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Old 2011-01-07, 01:15   Link #11141
Rising Dragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrLeanne View Post
Actually, California's problem isn't taxes. It's Arnold Schwarzenegger, guvunah of Kallifurniah.

"Hasta la vista, BABY!" Arnie to the CA state reserves
News flash: Arnold isn't the Governer anymore, Moonbeam is. God help us all.

But being Californian myself, I can safely say taxes aren't the only problem California has.
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Old 2011-01-07, 01:51   Link #11142
ZephyrLeanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rising Dragon View Post
News flash: Arnold isn't the Governer anymore, Moonbeam is. God help us all.

But being Californian myself, I can safely say taxes aren't the only problem California has.
I know, but he was just weeks ago.

Well, MOONBEAM!? Hell, we're going back in time to the 70's, people! Honestly, who let this guy run for a 3rd term? I wish the term limits clause was applied retroactively (it's not, that's why Moonbeam is here - otherwise Gavin Newsom would be Governor, not Lt. Gov. now.)
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Old 2011-01-07, 02:23   Link #11143
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Imagine if Meg Whitman would have won

Then I would be visiting the 2012/12/21 trend more often.
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Old 2011-01-07, 04:07   Link #11144
ganbaru
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Israel: No Iran bomb before 2015
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNew...70612X20110107
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Old 2011-01-07, 04:18   Link #11145
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by Knightrunner View Post
Imagine if Meg Whitman would have won

Then I would be visiting the 2012/12/21 trend more often.
ALL state assets would be flogged off tomorrow.

ON ebaY.

EDIT: Back to the Lone Star State.

The Texas Omen

By PAUL KRUGMAN

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/op...07krugman.html

Quote:
These are tough times for state governments. Huge deficits loom almost everywhere, from California to New York, from New Jersey to Texas.

Quote:
Wait — Texas? Wasn’t Texas supposed to be thriving even as the rest of America suffered? Didn’t its governor declare, during his re-election campaign, that “we have billions in surplus”? Yes, it was, and yes, he did. But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years.


And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting — the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending — has been implemented most completely. If the theory can’t make it there, it can’t make it anywhere.


How bad is the Texas deficit? Comparing budget crises among states is tricky, for technical reasons. Still, data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggest that the Texas budget gap is worse than New York’s, about as bad as California’s, but not quite up to New Jersey levels.


The point, however, is that just the other day Texas was being touted as a role model (and still is by commentators who haven’t been keeping up with the news). It was the state the recession supposedly passed by, thanks to its low taxes and business-friendly policies. Its governor boasted that its budget was in good shape thanks to his “tough conservative decisions.”


Oh, and at a time when there’s a full-court press on to demonize public-sector unions as the source of all our woes, Texas is nearly demon-free: less than 20 percent of public-sector workers there are covered by union contracts, compared with almost 75 percent in New York.


So what happened to the “Texas miracle” many people were talking about even a few months ago?


Part of the answer is that reports of a recession-proof state were greatly exaggerated. It’s true that Texas job losses haven’t been as severe as those in the nation as a whole since the recession began in 2007. But Texas has a rapidly growing population — largely, suggests Harvard’s Edward Glaeser, because its liberal land-use and zoning policies have kept housing cheap. There’s nothing wrong with that; but given that rising population, Texas needs to create jobs more rapidly than the rest of the country just to keep up with a growing work force.


And when you look at unemployment, Texas doesn’t seem particularly special: its unemployment rate is below the national average, thanks in part to high oil prices, but it’s about the same as the unemployment rate in New York or Massachusetts.


What about the budget? The truth is that the Texas state government has relied for years on smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of sound finances in the face of a serious “structural” budget deficit — that is, a deficit that persists even when the economy is doing well.



When the recession struck, hitting revenue in Texas just as it did everywhere else, that illusion was bound to collapse.


The only thing that let Gov. Rick Perry get away, temporarily, with claims of a surplus was the fact that Texas enacts budgets only once every two years, and the last budget was put in place before the depth of the economic downturn was clear. Now the next budget must be passed — and Texas may have a $25 billion hole to fill. Now what?


Given the complete dominance of conservative ideology in Texas politics, tax increases are out of the question. So it has to be spending cuts.


Yet Mr. Perry wasn’t lying about those “tough conservative decisions”: Texas has indeed taken a hard, you might say brutal, line toward its most vulnerable citizens. Among the states, Texas ranks near the bottom in education spending per pupil, while leading the nation in the percentage of residents without health insurance. It’s hard to imagine what will happen if the state tries to eliminate its huge deficit purely through further cuts.


I don’t know how the mess in Texas will end up being resolved. But the signs don’t look good, either for the state or for the nation.


