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, July 28. 2016
Image: Yesterday was early Mondrian, today late (c 1922)
Vegans Rip Doughnut Shop for Expecting Employees To Be Able To Eat Doughnuts
Robot Builds Brick House Four Times Faster Than Humans
Animal Rights Groups Are Freaking Out Over Horse Population Control Methods
Luke's Best Chance: One Man's Fight for His Autistic Son
The average college student spends only a small portion of the day focused on education-related activities.
The tragic likelihood that trans men are being deprived of their reproductive rights
Little Green Lies: Why Electric Cars Won’t Save the Environment
Free speech is vital to human flourishing, but it’s in a decade-long slump
In hindsight, it’s clear that Clinton’s presidency temporarily interrupted the party’s long-term leftward march
How the Clintons Got Rich Selling Influence While Decrying Greed
Bill Clinton Earned $2.7 Million In Speaking Fees AFTER Hillary Announced Candidacy
What else would you do?
TRUMP Just Got Hillary to Admit Her Email Scandal Was National Security Issue
With the Clintons, people just begin to feel all scandaled out and stop paying attention
Gov. Pence said the press would be doing half of Mrs. Clinton’s work for her
Another Day, Another Allahu Akbar
Great idea: Make Muslims lifeguards in Germany
Merkel admits EU is being RAVAGED BY TERROR but says Germany should welcome MORE refugees
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Little Green Lies: Why Electric Cars Won’t Save the Environment
Electric cars are as green as their juice. If the electrical infrastructure is green, then electric cars are green.
People buying electric cars don't seem to realize that they are using not-polluters (almost) but are using a commodity produced by entities that they normally oppose, namely coal burning and nuclear power plants.
oolioo: People buying electric cars don't seem to realize that they are using not-polluters (almost) but are using a commodity produced by entities that they normally oppose, namely coal burning and nuclear power plants.
Most people who support electric cars nearly always also support greening of the electrical sector.
Another solution, which may be close, is synthetic fuels.
Just another take on synfuels...requires energy to produce. Hydrogen was proposed as the fuel of the future decades ago and it is always decades in the future--that won't change. NASA can use hydrogen for space travel, but it will never be our transportation fuel of choice.
rocdoctom: Just another take on synfuels...requires energy to produce.
Solar and wind are good choices, as there is no need to store the energy for long periods.
IF solar and wind power were practical it would not need massive subsidies or mandates. It is exactly because it is not a practical source of energy that it requires not just subsidies and mandates but even after all that assistance will increase our energy bill by 200%.
Your typical large wind powered generator costs in the nieghborhood of $2 million dollars each. It can never generate $2 million dollars worth of electricity in it's useful lifetime. AND it actually used more energy to mine the materials, build the unit, install and maintain it than it will ever generate. It is a net loser and far from being green. AND wind is better and more efficient than solar (PV).
The largest PV panel production facility in the world is in China. When they built it they built a coal fired electric power facility next to it with all of that power dedicated to the PV manufacturing facility. Imagine, as the greenies will tell you, that PV is sustainable/practical. WHY in the world would they choose to power the PV manufacturing plant with coal? The obvious reason is coal power is cheap and solar power is not. The coal power costs about $.02 a KWH. The solar power costs about $.24 to $.64 a KWH (depending on latitude and weather variables. PV simply isn't practical EXCEPT to make PV manufacturers and installers rich.
GoneWithTheWind: IF solar and wind power were practical it would not need massive subsidies or mandates.
New technologies often require a minimum economy of scale before they become profitable. That's why most countries have industrial policies that look towards future technologies.
GoneWithTheWind: WHY in the world would they choose to power the PV manufacturing plant with coal?
It's called bootstrapping, using existing resources to move to the next level.
GoneWithTheWind: The coal power costs about $.02 a KWH.
You haven't included externalities.
You talk as though PV was invented yesterday. I first got my hands on a 'solar cell' in 1955. I have been an advocate for PV ever since. I have followed it carefully and hopefully. It has always promised so much and delivered so little. Every couple of years a new breakthrough is touted that will reduce the costs and improve efficiency and every time it doesn't quite happen. How long do you think we need to give this "new" technology life support before we allow it to leave the nest? It's old enough now to qualify for SS.
