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Mon Mar 30, 2015 at 08:13 AM PDT

Call to action - 3 Mules!

by Zygoat

The 3 Mules guy has been travelling with his three mules northward through California, documenting his travel and travails on his Facebook page and http://3mules.com/.

Unfortunately, a couple of cities cited him on vagrancy-related violations, including the City of San Clemente and Ventura.  The 3 Mules guy claims he is nomadic, not vagrant.  He has appeared at schools and is generally well regarded.

I urge kossacks to share this to their FB pages and also to complain about his unfair treatment to the city administrations in San Clemente and Ventura.  Both have websites and FB pages.  Both are heavily invested in tourism and may respond to a flood of complaints.

Discuss

Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:50 AM PST

DOJ Police Abuse Task Force?

by Zygoat

Most of you will have seen the most recent video of police abuse.

Cops in New Mexico opened fire on a van with children inside after their mother became non-compliant at a traffic stop.  There was no threat to the officers.

What if the federal Department of Justice set up a police abuse task force to investigate these incidents?  All this sort of stuff should be investigated and, if appropriate, the officers and their supervisors should be prosecuted in federal court.

Discuss

Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM PDT

Church Incense Banned in CA

by Zygoat

Starting next year, a new California statute will protect churchgoers and others from the dangers of second-hand smoke.  Churches are encouraged to use the new eThurible.

See more below the religious symbol.

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Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:38 PM PDT

Stolen Valor Witness - Zimmerman Trial

by Zygoat

A Marine who earned the nation’s second-highest military valor award for heroics in Iraq is questioning why a police officer who took the stand during George Zimmerman’s trial was wearing ribbons she did not earn, including one reserved primarily for World War II veterans.  Follow the link to this article

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Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 04:29 PM PDT

Annoying Gun Regulation in CA

by Zygoat

The California legislature is currently considering a host of gun laws none of which would appreciably increase public safety.  I support sensible gun legislation, but California legislators prefer to go after gun owners by the death of a thousand cuts.  

The goal seems to be to put so many restrictions on law-abiding gun owners that many will just give up.

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Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:19 AM PST

Thoughts on the Papacy

by Zygoat

New Pope to Lutheran World Federation:  "Can we talk?"

As the 600th anniversary of Luther's 95 Theses in 2017 comes ever closer, there will be speculation about the Roman Catholic Church and unity with Lutherans and other Protestant churches.

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Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:10 PM PST

Royal Navy - Arresting the Decline

by Zygoat

Once the world's preeminent sea power, Britain has cut its maritime power to levels unthinkable a generation ago.

However, the Senior Service has perhaps seen the worst, and better times are coming.

Since Britain's defense capabilities as a close ally of the US have a direct impact on our own defense spending, it is worthwhile looking at what's going on.

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The US is not the only country with a high rate of gun ownership, but nowhere in the world does gun ownership intersect with random violence so often as in the US.

The 1% are to blame.  As they hog more and more of the nation's resources and wealth, those young men who are at the age when they are trying to establish themselves in life find they are marginalized in a society that offers too many of them only meaningless minimum-wage work and a dismal future.

I know that many here at DK will favor draconian gun control laws.  The problem is that the US has almost as many guns as people, many of them "off the books" through being passed down intergenerationally, or acquired before local registration went into effect.

 

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Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM PDT

Suggestion for the Donald

by Zygoat

So you have $5 million to waste.  Before intruding your weird self into national politics I'd suggest:

a)  Hiring a better wigmaker/hairstylist.  That thing on your head looks like the skin of a roadkill cat.  Or maybe it is some kind of alien life form controlling your thoughts and actions.  Either way, time to upgrade.

b)  Get a personal trainer and a dietician.  

Discuss

There is no deficit. The national debt is mostly money that one part of the government owes to another, that's all. It is, of course, very useful for demagogues to frighten the masses. But why would an entity that can create money with a printing press even need to tax, let alone fret about debt, unless it was to reward some citizens and punish others?

The federal government issues our currency, and since it is not backed by precious metals, is fiat currency. Government IOUs are always accepted in payment all around the world.  The government spends by crediting bank deposits and crediting the reserves of those banks.  Theoretically, the government could give you cash if you don’t want a bank deposit. Instead of cash it will also give you a treasury bond.

People will do all kinds of things for these dollars.  I wish I could issue IOUs as desirable as dollars.  Obviously, households cannot spend by crediting bank deposits and reserves, or by issuing currency.  That's why it is dishonest to compare a household budget to that of the US government.

The government has a theoretically unlimited license to print money; the only curb on this is the danger of ruinous inflation.  There is a fear that if the government continues to run deficits, some day the dollar’s value will fall due to inflation; or its value will depreciate relative to other currencies.  Still, who would not accept dollars today in the belief that at some they might be worth less at some point in the future?  

The next time a politician claims that government budget deficits are unsustainable, and that we must eventually pay back all that debt, ask them why the US has managed to avoid retiring debt since 1837.

The economist Philip Maus explains "...the term, "the government," includes "the entire federal government including the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. And the part of the government which runs the deficit is not the part of the government which decides to "print more money." The government taxes, spends and, if there is a shortfall, the Treasury issues bonds to make up the difference. In this respect, the Treasury superficially appears to be like a private sector entity which has to balance its books. However, the Federal Reserve can and does buy these Treasury bonds (and bills). Again, to make things more complex, the Federal Reserve does not buy the bills directly from the Treasury but buys them in the secondary market. And, when the Federal Reserve buys Treasury securities on a net basis it essentially creates new money - not actual currency, but its electronic equivalent. It all takes place in a confusing and indirect manner (through what we, in law school, used to call a step transaction) but one part of the government prints money so that the other part of the government can spend more than it collects. At the end of the day, one part of the government owes another part of the government some money. And the Federal Reserve, oddly enough, returns to the Treasury its "profits" generated by the interest on the Treasury bonds it collected from the Treasury.

This system, while widely used in the world today, is not inevitable and I think it is useful to reflect on alternatives. A government could simply tax and spend money, retiring the money collected in taxes and printing new money to cover its spending. In deficit years, more new money would be created than old money retired. It would then be abundantly (and perhaps painfully) clear that the only constraint on spending is inflation. For a whole series of reasons, our system is superior to such a system but with in a fiat money world we could go to such a system, and, if we did, "federal government debt" would be a thing of the past."

So not only do we not need to worry about the deficit too much, it is theoretically possible for the federal government to operate without tax revenue.  

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