Sunday assorted links

1. What makes a country good at soccer?  (The Economist)

2. The Coasean Koreas.  Important.

3. The language of Mister Rogers.

4. “The 43% of Democrats who say the U.S. benefits from having a class of rich people is down significantly from six years ago, and Democrats remain much more negative than either Republicans or independents about the impact of a rich class.”  Amazing.

5. Does “musical paralysis” set in after age 28? (not for me)

6. The successes of Nigerian-Americans.


#4 The rich are soaking common Americans' resources and opportunities up. They turned on Americans and sold them into bondage.

The rich do not like paying the high interest charges. The poor do not know they pay the interest charges indirectly because we lie to them. Now the middle class will start rebelling. The interest charges are about 3% of income, even before we get our goodies, a losing deal.


3. re nixon on the zipline
senor Costilla renounce the brazilian hedge whacker
for the delicate work you need a razor and the middleclass razor is occams
and as the media surveillance state is getting progressively more pushy and intrusive isn't it more likely than not that Nixon colluded
with the media against the Russians by actuating the planting of the
pumpkin papers in the pumpkin subsequently found
in the pumpkin patch?
the media hadda sorta wink wink nudge nudge
attitude to the whole thing and it did sell a lotta
papers and doritos

Democracy and free will allow us to succeed, even to succeed wildly or to fail. The government efforts to equalize results diminishes democracy, puts limits on free will and hinders success all in the effort to equalize results. There is a name for this; socialism.

Yet a certain country that is socialist with Chinese characteristics (I won't name them) has proven your moronic thinking 1 billion times over. We need to move to an authoritarian, anti-democratic, socialist system. Trump will fearlessly lead us there. Its the winning move.

and why did the media call them pumpkin papers when
it was microfilm in the pumpkin not papers in the pumpkinpatch?

was it because of the alliteration?
or mebbe because nixon arranged
for the microfilm to be planted in the pumpkin?

It could be far worse. It could be as bad as Brazil:

"The illusion of Brazil's income equality:
...there is new evidence that in fact, inequality did not fall after all – in fact, concentration of income in the hands of the richest actually increased. Instead of offering a salutary lesson in how to reduce inequality, Brazil turns out to be an illustration in just how devilishly difficult that is. ...Oxfam calculated that six people – six individual Brazilians – now have a share of wealth equal to that of the poorest one half of citizens."

It is exageration. Evidently, the market correction was somewhat thought on workers' income and opportunities. But things are getting better fast. We have the biggest social prgrams and affirmative action orograms Mankind has ever seen. The state oil company shares are up 30% this year. Free market reforms are being introduced with neckbreaking speed. Tanks were sent to fight crime.

Petrobras collapsed this year, ya big ol' fake Brazilian liar.

It has recovered much of its stock price. Before the strike, its price has skyrocketed.

Stop lying. Peaked at 17 in mid May, down to under 10 now, below the January 1 price.

Oxfam literature isn't worth the paper it used to be printed on, but even if this were true, the poorest half of Brazilians, who may not have any net financial capital (because they have debt), do have human capital. They earn income, almost all earning enough income to get them out of extreme poverty. Wealth data are tainted by the inability to measure the most important kind of wealth, the ability to generate future income by working.

If that's the most important kind of wealth why do the wealthy fight taxation so hard?

Because they pay most of the taxes. And because giving away 40-50% of what you make doesn't feel very good, no matter who you are. But you knew that.

Well, I'm not so sure those young, poor people possessing the most important kind of wealth don't have it worse than rich folks with that other, crappy kind of wealth. But you knew that.

insert jerk chicken and strawberry emoticon here.

The rich folks have more of that kind of wealth as well. But you knew that we were talking about a specific statistic, and whether it was misleading, but pretend not to.

It only matters that TR is less reliable by comparison (and that it destroys his narrative).

The appaling truth about America:

Clearly you have never been to Brazil.

