< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 2676 OF 4448 ·
|Dec-23-11|| ||cormier: <<Isaiah 2>|
The Mountain of the LORD
1 This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days
the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established
as the highest of the mountains;
it will be exalted above the hills,
and all nations will stream to it.>
|Dec-23-11|| ||FSR: <Petrosianic: And on the very same day... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/...|
So much for the idea that voter fraud isn't an issue.>
You're so right. Voter fraud by Republican officials is a very serious problem. I have no doubt that they stole both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
|Dec-23-11|| ||Softpaw: <governance has more alignment with doctrines of federalism than 'neoliberalism' to my mind.>|
I think the E.U. is unique in terms of political organization. In terms of economic ideology and policy enshrined in various stages in various constititutions, charters, institutions etc.--it's without a doubt neoliberal , in my and many others' opinion. (As a matter of fact, neoliberalism is virtually predominant globally).
The political structure was pretty much designed to allow the imposition of neoliberal policies on recalcitrant national populations. They go hand in hand.
Unfortunately, I don't have time to elaborate on that right now. I'll have to get back to that later.
|Dec-23-11|| ||moronovich: Merry Christmas !|
|Dec-23-11|| ||Softpaw: Nevertheless, a few quick quotes:
<The Maastricht regime is truly special and unique in featuring a federal supranational monetary authority paired with national fiscal authorities. Reflecting the fact that the EU is not a proper political union, there is no common federal budget (to speak of) and, in fact, no European
state standing behind the common currency that member states agreed to share control over. Inother words, member states agreed to surrender their monetary, but not their fiscal, sovereignty.>
<...the ECB, as well as the NCBs of
(all) EU member states—together forming the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), as distinct from the Eurosystem—are prohibited from providing credit facilities to Europe’s fiscal
authorities or “monetizing” public debt through direct purchases of public debt securities. To further protect “the printing press,” constraints were put on public debt financing, too.
In particular, budget deficits exceeding 3 percent of GDP are generally deemed “excessive” and
offenders will normally face penalties under the “excessive deficit procedure” (EDP) unless they
can claim special circumstances for erring from the prescribed path of fiscal virtue. The
principles of fiscal virtue laid out in the Maastricht Treaty were further underscored by the socalled
Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), which requires members to attain a budget “in balance
or in surplus” over the cycle.
Finally, to protect the national partners from each other’s fiscal
failings, a “no bail-out” clause was included in the treaty, supposedly containing any national
solvency issues at the respective national level at which they might arise.>
<<Essentially> the euro is managed by a federal supranational central bank that is not
properly accountable to either national or European political authorities. The guardian’s
mandate, as laid down in the treaty, is to “maintain price stability” and, without prejudice to this
primary objective, to contribute to the achievement of other objectives pursued by the union
(such as growth and employment). No doubt this mandate offers central bankers an enormous
degree of independence, i.e., discretion, in interpreting “price stability” and how to attain it, and
in deciding what may constitute risks to this primary objective (and thus circumscribe the bank’s
support for any other goals).>
<Moreover, and perhaps most importantly, the ECB’s peculiar form
of central bank independence is enshrined in the treaty, which means that the ECB also enjoys
the virtual absence of credible threats to have its constitution changed.
By purposeful design there is thus a clear dominance of central bankers and monetary
policy within the Maastricht regime.>
<<...Europe’s policymakers> cherish the romantic idea that “liberalized” and “flexible”
markets would generate any required adjustments on their own and without any further policy
interferences with market forces. Guided by the “principles of an open market economy” and to
raise and unleash Europe’s growth potential in full, the whole focus of the EU’s policy agenda
has been to foster market flexibility.
Ever since the “single market programme” of the 1980s, and
no less so with today’s “Lisbon Agenda,” the EU Commission has been the champion of
Europe’s peculiarly one-sided “structural reform” policy orientation. In conjunction with the
ECB’s stability-oriented (price-stability-only) policy focus, micro reforms are apparently held to
deliver not only micro efficiency, but macro stability, too. Market liberalization and integration
are of course two sides of the same coin.>
|Dec-23-11|| ||Softpaw: <<<On the euro’s tenth anniversary, Euroland (and the wider Europe) has little else to be cheerful
about than price stability, which stands “above all else” and of which there can never be enough,
of course, even as headline HICP for Euroland actually fell to minus 0.7 percent in the summer
of 2009. Arguably, nothing else was to be expected though from a “price stability above all else”
policy regime designed by German central bankers. By design there is no place within the
Maastricht regime for any authority minding the domestic demand store.>|
THE PECULIAR IDEOLOGY THAT PRICE STABILITY, FISCAL AUSTERITY, AND STRUCTURAL REFORM (ESSENTIALLY, WAGE COMPRESSION [=NEOLIBERALISM-Softpaw]>
may be enough to generate growth overlooks the vital part that export surpluses used to play in the German “homeland of stability-oriented policy” wisdom. The point is that the world is a closed
economy and the European economy too large to rely on mercantilism for its growth.
Making matters worse still, Germany—as a monetary union member—supercharged its national mercantilism, thereby causing serious intra-area imbalances and preparing the ground for internal
crises of calamitous dimensions.>
Jörg Bibow, Skidmore College and The Levy Economics Institute 2009
|Dec-23-11|| ||Petrosianic: <FSR> <You're so right. Voter fraud by Republican officials is a very serious problem. I have no doubt that they stole both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.>|
You must wonder why the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot by standing in the way of efforts to curb it.
