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John M
Houston, TX
Recent Activity
My suggestion wasn't all encompassing. No doubt we'll have to do more for coal and possibly natural gas. (Natural gas is the last of the carbon fuels to tax.) One thing we really have to do: prohibit the burning of natural gas as a waste product in extracting oil. (Also prohibit simply disposing of natural gas into the air. Natural gas is a major greenhouse gas, many times more potent than CO2.)
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Rather than adding more complications to the tax code, and possibly setting up new administrative offices, it would be so much easier simply to raise the gasoline tax and the jet-fuel tax. Then, if the proposal is to be approximately revenue neutral, lower the taxes on the bottom half of the population -- or increase the earned income tax credit. Another simple thing: eliminate subsidies for Big Oil. If we could, hopefully we could get Big Oil out of foreign policy. (I agree. Dream on, John.) It occurs to me that the one way such things can happen is to get Big Business to fight each other. If we can get Big Insurance (homeowners, flood, etc.) to fight Big Oil, we might actually get some results.
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Serious issue: true, his credibility is utterly gone in the reality-based community, but seriously, what about the general populace at large? Remember the Reagan and Bush Jr. Administrations. The presidents themselves were as oblivious to reality as Trump appears to be, yet their credibility wasn't totally demolished to a big portion of the populace. Why should Trump fail where others have succeeded? There's also mainstream media credibility, VSP credibility, and (yes) Clinton credibility. After all, there's the "credibility" of the Ruskie hacking of our election. Paul Krugman's credibility took a hit for me sometime around a year ago, and as long as he keeps writing things like the "Trump-Putin" regime, it's staying down.
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Wonders for the Bush Administration: * It solved the problem of Democrats beginning to get a spine and going after the Felonious Five (or at least the three with major conflict of interest). * It bumped Bush's approval rating from 40% to 80%. * It greatly lowered opposition to Bush's anti-civil-liberties policies, such as creating "1st Amendment Zones". * It made passage of the Patriot Act possible. * People were able to smear opposition to the Bush team policies as treasonous. * It rendered torture, aggressive war, and barbaric imprisonment without due process of law respectable. Bush Administration sabotaged investigation: Remember Coleen Rowley who claimed that an FBI superior back in DC rewrote her request for a warrant, to make it less likely that it would be approved? There was also the FBI agent in Arizona who wanted to investigate certain pilot students, but was prohibited.
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2017 on Paul Krugman: Donald the Unready at Economist's View
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The Bush team went further than that, actively sabotaging FBI field agents' investigations of possible upcoming attacks. Need it be stated that 9/11 did wonders for the Bush Administration?
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2017 on Paul Krugman: Donald the Unready at Economist's View
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Unix-type directories and also DOS/Windows directories contain the "." directory, which means the directory itself. So directories in general contain themselves. It is hypothetically possible to create a directory that doesn't contain itself (even if the particular filesystem forbids it). One can create a directory (using links) that contains all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Some Random Nobody
Malthus at least got the math right. Taylor and Engels seemed innumerate regarding exponential growth. Here's my example of exponential growth. A state executes an innocent person. The state agrees to a settlement where the state has to pay a daily fine, starting with $1 but doubling every week, until the person is resurrected. In a year, the daily fine approaches a few hundred times the federal annual budget. Another property of exponential growth: if you've used up half the resources over all of history, the other half gets used up in one doubling time. "Do the Math" has results showing that, with persons producing heat (from using energy), it's a surprisingly short time until the earth's surface temperature reaches the sun's surface temperature. The only sign of optimism that I've seen is that a video I saw reproduction appears to be down to two per family -- the minimum for maintaining population -- and population growth is due wholly to previous generations children surviving and growing to a ripe old age. https://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2017 on Links for 01-03-17 at Economist's View
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You lost me when you referred to Common Law as God's Law, and suggested it was the only true law. It's become part of British and American law for centuries, that statutes trump Common Law. Common Law was in practice judge-made law. You may have had valid things to say, but tl;dr, especially with the gross misconception near the start. In fact, the last paragraph has nothing to do with reality either.
Toggle Commented Jan 4, 2017 on Links for 01-03-17 at Economist's View
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There's a saying: "Better an honest enemy than a false friend." Who enabled the Republicans when it was critical that we fight them? Who emulated the Republicans upon getting power? Who betrayed their base upon gaining power? Who let the Republicans rise again, Zombie-like, to take over the House in 2010? Who used Republican voter-suppression tactics in the Democratic primary in 2016? Who blacked out the primary challenging of 2012? Who sabotaged the Democratic primary in 2016? (Minimal debates, scheduling debates during football games, stacking the deck in favor of Clinton,...) Who "lost badly," and how could it possibly have been unintentional? https://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/biggest-surprise-of-last-two-years-bad-at-losing/
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Scientific American has an interesting article, How to Convince Someone When Facts Fail. This blatant falsehood, "The 9/11 truthers focus on minutiae like the melting point of steel in the World Trade Center buildings that caused their collapse because they think the government lies and conducts `false flag' operations to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at Some Random Nobody
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Anyone have any idea what this Restaurant in China serves? Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2016 at Some Random Nobody
During the Bush-Clinton election in 1992, someone published an editorial cartoon based on Bush's promise of 30 million new jobs, the reality of one million new jobs, and Clinton's promise of eight million new jobs. To equal Clinton's promise of eight million new jobs, and account for the earlier promise/performance ratio, how many new jobs did Bush have to promise? "240 million new jobs!" (giant letters) That being said, if Trump delivers half of his promise, I don't think that should be held against him. One reason is the Fed's propensity to take it away if too much is delivered. The other is that campaigners pretty much have to exaggerate their promises. Sober reality just doesn't cut it.
