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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Free Money: Mark Zuckerberg Suggests That All Americans Should Get A ‘Universal Basic Income’

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Should everyone in America receive a “basic income” directly from the federal government?  Considering the fact that we are already 20 trillion dollars in debt, such a concept may sound quite foolish to many of you, but this is an idea that is really starting to gain traction in leftist circles.  In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested that this was something that we should “explore” during the commencement speech that he just delivered at Harvard.  For quite a while it has been obvious that Zuckerberg is very strongly considering a run for the presidency in 2020, but up until just recently we haven’t had many clues about where he would stand on particular issues.  If he is serious about proposing a universal basic income for all Americans, that would make Zuckerberg very appealing to the far left voters that flocked to the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Yesterday, I discussed the fact that the number of Americans that are receiving money from the government each month has reached an all-time high, but Zuckerberg would take things much farther.  According to Zuckerberg, society would be far better off if everyone got an income from the government
“Every generation expands its definition of equality. Now it’s time for our generation to define a new social contract,” Zuckerberg said during his speech. “We should have a society that measures progress not by economic metrics like GDP but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don’t have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.
Such a proposal is going to look really good to a lot of people at first glance.
But who is going to pay for this?
Of course the truth is that the money for the people that are not working would come from taxing the people that are working.
I don’t think that Zuckerberg has really thought this through.  Are young people going to have an incentive to work if they can just stay home and watch movies and play video games all day while collecting their “universal basic incomes” from the government?
And why would anyone want to bust their rear ends working for a living when their incomes are just going to be taxed extremely heavily to pay for all the people that aren’t working?
We are already 20 trillion dollars in debt, but politicians on the left just want to keep giving even more free stuff to people.  During his presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders suggested that everyone in America “deserves a minimum standard of living” and that every citizen is “entitled” to universal health care, free college education and basic housing…
So long as you have Republicans in control of the House and the Senate, and so long as you have a Congress dominated by big money, I can guarantee you that the discussion about universal basic income is going to go nowhere in a hurry. But, if we can develop a strong grassroots movement which says that every man, woman and child in this country is entitled to a minimum standard of living — is entitled to health care, is entitled to education, is entitled to housing — then we can succeed. We are living in the richest country in the history of the world, yet we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country and millions of people are struggling to put food on the table. It is my absolute conviction that everyone in this country deserves a minimum standard of living and we’ve got to go forward in the fight to make that happen.
In previous generations, very few people would have ever taken someone like Bernie Sanders seriously.
But in our day and time socialism is really starting to catch on.  In fact, one survey found “that four out of every ten adults say they prefer socialism to capitalism”
The American Culture and Faith Institute recently conducted a survey of adults 18 and older. It shows not only how deeply divided Americans are on some issues but also how their view of the nation stands in many cases in stark contrast to our nation’s founding principles. Most Americans (58 percent) see themselves as politically moderate, while a quarter identify as conservative, and 17 percent as liberal. Those who were both socially and fiscally conservative, the group tracked by the ACFI in greatest detail, were 6 percent of the population.
But those differences don’t reveal the greatest divide and danger to America’s future. “The most alarming result, according to [George] Barna, was that four out of every ten adults say they prefer socialism to capitalism,” the ACFI noted in its commentary on the poll. “That is a large minority,” Barna said, “and it includes a majority of the liberals — who will be pushing for a completely different economic model to dominate our nation. That is the stuff of civil wars. It ought to set off alarm bells among more traditionally-oriented leaders across the nation.’” That 40 percent of Americans now prefer socialism to capitalism could spell major change to the policies advanced by legislators and political leaders and to the interpretations of judges ruling on the application of new and pre-existing laws.
And as I noted yesterday, Millennials are particularly attracted to socialism.  This could have dramatic implications for our society as older generations of Americans slowly die off.
Unfortunately, there is just one huge problem with socialism.
It doesn’t work.
If you want to see the end result of socialism, just move to Venezuela or North Korea for a while.
In socialist nations, there is very little incentive to work hard.  Instead, people tend to become very lazy and expect the government to provide everything that they need.
When people work hard and are productive, the overall wealth of a society goes up.  And when people sit around and wait for someone else to provide for them, the overall wealth of a society goes down.
Would Mark Zuckerberg have worked so hard to develop Facebook if he knew that the government would just come in and take most of the money away so that others could have a “universal basic income”?
Yes, we want to do all that we can to reduce poverty and to build a strong, vibrant middle class.
But socialism is not the answer and it never will be.