Electric autos require a lot of toxic chemicals and a lot of energy to create their batteries and electronics that are not used in ICE autos. Special emergency procedures and hazmat clean up are required for electric autos damaged in collisions
Electric autos' environmental impact is far more than the source of their electricity.
JK Brown: Electric autos require a lot of toxic chemicals and a lot of energy to create their batteries and electronics that are not used in ICE autos.
Virtually all cars will have complex electronics going forward. Batteries are now undergoing rapid technological innovation now that they are in such high demand for all sorts of devices.
Bird Dog: I still am confused by whether the idea of mass immigration is assimilation or multiculturalism
Both; for instance, many Italians still hold onto much of their cultural heritage; their Catholicism, their reliance on extended families, their pride in their history; while also trading aspects of their culture with the greater American society. Nor does everyone assimilate at the same rate; take, for instance, Hasidic Jews in New York, or the Amish in Pennsylvania. And, while once upon a time, the Irish suffered discrimination and marginalization in American society, the U.S. has since elected an Irish president.
I meant Germany and Muslims.
Your references are to others from Western Civ.
Bird Dog: I meant Germany and Muslims.
Not sure that the basic principle doesn't apply. Virtually every part of the globe has experienced immigration over history. Germany includes large numbers of ethnic Poles, Russians, Italians, Turks, Romanians, etc; while large numbers of ethnic Germans live outside Germany, including in Brazil, U.S., Canada, France, Argentina, etc.
Rapid influxes can cause social strains, however. These usually occur during periods of political or economic instability. The world experienced a huge refugee crisis before, during, and after WWII. Europe is trying to avoid the inhumanity often exhibited during that period.
"Your references are to others from Western Civ."
Indeed. The key question in light of the current uptick in Islamic extremism is this: are Muslims entering European states as immigrants or colonists?
It is disingenuous, not to say even obfuscating to conflate (for example) Polish immigrants to Germany with the current influx of migrants from the Middle East. But it suits the purposes of those who would rather avoid the reality.
I'll say one more thing. You can bet that if there are going to be more incidents arising in Europe out of this migration (and there will be), they're going to come from Middle Eastern and African Muslims, not Middle Eastern and African Christians.
JJM: It is disingenuous, not to say even obfuscating to conflate (for example) Polish immigrants to Germany with the current influx of migrants from the Middle East.
Because as history shows, Germans and Poles have never suffered from ethnic conflict.
Ah yes, that famous "no Irish need apply" sign. No mention of the fact that due to social and weather events that the Irish immigration at that time was so excessive that the U.S. couldn't absorb it. So indeed the Irish were unfortunately dumped into Easter U.S. cites with little money or skills and they were, can I say it, a bit of a nuisance and a typical employer after the 20th indigent Irish immigrant applied for work placed a sign asking them to stop. Was it "discrimination", "persecution", "hate", "racism", etc? Of course not it was "please stop bothering me I'm trying to run a business here.
The Irish survived and thrived and in many large Eastern cities became a majority and practiced, wait for it, discrimination against non-Irish and non-catholics. But wait, but wait! That can't be true, it doesn't fit the meme. It was those poor immigrants who were discriminated against for no reason. Everyone, every race, every gender, every group has been "discriminated" against and/or has discriminated against others. It is a more or less common and normal part of human interaction. Sometimes people get hurt butts over it. Sometimes it is used to whine and seek advantage for past real or imagined harm. Sometimes it's pure BS. But rarely does it ever go away.
So, national security is a thing now? (Who knew?).
Three weeks ago, national security wasn't important at all - laws governing the handling of classified information turned out to only matter if you (I)really meant it(/I) when you broke them.
Today, the Left is suddenly fastidious on the subject. So much so, that a comment (that reads like it came from a Jay Leno monologue) is treasonous.
Donald Trump is being accused of calling for a foreign government to commit espionage.....to find 30,000 emails that have been sworn to not be on any US government computer or computer in the possession of Hillary Clinton.
So if it is a call for espionage, it would seem those claiming it is that have knowledge of the emails being in the possession of the US government or Hillary Clinton.
On the other hand, asking a foreign government to recover stolen property from private actors in their jurisdiction is a common law and order matter.
JK Brown: asking a foreign government to recover stolen property from private actors in their jurisdiction is a common law and order matter.
