Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cab Thoughts 12/28/16

You can fleece a sheep many times, but you can skin him only once.--anon (and unspoken tax theory)

Marijuana for medical use has been approved in several states and for recreational use in fewer. There are few studies showing efficacy and none showing safety. In fairness, studies are hard because there are a number of chemicals in marijuana. But a lot of money is involved and it is likely that desire will rise above reason and scientific principle.

So....a carbon tax will decrease carbon availability by increasing its price but a raised minimum wage will not decrease work availability by increasing its price?

I took a course mandated by my employer where the essential theme of the course was that everyone was, inherently, a bigot. This course had an exam that, if I did not state that point, I would fail. Everyone I know who took it resented the exam and answered the questions the way they were to be answered. I suppose it is no worse than Freudian parental lust but Freudian parental lust was never a qualification for employment. One can only wonder what kids are taught.

What is...The Mary Celeste?

Walter Williams: "Bill Gates cannot order you to enroll your child in another school in order to promote racial diversity.  He has no power to condemn your house to make way for a casino parking lot.  Unless our elected public officials grant them the power to rip us off, rich people have little power to force us to do anything.  A lowly municipal clerk earning $50,000 a year has far more life-and-death power over us.  It is that type of person to whom we must turn for permission to build a house, ply a trade, open a restaurant and do myriad other activities.  It’s government people, not rich people, who have the power to coerce us and rip us off.  They have the power to make our lives miserable if we disobey."

The odds of picking the correct Powerball grand prize numbers are one in 292,201,338.

Probably inevitable. Most warriors are men, most criminals are men.....The idea is emerging that men are actually a threat, generally, to the world they live in. Colleges are, of course, first to act. At a mandatory freshmen orientation training at Gettysburg College in August, male students had to watch a documentary which stated in part that the “three most destructive words” a boy can hear growing up is “be a man.” The freshmen also went through breakout sessions in which they were told mass shooting sprees are rooted in "toxic masculinity." The “Thrive” club, part of the Claremont colleges consortium which meets as a “safe space” to talk about mental health, advertises that “masculinity can be extremely toxic to our mental health, both to the people who are pressured to preform it and the people who are inevitably influenced by it.” 
We can not defeat an evil without being able to speak its name.

Golden oldie:
Marx must be right; there are clearly unseen forces at work that advance the cause of some cultures, even the staggeringly stupid.   ...
"Individual and societal acclimation to technological change is worthy of serious investigation if for no other reason than it has continuously happened!  And what is most remarkable about this process is that we humans have again and again figured out how to assimilate new technologies into our lives despite how much those technologies disrupted our personal, social, economic, cultural, and legal norms.  We prevailed and prospered."
This is from a book by  Adam Thierer with the  wonderful title, Permissionless Innovation .

Craven:  adj. (but can be a noun) 1. archaic: defeated, vanquished. 2. lacking the least bit of courage :  contemptibly fainthearted. use: a craven refusal to deliver the unwelcome news personally
 ety: middle English "cravant," introduced 13thC. "Craven" suggests extreme defeatism and complete lack of resistance. One might speak of "craven yes-men." "Dastardly" often implies behavior that is both cowardly and treacherous or skulking or outrageous, as in this example: "a dastardly attack on unarmed civilians." "Pusillanimous" suggests a contemptible lack of courage (e.g., "After the attack, one editorialist characterized the witnesses as 'the pusillanimous bystanders'").

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined.

In 1990, those 65 and over comprised 12.5% of the population; now, according to Census Bureau projections, that share is racing toward 16% in 2020 and 19% in 2030. That's one in five Americans. Already, federal spending for older Americans (mainly Social Security, Medicare and nursing home care under Medicaid) dominates the national budget. It's crowding out spending on other programs, from defense to parks, and is the chief source of chronic budget deficits. More, the younger generations are forced to subsidize the medical and retirement costs that the government, in its kindness, offered to support years ago. Is there a better example of taxation without representation?
"We don’t operate on innuendo." These are the sacred words of President Obama.

Krauthammer on our bitter choice: "Two generations of Americans have grown up feeling that international stability is as natural as the air we breathe. It's not. It depends on continual, calibrated tending. It depends on the delicate balancing of alliances and the careful signaling of enemies. It depends on avoiding self-inflicted trade wars and on recognizing the value of allies like Germany, Japan and South Korea as cornerstones of our own security rather than satrapies who are here to dispatch tribute to their imperial master in Washington.
It took seven decades to build this open, free international order. It could be brought down in a single presidential term. That would be a high price to pay for the catharsis of kicking over a table."

When the Clintons decamped from Washington in January 2001, they took some White House furnishings that were public property. They also finished accepting more than $190,000 in gifts, including two coffee tables and two chairs, a $7,375 gratuity from Denise Rich, whose fugitive former husband had been pardoned in President Clinton's final hours. A Washington Post editorial ("Count the Spoons") identified "the Clintons' defining characteristic: They have no capacity for embarrassment. Words like shabby and tawdry come to mind. They don't begin to do it justice." (from Geo. Will's column)

Banks no longer control the mortgage market. They accounted for less than half of the mortgage dollars extended to borrowers during the third quarter. Taking their place are nonbank lenders more willing to make riskier loans banks now shun.

The Mary Celeste was found drifting in the open seas off Gibraltar. Its cargo was untouched, there was plenty of food and water aboard, the personal belongings of passengers and crew were in place but all 10 people vanished and were never heard from again. This true story was adapted in a short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--his first big magazine sale--called "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement," which purported to be an eye-witness account of the gruesome end met by those aboard the mysterious "ghost ship." Dr. Jephson reveals that they were all murdered by African-American cutthroats bound on a racist jihad against all white men; he alone survived because he had just the right sacred jewel in his possession.

A Mark IV, a 10-foot, blimp-shaped nuclear bomb weighing some five tons, went missing over the Pacific during a US air force B-36 training flight on February 13, 1950. A diver thinks he may have found it. ad:


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