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, January 24. 2022
Photo is from a friend X-country skiing in Tahoe
How connected fitness became the new obsession. Investors may be cooling on the at-home exercise business, but it has changed the way millions work out
The fit and famous. To strive, to struggle, to sweat, is to be human
She has gadgets
Imperial College London’s Cancel Campaign Against Its Own Founders
Protect the kids from feeling "unsettled"
Data, data, everywhere. A new major in data science helps undergrads make sense of it all.
Campus Double Standards and the Need to Protect Jewish and Zionist Students
Kling's summary: Keeping up with the FITs
There’s a reason for the chaos that controls within the Democrat party
The US Must Prepare for War Against Russia Over Ukraine. If Putin is not deterred from seizing another chunk of sovereign territory, he won’t stop there.
The decision of the Biden administration to arrange for the payment of Iran’s dues at the United Nations is being described to us as “a staggering act of appeasement.
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Direct link to the Daniel Greenfield Front Page post that's the basis for "There’s a reason for the chaos that controls within the Democrat party".
Evelyn N. Farkas (If Putin is not...) is an exemplar of the lunatics who run this country. With regard to Ukraine, she is blind to the US own aggression The US attacked Ukraine via organizing a coup d'etat, which overthrew the legitimate, democratically elected government of Ukraine and imposed a junta on that country. That done, the US prevented both Poroshenko and Zelenskii from implementing the Minsk accords, which would have ended the current civil war there and kept the Donbas in Ukraine. Russia still supports the Minsk Accords, which it negotiated with Germany, France and Ukraine itself, but the US also forced Germany and France to abandon what they had achieved.
The US is the Evil Empire. We are the bad guys in nearly every dispute. We started almost every war since the fall of the USSR, almost every one of them against countries that were at peace with the US and its allies.
Serbia, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Libya, Ukraine, Belarus, Yemen, Kazakhstan. A litany of war crimes. Almost 1,000,000 Muslim civilians killed, including a 16 year-old American teen.
I once thought we were the good guys.
Now I see that my country is being fleeced by men and women who only want power and money.
The tree of liberty is dying if not already dead.
Time to pull up the bridge and watch the world burn.
Prepare for frisky times.
And all those countries we started a war with did nothing???
Not sure if you are Sarc or not but don't
forget Vietnam and Korea
Well, technically, the CIA was probably responsible for most of what you claim. And while they are (probably?) Americans, they sure don’t seem to represent the will of the People. We should never have tried to undermine the world authority of the Communists. What has it ever gotten us?
You can add a few S. American countries to that list.
I suppose you could say Korea is our fault, after all the US was the primary negotiator for the 38th parallel. We pretty much ran the UN at the time. Damn shame those S. Koreans started enjoying their freedom.
Vietnam is the definitely the responsibility of the French.
Wisconsin Judge Amazingly Rules 7 Health Care Workers Cannot Switch Jobs
Telling people they cannot quit for a better opportunity is blatantly unconstitutional. But that just happened in Wisconsin.
The Appleton, Wisconsin Post-Crescent reports Fox Valley Health Care Workers Now Playing Out in Court.
The seven workers quit ThedaCare, applied for positions at Ascension, and received job offers.
The seven did not have contracts or obligations at ThedaCare nor did Ascension recruit those workers.
Nonetheless, ThedaCare filed a lawsuit seeking to block the move.
Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Mark McGinnis granted ThedaCare's request and until at least Monday.
In the complaint, lawyers for ThedaCare wrote that Ascension had "shockingly" chosen to "poach" the employees during a stressful time for health care. More COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in the Fox Valley now than at any other time during the pandemic, according to Wisconsin Hospital Association data, and ThedaCare has canceled non-emergency surgeries to make space.
ThedaCare-Neenah is a Level II Trauma Center, part of which means they have specialists like interventional radiologists available regularly to treat patients. Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital, a Level III Trauma Center, can provide initial support to trauma patients and is able to transfer them to ThedaCare-Neenah for more care, according to definitions from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Ascension says it did not recruit the workers and that ThedaCare had an opportunity to make counter-offers but didn't.
