Peter

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Everything posted by Peter

  1. I am glad we have not "needed" an air war against Iran. From Wikipedia. The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and is the German word for 'lightning'.The Germans conducted mass air attacks against industrial targets, towns, and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940 (a battle for daylight air superiority between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force over the United Kingdom). By September 1940, the Luftwaffe had failed and the German air fleets (Luftflotten) were ordered to attack London, to draw RAF Fighter Command into a battle of annihilation. Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, ordered the new policy on 6 September 1940. From 7 September 1940, London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 of the following 57 days and nights.[7] Most notable was a large daylight attack against London on 15 September. The Luftwaffe gradually decreased daylight operations in favour of night attacks to evade attack by the RAF, and the Blitz became a night bombing campaign after October 1940. The Luftwaffe attacked the main Atlantic sea port of Liverpool in the Liverpool Blitz. The North Sea port of Hull, a convenient and easily found target or secondary target for bombers unable to locate their primary targets, suffered the Hull Blitz. Bristol, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Southampton and Swansea were also bombed, as were the industrial cities of Birmingham, Belfast, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield. More than 40,000 civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombing during the war, almost half of them in the capital, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged.[1] Japan. Allied forces conducted many air raids on Japan during World War II, causing extensive destruction to the country's cities and killing between 241,000 and 900,000 people. During the first years of the Pacific War these attacks were limited to the Doolittle Raid in April 1942 and small-scale raids on military positions in the Kuril Islands from mid-1943. Strategic bombing raids began in June 1944 and continued until the end of the war in August 1945. Allied naval and land-based tactical air units also attacked Japan during 1945. The United States military air campaign waged against Japan began in earnest in mid-1944 and intensified during the war's last months. While plans for attacks on Japan had been prepared prior to the Pacific War, these could not begin until the long-range B-29 Superfortress bomber was ready for combat. From June 1944 until January 1945, B-29s stationed in India staged through bases in China to make a series of nine raids on targets in western Japan, but this effort proved ineffective. The strategic bombing campaign was greatly expanded from November 1944 when bases in the Mariana Islands became available as a result of the Mariana Islands Campaign. These attacks initially attempted to target industrial facilities using high-altitude daylight "precision" bombing, which was also largely ineffective. From February 1945, the bombers switched to low-altitude night firebombing against urban areas as much of the manufacturing process was carried out in small workshops and private homes: this approach resulted in large-scale urban damage. Aircraft flying from Allied aircraft carriers and the Ryukyu Islands also frequently struck targets in Japan during 1945 in preparation for the planned invasion of Japan scheduled for October 1945. During early August 1945, the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were struck and mostly destroyed by atomic bombs. Japan's military and civil defenses were unable to stop the Allied attacks. The number of fighter aircraft and anti-aircraft guns assigned to defensive duties in the home islands was inadequate, and most of these aircraft and guns had difficulty reaching the high altitudes at which B-29s often operated. Fuel shortages, inadequate pilot training, and a lack of coordination between units also constrained the effectiveness of the fighter force. Despite the vulnerability of Japanese cities to firebombing attacks, the firefighting services lacked training and equipment, and few air raid shelters were constructed for civilians. As a result, the B-29s were able to inflict severe damage on urban areas while suffering few losses.
  2. George W. Bush after September 11th. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices: secretaries, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge -- huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington D.C. to help with local rescue efforts. Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well. The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me. This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Good night. And God bless America. Winston Churchill: “We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender,”
  3. Very good, Jon Anderson! And I like “Oh Holy Night” by Asia’s songbird. Regina Velasquez, The Filipino singer. And I like Josh Groban’s “Oh Holy Night,” and “The First Noel.” Though it's not a Christmas song I get nostalgic when hearing "Memories" by Barbra Streisand.
