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  2. For some damn reason, the following portrait is being shown all over the web together with the Clinton portrait in the opening post. I haven't thought through the commonalities deep enough to understand why this is so funny, but it is. Dayaamm! Michael
  3. Today
  4. That old question - replied to by your objective solution - has always looked to be question begging - i.e. What is "good"? I think it must be rephrased and fleshed out in terms most secular humanists tacitly mean it, but seldom say outright: "How can people be made to hold other people as their moral standard--without God and the immortal soul?" The secularists have not succeeded and will not, as long as "the good" equates with "the other". Seeing that even the brightest skeptical intellectuals accept without question the altruist ethics, and worse (as with Sam Harris), have argued to dispose of free will and the "self" (with the 'Soul') -- "moral truths" will NOT "be learned through reason" by them. We have to query what "reason" is for them. What next was left for them is find the substitute for "God" . Political power, force, and social 'judgment', their solution.
  5. Yesterday
  6. Just in case people get turned off at the beginning of the video by a kind of stupid "big idea" claim Skelter made, here's how I understand it. Adam Skelter is a storyteller, one who works in Hollywood. Part of his training is to appeal to the lizard brain (fight-flight, sex, curiosity, and so on). This video is nonfiction, so I believe he is using the same approach as a storyteller. You have to get people's attention before they will allow themselves to get into the story. In the case of nonfiction, you have to get people's attention before they will even listen to what comes next. One of the ways to do this (and this is a taught technique in copywriting) is to present a controversial challenge. So when Skelter dramatically says "Everyone is religious, including you," he is trying to prompt curiosity through a controversial challenge, at least I believe that is what he is trying to do. But he flops. The problem is that boilerplate Christian sermons talk about how people think they don't believe in God, but really do, etc., etc., etc. This is so old, nobody cares. It's like a used car salesman routine, a template around an artificial claim with presuppositions about the customer to attract the suckers and weed out everyone else. It does not stir the juices except those of the converted or the suckers. Substance-wise, once you see the video, you realize converting unbelievers in the name of Christianity, or any other religion for that matter, is not what Skelter is about. He is about redefining religion as a thinking pattern in general that evolved (i.e., an epistemological issue). But by then, he has turned off a good portion of his audience. I attribute this error more to blindly following a copywriting template rather than anything else. The next bad thing he does is tell you how you are going to think by the end of the video. I can almost see him trying to include NLP embedded commands in his copy, but once again, he misses something critical. When you tell someone openly that they are wrong, this hits a fundamental cognitive bias squarely in the sore spot and turns on a listener's defense mechanisms like an on-off switch. After that lousy opening, the video starts becoming very, very interesting. If you can ignore the parts about religion per se and focus on the epistemological patterns he covers, especially about the nature of beliefs, etc., you will find an outside-the-box approach that you might not be familiar with, one with great value in identifying why many intelligent people believe in things that are nonsensical to other intelligent people. Michael
  7. Words of wisdom from Lionel. What really happened based on what the public has seen? The public hasn't seen anything other than what gatekeepers tell us. Lionel says: Remember, Lionel not only like conspiracy theories, he loves conspiracy theorists. He actually loves them (as do I). He just calls on people to keep observable facts as opposed to dot-connecting separate in their rhetoric. Michael
  8. Ah. I can see that. There are two shows, yes...THE BIG BANG THEORY and YOUNG SHELDON, which is the spinoff. BBT is (was, just ended) set circa 2007 to present.
  9. Dennis, I enjoy Scott's breakdowns and persuasion techniques. I don't always find myself convinced of his oversimplified analyses of current events. Nor do I agree with his social positions (for example, in this video alone, he expressed disdain for boxing and would like to see it eliminated from entertainment--which shows a lack of understanding of human nature--just blank out the animal part, or whatever part one finds distasteful, and one can mold society to one's whims kind of thinking that is very common on the left). In the Epstein case, Scott pegs everything to the incompetence of organizations and the cunning of Epstein. It's a good Houdini story, but it totally eliminates the Deep State and ruling class actors as having any input--a total blank out (with his typical caveat of "I don't know, maybe..." followed by the BUT eraser ). If you leave out a major bad guy--the proverbial elephant in the room--in a murder mystery, it's hard to tell a convincing story. And in this case, Hanlon's razor does not convince me that the bad guys just sat on the sideline as passive spectators when their risk was enormous. Scott reminds me of someone trying to explain that we should discount bear mauling as a serious threat to humanity, so we can safely ignore that bear that is running right at us. As to persuasion, whenever you think about Scott, don't you imagine his prediction powers to be awesome? I think it would be interesting to go back through his work and look at his actual predictions. I've noticed that at times he has to modify them along the way to keep the claim they are predictions. He has successfully sold the image of him being a master predictor and gathered quite a following. That, to me doesn't say as much about his predicting powers as it does his persuasion powers. Michael
