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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Sunday, September 8. 2013
Well, I always like to get the sad news out of the way first, so our first article this morning is about that Israeli spy bird that was caught by Egyptian authorities a few days ago as it tried to peck out its report on a miniature telegraph: Stork Detained as Spy in Egypt Found Dead
That's the third Israeli spy bird that's been captured in the last few years, by the way. One's first impulse might be to think, "Geez, won't those Israelis ever learn?" — until you stop and ponder how many of their spy birds haven't been caught.
There are some good tips here: Top Credit Card Mistakes
On the subject of safeguarding your ass, be forewarned: Some junk mail unsubscribe options are actually phishing scams
Clue: Both countries are on the same island.
Because if there's one thing this country really-really needs, it's more drunken teenagers on the road. If this is one of those goofy Libertarian things, please cancel my subscription to Libertarian Gazette immediately.
But wait. Not only do you not have GPS, but you also have to fly at night. Remember all that "nor gloom of night" stuff? Well, here you are.
So, how do you navigate across country at night? Easy. You simply follow the lighted arrows.
(hat tip to Feebs for the link)
This is, of course, supposed to be a scathing indictment of California squandering money on lavish pension plans and the like — and that might very well be true and Harvard would be the better choice. Except that: The cheat goes on at Harvard
So, hmm. Move to beautiful sunny California and make lots of money, or hang out with cheaters in frigid Massachusetts and make less money. Tough choice!
Like I said, sad.
Into each life a little rain must fall.
Yes, even here in the happy-go-lucky political section we occasionally have to face some cold hard facts and admit that not everything coming out of Washington these days is all peaches and cream.
Worse, I have terrible news here about two of everybody's favorite Washington characters.
Even worser, they're both women. So brace yourselves.
Tissue dispensers for your copious tears are available in the lobby.
Tracked: Sep 08, 10:00
What are These Giant Concrete Arrows Across the American Landscape?
"In the 1920s, America began coast-to-coast Airmail service, but the pioneer pilots had trouble navigating the route, since navigation charts of the day were fugazi and you couldn't exactly pull over to ask a farmer for directions. And traveling at night, when it would have been most efficient, or in bad weather was impossible. To solve this Congress then funded these gi-normous arrow-shaped Airmail Beacons, some up to 70 feet long, to trace a route across the country.... The...
Weblog: AMERICAN DIGEST
Tracked: Sep 08, 13:26
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(dabbing copious tears from eyes)
That article about the Airmail Service was really interesting. Good ol' American ingenuity! Put big arrows on the ground, and then light them! Thanks to Feebles for that one.
"Clue: Both countries are on the same island."
I sat there thinking about that for five minutes and came up with zip. I kept thinking of Britain, of course, but just couldn't believe some staid British country would have a -- of all things -- unicorn for its symbol, much less a dragon. The whole slide show was interesting. Funny how countries view that so differently.
Thanks for all the fun links while BD was away. Let's hope he took lots of snaps.
And great pic up above. Proof positive!
A MUST READ for all aviation buffs.
Re extreme weather:
Both atmospheric and oceanic circulation are driven by the temperature differential between the equator and the poles. If the earth's temperature were uniform, there would be no circulation.
Global warming reduces that differential (more warming towards the poles) so the intensity of the circulation (major storms) must decrease. We are in a warm plateau, so we should expect fewer hurricanes and tornadoes.
If variations in solar output are more important than carbon dioxide in global warming, then we should start to see a decline in mean global temperature (the sun is quiet) and a return of hurricanes and tornadoes.
I'm with Mr. Reynolds Doc. They are already drinking at 18, and I was in Uniform and could not drink -you can give your life to your country but pious dinks would not let me legally drink? Really?
I understand your position, but the problem is with demographics. If statistics show that a drunk male 19-year-old is 30 times more likely to kill someone behind the wheel than any other group, that should say something.
How 'bout raising the military age to 21? That would both encourage more people to finish college and put a little more wisdom on the battlefield. It would also put a dent in that classic liberal meme that those vile, evil, warmongering Republican presidents are always "sending our children off to war".
