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2 minutes ago, merjet said:

Wrong again. I showed what came out of Trump's mouth. I haven't claimed to read his mind.

See?

I couldn't illustrate it better.

You don't know what I'm talking about, nor what Trump is about.

Not a clue.

Anywho, enjoy...

:)

Michael

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Statistical errors are minor exuberances, yawn. Wouldn't the White House be safer than Trump Towers? Even a small jet  loaded with explosives crashing into it could do excessive damage. The First Lady should live in a protected area.   

I will rephrase this from memory but Sean Hannity had an interesting question tonight. If you had been elected President what would you do in your first 100 days in office? Presidential candidate Mitt Romney had a sixty day plan in which he would repeal everything that Obama had decreed by fiat, and then he would ask Congress to take away those executive powers that had been assumed by the President. So what would you do domestically, or with foreign policy?

Peter   

Notes. Chris Sciabara wrote about Peter Schwartz discussing foreign policy in 2004: . . . . The ever-expanding “neofascist” process that Rand identified in her critique of contemporary politics is further illustrated by the U.S. government’s socialization of corporate risk across the globe, granting corporations access to American taxpayer dollars—and the U.S. military if need be—to protect their foreign investments. Schwartz seems to approve of this. Looking at how Western-developed oil fields have been expropriated by foreign governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Schwartz would have us believe that it is the U.S. government’s duty to “safeguard American lives and property” abroad “by using retaliatory force against the initiators” (15). Hence, for Schwartz,

America could readily take over the oilfields [in Saudi Arabia] militarily (they properly belong to Western companies anyway, which developed them and from which they were expropriated decades ago by the Saudi state). The only explanation is that we have morally acquiesced to the Saudis. We are reluctant to pronounce judgment on them. We don’t believe we are entitled to assert our own standards. We have concluded that we must compromise those standards—i.e., that we have to give up some of our freedom—in order to accommodate the wishes of tyrants. (38)

Well, this is not “the only explanation.” Again, Schwartz misses the underlying dynamic at work in the current political system. That’s because, almost without fail, he focuses on moral issues a-contextually; he insists on pronouncing sweeping moral judgments on various global phenomena but frequently brackets out any discussion of the actual history—the actual context—within which these phenomena have evolved. We are left, in the end, with moral generalizations that are disconnected from the concrete circumstances with which Schwartz attempts to grapple.

I’ve long argued that U.S. companies short-sighted enough to enter into contracts with foreign governments like those of the former Soviet Union or Saudi Arabia—which had/have a poor history of upholding private property rights—should not have the right to hold American taxpayers and lives hostage to their stupidity. “We” do not have an obligation to bail out Western oil companies whose property was “expropriated” by the House of Sa’ud. A cursory look at the history of oil development in Saudi Arabia would show us, in any event, that the Western oil industry has been in bed—“embedded” if you will—with their ‘expropriators’ from the beginning. Nothing much has actually changed since the Saudi government ‘took over’ the oil by successively increasing its share of the Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMCO); U.S. administrators, technicians, and personnel are still firmly in place and U.S. oil companies like Exxon-Mobil remain at the forefront of all new oil exploration in the country.

As I’ve argued here, the formation of the Rockefeller-controlled ARAMCO depended upon a 60-year monopoly concession from the Saudi Arabian government; that government didn’t have the moral right to grant such monopoly concessions to begin with.

Let me emphasize a key point here: This was not homesteading. Western oil companies didn’t simply arrive on the Arabian peninsula so as to “mix their labor” with the land in order to attain Lockean acquisition rights. They were granted monopoly concessions in advance of drilling. Such concessions entail monopolizing all the oil in a vast land area through state force, which bars competing oil producers who might seek out oil in that area. The monopolist, in other words, uses the host government to gain control over a land mass through ownership claims granted by that government, which has no such legitimate authority to grant ownership rights (see Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty).

end quote

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No one seems to be commenting after midnight EST, January 14, 2017 but I am still thinking about history and our future President, Donald Trump. In many ways he has it better than past Presidents. What will Trump do with FBI director Comey? Keep him on in spite? Allow him to retire? I think President Trump will listen to what he has to say after the inauguration and base his decision on evidence and reason.

