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, November 21. 2016
Tame vs. Domesticated: How did a dog get on my bed?
Iceland does not want tourists
UK Researchers: Tax Food to Reduce Climate Change
Largest oil discovery in US history
What Happens When You Give Basic Income to the Poor? Canada Is About to Find Out
Thanks to pension funds, Los Angeles is close to becoming a microcosm of Greece
Thanks to Wikileaks we know at least 65 MSM Reporters Were Meeting with and/or Coordinating Offline with Top Hillary Advisors
President Obama Blames the Internet for the Rise of Trump – Technology Needs “More Control”
Sheesh. "Obama and Angela Merkel Blame Internet and Social Media for Disrupting Globalism." I guess our moral and intellectual superiors don't like us having too much information.
Big surprise. They have nothing to sell.
AAUP: Trump 'greatest threat to academic freedom' since McCarthy
Maher: Trump is Stalin
Outrage as reporter is sacked for praising Donald Trump and criticising Obama
The “American Conservative Movement” Has Ended. the American Right Goes On.
BLACK POLICE OFFICERS MORE LIKELY THAN WHITE OFFICERS TO SHOOT BLACKS
Stemming the Rot in American Manufacturing May Defeat Even Trump
Colorado Voters Send Message: Universal Healthcare Too Expensive
According to the school district, the girl violated the county’s weapon
Everyone needs to stop talking about ‘white people’ - How the elitist fear of the underclass was given a PC makeover.
Calling everybody you don't like bad names loses its effect
Pat Caddell: CNN ‘Smearing’ Trump Supporters — ‘They Just Call Everybody a Racist’
Post-Election, Why Don't We All Just Skip Thanksgiving This Year?
THE FORGOTTEN MAN: No Longer Forgotten?
That Time Steve Bannon Tried to Arrange a Trump Visit to the Golan Heights
To All the Peter Pan Republicans: Trump Bests Captain Crook Clinton - The businessman succeeds where the GOP has failed
The Economist is worried: The new nationalism - With his call to put “America First”, Donald Trump is the latest recruit to a dangerous nationalism
Isn't the job description to attend to America's needs?
Donna Brazile Calls For Senate To Reject Sessions’ Confirmation As AG
Why the Dems Are Hysterical About Jeff Sessions, and Why They Don’t Mean It:
It's just an all-purpose smear, same as "He's a poopy-face."
The Clintons burrowed into the brain stem of the Democratic party, like one of those ear-tunneling scorpion things in Star Trek II.
Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.
Democrats suddenly thinking that states' rights might be good
What's the excuse for that?
Tony Blair is back?
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Repair and maintenance of infrastructure is not an investment. Expanding and upgrading it might be, if there is an underlying economic rationale, especially if it is state of the art & innovative. In the past, industry and manufacturing created much of the rationale and subsidized infrastructure. How true is that today?
The hope is that by spending this money it will ricochet around in the American economy. However, the economy is a leaky bucket, some of which flows out of the domestic economy for consumer goods. OTOH, it will, in addition to real value added jobs, "create" many a fake, make work job for all the "studies" people and for all the lawyers and special interests that pile on to obstruct the projects.
In any case, it is not a magic bullet. This might explain why the Bush and Obama stumuli were less effective.
It would also help to repeal many of the acts behind those pages and pages of government-approved Terms and Conditions in those construction contracts. Would take a big bite out of construction cost.
Yes, and make America more competitive.
Let's hope that is on the agenda. In fact, if I were king, that is what I'd assign Mitt and Newt to do, together.
Davis-Bacon Wages should go. Makes every construction contract more expensive. All they need to do is NOT use illegal labor and pay at least the federal minimum wage or the minimum wage in the state where the work will be done.
End of story.
Before you get too excited about the 20 billion barrel oil 'discovery' you might want to read this. It's written by an oilman, not someone looking for clicks. http://www.artberman.com/permian-giant-oil-field-would-lose-500-billion-at-todays-prices/
Yes. Most people don't realize the long trip from a deposit of oil and/or gas to the user. This is not currently economically feasible. I receive a pittance for a percentage of a long time producing well and it only pumps for a few days a year to avoid paying too much in taxes, dividends, etc. And it doesn't involve fracking or slant drilling.
