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Posts by Rockingham

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  • Top Jeb fundraisers leave campaign amid troubling signs

    08/29/2015 10:16:54 AM PDT · 86 of 108
    Rockingham to cotton1706
    This signifies growing donor resistance to giving to Jeb, a pruning back of expenses, pressure from Jeb, and stress on the bonds of loyalty between Jeb’s campaign and its operatives. As governor and in his campaigns, Jeb was notoriously impatient and hard to work for, especially when bad news bubbled up. There will be more of this sort of thing, and perhaps a spectacular meltdown before the proverbial fat lady starts belting out her final tune.
  • Jeb: Trump's campaign is all about himself

    08/29/2015 5:45:13 AM PDT · 26 of 83
    Rockingham to jimbo123

    And somehow, as an alternative to Trump, whose campaign is self-financed, we are supposed to regard as uniquely public-spirited the candidate who is massively funded by cheap labor interests, who campaigned on his nickname — written with an exclamation point — Jeb! — and who called conservatives “crickets” for their annoying criticism of his immigration policies.

  • MAKS: Can Russia’s ‘Caspian Sea Monster’ rise again?

    08/28/2015 2:58:44 PM PDT · 24 of 25
    Rockingham to RayChuang88

    It is easy enough to identify a few such routes in the world, but would they provide enough of a market to justify the design and production of a new kind of aircraft? Perhaps, but as the immense loss that Airbus must absorb on the development of the A-380 shows, an aircraft that is a technological marvel and finds a commercial market may still be a financial disaster that burdens its maker.

  • MAKS: Can Russia’s ‘Caspian Sea Monster’ rise again?

    08/28/2015 10:08:10 AM PDT · 22 of 25
    Rockingham to RayChuang88

    Soviet jet engines, turbines, and turbofans were notorious fuel guzzlers. The best case for the aircraft was as a fast troop transport and as a way to launch salvoes of guided missiles at US and NATO naval vessels when they were clustered in a carrier task force. I think that what eventually killed the project was that in addition to cost and limited value, the Soviets no doubt realized that the look down, shoot down radars being deployed by the US in the late 1980s would deprive the LUN of the element of surprise and make it exceptionally vulnerable.

  • Rossi has been granted US patent on the E-Cat (LENR, Cold Fusion)

    08/25/2015 5:22:46 PM PDT · 21 of 24
    Rockingham to Red Badger
    It would be nice to believe that if one is first as an inventor, fame and riches will flow automatically. Unfortunately, the truth is that the early stages of a major new technology commonly involve bitter and disruptive fights over money and credit for the innovation. Such struggles can have large consequences and do not always result in a win by the inventor.

    For example, based on patent language, the Wright brothers sued and battled in the press against Glenn Curtiss for his use of ailerons as an alternative control mechanism to the wing-warping favored by the Wrights. The ensuing business turmoil tarnished the Wright's legacy, impaired the US aviation industry in its formative period, and prompted federal intervention and a forced settlement during WW I.

    Similarly, Thomas Edison was in many ways less an inventor than a patent troll backed by rapacious Wall Street mercenaries. And there is good reason to regard Alexander Graham Bell as not the inventor of the telephone but the thief of brilliant pioneering work by impoverished Italian immigrant Antonio Meucci. He sued Bell and was nearing victory in court when he died in 1889 and the legal action was extinguished. Bell thus got the credit and the money that rightfully belonged to Meucci.

    Nicolai Tesla offers perhaps the most famous example of an inventor done wrong. Tesla's patents for radio issued in 1900 and were foundational to the field, leading to US Patent Office rejection of Marconi's rival claims. Marconi though forged ahead, gaining attention and advancing the field through practical demonstrations. He also raised a great deal of money from influential English and American investors.

    Without adequate reason and in circumstances that hint at corruption, in 1904 the US Patent Office reversed itself, voided Tesla's radio patents, and approved Marconi's patents. Almost four decades later, a few months after Tesla died, the US Supreme Court ruled that his radio patents were valid. Marconi's fame remains undisturbed though, cemented in history by a Nobel Prize award in 1911 that Tesla arguably deserved instead.

    These kinds of cautionary tales for inventors can be easily added to by anyone willing to endure reading business histories and patent cases. Much of Rossi's odd and frustrating behavior seems due to typical inventor paranoia, with the need to gain publicity and attract investors and commercial allies at odds with an even more compelling urge to maintain secrecy until fame and wealth as an inventor are assured.

