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28 June 2015

Comments

Gregory

Let me start this one off with a comment that has already passed muster:

Pyramiding, diverting money withheld for payroll taxes into your pockets is a fraudulent practice... yes or no?


This question is for everyone but especially that one someone who thinks not being charged means no crime was committed.

Steven Frisch

Posted by: Gregory | 28 June 2015 at 03:10 PM


Do we seek a real truce George or is this a sham?

Walt

Here is an odd one,, NORAD's airborn command is a little low.
http://www.flightradar24.com/GOTOFMS/6a8a099

And still dropping altitude.

Walt

Never mind,, just heading into Travis in a wild roundabout way.

George Rebane

Invitation to Mr Don Bessee - what is your take on Cato Institute's Policy Analysis #774 'Designer Drugs - A New, Futile Front in the War on Illegal Drugs'? You can download the short pdf from here.
http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/designer-drugs-new-futile-front-war-illegal-drugs

Don Bessee

I will check it out, just back from a 500 mile drive. Amazing day. I can however observe that the Chinese and other chem companies are playing the us and the DEA. We can pass a list of restricted chem. compositions and sweep some off the market but they change an irrelevant molecule or the like and its a 'new' drug as a munkelt would happily tell you. I would submit that a pattern of this kind of willful avoidance by subterfuge should be a basis to pull their import licenses for all products.

Bill Tozer

Gregory @ 3:10 pm, the very first comment. I assume we are slamming The Social Security Supplemental Income Trust Fund again. When you said "your pockets", I immediately deducted that you were not referring to my pockets and the contents thereof. I delved deeper and the only logical creator/implementer of The Vast Radical Wing Pyramid Scheme Conspiracy is none other than our Great White Father in Washington, District of Columbia. Who else believes that what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine? Oh, maybe Bernie Sanders or Lizzy Squaw Squawker and the true Kool Aide sippers and brain washed disciples of their cult.
No response necessary to keep these softball questions rethorical and shamless.

Gregory

Pulling import licenses would certainly be a boon for domestic producers of similar substances.

George, I'm going to guess you sent well earned jeers towards the Senator Clintons who complained that gun manufacturers must kept marking superficial changes to get around the so called assault weapons ban. How is this different?

Personally, I think designer drug users are flirting with brain damage and folks who well to kids should expect to spend some long hard time behind bars, but it's an unwinnable fight.

Larry Wirth

GJR @ 4:20p

Surely you meant "bated" breath. "Baited" breath is what the kitty brings home from the bait shop, no?

Ben Emery

George, From the other sandbox- 27 June 2015 at 09:18 AM

If we are to view natural resources/ environment like a bank account or budget there cannot be a 100% withdrawal policy. That is what I was getting at with the equilibrium angle. You guys like to always put things into financial category except natural resources/ environment. Why?

Cutting down a forest adds to the GDP correct? But where is the negative externality calculated into your equation, I don't see it.

So really I am questioning how we measure GDP and how much it is weighted in our political and economic discussions. It is a very antiquated idea especially for the US since the WTO and regular trade relations started with China and South East Asia. Basically since NAFTA(1992), WTO(1995), and regular trade relations with China(2000) and every free trade deal in between is when over 90% of our national debt was accumulated. Since 2000 over 50,000 factories have gone out of the country and since Reaganomic tax policies we have seen disparity sky rocket and both public/ private debt explode.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ysa5OBhXz-Q?feature=player_embedded
How do we accurately measure the value of the positive impact wolves are having in Yellowstone?


Bill Tozer

Positive impact the wolves are making at Jellystone? Do we really have to put a dollar value on it, Ben? Thus, your question is rather a good one. How do we measure the mystic wonder we experience when seeing the sunset over the ocean while viewing yonder sailboats in the twilight follow the sinking sun? Or, how much monetary value can we put on the awesomeness of coming across a native, but extremely rare, wildflower. Or watching spellbound a bird of prey in flight? Too magnificent for me to comprehend, no less apprehend.

The impact of wolves at Mr. Ranger's Jellystone Park is all in the eyes of the beholder. Think it was Washington State than banned wolf hunting or adjoining Idaho. Probably Wazoo State. 'Twas too late to save The Wolfman, but future wolf pups and wolf packs were spared the senseless murder by humanoids, aka, the bloodthirsty ones at the top of the food chain. The impact in the Northeast Washington State region and Northern Idaho became more than a nuisance. It became.....drumroll please...it became deadly!! Please cue the theme to Jaws playing in the background.
Deadly not to just house cats, oversized wood rats, and newborn fawns, but to the trespassing humans who were not there first.

Seems the wolf population in that region recovered and grew in numbers. The wolves in the higher country began to drive the moose down to lower elevations, thus more moose contacts with humanoids. More fatalities starting occuring on the highways and byways as automobiles (polluting machines made by humans) started hitting moose. Moose are big, cars are small. Suddenly humans come around a corner on a country lane they have driven for 40 years and lo and behold Bullwinkle is starting there challenging you to a game of chicken. Death by moose, not the noose. Hit a kid, go to jail. Hit a moose, go to the ER or morgue. At least the wolf population is finally retaking its former range, which was all of North America.
How much for that puppie in the window?

George Rebane

LarryW 1026pm - You are right of course; fingers too fast, brain too slow - very embarrassing. Another tile has fallen from my carefully constructed façade.

Walt

News for Ben. Trees grow back. That's why they are called "renewable".
I have been in places where the "old timers" did their cutting, and those places are ready to be harvested again.
There are pictures all over town where not a tree is to be found. You can find those places where the pictures were taken, and note the diff.

But I guess it's better to let them burn in wild fires these days. It's a more ECO death.

George Rebane

BenE 1035pm - One thing a scientist learns quickly in his training - all things in this universe cannot be measured, and fewer can be reliably predicted. It is the layman standing at a distance in awe of science who believes otherwise, and from those beliefs concocts systems of social order and governance.

