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Old 02-03-2019, 05:32 PM   #1
ZNPaaneah
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Default A House divided cannot stand

This thread is devoted to recommended solutions, rather than criticizing republican or democrats.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:33 PM   #2
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Default Dealing with gang violence.

Since this wall has been a major focus lets address crime and gun violence first.

If you are concerned about crime in the US, even though it has been falling steadily then I would agree with focusing on gun violence. You could argue that cyber crime is a bigger concern, but it is a much bigger concern to the financial services industry (banking, credit cards and insurance). This behemoth is doing a lot to shut down this threat on their own.

If your concern is gun violence then I think it is perfectly reasonable to focus on gang violence. They are responsible for 80% of gun related homicides. So, major on the majors and minor on the minors. There are about 2,000 gang related homicides each year in the US. Although this is just an estimate it may be that 13% of those are committed by illegal aliens, most of whom have already been deported at least once.

This 13% may seem like a minor issue, but if you consider a gang to be a multinational corporation with the headquarters in another country (Mexico, Russia, Ireland, etc) then these repeat offenders who are committing violent crimes and have already been deported previously could be viewed as terrorists. Suppose instead of deporting them the second time we send them to Guantanamo Bay or another facility (Albania, one of the Arab nations, etc). If this was done with a view towards being economical you could contract out these particular prisoners for less than $35,000 a year. If we are estimating 260 people like this we are talking about $9 million per year. This would be far cheaper than the wall. It would take 555 years to spend $5 billion. Also this would be much more specific, targeting the true criminals who are truly the problem.

Also, this would have a very big impact on our gangs. All of them have very significant affiliations with entities outside the US. If you can cut off that link, it is like severing a major artery.

Now it seems to me anyone claiming to be for law and order would support this. Since the patriot act has already been passed the laws are in place to do this. No one could object to the cost since it is a tiny fraction of the wall which would not guarantee the removal of these 230 very bad guys. There is nothing racist since IRA, Russian, Asian, and Mexican gangs would all be prosecuted and treated the same.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dealing with gang violence.

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Since this wall has been a major focus lets address crime and gun violence first.

If you are concerned about crime in the US, even though it has been falling steadily then I would agree with focusing on gun violence. You could argue that cyber crime is a bigger concern, but it is a much bigger concern to the financial services industry (banking, credit cards and insurance). This behemoth is doing a lot to shut down this threat on their own.

If your concern is gun violence then I think it is perfectly reasonable to focus on gang violence. They are responsible for 80% of gun related homicides. So, major on the majors and minor on the minors. There are about 2,000 gang related homicides each year in the US. Although this is just an estimate it may be that 13% of those are committed by illegal aliens, most of whom have already been deported at least once.

This 13% may seem like a minor issue, but if you consider a gang to be a multinational corporation with the headquarters in another country (Mexico, Russia, Ireland, etc) then these repeat offenders who are committing violent crimes and have already been deported previously could be viewed as terrorists. Suppose instead of deporting them the second time we send them to Guantanamo Bay or another facility (Albania, one of the Arab nations, etc). If this was done with a view towards being economical you could contract out these particular prisoners for less than $35,000 a year. If we are estimating 260 people like this we are talking about $9 million per year. This would be far cheaper than the wall. It would take 555 years to spend $5 billion. Also this would be much more specific, targeting the true criminals who are truly the problem.

Also, this would have a very big impact on our gangs. All of them have very significant affiliations with entities outside the US. If you can cut off that link, it is like severing a major artery.

Now it seems to me anyone claiming to be for law and order would support this. Since the patriot act has already been passed the laws are in place to do this. No one could object to the cost since it is a tiny fraction of the wall which would not guarantee the removal of these 230 very bad guys. There is nothing racist since IRA, Russian, Asian, and Mexican gangs would all be prosecuted and treated the same.
But there were over 40,000 gun deaths last year. So 2000 is less than 1% of gun deaths.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:00 PM   #4
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But there were over 40,000 gun deaths last year. So 2000 is less than 1% of gun deaths.
Gun Related homicides

Homicides committed with firearms peaked in 1993 at 17,075, after which the figure steadily fell, reaching a low of 10,117 in 1999. Gun-related homicides increased slightly after that, to a high of 11,547 in 2006, before falling again to 10,869 in 2008. (Cooper, Alexia, and Erica Smith,*Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 16, 2011.)

Gang Related homicides

Gun-related homicide is most prevalent among gangs and during the commission of felony crimes. In 1980, the percentage of homicides caused by firearms during arguments was about the same as from gang involvement (about 70 percent), but by 1993, nearly all gang-related homicides involved guns (95 percent), whereas the percentage of gun homicides related to arguments remained relatively constant. The percentage of gang-related homicides caused by guns fell slightly to 92 percent in 2008, but the percentage of homicides caused by firearms during the commission of a felony rose from about 60 percent to about 74 percent from 1980 to 2005. Cooper, Alexia, and Erica Smith,*Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 16, 2011.

It is very clear that the lion share of gun homicides is during the commission of a felony and/or are connected to gang violence. Hence RICO laws can be included, and in many cases anti terrorism laws could also be invoked.

Instead of arguing about gun rights for citizens, constitutional rights, etc there is no one that will defend those who are committing a homicide during a felony. It is the biggest part of the problem and the part that we can all agree on. One solution (partial solution) is a tiny fraction of the cost of the wall and yet addresses all felonies committed by illegal aliens who you have tried to deport. Why would anyone have an issue with this?
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:21 PM   #5
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Default Dealing with gun violence

The first solution was targeted towards the foreign involvement and support to local gangs. That might be a very significant part of the problem and the part that is the easiest to get full support.

However, there is an additional aspect to gun violence that no one discusses. The financial cost. Imagine if we limited the discussion of car accidents to fatalities. That might be the most important part, but certainly only a small part of the full story. If everyone who owned a gun had insurance (liability) to protect them should anyone be hurt or damaged from the use of their gun. I believe that would have a huge impact on every single gun related incident, whether by someone committing a felony or not.

1. If you didn't have insurance that would be another violation, and the basis for yet more lawsuits. Since these would be your criminals it helps make it so that "crime doesn't pay". Just as RICO and the IRS realized you could shut down criminals if you could bankrupt them, this would help.

2. Many gun incidents happen with guns owned by law abiding citizens. These would be guns that have insurance. Therefore the victims would be compensated. That is a nice bonus.

3. In addition to compensating victims you would have insurance companies involved in your purchase and ownership of a gun. They might encourage gun safety, gun safes, attending classes, etc. Just like they do with cars. They might give you a break if you have a psychological exam. They would be notified with every single gun related purchase, guns, body armor, ammunition. This would go into a computer and could put a red flag on you before you even leave the store.

4. The insurance company would have a multi million dollar incentive to make sure you don't commit some kind of atrocity. So although several of these mass shootings have been done by people who didn't have a criminal record their purchases, psychological health, job status and marital status would have all been known by the insurance company. Information they can use to act as an early warning system.

5. The insurance industry has the resources to monitor social media. Another possible early warning flag.
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: A House divided cannot stand

Gun ownership is a constitutional right, not a privilege like driving.

In ZNP's America, we would also need 1st Amendment "speech insurance" just in case one of our free speech "micro-agressions," like wearing a MAGA hat, inflicted irreparable harm to some Ivy League Snowflake.
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:54 AM   #7
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Gun ownership is a constitutional right, not a privilege like driving.
The constitutional right is for a "well regulated" militia. Regulations that result in accountability, responsibility, and assurances that those who use these rights will not harm others rights, that is written into the constitutional right.

There is nothing well regulated about some guy shooting up a movie theater or a concert. Those victims and their families need to be compensated. Doesn't solve the problem but to shoot them up and then not compensate them is to add insult to injury. This merely removes the insult. Both of those people had the constitutional right to purchase everything they did.

However, in both cases the insurance company would have been alerted and alarmed and no doubt this would have impacted the insurance rates for both people. Also the psychological status of the guy who shot up the movie theater would have also come into play with the insurance company whereas that status was protected information from law enforcement.

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In ZNP's America, we would also need 1st Amendment "speech insurance" just in case one of our free speech "micro-agressions," like wearing a MAGA hat, inflicted irreparable harm to some Ivy League Snowflake.
In my America you don't put words into others mouths. This is why I put this into writing. Show me where I have said this? Otherwise admit to slander.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:05 AM   #8
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Default Dealing with gang violence from US citizens

The big issue with gang violence is that they use guns (over 90%) and the NRA has lobbied against a digital database to identify bullets and shell casings with guns. Keeping these records on paper has completely hamstrung investigations.

1. There is no constitutional basis to say that an insurance company wouldn't have this information on every gun they insure. Therefore in a commission of a crime police could ask the insurance companies if they can identify the gun. This protects the citizen from unlawful searches while also poviding the victims of these crimes a reasonable expectation of justice.

2. Gun makers should be required, by law to identify every gun they manufacture. Therefore if an insurance companies come back saying they don't know this gun, then they could subpoena the gun makers. This would most likely not lead you to the shooter, but rather reveal the gun sellers that are the pipeline to felons and gangs.

So tiny adjustments to government regulations that do not cost taxpayers one dime would have a dramatic influence on our ability to find and catch the felons.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:53 AM   #9
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The constitutional right is for a "well regulated" militia. Regulations that result in accountability, responsibility, and assurances that those who use these rights will not harm others rights, that is written into the constitutional right.

