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.
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Wednesday, August 9. 2017
A friend sent along this video from a recital for a music store in Los Angeles. Holy cow she's only ten years old. Double-plus good: That's her mother accompanying her on the piano. Cool choice of music, too. "Sicilienne" by Maria Teresia von Paradis. She was a blind musician and composer who had Salieri for a teacher and Mozart for a friend.
I don't know about you, but when I was ten years old, I was still eating earthworms I found in the playground, and my mother only played the radio. There's some hope for the human race yet.
On to the links!
Little Kimmie better not work outside in the yard too often. Shame if something fell on him.
Mmm. Polyphenols. If I recall my chemistry correctly (I bet I don't), Polyphenols are called "anti-nutrients." I don't go out of my way to eat anti-nutrients.
It appears that everyone in Europe is a French waiter now.
If you scuttle your ship, do you have to keep up the loan payments? I'm asking for a friend.
He's kinda cute. Unless you're a squirrel.
Neato. I wonder if they have a copy of Good Old Shoe?
Apple employees are revolting? I'll say they are.
I would have answered, "Because, unlike Greeks, they have some."
I love the term "cord cutters." People who used to pay one cable TV bill and a small internet bill will now pay seventeen streaming service bills and a giant internet bill for bandwidth. You know, to save aggravation and money.
Not a NIMBY, I see.
I think they misunderstood him. I think he was just referring to hanging them all on telephone poles.
Harrumph. Back in my day, sonny, we just married the boss's daughter.
Well, there are the links for today. I hope you're all ready for another grueling day of resting and vesting, or being henpecked, or maybe even working if you can't avoid it.
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Ice cream that doesn't melt is an abomination! A solution in search of a problem.
I remember ice cream that wouldn't melt back in school cafeteria. A little water would dribble out and it would take on a bubbled surface, but that was it; it kept its shape. It was some sort of tofu looking colored artificial glop. Thinking about it still sends chills down my spine.
"Mr Trump and Moon Jae-in, his South Korean counterpart..."
Amusing. If Mr. Moon was really Mr. Trump's counterpart, South Korea wouldn't need the U.S. to protect it.
The article about the tourists reminds me of the great novel by Anne Tyler The Accidental Tourist. “Plenty of other books say how to see as much of the city as possible,” his boss had told him. “You should say how to see as little.”)”
― Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist
Actually, in areas where there is a cable monopoly and at least some competition in internet service, the internet bill is usually significantly less than middle of the road cable. It's also pretty rare to have to pay for multiple streaming services. We 'cut the cord' because the way cable providers bundle channels we were paying for dozens of channels we never watched to get the few that we did. Signing up for two or three streaming services (which we can not pay for when we're not watching their shows) is significantly less expensive.
"Across southern Europe, from the choked boulevards of Gaudi's Barcelona to the swarms of cruise liners disgorging passengers into Croatia's mediaeval Dubrovnik, residents are complaining that a sharp rise in tourism is making life intolerable. The backlash has sparked concerns for one of the region's biggest economic drivers and prompted authorities to act."
Those lousy tourists! Why don't they all stay at home?
Naturally, they should still send their money to us though.
(I understand that, in the case of Dubrovnik, legions of die-hard Game of Thrones fans are a big part of the annoyance.)
Love the notion that anything we consider necessary to modern life (Facebook? seriously?) should be treated as a utility. Does it occur to these geniuses that the free market actually works and should be valued in proportion to the importance of whatever it operates on? The surest way to a ruin something is to treat it like a utility. It's the Venezuela plan: bread is important! Let's do everything in our power to make sure there's not enough of it, because we're compassionate!
I smiled a lot after reading the silly, silly article about Germans and cash. I have an extensive German side of my family, 16 cousins and we get together quite often. Even though I was born in Canada my German remains fluent.
Germans are cheap. Super cheap. "Sparsam" as my mother used to call it. Credit cards cost money. Someone is paying MasterCard its 2 or 3% and German consumers know it's them.
Plus, they are the largest and most effective tax cheats I have ever seen. Everyone knows it, including the government, because civil servants cheat too, as much as they can. Huge numbers of people work, or buy and sell off the books.
Back in the day before our money laundering rules Germans used to come her to Canada to buy land and businesses with briefcases full of cash. I'm out of the line of business that introduced me to them, but I'm sure they still manage to get their "Schwartzes Geld" over here somehow.
Most continental Europeans share a hatred and fear of their governments that we in North America are just learning. Unlike us, they know who is the eternal real enemy.
Part of the Platonic essence of ice cream is that it is cold. Ice cream that does not melt at room temperature is not ice cream. It is some bastardized form of Crème Anglais at best.
The Apple Open Offfice space article had me laughing. My company's HQ is moving to a similar plan and people are angry. Many people will just work at home instead.
1) I have sensitive teeth. I like ice cream partially melted before I eat it. Also, you can taste the flavors better when eaten a bit warm. I'll take my ice cream melty, please.
2) The assumption I've had to deal with is that everyone wants to be social and work as a 'team' in the work place. Not so for us introverts. I need a few walls to 'hide' behind and a way to turn off the interaction. Thank goodness I run my own business and can work my way, rather than the way the company deems 'best' for me.