    I surmise that Rossi's innovation is for real. If so, then the issuance of his patent will do much to spur its commercial development. He and his partners would surely deserve fame, success, and wealth if they have cracked the puzzle of how to make cold fusion work even before its physics are accepted and understood. If so, they will help inspire a wave of innovations that press against and expand the boundaries of science.

  • Rossi has been granted US patent on the E-Cat (LENR, Cold Fusion)

    08/25/2015 12:12:36 PM PDT · 19 of 24
    Rockingham to Red Badger

    Rossi made demonstrations and permitted tests by third parties but insisted on restrictions that undermined his credibility because tricks of one sort or another could not be entirely excluded. Over time though, the tests became more stringent and persuasive, and Rossi’s device passed due diligence testing by his US financial partners. Apparently, their strategy aims at combining the rollout of a first run production model and publication of a detailed physics theory in a peer-reviewed journal. There will then be a scramble as Rossi and his partners have to cope with copycats, competitors, and patent litigation.

  • Has Jeb Bush parodied himself to the point of irrelevance?

    08/25/2015 10:33:08 AM PDT · 27 of 27
    Rockingham to RoosterRedux
    As a fundamental attribute of personality, Jeb has a tendency toward selfishness and arrogance that at times leads him to express a reflexive disrespect of conservatives who have opinions that are out of alignment with his. In Jeb's calculation, conservatives will eventually have nowhere to go except to fall in line and support him as the nominee. That being so, for Jeb, conservatives are dim-witted fools if they strongly take up opinions that clash with his positions.

    In addition, Jeb is badly out of practice as a candidate, having last been on the ballot well more than a decade ago in 2002 when he ran for reelection as governor of Florida. Over-funded and staffed by well-paid loyalists, Jeb's campaign lacks nimbleness and is blind to its central need to re-introduce Jeb to the country and to identify the country's problems and Jeb's answers for them.

    Thus, as a Presidential candidate, Jeb comes across as stale and cloddish, with nothing pertinent to say to the conservative GOP base except insults and disrespectful comments. His new catch phrase -- the "right to rise" -- sounds like an ad tag for a brand of yeast. Worse, for millions of Americans, a campaign pitch about the poor and immigrants' "right to rise" suggests scanting the effort of the struggling middle class to keep what they have.

    Worse, Jeb's description of Mexican illegal immigration as an "act of love" and that "anchor babies" refers to Asians but not Hispanics suggest a combination of crude pandering and utter disregard of the costs and burdens of illegal immigration. Jeb's marriage to a Mexican and deep appreciation for Mexico and its culture put him at odds with the fear of many Americans that their country is at risk of being overwhelmed by excessive immigration and a lack of assimilation.

  • The decadence of American politics

    08/23/2015 10:20:48 PM PDT · 21 of 22
    Rockingham to Starstruck
    Reagan. The Gipper and his biographers alike attribute his skill in negotiations to having to deal with legendary hard-fisted studio heads like Louis B. Mayer and Harry Cohn when Reagan ran the Screen Actors Guild. Reagan's fellow actors elected him to six consecutive terms and many attributed their financial security and career freedom to the terms that Reagan got for actors.

    Hoover is another example in that he never held any elective office until becoming Coolidge's Vice-President. Trained as a mining engineer, Hoover proved to be unusually skillful and became wealthy as an independent mining consultant able to remedy failing mines. As the head of US relief work in Europe during and after WW I, Hoover demonstrated organizational talent and saved a great many people from starvation. A successful stint as Secretary of Commerce further established Hoover as a potential President despite never holding any elective office.

    Grant and Eisenhower also deserve mention in that they were successful as generals but never held any elective or appointed public office before becoming President. In recent years, Grant has been treated more favorably by historians in spite of the scandals in his administration, while Eisenhower is credited for domestic economic and political progress and for reorganizing US national security policy and putting it on a sound foundation that contributed to winning the Cold War.

    As for Trump, as a businessman, he enjoyed deal-making but always connected it to his larger strategic goals and to the discipline of the marketplace and of making a profit. In contrast, even experienced GOP deal-makers in Washington often seem anxious to make deals even when at the expense of core strategic goals. Trump's temperament and experience seem virtually certain to incline him against such folly.

  • The decadence of American politics

    08/23/2015 7:33:24 PM PDT · 19 of 22
    Rockingham to Starstruck
    Do not despair just yet. Trump's experience and success in the rough business of real estate development provide skills essential to a successful Presidency. Manifestly, Trump is a skilled negotiator and thinks strategically, keeping his objectives in mind, selecting effective methods, and mobilizing resources. A quick learner, Trump is becoming a better candidate by the week.