There is nothing well regulated about some guy shooting up a movie theater or a concert. Those victims and their families need to be compensated. Doesn't solve the problem but to shoot them up and then not compensate them is to add insult to injury. This merely removes the insult. Both of those people had the constitutional right to purchase everything they did.

However, in both cases the insurance company would have been alerted and alarmed and no doubt this would have impacted the insurance rates for both people. Also the psychological status of the guy who shot up the movie theater would have also come into play with the insurance company whereas that status was protected information from law enforcement.

In my America you don't put words into others mouths. This is why I put this into writing. Show me where I have said this? Otherwise admit to slander.
The basis of this thread is that 2nd amendment gun holders should be forced to buy insurance. The examples you used were the movie theatre and concert tragedies.

My point then would be -- does the 1st amend also require insurance? We have an entire generation of "victimized" snowflakes requiring long-term medical care as a result of someone's right to free speech. Hence the growing leftist movement to classify all "objectionable" 1st amendment speech as "hate speech." Apparently by your response to me, you may be joining their cause. I hope not.

I asked a legitimate question. Sorry if I upset you.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:41 AM   #10
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My point then would be -- does the 1st amend also require insurance? We have an entire generation of "victimized" snowflakes requiring long-term medical care as a result of someone's right to free speech. Hence the growing leftist movement to classify all "objectionable" 1st amendment speech as "hate speech." Apparently by your response to me, you may be joining their cause. I hope not.

I asked a legitimate question. Sorry if I upset you.
I agree that the first amendment gives us the right to speak freely on many issues regardless of whether or not they are politically correct or offend someone else's religion, or sensibilities in other ways.

I also agree that "free speech" does not imply "irresponsible speech", or "deceitful speech" or slander.

As far as regulations relating to the 1st amendment I have already responded to this saying that the "fair play" law gave Garrison the right to respond to the attacks made against him on NBC and was given equal time. As a result the entire country swung in their opinion on the JFK assassination. It was a huge victory for "free speech". But since then the government did away with this law. I think that was the beginning of this very hateful, irresponsible "fake media". I would like to return to that law. Any station that attacks an individual, whether it is Roger Stone, or Donald Trump, or Al Gore should have the right, by law to respond with equal time on the same station.

That is not true of policies and ideas. Just because I disagree with Fox News on some topic doesn't mean they need to give me equal time, that would be chaotic. Only if the attack is on a specific person that can be identified by a reasonable person.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: A House divided cannot stand

I would like to see huge cash settlements be awarded to both the Trump family and the students of Covington HS.

There is no other way that the media would be forced to be honest in their reporting.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:30 PM   #12
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I would like to see huge cash settlements be awarded to both the Trump family and the students of Covington HS.

There is no other way that the media would be forced to be honest in their reporting.
The coin of the realm for the media is credibility. If they lose it they are finished. People will go to the internet, youtube, various blogs to get their news.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dealing with minimum wage

The Lord has a very interesting solution to minimum wage. He talks about hiring workers to work in his field. All of the workers spent the entire day waiting for a job but some only worked for an hour whereas others worked for the entire day. The Lord paid them all a days wage.

People live by the day, not the hour. If you wonder why someone doesn't want to work it may be that you are hiring them for 4 hours. They need to get child care, a bus ticket, clean clothes, and lunch. When compared with the cost 4 hours isn't worth it. So instead of raising minimum wage if you require that people be paid a daily wage, that would be revolutionary. So McDonald's would have to pay you for 8 hours. They can schedule you for 4 or 6 if they want, but you have to pay me for 8. This way minimum wage is not raised yet the situation for those at the bottom would be significantly improved.

Now I understand that there would be exceptions to this, students who only want to work for 4 hours, etc. Simple solution. You fill out a single form signing that this is what you want. Then someone from the government at some future date over the next few weeks will call you to confirm. If it turns out that you are being compelled to do this against your will then they can come down on this firm. If it turns out that part time is far more convenient for you, then fine, that is your choice.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:49 PM   #14
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The coin of the realm for the media is credibility. If they lose it they are finished. People will go to the internet, youtube, various blogs to get their news.
You make it sound too cut and dry. Millions of people believe everything the media says. They believe all the lies. Just like the Bible says, "the god of this age has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving." They have been told that Trump is worse than Hitler, and had they the opportunity, they would shoot him dead. They believe what there is no evidence for, but they don't care.

Obviously "media credibility" has been replaced by party politics.

For example. Trump Junior colluded with Russians. Believed by media for 2 years. Deep State leaked misinformation, which media ran with. Yesterday I learned that the phone calls Junior made before and after this meeting with Russians was not to his father as alleged, but with his business associates. There's more. All the Russians worked for FusionGPS, the opposition research firm hired by Hillary. They met with Fusion before and after meeting with Junior, Kushner, and others.

Any one with a brain can see that Junior et.al. were set up to make it look like there was "collusion." No evidence yet, but every single media reporter believes it. The jury pool is tainted. No one would acquit them in a trial. But you still believe that journalists have credibility like your parents.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:13 PM   #15
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You make it sound too cut and dry. Millions of people believe everything the media says. They believe all the lies. Just like the Bible says, "the god of this age has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving." They have been told that Trump is worse than Hitler, and had they the opportunity, they would shoot him dead. They believe what there is no evidence for, but they don't care.

Obviously "media credibility" has been replaced by party politics.

For example. Trump Junior colluded with Russians. Believed by media for 2 years. Deep State leaked misinformation, which media ran with. Yesterday I learned that the phone calls Junior made before and after this meeting with Russians was not to his father as alleged, but with his business associates. There's more. All the Russians worked for FusionGPS, the opposition research firm hired by Hillary. They met with Fusion before and after meeting with Junior, Kushner, and others.

Any one with a brain can see that Junior et.al. were set up to make it look like there was "collusion." No evidence yet, but every single media reporter believes it. The jury pool is tainted. No one would acquit them in a trial. But you still believe that journalists have credibility like your parents.
What is wrong with people? The Nazis lied to the Germans. They believed it for a few years, but now repudiate and revile them. We have seen this time and time again. You can lie to someone, deceive them, and they will believe you. But the day will come when the truth is shouted from the rooftop and then the lies will be exposed, the liars humiliated, and those who stood for the truth will receive a crown.

My family are journalists, I have lived my entire life with this. My father was the one who snuck into the olympic village to report on the kidnapped Israelis during the Munich olympics. He was in the building next to theirs reporting it. He was also fired from UPI by George Bush because he refused to sign off on a CIA front to be purchased by UPI. He said that if he allowed the CIA to have press passes what would stop the Russians from arresting his reporters.

Yes, I still believe. Watch the movie about the insider, how they brought the tobacco company down. That movie tells the story of a real journalist who then went to work for Frontline.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:51 AM   #16
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What is wrong with people? The Nazis lied to the Germans. They believed it for a few years, but now repudiate and revile them. We have seen this time and time again. You can lie to someone, deceive them, and they will believe you. But the day will come when the truth is shouted from the rooftop and then the lies will be exposed, the liars humiliated, and those who stood for the truth will receive a crown.
Until that day comes, the deep state media grips the people in fear.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: A House divided cannot stand

ZNP, since you seem to value honest journalism, I wonder if you have been following the regular releases by Investigative Journalist Sharyl Attkinson from her book Stonewalled? Sharyl is a dying breed, and her story shows us the fear and power of the Deep State over the media. There is a reason they have become so compliant. Take a read from her latest exerpt:
Quote:
That very night ... I’m home doing final research and crafting questions for the next day’s interview with Pickering. Suddenly data in my computer file begins wiping at hyperspeed before my very eyes. Deleted line by line in a split second: it’s gone, gone, gone.

I press the mouse pad and keyboard to try to stop it, but I have no control. The only time I’ve seen anything like this is in those movies where the protagonist desperately tries to copy crucial files faster than the antagonist can remotely wipe them. I press down on the mouse pad of my MacBook Air and it pauses. I let up and the warp-speed deletions resume. Interesting. I have to either sit here stuck with my thumb on the mouse pad or lift it and watch my work disappear. The whole file would be erased in a matter of seconds.

My iPhone is sitting on the bed next to me and I grab it with my right hand while using the thumb of my left hand to keep the mouse pad depressed and the action paused. Hit the video camera function, record, and lift my thumb off the mouse pad long enough to capture a few seconds of the action on video. Don’t want to let it erase too much. While still holding down the mouse pad with my thumb, I use my index finger to try to work the cursor up to the file button, hoping to save and close the file. But the drop-down menu is disabled. Eventually, I find that all I have the ability to do is close out the file. As soon as it shuts, another file that’s still open begins slow deletions as if the backspace button is being held down. But I’m not touching the keys. I close that file, too, and disconnect the computer from my FiOS Wi-Fi, which stops the weird behavior.

The next day, I show the video recording of the deletions to two experienced computer experts who are familiar with my case. They both agree that it shows someone remotely accessing my computer. Somebody who apparently wanted me to know it.

“I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes,” says one of the technicians. “They’re f***ing with you. There’s no other purpose. They want you to know they’re still there.”

