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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

These bi-partisan clowns in Washington just don't get anything right. If you are going to invite foreigners to purchase a home for over five hundred thousand dollars and are offering them a visa, why not a work permit? The visa snd permit could be tied to the length of ownership and not an arbitrary three years. After all, isn't the idea to clear vacant houses and heaven forbid create some jobs.


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Two senators are preparing to roll out a bill that would give residence visas to foreigners that spend at least $500,000 to buy homes in the U.S. The bill, to be introduced Thursday by Utah Republican Mike Lee and New York Democrat Charles Schumer, would grant a three-year residence visa but wouldn't authorize the resident to work in the United States. The measure is part of a broader immigration package to be introduced by the two senators.

22 comments:

  1. I dream of California cognitive dissonance – Many Californians expect high level of services without paying the cost.

    The typical mortgage payment for those that bought last month was $964?

    California is an odd sort of beast. Our economy and politics feel like a speedboat going around in circles while the passengers stare at the gas needle dropping to empty.
    Given this context it should be no surprise that we took the housing bubble to an entirely different level.

    Many Californians suffer from a sort of cognitive dissonance whereby they desire high levels of public service yet do not want to pay for it. We see this in polls where people desire to have higher services yet rather not pay for it. Obviously these kinds of desires encounter reality traps once we factor in numbers. That is why only a few days ago the Controller of the State released data showing that for the current year, after optimistic budget assumptions, we are now behind by a whopping $700 million from initial budget plans just released months ago.

    When we see similar patterns play out it is understandable why some are seeing another housing rally even in spite of no evidence. California is still a state with an incredible amount of distressed properties. One shocking thing that I saw in the data was for last month of California sales the typical mortgage payment for those who bought was $964.

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  2. in 1981, French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing plotted an assassination attempt with Egypt. His administration spoke with the Reagan administration for approval, but the United States did not support the measure. The plot was abandoned after Giscard's term in office.

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  3. The Lost Decade

    By Angelo M. Codevilla
    Posted October 10, 2011

    America's ruling class lost the "War on Terror." During the decade that began on September 11, 2001, the U.S. government's combat operations have resulted in some 6,000 Americans killed and 30,000 crippled, caused hundreds of thousands of foreign casualties, and spent—depending on various estimates of direct and indirect costs—somewhere between 2 and 3 trillion dollars. But nothing our rulers did post-9/11 eliminated the threat from terrorists or made the world significantly less dangerous. Rather, ever-bigger government imposed unprecedented restrictions on the American people and became the arbiter of prosperity for its cronies, as well as the manager of permanent austerity for the rest. Although in 2001 many referred to the United States as "the world's only superpower," ten years later the near-universal perception of America is that of a nation declining, perhaps irreversibly. This decade convinced a majority of Americans that the future would be worse than the past and that there is nothing to be done about it. This is the "new normal." How did this happen?
    September 11's planners could hardly have imagined that their attacks might seriously undermine what Americans had built over two centuries, what millions of immigrants from the world over had come to join and maintain. In fact, our decline happened because the War on Terror—albeit microscopic in size and destructiveness as wars go—forced upon us, as wars do, the most important questions that any society ever faces: Who are we, and who are our enemies? What kind of peace do we want? What does it take to get it? Are we able and willing to do what it takes to secure our preferred way of life, to deserve living the way we prefer? Our bipartisan ruling class's dysfunctional responses to such questions inflicted the deepest wounds.
    Wars in general increase the power of any polity's ruling class to answer such questions in its way, and to work its will. Hard times force regimes, as they force individuals, to prove what they are made of. That is why regimes are never more themselves, at home and abroad, than during wartime. After 9/11, at home and abroad, our bipartisan ruling class did the characteristic things it had done before—just more of them, and more intensely. In short, the War on Terror empowered this ruling class to show its mettle, and it did so. Ten years later, the results speak for themselves: the terrorists' force mineure proved to be the occasion for our own ruling elites and their ideas to plunge the country into troubles from which they cannot extricate it.
    Most often, wars are won and lost by a faction of a diverse ruling class. Victories validate the winners and what they stand for. Defeats usher in competitors waiting in the wings. So for example, the defeat of Lord North's cabinet in the American Revolutionary War empowered William Pitt the Younger's faction, including Adam Smith. When John F. Kennedy's old-line liberals lost the Vietnam War, their discredit empowered Democratic and Republican successors who embodied an America more collectivist at home and more timid abroad. Such changes, though big, are evolutionary because they simply bring to the fore people and ways that had been gestating within the Establishment.
    When, however, the losers are a whole ruling class, and when that class is pervasive enough to have banished to society's margins any people and ideas that diverge from it, its discredit really does put society in a revolutionary situation. For example, the Soviet regime's loss of the Cold War plunged that country into a downward spiral because three generations of Communist rule had utterly destroyed living memory of anything but dysfunctional people and ways. {…}

