Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the October 28, 2015 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

Election Information --- http://www.rockthevote.com/get-informed/elections/

Cross-Over Gaming Primary Elections:  Voting for a Sure Loser Rather Than a Candidate That Might Win in a Race to the Botton
Cross-Over Gaming Primary Elections:  Voting for a Sure Loser to Knock Out Winning Candidates
Based upon a comment I heard on CBS News there are signs that the poll support and crowds supporting Donald Trump are largely members of the Democratic Party intent on messing up the Republican Party primary outcomes. These Trump supporters have no intent to vote for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election if he should be nominated. Something similar may be happening among the supporters of Bernie Sanders who are really Republicans in sheeps' white wool.

The USA system of selecting nominees in primary elections that precede general elections possibly are becoming a vicious game.
Election Gaming "Fraud" in Primary Elections in the USA:  Making Sure Your General Election Opponent is a Real Loser

FlackCheck.org --- http://www.flackcheck.org
Headquartered at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, FlackCheck.org offers resources that help students "recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular"

RealClearPolitics: Election 2016 --- http://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/2016/

Bloggingheads.tv (political commentary --- http://bloggingheads.tv/

OpenSecrets (money and politics blog) --- https://www.opensecrets.org

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth,
And he wasn't even thinking about Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth,
And he wasn't even thinking about Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley,

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

ISIS to Christians in Sweden: 'The Caliphate Is Here', Now 'Convert or Die'---
Since there are only 150 Christians left in Sweden this is an empty thread unless ISIS takes on the atheists

California Equal Pay Law Mainly Boosts Pay of Lawyers ---

IRS Scandal Déjà vu
Obama Lobbies the FBI:  He publicly intervenes in the probe of Clinton’s private email server
Jensen Comment
The problem is that the leading candidate for the USA presidency broke a law that cost other people their careers

3 caveats about that New York Times blockbuster on big donors ---

It's Her Way or the Road:  Senator Elizabeth Warren seeks to terminate and disgrace any scholars who disagree with her ---

Thomas Robert Malthus --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus
The United Nations now projects 10 billion people on earth for reasons not given as much emphasis by Malthus (who focused more on birth rates) ---

Famous last words of 18 famous people --- http://www.businessinsider.com/list-compilation-famous-last-words-2015-10

How to Mislead With Statistics:  FactChecking the Democratic Debate

NPR: 60% Of Faculty Plan To Work Past Age 70;  100% Of Hofstra Law School Faculty Refuse Offer Of Two Years Salary To Retire ---
Jensen Comment
These two-year buyouts can lead to game playing. Some old duffers might think that they can get four-year buyouts if they wait until they are 80 years old. I wonder if some of the 70-year olds would accept the buyouts if the terms were "now or never." Of course this might lead to lawsuits like when the 90-year old professor at Catholic University sued for unwarranted termination. I wonder how Depend able these old men and women are in the classroom.

The Fake Falling Deficit and the Phony Unemployment Drop ---

Dan Rather, Still Wrong After All These Years:  The movie ‘Truth’ is as bogus as the original attempt to smear George W. Bush’s wartime service ---
But there is a nice picture of Robert Redford's expensive toupee that's the wrong color for a man 79 years of age.

With Russia in Syria, a geopolitical structure that lasted four decades is in shambles. The U.S. needs a new strategy and priorities.
Henry A. Kissinger --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-path-out-of-the-middle-east-collapse-1445037513?mod=djemMER
Did you notice that CNN tossed out fluff-ball questions in the First 2015 Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate without even asking about the Middle East?

Kids rebel against bland foods in lunch line: Time for a 'pasta exemption'?
“There’s a black market," says Julie Gunlock, who directs the Culture of Alarmism Project at the Independent Women’s Forum in Washington, joking about "kids with trench coats lined with potato chips and other things they can’t get at school.”

Patrik Johsson --- http://news.yahoo.com/kids-rebel-against-bland-foods-lunch-line-time-184609712.html

US Shocked To Find Russian Machine Gun With Iranian Ammo Attached To Abrams Tank

How Chelsea’s Husband, Marc Mezvinsky, Takes Advantage of His Clinton Connection: Mezvinsky started raising money for his hedge fund, Eaglevale Partners, in 2011, barely a year after he married Chelsea. He met with a series of wealthy investors who had close ties to Bill and Hillary, including Lloyd C. Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, which had paid Bill $1.35 million for eight speeches.

“Climate aid” is the latest fad among rich countries as they shift billions of dollars of foreign assistance away from health and nutrition programs and into carbon reduction. “In a world in which malnourishment continues to claim at least 1.4 million children’s lives each year, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.6 billion lack clean drinking water and sanitation, this growing emphasis on climate aid is immoral,” writes Bjorn Lomborg in today’s Journal.
Bjorn Lomborg --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/this-child-doesnt-need-a-solar-panel-1445466967?mod=djemMER

Hillary Ignores Obama’s Orders: President Obama knew from the beginning of Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state that she was a) using an unsecure private e-mail account; b) taking foreign donations for the Clinton Foundation; and c) in frequent touch with the detested Sidney Blumenthal. Through Valerie Jarrett, his senior political adviser, the president ordered Hillary to stop all three things, and she ignored him.

This could be one of the reasons for the cold relationship between President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The Journal’s Daniel Henninger writes that for Donald Trump to suggest “that former President George W. Bush bears blame for Sept. 11, which occurred nine months after he assumed office; or for Donald Trump to revisit 9/11 to promote his thoughts on immigration, is frankly disgusting.” Yet the appeal of outsider candidates is undeniable. “Across seven years, much of the electorate has been in a difficult passage from Barack Obama’s early hope to final disillusion. Jeb and the others aren’t capturing the depths of the public’s emotional, political and economic disorientation,” adds Mr. Henninger... Meanwhile Karl Rove says that it’s time for voters and the media to treat Mr. Trump “as a traditional front-runner, examine his temperament and require him to go beyond sound bites.”
Daniel Henninger --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-9-11-1445467434?mod=djemMER

The 25 Best Quotes From Donald Trump ---
Jensen Comment
A few of the quotes make sense, but most are absurd and misleading. For example, the Mexican Government does not directly force citizens to sneak into the USA unless you consider that they are being "forced" by lack of economic opportunity and dangers of living among the violent drug cartels.  And no Trump wall will keep them out. One of Trump's worst tendencies is to attribute dictatorial powers to the Presidency that are in reality greatly restricted by checks and balances built into our democracy since get go. In other words he's making promises he could not possibly keep as President of the USA unless we make him a a Tsar.

No, Bernie Sanders, Scandinavia Is Not a Socialist Utopia
Jeff Jacoby ---
Jensen Comment
Whereas Norway is an OPEC country that heavily subsidizes social programs with oil revenue, Sweden,  and Finland are dependent upon capitalism for jobs and taxation. The Nordic model is more reliant upon business and personal taxation (at nearly all income levels) to fund national health care, education. and other programs. College is free, but it is restricted to much less than half of the high school graduates based upon aptitude and ability. Bernie Sanders wants to provide free college to everybody in the USA.

