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chocolat steve

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chocolat steve last won the day on July 2

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About chocolat steve

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  1. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I thought I was making it clear I was just echoing what both generations are doing. I invest and try and provide for myself no matter what the environment as best I can. If it seemed like I was agreeing with the baby boomer generation that wasn't my intention. The most recent 3 generations (Gen x, y and millennial) have not done as well as the generation previously and that's a first for America.
  2. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    More like Israel is encouraging America to fight a proxy war for them against Iran. Bolton and Kushner are pushing for that. Iran is the last major enemy they have. I don't think they can pull it off though. 18 years in Afghanistan and about another 16 or so years we still have a presence in Iraq. Even Republicans are wary of another war and Iran is much, much harder than either of the aforementioned wars. It will be a clusterfuck. The Democratic party as a collective are incompetent at politics. Partially due to the establishment of the party closely aligned with Wall Street and big business, making them not much different than the Republicans. Trump is slated to win re-election...slightly. I think he can take Florida again but Wisconsin will be very difficult and I'd say that will go blue. Same with Michigan, Pennsylvania and even Ohio. Depends on who wins the primaries for the Dems. The economy is Trump's biggest barrier to re-election. Most economists and financiers are saying a full blown recession will come in the second half of 2020. If it happens before the election, he'll lose. If he wins and it happens, he'll spend a very tough last 4 years where the Senate will probably flip blue. And the House will become a possibly veto proof body for him. People aren't doing well. And to be balanced, they weren't doing well under Obama either despite the numbers both administration are putting out. The books have been cooked for some time. Its a matter of 'are you going to believe us or your lying bank balance'. A Federal Reserve report says 40% of Americans can't muster more than $400 for an emergency. The unemployment rate has been artificial for a couple decades. Those who can't find a job after 18 months aren't listed as unemployed. A large segment of the population are under employed and taking second jobs which makes the numbers look good. The plus for Trump is what a recent report said. His most loyal supporters value identity politics and what the symbolism of his presidency over their financial state. How long that will last we will have to see. There is a breaking point if there is a crash. Just like in 2008. The GOP as a collective lost races state, local and national because they were in charge. Eventually though, the country is headed towards a European style, Democratic Socialistic state. Why? The younger generation believes in it. Gen X, Gen Y, Milennials, in their minds, have not seen the value of the present capitalism model in America. For most of their lives they have seen the dot com crash in late 90s, 9/11, 2 long wars that they believe were based on lies, a 2008 crash, no meaningful jobs for their degrees, crippling student debt. Those of us older can say whatever, they are lazy, they are soft, whatever, but they have stopped listening and they are going to vote according to how they view the present system which in their minds is broken. Doesn't matter what you tell them. The young people I know are firmly socialistic. That's the future voters. Its a matter of when not if. As the baby boom generation dies off, the younger generation will become more active. I know several children of friends who are volunteering for Sanders and a few others. The writing is on the wall. We can say Democratic Socialism wont' work if that's your view, till your blue in the face. The younger generation are going to try it no matter what. It may not work but they country will definitely go that way.
  3. chocolat steve

    New HIV Strain In Oz

    STDs per se aren't my worry, its those pesky antibiotic resistant strains of it that has me keeping a healthy supply of condoms.
  4. chocolat steve

