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Gender: Male
Hometown: Minnesota
Member since: Sat Jan 1, 2005, 04:45 AM
Number of posts: 9,030

Journal Archives

Minnesota GOP chair Hann apologizes for antisemitic image - Soros manipulating two puppets with the

faces of two prominent Minnesota Jewish Democrats --

Minnesota GOP chair Hann apologizes for antisemitic image, MPR News Staff May 19, 2022

... The chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota apologized Thursday for an image that was projected at the party's state convention of George Soros manipulating the strings of puppets with the faces of two prominent Jewish Democrats. The image was contained in a video shown by secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett. The faces on the puppets were DFL elections attorney Marc Elias and Secretary of State Steve Simon. Soros is also Jewish.

... Crockett, who won the party endorsement at the convention, has not spoken publicly about the video, but [Minnesota GOP chair] Hann said he talked to her.

... “I have concluded after talking with Ms. Crockett that the depiction of Mr. Soros was not intended as antisemitic, and that neither Ms. Crockett nor her creative team were aware that the depiction of a puppet-master invokes an old but persistent antisemitic trope,” Hann said.

... [DFL Party Chair Ken] Martin also pointed to an earlier incident when Crockett was suspended from the think tank the Center of the American Experiment for making a racist remark about Somalis in Minnesota.

Crockett apologized for that remark at the time, but was captured on video during this year's campaign saying that she would say the same thing today.

More: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2022/05/19/gop-chair-hann-apologizes-for-antisemitic-image

the Center of the American Experiment is far right, so for them to be upset about a racist remark about Somalis, well it had to be pretty awful

Crossposting to Jewish Group

Picture from Behind the Aegis's Jewish Group posting:

There's a big hole in the Fed's theory of inflation --- incomes are falling at a record 10.9% rate

(that's after adjusting for inflation)

There’s a big hole in the Fed’s theory of inflation —- incomes are falling at a record 10.9% rate, Marketwatch, 4/30/22
(no paywall, its an msn.com link -Progree)

The most concerning thing about Thursday’s report on U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter wasn’t that the first line of the first table showed that real GDP fell at a 1.4% annual rate. It was the little-noticed news on line 34 showing that real disposable incomes fell for a fourth straight quarter.

Over the last four quarters, the purchasing power of after-tax household incomes plunged by $2.2 trillion (in 2021 dollars). That’s a 10.9% decline, by far the largest in the records dating back to 1947.

Of course, the decline in incomes is merely the unwinding of the massive support that households received from the government in 2020 and 2021 via direct pandemic stimulus payments, the child tax credit, and enhanced benefits for unemployment insurance, food stamps and Medicaid, and more.

. . . But the Fed is determined to quash demand. That’s what raising interest rates is all about: Slowing demand in an overheated economy by raising the costs of borrowing. ((the article argues that quashing demand when inflation-adjusted incomes are falling like this is only going to make incomes fall more -Progree))

. . . The prospect for stagflation—low growth with high inflation—is real. “The appropriate solution to inflation would be to work to alleviate supply-side constraints,” say Nersisyan and Wray. To do that, unfortunately, “we need more domestic investment, not less.”

More: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/there-s-a-big-hole-in-the-fed-s-theory-of-inflation-incomes-are-falling-at-a-record-10-9-rate/ar-AAWHEFQ?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=15f1a5a79a714edd9e40436aeb6fdd32

The Personal Income Report he is referring to is at:
The full release with all the tables is at: https://www.bea.gov/sites/default/files/2022-04/pi0322.pdf

I can't find the Line 34 data he is talking about. But in Line 46 of Table 2 of pi0322.pdf, it has

Disposable Personal Income, Total, billions of chained (2012) dollars: quarterly,

2020 Q4: 15,443.0,   2021 Q1: 17,221.6,   Q2: 15,805.6,   Q3: 15,640.0,   Q4: 15,418.0,   2022 Q1: 15,339.2

And yes, there are 4 straight quarters of decline, and 2022 Q1 over 2021 Q1 is a 10.9% decline:

(2022 Q1 / 2021 Q1 - 1) * 100% : (15,339.2 / 17,221.6 - 1) * 100 = -10.93%

Table 2 Line 22 "Government social benefits to persons" shows a huge amount in 2021 Q1 relative to the preceding and following quarters.

