It is neither exclusively Clinton's housing initiative to push banks to lend to less qualified buyers, nor exclusively collateralized securities, but both, on top of several other reasons.

However, the chain reaction could not possibly start at the end of the chain (collateralized securities) but at the beginning, at the colletteral level (people unable to pay off their mortgage they shouldn't have gotten in the first place). The securities just multiplied the effect and spread the initial ignition across the world like a wildfire.


That was my point. Another government boondoggle, all with good intentions, started by the government that caused a world-wide recession.  Wasn't it Pogo in the comic strip who said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 04:54:44 am
What it all boils down to, then, is that your health care is woefully inadequate, and to be worth squat, is confined to the rich who don't feel the pinch of the annual cost of buying it.

I don't see it so much as a political issue of left v. right, but as a total lack of moral, civic responsibility. A state unwilling to consider its people's health a primary concern is not fit for purpose; it's the single most important thing upon which depends everything else about the nation. Far from showing some sense of justice, some vaunting of self-reliance as guiding principle, it reveals an absolute lack of it or of respect for one's fellow human beings.

Self-reliance is all fine and good, but sick people are not in any position to play that game. To be self-reliant, to strike out into the world in some meaningful way and mark your territory requires that you be fit and able to fight the many fights you will inevitably face.

One could touch upon the hypocrisy of nations driving propaganda about tobacco and cancer, fast food and sweet drinks and other rubbish that both fattens into obesity and deprives kids of their natural teeth before they hit their teens, but does absolutely nothing to ban that shit, just keeps on collecting the sales tax on the one hand and putting more and more pressure on health services to cope with governmental cowardice to do the right thing. Why doesn't it do anything? Popularity! The great television charade that politics has become.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 05, 2019, 07:12:28 am
That was my point. Another government boondoggle, all with good intentions, started by the government that caused a world-wide recession.  Wasn't it Pogo in the comic strip who said, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
That is really not true as anyone who has read in depth about the financial crisis knows.  Adam Tooze in his fine book on the financial meltdown and aftermath, "Crashed:  How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World" that is well worth reading.  Well known investment manager and Bloomberg columnist, Barry Ritholz, skewers the idea (https://ritholtz.com/2016/06/no-cra-not-cause-financial-crisis/) that the Community Reinvestment Act had anything much to do with the meltdown.  Unlike the Tooze book, this will only take you about three minutes to read.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 05, 2019, 07:13:43 am
What it all boils down to, then, is that your health care is woefully inadequate, and to be worth squat, is confined to the rich who don't feel the pinch of the annual cost of buying it.

I don't see it so much as a political issue of left v. right, but as a total lack of moral, civic responsibility. A state unwilling to consider its people's health a primary concern is not fit for purpose; it's the single most important thing upon which depends everything else about the nation. Far from showing some sense of justice, some vaunting of self-reliance as guiding principle, it reveals an absolute lack of it or of respect for one's fellow human beings.

Self-reliance is all fine and good, but sick people are not in any position to play that game. To be self-reliant, to strike out into the world in some meaningful way and mark your territory requires that you be fit and able to fight the many fights you will inevitably face.

One could touch upon the hypocrisy of nations driving propaganda about tobacco and cancer, fast food and sweet drinks and other rubbish that both fattens into obesity and deprives kids of their natural teeth before they hit their teens, but does absolutely nothing to ban that shit, just keeps on collecting the sales tax on the one hand and putting more and more pressure more on health services to cope with governmental cowardice to do the right thing. Why doesn't it do anything? Popularity! The great television charade that politics has become.
I would hope that all can agree with this fine, thoughtful, post.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 07:37:44 am
I would hope that all can agree with this fine, thoughtful, post.


It reads better when I remove the third, irrelevant "more" which I have now done!

Thanks, anyway.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 09:57:24 am
That is really not true as anyone who has read in depth about the financial crisis knows.  Adam Tooze in his fine book on the financial meltdown and aftermath, "Crashed:  How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World" that is well worth reading.  Well known investment manager and Bloomberg columnist, Barry Ritholz, skewers the idea (https://ritholtz.com/2016/06/no-cra-not-cause-financial-crisis/) that the Community Reinvestment Act had anything much to do with the meltdown.  Unlike the Tooze book, this will only take you about three minutes to read.
My wife and I just happened to be looking to buy a home around 2003 when all of this was going strong a few years before the housing market collapsed.  When I asked my broker what papers he needed to prove we were creditable borrowers, expecting him to ask for our bank and investment statements, tax returns, and payroll stubs, he told us we don't need anything.  Nothing! I was astounded.  He said all we need is to sign the mortgage loan agreement and we'd get the money.  Incredible!

The CRE along with the cancellation of the Glass Steagall Act during the Democrat Clinton administration led to this bizarre arrangement. No one cared.  Everyone was greedy and hoped to get rich buying in April and selling the house 6 months later in October at huge profits.  Greedy deadbeats earning $30,000 a year purchasing a $600,000 home hoping to sell it for $800,000 the following year.  It was like the Tulip boom in the 1600's.   Everyone was at fault.  Greedy deadbeat buyers, crooked banks who didn;t want to get stuck with bad loans, rating agencies who didn;t want to lose their customers the banks, and Congress and the Presidency who pushed these loans and removed regulations that worked for 70 years.  Of course the politicians didn't want to take any of the blame.  Similar things are happening now - the Fed's printing has made it worse today.  The Debt, deficit spending, etc.  When the next recession hits, the Fed, the politicians, etc will again blame private industry when it's the government that always gets the ball rolling.


By the way, the S&L (Savings and Loan)  crisis was also caused by the government although your author Ritholz didn't blame them for that either.  Congress set it up so investments in real estate could be written off for tax purposes in 19 years rather than the usual much longer period.  So real estate investors build strip malls not because there was a business demand for them.  Rather, they build them to write off their costs against profits they made in other real estate ventures.  So there again, the government and Congress created the crisis, not private industry.  Its the government that distorts the economy and drives private business to invest poorly, whether in malls or homes.  Neither would have happened without the government being the catalyst.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 05, 2019, 10:08:19 am
My wife and I just happened to be looking to buy a home around 2003 when all of this was going strong a few years before the housing market collapsed.  When I asked my broker what papers he needed to prove we were creditable borrowers, expecting him to ask for our bank and investment statements, tax returns, and payroll stubs, he told us we don't need anything.  Nothing! I was astounded.  He said all we need is to sign the mortgage loan agreement and we'd get the money.  Incredible!
Correct, these were NINJA loans - no documentation required.  I don't know if they even required private mortgage insurance.  When we bought our home we could only put 15% down based on the purchase price.  The lender required us to take out PMI that cost about $90/month and was not tax deductible.  Once the equity in the home had increased so that our value was above the 20% threshold of the mortgage we could cancel PMI.

Quote
The CRE along with the cancellation of the Glass Steagall Act during the Democrat Clinton administration led to this bizarre arrangement. No one cared.  Everyone was greedy and hoped to get rich buying in April and selling the house 6 months later in October at huge profits.  Greedy deadbeats earning $30,000 a year purchasing a $600,000 home hoping to sell it for $800,000 the following year.  It was like the Tulip boom in the 1600's.   Everyone was at fault.  Greedy deadbeat buyers, crooked banks who didn;t want to get stuck with bad loans, rating agencies who didn;t want to lose their customers the banks, and Congress and the Presidency who pushed these loans and removed regulations that worked for 70 years.  Of course the politicians didn't want to take any of the blame.  Similar things are happening now - the Fed's printing has made it worse today.  The Debt, deficit spending, etc.  When the next recession hits, the Fed, the politicians, etc will again blame private industry when it's the government that always gets the ball rolling.
CRA played little or no role in the meltdown so I would wish you stop citing it.  Glass-Steagall repeal was impactful but much of the damage was done by the shadow banking industry, the financiers who created the collatoralized debt instruments, and the ratings agencies that gave these ratings that stated they were safe for investment.  The federal government had a minor role in this whole enterprise.  As I already pointed out there were a group of investors who saw through this whole phony house of cards.

Quote
By the way, the S&L (Savings and Loan)  crisis was also caused by the government although your author Ritholz didn't blame them for that either.  Congress set it up so investments in real estate could be written off for tax purposes in 19 years rather than the usual much longer period.  So real estate investors build strip malls not because there was a business demand for them.  Rather, they build them to write off their costs against profits they made in other real estate ventures.  So there again, the government and Congress created the crisis, not private industry.  Its the government that distorts the economy and drives private business to invest poorly, whether in malls or homes.  Neither would have happened without the government being the catalyst.
He was not writing about the S&L crisis.  One thing to remember is that the S&Ls were highly regulated and when interest rates started to wildly fluctuate their business model would no longer work.  They were making loans for 30 years that were below the prevailing rates of the time and could not possibly be profitable.  they also had to keep these loans on the books.  The financial industry in this country has difficulty adapting to rapidly changing conditions and as a result there are lots of bankruptcies and consolidation.

EDIT:  I forgot to add that it's also very difficult to read bank balance sheets to assess how stable they are.  Most banks do not retain enough capital to weather a downturn.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 10:12:17 am
I would hope that all can agree with this fine, thoughtful, post.

Nope.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 05, 2019, 10:14:24 am
+1 Nope
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 10:24:59 am
The S&L's went broke when the real estate builders stopped paying them for the loans they received because they couldn't rent out the malls because there was overbuilding due to governmental tax write-offs.  Again, the government started the problem by distorting business investment criteria, same as the 2008 housing recession.   When the next crisis hits, you'll see it was the government that started it.  It will be worse.  Since 2008, we've more than doubled our debt.  The Fed's balance sheet has gone from $800 billion to over $4 trillion in printed money.  Our deficit is pushing another trillion this year.  It's going to be a mess.   

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 05, 2019, 11:04:01 am
A state unwilling to consider its people's health a primary concern ...... it reveals an absolute lack of it or of respect for one's fellow human beings.


i think that hits the nail on the head for the difference in inclinations between "European" governments and the government in the US -a government that is more about facilitating business  than social welfare. Hence the continuous attempt by some to reverse the social safety net set up by Roosevelt in the '30s and Johnson in the '60s.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 11:20:09 am
i think that hits the nail on the head for the difference in inclinations between "European" governments and the government in the US -a government that is more about facilitating business  than social welfare. Hence the continuous attempt by some to reverse the social safety net set up by Roosevelt in the '30s and Johnson in the '60s.

I'm sure you didn't realize the irony in your comparison denigrating America.  While America was setting up Social Security in the 1930's, Europe was getting ready to start WWII. 

Until Obamacare single handedly is destroying medical care in the US, Americans had good health care privately or through their places of employment.  When I ran my little business twenty years ago, all of my employees had health coverage paid for by my company.  That was standard practice.  America also has Medicare and Medicaid.  I recently had heart surgery paid for by Medicare.  In my semi private room, the fellow next to me was a young, homeless person who just had major heart surgery paid for by the government.  He got all the same excellent care that I got.   We still have issues with medical care that will get resolved. But it's still pretty good here. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 05, 2019, 11:25:50 am
You are making assumptions. i am not kicking the US. Just stating the difference in attitude that leads to the results.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 05, 2019, 11:44:24 am
I'm sure you didn't realize the irony in your comparison denigrating America.  While America was setting up Social Security in the 1930's, Europe was getting ready to start WWII. 
Remember that Bismark established a social net in late 19th century Germany that included health insurance and a pension.

Quote
Until Obamacare single handedly is destroying medical care in the US, Americans had good health care privately or through their places of employment.  We still have issues with medical care that will get resolved. But it's still pretty good here.
Please tell me how Obamacare is destroying medical care in the US.  Tell me why insurance premiums for businesses and individuals are going up.  I serve on a non-profit that offers health insurance to research fellows and serve on the committee that reviews the policy and makes decisions about coverage.  In almost all areas that we have looked at from a comparison point of view organizations are raising rates, and increasing co-pays and deductibles.  The only reason that companies offer health insurance these days is because they get a tax write off.  Eliminate that and you would quickly see all of them exit and throw everyone into the private market.  HR departments hate health insurance more than almost anything else.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 05, 2019, 12:14:01 pm
America also has Medicare and Medicaid.  I recently had heart surgery paid for by Medicare.  In my semi private room, the fellow next to me was a young, homeless person who just had major heart surgery paid for by the government.  He got all the same excellent care that I got.   We still have issues with medical care that will get resolved. But it's still pretty good here.
As long as you and your spouse are 65 or older and can afford a Medicare supplement policy.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 12:23:50 pm
As long as you and your spouse are 65 or older and can afford a Medicare supplement policy.

And then there is Medicaid, for the poor.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 02:03:23 pm
Why is there a need for two bodies to do the work of one? I always imagined that was the trade-unionist attitude to competitiveness and efficiency.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 05, 2019, 02:24:52 pm
A state unwilling to consider its people's health a primary concern is not fit for purpose; it's the single most important thing upon which depends everything else about the nation.

I don't agree. A healthcare system to which access is decided by illness rather than by means is hugely desirable; but it's the rule of law on which a nation depends for its existence. Whether that's law imposed by dictators, laws passed by a parliament or something in between is less important than that institutions of the state exist. If they don't, there's no chance for healthcare.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 02:37:16 pm
Why is there a need for two bodies to do the work of one?...

There are data-backs for the rich, and p&s for the poor. And anything in between. Would you prefer one for all? Like a Canon Rebel for everyone? Even the Soviets had a choice: Zorkiy or Zenit.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 02:48:43 pm
but it's the rule of law on which a nation depends for its existence.

LoL, occupational deformation obv, easily demonstrated by the following question: what rule of law determines a nation's border?



Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 02:50:10 pm
+1 vote for the rule of law.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 03:06:20 pm
+1 vote for the rule of law.

Nonsense, we already had the following observation. Think about this: how is access to the legal system available in your country for the poor and needy? And don't give me that pro bono crap, you first need legal advice to even know whether the law can be of assistance and then you actually need to win the case to potentially have the cost returned.


Perhaps I'm getting more cynical in my dotage, but it seems that constitutions and bills of rights, while fine aspirational (and inspirational) documents, are increasingly becoming works of fiction. Was it always that way?
By this I mean that in many countries the constitution is simply ignored by the rich, by corporations, and by governments when it gets in the way of their power. I include all of North and South America, and much of Europe. Can't speak for Asia or the Middle East.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 03:10:03 pm
Nonsense, we already had the following observation. Think about this: how is access to the legal system available in your country for the poor and needy? And don't give me that pro bono crap, you first need legal advice to even know whether the law can be of assistance and then you actually need to win the case to potentially have the cost returned.



Lawyers take cases with no cost to their clients by taking 1/3 of any monies they win in settlement or trial.  Happens all the time in injury cases.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 03:15:56 pm
Lawyers take cases with no cost to their clients by taking 1/3 of any monies they win in settlement or trial.  Happens all the time in injury cases.

Yes, I know that, and if you are detained you have the right to proper defense and all that crap. But what if you feel mistreated and think the law should protect you, but you have no moneys? What if you're evicted from your home? What if some faceless giant corp poisons your proverbial backyard ?

Rule of law!? Don't make me laugh...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 05, 2019, 03:16:46 pm
Nonsense, we already had the following observation. Think about this: how is access to the legal system available in your country for the poor and needy? And don't give me that pro bono crap, you first need legal advice to even know whether the law can be of assistance and then you actually need to win the case to potentially have the cost returned.

That may be the case in the Netherlands, Oscar, but in the U.S. there are stables of public defenders provided by the state to defend against criminal charges, and there always are attorneys willing to take a case on contingency, provided the case makes sense.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 03:25:09 pm
Yes, I know that, and if you are detained you have the right to proper defense and all that crap. But what if you feel mistreated and think the law should protect you, but you have no moneys? What if you're evicted from your home? What if some faceless giant corp poisons your proverbial backyard ?

Rule of law!? Don't make me laugh...

Well, it is true that nothing's perfect.  And sometimes, the legal system works against you.  But there are many avenues to get help in most cases.  There is Small Claims court for smaller disagreements.  There's renter's court.  You can;t be evicted from you home without a court decision.  So you can appear before a court to make your case known.  Judges usually protect tenants from unreasonable landlords.  There are also strong State and Federal regulations that protect the public from pollution.  You could use them to stop it.  If it already happened, you and your neighbors could find a law firm that will represent you for the 1/3 settlement.  Since 1/3 would be substantial, many firms would be interested in representing you.    Frankly, many of the infractions are caused by an over-zealous government implementing regulations that are too burdensome.  Now they're hard to sue.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 03:28:30 pm
That may be the case in the Netherlands, Oscar, but in the U.S. there are stables of public defenders provided by the state to defend against criminal charges, and there always are attorneys willing to take a case on contingency, provided the case makes sense.

See my previous remark. I don't mean the case where you've entered "the legal system" involuntarily. That's mostly covered.

In NL they try to overcome the barrier of (voluntary) entry by a free or very cheap legal desk where you can go for advice. But that still doesn't equalize the money balance when eventually having to face the deep pockets of a large, faceless corp with top lawyers on the payroll, or perhaps worse, the government itself.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 03:30:35 pm
See my previous remark. I don't mean the case where you've entered "the legal system" involuntarily. That's mostly covered.

In NL they try to overcome the barrier of (voluntary) entry by a free or very cheap legal desk where you can go for advice. But that still doesn't equalize the money balance when eventually having to face the deep pockets of a large, faceless corp with top lawyers on the payroll, or perhaps worse, the government itself.
What do you suggest?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 05, 2019, 03:30:51 pm
Yes, I know that, and if you are detained you have the right to proper defense and all that crap. But what if you feel mistreated and think the law should protect you, but you have no moneys? What if you're evicted from your home? What if some faceless giant corp poisons your proverbial backyard ?

Exactly the point, Oscar. If you're feeling "mistreated" you can go to an attorney and see if he (I know that's not politically correct) will take your case on contingency. First he's going to want to know WHY you were evicted, or HOW the "giant corp" poisoned your yard. That keeps a lot of crap from going to court. But in the end, if you have a valid case -- often even if you haven't -- you're gonna get representation.-
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 03:35:05 pm
At this point, Oscar has gone off the deep end. Let him be.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 03:40:31 pm
for the 1/3 settlement.  Since 1/3 would be substantial, many firms would be interested in representing you.   

Settlements are also a good indication that the law is ruling nothing. If you think about it carefully, it's an exchange of money so the law doesn't have to rule and nothing has to change.

Reminder: this is the original assessment that I'm arguing against:
Quote
but it's the rule of law on which a nation depends for its existence.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 03:50:14 pm
This legal stuff avoids the issue: health aid free at the point of supply, for all a country's nationals.

Having to go to lawyers hardly forms part of what normal health experience is. Do you have to be hit by a truck in order to get attention? What if you just break a leg at home, do you go to a lawyer and sue yourself to get help? Do you hire a lawyer to find some other patsy you can milk or blame for your own stupidity? Bringing in the concept of claims against somebody because of injury is a separate subject, in this context the reddest of red herrings.

What we are - or should be talking about - is access to a medical service in case of illness, not necessarily of accident. Different concepts and situations, but in either case one should expect medical help without a credit card or a legal eagle. That many look for those commissions is not surprising, as equally unsurprising the fact that health insurance is so high just to protect insurance companies from marauding legal sharks looking for somebody's disaster to convert into their Bentley.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 05, 2019, 03:53:22 pm
This legal stuff avoids the issue: health aid free at the point of supply, for all a country's nationals.

But health aid ISN'T free, Rob. NOTHING that has to be produced is free.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 03:54:55 pm
Settlements are also a good indication that the law is ruling nothing. If you think about it carefully, it's an exchange of money so the law doesn't have to rule and nothing has to change.

Reminder: this is the original assessment that I'm arguing against:

Civil courts are only necessary when people can't agree when there are disputes.  If both parties can reach an agreement, then there is a settlement.  Happens all the time.  In fact, most disagreements are settled out of court through a process of negotiation and then settlement without even a thought of going to trial.   Lawyers and courts cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to reach a conclusion.  Most people prefer settlements.   Trusting a civil jury even when you think you are right is fraught with risk.  I know.  Believe me. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 04:04:48 pm
This legal stuff avoids the issue: health aid free at the point of supply, for all a country's nationals.
...



It's really tiring how Europeans constantly criticize America as being unfeeling.  In America, illegals get "free" health care.  They also have a right to send their children to taxpayer supported schools and get other benefits from the rest of us "nationals" who pay for all this support with our taxes.   

How are illegals handled in Europe?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 04:10:20 pm
Civil courts are only necessary when people can't agree when there are disputes.  If both parties can reach an agreement, then there is a settlement.  Happens all the time.  In fact, most disagreements are settled out of court through a process of negotiation and then settlement without even a thought of going to trial.   Lawyers and courts cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to reach a conclusion.  Most people prefer settlements.   Trusting a civil jury even when you think you are right is fraught with risk.  I know.  Believe me.

I understand.

And to answer your previous question: I wouldn't have an idea for an alternative, or a way for even lower barrier to entry. One thing in this context always fascinated me. In several countries (from South Americas, to China) there have existed for thousands of years, communal and individual landproperty rights based on ancestry. It's fascinating that this has worked without the extensive legal systems we know today. It's based on agreement, maybe not much different from settlements except for the post-agreement legal stuff that keeps all the lawyers busy and fed.

Just recently read an article that apparently there is a Dutch company helping out some South American government with documenting property borders using a phone app. The app simply documents the border and accumulates the agreement acknowledgement between neighbours. Not a lawyer in sight...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 04:19:56 pm
More info: https://tierraenpaz.com/home
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 05, 2019, 04:33:37 pm
Right, Oscar: "...executed by the Dutch Kadaster, the Colombian Land Agency and the Dutch embassy." Must be one of those FREE projects that doesn't cost the taxpayers anything. The money comes directly from Heaven.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 05, 2019, 04:44:24 pm
We're all adults here. Can we please stop criticizing these systems because they're not "free". Of course they're not free, everyone knows this. They are national insurance policies, everyone understands this. We use the word free in informal conversations as a shorthand.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 04:44:37 pm
Right, Oscar: "...executed by the Dutch Kadaster, the Colombian Land Agency and the Dutch embassy." Must be one of those FREE projects that doesn't cost the taxpayers anything. The money comes directly from Heaven.

I wasn't arguing that it was or has to be free. In fact, I would argue that the dependency for the existence of a nation is based on the stability of its monetary system. The fact that the US has at one time managed to couple its monetary unit to the prime global energysource was a rather brilliant move on their part, except that now oil is quickly running out.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 04:48:45 pm
As in: money represents productivity which obviously requires energy. Especially with deficits which can be thought of as "future productivity".
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 05, 2019, 05:05:13 pm
Lawyers take cases with no cost to their clients by taking 1/3 of any monies they win in settlement or trial.  Happens all the time in injury cases.

Not in England.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 05, 2019, 05:07:59 pm
Nonsense, we already had the following observation. Think about this: how is access to the legal system available in your country for the poor and needy? And don't give me that pro bono crap, you first need legal advice to even know whether the law can be of assistance and then you actually need to win the case to potentially have the cost returned.

You are confused. I wrote that a system of rules must be in place for any country to function at all. How well that system might work in particular instances is irrelevant to the principle.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 05:20:04 pm
... The app simply documents the border and accumulates the agreement acknowledgement between neighbours. Not a lawyer in sight...

Back in the day, in my home country, land disputes were also handled without a lawyer. One party would leave the dispute vertically, the other horizontally.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 05:24:04 pm
You are confused. I wrote that a system of rules must be in place for any country to function at all. How well that system might work in particular instances is irrelevant to the principle.

Jeremy

No, I'm fairly certain that I'm merely derailed but not confused. If, hypothetically, a system doesn't work in the majority of the cases, then the country is dysfunctional, and the nation existence in turmoil. The guarantee of borders then depends largely on agreement with surrounding nations. That said: Tibet, Taiwan, HK , and the South China sea seem to be good examples where rules of law apparently are easily superseded by what perhaps could be considered foreign rule of law. A result btw of monetary windfall.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 05, 2019, 05:25:46 pm
Back in the day, in my home country, land disputes were also handled without a lawyer. One party would leave the dispute vertically, the other horizontally.

Depending on who had the larger family, no doubt. ;-)
(Would explain the large families in underdeveloped nations...)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 05:25:53 pm
But health aid ISN'T free, Rob. NOTHING that has to be produced is free.

Of course not, Russ, that has never been imagined! The point is, it's free at the point of delivery, where and when you need it most,

Of course it's paid for via a mixture of taxation and social security payments, but those are deducted from your earnings and when you have no work or make too little for it to count, you still get exactly the same service, regardless.

And yes, Britain and Spain, in my experience, both offer separate, private insurance if you want it; in Spain, the same docs often work in both systems and hospitals, public and private. We paid private insurance for years, until Ann discovered in an emergency that the treatment she got in the state system was every bit as good - if not better - than we bought privately on top of that; some ops that are diagnosed in private hospitals are sent straight to the state institutions for the doing.

The massively important thing is this: nobody is left lying on the floor whilst their insurance is checked out, which is how I believe the great jazz singer Bessie Smith was allowed to run out of blood. You are simply not under any obligation to go private at any stage, however rich or poor you may be.

Apart from some impossibly expensive drugs that are probably too expensive for private patients too, cost of medication is not a problem.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 05:26:37 pm
We're all adults here. Can we please stop criticizing these systems because they're not "free". Of course they're not free, everyone knows this. They are national insurance policies, everyone understands this. We use the word free in informal conversations as a shorthand.

Not true.   Supporters of national health programs tell everyone it's "free" to gain support for these very expensive programs.  If you keep repeating "free", people will think it really is free when it's not.    We know what's going on.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 05:27:58 pm
Back in the day, in my home country, land disputes were also handled without a lawyer. One party would leave the dispute vertically, the other horizontally.
Where did they bury the horizontal one since he had no land any more?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 05:36:17 pm
Not true.   Supporters of national health programs tell everyone it's "free" to gain support for these very expensive programs.  If you keep repeating "free", people will think it really is free when it's not.    We know what's going on.

That's bullshit. Do you imagine nobody inspects their wage slip to see where the money has gone? Perhaps you did that, but not anybody I worked beside when I worked beside other wage slaves.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 05:37:00 pm
Of course not, Russ, that has never been imagined! The point is, it's free at the point of delivery, where and when you need it most,

Of course it's paid for via a mixture of taxation and social security payments, but those are deducted from your earnings and when you have no work or make too little for it to count, you still get exactly the same service, regardless.

And yes, Britain and Spain, in my experience, both offer separate, private insurance if you want it; in Spain, the same docs often work in both systems and hospitals, public and private. We paid private insurance for years, until Ann discovered in an emergency that the treatment she got in the state system was every bit as good - if not better - than we bought privately on top of that; some ops that are diagnosed in private hospitals are sent straight to the state institutions for the doing.

The massively important thing is this: nobody is left lying on the floor whilst their insurance is checked out, which is how I believe the great jazz singer Bessie Smith was allowed to run out of blood. You are simply not under any obligation to go private at any stage, however rich or poor you may be.

Apart from some impossibly expensive drugs that are probably too expensive for private patients too, cost of medication is not a problem.


In the USA, many doctors have opted out of Medicare, the government program for seniors.  They will not accept the lower Medicare payments.  If you want their services, you have to pay their much higher charges out of pocket.  There's no reimbursement from insurance or Medicare.   Since it's the best doctors who opt out, you can't get the best care unless you're well-off.   If we go to a national program, doctors will opt out of care for non-seniors.  Our medical system will have worse results.  If they force doctors to accept these lower payments, many who wanted to go into the medical field will decide to go into other more lucrative fields.   The quality of doctors will diminish.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 05:40:21 pm
That's bullshit. Do you imagine nobody inspects their wage slip to see where the money has gone? Perhaps you did that, but not anybody I worked beside when I worked beside other wage slaves.

Rob
Rob, In America, we don;t yet have national healthcare except for the elderly and indigent.  So many politicians repeat "free" to gain support for these programs.  So it may be different here than in countries like yours where it's already be implemented.  In any case, your wage slip doesn't show all the costs.  How much of health care is paid with the VAT sales taxes?  They wouldn't show on wage slips. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 05, 2019, 05:40:50 pm
In the USA, many doctors have opted out of Medicare, the government program for seniors.  They will not accept the lower Medicare payments.  If you want their services, you have to pay their much higher charges out of pocket.  There's no reimbursement from insurance or Medicare.   Since it's the best doctors who opt out, you can't get the best care unless you're well-off.   If we go to a national program, doctors will opt out of care for non-seniors.  Our medical system will have worse results.  If they force doctors to accept these lower payments, many who wanted to go into the medical field will decide to go into other more lucrative fields.   The quality of doctors will diminish.
So you had a substandard doctor do your heart procedure under Medicare? I'm surprised. You spoke so positively about the quality of your treatment.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 05, 2019, 05:42:02 pm
It's really tiring how Europeans constantly criticize America as being unfeeling.

How are illegals handled in Europe?

They’re kept in cages at the border. No ... hang on a mo ...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 05:44:16 pm
Back in the day, in my home country, land disputes were also handled without a lawyer. One party would leave the dispute vertically, the other horizontally.


Ah! How the west was won! I'm sure John Wayne rode to some of the rescues or funerals. As for the Sioux, the Comanche et al. I bet they were thrilled by the rule of law and the Constitution.

Reminds me of Norman Parkinson speaking of women and fur coats: he claimed that the women he photographed looked as if they had earned them vertically. I liked that.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 05, 2019, 05:46:40 pm
In the USA, many doctors have opted out of Medicare, the government program for seniors.  They will not accept the lower Medicare payments.  If you want their services, you have to pay their much higher charges out of pocket.  There's no reimbursement from insurance or Medicare.   Since it's the best doctors who opt out, you can't get the best care unless you're well-off.   If we go to a national program, doctors will opt out of care for non-seniors.  Our medical system will have worse results.  If they force doctors to accept these lower payments, many who wanted to go into the medical field will decide to go into other more lucrative fields.   The quality of doctors will diminish.

Did you read that back before posting it? You do know it makes no sense at all, right?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 05, 2019, 05:46:53 pm
Civil courts are only necessary when people can't agree when there are disputes.  If both parties can reach an agreement, then there is a settlement.  Happens all the time.  In fact, most disagreements are settled out of court through a process of negotiation and then settlement without even a thought of going to trial.   Lawyers and courts cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to reach a conclusion.  Most people prefer settlements.   Trusting a civil jury even when you think you are right is fraught with risk.  I know.  Believe me.
It's interesting that all the major credit card companies are now sending out notices that if there is a dispute it must be settled by binding arbitration rather than the legal system.  One can opt out if you read the whole notice by sending a letter by some date in August.  More things are being pushed into arbitration these days.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 05:50:36 pm

Ah! How the west was won! I'm sure John Wayne rode to some of the rescues or funerals. As for the Sioux, the Comanche et al. I bet they were thrilled by the rule of law and the Constitution...

Hold your horses, Rob, I was talking about my old home country, Serbia.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 05:50:51 pm
Rob, In America, we don;t yet have national healthcare except for the elderly and indigent.  So many politicians repeat "free" to gain support for these programs.  So it may be different here than in countries like yours where it's already be implemented.  In any case, your wage slip doesn't show all the costs.  How much of health care is paid with the VAT sales taxes?  They wouldn't show on wage slips.

VAT isn't part of your wage slip; it's a tax levied on services and goods, sometimes at different rates and with some exceptions. It was introduced into the UK with the advent of joining Europe. Or at least, that's how I remember it and the fresh dose of paperwork that came with it entering my life.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 05:53:04 pm
Hold your horses, Rob, I was talking about my old home country, Serbia.


I understood that; I was extending the concept to your present nirvana, where it is no less real.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 05:54:20 pm
So you had a substandard doctor do your heart procedure under Medicare? I'm surprised. You spoke so positively about the quality of your treatment.

Good question.  Was there a better surgeon available.  Truth is, I don;t know.  I used him because my cardiologist, who accepts Medicare, recommended him as being the best.  He was Japanese.  I thanked him in Japanese, the only few words I learned when I was stationed in Japan in the 1960's.   "domo arigatou gozaimasu"   Fortunately, I'm still alive and kicking so I guess he did a good job.  Check back in a few years to see how I'm doing.

In a different medical situation, my urology surgeon, top in his field,  has opted out of Medicare.  But I had that surgery years ago when my insurance paid for it.  When I see him for followup checkups now that I'm on Medicare, I have to pay his full charge out of pocket.  Neither Medicare nor my secondary nor tertiary insurance covers his charges.  90% of Americans don't realize this is going on with Medicare.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 05:57:24 pm
VAT isn't part of your wage slip; it's a tax levied on services and goods, sometimes at different rates and with some exceptions. It was introduced into the UK with the advent of joining Europe. Or at least, that's how I remember it and the fresh dose of paperwork that came with it entering my life.
I said the VAT wasn;t part of your wage slip.  Since VAT pays for some of the medical costs, then a person wouldn't see what medical costs are costing them by just looking at their wage slip. SO they might think it's free or cheap. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 06:00:07 pm
Where did they bury the horizontal one since he had no land any more?

It's what rivers and concrete mixers are for doing: taking problems elsewhere and burying the evidence in deep foundations that only terrorists or earthquakes will reveal.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 05, 2019, 06:01:27 pm
It's interesting that all the major credit card companies are now sending out notices that if there is a dispute it must be settled by binding arbitration rather than the legal system.  One can opt out if you read the whole notice by sending a letter by some date in August.  More things are being pushed into arbitration these days.
Arbitration is a good idea in many cases.  It can avoid high legal costs.  It can end disputes much more quickly.  If you go the legal route, you might be dead before they finish the case.  That will only be good for your wife's next husband. :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 05, 2019, 06:02:24 pm
Good grief! It's just turned into Thursday! Both my bar and restaurant options are closed this new today, but I did buy myself the makings of paella for lunch!

Night night!

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 05, 2019, 06:08:28 pm
...    How are illegals handled in Europe?

For example (emphasis mine):

Quote
Denmark has some of the most aggressive anti-immigrant policies in Europe. That has included taking out foreign-newspaper adverts warning potential migrants that they are not welcome, and authorizing police to seize cash and valuables from arriving asylum seekers to offset the cost of their maintenance...

... In the past year, the center-right government has passed a so-called burqa ban, even though fewer than 0.1% of Muslim women in Denmark wear veils, and a law requiring parents in neighborhoods designated as “ghettos” to submit their children to extra schooling in “Danish values.” From January, new citizens are required to shake hands with the official conducting the naturalization ceremony, regardless of their beliefs about physical contact with members of the opposite sex—a law perceived as targeting conservative Muslims...

...The DF’s Henriksen, who believes Trump’s policies on immigration are “too weak,” echoes Holtug’s point. “America is a country founded on migration, but Denmark is not. We’re a small country, and what binds us is a common language, and a common set of traditions and values. If we let in a large number of foreigners with their own cultures, ours will be overwhelmed.”...

"An Island for ‘Unwanted’ Migrants Is Denmark’s Latest Aggressive Anti-Immigrant Policy"

https://time.com/5504331/denmark-migrants-lindholm-island/

Good news there is a bipartisanship in Denmark:

"Denmark's centre-left set to win election with anti-immigration shift
Social Democrats expected to return to power this week after backing once far-right policies"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/04/denmark-centre-left-predicted-win-election-social-democrats-anti-immigration-policies



Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 05, 2019, 06:20:41 pm
Arbitration is a good idea in many cases.  It can avoid high legal costs.  It can end disputes much more quickly.  If you go the legal route, you might be dead before they finish the case. 
That will only be good for your wife's next husband. :)

Or for the lawyer's wife or husband.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 05, 2019, 08:49:05 pm
They’re kept in cages at the border. No ... hang on a mo ...

In Europe, I thought it was on ships?  ???
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Chris Kern on June 05, 2019, 08:57:58 pm
Hold your horses, Rob, I was talking about my old home country, Serbia.

Okay, now I understand.  I thought for a moment you were telling us you were from Texas.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Chris Kern on June 05, 2019, 09:00:16 pm
Rob, In America, we don;t yet have national healthcare except for the elderly and indigent.

Also military veterans.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 06, 2019, 12:45:42 am
VAT isn't part of your wage slip; it's a tax levied on services and goods, sometimes at different rates and with some exceptions. It was introduced into the UK with the advent of joining Europe. Or at least, that's how I remember it and the fresh dose of paperwork that came with it entering my life.

Rob - for some reason Alan has become obsessed by VAT. I haven't yet worked out why - maybe he thinks it's part of some evil plot to take away the guns that have kept the American public safe. He is also under the illlusion that we all think the NHS is free. Good luck with making him understand that even the most ignorant Brexiteer knows very well that it isn't.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 06, 2019, 05:01:05 am
For example (emphasis mine):

"An Island for ‘Unwanted’ Migrants Is Denmark’s Latest Aggressive Anti-Immigrant Policy"

https://time.com/5504331/denmark-migrants-lindholm-island/

Good news there is a bipartisanship in Denmark:

"Denmark's centre-left set to win election with anti-immigration shift
Social Democrats expected to return to power this week after backing once far-right policies"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jun/04/denmark-centre-left-predicted-win-election-social-democrats-anti-immigration-policies


Again, we wander far from the topic, but as it happens, it's an interesting problem - amd problem it sure is.

People flee for many reasons: some out of fear for their lives as those of their family; others out of curiosity and yet more for economic improvement. Not all of those need become illegal migrants, but if you start from the basis of being penniless and/or unskilled in any relevantly useful way, illegality is probably your only means to travel, and your feet your new best friends.

Those who flee war at home may or may not have the same concept of country and nationality as do we in the west; if they live in the desert, in the Rift Valley or deep in central Africa, does - can - nationality mean the same thing to them as to western people? Does religion replace nationality? Have they any idea of how different and alien they are going to appear to us, and how difficult if not impossible it will be to get legal, paid work that will let them survive in a place with such a relatively higher cost of living? I'd guess the chances are that, should they make it here, wherever in the west here happens to be, the only chance of a new survival will be found in crime, which the diaspora will help them turn to like a foot into a perfectly fitted shoe. The ghetto becomes the new country, leading to what folks already experience in France and Belgium and parts of Britain. Who has the slightest idea who lives there, how accurate any census that may have been collected?

How should the unwilling or unwitting host react? There are established laws governing such matters, but again, as with the old American one about carrying arms, designed for the problems of a different age, where none of today's modern weapons existed and a single man's mass shootings a physical impossibility, these are mainly no longer fit for purpose.

A country has to decide: does it want to retain its national identity as a white, nominally Christian land where, already, the two broader brands have led to wars of religion and today still cause deep conflicts and division in several areas or, perhaps, does it perceive advantages in introducing yet more variables that can realistically only make matters more complicated and thus inevitably worse?

I believe that the only way to preserving the status quo prior to mass immigration is in preventing that immigration from happening. Whether through interventions abroad in one form or another - preferably not our own military - I don't know; that's what thinking politicians are supposed to know, and why politicians with no idea of foreign affairs are also unfit for purpose. Letting people in en masse as an emotional response is madness, one that if not instantly suicidal, is getting pretty close to creating that time bomb. You think that exaggeration? It's what much of Brexit is about, and those newcomers are mostly other Europeans, for heaven's sake, sharing the same religion - if any! The migration problems and ghettos Britain has are painted with the colours black and brown, not white. Which is not to suggest that the white ones will make you feel any the safer, should you wander there by mistake. Glasgow had/has? its own distinct ganglands, with slogans on the walls: Fleet, Toon etc. and to somebody from out of town, how could they possibly know since everybody looked the same? Even my own little town up here in northern Mallorca has graffiti everywhere, with repeated tags. The arches of bridges over the motorways are as festooned with such decorations as anywhere in a big city. More diversity is no friggin' help in these matters, just a further complication to be avoided at all costs.

How to treat those who do get in? How can anyone possibly vet them to know who they really are, from whence they come or why? Before we had modern terrorism and the volumes, it might have been permissible just to let 'em stay; in today's climate that would be a huge abdication of duty, so I guess the European idea of returning them to the point of entry makes sense, and then we have to help that point of entry turn back the tides through repatriation to whichever land from which those migrants claim to come. It's a humanistically tough call for anyone to have to make, but to avoid our own disaster, we have to make that call, one way or the other.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 06, 2019, 05:53:02 am

"Denmark's centre-left set to win election with anti-immigration shift
Social Democrats expected to return to power this week after backing once far-right policies"


This is interesting, especially as it now turned out to be correct. Intriguingly, Denmark has previously negotiated a special deal within EU regarding their migration policies. That seems to raise an interesting question. What if the Brexit referendum was about the choice between leaving the EU entirely, or leaving just the migration policy of the EU?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 06, 2019, 08:13:58 am
This is interesting, especially as it now turned out to be correct. Intriguingly, Denmark has previously negotiated a special deal within EU regarding their migration policies. That seems to raise an interesting question. What if the Brexit referendum was about the choice between leaving the EU entirely, or leaving just the migration policy of the EU?

Well of course that was always possible and from the beginning the UK had the option to control immigration much more than it chose to.

Denmark is an interesting case - the right wing DFP have always had a significant following but probably be so they mix up the racist elements with softer policies about being nice to kittens etc.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Ivo_B on June 06, 2019, 11:00:12 am
With so much hanging below the belt, it's a miracle people didn't keep tripping over their bits and falling onto their faces. Or perhaps they did, but kept quiet about it. Brings to mind the fall of Rome; maybe they all did it at once.

I think, Rob, the secret of the Roman legion was the particular short sword.This could declare the initial invincibility.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 06, 2019, 11:05:37 am
Many non-Americans here sound like Trump when it comes to immigration.  Interesting.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 11:16:45 am
There was a time when the American Left still had a few brain cells left:
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 06, 2019, 11:43:41 am
There was a time when the American Left still had a few brain cells left:

And what do you suggest has changed since then?

It's not like a wall is going to make a difference, does it? Which incidentally doesn't bode well for the number of braincells on the right, comparatively.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 11:48:23 am
And what do you suggest has changed since then?...

They lost those few remaining brain cells. They now want open borders and to abolish ICE.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 06, 2019, 01:04:36 pm
They lost those few remaining brain cells. They now want open borders and to abolish ICE.
 


So where's the problem? So does Trump want to abolish ice. And flood out Florida with the results. That will see his votes surge!

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 01:56:15 pm
  So where's the problem? So does Trump want to abolish ice. And flood out Florida with the results. That will see his votes surge!

Monty Python humor, Rob? I like it.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 02:31:30 pm
...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 06, 2019, 02:47:13 pm
Monty Python humor, Rob? I like it.

Not unless you move to The Rockies in time! And don't holiday in the Maldives.

:-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 03:11:17 pm
... And don't holiday in the Maldives.

Ah, the proverbial Maldives. The butt of all global warming alarmists' jokes:

"DUD PREDICTION: MALDIVES SUNK BY 2018"

Quote
The Canberra Times 30 years ago:

MALE, Maldives: A gradual rise in average sea level is threatening to completely cover this Indian Ocean nation of 1196 small islands within the next 30 years, according to authorities.

The Environmental Affairs Director, Mr Hussein Shihab, said an estimated rise of 20 to 30 centimetres in the next 20 to 40 years could be "catastrophic" for most of the islands, which were no more than a metre above sea level.

The United Nations Environment Project was planning a study of the problem.

But the end of the Maldives and its 200,000 people could come sooner if drinking water supplies dry up by 1992, as predicted.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 06, 2019, 03:33:43 pm
To a leftist the sky always is falling.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 06, 2019, 03:55:34 pm
Ah, the proverbial Maldives. The butt of all global warming alarmists' jokes:

"DUD PREDICTION: MALDIVES SUNK BY 2018"

Ah, back to spreading fake news.

For those interested in what science did say:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41TCWEl-x_g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aQqTFGxrmg

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 04:26:06 pm
Ah, back to spreading fake news...

Ah, poor government bureaucrats and journalists. Scapegoated again for fake news. And where did they get their ideas from? Thin air? And where were rigorous and outraged denials from the scientific community THEN, not only when the predictions didn’t pan out?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 06, 2019, 05:33:25 pm
A lovely Trump portrait in The Economist magazine 😊
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: BobShaw on June 06, 2019, 08:41:32 pm
Well actually the Maldives came up with an engineering solution of spraying sand onto the islands to reclaim them and also build new ones.
(A bit like Waikiki Beach spraying sand onto the beach so that it looks pretty.)
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2125198-on-front-line-of-climate-change-as-maldives-fights-rising-seas/

When I bought my first house in 1980 it was a converted boat shed that was actually over the water. The highest tides recorded at that time in Sydney were 2.0 metres. The house next door would go under water at that level.

We now have high recorded tides of 2.2metres. So it is not just the average sea level you need to worry about, it is the highest tides.

Buried in this 19 pages report which seems to deny sea level rise is a simple statement "Notwithstanding this, the indicated sea level rise trend at Fort Denison (Sydney) of 1 to 3 mm per year is consistent with the geocentric global average sea level change (IPCC, 2013)." That confirms what I have seen over the last 40 years.

https://www.mhl.nsw.gov.au/docs/tide/AHA_Conference_2014_Sea_Level_Trends.pdf
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 06, 2019, 08:47:32 pm
A lovely Trump portrait in The Economist magazine 😊

It's not inaccurate.  But it's tragic that some Americans think it's a compliment.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 06, 2019, 09:24:48 pm
A lovely Trump portrait in The Economist magazine 😊

A bigger airship could be painted in orange and adorned with the following titles:
- Grandiosity
- Entitlement
- Lies
- Bulls**t
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 06, 2019, 09:28:11 pm
The biggest lies the president ever said were "you can keep your doctor" and "the cost of health insurance will go down."

Oh wait.....
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 06, 2019, 09:33:39 pm
The biggest lies the president ever said were "you can keep your doctor" and "the cost of health insurance will go down."

Oh wait.....

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 06, 2019, 09:35:10 pm
The biggest lies the president ever said were "you can keep your doctor" and "the cost of health insurance will go down."

Oh wait.....

The former was (sometimes) wrong, but anyone who deals with insurance on a regular basis knows that doctors move in and out of insurance plans and networks all the time - this isn't a fault of the ACA, merely a choice on the doctor's part.  I've had the same doctors for over a decade, as has my wife.

As for the latter, in my experience the *rate of increase* has slowed measurably.  Again, a lie?  I'd be hesitant to call it that, and if I were a Trump defender I'd have to be neck deep in my own hypocrisy to stick on these old tropes as evidence of deceit when giving Trump a pass daily.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 06, 2019, 09:39:27 pm


The quote in context:

Quote
"...if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed. OK? Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage"

Basically, if you're transparent selfish people will refuse to allow for the general health and welfare of their fellow Americans.  And you know what?  He is and was right.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 06, 2019, 09:40:38 pm
The former was (sometimes) wrong, but anyone who deals with insurance on a regular basis knows that doctors move in and out of insurance plans and networks all the time - this isn't a fault of the ACA, merely a choice on the doctor's part.  I've had the same doctors for over a decade, as has my wife.