  4. Oh. By the way. Merry Christmas! Or Festivus. From the net. Why don't Jehovah's witnesses celebrate Christmas? Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas simply because Christmas has pagan origins and associations; Christmas is based upon falsehoods and Christmas also promotes idolatry, a practice the Bible condemns. Famous people, who were or are JW’s are Michael Jackson. Prince. Ja Rule. Dave Mustaine. Dwight Eisenhower. Venus and Serena Williams. Naomi Campbell. Donald Glover. end quote Dwight Eisenhower? No way. He ain’t black!
  5. Can you imagine a country where it is a tradition to watch Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas? Peter Christmas Eve, known as Julafton in Swedish, is also very important in Sweden. Christmas Eve dinner includes dried fish, Christmas ham, boiled potatoes, pork sausage, herring salad, spiced bread, and lots of sweets. A popular Christmas tradition in Sweden is to serve Risgryngrot, a special rice porridge cooked with one almond in it and the person who finds the almond in his or her bowl gets to make a wish. Another popular and important Christmas tradition in Sweden is that many Swedes on Christmas Eve afternoon watch Donald Duck. This slightly odd tradition of religiously watching the same 1950s Disney cartoons over and over again started back in 1959 at 3.00pm on Christmas Eve, when the TV station TV1 showed the Disney special “From All of Us to All of You” or in Swedish “Kalle Anka och hans vanner onskar God Jul” meaning “Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas.”
  6. A good, but goofy Christmas song? “White Christmas” by the Drifters in 1954. "Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney is a bit goofy and nice too. You may have already guessed it. I am listening to a cable Christmas songs. Some good pop Christmas songs? REO Speedwagon’s, “I believe in Santa Clause,” and "My Only Wish (This Year)" by Britney Spears. Broadway sounding, little person song? Kristin Chenoweth, “The Christmas Waltz.” Christmas for non-Christians? From Wikipedia. Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. Originally created by author Daniel O'Keefe, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the 1997 Seinfeld episode “The Strike,” which O'Keefe's son, Dan O'Keefe, co-wrote. The non-commercial holiday's celebration, as depicted on Seinfeld, occurs on December 23 and includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles".[3] The episode refers to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us". It has been described both as a parody holiday festival and as a form of playful consumer resistance. Journalist Allen Salkin describes it as "the perfect secular theme for an all-inclusive December gathering".
  7. This isn’t necessarily for the holidays but what love song or any song has the best ending? Go listen to this on You Tube. The lead singer has surprisingly, high pitched voice that sounds great. “Lost in Love” by Air Supply, songwriter: Graham Russell I realize the best part of love is the thinnest slice And it don't count for much But I'm not letting go I believe there's still much to believe in So lift your eyes if you feel you can Reach for a star and I'll show you a plan I figured it out What I needed was someone to show me You know you can't fool me I've been loving you too long It started so easy You want to carry on Lost in love and I don't know much Was I thinking aloud and fell out of touch? But I'm back on my feet and eager to be what you wanted So lift your eyes if you feel you can Reach for a star and I'll show you a plan I figured it out What I needed was someone to show me You know you can't fool me I've been loving you too long It started so easy You want to carry on Lost in love and I don't know much Was I thinking aloud and fell out of touch? But I'm back on my feet and eager to be what you wanted You know you can't fool me I've been loving you too long It started so easy You want to carry on Lost in love and I don't know much Was I thinking aloud and fell out of touch? But I'm back on my feet and eager to be what you wanted Now I'm lost, lost in love, lost in love, lost in love Now I'm lost, lost in love, lost in love, lost in love Lost in love, lost in love, lost in love Lost in love, lost in love, lost in love.
