Saturday, April 1, 2017


"I have no child for whom I could wish to make a provision-no family to build in greatness upon my Country's ruins." --Washington

The US Office of Management and Budget estimated that it took 9.8 billion man-hours for businesses to complete Federally required paperwork in 2015, up from 7.4 billion man-hours in the year 2000.
There are roughly 25-30 rules issued by agencies for every law passed by Congress. According to the US Office of Management and Budget, the cost of new regulations passed since 1980 are around $250 billion per year. Other estimates are substantially higher: the latest review from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (the most detailed report I have seen on the subject) cites annual regulatory compliance and economic impact costs of $1.8 trillion, which is roughly equal to all personal and corporate income tax collections.

Mermaids, mythical half-female, half-fish creatures, have existed in seafaring cultures at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. Typically depicted as having a woman’s head and torso, a fishtail instead of legs and holding a mirror and comb, mermaids live in the ocean and, according to some legends, can take on a human shape and marry mortal men. Mermaids are closely linked to sirens, another folkloric figure, part-woman, part-bird, who live on islands and sing seductive songs to lure sailors to their deaths.
Mermaid sightings by sailors, when they weren’t made up, were most likely manatees, dugongs or Steller’s sea cows (which became extinct by the 1760s due to over-hunting). Manatees are slow-moving aquatic mammals with human-like eyes, bulbous faces and paddle-like tails. It is likely that manatees evolved from an ancestor they share with the elephant.
Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, reported seeing three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” 

Who is...Ezra Pound?

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama boasted that “over 1,000 Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires.” According to a study done by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (, those trade restrictions forced Americans to pay $1.1 billion in higher prices for tires. So though 1,200 jobs were saved in the U.S. tire industry, the cost per job saved was at least $900,000 in that year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of tire builders in 2011 was $40,070.
In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama claimed that "over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires." The tire tariff case, decided by the president in September 2009, exemplifies his efforts to get China to "play by the rules" and serves


More than 80% of new drug approvals originate from work solely performed in private companies. Note that such drug approvals come on average 16 years after the beginning of clinical trials, which typically cost $2.5 billion from start to finish. Even if grant-subsidized academics wanted to create a new drug, economic reality prevents it.

Ezra Pound lived in Italy for years and became a fan of Mussolini. When El Duce became the Italian leader, Pound did a weekly series of radio broadcasts from Rome during WWII praising Mussolini and denouncing American policy. The broadcasts often became rambling diatribes -- on economic or Jewish conspiracies, for example -- but they were slanderous and offensive enough to get Pound charged with treason, arrested at the end of the war, and confined for weeks at a detention center in Pisa. Pound was sixty, and if something had not snapped before, it did under these conditions -- or so enough psychiatrists believed that he was judged paranoid, unfit for trial and hanging, and confined on the criminally insane ward of St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D. C. for the next twelve years. While incarcerated in Italy, Pound wrote some of his best poetry, and when The Pisan Cantos were published in 1948, during his second year in St. Elizabeths Hospital, it won the Bollingen Prize. The work was fragmented and filled with allusions and classical references--so obtuse sometimes that his jailers on Italy thought them some sort of conspiratorial code.
Art and politics mix poorly.

Golden oldie:
Jury-rig: verb tr.: To assemble or fix temporarily using whatever is at hand. ety: On a sailing ship, a jury-mast is a temporary mast, rigged when the original is damaged or lost. From jury (makeshift or temporary), perhaps from Old French ajurie (help). Earliest documented use: 1840. Usage: “The city does not run power to Bushkoppies, so most residents jury-rig their homes with illegal connections from power lines. But the Segelbergs refuse to wire an illegal connection to their creche, both out of a concern for safety and to teach the children a respect for the law.” Cecilia Johnson; Raising South Africa; Times Live (Johannesburg, South Africa); Jan 13, 2017.

