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 8. 2022
Human Monogamy Has Deep Roots. Pairing up might have been the best move our ancestors ever made
A Comprehensive Roundup Of Official Energy Madness
California will start handing out $1,050 stimulus payments to residents this week to combat inflation
'Sanctuary City' NYC Mayor Declares State Of Emergency After Migrants Overwhelm Resources
Spectator: Kanye West is turning into Candace Owens. His ‘White Lives Matter’ stunt is bog-standard trolling
The Nation: Supreme Court hates democracy
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If Russia does start a nuclear war over Ukraine will the nuclear weapons have been built from our Uranium that Hillary sold them back during the Obama presidency?
Another question would be was that the goal of Hillary, Obama and who ever it is that is behind their treasonous actions?
OneGuy: If Russia does start a nuclear war over Ukraine will the nuclear weapons have been built from our Uranium that Hillary sold them back during the Obama presidency?
You have it backwards. Russia has very large uranium reserves of its own, as does neighboring Kazakhstan. Russia is a major producer of enriched uranium and exports enriched uranium to the US and EU.
You only explained that Russia has extensive uranium reserves not how OneGuy supposedly got it backwards.
mudbug: You only explained that Russia has extensive uranium reserves not how OneGuy supposedly got it backwards.
Backwards in that Russia exports to the U.S. Russia has all the uranium it needs without importing from the U.S.
So Russia didn't buy up Uranium One, with the approval of Clinton's State Dept?
Earle: So Russia didn't buy up Uranium One, with the approval of Clinton's State Dept?
Sure, with the approval of nine government agencies. But the question was whether Russia built its nuclear weapons with uranium from the U.S. Russia has substantial uranium reserves of its own and gets most of its uranium ore from neighboring Kazakhstan. Russia exports refined uranium to the U.S., not the other way around.
So the Clinton crime family sold us out to Russia so Russia could deprive us of uranium.
OneGuy: So the Clinton crime family sold us out to Russia so Russia could deprive us of uranium.
That's exactly the opposite of what you had said, and makes even less sense. You do realize that Russia buying a U.S. mine doesn't mean they picked up the mine, put it in their pocket, and took it back to Russia?
In 2021, the U.S. imported 6 million pounds of uranium from Russia, and continues to import Russian uranium. Domestic U.S. production hasn't been significant since the 1980s.
Uh no, modern nuclear weapons use Plutonium, not Uranium.
It is of course possible that the reactors used to produce that Plutonium were fueled by American Uranium.
re California will start handing out $1,050 stimulus payments to residents this week to combat inflation
Newsome's economic ignorance boggles my feeble mind. Just think how much more he could fight inflation if he gave away $10,000 or 100,000?
He's also proposing a tax on the oil companies to LOWER the price st the pump. Maybe if he would tax them 100% they could give away their gas for free?
Of course we know he is just trying to buy votes with his $1000 checks, and that the oil companies will raise the price of gas to offset a tax increase, but that's all to the good as far as Newsom is concerned.
I thought I read yesterday that California is also raising their state income tax. Go figure. Statist economics is a nightmare.
B. Hammer: Statist economics is a nightmare.
California GDP was over $3.3 trillion in 2021, growing more than 7% from the previous year. The average real GDP growth rate of California GDP over the last five years was greater than that of Texas or Florida.
So you are saying that California can afford to go Marxist!
OneGuy: So you are saying that California can afford to go Marxist!
Marxism can't sustain growth in a post-industrial economy. California has many robust market sectors, including high technology, entertainment, solar energy, and agriculture.
For someone that rejects marxism, you sure do go out of your way to defend it and it's many derivatives.
Margaret Thatcher — 'The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.'
B. Hammer: For someone that rejects marxism, you sure do go out of your way to defend it and it's many derivatives.
We support a strong market economy as the engine of economic growth and technological innovation, and private property as a bulwark of liberty. However, unrestrained markets can be pernicious, and a social safety net is an important component of modern economic systems.
Let's talk about that strong social safety net.
Why does California lead the way in poverty, and other societal destruction? Could it be that they have an unrestrained, pernicious government? When is Big Government to big for Team Zachriel?
Would Big Tech be an example of a unrestrained, pernicious market? How about Big Pharma?
