We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Thursday, August 4. 2011
Thursday morning links
A mountain of Cape Cod steamer clams with garlic bread and a couple of beers will be my supper tonite. Any dessert would ruin the experience by erasing that clammy goodness. I always have a cup or two of the broth. Sometimes I eat the necks, sometimes I don't.
Urbanist: New World Economics on the New New Suburbanism
The only known copy of the earliest film made by Alfred Hitchcock has turned up in New Zealand.
Exactly how am I my brother's keeper?
States Start Realizing that the Obama EPA is Threatening Their Economies
JP Morgan: Recession 2012
Weekly Std: Unhealthy Debt - Real health care reform is the only way out of our budget woes. Graph below from that article:
Via the NYT:
"More than anything else, it was Western decadence that brought down the Soviet Union."
Eric Cantor: Obama 'in over his head'
Suddenly, everybody is saying this, as in below:
GOP & Dem Leaders Both Asked President Wonderful to Leave Room… At White House Meeting
Obama: Yaaaay. They raised our credit limit again.
George Will: Republicans have their 2012 theme: “Is this the best we can do?”
IBD: Heading For A Double-Dip Recession?
I hope not, but it feels like it. In fact, feels like the last one never really ended.
Driscoll: ‘Totalitarian Movements Use Democratic Institutions to Destroy Democracy’
The United States has a jobs problem and there's not a lot President Barack Obama or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke can do about it.
They did the wrong things, and there's no turning back now. We'll have to wait until January 2013. That's a long wait.
Tea Partiers: Terrorists? Or mentally ill?
Posted by Bird Dog in Hot News & Misc. Short Subjects at 07:02 | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)
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"Tea Partiers: Terrorists? Or mentally ill?"
Mentally challenged, BD. Show a little respect, willl ya? Terrorists have feelings, too.
Re: the 'Western decadence' article, who knew that it was jazz, then rock 'n' roll that brought down the mighty Soviet Union? I agree with the commenter who started his comment off with "Hogwash." A classic example of what the shrinks call 'reaching'.
And an odd lapse from someone who's usually a pretty fair hand at wordsmithing:
"He did a huge Keynesian gamble"
He 'did' a gamble?
We're down on the Gulf Coast this week. The oysters from Apalachicola Bay are wonderful. I squeeze a little lemon over them and just slurp them off the shells. I can't abide with the cocktail sauce, horseradish, hot sauces, crackers, etc. that other people use to disguise the taste of the oysters. Seems to me to be a total waste of good seafood.
The cold beer though, is a necessary accompaniment
I read the article about keeping one's brother. I especially liked the line about "... helping someone across the street even if he doesn't want to go."
It's so easy to cross from being a help and a comfort to being a nanny and a boss. Assisting someone with a heavy package is keeping one's brother; seatbelt laws are pretty interfering. Most stuff will come somewhere between.
I haven't heard much about "cult rescue" operations lately. They were the rage in the 1970s but I always thought they were more like kidnapping.
The New World Economics article has some things to recommend it. As a person who moved into a new home (roughly the same size as the previous home, but better layout and better community) only to have 2 McMansions show up behind my property within 2 years (both of which went for a fraction of the original asking prices of over $2mm), I agree that we've overdone alot of things. I see plenty of streets that are too big, plenty of homes that are too big.
But I disagree on alot of things, too. The streets of Europe, having lived there, are nice, but some are too small. Far too small. Getting out of Ghent last February took 1/2 an hour because of all the one way turns I had to keep making, the slow progress due to letting other cars pass, etc. Once I even got dirty looks for unknowingly driving down a pedestrian street (sorry - it wasn't well marked). The one thing I loved about Ghent was the trolly system. It's a shame we've allowed our city trollies to be eliminated. I grew up in Philadelphia and road the trolly to and from the city as a CHILD. By myself.
But I also oppose any "growth" or "investment" in railroads. Improving EXISTING rail lines (or reinstating light rail/trollies), sure. I'd love to have my current rail into NYC electrified so I wouldn't have to change trains. But that means building a new tunnel, and the cost of this was FAR too expensive (even though Obama tried to ram it down Christie's throat, he recognized the cost overruns would double the price that Obama's goons said it would cost).