No, Bernie Sanders, health care in Cuba is Not a Socialist Utopia
Jensen Comment
In reality there are two health care systems in Cuba. A perfectly awful system for the proletariat and a good system for the .bourgeoisie in the military and upper levels of the Communist Party.

We'd rather be obese on benefits than thin and working.
Janice and Amber Manzur

Man claims severe disability, gets caught using a ladder ---
Among his 30 lawsuits is a claim for additional food stamps for his dog.

Moocher Hall of Fame --- https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/the-moocher-hall-of-fame/


Election Gaming "Fraud" in Primary Elections in the USA:  Making Sure Your General Election Opponent is a Real Loser

Table of Contents

Funding Losers

 Communications Juggernauts in Crossover Voting Frauds

Funding Opponent Scandals

The Week In Congress --- http://theweekincongress.com/

Did The Democratic Debate Change The Odds? ---

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

"Democrats are in denial. Their party is actually in deep trouble," by Matthew Yglesias, Vox, October 19, 2015 ---

. . .

Democrats aren't even talking about how to improve on their weak points, because by and large they don't even admit that they exist.

Instead, the party is focused on a competition between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over whether they should go a little bit to Obama's left or a lot to his left, options that are unlikely to help Democrats down-ballot in the face of an unfriendly House map and a more conservative midterm electorate. The GOP might be in chaos, but Democrats are in a torpor.

Democrats have been obliterated at the state level

The worst part of the problem for the Democratic Party is in races that are, collectively, the most important: state government.

Elections for state legislature rarely make the national news, but they are the fundamental building blocks of American politics. Since they run the redistricting process for the US House of Representatives and for themselves, they are where the greatest level of electoral entrenchment is possible.

And in the wake of the 2014 midterms, Republicans have overwhelming dominance of America's state legislatures.

Continued in article

What is the estimate of the number of humans who have ever lived on earth?

One Answer = 100,825,272,791 ---
Jensen Comment
Due to issues of definition of when life begins and data errors this should perhaps have been rounded to 100 or 101 billion.


Thomas Robert Malthus --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Robert_Malthus

MIT:  The United Nations now projects 10 billion people on earth for reasons not given as much emphasis by Malthus (who focused more on birth rates rather than death delays) ---

"Nine Billion Mouths to Feed:  The author is sympathetic to anti-globalization activists. But history amply shows that limiting people to local crops is a recipe for famine," by Ronald Bailey, The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2015 ---

In the late 18th century, Robert Thomas Malthus argued that human population growth would always outstrip food production, thus perpetually condemning some portion of humanity to famine. His disciples today are now pointing to recent steep increases in food prices as harbingers of a new age of scarcity. Global food prices have indeed been soaring, along with other commodity prices, since 2005. In real terms, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s price index crested in 2011 at 60% above its 2005 price levels. Farmers around the world predictably reacted to the higher prices by growing more food. World cereal production rose from 2,348 million tons in 2011 to 2,540 million tons today. Since the 2011 peak, food prices have been drifting downward, although they remain 18% higher than they were a decade or so ago.

Cue the prophets of doom. Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute has said that the world is now at “peak everything.” He has further warned that humanity is “waking up to a century of declines.” In 2013, Earth Policy Institute founder Lester Brown asserted: “The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity.” Journalist Joel K. Bourne Jr. declared earlier this year, in his book “The End of Plenty,” that “the world is running out of food.”

Now comes the neo-Malthusian journalist David Rieff. He argues in “The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice, and Money in the Twenty-First Century” that “if significant changes to the global food system are not made, a crisis of absolute global food supply could occur sometime between 2030 and 2050.” Mr. Rieff’s argument is halfhearted in comparison to Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s bold 1968 pronouncement, in “The Population Bomb,” that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

The chief question for Mr. Rieff is: Will it be possible to feed the nine billion people who will most likely be living on the planet by the middle of this century? He writes that, “in the main,” his “own views are pessimistic.” But he immediately acknowledges the possibility of predictive failure and declares: “I insist that it is entirely possible that twenty years from now, it is the optimists who will be proven right.”

Mr. Rieff spends most of the book excoriating in turgid prose those he designates as “optimists,” who argue that hunger and poverty are technically solvable problems. He accuses them of “an overreliance verging on mystical faith in the application of scientific breakthroughs that will give farmers in the poor world the technological inputs and market savvy needed to grow enough food to comfortably feed the nine or ten billion human beings who will be alive on this earth by 2050.” He has particular disdain for philanthro-capitalists as personified by Bill Gates. When Mr. Gates’s foundation advocates harnessing technology to feed the hungry and reduce poverty, Mr. Rieff sees only ideology. “Perhaps twenty-first century liberal capitalism’s greatest trick has been convincing so much of the world that it is not an ideology, and as it did so, convincing itself as well,” he writes.

The author’s sympathy rests with anti-globalization activists and their demands for “food sovereignty,” which amounts essentially to autarkic agriculture by peasant farmers. As history amply shows, limiting people to local crops is a recipe for periodic famine.

Mr. Rieff denounces what he sees as the global development “consensus” that “only transformative power of liberal capitalism in combination with science and technological innovation can end hunger and extreme poverty.” He finds that the “only feasible” answer to the problems of hunger and poverty “is to be found in the strengthening of the state and in the promise and burden of democratic politics.” Ultimately, politics is the key to fixing the “broken” global food system.

Broken? It is true that far too many people are still hungry, but poverty is receding around the globe. Earlier this month the World Bank released projections that the number of people living in absolute poverty (defined as $1.90 per day) will have fallen from 902 million people (or 12.8% of the global population) in 2012 to 702 million people (or 9.6% of the global population) this year. According to the World Bank, these figures provide “fresh evidence that a quarter-century-long sustained reduction in poverty is moving the world closer to the historic goal of ending poverty by 2030.”

Continued in article

Update in 2015
Add to this the perils of irreversible climate change in that is probably more of a disaster to food supplies than any other event in the history of mankind. Crop production impacts in the USA are small potatoes compared to the implications climate change on global food supplies. However, one great unknown is technology for making desalinized ocean water cheap for irrigation around the world.

Bob Jensen's Threads
Food, Agriculture, and Botany


A 2007 Bob Jensen Tidbit ---

The latest (in 2007) from the campaign trail of Obama
"Shift Troops to Fight al-Qaida": "We cannot win a war against the terrorists if we're on the wrong battlefield," Obama said. "America must urgently begin deploying from Iraq and take the fight more effectively to the enemy's home by destroying al-Qaida's leadership along the Afghan-Pakistan border, eliminating their command and control networks and disrupting their funding."

