Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The President Pence Gambit is now openly discussed. And doubling down on insanity

The cycle time for my sci fi forecasts becoming reality keeps getting shorter. See below, how the GOP lords are now openly calling for a scenario to impeach a President Trump and install Mike Pence, exactly as I described.

First...

In an earlier political blog, I showed how those states that have invested in infrastructure, universities and people have vastly outperformed those slashing taxes and services according to Supply Side Voodoo “Economics” (SSVE) theory. Now yet more for the mountain of evidence. Across the nation in August, employers added  151,000 new jobs, meaning that California accounted for 42% of all U.S.job growth with 63,100 jobs

Meanwhile the vigorous-moderate California state legislature has been busier than any other session, passing adjustments to archaic laws and helping the state adapt to the 21st century… all the while consulting closely with citizen groups and companies, negotiating compromises under the most open and transparent politics in the country…

…exactly opposite behavior to the Paul Ryan-led US Congress, which has been the laziest in 150 years, unable once since 2010 to even pass a budget. Once. Perfectly happy to leave in place every obsolete code from the 20th Century. Hardly holding any hearings that weren't about Clintons. And never de-regulating a single thing.

Contrast booming California to the archetype, gerrymandered and GOP-run Red State… Kansas. Where they have doubled down on SSVE because slashing taxes on the rich ought to result in greater tax revenues. Right? It ought to work THIS time. Right?

Donald Trump says that his tax cut would cost $4.4 trillion over 10 years, including the childcare plan he announced this week. But he proclaims the cost would be compensated by economic growth. 

Oh. That voodoo again? Does anyone recall Scotty saying “Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me ninety times? Shame on me.”

That is about how often “supply side economics” has been pulled on us by the party of oligarchs, crooning the mantra that slashing taxes on the rich will induce moguls to then invest it all in productive plants and equipment, increasing “supply” so much that the resulting boom will reduce deficits.  The forecast never came true.  Ever.  Even once across 30 years of relentlessly repeated experiments, including the recent spectacular fiscal melt-down in Kansas.  To repeat, SSVE has never had one successful outcomes prediction. Once.  Ever. Yet they double down again and again. Proving what they say about insanity.
  
== Fleeing rats? ==

Below, I will re-describe the gambit being pondered by the topmost GOP leaders. Meanwhile, a swarm of Republicans are ditching Trump... with suspicious correlation to how tight their re-election races happen to be.  As explained by Paul Krugman:

"The probability of a House Republican jumping off the Trump train is strongly related to the Obama share of a district’s vote in 2012. That is, Republicans in competitive districts are outraged by Mr. Trump’s behavior; those in safe seats seem oddly indifferent."


Krugman's appraisal of moral hypocrisy is stinging and on-target. He lists a long series of sexual predator politicians from Hastert to Foley to Ailes, and asks: "Why do all these stories involve Republicans? One answer may be structural. The G.O.P. is, or was until this election, a monolithic, hierarchical institution, in which powerful men could cover up their sins much better than they could in the far looser Democratic coalition.

There is also, I’d suggest, an underlying cynicism that pervades the Republican elite. "

I'm not sure I'd go that far.  Yes Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner engaged in more consensual, less predatory misbehaviors. Still, there seems to be a bit of a problem with men.  Maybe time to take a break from one at the top.  See my assessment of the second presidential debate.


== And we’re supposed to be impressed? ==

They're baaaaack! The two worst (by far) presidents of the 20th Century. The only living ex-presidents not to even be *mentioned* by name at their own party's recent convention. Presidents whose outcomes across their terms were so universally bad for the nation that historians scratch their heads for a comparison. (Also never mentioned by today's GOP, the words: Cheney, Rumsfeld, (pervert) Hastert, (felon) DeLay, (pervert) Ailes, Boehner and McConnell... what kind of party is so ashamed, with such good reason, that it veers for Trump, thinking: "well, at least he's not like the other leaders we keep choosing!" 

To call Donald Trump a break from that tradition is iffy.  Sure, he expresses the contempt the confederate masses rightfully feel toward the Bush-Cheney-Murdoch-Ailes cabal that so betrayed them. But his behavior is just an extension – a multiplication – of the Fox-Limbaugh ethos. “If my side does anything it is automatically fine, and it’s good to make up things to hate the other side for, out of thin air!”

Though I admit that the following news made me (briefly) consider dropping Hillary Clinton - till I recalled the guilt-by-association should be limited:  Former Republican president George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in November rather than his party’s presidential nominee, according to a family friend. 

To be clear, I deem Bush Senior to be the worst US president of the 20th Century, having done America and the world relentless harm. Even worse than his catastrophic son. No wonder there was no mention of either Bush, or Cheney, Hastert, DeLay or any GOP leader between Reagan and Ryan, at the recent RNC. Still, without a doubt, Trump would eclipse them both.  

So will Reince Priebus “punish” the elder Bush for this betrayal? “The head of the Republican Party suggested that he might punish the fellow 2016 presidential candidates who don't support Donald Trump.” In a sense it is easy to see his problem. First, his initials are the same as Republican Party, so maybe he feels entitled. 

Second, for 25 years the GOP was the most tightly disciplined partisan force in US history. Any talking point issued by Roget Ailes had to be repeated within 48 hours by every Republican office holder or Fox would punish them. Even organize a primary challenge against them.  Now that Ailes is exposed as a sexual pervert-predator and GOP cohesion seems shattered, the party elders are still rallying their media empires to try reinforcing that old discipline.

Shatter it.

== Finally, what I hope will remain a sci fi scenario ==

On Quora someone asked… “What will happen if Trump becomes President?"

First thing out the gate? Revenge, that will be Donald Trump’s first priority, if he is ever sworn into the presidency. Against every slight he imagines that he ever suffered.  Um duh?

(Late breaking examples! His threats against disloyal Republican office holders and his debate-vow to send prosecutors after Hillary Clinton, the moment he's in office.) 

Beyond that, once in office he will scurry to find allies - including some liberal ones — because of one big problem that he has. It outweighs every other consideration.

That problem is Mike Pence.

Pence was Trump’s olive branch to both the GOP establishment and the very far-right culture warriors. In theory, it could keep them calm and loyal enough to get the ticket elected. But in picking someone acceptable to the establishment, he made a huge mistake.

Because Pence is a hack and trivially controllable by the Murdoch-Koch-Saudi masters of the GOP. And he is beloved by the fundies. With him as figurehead, they might rebuild the Bushite Cabal.

This means Mike Pence is impeachment bait. And though it seemed science fiction when I first mentioned this, right during the Rebublican convention, the scenario is now being offered up in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal - I kid you not. It's simple. A win-win for Rupert.

The very instant that President Donald Trump commits some over-the-top public relations calamity - and it will happen swiftly, as he reflexively seeks revenge for past slights - Paul Ryan will be out there making deals! Ryan & Murdoch will count on Democrats to scream for Trump’s head, while the Speaker deftly makes his move.

As Democrats foolishly fall for the trap, McConnell and Ryan will provide JUST enough Republican votes to carry a Bill of Impeachment, then Trump’s conviction and removal —

—leaving Mike Pence in the White House, puppeted by Murdoch and the Bushites. What about all the angry Trump supporters? Those Fox-Watchers will be diverted to froth hate and blame for Trump’s ouster on Democrats!

Not only is this a possible scenario… it is the only possible scenario, should Donald Trump get into office. Seriously, do you think that anything else is even plausible?

He shoulda picked Gingrich.

== Think it through ==

This scenario has an even deeper purpose. Yes, it offers the Murdoch-Bushite-Romney lords a way out, if Trump wins. It also offers them a rationalization to offer the myriad rats... um, defectors... bolting from the GOP. It's their way of saying: "Come back and help get out the vote for down ticket races. Because even if Trump wins, it won't be for long!"