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says the other. “I’d have to agree they’re trying to send you a message. They’re saying, ‘We’re still watching. See what we can do to you.’ ”

To be continued…
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:25 AM   #18
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Until that day comes, the deep state media grips the people in fear.
The fear mongering that sticks out like a sore thumb today is coming out of Trump's mouth.

But this thread is not about pubbies and demmies, it's about solutions. What's the solution for that?
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:26 AM   #19
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ZNP, since you seem to value honest journalism, I wonder if you have been following the regular releases by Investigative Journalist Sharyl Attkinson from her book Stonewalled? Sharyl is a dying breed, and her story shows us the fear and power of the Deep State over the media. There is a reason they have become so compliant. Take a read from her latest exerpt:
When I was growing up all the journalists I knew used typewriters and carbon paper. Make that disappear -- that would be a magic trick.

19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be [a]recognized among you.

When I was playing football I was taught to fight the pressure. On defense you want to go wherever the opponent doesn't want you to go. In journalism it is the same. If I was this woman I would be encouraged.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:43 AM   #20
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Default Re: Climate change

So far no one is proposing solutions, only band aides.

Solar and wind are semi solutions, problem is that unless you have a plan to generate 100% of your power you are still getting a ton of greenhouse gases from burning coal in your power plant and gasoline in your car.

Electric vehicles are also not a solution as long as we are generating electricity with coal.

So what we need is unlimited clean energy that is concentrated enough to power our major cities and which does not produce greenhouse gases. The best technology on the horizon is fusion. We are probably 5 years away from producing this economically. They have generated power with fusion and they have even generated more power than they consumed. So we are moving along a path that leads to economically viable solution.

What would really speed things up is if the US, China and Europe could work together like the space program, or NATO. The US spends about 0.5$ billion a year on Fusion research. Imagine what would happen if the US, China and Europe invested $15 billion. This is certainly far more important for national security than the wall, China is flush with cash and all three of us should view this technology as the future if it is truly viable. We have spent virtually that much on the Large Hadron Collider, which will certainly advance our understanding of particle physics. But when comparing the two -- pure research tool that will advance our understanding vs revolutionary power source that will transform the world and truly offer a way to become carbon neutral
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:29 AM   #21
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I would like to see huge cash settlements be awarded to both the Trump family and the students of Covington HS.

There is no other way that the media would be forced to be honest in their reporting.
The Trump family -- no. They chose to become public figures. The only person who should be excluded from that is his youngest son, who I have not seen anything worthy of a lawsuit. Once you allow Trump to sue then you have to allow the people he has slandered to sue as well (McCain family, the family of the dead marine, etc).

The students of Covington HS do have a very good case and I expect both news agencies and celebrities to be settling out of court with them. The slander is undeniable, the misrepresentation is undeniable, the only thing that is up for debate is the value of the harm on a per person and per network basis. (They have a lawyer and are moving forward with the procedure).
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:36 AM   #22
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What would really speed things up is if the US, China and Europe could work together like the space program, or NATO. The US spends about 0.5$ billion a year on Fusion research. Imagine what would happen if the US, China and Europe invested $15 billion. This is certainly far more important for national security than the wall, China is flush with cash and all three of us should view this technology as the future if it is truly viable. We have spent virtually that much on the Large Hadron Collider, which will certainly advance our understanding of particle physics. But when comparing the two -- pure research tool that will advance our understanding vs revolutionary power source that will transform the world and truly offer a way to become carbon neutral
The estimates range from 5-20 years as to when this will go online. That may seem like a wide range, but it may be that 5 years is when they will have something they can get a building permit for, and 20 years is a more reasonable estimate as to when the power for your lights is actually coming from Fusion given the very long process involved in getting building permits and building these things.

So, imagine what the US government could do to speed up the process. Over the next 5 years they will spend $2.5 billion on fusion, research. What if we increased the 0.5 billion a year to 2.5 billion? That would certainly speed up the process of building large prototypes.

Second, what if they begin the process now of choosing a test city. For example, perhaps a small city like Laredo, on the border with Mexico. The city is big enough to house workers both to build and later run the plant. They are also small enough to where this would be a huge boon to their local economy, "put them on the map", and perhaps be a city that could be fully powered by the first prototype plant. Even if Laredo votes no, you could easily build a brand new city of 10,000 on the border. If you began now, or if in 2 years it was a key campaign plank you could speed up the process of approval by 5 years or more. With the internet and US govt support and a busy border like the US Mexico border it is an easy thing to create a town like this. Station a few Federal services (border security, military base, etc) get an internet provider to put a server farm there, create a depot for trucks, and include free electricity (the prototype could be fully funded by the R&D, fuel for Fusion is free, so the only cost would be running it. The Lion share of the cost is in building it, so if that were covered it would create a very attractive bonus. also, tax breaks could be given both state and federal, to the businesses that moved there).

This idea doesn't take jobs away from anyone, doesn't create dangerous nuclear waste (that is fission, not fusion), doesn't place a dangerous nuclear power plant next to your home (again that is fission, not fusion) and keeps the US as a leader in technology. This would also be the first real practical solution to climate change fears.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:50 AM   #23
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When I was playing football I was taught to fight the pressure. On defense you want to go wherever the opponent doesn't want you to go. In journalism it is the same. If I was this woman I would be encouraged.
She formerly worked at CBS. The Obama administration hacked into her computers as she investigated Benghazi. When asked by a colleague how she felt about the invasion, she answered "effective."

One of the founding fathers commented that a healthy republic requires the government to be in fear of the people. That ain't true anymore.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:16 AM   #24
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She formerly worked at CBS. The Obama administration hacked into her computers as she investigated Benghazi. When asked by a colleague how she felt about the invasion, she answered "effective."

One of the founding fathers commented that a healthy republic requires the government to be in fear of the people. That ain't true anymore.
Many people don't realize that journalism is one of the most dangerous professions on earth. Anyone who wants to be a journalist should not be ignorant of this, nor should they be surprised that these things happen as though a strange thing were happening. This is what you should have been prepared for and trained for.
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Old 02-06-2019, 12:14 PM   #25
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Many people don't realize that journalism is one of the most dangerous professions on earth. Anyone who wants to be a journalist should not be ignorant of this, nor should they be surprised that these things happen as though a strange thing were happening. This is what you should have been prepared for and trained for.
I agree.

That's why 90% of the media today are opinionists not journalists.
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:24 PM   #26
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I agree.

That's why 90% of the media today are opinionists not journalists.
Who are the 10%?
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:22 PM   #27
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Who are the 10%?
Sacha Pfeiffer
Michael Rezendes
Stephen A Kurkjian
Jeff Fager
Carl Bernstein
Bob Woodward
Ben Bradlee
Katharine Graham
John Barbour
Robert Fisk
Kate Adie
Glen Greenwald
Laura Poitras
Ewen MacAskill
Bartron Gellman
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Old 02-06-2019, 04:20 PM   #28
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I agree.

That's why 90% of the media today are opinionists not journalists.
I agree. I was horrified today, when I talked to the teachers it became clear that many of them are unable to make their own opinion and simply repeating what someone else has told them.
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:58 PM   #29
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Sacha Pfeiffer
Michael Rezendes
Stephen A Kurkjian
Jeff Fager
Carl Bernstein
Bob Woodward
Ben Bradlee
Katharine Graham
John Barbour
Robert Fisk
Kate Adie
Glen Greenwald
Laura Poitras
Ewen MacAskill
Bartron Gellman
I agree with Glen Greenwald. Not sure about some of these, but I would definitely reject Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Maybe 40 years ago, but not today. They have become merely partisan pundits.

Here are some of my preferred names: Peter Sweitzer, Sara A. Carter, John Solomon, Sheryl Attkisson, Catherine Herridge.
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:19 PM   #30
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I agree with Glen Greenwald. Not sure about some of these, but I would definitely reject Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Maybe 40 years ago, but not today. They have become merely partisan pundits.

Here are some of my preferred names: Peter Sweitzer, Sara A. Carter, John Solomon, Sheryl Attkisson, Catherine Herridge.
I know that Bernstein is very controversial, I only added him because Watergate was a very big story. But Woodward has tried to walk a fine line between being someone that you can trust to give access to and someone you can trust to give you the truth.

I think he fills an important niche. Isn't quite journalism and isn't quite history. All the President's Men, The Final Days, Bush at War, Veil

His books taken collectively give you a view of the presidency that is irreplaceable.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:38 AM   #31
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Without a doubt education will determine our future. This recent discussion on Fake News is all about education. The better educated a person is the harder it is to fool them with Fake News. Consider what the Catholic Church was able to get away with before the average man could read the Bible for themselves?

Before we discuss solutions we need to understand the history a little better.

First, there were 3 founders of this country that were very much involved in education and started 3 different universities. Therefore it is unrealistic to conclude that the lack of mention of education in the constitution was accidental. Instead, the comment that "whatever is not given to the Federal government is given to the States" should apply to education. There are different philosophies and "one shoe" definitely does not fit all. The founders understood this. Which is why I feel Bush exceeded his authority in seeking to become "the education president" and the Federal law "no child left behind" is an unconstitutional power grab by the Federal government. I would change the name of "no child left behind" to "no child gets ahead". The federal government has imposed regulations on public schools without funding them. As a result inner city schools with less funding are hamstrung whereas suburban schools with better funding are not. I have worked in both.

