A BEAUTIFUL MIND DIES

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by T4C in Uncategorized

 

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John Nash, 86, inspiration for the film ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ and wife 

die in car accident on New Jersey Turnpike

 

Famed mathematician John Nash, whose accomplished life inspired the movie “A Beautiful Mind” was killed in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Nash, 86, and his wife Alicia Nash, 82, of Princeton were traveling in a taxi cab on the New Jersey Turnpike near southbound mile marker 72.4 in Monroe Township at 4:30 p.m. Saturday when they died after the vehicle got into an accident, Sgt.1st Class Gregory Williams told the Daily News.

The driver of the Ford Crown Victoria tried to pass Chrysler when it lost control for unknown reasons and struck the guardrail, he said. The Chrysler then hit the car transporting the man who is noted for his work on game theory and shared the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

The couple were ejected from their vehicle and died at the scene, Williams said.

The accident is still under investigation and no summonses have been issued, he said.
Williams said it is trying to be determined if the Nashes were wearing their seatbelts.

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Muck’s Minute #11

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Posted on 22nd May 2015 by MuckAbout in Economy

Do You Think Our Government’s ever increasing War on Cash is Bull Shit?

 

One hears all sorts of rumors these days from TPTB that cash is outmoded and needs to be done away with entirely.  That way, instead of paying cash for anything, you must pay for it using a wee plastic card coupled to the Governments vast computer network to enable TPTB to monitor each and every purchase or sale, whether it is taxed or not and how much with just the tap of a key.

 

There will, under this system, absolutely no privacy whatsoever in any financial transaction from buying a pack of gum to making a down payment on a drilling rig lease or building a hotel.  The U.S. Government will be able to trace every penny that changes hands in this country to insure it can do several things:  One: not a cent of payable tax can be avoided.  Two: not one transaction between consenting adults can be consummated without the U.S. Government’s full knowledge of every detail, what the transaction was, where it was transacted, down to the penny of any payments or receipts made and whether taxes were paid on the transaction.  A number of other “data mining” benefits will accrue to the Government as more are thought up.

 

Bah! You say (or think).  Never happen and it would destroy capitalism and turn us all into little obedient citizens who cannot have anything to hide from the government whether we do or not.  Besides, it would be so hard to start and do it we may as well wait too hundred years for it to be accomplished.

 

Phooey.  It is being done today – right now – by J.P.Morgan Chase and for all I know other way To Big To Fail banks have already followed along.

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It Is Mathematically Impossible To Pay Off All Of Our Debt

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Money - Public Domain

Did you know that if you took every single penny away from everyone in the United States that it still would not be enough to pay off the national debt?  Today, the debt of the federal government exceeds $145,000 per household, and it is getting worse with each passing year.  Many believe that if we paid it off a little bit at a time that we could eventually pay it all off, but as you will see below that isn’t going to work either.  It has been projected that “mandatory” federal spending on programs such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare plus interest on the national debt will exceed total federal revenue by the year 2025.

That is before a single dollar is spent on the U.S. military, homeland security, paying federal workers or building any roads and bridges.  So no, we aren’t going to be “paying down” our debt any time in the foreseeable future.  And of course it isn’t just our 18 trillion dollar national debt that we need to be concerned about.  Overall, Americans are a total of 58 trillion dollars in debt.  35 years ago, that number was sitting at just 4.3 trillion dollars.  There is no way in the world that all of that debt can ever be repaid.  The only thing that we can hope for now is for this debt bubble to last for as long as possible before it finally explodes.

It shocks many people to learn that our debt is far larger than the total amount of money in existence.  So let’s take a few moments and go through some of the numbers.

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Janet Yellen is Right: She Can’t Predict the Future

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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undefinedThis week I found myself in rare agreement with Janet Yellen when she admitted that her economic predictions are likely to be wrong. Sadly, Yellen did not follow up her admission by handing in her resignation and joining efforts to end the Fed. An honest examination of the Federal Reserve’s record over the past seven years clearly shows that the American people would be better off without it.

Following the bursting of the Federal Reserve-created housing bubble, the Fed embarked on an unprecedented program of bailouts and money creation via quantitative easing (QE) 1, 2, 3, etc. Not only has QE failed to revive the economy, it has further damaged the average American’s standard of living while benefiting the financial elites. None other than Donald Trump has called QE “a great deal for guys like me.”

The failure of quantitative easing to improve the economy has left the Fed reluctant to raise interest rates. Yet the Fed does not want to appear oblivious to the dangers posed by keeping rates artificially low. This is why the Fed regularly announces that the economy will soon be strong enough to handle a rate increase.

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Our Soldiers Died For The Profits Of The Bankers”

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

via Paul Craig Roberts,

Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war.  We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom. US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view.  He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company.  Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

 

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

 

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

 

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

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Stop Wasting Time!! (Cuz You’ll Be DEAD Before You Know It)

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Stucky in Economy

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“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” — Annie Dillard

How much water is left in YOUR fishbowl?

 

Imagine that the moment you are born that your number of allotted years is represented as a fishbowl of water. For some, the bowl of water represents 90 or more years. Sadly, others only get a day. Most of us are allotted days somewhere in between. But, the fact of the matter is that the quantity is quite finite. In more morbid terms, we all march inexorably to our deaths from the moment we enter this world.

