comments by curious2

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Tue, 9 Feb 2016, 12:58am PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 1

Dan8267 says

currency debasement more than falling oil prices causes the purchasing power of your dollar to decline

I agree, but policies propping up the USD relative to other currencies have so far limited the effects of debasement by enabling Americans to live high off imported goods. When the US buys from China, the Chinese invest in US Treasuries to keep the USD high relative to the CNY; the UK has "Pound Stores," where people pay 50% more for the same Chinese products that Dollar Stores sell here. Ditto Japan and the JPY: they hold $1T of American treasuries. And when the rest of the world buys from Saudi Arabia, the Saudis prop up the USD by investing much of the profits in American assets (primarily stocks and real estate). Debtors outnumber creditors, and bankers (the merchants of debt) overpower everybody, and have paid both imperial patronage networks to convert America into an empire of debt: Democrats do it for the medical industrial complex, Republicans for the military industrial complex, but the bipartisan consensus is to borrow and spend more. That requires selling USD, either by printing bonds or currency, and who will buy those USD if they aren't needed for oil? When demand for petrodollars is reduced, what can possibly happen but debasement of the USD?

BTW, I don't like the situation at all, which is one reason why I use a Grumpy Cat avatar. I would prefer lower oil prices and a budget surplus, as America had around 2000, and a trade surplus as America had decades ago. I just don't see either major party offering that. Most Americans insist on their partisan/sectarian delusions, blaming "the other" side for everything while getting robbed by both sides.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Mon, 8 Feb 2016, 10:11pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 2

Dan8267 says

lalalala says

How?

War

And W's tax shift that gave unlimited deductions to 3-ton SUVs, and other measures that protected Saudi Arabia's market position by keeping competitors off the market.

In 1971, to finance the war in Viet Nam, Nixon took the USD off the gold standard, and put it on a Saudi oil standard instead: the Saudis can charge whatever the market will bear, provided they accept payment only in USD. Much of American policy since then, especially foreign policy, can be seen as protecting the position of Saudi Arabia and thus the petrodollar. That, in turn, has enabled unprecedented American borrowing and spending, including trade deficits continuously since the 1970s and budget deficits almost continuously since 1981. I suspect both of the imperial patronage networks have been in on the game at some level, even if most of their delusional bases don't realize it, because the game enables the real players to cash in. Even the environmentalists' refusal to drill cheap oil off America's coasts had the effect of propping up Saudi petrodollars, millions of which have gone to the Bush&Clinton family businesses.

The question now, @iwog and @Dan8267, is what will happen to the USD with falling oil prices and rising competition from Iran? Without the gold standard, and with petrodollar support falling, and with chronic structural deficits that neither imperial patronage network shows any sign of addressing, what happens to the USD relative to other currencies? Competitive devaluations? Global "stimulus" (mandatory borrowing&spending)? Will what started out as a devious and probably self-destructive system of imperial finance consume the USD, or the whole global economy?

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Mon, 8 Feb 2016, 9:51pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 3

Ironman says

He also called for a recession and gold dropping to $1000. Have you seen either of that yet?

Do you have a link showing exactly what he predicted and when? Gold's 10-year range shows prices per ounce between $600 and $1,900.

Ironman says

Wrong, he called for a 20%- 25% correction (when the DOW was at 17,100) by Dec. 2014 (down to 14,000) . Instead, it climbed to 18,300.

He wrote that he expected "the market to make new all time highs in 2015." That happened. He said he was going to cash in August 2014 because "the odds of a 20-25% correction in the stock market [had become] too high." A correction happened in September and October 2014, though it was only 10%. I didn't see anybody else predicting a correction in the remaining months of 2014, followed by a peak in 2015. After peaking in 2015, as iwog predicted, the Dow has now fallen lower than where it stood when he said he was liquidating all his stocks and going to cash.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Mon, 8 Feb 2016, 8:42pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 4

Update:

"As 2016 presidential hopefuls are starting to bow out of the race during the early days of the primary season, Michael Bloomberg told The Financial Times on Monday, February 8, that he is considering throwing his hat into the ring.
***
According to The New York Times, the billionaire is considering running as an independent candidate."

