Forum posts made by byronlord

Topic Who should be the next US president?
Posted 18 Jul 2015 19:17

Hilary...but why the fuck doesn't she she just come out?

She announced she was running over a month ago. But right now her campaign is fine letting the Republicans form a circular firing squad and they don't really want to say very much about Bernie who is a nice enough chap but not really suited to the job.

The election is over a year away.

Topic Treaty with Iran
Posted 15 Jul 2015 17:55



You may not agree with Obama, but saying that he hates America is beyond ridiculous. As is claiming that he some how bamboolzed the entire political system and was actually born in Kenya. Funny, too - if he hated the troops, why did he manage to get them out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Lay off Fox news for a while, Nerdy, before the brain washing becomes permenant.

Since Obama managed to post a birth announcement for himself in the local newspaper, it follows that he must have a time machine. So of course he could bamboozle the entire political system.

Topic Treaty with Iran
Posted 15 Jul 2015 17:51

This treaty with Iran at first glance seems insane. Nothing verifiable, lift all the sanctions and give them 140 billion dollars? About one third of their entire budget. Plus, all the time the negotiations were going on they were burning American flags and shouting death to America! They state sponsor terrorism and we are giving them money? They in turn will use it against us and any free democracy.

So what is your opinion? Good deal or bad?

The UN inspectors were 100% correct on Iraq. The folk claiming that Saddam had nuclear weapons were either 0% correct or 100% lying.

The agreement includes 24x7 monitoring. If as claimed, Iran has a nuclear facility that isn't declared and isn't known to the US, then how do you suggest that we bomb it? Moreover, given that the facilities are under a mountain, how do you suggest we bomb those? Nothing short of nuclear warheads is likely to have any impact.

If Iran really wanted a bomb, they would have one already. They have a population of 80 million, far more than the UK did in the 50s. The UK was able to build a bomb with far fewer resources than the Iranians have available.

What they are more likely to want is to

1) Wind down the stupid confrontation with the US. Right now the US and Iran are allies against ISIS. The US does not want to send ground troops and Iran does not have an airforce to speak of.

2) Get an assurance that the US is not going to attack, as was threatened by George W. Bush.

3) Avoid doing anything that would cause Saudi Arabia to exercise the option it has to purchase a bomb from Pakistan. The Saudis put up the money for the Pakistani bomb in return for the right to buy one if they decided they needed one.

However much Saud and Iran want a bomb, both are far more worried by the risk that the other one might acquire one.

It is a very significant deal which has transformed the US position in the ME to the disadvantage of Russia. There are four regional powers, the most important of which are Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Israel is heavily armed but too small to field an army of consequence. Since the '79 coup three of the four powers have been aligned with the US. Iran is loosely aligned with Russia and China but has had a falling out with Russia of late.

It is a far better situation for the US if they can play off all four regional powers against each other.

Topic Who should be the next US president?
Posted 13 Jul 2015 18:09






He is not a bigot.....

I have seen the bigoted homophobic garbage he has said and written. He is a bigot.

Topic Who should be the next US president?
Posted 13 Jul 2015 09:53




This thought process is exactly why Ben Carson has a legitimate chance. You are talking the way Kings used to speak to peasants and the peasants are starting to include people whose net worth is around $500,000 in the US and they are sick of it.. I cannot argue your opinions because they might come true, I am a believer in the people though....

My point was that Carson is not doing particularly well as a grass roots candidate. The grass roots candidates with a chance also attract big money donors as well.

Obama raised $200 million from small money donors because he had a support base of several million of them. The fact that there are now 17 clowns in the GOP clown car means that there simply isn't going to be enough small donors to support them all.

Carson is a bigot and he hasn't really accomplished anything of note. His signature issues are all culture war issues that the GOP has lost on. If the GOP wins it will be despite of the issues he raises, not because of them.