Peter  
 

Notes. From: "Erik Herbertson" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: American Civil War Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 22:14:20 +0200. Here is an interesting article by a libertarian (Timothy Sandefeur) who have a different view on the American Civil War than the quite common among libertarians:

www.zolatimes.com/V4.22/civil_war.html  On www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo5.html there is the opposing view.

 

The reason I pick this one up is partly because it deals with David Boaz (Cato Institute) article about the recent Mississippi flag controversy, partly because the very James McPherson mentioned in DiLorenzo´s article wrote a review on three books about the Civil War in the April 12 issue of The New York Review of Books. In the review McPherson writes that there are many facts (statements, articles, speeches, declarations etc.) supporting the view that the main goal of the leaders of the Confederacy in 1861 was the preservation of slavery. But after the war, many of them changed their motives in establishing a Confederacy to the issue of States rights instead.

 

McPherson points out the fact that during the forty-nine of the seventy-two years from 1789 to 1861 the presidents of the United States were slaveholding  Southerners. At all times before 1861 a majority of Supreme Court justices were Southerners. In the Congress, the Southerners were often in majority. In the House of Representatives Southerners had a disproportionate strength because of the electoral system "which stipulated that three fifths of the slaves were to be counted as part of a state’s population for purposes of determining the number of seats each state would have in the House. This provision gave slave states an average of twenty more congressmen after each census than they would have had on the basis of the free population above. The combined effect of these two constitutional provisions also gave the slave states about thirty more electoral votes than their share of the voting population would have entitled them to have."(McPherson). Anti-slavery Republicans called this situation the "Slave Power" and sometimes the "Slave Power Conspiracy".

 

This political dominance of Southerners speaks against the claim that the antebellum South was concerned with states´ rights. As long as their pro-slavery interests were secured by a pro-slavery president and a pro-slavery majority in the Supreme Court and the Congress, they did not really care about states´ rights. McPherson: "In 1850 Southerners in Congress, plus a handful of Northern allies, enacted a Fugitive Slave Law that was the strongest manifestation of *national* power thus far in American history. In the name of protecting the rights of slave owners, it extended the long arm of federal law, enforced by marshals and the army, into Northern states to recover escaped slaves and return them to their owners.

 

Senator Jefferson Davis, who later insisted that the Confederacy fought for the principle of state sovereignty, voted with enthusiasm for the Fugitive Slave Law. When Northern state legislatures invoked states´ rights and individual liberties against this federal law, the Supreme Court with its majority of Southern justices reaffirmed the supremacy of national law to protect slavery (Ableman v. Booth, 1859). Many observers in the 1850s would have predicted that if a rebellion in the name of states´ rights were to occur, it would be the North that would rebel.

 

The presidential election of 1860 changed the equation. Without a single electoral vote from the South, Lincoln won the presidency on a platform of containing the future expansion of slavery. Southerners saw the consequences that would likely follow. The Union now consisted of eighteen free states and fifteen slave states. Northern Republicans would soon control Congress, if not after this election then surely after the next. Loss of the Supreme Court would follow. Gone or going was the South´s national power to protect slavery; now was the time to invoke state sovereignty to leave the Union."

 

The issue I´m concerned with here is not really the right of secession as such, but the *motive(s)* for the South to secede. I would have wanted "pro-Confederates" using much more comments like the above in assessing secession. All too often I have read texts where libertarians elevate the Confederacy to the status of freedom fighters like the revolutionaries of 1776. I don´t think this is a reasonable position for the very reasons pointed out in Sandefeur´s article. Also, the Confederacy established in their Constitution the explicit right to own slaves. Many of the original Founding fathers had doubts about slavery, as most of us know, and wanted an end to it. George Mason called slavery "diabolical in itself and disgraceful to mankind". After nearly one hundred years of agitation against slavery as a violation of the American principles of self-determination, the CSA gives slavery constitutional protection. Some freedom! CSA was not more noble than the USA. Habeas corpus was suspended in the CSA as well, draft was introduced and civilian property was stolen. CSA had rotten elements just like USA had (and has). You don´t need to inform me about Lincoln´s actions.

