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, February 28. 2017
Pediatricians Warn Against Pot Use: Not Your Dad’s Marijuana
Climbing Mount Immortality: Death, Cognition and the Making of Civilization - How awareness of our mortality may be a major driver of civilization
Are you familiar with this Catholic priest, Richard Rohr?
Scraping by on six figures? Tech workers feel poor in Silicon Valley's wealth bubble
Minimum Wage Massacre: Wendy's Unleashes 1,000 Robots To Counter Higher Labor Costs
School Choice Will Restore Our Competitive Edge
No it won't, but choices are good in themselves
"...the feminists have decided that the only acceptable role for a Strong, Independent Woman is victim."
Social Justice Warrior Spends Weeks Peppering Siri and Other Virtual Assistants With Sexually Harassing Statements; Finds the Bots' Acceptance of Such Overtures "Horrifying"
Siri is a secret agent of the patriarchy
California Considers Moving To Single Payer Health System
Zeroing In on Government Fraud - The feds are cracking down on “Enron accounting” in states and cities.
Corruption in government is rewarded. Corruption in business is punished. Government is more corrupt than business.
Charles Hurt: Obama Would ‘Routinely’ Keep Reporters Out of Gaggles
Socialist Le Pen rising in French polls
WHY THE EU CAN’T MAKE SENSE OF THE WORLD AND WHY ITS DOWNFALL IS IMMINENT
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Although I realize it was those high salaries that caused the insanely high cost of living in Silicon Valley, still it doesn't make them totally whiners. Most have worked hard learning that coding business or some other highly sought skill, landed a plum job at big tech firm, then find that that cost of living destroys the actual buying power of the great salary.
It is not as if the workers had anything handed to them, they worked hard (I imagine. I've got no links to that area or the people) it is not a great situation to be one or two paychecks away from losing one's home. Also many face a real risk of being replaced by cheaper skilled immigrants.
The one thing that did surprise me about the article is, that while those interviewed felt sympathy towards the support staffers' even worse situation, these lefties didn't devise some sort of creative solution such as collective pooling of money to help with their housing.
Re: Siri, Alexa and the patriarchy
The comment/question in the article was hilarious -
"Is there a level above first world problems?"
Coffee, meet keyboard.
The whining part is that most of these tech workers created the problems by voting for liberals. The liberals restricted building through very tight zoning laws. Did you know there is a HUGE open swath of land between Silicon Valley and San Francisco along I-280 that cannot be built upon? Yep. Loads of land. Perfect spot for commuters to live. Cannot build on it.
Also, liberal polices have allowed for tons of H1B visa workers to flood into these tech jobs. Did you know that many Indians and Chinese people are buying up homes with cash? Raising the cost of homes all over that area of CA?
Also, San Francisco has so demonized property owners that they have some of the craziest tenant laws in the nation. Nearly impossible to get rid of someone. They keep raising taxes on properties making it more and more expensive to live there pushing out anyone but the wealthiest.
About 10 years ago my parents sold the last of their rental properties they owned in San Jose. The place (a small 2-bedroom) was purchased by 3 people. Yes, 3. A married couple and their friend. They were all teachers. The married couple were newlyweds...could not qualify for the house on their own. Can you even imagine sharing your first house as newly married with a 3rd person???
Anyway, welcome to California!
Re: Scraping by on six figures?
For all their intelligence, so few of them seem to have the imagination to get our of the hell hole they live in. There are lots of software and digital marketing jobs in places where they can earn half of what they're making now and live well. But then, at least some of these people think that VC firms should solve homelessness. They have a home, don't they?
At the same time, it's surprising to me that the companies seem content to stay where costs are so high. Those companies could move where costs and regulations are much less expensive and still have the high quality labor they have now.
Middle America has plenty of affordable housing, good schools, etc.
Although I will say, that there are places where the mood is almost tangible. I've been told that in Silicon Valley one can feel the optimism and enthusiasm for creating great tech and viable businesses. I expect it's similar in Austin.
Not necessarily true in other places. Even Wilbur Wright lamented the lack of commitment (aka purchases) to products that the Dayton locals liked, and this was back in the late 1800s. I can attest that things haven't changed much in W. Ohio.
I rarely visit Starbucks any more. The quality of the coffee seems to have dropped and I have to wait for them to make milkshakes for people before I get my coffee. Dunkin coffee is just awful.