Topic Who should be the next US president?
Posted 09 Jul 2015 20:11


I like this description but do not think the people should get to sit back and complain about it. If previous generations would have done that we would not have a country anymore. What I believe is happening is small circles throughout the country is that there is actually a new sense of urgency to do something about the problems we face. I point to Ben Carson's campaign which has already gathered up 10 million dollars. Many people, including me are fed up with the elite political class in Washington. And I will not point fingers at either party, they are both guilty of making unforgiveable mistakes.


In 2004 Dean took in 30 million, all in small donations, no PACs. It can be done.

Obama raised half a billion, 32% of it was donations of $200 or less. He also had a lot of folk who maxed out. But he still took more money from small donors than anyone else in history.

At this point though, it makes no difference at all. There just isn't the air time to be bought and in any case people don't watch TV like they did and the remaining viewers are seniors who made up their minds about their party 50 years ago.

Money can make a big difference in the primaries. But it isn't the hard money that decides the outcome, its the PAC money. The reason Gingrich was able to run last time was a loony billionaire trying to dodge a federal rap for his bribery in China gave Newt $100 million. Carson isn't going to get that sort of money, he wouldn't be a contender even if he wasn't an obnoxious bigot.

Trump is going to be spending a half billion on his own campaign and he has no interest in playing by the rules that the other billionaires are trying to lay down. He should have no difficulty at all in slimming Jeb Bush and Scott Walker out of the race. And once that happens, Trump is quite likely to be the best choice of the remainder on both electability and suitability. That is why Pataki jumped into the race.

On the democratic side its going to be Hilary regardless of what the net.roots say. Dean was a much stronger candidate than Bernie and Hilary is a vastly better politician than Kerry. My next door neighbor was Kerry's driver in his first senate campaign. That was a major role in the days when the candidate would travel by car rather than coach. The driver gets the candidate to the places they need to be. Anyway, Kerry didn't even recognize him at an event. And that's a guy who was a precinct captain. Remembering people's names is politics 101.

So Hilary vs Trump. It really isn't a hard decision.

Topic US Supreme Court rules YES to gay marriage nationwide
Posted 26 Jun 2015 20:11

Three of the most beautiful words in the English language:

Judge Scalia dissent

Topic Should kids in the untied states have to say the pledge of alligence in school
Posted 23 May 2015 19:41

Have you ever seen communism up close? I have. Most people who live in the US don't really understand the meaning of freedom and what it costs.

The communists were big on loyalty pledges as well. And military parades.

If you had seen what I have, the idea of any pledge of allegiance would utterly disgust you.

Topic Do you own any silveer and gold as US currency faces collapse?
Posted 06 Jan 2015 18:49

well we are off to a slow start here. Not surprising at all. Most people have no idea what I am talking about. Like speaking Japanese sort of. I am trying to discuss real money and why you are going to lose everything you think you own. Did you know that your name spelled in ALL CAPS is not you? this is very serious. This ALL CAPS name appears on all you legal documents, bank accounts, and drivers license! WHY?

When folk don't understand what you are saying you should probably ask yourself if the problem lies with them or what you are saying.

Yes, I do understand the role of gold and silver currency in a modern industrial economy: none.

Gold is currently $1200/oz a third off its 2012 peak of $1800 and headed downwards despite the unrest in the middle east. This is largely because Col. Ghadaffi had hoarded several tens of billions which he used to pay his mercenaries and that has now come onto the market popping the asset price bubble.

If you look at the gold bug forums you will find they invariably post 30 year charts so as to avoid the embarrassing fact that the 2012 peak was actually slightly lower than the inflation adjusted 1980 price of $2100/oz. The price of gold slid steadily to $350 over the next two decades till the 9/11 attack launched the bubble that is currently deflating.

If you buy shares in an S&P 500 index fund or the like, you are investing in the generative capacity of the US economy. As the economy grows, so will your investment. If you buy gold you are investing in nothing more than the belief that you can find a greater fool to buy it off you at some date in the future.