  8. What are the most underplayed Christmas song? “Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” in 1962, is underplayed. What’s naughty? “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and Rosemary Clooney’s “He'll Be Coming Down The Chimney Tonight.” Funny and good? “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” with Ariana Grande on Saturday Night Live. All she does is wiggle her butt. What is the best Christmas song? Perhaps, “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” by Nat King Cole. What are your favorites? Peter
  9. The impeachers are like the loud mouthed kid at the movies who won't shut up.
  10. With a name like Boris he must be a Russian asset. Couldn't he just change his name to Bob?
  11. “Representation Without Authorization,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 21, 1. Dictatorship and determinism are reciprocally reinforcing corollaries: if one seeks to enslave men, one has to destroy their reliance on the validity of their own judgments and choices—if one believes that reason and volition are impotent, one has to accept the rule of force. end quote I am leery of ANY propaganda but I do think President Trump is a heroic archetype. Expressing that thought may seem to invite snarky-ness just as I too, have a twinge of worry about anyone else who elevates him to godlike status. So? If I think he is heroic why do I worry about others who think he is heroic? Well, have fans of Rand idealized her to popstar status and now put President Trump on a pedestal too? I don’t think so, except to say, just a teeny bit maybe. (humor) The truth is being reinforced in our multi-media age, like that constantly fact checked Wikipedia. His Tweets give us the “lowdown.” And our senses and brains are using reason to come to conclusions. Peter
  12. Wow. Q is definitely the "good guys." That is the best propaganda (or information) I have ever seen and for once it isn't about The Reds or the Nazi's but instead about truth and justice. Is it wrong for the Jedi Knights to showcase their victories? No. Is everyone who went to Yale or lived the high life provided by their parents part of the cabal or deep state? Again no. The conclusion of the video showcasing a President born into a millionaire family who none the less, is the leader of Q is inspirational. Any mistakes he makes will not keep him from winning in 2020. And President Trump needs to build on this legacy. It is morning in America if we can have a President Trump or Reagan every 20 years. And Q's point about the internet being the biggest exposer of lies that will continue to transform the globe is spot on. The internet and other real news sources will continue to nullify anything our next generation is wrongly taught. In what is called Trump territory as here on Delmarva, the kids are not propagandized into being left wingers. Peter
  13. Thanks, merjet. I don't consider 7 of 9 from Star Trek a robot or cyborg, but how could I forget the android/cyborg in Terminator 3? "She seemed like a woman to me," as Billy Joel sang.
  14. I saw a story about an hour ago saying that President Trump, perhaps jokingly, said he should be allowed to serve more than two terms. After all, the democrats are wasting his and everybody else’s time and money over a phony impeachment. How does the crowd pleasing chant, “8 more years, 8 more years sound?” Peter Tom Murse: . . . Over the years, several lawmakers have proposed repealing the 22nd Amendment. Congressional opponents of the 22nd Amendment argue that it restricts voters from exercising their will. As Democratic U.S. Rep. John McCormack of Massachusetts proclaimed during a debate over the proposal: "The framers of the Constitution considered the question and did not think they should tie the hands of future generations. I don't think we should. Although Thomas Jefferson favored only two terms, he specifically recognized the fact that situations could arise where a longer tenure would be necessary." One of the most high-profile opponents of the two-term limit for presidents was Republican President Ronald Reagan, who was elected to and served two terms in office. In a 1986 interview with The Washington Post, Reagan lamented the lack of focus on important issues and lame-duck presidents. "I have come to the conclusion that the 22nd Amendment was a mistake," Reagan said. "Shouldn't the people have the right to vote for someone as many times as they want to vote for him? They send senators up there for 30 or 40 years, congressmen the same."
  15. Has a robot or android ever been portrayed as a woman robot? And isn't R2D2 gay? Is C3PO a dwarf? And that whistle language. I never did understand that.
  16. So far for Christmas we have gotten Boudin’s sourdough, Chukkar chocolate cherries, and a Swiss Colony sampler. Burp. Jokes from AARP. Peter Jerry: What are you doing? Terry: Heading out to buy some glasses. Jerry: And then what? Terry: I’ll see. Beth: The defibrillator is broke! Seth: Can’t say that I’m shocked. Benny: I’m a mind reader. Jenny: Prove it! Benny: Right now, you think I’m lying.
