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, October 8. 2013
Verizon Edge, AT&T Next are complete rip-offs
Nice Girls Don't Poop - PooPourri.com
The Flimsy Evidence for Flossing
Our grandparents believed in the value of thrift, but many of their grandchildren don’t.
What does science tell us about the relative dangers of drugs? Alcohol is by far the No. 1 most dangerous drug
Spain’s sunshine toll: Row over proposed solar tax
Obama’s intended lesson was meant to be, “See how awful life is without your Federal Family?”
Where's sense of crisis in a 17% government shutdown?
Why the Federal Health Insurance Exchange and So Many State Exchanges Are Not
Re Miriam Carey, Why Is This Not a National Tragedy?
Trayvon Martin and Matthew Shepard
The coming tax hike
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It is true, that people aren't saving as much, but, since the bank bailout there has been a whole lot of cash hoarding going on.
And anyway, why save when those in government will just take what others have saved and give to you. From each according to their means, to each according to their needs (or political connections).
“Saving,” Keynes wrote in his Treatise on Money, “is the act of the individual consumer and consists in the negative act of refraining from spending the whole of his current income on consumption.”
See, where is your community spirit? Saving? It's selfish. Keynes says so. (not in so many words)
On the other hand, those very same grandparents voted in the socialistic welfare state and started the War on Poverty without objectively defining poverty.
I went looking for the link on "cash hoarding". There are plenty to the recent story, just Google.
I found this amusing, Huffingtonpost has pictures
People Across The World Hoard Cash 5 Years After Financial Crisis (PHOTOS)
Huffington Post - by Caroline Fairchild - 1 day ago
Keynes also told the story of the tailor and how greed keeps the tailor (traditionally a Jewish profession) unpaid. It was based on a concept that debt can go on and on forever, with no loss to anyone involved. In fact, one of his original assumptions was that deferred gratification improved society as a whole.
Over time, it appears his view changed and he began to see consumption as the driver of all things. Which is odd, because without production, consumption is impossible.
Desire may be needed first, of course, but plays little role in the economic discussion. Consider a farmer before industrialization. Like other farmers, he is basically subsistence farming and getting by. He tires of this, naturally, and after a particularly good year decides that he'd like to have bumper crops year after year and thereby reduce his overall work load over the next few years.
So he sets himself up to irrigate his fields, and builds rudimentary tools to make sowing easier. All the extra work he puts in today - deferred gratification & productive activity - allows him to own a massive bumper crop each successive year.
Other farmers, seeing this, realize they have the opportunity to reduce their farming work, and focus on things they enjoy doing. One begins to craft metals and becomes a blacksmith. Another tames horses. Each uses his skills to trade for food from the original productive farmer, and an economy is built.
Keynes' whole basis of judgement - that consumption drives production and that deferred gratification is a net loss to all today and into the future - is incorrect and misplaced.
According to the rather old report quoted, the drugs most harmful to individuals are heroin, crack cocaine, and meth. But if you take into account the harms to other people that arise as a consequence of the abuse, alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine are rated by the study's expert responses as the most harmful to other.
What's not included the analysis is the effect of legal restrictions on the accessibility of such drugs. The author states that (rather self evidently) one of the reasons alcohol scores so highly on the harm to others scale is that it is much more widely available and widely abused than the others.
He is also careful to point out that this study's validity is for the UK, and is not likely to reflect the way things are in other cultures such as the USA. I invite you to look up the term "lager lout" if you want more insight on the social harms of persistent alcohol misuse in the UK.
I should note as the study does that some of the harm changes the other way as accessibility improves -- the more illegal drugs tend to have unhealthy impurities just as alcohol did during prohibition, and behaviour that risks accident and illness is often involved in dosing oneself with illegal drugs, acquiring illegal drugs, and acquiring the financial means to purchase illegal drugs.
