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    Cosmology, unified theories other than string theories, particle physics, medieval European history, primarily England and France
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    BA(Biol) '68, Johns Hopkins University
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    retired MD Dept of the Environment

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mothythewso's Achievements


Meson (3/13)



  1. To Phi for All,ref #8: seems like it turned out to be a pretty long thread afterall. To Swansont, ref#11. I think people quoting the original source article "Political Conservatism as a Motivated Social Cognition", have no idea what "N = 22218" means, have no idea what that articles states, that in roughly 35 pages the word "insanity" is not mentioned once, that the authors specifically say that they relied to much on undergrads for their data, that further research of the liberal belief system is desirable. From this source a self-confessed anti-conservative remembered to write an article on political conservatism as a mild form of insanity, his deduction, not the authors of the source paper. I think I accomplished what I wanted in this thread, that some agreement comes about stereotyping each other. It's a lot easier than having a discussion. And now, adieu. When I said I didn't have any time to waste on a bunch of vacuous blather, I was referring to some posts I made on another Forum, which I guess nobody bothered to go to. In fact , I am dying, colo-rectal cancer, in the final days. I've really enjoyed these Fora over the past couple of weeks, even the gentle bickering with Overtone, sorry I won't be around longer to raise liberal hackles any longer Tim O'Hare aka mothythewso
  2. If I had started the thread with a statement: "Liberalism is a mild form of insanity", y'all would have a point. I merely posed a question. And why is my question more inherently offensive than "Is political conservatism a mild form of insanity?" I was trying to prove a point, and I think I have. I really have no interest in this thread, even though I started it. And I won't be posting on this thread any more. See my posts #36 and #37, My personal thoughts on death and the Universe, under General Philosophy. I personally haven't time to waste on such vacuous blather as will result from this discussion, whether it's from the left or the right. But I will miss you, dear Overtone, you're so much fun to piss off.
  3. In the interest of fairness, just seems like a reasonable question to ask.
  4. Imatfaal: Why don't you let the poster explain his error, unless you also want to serve as an apologist for Joe Kennedy. Prescott Sheldon Bush (no mention of Joseph) was a Director of Union Banking Corporation. He held 1 share of stock. The bank was accused of conspiring with Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen to clear Nazi gold during WWII, and it was divested by the US Government. According to one of the articles you referenced, Bush had a commercial relationship only with UBC; he was never considered to be a Nazi sympathizer, including, amongst others, the Anti Defamation League. I'll let the poster defend Joe Kennedy's positions on Jews in general and Nazism in particular. Phi for All: Why has the age for full eligibility gone up, depending upon your birth year?
  5. I think that after someone's made a post, whether pro-or-anti consensus, another poster's replied with disparaging comments referencing the poster's liberal/conservative talking points, the original poster's fired back in kind, each following post should start "Standard Conservative or Liberal Bullshit posited.". Otherwise the boredom factor really mounts up.
  6. Put "Joseph Bush and Nazi's" in any web browser, nada. In fact, the grandfather of W. and Jeb, to whom I presume the previous poster of #84 was referring, was Prescott Bush. Now try "Joe Kennedy (the grandfather of JFK, RFK, and Teddy Kennedy) and Nazi's", there's a veritable plethora of hits, none complimentary. So, the previous poster is dead wrong in his accusation. Nothing new. My describing Social Security as an insurance program, and not a "...transfer or(sic) wealth program..." is understandable. FICA stands for the Federal Income Contributions Act; included in FICA is old age, survivors and disabilities insurance (OASDI). The supreme Court, in Flemming vs. Nestor (1960), has ruled that no citizen has an accrued property right to Social Security benefits. AS a matter of fact, the ex-Social Security employee who briefed us on retirement benefits, became incensed when we characterized FICA as a tax. And the poster was dead wrong when he stated that "Everyone who contributes into SS gets the same benefit-...", your benefit is based on your earnings; you earn more, you get. For what it's worth, when Social Security was set up, the average worker didn't get to retire, the average life-span wasn't anywhere the eligibility age of 65. That's why it was solvent for so long. "In order to benefit from an IRA or 401K you have to be competent at investing in financial instruments or lucky in your choice of representative..."; why does the poster have such a negative opinion of the intelligence of the poor, or their desire to get ahead in life. And you also need to have a high income; two words, Compound Interest. By the way, this poster is still waiting for an apology for the "joannova graph" comment on another thread; are you still claiming, since you admit you can't find the graph in question, that it was deleted?
