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, May 19. 2016
Exercise is for kids, but not weight training
Prescription painkillers are not as deadly or as addictive as commonly claimed.
Baby Boomers' Retirement Woes Summed Up in 5 Statistics
You're Gonna Need a License for That
Obama spending millions to find summer jobs — for refugees
The obvious solution is to let the airports run their own security like they used to do before we lost out minds.
TSA’s Union Power Grab: Thousands Slowing Down Airports
The only people who can save Flint are already living there.
IF IT WEREN’T FOR FAKE HATE CRIMES, WOULD WE HAVE ANY HATE CRIMES AT ALL?
FAKE HATE: Security Cameras Reveal Iowa Freshman Was Not Jumped By 3 White Men – He Made It All Up
via Cafe Hayek:
To Reclaim America, Abolish the Federal Agencies
"In the middle of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, a woman I was meeting for the first time said to me about Bill Clinton, "Don't you just love him for getting away with it all?" "
Trump ad shows what media hid
Bill Clinton Made $5 Million in Paid Speeches Last Year
Clinton Rape Accuser Juanita Broaddrick: NY Times Should Interview Bill’s Alleged Female Victims
Tracked: May 22, 09:32
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Don't want to ingest GMO food stuffs?
Its really very simple: DON'T EAT!
All modern foodstuffs are GMO. Compare an ear of "heritage" maize (corn) to its unrecognizable progenitor source crop. Applied genetic modification most certainly occurred, it just took hundreds, if not a thousand, years of careful selection by hand.
B48: All modern foodstuffs are GMO. Compare an ear of "heritage" maize (corn) to its unrecognizable progenitor source crop. Applied genetic modification most certainly occurred, it just took hundreds, if not a thousand, years of careful selection by hand.
There's a significant difference between artificial selection and hybridization between closely related species, and modern genetic engineering, which involves splicing genes between unrelated species or even artificial genes. While the former is a generally slow process, so people and the environment can adapt over time; the latter is a rapid process, and there is the law of unintended consequences. The solution, of course, is being cognizant of the possibility of such consequences, and taking measured steps.
The NJ: But science says...
The scientific report finds that current GMOs are safe to eat, but that side effects, such as pesticide resistance, could cause problems in the future. The number of new genetically engineered crops will increase dramatically over the next few years, and the report found that continued research and regulation are warranted.
So, Zachriel, now you're "anti-science", when it fits with your agenda/narrative? How very convenient!
Got that everyone? Proggies are ANTI-SCIENCE!
So when conservatives rely on evolution to make a point, you'll conveniently become anti-science again, eh? You Proggies are a hoot!
Old Codger: So, Zachriel, now you're "anti-science", when it fits with your agenda/narrative? How very convenient!
Huh? Our position relies on the NAS study. How is that "anti-science"?
But Zachriel, you liberal/proggiess don't recognize "unintended consequences" anywhere else or with any other matter!
Why should we now take your word for it when it comes to GMOs? The irony is almost too thick and luscious to enjoy with this one!!!
Earl T: proggiess don't recognize "unintended consequences" anywhere else or with any other matter!
Most progressives recognize the problem of unintended consequences, but point out that this shouldn't be used as an excuse for inaction when action is warranted.
Earl T: Why should we now take your word for it when it comes to GMOs?
Our word? Our position relies on the NAS study.
Virtually all marijuana is GMO as well. It amazes me the GMO activists conveniently ignore this fact when they are also pushing for legalization of marijuana.
Some poeple aren't content with just controlling what they and their family eat, they need to control what everyone else eats, too. Talk to any vegan or vegatarian or whatever they are calling themselves lately
besides, growing your own food would be like, hard and stuff.
btw, the Green Revolution and the work of Norman Borlaug began in the 70's. Our lifespan has done nothing but gone up since then. Are there higher rates of cancer and heart disease? Probably. BECAUSE PEOPLE AS A WHOLE POPULATION LIVE LONGER.
