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
Thursday, June 26. 2014
How Parking Lots Became the Scourge of American Downtowns
Socially precocious kids often do not turn out well
War ON WALL STREET: Obama Appoints Anti-Business Activist Head of DOJ
'It stinks': Democrats criticize White House over meeting with billionaire Tom Steyer
Considering cost, fuel efficiency, options, comfort, durability and safety, today’s Subaru is far superior to a 1950 Chevy
The Looming Robotics Gap - Why America's global dominance in military technology is starting to crumble.
Are the Marines Procuring Their Way to Irrelevance as a Sea-Based Threat?
ISIL hell-bent on creating Islamic state to be launchpad for attacks on U.S.
Majority of Palestinians now oppose two-state solution, new poll finds
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Well, if ISIL launches attacks on the US, it'll probably be in places like NYC, Chicago, LA. Those places voted for the conditions that let the ISIL grow so.... And Europe, they didn't get an actual vote, that we can prove, but they to wanted Obama so....
More attacks on NYC, DC, etc., I'm going to have a tough time caring.
Same here... too bad I'm not an Asymmetrical war SME....
You'd think that the Palis would get the hint\see with their own eyes that their ongoing struggle with Israel isn't going very swimmingly.
They cannot accept Israel, the Jewish State, nor their proximity. The many wars have not driven them into the Med, and the numerous uprisings have done nothing but bring bloodshed. Even the current missile bombardment is a hollow cudgel.
Beyond Jew-hatred\Zionist frenzy, what else have they got? What would they have after they manage to push them into the sea? Not much, it would seem...
They appear to reproduce like flies on a date palm, so will never run out of cannon fodder. They do have that going for them.
Urban planners are funny. They can't see reality for their delusions. Most cities didn't get large surface parking lots by some grand plan. They got them due to the buildings becoming old and unoccupied. The city "planners" then started harassing the owner so he came up with a redevelopment plan. The plan first called for demolishing the old building. Then the "market changed" so the redevelopment was delayed. But most importantly, now there was no building for the urban planners to harass the property owner over, no homeless/drug squatters, etc. After a time, the vacant lot was paved over for parking because maybe with parking people would come downtown and vacant lots also give the wrong impression. So, now you have lots of parking, declining non-government employment and urban planners who whine about not being able to use force to get people into cattle cars.
Me, I never go into the city, such as it is. I avoid governmental entanglements and the new recreation just isn't that different than that near the mall. I right now am contemplating whether I want to try to see a lawyer whose office is near downtown or try to find one in suburbia. Same with a doctor as offices near the big hospital have bad parking, cramped streets and high crime.
"Urban planners are as stupid as everyone else..."
As to the rest of the linked piece, I don't get it. There are very few "cities" with plain open parking surfaces in their midst, and the balance of the piece is a (sadly) oft repeated jeremiad against personal transportation, nothing more.
Actually, these people seem to misunderstand cause and effect. People left the city first, then buildings crumbled.
Yes, the availability of parking means people drive their cars (Duh!) But that helps cities, b/c people come to them. Without that, everything, including office jobs, would migrate to the suburbs.
City planners don't understand what causes cities to grow, and what kills them. They also don't understand that their historical models (and their dreams of regressing to the 19th C) don't work b/c cars weren't around then.
These people approach their craft with so many flawed approaches, you'd think they'd repeatedly get things wrong. Oh wait...
Similarly the American who has been humbled by poverty, or by his insignificance in the business order, or by his racial status, or by any other circumstance that might demean him in his own eyes, gains a sense of authority when he slides behind the wheel of an automobile and it leaps forward at his bidding, ready to take him wherever he may personally please.
They hate that people are free. It was only 60 years ago, that most people were trapped in urban slums. Even if they could travel, it was by train to another urban slum. Oh, if you were wealthy, or corrupt political player, your slum was pretty upscale, but open your door and you were subject to civic control. But the automobile ruined all that for the little tyrants. Their empires crumbled as their victims slipped away into the countryside. After a time, those victims moved their offices closer to home away from the urban tyrants urban corpse.
Wal-Mart is the cause of the death of more small downtowns than anything else
Walmart - the George W. Bush of retailing.
Let's see, urban center of town I grew up in started and was mostly dead in the 1970s. First Walmart built near 3rd mall at outskirts of city limits, 1990s.
Walmart isn't the cause it is merely the inevitable result of the problem. The cause is the politicians, the vested interests who work with the politicians and the large numbers of people who do not vote intelligently or at all. Walmart is the solution and that really pisses off the politicans and vested interests who continue to denigrate Walmart. Before Walmart it was Sears and Montgomery Wards and and handful of other big names that have disappeared mostly because the unions sunk them.
Congressional Research Service / ISIL
that study was published a week ago, does anyone have a link to the actual document so we can read what these four analysts base their opinion on?
there's widespread universal distrust if not outright condemnation of both the government and the press on this forum, except when the press cherry picks and summarizes a government report telling a story people already want to hear.
Robert Maginnis, who gives the Wash. Times the obligatory scary quote about attacks on U.S. is not one of these analysts, he's a hack for the Family Research Council and a talking head for the press.
I'm not saying the CRS is wrong, but I want to read the report myself. I'm surprised no one else does.
you mean this?
thanks. the dates are wrong, but its probably the same.
did you read it? the article is about Syria, the press k00kgasm is cherrypicking at its worst. there's this paragraph buried in 25 pages of analysis about Syria ... is this what you're afraid of? be honest.
