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  • On 12 Apr 2014 in US Bans The Import Of Russian Vodka, thunderlips11 said:

    Oh, and our top export to China? Soybeans.

    The next one is Civilian Aircraft, but how much of that is Boeing packing up and shipping factories to China? That counts as an export, btw.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in "Cosmos" irritates the God-botherers, thunderlips11 said:

    Jesus, that was delicious.

    The indoctrination of children is the primary issue. It should be a human right for children to have NO religious education prior to 18.

    And it is indoctrination. Religions know this and fight secular education, knowing the only way they can maintain control and followers is to have as many kids indoctrinated as possible. "It's our freedom as parents to poison our kids minds with Invisible Sky Daddies who will punish them for thinking about masturbating."

    People will laugh at the idea that there is a bearded Viking in the sky who wields a Hammer.

    But they will cry and howl and donate money over a Jewish Carpenter who also wielded a hammer and ascended into the sky.

    What difference is there? None really. Both have holy books - if anything the Prose Edda is more verifiable since we know who wrote it - Snorri Sturluson - a Christian Bishop, so a hostile witness. Compare that to the anonymous or contested authorship of both the OT and NT. Theologians even debate what letters ascribed to Paul are actually Pauls and not forgeries. Luther himself thought Hebrews dubious.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in US Bans The Import Of Russian Vodka, thunderlips11 said:

    The biggest exporter of arms is the US by a fair sight.

    And the US is most certainly Imperialist in a neo-colonial, open-your-borders to let Bechtel and Citigroup to buy any and everything it wants, or you're a rogue nation sort of way.

    Oh, and of course, bad commercial paper like subprime mortgages tranches.

    Remember, every time a rustbelt factory closes and all the equipment is packed up and sold to a Chinese company at a liquidation or buyout sale, it counts as "Industrial Equipment and Machinery" exports.

    "Industrial Supplies" includes Nat Gas, Oil, Scrap Metal, etc.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in Armed Men Seize Police Station in Slavyansk; Ukraine Prepares Armed Response, thunderlips11 said:


    The people in the Eastern Ukraine are Russians that speak Russian. They know when the Ukraine becomes a Western Neoliberal Bitch-state, the first thing is that Citigroup and Deutsche Bank and Bechtel will buy out all the factories and mines, lay off 95% of the workers, and take the cash out of the country.

    With the Ukraine only getting high-interest Wall Street/Frankfurt/City loans from the IMF, there won't be anything but the most token of unemployment benefits.

    Gotta stand up for your self interest and not forced to eat face to survive by the top .1%

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in "Cosmos" irritates the God-botherers, thunderlips11 said:

    Peter P says

    Any attempt to link morality with science is further proof that science is dogmatic.

    Mammals evolved cooperative social behaviors. The "God has written on our hearts" is really "Primate morality written in our DNA"

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in US Bans The Import Of Russian Vodka, thunderlips11 said:

    Strategist says

    It's hard to put sanctions on a country that produces very little of anything that has value.

    Other than nickel, steel, oil, gas, gold, etc.

    The Russians need more American type high value added products like Donuts and Adult Friend Finder.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in Frustrated house shopper takes revenge on new homeowner, thunderlips11 said:

    Entitled wealthy people, what else is new?

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in "Cosmos" irritates the God-botherers, thunderlips11 said:

    Also, blind people "See" in their brain functions, which is excreted by biochemicals just like the Liver excretes bile and Stomache excretes Stomach Acids. Even lifetime blind people visualize things in their heads.

    That Blind people have NDEs is evidence for, not against, it being a biochemical experience.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in "Cosmos" irritates the God-botherers, thunderlips11 said:


    Oxygen Deprivation, reduced bloodflow to the brain, electrical stimulation to certain parts of it, etc. can all cause the brain to do weird things.

    My dad swore that the dean of UMich gave him a diploma at 2AM several weeks ago - and that there was a lot of broken glass and that my mom threw out his diploma. He fell asleep watching the UMich game and knocked away the CPAP machine. It took him 24 hours to realize it was 100% a delusion, there was no broken glass, no dean, and no diploma for mom to have thrown out.

