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, December 5. 2011
Lobstering in Maine (vid)
New Education: The Khan Academy and Tech Guy Labs
Now we may, or must, discriminate based on race.
Sultan: A Lack of Leadership
Slacker-in Chief: Comrade Obama tells us he works from 9 am to 1 am. Yeah, right
Samuelson: The Welfare State's Reckoning:
From New Zealand: The Decade-long Binge: How Government Squandered Ten Years of Economic Prosperity:
What's so awful about the 1%?:
George Will: Romney and Gingrich, from bad to worse
We Need Employment Benefits, Not Another Permanent Welfare Program -Force Democrats to pay unemployment reparations from their own coffers
SANDERS: China may soon become the problem
China's Hard Landing - The state-led growth model is leading the country into trouble:
Tracked: Dec 05, 10:56
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Re: China's hard landing
I don't see how China can continue the way it's going. Besides what the article pointed out, China has been building huge cities and shopping centers that remain uninhabited and unused. The price of those housing and retail units is out of sight. With supply and demand so out of whack, something is bound to happen and it's likely to be violent - economically if not politically and physically.
I don't understand why the skepticism about advanced life on other planets in other solar systems in this galaxy is so prevalent among those who study these things. Yeah, the exact right conditions may be "rare", but come on - there are roughly 300 to 500 BILLION stars in our galaxy and our galaxy is relatively in the middle in terms of over all size. Admittedly, it is ancient as the oldest star in our galaxy, a red giant HE 1523-0901 is 13.2 billion years old located about 26×10 to the 3 light years away. (How do you do sub and superscripts here - Doc?) The universe is 13.7 billion years old.
It would seem to me that some planet somewhere has to be in the sweet spot with a solar entity that has plenty of cometary activity to provide water and chemicals and whatnot to make life, sentient life, occur. There are just too many stars for it not to be possible from a statistical view point.
Lobstering in Maine
I highly recommend The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw of The Hungry Ocean, Discovery Channel's Swords and Perfect Storm fame. It is a great view of life on a small island lobstering community.
George Will articulated well my reservations about Gingrich. I see him as a bit of an intellectual gadfly, someone who enjoys being heard just a bit too much. Interesting comments on Hunstman. I had totally written him off. I'll take another look. I'm with Will in that I just can't quite dismiss Perry yet. There's just something about his temperment and history that appeals to me.
I have my reservations as well. I was a big fan of Newty back in the early '90s and into his tenure as Speaker, but now everyone seems to be piling on him... I wonder why? It's not like there's nothing to criticize - he seems to be very undisciplined in what he says (sitting with Pelosi for anything is a reason for some to hate him, and than there's what he's said about carbon credits, what he might have done with/for Fannie &/or Freddie, what he said about Ryan's budget...), but the one thing you know about Newty is that he would make a good case for a lot of what conservatives want and he wouldn't be shy about it. The not being shy part hasn't been heard in a Pubbie president since Reagan and I think a lot of people are praying they get a chance to hear it again in their lifetime.
One of the things a president has to do is lay a foundation. Reagan did that. You could point to some things he did that you didn't like, but he changed the conversation. We really need someone who can do that again.
I like a lot of what Santorum says, I like a lot of what Perry has said, I like Bachmann, too, but none of them will take it to the Demoncrats like Newty would.
I don't pretend that Newty is the next Ronnie. There are no Ronnies out there. There will likely never be another. The longer we keep looking for one the longer it will be before ourside actually gets anywhere.
Re the 1%: The problem is that for every entrepreneur there are a few useless celebrities whose ability to enrich the country is limited to the taxes they haven't avoided payment on. Add most - hell, ALL - pro athletes to the celebrities.
Apropos, here's the new Nyquist, out today:
Here's how it starts:
China’s Major Gen. Zhang Zhaozhong has reportedly said that China must be prepared to fight World War III if Iran is attacked by the United States. According to Zhang’s logic, China’s security is tied to Iran’s security. Zhang further suggested that China may need to fight such a war for domestic political reasons; namely, that as China’s economy cools so will the population’s enthusiasm for the ruling Communist Party. In bad economic times, a global war would redirect popular discontent against a foreign enemy.
Zhang Zhaozhong is a professor at the Chinese National Defense University, and published a book in 1999 titled Who is the Next Target? Of course, the target is America. In writing this, Zhang was not merely expressing a personal opinion. The Chinese regime is Communist, and this actually signifies something – though this signification is masked behind a façade of peaceful cooperation and economic partnership. Communists are violently committed to the overthrow of global capitalism. Therefore, capitalism in China has been built by the Communist Party for Communist ends. Those who do not know this have forgotten their political ABCs. Of course, China’s best media commentators would say General Zhang is exaggerating, and does not represent the official Chinese position. If what he said was wrong or outrageous, then why hasn’t he been fired from his post by the government?
I've always been somewhat shocked and fascinated by pro-football players' reaction when they make a touchdown. They pound their chests and do a happy, self-congratulatory dance and strut back to the sidelines. Look friends. They're all millionaires and they just accomplished what they're being paid to do as often as possible. No other millionaires in our society do this quite so blatantly. Whatever happened to old-fashioned modesty and good sportsmanship? The last athlete I can remember who showed modesty and good sportsmanship was the altogether admirable Arthur Ashe. And he's dead now.
We just don't have enough data about planet distributions to say one way or another. Earth has always been in the habitable zone, and yet there have been many near misses, that would have caused a life reboot.
Finally, it is not yet clear whether intelligence such as Homo sapiens is a successful evolutionary strategy. The dinosaurs were ascendant for 150 myrs, and are still with us as birds after another 65 myrs. What have we got, 10 kyrs?
Good points - still doesn't mean that there can't be parallel evolution somewhere in the universe. :>)
Kahn Academy -- what a great idea. My grandkids have been using it for several years. Just wish his handwriting was easier to read.
Marianne, Mr. Ashe was perhaps the best of the best, in many ways. Thank you for setting a marker by which others of his ken might be judged.
Perry recaught my interest when he said all foreign aid should start at zero and be reevaluated before blindly contributing to countries that do not necessarily behave as allies...maybe Turkey's latest donation to Hamas out of the money we granted to the Turks? Ye gads.
Newt just smells of that ego-hormone that warned me off of Obama when he was still doing his thing in Chicago's south side community -- being audacious, in his words. From Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: the odor of mendacity.
Why rush to judgement when turnarounds seem to happen in days, if not hours. Let's just make it the people's candidate, not the media's.
Not sure if you ever watched Barry Sanders play (RB for Detroit Lions in the 90's) but you would have approved.