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Saturday, May 03, 2014

[OTP - May 2014] House stadium funding package advances with Cuban baseball player provision

A bill that would enable professional sports franchises to compete for sales tax subsidies cleared a major hurdle Friday, winning overwhelming support in the Florida House.

The tax breaks would be available to professional football, basketball, hockey and soccer teams, as well as professional rodeos and NASCAR-sponsored events.

But baseball teams would have to stay on the bench — unless Major League Baseball changes its rules about Cuban baseball players.

Lawmakers added the stipulation in response to media reports that Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig had been held hostage by human traffickers while trying to establish residency in Mexico in 2012.

Under Major League Baseball rules, players from Cuba must live in another country before they can become free agents. Cuban players who come directly to the United States are forced into the amateur draft, which limits their salaries.

“Major League Baseball [has] inadvertently created a market for human smuggling and the unequal treatment of Cuban baseball players,” said Rep. José Félix Díaz, R-Miami, who introduced the provision with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. “We’re not going to give away our taxpayer dollars until this ill is corrected.”

In response, the MLB issued the following statement: “While the sponsors of the bill in Florida blame MLB policies for the role of human smugglers, they do not provide any support for their premise that Cuban players must rely on traffickers to defect to countries other than the U.S. such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic, but would not need the assistance of traffickers to reach U.S. soil.”

 

Tripon Posted: May 03, 2014 at 09:38 AM | 4455 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics

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   1001. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4703580)
Culturally, from the grade school era, there was the Cold War and the lingering fear of nuclear annihilation, but even that was being undermined somewhat (for grade schoolers at least) by St. Ronnie and His Happy Happy Joy Joy band of "Morning In America" Singers

So in other words you aren't old enough to have any real comprehension of the Cold War or Ronald Reagan.

Who would have ever guessed?
   1002. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4703583)
I'm pretty sure the standard for corruption in politics has been "what can I get away with?" pretty much since the beginning.
Cain was a registered Democrat years before he slew Abel.
   1003. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4703584)
So in other words you aren't old enough to have any real comprehension of the Cold War or Ronald Reagan.


And you got your first piece of ass in the mid- to late-70s, and think the world's been in decline since. Especially of late, when your member hasn't been working without the PEDs. But hey, I'll keep your "if you weren't a teenager in that decade you can't critique" theory in mind next time you spout about anything other than prog rock.
   1004. Lassus Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4703585)
So in other words you aren't old enough to have any real comprehension of the Cold War or Ronald Reagan.

Um, which of his points are you disputing? I recall the cold war pretty well - older than Sam, not as old as you, I think.
   1005. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4703591)
And you got your first piece of ass in the mid- to late-70s, and think the world's been in decline since.

And you should've seen the Atlantic Ocean in 1979 when some jellyfish got the first piece of him. Both the Atlantic and Sugar's ass were really something back then.
   1006. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4703592)
I've heard people say that the invention and development of refrigeration was useful. But not having come of age at that time, I can only speculate.
   1007. BDC Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:07 PM (#4703594)
I am old enough to have heard people compare great things to sliced bread and bottled beer, but young enough to have wondered "How the #### else would they come?"
   1008. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4703597)
I am old enough to have heard people compare great things to sliced bread

This one has always baffled me. It's really not very hard to cut bread.
   1009. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4703601)
This one has always baffled me. It's really not very hard to cut bread.
But think of all the hours you've saved by having it pre-sliced! The future is an amazing place!
   1010. bunyon Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4703604)
This one has always baffled me. It's really not very hard to cut bread.

Indeed. What they really mean is the greatest thing since the invention of the knife.
   1011. Rob_Wood Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4703606)

I think the point was the many people back in the day had bread at most meals. So slicing bread, though not onerous, was a constant annoyance. Imagine doing something like that several times a day for your whole adult life. Then someone "invents" sliced bread. You would think it a big deal too.
   1012. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4703608)
But think of all the hours you've saved by having it pre-sliced! The future is an amazing place!

Nah, it should be "the greatest thing since Air Conditioning".

I'd give up the telephone, TV, computers, movies, the automobile, and recorded music long before giving up A/C.

The 3 great inventions of modern time 1) indoor plumbing, 2) central heat, 3) A/C.
   1013. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4703610)
This one has always baffled me. It's really not very hard to cut bread.
.

Bread was not sliced until 1928. The year Babe Ruth had his last 50 hr season.

edit: this is after the invention of A/C, so, sliced bread is more modern. :-)
   1014. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4703617)
What's wrong with just tearing bread?
   1015. Rob_Wood Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4703619)
I loved the letter from the distraught housewife and the quick rescinding of the rule.