Donald, you are boned. Better take your revenge on those lords now, before the election.
  

81 comments:

Robert said...

Reposting from the last thread, seeing once more I timed it just right for the new post to come shortly after. ;)

--------

As a brief non-political aside, I thought Dr. Brin would find amusing a small bit in the latest Urban Fantasy "Magic Binds" by Ilona Andrews - in which the heroine is talking about the ancient magical kingdom of Shinar, which was located in Mesopotamia in what would be considered Eden. One of the other characters snarked about Adam, at which point the protagonist explains Adam wasn't a person. Adam was a city.

You have to consider. Maybe the people writing the Bible, in talking about Adam and Eve, were in fact talking about two ancient civilizations. Adam. And Eve. And they were bound together in alliance or the like... the two peoples becoming one. In that case... Cain could have been the story of either an early leader who attempted a coup and killed his brother to try and assume leadership of the early culture... or was the followers who attempted this, and were exiled from this early civilization.

The earliest of storytellers and their audiences would have known of course that Adam was not one person. That Eve was not the first woman, but was a separate culture, perhaps even comprised of people who left that first city and founded their own. And then over time, the stories shifted and people started to forget. And someone transcribed the words of the story but failed to include the context until we have the First Man and the First Woman... who were in fact peoples, not individuals.

Rob H.

donzelion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donzelion said...

re infrastructure:
The US Congress dithers about infrastructure, but California voters will grapple with whether to create the nation's first "billionaire veto" in the form of Prop 53.

The proposition requires a statewide vote for any project with a budget exceeding $2 billion. It will block two current projects - the high-speed rail link from LA to SF, and the Delta Tunnels project. It will delay future projects costing more than $2 billion for at least 2 years (even when those projects involve emergency repairs to dams, trains, and bridges, e.g., after an earthquake).

But the "billionaire veto" is the really new element. Major projects require numerous tests, surveys, feasibility studies, environmental impact reports, etc. before they can commence. If, after completing all that prep work, a billionaire doesn't like the project (or figures he can earn hundreds of millions more by blocking it), they can finance campaigns to stop anything (and a few million dollars to FoxNews could be all it takes to cripple infrastructure work statewide).

Delta farmers (who oppose the tunnels since they might divert water away from them) support the measure, as do parties looking to stop the high-speed rail link. A few progressive organizations oppose Prop 53. But the general public seems mostly in the dark and disinterested given the complexity of the proposal.

If it passes, it will surely make its way to other states.

DavidTC said...

Yes Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner engaged in more consensual, less predatory misbehaviors. Still, there seems to be a bit of a problem with men.

Actually, those two showed exactly the point you were making, in that neither of them covered it up particularly well, and there were a bunch of outraged Democrats each time.

Weiner had to resign. Yes, then he tried to run for Mayor of NYC, but had to drop out before we knew if he'd be nominated. He probably wouldn't have.

And as for Clinton, the Republicans made their witchhunt a bit too obvious. The Democrats were willing to have some sort of punishment for that, but removal from office was crazy. (Heck, the 'Move-On' people got their name from the idea that Congress should vote to censure Bill Clinton and move on.)

Note there are other, less consensual allegations about Bill Clinton, that, if true, possibly *were* covered up...except if they happened, it all happened at the state level in the 70s and 80s. Which was very much single-party old-school white guy politics, which people often forget continued to be the *Democratic* Party in most of the South, including Arkansas, until very recently, long after the federal parties had realigned.

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: We've gone over the GHWB discussion, but I still don't have a clear answer.

"I deem Bush Senior to be the worst US president of the 20th Century, having done America and the world relentless harm."

Worse than Ford? Harding? Nixon (whose corruption forced him to resign and cast a pall on all US politics)? Hoover (who inadvertently helped make the Great Depression even more depressing)?

Is this akin to "I deem Yoda to be the most evil character ever, in the history all versions and forms of human storytelling..."?

In foreign policy, GHWB meshes closely with Teddy Roosevelt (esp. in Panama, but also in the Middle East and the Pacific - esp. the Philippines).

In domestic policy, GHWB compromised on taxes: you give Gingrich credit for that, but both Republicans who were willing to compromise were ultimately purged by the Supply Side Dogma. We did have a recession in 1991, but it wasn't anywhere near as ugly as the Dot-Com Bust of 2001, let alone the Financial Crisis of 2007, the Great Depression, or the Stagflation of '79.

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which he signed and nurtured, was a profound shift and a good deed for the country. He vetoed the first Civil Rights Act of 1990, but signed the second one of 1991: it was a pretty good act for progressives. He reauthorized the Clean Air Act, increased immigration quotas, and generally, took many positions that are controversial and required compromise. In trade policy, GHWB started the NAFTA negotiations and produced the nearly finalized draft that Clinton later signed. Some folks will hate him for that, but surely not you!

How is this so bad?

Berial said...

donzelion, at a guess I'd bet on Operation Desert Storm as the major issue Dr. Brin has, but I could be wrong.

donzelion said...

Berial: so far, the Desert Storm aftermath (and not moving on to remove Saddam Hussein) and the Soviet Union aftermath (and permitting some US technocrats to support moves in Russia that paved the way to oligarchs) are the only two points he's made on he claim that GHWB is the "worst of the 20th century." I'm curious if there's anything more.

On both those points, Clinton could have easily reversed the decision (Saddam in 1993 was not that much stronger than he had been in 1991, and Clinton had years to "fix Russia" - if that could even be done - where Bush had a few weeks at best to do anything). Thus, if those are the reasons for hating GHWB, then Clinton should also be hated for the same reasons. As Clinton is not hated for these reasons, logically, either
(1) something else is the source of enmity, or
(2) this is a deliberate hyperbole, akin to "Yoda as the most evil character in storytelling history" - intended to foster debate

Personally, I wish GHWB were a more prominent Republican. Those who are willing to compromise with Dems have been utterly thrashed by the party structure, a pity, since compromise is crucial for effective governance.

donzelion said...

Proposition 54: Transparency in Legislature
Moving on, California has another proposition on the ballot that ought to attract consideration here, and which may well become a template for other states to adopt: Prop 54, which (1) requires publishing the text of all state assembly bills 72-hours before a vote, and (2) allows anyone to use recordings of legislative proceedings in advertising. Huh? What's the link between those two ideas? WHo knows?

The California Democratic Party opposes this proposition, but progressive voices are divided, with many favoring increased transparency. The League of Women Voters endorses. The National Organization for Women opposes. And on down the line - quite an eclectic mix.

One of the main lines of attack for this bill are "a billionaire supports it, therefore it is bad." (Specifically, Charles Munger Jr., the physicist and heir of Warren Buffett's business partner) I don't buy that argument at all: I can see how this could be exploited by oligarchs to block crucial bills and avoid compromise, but opening the bill to public inspection before it is voted on strikes me as a very reasonable, indeed, necessary strategy: I'm a little surprised its not already law.

Paul451 said...

Donzelion,
David's issue over "Iraq I" was that Bush made a very public call for the Shia to rise up against Saddam, implying that the US would support them; and then when they did, he signed the cease-fire agreement with Saddam, just in time for Saddam to be able use troop-transport helicopters to fly his primary Republican Guard units from the front-lines into (I believe) Basra to put down the uprising and arrest/torture/kill the fairly moderate Shiite leadership. It took months for Bush'n'co to be pressured by US allies into instituting the non-fly zone, by which time it was too late.

