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  3. Is it just me or does the spouting of anti-Western talking points coincide pretty well with fascism? I mean, Putin's MO has always been pretty authoritarian, and something of a third way that isn't communism or liberalism. Crying how the West is being mean to illiberal governments, upset by the power of the capitalist class (in this case, the political class to be specific), and blaming defensive military actions of others as the cause of their own aggressive and offensive military actions that originated 20 years earlier. Beware the fascist apologists. Just wait till they start going on to rationalize the policies of the new prime minister of Italy.
  4. This man was my favorite male pop singer during my teenage years. Also from those years, this woman:
  5. Last week
  6. Better Capitalism – Jesus, Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, and MLK Jr. on Moving from Plantation to Partnership Economics (2022) Paul E Knowlton (Engineer, Attorney, Pastoral Counselor) and Aaron E. Hedges (MDiv, MBA) This book urges reformation of the current US economic system to what the authors name Partnership Economics. The reforms are mostly via private actions under guideline of the conception Partnership Economics. The particulars of that conception are vague, not very specific. They are a perspective and attitude in business behavior. I’ll display some of the authors' interpretations from the names in the subtitle of the book to show the authors' picture suggesting how those leading lights are consonant with Partnership Economics.
  7. Emergency generators can also come as a standby generator, powered by natural gas, which can be wired to come on automatically in case of power disruption. These range from a size needed to run a few specific circuits, to a large enough to power a whole house. Being located outside, such can reduce a carbon monoxide concern raised in the OP.
  8. Four Things I Learned About Hurricane Preps This Time Having lived in Houston for seventeen years and evacuating twice, I figured dealing with hurricanes in Florida would be something of a cinch. WRONG! Below are four things I learned this time around, as I get ready to stand down from sheltering in place for the first time I found myself in a three-day cone. *** 1. In Florida, forecast uncertainty can make early evacuation a difficult decision, and population density can make late evacuation a less-viable option. Florida's geography and population can easily make the decision about whether to evacuate less than straightforward. In Houston, although an evacuation might be at a snail's pace, going north was always an option and at least one of east vs. west was usually available. Florida is shaped like a boomerang. For the panhandle, see Houston. On the peninsula, even being on the coast opposite an expected hit won't completely get you off the hook from high winds or even storm surges. On the peninsula, north or south might be an option if there is reasonable certainty in the forecast. And if there isn't much certainty? Driving at a snail's pace (or not at all if there's no gas, a situation I encountered once, albeit armed with a full can) in an area that a hurricane might strike is a Bad Idea. (For the unitiated: Hurricane evacuations are giant traffic jams. Running out of gas is easy when what is normally a ninety miniute trip takes hours instead. And EVERYBODY is buying all the gas.) Consider Ian: The forecast models were (a) confused by a strong tilt in the storm's vertical structure caused by wind shear in the early days of the storm and (b) gave results heavily dependent on initial storm position and the timing of steering currents. I am fortunate enough to have a place in the Panhandle I can go -- except in this case, when I would have had time to go there, it was about equally as likely as home to get hit. And then, of course, by the time I knew we'd likely get the equivalent of a tropical storm/outside shot of hurricane conditions, I needed to weigh two not-great options against each other: stay at home (maybe in the dark) or hit the road and perhaps run out of gas. We weren't facing problems from the projected storm surge, so I opted for home. On the positive side of the ledger, I feel more than vindicated by my insistence when we moved here that we not live on the water or closer to the beach. Those areas were ordered to evacuate and staying behind anyway could be a Bad Idea since most hurricane deaths are due to flooding/storm surge. 2. Stock a few days' worth of food that does not require heating up or cooking. On the negative side of the ledger was ... carbon monoxide! In the process of adjusting from the mindset of strongly preferring to evacuate to having to seriously consider sheltering in place, I was bound to miss something, and that something was CO. Oh, I can cook on the gas stove or the propane grill, I thought at first. Losing power for a few hours Wednesday evening was a good thing in that I had to think about how I would navigate what I figured would be at least a couple of days. Glad to have plenty of canned food I thought I could just heat up, I realized that there was no ventilation: There is no power for the exhaust hood, and opening windows during high winds is a Bad Idea. I had plenty of things that also don't need heating, but now realize I wasn't prioritizing that enough: You face days without power and being cooped up inside due to high winds. (And a portable generator isn't an option during that time either, for the same reason.) Related fun fact: Cheez Whiz-type toppings in spray cans don't require refrigeration. 3. Go through all your food -- not just "hurricane supplies" -- ahead of the season. A day or so ahead of the storm, I found some past-date canned food and peanut butter. Two sites helped me here: First, this USDA site helped me realize that the expired canned food in my pantry was probably fine, if I needed it. Second, Does It Go Bad? told me that I needed to toss all the peanut butter and buy new. I like the fact that peanut butter now comes in squeeze tubes, meaning I have to clean one less thing when using it. I was able to get away with a single trip to the store for only a few items, but lines were long and I would rather have not gone at all. As-yet-to-be-tried idea: Jelly requires refrigeration, so I bought one bottle and some Fruit Roll-Ups as a substitute. The oracle Google tells me that people pair peanut butter and fruit roll-ups for all kinds of gross kid snacks, but it was silent on the merits of peanut butter and fruit roll-up sandwiches. I am in no hurry to try one myself. Some things may best remain mysteries. 4. Golf carts -- common in Florida -- can provide emergency power. We have a golf cart that we keep charged and use mainly to take the kids to school in the morning. I saw it in the garage when I was putting away lawn furniture ahead of the winds. Boy! I wish I could use the batteries from that! The bad news is that I had the idea too late to do us any good this time around. The good news is that someone else has done this, using equipment that is relatively easy to get. It would be great to be able to run a small fridge, a few lights, and some small appliances like this. I'll want to do the math for our golf cart to make sure this will really be useful, I can do this without trashing the battery, and it's cost-effective. This seems like it could be at least a way to have power while the windows and doors have to be closed, because it will not generate carbon monoxide like a generator would. -- CAVLink to Original
  9. In my previous post I analyzed your arguments in favor of your "disingenuous” verdict. I expected you to refute my analysis/arguments. Instead, you came up with additional criticism of the West – your points A to D. Then you continue with some more criticism. Even if all these were justified, they are, in the context, off topic. You simply dodge a serious, structured, rational debate and switch, instead, to the “stream of consciousness” mode. It doesn’t make sense for me to continue such a debate. If someone else has questions, I will try to answer.
