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The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves

Here is our usual weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘News Selected By Our Correspondents’ thread below or via the link found in the sidebar.

Thanks!

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Saturday, February 4th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

32 Responses to “The Hive – Please Talk Among Yourselves”

  1. Petronius

    Jan economic report :

    • China is expected to take over the US’s #1 spot by 2018.

    • The US economic recovery remains very slow to nil. Weakness persists in employment and housing, but there are hopeful signs for improvement in jobs.

    • Real GDP rose a meager 1.7% in 2011. 1.9% growth is expected for 1st Qtr 2012.

    • With 243,000 jobs added in Jan, the US economy is finally beginning to create jobs at a rate fast enough to absorb new entrants from population growth and also reduce some of the overhang from unemployment.

    • US companies are facing strong headwinds in a difficult economic and regulatory environment, particularly for banks, financials, healthcare, and utilities.

    • Corporate balance sheets are strong overall, and positive earnings announcements are encouraging.

    • US stocks have essentially been flat over the past decade, but stocks showed signs of life in Dec-Jan and finished on a strong note. Market risk remains high.

    • Stocks are being fueled by Fed money printing, which spells long-term trouble for bonds.

    • The Harvard Business School survey of 10,000 alumni found that 71% expect US companies to become less competitive in the global economy and less able to pay high wages and benefits.

    • The US public debt is now greater than its GDP.

    • The national debt stands at $15.3 trillion, and GDP at $15.1 trillion.

    • $5 trillion of that debt has been added by Nerobama. In 3 years he has added more debt than all US presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton combined.

    • US government spending has jumped to $3.8 trillion annually, about double the amount of tax revenue.

    • U6 unemployment is 15.2%, with 24 million Americans unemployed or underemployed.

    • New applications for unemployment benefits jumped to 400,000 in Jan following end-of-year layoffs after close of the Christmas season.

    • U3 unemployment fell to 8.5% in Dec and improved further to 8.3% in Jan thanks to new hiring in manufacturing and construction and to a Census adjustment that dropped 1.2 million people out of the system.

    • The labor force participation rate has fallen to the lowest level in 30 years. See Rick Santelli : http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000071275

    • Gains in employment are occurring as the result of fewer workers rather than economic growth. “If the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.” Financial Times.

    • Even as the job market gets a bit stronger, wages continue to fall.

    • Median household income has dropped 7% after inflation. According to the Census Bureau, median family income in America has fallen back to 1996 levels.

    • The number of self-employed has dropped 2 million to 14.5 million in six years.

    • American Airlines is cutting 19,000 jobs.

    • Boeing will close its Wichita plant, laying off 2,100 employees.

    • Home Depot will hire 70,000 temporary employees for the spring season.

    • Subway will hire 25,000. Maybe airline pilots and mechanics can find work making sandwiches.

    • Defense, aviation, and aerospace industries are heading for heavy layoffs due to the cuts in defense spending and NASA programs. These are highly skilled, high tech jobs that are not easily replaced.

    • Food Lion will lay off 5,000. It is closing 126 stores and retiring the Bloom banner.

    • Kraft will cut 1,600 employees.

    • Archer-Daniels-Midland will lay off 1,000 employees, or about 3% of its workforce. Cargill is also cutting jobs.

    • 850,000 veterans are out of jobs––a number soon to grow larger.

    • The White House and DoD announced plans to cut 500,000 soldiers and Marines.

    • Housing continues to be the major weak spot. Of the 20 major metro areas, 18 reported losses last year.

    • New home sales fell 2.2% in Dec, making 2011 the worst year ever for new home sales.

    • Gasoline cost $1.68 when Nerobama took office in Jan 2009. Today it costs $3.58, more than double.

    • Nerobama vetoed the Keystone Pipeline. He bought off the unions with his so-called “recess” appointments (bypassing the Senate confirmation process) of union stooges to staff the NLRB.

    • 48% of all Americans –– 146.4 million –– are considered by the Census Bureau to be low-income or living in poverty. This is a gain of 4 million since Nerobama took office.

    • 47 million Americans are on food stamps, a gain of 14 million since Jan 2009. Spending on food stamps has more than doubled.

    • 20% of American males (ages 25-34) now live with their parents.

    • The average age of the American car is 10 years.

    • Direct money payments to Americans by the Federal government have increased $600 billion –– or 32% –– in the last three years. By 2016 direct payments to individuals will account for two-thirds of all Federal spending.

    • 48.6% of Americans live in a household that receives government payouts, up from 44% in 2008.

    • The number of Americans on disability climbed 10% in Nerobama’s first two years in office according to the Social Security Administration.

    • None of the above was mentioned by Nerobama in his SOTU address.

    • Instead Nerobama proposed an Alternative Minimum Tax on multinational corporations with overseas profits; in other words, businesses would be taxed twice on foreign income, both here and abroad. Such a brilliant mind. Such fairness.