Many [managing agents of New York cooperative apartment buildings] promote arbitration and mediation. This would prevent cases like the recent one in which $130,000 in legal fees were exhausted to decide who should pay for window bars costing $924.~The New York Times, October, 1995

The White House fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates for telling government lawyers not to defend an executive order signed by President Donald Trump suspending immigration from seven countries out of concerns that terrorists from those countries might enter the U.S.
Disobeying national law is not new--or always decried.  Obama was comfortable with sanctuary cities not enforcing immigration law; he was praised by the left and damned by the right. Trump has signed an order allowing the government not to enforce the Mandate in the ACA; he was damn by the left and praised by the right.
There is a hatter and a Queen of Hearts somewhere here.

In 1945, Pvt. Eddie Slovik became the first American soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion-and the only one who suffered such a fate during World War II.

When Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, is asked what he is worried about he usually responds ‘superstition and bureaucracy’, because superstition can obstruct the accumulation of knowledge, and bureaucracy can stop us from applying that knowledge in new technologies and businesses.

The medical journals are worried about the new Trump administration. One little factoid from an article: Betsy DeVos' husband lobbied for teaching intelligent design in science classes.

Homicidal Derangement Syndrome Report:
--Authorities have charged 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette with six counts of first-degree murder for the shooting at the mosque in Quebec City.
--The nine-eleven murderers hung out in strip clubs. The Paris attackers ran a notorious dive bar that was shut down for drug violations. 
Here's an interesting little idea on terrorists from Nichols: "These young men are fueled by the most intense kind of hatred there is: self-hatred. ... Would-be jihadis lash out at Western society not because they hate it so much, but because they love it so much. They hate us for who we are, and hate themselves for their addiction to a culture and all of its pleasures—sex, drugs, music—they’ve been told are the basest of sins. Too weak to resist the temptations of life among us, they hope that by destroying the source of the sins that tempt them, they will find redemption."
Guilt-ridden Westerners attacked by guilt-ridden Islamists? If that is true, how can they be accommodated? Indeed, who should accommodate whom?

This entire term looks as if it is going to be dominated by righteous indignation. This Supreme Court nominee will likely have his life wrecked over it. I never got over the terrible impression politics made on me when Bork was nominated. Perhaps this needs to occur every generation just to remind us of how selfish and insincere these politicians are. The Democrats will insist they were done wrong by the last Obama appointment that never was considered and they are right. So the anger, resentment and indignation will continue to be handed on like a baton. Or an illness.

Skipping breakfast or eating late in the day could raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity according to a new study.
The researchers reviewed other current scientific studies concerning breakfast and heart disease and found that those who eat breakfast daily are less likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, while those who skip breakfast and instead snack and graze throughout the day are more likely to be obese, have poor nutrition, or be diagnosed with diabetes.
Construct in your mind how such a study would have to be done.

Continuing in the theme of totally subjective studies, a study by researchers at the University of Auckland, due for publication in the March issue of the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, showed people with depression could see their condition improve if they adopt an upright posture

Ah, when ideology meets expertise. Brazil’s largest criminal organization is recruiting among Colombia’s once-powerful rebel group, FARC,  for heavy-weapons and other expertise to help expand its hold over Latin America’s drug trade, investigators and officials say.

Studies have shown that gamers do better in the step to laparoscopic surgery than do non-gamers. (speed, efficiency, non-dominant hand) Interestingly, low tech gamers do as well as high tech.

In The Fix, Jonathan Tepperman discusses the success of several leaders with specific national problems and tries to find a common thread. His conclusion: Pragmatism works. Set aside the moralizing and start from the problems. He argues that the leaders who stuck rigorously to this approach initially faced intense criticism; pragmatism is guaranteed to offend the ideologues of every persuasion and they are the people who dominate the media. An identity of being “on the Left” has been a lazy way of feeling morally superior; an identity of being “on the Right” has been a lazy way of feeling intellectually superior. Default to pragmatism: what is called "the hard center."
Except lack of principles is not the center of Left and Right, it is nothing more than their absence. That is why this is so hard.

AAAAAAaaaaaaannnnnndddddddddd.......a graph of the outcome of startups:

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