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
Saturday, September 7. 2013
Philo T. Farnsworth developed a vast wasteland on this day in 1927.
Leftist media hates censorship, unless it's their censorship. Media Matters seeks to quiet Joe Kernan and have CNBC spend more time discussing the perils of AGW. If CNBC could just get some viewers, what they say might be worth censoring. 42,000 signatures is important, because, you know, it's a consensus.
I do loves me a Big Mac every once in a while, but how will raising the minimum wage affect Mickey D's? I will not pay $17 for a Big Mac (I paid only $5.50 a week ago). A $15.00 minimum wage will only make it more difficult for the poor to feed themselves.
The problem with anyone feeding themselves is that everything they eat will kill them. When I read articles claiming "Collard Greens May Cause 85% of all Colds!", or articles about things that cause cancer (or almost any disease) my inner skeptic is aroused. For example, recent studies linking meat to Alzheimer's. Note the key word in this, and virtually every other title of this nature. Could. One of my favorite sites utilizes an acronym, MMC, for these articles. May, Might, Could. In fact, the article on red meat even points out:
Correlation does not imply causation. If we study football statistics, we can see that teams which take a knee win an overwhelming amount of the games. A new headline: "Studies Show Quarterbacks That Genuflect Win 90% of Games". A new strategy I hope the New York Giants adopt because, after all, science proves it works.
In this case, however, the word "May" carries an entirely different meaning. You take your Molly, or any hard drug, you take your chances.
Apparently, the bar scene isn't even all that safe these days. Guess you take your chances anywhere.
Even the dead don't get much peace. I grew up near Jim Thorpe, this is about the most excitement they've had, well, ever.
Moving a body is contentious, and so is patent and copyright law lately. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. Jeffrey Tucker's view is a Libertarian stance, which someone once explained to me this way: "If I light a match, then someone else lights another match from mine, and this fire is passed from person to person, who owns the fire and why should we limit ownership rights?" Too simplistic for my taste and there is a role for patents and copyrights, but perhaps in the modern media economy the length or application of them should be reconsidered. After all, can we honestly say the one-click shopping Jeff Bezos patented is deserving of one?
Tucker made the following comment, which is informative:
Speaking of mass thievery, or at least some form of it, several people asked about Bitcoin the other day. Here's a primer, and another. I'm no expert on the concept of crypto-currency, but I know a good idea when I see one, and this is one which has got the digerati very excited. Bitcoin, oddly enough, could serve as a new reserve currency, which is one reason why the US government is concerned by its growth and use. The US has benefited from being a reserve currency for years, and it's one reason the growth of our money supply has not yet led to rampant inflation.
One place where there has been rampant inflation is in Peyton Manning's performance on the football field. Against a defense that was supposed to be very good, Peyton threw 7 TDs, a feat performed by only 5 people before, and not since 1969. It's one game, but what a game it was. Sadly, it was a precursor to this heart-rending annual event.
Speaking of aerial attacks, it's interesting that Obama won election in 2008 on an anti-war platform. But it's 'just politics' that part of his platform in 2012 was anti-war-with-Syria.
He also won with a jobs-creation platform. Sure, jobs have been created. But not as many as are actually being originally reported due to downward revisions and people dropping out of the workforce. Or maybe that's not the real cause of our unemployment woes. Perhaps the decline of working actors could have been limited with these.
To make matters worse, Obamacare is causing jobs to be reduced to less than 29 hours per week, and his administration is lying about the impact.
Few of the unemployed and part-time worksers are likely to buy this. Too expensive. It's odd, too, as far as I'm concerned. Tablets and smartphones? Yeah, sure. Glasses and watches? I guess there's a niche for this stuff. The people I see wearing Google Glasses just look like they're trying to be digital hipsters.
Finally, because I promised Doc lots of pictures of fluffy puppies...have a great weekend!
Tracked: Sep 08, 10:00
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Will admit to being impressed with Dick Tracy's watch but at that price ($299) and the required contract, would rather buy a wood stove.
Censuring/censoring CNBC, hope they get full refunds of their subscriptions.
The living wage folks are always amusing when they pull out the number of employees who get SNAP, medicaid, etc. Its almost as if they saying public assistance single payer health insurance is bad.