Politics is so idiotically political. We don't trust people to so much as get a photo ID, then turn around and expect everyone in the country to be able to buy health insurance.
|Dec-23-11|| ||al wazir: <Petrosianic: *You* may not "trust people to so much as get a photo ID." But trust is not the issue here. Fairness is.|
When is the last time you spent an morning or afternoon at the Motor Vehicle Division voluntarily? Let's be fair about this. Suppose that, in order to vote, *everyone*, even those who already have driving licenses, had to go to the MVD to get a picture ID. Would you go? How many Republicans would make an extra trip there just to be able to exercise their franchise?
Thanks for the HuffPost link. Yes, that sort of election fraud is a reality. Maybe we should have a law requiring all candidates for elective office to spend half a day standing in line at City Hall in order to get proof of residence.
|Dec-23-11|| ||Marmot PFL: What good is photo ID when they all look alike anyway?|
|Dec-23-11|| ||twinlark: I wish I could have found this form of words, but credit goes to a blogger called <limpidglass>, a member of DailyKos:|
<at this point, we don't really have a "government" so much as a set of loose agreements informally negotiated in private between large corporations to provide for their continued mutual profitability.
"Government" is just the name we give to that branch of the corporations tasked with public relations, securing resources, and imposing their will upon the populace.
"Elections" are simply part of these PR activities. The job of government (in particular the president) is to sell the interests of business to the American people.
Our Congress exists as a mechanism to diffuse responsibility for unpopular policies among a constantly rotating group of hundreds of "legislators" who do little but make predetermined "votes" on bills that have been written by industry lobbyists.
The courts serve largely as a means of providing a constant stream of prisoners to be fed into our for-profit private prison system, and to enact policies that could never be actually legislated even in our Congress (corporate personhood, for instance). The really vital negotiations never reach court--they are settled in secret by the interested parties.
Such is the work of GovCo.>
|Dec-23-11|| ||Shams: The voter ID law article I shared has prompted a spot of chatter, but that was only my first present today. Now I'm back down the chimney with another <cadeau>-- because, it just wouldn't be kwaanza if we weren't arguing about tort reform too:|
<A San Diego jury awarded a man and his wife nearly $7.5 million Friday in their civil suit against Starbucks after the man fell inside a North County business in 2008.
The case, which was filed in 2009, centered on Anthony Zaccaglin, who reportedly sustained a concussion after falling inside a Starbucks located on Melrose in Vista. Zaccaglin slipped and hit his head on a cash register as he was walking from the cashier to the pickup counter, according to Zaccaglin's attorneys, who added that witnesses at the scene said a manager had just mopped the area where Zaccaglin slipped and also said that that employee later apologized for not "dry mopping.">
I thought barista school was like medical school, and you're taught never to admit a mistake.
|Dec-23-11|| ||Shams: It's not just an urban legend that "dry mopping" entails far fewer risks than the other kind.|
|Dec-23-11|| ||Kimmel: Merry Christmas Kenneth Rogoff kibitzers. Group hug. Peace, yo.|
|Dec-23-11|| ||al wazir: <twinlark>: Coolidge said it more succinctly: "The business of America is business."|
|Dec-23-11|| ||FSR: Merry Christmas, all.|
|Dec-23-11|| ||valiant: <THE PECULIAR IDEOLOGY THAT PRICE STABILITY, FISCAL AUSTERITY, AND STRUCTURAL REFORM (ESSENTIALLY, WAGE COMPRESSION [=NEOLIBERALISM-Softpaw]>>|
On the other hand - many EU-countries have kept or increased the steepness of the marginal income tax rate; which I don't see as a neoliberalistic act, but more like a wonderful deed ... Angela Merkel raised the marginal income tax rate (the so-called Millionnärssteuer/Reichensteuer) to 45% for the top bracket (Spitzensteuersatz Tarifzone 5) in 2007, and George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer in UK) did the same last year: "'For the 2010-11 tax year' gibt es in Grossbritannien zusätzlich eine 'additional rate' von 50% fur Einkommensteile uber 150.000 £". In Sweden we have a 55% top rate (intact since 1994).
|Dec-23-11|| ||cormier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3I...|
|Dec-23-11|| ||cormier: <<<<<<<<<<Hebrews 5 (NIV)>|
1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.> 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.> 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.> 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.>
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest.> But God said to him,
“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.”>
6 And he says in another place,
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”>
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.> 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.>
|Dec-23-11|| ||twinlark: <al wazir>
And maybe he could have added that "what's not business is anti-American."
|Dec-23-11|| ||cormier: Turkey accused France on Friday of genocide against Algerians in the period of French colonial rule, one day after France made it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide ... minus -2 ....|
|Dec-23-11|| ||twinlark: <al wazir>
There's this take on the for-profit prison system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofZS...
From the business point of view it makes perfect sense to ensure that non-violent offenders are incarcerated longer as they make a far more docile work force to churn out military garb and paints and whatnot, but is this something that could have happened without you guys in the USA noticing?
Tell me it ain't so.
|Dec-23-11|| ||Marmot PFL: <Turkey accused France on Friday of genocide against Algerians in the period of French colonial rule, one day after France made it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide ... minus -2 ....>|
So glad to be an American, where I am free to deny the Armenian genocide, Holocaust, moon landings, 9/11 story, invention of baseball by Abner Doubleday and anything else I feel like.
|Dec-23-11|| ||Jim Bartle: "I have no doubt that they stole both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections."|
Actually those was alleged cases of election fraud, not voter fraud. Republicans are fighting against supposed voter fraud, though they can't show where it's occurred.
|Dec-24-11|| ||FSR: <Jim Bartle> You are correct, of course. Allegations of voter fraud by individual voters - as opposed to election officials - are <extremely> rare.|
|Dec-24-11|| ||Shams: <FSR> Your swarthy mariner of a new avatar gives me an unaccountable desire to eat breakfast cereal.|
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 2676 OF 4448 ·