“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Please Don’t Diss The USA - But Whose USA?


  1. They say he doesn't have a chance against Hillary. I'm not so sure. :)

  2. IRS data: The top 1% pay 37% of all taxes, the bottom half pay 2%

    1. IRS data for 2009 (most recent year available) are displayed above and show that the top 1% of US taxpayers (about 819,000 filers) paid 37% of all federal income taxes collected, the top 50% paid almost all taxes collected (98%) and the bottom half (about 41 million filers) paid only 2%.

      In the video below from February 2011 at about 8 minutes into the segment, a confused and blubbering David Letterman just can’t believe the IRS statistics in the chart above when Rand Paul cites them and makes the case that the rich are paying their fair share of federal income taxes.

      Sen. Paul: If you look at the income tax, the top 1% pay about a third of the income tax. The top 50%, those who make $70,000 and above, pay 96% of the income tax, so the middle class and above are paying all of the income tax. We are paying our fair share. Even you are probably paying your fair share, you don’t need to pay more.

      Letterman: Right, but I think there’s something wrong with those numbers. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m pretty sure there’s something wrong with them…


      Letterman: Thank you, you’re applauding my stupidity, god bless you.

      At the very end of the segment, a blubbering Letterman sums up his confused liberalism and resistance to the facts by saying, “I think he’s wrong about some of these things. I just can’t tell you why. I’m sorry. “

    2. Census: 49% of Americans Get Gov't Benefits; 82M in Households on Medicaid. ( - In the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.Oct 23, 2013

    3. A new report from the Census Bureau showed a total of 108,592,000 people were on some sort of means-tested government benefits program in the fourth quarter of 2011, yet only 101,716,000 people were employed full-time for the entire year.

      A individual counted as a beneficiary of a means-tested program if they resided in a household where someone received benefits.

      Means-tested benefits programs are the second-largest category of government spending. The government spends more on these programs than public education and defense spending. From a Heritage Foundation report:

      The 69 means-tested programs operated by the federal government provide a wide variety of benefits. They include:

      12 programs providing food aid;

      10 housing assistance programs;

      10 programs funding social services;

      9 educational assistance programs;

      8 programs providing cash assistance;

      8 vocational training programs;

      7 medical assistance programs;

      3 energy and utility assistance programs; and,

      2 child care and child development programs.

      Programs such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and veterans benefits are not considered to be "means tested," so recipients of those benefits are not included in the 108,592,000 figure.

    4. There are 536 billionaires in America.

      Out of a population of 330,000,000

      1 percent of America is 3,300,3000

      So why play a class and percentage game?

      Each of these billionaires are individuals

      Do you know if they pay taxes? If they are honest, decent folks?

      Or do you just label them thieves because they have money?

  3. The top income tax rate in the U.S. is 39.6%.

    The top income tax rate in Israel is 48%.

    If the top 1% makes 50% of the money, it's probably only right that they would pay 37% (or more) of the income taxes.

    1. The TOP 1% pay 37% of ALL taxes.

      The US government has collected more taxes under Obama than at any other time in history.

      The US government has given out more assistance to the bottom 50% of the population than ever in history.

      And yet there is still a deficit and a record national debt.

      Maybe those in the top 1% should not work so hard and earn less?

    2. I know I have cut down on 2 employees, and reduced my overall gross, to replace them with machines, and to lower my taxes and keep more...

      Go Galt.

  4. Rufus IIThu May 28, 08:25:00 AM EDT
    The top income tax rate in the U.S. is 39.6%.

    The top income tax rate in Israel is 48%.

    Sounds like living in Israel is Rufus's new Ideal...


    I perfer Kasich.

  5. The amount the top 1% pay is, be it 30 - 40 - 50% is meaningless. It is an indication of how much money they are making and not indicative of their generosity . If they made all the money, they would be paying 100%.

    Taxes rates on incomes over $1,000,000 could easily be 50% and economic activity would not blink. The very rich would bitch about it, but it would drive their ambition further. Their investment decisions would change but their motivation to have more would not be dinged.

    Tax exempt charitable deductions should be eliminated. Truce “charity” does not need a deduction. That is why they call it charity.

    The national goal should be to make workers richer so that they had the means to pay their on way.

    1. But the top 1%?

      Is not millionaires.

      They might GROSS a million in sales but they are small businesses.

      Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s 2010-2014 database below, here’s how much the top Americans make:

      Top 1%: $380,354

      Hardly rich.

      Maybe you should focus your issue with the top .1%


    2. IRS data: The top 1% pay 37% of all taxes, the bottom half pay 2%

  6. Debt Service, this year, looks to be about 2.37% of GDP.

    Last year, it was 2.46% of GDP.

    In 2007, it was 3.13% of GDP.

    1. There was no quantitative easing in 2007….

      that's why interests rates are artificially low..

      but don't let reality bother you

    2. The CBO is predicting that the next President will inherit a debt service to GDP ratio of Less Than 2.0%

      Go do something you know how to do (eg. think about repulsive, racist things, and make hateful comments.)

    3. Rufus, you not I, have spoken of your love for Hamas and your wish to be like them....

      The next president will inherit a debt service to GDP that is at risk of balloning if quantitative easing is ended.

      Rates are artificially suppressed.