    Trump's root political inclinations are more Jacksonian nationalist than classically conservative, but the need to appeal to the GOP base and the workings of a conservative Republican Congress should remedy that. Although Trump's flamboyance and braggadocio can be off putting, they are similar to Teddy Roosevelt's personality. Finally, by working the immigration issue and his outsider status, Trump has generated excitement and gathered support outside the Republican base.

    Trump may not win the nomination, but he has alarmed the Republican establishment and seems likely to vanquish Jeb. And, if nothing else, we are getting a high-energy GOP nomination fight that is moving the entire GOP field to the right on immigration and other issues. For that alone, we should be grateful to Trump.

  • Vanity Post, need help

    08/23/2015 3:36:04 PM PDT · 74 of 75
    Rockingham to MissEdie
    Your best move is to change pharmacies, assuming that is possible, and then write a detailed, factual, unemotional, letter to the CVS corporate head of pharmacy, with a copy to the CEO, explaining why you switched from CVS. If you are stuck with CVS, at least transfer to a different pharmacy in the CVS system.

    Make sure that your letter includes the store number and address, dates and times, all the details of the prescription and a copy or photo of it, and the names of those at fault. Your letter should state that you recognize that even the best pharmacists are human and may err, but that what has and your husband upset enough to switch was that the CVS pharmacists regarded their professional error as a cause for humor instead of sincere regret and apologies.

    Yeah, I know that a letter like that is a lot of work and may not feel quite as good as showing up and chewing out the pharmacists in person, but, from experience, I assure you that a letter like I describe is near certain to cause quite a stir and load of job grief for the culpable pharmacists and their immediate superiors.

  • Spencer Lets Go

    08/22/2015 3:41:42 PM PDT · 20 of 24
    Rockingham to dangerdoc

    The larger context is also instructive. In a moment of crisis, the French train crew ran and hid, but three young American male passengers swung into action, and with an assist from a Brit, attacked and subdued an armed terrorist. Notably, the Americans have been erroneously referred to in many accounts as three Marines. This is an error that does tribute to the Marines and to our three heroes, who surely acted as if they were Marines ready for action.

  • Alternative to deporting illegal aliens (VANITY)

    08/21/2015 8:05:49 PM PDT · 23 of 28
    Rockingham to Montana_Sam

    Experience shows that when deportations of illegals are strongly ramped up, a large multiple of those deported go home spontaneously because they prefer to take their cash and belongings with them, as opposed to losing most everything if they are arrested and deported. This makes sense, because for similar reasons most people pay traffic tickets and income taxes even without first being arrested for nonpayment. As for the corruption of Mexico, in those places where large numbers of emigres have returned, they tend to spur reform efforts.

  • Not ONE European Country Gives Automatic Birthright Citizenship to Children Born There Illegally

    08/21/2015 1:42:52 AM PDT · 15 of 17
    Rockingham to Mears

    I have a cousin who has done that with her husband. They seem to be having a lot of fun and are living now in Paris.

  • Not ONE European Country Gives Automatic Birthright Citizenship to Children Born There Illegally

    08/20/2015 4:25:34 PM PDT · 12 of 17
    Rockingham to Mears

    A good move. In the late 90s, I mentioned the Irish citizenship and passport quirk to a good friend of mine who happened to be a retired spy with deep cover operational experience abroad. My friend immediately urged me to do it if I planned on any foreign travel because he was convinced that Bill Clinton’s derelictions would lead to a long era of Islamic terrorism. As my friend explained it, using an American passport might me one killed, but “although the Irish often hate each other, no one particularly hates them.” When I told the story to some visiting Irish relatives, they took that assessment as a compliment.

  • Not ONE European Country Gives Automatic Birthright Citizenship to Children Born There Illegally

    08/20/2015 2:48:20 PM PDT · 7 of 17
    Rockingham to Kaslin

    Oddly, although I have never been to Europe, due to two Irish born grandparents, I have the right to take up Irish citizenship, get an Irish passport, and live anywhere in the EU. Yet nowhere in the EU is foolish as to grant anchor baby citizenship.

  • Report: F-35 Inferior to Older US, Foreign Fighters

    08/18/2015 7:30:22 PM PDT · 42 of 44
    Rockingham to lbryce
    The report should be taken with skepticism in that it is from a "progressive think tank" that opposes the development of new weapons systems. And to fairly evaluate the merits of the F-35, one should look past the currents issues as to the cost, delay, and mismanagement of the development process. The core argument then becomes the relative importance of dogfighting versus beyond visual range missile engagement and of getting the first shot or missile salvo off before the enemy does.