5. A former co-worker argued it wasn't just music, but most matters of taste, including hair cuts.
But isn't there an economic argument to be made in favor of that? By 28, you've likely sampled a fair amount of what the world has to offer and you've found what you like. Also, resources become more precious. So spending more limited resources on something new that you might not like becomes increasingly wasteful.

Nice shot TC!

At 28, you've barely scratched the surface, nothing even remotely passing as a "fair amount of what the world has to offer."

It depends on if your knowledge is up front, or not. If it is, then you know what you know. If it isn't, then you know enough to know what you know is enough for discovery.

I've thought about this in the context of the Secretary Problem (also known by many terrible names)
It's a bit of a tongue-in-cheek rationalization, but if life expectancy is ~80 years then 1/e of that is just over 29 years. ;)

1. The article fails to mention that the best football teams and players, with some exceptions, are from non-Protestant countries. The Protestant work ethic, which stifles creativity, is ideal for a sport like American or Canadian football. The various team members follow the coach's instructions to the letter, the game is work, not fun.

Real football, on the other hand, is heartily embraced by countries with a history of Catholicism or Orthodox Christianity, although vestiges of these cultures remain in Britain and Germany. The best way to improve Asian and African football would be to make Catholicism the state religion, but it would still take awhile.

Real football is the sport of kings.

No, sitting around getting fat is the sport of kings.

Soccer, on the other hand, is like watching grass grow. Except that there are soccer players blocking your view.

Not true at all. It is an exciting sport full of interest.

Soccer is a beautiful game. NASCAR is for inbred idiots like you.

I donot see what the civil rights movement has to do with sports. Thiago is a leader of the disinvestment movement.


Hilarious. That is the most unsupported comment i have seen all morning. Congrats.

Why hilarious? The causation may be disputable, but the correlation is clear. The only great nations of football (soccer) that are not catholic (historically) are Germany and UK, which are half-way between Catholicism and Protestantism -- Germany because its population is about evenly distributed, UK because the main religion, Anglicanism, is a kind of transition between Catholicism and Protestantism. The other great nations (having won a world cup for instance) are Italy, France, Spain, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, all Catholic. In the Europe's cup, Spain has won the most times, followed by West Germany and France. Other nations with excellent performances are Portugal and Yugoslavia/Croatia (before/after 1990).

The Dutch are disappointed - nothing new there, of course.

THe elasticity of spirit is not being taken into account. That Basquiat rest in pulse is the national song of Brazil and other Catholic countries is to ones surprise. You were hereafter to be hailed as the benefactors of our species; your name adored, as belonging to brave men who encountered death for honor and the benefit of mankind. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts might be; it is mutable, cannot withstand you, if you say that it shall not.

Start, start, start-ed

One name above all completely blows this dumb comment out of the water, Johan Cruyff. Dutch are the Buffalo Bills of soccer, three times runners up and two other times to the semi-finals.

The Netherlands has been nearly half Catholic for most of its modern history.

The best teams have players from cutthroat urban areas.

In the US, the players come from entitled suburban areas where they flee conflict, with the good players being immigrants.

That's for men.

For women, well, they have had to fight from the beginning to play, because Title 10 only says they are entitled to equal opportunity, but to get just the opportunity of players in South America urban men, they have to fight.

The opportunities of South American players? You mean the chance to kick around a ball made at home from garbage while dodging cars in the street? What sort of opportunities did Pele have prey tell?

Meanwhile Hope Solo went to a good school in Richland High - with a very good male soccer coach and a well developed soccer program. Before she was given a scholarship to "study" at the University of Washington.

So by all means, tell us about the poor oppressed White girl.

"What sort of opportunities did Pele have prey tell?"
Huh? Pele clearly had his opportunities or we wouldn't be hear discussing him, genius. I wish more Americans did the same instead of becoming a bunch of whiny, entitled redhats

The question is not whether or not Pele had his chance. It is whether or not he had some special chance that means as a Latino man he is somehow specially privileged compared to upper middle class White girls like Hope Solo.

If it is an implicit comparison between Solo and Pele, it is not Pele that had all the settings on the lowest difficulty.

