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51  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Was It Right To Remove Saddam? on: June 13, 2014, 01:53:45 PM
But.........had the US left maybe a BDE of stuff and dudes around Bagdad, none of this would be happening. 1 Combat aviation BN with apaches and lift would be enough to have kept these guys inside Syria. With an ROE that allowed air to hit their camps, this could be avoided.

Strategically, does it necessarily make sense to prop up a dictatorial Iranian satellite (most experts agree that that is what the Shia-dominated Maliki regime is) in the region? Personally, would you want to die for it?

If you think Saddam was that, you are mistaken. Saddam was a puppet from the get-go and one of the most idiotic leaders in the region (far from Hafez El-Assad for example). The only thing that made his regime stable for more than ten years was the embargo after the Koweit war (which actually worsened the situation you describe at first in your post). His "decision" to attack Iran (backed by the US, GB, France, Saoudi Arabia and Koweit) was the dumbest move one can imagine. The situation the country is into right now is a direct consequence of his decisions.

Whether Saddam was "idiotic" or not, the power structure he built and led maintained the functional integrity of the colonial fiction known as Iraq for a quarter of a century -- and seemingly would have continued to do so absent Western intervention -- in addition to serving as a bulwark against a rising Iran, our putative opponent in the region. Look at what happened the moment we dissolved that power structure: is this not evidence that it was preserving a modicum of stability?

He was also clearly amenable to Western influence as evinced by our relationship with him right up until his invasion of Kuwait.

Can you clarify why you think the 1990's sanctions enhanced stability in Iraq?

52  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Was It Right To Remove Saddam? on: June 12, 2014, 05:07:30 PM
Iraq is plagued with tribalist and sectarian strife, an uneducated population constrained by limited cognitive competences, weak institutions, and no effective force for internal security, among other things.

The country's only hope is a strong-willed military man who can take control and mobilize support, maintaining order via distinctly non-democratic means and yet who will be amenable to Western influence if only for pragmatic reasons. Hmm -- that sounds familiar for some reason.
53  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Disturbing Facebook Posts from Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl on: June 11, 2014, 09:27:13 PM
Bergdahl writing, posts show frustration, struggle

BOISE, Idaho (AP) In Facebook posts written before he vanished from his military base in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl spoke of his frustration with the world and his desire to change the status quo.

He criticized unnamed military commanders and government leaders and mused about whether it was the place of the artist, the soldier or the general to stop violence and "change the minds of fools."

In his personal writings, he seemed to focus his frustrations on himself and his struggle to maintain his mental stability.

Together, the writings paint a portrait of a young man who was dealing with two conflicts one fought with bullets and bombs outside his compound, the other fought within himself.

Bergdahl's Facebook page was found by The Associated Press Wednesday, and it was suspended by Facebook for a violation of its terms a short time later. Bergdahl opened the page under the name "Wandering Monk." His last post was made May 22, 2009, a few weeks before he was taken prisoner:

"I don't take kindly to disrespect. not on the internet, not in person, not in a grocery store parking lot, not in like at walmart, not in a restaurant, not at the beach, not at the dry cleaners... anywhere.

ppl talk about the 'pussyfication' of America, yet they run their mouths thinking they won't get slapped and get their arm broken in front of their friends.

spent many yrs in a place where if you talk slick and say something out of line to somebody, you know that when you say it, you better be ready for what happens. most ppl here in the 'real world', aren't ready for what could happen.. and run their mouths like the world is a make believe cartoon. despite wearing nice slacks, polished shoes and a nice shirt, the guy you steal that parking spot from at the grocery store and proceed to flip off, may have just gotten out of prison and will have no problem identifying they bitch in you and proceed to teach you a lesson by taking you down to the ground and kicking out your teeth before you even know what happened.

the guy who's willing to go the furthest, wins. if you're not willing to go all the way, it's best you keep your mouth shut and move on, and make it to the next day."

Bergdahl, the only U.S. soldier held captive in Afghanistan, was recently released after five years as a prisoner of the Taliban. In exchange, the U.S. released five detainees from a detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The circumstances surrounding the prisoner swap and Bergdahl's capture in 2009 have raised a national debate, with Bergdahl's supporters and friends joyous at his rescue, and some members of Congress and some of his own platoon members calling him a deserter.

