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  • On 22 Aug 2014 in Everything is now wrong, in spades, mell said:

    Paul Krugmean sez: "Print moar monies and raise taxes so I can get my $225K/yr from you tax-paying wage slaves for blasting you in every speech I make - MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

  • On 22 Aug 2014 in Some of yous will get this, most won't, mell said:

    Regulation has no meaning if the rule of law is abolished, and it has been for quite a while now. There is no problem with too little regulation, just with government abolishing the rule of law, not prosecuting clear cut fraud and other major (war, financial, collusion, violations of the sherman acts etc.) crimes.

  • On 17 Aug 2014 in Ron Paul: "What Have We Accomplished In Iraq?", mell said:

    "We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began agitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.

    This month, yet another US president – the fifth in a row – began bombing Iraq. He is also placing in US troops on the ground despite promising not to do so.

    The second Iraq war in 2003 cost the US some two trillion dollars. According to estimates, more than one million deaths have occurred as a result of that war. Millions of tons of US bombs have fallen in Iraq almost steadily since 1991.

    What have we accomplished? Where are we now, 24 years later? We are back where we started, at war in Iraq!

    The US overthrew Saddam Hussein in the second Iraq war and put into place a puppet, Nouri al-Maliki. But after eight years, last week the US engineered a coup against Maliki to put in place yet another puppet. The US accused Maliki of misrule and divisiveness, but what really irritated the US government was his 2011 refusal to grant immunity to the thousands of US troops that Obama wanted to keep in the country.

    Early this year, a radical Islamist group, ISIS, began taking over territory in Iraq, starting with Fallujah. The organization had been operating in Syria, strengthened by US support for the overthrow of the Syrian government. ISIS obtained a broad array of sophisticated US weapons in Syria, very often capturing them from other US-approved opposition groups. Some claim that lax screening criteria allowed some ISIS fighters to even participate in secret CIA training camps in Jordan and Turkey.

    This month, ISIS became the target of a new US bombing campaign in Iraq. The pretext for the latest US attack was the plight of a religious minority in the Kurdish region currently under ISIS attack. The US government and media warned that up to 100,000 from this group were stranded on a mountain and could be slaughtered if the US did not intervene at once. Americans unfortunately once again fell for this propaganda and US bombs began to fall. Last week, however, it was determined that this 100,000 was actually only about 2,000 and many of them had been living on the mountain for years! They didn’t want to be rescued!

    This is not to say that the plight of many of these people is not tragic, but why is it that the US government did not say a word when three out of four Christians were forced out of Iraq during the ten year US occupation? Why has the US said nothing about the Christians slaughtered by its allies in Syria? What about all the Palestinians killed in Gaza or the ethnic Russians killed in east Ukraine?

    The humanitarian situation was cynically manipulated by the Obama administration -- and echoed by the US media -- to provide a reason for the president to attack Iraq again. This time it was about yet another regime change, breaking Kurdistan away from Iraq and protection of the rich oil reserves there, and acceptance of a new US military presence on the ground in the country.

    President Obama has started another war in Iraq and Congress is completely silent. No declaration, no authorization, not even a debate. After 24 years we are back where we started. Isn’t it about time to re-think this failed interventionist policy? Isn’t it time to stop trusting the government and its war propaganda? Isn’t it time to leave Iraq alone?"

  • On 17 Aug 2014 in Ferguson police mistakenly arrested an innocent man before viciously beating him, mell said:

    tatupu70 says

    Less wealth disparity encourages success!

    That's pretty much empirically disproven. In the former DDR (eastern Germany) there was no wealth disparity at all for the most part (excluding the members of the Politbuero) - success was nowhere to be found! What encourages success is the opportunity of vertical moves, which is being squashed by the current tax policies of taxing the wage slaves more and more and the crony capitalist bailouts by the government and the Fed of failed entities that belong either in jail or in bankruptcy. If people look at those examples, they know the rule of law has been abolished and they are at a significant disadvantage, therefore discouraging success.

