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Duke Briscoe

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Apropos of nothing, free speech does not equal access to a free press.

posted @ Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 23:34

Yes, unfortunate that the comments are missing. Plus the older articles' comments are missing as well I expect - a bit of a loss of history for future electronic archaeologists.

I haven't seen any moderated comments come through.

posted @ Friday, February 20, 2015 - 16:09

Requirements for safer tank rail cars have been talked about for years. I'm glad this article says that new rules were proposed in July, but I suspect this safety improvement has been dragging out for many years - and will drag on longer since the rules are only at the proposal phase now.

posted @ Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 20:09

Here is a good description of what I was talking about, from http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/20/when-memories-are-rem...

Every time we bring back an old memory, we run the risk of changing it. It’s more like opening a document on a computer – the old information enters a surprisingly vulnerable state when it can be edited, overwritten, or even deleted. It takes a while for the memory to become strengthened anew, through a process called reconsolidation. Memories aren’t just written once, but every time we remember them.

My main concentration as an undergrad was neurobiology - at least that is how I remember it now.

posted @ Friday, February 6, 2015 - 23:02

I think studies of the biochemical basis of memory have shown that memories get somewhat rewritten every time they are recalled. If Williams has been telling this story dozens of times over the years, his recall may have drifted and mixed with some of what happened to the other helicopters. Eyewitness testimony is not so great either - the human brain has a lot of failure modes.

I very rarely watch Williams on the news anyway. Or TV news in general.

posted @ Friday, February 6, 2015 - 20:47

I'm looking forward to the Legislative branch suing to claim that any of Obama's executive orders are unconstitutional or illegal. I think all those orders have already been carefully looked over to confirm that they are not out of order. I.E, how do you deport 11 million people when you only have funding to deport half a million per year.

posted @ Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 02:34

Looking forward to the Republicans' legislation about immigration. Business interests like the lower labor costs and exploiting workers who will not complain about working conditions, wage theft, and abuse. Particularly given the current unemployment rate, I think we need to do something to block employment of immigrants - and that mainly will be a system of checking ID and penalizing employers. We do need to be humane about treatment of people and their children. Also, our foreign policy should be more active in stabilizing the countries where the immigrants are coming from.

posted @ Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 15:01

[quote][b]TeeWee[/b] - A tax on the  banks will trickle down to be paid by you and me.  Whether you have a checking account with $100 or $1000 the bank tax will not be paid by banks, it will be paid by us.  [/quote]

It is not a tax on all banks, only on the largest "with assets of more than $50 billion". This will help balance the playing field for the smaller banks which do not get the negotiating advantage that the biggest banks have since the biggest are assumed to be "too big to fail" and will get bailouts if they lose. So the smaller banks will tend to get more customers if the biggest banks are paying some extra fee taxes.

[quote] Instead, the federal government wants to reach into their coffin and tax the dead. [/quote]

The best time to get taxed is when you are dead. Plus these estate taxes affect almost no families, only the very wealthiest multi-millionaires.

posted @ Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 21:26

[quote][b]PatrickD[/b] - @swimdawg68: Just did a simple google search. Google; "What will happen to taxes on Jan 1. 2015? Chain email gets tax rates all wrong by politifact."
[/quote]

Here is the main link from the Google search : http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/jan/05/chain-ema...

posted @ Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 15:42

@TeeWee: from the article's 3rd paragraph ... these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press," Obama said from the Oval Office

Yeah, he did not say "terrorism". It was a long article, so I guess you skimmed it, or maybe there is some big difference between using the word "terrorism" versus "terrorists".

posted @ Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 12:37

It seems idiotic to put the contents back into another time capsule, where they might be lost again.

posted @ Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 00:37

It seems very reasonable for facts to be included in educational materials about diet. The beef industry is arguing to keep consumers uninformed, both about health effects and broader environmental effects. I sympathize with them, but consumers should be given the facts to base their own judgement on.

posted @ Saturday, January 3, 2015 - 16:25

@oakwerks: Any particular numbers or evidence to support your assertion that Cuomo "wrecked the state's economy"? Do you remember that he first became governor of NY on 1/1/1983, in the heart of the worst recession between the Great Depression and the current Great Recession. I don't think you can blame that recession and the Savings and Loan Crisis on Cuomo. The fact that he went on to be elected Governor of NY three times means that most of his constituents liked the job he was doing.

