Tuesday Open Thread

dying-societies

Outgoing President Barack Obama set a new record with just two months remaining until his departure from the White House by putting his regulatory footprint on virtually every facet of American life – through 527 pages of new rules and regulations.

By adding more than 500 pages of new restrictions on Americans’ way of life and the way they do business, the Obama administration increased the total of this years’ rules to 81,640 – a one year total that is unprecedented, as no other sitting president has ever impressed this number of limitations on American citizens since the nation’s founding … more than two centuries ago.

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80 thoughts on “Tuesday Open Thread

  1. Third!

    Hurry and get well Shannon, your turn to serve beer tomorrow night.

    Awesome quote in the OP, very true.

  2. I contracted some of that east Texas crud while running around over the holiday too. Not completely bed ridden yet, but I can feel it creeping down the back of my throat headed for my lungs. Ugh.

  3. I came across this on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation site. Two weeks before Justin Trudeau became the laughingstock of the world for praising Dead Castro*, he managed to infuriate all the Asian expats in Canada.

    He’s an idiot, Obama-Lite, and when a Canadian economist was interviewed on CBC about Trudeau renegotiating NAFTA with Trump, he said something like – Oh my God, we’re screwed, it’s like Godzilla against Bambi !!!

    Members of the Asian-Canadian community are demanding an apology from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, following his comments on Thursday expressing admiration for China’s “basic dictatorship.”

    A round table of people from China, Taiwan, Tibet and Korea — all of whom say they suffered at the hands of China’s dictatorship — said they were insulted by Trudeau’s remarks, made on Thursday at a women’s event.

    *I propose all Americans now refer to the Cuban dictator only as Dead Castro…it has such a nice ring to it.

  4. The state of academic scientific research across the world today.

    Why Fake Data When You Can Fake a Scientist

    Hoss Cartwright, a former editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Innovations and Research, had a good excuse for missing the 5th World Congress on Virology last year: He doesn’t exist. Burkhard Morgenstern, a professor of bioinformatics at the University of Gottingen, dreamt him up, and built a nice little scientific career for him. He wrote Cartwright a Curriculum Vitae, describing his doctorate in Studies of Dunnowhat, his rigorous postdoctoral work at Some Shi**y Place in the Middle of Nowhere, and his experience as Senior Cattle Manager at the Ponderosa Institute for Bovine Research. Cartwright never published a single research paper, but he was appointed to the editorial boards of five journals. Apparently, no one involved in the application processes remembered the television show Bonanza, or the giant but amiable cowboy named “Hoss” who was played by actor Dan Blocker. Despite Cartwright’s questionable credentials, he was invited to speak at several meetings such as the 5th World Congress on Virology—typically a mark of recognition as an expert.

    and get this,

    Here’s how “citation stuffing” rings work: If I cite you in exchange for citing me, someone—perhaps a reader, perhaps a machine—will pick up on that fairly easily. But if I create a ring of authors, and I agree to cite you, then you agree to cite Professor B, and then she agrees to cite Professor C, and on down the line until Professor Z cites me, it’s much more difficult to detect. And then there are journals that ask authors to cite previous papers in their issues, to bulk up their metrics, much of which are based on citations. Every year, Thomson Reuters has delisted a number of journals—a serious punishment—for excessive self-citation.

  5. Exposed – one of the biggest lies perpetuated for 57 years around the world.

    Cuba was one of the world’s richest countries before Castro destroyed it—and the wealth wasn’t just in the hands of a tiny elite. “Contrary to the myth spread by the revolution,” wrote Alfred Cuzan, a professor of political science at the University of West Florida, “Cuba’s wealth before 1959 was not the purview of a privileged few. . . . Cuban society was as much of a middle-class society as Argentina and Chile.” In 1958, Cuba had a higher per-capita income than much of Europe. “More Americans lived in Cuba prior to Castro than Cubans lived in the United States,” Cuban exile Humberto Fontova, author of a series of books about Castro and Guevara, tells me. “This was at a time when Cubans were perfectly free to leave the country with all their property. In the 1940s and 1950s, my parents could get a visa for the United States just by asking. They visited the United States and voluntarily returned to Cuba. More Cubans vacationed in the U.S. in 1955 than Americans vacationed in Cuba. Americans considered Cuba a tourist playground, but even more Cubans considered the U.S. a tourist playground.” Havana was home to a lot of that prosperity, as is evident in the extraordinary classical European architecture that still fills the city. Poor nations do not—cannot—build such grand or elegant cities.


