Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cab Thoughts 5/4/16

Science is unbiased and without motive, scientists are not.--Alaric Phlogiston

Thomas Jefferson suggested an automatic sunset provision for legislation: “… every law, naturally expires at the end of nineteen years.” In an April 2016 Reason article by Veronique de Rugy: “What Government Can Learn from Moore’s Law,” is suggested a sunset provision (that could be retroactive) in all Federal statutes and regulations to require an updated renewal within two years. Wouldn't that be a great idea. Daylight Saving would be  good place to start.

"We didn’t forecast better than anyone else; we regulated banks that got in trouble like anyone else. Could we have done better? Yes, if we could forecast better. But we can’t. This is why I’m very uncomfortable with the idea of a systemic regulator, because they can’t forecast better." Who said that? Greenspan. Greenspan!

The government proposes to include Roth retirement holdings where the taxes have already been paid into the calculations of mandatory distribution--which, in essence, would tax it again and shrink it. So these government people want to change these rules after the fact and, of course, punish the saver and tax them twice.

Who is...Anthony Trollope?

A white guy was attacked and knocked to the ground in N.Y. by a black guy who said, “This is for Malcolm X, cracka.”
There's a lot of bad history going around.

An interesting word has popped up in reference to Trump, "caudillo," in Spanish term meaning a military or political leader, from "Head." This implies a South American-like "strong-man," some powerful guy who, against all logic and history, will "fix things." So in the land of Washington and Lincoln, the Rube-publicans have a Chavez candidate, the Democrats have a pre- Chavez candidate. This I guess is all on the assumption that we have had years of disaster, how could things get worse? Well, a simple look back in the history of the 20th Century will show even the most simple mind, things could be a lot worse. A clue to bad areas in history? Central government power.
Yet real history is being made: Two black holes collided and it made a sound. Conveyed by gravitational waves, power 50 times greater than the output of all the stars in the universe combined vibrated a pair of L-shaped antennas in Washington State and Louisiana known as LIGO on Sept. 14. As they approached the end, at half the speed of light, they were circling each other 250 times a second. And then the ringing stopped as the two holes coalesced into a single black hole, a trapdoor in space with the equivalent mass of 62 suns. All in a fifth of a second, Earth time.
Coincidentally enough, the same week in 1633, Italian philosopher, astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Galileo officially faced the Roman Inquisition in April of that same year and agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. Put under house arrest indefinitely by Pope Urban VIII, Galileo spent the rest of his days at his villa in Arcetri, near Florence, before dying on January 8, 1642.
A refined value of pi was obtained by the Chinese much earlier than in the West. The Chinese had two advantages over most of the world: they used decimal notations and they used a symbol for zero. European mathematicians would not use a symbolic zero until the late Middle Ages through contact with Indian and Arabic thinkers.

“All systems either of preference or of restraint, therefore, being thus completely taken away, the obvious and simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely discharged from a duty, in the attempting to perform which he must always be exposed to innumerable delusions, and for the proper performance of which no human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufficient; the duty of superintending the industry of private people, and of directing it towards the employments most suitable to the interest of the society. According to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only three duties to attend to; three duties of great importance, indeed, but plain and intelligible to common understandings: first, the duty of protecting the society from violence and invasion of other independent societies; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as possible, every member of the society from the injustice or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty of establishing an exact administration of justice; and, thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain public works and certain public institutions which it can never be for the interest of any individual, or small number of individuals, to erect and maintain; because the profit could never repay the expence to any individual or small number of individuals, though it may frequently do much more than repay it to a great society.”--Adam Smith
Africa contains the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, which makes up an area greater in size than the entire continental U.S..
In the era of the American Revolution, it was customary for countries to give lavish gifts to foreign ambassadors. It served the purpose of influencing treaties and negotiations, and the gifts were so prevalent and large that they were considered part of an ambassador's income. Americans were so horrified by the practice and its potential for corrupting influence that these gifts were specifically restricted in both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Sort of Hillary's own Bill of Attainder.
Cohen’s “Illiberal Reformers” describes how some Progressive era economists actually made eugenicist arguments for early minimum-wage laws. Raising the wage floor would encourage employers to hire only the most productive workers, who would prosper and propagate, while “unemployables” exited the labor force and got “treated.”

