Posts by Brutus

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1) Message boards : Politics : To Work or Not? (Message 1707756)
Posted 13 hours ago by Brutus
Peer reviewed no longer has the quality assurance it used to have. Its pretty easy to write a paper full of nonsense, literal nonsense, and have it published in a 'peer reviewed' journal.

Wow, now here's something that makes sense. Anybody can type anything and put it on the net today and make it *look* legitimate. I must admit, to see something like this out of you Mnwerb is pleasantly surprising. ... +1

Secondly, one of your sources was the Heritage foundation, aka people with a extremely conservative-Republican agenda. Of course they will write that raising the minimum wage will cost jobs. And to a greater extend, that is also true for other economists. Depending on their position within economic theory they will pretty much always say the same thing no matter what. Current dominant economic theories are all based on the top down model, which means more money at the top means more money at the bottom and obviously if you look at it from that perspective, spending more money at the bottom is bad for people at the top and therefor also bad for people at the bottom. Of course, trickle down economics is a disaster that has only benefited the rich and no one else. But that hasn't stopped economists from still following the idea because hey, if reality doesn't fit with their theory, the fault clearly lies with reality and not their precious theory.

But that didn't last for long.

First of all, "conservative-Republican" are two words that don't belong together any more. I don't know how much of a view you have of politics in the U.S. today, but we have a Republican congress which espoused conservative principles to get elected, but then immediately proved they definitely are *not* conservative through their action (or inaction) after they were elected. Their words no longer match their actions, which now makes them no better than the Democrats. Our congress has ceded so many constitutional powers to the executive branch (and the judicial branch) lately that they are too numerous to list here. That subject could merit another thread.

I will not (at this time) broach the subject of the term "trickle-down economics" with you at this time in the interest of narrowing my point even though it does relate heavily to the question, "to work or not?".

So let me get to my point. Let me ask you this, just where do you think "current dominant economic theory ... all based on the top down model" comes from?

James Madison, one of our founders of this once great nation, described himself as a "liberal," but the definition of "liberal" has changed relatively recently (as have many other terms and phrases from history). As a member of the 1st congress, he made his view on political science quite clear on the subject of government interference in the free market.

"I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic — it is also a truth, that if industry and labor are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out."

The social planners of today insist there are congresses and presidents that know better how to make the world right through managed manipulation of the marketplace by an unlimited government. Today's social planner believes that as long as they say they are trying to help the population become prosperous, this stated purpose alone gives them legitimacy for and authority to ignore the rules which made us prosperous in the first place. According to modern liberals, their good intentions gives them free reign to regulate all aspects of individual lives because, for some reason, they believe they are smarter than the people they rule over and if everyone just did things the way *they* want things done, everybody would be happier. This sounds good, but is that reality? Current events shows demonstrably that doesn't work. Let's see what *actually* happens in Seattle with a $15/hour minimum wage. Just who are these self-proclaimed "social planners?" Who benefits from this "top down model" right now? Who would benefit from this "top down model" in the future?

After WWII, our soldiers came home and did a couple of things. We had a BIG national debt (nothing compared to what we have today), a bunch of people happy the war was over, and a shift from producing war materials to focusing on the "American way of life." Life, liberty and happiness. We focused on paying off our war debt (we failed...) and making life better with electricity, city planning, washing machines, cars, air conditioning, etc, and of course making families. This was the beginning of our "baby boomer" generation. When the first of the baby boomers woke up from their childhood slumber, they saw prosperity--but only if you followed the rules. To go to school or not go to school... Get a job, work 8 to 5, 50 weeks a year. Start off small, keep at it and eventually you'll have a comfortable retirement. Well, in the 60's, many of them rebelled. They didn't want to work for their rewards. They saw a bunch of rewards and surpluses around them and for some reason (probably drug induced), began to think they were entitled to those rewards even though they did nothing to deserve them.

The counterculture-era phrase popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966, "Turn on, tune in, drop out" mesmerized many from that generation looking for rewards and benefits without earning them. The problem stems from the fact that we allowed them to turn on and tune in, but we did not allow them to drop out in the name of "civilized society." Now we have a bunch from that era who are now collecting benefits which they never really paid for and more on the way shortly.

Today, 13.5% of our population is age eligible for our national Old Age and Survivor's Insurance Benefit program (also known as Social Security). In 10 years, it'll be 25.8%. In 20 years, it'll be 40%. (And this is without accounting for the extended age due to advanced medicine.) (But Obamacare's real objective may be to reduce the expected life time of some of our older folks... but that subject merits another thread.)

So, it's easy to do the math and see clearly we are headed towards a financial disaster if we do not change our ways.

So which do you think would work better?

1) A large centralized planning committee tasked to monitor and control the behavior of 310M+ people? Sure, they say they'll do great things if you give them all the money and let them decide how to distribute it. But what money? Our economy is on the brink of crashing as it is. If we allow them to take more from the economy, who do you think will have first dibs on the money? How efficient do you think they'll actually be? Can you show me how the U.S. government has taken money out of the economy and put more back in without raising the debt limit? (we have no more debt limit we abide by today, but again, that could be another thread.) Or...

2) Allow maximum freedom for individuals (the people), unencumbered by unnecessary, non-applicable rules and regulations (which are selectively enforced by bureaucrats unable to keep up with such a dynamic group) to figure out for themselves how to best fix and maintain their needs? Start by eliminating most of the federal programs and pushing responsibilities back down to the states, as originally intended by our founders?