And no, typing something in ALL CAPS does not mean it is not your name. Oddly enough the law is what the courts decide it is and there is no amount of nutcase theorizing going to make them think that a driving license is invalid because it is typed in ALL CAPS.

Topic Feminists go bonkers
Posted 09 Dec 2014 16:40

People comment on what women wear at interviews all the time. If a woman had appeared dressed like the women on the shirt it would have been thought very odd.

It was very unprofessional. He apologized, that was the end of the matter as far as most folk were concerned. It is only being kept going by people making silly points against feminists.

Topic When Obama Said it
Posted 14 Nov 2014 20:26



Hi. I'd like to suggest not categorizing all private equity firms the same way. There are some (many?) who certainly do behave as you described. But many take a value creation approach by acquiring a troubled yet promising company and making it better - resulting in job growth. I've experienced this first hand - including presently.

Absolutely. I don't do business that way and nor do most VC. Bain was vulture capital. Like the people who rent slums and give landlords a bad name

Topic When Obama Said it
Posted 14 Nov 2014 20:22



Hmmm. I googled it. Romney was about reorganizing failing busniness. He saved many and lost a few. I noticed that the progressive mantra always includes name calling and cursing. The whole concept that poverty is caused by others success is right out of the Carl Marx playbook. Profiteers. It is not revisionist history to see this as a land of opportunity where millions want to come. Where else could a poor boy like me with no one backing me find success. It wasn't luck or a gift from a rich benefactor. It was hard work, preparation and dogged determination. If I had failed I would have started anew, not played the blame game.

Take your foul mouth and spread your hate and anger to someone that cares. No you are wrong

Romney made his money by borrowing and not intending to repay. Bain would buy a company with
10% cash and the rest borrowed . Then they would reorganize the balance sheet and borrow more. They then repaid their original purchase price with dividends leaving a fat profit and a bcompany headed for bankruptcy

They did not create jobs, they destroyed them on an industrial scale.

Topic When Obama Said it
Posted 07 Nov 2014 07:34



Ok people. Listen to this gal because she is smart and has most of this right, except for exclusively blaming republicans for a down turned economy. Many of these non tax paying giant corporations are pumping billions of lobby money into both parties.


And the people who let a bunch of bankers take ridiculous risks on a 'heads we win', tails, the taxpayer picks up the loss basis.

Right now the wall street money men who caused the crash still get taxed at 15% because they have found a loophole and the Republican party refuses to allow it to be fixed. It isn't the Democrats in the way there, it is only the GOP. I don't see why Mitt Romney and his types should pay half the taxes the rest of us do. Yes Romney did pay a lot of tax that one year he revealed his return. But I have paid more in a year and I am nowhere as rich as he is.

I find the folk who claim they made it on their own without any help from anyone ever to be short sighted and greedy. Sure you put in a large part of the work. But the point is that you didn't do all the work. You got education from the state, even if you went to a private school, you employ people who are only useful to you because they got a public education. You rely on the government to stop ISIS invading and chopping your head off. You rely on the government to make sure you can ship goods without having most of them stolen by bandits.

But the folk who I have the biggest contempt for are the parasites who have never got a contract that didn't come from the government who claim that they did it all without any government help. Dick Cheney's ludicrous claim that Haliburton never got any help from the government was ignorant and stupid.

Reacting to carefully selected soundbites that have been taken out of context by the GOP to manipulate you is a stupid reason to get angry.

Topic Should kids in the untied states have to say the pledge of alligence in school
Posted 15 Oct 2014 19:02

My kids are UK citizens as well as US.

Why should I have them pledge allegiance to a country not my own?

Topic Tesla
Posted 07 Sep 2014 21:58



Nuclear power plants are quite safe, as long as your maintenance level is above Soviet Union and you don't have a shift leader that says fuck the rulebook during tests. Fukushima is a bit of a special case, considering that it's placed in a very unstable environment. Place it somewhere where it is less likely to be hit by severe natural disasters and you'll be good. Every heard of a German Nuclear Plant going to shits? The only problem is the storage of nuclear waste, but find some nice mountains, dig in and store it there until technology finds a way to break it down.