As for the latter, in my experience the *rate of increase* has slowed measurably.  Again, a lie?  I'd be hesitant to call it that, and if I were a Trump defender I'd have to be neck deep in my own hypocrisy to stick on these old tropes as evidence of deceit when giving Trump a pass daily.

Sorry, but Gruber specifically stated that Obama knew, undoubtedly, that when he said, " if you like your doctor ..." he was lying.  It is on the record. 

Insofar as my increases, I saw 40%+ increases three years in a row when the law went into effect.  I had good coverage too, with no life time limits on service.  I did not get coverage for things like prostate exams, or other 50+ years of age issues, but then again I did not need them.  I also did not have a prescription plans, but the two times I paid for prescriptions out of pocket, it cost me $20, max, so whats the point.  Now I have no choice. 

Look on the bright I guess, that $65 extra dollars per month I am paying just covered a $100 tetanus shot and a $85 MMR booster shot, first prescriptions I've filled in at least 8 years.  In another 10 years I guess, they'll cover it again. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 06, 2019, 09:42:01 pm
The quote in context:

Basically, if you're transparent selfish people will refuse to allow for the general health and welfare of their fellow Americans.  And you know what?  He is and was right.

Would you care to continue the quote to "... the stupidity of the American voter?" 

Anyway, so what you are saying is, it is okay to blatantly lie to people to get your way?  Very Machiavellian of you James. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 06, 2019, 09:47:46 pm
The former was (sometimes) wrong, but anyone who deals with insurance on a regular basis knows that doctors move in and out of insurance plans and networks all the time - this isn't a fault of the ACA, merely a choice on the doctor's part.  I've had the same doctors for over a decade, as has my wife.

As for the latter, in my experience the *rate of increase* has slowed measurably.  Again, a lie?  I'd be hesitant to call it that, and if I were a Trump defender I'd have to be neck deep in my own hypocrisy to stick on these old tropes as evidence of deceit when giving Trump a pass daily.
Obama's lie and the Democrats unilateral support of Obamacare effects 20% of the American economy.  Now THAT's a lie. The liberal press, about 90% of it,  ignores lies and spin by Democrats and politicians they favor.  They get a pass.  They spend all their time looking at Trump.  The media is so biased against Trump and Republicans, the public is being misled.  Certainly they were misled about Obamacare, major and very consequential legislation. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 06, 2019, 09:52:26 pm
To a leftist the sky always is falling.

Fortunately, the sky is not falling, but methane clouds are rising.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 06, 2019, 09:53:48 pm
The quote in context:

Basically, if you're transparent selfish people will refuse to allow for the general health and welfare of their fellow Americans.  And you know what?  He is and was right.

Wow.  You support politicians lying when you agree with the result they want.  But the issue is not that politicians lie.  The issue is when the press hides it from the public because they support the results.  The press is suppose to protect us from deceitful politicians.  That's why the Constitution felt is was so important to have Freedom of the Press in the Bill of RIghts.  But that means the press has to act responsibly by letting the public know the BS on all sides.  When they fail to do that you got "fake news", biased news, and government that in the end will hurt the people. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 06, 2019, 10:26:31 pm
Sorry, but Gruber specifically stated that Obama knew, undoubtedly, that when he said, " if you like your doctor ..." he was lying.  It is on the record.

Is it?  I can't find any record of that, but I'm open to correction.  Nevertheless, again, there's nothing in the ACA that forces people to change doctors, or forces doctors to leave plans.  Plans and doctors can and do, and always have, changed organically.  The fact that some doctors or plans changed after the ACA was was implement is not, in and of itself, any indication that a deliberate "lie" was told, or that the ACA caused this at all.

Insofar as my increases, I saw 40%+ increases three years in a row when the law went into effect.  I had good coverage too, with no life time limits on service.  I did not get coverage for things like prostate exams, or other 50+ years of age issues, but then again I did not need them.  I also did not have a prescription plans, but the two times I paid for prescriptions out of pocket, it cost me $20, max, so whats the point.  Now I have no choice.

Look on the bright I guess, that $65 extra dollars per month I am paying just covered a $100 tetanus shot and a $85 MMR booster shot, first prescriptions I've filled in at least 8 years.  In another 10 years I guess, they'll cover it again.

...and millions more people have coverage.   Does that matter to you?  If not, what Grueber said is prescient.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 06, 2019, 10:29:03 pm
Would you care to continue the quote to "... the stupidity of the American voter?" 

Anyway, so what you are saying is, it is okay to blatantly lie to people to get your way?  Very Machiavellian of you James.

Actually, no, I don't believe that, and I don't approve of what he said.   It's not a black and white question, though, much as I'd like it to be.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 06, 2019, 10:30:13 pm
Wow.  You support politicians lying when you agree with the result they want.  But the issue is not that politicians lie.  The issue is when the press hides it from the public because they support the results.  The press is suppose to protect us from deceitful politicians.  That's why the Constitution felt is was so important to have Freedom of the Press in the Bill of RIghts.  But that means the press has to act responsibly by letting the public know the BS on all sides.  When they fail to do that you got "fake news", biased news, and government that in the end will hurt the people.

You must absolutely loathe Fox News.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 07, 2019, 07:41:39 am
Is it?  I can't find any record of that, but I'm open to correction.  Nevertheless, again, there's nothing in the ACA that forces people to change doctors, or forces doctors to leave plans.  Plans and doctors can and do, and always have, changed organically.  The fact that some doctors or plans changed after the ACA was was implement is not, in and of itself, any indication that a deliberate "lie" was told, or that the ACA caused this at all.

...and millions more people have coverage.   Does that matter to you?  If not, what Grueber said is prescient.

The vast majority of those covered by the ACA had insurance previously.  The vast majority of the uninsured prior to the ACA are still uninsured.  The actual number of people using the exchanges is vastly lower than what we were told would be on it by now.  The premiums, especially on the exchanges, grow at a vastly higher rate (in some instances 100%+ a few years in a row) then what we were promised. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 07, 2019, 08:49:37 am
The vast majority of those covered by the ACA had insurance previously.  The vast majority of the uninsured prior to the ACA are still uninsured.  The actual number of people using the exchanges is vastly lower than what we were told would be on it by now.  The premiums, especially on the exchanges, grow at a vastly higher rate (in some instances 100%+ a few years in a row) then what we were promised.

Nice dodge.  But how about answering the question?  Does the fact that an additional x people have coverage, and that people that were previously uninsurable can now be covered, matter to you?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Manoli on June 07, 2019, 09:15:54 am
The vast majority of those covered by the ACA had insurance previously. 
The vast majority of the uninsured prior to the ACA are still uninsured. 

20 million people gained Medical Insurance under the ACA
Of those 20 million, over 7 million have since lost insurance (under Trump)

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Kkb6HfN6067d4Sok6WNilIcrtgc=/0x0:1400x806/920x0/filters:focal(0x0:1400x806):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13708354/ssv1le24uuapzir9ocd6pq.png)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 07, 2019, 09:18:02 am
the fundamental fact about insurance of any kind is that those who do not have "disasters" or "needs" pay for those who do. It is called sharing the risk. It is how it works. The companies providing the coverage early in ACA had problems pricing the coverage. The price charged had to go up as this was not a fully tax payer funded operation and the companies providing the insurance and the companies providing re-insurance to insurance companies (spreading the risk around) have to make a net profit and maintain reserves.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 07, 2019, 09:32:22 am
20 million people gained Medical Insurance under the ACA
Of those 20 million, over 7 million have since lost insurance (under Trump)

(https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/Kkb6HfN6067d4Sok6WNilIcrtgc=/0x0:1400x806/920x0/filters:focal(0x0:1400x806):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/13708354/ssv1le24uuapzir9ocd6pq.png)

So prior to Obama, we had about 14.5% uninsured.  It then dropped to 10.9%, but is now back to almost 14%.  Aside from taking away the individual mandate, I really dont see what Trump did to make to the percentage higher. 

The price on the exchanges were going up greatly prior to Trump coming into office, and perhaps people just could not afford it.  Then when the mandate was taken away, the decided why not just drop it, especially since you can sign up even if your sick.  So, I'll not have insurance and if anything happens, I'll just sign up then. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 07, 2019, 09:35:49 am
Nice dodge.  But how about answering the question?  Does the fact that an additional x people have coverage, and that people that were previously uninsurable can now be covered, matter to you?

I am a libertarian; I don't engage in using empathy when looking at things logically.  Plus, my level empathy for the uninsured has no baring what so ever on the effectiveness of the program, which is what I am more concerned with. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 07, 2019, 09:47:23 am
Then when the mandate was taken away, the decided why not just drop it, especially since you can sign up even if your sick.  So, I'll not have insurance and if anything happens, I'll just sign up then.
Of course, you won't be covered for charges you incur prior to signing up. Usually the big ones are when you are involved in an accident. I fell off a ladder and broke my humerus at the shoulder joint. Within twelve hours I had a plate and nine screws in my arm and a $30,000 bill. No time to call and sign up. Fortunately, I had insurance.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 07, 2019, 09:48:30 am
So prior to Obama, we had about 14.5% uninsured.  It then dropped to 10.9%, but is now back to almost 14%.  Aside from taking away the individual mandate, I really dont see what Trump did to make to the percentage higher. 

The price on the exchanges were going up greatly prior to Trump coming into office, and perhaps people just could not afford it.  Then when the mandate was taken away, the decided why not just drop it, especially since you can sign up even if your sick.  So, I'll not have insurance and if anything happens, I'll just sign up then.

You serious??   "Aside from the terminal cancer, you're perfectly healthy!"  Besides, it's not just Trump. It's (R) governerments in states like mine that refuse to take the ACA money to expand Medicaid, and the federal government deliberately cutting information that would direct people to signup.  Killing the mandate is just the most obvious ploy, but like the right's incessant "voter fraud" nonsense, there are all sorts of subtleties designed to torpedo the program.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 07, 2019, 09:50:23 am
I am a libertarian; I don't engage in using empathy when looking at things logically.  Plus, my level empathy for the uninsured has no baring what so ever on the effectiveness of the program, which is what I am more concerned with.

It's not empathy.  It's a straight calculation.  Is the incremental cost to you worth it if it means other citizens will be healthier.  So is it?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 07, 2019, 09:53:07 am
It's not empathy.  It's a straight calculation.  Is the incremental cost to you worth it if it means other citizens will be healthier.  So is it?

No.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 07, 2019, 09:54:21 am
No.

An honest man.

Edit:  Not necessarily a *consistent* man, but an honest one ;). I've never understood why my right-leaning friends are so eager to pay billions to defend lives from terrorists, but so unwilling spend money to save lives from much more pernicious enemies.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 07, 2019, 10:04:31 am
An honest man.

Edit:  Not necessarily a *consistent* man, but an honest one ;). I've never understood why my right-leaning friends are so eager to pay billions to defend lives from terrorists, but so unwilling spend money to save lives from much more pernicious enemies.

Because terrorists could kill ME or MY family, however slight the chance is, while I couldn’t care less if a whale dies for eating like a pig. Honest enough?

Besides, insurance is a textbook example for a moral hazard. It eliminates one incentive to live a healthy lifestyle.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 07, 2019, 10:23:53 am
Besides, insurance is a textbook example for a moral hazard. It eliminates one incentive to live a healthy lifestyle.

Au contraire, insurance allows you to create those incentives. If the price of admission is the same for everyone (either non-existent or horribly expensive), there is no instrument.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 07, 2019, 10:26:55 am
It's not empathy.  It's a straight calculation.  Is the incremental cost to you worth it if it means other citizens will be healthier.  So is it?

No. 

More medical coverage does not make someone healthier.  People are not going to suddenly eat better and exercise, stop inhaling smoke into their lungs just because they have more coverage.  All it means is that they have more coverage.  I don't see the overall cost savings. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 07, 2019, 10:31:38 am
Of course, you won't be covered for charges you incur prior to signing up. Usually the big ones are when you are involved in an accident. I fell off a ladder and broke my humerus at the shoulder joint. Within twelve hours I had a plate and nine screws in my arm and a $30,000 bill. No time to call and sign up. Fortunately, I had insurance.

Good point, insofar as accidents are concerned. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 07, 2019, 10:36:47 am
Besides, insurance is a textbook example for a moral hazard. It eliminates one incentive to live a healthy lifestyle.

Sharing risk is one of the things that makes capitalism and modern industrial society possible. It and the rule of law are cornerstones of modern culture.

We find ways to manage free riders and moral hazard because we're all better off for it. You owe it to yourself to read something other than Ayn Rand, humanity didn't stop thinking when she died (or even when she was alive for that matter). Start with Joseph Heath's Filthy Lucre. Then re-read Adam Smith, not just the two paragraphs you like though, this time read the other 2000 pages.

Libertarianism is as discredited as communism. It is only slightly better because it never actually took hold anywhere so we have no historical record of its failures. Yet.



Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 07, 2019, 11:03:23 am
...You owe it to yourself to read something other than Ayn Rand...

Never read a single page. Read Marx though, all three tomes of Das Kapital, probably close to 2000 pages.

P.S. I never claimed I am a libertarian.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 07, 2019, 11:19:32 am
Good point, insofar as accidents are concerned.
That is the point. You buy health insurance so an accident doesn't bankrupt you. It is for the unexpected. That's why they call it insurance.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 07, 2019, 11:21:40 am
That is the point. You buy health insurance so an accident doesn't bankrupt you. It is for the unexpected. That's why they call it insurance.

Of course, I have insurance, for that reason.  But that does not take away from the fact that some people don't think like this. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 07, 2019, 11:29:40 am
Of course, I have insurance, for that reason.  But that does not take away from the fact that some people don't think like this.
I'll grant you that some people aren't that bright, and don't manage their lives prudently. There is a bell curve.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 07, 2019, 03:06:47 pm
Nice dodge.  But how about answering the question?  Does the fact that an additional x people have coverage, and that people that were previously uninsurable can now be covered, matter to you?
Obamacare was a lousy way to do it.  90% of Americans were happy before.  And they don;t want to change to a single payer plan.  Competition is good in any business.  It keeps providers working harder to satisfy their customers.

Now it's a mess.  Rather than changing the entire health system, why not just figure out a way to help people who need it?  It's already being done to a large degree with Medicare and Medicaid and other payments the government makes. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 07, 2019, 03:22:33 pm
Libertarianism is as discredited as communism. It is only slightly better because it never actually took hold anywhere so we have no historical record of its failures. Yet.

Somalia seems to be a good example of a place where there is no government influence on anything.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 07, 2019, 03:33:51 pm
Of course, you won't be covered for charges you incur prior to signing up. Usually the big ones are when you are involved in an accident. I fell off a ladder and broke my humerus at the shoulder joint. Within twelve hours I had a plate and nine screws in my arm and a $30,000 bill. No time to call and sign up. Fortunately, I had insurance.


I like the returns; better than photography ever was for me, and much, much better than my old-age pension is. Do you think it's too late for me to begin another career in medicine?

:-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 07, 2019, 03:42:30 pm
You must absolutely loathe Fox News.
Fox news has two outlets.  One is for cable talking heads and is conservative.  The other is mainly news and is center right.  But the problem is Fox is the only major conservative outlet.  ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, washington Post, capture 90%+ of the news distribution throughout the world, never mind the USA.  They all push liberal news and are anti Trump and never give both sides of an issue.  So average Americans and other readers in the world don't really understand what's going on.  They've always been liberal.  But now they're unabashedly so and take strong positions that they would never do before.  It really is fake news. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 07, 2019, 05:27:48 pm
you forgot WSJ, NPR, IHT,  & The Economist.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: D Fuller on June 08, 2019, 01:14:25 am
Since it's the best doctors who opt out, you can't get the best care unless you're well-off.   If we go to a I national program, doctors will opt out of care for non-seniors.  Our medical system will have worse results.  If they force doctors to accept these lower payments, many who wanted to go into the medical field will decide to go into other more lucrative fields.   The quality of doctors will diminish.

Really? I thought it was the greediest doctors who opted out.

Our medical system already has worse results by several measures than many (most?) of the rest of the industrialized world. And yet we pay more. Doesn’t it seem like something is amiss?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: D Fuller on June 08, 2019, 01:23:11 am
The biggest lies the president ever said were "you can keep your doctor" and "the cost of health insurance will go down."

Oh wait.....

Well, for my wife and myself, the first year under the ACA, we saved $8,000 on our health insurance, and more than that on out total health care costs. And no one asked us to change our doctors. YMMV
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 08, 2019, 07:39:19 am
Really? I thought it was the greediest doctors who opted out.

Our medical system already has worse results by several measures than many (most?) of the rest of the industrialized world. And yet we pay more. Doesn’t it seem like something is amiss?

I said if the government forces all doctors to accept lower payments and not allow them to opt out, something that is not currently done, many excellent prospective doctors will decide not to go into medicine.  So the overall quality of doctors doing medicine will diminish. 


Regarding results in America compared to other countries, I suspect this has a lot to do with variables due to DNA, racial, ethnic and cultural differences as America is an immigrant nation.  So some groups fare better than others, but the overall results does not show that most Americans actually get very good medical care that saves lives and makes them more productive.  Other countries have a more homogenized populace.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find medical result statistics in America broken out by these variables.  I think they're deliberately hidden to politically press for single payer medicine.  I'd like to see statistics broken out by race, ancestry, geographic area of the country (ie southern vs eastern vs plains states, etc).  By each of the 50 States. etc.  I think the statistics would be quite revealing and results quite variable than a single number for the whole country. .
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2019, 07:58:39 am
I said if the government forces all doctors to accept lower payments and not allow them to opt out, something that is not currently done, many excellent prospective doctors will decide not to go into medicine.  So the overall quality of doctors doing medicine will diminish. 


Regarding results in America compared to other countries, I suspect this has a lot to do with variables due to DNA, racial, ethnic and cultural differences as America is an immigrant nation.  So some groups fare better than others, but the overall results does not show that most Americans actually get very good medical care that saves lives and makes them more productive.  Other countries have a more homogenized populace.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find medical result statistics in America broken out by these variables.  I think they're deliberately hidden to politically press for single payer medicine.  I'd like to see statistics broken out by race, ancestry, geographic area of the country (ie southern vs eastern vs plains states, etc).  By each of the 50 States. etc.  I think the statistics would be quite revealing and results quite variable than a single number for the whole country. .


Doctors are both socially and locationally mobile; we have a Cuban girl here in the local health centre who picked up English from tv and music; with the lingua franca you can go anywhere you are in deep demand. Some of my wife's oncologists were American-trained as was the Spanish heart one who stuck me my first stent; he came replete with a sense if humour. As I lay there, gazing at the monitor, I felt a bit faint and as they asked, thought it best to mention it. He instantly gave me some nitroglycerine and that fixed it. I suggested that might be explosive, and he sad no, not unless you wanna smoke right now.

That was on private medicine; I don't try jokes with the public cats. Maybe I should?

And that's the problem with our olde rustbelt Brexit guys: they mostly have but one lingua and sometimes that's pretty poor too; no additional abilities means no viable alternatives in your life, so relative isolation figures. Ask Slobodan if that isn't a fact? Hence the great divide between the urban south and the sticks oop north.

Does anyone know if Big Donald has other languages?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 08:23:50 am
Rob, why is it that the British socialized medicine doesn’t have enough own doctors and nurses? You guys are that dumbed down by Benny Hill or beer to graduate in medical fields? Or is it that, when medicine is socialized, the state determines how much is enough pay*? And for that much (or rather little) only third-world medical staff finds it attractive?

* added “pay” to avoid confusion
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 08, 2019, 08:27:26 am

Doctors are both socially and locationally mobile; we have a Cuban girl here in the local health centre who picked up English from tv and music; with the lingua franca you can go anywhere you are in deep demand. Some of my wife's oncologists were American-trained as was the Spanish heart one who stuck me my first stent; he came replete with a sense if humour. As I lay there, gazing at the monitor, I felt a bit faint and as they asked, thought it best to mention it. He instantly gave me some nitroglycerine and that fixed it. I suggested that might be explosive, and he sad no, not unless you wanna smoke right now.

That was on private medicine; I don't try jokes with the public cats. Maybe I should?

And that's the problem with our olde rustbelt Brexit guys: they mostly have but one lingua and sometimes that's pretty poor too; no additional abilities means no viable alternatives in your life, so relative isolation figures. Ask Slobodan if that isn't a fact? Hence the great divide between the urban south and the sticks oop north.

Does anyone know if Big Donald has other languages?

Doctors in America are transitioning to more and different ethnic groups.  My heart surgeon of Japanese background was rated one of the tops in one of the top rated hospitals in NYC.  So not only do different groups of patients in the US effect medical results.  It would be interesting to see how different doctor groups effect that number.   Many doctors in the US have gotten their training in other countries.  That's a rather new statistic.  Where I live in central New Jersey, there are huge numbers of doctors of Indian descent.  As we go to more government control of medicine, this change will increase. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 08, 2019, 08:53:58 am
Same thing here in Florida, Alan. Vast numbers of Indian doctors, and they're excellent doctors. My endodontist is Indian, and he saved a tooth the supposedly best endodontist in Colorado Springs said would have to be extracted and replaced with an implant. My crack dermatologist is Chinese, well known as the best in the area.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 08, 2019, 08:58:47 am
Same thing here in Florida, Alan. Vast numbers of Indian doctors, and they're excellent doctors. My endodontist is Indian, and he saved a tooth the supposedly best endodontist in Colorado Springs said would have to be extracted and replaced with an implant. My crack dermatologist is Chinese, well known as the best in the area.

Eh? Slobo says that getting foreign doctors is due to poor planning. Is he getting it wrong, again?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 09:00:02 am
... And that's the problem with our olde rustbelt Brexit guys: they mostly have but one lingua and sometimes that's pretty poor too...

Ah, the benefits of the splendid isolation on an island!

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 09:01:00 am
To continue:
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 08, 2019, 09:03:22 am
Ah, the benefits of the splendid isolation on an island!

That's why the people of Hartlepool are affectionately known as "Monkeyhangers".  Unfortunately their outlook does not seem to have improved since that incident.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2019, 09:14:18 am
That poor monkey! Imagine picking Hartlepool for your first visit! Imagine picking Hartlepool.

Just kidding.

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 08, 2019, 09:18:55 am
That poor monkey! Imagine picking Hartlepool for your first visit! Imagine picking Hartlepool.

Just kidding.

;-)

I guess he saw Middlesbrough and thought that Hartlepool was relatively picturesque :-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 09:30:57 am
Eh? Slobo says that getting foreign doctors is due to poor planning. Is he getting it wrong, again?

I said poor paying, not poor planning (though that probably too).

Two possible explanations:

1. My own team scored an autogol (own goal). I'll have to bench Alan and Russ for the next couple of games, it seems.

2. America is a land of immigrants, so it stands to reason that some of them will be doctors. We also educate a lot of foreign students, some of them will stay as doctors as well. We do not have many foreign nurses, though. Doctors are highly paid here, probably the highest in the world, and that attracts immigrants. America is also known to attract the best talent from the rest of the world. The hurdle to get American medical recertification is extremely hard and takes a long time, only the best will get through. Those who fail, end up in Britain, I guess.

 ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 08, 2019, 09:33:24 am
Does anyone know if Big Donald has other languages?
He can barely speak English and has an extremely limited vocabulary. Something on the order of fifth grade. Probably the reason he appeals to his base - order white men without a college education.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 08, 2019, 09:34:05 am

2. America is a land of immigrants,

Shhh... Don't tell Trump !!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 09:38:12 am
Shhh... Don't tell Trump !!

He married one.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 08, 2019, 10:11:07 am
He married one.

I guess when you're busy grabbing pussy, you don't worry about a passport.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: PeterAit on June 08, 2019, 10:44:26 am
He married one.

Melania? The hairdo with legs?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2019, 11:38:19 am
Rob, why is it that the British socialized medicine doesn’t have enough own doctors and nurses? You guys are that dumbed down by Benny Hill or beer to graduate in medical fields? Or is it that, when medicine is socialized, the state determines how much is enough? And for that much (or rather little) only third-world medical staff finds it attractive?

AFAIK, the problems start in school, with the public (I know, not in the posh sense of public which, perversely, means private) offering being held down due to money, lack of good parenting in many cases - usually connected problems, but not always - and the general greyness of spirit that came into its own post-war, except for that brief window of the 60s, where those who could made the best of it, and the rest just carried on watching tv and feeling more and more out of it.

Throw in a strong labour union movement that was often communist-powered, if denied (I was in industry for some years and had first-hand confrontations), and incentives to throw out and change the lowly status quo are few and far between if folks are true believers in it. So, the base from which to pick the better brains is not overly huge. Then there's the cost of university if you don't happen to be Scottish. The educational services are there, but prohibitively expensive for many. Watching my granddaughters' graduation ceremonies, it's an eye-opener to see how many Chinese students there are, how many picking up advanced degrees. I have heard that those kids are very hard-working and that much sacrifice has often been made back home to offer them the chance to study, so they do. Good for them! As with in America, some stay and others do not. Opportunity is not only in the West, and increasingly, neither is all the big money.

Lower down the ranks, but as vital in their rôles, are the nurses as well as the cleaners, but again, the NHS has not got unlimited funds, and faced with an ever more self-induced incidence of food-realted illnesses, demand on the sevices grows faster than the money coming in, and pay packets have to be kept low in comparison to some others. Throw in a society where it can sometimes pay you more not to work, and there you go. I had a brief - very - chat with my new doctor on this; she wanted to go to Australia but, according to her, she'd have had to work for free for two years. She told me that medical salaries are far lower in Spain than in Britain, but hey, the lifestyle is better. She spoke as a doctor, so probably had a comfortable background just to get there. Not always the case with the nurses, many of whom work in Britain, but relatively fewer are making the trip, Brexit making them afraid, not just physically, but long-term, career-wise. As I've mentioned  before, one granddaghter is a doc and works in a hospital in Manchester: she tells me that without the foreign input, the British system will have to call in the Automobile Association to fix it. Or to haul it to the scrapyard.

And think of it: less than 4% unemployment in Britain, I believe. Doesn't compute sensibly.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 08, 2019, 01:53:43 pm
I had a brief - very - chat with my new doctor on this; she wanted to go to Australia but, according to her, she'd have had to work for free for two years.

Rob, either she was misinformed or you misunderstood. My eldest daughter moved to Australia about a year ago, first to Perth and now, as a psychiatric trainee, Melbourne. Neither she nor any of her British colleagues has worked for free; in fact, her pay, hours and conditions would be the envy of any equivalent junior doctor in the NHS (unless, like my middle daughter, rather better-paid by the Forces).

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 08, 2019, 01:55:19 pm
Melania? The hairdo with legs?

That is as unhelpful, not to say as misogynistically discourteous, a comment as has appeared in this thread to date, and it oversteps the mark. Consider yourself warned.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 01:58:46 pm
Rob, either she was misinformed or you misunderstood. My eldest daughter moved to Australia about a year ago, first to Perth and now, as a psychiatric trainee, Melbourne. Neither she nor any of her British colleagues has worked for free; in fact, her pay, hours and conditions would be the envy of any equivalent junior doctor in the NHS (unless, like my middle daughter, rather better-paid by the Forces).

Jeremy

Could it be the English language and education system is the difference? I assume Rob was talking about a Spanish doctor. They would need to recertify their degree, and that is where "working for free" comes. Not really working for free, but spending two years on recertification, while not working, i.e., not receiving a salary. I heard a similar reason for my Serbian doctor friends thinking about immigrating to Canada.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 02:05:39 pm
That is as unhelpful, not to say as misogynistically discourteous, a comment as has appeared in this thread to date, and it oversteps the mark. Consider yourself warned...

In the interests of gender equality, I suggest that women should have equal rights to be insulted as men. If her husband can be freely referred to as "orange buffoon," surely we can call his wife anything we want. She should not have a free pass just because she is a woman. That would be sexist, no?

Not that I condone that jerkish remark about my (former) compatriot, but rather against characterizing it as misogynistic.

If one wants to joke about Melania, at least do it with some class, intelligence, and humor, like this foreign language school in Croatia:
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: D Fuller on June 08, 2019, 05:09:06 pm
I said if the government forces all doctors to accept lower payments and not allow them to opt out, something that is not currently done, many excellent prospective doctors will decide not to go into medicine.  So the overall quality of doctors doing medicine will diminish. 

I'm sure some will find other ways to make a living, but many? Well, that's pure speculation, and it ignores any reason for choosing a career in medecine other than the salary.


Regarding results in America compared to other countries, I suspect this has a lot to do with variables due to DNA, racial, ethnic and cultural differences as America is an immigrant nation.  So some groups fare better than others, but the overall results does not show that most Americans actually get very good medical care that saves lives and makes them more productive.  Other countries have a more homogenized populace.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find medical result statistics in America broken out by these variables.  I think they're deliberately hidden to politically press for single payer medicine.  I'd like to see statistics broken out by race, ancestry, geographic area of the country (ie southern vs eastern vs plains states, etc).  By each of the 50 States. etc.  I think the statistics would be quite revealing and results quite variable than a single number for the whole country. .

I suspect that the results depend on poverty rates, obesity, and teen-age pregnancy, which are much higher in the US than in other wealthy nations. All three of those contribute to early death and/or poorer health. Health care is expensive in the US—roughly twice as expensive as in the next 11 wealthy nations, and that keeps people from going to the doctor when they need to. Our insurance system is designed so that primary care is expensive because deductibles have increased tenfold in the past two decades, and the majority of Americans have very little cash reserves so primary care gets put on a credit card.

As you write here, "most Americans actually get very good medical care that saves lives and makes them more productive." Why in the world would you not favor all Americans being more productive, even if you don't care about extending their lives?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Tony Jay on June 08, 2019, 06:00:00 pm
I had a brief - very - chat with my new doctor on this; she wanted to go to Australia but, according to her, she'd have had to work for free for two years.
This statement is fundamentally false!
Nobody works for free in Australia...

She may have been referring to the fact that her qualifications would not be directly recognised in Australia and that she would need to undergo a period of supervised training before being able to practise independently.

However, during this time, depending on the level of seniority that she was given she would be paid EXACTLY the same as any other doctor working at that level of seniority!

So, let's cut out the misinformation shall we...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2019, 06:19:16 pm
This statement is fundamentally false!
Nobody works for free in Australia...

She may have been referring to the fact that her qualifications would not be directly recognised in Australia and that she would need to undergo a period of supervised training before being able to practise independently.

However, during this time, depending on the level of seniority that she was given she would be paid EXACTLY the same as any other doctor working at that level of seniority!

So, let's cut out the misinformation shall we...


Well, I can only tell you what she told me.

I have no agenda to knock Australia.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2019, 06:24:12 pm
Rob, either she was misinformed or you misunderstood. My eldest daughter moved to Australia about a year ago, first to Perth and now, as a psychiatric trainee, Melbourne. Neither she nor any of her British colleagues has worked for free; in fact, her pay, hours and conditions would be the envy of any equivalent junior doctor in the NHS (unless, like my middle daughter, rather better-paid by the Forces).

Jeremy

Could be; but I wonder if being Spanish, i.e. non-British has something to do with it. Might be a language problem - can't tell you. My own granddaughter had a brief spell there last year, I think it was, but I think she was on some kind of exchange or like that. At any rate, she's supposedly returning there at the end of summer. I envy her her mobility.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 08, 2019, 06:29:35 pm
Could it be the English language and education system is the difference? I assume Rob was talking about a Spanish doctor. They would need to recertify their degree, and that is where "working for free" comes. Not really working for free, but spending two years on recertification, while not working, i.e., not receiving a salary. I heard a similar reason for my Serbian doctor friends thinking about immigrating to Canada.

Yes, of course she's Spanish - I thought that was clear. I don't think she'd have misunderstood - she is a highly educated lady, after all. Your parallel with your Serbian doc friends makes sense. Perhaps it's an internationally accepted system of safety checks, which can't be a bad thing for anyone. The two-year time scale fits perfectly. So yeah, no earnings for two years, which kinda puts the kibosh on anyone but the independently wealthy.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 08, 2019, 08:56:11 pm
I'm sure some will find other ways to make a living, but many? Well, that's pure speculation, and it ignores any reason for choosing a career in medecine other than the salary.


I suspect that the results depend on poverty rates, obesity, and teen-age pregnancy, which are much higher in the US than in other wealthy nations. All three of those contribute to early death and/or poorer health. Health care is expensive in the US—roughly twice as expensive as in the next 11 wealthy nations, and that keeps people from going to the doctor when they need to. Our insurance system is designed so that primary care is expensive because deductibles have increased tenfold in the past two decades, and the majority of Americans have very little cash reserves so primary care gets put on a credit card.

As you write here, "most Americans actually get very good medical care that saves lives and makes them more productive." Why in the world would you not favor all Americans being more productive, even if you don't care about extending their lives?

Sure, some people will go into medicine anyway even if earnings are projected to decrease.  But isn't that true of people who want to become photographers today despite how more difficult it is to make a living? Frankly, in both cases, people will select other fields.  It's the laws of economics.  As salaries decrease, less people want to make the sacrifice. 

Sure, medical care and all sorts of other social services would be great to increase.  Let's spread the money around.  But America has a $1 trillion dollar deficit this year.  We've got a $22 trillion debt.  The Federal government is broke. The states are broke too.  Where does the money come from?  Maybe we can take it from the $1.7 trillion Biden plans to spend on infrastructure.  Oh wait.  Where is that money coming from?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Tony Jay on June 08, 2019, 09:03:02 pm
Yes, of course she's Spanish - I thought that was clear. I don't think she'd have misunderstood - she is a highly educated lady, after all. Your parallel with your Serbian doc friends makes sense. Perhaps it's an internationally accepted system of safety checks, which can't be a bad thing for anyone. The two-year time scale fits perfectly. So yeah, no earnings for two years, which kinda puts the kibosh on anyone but the independently wealthy.
With due respect to Slobodan he is no expert here, certainly not to comment about requirements for foreign medical graduates to practise in Australia!

As someone who is a medical doctor (originally qualified in South Africa) and therefore needed to go through the process of getting full registration in Australia - exactly the process your Spanish doctor was talking about - I have some real knowledge and insight here!

There is no unpaid work in Australia - simply does not happen!

Sometimes medical graduates come from countries (but really it is the specific medical school that counts) where their qualifications have no recognition in Australia at all. In this situation prospective doctors MUST pass the equivalent of a medical school exit examination in Australia before they practise at all - even under supervision...

I doubt this applies to your Spanish doctor since I am not aware of any Spanish medical school that does not enjoy provisional recognition in Australia...

So, I suggest desisting from commenting and speculating about issues with which you are all wholly unfamiliar - and, dare I say it, ignorant!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 08, 2019, 09:52:32 pm
Tony, i have a prescription for you as a medical professional: take a chill pill.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 08, 2019, 10:30:21 pm
Melania? The hairdo with legs?

FWIW, my parents’ social circle and hers overlap slightly, and she’s thought to be a decent woman whose main concern seems to be keeping her son out of the Trump circus.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Tony Jay on June 08, 2019, 11:49:50 pm
Tony, i have a prescription for you as a medical professional: take a chill pill.
You are hardly the person to dish out advice to anyone...
It doesn't stop you of course - stick to photography: at least you do know something about that...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 09, 2019, 02:15:07 am
He can barely speak English and has an extremely limited vocabulary. Something on the order of fifth grade. Probably the reason he appeals to his base - order white men without a college education.
he is effective with Twitter, but that doesn't require coherent writing.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 09, 2019, 02:25:59 am
You are hardly the person to dish out advice to anyone...
It doesn't stop you of course - stick to photography: at least you do know something about that...
It is really easy to ignore mindless rambling from those who have pictures of themselves with their profile.  I am certain that they are grateful that I have one but they don't ignore me but rather digess into inane commentary. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 09, 2019, 03:02:14 am
In the interests of gender equality, I suggest that women should have equal rights to be insulted as men. If her husband can be freely referred to as "orange buffoon," surely we can call his wife anything we want. She should not have a free pass just because she is a woman. That would be sexist, no?

First, he is your president, who chose to enter public life, and she is not; and secondly, those who use playground abuse such as "orange buffoon" illustrate more about their own infantility than about him.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 09, 2019, 03:04:43 am
I'm sure some will find other ways to make a living, but many? Well, that's pure speculation, and it ignores any reason for choosing a career in medicine other than the salary.

There's a variety of reasons doctors might choose to earn a living from something other than medicine. Money is but one of them. It played no part in my decision.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 03:55:36 am
With due respect to Slobodan he is no expert here, certainly not to comment about requirements for foreign medical graduates to practise in Australia!

As someone who is a medical doctor (originally qualified in South Africa) and therefore needed to go through the process of getting full registration in Australia - exactly the process your Spanish doctor was talking about - I have some real knowledge and insight here!

There is no unpaid work in Australia - simply does not happen!

Sometimes medical graduates come from countries (but really it is the specific medical school that counts) where their qualifications have no recognition in Australia at all. In this situation prospective doctors MUST pass the equivalent of a medical school exit examination in Australia before they practise at all - even under supervision...

I doubt this applies to your Spanish doctor since I am not aware of any Spanish medical school that does not enjoy provisional recognition in Australia...

So, I suggest desisting from commenting and speculating about issues with which you are all wholly unfamiliar - and, dare I say it, ignorant!

So, are you stating that there is no measurable probationary period where a newcomer, fully qualified as doctor in his/her own European - in this case Spanish - environment, will be working within a hospital or private practice, without collecting payment in return for time there? I would assume it's fair to think that that period involves working under supervision, but that constitutes performing skilled, trained work, does it not?

If you can come up with some official reference to that effect, covering the situation of a fully qualified (in their own country) doctor arriving in Australia with the wish to find a job in their present line of work, that allows them to be paid whilst they are working their way into the Australian system (which I'd think could only be done by spending actual work time on the job in Australia as against sitting at home n Australia reading up on it), please don't be shy about posting it: I will be happy to make a hard copy and give it to my new doctor. If she doesn't take it up, at least it may gain me a brownie point or two! You wouldn't grudge me that, would you?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 09, 2019, 04:01:25 am

So, I suggest desisting from commenting and speculating about issues with which you are all wholly unfamiliar - and, dare I say it, ignorant!

That would be pretty much the end of the coffee corner!!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 04:09:43 am
Melania? The hairdo with legs?

Hey, she was the best thing to look at during the inauguration ceremony that attracted the largest street crowds ever, ever ever!

As with the previous French head honcho with Carla Bruni (acually of Italian stock!), Trump's best bit is his other half. Exactly as was mine, now that I think of it.

Her hair is actually not bad at all, for a model - and the abuse that subjected it to - it's just that with all those goddam Boeings and choppers she has to use, she also has to use too much hair spray to keep it in place and avoid being caught up in those whirling scythes; like Carla, she instinctively manages to look elegant, something which defeats many.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 04:12:31 am
That would be pretty much the end of the coffee corner!!

And of Spanish lady doctors who know nothing.

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 04:19:31 am
It is really easy to ignore mindless rambling from those who have pictures of themselves with their profile.  I am certain that they are grateful that I have one but they don't ignore me but rather digess into inane commentary.

I'm not pretty enough - or vain enough? - to post an avatar or portrait that's seen every time my words crop up; who needs it? Who needs the words, any of it, from almost anybody here?

Although some of us strike up relationships we cherish, mostly, I'd guess, we are here because we can't think of anything better to do at the times that we are here. Why else, now that we are all experts in everything?

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Tony Jay on June 09, 2019, 05:46:16 am
So, are you stating that there is no measurable probationary period where a newcomer, fully qualified as doctor in his/her own European - in this case Spanish - environment, will be working within a hospital or private practice, without collecting payment in return for time there? I would assume it's fair to think that that period involves working under supervision, but that constitutes performing skilled, trained work, does it not?

If you can come up with some official reference to that effect, covering the situation of a fully qualified (in their own country) doctor arriving in Australia with the wish to find a job in their present line of work, that allows them to be paid whilst they are working their way into the Australian system (which I'd think could only be done by spending actual work time on the job in Australia as against sitting at home n Australia reading up on it), please don't be shy about posting it: I will be happy to make a hard copy and give it to my new doctor. If she doesn't take it up, at least it may gain me a brownie point or two! You wouldn't grudge me that, would you?
There is no mystery here - one just goes to the AMC (Australian Medical Council) website...

Just remember that there are two issues in play here...
Firstly one needs to registered to practise - without some form of registration one will not be allowed to work. It is true that proficiency in English needs to be demonstrated in order to be registered, but this evidence ideally should be gathered before leaving one's home country - not after. Basically, for a Spanish national passing an International English Language Testing System "IELTS" (in Spain) would be required.
This registration would likely only be a provisional registration which means that practise under supervision is required.
Whether provisional registration is extended also depends on the medical school from which one has graduated. In the case of Spain I do not believe that any Spanish medical school is excluded by the AMC.

If individuals are trained as specialists in their home country they will be registered provisionally as senior trainees in the appropriate speciality.

Having registration is not a guarantee of a job...one will still need to apply and compete for training jobs.

If one is successful in applying for a job then one will earn EXACTLY the same as any other trainee of the same level of seniority. Individuals are also taxed at the same rate as Australian citizens. (I am not aware of ANY jurisdiction in the Western world where one would or could be forced to work without remuneration in this context.)

How long one needs to practise (and perhaps train) under supervision does depend to some degree on where (which country) one has trained and how experienced one is. Sometimes only six months is required, but sometimes several years may be required as well as fulfilling all the requirements of the local colleges (of Surgeons, Physicians etc) which may also include exams and clinicals.

After one has successfully completed whatever requirements the AMC and relevant college is demanding then one will be awarded a fellowship in the relevant speciality allowing one to practise independently in Australia, which may also include private practise.

None of this applies if one qualifications are NOT recognised by the AMC. In this case no registration will be extended and one will not be allowed to work (as a doctor). I personally know of doctors who ended up in Australia as refugees (and occasionally for other reasons) who hail from countries where the AMC will not recognise their qualifications. In these cases the AMC accepts and understands that they are doctors and will allow them to try and pass the AMC certificate (this is a combination of written and clinical exams that represent the exit standard of Australian medical schools) along with the IELTS. My experience with these individuals is that the AMC certificate is much more a test of one's ability and facility with the English language as opposed to one's medical knowledge - in other words the best predictor of success in the 'medical' exam is actually an excellent standard of English! My personal experience of these kinds of exams in Australia was that they were relatively trivial as far as medical knowledge went.

Passing the AMC certificate in individuals who could not get an initial provisional registration allows them to apply for an internship in Australia. An internship is also a paid position although it also the most junior position that a doctor can occupy.

Bottom line: If one has either provisional or full registration in Australia then one can   practise medicine and potentially be employed. If one is employed then one WILL be paid. In fact, the only way one could get an unpaid position (say with MSF or Mercy Ships) is with full registration. These organisations will not accept those doctors with only provisional registration since they can only be employed to supervised (and paid) positions within Australian hospitals.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 06:17:47 am
There is no mystery here - one just goes to the AMC (Australian Medical Council) website...

Just remember that there are two issues in play here...
Firstly one needs to registered to practise - without some form of registration one will not be allowed to work. It is true that proficiency in English needs to be demonstrated in order to be registered, but this evidence ideally should be gathered before leaving one's home country - not after. Basically, for a Spanish national passing an International English Language Testing System "IELTS" (in Spain) would be required.
This registration would likely only be a provisional registration which means that practise under supervision is required.
Whether provisional registration is extended also depends on the medical school from which one has graduated. In the case of Spain I do not believe that any Spanish medical school is excluded by the AMC.

If individuals are trained as specialists in their home country they will be registered provisionally as senior trainees in the appropriate speciality.

Having registration is not a guarantee of a job...one will still need to apply and compete for training jobs.

If one is successful in applying for a job then one will earn EXACTLY the same as any other trainee of the same level of seniority. Individuals are also taxed at the same rate as Australian citizens. (I am not aware of ANY jurisdiction in the Western world where one would or could be forced to work without remuneration in this context.)

How long one needs to practise (and perhaps train) under supervision does depend to some degree on where (which country) one has trained and how experienced one is. Sometimes only six months is required, but sometimes several years may be required as well as fulfilling all the requirements of the local colleges (of Surgeons, Physicians etc) which may also include exams and clinicals.

After one has successfully completed whatever requirements the AMC and relevant college is demanding then one will be awarded a fellowship in the relevant speciality allowing one to practise independently in Australia, which may also include private practise.

None of this applies if one qualifications are NOT recognised by the AMC. In this case no registration will be extended and one will not be allowed to work (as a doctor). I personally know of doctors who ended up in Australia as refugees (and occasionally for other reasons) who hail from countries where the AMC will not recognise their qualifications. In these cases the AMC accepts and understands that they are doctors and will allow them to try and pass the AMC certificate (this is a combination of written and clinical exams that represent the exit standard of Australian medical schools) along with the IELTS. My experience with these individuals is that the AMC certificate is much more a test of one's ability and facility with the English language as opposed to one's medical knowledge - in other words the best predictor of success in the 'medical' exam is actually an excellent standard of English! My personal experience of these kinds of exams in Australia was that they were relatively trivial as far as medical knowledge went.

Passing the AMC certificate in individuals who could not get an initial provisional registration allows them to apply for an internship in Australia. An internship is also a paid position although it also the most junior position that a doctor can occupy.

Bottom line: If one has either provisional or full registration in Australia then one can   practise medicine and potentially be employed. If one is employed then one WILL be paid. In fact, the only way one could get an unpaid position (say with MSF or Mercy Ships) is with full registration. These organisations will not accept those doctors with only provisional registration since they can only be employed to supervised (and paid) positions within Australian hospitals.

Thank you very much!

That makes everything pretty clear to me, and I will make a paper copy and pass it along.

Rob


P.S.

Copied; tomorow morning I'll try to get it to the lady in question without having to go through the rigmarole of an appointment! It can be done.

Thanks again
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 09, 2019, 07:14:54 am
I'm not pretty enough - or vain enough? - to post an avatar or portrait that's seen every time my words crop up; who needs it? Who needs the words, any of it, from almost anybody here?

Although some of us strike up relationships we cherish, mostly, I'd guess, we are here because we can't think of anything better to do at the times that we are here. Why else, now that we are all experts in everything?

;-)
I think personal pictures makes it easier to find specific posts of others and myself when I'm going through a thread.  It also adds a personal touch to our relations.  Despite our often antagonistic posts to each other, I think I speak more often to others here than my wife. :)  So a picture helps defray some animosity and hopeful makes us more friendly to each other - which we should be.  Don;t you agree with that part? 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 09, 2019, 07:21:25 am
There's a variety of reasons doctors might choose to earn a living from something other than medicine. Money is but one of them. It played no part in my decision.

