Open thread Dec. 10, 2021 Dan Crawford | December 10, 2021 6:16 am Comments (80) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
And so it begins. Sad to say, but the odds of a Democrat winning a state wide election in GA without Federal voting rights legislation is now slim to none.
” GRIFFIN, Georgia, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Protesters filled the meeting room of the Spalding County Board of Elections in October, upset that the board had disallowed early voting on Sundays for the Nov. 2 municipal election. A year ago, Sunday voting had been instrumental in boosting turnout of Black voters.
But this was an entirely different five-member board than had overseen the last election. The Democratic majority of three Black women was gone. So was the Black elections supervisor. Now a faction of three white Republicans controlled the board – thanks to a bill passed by the Republican-led Georgia legislature earlier this year. The Spalding board’s new chairman has endorsed former president Donald Trump’s false stolen-election claims on
The panel in Spalding, a rural patch south of Atlanta, is one of six county boards that Republicans have quietly reorganized in recent months through similar county-specific state legislation. The changes expanded the party’s power over choosing members of local election boards ahead of the crucial midterm Congressional elections in November 2022.”
Consumer prices rose 6.8% in November, the fastest pace since 1982
Why Americans feel grouchy about the economy
Earnings rising faster for lower-wage workers
(Here’s some good news, and not just in Massachusetts. The article text was posted, but has not appeared yet.)
Wonder how much of that inflation can be traced to cars and houses?
Inflation is at a 31-year high. Here’s how it’s hitting New Englanders.
(Now the grocery shopping example above may be extreme. One is not required to buy premium cold cuts & condiments, after all. But it’s not just cars and homes, although housing costs in Boston & its suburbs have been extremely high for decades. Lately natural gas – also used a fuel by electric companies – has gone up by 25%. And gasoline is through the roof also.)
Not going to pay attention to a story where a guy eats 2 1/2 lbs of apples for everyday breakfast, or a guy that actually uses Miracle Whip. Meanwhile, don’t know how large a jar he is buying, but a 30 fl ounce jar of it at Walmart is $4.36.
Prices in general are going up. We have been warned by our natural gas supplier & the electric company to expect 25% rate increases immediately. Supermarket prices are going up also. Not buying a new car anytime soon – my 12 year old Saab still runs fine. And only higher taxes will compel us to move, for now.
There are no WalMarts in Boston primarily due to their business model. Their stores are too big to wedge into cities. However, WalMart is now tinkering with their formula in order to invade the cities as they have the suburbs and rural areas. (TripAdvisor)
Indeed, there are Walmarts inconveniently far from East Boston.
And from their website, Shaw’s supermarkets charge $6.49 for a 30 oz jar of Miracle Whip. Hopefully that should last a month or more.
The headline now reads
Inflation Rising at Fastest Pace in Nearly 40 Years, New Data Shows
A downtown full of ‘Dark stores’ delivery warehouses?
(If there’s not a Walmart near you, maybe there will soon be one of these.)
Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace since 1982.
Fmr. Reagan official warns of threats to abortion — and to democracyFormer U.S. Solicitor General Charles Fried and writer Katie Roiphe discuss democracy in the United States and the Mississippi abortion case before the Supreme Court.https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2021/12/08/amanpour-supreme-court-abortion-roe-vs-wade-charles-fried-katie-roiphe.cnn
It’s a done deal, and beyond a tragedy for the women in this country on many different levels.
Have a nice day, Susan Sarandon.
Minority Rules: Why 10 Percent is All You Need
(As posted long ago on ‘Economics View’, from 2011, scientists at RPI – my alma mater – determined that a 10% minority is large enuf, will always eventually expand to a majority.
The GOP is determined to prove that this is true.)
that’s great. now that we are ten percent, how long will it take before we become the majority?
How long will it take? That depends on the minority ‘remaining committed’ to their causes. This slightly weird ‘rule’ only works (eventually) if commitment continues. (Has to grow, clearly, and in that sense, this rule is ‘obvious’.)