      Didn't they teach you that at the "Drunks-R-US" School for the permanently self retarded?

  7. Household Income Trends: April 2015

    Median Household Income Up in April

    Summary of Key Findings

    According to new data derived from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS), median annual household income in April 2015 was $54,578, about 0.6 percent higher than the March 2015 median of $54,259. The Sentier Household Income Index for April 2015 was 96.0 (January 2000 = 100).

    These findings come from a report issued today by Sentier Research, titled “Household Income Trends: April 2015,” which presents monthly trends in household income from January 2000 to April 2015.

    The income increase in April contributed to the solid improvement since the low point in our household income series that occurred in August 2011. Median annual household income in April 2015 ($54,578) was 3.0 percent higher than in April 2014 ($52,972), and 6.2 percent higher than in August 2011 ($51,411). The period since August 2011 has been marked by an uneven, but generally upward trend in the level of real median annual household income. Many of the month-to-month changes in median income during this period have not been statistically significant. However, the cumulative effect of the various month-to-month changes since August 2011 resulted in the income improvement noted above. (See Figure 1.)

    According to Gordon Green of Sentier Research, “The increase in median annual household income in April has contributed to the general upward trend in income since the low-point reached in August 2011. Our time series charts clearly illustrate that although the economic recovery officially began in June 2009, the recovery in household income did not begin to emerge until after August 2011.”

    Household Income Trends - Sentier Research

    1. If I were allowed One data point per month to judge the economy, this would be it.

      (I might would prefer using the median of the 2nd quintile, but I don't know where you could find that.)

  8. In JFK's day - I read this yesterday - about 30% of the USA budget went to the various social support programs.

    Today the figure is 71%.

    And the middle class is shrinking.

    I'm not at all opposed to criticizing our country, but I like to hear a good word about it, like, maybe once each year or two.

    I'm not opposed to criticizing the cops when they are out of bonds, but a good word for those necessary people is nice just once in a long long while too.


    Bernie Sanders is "off his rocker".


    1. What Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore etcetcetc need is more Democratic Politicians.


      Bernie Sanders which fix it overnight !

      It would get so bad everyone would flee, like in Ramadi.

      Problem solved !!

    2. Bernie Sanders would fix it overnight !

      Yes he would !!

    3. Bernie will do it ! He may confiscate Deuce's Limo and Driver, and his walled compound, but he'll do it !!

      Or Deuce could just deed them over now, and save Bernie the trouble.

      Everyone admires those that practice what they preach.

    4. Oddly enough, in these socialist paradises around the world - take Cuba for example - the ruling class is rich, and the Castro Brothers are super duper rich.

      The peasants are poor as always, and poorer than before in most cases.

      Take Zimbabwe, another socialist paradise, which before the Revo used the export food all over Africa, and now is starving to death.

      Revolution ! Revolution ! Revolution !

  9. The darker side of solar power

    The Globe and Mail
    Published Wednesday, May. 27 2015, 5:20 PM EDT

    The Saudi Arabian oil minister’s recent comment that the world’s largest petroleum producer sees a postfossil-fuel world in which his country becomes a solar-power superpower must have comforted climate activists that even the worst offenders can come around. After all, what could be more redemptive than turning abandoned oil fields into solar farms?

    Solar power’s image as “clean” and “limitless” has led princes and politicians alike to dole out huge subsidies to bask in its glow. Under the 2009 Green Energy Act, Ontario agreed to pay solar power operators as much as 10 times the market rate for the electricity they produce under 20-year contracts.

    Not satisfied with risk-free deals that will make many solar players rich at consumers’ expense, Ontario’s solar industry is now lobbying for even more. And it’s leveraging solar’s apple-pie image to press politicians into giving it what it wants.

    On Tuesday, the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) released a poll purporting to show that three-quarters of Ontarians “would like to see the government invest more in solar powered electricity and in technologies that enable solar power.” The same proportion apparently supports reserving revenue from Ontario’s proposed cap-and-trade scheme for more solar power and related technologies.

    The folks at CanSIA are no fools. They hired the chief strategist behind Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 2014 re-election to do their polling. And David Herle put just the right spin on the results, saying, “Those who voted Wynne’s Liberals into power are looking to government to pursue opportunities presented by the solar industry.”

    It’s not clear if these voters would be as gung-ho about solar power, however, if they considered the environmental implications of its expansion. The industry doesn’t talk much, or at all, about the downsides of manufacturing solar panels or where all these panels will end up when they conk out. Think of how much toxic waste is generated by consumer electronics and you get a small inkling of what a world lit with solar power, and the batteries needed to store their energy, might look like.

    Solar power is still a marginal energy source, accounting for about 1 per cent of global electricity production. Yet, its environmental impact is already considerable, according to the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. The San Francisco-based group started out three decades ago tracking the e-waste produced by high-tech industry. It now produces an annual Solar Scorecard on panel manufacturers that depicts an industry that has got worse over time. Most producers refuse to provide any environmental data on their supply chains or manufacturing operations at all.

    1. “We need to take action now to reduce the use of toxic chemicals in [photovoltaic production], develop responsible recycling systems and protect workers throughout the global PV supply chain,” the coalition said in its latest report.