    Excellent article on Cuban history by Michael J. Totten at City Journal.

  6. Of all the Bible translations, I always come back to Douay Rheims as my favorite.

    Psalm 136 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

    136 Upon the rivers of Babylon, there we sat and wept: when we remembered Sion:
    2 On the willows in the midst thereof we hung up our instruments.
    3 For there they that led us into captivity required of us the words of songs. And they that carried us away, said: Sing ye to us a hymn of the songs of Sion.
    4 How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a strange land?
    5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten.
    6 Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee: If I make not Jerusalem the beginning of my joy.
    7 Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom, in the day of Jerusalem: Who say: Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
    8 O daughter of Babylon, miserable: blessed shall he be who shall repay thee thy payment which thou hast paid us.
    9 Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock.

  7. 14 Texpat

    I have Cuban cousins whose father fled during the revolution. He has always testified to the same thing. Whenever I brought this up to Stalinists they always claim my story is anecdotal and the ravings of a bitter elitist who lost everything. Uncle Mario knows better. The truth will begin to emerge now but Leftists will continue to deny it.

  8. J.C. Carlton at The Arts Mechanical does a fine job on the history of ocean shipping vessels, the innovation of the shipping containers by trucker Malcolm McLean and the monumental transformation it began. Houston and Newark were the first 2 ports on that cutting edge of history.

    The Ideal X was first loaded on April 26, 1956, at a small terminal in Port Newark, New Jersey, which at the time was a marginal facility. The vessel then sailed to Houston, with 58 thirty-three-foot containers. Illustrating just how transformative McLean’s innovation was, Port Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, are now home to the largest container facilities in the Port of New York and New Jersey. The advent of containerization sped the end of cargo handling at piers in Manhattan, which then was the center of the port’s activity.

    and,

    Another shot of the loading of the Ideal X shows its deck, which was placed on top of the tanker’s piping. McLean’s idea was to carry oil on the backhaul from Houston, but this idea was quickly abandoned as he concentrated on moving containers. To secure the containers, which had been reinforced internally to handle the stress of seagoing transport, the containers were designed with steel pegs that fit into openings on the ship’s spar deck. Less than two years later, this securing system was replaced with twistlocks and cell guides when McLean’s company refitted conventional freighters into the first cellular container ships.

  9. RE: #17

    It was only two years after the film, On the Waterfront, depicting the mob violence, racketeering, massive theft and extortion of the docks along the New Jersey shore that former truck driver McLean loaded some containers on a converted oil tanker and began the massive transformation created by container shipping. It effected every corner of American life and did more than all the law enforcers could ever do to get the mobsters off the US docks.

  10. People demonstrating at North Dakota’s Access Pipeline protest have expressed frustration at white demonstrators who are reportedly turning up to “colonise” the camp.

    Concerns have been raised by protestors on social media, who claim that people are arriving at the Standing Rock demonstration for the “cultural experience” and treating it like Burning Man festival.

    I have no words…

  11. I bought a small 4 foot tree at Big Lots last week, since I had nixed this year’s huge family Christmas shindig due to conflicts with New Year’s Eve. The idea of avoiding have the Harpies in my homes was a secondary, though satisfying, reason as well. Hubby still wants to have some kind of get together, though, so our kids and their families for sure, and my two eldest sisters (for whom I have gifts) and hubbies possibly, will be invited for a pared down shindig. Maybe one of my brothers and his wife. I originally wasn’t planning to put up the usual tree; it’s really at minimum a two person job. Hubby has never really gotten in to the tree thing, and I didn’t want to tackle it by myself. The idea of not having a tree while inviting guests over just didn’t sit well with me…so I bought a small tree.

    I met with some gal friends last night, and around 9:30 we were talking about my new tree. One of them had been thinking about getting a smaller tree, so I suggested we head over to Big Lots and their extended hours. At 9:30, I think we were just about the only shoppers in the store. The 3 of us headed for the trees and discussed the pros and cons of each one, then meandered through the store, cuddling the soft throws and blankets, examining the kitchen gadgets (and I was doing a little impromptu prop comedy with them), and then I needed a hook for a project I was working on. This necessitated a trip to the farthest corner of the store, which took us a good 30 minutes to do, as we took the longest possible route as we examined other Christmas decorations (which was the first item in the basket, for one of them). We reached the tools and gadgets, and I had the second item in the basket. Finally, a 3rd item was added and we were finally ready to check out, just before the closing hour of 11:00 pm. The tree buyer will be returning with her hubby today to close the deal on a tree and maybe one other item.