Harvesting forests for timber is no different than harvesting corn. The harvester, seeking a profit, will properly husband that resource within the time horizon he has 'ownership' of the resource. In such a case there is no need for a third party to enter and by force impose external costs on the harvester and his customer.

The GDP equation in 25jun15 sandbox is not 'mine', but one of the more useful and understandable ways to compute GDP. There are several others, which if properly handled, all give the same answer. But you are right, given the formal definition of subjectively allocated externalities, no GDP calculation includes them. Externalities accounting is primarily a progressive ploy to control the private sector through public policies based on such arguments which themselves are arbitrary and unfounded. More about this later.

Walt

Where is Boardman? See his piece in the Union? All my careful planning is now shot to shit.
I was working on deals with tourist bus Co.s.. Getting bus routs set up to go by dope grows. Shaddy deals with growers for "tasting" stops. Cut rate deals with food joints to feed those with the munchies. ( PB&J sandwiches are hard to come by around here)

Yes dude,, you may be on to something. The sheriff should diversify to make an extra buck.

And good idea about making money playing "cops and dopers". Hell... if you can't beat'm, join'm.

Todd Juvinall

Searching the SCOTUS opinion and I just cannot find where it says two of anything is the limit. It just taks about "intimate" and "happiness". Here we go, polygamy and goats are next.

Paul Emery

Todd

Can you find anything in the Constitution that defines marriage? Why should government be involved in the whole issue anyway?

Jon

Paul,

Didn't you know? We've now heard implications over the last few days that Sharia Law and goat weddings are coming to America in our lifetime. Lunacy rules.

Ben Emery

George, 29 June 2015 at 09:03 AM

Shouldn't the entire cost be part of the price of the product or service? That is what I advocate, paying the actual cost. Western world lifestyle would drastically change if we actually paid the true cost of natural resources, goods, and services. Instead we pay for it through taxes at every turn and get to argue amongst our working poor ranks.

Isn't that what markets do? Try and make a secure structure so it is more predictable?

Harvesting corn that takes months to grow is not the same as harvesting timber that takes decades and centuries to grow. The business model might be the same but that business model is flawed.

Trying to get industry to capture the external costs would create the incentive for them to correct that flaw. Sure the cost will be passed onto the consumer but at the same that area in the business becomes a place where they can save money by improving their practices.

George Boardman

RE Walt at 9:13 AM:

Don't be discouraged; it's not always the first guy into a new market who wins. As they like to say in Silicon Valley: "You can always tell who the pioneers are. They're the ones with the arrows in their backs."

Joe Koyote

" This question is for everyone but especially….. someone who thinks not being charged means no crime was committed." Does this axiom also apply to presidents, VPs, defense secretaries, and others who authorized torturing "suspected enemy combatants" but were never charged? No foul no crime? What about gross polluters or bank executives who pocket millions of dollars while millions of people suffer as a result of their actions, does it apply to them as well? The real question here is "does legal also mean moral"?

Gregory

So Ben,... who gets to determine your proposed externality value subtracted tax, you or me?

If you think big money influences elections now, just wait.

Todd Juvinall

Paul Emery 10:38 AM. Bingo!

Todd Juvinall

Is someone who plea bargains a crime for no jail time but probation guilty of a crime? For instance, tax fraud of failure to pay employee taxes to the IRS? But of course JoeK only discusses R's and fails to "indict" killing American with drones without a court. Now who is doing that?

George Rebane

BenE 1107am - Trees would not be harvested like corn - they're intrinsically different kinds of resource. It seems like you're basing your arguments on a profound ignorance of the economics of operating businesses that resides either on your part, or hopefully on the part of your readers.

Given the supply-demand curves and the self-interests of the supplier and consumer, neither party wants to "capture" any more costs than they have to. And all that is independent of the fact that every attempt by "a third party to enter and by force impose external costs on the (supplier) and his customer" results in effectively imposing government price controls. (please see reread my 903am)

This arbitrary approach is a perpetually demonstrated way to mangle markets, reduce supply, and increase criminality (black markets). That such a direct cause-effect has never been picked up by progressives is a dilemma beyond comprehension.

Joe Koyote

"If you think big money influences elections now, just wait." -- they aren't elections anymore, they are auctions where candidates pander to, and sell themselves to people like Sheldon Adelson, George Soros, the Koch bros. and a dozen or more other people you have never even heard of. The common practice is to "interview" potential primary candidates in order to decide whom they are going to throw their millions behind. "The Nation", Bill Moyers, and other left of center news outlets have recently been giving a lot of coverage to what they call the "money primary" and how, via the Citizens United decision, our electoral system has been skewed in favor of the very wealthy allowing them to pick and choose candidates that will enact favorable policies consistent with the donor's world view. Is this any different than a religious jihad that seeks to enact its world view on a population? One uses military power and terror and the other uses economic power and law (is legal moral when you get to write your own laws?) to accomplish the same purpose. The jihadists don't have tons of cash like the billionaires, but they do have tons of weapons that the billionaires provided. You have to use the tools that you have. Either way the vast majority of humanity is caught between self-aggrandizing ideologues and their followers fighting it out to see which one will get the biggest statue in some square somewhere in remembrance of their greatness. That is until the next self-aggrandizing ideologue comes along and tears it down to erect a statue of themselves in its place.

Gregory

Koyoteman, how was the money in politics different in Leland Stanford's day? Think before writing.

George Rebane

JoeK 1220pm - Please expand on the basis for assigning 'big money' and 'fanatical Islam' as bookends on the same shelf. Other than both cohorts use their available resources to attain their widely variant objectives, they share no other attributes. Your argument could just as well have compared the Service Employees International Union to the ragheads - both use what resources they have to achieve their quite different aims.

