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
Monday, April 21. 2014
When Lenin backtracked on Bolshevism
Hottest magazine right now for young women: Real Simple
Why It's a Big Deal That Half of the Great Lakes Are Still Covered in Ice
Shortest US graduation speech ever? Nobel economist Thomas Sargent’s list of 12 valuable economic lessons
De Blasio vs. carriage horses
What about the Amish horses?
Under The Streets Of Naples, A Way Out For Local Kids
An Obituary For High Frequency Trading: The Adaptive Genius Of Rigged Markets
I don't think HFT is so bad
Marxism is back, and Thomas Piketty’s new book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” might be its new Bible. But both
Politics as class warfare
Our Nudge in Chief: How, and why, Cass Sunstein believes laws and public policies should help save us from our irrational impulses
His faith in the sublime wisdom of politicians, bureaucrats and experts amazes me.
Hinderaker: The War On Standards Comes to College Debate
Liberals now love Barry Goldwater, but his 1964 loss won the GOP’s future
Resegregation in the American South - Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, the schools in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, show how separate and unequal education is coming back.
Taranto: "This column probably isn't the first to notice a recent intensification of liberal and Democratic rhetoric about race."
Krauthammer on how campaign disclosure got screwed up
WH Counterterror Chief: Parents Need to Watch for ‘Sudden Personality Changes in Their Children’
Dem consultants telling candidates not to use the word 'recovery'
Or the word Obamacare
Warmists explain that skeptics have mental problems
The United States of SWAT? Military-style units from government agencies are wreaking havoc on non-violent citizens.
“86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers”
Pro-Labor Media Group Resists Own Staff’s Unionization
The Middle East War on Christians - Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews.
Big Revamp of Pentagon’s Troubled Mission to Find Missing Soldiers Looks a Lot Like Old Revamp
Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers” - See
more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=53371#sthash.ZTFVSwXO.dpuf
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Re resegregation: I think it is obvious that our society is more segregated today than it was 60 years ago. Of course, 60 years ago southern segregation was a matter of law, whereas today segregation nationwide is a free choice.
As a practical matter, is a black male living in a city in 2014 better off than a black sharecropper in 1914 Mississippi? I think this is a serious question. The sharecropper earned a living by his own labor and enjoyed the dignity of self-support; he had a home; he had an extended family with lots of cousins, inlays etc; there was alcohol but no hard drugs; the church was a significant factor in his life; the level of violence was much lower; and race relations, despite (because of Prof. Putnam?) were more relaxed.
As my son regularly points out, there are 2 Section 8 housing tracts in my town. Plenty of black people have moved to the town to take advantage of a better school system.
The schools teach 'tolerance' and promote diversity.
Even so, the Hispanic kids hang out on one stoop, the Asians on another, and the black kids on yet another.
There is some intermingling, but if you walked by the school during breaks you'd wonder if the school was promoting segregation.
We naturally gravitate toward people we feel 'look' like us because we assume (often incorrectly) they think like us.
It's not that hard to figure out, and putting laws in place to force people to live with, and get along with, people they don't inherently know or trust doesn't make things work better. It just makes it work differently. We'll put all kinds of window dressing on it and call it 'better', but deep down, it's usually worse because we've forced people into situations which make them uncomfortable.
Overall, I think things have improved in the last 50 years. I'd say they have improved dramatically over the last 30 years, since I joined the workforce. But the improvements aren't the result of changes in law. It's just improved levels of tolerance and understanding that just because someone doesn't look or dress like 'us' doesn't make them incapable of doing a good job.
It's also worth noting that just because a law enables one person, deemed to be part of a special class of 'discriminated individuals', to get a job or a home means that same law discriminates against someone else, creating a whole new class of individuals who have been discriminated against for the same reasons the original class was discriminated against - but now it's legal.
When I was in college, the Student Center had areas where blacks tended to congregate, another area where fraternity & sorority kids tended to congregate, another area where 'freaks' congregated... It seemed to me that most of the separation was due to cultural differences.
I think now, colleges are more segregated because of political differences - blacks are blacks not because of the color of their skin or their culture but because the are 'black' politically (the other blacks are not really blacks). This is exacerbated (maybe even created) by the leftist political climate of racial grievance which the administration plays to the hilt.
The pendulum is swinging too far again and 'minorities' are not disadvantaged, they are advantaged. The racial climate is worse as Rush Limbaugh predicted. There are certainly pockets of good news on the integration front, but I think the trajectory of race relations has flattened over the last twenty years and has turned negative more recently.
I'm hesitant to blame crappy schools in poor neighborhoods on racism. Corruption, indifference, single-parenthood, and general stupidity are much easier to prove.
Crappy schools are usually a reflection of crappy students from mostly crappy broken families.