  17. WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee pressed toward a historic vote Thursday to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Split sharply along party lines, the panel was expected to send the charges to the full House for pre-Christmas action next week. end quote Greg Gutfeld on Fox has made some decent points about the democrats’ impeachment wish. Something can be good for the President and good for the nation. The President was pursuing the truth. Has everyone seen the video of VP Biden actually saying he held up aid to Ukraine? It IS incriminating. Why was Hunter paid so much without reason? Was it a bribe? Of course it was a bribe. Are the democrats seeking to overturn a lawful election? Are they not committing crimes under the guise of investigating crimes? Notes . . . Gutfeld was reacting to Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, saying there was "no limit" to the number of times a president can be impeached. "A president can be impeached more than once. We can still investigate other issues. And when the president has committed additional offenses, and my suspicion is that he will -- We can take those before the Senate," Green said in a C-SPAN interview Thursday. "The Greg Gutfeld Show" host called for consequences for those in Congress who abuse power, including removal. "So there have to be consequences, meaning that we have to look and see when this is all over and done with. And it will be we have to look at what are the consequences? What are the abuses of power that they're participating in right now?" Gutfeld asked. "We've got to figure out how to remove senators and congressmen." Gutfeld called their actions a "threat to civilization" and noted the reaction by Democrats and the media to Friday's economic numbers, saying it's their "kryptonite. "Good news for the Dems and good news for the media is kryptonite to them. You look at CNN, how dreadful it is for them to report that good news," Gutfeld said. "It's eating them alive so they cling to impeachment like a long lost lover because it's the only thing that they have that keeps them afloat." end quote
  18. An ad popped up here for lady's large cup swim suits. Boing!
  19. The good, the bad, and the ugly. My wife keeps using RoundUp though I have cautioned her about it. Damn but it does work to kill weeds along our ditch bank. I believe most if not all of the lawsuits are from people who have used RoundUp in a professional capacity, as with professional gardeners, farmers, and grounds keepers. Peter Notes. Breaking news RoundUp Settlement Talks Underway On August 9, 2019, it was reported that Monsanto’s parent company Bayer is considering a settlement in the billions, to appease more than 18,000 lawsuits alleging that its weed killer RoundUp causes cancer. Monsanto's RoundUp is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. Farmers, landscapers, nursery workers, as well as home gardeners have used this weed killer--believing the product’s safety claims. Cases have proceeded to trial in both state and federal court and several other lawsuits are currently awaiting trial in 2019 and 2020. You may be entitled to a substantial settlement if you were exposed to RoundUp and diagnosed with any of the below: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma Mantle Cell Lymphoma B or T-Cell Lymphoma Hairy Cell Leukemia Other Cancers Available 24/7 800-648-1999
  20. Talking about stock options prompted me to look for some key words and this brief thread popped up. I hope no one minds if I put this here, (Merjet.) I think rather than stock options (as the first option) a company could just “gift” $15,000 to a worthy employee just as individuals can do without taxation. OMG! Ayn Rand had a Social Security Number! Peter From: AchillesRB To: objectivism Subject: Re: OWL: Rand & Social Security Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2005 13:42:28 EST. On December 22, 2004, Ari Armstrong wrote: "It distresses me to see Objectivists support forced savings controlled by Congress. If Bush's plan for Social Security appeals to you, please read the following essay: The Objectivist Response to Social Security http://www.freecolorado.com/2004/12/objectivess.html" I agree completely with Ari's position on this. I opined to other members of this list (privately) that "privatization" of Social Security, if still government controlled, amounts to a ~fascist~ program, as opposed to the present (essentially) communistic program. (I use these terms in the same way Rand did when distinguishing between fascism and communism.) (And I find it someone oddly ironic that Bush's proposal, supported by Cato and many others, is fascistic, while the program run in Germany under the Nazis was actually communistic.) One more item that may interest list-members who are not already aware of it. Ayn Rand was on Social Security! Perhaps she justified this in the same way that she justified taking government scholarships, employment, etc. -- if you speak out against it and are willing to do without it once it's repealed, then you are justified in taking it. (See "The Question of Scholarships.") Nevertheless, here are the details on her Social Security membership, taken from the online death index of