    • He also proposed a special tax on banks to generate money to refinance mortgages at 4% for millions of home buyers who cannot afford their current mortgages. The investors in existing mortgages will apparently have to take a haircut. Wealth will be redistributed from mortgagees, investors, banks, and bank customers to homeowners. More brilliance. More fairness. (But where will they find future investors for new mortgage-backed securities? Does the burned baby go back to the fire? Or will mortgage rates climb to compensate investors for the added risk posed by government confiscation?)

    • File this one under darned if they do, and darned if they don’t : He proposed a criminal task force to investigate banks that offered risky mortgages to home buyers. Meanwhile, DOJ continues to prosecute banks that fail to make risky sub-prime loans to non-whites.

    • Importation of illegal aliens is good for America; importation of Chinese pirated CDs … not so good.

    • He announced offshore areas would be opened for oil development. But we don’t know whether the areas being opened have any oil … or, if they do have oil, whether permits will be granted. No mention of Alaska oil.

    • He will push ahead with the EPA’s stringent new coal regulations.

    • We need more Solyndras.

    • The US Navy will be a pilot project for green energy. A captive customer for crony companies. Brilliant! Does this mean the Navy goes back to wooden sailing ships? Or are the ships rigged out with big windmills and solar panels?

    • He held up Siemans as an example of a smart business that hires and retrains employees. Somebody forgot to tell him that Siemans is a German company. And that it competes with GE.

    • Here’s some other stuff he didn’t mention in the SOTU :

    • Already paying their fair share : The top 1% pays 39% of income taxes; the top 5% pays 60%, the top 10% pays 72%, the bottom half pays 3%.

    • The bottom 47% of wage earners pay no income tax whatever. 23 million filers also obtained wealth transfers from the Earned Income Tax Credit.

    • Brace yourself : The Bush tax cuts will expire on 31 Dec. The Obama-Care taxes also go into effect next year. Six months later, the $1.2 trillion of mandatory spending cuts take effect under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

    • According to Sen. Rand Paul, the EPA’s new anti-coal regulations have cost the US 5% of its annual GDP. Dozens of coal mines in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia have closed or are closing.

    • FirstEnergy Corp. said it will retire six coal-fired power plants in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland rather than spend billions to upgrade them to new EPA standards. 600 employees will get sacked. AEP, Duke, and Southern are shutting down 27,000 MW of coal-fired capacity.

    • The US State Dept is negotiating a Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) involving 160 nations that would require one-half of all offshore oil and gas royalties to be donated to the International Seabed Authority, a UN-type body that will redistribute the money to countries according to need. Energy companies would also be required to share their drilling technology. Brilliant. http://www.heritage.org/resear.....-trillions

    • Talk about fast & furious! The DOJ anti-bank criminal task force proposed by the President is already up and running. Tigellinus-Holder has created a unit of 50 attorneys, analysts, and agents; subpoenas have already been issued to 11 banks. This new anti-bank task force will be housed within the DOJ fraud task force that Nerobama created back in 2009.

    • “The President of the United States has a jihad against this [banking] industry.” Thomas Brown, CEO Second Curve Capital and Bloomberg contributing editor.

    • Welcome to the Wonderful World of Dodd-Frank where investment banking is taking it on the chin :

    • JP Morgan Chase –– America’s most conservative and strongest bank –– saw its 4th Qtr earnings fall 23%.

    • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley report they are having problems. Executives in Goldman’s securities division have been sacked.

    • Goldman cut 2,400 employees last year and cut compensation 21%.

    • Bank of America is considering withdrawal from parts of the US market. It turned a small profit in the 4th Qtr but is struggling to satisfy the new Dodd-Frank rules on capital buffers; it will be a long, hard climb for BAC.

    • Since the Fed was created in 1913 the US dollar has lost 99% of its purchasing power.

    • In 1913, a $20 gold piece was equal to a twenty dollar bill. Today a 1 oz. American Eagle gold piece costs about $1,865 in paper money.

    • Interest rates are at historically low levels. At end of Jan, the 10-year Treasury yield is 1.9% and the 30-year yield is 2.89%.

    • 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.88% in Jan, a record low.

    • Imagine what would happen in the economy if interest rates were to rise?

    • The Fed continues to hold the benchmark Fed funds rate at the record low level of zero to 0.25%.

    • 25 Jan. Bernanke announced that the Fed may extend rates at this level for another year, through 2014.

    • On the afternoon following Bernanke’s announcement, gold shot up $55; it gained $15 the following day and is showing new strength. The Fed action is a form of currency devaluation.

    • If the economy shows signs of improvement, the Fed might pull back and allow interest rates to rise. This could get tricky.

    • US bonds did well in 2011 as investors sought safety from the Eurozone crisis, but the upside in bonds is now limited. There is too much liquidity for bonds to prosper.