Right now, triumphant conservatives in Washington are declaring that they can cut taxes and still balance the budget by slashing spending.



Yet they haven’t been able to do that even in Texas, which is willing both to impose great pain (by its stinginess on health care) and to shortchange the future (by neglecting education). How are they supposed to pull it off nationally, especially when the incoming Republicans have declared Medicare, Social Security and defense off limits?


People used to say that the future happens first in California, but these days what happens in Texas is probably a better omen. And what we’re seeing right now is a future that doesn’t work.
All right.

So what we can pick out is this:

1. Notwithstanding the fact that Krugman is a staunch Keynesian, he does indirectly point out the cyclicial (vicious cycle) of social welfare cuts.

As you might realise, education is the key to pushing people up the income ladder. Social welfare (NOT the lack of it, as so oft-repeated by the Tea Party, FOX, GOP, RNC, etc.) allows people to take their minds OFF how to make it thru the day, and allows them to re-train, re-skill, or just find a job, without worrying too much about money.

Budget cuts in these areas would create a result similar to the UK Poll Tax (which moved the local authority tax burden from large property holders to large families - usually worse-off than smaller families) which caused Thatcher to lose government. (As opposed to less-crucial spending - one very good one I can give is to cut the number of days that legislature sits - thus allowing bills to pass faster, even if some bills get filibustered, or just making all legislators recieve cuts in pay/hr. of attendance - remember, Big Corp. already pays for most of 'em, so what's the loss?)

2. Union or no union, what difference does it make? Well, in the case of Texas, it shows that the lack of unions benefits private-sector employers, but does not benefit the state due to their tax-avoidance strategies.

3. The US honestly needs to move from being a majority-primary industry (Agriculture, Farming, Natural Resources) to a majority-quarternary economy (R&D), as befitting a First World Nation. That can be put into place with a carbon-trading scheme on power producers, who will then have incentive to move to renewable energy, creating a new industry, based on R&D, and moving education forwards. A carbon tax WILL NOT work as it, like GST/VAT, is regressive, and penalises the poor.

4. The Tea Party better watch out.
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Old 2011-01-07, 07:58   Link #11146
SaintessHeart
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GameStop's holiday sales disappoint, shares drop

Quote:
(Reuters) - GameStop Corp's same-store sales during the holiday shopping season rose a less-than-expected 3.4 percent, sending its shares lower on Thursday.

"We'll have to sort out the market reaction. I'm not sure what that means ... but in general we're hearing favorable things," GameStop's Chief Executive Paul Raines said in an interview.

Its shares fell 4.6 percent to $20.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Sales for the holiday period -- the key season for retailers -- were about $3.02 billion, a 5.4 percent increase from a year ago.

"This was slightly disappointing," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who had been expecting at least a 5 percent increase in same-store sales for the biggest U.S. video game retailer.

For the nine-week holiday period ending January 1, new video game software sales increased 3.3 percent, due to hot titles like "Call of Duty: Black Ops" from Activision Blizzard. Sales of hardware such as game consoles rose 7.4 percent, driven by Microsoft's Kinect motion-gaming device.

"Kinect was huge," GameStop's Raines said, adding that the retailer had to speed up shipments from Asia to meet demand.

Raines said the company is still developing its forecast for 2011, but he expects Nintendo's 3DS, a handheld device expected to be launched in the United States in March, to be a hit.

"The 3-D aspect of it is very hot and we think it's going to be a great launch in the spring," Raines said.

The CEO added that Kinect sales would continue to be strong this year and that Sony's marketing for its motion-sensor controller the Move, as well as new games like Electronic Arts' "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12" focusing on the Masters golf tournament, would sustain the momentum of motion-sensor gaming.

GameStop reiterated its profit forecast for the fourth quarter. The company expects earnings of $1.53 to $1.59 a share, in line with analysts' average view of $1.56 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Thursday's higher sales numbers echoed comments made by GameStop executives in October about 2010 holiday sales topping those of 2009.

Microsoft said on Wednesday it had sold more than 8 million of the Kinect, which outpaced Sony Corp's Move.
I am going to feel stupid for even bothering to read this article if they are going to blame downloaders for this unexpected turn of events.
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Old 2011-01-07, 08:13   Link #11147
bladeofdarkness
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Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
more like "retiring head of Mossad : No Iran bomb before 2015"

I just hope he's right.
and telling the actual truth.
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Old 2011-01-07, 08:27   Link #11148
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by bladeofdarkness View Post
more like "retiring head of Mossad : No Iran bomb before 2015"

I just hope he's right.
and telling the actual truth.
One word: Impossible.

