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About laripu

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    Beer and mead brewing. Making sausages, fresh cheese, lox, limoncello, Scotch eggs, Atholl Brose.

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  1. Trump's Trade War

    My point was that if you're getting taxed with a marginal rate of 90% (say for the top $20 million you make that year) then letting you deduct $1 million from your income means that you're still taxed at 90% on the top $19 million ... and at a slightly lower rate for the next $20 million etc all the way down. The mortgage tax deduction went reduce the tax collected - much - from people earning $100 million a year, but will really help smart and provident people making $60K a year. The key is: tax the f☆•k out of high income salaries with high marginal rates.
  2. Trump's Trade War

    This contains a better extreme example. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates's_house
  3. Political cartoons

    Those were great cartoons Bludog. This is for sale on the cartoonist's web site, Dan Piraro, who draws Bizarro.
  4. Trump's Trade War

    You pay taxes on money you've made, not on money that the government requires you to spend. Anyway, it's not billionaires I'm thinking about. The median house price in the United States is $200K. That means that most people will get a substantial deduction. It helps a lot for people at the low end buying entry level houses. If you're worried about billionaires getting away with something, go back and look at the marginal rates I prepared at the top end. From the 50th percentile to the very top, income above the 50th percentile would be taxed at over 50%. At those rates, let them deduct taxes on their mansion. There are under 600 billionaires in the US today. (Something like 540, avoiding to web sites.) The most expensive house in the US is around $350 million. Taxes on it will be around $20 million, give or take a bit. If someone can afford a house in that ballpark, their income is such that their marginal rate would be high. Anyway, you don't make tax policy based on 600 people, you make it for the majority.
  5. In the Tapper interview (here) Comey says that Trump "wouldn't criticize Vladimir Putin even in private, which struck me as odd." No kidding. If he's doing Putin's bidding, Putin wants to know his every move. So: The White House (and any government office to which Trump has been) should be swept for bugs, including cameras, that Trump might have planted himself at Putin's bidding.
  6. I took the test. Got all the way to the end, including the extra bit. I waited for the results, and first they didn't come, but by clicking the back button and trying again, I got them. That's good, because when I didn't get the results at first I became so enraged that I was prepared to find a cute furry mammal and eat it alive. (Just kidding. Cruelty is my idea of the nature of a psychopath.) Anyway, my results are below. I score well for empathy, but I'm more willing to break rules and don't care too much about socially rewarded behavior. I think it's important not to follow the crowd because crowds have the intelligence below their median... and are sometimes controlled by psychopaths. You have completed the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale. The LSRP measures two scales. Scores range from 1 (low) to 5 (high). Your score from primary psychopathy has been calculated as 1.4. Primary psychopathy is the affective aspects of psychopathy; a lack of empathy for other people and tolerance for antisocial orientations. Your score from secondary psychopathy has been calculated as 1.8. Secondary psychopathy is the antisocial aspects of psychopathy; rule breaking and a lack of effort towards socially rewarded behavior. With two scores, results of the LSRP are very suitable for being plotted. Below is the distribution of how other people who have taken this test have scored. You score for primary psychopathy was higher than 16.15% of people who have taken this test. You score for secondary psychopathy was higher than 16.44% of people who have taken this test.
  7. I agree with all of the above. But I wouldn't say all the people in your quoted list fall into the category of sociopath or psychopath. The people in that list are: Roman Emperor Caligula - I don't know anything about him except that the publisher of Penthouse made a sex movie about him. Margaret Thatcher Henry Kissinger Dick Cheney Hillary Clinton George Soros Madeleine Albright Tony Blair Bill Clinton Those others... maybe some degree of narcissism applies to some of them. And Cheney was/is a greedy warmonger. But I strongly doubt any of them are or were sociopath or psychopath. The ideal person to run a country would be a very able and intelligent person motivated by good intentions, who was also very humble and not at all motivated by greed. But there's a contradiction: in a competitive society, able and intelligent people are rewarded and soon learn that their abilities are rare. Even if they weren't narcissists to begin with, they're likely to become a bit full of themselves by the time they've excelled in enough areas to think of themselves as electable. We're not going to get a Jesus-like figure in office. If someone makes a claim for that, they're lying and dangerous. (And maybe a psychopath.) I imagine that even the real person on whom the modern day mythical Jesus is based wasn't anywhere near as good as the mythical one. The best we can hope for is an able and intelligent person motivated by good intentions, who has had some intermittent failure that would inculcate a degree of humility.
  8. I have a sneaking feeling that the revelation that Hannity is Cohen's third client may not be true. I think Cohen's lawyer may have lied in open court at Cohen's request in order not to reveal a worse client, like a diversion. (My guess: a famous Russian oligarch. That would look bad, wouldn't it?) I was struck by the difference between the claim in court and Hannity's claim that he was never billed and just had some casual conversations. But I have no evidence, just a weird feeling, and that counts for nothing. This claim, if wrong, will soon be forgotten. On the other hand, if it turns out to be true, I'll appear to be prescient.
  9. Well said. If Trump is impeached before the new Congress and Pence is caught up in that too, we may have President Ryan.
  10. Trump's Trade War