 

The libertarian historian Jeffrey Hummel has written a book, "Emancipating slaves, enslaving free men", where he supports the right of CSA to secede, but he seems to have substantial information in his book, like criticism of CSA, for example. I haven´t read the book, just looked at some pages. It seems very interesting. I´m a Swedish citizen, and no expert on U.S. constitutional law, but it would be nice if some of you could comment this and perhaps bring me even more material on the subject. I would also like to know if Ayn Rand had any discussions about this subject. Erik Herbertson

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

Statistical errors are minor exuberances, yawn.

Peter,

What if I told you certain statistical references by Trump are the equivalent of playing possum?

:) 

Didn't he say all kinds of liberal stuff before and during the campaign? And didn't people yap up a storm about it? That was another form of playing possum. Have you noticed the conservative anti-globalist slant of his cabinet so far? Expect it to get even more hardline pro-American.

:) 

Here's the way I see it. Suppose Trump wants to build a housing development on a piece of land. And suppose there is a big ugly house right in the middle of where he wants to put the development. And suppose he is negotiating with the owners of the big ugly house to buy it. And suppose those owners have a bunch of advisors and other folks who look after the big ugly house.

Now suppose the advisors are constantly yapping up a storm about preserving the house, especially the color of the bathroom walls, the oak lining along the staircase and so on. And suppose they could cause a huge headache with the owners if they are not given some attention, assurances, serious consideration and so on.

What does Trump do? It's easy. He will say the big house is super-important, what beautiful architecture it has and so on, but he will also say he doesn't like the blue walls in the bathroom, he likes a light green instead. Oh? You mean the walls are already light green? Hmmm... Interesting. He already knew that and he was thinking of making them blue. That's it. He merely inverted the words. He made a mistake, that's all... He would also talk about how great oak looks renovated. And so on.

As soon as he obtains the deed, he gets rid of all those people, demolishes the big ugly house to rubble before anyone can say anything, digs a bigass hole, lays a massive foundation and starts his project. And the massive development turns out beautiful in the end.

That's how I see his statistical references about the government right now, that is before he is sworn in (or, to over-explain the metaphor, before he gets the deed). 

:) 

Michael

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9 hours ago, Peter said:

Let me emphasize a key point here: This was not homesteading. Western oil companies didn’t simply arrive on the Arabian peninsula so as to “mix their labor” with the land in order to attain Lockean acquisition rights. They were granted monopoly concessions in advance of drilling. Such concessions entail monopolizing all the oil in a vast land area through state force, which bars competing oil producers who might seek out oil in that area. The monopolist, in other words, uses the host government to gain control over a land mass through ownership claims granted by that government, which has no such legitimate authority to grant ownership rights (see Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty).

Rothbard downplays the host government's very real and significant monopoly and the oil companies' entrepreneurship. The American oil companies, suspecting but not knowing there was oil, paid for and did all the exploration work. That's pretty Lockean in my view. Later the Saudi government forcefully altered the concession agreement to cheat the American oil companies.

From Israel Kirzner's book Competition & Entrepreneurship, p. 21:

Quote

Our own position will be to insist on the crucial distinction between the possibility of a monopolist producer qua producer (which, in our terminology, is ruled out almost by definition) and the possibility of a monopolist producer qua resource owner (which is very real and significant). If nature has endowed a particular market participant with all the current endowment of a certain resource, he is in the fortunate position of being a monopolist qua resource owner. ... But it is important to note that the competitive character of the market process has not been affected in the slightest. ... we distinguish very sharply between a producer who is the sole source of supply for a particular commodity because he has unique access to any necessary resource and one who is the sole source of supply as a result of his entrepreneurial activities.

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12 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

You don't know what I'm talking about, nor what Trump is about.

Not a clue.

Since you pretend to have such fabulous insight into Trump's mind and his playing possum, please tell us how he is going to fix Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of health insurance/care in the USA.

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2 hours ago, merjet said:

Since you pretend to have such fabulous insight into Trump's mind and his playing possum, please tell us how he is going to fix Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of health insurance/care in the USA.

There is no "fix".  

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2 hours ago, merjet said:

how he is going to fix Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of health insurance/care in the USA.

That's easy, well understood in Congress: interstate free market competition for insurance, devolve Medicaid to the states, taper Federal funding

Social Security and Medicare become means-tested, young people get to opt out, save for retirement and health care in private accts

Don't look for anything to happen quick, but it has to happen. Entitlements (of all kinds) are 75% of Federal budget.