(It was often said by RPI professors when putting up complex ideas on their chalkboards, without much explanation – ‘This is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.’)
sorry to hear that about RPI. reminds me of the time Clinton (Bill) and Gingrich (Newt) agreed that the answer to people living longer was “obvious”: raise the tetirement age.
of course, it wasn’t a complex idea, superficial but flashy. then we had the intellectual leader of the Republican Congress, Paul Ryan, when asked to explain one of his “ideas,” said, “you don’t want me to go all wonky on you.”
smart. it takes your breath away. meritocracy at its finest.
Put more items on sale – increase sales volume!
Raise more revenue by cutting prices and selling more items, so as to pay higher employee wages?
There is always that approach, but tougher to do when shelves are bare because replenishment is hard to achieve on many items.
but they don’t want to raise employee wages. and there is someone higher in the supply chain who can make more money by raising prices and selling less.
The (obvious?) answer to ‘paying supermarket employees higher wages’ may be ‘charging more for items on the shelves’, however. And, if there are fewer items on the shelves, due to producer shortages or higher fuel prices, that also leads to ‘charging more for items on the shelves’.
well, i suspect there is more to the story than the obvious. but maybe it’s time for Americans to pay a little more for their food, and maybe a little less on their plastic toys, so farm workers and super market workers can have a living wage.
somewhere around here recently was an essay by a truck driver about the “market efficiencies” at the ports that lead to supply chain shortages. maybe the obvous solution to everything is not what works.
sure hard to write a comment when the adds won’t get out of the way.
do the advertisers think this makes me eager to buy their product?
(It was often said by RPI professors when putting up complex ideas on their chalkboards, without much explanation – ‘This is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.’)
‘sorry to hear that about RPI. ‘
(I think the ‘intuitively obvious’ remarks were intended for those students – like me – who were not quite of the caliber our professors wished to be dealing with. In such a setting, they present the material, and it’s up to the students to figure it out. RPI was a tough school. Probably still is.)
i heard it was a good school…maybe for the same reasons i heard harvard was a good school: hiring big names and recruiting smart students.
experience has taught me big names are not often good teachers, and smart is not often deep or original or even decent.
a not tough school i went to had a few teachers who had enough contempt for their students that they had a way of discouraging them unjustified by what they were being paid to do, and what reasonable expectations they should have had about students,.very very few were even slightly interested in opening up new vistas and new possibilities and nurturing reasonable expectations,
it does seem that some of the students got the message and enjoyed life anyway and probably went on to corporate lives…including corporate education…which embraced pretty much the same values as those bad teachers.
probably has something to do with the kind of world we are living in.
Earnings rising faster for lower-wage workers
(Good news! Maybe this will happen all over America!)
In Bid for Control of Elections, Trump Loyalists Face Few Obstacles
not sure about decisive number of democrats..criminals that win in Democratic states because the people don’t look hard enough at what their representatives are doing, as opposed to saying.
otherwise, more honest Democrats are doing a lot of saying and not doing themselves, but worst of all, their base hates the R’s base so much they turn the m away instead of learning out to reach them.
R’s are succeeding now becuse they are (at the top) a real conspiracy to
sieze power by those who don’t give a damn about people or planet as
long as they get the money…and power. dems are not so well motivated and organized…pretty much living in a fairy tale world where the good guys win in the end if only everyone believes hard enough.
How the United States Can Break Putin’s Hold on Ukraine
NY Times – Alexander Vindman – Dec 10
(The US should not get into a war with Russia over Ukraine. But also the US must honor NATO treaty obligations. What to do? Otherwise, ff this means that ‘The American Century’ is over, then so be it.)
(One reason why the ‘American Century’ should be over.)
Civilian Deaths Mounted as Secret Unit Pounded ISIS
If one just sticks to 21st century history, you can suppose that
the events of 9/11/2001 are the root of much of the evil in this
century so far. Before there were drones and drone-strikes from
far, far away, followed by vengeful invasions by US (and allies),
with asymmetric ‘improvised explosive devices’ in return,
modern high technology made exotic drones and
smart missiles & bombs possible, without
doing much useful to improve target selection.