4 - this shift isn't a reaction to Trump, as it most likely precedes his election. The democrats have been moving further and further to the left for decades. Bill Clinton of the 90s probably could not win the primary today, and JFK wouldn't even have a place in the party. They've embraced full on democratic socialism and now simply just seek to buy off votes with a mixture of entitlements and identity politics. The scary thing is this may actually be a successful electoral strategy in the future as there is now a whole younger generation of Americans that believes the world owes them something because their parents have spent years blowing smoke up their asses. And then they get out in the real world and instead of looking into the mirror to figure out why their life sucks, they blame people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, who if anything, have only helped bring additional goods and services to the market that have made their lives better.

If we move any further to the left, we will find ourselves in the same place as we were in 1936:

"We hold this truth to be self-evident—that 12 years of Republican surrender to the dictatorship of a privileged few have been supplanted by a Democratic leadership which has returned the people themselves to the places of authority, and has revived in them new faith and restored the hope which they had almost lost."

Democratic Party platform, 1936

How'd did communism work out?

You mean socialized factors of production?
It works splendidly, thanks.

You should connect with the folks over at the CATO Institute. They publish a list every year of the best, most prosperous and free nations on earth, and every year, the top nations all have mixed economies of publicized infrastructure, and social welfare programs.

I thought CATO liked them because they moved away from their failed attempts at a socialist state and moved towards capitalism. They do have heavy social programs, but production is quite capitalistic. (free nations != socialist)

Wrong. Those countries moved away from their failed attempts at capitalism and moved towards socialism. They do have some captialism but the system is quite socialist (capitalists = a bunch of stupid morons).

The evidence of history is in, and demonstrates conclusively that a culture that stresses cooperation and trust, with a mixed economy combining public and private ownership of the factors of production provides the optimum outcome of peace, prosperity and justice.

We're number one! We're number one!

Mmm, no.

"They've embraced full on democratic socialism and now simply just seek to buy off votes with a mixture of entitlements and identity politics."
Reagan used to say it in the 1960's. Maybe you should change boogeymen once in a while.

"they blame people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, who if anything, have only helped bring additional goods and services to the market that have made their lives better."
No, they haven't. American lives are worse today than they were in the 70's. Common Americans have been dramaticaly impoverished by Republican and Democratic governments alike in the last 40 years or so.

There's no question it's gotten worse and will continue to get worse. Simply look at the positions taken by democratic leadership over the years and their policies keep moving to the left, as they push to expand an already growing entitlement state. You can try to say Roosevelt for example would be accused of being a socialist, but the difference is that there was hardly any social safety net whatsoever when the entitlement programs were enacted under Roosevelt. Today the question is not whether we have these programs or not, that question is basically settled, but rather how much do we spend on them, and democrats always answer, no matter what the status quo is, that we need to spend more. That's a recipe for disaster.

"American lives are worse today than they were in the 70's." This is just false. Peope are living longer, they're more educated, they can consume far more for far less money, medicine is better, food is better, education is better, transportation is better, technology is better - as Louis CK said, we now live in an amazing amazing world and its wasted on the crappiest generations of just spoiled idiots who don’t care.

"and democrats always answer, no matter what the status quo is, that we need to spend more."

I take it that, when Republicans are in charge like now or ten years ago, the government spend less...

"Peope are living longer, they're more educated, they can consume far more for far less money, medicine is better, food is better, education is better, transportation is better, technology is better."

Americans' life expectancy is actually falling like Soviets' under Mr. Brezhnev. Education has become worse. Johnny can't even read. Friends of mine who have been to America say food is awful. Healthcare is out of reach for the common American. All that has been left to a inceeasing nu ber of Americans is opium and an early grave. Americans feel angry and tired and confused and demoralized and annoyed as they see their country being taken away from them.

> I take it that, when Republicans are in charge like now or ten years ago, the government spend less...

That's the depressing part - everyone spends, and the Republicans cut taxes. Where is a party, in any country in the world, committed to balanced budgets?

I live in a blue state. Trump raised my taxes. Since taxes were the only thing I agreed with my former party, the GOP is now dead to me.