Now, this is a most unsettling thought! So unsettling, in fact, that most of us can’t handle it. Sure, we all know we’re going to die – in a 21st century intellectually rationalist sort of way. But, we really don’t BELIEVE it – nosiree, not with the same conviction that we believe, for example, that the sun will rise tomorrow. Seneca tells us as much when he writes;

 “You live as if you would live forever; the thought of human frailty never enters your head, you never notice how much of your time is already spent.” ———— Seneca (quotes in green)

I don’t know about you … but, that pretty much sounds like me. I rarely give my fishbowl much thought.

SENECA – THE VERY RICH STOIC

Seneca states that not only do we refuse to come to terms with our very brief time on earth but, even worse, we waste away the precious little time we do possess. He goes into considerable detail showing how we shackle ourselves to our labors and our professions. He laments that we give so much of ourselves – in terms of time – to those who do nothing but waste our time. He considered it a tragedy that too many die as if they were children, never having learned to live a full life. In modern terms he would say we’re all too happy that etched on our tombstones is our greatest accomplishment; “He filled out all his expense reports on time.”

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HOW TO PICK A LOCK

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Knuckledraggin

Fed and CPI missing housing inflation yet again: The CPI is completely missing the increase in housing prices.

3 comments

Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Dr. Housing Bubble

The most widely used measure for inflation is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) put out by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).  Nearly a decade ago I discussed how poorly a job the CPI did in measuring home price increases while they were happening.  In fact, during the raging housing bubble the CPI only measured moderate increases in home prices.  Why?  The measurement looks at something called the owners’ equivalent of rent (OER) that essentially considers what your home would rent for versus your actual housing payment.

So you could be paying $3,000 in a mortgage, taxes, and insurance but the actual rent would be something like $2,000.  That is a massive differential.  In the LA/OC market, this measurement did a horrible job.  The argument of course is that rents eventually catch up and we are seeing some of that now.  Yet Fed policy and other government decisions are made on the basis of the CPI and miss big changes by years.  The latest CPI report is now showing this inflation creeping in but of course, it is late once again.  And this is important to address because the largest component of the CPI is housing costs.

The problem with the CPI and housing

Housing makes up over 40 percent of the CPI tool which is a by far, the biggest component.  So wouldn’t you want this instrument to accurately measure home value changes?  We now have plenty of tools that can give a better indicator of home price changes like the Case-Shiller Index.  There has been large pressure on home prices recently thanks to many years of slow home building and a lack of inventory.  We also had the interesting phenomenon of investors diving into the market since the crash and being a dominant force.

First, it might be useful to look at how the CPI is composed:

CPI-categories

Even looking at three categories in housing, education, and healthcare we know that costs are soaring.  Yet the overall CPI has showed only tiny increases in prices.  This is completely off base nationally and doubly so in bubblicious markets like California where people need to move into apartments with roommates as if they were crowding into clown cars to make the rent.

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Michael Scheuer: Why Bin Laden Was Reading My Book ‘Imperial Hubris’

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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From Sky News to CNN, media are asking Michael Scheuer why Osama bin Laden would have a copy of Scheuer’s book Imperial Hubris. The question arose because Scheuer’s book is included in a list of books seized in a 2011 US military raid on bin Laden’s dwelling in Abottabad, Pakistan. The list was released Wednesday by the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In an interview with host J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV, Scheuer, who published Imperial Hubris anonymously while working at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), provides a particularly enlightening answer to the media’s persistent question.After deflecting Hayworth’s suggestion that bin Laden might have had a copy of Imperial Hubris because the book contains some positive comments regarding the al Qaeda leader’s bearing and capabilities, Scheuer offers instead the following reasons:

What attracted him to my book was that I had listened to what he had said for a better part of six years, and I correlated what his organization did in response to what he said they were going to do, and that was a very high correlation.

The second thing I believe that attracted him is that I wrote very clearly — and I would write it again today — that the war we’re fighting has nothing to do with women’s rights; it has nothing to do with democracy or elections or liberty or freedom, at least from the perspective of the people that declared war on us. They wouldn’t have that stuff in their own country. But what they hate of the United States is not even the American people; they hate the American government because of its interventionist policies in the Middle East, and that’s been borne out completely by all of the documents that have been released by the government since that raid. There’s not a word about the Americans are debauched, they’re sick on pornography, the women wear short skirts — none of the stuff that Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton and Mrs. Clinton have told the American people.

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QUOTES OF THE DAY

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Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”

Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

Robert A. Heinlein

“A prude is a person who thinks that his own rules of propriety are natural laws.”

Robert A. Heinlein

“You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.”

Robert A. Heinlein

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”

Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

SUNDAY FUNNIES

11 comments

Posted on 24th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

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Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US “Created” ISIS As A “Tool” To Overthrow Syria’s President Assad

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Posted on 23rd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Tyler Durden's picture

From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world’s stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world’s terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the “straight to beheading YouTube clip” purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria’s president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe’s dominant – and belligerent – source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.

The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year:

If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama’s new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that “such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.”

But it’s one thing to speculate; it’s something entirely different to have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.

That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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MEANWHILE IN COLORADO….

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Posted on 23rd May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Knuckledraggin