01/29 Open Thread: January 29 is Curmudgeons' Day, thank you very much

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Men of the community of Pie Town, New Mexico eating at the barbeque  (LOC)

Kindly Reduce Expectations
1958 Edsel Bermuda Station Wagon.

We are getting ready to head out on yet another multi-week adventure in the near future. This means that I need to write, post and schedule a whole bunch of OTs for the period of my absence, as well as some to bridge the gap between now and the start date. This means, among other things, that you shuldn't expect too much from them and will need to provide content as well as commentary yourselves (as if you don't already, heh). So, here we go ...

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This is also the anniversary of the first use of federal troops to suppress a labor dispute. They were called out for that purpose in 1834 by Andy Jackson.

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It is "Freethinkers Day" which is perhaps why the Rubics cube was introduced on this day in 1980. It was introduced in London, no doubt because the US was already well down the road to being an evidence free society, willing to buy anything on faith if it were repeated enough.

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This is the 15th anniversary of GWB's "Axis of Evil" speech, wherein, if you listen closely you can hear the US President declare war on 3 specified nations plus anybody else who falls into the "If you're not with us then you are against us" horseshit descriptum with nary a complaint or even a whimper fom the House, Senate, of the vast majority ot the populace.

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BUZZQUOTE of the week (as I write, heh) " rational human beings should be treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else." Kant, of course

ODDS & ENDS

single payer

Hey, surprise, single payer will save money. ( https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/single-payer-systems-likely-... ) I don't know how much I really need to go into this, because it isn't a very long article. It also links the full study in PLOS|Medicine: ( https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1... )

To estimate what would happen if the United States adopted a single-payer system, researchers from UCSF, UCLA and UC Berkeley examined 22 economic analyses by government, business and academic organizations of national and state-level single payer plans, including proposals made in Massachusetts, California, Maryland, Vermont, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New York and Oregon.
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The researchers found that 19 of the 22 models predicted net savings in the first year after implementation, averaging 3.5 percent of total healthcare spending.

and

The researchers found that the economic models that were supported by left-leaning funders or that were done by academics found slightly larger net savings. But analyses supported by more conservative funders or performed outside of academia still predicted single-payer systems would yield savings.

“This means that across the political spectrum, there is near consensus among these economists that a single-payer system would save money,” said Christopher Cai, a third-year medical student at UCSF and the study’s first author. “Replacing private insurance with a public system is essential to achieving these savings.”

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So, I'm going to note the dissatisfaction with silicon valley, and all things related thereto that is growing in this country, but I intend a deeper dive at some later date. Hence:Noted. Heh. So SLATE published an EEEEvil list, titled "The Evil List" right here: ( https://slate.com/technology/2020/01/evil-list-tech-companies-dangerous-... ) I gave it a quick skim, it warrants at least that, and Palantir is on there, along with Oracle, M$, etc. But lower down on the list are some scary shit and, not mentioned at all is shit like StingRay technology, developed, manufactured and marketed by Harris Corp, whomever they might be. Why not? Is it a question of scope, or breadth, or what? For whatever reason there is an evil list, and today's is presented for your viewing pleasure. Iirc, it isn't really loaded with private equity firms, like Apollo Global Management Inc which is the target of a piece in Bloomberg Businessweek ((Nobody Makes Money Like Apollo’s Ruthless Founder Leon Black - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-01-16/nobody-makes-money-li...)), but tech companies. Considering the source of the article on Appollo, which I didn't read, it might be praise and promotion, for all I know - I didn't read it, it just popped up. (Bloomberg has made much of his success and wealth, leading to the question of whether he horribly exploited his workers, or horribly ripped off his customers; nobody gets really, really rich quick without doing one or the other.)

So, with that in the bank, cast your eyes upon this: The Silicon Valley Economy Is Here. And It’s a Nightmare. ( https://newrepublic.com/article/156202/silicon-valley-economy-here-its-n... ) It is a short quick read about a dystopian future that is, sadly enough, already here here (thanks, Gertrude). The subhead says it well: Low pay, soaring rents, and cities littered with e-scooters. Welcome to the future. But, out of nowhere, up steps The Guardian, assist to Cory Doctorow, with The case for ... cities that aren't dystopian surveillance states ( https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2020/jan/17/the-case-for-cities-where... ) Especially the bit about you being the sensor and not the being sensed. A good article and a good vision, if it can be brought about. Failing that, we are stuck with massive surveillance amid a sea of squat, blocky, ugly tiresomely uninventive mid rise stick framed buildings such as those discussed in this article Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same -
Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.
( https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-america-s-new-apartment-buildings... ) It is a reprint from Bloomberg Businessweek and, of course, does not fail to note that there is a good side and some good potential to this who sea of dormitory style building washing across the landscape, and maybe there is, but I see it as soul crushing aesthetic pollution myself.

