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
Saturday, October 23. 2021
Paintmakers Are Running Out of the Color Blue
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Getting error 404, so here is the link on the Bloomberg report on the color blue...
"In addition to the bluish hue, Akzo Nobel is having trouble sourcing the tinplate used to make metal cans, forcing the Amsterdam-based company to ship empty pots from one country to another for filling. It also called a force majeure on deliveries of some exterior wall paints because an additive needed to make them waterproof is unavailable."
When I worked on a trim crew we put up plenty of fake shutters. I never undersootd it. No one in OK has real shutters.
The people who buy homes with fake shutters are the same people who belong to HOAs. I don't think that's a coincidence.
The term, I believe, is "decoration". There's zero practical use for it anywhere on any structure at all. There never has been. Yet humans have always enjoyed adorning their personal and public buildings with all manner of decorative features. And I'm sure there's always been people in the neighborhood pointing and saying, " Ew" and feeling superior. I had a house with fake shutters once...a 1954 ranch. Sweet little house. The trend long dates HOAs.
My big knock on decorative pseudo-shutters is that they're a bear to dismount for cleaning and repainting. Yeah, we all know they're fake, but they're not offensive like that jackass down the street with his shibboleth-filled rainbow virture-signalling sign.
Rest assured I did NOT buy my house 30 years ago just to acquire a set of "cute little shutters." AFAIK, my HOA--bless their libertarian low-dues little hearts--has no design guide requiring shutters, nor do they have Shutter Nazis roving the 'hood performing white-glove shutter inspections.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go re-mount that FAKE SHUTTER that I repainted yesterday. And bask in its wonderfulness.
Legal Analysis: Does Alec Baldwin Have Criminal Exposure After Shooting Woman Dead In Apparent Mistake?
Might be an "apparent mistake" on the part of someone loading a live round in the firearm, but why was the gun fired at the cinematographer and director from such a short distance, the projectile (obstruction or bullet projectile) had enough force to go through the cinematographer and into the director?
Perhaps it was a scripted shot, but if so it was negligently planned to have two people that close to the path of the discharge. If not, Baldwin intentionally discharged was firearm, whether or not he thought it was "cold", in the direction of another human for no lawful purpose.
It was apparently while they were setting up a scene where Baldwin's character would pull the gun from a holster, point it at the camera, and fire. The cameraman, cinematographer, and director were huddled behind a monitor trying to get the camera aligned correctly; this meant that Baldwin had to move to his mark, pull the gun, and point it at the camera, while the three were still there getting the camera aligned and focused correctly-- during the actual filming, no one would have been on the camera, and a discharge would have been harmless. The tight group of people is why the bullet could hit two people at once (went through the cinematographer and into the director behind her), assuming there was only one discharge.
So it looks like the sequence of errors were: 1) the gun was loaded, but it should have been unloaded (not even a blank) and 2) Baldwin shouldn't have pulled the trigger during the scene setup. It would also appear that the gun was not only loaded, but loaded with ball ammo rather than blank-- there is no reason whatsoever for ball to be on set. A blank couldn't have gone through one person and hit another, nor would it have been fatal at that range.
Some reports are coming out saying this was not the first "accidental discharge" on this set, and that casualness with safety was one of the reasons that the union crew quit several hours before the incident.
The guy upset about the shutters is bothered because they are decorative instead of functional. We have not needed functional shutters for years, so they all are just decorative. He sets up an artificial rule based on what he thinks is "right" and then faults others for not obeying it. It's just snobbery. People can have their houses look the way they want, Jasper. NOYB.
I like the return to this format, Roger.
Chicago blighted by shoplifting because shoplifters are only prosecuted if they steal over $1000
The city’s approach to prosecuting retail crime is similar to one in San Francisco, where prosecutors only issue felony charges for thefts of property worth over $950. Walgreens cited the shoplifting issue as the reason it closed 17 stores and is planning to close another five throughout the city, the pharmacy chain announced last week.
Stores throughout Chicago’s Magnificent Mile are doing the same as Macy’s closed its 170,000-square-foot flagship store in Water Tower Place last spring, Japanese retailer Uniqlo closed its 60,000-square-foot store in August and the Disney Store closed its 7,000-square-foot location on Michigan Avenue last month.