  • On 17 Aug 2014 in Would libertarian Howard Buffett be disappointed with his Billionaire son?, mell said:

    "There is this oft-repeated lie in the media about various acts taken by people and their impact. We saw this in the wake of 2008 in the fawning presented by the media in regards to Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke, with the oft-repeated claim that they had "saved the world" -- or at least the US economy.

    The problem with such a claim is that it rests on nothing more than conjecture, being bereft of evidence. Indeed, the sort of interventionism that both engaged in has parallels that are not so kind in the hindsight of history, including the years of The Depression when our government likewise engaged in financial repression, an orgy of deficit spending and outright currency devaluation. While the means and methods were different this time the intended acts and goals were not. Nor are the results; the common man's purchasing power, on average, has taken a huge hit -- just as it did in the 1930s, and for the same reasons.

    It also flies in the face of actual evidence, specifically 1920/21, where the US Federal Government and Federal Reserve, despite the bleating of one Hoover, yes, that Hoover, refused to intervene in what at the time was the greatest deflationary depression in the history of the United States before or since in terms of rate of change over time. The reason we don't recognize it as a depression in our history books is that it was over almost before it began; by refusing to intervene the bad debt and bad economic decisions forcibly cleared themselves via bankruptcy and fire sale within a year. Within 18 months the economy had posted the fastest rate of expansion in production along with the most-rapid return to full employment in the nation's history, before or since."

  • On 17 Aug 2014 in Brown Family Accuses Police of Character Assassination, mell said:

    Peter P says

    Policemen do not shoot to kill. They shoot to stop. It is not feasible for them to aim for smaller targets like arms and/or legs.

    That said, non-lethal weapons can be developed. Watched Minority Report?

    I beg to differ, trained policemen in most western countries can shoot to stop without killing the offender. Killings happen rarely and only as a last resort. I dislike the whole race-baiting thing around it and the character distortions created by the media, but one main reason for a trained police force vs an untrained militia is that they (should) have enough target practice.

  • On 17 Aug 2014 in Brown Family Accuses Police of Character Assassination, mell said:

    dodgerfanjohn says

    Peter P says

    Again, this is an unfortunate event. My sympathies go to those who were robbed and looted. Such disrespect on private property is mind-boggling. I will withhold judgement on the shooting until more facts are made public.

    Damage already is done, regardless of what facts show.

    I'd bet at least 30% of Americas believe that George Zimmerman is a convicted murderer, Trayvon Martin was a nice kid, and he's President Obama's son.

    I agree with that, however I don't agree with cops killing people "charging" at them or "not complying". What happened to tasers? And if you have to use a gun (as a trained professional) you should be able to shoot someone in the leg or otherwise non-fatally, given that they are not visibly armed (with a gun/rifle) and (about to) open fire.

  • On 16 Aug 2014 in It's Different This Time: Humans Need Not Apply; Two Possible Solutions, mell said:

    Rin says

    Since I work as a junior executive at a hedge fund, I can say one thing, the partners do not create jobs for the sake of creating jobs.

    This is one of the greatest misnomers among those who expose economic theories. The idea is for a company to sell (salesmen) and two, to lower overhead (headcount, etc). If robots can do up to 90% of the jobs out there, it's even better for the execs a/o owners of the firm.

    Thus, when robotics/AI take off, we will need to put much of the population on welfare.

    But we're so far away from it. The current problem is the government and the Fed. Take your hedge fund example: The AI exposes bugs more or less frequently, often causing the fund to sell their whole position of a stock in a downward spiral at firesale prices ("flash-crash"), or (less frequent) go into a buying frenzy. While HFT is a debate in itself some of these trades would have put major hedge funds out of business, while the parties on the other side profit from a good deal. But depending on the crony connection the SEC usually steps in and reverts these trades, thus protecting the funds already raking millions when their algos work from going under when their algos don't work. With no tail-risk the market is broken and that's why we currently have a broken market. If BRK can go from bankrupt to all-time highs within a couple of year on bail-outs and backdoor deals, who in their right mind is shorting anything (besides small, best-guess hedges) anymore? Hence the VIX not moving and the blowing of bubbles of higher and higher magnitudes. This is by far the bigger threat than automation.