    Good times. We had a lot of fun just talking.

    Guys just won’t get it.

  12. 4 ELG

    I guess I’m fortunate that there hasn’t been any respiratory problem with this illness. Nor any nausea like Tedtam endured. Yesterday at work my joints started aching and my ribcage felt like someone had worked it over with a bat. I was awake most of the night and I think the fever broke about 5 this morning.
    Weird.

  13. 22 Super Dave

    This is what happens in a wealthy civilization more enamored with credentials than actual skills and talents.

  14. 21 – South Texas needs more lawyers so that they can sue more. One of the worst locations to get into an automobile accident. – Especially trucking…insurance companies are getting out of the trucking insurance business (AIG/Zurich) because of the spike in super high awards. They are unable to adequately price to account for $30MM awards. WSJ had an article on this in mid-Oct. Certainly hurts my smaller trucking accts.

  15. Shannon –

    Hoping the end of the fever was the end of the illness!

    I ran a fever after I finally emptied my stomach, the fever lasted almost until the next morning. My stomach still felt sour for the next few days.

  16. Can we expel them?

    HEADLINE: If At First You Don’t Secede: Another wacky comedy is being produced in California
    The desperation to escape Trump is ratcheting up in California:

    “Should California become a free, sovereign, and independent country?”
    The question could appear on a statewide ballot in 2018 if a group of secessionists has its way.
    Yes California has been pushing for the state to break away from the United States and become its own country for several years.
    Marcus Evans, the vice president of Yes California, filed a proposed ballot measure with the Attorney General’s Office on Monday that would appear on the November 2018 gubernatorial ballot.
    “We always thought that if we just connected with the people who thought about this, but didn’t tell their friends and family because they would be seen as kooky and weird, that the quiet population would become vocal,” Evans said. “If you don’t want to support our suggestion, that’s fine. Let’s just have the conversation and discuss the facts.”
    Yes California’s plan to secede is a long shot.
    The measure aimed at the 2018 ballot attempts to strike language from the California Constitution that says the state is “an inseparable part of the United States of America, and the United States Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” It also asks voters if they want to secede from the country.
    If voters approve the measure, it would establish a special election in March 2019 to ask voters again if they want California to become an independent country, Yes California wrote in a ballot measure filing.

    Great idea. If they wait a little longer they might be able to write their Declaration of Independence on the back of a debt default notice. I’m thinking Jill Stein would be the perfect person to lead the progressives’ newly established anarcho-syndicalism.
    An independent California would probably be the shortest running comedy ever produced in the state. Maybe it could at least serve as the inspiration for a wacky sitcom: If At First You Don’t Secede.

    One of the commenters stated that 1/3 of the welfare liability would leave with Californicatia. I’m trying to see a downside here, struggling in fact.

  17. If California wants to leave, I’m all for it, provided the following rules are followed:

    1) If you decide to move there, get your hand stamped on the way out of the U.S., ‘cuz you ain’t coming back. If you move into California after the secession and come back, you are denied welfare benefits and the right to vote for 10 years.

    2) When Calination is writhing in economic agony, we aren’t bailing them out. You break it, you bought it.

    3) Of course, when they exit, they take their electoral votes with them.

    4) The northern, more conservative part of California also gets to choose if they want to secede or stay. Any Californian has 1 year to arrange to move their lives to another part of the U.S. if they don’t want to be part of the secession.

  18. 620,000 soldiers answered the question about 150 years ago. One nation, under God, indivisible. Short of a Soviet Union style collapse we’re bound together for better or worse.

  19. In my informal survey of Atlanta Hartsfield airport, 99.9% of all employees are black. I have no complaints, they’re all quite courteous, but the dearth of crackas is obvious.

  20. 31 Hamous

    It’s striking, isn’t it ? I noticed the same thing passing through there. It’s a lousy airport, as bad as DFW for a hub facility, but the food there sure beat a lot of other airports.

  21. #30: With all due respect, that makes the created (the United States) greater than the creators (the SOVEREIGN STATES) and this can not be so. That is analagous to saying that man is now greater than G-D; this can never be. I submit that an Article V constitutional convention would allow those states that wished to leave to do so.