    Notably, the F-35 is designed not for classic dogfighting but to win through stealth, weapons carriage ability, long range missiles, superior radar and other sensors, and a new communications, information display, and battle management systems. Testing and simulations in the design phase demonstrated that the F-35's new capabilities would in combination reliably prevail against conventional dogfighters.

    Indeed, for all the romance of fighter versus fighter dog-fights, they are relatively rare. In modern air combat, the fighter that sees its opponent first and shoots first almost always wins the engagement. And that is what the F-35 is designed to do.

    When the fully developed F-35 is deployed in combat, opposing fighters may know that it is present, somewhere, but will suffer incoming missile fire before they get enough information to make an attack. The last thoughts of such opponents will then be bafflement as to where the missile that took them down came from. Enemy ground targets will then be destroyed with impunity as their radar and air defenses are stripped away.

  • Marco Rubio: The Newest Member of Black Lives Matter: When did Rubio become such a weasel?

    08/18/2015 9:27:08 AM PDT · 23 of 24
    Rockingham to SeekAndFind
    Having come so far so fast and now reaching for the Presidency, Rubio feels obliged to perform the race shuffle for the news media on its command. Such a maneuver is often aided by a fictional Black friend and usually consist of fictional statistics and flawed reasoning used to support foolish pandering to presumed Black sensitivities and grievances.

    It would be far better to use Black discontent to impeach the current administration, the Democratic party, the Left, and their constant race baiting, with its many approved forms of racial discrimination. Against that, the GOP and conservatives could put forward the older and far better ideal of treating everyone according to merit without regard to race.

  • Trump’s Defective Economics

    08/17/2015 12:50:52 PM PDT · 90 of 134
    Rockingham to DoodleDawg

    When fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation was before Congress a few months ago, we were warned in dire terms that China was eating our lunch and that the TPP was essential to America’s economic future. Now, when Trump warns that China has been eating our lunch and that bare-knuckled negotiations are needed on our behalf, we are told that Trump is an ignorant fantasist.

  • Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.

    08/17/2015 9:42:26 AM PDT · 35 of 37
    Rockingham to Alas Babylon!

    The essence of good counter-intelligence is usually not disclosure but to watch and then neutralize or recruit the agent so as to double them against their handlers. Unfortunately, the Chinese rely on a multiplicity of agents, many of whom are amateurs, so there is a tendency for some to slip past our detection and screening effort.

  • Obama Administration Warns Beijing About Covert Agents Operating in U.S.

    08/17/2015 4:31:19 AM PDT · 28 of 37
    Rockingham to Brad from Tennessee

    Such public pushback against Chinese spying is unusual, which suggests both that this particular defector is highly prized and that recent tensions and issues with China are adversely affecting the larger government to government relationship.

  • The Vatican Bank and Nazi Gold: A Scandal Unsolved

    08/15/2015 8:28:30 PM PDT · 18 of 18
    Rockingham to bob_denard
    The explanation for the missing Nazi Gold is distressingly simple: some of it was stolen by various Nazis late in the war, but the largest portion was taken by US Army officers, with most of the stealing occurring after the gold was found and delivered to central collection points under Army control. Stolen gold was then usually taken to Switzerland, converted to currency, and put on deposit with Swiss bankers.
  • Single-Payer Healthcare System Works in Canada? [Really Donald?]

    08/15/2015 7:59:41 PM PDT · 14 of 31
    Rockingham to SeekAndFind
    In fairness to Trump, his explanation of his plan is not single-payer but instead creates a single national market for health insurance. At present, health and other forms of insurance are approved and regulated on a state by state basis instead of nationally. With an exemption from anti-trust laws, this makes for inefficient and cartelized markets for insurance, driving up costs and lessening competition and innovation.

    Trump calling his plan "single payer" though does not make sense, unless he also means to permit private health insurers the option of using Medicare's payments system. This would make some sense, especially if those private insurers were allowed and incentivized to root out fraudulent billings, a major problem in Medicare.

  • Jean Kirkpatrick -- Anybody remember?

    08/15/2015 1:00:05 AM PDT · 37 of 37
    Rockingham to fieldmarshaldj

    Quite likely. If I recall correctly, while Carter was President, Jackson and Kilpatrick became associated through the Committee on the Present Danger, a public interest group composed of hawkish Democrats opposed to detente and arms cuts. I heard Kilpatrick speak once at the local university in the late 80s and was impressed with her intelligence and the serious, academic manner in which she summarized opposing views without rancor or distortion.

  • Jean Kirkpatrick -- Anybody remember?

    08/14/2015 6:54:25 PM PDT · 33 of 37
    Rockingham to Fhios

    Yet, remarkably, DiFi is not nearly as bad as California’s other senator, Barbara Boxer.

