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  1. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    By the way, people act like redistribution is a bad thing. When wealth in particular (Waltons, same wealth as bottom 42% of Americans), and income are so maldistributed, then not only is redistribution not a bad thing. It's the ONLY thing to do. Best we do it creating jobs, making sure we all have access to health care, and that our grandparents are taken care of, at least minimally. Call me a Socialist. I'll thank you. Some people foolishly believe it's a bad thing, because instead of thinking about how it affects you, they've heard someone else tell them it's bad, and they've repeated it.
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    Posted 12-22-2012 at 02:31 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  2. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    As far as raising the retirement age, at 57 sometimes I already feel like I'm 80. People with physical labor jobs are not likely to even make it to 65, much less 67. It's a stupid idea, unless you are working in congress, or an easy money job talking on the phone all day, and shuffling papers. Add to that, a lot of folks already get fired just after they are 50. It's just a fact--and I've seen it happen anecdotally.

    And whether you want to believe all of this or not, Republicans have done this, they've nearly destroyed America. We might as well send in the orders for crowns and scepters, and thrones, as we're nearly a Dynasty, with Kings and Queens, princes and princesses, Lords and Ladies. I think some misunderstand just how much a few have, just so a small slice of the population can have wildly so, so much. Mitt has many multi-room mansions, and only pays 13 percent, making 20-30 million a year, and he doesn't even get why we're upset. We pay more than that just on SS insurance.

    Democrats aren't much better, but moving left is our only chance to salvage this mess that evil old, addled b*stard Reagan started. We've been "rushing to the bottom," for 35 years now, and at this point we're bouncing like a rock on the pond. The question is, are we going to sink, or bounce back up on the shore.

    People had better, once again, pay attention to which party butters their bread, vote in the primaries and choose those who actually help YOU on economic issues, not some jerk who is campaigning on social issues, many that have nothing to do with you, or your lives at all. Mostly they are about you voting for trying to control the lives of others, and in the process losing money economically.
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    Posted 12-22-2012 at 02:28 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  3. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    Well let me start with a few facts. We've collected 2.7 Trillion MORE than we've paid out to SS recipients at this point. We've been loaning that money to the rich, in the form of tax cuts. What we need is to find ways to pay that money back, that the rich, and wars have taken from it, to the SS fund.

    Simple fixes are to raise the income cap. Most of us have the full 12.4 percent taken out, half from our checks, half from our employer. Economists consider that part of our compensation, so essentially we're paying that out of our checks. For all the money we make, up to the current cap, they take that out. It is at about $108,000 now. Above that, they stop taking it out. So simply kicking the cap to the curb, or raising it steadily so higher income folks will pay as much as the lower roughly 80% of us pay makes it solvent out past 2080, and beyond.

    Democrats aren't "in charge of almost everything." Republicans, due to some heavy gerrymandering, and though Democrats had a million more votes for House (of representative) seats, Republicans kept the House. If Republicans refuse to do anything majorities of 70-80 percent of us want to do, then Democrats are powerless. Add to that, the Senate has to have currently 60 votes, to choose to vote on anything. That is called "cloture." It basically means all debate is shut down, and voting can occur up and down. Republicans filibustered roughly 380 bills. This is a massively historically high figure. Usually roughly 25 bills are per 2 year period. Sadly, Republicans in order to make Obama look bad, have refused to do anything, almost anything at all. We never had 60 Senators even in the first two years, with 57, then 58 after Franken was sworn in late because of the close vote in MN.
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    Posted 12-22-2012 at 02:21 AM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  4. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    I read this blog last night and was so angry, I didn't know where to begin. This is by far the sickest post I have seen on this site. And frankly, it's one of the worst I've seen anywhere. Xan, people like you are what is wrong with America. This kind of incoherent psychobabble is what our so called "leaders" are trying to force on us. The only difference between you and them, is that they aren't quite so blunt in their terminology. But this mindless, disgusting rant you have put on display illuminates just how ruthless this kind of proposed system truly is.

    Does your mother know you would rather she just die, than to be able to enjoy the fruits of her life long labor? If Grandma hadn't married your grandpa, you mother would never have existed, which means you wouldn't have either. I bet you never considered that...