In the past few years, Gap, Forever 21 and Tommy Bahama have also closed stores on the Magnificent Mile. The vacancy rate has skyrocketed from 11 percent in 2019 to 19 percent this year, according to ABC 7.
NH Democrats are an emotional bunch. We wonder if they are really Yankees up here. Recent evidence is against it.
We have been blaming Massachusetts for decades, but surveys show those exiles aren't the problem so much as those from further out. Blaming NYC and Southeastern CT is closer to the truth.
Maybe they're closet Vermonters. But not only that, they're poorly informed. Joe promised us during the campaign he was going to be a one-term president. He promised[i]. Of course, in his mind, it would probably [i]seem like his first term.
My shutters are fully functional and used when hurricanes come sniffing by.
We wanted to put working shutters on this house when we built it in 2005, but we realized too late that we'd made the windows too big and placed them too close to corners, doors, and other windows--no room for a shutter of a functional size. We're stuck with ugly corrugated aluminum storm shutters affixed laboriously with butterfly nuts. They do work in a hurricane, though, and they come right down afterwards.
Anyway, no tacky fake shutters, which always make me think of a My-Little-Pony style plastic dollhouse, or a faux bookcase with wallpaper mimicking bindings of olde classics.
ITEM 6: Jordan Schachtel reported, "The Revolving Door: All 3 FDA-Authorized Covid Shot Companies Now Employ Former FDA Commissioners." WHY am I NOT surprised?
Bastiat's famous Candlestick makers' Petition: OOOOO-RAH!!
Big switch: New Hampshire Democrats want Biden primaried in 2024: Abso-Damn-LUTELY!!
Illinois Sheriffs Reject Mayor Lightfoot's Urgent Plea To Cover Police Shortage In Crime-Hit Chicago: Heh, heh,. hehhhhhhh.
Bastiat's phe petition of the candlemakers is great as is the fallacy of the broken window, but Bastiat's The Law is prescient. Here are excerpts:
“When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty, nor his property. They safeguard all these. . . But when the law, by means of its necessary agent ,force, imposes upon men a regulation of labour, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed — then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people.”
“Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?”
“If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over all.”
“The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!”
“When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it – without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud – to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed. I say that this act is exactly what the law is supposed to suppress, always and everywhere. When the law itself commits this act that it is supposed to suppress, I say that plunder is still committed. . .”
“. . .when the plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes [police], and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.”
“Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter – by peaceful or revolutionary means – into the making of laws.”
“Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain – and since labor is pain in itself – it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly.”
“When a politician views society from the seclusion of his office he is struck by the spectacle of inequality that he sees. He deplores the deprivations, which are the lot of so many of our brothers, deprivations, which appear to be even sadder when contrasted with luxury and wealth. Perhaps the politician should ask himself whether this state of affairs has not been caused by old conquests and lootings, and by more recent legal plunder. . . But the politician never gives this a thought. His mind turns to organizations, combinations, and arrangements – legal or apparently legal. He attempts to remedy the evil by increasing and perpetuating the very thing that caused the evil in the first place: legal plunder.”
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.”
“We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state of religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”
“If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good?”
If business/jobs were to go offshore for "natural" reasons then probably it would not harm the nation. But that is clearly not what has happened. In fact there has been a global conspiracy to loot America using our democracy against us. Our politicians have colluded with American and international businesses to do exactly this. Our unions who may have been necessary 100 years ago are today on both sides of this issue and have their own agenda to loot America. Most of the good middle class jobs in America are gone or soon will be and many of those jobs that still exist here are being filled by H-1B foreigners. And before you jump to the conclusion that our own citizens can't or won't do those jobs let me say that in most cases American employees are far superior in these fields than the H-1B employees. So... why hire H-1B's? Because they will work 80+ hour weeks for less money than an American employee and dare not complain about it. Simple as that.
Simply put your wealth, your America is being stolen right under your feet and soon YOU will be second class citizens in your own country. No decent jobs for you. No welfare unless you are the right skin color. No police or legal protection, again, unless you are the right skin color. The American dream is over. Most of our large companies are owned by foreign interests and most of our jobs will go to foreign workers (inside and outside of America). This is not an accident, it was planned, paid for with corruption and bribes and now the only problem is keeping legal Americans from stopping them. THAT is what the Democrat party today is all about. They sold you out, they replaced you at the voting booth they are taxing you to pay for the free stuff for their new voters and they are arresting you for objecting.