  • Jean Kirkpatrick -- Anybody remember?

    08/14/2015 4:29:50 PM PDT · 31 of 37
    Rockingham to Fhios
    Jeane Kirkpatrick was a political scientist and a traditional Democrat who, in the late 1970s, became alienated from her party due to its increasing unwillingness to defend the country and oppose communism. Reagan secured her help as a foreign policy adviser in his 1980 campaign and then appointed her to several key foreign policy posts in his administration.

    In time though, differences over policy and personality clashes with Alexander Haig and George Schultz led to Kirkpatrick's resignation and return to academic life. With better circumstances and a dash of luck, Kirkpatrick might have been Reagan's running mate in 1984 or a GOP candidate for President herself.

  • If Hillary’s Server Was ‘Blank,’ Why Was It Kept At A Data Center In New Jersey?

    08/14/2015 2:58:05 AM PDT · 6 of 81
    Rockingham to Brad from Tennessee

    My guess is that the original server used while Hillary was Secretary of State was disposed of by the Clintons or remains in their possession. Commonly, data migration from a private to a commercial server located off site is done over the internet. If so, then the FBI and other pursuers were deliberately misdirected toward the now blank hard drive that was once part of a commercial server farm run by Platte River Network. If so, as these associated evasions and deceptions are revealed, the pressure on Hillary will increase as the process drags out and the election approaches.

  • Florida Dem Says No to Iran Deal, Introducing Bill to Authorize Military Force

    08/14/2015 1:20:02 AM PDT · 15 of 18
    Rockingham to grey_whiskers

    Along with other Florida US House members, Hastings — who was impeached and removed as a federal judge due to bribery — is undergoing a nerve-wracking redistricting process that was ordered by the Florida Supreme Court. An odd but canny bird and ever a survivor, Hastings may be hedging his bets by appealing to anti-Iran deal sentiment in case his new district has boundaries that include enough disaffected Jews to menace his re-election.

  • Mark Levin – Hillary Violated The Espionage Act – Section 793 Penal Code, Could End Up In Prison

    08/14/2015 12:31:19 AM PDT · 28 of 61
    Rockingham to lbryce

    I, for one, hope that Hillary gets two terms — 3-5 years each, to run consecutive!

  • Annabeth Gish will return to 'The X-Files' as Monica Reyes

    08/11/2015 10:26:13 PM PDT · 26 of 27
    Rockingham to BenLurkin

    Jerry Hardin played the source “Deep Throat,” while Steven Williams played his successor, “X.” Both died in the original run of X-Files.

  • Donald Trump and the Mob (Mafia Connections)

    08/11/2015 10:11:32 PM PDT · 94 of 130
    Rockingham to topher

    The most significant of the alleged “mob ties” is when Trump bought a piece of real estate from a mob figure in order to complete a parcel upon which to build a casino. There is no allegation or basis for suspicion that this was anything other than an ordinary commercial transaction. Calling that a “mob tie” abuses the term.

  • How Conservative Will Jeb Bush Be on Abortion in 2016?

    08/11/2015 6:42:29 PM PDT · 17 of 25
    Rockingham to RC one

    Not even Jeb knows the answer yet because it is too soon to do the polls and focus groups on the subject.

  • Kelly to Trump: If You Can't Get Past Me, How Are You Going To Handle Putin? (edited to fit)

    08/09/2015 11:01:29 PM PDT · 115 of 187
    Rockingham to nickcarraway

    To win, Trump must go from being a protest and novelty candidate to being considered Presidential material. Half the battle is making clear to the public that knows that he must make the transition.

  • Kelly to Trump: If You Can't Get Past Me, How Are You Going To Handle Putin? (edited to fit)

    08/09/2015 9:39:09 PM PDT · 78 of 187
    Rockingham to nickcarraway
    Trump's failing is a lack of cleverness in dealing with critical questions. He could have easily parried Kelly by saying:

    "For decades, I have made my living in the construction and development business, which are rough and tumble lines of work. My manner and language reflected that. Since beginning my campaign, I have worked to be more tactful and diplomatic, as fits with the role of Presidential candidate. I ask that I be judged on that basis.

    "As for how I treat women, I employ many talented women executives and professionals in my businesses. They are paid quite well based on their merit, given full responsibility, and they are treated with respect and consideration by me and other members of my organization. I insist on that. If you talk to them, you will find that women know me to be fair and respectful in my dealings with them. No capable businessman can afford to do otherwise because you would lose too much in the way of great women employees and business associates."

