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Posts by CutePuppy

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  • Cannabis really can trigger paranoia

    07/22/2014 2:15:58 AM PDT · 71 of 81
    CutePuppy to Ken H
    the point of bringing up the CA stats is to show how questionable is the claim that legalizing pot will cause crime to rise significantly.

    Just because two unrelated events happened at the same time or over the same period of time doesn't make them "correlated" — that's basic and shouldn't be complicated.

    For example, the sharp increase in popularity of poker has, in and of itself, no correlation to drop in national crime statistics. Same goes for sharp drop in the price of carpenter's tools or children's toys and number of other things over the same period of time.

    Your conclusions regarding correlation of "medical" marijuana and CA crime stats are just as faulty as correlation with the national stats. Check out the number of municipalities in CA that have banned the dispensaries precisely due to increased crime, nuisance and costs (policing, legal, medical etc.) — please refer again to the posts #33 and #39 in the links to FR thread in my first post. Now, maybe that action by the CA municipalities and communities is a contributing factor to overall reduction in CA crime rates, but that would be just an assumption since I don't have the actual stats per municipality.

    Personally, I would put 1) the internet and 2) the increase in right-to-carry and increase in gun ownership, as major causative factors.

    Another cum hoc ergo propter hoc opinion, without supporting facts.

    Now please stop mischaracterizing my argument.

    I did not... I argued your misuse of certain statistics and basic statistical concepts, and your offering an opinion without foundation as a fact.

    "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts" - Bernard Baruch

    "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored" - Aldous Huxley

    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality" - Ayn Rand

  • Cannabis really can trigger paranoia

    07/21/2014 10:45:47 PM PDT · 68 of 81
    CutePuppy to Ken H
    "Correlation does not imply causation is a phrase in science and statistics that emphasizes that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other."

    1. Yes, that's essentially what the logical fallacy Cum hoc ergo propter hoc describes.

    In other words, if you can't prove causation, your entire argument falls apart, i.e., correlation without causation is coincidental, meaningless and irrelevant, as I have shown in many examples in my previous post.

    2. Your argument doesn't even show correlation, because there is nothing in the data set of crime statistics that has a variable that says "marijuana." It's as simple as that. Straight line from point a to point b has no correlation to straight line from point x to point y.

    Otherwise, I can make thousands of statements that "correlate" to the crime data which have no relationship to the crime data, except in my imagination - see few examples in my first post.

    Really, check the statistics books/blogs on this, because you are confused on what correlation means, let alone why causation is essential for your premise to be even marginally arguable.

    And, just for yourself, check again the technology change argument (though I don't claim causation) which has been much more relevant and important in crime statistics than whether the MJ laws have been relaxed (which is destroying the first argument that the "War on Drugs" has failed) or not - they are simply not present in the data (i.e., not a variable in the data, which it can be correlated with).

    Maybe this resource on validity and variables can help: Research Methods

  • Cannabis really can trigger paranoia

    07/21/2014 7:06:24 PM PDT · 64 of 81
    CutePuppy to Ken H; ConservingFreedom; exDemMom; All
    "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple" – Oscar Wilde

    "There is always an easy solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong" - H. L. Mencken

    "If facts conflict with a theory, either the theory must be changed or the facts" - Baruch Spinoza

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!" - 'Homer Simpson'

    "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics" - Benjamin Disraeli / Mark Twain

    "Cum/post hoc ergo propter hoc" | "With/after this therefore because of this" - logical fallacy

    "Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom. Wisdom is not the truth"

    "Eliminate the impossible; whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth" - 'Sherlock Holmes'

    Re data in provided - United States Crime Rates 1960 - 2012 :

    1. If you are a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail. Only looking at any unrelated data through the prism of marijuana laws and consumption can someone make any assumptions — let alone conclusions — from the statistical data table that you provided in this link. Marijuana is not part of the data, so there is no correlation — forget about causation — between marijuana and the national crime statistics in that table.

    Someone who is hung up on and is looking at everything through the prism / filter of "income or wealth inequality" could very easily "prove" from the same data that, as income or wealth "inequality" grew wider, the crime rate per capita dropped (i.e., the correlation of "inequality" and national crime rate) - so, it's a wonderful thing, except there is really no correlation, direct or reverse, between the two.

    How about illegal immigration and crime rate? There has been unarguably more illegal immigration while the crime rate ostensibly dropped. Conclusions?

    The per capita consumption of nicotine has decreased around the same time span. Conclusion — reduction of smoking directly correlates to the reduction in crime rates?

    We know that alcohol is not a likely culprit: Gallup: U.S. Drinking Rate Edges Up Slightly to 25-Year High

    Here is a good one, though I don't claim to "divine" it from that data - how about demographics and population aging, i.e., elderly commit fewer crimes?

    How about increase in gun ownership? Increases in minimum wage (include states as well)? Or increase/decrease in incarceration rate? Or incarceration rate among certain income/race/political party/whatchamacallit groups?

    Given enough creativity and time one can come up with any number of similar "correlations" — as long as no actual data in the statistics incorporates the variable - that's just Statistics 101. Also, let's keep in mind that societal changes (that includes crime rates) are long-term events and the shifts don't usually happen in a year or less. Enough imagination, and one can "prove" both direct and reverse correlation, shifted by only a few years, since there is no data filter in the table.

    Of course, the nature (and definitions and classifications) of many crimes also changed in the last 50 or 100 years (for example, cyber-crime was nearly non-existent then) — as well as increased difficulty and lower viability of profit motive for committing many of the crimes — not due to societal changes but due to technological changes (and corresponding changes in the monetary value of some goods and services) — i.e., things or services that were very valuable 25-50 years ago are simply not worth stealing today or not worth enough effort. A very thoughtful article on this subject: What Will Crooks Do When Crime Doesn't Pay? - BLV, by Megan McArdle, 2014-07-14

    Please do not use this irrelevant data to prove anything re marijuana - it's a meaningless statistical sophistry and would only serve to deliberately confuse yourself and countless others who are not proficient in elementary statistics... unless that's exactly the point of the exercise.

    2. The premise seems to rely on holding two contradictory ideas at the same time - a) that the "War on drugs" failed (BTW, how can you quantify and qualify that, or is that just a good old standard statement, to "convince" the sceptics) and b) at the same time that the "War on drugs" has not really been waged (i.e., the entire premise of the marijuana laws having been relaxed or simply unenforced in certain areas). Have to pick one or the other, but I guess claiming them both at the same time is the only way to justify the conclusions based on the national crime data.

    3. The so-called "War on drugs" is not just a "War on marijuana" (and is happening not only in the USA, but in the most countries.) So, regarding the desire to stop the "War on drugs" — does that extend to all illicit drugs like meth, cocaine and opioids, ecstasy/MDMA, synthetics or just to marijuana? If marijuana is decriminalized, would you say "Mission accomplished" or all other drugs should be legalized as well?

    Or is the answer the good old standby — meaningless and easily refuted comparisons of THC to caffeine**, nicotine*** or "drug" alcohol — "If they are legal, then everything should be legal"?

    Before answering, please see these references - there is no point making these posts even longer, repeating same ole':

    Golden Gate Park pot party a major mess [San Francisco] - FR, post #33, 2013 April 21

    Golden Gate Park pot party a major mess [San Francisco] - FR, post #39, 2013 April 21


    ** Caffeine, in pure form, is deadly in relatively small doses. There has been an increasing number of deaths recently of people overdosing on pure caffeine.