    And keeping on the grandma subject that you brought up, why does she not deserve social security just because she didn't work enough to save up? Could it be, perhaps, that she was too busy staying home raising some ungrateful shmuck?... Maybe someone like you?

    I agree with SloMotion's sentiments above. This blog is a complete 180 of your previous posts about what you perceive to be the problem. So you're not even consistent. As for the other reply above, I don't know how anyone can believe this is a republican problem. Republicans have almost no say anymore. Democrats have control of almost everything. and of the problems we already face, they are proposing more of the same, and even worse. No such thing as a blue dog democrat. A blue dog is used to describe the more moderate, or liberal so called "republicans". I'm a conservative, myself. I'm tired of people refusing to take responsibility for the insane things they vote for. There have been some of these aforementioned blue dog republicans who have contributed to the problem, and you can blame them all day, that's fine. But don't pretend that liberals are somehow innocent when they are campaigning for this kind of crap Xan is talking about, everyday.
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    Posted 12-21-2012 at 11:11 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  5. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    It's been said you can judge a society by the way it treats it's elderly and it's infirmed. Your blog seems to indicate we're failing as a society.

    There's a few fundamental flaws with your logic.

    The last generation to draw more in Social Security benefits then they paid in was the Greatest Generation, or those born roughly between 1901-1924.

    Social Security payments are based on the amount they've contributed to the fund during their lifetime. Someone retiring today, after contributing up to $500k in FICA/SocSec/Medicare taxes and rating approx. $2250/mo is not going to appreciate receiving $112.50/wk under your plan. What you're advocating is almost income distribution, except you don't indicate where all those extra funds will be going to.

    Social Security is a self-funding program and solvent through 2038. With projected increases in employment and people paying into the fund, it will continue to be solvent after that. Projected strains on SocSec by the anticipated influx of Baby Boomers retiring will be offset by Generation X, Y, Z 'ers whose numbers are equal to or more than the Baby Boomer generation.

    Medicare is a bit of a mess, but it could be fixed by simply forcing our elected officials & govt. employees to participate in the plan. It would be fixed immediately. Taking $500 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare doesn't help either. Neither does raiding the SocSec fund since the '60s. Grandma's not your problem, Xan, your elected officials are.

    Back in August, as a self-proclaimed 'independent thinker', you blogged the cost of Medicare was a 'rounding error' and 'insignificant'. You decried the use of the nation's 'most desperately needy' as a bargaining chip in the budget debates, and now you're an advocate for killing Grandma. What made you change your mind & feel SocSec/Medicare are the root of America's moral hazard?

    IDK if you're serious or just looking for knee-jerk reactions, but I think you need to rethink it a little bit. JMO.
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    Posted 12-21-2012 at 06:44 PM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  6. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-16-2012 Moral Hazard

    Never have I heard someone so openly advocate for the killing of grandmothers and I presume, grandfathers everywhere.

    You do realize that people who "depend" on Social Security, are people who have had exactly the low wage jobs of which you speak? It is the "reason" they need SS, because a whole life of striving, at the hardest, most thankless jobs, they've ended up not able to save anything. Prices go up, wages go down.

    Add to that, Republicans exported the best jobs, the union jobs, that people once aspired to, so the rich could make even more money. Along with that went the taxes of 30 million great, American jobs, the aspirations of the simple American Dream, to work a job, to rise up within the organization to make more. Yes, to actually be able to save.

    I'm all for creating jobs for those who can't work. But expecting people to work, when there is an unofficial unemployment rate of close to 20 percent, pretending there are jobs there for everyone, but it's just that vagabond bum won't work them, well, that's just fiction.

    We're all interconnected--when you crap on people, it gets flung here and there, you get crap on you, others, your family, your friends, the people you care about (assuming you do) get crap on them. Like it or not, these programs were put in place not as some flight of fancy. They were created to fix a problem, sadly, a problem Republicans mostly, and a few idiot corporate blue-dog democrats have once again put in place.
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    Posted 12-21-2012 at 12:27 PM by mike27 mike27 is offline
  7. Old Comment

    Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

    I think it all starts at home. I believe that people are influenced by the things they see and hear, but that is because they aren't raised to know truth from lies, and there are almost no disciplinary actions taken toward kids when they rebel, anymore.