B. Hammer: Why does California lead the way in poverty
California leads in poverty only if you adjust for costs of living, primarily due to the high cost of housing. Median home value in California is half a million dollars, while in San Francisco, it's well over a million dollars. That's because people crowd into areas of intense economic activity. Your article notes that California has improved the last few years.
B. Hammer: When is Big Government to big
When government overly inhibits economic growth; or, in the extreme, when private property is eliminated, as in communist countries. Generally, it's a matter of degree. The Swedish people found that its government sector was crowding out business investment, so they reduced the government sector, and that has resulted in increased economic growth. California, however, is still experiencing good economic growth, and the government is running a budget surplus. All of this despite what you see as "societal destruction." Yes, California has problems. There's an ebb and flow to such things, but California remains a powerful force in the U.S. economy and in American culture.
B. Hammer: Would Big Tech be an example of a unrestrained, pernicious market?
It's a matter of degree. Since Microsoft, an argument can be made that some companies have become too large and inhibit competition. The political right in the U.S. has long resisted anti-trust enforcement, though. The argument is that large companies are required to survive in international markets, and monopolies tend to be short-lived anyway.
And why is the cost of housing so high in the coastal areas of California? It couldn’t have anything to do with overzealous government regulation.
Good for California that they have a surplus. However, with the stock market in decline, California experiencing a net loss in population (not counting illegals) how long can those revenues continue? In-state revenue is less than spending. California has $5.5 trillion debt. And it’s not just me that has noticed societal decline in California.
Many articles representing the societal conditions have been linked to from this site. Maybe you think it is an improvement to society that San Francisco and LA (for example) has feces, urine stained streets? People living in filth and squalor, under cardboard and in tents in record numbers. Most of them constantly high on drugs or alcohol, with no desire or inclination for self improvement. What a great improvement to society it must seem to you, to have low dollar items locked behind plastic barriers, because the government has decided you can steal up to $900 dollars in personal property, with little thought of being prosecuted? Is it such a good thing that small businesses are leaving or have left the area? A truth of communism: the top 1% (the nomenklatura) always do well. It’s the peasants that need to watch out.
Since private property is so important, and I agree that it is, you certainly must agree to the importance of a strong right to protect that property? A strong right to freedom of speech? A strong right to be secure from un-necessary searches and seizures? Where do your rights come from? Or are they privileges granted to you by the government?
You keep stating that Republicans are resisting antitrust enforcement, yet what is stopping the current attorney general from pursuing antitrust enforcement? Historically the difference in enforcement of antitrust laws under previous administrations is negligible.
B. Hammer: And why is the cost of housing so high in the coastal areas of California? It couldn’t have anything to do with overzealous government regulation.
Regulation can keep the supply low, but regulations don't make anyone pay a million dollars for an average home. People do that because they think it is worth it to live there.
B. Hammer: Many articles representing the societal conditions have been linked to from this site.
Sure. But don't exaggerate the problem. Every city has problems with the homeless and crime. These problems should be addressed. But again, people don't pay a million dollars for a home if they don't think it is worth it.
B. Hammer: A truth of communism . . .
is that post-industrial communist economies stagnate. California's has healthy economic growth.
B. Hammer: Since private property is so important, and I agree that it is, you certainly must agree to the importance of a strong right to protect that property? A strong right to freedom of speech? A strong right to be secure from un-necessary searches and seizures?
B. Hammer: Where do your rights come from?
Such rights are a natural and inherent part of being human.
B. Hammer: You keep stating that Republicans are resisting antitrust enforcement,
The decline of anti-monopoly enforcement in the United States
B. Hammer: yet what is stopping the current attorney general from pursuing antitrust enforcement?
Ah! The very heart of misunderstanding!
The U.S. judiciary, selected through a political process fraught with corporate money, establishes precedents which regulate what evidence will be allowed and what needs to be established to constitute a violation. These precedents can change over time, but the purpose of precedential law is stability, so they usually change slowly.
The agencies charged with enforcing the law work within the judicial system and will only bring cases they believe fit within the established judicial framework. In addition, the agencies also have policies and precedents of behavior so that like cases are treated alike. Otherwise, the application of the law would depend on caprise or partisan whim.
The executive can certainly order change. The agency will salute and they will get back to the executive in a few months or years, after a review to see what can be accomplished within the legal and policy framework. This is what you might call the deep state, but it's an intrinsic part of what makes the system work and work equitably.