  10. Jules, That's actually great advice. I bet some people are doing just that and cleaning up. Michael
  11. When I think good Historical fiction? James Clavell.
  12. Peter, more non-whites have been employed/raised their standard of living substantially under Trump than any other president since 1972. When people are employed and finally making ends meet do you think they are going to toss the dice, vote Dem so they can once again be standing in the unemployment line? PS: Yes the market can be momentarily knocked down because of rumours and fear but these blips are pretty short lived (and good buying opportunities!). The fundamentals for a crash before the election just are not there. Usually governments drop interest rates because the economy is in trouble, Trump isn’t pressuring the fed to do so because of that. I’d say he is playing a longer chess game to come out on top against the Chinese. What would the Dems plan be against the Chinese if elected? Bend over and take it up the tailpipe?
  13. Some notes from Dilbert. Epstein was a master criminal. He got away with his crimes for decades with a slap on the wrist. So, could he alone, commit suicide and break a neck bone. Of course. The guards? Incompetence abounds. Everyone dirty wasn’t “in on his suicide.” I watched a bit more but darn does Adams like to talk!
  14. How thick skinned would you need to be to soundly sleep on a bed of twigs? The picture shows how elitist and insulated the "in crowd" thinks they are. They rule. They can do whatever their perverted minds want. You will obey. They can sleep on a bed of twigs with teen girls if they want and you will "shut the hell up," or be investigated by the FBI, otherwise known as the investigative arm of the Progressive Party.
  15. Inquiring minds want to know. Any ‘experts,’ ‘opinionated and informed,’ or ‘know it all folks’ around to comment? The Conspiracy Theory: around Tuesday August 3, 2020 the DOW and the economy will tank losing the election for Donald J. Trump. A ticket containing Biden and Kamala will be ready to take over. Ooops, no. A ticket containing Warren and Biden . . . Naw. Slippage in the polls. Maybe Warren, Crazy Bernie with Kamala as a possible Sec. State? Far-fetched? I know what. John Kerry who served in Vietnam will steal the convention with Kamala as his Veep and Bernie as his economic adviser, ensuring a protective economy for all the people. And Doc Martin reinstating Obama Care modeled on England’s Socialized Medicine, while Biden gets rid of coal and gas and ensuring, enduring subsidies for anyone buying an electric car! Ugh. That sounds like a plot summary for that movie, “Soylent Green.” Peter From Wikipedia. Demographic trends Further information: Demography of the United States. The age group of what will then be people in the 18- to 45-year-old bracket is expected to represent just under 40 percent of the United States' eligible voters in 2020. It is expected that more than 30 percent of eligible American voters will be nonwhite. A bipartisan report indicates that changes in voter demographics since the 2016 election could impact the results of the 2020 election. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and other ethnic minorities, as well as "whites with a college degree", are expected to all increase their percentage of national eligible voters by 2020, while "whites without a college degree" will decrease. This shift is potentially an advantage for the Democratic nominee; however, due to geographical differences, this could still lead to President Trump (or a different Republican nominee) winning the Electoral College while still losing the popular vote, possibly by an even larger margin than in 2016.
  16. I think I mentioned this on another thread but Rush Limbaugh was saying this latest DOW down turn was a “dry run” for 2020. There is evidence available that the drop was orchestrated by the anti-Trump crowd. They lost money but it was worth it. With their confirmed knowledge and technique it will be used in 2020. They will nose dive the DOW about three months before the election. I didn’t listen long enough to hear what the evidence was but the conspiracy seems plausible. After all, propagandists are willing to lose money on MSNBC and CNN just so they have a way to disseminate disinformation and slanted news.
  17. So, would you advise to get out of stocks? What a roller coaster. It would stink if the money people put under their mattresses a decade ago is now worth half as much. Silver coins have kept their value. I know because a few years ago after asking my kids if they wanted my old coin collection they said no, and I sold it. I did all right. I still scoff at bitcoin. How is it doing? Hollywood clichés like opening the old safe and seeing stacks of currency are still being filmed. Stacks of a hundred bucks from 1970 may still be worth enough to cause a gasp. What else is found? A bag of diamonds. Gold bricks and coins. I don't feel like lookin up inflation rates but the dollar is still sound.