London Fog by Christine L. Corton is a whole book on the history of the emergence of the famous London Fog. In the early 1800s, as London's population grew from one million to two million in the span of a mere thirty years, coal fires and industry combined to create a fog so thick that on many days visibility was reduced to one or two feet. It was a pervasive health hazard that provided the mysterious backdrop to Victorian era characters such as Jack the Ripper. This pollution was not solved until Britain's Clean Air Act of the late 1950s:

A press release from the FAA states, "FAA battery fire testing has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion. Current cargo fire suppression systems cannot effectively control a lithium battery fire." The batteries in question are the rechargeable, lithium-ion ones that are found in everything from phones to laptops. However, the warning is only for batteries being transported alone (not those that are already installed inside electronics, so you can continue to carry on your phones and laptops without worry).
Currently, FAA guidelines allow flyers to pack these batteries in their carry-ons, as long as they are 160 watt hours or less per battery. (That's why hoverboards, with their super-powerful batteries designed to last for up to 10 miles, are banned by many airlines.) Backup lithium batteries are not allowed in checked luggage, and many commercial airlines have instituted their own rules against carrying the batteries.
Sacagawea was the teen-aged wife of a French-Canadian fur trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, who had purchased her from Hidatsa kidnappers. Lewis and Clark hired Charbonneau as an interpreter for their projected expedition to the Pacific and back, provided he agreed to bring along his young wife and the child, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. No war party, the Indians reasoned, would bring along a mother and infant. When the Corps of Discovery returned east in 1805, Charbonneau, Sacagawea, and Jean Baptiste resumed the fur-trading life. Little is known of Sacagawea’s subsequent fate, though a fur trader claimed she died of a “putrid fever” in 1812 at a Missouri River trading post. True to a promise he had made to Sacagawea during the expedition, Clark paid for Jean Baptiste’s education at a St. Louis Catholic academy and became something of an adoptive father to the boy. A bright and charismatic young man, Jean Baptiste learned French, German, and Spanish, hunted with noblemen in the Black Forest of Germany, traveled in Africa, and returned to explore further the American West. He died in 1866 en route to the newly discovered gold fields of Montana.

Saturnine adjective 1. sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn. 2. suffering from lead poisoning, as a person. Our Duke could not answer this, and therefore for the moment he yielded. But he was unhappy, saturnine, and generally silent except when closeted with his ancient mentor.-- Anthony Trollope, The Prime Minister, 1876 Saturnine derives from the name of the planet Saturn, which in turn was named after the Roman god Saturnus. The original sense of the word had an astrological meaning, and referred to a person who was born under the influence of Saturn. Saturnine entered English early 1400s.
Today, the average U.S. household that has at least one credit card has approximately $15,950 in credit card debt.
Reproductions are routine now in fine art museums. The technology is expanding. On 25 April, the Caverne du Pont d’Arc opened in the Ardèche region of France. The €55 million project is an exact replica, down to the last stalactite, of the cave of Chauvet, which contains the world’s oldest paintings, dating from some 36,000 years ago. In order to preserve the Chauvet cave paintings from deterioration, they are closed to all but a select few researchers – and Werner Herzog, who was given a week’s window in which to make his film Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010). A team of scientists took around 6,000 photographs, effectively scanning the entire original cave, in order to produce a replica that can be visited by the public, and which offers a nearly identical experience to visiting the original. This new cave simulacrum is a three-dimensional parallel to the Albertina’s Dürers.
Three-dimensional scanning and printing technology now allows for texturally identical reproductions.
So what's an original worth?
"You may recall that I passed this law called the Affordable Care Act to sign people up for health care."
This is from a transcript of President Obama's remarks to the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference in Austin, Texas.  As a highly trained guy in law and government, he certainly knows there is a significant distinction in legislative and executive responsibilities. He did not pass the law, he signed it. Why would he make such a fundamental error?

AAAAAaaaaaaaannnnnnndddddd.......a picture of some signs--with comment--off somewhere:

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