Future such comparions of quarterly real disposable income vs. the same quarter a year ago will likely be much less dramatic declines, with the unusual 2021 Q1 falling out of the comparison. For example, comparing 2022 Q1 to 2021 Q2 (that's the last 3 quarters) is

(2022 Q1 / 2021 Q2 - 1) * 100% : (15,339.2 / 15,805.6 - 1) * 100 = -2.95% (-3.91% annualized)

2022 Q1 vs. 2021 Q4 (one quarter) is a 0.51% decline (-2.07% annualized)

but its still in the wrong direction, just not so apocalyptic.

Edited to add the personal savings rate graph below (#7)

Film of Prince at age 11 discovered (known as "Skipper" then)

in WCCO's news archives, the CBS affiliate. They were researching the 1970 Minneapolis school strike, and guess what -- they asked this young boy about his views on the school strike. Cross-posted to GD

start at about 1:09

Great pic:

Edited to Add:

Crickets in the GD forum added this:

I couldn't get the video to play at your link, but I found one on YouTube. At time of posting, there are two here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Film+Of+Prince+At+Age+11+

Here's one of them - skip to 1:34 for Prince and his childhood friends at 3:42:

Being spammed to death by one financial newsletter after another

For at least a decade I have had little trouble with spam. But for some strange reason I have started getting spammed to death, starting Dec 25 --

Inheritance Goals
Finance Trader Pro
Morning News Catcher
Wealth Optimizer
The Retirement Savers
Hedge Trader
Breaking Profit News
Breaking Tech Circle
Security Wealth,
Breakthrough Alerts
Rich Market Guru
Market Specialist
Fast Retirements
Market Collapse
AI Tech News

To most of them I immediately unsubscribe, and that's the end of it. But whack-a-mole style, I get a newsletter email from a different organization a day or two later.

For those that have run a day or longer before I unsubscribe, they are all daily or even more than that emails. So just ignoring them isn't an option.

I know the canned advice I've been hearing for decades to just ignore them because by unsubscribing, I'm just verifying that I'm an active email address. But had I maintained that philosophy from the beginning, I'd be getting literally thousands of email a day. I have found it works, in the past, to unsubscribe from anything semi-legitimate. (I do ignore the occasional ones from Russia offering to show dirty pictures though, Nigerian princes and so on ).

But now, for the first time in decades, unsubscribing isn't solving the problem.

They all seem to be using the same spamming service, e.g. when I unsubscribe, it says
"You've successfully been unsubscribed from (name of newsletter) Channel messages."

I've heard of forwarding to [email protected] -- does that do any good?

Block doesn't work reliably on my Outlook 2010 email -- neither does rerouting by address to some other inbox --

Thanks for any ideas

Edited to add - I just sent one of each to [email protected] anyway
Edited to add - All of the ones I sent to [email protected] bounced. "Unable to deliver message after multiple retries, giving up."

I'm just baffled that for at least 10 years, I haven't had much of a spam problem. And then this. I guess I was really wondering if other people are experiencing a sudden huge increase in this in the past month or two -- in particular being put on various email subscription lists for email newsletters of different types. Most of mine have been financial newsletters that I enumerated above. But there have been a few others of different hues: Earth Overshoot, The Cogniciti Team, Conservative Top News.

I guess not.

I'm really focused on trying to cut it off at the source rather than routing an ever-increasing number to a junk folder, particularly given that this thing isn't working reliably in Outlook 2010.

Grocery store: I take an item or 2, remaining items way back & no longer visible .. do I move ..

Let's say I grab one or two of the same item from a low shelf, and there are still ones remaining, but they are far back and one would have to bend way over or get on the floor to see them. So, I think about others and move up one or two of the back items near the front of the shelf so it/they are easily visible (edit: and reachable).

(There are times when it's hard to find a certain item in a very busy shelf full of similar items, so even sometimes when all items are front and visible, it still can take a long time to find what I'm looking for. With the item I'm looking for being way back in the back of some narrow hole, on a lower shelf, well, I'm sure I've missed seeing something I had spent several minutes looking for that was there.)

But I keep wondering am I really doing others a favor? Do the grocery store shelf stockers clue off the empty spots (if I had not moved items forward) to know to put more items on the shelf or something? So I might be screwing up their system?