Timothy Breister, one of applicants in the dispute said the pay, the benefits, and the life-style options offered by Ascension were better.
Its "not just in pay but also a better work/life balance," said Breister.
After approaching ThedaCare with the chance to match the offers they'd been given, Breister wrote that they were told "the long term expense to ThedaCare was not worth the short term cost," and no counter-offer would be made.
You Can't Quit
Effectively the judge ruled the workers cannot quit. Wow.
That story is mind blowing. However, we are in a state of emergency. The only rules that matter are those rules that help fix the emergency. The emergency will end, when those in charge of the emergency say that the emergency is over. Until that time, the time in which the proper authorities say the emergency is over, it is best to do your part, citizen.
The judge can't order the workers to continue to work for their old hospital. 13th amendment and all. All that has happened is that these workers are prevented from working for the new employer.
This was all played out over 5 centuries under the Statute of Laborers legislation in England. There they did require the acceptance of work by anyone hiring or imprisonment. Enacted in 1349 and modified over the centuries until repealed in 1869. Although we continued with the 1388 Statute of Richard II modification requiring letters of recommendation from your old employer into the 1980s. Just not the prohibition of accepting a servant without one.
Forgot, the original 1349 law was enacted to set wages due to the shortage of labor caused by the Black Death. While this set wage caps, the modern minimum wage derives from this.
Things enacted due to pandemics persist. We should be very wary. Seldom do they lead to more liberty for those not 'elite'.
So what part of US law, is the judge using to prevent the people from working for the other employer?
Ayn Rand didn't intend for Atlas Shrugged to be a how-to manual. Directive 10-289:
In the name of the general welfare, to protect the people's security, to achieve full equality and total stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national emergency that:
Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail.
"Red Handed" exposes Bidens and big techs collusion with the Chinese communist party. Meanwhile congress is aggressively going after parents and grandparents for objecting to a stolen election. Move on, nothing to see here!
The idea of a major in 'data science' is a very interesting one. Many times I think our ability to measure and collect data has superseded our ability to process it. While there are things I dislike about our over-specialized world, I think this might actually be a long overdue innovation: A focus on the collection and processing of data in order to reveal its hidden messages. I can foresee a series of processes that will end up with a certification scheme of sorts. Maybe it already exists in some formats. Interesting!
Great links today, thanks very much~!
Re Single women in China: Reminds me of the way people live in Japan. Most have very small apartments and no car, so they spend their money on expensive electronics, clothing, and cosmetics.
Japan has multi-story department stores (e.g. Yodobashi Camera in Osaka) that sell nothing but electronics, cameras, and appliances. Spending a couple of hours in a place like that is interesting but it always left this gaijin with a headache.
To me, an admitted Disney nerd, this looked like the final act to a dystopian version of Carousel of Progress. "Now thanks to the wonders of technology, the modern housewife doesn't need anything like a husband, family, friends, social interaction, or even a house to keep herself happy and content...."
Liberation from everything but the self, which is glorified.
$100 billion in covid relief funds were stolen. This seems to be the story every time our government puts a tranche of money out for some specific purpose. How the hell does this happen. When I was a teen working in a gas station the owner would review the registers and the actual sales of gasoline and other products everyday and we would catch hell if the register was off by a penny. How does the government workers who are responsible for this money not get held to account when $100 billion is stolen? Why does this keep happening? Do they learn nothing from the last $100 billion theft?
I can guarantee that if the government passed a law allowing private parties to research this and receive 10% of all money recovered that this missing $100 billion would be found in short order. Why can't our government and FBI and DOJ find it or stop it? Seriously!
A new major in data science helps undergrads make sense of it all.
So of course we get this right at the same time
The article was a pretty poor representation of what the field of Data Science is all about.