    *** Nicotine is a drug that has been proven to make people smarter (Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power - B, by Dan Hurley, 275 pages, 2013 February 01) and has beneficial cardiovascular properties (used by some athletes) - though smoking or chewing tobacco leaves is an addictive, stupid and very harmful method of nicotine delivery, instead of applying patches.

  • Obesity is Inflammatory Disease, Rat Study Shows

    07/07/2014 9:54:49 PM PDT · 38 of 43
    CutePuppy to informavoracious
    We sprinkled sugar on our corn flakes, ate white bread, mashed potatoes, white rice, fatty pork chops covered in greasy gravy, fried chicken, butter-drenched vegetables, cake with sugary icing and full-fat ice cream and no one was fat.


    That so reminded me of the scene from the movie Cocoon (1985): "When we get where we're going, we'll never be sick, we won't get any older, and we won't ever die."
  • Obesity is Inflammatory Disease, Rat Study Shows

    07/07/2014 5:55:17 PM PDT · 7 of 43
    CutePuppy to linear

    Crohns, RA, IBD, IBS and a number of other inflammatory and/or autoimmune diseases.

  • Obesity is Inflammatory Disease, Rat Study Shows

    07/07/2014 5:48:09 PM PDT · 4 of 43
    CutePuppy to faithhopecharity
    doctor heal thyself and all that, ha!

    Unfortunately, in today's rigid legal and regulatory environment, doctors may not be [legally] allowed to recommend the best treatment for the patients that they would choose for themselves.

  • Obesity is Inflammatory Disease, Rat Study Shows

    07/07/2014 5:43:55 PM PDT · 3 of 43
    CutePuppy to 2ndDivisionVet; neverdem; exDemMom; American in Israel; sun7
    In case you may be interested (inflammation, diabetes, cancer research). Older article, didn't find it posted.

    This seems to be entirely different research than in the recent Obesity-related disease trigger found, says UCSD team - FR / UCSD, 2014 June 13

  • Obesity is Inflammatory Disease, Rat Study Shows

    07/07/2014 5:38:08 PM PDT · 1 of 43
    Summary: The results were published in the FASEB Journal. PAR2 may be a biomarker for metabolic dysfunction, and PAR2 antagonism can be an effective intervention for treating metabolic dysfunction and obesity.
  • The Insiders: This month’s jobs headlines don’t tell the true story

    07/05/2014 4:04:37 AM PDT · 10 of 10
    CutePuppy to xzins
    When your statistical method allows your worst possible outcome to be your best possible score, then know that someone is cooking the books.

    "There are lies, damned lies, and then, there are statistics."

    The problem is that the few headline quantitative numbers that government and media media usually highlight (such as "unemployment" / U3) tell people very little about the true state of the actual economy and employment picture, both quantitative (underemployment, labor participation rate, employment demographics etc.) and qualitative (total hours worked, average earnings per hour worked etc.)

    For example, replacing full-time jobs that pay $50 per hour with part-time jobs that pay $15 per hour is qualitatively substantially different but would not change the headline numbers one bit, yet at the same time would significantly alter the economic picture.

    Once certain numbers are established as "official" indicatiors of economy, employment or inflation, they are used as guides for policies that make them relatively easy to manipulate and to paint a rosier picture, i.e., they become nothing more than politically biased statistical tools.

    ObamaCare Spurs Shift Away From 30-34-Hour Workweek - IBD, by Jed Graham, 2013 August 05

    Low-Wage Workweek Sliding Ahead Of ObamaCare Fines - IBD, by Jed Graham, 2014 July 03

    Obama's Economy: Where Did All The Young Workers Go? - IBD, by Stephen Moore, 2014 June 17

  • Senator Jeff Sessions: On Immigration, It’s Time to Defend Americans

    07/04/2014 5:54:42 PM PDT · 39 of 54
    CutePuppy to Cheerio; Dilbert San Diego; All
    AND it is also a felony (or at least it used to be) to assist anyone in this country illegally to get a job...

    I think that is very likely the real (though publicly unspoken) reason for many in the productive / investing-in-America class pressing Republican leadership for amnesty - they don't like to be selectively raided by ICE/INS any more than they like to be selectively audited by IRS or selectively subjected to the nuisance or harassment lawsuits.

    Doesn't mean they should be accommodated by the amnesty, but that is the real impetus behind the push than having "cheap workforce" because after "undocumented worker" becomes legal and "documented" he stops being really "cheap."

  • Senator Jeff Sessions: On Immigration, It’s Time to Defend Americans

    07/04/2014 5:26:36 PM PDT · 37 of 54
    CutePuppy to Jim Robinson; lilyramone; Joe Boucher; Oldexpat; VRW Conspirator; Puppage; Dilbert San Diego; ...
    Obama keeps saying that the USA is "a nation of immigrants" which is 100% correct and 99% irrelevant, because by phrasing it like this what he is trying to mask is that the USA is "not a nation of open borders."

    In fact, no nation can survive and be a nation / country for long, without enforcing borders. What is "broken" now is not an immigration "system" but rather the enforcement of border security and control and strong enforcement of the existing immigration laws and policies.

    The calls for "comprehensive immigration reform" — which will do nothing to remedy the situation, except more broken promises and more money for the inaction of the broken and corrupt government agencies and departments which are supposed to administer these laws — are nothing but a smoke screen for the deliberate lack of enforcement of existing laws, designed to create a "crisis" so that any "comprehensive reform" looks like a solution, when in reality actually contributing to the real crises that will inevitably follow.

    "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," if any, should only ever reinforce that "no citizenship or voting rights for anyone who ever entered the country illegally; no federal, state, county or 'sanctuary' municipality financial or educational assistance, and no birthright citizenship for children of persons who are in the country illegally.".

    Now, that should be "comprensible" enough?

  • Rand Paul’s Not Endorsing Lamar Alexander, But The Two Are Making A Point To Be Seen Together

    07/01/2014 7:46:12 PM PDT · 22 of 27
    CutePuppy to Shery; don-o; Gaffer; reefdiver; cotton1706; tumblindice; skinkinthegrass; skeeter; NormsRevenge
    Here is the real Rand Paul: this acorn didn't fall far from the tree (Ron Paul) who was the unofficial ring-leader of Occupy Wall Street wing of Republican Party.

    From Rand Paul Slams 'Fat Cats' With Hedge Fund in Top Donors - BL, by Dawn Kopecki, 2014 July 01

      "We cannot be the party of fat cats, rich people, and Wall Street," the Kentucky Republican told the audience at the Freedom Summit in New Hampshire in April. ..... < snip >

      ..... At the same time, the founders and employees of Mason Capital Management, a $13.6 billion New York hedge fund, have become leading contributors to Paul's political aims. The hedge fund has offices in London and San Francisco and offers clients offshore investments through a limited partnership in the Cayman Islands, among other strategies. ..... < snip >

    Different first name, same "99%" scam. Both Pauls are phony libertarians, phony populists, phony conservatives.

  • Israel's Netanyahu calls for supporting Kurdish independence

    07/01/2014 12:31:54 AM PDT · 17 of 17
    CutePuppy to BillyBoy; 353FMG; JamesCooper; All
      The vast majority of Kurds are Muslims. While I think they'd probably be grateful for an independent state and leave Israel alone, I don't think you could "guarantee" they'd be an ally to Israel...

    To [loosely] quote Lord Palmerston: "[Nations / Countries / Governments] have no eternal friends or allies, they have no perpetual enemies, they only have permanent interests."