Second, home school has been very successful. This is despite research proving that the quality of the teacher is directly correlated to the performance of the students. Even though many home schools are run by parents who are not trained to teach, the results are far better than schools. This shows that the involvement of parents and the attention of parents is far more important.

Third, wealthy parents send their kids to private school. What concerns me about this is that Federal Law (NCLB) appears to be designed to severely hinder the opportunities for public school kids. The only ones who it seems would favor that are those whose kids go to private school because they are exempt from these laws. In addition, these laws were written and pushed by those who did go to private school.

Charter schools are also obligated to abide by these laws. However, it is well documented that they employ an intense strategy to get around them and only if the parents of the children are fully knowledgeable of the law are they forced to keep the law. When you see the term "charter school" you should understand that to mean "corporate, for profit schools". At $10,000 per student per year corporations see this as a huge potential market. How this works is that students are selected for charter schools based on a lottery that allows the students going to charter schools to be identical to the populations going to public schools. The charter school then has a concerted strategy to get the special education students (these students are much more expensive to educate and therefore cut into the profits, also these students as a group will bring the test averages down). So, six years later the charter school that had the same percentages of special ed students as the public school initially, will have a far lower percentage at graduation. Also, why do people think that charter schools are a better choice? It is simple, if you look at all charter schools they do not compare favorably with public schools. But people don't look at them that way. Each charter school is different (different corporation) so they compare an individual charter school to the public school as a whole. So, if you compare the top 5% of charter schools with the average public school you are no longer comparing apples to apples. Compare the top 5% of public schools with the top 5% of charter schools and public schools are far and away better. Why? Simple, public schools are union, have higher standards for teachers, have a much better established professional development, better hours, better benefits, etc. So, every teacher, if possible, would work with the public school. In comparison charter schools take teachers straight out of college without any teacher training. There is no requirement. They try to make up for less well trained teachers by making them work much longer hours. Again, it is a "for profit" school. The equation is very simple: get rid of the most expensive students and hire the cheapest teachers.
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:51 AM   #32
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I know that Bernstein is very controversial, I only added him because Watergate was a very big story. But Woodward has tried to walk a fine line between being someone that you can trust to give access to and someone you can trust to give you the truth.
Watergate was a nothing story until Mark Felt, FBI Deputy Director, got snubbed by Nixon to replace J. Edgar.

Obviously corruption at the FBI is nothing new.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:05 AM   #33
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First, there were 3 founders of this country that were very much involved in education and started 3 different universities. Therefore it is unrealistic to conclude that the lack of mention of education in the constitution was accidental. Instead, the comment that "whatever is not given to the Federal government is given to the States" should apply to education. There are different philosophies and "one shoe" definitely does not fit all. The founders understood this. Which is why I feel Bush exceeded his authority in seeking to become "the education president" and the Federal law "no child left behind" is an unconstitutional power grab by the Federal government. I would change the name of "no child left behind" to "no child gets ahead".
Some of the greatest deceptions thrust upon the American people involve education. There's nothing the Feds have done, Dem or Rep, that improves the education of children. The more local, the better.

I'll never forget talking to this spunky little 9 yo at a country church Christmas party about "Common Core." It could only be described as the "dumbing down" of our youth.
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Old 02-07-2019, 06:09 AM   #34
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So with the previous post as a little context there are ways that will level the playing field, improve education overall, and either be free for the taxpayer or an extremely low cost.

Khan academy and a variety of educational youtube videos are extremely helpful. There are also a very wide range of tutoring and teaching done via the internet. There are also online books and video courses from some of the best teachers in the country.

Each state should work to have their entire curriculum available online, free. This would be an obvious advantage to homeschoolers. It would be a service that everyone in the state could use regardless of which school they choose (charter, public, or private). It would be very helpful study aids to all students (many students could use this during summer, weekends, vacations, when sick, when they have missed school, classes, etc). Interactive lessons cannot replace teachers, but they can level the playing field. Two or three experienced and highly rated teachers can easily create a complete curriculum for a course in a matter of one or two months. This could be done during the summer as an overtime pay for these teachers. The equivalent of the pay for 10 teachers (20 courses, 3 teachers each, for 2 months) for a year would create this curriculum. That is a tiny fraction of the payroll for the entire state (like NY). If you are in a much smaller state (say Rhode Island) you could work together with another state (say Massachusetts). It may seem like as insignificant as this might be it certainly wouldn't be 0. However, the budget each year for textbooks dwarfs the cost of creating this and these interactive lessons can certainly replace many textbooks.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:54 AM   #35
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So with the previous post as a little context there are ways that will level the playing field, improve education overall, and either be free for the taxpayer or an extremely low cost.

Khan academy and a variety of educational youtube videos are extremely helpful. There are also a very wide range of tutoring and teaching done via the internet. There are also online books and video courses from some of the best teachers in the country.

Each state should work to have their entire curriculum available online, free. This would be an obvious advantage to homeschoolers. It would be a service that everyone in the state could use regardless of which school they choose (charter, public, or private). It would be very helpful study aids to all students (many students could use this during summer, weekends, vacations, when sick, when they have missed school, classes, etc). Interactive lessons cannot replace teachers, but they can level the playing field. Two or three experienced and highly rated teachers can easily create a complete curriculum for a course in a matter of one or two months. This could be done during the summer as an overtime pay for these teachers. The equivalent of the pay for 10 teachers (20 courses, 3 teachers each, for 2 months) for a year would create this curriculum. That is a tiny fraction of the payroll for the entire state (like NY). If you are in a much smaller state (say Rhode Island) you could work together with another state (say Massachusetts). It may seem like as insignificant as this might be it certainly wouldn't be 0. However, the budget each year for textbooks dwarfs the cost of creating this and these interactive lessons can certainly replace many textbooks.
This will have a minor impact on experienced teachers with 10+ years who are currently doing well. No need for them to change or use these if they don't want.

Where it will have the biggest impact is on the new teachers with less than 5 years of experience. These teachers need the most help and are very interested in getting any material given to them that they can get. Since charter schools have a very high percentage of new teachers this will have a big impact on them.

It will also have the biggest impact on homeschoolers.

One growing area I see is church fellowship facilitating homeschool. Our church has a children's choir, children who are involved in the sound ministry and perhaps play instruments, and they have karate. This could account for music and PE for a homeschool. If parents work together one parent could supervise 5 kids while they work on these computer assignments during the day. So 5 families working together with the help of the church could have a homeschool if they wish. Every student who is not in the public school will save the taxpayers money.

In the same way this will help the private schools, many of them operate on a shoestring budget (catholic, etc).

If 200 students are homeschooled for a year it will pay for the salaries of those 20 teachers working for 2 months.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:47 PM   #36
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Elections

We are now in the internet age. We can share our Social Security, and bank information online, we can go to the DMV online, I think we should be able to vote online. Also, if we can vote for representatives online there is no reason we couldn't vote for referendums online. This would make the cost and process of doing a referendum much simpler. That doesn't mean we should do a lot more, but I could see an increase in referendums as one outgrowth.

We also need to eliminate the electoral college. I have lived in four different states. In addition my brother lives in two others, and my sister lives in still another. I don't think there is a great distinction from one state to the next. With TV, radio and internet the world is much smaller and much more similar. The electoral college might have made sense 200 years ago, but today I think we would all prefer one person one vote. One of the damages of the electoral college is that it discourages voting. For example, in the last election for President it was clear NY was not a swing state. NY was going to vote democrat and once that happened all the electoral votes would go Democrat, so there is little or no point in voting, regardless of who you would vote for. In some states they divvy up the electoral college votes based on percentage of votes, but the result of that is that you can only go up or down by about 1 electoral college vote, as a result candidates don't campaign in that state and again, discourages votes. Our Presidential elections have come down to about 10 states. These 10 states may change a little based on the candidates, but rarely are there ever more than 10 states that are truly in play. Again, this discourages voters.

If we are going to have a healthy democracy we need people to be involved. They need to vote for candidates, for polls, for referendums. We should adjust our policies to move closer towards 80% involvement.

I also have issues with the two party system and feel it is way too binary to reflect the views of 350 million people. I would prefer a parliamentary system. But staying focused on the Presidential election, why should Iowa and New Hampshire have such a big influence on the primaries? There should be 3 dates for voting for the primary (beginning, middle and end). You can only vote once, so it is up to you. If you are ready on the first day, go ahead and vote regardless of what state you are in. My guess is that you will have a very small number voting the first day, and then a much bigger number on the last two. Again, not a matter of winning states, but most votes.

In addition there should be a government run and managed website. Each candidate is given a list of questions concerning their platform and position on the relevant issues. They respond in both writing and in video. So voters interested in doing a little research before voting could watch. This would be similar to the debates, but a little different. Candidate gives a 30 minute speech on their platform and then perhaps 15 minutes about how they are different from their opponents. In addition to this videos of the debates could be on this website as well. The idea is to help level the playing field for those who are less well funded.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:08 AM   #37
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I once read a book where the thesis was to replace the entire tax code with a sales tax. The benefits were that you could target it, so that luxury items have a higher tax rate and essentials like milk and bread could have no tax.

The benefits were that it is much easier to collect, it eliminates the annual tax form, and it eliminates all kinds of loopholes. You can't raise taxes on the rich because they have a multitude of dodges. They can establish a residence overseas, etc. What the government does have authority over are the consumers purchasing any and all things in this country.