Tearing bread to make sandwiches or toast. You are one of the world's greatest monsters.
   1016. zenbitz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4703621)
Makes sandwiches lumpy
   1017. Publius Publicola Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4703624)
I think the point was the many people back in the day had bread at most meals. So slicing bread, though not onerous, was a constant annoyance. Imagine doing something like that several times a day for your whole adult life. Then someone "invents" sliced bread. You would think it a big deal too


But I think we've come full circle now because the only bread worth eating now is the kind you have to slice yourself. The pre-sliced kind is all air, as is the company that makes it.
   1018. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4703627)
I think the point was the many people back in the day had bread at most meals. So slicing bread, though not onerous, was a constant annoyance. Imagine doing something like that several times a day for your whole adult life. Then someone "invents" sliced bread. You would think it a big deal too.

Still seems weird. I have to pour my beverage of choice several times a day. It's never seemed onerous to me.
   1019. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4703628)
There are a bunch of ways to eat bread other than in a sandwich, and for each of them the tear is preferable. The baguette, e.g.

So it should really be, "That's the greatest thing since sliced sandwich bread!"
   1020. Rob_Wood Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4703630)

read the blurb in OK's link -- multiply that by millions -- not sure if serious
   1021. zenbitz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4703631)
I am old enough to have heard people compare great things to sliced bread

This one has always baffled me. It's really not very hard to cut bread.


I think this post utterly and completely captures Snapper's entire world view.
   1022. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4703635)
A letter to the NYT editors from a "distraught housewife" during the short lived ban on sliced bread during WWII:

I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household. My husband and four children are all in a rush during and after breakfast. Without ready-sliced bread I must do the slicing for toast—two pieces for each one—that's ten. For their lunches I must cut by hand at least twenty slices, for two sandwiches apiece. Afterward I make my own toast. Twenty-two slices of bread to be cut in a hurry![10]


Culturally, "sliced bread" is one of the first major convenience brought into American day to day life by automated production and modern preservation techniques. It's a marker between the bad old days of the Depression and the march of the post-War US towards a houselife of convenience (and women's liberation.)
   1023. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:46 PM (#4703638)
and the march of the post-War US towards a houselife of convenience (and women's liberation.)

And crappy bread, and eventually a lazy and obese population.
   1024. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:52 PM (#4703644)
The 3 great inventions of modern time 1) indoor plumbing, 2) central heat, 3) A/C.


Refrigeration is more important than all of those. And if you're a woman, the modern clothes washing machine is as well. Like a 50+% reduction in labor hours spent simply washing clothes.
   1025. The Good Face Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4703646)
and the march of the post-War US towards a houselife of convenience (and women's liberation.)

And crappy bread, and eventually a lazy and obese population.


SBB, you have the soul of a reactionary (which I absolutely intend as a compliment), but sometimes you're just kind of nuts. The bread available in today's supermarkets is way better than the bread sold in the supermarkets of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. And that's not even getting into the artisanal stuff sold in speciality bakeries...
   1026. The Good Face Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4703651)
Refrigeration is more important than all of those.


Indoor plumbing is right up there. From a public health perspective alone, it's comparable to refrigeration.

And if you're a woman, the modern clothes washing machine is as well. Like a 50+% reduction in labor hours spent simply washing clothes.


While washing machines are pretty great, my understanding was that in the days of olde, people wore the same clothes multiple times until they were noticeably stained and/or smelly, which meant less overall washing needed to be done.
   1027. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4703652)
The bread available in today's supermarkets is way better than the bread sold in the supermarkets of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. And that's not even getting into the artisanal stuff sold in speciality bakeries...

Oh, no question. Food in general is far better now than at the 1979 politico-cultural peak.
   1028. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4703653)
The amazing part isn't that bread is simply sliced but that the bread is sliced and stays "fresh" for days upon days. Buying bread before somebody was able to manufacture sliced bread was basically a daily occurrence. With Wonder Bread you could go to the store on Saturday, buy a loaf of bread, and have uniform fresh sandwiches for your kids for the rest of the week. The whole process was an absolute achievement of science.
   1029. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4703654)
Indoor plumbing is right up there. From a public health perspective alone, it's comparable to refrigeration.


A fair point.

While washing machines are pretty great, my understanding was that in the days of olde, people wore the same clothes multiple times until they were noticeably stained and/or smelly, which meant less overall washing needed to be done.


There are some pretty interesting studies out there that show the exponential leap for womens' rights in societies across the globe is tied near directly to the advent of the washing machine. The second exponential leap seems to be associated with the advent of television. I think we all tend to drastically underestimate the amount of brute labor that everyone had to do prior to automation.
   1030. Ron J2 Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4703655)
GF, the quote I'm reacting to is "... the Obama administration's bungling has turned Libya into a failed state."

To me this implies there was a reasonably clear path to a better outcome. And I think the likely result of "do nothing" in Libya (which seems to be your favored option) is "see Syria". In other words probably a great deal worse.

Now I realize that Libya could spiral into all out civil war. And I'm not saying things are good, just that it seems to me that what we have is the best result possible in the short term.
   1031. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4703658)
I'll just leave this here.
   1032. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4703659)
Refrigeration is more important than all of those.