    • Legendary gold bug and Fed-watcher Jim Grant, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, warned that the Fed has created a bond bubble comparable to the housing bubble of a few years ago. In 2005-06, Grant predicted the crash in housing and mortgage-backed securities.

    • S&P downgraded nine Euro nations leaving only Germany unscathed at AAA grade. S&P trimmed France and Austria one level from AAA to AA+ (same as the USA). Italy cut two levels from A to BBB+. Finland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg kept their AAA ratings but were put on negative watch. Ireland affirmed at BBB+. Portugal cut to BBB-. Greece C.

    • Global stock markets are bearish. Overall they declined 12% in 2011.

    • Emerging markets are still growing. Stock markets in Mexico and Malaysia are turning up. However, the global economy faces long term problems –– slowing global growth, high levels of government debt in developed countries, the euro is under pressure, and worries about the European banking system and contagion.

    • The euro hit a 16-months low. The US dollar fell against the Swiss franc, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, and British pound.

    • The US debt situation is actually worse than that in most of the European countries. However, the focus on Greece, Italy, and the rest of debt-ridden Europe’s woes has meant that attention has been diverted from serious problems in the USA, with the result that the US has not dealt with debt problems that Europe has been forced to confront.

    • US healthcare stocks have lagged behind other defensive sectors like consumer staples due to investor concerns about Obama-Care.

    • Doctors are finding themselves underwater –– losing money on their practices as a result of reduced Medicare and private health insurance payouts, increased regulations, and rising business costs. http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/0.....;hpt=hp_c1

    • HHS Secy Kathleen Sebelius ruled that healthcare plans, including those offered by church-affiliated hospitals and universities, will be required to cover birth control. Birth control must be offered without charging co-pays or deductibles.

    • Iconic American brands under attack by the regime during January: Diamond Foods, C.R. Bard, Johnson & Johnson, S&P, Duke Energy, Progress Energy, Bank of America, Wells Fargo JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup.

    • Beat expectations : Apple, Netflix, Electronic Arts, Kellogg, Green Mountain Coffee, Gap, McDonald’s, J C Penney, Caterpillar, Texas Instruments, Intel, IBM, Freeport McMoRan, Union Pacific, BB&T, Monsanto, Wells Fargo, Limited Brands, Macy’s, Saks, Nordstrom, Ross, TJX Cos, Zumiez, Buckle Inc.

    • Missed expectations : GE, Google, Ford, Chevron, Archer Daniels Midland, Alliant Techsystems, Boston Scientific, Cigna, Ryder, Abercrombie & Fitch, Juniper Networks, Riverbed Technologies, American Electric Power, Dominion Resources, Advanced Micro Devices, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Target, Kohl’s, American Eagle Outfitters, Children’s Place, Bon-Ton Stores, Costco, Best Buy, Tiffany, Sears.

    • Bankrupt : Kodak, Hostess Brands.

    • Chevy sold 603 Volts in Jan. It has sold over 7000 Volts and recalled over 8000 unsold Volts.

    • Ford is looking to unload Volvo.

    • Run-up to class warfare (Indonesia) : Gunmen killed two more people in another shooting near Freeport’s giant Grasberg mine. Workers are now refusing to return to the mine until they have been paid for the three months that they were on strike. Under Indonesian law, striking workers must be paid. (No wonder Stanley Ann Dunham Sutoro loved that country.) Death toll to date : 14 killed, 50 wounded. Some shipments were resumed at the end of Jan.

    • Run-up to environmental warfare (Peru) : After months of violent protests against Newmont’s proposed $4.8 billion Conga gold mine, the government has appointed an international consultancy to conduct another environmental review. Protesters want the project cancelled because the mine would displace a string of four alpine lakes. Newmont has proposed to replace them with artificial reservoirs that will actually increase water supply.

    • Oil at $99 per bbl. Gasoline prices will rise.

    • Gold resumed its upward move closing the month at $1750.

    • China gold imports hit a record high in Nov, for the fifth consecutive month. China imported an estimated 490 tons of gold in 2011 and 245 tons in 2010. http://www.forbes.com/sites/go.....s-of-gold/

    • Gold price 2012 forecasts : $2200 by Morgan Stanley; $2050 by UBS; $2000 by Barclays, $1900 by S&P.

    • In addition to Chinese buying, factors supporting higher gold prices include negative interest rates in the USA, volatility in major world currencies, quantitative easing by the world’s central banks, and fears of sovereign debt defaults.

    • The Heritage Foundation’s index of economic freedom for 2011 ranks the USA in tenth place below Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, and Ireland.

    • Over 3 million US citizens relocate abroad every year.

    • The Census Bureau reports that “The top-earning 1% of US taxpayers are leaving the USA at the highest rate in history.”