There would be a tremendous savings from simplifying the process, the tax code, and eliminating the cheats. It would also encourage savings. No tax on capital gains, no tax on investment income, only tax on things you buy and pay for.

So, what was the issue. The issue is that the sales tax rate would have been around 40% and how much you are paying in taxes would have been completely transparent to the people every single day.

I agree -- let's make the tax rate completely transparent. Let's simplify it. Let's eliminate the loopholes.

The entire concept of "trickle down" economics is that those with money will spend it. Well, when they do they'll pay taxes, and if they buy luxury items they'll pay luxury tax rates.

This approach saves us the most money by reducing the cost for the IRS and for tax accountants. It encourages business because we don't have corporate tax. That in turn will encourage exports. It also allows us to collect maximum tax from imports. It is fairest to the poor because we can eliminate tax on essential food items. Also it allows us to tax luxury items (the thousand dollar hand bag, etc). There is no penalty for investment that leads to jobs. There is no penalty for investment income. We are now collecting tax on anything bought via the internet.

It is possible that people would drive to Canada or Mexico to buy stuff, but when they declare it coming back in we could tax them as well.

It doesn't increase the total cost, instead we could expect the total cost to decrease. We could also expect the total tax rate to decrease since we have less fraud and a more efficient and effective way to collect the tax. Also the US doesn't hold your taxes for a year before giving them back as a refund. The only downside is that Americans see how much they are paying in taxes.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:10 AM   #38
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I once read a book where the thesis was to replace the entire tax code with a sales tax. The benefits were that you could target it, so that luxury items have a higher tax rate and essentials like milk and bread could have no tax.

The benefits were that it is much easier to collect, it eliminates the annual tax form, and it eliminates all kinds of loopholes. You can't raise taxes on the rich because they have a multitude of dodges. They can establish a residence overseas, etc. What the government does have authority over are the consumers purchasing any and all things in this country.

There would be a tremendous savings from simplifying the process, the tax code, and eliminating the cheats. It would also encourage savings. No tax on capital gains, no tax on investment income, only tax on things you buy and pay for.

So, what was the issue. The issue is that the sales tax rate would have been around 40% and how much you are paying in taxes would have been completely transparent to the people every single day.

I agree -- let's make the tax rate completely transparent. Let's simplify it. Let's eliminate the loopholes.

The entire concept of "trickle down" economics is that those with money will spend it. Well, when they do they'll pay taxes, and if they buy luxury items they'll pay luxury tax rates.

This approach saves us the most money by reducing the cost for the IRS and for tax accountants. It encourages business because we don't have corporate tax. That in turn will encourage exports. It also allows us to collect maximum tax from imports. It is fairest to the poor because we can eliminate tax on essential food items. Also it allows us to tax luxury items (the thousand dollar hand bag, etc). There is no penalty for investment that leads to jobs. There is no penalty for investment income. We are now collecting tax on anything bought via the internet.

It is possible that people would drive to Canada or Mexico to buy stuff, but when they declare it coming back in we could tax them as well.

It doesn't increase the total cost, instead we could expect the total cost to decrease. We could also expect the total tax rate to decrease since we have less fraud and a more efficient and effective way to collect the tax. Also the US doesn't hold your taxes for a year before giving them back as a refund. The only downside is that Americans see how much they are paying in taxes.
I can see a flexible flat tax as something that would work. It's been proposed in recent history. But big money benefiter's of our present tax system lobby hard against it.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:04 AM   #39
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I once read a book where the thesis was to replace the entire tax code with a sales tax. The benefits were that you could target it, so that luxury items have a higher tax rate and essentials like milk and bread could have no tax.

The benefits were that it is much easier to collect, it eliminates the annual tax form, and it eliminates all kinds of loopholes. You can't raise taxes on the rich because they have a multitude of dodges. They can establish a residence overseas, etc. What the government does have authority over are the consumers purchasing any and all things in this country.
Though appealing, the incentives to avoid these taxes by bartering are just too great. Who would buy a new car or home when the tax alone would triple the cost.

Our capitalistic system of credit multiplies the available money. This is the principle no one seems to understand anymore. Socialists in the Democratic party have not a clue how economics operates. Yes indeed, with capitalism we have both rich and poor. With Socialism, however, we only have poor, very poor, because the multiplier effect is gone.

The Communists sort of made socialism work by creating a two class system. Those in "the Party" and everyone else. Whenever you think Socialism is appealing, then take a look at Venezuela. The richest nation in central and south America went broke almost overnight. Yet today our elite universities are pumping out socialist millennials like "bricks in the wall."

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Old 02-11-2019, 10:26 AM   #40
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Though appealing, the incentives to avoid these taxes by bartering are just too great. Who would buy a new car or home when the tax alone would triple the cost.

Our capitalistic system of credit multiplies the available money. This is the principle no one seems to understand anymore. Socialists in the Democratic party have not a clue how economics operates. Yes indeed, with capitalism we have both rich and poor. With Socialism, however, we only have poor, very poor, because the multiplier effect is gone.

The Communists sort of made socialism work by creating a two class system. Those in "the Party" and everyone else. Whenever you think Socialism is appealing, then take a look at Venezuela. The richest nation in central and south America went broke almost overnight. Yet today our elite universities are pumping out socialist millennials like "bricks in the wall."
How could they do that? They have receipts for items bought that need to be accounted for. It would be extremely difficult for a legitimate, tax paying business to be involved in the black market. Also, if they got caught it would be a RICO violation. They would be destroyed over a single transaction. Imagine how easy it would be for investigators to catch that. One transaction and you go belly up.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:26 AM   #41
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How could they do that? They have receipts for items bought that need to be accounted for. It would be extremely difficult for a legitimate, tax paying business to be involved in the black market. Also, if they got caught it would be a RICO violation. They would be destroyed over a single transaction. Imagine how easy it would be for investigators to catch that. One transaction and you go belly up.
Bartering would run rampant in communities, especially for services rendered. Black market, eh?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:31 PM   #42
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Bartering would run rampant in communities, especially for services rendered. Black market, eh?
So I help my neighbor move their house and they pay me off the books, so what. That is rampant right now and personally I don't see any reason to report that as income. I go to my friends house to help and they serve me a couple of beers. Come on.

Look at your weekly expenses -- mortgage, car payment, gas, insurance, food at grocery store. Clothes and other items from the internet. None of that could escape.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:49 AM   #43
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Default Re: Taxes

The tax code is 2,600 pages long.

The IRS estimates it cost the average American $260 to fill out the tax return. The IRS gets 236 million tax returns a year, so that comes to $61 billion we could save.

No doubt, the IRS budget could also be significantly reduced. Their budget is $11 billion a year, could probably save another 5-6 billion there.

The estimate on the tax gap due to tax fraud is around $500 billion. Despite the potential rise in “bartering” that Ohio has brought up this change could easily bring in an extra $400 billion a year.

One estimate is that we lose $100 billion in tax revenue to offshore havens each year.

So making this simple change would probably result in $500 to $600 billion dollars a year coming to the US government.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:10 AM   #44
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Default Re: Climate Change

Many Americans put this as one of the biggest issues they see, right up there with health care. The Pentagon also lists this as a very big security threat. It may also be tied to the concern over illegal immigrants -- fear of climate refugees.

A carbon tax is counterproductive, like shooting yourself in the foot.

However, we do have technologies that can create the fuel we need without the use of fossil fuel.

So then there are several things the government can do -- there are laws already on the books that encourage the use of solar and cars with very high mpg. We could do the same thing, providing tax credits for people who use non fossil fuel fuels. This could help prime the pump for producing oil and gas from algae. It is well known that these industries are cutting edge (good jobs) and create a lot of jobs. If you roll out these programs slowly they are not disruptive. For example, a 1 penny tax on a gallon of gas would be relatively insignificant to everyone. Filling up your tank might cost 20 cents in tax. However, if that amount were then funneled to the development of non fossil fuel fuels it could be a very huge boost to the R&D of these technologies. Add to that that this fuel could be tax free. Those two changes could have a very minor impact on wallets and industry yet a huge impact on developing this new industry.

Cities can use buses that are far more efficient (some use natural gas, others are hybrid, some are electric, etc).

Mass transit is far more efficient than a private car. One solution that Curitaba in Brazil uses is the bus stops are enclosed. You swipe your card to enter the bus stop (like a subway station) then when the bus comes you can just walk on without swiping. Also, the buses are designed differently, like a subway car so that everyone can walk on and off much easier without having to climb up and down stairs. This is an improvement every city can employ.

A second major issue for cities is that Garbage trucks have to drive all over the city collecting garbage and then all the way to the dump to get rid of it. If you remove the organic waste from your garbage (stuff that is good for mulch) so that you primarily, almost exclusively have recycle trash this is not nearly so dirty. Instead of having to drive all the way to the dump why not just drive to the nearest train station and have a train car where the recycle is dumped. When these cars are filled a train takes them to the dump. This could cut the driving of the garbage trucks to less than half of what they are doing now, perhaps as little as 10%. That is a savings in the number of trucks needed, the number of hours for the drivers, and the traffic problems they cause, as well as the wear and tear on the streets.