  • On 16 Aug 2014 in Japans Keynesian Demise: A Cautionary Tale For Our Times, mell said:

    With FRED graphs!

  • On 16 Aug 2014 in Would libertarian Howard Buffett be disappointed with his Billionaire son?, mell said:

    Vicente says

    John Galt is Jesus Christ,

    If Galt is the savior then Obummer is the entire holy trinity.

  • On 15 Aug 2014 in TX Governor indicted for abuse of power, mell said:

    Call it Crazy says,_2016

    Crap, that list is even worse, we're marooned! Bernie Sanders is the only one I could identify as supportable on there so far.

  • On 15 Aug 2014 in TX Governor indicted for abuse of power, mell said:

    Call it Crazy says

    Sounds like he is automatically qualified to be president!

    That was funny and true.

    iwog says

    There are VERY few people on this list who aren't full blown circus clowns.,_2016

    I'm excited to see Joe (doucheborough) Scarborough and John Bolton on the list. Can't wait for the debates.

    That list is indeed horrible. Rand Paul, Ben Carson and John Huntsman are the only ones I'd support on here. John Bolton is both a warmonger and an asshole.

  • On 15 Aug 2014 in Is Soros prescient?, mell said:

    I think he is hedging in case of a black swan, i.e. Ukraine or Ebola worst case scenarios. Without a true black swan I cannot see the market go down significantly right now. I am sparsely hedged as well, but the long positions outperform the short positions by far. As long as the tech trannies such as FB or TSLA make new highs it is hard to bet against this market. That doesn't mean that they are rationally valued of course, just look back 5 years.. ;) I think tech and real estate are the most overvalued sectors right now, but tech has the tranny momentum and real estate has ZIRP going for them.

  • On 15 Aug 2014 in Would libertarian Howard Buffett be disappointed with his Billionaire son?, mell said:

    darlag says

    Unfortunately, Keynes, however innocently or unintentionally, created the perfect model for the crony capitalist state we live in today.

    Yes. Hence people like Buffet.

    indigenous says

    Had the bailout not gone through, and had Goldman not been given such generous terms under TARP, things would have been very different for Buffett.

    Yep. Very different as in he'd be out of business.

    Peter P says

    Nassim Taleb is the one of the few respectable intellectuals in this general area. He is right to despise economists.


    Peter P says

    The only thing good about Keynes is his beauty contest.

    LOL - agreed ;)

  • On 15 Aug 2014 in More doom and gloom., mell said:

    thunderlips11 says

    Moderate inflation

    If we're talking 0.5% to max 1%, then we can agree ;) Likewise moderate deflation is not a bad thing either as a price-correcting symptom/event.

  • On 14 Aug 2014 in $200K buy a House or 1 share of Berkshire Hathaway stock?, mell said:

    From bankrupt to bailed out. Thanks, taxpayer!

  • On 13 Aug 2014 in Obama has lost the Blamestream media, mell said:

    Hope has left the building, and change has left your pocket.

  • On 13 Aug 2014 in What Did You Expect?, mell said:

    indigenous says

    control point says

    China is buying MORE treasuries in 2014 than they ever have

    Fair enough, I thought otherwise.

    Yeah and if interest rates were to double or triple it would render the US immediately insolvent. Great "strategy". Btw. there was enough demand even in 2008, a lot of business closed shop because their credit lines didn't get extended, not necessarily because nobody wanted to buy their products. Which is another reason not to have a debt-driven economy, household or business model.

