Thursday, February 9, 2017


There is no place for dogma in science.--J. Robert Oppenheimer

American poet Marianne Moore contracted to provide to the Ford Motor Company a name for the new car they were about to launch. Moore was almost a cult figure in America during the 50s and 60s, known as much for her love of baseball (sometimes throwing the first pitch) and prize fights (sometimes dining with Cassius Clay), as for her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry.
Ford wanted was a car name that "flashes a dramatically desirable picture in people's minds," from a woman who seemed to know mainstream America. What they got was "Anticipator," "Thunder Crester," "Pastelogram," "Intelligent Whale," "The Resilient Bullet," "Mongoose Civique," "Andante con Moto," "Varsity Stroke" and then, as her very last try for the name magic, "Utopian Turtletop."
Ford demurred and defaulted to an ad company that offered 18,000 names. These were winnowed down to a precious few, "Corsair" "Citation" "Ranger" and "Pacer," but, in the end,  Ford returned to its better, much earlier idea: the Edsel.

Trump's favorability ratings are really high--for him--at 50%. Not as high as Obama's 58%--but up certainly.

Trump attended the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore, a tradition for presidents — actual, sitting presidents — stretching back to Teddy Roosevelt. And Army won for the first time in 15 years. HHHmmmm.
Who is....Tilly Smith?
A comment on Trump's Carrier deal: "The Republican Party now shares one of progressivism’s defining aspirations — government industrial policy, with the political class picking winners and losers within, and between, economic sectors. This always involves the essence of socialism..." (Will). The Sanders people must be thrilled with him.
"But of course helping capitalists is not to be equated with helping capitalism. If the virtues of the market order stem from the knowledge generated by free competition, then there is no surer way to threaten this system than by subsidizing selected competitors." (Lavois)
The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.
"This is a big deal," says Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill who was not involved in the new analysis.
"There's not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy," he says. "The fact that it's leveling off in the U.S. is a striking finding."
An attempted hack into Georgia's voter registration database was traced back to the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal reported.
McCloskey on the cause of the explosion in wealth in the West which she attributes to middle class liberty and dignity, not materialism or exploitation. "It is so big, so unprecedented, the Great Fact, that it's impossible to see it as coming out of routine causes such as trade or exploitation or investment or imperialism. That's what economists are good at explaining: routine. Yet all the routines had occurred on a big scale in China and the Ottoman Empire, in Rome and South Asia. Slavery was common in the Middle East, trade was large in India, investment in Chinese canals and Roman roads was immense. Yet no Great Fact happened.
Something must be deeply wrong with explanations of the usual economic sort. In other words, depending exclusively on economic materialism to explain the modern world, whether left-wing historical materialism or right-wing economics, is mistaken. Ideas of human dignity and liberty did the trick. As the economic historian Joel Mokyr puts it, "economic change in all periods depends, more than most economists think, on what people believe." The gigantic material changes were the outcome, not the cause. It was ideas, or "rhetoric," that caused our enrichment, and with it our modern liberties."
The Japanese are said to be investing up to 50 billion dollars in this country's small businesses. Everyone seems thrilled. But doesn't investments from a foreign country into our country contribute to the trade deficit? Doesn't Trump hate that? So shouldn't it be bad?
Golden Oldie:
The goods that we now import from China we import from China for a sound economic reason – namely, the prices that we pay for these Chinese-assembled goods are the lowest prices available.  If Trump’s economic policies artificially block Americans’ access to such goods from China, the prices we will pay for similar goods “produced here or somewhere else” will be higher than are the prices we pay now.  Americans’ real wages and standards of living will fall.--Bordeux
According to leaked documents released by Edward Snowden, British intelligence spied on Israeli diplomats and military officials in 2008 and 2009, warning that "the Israelis constitute a true threat to regional security, notably because of the country’s position on the Iran issue."
Somebody called the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit research organization (which means they deduct their dinners), reports “the top 1 percent of farm subsidy recipients received 26 percent of subsidy payments between 1995 and 2014.” The group’s analysis of government farm-subsidy data also found that the “top 20 percent of subsidy recipients received 91 percent of all subsidy payments.” Fifty members of the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans have received farm subsidies, according to the group, including David Rockefeller Sr. and Charles Schwab.
Tilly Smith was 10 years old when she went with her parents  and her younger sister to Thailand for a holiday in December, 2004. She had, coincidentally, studied tsunamis with her geography teacher, Andrew Kearney, shortly before taking the trip. On the beach she watched the waves suddenly begin to recede. She warned her mother, Penny, that the beach was about to be struck by a tsunami. Mrs Smith and her husband, Colin, from Oxshott, Surrey, alerted other holidaymakers and hotel staff and scores of people were cleared from Maikhao beach at Phuket. It is estimated that she saved about one hundred people.
This is interesting. Trump's team has submitted a list of 65 questions requesting information on everything from how to keep aging nuclear plants online to a list of employees and contractors that attended the United Nations climate meetings.
When arguing the risks of leadership one can always fall back on Caligula and his appointing a horse as consul. It works both ways. Caligula was nuts or he thought consuls worthless. Except, he apparently didn't--at least appoint a horse. The information is from Suetonius who actually said, “it is said that he had marked down his horse to be consul.” Vague and hearsay. And maybe a confirmation of choice number 2. But, whatever the background, according to Mary Beard there is no horse on the consular lists ever.
Friedman calls Trumps advisors and cabinet appointees "the Star Wars bar of extremists and nut cases."
Bovarism: noun: A romanticized, unrealistic view of oneself. ety: From Emma Bovary, the title character in Gustave Flaubert’s 1857 novel Madame Bovary. Earliest documented use: 1902. USAGE:
“My own introduction to bovarism came courtesy of a boy called Bob Miller, two years above me at college, who enjoyed pretending that he was a horny-handed scion of the Tyneside proletariat and justified views on any social question with the refrain: ‘Ah’m more wukkin’ class than thee’ (his cover was eventually blown by an admissions tutor who pointed out that under ‘father’s profession’ on his UCAS form were the fatal words ‘company director’).”
D.J. Taylor; Picking at the Carrion; The Independent on Sunday (London, UK); Jul 5, 2009.
I am astounded that the liberal press has not yet figured out a way to write "Trump" as "'Rump."

Dickens, Tolstoy, Tolkien, Jane Austen. Virginia Woolf, Kipling’s “Kim” and the “Jungle Books.” “Islandia.” Keats, Yeats, A. E. Housman. These are books and writers that the remarkable Ursala Le Guin re-reads. She says re-readability is a good way to gauge the quality of writers--but no way to judge the quality of readers.

Iceland's Interior Minister revealed details of a time the Obama administration "sent a planeload of FBI agents to Iceland seeking our cooperation in what I understood as an operation set up to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks."
52% of thirty year olds make more than their parents did at their age. Good, huh? But it was 92% in the 1970s.
The average regulatory wait-time  to add a runway at the Pittsburgh airport is 15 years.
AAAaaaannnnnndddddd......a picture of Tilly Smith:

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