Credit to Economic Collapse

US Moves 3rd Carrier Strike Group to North Korea



Wearing a protective helmet and flight suit, he zooms past palm trees and over water and sand during the minute-long video. Upon finishing the flight, Zapata lands on a nearby platform and is helped down by a nearby onlooker.
It’s unclear how Zapata takes off on his hoverboard, as the video starts after his is in the air. There are also no specific details on how Zapata is controlling the Flyboard or what exactly is powering it.
But Zapata spent several days in Lake Havasu City testing out his new hoverboard during air shows in Sara Park and on a nearby beach, according to Havasu News. Residents of the city came out to watch him soar through the air and do tricks on his futuristic board.
The Flyboard Air allows users to fly untethered through the sky to an incredible height of 10,000 feet, which is almost seven times that of the Empire State Building.
The 37-year-old’s original Water Flyboards are popular with the likes of Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner – but his latest invention puts Marty McFly’s hoverboard to shame. source
 Credit to Now the end begins

Two Chinese Fighter Jets Attempted "Intercept" Of US Surveillance Plane

A day after China confronted a US warship that came within 12 miles of one of China's artificial reefs in the South China Sea, Reuters is reporting that Beijing decided to respond by sending two Chinese fighter jets to intercept a US military surveillance plane near Hong Kong, with one plane coming within 200 yards of the American aircraft.
A P-3 Orion surveillance plane was flying 150 miles (240 km) south east of Hong Kong when it was approached by two Chinese fighter jets. In the ensuing “unsafe intercept,” the Chinese aircraft came within 200 yards (182 meters) of the P-3 and one plane flew in front of the US aircraft, “restricting its ability to maneuver.”
If report is accurate, it means there were two near-confrontations between Chinese and American forces on the same day – a clear sign that, despite Trump’s turn toward friendly rhetoric in his dealings with the Chinese, tensions between the world’s two largest economies continues to rise. 
The report follows a similar incident from last week, when two Chinese Su-30 fighter jets came within 150 feet of a U.S. Air Force WC-135 radiation detection plane while it was flying over the Yellow Sea in international airspace. 
Responding to that incident, China’s Defense Ministry said the US account did “not accord with the facts” and urged Washington to stop its surveillance flights near Chinese borders. “The relevant action [of the Chinese pilots] was professional and safe,” the ministry said in a statement, quoted by Reuters. “We hope that the US side stops relevant surveillance activities, to avoid this kind of incident happening again.”
The US has a habit of flying its planes in the immediate vicinity of foreign nations. In the period 2014-2016, there were dozens of similar "unsafe" flybys flagged by the Pentagon involving Russian fighter jets, which however took plane not over the Gulf of Mexico, or Alaska, for example, but kilometers away from the Russian border. Perhaps the most surprising things to result from all these provocations is that nobody has gotten hurt, yet.
Credit to Zero Hedge

UK Professor Terrorist Attacks Are A Part Of Life, Do Nothing

US Plans First Ever ICBM Intercept Next Tuesday

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Less than a month after the US Air Force successfully test fired two Minuteman ICBM missiles from California's Vanderberg Air Force base, which hit a target approximately 4,200 miles away at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, today Pentagon officials said that the US will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week, in "preparation for North Korea's growing threat." According to AP, the stated goal is "to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. homeland."
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency on Tuesday will shoot an interceptor from the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, a network meant to protect the country against a limited nuclear attack, at a custom-made missile meant to simulate an ICBM.  
As ABC adds, an interceptor is to be launched from an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and soar toward the target, which will be fired from a test range on Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific. If all goes as planned, the "kill vehicle" will slam into the ICBM-like target's mock warhead high over the Pacific Ocean. The target will be a custom-made missile meant to simulate an ICBM, meaning it will fly faster than missiles used in previous intercept tests, according to Christopher Johnson, spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency. The target is not a mock-up of an actual North Korean ICBM, Johnson added.
The basic defensive idea is to fire a rocket into space upon warning of a hostile missile launch. The rocket releases a 5-foot-long device called a "kill vehicle" that uses internal guidance systems to steer into the path of the oncoming missile's warhead, destroying it by force of impact. Officially known as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the Pentagon likens it to hitting a bullet with a bullet. 