So! What are you going to do about it? Continue to vote your father's and grandfather's party? That party disappeared about Nov 22nd, 1963 and was taken over by far left Marxist/Communist thieves. Vote for Republicans? That party is a mixed bag of thieves, fools and patriots BUT not (yet) communists. Trump was the closest thing we have seen to an honest and capable politician in over 60 years (maybe 100). Trump was outed (yes they stole the election) because he was ruthlessly truthful and that scared the communist thieves. Their grift was being exposed so they had to eliminate him. Did you ever imagine that a president or ex-president would be denied any public platform or social media to speak??? EVER! And you don't think we are in deep shit today???
OneGuy: If business/jobs were to go offshore for "natural" reasons then probably it would not harm the nation.
Regardless of the politics, there has been strong economic pressure to move manufacturing to low-cost producing countries and for lower-cost labor to migrate to the U.S. Only force can regulate this natural market pressure. And inhibiting the pressure actually causes the pressure to increase while increasing costs for Americans.
"Force"!! Surely you jest. No force. In fact constitutional laws, unlike the laws the Biden administration is passing, would work just fine. We need tariffs.
"strong economic pressure" Yes! That is exactly what I said. National and international corporations and corrupt politicians colluded to move jobs offshore.
"increasing costs to Americans". True, exactly as the end of slavery increased costs. Many workers in China are virtually slaves and we are complicit in that.
1. Tariffs to bring foreign products costs equal to products made in the USA.
2. Enforce laws requiring employees in the U.S. to be U.S. citizens.
3. Thank all the H-1B workers and give them and their families a free ride back to their homes immediately.
4. Require everyone on welfare to work or they get nothing.
OneGuy: "Force"!! Surely you jest. No force. In fact constitutional laws, unlike the laws the Biden administration is passing, would work just fine. We need tariffs.
That's funny. You do realize that constitutional laws are enforced with, well, force.
9 Years in Prison for Recklessly Driving Drunk Into Jail
"laws are enforced with, well, force."
Well of course! All laws are enforced with force. Even Biden's unconstitutional laws are enforced with force. The difference is that laws should be written and enforced in a way that benefits and is in the best interest of our country and our citizens. Biden and his communists in congress are writing laws that are contrary to our best interests and the force seems too pleasurable to the communist left. Our Democrat communist leaders are acting more like the CCP or KGB or KKK and they are enjoying punishing our citizens and destroying our country.
OneGuy: All laws are enforced with force.
Well, you just said "'Force'!! Surely you jest. No force."
Ask the parents at school board meetings. The left has turned tyrannical and has revived their KKK roots.
The strong economic pressure is the result of US imposing environmental laws, CARB mandates, minimum wages, social security, medicare/medicaid, unemployment, welfare, and OSHA expenses that China neither mandates or provides to anyone except the party. As Trump said...we want fair trade and not free trade. China likes free trade and so does the oligarch class in this country.
indyjonesouthere: The strong economic pressure is the result of US imposing environmental laws, CARB mandates, minimum wages, social security, medicare/medicaid, unemployment, welfare, and OSHA expenses that China neither mandates or provides to anyone except the party.
Leaving aside the fact that the Chinese government imposes significant regulation on business, some of the economic pressure is certainly due to U.S. regulation, such as environmental and workplace safety laws. But the vast difference in wealth between the U.S. and other countries means there would continue to be strong economic pressure to outsource and for people to immigrate to the U.S. looking for work.
The U.S. can certainly impose laws to limit outsourcing and immigration, but that would be contrary to market forces, and like all regulation, would tend to reduce economic efficiency.
Outsourcing steel production to China means the Chinese will not comply with pollution or OSHA standards that we have. That means our steel production will all move to China unless their are tariffs. And the difference in pollution standards will seek the least restriction so the pollution will simply be relocated. That does make the higher standards useless unless, again, a tariff is added to compensate for the cost of pollution control or safety standards.
Allowing unfettered immigration simply lowers the wage scale of blue collar workers and when the immigrants/work visa holders fill very low paying jobs that prevents any kind of rise in wages to make it a job you can survive on. Then the visa holders make up the difference by going on welfare. Child tax credits also means that not only are they not paying any income tax but they are actually collecting income tax credits from other taxpayers.