I assume computers keep track of what's been purchased and what's been put on the shelf... but ... is the system that good? It could be foiled by shoplifters for example. Edit: or idiots taking an item but then later putting it back on some shelf 3 aisles away.

I have been wondering about this almost every time that this situation arises. Thanks

Edited to change "every time I go to the grocery store" to "almost every time that this situation arises "

Netherlands imposes weeks-long nationwide lockdown amid omicron-fueled case surge

Source: The Hill via MSN.com

The Netherlands is imposing a weeks-long nationwide lockdown amid a surge of cases caused by the new omicron variant.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced Saturday that nonessential stores, bars and restaurants will be shut down from Sunday until Jan. 14 and that schools will be shut down until Jan. 9, The Associated Press reported.

On Christmas and New Year's, Dutch households will be allowed only four visitors. Only two visitors will permitted on all other days during the lockdown.


The Netherlands is now at the forefront of a number of European countries tightening restrictions as the omicron variant spreads across the continent and nations mark some of their highest daily COVID-19 case numbers since the pandemic began.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/netherlands-imposes-weeks-long-nationwide-lockdown-amid-omicron-fueled-case-surge/ar-AARX8Hn?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

"The Associated Press reported" --

Some excerpts from that:

Denmark has closed theaters, concert halls, amusement parks and museums. Ireland imposed an 8 p.m. curfew on pubs and bars and limited attendance at indoor and outdoor events.

In the Netherlands, shoppers fearing the worst swarmed to commercial areas of Dutch cities earlier Saturday, thinking it might be their last chance to buy Christmas gifts.

Rotterdam municipality tweeted that it was “too busy in the center” of the port city and told people: “Don’t come to the city.” Amsterdam also warned that the city’s main shopping street was busy and urged people to stick to coronavirus rules.

... Scientists are warning the British government it needs to go further to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Leaked minutes from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies suggested a ban on indoor mixing and hospitality, the BBC reported.

MN Bar Owner Who Defied COVID Orders Sentenced To 90 Days In Jail (The Interchange, Albert Lea)

Bar Owner Who Defied COVID Orders Sentenced To 90 Days In Jail, 12/10/21

The owner of a bar in Albert Lea was found guilty of six criminal misdemeanor charges and sentenced to 90 days in jail for defying Gov. Tim Walz’s executive orders to close her business last winter.

The jury found Lisa Hanson, 57, guilty after deliberating for an hour, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

Judge Joseph Bueltel gave her a 90-day jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. He says he wanted to send a message to people who violate executive orders.

Hanson had flaunted her defiance of an order to shut bars and restaurants to indoor dining late last year. She argued that Walz’s orders were unconstitutional.



I used to monitor these Minnesota resistor bars' Facebook pages and carefully follow news stories about them during the winter shutdowns we had last winter.

It's hard to say who was the most obnoxious of them all. They all blathered Freedom and Constitution and American flags were everywhere. And glorifying veterans and the war dead for dying for our freedoms. And God of course, and our God-given freedoms. She was one of the most sickening, tiresome, and obnoxious.


Edited to add and God of course. Also the Facebook page. See left-side of page -- doesn't even have the decency to update that, one would think it's still open, despite a "The Interchange" comment on December 5 deep in one of the threads, "We’ve been closed since February 2021"

Edited to add This from MSN's version of the AP story --

She represented herself during the three-day trial and mostly argued that Walz's orders were unconstitutional.

“Liberty and freedom,” Hanson shouted as she was taken into custody by a sheriff's deputy.

Hanson has also been hit with fines totaling over $27,000 from separate legal actions brought after she left the state while facing the charges. Her business, The Interchange, closed in February.

"Cuz we're stupid fuckheads" - 2 MN Repuk gov. candidates have had Covid but not been vaccinated

Actually they didn't say that, that would show way too much insight and self-awareness for a RepubliCON

Five GOP candidates for governor say they’ve had COVID-19, MPR, 12/8/21

Five of the Republicans running for governor revealed Tuesday night that they have had COVID-19, but they remain firmly opposed to any vaccination mandates.

Michelle Benson, Paul Gazelka, Scott Jensen, Mike Murphy and Neil Shah discussed their personal health histories and vaccine views during a 3rd District candidate forum in Wayzata.