    • Expats renouncing US citizenship are up 671% since Nerobama took office. http://taxprof.typepad.com/tax.....of-us.html

    • Over 4,000 US expats have renounced their American citizenship in the last three years. Renunciations have accelerated during each of the last three years, currently running about 2,000 per year.

    • Hollywood director James Cameron (“Avatar”) is leaving the US for New Zealand. He bought a 2600 acre farm about 90 minute drive from Wellington. http://www.infowars.com/camero.....-collapse/

    • The ten worst States for retirees in 2012: Connecticut, Illinois, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, New York, Maine, Wisconsin. These States were noted for high property taxes, high income taxes, high cost of living, unfunded pensions for State employees, deficit spending, unemployment, and foreclosures.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      This dovetails into the website Rush gave so much time to on Friday. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.....-improving

      If the economy is improving….

      This is the “emperor’s new clothes” on steroids. The media is so heavily running cover for this “president” and his administration that they have lost all credibility. What little they had left, if any that is.

      The blogger, in simple If-Then format asks basic questions and they are all backed up by articles that cite statistics that are pretty basic in nature without the subjectivity of over-manipulated data. Pretty straight-line stuff.

    • sticks

      Sad to read that the economic reports from Petronius will be discontinued. I always look forward to them with a morbid fascination, like watching a huricane bare down on us and we have nowhere to go. This is real life, not just a scary movie. That the economy is getting better is just more propaganda from the mbm, when you figure in money leaving America, a concerted attack on banking, stiffening environmental regulations, Nerobama- care plus all the factors cited above, what is supposedly happening now can only be the calm before the storm. If you’ve never read “Isaac’s Storm” by Erik Larson, try it, it is a good picture of what seems to be comming our way.

    • tranquil.night

      Sticks, whenever I read Petronius’ reports the theme to “Requiem for a Dream” starts playing in the peripherals of my head.

      I agree, your quality work is going to be sorely missed Petronius. Best of fortunes to your family, patriot. It’s been an honor.

    • heykev

      I must have missed that this was going to be the last installment of the economic reports. I will miss them.

      This is a great analysis – covers all the major areas…jobs, investment, politics, employment, etc. China itself could be a category. Scary forecast – passing US by 2018, grabbing all available gold, taking our jobs, etc. Too bad they didn’t buy Solyndra.

  2. proreason

    “20% of American males (ages 25-34) now live with their parents.”

    This isn’t going to end well.

    • Mithrandir

      Honestly, I don’t see this as a big problem. Financially, it is an indicator that things are horribly wrong, and we are going the way of Europe, as we have always done.

      However, I can’t count how many cases I have seen where children move out, and 20 years later, the elderly parents move in with one of their kids. Either you live with your parents or they live with you, there are some benefits with that. Hispanic families often have a grandparent living in the home. It’s too expensive, it’s lonely, and grandparents often settle disputes / and guide grandkids.

      If kids are living in the basement and are unproductive–big problem. If everyone is contributing something, happy, living together, I don’t see any stigma with this. I was the last child to leave home, went to college late, stayed with my parents until 33, but I worked my arse off for them and did things they were too old to do. I didn’t feel guilty about it at all.

    • proreason

      The problem is that young men living with their parents aren’t married.

      Large numbers of unmarried young men have historically been a problem for many cultures. There is a mitigating factor in the current world because it’s much easier to have sexual outlets than it was in the past. But even given that, it is a problem because if young men aren’t married (i.e., not in a pair bond that results in children), they aren’t building stable relationships and families that will provide a mission to which they will devote their energies for decades. And that has often (perhaps always) been a formula for disaster.

      It’s easy to brush it aside and say that it’s different now. But human nature doesn’t change as fast as what’s in your medicine cabinet.

      I’d like to know the percentage of unattached males in various cultures over time. I think you would find that high percentages correlate well with periods when ther were a lot of wars.

      Unattached young males is also the key problem in minority communities.

    • Chase

      George Gilder wrote a book on this subject several decades ago (that was often quoted to me by my father-in-law before I was courting his daughter…LOL) called, “The Naked Nomad.”

      While living in Japan and elsewhere abroad I have admired the custom of taking care of grandparents and the filial piety that existed, and see that as something we could use more of in our society.

      However, the impact of the unmarried, single male is probably a larger one, economically at least.

    • Curiosity

      The unmarried issue is something everyone visiting this site can do something to help change. First, about me and the women I’ve pursued – I’m 27, never married, and practicing celibacy until marriage. God has been very generous to me: I’m physically quite fit, academically gifted, and a hard worker. I have a stable income from a full time job, and in four years I will be debt free. I am great with children. Three older women at my church have tried to set me up with their friends / relatives, so I pass their creepiness and hygiene standards (and after my first few prospects didn’t work out, I appreciated that they would do that).