    New HIV Strain In Oz

    Maybe news to some. I didn't see an Oz thread also, anyway, this strain seems scary (not to say that any HIV isn't scary) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/07/health/htlv-1-virus-australia-explainer/index.html?no-st=1558285886
  5. His actions and character doesn't bother nearly as much as the question of whether or not he did something wrong with the leaks. Did he?
  6. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    'Empire' the tv show Smollett stars films in two locations. Los Angeles and guess where? Chicago. It's a very popular show and part of the various reasons he's getting off lightly I think is because of the money it generates for the city. The mayor may not want to admit it but I'm sure that fact also plays a part. What I am happy about it is it was not true. Of course I don't like the fact he was stupid enough to stage it, but had it been true, that would have been worse.
  7. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Trump blamed for Barbara Bush's death? Who is doing that? I'm curious because that's a new one but I don't listen to a lot of the mainstream news so I may have missed it.
  8. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    The DA in Chicago is one degree separation from a person who worked in Michelle Obama's staff. Michelle Obama has no connection whatsoever to the case herself. No one has even hinted at it. What we have in the Smollett dismissal is someone with a name asking for a favor from a DA. Is it right? Absolutely not. Is it unusual? Absolutely not. In fact I'd say its the norm. In LA where I lived for years, there is a reason why people like Robert Downey Jr wasn't in jail for 10 years as any regular citizen in LA after all the drug arrests. Los Angeles and NYC DA's do these types of things regularly. Chicago probably does for all manner of people. In fact, I'm positive. Smollett is a normal thing. The question is why Trump feels the need to literally make a federal case out of this one specifically and not the many others that occur routinely? Simple answer is Smollett used his MAGA hat and this is a personal vendetta for Trump. I get that. But like other Presidents and powerful people in office you roll with the punches and don't tie up government resources for personal retribution. Harvey Weinstein is no where near a jail. Why? Because he still maintained enough influence with friends and associates to keep him out of jail. Again, sadly ,the Smollett matter is the norm. But I try to be fair and arbitrary prosecution for him and not for any one else smells of something else. And Rahm Emmanuel has a bit of a hypocrisy problem when the previous DA who was a political ally helped keep a cop from being indicted when he was on camera shooting an unarmed man and Emmanuel was intimately involved in the process. This DA is a result of the blowback from that. She got in because previous one was a wee bit corrupt even by Chicago's history of low standards. The Smollett case involved a lot of wasted police man hours and such. In the big scope of things where DAs are letting off drug related crime, even murder, I'm not outraged by it. I suspect Smollett had the dual "benefit" of being friends with Democratically connected Blacks as well as the famous "gay mafia" of Hollywood. Both of those forces fighting for you, you can't lose.
  9. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    I misstated in my previous post. I DON"T like the guy one bit. Never have for a myriad of reasons. Regarding Smollett.
  10. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    Not excusing Smollett but its not like the first time someone made a false report and not got to jail for it. I like the guy one bit, even before this fiasco. But if I want to be fair, the vast majority of people do not go to jail over false reports. Every day in Chicago, disgruntled girlfriends make false reports on men and nothing happens. There are tons youtube videos of people who make false reports about "someone" in their neighborhood and nothing happens to the. . The only difference in this case it was someone with some notoriety and the police put in a lot of man hours because of his notoriety. As I said before, I don't think a 3rd party will happen unless there is some event that triggers a complete distrust of either party. The Reform Party that H. Ross Perot started had a chance but he was too mercurial. He wasn't the right person to head run it. I'd love to see the full Mueller Report but I don't think that will ever be released to the public. Democrats relied too much on it but it must also be said a Republican led the investigation about another Republican and Dems had nothing to do with the actual investigation. Dems just over relied on how important it would be. Still, there were significant indictments of people who would have wielded power within the administration like Kelly who was completely compromised. So, in that respect it wasn't a waste of time. I've never seen a Special Council ever find out its intended reason for existing was proven true. Nixon wasn't facing impeachment on obstruction which wasn't the Special Council's mission. Whitewater didn't prove its intention at all. Hillary wasn't proven at fault for Benghazi. The server was not what her Special Council was about. Colonel North's lying wasn't what the Iran Contra investigation was set up for. Just like any indictment from all Special Council's it was discovered as aside while investigating. As for 2016 Republican candidates, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, George Pataki Rick Santorum were among the candidates. Not to crap on Trump but how is he visibly better than the aforementioned? He came with infinitely more baggage than all of them...put together.
  11. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    The media has made AOC famous. All types of media. Plus, she is very popular with young people. She is followed by over a million on twitter as well. Genius isn'et what I have heard her described as. Honesty or at least the appearance of being an honest principled person is what I think her biggest supporters see. I really don't understand the backlash. Tons of new freshmen in Congress. She triggers people on both sides as I said. The people that like her think she can't be bought off which makes her likeable and what the Dems don't like and for the GOP is someone who may be a tough candidate to beat if she runs for a higher office such as senator or governor and someone who will call it as she sees it in committee. As far as Mueller and the aftermath of it all, definitely a big plus for Trump in terms of how it looks publicly. As I said, the Dems handled the whole thing like amateurs. As for a '30s like Depression, its the last thing anyone wants to see and maybe it won't come to that, but as far as underlying economic factors, things are looking very, very bad. Worse than at any point since the Great Depression and I am hearing this from some experts who voted for Trump like Peter Schiff. As well as other conservatives like former Reagan staff member David Stockman. Again, there are about 4 huge bubbles happening. The national debt broke a record for the highest rise in a month ever. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-22/u-s-posts-largest-monthly-budget-deficit-on-record-in-february these and other factors don't get discussed on national media because they need people optimistic and buying stocks and not taking their money out of the market in 401k's. The stock market hit a high for the year last week and I don't think we will see that again for the rest of the year and maybe a few years. This could be all wrong, but if its half as bad as some are saying, its going to change the country politically and perhaps socially.
  12. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    The Dems handled the whole thing amateurish. The full report hasn't been disclosed though. It was pretty much a given that there wasn't going to be direct evidence between Trump and the Russians months ago. Still, the investigation stopped a number of people like Kelly who would have been in very powerful positions like Chief of Staff, from being there and who were obviously compromised. A scary number of people were exposed to be doing criminal and/or very unethical behavior. Still, all said and done, Cav, you have a right to be "happy" if that term is right. To some I could see it being seen as a big 'nothing burger' but the investigation was problematic from the start. I don't think there is little doubt both parties have major issues. The Dems moral compass within the party is as bad as some developing countries. Such as an internal rule now to boycott any employee or company or organization if they 'primary' any of the establishment Democrats. Its as corrupt and anti Democratic as I've seen ever. Even the Republicans don't go that far. The GOP on a state and local level in many states are equally as unethical. On a national level, enough has been said already. Just my guess, but I think if the economy implodes, a viable 3rd party may emerge that blends key points from both parties.
  13. chocolat steve