I'm especially curious to know what @iwog thinks of this report. Should Bloomberg run, and what will most likely happen if Bloomberg runs? Nobody can predict perfectly, but iwog's predictions have proven more accurate than anyone else I know. In 2014, stocks corrected around 10%, then peaked in 2015 as he predicted, and have since fallen lower than they were when he said he was going to cash.

At 73, Bloomberg may be thinking it's "now or never," but no indepdendent candidate has prevailed in more than 100 years. In my opinion, unprecedented borrowing & spending have empowered the two imperial patronage networks to a degree that nobody can challenge successfully until after the current politico-economic system collapses, but that might conceivably happen between now and November. Too many people have grown accustomed to consuming more than they produce (or overpaying for what they consume and shifting the cost onto their neighbors, e.g. Medicare and Obamneycare). I suspect most voters won't listen to anyone who says they can't keep doing that forever, until it becomes obvious. Even then, they'll probably cling to their partisan and sectarian delusions: eternal life through god&guns, or Obamneycare ("no more lifetime caps!").

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 9:21pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 5

FortWayne says

Gay marriage

Well that didn't take long. I had wondered why militant closet case Forthood cared about whether landlords allow pets. He and his church twisted his pathetic brain so badly against itself that even a city council meeting about landlord/tenant issues and pets, with no mention of homosexuality whatsoever, reminds him of gay marriage. His own loveless marriage, retching in a cloud of flatulence, makes him so miserable that he can only dream of renting an apartment. Maybe the only thing holding him back is a loyal dog, who wouldn't be allowed in a rental. Those pesky liberals never stop trying to help him, but he's determined that they can't save him from himself.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 7:47pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 6

That's AF/DBOAPD's restaurant. The dinner menu consists entirely of FACE! The leftover headscarves are inedible, so he uses them as tablecloths. Feel free to take one, he has plenty more where those came from.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 7:34pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 7

Dan8267 says

Fixed that for ya.

Unsure if that turban is Muslim or Sikh. You might want to try something more clearly Arabic:

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 2:53pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 8

"Syrians Selling Their Teenage Daughters to Saudi 'Husbands'"

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 2:36pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 9

thunderlips11 says

I wonder how many people were killed by extremist Christians worldwide in the last week? Betcha nowhere near as many.

A Muslim would probably count the continuing casualties of W's "crusade" into Iraq at the behest of "a higher father." I count those as casualties of crony capitalism (hello, Halliburton) and the military industrial complex. America has unfortunately killed a lot of people, because patronage networks (including the Saudis) have repeatedly hijacked American power and used it for their own purposes. Nothing in the Constitution requires America to convert or kill the whole world, nor to punish people for criticizing America or renouncing citizenship. I can't deny America and Christianity have blood on their hands, but the difference is that in Islam, that's intrinsic to the doctrine. You can find isolated examples of lone Christian terrorists (e.g. Eric Rudolph), but they can't find enough of each other to form the sort of conspiracies that enable large scale attacks. There are no perfect religions, nor any perfect countries, but the difference is Islam says to kill you for pointing that out.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 2:08pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 10

More today:

"Explosion on flight from Somalia was caused by [Islamic terrorist] bomb

There was no immediate comment from al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist militant group that has waged an insurgency against the western-backed government.

Though al-Shabaab mostly withdrew from Mogadishu in 2011, the group still carries out attacks in the city and against African Union peacekeepers across the country.

Last month al-Shabaab attacked a beachfront restaurant in Mogadishu and launched an assault on a base near the Kenyan border, where it claimed to have killed more than 100 Kenyan soldiers belonging to the AU’s Amisom force. Officials in Kenya have refused to give details of casualties."

and more:

"A 10-year-old Afghan boy who was declared a hero after fighting the Taliban has been shot dead by insurgents while on his way to school...."

and more:

"A Taliban suicide bomber has blown himself up after joining a queue to enter a police office in Kabul, killing 20 people and wounding at least 29...."

and more:

"A North Carolina man killed his neighbor and stole the man's money so he could buy an assault rifle to carry out an Islamic State-inspired shooting at a concert or club, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.

