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Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484

The wikpedia page says the 2011 defense budget was $929 billion, out of a total $3,598 billion - or 26%. It's pretty hard to "dwarf" a budget item that large.

From your link:

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid expenditures are funded by more permanent Congressional appropriations and so are considered mandatory spending.


Mandatory spending accounted for 57.4% of total federal outlays in FY2012

Hmm, looks like the entitlements are rather more than twice as much in total as the military spending.

Note, by the by, again from your source, that "military spending" was inflated by including DHS and VA into it. The actual military budget was only about 80% of that.

Which would make the entitlements closer to three times the military budget.

Hmm, more than twice as much entitlements up to nearly three times as much entitlements, depending on how you count "military spending"...

Yep, looks like the guy you were responding to was right, doesn't it?

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 1) 484

Moreover, as the economy recovers more, the remaining deficit will turn into a surplus that we can use to pay down some of the massive debt we racked up in the last decade.

We haven't paid down the massive debt since the 1950' spite of what Clinton tried to suggest about "balancing the budget".

Pretty easy to check, really. The Feds maintain a website that shows national debt by year - and the last time the number got smaller when Eisenhower was President. It went UP every year that Clinton was President, in spite of "balancing the budget"....

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 2) 484

Again, the SS trust fund is a real thing, with real assets. It's like saying that if you bought a treasury bond for your grandkid that congress spent his money. It's a silly assertion.

There is a fundamental difference between buying a T-Bill for your grandkid from a third party (the government) and the government buying a T-Bill from itself.

You cannot owe yourself money in any meaningful way, which is what the SS Trust Fund consists of - money the government owes to itself....

Comment Re:I say cut the F-35 (Score 2, Informative) 484

It is the same with Social Security. Why is this such a difficult concept for people to understand about Social Security? The major difference is that it is run by the government, it is required to invest in government securities, and when it needs cash (to pay retirees) it cashes in those government securities.

Read the fine print sometime. Those government securities they're required to "invest" in are ZERO-INTEREST intragovernmental T-Bills (essentially, IOU's).

Note that even if they were interest-bearing, effectively the government is taking money out of it's left hip-pocket, spending it, then replacing it with an IOU to itself.

Consider how well YOUR finances would work if you did that - would it actually give you more money to take money out of your wallet, spend it, and replace it with an IOU which you will redeem from yourself as soon as you need money again?

Comment Re:today's politicians (Score 1) 522

It's my perception that the lower the level you get in government, the more controlling and power-hungry the officials are and the less they care about rights.

I've seen rather the reverse - when the people who elect you are your neighbors, they tend to be more vocal about your fits of idiocy.

Most likely it's just a function of how large your constituency is, though - I can see where the Mayor of New York or Chicago might have less interest in a vocal minority than would the Mayor of Covington....

Comment Re:Death of Slashdot? (Score 1) 522

Most car dealerships are not equipped to handle cash in large quantities, and would most likely offer to take you to your bank to have your wonderful stack of money converted into a banker-countersigned cashier's check for the purchase.

At which time, you point to the fine print on the cash - "legal tender for all debts, public and private".

Comment Re:Where Is that Completely Guaranteed? (Score 1) 522

There's nothing in the bill of rights about not laundering money yet we put it on the books at some point in time for good reason ...

Of course, the Bill of Rights isn't about "crimes", now is it?

Note that the government (at the appropriate level, depending on the specifics of the crime) is allowed to pass laws restricting/forbidding/punishing/encouraging things, so long as the laws in question do NOT interfere with the Rights of the people.

And yes, the Ninth Amendment to the Constitution is still relevant, in addition to the First.

Comment Re:Where Is that Completely Guaranteed? (Score 1) 522

The government doesn't give us rights, we the people give it rights.

The government (at any level) has NO "rights". It has "powers". People have "rights".

Which is not meant to imply in any way that your statement is incorrect in essence, just in terminology. We need to get over the urge to think that the government has anything directly corresponding to "inalienable rights"....

Comment Re:Traps (Score 1) 770

Most bad-guy guns go through a handfull of routes, when law enforcement notices one of these gun dealers/"private collectors"/etc. all they have to do to shut him down is send an informant who'd fail the check to the suspected dealer, and of said informant gets a gun the dealer gets busted. Hopefully wth records showing who else he's armed...

Note that you have just described the current system, which has been in effect for decades.

Note that it works pretty well (unless the dealer has been told by BATFE to sell the guns to known criminals - Fast & Furious, anyone?).

Note that part of what makes it work are that the Dealer IS required to keep records of sales, even if BATFE is forbidden by law to keep records of background checks.

Note further that BATFE has been dinged several times in the last 20 years for ILLEGALLY keeping NICS records.

Once the government has shown that it can't be trusted to obey its own laws, why should you trust it to obey more expansive laws?

Comment Re:Traps (Score 1) 770

Suffice to say, be ready to shoot them in the face.

Anyone who aims at the face (or any other peripheral) shouldn't be trusted to own a gun - you aim at center of mass unless he's wearing obvious body-armour (and then you still put the first couple shots into center of mass to knock him down before you change point of aim to his head - at which point he continues to lie there quietly till the police show up).

Comment Re:First purchase (Score 1) 770

Hell, here in New Orleans, if you shoot the bastard and he somehow makes it out of your house to die in the front yard, the cops here are usually nice enough to help you drag the body back indoors before they take the pics, help keep things 'neater'.

A great many years ago, after my grandfather had died, my grandmother was talking to the Sheriff, and the subject of burglars came up. According to Gran, the sheriff told her that if someone was prowling around her home, shoot him, then call the sheriff "unofficially" and he'd help her drag the body inside before calling in the sheriff "officially"...

Never knew whether she was pulling our legs with that one, but I'd not be surprised it if it was literal truth.

Comment Re:First purchase (Score 1) 770

I'm as pro gun as anyone out there, but I'm baffled why gun safes are not mandatory for those who wish to keep a gun at home*.

Imaginary security?

If you're not home, any burglar can take the time to open your gun safe (or just take it too). It's not like it takes much more than a power drill....

The primary purpose of a gun safe is to protect your children from your guns (or vice versa, if your kids have taken to arguing over who gets the good Benelli shotgun after you croak)....

Comment Re:First purchase (Score 1) 770

you could just get a nice shotgun as Joe Biden recommended recently.

Yes, but don't buy a double-barrel.

Buy a semi-auto shotgun instead.

Or a pump-action, if you're a traditionalist - hearing someone cycling a pump-action can make you wet yourself if you're somewhere you shouldn't be....

However, as to Joe Biden's recommendation - Joe Biden is NOT depending on double-barrel shotguns to defend HIMSELF, so I'm not sure why I should take his advice on the subject (sayeth a man who owns four shotguns, two each of 12 and 20 gauge, two each of semi-auto and pump)....

Comment Re:Retrieved Samples Without DPRK's AF Scrambling? (Score 1) 132

beg your pardon. How was the region occupied by the Germans any less desirable than that of the Gauls? Or was it that the Roman did not appreciate women who can bring large numbers of beer steins at once? (Give me a ten stein girl any day!). I think I catch a whiff of sour grapes (or is it malt?) here.

Germany was less desirable than Gaul largely because the rivers ran in the wrong directions - large-scale trade pretty much required water routes (leading to Rome, if you were Roman), and the Germanies didn't have too much of that sort of thing.

Unlike, say, France and Spain, which had direct access to the Med and rivers flowing into same.

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