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, June 16. 2015
I have always wanted to see a picture of The Master without his wig
Strawberry Yogurt S'mores?! THANKS OBAMA
The Average American Woman Now Weighs as Much as the Average 1960s Man
How Many Academic Studies Can Be Replicated?
The Pecking Disorder: Social Justice Warriors Gone Wild
Goose Exterminator of the Netherlands Enrages Animal Rights Activists
Pension tidal wave is about to crash down on taxpayers
Opposition to Export-Import Bank Has Grown Over Time
Food deserts should embarrass residents
McDonald’s Announces Its Answer to $15 an Hour Minimum Wage – Touch-Screen Cashiers
Vatican Climate Speaker: There Are 6 Billion Too Many of Us
Even if that is true, then what?
America’s Most Advanced Climate Station Data Shows US In A 10-Year Cooling Trend
Questions for the Pope
Why exempt the media from campaign finance laws?
Except his bodyguards who we pay for
Fiorina: Clinton ‘Actually Took an Interview,’ So ‘We Should Not Underestimate Her’
Global military leaders laud Israel's restraint in Gaza clash ahead of UN report
Why Is Obama Abandoning 70 Years of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy?
Vatican Climate Speaker: There Are 6 Billion Too Many of Us - See more at: http://moonbattery.com/?p=59554#sthash.AxTYmCLy.dpuf
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Megyn Kelly and David Martosko rail against Hillary Camp for barring him from coverage
It is really strange isn't it? Her campaign has plenty of resources so you would think she would surround herself with the best of the best? But instead, they come off as squirrely, or at best flat footed.
From news reports, I gather the Clinton Campaign is staffed by ex-Obama campaign staff, so, a certain amount of flat footed, works better on a hash tag than said out loud is to be expected.
Vatican Climate Speaker: There Are 6 Billion Too Many of Us
I'm just saying, the leader of a religious "cult" is going all apocalyptic. I'd avoid drinking any Kool-Aid or even wine they hand out.
show some respect. no one here attacks you for being a wicken. this kind of asshatted sniping is below MF standards.
Re: Pension Tidal Wave
Not only do millennials have to worry about the ridiculous debt, paying for Social Security, but now they have to worry about propping up public sector pensions. I hope they pay attention to who served them this crap sandwich.
RE: Why exempt the media from campaign finance laws?
the press is special because the first amendment specifically protects "freedom of the press". there is "freedom of speech" and there is also "freedom of the press" in the first amendment. you don't have to like it, but you've got to acknowledge it.
more dishonest reporting. the article blasts a finance reform bill 13 years old. there is a bill to essentially overturn Citizens United (a 2010 case) by constitutional amendment as quoted below:
from the bill
‘‘SECTION 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.
it states a congressional intent to prevent content regulation of the press, a core first amendment value, as more important that campaign finance reform. you're worried about run of the mill press partisanship (traffic tickets? really? these kinds of attacks have been going on since before there was a USofA) when the fix for this alleged disease means government content regulation of the press by even indirect means?
not going to happen.
If the NYT's ridiculous hit pieces on Rubio were the real issue in the article, I wouldn't be so sympathetic with it, but that is only one demonstrably outrageous example of press bias. But to my knowledge nobody (not even supporters of Rubio) is suggesting that the NYT or the press as a whole be regulated.
From the bill:
Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents...
It seems obvious to me that "in-kind equivalents" would include speech of any number of different kinds (movies, books, commentary, etc.). So the proposed article would allow Congress to limit speech without saying it does.
As for not limiting freedom of the press, I guess the question is what is the definition of "the press". The corporation known as "The New York Times" is ok, but the corporation known as "Citizens United" is not. Forgive me if I can't help but think that the politics of the Citizens United and not that they are a corporation. Then what about an individual? What about a group of individuals? Would we have the government issue licenses for the (real) press?
The fact that the proposed amendment says it doesn't abridge freedom of press means nothing to me. It's just weasel words to smooth over the real intent - limit the speech (speech and press are listed separately in the First Amendment). I notice that the proposed amendment doesn't have a section that says something to the effect that nothing in this article shall be construed as allowing Congress to abridge the freedom of speech. The answer to free speech is more free speech, not limits on it.
