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Thursday, April 03, 2014

OTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments

Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 03, 2014 at 01:59 PM | 4718 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: 7 million aca signees and counting, i-95 south, nc, politics

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   2001. BDC Posted: April 22, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4691374)
Switzerland has +/- 8 million people, is more diverse than Norway but still relatively homogeneous

One thing to note in such arguments is that "diversity" is a relative term, even a fractal one. Lots of societies look homogeneous from the outside but reveal lots of serious faultlines once you're inside them. Switzerland has a major language divide right down the middle of the country, for instance. And pretty much every European nation has a recent history of hereditary class distinctions that puzzle Americans but make such nations extremely diverse in terms that are neither ethnic nor linguistic. Yet elements of socialism have worked there. And for that matter they've worked on large scales in the U.S.: Social Security and Medicare are enormous programs applied across a vast and diverse country, and work pretty well (except for conservative faux-hysteria about the viability of Social Security, that well-known Ponzi scheme that has lasted 75 years but is fixing to collapse any minute now :)
   2002. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4691376)
No, you said what I quoted. You made the dual loyalty slur and you get to own it. The fact that certain other people agree with you is irrelevant; you're an anti-semite because you post anti-semitic statements and defend them vigorously.


No. I have never, not even once, come close to arguing that "Jews" have a dual-loyalty problem. I have posted instances of individual people, some of whom are Jewish and some of whom are not, putting the interests of other nations (including Israel) ahead of the interests of the United States. That's not anti-semitism. But you need it to be, because again, you have to preserve your narrative boundaries above all else.

I have never made an anti-semitic argument here or anywhere else. I have never argued that the Jewish people behave in any one way or another, based on their cultural identity. I have taken issue with some foreign policy suggestions by some neocon pundits who happen to be Jewish. My counter argument is usually based on the same line of reasoning used by other Jewish pundits. I'm not more "anti-semitic" than Beinhart is a "self-hating Jew."

You, on the other hand, routinely and repeatedly argue that black people are genetically inferior to white people when it comes to intelligence and propensity to violence. That is your basic argument in all of these exchanges. That is, once again, the very definition of white supremacy.
   2003. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4691380)
Switzerland has +/- 8 million people, is more diverse than Norway but still relatively homogeneous


The country has four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansch. It's the poster boy for a heterogeneous multi-ethnic country.
   2004. The Good Face Posted: April 22, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4691399)
You, on the other hand, routinely and repeatedly argue that black people are genetically inferior to white people when it comes to intelligence and propensity to violence. That is your basic argument in all of these exchanges. That is, once again, the very definition of white supremacy.


Except I have never once said that. Go ahead, search the archives, find where I've said blacks are genetically inferior to whites. You can't do it because it never happened. That's what you WANT me to have said, so you can enjoy the endorphin rush of making a supremely holier-than-thou denunciation of anti-Orthodoxy. "Look! Look how good and noble a person I am! I'm defending the faith! The God wills it!" Just another Puritan...

You, however, most certainly did make the dual loyalty slur, and the fact that you've found some Jews out there who go along with it doesn't change anything. That's what makes this whole exchange so ironic; you keep insisting I'm a white supremicist based on things I've never said while denying you're an anti-semite despite actually making the slurs.
   2005. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2014 at 04:17 PM (#4691403)
Except I have never once said that. Go ahead, search the archives, find where I've said blacks are genetically inferior to whites.


Do you, or do you not, argue that African Americans do worse on intelligence tests because of their racial/genetic makeup?
   2006. zonk Posted: April 22, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4691410)

The country has four official languages: French, German, Italian, and Romansch. It's the poster boy for a heterogeneous multi-ethnic country.


So we've got our template:

Everybody gets a gun, you never go to war no matter how evil any given combatant is, and you hide money (for a fee) for everyone... including the bad guys from any given war in times of global unrest, just from run-of-the-mill scofflaws otherwise.
   2007. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 22, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4691417)
So we've got our template:


I think geography has influenced the Swiss a bit also, so include "in the middle of a mountain range" and I think you are on to something.
   2008. BDC Posted: April 22, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4691420)
Chocolate, lots of chocolate.
   2009. The Good Face Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4691439)
Do you, or do you not, argue that African Americans do worse on intelligence tests because of their racial/genetic makeup?


I think it's possible, perhaps even more likely than not. There's incontrovertable evidence that they do worse, but I'm not 100% that the CAUSATION is genetic. We know that a substantial amount of IQ is heritable, but nobody really knows exactly how much and there are a lot of confounding factors. If the relative test scores haven't changed in another 40-50 years, I'd take that as strong evidence for the genetic argument, but even then I wouldn't necessarily call it proof.

But that's a far cry from claims of inferiority. There's ample evidence that white people are worse sprinters than people with West African ancestry. It should be unsurprising that evolution would result in geographically isolated human populations having differing group strengths and weaknesses. And if those differences are real and material, it makes sense to acknowledge them and consider them when making societal & governmental decisions. Otherwise we're just putting our heads in the sand because certain truths make us uncomfortable.
   2010. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:04 PM (#4691440)
And fondue. Do NOT overlook the fondue.
   2011. Publius Publicola Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4691448)
It should be unsurprising that evolution would result in geographically isolated human populations having differing group strengths and weaknesses.


I'm trying to imagine a human environment where "intelligence" isn't selected for. Help me out, GF. And while you're at it, could you define what intelligence is too?
   2012. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4691451)
"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
   2013. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4691454)
And while you're at it, could you define what intelligence is too?

And also, what "white people" are?
   2014. spike Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4691456)
And what their weaknesses are (other than not being able to dance well)?
   2015. zonk Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4691457)
And fondue. Do NOT overlook the fondue.