"Clueless," Powerline, July 14, 2007 --- http://powerlineblog.com/archives/018232.php
Jensen Comment
While Commander and Chief Obama's U.S. military is "deploying form Iraq ... [to]... the Afghan-Pakistan border," the al-Qaida's top leaders will deploy from Pakistan to the vacated Iraq. To carry the fight to those warring leaders, Obama's military will then have to re-invade Iraq or give terrorism's command a safe haven. What will Commander and Chief Obama do if the new battlefield in fact becomes Iraq? Much depends upon how much terror the U.S. and its allies will tolerate before re-invading Iraq. Many anti-war protesters hope that if we give al-Qaida 80% of the world's oil reserves (which means give them the entire Middle East) that they will become capitalists dependent upon a safer world to buy their oil. I think "clueless" is a good word here for the strategy to pull completely out of Iraq and shift the theatre of war to the Afghan-Pakistan border. Of course we are and will continue to be worried about Pakistan, because Pakistan is a major nuclear power teetering on the brink of control by Islamic militants. If  al-Qaida and its sympathizers get control of a nuclear arsenal in Pakistan or Iraq, "someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away."

They're rioting in Africa. They're starving in Spain. There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls. The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles. Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch and I don't like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud for man's been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.

And we know for certain that some lovely day someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa. There's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man.
Kingston Trio, 1959 --- http://www.kingstontrio.com/

Jensen Comment
ISIS and other insane enemies around the world are intent on weapons of mass destruction far more lethal than atomic bombs. Attaining a world population of 10 billion is most assuredly not a sure thing in spite of climate change disasters.

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth,
And he wasn't even thinking about Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days

Final Report of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing --- http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/TaskForce_FinalReport.pdf

InsideClimate News --- http://insideclimatenews.org/

Real Climate: Data Sources --- http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

Too Much Debt
"HSBC: Norway and Sweden are in bubbles that 'may not be sustainable'" by Jim Edwards, Business Insider, October 22, 2015 ---

Norway and Sweden may be in high-debt/asset bubbles that look "unstable" and may leave them "vulnerable" to market corrections, according to HSBC economist James Pomeroy. In Sweden, "growth may not be sustainable," he says.

It's not the first time we've seen economists argue that a bubble may be forming in Northern Europe. Analysts at Moody's called one a few weeks ago in house prices in Germany, the UK and — gulp! — Norway.

Pomeroy argues that the economies of both Sweden and Norway are carrying huge debt loads relative to GDP, but consumers there may be lulled into thinking everything is OK by their high property prices. 

Both countries have central banks that have set interest rates near zero. (Sweden's is actually negative.) The upshot, Pomeroy says, is that if a recession comes — or interest rates rise — then neither economy will be equipped to deal with it. Central banks can tackle recessions by lowering interest rates, but that weapon is effectively unavailable in both countries. Similarly, debt levels are comfortable now because interest on debt is so low. If rates rise, then the risk of consumers defaulting on their debts increases in both countries.

Here is Pomeroy's argument, excerpted from his recent note:

Norway and Sweden's high debt and asset booms look unstable

... Developed bubbles: In the developed world, countries with buoyant asset prices and high levels of household debt concern us. In Sweden and Norway, high debt is coupled with central bank easing while Hong Kong's house price growth is worrying.

... Sweden and Norway: Both countries suffer from high levels of household debt, rising house prices and have central banks that have cut policy rates to record lows. This leaves them vulnerable to financial stability risks that could leave the economies exposed to any downturn or, at some later stage, a rise in rates. In Sweden, inflation remains very low (prompting negative rates and possible further easing to come) and investment has boomed suggesting that the recent run up in growth may not be sustainable. Norway's growth outlook is blighted by a lower oil price despite no fears over government finances or the current account.

... The concerns come from Hong Kong, Norway and Sweden, where private sector debt continues to rise. All three countries are seeing very fast house price growth and debt is already at elevated levels. In the cases of Sweden and Norway, the central banks have been cutting rates over the past year (Norway -50bps, Sweden - 60bps), which serve to further fuel these risks.

And here's a chart showing how both countries come near the top of countries with high credit to GDP, with both countries' ratio between the two getting worse:

Continued in article

Barf Alert:  How can anybody write such a misleading article?
"Why Is the CBO Concocting a Phony Debt Crisis? A simple accounting trick is arming austerity hawks with a powerful, phony weapon, by Ari Rabin-Havt, The Nation, October 18, 2015 ---

How can there be such a large discrepancy in the numbers? The answer is fairly simple. The CBO assumes that Social Security and Medicare Part A will draw on the general fund of the US Treasury to cover benefit shortfalls following the depletion of their trust funds, which at the current rate will occur in 2034.

That would obviously lead to an exploding debt, but it’s a scenario prohibited by law.

In the case of both programs, benefits must be paid either from revenue collected via payroll taxes or from accumulated savings in the programs’ trust funds. When those funds run out, full benefits will simply not be paid. “Because there is no borrowing authority, there is really a hard stop,” said Goss.

Congress could pass a law saying that Social Security and Medicare Part A would begin drawing on the US Treasury general fund after 2034. Or, Congress could preemptively pass laws to avert the situation before the deadline; it could take the approach favored by progressives and increase revenue to the programs by lifting the payroll tax cap, or alternatively raise the retirement age and lower benefits.

But the bottom line is the CBO projections disregard the actual law and assume a worst-case legislative scenario—and one that is politically unlikely, to boot. It’s hard to imagine Congress would simply leave the problem alone and watch Social Security and Medicare Part A devour the nation’s budget.

“Congress has always stepped up and done the right thing, and made changes necessary. Now that is a fact,” said Goss.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

What a naive article. Ari Rabin-Havt assumes that if our deadlocked Congress (it may be deadlocked ad infinitum) does not act responsibly before Trust Funds run out the "full benefits will simply not be paid" rather than tap the general fund.

In reality the entitlement trust funds for Social Security, Disability, and Medicare are running out earlier than planned because Congress elected irresponsibly to drain them to pay General Fund expenses. Now he thinks that recipients promised such benefits will eventually receive much smaller benefits when the Trust Funds expire. Technically, Congress replaced the accumulated trust fund balances with IOU bonds that Congress is obligated to repay ---

. . .

The Social Security Administration's authority to make benefit payments as granted by Congress extends only to its current revenues and existing Trust Fund balance, i.e., redemption of its holdings of Treasury securities. Therefore, Social Security's ability to make full payments once annual benefits exceed revenues depends in part on the federal government's ability to make good on the bonds that it has issued to the Social Security trust funds. As with any other federal obligation, the federal government's ability to repay Social Security is based on its power to tax and borrow and the commitment of Congress to meet its obligations.

In 2009 the Office of the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration calculated an unfunded obligation of $15.1 trillion for the Social Security program. The unfunded obligation is the difference between the future cost of Social Security (based on several demographic assumptions such as mortality, work force participation, immigration, and age expectancy) and total assets in the Trust Fund given the expected contribution rate through the current scheduled payroll tax. This unfunded obligation is expressed in present value dollars and is a part of the Fund's long-range actuarial estimates, not necessarily a certainty of what will occur in the long run. An Actuarial Note to the calculation says that "The term obligation is used in lieu of the term liability, because liability generally indicates a contractual obligation (as in the case of private pensions and insurance) that cannot be altered by the plan sponsor without the agreement of the plan participants

Ari Rabin-Havt assumes that rather than tax and borrow to make good on its IOUs Congress will simply renege on benefits. Has he heard of the Baby Boom where the old folks will essentially control the elections to Congress unless liberals water down the power of the disabled and retired Baby Boomers with tens of millions of new immigrants. How naive can you get?