  22. The same as God vs man? Absurd. It’s just different levels of man’s organization. The only thing a convention could do is propose an amendment for the states to ratify. There is no constitutional mechanism for secession. Look up Texas v White.

  23. 33 BC

    This writer believes it is possible and yet admits it is extralegal. His conclusion seems to be it should be left open, but never tried, the looming threat impetus towards correct action. He begins by outlining Justices who did not believe it is allowed constitutionally.

    Scalia is not the first Supreme Court justice to establish this position. In the case of Texas v. White in 1869, Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase wrote that, “The union between Texas and the other states was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original states. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.” The majority opinion struck down the Texas Ordinance of Secession, calling it “null,” and crafted a decision that rendered all acts of secession illegal according to the “perpetual union” of both the Articles of Confederation and subsequent Constitution for the United States. Chase did leave an opening, “revolution or the consent of the States,” but without either, secession could never be considered a legal act.

    The arguments against legal secession are generally based on both a historical concept of the Union and the language of the Constitution itself. In the Texas v. White decision, Chase began his legal challenge to secession with a historical discussion of the Union. He suggested that the Union predated the states and grew from a common kindred spirit during the years leading to the American War for Independence. This “one people” mentality was best articulated by Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story in his famous Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.

    These guys are undecided on the question:

    As it turns out, the question ended up not being litigated in the Supreme Court —as would usually be done when states challenge federal law — but fought over for five bloody years.

    Neff:

    In 1871, Justice Joseph P. Bradley of the federal Supreme Court pronounced it to have been “definitely and forever overthrown.” What Justice Bradley tactfully left unmentioned was that overthrow had taken place on the fields of battle rather than in the panelled rooms of courts or legislatures. The question of the nature of the federal Union, in event, proved to be neither a judicial nor a political question, but a military one.

    Like Hamous said, it’s been resolved with blood and treasure in my opinion.

  24. 34 Hamous

    Yes.

    The reason secession is considered “extralegal” is because the federal government would have no say or standing in such a process nor would it choose to seek one.

  25. I submit that an Article V constitutional convention would allow those states that wished to leave to do so.

    Keep up that kind of talk and there will never be a convention.

  26. 38 Shannon

    That’s for sure. The other 49 states will never ratify a secession amendment for fear Texans will secede and take their oil and gas with them. Those 75 billion barrels under the Permian are something for them to think about. Besides, if Texas were to secede, Oklahoma and Louisiana would want to go along too.

  27. #34, 35:

    He suggested that the Union predated the states and grew from a common kindred spirit during the years leading to the American War for Independence.

    This “suggestion” is absurd on its face. The Declaration describes when the separation must take place: when the rulers stop heeding the wishes of the ruled, when they cease acting on the consent of the citizens. The Constitution and the Union it formed was written decades after the various states were firmly established, therefore the Union could not have predated the states.

    Chase did leave an opening, “revolution or the consent of the States,” but without either, secession could never be considered a legal act.

    How many States must consent? Is it 50% + 1 State, 3/5ths, this is not defined. I suggest that it can not be a unanamous requirement as there is no other such requirement in the Constitution.

  28. If you ever needed one place to go to backup your climate change skepticism, here it is.

    This volume, like past NIPCC reports, is edited and published by the staff of The Heartland Institute, a national nonprofit research and educational organization newly relocated from Chicago to suburban Arlington Heights, Illinois. It is based on a chapter in a forthcoming much larger examination of the climate change debate to be titled Climate Change Reconsidered II: Benefits and Costs of Fossil Fuels. That volume will finish the three-volume Climate Change Reconsidered II series, totaling some 3,000 pages and reporting the findings of more than 4,000 peer-reviewed articles on climate change.

  29. Article V

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths thereof, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress….

    I would assert, as have others before me, the U.S. Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  30. HEADLINE: California regulates cow farts
    /snip
    Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when they belch, pass gas and make manure.

    “If we can reduce emissions of methane, we can really help to slow global warming,” said Ryan McCarthy, a science adviser for the California Air Resources Board, which is drawing up rules to implement the new law.

    Livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions, with beef and dairy production accounting for the bulk of it, according to a 2013 United Nations report.

    Other than the bold part being unproven and most likely complete BS, how do they propose forcing cows fart less? The obvious result is that the dairies will leave the state and the ranchers may do so as will, if able. I suggest that We, as sentient, intelligent people, refuse to sell any beef or dairy to California and let them eat tofu.