"in-kind equivalents" is going to be a tricky phrase to define, and the amendment process will generate a lot of debate on what that means in the real world. as of the moment, if you said that phrase were too ambiguous to allow into a constitutional amendment, I'd agree.
traditional press and CU comparisons. while these are organizations with corporate identities who publish hit pieces against political candidates and endorse/support others, that's essentially all CU does, and while the media might be extreme in partisanship, it fulfills many other functions that are traditional: new gathering, labelled editorials, notices of record, formal accreditation, even sports scores and lost cat stories. the courts that are going to be making distinctions between CU and the Home Gazette are going to find more differences between the newsrag on the driveway and CU.
so when the USSC has to make a call between what's protected by the free speech clause and what falls under the free press clause, CU is going to look a lot more like its covered by free speech and not free press and not given protection under the proposed amendment.
I'll bet that The Nation, Reason, and The New Republic will be considered as "the press" should that amendment be ratified.
Given the amendment, could an individual purchase air time, produce a movie, or write a blog post to expose a truth that is ignored by the MSM (and you know that the MSM ignore a lot of news that doesn't fit their world view? Can there be a modern pamphleteer? I guess it would depend on who is defining terms.
Good bye free speech and free press.
Something is either free or it isn't.
you've narrowed the factual distinctions, but still, can you truthfully answer the question, is Reason or Maggies Farm more like the NYT or more like Citizens United? because we have to be able to convincingly argue the former, not the latter.
re freedom of speech/press, bear arms, due process, etc. no constitutional right is absolute. free is never an all or nothing concept. the libtards understand this notion and abuse it. if we don't, we'll always get run over.
None of those magazines do the sort of things that you say a news organization does that makes it a news organization. There is no straight news reported, notices of record, missing cats, etc. From a certain perspective, they are glossy hit pieces. My point is that it doesn't matter. They should be allowed to publish what they want as long as it's legal.
And the legality, you rightly point out, is conditional - my hyperbole not withstanding. There are well defined illegal "speech" - mostly pertaining to private as opposed to public people. The difference is important and obviously relates to political speech. The Federal Election laws are so convoluted and ridiculous that they are responsible in part for the this proposed amendment.
But the proposed amendment does not address the content, only the ability to say it - or in other words how much money can be spent saying it.
I think we can agree that Citizens United, Inc., is a an entity that the founding fathers did not anticipate. unlike "the press" its sole purpose is to aggregate money and, to be frank, buy and sell access to lawmakers. you will never see a CU foreign correspondent or a CU member of the WH press pool, and obviously, no missing cat stories.
and now that the rule in Citizens United has been extended to profits, non-profits, corporations, LLCs, trade unions and other entities, there's a problem that doesn't seem to be getting a much attention but which poses a huge threat to representative democracy.
whether you are a union guy or a small businessman or just a simple man trying to make his way in the universe, your personal voice in politics is vanishing as the cost of elections soars and institutional money over shadows everything.
when the Trade Federation and you are calling your congressional representative, guess whose phone call is answered by the chief of staff and whose is answered by a college intern.
there are people here who walked a post or stood a watch, and there are people who did that and never returned home, all to protect Amalgamated Brotherhood's right to free speech, meaning the right to have a louder voice than any individual could possibly have. does that sound obscene to you? it does to me.
fact: you know that painting by norman rockwell of the ordinary citizen-dude standing up to address the town council? its called "freedom of speech", it's the blue pill, and it's a lie.
Hope springs eternal--the vatican even having a conversation about over population means that perhaps, maybe some day they will understand the relationship between their interpretation of the Bible (no birth control) and their influence on the horrific overpopulation from Mexico to the tip of So. America. Way to go folks! Now what you ask? Now, if maybe you can help those folks reduce the size of their families--you might--just might also help reduce their misery! Ya think? Oh--but, then the giant corporations won't have such a big and needy market to see to--oh, I get it--the bigger the population the bigger the boom!
The touch-screen has been widely sued in Europe for over 15 years; my niece and her husband met while working for a U.S. company that developed them for use at petro stations. They worked very, very well as the company was bought up by a larger U.S. company and that is well-prepared to install them around the world.
My grandfather was a colleague of Ray Kroc when Kroc was selling mixmasters for shakes and malts, found and was impressed by the California franchise out-selling his other customers and opened the first McDonald's in the Chicago area. The employees were all teens with a few sticking around to become managers and franchise owners. It was a great neighborhood employer for those looking for a first job and willing to learn. If the wage goes to $15/hour, watch how fast those touch-screens are installed -- at McDonald's and every other entity that does not required a brain surgeon to fulfill it concept.
This what happens with rising wages. The higher one's wage goes, the more incentive the employer has to replace the employee with a machine. It has always been this way.
I think the minimum wage flap is accelerating the process but I think it was going to happen sooner rather than much later.
