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Comment Meanwhile, back in the real economy... (Score 0) 510

The number of people considered "not in the labor force" increased by nearly 450,000 in November. The total is now at a record high of 95 million.

http://www.bls.gov/news.releas...

The "unemployment rate" that the politicians, economists and media like to talk about is bullshit. It doesn't really mean a hell of a lot when the government can arbitrarily adjust the size of the "labor force" to produce whatever fraction they want. It's not like 450,000 people just decided to retire in November. People fall into this category when their unemployment benefits run out, but they're still unemployed.

IMO, the most relevant metric for assessing the employment situation of the U.S. economy is the employment to population ratio.

http://www.bls.gov/news.releas...

I say it's the most relevant because it can't be so easily manipulated like the other "unemployment rate". Also because the working people, in one way or another, have to support themselves as well as all the non-working people. Of course there are a few who are living on retirement savings, but if they're old enough, they're getting their SS checks too, so they're still being supported in part by working people. That ratio is 59.7% at the moment, which is barely one percentage point above the lows it hit in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. The whole "economic recovery" and the "unemployment rate" which has gone from 8-9% down to 4.9% is an illusion. The real economy and real employment situation still suck.

Actually, I think an even more interesting metric would throw kids into the equation. They need to be supported too. In that case, we've got a country where ~152 million people are supporting 320 million people, so the unemployment rate is really 52.5%

Comment Re:so the Je suis Charlie stuff was 100% bullshit? (Score 1) 411

Yes, the whole "free speech" thing was 100% bullshit to begin with!

Charlie Hebdo has published cartoons suggesting that the leaders of Le Front Nationale should be arrested and thrown in prison. They also helped circulate a petition trying to get the party officially banned in France. I don't condone violence, but it was poetic justice that Muslims attacked them after Charlie Hebdo had been so fiercely opposed to an anti-immigration political party.

Comment Re:Calling bullshit (Score 0) 235

"The whole global cooling has been hashed over ad nauseam here and many other places..."

Perhaps it has, but that doesn't change the fact that people were, at one time, promoting that theory. Just because you've discussed it, doesn't mean that it never happened. If you have access to a university library, you can go peruse old periodicals from the '70s and '80s and find articles about how the earth could be moving toward a new ice age. Try "Omni". I think that's where I read about it.

"If you're still banging that drum, the only reason can be willful, mindful ignorance"

Why is it "ignorance"? Just because you want to ignore it? The fact that "global cooling" has changed to "global warming" in 30-40 years (the blink of an eye on a geological time scale) demonstrates that the authors and scientists who were studying the issue back then were not infallible. Or maybe they were right, and the current scientists are wrong?

Comment Re:Who could be happier? (Score 1) 145

"Can anyone tell me why [Snowden] did not go public until he was living in a country willing to shelter him?"

That's not true. He was in Hong Kong when he began sharing the documents with journalists. He didn't know if they would be willing to shelter him and as it turned out, they probably wouldn't have done so. He got out of there with the help of people from Wikileaks. Even then, there was no guarantee that Russia would shelter him. That's why he spent weeks in the Moscow airport before finally being granted asylum.

As far as "going public", it was Glenn Greenwald and other people in the media who began releasing the information to the public. Snowden never released anything directly to the public.

Comment Re:Simpliest and best solution to the problem: (Score 1) 291

"because they won't get off Facebook, Candy Crush, Pokemon Go, or ..."

Google maps? You really want to ban driving apps and force everyone to go back to using a road atlas or folding map for navigation?

Whether it's cars, guns, drugs, alcohol, chainsaws or whatever, there are always going to be careless and irresponsible people out there creating hazards. Trying to regulate the world so that it turns into a padded cell is an exercise in futility.

Comment Re:Remember, it's the Trump supporters (Score 1) 497

"I've seen several reports of violence in my social media feeds from both friends and friends of friends"

Yeah, yeah. I keep hearing that there's some Trump-inspired hate crime wave sweeping the nation, but the only "evidence" I ever see is graffiti, vandalism and second hand bullshit from "friends and friends of friends".