      The main factor behind declining costs for solar panels – the shift in production to China – has also made their environmental impact harder to track and regulate. Manufacturing solar panels is energy intensive. Depending on where they’re made, the panels need to produce emissions-free electricity for quite a long time to make up for the greenhouse gases generated by their manufacturing. Their components, which include several so-called conflict minerals, are often mined in countries with weak health and safety regulations.

      Panel production also generates highly toxic byproducts. Chinese panel makers used to just dump silicon tetrachloride on fields near their factories. China now requires panel makers to recycle almost all of this waste, though San Jose State University environmental studies professor Dustin Mulvaney says, “It remains to be seen how well the rules are being enforced.”

      Imagine a world, then, in which solar power actually accounted for a major, rather than marginal, share of electricity generation. And consider the massive increase in battery production that would be needed to store all this energy, since the sun only shines intermittently.

      Making electric batteries is even dirtier than making solar panels. Ask the poor Chinese folk whose crops, air and water have been ruined by the “graphite rain” generated by nearby mines. The average smartphone contains about 15 grams of graphite, but an electric car battery contains 50 kilograms of it.

      Solar power surely has a role to play in combating climate change. But it is not the angelic solution to the world’s energy problems its backers suggest. It could even create a whole new set of environmental woes that will require a new set of elusive global protocols to tackle.

      Who’s polling Ontarians about that?

    2. .

      There is no free lunch. Anyone who believes differently is a fool.


    3. Canada is too far north for good solar anyway.

  10. California is producing about 25% of its electricity from Renewables, and hasn't installed Battery number one.


  11. WASHINGTON: The U.S.-led coalition has staged 26 air strikes since early Wednesday targeting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq against, according to the Combined Joint Task Force leading the air operations.

    In Iraq, 20 air strikes struck near 10 cities, including five near Mosul, three by Falluja and one near Ramadi, the task force said in a statement released on Thursday.

    Six air strikes in Syria targeted areas near al Hasaka and Dayr az Zawr, it said.

    (Reporting by Washington Newsroom)

    - Reuters

    Mo Virgins, Boss: Need Mo Virgins

    1. >>one near Ramadi<<

      Sounds like that two week timeline for the retaking of Ramadi is right on schedule.

    2. You've got to stop this drinking, then feeling good about things, and then betting, Rufus.

      Stop it. Just stop it now.

    3. Talk about sitting on your arse -

      GALLUP: Mississippi fattest state for 2nd year.......Drudge

      West Virginia is no longer Pounds Prince.

      It's the drinking, the card playing, the betting, the sitting before the computer all day...........


  12. Yep, there are no free lunches. Everything has a price. (I would submit, however, that some lunches cost less than others.)

    For instance, here's a "Canadian alternative to solar lunch."

    Canadian Lunch

    8-Year-Old Boy Fatally Shot In Head...
    Police Say Mobs Gather Around Officers When Responding to Calls...
    MD Sheriff: Cops 'have been eviscerated, disemboweled'..................Drudge

    'We don't need no stinking Police. We will Police ourselfs'

    This is going to be a long hot summer, I fear.

    Don't ever let Bernie Sanders take your walled compound, Deuce.

    You may need it in two months.

    1. Obama is partly responsible for this - he's has always taken the side of the thugs, of the street protestors, rhetorically, always by implication blamed Whitey's 'racism', never supportive of the Police.

      Dr Ben Carson would have been a huge improvement as a role model for the USA.

  14. .

    The bottom shows an interactive chart by the NYT that requires you to plug in you own estimate of what percentage of kids from various incomes attend college. Only after plugging in your estimate can you get the answer,

    My answer tracked the actual very closely although my beginning point was a little low.

    The chart results are probably not a surprise to anyone. However, the chart only tracks one factor. I would like to see a similar chart run for the most prestigious colleges, in my opinion, one of the factors that contributes to the uneven income distribution in this country.


    1. I hope and have faith against experience you are not saying that prestigious colleges are a bad thing, that what we need is a universal diploma mill, the hell with grades.

      Show me one country, anywhere, that does not have "uneven income distribution".

    2. .

      Lordy, you are an idiot.


  15. Video: Carly Fiorina on how she would fight ISIS
    posted at 12:01 pm on May 28, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

    As the various candidates made the media rounds this week, there was one interview which jumped out at me. It was Carly Fiorina sitting down with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and taking one of the tougher questions facing every White House aspirant… if elected, what do you plan to do about ISIS? The answers we frequently get are disappointing at best – if there’s an answer given at all – but this time the reporter almost seemed shocked to have somebody lay out numerous elements of a plan in plain, clear language.

    Before we get to the specifics, check out the brief video and the transcript......

    Video: Carly Fiorina on how she would fight ISIS

    .....I can't seem to get the linkage to click but go to Hot Air today to see the video.

  16. Here it is -

  17. Why I like American Thinker -

    May 28, 2015
    Hillary's place is in the big house, not the White House
    By Jeannie DeAngelis

    Hillary and Bill Clinton’s combined net worth is about $55 million, give or take a hidden dollar here or an unaccounted-for million there. But accumulated wealth and big-money contributors have not stopped the tactically talented former first lady from opening an online schlock shop where she hopes to rake in even more money selling pint beer glasses, yard signage, and canvas carpetbags emblazoned with “H” for, I mean Hillary!