Besides, to greenies, which are the ones who are against GMO's, increasing human populations is a bad thing. Bad for the planet.
Cue the legion of Z team and Ten with a bunch of links and responses that I won't read.
There's a nearby number of TSA servers that will reduce the lines to practically zero. The line buildup is a very sudden effect.
The mean line length if you serve customers exactly as fast as they arrive is infinity. You've got to get slightly ahead of them, is all.
"The obvious solution is to let the airports run their own security like they used to do before we lost out minds."
I almost spit my coffee laughing! Common sense--what a laugh.
I remember when the computer revolution started, models based on queueing theory were going to put an end to long lines. That was thirty-some years ago. I guess the programmers got into games and porn instead.
Queueing theory says the best way is one line for everyone, and multiple servers. That way you are never in the wrong line, the slow line, the one with exceptional problems.
Re: IF IT WEREN’T FOR FAKE HATE CRIMES, WOULD WE HAVE ANY HATE CRIMES AT ALL?
Yes. Those perpetrated by the left (such character assassination, denial of free speech, destruction of property, circumventing the legislative process to impose dictates and "agreements" that are detrimental to our interests, etc.).
Beg to differ on the article about prescription painkillers from personal experience. I had minor surgery. The surgeon gave me a prescription for what is, in essence, valium. I was allowed to take 4 doses a day, according to my pain levels, and they gave me enough for a week.
The first day I took a full does. I felt GREAT. I sat at my desk less than 24 hours after surgery and worked a full 8-hour day with no problems. I took a 2nd dose in the afternoon, but felt I didn't need to take 4 doses per day, as I felt fine.
After that first day, I realized that I did not need a full dose as my pain levels were minor. I cut down to half the amount of drug only twice per day.
Then, I started to take even less. I think I took the drug from Saturday through Wednesday. Cutting back to small doses. Thursday, I felt like I didn't need the valium any more as I had no pain and was not waking up at night. So I took no pills on Thursday.
I have NEVER felt so awful in my life. I was incredibly sleepy, my mind was fuzzy, I had a horrible headache. I could barely focus on my work. I thought something was wrong with me. I called the pharmacy and asked if this was a side effect or withdrawal. They told me, 'no,' and that being on the drug for such a short period of time should've done nothing to me at all. That an 'addiction' to valium takes weeks of use.
I didn't believe them, because NOTHING else had changed in my life but stopping the valium. I wondered if I was supposed to step down slowly and had done something wrong. So I called a different pharmacist...got the same answer.
So, I'm sorry, I just don't believe this news story at all based on my personal experience. Maybe SOME people don't have a problem with taking these painkillers, but maybe everyone has a different reaction to this stuff...maybe some of us are more susceptible.
If I had been a weaker person, I could see how I'd want to continue taking the drug. I mean, I felt fantastic that first day and worked like a demon less than 24 hours after surgery. Who wouldn't want that kind of feeling again? Who would want to have the headaches, sleepiness and focus issues?
Sorry, but those drugs are TERRIBLE and they are overprescribing them for basic, small things. I think I could've gotten by with anti-inflammatories or at least a small, small dosage of the valium I was prescribed.
Have I underestimated the effectiveness of this GOP Congress??
Hmm. . .
A president’s budget proposal tends to be a curious document that acts as part wishful thinking and part a projection of hope into the future. For example, Bush’s last budget proposal showed a federal government that was on track to produce a balanced budget within a few years. Obama’s budget, on the other hand, anticipated a massive spending increase in the first year (due to stimulus spending) followed by pretty typical increases of about 6 percent per year.
That "6 percent" is important because in 2009 it was the rate at which federal spending had grown year over year for almost 30 years. So that is the number the Obama team used as their standard for how quickly spending should keep growing.
But after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, despite what you may have heard, they really did put a brake on federal spending. A really good brake. In fact, since 2011, federal spending has increased at only 1.3 percent per year ... the slowest rate since the aftermath of World War II.