In fact, my even more introvert husband and I were talking about the assumption that extroversion is 'great' and introversion is a problem that needs to be 'fixed.' If you aren't joining in, you are a 'party pooper.' If you sit alone in a corner, you must be 'lonely.' If you leave the room to go read a book, someone will seek you out and think you are 'bored.'
Me neither re. Facebook. I've been searching though for fun and profit since before there was an internet, starting with Gopher, then DejaNews, and finally Google. Google, with all it's monetization and social justice schemes, is still the best search engine, IMHO. By controlling scripts and popups, and crafting search terms to beat back the commercial stuff, you can still get some pretty useful search results on Google.
North Korea has produced a miniaturised and missile-ready nuclear warhead, say US analysts.
China has been decidedly unhelpful in reining in North Korea. Which should not be that much of a surprise, as hundreds of thousands of Chinese died in the 1950s defending the Kim regime from the consequences of its invasion of the South.
My suggestion is to have Japan consider going nuclear.
Gringo, Both Japan and South Korea going nuclear is the risk China takes in continuing to support NK (just to consume our resources and annoy us).
Here is another win-win approach:
NK gets much of its funding from coal sold to China. We agree to suply coal from West Virginia and the western States to China at the price they pay NK. The US subsidizes the difference. This cuts off NK funds to buy war material/electronics/tech at a cheap price. It keeps our citizens employed.
What do you think?
No! First a subsidy is bad. It will likely never go away and instead multiply. Second do you really think China won't continue to support NK?
There is no good answer to NK and their nukes. If NK attacks SK without nukes, which is the most likely scenario, they could kill half of the civilians in Seoul before we could actually engage them in an attempt to stop them. Millions could die in the first 24 hours. If NK nukes SK, Japan, Guam, Hawaii, Alaska, etc. again millions will die in the first 24 hours. There is no "good" option. The best option would be for China to invade NK overnight destroy their army and kill Kim and give it back to SK. Aint gonna happen. There are no good options. The second best option is to destroy NK's nukes, military and weapons in a massive surprise attack. BUT, likely millions would die in the first 24 hours.
I predict what we will do is nothing and we will simply wait to see what Kim does. Probably the worse option but incredibly the only option that would have universal agreement.
The Chinese could resume buying coal from "Korea" after "regime change". So your permanent export subsidy problem is solved by strategic success. China doesn't want a unified Korea on its border - China has always suppressed the koreans, who resent it, now and historically. But China's least desirable outcome is probably nuclear-armed Japan and South Korea. So if given a stark choice, rather than more perpetual churchilian jaw-jaw, they should conclude that their "plausible deniability" asset could be traded away. A replacement regime need not unify with the South.
China's stated fear of mass migration is a makeweight. If China can mass troops on the border (which it does), it can easily stop illegal immigration. That is one benefit of a communist autocracy.
Despite its new silk road ambitions, I also don't think China is enthusiastic about the Iranian-NK axis (plutonium for oil?). China has its own radical terrorism problems, which more Iranian alignment on the Korean Peninsula would exacerbate.
It's all pie in the sky. Sure we could stop the subsidy once it is no longer needed after all that's what we did with the corn to ethanol study after we proved it was even more polluting than gasoline without ethanol, right?
I still believe there is no solution that can bring China onboard. I don't believe we will dare choose the 2nd best solution, i.e. attack and destroy their nuclear arsenal and military in one massive fell swoop. I believe we will take no effective steps and wait for Kim to make the first move. My fear is he is really as nutty and stupid as he appears to be and will nuke something. Time will tell...
I think we are going to find out that all this sudden N. Korean nuclear development is actually being financed by the Iranians, specifically, the $150 billion that was quietly transferred to Iran through Obama's stupidity. Iran has just transferred its nuclear program to N.Korea as its proxy and will buy the resulting product for use against Israel.
I think the best result is probably for China to take out the Kim regime through assassination or coup and install its own puppet government, perhaps with the complicit agreement of S. Korea. (One reason why Kim Jeong Un has killed his brother and other members of his family is that they could have been candidates to be replacement leaders in such an event.)
China is not crazy, and despite its surface Communism, its economy is driven by capitalist concerns as much as anyone's. There is a strong trade relationship between China and S. Korea. A war would be devastating to China economically, even if it did not get drawn in directly. With a new government in place in N. Korea, there could be a gradual warming of relations between N. and S. Korea, which would be far preferable to what is going on now. China only wants N. Korea to exist because it is a buffer state against U.S. and S. Korean military presence to the south. If the Kim government is replaced and N. Korea renounces its goal of overcoming S. Korea, presumably over time the U.S. can reduce its military presence in S. Korea and tensions will lessen all around. Ideally at some point there could be increased relationships and even 통일 (reunification) between North and South, although that would be a long way down the road.
Jim, well argued and rational. I'd only quibble about Obama's perfidy rather than stupidity. Secret planeloads of unmarked cash flown in attempted secrecy to Iran to fund mideast terrorists can't be mere stupidity.
Something to consider.
At this stage, I prefer sticks to carrots. China has been fed carrots for the last 30 years.The results of 30 years of carrots are not entirely pleasing.
Add more THAAD missile radars to South Korea and Japan, encourage the Japanese to go nuclear even if we loan them nukes, and slowly restrict Chinese access to US markets.
"Bannon’s basic argument, as he has outlined it to people who’ve spoken with him, is that Facebook and Google have become effectively a necessity in contemporary life."
I wonder how I survive. I use neither Facebook nor Google.