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  4. {…}

    Degrading our Military


    In world affairs, the most significant long-term result of the post-9/11 decade is the transformation of the U.S. armed forces into a constabulary designed to occupy unfriendly peoples while our policies attempt to "build" them into friendly nations. This shifting of the American military mind—transforming war into nation-building—started during Vietnam and accelerated in this decade. The material aspects are easy to note: whereas a generation ago the Navy had some 600 combatant ships, today it has 284—ever fewer of which are fit for controlling the open seas, the role appropriate to an island nation's navy. Typical is the diversion of funds to a few Littoral Combat Ships, intended for small-scale penetration of hostile coasts, and away from major combatants such as the Virginia-class submarines. Small-scale penetration of Asia's coast is irrelevant to China's challenge, and good as the Virginia-class subs are, they no longer simply outclass the competition: the newest Russian models dive deeper, run faster, and are nearly as quiet. In short, as China extends its capacity to monopolize the Western Pacific rim, the U.S. Navy has ever fewer means to contest it, and our surface fleet can no longer venture confidently where the Russians don't want it.
    The story is the same on land and in the air. In 2002 as part of the transformation to America's new model military, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld canceled the Army's new self-propelled, remote-controlled artillery system. What good would it do, so went the argument, in any situation other than combat against sophisticated, powerful enemies? It would be useless in the urban warfare into which the War on Terror had degenerated and for which America's land forces were being refashioned. The same logic led to the 2009 cancellation of the F-22 Raptor, surely the world's finest fighter-bomber airplane. No more than 187 would ever be built. Why? Because the Russians and Chinese were slower than expected in building comparable planes. When they do build them, the U.S. will oppose them with the F-35—a cheaper and less capable plane. But the government does not believe it will ever have to fight sophisticated opponents. And besides, it needed the money for the War on Terror.
    Arguably this war's most typical purchase has been the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), some 15,000 of which were ordered at an approximate cost of $20 billion. The idea was to make it safer for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to live and move in places infested by powerful land mines, emplaced and replaced day after day. Such mines have inflicted the bulk of U.S. casualties in the War on Terror. Of course the MRAPs don't work against shaped charges designed to penetrate them. In short, they cannot make sense out of the criminal nonsense of operating in perpetually replenished minefields. {…}

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  5. {…}The point is that even had the transformation of the armed forces secured victory in that war, it still would have materially crippled America's capacity for dealing with any other kind of war.
    The armed forces' moral decline is more serious. The quality of senior officers (as opposed to that of senior non-commissioned officers, who advance through exams) results from advancement via "efficiency reports"—that is, from pleasing superiors. It starts with generals and admirals chosen for compatibility with the ruling class rather than for winning wars. Below that, the command and general staff colleges and the war colleges help filter out the warriors at the field-grade level. The fact that more officers who have finished their initial military obligation (Army and Marine captains, Navy lieutenants) now choose to leave the military than new officers choose to join is an accurate barometer of their discontent. They, and the military families that discourage their children from becoming officers, blame the top brass for designing operations that please politicians at the cost of wasted lives and lost wars. Endorsing the military nonsense of the War on Terror has become the prerequisite for successful military careers.{…}

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  6. - a generation ago the Navy had some 600 combatant ships, today it has 284.

    - typical purchase has been the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP), some 15,000 of which were ordered at an approximate cost of $20 billion. The idea was to make it safer for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to live and move in places infested by powerful land mines, emplaced and replaced day after day. Such mines have inflicted the bulk of U.S. casualties in the War on Terror. Of course the MRAPs don't work against shaped charges designed to penetrate them. In short, they cannot make sense out of the criminal nonsense of operating in perpetually replenished minefields. The point is that even had the transformation of the armed forces secured victory in that war, it still would have materially crippled America's capacity for dealing with any other kind of war.

