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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/15/2012 in all areas

  1. No offense to you and this in fact may never apply to you, but when I was in college I was also very idealistic. As I've spent more time working and now owning my own business where I employ over 50 people I've become much less idealistic in my thoughts and beliefs. Life and reality have a way of changing how you see things. It would be unfair to you and, if you're like I was, fruitless for us to spend time debating the points I disagree with you on as you need to experience life on your own and draw your own conclusions. After you have been in the business world you may see things differently especially after you've had an opportunity to observe what I have. IMO the way the current government is structured there's no amount of money that can fix the problems they and past administrations have created.
  2. Patrick, the pattern for your posts: 1) You post something in which you ask questions but really you've already made up your mind. 2) People post and disagree with you. 3) You either shift the goalposts by claiming that you never said something (changing the rules) or belittle people without responding to their valid feedback. And no, lots of golfers don't feel their bodies doing certain things. In fact, you ask the vast majority where they stopped their last backswing and they'll invariably show you a position that's about 30% shorter than they actually stopped the club.
  3. Two reasons. One, because I injected a long rant about the healthcare argument as a point that debates on real policy issues are more about labels these days than facts. Two, because they're all related. The common denominator for any "worthy" public expenditure is whether the commodity is a public good or private good. Public goods are those which are provided centrally and consumed by all (none can be excluded). From a purely economic theory standpoint, they also have to be of a nature that consumption by one does not reduce the quantity of the good available. Politically, we treat things as public goods that do not meet this characteristic (education). (This argument is not about what is defined in economic theory as a pure public good. It's more about how does our social and political structure treat things as "public" or "private".) National (or global) defense is a pure public good, because the only successful implementation strategy is deterrence. Law enforcement is more localized, but still very much towards the public end of the spectrum, at least in any one discrete area. Energy and health care are viewed as private goods, but they have public good aspects. (Education has nearly identical attributes as energy and health care, but is treated as a public good.) One of the defining characteristics, as mentioned before, is that none can be excluded. Certain aspects of our society can not be denied health care: elderly, disabled, and very poor people all have specifically targeted programs. This is not due to the nature of the good itself: we could say "no one gets health care unless they can pay for it." We don't, however--our system says that if you are young and physically able, then you're on your own. Another attribute of health care that pushes it towards the "public" end of the spectrum is how we pay for it. The vast majority of people who receive treatment don't pay for it directly--the insurance company pays and spreads the cost out among it's risk pool (kinda similar to the way the Gov't pays for schools and teachers and spreads the cost among the tax base). Energy is the same way, kinda. Everyone agrees that the Gov't has a role in ensuring access to energy. If you disagree with this statement, then ask yourself what would happen if the country simply went black one day. Or why aircraft carriers park in the Persian Gulf and near the Strait of Hormuz. Or why generators and air conditioners are provided to the sick and elderly every summer in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Southern Cal, etc. Or why the corrupt energy trading practices of Enron and its affiliates were so clearly wrong and warranted swift government response. From another perspective, public goods are not optional: everyone needs them, and no one can survive without them. Energy and health care are both "public" in this regard. From an energy perspective, oil specifically is "mandatory" because there is no viable alternative. It's very hard to explain this argument and these principles in a short forum post. However, consider this one thing. If energy is truly a free market, then why does the government spend billions every year ensuring that the oil market continues to exist? Why not just let Iran close Hormuz, and tell the Saudi Kings and Princes to go f@(# themselves (and bomb the Wahabbi bastards into oblivion)? If energy is really a free market, then the free market should be able to figure out a solution and get us back on track, right? The answer is because the "mandatory" nature of oil gives it public good qualities that can't be ignored, and must be paid for, by the Government. Effectively managed, the gov't should be able to do both at least as well as the "market" can. (Note: I'll argue that from a Defense perspective, we don't do the best possible job at this. We spend a lot of money that has no impact on our "bottom line.") The "market" is exceptionally good at regulating price and consumption of optional goods; but, as I said, neither health care nor energy are "optional" for people who want to survive in the modern world. Thus, the government expends billions every year protecting the "market's" access to oil. Likewise, the government artificially (and ineffectively) tries to execute public health care programs through the "market." Basically, our government, and social/political systems, recognize the public good aspects of energy and health care. However, we are unable to actually treat them the way that you would normally treat a public good: centrally funded, scoped, planned, and managed. We approach them from a hybrid government/free market screwdangle that is inefficiently ineffective. Note to people who use words like "Socialist" and still think gas is too expensive: the surest and most efficient way to ensure (for the long term) low gas prices in the USA would be to nationalize the oil industry. The Gov't can control production and refining, and we could get all of our oil at home. The two factors that most directly affect prices at the pump are the market price of crude and refining capacity. If we allow the "market" to increase domestic production, then all that oil goes onto the global market which is, and will continue to be, driven way up by the demand spike from India/China (and market speculators). (Not to mention that most of the vast stores of unexploited American oil is only profitable--and therefore will only be drilled--at prices exceeding $80/bbl.) We have enough oil at home to satisfy our oil needs for 100 years, if we just kept it all here--but the market specifically impedes this. If domestic production costs (ie the increased cost of extracting shale) are above $50/bbl at the well head--the approx. price needed for $2/gal gasoline--then we can subsidize the cost by cutting CENTCOM's budget (which basically only exists to protect Middle East oil). Likewise, the market impedes increasing refining capacity. Basically, you're asking gasoline producers to expend billions upgrading and expanding refining capacity so that they can charge less for their products, all the while no one is sure how long gasoline will still be the energy of choice. The Government could overcome such impediments and uncertainties.
  4. Do you have a large retail golf store in your area (Golf Galaxy, PGA Tour Superstore, etc)? If so, I'd recommend a ball fitting. Typically, it's only 20 or 25 dollars. You'll hit 8-10 drivers in the fitting bay, with the computer measuring all the details (swing speed, ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, dispersion, etc). Based on your preferred balance of distance vs. control vs. short game spin, they'll give you a printout listing all the balls out there in order of which will give the best performance for desired characteristics.
  5. I know what you mean. Yesterday I played with a guy I know from work and this was the first time we've played this year. He plays a R11 and was normally 20 yards longer than me. Yesterday I was even with him all day and even out drove him on a couple of holes. My initial setup was closed (to match my G20) but after a few rounds I felt like I was still having too many mis-hits. Changed the ball position just slightly and changed the face to square and I really like the ball flight now.
  6. Aye ... but he's no Colin Montgomerie.
  7. Yeah ... bring back the stymie!
  8. It is definitely something you will get better at once you practice it. For the 3/4 swing i take a normal swing but try to feel like the top of my swing ends when my arm is parallel to the ground. I am really not sure if it goes a little farther back than that or not, but it works pretty well once you are used to it.
  9. gfd66, Your neighbor gave you good advice. It's very difficult to play good golf when the player doesn't know which club to pick. A few people I play with have this problem constantly. B-Con's advice is also very good. My piece of advice would be to play with the game you have that day. My game hasn't been very good these last couple years because I haven't put as much time into it as I should. Some days all of my shots want to cut, other days they want to draw. No matter what shot I'm hitting that day, I play that shot!! Don't try to fix stuff on the course if the shot you're hitting is at least reasonable. Whether the ball is cutting 5-10 yards or drawing 5-10 yards is irrelevant to me. I play with what I have that day. Another tip I have is to make a mental note of a shot after you hit it. How well did you hit it, what distance did you hit it, etc. Many times this will help me pick a club on a later hole. If I hit 9 iron from 140 on that last hole and came up short, I probably shouldn't hit 9 iron from 142 on this hole......or whatever it is.
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