As far as I can see, the solution is neither with the Democrats nor the Republicans anymore. Someone like Donald Trump, I believe, would have the best chance of fixing this once great nation by "firing" incompetent federal employees, securing our borders, his "art of the deal" with other nations and jobs, jobs, jobs.

There no longer is a question of, "to work or not" anymore. The only option left is to work.
2) Message boards : Politics : To Work or Not? (Message 1706984)
Posted 2 days ago by Brutus
To work or not? $15/hour? Relation between welfare and work? Impact from the power to tax? Does Marxist redistribution of wealth through an all powerful centralized government actually help society? "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." What is each abilities? What is each needs?

Today, almost 50 Million people in the U.S. are on means tested food stamps. It has spiked since the "war on poverty" began. Almost 1 in every 6 in the U.S. are on food stamps.

The founders of this once great nation recognized the need to take care of the sick and indigent who couldn't help themselves. John Locke wrote “The law of nature teaches not only self-preservation but also preservation of others, ‘when one’s own preservation comes into competition.’” In other words, society is organized for the security of its members as well as their liberty and property. A society that fails to respond to those in need jeopardizes its own preservation.

In the early days of the American experiment, local governments — not the feds — assumed this responsibility. But there was careful emphasis that “poor laws not go beyond a minimal safety net,” and that aid be provided only on the condition of labor. Only the truly helpless, those “who had no friends or family to help, were taken care of in idleness.”

Thomas Jefferson explained:

The poor, unable to support themselves, are maintained by an assessment on the tithable persons in their parish. This assessment is levied and administered by twelve persons in each parish, called vestrymen, originally chosen by the housekeepers of the parish. These are usually the most discreet farmers, so distributed through their parish, that every part of it may be under the immediate eye of some one of them. They are well acquainted with the details and economy of private life, and they find sufficient inducements to execute their charge well, in their philanthropy, in the approbation of their neighbors, and the distinction which that gives them. ... Vagabonds, without visible property or vocation, are placed in workhouses, where they are well clothed, fed, lodged, and made to labor.

In his proposed Virginia “Bill for Support of the Poor,” Jefferson explained that “vagabonds” are:

able-bodied persons not having wherewithal to maintain themselves, who shall waste their time in idle and dissolute courses, or shall loiter or wander abroad, refusing to work for reasonable wages, or to betake themselves to some honest and lawful calling, or who shall desert wives or children, without so providing for them as that they shall not become chargeable to a county.

Benjamin Franklin explained:

I am for doing good to the poor, ... I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them [as in England] ... with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor... [Yet] there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you [Englishmen] passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age and sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.

Franklin anticipated today’s welfare state, in which, poverty remains but the more money you throw at it, the more poverty it produces.

The founders of this once great nation saw danger in overly generous welfare policy — that it would promote irresponsible behavior. That, in turn, would threaten the inherent natural right of every individual “to liberty, including the right to the free exercise of one’s industry and its fruits.”

Our founders would not be surprised. While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries ... the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Today, the U.S. has 70 means-tested anti-poverty programs, only one of them actually encourages self-reliance.

Since we have been centralizing power and control away from local governments towards Washington DC, the administers of welfare programs in Washington DC no longer have an immediate eye on every part of it and cannot be acquainted with any aspect of the details and economy of private life or distinguish between Vagabonds and the truly helpless.

So, the answer to the question, "To work or not?" is obvious. It can be answered with another question, "Why work?"
3) Message boards : Politics : To Work or Not? (Message 1705049)
Posted 8 days ago by Brutus
Guy, that's a nice fairy tale, did you make it up by yourself? Taxes are the price of civilization.

Yeah ,lets see him name one country in the past that didnt require taxes or tribute?

argumentum ad absurdum
4) Message boards : Politics : To Work or Not? (Message 1705002)
Posted 8 days ago by Brutus
Everything starts with agriculture and mining.

After telling king george III to bugger off, the founders of this country wanted to fix the 3/5th compromise and did this with the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 said, go west and claim land--but you can't use slaves. Some people went west, found uninhabited land, built log cabins and started to make a life for themselves and their children.


Somebody tilled the earth with his mule, home made wooden tiller, and planted some seeds from some wild fruits/vegetables he also found on the ground. An acre of land was defined as the area you could till in a day. Worked it, watered it, weeded it, now he has more fruits/vegetables than he can preserve and eat until next planting season.

Somebody on the next piece of land finds iron deposits. Cuts some wood, starts a fire, heats it up, molds the iron into knives, tillers, and horse shoes.

The farmer sees with better knives, good horse shoes and a better iron tiller, he can be more productive. The blacksmith can't eat iron. He needs tomatoes, corn and wheat to survive.

Wow! An opportunity for free trade!

The government steps in, taxes the sale of iron goods, wheat and corn and then builds a road that soon caves in full of pot holes.

Then the government claims, "You didn't do that on your own!" "You need government!"

And then sets the minimum wage at which you can hire some one to do work which requires absolutely no thinking to $15/hour.

Thank goodness for government. I don't know how we could have done it without them.
5) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1704137)
Posted 11 days ago by Brutus
The only qualifications required to become the POTUS is to be 35 and a citizen, but that doesn't matter anymore because we no longer pay attention to the U.S. Constitution. And the current POTUS doesn't even meet that requirement unless you believe a forged birth certificate out of the state of Hawaii which is an ardent supporter (and the most communist state in the union) of the current POTUS.