There are tens, if not hundreds of millions of cell phone and CCTV cameras all over the country. If there's some rash of violent incidents all over the country, it seems strange that they never make it onto YouTube. SMH If this bullshit was real, there would be plenty of stuff caught on camera and it wouldn't be on YouTube, it would be on national news broadcasts!

Video or it never happened.

Comment Excuses, excuses, excuses (Score 1) 232

I wasn't a huge fan of Trump, but seeing the ongoing deluge of whining, excuses and accusations from the mainstream media regarding the election results is wonderful entertainment. I like Trump a little more every day.

The media has always been slightly biased toward the left, but the degree of anti-Trump bias in this election was absolutely jaw dropping. They shed every pretense of neutrality and objectivity, went all-in for Hillary Clinton and they still ended up on the losing side. This relentless deluge of excuses ...

It was Facebook!
It was Wikileaks!
It was Comey!
It was Putin!

is nothing more than them being bitter about the fact that they can no longer control the narrative. For decades, they've been successfully telling the American people what to think, and this harsh rebuke by the voters is apparently hurting their delicate feelings. LOL That, plus the fact that Trump played them like a fiddle in the early days to build his name recognition(no such thing as bad publicity and all that).

Up yours MSM! Your candidate totally sucked and this time, the people of the USA weren't swallowing your propaganda.

Comment It's their choice to stay or leave. (Score 1) 1368

States joined the union by having their state legislatures ratify The Constitution, thus agreeing to the terms which grant the federal government its powers. According to the Bill of Rights, Amendments #9 and #10, the federal government has only those powers specifically delegated to it in The U.S. Constitution. There is nothing in that Constitution which states that the decision to join the union is irreversible. There is likewise nothing in that Constitution which grants the federal government the authority to use military force to coerce states into remaining in the union. Had those provisions existed in the document, none of the original states ever would ratified The Constitution until the offending text had been removed. In fact, when the Virginia legislature ratified The Constitution, they simultaneously passed a bill which clearly stated that they were doing so only with the understanding that their legislature could reverse its decision at any time.

This issue was not "settled" in the 1860s simply because the North was able to use brute force to subjugate the South. Lincoln was wrong(and an evil bastard) and the SCOTUS was wrong in its "Texas v. White" decision. The South was right.

The idea of CA liberals wanting to secede from the union is nevertheless hilarious. Movements who seek to restore state sovereignty as well as groups advocating outright secession have generally been right-leaning and are met with total condemnation by the political left. Still, if their state government votes to withdraw from the union and form a sovereign country, they have every right to do so.

Comment Re:Comey is a family man... its all about protecti (Score 1) 733

Right. Comey never said there was no evidence of a crime, he said that "No reasonable prosecutor would bring charges". Obviously, any reasonable prosecutor would know that going up against the Clintons means your life could be ruined, or perhaps terminated, and would therefore make the reasonable decision to not bring charges.

Comment Re:Preaching to the choir. (Score 2) 693

"... people who support [Trump] will believe absolutely anything he says, no matter the evidence to the contrary. The people who were convinced to vote for "Brexit" in the UK were similarly immune to fact when the facts didn't fit their world view."

So I take it that your particular world view is the only "correct" one? Your beliefs are entirely based on "TRUTH", evidence and verifiable facts and are in no way biased toward what you want to believe?

Nonsense. It is both arrogant and naive to think that you are immune to the same underlying thought processes that are at work in the people you are attempting to ridicule. All human beings, yourself included, have their own unique reality tunnel through which they observe the world and are strongly inclined to seek out evidence to confirm their existing beliefs while dismissing evidence to the contrary. All of the "true" material you've gathered through web searches and Wikipedia footnotes doesn't make your reality tunnel unique and special. Nor does it make you invulnerable to the same sorts of confirmation bias which exists in Trump/Clinton supporters, people who think alien spacecraft have landed on earth or those who believe in the paranormal.
There are billions of devout monotheists in the world. Ask any of them to produce "evidence" to support their beliefs and they'll have plenty of it. Will you exhaustively study the bible and koran to evaluate their "evidence" for a deity, or will you dismiss it out-of-hand because it doesn't conform with your existing beliefs?
I'm not saying your evidence is right or wrong or that your "truth" is true or false, but the psychological activity involved in interpreting evidence to confirm our existing beliefs is very easy to see in others, but extremely difficult to notice in ourselves.