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2 hours ago, merjet said:

Since you pretend to have such fabulous insight into Trump's mind and his playing possum, please tell us how he is going to fix Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of health insurance/care in the USA.

He might fix Medicaid.

I suppose ACA will be "fixed" by Congress.

You can "fix" SS with inflation which has already vitiated its value by about a third. However, inflation only makes Medicare more expensive.

Every Federal expenditure is paid for by manufactured money, aka the dollar, the value of which is a matter of faith for its only paper or electronic digits. Today's dollar is worth no more than 5 cents of the 1914 one, maybe much less, maybe 2 cents. What will be the buying power of the buck a hundred years from now, if there be a buck?

The real problem is demographic: not enough kids to support the old folk and many of those who could don't or won't. This is the natural justice of the baby boomers children not having children. In the US we can keep importing new blood, but not China or Japan and other industrialized countries. For this simple reason, absent nuclear war, this century is as likely to be "the American Century" as the last one is spite of the oldsters in nursing homes being attended by robots. ("Roll over honey; let me wipe your bottom.")

--Brant

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9 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

There is no "fix".  

What else in new when the government does it? Take war, for instance--please.

--Brant

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3 hours ago, merjet said:

Rothbard downplays the host government's very real and significant monopoly and the oil companies' entrepreneurship. The American oil companies, suspecting but not knowing there was oil, paid for and did all the exploration work. That's pretty Lockean in my view. Later the Saudi government forcefully altered the concession agreement to cheat the American oil companies.

From Israel Kirzner's book Competition & Entrepreneurship, p. 21:

So WTF were the American oil companies counting on? Oil wars?

The primacy of government force trumps all social and economic activity which is why the wealthy countries are the freest unless they give their money away by buying oil abroad which wouldn't be there to buy so much except for those oil companies counting on being backed up by the military and economic might of the United States.

--Brant

screw them--and the horses they ride around on

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3 hours ago, merjet said:

From Israel Kirzner's book Competition & Entrepreneurship, p. 21:

Quote

Our own position will be to insist on the crucial distinction between the possibility of a monopolist producer qua producer (which, in our terminology, is ruled out almost by definition) and the possibility of a monopolist producer qua resource owner (which is very real and significant). If nature has endowed a particular market participant with all the current endowment of a certain resource, he is in the fortunate position of being a monopolist qua resource owner. ... But it is important to note that the competitive character of the market process has not been affected in the slightest. ... we distinguish very sharply between a producer who is the sole source of supply for a particular commodity because he has unique access to any necessary resource and one who is the sole source of supply as a result of his entrepreneurial activities.

I haven't read Kirzner and don't intend to, thanks. But the passage you quoted is hooey. Exploring the Ghawar Uplift wasn't a poke in the dark, it was a question of capital investment for drilling, production, separation, transport infrastructure, and a ready market. Those are business decisions. At the time America was the world's leading producer, so they had cashflow and retained earnings to play with. Yet "monopoly" (however briefly held before Saudi expropriation) is impossible in the oil business, not even worth discussing. There's no monopoly in anything, not even with state concessions.

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38 minutes ago, wolfdevoon said:

Exploring the Ghawar Uplift wasn't a poke in the dark,

......

Yet "monopoly" (however briefly held before Saudi expropriation) is impossible in the oil business, not even worth discussing. There's no monopoly in anything, not even with state concessions.

Easy for you to say with 20-20 hindsight.

Kirzner addressed monopoly over particular resources, not an entire market, e.g. for crude oil.

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1 hour ago, wolfdevoon said:

That's easy, well understood in Congress: interstate free market competition for insurance, devolve Medicaid to the states, taper Federal funding

Social Security and Medicare become means-tested, young people get to opt out, save for retirement and health care in private accts

Don't look for anything to happen quick, but it has to happen. Entitlements (of all kinds) are 75% of Federal budget.

That's your position. However, I asked for Trump's.

Incidentally, your "17 million under age 17" here is way off. It's about 70 million.

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46 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

So WTF were the American oil companies counting on? Oil wars?

When and for what? You could be more specific.

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47 minutes ago, merjet said:

When and for what? You could be more specific.

No. I asked the question for I don't actually know the answer.

There was talk that the Iraq War would be paid for by Iraqi oil. That doesn't mean oil companies were in favor of the enterprise.

