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b_b




When not in real life, I spend my time here.


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comments 46

This is a classic lolbrooks, observing the problem and blaming the victim.

I think I'm the last person left in America who thinks that our problems are not all that hard to solve. The majority of our economic struggles correlate very closely with banking deregulation and tax policy changes, both of which have redistributed money upward.

To be entrepreneurial requires dynamism. Much like combustion requiring both fuel and oxygen, starting a business requires people (fuel) and money (oxygen). The banks have no incentive to create easy money for businesses, because they can make a fuckload doing dumb shit like using your deposit to buy securitzed debt. So business owners have to go to venture capitalists for money, and for those of you who don't know what a venture capitalist is, it's what you call a loan shark who wears really expensive suits and has friends in Congress.

People, being immutable in their desire for a better life, will always be entrepreneurial, if we let them. This is just as true today as it was when someone invented the wheel. When the number of people doing this decreases dramatically, we can ask, as Brooke does, "What's the matter with people?" (Who haven't changed in millenia until, according to Brooks, 1985.) Or we can ask, as we should, "What's the matter with the current climate?"

Policy changes that once again deny banks the ability to gamble with deposits, and tax changes that encourage investments in small business would break this cycle tomorrow. As long as it's more profitable for banks to make risky bets on financial instruments that don't actually correlate to anything manufactured or any real service rendered, then they are going to continue to do that.

b_b  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Free Will ≈ Determinism, F.A.P.P.

    I was mentally strained by a kid who barely two months earlier didn't know what exactly is a solution concentration.

I've found that one of the best things about teaching is that in order to do it coherently, you're forced to learn concepts in ways that you hadn't considered before. You can get a perfect score on an exam, and read 100 books on a topic, but until you have to make some else understand it, you can't really comprehend the limits of your own understanding. This is fantastically true in math, physics and chemistry, where bullshit rises to the surface almost immediately.

We hemorrhaged educated people from the mid-90s until very recently. It seems like the tide is turning, but we have a long way to go to get back to respectability. The auto industry is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it made MI a fantastic place to live and work for decades. On the other, it discouraged leaders from investing in higher ed, because union guys could make $80k on a high school education. Our current governor is that rarest of endangered species, the moderate republican, and he is trying his best to improve retention of college educated people. That combined with Detroit's resurgence has stemmed the tide of net population loss. Unfortunately, our legislature is made up of a bunch of Jason Chaffetz wannabes, and they just voted to eliminate our income tax without replacement. So if the republican governor has his way, MI will finally join the 21st century, or if the republican legislature has its way, we'll join Kansas in their great experiment in failure.

Our state sure as fuck has, however. Just two short years ago democrat Gary Peters beat the hell out of republican Terry Lynn Land for Levin's open Senate seat in a year when GOP won the governor and a majority of state seats. Land is a moron, and was exposed as such. It was therefore concluded, apparently incorrectly, that although the voters of Michigan have been leaning GOP more and more, they were still smart enough to reject an incompetent moron. Not so much anymore. That Kid Rock's name is in the ring is a testament to the statewide regression. He is not a smart or a good person, and he wouldn't be a good addition to the Senate.

b_b  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 15, 2017

I agree, but mainly I'm just pissed off that they actually had a conversation with management on this that started: "Here's how we handle this: first offer store credit. If they balk, often a refund." The callous indifference is more what I'm reacting to. How about a refund with interest to start. And an apology. With all the negative press that the state of Michigan has received, you'd think they'd be more sensitive. Possible I'm overreacting, but they started it.

b_b  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 15, 2017

Got an email from Restoration Hardware yesterday informing me that a table I bought from them in 2014 is being recalled. Why would a simple table consisting of four legs and a top be recalled? Apparently the metal top contains lead. Fucking lead in the table I've been eating at for almost three years. So I called per their instructions, and they generously offered me store credit. "Are you serious?" was my immediate reply. "Well it was literally only that one model of table, so you could get a different table." "Not a chance I'm buying any of your poison." So the woman "asks her manager," which consisted of putting me on hold for like 12 to 15 seconds, and says that they can actually offer me a full refund. "That's it?" I asked. "Yes." So here's me today contacting lawyers. I'm going to be a huge, litigious dick about this.

b_b  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 15, 2017

Probably pretty difficult to get through the locks around Niagara Falls. I've never seen them, but I've seen the Sault locks and there isn't a lot of room for a U-boat when a ship is in there.

In talking to my buddy's dad right before the election, a man who watches Fox news religiously, I realized he had no idea who Steve Bannon was. Bannon, the Antichrist of liberal media, apparently just wasn't a topic that was if interest to the average Fox viewer. That's how different our news is.

C'mon now, be polite to him ;)

Another very intriguing aspect to this is that it was only made public because of the efforts of Acting AG Sally Yates. Now that Nathan Bedford Forest is the AG, we have to assume that cover up of misdeeds is going to be the default. Is there any way Trump supports an independent investigator to investigate his own direction to Flynn to give Putin a back massage and lie to the VP?

I'm waiting for the fallout, because it should be a lot nastier. How do you think Pence is feeling about all this? So Flynn lied to him (which we're assuming is true for the moment), but do you think that Flynn was acting without the boss's blessing? So now Pence is in the position of all of a sudden being aware that he's not part of the inner circle, and that he isn't in on the joke (con) that Trump, Inc is playing on America. Add to that the blind rage with which Flynn has shown to be consumed when he feels slighted (he loves Trump specifically because he hates Obama for firing him), and we've got ourselves a stew going.

Yeah cry me a river Rubio. The problem is that we can't have a debate because one party has decided that data and facts no longer matter. Policy debates should be rooted in both philosophy and empiricism, but the Republican party flatly rejects empiricism, and their philosophy is degrading more and more by the year. It's a misdirection to make anti-Trumpism about two sides not debating. Rubio probably hates that fucker too, but we can't take him seriously so long as he supports his whole agenda. Fuck him.

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