Jeremy
I'm pleased you took up medicine.  And my post was in no way trying to besmirch any doctor.  I was just trying to explain that economics will effect which careers people go into.  Of course not everyone.  There's is a very long training period for doctors as you well know.  That requires a lot of dedication.   Some may feel that if the government is going to limit a person's success at the end, they may choose another career.   If that happens, and maybe I'm wrong that it will, then the public will lose some really good potential medical experts in the future. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 09, 2019, 07:27:03 am
He can barely speak English and has an extremely limited vocabulary. Something on the order of fifth grade. Probably the reason he appeals to his base - order white men without a college education.

Looking down on people and your feeling of superiority is one of the reasons Hillary lost the election.  Keep it up. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 07:42:21 am
Just a thought brought about by looking at my own link to Eve Arnold: do the Guardian Angels still exist on the NY subway system - are they relevant today?

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 09, 2019, 08:13:45 am
Just a thought brought about by looking at my own link to Eve Arnold: do the Guardian Angels still exist on the NY subway system - are they relevant today?

Rob

They're active in 130 cities and 13 countries around the world including the UK.  Curtis Sliwa, the founder, is a NYC icon.  I met him once on the street.  He has his own radio program and is tough as nails. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian_Angels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian_Angels)
http://guardianangels.org/ (http://guardianangels.org/)
The Mafia tried to kill him.  He escape out of the cab they shot him in climbing out the window with three bullets in him.  Incredibly he survived.
https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/23/nyregion/testifying-against-gotti-sliwa-describes-how-he-was-shot-in-a-taxi.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/23/nyregion/testifying-against-gotti-sliwa-describes-how-he-was-shot-in-a-taxi.html)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 09, 2019, 08:36:54 am

Although some of us strike up relationships we cherish, mostly, I'd guess, we are here because we can't think of anything better to do at the times that we are here. Why else, now that we are all experts in everything?

;-)

Scary thought - maybe despite differences of opinion, we are actually quite like each other, at least in how we choose to spend our leisure time :-(
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 09, 2019, 08:55:52 am
Scary thought - maybe despite differences of opinion, we are actually quite like each other, at least in how we choose to spend our leisure time :-(


It's like I suggested elsewhere on LuLa: there are few absolutes in life...

What's with the :-( ? We should celebrate our differences instead! (I write celebrate, but it's become a dumb word these days, applied to all manner of things that defy any real ability to be celebrated; just another slip on the downwards slide of language. Nonetheless, applicable or not, we have come to understand what people mean...)

:)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 09, 2019, 11:32:55 am
First, he is your president, who chose to enter public life, and she is not; and secondly, those who use playground abuse such as "orange buffoon" illustrate more about their own infantility than about him.

1. Not exactly true. FLOTUS is a public figure (emphasis mine):

Quote
Although the First Lady's role has never been codified or officially defined, she figures prominently in the political and social life of the nation.[1] Since the early 20th century, the First Lady has been assisted by official staff, now known as the Office of the First Lady and headquartered in the East Wing of the White House.

... Since the 1790s, the role of First Lady has changed considerably. It has come to include involvement in political campaigns, management of the White House, championship of social causes, and representation of the president at official and ceremonial occasions.

2. Agree. By the same token, the post about Melania speaks more about the poster than about her.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 09, 2019, 12:05:05 pm
With due respect to Slobodan he is no expert here, certainly not to comment about requirements for foreign medical graduates to practise in Australia!...

Nor I claimed to be. I simply tried to offer a possible explanation for what Rob heard his doctor saying.

I said:

Quote
Not really working for free, but spending two years on recertification, while not working, i.e., not receiving a salary.

Which you then confirmed:

Quote
Sometimes medical graduates come from countries (but really it is the specific medical school that counts) where their qualifications have no recognition in Australia at all. In this situation prospective doctors MUST pass the equivalent of a medical school exit examination in Australia before they practise at all - even under supervision...

So, where is the disagreement?

The subject that Rob initiated was international mobility of medical staff. He merely mentioned Australia, with no intention to disparage it, let alone claim that it still practices slavery. I thought that was obvious even to the most casual observer.

This being an international forum, I think it might be of interest where my observations (cited above) come from. I have a friend who underwent a medical certification program in America. Had a chat with her this morning. She said that the process might take 2-3 years. She also said that the medical part is hardly trivial.

Here is a transcript from our chat, so see for yourself (pardon her typos, she was at work, and generally not caring about typos):
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 09, 2019, 12:16:44 pm
1. Not exactly true. FLOTUS is a public figure (emphasis mine):

2. Agree. By the same token, the post about Melania speaks more about the poster than about her.

1. She's not an elected official, though; 2. certainly true; and my warning stands. Political discussions have proved remarkably tame and generally well-behaved since I re-enabled them, which is pleasing. They will stay that way.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 09, 2019, 05:13:51 pm
There's a variety of reasons doctors might choose to earn a living from something other than medicine. Money is but one of them. It played no part in my decision.

Jeremy
Quite right.   There will never be a shortage of doctors in the US but there can be a poor distribution.   More worrisome are the closing of lots of small rural hospitals.

Addressing some points raised by Joe and Alan about Obamacare,  it is not to blame.  Premiums and co-pays are going up for everyone.   I am on the board of a non- profit with a large endowment that provides health insurance to research fellows at a major biomedical research institution.   I serve on both the insurance and investment committees.   I have first hand knowledge about the rate of premium increases and utilization.   All it takes is a couple of premature births to put the program in trouble and increase premiums in subsequent years.   It is a complicated issue.

There are also a number of physicians groups that support some form of universal insurance coverage here in the US.  Medicare for all is not the only possible model.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Tony Jay on June 09, 2019, 07:25:26 pm
So, where is the disagreement?
There is absolutely no unpaid remuneration!
You tried to make out that there was...

You seem to have a problem with short-term memory!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 09, 2019, 07:41:37 pm
There is absolutely no unpaid remuneration!
You tried to make out that there was...

Please quote where I said that.

I said the exact opposite, and I repeat:

... Not really working for free, but spending two years on recertification, while not working, i.e., not receiving a salary...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 09, 2019, 08:06:25 pm
Quite right.   There will never be a shortage of doctors in the US but there can be a poor distribution.   More worrisome are the closing of lots of small rural hospitals.

Addressing some points raised by Joe and Alan about Obamacare,  it is not to blame.  Premiums and co-pays are going up for everyone.   I am on the board of a non- profit with a large endowment that provides health insurance to research fellows at a major biomedical research institution.   I serve on both the insurance and investment committees.   I have first hand knowledge about the rate of premium increases and utilization.   All it takes is a couple of premature births to put the program in trouble and increase premiums in subsequent years.   It is a complicated issue.

There are also a number of physicians groups that support some form of universal insurance coverage here in the US.  Medicare for all is not the only possible model.


What other models?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Tony Jay on June 09, 2019, 09:07:41 pm
I have a friend who underwent a medical certification program in America. Had a chat with her this morning. She said that the process might take 2-3 years. She also said that the medical part is hardly trivial.

Here is a transcript from our chat, so see for yourself (pardon her typos, she was at work, and generally not caring about typos):
What your friend is referring to is the United States Medical Licensing Exam also known as the USMLE's.
No one, under ANY circumstances, can practise medicine in the US without passing this exam. This applies to domestic medical school graduates as well as international graduates...

If your friend was silly enough to travel to the US FIRST before writing this exam and then complain about having to sit around not earning while preparing for and writing these exams then they only have themselves to blame!

I know plenty of people who have written, and passed, the USMLE's. In every case they stayed at home and worked locally while preparing and writing these exams. One is NOT required to go to the USA to either prepare or write these exams.

As for the content that is examined the USMLE's concentrate a lot on cell biology and genetics - these topics are often not well covered in undergraduate medical courses that are located outside Western Europe, Canada, and Oceania. So, yes, it may take time to adequately prepare for these exams...

However, all you have done is move the goalposts! It still has nothing to do with your assertion that doctors are required to work without pay... No doctor can work in a particular jurisdiction until they have fulfilled the conditions for registration!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 09, 2019, 10:05:09 pm
...your assertion that doctors are required to work without pay...

Oh, for God's sake Tony, stop it!!!

Prove it or stop it! Please quote where I "asserted that doctors are required to work without pay"

If you do not quote me, and do not apologize, I will report you to the moderator for harassment, something I have rarely, or ever, done. But enough is enough.

EDITED to remove inappropriate language, with my apologies for it. I regret the strikethrough part.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 09, 2019, 10:57:27 pm

What other models?
regulated  insurance markets as they have in Germany,  Switzerland,  and Holland.   TR Reid, a former Washington Post correspondent,  wrote a nice book on this topic about a decade ago.   When he was posted abroad he and his family had experience with a number of heath systems with positive results.

One can also do a voucher system where everyone buys a basic insurance policy.   You can also buy secondary coverage if desired.   This eliminates all corporate sponsored plans as well as Medicare and Medicaid.   HR departments would love this as it gets them out of the healthcare business.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 10, 2019, 03:07:05 am
Slobodan, watch your language.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2019, 07:28:26 am
I read that the ambassador - or some other guy with a title - from the States said that if the UK leaves Europe, trade negotiations with that country - America - will be expected to include the health sytem. Where do some of these guys think they are coming from, to almost end a sentence with a proposition, which I narrowly avoided doing.

Hands off! Don't mess with a better way than the one you have at home. You know, like the little fox wot lost its tail and wanted the rest to have theirs chopped of too?

Yet, yet, his buddy (if he has one) Farage may say it will save us an additional 350 million pounds a week. Be sure the blonde one will not be out of tune either. Bad politics is infectious, it seems: one shaken pair of hands, and away we go.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 07:46:56 am
I read that the ambassador - or some other guy with a title - from the States said that if the UK leaves Europe, trade negotiations with that country - America - will be expected to include the health sytem. Where do some of these guys think they are coming from, to almost end a sentence with a proposition, which I narrowly avoided doing.

Hands off! Don't mess with a better way than the one you have at home. You know, like the little fox wot lost its tail and wanted the rest to have theirs chopped of too?

Yet, yet, his buddy (if he has one) Farage may say it will save us an additional 350 million pounds a week. Be sure the blonde one will not be out of tune either. Bad politics is infectious, it seems: one shaken pair of hands, and away we go.

Rob

There's no health care rules in the new USMCA trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada.  Why do you assume there will be between America and the UK?  I can't imagine Britain giving up its healthcare system or America insisting they do.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 10, 2019, 08:10:00 am
I read that the ambassador - or some other guy with a title - from the States said that if the UK leaves Europe, trade negotiations with that country - America - will be expected to include the health sytem.

Yes, the ambassador. Also Trump said the same thing.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2019, 08:40:19 am
There's no health care rules in the new USMCA trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada.  Why do you assume there will be between America and the UK?  I can't imagine Britain giving up its healthcare system or America insisting they do.

Simply because your man over here said that was his country's position. You couldn't make these things up without fearing being taken for a raving lunatic.

But hey, just like the current spat with Mexico: yesterday we say we hit you today, today we say we won't. Cool stuff designed to impress a very red neck into thinking positive thoughts about imminent domestic salvation. Russia must be pouring out the champagne, unable to believe its luck.

International diplomacy was not invented just for fun; it's the language that ensures co-existence will result in mutual survival; riding roughshod over it means one thing: you lose international respect and credibility and put yourself outwith civilised, common rules of behaviour. A good way for a pariah to be born.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 08:59:57 am
Simply because your man over here said that was his country's position. You couldn't make these things up without fearing being taken for a raving lunatic.

But hey, just like the current spat with Mexico: yesterday we say we hit you today, today we say we won't. Cool stuff designed to impress a very red neck into thinking positive thoughts about imminent domestic salvation. Russia must be pouring out the champagne, unable to believe its luck.

International diplomacy was not invented just for fun; it's the language that ensures co-existence will result in mutual survival; riding roughshod over it means one thing: you lose international respect and credibility and put yourself outwith covilized, common rules of behaviour. A good way for a pariah to be born.


Haven;t people figured out that Trump is always negotiating?  He's always looking for an edge.  He always asks for more than he expects to get in the end.  The problem is Europeans aren't use to it.  Previous presidents rolled over and were weak, feckless. They gave away the store.     They're not use to a strong president.  Yes, even nasty at times. 

Look at the problems we have with China.  They're stealing us (and you) blind.  They follow no rules. 

Mexico is allowing illegals to pass through their country to invade our land.  They could stop that overnight as they do with illegals who want to stay in Mexico.  They put those people in their jails.  So Trump is squeezing them.  Rightfully so.  Don't European countries stop illegals?  International diplomacy is a two-way street. You can't expect America to play by rules that you don;t play by.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 10, 2019, 09:14:16 am
the Chinese do follow a rule - work for themselves for the benefit of greater China.
We made decisions to not place certain technology in PRC because of that rule.
A business working in PRC ignores that at their peril.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 09:27:06 am
the Chinese do follow a rule - work for themselves for the benefit of greater China.
We made decisions to not place certain technology in PRC because of that rule.
A business working in PRC ignores that at their peril.

Good for you.  What country are you in?

Of course, China often insists that companies have to give them their technology to work or sell in China.  So you have only certain ways to limit.  But China also outright steals intellectual property.  Then they manufacture those products at less cost.  Why do business with thieves.  I don;t know if tariffs will work, but we have to do something to stop the stealing.   It's not right and no way to do business. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 10, 2019, 09:30:42 am
Good for you.  What country are you in?

Of course, China often insists that companies have to give them their technology to work or sell in China.  So you have only certain ways to limit.  But China also outright steals intellectual property.  Then they manufacture those products at less cost.  Why do business with thieves.  I don;t know if tariffs will work, but we have to do something to stop the stealing.   It's not right and no way to do business.

How is that not right?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 10, 2019, 09:35:53 am
US. It is not just the Chinese though. We had a fun case once - a Japanese company manufacturing materials in PRC stole one of our processes outside of PRC, came to us and basically said - either do a JV with us or we will beat you on price world wide". They were after getting into the US market because of certain restrictions they could not breach. We couldn't afford to loose the  global market so we did the JV. But we were able to keep them out of the US market by withholding a few technology tricks they could not figure out that would have allowed them to meet the import restrictions.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 09:47:16 am
How is that not right?

Well, they can do whatever they want.  But we don't have to do business with them if they do or challenge them with other measures.  When I was in business, there were people and companies I refused to do business with because they were lousy payers or were plain cheats.  Trade is a two-way street.  If one side has its thumb on the scale, why would you want to business with them?

How did you treat your customers and business partners? Sure, you can negotiate hard.  That happens all the time.  But,  I'm sure you were forthright and honest.   Well, countries should be too. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 10, 2019, 11:20:41 am
unfortunately, that is not always the working assumption in Asia. It is more "how can i take advantage of this without being obvious" rather than "honest" and straightforward. A significant cultural difference to western  values.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 11:46:38 am
unfortunately, that is not always the working assumption in Asia. It is more "how can i take advantage of this without being obvious" rather than "honest" and straightforward. A significant cultural difference to western  values.
So because the other guy cheats, we should lower ourselves and cheat too to even it up?   Here's a magazine cover relating to that kind of thumb on the scale approach to business.
https://www.google.com/search?q=thumb+on+the+scale&rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS746US746&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=a6zNIVxgNP3PEM%252CzbOPNv8I5HNY_M%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTmjWwX_s5Mk57tz8kbHWRvS9SLHw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjT5pW4oN_iAhWRd98KHcxxBgwQ_h0wDXoECAwQBA&biw=1745&bih=961#imgrc=a6zNIVxgNP3PEM:&vet=1
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 10, 2019, 11:52:14 am
didn't say that.
Love the cover though.
Just that a westerner has to be more conscious of the differences and not assume it is "just like here".
We all have our blind spots.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 11:57:38 am
Just because someone does something as their cultural custom, doesn;t mean you have to accept it.  IF they restrict it to their country, fine.  But they want to sell products here and do business with us.  We have to agree upon a set of standards or it won't work if there's not an equal and fair playing field. 

You can't play soccer if each side has different rules. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 10, 2019, 12:16:20 pm
Just because someone does something as their cultural custom, doesn;t mean you have to accept it.  IF they restrict it to their country, fine.  But they want to sell products here and do business with us.  We have to agree upon a set of standards or it won't work if there's not an equal and fair playing field. 

You can't play soccer if each side has different rules. 

But Alan, who's going to do the arbitrage? If you presume democratic vote, you'll be outnumbered 2:1...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 10, 2019, 12:30:24 pm
Just because someone does something as their cultural custom, doesn;t mean you have to accept it.  IF they restrict it to their country, fine.  But they want to sell products here and do business with us.  We have to agree upon a set of standards or it won't work if there's not an equal and fair playing field.  You can't play soccer if each side has different rules.
There doesn't need to be an equal and fair playing field. If you want the product, buy it. If you don't want it, don't buy it. If you want to make a political statement, have at it. Live life according to your principles.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 10, 2019, 12:51:20 pm
But Alan, who's going to do the arbitrage? If you presume democratic vote, you'll be outnumbered 2:1...

That's why we have a strong army ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2019, 02:26:13 pm
Haven;t people figured out that Trump is always negotiating?  He's always looking for an edge.  He always asks for more than he expects to get in the end.  The problem is Europeans aren't use to it.  Previous presidents rolled over and were weak, feckless. They gave away the store.     They're not use to a strong president.  Yes, even nasty at times. 

Look at the problems we have with China.  They're stealing us (and you) blind.  They follow no rules. 

Mexico is allowing illegals to pass through their country to invade our land.  They could stop that overnight as they do with illegals who want to stay in Mexico.  They put those people in their jails.  So Trump is squeezing them.  Rightfully so.  Don't European countries stop illegals?  International diplomacy is a two-way street. You can't expect America to play by rules that you don;t play by.   

I don't think you have a strong president. I think you have a maverick who confuses his own team. From the outside looking in, which we didn't have to do much of some years ago until Sky News brought US elections onto our screens with such saturation that one might have thought them our own, we were happy to let the US get on with its domestic travails in peace and relative privacy. That's now impossible for us to do, and consequently, we find ourselves wasting much time online debating things that some of us see as absurd, and over which we have no control, not that we should have, of course.

That exposure has made it as clear as a pikestaff that your system is even worse than our own which, until a few year ago, rumbled on quite well, if slowly. Now, it has followed your lead and turned into tv entertainment, but with real life consequences.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 03:22:05 pm
I don't think you have a strong president. I think you have a maverick who confuses his own team. From the outside looking in, which we didn't have to do much of some years ago until Sky News brought US elections onto our screens with such saturation that one might have thought them our own, we were happy to let the US get on with its domestic travails in peace and relative privacy. That's now impossible for us to do, and consequently, we find ourselves wasting much time online debating things that some of us see as absurd, and over which we have no control, not that we should have, of course.

That exposure has made it as clear as a pikestaff that your system is even worse than our own which, until a few year ago, rumbled on quite well, if slowly. Now, it has followed your lead and turned into tv entertainment, but with real life consequences.

Rob

Brexit vote occurred 5 months before Trump was elected.  Why blame him for what's going on there? 

It is true that he ignores his staff and departments at times.  Previous presidents liked to use them so they can have some form of deniability if things go awry.  He's not like that.  He's a stand up guy who takes responsibility for his actions and administration.  He's willing to stick his neck out and make decisions, even unpopular ones.  He shakes things up - one of the reasons people voted for him.  He doesn;t go along to get along.  He presses for advantages - American advantages.  That's what an American president is suppose to do.  If your leaders did not protect the UK, I wouldn't have any respect for them.  I expect them to press for your advantages. Would you hire a lawyer who takes your adversary's position? 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 10, 2019, 03:37:43 pm
I agree, Alan. Trump isn’t somebody I’d like to know personally, and Rob’s right that he’s not a team player. But that’s exactly what we need at the moment. We’ve had team player after team player coming together to produce the “establishment.” The results of Trump’s refusal to be a team player are visible in the jump in the economy, reduction in unemployment, and raises in pay for workers at the bottom of the ladder. He’s receiving the results of those efforts in an ever rising expected vote percentage. Sensible Democrats (there may be some left) now realize they’re going to have a hell of a job trying to beat him. As long as AOC, Bernie, and the other dozens of Democrat candidates keep pumping out stupidities the situation’s going to get worse and worse for them. Things can change, but at the moment I’d bet the Republicans are going to reelect Trump, hang on to the Senate, and take back the House in 2020.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 10, 2019, 03:41:26 pm
"California to be first state to provide healthcare to undocumented immigrants"

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48585037

Quote
To help pay for the plan, which is part of the latest state budget, lawmakers have proposed taxing people who do not have health insurance.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 03:47:24 pm
"California to be first state to provide healthcare to undocumented immigrants"

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48585037


Good.  All the illegals will move from my state of New Jersey to California and we'll save on costs to support our illegals. Thank you California. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 10, 2019, 03:52:28 pm
Instead of saying that the state will provide healthcare for undocumented immigrants, the statement should say: “The California establishment has decided that California taxpayers will be required to hand over part of their incomes to make healthcare available to illegal immigrants.”
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 03:58:26 pm
Instead of saying that the state will provide healthcare for undocumented immigrants, the statement should say: “The California establishment has decided that California taxpayers will be required to hand over part of their incomes to make healthcare available to illegal immigrants.”

You know the American media is in favor of illegals.  They would never say it that way.  In any case, if it becomes an issue, they'll say they'll get the rich and corporations to pay for it  by raising their taxes.  You know how the game is played.   Meanwhile, dumb socialist voters who salivate like Pavlov's dogs to these redistribution whistles wonder why there's less net money in their pay stubs.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2019, 03:59:03 pm
What's Brexit voting got to do with it, Alan? What it has to do with it is his chatting with Farage, endorsing various political opinions and otherwise giving the impression that the USA is all for it, a hard Brexit, and just bursting its panties to get into bed with Britain. Yeah, right. The two countries already have big business ties - always have had - with cross-investment a very important issue. Trump offers nothing new, other than even greater possible dependency if the other deals abroad come to little, but our guys in the sticks may not know that, and salivate like wannabe GI brides during WW2, dreaming of that house everybody has in Beverly Hills.

His problem, for us who don't think he sleeps in a golden bed - please, don't tell me he does! - and is the source of all wisdom, is his dangerous influence as well as his interference, as outlined, in publicly favouring particular politician at critical elections which, I hope you know, is not done in polite political relationships. But wait, Russia! Now I see why he does it abroad too!

As for the rest of the points you imagine you have made, you haven't: you produced a series of apologist non sequitors.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 04:05:05 pm
My guess, it's to the advantage of America if we can negotiate trade agreements with individual countries rather than the EU as a whole.  That way we can play off one country against the other to get the best deals.  So helping to break GB away from the pack is a good start.  But you can't blame him for the original Brexit vote.  That was your politicians doing. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 10, 2019, 05:04:55 pm
My guess, it's to the advantage of America if we can negotiate trade agreements with individual countries rather than the EU as a whole.  That way we can play off one country against the other to get the best deals.  So helping to break GB away from the pack is a good start.  But you can't blame him for the original Brexit vote.  That was your politicians doing.


You insist in overlooking his influence. Oh well, so be it.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 10, 2019, 05:46:40 pm
Meanwhile, dumb socialist voters who salivate like Pavlov's dogs to these redistribution whistles wonder why there's less net money in their pay stubs.
There are plenty of Pavlov's dog salivating on both sides of these issues.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 10, 2019, 06:17:09 pm
"California to be first state to provide healthcare to undocumented immigrants"

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48585037

Please note the the plan is to provide health care benefits to adults 19-25, *some of whom* will be undocumented residents.  Note that these same people are often paying income taxes, are *definitely* paying sales and usage taxes, and that the state has a compelling interest in having healthy, working, residents.

Note also that, as per USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/10/california-health-care-immigrants-insurance/1406629001/), California is currently projecting a 20BN budget surplus.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 10, 2019, 06:19:59 pm
He doesn;t go along to get along.  He presses for advantages - American advantages.  That's what an American president is suppose to do.  If your leaders did not protect the UK, I wouldn't have any respect for them.  I expect them to press for your advantages. Would you hire a lawyer who takes your adversary's position?

I would (and do) hire lawyers to start from a win/win supposition when I'm dealing with a business dispute (if it even gets that far.  If I've done my job I'm never in a place where I need to threaten to blow up the world).  I don't view conflict as a zero-sum game like Trump does.  Along with his unfounded arrogance, it's his fatal flaw, and we all pay the price. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 10, 2019, 06:24:04 pm
You know the American media is in favor of illegals. 

What does this even mean? 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 10, 2019, 06:31:16 pm
What does this even mean?
He forgets that there is a large conservative media which advances the other point of view. I'm not sure how since he spends his time reading and watching it.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 10, 2019, 07:42:11 pm
... the state has a compelling interest in having healthy, working, residents...

Yes, legal residents. It boggles the mind that any states would have a “compelling interest” in having illegal residents, let alone provide social services for them.

Also,  note the irony: legal citizens who do not themselves have insurance will be paying for illegal residents to have one. O tempora, o mores!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 10, 2019, 07:47:06 pm
Please note the the plan is to provide health care benefits to adults 19-25, *some of whom* will be undocumented residents.  Note that these same people are often paying income taxes, are *definitely* paying sales and usage taxes, and that the state has a compelling interest in having healthy, working, residents.

Note also that, as per USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/10/california-health-care-immigrants-insurance/1406629001/), California is currently projecting a 20BN budget surplus.

Personally I think it might be better PR if CA handles it's homelessness issue, or at least gets them to stop defecating on the sidewalks, before it starts giving out freebies to non-citizens. 

CA, the most taxed state in the USA and the one with the largest homeless population, and growing I might add. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 10, 2019, 07:52:41 pm
Personally I think it might be better PR if CA handles it's homelessness issue, or at least gets them to stop defecating on the sidewalks, before it starts giving out freebies to non-citizens. 

CA, the most taxed states in the USA and the one with the largest homeless population, and growing I might add. 

It is growing. Note where: in Democrat-run states. It is in decline in Republican-run states:
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 10, 2019, 08:03:05 pm
It is growing. Note where: in Democrat-run states. It is in decline in Republican-run states:

My personal favorite (and not for a good reason) about this crisis is how the homeless encampments on the levees are actually making them weaker.  I was watching a news story on this and they interviewed a politician.  His solution was to create a pamphlet explaining how camping on the levees weakens them and then to pass them out to those camping on them.  His thought was that after they were shown the harm they were doing, they would recognize their wrong doing and voluntarily decided to leave. 

First, he was completely serious in thinking this would actually work.  Second, the idea that maybe they would need to make it illegal to camp on the levees and then forcibly arrest and remove those doing so was not even a thought. 

Meanwhile, those citizens interviewed living near the levees and in the flood zone were a little more then worried and did not think to kindly of this proposed idea. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 10, 2019, 09:30:37 pm
My guess, it's to the advantage of America if we can negotiate trade agreements with individual countries rather than the EU as a whole.  That way we can play off one country against the other to get the best deals.  So helping to break GB away from the pack is a good start.  But you can't blame him for the original Brexit vote.  That was your politicians doing.
Is it a good idea for the US to advocate destroying the economy of Britain?  Banks are already relocating, the European Medecines Agency (the FDA for all of the EU) is leaving London with a couple of thousand good paying jobs, auto manufacturers will be next alone with other industries that rely on customs free delivery of parts from the EU.  Negotiating anything with Britain is not going to change the US relationship with the EU which is a far bigger trading partner.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 10, 2019, 09:35:06 pm
Personally I think it might be better PR if CA handles it's homelessness issue, or at least gets them to stop defecating on the sidewalks, before it starts giving out freebies to non-citizens. 

CA, the most taxed state in the USA and the one with the largest homeless population, and growing I might add.
We were in Oakland this weekend visiting our daughter and there is a large homeless population there.  I didn't see any poop on the sidewalks when I was out walking.  One reason is likely the good year around climate.  Little chance of freezing to death.  Washington DC also has a large homeless population as well and perhaps other big cities do too.  I doubt the CA homeless population is any greater as a percent of total population than anywhere else.  I would be interested to know if there are any state by state statistics.  I would assume the climate in Texas is good for the homeless also.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 10:37:23 pm

You insist in overlooking his influence. Oh well, so be it.
Curious that you think Trump has so much influence in GB and Europe too.  Why do you think that is?  And what influence are you referring too?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 10, 2019, 10:50:28 pm

First, he was completely serious in thinking this would actually work.  Second, the idea that maybe they would need to make it illegal to camp on the levees and then forcibly arrest and remove those doing so was not even a thought. 


The pamphlet idea seems a little silly, I agree. But I can see some problems with forcibly arresting them all too. So they're arrested, then what.

As for weakening the levees, I wouldn't worry. They probably weren't built properly in the first place, they probably haven't been maintained, and there is no climate change, so why worry. :)



The graph above (Slobodan's post, I believe) about there being more homeless in Democratic states is interesting, but would be more convincing if it showed data for more than just 4 or 5 states. For all I know, this is cherry-picked information. Is there a more complete data set?

It raises some questions. Did they migrate to those states because the benefits are better or is it that Democratic-run states create more homeless because the economies there are worse? Because it's hard to picture California having a bad economy. But if they did migrate to those states, how did they get there? Did they hitch hike?

If, as Russ and others are predicting, more and more states will vote Republican, what happens to their homeless? If all the states end up run by Republicans, will there be no homeless left?

The more nagging question I have is if the economy is doing so much better, as has been doing better for about 6-7 years now (as measured by new jobs statistics that come out every month that show steady month over month job growth since about 2009-2010), why do you have all these homeless?

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 10:57:28 pm
Is it a good idea for the US to advocate destroying the economy of Britain?  Banks are already relocating, the European Medecines Agency (the FDA for all of the EU) is leaving London with a couple of thousand good paying jobs, auto manufacturers will be next alone with other industries that rely on customs free delivery of parts from the EU.  Negotiating anything with Britain is not going to change the US relationship with the EU which is a far bigger trading partner.

Americans didn't vote for Brexit.  When that happened in June 2016, he hadn't even won the Republican nomination to run for president. That wasn't until the following month in July 2016.  You're giving Trump too much credit.  If the British economy gets screwed up, it is the Brits who are responsible. 


Once Brexit happens, if we can negotiate a good deal with them, it will help us negotiate a better deal with the EU.  For example, if we buy more British cars because they don;t have more tariffs on our stuff, then the German cars makers will insist the German government give those damn Americans a better deal and reduce German tariffs on our stuff too.  That's how it will work.  If the EU eventual ends, a possibility, then we'll be able to negotiate with individual countries who will be competing with each other to sell their stuff to us and provide better deals to get our business.  That's how the world works.  Trump knows that.  Don;t you think he played one contractor against the other when he bought out construction for his real estate?  I saw that in real life once when he squeezed the company I was working for and then gave it to a competitor anyway.  (The competitor was a German firm!! - Siemens. ) One advantage of a business experienced president.  Unlike Obama who had no clue how to negotiate.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 10, 2019, 11:11:02 pm
The pamphlet idea seems a little silly, I agree. But I can see some problems with forcibly arresting them all too. So they're arrested, then what.

As for weakening the levees, I wouldn't worry. They probably weren't built properly in the first place, they probably haven't been maintained, and there is no climate change, so why worry. :)



The graph above (Slobodan's post, I believe) about there being more homeless in Democratic states is interesting, but would be more convincing if it showed data for more than just 4 or 5 states. For all I know, this is cherry-picked information. Is there a more complete data set?

It raises some questions. Did they migrate to those states because the benefits are better or is it that Democratic-run states create more homeless because the economies there are worse? Because it's hard to picture California having a bad economy. But if they did migrate to those states, how did they get there? Did they hitch hike?

If, as Russ and others are predicting, more and more states will vote Republican, what happens to their homeless? If all the states end up run by Republicans, will there be no homeless left?

The more nagging question I have is if the economy is doing so much better, as has been doing better for about 6-7 years now (as measured by new jobs statistics that come out every month that show steady month over month job growth since about 2009-2010), why do you have all these homeless?



Many of the homeless have psychological problems.  When mental hospitals were closed, many of these people wound up on the streets.  Often they stop taking prescribed medicine.  Many take illegal drugs.  No one wants to re-hospitalized these people.  It is a real problem.  Frankly, there's no real reason for street people.  In NYC, there's billions available to house them and take care of them.  I'm sure California has similar money available.  They must if they can afford medical care for all the illegals. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: 32BT on June 11, 2019, 02:16:35 am
Americans didn't vote for Brexit.  When that happened in June 2016, he hadn't even won the Republican nomination to run for president. That wasn't until the following month in July 2016.  You're giving Trump too much credit.  If the British economy gets screwed up, it is the Brits who are responsible. 


Once Brexit happens, if we can negotiate a good deal with them, it will help us negotiate a better deal with the EU.  For example, if we buy more British cars because they don;t have more tariffs on our stuff, then the German cars makers will insist the German government give those damn Americans a better deal and reduce German tariffs on our stuff too.  That's how it will work.  If the EU eventual ends, a possibility, then we'll be able to negotiate with individual countries who will be competing with each other to sell their stuff to us and provide better deals to get our business.  That's how the world works.  Trump knows that.  Don;t you think he played one contractor against the other when he bought out construction for his real estate?  I saw that in real life once when he squeezed the company I was working for and then gave it to a competitor anyway.  (The competitor was a German firm!! - Siemens. ) One advantage of a business experienced president.  Unlike Obama who had no clue how to negotiate.

Sounds odd coming from you Alan. The problem with Trump is that he uses the "Italian" method. You'll negotiate untill the money is in the bank. Signing a contract? Break it open before the ink is even dry. Why is that a problem? Because the contractors start procurement. Once they are invested you break open the contract and renegotiate an even better deal. Contractors can hardly back out of the deal because of those investments.

While that may seem business savvy at the surface, it's does not particularly make you a trustworthy partner, and is highly counterproductive when you aim to create a network of capable businesspartners (or, on the political stage: allies).

You can blame Bush jr for a lot of things, but he was very well connected and knew how to build and run a team.

And please note: if we compare Huawai vs Apple, Huawai is the better choice. That's both literally and figuratively: desintegrate Europe and see the influence of Russia and China increase exponentially.

Oh... Wait... Russia...

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 11, 2019, 03:33:29 am
If the British economy gets screwed up, it is the Brits who are responsible. 


Couldn't agree more!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2019, 04:57:36 am
1. Curious that you think Trump has so much influence in GB and Europe too.  Why do you think that is?  2. And what influence are you referring too?


1. How many times does it to make you get the same point?

Let me try to spell it out, as much for you as for those kids in the now infamous school in Britain getting sex-orientation "guidance":

Trump, in much of Europe, is a figure of derision. In some parts of Britain, however, there is sufficient ignorance, neo-Naziism, faith in unicorns, fairy godmothers et al. that a newly prominent Brit such as Farage, allied with a popular cartoon character like our Boris, who gets to talk and shake hands with a showbiz hero and golf course owner, one of the fatter fat cats, appears to hold the key to the unfolding of an American cheque book that will then be shaken and strirred all over the benighted land, creating massive advantages and pay packets.

That, as you so eloquently said yourself below (and described even earlier as a tactic of divide and conquer):

"Once Brexit happens, if we can negotiate a good deal with them, it will help us negotiate a better deal with the EU.  For example, if we buy more British cars because they don;t have more tariffs on our stuff, then the German cars makers will insist the German government give those damn Americans a better deal and reduce German tariffs on our stuff too.  That's how it will work.  If the EU eventual ends, a possibility, then we'll be able to negotiate with individual countries who will be competing with each other to sell their stuff to us and provide better deals to get our business.  That's how the world works.  Trump knows that.  Don;t you think he played one contractor against the other when he bought out construction for his real estate?  I saw that in real life once when he squeezed the company I was working for and then gave it to a competitor anyway.  (The competitor was a German firm!! - Siemens. ) One advantage of a business experienced president."

is one of the prime reasons Brits at large should open their eyes and cover their ears. Trump is playing the UK for idiots, and in this current state of national madness, he's right. And as Oscar and I have already indicated, the ultimate destruction of some European solidarity makes the expansionist inclinations of Russia ever more possible to accomplish.

Quite why you consider a business tactic that screwed your own employers a good one, also leaves my mind wondering thoughts about you. I see that not a million miles from kissing the guy who mugged you. Future deals with anyone who does that also brings to mind this: screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me. So what do you do? You vote for the guy. Hey ho.

2. I am referring to the influence that I described above and in earlier posts, including the public backing of a specific candidate in another country's internal election processes, made even the more shocking by doing so during a state visit to that country. Exactly what Russia did to aid Trump get to power. Many of your own countymen objected strongly to that interference; I do the same here. Far fom being a clever politician, he has simply laid himself open to even stronger pressure from without the States; his own Faustian deal, if you like. The kinder assumption, of course, being that he will see it as pressure, not as something he cherishes. And guess who will pay the price, either way, both in your country as in mine?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 11, 2019, 05:25:52 am
On top of which we have Pompeo talking about intervening in a UK general election  against Corbyn. Of course meddling in foreign elections is the general modus operandi for the US in Latin America but it’s a nasty realisation that the UK has become another banana republic.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 11, 2019, 06:53:31 am
We were in Oakland this weekend visiting our daughter and there is a large homeless population there.  I didn't see any poop on the sidewalks when I was out walking.  One reason is likely the good year around climate.  Little chance of freezing to death.  Washington DC also has a large homeless population as well and perhaps other big cities do too.  I doubt the CA homeless population is any greater as a percent of total population than anywhere else.  I would be interested to know if there are any state by state statistics.  I would assume the climate in Texas is good for the homeless also.

I will admit that the fact that CA is warm all year round is certainly a reason for the homelessness; if I was homeless CA would be a good option to think about.  However, this does not take away from the fact that the homeless population in CA has been growing and is the largest in the nation.  (See below)

I think I read last week homelessness grow 16% year over year in CA. 

It is becoming a real issue.  I even read that there is a fear of a typhus outbreak this summer amongst the homeless.  There are examples of people getting plague.  I already mentioned the issues with the levees. 

There is even a poop app for San Fran where you can look up the location of poop on the side walk.  Now the city is claiming that the increase is poop is from mindless dog owners, not the sudden increase in homeless, but...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2019, 07:12:45 am
I will admit that the fact that CA is warm all year round is certainly a reason for the homelessness; if I was homeless CA would be a good option to think about.  However, this does not take away from the fact that the homeless population in CA has been growing and is the largest in the nation.  (See below)

I think I read last week homelessness grow 16% year over year in CA. 

It is becoming a real issue.  I even read that there is a fear of a typhus outbreak this summer amongst the homeless.  There are examples of people getting plague.  I already mentioned the issues with the levees. 

There is even a poop app for San Fran where you can look up the location of poop on the side walk.  Now the city is claiming that the increase is poop is from mindless dog owners, not the sudden increase in homeless, but...

Unless you've got seriously small people or overly large dogs, it doesn't take a seasoned wildlife tracker to spot the different spoor varieties. If people kept more goats...

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 11, 2019, 07:13:23 am
The pamphlet idea seems a little silly, I agree. But I can see some problems with forcibly arresting them all too. So they're arrested, then what.

As for weakening the levees, I wouldn't worry. They probably weren't built properly in the first place, they probably haven't been maintained, and there is no climate change, so why worry. :)



The graph above (Slobodan's post, I believe) about there being more homeless in Democratic states is interesting, but would be more convincing if it showed data for more than just 4 or 5 states. For all I know, this is cherry-picked information. Is there a more complete data set?

It raises some questions. Did they migrate to those states because the benefits are better or is it that Democratic-run states create more homeless because the economies there are worse? Because it's hard to picture California having a bad economy. But if they did migrate to those states, how did they get there? Did they hitch hike?

If, as Russ and others are predicting, more and more states will vote Republican, what happens to their homeless? If all the states end up run by Republicans, will there be no homeless left?

The more nagging question I have is if the economy is doing so much better, as has been doing better for about 6-7 years now (as measured by new jobs statistics that come out every month that show steady month over month job growth since about 2009-2010), why do you have all these homeless?

LOL, good point on the levees.  I saw something a few years back on how they were not in fact built in the best possible way.  Scientists predict that when the next big one hits, most of the levees will collapse, causing even more problems then just the immediate destruction from the earthquake. 

Insofar as what is causing the homelessness, I feel it is a combination of factors.  As was stated earlier, the warmer weather and not having to fear freezing to death in the winter certainly adds to the problem. 

Also, housing in CA is very expensive.  From what I've read this is due to three factors, the environmental laws make it extremely difficult to develop undeveloped land.  Residents have way too much say in preserving the look of the neighborhood, making it very difficult to get multi-family structure built.  Both of these keep supply levels low, even though demand is increasing.  And last, Prop 13 limits how much existing homeowners can have their property taxes raised year over year, so to make up for the deficit this creates, new owners get a extremely large increase in property tax when they first buy.  So this leads to some people falling down on their luck and becoming homeless, however ...

The majority of the homeless in CA are not these people, they are addicts and those with mental illness (just like every where else).  The group above typically has enough sense to seek help, whereas many addicts and mentally ill do not want help (or at least turn it down).  Getting help requires getting sober, which some addicts don't like, or taking your meds, which some mentally ill do not like due to the side effects.  So, since these people are adults, they can refuse help. 

Now the issue in CA, from what I have read, is that it is now not illegal to camp in public places or sleep in your car overnight.  (From a moral and empathy perspective, I can understand this.)  So if you have a large amount of homeless, who are homeless due to their addiction, and they refuse help, you cant do anything about since they are allowed to be there.  In other states, you can arrest them and at least take them to a center to get help.  It may not seem right arresting an addict, but at the end of the day it is better then leaving him/her on the street to continue their addiction.  Not to mention, having all the public health concerns that comes with homelessness is something to be avoided as well. 

PS, I should add, regardless of your feelings here, leaving them on the levees to dig out level areas for encampments should not even be an option.  What to do with them after arresting them is an issue and concern, however the more immediate and dire one is making sure the levees remain structurally sound. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 11, 2019, 07:20:48 am
Unless you've got seriously small people or overly large dogs, it doesn't take a seasoned wildlife tracker to spot the different spoor varieties. If people kept more goats...

Rob

Problem is Rob, your right, but San Fran is refusing to identify where each pile came from.  They have admitted that they don't care to figure that out, and are just cleaning it up.  I mean from a logistical stand point, can you really expect those cleaning it up to inspect it too?   No. 

But then again, if so, you cant claim all of a sudden it is from dogs. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 11, 2019, 07:24:10 am
Once Brexit happens, if we can negotiate a good deal with them, it will help us negotiate a better deal with the EU.  For example, if we buy more British cars because they don;t have more tariffs on our stuff, then the German cars makers will insist the German government give those damn Americans a better deal and reduce German tariffs on our stuff too.  That's how it will work.  If the EU eventual ends, a possibility, then we'll be able to negotiate with individual countries who will be competing with each other to sell their stuff to us and provide better deals to get our business.  That's how the world works.  Trump knows that.
Trump knows nothing about international trade and his steps are being guided by a couple of loony economists who are so far from the mainstream it isn't funny.  Is there such a think as a British car maker?  I don't think so.  Ford use to own Jaguar and then sold it to Tata Motors who are headquartered in India.  I don't know if all of Jaguar and Landrover parts are made in the UK or if some are sourced from elsewhere.  Minicooper are owned by BMW and again, I don't know whether 100% of content comes from the UK.  Other foreign owned British manufacturers are extremely concerned about Brexit.  There is a large Nissan plant in the northern part of the UK where there was a large pro-Brexit vote.  that plant is in danger of being relocated because of parts acquisition issues that will be come more complicated under Brexit.  What else does the US buy from the UK??  In our own home the only things we have are Twinings tea.  I did buy a Burburry trench coat but that was about 20 years ago.  It's not clear to me what value the US will get from a UK trade negotiation.

Quote
  Don;t you think he played one contractor against the other when he bought out construction for his real estate?  I saw that in real life once when he squeezed the company I was working for and then gave it to a competitor anyway.  (The competitor was a German firm!! - Siemens. ) One advantage of a business experienced president.  Unlike Obama who had no clue how to negotiate.
I certainly don't place much faith in Trump's business experience.  He is the self-professed 'King of Debt' and that has not served him very well on some well documented occasions.  He was fortunate to be bailed out by his father on at least one occasion (and of course his father provided him with a considerable amount of money to start with).  His real estate losses are well documented and the fact that he was able to establish many LLCs to protect his holdings kept him from real bankruptcy (this is something that most small businesses that are not real estate holding companies can't take advantage of).  His sweetheart deals with the private banking group at Deutsche Bank are well documented and weird in that the merchant banking division of the company cut him off after his Chicago loans defaulted.  We also don't have a full understanding of whether various foreign parties used Trump real estate for money laundering.

Doesn't the fact that he has refused to disclose his current income tax return bother you?  Don't we have a right to know whether there are any fishy things going on?  I'll leave aside the fact that many of his business practices were immoral (e.g., not paying contractors their due payment).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 11, 2019, 07:28:43 am
LOL, good point on the levees.  I saw something a few years back on how they were not in fact built in the best possible way.  Scientists predict that when the next big one hits, most of the levees will collapse, causing even more problems then just the immediate destruction from the earthquake. 
the Midwest flooding has been well documented.  The amount of corn acreage that has been planted this year is dramatically below normal and there is a good possibility that a lot of farmers will lose the whole planting season.  It's not clear whether they will be able to get soybeans planted (a shorter growing season).  It's not just the levee situation but swollen rivers prevent barge traffic as well.  there was a good story in the paper this AM about the situation in northwest Arkansas where they cannot deliver fertilizer to farmers at all.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2019, 07:40:13 am
LOL, good point on the levees.  I saw something a few years back on how they were not in fact built in the best possible way.  Scientists predict that when the next big one hits, most of the levees will collapse, causing even more problems then just the immediate destruction from the earthquake. 

Insofar as what is causing the homelessness, I feel it is a combination of factors.  As was stated earlier, the warmer weather and not having to fear freezing to death in the winter certainly adds to the problem. 

Also, housing in CA is very expensive.  From what I've read this is due to three factors, the environmental laws make it extremely difficult to develop undeveloped land.  Residents have way too much say in preserving the look of the neighborhood, making it very difficult to get multi-family structure built.  Both of these keep supply levels low, even though demand is increasing.  And last, Prop 13 limits how much existing homeowners can have their property taxes raised year over year, so to make up for the deficit this creates, new owners get a extremely large increase in property tax when they first buy.  So this leads to some people falling down on their luck and becoming homeless, however ...

The majority of the homeless in CA are not these people, they are addicts and those with mental illness (just like every where else).  The group above typically has enough sense to seek help, whereas many addicts and mentally ill do not want help (or at least turn it down).  Getting help requires getting sober, which some addicts don't like, or taking your meds, which some mentally ill do not like due to the side effects.  So, since these people are adults, they can refuse help. 