    Just because brain function is limited, doesn't mean the senses don't work at all. Somebody with limited brain function can still hear, smell, even see to some degree.

    Also, a lot of NDEs don't report the room correctly, even though they swear they saw themselves on the operating table.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in Miami leads in foreclosures in first quarter, thunderlips11 said:

    bob2356 says

    Cashiers checks and wire transfers aren't suitcases full of cash.

    I do know that many Russians come over with jewelry (often painted over diamonds in gaudy bright reds, greens, etc. to look like costume jewelry), sell it for cash, then buy as a straw purchaser, and finally transfer the deed to an entity owned by the "True Investor".

    bob2356 says

    I'm sure that there is some drug money is buying condos in Miami and every other major city. A lot more of it has to do with people parking money out of reach of places like Cyprus that are imposing currency controls. What regulation would you propose that don't already exist in the banking system? That all condos have a mortgage? That only people with US bank accounts be allowed to buy?

    No clue. I do know that other countries often have special taxes for foreign buyers, and either limit purchases, have minimum buy-ins set at luxury prices (so as not to price out the middle class), and caps. Thailand comes to mind. Mexico also. Italy taxes foreigners and natives with second homes at more than twice the rate of first time, domestic buyers (3% vs. 7%). But then you get into the "Isn't a US LCC domestic?" issue.

    Most countries don't stint on the red tape, either. It ain't easy or simple, even if they let foreigners buy, like Italy. Which is why they're all over here and in the few (mostly Anglo-Celtic, although Australia and now NZ and the UK are moving to place more restrictions on foreign ownership) countries with few or no foreign ownership restrictions.

    My solution that corporations be prohibited from holding residential property entirely ("Personal Responsibility for Homeownership Act"?), and can only lease or rent it. That would be considered "too Radical", though that one simple law would stop most of the problems with a minimum of red tape: Less speculation, more building for the masses not just the upper classes, reduced money laundering, etc.

    In any case, the US is also one of the few countries that allows unlimited foreign ownership of real estate, and no special taxes or restrictions of any kind on foreigners buying real estate.

    bob2356 says

    On a more humorous note of the do as I say not as I do US foreign policy, the US voted yes to UN resolution 2023 condemning Eritrea for collecting an "immoral" 2% income tax on non resident citizens considering it "extortion". The only other country in the world that collects income taxes from non resident citizens is the US. But the US doesn't extort an immoral 2%. No not at all, the US has the moral high ground, collecting the full rate up to 39.6%.

    Couldn't agree more.

    bob2356 says

    FWIW the US is considered one of the best locations in the world to set up shell corporations as long as you are not a US citizen. Places like Nevada and Wyoming are much better for hiding corporate ownershiop than the Carriibean or Pacific rim. Look at the 2006, GAO report “Company Formations: Minimal Ownership Information Is Collected and Available.” . The Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which is the leading international organization combating money laundering has issued reports criticizing the United States for failing to comply with FATF standards requiring the collection of beneficial ownership information. Other countries have made hundreds of requests to DOJ and DHS for ownership information on US shell companies suspected of criminal activity that simply couldn't be provided.

    Interesting! I think in NM they even have old style "Nominee" corporations like they (Used to?) in Hong Kong and other British Possessions.

    In Paraguay I could not form a corporation, even with a resident card, without a portion of native ownership.

  • On 12 Apr 2014 in "Cosmos" irritates the God-botherers, thunderlips11 said:

    I can disprove the "Soul" easily, as well as "Good and Evil" people.


    Makes great people act like monsters. Funny, the brain is deteriorating and the soul seems to be turning wicked at the same time. What a coinky-dink, unless there is a simpler explanation: No Soul, All Brains.

  • On 11 Apr 2014 in Miami leads in foreclosures in first quarter, thunderlips11 said:


    Lopez Tardon, the alleged leader of the Los Miami drug gang from Spain, is facing a trial in Miami on charges of laundering $26.4 million in drug money into real and personal property here. Among the items were 14 condo units bought from 2001 through 2006. All but two were purchased directly from developers – including four units in The Mark on Brickell and seven units in One Miami – all affiliates of The Related Group. Most were held in limited liability companies (LLCs), including a penthouse unit at South Beach’s Continuum, where Lopez Tardon resided.