Hmm for S&G maybe some one smarter can calculate how much taxes could be reduced by fewer on the medicaid, SNAP rolls.
The federal government spends about $1.2 trillion on all welfare. The 50 states together spend about the same amount. If we could end welfare not only would we save about $2.4 trillion a year but the increased productivity of 50 million bums actually contributing something to the country would be amazing.
Someone sent me this overnight, figure I may as well toss it in:
Hollywood idiots give me agida.
Love the link! I wonder if those idiots can even now see their error.
Well, 2 of them have spoken out--Asner and Farrell--
Science cannot be done faithfully and respectfully under conditions which allow for dissent. Of course, skeptics of N-Rays, cold fusion, and AGW should be silenced.
I don't know about 'silenced', with regard to N-Rays. They have been fairly well debunked. If you want to believe, that's a personal decision.
The others are less a disproved theory and merely outside consensus. Specific claims of cold fusion have been disproved, though I believe the window remains slightly open to the broader idea. Of course, cold fusion will rarely, if ever, get peer review when claims are made.
Either way, silencing believers is never a good idea.
I was a physics major in college, and don't recall ever hearing of N-Rays.
Funny you mention Jim Thorpe, will be riding bicycle there today and tomorrow on the rails to trails that runs along the Lehigh river and is now complete to Mountaintop! I think about 145 miles connected so far....
It is a shame that his heirs continually try to move his remains. It makes for an interesting story, although Mauch Chunk is a very interesting name also.
I haven't ridden a bike up there in, ohhh....20 years or so, but it is beautiful.
Rails to trails? Is this a particular bike path? The ride sounds great. I'd love to try it, what kind of chunks do you do it in? 10/20/30 or more? I want to do a century, and missed an opportunity this past summer on a ride to Montauk.
I've done 40, but that's my longest so far. I'll be doing 30 on the Jersey Shore at the end of the month. I know I can go further, I haven't even been remotely winded when I do shorter blasts of 15 miles in an hour.
There is an actual rails to trails from Philadelphia to almost Wilkes Barre. I think it goes south from Philly into New Jersey. Mostly cinder, but some paved, along the Lehigh during water releases there could be upwards of 100+ rafts on the river, many kayakers, and another thousand cyclists. Seems like a lot, and if solitude is what you are looking for autumn weekends are not prime, but not so crowded that it becomes a pain in the butt.
Man says tearful farewell to family as NFL season begins? I lost my wife to both NASCAR and NFL years ago. It's pure hell for the monthlong period the Superbowl and the opening race because I actually have her back.
Peyton Manning reminds me of a guy I met once a long time ago. He was over qualified - PH.D, MD, J.D.. He was an expert in almost everything there as to be expert in. Huge intellect, genius level IQ - the works.
Other than being one of the smartest humans on the planet and being qualified up the wazoo, he never accomplished anything of note - nothing. No notable research, no notable discoveries, no law suits of merit - zio.
Manning reminds me of him in the sense that Manning owns this record, that record and every other record, but has only one Superbowl to his credit - his brother Eli, certainly not the same caliber as Peyton, has more Superbowl wins than Peyton. Peyton, much like that fellow I knew, just can't make it over the hump to that final bit to make him the greatest of all time.
Which, arguably, he wouldn't be anyway. Tom Brady is probably the best overall quarterback of all time followed closely by...wait for it, wait for it.....
I agree about Peyton.
Can't say I really agree about Tom or Eli.
Football Outsiders is my source of information about most of this stuff. They don't spend much time discussing 'greatness' of various QBs. However, stats-wise and success-wise, Brady does top many others.
Where I differ is that, as Matt Cassel showed, practically anyone can step into that system and be successful and put up excellent numbers. His performance in KC pretty much shows how Brady benefits. This isn't to say Brady sucks as much as Cassel, he's excellent. But it does point to why Peyton is less successful - football is a team sport, and Petyon's teammates have not always been there for him in the playoffs. He is the king of one and done, but mainly because he winds up having to make up ground at the end and taking chances he shouldn't ordinarily have to. Yes, his INT stats tend to bulk up in the playoffs, but that's the result of poor defense forcing him to get back in the game.