I don't understand marijuana use except as an addiction. I do understand addictions and denial and I know a number of marijuana users who swear they are not addicted and just use it to relax. Which brings me back to I don't understand because I'm 73 years old and I have never needed to smoke, drink or 'pop' anything to relax. While I have believed for a long time that marijuana use should be decriminalized I still believe it should be controlled and avoided and certainly not encouraged and pushed by governments. America has a drug and alcohol problem. As a society we are healthy and enjoy long lives but a certain percentage of our society die young either directly from drug and alcohol use or indirectly (as in shooting in Chicago or being killed by a drunk or high driver). Perhaps it's just human nature and a certain percentage of people when allowed choice will choose these addictive and destructive options. Maybe that's just the price we pay for a free society.
Back in the 60s when the drug culture exploded, we had a neighbor who was the chief pathologist at a major Midwest hospital. In the process of autopsying hundreds of bodies, he discovered that many of those who died after using drugs, including marijuana that was considered harmless, had bizarre shrinkage of or large gaps within the tissue of the brain. He took photos and distributed them to the parents, so they could warn their children of the dangers. Abuse of alcohol also carried dangers to the fetus.
Fortunately, he said, the brain can adjust and repair some damage, but the photos deterred many a teen from starting on such drugs.
RE Are you familiar with this Catholic priest, Richard Rohr?
See also, Thomas Merton and what got him into trouble with Authority. However, as the Orange Catholic Bible teaches,
Religion must remain an outlet for people who say to themselves, "I am not the kind of person I want to be." It must never sink into an assemblage of the self-satisfied.
RE Minimum Wage Massacre: Wendy's Unleashes 1,000 Robots To Counter Higher Labor Costs
The true minimum wage is $0.00/hr.
Dave: Open the drive-thru, WENDY.
WENDY: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
"The true minimum wage is $0.00/hr."
Less than that. Remember, you are mandated to buy health insurance now, so the true minimum wage is a negative.
It is funny watching the press hate Trump for doing what Obama did to the press. Obama had less press conferences than any modern president and routinely discriminated against publications that didn't spout his party line.
But Trump does it and journalists are acting as if they are being put in front of firing squads. If they REALLY cared about journalistic freedom and the freedom of speech, they would have had hunger strikes to protest the injustice done to Nakoula Bassley Nakoula by the Obama-Clinton cabal.
Blaming the press for its shortcomings and limiting access in gaggles is not stifling free speech.
"Siri is a secret agent of the patriarchy "
Siri is the 21st century waitress in a diner. I assume they rejected naming her Flo early on.
"Minimum Wage Massacre: Wendy's Unleashes 1,000 Robots To Counter Higher Labor Costs"
I stopped even trying Wendy's because of the excruciating slowness of how they ran their front counter. It didn't seem to be employee dependent, it seemed like the company policy, i.e., one order at a time from order to delivery before taking the next order.
So perhaps if I see a Wendy's with the kiosks I'll give it another try.
"California Considers Moving To Single Payer Health System"
What if that person moves out of state?
Does the punishment fit the crime?
Man, woman sentenced for terrorizing partygoers with Confederate Flag
A judge sentenced two people to prison Monday for their involvement in a confrontation at a child's birthday party that involved weapons and the Confederate flag.
Monday morning, a judge sentenced Torres to 20 years in prison, with 13 to serve. Norton was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with six to serve.
I would hope their lawyer appeals this. It would seem to be a miscarriage of justice. I believe they did break the law but not by flying th confederate flag or using the n word. But I suspect they were sentenced for their rudeness and things that they did which were not illegal.
According to prosecutors, about 15 people, several pointing guns, were riding through town that day with a group called “Respect the Flag.”
The child’s mother, Melissa Alford, said the group walked up to her property and threatened her family.“They repeatedly yelled death threats saying they were going to killing all the N----. They said, 'We'll blow the heads off all the little b------ and the little n----- can get one too,'” Emadi told Judge William McClain during the sentencing hearing.
in what part of the US is threatening to murder kids considered unobjectionable?
I don't disagree that they were asses and that they broke laws. What I am saying is they had been black threatening whites with guns and using racial slurs (and I can point you to youtube videos of it) that they would have be.en treated less harshly. You could probably fill a book with names of murders and rapist who were found guilty and got lesser sentences.
IMHO I think the "hate crimes" is pure BS. Either it is a crime and deserves a punishment or it is not. No one murders or rapes out of love (well in most cases). All crimes are hate crimes. I might consider revising my view on this if hate crimes were treated equitably but much like this example they are typically only prosecuted against whites.
They were asses and yet their actions were not nearly as bad as numerous BLM activists. What they did was stupid and divisive but yet not nearly as stupid and divisive as what the Democrat party has done. Most of what they did in spite of the rudeness and bias of it was probably well within the limtis of the 1st amendment unlike the violence we see Democrat operatives commit in their riots and demonstrations.