Bill Tozer

Welcome back, Brother Ben! You are in true form today and I see you have taken note of Dr. Rebane's subtle advice to us to keep the word smithing short(er). Good to see you took his request in stride. I'll try to knock 10% off the blabbing for the good of the team and future generations. It's a tough road to hoe for us of the long winded persuasion.

Ben from the tribe of Benjamin @ 1107am
"Sure the cost will be passed onto the consumer but"..........but what??? Don't be so cavalier. All these "it only costs a few bucks a month" items add up real quick and taken as a culminative index, it's driving more and more elderly, young working families, and everything in between to the poor house.
Shame, shame on you who stand tall defending the poor, the struggling, and those who live check to check. All your "sure, the cost will be passed on to the consumer"s are now a juggernaut rolling across my back, leaving me flatter than the hills on Great Granny's chest. Shame, shame. Any more bright ideas, Einstein?

Todd Juvinall

JoeK 12:20 PM. Why do you think the election of a person is so expensive? And why are voters staying away from the actual effort of their vote?

Paul Emery

Todd, George

the Republicratic party, as I like to refer to our one party system is just a collection agency for special interest money that expects results in return for their financial generosity. How anyone can support this system is beyond me. Vote independent in '16 and get government back in control of the citizens of this country not special interest groups.

George Rebane

PaulE 231pm - First, there is no 'vote independent' possible on the ballot. Second, it doesn't matter who is in power in government, it only matters how much power government has to provide the contributors in "return for their financial generosity." Hanging 'Independent' on your congressional office door does not purify you from your previously having hung 'Republicrat' on your door. It is the catalog of government favors that you can sell/trade that determines the level of corruption in such deals with whatever politician has control of the favors.

Progressives don't understand this fundamental principle of human nature applied to governance, and therefore always suggest solutions which are akin to trying to manage the wrong end of the process. The obvious solution to the rest of us is that you pare down the catalog of favors government can sell. The fewer the favors, the fewer the customers seeking such favors, the less corrupt money comes into government, ..., you hopefully get the picture.

Powerful governments attract powerful special interests for maintaining their power. It is always the case that the most powerful (and richest) special interests absolutely require the government's gun to maintain their positions of power and wealth. Once more, first reduce the scope and reach of government if you really want reform - leaving elite technocrats to man powerful bureaus and agencies will not help, no matter their politics of their political bosses.

The real problem is that today no one can start reducing the catalog of favors because every favor has a strong moneyed constituency on which certain politicians (of whatever stripe) depend for their government sinecures. Sorry to be so brutally negative about the periodically revived idea that changing the sign on your office door can do anything to reduce corruption in government.

PS. this also answers ToddJ's 1244pm, but not in the way that JoeK may have answered it.

Paul Emery

George

Since all that special interest goes through our warped so called two party system imagine the jolt to the powers that be (those that dish out the money) to have their agents, the Republicrats dumped from power. Can you think of any other way to accomplish that goal? My main quarrel with your lofty idealism is that you have this stubborn allegiance to the Republican Party which history has shown is just like the Democrats in their lust for special interest money. Do you really think it will make any difference if the Republicans controlled everything like they did from 2000-2006? Yeah, some great reform happened in that time frame.

Gregory

Paul, at no time during Bush II did the GOP have more than a tenuous hold on the House, or a strong Speaker.

Paul Emery

Gregory

Can you point to any ATTEMPTS at reforming the influence of money on our political system that the Republicans tried during their control of the Legislature and the Presidency?

Michael R. Kesti

I agree with George in that the problem is not the money but is, instead, what politicians are able to sell and that "special interest" money can buy. This is one of the reasons why limited and as small as possible government is best. It is also one of the things that the Tea Party gets correct.

Paul Emery

Kesti, George

Of course you're right but we have the foxes minding the hen house here and the Republicratic Party (I refrain from using both parties) have no intention to giving up their cash cow so no wonder there is no reform. The Tea party offered some hope for a short time as did Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich factions that were easily marginalized by the big boys. The Libertarian and Green parties are left out in the cold when it comes to media attention. Oh guess what? Who owns the Media? The same entities that control the Congress and Presidency. Obama and the mainstream Repubs dancing cheek to cheek over TPP are clear evidence that on big issues there is no difference between them, only subtleties such as social issues that don't mean a rats ass to the big money interests.

George Rebane

PaulE 344pm - It appears that you continue to think that changing the nameplate on the door will solve our govt corruption problems. Let me correct you about my "lofty idealism". Changing politicians without changing government succumbs to Einstein's definition of insanity. Reducing the scope and reach of government is the ONLY pragmatic solution to reducing corruption and maintaining our liberties. However, even that doesn't guarantee that it is possible to pull it off. But merely changing nameplates does guarantee that nothing different will happen. Recall Bush2 was also a progressive.

Empires fall and hegemons retreat - read the exhaustively documented book by that blonde radio commentator.

Todd Juvinall

Having been in politics and running for office and also helping others I can say all of the above is a part of the issue of money. However, what you all fail to deal with is the cost of being elected. It has become a huge burden on the person wanting to run. So, you say the "people with a horse in the race" put in the money. Yes they do. But go look at the disclosures of any politician, left, right and center, and you will see there is no money from the little people. So the vacuum is filled by those with something to gain or lose.

When I ran for State Assembly in 1992 I raised and spent $56,000. That bought me ONE mailer to the likely voters of the Third Assembly District. I got endorsed by the newspaper in Paradise. The winner spent $300,000 and the runner up about the same. Not one news program or newspaper said hey! Come on in and we will give you free air or paper time. Not one. And that was all seven of us on the R side in the primary. I learned a lot about money in elections. Far removed from the $15,000 I spent in the primary and general in 1984.

So, call them corrupt or Republicrats but the PEOPLE, the regular people, don't contribute and the press doesn't give you free time. And the postal service wants theirs (for mailers you pay someone to create and make a gazillion of) . You figure it out It ins't tough to do. Jeeze.