Which brings me to Eli. I must have been nuts to ask my wife to marry me, because I married into a New York Giants family. Luckily, I've managed to get my boys to root for Philadelphia with me, a never-ending source of pain for my father-in-law and wife. But the 2 Super Bowls since I've been married are a never-ending source of pain for me.
Anyway, Eli is a very good QB, and I've always felt that. Even when, here in NYC, supposed 'fans' were trashing him. Which was pretty standard the first 5 years he was in the saddle. It was not uncommon to hear people call him a failure. I used to get in arguments defending a NY GIANT QB! From his own fans!
Which is why the current trend in NYC to call Eli 'great' makes me even more confused about how poorly informed NY Giant fans are. My wife loves to say "woo-hoo, 2 Super Bowl MVP trophies". Yeah, sure, Jim Plunkett has one, too...and?
Point is, in neither Super Bowl did Eli deserve the MVP trophy. Perhaps the best case could have been the last one, but even there, it wasn't his 'skill' that led to victory, it was the others around him. Mario Manningham's acrobatic catch to keep the winning drive alive (a catch he had a long history of dropping) was THE singular moment and Mario had a very good game, making him a candidate for MVP (although Hakeem Nicks was the best choice).
In the first Super Bowl, Eli LOST the game with a final sack! Uh, wait, nevermind, Mike Seubert his offensive lineman stepped up and freed him at the last second, allowing a dying duck pass that was a head too high and should have gone incomplete....only to be acrobatically caught (there's a theme here) by David Tyree! On his HELMET! With one hand!
The final TD, a fade route to the corner to Plaxico Burress, was a standard play that New England comically failed to defend very well. If they didn't see it coming, I can only guess they haven't studied the Giants (I get to see them every weekend, so I guess that's unfair because I'm more familiar with them).
Eli is a very good QB. But there are about 40 other QBs in history, and at least 7 others today, that I'd put ahead of him in terms of talent.
In terms of success, I willingly give that to you, but I will once more point out the idea that football is a team sport. The QB is important. But, you don't NEED a good QB to be successful.
Jim Plunkett (twice)
All Super Bowl winners. Dilfer and Johnson were barely good enough to hang around as journeymen, but both latched on to good teams with great mojo.
In terms of pure passers, was there ever anyone better than Dan Marino, who has fewer SuperBowl rings than Peyton? I have to admit, this is Denver's year and Tom Brady's search for his elusive 4th victory, which would put him in the elite company of Montana and Bradshaw, will come up empty owing to Bill Belichick's fatal mistakes over Hernandez and Welker.
re patents and copyrights
Here is what I don't understand:
Patents, which I would argue generally benefit the economy and the individual are normally limited to 17 years. The thinking being that after that point there should be competition created for the product created by the patent.
Copyrights OTOH can be extended virtually in perpetuity.
Why should the inventor of the telephone only have exclusive rights to produce it for only 17 years while the maker of, say, Gone With the Wind, be allowed to own it and produce copies forever?
I guess it all depends on who has the most influence with Government.
It strikes me as very unfair. Some intellectual property can be owned for all time and some can't. Our ruling masters get to decide.
But I'd also say 17 years is too long for patents, too.
In the modern economy, most patents are either obsolete in 3-5 years, or the competition has found another way to do the same thing and patented that solution, or the competition has bought up other related patents and begun suing anyone and everyone.
It's a drag on the system, mostly.
But patents are important, that's where I differ with Tucker. If you patent a great idea, say cold fusion, and you want to make money with it, you can. You may get bought out, or you may start a business, but you can profit. Without patents, you lose right off the bat as the big energy companies move in on your product and push you aside.
Philo Farnsworth and the "invention" of TV
The interesting thing about Farnsworth was his uncanny ability to "invent" things after other people invented things, but he got a lot of the credit. TV is only one small aspect of his "legend" that is all wrong.
Take radar for example - Farnsworth is always credited with "inventing" RADAR which is completely wrong. The first crude form of "radar" was developed by Christian Hülsmeyer 1904 and ranging aspect of radar was added shortly after. It wasn't until 1934 when Arnold Wilkins of the UK's Air Ministry Office of Scientific Research developed what is now called RADAR whose basic principles haven't changed.
Farnsworth had nothing to do with it.