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in What Did You Expect?, mell said:

    "You want, promote, elected and cheer on a Congress and President who have exactly two goals:

    Deficit spending -- that is, counterfeiting of the currency, albeit via legal means. This makes the value in real terms of every dollar less. Productivity and technology improvements should mean that each hour of labor buys more goods and services; that is, you need fewer hours of work to buy the same number of pounds of hamburger, shelter for your home, gallons of gasoline and surgeries in the local hospital. The exact opposite has happened because the government had $5 trillion in unbacked currency issued by deficit spending in the system in 2007; today it has $12.57 trillion, or 2.5x as much. That entire $7,570 billion, or over $22,000 per man, woman and child in this country, has come directly out of your hide and the worst of the impact has been taken by the poor and lower middle class.

    Asset (stock and home, specifically) prices are the only thing that matters. It does not matter if the "prices" result from ridiculous speculation or even fraud; intentionally inflated appraisals, derivatives and securities that are sold by banks as "good values" even when their own employees call them "vomit" internally, thousands of appraisers file a petition demanding an investigation of alleged extortion by lenders and agents demanding that they press values higher without response and more! Further, that counterfeiting by definition pressures "asset prices" higher for the simple reason that when you can issue unbacked credit nobody has to actually back their hot checks to buy assets with money!"

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in Inequality is a bitch, mell said:

    jazz music says

    No no no, those hopes have never been realized

    Of course they have, manufacturing items in unsupported sectors (such as tech) have gotten cheaper and cheaper, that's why they try to maximize profit with contracts attached to devices. They haven't been realized in the subsidized (and often essential) sectors, which is no surprise. If you subsidize section 8 housing to the tune of $2K+/month in the bay area, what incentives are there for landlords to charge $2000 or less, even though they may still come out with a profit?

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in We're very close to an inflection point in the stock market, mell said:

    thunderlips11 says

    There should be a 10% mostly flat tax on salary/wage income, with the first $20k exempted from all tax, which starts at 2.5%. Increases up to 10% as you work your way to $50k

    There should be a minimum capital gains tax of 15%. 30% for less than 1 year, 50% for less than a month to encourage investment over speculation and smack HFT down.

    There should also be a Financial Instrument Sales Tax (Tobin Tax) of .5%. You can get a refund of the .5% up the max IRA contirbution per year. Oh, how they will howl, but if brokers can charge a 4% commission without damaging the market... what the hell is half or a quarter of 1% going to do? Cause Armageddon?

    And finally, a flat corporate tax of 10%. You cannot reduce your taxes lower than 10%. Also, no more double bookkeeping. The profit you made according to your annual report is the taxed amount. No more telling shareholders you made billions, and the IRS you ran at a loss.

    I could go for that.

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in Libertarian Fantasies, mell said:

    CL says

    You can't seriously believe that a libertarian will adhere to their ideology even when it is against their own interests. Witness Paul, Rand and Paul, Ron.

    You can. Ron Paul has one of the most principled voting records, so there's your proof. You can question whether it's smart to always put principles first, but that's another topic.

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in Inequality is a bitch, mell said:

    control point says

    Shadowstats shows inflation probably averaging 7-8% in 2008/09, when:

    According to my calculations and research it is around 3%-5%, similar to the EPI. Even 3% is breaking the middle-classes neck, because their wages do not appreciate 3% yearly. What are we going to do now, raise the minimum wage by 3% per year? Inflation caused by QE and ZIRP has benefited the wealthy and (slowly) bankrupted the middle-class.

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in Libertarian Fantasies, mell said:

    saroya says

    Vincente, this is the problem with debating with a Libertarian or a Marxist. You will never win the debate.

    Who says there has to be a winner?

  • On 12 Aug 2014 in Libertarian Fantasies, mell said:

    CL says

    Marxism solves that by using force. It's not a volunteer society.

    Also, if one can't trust the government due to it being made of humans, why trust a marketplace made of same?

    Yes, thats all I was pointing out when answering Vicente, there is no right or wrong answer to that. But the marketplace usually doesn't have the power to force you into a certain type of behavior, although it can certainly influence you.

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