[url] http://profdavidnutt.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/drug-harms-paper-a-summary/ [/url]
Interesting chap, Dr. Nutt. Got lots of headlines for declaring that the practice of riding horses ('equasy' as he called it) was more addictive and more personally harmful than taking the drug extasy. (1 trip to the emergency room per 300 "exposures" for the former vs 1/1000 for the latter. He was quoted as saying it was pretty obvious that horse-riding should be banned...
The paper we are discussing is one that was basically written to address some of the legitimate criticisms about the unscientifiness of the weighting used in a previous drug harms paper, the promotion of which got him sacked as the head of the UK government drug classification advisory board -- hence the use of multidimensional techniques to determine the weightings of the harms here. The panel of experts used to derive the weights is comprised largely of people who resigned at protest from his sacking, raising the obvious question of whether a panel of people who hadn't taken quite public positions agreeing with the author's previous paper would lead to different results using the same procedures.
Flossing: Sometimes the only way (other than letting time and decay work on it) to get stuff unstuck from between teeth.
Spain: Gotta get that tax money somewhere!
Administration shooting itself in the foot. Media turns head(s), sees NOZZINK, says NOZZINK.
OCare signup: Stupidity at the Start!
Annnnnnnnnnd, lastly, more proof the MSM lies.
That Miriam Carey was shot is a tragedy. I don't have a good answer to this. Police may be too eager to shoot, especially true if the victim is unarmed. I don't agree with the technique of police jumping in front of a car with a fleeing suspect then shooting because the suspect tried to run them over, duh! Don't jump in front of cars with people trying to get away from you. But to bring up "postpartum depression" is silly. Did she really suffer from postpartum depression or was she simply bipolar? Does it matter? It's not as though a policeman outside the car can tell if the driver is postpartum or bipolar. But there should be some consideratin when people act crazy that they might indeed be crazy. Personally I would be much happier about this if they had blocked her in and dragged her out of the care alive. I think the shooting may have been a mistake resulting from police training that requires shooting to kill. Not a single bullet fired to disable the car but they shot to kill. Too many examples across the nation of police using unnecessary force on people sufferring a mental or medical illness. Surely police trainng can include something other then shooting anyone who fails to obey commands.
Both she and the police went down their rabbit holes. She perhaps going into increasing panic as more and more cops were yelling and running at her. The police, moving more and more into the shoot category as their perception of losing control of the situation increased. Nothing is more dangerous than the police when they fear they are losing control of the situation.
"going into their rabbit holes" is a good description of the probable mental states of those involved in this tragedy. Lets see what we can do to keep it from happening again, preferably better training for cops.
If Barack Obama had a daughter, she would look like Miriam. Oh wait, he actually has two daughters. Never mind.
You know, I can see that it was much more important for Chief Allaboutme to inject himself into the Washington Redskins name fuss than to say anything about an unnecessary murder that occurred nearly at the front door of his residence. Then again, "what difference does it make?" (tm)
In regards to the shutdown, the market is trading like it's 2006
That is, not much volatility at all.
re Re Miriam Carey, Why Is This Not a National Tragedy?
I wondered why there was no uproar at the time? An unarmed woman being shot and killed in her car while a one year old sat in the car? What if the baby had been hit?
I remember reading about the law enforcement officers that participated in the killing. They were pleased with themselves and proud of their deed as it showed a terrorist could not get past them and threaten the Congress.
So today we learn more about the hidden surprises of Obama-RobertsCare when the Web site of the Maryland health insurance exchange announces that the "confidential" personal information of individuals who sign up for insurance may be shared with unnamed law enforcement officials, not just sent off to the IRS to confirm someone's eligibility for an insurance subsidy.
It's happening again: when TSA airport security was first put in place, their personnel were not supposed to get involved in law enforcement beyond protecting the traveling public (since they have no arrest authority), but now they regularly turn people into the cops for reasons that are far beyond the scope of their official responsibility.
As I wrote once before, people with street smarts are going to avoid the whole ObamaCare mess and the IRS can do very little about that. The only ones who will get trapped---and monumentally screwed---are law abiding people.