The people who meet the other requirements you infer are not going to provide the solutions to our imminent demise. It is precisely the requirements you infer which are the problems.

First, you take money from donors who expect favors in return if you are elected.

Then, when elected, you quickly learn you are at the bottom of the existing hierarchy because they use terms like "freshman" on you. Play along with your superiors and they will take care of you. Try to go against them and you don't get a committee chair.

Then, if you try to do something that will actually fix a problem, you quickly learn one group or another screams and your donors threaten to quit giving you re-election money. Keep the status quo and you get to keep your job.

You are, at this point, very comfortable with your "position of power" and don't want to do anything that will mess it up. You are now a member of a puppet class among the ruling class who's treated like royalty and you are well compensated for it--as long as you play along.

You are left in a perpetual state of focusing on your next election and hoping that maybe one day enough of your seniors will die and then you'll be able to do what you want to do--which will be by then outdated, unneeded and wasteful but you'll do it anyway.

These are the qualifications of "everyone else" (other than Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson.)

The status quo is what's happening to Greece and Puerto Rico right now.

If Dr. Ben Carson can figure out how to separate conjoined twins (at the top of the head) with his team, he can figure out anything happening from the viewpoint of the POTUS--and I believe he would do a better job at it because he has proven he has the capacity to use reason, logic and common sense. And he'll be able to do things for different reasons, better reasons, moral reason, and higher reasons.

Yes, Donald Trump is worth billions. He did this by *dealing* with other people. This fact alone makes him more qualified than the current POTUS by some order of magnitude. I would love nothing better than to see his signature, "YOUR FIRED!" line with his finger pointed at each of several of the failing executive department heads and even whole departments.

Fat, drunk and stupid is the status quo. We need to change from the status quo if we are to have any hope at all as a nation. Otherwise, when the bubble pops, the poor will lose what little they have, the middle class will become poor and the rich/ruling class will get it all. What happens after that, no one knows for sure, but history shows usually there is less freedom, less oportunity and less happiness for the majority.
6) Message boards : Politics : Donald Trump for President? (Message 1704023)
Posted 11 days ago by Brutus
The way I look at it is there are two groups of people to choose from.

One group has been working for several decades and has succeeded at putting us on the edge of financial disaster. This group thinks it's ok to borrow as much as they want under the idea that just *saying* "full faith and credit" is just as good as a secured debt while knowing full well they are going to reach in and take some of that money, pay off their minions, and then will the rest to their grandchildren and then not pay it back because they know by the time enough people figure it out, they will be long gone and there will be no way to hold them accountable for lying, cheating and stealing. In the end, they are nothing more than political prostitutes used by today's modern nameless/faceless/unaccountable "robber barons."

The other group has proven singlehandedly they are successful with their own money because they worked hard in the beginning, figured out how to get a useful education, continued working hard and provided a service which people were/are willing to pay for because they wanted it and thought the price was reasonable, provided jobs for people first hand, planned for their future and are now able to reap the rewards of a life time of effort. And because these people are *free* from the *normal* constraints of a typical politician, they are able to look objectively at what's happening, tell it like it is, and proclaim boldly and proudly what they are going to do if elected without fear of offending anyone that matters.

This "other" group currently consists of three people: Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Dr. Ben Carson.

The first group is: everyone else... This group has done nothing in the private sector. This group has never produced anything. This group has done nothing but beg for money, say things the polls tell them they should be saying, and then they always proceed to *not* do any of what they said they were going to do, but only accomplishes what those who give them the most money (modern day robber barons) tell them to do.

You want to fix the economy? Put a business person in the white house. You want to fix health care? Put a doctor in the white house. You want to crash the nation? Put another career politician in the white house.

Donald Trump is strong in the polls right now because he's saying the things many of us have been saying for years. He's strong in the polls right now because more people believe he means what he says. He's strong in the polls right now because he's a successful business man and what he's done in the past gives him a lot of credibility. And most important, he's not beholden to any modern day "robber barons". My only concern is that he's flaring up early and he may not be able to keep this up for another 15 months.

Carly Fiorina? CEO of Hewlett-Packard 1999-2005. You want a women president? Ya, ok, I'd vote for her.

Dr. Ben Carson? Pediatric brain surgeon. Believes in a higher authority. Level headed. He may not be as flamboyant, egotistical or as rebellious as the current african-american in the white house, but I believe he could fix a lot of things wrong in the U.S. right now. Ya, I'd vote for Dr. Ben Carson.

Those are the only three people I could vote for. (except in the democrat primary, I'm voting for bernie sanders because hillary is too far right-wing). I don't see any difference at all among all others.

Of the three, I would like to see Donald Trump in the white house. He's the only one of the three who would use the same rules to fix this country that the first group has been using for decades to screw up this country. If he wins the white house, all of a sudden, you'll see all the TV networks begin screaming "unconstitutional!;" however, there are so many examples of that same behavior from recent times that their screaming may not have the negative effect on undoing the wrongs that have been committed on society by the first group. Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson, I fear would follow the rules and the other two branches of government would lock up; thus, preventing anything being done to actually fix things. And in 3 1/2 years the media will be calling them "do nothing presidents."

The *last* thing this country needs is another career politician in the white house who's going to continue to push the limits on ignoring the U.S. Constitution.