    This is why I only place part of the blame on popular culture. Be it music, television, media, or whatever. These people prey on the young and ill informed to either push an agenda, or make a sale. They know that provocativeness is hard to turn away from, no matter what form of it you're talking about (sex, controversy, the endless number of crime shows, etc). They aren't concerned with what kind of example they are making.

    But if more parents would teach discipline and real moral values to their children, I believe we would see far less of this crap. Unfortunately, though, with all the political correctness, and all of the bleeding hearts who believe that discipline is the same thing as abuse, kids are doing just about whatever they want and their parents say "whatever makes you happy". Myself, and my siblings were always taught discipline, and we never felt mistreated. But we knew if we acted up there would be consequences. Nowadays, it's practically considered a crime if you so much as raise your voice to a child, or even a teenager. That, in my opinion, is how this generation has become so crass, irresponsible, inconsiderate and disrespectful.

    But to commit murder... That takes an inherently evil excuse of a human being. Especially when it involves innocent children. I can't begin to imagine, nor do I want to, how someone could do something like this. People can clamor for all the law changes they want, but evil will do as evil does. God is the only way to stop evil. Many people choose not to believe that. That is their right. I Pray that people make the right choice.
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    Posted 12-21-2012 at 06:14 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Saint_LB's Avatar

    Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

    We did not have video games with guns and bloodshed when I was a kid...and we didn't ever hear of anything like we hear today almost daily.

    Thinking out loud...but if you are playing a video game that involves killing people, isn't it possible that some people may realize that it gives them a charge and possibly wonder what it would be like to really kill someone?

    I'm not sure what the real reason is, but I am sure that things are different today and it is time for change. Do we really need to send our kids to school for education in todays computer world? I believe that the days of public school are numbered, as sticking immature brains together to tease and torment each other doesn't seem like such a great idea to me. If we are against getting rid of public schools, is it possible that you have grown accustom to the built in baby sitter and do not want to relinquish it? Maybe you might want to rethink that. JMO, though.
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    Posted 12-20-2012 at 08:54 AM by Saint_LB Saint_LB is offline
  9. Old Comment
    xan's Avatar

    Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

    I'm in complete agreement about the compassion angle. There are too many of us sitting in the comfort of our homes, delusional in our safety and connection to our communities. We are emboldened by the fictional anonymity of the internet, firing lasers and flaming rather than interact and discuss. We believe that these sociopathic actions have no consequence. The home based attitude bleeds into our real life, out in the world.

    We should be ashamed that we poke fun at a woman's congenital moutsache, or at someone's lack of education, or whatever perceived imperfection we deem to have a morally inferior quality. Without consequence, dignity is an affliction of the weak.
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    Posted 12-19-2012 at 02:47 PM by xan xan is online now
  10. Old Comment
    Mardigras9's Avatar

    Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

    "If popular music has no compassion it is because society has none"


    Truer words have never been spoken. Cheers!!!
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    Posted 12-18-2012 at 02:38 PM by Mardigras9 Mardigras9 is offline
  11. Old Comment

    Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

    I tend to agree about mainstream music at least playing a part in the dumbing down of society, though there are certainly bigger problems. Saintfan, I get what you're saying about music being a reflection of society, and that is partly true, but to Neugey's point, this crap is being force fed to young, impressionable teenagers like never before. You didn't see women walking around half naked, until the madonna's, the britney spears', the beyonce's and all those types made it popular. At least very seldom you did. Now it is just accepted as "freedom of expression". And whereas you might have heard a few people saying words that weren't in the dictionary, you now hear it constantly because of some of the stupid things that are playing on the radio.

    Music is just a small part of it, however, and I think this blog covers a lot of that. People have gotten stupid for a number of reasons, but there is a reason for that. The culture HAS indeed been changing drastically over the past couple of decades, and culture is largely driven by what the media and entertainment worlds decide is acceptable.