    (The last bit is quite arguable, of course, due to generalization and [sometimes rapid] changes of nations' governments, demographics and cultures.)

    The vast majority of Egyptians and Jordanians are Muslim. That doesn't preclude them from being reasonably reliable peaceful neighbours and trading partners, after finding themselves on the losing end of a few wars.

    So, while there is never a "guarantee," it's very likely that Kurds, sharing with Jews a somewhat similar historical experience regarding their homelands — the diaspora and the alyiah — would feel some sort of kinship and be a more reliable ally and partner to Israel. They know that they have much less to fear from Israel than from their Muslim Sunni and Shi'a "brethren" neighbours.

    This editorial piece presents some interesting facts and an opinion: Kurdistan: Great, greater the greatest? -, by Lyuba Lulko, 2014 June 06

  • Kanye West Disses Barack Obama: ‘You Can’t Effect Change’

    06/20/2014 9:50:13 PM PDT · 33 of 33
    CutePuppy to DJ Frisat; nickcarraway; Peter W. Kessler; AppyPappy; jsanders2001; irishjuggler; F15Eagle; ...
    However the changes affect Us in a mostly negative fashion.

    He can effect CHANGE willy-nilly and HOPE that it "works" the way it is intended. It never works that way but it can inflict lasting — if not permanent — damage and can negatively affect the society and hundreds of millions of people.

    And he was quite open from the beginning that this was the desired effect of his HOPE and CHANGE campaign and policies - "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

    Kanye ("You can't effect change from inside the White House like that ... you gotta have the money.") is wrong on several levels here because he doesn't seem to understand (or willing to accept) that any determined President — especially when having a majority or split Congress — has almost unlimited amount of taxpayers' money at his disposal, and — particularly when having major / pop media and educational institutions in his pocket — immense power to effect a number of social and structural changes with long lasting societal effects.

  • Obama / Romney discuss Iraq SOFA (status of forces agreement)

    06/12/2014 10:31:21 PM PDT · 7 of 10
    CutePuppy to ansel12
    Thanks for this historical blast from the past. Puts things into even better perspective, especially with headlines like this:

    Romney tries to re-emerge as force in GOP politics - FR, via AP, 2014 June 12

    Apparently he doesn't think he's done enough damage...

  • ISIL fighters seize Turkish consulate in Iraq's Mosul

    06/11/2014 11:50:58 AM PDT · 48 of 49
    CutePuppy to livius
    And yes, this can all be laid directly at the feet of Obama.

    You are right, of course. Unfortunately, this will be blamed on Bush ("Bush lied us into Iraq War and torture!") and unfortunatelly many on the right, including an incredibly large number of FR members, will agree with that, because they can't separate the purpose and the goals of the mission from its execution (and by execution I mean both military — which was amazingly good under the circumstances — and sustained political and PR effort — which was amazingly poor, misguided and mishandled).

    Liberals / Progressives had a handbook on eventually undermining any US military intervention, no matter how necessary or even initially overwhelmingly supported by them ("I was for it before I was against it") since Vietnam. The conservatives, and especially their leadership, should have been prepared and ready for that eventual Second Front / Fifth Column, yet they fail because not enough attention is given to or enough talent deployed for the sustained PR, which eventually leads to waning and failing mission.

    Of course, no mention will be made of Afghanistan, Libya and other places where Obama made a huge mess all on his own...

  • The Test Of The Champion: California Chrome Makes A Run At History [LIVE]

    06/08/2014 12:11:57 AM PDT · 137 of 158
    CutePuppy to discostu; Pajamajan
      Nobody is gaming a system. The Belmont Stakes has entry rules which do NOT require participation in a previous Crown race, and have NEVER required it. All the horses today qualified for the race within the rules.

    "Rules," "requirements" - that's completely missing the point. "Gaming the system" is exactly the game of using the circumstances for the purpose of gaining advantage within the confinement of rules and requirements. In this case, it's the very short period of time for the horse to recover after two grueling races, to compete in a race that already tests the stamina of the horse.

    In other words, taking advantage of what in human terms is often called a "schedule conflict."

      The prescription is do a better job training horses. They need to be able to win at the Belmont, it's the hardest of the races.

    Who said they couldn't or wouldn't, given enough time to recover from Preakness? Not to mention that your prescription of spending [more] time training the horse at Belmont would cost significant amount of money for owners (especially the ones farther from North East) and would make it even more difficult to develop a TC winner for someone of more modest means - which is the case with Dumbass Partners - and would make it even easier for more "local" or very wealthy / corporate owners. Is that really a desirable outcome?

    All I heard during pre-race commentary was not the relative strengths and weaknesses of the horses but only that Wicked Strong was the favorite because it didn't compete in the Preakness and was "fresher," and that 4 out of last 5 races was won by a horse that didn't compete in either Derby or Preakness.

    Where is the fairness in that? I keep seeing the comments that all things and conditions in the race were "equal" when they clearly weren't equal - some owners chose for their horses to be unencumbered by prior races because they clearly understood the great advantages (and lower expenses) of fresh legs. In other words, horses who currently compete in Preakness are naturally disadvantaged compared with those that don't.

    Moving Belmont a few weeks out would, if not level the playing field, significantly minimize the disadvantage and [probably] put a stop to much of this kind of nonsense.

    I think that's what Steve Coburn's point was about, though I disagree with his prescription to remedy the situation, as it is artificial and might put the undue burden on other owners and horses. But what is so "controversial" and what would be the disadvantage of extending the time between races a few weeks?

      Your adjustment example is the exact opposite. Basketball realized the talent pool had changed so they made the game HARDER. Putting more time between the races would make it easier.

    I think you missed the point again, even though you recognized that the adjustment had to be made by the NBA in response to changing conditions and circumstances of the game.

    The NBA moved the basket higher because 7-footers had the "unfair" advantage over 6-footers with the low-hanging "fruit"... er, basket. The point was not to make the GAME harder but to make it harder FOR the 7-footers to realize their relative height advantages over 6+ foot "shorties" (i.e., "you can't teach height") - the correlation in horse racing would be to reduce / minimize the relative advantage of "fresh vs tired" - something that horses have no control over. So then, "Putting more time between the races would make it..." more of a level-playing field, minimizing the affects of now "naturally"-occuring disadvantage of "conflict schedule."

    What's more, the basket height change was somewhat disruptive for all the players - everybody, including the "shorties," had to adjust to new height. Moving Belmont to the end of June wouldn't be at all disruptive, it wouldn't otherwise change an iota or rules and requirements by Belmont, not one yard less for horses to run and not a thing for any horse or any owner, unless there is some big "schedule conflict" I am not aware of, or unless climate change makes end of June less palatable for racing than the beginning of June.


      California Chrome did fine today. It's still a great story. He's already done the impossible in even winning the first 2 races of the TC. He finished best of the horses that did run in all three races...

    Exactly. He also photo-finished with the near-consensus favorite of the experts, which had the advantage of skipping Preakness. It was so clear that CC was just too tired to pull off a win, that conclusion as to why was obvious, but that doesn't make him any lesser horse.

      The owner may have gone off emotionally over the heartbreaking loss, but he brought up a good question:

    Yeah, I understand why some people throw the usual "sore loser" jabs at Coburn, but the man made a great point in addressing the basic unfairness issue out in the open, even if it flew right through their ears. Particularly for neophytes like me who could not possibly know that the conditions were not really "equal" until pre-race commentators started talking about "fresh legs" and "skipping Preakness" and gave stats about the last 5 races winners.