Trump asked an unfriendly authoritarian foreign government to break U.S. law by hacking into protected U.S. communications, private or otherwise, then using that information to undermine Trump's political opponent.
Sarcasm: a rhetorical technique in which an overtly false or absurd statement is used to cast attention on an issue or fact.
IN this case due to both Clinton's carelessness and obstructionism, the emails at question are more likely to be in the hands of foreign governments than our own.
"Sarcasm: a rhetorical technique in which an overtly false or absurd statement is used to cast attention on an issue or fact."
Absolutely. I heard Trump's remarks and that's exactly how they struck me: as sarcastic. Period.
It would appear the other thing the US seems to have lost these days is its sense of humour.
The US hasn't lost its sense of humor, only the left. They have never been able to laugh at themselves.
JJM: I heard Trump's remarks and that's exactly how they struck me: as sarcastic. Period.
Unfortunately, Trump fooled his own campaign, Republicans who worked in intelligence and diplomacy, as well as America's allies and adversaries around the world. Perhaps he was being sarcastic when he said he wouldn't honor U.S. promises to defend NATO.
Trump asked an unfriendly authoritarian foreign government to break U.S. law by hacking into protected U.S. communications, private or otherwise
Except that he didn't ask them to hack. He said that they probably had already hacked Hillary's email and that they probably already had the missing emails - and that IF they had them, he'd like to see them.
He did NOT - despite your dutiful parrotting of the party-line lie - invite anyone to hack into anyone else's email.
Thos: Except that he didn't ask them to hack.
Even given that, he was asking a foreign power to use hacked emails to undermine his political opponent. He also said the foreign power would be rewarded by good press, offering an incentive for the behavior of invading the privacy of American citizens, and influencing U.S. elections.
I don't remember ever voting against anyone. So, I will not vote FOR Mr. Trump but I will vote AGAINST Mrs. Clinton. I have voted in every election (even minor runoffs) since Eisenhower's second term and this will be the first time I've voted for someone (Trump) who I know nothing about because I'm voting against someone (Clinton) who I know a good deal about.
Negative voting has a fine American tradition, and I have done it often. It may even be superior, as it moves us away from hero-worship.
Robot Builds Brick House Four Times Faster Than Humans
Hard to know where to begin to debunk that article...
That machine is pretty cool, but where is the mortar? It is simply laying the blocks out. Pretty incomplete.
"The average college student spends only a small portion of the day focused on education-related activities."
Probably far more than the average K-12 student spends on education-related activities.
I don't care if I never see another example of "Modern Art".
With their born-again fervor for national data security, I guess the New York Times will be returning that Pentagon Papers Pulitzer any day now.
"Bill Clinton Earned $2.7 Million In Speaking Fees AFTER Hillary Announced Candidacy..."
In all the noise about wealthy corporations and Trump's billions, I'm surprised how people aren't just a little more curious how a couple of professional politicians selflessly serving the public good could amass incredible personal fortunes doing so.
I don't mean comfortably well off here - as you would expect from someone who starts out earning a lawyer's salary, then a senator's or governor's, then a president's.
I mean megamillions.
It really sucks when a foreign country tries to derail your national election.
Except when it's Barry and his State Department behind the scenes trying to oust Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel:
"The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.
$350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign."
This guy and his entire Democrat horde give new meaning to word hypocrisy.
102 days and counting.
Scullman: Except when it's Barry and his State Department behind the scenes trying to oust Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel
"The Subcommittee’s investigation concludes that OneVoice Israel complied with the terms of its State Department grants and did not directly use grant funds to influence the 2015 Israeli elections."
However, "OneVoice deployed the campaign infrastructure and resources created using grant funds to support an anti- Netanyahu political campaign called V15. That use of government-funded resources for political purposes was permitted by the grant because the State Department failed to adequately guard against the risk that campaign resources could be repurposed in that manner".
Joint Staff Report - Review of U.S. State Department Grants to OneVoice
A distinction without a difference. There should have been none of it.
The claim was "Barry and his State Department behind the scenes trying to oust Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel", and the evidence provided was the Congressional report. However, the Congressional report did not find that there the U.S. used the grant to try to oust Netanyahu.
So, if by "a distinction without a difference" means true and false are the same thing, then sure.
I see what you did there. Nice spin and deception. We don't need no stinking honesty and character! Right? Spin, dodge, weave until the issue goes away.