Now the issue in CA, from what I have read, is that it is now not illegal to camp in public places or sleep in your car overnight.  (From a moral and empathy perspective, I can understand this.)  So if you have a large amount of homeless, who are homeless due to their addiction, and they refuse help, you cant do anything about since they are allowed to be there.  In other states, you can arrest them and at least take them to a center to get help.  It may not seem right arresting an addict, but at the end of the day it is better then leaving him/her on the street to continue their addiction.  Not to mention, having all the public health concerns that comes with homelessness is something to be avoided as well.


Maybe the wrong folks were "encouraged" into reservations.

But as you already had the idea...

We, mainly, did better: we deported them across the Atlantic. And aren't many of their descendents the happier for it! Ditto Australia.

:-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 11, 2019, 07:48:16 am
the Midwest flooding has been well documented.  The amount of corn acreage that has been planted this year is dramatically below normal and there is a good possibility that a lot of farmers will lose the whole planting season.  It's not clear whether they will be able to get soybeans planted (a shorter growing season).  It's not just the levee situation but swollen rivers prevent barge traffic as well.  there was a good story in the paper this AM about the situation in northwest Arkansas where they cannot deliver fertilizer to farmers at all.

First, I am not sure what this has to do with the levee situation in CA?  ???  It is true in both situations that the fact that we are trying to control nature is present and will have unforeseen consequences.  But the added homeless digging into parts of the levees is certainly making it worse in CA.  Add on the possibility of an earthquake, and the gates of hell could really open up. 

Second, I am not sure what to do about the situation in the midwest.  I once read that our desire to control the Mississippi and keep it from flooding was actually having adverse effects since the Mississippi is suppose to naturally flood and change course, slightly, over time.  This then causes all sorts of problems, like making the river shallower.  How do you fix this?  Letting nature takes its course is going to cause a lot of property damage along the banks of the river, which would be not very popular.  But would this be easier and better then dealing with the side effects of us controlling the river? 

It's like our current issue with forest fires.  Forests naturally burn every 25 years or so, which is a good thing since the burns up the dead fuel on the floor and typically, after only 25 years of build up, the fire is not strong enough to kill the forest.  However, letting a forest burn when it catches on fire is not particular popular, especially for those living there.  So we stop the fires and let the build up of fuel continue so when a fire does ignite after a 100+ years, it is so strong it destroys everything, including the forest. 

So what is the better option?  Stop fires when they start knowing eventually there will be enough fuel on the floor to create a massively strong fire that destroys everything, or let small fires burn themselves out regardless of who lives/works there?  I cant figure out what would be best here, just like with whether or not we should try to control large rivers. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2019, 07:50:48 am
Is it a good idea for the US to advocate destroying the economy of Britain?  Banks are already relocating, the European Medecines Agency (the FDA for all of the EU) is leaving London with a couple of thousand good paying jobs, auto manufacturers will be next alone with other industries that rely on customs free delivery of parts from the EU.  Negotiating anything with Britain is not going to change the US relationship with the EU which is a far bigger trading partner.

And it will change existing relationships with Britain, should it go through with this stuff, because on its own, it becomes an instant, relative minnow.

Why does this escape so many here; why does xenophobia blind so many to their own cost? The real fight was never with felllow Europeans; it began before there was a European union of any kind.

Friggin' history. Nobody reads it anymore, or if they do, then a politically corrected one that leads to the desecration of ancient statues and monuments to past heroes turned, almost overnight, into ogres. In Glasgow, they even changed the name of a famous city square where, if memory serves, stood an excellent map shop, symbolic key to the wider world.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 11, 2019, 08:15:42 am
Problem is Rob, your right, but San Fran is refusing to identify where each pile came from.  They have admitted that they don't care to figure that out, and are just cleaning it up.  I mean from a logistical stand point, can you really expect those cleaning it up to inspect it too?   No. 

But then again, if so, you cant claim all of a sudden it is from dogs. 
The poop area in San Francisco is Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi's district.  Now you know why nothing works in Congress. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 11, 2019, 08:35:03 am
Trump knows nothing about international trade and his steps are being guided by a couple of loony economists who are so far from the mainstream it isn't funny.  Is there such a think as a British car maker?  I don't think so.  Ford use to own Jaguar and then sold it to Tata Motors who are headquartered in India.  I don't know if all of Jaguar and Landrover parts are made in the UK or if some are sourced from elsewhere.  Minicooper are owned by BMW and again, I don't know whether 100% of content comes from the UK.  Other foreign owned British manufacturers are extremely concerned about Brexit.  There is a large Nissan plant in the northern part of the UK where there was a large pro-Brexit vote.  that plant is in danger of being relocated because of parts acquisition issues that will be come more complicated under Brexit.  What else does the US buy from the UK??  In our own home the only things we have are Twinings tea.  I did buy a Burburry trench coat but that was about 20 years ago.  It's not clear to me what value the US will get from a UK trade negotiation.
I certainly don't place much faith in Trump's business experience.  He is the self-professed 'King of Debt' and that has not served him very well on some well documented occasions.  He was fortunate to be bailed out by his father on at least one occasion (and of course his father provided him with a considerable amount of money to start with).  His real estate losses are well documented and the fact that he was able to establish many LLCs to protect his holdings kept him from real bankruptcy (this is something that most small businesses that are not real estate holding companies can't take advantage of).  His sweetheart deals with the private banking group at Deutsche Bank are well documented and weird in that the merchant banking division of the company cut him off after his Chicago loans defaulted.  We also don't have a full understanding of whether various foreign parties used Trump real estate for money laundering.

Doesn't the fact that he has refused to disclose his current income tax return bother you?  Don't we have a right to know whether there are any fishy things going on?  I'll leave aside the fact that many of his business practices were immoral (e.g., not paying contractors their due payment).

You're wrong in your understanding of American trade with Britain.  The UK is America's 7th largest trading partner after Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, Germany and South Korea.  They're 5th in exports and 7th in imports.  That's a lot of English tea.  So making a good deal with Britain will influence deals with other countries and  the EU. 
https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/toppartners.html (https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/toppartners.html)

Forbes estimates Trump's wealth at $3 billion.  So all this nonsense about him being poor is just fake news.

Also, the reason he has so many LLC's is because with each deal, he sets up a different corporation to limit liability from one deal from the other.  I believe he has over 500 LLC's; each one would file it's own taxes.  That's standard practice. Also, most of his deals are only selling the Trump name to be put on the building (hotel, apartment complex etc.)  So Trump Malaysia, let's say, is being built by some Malaysia company who uses Trump's dame to help sell the apartments.  Trump gets paid for the use of his name but isn't constructing the building.  He's got nothing to do with the contractors or construction.  But I do agree with you that I would never do business with him because of his bill paying reputation.  But that doesn;t mean he doesn;t know how to negotiate a good deal.  He does from all his experience through the years.  With 500 business, he's got a lot of practice. 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2018/10/03/donald-trump-falls-11-more-spots-on-the-forbes-400-list/#49ed470e79f1 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2018/10/03/donald-trump-falls-11-more-spots-on-the-forbes-400-list/#49ed470e79f1)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 11, 2019, 09:01:13 am

1. How many times does it to make you get the same point?

Let me try to spell it out, as much for you as for those kids in the now infamous school in Britain getting sex-orientation "guidance":

Trump, in much of Europe, is a figure of derision. In some parts of Britain, however, there is sufficient ignorance, neo-Naziism, faith in unicorns, fairy godmothers et al. that a newly prominent Brit such as Farage, allied with a popular cartoon character like our Boris, who gets to talk and shake hands with a showbiz hero and golf course owner, one of the fatter fat cats, appears to hold the key to the unfolding of an American cheque book that will then be shaken and strirred all over the benighted land, creating massive advantages and pay packets.

That, as you so eloquently said yourself below (and described even earlier as a tactic of divide and conquer):

"Once Brexit happens, if we can negotiate a good deal with them, it will help us negotiate a better deal with the EU.  For example, if we buy more British cars because they don;t have more tariffs on our stuff, then the German cars makers will insist the German government give those damn Americans a better deal and reduce German tariffs on our stuff too.  That's how it will work.  If the EU eventual ends, a possibility, then we'll be able to negotiate with individual countries who will be competing with each other to sell their stuff to us and provide better deals to get our business.  That's how the world works.  Trump knows that.  Don;t you think he played one contractor against the other when he bought out construction for his real estate?  I saw that in real life once when he squeezed the company I was working for and then gave it to a competitor anyway.  (The competitor was a German firm!! - Siemens. ) One advantage of a business experienced president."

is one of the prime reasons Brits at large should open their eyes and cover their ears. Trump is playing the UK for idiots, and in this current state of national madness, he's right. And as Oscar and I have already indicated, the ultimate destruction of some European solidarity makes the expansionist inclinations of Russia ever more possible to accomplish.

Quite why you consider a business tactic that screwed your own employers a good one, also leaves my mind wondering thoughts about you. I see that not a million miles from kissing the guy who mugged you. Future deals with anyone who does that also brings to mind this: screw me once, shame on you; screw me twice, shame on me. So what do you do? You vote for the guy. Hey ho.

2. I am referring to the influence that I described above and in earlier posts, including the public backing of a specific candidate in another country's internal election processes, made even the more shocking by doing so during a state visit to that country. Exactly what Russia did to aid Trump get to power. Many of your own countymen objected strongly to that interference; I do the same here. Far fom being a clever politician, he has simply laid himself open to even stronger pressure from without the States; his own Faustian deal, if you like. The kinder assumption, of course, being that he will see it as pressure, not as something he cherishes. And guess who will pay the price, either way, both in your country as in mine?

Did Trump cause the recent shift to the right in the EU elections?  Apparently France, Italy and other are moving how GB moved.  Could it be that people in Europe are just tired of having to turn over their rights to some unelected foreigners in Brussels?

As far as divide and conquer, since when does getting better deals playing off one supplier against another immoral or not standard business practices?    I just got a quote to repair my air conditioning.  I think the price is too high.  I intend to call other repair companies and get competitive prices letting them all know that I'm doing that so they'll sharpen their pencils and give me lower price.  You make it sound like Europeans are "rubes" and don;t know how to negotiate.  Give me a break.  EU tariffs have been higher than ours for years.  It's only past American presidents were the "rubes" who didn;t know how to negotiate. So now we have TRump who does and you don;t like the competition any more because Europe won;t be able to get away with high tariffs like they use too.  Of course the American press, all Trump haters, take foreigner's sides instead of standing up for America.  And foreigners buy into the press and Trump hating because they see their trade profits evaporating under a Trump presidency.   The same thing happened with NATO costs and European defense spending.  He's hurting your pocketbook.  But that's good for Americans.  We can still be friends and allies.  We're just making better financial deals for ourselves.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2019, 10:53:34 am
Trump knows nothing about international trade and his steps are being guided by a couple of loony economists who are so far from the mainstream it isn't funny.  Is there such a think as a British car maker?  I don't think so.  Ford use to own Jaguar and then sold it to Tata Motors who are headquartered in India.  I don't know if all of Jaguar and Landrover parts are made in the UK or if some are sourced from elsewhere.  Minicooper are owned by BMW and again, I don't know whether 100% of content comes from the UK.  Other foreign owned British manufacturers are extremely concerned about Brexit.  There is a large Nissan plant in the northern part of the UK where there was a large pro-Brexit vote.  that plant is in danger of being relocated because of parts acquisition issues that will be come more complicated under Brexit.  What else does the US buy from the UK??  In our own home the only things we have are Twinings tea.  I did buy a Burburry trench coat but that was about 20 years ago.  It's not clear to me what value the US will get from a UK trade negotiation.
I certainly don't place much faith in Trump's business experience.  He is the self-professed 'King of Debt' and that has not served him very well on some well documented occasions.  He was fortunate to be bailed out by his father on at least one occasion (and of course his father provided him with a considerable amount of money to start with).  His real estate losses are well documented and the fact that he was able to establish many LLCs to protect his holdings kept him from real bankruptcy (this is something that most small businesses that are not real estate holding companies can't take advantage of).  His sweetheart deals with the private banking group at Deutsche Bank are well documented and weird in that the merchant banking division of the company cut him off after his Chicago loans defaulted.  We also don't have a full understanding of whether various foreign parties used Trump real estate for money laundering.

Doesn't the fact that he has refused to disclose his current income tax return bother you?  Don't we have a right to know whether there are any fishy things going on?  I'll leave aside the fact that many of his business practices were immoral (e.g., not paying contractors their due payment).


I can't, off the top of my head, think of a single significant car company in the UK that is still totally British-owned. Neither can I think of many manufactured products that Britain buys from the US. Cars? The only ones that appear to have had an impact of sorts are Jeep variants and Ford's Mustangs. In general, nobody really wants manufactured products very much because they have all they want available closer to home. Even online buying doesn't alter the import taxes they would have to pay. Are Apple products really American-made in the true sense of the claim?

Folks in the UK would rather have a Mercedes if they want expensive and big, and for some, that translates into Bentley if they want ultra expensive. Cadillac? Are you kidding me? BMW sells well, especially the smaller, more "sporty" Series 3-as-was. I believe that when it became known that BMW has/had? a factory in the US producing the Z sports models, sales in Britain shrank quickly. Rightly or wrongly, the German reputation for engineering is high, the American one not. By the way your own folks buy Japanese, many of you think the same, regardless of Slobodan's pet phrase to the contrary! :-)

Trump slapping on tariffs and taxes or other tricks will not make people want to buy stuff from him they didn't want to buy already. But hey, I bet he doesn't believe it either; it's the promises game that wins political power. That he knows very well. Cranking life into rustbelt corpses will produce nothing but debt and worse to come when renewed hopes and aspirations are once more dashed by cruel reality. Perhaps, by then, he will have left the country for a retirement where nobody can find him. St Petersburg is apparently a beautiful place...

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 11:29:05 am
... why does xenophobia blind so many to their own cost?...

Xenophobia is such a blanket word, too much generalization. Firstly, it is defined as a irrational fear of foreigners. Well, when it is rational, it ain't xenophobia any more. Secondly, it is rarely about all foreigners, but specific ones. Which again wouldn't be xenophobia.

Therefore, I propose a new, better suited word: barbarophobia™ (royalties for the future use of the word go to me, please. PM me for bank details)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 11:42:44 am
... Cranking life into rustbelt corpses...

It is actually working real well. And by whom? The loathed oil companies.

"Shell Sees New Role for Former Steel Region: Plastics"

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/business/shell-polyethylene-factory-pennsylvania.html?fbclid=IwAR045MgDddF8jzttdEvjOAY8BeDooBxP_WvIPy1NZ76dvah1KXYtCVbsTGo

Quote
The oil and gas company is returning to the polyethylene market, building a 386-acre plant on the site of a long-shuttered zinc smelter on the Ohio River.



Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 11, 2019, 11:57:48 am

I can't, off the top of my head, think of a single significant car company in the UK that is still totally British-owned. Neither can I think of many manufactured products that Britain buys from the US. Cars? The only ones that appear to have had an impact of sorts are Jeep variants and Ford's Mustangs. In general, nobody really wants manufactured products very much because they have all they want available closer to home. Even online buying doesn't alter the import taxes they would have to pay. Are Apple products really American-made in the true sense of the claim?

Folks in the UK would rather have a Mercedes if they want expensive and big, and for some, that translates into Bentley if they want ultra expensive. Cadillac? Are you kidding me? BMW sells well, especially the smaller, more "sporty" Series 3-as-was. I believe that when it became known that BMW has/had? a factory in the US producing the Z sports models, sales in Britain shrank quickly. Rightly or wrongly, the German reputation for engineering is high, the American one not. By the way your own folks buy Japanese, many of you think the same, regardless of Slobodan's pet phrase to the contrary! :-)

Trump slapping on tariffs and taxes or other tricks will not make people want to buy stuff from him they didn't want to buy already. But hey, I bet he doesn't believe it either; it's the promises game that wins political power. That he knows very well. Cranking life into rustbelt corpses will produce nothing but debt and worse to come when renewed hopes and aspirations are once more dashed by cruel reality. Perhaps, by then, he will have left the country for a retirement where nobody can find him. St Petersburg is apparently a beautiful place...

The irony in all this is that the US still does manufacture many things, it's just that it's being done by assembly line robots: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_in_the_United_States (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_in_the_United_States)). But even as I write this, I laugh to myself, I mean it's not as if anyone really wants to hear facts. Mythology beats reality every time. There are still people around who think the war on drugs is accomplishing something.

Trump's electioneering about getting manufacturing jobs back got him some rust belt votes but even they must realize by now that it's not happening. The very idea that Trump was working on their behalf is hilarious. It's not clear who he is working for but I'm not alone in that confusion. Take the way he talks about tariffs. He frames tariffs as some kind of weapon that he can use to browbeat other countries, many of whom should be (and have been) profitable economic allies and trading partners for years. He has peddled the notion that other countries have been screwing the US, and those arguments have found believers despite decades of evidence to the contrary. As if everyone else is "the enemy", when they clearly are not. But then, there are people who think the earth is flat, despite having no pictures from the edge, which should be kind of easy to get.

Just one more example from the balance of trade discussions. At one point in the last year or two, Trump criticized Canada because during some arbitrary period (month or quarter or something) the US bought more goods from Canada than Canada bought from the US, and thus he presented this as some kind of unfair treatment of the US by Canada. This is simply beyond stupid. It's drunk bar talk. But it got headlines, along with some criticism by analysts who know something about trade, but they were utterly drowned out.

The rust belt's issue still is that they don't believe anyone else is looking after them either, and they have a point. That hasn't changed. But as is seen on these pages, there are many people in the US who do not believe that the purpose of a country is to help look after its citizens. As soon as someone loses a job or gets sick, they're perfectly happy throwing them to the wolves. It's as if people really believe that the purpose of everything is to help make wealthy people wealthier. The willingness to take personal credit for when things go well and to apportion blame when things go badly to the very people who are having troubles is quite something to behold. It's as if luck doesn't exist despite it probably being the biggest factor affecting our lives. Did I hear a quote attributed Thatcher once, that there is no country, just individuals. It's everyone for themselves! That's fine if that's what you want, but I can foresee a problem recruiting cannon fodder for future wars. You can see the argument, why should I go die for a country that treats me like sh*t? It's a valid point of view.

There was an entry earlier in this thread (or maybe another, I get confused) from Slobodan who presented health insurance as a kind of moral hazard because it encouraged people to not look after their health. This presupposes that illness is due to personal neglect, which is only ever partly true. The notion that that minuscule moral hazard is utterly overwhelmed by countervailing benefits to every participant in that insurance system is wilful ignorance, an example of ideology replacing thought. Every study I've seen reports of shows that the US spends roughly twice as much as other developed countries on health (per capita), but has worse outcomes, all while a significant percentage of the population has no health care. Even if you draw healthy error bars on those numbers, it should raise concerns, shouldn't it? I suspect that the kleptocracy in the US does a good job of hiding those reports from public view. It's easy to do, just drown it in an incessant 24/7 media data dump about celebrity ass sizes.

Somewhere I referred to a book by Joseph Heath called "Filthy Lucre". Heath is a U of Toronto philosophy professor who has made a career of analyzing various illogics in public policy. That book is a terrific read. The first half is a examination of a list of items that the "right" repeatedly misunderstands, moral hazard being just one, the other being trade with other countries. The second half of the book (the larger "half") is a skewering of various things that the "left" repeatedly gets wrong, because of ideology repressing thought once again. I can't recommend it highly enough, from time to time it addresses almost all the issues raised in these pages in a very instructive way.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 11, 2019, 12:28:39 pm
The irony in all this is that the US still does manufacture many things, it's just that it's being done by assembly line robots: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_in_the_United_States (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_in_the_United_States)). But even as I write this, I laugh to myself, I mean it's not as if anyone really wants to hear facts. Mythology beats reality every time. There are still people around who think the war on drugs is accomplishing something.

Trump's electioneering about getting manufacturing jobs back got him some rust belt votes but even they must realize by now that it's not happening. The very idea that Trump was working on their behalf is hilarious. It's not clear who he is working for but I'm not alone in that confusion.
Look at all the votes Trump received in areas that produce coal.  He was talking about how he would revive that industry.  Where are the results here?  Coal mining jobs continue to decrease and coal fired power plants continue to be taken off line and replaced by natural gas.

Quote
Just one more example from the balance of trade discussions. At one point in the last year or two, Trump criticized Canada because during some arbitrary period (month or quarter or something) the US bought more goods from Canada than Canada bought from the US, and thus he presented this as some kind of unfair treatment of the US by Canada. This is simply beyond stupid. It's drunk bar talk. But it got headlines, along with some criticism by analysts who know something about trade, but they were utterly drowned out.
Trump just doesn't understand international trade and his chosen advisors are just as clueless.  Trump's basic problem is he doesn't want anyone around him that is smarter than he is.  this really limits his choice of advisors in almost every field.  We see what happens to those who are knowledgeable; they quickly leave.

Quote
The rust belt's issue still is that they don't believe anyone else is looking after them either, and they have a point. That hasn't changed. But as is seen on these pages, there are many people in the US who do not believe that the purpose of a country is to help look after its citizens. As soon as someone loses a job or gets sick, they're perfectly happy throwing them to the wolves. It's as if people really believe that the purpose of everything is to help make wealthy people wealthier. The willingness to take personal credit for when things go well and to apportion blame when things go badly to the very people who are having troubles is quite something to behold. It's as if luck doesn't exist despite it probably being the biggest factor affecting our lives. Did I hear a quote attributed Thatcher once, that there is no country, just individuals. It's everyone for themselves! That's fine if that's what you want, but I can foresee a problem recruiting cannon fodder for future wars. You can see the argument, why should I go die for a country that treats me like sh*t? It's a valid point of view.
Quite right and this has been the case for sometime.  Republicans don't care for these people any more than Hilary Clinton did.

Quote
There was an entry earlier in this thread (or maybe another, I get confused) from Slobodan who presented health insurance as a kind of moral hazard because it encouraged people to not look after their health. This presupposes that illness is due to personal neglect, which is only ever partly true. The notion that that minuscule moral hazard is utterly overwhelmed by countervailing benefits to every participant in that insurance system is wilful ignorance, an example of ideology replacing thought. Every study I've seen reports of shows that the US spends roughly twice as much as other developed countries on health (per capita), but has worse outcomes, all while a significant percentage of the population has no health care. Even if you draw healthy error bars on those numbers, it should raise concerns, shouldn't it? I suspect that the kleptocracy in the US does a good job of hiding those reports from public view. It's easy to do, just drown it in an incessant 24/7 media data dump about celebrity ass sizes.
It's easy to scare people about non-existant death panels than it is to come up with a way to provide affordable health care.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 12:29:22 pm
... Slobodan who presented health insurance as a kind of moral hazard because it encouraged people to not look after their health. This presupposes that illness is due to personal neglect, which is only ever partly true. The notion that that minuscule moral hazard...

Miniscule!? If you think 40% is, than you are right:

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/rising-obesity-united-states-public-health-crisis

Quote
Obesity is a grave public health threat, more serious even than the opioid epidemic. It is linked to chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Obesity accounts for 18 percent of deaths among Americans ages 40 to 85, according to a 2013 study challenging the prevailing wisdom among scientists, which had placed the rate at around 5 percent. This means obesity is comparable to cigarette smoking as a public health hazard; smoking kills one of five Americans and is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

The obesity crisis may be less dramatic than the opioid epidemic now gripping the nation, but it is just as deadly. Opioids accounted for around two-thirds of the 64,000 deaths related to drug overdose in 2016. Excess body weight leading to cancer causes about 7 percent of cancer-related deaths, or 40,000 deaths each year. This number doesn’t include deaths from the many other medical conditions associated with obesity. Obese people are between 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to die of heart disease than people with normal body mass indices (BMIs).

There are also substantial economic losses associated with obesity. The medical costs of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment are estimated at $147 billion in 2008 dollars. Reduced economic productivity adds to these losses. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 12:39:32 pm
Robert, quite a nice Communist Manifesto you penned here. Too bad you are almost two hundred years late, already done. By Karl Marx.

P.S. My revision of the Groucho Marx (a much smarter Marx) quote:
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 11, 2019, 12:56:59 pm
Not sure what you point is about obesity. Are we to infer that people without health insurance are fit and trim and people with health insurance are overweight and out of shape, all due to moral hazard? Or Republicans are fit and trim and Democrats overweight and out of shape?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 01:01:43 pm
Not sure what you point is about obesity. Are we to infer that people without health insurance are fit and trim and people with health insurance are overweight and out of shape, all due to moral hazard? Or Republicans are fit and trim and Democrats overweight and out of shape?

This is a grownup discussion. Come back when you outgrow kindergarten logic.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 11, 2019, 01:13:12 pm
This is a grownup discussion. Come back when you outgrow kindergarten logic.
Then what is your point? Or is there one?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 11, 2019, 03:12:04 pm
Miniscule!? If you think 40% is, than you are right:

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/rising-obesity-united-states-public-health-crisis

And yet when people try to pass laws that educate the consumer on the content of the food they eat, the right cries about onerous burdens and regulation.  I'm cool with personal responsibility and the value of the judgment of the free market and all that, but for these things to work right, you have to have an *informed* market, and the right actively works to prevent this.  Why?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 11, 2019, 04:11:51 pm
And yet when people try to pass laws that educate the consumer on the content of the food they eat, the right cries about onerous burdens and regulation.  I'm cool with personal responsibility and the value of the judgment of the free market and all that, but for these things to work right, you have to have an *informed* market, and the right actively works to prevent this.  Why?


Why? Because nothing must halt the march of dimes big bucks.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 11, 2019, 04:28:17 pm
Miniscule!? If you think 40% is, than you are right:

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/rising-obesity-united-states-public-health-crisis

You have lost me. Are you implying that the reason all these Americans are leading unhealthy lifestyles is because they have health insurance?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 04:31:45 pm
You have lost me. Are you implying that the reason all these Americans are leading unhealthy lifestyles is because they have health insurance?

One of the myriad contributing factors.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 04:33:02 pm
And yet when people try to pass laws that educate the consumer on the content of the food they eat, the right cries about onerous burdens and regulation.  I'm cool with personal responsibility and the value of the judgment of the free market and all that, but for these things to work right, you have to have an *informed* market, and the right actively works to prevent this.  Why?

James, you never heard me complaining about that one (in general, unless you are talking about a specific law that I am unaware of).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: D Fuller on June 11, 2019, 06:40:47 pm
And yet when people try to pass laws that educate the consumer on the content of the food they eat, the right cries about onerous burdens and regulation.  I'm cool with personal responsibility and the value of the judgment of the free market and all that, but for these things to work right, you have to have an *informed* market, and the right actively works to prevent this.  Why?

The right isn’t  really opposed to educating the consumer about the food they eat, they were opposed to anything the Obamas were for, so when Michelle made nutrition education one of her causes, they had to be against it.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 11, 2019, 10:29:44 pm
This is a grownup discussion. Come back when you outgrow kindergarten logic.

This was unnecessarily abusive. I am banning myself for a day.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 12, 2019, 04:02:48 am
I am banning myself for a day.

I approve of that method.
I used to punish my children with a TV ban when they had been naughty.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 12, 2019, 07:01:50 am
Fast food, fast death. But sugar can make the process more enjoyable.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 12, 2019, 07:28:23 am
I approve of that method.
I used to punish my children with a TV ban when they had been naughty.

Today, I would not notice a tv ban; truth to tell, we didn't watch much other than news and documentaries. And those were always in black/white, and I resisted the purchase of a colour set until pressure from kids seemed to make me feel I was being unkind. Nothing looked as dramatic ever again. Come to think of if, where some very notable, current politicos are concerned, the change to colour would amount to something as devastating as the introduction of talkies to some old movie stars.

:-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 12, 2019, 07:57:46 am
Today, I would not notice a tv ban; truth to tell, we didn't watch much other than news and documentaries. And those were always in black/white, and I resisted the purchase of a colour set until pressure from kids seemed to make me feel I was being unkind. Nothing looked as dramatic ever again. Come to think of if, where some very notable, current politicos are concerned, the change to colour would amount to something as devastating as the introduction of talkies to some old movie stars.

:-)

Hehe. I was trying to be "sarcastic"  ;D

BTW, you reminded me of "The Artist", a movie on the subject of that change from silent to sound movies AOT.
Great movie IMVHO
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 12, 2019, 08:33:05 am
Fast food, fast death. But sugar can make the process more enjoyable.

And a train both quicker and more exciting - if more messy, not that one would have time to notice, all going well.

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 12, 2019, 08:52:03 am
This was unnecessarily abusive. I am banning myself for a day.

I've done the same before.  See ya tomorrow.  er, today?   :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 12, 2019, 09:45:50 am
I approve of that method.
I used to punish my children with a TV ban when they had been naughty.

Good idea, Rab. I've "punished" myself with a 20 year TV ban. I kept thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse. Finally I realized I was wrong and probably always would be wrong about that.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 12, 2019, 09:59:13 am
Good idea, Rab. I've "punished" myself with a 20 year TV ban. I kept thinking it couldn't possibly get any worse.

Hehe.
Your faith was weak. Human "creativity" has no limits.
Is your ban already over?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 12, 2019, 11:14:16 am
No way. It'll continue forever.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on June 13, 2019, 10:49:51 am
One of the myriad contributing factors.

The United States has for the most part created an incredibly comfortable lifestyle with abundant food and huge conveniences in almost every aspect of life. Of course people get a bit heavy and sedentary with that. It’s a normal physiological response to that environment. It’s hard to resist it. Another slice of sour dough bread with Philadelphia cream cheese? Hell yes, I don’t mind if I do.

I lived in the States for 6 months in the early 90’s. It was great but wasn’t really for me I decided. That’s not a judgement on the place. I saw lots to admire.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 13, 2019, 01:28:30 pm
... his dangerous influence as well as his interference...

In another post, Rob, you stated that Trump is universally despised in Europe. So, how do I reconcile the two statements logically? How can he wield any influence and interference if he is so despised? If anything, any attempt on his part would work in the opposite direction. Any support for a particular candidate would backfire, wouldn't it?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 13, 2019, 02:55:06 pm
He's despised by by people who don't like him.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 13, 2019, 03:40:09 pm
In another post, Rob, you stated that Trump is universally despised in Europe. So, how do I reconcile the two statements logically? How can he wield any influence and interference if he is so despised? If anything, any attempt on his part would work in the opposite direction. Any support for a particular candidate would backfire, wouldn't it?

I though I'd explained: he adds a touch of international cachet to guys like Farage and Boris that some in the UK find attractive in that it raises their profile above being little local politicians. That many also hate him is not a conflict of views: there is little that follows logic in Brexit fans. He blew it big time in Scotland when he tried to muscle out a guy who had a property inconveniently where Trump wanted to build one of his golf courses. If there is one thing the Scots universally hate, it's the bully. A state visit there might prove interesting... but hey, the Nats may see him as an influence towards voting for Independence next time round, simply because of Brexit.

In Europe, as distinct from the UK, he is generally seen as a dangerous, unreliable person holding a lot of power. I have yet to pick up a paper here and find a journo (or owner) who cheers for him. He is seen as disruptive, and as indigenous Americans were portrayed as saying: he speaks with forked tongue. Nobody trusts or believes a word he says. You can bet his attitude to NATO does not go down well, and countries, mostly, do pay their agreed percentage of those costs. If that's allowed to crumble or become sterile, God help Europe and America: the balance of world power will shift very dangerously in the view of anyone not particularly enamoured of Putin and the Russian appetite for land. Being an island has long ceased being a viable option, even for America.

Trade is a long-term strategy that takes a lot of work to establish, and here comes this friggin' cowboy with the vision of a street hustler, who tears things up because he didn't write those deals, then as with the one with Canada and Mexico, he settles for another exactly the same, but for minor tweaks, and says it's the best deal ever because he now believes it was his deal! As they say, you couldn't make it up.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 13, 2019, 04:18:01 pm
I though I'd explained: he adds a touch of international cachet to guys like Farage and Boris that some in the UK find attractive in that it raises their profile above being little local politicians...

Boris seems destined to become the next U.K. Prime Minister. So much for “little local politician.”

Possible explanations:

- the U.K. public is so stupid that it falls for what the “cretin” Trump is saying

- Trump has a good sense for what people want
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 13, 2019, 04:25:31 pm
Boris seems destined to become the next U.K. Prime Minister. So much for “little local politician.”

Possible explanations:

- the U.K. public is so stupid that it falls for what the “cretin” Trump is saying

- Trump has a good sense for what people want

Boris could never be more than a little local politician, even if he was POTUS and the Emperor of China combined.

Both your explanations are true, to some extent.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 13, 2019, 04:26:41 pm
Quote
... God help Europe ...Russian appetite for land.

Seriously? When was Europe threatened by Russia? In both WW wars they tried to abstain, seeing it mostly as a fight between capitalists. If anything, it was Europe invading Russia, by Napoleon and Hitler, not the other way around. Russia already has the largest territory on Earth, why would they need more?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: kers on June 13, 2019, 07:45:34 pm
Boris seems destined to become the next U.K. Prime Minister. So much for “little local politician.”

Possible explanations:

- the U.K. public is so stupid that it falls for what the “cretin” Trump is saying

- Trump has a good sense for what people want
Probably Boris and Trump know what the people want to hear and to believe, and a lot of promises are made beyond reason and even lies are told.
a hard Brexit will be very bad for Brittain and might even split it up. We will see.
Boris also wants to make a deal first and solve the problem of the irish border later. Why? Because he and nobody else knows how to arrange it without being a true border between the EU and Brittain.
Instead of dealing with many problems in the country the government was kept busy with Brexit and foremost itself the last three years.
In the mean time companies in Brittain have no certainty, that already has cost a lot of jobs and money. The end of this period is still not on the horizon, or it must be the hard brexit.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 13, 2019, 07:53:44 pm
Seriously? When was Europe threatened by Russia? In both WW wars they tried to abstain, seeing it mostly as a fight between capitalists. If anything, it was Europe invading Russia, by Napoleon and Hitler, not the other way around. Russia already has the largest territory on Earth, why would they need more?
As a buffer between them and the evil empire that wanted to over run them.
Stalin would have grabbed all of Germany and more if we were not already there at the end.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 13, 2019, 09:08:07 pm
As a buffer between them and the evil empire that wanted to over run them.
Stalin would have grabbed all of Germany and more if we were not already there at the end.

Well of course; they believed in spoils of war whereas we sought a reconstruction plan.  I cant blame them for this since up until to WW2, spoils of war was the most common thing to do if you won a war.  And this was one reason (note not the only reason, nor the biggest reason, and if you want I can also show historical documentation on this as well) we dropped the bomb on Japan, to keep the Soviets from getting a footprint in the pacific. 

However this does not take away from Slobo's remark.  It was Germany who attacked Russia first and they are only guilty of defending themselves.  With that said, although I am not terribly annoyed by this but certainly feel the Soviets should have given Poland their freedom back. 

Also, although I cant fault them for taking over west Germany, I vehemently despise the Soviets for imposing communism and socialism on the west. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 13, 2019, 09:34:30 pm
It's my practice not to read certain participant's posts so I usually see things when someone else quotes them.  There is a major error in the comment about Russia's role in the first World War.  In the lead up to the war, Russia was allied with France and Great Britain and certainly did not see the impending war as one between capitalists.  Russia had the largest standing army of any European country and began mobilization before any other country as they were concerned about Austria invading Serbia.  This event triggered a mobilization by Germany and it was in fact Russia who initiated hostilities with both Germany and Austria.  Prior to the outbreak in hostilities Germany gave Russia the opportunity to stand down which was refused.  It was in late August of 1914 that the Germans delivered a crushing defeat in the Battle of Tannenburg under the direction of Field Marshall von Hindenburg and General Ludendorff.  After this battle Russia was not a major military factor in the war.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 13, 2019, 10:11:33 pm
Our resident expert on everything, from pharmaceuticals to the Constitution, has now expertly concluded that the WWI was actually caused by Russia.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 14, 2019, 02:39:32 am
... Prior to the outbreak in hostilities Germany gave Russia the opportunity to stand down which was refused...
... After this battle Russia was not a major military factor in the war.
This is more or less what I've read in my history books
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 14, 2019, 03:46:16 am
The history books published and distributed behind the Iron curtain explained it quite differently. Even more when it came to WWII.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 14, 2019, 04:09:48 am
1. Seriously? When was Europe threatened by Russia? In both WW wars they tried to abstain, seeing it mostly as a fight between capitalists. If anything, it was Europe invading Russia, by Napoleon and Hitler, not the other way around. 2. Russia already has the largest territory on Earth, why would they need more?

1. That was then and this is now. To make matters worse, the West insists in making it feel more foe than the other way around. The silly slight of not inviting it to the recent gathering of heads of state attending the events in France regarding WW2 could have been avoided; yes, it wasn't on the "beaches" but neither was France, other than geographically. It, the brave populace - apart from the Resistance - was more interested in drawing up little lists of women whose heads they could shave when it was safe. Meanwhile, Russia lost millions of people. We talk about The Holocaust Six Million endlessly, but seldom give a shit about those many, many more millions who died in Russia at the same hands.

2. Because most of it is empty tundra. Europe is a ready-made industrialised and productive continent - a prize. And think of all those villas in Marbella and Portofino, Capri and the Côte d'Azur! Wanna dacha in a frozen forest instead?

For the Ruskies, the southern shores of France were already prized possessions of the nobility; they made the place, along with some English and a few lost Americans who slipped in from Paris when not writing the next biggest novel.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 14, 2019, 11:38:26 am
Getting back on topic, will President Trump ask Congress for a declaration of war against Iran?  This is how it is supposed to be done but of course is seldom used in recent history.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 14, 2019, 11:39:30 am
Our resident expert on everything, from pharmaceuticals to the Constitution, has now expertly concluded that the WWI was actually caused by Russia.

Does this kind of message serve any purpose? First, he did NOT say what you accuse him of saying, you are deliberately misinterpreting/exaggerating his remarks. Second, if you disagree with his statements, then simply do that. That would add value.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 14, 2019, 01:15:42 pm
Getting back on topic, will President Trump ask Congress for a declaration of war against Iran?  This is how it is supposed to be done but of course is seldom used in recent history.

Lord, I hope not.  The runup to presumed war against Iran is about as blatant as anything I can remember since Iraq.  Hopefully we learned something from that debacle.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 14, 2019, 01:48:27 pm
There is a pattern: demonazing > sanctions > war. Serbia, Iraq...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 14, 2019, 02:41:33 pm
Didn't Stalin and Ribbentrop (of Germany) try to split up Poland before WWII? 

On the other hand, if Germany and other European countries really believed Russia would attack western Europe, they'd be paying more for their defense and not relying on America so much.  Interesting, what I predicted a year or two ago is happening,  Trump is moving 1000 American troops out of Germany into Poland.  Maybe Germany will start paying more for their defense as they're suppose too. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 14, 2019, 02:46:16 pm
There is a pattern: demonazing > sanctions > war. Serbia, Iraq...

Qatar, Iran ...

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 14, 2019, 02:50:09 pm
Getting back on topic, will President Trump ask Congress for a declaration of war against Iran?  This is how it is supposed to be done but of course is seldom used in recent history.

I know you think Trump is evil. But he isn't going to war with Iran.  The most he might do is destroy a few docks and ships that may have attacked those oil tankers.  I don't believe, constitutionally, the President, as Commander-in-Chief needs, congressional approval to defend shipping interests and allies from military attacks, only if we go to all out war with a country.  As an aside, I wonder if the Saudis were the ones who attacked the tankers, not Iran, to get America involved against Iran, maybe the Israelis. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 14, 2019, 03:41:44 pm
I know you think Trump is evil. But he isn't going to war with Iran.  The most he might do is destroy a few docks and ships that may have attacked those oil tankers.  I don't believe, constitutionally, the President, as Commander-in-Chief needs, congressional approval to defend shipping interests and allies from military attacks, only if we go to all out war with a country.  As an aside, I wonder if the Saudis were the ones who attacked the tankers, not Iran, to get America involved against Iran, maybe the Israelis.

Then you saw the sausage-dog cartoon?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 14, 2019, 06:27:43 pm
Does this kind of message serve any purpose? First, he did NOT say what you accuse him of saying, you are deliberately misinterpreting/exaggerating his remarks. Second, if you disagree with his statements, then simply do that. That would add value.
He is just angry because I am ignoring all of his posts and only responding second hand.  He tries to be too cute by half.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 14, 2019, 06:31:08 pm
I hope it is clear that the views espoused in this thread by some of the more outspoken participants don't represent the views of all Americans.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 14, 2019, 06:32:30 pm
I know you think Trump is evil. But he isn't going to war with Iran.  The most he might do is destroy a few docks and ships that may have attacked those oil tankers.  I don't believe, constitutionally, the President, as Commander-in-Chief needs, congressional approval to defend shipping interests and allies from military attacks, only if we go to all out war with a country.  As an aside, I wonder if the Saudis were the ones who attacked the tankers, not Iran, to get America involved against Iran, maybe the Israelis.
I don't think he is evil, just very stupid and surrounds himself with people who will not challenge him.  All the good people have already left the administration.  The slippery slope of military intervention started only after WWII.  I'm fairly sure that a war declaration took place prior to that.  Of course the US has never been under formal attack aside from terrorist incidents.  We really don't know who attacked those ships and the film clip I saw was about as clear as the Zapruder film of the Kennedy shooting. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 14, 2019, 06:32:41 pm
I hope it is clear that the views espoused in this thread by some of the more outspoken participants don't represent the views of all Americans.

Is there anything under the sun that can be said that represents the views of all Americans?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 14, 2019, 06:35:42 pm
He is just angry because I am ignoring all of his posts and only responding second hand.  He tries to be too cute by half.

At this point, I do not ignore anyone here, not even the pompous pricks, as it is too much fun to read their posts.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Frans Waterlander on June 14, 2019, 07:21:14 pm
Of course the US has never been under formal attack aside from terrorist incidents.
What about Pearl Harbor? Get a grip, Alan! >:( ::)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 14, 2019, 07:31:59 pm
What about Pearl Harbor? Get a grip, Alan! >:( ::)
Hawaii was not a state at the time and I should have clarified that.  The point is the US relied on the separation of oceans for its defense over all the years.  the main point is that there has been NO Congressional declaration of war since 1942 when the US declared war against Romania which was then part of the Axis powers in Europe along with Bulgaria and Hungary which war was also declared.  The Korean War was a UN police action led by the US.  I won't belabor the long history building up to the US involvement in Vietnam.  Look at how much money was sunk into the pacification wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 14, 2019, 08:17:39 pm
I don't think he is evil, just very stupid and surrounds himself with people who will not challenge him.  All the good people have already left the administration.  The slippery slope of military intervention started only after WWII.  I'm fairly sure that a war declaration took place prior to that.  Of course the US has never been under formal attack aside from terrorist incidents.  We really don't know who attacked those ships and the film clip I saw was about as clear as the Zapruder film of the Kennedy shooting. 

I believe the Supreme COurt has already determined that Congressional legislation that provides funding to fight a war is tacit approval of going to war.  Congress can stop any war or military action started by the president by cutting off funding as they did in the 1970's when they stopped funding South VietNam.  Shortly thereafter, the North was able to overrun the South's military defenses. 

Frankly, Congress has avoided making difficult decisions that they should make regarding war.  They prefer to defer to the President because they are cowards who try to avoid political fallout that might occur by taking hard positions.  So over the years, they have granted presidents a lot of deference to start military actions while they look the other way or in fact giving him room to decide on his own with open-ended legislation.  For example, the Congressional  Act to fight terrorists  have been used by three president (Bush 2, Obama and Trump) to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a host of other countries.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_Terrorists

Trump isn't going to war with Iran.  I suspect he might give them a bloody nose over the ship mining incident.   It will be interesting to see  what the Democrat presidential aspirants will say about it if he does that. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 15, 2019, 04:08:25 am
That "evidence" film was a joke; some of you are supposed to be photographers who understand these things: go look at the angles of the shots, and if they come from a satellite, then for some angles on the action it must have a clear view from the horizon, not above, or be an invisible, silent drone. I see little, if any, signs of flattened perspective such as distance would force.

(Even more unconvincing than the Moon, where I find myself wondering who shot the shot of the first footfall fom that angle, which kinds shows it to be, in fact, at least the second such step onto the surface.  ;-) )

As evidence of anything, it's evidence of poor photography. Or good photography designed to look stolen.

Trump can't go to war; it's his election pledge to bring the troop's back home. You know he keeps his promises.

But look at it this way: after he retires, like all the egos who seek such power, he and family will forever have to forgo privacy and endure the proximity of security agents. Long live anonymity!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 15, 2019, 09:57:17 pm
That "evidence" film was a joke;
As evidence of anything, it's evidence of poor photography.

Indeed.  If that's an example of America's state of the art surveillance imagery, I'm woefully disappointed. 

First and foremost, it's interlaced!

The first rule of deceptive imagery is to make it look like crap, in order to hide the deception.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 16, 2019, 07:21:50 am
Indeed.  If that's an example of America's state of the art surveillance imagery, I'm woefully disappointed. 

First and foremost, it's interlaced!

The first rule of deceptive imagery is to make it look like crap, in order to hide the deception.

For all we know, the video could have been shot by some American sailor on a surface ship 5 miles away with his personal iPhone.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: D Fuller on June 16, 2019, 09:24:50 am
For all we know, the video could have been shot by some American sailor on a surface ship 5 miles away with his personal iPhone.

If so, it wouldn’t be interlaced.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: DP on June 16, 2019, 10:05:53 am

https://babylonbee.com/news/nation-confident-government-would-never-lie-about-attacks-on-ships-in-a-gulf

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: DP on June 16, 2019, 10:13:56 am
Didn't Stalin and Ribbentrop (of Germany) try to split up Poland before WWII?
not before UK, France, Germany, Poland and Hungary (yes, these latter 2 happily grabbed some lands - so much for Poles screeching about being a victim year later) gutted CZ in 1938  ;D
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 16, 2019, 10:43:57 am
not before UK, France, Germany, Poland and Hungary (yes, these latter 2 happily grabbed some lands - so much for Poles screeching about being a victim year later) gutted CZ in 1938  ;D
Why are we revisiting WWII?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 16, 2019, 11:07:19 am
Why are we revisiting WWII?

The thread's about American politics: anything goes.

:-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 16, 2019, 12:04:04 pm
Why are we revisiting WWII?

Just filling in time til Trump.starts WWIII.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 16, 2019, 12:31:07 pm
Just filling in time til Trump.starts WWIII.
It's the Democrats pushing for conflict with Russia,  not Trump.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 16, 2019, 12:44:06 pm
It's the Democrats pushing for conflict with Russia,  not Trump.
THIS (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html) is not being done by Democrats.  Also, do you have a quote that you can cite about Democrats wanting conflict with Russia?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 16, 2019, 12:45:38 pm
THIS (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html) is not being done by Democrats.  Also, do you have a quote that you can cite about Democrats wanting conflict with Russia?