The federal indictment also accuses Justin Nojan Sullivan of offering an undercover FBI employee money to kill his parents, who he believed would interfere with his plans for an attack.
***
Sullivan, who lived with his parents in Morganton, a foothills town of about 17,000, converted to Islam and was watching videos of Islamic State beheadings by the fall of 2014, the indictment said. Authorities said he pledged his allegiance to the terror group."

The Islamic strategy seems to be to cause chaos and anarchy, so that Islam can emerge as the most powerful force and take over. When that happens, the imposition of Sharia enforces Islam and bans all competitors by crimininalizing apostasy and blasphemy.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Wed, 3 Feb 2016, 1:59pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 11

Tenpoundbass says

Her job was to create mayhem and tension between political groups so that [her party] could step in and save the day.

"With Agitation and Propaganda you're responsible for brainwashing in the sense of Marxism," he said. "That was her task and that wasn't cultural work. Agitation and Propaganda, that was the group that was meant to fill people's brains with everything you were supposed to believe in the GDR, with all the ideological tricks. And what annoys me about this woman is simply the fact that she doesn't admit to a closeness to the system in the GDR. From a scientific standpoint she wasn't indispensable at the Academy of Sciences. But she was useful as a pastor's daughter in terms of Marxism-Leninism. And she's denying that. But it's the truth.

On Sunday evening, Merkel said she hadn't covered up anything about her past. "I can only rely on my memory," she said at a public screening of her favorite movie, a popular love film made in East Germany, on Sunday night. "If something turns out to be different, I can live with that.""

I had never known about that part of her biography, but it explains a lot. When the communists were in charge, she was a communist. Now, she's a Christian "democrat."

She was never a liberal though, and her claim that multiculturalism failed is an oversimplification; to a large extent, she is causing it to fail. You could have multiculturalism including Buddhists, Sikhs, really any number of people who can get along with each other, and it would work. The problem is Islamic doctrine rejects multiculturalism and democracy, using them merely as tools to enter a multicultural democracy and conquer it, like a virus infecting a cell and turning the cellular machinery against itself.

There are good ideas and bad ideas in the world. Good ideas include the Enlightenment, the scientific method, and the Internet, because they make people better off. Bad ideas include leaded gasoline and hydrogenated fats, because they make people worse off. Islam is a bad idea because it makes people worse off. In fact it subordinates people entirely to an imaginary deity: it doesn't matter that the jihadi reduces himself to piles of scattered guts on the street, and does the same to his fellow humans; all that matters is he did so in service to the big bad idea, Islam. Instead of analyzing ideas though, most people seem to run with slogans.

Over time, if allowed to compete, good ideas tend to displace bad ideas. Islam persists because it does not allow competition: once it takes over an area, apostasy and blasphemy become capital crimes. That makes it fundamentally incompatible with enlightenment democracies that allow different ideas to compete.

You could make similar theoretical claims about the Vatican, imagining that their doctrine is either a substitute for humanity or even superior to humanity instead of serving actual humans. You could cite historical examples including the Inquisition and Galileo, and other religions, but they would prove mainly that religion and government don't mix: church and state should be separated. Meanwhile, the empirical evidence suggests though that Islam differs fundamentally from the religions that allowed the Enlightenment, partly because Islamic doctrine requires the imposition of Sharia law.

The problem isn't multiculturalism, which Merkel seems never to have believed in anyway and is now apparently trying to scapegoat. The problem is Islam.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Tue, 2 Feb 2016, 6:42pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (2)     Comment 12

drew_eckhardt says

coverage.

