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  1. #436
    Senior Member Hungary
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    Quote Originally posted by Catsquotl View Post
    Not gonna happen. We were the jerks in the 17th century. And it's our (dutch) time to rise again.

    With Love
    Eelco
    Come on now, your country is the size of a Handkerchief!

    If you stretch out too much in the morning, you'll end up with your hands in Belgium and your feet in the North Sea…


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  3. #437
    Senior Member Catsquotl's Avatar
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    In this day and age. The handkerchiefs rule..
    Have a great day today

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  5. #438
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Fred Steeves View Post
    Perhaps one day the U.S. shall flourish again, if we can just get rid of the republicans and have one party rule under the democrats. Not lefties mind you, just staunch, DNC certified party line democrats.

    And the best thing of all is that as we already see in our current presidential race, it wouldn’t even matter who, because any blue will do.
    No, they won't. And I know you're being sarcastic. What we need is progressives. And many of then have simply begun openly calling themselves socialist because they understand the need for our tax dollars to be used for the people, not the corporations and the already rich.

    The DNC machine needs massive change.

    But even Tulsi had to run as a Democrat, didn't she?

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  7. #439
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    It may have been meant in jest, but Fred is actually unwittingly right.

    If the US had a single-chamber parliamentary system, rather than the current 18-th century mess, it could get a lot more done. For one, there would be multiple parties to choose from. The Democrats would probably be in power, perhaps as part of a coalition government, for quite some time. Since there would be no senate or president to obstruct them, congress and the elected government (by majority vote and not by electoral college) could actually get shit done. I personally think it would be more democratic to have a system like that, but I guess that ain't gonna happen.

    BTW, this isn't a one-party state, it is a multi-party parliamentary democracy, which is what most advanced countries have.
    The US needs more than the corrupt two party system and it needs to get the money out of politics!

    Chris Hedges is going to run for the Green party, now ain't that something.

    You know, for us Europeans the Democrats are still an ultra right wing party.


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  9. #440
    Administrator Aragorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    What we need is progressives.
    Maybe start with a conversion to the metric system then?
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  11. #441
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    OMG, I recall in elementary school we were going to change to metric. The term Centigrade was still in use. We did all these exercises and then suddenly the teachers announced we weren't going to do it.

    I remember thinking that we should still learn it since the rest of the world was using it. But apparently that wasn't enough of a reason. I was too young to understand the politics. My parents said something about money and the cost of change.

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  13. #442
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    So guys,

    What the hell is going on in the United States?

    I've read all sorts of conflicting news reports, but cannot for the life of me figure out what the hell is going on.

    I've got it as far as some really bad cops unlawfully killed (basically, slowly strangled to death) an unarmed and apparently innocent black suspect. So people all over America got angry and started protesting police brutality in major cities. So far so good.

    But now? Is there some sort of civil war going on? Why are people killing each other, attacking police stations and government offices, even the white house? What's all this looting and burning down entire neighbourhoods? Why are police being attacked with incendiary bombs after the suspect was arrested? Can somebody enlighten me please...

    The best analysis I found so far is from Chris Martenson, but even that feels somewhat unsatisfactory...

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/as-the-world-burns/

    As The World Burns

    Personal safety & security are quickly becoming more important in this era of growing social rage
    by Chris Martenson
    Friday, May 29, 2020, 6:35 PM

    Decades of unfairness are now boiling over in the United States in the form of protests, riots, burning buildings and violence.

    Minneapolis is on fire – literally – and the unrest has spread to numerous other major cities.

    Last year (2019) The Yellow Vest protesters in France dealt with enormous amount of police violence and intimidation as they put life and limb on the line to try and wrest better economic and living conditions for themselves.

    The people of Hong Kong are back out in force again now that the Coronavirus threat has abated, seeking greater autonomy and control over their own lives. Last year (2019) Chileans also protested, seeking better wages and living conditions.

    While the specific demands of each of these movements are unique, they all share common causes.

    Our analysis at Peak Prosperity is this: the days of constant exponential growth on a finite planet are drawing to a close. All of the systems that govern the sharing of resources among humans – political, economic and especially financial – are designed to concentrate, not share, wealth.

    Taken together, we have an economic pie that is no longer growing but is subject to a set of laws and financial predation that guarantee the wealthy get more than their fair share of what remains.

    This leads to increasingly visible, palpable unfairness.

    Primates hate that:


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meiU6TxysCg


    In today’s world, it’s grapes for the elites and cucumbers for the rest of us (if we’re even that lucky).