Donations to Clinton Foundation fell by 37 percent
Bird Dog: Big surprise. They have nothing to sell.
Um, the article is talking about 2015 compared to 2014. Perhaps the Clintons were busy doing something else.
Let's play a game of telephone:
PJ Media: In Wake of Hillary's Defeat, Donations to Clinton Foundation Dry Up
It's not called an echochamber for nothing!
You didn't mention the black mark by a charity watchdog. Oversight on your part, I guess. The article claims that the decrease coincides with Hillary being a candidate - that is, not being able to go out and make as many speeches and contacts around the world, presumably because she had to make them here.
That's not very different, is it? Less time to meet with customers = fewer sales. Some charities do rely heavily on celebrity spokespeople, of course, but they usually rely on their promises to do good works. I can't imagine why the Clinton foundation's donors were suddenly 30% less convinced of that.
Assistant Village Idiot: You didn't mention the black mark by a charity watchdog.
You probably mean Charity Navigator. At one point, they didn't provide a rating, but at the time they said "We had previously evaluated this organization, but have since determined that this charity's atypical business model can not be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity." Charity Navigator has since given the Clinton Foundation their top ★★★★ rating.
Presumably, an oversight on your part due to relying on the right-wing echochamber. We pointed to PJ Media as an example of how the right-wing echochamber progressively distorts information.
Assistant Village Idiot: I can't imagine why the Clinton foundation's donors were suddenly 30% less convinced of that.
It's certainly not for the reason given that "they had nothing to sell", as Clinton was the favorite to win election to the presidency.
As if AVI is a right winger. Thanks for the laugh; continuing to LOL.
Exasperated: As if AVI is a right winger.
One doesn't have to be a right winger to be trapped in the information cycle of the right-wing echochamber. Primary sources easily determined the truth concerning the so-called "black mark".
Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States. Two terms characterized by relative peace and prosperity.
Hillary Clinton, First Lady of the United States. Senator from New York. Secretary of State during the Obama Administration.
I wonder if donors will get upset, now that they know their donations were used to pay for Chelsea's multi-million dollar wedding.
Jim: I wonder if donors will get upset, now that they know their donations were used to pay for Chelsea's multi-million dollar wedding.
It will be interesting when the Trump Justice Department issues indictments against Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and others in the "Foundation," as well as against Loretta Lynch for obstruction of justice.
Jim: It will be interesting when the Trump Justice Department issues indictments against Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and others in the "Foundation," as well as against Loretta Lynch for obstruction of justice.]
As with the email controversy, which most legal analysts correctly stated there would be no indictment; based on publicly available information, there is no evidence of criminal behavior by the Clintons regarding the Foundation.
From the manufacturing article: "The expressways are crumbling; the railways slow and antiquated. The United States even lags in internet speeds."
The type of railroading that is most relevant to manufacturing is freight rail, and few if any countries have a better freight railroad system than does the US.
Regarding Internet speeds, it is much less costly to built out a high-bandwidth system in concentrated metro areas than in more dispersed areas...countries with higher population concentration will generally have faster average Internet speeds. In any event, the 50Mbps speeds available throughout most of the US are perfectly adequate for most real-life applications.
David Foster: In any event, the 50Mbps speeds available throughout most of the US are perfectly adequate for most real-life applications.
For now, which in technological terms, may mean until next week. If you plan a road adequate to today, then it may become obsolete by the time it is completed.
There will certainly be applications that require higher speeds, but this is simply not a key constraint for most businesses, which would do better to worry about poor user interfaces to customers, rigid ERP systems that constrain business process change, bad or nonexistent security for SCADA systems, etc...things that mostly don't fit well into a soundbite.
Where higher speeds are needed, they will emerge via normal market process: starting out with firms that can afford to pay for them, and then broadening out to a wider universe.
We don't need a national "infrastructure" program for higher-bandwidth Internet speeds. Had such a program existed in the early to mid 1990s, it would likely have simply steered vast funding to companies like AT&T, Lockheed Martin, etc...and the services available would run much slower and be more expensive than those we have today.
Sorry, but NO company is going to bother with rural areas if we wait for 'competition.' We are already lightyears behind everywhere else. Nobody cares. Apps and websites and streaming services are being created that are impossible for many, and difficult for others in rural places.