On one hand, we are so close to resetting our currency right now, I'd really like someone like bernie sanders or hillary clinton in the white house when it happens. On the other hand, I'd really like someone in the white house that really has a chance at making this country great again.
7) Message boards : Politics : USA Social Security Benefits Crisis and Solutions.... Let's talk. (Message 1703699)
Posted 12 days ago by Brutus
Its not my damn fault our goverenment has their heads up their keysters.

Yes, it is your fault. And it's mine also. And many other people's fault who think it's not their fault.

This cultural shift of "me me me" began in the 60's, when a bunch of pot heads pissed on the tradition, order and reason that made this country successful by saying they didn't want to work, didn't want to live within their means and didn't want to plan for their future. This cultural shift has now metastasized into a cancer which is going to take a lot of pain and suffering, along with some healing and forgiving to get past. Unfortunately, history shows that we'll probably be forced into a lot of *unnecessary pain and suffering* along with a lot of animosity, finger pointing and blaming (and possibly some bloodshed.)

Our founders saw this coming. I have pointed this out in recent posts. The argument is we've changed and our rules need to change when the real truth is *we have not changed.* The argument is we began evil as a nation, we remain evil as a nation today and we need to quit being evil today when the real truth is we did not begin evil and the change that is being demanded by these sheep is leading to real evil.

This social security debacle is just a minor symptom of what's really wrong with our government. And the people who are saying it like it is and presenting real solutions are being mocked, ridiculed and shamed by a growing majority of sheep who have created a downward spiral of several generations of children who are being shielded from the truth of what we've learned about human nature in the recent past.

There are several prominent speakers on the national circuit today with real solutions. There are several prominent writers who have written books with real solutions in the past decade or so. But I won't bother naming names here because I will be mocked here.

I've come to believe real solutions can still begin with focusing on state legislatures.

I'm not sorry for my rant.
8) Message boards : Politics : USA Social Security Benefits Crisis and Solutions.... Let's talk. (Message 1703448)
Posted 13 days ago by Brutus
How 'bout we just go ahead and admit "what government meant before" no longer matters? How 'bout we just go ahead and admit we now live in a post constitutional America? How 'bout we just go ahead and admit that the rules, as numerous as they are, and as many as are being written now, are no longer relevent for what ever the issue is today? I could list several examples, but that would be getting off topic.

1. Cap on benefits? Maybe, but probably not gonna happen. Too many relying solely on social security to pay their bills. Too many would scream "that party that hates poor people are making poor people poorer by not keeping up with inflation!" Means testing? Probably gonna happen. I'm prepared to grumble about it when it happens, but I (and many others who know they are targets) have planned for this/are planning for this. (you're welcome...)

2. Broaden categories of income subject to SS Tax? Probably not gonna happen. Too many donors would call "foul!" to those in office they contribute.

3. Raise retirement age? Might happen. That may be the first thing that happens because they are forced to do it in the face of dire book keeping consequences.

4. Make people relying on "other" government sanctioned retirement systems start paying into SS when they won't be withdrawing from it when the time comes? Don't think that's going to happen. It's more likely these "other" government sanctioned retirement systems will be absorbed into the SS retirement system (kinda like what's happening with our government sanctioned health insurance systems...) and the benefits promised in your original government sanctioned retirement system will become null and void and you'll be accepting a lower payout when the time comes.

5. Extend current IRA/401K systems to be even more favorable? It's more likely the government will seize private IRA/401K systems.
9) Message boards : Politics : Liberal or Conservative? (Message 1703069)
Posted 14 days ago by Brutus
Who's responsible for moving the SS trust fund into the general fund? It's always been part of the general fund, it's just accounting tricks* on what you call it and where the money is. The truth of the matter is the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) funds are used by the treasury department to issue bonds. To call them "funds" is *Orwellian Double Think (speak). The truth of the matter is these funds are part of our national debt. ($2.7T in 2011)

The social security act was passed by a filibuster proof democrat senate, a majority of democrats in the house, and the democrat president Franklin D. Roosevelt--the one responsible for term-limiting presidents in writing.

It's really difficult to nail down when our federal government went on a spending spree, but since the social security act, we've added some other spending programs which most people are unaware. Many people cite the social security act of 1935 because it just happens to be one of the bigger ones.

A quick google with return lists such as:

And they are handled by agencies with "rule writing authority" such as this:

Since there is no connection between revenue and spending in Washington DC, whenever there's a surplus, our greedy ruling class (and those who vote for them) easily and conveniently forget that (at least *some*) surplus's should be saved for future projected deficits. Since the social security act was originally written to be a "pay as you go" service, and since it was before the "baby boom" years when we had an explosion in population after WWII and an explosion in tax payers, our greedy ruling class used those years to promise more government programs, more government spending and more "free stuff" in order to gain votes and concentrate power. Hence, we've been borrowing against the "social security trust fund" for many years. They call it "intra-government debt" to fool the population into believing it isn't against the public. (*more Orwellian Double Think) Since FDR, we've had, for the most part, democrats in charge of our ruling class. (up until the Clinton years)

We've gotten ourselves into quite a mess over the years and the people who are truly responsible for this mess are no longer around to be held accountable. So where do we proceed from here? I propose two things in which all future legislation should be based.

1. Simplify the rules (so as many people can understand them; hence, increase productivity through enhanced competition.)

