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
Tuesday, February 12. 2013
Lots of gals like to play at bondage. So what?
NYT writer test drives an electric Tesla – ends up stranded
What's new in amusement rides
A discussion of the great President Coolidge
1 In 10 Doctor Practices Flee Medicare To Concierge Medicine
Law Schools in for a Shake Up
The drone wars cometh
7 Things Democrats Would Have Freaked Out About If Bush Had Done Them
The Costs and Consequences of Obamacare - With universal coverage comes widespread costs.
Texas Trumps Governor Moonbeam - Governor Perry goes on a recruiting tour in California.
Yep, Bill Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, and Janet Reno Were Directly Responsible for the 2008 Mortgage Meltdown
Just Say Yes to Gridlock - Playing half the government against the other half is the only thing keeping its power in check.
Say, where are those ObamaCare premium price cuts?
Obama leads Democrats out on a limb:
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The drone wars cometh
I look at it this way - they can shoot at me, but I can also shoot at them.
Obama's bright young smile cloaks archaic ideas
And what would you expect from somebody whose father was a old style Marxist economist who he admired?
Lots of gals like to play at bondage.
Where were all these adventurous women when I was young?
I am a Deputy Sheriff, and so have a different viewpoint about handcuffs than the author of Fifty Shades of Gray. Women, in my experience, DO NOT like being handcuffed. Men may fight you when you are cuffing them, but once they are cuffed, they generally settle down. Women, on the other hand, continue to fight. I carry two pair of cuffs on my duty belt, one pair with a chain connecting the cuffs, and the other pair are hinged, which give you greater control over your prisoner, but are quite uncomfortable to wear. I find I use the hinged ones of females more than the chained ones, just to get a better grip on her. I find it hard to believe that there are women who want to be cuffed,but the ones I am dealing with are generally intoxicated, and looking at a stay at the Hotel Graybar, which could change one's priorities. I will admit to having gone to a call where I was asked to unlock a set of cuffs that the couple had lost the keys to. Alas for them, the cuffs people buy for playtime don't appear to be S&W or Peerless. Lucky for them I have bolt cutters in the Tahoe.
LOL! Yeah - my youngest is a State Trooper and I once asked him about that very thing - women are the most difficult hands down. He's never had to pull his gun, but he has tased one or two because they became violent.
Well, if global warming continues, and we rid the planet of these frigid cold temperatures, then electric cars should work, right? Oh, wait, I forgot that frigid cold temperatures are a symptom of global warming...
Law Schools in for a Shake Up
a good legal secretary or good paralegal is worth three times the value of an inexperienced new lawyer, who has to learn the "how-to" of actual practice, typically at the expense of his or her employer. law schools should add a year of that rather than take away a year of theory and here's why: any reasonably intelligent high school graduate could learn black letter law by rote, that's what a bar review course teaches. the phrase "hide the ball" comes to mind when describing what law school professors do (or did, back when). this is because black letter law isn't a priority in the law schools. on the other hand, what is invaluable is that a good law school will teach its people how to think, how to analyze, how to approach a problem from multiple axes of attack.
The Libertarian Argument Against Open Immigration
... The key for me is to disassociate legal presence in this country from citizenship. It should certainly be possible to have multiple flavors of legal presence in this country. At level 1, anyone can legally be present, seek employment, buy property, and have access to certain services (e.g. emergency services). At level 2, history of working and paying payroll and income taxes gets more access to welfare-state sort of programs. Over time, this may or may not lead to full citizenship and voting rights, but there is no reason we can't still be careful with handing out full citizenship while being relatively free with allowing legal work and habitation. [emphasis mine]
no shi'ite, sherlock. the key for you should be to get a better grip on immigration law before blahgging about it.
legal presence does not necessarily lead to citizenship. one can be here legally as a non-immigrant student, or visitor, or investor, or worker, or refugee or asylum seeker, with or without permission to work, for various periods of time, with the right to import one's spawn or spouse. or one can be here as a legal permanent resident who may or may not seek citizenship and the increasingly irrelevant right to vote (but with greater rights to bring over dependents and relatives).
one doesn't need even need to be legally present to buy or lease property or be entitled to emergency care (not even die-hards would have illegal alien pregnant women giving birth in the street or dying of untreated plague).
and that "level two" is basically how legal permanent residents actually become citizens.
So has the NYT writer of the Tesla article ever operated battery-powered equipment outdoors in cold weather before?
Did it not occur to him that if he was parked overnight with a 120v/15A charging adapter in the trunk, and expected temperature of under 10F overnight, that charging the thing might be prudent?
And why in heaven's name was he running the car's electric heater when he knew he had a range problem?
I don't like the fact that I'm effectively paying subsidy for the thing to be manufactured by Valmet in Finland, and then again for the retail EV incentive, but virtually everyone who buys one of those things will be an "early adopter" who has one or two brain cells that can deal with technical issues, or they will be a "hypermiler" who will know about them already.
I can't decide whether the guy was sandbagging in order to harm the brand, or just stupid.
He's a NYT reporter. Therefore: Both. On the other hand, Tesla damages its brand all by itself, unless all you do is look at it.
Fisker Karma is built by Valmet in Finland, the Tesla cars are built in the USA. Both benefit from the tax credit for retail buyers.
Electric vehicles are improving and becoming marginally useful in mild climate areas that are densely settled and developed. Not so good in extreme climates and long rural stretches.