(Same kind of thing happen in the north, but the Kurds seemed to survived the initial attacks more intact before the no-fly and then semi-autonomy agreement. It's hard to imagine the what-if alternative history, if Bush had kept his word and protected the Shiite protesters, culminating in a semi-autonomous protected region in the south to match the Kurdish territory in the north.)

Hence the lack of trust for the US, and the power of Shia non-moderates, after second Bush war. Something the neo-cons in the Bush administration were apparently oblivious to.

Paul451 said...

Rob H,
I like your people-as-cities riff. Especially since Cain was a farmer and Abel was a grazier. Genesis and the five books were apparently primarily written (from scattered earlier sources) into a single narrative somewhere in the 7th century BC to support the centrality of Jerusalem over the rest of the region. It would make sense that during the rewrite, noble Abel would be the herder.

[Jerusalem was a goat-herder village that suddenly prospered after the fall of the Assyrian empire, but before the rise of the Babylonians in the region. Serving as a cross-roads between Eurasia and Egypt, they had grown into the power vacuum and so the Jewish bible was written as a binding document for the Judea/Israel kingdoms. Hence the emphasis on unification of both religion and Israel, and the subservience of other kingdoms' creation myths (prior to 8c BC, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob were completely unrelated founders of three kingdoms.)]

It would be interesting to see a story that used the framework of Genesis, but with the people-as-cities/civilisations idea. The ebb and flow of the early civilisations.

Tony Fisk said...

The other telling fact about Bush Snr leashing Schwarzkopf at that moment was that the Saudis ordered him to.

(I might also add that, while it's common to blame Clinton for the Somalian debacle, it was his lame duck predecessor who presented him with it.)

donzelion said...

Paul451: Dr. Brin has expressed his ire towards GHWB over Desert Storm not finishing the job and leaving the Kurds and the Shia to die. He's even called that the greatest strategic blunder of the 20th century.

Clinton didn't see it that way. He was critical, sure, but opted not to reverse course in 1993, when it could easily have been reversed. Clinton, it seems, reached the same conclusion GHWB did: this will cost American lives, and the cost is too great for the benefit to make it worth it.

To argue that the 1991 uprising was "clearly" going to prevail, one would need to spend some time in Iraq coming to understand the players and precisely what was at work in the uprising. Most of the people who actually spent that time disagree with the suggestion that it was an organized, powerful movement that could have toppled Saddam. The fact that the Kurdish factions spent more time at war with one another than with Saddam, that the Shia were divided between a quietist movement, a pro-Iran faction, and a pro-Saddam faction - all that suggests that we might not have had so easy a time getting people there to do as we wished them to do.

Shucks, Bush couldn't even get Israel to do what he wished them to do without threatening to block loan guarantees - and Israelis are far more amenable to American influence and far more pragmatic than Iraq has been. One of the first lessons of power is how limited it can be: we do not get to dictate terms, and though we can fantasize about what might have been, we can never know anything but the price of errors.

donzelion said...

Paul451 (and Dr. Brin) re GHWB. There is of course on other angle to the failure to back the uprisings in Iraq in 1991: WMD. Saddam had not yet utilized them, but was known to have them, and had demonstrated his ability to fire rockets into Israel and Saudi Arabia. With 1991 surveillance capabilities, we had no way to be certain that his SCUDs were knocked out.

What if GHWB and Clinton both interpreted Saddam's firing rockets but NOT using WMD to signal that he would accept a loss in the war, but would not accept a total loss and would apply the "Samson option." Had Saddam killed 10,000 Israelis, as well as all the Iraqis he murdered? Or used those chemical weapons against our troops (surely killing many of his own along with us, but...small price to pay when you're going to die anyway).

Hence the focus after Desert Storm on finding the WMD and destroying them, rather than pushing on. Cautious, yes. Mistake? Surely. But caution is not the same as evil, nor is an act of caution quite the same as the acts of corrupt hubris or incompetent indolence by other 20th century presidents that seriously hurt America.

LarryHart said...

Only Paul SB and Robert are likely to know what I'm talking about here, but in the 300-issue comic series "Cerebus", a life-changing, traumatic event is often presaged by a "BANG!" sound effect followed by the exclamation "Something fell!" It's quite the repeated motif in the book.

I have no reason to think that Dr Brin is conversant in "Cerebus", which is why it was all the more surprising to come across this passage on page 520 (paperback) of the novel "Existence" (without spoiling anything - and emphasis mine) :


And Gerald presently made out something fell and deadly that had previously been masked by the cannon's blazing burst of electromagnetic thrust.

Detonations.




LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

Though I admit that the following news made me (briefly) consider dropping Hillary Clinton - till I recalled the guilt-by-association should be limited: Former Republican president George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in November rather than his party’s presidential nominee, according to a family friend.


Geez, I hope you got over that quickly. Hate GHWB all you want, but if he finally decides (out of exasperation) to do a right thing, that doesn't mean you have to do the wrong thing just to be...well, contrary.

Maybe Poppy Bush is indeed playing the Hamilton part in this bit:

The people are asking to hear my voice,
For the country is facing a difficult choice.
And if you would ask me who I'd promote--
[...pause for suspense...]
Hillary has my vote!

I have never agreed with Hillary once.
We have fought on like seventy-five different fronts.
But when all is said and all is done,
Hillary has beliefs. Trump has none!


Well, I'll be damned. I'll be damned.
Poppy is on your side.
Well, I'll be damned. I'll be damned.
And you won in a landslide.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

The very instant that President Donald Trump commits some over-the-top public relations calamity - and it will happen swiftly, as he reflexively seeks revenge for past slights - Paul Ryan will be out there making deals! Ryan & Murdoch will count on Democrats to scream for Trump’s head, while the Speaker deftly makes his move.

As Democrats foolishly fall for the trap, McConnell and Ryan will provide JUST enough Republican votes to carry a Bill of Impeachment, then Trump’s conviction and removal —

—leaving Mike Pence in the White House, puppeted by Murdoch and the Bushites. What about all the angry Trump supporters? Those Fox-Watchers will be diverted to froth hate and blame for Trump’s ouster on Democrats!


You have an awfully low opinion of Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats if you think they would blindly fall into that trap. Remember during the 2008 campaign when Democrats would only pass the bank bailout if Republicans were also on board, specifically to prevent those Republicans for later asserting that they were against the bailouts all along? This will be the same. If it is obvious that congressional Republicans want desperately to impeach Trump, Nancy Pelosi will provide Democratic votes on a 1-1 trade for every Republican who also votes for impeachment.

They may be Democrats, but they're not stupid.

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

Worse than Ford? Harding? Nixon (whose corruption forced him to resign and cast a pall on all US politics)? Hoover (who inadvertently helped make the Great Depression even more depressing)?


What do you (or what could anyone) have against Ford?

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re - publishing legislation before a vote
That is SOP here,(NZ)
Proposed legislation is published for comments,
Comments and the legislation are returned to the committee,
The final draft is published, then voted on

Unfortunately this process can be jumped by "Urgency" - which is intended for emergency stuff - but which can be misused by the leading party

Kristine Nielson said...

I'll start out by saying I'm a climate scientist. Politically I'd have a difficult time agreeing with the characterization of GHWB as the worst president of the 20th century, but from a climate perspective he is the one who made the decision to ignore climate scientists, who were even then warning about the dangers of global warming and associated climate change. That decision allowed for the politicization of climate change to the degree that now, almost thirty years later, we're still just trying to convince people to believe the science.

All the political stuff we'd have dealt with regardless; climate change is going to exacerbate so much of the political it's hard to understate how catastrophic GHWB's decision will prove to be.

fyi--those of you who like to argue, I'm a drive-by commenter and probably won't respond. Sorry--too much science, not enough play time :)

donzelion said...