So I was about to say that you should stay away from having a national alcohol -- but actually, I think absinthe was originally a Swiss concoction, so go big, go strong, and go crazy with the liquor.
   2016. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4691461)
I think absinthe was originally a Swiss concoction, so go big, go strong, and go crazy with the liquor.

I was in Switzerland on business a couple of years ago. Swiss wine is extremely hard to find outside of Switzerland, but it isn't because it isn't great wine, because I discovered that it is. They just consume nearly all of it domestically, and export very little.

Clever ones, that Swiss race.
   2017. Publius Publicola Posted: April 22, 2014 at 05:57 PM (#4691466)
So, intelligence evolves most quickly in populations isolated by mountains, consuming large amounts of chocolate.
   2018. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4691469)
I think it's possible, perhaps even more likely than not. There's incontrovertable evidence that they do worse, but I'm not 100% that the CAUSATION is genetic. We know that a substantial amount of IQ is heritable, but nobody really knows exactly how much and there are a lot of confounding factors. If the relative test scores haven't changed in another 40-50 years, I'd take that as strong evidence for the genetic argument, but even then I wouldn't necessarily call it proof.


Okay, you're doing alright up until this point. Not good, but alright. You're acknowledging countervailing evidence and conditions and giving them credence. In this vein, you really should take a deep dive into the data coming back re: lead with regard to human cognition and behaviors. (Hint: the fact of poor historical performance doesn't map to lead distribution is irrelevant, because we have a lot of other reasons for poor historical results for African Americans, notably a long and vicious history of white supremacy in action across the nation.)

But that's a far cry from claims of inferiority.


Uh-oh. I sense this thing going sideways.

There's ample evidence that white people are worse sprinters than people with West African ancestry...


And there you go, back into the bog standard realm of white supremacist rhetoric. You do understand how arguing "blacks aren't inferior, they're better for manual labor while white people are better suited for thinking and management tasks" is, in point of fact, a long held favorite of white supremacists, right?

You were doing so well, too.
   2019. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4691471)
So, intelligence evolves most quickly in populations isolated by mountains, consuming large amounts of chocolate.


And in cuttlefish.
   2020. greenback calls it soccer Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4691473)
"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

The birth place of the cuckoo clock is a few clicks north of Switzerland actually.
   2021. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4691478)
Since being poor is based on what is considered comfortable or normal in society, I think a certain segment (percent) at the bottom of the income bracket are poor. Using that definition the poor will always be with us. What David is suggesting is that at a certain level of base comfort we should stop caring that they are poor (even if they fit the definition),because they are not "eating mud".
That's not quite what I said; see post 1831: "(Please note: my argument here, if you've followed this chain of comments, was not, "Boy, poor people in the U.S. are living high on the hog." My argument was about the foolishness of arguments that look at places where there's true, starvation-level mud-eating poverty, and social unrest, and then conclude that this has lessons about U.S. inequality and the danger of social unrest here.)" To be sure, I certainly do believe that "a certain level of base comfort we should stop caring that they are poor," but I am not drawing the line at not-mud-eating.
   2022. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4691483)
To be sure, I certainly do believe that "a certain level of base comfort we should stop caring that they are poor," but I am not drawing the line at not-mud-eating.

Is it, then, not-cockroach-eating? Or is it perhaps not-faces-covered-with-crawling-flies? Where exactly is that sweet line of base comfort?
   2023. Mefisto Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4691486)
Where exactly is that sweet line of base comfort?


Anybody who makes less than David does. Thus, nobody can ever be poor if he isn't.
   2024. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4691487)
As to the division of power argument, our government is divided, with plenty of checks and balances, and for that very reason. I wish government was less powerful, but that doesn't mean I think making corporations or wealthy individuals more powerful is a good answer (the phrase cure worse than the disease come to mind).
Funny, but "cure worse than the disease" would kind of match what I've been saying about big government -- it's already so much more massive than any wealthy person or corporation that it's like using a large dose of arsenic to eliminate your headache.

But your argument misapprehends my position; I don't want to "make corporations more powerful" as an "answer" to big government; I just want to make government less powerful. That will make corporations (along with everyone else) less fettered, I guess, but not "more powerful."
   2025. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4691488)
I'm trying to imagine a human environment where "intelligence" isn't selected for.


modern western society

   2026. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4691489)
No. The only way to prevent the concentration of power is to disperse it among multiple competing entities.

And which of those entities shall you be conscripted for? I hope you're looking forward to basic training.
What?
   2027. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4691494)
That will make corporations (along with everyone else) less fettered, I guess, but not "more powerful."

Uh-huh. Of course it will.
   2028. Mefisto Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4691501)
C'mon Steve, be fair -- you have to admit corporations like Standard Oil were much less powerful before government got involved.

The really hilarious part of DMN's argument, of course, is that corporations only exist by virtue of a government charter and government enforcement of limited liability (and lots of other doctrines as well).
   2029. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4691505)
The really hilarious part of DMN's argument, of course, is that corporations only exist by virtue of a government charter and government enforcement of limited liability (and lots of other doctrines as well).

Nah, that's kind of a technicality. The truly hilarious part is the adorable notion that there has ever been a moment in human history in which a power vacuum wasn't filled by the strongest party capable of filling it.
   2030. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4691509)
That will make corporations (along with everyone else) less fettered, I guess, but not "more powerful."