Only on taxes?

Only. I'm an old rich white guy. I don't give a d** about guns, gays, Christianity, fiscal spending, war, whatever. Black people having a hard time. Don't care. Mexicans being deported. Don't care. I only care about my money to hell with everything else. I voted for Trump btw.

But a country is more than the bottom line.

Seems unlikely.

Most of the rich had tax rate reductions under the 2018 tax act. Only a handful of tax brackets in a handful of high tax rate states saw increases.

Please provide: State, income, mortgage interest, state and local taxes

I will after Trump shows me his.

"I live in a blue state. ... the GOP is now dead to me."

With modern politics you're irrelevant unless you were a consistent donor.

The food at bambinos down south on tejon st. Is actually excellente
If a fella/o chooses to unleash the meat there he is destined to dine on a brick oven baked neopolitan
the wait time like the wait staff is shorter than average
And there is alfresco dining so you can keep an eye on your car

its unleash the beast
not unleash the meat
but you gotta perspicacious
point about the pumpkin papers

The penultimate syllable is the key syllable in the rhymes of the middle class food critics. st, eat, but mpk is different.

Tough to say though.

In parts of Appalachia, private sector healthcare has failed so miserably that life expectancy compares to that of Bangladesh, one of the twenty poorest countries in the world.

While better health care access would certainly help, that is not the main reason they are dying off. A rotten culture and the bad economics of the region are the culprits.

Private sector health care isn't the problem. Take a look at a large sample of 17th century art from the Dutch Golden Age. See any fat people? No, there weren't any. A huge portion of contemporary health problems in the US are caused by or closely related to obesity. Americans, even poor Americans, are stuffing themselves like foi gras geese. A small wonder diabetes is rampant and knees are failing in middle age. Private sector health care can't stop people from being gluttons.

If the inbreds of Appalachia set just one foot outside their trailer park to exercise, may be things would be looking up. And no, mayo on white bread doesn't count as a healthy breakfast. Also, opioids won't fix your problems. If you ask blacks and Mexicans to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, then they need to do as they preach.

Was Jan’s commen not sufficiently hateful and racist for you? What’s happened to the Democrat party?

" Peope are living longer, they're more educated, they can consume far more for far less money, medicine is better, food is better, education is better, transportation is better, technology is better.."

That's funny-then why is this happening?

Aging society - it's mostly older people who kill themselves.

"American lives are worse today than they were in the 70's."

Everyone knows you're the board idiot Thiago, but even for you this is just off the charts ignorant.

The system does not allow to post the links. Just the facts, then: Brazil has no lead problems. We do not eat Chinese toys. And there are no Flints in Brazil.

Costs are sky-rocketing, wages are stagnant, capital has taken the lion's share of productivity gains. Common Americans have been left behind.
Opioid addiction swallows communities and costs thousands of lives.

Crime is out of control: rape is three times more frequent as it was in 1960!! Murder is ten times more frequent in the US than in Austria!!

I guess those tanks in your favela are there just for a daily parade.

I do not live in a favela. They are fighting crime.

If you want to beat Thiago at this game, I suggest you respond with facts otherwise your response comes off sloppy, unresearched, lacking in content.

whats up with zardos?

you want facts
weird meetings then a trip to the middle of the ocean
away from the action then photo ops of ziplines
and the microfilm was the sorta stuff qualitatively speaking that they would plant because it wasn't
really valuable then you add in Nixon and pumpkins
and cameras
and you gotta a dirty sandwich narrative like theranos

"Fake profiles boosted Brazilian ex-president Dilma"

He did respond with a fact. Thiago is a troll in the true sense of the word, who should be banned. His only purpose is to derail comment threads and annoy everyone. People always get sucked into his game and give him tons of facts, but of course facts do not affect him since he doesn't actually believe anything he says, which by the way he advocates genocide against Indians, Chinese and Japanese.

I do advocate nuclear war against India, onlynagainstnRed China and Japan.You may recognize them as thosencountes who murdered lotsmof young Americans.

