Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bernie Sanders can't have it both ways; and Bill O'Reilly has a point...

As much as it pains me to say but Bill O'Reilly and Fox News has a point about Bernie Sanders and his socialist position. In this first interview Fox asks to explain what is socialism and how much socialism would cost the average rich person. 

It's reasonable to propose to consider more socialist policies to change how society is working. Bill is asking reasonable questions - which of course are not couched in the capitalist rhetoric with Sanders standing in front of him - about what the cost would be to adopt said policies.

I have to give Bill credit for at least asking for an answer.  To my shock, Sanders says he won't give a cost for rich people; it's going to be studied. He sidesteps the truth about how taxation would change while pointing out how little corporations pay.  It is Sanders that is evasive. While he may not have a real number on paper, he needs to give people a range of values so people can honestly compare the options for themselves.

If Sanders wants to be president, he owes it to his capitalistic followers to explain the costs and benefits of socialist policies.  I suspect they would find that the values are not that high, only reprioritized from what they know already, and that would dispel the Socialist bogeyman that Fox News scares people with.  If you want to win, you need to make your case and not hide it. If you don't then opponents can run a hidden agenda tactic on you like Fox News knows how to do.

The Hidden Agenda is a political tactic Canada's Liberals made famous for insinuating that Canada's Conservatives were secretly trying to impose Christian Sharia Law in Canada. To roll back rights and civil liberties to appease Christian values of the base. It is a sneaky assertion without basis that casts doubt in voters' minds. People were made afraid for no reason other than politics. And the insidious part is the more you protest you don't have a hidden agenda the more it looks like you are hiding something. And the fact is the Conservatives ran the country for 10 years, held a majority for over 5 and that hidden agenda never appeared. They did try to extend surveillance in the wake of terror attacks, but they didn't touch abortion, or LGBT rights. It would never have happened; the Supreme Court would have struck it down. Conservatives protested and even Liberals knew it had no basis but it works really well on otherwise reasonable people who assume the worst without communication.

So this tactic is a cheap parlour trick that weakens reasonable leadership and replaces it with nothing substantial as a counter argument. Frankly it's dirty politics because you can't disprove the nonexistence of a non existent thing. Like there are no unicorns.
The only way to dispel it is to pronounce quite loudly and clearly what your policies are and what is on the agenda to enact.  That gives no room for fear, uncertainty, and doubt campaigns.

If Bernie Sanders doesn't outline his anticipated upper class tax increase then people can claim how bad it will be without rebuttal.  If he doesn't give a range for tax changes for business then people like Fox News can spend all their effort spouting hyperbole and claiming sensational numbers to scare their viewers and make more money.

Without a tax plan, now Bill O'Reilly can claim it's going to be 90% with impunity. The only counter to tell the truth first.

In fact, Sanders should learn from Trump about weakening Fox News not empowering it. Trump boycotting the Fox debate destroyed the debate numbers!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Robbed: Idris Elba deserved an Oscar for Beasts of no Nation

Idris Elba deserved an Oscar for his portrayal of Commandant in Beasts of no Nation.  It's shocking that a performance as nuanced and convincing didn't get any kind of recognition. I just watched it this evening and then thought about it before posting. I gave the pros and cons some thought and I'm still at the same conclusion that he deserved an Oscar and there's no way around his absence from the recognition. I recommend it to all. My teenager turned to me after the movie and said she wanted him to hit him with a stick for what he was doing to those kids. Today's teens are so blasé and jaded that's an award right there.

This outrage is enough to make a man collect a rag tag child soldier army and raid Hollywood.

Bill Maher gets applause when he calls Americans stupid...

It's always amazed me that viewers applaud Bill Maher when he calls Americans stupid.  It's true that people that agree with Bill are more likely to understand the issues he's talking about.  And it's a great marketing tactic to distinguish "Bill Maher viewers" as smarter than the rest.  Makes them feel in on the joke.  Makes them want to tune in.