2. Quit rewarding failure, such as the bank and car manufacturer bail outs. Let the small bubbles POP. Ideas/products and tomfoolery with unsuspecting investors' money can be disposed of in a manner which doesn't burden future generations. (Bernie Sanders says, "If it's too big to fail, it's too big to exist." He's got my vote in the democrat primary -- our federal government has become too big to fail.)

How about a central government which is responsible for only things most appropriate at the top level, such as being responsible for international relations, maintaining a military, standards and weights, and maybe a few other things like interstate highways, post offices and currency? And leave all the little things to the local governments to handle?

For example, a poor person raised and living in Brooklyn cannot be helped the same way as a poor person raised and and living in Bird City Kansas. "One-size fits all" doesn't work at some point and we've passed that point long ago. Our federal government (obama) is now (has been) collecting demographic data across the nation and is now in the process of seizing control of individual neighborhoods. Is this something appropriately handled at the federal level? I think not.

Hasn't our federal government grown "too big to fail?" Who's going to bail us out when the bubble pops?

Isn't it time we move beyond FDR's "New Deal" and LBJ's "Great Society?" Haven't we experienced enough of these failures to realize we need to do away with them and try something else?

Or is it that we want to enjoy the ride of living on borrowed time up until we experience a very large "pop" in our economy?

At the end of our revolutionary war, our founders were left to deal with a very large war debt. Many of them agreed it was morally wrong to leave that debt for future generations. Because of changing human nature, has it now become morally right to keep passing debt on to our future generations until some future generation has to deal with a major, catastrophic reset in our society?
10) Message boards : Politics : Educating Unthinking Uncritical Consumerism... (Message 1702525)
Posted 16 days ago by Brutus
Critical and insightful thinking? being destroyed by the destruction of the traditional family. With out the traditional family, the most critical time in your life is being dominated by replacement baby sitters called "children's television programming" which are cartoon depictions of progressive utopias without money, winners or losers, and there are no consequences for one's actions. Individualism is bad, the collective — and especially the environment — are good.

In theory, it sounds plausible. Any of you in here *actually* read Karl Marx Manifesto of the Communist Party? In practice, it never works. It always leads to evil, oppression, misery, and suffering.

When kids graduate from the likes of Sesame Street, they move to the overflowing septic tanks of liberalism called by many names such as twitter, facebook, and most other channels and programming on the television. The *truth* continues to be hidden by elementary school yard tactics, such as name calling, ridicule, and peer-pressured group-thinks. I see these very tactics within these forums. The constant beeping, buzzing and ringtones of today's portable electronic devices continue to brain-wash their users and prevent them from critically thinking about what they see from a historical perspective. Thus, the old adage, "if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it."

Just what exactly *is* critical and insightful thinking? If it's nothing more than *you* (personally) basing your logic, reasoning, thoughts and instincts only on what *you've* personally heard, touched, felt, seen and experienced, then isn't the fact that we've all experienced different things justify the differences in what we are trying to convince everyone else of? And isn't (at least part of) the problem the existance of people with strong opinions who block out the experiences of others because they've personally not experienced what others have experienced?

For example, I recently had someone I love die in front of me, on a hospital bed. What she said to me before her last breath, and what I've experienced (twice) in an *almost* asleep state is undeniable proof to me that we not only have a physical part, but we also have a spiritual part which continues on after our physical part wears out.

Now, according to a collection of books which some people put faith in, there is logic, reason, tradition and order to what happened on that hospital bed. No further explaination is needed.

And according to another collection of books which some others have put faith in, which haven't been compiled because this would be an admission to something contrary to many of the books put together, there is no logic, reason, tradition or order to what happened on that hospital bed. And because I can not repeat it, or have someone else repeat this, and you can't repeat it under laboratory conditions, you mock me.

Both collections of books have truths and not-so-much truths. Both collections of books can be misinterpreted.

Which group is more "open-minded, tolerant and forgiving" of the other?

As for a possible solution to "unthinking uncritical consumerism"...

Can't have total freedom, that would be anarchy. Can't have total control, that would be tyranny.

How about a system where the concentration of power is prevented, yet enough power is distributed among several groups to handle that which is best handled at that level.

For example, we could create a system where three groups of folks at the top have limited, defined, enumerated areas of control, as agreed to by all those they are elected and appointed over and split the power in a way which allows one group to prevent the other two groups from gaining further power which leads to tyranny. Things defined as most appropriately handled at the top could be handled at the top, and all else by default could be handled at progressively lower levels of group leaders. These lower levels of group leaders could be formed in similiar ways as to allow as much say from the governered as possible. These lower levels of group leaders can become progressively smaller until we hit the "traditional family unit." Traditional family units have been proven to be very effective and as small as group leaders need to get to be effective.

While allowing maximum personal freedom, these lowest group leaders could be responsible for raising children to think critically and insightfully and to ignore obvious scams such as the "nigerian prince emails" and the "your computer is producing error" robocalls.

This is a basic idea that most leaders are fully aware of. It's called span of control. There are only so many people someone can supervise before leadership becomes ineffective. One person can not effectively supervise 310 million people.
11) Message boards : Politics : (Un)Justify Same Sex Marriage (Message 1696544)
Posted 28 Jun 2015 by Brutus
(you see? this is why I think the politics forum should be removed--bobby doesn't post for almost a year and then starts a new thread designed to inflame everybody here and then leaves.)

