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Yeah when you worked for guys like our current president who we’re known to stiff their contractors, we always made sure to charge our actual cost plus at least 10-20% in expectation of Getting the last payment. Routine with the many powerful types in NY who used their power like that.
Wow I did not realize she was the ambassador now. Yes that is her Reema Al Saud. What a lovely lady....
I have never been to SA but I have experienced the Saudi royal family here in the US. I built a store in lower Manhattan for Prince Bandar’s daughter in 2010-2012. The reason it took so long to build a 1200 ft store is because the Saudis were such bad payers! Every payment took months to get and I kept having to shut the job down due to lack of payment. In fact they were the worse payers I had ever had in my 30 year career in Manhattan working for some of the nastiest rich people in the city. It should have taken about 6 months and it went on for over 2 years. They ended up stiffing me for about $25,000 at the end. The amount had been double that and I had starting talking to my brother in law who was an ex journalist at the NYT who had become a High power consultant. He was looking into running a front page article about the Saudi royalty not paying their NY workers when I got a call out of the blue that the Saudi rep had another $25k that they could pay me. They must have gotten wind of the article and reduced the amount into a he said/ she said amount! This is what my brother in law said. Hmmm. Oh yeah and then there was the time the designers from LA and myself were having some political discussion about conditions in the US and the princess (with her bodyguard) came upon us and listened for a bit. This was the second time during the whole course of the job I had seen the owner of the store. She listened to us a bit and then said “I don’t understand how you do things in the US. In SA when we have problems we just chop hands and heads off.” Chilling to say the least. Thankfully I was working for them in the US. The store closed 6 months after it opened. I don’t think it ever meant to succeed. Something to give the Princess an excuse to be in NY other than her shopping sprees during which I heard she spent enough money to easily pay for our work herself.
So you call BS on what I say without referring to any data facts etc just your opinion. Well show me some me statistics any statistics that show how the US healthcare system is rated in the world as a superior system. I have never seen any data claiming this. And as an economic you don't offer any data to substantiate your claims about Trumps economy being a result the his polices. I read economists like Dean Baker who write widely on many issues including the effects or lack thereof of Trumps tax and trade polices. You offer your opinion which is at best just that: your opinion. Unsubstantiated etal.
I am no fan of Obama but you are dead wrong about the economy under him. He inherited the recession and lost jobs the first year 2009. Then every year after that he added jobs and the unemployment rate went down. According to Forbes, unemployment was 4.6% when he left office and job creation was the sale annually as under Trump. Forbes - no liberal rag- claims that Trump owes his job creation gains to Obama. They are nearly the same on a percentage and annual basis Trump's deregulation is gutting environmental protection. He claimed to support clean air, water but his policies do the opposite. His push - like Obama - to increase oil and gas production is having deleterious environmental effects at a time when the cost for solar and wind make them very competitive sources of energy. He is regressive in these areas as in others. His health care plan is where? You rail against the type of health care that every major industrial country has and which is more efficiently went and effective than what we have here. We need someone in office today move us forward, not push policies from the past.
Fred, The article did not get into any other costs but is clear that solar and wind have very low to no fuel costs. Right now the capital costs of solar are such that they can outcompete gas peaker plants which I believe is the situation in Germany right now. I have seen some knowledgeable people claim that there is not reason to build gas peaked plants any more given the cost advantagres of solar and wind and these advantages get better each year. I think it is a matter of time when storage because cheap enough so that wind and solar are the most cost effective electricity solution worldwide. I can find a better source on this info if you are interested. The tried to find it just now but could find the link.
Nuclear too expensive relative to solar gas and wind: from an "The levelized cost of nuclear power is relatively high compared to other energy sources: the minimum cost per megawatt hour to build a new nuclear plant is $112, compared to $46 for utility-scale solar, $42 for combined cycle gas, and $30 for wind. Nuclear power is only able to remain viable in power markets due to subsidies. Capital costs to build nuclear plants can run into the tens of billions of dollars, and are much more expensive compared to wind, solar and gas plants."
"'Nazis' today are often nothing more than pre WWII social democrats who believed in representative elections, the common good, ethnically defined political entities, and the legitimacy of politics uniformly embodying the values of culture, race, ethnos, and language." Really!! Then why call themselves a "nazi"?!! Have you spent time hanging out with such Nazis or reading what they write? For many of us with Jewish heritage the fact that anyone would characterize themselves as a "nazi" says very much about their true horrific beliefs. One can believe in all the stuff that you refer to without calling themselves a nazi. You make lots of statement here that I disagree with but this one is frankly beyond the pale for someone like me who lost whatever remained at the time of my european family at the hands of the nazis.