Not even close. Know where the design for that plant was stolen from? Its the UK Magnox reactor. The design issue is intrinsic to the bed design and could only be discovered using a 3d simulation of the reactor bed.

That did not happen during the UK design process because the ability to perform that type of simulation was only developed after Chernobyl blew up. I did one of the first ever simulations...

Unfortunately the old nuclear power industry made a lot of glib statements that were utterly untrue. Their safety record was actually not as good as the regular chemical industry. Fukushima was also due to negligent design. So was three mile island. Putting three mile island on that site was utterly negligent.

There are safer nuclear designs but getting anyone to accept them is very hard because of the legacy of lies. And that is probably why we will have to wait for the old nuclear industry to die out before building new designs like pebble bed.

Right now wind is far more interesting in 60% of the US. Until wind is up to 30% there is no point in going to nuclear, it is simply not economic. Wind is the place to be right now.

Topic Tesla
Posted 07 Sep 2014 21:58



Nuclear power plants are quite safe, as long as your maintenance level is above Soviet Union and you don't have a shift leader that says fuck the rulebook during tests. Fukushima is a bit of a special case, considering that it's placed in a very unstable environment. Place it somewhere where it is less likely to be hit by severe natural disasters and you'll be good. Every heard of a German Nuclear Plant going to shits? The only problem is the storage of nuclear waste, but find some nice mountains, dig in and store it there until technology finds a way to break it down.


Not even close. Know where the design for that plant was stolen from? Its the UK Magnox reactor. The design issue is intrinsic to the bed design and could only be discovered using a 3d simulation of the reactor bed.

That did not happen during the UK design process because the ability to perform that type of simulation was only developed after Chernobyl blew up. I did one of the first ever simulations...

Unfortunately the old nuclear power industry made a lot of glib statements that were utterly untrue. Their safety record was actually not as good as the regular chemical industry. Fukushima was also due to negligent design. So was three mile island. Putting three mile island on that site was utterly negligent.

There are safer nuclear designs but getting anyone to accept them is very hard because of the legacy of lies. And that is probably why we will have to wait for the old nuclear industry to die out before building new designs like pebble bed.

Right now wind is far more interesting in 60% of the US. Until wind is up to 30% there is no point in going to nuclear, it is simply not economic. Wind is the place to be right now.

Topic Scotland - Brave or Foolhardy
Posted 21 Aug 2014 18:29

I remember the outcry made about the vote for independence in Crimea a few months ago because only Crimeans were allowed to vote rather than Ukranians as a whole. Where's the difference to this Scottish referendum format?

I don't like Mr Salmond (any more than I like Mr Farage for that matter) however I think they are both playing a canny game as they are beginning to get concessions from the UK government (i.e greater tax raising powers ) so even if they lose they still make progress towards their aims. It can still be a lose / win scenario for him.

With under a month to go I continue to think the vote will be No and I hope it is but if it should make a sudden swing to Yes then beyond September all I can see is a long period of confusion and mutually damaging uncertainty.



Crimea was very different. The vote was run by Russian soldiers and anyone who campaigned against being annexed by Russia risked being beaten up or killed. Thats not a vote anyone but Putin recognizes.

Graft is definitely a problem with small countries. And the Welsh assembly is run in the manner of a town council. Salmond is a pretty poor fish.

Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 11 Aug 2014 16:42




Yes....... that is basically it. The terrorists that keep opening fire on Israeli targets operate from civilian populated areas and any reprisals are always going to cause civilian casualties. It's all part of the terrorists plan to announce to the media how Israel opened fire on Palestinian civilians therefore attempting to gain sympathy and support from the rest of the world.

So you can work it out. Why does Netanyahu have so much trouble doing that?

If my enemy wants me to do X then on no account am I going to do it. The point of giving Israel the Iron Dome was precisely so that they could ignore the provocations. Instead dweeble-brain walks straight into the trap.