This latest dictate from the SCOTUS is an exercise in unconstitutional power and about something that doesn't matter. They *didn't* legalize same-sex marriage in all states, they *forced* same-sex marriage on the states that don't want it.

I've been watching Clyde post in here for the last year and I don't believe anybody is seeing what he has been repeating over and over.

I, too, believe it's naive to think we are not going to fail as a nation. After all, look at history! All nations eventually fail.

The U.S. was set up to *limit* federal power and allow the states to compete among each other with free trade, uninhibited travel, standardized weights/measures, standard currency, and a national post office, (and a few other things) which encouraged innovation and economic forces to prevent state governments from destroying themselves because people would go to the successful states and abandon the failed states.

But we, as a nation, are now demanding and succeeding at centralizing all power, authority and control in the hands of the few "ruling class of people" in Washington DC--which will, as history hath shewn time and time again, will destroy this nation.

We are focusing on the things that don't matter and claiming victory, while we are totally ignoring the things that are going to destroy us.

The natural state of humans is that the rich/powerful rule the poor/weak mercilessly. It takes a lot of will-power and effort to rise above the natural state of humans. We've lost our will-power and no one wants to put any effort into it.

Even our founders knew this.

July 4, 1776,


Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

Obama is actually keeping his promise to "fundamentally transform America." Just look at his growing list of accomplishments!

At the end of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Dr. James McHenry asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got--a Republic or a Monarchy?" Ben Franklin's response was, "A Republic, if you can keep it."

The beginning of this latest oncoming constitutional crisis really began when the "progressive" movement began in the late 19th century when the Carnagies (steel), Rockefellers (oil), Vanderbilts (railroads), Fords (cheap mass production), Morgans (banking) (and such) rose to become extremely wealthy and the poor began questioning if allowing so few individuals so much wealth was morally right in the late 19th century. The real "progress" at the federal level began in the early 20th century.

16th Amendment, 1913 -- federal income tax (first real gain in federal power)

17th Amendment, 1913 -- direct elections of U.S. Senators (first real and successful attack on state's powers since the federalist papers)

Since then, progress at the local level proliferated to produce such great cities such as modern day Detroit, Fergerson MO, Stockton CA, Washington DC, and several others on the growing list of cities filing for bankruptcy or are about to file for bankruptcy. And the ruling class of those cities are looking to a higher authority to rescue them--federal government. And federal government is responding because a growing number of people believe government is created to "take care of the people." If government is not taking care of the people, then they are not doing their job. And obama is being hampered by congress. So the people are demanding we ignore congress--their representatives. And the supreme court is scared out of their robes to do anything that prevents progress because the people will demand that they do their jobs and "take care of the people." So they are "taking care of the people" now.

I try to remain thankful that the majority of my life (and my immediate family's lives) were in a time when resources were plentiful and I'm trying not to worry about what happens in the future any more. Are we, as a nation, going to have what it takes to recover from all the economic bubbles that sure look like they are about to pop? What happens when they start popping?

The federal reserve is keeping interest rates at near zero. (check it out--numbers like .08% to .20%) Donald Trump says the point of no return is a national debt of $24T. (who are you going to trust? A self-serving bureaucracy of self-appointed members of the ruling class? Or a successful businessman used to dealing with large numbers?) We're over $18T in debt now. What does that mean? About another 5 or 6 years before a cascading series of bubbles pop and the only way to get out of it may include *having* to create a new doller. 10 George Washington dollars will have to be traded in for one new Hillary Clinton dollar by a certain date or it will become worthless. After all, what's the big deal? Mexico just went through this in 1996 and they're doing fine, right?

Look at the front page of Drudge today. Looks like Greece is going to crash financially? Is anybody asking why Greece is about to crash financially? NO, we're too busy celebrating things that don't matter, like same-sex marriage being forced into the states that don't want it.

This issue about same-sex marriage isn't going away. This and the new definition of the word "state" in the obamacare subsidies case has set a monumental and historic precedence on judicial activism.

After all, I (along with Clyde) believe it's naive to think we are not going to fail as a nation. Look at history! All nations eventually fail.

P.S. The only way I know how to deal with what's happening to our country now is to start splitting my vote--which is what the democrats have been doing for several election cycles now. I'm pretty sure I'm going to vote in the democrat primary for bernie sanders... since hillary is so right-wing. And then decide if I'm going to vote for the republican front runner in the general election (probably not) or hand-write Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, or Dr. Ben Carson on my ballot. The *last* thing this country needs is another career politician in the white house.
12) Message boards : Number crunching : Why use CPU on SETi@home? (Message 1695740)
Posted 25 Jun 2015 by Brutus
This last winter, I had the top three hosts because of GPUs. (2,800 watts of power to run them.)

Now, I run one dual-core CPU only. (85 Watts to run it.)

Last winter, I had a RAC of over 1/2 million. Now it's between 1,200 and 1,300.

Why am I running CPU only now?

1) I get the same feeling of participation either way.

2) Currently, I am actually rewarded with an extra $250/month because of a reduced electic bill.

3) I *never* run out of work--I always have more work to do than the scheduled and unscheduled maintenence down times.

4) I don't worry about APs anymore because MBs pay me more credit/time than APs.

5) MBs are always available when the servers are up.

6) My current "CPU only" computer has produced *no* invalids and *no* errors since I put it in service a few months ago.