    My immediate comment was: "So, the owners are 'cheating' to be spoilers because they don't think their horses have what it takes to be real winners" - maybe harsh, but really just stating the fact.

      Something needs to change -Others have also suggested a longer time period ( or the same amount of time) between the three races?

    "Same" amount of time isn't necessary and it doesn't change anything if it's not long enough for horses to recover. Length of the time to recover between races matters, having them exactly the "same" doesn't.

      It isn't good for horse racing in the long run either. A whole lot of people watching/betting on a horse race for the first time today- went home disappointed, and probably won't come back. Something needs to change.

    Absolutely right. I love horses but I am not a [horse / dog] racing aficionado. The reason I was watching this Belmont was due to great company of people and dogs accompanied by good food and near-festive atmosphere. None were participating, interested in or talked about betting, though many are very bright people with an exceptionally good understanding of probability and game theories.

    If I know that during next Belmont the "talk of the town" is going to be "fresh horse vs tired horse" - that kind of event may not happen or we could find some other reason to gather.

    The reason these races are even remotely special for many not generally interest in "sport" is because of Triple Crown, not a single event, i.e., they are linked by organizers to generate hype and interest among "commoners" - if people realize that the TC game as it exists now is rigged against a potential TC winner, there goes the hype and a lot of money along with it. Steve Coburn has done a great service for the horses and business, even if some (including "snarky" Bob Costas) can't see past last hour to appreciate that.

  • The Test Of The Champion: California Chrome Makes A Run At History [LIVE]

    06/07/2014 6:26:28 PM PDT · 125 of 158
    CutePuppy to Hot Tabasco; goonie4life9; jjotto; discostu; All
    California Chrome is a great story and the amazing horse, not a hyped up weakling that hardly had competition.

    Isn't it interesting that all the professional "experts" picked Wicked Strong to win, precisely because it was fresh, yet both finished in a nose-to-nose tie, losing to even fresher horses.

    CC's owner had it exactly right about stacking the odds by skipping other races (i.e. his diagnosis of the problem's cause and effect was right) but gave probably the wrong prescription to fix it.

    Maybe the right cause of action is to advance Belmont another two to three weeks out, so that the horses participating in Preakness could get enough rest and thus nullify, or at least minimize the advantage of having a "fresh" horse. This will change the incentives of owners trying to game the system and put all their hopes on one race where they can "specialize" the horse for distance or the track and have an additional advantage of having fresh legs.

    I understand that there are business considerations on part of the track, but they are minor, at best, and for the sake of the "sport" overall it is certainly worthwhile and is not likely to cause undue hardship.

    There is a lot more money and more science and more human talent involved in racing today than it was 40 years ago, so adjustments should be made to accommodate the changes. When Wilt Chamberlain and Lew Alcindor show up on the basketball court, the basket gets moved up, because "you can develop talent, but you can't teach 7 feet."

  • Bowe Bergdahl's release bumps VA scandal from political spotlight (Whoo-hoo!)

    06/02/2014 3:41:13 AM PDT · 30 of 31
    CutePuppy to GrandJediMasterYoda; miss marmelstein; Sacajaweau; Sarah Barracuda; All
    Unfortunately, it's not incompetence. This is, at least temporarily, a hat-trick by Obama:

    1. He successfully changes the conversation and diverts attention of the people (even if temporarily) from VA-Obamacare-IRS-Benghazi-EPA and weak economy to an easily spinnable feel-good story of "saving private/Sgt Bergdahl" and reuniting him with his long-suffering family, who also get their 15 minutes of fame spouting the usual left-wing anti-war/anti-military pablum.

    2. He gives the media a break in their, by necessity, gloomy narrative of Obama's and Democrats' current "misfortunes" and allows them an opportunity to change focus and bash "heartless" Republican politicians and "critics" of Obama's brilliant foreign policy "successes" of ending the "longest American wars," setting up another "emotional" micro-isssue going into 2014 elections — some people won't go beyond the media headlines and happy TV news broadcasts of "reunion" and "no men left behind" spin.

    3. He gets to use this "feel-good exchange" to remove most dangerous Taliban / al-Qaeda personnel from Gitmo, thereby setting in motion the completion of his long-standing promise and the goal of potential closing of Gitmo — now that few if any "serious" terrorists are out and thereby reducing Gitmo's "usefulness" for detention of those who can be "safely relocated" to mainland for "civilian court" trials.

  • Exclusive: “Hunger Games” Killer’s Dad Sells Art Photos of Women’s Behinds

    05/26/2014 5:07:23 AM PDT · 121 of 142
    CutePuppy to bboop; CaptainK

    Yes, Xanax is definitely a psychotropic drug.

    The term “psychotropic drug” is used to describe psychiatric medicines which alter chemical levels in the brain that impact mood and behaviour.

    5 major common categories are: antipsychotics, antidepressants, ADHD drugs, anxiolytics (anti-anxiety) and mood stabilizers.

    Xanax is one of the strongest available anxiolytic drugs and has a strong physical dependency (addiction-prone) profile, especially in the young.

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/19/2014 4:17:04 PM PDT · 20 of 20
    CutePuppy to LearsFool
    ... maybe try a flanking maneuver instead of the usual frontal assault. :-)

    Attempting to win them over with the "frontal assault / brute force" of explaining the facts is not going to work (at least in the beginning) if they think you are an enemy / unbeliever / not down for the cause and because they already "know" ("what ain't so") so it's no wonder that it has not gotten us anywhere all this time.

    Perhaps I need to modify my approach to AGW proselytes...

    :~) Welcome to the club!

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 8:15:30 PM PDT · 17 of 20
    CutePuppy to LearsFool
    1. I wouldn't even try to attempt anything like this with a true religion - the "religion of Gaia / environmentalism" is quite different.

    2. I wouldn't lie about having the differences - just not argue them, in order to show that together we can accomplish the "common good" - solving the problem their "religion" supposedly tries to solve with the practical methods and tools that are far superior for both people and the environment than the "solutions" their "teachers" told them to be necessary as the only ones capable of doing the job / "saving" the planet.

    Eventually, the hope would be that they would wise up as a result (they don't even have to give up their love for the environment, if that is what it really was in the first place, rather than fear of "environmental disaster") but, if not — fine, the rest of us (and they, too) would not have to bear the burdens and the expense of the progressive "environmental solutions" (i.e., transfer of capital from productive sources to their own pockets) which is the only reason the progressives are in this game, for as long as they can take it.

    Deny the progressive "thought leaders" the means to financially benefit from the "AGW / man-made climate change" hoax and you'll see how fast it will disappear from the news in favour of some other necessity or disaster du jour - investing in "infrastructure" (like light rail) is usually convincing enough for enough people to vote for it.

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 6:31:11 PM PDT · 14 of 20
    CutePuppy to LearsFool
    The best way to set up a person for cognitive dissonance is to have him DO something - big or small, doesn't matter - in the name of his new belief. Compared with merely holding the belief (often loosely-held), such an action both reinforces the belief and magnifies the potential cognitive dissonance exponentially. .....

    (Think of as religious syncretism with a twist. :-)

    That is a very good analogy. It IS the method various shades of The Left (pink, red, green etc.) inculcate their faithful, particularly young and those with unformed / uninformed opinions.