The problem is, he rarely clearly delineates which Americans he's calling stupid. Republicans most times but he's critical of every group standing proud on sand.  So, which ones are the stupid ones?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hillary Clinton can't be direct on direct honesty question.

She delivered it while answering a Sanders supporter's hostile question about younger voters' sense that she's dishonest -- turning it into one of her best moments, as she detailed a history of Republican attacks dating back to her early-1990s push for universal health care. "They throw all this stuff at me, and I'm still standing," Clinton said, adding that the attacks come "because I've been on the front lines of change and progress since I was your age."

The fact is a direct question on honesty can't be deflected by pointing at 10 Iowan teenagers that are working for Clinton; each can be allowed off for not knowing anything about Clinton from 20 years ago.  Clinton didn't blow the answer to the question and she didn't do a good job of responding as CNN's biased article claims.

She was asked why people don't think she's honest and she turned it into she is a victim of persistent attacks. 

She's incapable of admitting nor accepting that she is proven a liar. Her answer was a debacle.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The winning ticket: Sanders and Trump

It would defy all conventional expectations but Trump and Sanders together on the same ticket, each a counter for the other, would be the winning ticket and give voters the dramatic change they hoped for.

Friday, January 22, 2016

How stupid are they? Conservative mouthpieces play into #Trump 's hands.

Glen Beck and other conservative morons play right into The Donald's strategy.

In an attempt to preach about values to followers with a toxic mix of moralizing and self-righteousness, the National Review either doesn't think it through nor hasn't the clear understanding of voters.

Here are some observations they seem to forget or can't accept:

1. Conservatives make up a minority of voters.

2. Conservative moralizing didn't win the white house in 2012 nor 2008.

3. Voters ask themselves 3 simple questions before they choose: will I be better off if this candidate wins, will the nation be better off if this person wins, and does this person have a real chance at winning? At the end of the day how righteous or good a candidate is is not a factor.

4. The people in majority don't trust the talking heads steering politics these days. They want to have a proven track record take the country in a drastically new direction. When Bernie Sanders is polling ahead of Hillary Clinton it's not a right wing phenomenon.

5. Conservative mouthpieces are only good at talking and keeping themselves in a job.

So these conservative talkers are too stupid to realize by preaching and protesting Trump's many flaws they are supporting the narrative they are insiders afraid of losing their power and that Trump is not someone they can pervert.  Trump represents real change; change voters have been promised and denied over and over. Denied by those elected and then justified by conservative talking heads.

Either they can't see it's making Trump's chances better or they refuse to accept they don't understand their fellow citizens. In both cases they are proving how worthless they really are.

Monday, January 18, 2016

20160118 Tranquil moment

Tranquilo in Playa Mita Mexico.

Tranquil is thought of as "peaceful, quiet, or still". But it can be a moment in the moment; it can also mean free from mental disturbance or emotion. When you stare at a wave crashing on the rocks, the tremendous work and energy- perhaps more energy than a man can work in a lifetime - one can be lost in the occurrence. It can be a calming and awakened moment at the same time if you can lose yourself. If you meditate but are not sure it's working and you can lose yourself in a wave it means you are doing it right.

You know how to be present in the moment. That is the inner calm and inner locus brought on by outer awareness.  You are connected yet lost all at once. Other things are shut out. Distractions are abated.  The self is connected to the tranquil moment. In it yet beyond it at the same time.

Most people strive for the crowd and acceptance. I strive for inner peace then I am at ease in most crowds. One arrives through tranquil moments.

Now you have a new definition of :

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Chretien Method

I have to credit a lot of my success getting through to my kids not by dictating to them but using what I learned from Prime Minister Chretien.

Here is Mr. Chretien accosting a protester.   What I learned from him was rather than telling someone a fact, which the listener may or may not accept due to the state of your current relationship or the current situation, you ask them for the fact in the form of a question.