LarryHart: Ford? Hmmm, it is about as accurate to blame Ford for the loss of Vietnam as it is to blame GHWB for the 'loss' of Iraq. Or Obama/Clinton for the loss of Iraq to ISIS in 2009.

Which is to say, all such believes are utter crap, but there are believers who will not be dissuaded no matter the evidence: a Trump supporter KNOWS Clinton started planning ISIS babies when she was in college, and others KNOW GHWB could have brought flowering peace and hope and prosperity to the Middle East and Europe but did not because...of something or other.

On this forum, the fact that I agree with 95% of what Dr. Brin has to say (except...Yoda? GHWB? Seriously?) - doesn't mean that I won't criticize where I disagree. And on matters in the Middle East, I've spent more time than most 'experts' have living and handling the problems there.

Treebeard said...

The Bushes, a large pack of neocon Iraq war architects – is a Cheney endorsement of Clinton next? Like I said, get ready for World War III. But then, the Federation didn't come into existence until after the post-atomic horror, so I guess everything is about on schedule. Let's face it, for Global Government to come into existence, we're going to have to reduce many reactionary nations to radioactive rubble. Moscow in ruins, millions dead? Serves those Hitlerites right for not waving the rainbow flag! But those green-blooded Vulcans damn well better show up as promised with the warp drive soon after or we're well and truly f*$#d!

Paul SB said...

I have not been able to get a post through for a day or so, even trying from 3 different computers. I don't know if this will get through, but if it does, I can at least say to our drive-by climatologist, Kristine Nielson, "Hip! Hip! Huzzah!"

Shin Bone said...

Maybe if I try a different name, it might work. I'm going to try posting this under "Shin Bone" - which is what my osteologist friends said they would call me if I were an osteologist instead of a lithic specialist.

Paul SB said...

My last two posts still seem to be here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed ... and thinking that "Treeyore" might be a better name for our faux Ent.

If this one works, too, I'll try that note I wrote for the Mad Librarian again.

Jumper said...

Larry, your Hamilton posts keep my world brighter. They're just great.

Paul SB said...

Perhaps whatever gods rule the internet are unhappy with my loquaciousness. I'm beginning to feel like Daffy Duck in the cartoon where a mysterious lagomorph animator keeps erasing and redrawing things. Maybe if I try one paragraph at a time?

Again, for the Mad Librarian:

As far as retrofitting existing buildings, there are a few elements that are pretty easy to add on. The easiest is called a Thermosiphoning Air Panel (TAP Panel), which has been around for a long time and is popular with DIY people. Anyone who is a fair hand with woodworking can make these and slap them onto your house. IIRC it goes back to a French research institute back in the 1930’s, headed by a man named Felíx Trombe. I knew people back in Colorado who had these, and in the winter, when it dipped below 40˚ F but was often sunny (my wife used to say that the Sun in Colorado is fake) you could not touch the vents, they were so hot. Here’s a recent article, but this is a popular one and easy to find information about.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/solar-heat-zmaz86jazgoe

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

LarryHart: Ford? Hmmm, it is about as accurate to blame Ford for the loss of Vietnam as it is to blame GHWB for the 'loss' of Iraq. Or Obama/Clinton for the loss of Iraq to ISIS in 2009.


I get that you take issue with Dr Brin's visceral hatred of GHWB. What I wondered about was that your list of other presidents who might be considered as bad or worse included Ford. I don't think he was great or anything, but I just don't see any reason anyone would feel antipathy for him. Of all presidents to say "Oh, yeah? Really? You think Poppy is worse than X???", Ford seems to be a strange choice for X.

LarryHart said...

Jumper:

Larry, your Hamilton posts keep my world brighter. They're just great.


Thanks. One of the unintended benefits of having children--I would probably never have given "Hamilton" a second look without the enthusiasm of my teenager.


Look around, look around,
At how lucky we are to be alive right now.

Look at where you are.
Look at where you started.
The fact that you're alive is a miracle.
Just stay alive--that would be enough.

Berial said...

@LarryHart said...
What do you (or what could anyone) have against Ford?

He pardoned Nixon. That's enough for a lot of people.

LarryHart said...

Ok, that is weird. Paul SB sent me an e-mail version of a post that keeps disappearing after he posts it, so I posted it for him, and it did indeed disappear.

I will try again, this time removing the links and any mention of Paul's name.

LarryHart said...

...and here are the links that should have been included above:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/solar-heat-zmaz86jazgoe


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombe_wall


http://www.enertia.com

LarryHart said...

Ok, that was not what I expected. The post with just the text disappeared again. The one with the links by themselves has survived (so far).

LarryHart said...

Let's try one paragraph at a time. Again, this if from PSB:
* * *

As far as retrofitting existing buildings, there are a few elements that are pretty easy to add on. The easiest is called a Thermosiphoning Air Panel (TAP Panel), which has been around for a long time and is popular with DIY people. Anyone who is a fair hand with woodworking can make these and slap them onto your house. IIRC it goes back to a French research institute back in the 1930’s, headed by a man named Felíx Trombe. I knew people back in Colorado who had these, and in the winter, when it dipped below 40˚ F but was often sunny (my wife used to say that the Sun in Colorado is fake) you could not touch the vents, they were so hot. Here’s a recent article, but this is a popular one and easy to find information about.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/solar-heat-zmaz86jazgoe

LarryHart said...

Second paragraph of three:
* * *
I am also including the Wikipedia article on the Trombe Wall, which could be added onto an existing building but would require knocking down a wall. I’m not sure if this would be cheaper than PV, but building a home with one of these would certainly be.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombe_wall

LarryHart said...

Third paragraph of three:
* * *
The Discovery Channel made a show a number of years ago called “Eco Tech,” which had an episode called “Building Green.” I copied off the TV, but my disc disappeared after lending it to another teacher. Last summer I managed to find it on Youtube (with a British narrator instead of the original, so I assume it was rebroadcast in the UK). Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the link on Youtube right now. I downloaded it, so if you could get me an email address I could send it to you. It shows a number of different designs, a couple of which, like the Earthships in New Mexico, look really hippie, but others look pretty conventional, like the Enertia designs. If you check out their web site you will see that these look very conventional and kind of upscale, even.

http://www.enertia.com

Happy reading, or maybe happy DIY?

LarryHart said...


Thomas Jefferson: Can we get back to politics?

James Madison: Please!


Our resident Holnist is going jabbering-insane, but then so is Donald Trump.

donzelion said...

LarryHart: Concur: it makes very little sense to hate Ford.

He was president when Vietnam fell. Millions of Americans, even in 1974, believed Vietnam was a winnable war (most of whom changed their minds years later). In the decades since Saigon fell, Americans have largely revisited that belief, and determined Vietnam was not "winnable" - and thus, Ford was a decent man, rather than a cowardly traitor who abandoned our strong allies in their hour of need, dishonored our soldiers who died to protect our friends there, abandoned the Kennedy vision of America that rises up to defend democracy everywhere...

One could indict Ford only if one stubbornly holds onto beliefs that have since been widely rejected. One can similarly indict GHWB by holding onto beliefs about how easily we could have shaped Iraq, how reliable the generals might be in such circumstances, how strong the shia uprising was, how gratitude actually operates - beliefs which, in other contexts (Asians, rather than Arabs), we'd be reluctant to indulge with certainty.

donzelion said...

LarryHart (and Duncan): You'll both lose me with the engineering - I've no grasp of the principles, nor desire to build my own house. That said, I'd prefer to stand by the engineers, and the scientists and architects, and contribute however I might, as it is important, and I do not understand the lack of adoption of efficient design strategies, except as a commercial outgrowth.