  7. To answer JohnCuthber, post 78. My bad on misspelling "Nobel". Agreed, it wasn't one of the original Nobel prizes, but it is recognized by the Committee. Granted, individual stock ownership, whether in one's own account or in mutual funds, or retirement vehicles, is at it's lowest level in in quite a few years, now about 52%, as opposed to a high of 67% in 2007. And it's most likely related to stagnant wages, not lack of interest, as the stock market has done very well post 2008 To answer iNow, post 82, I wasn't aware of Hayek's attitude toward the Nobel; it's been a while since I read him. Also, post 81, the graph is of payroll taxes, like Social Security, NOT income taxes. It may or may not be fair, but since FICA taxes top out, the wealthy will obviously pay a lower percentage of their income. And FICA only applies to ordinary income, not capital gains, bond interest, etc. I'm sure that someday soon, someone will propose the obvious solution: raise the level of income due to FICA, or include other types of income to the base. However, if a guy making $100 M pays full FICA, that's, what, $6-8M That's going to add substantially to his total tax burden. To forestall Overtone, read Hayek's essay, "Why I'm not a Conservative". To return to post 78, your pension has to be based on some type of self-replenishing asset, probably bonds. Some thoughts on Social Security, Pensions, IRA"S and 401k's. I had a friend, he was a Black male, we used to get into pretty intense arguments about SS. My contention, since Black males have lower life expectancies than most any other group, they on average got screwed. He just couldn't accept that. He died, hadn't reached 65, he got nothing; his wife, who had divorced and predeceased him, got nothing; his sons, both adults, got nothing. On Pensions, now they're mostly confined to government workers. Why? Because only governments can back up their promises with tax revenues. When a private company, like Bethlehem Steel or GM, goes bankrupt, the workers get screwed. Full disclosure, I get a State Government pension, and I thank my lucky stars. I think IRA's and/or 401k's are the only way to go, with support from SS. I'm aware the better off you are, the more you can contribute, the more likely you're to be to take advantage of Roth IRA's. But you're not forced to participate. If you don't care to take personal responsibility, it's on you. Yes, yes, some workers aren't eligible, some workers aren't able to contribute very much, some people just can't conquer the odds against them. Still, I think they're the best way, and definitely the way of the future. One minor dig at Overtone (I can't resist). Another Gullup poll I saw earlier indicated that the number of self-described liberals over the age of 30 has been decreasing.
  8. Some more thoughts to disparage Friedrich Hayek is my hero. Feel free to rip on a Noble Laureate. Most people, mainly middle-class employees, actually own stocks in their IRA's or 401k's, through Mutual Funds. One of the main income sources for high-net-worth individuals is tax-free Muni bonds. The bond issuers pay a low rate of interest to fund their public service projects, the purchasers get the interest tax-free. They make their money through economies of scale. Anyone can buy tax-free muni's, it just doesn't make economic sense unless you're in a high tax bracket. I'm aware that the system isn't perfect, but do you have problems with the concept? One of the basic laws of economics is that the reward has to be commensurate with the risk; if it isn't, nobody, even the rich, will invest in the project. There's a point at which excessive taxation of potential profits is counterproductive, it will kill off investment. There's someone on this thread who continues to lambaste my opinions here and elsewhere as "FOX News talking points" and "Rush Limbaugh canards." This gentleman also railed in his post against "...a single one of Nazi Joe Bush's grandchildren." He's wrong in both cases, and I think the comment about Nazi Joe Bush. is illustrative of his personal biases.
  9. Think my exact quote was "And I have infinitely more respect for the destructive power of nuclear than you could ever have.", and I told you exactly why, specifically referring to my experiences in the military. And again, I didn't post any "joannova" graph, nor apparently did anyone else on this thread. Severe case of misquoting. FYI, I never heard of the particular graph 'til you bought it up. I formally retract my statement averring that you referred to me as "willfully ignorant." I checked the whole thread, and you didn't say any such thing. Sorry. You did say, in post #26, "Wonderful Concepts. Included in them would be of course the political involvement expected of adult persons-in this case a solid and vocal support of the liberal politicians and liberal political agendas that are our only hope of establishing them as financial possibilities and societal norms." You were referring to some basic solutions that are admittedly not mine , just generally accepted partial solutions. In my home state, blue-as-blue can be Mid-Atlantic coast, most of our air pollution is generated in Ohio. I know, bad example, they have a Republican governor. My former co-workers in the Dept of Environment Administration responsible for air pollution, who actually DID things, still struggled on, and we had a pretty good record. Under Democratic and Republican governors. Just thought I'd throw that in. Again, I say that you'll never get political agreement, all-Liberal government in the next fifty years unless there's an armed revolution, and your side wins. And since you don't like guns, that ain't gonna happen. Let alone a unified World Government, which will be essential. I don't see China cutting down on their fossil fuel usage any time soon. I can't decide whether you're an arrogant little prick, or just terminally insane. If you would once come up with a positive statement, propose ANYTHING even moderately hopeful, I'll be happy to listen. Or you can just cry in your beer, presuming you're old enough.