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I envisioned a slick segue out of that, but it just isn't there, lost, no doubt, in the flood of stucco and brick. At any rate, The Guardian has put another oar in, with an article titled https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2020/jan/15/the-case-for-making-low-t... that actually, I think, ran before their one on making smart cities into our servants instead of our masters. It may be found here ( https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2020/jan/15/the-case-for-making-low-t... ) And YES, of course there is a lot of merit in such an idea. Old tech is organic and organically integrated, the fruit of attempts to live symbiotically off of the land. (Simply stripping the land leaves one displaced, a nomad, forever afoot and afield). Examples of admirable old-tech are given and things are extrapolated from there. One can see that, carefully and cleverly done, new tech can be brought to the support of old tech without supplanting it to create a synergic synthesis that would enable an enhanced symbiosis with gaia and all of its life forms and support systems. A dream, and probably a pipe dream, but something different and worthy of consideration, especially if it served humans and not vice-versa.

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What, may I ask, is more old tech than simply squatting in the dirt? We not long ago saw a major push for standing desks, and I cannot help but now wonder what a squatting desk would look like. Why? Because some think it should become something of a thing, that it is good for the body, and not merely good for us, but arguably the way that the body is supposed to work. (If that is true, I cannot help but wonder, would it not be good for the mind and psyche as well?) Quartz published an article in 2017 - The Forgotten Art of Squatting Is a Revelation for Bodies Ruined by Sitting ( https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-forgotten-art-of-squatting-is-a-r... ) that is on point here, After reading it, I find myself tempted to ease into occasional short-time squatting, remembering much younger days when I spent many hours doing so here and there out of lack of a reasonable substitute. I so far have not essayed to try out of fear of what my ankles and knees would say on the way down and back and especially, the ankles, while down there. Yet, is is allegedly good for one and I can see how that could easily be so. Here, in a nutshell, as presented by the author, is the dilemma:

A healthy musculoskeletal system doesn’t just make us feel lithe and juicy, it also has implications for our wider health. A 2014 study in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that test subjects who showed difficulty getting up off the floor without support of hands, or an elbow, or leg (what’s called the “sitting-rising test”) resulted in a three-year-shorter life expectancy than subjects who got up with ease.

versus

It comes down to a simple matter of “use it or lose it,” says Dr. Bahram Jam, a physical therapist and founder of the Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (APTEI) in Ontario, Canada.

“Every joint in our body has synovial fluid in it. This is the oil in our body that provides nutrition to the cartilage,” Jam says. “Two things are required to produce that fluid: movement and compression. So if a joint doesn’t go through its full range—if the hips and knees never go past 90 degrees—the body says ‘I’m not being used’ and starts to degenerate and stops the production of synovial fluid.”

I remember well what it is like to get up off of the floor even using my hands for assistance, all too well, and avid getting down there like the plague for that very reason. But yet, it can only get worse. I know that I am somehow obligated to spend a certain amount of time doing nothing, or diddley squat, as they say, so perhaps I could combine non-activities and do it from or in a squat. Perhaps, but it's too late in the day right now, maybe mañana. All of you folks, on the other hand ...

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Alrighty, now, officially on the road, gone, done gone and, hence, in abstentia today.

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Title Image is men_squatting

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It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours
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Cross posted from caucus99percent.com

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Comments

Enjoy your travels! I'm jealous, but my time will come to travel about. I travel a bit now, but always have that job to come back to that sticks in the back of my mine. Hoping to be done by August, but that may be a pipe dream. We'll see!

Happy hump day, everyone! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

lotlizard's picture

https://phys.org/news/2020-01-widespread-illegal-fishing-albatrosses.html

Reviled in Coleridge’s 1798 epic The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and mocked by French poet Baudelaire as ungainly on a ship’s deck, the albatross, it seems, has finally turned the tables.

Called Ocean Sentinel, the “proof of concept” mission is part of a larger programme exploring the use of animals in the gathering of data for conservation aims.

Also being tested in New Zealand and Hawaii, the technology could be adapted for other marine creatures such as sharks and sea turtles.

Oh, a benign application, to help curtail illegal fishing — I’m sure our overlord elites and military already have many darker uses in mind.

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@lotlizard

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We are so screwed.

Lily O Lady's picture

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

magiamma's picture

et al
Busy day ahead, but what else is new.

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha

Have a great trip el...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Wally's picture

@magiamma The Gravel kids are still having lots and lots of fun. An absolutely fine response to the No Hope Tropes:

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Lookout's picture

We're off on a three week trip today too. Driving down to Atlanta today and flying out tomorrow AM.