    Despite Hillary belonging in the big house, there are even tacky embroidered throw pillows that say “A woman’s place is in the White House.”

    Nonetheless, for those who still want to take Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 message on the road, the store has bumper stickers complete with Hillary-inspired phallic symbols. And for babies who, no thanks to You-Know-Who, somehow miraculously made it out of the womb alive, there are “Future Voter Onesies.”

    Wondering how the presidential hopeful got from Benghazi to “Hats off to Hillary” headgear? Well, somewhere along the line Hillary must have realized that self-deprecating humor is her friend and being the butt (no pun intended) of jokes might make her more likeable to a nation that for the most part doesn’t trust her.

    The idea to poke harmless fun at herself must be why the “smartest woman in the world,” brilliant merchandising mogul that she is, got way out in front of some of her harshest critics and inserted a comedic side to her online store by selling a pantsuit T-shirt.

    That’s right – Hillary Clinton has sprinkled sales savvy with a dose of humor in an ingenious plan to offer consumers an everyday (wink, wink) pantsuit T-shirt that looks like a 1980s tuxedo top but screams “Say Yes!” to the same woman who singlehandedly made Home Depot orange symbolic of girl power.

    If one stops by her online store, in the “Apparel Section,” along with a group of ethnically diverse models, there’s an attractive African-American woman modeling the “Everyday Pantsuit Tee” who, besides wearing an ensemble complete with painted-on pockets and pearls, also sports an uptight grandma bun that sits smack on the top of her head.

    Once one gets past the hairdo, both casual browsers and partisan consumers are immediately reassured that Hillary’s T-shirts are “American Made” and that the “Pantsuit up” slogan emblazoned on the back is union-printed.

    1. The problem for those actually interested in purchasing a T-shirt is that thus far, the choices are limited to one, because the only color available is blood red. And despite Hillary’s newfound playfulness, she does have a long, sordid history and a mile-high body count. That’s why “blood red,” although a little creepy, aptly embodies the full trajectory of Mrs. Clinton’s political life.

      Then again, if the inspiration for T-shirt-color choices were to reflect Hillary’s less humorous, more sinister activities and dealings, then any day now a white Whitewater tee should be added to the collection.

      And what a great idea!

      After Whitewater white, Hillary’s involvement in Travelgate could be commemorated with a travel-worthy turquoise tee. There could also be 100% cotton Rose Law Firm rose-colored T-shirts, as well as Billing Office beige and an earthy cow pie hue for Cattle Futures.

      If coming up with a fuller palette of colors stands to sell more T-shirts, there’s always the notorious Gap dress blue! And oh, let’s not leave out the Benghazi “what difference at this point does it make” black, shady Clinton Foundation fuchsia, pro-abortion purple, missing e-mail magenta, Tuzla tarmac denim, and everyone’s favorite, a Bill Clinton Caribbean-themed “Pedophile Island” tie-dye $30 pajama top, bottoms not included.

      Hearkening back to the good old days, Hillary could stroll down memory lane with old-friend T-shirt pigments like the Ron Brown burgundy, Vince Foster violet, Gennifer Flowers gold, and Kathleen Willey khaki.

      But in all seriousness, if past political improprieties did inspire her T-shirt color chart, at the very least it would reconfirm for erstwhile Hillary voters that Mrs. Clinton and her cheesy lapel pins and cheap plastic I ♥ Hillary tumblers belong in the big house, not the White House.

      Jeannie also hosts a blog at

      The Clintons are worth a LOT less than the Castro Brothers of Cuba, who ought to be in some prison hell hole too.

  18. "O"rdure would have you think that the Federal income tax is based upon gross sales, not net income of small businesses.

    Prove positive he has never been a small businessperson in the United States.

    1. Once again Jack you distort my words.

      Can you not be a straight arrow and not speak with forked tongue?

  19. According to Shep Smith on Fox News, some guy in France known only as "Quart" got a bartender in some village in deep legal trouble by breaking the Bar's current record of 55 continuous shots of Vodka by hitting the 56 shot mark.

    "Quart", who is noted by himself for his ability to drive drunk, then drove himself home, but died of alcohol poisoning the next day.


    The poor bartender had been charged with manslaughter for 'allowing, encouraging' "Quart" to continue drinking Vodka to break the record.

    The Court found the poor bartender legally liable.

    The whole village is in an uproar, divided about equally between those who feel the poor bartender killed poor "Quart", and those who feel poor "Quart" basically killed himself.

    However it may seem as to liability, I feel poor "Quart" finally got his just deserves, and the roads of France are safer because of it.

  20. New Republican poll mentioned on Fox has "Undecided" in the lead with 20%, then five others, including Dr. Ben Carson, all tied at 10%.

    The horses are out of the gate and the race is wide open.

    Go Ben !

  21. Former White House aides now on Team Hillary bash Obama’s ISIS strategy

    By Rowan Scarborough - The Washington Times - Updated: 3:33 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2015

    A think tank with ties to Hillary Clinton issued strong criticisms of President Obama’s counter-ISIL strategy on Thursday, with analysts writing that the U.S. is “failing” and needs to change course.