How about compromising and make them both (and voting?) a nice round 20?
We didn't start lowering the deaths due to drunk driving until we started enforcing the laws against it. My 35-year IL Trooper brother pointed out that the chances of getting convicted of DWI in Il when he started  were around 1-100.
A 1-10 chance the ticket would get 'dropped' before going to court followed by a 1-10 chance of conviction of DWI at trial.
And today [I make a hobby of following DWI stats in MI] there's about a 95% chance that any DWI caused death is by someone who already has multiple DWI convictions and no [or a limited] license.
It's not like 18-year-olds aren't going to drink. If we really want to reduce DWI deaths we need to identify problem drinkers quickly and make damn sure they stay off the road, since as far as I can tell, they won't unless somehow forced, and fines, etc won't do the trick.
I'll take the Libertarian stance, because I've had this discussion with many of my cohorts.
The drinking age was raised to 21 because of auto accidents among drinking teens. It has declined significantly. So no, it's not a sure thing Libertarians support lowering it, we recognize useful data when it is presented.
However, commenting on Ron Snyder's point, it's worth noting some states have considered allowing 18 year olds, serving in the armed forces, to drink at or around their bases. In Texas, it was 18 and uniformed, in general.
I think that's fair. I'll take it a step further, since I have a son in college. Ron is right, they are drinking up a storm on the campuses, and it's gotten worse than when I was in school (and the drinking age was 18), since we knew we could drink, we often didn't, simply because we knew we could. Today, however, 'pre-gaming' and binge drinking are common. Kids drink heavily before a party in order to get the buzz and maintain it, or make it 'better', at the party itself.
Hofstra University, where a friend's son goes, is in a particularly bad neighborhood. Lehigh, where another friend's son is, has a bad neighborhood nearby where kids go to drink and party. Hofstra has sought to reduce their problems off-campus by allowing drinking on-campus in closely monitored parties, while Lehigh has made their penalties harsher. The jury is out regarding which approach works better, but I'm willing to bet Hofstra's has better results. If you give kids the chance to have their cake and be responsible with it in a controlled situation, you will tend to get better results.
I don't think kids want to drink and drive, they do it out of necessity. Reduce the necessity, impose some rules, limit their access, but don't remove it entirely. Taking their rights away completely, while telling them they can die for their country, or vote, is a mixed message. But giving them some limited rights, in a step-up type of situation, may point out to them they are not quite full adults, but they can start learning to be responsible.
As for Hillary, Golub has some good points, but I'll defer to Nate Silver, who has done more work on all this. Statistically, a Republican win in 2016 is not the assured thing people think it is....best to keep this in mind.
Also worth noting, I used to work at the Weather Channel. It was a great company, I loved working there.
However, their chief climatologist, Heidi Cullen, was not one of my favorite people. She served as a consultant on the movie "The Day After Tomorrow", and is an unrepentant warmist. And actually has considerable disdain for anyone who disagrees. I know, because I had an email exchange with her after the movie. She responded in a dismissive fashion, and didn't reply to my follow-ups.
Despite this, the Weather Channel will point out that hurricanes (and any climate pattern) tend to have cycles, with hurricanes being about 10-15 year cycles. The most recent peak probably occurred in 2004, though everyone remembers Katrina simply because it was so large. So maybe 2005, but since then, we've had Irene (generally a bust though around me there was significant flooding) and Sandy, which wasn't a hurricane and was only a major storm because of timing since it came ashore at, or close to, high tide...and a few minor ones.
But when it comes to promoting AGW, the Weather Channel will ignore their own information regarding cycles and promote the sensational stuff, because that gets ratings.
No surprise, that's how they make their money.
What's really interesting was that while I was there, they reduced the number of commercials during storm coverage, because they felt they should focus on the news. A laudable move, even if it cut their revenues significantly since these were periods of time that got the highest ratings, and allowed us to clean up any and all ratings shortfalls we'd had throughout the year.