7) I don't worry about testing different parameters in my app_info.xml file and/or command line aurguments, or CFLAGS when compiling my apps because I run stock now on a proven 32-bit operating system--anonymous platforms and tinkering with the parameters just give inconsistent results anyway and as far as I'm concerned, it's just not worth it because it just causes delays and problems.

8) I'm a member of the 16 year club and feel compelled to remain attached to this project. I did go "full bore" there for a while but I was disenfranchised by the absolute insanity going on in the politics forum. I don't know why that forum exists. It should be removed because I know it chases people away from this project.

9) This winter, I'll fire up my ~81 TFLOPS of peak GPU computing power again and attach to folding@home--a project out of stanford university (a little south of berkeley). In my mind, they have a better probability of using distributed computing for finding actual solutions which could actually help humanity.

10) Running one CPU only computer allows me to remain attached to seti@home in a minimal way.

That's why I'm running CPU only.
13) Message boards : Politics : GOod GOodly MOogly.*** U.S. Embassy in ***Yemen ***Oh Heeba Habba GOoba Gabba (Message 1529189)
Posted 17 Jun 2014 by Brutus
Some countries on earth don't have rights.
They don't think it's worth any fights.
When Americans try
and some of us die,
we're still the country that bites?
14) Message boards : Politics : More on how Neo-Darwinism has it wrong again... (Message 1528793)
Posted 17 Jun 2014 by Brutus
To the Darwinist it's random chance,
belief in this is their firm stance.
Such complexity
from such entropy...
Some one had to start this dance.
15) Message boards : Number crunching : Step by Step, compile NVIDIA/MB CUDA app under Linux (Fedora 19) (Message 1526489)
Posted 10 Jun 2014 by Brutus
Right now I'm operating under the assumption that the algorithms written in the code were implemented in the most efficient manner, but that won't stop me from taking a peek at them later after I get some level of confidence about all these CFLAGS.

Tried some different Xbranch CFLAGS. First one was the most basic. Second one was Petri's list. Third one I looked through all those CFLAGS (and several other areas of the gcc manual) and picked the ones I thought might be helpful. There are a whole lot more available than I thought there would be. Third one was pretty much a guess on my part. I removed redundancy, didn't add things that didn't make sense according to what I read, and didn't add it explicitly if it said it was enabled by default. Fourth one was trying some that said might produce some incorrect output but will make it faster.

Xbranch configure #1: #./configure BOINCDIR=/home/guy/Desktop/boinc CFLAGS='-DUSE_CUDA'

Xbranch configure #2 (copied/pasted from Petri's list, BOINCDIR changed, LIBS deleted, kept redundancies):
./configure BOINCDIR=/home/guy/Desktop/boinc CFLAGS='-O3 -march=corei7-avx -Ofast -funroll-loops -mtune=corei7-avx -mpreferred-stack-boundary=8 -fexceptions -fno-rounding-math -fno-signaling-nans -frerun-cse-after-loop -fgcse -fgcse-after-reload -fgcse-lm -fgcse-las -fgcse-sm -faggressive-loop-optimizations -fexpensive-optimizations -fschedule-insns -fschedule-insns2 -fmove-loop-invariants -fselective-scheduling -fvect-cost-model -fsection-anchors -fsched-stalled-insns-dep -fsched-stalled-insns -fsched-spec-load -fsched-spec -fsched-pressure -freorder-functions -freorder-blocks -frename-registers -fregmove -fprefetch-loop-arrays -fpredictive-commoning -fpeephole -foptimize-register-move -fomit-frame-pointer -fcx-limited-range -fno-math-errno -fno-trapping-math --param inline-unit-growth=3000 -DPINNED -DNDEBUG -DHAVE_STRCASECMP -DSETI7 -DUSE_I386_OPTIMIZATIONS -DUSE_CUDA -fpeel-loops -funroll-loops -fweb'

**Lots of "warning: this target does not support ‘-fsection-anchors’ [-fsection-anchors]"
**And again, I get "Compiling entry function...sm_10, sm_11, sm_12, sm_13, sm_21, and sm_20", but nothing for sm_30 or sm_35

Xbranch configure #3: (I looked through (and several other sections) and tried to follow what you guys were saying. note: -Ofast enables a bunch of optimizations. Tried this:
#./configure BOINCDIR=/home/guy/Desktop/boinc CFLAGS='-Ofast -march=corei7-avx -mtune=corei7-avx -funroll-loops -DUSE_CUDA'

Xbranch configure #4: (tried unsafe math optimization and finite math only flags. Manual said 'haswell' was valid entries for march/mtune, but compiler said it couldn't produce an executable from it. 'corei7-avx' was no where in the manual, but it compiles with them.)
#./configure BOINCDIR=/home/guy/Desktop/boinc CFLAGS='-Ofast -march=corei7-avx -mtune=corei7-avx -funroll-loops -funsafe-math-optimizations -ffinite-math-only -DUSE_CUDA'

The following are the times I got from each compiled app, using an I7 and a GTX780ti.