I suspect there are a vast number of innovative approaches. LEED certification is one that I'm aware of, BUT the only context I've heard of involved fraudulent certification claims (e.g., in response to a foreign government project, the losing bidder asserted that the winning bidder only won the contract by falsely claiming LEED certification in a number of previous projects; government withheld payment until the charges were resolved, which stopped work on the project - creating delays that government then blamed on the contractor).

Paul SB said...

Larry,

Thanks a bunch for trying that for me! I hope I didn't give your computer a virus or something, and hopefully our Mad Librarian (and others) will find the information useful. If I knew your snail mail I would probably send you a bunch of bananas or something (a bunch of aardvarks?).

Could the problem be a bug in Blogger.com itself? When I tried my non-nickname it worked once but didn't work twice.

Donzelion,
Good for you, in terms of support. LEED Certfication, though, is not an approach, it is validation that the approaches an architect has used are effective, and it's prestigious but not easy to get.

LarryHart said...

@Paul,

The difference seemed to be that the posts stuck in smaller chunks, but not as one long post.

I don't think size is the entire issue, but maybe something in there looks like spam to the blog administration software. As I mentioned yesterday, I have also seen actual spam posts--the ones with a lot of goofy links and not on-topic at all--disappear without a trace as well. That seems to be something different from the ones that say "This post deleted by the blog administrator".

hadend said...

Can't think of any reason to hate Ford except for - you know - pardoning Nixon!

Paul SB said...

Larry,

So you think this is meant to limit my verbosity? You all know I'm homozygous recessive for that condition, right? I have had shorter posts evaporate, too, so it's still a mystery. But if by some miracle I should come into possession of 2 copies of "Add One Mummified Bat" the second copy is yours - not that this is bloody likely to happen. I've been holding my breath on that one for a long time, and all I get is hypoxia.

"And Gerald presently made out something fell and deadly that had previously been masked by the cannon's blazing burst of electromagnetic thrust."

Are you taking the word /fell/ here for its more conventional meaning as a verb, rather than as an adjective? I love how your mind always finds an aardvark connection (and that thought brought the tune "Rainbow Connection" bubbling up in my mind. The horror!) What surprises me is that you haven't been throwing out references to the election in "High Society." I expected more of this Larry! What gives?

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: Prop 54 is the one I’ve researched the most about so far. Looks like a no-brainer to me and I intend to support it. The only thing that gave me pause was the 20 year requirement. Things change in 20 years. A lot. I suspect the Legislature will implement this in a piss-poor way, but the public should be able to lift the video into a commercial archive and then ignore the Legislature’s version. If we do that, I see no need for a 20 year requirement, but I understand that some kind of limit has to be written into this.

The ‘billionaire supports this’ thing is just a scare tactic. A lot of the proposition IS already the standard practice, but some of it isn’t like the requirement for all meetings (with clear exceptions) and the limitations on usage of the recorded material.

What I hope to see from this is a full break with who actually records meetings. If we rely upon the legislature, they will point the camera forward and keep the focus narrow on potential speakers. I want to see the audience too.

If the Democrats don’t like this, tough cookies. This is a transparency thing. Look back!

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

So you think this is meant to limit my verbosity?


Not exactly. I've seem longer posts. I've made longer posts.

But maybe the multiple paragraphs on different subjects somehow register as spam. I'm trying to narrow down the possibilities myself, and the fact that your missive, divided into three segments, did post tells us something. As Dave Sim would say, "Now that we know that, what do we know?"

This is actually how I do my job, which is something I wish I knew how to convey to recruiters who are only looking for "10+ years experience on [particular tool of choice]". I can usually break down a problem into chunks, some of which can be ruled out, and eventually arrive at the correct solution. In this case, the problem is not the links. It's not the individual paragraphs. It's either the sheer size of the post (which doesn't seem likely on its own) or something about the cumulative look and feel of the entire post (even without the links).


"And Gerald presently made out something fell and deadly that had previously been masked by the cannon's blazing burst of electromagnetic thrust."

Are you taking the word /fell/ here for its more conventional meaning as a verb, rather than as an adjective? I love how your mind always finds an aardvark connection


When "Cerebus" was still ongoing and I posted regularly on a Yahoo! group devoted to it, I did argue that "something fell" had the second meaning of "something bad", and Dave did acknowledge that he meant both meanings.

What I found hilarious about the "Existence" passage was that I've never heard Dr Brin indicate he knows anything about "Cerebus", but the use of "something fell" alongside a "bang" of sorts is a really strange coincidence.


What surprises me is that you haven't been throwing out references to the election in "High Society." I expected more of this Larry! What gives?


Y'know, it never occurred to me to apply that book in this context. Been too long since I read the early "Cerebus" books, I guess. Or "Cerebus" has been supplanted by "Hamilton".

donzelion said...

Alfred: I would think the "California Legislative Transparency Act" should draw attention from more people than just you and I - at least here!

I lean towards supporting Prop 54, with two caveats:

(1) Video records of all public meetings should be kept indefinitely. Yes, things change, but in legal contexts, it's quite common to need to refer to legislative intent at the time of passage to determine how to apply a law drafted a long time ago in a new context. Currently, that is done by referring to transcripts (when they are kept). Video records will not replace that, but could supplement it.

(2) The legislature could record everything it does, while also permitting 3rd parties to record as they wish. Those video records will certainly result in a number of attacks on state assembly and state senators. Yet so few Californians even know who their state assembly and senate reps are, that it's worth putting some sunlight on their processes just to increase engagement.

(3) I do NOT like the 'printing' component for two reasons: (a) why kill all those trees for paper that nobody will read anyway, and (b) requiring the physical printing will slow bills down, adding 2-3 days to the 72-hour period. It's tricky enough to pass any bills at all; there's no need for that additional complexity.

But those are nitpicks that can be fixed later. The ad hominem critique of Munger is a distraction.

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul SB: When you compose a response, are you doing it within the small ‘Leave your comment’ box on the page or in a word processor for copying? I compose in a word processor and then copy to a simple text editor before copying again to the comment box. The extra steps make it unlikely I’ll copy special characters into the webform. If you are composing in place, though, I'd check your auto-correction settings to see if you have your browser trying to pretend it is a word processor.

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: Indefinitely? Heh. Good luck with that. I’m a contract software engineer, so if you walk into a meeting with me with a requirement like that, you’ll see cartoon dollar signs in my eyes as soon as I realize what you want. Cha-ching! I’ll start in with pirate language next as I prepare to take your treasure.

We can keep paper records of events for long periods of time because the technology is old and stable. As long as one watches out for the acid levels in the pages, books can last a very long time when kept in a stable environment. That is not the case with video and audio recordings. Codecs come and go. Some are proprietary. Applications might or might not implement them. Imagine the problem of document formatting in word processors only magnified. There is a reason PDF was invented, though few know that PDF is an acronym.

I agree that dead tree storage needs to go away, but I’d really like to see our Legislature avoid trying to dictate how the archives are going to work. Having archives at all is the real requirement. HOW they are implemented should involve market competition. I’m doubtful our legislators understand this, but I’ll support the proposition anyway and vote for a fix later.

No doubt once the election looks to be a done deal, David will notice the transparency implications of some of the things on our ballot. He has to play to a larger audience, though, so I understand his federal focus. 8)

Paul SB said...

Larry,

I think Hamilton resonates more with people here, and it sounds more classy, anyway.

Alfred,

Most of the time I just type in the box, but if I feel my verbosity sequence being activated, I will often type in Microsoft Worthless, then copy & paste. But there doesn't seem to be a pattern of loss. Typing directly in the box gets lost less often, but still evaporates sometimes. What simple text editor do you use?

Paul SB said...