Or Iran, for that matter.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 16, 2019, 04:25:59 pm
THIS (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/politics/trump-cyber-russia-grid.html) is not being done by Democrats.  Also, do you have a quote that you can cite about Democrats wanting conflict with Russia?
Where have you been?  Since he was elected, and before, Trump had been trying to establish relations with Putin.  The whole thing with "collusion" claims have been from the Democrats and a few neocon Republicans who have been hostile to Russia and Trump.  Because of that, he had to back off of what he wanted to do with Russia - develop better relations.  To say he wants WWIII is just silly.  Frankly we need to cozy up to Russia as a bulwark against an expanding China.  The "collusion" politics has spoiled the political impetus to do it. 

Regarding Iran, Bart, first he isn't going to war with them. Maybe a strike in response to their attack on the oil ships. In any case, this won't start WWIII.  And I never said this was being pushed by the Democrats.  I acknowledge his cancelling the US-Iran nuclear deal.  That's Trump's decision.    Time will tell whether it was a good decision. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 16, 2019, 04:28:43 pm
Hawaii was not a state at the time and I should have clarified that.  The point is the US relied on the separation of oceans for its defense over all the years.  the main point is that there has been NO Congressional declaration of war since 1942 when the US declared war against Romania which was then part of the Axis powers in Europe along with Bulgaria and Hungary which war was also declared.  The Korean War was a UN police action led by the US.  I won't belabor the long history building up to the US involvement in Vietnam.  Look at how much money was sunk into the pacification wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

Hawaii was a possession of the USA no different really than Puerto Rico.  If a country attacked the PR today, wouldn't we consider that an act of war?  In any case, Japan attacked our naval forces.  It doesn;t matter they were in Hawaii or on the open seas  That too is an act of war. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 16, 2019, 04:31:12 pm
If so, it wouldn’t be interlaced.

I produce 1080i with my Photoshop Premiere Elements from phone and camera video's clips (4K and otherwise) .  Whenever I try to produce 1080p, the software fails.  We don't know if the video had an in-between step and not taken directly from the phone memory.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 17, 2019, 01:35:47 am
It's the Democrats pushing for conflict with Russia,  not Trump.

True enough - Trump has been happy enough to let Russia consolidate its invasion of Crimea, take over Syria (throwing the Kurds under the bus) etc. Pretty good payoff for a little election help.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 17, 2019, 02:01:47 am
True enough - Trump has been happy enough to let Russia consolidate its invasion of Crimea...

You know that happened in 2014, two years before Trump, right?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 17, 2019, 03:27:11 am
You know that happened in 2014, two years before Trump, right?

Consolidation happens after the event.

But at any rate, without a full-scale war, I see not how that fait accompli can be altered now.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 17, 2019, 03:30:25 am
Consolidation happens after the event.

What he said.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 17, 2019, 09:30:30 am
True enough - Trump has been happy enough to let Russia consolidate its invasion of Crimea, take over Syria (throwing the Kurds under the bus) etc. Pretty good payoff for a little election help.
Crimea is in Europe's back yard.  And they did nothing.  This raises a point.  Whenever America uses its military, you guys complain we're warlike, too quick to shoot. Then when we don;t shoot, you complain we're too pacific.  You're always complaining about what we do.,  Meanwhile you sit on your hands and do nothing.  If you do get involved, we have to drag you into the fight, kicking and screaming all the way.  Don;t you ever get embarrassed?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 17, 2019, 09:37:49 am
Consolidation happens after the event.

But at any rate, without a full-scale war, I see not how that fait accompli can be altered now.

What is this mysterious “consolidation”? It was an event that happened in 2014. End of story. Obama had two years to do something about it and that mysterious “consolidation.” And somehow it is the next president’s fault!?

Now, we both, as most of the world, agree that neither Obama nor Trump could do much about it. The USA also has a weak moral and logical ground to complain. They did a much worse thing helping Kosovo separate from Serbia. Especially since Crimea was Russian for almost two hundred years, before being “gifted” by Krushchov to Ukraine.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 17, 2019, 10:17:26 am
  If you do get involved, we have to drag you into the fight, kicking and screaming all the way. 
Like in Afghanistan, you mean, where UK etc got involved in the US response to 9/11 ?
Quote
Don't you ever get embarrassed?
Naah - just bored with reading "USA USA" every time some folk touch their keyboard. I lived a long time in the US and there are some things to be very proud of. Military meddling is not one of them.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 17, 2019, 10:23:16 am
They did a much worse thing helping Kosovo separate from Serbia. Especially since Crimea was Russian for almost two hundred years, before being “gifted” by Krushchov to Ukraine.
As far as I know the people of Kosovo were happy to be separated from Serbia.
They say that the Serbs made many ugly things in the Bosnian war and had to be bombed to reason.
The Sebrenica massacre and the "ethnic cleansing" among other things.
I wouldn't discuss the subject but I think that has to be said.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 17, 2019, 10:27:31 am
What is this mysterious “consolidation”? It was an event that happened in 2014. End of story. Obama had two years to do something about it and that mysterious “consolidation.” And somehow it is the next president’s fault!?

Now, we both, as most of the world, agree that neither Obama nor Trump could do much about it. The USA also has a weak moral and logical ground to complain. They did a much worse thing helping Kosovo separate from Serbia. Especially since Crimea was Russian for almost two hundred years, before being “gifted” by Krushchov to Ukraine.

Even James Bond knew the Balkans had no solution; so where lies blame, particularly: politics or religion?

Gifts...

Kinda brings up the little matter of Palestine. Might ever right?

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 17, 2019, 10:31:29 am
As far as I know the people of Kosovo were happy to be separated from Serbia.
They say that the Serbs made many ugly things in the Bosnian war and had to be bombed to reason.
The Sebrenica massacre and the "ethnic cleansing" among other things.
I wouldn't discuss the subject but I think that has to be said.


One man's reason is another man's dumb mistake.

Wars are not fought by saints unless little old Joan fits that bill. Silly girl. Should have settled down instead, and not taken to causing umpteen more fatalities on all sides.

Wouldn't have given her a thought except that I'm rereading an old travel tome that I have on the Périgord, something I often do when I think of the apartment selling. Have several such books, but in reality, we always followed our own noses instead. Again, I curse the time wasted on those trips making trannies for stock, time better spent having an even better good time when I could still eat and drink anything my heart desired. Nothing stays the same. There's a song for that too, but you can look it up if you want to do so.

Lucille. The two I know come from Little Richard and Kenny Rogers. I'm sure he does, or at least did. Lucille has nothing to do with things not staying the same. Well, not in my case.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 17, 2019, 11:08:09 am
As far as I know the people of Kosovo were happy to be separated from Serbia...

So were the people of Crimea.

Quote
... They say that the Serbs made many ugly things in the Bosnian war and had to be bombed to reason.
The Sebrenica massacre and the "ethnic cleansing" among other things...

What happened during a civil war in Bosnia (Srebrenica, etc.) was done by ethnic Serbs who lived there for centuries, not the neighboring Serbia as a state. It would be like blaming Germany for something ethnic Germans who live in Austria did. Or Austria for what ethnic Germans do in Italy. In any case, Bosnia is not Kosovo, which was part of Serbia for millennia.

Besides, it is not the bombing we are discussing here, but the secession, which happened nine years after the end of bombing. Note that about a half of the world states have not recognized the secession, some European countries as well.

Here is a comment from the American Society of International Law (emphasis mine):

Quote
... while Kosovo's declaration of independence and its recognition by various states can be justified under existing international law, it is not a clear case. Rather, Kosovo presents a quintessential "tough case," demonstrating the ways in which political interests of states affect how the international law is given effect. How and whether it will be considered a unique case in international law or a precedent for other secessionist movements may depend on how various states interpret the law and facts that gave rise to the declaration.

Note the part about "a precedent for other secessionist movements," which is where my comparison to Crimea comes from.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 17, 2019, 11:22:57 am


Note the part about "a precedent for other secessionist movements," which is where my comparison to Crimea comes from.
Slobodan this is really not personal and, as I said before, I would not discuss the issue here.
There is lot of info everywhere for those interested..
What the Serbs did to the other ethnic groups, what the Belgians to the Congolese, what the Hutu to the Tutsi and the Germans to almost everybody is not easy to digest.
We humans should commit seppuku all together, for a better world. Or just not.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 17, 2019, 12:21:59 pm
Slobodan this is really not personal and, as I said before, I would not discuss the issue here.
There is lot of info everywhere for those interested..
What the Serbs did to the other ethnic groups, what the Belgians to the Congolese, what the Hutu to the Tutsi and the Germans to almost everybody is not easy to digest.
We humans should commit seppuku all together, for a better world. Or just not.


Vote for youself!

I tend to agreed with everybody who agrees with me. The others? They are mistaken, as time will teach them; but kill 'em? No way!

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 17, 2019, 12:39:39 pm
...What the Serbs did to the other ethnic groups...

And what those other ethnic groups did to Serbs. In a civil war or terrorist attacks.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 17, 2019, 01:24:57 pm
If you do get involved, we have to drag you into the fight, kicking and screaming all the way.

I suggest, Alan, that you read some history.  Particularly WWII.

Also, interlacing originates in the camera, not in the edit.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 17, 2019, 02:47:13 pm
I suggest, Alan, that you read some history.  Particularly WWII.

Also, interlacing originates in the camera, not in the edit.
I was referring to post World War II.

In any case, Premiere Elements allows you to create a video in interlaced or Progressive. I know when I put in slides I can select 24 or 30 frames per second and then select the output. Also I sometimes down Resolute from 4K video to 2K video which would be 1080. But for some reason 1080p won't assemble while 1080i will. Now the question is if the original was interlaced or Progressive, can you change it over to the opposite when you publish the video? I really don't know.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 17, 2019, 04:52:45 pm
Where have you been?  Since he was elected, and before, Trump had been trying to establish relations with Putin.  The whole thing with "collusion" claims have been from the Democrats and a few neocon Republicans who have been hostile to Russia and Trump.  Because of that, he had to back off of what he wanted to do with Russia - develop better relations.  To say he wants WWIII is just silly.  Frankly we need to cozy up to Russia as a bulwark against an expanding China.  The "collusion" politics has spoiled the political impetus to do it. 

Regarding Iran, Bart, first he isn't going to war with them. Maybe a strike in response to their attack on the oil ships. In any case, this won't start WWIII.  And I never said this was being pushed by the Democrats.  I acknowledge his cancelling the US-Iran nuclear deal.  That's Trump's decision.    Time will tell whether it was a good decision.

This article about a House Committee investigation into Trump's foreign policies may interest you https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/17/house-foreign-affairs-panel-oversight-trump-1365840 (https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/17/house-foreign-affairs-panel-oversight-trump-1365840).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 17, 2019, 05:21:33 pm
This article about a House Committee investigation into Trump's foreign policies may interest you https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/17/house-foreign-affairs-panel-oversight-trump-1365840 (https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/17/house-foreign-affairs-panel-oversight-trump-1365840).
Not interested in what a  house committee run by the Democrats have to say about it.   If you want to respond to my point, I'd be glad to hear from you.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 17, 2019, 05:38:16 pm
Not interested in what a  house committee run by the Democrats have to say about it.   If you want to respond to my point, I'd be glad to hear from you.


Unless you remove your ear protectors, how do you know that anyone is or is not speaking? And if they are, whether what they have to say is of interest to you?

In the case of the link, save your ears: there was next to nothing in it but entire paragraphs of tautology, at the end of which, I was none the wiser.

Not fake news, no news!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 17, 2019, 05:44:58 pm

Unless you remove your ear protectors, how do you know that anyone is or is not speaking? And if they are, whether what they have to say is of interest to you?

In the case of the link, save your ears: there was next to nothing in it but entire paragraphs of tautology, at the end of which, I was none the wiser.

Not fake news, no news!

Rob, you realize that you second sentence contradicts the first? Or, in other words, confirms Alan’s statement.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 17, 2019, 05:50:12 pm
Not interested in what a  house committee run by the Democrats have to say about it.   If you want to respond to my point, I'd be glad to hear from you.

Do as you like. But it's not a Democratic committee, it is described as bipartisan in the article and one of the main points is how hard the GOP members on it are working because they are worried about Trump's foreign policy moves. I thought it might provide some food for thought, is all.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 17, 2019, 06:10:52 pm
Do as you like. But it's not a Democratic committee, it is described as bipartisan in the article and one of the main points is how hard the GOP members on it are working because they are worried about Trump's foreign policy moves. I thought it might provide some food for thought, is all.
I hope you realize what you are reading in these posts are talking points from Fox News. Not much sense in trying to debate them.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 17, 2019, 07:04:35 pm
I was referring to post World War II.

Oh, well then. The greatest, possibly the most important war in history doesn't count. (s)

Quote
In any case, Premiere Elements allows you to create a video in interlaced or Progressive. I know when I put in slides I can select 24 or 30 frames per second and then select the output. Also I sometimes down Resolute from 4K video to 2K video which would be 1080. But for some reason 1080p won't assemble while 1080i will. Now the question is if the original was interlaced or Progressive, can you change it over to the opposite when you publish the video? I really don't know.

Interlacing originates with acquisition - ie the camera.  It is possible to de-interlace footage with software, which is what Premiere is offering you and which is apparent in the poor quality video submitted by the American defense people.  I don't think you can interlace non-interlaced footage.  Nor can I think of a reason why. It's a hack.  An engineering cheat.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interlaced_video

To return to the whatever-it-is topic of this thread: It's interesting that some of America's allies are refusing to interpret the video the way the DOD suggests.


"Germany, in particular, specifically said the Centcom video was not enough to prove Iran is to blame".

“The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Oslo"

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/448670-us-iran-tensions-deepen-five-things-to-know-about-oil-tanker-attack
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 17, 2019, 07:27:59 pm
Do as you like. But it's not a Democratic committee, it is described as bipartisan in the article and one of the main points is how hard the GOP members on it are working because they are worried about Trump's foreign policy moves. I thought it might provide some food for thought, is all.
It's laziness to post a link to an article or video and tell people to watch it without making its salient points in your post.  Who has time to read every link posted by every TOm Divk and Harry?  You should be making it's basic arguments in your post, then provide the link for reference. 

Thank you for summing it up in your second post. Regarding Republicans who oppose his foreign policies, this has been true from the start from when he ran for President.  Many Republican neocons who got us into Iraq, and want conflict with Russia, have joined Democrats in opposing Trump.  That's why he beat the Republicans who ran against him during the Republican nominations.  These same Republicans hate Trump because he overthrew the Republican (and Democrat) hold on American government.  He wasn't part of the inner circle of politicians allowed to run America.  The "deep state".   remember it was Republicans who originally started the dossier on Trump, not the Democrats.  The Democrats under Hillary Clinton took over after Trump won the Republican nomination.   Main stream Republicans hate Trump.  So anything they do with the Dems such as in that article you linked too are suspect.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 17, 2019, 07:34:14 pm
I hope you realize what you are reading in these posts are talking points from Fox News. Not much sense in trying to debate them.

Then what are you doing here?

Occasionally, just providing links might be useful. Occasionally. But this is a debate between LuLa meembers, not between Fox and MSNBC. Thus it is expected that members shall make their own point, not just link to something. As a minimum, there should be a sentence or paragraph describing the main point one is trying to make or the link is trying to make. Actually, it is a requirement established by the moderator of this site for posting outside links.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 17, 2019, 09:47:48 pm
It's laziness to post a link to an article or video and tell people to watch it without making its salient points in your post.  Who has time to read every link posted by every TOm Divk and Harry?  You should be making it's basic arguments in your post, then provide the link for reference. 


I thought I had said enough in the first instance to peak your interest, but I guess not. The vast majority of written articles contain a short preview in their headline or lead paragraph, so I tend not to want to repeat those, just hint at what the general topic is. To my mind, a click is not a big commitment to make when it has been suggested by someone who is participating in the discussion. I don't see that click as any more onerous than reading a summary that I may write.

Podcast and video links would require some explanation, I agree. Their content is not immediately apparent on a first click.

My reason for sometimes suggesting links to articles or podcasts is as a way of providing longer form information. A lot of what is actually written by people in forums such as these is rarely complete and not usually informative. So I post links to longer pieces written/presented by people knowledgeable in their fields as a way to further the discussion when I feel it has reached an impasse. I assume that some people are interested enough to want to read/hear more and so the links are there as reference. If they don't wish to do so, they don't need to follow the link.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 17, 2019, 09:56:45 pm
I thought I had said enough in the first instance to peak your interest, but I guess not. The vast majority of written articles contain a short preview in their headline or lead paragraph, so I tend not to want to repeat those, just hint at what the general topic is. To my mind, a click is not a big commitment to make when it has been suggested by someone who is participating in the discussion. I don't see that click as any more onerous than reading a summary that I may write.

Podcast and video links would require some explanation, I agree. Their content is not immediately apparent on a first click.

My reason for sometimes suggesting links to articles or podcasts is as a way of providing longer form information. A lot of what is actually written by people in forums such as these is rarely complete and not usually informative. So I post links to longer pieces written/presented by people knowledgeable in their fields as a way to further the discussion when I feel it has reached an impasse. I assume that some people are interested enough to want to read/hear more and so the links are there as reference. If they don't wish to do so, they don't need to follow the link.

Robert, I'm more interested in what your thoughts are then some writer from CNN or Fox for that matter.  Your summary shows what you consider important.  I want to hear about your guideposts about life and politics and photography.  That's what I want to know and respond too; not some other person's beliefs.  Anyway, I'm glad you did summarize in your follow-up post.  And I was able to respond to it without reading the original linked site.  Simple and more personal.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 17, 2019, 09:59:42 pm
I hope you realize what you are reading in these posts are talking points from Fox News. Not much sense in trying to debate them.

Providing links to longer form written/audio/video material is really by way of making sources of information available generally and isn't necessarily just aimed at the quoted writer. My assumption is that people engage in these kinds of conversations to learn something. I mean, people can't just be here because they think they're going to badger or insult someone else into seeing things their way. Who has that kind of time to waste. I occasionally come across articles or podcasts or videos and now and then it strikes me that one of those is relevant to the topic under discussion, and so I provide a link to that info under the assumption that people want to know more. Others have provided links to sources that I have gone on to look at and I very much appreciate it. It's not possible to curate everything out on your own.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 17, 2019, 10:21:38 pm
I hope you realize what you are reading in these posts are talking points from Fox News. Not much sense in trying to debate them.

That's a very dismissive statement.  Even insulting.  As if conservative thinkers can't think for themselves.  Only you can think for yourself.  In fact, the accusation you make I always hear on liberal outlets.  So it seems that's where you get your talking points.  If you really want to show what you know, make a cogent point against a conservative argument rather than accusing the writer of plagiarism.   Otherwise you sound like you're reading a CNN script rather than thinking independently. . 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 10:27:27 am
That "evidence" film was a joke; some of you are supposed to be photographers who understand these things: go look at the angles of the shots, and if they come from a satellite, then for some angles on the action it must have a clear view from the horizon, not above, or be an invisible, silent drone. I see little, if any, signs of flattened perspective such as distance would force.

(Even more unconvincing than the Moon, where I find myself wondering who shot the shot of the first footfall fom that angle, which kinds shows it to be, in fact, at least the second such step onto the surface.  ;-) )

As evidence of anything, it's evidence of poor photography. Or good photography designed to look stolen.

Trump can't go to war; it's his election pledge to bring the troop's back home. You know he keeps his promises.

But look at it this way: after he retires, like all the egos who seek such power, he and family will forever have to forgo privacy and endure the proximity of security agents. Long live anonymity!

The photos were shot from an American helicopter.  They didn't provide the distance.  The two pictures in this article do appear to show the same boat indicating it was Iranian.  Here are improved photos.  Probably Photoshopped so we especially can argue about that.  :) Regarding photos from the moon, they were shot with a Hasselblad 6x6 film camera, I believe. So obviously, America doesn;t always use it's own designed equipment. 
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/17/us-military-releases-new-images-of-japanese-oil-tanker-attack.html
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 10:31:11 am
The picture with the notations taken from the helicopter seemed to indicate that the camera was aiming downwards 20 degrees from horizontal.  See the <-20 on the left.  Not too sure what the other markings mean.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 18, 2019, 04:37:51 pm
I'll apologize in advance because I'm about to provide another link to a lengthy podcast: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730339596/uaes-prince-mohammed-bin-zayed-s-growing-influence-on-the-u-s (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730339596/uaes-prince-mohammed-bin-zayed-s-growing-influence-on-the-u-s). There is also a transcript provided but I don't know if it a complete transcript of the interview.

The subject matter is about how Pres Trump on many occasions seems to have taken foreign policy advice from the crown prince of the U.A.E. in opposition to his own advisors. The prince in question is good friends with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and both are avowed enemies of Iran. The interviewee assigns the increasing war of words against Iran to be partly because of their influence. The podcast give examples of where their advice is in opposition to the advice of US intelligence agencies. There are some interesting tidbits. U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia seem to be making overtures to Israel and UAE and Israel already have close ties in the security and military areas. News to me. The crown princes have done a good job convincing the US that the muslim brotherhood are "terrorists". This is odd on the surface because the brotherhood is a great backer of elections and as hereditary leaders, they are both kind of against elections. It seems odd for the US to be against elections but it wouldn't be the first time that they back non-obvious believers in democracy. This pattern would at least make one a little suspicious of the demonization of Iran. I mean, the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, weren't they, or have they re-written the history books.

Anyway, my cynical comments aside, the podcast is very informative re long-term trends and politics in the area.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 04:55:01 pm
I'll apologize in advance because I'm about to provide another link to a lengthy podcast: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730339596/uaes-prince-mohammed-bin-zayed-s-growing-influence-on-the-u-s (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730339596/uaes-prince-mohammed-bin-zayed-s-growing-influence-on-the-u-s). There is also a transcript provided but I don't know if it a complete transcript of the interview.

The subject matter is about how Pres Trump on many occasions seems to have taken foreign policy advice from the crown prince of the U.A.E. in opposition to his own advisors. The prince in question is good friends with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and both are avowed enemies of Iran. The interviewee assigns the increasing war of words against Iran to be partly because of their influence. The podcast give examples of where their advice is in opposition to the advice of US intelligence agencies. There are some interesting tidbits. U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia seem to be making overtures to Israel and UAE and Israel already have close ties in the security and military areas. News to me. The crown princes have done a good job convincing the US that the muslim brotherhood are "terrorists". This is odd on the surface because the brotherhood is a great backer of elections and as hereditary leaders, they are both kind of against elections. It seems odd for the US to be against elections but it wouldn't be the first time that they back non-obvious believers in democracy. This pattern would at least make one a little suspicious of the demonization of Iran. I mean, the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, weren't they, or have they re-written the history books.

Anyway, my cynical comments aside, the podcast is very informative re long-term trends and politics in the area.

For whatever reason, Robert, Saudi Arabia has long had an incomprehensible (to me at least) hold on the hearts of America's leaders.  I suppose that it was energy-related for awhile, but one could hope that with our newfound energy-independence via fracking, that there could at least be some silver lining to the rape of our ecology, but seems not to be so.   The case can be made that Iraq is the single largest foreign policy blunder since Vietnam (and potentially of the entire post WWI era), but we seem to have learned very, very little from it. 

The weird thing is that (and not to turn this into Trump bashing) Trump and his core group seem much more likely to want to do deals with the ME as opposed to starting wars, but then he goes and puts lunatics like Bolton and evangelicals like Pompeo in charge, who never met a war they didn't like, and embrace an insane Biblical view of Israel, respectively.  It's really quite frightening.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 18, 2019, 04:55:22 pm
Rob, you realize that you second sentence contradicts the first? Or, in other words, confirms Alan’s statement.


I don't think so. He simply refuses to listen to, or absorb the information from a specific set of opinions. Unless he gives them a hearing, how can he judge the value therein? He has no idea what that will be.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 18, 2019, 05:26:04 pm
The photos were shot from an American helicopter.  They didn't provide the distance.  The two pictures in this article do appear to show the same boat indicating it was Iranian.  Here are improved photos.  Probably Photoshopped so we especially can argue about that.  :) Regarding photos from the moon, they were shot with a Hasselblad 6x6 film camera, I believe. So obviously, America doesn;t always use it's own designed equipment. 
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/17/us-military-releases-new-images-of-japanese-oil-tanker-attack.html

Whether the shots of the "first footfall" were shot with a special 'blad or adapted Nikon, neither of which are American cameras, is not the point; the point is this: since shot from a position outwith that space vehicle, and as the drones were still in Captain Kirk's locker, then somebody else took that first step to get to camera position, not the cat in clown's diver's clothing playing the part for said camera.

Of course, as it was all shot in a crater on Lanzarote just next to another one in which was cultivated the traditional single vine of Malvasia, it remains academic...  They had a helluva time setting up the trampoline beneath the ash; every shot but three was ruined because of the rhythmic, vibrating patterns of the particles rising and falling back down in full accordance with Earthly gravitational norms. It was finally resolved through careful, traditional motion film retouching techniques back in NASA laboratories.

Don't you just love the power of photographs?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 18, 2019, 05:34:48 pm
For whatever reason, Robert, Saudi Arabia has long had an incomprehensible (to me at least) hold on the hearts of America's leaders.  I suppose that it was energy-related for awhile, but one could hope that with our newfound energy-independence via fracking, that there could at least be some silver lining to the rape of our ecology, but seems not to be so.   The case can be made that Iraq is the single largest foreign policy blunder since Vietnam (and potentially of the entire post WWI era), but we seem to have learned very, very little from it. 
I suspect that a considerable amount of support for Saudi Arabia is a result of the anti-Iran focus of their government.  This is the meme in the whole Middle East where you have various branches of Islam, a small (area wise) Jewish state and sprinkled among these are a number of smaller Christian groups.  Back in the mid-1990s our next door neighbor who was French worked at the World Bank and Iran was one of the countries he regularly visited.  It was always illuminating to talk with him about how misunderstood the country was then (and probably still is).  Most everyone who could afford it watched pirated US television programs and wore US branded blue jeans.  It was only the theocrats who Khomeni brought into power when the Shah was overthrown who were virulently anti-American.  Maybe there are no good answers for this part of the world other than to get out and let them fend for themselves.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 05:34:55 pm
I'll apologize in advance because I'm about to provide another link to a lengthy podcast: https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730339596/uaes-prince-mohammed-bin-zayed-s-growing-influence-on-the-u-s (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/06/730339596/uaes-prince-mohammed-bin-zayed-s-growing-influence-on-the-u-s). There is also a transcript provided but I don't know if it a complete transcript of the interview.

The subject matter is about how Pres Trump on many occasions seems to have taken foreign policy advice from the crown prince of the U.A.E. in opposition to his own advisors. The prince in question is good friends with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and both are avowed enemies of Iran. The interviewee assigns the increasing war of words against Iran to be partly because of their influence. The podcast give examples of where their advice is in opposition to the advice of US intelligence agencies. There are some interesting tidbits. U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia seem to be making overtures to Israel and UAE and Israel already have close ties in the security and military areas. News to me. The crown princes have done a good job convincing the US that the muslim brotherhood are "terrorists". This is odd on the surface because the brotherhood is a great backer of elections and as hereditary leaders, they are both kind of against elections. It seems odd for the US to be against elections but it wouldn't be the first time that they back non-obvious believers in democracy. This pattern would at least make one a little suspicious of the demonization of Iran. I mean, the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, weren't they, or have they re-written the history books.

Anyway, my cynical comments aside, the podcast is very informative re long-term trends and politics in the area.

American Presidents listening to our CIA has not boded well for us.,  May I remind you it was our CIA that overthrew the elected government of Iran and installed the Shah who favored us better.  That led years later to his overthrowing by the Mullahs, their holding American hostages for over a year, the loss of the second presidential term of our Carter because of the hostages,  and our present problems with a clerical Iran.  It was also the CIA who said Saddam has WMD's in Iraq leading to our 2nd war there.  Additionally, the Muslim Brotherhood has avowed to destroy Jews and Israel.  Also, Morsi. a Muslim Brotherhood leader, tried to rough house Egyptian democracy when he and the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt. 

You don't seem to be up-to-speed on these issues.  I wouldn't waste my time on an obviously prejudiced podcast.  Frankly, all Presidents should be wary of our own CIA.  If Obama was still president, you would be telling us how bad the American CIA is.  But since Trump is president, anything that opposes Trump is good in your book even if bad. 

Having said all that, I suspect that Israel is secretly working with Saudi Arabia to undermine their common enemy, Iran.  So Trump is listening to Israel when he listens to Saudi's. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 06:41:10 pm
... Frankly, all Presidents should be wary of our own CIA.  If Obama was still president, you would be telling us how bad the American CIA is.  But since Trump is president, anything that opposes Trump is good in your book even if bad... 

Just look how virulently anti-Trump the former CIA director is. People like that (and like Comey in the FBI) are still there.

The role of CIA is not to formulate foreign policy, but to provide information to those who are elected to do so. Those providing the information are trying to insert their own slant to it.

I worked in the American embassy in Belgrade for seven years. I saw first-hand how information is gathered and interpreted at the grass-root stage, based on a particular embassy officer's worldview or his/her idea of which view is in vogue in Washington and what is going to get them promoted. I did not have access to the classified information, i.e., the final version of the report, but, as I said, I had a pretty good insight in the origins.

In other words, info coming from embassies, intelligence agencies, etc. should not be treated as the gospel, but just as one of the facets necessary for those elected to formulate foreign policy.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 18, 2019, 06:44:37 pm
It was also the CIA who said Saddam has WMD's in Iraq leading to our 2nd war there.

Really? That's not how I recall it, and so doesn't the CIA's 2002 intelligence assessment:

https://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-full-version-of-the-cias-2002-intelligence-assessment-on-wmd-in-iraq-2015-3

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 07:07:50 pm
Just look how virulently anti-Trump the former CIA director is. People like that (and like Comey in the FBI) are still there.

The problem you and others have is that you refuse to accept the *reasons why* upper level professionals in economics, journalism, international relations etc. are virulently anti-Trump.  There's a reason why newspapers like the Dallas Morning News, which had endorsed the conservative candidate for 50 years, refused to endorse Trump.  There's a reason why apolitical appointees that have served in D and R administrations refuse to support Trump, and it's not because he's "shaking up the establishment" or "draining the swamp."   It's because he's utterly incompetent and not fit for the office.  He's proudly ignorant and refuses to dig deep into policy, and he is incapable of consistency on the world stage. 

But, you say, "I like what he does.  I like deregulation and smaller government.  I think the border is a serious problem.  And for some reason I think he's responsible for the economy even though it's been on the exact same trajectory for 6 years now."   The thing is, you can have all of these things *without* electing someone patently unsuited for the job, but a faction of people *chose* this guy, and people that know better are incredulous. IT's not that they have betrayed conservative ideals, it's that *Donald Trump is incompetent.*
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 07:09:56 pm
The problem you and others have is that you refuse to accept the *reasons why* upper level professionals in economics, journalism, international relations etc. are virulently anti-Trump.  There's a reason why newspapers like the Dallas Morning News, which had endorsed the conservative candidate for 50 years, refused to endorse Trump.  There's a reason why apolitical appointees that have served in D and R administrations refuse to support Trump, and it's not because he's "shaking up the establishment" or "draining the swamp."   It's because he's utterly incompetent and not fit for the office.  He's proudly ignorant and refuses to dig deep into policy, and he is incapable of consistency on the world stage. 

But, you say, "I like what he does.  I like deregulation and smaller government.  I think the border is a serious problem.  And for some reason I think he's responsible for the economy even though it's been on the exact same trajectory for 6 years now."   The thing is, you can have all of these things *without* electing someone patently unsuited for the job, but a faction of people *chose* this guy, and people that know better are incredulous.

The alternative was Hillary Clinton. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 07:14:31 pm
The alternative was Hillary Clinton.

Who would have been a better choice.  A fact which at this point is painfully obvious.  Honestly, I can't even figure out what the complaint would be now.  Before it was how you can't trust her - she lies.  Or how her Clinton Foundation was supposedly corrupt. Or OMG her emails.  I mean, Trump has done all of those things and far worse just since assuming office.  And of course his supporters don't care now.  Surprise.  The debt ceiling?  Non issue.  Unauthorized personal electronic device? So what. Trump Foundation?  Actually forced to dissolve under court supervision.  And on and on and on and on.

The hypocrisy is astounding. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: BobShaw on June 18, 2019, 07:17:24 pm
American Presidents listening to our CIA has not boded well for us., 
True, but presidents as far back as Johnson were told they couldn't win the Vietnam war, but generals said the solution was more money, bombs and bodies.
Invading other countries that have not invited them has not worked out well for the US (except Hawaii of course).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 07:19:26 pm
Who would have been a better choice.  A fact which at this point is painfully obvious.  Honestly, I can't even figure out what the complaint would be now.  Before it was how you can't trust her - she lies.  Or how her Clinton Foundation was supposedly corrupt. Or OMG her emails.  I mean, Trump has done all of those things and far worse just since assuming office.  And of course his supporters don't care now.  Surprise.  The debt ceiling?  Non issue.  Unauthorized personal electronic device? So what. Trump Foundation?  Actually forced to dissolve under court supervision.  And on and on and on and on.

The hypocrisy is astounding. 

She lost.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 18, 2019, 07:23:59 pm
She lost.

The USA lost.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 07:24:40 pm
The problem you and others have is that you refuse to accept the *reasons why* SOME IN THE upper level professionals in economics, journalism, international relations etc. are virulently anti-Trump....

This explains why we have a problem with what SOME say. Their "reasons" are exactly why people like Trump.

Quote
...But, you say, "I like what he does...

You bet. And would like him to do more of that,  without being sabotaged every step of the way.

Quote
.. I think the border is a serious problem...

Of course.

Quote
... And for some reason I think he's responsible for the economy even though it's been on the exact same trajectory for 6 years now."...

I think I posted before that we tend to give too much credit to presidents for the state of the economy. So you won't have me subscribed to the above. However, the above contains a fallacy that needs to be addressed: trajectories do not last forever. Given that the doomsday scenario predicted a market crash and deep recession in case he is elected, continuing the trajectory is a success.

Quote
...a faction of people *chose* this guy...

A faction!? Just the majority of people in the majority of states.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 07:25:32 pm
The USA lost.

We are doing just fine, thank you.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 07:29:38 pm
Trump tax legislation gave a boost to the economy by adding more profits.  Also, less taxes and more spending always boosts the economy.  Of course, deficits and debt have grown and there will be a penalty at some time for our profligacy. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 07:45:12 pm
... I mean, Trump has done all of those things and far worse just since assuming office...

Here is an idea: perhaps you guys should start an investigation into those horrible crimes. You know, spend a couple of years and millions of dollars, maybe you will find something?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 09:00:13 pm
She lost.

This is like when a 3 year old just plugs their ears and screams that they can't hear you.   That she lost isn't the point.  That Donald Trump is the living embodiment of everything that people claimed to dislike about Hillary, but suddenly that doesn't matter - that's the point.  It's not about Hillary. She's done.  It's about looking inward and deciding what your price is.  For far too many of you, it's disturbingly low.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 09:05:03 pm
Here is an idea: perhaps you guys should start an investigation into those horrible crimes. You know, spend a couple of years and millions of dollars, maybe you will find something?

A sound idea.  I figure we have 4 or 5 more investigations before we hit the level of inanity that we did over Benghazi.  Or the Clinton Foundation.  Then again, Clinton actually testified under oath to a hostile committee.  And the Clinton Foundation continues on to this day.  Meanwhile Trump is scared to testify under oath and his "Foundation" is forcibly shuttered.

But nevertheless, Clinton's still probably guilty and going after Trump is still a witch hunt.   Good Lord.   ::)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 09:06:58 pm
This explains why we have a problem with what SOME say. Their "reasons" are exactly why people like Trump.


They like that he refuses to read intel briefings?  That he consults with the likes of Hannity on policy?  That our allies have zero confidence in the messages that come out of the White House?  Or State, or wherever?  No, I suspect that the things they like are that he's mean to liberals and "talks like they do."  That's sort of pathetic.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 09:09:51 pm
Oh, by the way, James, your presidential candidate, AOC, is so much more qualified and suited for the job, right? I mean, in your view, after Trump, even a retard like her can’t be worse, right? 😉

P.S. political teasing aside, I hope we are still friends :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 18, 2019, 09:23:23 pm
Oh, by the way, James, your presidential candidate, AOC, is so much more qualified and suited for the job, right? I mean, in your view, after Trump, even a retard like her can’t be worse, right? 😉

P.S. political teasing aside, I hope we are still friends :)

FWIW, I didn't vote for Obama in '12 because I saw his expansion of drone warfare and his embrace of things like the surveillance state and the Patriot Act to not only be directly opposed to his campaign promises, but more importantly because they are directly in opposition to what I believe is both morally right and Constitutionally legal.  So no, I'm not an AOC fan at all.  I think she's a reactionary that plays primarily to an ill-informed base, and lacks a basic understanding of the things she's trying to solve.  Of the current candidates I prefer Buttigieg and Kamala Harris on the left, and on the right would have voted for Weld without reservation had he stuck it out and primaried Trump.

Here's the thing.  As I said (or at least implied) in the opening round of this part of the discussion, my problem isn't with things like lower taxes, border control, or other conservative priorities.  I may not place them as high up on the importance scale as conservatives do, but I don't find them morally or legally problematic in concept.  What I do have a very large problem with is putting my faith in someone who, whether by ignorance or design, plays to a fringe in words and deeds, thinks they already know everything, and is hostage to his or her own ego.  I think that's a recipe for poor decision making, and when you're the President of the USA, your poor decisions could, literally, bring about the end of the world. 

And yeah - of course we're friends.  :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 09:52:14 pm
This is like when a 3 year old just plugs their ears and screams that they can't hear you.   That she lost isn't the point.  That Donald Trump is the living embodiment of everything that people claimed to dislike about Hillary, but suddenly that doesn't matter - that's the point.  It's not about Hillary. She's done.  It's about looking inward and deciding what your price is.  For far too many of you, it's disturbingly low.

Hillary may have had us at war with Russia by now had she become president.  Trump sees Russia as a natural ally, a bulwark against China who is our real future adversary.  While not yet resolved, the North Koreans have stopped testing ICBM's and nuclear bomb tests.  More than many past presidents have accomplished. Trump has strengthened our military and started to cruise the South China Sea which Obama stopped and China therefore built up those islands as military bases and threatened our allies there.  He's pressed NATO allies to up their defense spending something past presidents have not been able to do although they tried.  He's passed new tax legislation and reduced regulations that's helping make our economy boom.  His tariffs have challenged China's theft of intellectual property and other predatory trade practices.  While not yet resolved, again he's trying to solve something past presidents have avoided.  He's done all these things practically by himself with little Congressional support while being challenged every day by the entrenched political and media classes.   If Hillary had won, and done the things he's doing, she'd be praised as a fearless genius.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 18, 2019, 09:56:30 pm
American Presidents listening to our CIA has not boded well for us.,  May I remind you it was our CIA that overthrew the elected government of Iran and installed the Shah who favored us better.  That led years later to his overthrowing by the Mullahs, their holding American hostages for over a year, the loss of the second presidential term of our Carter because of the hostages,  and our present problems with a clerical Iran.  It was also the CIA who said Saddam has WMD's in Iraq leading to our 2nd war there.  Additionally, the Muslim Brotherhood has avowed to destroy Jews and Israel.  Also, Morsi. a Muslim Brotherhood leader, tried to rough house Egyptian democracy when he and the Muslim Brotherhood took over Egypt. 

You don't seem to be up-to-speed on these issues.  I wouldn't waste my time on an obviously prejudiced podcast.  Frankly, all Presidents should be wary of our own CIA.  If Obama was still president, you would be telling us how bad the American CIA is.  But since Trump is president, anything that opposes Trump is good in your book even if bad. 

Having said all that, I suspect that Israel is secretly working with Saudi Arabia to undermine their common enemy, Iran.  So Trump is listening to Israel when he listens to Saudi's.

What a peculiar reaction. You think it's a good thing for the President to ignore the USA's own intelligence agencies? Maybe he should disband them, save some money. You think it's ok to take advice and direction from other countries? The Saudi royal family are the good guys now, despite the odd dismembered journalist?

This isn't serious discussion. This is drunk bar talk. Your "founding fathers" are probably turning over in their graves.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 18, 2019, 10:06:44 pm
Hillary may have had us at war with Russia by now had she become president.  Trump sees Russia as a natural ally, a bulwark against China who is our real future adversary.  While not yet resolved, the North Koreans have stopped testing ICBM's and nuclear bomb tests.  More than many past presidents have accomplished. Trump has strengthened our military and started to cruise the South China Sea which Obama stopped and China therefore built up those islands as military bases and threatened our allies there.  He's pressed NATO allies to up their defense spending something past presidents have not been able to do although they tried.  He's passed new tax legislation and reduced regulations that's helping make our economy boom.  His tariffs have challenged China's theft of intellectual property and other predatory trade practices.  While not yet resolved, again he's trying to solve something past presidents have avoided.  He's done all these things practically by himself with little Congressional support while being challenged every day by the entrenched political and media classes.   If Hillary had won, and done the things he's doing, she'd be praised as a fearless genius.

I'm sure that he says he's done all that.

Your leading statement is odd. How can Russia be a bulwark against China? Russia's economy is puny, they are not a world player, Trump just thinks it is, probably because they are the only place on earth that is willing to lend him money. No US bank will touch him because he doesn't pay back loans. Oh wait, does that make him smart?

Why is China a future adversary? They are a current major trading partner is what they are.

Why does the US need to increase its military spending when its armed forces are already the size of the next 5 (10?) countries' forces combined? Do you need your military to be the size of the next 20 countries' combined? 30? When will you feel safe?

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 10:18:02 pm
Why is China a future adversary? They are a current major trading partner is what they are...

This is a kindergarten talk*

*just referencing your “drunk bar talk” ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 10:29:08 pm
What a peculiar reaction. You think it's a good thing for the President to ignore the USA's own intelligence agencies? Maybe he should disband them, save some money. You think it's ok to take advice and direction from other countries? The Saudi royal family are the good guys now, despite the odd dismembered journalist?

This isn't serious discussion. This is drunk bar talk. Your "founding fathers" are probably turning over in their graves.

Unil Trump, most liberals hated the CIA and complained constantly about how evil they were getting us into dangerous situations like Cuba Bay of Pigs invasion that almost lead to WWIII, or the Shah of Iran fiasco leading to the Mullahs.  Now that Trump takes what they say and do with a grain of salt, these same liberals suddenly are heaping praise on the CIA almost making them infallible.  It's pathetic. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 18, 2019, 10:34:42 pm
I'm sure that he says he's done all that.

Your leading statement is odd. How can Russia be a bulwark against China? Russia's economy is puny, they are not a world player, Trump just thinks it is, probably because they are the only place on earth that is willing to lend him money. No US bank will touch him because he doesn't pay back loans. Oh wait, does that make him smart?

Why is China a future adversary? They are a current major trading partner is what they are.

Why does the US need to increase its military spending when its armed forces are already the size of the next 5 (10?) countries' forces combined? Do you need your military to be the size of the next 20 countries' combined? 30? When will you feel safe?




Not because of their economy but due to their military prowess through nuclear arms and other sophisticated weapons.  Also, their long border with China and large army.    Having Russian troops along that border with friendly relations with America will help hold China in check.  But first, we have to turn around our relations with them.  Because of the constant collusion charges against Trump all for political reasons, he has be unable to do that hurting American security interests. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 18, 2019, 10:45:43 pm
...Do you need your military to be the size of the next 20 countries' combined? 30?

Of course. In the next world war, we might need to fight all 20-30 of them, given the current state of animosity toward the US ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 19, 2019, 12:08:48 am
Of course. In the next world war, we might need to fight all 20-30 of them, given the current state of animosity toward the US ;)

Regrettably, Trump is not helping to counteract that sentiment.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 04:23:32 am
Oh, by the way, James, your presidential candidate, AOC, is so much more qualified and suited for the job, right? I mean, in your view, after Trump, even a retard like her can’t be worse, right? 😉

P.S. political teasing aside, I hope we are still friends :)

Since when has AOC been a presidential candidate? More fake news?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 19, 2019, 04:44:03 am
Since when has AOC been a presidential candidate? More fake news?

Unfortunately :-(
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 19, 2019, 05:55:05 am
This explains why we have a problem with what SOME say. Their "reasons" are exactly why people like Trump.

You bet. And would like him to do more of that,  without being sabotaged every step of the way.

Of course.

I think I posted before that we tend to give too much credit to presidents for the state of the economy. So you won't have me subscribed to the above. However, the above contains a fallacy that needs to be addressed: trajectories do not last forever. Given that the doomsday scenario predicted a market crash and deep recession in case he is elected, continuing the trajectory is a success.

A faction!? Just the majority of people in the majority of states.

Really? I though that the number of individual votes was agaist him, but the US sytem of grouping them together worked to his advantage.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 19, 2019, 06:37:30 am
Really? I though that the number of individual votes was agaist him, but the US sytem of grouping them together worked to his advantage.

Rob

Yes - that is what Slobo said. You can win 2 votes to 1 in 3 states, and lose a million to one in the 4th, and still win the election (numbers exaggerated, obvs, put the point is the same!!)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 19, 2019, 07:04:14 am

Not because of their economy but due to their military prowess through nuclear arms and other sophisticated weapons.  Also, their long border with China and large army.    Having Russian troops along that border with friendly relations with America will help hold China in check.  But first, we have to turn around our relations with them.  Because of the constant collusion charges against Trump all for political reasons, he has be unable to do that hurting American security interests.

You believe that Russia on your side? Is this anything other than wishful thinking?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 19, 2019, 07:22:12 am
Unil Trump, most liberals hated the CIA and complained constantly about how evil they were getting us into dangerous situations like Cuba Bay of Pigs invasion that almost lead to WWIII, or the Shah of Iran fiasco leading to the Mullahs.  Now that Trump takes what they say and do with a grain of salt, these same liberals suddenly are heaping praise on the CIA almost making them infallible.  It's pathetic.

This is non-argument. It's entirely irrelevant what "liberals" thought (or think for that matter) of the CIA. I certainly don't speak for American "liberals". I can see however what they might have had against the incursions into other countries by the CIA in the past. This is not directly connected to the intelligence that they gathered (or gather now), which can still be useful information on which to base decisions.

So what you seem to be saying is that it's ok for Trump to take foreign policy advice from the crown prince's of religious dictatorships instead of his own employees because that pisses "liberals" off, and that makes you feel good.

You asked for my personal views at one point. I don't regard my views on these matters as even close to relevant, and they're certainly not important. This is mostly why I tend to provide links to material provided by very knowledgeable people and it confuses me why you don't want to be exposed to them. But my very personal view of this issue anyway, coming from my irrelevant gut feel, is that the crown prince's of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. and Putin are wily international operators and Trump is a babe in the woods and they're playing him like a puppet.