But why start with 9/11/2001, when you can blame
the US for various foreign policies, including
assisting Israel, or preferring Sunni governments
over Shia ones.
or one could trace it all back to the snake in the Garden. but it is a little hard to watch the Beacon of Democracy, the Shining City on a Hill, the Last, Best Hope of Mankind, my Homeland, killing innocent people out of stupidity and arrogance
and then to turn around and see that yes, that’s really what we are.
i want to agree…but i am not sure the decline of the American empire is going to be good for us. the bad old days were pretty bad, and always have been for those without power.
i’d like to see somethig where America actually lives by the values the world used to think we had.
But I’m not sure those values would actually defeat the other sides bad guys. a lot of ww2 was pretty nasty even on our side…but still informed, on the ground at least, by a belief in “the good.”
In the US, there has long been a POV that ‘What’s good for America is good for the World’, and also (it seems) that ‘What we do ‘in the World’ is good because we are Americans.’
That, unfortunately, is often not the case.
The struggle between the good and the bad or even good and evil, if one chooses to characterize it that way, is eternal. The lives of human beings is short in historical terms and practically insignificant in geological terms. However, the existence of human beings as an animal species on Earth is presently of indeterminate duration. There is no telling how far that mankind may evolve socially, if and only if, it survives its own ignorance long enough. Presently though social evolution is stalled because the vast majority of humanity is disengaged from such great issues either distracted by its own creature comforts and status on the one hand or merely simple survival needs on the other hand. Government of the state similar to philosophy follows the changing trend of social evolution rather than leads it. The leader in any evolution is always existential threats which award the generation of survivors with its new world order, whatever that may be.
So, I believe in social Darwinism, just not as it is typically defined by the cannibals.
I was going to say before I was so rudely interrupted that i think most
humans wouldsay that their own pathetically short lives are more
significant that the lives of all the rocks in geological time.
but that is obviously short sighted of them.
Most humans would say a lot of things, but not many of them are true.
In any case you may be missing my point. At one time Tyrannosaurus Rex was the dominant life form on Earth, but now can only be found in rock bands – actual bands of rocks rather than rock and roll bar bands.
This is not to say that we should not do what we can. My point is more to not worrying about what I cannot do and not living in despair about the reality. Life is short and precious and should not be wasted. History will go on without us when our time comes. If human history goes on long enough, then maybe wonderful things will happen for humans. No one knows what will happen. In any case, the history embedded in the rocks will continue until the Sun expands to engulf our planet.
may not be missing yournpoint. hard for me to see what either of us is saying. humans may be wrong about the significance of their lives, but that is what they feel. and while i hope something is left after we leave the scene, hhope it is more than rocks. even i, insignificant as i am feel that infinite space and infinite time may not “matter as much as one life…at least from my perspective…which is not all that different from “egyptian perspective.” or as one physics professor tried to point out to us, the fact that people at the front of the classroom were bigger than the ones at the back (and vice versa..the ones at the back were bigger than the ones at the front) is a matter of relativity…or as the journalists would all say: “it’s just the math.”
The short version of this has been told countless times as a joke with a deeper meaning. It goes “Life’s a bitch and then you die.”
All life struggles to survive. Not many life forms kill large numbers of their own kind or risk the future of life on Earth just to have a good time. This may not be the human significance that you were looking for.
Ron @ 4:19
no, not that significance at all.
but, while a lion is eating me, even though I may be the only person he has eaten for every hundred zebras, I would feel at the time as though I were more significant that the Zebras. of course I would expect any one of the Zebras to feel the same way.
i don’t know if people are naturally any more homicidal that lions, but we have these big brains, see, and we use them to find better ways to keep other humans from eating us, so naturally they have to find better ways to keep us from eating them. (and, of course, we invented politicians to give us better reasons for killing people on bigger and bigger scales.)
meanwhile there are about 8,000,000,000 of us eating the planet.
Now, that’s significance!
Significance is always in the eyes of the beholder, but most significant to oneself is usually oneself and after that would be others that are like oneself. Rocks may be more humble. Are deplorable people deplored by their mothers?