Social Security recipients: Ayn RAND Birth Date: 2 Feb 1905 Death Date: Mar 1982 Social Security Number: 571-32-9405 State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: California Death Residence Localities ZIP Code: 10019 Localities: New York, New York, New York Radio City, New York, New York I post this more for people's information, but discussion would be welcome. Best to all, Roger Bissell From: Weingarten To: OWL Subject: Fwd: OWL: Rand & Social Security Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 18:06:28 -0800. Roger Bissell finds it questionable that "Ayn Rand" was on Social Security. Perhaps he takes the position of Leonard Read (the founder of FEE) who refused to receive financial benefits from that Administration. I do not however see a contradiction between recognizing that Social Security is fundamentally wrong, and receiving its benefits. Although I accept the imperative to fund the government for its few basic functions, that is a minor portion of our payments. Most payments are unjustified, and aim at wealth distribution, which constitutes theft. Yet let us suppose that a thief has stolen money from many of us, and that our position that the money should be returned is not followed. Instead, we are given a choice, that either we receive some of that money or none of it. I would choose the former. My argument is that whether or not we receive some of the loot will not abrogate the Social Security Administration. Rather it penalizes the few who recognize the immorality of the system, so that there are more spoils for those who advocate it. Rather it should be those who are against the system who deserve to be compensated, while it is those who are for that system who deserve to lose out. So I advocate the elimination of virtually all governmental services, but in the interim believe in paying as little taxes as is feasible, while receiving whatever benefits are advantageous. Weingarten F rom: Eyal Mozes To: Subject: Re: OWL: Rand on Social Security Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 20:26:40 -0500. Ari Armstrong criticizes Bush's plan for partially replacing the social security system by private accounts, and criticizes the Cato Institute and some ARI writers for supporting Bush's plan. I agree with Ari on many points, but overall I disagree with his conclusion that the plan is not a step in the direction of liberty at all and that Objectivists should not support it. Some points on which Ari is clearly right are: that mandatory private accounts will not solve all the problems with the current system; that the only way to solve all the problems with the current system is to abolish it completely, probably in several stages through a phase-out plan; that any free-market advocates who support the private-accounts plan should publicly and explicitly endorse abolition of the system and make clear they support the plan only as a partial improvement over the current situation; and that the Cato Institute, and some ARI writers, have been remiss in not making this clear. Ari claims that the private-accounts plan is in fact a combination of two totally separate and unconnected proposals: allowing workers a partial opt-out out of social security, and setting up a system of mandatory private retirement accounts. On this, I disagree. As long as we have income taxes that make it difficult to save for retirement, the only way individuals can effectively save for retirement is through special accounts that allow savings to grow tax-free. We have some provision for this today with 401(k) plans and IRA accounts; but any plan to eliminate or reduce the current social security system, whether through phase-out or opt-out, since it will mean individuals can no longer expect to receive social security benefits after retirement, will have to be accompanied by some additional provision for individual saving for retirement. I do completely agree with Ari that there's no justification for making such new savings provisions mandatory; the most reasonable solution would be a phase-out of social security, along the lines that Ari has suggested, combined with some provision for additional voluntary saving, e.g. through a drastic increase in personal IRA contribution limits. But the point is, some form of provision for private retirement accounts has to be an inseparable part of social security reform; the link between the two is not arbitrary as Ari claims. Given that Bush's private-accounts plan clearly does not solve all the problems with the present system, there are three main questions we need to answer in order to evaluate it: 1. Is it a significant step towards solving at least some of the problems with the system? 2. Is it likely to lead to further reform towards greater liberty in the future, or is it likely to block such further reform? 