    That’s been the model for a long time, but lately it’s been both accelerating and exposed for all to see.

    Team Elite™ is busy gorging on grapes. It has granted itself $trillions of freshly printed dollars from the US Federal Reserve in order to prop up ‘their fair share of things’ like bonds, stocks, and derivatives.

    That leads to these sorts of jarring headline juxtapositions:



    Without any question whatsoever, the Federal Reserve has been printing up money like crazy and stuffing it into every crevice of the US financial markets in a bid to…well, drive up financial asset prices.

    They’ve been extremely tone deaf the entire way while pretending that their aim isn’t to make the rich richer, or deliver fatter profits to banks. Of course, both of those things are indeed happening as a direct result of the Fed’s policies and anybody with eyes can see that — yet the media refuses to acknowledge this.

    Really, it’s extremely easy to identify. Here’s what ‘grapes for the wealthy!’ looks like — see that $3 trillion spike since April?



    All of that printing leads to some stocks now being at their priciest ratio to earnings ever:



    That means that those holding them are being rewarded like never before. And don’t forget that the richest 10% of Americans own over 84% of all stocks

    We also see the same price-goosing with bonds. Corporate bonds are now once again approaching historically low yields which means, in the see-saw language of bonds, they are almost as pricey as they’ve ever been. In history:



    Who received the benefits of that gigantic cluster of grapes that the Fed has lavished upon the bond markets?

    Well, the owners of all those bonds of course, and the major corporations now able to borrow at rock bottom costs even as small and medium sized enterprises are being wiped out.

    As I often say, the Fed doesn’t actually create wealth, it redistributes wealth. While doing that it is both directly and indirectly picking winners and losers.

    The above chart of corporate bond yields says the Fed is picking large corporations and the wealthy elite over small companies and Main Street folks.

    Of course, there are no grapes quite as sweet as the ‘special interest’ varietals that are served to only the wealthiest of real estate investors:



    The only thing that could make this worse would be for some White House official to condescendingly insult all us regular people by referring to us in non-human terms.

    Oops:



    I have dozens more such examples. But I trust you get the point: the vast unfairness of the US system is now exposed for all to see. And that inequity has become even more predatory in our hour of need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Which is why social frustration and angst are now in the process of boiling over.

    The reason why is as old as civilization itself, showing up ever since the first group of humans organized themselves into a cultural pyramid:



    People often ask me why I shake my angry monkey-fist at the Federal Reserve so often. It’s because of the above quote. I’m the sort that prefers to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. The Federal Reserve seems to be institutionally ignorant of the above fatal ailment.

    What the Fed is doing is wholly unnecessary and manifestly unfair. It will lead to tears yet, regrettably, it is completely avoidable. Grapes for Wall Street, and cucumbers (or worse) for everyone else. It’s just how they’re wired. They literally cannot help themselves,. So things are certain to get worse before they get better.

    It All Boils Over
    The institutional failures of the Federal Reserve aside, there are also the obvious failures of management (I can’t bring myself to call them ‘leadership’ anymore) at our major health institutions, politicians who are far quicker to the rescue of major corporations than constituents, politicized and even falsified ‘science’ coming from formerly respected institutions, the list goes on and on.

    Every one of these breaches of public trust undermines our collective safety and security. Beyond some incalculable level the foundation gives way.

    The lowest level of management in this story are the police. For decades many police departments have been heavily militarized and trained often by Israelis who’ve done a remarkable job embedding the mindset of occupying forces into US policing.

    Toss in some unresolved racial biases and animosity, civil asset forfeiture, no-knock raids for petty reasons that routinely result in innocent lives being violently taken, and you’ve got a tinder pile waiting for a spark.

    George Floyd was that spark. A particularly callous officer with a long string of unpunished claims of excessive force and violence lodged against him, knelt on George’s neck until he was dead while 3 other officers stood by and casually watched. Against the backdrop outlined above, this was one flagrant abuse too many.

    Editorially, the person now being vetted as a possible VP for the Biden campaign, Amy Klobuchar was the prosecutor in Minneapolis for many years who could have delivered justice to the lower classes. Let’s check her record:



    Sadly, this is a record that can be found in hundreds of other cities. It’s neither an uncommon nor a defensible record. As a reminder, in the aftermath of the Michael Brown killing and riots in Ferguson MO (2014) the justice department came in and discovered that in a city of 20,000 mostly poor people there were 16,000 outstanding arrest warrants. Think about that for a second.