The max speed I can get at my home is barely adequate for what I want to do. If all the kids are home, we are down to a snail's pace.
The only way for rural areas to get the kind of internet speeds they need is for a government incentive of some kind...could be a much lower tax rate for companies who put in high speed (up to snuff with larger metro areas) or something similar.
Just waiting for competition is not going to cut it at the rate that technology changes.
Right now we have ONE provider who even bothers. And we are lucky our house is within range of the service. Most of my rural town people are stuck with horrid satellite-type service.
Something needs to be done.
If individual states want to subsidize Internet service in rural areas, that is fine with me. That's different from some galactic Federal program to put 200Mbps everywhere.
Re: What Happens When You Give Basic Income to the Poor?
I was prepared to dismiss this out of hand but after reading the article, I actually found this rather interesting. Then I dismissed it!
There are a couple of advantages that I can see compared to welfare. It could be less expensive to implement if it cut down on the bureaucracy. It would be much easier to actually get off the subsidy compared to the welfare system. In the US where going to work disqualifies one from getting any of many (all?) of the welfare programs so income from any job an unskilled welfare recipient would likely get would constitute a huge reduction in income.
But I doubt it will have the desired effect.
First, the article doesn't mention any means testing (I assume that is part of the plan or it would be impossibly expensive) and says it solves intends to solve the problem of the "stigma" the poor experience but, at least in the US, there seems to be very little stigma in receiving welfare. Beyond that, there is no explanation for why this plan reduces whatever stigma the author assumes. How is getting a "basic income" different from getting welfare WRT to any stigma?
Second, the basic income is subject to the same political pressures that welfare is - it is still a way to buy votes. People receiving it and want it increased and those whose conscience is assuaged by it and want it increased would make up a powerful voting block.
Third, I don't consider the short term experiences the author sites to be significant. The US's experience with welfare was similar. The poverty rate was declining and after Johnson's anti poverty programs came it, it declined a bit more but never got lower than the rate a few years after the programs started and in fact was often greater.
Probably the most power teacher is failure. We are much more inclined to dissect our failures than our successes so we tend to learn a lot more from them. In addition, people learn from other's failures, too. Schemes that pretend to be be compassionate by reducing the ways and effects of failure will be counter productive - as will any scheme that goes against human nature.
Pain is very educational. Sadly, some people need to be educated more than once - and sometimes they need a kick in the ass to get them moving.
If I'd had a guaranteed basic income when I was in my 20s, I'd probably have adapted to living at that level. Whereas when I got tired of part-time minimum wage work, I found I had a talent for computers... and got myself out of the hole I'd dug for myself.
Re: Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.
In "normal" democratic governments, the power of government is restrained at the margins because the party in power is disinclined to grant more powers to an eventual administration of the opposing party.
The plan was for enough new "citizens" to vote Democratic for there never to be another Republican administration so they didn't have to worry about giving Republicans so much power.
Thankfully, so far, that failed.
So, if in fact the democrats do wish to look inside to see why they failed (said willingness I doubt), then they need go no farther than to look at the feminist system of job entitlement. Any woman--any job--any time. Of course, that is to say only the women who blindly follow their local feminist handlers. However, the rest of us need to look locally at how this evolved. Forty five years ago all women wanted was to have an equal chance at a job they thought they were qualified to do. Today, the majority of gov't jobs, school leadership and teaching jobs, city hall jobs, etc. have gone to women who follow the dictates of the democratic tribe. I give you this
Moves over...makes room on the "states' rights" platform for the California democrats who are clamoring aboard this bandwagon.
When Texas tried leaving the union in 1861 a warmonger shot lots of us to force us back in...at gunpoint. So good luck with that, Cali.
stop trashing pro-Unionist Sam Houston and don't talk about Jeff Davis like that. Jeff was a loser and moron, inept military leader, worthless at making foreign policy and just a general all around 'tard, that's true, but he did dress up as a woman to evade capture. if he lived long enough he'd have dressed as a woman to get on a Titanic lifeboat, and if he lived until today he'd be an ordinary gender unhinged moonbat.
seriously, didn't you people learn anything since 1865? CA can't leave, you can't leave.