Alfred wrote,

"... so if you walk into a meeting with me with a requirement like that, you’ll see cartoon dollar signs in my eyes as soon as I realize what you want. Cha-ching! I’ll start in with pirate language next as I prepare to take your treasure."
- Are you sure you really wanted to reveal that about yourself, Alfred? It does explain some things...

LarryHart said...

@Paul SB and Alfred,

When Paul e-mailed me his attempted post, I copied and pasted it directly from e-mail into the comment box. It did post (I saw it here for a minute or so) and then disappeared. Yet, when I copied small bits into three separate posts, they all stayed put.

To me, that makes it unlikely that unprintable characters are the problem. It's not that the post doesn't go through at all, but that it gets removed somehow. What seems most plausible to me is that some administrating software interprets Paul's post as spam. But what the exact cause of the misunderstanding is--that hasn't been solved yet.

We need a smart mob on this one. :)

TheMadLibrarian said...

Thank you, all, for the links to building retrofitting. In my case, it was easier to blow several grand and plaster our roof with solar panels, because in our climate, cooling is more important than heating. The local electric company didn't care for that (they are currently twisting themselves, and the legislature, into pretzels trying to preserve market share.) It has become more cost-effective to put several hundred square feet of solar panels on your roof and slash your electric bill to a tenth of what it was previously than to keep paying the inflated price per KWH.

Something much like your sunlight-heat-harvesting wall got built into my parents' chimney; Dad put heat exchangers running up ducts within the brickwork. Cold floor-level air was sucked in, absorbed heat from the chimney bricks, and exited above the fireplace proper.

donzelion said...

Alfred: Stand by my claim: video recordings of public meetings by all elected officials everywhere should be kept INDEFINITELY. Yes, that will mean zettabytes of data.

Ideally, this would be expanded to all public officers of all sorts - police officers, bureaucrats, everyone. That, to me, is where the world of sousveillance starts. Eventually, even Yoda-bytes (yottabytes). ;-)

It would shock me if a state with the 6th largest economy in the world that hosts so many of the founders of modern technology as we know it cannot find a way to do this efficiently. It wouldn't shock me if such a system became unexpectedly valuable, in ways that the silly DoD-backup communication system (aka the internet) proved to be valuable far beyond anyone's initial expectation. Access to existing government data in print form is worth tens of billions/year - what would video be worth? Who can say.

"I’d really like to see our Legislature avoid trying to dictate how the archives are going to work."
I expect they'll appoint some pretty sharp people to figure out possible approaches, then change and adjust those approaches in future years. It's worth getting started now. In these sorts of fields, California should be at the forefront.

And you'd be shocked how many of technology's best and brightest took a 90% paycut on their salaries to go 'volunteer' for Obama (well, a wage cut AND the opportunity to have an official government-issued business card designating a title of 'Rogue Leader').

"Having archives at all is the real requirement."
Agreed. And ultimately, archives that grow to cover all public actions by all public officials at all times whatsoever. That, to me, is one element in a path toward sousveillance.

"HOW they are implemented should involve market competition."
I would expect that during the initial period, market competition will not be the primary goal, BUT markets will eventually come into play once underlying technology stabilizes. In that, the precedent of the internet itself is helpful.

I'm doubtful legislators understand this as well, but optimistic that they understand a bit about writing grants, and occasionally, revolutionizing the world by planting a seed here and there. I'd sort of like to see those seeds take root in California.

"David will notice the transparency implications of some of the things on our ballot."
Perhaps he already does.

If he doesn't, I hope our discussion on this topic continues (and I'll happily debate the fine points until it gets his attention since this should be an opportunity for him - and I suspect he'd get along with Munger, if they're not already friends).

donzelion said...

Oh, and Alfred, if you make a few dozen million dollars building this system to last indefinitely, then I hope you prosper immensely. Wouldn't mind you getting the invitation to build the dang thing... ;-)

Paul SB said...

Mad Librarian,

Glad to be of service, though in this case it turned out to be quite the hassle!

If I had known you were in a hot climate, I would have mentioned Solar Evaporative Cooling. I took a class on solar energy way back in the 80's, so I know my experience is out of date, but I still remember some of the general principles. There are plenty of websites out there that will explain how the process works or even give you free plans. But I am not sure how efficient it is compared to going PV. Those panels are prohibitively expensive for most people, even if they pay off over the years.

Here's another site:
http://www.livingonsolar.com/solar-cooling.html

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi - re prop 54

One of my pep soap boxes is that procedures legislation and laws should start with a
"Purpose Statement"
Saying WHY you need to do it "this way"

With that to guide the courts (and for a procedure the people actually doing the work) it becomes easy to interpret the procedure/legislation
AND it becomes obvious when it is no longer needed

So I'm not bothered about recording the sessions that produce it BUT I would be totally anal about having a purpose statement

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re Solar evaporative cooling

If you live in a low humidity area its absolutely awesome and incredibly cheap to implement

If you are already using air conditioning a very simple water spray/mist on your outside heat exchanger matrix will massively improve its performance

But if you live in a high humidity area its a waste of time

TheMadLibrarian said...

The larger window a/c units implement a 'slinger', a little scoop that runs off the compressor shaft, picks up the condensate out of the collector pan, and throws it against the exchanger fins, making the whole thing more efficient. Our humidity is usually fairly low, around 60%, and the a/c has to run for several hours before enough water accumulates to overflow the drip pan. We usually only cool the sections of the house where we are, so the smaller window units suffice, despite not being as efficient as central air.

See also 'swamp cooler'.

locumranch said...


As much as I'd like to believe David's assertion that the pending US presidential election is about economics & science, it is not: It is about the culmination of the Gender War or, as George Orwell would say, "a Gucci pump stamping on a human face - forever".

David confirms this by condemning Roger Ailes "as a sexual pervert-predator"; Establishment Republicans confirm this by abandoning Donald Trump (their own party candidate) for failing to revere, respect & fear women; and the British government confirms this by criminalizing males who dare address (and/or approach) a random female without obtaining prior consent.

Their respective crimes? They are heterosexual males who attempt to use status, wealth, power, achievement or words to secure female companionship; and, this failure to pedestalize the human female has become the one & only remaining unforgivable sin in our modern Western Matriarchy.

Once was, this was the main reason that human males sought great wealth, achievement, power & success.

Men tried to move mountains -- and often succeeded -- in pursuit of this one thing. Yet, now that the traditional reward of snatch for such endeavours has been snatched away, tens of millions of men (as reported by NPR) have abandoned the western economy, eschewed gainful employment and left the table

Snatch is what the pending US Presidential Election is about and, if Men (especially our most successful males) can neither earn nor demand it, then the West will fall.

Why strive at all if it's all a lie, false promise or joke?

Best
____
Evaporative cooling is Stone Age technology, circa 2500 BCE, when the Ancient Egyptians & Greeks stored water in clay amphora to cool their homes.

donzelion said...

Duncan: re Prop 54 (California Government Transparency) - "One of my pep soap boxes is that procedures legislation and laws should start with a "Purpose Statement" Saying WHY you need to do it "this way""
Almost every law in the U.S. starts that way; indeed, that's been the case since before our Constitution was enacted. It's not as helpful as you would think.

If you take a look at it, Prop 54, Sections 2 and 3 state "findings and declarations" as well as "purposes." You can read them here. They "seem" pretty straightforward.

But consider: what if the Legislative Counsel sets up a nonprofit consortium that broadcasts the proceedings (which is one of the mechanisms of complying with the new requirements). What if that consortium charges a fee for access to the proceedings?

Prop 54 clearly bans the Legislative Counsel (and the State, and any agency of the state or public corporation in the state) from charging any fee for access. However, it does not clearly apply to a separate entity (like a nonprofit consortium that broadcasts the proceedings). Would the Legislative Counsel violate his/her duties by delegating the dissemination to a separate entity? Would it be a violation if that entity charged a fee?