  • John Perkins and His Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

    08/09/2015 1:50:00 PM PDT · 18 of 18
    Rockingham to juliosevero
    Instead of belief and dodgy information, reasoned analysis based on solid evidence seems to me to be the better approach. Perkins' unsourced account and extreme views do not do so well by that standard.

    Granted, one of Perkins' core criticisms -- the corruption and abuse in Third World lending and grant programs -- is well-proven in a wide range of official reports and investigations. Notably, the George W. Bush administration took up the cause of reform, if with limited results. A 2012 Forbes article offers a glimpse into the subject: World Bank Spins Out Of Control: Corruption, Dysfunction Await New President.

    Instead of relying on such evidence, from Perkins we get screwball, self-glorifying conspiracy theories. More generally, Perkins contends that spying, lending, and aid programs and the burdens that they place on Third World countries are part of the way that the US projects and maintains power in the world. Boo-hoo! What is so bad about that, even assuming that the bulk of Perkins' account is true?

    Most Third World countries are utterly and hopelessly corrupt and dysfunctional, run by predatory elites, and populated by wretched people with rotten cultures. For the US to use lending and aid to keep such countries in line seems to me to be preferable to the likely alternatives. On the whole, to keep peace and protect ourselves in a chaotic and dangerous world, I would rather send dollars in aid and loans than to have to send aircraft carriers, JDAMs, and the Marines.

  • If the GOP ticket were Cruz/Rubio, or Rubio/Cruz, what percentage of the latino vote would it get?

    08/07/2015 8:28:49 AM PDT · 31 of 60
    Rockingham to ken5050

    It is too early to tell for sure, but my guess is that the strength of such a ticket would be in their likelihood of locking up both Texas and Florida as their home states and less so in their appeal to Hispanics. No matter how great such appeal, they cannot hope to carry the big prize of California, but might have marginal gains in North Carolina and Virginia, which have significant pools of Hispanic voters. The larger problem is that Cruz and Rubio might have trouble drawing conservative blue collar white voters, which is where Romney fell short.

  • John Perkins and His Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

    08/05/2015 8:53:55 PM PDT · 16 of 18
    Rockingham to juliosevero
    Read carefully, Perkins' allegations that rely on personal experience lack convincing detail. Nevertheless, if his claims of corruption are taken seriously, we are obliged to ask why Perkins apparently never attempted any remedial action by reporting it to the authorities, as US law required him to do? And why didn't Perkins get a lawyer and file a qui tam whistleblower suit seeking to recover any money that was stolen -- a case that could provide a hefty reward for his efforts?

    Notably, there is no general criminal law against fabrication and lies in a book, even if untruths are told about the US government. Lying to federal officials or in sworn testimony though is against the law and can lead to criminal charges. Perhaps that is why Perkins has avoided the test of making a report to the appropriate US officials or of filing a whistleblower suit in court.

  • Donald Trump: Mexico will pay for wall because I say so ("Let there be a wall, and there was a wall"

    08/05/2015 8:13:34 AM PDT · 68 of 195
    Rockingham to Laissez-faire capitalist

    There is a relatively simple way to make Mexico pay for the wall: impose a tax on all cash remittances from the US to Mexico by emigres. With such remittances running at about $24 billion per year, a 1 per cent tax would yield $240 million a year if comprehensive and fully enforced. That would finance a quite substantial wall.

  • John Perkins and His Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

    08/05/2015 7:05:38 AM PDT · 11 of 18
    Rockingham to juliosevero
    Perkins' book is long on rhetoric, histrionics, and conspiracy theories but short on evidence and coherent reasoning. Where the facts can be checked, critics have demonstrated that Perkins is often wrong on key points and that his history is unreliable and expressive of left-wing views.

    For example, Perkins' account of the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran is the standard left-wing account, which is based on an acceptance of propaganda crafted by the KGB during the Cold War and used by Khomeini to help overthrow the Shah. In truth, the erratic and kooky Mossadegh was overthrown by a populist revolt, with the CIA and British intelligence having a marginal role that mostly aimed at securing that the successor regime would be pro-Western and anti-Communist.

    American and British actions do not at all seem objectionable during the Cold War, and the era of the Shah is now recalled fondly by most Iranians as a time of peace and prosperity. And considering the menacing chaos in Libya today, one cannot but rue that the US seems to have lost the capacity to assure that, when a lout of a foreign leader is overthrown with our participation, a better regime is then installed in the aftermath.

    Based on several hours of skimming through Perkins' book, my guess is that in retirement, Perkins started to write a novel but could not quite pull it off. He then recast and sold his book as a memoir, gauging, correctly, that it might catch fire with the left-wing crowd as a critique of American economic and foreign policy.