Unless the US continues to play its cards right and avoid the Tea Party influencing foreign affairs (unlikely, now they control the House of Reps in Congress).

Remember, Iran, like Japan, has nuclear power facilities which enable them to convert the nuclear cores to become n-bombs if required. The only thing right now is that Iran isn't doing any such work now because it can get the US to do its bidding by threats but not acts.

Therefore, looking at that one site (Natanz) isn't going to work - look at all the nuclear facilities in the country.
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Old 2011-01-07, 09:10   Link #11149
MrTerrorist
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Chinese businessman bids £5m for UK's HMS Invincible
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Old 2011-01-07, 09:24   Link #11150
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by MrTerrorist View Post
Quote:
Mr Lam, who began as a chef and now owns the Wing Wah chain of Chinese restaurants, is also a lawmaker in the city of Zhuhai, in southern China.
Despite claims to the contary, expect the vessel to end up in PLA hands eventually. The usiness will operate for some time, then fold (pretty quickly), then the ship gets flogged off to the PRC Navy.

Either that, or they'll force him to hand it over.
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Old 2011-01-07, 09:39   Link #11151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrLeanne View Post
Despite claims to the contary, expect the vessel to end up in PLA hands eventually. The usiness will operate for some time, then fold (pretty quickly), then the ship gets flogged off to the PRC Navy.

Either that, or they'll force him to hand it over.
I think it'll go out of business before any of that happens. No sane parent would send their kid to school on a ship
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Old 2011-01-07, 09:43   Link #11152
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by Tsuyoshi View Post
I think it'll go out of business before any of that happens. No sane parent would send their kid to school on a ship
AHA! That's the WHOLE POINT! It's a loss-leader! Once it goes broke. The PLA will then offer to buy it from him. The PLA gets a good (if used) ship, the buyer loses NOTHING! All without needing to resort to diplomatc wrangles! It's all business.

That's why the Tories and LibDems ministers of the UK should all just be tried for treason.
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Old 2011-01-07, 10:20   Link #11153
Mr_Paper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrLeanne View Post
Despite claims to the contary, expect the vessel to end up in PLA hands eventually. The usiness will operate for some time, then fold (pretty quickly), then the ship gets flogged off to the PRC Navy.

Either that, or they'll force him to hand it over.
Need to consider a couple of things about this.

First, the ship has been gutted and stripped down. There are no engines, electronics or anything of that sort remaining on the ship - even the catapult system has been removed. All that remains on the ship is the hull, deck and super-structure. On top of that it is a near 40 year old carrier, given the cost that would be associated in updating and modernizing the ship as well as rebuilding and installing all the needed electronics and launch hardware it would be cheaper to just build a new carrier.

Second, 5 million pounds is a pretty conservative bid given the value of the steel in the ship. I fully expect that he will either be out bid by Indian ship wreckers or, if he wins, turn around and sell it to a Chinese ship wrecking company for a profit.

Granted... he could always use the ship to make the best floating restaurant ever!
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Old 2011-01-07, 10:22   Link #11154
Tom Bombadil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrLeanne View Post
AHA! That's the WHOLE POINT! It's a loss-leader! Once it goes broke. The PLA will then offer to buy it from him. The PLA gets a good (if used) ship, the buyer loses NOTHING! All without needing to resort to diplomatc wrangles! It's all business.

That's why the Tories and LibDems ministers of the UK should all just be tried for treason.
LoL. In such economical times, some one has just sold your trash for big money, and they should be tried for treason?

It is a very confusing deal. Sure there are a lot of doubts on how this hull of carrier is used. The profitability of towing it back to China has question marks on it, while the other option is simply absurd. But it is not the first time that people pay ridiculous amount of money in auctions. Just think how much those antiques fetch, and how useless they are.

As for the possibility of it ending up in PLA, that is puzzling as well. Why is this thing useful for them? It is well known that China has bought a couple of carrier hull previously and studied them intensively. That was years ago. How is this hull going to bring anything significantly new? With the work on refitting the former soviet one in progress and possibly others in building, isn't purchasing of a relic both ill-timed and illogical?

Besides, the hull of an aircraft carrier is probably the most boring part of the carrier. I mean there is a limit of how structurally sound you can make it. It will still sink if you can't detect a quiet submarine or steal bomber or missiles, etc. Any nation will good ship building capability should be able to make a carrier hull. If China can't, that's going to be down right embarrassing. I think that's hardly the case.

Well, the only benefit for the PLA with an additional carrier hull is that it can be used for training purpose, like landing and taking off, etc. But if that's the only purpose of that thing, it is a totally waste of money.
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Old 2011-01-07, 10:24   Link #11155
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by Mr_Paper View Post
Need to consider a couple of things about this.