Mary Robinson, a Facebook friend of Bergdahl, worked with him in a massage center and tea house near his home when Bergdahl was in high school. Robinson said she didn't know why Bergdahl chose the Wandering Monk moniker.

"He was really, really grounded. He was curious. He wasn't one who was partying as some kids do," Robinson said while verifying it was Bergdahl's Facebook page. "He was going over there with all the good intentions of serving his country."
54  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: June 11, 2014, 08:26:02 PM
U.E could go to 4%, wouldn't matter much if it's due to further drops in yhe LPR.

As for the charts....deleverageing was due, for the most part, to bankruptcy and liquidation. Even with the drop the level is still very high. The savings rate has plummeted over the last year as the chart indicates. It's at a level not seen in 7-8 years so I'm not sure how that can be construed as a positive. Especially when you see any rise in consumer spending offset with drops in the savings rate. The heart of the consumer is barely beating, just look at the poor holiday spending and retail earnings.

All this after massive intervention and attempts to re-bubble everything. That's a dead economy, if it isn't it's damn close.

I took the liberty of calling this a technical recession because of the negative GDP print and the .1% print for Q4 which was only positive because of government spending.

I'm afraid you haven't addressed many of the points I've raised. I don't necessarily blame you: it's a casual bodybuilding board and not everybody wants to engage in in-depth arguments on complex economic matters.

Less forgivable, however, is your confusing the initial 0.1% first quarter 2014 growth estimate with the fourth quarter 2013 growth rate, which was 2.6%. We are in no sense in a recession, 'technical' or otherwise.

Reality will soon arbitrate between our divergent opinions: data collected over the next year and a half, while being decidedly non-demonstrative, is probably going to make one of us look foolish in retrospect (beginning perhaps as early as the July Q2 growth estimates). Good luck!
55  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you pay for a guaranteed healthy baby? on: June 09, 2014, 01:50:53 PM
Who are humans to decide on which religion is the best?

There have been countless religions on this earth. All of which are equally as important as the people who follow it. Belief is a blessing and a curse.

Who are humans to decide on which theory of the shape of the earth is the best?

There have been many theories of the shape of the earth -- flat earthianity, spheram, oblate spheroidaism. All of which are as equally important as the people who follow them. Belief is a blessing and a curse.

56  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Any of you guys use Tinder?dat ass on: June 09, 2014, 01:46:58 PM

I'm not big on asses, but I could definitely go for those big pale legs.
57  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Would you pay for a guaranteed healthy baby? on: June 09, 2014, 01:39:26 PM
Lol!!!!  Grin It's more about a money vs. morals question. How much would you be willing to pay for a perfectly healthy newborn?

'How much would you be willing to pay?' is a different question than the one you originally proposed.

Prima facie, your original question is moronic: "If you could afford an extremely desirable item, would you purchase it?" Assuming that it isn't controversial to partially define extremely desirable items as items one would purchase if they were affordable, the question is vacuous.

One way to make your jumbled posts interesting (+ non-moronic, non-vacuous) is to place them in the context of a wider issue: is it "moral" to wrest control of our destinies from purely biological processes via the utilization of ever more advanced technologies? There are surely some who uphold what we might call a 'purity principle' whereby they reject some or all forms of tinkering with nature for the purposes of enhancement. But it seems to me a rather extreme stance to deny children the chance at an illness-free start to life and thereby increase the probability of their suffering just because it would require modifying the natural world a bit.
58  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Girls Can't Accept a Man's Decisions to Stay Single on: June 06, 2014, 12:41:47 AM
I created a somewhat similar thread. The difference is - I'm not single and have a good relathionship going on.