    But people have free will, and should be able to formulate their own thoughts without simply following the latest trends. Unfortunately, with each new generation, the ability to critically think becomes more and more watered down, and parents aren't smart enough themselves to pass on any kind of wisdom to their children. And so whatever is popular becomes the gospel to many people. Nobody wants to take a hard look, if any look at all, at the real problems we're facing. As for the media, I think we all agree that it's all about political agenda. There isn't enough real news being reported anymore. People are being lied to, and they don't seem to have a clue.
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    Posted 12-18-2012 at 11:05 AM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  12. Old Comment
    saintfan's Avatar

    Gun debates aside, Connecticut tragedy shows a cultural problem

    I dig where you're coming from, but I don't think I can agree on your correlation to today's music. Sure, it sucks, but to people like my Mom who grew up with 50's and 60's stuff, Led Zeppelin, and Kiss, and Van Halen, and Ozzy, and on and on...that was crap.

    Today's stuff, by and large the popular 40, IS crap, no doubt, but that's what sells. Music is a reflection of society, not the other way around. If popular music has no compassion it is because society has none. For heaven's sake, most of the 80's pop (I graduated in 1987) is horrible. I confirmed this by watching 30 minutes of "totally 80's" on VH1 a couple nights ago. It...Is...Turrible...

    There are lots of artists making great music today, and 'my girl' Zooey Deschanel (She & Him) is an example, but the industry makes the lot of its money off the teeny boppers. That hasn't changed and I doubt it ever will. The mindset that fostered bands like the Stones, Zeppelin, and so many other "classic rock" bands isn't there, but that's because society is dumbed down, not because today's music made people stupid.

    As for the media angle I'm with you 100%. It's disgusting.
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    Posted 12-17-2012 at 07:09 PM by saintfan saintfan is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Halo's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 12-6-2012 Fear of Flying

    The economic situation is sad in the U.S. The facts are the Bush tax cuts were measures taken to stimulate the economy briefly and not intended to be endless. It's not Bush's fault, nor is it Clinton's or Obama's. Our financial systems isn't broken - WE ARE BROKEN! The American financial institution as a whole has been unethical - period. There is NO ethics in private finances and banking - no vision of what could happen.

    When things are good, markets run wild like a bull. The wealth and gains force persons and institutions to lends to anyone, like loan-sharks, and without forethought of anything.

    When things are bad suddenly institutions are frugal, cutting back... it's a vicious bi-polar circle that we seem to fall into time and time again.

    War - no one in this country has a real vested interest in it. I'm speaking from financial standpoint. When the US went to war in WWII, there was a tax imposed to everyone along with borrowing to pay for the war. Beyond that, people purchased war bonds. Citizens worked hard and spared things like oil or anything that could help produce products for the troops.

    The past few wars we've engaged in the U.S., we just borrow money and watch the thing happen on CNN. No sparing, no sacrificing, no war tax, no war bonds. WE SUCK! This country IS NOT at war! We merely send our military to do our dirty work and borrow money from others to pay the dole.

    We have to pay taxes. Tax code needs to be restructured. We need to pay war taxes if we need to go to war. Collectively as a country we need to learn to live within a National Budget. Whatever we do, we need to do it fast because we're falling from the top.

    If we don't learn to manage our National finances quickly we won't die in a blaze of glory... it will be much worse - we'll be owned and controlled by Asiatic countries and our creditors who will dictate how and what we can spend our money on.... receivership will be a b1tch!
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    Posted 12-15-2012 at 01:51 PM by Halo Halo is offline
    Updated 12-15-2012 at 01:58 PM by Halo
  14. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar

    Could former Saints practice-squad player be the next Jeremy Lin?

    UPDATE:

    Well, it hasn't exactly been "Bell-Sanity", but after Wk #14 and a 4-9 Lions record, a 5.4yds per carry rushing/9.7yds per reception average AND NO INJURIES, Joquie Bell has provide the Lions with something they haven't seen in a long time, a halfway decent, durable running back to compliment Matthew Stafford. Consistently noted as one of the pleasant surprises (not to this blogger, eh?) of the season.