Comment Want U.S. competitiveness? (Score 1) 111

Eliminate the personal and corporate income taxes and implement the revenue-neutral "Fair Tax"(fairtax.org). Then, allow a one-time, tax-free repatriation of any offshore assets held by individuals or businesses. Next, restore a sane trade policy where foreign producers won't be allowed a competitive advantage in the U.S. market based entirely on labor and environmental arbitrage.
That would increase U.S. competitiveness in a huge way and begin a real economic recovery.

Comment Re:Hillary IS evil (Score 1) 857

Hillary Clinton:

-Voted for the Iraq war.
-Publicly stated that she would consider Australia-style firearms confiscation in the USA.
-Took millions of dollars in "speaking fees" from Wall Street bankers(the evil .0001%)
-Was the primary advocate for the Obama administration's "regime change" policy in both Libya and Syria.
-States that she will establish a "no-fly zone" over Syria.

Gee, why shouldn't we all just love and adore her?

I have to wonder if any of the people who are planning to vote for this person know the implications of her insane "no-fly zone" idea? The U.S. government has no legal authority to invade Syrian airspace. By contrast, Russian planes are operating in Syria with the permission of the country's legitimate government. So what happens when the U.S. military starts enforcing Hillary's "no-fly zone" and is put in the position where they have to shoot down Russian aircraft?

You honestly think Trump is going to be the more "harmful" candidate when Clinton is openly advocating WAR with the Russians? A war that has the potential to go nuclear? How can any sane person vote for that?

Comment Re:Private driver (Score 1) 476

"Other than that, I see no reason to haul around hitchhikers."

How about helping someone who needs a ride? People don't usually hitchhike for fun. Thank goodness I live in a place where you can pick up a hitchhiker without being afraid ... and you can legally carry a gun just in case.
I haven't kept statistics, but a common refrain among the people I've picked up is that their car is broken down or they've lost their license for some reason DUI or whatever. They're often going to/from their jobs as well. I also picked up this guy who, with some friends, was going from vehicle A to vehicle B via canoe, had trouble and needed a ride to one of the vehicles.
I guess it depends on what kind of people live in your area, but hell, if you're going in their direction anyway, why not give them a hand?

Comment Re:Dumbfuckery? (Score 1) 228

It's the same sort of argument as "look who's talking" or the "pot calling the kettle black". Yes, if you are debating a specific issue then a diversion into "whataboutism" is clearly a logical fallacy.

In the context of international relations however, I think it can be an entirely valid tactic. When the USA government criticizes Russia or some other nation for its policies, they are essentially scrutinizing those countries by some sort of "moral standard" to which a nation should conform. With Russia, it's "You're killing poor civilians in Aleppo!".
This is true, and a "whataboutism" doesn't change that fact. However, if the USA government is so concerned about civilians suffering in war, why did they invade Iraq? Why are they conducting drone strikes in seven different countries? Why are they providing weapons to the Saudi government to fight a war in Yemen that's causing massive human suffering?
Condemning Russia and the Syria government for their actions, and even going so far as to threaten them with the use of force is ridiculous in a context where the USA could alleviate much more human suffering by changing its own policies. The debate becomes "What gives the USA the right to establish and ENFORCE a moral standard which they are simultaneously violating?"

"You bombed a hospital in Aleppo! You're an evil nation committing war crimes!"
"What about the hospital you bombed in Kunduz?"

Is that a logical fallacy or a very pertinent fact when it comes to an international standard about the conduct of war?

Comment Re:I'm thinking..... (Score 1) 64

"hacking someone else's device, regardless of the reason, is not a legal activity"

I was waiting for this comment. "Access" is the crime regardless of what you do to the system.
The hacker Max Butler wrote a worm to patch a vulnerability in BIND, but the FBI prosecuted him for "unauthorized access" to government computer systems. "Hey! I made your system MORE secure!" didn't fly as a defense.

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