< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 2955 OF 6191 ·
|Mar-20-12|| ||FSR: <Jim Bartle: Oh, I see, Reagan tripled the debt, but it was for a good reason. Unlike Obama.>|
And Dubya, who during the 2000 election said that we needed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, took the largest budget surpluses in history (inherited from Clinton), repeatedly cut taxes on the rich and started wars, thereby <doubling> the national debt. His daddy also greatly increased the national debt, but with only one term in office was unable to equal his son's and Reagan's "achievements" in that regard.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Jim Bartle: The Cold War continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union, or at least until the collapse of the Berlin Wall.|
|Mar-20-12|| ||kb2ct: |
Beginning with Reagan, the taxes became regressive and the middle class paid a higher percentage.
Just as in Greece this led to a revenue problem whicj led to debt.
The change was camophlaged by inflation.
For all but the wealthy the neoliberal taxation policy was an abject failure.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Marmot PFL: Climate update - 2010 warmest year ever
Since 1900, the average surface temperature of the earth has increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, about .75 degrees C., because of the enormous amount of carbon dioxide and soot that industrial society is spewing into the atmosphere. Because of increasing carbon emissions, the earth is likely headed toward a 3-5 degree C. increase (5-7 degrees F.), which will melt all the surface ice, produce tropical conditions over the entire planet, and cause a sea level rise of dozens of meters/ yards. In the worst case scenario, a third of all land will be submerged.
|Mar-20-12|| ||cormier: <<<<BS> ... you are a connaisseur of nature .... i was in aggreament with you on this subject> Bobby Spassky: Dear PinnedPiece, |
"You have to wonder just how all-powerful is a company whose fortunes continue to decline. Suppose some people have overrated Goldman-Sachs' status as Uber-Financiers of World Trade? If they are aggregating the world's wealth unto themselves, why all the layoffs?"
Total assets = 923 billion.
Powerful yes, competent no.
They have received close to one trillion dollars in loans and other corporate welfare. They will bounce back and do more business with its muppets. Muppets is what it calls its customers.> as for the other things it's the outside of the cup and God's taking care of it. by by a++>
|Mar-20-12|| ||alexmagnus: As for the Cold War... Why even bothering winning it? It was a muscle game, without any real chance of the war getting hot unless one of the sides went on a suicide mission.|
IMO the Cold War was an imaginary construct on both sides of the Curtain - to induce fear in the population. Note, hot wars like the Korean war started as civil wars, they didn't begin as wars between the blocks. The block powers just later overtook the block-friendly sides.
|Mar-20-12|| ||alexmagnus: At least Europe (both western and eastern) learned its lecture in the WWII, and I strongly doubt there will be any major war in Europe ever again. Someone like Hitler, attepmting to conquer the world, will never again be popular enough.|
|Mar-20-12|| ||soldal: <I strongly doubt there will be any major war in Europe ever again.>|
Maybe not about conquering the world, but the EU (Great Germania) will certainly go down in flames.
|Mar-20-12|| ||AlanPardew: Hitler didn't want to conquer the world. The only people with global designs were the Soviets. They, if anyone, are the ones directly responsible for the rise of the American empire.|
|Mar-20-12|| ||AlanPardew: <Since 1900, the average surface temperature of the earth has increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, about .75 degrees C., because of the enormous amount of carbon dioxide and soot that industrial society is spewing into the atmosphere. Because of increasing carbon emissions, the earth is likely headed toward a 3-5 degree C. increase (5-7 degrees F.), which will melt all the surface ice, produce tropical conditions over the entire planet, and cause a sea level rise of dozens of meters/ yards. In the worst case scenario, a third of all land will be submerged.>|
Hey, mate, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.
|Mar-20-12|| ||AlanPardew: <How anyone can put forth that conservatives since Reagan have been fiscally prudent is beyond me.>|
The obvious rejoinder is that the Republicans since Reagan haven't been conservative, fiscally or otherwise. It's just that, given a choice between being punched 20 times in the face (the Republicans) or 21 times (the Democrats), people not prone to masochism (non-liberals) will choose the former.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Softpaw: < PinnedPiece: ... Suppose some people have overrated Goldman-Sachs' status as Uber-Financiers of World Trade?>|
Strawman. Of course, Goldman Sachs is not the only big financial firm in the <global> system. More importantly, as we both agreed, financial firms ride on top of a real economy --both up and down.