Understand that I never wanted to be insignificant. It just happened. I am at peace with it. Rejecting reality would not have made me any more happy and content, but reality may not be for everyone.
oh, well, reality is not for me for sure. long time.
i suspect that deplorable people had deplorable mothers and fathers if any. but i don’t know anything about that, really.
we may be using “significant” differently. it seems you might be using it to mean significant to history or at least politics or the music or baseball.
i tend to use it to mean how you feel when the bad guy says “ve haf ways.”
[In The Economic Consequences of the Peace written by John Maynard Keynes in 1919 the author posited that the reparations required of Germany in the Treaty of Versailles would cause such hardships that Germany would eventually start another world war. It did not even take long. Essentially it was not the imperialism of the US military that lead to war, but rather the imperialism of US banks.]
It was US bankers that talked Wilson into demanding repayment of war debts to US banks that lent to Britain and France during WWI. Britain and France in turn demanded reparations from Germany to be required in the Treaty of Versailles so that they could repay US banks without undue hardship. Neither Britain nor France nor the US government nor US banks cared whether undue hardships were placed on the German people because Germany was defeated in WWI. To the victors go the spoils. One might also posit that Germany was the bad guys if one had any idea that it was really Germany that started WWI, but thorough research defies that interpretation of historic events. WWI was started by treaties that lead to the escalation of Ferdinand’s assassination into multi-national conflict.
READ: What Caused the First World War
i have had to learn to read history with a five pound box of salt at my elbow. certainly have read histories that blame almost everything on perfidious Albion (and the Rothchilds).
including the claim that British invented strategic bombing to police the savages in their empire. cheaper to make an example than to send in the troops. same source says Britain was the first to bomb cities in WW2. Hitler made a career out of blaming British banks. I think there may have been some basis in fact.
It is certainly clear that American politicians (or economists) don’t give a damn about people. It’s the math, you see.
First I consider the source of the historical article and then if it is credible I will read. When Germany first bombed London in WWII their bombers were flying in a fog and had to unload their cargo to have enough fuel to return home. My source on that was The Battle of Britain by James Holland.
it takes a while to learn what sources you can trust. When I was coming up I had a very good history prof named Miles Malone. His brother Dumas Malone was THE biographer of Jefferson. Fortunately Miles taught me to read (by saying “go read, young man.” So years and years later I read another source on Jefferson, and went back to look at what Dumas had to say. Second source was far more credible to me based on what I thoght I had learned about credibility over that time.
On the other hand, I have read lots of sources on Lincoln, and while I recognize bad sources pretty quickly, I find that good sources often paint different pictures, most likely in good faith based on what they themselves have read…and being able to distinguish what a person says from time and what his core beliefs are or are becoming.
I know what eventually settles down into the silt I believe…my core beliefs, but I treat even that as provisional, and the rest as just stories.
Understood about trusting sources. My trusted list is very short and mostly old or dead, but not all are as old as us.
One of my reality checks is that reality is often less simple or comfortable than biased interpretations would attempt to lead us to believe. The demonized versions that Americans get about our enemies are rarely more than half-truths and the morally superior versions of ourselves that we are pumped up with just leave out most of American history. This is not different than the PR techniques used by other countries; i.e., us good – them bad. Lord Acton’s “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is an accurate cautionary tale.
Still without even buying into the advertising, the US is a much better place to live than Russia or China if human decency and integrity count for anything at all, but that is about the relationship of the state to power and its secondary effects. I am sure that there are some honest kind decent people living anywhere, regardless of the role of the state.
BTW, I have never heard of an innocent banker anywhere at anytime. Even if they did not do what they were accused of doing, then they still probably did other things that were ever worse. All finance is largely the same despite the existence of some socially redeeming value, but banking and brokerage are the worst.
Also, who bombed cities first has a two part backstory. I previously mentioned that the Germans accidentally bombed London in a heavy fog before returning home just to have enough fuel to fly their payload. The British tended to build their munitions and air fields away from densely populated urban areas, but the Germans had a better idea. Why not use urban populations as shields? After all, the young men had all been conscripted into military service, so there were none left in cities except for the old, the infirm, women, and a few remaining Jews. The women could all be replaced from conquered France which would be considered an upgrade. So the British bombed cities first making every attempt to isolate the damage around strategic military targets. After the German’s London fog bombing mishap, then both sides took off their kid gloves. Hitler knew that the British would never have believed that it was an accident.