Assuming the USA does not open the gates to tens of millions of young immigrants, the electoral powers of the older generation will be too powerful to let Congress simply renege on its obligations to provide Social Security Benefits, Benefits to the Disabled, Medicare Benefits, Medicare Drug Benefits, and all the other entitlements that Congress has tacked on to obligations of future generations.

In short, Ari Rabin-Hayt assumes that any entitlements that were promised that cannot be funded when they come due will simply become bad debts of the government and not be paid. I don't think reality politics works like this. Assuming the exploding older generation has the political clout to keep Social Security and Medicare Benefits adjusted for eventual hyperinflation, those entitlements will be paid more or less in full from the General Fund and more borrowing (if the USA has any credit left in the world). And the impact on the General Fund will indeed be the disaster that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is warning us about in advance.

NBC News:  Recent College Grads Might Not Retire Until 75, New Data From NerdWallet Shows ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the looming entitlement disaster ---

"Hillary’s Benghazi Story Implodes:  New evidence shows the depths of deception," by James Freeman, The Wall Street Journal, October 23, 2015 ---

“Thanks to Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony on Thursday, we now understand why the former secretary of state never wanted anyone to see her emails,” writes Kimberley Strassel. Those emails and other State Department documents “show that the Obama administration deliberately misled the nation about the deadly events in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.”

The new documents from the Benghazi select committee show that while Mrs. Clinton publicly blamed an Internet video for an allegedly spontaneous protest, she privately told her daughter that night that it was an attack by “an Al-Qaeda-like group.” And the next day she told the Prime Minister of Eqypt: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.” When questioned on this evidence by Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), “She dodged, and it was obvious,” writes Peggy Noonan.

“All of this is no mere game of gotcha,” notes a Journal editorial. “Mrs. Clinton’s private-public contradiction goes to the honesty of a public official whose obligation was to protect Americans and who now wants a promotion to the Oval Office. It shows that her first instinct even on a matter of life and death was to help the Administration conceal the nature of the Benghazi attack.”

Ms. Noonan raises other important questions: “A secretary of state who supported a military action that unleashed chaos and sends her friend, the ambassador, into that chaos has no awareness of his requests for more security? Sidney Blumenthal had her personal email address but Chris Stevens didn’t?”

The new evidence also brings us back to questions John Bolton raised in our pages. If Mrs. Clinton knew all along that her people were under attack by terrorists, why did she leave the State Department and go home for the evening without ever calling the Secretary of Defense or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to plead for a rescue mission?

 Continued in article

"Tesla to fight Denmark's new tax on electric cars," TheLocal.dk, October 12, 2015 ---

The government has defended its move to gradually phase out tax breaks on electric cars as a way to make things fairer for car owners, but the maker of Denmark's most popular electric model has slammed the plan as anti-competitive and a death knell for the industry.

A political agreement reached on Friday afternoon will see tax breaks on electric cars phased out over the next five years.

As a result, the costs of some popular electric models will skyrocket. The hardest hit will be the luxury model Tesla S P85D, which will more than double in price from 875,000 kroner today to 1,807,100 kroner in 2020.

The Venstre government defended the move by saying that the Tax Ministry misses out on 650 million kroner per year by not applying Denmark’s 180 percent car registration tax to environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. The Social Democrats, Danish People’s Party and Social Liberals (Radikale) supported the phase-in of the tax on electric vehicles.

In announcing the political agreement, Tax Minister Karsten Lauritzen said that the new plan “balances the needs for the continued expansion of electric cars in Denmark, the public purse and fairness within the automobile market”.

“Electric cars have for a long time been better positioned than other cars by being completely exempt from the registration tax. Many regular Danes have a hard time understanding why they should pay the full registration tax for their regular cars while those who can afford an electric car have gotten off completely free,” Lauritzen said in a press release.

Tesla, whose Model S is Denmark’s best-selling electric car, expressed its immediate disappointment in the deal.

“All things being equal, this is not a phasing-in of levies on electric cars but rather a phasing out of electric cars in Denmark,” the company’s Danish spokesman, Esben Pedersen, told Berlingske Business.

Tesla said that the government’s plan, which will see prices on Tesla’s luxury models jump much higher than the increases on smaller and cheaper models, is unfair. The company plans to file a complaint to the EU.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the reasons bicycles are so popular in Denmark is that middle class people cannot afford cars. Car ownership is considered a luxury. Tesla ownership is a dream.

Tax Breaks for the 1%:  Tesla Model X Buyers Get $35,000 Tax Break ---

Jensen Comment
Whew! I was so worried that electric car tax breaks for the wealthy would be eliminated by President Obama. It was even further of concern that Tesla owners would have to start contributing a few dollars to pay for road a bridge maintenance. But Tesla owners continue to get a free ride on top of their $15.000 tax break on each Tesla purchased. Only the proletariat pay for bridge and road maintenance (except in Oregon).

"The Mullahs Say Thanks:  Iran becomes more belligerent in the wake of the nuclear deal," The Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2015 ---

President Obama and his foreign-policy admirers—a dwindling lot—hoped that the nuclear deal would make Iran more open to cooperation in the Middle East and with the U.S. Mark this down as another case in which the world is disappointing the American President.

Iran’s judiciary on Monday announced that Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post’s Tehran correspondent, has been convicted. He was on trial for “espionage.” Security forces arrested Mr. Rezaian and his wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, in July 2014. Ms. Salehi was later released, but the regime has held Mr. Rezaian “in a black hole for 14 months,” as his brother, Ali, told us. Mr. Rezaian, a U.S. citizen, has been denied even the basic rights the regime sometimes affords political prisoners, including bail and phone calls.

The timing of the conviction won’t escape students of history. Friday was the 444th day of his captivity. That was the number of days U.S. diplomats in Iran spent as hostages following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Mr. Rezaian’s conviction three days later is the mullah equivalent of mailing a dead fish to an adversary.

Mr. Rezaian’s brother also told us that “I’d like the U.S. government to say [about Jason’s detention]: This kind of behavior has consequences. Up to now this has had no consequences. What have been the consequences? It hasn’t stopped them from getting their nuclear deal. And it hasn’t stopped them from getting over half a billion a month in sanctions relief since we started talking to them.”

The Iranian judiciary answers to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who last week issued an edict banning any talk with Washington. Supporters of the Iran deal are sure to blame Mr. Khamenei and his hard-line faction for the Rezaian case and the regime’s permanent anti-American posture. President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, deal supporters say, don’t share Mr. Khamenei’s view of America as the Great Satan.

Perhaps. But in a theocracy led by a man who rules as the Almighty’s vicegerent on Earth, the views of Messrs. Rouhani and Zarif count for little. That’s doubly so when it comes to Iran’s weapons programs. There, too, Tehran is already defying the U.S. and reneging on previous commitments.