      I can’t get a young woman to so much as get coffee with me – though I’ve been propositioned several times by random promiscuous women I’ve met. Over the last four years, I’ve tried to form relationships with seven different women. I’ve definitely messed up with two, but the others? The wisdom they have learned from their parents, friends, TV, and others have told them to greatly delay marriage or worse: cohabitate or engage in promiscuity while living exclusively for themselves. They are all too busy with work / school / clubs / themselves to have time for another. They all want to finish college before marriage and get into a long-term career. The last few I’ve pursued have all been hurt by past relationships. I believe most of them expect to marry and have children some day, but the wisdom they’ve been taught and are acting on is leading them away from that.

      As Pro implied, (against my will) I have destructive thoughts and impulses when feeling bored and lonely that never, ever enter my mind around my godson, young relatives, or when I’m with a young woman. I don’t want to live like this. And prolonged undesired celibacy… ugh. I wish to marry. Even if you have zero sympathy for my self-imposed Christian restriction, know that I’d love to add 8 or more voters to society who would vote as you two decades from now.

      Everyone reading this can make a difference – probably not to me, but in the lives of those around you. (Most of the counter-cultural notions on this list come from the Focus on the Family subsidiary oriented towards unmarried individuals: http://www.boundless.org; the foolish thoughts are my rambles.)

      The easiest change you can make in your life to help change culture is to just stop saying certain things. Don’t make joke about marriage in a negative way. Don’t make crude statements about your spouse, about commitment, or about trading your wife for a day at the golf course. Don’t encourage the young women in your life to pursue a full career (I know several very intelligent women I greatly respect, by the way; it’s not that they can’t, it’s that sacrificing a full-fledged career 40 hr/week career is better for the family once she marries). Don’t speak highly of the sexual exploits of promiscuous men.

      Even better, be proactive. Speak positively about and encourage commitment and the value of a married couple raising children (Ms. Coulter has written several times on the damage done to children raised by single mothers, and the damage those children do to society). Discourage people from trying to win the rat race – that is, having no time to form relationships. If you know a young couple that has been dating a while, even if they have several years to go in college, encourage them to do the counter-cultural thing and marry – and then mentor them so they enjoy a stable and lasting marriage. Speaking of mentors: it would make a big difference if everyone here chose to mentor even one younger person.

      Mentors make a tremendous difference. Please actively take an interest in the younger people in your life. Pick just one person and be a mentor / coach / friend / role model (and this applies to people my age and younger too – just work with children). If you work, take one lunch break a week or month and invite your friend-to-be to join you. If you’re retired or a stay at home mother, meet at a restaurant. Become genuine friends, and the younger person will be very receptive to positive encouragement (and if not, you found an anomaly – find someone else). Mentor relationships are also enjoyable and beneficial to the mentor.

      I’m told men crave mentor relationships, and they benefit women greatly too. The few times I’ve had one, I’ve had a child-like infatuation with what an amazing person I thought mentor was, and intensely enjoyed every minute with him. I got one a father’s day card.

      Please, do your part to change the culture on these issues. Don’t speak ill and thus discourage anyone from seeking a committed relationship. Rather, speak well of commitment. Take the initiative and form a friendship with someone younger than you and teach them good things.

      By the way, if any of you live in southwestern Ohio and want to buy me a beer / milk shake… ;)

    • proreason

      ok Curiosity, I may regret this, but here are a few words of unsolicited, well-meaning (and in some cases hard earned) advice from Miss proreason.

      The first one is something you will rarely hear. You can want something too much. I’ve joked about this regarding Ann Coulter a couple of times (“the woman who loved too much”), but it can absolutely be true. It makes you seem weak. This is not an easy thing to overcome, but take my word, you can do it. Go out and do whatever you do well, whether it’s your job, school, playing a game, knowing stuff, being an organizer, being the helper, being funny, whatever. And don’t even think about showing off, just be good at the things that are important to you. That does two things. It makes people take notice, and it takes your mind off yourself….both good things when it comes to women. When you’re doing this right, you aren’t trying to get the gal, the gal will try to get you. (ps, it’s double important on the first couple of dates).

      Second, don’t make a big deal about either celibacy or promiscuity, or even mention it until necessary. It won’t help you with many women. It will eventually come up, of course, but it should be at a time when you both have already decided you like each other…a lot.

      Third, use the internet. After a person is out of school, it can be hard to meet people, particularly if you aren’t into the bar scene, which you probably are not. There aren’t many jobs where you meet new people regularly, and you can quickly go through the available prospects in a church or leisure time activity. But with the dating sites, you expand your target environment by factors and you never run out of prospects. Even if you go through a hundred people, as long as you aren’t taking advantage of them or allowing yourself to get discouraged, the worst thing that can happen is you drop some dough on women who don’t end up being the right one. Big deal.

      Last, at least consider women who may not be your ideal match. You wouldn’t want her to have to fall in love with you at first sight, and you shouldn’t expect to either.