You are a protean mammal. You are surrounded by a pack of raptors who want to eat you. They are encumbered in this desire by a large brontosaur type behemoth who does not want to eat you, per se, but who may step on you because he's a large behemoth of a beast. While it sucks to be underfoot of the lugging beast, you would not be better served to eliminate the beast and allow the raptors free range to slice you up at will.
   2031. zenbitz Posted: April 22, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4691510)
Generally, I think it's wrong to map genes on to complex behavior that is so heavily culturally influenced (it's like asking if Jews have a set of genes that make them like bagels and lox). It's possible that there are a series of genes that, together under the right environmental conditions, result in an enhanced propensity to violence, although even that formulation is a far cry from the genetic reductionism of those seeking a racial basis for crime.


I don't entirely agree. It's not wrong to map genetics -> behavior. And all genetics is environmentally influenced; behaviors are not special in this regard.

This is a huge section of biology. It's wrong to *ascribe* a particular action by particular person to their genetics. It's (quite) wrong to assume someone's full genotype based on their outward appearance. Even if the appearance might be *CORRELATED* to some other genetic trait.

What wrong, as I have stated here many times - is using a statistical propensity (genetic, cultural, whatever) to punish or explain actions of individuals. The information is not in itself evil, it's what you do with it (or what we, as a society do with it) that matters.
   2032. zenbitz Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4691517)
David problem is that his argument is circular.

- Power (force) only comes from the barrel of a gun (stipulated)
- Government (via Laws) restrict who can utilize force
- Ergo, Government has a monopoly on Power

But if you reduce the power of Government to ENFORCE their Monopoly on force - then you have anarchy - and I am pretty sure those who control resources (money, wealth) have the edge there - and can now use force indiscriminately. And there is nothing preventing them from monopolizing force (except other "Bandit leaders"). This is essentially how things worked for most of human history. The guy who amassed the mostest declares themself King. Others either pay tribute or are powerful enough to form their own Kingdom.

I think David's main point is that there must be a (knife-edge) plane in which the government has EXACTLY enough power to enforce it's monopoly on the use of FORCE, but exactly zero power to increase it's reach. This isn't even logically unreasonable. However, I suspect the problem is that this is nothing "holding" this spot. It's not a stable equilibrium point (hence: Knife edge).

For it to be stable there would have to be some kind of mechanism that forces the government to relinquish power when it gets too much, and to gain power when it cannot enforce the monopoly on force.

   2033. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4691519)
- Power (force) only comes from the barrel of a gun (stipulated)
- Government (via Laws) restrict who can utilize force
- Ergo, Government has a monopoly on Power


Government is the only party who can make rules and legally punish/imprison people (enforcement) for not following them.

   2034. bobm Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:26 PM (#4691528)
Important statistics (no one stat tells the whole story):
* Employment (measured a couple ways)
* GNP
* Median wage (especially effective take home pay)
* Gini coefficient [...]

I am sure there are others I am not thinking of right now.


Gross national happiness ? :-)
   2035. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4691529)
And what their weaknesses are (other than not being able to dance well)?


I'm a daggum dancing machine.
   2036. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4691533)
Government is the only party who can make rules and legally punish/imprison people (enforcement) for not following them.


Until the absence of government allows petit tyrants to do as much at will.
   2037. spike Posted: April 22, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4691540)
I'm a daggum dancing machine.

Better check your geneology then.
   2038. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 08:02 PM (#4691545)
I'm a daggum dancing machine.


Better check your geneology then.

Yep. Sounds suspiciously negroid.
   2039. GregD Posted: April 22, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4691554)
Government is the only party who can make rules and legally punish/imprison people (enforcement) for not following them.
A tautology, no?

If no government, then assuredly other people will make rules and punish and kill people for violating them...we just wouldn't worry about calling it legal. If the distinction is simply the name, then it isn't much of a distinction.
   2040. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 08:21 PM (#4691558)
While it sucks to be underfoot of the lugging beast, you would not be better served to eliminate the beast and allow the raptors free range to slice you up at will.

I believe it was Hobbes who coined the term "Leviathan state."
   2041. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4691591)
I'm catching up here, so I don't know if others have responded to this:

The New NYT data-based site has a big piece on American income in relation to other European countries

In 1980 the US was first or in one case second in after-tax income at 5th, 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th, and 95th percentile.

Now the US is last in 5th, second to last in 10th, middle of the pack in 20th, 30th, and 40th, 2nd (to Canada) in 50th, 1st in 60th, 70th 80th and 90th, and 1st and rising wildly relative to our peers at 95th.
Either I am misreading the charts or you are. Where do you see us "last" in 5th? Spain, Italy, and Greece, for instance, were all below us at 5th. At 10th, we're ahead of the UK, Spain, Italy, and Greece. (There is very little data here, so being "last" or "middle of the pack" isn't really very meaningful anyway. Not to mention that ordinal rankings generally tell us very little.) We are not "middle of the pack at 20, 30, or 40, either; we're near the top.
   2042. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:24 PM (#4691600)
I'm a daggum dancing machine.

Better check your geneology then.

Yep. Sounds suspiciously negroid.


I couldn't be any more Caucasoid - I have have ancestors from the Caucasuses!

We are a jiggy people.
   2043. GregD Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:26 PM (#4691601)
Either I am misreading the charts or you are. Where do you see us "last" in 5th? Spain, Italy, and Greece, for instance, were all below us at 5th. At 10th, we're ahead of the UK, Spain, Italy, and Greece. (There is very little data here, so being "last" or "middle of the pack" isn't really very meaningful anyway. Not to mention that ordinal rankings generally tell us very little.) We are not "middle of the pack at 20, 30, or 40, either; we're near the top.
Hmm. Both?

I was off on 5th--we're second to last. Spain is last.

On 20th, we are below Norway, Canada, The Netherlands, Germany, and Finland and above Britain, France, Ireland and Spain. That seems middle of the pack.

30th we look to me to be tied for fourth with five below us

40th, I'll grant you. We look tied for 3rd with seven below us.