    It's exactly why I often explain how we have to use similar tactic to [begin to] introduce the right information to these unfortunate souls to revert them from brainwashed state:

    From Gingrich: The challenge confronting Republicans - FR, post #26, 2012 December 24

      < snip > ..... To many young people (and many not so young), the "man-made global warming / climate change" is by now a matter of faith, even, as they might believe, scientifically-based "faith" - you will not get through to them about science or fraud or possible positive aspects of AGW (read recent article WSJ: Matt Ridley: Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change, 2012 December 18).

      You will not even get to the first base with them, if you are considered a "climate change denier" - they simply will not listen to you or your arguments - you will be challenging their faith.

      If you don't challenge their faith, it's very easy to provide the argument that the right "green solutions" (like "clean, cheap, green" nuclear energy, natural gas, filtrated oil and anthracite, and even localized - not expensive farm-based - solar energy) will make their energy more plentiful, cheaper and will not require taxes, fees, more regulation and (most importantly for them) "sacrifices" that Democratic doomsday versions of "global warming"/"climate change" are requiring them to accept.

      You don't need to change their faith in "climate change" to convert them from liberal drones demanding drastic actions (meaning more taxes, fees, subsidies for "green" technologies like expensive and inefficient wind turbines and solar farms, which are nothing more than crony socialism) into allies who will be on your side of the "green revolution" and leave Democrats in the dust on the issue, because their only interest in the hoax is government-doled money. ..... < snip >

    We need to learn how to fight fire by fire, but to it successfully and intelligently, we first need to understand which "fire" or particular "fusion of beliefs" drives them.

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 4:42:13 PM PDT · 10 of 20
    CutePuppy to alloysteel
    People are much more comfortable in their lies and misconceptions, than they ever could be with the real world, seen for what it is.

    The Universe is a large and frightening place, and is totally unconcerned with your dreams, hopes and aspirations. The only crime for which there is no escaping the consequences is stupidity. The sentencing may not be swift, but it is sure and merciless, neither cruel not just.

    Beautifully stated!

    Re the Universe, stupidity and consequences:

    "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former" - Albert Einstein

    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality" - Ayn Rand

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 4:19:24 PM PDT · 9 of 20
    CutePuppy to Sherman Logan
    My understanding is that these measurements were being used long before Obama took office.

    I may be wrong, but if this is right it is dishonest to blame it on Obama.

    You are correct, to a large extent, which is why I didn't emphasize that part.

    What I think author is reflecting, however, is the Obama administration and the media's efforts in emphasizing the "headline" overall core inflation and U3 unemployment numbers while de-emphasizing and/or ignoring certain other indicators such as "consumer inflation" numbers and the tremendous drop in labor participation rates which make "headline" numbers look better than they otherwise would look.

    CPI-U was introduced in 1978, but BLS is publishing CPI-W and number of other indexes.

    Consumer Price Index Summary - CPI from BLS

    FWIW, the MIT's independently calculated Billion Prices Project follows US CPI reasonably closely and it has food and gas components.

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 3:54:36 PM PDT · 6 of 20
    CutePuppy to null and void
    Thanks for sharing this (I was not familiar with the song or Joe Jackson):

    Too hard for clever folks to understand
    They're more used to words like: Ideology . . .
    They're not talkin' 'bout right and left
    They're talkin' 'bout
    Right and wrong - do you know the difference
    Right and wrong - do you know the difference

  • Trick or truth! Can you even tell the difference?

    05/18/2014 3:08:35 PM PDT · 1 of 20
    [Emphasis and italics mine] Another good article by Frank Miele, covering a range of falsehoods, fake facts, and distorted knowledge and history.

    ** "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; it's what you know that just ain't so" - Mark Twain

    *** "Reality is that which, when you stop believing it, doesn't go away" - Philip K. Dick

  • San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro Is Said to Be HUD Pick in Cabinet Reshuffling

    05/18/2014 4:31:57 AM PDT · 15 of 28
    CutePuppy to DAC21; Cincinatus' Wife; ScottinVA

    Hispanic. San Antonio. Mayor. HUD. Henry Cisneros redux?

  • 'Jeopardy!' Battle of the Decades Tournament winner Brad Rutter wins $1 million grand prize

    05/17/2014 4:25:32 PM PDT · 22 of 25
    CutePuppy to ConservativeTeen
    The one downside to these tournament is the inevitable letdown of watching regular play afterwards.

    Absolutely, which is why I watch only sporadically, unless I am alerted to potential "star" - they are relatively easy to spot.

    Often it's just painful to watch them missing the obvious questions. Worse yet, many otherwise decent players have no concept of proper betting techniques, particularly in the final Jeopardy! round when it's really an elementary math. Even accounting for "the category" and "fear and greed," some of the bets make absolutely no sense whatsoever, and just make you question how a good player who, no doubt, watched many games, wouldn't spend a few minutes to master the "math of final bet" in the prep.

  • 'Jeopardy!' Battle of the Decades Tournament winner Brad Rutter wins $1 million grand prize

    05/17/2014 9:33:19 AM PDT · 18 of 25
    CutePuppy to ConservativeTeen; Lmo56
    With regards, I do think he is the third best player. He won a stacked Tournament of Champions over solid players like Joon Pahk, Tom Nissley, and Mark Runsvold. He also holds the record for money won in a single game.

    Agree. He also advanced the methodology of preparation for unique aspects of the game, describing a scientific, pattern recognition based approach, not simple ad hoc absorption.

    Going back to Roger, I think he made the correct call on the first day Daily Double. It was a second row DD, which usually means it is going to be an easier clue. Doubling up his 10,200 would have given him a large lead heading into FJ. With such a large lead he would have not had to make a big bet on the second day Double Jeopardy Daily Double.

    Not only that, but even if Roger only nailed the second DD ("Winnipeg" instead of "Manitoba") he would be on a path to winning the tournament with thousands of points to spare. All in all, he lost more than 20,000 instead of winning 20,000 on DDs - that's a turnover / flip of more than 40,000 points.

    Nothing wrong with the strategy — as Ken said, somewhat wistfully, "That's what he does" — Arthur Chu has recently done the same, and both Ken and Brad were successful at employing it as well, especially when done early enough in the game, though not as methodically.

    It was a game between equals. Amazing tournament!

  • Karl Rove ‘flat-out lying’ about Hillary’s health: Clinton camp

    05/13/2014 7:42:05 PM PDT · 43 of 46
    CutePuppy to livius; jimbo123; RitaOK; Sarah Barracuda; Bidimus1; FatherofFive; cripplecreek; All
    Rove never said she had "brain damage," just that if she had an incident this serious and is running for president, voters should know about it.

    Maybe so, but at best, it would be jumping the gun and is entirely unnecessary, and may now be used as a discreditable distraction, like Romney's "47 percent" comment. At worst, a lot of time will be spent on chasing a "birth certificate" type issue, with the great potential of offending or putting off the very voters we should be able to attract — whether she runs or not in 2016. This is one of those micro-issues that Dems usually latch onto and may affect outcomes of some elections.

    From Newt Gingrich: 'Offended' by Karl Rove remarks - Politico, by Lucy McCalmont, May 13, 2014

      Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that he was "deeply offended" by Karl Rove's comments questioning whether Hillary Clinton suffered a brain injury.

      "I am totally opposed and deeply offended by Karl Rove's comments about Secretary Clinton," the former House speaker and 2012 presidential candidate posted during a Q & A on his Facebook page. "I have many policy disagreements with Hillary[,] but this kind of personal charge is exactly whats wrong with [A]merican politics."

      Gingrich called on Rove to apologize and stop discussing Clinton's health, adding he disliked such questions when Ronald Reagan ran for president.