    Two former Obama national security aides break with the president by urging the deployment of American ground troops to directly help the disheveled Iraqi Army. One used the word “failing” to describe how the administration is arming the Baghdad regime.

    Mrs. Clinton helped launched the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) with a key note speech in 2007. The center is directed by Michele Flournoy, the under secretary of defense for policy for Mr. Obama who is viewed as a candidate to be the defense secretary in a Hillary Clinton administration.

    PHOTOS: Top 10 U.S. fighter jets

    CNAS issued seven papers on Thursday on defeating the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, with proposals far different from the current Obama strategy. It relies on limited air strikes and training Iraq’s unproven army to do the ground combat against a growing and vicious ISIL force.

    The analyses could be viewed as a preview of how a President Clinton would change course in confronting ISIL in Iraq-Syria and globally.

    CNAS’s Philip Carter, who deployed to Iraq as an Army officer advising the police and later become Mr. Obama’s chief of detainee policy, is calling for a significant deployment of American ground forces, an option Mr. Obama has avoided.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    1. What WILL Deuce do now ?

      He can't vote for the fucking Republicans, and now he's looking at a possible fucking Neo-Con Warrior Princess President Hillary.

      What to do ?

      What to do ?

    2. Hillary voted for the war, and by God she may stick with her guns !

      I have been wondering what her position would be on Iraq.

      Perhaps we are beginning to know.

    3. The Silent Princess herself is wise enough not to be taking questions at this point.

      She will wait on developments and change accordingly.

      Actually, nothing wrong in that.

  22. The automakers will report May vehicle sales on Tuesday, June 2nd. Sales in April were at 16.5 million on a seasonally adjusted annual rate basis (SAAR), and it appears sales will be strong in May too.

    Note: There were 26 selling days in May, one less than in May 2014. Here are a few forecasts:

    From Nearly 1.6 Million New Cars Sold in May Push Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) to Impressive 17.4 Million, says


    Big Times


    1. From the NAR: Pending Home Sales Climb in April to Highest Level since May 2006

      NAR: Pending Home Sales Index increased 3.4% in April, up 14% year-over-year

      Pending home sales rose in April for the fourth straight month and reached their highest level in nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Led by the Northeast and Midwest, all four major regions saw increases in April.

      The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 3.4 percent to 112.4 in April from


      Now, if they can just get a loan

  23. .

    In the Hall of Dicks, I have always considered GWB as the absolute worst president I have seen in my lifetime. However, in the All-Star voting, Obama always came in on top in terms of being the most corrupt. [The Most Corrupt trophy goes to the president with the most corrupt and scandal-ridden administration.]

    Bush and Obama both share the worst of all faults, hubris. Their other faults are kind of offsetting. For instance, Bush was incompetent while Obama is a habitual liar. However, though it all Bush always had the edge in the voting for Worst President. Unfortunately, in his final two years Obama seems determined to match Bush or surpass him in godawfulness. With his position on TPP, Obama may achieve his apparent gaol. He is certainly moving up in the voting.

    JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS: First of all, it is the largest ever international economic treaty that has ever been negotiated, very considerably larger than NAFTA. It is mostly not about trade, only 5 of the 29 Chapters are about traditional trade.

    The others are about regulating the internet, and what information internet service providers have to collect, they have to hand it over to companies under certain circumstances, the regulation of labor conditions, regulating the way you can favor local industry, regulating the hospital, health care system, privatization of hospitals, so essentially every aspect of a modern economy, even banking services are in the TPP.

    So that is erecting and embedding new ultramodern neoliberal structure over U.S. law and the laws of other countries. And putting it in treaty form.

    By putting it in a treaty form, there are 14 countries involved, that means it is very hard to overturn, so if there is a desire, a democratic desire to do it on a different path. For example, to introduce more public transport. Then you can't easily change the TPP treaty, because you have to go back to the other nations involved.

    Now looking at that example, what if the government or a state government decides it wants to build a hospital somewhere, and there is a private hospital has been erected nearby.

    Well the TPP gives the constructor of the private hospital the right to sue the government over the expect loss, the loss in expected future profits. This is an expected future loss, this is not an actual loss that has been sustained, this is a claim about the future.

    We know from similar instruments where governments can be sued over free trade treaties, that that is used to construct a chilling effect on environmental and health regulation laws. For example, Togo, Australia, Uruguay are all being sued by tobacco company Phillip Morris to prevent them from introducing health warnings on cigarette packaging...

    It is not even an even playing field, lets say you were going to let companies, make it easier for companies to sue governments, maybe that is right, maybe the government is too powerful and companies should have the right to sue them in certain circumstances.

    But it is only multinationals that get this right. U.S. companies that operate in the U.S. in relation to investments that happen in the U.S. will not have this right...


  24. .

    s/b ...his apparent goal.

    not ...his apparent gaol

    [Not sure if it was a typo or an understandable Freudian Slip given I was talking about a politician.]


    1. .

      This is classic 1% sticking it to the 99%, a concept some here can't seem to get their minds around.

      Count on it, the New World Order doesn't include you or me, at least, not for long.


    2. :)


      Am I allowed to cast a vote ?

      If so, I vote for Obama as both Worst President and Most Corrupt, and add I feel he definitely should be in gaol along with Hillary. And Bill.

      (Your minor error was not a type, it was a Freudian Slip)

    3. .