Epic gay lisp detected. Nice try attempting to slip a 'straight' post into the bunch, niggle loving buttboy.
59  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 31, 2014, 01:55:58 PM

Claim (ii) is what I take to be a reasonable projection of the performance of the labor market and GDP growth relative to commonly held expectations. I'd rather not write an essay defending the claim, so will instead have to be content with saying:

i) my point about the increase in inventories imminent in the second quarter is very basic economics and isn't really debatable;

ii) I don't understand which 4th quarter data you're looking at to suggest we are in a recession;

iii) we clearly have different projections -- rather than waste effort assessing the projections now, let's submit them to the tribune of empirical reality and see what nature decides, judging their relative merits for us;

iv) I think that your reasoning about economic affairs has been overly colored by the Great Recession, and suggesting that my post in any way reeks of political apologism implies that you have read too many Soul Crusher posts -- a proven way to kill brain cells. My claims have nothing to do with anyone in power and make no judgment of the efficacy of Obama Administration policy;


v) we should make our projections more specific so that nature might judge them properly: I project that 2nd quarter 2014 GDP growth will be greater than or equal to 3% and will clearly show an increase in inventories, and I project that unemployment will be lower than the Federal Reserve's estimate of 5.5% by the end of 2015.

We can also put some skin in the game: I bet $300 (pathetic, yes) on the 3% bet; we can have a neutral third party -- I'd prefer a mod like OMR -- hold the funds until 30 July when the provisional estimate gets released.
60  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 31, 2014, 01:14:59 PM

I made two claims: i) the economic conditions you mentioned as comprising the 'real economy' save wage growth are in fact improving, hence rendering the claim that the economy is "dead" hyperbole; and, ii) the labor market and GDP growth are liable to improve more quickly than many suppose due to a conjunction of inventory replenishment in the 2nd quarter and an uptick in small business hiring over the next year and a half.

Claim (i) pertains to the relative improvement in the economy, not about whether the economy is where it should be, could be, or would be (with different policy), etc. Therefore, citing metrics indicating that the economy isn't where it should be don't even begin to address my claim.

My argument for (i) was: If the economic conditions comprising the 'real economy' are improving, then it is hyperbole to label the economy 'dead'; the economic conditions comprising the 'real economy' are improving; therefore, is it hyperbole to label the economy 'dead'.

We don't want to get bogged down in semantics by debating whether the label 'dead' is appropriate or not, and it's clear that our disagreement boils down to the truth of premise 2 -- whether the economy is improving or not. So that's obviously where we need to focus attention.

Let's take the most salient metrics you rebutted me on. The facts -- mere facts -- are that U6 unemployment is down by nearly a third from its peak 4 years ago and that most of the decline in labor force participation since then has been driven by retirements and disabilities. This study makes the latter point, but even without a study we could have figured it out: since U6 includes discouraged workers, we wouldn't see a nearly one-third drop in U6 if discouraged workers were driving down the labor participation rate over the same period.

Unfortunately, you seem intent on demonstrating that the economy isn't where it should be, something that we more or less agree about. Meanwhile, the charts you post are evidence for the claim that I actually made: the savings rate chart evinces a 33% higher savings rate from the beginning of the Great Recession; what it leaves out is that savings rates were negative starting in the second quarter of 2005 (thus making the relative improvement even more significant). And the leverage chart evinces similar, albeit less significant, directionality. it also ignores the relative cost of administering that (declining) leverage, which is what I referred to in my original post. I used 1980 because that is as far back as that particular dataset goes.

Are these metrics where they should be? I have no clue. Luckily, this is literally irrelevant to my claim that they are all evincing gradual improvement.
61  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 30, 2014, 09:04:52 PM
You should replace Jay Carney as Obama's press secretary. You're either delusional or a shill pretending to know what he's talking about.

Can you even begin to address the arguments presented?

Right now you're coming off as a joke ass prole who never took econ101.
62  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: And people wonder why the population keep ... on: May 30, 2014, 05:14:23 PM
Hard to make a legitimate point with soundbites taken from internet posters/pictures.  Accuracy is in question.  No context. 

That would require thinking, which is difficult.

When a person still can't even utilize "its" versus "it's" correctly, it isn't reasonable to expect them to provide coherent (yet alone cogent) analyses of complex economic phenomena.
63  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 30, 2014, 05:07:59 PM
Good question.

Buyers, sellers, job creation, wage growth, business start ups succeeding, investment, saving etc that drives growth. That's not to say that there wasn't large growth of credit and easy/insane Fed driven monetary policy, but at least there was a sturdy foundation.