    There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with LLCs, which are common in real estate, but a Business Journal investigation has found they create an easy way to launder money. A typical scenario: Ill-gotten cash is put in a foreign bank, an LLC is formed to buy property and the money is supplied in a cashier’s check or wired in for a cash closing.

    There is no obligation in Florida for Developers selling direct to verify the source of buyer's money.

    Also of interest:

    Such an arrangement isn’t acceptable to most domestic buyers, said Lewis Goodkin, president of Miami-based Goodkin Consulting, who has done many studies on the condo market and predicted the real estate meltdown years in advance. Now, he said, foreign cash buyers appear to be overpaying and distorting the equilibrium of the marketplace.

    “I can say with absolute certainty, based on all of my experience, that if these people are paying these prices, they will have to find other people like themselves to get them out because it won’t be the domestic buyer who does it,” Goodkin said.

    It’s especially a problem when it’s illegal money, because those buyers don’t care if they overpay and drive properties out of reach for legitimate buyers, Goodkin said. Even relying on legitimate sources of foreign cash is a dangerous game, he added.

    “You have real wealth and also people where you don’t know who the hell they are,” Goodkin said. “That’s one thing that is disturbing because it’s not really real. The market is so dependent on a source you can’t even qualify. You don’t know: How deep is this market?”

    Three-fourths of sales are cash

    Goodkin is also surprised with the high volume of cash resales in the condo market, which he called unprecedented. In the first half of 2013, 73 percent of condo resales by dollar volume were cash deals, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Nearly 90 percent of condo buyers were foreign in 2012, and that trend continued this year.

    Buying condos for cash while mortgage rates are low is risky, Goodkin said, because when rates rise, it decreases borrowers’ buying power and could negatively impact prices.

    If you look at our past sales and see what a relatively small percentage of these sales were cash, and now all of these buildings are going up, predicated on buyers’ cash,” Goodkin said. “It would seem to me that that is a phenomenon that I’m surprised the FBI isn’t really cognizant of. This is a flood.”

    The increase in cash sales in Miami doesn’t prove there is money laundering going on, but it increases the potential for money laundering because of the lesser regulation in the cash market, said Josh Burdett, head of Jensen Beach-based financial consulting firm TMP Risk and a former compliance officer for national banks. Real estate professionals should do more due diligence on customers, especially those who use shell companies, seek to close too quickly or use multiple cashier’s checks, he said.

    Without regulation, of course, it would be against Broker's interests to vet all these Russian and South American foreign cash-only buyers. The commission would simply go to a less nosey broker, since there is no obligation to investigate, and the broker doesn't really have the power to do so.

  • On 11 Apr 2014 in 85% of Pension Funds to Fail in Three Decades, thunderlips11 said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    The Roman empire was the second largest Ponzi scheme yet.

    Hey, what is that Gap between 500AD and 1700/1800AD?

    Rome was the center of the largest, most widespread Medieval Institution, and yet... so small until the Modern, post-Enlightenment Era.

    I thought the Middle Ages were a time of great learning and expanding economic life, when the Church embraced science and innovation, and happy serfs were ruled by wise and pious Monarchs. And all the negative stuff is the invention of evil commie Enlightenment philosophers like the vile antinominan Voltaire.

    So the medievalists say...

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in Miami leads in foreclosures in first quarter, thunderlips11 said:

    Those Condos are really hiding places for drug money.

    If you buy direct from the developer, you don't have to comply with banking transparency laws. You can literally show up with a suitcase of cash.

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in U.S. National Debt clock just keeps on ticking..., thunderlips11 said:

    Hey, speaking of economic liberty causing political liberty, any word on when the people will be able to vote for the President of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and China? They've been capitalist for decades upon decades now...

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in U.S. National Debt clock just keeps on ticking..., thunderlips11 said:

    Bellingham Bill says

    Germany is running a massive trade surplus against us.

    That can't be. I thought the Germans were all lazy Eurosocialists. Whereas our Free Trade Liberty and far, far more lax employment, enviro, and business regulation has gotten us a... oh... massive trade deficit, Year after Year.

