Jump to content

OldGimletEye

Members
  • Content count

    8,225
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by OldGimletEye

  1. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Would You Like A Warranty With Your Magic Beans?

    Now liberal and conservative sorts of people, when you get home tonight, I want you to take a look under your kitchen sink. Take a look at the piping right underneath the sink. I bet if you live in a newer building you have P-trap and not an S-trap underneath the sink. That’s because in many jurisdictions the S-trap is banned in new housing construction because the P-trap is safer. Maybe you already knew that cause you’ve done a bit plumbing back in the day. Or maybe you didn’t have a clue about that. And there is a lot shit that goes on in your home, with respect to wiring and plumbing that you (and well I ) don’t know about or think about and never see. In short, one might say there is a lot of informational asymmetries going on there and that of course justifies many regulations and building codes. And often conservative rants about “too much regulation” are over blown. But here is one area were regulation has probably gone off the rails. https://www.theregreview.org/2018/06/14/somogyi-zoning-codes-gdp/ I'm not sure about whether the effect they find is that big. Maybe it is or maybe it's not. But, I do think it's pretty clear that it is a problem.
  2. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: Would You Like A Warranty With Your Magic Beans?

    Today in the Republican Party. Snort, snicker, laugh, and ask generally, "what in the hell is wrong with these people?" https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/13/17460362/race-food-stamps-snap-farm-bill-2018-republicans-welfare I think the only response to this Republican clown is "you're a liar." Right now we spend about 70 Billion dollars per year on SNAP out of about 3.2 Trillion budget. It's hardly a budget buster. And if your worried about unemployment there are better ways to deal with that issue. So one wonders why Republicans are making all this fuss about it. Oh wait, we don't have to wonder. I think we all know the answer. .............................................................................. More Republican dipshittery. It just never stops. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/not-great-week-republican-outreach-african-americans ......................................................................................................................... Unions https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-06-13/unions-did-great-things-for-the-american-working-class In intro economic textbooks, it should be emphasized that the purely competitive model of markets is a model of market behavior, but it is just one model of markets and may not be appropriate for all markets. And it certainly is not a very good model for labor markets. We have better ones like search and matching models. I think at lot of times we think of growing wealth inequality, particularly here in the US, as being a function of the conservative push to lower taxes on the wealthy. While that certainly plays a part, I think there were at least two institutional changes that were important: 1. The loss of political clout by labor unions. 2. And the change in anti-trust law pushed by conservative sorts of people like Robert Dork, oops, I meant Bork. And this point, I think conservative sorts of people and fans of capitalism should say, "Thank You FDR for savings us from ourselves. Cause you know, we just can't help ourselves."
  3. Today in conservative judicial activism. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/8/17441512/obamacare-lawsuit-texas-trump I thought conservatives were all about judicial restraint. Guess they were bull shitting. ........................................................................................................... More on Globalization done badly. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/10/business/corporate-tax-cut.html The old 'Murica can't compete story. Brought to you by the same people that pushed the "skills gap" meme ie the CEO Business Clowntable. Of course it bears repeating, that he design of the current corporate tax law's territorial provisions actually does give corporations the incentive to shift capital abroad. Now fixing this problem might not be a "multi stake holder solution" but it is something that should be addressed, particularly if the goal here is legitimize globalization. Once again, we have a concrete problem (just like the Euro is a concrete problem) that needs a fix and yet the Davos crowd seemingly has no idea about it or what to do about it because they are too busy talking about "paradigm shifts" and "multi stake holder solutions". Which helps to undermine the legitimacy of free trade and globalization and helps to spur right wing nationalist. ......................................................................................... Interesting stuff on the FEDs 2% inflation target. Of interest since sane fiscal policy is highly unlikely given the current political environment. https://www.brookings.edu/product/rethinking-the-feds-2-percent-inflation-target/
  4. I think we all know the answer to whether Republicans are reasonable. Hint: They are brain dead.
  5. No matter who got elected president, I don't think any reasonable person would have expected the US to maintain the economic hegemony it had during the 20th century into the 21st century. It's more of question how the dynamic duo of Bush/Trump is destroying US credibility and trustworthiness. And the irony here is that conservative complained excessively how Obama was destroying US reliability and trustworthiness. Man, talk about projecting your issues on to others. Of course no reasonable person would deny others the right to better economic conditions. The Dumpster, however, sees this as threat. And the irony here is that for years conservatives lectured places like China to adopt market oriented policies. And places China basically said, "Okay, we'll do that". And now you have conservatives running around saying, "OMG, their economy is growing!" Go figure.