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  7. The armed forces' moral decline is more serious. The quality of senior officers (as opposed to that of senior non-commissioned officers, who advance through exams) results from advancement via "efficiency reports"—that is, from pleasing superiors. It starts with generals and admirals chosen for compatibility with the ruling class rather than for winning wars. Below that, the command and general staff colleges and the war colleges help filter out the warriors at the field-grade level. The fact that more officers who have finished their initial military obligation (Army and Marine captains, Navy lieutenants) now choose to leave the military than new officers choose to join is an accurate barometer of their discontent. They, and the military families that discourage their children from becoming officers, blame the top brass for designing operations that please politicians at the cost of wasted lives and lost wars. Endorsing the military nonsense of the War on Terror has become the prerequisite for successful military careers.

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  8. the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan proved that our ruling class is capable only of fruitless bloodshed.

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  9. Which we discussed, ad nauseum, years ago.

    To the point that the host pressured us to leave.

    Those truths we told did not suit his "meme".

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  10. .

    Rat's right.

    Old news.

    The War on Terror was bullshit from the beginning.

    The problem is it still continues along the same lines. Little has changed.

    .

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  11. Steve Jobs, Apple's late co-founder, regretted delaying potentially lifesaving surgery to treat his pancreatic cancer, his official biographer has revealed.

    ...

    Eventually, Jobs' family and friends convinced the innovator to opt for surgery. But it is thought that, during the months Jobs delayed the surgery, the cancer had spread to surrounding tissues.

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  12. Arbabsiar’s Iranian contacts allegedly wired two separate payments totaling $100,000 in August into an FBI-controlled bank account in the United States, with Shakuri’s approval, as a down payment to the DEA source for the killing (the agreed-upon total price was $1.5 million).

    ...

    One argument that has appeared in media coverage and has cast doubt on the validity of the U.S. government’s case is the alleged use by the Quds Force of Arbabsiar, an unemployed used car salesman, as its interlocutor. The criminal complaint states that Arbabsiar was recruited by his cousin, Abdul Reza Shahlai, a senior Quds Force commander, in spring 2011 and then handled by Shakuri, who is Shahlai’s deputy.

    ...

    One other result of the Arbabsiar case is that it has re-energized the long-held U.S. fears of foreign entities using the porous U.S.-Mexico border to conduct terrorist attacks inside the United States and of Mexican cartels partnering with foreign entities to carry out such attacks.


    Assassination Plot

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  13. Despite frosty relations with the titans of Wall Street, President Obama has still managed to raise far more money this year from the financial and banking sector than Mitt Romney or any other Republican presidential candidate, according to new fundraising data.

    ...

    Obama’s ties to Wall Street donors could complicate Democratic plans to paint Republicans as puppets of the financial industry, particularly in light of the Occupy Wall Street protests that have gone global over the past week.

    ...

    Obama’s financial advantage is almost certain to narrow in the months ahead. Once chosen, a GOP nominee will be able to raise money jointly with the Republican National Committee.

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  14. With so many armed groups operating in Tripoli and elsewhere in Libya, a peaceful resolution to the question of who should take power is unlikely. The main groupings come from Benghazi, Misurata, Zentan and Tripoli, but there are other, smaller militias as well that will want to ensure they are represented in the new Libya.

    ...

    The shape of the new Libya is highly uncertain, but what is clear is that the NTC is not going to simply take control where Gadhafi left off. Certain members of its leadership may play a key role in any transitional government, but not without serious compromises or, even more likely, violence occurring in the process.

    Pro-Gadhafi tribal elements in the last region to fall to rebel fighters also will be a potential source of violence in the coming months, as they will fight to make sure they are not left out of the future power structure.

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  15. Romney, in a visit to western Iowa on Thursday morning, said that “it’s about time” when asked about Gaddafi’s death and added: “The world is a better place with Gaddafi gone.”

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Gaddafi’s death was “good news”, adding: “It should bring the end of conflict there, and help them move closer to elections and a real democracy.”

    Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican party’s presidential nominee in 2008, said that Gaddafi’s death “marks an end to the first phase of the Libyan revolution”.

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  16. Egypt isn't turning out well.

    ...who are the "rebels?"

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  17. "At least at first he went through some tough things, I won't elaborate here," he said. "After the first six months to a year, his treatment improved."

    He said that his son was kept in isolation, without seeing the sun for five years, but was allowed to listen to Israeli stations on the radio.

    Thursday was the Jewish festival of Simhat Torah and Noam Shalit said that his son spent the day chatting with friends, riding his bicycle and playing table tennis.

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  18. You pretty much said what i could not effectively communicate. +1

    My site:
    internet anbieter oder dsl vergleich

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  19. This can't actually work, I suppose like this.

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