You'd be surprised how tricky it gets, and these kinds of questions arise no matter how explicit the "purpose statement" may be (e.g., going back to the Constitution, Congress is only allowed to pass certain types of laws - as well as laws that are "necessary and proper" to implement those laws...how can one tell whether a law that is only loosely connected with a 'listed authority' is 'necessary and proper'?).

"it becomes easy to interpret the procedure/legislation AND it becomes obvious when it is no longer needed"
It is easy, until human beings disagree - then it gets hard. And humans tend to disagree often, and sometimes, their disagreements are quite difficult to sort out. ;-)

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi donzelion
I agree your constitution starts with a "purpose statement" - but NOBODY pays any attention to it!

We have had some success here (NZ) with "purpose statements" and I found them very useful for manufacturing/quality procedures

I think the problem is that you don't start with the "purpose statement" and treat it as really really important

donzelion said...

Duncan: on the use of legislative history (and why the California Transparency Act may actually be a good thing) - the biggest recent case is probably King v. Burwell (2015).

A claim arose challenging the Affordable Care Act provisions on subsidies. Those subsidies are a centerpoint of the operation of the Act: without them, the entire health care regime would collapse. However, under the terms of the Act, subsidies were to be paid to any “Exchange established by the State.” If a State declined to create an Exchange (as most Republican states refused to do), then it would not receive the subsidies, and insurance premiums would skyrocket.

Three of the justices argued that it is absurd to read such a statement to mean “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.” Their position was that if this is what the legislature meant, then it's what they would have enacted. There's a wide difference between "the State" and "the Federal Government" in America.

The majority held "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter." They looked at the legislative history and not only the text of the Act itself, but also what the legislators THOUGHT they were passing (and determined that errors persisted in the text as signed that should be read as including "the Federal Exchanges.")

Now that's an $800 billion question. Most are significantly less complicated than that. But these sorts of issues are extremely common with most legislation.

donzelion said...

Duncan: re purpose statements - first, again, Prop 54 (like all the others) does contain a pretty extensive one that is concrete and detailed (sections 2 & 3). However, this is not as simple as "manufacturing/quality procedures."

In any manufacturing process, after the specifications are finalized, the participants are not actively looking to block the process from occurring. Most manufacturers tend not to hire people who deliberately want to impede the process. That is not the case with most laws that are enacted, where there are factions that support and oppose any legislation. You can't "fire" the citizens who oppose a law - you have to negotiate.

Furthermore, in a manufacturing process, you have a pretty good idea whether it succeeded (e.g., the widget gets made, it gets made to spec, the specs are clear, and nobody gets hurt in the making of it). But for most laws, one side will assert that "nothing is being done" while another will asset "we followed the law": the dispute over the objective facts can be huge (as big as the difference of opinion as to whether Obama is or is not enforcing immigration law).

But be that as it may, I still think "legislative intent" is potentially quite important, and not just for historical interest. For that reason, I generally weigh in favor of Prop 54.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi donzelion

The legislature is the part that decides the "purpose" - MAKING them write down exactly what they are expecting the legislation to do is important

At that stage you need sufficient support to get it voted in - the US system where a law is passed and then a minority tries to get it's teeth removed is profoundly undemocratic

Paul SB said...

Mad Librarian,

"We usually only cool the sections of the house where we are, so the smaller window units suffice, despite not being as efficient as central air."
- You're a wiser fellow than most. Since most don't get these things, it would probably be better for the world in general in building codes required new structures to incorporate passive design principles and insulation, many of which are quite ancient and just represent common sense before cheap oil made people stupid. If you tighten up the original design, a building will require much less electricity to heat or cool in the first place. Of course now I'm soap-boxing, whereas you were asking an more practical question.

Paul SB said...

Funny how this loci guy doesn't even seem to get that he loses even more credibility whenever he goes off on one of his misogynist rants.

Way back in the 19th C, government officials would hire anthropologists to "go study the natives" of a place, so they could learn best how to rule them. The anthropologists would typically board a navy vessel, pull in to a navy port, set up tables right on the docks by the army garrison, and have the "natives" line up to explain their quaint, savage customs for pay. Now any trained scientist today can see a lot of things wrong with this picture, but the most obvious is what we refer to as scientific racism. They went into the endeavor already sure of what they would learn - that the "natives" were nothing but stupid savages, confirming their preconceived notions about the "white man's burden."

In an Asian Civ class we read a lot about India, including a book that made the point that much of India's poverty could be blamed on the caste system, in which 1/6th of the people were considered so inferior they were not allowed any opportunity for education or any means of self-improvement, effectively cutting millions of minds and hands out of the productive economy.

"Scientific" sexism isn't a whole lot different here, is it? Worse, even, since it is taking 50% out - and it really doesn't matter which 50% is taken out, whether it is the "gucci pump" or the jackboot of the habitual rapist. Claims made that male competition for access to females is "natural" and the #1 driving force in human society is pseudoscience drivel. The untested assumptions behind this one are legion. In monogamist cultures most people are quite happy to have one stable pair bond, and it turns out that the single biggest factor in a man's longevity is the quality of this bond. True monogamy is still the minority around the world, but I have known enough Muslims who have told me that very few Muslim men are that interested in having more than one wife, as the Qu'ran requires multiples be treated exactly the same - which is a very difficult thing to do. No, Conan the Barbarian is not a model for human society.

LarryHart said...

Today's www.electoral-vote.com has one of its article headlines:

a generation. (Z)
Trump Supporters Not Willing to Face Reality


More and more, that's what this election seems to be coming down to. Does reality itself win in a contest against fantasy, or can the latter sweep in on a Triumph of the Will?

I've decried the fact that our electoral system seems designed to give the presidency to the candidate who, in sports parlance, "wants it more." Well, I have hardly seen a candidate who wants the presidency more than Hillary Clinton, but Trump seems to beat her out. Not sure it's enough to win this time.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

No, Conan the Barbarian is not a model for human society.


Besides, Trump wouldn't be Conan. Trump would be one of those a-holes whose head Conan chops off after he's (essentially) gone "That's all I can stands! I can't stands no more!"

Conan has plenty of sex, but he doesn't coerce or rape women. The whole point is that he doesn't have to. Male competition for females is, at least in part, competition for the woman's willing acceptance. Trump seems to revel in his power and status intimidating women into letting him get away with s####, but (yes!) "that's a different thing, in fact, the opposite thing."

Being "allowed" to feel up a woman stuck next to you on an airplane--a woman who hides in the back of the plane at the first opportunity--is not winning, it's cheating. The same way an artificial drug providing the sense of triumph formerly reserved for actual accomplishment is cheating.

LarryHart said...

Duncan Cairncross:

he legislature is the part that decides the "purpose" - MAKING them write down exactly what they are expecting the legislation to do is important


I can just imagine:

An overwhelming preponderance of force being necessary to the maintenance of the institution of slavery, the right of white people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.



Anonymous said...

Kruugmans referenced article asks 'why was this 2005 tape the last straw for so many republicans?', after so many other deplorable statements. One admittedly cynical thought is that it scuttled a planned 'Monica' whisper campaign scheduled for late October.

LarryHart said...

Anonymous:

One admittedly cynical thought is that it scuttled a planned 'Monica' whisper campaign scheduled for late October.


Not that this election is normal in any way, but in the future, I wonder if the value of an October Surprise will be diminished by the trend toward early voting. I can vote as early as Oct 24, and if I make the effort to go into downtown Chicago on a weekday, I can vote now. Election Day this year is as late as it can be--November 8--but news that breaks toward Halloween or later will probably not be able to influence my vote. And I'm not alone in that regard.

locumranch said...