I'm trying to figure out if you are advocating nuclear attacks upon a third of the worlds population or just on a fifth?

Either way, you are a racist nut case.

Bill Clinton can't win today because he's part of the Clinton crime family not because the Dems are too far left. Get a brain and life, CG, I'm disappointed in your rather weak comments on MR today.

Even Hillary - who was pushed a lot further to the Left than her husband had been - had to apologize for things like her Super Predator comments on crack babies and tough on crime policies.

Bill Clinton couldn't win today because his policies are simply too far to the Right even for much of the Republican party. Welfare reform? Notice Paul Ryan has not been interested in that. Everyone still seems to give them a pass for the crime family thing.

The Democrats have moved far to the left on identity politics (gays, immigration, anti-Christian culture) only. The Democratic economic program is still far to the right of LBJ or JFK and arguably right of center relative to what a majority of Americans want. Trump seems to get that in as much as he pays lip service to lefty Economic ideas, even if he doesn’t follow through.

"The Democratic economic program is still far to the right of LBJ or JFK "

That's a remarkably silly comment. The Democratic party doesn't want to repeal any of the social programs that LBJ emplaced and clearly would like to expand or add to the list.

Furthermore, they don't want to cut taxes in the vein of JFK and are seeking a relaxation of policies with Cuba. Kennedy backed an invasion of Communist Cuba. When that failed he ordered a Naval blockade of Cuba. This included stopping and boarding at least one Soviet ship.

Later, Kennedy would shift American support from Laos to Vietnam and increase the US military presence there.

Kennedy's policies, both economic and foreign were far to the right of the modern Democratic policies.

3. Can Mister Rogers be both Straussian and a literalist (Freddish, meaning to use words in their literal sense, was his preferred language for the show). I know, in yesterdy's blog post Cowen indicated that the film about Mister Rogers is Straussian, not Mister Rogers himself. But does that make sense? Not literally.

fire post right here bro.

Doesn't Nigeria desperately need those people? The argument for stealing all of the developing world's smart people is getting more and more dubious.

Eh that link doesn't work. Basically the link says that the IMF is predicting negative GDP per capita for the near future. Nigeria needs those talented and who wouldn't want to be at the top in Nigeria vs. just another lawyer in the US? This link probably works.

That's what Nigeria needs... more lawyers.

That would be a devastating reply if I said anything like that.

What people would people who would be"just another lawyer in the US" be in Nigeria?

Wait a minute: Nigeria *owns* all Nigerian individuals?

Dang it, I thought slavery was [almost] dead.

Try not to put words in his mouth and I'll avoid putting my 8====> in yours, you stupid cuck.

"The argument for stealing all of the developing world's smart people"

Can you steal what is not owned?

What is meant by a "rich class"? If it means a class of people who have lots of wealth by virtue of inheritance, then I would say that such a class likely does more harm than good. If, however, it means a class of people who become wealthy by virtue of providing the country with a desired good or service, then I would say that such a class likely does more good than harm.

Though neither definition is without both merits and demerits.

What if it means a class of people who have lots of wealth by virtue of breaking the rules society is built in, even when they're often the biggest proponents of harsh punishment for other people who break the rules?

People are increasingly coming to believe Balzac's observation that "behind every great fortune lies a great crime".

It depends on the rules that are broken. Most modern social rules are nothing more than manifestations of envy and jealousy, or the even more dangerous emotion of pity, so I'd have no problem with someone breaking them.

+1 Black marketeers in Venezuela getting people eggs, milk, and toilet paper are heroes compared to their political class.

When Trump builds that wall, raises tariffs on the rest of the world, and puts embargoes up all over the place, this is where America is heading.

4... Does "rich" include upper grade civil servants who, short of diddling a pre-teen while on the job, have near zero chance of being fired before qualifying for a Cadillac pension?

Or are the "rich" defined as anyone with assets over some Eff-U level (maybe $5 million) and a low 6 figure income?

My sample size may be too small (and NY based), but those I know in the former category tend to be left progressive economic statists. Those in the latter category mild GOP types and / or libertarians.