The organic garbage is different. That is the stuff that will attract rats, and smells. However, it is also valuable for mulch, can be used in many valuable ways, and doesn't need to take up land fill. It could be sold to rural communities to be used for mulch. Again, this could be collected, dumped in train cars and shipped to an area that paid for it.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:41 AM   #45
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Default Re: A House divided cannot stand

Belief in climate change is the natural result for those whose belief system is based on evolution. Once our Creator is expunged from our belief system, all manner of evil results. Think about the court oaths, that speak of "the last great day," and they no longer mean anything. Why be honest? Just don't get caught.

Without God, man is left protecting this little insignificant spinning ball hurtling thru the galaxy. If we don't see life on other planets, then why assume we should survive either? Such a belief system is ripe for all manner of deception. Just read history. People have believed all manner of nonsense.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:26 PM   #46
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Default Re: A House divided cannot stand

A rape and murder from 40+ years ago was recently solved when an ancestry DNA site led police to the murderer. No one said that the murderer himself sent his DNA to the site. It isn't necessary, if a close relative (brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc) did then that will narrow the suspect pool down to less than 10. The DNA you have will tell you more about the person (male, female, etc) and you can look at who lived in the town at the time to narrow this down even more. Then it is simply a matter of collecting DNA from the 3 or 4 suspects. Usually can be done by simply going through their trash.

So then, I have a suggested change in the procedure for a death certificate. Why not take a DNA sample at time of death? This would protect against insurance fraud, it would also help close unsolved crimes when the perpetrators die, and it would give us a complete web of DNA so that any DNA sample would immediately direct law enforcement to a couple of suspects. If the person is dead how are you violating their rights? Shouldn't the concerns of society now be paramount?
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:01 AM   #47
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Default Re: A House divided cannot stand

A very big issue for the world, but particularly for the US is garbage. How to collect it, how to process it.

I think the solution is quite obvious -- Big semi trucks drive up to the grocery store with products in glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic bottles. Once they unload this in the store they have room to take away the empty cans and bottles. No need for special trucks. You have the truck and the man power right there.

Many stores already have return dispensaries where you bring your plastic, glass and cans. They accept them, crush them, and give you a voucher for the store. At 5 cents a bottle this is inconvenient, but suppose instead it was a dollar a bottle or can. If you buy a six pack at the store the deposit is not 30 cents, it is 6 dollars. Over the course of a year a family of three might have $2,000 in deposits. That is no longer "inconvenient" or a nuisance, that is a real expense that has to be treated seriously.

You still give paper to be collected by the garbage men (unless you shred it and use it yourself). Paper is the one recyclable that actually is a net gain to the city.

However, cans and bottles are recycled through the grocery store. There could be a line, but the solution is quite simple. You bring your bags of plastic, glass and aluminum, put them on a scale and are paid by a person working there. You get slightly less than the self serve, but the difference pays that person to do it for you.

Of course there is one other issue with this, and that is the bulk of this stuff. In the course of a week you can easily have two or three large bags taking up your entire trunk. But it is easy to solve, the cans can be crushed to take up next to no space and the plastic can be shredded to also take up to no space. You could probably get some electric crusher/shredder to handle this for less than $200. A small expense to those that can afford it and want to avoid the inconvenience of large garbage bags each week.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:02 AM   #48
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Default Re: Electoral College

This made sense as a compromise when the US constitution was being written. Each state had a distinct economy and they were somewhat separate from the other states. This is no longer true. There is a very strong connection between people of every state. We see the same media, read the same books and are impacted equally by most federal regulations. However, the result of the Electoral college is that a presidential election is reduced to 10 swing states, making the outcome of the vote a foregone conclusion in the other states. This discourages people from voting, therefore the law is clearly and demonstrably anti democratic.

Also, by reducing the election to 10 swing states, and the undecided voters in each of those states you make it easier and more economic for the rich to influence the election.

Instead I think the election should be simply who gets the most votes. If that were true then the votes in non swing states will count just as much as those in the swing states.

Second, some of the swing states are irrelevant. For example some of the states divide the electoral college votes among those who get 40% of the vote or more. So if you don't see a campaign in that state making a big difference it might be a waste of resources to campaign there. Win or lose the difference might be a single electoral college vote.

Third, some states have minuscule amount of electoral college votes, so although they might be a "swing state" they are still irrelevant.

Every year Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Pa, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and NH decide the election.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:21 PM   #49
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The idea of "elite" universities is a concept of a bygone era. First, all universities have access to the same textbooks. Second, with the internet the advantage in libraries is not nearly as great as it might have been in the past. Even state universities can afford excellent databases, online journals and search engines. Third, with youtube and the great courses anyone can have access to professors from elite universities and their lectures. The fact that people still buy into this idea simply indicates that they have been the first ones deceived by their deception that they are someone special.

Rather than "elite" undergraduate degrees, the importance of graduate school is far bigger now than it was 50 years ago. If you complete an undergraduate degree at a decent university with a good GPA you will be able to go to a very effective graduate school. The real issue for people should be cost, will you be maxed out in debt after undergraduate school? Because a degree from Harvard without going to graduate school is almost useless. On the other hand a degree from a State school followed by a graduate degree from a reputable university will be far more valuable in the job market.

If we can make state colleges free, just like a HS education, this relative insignificance of "elite universities" will be even more pronounced.

That said, the college entrance process is a tremendous grind, lots of pressure, a lot of work, and a lot of cost. Whenever you have something that is high stakes like that you encourage fraud.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:38 AM   #50
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The idea of "elite" universities is a concept of a bygone era.
So why are these wealthy so desperate to get their kids into these schools? They see it as a "club", this is explained very clearly in the book, later turned into a movie, about Zuckerberg and Harvard. They explain that the University has selective clubs where it is all about who your daddy is and how rich you are. The advantage of going to these schools is to make friends with the elites who you will rub elbows with going forward.

The idea that our society is a meritocracy is contrary to the interests of the wealthy who want their wealth to give their kids a massive advantage over the rest.

This is a minor issue when the difference between the rich and poor is relatively minor (rich are 10Xs richer than the poor). But when the rich are 100Xs or 1,000Xs or 100,000Xs richer what do you expect. People who are rich use their money to give their kids an advantage.

The Lord said "to those who have more will be given and to those who have not even what they have will be taken away from them".

It is all about attitude. If you appreciate what you have, then more will be given, if you don't appreciate what you have then even what you do have will be taken away. The reality is the rich have separated themselves from the majority, insulated themselves, and cut themselves off from the 99%. What do they have, little pieces of green paper. When I teach in Brooklyn I am impressed by the people, the friends, the community. That is what they have. All of them are workers. All of them are the ones that actually make the economy work.

Likewise, what are these lying and cheating families revealing? The truth is they don't appreciate their children or their children's talents, hence they lie and cheat to pretend their child is something they aren't. This will force the kid to continue to lie and cheat to keep up the illusion, much like rock stars lip synching until they get exposed. Their children are forced to live a nightmare of not being exactly what their parents wanted and being forced to pretend they are something they aren't simply because that is what their parents want. Once again, even what they do have will ultimately be taken away from them.

Some pundits are taking the simplistic approach that we somehow have to make higher education "fair". So let's examine that a little. What is not fair for 25% of the students in my school is that at some point in the year they will be homeless. Having a home is a huge advantage to the "elite". These homeless kids can't have book bags, books, pens, etc. because they will just be stolen. So having a book bag with pens and pencils and notebooks is a second big advantage that the "elite" have. Third, many of our kids, not just the homeless, have a big problem being able to sleep. If you are in a tiny apartment it can be tough to sleep if some people are getting home at midnight and others are leaving at 5am. If your mom doesn't get home from work until 11pm and you wait until then to get dinner, that can be another issue. Of course, hunger is another very big issue. You want kids to come to a Saturday prep, simply buy bagels, they'll be there. So 3 healthy meals a day, that is another very big advantage of the "elite". The elites also hire private tutors. We try to provide tutoring after school, but a fourth of our students cannot come. Perhaps they have to make sure they are in line in time to get into the shelter, perhaps they have to pick up a sibling from elementary school, etc. Perhaps they are on a team which is their ticket out. Whatever the reason, having a private tutor is another big advantage of the "elite". We put our lessons on the computer and students access them via the internet. However, there are a lot of students who don't have internet connections, another advantage of the elite.

So before you buy into the "lets make this fair by taking away the advantage of money" please be aware of all that is "unfair".

On the flip side our kids are more motivated than your typical suburban kid once they visit a decent university. They are also more motivated when they hear of typical starting salaries like $40 or $50 thousand. They also are rewarded far more for average grades (GPA of 80 or higher) and average SAT scores (1200 or higher).
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:51 AM   #51
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Default Re: A positive response to the Admissions scandal

1. This scandal meets the criteria of a conspiracy. You have parents, paying a contractor who then pays off people who take SAT exams for kids, Proctors who allow this kid in, people who photoshop pictures, and paying bribes to coaches, etc. Therefore they can use RICO to prosecute this.

2. RICO means we get 5 times the damage. So if this guy collected 25 million the total damages are 125 million. You have wealthy people, teachers, coaches and universities all of which can be sued, so there is a very high probability that you will get the full $125 million.

3. Since one conviction can result in $125 million and since these "consultants" advertise it would be easy for the FBI to investigate these guys. Also, since most of these elite universities that these kids apply to will be out of state that brings in multiple counts of federal fraud. This gives the FBI a lot of leverage with people like SAT proctors and tutors. So to my mind they should get 40% of the settlements to fund FBI investigations.