Several leading representatives of the U.S. intelligence community have
stated that ISIL maintains training camps in Iraq and Syria, has the intent to attack the United
States, and is reportedly recruiting and training individuals to do so. In July 2012, ISIL leader
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi warned U.S. leaders that “the mujahidin have set out to chase the affiliates
of your armies that have fled.... You will see them in your own country, God willing. The war
with you has just begun.”24 In January 2014, Al Baghdadi threatened the United States directly,
saying, “Know, O defender of the Cross, that a proxy war will not help you in the Levant, just as
it will not help you in Iraq. Soon, you will be in direct conflict—God permitting—against your
that's it? unnamed intelligence sources talk about intent, but not capability? ISIS has training camps in Syria and Iraq (damn, training camps! say it ain't so!) is "reportedly" training people to attack the US? and they've threatened us all of two times since 2012, in public statements nonetheless? no shi'ite? what an intelligence coup.
I've read that same BS coming from every jihader group since 9/11.
I've explained this repeatedly: its the wet dream of every islam to destroy the US and Israel. what else do you expect them to say? but intention does not imply capability.
I glanced over it, plus a few other resources.
Honestly, they're desperadoes with elevated egos, and should be handled accordily by IRAQI means. BUT, when they bandy about the ABC option, and promise 'comming attactions', one must have some temper of seriousness about that. Else, it will get very bright.
For reference, I am not a war-monger, nor think that liberal applications of violence are needed, but realize, at times, mountains must fall on our foes to get the message across, and violence is not the answer, but sometimes the only solution available...
ISIL\ISIS are ideological ruffians whom want their version of civilization, and no others are allowed. As long as they keep to themselves, and not wish it for me and mine, live and let live, else welcome the mountain.
Re: Tom Steyer
He is just one of the Demoncrat's own Koch Brothers, but expect any of them to say anything in public about his meeting with Obummer much less Harry Reid.
Re: Subaru vs '50s Chevy
I'm confused. Who would have even a thought that a current Subaru would not be better, let alone exponentially better, than a '50s Chevy?
Re: Palestinians "state solution"
I'm confused. Who would have even a thought that most (all) Palestinians would be against a two state solution. Since the founding of Israel, they have very vocal that the only solution they have been interested in is a one state solution - theirs.
As to Subarus: I mind me that when I came to DC in 1957, all the taxis were '52 Plymouth 4-doors. They lasted another few years before wearing out - probably shipped wholesale to Cuba (joke). Good luck running a fleet of Subarus that long on city streets.
If Detroit began selling '57 Chevys, would YOU buy one?
If I were a collector of vintage cars and I found a good example of a 1957 Chevy (let's say, Impala), I would buy it.
Other than that, why would I buy a car that gets poorer gas mileage, doesn't handle as well, doesn't last as long, is not as comfortable, does not have as much power, and does not have as many luxury features?
"The 1957 Chevrolet...was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range "two-ten", and the "one-fifty". A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the "Delray" was available for two-ten 2-door sedans." Source: Wikipedia (I know, but it is consistent with my recollection - I was 26 at the time.)
I should have said Bel Air then. I Googled "1957 Impala" and got hits for images and examples for sale. (When I was young, we had a 1955 or '56 Chevy, but I didn't remember the model).
Regardless, I would still purchase a current model car over a new 1957 Chevy of any model if I was not a collector. :-)
My first new car was a baby blue '54 chevy 150 with heater and turn signals. I traded a worn out '49 Plymouth DeLuxe for it in early spring '54. As soon as the '55s were on display, I went bonkers over the '55 Plymouth Belvedere, and traded the '54 chev for a two-tone Belvedere without the funky lower body trim. Kept it all of three years. Life in the '50s wasn't all bad.
My first car was a 51 Ford convertible, $50 in 1961. I've had a few 57 chevys but prefer the 58. In fact 58 was a good year for GM cars. 60 wasn't bad but for most models the style seemed to go downhill from there. 56 olds and buicks looked good and the Ford Tudor was sporty. A friend and I double dated identical twins and he had a 1947 Buick. The back seat area was so big you could have held church services back there.
A robotics gap? Seriously?
China isn't matching US capabilities b/c of their investments, it's b/c they're STEALING US tech. Should the US start to decrease investments and see less advancement, other countries will match that...b/c they're STEALING US tech.
This will not lead to the US falling behind others. It is not a reason to panic. It is not a reason to borrow more money to fund iRobot. This article is all fear mongering based on FICTION.
Shhh.... you're getting in the way of commerce...
I remember a story about the rampant PRC cyber-spying, even how LLRL got hit, and how bad DoD got tagged, but, now its vapor....
I also recall that some Cyber-SEC guys managed to tag one specific building where A LOT of the spying transposes from. But, again, nothing further and crickets chirping.
You'd think the same guys whom managed to trash the Iranian nuke computer systems, would have the 'magic' to decimate the PRC .... maybe the NSA needs to hire the 4Chan guys???
Yeah, I couldn't complete reading all that stupidity.
First off, the difference between a military robot and a consumer robot is, well guns, but also armor and EMP protection. That's all. Well, maybe a gyro chip if that hasn't been cloned overseas yet.
Big problem, guess where the chips needed to make US robot come from?
Now let's consider that is you are a US person or a company operating in the US, you are severely limited due to export laws in developing robots for the wider world market. So if you are a company wanting to exploit consumer robot technology, you build your lab outside the US and don't put US persons on the research team. Now, you have a robot that you can sell worldwide, even into the US but are not limited by the whims of US foreign policy, which by the way seems very whimsical these days.
You want fast innovation in robot technology in the US, free up the the limits on flying non-government UAVs. The hobby market will develop more, faster, because...geeks.
100 years ago, disastrous fire in Salem Mass. 253 acres burned. 20,000 lost homes. 10,000 lost jobs.