On Sunday the regime tested a new long-range, guided ballistic missile code-named Emad (“Pillar”) in violation of the nuclear deal. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231—which passed shortly after the agreement to harmonize its provisions with international law—prohibits Iran from conducting ballistic-missile work for eight years.

But the mullahs are nothing if not impatient, and the Islamic Republic has already made clear that it doesn’t intend to abide by the provisions of Resolution 2231 it dislikes. Testifying before the Senate over the summer, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly vowed to sanction Iran if it cheated on missiles. Well, here’s an early test case, Mr. Secretary.

The more likely outcome is that the Obama Administration will find a way to explain that the missile test doesn’t violate the nuclear accord that Mr. Obama considers a crowning achievement. Meanwhile, Iran’s government will bank up to $150 billion that it can deploy to back its militia proxies in the Middle East. Add the new Iran-Russia offensive in Syria, and Tehran would appear to have taken the nuclear deal as a signal that it can now do whatever it wants without consequence.


What Putin Really, Really Despises is the Leftist Movement in Europe and the USA:  To Him Tens of Millions Refuges Fleeing to the West Will Create Turmoil and Belatedly Put an End to the West's Leftist Movements
So Ukrainian experience gives reason for skepticism about Putin’s claim that Russia is intervening in Syria to help Europe with its refugee problem. The politics might well be exactly the opposite. Having found a powerful ally in its quest to end European integration, the European far right has followed Moscow’s lead on the Ukrainian conflict. But the natural subject of Putin’s allies in Europe is immigration. By supporting the Assad regime, Russia helps to produce the refugees that drive European politics rightward. Syrian refugees who arrive in Europe must be treated humanely and according to law. At the same time, European leaders might consider the possibility that Russian policy in Syria is aimed toward the transformation of the country into a refugee factory. In Ukraine, Russian intervention generated two million refugees among precisely the people Moscow claimed it was protecting. In Syria, it has been the Assad regime, which Russia has now supported, that has been responsible for the vast majority of the refugees.
Time Magazine, September 30, 2015 --- http://time.com/4054941/putin-russia-syria/?xid=newsletter-brief
Jensen Comment
Or to put it more simply if your own economy is awful you can look relatively better by dragging down the prosperous (think Norway, Sweden, Germany, and the USA)  economies with a "Refuge Making Machine" But think what might happen if one day one of those refugee families with lots of kids tries to cross the Russian border?

Why the E.U. Is Offering Turkey Billions to Deal With Refugees
Time Magazine, October 20, 2015 --- http://time.com/4076484/turkey-eu-billions-dollars-refugee-slow/?xid=newsletter-brief
Can there be billions in profit in the refugee business?

Forwarded by Naomi Regan on October 16, 2015

A Very Syrious Matter
By Tabitha Korol
The Jewish Community Federations of North America have come together to provide humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees. The organizations, paid contractors who are identified in the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief, are too numerous to mention here, but include AIPAC, AJC, B’nai B’rith Int’l, HIAS, ORT America, and National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), who are furthering the cause of population redistribution. Refugees, unlike migrants, are defined as those who flee their homes because of persecution. President Obama authorized the State Department to admit 85,000 refugees fleeing humanitarian crises worldwide in 2016. Just as these Islamists have invaded Europe, so our multiculturalists are funding their invasion into America, and despite Saudi Arabia’s air-conditioned tents that are erected and ready to accommodate three million for their annual pilgrimage to Medina, no “Syrians” are welcomed within the Islamic world. By definition, not only are these Syrians not refugees, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confessed that they have no screening process for “Syrian refugees.”

ISIS/IS promised a “sea of chaos” to flood the West with 500,000 refugees – not merely to create a humanitarian crisis and strain our resources, but to also include jihadists to force Islamic conversion and establish Sharia as the law of the land. Islamic countries claim to have declined the Syrians because of terror risks, and the Jewish Federations have turned a blind eye. Historian Serge Trifkovic wrote: “The refusal of the Western elite class to protect their nations from jihadist infiltration is the biggest betrayal in history.” And who are these Syrians? The Federation’s announcement contained a particularly deceptive photo of a wide-eyed, blonde toddler complete with Teddy bear, but the refugees are primarily able-bodied young men, weaned on anti-Semitism and hatred of the West and democracy, who are seen stomping on or burning our flags, brandishing rifles, hurling fire bombs, and wielding swords for decapitation. These are Islamists who have waged wars against Jews and Christians, and brought theirsavagery to Europe, complete with their methods of intimidation – riots and rapes of children and women. The rape count was more than 5,000 in 2008 and more than 6,000 in 2009; Muslims account for 50 to 75 percent of all rapes of women in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and these are the men who are designated to receive Federation funding. The BBC’s website of 200 images is also dishonest in its refugee presentation – providing a 53% focus on children, 36 percent men, and 10 percent women, whereas the United Nations Refugee Agency revealed that 75 percent of “refugees” were young men. Interestingly, the largest Muslim charity, with its link to terror financing and settling refugees from terror-torn Syria, has an operating budget of $240 million in over 30 countries. The charity is part of a network calling for the settlement of thousands of Syrian refugees into “rich countries.” Indeed, this is Barack Obama’s 2008 promise to fundamentally transform America, and the Islamic State’s threat to flood the West. Jusuf Al Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood declared their mission “to free the occupied lands of the laws and the tyranny of disbelievers. It is undoubtedly a case of jihad for the sake of Allah.” Are we to believe that the Federations (and the BBC) are unwittingly complicit as they aid and abet those who would bring their misery to the West? Crain’s Cleveland Business reported that David Fleshler, chair of the board of directors of Global Cleveland, seeks to invite 100,000 foreigners to Ohio. Is it possible he is unaware that Ohio is one of eleven states that already have more people on welfare than are employed, and that the Qur’an prohibits Muslims from assimilating into kaffir lands? He alleges that immigrants will integrate and be employable, while Darrell Hamm, director of the non-profit The Refugee Response, claims to assist refugees with their adjustment.