4. Give the 60% of these settlements to fund SAT prep and after school tutoring. This is a good way, not of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but of taking from the perpetrators and giving to the victims.

5. The SAT has to do a better job of policing the SAT. Taking digital pictures of everyone taking the exam is a simple and inexpensive measure. Second, most of these exams are given at large schools where they will use 4, 5 or 6 classrooms for a single exam. Don't allow proctors to know beforehand which room they will be in. In larger cities like NYC you can also keep the proctors from knowing what school they will be at until the morning of the exam. So the school I teach at, there are two other very large high schools and numerous JHS and Elementary schools all within 5 minutes of each other. So it would be workable and practical to advise someone a few hours before they are to arrive which building to go to. This makes it far harder to pay off proctors. Colleges can give incoming Freshman a simple exam, say 30 minutes long, that would identify anyone whose score does not appear in line with the SAT score. They then share the results with the FBI. Their participation would help them in the event that fraud was detected, proving the University was not a participant. Students could be asked to sign a waver allowing the results to be shared by the university to maintain ethical standards. The purpose of the exam is not to out a fraudulent student, but rather to help the FBI identify the most likely fraudulent SAT exam sites. Then they could have undercover proctors investigate these sites as well as any consultants these particular students may have used, plus the schools they went to. Now that the SAT has an essay component they will have a definitive handwriting sample. Also, although I would want to flip anyone who was hired to take an SAT exam you can also make it part of the agreement that if they are caught doing this again over the next five years that they go to jail for 5 or 10 years for fraud and are fined for five times the estimated money they made. In addition their picture can be distributed to the SAT sites. Also the SAT could cooperate with the IRS and FBI by allowing them access to the database of pictures. Facial recognition software could be used to compare the picture of the student taking the exam with the High school ID picture and name of the student.

6. All students need to be identified with a random ID number to keep their identity secret. This is because you will be discovering lots of fraud among the rich, famous and powerful. You don't want this information to leak and you don't want investigators to know, since this becomes a second possible scandal that could snare the FBI. Once you have created a file that many in the FBI have access to then at that point, you go to the prosecutor and the ID's can safely be revealed.

7. Most of the parents and universities would gladly pay the fine to keep their names out of an indictment. This makes it very simple for a prosecutor to get the money quickly with minimal cost to the government. However, the second criterial would have to be that their kid cannot go to that elite university but rather has to go to the state school. What these elite universities do is give the illusion of an elite education justifying this rich kid being named CEO even though the real reason they are chosen is they are part of a small club of elites who all know each others sins and keep them secret. Therefore you can't allow this kid to become part of that club. These two penalties would be huge, they would cause the whole system to collapse like dominoes.

8. In this particular case the "consultant" also ran a foundation so that parents could donate $25,000 without raising suspicion. However, using a foundation in this way is fraudulent and tax evasion (they claimed this money as a tax write off). This would be a separate charge (tax fraud, tax evasion). So in addition to the FBI the IRS could also run investigations. It would be a simple matter of compiling a list of all "college admission consultants" and cross referencing that with those who have non profit foundations. That simple filter would probably yield a very high rate of return to investigators, but you could then focus on those that have foundations with millions in donations since those would be the ones with potentially the biggest payouts.

Therefore, since the investigation has been going on since 2011 I suspect the FBI opened many more investigations that have yet to be publicized. My guess is they publicized this to put the fear of God into everyone else they have and get them to cooperate with the prosecutors and settle quickly. There is an association of 200 Higher education consultants. I would think the FBI has already done a quick look at everyone in this association. I wouldn't be surprised if 30 or more of them are currently being investigated.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:23 AM   #52
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The idea of "elite" universities is a concept of a bygone era. First, all universities have access to the same textbooks. Second, with the internet the advantage in libraries is not nearly as great as it might have been in the past. Even state universities can afford excellent databases, online journals and search engines. Third, with youtube and the great courses anyone can have access to professors from elite universities and their lectures. The fact that people still buy into this idea simply indicates that they have been the first ones deceived by their deception that they are someone special.

Rather than "elite" undergraduate degrees, the importance of graduate school is far bigger now than it was 50 years ago. If you complete an undergraduate degree at a decent university with a good GPA you will be able to go to a very effective graduate school. The real issue for people should be cost, will you be maxed out in debt after undergraduate school? Because a degree from Harvard without going to graduate school is almost useless. On the other hand a degree from a State school followed by a graduate degree from a reputable university will be far more valuable in the job market.

If we can make state colleges free, just like a HS education, this relative insignificance of "elite universities" will be even more pronounced.

That said, the college entrance process is a tremendous grind, lots of pressure, a lot of work, and a lot of cost. Whenever you have something that is high stakes like that you encourage fraud.
What's wrong with affirmative action for the rich?
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:34 AM   #53
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What's wrong with affirmative action for the rich?
I think that you are trying to be funny yet hit on a really good point by accident.

When you try to right one wrong with another it doesn't work. Affirmative action is a good case in point. What does it do in practicality -- it encourages people like Elizabeth Warren to claim they are American Indians, and it admits less qualified people while rejecting the more qualified, so it is contrary to a meritocracy. It also provides cover for the less qualified rich who are also attending the same university, they don't stand out so much. It also damages self respect. People look at minorities and assume they got it due to affirmative action and not due to their own accomplishments.

Instead, if you have free state university it is a much better form of "affirmative action". It will still be conducive to a meritocracy, it is not racist, and it helps all those for whom college loans are crippling. It will be a tremendous help for the poor to get out of poverty. Many kids do not plan to go to college because their family is so poor they consider it would be irresponsible to even think about it. This would completely change that equation.

Also, scandals like this make wealthy, successful people look like villains when in reality the crime should not be that they are wealthy or successful, but rather that some of them are liars and cheats. It would be stupid to make being poor some kind of badge of honor. Again, the governing principle here should be "to those who have more will be given and to those who don't have even what they have will be taken away from them". I have nothing against Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Steve Jobs. Be successful, build something, make something, improve society and get wealthy at the same time. I also have nothing against the rich caring for their children, providing them with everything that is legal to be successful.

But from those who have judged that they don't have the ability to get into these schools based on merit but have to cheat, from those I am all for taking from them even what they do have and giving it to those who are working towards studying and learning.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:40 AM   #54
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I think that you are trying to be funny yet hit on a really good point by accident.

When you try to right one wrong with another it doesn't work. Affirmative action is a good case in point. What does it do in practicality -- it encourages people like Elizabeth Warren to claim they are American Indians, and it admits less qualified people while rejecting the more qualified, so it is contrary to a meritocracy. It also provides cover for the less qualified rich who are also attending the same university, they don't stand out so much. It also damages self respect. People look at minorities and assume they got it due to affirmative action and not due to their own accomplishments.

Instead, if you have free state university it is a much better form of "affirmative action". It will still be conducive to a meritocracy, it is not racist, and it helps all those for whom college loans are crippling. It will be a tremendous help for the poor to get out of poverty. Many kids do not plan to go to college because their family is so poor they consider it would be irresponsible to even think about it. This would completely change that equation.

Also, scandals like this make wealthy, successful people look like villains when in reality the crime should not be that they are wealthy or successful, but rather that some of them are liars and cheats. It would be stupid to make being poor some kind of badge of honor. Again, the governing principle here should be "to those who have more will be given and to those who don't have even what they have will be taken away from them". I have nothing against Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Steve Jobs. Be successful, build something, make something, improve society and get wealthy at the same time. I also have nothing against the rich caring for their children, providing them with everything that is legal to be successful.

But from those who have judged that they don't have the ability to get into these schools based on merit but have to cheat, from those I am all for taking from them even what they do have and giving it to those who are working towards studying and learning.
But affirmative action for minorities, didn't result in the likes of Jared Kushner, who paid for his Harvard degree, using his education record to qualify to be in a top position in the Trump admin.

Proving ... money in both Politics and education will get you in.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:22 AM   #55
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But affirmative action for minorities, didn't result in the likes of Jared Kushner, who paid for his Harvard degree, using his education record to qualify to be in a top position in the Trump admin.

Proving ... money in both Politics and education will get you in.
Lawsuits by these offended middle class parents are the equivalent of "affirmative action for the rich".
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:29 PM   #56
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Cannot stand the idiotic commentary on this topic. Some pundits are pointing out that the issue is not that wealthy people paid $50,000 to cheat but that middle class parents have an advantage over the poor. They live in better neighborhoods, children eat well, good clothes, good healthcare, good supplies, tutors, schools, etc.

Yes, just like Jesus said "to those who have more will be given and to those who don't even what they have will be taken away".

That principle is worldwide and has been in existence for thousands of years. Before you complain about it think of the implications.

How can anyone be accountable for their actions if there are no repercussions. Those who work hard, get a reward, those who try to cheat and steal and get caught, suffer a loss. Are you going to erase that? How? What are the implications? Marxism? Leninism?

People confuse righteousness with fairness. Life is not "fair". Never has been, never will be.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:30 AM   #57
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Donald Trump continued his attacks on the late John McCain during a visit to Ohio yesterday and was challenged to “show us your bone spurs” by ex-Democratic senator and Navy SEAL Bob Kerrey in response to his criticism of the Vietnam War hero.