First, the ship has been gutted and stripped down. There are no engines, electronics or anything of that sort remaining on the ship - even the catapult system has been removed. All that remains on the ship is the hull, deck and super-structure. On top of that it is a near 40 year old carrier, given the cost that would be associated in updating and modernizing the ship as well as rebuilding and installing all the needed electronics and launch hardware it would be cheaper to just build a new carrier.
True, but China will probably want to use it as some kind of strategic decoy in the future ...

US Marine/Navy: Hey, don't shoot that ship, it's an ally! It's the Brits coming to help us!

*US Marine/Navy gets hit from camouflaged PLA people on the said ship*



Quote:

Second, 5 million pounds is a pretty conservative bid given the value of the steel in the ship. I fully expect that he will either be out bid by Indian ship wreckers or, if he wins, turn around and sell it to a Chinese ship wrecking company for a profit.

Granted... he could always use the ship to make the best floating restaurant ever!
It looks drab for a restaurant...
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Old 2011-01-07, 14:42   Link #11156
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrLeanne View Post

1. Notwithstanding the fact that Krugman is a staunch Keynesian, he does indirectly point out the cyclicial (vicious cycle) of social welfare cuts.

As you might realise, education is the key to pushing people up the income ladder. Social welfare (NOT the lack of it, as so oft-repeated by the Tea Party, FOX, GOP, RNC, etc.) allows people to take their minds OFF how to make it thru the day, and allows them to re-train, re-skill, or just find a job, without worrying too much about money.
I think cuts to social welfare stem from a lack of deeper understanding. The average person perceives the inefficiencies of the US welfare system, but assumes less is better when in fact reform is what is needed. As it is now, welfare does provide disincentives to get a job because, often, if a welfare recipient gets a job they will lose their welfare, making around the same amount of money despite working all day. One idea for reforming this system is lump sum welfare payments at the start of a 3-5 month cycle. The recipient receives all the money he/she may have gotten for those months, and is then allowed the same monetary stability (if they spend their money wisely). This way they can still get a job, receive the same amount they would have for 3-5 months, and make more money without the disincentive. Of course, with unemployment like it is today, this isn't a miracle cure. But it would still be the same amount of money, without any disincentives.
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Old 2011-01-07, 15:25   Link #11157
Jinto
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I think cuts to social welfare stem from a lack of deeper understanding. The average person perceives the inefficiencies of the US welfare system, but assumes less is better when in fact reform is what is needed. As it is now, welfare does provide disincentives to get a job because, often, if a welfare recipient gets a job they will lose their welfare, making around the same amount of money despite working all day. One idea for reforming this system is lump sum welfare payments at the start of a 3-5 month cycle. The recipient receives all the money he/she may have gotten for those months, and is then allowed the same monetary stability (if they spend their money wisely). This way they can still get a job, receive the same amount they would have for 3-5 months, and make more money without the disincentive. Of course, with unemployment like it is today, this isn't a miracle cure. But it would still be the same amount of money, without any disincentives.
The problem with this approach is, that it will be misused by employers immediatly, because technically this is a state subsidized low wage dumping mechanism. The only way to get around this problem is law bound minimum wages in my oppinion. Anything that can't be done with the means of paying minimum wages isn't worth doing in the first place period. The minimum wages should be at least 1/3rd above the welfare payments (for harder/stressier work even higher).
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Old 2011-01-07, 17:40   Link #11158
ganbaru
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Model security shows mainstream move of Iraq's Sadr
http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNew...70636V20110107
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Old 2011-01-07, 19:26   Link #11159
Vexx
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To anyone following neurological research and brain science, this idea is overdue in serious circles and may start getting some traction. However, I expect the blowback to be strong from several factions against the idea.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6973994.ece
(Basically, science is saying "dolphins are people" in terms of consciousness, emotion, sense of self, and capability - moral, ethic issues, discuss )
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Old 2011-01-07, 20:12   Link #11160
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
To anyone following neurological research and brain science, this idea is overdue in serious circles and may start getting some traction. However, I expect the blowback to be strong from several factions against the idea.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6973994.ece
(Basically, science is saying "dolphins are people" in terms of consciousness, emotion, sense of self, and capability - moral, ethic issues, discuss )
Absolutely not. Haven't you read this?

Quote:
“Many dolphin brains are larger than our own and second in mass only to the human brain when corrected for body size,” said Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has used magnetic resonance imaging scans to map the brains of dolphin species and compare them with those of primates.
If we let them have their way, they will take over the world and rule over us once global warming melts the ice caps AND floods the earth!
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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