Meanwhile, the opposing party is reduced to the occasional voice in the wilderness while the rest suck on that sweet, sweet, corporate lucre.
Z"But don't exaggerate the problem."
All that matters is the home values for the wealthy. As long as those values keep going up, all the problems with the homeless can be swept under the cardboard. We'll ignore the trash, rats, graffiti, destruction of personal property, an increase in diseases, feces and urine, vomit caked streets and sidewalks. We'll let those areas alone, until it affects our home values. You peasants stay out of our gated communities. We don't mind footing the bill for your decadence. We have billions. It's easier to spend more money on you, pretending to care, than admit our policies suck. And for your information, we really don't care.
Yes, every major city has homeless problems. Homeless problems exacerbated by long periods of democrat control. Let's defund the police. Allow autonomous zones of anarchy. Police stations to be occupied, and federal courts to be burned. Let's turn a blind eye to crime, and create entire zones where drug paraphernalia is given to the junky for free! Here, feed your habit, the State is here to enable you. Have a crack pipe. Need an abortion? Good, we don't want you to have kids.
Yeah, I am exaggerating the problem. Maybe Walgreens and Starbucks are exaggerating the problems too? Is the Atlantic? Here is a few exaggerations about Seattle. Denver. Maybe you get the point, I am not the only one exaggerating.
Your little graph only proves that Nixon, a republican (supposedly) was the last administration that perused antitrust vigorously. So, your claim that: "The political right in the U.S. has long resisted anti-trust enforcement." needs some work. It seems it is a false narrative.
B. Hammer: All that matters is the home values for the wealthy.
We cited median values, not mean values. That is defined by the middle, by definition.
B. Hammer: As long as those values keep going up, all the problems with the homeless can be swept under the cardboard.
The homeless population is about 0.44% of California's population. While this is a serious problem, it doesn't represent the entirety of California.
B. Hammer: So, your claim that: "The political right in the U.S. has long resisted anti-trust enforcement." needs some work.
That's your argument? That conservatives have not long argued against business regulations? (Nixon was a liberal on many issues.)
More specifically, the change in modern jurisprudence with regards to antitrust began in the 1970s with the emergence of the Chicago School. The Chicago School emphasized consumer benefit over creating a competitive environment, effectively legalizing many monopolistic practices which had previously been prohibited, and also overlooking the regulatory capture that can occur when corporations become very large. The result is felt today. Facebook may be free to users (great consumer benefit), but it exerts huge economic and political influence. Suddenly, conservatives are concerned (just as they are suddenly concerned about jail and bail conditions since J6). They wrongly see this as a First Amendment issue, when really it's an issue of market concentration.
Median, mean, I cited the wealthy.
What percentage of the population zombiefied by democrat policies, is acceptable?
The Chicago School didn’t effectively legalize anything. It’s a school. I find nothing wrong with the acquired efficiency of large corporations. The school, “emphasized consumer benefit over creating a competitive environment” as you say, is a little bit more nuanced than those stark terms.
I commented on your linked to graph. That quoted argument is yours. And when you state: That conservatives have not long argued against business regulations? that is a whole different argument; let’s leave the goalpost in one spot. We have been discussing antitrust.
B. Hammer: Median, mean, I cited the wealthy.
But the question you raised concerned the adjusted poverty rate, which we noted had to do with the high cost of housing, as measured by median home value.
B. Hammer: What percentage of the population zombiefied by democrat policies, is acceptable?
Have no idea what that means. Is that some sort of right-wing code speak?
B. Hammer: The Chicago School didn’t effectively legalize anything.
Please see discussion of the importance of precedent and policy to enforcement of law. They helped provide the intellectual underpinnings of the weakening of anti-trust law.
B. Hammer: The school, “emphasized consumer benefit over creating a competitive environment” as you say, is a little bit more nuanced than those stark terms.
Your cited article supports our position, starting with the very first sentence: "There is no question that antitrust policy, at any time, is highly influenced by the prevailing economic thinking."
B. Hammer: I find nothing wrong with the acquired efficiency of large corporations.
That's fine. You had asked our view on Marxism. Our response included a comment about unrestrained markets. You then asked about Big Tech, the term suggesting that you did object to the concentrated power of Big Tech. Is that not correct?