      "I was angry when people did this to Reagan in 1980 and I am angry when they do it to her today," Gingrich said. ..... < snip >

      ..... "This is an absurdity and it typifies the Republican consulting class, which wants to be negative, narrow, personal, avoid ideas, and not have to wrestle with the big issues," he said on "Crossfire."

      He added, "To bring up that kind of thing and suggest that kind of thing is what keeps a lot of decent people from getting in public life, because it ain't worth the pain of that kind of attack."

    Methinks, he has very good points about GOP political consultant class (Rove et al) and about debating easily winnable issues, ideas and substance vs arguing style and personal attacks. Republicans — politicians and their consultants — with the few exceptions, seem to be pretty bad at both.

  • House Republicans find 10% of tea party donors audited by IRS

    05/08/2014 1:51:03 PM PDT · 114 of 123
    CutePuppy to Democrat_media
    you have no proof that their incomes were that high

    Exactly my point. It's hard to draw any conclusions when you don't have any proof or any facts.

    rate of audit is .64% for up to $100,000 /year incomes.
    IRS audited tea party groups at 10% almost 20 times the rate of audit,. rate of audit was 20 times what it should be for these average Americans .

    You, basically, just ignored everything I posted. Twice.

    Take two buckets of water. One is ice cold, another is boiling hot. Try putting one foot in cold water bucket and another in hot water bucket. On average, you should have a warm water experience.

  • House Republicans find 10% of tea party donors audited by IRS

    05/08/2014 12:26:49 PM PDT · 111 of 123
    CutePuppy to Graewoulf
    it occurred to me that you want to NOT hold Democrats accountable for THEIR mistakes

    I DO want to hold the IRS officials and their Democratic enablers and motivators accountable, for their clearly politically motivated abuse of power and malicious persecution of groups and people they targeted but for their actions, not their "mistakes" (which is what they are hoping to be their last line of defense - "Mistakes were made" - if they can't change the subject by capitalizing on Republicans' mistakes and blaming Republicans for "witch-hunt").

    "Mistakes" is something they would be happy to plea and cop to.

    "How does your political action philosophy differ from what Doormat Republicans such as Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, Ryan, Issa, Mike Rogers, Peter King of New York have been doing for the last 4 years?"

    Some of these names I don't even know, and I don't know if these people — as a group or individually — even have what could be called a "political action philosophy."

    What I do know is that usually disagree with the GOP-e leadership on strategy, but occasionally may agree with them on tactics — whether be it the tactical action or inaction, when the poorly thought out action (often demanded by more aggressive members and constituents) is doomed to fail (lack of power, hope vs experience etc.) will deliver more harm than benefit to the Republican and/or Tea Party brand — I don't think I need to recount the examples of those (a few recent Senate campaigns come to mind) - they should be still fresh in our minds.

    Both strategically and tactically, Democrats are head and shoulders better and more organized, cohesive and cerebral than Republicans and Tea Party conservatives (some of whom are neither conservatives nor Tea Party — except for the sole fact that they are "not establishment" which seems to be enough for most here but time after time only brings horrible election results and more and deeper divisions among ourselves). Recognizing that fact doesn't mean that I agree with an iota of Democrats' "political philosophy" and I hope that's understood.

    Your position seems to be consistent with the Doormat Republicans who are currently refusing to use their Constitutional Power.

    I don't see how you could conclude that from my caution not to make hasty "Off with their heads" call well before we know real facts, except for comparing something specific (TP donors' audit rate) to something "average."

    "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please" - Mark Twain

    "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts"

    Facts is what we need here first, so we don't once again snatch the defeat from the jaws of victory, as Republicans (GOP-e and the TP and the so-cons) are consistently prone to do.

    Brute force often fails in war, and very rarely works in politics, especially when you don't have your flanks covered — even Obama and his cohorts are finding that out — brut force victories may be Pyrrhic. Sun Tzu, Niccolò Machiavelli, Saul Alinsky are much more appropriate for political wars.

    Myself, I am neither Republican, nor doormat.

    If I have drawn any incorrect conclusions about your philosophy, please correct me at your earliest convenience.

    I hope above was sufficient, but also see my post #106

  • House Republicans find 10% of tea party donors audited by IRS

    05/08/2014 10:57:24 AM PDT · 106 of 123
    CutePuppy to Democrat_media
    why don't you ping your list to this too since you pinged them defending the IRS

    I don't have "my list" so I can't ping "them" and i am not "defending the IRS" - here is the link to my last post about the IRS, decide for yourself: GOP Prepares Multiple IRS-Related Criminal Charges - FR, post #32, 2014 April 09

    all bs :you don't have any info on the incomes of the tea party people the IRS audited

    That's exactly my point.

    we all know here the IRS auditing 10% of the tea party people is too high and not a coincidence

    How exactly do we already "know" this? "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; it's what you know that just ain't so" - Mark Twain

    "a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans"

    100 percent correct, 99 percent irrelevant — unless you have the facts that show that the only donors to the TP orgs which applied for tax-exempt status were "average" and, furthermore, that they weren't trying to deduct the donations from their tax filings, which would be at least a clear "red flag" for audit, if done before these orgs got the tax exemption.

    Now that the House Republicans have those lists, maybe they can ascertain from them that the donors which have been audited don't fit the "profile" of "random" criteria. This would require very careful and tedious work (and potential for invasion of privacy) and will, most likely prove very "technical" and politically fruitless.   Which may be unnecessary because there is already more than enough on IRS' abuses of power and political bias and politically motivated decisions and actions, to spend more time and better efforts on connecting the dots that lead to higher echelons of Democratic elites.

  • House Republicans find 10% of tea party donors audited by IRS

    05/08/2014 1:56:20 AM PDT · 65 of 123
    CutePuppy to Democrat_media; smoothsailing; Graewoulf; Captain Compassion; Steely Tom; Mariner; ...
    IRS audit rate is 10 times the normal rate for tea party donors.

    That may not be a correct assumption, depending on the makeup of the certain TP organizations. Before making a blank statement, it would be good to have some facts regarding the overall number of donors and amount of donations, and compare to overall audit rate based on donors' "financial demographics."

    I would make a general assumption that small, newly formed TP orgs — and these are normally the ones which would be applying for tax-exempt status — would be initially (before broad fund-raising efforts from small donors) funded by a few well-to-do politically active individuals, i.e., the so-called 1%-ers (though some may fall well outside this income or wealth group).

    In recent years IRS has been concentrating on auditing high net worth individuals — because, allegedly according to great bank robber Willie Sutton, "that's where the money is."

    Now we find, from Chances of getting audited by the IRS lowest in years - CNBC / AP, 2014 April 14

      As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years. ..... < snip >

      ..... Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s. ..... < snip >

      ..... Last year, the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. This year, Koskinen said, "The numbers will go down." ..... < snip >

      Your chances of getting audited vary greatly, based on your income. The more you make, the more likely you are to get a letter from the IRS.

      Only 0.9 percent of people making less than $200,000 were audited last year. That's the lowest rate since the IRS began publishing the statistic in 2006.

      By contrast, 10.9 percent of people making $1 million or more were audited. That's the lowest rate since 2010.

      Only 0.6 percent of business returns were audited, but the rate varied greatly depending on the size of the business. About 16 percent of corporations with more than $10 million in assets were audited. ..... < snip >

    If average annual income of donors to these small TP orgs falls somewhere between $250K and $1.5M, that would make the approximately 10% audit rate be comfortably within normal statistical probability of audit for that group.