Paul Emery

George

So what do you propose as a way out of this situation? I propose Revolution at the ballot box. Another possibility is economic boycotts and an independent cash free economy or a tax rebellions. What do you have in mind since we fairly well agree on the nature of the beast.

Michael R. Kesti

Paul Emery 29Jun15 05:27 PM

I'm not as certain that hope for the Tea Party is lost just yet. My hope was again renewed this week when the FUE posted his scathing indictment of the Tea Party for planing to distribute invites(sic) to "activism events" as well as copies of the Constitution. The FUE and his cohorts were shocked. Yes. SHOCKED!

George Rebane

Yes, the Left is always shocked when someone distributes subversive literature like the Constitution to mere individuals and asks them then to think for themselves. The Reformationists like Luther and Calvin also irked Rome when they had the Bible translated into the vernacular and encouraged the lay folks to read it for themselves. What's a central planner and controller to do?

PaulE 543pm - Don't know how the ballot box and economic revolutions and boycotts would work across a population of 310M. But a massive tax code rewrite would definitely be promising, as would be civil disobedience conducted through Madisonian legal defense funds against regulatory agencies.

Don't get me wrong; I don't have any easy answers since we are beyond the tipping point with an electorate bathed in national dumbth and half the population paying no or negligible taxes (and demanding that the other half pays more). A slippery slope is what it is, and we're on it. Perhaps MichaelK's hope in a resurgence of the Tea Party will also contribute to a step toward sanity. I count my own assessment there of little worth since I am a Tea Party member and an eternally hopeful optimist that an informed grass roots electorate can really spark plug change. Believe me, I want the Great Experiment to succeed.

Todd Juvinall

Gruber was on to something.

Account Deleted

Ben at 11:07:
"Shouldn't the entire cost be part of the price of the product or service?"
Yes Ben - we've noticed your outrage at tax payer subsidized 'green energy' scams.
Let's start making sure folks who buy solar panels, batteries and electric cars pay the actual cost of dealing with the filthy chemicals and the clean up after the fact of these new green tech waste piles.
Don't forget the defense money spent to secure the hinterlands that hold deposits of rare earth elements needed for green energy.
Oh, wait - that only applies to oil, right Ben?

Gregory

Can you point to any ATTEMPTS at reforming the influence of money on our political system that the Republicans tried during their control of the Legislature and the Presidency?

Posted by: Paul Emery | 29 June 2015 at 04:29 PM

Paul, do you consider a 51/49% split "control"?

The way towards less money in politics is for the to have less control of our economic life and the last six years have been a disaster for that.

Gregory

Regarding the Tea Party, there is no The Tea Party. Never on any ballot I've seen.

Bill Tozer

Gawd, I just hate this overused expression, but it applies to the recent exchange of ideas between Mr. Paul Emery and the good doctor Rebane. Paul, "that's like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." Besides, the millions of low information voters who think that rearranging the deck chairs will solve everything don't have the attention span of a rat. Come Election Day, probably 3% of the Rearrangers will vote Green or American Socialist. The rest who agree with you will stay home waiting for the next election cycle, vote a straight Democrat ticket, or light some incense, put on some good music and forget about the whole thang.

Hope we can agree that a good shaking of the tree and letting the rotten fruit fall to the ground is a splendid idea, one that tickles me fancy. Our republic was founded on rebellion, pure and simple. A tax revolt would have much historical precedence. Them silly Bostonians dressing up as Washington Redskins and dumping tea overboard. A real Tea Party. The second thing our first Congress did was pass a whiskey tax which immediately led President Washington to sent troops to squash the Whiskey Rebellion. BTW, when you consider that President Washington was a whiskey maker by trade, just the idea of taxing his vocation and signing the tax law shows his character, an outstanding principled man who did not think more highly of himself than he thought of Old Glory.

Let's have a tax revolt. Let's rollback the added gas tax that was implemented Jan 1 to build the TRAIN to Bullonwillows and build low income projects...er...low income housing. I just know the builders and contractors who will get the job to build our new The Projects are corrupt and greased the technocrats palms to the max and beyond. Heck, the blessed and sacred cow known as Prop 13 started right here in the Golden Shower State. We can do it. Yes we can! United we stand, divided we fall. Love our country but fear our hovernment. Hope and Change. I stand with both Paul and Ben Emery on this one. Please, please don't start the tax revolution without me. It only takes a spark to start a fire...if only people would look up from their handheld devices long enough to notice what day it is, then the revolt will spread.

Paul Emery

Gregory, George

All I wanted to hear about was any attempts by the Republicans to gain independence from their providers. Certainly the Democrats did not moved in that direction when they had the majority. But what the heck, our government was bought fair and square and we keep electing the same ilk thinking there will be change. I am a firm believer that with a combination of mass numbers of independent voters (non Republicrats) and selected consumer strikes the word would get out that we no longer will tolerate bought and sole professional politicians. I remain the optimist.

Greg Goodknight

Paul, I've been a LIB since the 80's... it ain't that easy to win as an alternative party canddiate for a federal office, unless you pretend Saunders is 3rd party, none have in my memory.

Paul Emery

Greg

It's not realistic to think of winning at first. What can happen for is a good number of none of the above (Republicrats) votes to scare the hell out of the status quo
That's a realistic goal. I have succumbed to fear tactics in the past to vote mainstream but no more. The state of the State is a bi-partisan effort. Anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously delusional.

Gregory

Paul, by design, nothing happens in Washington without broad support across the country. Right now,we have a federal nanny state beyond the dreams of the early Progressives and possibly well into their nightmares. Until Dems stop winning offices selling that olde tyme religion we don't have much chance of breaking the logjam.

Michael R. Kesti

Gregory 29Jun15 08:48 PM

The Black Panther Party (BPP) also appeared on no ballot but there certainly was a BPP.

Or was your comment an attempt at humor?