I was interested in a news story I heard today (I think they had some sound clips from Cuomo) about how he enjoyed being a lawyer after leaving politics, and how he was really not so happy with politics although he did like the management aspect of government. Probably why he did not get into a presidential race.

posted @ Friday, January 2, 2015 - 23:02

Republicans, the party of life - endorsing torture, denial of healthcare to poor people, no regulation of corporations that kill people through toxic products or unsafe workplaces, the extermination of a large part of our planet's life by carbon dioxide increase resulting in global warming, droughts, social upheaval, and ocean acidification; Wall Street casinos unleashed; corporations profiting by imprisoning so many people; a legal and tax system that favors the largest corporations. Etc. etc. etc.

posted @ Thursday, December 18, 2014 - 02:24

Isn't a gas tax clearly the main mechanism for funding road development, perhaps with a few other less important sources thrown in? Other tax sources do not make economic sense - they avoid taking advantage of the "invisible hand" of the free market to direct development of transportation options - i.e. if Walmart can get its stuff moved by rail why should its customers be paying extra sales tax for more highway lanes.

posted @ Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 14:36

First, note that spending on health insurance premiums is different than total spending on health care. Your premiums might go up a good bit while total spending on health care might not go up so much.

Second, note that looking at the national totals of both premiums and total costs is different than looking at a few individuals in particular markets.

I wonder if Georgia premiums are going up because the Georgia Republicans have decided not to take the hundreds of millions of federal dollars available for Medicaid expansion and subsidies for poor people's insurance premiums (which also were meant to replace funds previously made available to compensate providers for unpaid bills by the poor). It seems like that would require the premiums to go up unless the hospitals are going to just start hiring bouncers to throw the poor back out of the ER to the street.

posted @ Saturday, December 13, 2014 - 15:20

You can see the full version of this column at http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2025159536_jdlcolumn04xml.html

It was pretty obvious that there was something missing since the academic paper was described, but nothing said about its conclusions.

posted @ Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 19:33

Compare this column to http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/05/opinion/paul-krugman-democrats-against...

Schumer seems to be a Wall Street toady.

posted @ Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 06:37

We don't know how the grand jury sentiment added up, but it would only take 4 jurors to block an indictment. Or to put it another way, 9 out of 12 jurors would be needed to approve an indictment.

posted @ Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 21:00

@yeti: You are right about the easy way out. But it only took 4 of the 12 grand jurors to block an indictment of the officer. At the moment, we don't know the balance of feeling among the jurors.

Maybe there are not criminal charges justified against Officer Wilson, but maybe there is a civil damages case under a lesser standard of proof. I think Officer Wilson could have avoided escalating the situation where he kills a person. I think the public would be better off if he never carries a gun again and is not a police officer.

We need to have multiple cameras, body and vehicle, on all police officers.

posted @ Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 20:54

@Ross: So is "paid for by others" conservative code for "no money, no care"?

You should realize that the ACA is pretty much the same as Romney's health care plan that was instituted in Massachusetts, and had some conservative support as a way of having private insurance companies stay in the picture for covering poorer people. As for your claim of "paid for by others", the ACA does expect poorer people to pay about 10% of their income for their insurance, and then the tax subsidies pay the balance of the actual cost to the private insurance companies. The ACA is fundamentally a conservative plan which forces people to take a reasonable amount of personal responsibility for paying for their own health care - rather than going to Emergency Rooms and not being able to pay , and also getting treatment too late when they are either going to die or be much more expensive to treat.

Also, the subsidies have replaced funding which in the past has been made to hospitals to pay for the uncollectable bills. That is one reason that hospitals in states such as Georgia which have not expanded Medicaid are in financial trouble. The hospitals no longer get compensation to help them cover uncollectable bills, but the foolish Republican legislators have turned down the Medicaid expansion funds that would have replaced the earlier form of funding. Plus all the federal taxes are still being paid by Georgians, but Georgia is not getting the funds back to support the hospitals.

posted @ Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 18:58

400 parts per million is 0.04%, not 0.4% as stated in this article. Other than that, I think this opinion piece does a good job of explaining the facts as understood by experts.

posted @ Monday, November 24, 2014 - 05:35

@snarkydude: Georgia still has nearly the worst unemployment rate in the country.

This following map and data are from July, but I don't think Georgia's relative position has changed much.

http://money.cnn.com/interactive/economy/state-unemployment-rates/

Georgia was the worst in the country for September, worse than Mississippi, according to http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

posted @ Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 20:44

Most news articles don't point out that "net neutrality" is mostly the policy that the internet has had up until now. Some of the big ISPs (Comcast, Verizon, and a few others) want to be able to squeeze more money out of their existing wires, and delay any expenses for upgrading their network capacity. These corporations are just getting too big, particularly when they are mixing control of content with control of bandwidth - such as Comcast's ownership of NBC and other networks. The power of a competitive free market to benefit consumers is counteracted by these large corporations which have enough monopolistic and monetary power to control the rules of the game (the politicians and regulatory commissions). It gets even more sick when you think about the handful of companies that control most of the media and news information in the US and around the world.

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 22:39

Local cooling is not proof against global warming.

from http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2014/11/17/october-tied-warmest...

It seems that 2014 is still very much on track to be the warmest year on record. On Friday, NASA released data showing that this past October tied with 2005 as the warmest in a record stretching back to 1880. This follows record breaking warmth in September and August.

posted @ Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 17:56

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