I don't know if they still do that. But it's worth noting they now have storm coverage for major winter storms (even when they turn out to be a bust) in an attempt to re-create their hurricane numbers. So my guess is this is a move to counteract the reduced hurricane activity they've seen and improve any revenue situations they may have run into.
You must not watch the wx channel much as a consumer anymore. About half the programming is canned quasi-wx related reality stuff, and the live stuff is more sensational, cutesy, or both than informative. The "scheduled" local forecast may or may not appear sometimes every now and then.
A guy's got to wonder about those Arabs. If the Israelis are so smart that they can get birds to spy for them, what hope can the Arabs possibly have that if the Israelis really wanted to kill them all, they have any miniscule chance of survival?
Concur with Garry on Fate Is The Hunter. Got that from a friend's estate.
And, as the accompanying picture proves, it's not even a matter of 'training' the spy birds, just equipping them with the right gear and then letting them go about their business.
Personally, I thought putting "Property of National Geographic Magazine" on the side of the mini-cam was brilliant.
My career was spent around les avions and "Fate Is The Hunter" is the only book I recommend to aviation enthusiasts...bar none!
You have discriminating reading tastes.
Flying cross country without radio and only maps involves mostly
1. Learn to keep a straight course even if it's the wrong one. When you finally recognize something, you then know what correction to make.
2. Develop an intuition about what's on the map and what isn't. You often see features that are not on the map. Are you lost, or did they just leave it off the map? See #1. You have to be good at probabilities.
VORs and then GPS probably have destroyed this training.
What is this strange "training" thing of which you speak? You hop into the plane, hit the big green "ON" button, punch the destination into the GPS and off you go!
You old-fashioned types sure overcomplicate things!
Hurricane activity is cyclical and doesn't seem to be in tune with warming or cooling trends. While we are in a warming trend that began about 1850 it is a very mild warming trend. During that 163 year period we had about 5 or 6 cycles where hurricane activity went up dramatically and then went down dramatically.
I think both drinking and voting should be legal at 21.
That Hillary article surprised me. I thought for sure the shockingly simple reason was who in the world, outside a core group of feminazies and anybody Democrat, could stand to listen to - much less look at - that for four perhaps eight years. Oh the humanity.
As you might expect it looks like the first Atlantic hurricane will appear one or two days before the Sept 15 record.
Re: 18 year olds drinking, We should keep the legal age at 21, if the kids want to get loaded they can just go down to an alley near a middle school and buy cocaine, crack, meth, pot, or bath salts. Or they can steal their parents prescription meds, or just huff some paint or keyboard cleaner.
I dunno. I believe Mz Rodham could win. The demographics are changing, the media will be as in the tank for her as they were for 0bama and the dems are experts at manufacturing votes.
Furthermore, the GOP has alienated and double-crossed the base, and they are likely to nominate another 'moderate' who will be a dull as dishwater.
One wonders what the country would look like at the end of her reign? I shudder to think.
+1 for using a zero instead of a capital 'O' for '0bama'
-1 for using Hillary's maiden name when she specifically asked the media to stop using it during the 2008 election.
But as far as this goes:
"I shudder to think."
We've already been down this road on this site.
Isn't it interesting how, eight years later, my question at the end might suddenly become relevant again.
I always try to twist the knife if I can, Doc, thus the use of 'Rodham' and 0bama spelled with a zero.
Yes, your questions could suddenly become relevant again, but who knows? Perhaps a left-wing dark horse will upset the Hildebeast and it will be deja-vu all over again.
If she is elected, Do you think there is enough passion and anger remaining on the Right to fuel CDS again? I just wonder if it will be more of a case of conservatives' shoulders sagging and chins hitting their chests as an air of grim resignation and despair settles over them.
There just comes a point where you can't be outraged anymore.
That's a real good question, in that it might be nothing more than a case of ultra-fatigue after eight years of Zero-bama and they simply don't have the same ol' passion. Or, to carry it a step further, they're secretly grateful that, if it had to be a another Dem, better it be a known, experienced product than another raw rookie.
Or we might have the greatest mass suicide rate in the history of the world.
We'll chat again about it in 2015. Don't be late.