Gregory

I also didn't bother to mention the Donner Party.

Bill Tozer

Neither was the Wild Party given its fair due.

Bill Tozer

Is there a real Democrat on the Democrat Party ticket yet?
This is dedicated to all the enthusiastic 3rd Party Hope and Changers out there.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XsYJyVEUaC4

No worries, soon it will be Judy's time to cry. Don't you guys ever tire of eating dust?

Bill Tozer

Paul, Ben, and others. Yes, Honest Abe was our first "Third Party President", winning on the circumstance of the deeply splintered major parties and winning with less than half the popular vote. And, he did not get money and corruption out of politics/Government either. He had bigger things on his mind.

Since then, we have seen flashes of hope with various characters having their 15 minutes of fame from the Depression and post Depression Days. The 30's were perhaps the best time for a populist party to take hold. Even the U.S. Communist Party was in its heyday at that time period.. But, no. Like Nader, the 3rd Party's popularity have just been flashes in the pan. No spreading fire, no sticking power. No taking hold.

The flaw I see in Paul's hope is plain ole sticking power. A new party may and will emerge in reaction to the current events of the time, but will they be able to have any staying power beyond a couple of election cycles? Will they be around after a few Super Bowl Sundays? Hmmmm? Do you really believe that any new party leadership will not find the same political hurdles and dwindling campaign coffers that need to be filled than the previous 20 Presidents? It takes more money than you think to hold on to power.
What was the name of Fidel's Party? Something like the People's Democratic Revolutionary Party I believe. Or is that the name of a political party in Greece or Italy or Bolivia or Sudan or North Korea, or.....well, at least some of those Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Parties had staying power. Just look at Iran. They sure showed the crooks the door and ended corruption by public servants in power seeking a little grease on their outstretched palms. Ya, righttttt. Human nature is a powerful force.

Jon

The Tea Party inspired candidates took a brutal beating in the 2014 midterms. The establishment had had just about enough of people disrupting their status quo. In Repub big money circles, you got to pay your dues in the inner circle. What makes anyone think the Tea Party is going to have more than a miniscule role in 2016?

George Rebane

BillT 1001am - Actually Mr Tozer, ol' Abe did exactly the opposite. He hugely expanded federal power while at the same time dealing federalism such a blow that it has been on the decline ever since. Said decline has correlated perfectly with the growth of influence that moneyed interests have had in shaping government and government's laws. We see that Mr Lincoln was the one who really gave Washington a shelf full of favors to sell, and the impetus to increase the size of the shelf and restock it regularly.

Administrivia - I invite your kind attention to the 30jun15 update to the latest Scattershots.

Bill Tozer

Yes, Dr. Rebane, Lincoln did institute the Get Out of The War Free Card if your daddy had enough Yankee Dollars to get Johnnie to come marching home. And the Tea Pot Dome Scandal was lurking just behind the headlines.
Rather than get off message with your distracting Lincoln did this or didnot do that, I, for one, will remain focused and disciplined and continue my thoughts on...drumroll please.....The Third Party, Curse or Cure, Meaningful or Mincemeat?

Dr Rebane, Dr Rebane, how I wish you would shut out the chatter and stay on topic. :). Maybe it's time for your to leave your comfort zone and take a walk on the other side of the tipping point. Can't hurt and may recharge your batteries:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0KaWSOlASWc

George Rebane

BillT 1034am - I am reminded that we are in the sandbox that welcomes the consumption of both free range chickens and free range topics. A parting note on the death spiral of federalism which started during 'Mr Lincoln's War'. It wasn't just Yankee dollars that could substitute a Johnnie for a Jonathan in the gruesome business of war, it was the launch of the notorious military-industrial complex that began, has continued, and much expanded the dispensing of federal dollars across the country.

Don't know how you define my "comfort zone" - didn't even know I had one - but I have long made a strong case for going beyond the two-party into a multi-party system. Apparently these sentiments have had little staying power with readers, since they are regularly introduced as a new idea in these pages. Be that as it may.

So as not to rehash, my recommendation has always been that a 3rd and 4th party need to enter the fray concurrently. Say, the Libertarian and Green Parties would march their candidates hand-in-hand into an election, thereby drawing votes from both Repubs and Dems. Besides sending a message to the Republicrats, such an election may even result in the need for a coalition Congress. But as a minimum the resulting political plurality of the country would be more accurately exposed and communicated.

Joe Koyote

George 6/29 12:29 -- " Other than both cohorts use their available resources to attain their widely variant objectives, they share no other attributes." - You get half of it.. The point I am making and the attribute activist billionaires and jihadists share is that both seek to instill their own belief systems on a larger population. Jihadists use the power of violence and billionaires use the power of their vast sums of money. The goals are both the same… to force their own attitudes, beliefs, and values onto others. Perhaps this drive has some psychological or psychiatric issue based on the need to justify one's own actions and behaviors (ie. if everyone else believes like me, I must be on the moral high ground.) I would not want morality dictated to me by a billionaire any more than a radical muslim cleric.

Note: for those of you who are going to go off on comparing the social attitudes of a muslim country to America as in what regime would I rather live under or some other pointless line of attack.. STOP .. We all recognize our freedoms as they currently exist (NSA spying etc. excepted) are better than Saudi Arabia or Iran or most other countries on the planet. This discussion is not about what political or religious belief system is better or worse than another, but how individuals with large amounts of power use that power to influence others and to what end.


Gregory

George, the Libertarian Party pulled my vote from the Dems, and Eugene (Clean Gene) McCarthy was an early booster.of the LP with an early catchphrase being "low tax liberalism".

It is, I suspect, the left's reactionary stance against economic libertarian views that has led the LP to be painted as right wing. Paul E. saw through that, too.

In the end, the LP is anti-Federalist and pro-choice on everything, and historically, that is more Dem than GOP.