B. Hammer: And when you state: That conservatives have not long argued against business regulations? that is a whole different argument
Anti-trust enforcement IS government regulation, and part of the same push by conservative business interests to reduce regulation of business.
Does it matter what your GDP is when you look at the balance sheet and see how much astronomical debt California has.
Hoss: Does it matter what your GDP is when you look at the balance sheet and see how much astronomical debt California has.
Actually it does. That's why debt is usually compared to GDP. California's debt-to-gdp ratio is about 16%. California also has a substantial fiscal surplus and about $38 billion in cash reserves.
That’s some first rate cherry-picking. Ignoring the debt despite the gdp/debt ratio, as if they have a willingness to address debt reduction with any surplus with minimum debt service. Meanwhile their unfounded pension liabilities, and infrastructure needs means they may want to see California makers as allies, not enemies, but that will never change. Wonder when they’re going to try and pass-off their pension liabilities to the rest of America.
California crows about their lovely house, awesome cars, and beautiful furnishings without showing their credit card statements.
Hoss: Ignoring the debt despite the gdp/debt ratio
Someone with a median income owing a million dollars is quite different than someone like Elon Musk owing a million dollars. Available resources to repay is an important consideration. Just ask any bank. Fitch rates California debt as AA.
The Supreme Court may indeed hate aspects of Democracy, especially those tending toward mob rule and majority tyranny. That's why the United States wasn't chartered under the Constitution as a Democracy, but rather as a Representative Republic with democratic principles.
It's telling how The Nation gets its panties in a wad at the prospect of a Constitutional Supreme Court doing its job, when it stands to have its oxen gored because the court's balance has shifted as an extension of the Will of the People. It's all a stupid, ignorant, backward, draconian, vicious threat, but mostly it's racist ! . One senses the loser's lament. To me it look like a return to the Federalist system where the states decide their business.
U.S. Rep. Sean Casten's Family Says His Teenage Daughter Gwen Died of Sudden Cardiac Arrhythmia. Luckily she was fully vaccinated for Covid or it would have been worse. Oh wait! Fully vaccinated... I wonder if that might have caused it. Naw! Zach said the jab was perfectly safe so it must have been something else. What could it be? ? ? Putin's war? Orange man? Not enough sex change operations?
JustMe: Luckily she was fully vaccinated for Covid or it would have been worse. Oh wait! Fully vaccinated... I wonder if that might have caused it.
In the U.S., about 2,000 otherwise healthy people under age 25 die annually of sudden cardiac arrest.
That's interesting. Would you happen to know the trend since, let's say, 2015 to present - i.e. how many deaths due to sudden unexpected / undiagnosed cardiac problems per annum, perhaps broken down by age grouping? I haven't been able to find it.
See Tsao et al., Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2022 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association, Circulation 2022.
COVID is a risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest, and the survival rate is one third lower for people who are infected.
I would not have a problem with the federal government pardoning people whose crime was simply possession or smoking of marijuana. I do not think this deal should extend to anyone who took a plea deal and had actually committed more serious crimes that were plead down to simple possession.
Sex and the Academy - The author doesn't see it, but she lays out with women more likely to suppress speech, and research, how the universities are increasingly no longer places to become educated, or learn how disciplined thinking. They will still issue credentials, but their alumni who become educated will be fewer and fewer.
The overall theme of these differences is that men are more committed than women to the pursuit of truth as the raison d’être of science, while women are more committed to various moral goals, such as equity, inclusion, and the protection of vulnerable groups. Consequently, men are more tolerant of controversial and potentially offensive scientific findings being pursued, disseminated, and discussed, and women are more willing to obstruct or suppress science perceived to be potentially harmful or offensive. Put more simply, men are relatively more interested in advancing what is empirically correct, and women are relatively more interested in advancing what is morally desirable.
"Social justice is an actual impediment to acquiring human capital"
So if universities impede their students developing the ability to do useful things, how will they keep attracting victims?