    Keep up the good work, JB!
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    Posted 12-14-2012 at 08:22 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  15. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar

    MythBusters; Ndamukong Suh Edition

    Since this posting & to his credit, Suh has put together several game performances in keeping with his rookie season. Unfortunately, the Lions still lost and I think this may reflect the crux of the matter. Suh is an individual and might have a hard time performing at a high-level as the member of a team ... just an observation.
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    Posted 12-14-2012 at 08:04 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline
  16. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-6-2012 Fear of Flying

    Another nice post by Xan.
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    Posted 12-09-2012 at 06:25 AM by jcp026 jcp026 is offline
  17. Old Comment

    Sanity Zone 12-6-2012 Fear of Flying

    Tell Obama your ideas. I don't know anyone personally who signed up for any of this government's ridiculous policies. How are we supposed to fix something we didn't create? To those who voted for these jack wagons we're dealing with, maybe they should take a look in the mirror.

    I have a couple points here, though. You say we should rationalize military budget. Why? If anything, the military is underfunded. Did you notice how Obama APOLOGIZED to Libya after they attacked OUR consulate? He's more interested in making friends with the enemy, to uphold some false image of being a peace maker, instead of protecting us. He is placing zero emphasis on the things our tax dollars SHOULD be used for.

    The other thing I'd like to point out is that you are wrong when you say every one should pay more taxes.

    I believe that NO ONE should pay more taxes. Instead, bring the rates down, at the very least for the rich as most of them own businesses, so that they can afford to hire more people. I pointed this out in your last blog. You don't gain by raising taxes and sucking people dry, you gain by having MORE tax payers, and a steady flow of revenue. All this rhetoric solves nothing, and fails to pinpoint the real source of the problem. It's not nearly as complicated as you'd like to make it sound. Yet sadly nothing is being done and, consequently, what could have been a simple solution is becoming more and more impossible to fix.
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    Posted 12-07-2012 at 09:57 PM by burningmetal burningmetal is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Haps Biggest Fan's Avatar

    The Truth About Roger Goodell's NFL Crusade Against Bounties & Vilma

    I've been studying old films and photos of NFL games in the 1933 and 1934 timeframe. The FIRST official NFL Championship game was won by the Chicago Bears vs. the NY Giants. The game was played at Wrigley Field in November, 1933.

    That was the leather helmet era. Players did NOT use their heads to make contact back then. When they made a tackle, they turned their head to the side, put their shoulder into the runner's midsection and turned their face away from the contact.

    My point is this: if the NFL prohibits all future head contact because it thinks it needs to do this to save the game, then, pro football will survive.

    THIS era of using the helmeted head to administer hammer-blows probably should end, for the good of the game.
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    Posted 11-30-2012 at 12:49 PM by Haps Biggest Fan Haps Biggest Fan is offline
  19. Old Comment
    saintsfan403's Avatar

    Sanity Zone 10-4-2012 Business aint Government, and Vice Versa

    Good post. I was born in Canada, but my family is American (my dad currently resides in the US) and due to my family ties/working as a petrologist, I'm always paying close attention the US political cycle.
    That being said, I'm enamoured with the conservative term 'job creator', especially when they use it to describe billionaire investors.
    I don't know where that term came from, but the myth of jobs magically arising due to lower taxes is absurd. No investor is a job creator, consumers are the sole mechanism that drives job creation (sorry Mr. experienced businessman)
    As far as I know, investors want to minimize expenses to increase their profits. I don't think that means spending money hiring millions of people.
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    Posted 11-30-2012 at 12:53 AM by saintsfan403 saintsfan403 is offline
  20. Old Comment
    SloMotion's Avatar

    Jimmy Graham's Dunk? Momentum Shifter? (Odd Theory)

    I agree with joker-saint, celebrations have gotten too gaudy ... I like the Jimmy Graham dunk and the celebration where they just spin the ball like a top, you know, keep-it-simple, but all the dancing/symbolic crap is too much, especially when they really didn't accomplish anything out of the ordinary.
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    Posted 11-23-2012 at 08:21 AM by SloMotion SloMotion is offline

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