In six months time it won't matter what the provocation was, all people will remember is 2000 Palestinians dead and a lot of fascist blog posts calling for a genocide of Palestinians.

When I knew Ed Miliband at Oxford he was a Zionist, now he is calling for tough action against Israel. And quite likely being asked to do so by Cameron. The US evangelical right is in Israel's corner for unpleasant theological reasons. The UK right is not.

Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 09 Aug 2014 08:20


The biggest stumbling block to peace is the $3.1 billion in military aid that the US gives to Israel each year. This amount has been guarenteed until 2018 and is 25% of theis defence budget!
With a position of such strength there is little incentive to grant any concessions. They also know that the US will veto any UN resolutions against them. If the aid was stopped, there would be a real need to broker a peace.

Oddly enough, this might end because Israel starts refusing the cash.

The Israeli right has the delusion that the reason they still have a security problem is that they have not had a free hand, etc.

Topic Farm Subsidies
Posted 06 Aug 2014 10:05

Why not federal subsidies for our farmers and ranchers? I'm talking about the little guy here, not the large corporation farms and ranches. The Federal government has already subsidized the big three auto manufactures, bailed out the banking system, and given perks to several other larges corporations in the way of tax breaks, etc. so why not the little guy? I ranch, and most of the small ranchers and farmers that I know make just enough to survive until the next season. We're not out here raping and pillaging the land to make a million bucks, just trying to live our chosen lifestyle without a bunch of government officials breathing down our necks trying to tell us how to do something that we've already been doing for years. Most ranchers and farmers I know consider themselves to be caretakers of the land, trying to preserve it for future generations. We rotate our pastures and our crops so as not to over graze or under nourish the land. We survive on very little and very seldom ask for handouts, but occasionally it would be nice to see our government step up and say " You guy's are doing your best to try to keep the world fed, and we'd like to help you out!" Instead, it's the squeaky wheel, i.e. larger corporations with lots of lobbyists in D.C. that seem to get all the grease! Oh well, absolute corruption, corrupts absolutely, so I doubt things will change!

Only the Federal government has been subsidizing agriculture for decades now, most of it going to huge corporations and the rescue of the banking and auto industries was a one off event that actually paid for itself. The TARP program has a clawback provision that says any net loss will be made up by a one off levy on the remaining banks.

It was rather telling that it was the politicians from the states that get more subsidies than their people pay in taxes (i.e. Republican ones) that objected to the one-off bailout but insist on keeping their permanent subsidies for big oil and big agriculture.

Meanwhile all those tea party types are still holding up signs at rallies saying 'government keep you hands off my Medicare'. Obviously not aware that its a government program.

The US govt pays out huge subsidies for agriculture but very little goes to 'the little guy'. In fact more recipients live in NYC than anywhere else. That farms are in Kansas and run by ADM but there is a fiction that they are owned by some Wall st. banker so they can get the 'small guy' subsidy.

Same flim-flam is used to justify ending estate duties for the like of the billionaire Walton family in the name of keeping small family farms together. Only nobody can find an example of a small family farm that had to be sold to pay death duties because they only kick in at $5 million.

Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 06 Aug 2014 09:54



Wow you really see things the way you want and not the way they are. Ok I will side with you. Israel is the culprit. They are a land stealing waring people that want the total destruction of this Palestine country. They desire to blow up the Hamas along with all the men, women, children, dogs and cats. What do you want for a outcome? Any fool can say it takes two to make a fight. You deny Hamas started this by launching rockets, given to them by Iran, at Israel. Ooops I mean Palestine.

Before Hamas started shooting the rockets, Israeli troops invaded the West Bank killing dozens of people in their search for the three kidnapped teens.

Netanyahu didn't react the same way when a Palestinian kid was murdered, no house to house searches of settlers for illegal weapons, no suppressing the armed thugs who perform 'price tag' terrorist acts.