   2044. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:42 PM (#4691612)
I couldn't really read those silly tiny NYT line graphs, so I went to the original data source. If you check their spreadsheets, in 10th percentile we're "second to last" among a subset that the Times chose to include in those graphs. But if you include the other countries I mentioned - and I didn't even address some of the Eastern European ones - we're ahead of Italy and Greece also.

In any case, in my befuddlement about the graphs, I forgot to mention the other reason this data is meaningless: the percentiles aren't the same people over time. The lower U.S. deciles are dragged down by all those illegal immigrants that we have - the bulk of them having come in the last 20 years. When they come here, they lower median income levels simply as a matter of math - but that doesn't make anyone poorer, in absolute or relative terms.
   2045. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 09:47 PM (#4691617)
A $500B trade deficit, is a lot of working class jobs.
Argh! Again with the mercantilism. A "trade deficit" is a meaningless accounting artifice. It is not like an actual "deficit." (Why liberals, who are so quick to sneer about debt fears held by those who mistakenly analogize countries to households, don't get this is beyond me.) A trade deficit says nothing about "jobs."
   2046. GregD Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:00 PM (#4691625)
I couldn't really read those silly tiny NYT line graphs, so I went to the original data source. If you check their spreadsheets, in 10th percentile we're "second to last" among a subset that the Times chose to include in those graphs. But if you include the other countries I mentioned - and I didn't even address some of the Eastern European ones - we're ahead of Italy and Greece also.
Makes sense

In any case, in my befuddlement about the graphs, I forgot to mention the other reason this data is meaningless: the percentiles aren't the same people over time. The lower U.S. deciles are dragged down by all those illegal immigrants that we have - the bulk of them having come in the last 20 years. When they come here, they lower median income levels simply as a matter of math - but that doesn't make anyone poorer, in absolute or relative terms.
This is also a good point, though it is also not inherently true that restricting immigration would have raised the median income level, since immigrants raised the total population but not solely at the bottom (and caused a difficult-to-quantify-but-real amount of growth.)

Argh! Again with the mercantilism. A "trade deficit" is a meaningless accounting artifice. It is not like an actual "deficit." (Why liberals, who are so quick to sneer about debt fears held by those who mistakenly analogize countries to households, don't get this is beyond me.) A trade deficit says nothing about "jobs."
I am open to certain types of protection (in practice everyone, including every administration in US history is), but your response on this is right.
   2047. Publius Publicola Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4691630)
At 10th, we're ahead of the UK, Spain, Italy, and Greece.


Ahead of Greece. So we're OK then?
   2048. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4691635)
Is a working class couple not making 40,000 to 50,000?
Yes. Median household income in the U.S. is approx. $50K.

Right, two people have to work full-time to achieve what one full-time worker used to be able to provide. That is a massive decrease in standard of living.
Setting aside the indefensible idea that women being able to have careers is a negative, this is simply untrue. Median household income, in constant dollars, is twice as high -- in significantly smaller households -- as it was in your precious postwar era. And it's mostly the upper-income families that are two-earner households -- not poor people trying to keep up with the 1950s.
   2049. Mefisto Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4691638)
A trade deficit means that we have a low national savings rate (that's an accounting identity). When people talk about the problems of the trade deficit, they mean (a) the national savings rate is low and should be higher (because if the savings rate is too low, we must borrow); and (b) a sudden withdrawal of capital inflows can be very damaging to an economy, and we risk that by running persistent trade deficits.
   2050. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4691641)
Generally, I think it's wrong to map genes on to complex behavior that is so heavily culturally influenced (it's like asking if Jews have a set of genes that make them like bagels and lox).
Yes, we do. Next question.
   2051. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:39 PM (#4691643)
I'm trying to imagine a human environment where "intelligence" isn't selected for.
Have you checked out the comments sections of most newspaper web sites?
   2052. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4691644)
The really hilarious part of DMN's argument, of course, is that corporations only exist by virtue of a government charter and government enforcement of limited liability (and lots of other doctrines as well).
Government enforcement of limited liability? You think there's unlimited shareholder liability in the state of nature?
   2053. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:45 PM (#4691648)
You are a protean mammal. You are surrounded by a pack of raptors who want to eat you. They are encumbered in this desire by a large brontosaur type behemoth who does not want to eat you, per se, but who may step on you because he's a large behemoth of a beast. While it sucks to be underfoot of the lugging beast, you would not be better served to eliminate the beast and allow the raptors free range to slice you up at will.
The raptors don't want to eat me, Sam; they want to trade with me. The brontosaurus wants to suck all the blood out of them and maybe let a bit of it trickle down to me, to keep me alive to lure more raptors in. Which rather ruins the metaphor, but then the metaphor is stupid. Government is the rabid predator.
   2054. Steve Treder Posted: April 22, 2014 at 10:51 PM (#4691651)
The raptors don't want to eat me, Sam; they want to trade with me.

This would be your basic mark.
   2055. Morty Causa Posted: April 23, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4691681)
The raptors don't want to eat me, Sam; they want to trade with me.

No, they want to eat. A government forces them to settle for just trading. (Think John D. Rockefeller.)

There's no difference between the Koches of this world and the Attila the Huns, except that the forces of government failed against Attila. It's too early to call on the Koches, and there are always Koches who yearn to be Attilas.
   2056. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 07:37 AM (#4691723)
There's no difference between the Koches of this world and the Attila the Huns


Physical Capitalism wouldn't be a deterrent to Attila the Hun.
   2057. zonk Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:49 AM (#4691739)
Government enforcement of limited liability? You think there's unlimited shareholder liability in the state of nature?


