Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Evening Reading

From krgthulu.

Or buy Robert's book!

Krgthulu's come a long way (as I have, in my own somewhat different way.)

They Know Even Less Than What They Say

Not surprising, but funny.

This Time It's Different

Hillary Clinton should be thankful for Benghazi. I don't mean what happened there, I mean the BENGHAZI of the fever swamps. The scandal that wasn't a scandal.

That whole Libya intervention thing didn't work out so well. Benghazi (real and BENGHAZI) is a distraction from that.

We'll know better next time.

America's Worst Humans

Rahm Emanuel.

Tuesday Crass Commercialism

What everyone wants most from Santa is an external hard drive.

and if bigger is better...

Hippies to the Left of Me, Hippies to the Right

It's less of a thing than it used to be, but I'm still regularly struck by the desire of Democrats to claim to Not Be Like Those Other Democrats. I'm not talking about failing to march in lockstep with what isn't an organized political party. I'm talking about the pose. In the post-Bush Obama era it's actually much harder even to try to pose as a NotLikeOtherDemocrats, but still people do it. It's weird. None of us are like Those Democrats, because Those Democrats don't actually exist. It's silly. Stop posing.

There's Always A Holiday Somewhere

Keep dreaming.
The sale of $1 billion in government bonds — a key financing element to ensure there is sufficient funding to complete the American Dream Meadowlands shopping and entertainment complex — may not be issued until early next year, officials said.

Tony Armlin, vice president of development and construction for Triple Five, the Canada-based conglomerate that is building American Dream, had said in an interview in September that the bonds would be issued "in the next several weeks." But Debbie Patire, a Triple Five spokeswoman, confirmed Tuesday a revised timeline for issuing the bonds that executives at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority first described last week.

That state agency is expected to issue about $350 million in bonds that will be repaid to institutional investors via the transfer of Triple Five’s annual tax savings through a state grant.

Actual Good News

I'm lucky that I lost my taste for soda (or PAAAWWP as people in Western PA call it) a long time ago. Think I have a coke about twice per year, some gatorade (not soda, but a sugary - if less sugary - drink) if I'm exercising on a hot day occasionally. Not claiming I live a perfectly healthy lifestyle eating only artisanal vegan air chips, just saying that cutting out what are likely (don't know!) serious contributors to the diabetes epidemic can't hurt. Aside from diet, I've heard stories from people with Type II diabetes who basically cured it by walking. Anecdotes are not data, and I claim no expertise on these issues (though many people who do claim expertise don't seem to know what they're talking about), but I do hope that there is truth to the latest round of advice on exercise. It used to be something like "do hard core cardio for 30 minutes 4 times per week or don't bother." That's a pretty high hurdle for many people. Now it's more just be more active. Walk 10,000 steps per day to send the diabetes away. That isn't actually hard if you have a bit of walking integrated into your life anyway (commute, shopping, etc.). It just requires a tiny bit of additional effort. Anyway, if relatively simple things can stop you from losing limbs late in life that's a good thing.
EUTAW, Ala. — After decades of relentless rise, the number of new cases of diabetes in the United States has finally started to decline.

The rate of new cases fell by about a fifth from 2008 to 2014, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first sustained decline since the disease started to explode in this country about 25 years ago.

Lots Of Things Are Mysteries To Old Economy Steve

Why don't the kids today get married young and have children? Why don't they buy houses? Why do they spend money on cell phones? Why do they like "vintage" clothing?

The contemporary world is so puzzling. The answers are so elusive.

Overnight/Early Morning

Here are some of the most beautiful nature photographs ever taken. Anyone of them would make a wonderful Christmas present for just about anyone on your list. Or, you can just enjoy them while sipping your first cuppa.

Monday, November 30, 2015

America's Luckiest Humans

Mark Richt.

What The Hell Time Is It?

Afternoon thread

Not Interested In Your Club

This post contains no deep thoughts, but I've really never understood the "New Atheist" movement generally. I grew up without religion. All evangelism sounds pretty ridiculous to me. I don't feel any need to convince people of the existence of supernatural beings. I also don't feel any need to convince people of the lack of them. More importantly, I don't think that we godless types actually lack our own superstitions. Not subscribing to or identifying with any existing religious creed/organization does not mean that all of our deeply held beliefs are rooted in RATIONALITY. That's silly too. I admit I don't really I get why people subscribe to one religion over another, but I also don't get why some self-described atheists (and I am a self-described atheist or agnostic or whatever I don't really care) think their concept of everything is somehow based on things we KNOW. We don't actually know that much. Yes, for example, Christianity seems to be pretty silly to me, but I don't claim that my framework for the universe is all that solid either.

I don't think atheism needs to be rescued, I just don't know why people need to be assholes about this stuff. And, no, saying something "seems to be pretty silly" isn't actually being an asshole unless your feefees are way too tender. Happy for people to say atheism "seems to be pretty silly." Just don't ask me to say Christian grace before lunch, like my 5th grade public school teacher did.

By Design

My middle school had a friggin planetarium. I think you had to pay to rent/buy an instrument, but group music instruction was free after about grade 4 or so (earlier grades had music, too, just not maybe on instruments). I think The Kids Today should learn some math, but the "failing schools" narrative due to testing is just about providing an excuse for the grifters to steal their bit. My guess is they'll move on to bigger grifts at some point, as there is only so much blood you can draw from a stone, but they'll leave destroyed school districts in their wake and it will be incredibly costly to rebuild them.

But to devote so much time to algebra, ninth graders are no longer taking art, music and health. Now Ms. Brady and the other teachers are trying to pare the curriculum to give the students more time for other subjects.

And some people wonder if it is all worth it.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Advent

My war against Billo's war on Christmas has begun! Also, I posted a bunch of links.

Sunday Evening

Tomorrow is?

If It's Sunday

I think there's a pattern here. Anyone see it? Not quite sure I do... thinking...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:


ABC's "This Week" - Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson and John Kasich.


NBC's "Meet the Press" - Carson; Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.


CBS' "Face the Nation" - Carson; Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.


CNN's "State of the Union" - Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas.


"Fox News Sunday" - Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina; Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

The Good War

I know there have been so many recently, but the recent Good War (TM) supported by the Decent Left (TM) involved Libya. That was a great and glorious noble struggle to save the people and Libya from some guy who was our friend then our enemy then our friend then our enemy again because reasons. So we tipped over the apple cart to knock over the dominos of freedom to usher in the spring or whatever the hell the metaphors were at the time. Nobody could have predicted.
The leadership of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is now clenching its grip on Surt so tightly that Western intelligence agencies say they fear the core group may be preparing to fall back to Libya as an alternative base if necessary, a haven where its jihadists could continue to fight from even if it was ousted from its original territories.

Of course nobody could have predicted precisely. Some of us just said that maybe we should just stop bombing people all the time because no matter how noble and pure our intentions are, no matter how shiny this shining city in the hill is, it probably won't end well.

I guess we can give it one more go. See you in a few Friedmans.