      I have ordered a large quantity of Guy Fawkes masks for sale in my Quirk's Fireworks Tents this 4th of July.


    4. Excellent move.

      You are always three or four steps ahead of the competition.

      "Free Enterprise Is The Basis Of Western Democracy, Dude"

    5. And usually two or three steps ahead of the Police.

    6. .

      Speaking of Free Enterprise,

      Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert was indicted on federal charges Thursday for allegedly structuring the withdrawal of over $950,000 in cash in a way to avoid reporting requirements, and then lying to the FBI about it.

      Hastert allegedly took out the cash and handed it over to a Yorkville, Illinois, resident "in order to compensate and conceal his prior misconduct" against that person, according to the indictment.

      Hastert, 73, of Plano, Illinois, is charged with one count each of structuring currency transactions to evade currency transaction reports and making a false statement to the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois said.

      Hastert, a Republican, served as speaker of the House of Representatives from 1999 to 2007. Hastert resigned from Congress 2007, and has been working as a lobbyist since 2008, according to the government...


    7. I gather Hastert was being blackmailed over some illicit sexual activity back in his teaching/coaching days.

      Trying to transfer hush money I think.

      Pedophilia activity, perhaps.

      He should join the Clintons in gaol for that, if true of course, the money transfers being secondary.

    8. Pedophilia/underage sex with minors....

    9. Larry "Wide Stance" Craig had the decency of tapping his toes in male restrooms cruising for consenting adults.

  25. Baltimore needs to be occupied by the Maryland National Guard for about five years.

  26. We are back to the Roman days in Syria, with ISIS - good picture album - not a nice gaol Assad had going there - may I suggest....good pics of ancient Roman ruins ....

    News > World > Middle East
    Isis in Palmyra: Civilians rounded up and forced to watch execution of 20 men at amphitheatre

    Heather Saul Author Biography

    Thursday 28 May 2015

    Isis rounded up civilians trapped in Palmyra and forced them to watch 20 people be executed in the historic city’s ancient amphitheatre, a Syrian monitoring group has claimed.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the men were accused of having fought for President Bashar Assad's army. It is not known how they were killed.

    The Unesco World Heritage site was overrun by militants last week, threatening the future of 2,000 year-old monuments and ruins. Thousands of Palmyra’s residents fled but many are still living within the city walls, while the UN human rights office in Geneva said it had received reports of Syrian government forces preventing people from leaving until they retreated from the city.

    The group released an 87-second video through its media arms showing all of the ruins still intact on Wednesday.

    Isis also released pictures of the notorious Tadmour prison on Thursday, which fell to militants along with Palmyra. The grim facility was where hundreds of political prisoners were held and allegedly tortured by the regime.

    The SOHR said a total of 67 civilians, including 14 children and 12 women, had been killed in the city of al- Sikhni, the village of al- Aamiriyyi, and in Palmyra for “dealing with the regime forces and hiding regime’s members in their houses”.
    Ancient monuments under Isis threat
    1 of 8

    Isis seizes Palmyra

    More than 230 men, women and children have been killed by militants in total since 16 May in Deir Ezzor and Palmyra. Isis is now in control of an estimated 95,000 square kilometres of land in Syria - more than half of the country.

    1. May 29, 2015

      ISIS is winning

      By Christopher Carson

      ISIS must have been delighted to take control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra this week, not least because the city’s glorious Roman ruins and amphitheater allowed it to stage yet another sinister spectacle. This time, the terrorist army murdered 20 men “by firing on them in front of a crowd gathered in Palmyra's Roman theatre, after accusing them of fighting for the Syrian regime,” as Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP. He added: “IS gathered a lot of people there on purpose, to show their force on the ground.” The Syrian men were literally murdered on an ancient Roman stage for the baying Islamic mob.

      But that was just Palmyra. ISIS has had a good overall run in the last ten days after taking Ramadi in Iraq. Although Iraqi forces had declared their intention to retake the city, the enemy brought into Ramadi the shrouded, sinister imam known as Abu Asim, "the blind judge of the Islamic State,” who gave a sermon and whipped up his followers to an appropriate frenzy over the group’s recent success.

      The terrorists seem well-ensconced in their twin nerve centers for Iraq and Syria, Mosul and Raqqa, respectively, and do not appear threatened in Fallujah, only miles from Baghdad. This despite the allied air campaign designed, in President Obama’s words, to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the group.

      The major oil refinery in Iraq, at Beiji, remains surrounded by ISIS, although it has not fallen, and of course Palmyra did indeed fall, bringing the enemy within striking range of the Syrian capital, Damascus. ISIS has announced that its soldiers will destroy every last priceless Roman statue in the city. The Iraqi cities of Kobani and Tikrit, the scenes of apocalyptic fighting among Iraqi Kurds, Sunnis, and ISIS, however, have remained success stories for the civilized world. On the whole, ISIS controls about one third of the territory of both Iraq and Syria, about the same proportions as it did one year ago and 4,100 coalition air strikes later. This raises obvious questions about the basic effectiveness of the air campaign as it is currently being waged.

      No bombs at all were dropped on ISIS to save Palmyra. Only a tiny number of air sorties were dispatched to save doomed Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province.