All the best!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
Don't care if somebody looks at you oddly. Wear a mask like the CBA's at Bob's nursing home.
One case was already found in Atlanta from a passenger from China.
I wouldn't think of going to Atlanta, O'Hare, LAX, SeaTac.

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We are so screwed.

I head out for a trip in just over 6 weeks.
Until then, I will plug away with work, try to make something fun and interesting out of daily life.

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snoopydawg's picture

Russia Claims the CIA Agent Who Ordered Iranian Gen. Soleimani’s Assassination is Also Dead

Numerous news agencies located in the Middle East and Russia have made reports, which claim that a U.S. military plane carrying a high-ranking member of the CIA was shot down in Afghanistan.

According to Iran Front Page News, a jet designated for the U.S. Armed Forces crashed in a remote area of Afghanistan’s province of Ghazni within the Deh Yak district. The Iranian news source also claimed in its Tuesday (January 28) report that Taliban militants based in the Deh Yak area have taken responsibility for downing the U.S. military plane.

Iran Front Page News also reported that Russian intelligence officials have claimed that a senior agent with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was among the dead in the plane crash. However, Israel’s Jerusalem Post newspaper published a report stating that any information coming from Russia about this situation should be “met with skepticism.”

The CIA official who died in the plane crash has been identified as Michael D’Andrea, the Jerusalem Post reports. Underneath the billowing cloud of suspicion surrounding the coverage of this case, there are two things for certain. Someone is indeed dead and D’Andrea was very much involved in the planning of the recent U.S. drone strike operation, which killed Qasem Soleimani, a top-level Iranian military general.

“[The] assassin of Soleimani was on the plane and [was] killed in the crash. [D’Andrea] is the most prominent figure in the US CIA in the Middle East. He has been in charge of operations in Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan,” the Jerusalem Post report reads, which quotes Iran’s state-owned Tasnim News Agency.

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

snoopydawg's picture

Ryan and Saagar hit back against Hillary's sycophant saying that Bernie cost Hillary the election. Why did she give a speech to Goldman Sachs and then think people would have skipped over that fact. He tries to defend it. No defense to why she did that when she had more money that she could ever spend and btw Chelsea bought a block long apartment when she could have bought one that was just half a block long.

This dude is very deluded. Very....

It was Obama's fault that Hillary only helped him 8 times. Why reasons.... really this is funny yet sad to watch. But do anyway.

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“When police break the Law then there is no Law - just a fight for survival.” - Billy Jack

it would be all over at this point

According to a survey released by Texas Lyceum, the former vice president leads the rest of the Democratic pack with 28% support. Sanders, however, is right behind him at 26%.

The rest of the field had half of Sanders's support or lower, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in third place at 13%. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg came in fourth at 9%.

Those numbers will certainly set off alarm bells for Biden, whose path to victory relies on running up large delegate counts in the South. Poised for early losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden has been telling supporters and donors that the South remains his firewall.

The last reputable poll of Texas conducted in December by CNN found Sanders with 15% of the vote — behind Biden at 35%.

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earthling1's picture

Morn./ afternoon El.
I've kept my own personal "Predatory Business Organizations List" for a decade now.
At the head of the list is of course Wells Fargo. They are reliably recurrant predators.
I try to update each evildoers misdeeds as they happen, but with some (WF) it's just impossible.
I sometimes send the organization letters listing their wrongs (Comcast, B of A, etc.) and indicate they have been added to the list.
None have responded with concern.
But it makes me feel good about myself.
Would love to get back to travelling but have a sick kitty and have been stuck at home trying to find a remedy for his vomiting every 3 days.
Ultra-sound is indicating Iritable bowel syndrom.
We take him with us everywhere. He loves our little motorhome and is leash trained but prefers to go hiking without.
Anyway, started his medicine today and hoping to get back on the road soon.
Happy airtrails to you.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

dystopian's picture

Happy Trails EL! Safe travels! Hope you see lots of birds, and we get to hear about it.

I have always been a big fan of curmudgeons. Have a friend that had that as his title on his business card.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

A brief comment on squatting: I'm a convert. I grew up in pretty flat country and when I moved to the Pacific Northwest I had problems with hills. Running, hiking whatever, my achilles would become inflamed from being stretched. My PT prescribed squatting. Starting with a 1.5" board under my heels and just hanging out for a few minutes, reducing the height to 3/4" and eventually nothing. I had to hold on to a door jamb at first to keep from falling over backwards. Now, I squat when I brush my teeth every night, 2 minutes with an electric timer. Spouse makes fun, but I can scamper up hills better than I could when I was 20 and I'm almost 60 now...Ankle flexibility is pretty cool, and I didn't know about the synovial fluid thing, so win-win I guess.

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