It is a form of lawyer cross-examination as Mr. Chretien was by vocation.

Instead of " Don't drive too fast on icy roads," one rephrases it something like this:

"Why shouldn't you drive too fast on icy roads?"

In this way, you are taking advantage of the 13 years all people spend in school answering questions from teachers. Most people have a natural habit to want to answer questions they know for self-validation reasons. So when you ask them for their information that they know already they tend to want to show you how much they know.

Instead of an argument, you get an acceptance of facts already known and generally accepted.

Friday, January 15, 2016

This is what desperation smells like...

#TedCruz smelled like fear and desperation, and then the sleeze oozed out. While Trump is famous for demagoguery, Cruz divided New York from the rest of the union in his "us versus them" tactic.  Petty pandering is expected but this demonstrates how low Cruz is willing to go; as far down as Clinton...

Don't worry Ted, you can always run for Prime Minister of Canada.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton: A woman fighting for the common man?

Hillary Clinton: A woman fighting for the common man?

Look at Hillary Clinton's donor list and tell me she is fighting for working people and minorities? How can anyone justify this claim of understanding the plight of the common people yet take so much from the corporations that corrupt the politics?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Hillary Clinton email fiasco reveals troubling psyche.

It's instructive to understand how little Hillary Clinton thinks of the rules for other people

When she tells a worker to ignore the rules and send her the info, it's because she's ( in her opinion ) above the law for other people.

She truly believes that her convenience is worth more than the state department spending 1 billion  on security for documentation. This is not a joke and it's very dire for the state secrets she might possess. The fact that she would jeopardize a worker by authorization of breaking the rules and then probably abandon that same person when caught, is a warning of things to come. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Moral / Intellectual Dichotomy: How can you be pro-life and anti-gun owner vetting?

How can one be against abortion; or the act of killing fetuses in favour of saving life, while at the same time against stopping violence from guns against older fetuses through criminal or mentally ill acts?

It is intellectually dishonest to deny that some illegally-obtained guns cause death, so to be against gun control is to contradict one's own belief. Or to decay the belief past 36 weeks of life.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anyone can invest in the stock market themselves and profit without advisers.

I know people like to think when it comes to things they don't understand: hire an expert and let them handle it. But if you want to make a profit from investments, hiring an adviser is a cost that you really should think twice about before you start.

The fact is, as Merrill Lynch himself said in one of his books, that a person in some sector of the economy knows more about those conditions than a neophyte reading newspapers and prospecti. And that's exactly what a financial advisor is when it comes to any other sector of the economy.

I have been investing since I was 21. I am an engineer by training. I watched the daily business report on PBS.  But my step dad did a lot of investing and I watched. He also was not a financial person; he was a doctor. So he learned it as well.

Here is a graph from one of my retirement savings accounts. This one has only been open since my divorce about late 2010. In that time, the money I invested has grown by 44%.  Or an annualized return of around 7%.  My investments are the green line.  Frankly, the S&P line is total bunk because the S&P dumps bad stocks and adds others retroactively to the index over time so that doesn't represent the same basket of stocks and in my mind those indexes are fiction made to be propaganda so you think analysts are good at their job.

I've never used an advisor and most of it was made investing in Canadian banks.  I learned about the structure of the banking sector and exploited it.  You see, for my American colleagues, it is against the law in Canada for new banks to be incorporated- so there will never be a banking boom or bust. The six major banks we have are all there will be. And they are equally forbidden to merge and reduce the competition. Canadian banks are run very well and they can exploit steep loans to resource sector companies that have proved profitable over the long run.   All Canadian banks are profitable and we Canadians are too polite to protest the bank fees.  Also, the Canadian government maintains sane regulations on banks so these ones don't experiment unto collapse. Also, they are moving away from public bail-outs so they are forced to maintain reserves.

So if you want to make money investing there is a way you can do it without a middle man. Even the trades are done by computer now so that's more true than it has been.