Sandston, VA (where I live) was built to support the work force for a munitions plant a few miles away during WWI. Sandston is still just a small town about 10 miles east of the City of Richmond, VA. During WWII a fake town with electricity, but no residents, was built as a decoy about five miles further east on a plot of dry ground in the midst of White Oak Swamp. It was lit up at night to attract enemy bombers away from real towns and cities, but none ever came.
reply to recent comments, not sure where this will land in the comments thread:
I agree mostly, but what’s the fun in that. I may get around to sending you a link about the Brits bombing german cities first…differs a bit from your version. you can evaluate the sources.
Can we trust what’s happening to money?
Cutting a Banksy Into 10,000 (Digital) Pieces
Gotta say, I use cash so infrequently that my bank atms tend to confuse me as they change instructions between visits (*), but I do not pay using my smart phone, nor do I ‘tap’ my credit card at the checkout.
(* or, could be, it’s just senior’s brain-fog.)
could be. but senior brain fog is all that stands between us and youthful chaos.
us conservatives need to stick together.
i do get tired of attempting a useful comment only to have it wiped out by an ad that turns my attempt to get it out of the way so i can see what i am writing into a no-escape link to another ad i don’t want to see while erasing my comment.
i guess that’s bad and not evil, but i don’t think it bodes well for the future of human social evolution.
There are indeed somewhere between ‘a whole lot’ and ‘way too many’ ads on this board, but if I can get around them, you can too. Still, a nuisance.
don’t assume I am as smart as you, especially where computers are concerned, or at least computer programs, or at least web sites.
i am willing to put up with “too many” ads, because after all, i think, they are paying for my entertainment.
what i find hard to put up with is the stupidity of putting the ads on top of the content with no obvious way to move them. how does this benefit the advertiser?
Do you by chance have a wide-screen monitor?
If not, get one. It may help your ad-placement problem somewhat.
thanks. that may well be the problem. i’ll look into it.
but just to maintain my grouch..it seems to me that programmers, or whatever they call themselves these days, should have been able to anticipate, or at least fix after the fact, the problem of user screen size. i am using an apple laptop, not an I-phone. if overlap is caused by screen size, than an honest button that shifts ad would be the easiest fix. instead the little x that used to mean “delete ad” now seems to mean “see more of this ad…on a page you can’t get back from , while it deletes your comment before you have “posted” it.
From out on the web…
Can you plug a monitor into an Apple laptop?
Apple Cinema and Apple Thunderbolt Display monitors are the easiest to connect, as MacBooks come build-in with ports that are compatible with any Apple monitor. All you’ll need to do is connect the Mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt cable attached to the display directly to your MacBook Pro.Jul 13, 2016
(I suppose/hope this would also apply to a widescreen monitor.)
Apple monitors tend to be very expensive. Other vendors are more affordable. I was just looking at an HP wide-screen monitor on Amazon that supposedly can be plugged into a PC or a Mac. If you can get, one that will support an HDMI connection (instead of VGA) assuming your Mac can handle such a connection. (I know PCs.)
(The monitor on my aging HP PC is a year-old HP widescreen with an HDMI connection, which I am very happy with.)
again Thanks. I did not keep up with the evolution of computers since the IBM pc running on early DOS. Keeping up seemed to take too much time and money, and bad experience with both Apple Store and Office Max selling me “fixes” that turned out to be non-compatible…I just got grouchy and made do with what I had until it refused to work at all with the newer products.
since humans are planned obsolescence too, i don’t guess i have much to complain about. I’ll try to follow up on your suggestions.
I don’t have the problem that you are having either, but I only have a fifteen inch wide laptop screen. My guess is that an iPhone or iPad (like my wife uses for everything except work) might get different results. I get lots of ads that are easily closed with no problem. Most of the ad content is either stock brokerage or Medicare Advantage, which is ironic (and clearly not because of my user tracking in Google). My browser is Firefox. I used Edge for a few months earlier this year, but did not like it as much.
thanks. see reply to Dobbs above on the same subject. Ihave 11 inch screen. browser is safari.