  • Time For Conservatives To Get Medieval On The Liberal Establishment

    08/03/2015 7:42:32 AM PDT · 46 of 54
    Rockingham to Kaslin
    Here'a hint to GOP wannabes: tough guys -- real ones that is -- do not put up posters of Bogart and spout lines from The Godfather Instead, they do tough things well when tough things need to be done and are otherwise quiet about it, usually tending to be mild-mannered and soft-spoken, with a generous attitude toward people. Political candidates and operatives who go around talking like tough guys are mostly poseurs who scatter when the going gets hard and tough things have to be done.
  • It doesn't make sense why the NFL sold out Tom Brady

    07/30/2015 9:59:05 PM PDT · 30 of 42
    Rockingham to NKP_Vet
    The Deflategate episode has been like watching video of one of those Asian airliner crashes in which supposedly capable pilots drop their aircraft out of the sky due to a combination of easily avoidable small errors. Goodell, a liberal to the core and a lawyer, could not but let himself yield to the hue and cry from the similarly liberal sports media that Something Must Be Done.

    As framed by the news media, the dodgy reputation of the Patriots and Belichick required Goodell and the NFL to undertake a prosecutorial style investigation to find and punish the guilty. Once an investigation on those terms was begun, the credibility of the NFL then rested on ultimately delivering punishment -- and not just as to the immediate perpetrators, but also against the principals at fault. Inevitably, that would have to lead to damage to making allegations against the team and Brady.

    Goodell was blind to the looming pitfall that he set for himself and the NFL. The investigation careened out of control, with no logical end point except that someone important had to be identified as guilty. Similarly, in the Duke lacrosse case and the recent Rolling Stone article about the supposed rape culture on college campuses, once it was assumed that a rape occurred, someone must be identified as a rapist.

    What should Goodell and the NFL have done? Commission a purely fact-finding investigation into the Deflategate episode. Permit the investigation to yield recommendations for changes in NFL rules and practices to assure the security and proper inflation of footballs, with any decisions left to the good judgment of the league and its owners. From the start, the investigators should have been expressly cautioned against making factually unsupported or unfair accusations or inferences against individuals or against the Patriots organization.

    With such a caution, the investigation would not have fallen into impugning Brady and the Patriots as if the investigation was a grand jury and Brady and his team are unindicted co-conspirators in a major Mafia crime. Meanwhile, Goodell, with the support of the league owners, could have pressed the Patriots to accept several years of a compliance and monitoring program as a remedy for letting the mess develop in the first place. Most of the owners would have backed that, and the Patriots would have been wise to embrace such a proposal as a way to mollify the sports media and the public while avoiding a worse outcome.

    Perhaps the most pressing issue now is not what happens to Brady and the Patriots but what happens to Goodell. The NFL owners are no doubt wondering why a smart guy paid so much money has not done a better job of protecting the reputation of the league and preventing needless damage to one of its greatest teams and quarterbacks. Every owner, coach, and player now realizes that, in a pinch, Goodell may miss his blocking assignment and leave the league, its teams, and players unprotected.

  • Question. Does US government have accounts at NY Federal reserve?

    07/30/2015 2:39:52 PM PDT · 22 of 26
    Rockingham to Toddsterpatriot
    The Federal Reserve's assessment on member banks is a permanent and adjustable contribution based on the member bank's level of capital. Referring to the member banks as holding shares seems to have been a way to politically sugar coat the economic reality that the banks were being taxed as the price of becoming a Federal Reserve System member bank.
  • Question. Does US government have accounts at NY Federal reserve?

    07/29/2015 9:05:04 PM PDT · 13 of 26
    Rockingham to grumpygresh
    Yes, the federal government has accounts at the NY Fed and at the other regional Fed bank branches. Contrary to claims that the Fed is a "private bank," it is a US government agency. Although some of the assessments on banks for joining as members are credited as shareholder contributions of capital, this is only for accounting purposes and no shares are issued, shares cannot be traded, and they confer no rights on banks as shareholders.

    The shareholder rubric was contrived when the Fed was created by Congress so that instead of relying solely on appropriations, some of the cost of creating the Fed as a central bank would be put on the country's commercial banks by way of assessments for membership. To ease the burden on those banks' capital structure, the assessments were described as for the purchase of shares that could be carried on the banks' books as assets.

  • 'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours

    07/29/2015 8:21:15 PM PDT · 47 of 48
    Rockingham to ckilmer
    Like the electric motor on a Tesla, the EM drive uses electric energy but does not produce it. Where a Tesla motor converts electric energy into mechanical energy to turn the wheels and propel the car, the EM Drive on a spacecraft -- if it works -- converts electric energy into thrust to propel the spacecraft.