Of course there is -- if Og, who has more skill in fashioning pointy sticks than Ug and his family, gets a fine sabertooth pelt for fashioning Ug's youngest son a spear -- and said spear ends up being defective (or even blamed for being defective, whether it was or Ug's youngest son is just a shitty hunter), I'm pretty sure that Ug and his other sons wouldn't just demand the pelt back or some limited recompense... They'd probably be using Og as bait on the next hunt... or if Og had a bunch of folks who contributed sticks to his spearmaking enterprise in exchange for free spears of their own, they're only going to avoid sharing Og's 'punishment' (deserved or not) if they happen to outnumber Ug's clan.

Or look at animals that congregate in packs -- the contributions of younger males aren't taken into account when they come of age to constitute a threat to the alpha male... they're sent on their way to die or form their own pack.

The concept of "limited shareholder liability" is a wholly 'unnatural' construct created by governments to protect capital because governments and societies have determined that quite often, innovation on a scale that can improve society usually requires capital, and people who have spare capital available for such endeavors contribute it more freely if they can be assured of individually limiting their exposure to loss.

'Nature' or natural law couldn't give a rat's ass about the 'shareholders' in any ecosystem - introduce an invasive species of plant or animal, and the whole ecosystem is going to change... some species will adapt if they're able, the rest will die.
   2058. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4691741)
Corporations don't "want" anything. They are run to make money and feed the ego (vanity, whatever) of the people running the corporation. Sometimes that is good, sometimes bad. But they most certainly don't have our (for any variation of who us is) best interests in mind.

Governments have a different motivation, also not evil. They are more about power than money (yes I realize the two can translate back and forth into each other).

For every horror show a government has done you can find many corporations just as bad.

My preference is to have governments handle most "power" functions and corporations handle the capitalistic efficiency in allocation of resources (buying and selling stuff, turning that into money). Given the complexity of the world government is about as small as it can be and still function. Back in the day, when things were simpler, you needed less government. That has not been the case for a while.
   2059. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4691747)
   2060. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:12 AM (#4691754)
Not liking the autoplay ad!!!!!!!!
   2061. Greg K Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4691756)
Physical Capitalism wouldn't be a deterrent to Attila the Hun.

Khutulun, Genghis Khan's great-granddaughter (I think) would do even better in Physical Capitalism (particularly the no weapons caveat). She was renowned for claiming she'd marry whoever beat her in a wrestling match. Many takers, but she remained unmarried for quite a while and won a whole herd of horses from the guys who lost.
   2062. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4691758)
No, they want to eat. A government forces them to settle for just trading. (Think John D. Rockefeller.)


This. The only reason they're not throwing your sorry ass in a mine for company tin (i.e. eating you alive) is because they're restricted by the government you claim to abhor. Your childish, naive notion of a state of nature that isn't nasty, brutish and short would be laughable if it weren't shared by so many similarly childish, naive people.
   2063. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4691759)
Median household income, in constant dollars, is twice as high -- in significantly smaller households -- as it was in your precious postwar era.


Some people are massively underestimating what the real inflation rate is.
   2064. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4691763)
Some people are massively underestimating what the real inflation rate is


Can you explicate this thought without delving into gold-buggery?
   2065. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4691766)
nasty, brutish and short


Again with the digs at Bitter Mouse.
   2066. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4691768)
Some people are massively underestimating what the real inflation rate is


There are a whole pile of different groups that try to calculate inflation. It turns out to be really hard, since technology and taste (product mix purchased) are so variable over time and over geography (and even over different groups of people in the same time and place).

Honestly there is no "real rate of inflation", there are estimates of an abstract ideal. But you have to do the best you can, and people do.

There is not some conspiracy to mismeasure it, nor is there massive misfeasance (or nonfeasance) in its measuring. It is just really hard to measure an idealized abstract with any degree of certainty.
   2067. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4691769)
Again with the digs at Bitter Mouse.


Because mongooses are so hoity toity! Find a mirror fellow varmint.
   2068. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4691770)
Careful, he's a carnivore!
   2069. BDC Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4691773)
There's ample evidence that white people are worse sprinters than people with West African ancestry

OK, I'll bite: what's the evidence? Jon Entine's claim about this, a few years back, was based largely on the current best times and world-record holders. And it's certainly true that the best times in the men's 100m (to choose a salient example) are currently being run by black athletes.

The problems with generalizing that claim to a conclusion about "West African ancestry": sprinters who now consistently run under 9.9 are mostly just two guys, Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay. I think we can posit that genetics has a huge amount to do with that, but it's their individual genes that supremely distinguish them, not their general ancestry. They stand way out from anybody's general ancestry.

Between 9.9 and 10.0, the world's ultra-elite, are overwhelmingly black as well. But the list has some curious features. It's dominated by Jamaicans, Americans, an assortment of Caribbean nations, and several guys who run for Western European nations but have Caribbean roots. That's a genetically very mixed group, and interesting for the "West African" hypothesis is the fact that there are virtually no West Africans among them. (A Nigerian sprinter named Egwero has a personal best of 10.06, another named Emelieze has run a 10.18 – very, very fast. But you'd expect guys from West Africa to totally dominate an event they were genetically superior at, wouldn't you? Instead these guys are ranked, but they are not world-champion range.)

Why all the Jamaicans? Why no ultra-elite sprinter who runs for Ghana? Ghana has no trouble fielding a very powerful football team, so it's not for lack of a sport infrastructure there. Can this have anything to do with the cultural obsession with track and field in Jamaica? Or did a certain set of genetic miracles wash up there during colonial times? I ask rhetorically.

Whe you get to 100m times in the low 10.0-10.1 range, you start to see several Asians, Europeans, guys from other parts of Africa, South America – by the time you get to the 10.2s, still exceptionally fast, it's a big ethnic jumble. I would maintain that the difference between a few black guys of varied ancestry currently running in the 9.9s and the rest of the world's best currently running 10.1 or 10.2 is negligible as evidence for some sort of genetic superiority.