    Many for infractions like ‘impeding pedestrian flow’ (a.k.a. standing on the sidewalk). The humans were little more that ATM livestock for the police and court machinery to exploit.

    And so, with the killing of George Floyd, Minneapolis exploded.

    There’s More Unrest On The Way. Get Prepared.
    Welcome everyone to these turbulent times.

    We all want to live in a just, fair, and safe world. Some people are born into peaceful times. Others aren’t so lucky. History goes through its turnings.

    Well, here we are, smack in the middle of a whopper of a fourth turning. So let’s make the most of it.

    I take the safety and security of myself and the people around me very seriously. Because it’s my responsibility I train, and I plan, and I think things through.

    My home is in a town I judge to be very safe, and I’m not the fearful sort, so I really have to push myself to prioritize the other steps. Which I am doing because it has to be done.

    The calm days are over. There’s a new future coming, one that promises to be a lot more interesting as the old Chinese saying goes.

    I wish I believed that the worst of the social unrest was behind us. I don’t. Given the actions of the Fed and Plutarch’s quote, and the total lack of any pushback from the media on these matters, I am anticipating grapes for the elites and worse-than-cucumbers for everyone else for many years to come.

    Which means it’s time for you to more seriously consider your approach to personal security, especially if you live in or near a city. I certainly am.

    As a true mark of the turning, a growing number of my friends who would never have considered owning a gun before are now thinking about doing so. All sorts of formerly ‘hard’ decisions suddenly become up for grabs when folks start feeling more physically vulnerable.

    But personal security is far more than ‘owning a gun.’ It’s a mindset as well as a behavior set. And above all, it’s about avoiding trouble in the first place.

    It includes taking sensible steps to protect your home from being an easy target for crime. It means having a plan and well-practiced skills in place to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from violence. It means aligning with neighbors to watch each others’ backs. It means practicing with whatever tools or systems you adopt so that they are second nature to you if you ever have to use them.

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  15. #443
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    It was the Senate with their superior numbers that precipitated business as usual...The Dems just didn't have the votes to mold the allotment into something beneficial for the middle guy...more of the money wins period paradigm.
    "A large infusion of cash will cure most forms of fanatacism" - Thumbnail Biographies

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  17. #444
    Senior Member Fred Steeves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NotAPretender View Post
    It was the Senate with their superior numbers that precipitated business as usual...The Dems just didn't have the votes to mold the allotment into something beneficial for the middle guy...
    Right. At a vote total of 96-0, that means the dems had exactly zero votes to do more for average people.
    The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Socrates

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  19. #445
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    I think it was a -1 Fred...

    It's too bad that we can choose when a binary value can be twisted and when an interpretation can be twisted...The truth gets lost in the choice...even while it could be found.
    "A large infusion of cash will cure most forms of fanatacism" - Thumbnail Biographies

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  21. #446
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    I found the below analysis and prediction by Mike Adams, vis-a-vis the current civil unrest in the USA batshit crazy, but also highly entertaining. As crazy as it sounds, I think there's probably 5-10 percent truth in there. I won't post the text of the article here, because the only thing missing from his analysis is Lizard People and an upcoming alien invasion, but if you want to read about a Red-Dawn style apocalyptic scenario for the United States, this one's worth a read:

    https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-05-...anization.html

    After reading this article, I honestly, seriously wonder if the Chinese communists aren't at least partially behind the current unrest erupting in the United States. It would serve their interests well and they certainly have the capacity to forment unrest on the territory of their chief geopolitical rival. If you think that's mad, do you honestly think the US (and the UK) had nothing to do with the anti-communist uprising in Hong Kong? What goes around, comes around...

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  23. #447
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Heck, let's go all out..."Red Scorpion", I think Trump could pull it off, or if all else failed maybe Alec Baldwin could hack it.

    all those guys are off their nut...particular emphasis on Barr...he left his innards somewhere along the line.
    "A large infusion of cash will cure most forms of fanatacism" - Thumbnail Biographies

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  25. #448
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    Mike Adams is nuts, but of course it's true that China and Russia will benefit from the chaos in USA.

    The more the hegemony of US weakens, the better it is for the rivals.

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  27. #449
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    On the other hand, Kunstler's analysis I can fully agree with:

    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nat...you-requested/

    That Change You Requested…?