Anybody who has ever owned a battery powered golf cart would have been able to tell this moron (including the idiots at Tesla) that cold saps battery charge at twice the rate of heat.
Tesla will lose this argument too.
If it is going to replace the ICE (internal combustion engine) it should be able to operate under the same conditions. I lived in Alaska and most people plugged their car into a heater overnight. Many turned the heater on when they got up in the morning but many just left it plugged in. I choose to not use the heater and it worked fine. Diesel vehicles needed special treatment in the arctic but gasoline engines worked fine as long as you maintained them. 10F is cold but normal in Alaska -10 to -25 was common and even -40. Again the ICE vehical works fine under those conditions but the EV won't!? Why then would I want an EV?
As for running the heater I remeber the old Volksvagans in the winter. You dressed in warm clothing and gloves to drive them because the heater simply wouldn't warm the passenger compartment. Worse it wouldn't clear the windshield. You would constantly rub a little section in front of the driver to keep it clear. If it was really cold you had an ice scraper handy because it would actually ice up inside. You couldn't see out the back or side windows or anything not right in front of the little clear spot in front of the driver. But in heavens name why would a VW driver want a heater???
I keep telling people - diesel electric. Small light two stroke three cylinder diesel powering direct drive variable speed motors on all four wheels. Nothing other than a battery just like a gas engine. That is a very efficient system - diesel subs use it (although they have huge battery banks for submerged movement), freight trains use it (1 ton, 500 miles, one gallon of diesel), even some newer cruise ships are using it.
But does anybody listen to me?
The engineering appeal of electric propulsion is the torque curve. Go diesel-electric cars!
Just make them US low-particulate diesels, not Euro soot-spewing ones. I rather like the air in US cities now that I've escaped the big smoke.
Docs fleeing: Unintended consequences. Some people DO expect the Spanish Inquisition, and plan to avoid it. See Costs & Consequences.
I can say after a few years' experiences with concierge care that it does not guarantee the best care from the best docs.
Not a surprise, I suppose.
Another look-see on healthcare:
OT: HILLYER: Ninja bureaucrats on the loose
This is an older column but still quite relevant and worth the read.
"At least all of the following departments, quite bizarrely, feature armed agents: the National Park Service; the IRS; the Postal Inspection Service; the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Labor, and Veterans Affairs; the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service; and even the Small Business Administration and the Railroad Retirement Board."
I forgot to add:
Does anyone know if Congress authorized the arming of all these agencies or did it just happen?
authorized under whatever law congress passed to create them.
Thanks for the reply wirraway.
So my question is:
Did Congress specifically give their blessing to the arming of these agencies when they were created or is the wording so vague that agency chiefs can create private armies under cover of 'enforcement' or 'compliance' clauses?
this isn't a complete answer, as the day is short and there are dangerous felons who must be set free, but the EPA has an enforcement division given full LEO status by congress in 1988.
since it enforces environmental criminal statutes, its enforcement division is armed. apparently, there are fugitives from justice who are considered armed and dangerous.
I'd assume other federal administrative bodies have been given specific authority like this.
for National Park Service agents, its at 16 U.S.C. 1a-6(b), and 41 Fed. Reg. 44876 (1976) (I don't have the CFR cite handy)
the easiest way to find the source is to google the agency and "LEO" or "law enforcement", one of the powers will be to carry.
Doug Ross: Yep, Bill Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, and Janet Reno Were Directly Responsible for the 2008 Mortgage Meltdown
Paul Sperry: A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the nation's pre-eminent economic research group, states that the CRA "clearly" had a major impact on the flood of subprime loans made in the late 1990s and 2000s, which directly led to the housing crisis.
That rather mangles reporting of the study. The study found that CRA did increase the incidence of risky loans, however, CRA loans constituted only a small fraction of subprime loans. In addition, the increased risk was due to unobservables, so it wasn't due to relaxed lending standards.
Agarwal et al., Did the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Lead to Risky Lending?, National Bureau of Economic Research 2012.
Agarwal et al: we find that the reduction in loan standards associated with elevated lending around CRA exams is based primarily on unobservable characteristics. In other words, there is no meaningful change in the observable characteristics of loans made by treatment group banks relative to the control group banks around the CRA exam. This, again, is to be expected under our interpretation of the results, since banks have an incentive to convince regulators that loans extended to meet CRA criteria are not overly risky. This would be consistent with the CRA mandate of “encouraging financial institutions to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered, consistent with safe and sound operation” (CRA 1977, Section 802).
You could argue that this is a typical unintended consequence of the regulation, as bankers try to comply with conflicting demands of the legislation. But you can't make this sort of argument with facile interpretations of the result meant only to support a preconceived conclusion.
More specifically, Sperry said "the CRA 'clearly' had a major impact on the flood of subprime loans made in the late 1990s and 2000s, which led directly to the housing crisis." When reading within the echo-chamber, always watch out for ellipses or single-word quotes. Be skeptical. The word "clearly" is used only once in the study:
Agarwal et al: By tracing out banks’ responses to CRA evaluations in terms of both the quality and the quantity of mortgages originated, we show clearly that the CRA did lead to riskier lending.
That is not what Sperry says they concluded. They are not the same claims at all. And as we know from other studies that CRA loans only constituted a small fraction of subprime loans, that would apparently contradict Sperry's reworded claim.
Sadly, Gov. Perry is making a grave mistake inviting Californians to Texas. He doesn't seem to realize how they vote and how they fouled their own nest and that they are unlikely to take on good Texas traits just by relocating.