      Factoid time. Everybody wants the most attractive 10 or 20% of the other sex. Yet, 95% of the population gets married, and many are happy. And many of the ones who say they are not happy are happier than they know….they just forget what it was like without somebody to care about.

    • Curiosity

      I try very hard not to make people regret giving me advice, so: thanks! I’d take the rest of this paragraph to private messages, but I’m not sure how to do that on this site. So, as an aside, I’m *attempting* (not necessarily successfully, but trying nonetheless) to follow your 1st, 2nd, and 4th points already (the things I was open or forward about were my attempt to either support my assertions or preclude assumptions that it was simply a personal problem), and while I see nothing morally wrong with the 3rd, I’m still hesitant for personal reasons. I’ll continue to think over your comments though.

      My point in posting and particularly spending so much time talking about myself and the people around me was to try and convey the differences between what I perceive in those around me and the perceptions of my generation that I consistently hear from those markedly older than me and ways we can attempt to shift the culture. Most of the things discussed on this site I feel there is little I can do to change it – write my representative, vote, attempt to engage in discussion with those around me – but I can’t personally make Congress change. I can personally positively impact the lives of those around me, but many (not sure I can say most) have no interest in doing this.

  3. tranquil.night

    Last week Rush briefly covered Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments that the NFL is socialist: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/da....._socialist

    This conversation always fascinates me every time it pops up every year or so.

    There’s the Left, always hyper-ventilating “SEE! America needs to follow Football’s example.”

    Then there’s the hand-wringing on the right: “Are we seriously arguing about a sport where guys aren’t beating the crap out of each other win and an industry that is competing for viewers in an entertainment market isn’t quintessentially capitalist?”

    The way Goodell phrases this is so key: “So we try to combine socialism and capitalism. How can we socialize by sharing our revenue in a way that will allow every team the ability to compete.”

    This phenomenon is so rare that the only way it’s ever been known to partially succeed when administered by the public sector is during times of world crisis and catastrophe. People typically literally have to be facing their own existential crisis before they’ll put their natural self-interst aside and begin to work as a collective. World War II and the post-war construction of Europe and Japan were probably the only situations conceivable where it’s been documented, and even then it was only possible because of the vast amounts of wealth and industry the United States had comparatively to the rest of the world at the time.

    But in the private sector, while still uncommon, (Corporate) Market Socialism actually can work in certain scenarios. It, too, needs a vast pre-established wealth base though. It also needs a unifying idea, principle, or vision that’s willing to inspire people to put out a product of exceptional quality with a greater amount of personal sacrifice involved. Competitive sports, and football in America in particular, is one of those rare markets where this is all possible and indeed probably beneficial seeing as how many cities out there proudly get to be represented by a team they might not be able to afford.

    I believe that if there is a small sliver of anything redeemable about socialism in that toxic dump of history’s failed ideologies, this is the prism through which it’s achievable, while all the statist incarnations will always remain malfunctioning code in the knowledge bank that needs to be quarantined. If a Conservative politician one day were ever to effectively make this point, the whole Postmodern Progressive charade would come crashing down onto its wobbly foundation.

    Tell me 300 years ago the most wealthy royals and aristocrats who dreamed of creating utopia could ever have envisioned flat digital screens instantly able to broadcast images from across the globe, and that they’d also be so affordable the ungrateful rubes could even afford it? Sorcery!

    The United States has managed the most dramatically amazing quality of life improvement in it’s young history by a civilization ever. How?

    Utopia isn’t possible, but the American consitution and the market system actually managed to get pretty damn close. In many ways, it did so damn well we’re starting to get lazy, entitled, and are forgetting en masse how it is everything we rely on even works.

    • proreason

      Seems to me it isn’t socialism at all.

      The way sports work, the larger cities have natural monopolies, since they have larger revenue bases and hence the opportunity to overpower the competition simply beceause the revenue base, if unadjusted, allows them to buy the better players. So, to make it possible for a league to work, the monopoly has to be prevented. The selected method is revenue sharing, but it could be done with other methods…by forcing restricitions on rosters, via the draft, spending caps, and many other ways.

      As you say, tn, it’s a relatively unique situation.

      I think you could call it self-regulated capitalism. The owners recognize that for any to become successful, the opportunity for teams in smaller markets to succeed has to exist, so they enforce anti-monopolistic practices on themselves.

      So I say it’s an advanced form of capitalism, not socialism at all.

    • tranquil.night

      “So I say it’s an advanced form of capitalism, not socialism at all.”

      Let not that first point be minimalized, I do not intend to validate the primary foundational basis of socialism at all. It is at odds with fundamental human nature. My only point is that when it comes to a small sliver of socialistic ideas and policies, 99.8% of the time it is only the private sector that is able to make them successful – and usually because they’re implemented to help achieve a goal of larger profitability for the greater institution. Oddly enough, it was learning about private equity vis-a-vis Bain which helped me appreciate this all the more The creation of private equity has enabled the chances for decaying property a last chance at profitability. Before the housing and financial systems collapsed thanks to government, the private sector was finding ways to bail people out in orderly fashions to minimize the collateral damage of failing ventures. That’s amazing. As we’ve seen through the Obama bailout era, the government can’t and shouldn’t be doing this because the whole process gets corrupted.