My point is American laws are properly domestically applied and if you want your property rights protected abroad don't count on them (except for some possible tort relief).

Sorry for the confusion from my over-emphasizing the issue.

--Brant

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4 hours ago, merjet said:

Since you pretend to have such fabulous insight into Trump's mind and his playing possum, please tell us how he is going to fix Social Security, Medicare, and the rest of health insurance/care in the USA.

Merlin,

Why that's easy.

He's going to get rid of the crap that's caused the mess, especially the thinking and the kind of people, then put in top talent of productive people who think like he does to work on it. He's going to hash it out with them, then do it with them.

He's already doing that. All you have to do is look.

Trump uses business plan on a timeline thinking. The phase right now is not suited to much of the stuff he will later do. For those who build things, this is kind of duh. But for gotcha folks, I'm starting to think they don't know that the timelines on business plans indicate reality contexts, not just milestones someone pulls out of his ass.

Right now, before Trump is sworn in, Obama and his crew still hold and exercise power. That's a timeline context. That's a phase. Other phases will follow that have different contexts. In the current phase, Trump could either mouth off for real instead of mouthing off on misdirection, or he can play possum on the stuff that's going to be really painful to those in power. Common sense, not math, says in this phase you pretend you are harmless and don't poke a wildcat with a short stick.

What Trump won't do is use the same standards and people you seem to grant credibility to. He's throwing all that stuff out. His numbers start with observation of the problem without numbers, not a bureaucrat's wages. After observation, then he starts using numbers. In other words, numbers are tools for him to get stuff done, not ends in themselves or prime movers to justify a gravy train for insiders. :evil::) 

Of course, I'm talking about when he deals with problems, not when he talks to hostile people to get them out of his way. He will play a role for those hostile people. He'll keep them wound up and hollering about bullshit until he can remove them. (I don't know if you've noticed, but he's very good at that. And he beats them almost every time in the end.) But his tool and language for implementing his projects is observation-based reason. Trump has enormous respect for reality. Not so much for career bureaucrats...

Look at how he runs his businesses. His buildings don't fall down. And incompetent people don't last around him. Not in his own organization. His people are committed to productive excellence and winning, especially winning over incompetence.

If you are truly interested in his solutions instead of just bashing him, look at the nature of the people he is surrounding himself with and their plans. And if you want to look deeper, look at the people who will be affected by the government policies you are so interested in saving, not in the government policies as ends in themselves. They are not ends in themselves. They are made to serve people. At least, that's their justification on paper. So watch what happens to the lives of the people who are supposed to be served by the government policies.

Or hell, keep saying I'm pretending as you keep playing on the team of Those Who Are About To Lose Even More...

I hear their mascot is a unicorn with a calculator...

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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17 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Merlin,

Why that's easy.

He's going to get rid of the crap that's caused the mess, especially the thinking and the kind of people, then put in top talent of productive people who think like he does to work on it. He's going to hash it out with them, then do it with them.

He's already doing that. All you have to do is look.

........

More blah, blah, blah, and not one discernible answer to my request. :huh:

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4 minutes ago, merjet said:

More blah, blah, blah, and not one discernible answer to my request. :huh:

Merlin,

Like I said, you don't have a clue about Trump.

You don't even want to see it when it is explained to you.

Eyes tightly shut bitching about the lack of light.

:)

Michael

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26 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

His buildings don't fall down.

I am amazed.  Do the not-his buildings fall down?

27 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

you keep playing on the team of Those Who Are About To Lose Even More...

Merlin, you have been tagged.

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4 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

I am amazed.  Do the not-his buildings fall down?

William,

I didn't even have to look more than 10 seconds on Google.

The 10 Worst High-Rise Building Collapses in History

(I was in Brazil when the Rio buildings fell. They used beach sand in their concrete. Also, we can discount the WTC, which was terrorism and war, not incompetence.)

There are plenty more examples. They happen all the time.

Always happy to amaze a friend.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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14 minutes ago, william.scherk said:

Merlin, you have been tagged.

William,

Nah...

That was just rhetoric, not a fight.

It's OK to disagree without waging war.

Merlin's one of the good guys.

Wrong as hell and playing on the Losing Team right now, but one of the good guys.

:) 

Michael

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