Well, if you have A/C, you obviously have refrigeration. If you can cool things, you can cool things.
   1033. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:04 PM (#4703661)
I'd say indoor plumbing trumps refrigeration. You could keep food cold or store it before the days of electric refrigerators but indoor plumbing has allowed human beings to live in condensed areas as well as rural areas in a sanitary way. Imagine 200 unit high rise apartment building without indoor plumbing. That giant building without running water or toilets. Sure without an electrical refrigerator in each apartment keeping food cold would be an expensive chore but it could and was done back in the old days. Slopping shvt buckets to the curb and bringing up fresh water would be impossible.
   1034. zenbitz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4703662)

If I was Snapper I would say:

"Air Conditioning has always baffled me. How hard is it to take clothes off or fan yourself".

Since I was born and raised in Northern California, a/c to me is like a space suit to an astronaut.
   1035. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4703664)
While washing machines are pretty great, my understanding was that in the days of olde, people wore the same clothes multiple times until they were noticeably stained and/or smelly, which meant less overall washing needed to be done.

There is a distinct possibility that the 4 or 5 pairs of jeans I have owned have never seen the inside of a washing machine. About the only thing that goes in the washing machine are my socks and undergarments. My shirts and suits don't get washed and they only get dry cleaned if I get a stain on them. I basically do my wash once a month and it consists of two washing machine loads of clothing.
   1036. CrosbyBird Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4703665)
Refrigeration and AC are pretty much the same thing. I don't see how you have one for very long without the other showing up.

I'd go with indoor plumbing, heat pumps, and the transistor if I have to pick the top 3.



   1037. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4703667)
The Atlantic ran a "Top 50 Scientific Breakthroughs Since the Wheel" issue a few months back. Guesses at what took the top slot?
   1038. CrosbyBird Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4703669)
There is a distinct possibility that the 4 or 5 pairs of jeans I have owned have never seen the inside of a washing machine. About the only thing that goes in the washing machine are my socks and undergarments. My shirts and suits don't get washed and they only get dry cleaned if I get a stain on them. I basically do my wash once a month and it consists of two washing machine loads of clothing.

Do you have sweat glands?
   1039. Morty Causa Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4703670)
   1040. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4703672)
Do you have sweat glands?

That is what the undergarments are for.
   1041. The Good Face Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4703673)
GF, the quote I'm reacting to is "... the Obama administration's bungling has turned Libya into a failed state."

To me this implies there was a reasonably clear path to a better outcome. And I think the likely result of "do nothing" in Libya (which seems to be your favored option) is "see Syria". In other words probably a great deal worse.


The most likely scenario of "do nothing" would have left Ghaddafi in power. Not a great outcome for Libyans, but better than what they wound up with. Anyway, my point is that if a horrible outcome is assured, why get involved in the first place? A civil war followed by a failed state very well could have been the result if USG never poked its nose it. But it DID poke its nose in, and now it bears the responsibility.

Now I realize that Libya could spiral into all out civil war. And I'm not saying things are good, just that it seems to me that what we have is the best result possible in the short term.


Libya already had a civil war. Better results would have been Qaddafi remaining in power or a civil war/failed state that WASN'T caused by USG meddling.
   1042. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4703675)
The Atlantic ran a "Top 50 Scientific Breakthroughs Since the Wheel" issue a few months back. Guesses at what took the top slot?

Huh. I see indoor plumbing edged out refrigeration in that list. Take that, Sam.
   1043. CrosbyBird Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4703676)
That is what the undergarments are for.

They don't make undergarments absorbent enough for the deluge I produce. I am a Saturday Night Live character.
   1044. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4703678)
Dear God. I don't want to picture that.
   1045. BDC Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:19 PM (#4703679)
Where is Smitty when the perfect thread finally develops.
   1046. Publius Publicola Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:20 PM (#4703680)
Hmm, sliced bread was first mass manufactured in 1928. Penicillen was discovered in 1928, accidentally, in a common bread mold.

Coincidence? Or conspiracy?
   1047. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4703681)
Culturally, "sliced bread" is one of the first major convenience brought into American day to day life by automated production and modern preservation techniques. It's a marker between the bad old days of the Depression and the march of the post-War US towards a houselife of convenience (and women's liberation.)


And crappy bread, and eventually a lazy and obese population.

I share your opinion of refined white bread, but as a point of reference it was introduced during the Harding administration and caught on almost immediately.

And of course access to a limitless variety of great bread today is infinitely easier than it was just 20 or so years ago, either in whole loaves or sliced.

---------------------------------------------------------------

The Atlantic ran a "Top 50 Scientific Breakthroughs Since the Wheel" issue a few months back. Guesses at what took the top slot?

Well, duh. It's an interesting list, though I'm not sure I'd place the internet above nitrogen fixation, sanitation systems and refrigeration. OTOH the more you look through the whole list, the more you realize that ranking them is kind of a fool's exercise. Somehow it's hard to believe that there are 41 more significant breakthroughs than paper money, but then I'm not a bitcoin fancier.
   1048. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4703682)
Number 1 (correctly understood, anyway) is splitting the atom and the creation of attendant weaponry that put the power of ultimate human destruction in human hands.
   1049. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4703684)
Huh. I see indoor plumbing edged out refrigeration in that list. Take that, Sam.