Average fed pension is $32,000. And the big guy with the tough Twitter talk about Trudeau just did this.

Why would you use an average pension? Show me the top 5% pensions. Those are the rich guys. 59 year old retirees with pensions


"More than 21,000 retired federal workers receive lifetime government pensions of $100,000 or more per year, a USA TODAY/Gannett analysis finds."

I started listening to new music in the aftermath of 9-11, which I was 52. I was using it as a calming device and for health improvement through meditation. I listened then, as now, to mostly classical. After a few years I thought - is there classical music out there that is really good in a spiritual sort of way that I am missing? Fortunately, You Tube was beginning, and that generated a huge discovery process. I also had a chance meeting with the cellist Ralph Kirshbaum who told me I should listen to Arvo Part. That sent me down a very exciting avenue. After first rejecting minimalism, I became attracted to it when I heard the music of less famous but better minimalist composers. For me, a second life began at 52.

4. One may simultaneously believe that people should be paid according to the value of their labors as determined in the marketplace and that the class of rich people is essentially useless if not downright harmful to society. I know people who are rich as the result of their labors but don't really fit in with the class of rich people who mostly believe they are entitled just because they are rich. What some simultaneously believe is that non-rich people believe they are entitled (to Medicare and social security, for example) and aren't and that the class of rich people are entitled because they are rich.

Down here in the South we often refer to layabouts as "sorry" (a word that does double duty, serving both as opprobrium and an expression of regret (especially if the sorry fellow is in the family - I'm sorry that he is sorry)) and often refer to the class of rich people who deserve little or no respect as white trash (they are always white). Of course, not all poor people are sorry and not all rich people are white trash; but I know a few rich people who are sorry.

Nicer than Nice!

"the class of rich people who mostly believe they are entitled just because they are rich"

Do such people exist?

And nobody anywhere calls rich people white trash.

Tyler has the time to find new music.

> 5. Does “musical paralysis” set in after age 28? (not for me)

Does "new music" refer to when it was written
or how it sounds? Is a new U2 song new music?

New music is music that is new, not just new to you. If you are just getting around to discovering Haydn, you are learning about old music.

I have to admit that 80% of the music i listen to was written and performed before I was 28, which is 35 years ago.

Not me! Can't stand oldies stations. Also, there are few songs that I can listen to over and over. My motto is resist status quo bias!

On the Koreas: weak sauce boilerplate. Haven’t we seen this before? Where the North “liberalizes” slightly on its a be terms and offers talk instead of concessions? Why is this time different?

Kim and his 1% want above all to continue to hold the reins of power. Thus they need their police state, lest the masses discover they’ve been lied to for decades. And they need their nukes. The former for internal safety and the latter for external safety.

I agree. I can't find anything here that isn't deja vu all over again. Notably the South has repeatedly offered economic and trade carrots to the North to lure it into liberalizing -- with the disappointing results we are all well aware of.

Focusing on the intra-Korean relationship misses the crucial point that the budding Korean detente is a sideshow. Ever since the North has appeared close to developing nuclear tipped ICBMs that could reach Washington, DC, the only game in town is the US-North Korean one. Even if Moon gives away the store to Kim, the prospect of a devastating war will remain very much alive unless Kim eliminates his nuclear capabilities.

Yes. The dictator is walking a tightrope. On one hand, when the people realize their misery was unnecessary, they may look for revenge. There are probably many others who have lost relatives and friends to the vicious Kim, and would welcome a chance to kill him. I’m sure Trump knows the various pressures on Kim and how to exploit them.

He can let power go VERY slowly. Over several decades. Indeed, that's the only way it can happen.

DPRK will never become Australia in our lifetime, but it could become Vietnam. And that would be a massive triumph. Yuge.

It would indeed be huge. But I don't think that Vietnam was ever quite as cruel to its people as DPRK was and is. It will take a hundred years for North Koreans to be just like everyone else.