Configure#/runtime in seconds #1 #2 #3 #4 FG00091_V7.wu 3381 3343 3369 3378 FG00134_V7.wu 3215 3184 3199 3205 FG01307_V7.wu 1058 1014 1019 1019 FG02968_V7.wu 836 775 778 778 FG03853_V7.wu 702 646 651 649 FG04160_V7.wu 641 596 604 595 FG04221_V7.wu 643 591 594 588 FG04317_V7.wu 634 583 583 582 FG04465_V7.wu 617 567 573 577 FG09362_V7.wu 464 434 438 438 FG11753_V7.wu 362 349 350 349 FG13462_V7.wu 358 344 344 347 FG24857_V7.wu 354 342 340 340 FG53024_V7.wu 348 334 338 339 FG76516_V7.wu 346 335 336 337

So, not much difference really, but it's looking like Petri's list is what works the best.

Note on #4:

-funsafe-math-optimizations. This option is not turned on by any -O option since it can result in incorrect output for programs that depend on an exact implementation of IEEE or ISO rules/specifications for math functions. It may, however, yield faster code for programs that do not require the guarantees of these specifications. Enables -fno-signed-zeros, -fno-trapping-math, -fassociative-math and -freciprocal-math. The default is -fno-reciprocal-math.

-ffinite-math-only. Allow optimizations for floating-point arithmetic that assume that arguments and results are not NaNs or +-Infs. This option is not turned on by any -O option since it can result in incorrect output for programs that depend on an exact implementation of IEEE or ISO rules/specifications for math functions. It may, however, yield faster code for programs that do not require the guarantees of these specifications. The default is -fno-finite-math-only.

I compared #4 compile to the Lunatics cuda32 build and Q's remained at or above 99.92%.

Still looking for explanations of -DUSE_CUDA and the other -Dxxx_xxxx's in Petri's CFLAGS.

So, I suppose the next step in my learning process (if I want to get into this deeper) is to start looking at the code. Once I get familiar with the code, maybe some of the CFLAGS will start making better sense. I'm assuming the entry point in Xbranch is /sah_v7_opt/Xbranch/client/main.cpp?

On another note:
Finally moved the original app I compiled and tested about a week ago over to my active linux cruncher and got two MBs that immediately returned "computation error". I guess there's too much of a difference between a Fedora19/C2D(E7200)/GT620 and Fedora20/C2D(E7400)/GTX650ti. I was thinking they were going to be close enough to work but I guess I was wrong. I tried to test that app on the box that I compiled it on, but I was getting "no GPU found" for some reason. It must have had something to do with the hardware error that seemed to appear sometime while I was compiling/testing on that mobo. That mobo is now in my recycle pile.

Maybe my next step will be to reload my active linux cruncher with Fedora 19, compile an nvidia/mb app on it, and see if that works.

If there's something else any of you can think of that may be beneficial to try and report on, let me know.
16) Message boards : Number crunching : Step by Step, compile NVIDIA/MB CUDA app under Linux (Fedora 19) (Message 1525966)
Posted 9 Jun 2014 by Brutus
Well, I successfully did it again on an I7 machine with two GTX780ti's in it. I made changes to my original notes and changed the original post. See the first post in this thread for my more accurate notes. I almost completely re-wrote them.

Currently about 1/2 way through the full sized test units and comparing my most recently compiled app (setiathome_x41zc_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu_cuda60) on this machine with the Lunatics app (setiathome_x41g_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu_cuda32) and it's looking like I'm going to get the exact same results as I got when I did this on a Core 2 Duo a week or so ago.

So now my question is, what about all those CFLAGS (you use Petri) when ./configuring Xbranch? Is there some place I can find a list of them specific to configuring this MB app? Do I look through the source code for answers to specifying CFLAGS before configuring? Where did you get them Petri? I believe tuning through the use of those CFLAGS is key to compiling the fastest app.
17) Questions and Answers : Unix/Linux : Does any 64bit fedora linux work without additional libs (Message 1525666)
Posted 7 Jun 2014 by Brutus

This worked for me.

Edit: Step 1, then steps 16-26 if you want to crunch CPU only.
18) Message boards : Number crunching : Step by Step, compile NVIDIA/MB CUDA app under Linux (Fedora 19) (Message 1525558)
Posted 7 Jun 2014 by Brutus
The machine I origninally did this on cooked. Something on the mobo--no more ethernet port, inconsistent USB port--looks a lot like the south bridge cooked. Off to the recycle center it goes.

So I'm running through my cleaned up, step by step notes again on one of my newer machines and making adjustment. Some typos like "/.bashrc", not "/bashrc", and consolidating some steps. I'll repost them again once I make it through them again.

I'm currently stuck at step 31. (Permission denied? -- I'll figure it out and update my notes)
19) Message boards : Politics : Windows8: The Beginning of The End? Or... Win9 v soon!? (Message 1525147)
Posted 6 Jun 2014 by Brutus
Linux Mint has been mentioned in these threads in the recent past so I downloaded Cinnamon. It recognized the wireless NIC that other distributions do not, it comes with Office Libre and found my network printer/installed a basic driver for it, made it easy to download/install the NVIDIA GPU driver from the GPU it detected, and it was surprisingly intuitive to use. I didn't try to set it up to crunch, but my guess is it would have been relatively easy. I think it's a good 1st Linux distribution to try if you've never tried Linux before.

It's currently the most popular according to is also a good place to watch the new distributions as they come out and scroll down your screen.

*If you only have *one* computer and you rely on it for your finances and communications, I think it would be best for most people to stick with M$ for the time being.
20) Message boards : Politics : So now Obama has negated a 200 year policy of not negotiating with terrorists (Message 1524558)
Posted 5 Jun 2014 by Brutus

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