Judicial Watch’s Corruption Chronicles states: “Conveniently omitted are the devastating impacts of illegal immigration like the billions of dollars American taxpayers spend annually on their education, healthcare and incarceration,” as Germany is now experiencing. They bring with them greater demands for intolerance and accommodations, destruction of the existing cultures, rioting and violent crime, as they perform the Qur’anic edicts to establish jurisdiction in lands of the infidel. Judicial Watch’s recent report shows that 1,519 foreigners with terrorist ties were granted special exemptions and residency or asylum through a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program, to which President Obama appointed Fatima Noor to the post of assistant director for US Citizenship and Immigration. Where prior to 2014, they would have been banned from entry, these 1,519 are currently in the US with the same rights and benefits afforded legal residents. At a time when restrictions were being eased during an asylum fraud of February, 2014, the administration unilaterally altered the Immigration and Nationality Act while also announcing our projected acceptance of refugees to 100,000 yearly by 2017. NumbersUSA reported that a new Pew study found that immigration will account for 88 percent of US population growth over the next 50 years. The Frankfurter Allgemenie and international statistics show that these foreigners are not “refugees,” but “migrants” who are not under threat of war or persecution. The migration is their hijrah, a 1400-year-old strategy of Islamic expansionism, which, coupled with military conquest, will subvert and subdue the host and begin the complete transformation of that country. These are migrant warriors. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wisely warned that the wave of mostly Muslim refugees coming to Europe threatens to undermine the continent’s Christian roots. “They represent a profoundly different culture.” All too obvious is the dearth of Christian and Jewish refugees who truly need asylum from the jihadists. Meanwhile, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), headed by former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and Labour politician, praises the intake of Muslims into Germany (as the Germans march and rebel against Islamization), Iceland and Sweden, and demands that Obama admit 65,000 mostly Muslim Syrians to the US. Miliband, who is affiliated with George Soros, Hillary and Bill Clinton, and Samantha Power, reminds us that more than 11 million Syrians have been made homeless by conflict and Syria is host to 33,000 asylum seekers and refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Miliband will not admit that Arab states refuse their brethren, but he is sure to remind us that no matter how many we take in, the number will be “unacceptable.” The very lucrative refugee resettlement progams are used by those who hate non-Muslim countries and wish to replace their laws with Sharia. Breitbart News reveals that the US already admits more than a quarter of a million Muslim migrants each year. Obama wants to add 10,000 Syrian migrants to that number. The Jewish Federations, Catholic Charities, World Council of Churches, and other “altruist” counterparts are conspiring against democracy, unintentionally or deliberately, to destroy Western civilization. To support them is to hasten some very Syrious and irreparable consequences.

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth,
And he wasn't even thinking about Jihads in those days but I am thinking Jihads these days

With Russia in Syria, a geopolitical structure that lasted four decades is in shambles. The U.S. needs a new strategy and priorities.
Henry A. Kissinger --- http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-path-out-of-the-middle-east-collapse-1445037513?mod=djemMER
Did you notice that CNN tossed out fluff ball questions in the First Democratic Debate without even asking about the Middle East?




"The US Supreme Court could ruin Elon Musk's plan for Tesla," by Seth Blumstack, Business Insider, October 15, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
This article most likely overstates the importance of power company payments for lowered usage of electricity under Order 745. Firstly, battery-powered car owners would probably still find it cheaper to buy electricity than to pay fuel prices at the pump, especially since fuel prices are expected soon to soar upwards. Secondly, home owners will soon be generating more of there own power off the grid. Electric cars are, in my opinion, much more dependent on tax subsidies on purchase prices and free rides on having to pay nothing for road and bridge maintenance.

Furthermore, Blumstack overestimates the concerns of Tesla owners about what they're paying for electricity. Tesla owners are probably in the top 10% in terms of income given the price of any Tesla vehicle.

Tax Breaks for the 1%:  Tesla Model X Buyers Get $35,000 Tax Break ---

Jensen Comment
Whew! I was so worried that electric car tax breaks for the wealthy would be eliminated by President Obama. It was even further of concern that Tesla owners would have to start contributing a few dollars to pay for road a bridge maintenance. But Tesla owners continue to get a free ride on top of their $15.000 tax break on each Tesla purchased. Only the proletariat pay for bridge and road maintenance (except in Oregon)..

TerraPower --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TerraPower

Bill Gate's Enormous Investment in Nuclear Power
The Atlantic Video:  The Company Determined to Fix Nuclear Energy ---

Meet the leaders of TerraPower, a new company that hopes to solve some of nuclear energy's biggest challenges. TerraPower is one of Bill Gates's biggest bets in the search for an energy miracle—and their strategy is to tackle the issues that surround nuclear energy head on in order to mitigate its problems. Gates looked at solar and wind energies, but according to John Gilleland, CTO of TerraPower, "Nuclear is the only source of energy which could provide the necessary huge quantities that we need on a global basis." Read more about Gates's commitment to moving the world beyond fossil fuels in the November 2015 issue of The Atlantic.


Momma Don't Let Your Babies Choose These Careers
Cowboy careers are already gone except maybe in Argentina

15 Types of Jobs That Will Soon Disappear ---

  1. Printing worker
  2. Fishing men and women
  3. Desktop publisher
  4. Metal or plastic machine worker
  5. Insurance underwriter
  6. Flight attendant
  7. Power-plant operator, distributor, or dispatcher
  8. Floral designer
  9. Logging worker
  10. Jeweler or precious-stone and metal worker
  11. Travel agent
  12. Reporters, correspondents, or broadcast-news analysts
  13. Farmer or rancher
  14. Semiconductor processor
  15. Postal-service worker

Jensen Comment
Among the most secure jobs are those that will be hardest to replace by robots such as those that require the most personal and social interaction such as teachers, counselors, sex workers, hospital room nurses, etc. It will be a long, long time before truck drivers, pilots, beauticians, police officers, and firefighters disappear from the labor market.

Many careers will change greatly. Increasingly robots will greet patients arriving for medical services. We will still need nurses but not the ones that feed data into laptops as patients arrive in hospitals and physician offices. Interactive robots will collect that data before patients are directed to where the medical treatments take place. Computers will do more and more of the medical diagnostics and even some medical treatments but most certainly not all the treatments such as stitching up a wound on a wailing and wiggling child.

Much of the robotics displacements will take a very long time. How long will it be until a robot pianist can perform better than any human in history? The return of the big hotel ballroom dance bands is a long way off when all of the musicians in the orchestra are robots..

Robots will do much of the legal work now performed by humans, but the last living beings on earth will probably be cockroaches and lawyers. Many of us would prefer to be governed by robots but politicians are among the lawyers that will be the last to go. I forgot to mention that accountants (not bookkeepers) will be among the last to go because the living world will always need creative accounting.

Where There's Almost No Diversity in Higher Education
Cornell Faculty Donations Flood Left, Filings Show

. . .

The Sun’s analysis of Federal Election Committee data reveals that from 2011 to 2014, Cornell’s faculty donated $573,659 to Democrats, $16,360 to Republicans and $2,950 to Independents. Each of Cornell’s 13 schools — both graduate and undergraduate — slanted heavily to the left. In the College of Arts and Sciences, 99 percent of the $183,644 donated went to liberal campaigns. The law school demonstrated the strongest conservative showing, with nearly 26 percent of its approximately $20,000 worth of donations going to Republicans.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In the USA college faculty are less and less diverse in terms of political leanings
Liberal Bias in the Media and in Academe ---

The tumultuous history of the diesel engine ---

"California’s Diesel Rule Scam: The state imposes a rule based on phony science on all U.S. truckers," The Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2015 ---

The Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB) are riding high after exposing Volkswagen ’s emission scam. But the self-proclaimed guardians are running their own regulatory racket. See their shakedown of Virginia-based trucker Estes Express Lines.

Under the Clean Air Act, the Golden State enjoys unique authority to impose stricter emission standards than the EPA, but only within its sovereign borders. Yet CARB exported its vehicle emission standards nationwide by forcing auto makers to re-engineer their fleets to state rules. Now the agency is trying to bring out-of-state truckers to heel.