      The American Corporation is the most advanced and effective organizational mechanism for progress and advancement in history. When successful, it can do things the government simply cannot do. That is why statists fear it so, and why all must be indoctrinated to hate the evil Corporation. In the end, businesses, not government, are what end up having a more direct impact in bettering people’s lives here in America. They’ve been desperately seeking to flip that makers vs takers paradigm.

  4. tranquil.night

    All these Conservatives broadcasting their intentions to see a Conservative bulwark in Congress that will keep Romney honest: don’t be so naive as to think the Republican Establishment is just going to roll over and let you do that.

    I’ll have my updated list for Operation Counterweight done soon, with the objectives updated to taking over the House and Senate leadership from Boehner/McConnell (esp. the latter) in 2013.

  5. tranquil.night

    Nevada: Frontrunner Romney pulls less than he did in 2008, turn-out and enthusiasm down again. http://m.cbsnews.com/blogsstor.....deofeed=36

    Anecdotally, I’m hearing a lot of Republicans, people who only moderately and passively follow politics, who openly resign themselves now to an Obama second term and are just hoping Congress can be won to lame duck him. Rush was right again.

  6. tranquil.night

    Coulter: Tea Party are hypocrites if they vote for Newt

    Well, where I’m from, we got a special name for what Ann’s been doing for Mittsy, which I won’t defile these grounds with.

    I’m really tired of reacting to it. She’s not even worth the time except for insisting to badger friends of mine she’s never met. Then after Levin rips her RomneyCare lunacy to bits she goes and laments to Sean with the flirty voice that she’s been an innocent angel and all her commentary has been factual and for the kos. Only to start this crap again.

    Good luck with that WH Secretary job. I’m sure you’ll have Mittsy’s err.. ear, and you’ll be the one tugging him to the right.. for the folks!

    • proreason

      Ann Coulter, the woman who loved too much.

    • I am sad to see her go there.

      I am supporting Santorum at this point, but not entirely happy with the choice at hand. I don’t trust Mittens (to be conservative enough). Newt would be a better choice for the ability to crush Obama in debate, but has mis-stepped with regard to global warming and family values.

      I would not put that kind of label on those who would support any of the R choices. She ought to look first in anything reflective as her own words paint hypocrisy on her now choice Romney.

      Morrisey’s endorsement of Santorum is pretty close to where we should be IMO. Its here: http://hotair.com/archives/201.....-santorum/

    • Mithrandir

      Ann warns against picking Romney: http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....oUr-4NZkuQ

      “If we don’t run Chris Christie, it’s going to be Romney, because Republican primary voters — for some reason — refuse to do any research before voting, they vote for the name of anyone they have ever heard before” “…….and we ended up with John McCain, I’m not letting you do that this time, we’re picking the best candidate and we’re getting behind him.”

      And if you recall, John McCain was break-dancing all over the stage when Romney “won” Iowa.

      Ann Coulter on 2012 GOP Field: If Christie Doesn’t Run, Romney Will be Nominated and Lose to Obama:http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....o6SOpOE788

      “I don’t like to attack Republicans…..” “….well, I’ll put it in a nutshell, if we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose.”

      Hmm. Doesn’t like to attack Republicans. Lawyers supporting lawyers, now you understand the kind of tribalistic system we are in. Probably the most corrupt institution in America, the courts, and these people can’t do enough to support and expand their powers. Look at the bio’s of the top 20 longest serving Congressmen, and you will see why we are so screwed up, —yeah, most of them are lawyers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....of_service

      An entire building filled with squabbling lawyers, they get paid big bucks, can’t get anything done, go back and tell their clients exhaustedly, “This is the best compromise we can do, sorry.” –then the lawyers all go and have drinks together and how they pulled one over on their clients. Happens in every case, in every court in the land.

    • artboyusa

      All aboard the Romney Express! Making all station stops; including Loserville, Runnerupton, Middle of the Road, Dudsville and Crushing Defeat. The dinning car will be open shortly,serving hot meals, snacks and drinks; including hemlock and Reverend Jim’s Special Kool Aid for disappointed conservatives. All aboard!