What leader hires his family as his chief aides and consultants? What knowledge did any of them have of the world? What leader leaves large areas of his own important services without appointed bosses (Pentagon is the latest)? What leader goes through appointees as rapidly as he does? Who would invest in a company when the CEO generated more senior staff turnover than a pancake house?

Please don't reply to this with another "What about Obama, or what about Hilary or even more silly What about AOC?" I don't care about any of them.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 08:53:42 am
You believe that Russia on your side? Is this anything other than wishful thinking?

It's 'naive' (to put it mildly) to think so.

BTW, they are competitors to the USA for delivering Natural Gas.
So Europe can now choose the cheaper or more reliable supplier (whichever is more relevant at a certain moment in time), depending on the European strategic goals. The USA has become an increasingly unreliable partner, since it started demonstrating that it will unilaterally pull out of trade agreements and other treaties.

But then, there's not much in the constitution about that.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 08:57:17 am
[...] the crown prince's of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. and Putin are wily international operators and Trump is a babe in the woods and they're playing him like a puppet.

+2

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 19, 2019, 09:06:17 am
Yes, and Europe always has been so successful at international relations. especially with regard to Germany and Russia.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 19, 2019, 09:16:19 am
It's 'naive' (to put it mildly) to think so.

BTW, they are competitors to the USA for delivering Natural Gas.
So Europe can now choose the cheaper or more reliable supplier (whichever is more relevant at a certain moment in time), depending on the European strategic goals. The USA has become an increasingly unreliable partner, since it started demonstrating that it will unilaterally pull out of trade agreements and other treaties.

But then, there's not much in the constitution about that.

Cheers,
Bart


Trump is more aware of the potential security issues than Germany regarding the gas line currently being installed from Russia that Europe will have to depend on  in the future.  How will Europe stand up to Russia in a pinch when they can threaten shutting off your heat?  Yet you and others accuse Trump as being naive in dealing with Russia.  You'll put your faith in Russia over America when we're in your country defending you against Russia?  What naivete and hypocrisy. 
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-13/why-world-worries-about-russia-s-natural-gas-pipeline-quicktake
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 19, 2019, 09:25:15 am
+2

Cheers,
Bart


+3

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 19, 2019, 09:40:25 am
You'll put your faith in Russia over America   

Yep. That's the Trump effect!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 10:29:20 am
Since when has AOC been a presidential candidate? More fake news?

Fortunately, James Clark was too smart to fall for this obvious metaphorical trap, but luckily we have other forum members to happily volunteer.

AOC is the de facto leader of the Democratic Party and presidential king maker. Anyone she chooses to win the nomination would only be her proxy on the throne, keeping it warm for her until she matures enough (as it is ever going to happen) to run for President.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 10:33:06 am
... So what you seem to be saying is that it's ok for Trump to take foreign policy advice from the crown prince's of religious dictatorships...

A classic strawman argument.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 19, 2019, 10:36:37 am
Frankly, I think the world is waking to a new reality: old allies might never have been friends as such; they may simply have been playing the cards they thought, at the time, might suit their own tribal interests best. The problem is population: as we love to screw around so much, we are too many, and with not enough useful space and resources to go round, all of which eventually ends up as yet another existential crisis nations face.

The more technology advances, the fewer of us become necessary and the greater the number surplus to requirements. We create unemployment across the board, for the highly skilled as for the others. Global war was once a semi-natural way of resolving some of the procreation issues, but the nuclear deterrent has put paid to that old solution, so minor battles come along for fear of mutual annihilation if anyone steps that step too far. So you end up with struggles as in Syria where deaths are large in number, but nobody outside really gives much of a damn, other than as a means to gaining a new foothold as, with Russia, another outlet to warm seas. We lose real shops and create online, faceless institutions that are struggling to become monopolies so that they can then abandon competition and milk the public dry, the objective of most business models that deal with the public; why else would anyone have anything to do with it?

In order to keep unemployment figures low, MacJobs are created in civvy street, and/or the military continues to take people into its arms even when it costs more to train them for two years of compulsory "service" than there is work or need for them. Governmental book-faking and figures massage. If youth has little prospect of working its way to a reasonable standard of life, no wonder it goes underground and takes to crime and the accompanying violence that scares reasonable people off the streets at night. 

My friend, the Cuban tenor player, was having lunch today at the same place as I, and I stopped to chat on my way out. His take was that as there are so many robots working for us now, the pensions deficits might be solved by making the buggers pay taxes and National Health contributions too. I thought that Boris might take that up if he hears of it, or unless Farage thinks of it first. I think my musical friend was playing a little scherzo of the mind...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 19, 2019, 10:41:14 am
A classic strawman argument.


In the context he wrote that, no. It's valid, and demonstrates the political use of situation ethics yet again.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 10:41:31 am
Who would have been a better choice.  A fact which at this point is painfully obvious.  Honestly, I can't even figure out what the complaint would be now.  Before it was how you can't trust her - she lies.  Or how her Clinton Foundation was supposedly corrupt. Or OMG her emails.  I mean, Trump has done all of those things and far worse just since assuming office.  And of course his supporters don't care now.  Surprise.  The debt ceiling?  Non issue.  Unauthorized personal electronic device? So what. Trump Foundation?  Actually forced to dissolve under court supervision.  And on and on and on and on.

The hypocrisy is astounding.
Unfortunately, it is wasted on the True Believers (good to read Eric Hoffer's short but wonderful book on this subject).  Just look at what happened at his campaign rally in Orlando yesterday.  Just a lot of lies and revisits of memes that roil up the crowd (really, is "...lock her up..." worth anything these days?).  Trump is at best a narcissistic amoral individual who cannot abide to be with anyone smarter than he is.  If you are, the exit light will quickly flash.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 10:44:01 am
Since when has AOC been a presidential candidate? More fake news?

Cheers,
Bart
The one who posted the original comment and to whom I don't read or directly respond ignores the convenient fact that Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez is not old enough by the Constitution's standards to run for President.  Perhaps he does not understand "original intent."
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 19, 2019, 10:47:49 am
Unfortunately, it is wasted on the True Believers (good to read Eric Hoffer's short but wonderful book on this subject).  Just look at what happened at his campaign rally in Orlando yesterday.  Just a lot of lies and revisits of memes that roil up the crowd (really, is "...lock her up..." worth anything these days?).  Trump is at best a narcissistic amoral individual who cannot abide to be with anyone smarter than he is.  If you are, the exit light will quickly flash.

Alan, it's like the Catholic v. Protestant thing in Northern Ireland and the West of Scotland. AFAIK few of those people go to either church, but that prevents not violent hatreds based on those empty aisles.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 10:48:54 am
The one who posted the original comment and to whom I don't read or directly respond ignores the convenient fact that Congresswomen Ocasio-Cortez is not old enough by the Constitution's standards to run for President.  Perhaps he does not understand "original intent."

Dream on, buddy.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 10:53:18 am

The more technology advances, the fewer of us become necessary and the greater the number surplus to requirements. We create unemployment across the board, for the highly skilled as for the others.

My friend, the Cuban tenor player, was having lunch today at the same place as I, and I stopped to chat on my way out. His take was that as there are so many robots working for us now, the pensions deficits might be solved by making the buggers pay taxes and National Health contributions too.
This is the point that Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang has been making.  Look at the demise of retail with eCommerce websites.  We replace salespeople and buildings with the Internet and large warehouses that are going to be largely robotic.  Truck drivers will be replaced with self driving cars and call centers are moving out of the US so fast it's not funny.  I had an issue with GoDaddy several weeks ago when they had a server outage that corrupted my and a lot of other websites.  It took six calls to various tech reps in India before someone finally understood the issue and fixed it.  Look at the auto industry, not to mention President Trump's beautiful coal mining that continues to lose jobs to automation.  Lots of other examples here that could be cited.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 11:12:32 am
AOC is the de facto leader of the Democratic Party and presidential king maker.

Only in your dreams (or should I say nightmares?). It's blatantly obvious why you raised her name, but discussing it with you or other Trump supporters is futile and, anyway, it has little to do with the constitution.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 11:25:23 am
...anyway, it has little to do with the constitution.

The Constitution has everything to do with it, as our resident know-it-all said:

... Ocasio-Cortez is not old enough by the Constitution's standards to run for President...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 11:31:41 am
The Constitution has everything to do with it, as our resident know-it-all said:

No, you're wrong, you only used her name as a distraction.
It was not because you wanted to debate what qualifies people to run for president.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 11:45:00 am
No, you're wrong, you only used her name as a distraction.
It was not because you wanted to debate what qualifies people to run for president...

James Clark started that debate when he argued that the current occupant is not qualified to be the president. In that context, mentioning AOC "qualifications" is a perfectly legitimate part of the debate, whether metaphorically, in this election cycle, or literally, in the next (if she doesn't go down in flames in the meantime, like the other left's darling with the equally catchy and short name, β or something).
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 19, 2019, 11:48:49 am
James Clark started that debate when he argued that the current occupant is not qualified to be the president. In that context, mentioning AOC "qualifications" is a perfectly legitimate part of the debate, whether metaphorically, in this election cycle, or literally, in the next (if she doesn't go down in flames in the meantime, like the other left's darling with the equally catchy and short name, β or something).

Why do you seem to obsessing over AOC?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 11:53:29 am
Why do you seem to obsessing over AOC?

Why wouldn't I? It is only the future of this country at stake. Leaving it to the capable hands of the complete retard person with learning difficulties like her doesn't bode well for that future.

EDITED for PC politeness
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 11:55:29 am
James Clark started that debate when he argued that the current occupant is not qualified to be the president. In that context, mentioning AOC "qualifications" is a perfectly legitimate part of the debate, whether metaphorically, in this election cycle, or literally, in the next (if she doesn't go down in flames in the meantime, like the other left's darling with the equally catchy and short name, β or something).

No, it's not a legitimate part of that debate, it's a transparent attempt at distraction. I'll stop playing your childish game, but I may point out fake news and distraction attempts when they occur.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 11:57:24 am
Leaving it to the capable hands of the complete retard like her doesn't bode well for that future.

Distraction alert!

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 12:01:40 pm
Distraction alert!

Bart, thanks for repeating my words, I was afraid some might miss it. Especially our resident pompous know-it-all who doesn't read mine directly.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 12:06:50 pm
Bart, thanks for repeating my words, I was afraid some might miss it. Especially our resident pompous know-it-all who doesn't read mine directly.

Attempt to get the thread closed alert!

Maybe it's time again for Slobodan to ban himself, for insulting the intelligence of the moderator and other readers ...

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 19, 2019, 12:29:29 pm
Tariffs on China starting to work as Apple iphone considers moving 30 percent of production out of that country. 
https://www.macrumors.com/2019/06/19/apple-15-30-pct-production-out-of-china-report/
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 12:37:07 pm
Attempt to get the thread closed alert!

Maybe it's time again for Slobodan to ban himself, for insulting the intelligence of the moderator and other readers ...

Cheers,
Bart
The best thing it to do what I have done, don't read any of his posts.  It's easy to skip him by just looking at the picture and scrolling onto the next post.  Let him post to his heart's content but just don't read him.  I only reply when I see someone else quoting something he erroneously writes.

Alan
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 12:39:45 pm
Tariffs on China starting to work as Apple iphone considers moving 30 percent of production out of that country. 
https://www.macrumors.com/2019/06/19/apple-15-30-pct-production-out-of-china-report/
Alan, this is not production but just final assembly that is being looked at.  The manufacturing capacity for the critical iPhone parts requires sophisticated plants and those are in China.  the only major things that have moved out of China to date are shoes and apparel manufacturing which are far easier to re-locate.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 12:45:31 pm
... It's easy to skip him by just looking at the picture and scrolling onto the next post...

Excellent idea!
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 19, 2019, 12:46:00 pm
Alan, this is not production but just final assembly that is being looked at.  The manufacturing capacity for the critical iPhone parts requires sophisticated plants and those are in China.  the only major things that have moved out of China to date are shoes and apparel manufacturing which are far easier to re-locate.
Regardless, Chinese are losing their jobs.   It will make the leaders more sensitive to making a deal with America. That's what the tariffs are suppose to do.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 12:56:34 pm
I've already notified the moderator but just want to publicly call out someone who posts on this forum for expropriating a copyrighted image into his profile.  I don't find this in the least bit funny.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 12:58:13 pm
... expropriating a copyrighted image into his profile...

Please send me the name of the photographer, I'd be happy to pay him.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 01:02:02 pm
Please send me the name of the photographer, I'd be happy to pay him.

Not a selfban, but a ban is in order.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 01:18:18 pm
Damn, under the pressure from the moderator, I have to revert to my ugly mugshot (at the age of 30) instead of that distinguished gentleman's portrait :(
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 01:53:11 pm
Really? I though that the number of individual votes was agaist him...

Yes, Rob, the American public hates him ;)

Quote
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, often known for challenging President Trump and his associates, pointed out on Tuesday that Democrats aren't pulling in the same crowd sizes as the president.
"Why don't the Democrats pack the stadiums the way the president does?"...

His comments came on the same night that Trump drew a massive crowd for hisre-election rally in Orlando, Florida. Some Trump supporters even arrived 40 hours in advance, lining up for a chance to see Trump at the rally.
Fox News producers also reported that Trump appeared to fill the Orlando Amway Centerwhich holds about 20,000 people. That would have dwarfed former President Barack Obama's crowd size of 14,000 during his reelection announcement in 2012. In less than 24 hours after Trump's re-election announcement, he also raised a record $24.8 million.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 02:23:25 pm
... Please don't reply to this with another "What about Obama, or what about Hilary...

Ok, you have a point, but just one more, please? Pretty please?

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 19, 2019, 02:54:37 pm
I've already notified the moderator but just want to publicly call out someone who posts on this forum for expropriating a copyrighted image into his profile.  I don't find this in the least bit funny.

Then you lack a sense of humour. It was a joke. Obviously.

Not a selfban, but a ban is in order.

Nonsense.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 19, 2019, 03:34:08 pm
Then you lack a sense of humour. It was a joke. Obviously.

And one in extremely bad taste.

Quote
Nonsense.

I take copyright issues very seriously, and even the slightest attempts at personality theft or impersonation of others on this forum need to be nipped in the bud, IMHO of course.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 03:51:02 pm
Then you lack a sense of humour. It was a joke. Obviously.

Jeremy
Nice response from a lawyer who ought to have respect for intellectual property.  Perhaps they don't take these things seriously in England but then I've always found English humour wanting ever since Monty Python called it quits.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 04:33:59 pm
... I take copyright issues very seriously...

Me too. Ever heard of the Fair Use doctrine? If not:

Quote
In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.

https://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 19, 2019, 05:07:23 pm
Then you lack a sense of humour. It was a joke. Obviously.

Nonsense.

Jeremy


In the past few days, Slobodan has used the term "pompous pricks" in reference to other forums participants. He used the word "pompous" in another context but I can't find it right now. He used the expression "retard" in two posts regarding AOC. Then he fiddled with someone's avatar.

I, for one, do not think that he should be banned. Having worked in software development in a previous life, you have to go a LOT farther than that to offend my sensibilities. This is partly why I usually stay out of discussions concerning appropriate public (forum) behaviour, as I am able to tolerate much more than the average person and therefore have nothing much useful to say in these matters.

The only comment I make is that the bar does seem to be lower these days.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 05:28:03 pm
...The only comment I make is that the bar does seem to be lower these days.

I've been just going with the flow, Robert. We heard recently, on this forum, that the term "ass" (as in "don't be an ass") is acceptable and has much less derogatory meaning, especially in the UK, than I expected. I also get PMs when people think it is ok to go further and call me "arshole." I assumed that a term for the 180 degrees from an arshole is ok then.

I am just blending in, you see. On the other hand, I didn't know that "pompous" is a prohibited word. Nor "retard" for a public figure.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 19, 2019, 05:34:38 pm
Nor "retard" for a public figure.
It just depends on how offensive you are comfortable being.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 05:38:04 pm
It just depends on how offensive you are comfortable being.

As offensive as others are when referring to the sitting President.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 19, 2019, 05:48:32 pm

I, for one, do not think that he should be banned. Having worked in software development in a previous life, you have to go a LOT farther than that to offend my sensibilities. This is partly why I usually stay out of discussions concerning appropriate public (forum) behaviour, as I am able to tolerate much more than the average person and therefore have nothing much useful to say in these matters.

Agreed

The only comment I make is that the bar does seem to be lower these days.

eh.. it ebbs and flows.  :D.   Since the subject is the American Constitution, I can assure everyone that the language used by the Founders as they debated the document in question was not one iota less pointed that what's being thrown about here, and to our credit, no one has yet demanded satisfaction of another ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 19, 2019, 06:07:10 pm
... no one has yet demanded satisfaction of another ;)

That would be going a bit far.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 19, 2019, 06:34:03 pm
I've been just going with the flow, Robert. We heard recently, on this forum, that the term "ass" (as in "don't be an ass") is acceptable and has much less derogatory meaning, especially in the UK, than I expected. I also get PMs when people think it is ok to go further and call me "arshole." I assumed that a term for the 180 degrees from an arshole is ok then.

I am just blending in, you see. On the other hand, I didn't know that "pompous" is a prohibited word. Nor "retard" for a public figure.

Sad to hear about private messages with that tone, but at least they were private messages. So as far as that goes, it doesn't concern public forum etiquette (unless there is an interdiction about that as well in the forum rules) nor does it concern any of the rest of us.

I am not concerned with prohibited words as such. George Carlin already visited this. In the long run what people choose to write will only reflect on them. If you want to call someone pompous, go ahead, but "pompous prick" slides up pretty closely up against personal insult. You can do that, and the forum admins can allow it, up to you guys, but it may have the effect in the long run of driving people away from forum participation, which defeats the purpose of having forums.

Personally, I find the use of the word "retard" rather deliberately offensive, but as others point out that's your schtick. I assume you use it to piss off "liberals" and "lefties". That's not a political correctness argument, it's just bad taste, imo. Whatever point you were trying to get across about AOC by using the word was devalued by using the word. But you can do that if you want, no skin off my nose.

In another post above you raised concerns about how people speak about the current President. I understand why people would want some decorum there, in principle, but as I've said before, that ship sailed a long time ago. After referring to an entire country as rapists and drug dealers, tossing paper towels at a press conference re the hurricane in Puerto Rico and many many other other examples, requiring or even just hoping for decorum towards the guy just isn't going to happen. He set that tone and seems to revel in it, so be it. He has never been a subtle guy, so what's the point of insulting him in a subtle manner?  :)

When people call your president names, it's often in the context of pointing out something he said or did, but not always. You have referred to AOC and her policies/beliefs in a derogatory manner a few times, but I don't remember (could easily have missed a thread) a discussion of them, so at least readers would have some context of why you think that. As it stands, you simply called her names. That doesn't bother me much, as you say, she's a public figure and it seems to go with that territory these days, but repeated name calling alone won't carry much weight. 

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 07:53:42 pm

Personally, I find the use of the word "retard" rather deliberately offensive, but as others point out that's your schtick. I assume you use it to piss off "liberals" and "lefties". That's not a political correctness argument, it's just bad taste, imo. Whatever point you were trying to get across about AOC by using the word was devalued by using the word. But you can do that if you want, no skin off my nose.
My daughter is a special education teacher working in a title one elementary school.  Many of her students have challenges and this term has cavalierly been used in the past to refer to such students.  It is indeed offensive and should have no place in civil discussion.  If the person who used this wanted to be taken seriously, he/she would avoid such pejorative language.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 19, 2019, 08:21:34 pm
My daughter is a special education teacher working in a title one elementary school.  Many of her students have challenges and this term has cavalierly been used in the past to refer to such students.  It is indeed offensive and should have no place in civil discussion.  If the person who used this wanted to be taken seriously, he/she would avoid such pejorative language.

The problem I have with saying that the word retard is offensive (as opposed to saying that the way in which someone may use it is offensive) is that it was not offensive when it was first developed, but only developed that negative connotation after students started using it to make fun of other students.  Same thing with moron; it was a medical term originally and only became negative after people started using it that way. 

So now we cant use retard anymore to describe people who are mentally retarded, and instead have to say mentally challenged.  Only now kids are using mentally challenged to make fun of someone.  So in another 20 years we will be at the same place with mentally challenged.  What word will we use then I have to wonder?  ???
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 19, 2019, 08:39:13 pm
“Idiot” is a medical term as well.

When I use the word “retard” to describe someone, it is actually a compliment to those who are medically mentally retarded.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 19, 2019, 09:56:56 pm
The problem I have with saying that the word retard is offensive (as opposed to saying that the way in which someone may use it is offensive) is that it was not offensive when it was first developed, but only developed that negative connotation after students started using it to make fun of other students.  Same thing with moron; it was a medical term originally and only became negative after people started using it that way. 

So now we cant use retard anymore to describe people who are mentally retarded, and instead have to say mentally challenged.  Only now kids are using mentally challenged to make fun of someone.  So in another 20 years we will be at the same place with mentally challenged.  What word will we use then I have to wonder?  ???
The American language is full of pejoratives that are no longer in common use as well as some mainstream terms that are not frowned upon but are usually not used (I'm sure that the primary example of an American minority is familiar to everyone and does not need to be repeated here).  The language and usage is constantly evolving and what once might have been ill-usage is no longer.  You draw and example between retard and moron but these terms had different patterns of evolution.  Today 'moronic' is in common use and one often finds it in crossword puzzles, the same cannot be said for retard.  'Mentally challenged' is an umbrella word that can cover lots of things.  Comedians often come up with zinger 'dumb' jokes which are often funny and intended to poke fun.  The same cannot be said about the use of the word 'retard' to describe someone.  You really need to examine the nuance.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 20, 2019, 03:18:48 am
And one in extremely bad taste.

I don't agree. Look at the context. In any event, taste is subjective.

I take copyright issues very seriously, and even the slightest attempts at personality theft or impersonation of others on this forum need to be nipped in the bud, IMHO of course.

Impersonation? What drivel. Slobodan's name appeared over the snapshot. Immediate resort to hyperbole does nothing to advance an argument.

Nice response from a lawyer who ought to have respect for intellectual property.  Perhaps they don't take these things seriously in England but then I've always found English humour wanting ever since Monty Python called it quits.

Whose "intellectual property"? It's a snapshot of someone who may or may not be you, taken by someone who almost certainly wasn't you and who may or may not have been working at the time for someone who as a result may own the copyright.

For what it's worth, my own view is that Slobodan's transient use of the photograph fell very comfortably within "fair use". There was no infringement of copyright.

Your view of English humour is of immense concern to me.

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 20, 2019, 03:20:44 am
So now we cant use retard anymore to describe people who are mentally retarded, and instead have to say mentally challenged.  Only now kids are using mentally challenged to make fun of someone.  So in another 20 years we will be at the same place with mentally challenged.  What word will we use then I have to wonder?  ???

We already are: the currently approved euphemism is "with learning difficulties".

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 20, 2019, 03:23:00 am
What drivel.

Is this a comment as a forum member, or as a moderator?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Jeremy Roussak on June 20, 2019, 03:30:18 am
Is this a comment as a forum member, or as a moderator?

Either. Both. Add "as a possessor of common sense"; "as a realist"; "as someone not prone to hysteria".

Jeremy
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 20, 2019, 03:49:50 am
Either. Both.

Interesting concept.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 20, 2019, 08:26:46 am

The politically correct language police can go too far, pretty much everyone goes too far if you let them, but the impulse to not cause discomfort to those who are least able to defend themselves seems like a decent thing to do to me. People used to ridicule people with certain cognitive problems, so a language change emerged to help stop this behaviour. A writer/speaker can still call them "retards" but more and more people in the listening audience will be repulsed when they do.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 20, 2019, 09:43:16 am
As offensive as others are when referring to the sitting President.

Slobodan, you know perfectly well that office alone does not confer respect; respect has to be won or, at the very least, earned.

Your man has done neither: he has, as with our own Boris, behaved like a buffoon but without the saving grace of humour. In pretty much everything international he disregards agreements, breaks the solemnly given word of your country, and yep, I am prepared to admit that appeals to two broad types of voter: the ignorant my-arms-are-thicker-your-arms redneck; the hopeless political absolutist.

Behaviour like that has one ultimate fate: it distances everybody else in the world, because even those with whom he seeks to sleep know that they will never, ever be able to trust a goddam word he says to them or a paper he signs. That's his legacy.

It is also a mistake to take disgust with Trump as being tantamount to disgust with the entire Republican Party. Never before has the distance between the two entities looked so wide.

Regarding the Democrats: where do they get international airplay? Even the so-called Fake Noos channels seem devoid of interest in them one way or the other. If Mrs Clinton made one massive mistake last election time, it was in her public image: she appeared like Pinocchio's mother's original stump of tree. As for that open mouth à la glamour girl, the stabbing, pointed finger at nobody at all in the crowd, pleeeeas. But it's catching: Trump, has picked up on it too, poor man.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 20, 2019, 09:48:23 am
The politically correct language police can go too far, pretty much everyone goes too far if you let them, but the impulse to not cause discomfort to those who are least able to defend themselves seems like a decent thing to do to me. People used to ridicule people with certain cognitive problems, so a language change emerged to help stop this behaviour. A writer/speaker can still call them "retards" but more and more people in the listening audience will be repulsed when they do.

Yes, but this will only start to develop with the new terms as well, eventually.  Like I said, years ago I was told that mentally retarded was no longer an acceptable term to use, due to the negative connotations.  At that time, I was told that mentally challenged was the new and more appropriate word.  It was not long after hearing that I heard student using mentally challenged in the same way mentally retarded was use when I was in school.  So, obviously, the new word, regardless of how well intentioned creating it was, developed a negative connotation. 

It is impossible to avoid this. 

George Carlin on PC Nonsense  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asZ1R-Xylj4)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 20, 2019, 10:08:38 am
Yes, but this will only start to develop with the new terms as well, eventually.  Like I said, years ago I was told that mentally retarded was no longer an acceptable term to use, due to the negative connotations.  At that time, I was told that mentally challenged was the new and more appropriate word.  It was not long after hearing that I heard student using mentally challenged in the same way mentally retarded was use when I was in school.  So, obviously, the new word, regardless of how well intentioned creating it was, developed a negative connotation. 

It is impossible to avoid this. 

George Carlin on PC Nonsense  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asZ1R-Xylj4)

Thanks for the link: have posted it off to somebody badly in need of it!

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 20, 2019, 10:09:53 am
Slobodan, you know perfectly well that office alone does not confer respect; respect has to be won or, at the very least, earned.

Your man has done neither: he has, as with our own Boris, behaved like a buffoon but without the saving grace of humour. In pretty much everything international he disregards agreements, breaks the solemnly given word of your country, and yep, I am prepared to admit that appeals to two broad types of voter: the ignorant my-arms-are-thicker-your-arms redneck; the hopeless political absolutist.

Behaviour like that has one ultimate fate: it distances everybody else in the world, because even those with whom he seeks to sleep know that they will never, ever be able to trust a goddam word he says to them or a paper he signs. That's his legacy.

It is also a mistake to take disgust with Trump as being tantamount to disgust with the entire Republican Party. Never before has the distance between the two entities looked so wide.

Regarding the Democrats: where do they get international airplay? Even the so-called Fake Noos channels seem devoid of interest in them one way or the other. If Mrs Clinton made one massive mistake last election time, it was in her public image: she appeared like Pinocchio's mother's original stump of tree. As for that open mouth à la glamour girl, the stabbing, pointed finger at nobody at all in the crowd, pleeeeas. But it's catching: Trump, has picked up on it too, poor man.

Rob
The US President doesn't approve treaties.  The US Senate does.  World leaders and diplomats know that and take their chances with President--only formulated deals. After all, after 4 or maybe 8  years, a president is replaced.  He's got nothing to say about what future presidents do. However, with a Senate approved treaty, the subsequent president is bound constitutionally to honor the treaty. 

The Iran treaty is a perfect example. Obama never went to the Senate to get approval with the deal he agreed too.  He didn't think it would pass.  So he kept his finger's crossed and hoped for the best.  He was wrong.  That's the whole point of Senate approval.  It prevents presidents who think they're a king from making personal deals.  It also obligates future presidents.  Obama never gave the word of our country.  He ignored our constitutional rules.  It would be like your PM deciding on Brexit on her own.

Regarding  other countries keeping their word, may I remind  you that more than half of Europe's NATO countries still are not paying 2% of their GDP towards defense as they promised.  In fact, in some cases the percentage is decreasing.  So when Trump calls you out on it and threatens to pull out of NATO, you complain he's not "rolling" over like previous presidents have and accepting it.  How about it if Europe kept their word? Well, that's why so many red necks appreciate him.  He's not letting others take advantage of America's largesse and niceness. He plays tough like others do and you're just not use to it. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 20, 2019, 11:48:38 am
The politically correct language police can go too far...

Case in point:
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 20, 2019, 11:55:48 am
And the vulgarity continues. As expected.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Goldhammer on June 20, 2019, 01:00:56 pm
And the vulgarity continues. As expected.
Some individuals never outgrow their teenage years. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 20, 2019, 01:25:25 pm
Some individuals never outgrow their teenage years. 

And some were 17 going on 70 the whole life.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 20, 2019, 03:41:46 pm
My late teens were the best years of my life.

Then, my late twenties became the very best years of my life until I hit my mid-forties and went AWOL in the Med. From then onwards there was no doubt that things just got better and better until they imploded and yeah, the best years of my life will be in the next life.

Gotta look on the bright side - there really may be one somewhere else.

:-)

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: degrub on June 20, 2019, 07:27:00 pm
sorry, couldn't resist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Wx230gYJw
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: kers on June 21, 2019, 02:43:29 pm
The Iran treaty is a perfect example. Obama never went to the Senate to get approval with the deal he agreed too.  He didn't think it would pass.  So he kept his finger's crossed and hoped for the best.  He was wrong.  That's the whole point of Senate approval.  It prevents presidents who think they're a king from making personal deals.  It also obligates future presidents.  Obama never gave the word of our country.  He ignored our constitutional rules.  It would be like your PM deciding on Brexit on her own.
Last night mr Trump almost started a war in the middle east...
A war that could be easely greater than the war in Irak where about a million people were killed, mostly young Irakis that were send to war.
This new war could be even nuclear with Israel and Iran as participant.
Apparantly you do not need the Senates approval to start a war...  A war far away from the US and very close to Europe. I want OBAMA !
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 21, 2019, 04:19:02 pm
Everyone who said trump is dangerous, erratic, and would start wwiii was just proven wrong.   He canceled a planned retaliatory attack. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 21, 2019, 04:25:52 pm
Everyone who said trump is dangerous, erratic, and would start wwiii was just proven wrong.   He canceled a planned retaliatory attack.

Well Alan...That looks like erratic...
Sorry for intruding
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 21, 2019, 05:10:06 pm
Everyone who said trump is dangerous, erratic, and would start wwiii was just proven wrong.   He canceled a planned retaliatory attack.

Word is Donald may have been persuaded to cancel the action by Fox News’ Tucker! Okay, so gotta admit, Fox “News” did good. Still, with John “WWIII” Bolton whispering in the big D’s ear, we should all try to persuade any family member from joining the military unless most of Washington’s scions are in uniform too.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 21, 2019, 05:17:27 pm
Well. If Iran does another shootdown or something,  then when Trump retaliates,  everyone will say he was very patient and everyone will blame Iran.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 21, 2019, 05:27:16 pm
Last night mr Trump almost started a war in the middle east...
A war that could be easely greater than the war in Irak where about a million people were killed, mostly young Irakis that were send to war.
This new war could be even nuclear with Israel and Iran as participant.
Apparantly you do not need the Senates approval to start a war...  A war far away from the US and very close to Europe. I want OBAMA !


It's useless. You can't get through: nobody can.

The nuclear deal the civilized world (which included the USA that day) signed up to with Iran is now an aberration by a man called Obama. It was illegal for him to have signed up - we are told - but the rest of the world was led to believe it was honourably valid, and so it now looks as if Trump is not the first American president to fake not only news, but deals too! Goodness me, how the plot thickens!

Yet, some-magic-how, that's not making America look and behave untrustworthy at all, only clever and great at deals! Right.

Like climate change: myth, dear boy, myth! All those gasses we pump out go away into a gravity-defying cloud and head for the nearest black hole. Absolutely no effect on Earth at all! Nothing to worry about! Again, right.

So some truths are good fibs and some lies are truths in disguise. And you thought nobody could make it up?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 21, 2019, 05:49:01 pm

It's useless. You can't get through: nobody can....

Rob, I can only wish that the condescending tone toward Alan is taken down a notch. Alan has been patiently, and very politely, giving you in a nutshell one side of the story. If you want to believe only the other side, that is fine, but that does not invalidate the aspect of the situation that Alan provides.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 21, 2019, 06:22:38 pm
Rob, I can only wish that the condescending tone toward Alan is taken down a notch. Alan has been patiently, and very politely, giving you in a nutshell one side of the story. If you want to believe only the other side, that is fine, but that does not invalidate the aspect of the situation that Alan provides.
Alan's opinion is Alan's opinion.. It is not an "aspect of the situation."
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 21, 2019, 06:37:27 pm
Rob, I can only wish that the condescending tone toward Alan is taken down a notch. Alan has been patiently, and very politely, giving you in a nutshell one side of the story. If you want to believe only the other side, that is fine, but that does not invalidate the aspect of the situation that Alan provides.

I'm confused. It looked like Rob was answering to kers, not to Alan.  :o
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 21, 2019, 06:44:20 pm
Well. If Iran does another shootdown or something,  then when Trump retaliates,  everyone will say he was very patient and everyone will blame Iran.

Not everyone, Alan. Donald owns this mess. By reneging on the nuclear deal, the US has made it clear the only option for Iran is a regime change. My guess it will take down as many players it can before it succumbs to that.

So Donald had his moment of fatuous braggadocio with his “fire and fury” nonsense and now with an adversary that is willing to really fight, the idea of coffins draped with the American flag has exposed him as someone who’s been anywhere but in the Oval Office.

PS  My cynical side would say that the only thing Donald truly cares about is his image and his money. The way he insulted John McCain as a veteran suggests that death in service to your country is of no consequence to him.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 21, 2019, 06:50:33 pm
I'm confused. It looked like Rob was answering to kers, not to Alan.  :o

It doesn’t surprise me at all that you are confused. Try reading again. It helps. Sometimes.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 21, 2019, 08:08:18 pm
Well. If Iran does another shootdown or something, [...]

Who says it was Iran and not, say, Saudi Arabia? Or, what evidence do you have that it even happened?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 21, 2019, 09:09:39 pm
Who says it was Iran and not, say, Saudi Arabia? Or, what evidence do you have that it even happened?

Cheers,
Bart
Iran admitted it shot down the American drone.  The only disagreement is that Iran claims it was in Iranian space and the US claims it was over international waters.  Frankly, I felt Trump should have done something to respond and will be forced to if another incident occurs.  Otherwise he will lose all credibility as Obama did with his "red line" regarding Syria.   No one will take him seriously. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 21, 2019, 09:12:43 pm
Rob, I can only wish that the condescending tone toward Alan is taken down a notch. Alan has been patiently, and very politely, giving you in a nutshell one side of the story. If you want to believe only the other side, that is fine, but that does not invalidate the aspect of the situation that Alan provides.

Thanks for the support.  You've taken a lot of heat too. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 21, 2019, 09:25:01 pm
Not everyone, Alan. Donald owns this mess. By reneging on the nuclear deal, the US has made it clear the only option for Iran is a regime change. My guess it will take down as many players it can before it succumbs to that.

So Donald had his moment of fatuous braggadocio with his “fire and fury” nonsense and now with an adversary that is willing to really fight, the idea of coffins draped with the American flag has exposed him as someone who’s been anywhere but in the Oval Office.

PS  My cynical side would say that the only thing Donald truly cares about is his image and his money. The way he insulted John McCain as a veteran suggests that death in service to your country is of no consequence to him.

Trump ran and was elected president on his promise to pull out of both the Iran agreement and climate change Paris agreement, both signed unilaterally and unconstitutionally by Obama.  Call it what you want.  America is not a party to a treaty until it is ratified by the US Senate, which did not occur.  America does not want treaties without Senate advise and consent.  That's what happened in Iran and Paris.  Obama thought he was being cute but he knew he wouldn't get Senate approval for either of them. 

Now, if Iran would sign a new deal forever giving up their desire to obtain nukes, Trump and the US Senate would sign a treaty with Iran tomorrow and remove all sanctions and their regime would be untouched. 

Regarding Paris, if China and India were included and there were some method of enforcement, Trump would consider renegotiating Paris.  Currently Paris requires nothing of those two countries until 2030 who produce 37% of the world's CO2.  Paris punishes the rest of us while China especially can continue to "pollute" and actually increase their CO2 production. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 21, 2019, 11:13:35 pm
Quote
One of President Trump's most vocal critics offered rare praise for him on Friday after he backed away from a military strike on Iran.

"I do applaud Trump’s decision not to carry out what would have been a disproportionate strike that would have led to 150 or so fatalities," former CIA Director John Brennan told MSNBC on Friday
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: BobShaw on June 22, 2019, 03:41:39 am
Iran admitted it shot down the American drone.  The only disagreement is that Iran claims it was in Iranian space and the US claims it was over international waters.  Frankly, I felt Trump should have done something to respond and will be forced to if another incident occurs.
Possibly the fact that he didn't answers the disagreement?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 04:29:50 am
It doesn’t surprise me at all that you are confused. Try reading again. It helps. Sometimes.

Slobodan, Slobodan!!!
You did it again...
Why are you so obsessed with that rabanito-bashing?

Look at the attachment... Isn't Rob quoting kers?
Is poor rabanito so wrong being confused?
Tsk-Tsk...

rabanito's English is poor, that's easy for anybody to notice. And so it's easy to make fun of him.
BUT: Why instead of using that (using your own vocabulary) "condescending tone" you just "take it down a notch" and help him to understand??   ;D ;D

Look, just as an example: I play chess. But I'll never beat a GM unless he's drunk. That doesn't make me furious or frustrated against them. That's just the way it is.
Buy yourself a mirror and look into it, Slobodan. You'll do yourself a favor.
Biting continuously on granite just ruins the teeth.
Let's stay friends  ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: kers on June 22, 2019, 04:33:44 am
The last thing the world needs is another war in the Middle East.
a completely unneccesary one.

It took 10 years of talking with many leaders around the world to accomplish the Iran treaty.
Iran gets a better economy & the world an Iran without nuclear arms.
The treaty was controlled and Iran kept its promises as did the other parties.

Trump showed all parties involved that the US is not faithful partner to make a treaty with. ( and showed that repeatedly)
Iran showed restrain and kept its promises up until now, a year after Trump withdrew and put new sanctions on Iran.
Now the US, Saudi Arabia, armed to the teeth by the US, and Israel seem to be ready for war with Iran.
They only have to find a good reason to start it so they try to provoke Iran into some mistake.

- remember the last Irak war;
The US said there were weapons of mass destruction in Irak- the UN-commitee that controlled Irak said there were not.
Still the war was pushed through. about a million Iraki soldiers died - even worse - no party was/is interested to count them.
The US not for obvious reasons and the Irak government for obvious reasons.
Also the country was destroyed by bombs destroying 4000 years of man made history and civilisation.
Politically it was and is still a mess in wich IS found ground to develop.

Iran has never started a war. It has defended itself in the Irak- Iran war - in a time the 'ally' Saddam Houssein was armed by the US and Europe in a way Saudi Arabia is armed now.
Those weapons will start a life of their own -as the Iraki arms of Saddam Houssein did, the US and Russian arms still do in Afganistan.
The people in Jemen are the first victims of those arms.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: kers on June 22, 2019, 04:39:18 am
...
Now, if Iran would sign a new deal forever giving up their desire to obtain nukes, Trump and the US Senate would sign a treaty with Iran tomorrow and remove all sanctions and their regime would be untouched. 
...
Iran did just that in the treaty rejected by Trump - the US.

about forever...
Trump showed that a deal with the US only lasts one year. You cannot trust the US anymore.
Iran still keeps its part of the treaty up until now, despite the new US sanctions.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 22, 2019, 06:47:01 am
Iran admitted it shot down the American drone.

a drone  after multiple warnings that it was invading Iranian airspace, at least that is the Iranian side of the lies that both parties are spreading. Do we even know if it was operated by American or Arabic controllers? We know nothing, except for what they want us to believe.

And do you really think there was only one drone in the air? So even selectively shared Radar tracks may not tell the real story.

Let's not be gullible, especially when human lives are at stake.

Quote
No one will take him seriously.

I'll refrain from commenting on that.

BTW., it's the US who unilaterally broke the internationally supported agreement, which Iran upheld, and the US imposed sanctions on anybody who does business with Iran. Do you really thnk that deliberately wrecking a sovern nation's economy (by request of Israel and Saudi Arabia?) is the best way to preserve peace in the middle East?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 22, 2019, 07:14:39 am
Rob, I can only wish that the condescending tone toward Alan is taken down a notch. Alan has been patiently, and very politely, giving you in a nutshell one side of the story. If you want to believe only the other side, that is fine, but that does not invalidate the aspect of the situation that Alan provides.


And how I wish you were still able to read and digest both sides of the American argument as well as you did in your link to our own version of your guy: Boris.

Alan does not listen; he's as open to hearing the other side as is a Rangers man willing to sit down in a Celtic pub.

If it sounds condescending, it's a measure of frustration at the rubber wall against which opinion and/or argument is cast.

And no, I don't expect you to agree with that view.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 22, 2019, 08:06:58 am
Trump ran and was elected president on his promise to pull out of both the Iran agreement and climate change Paris agreement, both signed unilaterally and unconstitutionally by Obama.  Call it what you want.  America is not a party to a treaty until it is ratified by the US Senate, which did not occur.  America does not want treaties without Senate advise and consent.  That's what happened in Iran and Paris.  Obama thought he was being cute but he knew he wouldn't get Senate approval for either of them. 

Now, if Iran would sign a new deal forever giving up their desire to obtain nukes, Trump and the US Senate would sign a treaty with Iran tomorrow and remove all sanctions and their regime would be untouched. 

Regarding Paris, if China and India were included and there were some method of enforcement, Trump would consider renegotiating Paris.  Currently Paris requires nothing of those two countries until 2030 who produce 37% of the world's CO2.  Paris punishes the rest of us while China especially can continue to "pollute" and actually increase their CO2 production.

The agreement was a non-binding deal, not a treaty. Of course, had it been a treaty Donald would have needed senate approval to reverse it.  ::)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 22, 2019, 09:01:15 am
a drone  after multiple warnings that it was invading Iranian airspace, at least that is the Iranian side of the lies that both parties are spreading. Do we even know if it was operated by American or Arabic controllers? We know nothing, except for what they want us to believe.

And do you really think there was only one drone in the air? So even selectively shared Radar tracks may not tell the real story.

Let's not be gullible, especially when human lives are at stake.

I'll refrain from commenting on that.

BTW., it's the US who unilaterally broke the internationally supported agreement, which Iran upheld, and the US imposed sanctions on anybody who does business with Iran. Do you really thnk that deliberately wrecking a sovern nation's economy (by request of Israel and Saudi Arabia?) is the best way to preserve peace in the middle East?

Cheers,
Bart

Not only preserve peace in the Middle East but retain the faith of the fellow western allies! Suddenly, the US, in body of Trump, is putting the screws onto people who have been its faithful (some might say blind) supporters for as long as anyone can remember. That's the new face of "special relationships", guys!

Remember you saw it first writ large in orange.

As for the cold logic of the US distancing Europe: does Mr T imagine that possible strikes may only come via Alaska? (Think Omaha Beach etc, when Hitler imagined the closest crossing, Calais, the logical point of attack.) Europe is full of early-warning sites; out tallest mountain in Mallorca, at 1445 metres, featured twin domes, US-built and run; today, I can only see one, which may or may not be an upgrade: they don't consult me, but maybe they consult another LuLa scribe. :-) I'm certain Gibraltar is not sitting idle as nothing but a low-grade accontancy haven, either, and the US airforce bases on the mainland just there for the summer weather, the female tourists and sangria, nor just the good of Europe alone.

Turning good, foreign relations sour because of pique or local vote-seeking intentions says more about the turncoat than the others.

If you want a parallel, then look no further than our mirror in Boris and what the Tories, my old party of choice, has become: their openly stated, over and over again, objective in trying to elect Boris as next PM has nothing to do with what the majority in Parliament has shown repeatedly to be their belief in the wisest choice for the country, but an attempt to win the next general election. In other words, fuck the country's long-term interests, let's cater to the tiny majority of voter that wants to commit collective suicide; it might switch all its vote to New Tory and keep us in great sinecures.

It has certainly lost my potential vote, should I ever again be in a position to exercise it, which they clearly don't want me to be able to do, or they would not have disenfranchised me and thousands more from the original Brexit decision vote. Who needs the opinion of somebody with actual experience of what it all means?
 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 22, 2019, 10:36:15 am
Iran did just that in the treaty rejected by Trump - the US.

about forever...
Trump showed that a deal with the US only lasts one year. You cannot trust the US anymore.
Iran still keeps its part of the treaty up until now, despite the new US sanctions.



The deal allows Iran to start building nukes again in a few years.  Useless.  That's why the US Senate would not ratify Obama's deal and make it a treaty that America and future presidents would have to support.  Obama figured Clinton would win the presidency and continue the "deal". The Iranians knew better and worried about the "deal".  I'm sure they pressed Obama to get Senate approval but he couldn;t.  So they kept their fingers crossed and lost when Trump was elected.  Meanwhile, they're raising the consistency of nuclear materials against the "deal" and promises they made to Europeans and have attacked Japanese and other non-American ships in the Gulf of Hormuz. What have the Japanese done to them? 

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 22, 2019, 10:41:20 am

And how I wish you were still able to read and digest both sides of the American argument as well as you did in your link to our own version of your guy: Boris.

Alan does not listen; he's as open to hearing the other side as is a Rangers man willing to sit down in a Celtic pub.

If it sounds condescending, it's a measure of frustration at the rubber wall against which opinion and/or argument is cast.

And no, I don't expect you to agree with that view.




No one here every changed their mind on any subject.  Maybe we can at least agree on that point. :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 22, 2019, 11:09:21 am
a drone  after multiple warnings that it was invading Iranian airspace, at least that is the Iranian side of the lies that both parties are spreading. Do we even know if it was operated by American or Arabic controllers? We know nothing, except for what they want us to believe.

And do you really think there was only one drone in the air? So even selectively shared Radar tracks may not tell the real story.

Let's not be gullible, especially when human lives are at stake.

I'll refrain from commenting on that.

BTW., it's the US who unilaterally broke the internationally supported agreement, which Iran upheld, and the US imposed sanctions on anybody who does business with Iran. Do you really thnk that deliberately wrecking a sovern nation's economy (by request of Israel and Saudi Arabia?) is the best way to preserve peace in the middle East?