3. Will it be in any respect worse than the current system, causing new problems and new impingements on freedom? To answer question 1, we should identify that the current social security system has two basic problems: a. The coercion problem. The system is a coercive, paternalistic system, forcibly taking individual's earnings, preventing them from using it according to their own judgment, and employing this coercion allegedly for their own benefit. b. The pyramid-scheme problem. The system is a pyramid scheme (sometimes referred to as a "Ponzi scheme"), in which current "contributors" are promised future benefits not from any productive investment but from the contributions of future "contributors". Note that these are two separate problems. The Ponzi-scheme problems has serious consequences in addition to its coercive nature. It is the cause of the financial unsustainability of the system. It is also the cause of a grave injustice towards those who die young; those people have been forced to "contribute" to the system during their working years as much as anyone else, but they and their heirs are deprived of the promised benefits. A system of mandatory private accounts will be no better and no worse than the current system as far as the coercion problem. But it will help in solving the pyramid-scheme problem (a complete conversion to mandatory private accounts would completely solve the pyramid-scheme problem; a partial conversion, as Bush is proposing, would partially solve the problem). For that reason, I think it would be a significant, though incomplete, step towards greater liberty and towards solving the problems of the current system. Regarding question 2, Ari claims that Bush's plan threatens to block meaningful reform in the future. I disagree. On the contrary, I think that if Bush's plan is implemented, further reform would become much easier. The biggest political hurdle, that must be faced by any attempt to reform social security, is the problem pointed out by George Bernard Shaw: "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." In this case, younger workers are Peter, retirees and people close to retirement are Paul, and any attempt at reform must overcome opposition from a very large number of Paul’s whose ability to receive benefits at Peter's expense is threatened. Private mandatory accounts will overcome this hurdle; once they are in place, proposals for further reform, by making contributions to these accounts voluntary rather than mandatory, and by easing regulation on these accounts, will not be a threat to anyone's benefits, and will thus be accepted much more easily. On question 3, Ari notes that because the private accounts will include stock-market investments but will be subjected to heavy regulation, their investment decisions would be subject to political pressure, perhaps even made by government officials. This would be a new problem, a problem that does not exist in the current system and could be created by private accounts. Because the total amount of money in social-security private accounts is likely to quickly become very large, it could become a significant portion of the total money invested in the stock market, and having the investment of this money directed by government officials would create a lot of opportunities for political manipulation of the financial markets and of corporations. I agree with Ari that this is a serious concern. But I don't think it is unavoidable. From what I have read about the Chilean system, it looks like they successfully avoided this problem (I don't claim to be an expert on the Chilean system, and I may have the wrong impression here, but this is my impression from what I have read). The mandatory retirement accounts are managed by private companies. Workers are required to put a certain portion of their payroll in these accounts, but they have a genuine choice in choosing among the companies. The accounts are subjected to heavy regulations restricting what percentage of the funds can be invested in stocks, and the managing companies are not allowed to engage in any other investment or banking business outside of managing retirement accounts; these regulations certainly make the system less than ideal; but as far as deciding what stocks to invest in, the decisions are made privately, no different from those of any mutual fund manager. This is far from a fully free system, but it is clearly more free than the US social security system, and does avoid the problem of government-directed investment. In contrast, the plan proposed by Cato (in the paper written by Michael Tanner; http://www.socialsecurity.org/pubs/ssps/ssp-32es.html) would not avoid this problem. Cato propose a three-tier system, and in tier II (which will contain most of the accounts) individuals will have a choice among three funds; each fund will be invested in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds, each with a different ratio of stocks to bonds. This means presumably that the social security administration will appoint the managers of each of these three funds, who will then control the investment decisions of most of the social security private accounts. It is likely that the total of these accounts would quickly become very large, thus creating a lot of opportunities for these government-appointed fund managers to exert control over the financial markets and over corporations through their investment decisions. I find it shocking that a free-market organization like Cato would propose such a plan. Roger Bissel says that a private accounts plan would amount to a fascist program. Regarding Cato's proposal, I agree. The defining characteristic of fascism is that