The difference between Obama’s 2015 spending projection and what was actually spent was an astounding $697 billion dollars. That’s more money than we spent on Medicaid.
Let that sink in.
In five years, the Republicans managed to hold back Obama's spending increases by more money than if they actually got rid of Medicaid. And so far 2016 looks like it will hold to that trend.
feeblemind: "A president’s budget proposal tends to be a curious document that acts as part wishful thinking and part a projection of hope into the future. For example, Bush’s last budget proposal showed a federal government that was on track to produce a balanced budget within a few years."
Heh. Wishful thinking is right. Bush's last budget, proposed in 2008, assumed nearly 3% growth, rather than the negative growth that actually occurred.
feeblemind: "Obama’s budget, on the other hand, anticipated a massive spending increase in the first year (due to stimulus spending) followed by pretty typical increases of about 6 percent per year."
Looking at the CBO projections from 2009, it looks like about a 2.6% annual increase in federal outlays, mostly due to entitlements, which have yet to be addressed.
feeblemind: "But after Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, despite what you may have heard, they really did put a brake on federal spending."
Obama had floated the idea of a grand bargain, one which addressed entitlements, but the Republicans refused to actively engage in negotiations. Instead, the Republicans engaged in brinkmanship, threatening to default on the debt.
Z: ... Instead, the Republicans engaged in brinkmanship, threatening to default on the debt.
I assume you're talking about when the pubbies discussed not increasing the debt limit. That sounds like an awfully familiar:
"America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit."
-- Sen. Barack Obama, March 16, 2006
mudbug: I assume you're talking about when the pubbies discussed not increasing the debt limit.
Obama was wrong (as he has admitted).
The tradition was for the party in power to bite the bullet and raise the debt ceiling, while the party out of power would decry the debt and point fingers. This charade worked until recently, when many Republicans actually convinced themselves that not raising the debt ceiling wouldn't lead to global economic turmoil.
That's part of the problem. The debt limit was supposed to be a mechanism to restrain spending. Instead, it's a tool to beat the other party over the head by claiming that not raising it will initiate a global calamity - it won't. There are lots of useless, counter productive, and redundant federal programs that can be cut or eliminated.
As for threatening global calamity, do you think that when Bush was President that even if the Democrats had had the votes to keep from raising the debt limit, that they would have raised anyway? Highly unlikely.
Yes, Obama admitted he was wrong. It's interesting how ones perspective changes when the shoe is on the other foot. I'm unimpressed. Obama was merely trying to score political points. He's shown he has no concern for the debt.
I admit that I don't remember the particulars of Obama's entitlement reform plan other than changing the COLA calculation (and alas, I am only one so I don't have time to delve into it) so it would be helpful if you could remind us. But here are some headlines I found in a quick search:
11/15/2011 - Huffpo: Obama Won't Include Social Security Reform In Recommendations To Super Committee
2/15/2013 - Huffpo: House Democrats Warn Obama On Social Security Reform
3/2/2015 - WSJ: Obama Kicks the Can on Entitlement-Deficit Reform
The White House says not to worry about the next couple of years or even the next 20 years.
3/30/2015 - Washington Examiner: Entitlement reform: Dead or alive?
Interesting quotes in this article:
"The truth is, is that circumstances changed," Obama said in an interview this month with The Huffington Post, when asked if he still had concerns about entitlement reform. "At that time, we were seeing significantly higher deficits, and the economy was just beginning to grow. We now know that we've got strong growth."
"People in Washington talk about how the Republican Party has supposedly shifted to the right on entitlement reform," Tanner [of the Cato Institute] said. "The untold story is that the Democratic Party has shifted to the left on entitlement reform. Those centrist Democrats are all gone. The Democratic Party now argues that entitlements don't need reform. The whole center of gravity has shifted."
I wouldn't say that all the can-kicking and foot-dragging was on the Democrat side, but that seems to be where most of it is.
mudbug: The debt limit was supposed to be a mechanism to restrain spending.