Newsom Calls for Gun Legislation Modeled on the Texas Abortion Law
(We will probably learn that what the Court permits for abortion law is quite different than what it will accept for gun-control legislation.)
I wish we had politicians who were smarter than thinking justice requires that if you do something stupid to me, I have to do something stupid to you.
the “to me” and “to you” here are enen imprecise. most often it is just one random stupidity vs another random stupidity. or, even, “he killed my jew, so I killed his jew.”
Politicians are not immune to the ‘average IQ has got to be 100’ problem, and may be in that demographic themselves.
The end-times, at least for some of us, may be around the corner.
As U.S. Nears 800,000 Virus Deaths, 1 of Every 100 Older Americans Has Perished
first stab at link to bombing in ww2 :
When Pop History Bombs: A Response to Malcolm Gladwell’s …
if this only helps you find the google entry it will have worked. i read gladwell’s book. had mixed feelings. knowing little, i accepted the book pretty much on its own terms. i did have my doubts though, not least because he reported bombers difficulty taking off from guam with insufficient tailwind. everything i know about airplanes suggests taking off with tail wind is bad practice and i suspected Gladwell of being one of those journalists that tells a story without knowing what he is talking about. he also reported that facing, for the first time, the jet stream over Tokyo, pilots reported negative 3 mile per hour progress toward target (land speed). since the planes were capable of 300 m/h and jet stream does not (?) exceed 200 mph, i suspect Gladwell was reporting pilot joke as actual experienced fact.
Still looking for the british story. did find reference to “policing” british afghanistan with bombers between the Wars to save the cost of armies in Wiki History of RAF
https://lareviewofbooks.org › article › when-pop-histor…
maybe better link
getting closer to ww2
WWI had its chemical warfare and gas masks. The end of WWI was broadly unsatisfying. So, maybe WWII at least began with a veneer of increased civility. The Pearl Harbor attack, POW treatment, and skin color of Japanese all served to really piss off the US. Since Germans were placing the burden of suppressed Aryans on the shoulders of Jews, then initially they were trying to act paternally towards their fellow ethnic Europeans. As war wears on then morality wears down, all the more so if the antagonist finds themselves likely on the wrong side of history with nothing more to lose.
There is nothing more contradictory in human nature than one group of people attempting to find happiness by killing another group of people.
BTW, if it helps or hurts, as the case may be, then I was too hasty in attributing my account of bombing during the Battle of Britain to James Holland. He did write the authoritative account of the Battle of Britain, but not until 2010. I read the account that I referenced while I was still in high school. The Battle of Britain that I recall was in bold print at the top of the page that I was reading thereby likely just a chapter heading. Try as I might recalling the actual book title and author has been beyond my recollection. Names and dates always gave me a hard time whereas I recall narratives and timelines quite accurately. I hated history as a subject except for teachers that asked discussion questions and never got good grades in history until a real hard-ass teacher failed me in the first six weeks just for not doing homework. Once I was forced to do homework just in order to pass, then I always got B or better in history – that one year. My parents were very strict about me not failing in any class except when I took typing in my senior year.
I don’t know about contradictory, but it seems to hve been pretty common. may even have worked…for the winners…when wars were small.
of course, if your country starts a war with another country and you get killed “fighting for your country”, that seems pretty stupid (but hard to avoid, given conscription (slavery). on the other hand if you get killed fighting for your country when it is invaded by another country, you are a hero (no irony intended). but after a while it’s hard to tell ‘oo killed ‘oo, or who started it anyway. and there you have it.
your history of history (101) sounds familiar, i always thought school was invented to discourage kids from thinking they could ever amout to something, so stand in line, shut up, and sit down.
i think at some point names and dates become important. but they are a lot easier to remember if they come in the context of a story. the original sin of school is that they don’t have time to tell the story (if they even know it), so they give you the names and dates…and perhaps a framework for understanding the story if you are interested enough to read it later on your own…which you won’t be because you were forced to memorize the names and dates so the teacher could give you a test to see if you were paying attention. some people good at names and dates grow up to be the “smartest kid in the eighth grade”, go to Harvard, and spend the rest of their lives being successful and shallow.