Indeed, the world's best sprinters include a very high percentage of Jamaicans, hence the "West African" theory (which scoops up relevant Americans and Europeans too). But it's an island with an obsession and a culture that grabs the best athletes for sprinting. A very high percentage of the world's best baseball players are Dominican – does that mean there's some sort of ideal genetic mix on that island?

I'd be happy to know where I'm wrong here, honestly, and I'm sure I'll find out :)
   2070. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4691779)
Because mongooses are so hoity toity! Find a mirror fellow varmint.


Nasty & brutish I'll cop to. I'm of average height, though.
   2071. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4691781)
Without the government to enforce the law at gunpoint, how are contractual and property rights maintained?
   2072. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4691783)
I'm trying to imagine a human environment where "intelligence" isn't selected for.


I've mentioned Rob Grant's novel "Incompetence" before. It's a very dark novel (mostly funny) that imagines the consequences of a world where selecting on competence (or any form of suitability for the job) is judged to be a form of discrimination. In fact because of various rulings it's become safest to select against competence.

The specific language of the legislation is that no-one can be "prejudiced from employment for reason of age, race, creed or incompitence [sic]"

So you'll meet police investigators with (among other issues) extreme anger management problems, crime scene investigators who obliterate all trace evidence on a scene, legally dead living people. My favorite bit of the book deals with a tried and true plot device. Dead body planted in the trunk of the hero's car.


   2073. GregD Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4691785)
It is instructive to compare the "West African" argument in sprinting to the marathon argument. There, the case is what you would expect a genetically-informed case to be. You have a small (5 million or so) tribe that is relatively isolated, largely intermarries, and is not precisely coterminous with later-defined national boundaries. That tiny tribe dominates everyone else, and studies have been done on average-performing tribal runners who get high-level training that suggest that average Kalenjin teenager would be a world-class runner in any other country with high-level training.

So you have:
1) a population that is coherent, well-defined, and seems to have strong in-group traits

and

2) a population where the average person seems way advanced, not just a few outliers

Even so, you have to look carefully at environmental and cultural factors to have a chance of isolating the role of in-group genetics.

Neither of those things are true for "West Africans."

First, West Africans were not a coherent, well-defined group of people. There seems to have been enormous genetic variation before European contact.

Second, we define people of West African descent by their phenotype, which means we define them amazingly poorly. We miss lots of people who are of West African descent. We class people whose descent line is majority elsewhere (or exclusively elsewhere.) It's a category of contemporary analysis that fails at analysis.

Third, West Africans in the Americas are the opposite of a group that has reproduced within its own group. There are few groups in world history with as much out-group reproduction as American blacks. Even if they had come over with coherent genetic traits, which they didn't, they would be so dispersed through out-reproduction that it wouldn't matter. This seems different in some Caribbean countries.

Fourth, there isn't the same kind of evidence that the average West African is equivalent to a world-class sprinter from other national or ethnic groups.

One can imagine that it's possible that group genetics plays some role and yet have to admit that right now there's no way to tell. Since there are other obvious factors (Jamaican devotion to sprinting), it is illogical to attribute huge power to a factor that has all kinds of problems and can't be measured, and to undermine the factors that are clear and can be measured.

   2074. Publius Publicola Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4691787)
More hilarity from our most open-minded state in the Union:

S.C. college production highlights political battle between lawmakers, public universities
CHARLESTON, S.C. — More than 750 people packed into a city auditorium here this week for a sold-out production of “Fun Home,” a musical by a New York-based troupe about a woman coming to terms with her closeted gay father’s suicide. The crowd rose in a standing ovation before the show even began.

The emotional reaction was part of a worsening political battle between South Carolina’s public universities and conservative Republican lawmakers, who argue that campus culture should reflect the socially conservative views of the state.

The state’s House of Representatives recently voted to cut $52,000 in funding for the College of Charleston as punishment for assigning students to read “Fun Home,” the graphic novel that formed the basis for the play. House lawmakers endorsed a similar budget cut for the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg for using a different book with gay themes in its reading program.[/quote]

   2075. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4691793)
I've mentioned Rob Grant's novel "Incompetence" before. It's a very dark novel (mostly funny) that imagines the consequences of a world where selecting on competence (or any form of suitability for the job) is judged to be a form of discrimination. In fact because of various rulings it's become safest to select against competence.


Does the novel end with Dubya becoming president?
   2076. Publius Publicola Posted: April 23, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4691794)
Don't you just love conservatives? We believe in freedom, as long as it's our type of freedom.
   2077. Ron J2 Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4691799)
#2075 No. Because it's set in a federated EU.

But it was published in 2003.

   2078. Publius Publicola Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4691804)
Can you explicate this thought without delving into gold-buggery?


Silver futures are suffering.

   2079. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM (#4691808)
More hilarity from our most open-minded state in the Union:


"Fun Home" is really a fantastic book. Everyone really should read it, if for no other reason that to illustrate the literary potential of the graphic novel format.
   2080. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4691816)
#2066 - I'm going to respectfully disagree with your last statement. By intentionally underestimating inflation, GDP can be overstated.

And I don't know about you guys, but I'll believe what I see with my own eyes as far as the prices of goods and services are concerned 100% of the time over statements of governments.

In my neck of the woods (NB, Canada) the price of gas has gone from about 55 cents/litre to $1.40 in the last 15 years. That is about 7% inflation. Diesel is even worse.

The price of housing has basically doubled in that period - that is over 5%.

The cost of most food items has more than doubled.

The cost for something like putting a new roof on a house has more than tripled.