    Conservatives need to have the facts before they jump on this news, so they won't make a laughing stock of themselves and jeopardize the entire IRS fiasco (for which Democrats currently have no excuse or defense) from being dismissed as statistics-and-math-challenged "right-wing extremists."

    Dems' only hope is to latch onto some Republicans' mistake and make a campaign out of it. Let's make sure they don't get this opportunity, by examining the facts first.

  • Obama Counts 19 Million Americans Now Enrolled in ObamaCare

    04/19/2014 4:56:39 PM PDT · 32 of 38
    CutePuppy to Red_Devil 232; lowbridge; funfan; Jim Robinson
      "... eight million people ... three million young people ... the million people ... So if my math is correct, that's 14 million right there."

    8 + 3 + 1 = 12 (twelve) != 14 (fourteen) != 19 (nineteen), i.e., your fuzzy math is way off.

      He needs to tell this to the people who are complaining in California who yes they have insurance but no Doctor will see them or take their worthless insurance.

      If you can find any Doctor or Hospital who will accept your newly purchased insurance.

    That's because in the new Obamacare world "getting insurance" doesn't mean "getting access" and "getting access" doesn't mean actually "getting health/medical care".

    That's what is now being called "covered in Obamacare."

  • GOP Prepares Multiple IRS-Related Criminal Charges

    04/09/2014 6:09:02 AM PDT · 32 of 33
    CutePuppy to henkster; smoothsailing; 2ndDivisionVet; House Atreides; RIghtwardHo; All

    After Lerner’s and Holder’s shameful appearances at the hearings and contempt citation, what the Republicans should consider is, in addition to sending the criminal referrals on Lerner, to add a criminal referral on Holder (for “obvious obstraction of justice”) - this
    a) cannot be possibly ignored by the media and
    b) may immediately force Holder’s hand to be recused from Lerner’s “investigation” due to “conflict of interests” and
    c) is more likely to result in appointment of Special Prosecutor, if GOP wants it.

    This one move will force the issue and will make sure that the matter doesn’t die and can no longer be silenced or be obscured by the media in the period before 2014 elections.

    This is somewhat similar to what Dems did to the AG Alberto Gonzales, only this will have a lot more gravitas and heft in the substance behind it. It will pretty much cripple Holder and the DOJ, will put pressure on Democratic Senators and may help give basis or reason for some people, who otherwise would be indifferent or apathetic, to vote for turnover of power in the Senate.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 5:21:18 PM PDT · 46 of 51
    CutePuppy to Bucky14; Sherman Logan

    You can try

    It’s not an open source, but it’s free (donations welcome). David Harris is in NZ and has done an amazingly good job. There are also encryption / decryption products, extensions and plugins, mostly based on PGP.

    Sorry, I first replied to the wrong post

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 5:19:18 PM PDT · 45 of 51
    CutePuppy to Sherman Logan

    You can try

    It’s not an open source, but it’s free (donations welcome). David Harris is in NZ and has done an amazingly good job. There are also encryption / decryption products, extensions and plugins, mostly based on PGP.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 4:20:33 PM PDT · 43 of 51
    CutePuppy to Sherman Logan
    Yes, I was referring, in general, to the constraints some of which were made into law based on local culture and/or religion, but not inherently based on the definition of marriage and which haven't redefined nor expanded the definition.

    In other words, the comparison of same-sex "marriage" to interracial marriage is bogus, a trick that is only based on the past local legal constraints, same as applying the bogus battle-cry of "civil rights" in just about any issue that doesn't have a real, normal justification.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 4:04:18 PM PDT · 42 of 51
    CutePuppy to Jack Hydrazine; Mr. K; livius; All
    Read "The Pink Swastika"

    Thank you, Mr. K and Jack Hydrazine. I knew that several of the nazis at the top, just as a number of Communist spies, have been closet homosexuals, but apparently this issue has remained "in the closet" due to lack of insentives for disclosure and the Western media blackout and "political correctness" demands and harassment.

      ..... In that time we have accumulated a substantial amount of new documentation supporting our thesis that the Nazi Party was conceived, organized and controlled throughout its short history by masculine-oriented male homosexuals who hid their sexual proclivities from the public, in part by publicly persecuting one group of their political enemies: out-of-the-closet effeminate-oriented homosexuals aligned with the German Communist Party.

      During that same time, our detractors, mostly "gay" political activists, have increased their attacks on the book, primarily by ridiculing its premise, but occasionally by challenging certain facts or sources. They are rightly concerned that this book threatens their long-standing public-relations strategy of posing as victims to win public support for their political agenda. .....

    This is much less known and understood than ecofascism / "green nazis"

    Green Nazi Party

    There is even Libertarian National Socialist Green Party, whose emblem is the Nazi swastika on a green background, symbolising the party's synthesis of ecology with National Socialism.

    Fascist Ecology: The "Green Wing" of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents

    It's all parts of the Democrats' "no 'cause' left untouched" strategy or - as Gingrich described it in his excellent analysis ("The challenge confronting Republicans" - FR, 2012 Dec 24) - "micro-targeting, micro-leaders, microcommunities, micro-organizations and micro-issues" loosely "united" in a "big tent" to achieve a political majority or plurality.

    That's why we keep hearing the words "racist" and "denier" - applied to the "not down for the struggle" "heretics" who they want to be "outed" and shunned.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 2:34:02 PM PDT · 33 of 51
    CutePuppy to Sherman Logan
    guest host Jonathan Karl tried pulling the race card into the discussion by asking about interracial marriage.

      Don't fall into their trap.

    Indeed, it was a clumsy misdirection. Interracial marriage has existed for millennia because marriage has never been defined in terms of race.

    Marriage has always been defined in terms of sex/gender - a sacred union between one man and one woman.

    Though it was not specifically defined as such in the Bill of Rights, because it would be ridiculous and unnecessary to do so — to define what has already been defined and well understood. A Constitutional Amendment to codify it — after Speaker Gingrich has pushed and Congress overwhelmingly passed DOMA by veto-proof majorities in 1996 (same year Bob Dole lost badly in Presidential elections) — was discussed briefly but went nowhere fast.

    There have usually been some [localized] constraints on marriage — such as age, mental capacity, health and genetic considerations etc. — but they didn't in any way [seek to] redefine or expand the meaning of marriage.

    Redefining marriage by sex renders it meaningless and leads to potential of redefining it by number of ways, including by number of participants, such as bigamy (why is that "unconstitutional" now?) and polygamy or "communal marriage."

    That would be a much better comparison than interracial marriage, and a good question to ask back the "tolerant" - why is the same-sex "marriage" just fine with them but not the other forms of "marriage," like "Big Love" or "communal"? Because race never had anything to do with marriage - only with some cultures.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 11:54:25 AM PDT · 17 of 51
    CutePuppy to livius
    Not just airtime, which can be bought by PACs, though it's really not the same as the candidate because there are many rules that limit what can be done by PACs and many PACs are just in business to line their own pockets instead of supporting the candidate and his vision, and it's illegal to "coordinate" with the campaign (at least, for conservatives).

    Travel, campaign staff and regular campaign activities may be severely limited, even when the "pro-specific-candidate" PACs are flush with money.

    The qualified articulate middle-class people (not multimillionaires who could finance their own campaigns) could be tapped as candidates and adequately financed by others who are rich enough but have no political talents, time or interest in running for political office themselves.

