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.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, August 28. 2011
Pic above via Drudge, Saturday night. Cabs are running but all public transportation is closed. The BD pupette was evacuated from her Chelsea apartment, worked all day Saturday (as usual), then joined a bunch of friends in Brooklyn Heights for a Hurricane Party and sleepover. That's the third Hurricane Party I have heard about.
ESPN Buttkissers Scold Paul Azinger for Goofing on Obama
The slow disappearance of the American working man
Steve Jobs: The Henry Ford of Our Time
In Malibu, even mobile homes command premium prices
Why fewer malarial mosquitoes in Africa? Climate change!
Tough to be bullish on Wall Street if you’re bearish on Washington
Repubs want to starve children
Gore Wants You to Eat Less Meat
Obama offers 2012 election supporters change they can believe in — next term
Michael Lewis, brilliant as usual
Businesses plan health cuts because of Obamacare
That was the whole point
Times Watch Quotes of Note: 'Deep Cuts in Social Services' by Conservatives Led to London Riots
McArdle on Who was worse off after welfare reform?
Tracked: Aug 28, 09:01
Tracked: Aug 28, 09:55
Tracked: Aug 29, 07:20
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Starving children: "This is not how a rational society operates" says Mr. Blow.
Really - we kill our own young (and despite opinions to the contrary a fetus is a developing human being - it can't be anything else) and that is "rational". Rather than taking proper precautions to avoid pregnancy, it is much better to kill developing children.
That's now a "rational society" should operate.
Moron. Admittedly teen pregnancy is a problem and child neglect can also be a problem. But which is better, preventing the unborn from being conceived or killing it after the fact?
I would say prevention is worth a pound of cure.
In response to a comment at the article about having the welfare recipients work at least a little bit for their money:
Exactly! However, encourage private employers to take on people willing to work at their ability level, whether bagging groceries or working on a construction crew. This way they get exposure to what the workplace is like, and what the expectations are. They can decide where they want to work, but the decision to accept and level of work expected is up to the employer. The employer verifies their hours put in and acceptable level of service rendered. Maybe one of the recipients could find something to their liking, and put in the effort to get things leading to permanent employment! And after all, what the hell would they learn working at government make-work jobs that would be useful?
Some would complain that this is giving the private sector freebies at the expense of the government, but where does the government get its money in the first place? Also, working-age children in these households should be given a minimal amount of work to do as well...I had a part time job in high school, as did most people. Give them an incentive to stay in school as well, say by funding an account towards post-high school education at a trade school or community college. Each year they complete towards graduation, more money put in. Drop out? No money. Graduate, but won't attend college? Get half.
"Steve Jobs: The Henry Ford of Our Time"
BWAH-HAH! Ah, one can always count on Maggie's Farm to provide warmth, merriment, and a general cause for laughter.
"...the Mac retained a wide and fiercely loyal following. That’s hardly surprising seeing as the Mac’s operating system remains far superior in terms of stability and ease of use."
I click once on my mouse's scroll wheel (which acts as a double-click) and the wealth of the Web pops up. I click once and my 6 email accounts pop up. I click once to open a new email, scribble down some words, then click once to send it. I click once to open Photoshop, I crop the picture, then click once to save it. And with a 3.2 GHz processor, everything is blindingly fast.
So wouldn't you just love to know how a "far superior" operating system would handle these issues? The only answer that springs to mind is "zero clicks", using mental telepathy to control things.
And as far as that "wide following" goes:
"...has raised the Mac from a niche product to a major player in the personal computing market."
Market share currently held by Apple computers?
5.3% held by Linux, 1% for 'Mobile", and all the rest Windows. Actually, that 7.8% is doing pretty well. The next site I checked only gave it 5%, dated July 2011.
Actually, it's too bad the author turned out to be such a lying scum-dog fanboy, because otherwise it was a pretty good article and the comparison to Henry Ford was justified. I've seen other articles that compared him to Thomas Edison, though, which might be a bit of a stretch. Over the past 20 years, I've had lots and lots of use for light bulbs, but not once have I felt the slightest urge to buy anything from Apple.
Favorite line from the article:
"It’s an address book, a date book, a camera (both still and moving)"
I love the idea of calling video "moving pictures". Hey, maybe that comparison to Thomas Edison wasn't so far off after all!
This is what blogger Whiskey had to say about Jobs. He agrees about the ease of use of Apple products.
"Jobs, besides his design vision (less than appreciated, witness his famous "you're holding it wrong" video about the Iphone antenna screwup) understood what made Apple different. Which was software and hardware integration. Far more than rival products, Apple products "just worked." So they could charge a premium over rivals for making a system that ordinary people could use, mostly, without lots of help and hand-holding. Oh yes, there was the yuppie, SWPL-snob appeal, the trendiness, the design mastery, and the hype. But simply making things work was the core of Apple's success. There were other MP3 music players, and other smartphones before Apple. But none that made using either device so easy.