    Why is China not reciprocating our Free Trade? All the Classical and Neo-liberals say it's guaranteed to happen... can't figure it out.

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in Fed member exasperated by inflation warnings, thunderlips11 said:

    Heraclitusstudent says

    This is the case because of inequalities (fewer people have the money and those who have it don't need to spend it), and because of few good investment opportunities as the economy is not growing.

    Too much capital in too few hands chasing too few opportunities. Explains pretty much everything in the past few years.

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in Kathleen Sebelius resigning from top HHS post, thunderlips11 said:

    Betcha her next job is with HCA, Aetna/US Healthcare, another Insurance/Hospital profiteering organization or a Lobbyist Firm who reps them.

    Her replacement is closely tied to MetLife and Walmart, and of course, a CFR board member.

  • On 10 Apr 2014 in Middle Class was "Fed" to the Sharks, thunderlips11 said:

    Here's a start:

    Imagine, SS Checks deposited in postal accounts... minimal fees that just pay for the admin... new payment systems...

    Never would happen, Wall Street would howl "How dare the Government work for ordinary people, instead of forcing them to save with us and earning us a ludicrous commission."

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in 1 in 3 homes is unaffordable and a bubble is forming, thunderlips11 said:

    Seriously some of these places are decorated like Liberace on Acid.

    One place had a huge gold-framed picture of a Rabbi, sitting between two Fake French Imperial Chairs with blue cushions and of course gold trim - and 3 of 4 walls glass, of course.

    Wanting $500k for apartments that have brown and orange kitchens and need about $100k just so you can rest your eyes inside them.

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in 1 in 3 homes is unaffordable and a bubble is forming, thunderlips11 said:

    Call it Crazy says

    More than half of homes currently listed for sale in Miami (62.4%), Los Angeles (57.2%), San Diego (55.3%), San Francisco (55.2%), Denver (52.8%), San Jose (50.9%) and Portland, Ore. (50.3%) are unaffordable by historical standards.

    I just moved my mother to a place in Miami. Fortunately, she has a huge pension, about 3x the national median income, so this wasn't a problem. I looked for myself and was appalled.

    Prices are absolutely unaffordable for most of the very comfortable families in the top 30%. It's $500k+ for an ancient 2 bedroom with glass everything, Bronx Baroque Style, the old NYC apartment was moved in 1971 and the walls are decorated with Psychadelic Brown Wallpaper that look like DNA Strands. With outdated facilities, no gym but a card playing room, and absolutely no pets, not even under 20 lb.

    The newer apartments are somewhat cheaper, but the HOA fees make no sense, $700-900/mo, and they're still maybe 30% higher than the maximum price based on 3-5x income. I assume the HOA fees are because half the condos are empty.

    There's also a massive gap between Condos that allow rentals and those that don't (or those that allow rentals only after 3 years of ownership, useless for investors). What's happening is that Grandma wants to sell, but she sees in neighboring, rentals-allowed Condos they are asking half a million, she thinks she can get the same thing for her Bronx-French Colonial Furnished apartment with the Multicolored Astrick wallpaper and 1976 Yellowish-Brown Electric Stove equipped kitchen with that bizarro faux-marble tile.

    Also, Granny and/or her babyboomer almost-senior children remember 2007 prices and are insistent on holding out for that.

    Yes, there are plenty of Russians and South Americans buying, but they're buying the luxury apartments to launder or hide money. They're not buying the middle-class or upper-middle class condos.

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in Student goes on knife rampage; nobody killed, thunderlips11 said:

    This wouldn't have happened if the local PD had an Armored Fighting Vehicle.

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in Baptism disqualification, thunderlips11 said:

    He's callin' it up, don't you see?

    The Jonah!

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in Uruguay gives marijuana to prison inmates, thunderlips11 said:

    Great idea. Give all the prisoners weed and chips, and reduce violent incidents 90%.

  • On 9 Apr 2014 in Blankfein Explains "Doing God's Work" Demands A Year End Bonus, thunderlips11 said:

    All worship the Marketgod!

    For He is a Jealous God. And a Fickle God. And who rewards his Priests well, and visits Tazerings upon his Enemies via his beloved SWAT Angels.

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