  6. What kind of people want to return to the bad old days when people with pre-existing conditions weren't able to buy decent health insurance? I think the answer here is: One sorry ass bunch. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/7/17440120/obamacare-penalty-lawsuit-trump-brief Please Dumpsters, Conservative Clowns, Ditto Heads, Republicans, both siders, and other assorted creepy critters, explain the reasoning here. Be sure to mumble something lame about best healthcare system in the world and "freedom". A very interesting point of view by the so called "pro-life" crowd.
  7. Honestly though I’m not sure how it’s supposed to pan out other than turning into a shouting match. I mean I can thoroughly understand why some or many people aren’t particularly comfortable with abortion. Truth, be told, I’m not entirely comfortable with it. But, it seems to me, even if you are not entirely comfortable with abortion, but believe that decision should be left to individual women to make for themselves, you’re never going to meet in the middle with people that think that it should be largely banned or made illegal. And those people aren’t likely to change their mind. I mean I am willing to give prolife people the concession that I understand why they don’t like it. But, I’m not going to agree with them that it should be banned or severely restricted. So this thing will have to be hashed out politically and the fight, like it has been for awhile, will be intense. I don’t know what else there is to be done. I mean it’s kind of like when conservative sorts of people I know start up with a bunch of crazy ol’ conservative conspiracy theories and won’t stop. I’m like: “Would ya stop being an ignorant redneck, cause you’re f*** killing me here.” Because there is little left to be done.
  8. Yeah, but it seems to me that right about now, we produce more conservative buffoon clowns than does anybody else. So it seems like we should be exporting more, than we are taking in.
  9. I think my general attitude towards somebody like Schulz with his socially tolerant but fiscally conservative outlook is, not to beat around the bush here: Just fuck him. I’ve I wanted socially tolerant policies combined with so called “fiscal conservatism” I’d vote for liberatians whose philosophy I’ve compared to a mullet with it’s “socially liberal party back end” and its “fiscally conservative business front end". For one the idea of “fiscal conservatism” has been a flamin’ joke ever since Ronald Reagan. If Schulz’ idea of “fiscal conservatism” means we have to gut social security, yeah, just fuck that because no really we don’t. If his idea of “fiscal conservatism” means we have to cut our tiny SNAP and TANF budgets, yeah fuck that too. If his idea of “fiscal conservatism” means that we don’t use aggressive monetary and fiscal policy when needed to restore full employment, then fuck that. If his idea of “fiscal conservatism” means pissing on organized labor every chance he gets, then fuck that. If his idea of “fiscal conservatism” means keeping the Republican Party’s sorry ass corporate tax bill in place because all his CEO friends really like it, yeah fuck that. That sorry ass bill needs to be made revenue neutral and that means the rate will have to be raised. I’m not of course unmindful of the future fiscal challenges the US faces. But most of that has to do the the US sorry ass overpriced health care system. Fact of the matter is that so called “fiscal conservatism” is a canard to cut safety nets rich CEOs and Republicans don’t like. Because, you know, they can’t really be honest about what they really believe, the flamin’ cowards. Frankly, I’m extremely suspicious of people like Schulz, Bloomberg, and Cuban. While I think their socially liberal attitudes are great, I do believe they’d rather be Republicans, but just can’t because that party has gotten so crazy. But, I think they should use their clout and resources to fix the Republican Party, rather than turning the Democratic Party into the socially liberal version of the Republican Party. And by the way, their so called “fiscal conservatism” likely will make matters worse with regard to social liberal attitudes and things like racism. We have every reason to believe the sorry ass Euro as configured has made xenophobia and racism worse. Along with the sorry ass response to the GFC there and not dealing with trade issues. And these are some of the reasons I can’t stand much that trash that goes to Davos every year. These guys want to portray themselves as progressive hipsters and fret about the rise of authoritarianism in Europe, yet have no fuckin’ clue how to alleviate any of it. Instead they talk of “multi stake holder solutions” which is meaningless garbage, instead of diagnosing the actual issues which and how to fix them. A lot of it isn’t a mystery. And perhaps if trade policy had been handled right, meaning it was done in a manner that would go against what is understood as “fiscally conservative policies”, Hillary wouldn’t have lost states like Michigan, Pennsylvannia, and Wisconsin to the Dumbster.
  10. Okay, now liberal sorts of people, it's time we faced up to the immigration problem. Yes we have an immigration problem. But, it isn't a problem that concerns a group of people. It's an immigration problem that concerns one guy. That's right. Just one guy. Which is conservative idiot and all around knucklehead Niall Ferguson. Now it seems to me that the US has comparative advantage in producing conservative knuckleheads. That means we should be exporting conservative knuckleheads. Not importing them. Now UK we love ya. But, would you mind if we shipped this conservative knucklehead back? Like overnight express maybe? ................................................................................................................................. The Republican Party: We got nuthin' to say about Trump's racist,sexist, and authoritarian ways. But, tariff's on aluminum imports? Whoa! That's just too much.
  11. OldGimletEye