I think it is safe to assume that there were people protesting the statues being removed who were not neo-Nazis or the KKK. But it is a fact that such protesters were ok with marching with such virulent scumbags in that they did indeed march with them. They may not agree with the neo-nazis or KK but there were willing to be part of a rally that prominently featured and were dominated by such an ilk. This is big statement for me and it makes me question the either the judgment or actual beliefs of people who were "just" protesting the removal of a statue of a confereate icon. I have been many protests where virulent protesters (like the Sparticus Youth League "SYL" in the 80's) were separated from those of us who were peaceful. We went to great lengths to separate ourselves and in fact the police often created such barriers. Not any more for the police employing that tactic it seems...
Interesting you characterize lone fairly crazed individuals as representatives of BLM or Bernie Sanders. Those were horrible acts but not reflective of the organizations as you imply. Meanwhile, many of us living in our mixed, progressive culture abhor what has been happening in white rural America as a result of policies from all the elite driven poliitcal parties. You can have your culture there while we have ours which has nothing do with eating at gastropubs, etc as you claim. It is about lving in a diverse culture where we thrive in ways I imagine you can never understand.
Yes it does sound conspiracy theorish and ridiculous. Is it to hard for you to believe that there is a big population of people who will come out to stop neo-nazis and white supremecists from marching in their town? I just came back from a vigil in my town (Brooklyn) where hundreds of people gathered in solidarity to shut down white supremacist hatred. I can assure you it was not organized by some "singe group." I wonder if you have ever taken to the streets to exercise the rights given in this country. I have many times for years and will continue and never have we been funded and orchestrated by such well heeled groups as you imply.
Publius, Thanks for that analysis. How is it that you know points 1 and 2? This is obviously a critical part of what you say.
Babak, Late response that you will probably never see but thanks for referencing Polanyis work. One of his main points that I use continuously in the fight over the fiction of free markets is that states always helped create "free markets" and they always intervene to regulate such so called free markets. This was done at the start and contInues to this day. The "free market" argument of the neoliberals is a canard and always has been.
Toggle Commented Apr 3, 2017 on Open Thread 27 March 2017 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Lars, I was about to make the same comment, but you beat me to it. How easily an activist like Sarsour but s smeared and then have it accepted as "fact" when he left view is indeed far more nuanced. In fact according to Wikipedia she " in February 2017, Sarsour worked with other Muslim activists to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to repair the damage and restore the gravesites. More than $125,000 was raised, and Sarsour pledged to donate any funds not needed at the cemetery to other Jewish community centers or sites targeted by vandalism. She said the fundraising effort would "send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America." Hmmm.
Great story Babak. So many dynamics going there have to do with class and skin color. so appropriate that the black conductor paid those boys of privilege no mind. It might only cause him trouble to deal with them. Seen so much like that in my days in NY, riding the subways which are so often great mixes of people from around the world. I was fortunate in my upbringing in that my Jewish parents who fled Queens to Westchester in 1964, picked a town that had new suburbs built along side older developments populated by Irish and Italian Catholics who mostly worked at a local GM plant. I had a wide range of friends who only saw me as Jewish when they said something off color about Jews and then would look at me and say "but you're different." My rebellion against my intellectual, non-religious, but elitist Jewish parents was to play sports, something they did not understand. This put me I contact with a wide range of people in my town and thought my early adulthood. In fact it was during my athletic career that I first came in contact with Iranians. My university soccer team had a couple of Iranian players who were part of a very wealthy group of Iranians on campus. This was 1978. In fact it was rumored that Ferydun (Freddie) was the best friend of the Shah's son. these rich kids often received disdain from others on campus, partly from there aggressive treatment of women, partly do to there wealth and also straight racism. In 1979, one of my Iranian friends on the team got stuck in Paris because he could not get a visa to get back in the US. This was all part of my political awakening as I learned why he was now having no such troubles. So that watershed event in Tehran had fundamental impacts on my life even though I was, like those kids on your commuter train, mostly a white privileged kid in the US.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2017 on Syria Strategy for R+6 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Colonol, I tried to post a response but I believe I might have erased it. It might have been posted but I am not sure. Working on this phone I am not so skilled making posts. I am hoping it went through and you will post it. Otherwise I will try again to respond. It was not quite done when some glitch happened. C'est la vie.