@drew_eckhardt, your math misleads you due to wrong assumptions. Garbage in, garbage out. If you did experience a true emergency requiring medical intervention, compare what it would have cost in a different country with a different system, e.g. Japan or Mexico, to calculate whether mandating Obamneycare coverage increased the cost or not. (Common emergencies cost less than $100 in either country, including stitches.) Also consider what benefit (if any) you actually got, because many American hospital emergency visits confer little if any benefit to the patient; hospitals are advertised relentlessly and promoted via the public relations industry, in order to create a cultural expectation and produce revenue opportunities via fraudulent admissions. American hospital bills are arbitrary, designed to mislead and enabled by the system that Obama had promised to reform instead of mandating. As for your gross profit percentages, they seem to reflect a misunderstanding of how these corporations operate: the MLR is a policy accounting tool, but not a measure of corporate gross profit. I've explained elsewhere how the game is played, based on real examples with names changed to protect the guilty. You seem to have wrong numbers about the MLR anyway, as the actual ratios are 80% and 85% for approved expenses including electronic billing systems and "education" (advertising). The whole Byzantine mess relies on elaborate obfuscations, so don't feel too badly: many people were paid a lot of money to prevent you from following the ball in the shell game, and they are extremely practiced at what they do.

BTW, Medicare and Medicaid have been quite thorougly exploited too. Supporters talk about lower administrative overhead as a % of total billing, but they don't mention massive billing fraud and injurious overutilization. There isn't a good model in America, except in the sense of revenue models, which the American political system excels at expanding. If you want to find a better system, you'd have to build one or look elsewhere.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Mon, 1 Feb 2016, 9:45pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 13

Headline does not match text, and both are meaningless anyway:

Ironman says

25% of Fed Employees Would

vs

Ironman says

About 14 percent of respondents said they would definitely consider leaving federal service under President Trump, while an additional 11 percent said they might.

The whole survey is a clickbait headline anyway, because the responses mean nothing unless you ask the same question regarding the other candidates. You might also want a baseline comparing to both private and public sector employees: "During the next four years, assuming you remain able to work, might you consider leaving your current job?" I'm surprised only 11% said yes.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Mon, 1 Feb 2016, 9:22pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 14

8 comments and nobody bothered to fact-check the headline against the actual article? Before engaging keyboard, make sure brain is in gear. The OP headline is either an error on the scale of tovbot, or an outright lie:

smaulgld says

$.89 of Every Dollar in Illinois Teacher Budget Goes to Pay Pensions

The linked article says, "From 2009 to 2014, the state added $8.9 billion in new tax dollars to the education budget, over and above the base amount of $6.8 billion it spent in 2009. Of those new dollars spent, 89 percent went to retirement costs and just 11 percent made it to classrooms."

The prior "base amount of $6.8 billion" in 2009 would add up to $34 billion during the period from 2009 to 2014.
The additional $8.9 billion during the period equals 26%, NOT 89%.

The reasons for the addition are obvious:
1) like many politicians and corporations, Illinois promised expensive benefits based on the assumption of higher annual returns than seem realistic today;
2) retiree medical costs, which many pension plans include, have continued to increase, partly due to Obamneycare.
As pension managers adjust their projections, they need to increase funding to reduce the risk of unfunded liabilities causing collapse. By funding their previously underfunded liability, the state of Illinois increases its own financial security and everyone else's. Criticizing fiscal responsibility is neither conservative nor liberal, it's merely partisan and reactionary.

If you want to talk aboout government waste, look at the medical-industrial complex (especially the hospital corporations) and the military-industrial complex, and make sure to include the "war on drugs," which spans both.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Sun, 31 Jan 2016, 5:06pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 15

And again:

"An attack by Boko Haram on a village in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 65 people on Saturday night
***
Boko Haram militants firebombed huts [with] children screaming as people were burned to death...the carnage lasted for four hours....
***
The violence continued as three female suicide bombers blew up among people who managed to flee to neighboring Gamori village, killing many people..."

Also today:

"Bombs kill more than 50 people in Syria
***
Islamic State, the militant faction that emerged from the chaos of the Syrian conflict, took responsibility for Sunday’s attacks, which [also] injured more than 100...."

I think Muslim terrorists go out of their way to horrify in order to prove their loyalty, since loyalty to Allah is the highest value in Islam.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Sun, 31 Jan 2016, 2:59pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 16

Patrick says

getting to be fairly sure

It's an allegation of disinformation, which might be either itself disinformation or possibly accurate. If Baghdadi doesn't exist, then it leaves the question who originated the claim that he called the house of Saud “the serpent's head.” I don't see how the Saudis would benefit from even more Jihadis trying to kill them, unless they are all trying to achieve martyrdom in the name of their own brand of Islam.