      In sum, the terror army has two advantages over the coalition, which may yet ensure ISIS’s victory. The first is its sheer fanatical violence. ISIS has a limitless supply of suicide car bombers who are nearly impossible to stop without anti-tank weapons. Unfortunately, the U.S. has been slow to provide the promised weapons to the Iraqi Army, and little coordination is taking place on the supply needs of Iraq’s government, let alone on the tactical coordination of airstrikes.

      The second advantage is the feckless lack of commitment by the West to ISIS’s destruction. The total absence of the ground spotters and controllers explains why the gigantic expense of 4,100 airstrikes has totally failed to shrink ISIS’s control of terrain in Iraq and Syria. You can’t bomb an enemy to any tactical effect without precision spotting by ground forces using laser and GPS systems.

      This lesson should have been learned on account of the early successful American war that toppled the Taliban in the fall of 2001. When CIA A-teams and Green Berets were inserted into Afghanistan and finally began lighting up Taliban and al-Qaeda targets with ground-based marked coordinates, the American air campaign became an almost instantly war-winning instrument. Not so today: the president and his team have “ruled out” any ground forces whatsoever, even merely to control the airstrikes. The president may be “winning” the war against ISIS, but only in the sense that Charlie Sheen was “winning.”

      Christopher S. Carson is a lawyer and holds a master’s degree in national security studies.

  27. To buy your Eggstractor go here -

    Excellent video of Eggstractor in action.

    To buy by phone call:



    1. Peels eggs 10x faster than by hand
      No mess
      Great for preparing delicious, healthy snacks
      Add egg protein to your foods quickly and easily
      Fun and safe for kids, too!

  28. U.S. saw Islamic State coming, didn’t order airstrikes, let it take Ramadi

    May 28, 2015 7:36 pm By Robert Spencer 21 Comments

    isis-in-ramadiDid they want the Iraqis to win a great victory over the Islamic State all by themselves? Or did they want the Islamic State to take Ramadi? We need answers, but almost certainly aren’t going to get them from a press that covers for Obama at every turn.

    “U.S. Saw Islamic State Coming, Let It Take Ramadi,” by Eli Lake, Bloomberg, May 28, 2015:

    The U.S. watched Islamic State fighters, vehicles and heavy equipment gather on the outskirts of Ramadi before the group retook the city in mid-May. But the U.S. did not order airstrikes against the convoys before the battle started. It left the fighting to Iraqi troops, who ultimately abandoned their positions.

    U.S. intelligence and military officials told me recently, on the condition of anonymity, that the U.S. had significant intelligence about the pending Islamic State offensive in Ramadi. For the U.S. military, it was an open secret even at the time.

    The Islamic State had been contesting territory in and around Ramadi for more than a year and had spoken of the importance of recapturing the city. The U.S. intelligence community had good warning that the Islamic State intended a new and bolder offensive on Ramadi because it was able to identify the convoys of heavy artillery, vehicle bombs and reinforcements through overhead imagery and eavesdropping on chatter from local Islamic State commanders. It surprised no one, one U.S. intelligence official told me.

    Other observers were willing to speak on the record about how many had seen the Islamic State’s assault on Ramadi coming. “The operations on Ramadi have been ongoing for 16 months,” said Derek Harvey, a former intelligence adviser to David Petraeus when he commanded the counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq. Harvey said many observers had seen the Islamic State’s series of probing attacks and psychological operations aimed at the Iraqi army and local tribes: “Everyone knew that Ramadi for some reason was a major focus.” He conceded that he did not know the exact timing of the Ramadi offensive beforehand and acknowledged that he was surprised at how effective the operations were….

  29. .

    Perhaps California should start prioritizing a few desalinization plants amongst their infrastructure spending.

    California’s largest lake is slipping away amid an epic drought

    The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California, 360 square miles of unlikely liquid pooled in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Now the sea is slipping away. The Salton Sea needs more water — but so does just about every other place in California. And what is happening here perfectly illustrates the fight over water in the West, where epic drought has revived decades-old battles and the simple solutions have all been tried.

    Allowing the Salton Sea to shrink unabated would be catastrophic, experts say. Dried lake bed, called playa, is lighter and flies farther than ordinary soil. Choking clouds of particulate matter driven by powerful desert winds could seed health problems for 650,000 people as far away as Los Angeles. The effects would be even worse along the lake, where communities already fail federal air-quality standards and suffer the highest asthma rates in the state.


    Bird populations would plummet if the lake shrank further, if wetlands disappeared and fish populations withered. But it is the dust that scares people. After years of farm runoff, the lake bed is toxic, with high levels of arsenic, selenium and even traces of the banned pesticide DDT...


    1. What California needs is a lot less people.

    2. Between California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and elsewhere, our country has taken in about 1/4th the entire population of Mexico.


  30. Weird News

    Pagans gather for elaborate Wiccan funeral of celebrated Cornish wizard

    Eron The Cornish Wizard Is Going Home

    >>>Eron the Wizard – real name Ian Wilson – died of cancer aged 62 and his last wish was for a Wiccan funeral.

    High priestess Julia Stoiber, a close friend of Ian, will be flying in from Austria to head Thursday's ceremony, which begins with four torch bearers representing the elements.