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2017 on Syria Strategy for R+6 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Colonel, I said I grew up as part what you characterize as the "bi-coastal elites", not that I support these elites in any form. My point was not dissimilar to yours regarding what was/is happening in this elite education system now. Government is more viewed as a means to end of wealth generation, not as place to devote ones career to. My contemporaries who consider themselves "good democrats" while pursuing their own self aggrandizement and believing that their efforts would be good for the rest of the country are willfully ignorant. I fought and continue to fight almost everyone in my immediate circle about what the democrats have become since Bill Clinton, arguing as a Never Clinton, Sanders supporter there were very real reasons for Sanders and Trump to have so much support. Now I battle this same group who are blaming everyone but themselves for the abject failure of the Democrats and the rise of Trump. In NY it is so very clear that for the last 35 years or so, we have feasted on the demise of much of the country as the center of finance. Obama's bailout money came right to NY along with a new influx of foreign money to create a huge building boom they we have benefited from while most of the country has languished economically. I am very much an outcast amongst my childhood peers (and family) because I see and talk about what has happening countrywide while we NY have become more enriched. I have worked hard to overcome my childhood indoctrination, which makes me very unpopular in the elite circles I still find myself in mostly due to my work. Now I am increasingly unpopular amongst my friends as I criticize them for there effort to demonize Russia/Putin to achieve their desired removal of Trump. Having lived in a variety of places outside NY, I can see what most of my immediate group cannot: that this country has been decimated by the elites pushing their own interests as the expense of vast swaths of the country.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2017 on Syria Strategy for R+6 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Col. Lang, As a reader of this site for the past year or so, I find it to be an invaluable source that has very much educated me on many issues, especially regarding military and related foreign policy issues. Your comments on the "stupidity" of our government is particularly intriguing. Correct me if I am wrong my but you seem to put the blame on the "group think mediocrities" that have been fostered by the "massive leveling in American society produced by the "Lake Wobegone" mentality manufactured in public schools and the media." I wonder if there is not some other fundamental cause for this "stupidity" in government. I grew up as part of the eastern elite (born in NYC, raised in the suburbs) that had essentially everything laid out for us in terms of educational opportunity and further advancement. i graduated from an elite eastern university in 1982, and everyone that I knew was focused on their own private gain. Not a single one went into government service aside from a few nerdy computer science associates who ended up working deep into stuff they could not talk about. At that time, the focus was entirely on personal gain and there was rampant opportunity for such. It seems that every person in my economic class went for personal gain at the expense of everything else. Public service seemed like a inferior, "stupid" option given all the opportunity laid out for us coming out of this elite educational system. I had friends who made so much money in the go-go days of the 80-90s that they essentially retired. Wall Street was booming, the economy was being more financialized, more stratified economically. Not one of these "best and brightest" went into government except for a few who saw the gains they could make through the DC revolving door. The education system is still quite stratified but those coming out of the top of this system are not going into government. The world really seemed to shifting at that time where we elites had an opportunity to take a larger share of the wealth and we grabbed it with all our might, regardless of what party we identified with. It was self aggrandizement over all else. I wonder what your view on this is. Another question I have about the "stupidity" issue is this: it seems that the powerful interests of the "deep state" having been pushing their agenda for some time to benefit their own interests. Aside from how damaging this has been for most of us in the US and in many places abroad, on what level is it "stupid" for these highly motivated players to pursue an agenda that benefits their group so directly? As much as I hate them for all that they have done and are continuing to do, I would call them shortsighted, self-interested, negligent, incredibly destructive and detrimental, etc but I don't think stupid. The corporate deep state had much to gain at our expense and they been pursuing with all the ability they can muster.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2017 on Syria Strategy for R+6 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Do you have a good sources that describe the Kanduz attack and the results of the DoD investigation? From what I initially read about the incident it would appear to me that the MSF had some pretty good reasons to be very upset with the bombing and that it could be construed that this mistake that went on I think for some time could have more nefarious motives. Like retribution for MSF treating Taliban. I am not saying this was the case but I remember seeing references to this notion after the attack occurred. My second comment is more general. One of the reason me I Value SST so much is the critical view of US foreign policy that is expressed here by so many seasoned veterans of US military and government service. Much of the discussion hinges on the view that the US actions often work to support the Borg and not the actual interests of the greater US. If the MSF has a critical, skeptical view of what the US does overseas, how is that different from views expressed at SST and hence why would it be subject to criticism when similar views are so often expressed at SST? I am also a bit perplexed by your defense of the DoD as seemingly always acting with integrity in such investigations and events when again it is often discussed here how the military is compromised by the Borg state. Maybe I am not understanding correctly the influence that powerful political entities can have on the military, but it seems that many sectors of the government, including the military, can succumb to the influence of the Borg. Would this be your view as well? I mean no disrespect in my comments. I am merely trying to understand your perspective in this case and in general when it comes to the influence over and control of the military by the Borg.
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Mar 11, 2016