George Rebane

JoeK 1210pm - Don't understand how your expansion contradicted (the half of) my 1229pm interpretation, because you just repeated it. The ONLY common denominator is that the groups you compare use their available resources to promote their belief systems. That's not a very informative dissertation.

Gregory 1212pm - Libertarian? I recall that Clean Gene was an unabashed collectivist, and being honest about his ideology gave rise to his historical thumping at the polls.

When you maintain that "LP is anti-Federalist", I take you to mean that they are anti-Leviathan and all that implies. But do we agree that the LP is still pro-federalism (lower case)?

Gregory

"
In 1980, dismayed by what he saw as the abject failure of the Jimmy Carter presidency (later he would say, "he was the worst we ever had" [22]), he appeared in a campaign ad for Libertarian candidate Ed Clark, and also wrote the introduction to Clark's campaign book.[23] He eventually endorsed Ronald Reagan for the presidency.

Gregory

Clark's running mate was David Koch

Todd Juvinall

I enjoy watching the British elections every five years. When the polls close, the candidates in each district for the House of Commons stands on a stage as a elections official shouts out the name of the party and their vote totals. If you like a myriad of parties, then you should really watch these elections.

So, what is the upshot of these elections that have twenty plus parties? The election in May was, GASP, the Tories (British Conservatives) were given a majority! Whoa! The Liberals lost all but a couple os seats and the Labour Party (democrats) were trounced. Just a really good view of what a multi-party election looks like. Yet, when all was said and done the voters of Great Britain settled on two parties! Paul Emery and JoeK, can you explain that please?

Regarding American elections. It appears to me the left will never accept anything about money until they own all the money.

Gregory

no Todd the Brits don't settle for two parties. it's about who can put together a coalition that is a majority of seats. If no one can a new election is held. bad idea.

our progressives don't want to own your money todd, but they are sure they can do a more ethical job of spending it so quityerbitchin and cough some more up.

Todd Juvinall

Greg that was the previous election you are speaking of. The Tories and the Liberal Party were a coalition and Labour was out of power. This May the Tories got the majority so no need for a coalition.

Joe Koyote

George 12:34 -- The common denominator, I see, is that such groups (any special interest group for that matter) usually have a core group of individuals who direct the policies and actions of said group. Whether those people are terrorists trying to take over a country and implement their world view on everyone else through violence or billionaires trying to take over a country and implement their world view through purchasing influence, the goal seems to be the same, the implementation of their particular world view on a larger population whether that population wants it or not. What I am trying to understand is why, for example, the Koch bros (yes I know they are Republicans Todd, but they are the glaring example of what I speak... and yes George Soros and other Democrats do the same thing) and their donor group would spend (by their own estimate) $800 million to influence the coming elections. That amount is more than both the official Republican and Democratic committees put together spent in 2012. Are they trying to buy something besides influence? What would motivate someone to blow that much money on politics? Is it an investment on which they expect to get a return? Is it narcissist delusions of grandeur? Is such behavior for better or worse for the affected populations?

George Rebane

JoeK 359pm - on the shared attribute of such groups, it sure looks like we're in violent agreement.

Now about the money spent by the Kochs and Soroses. Their sums are a small fraction of what the candidates, special interest groups, PACs, etc will spend on the election. (Common wisdom now says that it takes about $1B to run a successful presidential campaign.) But in the end, can you not agree that both sides, rich and poor, see the other side winning as a disaster for the country, if not bordering on evil itself? For example, I would have contributed more both in 08 and 12 had I known the full measure of Team Obama.

And such, contributions are even more important to buy the media that is the only means to communicate with a gruberized electorate. I wish it were not so, and have spelled out here my druthers for a properly franchised electorate. But that's another story we may want to revisit. 'A nation ignorant and free, that never was and shall be.' Thomas Jefferson.

Gregory

Koyote, how do you put a dollar amount on 'volunteer' big labor labor?

Then there's the huge pile of money donated by just about every "local". Looks like this time next year we'll find out if SCOTUS rules that union dues are voluntary... that should be interesting. If they rule for that freedom I'd bet the CAGOP will begin to look less inept when the money evens out.

Todd Juvinall

Looks like Truckee got a "grant" of 8 million dollars to build "workfrce" housing. The country has lost its mind and spends taxpayers hard earned money for this crap. Amazing.

Russ Steele

Todd@09:00PM

Truckee's "stack em and pack em" project will be a Sierra Slum in ten years after it is built and the town will be looking for grant to tear it down. All the built in greenhouse gas reduction and energy saving sustainability devices will be unable to keep up with the growing winter cold and people will not want to live in an icebox after working in the winter snow al day, they will want a warm cozy place to eat and sleep. This "stack em and pack em" palace will not be that place in the winter.

Bill Tozer

Oh Mr. Steele. Those stack em and pack-ems are like renting a room for the night at the ole Fleabag Hotel. It's not for families. It's for the immigrant worker/ski bums that love the slopes. They prefer the cold over warm and toasty any day. It's like a college dorm building close to the chow line. Don't think there is enough space to put a pellet stove in there anyway. Waste of time besides. They don't fed the heat very well during those blizzard freezing winterstorms causing power outages. Maybe there will be enough room near the electric car charging station for a green backup generator. Ski bums ....er.....ski resort workers don't need no fancy housing, on or off the clock. A spendid idea.

Todd Juvinall

So not only does this subsidize low wage workers, it subsidizes the Skiing businesses. And it is on the train tracks! Wow, this is a good example of a true waste of taxpayers money. And the article said it took 20 years! What a country.

Steven Frisch

Posted by: Todd Juvinall | 01 July 2015 at 07:10 AM


The community vision for redevelopment of the downtown was started 20 years ago, and it has been pretty successful.

Truckee enjoys amongst the highest commercial occupancy rates in the state.

New development has been leveraged in and around the downtown.

This project will ultimately create more than 200 residential units, 70% of them market rate, and include "Live/Work" housing to support a start up business community and an Industrial Heritage District to promote the arts and entertainment as an economic development driver.