    The group will then cast a circle and bless it with the elements before calling the watchtowers. Pagan prayers and blessings will then be said.

    His daughter, Rebecca Spencer, 27, said her dad was well-respected in the wizard world and she will give him the funeral he wanted.

    SWNS A real-life 'wizard', Eron the Wizard - real name Ian Wilson - is set for a magical send-off in the first pagan funeral ceremony of its kind in Britain for centuries
    Ancient rites: Eron's funeral is the first pagan ceremony of its kind for centuries

    Are you a practising Wicca? Tell us your story by filling in the form at the bottom of the piece or email

    She said: "To me, he was just my dad but he was different to others. He was a practising wizard who looked like Merlin and even carried a staff.

    "He travelled all over the UK telling people to believe in magic.

    "Being pagan meant a lot to him and, with this Wiccan funeral, I'm giving dad everything that he wanted."

    She added: “It's nothing like a normal service, people still have music and stuff, but there will also be pagan prayers.

    "You still have people standing up to speak, but they talk about dad's body going back into the ground.

    "Even though he is going up to the pagan heaven, his body also goes back into the ground, so he becomes the trees and the ground. His soul goes back into the earth.

    "There will be a lot of people dressed in different outfits, witches, fairies, pirates and people in robes."<<<

    Eron was well respected in Wizard World, says his daughter.

    And if you take the time to view the photos of Eron in the article above, you will have some inkling as to why.

    The guy looks a little like a cross between Rasputin

    and Quirk, dressed up for Festival in Rio.

  31. A Flawed Proof

    Let a=b.


    a^2 = ab

    a^2 + a^2 = a^2+ab

    2a^2 = a^2+ab

    2a^2 - 2ab = a^2+ab-2ab

    2a^2 - 2ab = a^2-ab

    This can be rewritten as

    2(a^2-ab) = 1(a^2 - ab).

    Dividing both sides by a^2-ab gives


    Aha !

    Child of the dark
    He can out leap the sun
    His being single and that being all
    Let them delve that mystery
    If they can, those
    Time harried prisoners
    Of Shall and Will
    The right thing happens
    To the happy man

    Why we want proof

    by Marianne Freiberger

    QuirkOLogicO is invited to comment.

  32. GDP down 0.7%

    Economy is trending downward.

  33. The 1st qtr. GDP will be revised Up to approx. +0.8% on July 30. BEA has finally admitted that their seasonal adjustments are totally out of whack, and are tilting most of the growth toward the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and greatly underestimating the 1st quarters. They promise to correct for some of this when they release the 2nd qtr. data.

    As for the 2nd qtr., I think it's going to come in a bit better than most of the talking heads believe.

    1. I have never claimed to be an economist.

      I recall a long time ago, can't recall which administration, or whether it was dem or pub, but the head economic guy was on TV, and he said:

      "None of us here really have any idea what all these numbers mean"


      I don't doubt it. I sure don't.

      Odd what one remembers.

      I'm with the Dart Throwers, not the Hot Shot Stock Pickers of the famous Wall Street Journal Challenge.

      The Dart Throwers won.


    2. .

      Typical of the government. If you don't like the way the numbers are trending, change the way you count them. However, the new numbers may make us feel better but they can only be judged relative the numbers posted in the past under the old system.

      I wonder what are the chances they will go back and revise the historical numbers?


  34. As for "spotters" accompanying Iraqi troops: It ain't gonna happen. Obama knows that if he puts Forward Air Controllers out in the field with the Iraqi Army, as it's presently constituted, it's only a matter of time before we're looking at an American Soldier getting burned alive of Youtube.

    At that time, we will be on our way to another 250,000 to 500,000 man Army on the ground in Iraq (and, now, Syria.)

    Obama's trying to get us Out of there, not Deeper In.

    Obama is willing to help the Iraqis stop, and then roll back, the Headcutters. He's not interested in doing it for them.

    1. Hillary may be beating the war tom-toms behind the scenes though. Her fancy new think tank guys are recommending we go back into Iraq.

    2. Our Wiccan Princess from Arkansas, though, is keeping her mouth shut, for now.

    3. .

      There is no point going to war if you are unwilling to fight it.

      There is no point dropping bombs if you don't know where they are going to fall.

      The fact that Obama won't do what it takes,

      reason number 2 why we should never have gone back into Iraq in the first place.



    4. >>There is no point going to war if you are unwilling to fight it.<<

      Everyone should be able to agree with this statement.

      I'd add, and hang around long enough after you're on top to make sure it doesn't all fall apart.

      I'm getting really interested in what Hillary will finally say when she has to face the question straight on.

      We may have 'Neo-Cons' running in both parties.

    5. My laming brain is having real trouble in imaging that Hillary would have the brass as to actually urge going back in there when she was Secretary of State at the time of the withdrawal.

      If she thought it wrong, why didn't she speak up, resign, or something, demur at least, politely ?

  35. Quirk once had a stock brokerage called Q's Dart Throwers, LLC.

    He was for once very honest about things.

    He would tell the clients all about the famous Wall Street Journal Challenge, then give THEM a dart or two, and and have them throw their darts at his stock board.

    He did quite well with this approach, and had mostly satisfied clients.

    He charged 25% of his clients profits, if they had any.

    Really upfront about it all.