Cheers,
Bart


Iran has been a bad actor in the Middle East.  They and their proxies have stirred up war and conflict in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and half a dozen other countries with their terrorist activities.  The last thing we need is for them to be allowed to develop nukes in a few years which they would be allowed to do under the current "deal".  What would "peace" look like when that happens?  Better we nip it in the bud before they actually get the bomb. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 22, 2019, 11:49:12 am
The other problem, Alan, is that if Iran actually gets close to a bomb, Israel isn't going to have any choice. If they want to continue to exist they're going to have to put a stop to that. At that point Israel's going to HAVE to consider using nukes to eliminate the threat. That's an existential threat to the whole world.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 22, 2019, 11:53:15 am
... help him to understand??...

The briefest explanation is: you were reading the lines, I was reading between the lines ;)

Proof? How about directly from the horse's mouth (not that I imply that Rob looks like a horse, God forbid, it is just a saying):

... Alan does not listen...

I'll give you one thing, rabanito. I have an unfair advantage. I've been reading Rob's posts since forever, it seems. I consider him a friend, in spite of the recent divergent political stances. I know his writing style. He is good with a pen (even keyboard). He is a Brit. As the saying goes, Brits are too polite to be honest, and the Dutch are too honest to be polite. Serbs are much, much closer to the Dutch, by the way. When Rob attempts a dig at someone, he will rarely name that someone. But careful reading between the lines, or previous posts, even posts in different threads, will tell you who Rob had in mind.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 22, 2019, 12:07:46 pm
The agreement was a non-binding deal, not a treaty. Of course, had it been a treaty Donald would have needed senate approval to reverse it.  ::)

Ah, Omer, ruining a perfect mud fight with facts ;)

Here is another example of the difference between agreements and treaties. Bosnia before the recent Bosnian war. Leaders of the three communities in Bosnia met to discuss how to avert a war and share the power peacefully. They were Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Serbs, and Bosnian Croats. They agreed. There was a collective sigh of relief in the region. Just a minor detail: the agreement had to be approved by respective parliaments. Bosnian Serbian side and Bosnian Croatian side approved the agreement. Then something happened before the session of the Bosnian Muslim parliament. Someone came to visit them. American Ambassador. Clinton's ambassador.  He told them something. They didn't approve the agreement. The war ensued.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 22, 2019, 12:19:40 pm
Better we nip it in the bud before they actually get the bomb.

You mean, to start a war in the Middle East?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 12:35:16 pm
The briefest explanation is: you were reading the lines, I was reading between the lines ;)

As I said in my original posting, I was confused. You didn't answer to that but digressed.
"Reading between the lines" can be also called "speculation"
As Sgt. Joe Friday used to say: "Just the facts, ma'am"


Proof? How about directly from the horse's mouth (not that I imply that Rob looks like a horse, God forbid, it is just a saying):
Proof? Who asked for a proof? It's not THAT important. If you say so it's OK with me.
But you didn't.

There is a kind of people who prefer "being right" than "finding the truth"
Among them are many adolescents. But not only  ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 22, 2019, 12:53:31 pm
The deal allows Iran to start building nukes again in a few years.

Utter nonsense. The deal doesn't do anything like that.

Instead, the deal expires, and a new (similar) deal can be made because everybody was happy about the state of affairs and everybody stuck to the agreed terms. Iran didn't pursue the development of a nuclear capability, and in return, there is trade that will bring prosperity to Iran which keeps the new generation of Iranians happy and less hostile towards 'the West', and its own government.

Quote
That's why the US Senate would not ratify Obama's deal and make it a treaty that America and future presidents would have to support.

More nonsense. The Republican-dominated Senate had a formal policy to torpedo any proposal by the Obama administration, even if they did agree with a proposal under a previous Republican administration. That's why it never became a formal treaty.

Put the blame where the blame belongs if you have to blame somebody.

Quote
Meanwhile, they're raising the consistency of nuclear materials against the "deal" and promises they made ...

Deal? There is no more deal. The USA unilaterally ended it.

The reason? Saudi Arabia promised to buy more weapons.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 22, 2019, 01:50:54 pm
So that tells you what European newsmedia are reporting.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 22, 2019, 01:55:51 pm
You mean, to start a war in the Middle East?

Cheers,
Bart
Iran with a nuclear bomb will be a much more dangerous adversary. 
Think about what more of a mess the Middle East will be if Iran had a nuclear bomb.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 22, 2019, 02:05:06 pm
European news media is available online for all to see, unless like some outlets everywhere, payment is expected. But that's natural: production costs money, just like for LuLa and for me. If the latter bit surprises, ask yourself: does the Internet come for free? Nope, costs contracted money every month with no way to avoid that other than to close down all communication systems one has other than post.

A good one, especially for debates, is France24.com and it also has a vast list of past programmes that can be watched. I've never had to pay a thing to access, so I expect the same applies everywhere.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 02:28:10 pm
So that tells you what European newsmedia are reporting.
Russ I've read on this issue FAZ, SD, NZZ, Le Monde, The Guardian and the Americans NYT, WP and Foreign Affairs and all say more or less the same. Similar lines
Often the Europeans just cite the Americans.
They are there for anyone to read
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 22, 2019, 02:40:17 pm
Russ I've read on this issue FAZ, SD, NZZ, Le Monde, The Guardian and the Americans NYT, WP and Foreign Affairs and all say more or less the same. Similar lines
Often the Europeans just cite the Americans...l

Hahahahaha...

Haha...

Ha...

But f course, they cite the ultra-left Americans.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 22, 2019, 03:09:12 pm
So that tells you what European newsmedia are reporting.

????

Do you mean that Fox news Propaganda doesn't tell you what's actually going on?

Try this for a change:
Quote
Saudi Arabia seeks to fight Iran “to the last American,” by luring it into a war with the Islamic Republic
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-behravesh-iran-commentary/commentary-why-trumps-arab-nato-plan-wont-curb-iran-idUSKBN1KZ21C

One might also wonder what Jared Kushner's role in all this is ...

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 22, 2019, 03:21:36 pm
And amidst of it all, still no new Secretary of Defense, not even one acting as one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFKNiyNSE24

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 22, 2019, 03:24:54 pm
Russ I've read on this issue FAZ, SD, NZZ, Le Monde, The Guardian and the Americans NYT, WP and Foreign Affairs and all say more or less the same. Similar lines
Often the Europeans just cite the Americans.
They are there for anyone to read

It's all fake news, Rab. Been that way for decades now. The Clintons can do no wrong. Obama can do no wrong. Algore can do no wrong. Reagan can do no right. The Bushes can do no right. And Trump -- My GOD! He's tearing the country apart. It's all bullshit. Look at the "polls." Trump is behind against Buttiegig? As Sarah Palin would say, "You betcha." The fact, which has been pointed out by a couple people who actually THINK, is that the people who are gonna vote for Trump in the next election won't say so, no matter what kind of poll is asking them the question. Considering the insanity on the left, would you? Of course not. Nobody with an ounce of sense would stick his neck out that far. I just hope the Dem candidates keep up the hubbub. They're looking sillier and sillier by the hour. What would really cinch the next election for Trump would be impeachment by the Dems. Bring it on.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 04:03:39 pm
Hahahahaha...

Haha...

Ha...

But f course, they cite the ultra-left Americans.

The important thing is not whether they are right or left
but whether they are right or wrong.

Agree?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 22, 2019, 04:14:23 pm
It's all fake news, Rab. Been that way for decades now. The Clintons can do no wrong. Obama can do no wrong. Algore can do no wrong. Reagan can do no right. The Bushes can do no right. And Trump -- My GOD! He's tearing the country apart. It's all bullshit. Look at the "polls." Trump is behind against Buttiegig? As Sarah Palin would say, "You betcha." The fact, which has been pointed out by a couple people who actually THINK, is that the people who are gonna vote for Trump in the next election won't say so, no matter what kind of poll is asking them the question. Considering the insanity on the left, would you? Of course not. Nobody with an ounce of sense would stick his neck out that far. I just hope the Dem candidates keep up the hubbub. They're looking sillier and sillier by the hour. What would really cinch the next election for Trump would be impeachment by the Dems. Bring it on.
This explains more about your views on street photography than your posts on street photography.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 22, 2019, 04:29:45 pm
The important thing is not whether they are right or left
but whether they are right or wrong.

Agree?

This sounds too logical. Where's the catch?  ;)

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 04:44:49 pm
This sounds too logical. Where's the catch?  ;)

Cheers,
Bart

No catch
Just my opinion that generalizations like "they are ultra-left Americans" implying something negative per se are not a good basis for intelligent debate.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 22, 2019, 04:57:17 pm
... generalizations like "they are ultra-left Americans" implying something negative per se...

You betcha.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 22, 2019, 04:57:37 pm
No catch
Just my opinion that generalizations like "they are ultra-left Americans" implying something negative per se are not a good basis for intelligent debate.

Ultras are almost always wrong.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 05:14:08 pm
Ultras are almost always wrong.
You're right but in this case the (dis-)qualification came from a layman, as it is very often the case.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 22, 2019, 05:51:35 pm
You're right but in this case the (dis-)qualification came from a layman, as it is very often the case.

Every time I feel down, I go to YouTube and watch experts (i.e., non-laymen) explain how there is no chance in Hell Trump would win, including those with 90% certainty Clinton would. Expert after expert, pundit after pundit. Journalists, diplomats, political scientists, etc.

That said, although I do not claim I am an expert, I am not a layman either. I was educated in the East, and I was educated in the West. I lived and work under socialism, and under capitalism. I read socialist newspapers and I read capitalist ones. It certainly gives me a different perspective than those who only read about it, if at all.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 22, 2019, 06:26:04 pm
It appears we’ve been played. Both the Iran and refugee deportation actions have been put on hold, and not only that but Iran now could be a great place!

Well.

Obviously Carlson is a better adviser than either Mike or John, or at least he knows exactly what Donald really cares about. How ‘bout a Trump tower in Tehran? Yep.

And see what a humanitarian Donald is, he’s allowing refugee families a two week reprieve giving Nancy and Mitch some time to... hmm... consider how to twist this to their advantage.

Yep, Donald (with a some help from Carlson) always knows how to pass the buck and make money doing so. Nicely done, ‘gotta admit.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 22, 2019, 06:33:20 pm
That said, although I do not claim I am an expert, I am not a layman either. I was educated in the East, and I was educated in the West. I lived and work under socialism, and under capitalism. I read socialist newspapers and I read capitalist ones. It certainly gives me a different perspective than those who only read about it, if at all.

That's great Slobodan.
BUT
A person who qualifies say, the NYT as "ultra-left", probably doesn't know really what "ultra-left" can be.
Something comparable to the socialist regimes you know? Or the socialist papers you read?
Come on... 8)
That's confusing
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 22, 2019, 07:45:13 pm
Every time I feel down, I go to YouTube and watch experts (i.e., non-laymen) explain how there is no chance in Hell Trump would win, including those with 90% certainty Clinton would. Expert after expert, pundit after pundit. Journalists, diplomats, political scientists, etc.

That said, although I do not claim I am an expert, I am not a layman either. I was educated in the East, and I was educated in the West. I lived and work under socialism, and under capitalism. I read socialist newspapers and I read capitalist ones. It certainly gives me a different perspective than those who only read about it, if at all.

Expert: A drip under pressure.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 22, 2019, 07:51:39 pm
The NYT and WP have for decades favored big government,  social programs,  Democrats,  and the left.   They particularly hate Trump.   Their news is biased against him regularly.   95% of their readership despiseTrump.   Just read their comments after the news articles.

Unfortunately,  the world's media repeat their articles.   So the world gets a distorted view of America and Americans.

Read the Washington Times fir a different perspective.   Bart suggested Reuters to me a couple of years ago for a more factual and balanced news source.   Generally I have with him
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 22, 2019, 08:26:51 pm
... A person who qualifies say, the NYT as "ultra-left", probably doesn't know really what "ultra-left" can be.
Something comparable to the socialist regimes you know? Or the socialist papers you read? ...

Let me help you. The comparison is in American terms. What’s left in America is probably touching right-of-center in Europe.

American Democrats were “the left” something like 15-20 years ago. Heck, my daughter reminds me that I was pro-Democrats when we arrived to America. She asked what changed. While I changed a bit, getting better and smarter with years, like a good wine :), the Democrats changed a lot, to the point that it would be unrecognizable 15-20 years ago. That’s what makes them “ultra-left,” in comparison with themselves, not “socialist regimes.” 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Peter McLennan on June 22, 2019, 09:16:17 pm
Ultras are almost always wrong.

Well said.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 22, 2019, 10:55:11 pm

Iran has been a bad actor in the Middle East.  They and their proxies have stirred up war and conflict in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and half a dozen other countries with their terrorist activities.  The last thing we need is for them to be allowed to develop nukes in a few years which they would be allowed to do under the current "deal".  What would "peace" look like when that happens?  Better we nip it in the bud before they actually get the bomb.

Can you name a "good" actor in the Middle East?

One good thing about Iran though is that the 9/11 hijackers weren't from there. :)



Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 22, 2019, 11:58:27 pm
Can you name a "good" actor in the Middle East?

One good thing about Iran though is that the 9/11 hijackers weren't from there. :)





Yup.  Frankly we should pull out of the ME completely and let the players sort it out by themselves.  We'd save a lot of money we could spend on infrastructure and medical care in America.  We probably should pull out of Europe too and let the countries there handle whatever.  They have the money and strength for it now and that would give us even more money to deal with the Pacific and China.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 04:07:54 am
Let me help you. The comparison is in American terms. What’s left in America is probably touching right-of-center in Europe.


There were other hidden conditions. This is a discussion in "American Terms". Now I understand--- 8)
Next time it could be "Texan Terms" against "NY Terms" and so on ad infinitum

And now enter Relativity

Using your reasoning if Democrats (Center Right in Europe) are "ultra left" in America, then the Republicans, wide right from the Democrats (European Center Right) would fall automatically on the "Ultra-right" in Europe, something like Hitler (imagine for simplicity changing the WB with the eyedropper. You choose a white point and the other colors fall relative to it - for this reasoning)

I don't see it like that. America is still a great democracy.

Of course this kind of debate brings us nowhere.
Let's do some more Great Photography instead?  ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 23, 2019, 05:03:17 am
There were other hidden conditions. This is a discussion in "American Terms". Now I understand--- 8)
Next time it could be "Texan Terms" against "NY Terms" and so on ad infinitum

And now enter Relativity

Using your reasoning if Democrats (Center Right in Europe) are "ultra left" in America, then the Republicans, wide right from the Democrats (European Center Right) would fall automatically on the "Ultra-right" in Europe, something like Hitler (imagine for simplicity changing the WB with the eyedropper. You choose a white point and the other colors fall relative to it - for this reasoning)

I don't see it like that. America is still a great democracy.

Of course this kind of debate brings us nowhere.
Let's do some more Great Photography instead?  ;)


Who's gonna cast that first stone?

There has been nothing new or great here for years; there has been nothing great or new almost anywhere I've looked recently. Frankly, it's as if everybody has deserted photography and has become camera/lens/tricks and Photoshop testers instead. What there is, however, is a raised standard of general stuff.

I broke my fast and bought Italian Vogue again some while ago, and all it had was Steven Meisel doing parodies of Steven Meisel. Anybody looked at the Pirelli Calendars of late? Where the friggin' magic these past ten or more years?

The medium seems to me to be as exhausted as I am. At least it makes me feel less like I'm alone in that sad state. The only photographic buzz that's still able to grip me comes from websites showing work by a few of the old greats. To me, they did stuff that's still timeless.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 23, 2019, 07:12:22 am
America is still a great democracy.

American democracy seems to be defined by what divides people, not by what unites them.

Not exactly what I would label as 'great'.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 23, 2019, 07:25:19 am
America is still a great democracy.

The United States is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic ("if you can keep it" as Ben Franklin said). The French had a democracy after their revolution. Didn't work out too well. Unfortunately, our ignorant left is trying to push us toward becoming a democracy. Several leftist states have abandoned the idea of the Electoral College and say they'll give their state electoral votes to the candidate with a nationwide majority. That approach may run into a small problem with the Supreme Court, but it's an attempt to bring down our Republic.

America is a great constitutional republic.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 23, 2019, 09:57:51 am
Congrats, rabanito, you just confirmed the Godwin’s Law.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 10:24:00 am
The United States is not a democracy. It's a constitutional republic ("if you can keep it" as Ben Franklin said). The French had a democracy after their revolution. Didn't work out too well. Unfortunately, our ignorant left is trying to push us toward becoming a democracy. Several leftist states have abandoned the idea of the Electoral College and say they'll give their state electoral votes to the candidate with a nationwide majority. That approach may run into a small problem with the Supreme Court, but it's an attempt to bring down our Republic.

America is a great constitutional republic.

The funny thing is that one day, a left Democrat state who has that rule, will have to give their State's electoral vote to the Republican candidate because he got the national popular vote even though their State's local popular vote went for the Democrat.  Watch how fast they do away with that law.

It will make the 2000 Florida "chad" debacle kid's play.  All the State's will be suing themselves in federal court to have the SUpreme Court find their own statutes unconstitutional so they could reverse their electoral votes and give them to the Democrat.  Then the Supreme COurt will be called biased whatever their decision.  What a mess it will be.  Frankl, they should rule the State can apportioned their electoral vote however they want and keep hands off.   

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 23, 2019, 10:33:19 am
The problem is that the state's voters end up disenfranchised, Alan. The first time a state actually does this and a lawsuit ensues, the thing's gonna zip through the court system and end up in the hands of the Supremes almost immediately, just as Algore's attempt to subvert the electoral process in Florida zipped to the Supremes. Ain't no way this is gonna hold up under the Constitution. We went through this whole argument when the Constitution was adopted.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 10:37:30 am
American democracy seems to be defined by what divides people, not by what unites them.

Not exactly what I would label as 'great'.

Cheers,
Bart
Division and difference of thought is what democracy is all about.  No country of 330 million people think alike.  Doesn't your country and others have many parties?  What's the popular percentage vote of the PM when he is elected?  Probably less votes than Trump got.   

American democracy is "great" in that people still influence politics and power.  It hasn't slipped into autocracy.  After 200 years, we're still a nation of laws protected by a constitutional bill of rights.  That's not bad. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 23, 2019, 10:38:19 am
The problem is that the state's voters end up disenfranchised, Alan. The first time a state actually does this and a lawsuit ensues, the thing's gonna zip through the court system and end up in the hands of the Supremes almost immediately, just as Algore's attempt to subvert the electoral process in Florida zipped to the Supremes. Ain't no way this is gonna hold up under the Constitution. We went through this whole argument when the Constitution was adopted.

People, or those for this odd pact on popular vote, seem to forget this.  There was many factions fighting over this and states' powers quite intently, and this was the compromise that was devised.  On top of it, many of the founders wrote on the subject, which would certainly be looked at by the Supremes. 

I find it unlikely that this pact, when challenged, would be allowed to stand since it goes so much against the founder's notes on the subject. 

Although it would be quite comical to see Alan's situation happen.  Another thing people forget is that State's flip flop all the time through out history.  TX use to be democratic and CA use to be very republican.  WV, which actually decided to the election for George W Bush, was a solid blue state until he got it to switch in 2000.  It just make me laugh when I see people talk (mainly liberals currently but conservatives too) about state policies as if things wont swing the other way. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 10:49:14 am
The problem is that the state's voters end up disenfranchised, Alan. The first time a state actually does this and a lawsuit ensues, the thing's gonna zip through the court system and end up in the hands of the Supremes almost immediately, just as Algore's attempt to subvert the electoral process in Florida zipped to the Supremes. Ain't no way this is gonna hold up under the Constitution. We went through this whole argument when the Constitution was adopted.

You realize of course that a lawsuit is in the cards for 2020.  They will be filed immediately.  The winner of the presidency will not be able to be known until the Supremes vote.  Another 2000 mess.  It may turn out that the Court rules their methods are constitutional.  Who knows?  After all, the Constitution does not require electors to vote one way or the other. In fact, in 2016, a bunch of Clinton "faithless" electors voted for Trump and vice versa.  Perfectly legal. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election)

So who's to say how a state decides how their electors are selected in the first place?  Well, it will be worth another thread here and we'll get lot's of foreigner's opinions on what we should do.  It's going to be a lot of fun :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 23, 2019, 10:53:17 am
You realize of course that a lawsuit is in the cards for 2020.  They will be filed immediately.  The winner of the presidency will not be able to be known until the Supremes vote.  Another 2000 mess.  It may turn out that the Court rules their methods are constitutional.  Who knows?  After all, the Constitution does not require electors to vote one way or the other. In fact, in 2016, a bunch of Clinton "faithless" electors voted for Trump and vice versa.  Perfectly legal. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election)

So who's to say how a state decides how their electors are selected in the first place?  Well, it will be worth another thread here and we'll get lot's of foreigner's opinions on what we should do.  It's going to be a lot of fun :)

I believe the pact does not actually go into effect until enough states sign on so a majority of electoral votes is guaranteed.  Right now, that pact has not gotten there yet, so any state that passed it will still have their electoral votes go to the state's winner. 

On top of this, many of the states that signed on switched democratic during the last midterms.  They could certainly switch back and cancel their alliance to it.  I cant see any relatively small swing state that is currently democratic that has aligned itself not cancelling it when the majority turns Republican.  Really this pact is only going to stay in those states that are liberal progressive states already, and more then likely there will never be enough states that sign onto it to make it actually go into effect. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 23, 2019, 11:08:46 am
You realize of course that a lawsuit is in the cards for 2020.  They will be filed immediately.  The winner of the presidency will not be able to be known until the Supremes vote.  Another 2000 mess.  It may turn out that the Court rules their methods are constitutional.  Who knows?  After all, the Constitution does not require electors to vote one way or the other. In fact, in 2016, a bunch of Clinton "faithless" electors voted for Trump and vice versa.  Perfectly legal. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election)

So who's to say how a state decides how their electors are selected in the first place?  Well, it will be worth another thread here and we'll get lot's of foreigner's opinions on what we should do.  It's going to be a lot of fun :)


And to make it even worse, it's a "foreigner" gave you the opportunity to shine forth on well over six hundred plus posts on the matter!

:-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 11:12:15 am
I believe the pact does not actually go into effect until enough states sign on so a majority of electoral votes is guaranteed.  Right now, that pact has not gotten there yet, so any state that passed it will still have their electoral votes go to the state's winner. 

On top of this, many of the states that signed on switched democratic during the last midterms.  They could certainly switch back and cancel their alliance to it.  I cant see any relatively small swing state that is currently democratic that has aligned itself not cancelling it when the majority turns Republican.  Really this pact is only going to stay in those states that are liberal progressive states already, and more then likely there will never be enough states that sign onto it to make it actually go into effect. 

It's quite complicated and will create a lot of fun in the Supreme Court as they hash it out.  To me though, it seems like it would disenfranchise a particular state's voters since their electors would be selected on how other state legislatures determine their electors rather than on their own state.  ie. a Georgian's elector would be determined by a Californian legislature.  That's where the violation of the Constitution is. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 11:14:59 am

And to make it even worse, it's a "foreigner" gave you the opportunity to shine forth on well over six hundred plus posts on the matter!

:-)

Well, it was your King George III who started this mess in the first place. :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 23, 2019, 11:24:43 am
...
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 11:35:51 am
That's not a fair representation.  Here's is a better representation of the electoral vote situation.  Each state gets two additional votes for each of their state's senators.  So while biased, it's much more slender than the original map you showed. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 11:41:02 am
Another way of looking at it.
What each popular vote is worth per electoral vote in each state.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 23, 2019, 11:45:39 am
That's not a fair representation.  Here's is a better representation of the electoral vote situation.  Each state gets two additional votes for each of their state's senators.  So while biased, it's much more slender than the original map you showed. 

I am not sure what you are contesting in the map I showed? My map shows what would happen if NO electoral college existed and only popular vote is used.

EDIT: Just to be sure, I am not advocating against electoral college, on the contrary.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 11:52:51 am
I am not sure what you are contesting in the map I showed? My map shows what would happen if NO electoral college existed and only popular vote is used.
Ok I understand, you're right.  I was looking at it from the standpoint of how it could make the electoral college look so much more unfair, when it isn't.  So I wanted to show the relative weight of the electoral college by comparison.  You popular vote map shows why candidates will only campaign in four states - California, NY, Texas and FLorida and ignore the rest of the country.  The electoral college forces them to at least think of the rest of the country and not forget their needs. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 23, 2019, 12:01:32 pm
Another infographic:

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 12:05:41 pm
Another infographic:


Not sure this means much.  There are 24 democrats running against one republican - Trump, who is also currently the president with no one running against him except maybe Weld.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 23, 2019, 12:25:41 pm

Iran has been a bad actor in the Middle East.  They and their proxies have stirred up war and conflict in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and half a dozen other countries with their terrorist activities. 

The day irony died ..
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 23, 2019, 01:02:31 pm
The day irony died ..

But their activities are against our interests.    :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 01:56:17 pm

Who's gonna cast that first stone?

There has been nothing new or great here for years; there has been nothing great or new almost anywhere I've looked recently. Frankly, it's as if everybody has deserted photography and has become camera/lens/tricks and Photoshop testers instead. What there is, however, is a raised standard of general stuff.

I broke my fast and bought Italian Vogue again some while ago, and all it had was Steven Meisel doing parodies of Steven Meisel. Anybody looked at the Pirelli Calendars of late? Where the friggin' magic these past ten or more years?

The medium seems to me to be as exhausted as I am. At least it makes me feel less like I'm alone in that sad state. The only photographic buzz that's still able to grip me comes from websites showing work by a few of the old greats. To me, they did stuff that's still timeless.

Rob

Rob, that's a figure of speech
I meant that better than nitpicking on alien subjects we should dedicate our time in what is of primary interest in this website, namely photography, great or not  ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 02:07:35 pm
America is a great constitutional republic.

Well, it is your country, you know better.

I see it from the point of view of the definitions of republic and democracy. Both conditions seem to be met.
1.Republic, form of government in which a state is ruled by representatives of the citizen body.The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy.
2.Democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

I wouldn't argue the point.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 02:17:42 pm
Congrats, rabanito, you just confirmed the Godwin’s Law.

Ah, Slobodan, those are commonplaces.
I name Hitler because it's well known. If instead I put, say, Ante Pavelić the probability that anybody recognizes it is smaller
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 23, 2019, 03:16:47 pm
You realize of course that a lawsuit is in the cards for 2020.  They will be filed immediately.  The winner of the presidency will not be able to be known until the Supremes vote.  Another 2000 mess.  It may turn out that the Court rules their methods are constitutional.  Who knows?  After all, the Constitution does not require electors to vote one way or the other. In fact, in 2016, a bunch of Clinton "faithless" electors voted for Trump and vice versa.  Perfectly legal. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_electors_in_the_2016_United_States_presidential_election)

So who's to say how a state decides how their electors are selected in the first place?  Well, it will be worth another thread here and we'll get lot's of foreigner's opinions on what we should do.  It's going to be a lot of fun :)

Happily, it's only deep blue states that are getting ready to do this. They'd vote Democrat in any case, so the result probably wouldn't change. But if, say, a majority in Colorado vote Republican and it turns out that the state's electoral college votes go to the Democrats because New York, California, and a few other high population states gave the national total to the Democrats it's gonna cause the equivalent of another civil war.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 23, 2019, 03:18:48 pm
Rob, that's a figure of speech
I meant that better than nitpicking on alien subjects we should dedicate our time in what is of primary interest in this website, namely photography, great or not  ;)

No, that is not logical: those spending their time here on this thread do so because they want to; who amongst us has the right to tell them not to, to concentrate on making snaps?

If that's what you prefer, it's your call to disappear from this thread and to pop up in others. You see? Everybody free to do as they wish.

;-)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 03:59:25 pm
No, that is not logical: those spending their time here on this thread do so because they want to; who amongst us has the right to tell them not to, to concentrate on making snaps?

If that's what you prefer, it's your call to disappear from this thread and to pop up in others. You see? Everybody free to do as they wish.

;-)

Rob, Rob, you played that tune before.
I am a friendly being.
Look:
"Of course this kind of debate brings us nowhere.
Let's do some more Great Photography instead?  ;)"


That's the text.
It's a proposal! Just that! Look at the question mark at the end of the phrase!
And it was directed to ONE person with whom I was sustaining a conversation and not to the forum anyway...
Don't you think you are overreacting?
A figure of speech mustn't be "logical".
It is "A word or phrase used in a non-literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect".
Ayayay...  :(
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 23, 2019, 04:27:48 pm
Rob, that's a figure of speech
I meant that better than nitpicking on alien subjects we should dedicate our time in what is of primary interest in this website, namely photography, great or not  ;)

I'm all for sharing great photography. But if it's not that great, I'd rather amuse and educate myself by reading some other topics.
Actually great photography and interesting political discussions are not mutually exclusive. Even on the same site.
 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 23, 2019, 04:31:08 pm
... If that's what you prefer, it's your call to disappear from this thread and to pop up in others. You see? Everybody free to do as they wish.

Sorry to see you go, rabanito 😢
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 04:54:34 pm
I'm all for sharing great photography. But if it's not that great, I'd rather amuse and educate myself by reading some other topics.
Actually great photography and interesting political discussions are not mutually exclusive. Even on the same site.
Of course you are right.
That was a friendly proposal to the person which which I was conversing, just to finish that particular debate.
Rob was probably not aware of it and reacted without knowing all the facts.
I explained the situation to him above.
And "Great Photography" is an ironical remark. That's not mine, to be sure  ;D
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 23, 2019, 05:05:12 pm
... And "Great Photography" is an ironical remark...

You are now insulting my photography too?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 05:10:59 pm
Sorry to see you go, rabanito 😢

Hehe, I got my orders from Rob. What else could I do?
And I'm easy to be bullied, as you well know.  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 23, 2019, 05:24:06 pm
You are now insulting my photography too?

Me? God forbid!
Irony: the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
The word used for the insulting expression is sarcasm
English is a very difficult language, I know ;)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 23, 2019, 06:48:20 pm
About the lack and cessation of Great Photography: Contrary to all rumours, it is still alive and thriving.
The latest Lula article / Zizka Photography shows some spectacular and very unique images. Quite different from the silky waterfalls, homeless persons, and Grand Canyon panoramas.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 24, 2019, 06:35:24 am
Let me help you. The comparison is in American terms. What’s left in America is probably touching right-of-center in Europe.

American Democrats were “the left” something like 15-20 years ago. Heck, my daughter reminds me that I was pro-Democrats when we arrived to America. She asked what changed. While I changed a bit, getting better and smarter with years, like a good wine :), the Democrats changed a lot, to the point that it would be unrecognizable 15-20 years ago. That’s what makes them “ultra-left,” in comparison with themselves, not “socialist regimes.”

Not only that, but their colours are also confusing.
Red has been traditionally a communist colour. In Canada, Liberals use bright red colour and the conservatives a blue colour. No wonder, there is so little international cooperation between the parties.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 24, 2019, 07:21:40 am
Not only that, but their colours are also confusing.
Red has been traditionally a communist colour. In Canada, Liberals use bright red colour and the conservatives a blue colour. No wonder, there is so little international cooperation between the parties.

The red color is effective, attractive and "revolutionary"
Both the NSDAP and the communists chose these colors for their banners.
Not necessarily a sign of political ideology (right or left)
Now the Nazis are almost extinct and the left are the only "reds" left (pun not intended)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 07:56:05 am
50 years ago Americans interchangeably called the communists "Reds".  Such as "The reds behind the iron curtain."  Also "Red CHina"  or "The Red Army" although you don;t hear that today about China even though they still are.  What did they call them in Europe?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 08:03:14 am
And our "neutral" media decided they didn't want the left to be branded as reds, so they started printing maps showing Republicans as red and Democrats as blue. This was a gross mischaracterization, but it fit their fake news purposes.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 24, 2019, 08:03:41 am
The Nazis are far from extinct.

The rise of the ultra-right across the first world shows that relatively clearly.

You have it in Britain, in Italy, In France, in Spain and in more European countries and Lord knows you have it in the States!

It renewed its public face with the onset of the Middle Eastern and African civil commotions and the resultant refugees, because it finally had a tangible fact that all but the wilfully blind could not avoid seeing: the changing face of the city streets and the people trying to ride trucks and trains and boats and well, probably not 'planes, to cross into Europe. In France, those refugees wise enough to know that the UK is an even softer touch, with thousands of liberal whites screaming against scanning uninvited guests, did and still do their best to get across the Channel into England. An added advantage they have is the already huge population of non-whites, a diaspora of black and brown within which all who enter illegally have little trouble disappearing, and then re-emerging with brand new identities, should they so desire, rather than stay "invisibly lost" in the crowd.

In France, at the ferry terminal ports, some locals feed these people and encourage them. Of course they do! The better their health and the fitter they are, the sooner and more able they will be to get the hell out of France and into the UK! There's nothing humanitarian about it - it's clear self-interest in moving their problem next door.

No, one cannot deny them their right to want a better life; one can deny them the ability to drop in uninvited. Recent stirs about London no longer being a "British" city, as in a white one, shows just how divided the country has become, with those with poor sight (alluded to above) chanting that 'tis not so, despite the evidence that those who live there see every day.

Unfortunately, that has all beome entangled with the idea that Brexit will supply the solution, when in fact it is totally irrelevant, as anybody who has looked at it coldly, knows. Refugee rights are limited to the first safe state of entry, so they are legally obliged to stay, for example, in Turkey, in Italy, in Greece or even Spain. They don't ride an inflatable from North Africa along the Atlantic and onto British beaches!

They clearly have no intentions of staying where they first hit "safety".

It's a deep problem, and I honestly believe it's going to end in those forseen rivers of blood.

Rob
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 08:05:45 am
And our "neutral" media decided they didn't want the left to be branded as reds, so they started printing maps showing Republicans as red and Democrats as blue. This was a gross mischaracterization, but it fit their fake news purposes.

Yeah, when did that start.  I just noticed it recently and thought that the press made it up that way.  Democrats should be "red".  I agree. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 08:13:55 am
The Nazis are far from extinct.

The rise of the ultra-right across the first world shows that relatively clearly.

You have it in Britain, in Italy, In France, in Spain and in more European countries and Lord knows you have it in the States!

It renewed its public face with the onset of the Middle Eastern and African civil commotions and the resultant refugees, because it finally had a tangible fact that all but the wilfully blind could not avoid seeing: the changing face of the city streets and the people trying to ride trucks and trains and boats and well, probably not 'planes, to cross into Europe. In France, those refugees wise enough to know that the UK is an even softer touch, with thousands of liberal whites screaming against scanning uninvited guests, did and still do their best to get across the Channel into England. An added advantage they have is the already huge population of non-whites, a diaspora of black and brown within which all who enter illegally have little trouble disappearing, and then re-emerging with brand new identities, should they so desire, rather than stay "invisibly lost" in the crowd.

In France, at the ferry terminal ports, some locals feed these people and encourage them. Of course they do! The better their health and the fitter they are, the sooner and more able they will be to get the hell out of France and into the UK! There's nothing humanitarian about it - it's clear self-interest in moving their problem next door.

No, one cannot deny them their right to want a better life; one can deny them the ability to drop in uninvited. Recent stirs about London no longer being a "British" city, as in a white one, shows just how divided the country has become, with those with poor sight (alluded to above) chanting that 'tis not so, despite the evidence that those who live there see every day.

It's a deep problem, and I honestly believe it's going to end in those forseen rivers of blood.

Rob


Isn't that one of the main arguments for Brexit?  It seems you're conflicted. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 24, 2019, 09:01:08 am
The Nazis are far from extinct.

The rise of the ultra-right across the first world shows that relatively clearly.


It depends to what degree of precision you call anybody "Nazi"
You can call Nazi a person who at their time followed that ideology
Or you can call Nazi anybody with racist traits.
Or if not racist, maybe xenophobe. Or homophobe or whateverphobe.
Just a Boo-Word to define an enemy and make it easily identifiable.
Then the Nazis are far from extinct. Under special circumstances anybody can become a nazi of this kind.
But what I was talking about is colors.
Rightist (NSDAP) and Leftists (socialists to communists) chose red as their color.
It's not what others called them but what color they chose.

It's just a color.

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 09:03:22 am
Rob, as I'm sure you're fully aware, NAZI translates as "National SOCIALIST German Worker's" party. In spite of the unfortunately successful attempts of our news media to hang that label on the right, in fact it's just another left-wing socialist title.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: rabanito on June 24, 2019, 09:13:39 am
Rob, as I'm sure you're fully aware, NAZI translates as "National SOCIALIST German Worker's" party. In spite of the unfortunately successful attempts of our news media to hang that label on the right, in fact it's just another left-wing socialist title.
You are right. But it is not less national than socialist.
It is not "international". It is a "local" - ideology, they didn't speak of "struggle of classes".
That's what Hitler wanted. To make Germany great again. (no ugly comparisons intended, but that was it) after WWI, Versailles, humiliation and the stab-in-the-back legend.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 09:17:46 am
Ah, but it was socialism at work, Rab. With socialism you always end up with a dictator, even though, as in Venezuela the dictator pretends to hold elections.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 24, 2019, 09:21:55 am
Rob, as I'm sure you're fully aware, NAZI translates as "National SOCIALIST German Worker's" party. In spite of the unfortunately successful attempts of our news media to hang that label on the right, in fact it's just another left-wing socialist title.

Well Russ, perhaps because the right includes skin heads and white nationalists who use Nazi emblems as part of their identity, and who support your beloved Donald. Funny how socialism is good when it's for whites only.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 09:31:44 am
Most of the violence in America is coming from the "left".  On campus violence to shutdown viewpoints of others who the left disagrees with is a common example.


Even before in the 1960's and 1970's, left-wing organizations like The Black Liberation Army, Symbionese Liberation Army, Weathermen, etc. were extremely violent blowing up bombs and killing people and cops.   The Nazi party was rather sedate doing little comparably.
https://www.lawfareblog.com/days-rage-1970s-americas-homegrown-violent-bomb-setting-radical-underground (https://www.lawfareblog.com/days-rage-1970s-americas-homegrown-violent-bomb-setting-radical-underground)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 09:42:09 am
Well Russ, perhaps because the right includes skin heads and white nationalists who use Nazi emblems as part of their identity, and who support your beloved Donald. Funny how socialism is good when it's for whites only.

There are just as many "wackos" on the left who are violent and support regular politicians like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.  The problem is America has two parties only.  So you have to select one of them.  So each party gets a bad wrap from the outlier groups who should all be in jail.  But 98% of the people are not in these groups or care about their politics.  The average person cares about their taxes, how can they afford to send their kid to college, health care, war, and where they're going to spend their vacation this year.  Of course the liberal anti Trump press always tries to make the links to smear the Republicans.  When a leftist does violence, ,they quickly change the subject to gun control.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 09:59:59 am
who support your beloved Donald.

Sorry, Omer. "Donald" is a long way from being my "beloved." I don't like his personality. I often wish he'd shut up. But I'll tell you this: he's exactly what we need at the moment. The Democrat coup attempt during and after his election is a clear case in point. It would have been a lot more effective against a Bush or a Romney. Against Donald it's a dud. For the first time since this crap started in the sixties we actually may see some national malefactors end up in the slam. We might even see Hillary questioned under oath. That's called "progress." Donald must be a progressive.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 24, 2019, 10:12:14 am
...  Recent stirs about London no longer being a "British" city...

You mean Londonistan?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 24, 2019, 10:35:54 am
Sorry, Omer. "Donald" is a long way from being my "beloved." I don't like his personality. I often wish he'd shut up. But I'll tell you this: he's exactly what we need at the moment. The Democrat coup attempt during and after his election is a clear case in point. It would have been a lot more effective against a Bush or a Romney. Against Donald it's a dud. For the first time since this crap started in the sixties we actually may see some national malefactors end up in the slam. We might even see Hillary questioned under oath. That's called "progress." Donald must be a progressive.

Just what we need?

I think we can all agree that our air is better than it was in the past, and as photographers having clear vistas is a good thing. So what to make of some of the EPAs standards rollbacks which will allow coal plants to emit more pollutants. And do we really want oil wells in our compositions of previously pristine landscapes?

I don’t see how that’s better.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 10:46:23 am
Frankly, Omer, when we can get India and China to rein in their pollution, THEN I’ll worry about our coal plants and oil wells. With fracking and horizontal drilling it takes damned little surface presence to generate the kind of oil production the U.S.A. now enjoys. Stuff like that pales in comparison with the crooked political stuff that’s gone on with some of our recent (I define “recent” from the viewpoint of view of 89 years) Democrat administrations. Yes. Trump, or someone like him, is just what we need at the moment, before the left pushes the United States into the kind of socialist disaster we see in Venezuela. Would I prefer somebody who’s smoother? Damn right. I’d love to see Nikki Haley as our first female president. But for the time being, Trump’s doing what has to be done.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 10:59:28 am
Just what we need?

I think we can all agree that our air is better than it was in the past, and as photographers having clear vistas is a good thing. So what to make of some of the EPAs standards rollbacks which will allow coal plants to emit more pollutants. And do we really want oil wells in our compositions of previously pristine landscapes?

I don’t see how that’s better.

Many rollbacks were needed.  Many I disagree with.  I think Obama instituted too many that were not required or created more problems than they were worth.  So now the pendulum has swung and we may be getting too many reversals.  However, despite the rollbacks, we're not going back to poisoned air or water.  Also, most of the new oil production are not from wells but from underground fracking.  Also, where wells are being dug, there aren't very many people to see them.  Also, we're getting to a point where we won;pt have to depend on Arabs for our oil.  Being oil independent like that would save a lot of American treasure and blood fighting wars in the Middle East.  They could all go to hell, then.  How much is that worth? 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 24, 2019, 11:04:44 am
Rob, as I'm sure you're fully aware, NAZI translates as "National SOCIALIST German Worker's" party. In spite of the unfortunately successful attempts of our news media to hang that label on the right, in fact it's just another left-wing socialist title.

Gosh Russ, the DPRK and the PRC must really give you fits.  Hell, DPRK has both “Democratic” AND “Republic” in the name, and as you’re so fond of pedantically pointing out, they mean significantly different things.

In reality, course, you’re likely not bothered one iota because you’ve got one of the absolute worst cases of confirmation bias I’ve ever seen, at least as far as your online persona goes. Carry on.
 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 24, 2019, 11:06:14 am
Many rollbacks were needed.  Many I disagree with.  I think Obama instituted too many that were not required or created more problems than they were worth.  So now the pendulum has swung and we may be getting too many reversals.  However, despite the rollbacks, we're not going back to poisoned air or water.  Also, most of the new oil production are not from wells but from underground fracking.  Also, where wells are being dug, there aren't very many people to see them.  Also, we're getting to a point where we won;pt have to depend on Arabs for our oil.  Being oil independent like that would save a lot of American treasure and blood fighting wars in the Middle East.  They could all go to hell, then.  How much is that worth?

All fair points Alan.  I think you’re understating the impact of fracking, but these are exactly the kind of trade offs that need to be discussed scientifically and rationally, not politically. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 11:11:31 am
...these are exactly the kind of trade offs that need to be discussed scientifically and rationally, not politically.

And you actually believe that's possible? If so, where? Certainly not in the "news media." Certainly not in Congress, which is where the work should be done. Too busy with preparations for impeachment.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 24, 2019, 11:13:22 am
... these are exactly the kind of trade offs that need to be discussed scientifically and rationally, not politically. 

That is like saying that matters of war and peace should only be discussed by soldiers.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 11:20:55 am
All fair points Alan.  I think you’re understating the impact of fracking, but these are exactly the kind of trade offs that need to be discussed scientifically and rationally, not politically. 

There are some unknowns regarding fracking's long term potential problem.  But much of the research and evidence so far is that there are not major issues.  Meanwhile, America has become the largest oil producer in the world, even beyond Saudi Arabia. The USA has driven down the cost of oil for everyone in the world.  It's cheaper for everyone to live and eat in the world, quite an accomplishment.  While we can study these things scientifically, it all comes down to politics because government regulation is politics that affect individuals and companies.    And regulations take away someone's freedoms.  So finding the "right" balance is difficult.   In any case, wouldn't it be nice to tell the Saudi prince to go shove it?  Of course, Europe would have to buy  oil from Trump which many Europeans might find just as odious. Meanwhile the Germans are building an oil pipeline to their friends the Russians.  What a crazy world.  :)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 24, 2019, 11:41:38 am
Frankly, Omer, when we can get India and China to rein in their pollution, THEN I’ll worry about our coal plants and oil wells. With fracking and horizontal drilling it takes damned little surface presence to generate the kind of oil production the U.S.A. now enjoys. Stuff like that pales in comparison with the crooked political stuff that’s gone on with some of our recent (I define “recent” from the viewpoint of view of 89 years) Democrat administrations. Yes. Trump, or someone like him, is just what we need at the moment, before the left pushes the United States into the kind of socialist disaster we see in Venezuela. Would I prefer somebody who’s smoother? Damn right. I’d love to see Nikki Haley as our first female president. But for the time being, Trump’s doing what has to be done.

So we need to catch up with China and India in bad air quality?  ::)

You know very well that fracking is not without problems, one being the pollution of underground water.

Russ, if the right concentrates on the past it will be buried, and it knows it. It’s only at Donald’s ego pep rallies where the specter of Clinton raised.

Many rollbacks were needed.  Many I disagree with.  I think Obama instituted too many that were not required or created more problems than they were worth.  So now the pendulum has swung and we may be getting too many reversals.  However, despite the rollbacks, we're not going back to poisoned air or water.  Also, most of the new oil production are not from wells but from underground fracking.  Also, where wells are being dug, there aren't very many people to see them.  Also, we're getting to a point where we won;pt have to depend on Arabs for our oil.  Being oil independent like that would save a lot of American treasure and blood fighting wars in the Middle East.  They could all go to hell, then.  How much is that worth? 

Obviously oil and natural gas are the main energy fuels we have now, but conservatives are mistaken if they believe the majority of US citizens don’t care about pollution. Rather than constantly thinking about the wars of oil, we need to give younger generations the room to create their future that will hopefully be better than our present. The EPA rollbacks are all about keeping dirty industries relevant, but to who’s benefit?

Too late for old guys like us and not good enough for our children.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 24, 2019, 11:56:26 am

Isn't that one of the main arguments for Brexit?  It seems you're conflicted.


No, no conflict in my position.

Brexit can only affect people moving legally from fellow member states; the problems of illegal migrants have nothing to do with it; don't you see the difference? It's those illegals camping at Calais, waiting to hitch a ride across the sea to England, that have rightly scared the shit out of so many Brits. But they are not European migrants; they are from Africa and the Middle East, places with no stake in the EU venture. It was the illustration of a zillion marching refugees that the Brexit camp cleverly displayed on its bus that created the fear (all of them decidedly non-whites), the blind belief that it was all Europe's fault, when the truth is that Europe is fighting the same bloody battle, too! It's as much victim of migration as is Britain, only far more so.