My wife and I have been commenting on the Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews promotions on MSNBC (we watch "Morning Joe" and enjoy it immensely). Not only are these ads for Obama, and I think the FCC should fine MSNBC for that, but they are seriously misguided. Maddow, in particular, spends time talking about "the big projects our predecessors took on to leave for us to benefity from". Indeed - she is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. HOWEVER, she is seriously deluded, too.
Those "big projects" lacked some key things that Rachel would scream bloody murder over, if done today. No health insurance for the workers, few workers earned union wages. No OSHA. 112 workers died preparing the site, then building the Hoover Dam. 12 died on the Golden Gate. Today, these numbers would be unacceptable - and the payouts would have to be astronomical.
There was no EPA. IN FACT, if the EPA existed when the Hoover Dam was built, it wouldn't have been built because of the disruption to the ecology and water flow. Today, water south of the dam is cold, whereas it was much warmer prior to the dam's existence, and it causes the Colorado River to peter out long before reaching the Gulf of California. Sure, the benefits are many, but getting approval to build would be horrendous, the building would be unaffordable, and the claims for errors and losses would be astronomical.
Liberals like Maddow want all the benefits of the Hoover Dam with none of the risks or costs. And you can't do it that way - it doesn't work. She is, unfortunately, a misguided do-gooder with little real world experience.
I don't look at the Urbanist article as if they were misguided liberals writing it, but certainly some aspects of it are touching on topics which fall in that range. I found it intriguing that it mentioned Levittown (where my wife is from), and how one of their biggest problems have always been the limited tax base due to no commercial land, but lots of public areas (pools, schools, etc.) that need taxes for support. Levittown has a multitude of issues, but the original concept has done much for housing - because we learn from our mistakes (usually). Levittown's original "gripe" was "all the houses look the same". Today, anyone visiting it would wonder what the people of that era were complaining about - each house now has its own personality. A region originally lacking in trees and other fauna is now well populated with lots of trees and gardens. Sure, the tax issues still exist, but my wife's old friends still live there and love it.
"I road the trolly".....should be "I RODE the trolly". Maybe even Trolley - depending on who spells it. The "e" is more common today, when I was younger, it was not.
Was sent this article yesterday, and thought people here might enjoy it:
I've always wondered "just how much information should we share with our kids?"
I tend to be pretty open and honest. I think kids are smarter than we know, and I try to give them context.
Regarding the health spending issue, I have a few points.
First, the most expensive elements of healthcare are long-term care, catastrophic care and end-of-life care. These areas often overlap. A person has heart disease at 55, a heart attack and bypass surgery at 67, heart failure from then forward, cancer at 76, and dies at 80. She had catastrophic care at 55 and 67, long-term care in various degrees from 67 on, and may have had catastrophic care again at 76, ending with either hospice (relatively low-cost) or continued aggressive treatment to the end.
In 1887 or even 1967, this story probably ended with the heart attack at age 67. By 1977, it could have run its full course. Medical advances that return many people to good life conditions keep other people alive, diminished but glad to be alive, and others simply linger. I don't know who will be who and neither do physicians most of the time. So we intervene for nearly everyone.
The advances that make intervention possible are all expensive. They do not profit by economies of scale very much, at least not so far, and the only way they can profit by economy of scale is to make them assembly-line work. That's been successful and profitable for laser eye surgery but not for oncology or cardiology.
There's the dilemma: these costs are going to be paid, or people will be left to die and perhaps to suffer. I don't have the answer to this dilemma which is born of our compassion over the last century and our marvelous science. The dilemma is here and it's growing.
great post geoff. you talk about this stuff, you are on the third rail, but that doesn't mean there's no commentary, the circumstances, the surroundings, circa 2011. some stuff there's no answers for -- have found it emotionally profitable to begin the conversation with: "we're lucky to have these problems". cheers.
I moved into a housing development in '80. Don't know when it was built, but it took me a while to notice that there were only 3 house designs used, plus their mirror images. All the subsequent plantings of bushes and trees and flowers disguised them.
Re: Obama, Bernanke out of ammo to boost jobs, growth
I hope they think so. Their gun has been pointing the wrong direction for a long time. It's hard to hit the target down range when you're pointing the gun at your foot!
From reading the NYT, I guess I totally support jihad now: can we please behead the infidels? Please?
Krauthammer is delusional. The Zero's 'Keynesian gambit' has succeeded: the goal was never to help the economy; it was to reward his friends and bankrupt his enemies.