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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Thursday, July 6. 2017
The world is moving strongly into a period of hostile takeovers.
For the purposes of our discussion, a hostile takeover is the subversion of an existing power structure from its current owners without shooting. I'll skip questions of merit. Deserve's got nothing to do with it, according to William Munny, the famous philosopher. Of course that line is a hostile takeover itself, from Lawrence of Arabia:
Sexual harassment lawsuits in the tech industry are a minor form of hostile takeover, for instance. Tech businesses were founded on circumventing established laws and customs by simply putting an http in front of your name. It worked for a while. They created nothing. They were hostile takeovers of existing power structures. They ignored laws and customs to get between the customer and the providers of goods and services they desire, as surely as Paulie in Goodfellas did to the restaurant and the patrons. Tech titans don't understand business much. That's why they're in charge of great affairs, but still sitting through TED talks about the productivity gains they'll enjoy by sorting their intellectual crayons by color. Their businesses are now big and established enough to be pillaged in turn, however, and the lady lawyers will have them, easy. They looked at my client funny, your honor. Make her CEO. You wouldn't look at Joe Pesci funny, and he's a walk in the park compared to any given woman in an office setting. I don't care. Uber run by Yahoo management doesn't bother me.
On a larger scale, shooting wars don't accomplish much anymore. Assad fights because he's weak, not because he's strong, for instance. If you order your affairs correctly, opportunities for plunder fall in your lap. People who are fighting are generally proxies of obscure power syndicates. For the most part, the world is a being ruled by syndicates. Gangster states. China is a syndicate. Russia is a syndicate. Their outward forms do not reveal their inner power structure. You simply watch what they do to identify what they're driving at. Russia wants a port on the Black Sea. They will keep the Crimea. That's not fair, say the Ukrainians. Fair? What's fair got to do with it? It's going to happen.
It appears that America is being run by a syndicate. There was a hostile takeover by an outsider who understood a proxy battle. The in crowd is attempting to put humpty dumpty back together again by any means they can muster. Looking for a head for this hydra is a waste of time. They do not need marching orders. They simply understand, as a group, that power is slipping away from them, so they might as well go all in, because if they don't, they'll be on the outside. You know, in the dreaded private sector.
They believe they deserve to run the United States, and signal their merit to rule by a series of categorical blandishments they swap with each other. They're a fraternity without Greek letters on the front. They don't think it's fair that they devoted their lives to the nomenklatura career track, only to have their skillset made superfluous by an outsider.
What's fair got to do with it? It's either going to happen, or it isn't.
On to the links.
The article's author inexpertly tries to flip the script back to: No one went to Trump's inauguration. He's not popular. There's 2500 words of foot stamping, and then a very interesting item I'd missed:
If that map at the top of this page looks like a nothingburger to you, you're not paying attention. I have found myself, completely by accident, doing business with businesses in three of the green countries, and the Ukraine, too. That's where the action is. Trump knows where the action is. His wife is Slovenian, after all, and she looks like she's still ready for action.
If you need a laugh, just sign in with any old words and play along with what you find. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so painfully accurate.
Ah, statistics. Did you know that 94.73 percent of statistics are made up on the spot?
Kathy Griffin and James Comey seen furiously taking notes.
Ooh. Independent analysts. I love those. They're better than anonymous sources. Did they prove that Amelia refused to show up for her physical in the Texas Air National Guard, too? I'm asking for a friend. Alright, alright, I'm asking for Dan Rather.
"Can" is not le mot juste. Does, and will be allowed to continue to do so, is more like it. The judge's reasoning is piquant: Did you see the way the plaintiff was dressed online? They were asking for it.
Farming subsidies pay better than farming.
I see the kamikaze ethos is alive and well in the land of the rising sun.
Have a pleasant pre-Friday, everyone!
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My wife and I are a good demographic for Blue Apron - both working and no kids. We tried them for a while before switching to Home Chef. While the two operate similarly we found Blue Apron far too fru-fru and time intensive for regular meals. Neither of us are strangers to a kitchen, either - my wife bakes cupcakes as a side business.
Because women have no right to equal opportunities in the professional world, amirite? Gotta keep it for the boys! Those bitchez just don't get it.
Roger de Hauteville: For the purposes of our discussion, a hostile takeover is the subversion of an existing power structure from its current owners without shooting.
That may also include internal takeovers of liberal democracies, by illiberal democracies, such as in Russia where oligarchs have weaponized information (media, campaigns, cyberattacks) so as to ensure their increasing grip on political and economic power.
"I see the kamikaze ethos is alive and well in the land of the rising sun."
With the kind of precipitous demographic drop they're experiencing, more likely the land of the setting sun.
I agree that statistically that number is too large to be reasonable., but I'm not convinced there is no truth.
Having known quite a few heavy smokers over my lifetime I have seen how hostile they can be when deprived of a smoke. I have frequently wondered if this affects juries, now that they don't get the opportunity to get a fix.