Truckee median incomes are more than 20% higher than the rest of Nevada County. The average age in Truckee is more than 10 years younger than the rest of Nevada County. People who need housing who don't want to live at the end of the road needs places to live as well.

The $8 million public investment in affordable housing represents less than 5% of the total cost of the project, and comes from funds that residents are already supporting state-wide, so this really represents a return of capital than left the community back to the community to leverage more than $100 million in private sector investment.

To Russ's point that low income workers will be freezing in the winter, these units will be much more energy efficient than existing units, meaning low income workers will be paying much less as a proportion of their income for energy use. Under any calculation that is a net benefit, more money to spend on goods and services in other areas.

I really do think you guys need to spend a little more time at high altitude.

Steven Frisch

That should read "less than 5% of the cost of the full project."

Todd Juvinall

Government subsidies don't impress the people here. The railroad yard is a liberals favorite place to put the poor people. The other side of the tracks. Nothing new from you. What is so funny is his use of the word "eventually".

Steven Frisch

I guess that would be true if 1) one did not consider the more than 75% of the project that is market rate, 2) one considered a couple who makes less than but up to about $80,000 per year poor, and 3) one did not know where I lived, the project is about 2000 yards from my house, on my side of the tracks, and if I could afford it I would move into it in a heartbeat.

But even more to the point, what would be wrong with providing housing for poor people? Do we want them to live in shacks in the woods?

Jon

Steve,
Great news on the efforts of the SBC and the town of Truckee. Some smart folks. Its clear the locals on this blog know nothing about what's going on in downtown Truckee and nearby environs. Its pretty clear to visitors like me that the arts, entertainment and leisure industries there are driving a subset of hard working innovative entrepeneurs who spend their money back in town. So yes, almost all of these people creating the energy are young people with little money but who need affordable housing. There are a lot of highly educated, hard working, energetic young people there working low wage jobs who will eventually hook up with entrepeneurs with funding, and become entrepeneurs themselves. Every year Truckee seems to get more vibrant, so this project is perfect. As with virtually all growing towns and communities in America, the funding is a combination of grants, direct government subsidies and private capital. I love all the stuff going on there and at the North Shore as well. Of course your collaborative efforts to spark more in-town economic activity look funny to the eyes of aging retirees out in the woods who really don't spend much time in downtown Truckee. Kudos.

Todd Juvinall

If one percent of a project is government money then 100% of the project must comply. It is a boondoggle, just like the "worm farm". Russian high rises from 1960 housed those folks too. Built in ghettos paid for by tax money. Yep that's a winner.

Gregory

Liberal Policies vs. Affordable Housing
The chronic shortage of inexpensive housing is really a blaring signal for government to get out of the way.

http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/23/liberal-policies-vs-affordable-housing

Show me a town that doesn't have the inexpensive housing they need and I'll show you a town that won't let investors build it.

Jon

If there was ever a community where affordable housing is needed, its Truckee.
Believe it or not, I agree there are many communities in many states forced to build certain percentage of affordable housing- that don't really have any demand for it, and where it is not effective or efficient use of space. Truckee, for all the reasons outlined, it definitely is needed. Developers aren't going to do it on their own, so collaboration works.

Todd Juvinall

Gregory 11:27 AM. Totallly correct.

I suggest a person go see the mitigation costs imposed on one single family living unit, well, detached and attached, add the twenty years of holding costs for the property, add the development costs, planners, engineers, tentative and final map costs, the fees paid to schools, water and sewer districts and all the hearings in Truckee before they believe a word Frisch says. It is all over California. I was always amazed that a jurisdiction, here included, adds all those costs and no one builds affordable so the government then subsidizes their own mitigation fees (with lots of strings)! Cluster f*** thinking at its best. Now people pat themselves on the back for a project like that?

Gregory

Skyrocketing fees (mitigations or others) for new housing is very popular with existing homeowner/voters. Not only is it a perfect tax (on someone else) but it drives up the value of existing homes.

Todd Juvinall

I found it interesting that if you kid wants to build a house for himself in the town or county he grew up in, he had to "buy in" to his own town or county by paying those fees.

George Rebane

In the housing conversation it's good to separate 'affordable housing' which is built to government specs and mandates, and usually with government subsidies, from 'inexpensive or low cost housing' which is a free enterprise affair driven by market forces. The above conversation can and has quickly become hard to follow if we don't name the babies and then refer to them by their names. BTW, this barn has been circled before in these pages.
http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2010/03/when-again-we-grow.html

Bill Tozer

Steven Frisch @ 9:57am. Do we really want "them" to live in a shack in the woods?

Hell yes! That way we don't have to look at them or ever see them while trying to enjoy a good latte. Oh, they can stand on the on ramp hitching their sorry arses out of town. Now that would be tolerable. The good people of Reno will buy them a one way bus ticket to Wichita Falls.

More than one landlord has told me horror stories about renting to low lifes in the Township of Truckee. After the tenants get cold and burn up their Salvation Army chairs and tables, they tear out the drywall and starting throwing the framing 2x4's into the pot bellied stove. At least in a shack, they will do way less damage. Guess they were too lazy or stupid to gather wood in the summer. Probably complained it was too hot outside or too much effort.

Hey, I want a new car, but I can't afford the payments. Hey, "those people" want to live in Truckee but can't afford it either. Cry me a river. If you are gonna play, you are gonna pay. Don't encourage "them" to live anywhere close to town. Put the responsible ones that pick up their own trash in the condos. Image that. Some of us pick up our own trash instead of leaving piles of garbage filled with plastic that kill our little birdies and fishies. They are animal haters and scum. Assholes they are. Don't encourage them anymore than you already have, Steve. You are better than that. Rid Truckee with its young vibrant people of the undesirables.
Besides, the slopes are filled with migrant workers from anywhere but the USA and they are used to living out of youth hostels and crashing on the floor. Bathroom is down the hall is good enough and the small kitchens are probably bigger than the ones they grew up with in Europe. Yes, I want all the trash spewing poor walking around Beautiful Downtown Truckee to live in a shack in the woods. A shack so flimsy you can throw a rat through the wall. "Them" are not easy on the eyes, I tell ya.