Jensen and Murphy said they have not been vaccinated. The others have been.

Jensen, who is a physician and former state senator, stressed that he does not tell his patients what to do on vaccines, even though many doctors and public health officials have been urging people to get vaccinated.

“The patient should champion their own health care,” Jensen said.

Shah, who is also a physician, said he was vaccinated when he contracted COVID-19. ... “I took horse dewormer ((Ivermectin)), and I’m still here,” Shah said

More (ugh): https://www.mprnews.org/story/2021/12/08/five-gop-candidates-for-governor-say-theyve-had-covid19

The context is that Minnesota's daily new cases has never been higher in the entire pandemic, except for the one-month period Nov 10 - Dec 11 last winter. The same for hospitalizations and deaths. Currently new cases are up 9% in the last 2 weeks (7 day moving averages). And MN is number 4 highest in the nation in daily new cases per capita.

As for U.S. as a whole: US new cases up 72% since Oct 25 low, highest since Sept 25, Deaths: +43% since Nov 29

Perhaps I should change the pseudo-quote in the title line to: “Now we have become Death, the destroyer of worlds” -- The Republican Bhagavad-Gita

As he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, a piece of Hindu scripture ran through the mind of Robert Oppenheimer: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. It is, perhaps, the most well-known line from the Bhagavad-Gita, but also the most misunderstood.


Word to the wise: the crash is coming, get out of the stock market now ⚠ 👀 😱

I've been hearing "the crash is coming" ever since 2014 or so, and "that's why I stay out of the Wall Street Casino" ... "The House has the edge" and so on.

So, I decided to see what would have happened if some unfortunate soul had ignored the advice of the coming crash and went to the "Wall Street Casino" and had invested in an S&P 500 index fund at the worst possible time, October 9, 2007, at the very peak of the Housing Bubble market just before the worst crash since the Great Depression (The Housing Bubble crash resulted in a 57% decline from peak to trough).

Le's see how the unfortunate soul did:

From 10/9/07 to yesterday's 12/1/21 close:

S&P 500: went from 1,565 to 4,513 for a 7.77% annualized return just on the price appreciation (i.e. throwing away the dividends)

VFINX adjusted for dividends: from 110.07 -> 417.52 for a 9.88% annualized return (note the near-quadrupling in just 14 years)

VFINX is the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund -- the results above are the real-world results of what Six Pack Joe or Jane would have gotten -- they are after fund expenses. It's not "theoretical" at all, it's what someone would have gotten had they invested in 10/9/07 and sold on 12/1/21.

I pick the S&P 500 because it is about 80-85% of the U.S. total market and the benchmark of the U.S. market that is most commonly used by professionals (the Dow is better known but is far less representative of the U.S. equities as a whole). And the one that Warren Buffett has recommended to anyone who simply wants to have an equity stake and that doesn't want to do research on individual stocks or sectors.

As for the "House" having the edge, no doubt -- I feel the same way when I look at the alternatives, e.g. for CD's or bonds to buy -- like 1.0% on a 4 year CD, 2.2% or so current yields on intermediate-term bond funds. Or a money market account of savings account paying 0.10%. But that's just me I guess.

As for where I got the numbers, it's from Yahoo Finance Historic Data:

VFINX: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VFINX/history?p=VFINX

For VFINX, the "Close" column is just the price, i.e. it doesn't include dividends.

Whereas the "Adjusted Close" column is adjusted by reinvested dividends and other distributions.

S&P 500: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5EGSPC/history?p=%5EGSPC

As for the S&P 500 index, it's just the index value. Close and Adjusted Close are the same, i.e. there isn't a version of the S&P 500 index that includes dividends.

Anyway, what matters is the total return that includes dividend reinvestment: 9.88%/year. And remember that's someone investing at the worst time -- the peak before the Housing Bubble crash.

Yeah but it's just a few percent more, I'd rather sleep at night etc. etc.

Well that's understandable, but if you need some of your retirement savings to live on after you retire -- what matters is whether you'll run out of your retirement savings money before you die, and countless simulations show that the likelihood of that occurring is far higher with an all fixed income portfolio than with one with a mix of equities and fixed income.

Over time, a 9.88% annualized return, if maintained, doubles one's investment every 7.4 years, quadruples in 15.8 years, 8-folds in 22.2 years etc. The magic of compounding.