And before that incident there was and is the blockade which is an act of war under international law. And that was imposed in response to the outcome of a Palestinian election.

Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 05 Aug 2014 18:42



So your anti war? Hmmm. No where do I see you suggesting that the Hamas quit launching rockets at Israel.

Classic move of a warmonger: you don't acknowledge that only I am wronged, therefore you don't want peace.

I pointed out that Hamas are just like the IRA. Its a pity that the NYC politicians can't see that is the case and refuse to fund either.

Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 05 Aug 2014 15:05



I am not a bigot. When a person has no platform they result to name calling. You need to read my whole statement. I say Israel is a multicultural state. Including many faiths. Arabs hold positions of authority in this country. It is the only middle eastern countries that give rights to Arab women. But again Israel I recognized as a Jewish homeland.

If you say that you are entitled to live somewhere because of what your imaginary friend told some crazy hermit 2500 years ago then you are a bigot.

Bigot means that you think other groups are different from you and inferior. That is what you said you believe. That is what you used to justify your position.

Not too long ago the Mormon elders held that Black people were inferior because they bore the mark of Cain. It was a religious belief and pure bigotry.

And no, an Arab living in Jerusalem does not get equal rights to Jews. One group can get building permits, the others cannot. It is a Jim Crow system. If the reality in Israel lived up to the PR there would be far fewer problems. As it is, a Palestinian living in the West Bank has no property rights because any time a settlement wants something their land will be appropriated without compensation.

You folk never want to listen to anyone who points out the difference between your propaganda and reality. And what you don't understand is that its not just the far right you are losing support among. I knew Ed Miliband at Oxford. He was a very committed Zionist then. his father one of the leading figures in the movement. Take a look at what he has written lately.

Hamas is as bad as the IRA. They tried to kill my family. We talked to them and we made peace. None of the injustices that the Catholic population suffered justified the IRA violence, the murders, the terror. But the actions of the IRA didn't justify continuing the injustices either.

The reason I don't support the formulation you use any longer is that as long as Israel calls itself a homeland for only one group, people like you are going to use that as an excuse, a pretext for lording it over the others. The piece you quote/precis is one of the worse examples of the type of thought it promotes.

Every time you say 'homeland for my people' you are saying 'but not for yours'.


Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 05 Aug 2014 12:36



I understand what you are saying, but then again, the IRA wasn't firing rockets from artillery batteries based in Dublin Hospitals, schools and Churches either.

Actually they did do several things of that sort. And so did the Protestant terrorists.

You see the thing than most outsiders never understood about the situation is that the troubles largely began when a bunch of intolerant bigoted Protestant politicians stated making unpleasant talk about killing Catholics in public. And in a short time the largely protestant police were involved in shootings of Catholics that became increasingly obviously murders. And that is what forced the UK government to send the troops in - to protect the Catholics from the Protestants.

Treating the situation as a military operation was the root cause of the troubles. The situation was only de-escalated after the UK government introduced the 'criminalization' policy which treated all terrorist actions as criminal and not political and requiring a civil response, not a military one.

Refusing to respond to provocations intended to escalate the conflict was one of the main reasons the death rate fell in 1976.

If people want to learn about counter-terrorism then they really have to look at Ireland because the UK tried both approaches, the George W. Bush / Netanyahu approach and the West German approach. You don't hear much about the German terrorist problem these days even though they started earlier.

What undoubtedly kept the troubles going much longer and caused the deaths of many Irish was the willingness of expatriates to fund the terrorists. Particularly second generation immigrants who were trying to establish an Irish identity by helping crazy people murder their countrymen.

The same is going on today. There are no shortage of people willing to bankroll both sides for continuing to attack each other. Sheldon Adelson has bought up much of the press in Israel and uses his position to pour racist filth onto his pages. And there is no shortage of Saudi princelings willing to pay for tunnels and rockets.

Thats why we have to step in and tell both sides that are fueling the situation to butt out, they are not making things any better for either side. The partition plans are unworkable and neither Hamas nor the Israelis are interested in them so stop putting them on the table.