Bank fees have gone from $0/year to over $100 for most people.

Vehicle registration, property taxes and other gov't fees have doubled or tripled.
   2081. spike Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4691820)
Don't you just love conservatives? We believe in freedom, as long as it's our type of freedom.

Democracy is socialism. This will become a common refrain.

   2082. The Good Face Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4691825)
You're acknowledging countervailing evidence and conditions and giving them credence.


I'll take "Things that Sam has never done." for $1000.

And there you go, back into the bog standard realm of white supremacist rhetoric. You do understand how arguing "blacks aren't inferior, they're better for manual labor while white people are better suited for thinking and management tasks" is, in point of fact, a long held favorite of white supremacists, right?


Don't be stupid on purpose son. Let's break your nonsense down nice and easy-like.

As a site for "thinking fans", we can actually test propositions using data. So by all means, find me some elite white sprinters. By which I mean somebody good enough to medal in the men's 100M at the Olympics. Since there aren't any and haven't been any for decades, let's move on.

You do understand that noticing differing group characteristics is not a form of supremacy, right? You also realize that at no point have I said or advocated anything along the lines of "different set roles for different races"? SMART people are usually better suited for thinking and management tasks, which is a very different thing.

Anyway, you don't even understand your own arguments. If one is a white supremacist for noticing that average black IQs are lower than average white IQs, would one be an asian supremacist for noticing that average east asian IQs are higher than average white IQs? Or a jewish supremacist for noticing that average ashkenazi jewish IQs are higher than average east asian IQs? In Sam world, such a person would apparently be all three at once! My god, how would they ever find the time to go to all the meetings?

Finally, your bizarro attempts to tar me as some kind of white supremicist doesn't change the fact that you're still a disgusting jew-hater Sam; a purveyor of anti-semitic conspiracy theories and libels.
   2083. Mefisto Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:25 AM (#4691830)
Anyone care to give odds that TYC will report on this?
   2084. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4691834)
Finally, your bizarro attempts to tar me as some kind of white supremicist doesn't change the fact that you're still a disgusting jew-hater Sam


So he would hate, who, Al Goldstein? Gene Simmons?
   2085. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4691836)
And as for gold buggery, consider this. Since dropping the gold standard in 1971, debt in all sectors has grown exponentially, and has reached levels that can never be paid off in full. This is just a mathematical fact. Standards of living for the middle class took about 10 years to start taking a hit, but they have been dropping steadily since about 1980 (maybe only SBB agrees with me on that).

Right now there is massive transfer of wealth from West to East. China, India and Russia are accumulating gold like there's no tomorrow, and most of it is coming from the West. China is also gobbling up land and assets in North America at a frightening pace. Forgive me if I align my thinking with half the world's population.
   2086. spike Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4691838)
2083, saw that - not confetti time yet, but there is continued reason to be cautiously optimistic, especially depending on the primary outcomes in GA and NC.
   2087. tshipman Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4691839)
Can you explicate this thought without delving into gold-buggery?


Rants, you could have just said no.
   2088. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4691841)
Cherry picked polling update:

1: RCP Senate map (no toss ups) is back to having Dem's retain (51:50)
2: Obama approval at -6.5, his best showing since before the Obamacare rollout last fall. (Dubya was at -21.7 in the same point in his Presidency, April 4, 2006)
3: Generic Congressional is at Dem +1.6 (it was GOP +3.2 on 4/24/10)

2 & 3 both include that highly anomalous Fox News poll from a week ago, you know the one claiming that Hillary's polling was her worst in 6 years and the GOP's "brand was surging."

So far the 2010 like GOP surge that YC has been sort of predicting for several months has not yet become apparent outside the echo chamber...
   2089. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4691847)
Some people are massively underestimating what the real inflation rate is


There are a whole pile of different groups that try to calculate inflation. It turns out to be really hard, since technology and taste (product mix purchased) are so variable over time and over geography (and even over different groups of people in the same time and place).

Honestly there is no "real rate of inflation", there are estimates of an abstract ideal. But you have to do the best you can, and people do.

There is not some conspiracy to mismeasure it, nor is there massive misfeasance (or nonfeasance) in its measuring. It is just really hard to measure an idealized abstract with any degree of certainty.


Exactly. While measurements like the CPI may be useful in a broad sense, the actual rate of inflation that individuals experience will vary wildly according the factors like age, health, age of their dependents, geographical location, and personal preferences. "Average inflation" is almost meaningless to any given individual.

I always separate inflation into three groups: Necessities, luxuries, and in between.

Necessities would include housing, education, health care, food, and the total cost of basic transportation.

Luxuries would include things like first class travel, high end cars, yachts, McMansions, and similar items that are primarily exercises in status flaunting.

"In between" refers to the many "little pleasures" that make life more enjoyable, but often get scrapped in times of hardship: A good seat at a ballpark; attending live theater; those daily $3 and $4 cups of coffee; cable TV; smartphones; a nice sporting rifle; a gym membership; a weekly round of golf; etc.

In order to measure "real" inflation, you'd have to know what the inflation rate would be for every one of these components, and how many of the components any given individual makes use of. But IMO the "real" rate of inflation should be primarily focused on the first and third categories, since the "luxury" category affects only a relatively small number of people.

And obviously "quality" is a factor that has to be considered, because otherwise in some of these cases you're comparing apples to oranges. But that's also a very hard thing to measure with any sort of precision, since the actual effects of "quality" improvement themselves can vary according to the product.
   2090. BDC Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4691848)
find me some elite white sprinters. By which I mean somebody good enough to medal in the men's 100M at the Olympics. Since there aren't any and haven't been any for decades, let's move on

OK, that's the sum of the evidence, then. But that's a little like saying that there hasn't been an African-American strikeout champion since Dwight Gooden, so clearly Euro-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics must throw faster, genetically.