In 2008 CARB banned diesel engines manufactured before 2010 from California roads. Under the rule, over a million truckers who operate in California, including 625,000 registered out of state, are required to replace their engines with a newer model or install a diesel particulate filter, which can cost more than their vehicles are worth.

This month CARB and EPA announced a $390,000 settlement with Estes—$100,000 of which goes to the U.S. Treasury—for failing to install filters on 73 of 500 trucks it operated in California between 2012 and 2014. Estes has since upgraded its entire California fleet.

CARB doesn’t have authority to subpoena documents from out-of-state businesses, so EPA assisted the investigation by asserting jurisdiction under California’s 2012 State Implementation Plan of the Clean Air Act that includes the truck rule. Last year EPA demanded that a dozen interstate trucking companies show compliance with California’s rule. A CARB spokesperson says the prosecution is “the first of what we hope are many cases.” Caveat trucker.

Not surprisingly, the green police claim they are protecting Californians. According to EPA, the truck rule will prevent 3,500 premature deaths between 2010 and 2025. Yet there’s little evidence linking diesel particulate matter with an increase in mortality in California, which has among the lowest age-adjusted death rates in the country.

Studies show a weak association between mortality and particulate matter in Appalachia and the Midwest, but virtually no correlation in the western United States. This may be because the chemical composition of particulate matter—which can be generated from dust, wildfires, pollen, power plants, mining and farming—varies by region. Diesel exhaust makes up a small fraction of these fine airborne particles.

Notably, the epidemiological study that CARB used to justify its truck rule in 2008 had to be corrected after it was revealed that the report’s lead staff scientist had purchased his statistics doctorate for $1,000 from a diploma mill. CARB later revised its estimates of premature deaths prevented by the rule down to 3,500 from 9,400. After discovering the deceit, CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols failed to inform the board and went ahead and propounded the regulations for adoption.

In other words, the regulations under which EPA and CARB are prosecuting truckers are based on dubious science. But when the cause is green virtue, such details don’t matter.

Jensen Comment
Guess who pays for the increased cost of commerce via the big rigs?

Perhaps this should be called the Air Transport Subsidy Act.


    Finding and Using Health Statistics --- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/index.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics and databases ---


    We'd rather be obese on benefits than thin and working.
    Janice and Amber Manzur
    John Hill, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11347454/Mother-and-daughter-weigh-a-total-of-43-stone-and-get-34k-a-year-handouts-but-refuse-to-diet.html 


    Moocher Hall of Fame --- https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/the-moocher-hall-of-fame/


    "Psychologist Barry Schwartz on What Motivates Us to Work, Why Incentives Fail, and How Our Ideas About Human Nature Shape Who We Become," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, October 5, 2015 ---

    The organism we call culture — all of our art and literature and human thought — is in a constant symbiotic dance with human nature. Our culture both reflects who we are — our values, our hopes, our fears, our ideals — and shapes who we become by immersing us in its collectively agreed upon mythology, systematically perpetuating certain values and negating others. E.B. White knew this when he considered the responsibility of the writer and asserted that “writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life.” It’s a perennial dialogue between our nature and what we come to believe is our nature, perhaps best captured by the physicist David Bohm in his 1977 Berkeley lecture: “Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe… What we believe determines what we take to be true.”

    In a particularly palpable manifestation of this symbiotic dance, the rise of workaholism and the toxic mythology of work/life balance have warped our understanding of why we work, what meaningful labor means, and how we can avail ourselves of the true rewards of our vocation. That’s what psychologist Barry Schwartz explores in Why We Work (public library) — an inquiry into the diverse sources of satisfaction in work, the demoralizing effect of incentives, and how we can reimagine work culture to enlarge the human spirit rather than contract it.

    Schwartz, who has previously studied the paradox of choice and the moral machinery of practical wisdom — casts the issue against the staggering statistic that, according to a recent Gallup study of 230,000 full-time and part-time workers in 142 countries, only 13% of people feel engaged and fulfilled by their jobs. He writes:

    Work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfillment for nearly 90 percent of the world’s workers. Think of the social, emotional, and perhaps even economic waste that this statistic represents. Ninety percent of adults spend half their waking lives doing things they would rather not be doing at places they would rather not be.

    This, of course, is far from new — one need only look at that marvelous 1949 manifesto for avoiding work to appreciate that enduring frustration. But Schwartz’s central point is that, far from a necessary sunk cost of making a living, this profound dissatisfaction with work is one of our own making — the product of how we’ve designed our institutions, how that design has shaped our core beliefs, and how those beliefs in turn shape who we become. By examining the dichotomy between discovery and invention — one I think about often — Schwartz argues that human nature is something we actively invent:

    Does the market cater to consumer desires or does it create consumer desires? Do the media cater to people’s tastes in news and entertainment or do the media create those tastes? We are all accustomed to the difficulties surrounding discussion of these issues in modern society, and we may all have fairly strong opinions about the “cater/create” debate. Questions of just this sort are all around us, and finding the right answer to them can have profound consequences for the future of society. In a sense, the distinction I’m making is between discovery and invention. Discoveries tell us things about how the world works. Inventions use those discoveries to create objects or processes that make the world work differently. The discovery of pathogens leads to the invention of antibiotics. The discovery of nuclear energy leads to bombs, power plants, and medical procedures. The discovery of the genome leads, or will lead, to untold changes in almost every part of our lives. Of course, discoveries also change the world, by changing how we understand it and live in it, but they rarely change the world by themselves.

    Continued in article


    Jensen Comment
    The fundamental difference between capitalism and communism is the setting of wages. In capitalism the theory is that wages are set by supply and demand. In a world where over half the work force is unskilled wages will be low such as the hourly rate for washing dishes in a Denny's Restaurant. Accordingly, workers get paid more for skills in great demand such as the skill in removing tumors deep within human brains. A disappointing aspect of capitalism is that the market price of unskilled labor may be so low that it's not even a living wage, thereby we have lobbying for minimum wages and welfare. Another disappointing part of capitalism is that labor requiring great skill is paid very little if there is almost no demand for the skill relative to the supply of workers with that skill such as the skill of being a violinist living in western Nebraska or even in Boston.

    A disappointing aspect of Communism is in making transfer payments for skilled labor not in demand. Another disappointment is in not being able to pay premiums for highly skilled labor in great demand. Another disappointment is that if workers can choose jobs they enjoy there will be virtually nobody wanting to clean toilets and wash dishes in restaurants.

    How to Mislead With Statistics
    Link Between State Gun Laws and Fatal Shootings Not as Simple as It Seems ---
    Jensen Comment
    Irrespective of political leanings, this is an interesting study of statistical analysis.

    "Elizabeth Warren’s Latest Appointment : The Massachusetts liberal nominates (read that dictates) a new SEC commissioner," The Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2015 ---

    President Obama has become famous for exercising powers he doesn’t hold, such as the ability to declare Congress in recess and rewrite immigration law. But as he heads toward his final year in office, Mr. Obama is ceding to a Member of Congress the appointment power he really does hold.