I will stick with my well kept food and continue flinging my own poo.
   1050. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4703685)
The Atlantic ran a "Top 50 Scientific Breakthroughs Since the Wheel" issue a few months back. Guesses at what took the top slot?

How can the printing press be higher than paper? That's just a logic fail.
   1051. Morty Causa Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4703687)
There came a time when people were no longer allowed to build and use outhouses. Many objected, and not in an anal retentive way. It cost to install plumbing and structures. What say you, Libertarians?
   1052. BDC Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4703689)
According to the ad at the bottom of this page, the greatest breakthrough ever is "1 tip for a tiny belly."
   1053. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4703690)
How can the printing press be higher than paper? That's just a logic fail.
How? By that logic, the alphabet should come before both.
   1054. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:43 PM (#4703692)
Air conditioning is overrated. All it did was render places people shouldn't live anyway more inhabitable and tolerable -- including Washington, DC. In a very real way, it enabled Big Government. There's no way the DC area grows that big and sprawling and dominant without air conditioning.

We didn't have it in south-central Michigan, and it wasn't necessary -- though that was the pre-global warming era.
   1055. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4703696)
The Atlantic ran a "Top 50 Scientific Breakthroughs Since the Wheel" issue a few months back. Guesses at what took the top slot?


It's kind of crazy to me that the stirrup didn't make the list at all, and that the plow only came in at #30.
   1056. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4703697)
How can the printing press be higher than paper? That's just a logic fail.


That's the kind of result you get when your entire polling group consists of people who have never had to wipe their ass with leaves.
   1057. McCoy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4703698)
DC like most of the NE during the summer back in the pre-AC days simply shut down and the people went to cooler areas. Take a look at when the House and Senate is in session. Their calendar is based on the weather of DC. DC boomed post Civil War and that was long before AC. The Federal government was going to get huge and DC and its surrounding area was going to grow because of it. People didn't wait for AC to build the Pentagon or the Treasury or the White House.
   1058. Lassus Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4703700)
I'm sorry, DC just ain't that hot.

And blaming AC for big government lands you in the Luddite HOF with Gaelan.
   1059. Rob_Wood Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4703701)

wow, vlad, i took a course that focused upon the importance of the stirrup and the plow in economic development -- sounds like we have something in common
   1060. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4703706)
DC like most of the NE during the summer back in the pre-AC days simply shut down and the people [who could afford it] went to cooler areas.

FIFY, but your point is still correct. The DC summer heat was also one of main reasons that Cleveland Park was among the first Washington "suburbs" to be built up, as the cooler temperatures due to the elevation and greenery was one of its biggest selling point.
   1061. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 04:56 PM (#4703709)
Probably the single most notable "holy ####\" cultural moment for me and my schoolmates was the Challenger disaster, live broadcast into our school rooms.

Duh, I totally forgot spending a day in high school watching the World Trade Centre buildings. It was certainly a holy #### cultural moment for my generation (though this is cutting "generations" fairly granular...I apparently watched the Challenger live with my mom, but I don't remember it).


   1062. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4703710)
There are a bunch of ways to eat bread other than in a sandwich, and for each of them the tear is preferable. The baguette, e.g.

So it should really be, "That's the greatest thing since sliced sandwich bread!"

I do prefer torn bread in almost every scenario, but I will add that toasting torn bread is a headache.

One of my ideal vacations (or perhaps lives) is to wander around rural France with an endless supply of fresh baguettes to rip up and eat with cheese.
   1063. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4703712)
And blaming AC for big government lands you in the Luddite HOF with Gaelan.
Wait, we have one of those? Built with mud and sticks?
   1064. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4703713)
"Air Conditioning has always baffled me. How hard is it to take clothes off or fan yourself".

Since I was born and raised in Northern California, a/c to me is like a space suit to an astronaut.

It's funny, there are days in Toronto where A/C is...if not a necessity, than very nice. Growing up we didn't have A/C, so we'd just spend a lot of time in the basement. Living in the UK, I'm not sure I ever saw anyone have any A/C in any house, and in three years I certainly never had a day where it even occurred to me I'd want it. On the other hand I suppose there are places in the world where central heating is a nice convenience on the odd cold day, whereas in the places I've lived it's almost a necessity for life.
   1065. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:07 PM (#4703714)
The most likely scenario of "do nothing" would have left Ghaddafi in power. Not a great outcome for Libyans, but better than what they wound up with. Anyway, my point is that if a horrible outcome is assured, why get involved in the first place? A civil war followed by a failed state very well could have been the result if USG never poked its nose it. But it DID poke its nose in, and now it bears the responsibility.