2. The Coasean Koreas. Important.

You are too kind. That is a mind-numbingly ignorant article. We have been here before. It is just that South Korean continues to turn up idiots who give America's bleeding hearts a run for their money in the triumph of hope over experience. Moon thinks things are going to be different this time does he? Well good luck with that.

South Korea may have a lot of capital but it is foolish to think that the Kim family's main concern is North Korean poverty. It isn't. It is also foolish not to acknowledge that all that South Korean money comes with South Korean values and South Korean media. Some of which is willing to be honest about the North. So it is a big threat to the Kims.

But, you know, whatever. Just keep trying to downplay Trump's role. Just as people swear blind that the end of the Cold War had nothing to do with Reagan.

4. Democrats may be interpreting the question as "is it ok to have extreme income inequality?"

Also, it is funny that they think having a rich class is bad, but if they are personally rich, that's good. That mentality explains he housing NIMBY policies of California and the desire for SALT and MID in NY.

What about poor red states that love rich people but hate rich New Yorkers and Californians? Are they to be mocked as hypocrites?

Well it is odd for the Republicans to be mobilizing poor Whites from rural states under the leadership of a rich, ultra-liberal New Yorker like Donald Trump. But that is nowhere near as strange as the Democrats lining up as hard-core Social Justice Warriors behind Hillary Clinton and her grotesquely corrupt "foundation" or Bernie Sanders and his three homes or even Elizabeth Warren's grossly corrupt manipulation of the Affirmative Action system.

So everyone is having their priors challenged these days.

I like how Crooked Trump walks back a promise to the American people and Jared/Ivanka mysteriously get deal approved in China. America first indeed. Drain the swamp indeed.

Your posts are almost always fact-free but the funniest one today is you trying to paint Bernie Sanders as some rich hypocrite. Dude is flat broke (especially compared to every other member of Congress). Look at how he dresses!

He made over $1 Million in 2016.

Yeah because he wrote a book. Dude is not a plutocrat like his colleagues. And anyway it's childish and banal to call someone a hypocrite just because they have some money and call for higher taxes.

I am not sure I am painting him as a hypocrite. That is too generous.

It is just odd that a man who has suckled off the public teat all his life, who never had a real job until he was over 40, who has never done anything but play at politics, whpo has contributed nothing, can hold himself up as a friend of the common folk. Especially as he just bought a $600,000 holiday home. Which happens to be his third house. And when his wife has grown rich off golden hand parachutes - of the sort Bernie specifically condemns - earned by driving a community college into the ground through possibly illegal land deals.

It is an odd look you have to admit.

#3) Love the Fredish linguistic algorithm.
#5) Quit satellite, regular terrestrial radio, and algorithm matched selections (Spotify or Pandora), looking to local regular noncommercial music stations, now streamable, like KCSM (Jazz station out of San Mateo, CA). The listener, if they're not deaf, will be blown away at what's really out there. Regular flesh and blood DJ's, in the case of KCSM, expert jazz heads, work wonders in uncovering musical treasure.

Incidentally, Fred Rogers was a smokin' pianist/composer, in addition to linguist, pastor, child psychologist, and paragon of human decency.

5. I would guess music streaming is changing this.



No. Why would it?

Whether music sucks.

Streaming services often draw from some true awefulness. A jazz streaming station that plays, for the most part, great music will still insert the occasional Kenny G track. This is a vile thing, making that streaming station unlistenable.

If one speaks of conventional, good radio being streamed, that's great. KCSM (jazz station out of the Bay Area) hasn't played a Kenny G track in the last 3 years. A Spotify jazz stream will play it daily. An XM radio stream will play it hourly. Horrifying!

Kenny G is perfectly good music. Why do jazz aficionados act like agents of the Khmer Rouge?

Well let's not get carried away it's not good. But you're right how snobs act like fascists when it comes to music. Whole channel ruined? Grow up.

Re: Music and media. As I've gotten older I've moved strongly away from many forms of entertainment and media, towards a generally quieter and less distracting environment. Less radio, less TV (almost none in both cases). I do listen to podcasts regularly as I walk, however, and consume internet media such as this site.