<If they are aggregating the world's wealth unto themselves...>
Absurd hyperbole = strawman.
<why all the layoffs?>
<...the company continues to reduce costs to raise profitability>
By cutting <workers who have underperformed or whose functions can be AUTOMATED.>
<Goldman shares were up 33 cents at $124.63 in late trading.>
<Slowing economic growth and heightened worries about European sovereign debt have weighed on bank stocks all year. None of the 24 members of the KBW Bank Index (BKX) has posted a gain in 2011,>
<A decline in trading revenue over the past two quarters has led large investment banks to focus on cost reductions, including job cuts. Goldman Sachs, led by Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, 57, said in July that it will cut about 1,000 jobs after its second-quarter drop in trading revenue was bigger than analysts estimated.
Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender by assets, announced plans last month to eliminate 30,000 jobs in the next few years. UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, said in August it will cut about 3,500 positions, or 5.3 percent of its workforce, to reduce expenses. Morgan Stanley said it wants to bring down annual costs by $1 billion over the next three years. >
The Ponzi-party crashed. Taxpayer bailouts (socialization of losses) helped a lot, but its a new ballgame now with "austerity" wreaking global economic recession.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Marmot PFL: <Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender by assets, announced plans last month to eliminate 30,000 jobs in the next few years. UBS AG (UBSN), Switzerland’s biggest bank, said in August it will cut about 3,500 positions, or 5.3 percent of its workforce, to reduce expenses. Morgan Stanley said it wants to bring down annual costs by $1 billion over the next three years.>|
Part of that no doubt is because of the trend to a no cash economy. Most transactions are done online and don't involve any money changing hands, just numbers changing on each sides account. The bank saves big on labor costs and can save more overhead by closing some branches, but will still hit you with a $37 overdraft charge every chance they get.
|Mar-20-12|| ||PinnedPiece: I know more than Rick Santorum, I just realized, about certain aspects of this world. Obama asked news services not to publicise exactly where Malia Obama is in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca.|
<“What I would say is that the president’s actions should reflect what his administration is saying,” Santorum said on Glenn Beck’s radio program. “If the administration is saying that it’s not safe to have people down there, then just because you can send 25 Secret Service agents doesn’t mean you should do it. You should set an example. I think that‘s what presidents do. They set an example. And when the government is saying this is not safe, then you don’t set the example by sending your kids down there.”>
Oaxaca is a stable part of Mexico (barring earthquakes), a quiet part at the moment; but publicizing the exact whereabouts of a child of the U.S. president isn't really a good idea ANYWHERE overseas at the moment.
It is ridiculous to send a POTUS daughter away "with friends" in the company of 25 secret agents, for sure (HOW could you NOT SPOT THEM??).
But not because Oaxaca ia dangerous, and assuming so shows a bit of ignorance on Rick's part. Hope he wises up some.
|Mar-20-12|| ||FSR: Record March warmth in Chicago; there's been nothing like it here in over 141 years of weather observations:|
<Think what's been happening with our weather in the past week has been a bit unusual? You're right on--and more than a "bit" unusual! In 141 years of official Chicago weather observations, there's never been a March warm spell that comes even close to this one. It's literally "off the charts".
Up until this year, only ten of March's 4,371 high temperatures dating back to 1871 had reached or exceeded 80-degrees. And, of those ten 80s, just two had occurred by St. Patrick's Day (March 17).
The breadth and scope of the current warm spell is quite remarkable. A preliminary survey of Friday highs across the Lower 48 indicates at least 157 cities scattered across 22 states exceeded their high-temperature records for the date. One estimate is that more than 1,600 high-temperature records have been broken across the country over the past week.