BTW, I think a reason we never see nonviolent resistance like Gandhi or MLK in Muslim countries is because Islam seems to reward loyalty to Allah above all else; the only guaranteed path to paradise is martyrdom on behalf of Islam. So, the Shia or Sunni killed by the other side imagines that he is going to paradise. The killer imagines he is proving his loyalty by sending infidels to hell. It reminds me of Seneca: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." A campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience in a Muslim country would risk turning into mass suicide, because the believers on both sides would be highly motivated, and the rulers would find it useful to exterminate dissent.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Sun, 31 Jan 2016, 2:40pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 17

Here is a PatNet foreign aid charitable suggestion.

One PatNet user had/has a business making custom T-shirts and similar products, e.g. maybe Che Guevara on a T-shirt

In nortthern Europe, huge numbers of Muslim immigrants need clothing and a way to show they can integrate into European culture. So, in the spirit of Christian charity, send shirts and similar merch featuring Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Personally, if I'd just escaped from ISIL/Daesh, I'd be wearing Charlie Hebdo shirts every day, and sleeping every night in Charlie Hebdo pajamas on Charlie Hebdo sheets.

Under U.S. foreign aid rules, the products have to be made here, which would be good for PatNet. Think big government contracts. Shirts and coats might even need Kevlar, to protect the wearers from getting killed by Muslims. Add body cams, so jihadi assailants can be promptly deported to Mecca and airdropped from a C5. Of course, the parachutes should also have Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Having the courage of your convictions means sticking your jump, with or without the chute.

Blasphemous cartoons could become a fashion statement, even more popular than Che.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Sat, 30 Jan 2016, 11:47pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 18

Patrick says

saudi arabia is where [ISIL/Daesh's] funding comes from.

You might want to update that to past tense:

Abu Bakr Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State, has promised to overthrow the Al Saud dynasty, which he calls “the serpent's head.”

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is....

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Sat, 30 Jan 2016, 5:28pm PST   Share   Quote   Like (3)   Dislike (1)     Comment 19

Now you're talking, but drones tend to fly too high. At the risk of sounding old-school, I suggest leaflets. A few C5 transport planes could leaflet whole cities with great drifts of Charlie Hebdo cartoons captioned with obvious tautologies:
1) If all things are the will of Allah, then Allah wants these leaflets to go wherever they land. Disturbing them would be going against the will of Allah.
2) These leaflets are sacred because damaging or destroying them would desecrate Mohammed's likeness.
3) No omnipotent deity can ever need your help. If you do anything at all in the name of helping Allah, you are denying the omnipotence of Allah.

Billions of leaflets would allow room for thousands of new proverbs: encourage kids to collect them all.

In addition to the leaflets, I suggest adding back the long lost chapter of the Sira, describing Mohamed's absymal personal hygiene. He never brushed his teeth, and he loved to eat rotten clams, because the projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea drove his enemies to flee before him. His friends also preferred to keep upwind of him, as did any animals with olfactory organs of any kind. For the illiterate, include some full-color illustrations of the prophet with brown anal liquid drenching the hair of his long suffering camel.

Ditto the lost chapters of the Koran and Hadith. Although the Koran is usually published in order from the longest chapter to the shortest, its many contradictions are resolved in chronoligcal order, with later verses abrogating earlier ones. So, any more recently discovered chapters should abrograte the earlier ones. Repeal all the earlier crap and, for good measure, think of the moose.

curious2   befriend (4)   ignore (6)   Fri, 29 Jan 2016, 6:54pm PST   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 20

In 2014, "David Bowie made a secret final trip to London to show his wife and daughter the sights and pay an emotional farewell to his home city after being diagnosed with cancer, it has emerged.

The iconic rock star, whose death [in 2016] shook the world, lived out his final years in New York, with his wife Iman and daughter Lexi, 15, where he lived the life of a family man.

But shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, he took his family to see the city that made him a star, visiting the Tower of London, the London Eye, and the house where he was born in Brixton."

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