      What is it, with this desperate self-hypnosis on the aprt of certain people about how “electable” Romey is and what a great candidate he’ll be? He’s a dud, an also-ran, a scmuck. It takes a special talent tto transforem a big Florida win into a PR disaster but he manged it, old Willard did, and the campaign will be worse. What a jerk. Honestly, if Romney had “loser” branded on his foreead, it couldn’t be more obvious. Here he comes, our very own John Kerry…

  7. Anonymoose

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

    Ignoring what Karl Rove said, this is ad with Clint Eastwood is about as disillusioning as when Colin Powell showed his true colors. In some respects it shouldn’t be surprising; that despite all his tough guy movies Clint has been in Hollywood over fifty years and had to swim with the sharks, but between this and his proclamation in support of gay “marriage” it looks like he never was even the actor we assumed him to be. And to be against the bailouts and then appear in an ad supporting it….lay it out Clint, don’t try to play both sides of the fence. You’re an icon and too old for this.

    • proreason

      I took it to be an ad for little lenin and fascism.

      Very disappointing.

    • tranquil.night

      Quintessential Nationalist Socialism. Very seductive propoganda.

      Eastwood once fashioned himself a Libertarian. Oh well, only one iconic actor is known for his brains and philosophical clarity not being an act, anyway.

    • canary

      oh. I thought Clint Eastwood was getting paid to do a false advertising commercial for automobiles making a comeback in Detroit. I wonder where the commercial was actually filmed with the fake pics.

    • Anonymoose

      One of the news organizations said this commercial was actually filmed in New Orleans.

    • proreason

      The commercial Clint thought he was filming…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j_8qCbHsUA

      Screwed in the editing room again.

  8. captstubby

    South Carolina attorney general sues Justice Department over voter ID law challenge

    Published February 07, 2012 | Associated Press

    South Carolina says in a lawsuit that the U.S. Justice Department was wrong to block the state from requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification to vote.
    Attorney General Alan Wilson asks a judge to overturn the federal government decision in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
    The Justice Department in December rejected South Carolina’s law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. The agency said the law didn’t meet the burden under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices that prevented blacks from voting and requires South Carolina to get federal permission for every change to state election laws.
    It was the first voter ID law to be refused by the federal agency in nearly 20 years.

    When you donate blood , you must show some kind of i.d.

    What form of identification (ID) is needed to donate? The following forms of ID will be accepted:

    Driver’s license

    State-issued ID card

    Student identification card

    Passport, Visa or green card

    Personal verification of donor identity ! !

    The last option would cover a lot of State Aid and Help or Relief programs.

    A government acceptable body had to issue any of these.

    Surly a large percentage could produce one of these.

    But if they can’t even do that, does that mean the deadbeats have been getting by , all of them, by not one of them giving blood?

    EVER?

    But they sure demand our sweat and blood.

  9. Anonymoose

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-20.....itutional/

    I’m sickened by this. Really, a gay judge on a decision about gay marriage isn’t biased? And we can expect more of same hate tactics from the party of peace and happiness, getting in everyone’s face, “outing” anyone who might oppose them, all with the media’s complicit help.

    The gays can’t have it both ways; to say that marriage is an outdated, bigoted, useless institution only about power and money, and then say it’s the most important thing they can be given. And aren’t the liberals the ones saying that “true love” doesn’t need to be proven with a piece of paper?

    And of course, always, anybody who opposes them is actually a secret self hating gay in the closet. Every message board, every blog, every debate, someone makes that claim. The only truth in that is people so wrapped up in guilt about what they are that they try to be the exact opposite.

    Yet you know, I think the same thing can be said about a lot of these rager liberals who scream on all the message boards about equality for all and still blame all the world’s problems on Bush. I know of two in my personal life who freaked out when they found out one of their kids was gay, rather than openly accept it and be happy–what does that say?

    But this really isn’t funny; I have to accept a deviant lifestyle as normal or else, that the marriage between a man and a woman is now debased so two men or two woman are equal, and their “love” is the same. Nothing will ever convince me it is. And yes, there is something personal behind my feelings.

    I lived for a long time in a big city with a pro-gay community, and had everything happen from being turned down for a state job because I wasn’t gay (the manager was calling my references and blatantly asking my sexual orientation; it goes without saying he was gay himself and a big name in their community) to being stalked and harassed by one who knew I had a crush on a girl and pretended to be an icebreaker between me and her, and then started saying I was a “repressed homosexual” and I should go express myself with him.

    It was three weeks of it, and every time I hear one of them going on about how “all haters are in the closet” it makes my blood boil. I have no sympathy for them. The real ugliness, though, will come not from someone like me or conservatives or the religious right, but when the gays/lesbians/transsexuals/whatever realize they have nothing in common with each other and start playing the victim/hater game on themselves.

  10. proreason

    Maybe proreason isn’t so crazy after all.

    David Stockman says this about the unemployment fantasy numbers “In short, if you spend a little time with these numbers you will know that they are being made up. ”

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....z1lidPJvbE

    There’s no getting around that is an astonishing claim by a respected former budget director.

  11. proreason

    Awesome essay, but a tough read:

    http://www.claremont.org/publi.....detail.asp

    Too much there to summarize but well worth reading.




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