Joe Koyote

Gregory 5:18 "Koyote, how do you put a dollar amount on 'volunteer' big labor labor?" The same way you put a dollar amount on the volunteers of the Tea Party, the chamber of Commerce, the Republican Women or any other organization with a political agenda.

Joe Koyote

George 4:37-- "Now about the money spent by the Kochs and Soroses. Their sums are a small fraction of what the candidates, special interest groups, PACs, etc will spend on the election." According to the federal elections commission website around $3b was spent by candidates and PACS put together during the 2014 election cycle. If the Koch donor group alone pledges $800m that would represent almost one fourth of the total 2014 expenditures. That is more than a small fraction. Approximately 32,000 donors (1/10 of 1%) donated over $1.18b of the $3b total. Have you seen different numbers?

Joe Koyote

Gregory 5:18 --Only a minuscule portion of the total campaign contributions came from labor. Most of the money came from corporations, trade organizations, and private membership PACS. Labor as a monied force in politics is a myth. Yes they have volunteers, but since union membership is at its lowest point in almost a century, they no longer have the clout they once had either in money or members. It is not the unions the country should be afraid of.

http://www.fec.gov/disclosure/pacSummary.do

Account Deleted

"Developers aren't going to do it on their own, so collaboration works."
I hold the gun to your head and you collaborate.
Works every time it's tried.

Account Deleted

Here's my fave of the week - pure BS from start to finish.
You can't go wrong with lines like this:
"There are no costs associated with the program other than staff development for teachers working with imbedded students and space provided for the Winona State classrooms."
That's right, folks, there are no costs other than the costs.
You have to have a masters in BS to write this stuff.
No right wing vs left wing - just PC nonsense. Davis Krenz self identifies with the struggle, so he's good.
http://www.postbulletin.com/news/local/austin-school-district-addresses-need-for-diverse-staff-with-initiative/article_adce3bb2-3f18-5f5f-8b75-0dbce470d7bb.html
Outright racism and lunacy - no wonder drug addled numb skulls shoot up churches. Nothing makes any sense and there is no ground to stand on.
Make it up as you go and it's all good.

Jon

Scott, um, that would be RACIST white numbskulls influenced by racist white parents, shooting up people and burning black churches.
How many churches have burned now since Charleston? A certain subset of people don't really like the fact their racist symbols are disappearing.

Account Deleted

As opposed to non white racists shooting folks dead and burning churches. Got it.
How long do you lefties want this to go on?
Do you want to stop the violence or just post stupidity?
It looks like the black vs white death rate is about 100 to one.
White lefties never seem to mind dead blacks. Unless they can stand on top of the bodies and blame some one, some how connected to an icon they don't like.
The Stars and Bars are down. Everything's groovy, right?
Hey - they took the TV show off the air! We're good? Right?

Jon

Scott, please list the non-white racists inside American borders who have burned churches. Not talking about the Middle East. talking about the USA. If you find a couple, it will certainly not be 7 in one week and counting. But really, why so defensive about the white cracker, arsonist response to the loss of their southern "heritage symbols, their racist symbols? Its a damn good thing those symbols are being buried. Almost all of America agrees, except the rural white holdouts I guess.

Oh, and BTW, the high black-on-black crime rate in urban America is not racism, by definition. It is bleak, depressing, poverty, it is gun culture, it is lifestyle, it is lack of family unit, it is lack of love and support. Not racism.

Thanks.

Account Deleted

How in the world do you manage to twist everything I post, jon? Not being defensive, just pointing out what an empty pointless 'solution' the left has fixed on.
I couldn't care less one way or another - I don't have any confederate stuff and never planned to have any. Are you interested in preventing more violence, or do you just want to use tragedies like this to promote your own empty, failed ideas? You just want a 'feel good' win and stick it to the rednecks. And the rednecks get even more pissed off. And the violence on both sides keeps ramping up. You even admit the burned churches are a response to banning confederate symbols. What a great result that was!
Once again, you have ducked the main point of my post. There is ongoing, institutionalized, tax payer supported racism. This stuff fuels the sick minds of folks like Roof.
When do we shut down the Black Panthers and Louis F for advocating racial violence?
So be proud, jon. You get your 'win' and the carnage continues.

George Rebane

Jon 1134pm - By its very politically correct definition, 'racism' can only be practiced by Americans of European ancestry. What other 'minorities' do to themselves or anyone else is never identified as racism.

However, according to my view highlighting the relatively few killings of blacks by non-blacks, and then IGNORING the overwhelming number of blacks (and even whites) killed by blacks is indeed racism. Black lives do matter, no matter how they die. Liberal policies that have kept blacks on the virtual 'plantation' for 40 years are racist policies.

Jon

How can black and black killing be motivated by racism? That is what we are talking. Hate crime legislation deals with motivation based on racism. What you and Scott are referring to is neglect, ignorance of a major problem, national priorities askew. Its not political even- both major parties and leaders ignore the horrendous inner city, black on black, lifestyle crime spree. But why do you lump that into racism?

Jon

Scott, no one is "shutting down" the free hate speech of racist rednecks and others. People of good will however are shutting down and burying hateful symbols, such as the world did with swastikas and such. Southern Republican leaders are shutting down these symbols. People of all stripes and political persusisons are tired of it, tired of the abject hate coming from the rural south and similar parts. Anyone inciting violence, documented as such, should be watched carefully, including Louis F or Black Panthers. But really Scott, I have no problem pissing off rednecks if its based on their hateful behaviors that need to change.

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