The last 10 years, maybe more have been based completely on cheap debt, consumers leveraging themselves to the hilt, using cheap credit and leverage to pull forward multiple decades of demand, housing bubble, stock bubble, QE and all the other easy "injectables" to keep a patient flat lining alive.

1. Stagnant wages and the long term effects of the Federal Reserve's QE policy are compelling issues. But most aspects of the 'real economy' as defined above are gradually improving: jobs are being created, investment is up, savings rates are positive again, and after a healthy period of deleveraging, households are spending proportionally less of their disposable income on debt than anytime since 1980. All of this leads one to think that declaring the whole enterprise 'dead' is a rhetorical flourish.

2. It might not be wise to judge the recovery from the Great Recession in full quite yet, since it is, after all, still ongoing. Here are two points of optimism for the near-term:

i) the revised 1st quarter GDP estimate indicates that GDP declined largely because of dwindling inventories. ECON101 teaches us that a drop in inventories is an indication that not enough was produced and that therefore, production will increase in the following period as a result. It would be very surprising if 2nd quarter GDP growth was below 3%, let alone negative. And I'll bet money on that.

ii) Historically, the job market has recovered from recessions via a process known as 'cyclical upgrading,' where the unemployment rate is first driven down by a large amount due to small business hiring, then driven down a slight bit more by large company hiring (there are relatively fewer jobs in the latter).

So far, unemployment has been driven down a slight bit by large company hiring, but the small business phase has not kicked in. Sentiment in the small business world is changing, however, with more and more small businesses expressing the intent to hire. This suggests that the small business hiring phase of the recovery is still imminent, the consequences of which are a larger than expected drop in unemployment within the next 1.5 years.
64  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Reaction to another Obama speech. on: May 30, 2014, 03:25:25 PM
The MSM is engaged in an evil conspiracy to prop up the Obama Administration through thick and thin, except when they aren't. When they aren't, everything they say is gospel -- right on headhunter!

The bottom line is that defense policy is formulated at higher levels of government; soldiers' opinions are by and large irrelevant. This seems advisable.
65  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Halo wants to come back on: May 30, 2014, 10:29:18 AM
I still find it highly offensive to be termed a mudshark because I was in love with the man. I think there must be a lot of red necks in the USA. I have also seen Chadwick the beta post up black kids should be spanked harder in school. Yet nothing happens to him ? His racism goes unnoticed

Chadwick was just advocating for educational policy on the basis of contingent, empirical facts about Hebrew behavior in schools across American cities -- there isn't anything racist about that.
66  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Get in here credit score specialists on: May 29, 2014, 11:14:55 PM
Small businesses account for half of GDP and (historically) for most employment growth but have faltered in the aftermath of the Great Recession, resulting in a relatively tenuous recovery.

Big Roundhouse Flex: please don't be discouraged by tight lenders, the cost of health insurance, uncertainty about economic conditions and government actions, unreasonable regulations, and the tax code. Your having the balls to step up now is going to influence the future of the nation: either big ball havers in the small business world step up soon and push the unemployment rate down toward full employment over the next 1.5 years or so, or we enter a 'new normal' with relatively high rates for the foreseeable future, attendant downsides/risks and all.

Don't let us down neegar!
67  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Halo wants to come back on: May 29, 2014, 07:27:03 PM
everything that comes out of your mouth is about how the only thing black women are good for is use as rented cum receptacles

Halo was just pointing out the fact that Hebrew women are competent lovers -- a compliment.

Halo (Servant of Lord Jehova God) Defense League
68  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Revision: Economy shrinks in 1st quarter, first time in 3 years on: May 29, 2014, 04:47:58 PM
GDP, as calculate now, is a meaningless number. I mean, "Intangibles" is an actual component of it, even with all the books being cooked they still couldn't eek out a positive number.

The real economy is dead, has been for 10 years. 

Also, 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth is a recession.

How do you define 'the real economy'?
69  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: TrueCrypt shuts itself down on: May 29, 2014, 02:21:16 PM
If the issue is really that the NSA is trying to force them to put in a backdoor and they are pulling a Lavabit, then previous versions of TC should still be good to go -- the backdoors wouldn't be retroactive, would they?