    New Zealand Thread

    New Zealand is by definition a land of immigrants other than the aboriginal peoples. Just depends on when you came. The shooter was part of the community. I recall after 9/11 I felt as American as I ever did. In that tragedy, I recall vividly while driving in LA the next day, it was the most polite Los Angelenos were ever to each other. You felt a strong bond to everyone. For a brief time, black, white, latino, Jew, Christian, atheist, men, women, we were all one. The sad part is it took a tragedy to make us see that. Eventually the shock of it wore off and we went back to our corners and came out fighting. But for a brief time, there was unity. My parents said they experienced with the JFK assassination, the landing on the moon as well. New Zealand is experiencing that now. This type of thing, in the last place one would expect it bonds you like no other. I'm guessing no one is a stranger to another there now because everyone has the same point of reference of sadness and shock. It bonds and binds you. If you have children you think of the world they may have to live in. After 9/11 I felt sorry for my nephews if this was going to be their 'normal'. I have no doubt whatsoever, New Zealand will emerge better, stronger and more determined not to have something like this happen. As I said, the coolest people, bar none, I've come across. Quick story. I was sitting on a plane as we were boarding and a guy came over to my seat and started rubbing my shoulder. He was smiling. Of course I am thinking what the fuck is going on. Some gay dude making a public move on me. He looks over several seats up and this girl is smiling and giggling They were both in their early 20s. I was wearing a t shirt that said "rub me for good look' with a clover leaf over it. He said 'Just doing what the shirt said and my girlfriend is scared of flying' and I just laughed and laughed. They were from Auckland. That is one of many cool experiences I've had. We had a great time chatting on that flight and like almost all the other Kiwis I've had the pleasure of meeting face to face, it ended with an open invitation to visit anytime if I found myself in their part of NZ. There are other stories over the years with different ones and Coss epitomizes that same experience. Great heart and a fairness that comes across online naturally.
  14. chocolat steve

    Usa Thread

    This is what I think might be a very real scenario. I'm totally convinced there will be a very, very nasty economic downturn and calling it a downturn may be too kind of a description. I would not be surprised about a full blown depression on the order of the 1930s. We forget that we were a hair from it in 2008 and this time around there isn't just one bubble (back then it was subprime loans in the housing market). This time around we have that again but there are 3 or 4 other bubbles that are at least 1.5 trillion or more in exposure. So, this happens under a Republican president and that party gets booted out. Even the Trump supporters abandon ship just as some Republicans did with the party in 2008 right after the October crash. This will usher in far left, democratic socialism and that person may very well use the precedents that Trump has set with what many will deem executive branch overreach as a reason to mandate wide, whole scale changes to society and the economy. That president will have probably both houses of Congress. The supreme court may still be tilted right as they don't change with elections but any retirees or deaths will bring in a moderate or liberal to re-tilt the court left. That is the main thing that I think conservatives/Republicans need to mind with the current administration. There is a new lowering of standards, etc. I'm not saying it to critique Trump but just stating facts. When its your guy you overlook it. Just like how Dems overlooked what was deemed executive branch overreach from Obama's use of executive orders. I may sound alarmist but I think its a distinct possibility. FDR wouldn't have been able to do what he did were it not for a the Great Depression and I see the same scenario coming. Whether you agree or not, I see medicare for all as our version of national healthcare. Possibly some sort of VAT on all goods and services.Imminent domain to be used to take over properties for bullet trains between cities and states as well as to expand urban mass transit. I can see green energy being de facto law of the land going forward. Banks being heavily regulated. Maybe a basic income like what Yang is proposing of 1,000 dollars for every adult. Something Switzerland tried but was rejected by voters eventually. Lobbyist power and money reduced massively. Overall, basically, a European style economy. And I think the level of attack on Ocasio Cortez and to some extent Omar is that the Republicans as well as the Democrats see the future. I've never seen freshmen congresspersons get that much scrutiny ever. They are under a microscope for a reason and that reason is fear. That type of person will possibly be running the Congress in 4 to 8 years ushered in by an economic collapse where people lose faith in establishment politics from both sides.
  15. chocolat steve

    What Film (Movie) Have You Just Watched?

    Triple Frontier [2019] Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal as ex special forces who attempt to rob one of the world’s most violent cartels. I liked it. It's a story of greed and friendship and a backhanded slight against how the US military/government treats the soldiers who have done the heavy lifting in wars for our politicians.