  31. Somehow I never got around to sayin’ HI Y’ALL this morning. But I have kept up, in between stints of decorating. Now naptime.

  32. 27

    Yep I saw that he picked her.

    I’m starting to wonder just a bit about how you are going to drain the swamp if you’re filling it back up with the same gators.

    Time will tell.

    Maybe with that pick he’ll be able to leverage the boneless Kentucky Gobbler to use the nuclear option to get some wins.

  33. phil says:
    NOVEMBER 29, 2016 AT 4:15 PM
    27

    Yep I saw that he picked her.

    I’m starting to wonder just a bit about how you are going to drain the swamp if you’re filling it back up with the same gators.

    Time will tell.

    Maybe with that pick he’ll be able to leverage the boneless Kentucky Gobbler to use the nuclear option to get some wins.

    Actually, its more likely payback for getting GOPe backing to get Cruz out of the race—because he would really do what everybody thought Trump would do with that swamp——-

  34. Fever came back with a vengeance after lunchtime.
    Neighbor is picking me up some Tamiflu on her way home from work.

  35. Besides, if Texas were to secede, Oklahoma and Louisiana would want to go along too.

    Don’t forget New Mexico. We would have to have them as well. The rest of what remains will then be a culinary wasteland.

  36. #51: I don’t recall seeing that word or concept in the Declaration or the Constitution; only in the Pledge.

  37. 56 Hamous

    What delicacies is Oklahoma known for…?

    I can remember missing a couple of flights back to Texas from Tulsa and OKC distracted by delectable and hospitable natives there.

  38. Oklahoma’s highest value crop is Hay & Alfalfa.
    They can feed our horses.
    And provide a pretty nice barrier to Kansas.

  39. 60 Shannon

    I had a boss in the auction business 40 years ago who said the problem with people from Kansas is they always look like they need a bath.

    Of course, he was from Oklahoma, half Chickasaw, half Scottish and totally crazy.

  40. I don’t recall seeing that word or concept in the Declaration or the Constitution; only in the Pledge.

    Yeah, you’re right. It’s just a silly poem. I don’t know why they call it a pledge. It’s more like Kumbaya.

    One place you WON’T find the word or concept “secession” is in the Constitution, that antiquated old parchment we probably shouldn’t worry about either.

  41. The concept is real simple: if the states created the entity called the federal government then upon sufficient majority they can disolve it. Like Texpat said, it ain’t a suicide pact.

  42. 66 BC

    The sovereign people, citizens of the newly formed United States of America formed the Union, not the thirteen original states. The states didn’t form jack.

    It’s called a republic – not a democracy. A democracy can commit its own suicide without much trouble or deliberation. Republics do not.

    Antonin Scalia said, “The Constitution is not a suicide pact”, and I agree with him. You’re confused about the concept.

  43. Yet American factories actually make more stuff than they ever have, and at a lower cost. Manufacturing accounts for more than a third of U.S. economic output — making it the largest sector of the economy. From that perspective, it’s hard to argue that American manufacturing today is anything but a success. The issue is that the fortunes of factories themselves and of manufacturing workers have diverged, as Muro’s chart below shows. U.S. factories now manufacture twice as much as they did in 1984, with one-third fewer workers, according to the Federal Reserve.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/28/theres-a-big-reason-trump-might-not-be-able-to-keep-his-promise-on-jobs/

  44. #55 goats

    Don’t forget New Mexico. We would have to have them as well.

    Nuts, New Mexico is a blue state. If we leave, we don’t want them.

  45. Nuts, the cuisine cannot be parted with when we secede. There are not that many of them. Everybody has a price, they must be persuaded.

  46. 69 mh42

    We need a buffer zone to the west and once New Mexico secedes, all the hippies and hipsters in Santa Fe will flee to California. The meth freaks and weirdos in Albuquerque will be easy to run out of state.

  47. #70, #71
    Let me put it this way: New Mexico is a dark blue state. It can’t just be a few junkies and weirdos. When everybody votes Dimocrat, there is something wrong with those people. Can’t you just import/hire/kidnap a few chefs for whatever their cuisine is?

  48. Okay. I’m sixty one years old and not one single time has anyone said to me they
    go to New Friggin Mexico for some kind of special cuisine.

  49. We got Louisiana cuisine, Texas beef & Texmex, and Oklahoma alfalfa.

    New Mexico is going to have to come across with a lot more than the desert and Taos.

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