Apple has margins of around 35%, astonishing for a computer company (the industry average is about 4-8% or so)'
The column then goes on about China's disregard of property rights and the ease at which unauthorized products can hit the market.
Pffhht...Apple users are cultists. And he's clearly a cultist.
You can't argue with cultists.
In my long life, I've used more varieties of computers than there are grains of sand on a beach, from ones that you had to "program" by wiring boards to one-of-a-kind Cray supercomputers. And of all the computers that make actual sense to me--are actually LOGICAL--it is my Macintosh. Now I'm sure you, Dr. M., can bring up 6 email accounts on your PC in the time and with the effort I need to bring up just one email account on my Mac Pro, but that's just a lot of crap you're bragging about. Personally, I don't NEED six email accounts; I do have 3 or 4, but it's no big whoop, and frankly email is just one small task that I use a computer for. So, on the day that you can run a UNIX program on your PC and do some actual effin work, post a notice here and then I'll slap you on the back, with a hearty "Well done." In the meantime, grow up. A computer is just a tool. Use the tool that fits the job. My job requires UNIX. Your job---bloviating perhaps?---requires something else, obviously a PC. Bully for you.
Gee... I have a PC and I only need to click once to do those things. Have you never used a PC???
As for more stable platform you are correct. 99% of all hacking and viruses are aimed at the worlds largest operating system; Windows. If Windows had 5% of the market and Mac had 95% of the market then 99% of the hacking and viruses would be aimed it it and then Windows would be the more stable platform. In fact you have no clue if Macs OS is vulnerable or not since no one (or very few) people hack it.
It is a simple fact of life that the very things that make an operating system useful and versatile also make it vulnerable. Yes there are the occassional goofs that the system programmers make that leave openings for hacks but most of the problems come from the normal and necessary parts of the code that allow you to do the things you bought the computer to do. It may well be impossible to make a computer safe on the internet.
You'll get my iMac when I have the money to buy a new one.
"In Malibu, even mobile homes command premium prices"
Jim Rockford must have made a killing when he sold his trailer.
Storm Update from a Maggie's regular:
Our electric went out at 8am Sunday - the rest of town lost it around 1am. We were lucky, it kept our sump pump going all night, so by the time we lost electric, we could bail. Plus, the rain had stopped, so bailing only lasted 5-6 hours, and eventually the water table stopped rising.
We did have a leak in the roof, but we need a new roof. Now we REALLY need one! Still, not a horrible problem, the damage from that was minimal.
The electric is still out now - 34 hours on. Most of town has it back, but our substation is in a nearby town that is underwater.
When you talk about inconvenience, I have to say my problems are minimal. 1st world problems, and not horrible ones. The town where the substation is? I visited it today. A river down the main street, local ponds and streams merged into one big lake/running river. Collapsed homes. Flooded homes. Lots of canoes floating around, without anyone in them. Lots of cars underwater. No electricity at all in the homes that are untouched.
Unlikely to have any electricity for a few days....but a neighbor who got their electric back on gave us their generator. Loud, but at least our fridge and computers are working. I can't go to work since the trains are out.
Even by local standards, I'm well off. Neighbors have trees down in the yards. One into their house. Trees are down, blocking roads, not to be cut until the crews get to the trees on the downed power lines, of which there are too many to count even today (Monday).
I'm not going to complain. I know I got off easy. The next town over still has 3 feet of water running down its main street. My problems compared to theirs, are meaningless. Compared to New Orleans 5 years ago, they are insignificant.
But all said, I do have one question to ask: Where's FEMA? LOL. I say this tongue in cheek, of course. But the reality is - where are they? New Orleans was a post-disaster disaster. We can agree on this. Sure, it COULD have been avoided if Mayor Nagin had done something. Here, the nearby town had mandatory evacuations in the flood areas. The people left. They had no choice....they'd seen previous floods and knew they couldn't stay.
New Orleans was horrible in many ways. But in terms of disasters, the post hurricane disaster was avoidable. I am seeing this today - in the nearby town. Many people COULD have been killed, or in bad shape, today. But they weren't. I don't see film crews crying out "where is FEMA?" when they could.
I guess this is the issue with first world problems....it's all relative to your income level. While many of those who lost their homes were "wealthy" (not really - but in terms of those left in New Orleans, they are), they had the good sense to leave before the storm hit. And the good sense to prepare adequately. New Orleans had far more warning - Discovery AND the Weather Channel had run multiple documentaries on what could happen if a storm smaller than Katrina hit. Then they had at least 5 days to prepare on top of those previous warnings!
The next town over? No documentaries, but they have lived this kind of thing over and over again. And they, too, have an Army Corps disaster, because their dikes, levees, and dams were all designed by the ACofE. Yet in my 18 years in this area, the town has flooded 5 times, this being the worst, by far.
You can't stop some things. Like hurricanes. But you can stop some things - like blaming people and politicians for things that aren't their fault.
Apparently, Al Bore wants us to eat less meat. You first, Al Why don't you eat less, period? You've gotten decidedly pudgy.