    On Tuesday Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) appointed liberal law professor Lisa Fairfax to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Technically, the White House announced Mr. Obama’s intention to nominate Ms. Fairfax. But that was only after the progressive darling showed up on a list of candidates that Ms. Warren deemed worthy of consideration.

    This followed an angry letter in June from Sen. Warren to SEC Chair Mary Jo White alleging problems from Ms. White’s recusals due to her previous legal work defending corporations. The letter torpedoed the potential nomination of Democratic securities lawyer Keir Gumbs, who was experienced but had committed the sin of representing profit-making businesses.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    This is an illustration of what could easily happen if a government agency wrote all or most accounting standards. One can imagine Senator Bernie Sanders dictating the new set of Socialist Accounting Standards for the USA.


    Finding and Using Health Statistics --- http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/usestats/index.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics and databases ---

    Jensen Comment
    It might be interesting to have accounting students investigate how much it costs local hospitals to provide charity services?

    Such studies ideally show both the gross cost and the net cost after various subsidies. For example, when I lived 24 years as a homeowner in San Antonio, the Bexar County Hospital provided the most charity services. However, over $1,000 each year was designated each year as going for charity services at the Bexar County Hospital. Virtually all hospitals that have emergency rooms provide some charity servicves. However, when there are two or more hospitals in a given county it's increasingly common for a hospital to drop its ER services. For example, the New England Baptist Hospital in the vicinity of the Harvard Medical School specializes in orthopedic surgeries and at one time had ER services. By the time my wife started having spine surgeries at this hospital, there were no more ER services available from this hospital. It would be interesting to see a case study on the decision by the hospital to drop its ER services.

    "How Much Charity Care Do Hospitals Really Provide?" by A. Barton Hinkle, Reason Magazine, October 12, 2015 ---

    Jensen Comment
    This article illustrates somewhat how difficult it is to estimate the cost of a hospital's charity services. An enormous problem is that there are so many joint, common, and fixed costs (and semi-fixed costs) of hospital services. By the way, a joint cost is not the same as a common cost. The article does not delve into these costs that are near and dear to accounting researchers and savvy economists.

    There is a huge problem at get go in defining a "charity service." For example, various studies of hospital costs and Medicaid reimbursements contend that Medicaid only pays have the cost of delivering hospital services. But there's a huge problem of defining the "cost" of Medicaid services. Something similar happens to a lesser extent with Medicare and Obamacare patients.

    Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

    "Insurance Dropouts Present a Challenge for Health Law," by Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, October 12, 2015 ---

    . . .

    Though there is no comprehensive data on why people drop or lose their marketplace coverage, enrollment counselors, health care providers and consumers say cost is a factor. In some cases, people lost jobs or their income dropped after they enrolled. Other people signed up for coverage only to decide later that they could not afford it. Still others dropped their insurance after their federal subsidies — intended to help pay premiums — were reduced or eliminated because the government could not verify their incomes or concluded that they were earning more than they had reported on their applications.

    The cost of marketplace coverage may be particularly challenging for some in Mississippi and 19 other states that have not expanded Medicaid to provide largely free health care for people earning up to 138 percent of the poverty line. Many of these people can receive federal subsidies to help pay for private plans. But the subsidies do not always help enough.

    In Mississippi, even though 95 percent of those who enrolled — more than in any other state — received subsidies, the state still has had among the highest rates of attrition from marketplace plans this year. From March 31 to June 30, the number of enrollees dropped by 8 percent, to 73,223 from 80,011, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    Experts also point to another factor behind dropping or losing coverage: confusion. Some who signed up for coverage this year lost it within months because they did not understand what information they had to supply or even that they were required to make monthly payments, according to counselors who help people enroll in marketplace plans. In many cases they may have simply failed to provide a Social Security number on the application and did not respond to follow-up requests for it. Mikel Rogers, an enrollment worker at Brooklyn Family Health Center outside Hattiesburg, Miss., said letters from the marketplace asking for additional documents were hard to understand, especially for people who had never had health insurance before.

    “I’ve looked at these letters and said, ‘O.K., I have a bachelor’s degree and I wouldn’t understand this, either,’ ” Ms. Rogers said. “It’s just not worded clearly.”

    Monica Gonzalez, navigator program manager at the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, which has a federal grant to enroll people in marketplace plans, said that, for many who lost coverage this spring, the problem began when the marketplace could not verify the annual income they listed on their application, or their citizenship status.

    About 423,000 people in the 37 states that use the federal marketplace lost their 2015 coverage by June 30 because they had not provided sufficient documentation of their citizenship or immigration status, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. And for about 967,000 households in those states, their premium subsidies — and for some, a separate category of subsidies that helps cover their co-payments and deductibles — were recalculated because of “income inconsistencies.”

    Although some people’s subsidies could have increased under that scenario, others abruptly began receiving smaller subsidies or lost them completely, according to enrollment counselors and consumers in half a dozen states. In some cases, these people did not realize their subsidy had shrunk or disappeared until they started getting higher bills from the marketplace or their health care providers.

    Walter Whitlow, 56, a remodeling contractor in Volente, Tex., said he had never seen the emails the federal marketplace sent him asking for additional proof of income after he signed up for a Humana plan in January. Doctors diagnosed throat cancer in February, and in June he learned from his oncologist’s office that his monthly premium had gone to $439 from $103 and his deductible to $4,600 from $900.

    Mr. Whitlow was able to keep his plan, but only because his sister, Ali Knight, had taken over his premium payments after his cancer diagnosis and could afford to cover the higher price.

    Continued in article

    Cadillac Insurance Tax --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_insurance_plan

    From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on October 20, 2015

    The spa-like day-long health checkups that many executives enjoyed in years past are going the way of the corporate country-club membership, CFO Journal’s Emily Chasan reports. Faced with the “Cadillac tax” on health benefits that exceed certain thresholds, as well as pressure to limit the inequalities in employee benefit packages, companies are eliminating or paring down platinum-level health benefits.

    Only 6% of chief executives at the 500 largest U.S. companies had supplemental health-insurance benefits last year, compared with 14% in 2008, according to a study by consulting firm Towers Watson. Those benefits typically reimburse executives $10,000 to $50,000 for out-of-pocket costs and copays.

    In addition to the Cadillac tax, companies are still waiting for the Internal Revenue Service to write ACA-required regulations on discrimination in health-care benefits. Those rules charge hefty penalties if companies discriminate in the health care they offer to highly compensated employees versus the rest of their workers.

    Jensen Comment
    I wonder if taxpayers are paying the Cadillac Tax for the luxury health insurance of members of the House and Senate. If so it's a waste of money keeping those incompetents alive.



    Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

    The Atlantic: Health: Family --- http://www.theatlantic.com/health/category/family/

    Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives ---

    Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

    Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals

    Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

    Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---

    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

    Enron --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

    Rotten to the Core --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

    American History of Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm

    Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

    Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at


    Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

    ·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

    ·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

    ·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

    ·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

    Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
    By Bob Jensen

    What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

    The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

    Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

    Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

    Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

    Bob Jensen's Home Page --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/