I say this as an active musician from not many years ago. Maybe it's that my search functions are poor, but the results of listening to new music were increasingly low - to the degree that I preferred writing my own songs and jamming over drum grooves. When I do go back and listen to old songs I quickly grow tired of the playlists, so I realize I need something fresh if I'm going to get back into it - but for whatever reason inspiration is much more difficult to find as I've gotten older. I can't pinpoint what changed, other than perhaps I burned out from playing in a band and took a long break to recharge. Usually interest comes back, but it just hasn't this time.

4 - Can we rephrase to ask "is it good to have people do things that would result in them becoming rich in a market economy?" The phrasing makes it sound like "generational royalty? Yay or boo?" People can then decide if on balance they can live with hedge fund people they don't like in exchange for having the stuff they use every day of their lives.

I agree, a change in phrasing would make the responses more illuminating.

I would say it’s a good thing to have “rich people,” but not to have most of the currently rich Americans.

Sorry, not “most,” but “a significant percentage”

Donald Trump has done so much good for the USA. Like winning trade wars against so-called "allies" like communist Canada. We don't need their cheap quality, poisonous products, we can make every thing here with American labor. How dare they try to import socialized medicine and its corrupting effects into our heartlands. Remember those mapleheads destroyed our White House. We will not forget and we will be great again. MAGA

4. The danger of extremes both economically and politically.

5. There is also culinary, artistic, and literary paralysis. Many of us become less curious with age and responsibility.

6. Welcome. Might we teach you Freddish?

#3) I know that we are supposed to be praising Mr. Rogers right now. However, the 9-step process is a poor example. First, the original sentence, "It is dangerous to play in the street," is far superior to the muddled sentiments, "Your favorite grown-ups can tell you where it is safe to play. It is important to try to listen to them, and listening is an important part of growing," which does not actually teach kids that it is dangerous to play in the street. I suppose one could modify the original to, "It is dangerous to play in the street, unless your parents tell you that it's ok," to allow for the possibility that some deserted streets may be safe to play in. Steps 4 and 8 are just flat out wrong because the point of most communication with children, especially very young children, is to prescribe, direct, instruct, or teach values.

2. A backdoor path to success for the Koreas, which is good.

On the rest of this s___ show, what do I even need to say?

Maybe that the final meaning of TDS has been revealed. It is the Derangement Syndrome that Donald Trump has. Virulent, it is taking down whatever reputation Giuliani, Kudlow, Navarro, once enjoyed.

Here's Wikipedia's list of famous members of "America's most successful ethnic group]

Well, they've had a handful of famous athletes.

Does #4 say more about Democratic attitudes or Democratic hypocrisy?

3. Sounds like wishful thinking, but South Korea has higher per capita GDP than Spain today. At some point, a German-style reunification could happen.

4. Weird question. It occurs to me that no country ever put together the kind of welfare state the left finds de rigueur today without first producing a lot of rich people.

Oops, #2. not #3.

I think The Hill gets it wrong beside the statement about some shifts in geopolitics -- and it's more than just on the peninsula.

I'm also surprised at how few comments are made the issues with DPRK when mentioned here. I wonder if that means people just don't understand or if they don't care or think it's a non-issue to begin with.

Will be interesting what comes from the meetings on the 12th -- which supposedly are already going well and Trump planning on ending things early. Wonder what that means.

#1 it is surprising how little the black population matters in soccer. In the Basketball and football the size of the black population of a state matters more than the size of the total population. White people are bad at basketball and football.

Is that true outside of the US? When I think of successful foreign players in the NBA, my impression (not being a fan of the league) is that black people from outside of the US are not disproportionately represented.

#1. " Peru gets extra credit for playing so often against overachievers"

CONMEBOL is just a powerhouse traditionally, I don't think it's a collectively overachieving group really. True slaughter for teams not named Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Teams like Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Paraguay cycle in and out of good generations and/or just good qualifying runs. Extremely cutthroat each WC qualifying cycle for these 5 teams, as only 2-3 can come out to qualify. I'm probably going to expand on this some more on my blog here:

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