I probably don't know enough to have an opinion, but it was my impression that this was not at all the most likely outcome absent intervention.

EDIT: At least not without a very long, protracted civil war.
   1066. The Good Face Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4703715)
I probably don't know enough to have an opinion, but it was my impression that this was not at all the most likely outcome absent intervention.


USG used air power to ground Khaddafi's air force, strike at his radar and command & control centers, and keep concentrations of armor off the field. Without that, the rebels get crushed.
   1067. BDC Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4703718)
I suppose there are places in the world where central heating is a nice convenience on the odd cold day

In Dallas, 1988-90, I lived in an apartment without central heating. Each room had a separate gas heater in the wall. Each room had a window-unit air conditioner. Both were necessities in different seasons. Those kinds of places have mostly disappeared or been refitted now. The house I now live in, built 1952, always had central heat, though not central AC; that was a later addition. I'm sure window units were used early on here, but some older Texans will talk about having no AC at all even as late as 1980 or so, and just dealing with it. I was in a campus building today that famously had no AC until the early 2000s.

My Irish mother-in-law, who died in 1989, never had central heating. She'd burn coal, or turf briquettes, in the fireplace of whatever room people wanted to be in. That fact has interesting social implications, because in the winter there's no question of everybody choosing a different room to hang out in. You get together in one and talk. Actually most of the time in Dublin in winter was spent freezing one's parts off. Summer too, for that matter.
   1068. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4703722)
In Dallas, 1988-90, I lived in an apartment without central heating. Each room had a separate gas heater in the wall. Each room had a window-unit air conditioner.

That's what we had in Toronto up until I was about 16 or so. Taking it out of storage and installing it was an important rite of summer. Because of the brief window of time in my life we used it, window A/C units are linked in my mind with dial-up internet using the phone line.

I actually went my last two years in England without any heating of any kind. My landlord was a really nice guy and I didn't want to bother him to fix it. So I just bought a little electric heater that I put under my desk for my feet.

Growing up we only had a fireplace at the cottage, a couple hours north of Toronto, so it was generally uninhabitable in the winter months (plus the road to it is impassable in the winter so you'd have to hike about 10 minutes from the main road to get there). But once or twice we'd go up, and essentially set up mattresses with your feet virtually in the fire. And that's nothing compared to the cold they get out on the Canadian prairie. I can't imagine how people lived before heating.
   1069. Greg K Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4703723)
I used to work as a janitor with the Toronto school board (usually in the summers, resurfacing the floors while the schools were empty). In some schools the library was the only room with A/C. Not coincidentally janitors spent A LOT of time in there during the day.
   1070. zenbitz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4703740)
Somehow it's hard to believe that there are 41 more significant breakthroughs than paper money, but then I'm not a bitcoin fancier.


Just because I have to tell someone. Apparently the kids (boys, certainly) at my son's school have their own currency as of a few days ago - "Clarence Bucks" (I believer they got the idea from a recent episode of the "Clarence" cartoon but I haven't seen it, and google appears to confirm.

One kid actually pays Clarence Bucks to other kids... for drawing a batch of Clarence Bucks! My son writes hand made comic books that he sells for 10$CB each (I helped him scan and print some copies). They trade them for all sorts of random things.

I think they are probably more valuable than bitcoins.

   1071. Morty Causa Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4703762)
A longstanding orthodoxy among social scientists holds that human races are a social construct and have no biological basis. A related assumption is that human evolution halted in the distant past, so long ago that evolutionary explanations need never be considered by historians or economists.

In the decade since the decoding of the human genome, a growing wealth of data has made clear that these two positions, never at all likely to begin with, are simply incorrect. There is indeed a biological basis for race. And it is now beyond doubt that human evolution is a continuous process that has proceeded vigorously within the last 30,000 years and almost certainly — though very recent evolution is hard to measure — throughout the historical period and up until the present day.


From Time Magazine.

Oh, and that round up of reviews expands:

Round up of Book reviews.

   1072. Morty Causa Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4703763)
From Amazon.com comments sectioon:

Darwin vs. Lysenko.

"(H)uman evolution has been recent, copious and regional."

Wade begins and ends his thesis with that idea, an idea that now stands on a solid foundation of objective research. Several important notions flow from this thesis.

Evolution has not stopped working on our species, and has very likely accelerated under the immense selective pressures of civilization.

Races have an objective existence based on genetics and the races revealed by genetics closely follow the historical classification of human races.

Races have evolved under selective pressures presented by their environments and are adaptations to those environments. Where environments (including those constructed by humans themselves) differ, the races differ.

Social behavior and intelligence are among the observable (and to some degree measurable) human traits that vary. Without supernatural intervention, it is inconceivable that every human feature could be subject to regional variation except for the brain. Evolution provides no special exemption for human brains.