There is only one way for there to be peace and that is for everyone to respect the rights of everyone else and as equals. Anyone who is talking about the Jewish state is as bad as Hamas calling to kill every Jew. If you want there to be peace in Israel then every time you hear someone call it the exclusive right of Jews or Palestinians, insist that its both.

Topic Why are civilians being killed in Gaza?
Posted 05 Aug 2014 12:12



Please forget one of the great fallacies of our time: Israel did not steal Palestinian land. It's not Palestinians' land; it's never been their land; it will never be their land. This land was given to the Jewish people, as stated in the Bible, by the Creator,


Lost me there chuck.

No, your religious texts are not a pretexts for genocide. Anyone who makes claims of that sort is a bigot. In fact that is what a bigot is.

The idea that a creator who could create a Universe as big and amazing as the one we live in and be so small minded and play favorites like you suggest is ridiculous.

The Smaritans have the same texts as you folk and they have been in Israel without a break. They get treated like crap because they don't accept the 'true faith' which according to the orthodox is the faith of the folk who left Israel during the Babylonian captivity, spend several decades in a state with a monotheistic religion and then returned to find that the Samaritans who hadn't left had abandoned their God while the exiles had kept their faith pure.

Now does that sound at all likely? That the folk who stay would change their faith while those who left did not? Of course its all hokum. It was the exiles who left and formed a syncretism of Samaritan/Zoroastrian beliefs.

Anyone who calls Israel a Jewish state is a racist. It is a Jewish and Palestinian state. Sooner or later the laws and constitution will recognize that and there will be no more Jim Crow or bigots saying that it is a place for only one kind of people.

Any God worth our respect would want the same.

Topic Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
Posted 29 Jul 2014 19:16

When I was at Oxford I was ushered into the presence of "someone I should meet', one David Cameron. I knew he was going somewhere because he got me smoking and I don't smoke.

Topic Over 600 paedophiles have been arrested in the UK today.
Posted 21 Jul 2014 19:03


The authorities have been far too focussed in trying to stop people being able to access this stuff with very little success and have now decided to go after the end user instead. The figures behind this operation are impressive: the NCA have removed 10,000 storage devices. The figure of 600 arrests in recent weeks is designed to shock and hopefully it's working to deter others from thinking they're safe to obtain and share these images.


There are operational reasons for doing mass arrests. If they arrested one perp at a time then the other 599 would shred their hard drives before they were pulled in.

But shows of force can also be PR displays and it is important to remember that suspects are innocent before proven guilty.

Kiddie porn arrests can be of varying quality. In the US there are some ugly stories of rural police forces making their clearup rates look good with what is essentially entrapment in chat rooms. But the UK police are probably aware that this is going to be followed up and they would look really bad if the cases collapsed.

Topic FDIC and Banks
Posted 10 Jul 2014 10:32

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) currently insures bank depositors' accounts up to $250,000. Some say that FDIC insurance causes depositors to become complacent . The depositor will not check the banks loan portfolio to determine risk . Others say that FDIC insurance brings stability to the banking system. Does the existence of the FDIC cause a risky banking system ?

Actually the FDIC spends much of its time regulating the banks and preventing them from doing things that might get them into trouble.

The point you raise is certainly a problem but the FDIC isn't the main example. The US govt. has been forced to step in and save numerous institutions that are not covered by FDIC because a collapse of Lehman Bros would leave other banks with a hole in their balance sheet and force them into default and that would in turn result in a chain reaction putting all the banks in bankruptcy and cause a depression or worse.

The good news is that under the regulations the Dems forced through in the wake of the deregulation induced crisis make it much easier for the Fed to wind up a weak bank. They don't need to wait till they are insolvent, they can be dissolved for having insufficient reserves. And the cost of the whole scheme is underwritten by a tax on banking. Almost all the money paid out under the TARP scheme has been repaid. The small amount that was not (about $100 million) is being clawed back. The Republicans meanwhile want the banks freed from all regulation and not have to pay anything back.