    Teaching Public Administration - Beyond Balzac

    Honestly, the course actually sounds interesting to me. I've always been interested in why people or institution do the shit they do. I think a lot of times whether a class is interesting or uninteresting depends on the style of the instructor. Things like having good voice inflection matter. Being humorous and approachable helps. Some people could take a class like "Introduction To Beer/Wine" or "Introduction To Procrastination and Fucking Around" and turn it into a real snoozefest.
  12. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I think, at this juncture, the evidence is significant that Trump played to bigotry that went beyond what was usually normal for American Politics. So the question is: 1. Is Trump some kind of diabolical evil genius that knew playing to bigotry would win him the white house. 2. Or is it more like he's a buffoon, that has a serious affliction of diarrhea of the mouth, and couldn't shut his trap if his life depended on it, and he was just basically saying things that he really believed and many people responded to it. I think case 2, is more likely.
  13. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    Well it's certainly true that I don't recall the Dumpster attending every production of Rienzi ever made, so maybe the Dumpster has no grand vision, other than promoting the Dumpster. Still, I do think they both made nasty tendencies, already present in their respective countries, worse or went way beyond what was "normal". And it's hard be dumber the Dumpster, even if the Dumpster is a first class bullshit artist.
  14. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I think there is little me to say about it, other than it's extremely stupid. There is no economic upside to it and it will be all downside. American manufacturers which use steel or aluminium imports will face higher cost, resulting in job losses or lower wages in those industries. And then American exporters will be hit, when countries retaliate with their own tariffs. But other than the economic effects of these tariffs, the real damage will probably be political. Trump seems to be intent on undermining the liberal international trade order that the US helped to put together in the 1940s and every US president has basically respected. He is stirring up unnecessary shit with long standing US allies and partners ie Canda, the EU, and so forth. What is troubling about this is that with authoritarianism on the upswing, it seems, to me, that liberal democratic states need a bit of solidarity, right about now, which Trump is disrupting. Perhaps the next US president will be sane and will rescind these tariffs and try to smooth things over. But, long time US allies and trade partners will have to wonder just how reliable the US is, if it can manage to elect somebody like Trump who makes very reckless decisions and is willing to basically throw away about 70 years of trade policy. So Trump basically starts a trade war with long term allies, like Canada and the countries of the EU, but meanwhile Ivanka Trump gets a bunch of trademarks approved in China. What the hell is going on here? Hmm.
  15. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    And I think Trump really believes what he says or at least he does often. It's true that Hitler sometimes changed his tune depending on his audience. Praising capitalism when he was speaking to industrialist and then throwing out a bone to socialism when he was speaking to workers. So he was a bit of a bullshitter, kind of like the Dumpster. And despite today's greater media coverage, I think the Dumpster did get away with spewing some bullshit, or lots of it actually, since the media was evidently more concerned about Hillary's emails. Remember when talking about health care, Trump said he would come up with something "wonderful". I don't recall much the media calling bullshit on that one. And then of course, Trump convinced at least some people that he was this really competent business guy, rather than some guy that just basically licensed out his name, then sat on his ass, and collected royalties, basically. Anyway, both the Dumpster and Hitler, I guess, were are not with out some talents. Hitler did seemingly have a gift for oratory and public speaking, something that was noted by his army superiors, when during his last days they used to send him out to convince soldiers not to turn communist. But, as a head of state, leaving his evil intentions aside, he was pretty much a flamin' idiot. And the Dumpster, well, he is first rate bullshitter, so I'll give him that one. But he's in his 70s now and he has been bullshitting for about 50 years or so now, so I guess it's not too surprising he got good at it. But other than being a bullshitter, there isn't much to him.
  16. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    And thats all true. Even in the United States, in the 1930s there was a lot of anti-antisemitism. Back in those days right wingers used to call the New Deal, the Jew Deal. But, that's kind of like pointing out that racism was around in the US before Trump ran for president. That too was true. Both the Dumpster and Hitler, basically took something that was odious and made it even more so.
  17. OldGimletEye