  10. Quoted from above, if anybody wants to take credit for it, be my guest. And here is where taxing the rich pays off-there are many fewer of them, and so they are easier to keep track of. Holy Mother of Pearl! Couple of thoughts. College is the entry level for most jobs, government decides to help out by offering more loans, more people therefor attend college, so colleges raise their tuitions (supply-demand curve), so recent grads are up to their ears in debt when they graduate, then they find that they can't get a good-paying job with their gender studies degree, Meanwhile, auto mechanics, electricians, plumbers, dry-wall installers, those with other useful skills that didn't cost them 20 grand a tear to acquire, are doing well. How many people on a payroll are willing to put in the time, to take the risks involved in starting up their own business. If they fail, and most fail at least once, who cares? But if they succeed, well, then why don't the cheap bastards want to share? Tax evasion? Goes on all the time. But most successful business owners I know actually supply jobs to others, pay their good employees well, generally pay higher taxes, DO pay double Social Security taxes, pay full freight to send their sons or daughters to college because, after all, somebody's got to pay for all those loans. CEO's who make ridiculously more than their workers? Well, if the Company's successful because of their talents, and the workers are well paid, what's the problem? One simple solution; tie CEO pay to performance. Capital gains. Somebody's got to invest in new companies. Somebody's got to take a risk. If they make a profit with money that usually already been taxed once, why should they have to share a large part of their profits with those who don't want to take the risks, or do the necessary due diligence, or lack the initiative. Well, you say, they can write off their losses when they fill out their taxes. A whole $3000 worth. Believe me, I know! Look, I'm not saying that there aren't inequities in our system. They should be addressed. But the rich aren't that numerous, nor do they have enough money, to solve all the country's problems. And that last statement IS opinion, I can't back it up with facts. But that's what opinion columns are for.
  11. Overtone: I'll admit I get long-winded. Sorry. And my use of quotation marks is meant to emphasize my meaning, not to be deceptive. Tho I thought I was pretty clear. Wasn't me who posted the "joannova graph". Your apology accepted in advance. When I say I have infinitely more respect for the power of nuclear than you ever could, I was speaking mainly about nuclear weapons. I've seen a map of Europe overlaid with a precise depiction of every nuke that was planned to be dropped during a war, how powerful each was, when and how it was to be delivered. Trust me, you don't WANT to know. I withdraw my statement that you're incapable of thought, but I still maintain you're devoid of a sense of humor. My polar bear analogy was meant to stimulate discussion, not to be taken seriously. After all, polar bears don't have opposable thumbs. I started this thread with serious intent, and proposed a serious question; i.e., which would be more difficult to survive, an Ice Age, or global warming, and what adaptive strategies we could adopt. I really didn't want the discussion to degenerate to such a hopelessly political pissing contest. This is not an admission that I'm wrong, that I admit defeat in the face of your superior reasoning. I'm just bored.
  12. Seems most, if not all, of the truly beyond the pale words are used by some members of specific groups as a source of pride, of group solidarity. Just an observation, not a judgment. You could always count on George Carlin for guidance in this matter.
  13. The solution's simple; invest in Phillip Morris, take your profits, contribute to lung cancer research. Ethical dilemma solved. Carried to the absurd; J D Rockefeller was a "Robber Baron", used totally disreputable business practices, devastated the environment, and yet his philanthropic activities are lauded. How is he considered now, a villain, a hero?
  14. The main military uses for depleted uranium are tank armor and tank armor piercing projectiles. Its density is what makes so useful as tank armor. As an offensive weapon, an A-10 bullet, its density allows the DU to penetrate the tank, then it disintegrates into a highly flammable "mist" which destroys the tank's interior and any people unlucky enough to be crewing the tank. True, the main "culprits" are the military, but their "products" are safe for the operators; they're designed to break things and kill bad guys. As mentioned above, DU is not considered a radio-active hazard. But it can cause toxicity problems similar to lead when it's inhaled as a dust, or fragments become embedded in body tissue.
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