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Snow Birds

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About Snow Birds

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  1. I was listening to this conversation. She talked about North and South Korea and made a slip of the tongue once. I thought at the time, "The loony left will jump all over that one". Is that your best shot? Must be getting hard to be a liberal.
  2. Well said! That has got to be one of the best posts I have ever read. I have had thoughts along these lines for ages but you have wrapped it all up into a succinct statement that says it all so eloquently and briefly that I'm totally impressed. This subject deserves a thread all of its own, with some possible ideas of how we can get smart/nice people to run the show instead of the nasty dummies.
  3. Toto: Just keep doing what you are doing. The world needs your optimism and enthusiasm and you need all the critics to keep you on the ball. Mankind desperately needs an energy breakthrough and technology leap. Energy storage would be as equally important as energy production. Keep in mind that the first doctor who proposed that washing hands frequently would improve survival of surgery patients was defrocked and ridiculed by his peers. If we ever get a breakthrough, and it might be anti-matter or super capacitors or nuclear fusion or something as yet not thought of, it will come from someone like you. One small voice from the masses but you get my vote.
  4. True enough but that was then and now is now. We have to play with the cards we have, not the cards we should have had.
  5. I heard an "expert" on the radio (sorry no memory of who) suggest that the EU would have to kick somebody out in order to make the other PIIGS responsible. Right now they all think they can get away with robbery but if one of them was made an example of, the others would get into line. Anybody think this is a reasonable expectation? Pick one.
  6. Yes, I thought that was implicit in my point but yes you are right that invading China would be a poor decision! Their financial strategy is also a means of producing a good defense. Mind you, keep in mind that the nuclear option really eliminates war, as we have known it, anyway. According to my friends in China health costs are very reasonable and much of the city housing is owned by expat Chinese who just want a piece of the action and expect to return to China eventually or pass it on to family members. The family system takes care of much of the expense of retirement. Yes there is a housing bubble but if China becomes the centre of industry their bubble has a chance of staying high while ours bursts. They also have the ability to make decisions that make sense rather than pander to a welfare oriented population. Democracy eventually eats itself when more than 50% of the population realise they can vote themselves a pay-rise. If the Chinese government qualifies as a benevolent dictatorship we are toast. They also have a lot of room to make mistakes. Their system has a potential for success, ours has reached its limit. Democracy is a hundred year old experiment. It didn't work. It is simple evolution. If they get it right we can't compete; and they will keep changing till they get it right. We don't have the will to change. We have to lose.
  7. Just imagine, and perish the thought, but just imagine anyway, that China's intention was world dominance. It has happened before, like Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Queen Victoria, Stalin, Mussolini and you-know-who. You can do it the military way but nuclear weapons spoil the game and it is also a lot of work making tanks and aircraft and guns and bullets. You also loose some people. If things go badly you can't stop and say, "Sorry, let's be friends." So what to do? You could always destroy the world financial system by making cheap tat and buying sfa. It's cheaper than bullets and if things go badly you can always say, "Sorry, let's be friends." But, on the other hand, if things go well, you can buy your opponent with his own money and your costs were relatively cheap. After WW1 we armed ourselves with big guns which we never used. After WW2 we armed ourselves with fast aircraft which have never been used. An enemy will never use a weapon for which you have a good defense for, or a bigger version of. It is obvious from history that if you-know-who had used economics instead of Tiger Tanks he would almost certainly have won but, rather more importantly, could not lose. Maybe, just maybe, the Chinese are smarter than us.
  8. Although this is true there is a very uplifting caveat. A group calling themselves the "Figurine Collective" consisting of very skilled porcelain workers in Stoke on Trent have formed a company. They were all made redundant when Royal Doulton, Royal Albert, et al set sail for China. They decided to make and market the very best they could do. They set up a website and kept updating it with their progress. Their first figurine was sold out before it was ready for market. They have continued to produce the very highest quality figurines and continue to be totally sold out. I have been lucky enough to hold in my hands #2 of their first two products and they are exquisite. The quality is a quantum leap ahead of anything produced in China. I would encourage anyone interested in a British Success story (they are rare) to Google them and enjoy their website. They are real, down to earth people producing a quality product. They should be an inspiration to everybody.
  9. The national dividend sounds like a good idea if it could suddenly spring into being globally, but the question becomes: how do you get from here to there? It is as if a great divide separates us from the goal and crossing that divide is going to be very dangerous. We don't have any idea how to do it. Like crossing an ocean before boats were invented.
  10. I've just read your post, twice, and I agree with everything you say and you said it well. I find myself in the same confusion as to the outcome of it all. Yet I have this nagging feeling that when tshtf we will look back on it all and say we should have seen it coming. Sure is frustrating!
  11. I agree but as a point to ponder: if all the tube service in London were to disappear in a puff of pink smoke do you think they could get built again? They would face greenies, nimbies, legal action, elf and safety, European regulations, government regulations, planning permission and political opposition from whoever was not in power. It would at least take decades and billions and might never get finished.
  12. This is a fascinating subject and is the source of endless debate in the Snow birds household. Truly, if we could solve this conundrum we would be very well set to making a fortune. The article is good but I do think the writer makes a mistake in assuming the Chinese and Indians are not totally capable, and better situated, to make and operate the computer controlled machines that will produce everything the world needs at a very low price. The conundrum develops because these super-machines need a market but if the super-machines can make everything then there is nothing they want in exchange for their products. The excess population is both useless and necessary at the same time. In the three past revolutions, agricultural, industrial and computer the surplus population moved their activity to the new field. If there was a new field the answer would be obvious and it would be this field that we should all embrace. If there is a new field the first ones to figure it out will get rich but it is hard to imagine what succeeds the production of everything. The only clue we have is that a new field, if it exists, is not material (because the super-machines can make everything). It is not cultural, because super-machine owners don't need very much entertainment or enlightenment. The only solution we have come up with is a totally new social order where the producers get status, honour and privilege in return for everything we need. Money becomes obsolete.
  13. You know absolutely nothing about the tea party and yet you feel the need to denigrate them. Perhaps a little introspection might be in order. Start off by asking yourself what you are afraid of. Really afraid of, not some regurgitation of mass media drivel. A small step, but your post is about you. It has no relevance to the tea party.
  14. Big corporations don't have the power of the law. Governments do. That is why big corporations need governments.
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