    Yeah - that's an equalizer that would significantly broaden qualified political talent pool running for all kinds of elective offices, and may reduce the time the candidates / politicians spend on fund-raising.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 11:40:29 AM PDT · 14 of 51
    CutePuppy to GeronL
    Pale Moon is good, light. Also take a look at SlimBoat, Comodo IceDragon and Comodo Dragon (based on Chromium open source).

    QTWeb is a small, powerful IE-based browser with some nice features (e.g., saving a Web page as PDF).

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 11:34:07 AM PDT · 12 of 51
    CutePuppy to BinaryBoy
    The negative feedback to Mozilla is over 5,000 already today and might break 10,000 before midnight pacific

    The "institutional/generational memory" of "What goes around comes around" may not be present for some of the younger members of liberal fascism / "progressive" movement.

    But it will take a lot more than the "silent treatment" by the "silent majority" for a real pushback.

    " 'Silent majority' will become 'silent minority' if it chooses to remain silent"

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 11:21:31 AM PDT · 5 of 51
    CutePuppy to Servant of the Cross
  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 11:19:32 AM PDT · 4 of 51
    CutePuppy to CutePuppy
    Related - one of the necessary Campaign Finance Reform "equalizers":

    From Newt Gingrich: Unlimited campaign donations will 'equalize the middle class and the rich' - The Raw Story, by David Edwards, 2014 April 06

      Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich argued on Sunday that allowing unlimited campaign contributions was a necessary step to "equalize" the middle class with the rich. ..... < snip >

      ..... "It is a big deal because it means that people can give to scores of campaigns," Gingrich told a panel on ABC News. "It's part of a continuum. It started a long time ago when they said that speech included money, which is the original decision. You, as a billionaire or millionaire, could go out and spend your own money. Of course, speech is money."

      "What's happen[ed] is that you've gone from that original decision to Citizens United, which said in effect that corporations could give, and created super PACs." ..... < snip >

      ..... Gingrich asserted that the next step would be to allow candidates to accept unlimited donations.

      "And you would overnight equalize the middle class and the rich," he declared.

  • Gingrich says Mozilla ousting just the 'most open, blatant example of the new fascism'

    04/07/2014 11:16:41 AM PDT · 1 of 51
    Time to revisit "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg?
  • Bitcoin Price…to $1 Million?

    04/06/2014 3:46:38 AM PDT · 57 of 57
    CutePuppy to Greysard; grania; All
    Nice treatise on the tangible "value" and the tangible costs of bitcoins, especially with the increasing degrees of mining difficulty, the processing power and energy requirements.

    If/when the cost of mining a bitcoin exceeds the "value" of generated bitcoin for some extended period of time, the fallout — the "bear market" in Bitcoin (and/or switch to mining other cryptocurrencies such as litecoin etc., potentially with the process repeating itself a number of times before it will be declared a pyramid scheme) — will be swift and cascading.

    The early adopters of Bitcoin, who are now sitting on the unrealized wealth of about 1/3 of the planet's worth (if Bitcoin becomes an accepted currency,) ...

    I think there may be a problem with your estimate. At the "guaranteed" limit of BTC in circulation capped at 21 million and assuming 1 BTC is trading hands at USD$1,000 (which is more than double of current conversion price) the total capitalization of entire Bitcoin economy would amount to USD$21B (at most, counting bitcoins that are lost, "unminted" and hoarded - IOW, not in circulation) — a piddly amount of international trade - about a quarter of current annual revenue of Amazon, about 2/3rd of American Express annual revenue, or about the combined annual revenue of Visa and Mastercard. **

    Of course, if we assume exchange rate of 1 BTC per USD$1,000,000 then the [eventual nominal] Bitcoin economy would approach USD$21T, or approximately the size of entire US economy in a not too distant future. *** / ****

    Of course, synchronizing the ever-growing distributed blockchain database will inevitably slow that "economy" down significantly (yes, I know about "light clients" and "pruning" - good luck doing that in real time in a multi $Trillion economy with millions of transactions daily, without compromising and jeopardizing transactions' security) - the decentralized system of making Internet micropayments simply was not meant to be that scalable. In other words, there are a lot of serious technical and nontechnical disadvantages in the decentralized / "communal trust" scheme, not just ephemeral "political advantages" over other fiat currencies the Bitcoin faithful are emphasizing.

    There are far more robust secure digital e-payment systems already on the market, and more are coming. And none of them have the "currency" or "investment" risk or elements of pyramid scheme present in Bitcoin.

    Also, the Bitcoin proponents like to favorably compare the cost of Bitcoin transactions with the credit card costs, but they ignore the costs of conversion into dollars or other fiat currency, and the fact that the credit card charges include the credit risk (since in reality it's actually a loan / credit that defers the payment) while the debit card and Bitcoin don't extend credit and therefore should be significantly less expensive to process - as the debit cards are. Turns out, Bitcoin should be compared to the debit card, and it is not a cheaper way to pay for "stuff" once the credit risk is taken out of the equation. *****


    ** Ref: Bitcoin is Gold 2.0: But how can it be regulated? - FR, post #22, 2013 December 28

    The Serious Disadvantages of Bitcoin - FR, post #21, 2014 January 05


    Currently there are more than 12 million bitcoins in circulation, so total potential Bitcoin "market" capitalization will be significantly smaller than "potentially authorized" capitalization. At the rate of creating approximately 25 bitcoins per 10 minutes, it would take over 100 years to create the [complete] supply of 21 million bitcoins.

    **** The bitcoin value forecasts from wiki:

      Financial journalists and analysts, economists, and investors have attempted to predict the possible future value of bitcoin. Economist John Quiggin stated, "bitcoins will attain their true value of zero sooner or later, but it is impossible to say when."[93] In 2013, Bank of America FX and Rate Strategist David Woo forecast a maximum fair value per bitcoin of $1,300.[104] Bitcoin investor Cameron Winklevoss stated in 2013 that the "bull case scenario for bitcoin is... 40,000 USD a coin".[105] In late 2013, finance professor Mark Williams forecast a bitcoin would be worth less than ten US dollars by July 2014.[106]

    ***** Ref: Bitcoin Is an Expensive Way to Pay for Stuff - FR, post #21, 2014 January 05

    Debit vs Credit Card Charge / Offline Debit Vs Online Debit Vs Credit Card Charges -, by Ben Dwyer, 2013

  • Putin invites Obama to consider international action to stabilize Ukraine

    03/29/2014 2:06:12 AM PDT · 30 of 35
    CutePuppy to Eric in the Ozarks
      East & West Ukraine. Remember East & West Germany ?

    There are substantial differences between East & West Germany and East & West Ukraine.

    East and West Germany have been involuntarily and forcibly separated by former "Allies" in WWII — "The Great War" as Russians call it — but populated by Germans who spoke the same language (dialects notwithstanding) and had essentially the same culture (and generational memories even during 1945-1990 separation).

    It was exactly the opposite in many parts of Ukraine whose borders (mostly in the Western part) have been expanded officially immediately post-war, and later, in 1954 added Crimea in the East due to "gesture of goodwill" by Nikita Khrushchev who took over as the Soviet Party leader after Stalin's death in 1953.

    Language and culture of Eastern part of Ukraine is mostly Russian, not Ukrainian, and there has been a lot of tension between these two parts of Ukraine.

    Many in the Eastern part are not unhappy with Russia taking back Crimea and exerting its "influence" on the "Eastern front" which also happens to be rich in gas, coal and other natural resources (Donetsk and Donbass region).

    While by no means perfect, a better analogy would be Bloc Québécois in Canada, or former Czechoslovakia.