We should have a law that anyone who is President of the US, Commander and Chief of the Armed forces, verify the veracity and authenticity of their military record, 4F status, draft dodging, etc.

I think it is absurd that we could think that the person sending Americans into harms way, ordering Americans to risk their life and die in battle, was themselves a draft dodger. That obviously undermines the morale of the armed forces that this person is applying to made commander of.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:57 AM   #58
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Donald Trump continued his attacks on the late John McCain during a visit to Ohio yesterday and was challenged to “show us your bone spurs” by ex-Democratic senator and Navy SEAL Bob Kerrey in response to his criticism of the Vietnam War hero.

We should have a law that anyone who is President of the US, Commander and Chief of the Armed forces, verify the veracity and authenticity of their military record, 4F status, draft dodging, etc.

I think it is absurd that we could think that the person sending Americans into harms way, ordering Americans to risk their life and die in battle, was themselves a draft dodger. That obviously undermines the morale of the armed forces that this person is applying to made commander of.
Isn't it right for Trump to call out McCain for his flip-flops on ObamaCare and his role in the Deep State coup d'etet? Tokyo rose?

Are you then OK with John Kerry's so-called "military service" gaming the system and getting decorated by blowing up hand grenades and taking shrapnel in his back side? This launched his "stellar" political career.

If some one like Bill Clinton can use college deferments, why is Trump now bashed by the media elites?

If liberals didn't have double standards, they wouldn't have any standards at all.

Haven't you created a straw-man argument out of the "morale of the armed forces?" From military to police to border patrol to ICE, all law enforcement are overwhelmingly supportive of Trump.

Methinks you should have posted this during the last administration.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:07 AM   #59
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Cannot stand the idiotic commentary on this topic. Some pundits are pointing out that the issue is not that wealthy people paid $50,000 to cheat but that middle class parents have an advantage over the poor. They live in better neighborhoods, children eat well, good clothes, good healthcare, good supplies, tutors, schools, etc.

People confuse righteousness with fairness. Life is not "fair". Never has been, never will be.
This recent scandal shows that culture and home life play a bigger part in children's success than wealth. This is why SAT scores were such a great equalizer. Hard-working poor could compete with lazy rich kids.

What makes neighborhoods "good or bad" is not money, but work ethics translated into healthy study habits. Lazy students can come from all socio-economic strata.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:40 AM   #60
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Isn't it right for Trump to call out McCain for his flip-flops on ObamaCare and his role in the Deep State coup d'etet? Tokyo rose?

Are you then OK with John Kerry's so-called "military service" gaming the system and getting decorated by blowing up hand grenades and taking shrapnel in his back side? This launched his "stellar" political career.

If some one like Bill Clinton can use college deferments, why is Trump now bashed by the media elites?

If liberals didn't have double standards, they wouldn't have any standards at all.

Haven't you created a straw-man argument out of the "morale of the armed forces?" From military to police to border patrol to ICE, all law enforcement are overwhelmingly supportive of Trump.

Methinks you should have posted this during the last administration.
I thought my point was clear that I was not OK with Clinton, or anyone else gaming the system who becomes President. Didn't know that John Kerry was in that category (somehow missed his administration as President). However, if you want to argue that Senators and Congressmen are responsible to vote for a declaration of war and that since this person has a checkered past in this area that might be a conflict of interest I would entertain you making the logical argument and consider it.

I would not agree with military service being a requirement for President, and so if the person was not a "draft dodger" I find it hard to see that as disqualifying.

But if they got out of the draft, I think we have the right and obligation to thoroughly investigate that before they are sworn in as President. Preferably this could be done closed door during the Primaries.

As for Politicians inflating and fluffing up their military record (Nixon, LBJ, etc) well that is not criminal, probably not something that would exclude someone from the office, but merely something that will tarnish their legacy.
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:53 AM   #61
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I thought my point was clear that I was not OK with Clinton, or anyone else gaming the system who becomes President. Didn't know that John Kerry was in that category (somehow missed his administration as President). However, if you want to argue that Senators and Congressmen are responsible to vote for a declaration of war and that since this person has a checkered past in this area that might be a conflict of interest I would entertain you making the logical argument and consider it.

I would not agree with military service being a requirement for President, and so if the person was not a "draft dodger" I find it hard to see that as disqualifying.

But if they got out of the draft, I think we have the right and obligation to thoroughly investigate that before they are sworn in as President. Preferably this could be done closed door during the Primaries.

As for Politicians inflating and fluffing up their military record (Nixon, LBJ, etc) well that is not criminal, probably not something that would exclude someone from the office, but merely something that will tarnish their legacy.
There is currently no vetting process for Presidents. The last one we had didn't even have a legitimate birth certificate. And now you want to disqualify "draft dodgers?" Trump had a college deferment, like millions of others during the Viet Nam war. I prefer the President to be honest about this matter, rather than someone like John Kerry who gamed the system for political benefit, or CT Senator Blumenthal who lied about his Viet Nam service for political benefit.

At least Trump admits to being a white man, unlike Sen warren who pretends to be Am. Indian, or Beto who pretends to be Hispanic. If you bash Trump for not serving, shouldn't you also go after Sanders, Biden, and even the ladies for not serving? Sorry, but you never protested Hillary's lack of service.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:16 AM   #62
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There is currently no vetting process for Presidents. The last one we had didn't even have a legitimate birth certificate. And now you want to disqualify "draft dodgers?" Trump had a college deferment, like millions of others during the Viet Nam war. I prefer the President to be honest about this matter, rather than someone like John Kerry who gamed the system for political benefit, or CT Senator Blumenthal who lied about his Viet Nam service for political benefit.

At least Trump admits to being a white man, unlike Sen warren who pretends to be Am. Indian, or Beto who pretends to be Hispanic. If you bash Trump for not serving, shouldn't you also go after Sanders, Biden, and even the ladies for not serving? Sorry, but you never protested Hillary's lack of service.
This current admissions scandal puts what Sen Warren into perspective.

I don't think it is too much to ask of the "Commander in Chief" of our armed forces that he not be draft dodger. It doesn't matter that others have done worse things. Many jobs require a license, college degree, etc. There are many jobs you cannot get with a felony. There is nothing unusual about having prerequisites for a job and disqualifiers. Being a US citizen is one of the requirements in the constitution. There was no dispute that Obama's mother was a US citizen. Based on our laws that should give him a valid US birth certificate regardless of where he was born, hence the apathetic reaction by most Americans to this claim.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:30 PM   #63
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This current admissions scandal puts what Sen Warren into perspective.

I don't think it is too much to ask of the "Commander in Chief" of our armed forces that he not be draft dodger. It doesn't matter that others have done worse things. Many jobs require a license, college degree, etc. There are many jobs you cannot get with a felony. There is nothing unusual about having prerequisites for a job and disqualifiers. Being a US citizen is one of the requirements in the constitution. There was no dispute that Obama's mother was a US citizen. Based on our laws that should give him a valid US birth certificate regardless of where he was born, hence the apathetic reaction by most Americans to this claim.
This is a bogus argument. If Trump used legal deferments to obtain college education, then he is not a "draft dodger." There is nothing in constitutional law that demands the President to have military service.

John McCain, for example, was born abroad, and because both of his parents were citizens, his father in the Navy, there was no need for him to obtain a fraudulent birth certificate, like Obama.

Personally I would love to see more business men run for office. Harvard and Yale lawyers have done much damage to the country, we should bar them from office.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:12 PM   #64
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This is a bogus argument. If Trump used legal deferments to obtain college education, then he is not a "draft dodger." There is nothing in constitutional law that demands the President to have military service.
True.

But if his deferment due to bone spurs is bogus, then it is fraud.

I have no desire to require a President to have military service. The only thing I think should be required is that they did not use fraudulent means to avoid service when we had a draft.
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:10 PM   #65
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True.

But if his deferment due to bone spurs is bogus, then it is fraud.

I have no desire to require a President to have military service. The only thing I think should be required is that they did not use fraudulent means to avoid service when we had a draft.
Like I said about double standards.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:19 AM   #66
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As I read about Enron's debacle it becomes a fascinating account of how a house divided cannot stand.

On one side of this house were the people who did deals. The deals were valued over the life of the deal in the first year and then all the profit was booked, and the salesman was given a big fat bonus based on 20 years of projected earnings.

The other side of the house were the people who ran day to day operations. No real appreciation for them, no bonuses.

Obviously this created a very bitter, nasty atmosphere in the company and the day came when all those earnings projections evaporated. The people responsible to run the day to day were blasé and appeared completely apathetic to this, of course the result was a collapse in earnings, which in turn meant a collapse in stock price and all those fat cats with the stock options lost everything. Fitting.

Although this is not the criminal portion that Fastow was responsible for, it was the corporate structure that Lay and Skilling put in place, hence they should be held accountable for the demise.

Another result of this was that as problems were detected by the group who did the day to day they initially notified Skilling and Lay, however since those doing the deals were the darlings, the messengers were shot, and the lesson was clear, ignore all problems.

Again, a corporate climate that Lay and Skilling instituted.

Enron was not brought down by a crooked CFO, he was merely a symptom. They were brought down because of "the house divided" set up by Lay and Skilling where some people were encouraged to fudge numbers, and those responsible for dealing with these lies were disparaged.
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