In the case of judges, I believe that the quick and easy cases are typically dispensed with first, then the messy ones.
That may be a big factor in these stats
OK--please remind me again what the EU did to stop Russia from taking over the Crimea?
Re: Hungry Judges
I'm trying to wrap my head around this statement:
It is up to authors to interpret the effect size in their study, and to show the mechanism through which an effect that is impossibly large, becomes plausible. Without such an explanation, the finding should simply be dismissed.
Isn't that the exact opposite of scientific research? You find some anomaly, some odd-looking result you can't explain, you publish a paper showing what you did and how you did it and what result you came up with and challenge other researchers to figure out what's going on here. Either you made a mistake in collecting the data or a mistake in analyzing the data or you're overlooking something - or you've discovered something new. The idea that you should scrap-heap any results you can't explain is not just wrong, it's the complete opposite of what you're supposed to be doing. Isn't it? Isn't this how discoveries are made, somebody finds something he can't explain and people go to work trying to figure out the explanation? Isn't this guy saying if you can't explain it you should just ignore it?
Volvo is taking a risk doing this. I assume they have factored in the huge tax payer funded subsidy for electric cars. The government shouldn't be in the business of picking winners and losers. End the subsidies for so-called green products. It is counter productive. It allows companies, like Volvo, to put their efforts into acquiring subsidies rather than solve problems.
I have made the same point about Uber, Lyft, Air BnB, and others in the new generation of Silicon Valley startups. These aren't really tech companies. They don't produce microchips, hardware, or even software that enables a device to operate. Uber is a glorified dispatch hub and Air BnB is a glorified booking room. Big deal.
Uber's entire business model is based on disregarding local licensing laws for taxis and limos. Similarly, Air BnB's entire business model is based on disregarding local zoning laws and hotel regulations. Is anyone surprised that blatant disregard of the law is part of the corporate culture in these companies?
If they all disappeared tomorrow, would anyone care?
We are pretty much in your position - last kid leaving in a couple of months. Wanted to try one of these services, but when I looked at most of the posted sample menus, I hated almost everything. Too weird. We don't do spicy, dislike certain meats (lamb, for instance, just don't like it) and I have a problem with some herbs in their 'fresh' form being too strong for my stomach. Anyway, sounds picky, right?
I want a service that sends me the pre-packaged, pre-measured stuff for me to cook, but is 'regular' American fare. I don't want this service so I can be 'fancy,' I want the service as a convenience and to jazz up my week. Why can't it be steak-and-potatoes, but elevated? Like, the best steak cuts and some sort of new way to make my potatoes or what have you.
I found one that sounded decent, but then discovered they don't yet deliver to my area. Oh well, maybe I'll just go to Costco and blow some $ on their pre-made stuff I can just pop in the oven!
Ah, statistics. Did you know that 94.73 percent of statistics are made up on the spot?
It's even worse than I thought. I read that it was 50%.
Sexual harassment lawsuits is really about making lawyers and a few women millionaires. The "tech" industry for better or worse is about "tech" and not gender. If you can do it, if you can make it, if you can think it then you can succeed. If more women than men were doing it, making it and thinking it in the "tech" field then it would be dominated by women. Simple as that. There are very few, perhaps none, people/innovators in the "tech" industry who got a degree in woman's studies. Most are nerds who enjoy "techie" things.
We tried Blue Apron. Liked the food - but it took forever to make some of the meals - and resulted in a colossal mess. Just too much to deal with on a weeknight.
Eleven out of ten doctors who smoke mild, smooth Chesterfields agree!
The point is that the arbitrating figure for research has to be more than "It's statistically significant", it needs to additionally incorporate "does it make sense?"
The criticism of the Judges study is that a "subconscious" effect of that magnitude would be observed by and become known to every lawyer in the court room after a couple of days, making any more than casual observer conscious of it.
re Japan's population is falling faster than it ever has before
Yes. I understand how a declining population threatens the funding of the welfare state.
OTOH, the population can't expand forever. I recall an absurd example from college. If human population grew at x% for y number of years, eventually a sphere of humans would expand at the speed of light away from the Earth. The point being it has to stop somewhere. Why not here?
Perhaps instead of wringing our hands about low birthrates we should be . . . how should we say it? . . . 'Managing the decline' a little bit better?
I don't understand the "anguish" over Japan's falling population. This is obviously what they want and it's their business so why would anyone care. It even seems to me that it is a very smart choice. Why not? We could take their suggestion and cut our own population. Reduce or eliminate immigration legal and illegal. Stop paying welfare for children, hell! stop paying welfare!
"Amelia Earhart May Have Survived Crash-Landing, Newly Discovered Photo Suggests"
Ahh, the "History Channel":
Deer and elk work at CNN?
“They’re not hard to pick out at the end stage,” Dr. Zabel said. “They have a vacant stare, they have a stumbling gait, their heads are drooping, their ears are down, you can see thick saliva dripping from their mouths. It’s like a true zombie disease.”
Or at the DNC?