Wade's book is brilliant not because it presents new information or even extraordinarily new arguments. Anyone following the field for the last few decades has been aware of the continuing discoveries in the field of genetics. Wade is brilliant because he lays out much of the field in crystal clear prose backed up by well known research, and he does it at a time when any dissent from the prevailing dogma is to invite attack. He is Darwin vs. Lysenko. And on this subject, we are in the Soviet Union.
   1073. Morty Causa Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4703767)
1071:

Oh, by the by, the piece in Time was written by Nicholas Wade.
   1074. BDC Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4703768)
OK, just some stray initial reactions.

assumption is that human evolution halted in the distant past, so long ago that evolutionary explanations need never be considered


This seems strawmannishly exaggerated. There is certainly a strand of mid-20th-century social thought that insists that humans are the being whose nature is to have no nature (Margaret Mead and Simone de Beauvoir, in different ways, fall into that category). But anyone who thinks that "Evolution has {...} stopped working on our species" has zero understanding of biology. Evolution never stops "working on" any species till it's extinct. Stasis or "stabilizing selection" are temporary things.

But to say that evolution

has very likely accelerated under the immense selective pressures of civilization. {...} Races have evolved under selective pressures presented by their environments and are adaptations to those environments


makes very little sense. Selection pressures work on the genetic material of a given species to produce a daughter species in conditions where an isolated population meets new and different selection pressures: that's a central Darwinian insight. It can happen rather quickly in geological terms. But how does that happen in "civilization," especially as a civilization becomes global and genetic mixing becomes global too? There is a central contradiction here, but I would genuinely like to read the book and see how it's explained, or explained away.

Is the idea that civilization locally gave rise to small advanced master races, while globally, hunter-gatherers stayed in a savage ancestral condition? That's a white man's burden, for sure :)
   1075. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4703772)
This one has always baffled me. It's really not very hard to cut bread.

Actually, my understanding is that it was difficult to cut bread at a uniform thickness, leading to sandwiches that were thicker in spots and loaves of bread that became progressively more misshapen as they were cut. Keep in mind that knife sharpening technology was fairly primitive back then, too. Folks would go door-to-door sharpening knives for those who could afford it, but I remember my mother saying there was never a sharp knife in the house when she was growing up. BITD, only privileged neck-stabbers had the means to effectively cut bread by hand.
   1076. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4703792)
(1075) Oh the humanity! Sandwiches with bread of uneven thickness!

Truly it was the blurst of times.

Knife sharpening technology was perfected millennia ago. There were literally peddlers going door to door sharpening knives. If your knife was dull it was your own damn fault.
   1077. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:55 PM (#4703797)
Knife sharpening technology was perfected millennia ago. There were literally peddlers going door to door sharpening knives. If your knife was dull it was your own damn fault.


I'm reminded of the time I happened (god help me) to have Dr. Laura on the radio while driving to work a couple of decades ago, & I heard her kvetch about the lack of moral fiber of people who took Prevacid or whatever so they could eat spicy foods that otherwise they'd have had to avoid.

Snapper has become the Dr. Laura of BTF, I guess. Probably he always has been, but I never made the connection before.
   1078. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4703803)
(1077) Or perhaps I've just spent significant time with people who grew up poor in the 20s and 30s. Of all the complaints I heard from my relatives about shoveling coal at 8 years old, or having no hot water or heat, or not enough food, no one ever ####### about dull knives.
   1079. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4703823)
Or perhaps I've just spent significant time with people who grew up poor in the 20s and 30s. Of all the complaints I heard from my relatives about shoveling coal at 8 years old, or having no hot water or heat, or not enough food, no one ever ####### about dull knives.

It's not like the government gave out Knife Sharpening Stamps in the 1930s. During the Great Depression, foregoing mobile knife sharpening services was one of many things folks did to economize.
   1080. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:50 PM (#4703833)
My dad went through crushing post WW2 poverty, and both my folks lived through Mao's revolution in China, but they'll whine as much as anyone else when the dishwasher breaks down.
   1081. Ray (RDP) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:02 PM (#4703837)
Sliced bread is pretty cool. Not that I think it belongs in the "greatest thing since" sentence, but if you've ever tried to slice a loaf of bread yourself it's less than ideal and doesn't make for good sandwiches.

I imagine it was a pretty big deal at the time.
   1082. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4703838)
There's seems to be a story going around that Bill Clinton May Apologize To Monica Lewinsky, causing some to believe that Monica's recent reemergence was crafted for just that purpose. Don't know about that, but this "draft" is circulating:
I apologize for letting you, in my moment of weakness, seduce me. And I’m sorry that it led Hillary to calling you a “narcissistic loony toon.”

As you know, I had been brought low by the then recent deaths of my mother, Hillary’s father and our close friend Vince Foster, as well as by political attacks from Republicans. I’m sorry for Republicans being, you know, Republicans. I don’t know why there even has to be Republicans.

A psychologist Hillary talked to suggested that the roots of my infidelity lay in my childhood, particularly the struggle between my mother and my grandmother over who would have the privilege of raising me. Obviously, I won the struggle.

I regret that Rand Paul has accused me of using my position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace. None of them were that young.