Friday's 82-degree afternoon high, the Chicago area's warmest reading ever to occur so early in the year and a reading which equals the normal high for June 24, shattered the previous record of 78-degrees set 67-years ago in 1945. It marked the third consecutive record high to occur in the past three days here and is part of an unprecedented round of warm weather which has launched the 2012 allergy season a month early, pushed Lake Michigan's shoreline water temperature 10-degrees warmer than a year ago and confounded area vegetation, as evidenced by the early emergence of plants and flowers.>
|Mar-20-12|| ||cormier: Foreign Minister Bob Carr believes the chances that the United Nations Security Council will take action against Syria have increased.|
|Mar-20-12|| ||valiant: <Professor Peter M Rothwell is the leader of the Oxford University group that conducted research into cancer and aspirin.> http://www.itv.com/news/update/2012...|
|Mar-20-12|| ||frogbert: <This trend will only increase as genetic testing becomes more sophisicated. Traits other than sex will be able to be determined.>|
will be? other traits are *already* routinely screened for in some countries, screenings which are suggested to be implemented in more countries, and they are already resulting in "expectancies" that some time in the not so distant future no more people with e.g. down's syndrome will be born (again, in some countries).
this is only the top of the iceberg. the fast approaching ethical "dilemmas" of genetic testing will soon make debates about the value of human life and what it is omnipresent. will those be easily resolved by proper definitions? i doubt it.
|Mar-20-12|| ||cormier: Catholic Bioethics in the Third Millennium
Bishop Fishers New Book Launched in Australia
By Father John Flynn, LC
ROME, MARCH 16, 2011 With disputes over bioethics issues continually in the news, Catholics are under ever more pressure to defend their stance on topics ranging from abortion to euthanasia to organ transplant and freedom of conscience.
Bishop Anthony Fisher, OP, recently launched his new book, “Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium,” (Cambridge University Press), in which he seeks to explain and defend the Church’s position on a range of bioethical issues.
Bishop Fisher is not only the bishop of Parramatta, in Western Sydney, but also a professor in moral theology and bioethics at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne.
There is much to celebrate about contemporary health care and bioresearch, he acknowledged in the book’s introduction. Yet, when it comes to ethics the mentality of what he termed “the technological imperative” is often present. Namely, that if something can be done it should be. Opponents of this mentality are then characterized as opposing progress.
Bishop Fisher outlines a number of guidelines that should be taken into account. They include the fact that there are objective truths about the human person, that as persons we possess an intrinsic dignity, that human acts are often complex, and that we have a responsibility to protect life.
One chapter is devoted to the theme of conscience, which is not, Bishop Fisher, explained merely some kind of strong feeling or sincere opinion. Our conscience, he explained, needs to be guided by objective principles or it risks degenerating into the mere expression of our personal preferences.
|Mar-20-12|| ||cormier: Informing conscience
The teaching of the Church, he continued, “is not some external source of moral thinking with which private conscience must grapple. Rather it, it informs conscience, much like a soul informs a body, giving it shape and direction from within.”
The bulk of the book consists of chapters on specific subjects, such as when human life begins, euthanasia, transplants and abortion.
In the chapter on stem cells he pointed out that the exaggerated hype about all the promised cures as a result of embryonic stem cell research has fallen on its face. Bishop Fisher pointed out that by now even Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, has given up on human cloning and embryonic stem cell research, and he says that reprogramming adult stem cells is the way to go.
Even if the promises of embryonic stem cells had come true the chapter goes on to explain that it is still unethical given that the early human embryo is truly human.
Christianity is not anti-science, as some allege, Bishop Fisher maintained, it is pro-science, but also has consistently defended human life from its earliest stages.
“Once parliaments, medibusiness or individual laboratories take us down the slippery slope of killing some for the benefits of others, we are well down a path towards other developments tomorrow that public opinion today would not countenance,” he warned.
Turning to the theme of abortion and genetic testing in another chapter, Bishop Fisher argued that the focus on rights and autonomy is not very helpful in determining what to do. “Motherhood is not about ownership or competition,” he observed.
Talking about supposed abortion rights fails to take into account our relationships with others and the implications of our choices for other people’s lives and for the common good, he pointed out.
When it comes to aborting embryos suffering from some kind of defect Bishop Fisher reflected that, instead of asking whether they would be better off dead, if compassion were our real concern we would be ensuring that disabled children were given adequate treatment and every form of assistance.