  18. Now that is a lapse on my part. What was I thinking? The clothes are certainly part of why I meandered into the 60's but it may also be the life in small town Texas, with football, and ministers abounding. I think the show was first on around 2010 and Shelden was in his late 20's perhaps so when he was 10 or 12 it may have been in the 90's? I seem to remember the show may have had 14 seasons so hopefully all the actors made out like bandits and saved their money.
  19. One could probably make a lot of money on short trades based on trump tweets. Ride em down and ride em back up.
  20. “I did not have sex with that Gerbil!”
  21. Nice rant, Wolfo, but there is no federal debt. All that "debt" is in spent dollars which are from a sovereign (fiat) currency. If your trillion buck T-bill has matured the US Treasury will give you another--roll it over--or credit your account with a trillion dollars. Just-by-pushing-a-button. Because of inflation you don't preserve wealth in any fiat currency but in assets. --Branto
  22. Last week
  23. You’re impossible to converse with, Jonathan, due to your ignorance of Tyndall. So first you have to master Tyndall’s work like Billy has, right, Billy? Any minute now you are going to write at length in your own words about Tyndall’s work and how it lays the base for answering Jonathan’s questions, right?
  24. Over the course of the past four decades, I've sketched scenarios of the future many times. All of it was animated by Atlas Shrugged. I read it in 1973. The personal consequences were profound. It very nearly cost me my life, and withall set the path of my ambition. I have come to think of Atlas as polemic, rather than fine literature, a designation that I give gladly to The Fountainhead. The achievement of Atlas Shrugged was accurate prediction of America's trajectory. It is an illusion of the first order, a trick of mass hypnosis, that we claim to be a prosperous industrial society today. These words are being composed on a Chinese laptop. Our server farms are powered by an ocean of public and private debt, so deep that it cannot be measured without immediate accusation of macroeconomic ignorance. In private correspondence with Milton Friedman 33 years ago, I worried that the money supply had exceeded the ratio of World War II expenditure to real GDP. Friedman replied that the only thing that mattered was the rate of monetary growth. And so it has. The Fed blew a hot air balloon of toxic assets after GSE agency paper exempted mortgage originators from risk. Treasury debt, pensions, entitlements, bank capital, and paper equity have been racheted into the stratosphere by "financial repression." The EU central bank amped it up a notch farther, imposing negative interest rates and penalizing savers. Deutsche Bank is shedding tens of thousands of staff to delay bankruptcy. Ford and GM exited the EU car market. Uber, Tesla, Snapchat, and shale frackers have never made a dime of profit. Without USPS subsidies, Amazon would have died an ugly death long ago. Facebook and Google are 100%dependent on advertising, the first thing to cut in a sustained recession. Apple and Nike are Chinese sweatshop phenomena, high priced luxury goods sold to debt junkies employed by government agencies, government contractors, finance companies, and a growing cohort of "health care" paper pushers. Gangbangers suffer the indignity of 3G Obamaphones, stolen Nikes, and EBT chump change for cigarettes and booze. Education is brain dead, coast to coast, kindergarten to grad school. So far, Atlas has not shrugged, but he's old and tired, sidelined by outsourcing, disgusted by fake news and a million U.S. soldiers and sailors overseas, a never ending commitment to defend foreigners who hate us and crave the pallets of Benjamins and high tech armaments that we toss around like confetti to prop up phony "allies" and secret police in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, Qatar, South Korea, and Britain, plus the IMF, World Bank, and every charity operating in Africa. War with Iran? Sure. Blockade is an act of war, no different than invading Iraq and Afghanistan (Bush) and destroying Libya, Syria, and Venezuela (Obama). The future? -- an Etch A Sketch shaken and erased by "climate change," hordes of illiterate immigrants sick with contagious diseases, tens of millions of Boomers and Gen Xers cashing out and shorting the stock market, Social Security and Medicare insolvent and unfixable. No doubt the Democratic Socialists will take over. Empty malls, martial law, and Eddie Willers attempting to restart an engine of motive power, a 737 MAX whose autostabilizer code forces it to crash and cannot be debugged, because it was co-authored by a virtual team in six time zones, most of whom scurried like rats to new virtual work groups in the Gig Economy, maybe self-driving commuter helicopters that no one can afford to purchase or insure. .
  25. I'm not the only one who noticed. Another sellout. It's all about the money and nothing about the country And he's been this since the beginning. Scaramucci was colorful during his eleven days in the Trump administration, though. And later, my favorite colorful episode was this (May 2018): Show Starring Avenatti and Scaramucci Is Being Pitched to Television Executives Michael
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