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, which is responsible for developing and testing the system, has scheduled the intercept test for Tuesday.
“We conduct increasingly complex test scenarios as the program matures and advances,” Johnson told AP on Friday. “Testing against an ICBM-type threat is the next step in that process.” 
While the Pentagon has a variety of missile defense systems, the one designed with a potential North Korean ICBM in mind is perhaps the most technologically challenging. Critics say it also is the least reliable. According to AP, the American interceptor has a spotty track record, succeeding in nine of 17 attempts since 1999. The most recent test, in June 2014, was a success, but that followed three straight failures. The system has evolved from the multibillion-dollar effort triggered by President Ronald Reagan's 1983 push for a "Star Wars" solution to ballistic missile threats during the Cold War - when the Soviet Union was the only major worry.... which is probably why officials were quick to hedge that this is not a make-or-break test.
The interceptor system has been in place since 2004, but it has never been used in combat or fully tested. There currently are 32 interceptors in silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and four at Vandenberg, north of Los Angeles. The Pentagon says it will have eight more, for a total of 44, by the end of this year.
The test will follow a successful North Korean launch Sunday, during which the country fired a medium-range ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. Last Monday, AP reported Monday that North Korea is ready to begin the mass production of its new missile, which could reach Japan and major military bases.  Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said this week that “left unchecked,” a North Korean missile will eventually be able to reach the United States.
Some more details on the Pentagon's strategy from AP:
According to the Pentagon, North Korea does not yet have the technology to reach the West Coast with a missile, but the military is preparing should it happen. The test will following a successful North Korean launch Sunday, during which the country fired a medium-range ballistic missile that landed in the Sea of Japan. 

While it wasn't scheduled with the expectation of an imminent North Korean missile threat, the military will closely watch whether it shows progress toward the stated goal of being able to reliably shoot down a small number of ICBMs targeting the United States. The Pentagon is thirsting for a success story amid growing fears about North Korea's escalating capability. 

"I can't imagine what they're going to say if it fails," said Philip Coyle, senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. He headed the Pentagon's office of operational test and evaluation from 1994 to 2001 and has closely studied the missile defense system. "These tests are scripted for success, and what's been astonishing to me is that so many of them have failed," Coyle said.
The test comes at a sensitive time for the Petnagon: this week it presented Congress with its 2018 budget which proposed spending $7.9 billion on missile defense, including $821 million for more interceptors. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) wants 28 additional interceptors in Alaska and California, increasing by more than 30 percent the number of interceptors currently in the United States. 
The U.S. already has 36 interceptors, with four at Vandenberg Air Force Base along the California coast in Santa Barbara County and the rest at Alaska's Fort Greely. The Obama administration also signed off on plans to add eight more to Alaska by the end of 2017. The plan also asks for $465 million for upgrades and testing for the Redesigned Kill Vehicle, part of the interceptor missile, and to replace old ground control systems. In addition, the budget requests $451 million, up from $95 million last year, for the Long-Range Stand-Off missile, a nuclear cruise missile that the Air Force can fire from the B-52, B-2 and the B-21 bomber.
President Donald Trump recently ordered the Pentagon to undertake a ballistic missile defense review. Some experts argue the current strategy for shooting down ICBM-range missiles, focused on the silo-based interceptors, is overly expensive and inadequate. They say a more fruitful approach would be to destroy or disable such missiles before they can be launched, possibly by cyberattack.

Credit to Zero Hedge

Children among dozens killed in attack on Coptic Christians’ convoy in Egypt