Market forces do not work when there are not market forces in other countries or when crony capitalists import cheap labor.
indyjonesouthere: Outsourcing steel production to China means the Chinese will not comply with pollution or OSHA standards that we have.
Once upon a time, steel production was something special, the height of technological and industrial capabilities. Now, everybody makes steel. If you were to propose a "pollution" tax, then other countries would have an incentive to improve their pollution controls. Rather, you seemly advocate protectionism. Ordinary steel production will almost certainly never be a major U.S. product.
Gee whiz. Even conventional automobiles are standard technology, and they make them in China, Vietnam, just about everywhere. To compete, the U.S. has to make better cars, smart cars, green cars.
indyjonesouthere: Allowing unfettered immigration simply lowers the wage scale of blue collar workers and when the immigrants/work visa holders fill very low paying jobs that prevents any kind of rise in wages to make it a job you can survive on.
That's the market for ya.
A rabid antigun Liberal winds up killing more people with a gun than your average gun owner ever will.
“It’s like raaaaiin on your wedding day.”
So pleased that IL sheriffs are refusing to help Lightfoot, including Sheriff Mendrick (DuPage County, where I live) mentioned prominently in the story who has been a calm voice of reason in the unforced error stupidity fest surrounding the pandemic hysteria. He refuses to enforce Pritzker’s recent illegal (and unnecessary) mask mandates too.
Local political leadership matters, and it matters a LOT.
I am old enough to remember the polio vaccine saving lives. I got the vaccine in grade school. I got the Covid vaccine as soon as I was eligible and I have gotten the booster just last week. However I am opposed to the mandates for many reasons not the least of which it is unconstitutional. I do agree that a company can require that you get the vaccine. But how could anyone think that if a company fires you because you don't meet their standards that the government should deny you unemployment insurance and impose other "punishments". Seriously have we fallen that far from freedom and common sense?
Neil Cavuto was just on TV and he has covid. Yes he is fully vaccinated and he is urging everyone to get vaccinated. I'm sorry! This is like a drunk alcoholic with a drink in his hand lecturing you. Neil!! You are vaccinated! You contracted covid!!
OK! More than likely it is true that his covid is less serious and less likely to kill him because he is vaccinated. In fact I agree with that. BUT! Why does that mean that others should not make their own decisions. If you believe the stats the vaccine has in fact killed thousands and caused serious health consequences for hundreds of thousands. So why can't people make up their own mind?
What's next? Your kids will be forced to get vaccinated even though the risk to them from covid is less than the risk to them from the vaccine. AND more than likely your kids will be required to get a booster every year forever. Think about that. We went from vaccines that eradicated disease safely to a vaccine that does not eradicate the disease and in fact doesn't protect you from the disease and in fact is more dangerous than the disease and our government decided that this would be a good time to mandate the vaccine. Why???
JustMe: I am old enough to remember the polio vaccine saving lives.
That's right. Polio killed hundreds of Americans every year (3,145 in 1952). COVID is killing Americans by the hundreds of thousands.
JustMe: However I am opposed to the mandates for many reasons not the least of which it is unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court has ruled that mandates are constitution. Government powers during pandemics are deeply rooted in common law and in statutory law.
JustMe: You are vaccinated! You contracted covid!!
No vaccine provides perfect protection. (Polio vaccination is about 90% effective after two doses.) However, the COVID vaccine not only reduces the probability of infection, but reduces the severity of infection if you do become infected.
JustMe: So why can't people make up their own mind?
Because unvaccinated people act as a reservoir for a deadly disease, threatening others.
"The Supreme Court has ruled that mandates are constitution" sic
Show me where they specifically addressed the covid mandates. Since I already know you will prevaricate let me say that the Supremes have said that emergency powers are time limited in most instances to 30 days AND must be backed by specific legislation authorizing it.
"Because unvaccinated people act as a reservoir for a deadly disease"
There is de facto proof that vaccinated people do as well. The vaccine does not mean that when you get covid you can't give it to others.
What is missing from this discussion is that the Supremes have also ruled that NOTHING justifies taking of any rights guaranteed in the constitution, not even in an emergency. What the governor CAN do is suggest a action that people should take to avoid harm. What they cannot do is mandate an action that is counter to the constitution.