    Precisely how the EM Drive could do that is disputed, with the lack of a reaction mass being expelled as hot gas from rocket nozzles on the spacecraft seen as a violation of the law of conservation of momentum. This objection need not be fatal because nature's rule book is like a bad contract, with all sorts of exceptions, loopholes, and tricks for the clever to discover and exploit. Perhaps the EM Drive is just such a trick.

  • 'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours

    07/29/2015 5:52:41 PM PDT · 44 of 48
    Rockingham to ckilmer

    The EM Drive uses energy in that it runs on electricity. It does not produce energy.

  • No, German Scientists Have Not Confirmed the “Impossible” EMDrive

    07/29/2015 4:03:58 PM PDT · 36 of 36
    Rockingham to Boogieman
    A patent lawyer friend of mine has a stock of entertaining and sometimes disturbing stories about his clients. Based on experience, he assumes that until proven otherwise, no matter how appealing and normal they may seem, every inventor is but a kook waiting to be revealed.

    In many ways, Andrea Rossi seems to fit that profile. Mercurial and flamboyant, he is naturally prone to veer between garrulous over-promising and the secretiveness and suspicion common to inventors. The Italian science establishment did not believe Rossi so much as they believed his late partner, Sergio Focardi, a respected physicist and professor who had long pursued cold fusion and had published a peer-reviewed paper on the subject.

    Focardi's passing deprived Rossi of the restraint and judgment of a senior partner. Fortunately, that role now seems to be filled by the North Carolina investment group who purchased the rights to Rossi's E-Cat. As securities and anti-fraud laws virtually require, Rossi apparently has to get any his statements pre-approved by counsel. Backed by deep pockets, technical help, and canny businessmen, Rossi now seems to be the leading contender to bring a practical cold fusion device to market.

  • No, German Scientists Have Not Confirmed the “Impossible” EMDrive

    07/29/2015 12:03:42 PM PDT · 26 of 36
    Rockingham to Boogieman

    Now though, the primary inventor — Rossi — is working under the thumb of the North Carolina investment group. If the first production models arrive, say, two years from now, it will have been six years from Rossi’s initial demonstration to the first sale — which, coincidentally, is also the time it took the Wright brothers to go from their first flight at Kittyhawk to sale of their first model Flyer to the US Army.

  • No, German Scientists Have Not Confirmed the “Impossible” EMDrive

    07/29/2015 11:39:59 AM PDT · 20 of 36
    Rockingham to Red Badger
    Funny that you mention cold fusion because physicists here and abroad are again working on it, both experimentally and in search of a sound theoretical framework. A practical cold fusion device seems to have been invented and to have passed several third party verification tests. The rights were purchased by a North Carolina investment group and an initial production run is expected soon, with the devices used to provide hot water for large commercial applications. A comprehensive peer-reviewed paper by outside experts is also said to be in preparation.

    I think that the EM Drive may move along a similar path but at a more rapid pace. As positive experimental results accumulate, they will be disputed by naysayers. Yet, assuming that the science is valid, preliminary working devices will soon follow and be tested in orbit, by NASA, and perhaps the Chinese, the European Space Agency, the Russians, and the Indians. In addition, tech titans Google and Apple are both sitting on immense stockpiles of cash and aching for new tech fields to conquer.

  • Shock poll: Donald Trump leads Jeb Bush 26-20% … in Florida (Is this for real?)

    07/29/2015 11:01:50 AM PDT · 46 of 118
    Rockingham to RoosterRedux

    It looks reasonably solid, with a large sample size and detailed disclosure. The geographical distribution is off, with the Tampa area oversampled and Miami-Dade undersampled, but that should not be a problem if a correct weighting formula was used.

  • 'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours

    07/29/2015 3:39:19 AM PDT · 27 of 48
    Rockingham to Spktyr

    What reaction mass is ejected? Perhaps some is, but none has been identified, and with the basic physics in doubt, it seems impossible to say so with genuine certainty.

  • 'Impossible' rocket drive works and could get to Moon in four hours

    07/29/2015 1:57:17 AM PDT · 21 of 48
    Rockingham to BlueNgold

    A set of these devices could be mounted on gimbals and powered up and down and vectored to provide thrust in whatever direction and at whatever power levels was wanted. And since the EM Drive does not use any reaction mass, there is no exhaust and they can be mounted internally. With enough power, an EM Drive craft could even hover and move about noiselessly.