The concept behind the field of Data Science is to essentially do for information technology what the filed of Industrial engineering did for manufacturing technology. (bias: by education I am an industrial engineer who has spent pretty much all of my career in information technology)
Currently information technology allows us to collect huge sets of data and provides a number of tools to process that data. However, there are few repeatable and transferable methods and structures to determine if efficiency of how we process that data or judge the quality of the results that we get. The goal is to provide a framework for quantitatively measuring the efficiency of process and quality of output, by first defining what those concepts mean in practical reality. To paraphrase one of my old professors, the aim is to move the field from the realm of the possible to the realm of the practical.
You can count your blessings. You have front row seats for the greatest crackup the world’s ever known. The dollar’s doomed. The nation is too." https://economicprism.com/the-greatest-crackup-the-worlds-ever-known/ This will happen, we just don't know yet when and how bad.
re The US Must Prepare for War Against Russia Over Ukraine.
The aithor writes, "As someone who helped President Barack Obama manage the U.S. and international response to Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine in 2014. . . "
If that's the case, why wasn't she advocating "preparing for war" with Russia when Putin Annexed Crimea? Why now?
She goes on to say, " U.S. leaders should be marshalling an international coalition of the willing, readying military forces to deter Putin and, if necessary, prepare for war.
But what if that doesn't work? What if Putin invades anyway. That would put us in the position of having to fire the first shot between US and the Russians, if we were serious about defending Ukraine from a Russian invasion.
She goes on to say, "If Russia prevails again, we will remain stuck in a crisis not just over Ukraine but about the future of the global order far beyond that country’s borders. Left unrestrained, Putin will move swiftly, grab some land, consolidate his gains, and set his sights on the next satellite state in his long game to restore all the pre-1991 borders: the sphere of geographical influence he deems was unjustly stripped from Great Russia."
This sounds a lot like th Domino Theory that was sold to us in the 1960s to justify our involvement in Viet Nam. Perhaps the theory is more plausible this time, but then her crystal ball is no more accurate than anyone else's.
Making no mistake, preparing for war means advocating war with Russia. I can only speculate that these people think a couple of quick airstrikes would give Putin pause. It's a calculation I wouldn't want to test in the real world.
OTOH one could argue there is a moral case to go to war with Russia over Ukraine
Ukraine got a signed commitment in 1994 to ensure its securityhttps://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2022/01/us-must-prepare-war-against-russia-over-ukraine/360639/
The U.S., in a burst of diplomatic energy and at a time of unmatched global influence, worked to prevent the unprecedented collapse of a nuclear superpower from leading to history’s largest proliferation of nuclear weapons.
This diplomatic activity manifested in security assurances for Ukraine embedded in what has become known as the Budapest Memorandum. With the entrance of Ukraine into the international order as a non-nuclear state, Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. pledged to “respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.” The memo reaffirmed their obligation to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine.” The signatories also reaffirmed their commitment to “seek immediate” UN Security Council action “to provide assistance to Ukraine … if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression.” These assurances upheld obligations contained in the U.N. charter and the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.
Ukraine, in turn, gave up the nuclear weapons within its borders,
IMO, Ukraine was very stupid and delusional to give up their nuclear weapons and then hope the West would defend them.
A simple method might be to position a corps-sized US+NATO force (say, at least two divisions plus add-ons) in Ukraine (it need not be forward-deployed. Call Putin's bluff: entering Ukraine would automatically mean war with the US.
But the day for that sort of hard diplomacy by the US or the West would seem long gone now.
The current idiots in the Pentagon couldn't find a combat ready corps to deploy, much less get it to the Ukraine in a modern day equivalent of the Cold War Reforger exercises. Add to that Germany denying overflight permission for any military aid to Ukraine and we are checkmated. Anything other than sitting this one out will result in dead Americans to no gain.
Geez, who knew?
Watch and you will feel a lot better.
That is a great summary of where we find ourselves.
That guy in the suit, his arguments sound suspiciously familiar...
Yea, but it's only a white guy...where's the diversity?