property is nominally private but decisions about its use are made by government officials; Cato's plan - accounts which would be nominally owned by individuals but invested according to decisions made by the government-appointed managers of three funds - clearly fits this definition. But regarding the Chilean system, I think Roger's characterization is wrong. Under the Chilean system, individuals are required to put a certain portion of their payroll into the mandatory retirement accounts, but have a genuine choice among companies to manage their accounts, and the investment decisions in these accounts are subjected to a lot of regulation but are still made privately; this is not fascism, it is a government-hampered market system, and it is clearly preferable to the socialist system we have in the US today. At this point we have no way of knowing whether Bush's plan will be more similar to the Cato plan or to the Chilean system; so far he and his advisers have not come up with any details about how the private accounts will be managed. If he comes up with a plan in which all private accounts are required to be in one of a designated small number of funds, then his plan, by creating government-directed investment in the stock market, may create more problems than it would solve. However, if Bush comes up with a plan for private accounts managed by private companies, with individuals having a genuine choice in choosing the company to manage their account, and with the companies, even though subject to regulation, still making their own investment decisions and not having these decisions dictated by regulators; then I think Objectivists, and other free-market advocates, should enthusiastically support the plan. In supporting the plan, we should denounce its coercive aspects, explicitly endorse full freedom, and make clear that we support the plan only as an improvement over the current system; but we should also recognize that such a plan will indeed be a significant step towards liberty compared to the current system, and will make it easier to achieve further reform towards greater liberty in the future.
  21. Were you serving in Honolee? edit. They have video of the AC 47 being used in Vietnam. I didn't watch. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" is even worse. Though I did watch some old WWII footage of flamethrowers being used. gross.
  22. I see Lil Kim called El Presidente an erratic old man. Chill out you dictatorial queen. What happened to you as you grew up? Let it go, let it go Can't hold it back anymore Let it go, let it go Turn my back and slam the door The snow blows white on the mountain tonight Not a footprint to be seen A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen The wind is howling like the swirling storm inside Couldn't keep it in Heaven knows I try Let it go. Let it go. . . . (someday I wish upon a star) Where the clouds are far behind me (And wake up where the clouds are far behind me) Where. All my troubles melt like lemon drops. Way above the chimney tops, (way above the chimney tops) That is where you will find me. Somewhere over the rainbow, Bluebirds fly. If birds can fly over the rainbow, Then why, then why can't I be safe and a good man?
  23. I remember BB was not happy with my little joke that spelled "the jews" as "the juice." Joos is a similar misspelling. I think one of the funniest fictional names ever is "Henny Penny." Is that from some children's story? I forget. Ms Money Penny, are you free tonight? Sorry James. I am watching you right now in "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade." You look older.
  24. Michael wrote: That's why ruling class elitists, including those idiots who wrote and monitored the Wikipedia article, try to paint Q as a cult with specific weird-sounding jargon and beliefs. Q scares the shit out of them--like bombs are supposed to. end quote Thanks Michael. That was very informative and well said. I agree that it is correct to have backlash against the polarized left wing media but my fear is that “unknown sources” who suggest conspiracies can have a worrisome effect on anyone who does not fact check and use reason. Oddly, since I asked the question of “who Q was” I saw something on the net that referenced Qanon and suggested that just as with radical Muslim terrorist web sites, Q radicalizes The Right with propaganda, unverified sources, and dirty tricks. Should tricksters and divulgers worry about the unstable people they may influence, to use violence or promote violence? I suppose planting ideas in the minds of the gullible is not Q’s worry but websites that don’t self-censor are not my cup of tea. I suppose it is the same concern that some have about Fox News right wing analyses and selection of stories and the other three main networks left wing analyses and selection of stories. Of course, everyone has an agenda, but “the news” should be based on facts. As Walter Cronkite used to say, “And that’s the way it is.” I was not totally sure about the extent of his left wing bias until he retired and let loose with both barrels from his bent mind, and another leftie who could fool the gullible was Dan Rather. It might be interesting to see an analysis of the “truthiness” of all news sources. Peter