Without that effort, then instead of compassion it is more a matter of prejudice when it comes to prenatal screening and abortion, he adverted.
|Mar-20-12|| ||cormier: Sign of contradiction
In his chapter on artificial nutrition for unresponsive patients Bishop Fisher made a more general observation about Catholic bioethics. Catholicism, he noted is opposed to many of the shifts in attitudes to the human person and has become a “sign of contradiction.”
That has come about, he continued, due to changes in philosophical views that today see the human person as some kind of functional system.
By contrast: “Christianity holds to a realist account of the person as a being that is material, living, animal, rational, free, social, emotional and immortal, and so offers metaphysical and biological arguments for this personhood from the first moment of that being’s existence to his or her last.”
Autonomy is not the source of human value or values, he noted, quoting John Paul II.
Two other very relevant chapters examine the role and responsibilities of Catholic hospitals and how Catholic politicians should act in their political duties.
While the book is set at quite high a level the many reflections in Bishop Fisher’s book make it a valuable guide to today’s contentious debates over bioethics.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Bobby Spassky: Dear AlanPardew,
<How anyone can put forth that conservatives since Reagan have been fiscally prudent is beyond me.>
"The obvious rejoinder is that the Republicans since Reagan haven't been conservative, fiscally or otherwise. It's just that, given a choice between being punched 20 times in the face (the Republicans) or 21 times (the Democrats), people not prone to masochism (non-liberals) will choose the former."
Please ignore the fact that Clinton balanced the budget and actually ran a surplus. Earth to conservative, earth to conservative, hello? Is there anyone at home.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Bobby Spassky: Dear AlanPardew,
<Since 1900, the average surface temperature of the earth has increased by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, about .75 degrees C., because of the enormous amount of carbon dioxide and soot that industrial society is spewing into the atmosphere. Because of increasing carbon emissions, the earth is likely headed toward a 3-5 degree C. increase (5-7 degrees F.), which will melt all the surface ice, produce tropical conditions over the entire planet, and cause a sea level rise of dozens of meters/ yards. In the worst case scenario, a third of all land will be submerged.>
"Hey, mate, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you."
You are selling it because you just bought it.
|Mar-20-12|| ||Bobby Spassky: .|
Let's look at the data. According to the story of Noah's Ark, God created a giant flood that killed just about everybody on earth. So you worship a homicidal maniac that tortured and killed millions of innocent babies. The religious people who praise God, the torturer and killer millions of innocent babies, claim to be ethical and to know what is best for a woman's body. It makes sense only to a Christian.
|Mar-21-12|| ||al wazir: When I lived in San Diego, I banked at Crocker Citizens. Remember them? That was four or five mergers ago. I remember when they introduced overdraft protection. If I wrote checks that exceeded the balance in my checking account, money was automatically transferred from my savings account to cover them when they were presented for payment -- at no charge. (Of course there's no reason on Earth to charge for this service. It's my money, after all, and the transfer is electronic -- the bank incurs no costs in covering my checks.) But Crocker hadn't thought it through carefully enough. I was able to draw *more* money from my savings account than I had there without paying a fee, as long as I got the balance back up to a positive amount by the time the next statement was printed. Well, you better believe I took advantage of that. It was like maxing out a credit card, but with no interest or carrying charges. After a few months, though, the bank wised up and I had to stop kiting money back and forth.|
Now I bank with the Bank of America. (Only because I do a lot of interstate business.) I transfer money back and forth so that my checking balance stays just positive. Despite the meager, paltry, insultingly low interest they pay on savings, I still keep as much of my money in the interest-bearing account as I can, on principle.
Once I let the bank manager talk me into signing up for the BofA's overdraft protection. The bank charges a hefty fee for those electronic transfers, $30 for each one (and it's *still* my money that's being transferred!). Once I had three checks come in on the same day that had to be covered. (That was how I discovered that the USPS picks up mail on Sundays and holidays from some boxes, even though those pickups are not listed on the schedule.) Bang! bang! bang! -- a total overdraft charge of $90. I pointed out to the manager that if the checks had been processed in order of ascending magnitude, smallest first, followed by next smallest, and so on, only one would have bounced.
She drew herself up in an attitude of offended dignity. "This is a *service* to our customers," she said. "Usually the biggest check is the most important, like a rent payment. You wouldn't want to miss a rent payment, would you?"
I cancelled my overdraft protection.
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