There have always been Luddites who say that mechanization/automation are going to kill jobs. They've always been wrong in the past, but I'm beginning to wonder if we are near to the time that the broken clock is right.
In the age of robotics, there will certainly be new jobs created, but when a robot can repair another robot and when a robot can design another robot, one has to wonder what happens next. Given the sophistication of currant robots and the trajectory of the the technological advances, I don't think it's an idle thought.
more proof: the true minimum wage is $0/hr.
There is automation, and then….. there is the digital automation that emerged in the 90s. Digital automation is one of the real economic game changers along with instant global communication, commercial monopolies, computing(including the implications of MEGA data bases), navigation technologies, RFID and barcoding. There is a huge asymmetry in knowledge and power between the regular folks and the Mandarin class. It is not that innovation and churn are new, but there may be a qualitative difference.
My concern is the accelerated churn in innovation and the life cycle of businesses and careers. How does the increasingly rapid turnover of innovation, jobs, businesses affect the middle class, education and career planning, how does it effect investment? I don’t think you have to be a Luddite to wonder if these technologies lead to greater concentration of power politically and economically, and greater intrusiveness, not just by government but by both the private and public sector, likely in tandem. I would like to believe that there are natural restraints, but I don’t see them. I see this as very destabilizing and a real obstacle to maintaining a thriving middle class. I don’t know if the Information Revolution is the Industrial Revolution on steroids or if ultimately we will determine that there is a qualitative difference between the Information and the Industrial Revolutions.
Food deserts exist for a very good reason. Why would any company or entrepreneur invest in a grocery that is going to suffer the consequences of theft, looting and arson? The net profit margin for most grocery stores is under 2%, so any disruption markedly affects the interest in using one's time and resources in a risky community.
Those who LIVE in such communities COULD develop a food cooperative if so inclined to solve this problem, but, no, they complain about new immigrants abusing them by taking the risk and charging the prices necessary to eke out a living. When the riots occur, those immigrant-operated stores are the first to feel the wrath.
I've seen many a regional grocery try to maintain a full-service operation in a changing neighborhood only to move out thanks to the behavior of those who shop there. Fresh fruits and vegetables? They would sit until they rot.
It's not just a food desert, it's an economic desert, for equally unmystifying reasons.
re the increase in average weight:
the average age of the U.S. population also increased by 8 years from 1960 to 2012. Although I don't know if this is quite enough to explain the weight gain, in my experience younger people tend to be skinnier.
[url] http://www.statista.com/statistics/241494/median-age-of-the-us-population/ [/url]
Can we also point out the MEN have gained just about as much weight as women in the same study? Why are we so focused on women gaining weight???
I had some yahoo dude use this fact (modern woman weighs as much as 60s man) to talk about the fat loads that women have turned into and ranting about how 'pig-like' women have become. Hm. Maybe they should look at the fat MEN who are just as bad.
BTW, the highest percentage of fatties are those on welfare. Wonder what the stats would look like if we cut them out of the picture? Guess what has changed since the 60s? The 'War on Poverty,' which gave poor people access to buy chips, soda and cookies on the taxpayer dime. How about we focus on THAT little fact?
Studies have shown that women who are a little overweight live longer than the men who mention it.
If you want to understand overweight--just watch those carts go through the check out line at Costco and Wal Mart! Many of those carts are being pushed by women with nice rings, clothes, etc. So, it appears they should know better--but, why oh why do even they fill up on Doritos, doughnuts, ice cream, carmel popcorn, etc, etc.? We must also look at the "new" preservatives being used in food. When my cut avocado won't last a day in the fridge, but the guacamole from Costco will last 6 weeks after being opened--there is something going on, some new preservative being used and I'll bet that helps add to the weight problem! Just saying--maybe the FDA could muscle up and take a REAL look at some of these chemicals--no matter how well these corporations treat their employees--their customers should know what's in those products. FDA hasn't really had the courage to take a look at this.
I have been thinking for several years now, that perhaps the solution to our problem with the southern border-- illegal immigrants seeking medical help, etc. might--might be some kind of safe zone. Maybe in that area where all our corporations have moved to during the NAFTA mess. Some safe zone along the border where we set up hospitals, schools just for the folks from Mexico, etc. Our med students could work off their student loans and we could provide the "care and concern" that we claim to have when we let them into the US seeking a better life. In reading the article below, I see the Israelis have already started to activate such a solution and I say good for them !
Donny--what is CU?
Citizens United v. FEC
here's the wikipedia summary:
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is a U.S. constitutional law case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.
it's the reason your vote counts even less than it ever did.