Paul_SB is the poster boy for WEIRD, also known as 'Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic', believing in his heart of hearts that his outlier minority viewpoint is somehow the new Ideal Norm, even though he & other enlightenment defenders often admit that their entire way of living represents a historical aberrancy.

They dismiss the heterosexual reproductive imperative in favour of the LBGTQ agenda; they convince themselves that their rote intellect has nullified biological reality; they submit to a de facto oligarchy while they blither on & on about their 'democratic values'; they crow about the moral superiority of monogamy as their friends & children aggressively pursue the government welfare harem system; they believe that urbanization (wherein 80% of society resides in cities; 20% in rural) is 'normal' even though these stats were reversed (and always have been reversed) less than a hundred years ago; and they think that Industrial Age plenty will persist into the post-industrial economy.

You WEIRD-os may choose to dismiss my views as cynical, sexist, misogynist, intolerant and (even) racist if it makes you feel better, but it is you who are suffering from collective denial & delusion.

Where is your gender equality when you ignore the wholesale abandonment, sacrifice & slaughter of young men, but award the young women who are rarely subject to deadly violence the frigging Noble Peace Prize for survivable injuries?

Where is your economic equality when your urban society rewards its rural agricultural & resource produces with artificial poverty, wage slavery & political irrelevance?

Where is your post-racial paradise when you ridicule those who defend your freedoms as slavery-loving 'white people' as the racist Larry_H does above?

Best

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Where is your post-racial paradise when you ridicule those who defend your freedoms as slavery-loving 'white people' as the racist Larry_H does above?


Watch it, asshole. I don't mind friendly or even pseudo-friendly banter, but them's dueling words.

The discussion was about forcing legislation to contain a clear statement of intent. Do you doubt that the intent of the Second Amendment is as I characterize it?

You sound like my sister-in-law back in college, when she used to contend that even a statement as innocuous as "Black people have darker skin than white people" was racist. You're calling me a racist for daring to mention racism that exists in other contexts. I'm sorry, am I not being politically correct enough for you?

locumranch said...


You're a racist when you attribute a particular characteristic to skin colour & race:

It's racist to equate red skin with 'savage', yellow skin with 'cunning', black skin with 'lazy', or white skin with 'privilege' or 'racism'. Take it up with the progressive left if you don't like this working definition.

Historically speaking, black & brown skinned people were much more statistically likely to be 'slave owners' than white skinned people ever were. Overt slavery has always been a rarity in Europe, the US & the enlightened west; very few whites ever owned slaves in US history even before slavery was officially abolished over 150 years ago: and brown-on-brown slavery still exists today in places like Saudi Arabia.

Likewise, you're a sexist if you argue that (1) all men are potential 'rapists', (2) most women are more gentle, honest or moral than most men, or (3) violence is gender-specific.

Since I deny the Western 'Women are Special Princesses' stereotype & recognise that most women are as sexual, base, mundane, violent, malevolent, greedy, grasping & immoral as most men are, I often accused of (gasp!) 'misogyny' even though nothing could be farther from the truth:

I'm a 'Gender Equalist' because I know that both men & women are mostly moral horror shows & you're a self-deluding WEIRD-o if you believe that women & girls are somehow 'better' than men & boys !!


Best

locumranch said...


PS: Gun Ownership, the Second Amendment, was & has always been about about keeping tyrants like King George out of your house. It has as much to do with slavery & racism as Prohibition did.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

You're a racist when you attribute a particular characteristic to skin colour & race:


So you'd agree with my ultra-feminist sister-in-law back in college that a statement like "Black people were brought to America from Africa as slaves" is racist because it mentions black people?


It's racist to equate red skin with 'savage', yellow skin with 'cunning', black skin with 'lazy', or white skin with 'privilege' or 'racism'. Take it up with the progressive left if you don't like this working definition.


One of these things is not like the other. When most progressive liberals talk about white privilege, we're not attempting to describe a characteristic of white people themselves. We're describing a fact about the institutions that have evolved over 500 years on this continent. I enjoy white privilege to the extent that, for example, I've never been pulled over for a "busted taillight", and when I have been pulled over for a traffic violation, if I'm polite and deferent to the cop, I don't expect to be hassled, cuffed, or shot. I wish we lived in a world where the same could be said if I were black, but the evidence just doesn't back that up.

When Cliven Bundy and his gang of armed thugs brandished weapons and actively threatened federal officers with them, those officers backed off rather than provoke an armed battle. Are you seriously asserting that they would have done so had those men been black, or dark-skinned with beards and turbans? That mentioning this simple fact is racist?

Seriously?


Historically speaking, black & brown skinned people were much more statistically likely to be 'slave owners' than white skinned people ever were.


(cue Monty Python) : "Not 'round these parts."

Militias and slave patrols in this country were meant to keep slaves from escaping. The negotiations around the wording of the Constitution including the Bill of Rights had to defer to this fact of southern life. How slavery is practiced in other cultures and other places is immaterial. I'm not accusing white people (of which I am one) of being genetically prone to enslaving others. I'm describing history that actually did happen, and the continuing consequences thereof.

Likewise, you're a sexist if you argue that (1) all men are potential 'rapists', (2) most women are more gentle, honest or moral than most men, or (3) violence is gender-specific.


Well, then have fun arguing with the straw man, because I don't argue any of that. I'm not claiming men are pigs; I'm claiming Donald Trump is a pig.

LarryHart said...

locumranch (continued) :

Since I deny the Western 'Women are Special Princesses' stereotype & recognise that most women are as sexual, base, mundane, violent, malevolent, greedy, grasping & immoral as most men are, I often accused of (gasp!) 'misogyny' even though nothing could be farther from the truth:


And I'm often accused of "treason" and "hating America" for opposing bullies and wanting universal health care. Why don't you do what you would tell me to do, and just man up and deal with it?


I'm a 'Gender Equalist' because I know that both men & women are mostly moral horror shows & you're a self-deluding WEIRD-o if you believe that women & girls are somehow 'better' than men & boys !!


You are getting yourself into a lather arguing against something I am not saying. Maybe...if...I...write...slower..?

Real men compete for female attention and the chance to copulate with women, sure. This does not imply that men are supposed to take those women against their will. Are you arguing otherwise?

Laws and institutions in this country, including the way the Second Amendment is applied, have given white people advantages not shared by others. This was more explicit in the past than it is now, but the effects linger on, and it defies reality to claim otherwise. It's not the ideal situation, and it should be mitigated over time, but a pseudo-class distinction does exist. Saying the obvious does not make one a racist. Are you arguing otherwise?

All else you are insulting me about is just straw-manning nonsense.

Kal Kallevig said...

PAULSB,

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LarryHart said...



Take it up with this guy:
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/13890-the-second-amendment-was-ratified-to-preserve-slavery

And yes, Carl T Bogus is apparently a real name ;)


The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the framers knew the difference -- see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote. Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason and James Madison were totally clear on that... and we all should be too.

In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states.

In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state. The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.

See more news and opinion from Thom Hartmann at Truthout here.

As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, "The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search 'all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition' and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds."

It's the answer to the question raised by the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained when he asks, "Why don't they just rise up and kill the whites?" If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.

LarryHart said...

that lengthy excerpt about slave patrols was in response to...


PS: Gun Ownership, the Second Amendment, was & has always been about about keeping tyrants like King George out of your house. It has as much to do with slavery & racism as Prohibition did.

LarryHart said...

...Dr Brin has moved...

onward!

onward!

Duncan Cairncross said...

Thanks Larry
I will use that the next time I respond to a gun rights idiot