    All the previous incidents of white cops killing blacks were just too ambiguous to seal the deal. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (a murky business); Tamir Rice in Cleveland (waving the BB gun that looked like a .45 automatic); Trayvon Martin (his killer George Zimmerman was not a cop and was not “white”); Eric Garner, Staten Island (black policewoman sergeant on the scene didn’t stop it); Philandro Castile, Minneapolis, (the cop was Hispanic and the vic had a gun). Even the recent February killing of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, had some sketchy elements (did Arbery try to seize the shotgun?) — YouTube has scrubbed the video (?) — and then it took months for the two white suspects (not cops) to be arrested.

    The George Floyd killing had none of those weaknesses. Plus, the video presented a pretty much universal image of oppression: a man with his knee on another man’s neck. Didn’t that say it all? You didn’t need a Bob Dylan song to explain it. The Minneapolis police dithered for four days before charging policeman Derek Chauvin with Murder 3 (unpremeditated, but with reckless disregard for human life). The three other cops on the scene who stupidly stood by doing nothing have yet to be charged. Cut it, print it, and cue the mobs.

    The nation was already reeling from the weird twelve-week Covid-19 lockdown of everyday life and the economic havoc it brought to careers, businesses, and incomes. In Minnesota, the stay-at-home order was just lifted on May 17, but bars and restaurants were still closed until June. Memorial Day, May 25, was one of the first really balmy days of mid-spring, 78 degrees. People were out-and-about, perhaps even feeling frisky after weeks of dreary seclusion. So, once the video of George Floyd’s death got out, the script was set: take it to the streets!

    Few Americans were unsympathetic to the protest marches that followed. Remorse, censure, and tears flowed from every official portal, from the mouth and eyes of every political figure in the land. The tableau of Officer Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was readymade for statuary. Indeed, there are probably dozens of statues extant in the world of just such a scene expressing one people’s oppression over another. And yet the public sentiments early-on after the George Floyd killing had a stale, ceremonial flavor: The people demand change! End systemic racism! No justice, no peace! How many times have we seen this movie?

    What is changing — and suddenly — is that now it’s not just black people who struggle to thrive in the USA, but everybody else of any ethnic group who is not a hedge fund veep, an employee of BlackRock Financial, or a K-Street lobbyist — and even those privileged characters may find themselves in reduced circumstances before long. The prospects of young adults look grimmest of all. They face an economy so disordered that hardly anyone can find something to do that pays enough to support the basics of life, on top of being swindled by the false promises of higher education and the money-lending racket that animates it.

    So, it’s not surprising that, when night falls, the demons come out. Things get smashed up and burned down. And all that after being cooped up for weeks on end in the name of an illness that mostly kills people in nursing homes. Ugly as the ANTIFA movement is, it’s exactly what you get when young people realize their future has been stolen from them. Or, more literally, when they are idle and broke and see fabulous wealth all around them in the banks’ glass skyscrapers, and the car showrooms, and the pageants of celebrity fame and fortune on the boob tube. They are extras in a new movie called The Fourth Turning Meets the Long Emergency but they may not know it.

    Hungry for change? You won’t have to wait long. This society may be unrecognizable in a few months. For one thing, there’s a good chance that the current violence in the streets won’t blow over as it has before. There hasn’t been such sudden, massive unemployment before, not even in the Great Depression — and we’re not even the same country that went through that rough episode. Just about every arrangement in contemporary life is on-the-rocks one way or another. Big business, small business, show business… it’s all cratering. The great big secret behind all that is not that capitalism failed; it’s that the capital in capitalism isn’t really there anymore, at least not in the amounts that mere appearances like stock valuations suggest. We squandered it, and now our institutions are straining mightily to pretend that “printing” money is the same as capital. (It’s just more debt.) Note, the stock markets are up this morning at the open! Go figure….

    Change? We’re getting it good and hard, and not at a rate we were prepared for. It’s hugely disorienting. It produces friction, heat, and light, which easily becomes violence. There’s, for sure, plenty we can do to make new arrangements for American life without becoming communists or Nazis, but a lot of activities have to fail before we see how that could work. The overburden of obsolete complexity is crushing us, like Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. They were both, in their way, common men, caught in the maelstrom of metaphor. That proverbial long, hot summer we’ve heard about for so long…? It’s here.

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  29. #450
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    ok, Chris, I'll give you this one on the house...He's a little flippant about the meaning of 5,000 years of of societal dysfunction, though
    "A large infusion of cash will cure most forms of fanatacism" - Thumbnail Biographies

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