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"Someone who won’t take briefings on national security because he’s `like, a smart person' and doesn’t need them isn’t likely to sit still for lessons on international economics." That sounds like the VSP of DC and the mainstream media. Clinton was very much a part of their crowd. Until a couple years ago, Paul Krugman very much criticized the VSP, austerity, and even the lies leading to (for example) the invasion of Iraq. But then...
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Another thing: it will be clear how serious they take the allegations of Russian hacking, by how they address the problem of auditing electronic voting machines. If the 2018 elections aren't all with voter verified paper ballots, accompanied by random auditing and auditing all close elections, we know the accusations of Russian hacking were blatant lies.
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Blame can be distributed all around, and it's one of those things where we have around half a dozen causes, had any one of which not occurred, we would not have Trump as President-Elect. (Depending on the cause in question, we might not have Clinton, either. Seriously, I'm not even sure that Clinton wouldn't be worse than Trump.) One of those things was Krugman himself, and (as much as I hate to say this) it's probably an example of Upton Sinclair's observation that one can't get someone to comprehend something when his salary depends on his incomprehension. Krugman was not merely oblivious to Clinton's corruption, connections with Goldman and other financial companies, and barbaric foreign policy. He was also uncorrectible. Krugman could simply have continued his practice with the Obama Administration (before the 2016 campaign) and the Bush Administration, and he might have made just enough difference in the election results to defeat Trump at the very least. (The three extreme narrow states might have gone the opposite way.) He could have been a voice in the wilderness fighting the media's pushing of Clinton in the primary. Right now, we are in a situation (just as always the past 16 years) where we face this: "Look at what we can do, and you can't do a damn thing about it." Russia didn't need to hack our election. The CIA lies. Voter suppression and the lack of auditing (and obliviousness to its need) were more than enough.
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Sigh, another ad as a comment.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2016 on Why Not Centrism? at Economist's View
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It may take the advocacy of something drastic to pull the center back to its proper place. If, for example, someone called for the likes of Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Pearlman to be axed to pieces on national television for pushing the invasion of Iraq, normal leftism will sound much more centrist.
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2016 on Why Not Centrism? at Economist's View
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A stopped clock is "right" twice a day, and is utterly useless, because it gives unvarying information. A slow clock is never "right", but is useful in giving an approximate answer. The answer can be calibrated to give a more accurate approximation. (If you know your watch is five minutes behind the true time, add five minutes, and tada!)
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2016 on Links for 12-17-16 at Economist's View
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There is a little something in that article. But I would pose this question to the author: "Is it a fact that you don't believe in facts?" Or is it a falsehood?
Toggle Commented Dec 18, 2016 on Links for 12-17-16 at Economist's View
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The Intercept discusses a woman and her little daughter caught up in a barbaric immigrant deportation system, the Department of Homeland Security's Hellholes. This echoes something I've routinely thought and occasionally expressed: Nyeah-nyeah! Look at what we can do, and you can't do a darn thing about it! Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at Some Random Nobody
Heh! In other words, the CIA is less trustworthy than Satan (or the Devil)? So the Devil would use Exact Words? That's often how we are lied to as well: a statement is true in the sense of exact words, but critical information is omitted (or we are led astray from deciphering the exact words properly).
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I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Russia did hack our election. I also wouldn't be surprised if the CIA lied about Russia hacking our elections. But let's see the evidence. The CIA is about as trustworthy an accuser as Satan. Look at http://theintercept.com and their commentary on the accusations of Russian hacking. (In short -- demand evidence.) One can also guess perfectly well the effect this will have on our unauditable computer voting, and the willingness to change to auditable paper-ballot ones.
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I am concerned about figure 1. Supposedly, the plots of GDP vs. time are per capita, with inflation removed. Yet the plots still look exponential, although I suppose a quadratic could be fit to them. (If not a quadratic, then definitely a quartic.) I am concerned they the inflation hasn't truly been factored out, but instead underestimated.
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Centrism has several serious problems. Here's a huge one: Faction 1: 2+2=4 Faction 2: 2+2=22 Centrist: Let's split the difference. 2+2=13 Faction 2: No-no-no! Splitting the difference means 2+2=147! Centrist: Okay, let's split the difference there: 2+2=80. Faction 2: No-no-no! Splitting the difference means 2+2=920! Centrist: Okay, let's split the difference there: 2+2=500! Meanwhile, Faction 1 and Truth are out of the loop.
Toggle Commented Dec 7, 2016 on Why Not Centrism? at Economist's View
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Paul Krugman really blew it. Although I suspect that Trump's victory resulted from dishonestly programmed (or hacked) voting computers. I must admit to the same concern if Clinton had won. How did Clinton win the primary?
Toggle Commented Dec 7, 2016 on Why Not Centrism? at Economist's View
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