You, I, and Hillary all know that my (consensual) affair with you was not a power relationship and was not sex within any real meaning (standup, liedown, oral, etc.) of the term. So, sorry — you’ll have to get over it.

Anyway, sorry. Or, you know, whatever.

Some here could probably do better.
   1083. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:06 PM (#4703840)
Knife sharpening technology was perfected millennia ago. There were literally peddlers going door to door sharpening knives. If your knife was dull it was your own damn fault.


snapper has rarely said anything truer than this.
   1084. Mefisto Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:12 PM (#4703850)
snapper has rarely said anything truer than this.


If I agree with this, which way does that cut? :)
   1085. Jack Keefe Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:22 PM (#4703857)
Dear moncia I am sorry I must your nice blue Dress. If the Smutsonian gives it Back to you I will take it to be Martiniced. May be we could have a root beer float some time. Your friend Bill.
   1086. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:30 PM (#4703868)
Some here could probably do better.

If that letter was really written by Bill Clinton in those exact words, which I seriously doubt, he was either soused or he needs a better ghostwriter, or both.
   1087. Morty Causa Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4703875)
I was thinking that reminded me of the apology Dylan made to Baez in No Direction Home. Maybe Clinton should knock back a few before he essays an apology. Maybe , then, he'd be more Homeresque (Portrait of an Assgrabber), who sent Marge her only love letter from him, a postcard from his visit to a brewery: " [sloppily scrawled] Maybe it's the beer talking Marge but you got a butt that won't quit. they got those big chewy pretzels here ....
   1088. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:48 PM (#4703876)
Well, knock me over with a feather, it looks like Kehoskie's found a new RINO.

Paul Diverges From His Party Over Voter ID

MEMPHIS — Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky broke Friday with fellow Republicans who have pushed for stricter voting laws as a way to crack down on fraud at the polls, saying that the focus on such measures alienates and insults African-Americans and hurts the party.

“Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” Mr. Paul said in an interview. “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”...


But OTOH...

The senator has had his own struggles with civil rights issues, hedging at times on his support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And, notably, he did not on Friday denounce voter ID laws as bad policy or take back previous statements in which he had said it was not unreasonable for voters to be required to show identification at the polls. He says these laws should be left to the states. (Kentucky does not have a restrictive voter identification statute.)

Instead, in his comments, he suggested that Republicans had been somewhat tone deaf on the issue....


After you read the entire story, it's hard to know exactly what Paul stands for or doesn't stand for, other than trying not to alienate either blacks or Tea Party types, which is kind of hard to do, and I don't think he's succeeded.
   1089. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:49 PM (#4703877)
OT - Hey I am off in the morning to Orlando for a week (fun, amusement parks, swimming pools, hanging out with friends). I will have some internet(so I might stop by), but most of my time will be out and about. Be good everyone!
   1090. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 10, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4703889)
If that letter was really written by Bill Clinton in those exact words, which I seriously doubt, he was either soused or he needs a better ghostwriter, or both.

Parody. I provided a link even. Although the apology rumor is out in several places, assuming the British tabloids count, I suspect any authorized apology would strive to be more sincere than the "draft" I linked to. After all, wasn't it Clinton who first said "In politics, once you learn to fake sincerity, you have it made".
   1091. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 04:39 AM (#4703921)
Here's what the neocon Washington Post editorial board (i.e. Fred Hiatt) had to say on Benghazi just a few days ago.

Catching up after my morning workout:

What you posted above, Andy, is of course more than offset by what Kirsten Powers, Ron Fournier, Jake Tapper have had to say. (And please quit with that silly neo-Con designation. No one other than you and Sam think Hiatt and Kristol sound alike.)

I certainly agree that there are other administration failures deserving of strong scrutiny but it's disrespectful to shrug off the unnecessary murders of American lives, including the first ambassador since 1979, because the administration, including HRC, wasn't awake for its 3am phone call, then repeatedly lied about it to win an election mere weeks away.
   1092. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 04:59 AM (#4703923)
Around to what?

Coming around to anything different than "turns out the talking points were bad?"

Would you say Benghazi is a worse, about the same, or not as bad a national security failing than say....

'Bin Laden determined to strike US' months before 9/11 yielding no actions to emphasize, deter, or address that threat?

Would you say Benghazi is worse, about the same, or not as bad a national security failing than say...

Reagan putting 300 marines in a poorly defended Beirut barracks against the advice of his Secretary of Defense and others?

Would you kindly rank the tragedies of Benghazi, 9/11, and the Beirut bombings -- and then, provide your assessment of the culpability/'scandal-ness' of the Obama, Bush II, and Reagan administrations respectively?

Or in simpler terms, why is it that two of those events were 'tragedies' but Benghazi a 'scandal'?