Even if there is a legitimate vulnerability, TC would have some utility for the average person: most people looking at your usb stick (say) and seeing a 1gb .tc partition wouldn't even know what it is, let alone be able to exploit a vulnerability to access it. But I understand that this won't satisfy the truly security conscious.
70  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Halo wants to come back on: May 29, 2014, 11:32:14 AM
Halo can and should be a part of a thriving getbig

we can allow our Cuban friend to return and simply remove the occasional reported post (like we do with everyone else) and cap the number of threads he can make a day

we need to encourage people submitting content to the site, not stomp on their heads for the occasional excess
71  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Elliot Was Right on: May 28, 2014, 01:14:40 AM
If a bus full of college women passes you by on the street and some rowdy girls slip out their boobies and flash you, it is cause for celebration.

If a bus full of college men passes you by on the street and some rowdy guys slip out their cocks and flash you, it is indecent exposure and punishable with jail time.

Women = sickening oppressors bringing down man-made civilization
72  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: 6/7 of the GOP frontrunners for Prez nomination agree with Libs on _________. on: May 28, 2014, 12:41:24 AM
In 2012, if the repubs' primary ballot had two options -
I don't think Romney would have won.

1. That is a difficult claim to evaluate, but it would probably depend on the candidate.

2. Even if it were true, it wouldn't necessarily mean that it was Romney's RINOism that was responsible: his hypothetical loss could be caused, for example, by his being the "candidate of change," as McCain called him in a 2008 debate.

3. Let's put that on ice for a moment and use simple intuition to evaluate your previous claim: if a party consciously gives most of its votes and its presidential nomination to a candidate who hiked hundreds of millions in 'fees', backed an assault weapons ban, and implemented Obamacare whilst in power and previously voiced significant support for gay rights, then probably that party doesn't have as many conservatives (remember, we've defined 'conservative' to mean 'Tea Party material, more or less') as you seem to think -- it doesn't matter how many damn candidates were running.

4. You still haven't addressed the evidence from the 2014 primary season: genuine conservatives have almost exclusively lost across the board in over 100 contests -- most of which pitted them against a single establishment opponent. Are these results not indicative of general Republican sentiment and thus also indicative of attitudes toward prospective presidential candidates?

5. The bottom line -- contrary to what your television set is telling you -- is that most Republicans are dispassionate centrists with some views the Faux News types would call liberal, just like the rest of the country. As a random example, most Republicans age 18-50 support gay marriage.

A Ted Cruz-type will never win the party's nomination, let alone end up in the Oval Office. As well, I think previous Republican presidents have been far more RINO than you are willing to admit.
73  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Switching to Mac on: May 27, 2014, 09:26:22 PM
I only have one Windows machine in the house, and it's my son's gaming computer that he and I built. Just doing the software maintenance on it takes more time than the 3 Macbooks and 4 Ubuntu servers in the house. Hell, if you add the 3 iPhones and 3 iPads to the mix, the one Windows machine is still more of a PITA.

Of course, it doesn't help that my son hasn't learned to be properly skeptical of much of the shit he sees on gaming sites, so I am constantly tracking down malware.

What is your opinion on the utility of a linux system for the stupid common man?
74  Getbig Main Boards / Gossip & Opinions / Re: Rich Piana's 5% Nutrition is finally here!!! on: May 27, 2014, 06:57:57 PM
cmon man. Its the internet. Its get big!

Exactly! So stop complaining about ESfitness' brutal pwnage of Spackle Mackle -- such is the nature of getbig.
75  Getbig Main Boards / Politics and Political Issues Board / Re: Billboardswarning cops to choose 'silver over lead' appear in Texas. on: May 26, 2014, 12:26:51 PM
Cops are just as corrupt as politicians, though.

Only save, there, is that a cop is always looking for a "big bust" to make himself seem like a "good cop". So that weighs into it, too.

But when a cop is drawn into a corrupt structure, VERY RARELY do they show themselves to be a good cop. Instead, they fall right into the corruption without missing a beat, as though it's the most natural thing in the world.

Telling an actual cop exactly how his profession functions from one's basement of peace.
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