Current and recent champion sprinters come from a bunch of wide-flung countries and are dark-skinned. Guys with other color skins run a fraction of a second slower. This is not evidence for general genetic differences. As Greg D points out, all these sprinters' ancestries are quite mixed, and the cultural influences are substantial. And that's just now: you might have gone back a few decades and noted that most sprint champions were Northern European, and concluded differently. Or maybe 20 years from now all the sprint champions will be Chinese, and we'll be thinking in terms of a new eternal genetic verity? I don't buy it.
   2091. Morty Causa Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4691854)
And I don't know about you guys, but I'll believe what I see with my own eyes as far as the prices of goods and services are concerned 100% of the time over statements of governments.

In my neck of the woods (NB, Canada) the price of gas has gone from about 55 cents/litre to $1.40 in the last 15 years. That is about 7% inflation. Diesel is even worse.

The price of housing has basically doubled in that period - that is over 5%.

The cost of most food items has more than doubled.

The cost for something like putting a new roof on a house has more than tripled.

Bank fees have gone from $0/year to over $100 for most people.

Vehicle registration, property taxes and other gov't fees have doubled or tripled.


This is worth emphasizing. Gasoline, beef, housing especially, but energy and food and real estate in general have gone up. This was predicted in 2007 that fighting the economic meltdown would result in much inflation. It's all around you, and I, too, prefer to believe my lying eyes.
   2092. Publius Publicola Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4691856)
Latest senatorial polls (which TYC is sure to ignore):

Poll Shows Tight Senate Races in Four Southern States
Four Senate races in the South that will most likely determine control of Congress appear very close, with Republicans benefiting from more partisan intensity but a Democratic incumbent, once seen as highly vulnerable, holding a surprising edge, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas — states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections.

Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a two-term incumbent who has been considered perhaps the most imperiled Democratic senator in the country, holds a 10-point lead over his Republican opponent, Representative Tom Cotton. Mr. Pryor, the son of a former senator, has an approval rating of 47 percent, with 38 percent of Arkansas voters disapproving of him.

Tom Tillis is one of eight Republican candidates looking to unseat Kay Hagan in the North Carolina Senate race.Credit Jeremy M. Lange for The New York Times
Senator Kay Hagan, Democrat of North Carolina, appears more endangered as she seeks a second term. She has the support of 42 percent of voters, and Thom Tillis, the Republican state House speaker and front-runner for his party’s nomination, is at 40 percent. Unlike Mr. Pryor, however, Ms. Hagan’s approval rating, 44 percent, is the same as her disapproval number. In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, is also effectively tied with his Democratic rival, Alison Lundergan Grimes, a race that may be close because Mr. McConnell, first elected to the Senate in 1984, has the approval of only 40 percent of voters, while 52 percent disapprove. But Ms. Grimes must overcome Mr. Obama’s deep unpopularity in the state, where only 32 percent of voters approve of his performance.

With 42 percent support, Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, has an early lead in a race that is not fully formed against a large field of Republicans. Representative Bill Cassidy, the Republican front-runner, was the choice of 18 percent, and 20 percent had no opinion. There are two other Republicans in the race, but Louisiana has no primary. So all candidates of both parties will be on the ballot in November and, absent one of them taking 50 percent, there will be a runoff in December.
   2093. BDC Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4691858)
In Texas in recent months the price of limes has almost tripled. This may seem trivial, but they're kind of central to Mexican and Tex-Mex food and drink. I'm not sure whether the cause is natural (bad harvest) or social (market fluctuations) or a bit of both, but it's real enough.
   2094. Publius Publicola Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4691862)
In Texas in recent months the price of limes has almost tripled.


OMG!! What are avocado prices doing, for gawd's sake???
   2095. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4691866)
So he would hate, who, Al Goldstein? Gene Simmons?


I do, in fact, detest Gene Simmons. So there you go, I guess. I have no great love for Paul Stanley either. Someone get me in manacles, stat.
   2096. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4691867)
OMG!! What are avocado prices doing, for gawd's sake???


Avocados, along with most produce, will go up in the near term. This has more to do with California's massive drought than it does with anything going on at the Federal Reserve.
   2097. spike Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4691868)
   2098. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4691869)
This article illustrates how much geography matters when looking at inflation:

What you’d need to make in every county in America to afford a decent one-bedroom

One paragraph stands out:

Mapped in finer detail than by state, several geographic patterns are clearer. No single county in America has a one-bedroom housing wage below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (several counties in Arkansas come in at $7.98).


   2099. Shredder Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4691873)
More hilarity from our most open-minded state in the Union:
I was in Charleston for a wedding about a month and a half ago. I thought the downtown was really charming and the restaurants we stopped at were really great. Very strange and unsettling, however, to see the monuments to a bunch of treasonous a-holes.
   2100. The Good Face Posted: April 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4691875)
OK, that's the sum of the evidence, then. But that's a little like saying that there hasn't been an African-American strikeout champion since Dwight Gooden, so clearly Euro-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics must throw faster, genetically.


No, it'd be like saying that even though blacks fully participate in baseball, there hasn't been a black starter who's been in the top 10 in strikeouts for over 30 years.

You'd have to go back decades just to see a white man in the final 100M Olympic heat, let alone win a medal. That's simply a fact. The guys who have won all those medals over those years? Men we'd refer to as "black". No east asians, no southeast asians, no middle easterners, no white guys. Not one. What does that prove? Not much. But it's an interesting set of data points that merits further consideration and research. As equality of opportunity increases and artificial limitations to participation decrease, inherent ability becomes increasingly important.
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