IMO,60 years ago a many things was 'better off' then.. You can start with politics and on down the line,..
Frozen Great Lakes: There ain't NUTHIN AlGorebullWorming cain't do!
DeBlasio: Article says he will be "a weaker and apparently not much wiser mayor." I believe the writer is way overestimating the 'wiser' part.
Resegregation: The ATLANTIC seems to believe only forcible integration is acceptable.
SALON: Only consensus can possibly be RIGHT! Resistance is futile! You WILL be assimilated!
"Frozen Great Lakes: There ain't NUTHIN AlGorebullWorming cain't do!"
Scientific "consensus" says there is massive global warming
And all we got was our a**es frozen off
Cass Sunstein's is just warmed over Paternalism in soft mode. He's obviously a Platonist at heart and believes that "Philosopher Kings" [smart people who think like he does and want the same policies, not those evil smart people who prefer different policies] will always and ever make the best choices for the ruck and run of common, stupid humanity.
Isn't that the embodiment of Orwell's [I think it was him] worst tyranny as the well-intentioned forcing you to do the 'right' thing?
Sunstein's just an obnoxious brat whose parents never told him "no." Be prepared for lots more of them, each trying to out-manipulate the other in a Future-Oligarchs-of-America showdown. Let's hope they don't destroy the world in the process.
Oh. And lousy school systems seem to me [I live near Detroit and some other lousy school systems] to be mostly a matter of the local and school culture. If schools are seen as merely a redistributive job creator that inculcates appropriate social behaviors then the school is going to suck.
So heavily armed government agents machine gun cattle, shoot holes in water tanks (in the desert), rip up waterlines, destroy turtle burrows, then hastily blend back into the populace, but the citizens who peaceably protest these destructive acts are the "domestic terrorists"?
Terrorist \Ter"ror*ist\, n. [F. terroriste.]
1. One who governs by terrorism or intimidation;
Question: Who used violence to promote and further their political aims in the stand off?
Boy, is that Salon article a pant-load. Talk about cherry-picking. [To say nothing of highlighting known frauds.]
Suppose the 'uncertainty' of global unicorn damage is unknown. Does that mean we should spend a trillion dollars trying to prevent it? Doesn't an actual real life causal mechanism have to exist?
To date none of the hyperbolic predictions about anthropogenic global warming proven out, it can't even be clearly demonstrated that it exists at a level high enough to worry about any uncertainty.
I suppose the warmists don't have many arrows left for their bow, but this one would appear to be very weak and less than straight.
I sent Thomas Sargent’s list of 12 valuable economic lessons to my son and added a quick translation:
Economics is organized common sense. Here is a short list of valuable lessons that our beautiful subject teaches.
1. Many things that are desirable are not feasible.
You don't get everything you want.
2. Individuals and communities face trade-offs.
Trade-offs aren't the most important thing – they are the only thing. See #1
3. Other people have more information about their abilities, their efforts, and their preferences than you do.
Don't tell people what to do. And don't elect politicians that do either.
4. Everyone responds to incentives, including people you want to help. That is why social safety nets don’t always end up working as intended.
People are smarter than cats, and you can't herd cats.
5. There are tradeoffs between equality and efficiency.
Social desires vs. economic reality. See #2. Reality will out.
6. In an equilibrium of a game or an economy, people are satisfied with their choices. That is why it is difficult for well-meaning outsiders to change things for better or worse.
It's not up to you to decide for someone else.
7. In the future, you too will respond to incentives. That is why there are some promises that you’d like to make but can’t. No one will believe those promises because they know that later it will not be in your interest to deliver. The lesson here is this: before you make a promise, think about whether you will want to keep it if and when your circumstances change. This is how you earn a reputation.
Treat people honestly.
8. Governments and voters respond to incentives too. That is why governments sometimes default on loans and other promises that they have made.
The Big Default will come in your lifetime. (note Detroit pension funds.)
9. It is feasible for one generation to shift costs to subsequent ones. That is what national government debts and the U.S. social security system do (but not the social security system of Singapore).
My dad shifted it to me and I sent it to you. So, good luck with that.
10. When a government spends, its citizens eventually pay, either today or tomorrow, either through explicit taxes or implicit ones like inflation.
Recently read that the dollar is worth only 68% of what it was in 2002 – and you didn't even feel that.
11. Most people want other people to pay for public goods and government transfers (especially transfers to themselves).
“I got free Obama phone... I got free Obama phone.”
12. Because market prices aggregate traders’ information, it is difficult to forecast stock prices and interest rates and exchange rates.
Difficult in the very short term, impossible in the long term. The easiest one to fool is yourself.
Speed Limits & Immigration- Leave it to lawyers to ignore the most basic and relevant points of their analogies. Ugh.