The problem here is this contra-constitutional mandates is exactly what the Left intends. It isn't about stopping the spread or rising to meet a emergency. It is about getting American citizens accustomed to accepting unconstitutional mandates from government.
JustMe: Show me where they specifically addressed the covid mandates.
The Supreme Court addressed vaccine mandates in Jacobson v. Massachusetts saying, "in every well ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand."
You made a blanket claim. The Supreme Court set a standard of reasonableness. The federal government is more limited than the states, but has the power under various federal statutes to enact specific mandates, such as for federal workers or public conveyances used for interstate travel.
JustMe: There is de facto proof that vaccinated people do as well.
People who are vaccinated are much less likely to acquire the disease, so will be much less likely to transmit the disease. They are also more likely to recover quickly, also limiting the exposure of others.
JustMe: What is missing from this discussion is that the Supremes have also ruled that NOTHING justifies taking of any rights guaranteed in the constitution, not even in an emergency.
The Supreme Court says otherwise, "real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others."
JustMe: It isn't about stopping the spread or rising to meet a emergency.
That would be a matter for the courts under the reasonableness standard, and the courts have largely upheld the current restrictions.
You are citing a 100 YO ruling for a much more serious disease.
Do your own homework. If you aren't in the loop what the hell are you doing arguing the point?
Marbury vs Madison
JustMe: You are citing a 100 YO ruling for a much more serious disease.
Yes, it's a long-standing decision that the government has powers to respond to a pandemic, including the power to mandate vaccination. This is contrary to your claim above that any such restrictions are unconstitutional.
JustMe: Do your own homework.
In other words, you can't support any of your claims.
It is a long standing decision that slavery is legal and abortion is illegal. Maybe you missed that in your zeal to support your far left agenda.
To put it simply it is unconstitutional to pass any laws that are contrary to what the constitution states. And I would go a step further and say not just what the constitution states but what the founders meant in what is stated. What you are claiming is that just any activist judge can make a decision that is unconstitutional on it's face and we are wrong to point out his fallacy. That is incorrect. IF the state(s) or federal government passes an unconstitutional law we citizens are not obliged to obey it.
JustMe: It is a long standing decision that slavery is legal and abortion is illegal.
Slavery in the U.S. was ended by war and constitutional amendment, not by the courts. Abortion was legal for much of America's early history.
JustMe: To put it simply it is unconstitutional to pass any laws that are contrary to what the constitution states. And I would go a step further and say not just what the constitution states but what the founders meant in what is stated.
America's legal system is based on common law, and the power of government to control contagions is deeply rooted in common law. George Washington imposed an inoculation mandate on the entire Continental Army, and that was when variolation could lead to death. Quarantines were common in the era. So, you're wrong on history and wrong on the Constitution.
Notably, you didn't provide citation to support your claims above.
So, you couldn't find an instance where the Supremes addressed covid vaccine. LOL
"People who are vaccinated are much less likely to acquire the disease"
It would appear that this is not true. In some states right now more than half of those hospitalized with Covid are fully vaccinated. Sorry, try again.
"The Supreme Court says otherwise"
Actually the Supremes talked out of both sides of their mouths on this issue. They did explicitly rule that nothing justifies the taking of a constitutional right. BUT if you wanted to meet the instance where the Supremes prevaricated on this issue it involved a case where congress passed a law and NOT where a dementia patient in the WH mumbled something and his aides called it a mandate.
"That would be a matter for the courts"
I don't think we can trust the courts any more they have been stacked with little Eichmans the likes of Merritt Garland. I think we may need to bring back the guillotine or it's 21st century equivalent. I think that the communist left have overplayed their hand and now intend to call our bluff.
JustMe: So, you couldn't find an instance where the Supremes addressed covid vaccine.
Why would they? They don't rule on the constitutionality of every instance of installing a traffic light either. The Supreme Court established the basic principle, contrary to your claim above.
JustMe: In some states right now more than half of those hospitalized with Covid are fully vaccinated.
(As vaccinations increase, hospitalizations decrease, but the proportion of people hospitalized who have been vaccinated increases.)
JustMe: They did explicitly rule that nothing justifies the taking of a constitutional right.