    Screw the banks

    I'll leave it to two students and scholars of American Banking to answer this question more thoroughly. They write:
  18. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I'd say he was a very good manipulator that understood how to play to the worst elements of the German Psyche in the 1920s and the 1930s and then combined it with utter ruthlessness to obtain power. He was like the Trumpster in that he was able to appeal to various myths, often grounded in outright delusion and the nastier side of human nature. Just like the Trumpster was able to hint at "those people" are taking all the good shit for themselves, when in reality, that's primarily the Republican Party donor class, Hitler was able to appeal things like the old "Stab in The Back" theory, which blamed Germany's loss in WW1 on the Jews, and believed by many Germans, unable to cope with the reality of the situation, which was that Germany was simply bled white after 4 years of fighting and starved into submission when the German Imperial Fleet was unable to challenge British naval hegemony after Jutland. But, Hitler's lethargic and poor management style and his disregard for details and reality undermined his own stated policy aims (evil as they were). And ultimately he brought his country to disaster along with the rest of Europe.
  19. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I'd call him a very prolific and a very good bullshit artist. But, when it comes to policy substance he shows an extreme amount of ignorance and adds a lot of laziness with it. This is the crux of it with Trump. There is a lot of evidence that Trump ditched the kind of run of the mill dog whistle politics that's been par for the course in US politics for several decades now and instead just grabbed a bull horn and didn't even pretend to be subtle about it. And it worked for him. And the fear is, by many, is that even after Trump is gone politics may not revert to the mean of dog whistle politics as usual, but may instead trend off into something far nastier and insidious, particularly if unscrupulous politicians, noting Trump's success, try to emulate him.
  20. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    I think on a couple of occasions I've thought to myself, "You know, Rush might be wrong about this." That probably makes me an "elitist" too.
  21. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics: He's an Idiot, Plain and Simple

    Well when it came to military strategy, yes he was. It would seem many German Generals (or at the really good ones, like Manstein and so forth) didn't have a really high opinion of his military abilities. And once in office he wasn't known to be a very diligent worker, but was kind of lazy. In fact, if I recall correctly, OKH or maybe it was OKW or whatever had to wait several hours before moving reinforcements to Normandy, shortly after the allied invasion begun, because Hitler was getting his beauty rest. Nor was he known to be very good with details. So he was kind of a lazy idiot.
  22. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Until maybe you've met one with a leg or arm blown clean off.
  23. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    The bottom line though is that the state is going to have to get recruits one way or the other. Whether it gets them through conscription or through a volunteer system. Even if you have been highly displeased with course of American Foreign policy over the last several years or even decades, most people still, I wouldn't imagine, call for the complete abolition of the armed forces at this time, viewing that mainly based on a whole lot of wishful thinking. And if you accept there is a need for the armed forces, a soceital need, then it's kind of hard to say that somebody is completely ethically off base by joining And the fact is that you'd probably always find some young people, not always the wisest and experienced at their age, who would likely volunteer, not considering the current political enviroment. Or maybe you could do a french foreign legion thing. The state will find the troops one way or another, if it needs them. But ultimately, how those forces are used is on the civilian leadership and the people that elect them. I think it's just way way too easy, to pin this all on young soldiers, when its a societal problem, particularly when we've had a tradition of civilian control of the military, which goes back, rightly probably in most people's estimation, to the founding of the country. Maybe people ought to forget about what the Kardashians had for breakfast this morning and think about this stuff more. If I were younger and had my current experience and the wisdom that comes with age, hell no I wouldn't ever volunteer to carry a rifle for the Trumpster. But, supposing I had enlisted under Obama? I would then feel obligated to obey all lawful orders given to me.
  24. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Except in order for the soldier to be on the hook for following the order it has to be in most jurisdictions "manifestly illegal". Yes, there are certain obvious cases that a soldier should not follow an order. But, it is not the case that a soldier is on the hook for every order he follows, even if illegal. The policy behind this is that it is recognized that few military forces could fight effectively without discipline and soldiers promptly following orders, but of course we don't want to give soldiers immunity for doing horrific acts. But, besides the general legal standard for when a soldier must disobey, I do think that ethical and moral decisions making must be emphasized the day a soldier begins his training, particularly when thinking though tactical problems. I'll give an example: A battery commander is given order to fire willie pete at enemy soldiers. While not illegal per se, willie pete causes horrible injuries. If the battery commander thinks that regular explosives will complete the mission, he should resist using willing pete and immediately go to his senior commander to file a protest and get the order rescinded Yeah, so I don't think I'm blind to the issue of military ethics, as I have probably been thinking about this way longer than you have. Anyway, let say your France and its 1939. And Germany just invades Poland. Yeah, you probably don't want to start trying to build an army around let's Jan of 1940. The point here being its a pipe dream that we can just disband all are military forces right now. Maybe one day, will rid ourselves of the plague that is war. But, we haven't gotten there just yet. And until that time comes, soldiers will have to be trained and armies raised. None of this means of course that I'm happy with the current state of American foreign policy. Nor does it mean we shouldn't try to give our soldiers the better tools to make ethical decisions, when faced with tough tactical situations. And I don't disagree that the way the Marine Corps has handled some matters of late is highly disappointing and needs to be fixed. But, that is not an excuse going around smearing everyone that has worn a uniform.
  25. OldGimletEye

    U.S. Politics; Who Watches the Watchers?

    Sounds like your the sort of person who has never given on iota of serious thought to any of these matters and just wishfully thinks that all states can just get rid of their military forces and who just talks about Nuremburg, but has not one iota of a clue how the modern law of war crimes works and the policy considerations behind it.
×