Approximately one year ago, Mouse, the White House claimed to have made public an exhaustive collection of documents that had been subpoenaed describing how it responded to its attacks. And yet, it took a FOIA lawsuit to force the State Department to release a document that, lo and behold, a Ben Rhodes e-mail memo to Susan Rice just before she went on those Sunday talk shows directed her to blame the attack on the YouTube video.* We do not yet have any communications linking the White House to HRC advising her to blame about the video while standing next to the caskets of the murdered Americans* or who advised POTUS to keep up the BS line, even when speaking before the UNGA. IIRC, he mentioned the video six times.

* The memo, not to mention Morell's testimony last month, directly contradicts Carney's repeated assertions that the CIA drafted and pushed those talking points.

** The subsequent Mullen-Pickering investigation didn't even bother to interview HRC or any of her senior deputies. Heck, key eyewitnesses also have yet to be interviewed. Nice.

Additionally, we deserve to know why there wasn't a military response. We deserve to know why POTUS wasn't in the Situation Room, like he was during the Osama operation. We deserve to know what the executive branch is doing to bring the terrorists to justice.

Is there politics involved? Of course there is ... and it's been present from day one, when the White House, scared shitless a few days after the DNC had concluded and mere weeks before the election that its "Osama is Dead, Al-Qaeda is on the Run" mantra was going the way of Bush's "Mission Accomplished," concocted the bullshit narrative about the video.

Have fun in Orlando! Be sure to send us a postcard. :-)
   1093. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 05:17 AM (#4703924)
Alas, I've run out of time but will try to get to your 9/11 and Beirut questions later, hopefully before you shut down the laptop for the week.
   1094. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 10, 2014 at 06:48 AM (#4703926)
If that letter was really written by Bill Clinton in those exact words, which I seriously doubt, he was either soused or he needs a better ghostwriter, or both.

Parody. I provided a link even.


Then to my initial comment I'd add that the parodist needs a better ghostwriter, since there wasn't even an attempt to make it sound as if the "apology" was in Clinton's voice. As you said, "some here could probably do better", and probably even while soused.

---------------------------------------------------------

Jason, I have no more interest in resurrecting the Benghazi issue than I have in re-fighting the Pueblo incident, but since the Republicans seem to have subscribed to the Smoking Gun Of The Month Club, I guess it gives them (and you) something to get excited about. I suppose it beats greenies.

Side issue comment: I wrote that Hiatt is a neo-con not as an epithet, but with an accurate representation of that word's inductively original meaning in mind. The original neo-cons weren't channeling Douglas MacArthur on military strategy or Jesse Helms on voting rights, and Hiatt would have found more common ground with them than with MacArthur, Helms or the son of Irving Kristol. In fact some of them even voted for George McGovern.
   1095. Bitter Mouse Posted: May 10, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4703928)
Flight delayed, so very bitter.

Approximately one year ago, Mouse


I think you are responding to someone else's post, but I will respond anyway. Basically your whole post is about a bunch of talking points for a Sunday talk show. Really? That's just kind of boring.

As to the rest, deserve? Really?

Even if the administration screwed up and there should have been a different response, a mistake is not a scandal. You can scan the record of every administration and find mistakes. Why does this one rise to the level of scandal?

It is just politics. And honestly like I said the real problem from a GOP perspective is it is boring. There is no sexy narrative. No sex, nothing domestic (it is all so far away in a place most people can't find on a map), nothing tied directly to people we know, and some stuff that maybe could have happened but didn't.
   1096. formerly dp Posted: May 10, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4703929)
Jason, your outrage is noted.

I assume you demanded similar accountability of Bush during the series of lies orchestrated to dupe the American public into supporting the Iraq invasion? If not, you can see how your position here might seem a little...inconsistent? How your outrage over "murdered Americans" might come off as disingenuous, given an apparent lack of concern over the Americans killed as a result of the intelligence Bush fabricated to get us into Iraq? Your partisanship is fairly transparent here.
   1097. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4703939)
Jason, your outrage is noted.

Your partisanship is fairly transparent here.

That's a pretty funny thing to say, FDP, considering you apparently see no evil re: Obama and Benghazi, only with Bush and Iraq.
   1098. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4703940)
I think you are responding to someone else's post, but I will respond anyway. Basically your whole post is about a bunch of talking points for a Sunday talk show. Really? That's just kind of boring.

Hmmm, I guess I was responding to multiple posts in the limited amount of time I had available.

The response might well have been boring but I was only sharing my concerns. However, I didn't say they made a mere "mistake." It's increasingly clear that the actions taken were intentional.

No sex, nothing domestic (it is all so far away in a place most people can't find on a map), nothing tied directly to people we know, and some stuff that maybe could have happened but didn't.

Because you were so determined to get to the bottom of the Monica Lewinsky/Paula Jones/Juanita Broderick accusations, right? LOL. It seems fitting that you are heading to the land of Loony Tunes.
   1099. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4703941)
1. Splitting the atom/nuclear weaponry
2. The printing press
3. Richard Sherman's epic takedown of Skip Bayless
   1100. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4703943)
Flip.
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