Now it might seem odd that despite all this more Wall Street workers support the Dems than Republicans. After all regulation is bad right? Well not if the lack of regulation allows banks that are using risky trading strategies to compete against you. As with Gresham's law: the bad money drives out the good.

Topic Washington Redskins: Time to change the name?
Posted 19 Jun 2014 21:01

I read the Washington Football team appealed this decision before and got it overturned? So I suppose it'll be overturned again.

If it's offensive to certain groups of individuals, why is it too much to ask them to change their team name?

Because the whole Republican thing is shitting in public so they can rub other people's noses in it. People like Snyder like the name precisely because it insults people. Its really just a way of telling people that they still support segregation. Like all those 'Concerned Citizens Committees' that were formed after the KKK started being a vote loser. When Reagan announced his run for the WH the racist bastard did it at the county fair where the three 'Mississippi burning' civil rights workers were kidnapped and murdered at. And that was to tell people where his sympathies lay.

The previous court ruling was overturned on appeal but the general consensus seems to be that it won't be reversed this time. Much harder to find covert supporters of segregation on the bench these days.

In practice the ruling means almost nothing since the team can still use the name and sue people for infringement of their trade dress. What they can't do is to get criminal penalties or statutory damages.

Topic Obama stupidity
Posted 19 Jun 2014 20:35

If he had left them there in the first place this mess wouldn't have gotten to this point.

Things only stopped getting worse in Iraq after Bush lost the 20126 mid term elections and the Iraqi nationalists started to believe that the US might actually go home. The midterm loss also meant Rumsfeld got sacked and Petraeus could actually start applying standard COIN doctrine like my friend teaches at the naval postgrad school. But it was the promise that US troops would be going home that made the difference.

Keeping the troops in Iraq was costing $200 billion, 100 dead US soldiers, twice that number of 'Contractors' and twenty times that number of dead Iraqi civilians a year. The number of US deaths would have gone up to thousands if the US had refused to leave when the agreement negotiated by Bush expired. The US forces would have become an occupying army again.

Given the two year panty twist that the GOP has pulled over Benghazi and the deaths of two CIA agents one might imagine that they would want to avoid posting soldiers overseas.

Neo-Colonialism doesn't work too well in the 21st century as Putin is starting to find out in Crimea. Another thing that Putin didn't think through is that his only ally that is actually an asset is Iran. Syria is in a state of civil war and the ex-Soviet satellites are economic basket cases. Iran has noted that Russia made a treaty promising to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine and promptly tore it up. They are not at all pleased.

The current situation is actually very good for the West. It just takes some imagination.

ISIS is not going to be allowed to set up a Taliban/Sudan style terrorism state. But that can only be prevented if Turkey, Iran and the US work together to make sure it doesn't. The US isn't going to be sending troops to fight with the Iraqi army but Iran will. The biggest problem for the US in the region has been the hostility of the Iranian regime due to what the CIA did to Iran with the 1953 coup that installed the Shah as dictator. The best way to liquidate such disputes is to make common cause against a common threat.

We don't know how much loot ISIS has stolen from Mosul, I rather doubt the city had anywhere near the figures quoted in assets that can be carried off at the point of an AK47. But they certainly have enough to be free from their Saudi patrons at this point. At this point they can either choose to fight the Shi'ia forces who are no longer off guard or they could roll South into Saud and Kewait and see if the locals are interested in a spot of popular uprising.

The gulf monarchies are going to fall sooner or later, better it happen sooner. ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban were all built on Saudi money. Saudi Arabia also has its Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson types but instead of fueling lunatic tea party Republicans they fund terrorism. Sometimes out of conviction and sometimes to pay them off.

Taking territory is one thing, holding it is another. ISIS is not going to be able to hold on to what it has already taken, let alone expand. But the leaders of a band of trigger happy bandits looking for loot are going to find it very hard to stop.