Whereas if one is lucky to get and maintain a 3.00% total return in bond investments, that takes 23.4 years to double, 46.8 years to quadruple, 70.2 years to reach 8-fold, etc.

BTW, the VFINX returns would have been much higher if the person had invested at the very best time -- the bottom of the crash, on 3/9/09 when the S&P 500 bottomed out at 677. VFINX's adjusted close on that date was 49.25. So from that point to 12/1/21 close, VFINX with dividends reinvested would have gone from 49.25 to 417.52 in 12.73 years, that's an 8.47-fold increase -- that's an annualized return of 18.28%

(An 18.28% annual return results in a doubling in 4.1 years, a quadrupling in 8.2 years, an 8-folding in 12.3 years etc.)

Here's another metric:

The VFINX S&P 500 index fund has had an average annualized return of 11.62% since its August 31, 1976 inception to 11/30/21, per

(see: "Life of Fund" )

During that time (8/31/76 - 11/30/21), it went up 144 fold. Yes, that's what a 11.62% return over 45.248 years compounds to.

A 7% return in bonds during that same period would have resulted in a 21.4 fold increase.

A 4.62 percentage point annual return difference is the difference between having $144,000 and have $21,400 on a $1,000 investment over 45.248 years.

A VERY LATE EDITED TO ADD, 1/3/22 - bucolic_frolic made the very good point that the stock market is undoubtedly being buoyed up by years of $trillions of bond-buying by the Federal Reserve to reduce interest rates. So the 9.88% annualized rate of return between the housing bubble peak and December 1 value is higher than if the Fed wasn't pumping in all that stimulus.

So, I figured what if the market is, say, 50% overvalued? i.e. instead of a "3" value, it should be a "2" value? I figured the rate of return after the market adjusted back to the "2" would be a still very nice 6.84%/year annualized average return. (I used the Vanguard Total U.S. Stock Market Index fund VTSMX rather than the S&P 500 fund for this calculation, but would be very similar for the S&P 500 fund ). And again this is for someone investing at the very very worst time -- the peak before the housing bubble crash.

Minn stats: 40% of recent covid deaths were vaxxed. The vaxxed have 1/16 the risk of dying

as the unvaccinated. Yes I know this doesn't seem to compute. But please read on for the explanation.

The same happens to be true of hospitalization rates: the vaccinated make up about 31% of the hospitalized, but have 1/16 the risk of being hospitalized as the unvaxed.

As for cases, the vaccinated have 1/4 the risk as the unvaxed of contracting Covid.

Minnesota Public Radio November 12


What's happening with breakthrough cases?

... First, the new data we got is total case counts by vaccination status. Unfortunately, it's still weekly and a month out of date, so it doesn't tell us anything about what's happening now. But it does tell us some interesting things.

40 percent of COVID-19 deaths are among the vaccinated?

But remember that something like 75 percent of all COVID-19 deaths right now happen to seniors, of whom just under 92 percent were fully vaccinated a month ago.

... roughly 8 percent of seniors who were unvaccinated accounted for 67 percent of all deaths. The other 92 percent accounted for the other third.

... [all ages] The unvaccinated have been about four times more likely to get a COVID-19 case, and about 16 times more likely to be hospitalized or die.

Also extremely importantly, these ratios have been largely flat for months. The relative case prevalence did take a dive in June and July, as the delta variant took hold in Minnesota, but has been flat since then. This matters since there has been some evidence that vaccine effectiveness can fade with time. That may very well be true, but we're not seeing it in these numbers.


Adjusted for age, unvaccinated Minnesotans have been about four times more likely to get COVID-19 than those who’ve been vaccinated — and 16 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from it.

The shots, of course, don’t insulate people completely from getting COVID-19.

Minnesota Health Department figures released Friday show about 40 percent of Minnesota’s COVID-19 cases among people 12 or older were breakthroughs — people previously inoculated — as of a month ago, the most recent available data.

The share of cases, hospitalizations and deaths that are breakthroughs has risen steadily in recent months. However, health officials say this isn’t surprising or even alarming.

More than 70 percent of Minnesotans 12 or older are fully vaccinated, which means as the disease has spread in recent months the virus has encountered plenty of vaccinated people.
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