Those illegals will still be turning up and waiting there at Calais, UK membership of Europe or not. Is that more clear than I have been able to make it already? Brexit will not alter that in any way.

Jobs of European member nurses and doctors in Britain are under threat. What happens when or if their fear of local attack because they can't speak with some goddam regional British accent or another comes to a head, and they go back home? There has already been a murder in England of a Pole for no reason other than his being Polish. May promised them job security after Brexit; as with St Trump and Nuclear Deals, that could vanish at the change of leadership. When morality goes out of a nation's character, the evil rises unchecked, and baby, is there evil!

That's the true colour of the rabble for which Boris is standing holding a banner.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 12:00:54 pm
You know very well that fracking is not without problems, one being the pollution of underground water.

I'm still waiting for a genuine demonstration that that's true, Omer. I see our "media" and our Democrats pushing that idea, but that's about all. James Clark says we need to approach this stuff scientifically. but that's exactly what our "media" and our left-wingers are avoiding. They're into "the big lie," which originated with guess who (a national socialist). It's effective. I'll have to say that. After all, you believe it, and I've always considered you to have both feet on the ground -- well, at least a foot and a half.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 24, 2019, 12:04:53 pm
There are some unknowns regarding fracking's long term potential problem.  But much of the research and evidence so far is that there are not major issues.  Meanwhile, America has become the largest oil producer in the world, even beyond Saudi Arabia. The USA has driven down the cost of oil for everyone in the world.  It's cheaper for everyone to live and eat in the world, quite an accomplishment.  While we can study these things scientifically, it all comes down to politics because government regulation is politics that affect individuals and companies.    And regulations take away someone's freedoms.  So finding the "right" balance is difficult.   In any case, wouldn't it be nice to tell the Saudi prince to go shove it?  Of course, Europe would have to buy  oil from Trump which many Europeans might find just as odious. Meanwhile the Germans are building an oil pipeline to their friends the Russians.  What a crazy world.  :)

1. Any drilling has certain earthquake and oil spill consequences. Fracking with its high pressure techniques more than regular drilling.
2. The Nordstream pipeline is built for natural gas, not oil. Financed 50% by Russia, 50% by EU countries. Same gas as it is now carried by the pipeline through Ukraine.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 24, 2019, 12:19:55 pm
I'm still waiting for a genuine demonstration that that's true, Omer. I see our "media" and our Democrats pushing that idea, but that's about all. James Clark says we need to approach this stuff scientifically. but that's exactly what our "media" and our left-wingers are avoiding. They're into "the big lie," which originated with guess who (a national socialist). It's effective. I'll have to say that. After all, you believe it, and I've always considered you to have both feet on the ground -- well, at least a foot and a half.

Ha! There are times when I can’t tell if I have five or seven fingers:  (Marc Chagall self portrait)
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 12:22:11 pm
Don't feel like the Lone Ranger, Omer. I get into the same configuration from time to time.

Speaking of the Lone Ranger, and getting way off topic: we used to have a pawn shop in Colorado Springs that called himself "The Loan Arranger."
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Rob C on June 24, 2019, 12:22:56 pm
Fracking, drilling or otherwise, all of those sources are finite.

The sensible thing to do is to create alternatives. The oil folks know this, and some have hedged their futures as moneymakers by investing in alternative ventures. Some see that as nothing but cynical manoeuvring, but I don't agree: they are thinking ahead. The problem is, they are taking too long in the middle ground. There has to be a push to move faster.

China and India are red herrings. I would be highly surprised if China were not beavering away at alternative technologies, and one day coming up with the solutions that those who sat on their thumb will then have to buy from them. Wait, sanctions! That'll fix 'em.

If you are on a sinking ship, you don't stop closing down the bulkheads because some sections of hull are already flooded: you do your damndest to keep the entire structure afloat. You attend to the wet bits if and when you make port. If you just give up, you die.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 01:32:09 pm
True, Rob. But nobody has a clue about how long the fuels we now depend on will last. According to Jimmy Carter we were on the verge of running out of fossil fuels back in his day. We now have a lot more than we had then. At the moment the only alternative to fossil fuel energy that seems possibly accessible is nuclear. We’re not there yet. In fact we’re not even close. There may be another alternative nobody’s thought of, but at this point we can be sure neither wind nor solar is that alternative. In the end, human ingenuity always has prevailed. It’ll do it again this time.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 02:37:43 pm
True, Rob. But nobody has a clue about how long the fuels we now depend on will last. According to Jimmy Carter we were on the verge of running out of fossil fuels back in his day. We now have a lot more than we had then. At the moment the only alternative to fossil fuel energy that seems possibly accessible is nuclear. We’re not there yet. In fact we’re not even close. There may be another alternative nobody’s thought of, but at this point we can be sure neither wind nor solar is that alternative. In the end, human ingenuity always has prevailed. It’ll do it again this time.

I'm working on converting water to gasoline. Would anyone like to invest in my company?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 03:14:21 pm
The problem with wind and solar, outside the fact they’re left-wing icons, is that neither is a method of storing solar energy. Fossil fuels are such a storage method. It’s storage that we need. We need a fuel that’ll let us, like the train they call the City of New Orleans, be gone five hundred miles when the day is done. You can’t do that with an “electric” car. We’ve made amazing progress in battery storage since I was a kid, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared with what we need. The energy’s there in solar, but it’s intermittent. We can forget about wind unless we can come up with a better method of accessing it than the bird blenders we now have. People will only put up with the desecration of our prairies and the killing of birds for so long before they rebel. If we come up with a really good way to store energy we probably can use nuclear to generate it. Somewhere down the line we’ll figure it out.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 03:37:11 pm
1. Any drilling has certain earthquake and oil spill consequences. Fracking with its high pressure techniques more than regular drilling.
2. The Nordstream pipeline is built for natural gas, not oil. Financed 50% by Russia, 50% by EU countries. Same gas as it is now carried by the pipeline through Ukraine.

Les, 1. You know life is full of risk.  We kill 40,000 Americans on the road every year.  But we don;t stop driving.  Same with fracking.  There might be some downstream risk.  But meanwhile, it's providing cheap oil and natural gas, the latter which is replacing filthier coal and oil and reducing pollution.  My community of 1100 homes heats with natural gas.  No stinking oil is allowed.  Less schmutz.  More American oil will lessen the world's reliance on Middle East oil and the need to militarily protect that area.  Maybe we should let Iran shut down the Strait of Hormuz and it's oil shipments.  We'll be able to sell more American oil.  :)
2. Isn;t a pipeline through the Ukraine "safer" to western European countries than one from Russia? 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 24, 2019, 04:04:29 pm
1. At the speeds I drive, especially on the  Autobahn, I don't put any strain on the earth, so it's earthquake safe.

2. I'm no export in the pipelines. But if the Russians built it to standards of their Sputniks Soyuz vehicles, they should be safe. Almost as good as Toyotas.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 04:13:31 pm
2. I'm no export in the pipelines. But if the Russians built it to standards of their Sputniks Soyuz vehicles, they should be safe. Almost as good as Toyotas.

Until they shut off the gas.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 24, 2019, 04:33:08 pm
That's a good point, but on the other hand, it could open a new market for American-made Tesla batteries.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 24, 2019, 06:56:41 pm
Until they shut off the gas.

Which the USA would never do?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 07:17:33 pm
Illegal immigration took a hit recently in the US.  The Mexican government has finally agreed to help after a Trump threat of imposing tariffs on their exports to the US.  However, you probably haven;t read about it.  The good news about Mexico helping us decrease illegal immigration into the US will soon fall off the headlines before Trump gets too much credit.  After all, next year is another presidential election and we only want to publish bad news regarding his policies.  In case you haven;t read about it overseas, here is probably the last article you might read about it.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/adolfoflores/mexico-deploying-troops-border-stop-immigrants.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 24, 2019, 07:19:54 pm
Until they shut off the gas.

As far as I know, the Russian-Ukrainian pipeline was shut off because the Ukrainians stopped paying for gas. Which wouldn't happened with EU.
On second thought, stopping the future gas purchases from Russia could become Germany's secret weapon.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Slobodan Blagojevic on June 24, 2019, 07:30:21 pm
If I remember correctly, during the worst cold war years, Russian never threatened to cut off gas to Europe, knowing quite well that is the weapon they can only use once.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 24, 2019, 07:32:22 pm
As far as I know, the Russian-Ukrainian pipeline was shut off because the Ukrainians stopped paying for gas. Which wouldn't happened with EU.
On second thought, stopping the future gas purchases from Russia could become Germany's secret weapon.


I can just see the headlines: "Germany's NATO Forces Pass Out Wool Blankets in Preparation of Shutting Down Gas Pipeline to Russia."
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 24, 2019, 07:43:19 pm
Which the USA would never do?

Cheers,
Bart

Can't quite figure out how the U.S. could do that to a Russian pipe, Bart.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 24, 2019, 09:52:29 pm
Fracking, drilling or otherwise, all of those sources are finite.

The sensible thing to do is to create alternatives. The oil folks know this, and some have hedged their futures as moneymakers by investing in alternative ventures. Some see that as nothing but cynical manoeuvring, but I don't agree: they are thinking ahead. The problem is, they are taking too long in the middle ground. There has to be a push to move faster.

China and India are red herrings. I would be highly surprised if China were not beavering away at alternative technologies, and one day coming up with the solutions that those who sat on their thumb will then have to buy from them. Wait, sanctions! That'll fix 'em.

If you are on a sinking ship, you don't stop closing down the bulkheads because some sections of hull are already flooded: you do your damndest to keep the entire structure afloat. You attend to the wet bits if and when you make port. If you just give up, you die.

No, that is just not the case Rob.  Wind and solar farms are increadably inefficient and can never be base load power sources since they ONLY produce energy 10% to, at most, 30% of the time.  So, each and every time a new wind/solar farm is built, typically a coal/oil/gas plant is built in tandem with it.  This is why the coal/oil/gas companies invest in wind and solar; it helps them sell more oil and gas and coal. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 24, 2019, 09:59:44 pm
The problem with wind and solar, outside the fact they’re left-wing icons, is that neither is a method of storing solar energy. Fossil fuels are such a storage method. It’s storage that we need. We need a fuel that’ll let us, like the train they call the City of New Orleans, be gone five hundred miles when the day is done. You can’t do that with an “electric” car. We’ve made amazing progress in battery storage since I was a kid, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared with what we need. The energy’s there in solar, but it’s intermittent. We can forget about wind unless we can come up with a better method of accessing it than the bird blenders we now have. People will only put up with the desecration of our prairies and the killing of birds for so long before they rebel. If we come up with a really good way to store energy we probably can use nuclear to generate it. Somewhere down the line we’ll figure it out.

Storage is the least of the worries!  Production is the biggest. 

A solar or wind farm needs to be 500 times larger then a nuclear power plant to have the potential to generate the same amount of power. 

Being so large, you need cheap land to make it worth wild.  So land is often used far outside of a city, which means you need long range power lines to bring it to market.  They are expensive to build and maintain. 

Wind and solar only produce energy 10 to 30 percent of the time, so you need to build multiple farms, and multiple high transmission power lines, to make up for this. Even so, this does not take away the fact that you may just have a less sunny and windy year.  (It is a false to believe that if it is not sunny then it should be windy and vis versa.  This is not true.) 

Neither wind nor solar is by any means cheap.  It cost a lot to mine the ores and minerals.  It cost a lot to refine them.  It cost a lot to manufacture the panels or wind mills.  It cost a lot to transport them.  You need significantly more concrete, metal, glass, building materials to build these farms just because they need to be 500 times larger in size.  This make the meager energy produce more expensive to make. 

List goes on and on. 

Nuclear is it. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 24, 2019, 11:20:54 pm
You need a combination of alternative energy generation and storage.

1. Putting the solar panels of the house roofs and feeding the electrical energy into large batteries in the garage would alleviate (at least partially) the need to carry the energy over long distances.

2. Adding thermal batteries in the backyard could help in cooling and heating the house.

3. More efficient house design and better wall and window insulation would help, too.

The cumulative effect of just these 3 approaches might help a great deal.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 25, 2019, 12:01:45 am
The problem with wind and solar, outside the fact they’re left-wing icons, is that neither is a method of storing solar energy. Fossil fuels are such a storage method. It’s storage that we need. We need a fuel that’ll let us, like the train they call the City of New Orleans, be gone five hundred miles when the day is done. You can’t do that with an “electric” car. We’ve made amazing progress in battery storage since I was a kid, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared with what we need. The energy’s there in solar, but it’s intermittent. We can forget about wind unless we can come up with a better method of accessing it than the bird blenders we now have. People will only put up with the desecration of our prairies and the killing of birds for so long before they rebel. If we come up with a really good way to store energy we probably can use nuclear to generate it. Somewhere down the line we’ll figure it out.

Wind and solar energy is not stored, it’s fed into the power grid to augment what a traditional power plant generates. People with solar panels on their roof get a kind of credit for the amount of energy their panels generate into the grid.

The right is underestimating the understanding by the general public of the need to protect the environment. The devastating floods in New Orleans and Houston had no political preference, and the drought in the Southwest is occurring in red states. There is no avoiding it.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 25, 2019, 12:13:47 am
Wind and solar energy is not stored, it’s fed into the power grid to augment what a traditional power plant generates. People with solar panels on their roof get a kind of credit for the amount of energy their panels generate into the grid.

That's the current way of capturing the wind and solar energy. With large batteries, that electricity could be stored locally and only the excess would be fed into the power grid.
 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 25, 2019, 01:40:27 am
None of this works on a hot windless dark day or night when maximum electricity is required to operate air conditioning. Only the existing fossil fuel plant could provide that electricity operating at full capacity. So while you could save some consumption of fossil fuels, the cost to maintain and man and operate the full capacity traditional fossil fuel energy plant still exists.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 25, 2019, 01:49:23 am
Very true, at least for the foreseeable future. But the dependence on oil and gas could be reduced, and also some of the activities which contribute to global pollution and warming (developing new oil wells, fracking, transport of fuel, etc.). Nothing is absolute in this world, we just get more shades of gray.

   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 25, 2019, 03:12:20 am
You mean Londonistan?

Actually the thing about London being not British was from ex-comedian and current tax exile John Cleese. Lindonistan was the work of alt-right blogger and generally lowlife Katie Hopkins. For those not familiar with this pond life she started out by winning Apprentice and then found that she could make a living by writing inflammatory garbage for newspapers.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 25, 2019, 03:19:56 am
The problem with wind and solar, outside the fact they’re left-wing icons

Don’t worry, Russ, you can still watch Fox on a solar powered TV.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 25, 2019, 07:45:47 am
Don’t worry, Russ, you can still watch Fox on a solar powered TV.

However, to quote one of the 2020 Presidential Candidates:
Quote
Democrats can no more turn the clock back to the 1990s, than Republicans can return us back to the 1950's.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 07:45:53 am
You need a combination of alternative energy generation and storage.

1. Putting the solar panels of the house roofs and feeding the electrical energy into large batteries in the garage would alleviate (at least partially) the need to carry the energy over long distances.

2. Adding thermal batteries in the backyard could help in cooling and heating the house.

3. More efficient house design and better wall and window insulation would help, too.

The cumulative effect of just these 3 approaches might help a great deal.

This is all true, however it only works for single family homes with large roofs and backyards.  The majority of people today live in cities, and the trends are showing this is increasing, with little roof space per capita and pretty much zero space for thermal batteries.  Additionally, manufacturing uses significantly more energy than a residence, and the available roof space of a plant would not be able to hold enough solar panels to generate the electricity it needs, let alone produce it consistently.  So, if you really want to get rid of fossil fuels I would suggest you stop living in a fairly land and start thinking about nuclear, the only other base load power supply other than fossil fuels. 

Second, those solar roof panels only work, in terms of price, because the government has implemented both tax breaks to manufacturers and rebates to purchasers.  They would not be able to stand on there own without those. 

Third, and this is something I am surprised many environmentalist ignore, is the environmental impact.  Wind and solar farms need to be clear cut, which destroys natural habitats.  Wind mills kill large bird, many of which are threatened or endangered.  Solar panels cant be recycled (I know they are trying to figure this out in Europe, but no one has come up with a solution yet) and are usually put into land fills at their end of life.  They have high concentrations of lead, cadmium and other other toxic elements, which never loose the toxicity. 

Last, batteries are very inefficient.  When you charge a battery only to use the power later, you loose 20% to 40% of the power depending on the age, design of the battery and the length of time between charging and usage.  A modern electrical grid, powered with a base load power source, is a much better option since you are not loosing energy due to storage. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 25, 2019, 08:02:24 am
This is all true, however it only works for single family homes with large roofs and backyards.  The majority of people today live in cities, and the trends are showing this is increasing, with little roof space per capita and pretty much zero space for thermal batteries.  Additionally, manufacturing uses significantly more energy than a residence, and the available roof space of a plant would not be able to hold enough solar panels to generate the electricity it needs, let alone produce it consistently.  So, if you really want to get rid of fossil fuels I would suggest you stop living in a fairly land and start thinking about nuclear, the only other base load power supply other than fossil fuels. 

Second, those solar roof panels only work, in terms of price, because the government has implemented both tax breaks to manufacturers and rebates to purchasers.  They would not be able to stand on there own without those. 

Third, and this is something I am surprised many environmentalist ignore, is the environmental impact.  Wind and solar farms need to be clear cut, which destroys natural habitats.  Wind mills kill large bird, many of which are threatened or endangered.  Solar panels cant be recycled (I know they are trying to figure this out in Europe, but no one has come up with a solution yet) and are usually put into land fills at their end of life.  They have high concentrations of lead, cadmium and other other toxic elements, which never loose the toxicity. 

Last, batteries are very inefficient.  When you charge a battery only to use the power later, you loose 20% to 40% of the power depending on the age and design of the battery.  A modern electrical grid is a much better option since you are not loosing energy due to storage.


No one is living in a "fairy land", solar & wind are not expected by anyone to be total replacements for other methods of power generation. They will be useful in those places in which they are useful. Why do we keep having to repeat this.

As for tax subsidies of solar and wind, of what industry is that more true than of nuclear? And I am someone who is in favour of nuclear, we should be using it. Why does no one ever calculate the subsidies to Big Oil? Free market arguments don't apply, none of these society-wide technologies would ever be implemented by any corporation or group of corporations. They all require public input and wider research, things that only public bodies would ever undertake. This is a non-argument.

The re-use of discarded panels is a real issue. But so are abandoned oil and gas wells (90,000 of them in Alberta alone) so please let's not pretend this is a new problem. And clear-cutting never bothered anyone who wanted cheap lumber, so far as I can tell.

All technologies have cost and benefits, what else is new?

Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: LesPalenik on June 25, 2019, 08:06:59 am
Thanks for the interesting and valuable information, Joe. It can get indeed very complex.

However, there are a few good stories:
Apple Park's huge roof is covered completely with solar panels, and one of their solar farms is in desolate country near the town of Yerington, Nevada with low population of birds and animals. Apple with all their facilities  is now running 100% on the green energy.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40554151/how-apple-got-to-100-renewable-energy-the-right-way
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 08:19:30 am

No one is living in a "fairy land", solar & wind are not expected by anyone to be total replacements for other methods of power generation. They will be useful in those places in which they are useful. Why do we keep having to repeat this.

As for tax subsidies of solar and wind, of what industry is that more true than of nuclear? And I am someone who is in favour of nuclear, we should be using it. Why does no one ever calculate the subsidies to Big Oil? Free market arguments don't apply, none of these society-wide technologies would ever be implemented by any corporation or group of corporations. They all require public input and wider research, things that only public bodies would ever undertake. This is a non-argument.

The re-use of discarded panels is a real issue. But so are abandoned oil and gas wells (90,000 of them in Alberta alone) so please let's not pretend this is a new problem. And clear-cutting never bothered anyone who wanted cheap lumber, so far as I can tell.

All technologies have cost and benefits, what else is new?

So most of this argument is, "hey we did it before with this industry, so why not with wind and solar?" 

Kind of like China saying, "you guys polluted the world with fossil fuels, now it's our turn!" 

Yes, solar will be useful on roofs, but clear cutting land for a very dilute and intermittent form of energy is foolish.  Same thing with wind, not to mention regardless of where a wind mill is placed, they will always be a threat to birds. 

By the way, yes, without tax subsidies, fossils fuels would have continued to grow in use.  Wind and solar are such an expensive form of energy, they would not be here today without both subsidies and rebates.  The only reason Nuclear is so expensive right now is the government red tape; literally if any other power source needed to deal with the amount of red tape nuclear does, nothing would ever get built.  I would argue if you removed this red tape, nuclear would be a good option for private companies to invest in creating new innovations as well, just like private companies did at the advent of oil, coal and natural gas industry.  Also, nothing is yet standardized; most of all nuclear plants are one off designs, which makes them expensive. 

It is simply not the case that governments need to fund innovations.  I don't know where you came up with this.  in late 1800s, the innovations with oil and gas where all privately funded.  The government tried to fund air exploration in the 1890s, but the privately funded Wright Brothers beat the government to it.  There are plenty of other examples. 

Lumber companies are required to replant trees, not to mention it makes business sense to do so.  And even if they did not, the land would naturally reforest itself (albeit over a longer period of time).  Wind and solar farms remain clear cut lands for the duration of their use.  Even if the land was abandoned, the amount of concrete used would make it much harder for natural reforestation to happen since the concrete would need to decay first.  No concrete, or other forms of land development, is used during lumber explorations.  Although this was not previously true, lumber companies only harvest the old growth trees, which are more spotty and distributed throughout the forest just due to over harvesting in decades past.  Young trees are not worth harvesting and left in place, so not everything is destroyed. 

On top of this, many wind and solar farms are being built in deserts, which there are fewer of and take significantly longer to return to nature.  Contrary to popular belief, deserts are not empty of life, and nearly all desert animals die when being moved to a new habitat, even if it is relocated to a different spot in the same desert. 

Last, all energy sources have cost and benifits.  But with wind and solar, the cost are a lot more and the benefits are pretty small. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 08:47:51 am
Thanks for the interesting and valuable information, Joe. It can get indeed very complex.

However, there are a few good stories:
Apple Park's huge roof is covered completely with solar panels, and one of their solar farms is in desolate country near the town of Yerington, Nevada with low population of birds and animals. Apple with all their facilities  is now running 100% on the green energy.

https://www.fastcompany.com/40554151/how-apple-got-to-100-renewable-energy-the-right-way

Thanks for the article.  I was only able to skim it right now. 

As stated before, putting wind and solar farms in deserts still destroys natural habitats of animals that do not fair well at all of being relocated. 

I would love to know at the exact size of the farms they are using and how much land was destroyed to make these farms.  Also, how much total energy is Apple using and what percentage of this is the total amount of energy used in CA?  How many times more energy is the entire state of CA using than Apple headquarters?  After multiplying this by the total size of Apple's energy farms, how much land would that be?  What percentage of the size of CA would that amount of land take up?  See where I am getting at here. 

Last, is Apple using all green energy for their manufacturing overseas, and are all mining and refining processes by third parties using green energy?  If not, and I suspect this is the case, they are not really 100% green energy are they?  They are actually using green energy only for their headquarters, which has a much smaller energy requirement then mining, refining and manufacturing. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 08:58:09 am
Storage is the least of the worries!  Production is the biggest. 
Nuclear is it.

Exactly, Joe. but because of "The China Syndrome," since 1979 the left, including the news media, has been deathly afraid of nuclear. The lousy reporting on the Three Mile Island meltdown, which happened the same year, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, neither of which resulted in a single injury from radiation, people are even more frightened. In between we had a demonstration of Russian incompetence at Chernobyl that resulted in widespread contamination and death. More fright.

Nuclear can solve all of our energy production problems if Hollywood will get smarter, but I'm not going to hold my breath until that happens.

But even unlimited production capability won't get you five hundred miles down the road. We need a way to store energy the same way fossil fuels store energy. It's probably gotta be something besides batteries, though there may be huge breakthroughs in battery technology somewhere down the line. Thee's a lot of work going on in that field. But it's gotta be relatively inexpensive, unlike gas prices in California at the moment. Replacing batteries in current electric cars is almost like buying a new car. That ain't gonna cut it.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 25, 2019, 09:38:54 am
Exactly, Joe. but because of "The China Syndrome," since 1979 the left, including the news media, has been deathly afraid of nuclear. The lousy reporting on the Three Mile Island meltdown, which happened the same year, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, neither of which resulted in a single injury from radiation, people are even more frightened. In between we had a demonstration of Russian incompetence at Chernobyl that resulted in widespread contamination and death. More fright.

Nuclear can solve all of our energy production problems if Hollywood will get smarter, but I'm not going to hold my breath until that happens.

But even unlimited production capability won't get you five hundred miles down the road. We need a way to store energy the same way fossil fuels store energy. It's probably gotta be something besides batteries, though there may be huge breakthroughs in battery technology somewhere down the line. Thee's a lot of work going on in that field. But it's gotta be relatively inexpensive, unlike gas prices in California at the moment. Replacing batteries in current electric cars is almost like buying a new car. That ain't gonna cut it.

The Japanese didn’t have a nuclear catastrophe probably because the plant was built with government regulations. The libertarian view of unregulated business always seems to conveniently omit the very real human capacity for greed and corruption.

But hey, no one will stop you and Joe from moving next door to an unregulated/self-regulated nuclear power plant. Let us know how it goes, alright?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: jeremyrh on June 25, 2019, 09:46:04 am
It is simply not the case that governments need to fund innovations.

You’re typing that on the internet, right?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 09:56:15 am
The Japanese didn’t have a nuclear catastrophe probably because the plant was built with government regulations.

ROTFL! So you believe Chernobyl wasn't?
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 25, 2019, 10:31:34 am
Exactly, Joe. but because of "The China Syndrome," since 1979 the left, including the news media, has been deathly afraid of nuclear. The lousy reporting on the Three Mile Island meltdown, which happened the same year, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, neither of which resulted in a single injury from radiation, people are even more frightened. In between we had a demonstration of Russian incompetence at Chernobyl that resulted in widespread contamination and death. More fright.

Nuclear can solve all of our energy production problems if Hollywood will get smarter, but I'm not going to hold my breath until that happens.

But even unlimited production capability won't get you five hundred miles down the road. We need a way to store energy the same way fossil fuels store energy. It's probably gotta be something besides batteries, though there may be huge breakthroughs in battery technology somewhere down the line. Thee's a lot of work going on in that field. But it's gotta be relatively inexpensive, unlike gas prices in California at the moment. Replacing batteries in current electric cars is almost like buying a new car. That ain't gonna cut it.

You might be crediting Hollywood with more power than they actually have.

Your comments about price of electric technology is confusing. It's usually conservatives who trust that innovation will always disrupt things, something with which it's hard to disagree. Except when the so-called "left" is in favour of some disruption, then it's bad, I guess.

People often point to the price of new technologies, citing that as evidence (or maybe even proof?) that it holds no promise. It wasn't that long ago that people were saying that "full-frame" sensors would never become mainstream because of wafer failure rates (etc.). Since when has new technology been cheap or reliable out of the gate?

Some of the promises about solar/wind won't pan out, some will.

If the price of gasoline doubles or triples in the medium term (5-10 years, say) electric cars will become much more viable, regardless of the price of a replacement battery. They likely will not be useful in pulling your sailboat down the interstate, but a low-maintenance e-car with reasonable range (200 km) will look awfully good to someone who is not within walking distance of a grocery store or their dentist. This is already the case for many people. If the price of gasoline does double or triple, it will mean major changes, because a lot of people will at that point stop buying gasoline-engined cars. What would be the point of buying something you can't afford to operate. But of course there will be applications where the high stored energy properties of fossil fuels will be advantageous for years to come.

Is there any sensible reason why discussions of technology roll-out need to be laced with current-day infantile black vs white political debate? Surely the need for virtue signalling is merely ego-related. The perception that solar/wind is a "lefty" idea (not true) is enough to denigrate them, end of discussion. We can do better than this, folks.

In any case, the opinions of a few entrenched people on a photo forum are irrelevant. All over the planet people are spending tons of cash implementing those very technologies that you claim can't work.


Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 10:36:38 am
It is simply not the case that governments need to fund innovations.

You’re typing that on the internet, right?

Hey, I never said that some industries did not arise from government investment, only that most industries did not.  Furthermore, the amount of times government got it wrong is much larger then when they got it right.  A broken clock is right twice a day, right? 

Anyway, it was not really until Cisco (a private company) entered the realm that the Internet really took off. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 10:47:47 am
You might be crediting Hollywood with more power than they actually have.

Your comments about price of electric technology is confusing. It's usually conservatives who trust that innovation will always disrupt things, something with which it's hard to disagree. Except when the so-called "left" is in favour of some disruption, then it's bad, I guess.

People often point to the price of new technologies, citing that as evidence (or maybe even proof?) that it holds no promise. It wasn't that long ago that people were saying that "full-frame" sensors would never become mainstream because of wafer failure rates (etc.). Since when has new technology been cheap or reliable out of the gate?

Some of the promises about solar/wind won't pan out, some will.

If the price of gasoline doubles or triples in the medium term (5-10 years, say) electric cars will become much more viable, regardless of the price of a replacement battery. They likely will not be useful in pulling your sailboat down the interstate, but a low-maintenance e-car with reasonable range (200 km) will look awfully good to someone who is not within walking distance of a grocery store or their dentist. This is already the case for many people. If the price of gasoline does double or triple, it will mean major changes, because a lot of people will at that point stop buying gasoline-engined cars. What would be the point of buying something you can't afford to operate. But of course there will be applications where the high stored energy properties of fossil fuels will be advantageous for years to come.

Is there any sensible reason why discussions of technology roll-out need to be laced with current-day infantile black vs white political debate? Surely the need for virtue signalling is merely ego-related. The perception that solar/wind is a "lefty" idea (not true) is enough to denigrate them, end of discussion. We can do better than this, folks.

In any case, the opinions of a few entrenched people on a photo forum are irrelevant. All over the planet people are spending tons of cash implementing those very technologies that you claim can't work.

The left really wants wind and solar to work, which are by their very nature, impossible to make work on a large scale.  This is a natural problem of the diluteness and intermittency of the energy, not a problem of technologies.  We have already far past the inflection point of the advances in wind and solar; future gains will be very small.  Innovation insofar as energy production is flat lining for wind and solar.  Wind and solar are doomed by their nature and every one (right or left) who takes a thorough look at them comes to this conclusion.  Even top environmentalist are preaching this.  The left keeps on pushing it down our throat even though the technology will never work.  Not really an apples to oranges comparison when talking about what the left wants versus what the right wants. 

Funning you should bring up sensor technology when talking about government investments in new technologies.  How much government investment was put into Kodak when they developed the first sensor?  How much government investment was put into Sony when they brought their technology to fruition? 

Insofar as battery powered electric cars, this is another technology that will fail.  Hydrogen fuel-cell, being heavily researched by Toyota (a private company and the number one hyrbid car manufacturer) will more then likely replace battery powered vehicles just due to pure convenience of not needing to be charged over a long period of time.  On top of this, when gas gets as expensive as you say, making bio-fuel will become profitable.  Since there is already an in ground pipe infrastructure to transport gasoline, changing over to bio-fuels will be very easy and painless.  This will be made even easier when the investment is there from private companies to come up with technologies to figure out how to extract bio-oils from algae, which can grow pretty much any where extremely fast and are very oil rich.  The price of gasoline is too low for it to be worth investing the money, but when it does, I feel this will be the next transportation technology. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 10:52:24 am
Exactly, Joe. but because of "The China Syndrome," since 1979 the left, including the news media, has been deathly afraid of nuclear. The lousy reporting on the Three Mile Island meltdown, which happened the same year, and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, neither of which resulted in a single injury from radiation, people are even more frightened. In between we had a demonstration of Russian incompetence at Chernobyl that resulted in widespread contamination and death. More fright.

Nuclear can solve all of our energy production problems if Hollywood will get smarter, but I'm not going to hold my breath until that happens.

But even unlimited production capability won't get you five hundred miles down the road. We need a way to store energy the same way fossil fuels store energy. It's probably gotta be something besides batteries, though there may be huge breakthroughs in battery technology somewhere down the line. Thee's a lot of work going on in that field. But it's gotta be relatively inexpensive, unlike gas prices in California at the moment. Replacing batteries in current electric cars is almost like buying a new car. That ain't gonna cut it.

This is an unfortunate reality. 

I predict that we will go down the wind and solar rabbit hole in this country, seeing massive increases the price of energy along with ever growing increases in our carbon emissions (from the additional base load fossil fuel plants built to produce energy the 70% to 90% of the time when wind/solar cant) for a couple of decades.  Then, one day someone here will look at France and say, "hey, they get 95% of their electricity from nuclear, they have never had an accident and their electricity is really really cheap, the cheapest in Europe actually.  Maybe, just maybe ..." 

I only hope it takes just a couple of decades, not 4 or 5 until we get it. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: faberryman on June 25, 2019, 10:55:19 am
The left really wants wind and solar to work, which are by their very nature, impossible to make work on a large scale.  This is a natural problem of the diluteness and intermittency of the energy, not a problem of technologies.  We have already far past the inflection point of the advances in wind and solar; future gains will be very small.  Innovation insofar as energy production is flat lining for wind and solar.  Wind and solar are doomed by their nature and every one (right or left) who takes a thorough look at them comes to this conclusion.  Even top environmentalist are preaching this.  The left keeps on pushing it down our throat even though the technology will never work.  Not really an apples to oranges comparison when talking about what the left wants versus what the right wants.
Well, the right is advocating coal, which seems like a losing proposition for the future too.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 25, 2019, 10:56:48 am
Germany, that has one of the highest renewable electric grids, (close to 40%) also pay the highest for "free" electricity. 
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-energy-retail/german-consumers-paying-record-prices-for-power-portal-idUSKCN1P9233 (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-energy-retail/german-consumers-paying-record-prices-for-power-portal-idUSKCN1P9233)

A KWH in America costs US$.13 or .11 Euro.   A KWH in Germany costs EUro.30 or US$.34 two to three times the cost in America.  Of course, these high costs affect the poorest who need energy to stay warm, prepare their food, and have lighting. 
https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state/ (https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state/)

In spite of their renewables, their carbon use and CO2 production has remained flat.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/449701/co2-emissions-germany/ (https://www.statista.com/statistics/449701/co2-emissions-germany/)


Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 10:59:22 am
You might be crediting Hollywood with more power than they actually have.

Your comments about price of electric technology is confusing. It's usually conservatives who trust that innovation will always disrupt things, something with which it's hard to disagree. Except when the so-called "left" is in favour of some disruption, then it's bad, I guess.

People often point to the price of new technologies, citing that as evidence (or maybe even proof?) that it holds no promise. It wasn't that long ago that people were saying that "full-frame" sensors would never become mainstream because of wafer failure rates (etc.). Since when has new technology been cheap or reliable out of the gate?

Some of the promises about solar/wind won't pan out, some will.

If the price of gasoline doubles or triples in the medium term (5-10 years, say) electric cars will become much more viable, regardless of the price of a replacement battery. They likely will not be useful in pulling your sailboat down the interstate, but a low-maintenance e-car with reasonable range (200 km) will look awfully good to someone who is not within walking distance of a grocery store or their dentist. This is already the case for many people. If the price of gasoline does double or triple, it will mean major changes, because a lot of people will at that point stop buying gasoline-engined cars. What would be the point of buying something you can't afford to operate. But of course there will be applications where the high stored energy properties of fossil fuels will be advantageous for years to come.

That’s probably true, Robert, assuming we can come up with windmill farms and solar farms not much larger than a coal or oil or gas-fired power plant, and that don’t clobber or fry wildlife. And yes, wow! we may have an e-car that can go 200 km without having to be plugged in at least overnight. Golly, that’s a whole 124 miles. That can get me up to St. Augustine for a shooting trip, but it can’t get me back home again. Oh, and that kind of technology isn’t going to do much – anything -- for long-haul trucking, or even long-haul rail. It doesn't even address the question of overseas ship traffic. I guess we could build ships with wind propulsion. We used to do that with square riggers.

The point is, we need a way to store energy that’s a hell of a lot more efficient than batteries. At the moment, that way is fossil fuels. And in the case of fossil fuels the storage already has taken place. All we have to do at the moment is release it. I’m sure we’ll find an answer somewhere down the line, but it probably ain’t gonna happen soon. Oh, and if you’re depending on a doubling or tripling of the price of gasoline to drive this revolution, you’re going to have to wait a while.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 10:59:46 am
Well, the right is advocating coal, which seems like a losing proposition for the future too.

Yes, I agree.  It is dirty.  I wish it were gone, but at the end of the day it works, and works well.  I just wish people would see the light for nuclear so we could get off of coal as fast as possible. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 25, 2019, 11:03:28 am
This is an unfortunate reality. 

I predict that we will go down the wind and solar rabbit hole in this country, seeing massive increases the price of energy along with ever growing increases in our carbon emissions (from the additional base load fossil fuel plants built to produce energy the 70% to 90% of the time when wind/solar cant) for a couple of decades.  Then, one day someone here will look at France and say, "hey, they get 95% of their electricity from nuclear, they have never had an accident and their electricity is really really cheap, the cheapest in Europe actually.  Maybe, just maybe ..." 

I only hope it takes just a couple of decades, not 4 or 5 until we get it. 

If the Democrats win the presidency and take the Senate in 2020, I agree with your prediction.  We will also have a lot of other social programs that will bankrupt us even quicker. 
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Alan Klein on June 25, 2019, 11:10:24 am
Yes, I agree.  It is dirty.  I wish it were gone, but at the end of the day it works, and works well.  I just wish people would see the light for nuclear so we could get off of coal as fast as possible. 
China, who does not have to comply with reducing carbon emissions until 2030 per Paris Accord, plans to build 850 coal-fired electric plants around the world.  While trying to reduce pollution in their own country, they think little about choking the rest of us.  The west is living in a dreamworld if they think their renewables are going to change anything on a global scale.  In addition, our higher prices for renewables make us live more poorly and make our products less competitive due to the higher cost of energy. The Chinese Communists may be bastards, but they're smart bastards.   
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: JoeKitchen on June 25, 2019, 11:28:44 am
If the Democrats win the presidency and take the Senate in 2020, I agree with your prediction.  We will also have a lot of other social programs that will bankrupt us even quicker.

What I find even funnier about this whole wind/solar vs. nuclear thing is that Germany is trying to get its neighbors off of nuclear. 

France's (which literally today gets 95% of its electricity from nuclear) electricity prices are about a third of Germany's and they have lower emissions.  Meanwhile, Germany has been closing nuclear plants left and right, putting up wind/solar like crazy, along with additional coal plants, watching their energy increase in price and nothing has happened with getting emissions down. 

But hey, nuclear is clearer not the winner.   ;D
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: James Clark on June 25, 2019, 11:29:42 am
China, who does not have to comply with reducing carbon emissions until 2030 per Paris Accord, plans to build 850 coal-fired electric plants around the world.  While trying to reduce pollution in their own country, they think little about choking the rest of us.  The west is living in a dreamworld if they think their renewables are going to change anything on a global scale.  In addition, our higher prices for renewables make us live more poorly and make our products less competitive due to the higher cost of energy. The Chinese Communists may be bastards, but they're smart bastards.   

We need to progress beyond the Tragedy of the Conmons.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Bart_van_der_Wolf on June 25, 2019, 11:31:18 am
China, who does not have to comply with reducing carbon emissions until 2030 per Paris Accord, [...]

Warning: Fake news (and Alan has been told so multiple times before), the facts are as follows.

China was expected to increase emissions before they would plateau in 2030. Part of the reason is that they produce a shitload of products for the rest of the world (USA no exception), and they have an expanding urbanized population. Facts of life that were part of the assumptions of the Paris agreement.

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 11:40:17 am
Exactly, Bart. Everybody is required to be terrified of "climate change," except the Chinese and the Indians. According to the best guesses on the left, the world will become a cinder within those 30 years. :-X
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on June 25, 2019, 12:06:19 pm
I remember reading Ansel Adams had a big falling out at one point with the Sierra club over his support of nuclear power. A long running debate.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 12:12:57 pm
Ansel had a brain.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 25, 2019, 12:19:50 pm
ROTFL! So you believe Chernobyl wasn't?

Chernobyl was a flawed design and mistakes. Or maybe not enough red tape?  ::)


Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: OmerV on June 25, 2019, 12:23:07 pm
Ansel had a brain.

Smart enough to loathe Ronald.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Martin Kristiansen on June 25, 2019, 12:28:11 pm
Smart enough to loathe Ronald.

He absolutely did. Refused to meet with him and present him with a print which had become a bit of a tradition.

Adams didn’t pick a side. He picked a moral stand point and stuck to that rather than a “team”. I admire that, it’s very rare.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 12:31:48 pm
Smart enough to loathe Ronald.

Well, as is the case with most of us his brain didn't always work well.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 25, 2019, 12:39:49 pm
That’s probably true, Robert, assuming we can come up with windmill farms and solar farms not much larger than a coal or oil or gas-fired power plant, and that don’t clobber or fry wildlife. And yes, wow! we may have an e-car that can go 200 km without having to be plugged in at least overnight. Golly, that’s a whole 124 miles. That can get me up to St. Augustine for a shooting trip, but it can’t get me back home again. Oh, and that kind of technology isn’t going to do much – anything -- for long-haul trucking, or even long-haul rail. It doesn't even address the question of overseas ship traffic. I guess we could build ships with wind propulsion. We used to do that with square riggers.

The point is, we need a way to store energy that’s a hell of a lot more efficient than batteries. At the moment, that way is fossil fuels. And in the case of fossil fuels the storage already has taken place. All we have to do at the moment is release it. I’m sure we’ll find an answer somewhere down the line, but it probably ain’t gonna happen soon. Oh, and if you’re depending on a doubling or tripling of the price of gasoline to drive this revolution, you’re going to have to wait a while.

Funny, that's exactly what I said. There are applications where the energy storage of fossil fuels is essential, as things now stand.

Doubling and tripling of fuel costs doesn't seem so outlandish to me. Millions of new consumers coming online all wanting cars. Not many new big oil fields have been discovered lately, have they? I haven't heard of any. So price increases will eventually work their way through the system. Will it be 20 years, 40 years, I don't know and neither do you. It takes 15-20 years to commission, design and build nuclear reactors, so the timeframes we're discussing are all in the same order of magnitude. Irrelevant in any case. It doesn't take much of an increase in gasoline, coupled with the high cost (purchasing, insuring, maintaining etc.) of automobiles means that any increase is going to have large consumption effects. The car companies are already very worried about millennials indifference to cars in general.

But one other thing is that you should stop analysing things through your own individual lens. Maybe 200 km before re-charging does not suit your purpose, so that you will continue to purchase a gasoline car even if the price of fuel did double, but why do you assume that your personal circumstances reflect how other people live, because they most assuredly do not. There are very few countries where travelling large distances are part of people's routine daily lives.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: Robert Roaldi on June 25, 2019, 12:42:35 pm
The left really wants wind and solar to work, which are by their very nature, impossible to make work on a large scale.  This is a natural problem of the diluteness and intermittency of the energy, not a problem of technologies.  We have already far past the inflection point of the advances in wind and solar; future gains will be very small.  Innovation insofar as energy production is flat lining for wind and solar.  Wind and solar are doomed by their nature and every one (right or left) who takes a thorough look at them comes to this conclusion.  Even top environmentalist are preaching this.  The left keeps on pushing it down our throat even though the technology will never work.  Not really an apples to oranges comparison when talking about what the left wants versus what the right wants. 

Funning you should bring up sensor technology when talking about government investments in new technologies.  How much government investment was put into Kodak when they developed the first sensor?  How much government investment was put into Sony when they brought their technology to fruition? 

Insofar as battery powered electric cars, this is another technology that will fail.  Hydrogen fuel-cell, being heavily researched by Toyota (a private company and the number one hyrbid car manufacturer) will more then likely replace battery powered vehicles just due to pure convenience of not needing to be charged over a long period of time.  On top of this, when gas gets as expensive as you say, making bio-fuel will become profitable.  Since there is already an in ground pipe infrastructure to transport gasoline, changing over to bio-fuels will be very easy and painless.  This will be made even easier when the investment is there from private companies to come up with technologies to figure out how to extract bio-oils from algae, which can grow pretty much any where extremely fast and are very oil rich.  The price of gasoline is too low for it to be worth investing the money, but when it does, I feel this will be the next transportation technology.

Almost all high-tech advances originate from public financing of pure research (Kodak and Toyota did develop solid-state physics) either directly, via university research grants, or in the case of the US via NASA and military research funding.
Title: Re: The American Constitution
Post by: RSL on June 25, 2019, 01:08:17 pm
Funny, that's exactly what I said. There are applications where the energy storage of fossil fuels is essential, as things now stand.

Doubling and tripling of fuel costs doesn't seem so outlandish to me. Millions of new consumers coming online all wanting cars. Not many new big oil fields have been discovered lately, have they? I haven't heard of any. So price increases will eventually work their way through the system. Will it be 20 years, 40 years, I don't know and neither do you. It takes 15-20 years to commission, design and build nuclear reactors, so the timeframes we're discussing are all in the same order of magnitude. Irrelevant in any case. It doesn't take much of an increase in gasoline, coupled with the high cost (purchasing, insuring, maintaining etc.) of automobiles means that any increase is going to have large consumption effects. The car companies are already very worried about millennials indifference to cars in general.

But one other thing is that you should stop analysing things through your own individual lens. Maybe 200 km before re-charging does not suit your purpose, so that you will continue to purchase a gasoline car even if the price of fuel did double, but why do you assume that your personal circumstances reflect how other people live, because they most assuredly do not. There are very few countries where travelling large distances are part of people's routine daily lives.

When you talk about the intensity of oil prospecting you always need to take into account the price of oil. Recently the price has been down – relatively. In fact it’s been low enough that companies have stopped prospecting altogether. The last thing in the world they need is more wells. There’s plenty of oil out there.

If fuel prices double or triple there’s going to be a lot of pain. It’s not just that you’ll have to spend more to drive the kids to pre-school. The cost of everything will rise because transportation is involved in almost everything we consume. It won’t take any 20 or 30 years for these costs to cause prices to rise throughout the system. The increases will track the rise in fuel prices quite closely. And that fact has nothing to do with my personal preferences, which you seem to think matter a great deal.

As far as nukes are concerned, it takes 15-20 years to bring up a nuke nowadays because of the fear that’s been generated by crap like “The China Syndrome.” Most of the delay is caused by administrative bullshit designed to make frightened people feel more comfortable. There’s no reason why, with the designs available right now, a nuke can’t be brought up in five years or less. At the moment, France derives about 75% of its power from nukes. The technology is already there. I haven’t worked in the field for decades now, but I still have my short snorter bill from the night we brought up a small nuke to power the radar site at Sundance, Wyoming. Properly handled, nuclear technology is safer than coal or oil or gas-fired power.