Quite the contrary. The debt limit was implemented to make it easier for the federal government to borrow during WWI. The U.S. is virtually alone in having a separate debt limit. The rational policy would be that any necessary debt is authorized when the spending is authorized.
mudbug: Instead, it's a tool to beat the other party over the head by claiming that not raising it will initiate a global calamity - it won't.
mudbug: There are lots of useless, counter productive, and redundant federal programs that can be cut or eliminated.
Perhaps, but that requires legislation. If the Congress authorizes spending, and debts are incurred, but Congress refuses to authorize payment for those incurred debts, then it means a credit default.
mudbug: As for threatening global calamity, do you think that when Bush was President that even if the Democrats had had the votes to keep from raising the debt limit, that they would have raised anyway? Highly unlikely.
As already pointed out, the tradition is that the majority party is the one who has to hold their nose and do their duty.
mudbug: 11/15/2011 - Huffpo: Obama Won't Include Social Security Reform In Recommendations To Super Committee
Taking just the first: "During talks with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) this past summer, President Barack Obama had discussed changing the way that Social Security benefits were paid so that a lower level of benefits were paid over time. Boehner walked away from that deal ..."
mudbug: I wouldn't say that all the can-kicking and foot-dragging was on the Democrat side, but that seems to be where most of it is.
It's roughly symmetrical. Democrats are generally averse to cutting spending on entitlements. Republicans are generally averse to raising taxes to pay for programs already authorized. The latest wrinkle was when the right wing within the Republican Party nearly plunged the U.S. into default.
Thanks for straightening me out about the debt limit. I would add that there are several other countries that have debt limits.
As for the consequences of not raising the debt limit, if the Treasury were not allowed to borrow money, it would have to choose what to spend the available money on. It seems to me that it could pay the interest on the debt first so the the consequences are internal - as they should be.
As for entitlement reform, I haven't heard any reform ideas from the left - other than adjusting COLAs and the Democrats killed that, but Bush tried to improve it prompting a sh*t storm from both sides but more from the left.
mudbug: It seems to me that it could pay the interest on the debt first so the the consequences are internal - as they should be.
That's not quite correct. When the U.S. authorizes spending, whether for entitlements or for military hardware, the bills come due. When those bills come due, then they have to be paid, according to law. Nor is it clear that Treasury has the authority to withhold some payments in lieu of others. Presumably, in an emergency, they would exercise such authority, but would immediately find themselves in court, along with the clamoring crowds of creditors.
mudbug: As for entitlement reform, I haven't heard any reform ideas from the left
Much of the political left wants a stronger social safety net, even if it means more taxes. They flank the Democratic Party and make it difficult for Democratic politicians to maneuver. Similarly, with taxes and the political right with regards to the Republican Party.
" What is so astonishing is the hypocrisy of the left, who were so defensive of Bill Clinton's sexual exploits and perversions, so quick to call them irrelevant to his character and ability to govern. " Most of us are not astonished at the typical leftist hypocrisy. We've seen it all too often.
The purpose of the federal government is to penalize success and reward failure. It works like a parasite to eventually kill the host. Our federal government can only be successful by destroying the middle class, moving all jobs offshore and allowing full scale invasion/immigration by the barbarians at the gate to take whatever crumbs the government failed to scoop up. By all measures our government is doing exactly what I would expect.
Don't worry, GWTW, the Trump Cascade has started and the adults will be back in control soon!
All the little Nancy boy Zachriels will be putting on their footie PJs, making some cocoa and retreating to their safe spaces to weep and console each other with many hugs.
After which, they'll be sent to work in the fields by day and get re-educated by night.
Uber is private, 911 is public. The question about why one can find you from you cellphone signal and the other can't answers itself.
So, a serious question: Can the government use your cell phone to locate you without a court order? Even to find a lost person it seems to me that doing it evades the 4th amendment.