Jordan Peterson gets to the heart of why free speech as the way we learn to think in the 2 minutes from the offset (30:22) in the linked video
Then the next question is, well, what do you do once you receive the answer? And the answer is, well, if you can think then you use internal speech to dissect the answer, which is what you do, for example, you encourage your students to do if they're writing an essay. You know, they lay out a proposition and then you hope they can take the proposition apart. And essentially if they are, what they're doing is they're transforming themselves into avatars, speaking avatars of two different viewpoints. So you have the speaker for the proposition and then you have the critic, and maybe you lay out the dialogue between them. And that constitutes the body of the essay. And you have to be bloody sophisticated to manage that, because it means that you have to divide yourself in some sense into two avatars that are oppositional. And then you have to allow yourself to be the battle space between them. That, and people have to be trained to do that. That's what universities are supposed to do. It's really hard. What people generally do instead of that is talk to other people. And that's how they organize themselves, by talking to other people.
Google Labels Conservative Sites 'Dangerous and Derogatory'
Google also labeled as “dangerous and derogatory” an article about the Supreme Court decision that ruled that the EPA was overstepping its constitutional boundaries. The editors even guessed which line from the piece could have invoked Google’s ire: “Today’s decision reaffirms that this Supreme Court takes the language and structure of the Constitution seriously and will no longer automatically defer to federal agency statutory interpretations or exertions of broad authority.”
“The bulk of Google’s attacks on our content fall into three categories: politics, the environment, and COVID,” I&I insists. “In other words, the bulk of what we write about is in the tech giant’s crosshairs.”
But then comes a powerful and provocative conclusion: “As we noted in this space recently, we’re not sure anymore if it’s just leftists at Google who are making these decisions, or if the company is working in concert with the Biden administration.”
What’s happening with Issues & Insights isn’t new or surprising; in fact, we’ve heard about Google suppressing conservative content for ages. But it’s hard not to wonder: who’s next? They could go after anybody on the right
New PayPal Policy Lets Company Pull $2,500 From Users’ Accounts If They Promote ‘Misinformation’
A new policy update from PayPal will permit the firm to sanction users who advance purported “misinformation” or present risks to user “wellbeing” with fines of up to $2,500 per offense.
The financial services company, which has repeatedly deplatformed organizations and individual commentators for their political views, will expand its “existing list of prohibited activities” on November 3. Among the changes are prohibitions on “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation” or “present a risk to user safety or wellbeing.” Users are also barred from “the promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”
The company’s current acceptable use policy does not mention such activities. The Daily Wire reached out to PayPal for definitions of the added terms, although no response was received in time for publication.
Russia Claims Natural Gas Could Still Flow Through Nord Stream 2
Russia could restart the supply of natural gas to Germany and its neighbors via an undamaged section of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Russian media.
. . . The statement comes a couple of weeks after a German politician said that gas will never flow via Nord Stream 2 because Germany could never again see Russia as a reliable energy supplier
. . . An investigation launched by the Swedish authorities earlier this month confirmed there were detonations at the pipelines, strengthening suspicions of serious sabotage, per a statement..
Degreed women seem awfully willing to trade comforts for freedoms. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for putting them in charge of anything. We see their damage in all levels of education and how it’s softening this country to a degree that’s likely irreversible without some major catastrophe to compel change.
If you want to take the incentive out of those who would defund the police pass laws that require all "defunding" be returned to tax payers and not back to the general fund where it can be looted.
The media is all excited over the latest Trump headline; "Only 27 people show up for a Trump rally in DC".
Well duh! If you are a conservative and go to DC you will be arrested and tried in DC courts who demonstrably are biased against conservatives. My advice to all conservatives is do not go to DC. Don't go there to rally, don't go there on vacation, don't go there on business. If they arrest you there you will be locked up in a gulag and given a choice to cop a plea by admitting to things you never did or facing longer jail times. Don't go to DC. I can pretty much assure you that those 27 Trump rally attendees are under investigation right now. You know it's true.
The federal government is stockpiling medication to treat radiation sickness. Our president is predicting Armageddon. A Canadian Youtube influencer recently showed a map of all the fallout shelters in Canada. So where do Americans go when Russia decides to nuke us? There may be a few fallout shelters left in big cities but I doubt they are stocked or ready in anyway for the big event. So where is our government on this issue? The governments of some of the Northern European nations have updated their nuclear war survival publications and I believe that most of those same countries do indeed have shelters for their relatively small populations. Where are our shelters and updated survival publications? Seriously it looks like we are gonna do this in spite of the stupidity of it all. Why? Is it simply Biden is too incompetent to be president or is it all being managed behind the scenes and all quite intentional.