    Here's a tax proposal. I doubt it will work, because I haven't run the math details; but anyway let's have some discussion. Here are the assumptions. 1. Social security and Medicare for all should be sacred trusts and maintained. 2. All post-deduction income is equal. So all income should be taxed at the same level, whether it's labor income or investment income. 3. There should be deductions allowed if you had to spend money to make money. That could be rent for your store, but also clothing because you have to get dressed to go to work. Tools and safety gear should be deductible if you have to pay for it yourself (e.g. if you are a small renovations contractor). Transportation should be deductible. All of the above need to be within reason. Ivanka and her cohort can't deduct high-end jewelry or Sevruga caviar. 4. Families and dependents should be deductible within reason. Private schools shouldn't be deductible if there are public schools available; unless it's special education or advanced learning for geniuses. All college tuition should be deductible. 5. State and local taxes should be deductible at the federal level, except sales taxes. 6. Post-deduction income should be taxed according to the percentile of that income. Post-deduction income in the bottom 5 percentile should be taxed at no more than 5%. The top marginal rate, whatever it is, depends not on fixed amount but on percentile. At 99.99 percentile, it should be 90%. At the 90th percentile, it should be 50%. So Gates and Bezos will pay top dollar on their top dollar; so to speak. 7. To save money, there should be a moratorium on any foreign conflicts not explicitly declared as war by Congress and not stemming from a direct attack.; the president may not deploy military into foreign countries unless we are attacked or Congress declares war.. This moratorium should expire only when there has been no more debt for 16 years running; intervening debt restarts the clock. Any war explicitly declared by Congress should be matched with tax increases to pay for it over time, but no longer than 16 years starting from the end of the current Congress. What do you think?
  11. Trump's Trade War

    Except that Republicans do cut spending, on everything that might benefit or make life easier for poor people. Instead, they spend on stuff that will make rich people richer. Private prisons. Military adventures. And Democrats do raise taxes, mostly on rich people. But if we really wanted to eliminate the yearly deficits and pay off the debt, we'll have to raise taxes on everyone, with a sharply progressive tax, and cut spending by curtailing the military. We have to put the country to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, raise teacher salaries, and put computers and Internet in every home. We need government that puts the needs of ordinary folks above the needs of people with $100 million and more in net worth, the top 0.5%.
  12. Back in the civilized world

    Ah, never mind, I did a search for the word Kuntman and I see you use it for some stupid Kuntman in NHB. Apt. I don't go on NHB anymore. There's no reasoning with someone whose sense of superiority depends on wilfully maintaining their ignorance. Also, I don't get pleasure from that kind of interaction.
  13. Back in the civilized world

    ????? Is that your name for me?
  14. USA and UK: policy of the biggest fraud

    Countries with international business concerns keep an international military presence, if they can. The UK can, so they do. US too. France has bases all over Africa, and in the UAE in particular, while the UAE has a base in Somalia. The USSR did, and now Russia. China's bases are coming, starting with Djibouti. Here's a list of countries with foreign military bases. I'm not saying any of that is good or moral, or proper. But it is a fact of life in the ugly world in which we, you and I, have a small but privileged place.
  15. USA and UK: policy of the biggest fraud

    I'm guessing ... someone who would like to whitewash the crimes of Slobodan Milošević. That's what I originally thought. Your observation supports a European origin.