  10. I would steer clear of the 'oppressor' language, both because it has other political connotations, and because there is no real power dynamic in either of the situations OP raises. Sacrificing others to oneself seems like the best description. (Thanks @Doug Morris) Maybe there are even other ways of seeing these kinds of actions as wrong?: > The woman is not paying attention to the task at hand, she is making others dependent on her, she is blocking their freedom of movement unnecessarily, she is placing the lower value of applying makeup above the higher value of getting where she's going, she is endangering herself and the rights of others by stopping her car on an open motorway... (there may also be things leading up to this situation that were irrational/unethical: Why is she doing her makeup in the car?)
  11. Boydstun

    Win Some, Lose Some

    How about the US Supreme Court roll back to the States the criminal law on recreational drugs? If an opportune case should come before the present Court, I'll bet a Coke-a-Cola the Justices who overturned Roe will not overturn federal usurpation in this area of the law which is so politically favored by American conservatives.
  12. A software developer laments the experience of getting into hot water with Apple's App Store for the sin of not "updating" her finished, future-compatible app for three years:I opened the message and was greeted with the "App Store Improvement Notice". I was essentially told that I hadn't updated my app in three years and now it counts as outdated. I needed to update the app within 90 days or it would get automatically taken down. Never mind the fact that my app has a 5-star rating and was still being downloaded, with no complaints from any of my users. Also disregard the fact that I had other highly-rated apps up on the App Store, some of which had been updated much more recently than July 2019, clearly showing that I have not abandoned these apps entirely. If there had been an actual reviewer who checked my outdated app, they would have discovered that I architected the app from the beginning to dynamically scale the UI so it resizes to fit the latest iPhone devices. All these could be signals that indicate to Apple that this is not a garbage-filled scam app that is lowering the quality of their App Store. [bold added]This is a simple game for kids -- who will presumably outgrow it -- written in such a way as to account for whatever tweaking Apple might do to its hardware. And it's by an active developer who should get credit for knowing when a major change for future compatibility might actually be necessary. This is, of course, Apple's call to make, and it might well be more economical for it to rely on algorithmic criteria to get the ball rolling with developers. But there is a tinge of cultural criticism I agree with (or wish to see) here, and that regards the common obsession with the new and shiny, such as that manifested basically every time a new phone (or operating system version) is released. An article titled "How to Customize Your Lock Screen and 9 Other iOS 16 Tricks" is illustrative. Scattered among the various small improvements are such items as, "Change the Clock Font Back," "Make Notifications Into a List Again," "Get Rid of the Search Button." Call these First World problems or accuse me of having a Get off my lawn! moment if you will, but how come every damned time there's an incremental improvement to something, it has to break things that were fine to begin with? Part of the reason I am a huge fan of open source software is that I can set something up the way I like and still have it work unless there is a major substantive change or I switch to different software altogether. It is really annoying to waste time jumping through hoops just because I, say, liked a clock font and a total stranger decided to choose a new one for everyone. Am I wrong for not wanting to screw around with a clock font somebody else likes? Yes. Most people don't care about these things, and software companies, like mechanics, make it easy for people who don't know much about a technology to use it. But still: Why are so few people bothered when those they hire to make their lives easier do the opposite? And what would be so hard about making a reversion to previous defaults or settings easier on initial use? It drives me crazy that -- for a supposedly "intuitive" OS -- there is a ritual proliferation of how-to articles and pro-tip lists for such trivia with Every. Damned. Release. (And although these articles are both about Apple products, I am not talking about just them. I quit Windows for Linux decades ago and plan to leave Android as soon as i find a viable, non-Apple alternative.) Some software can indeed be finished. Some changes might well indeed be forced by other changes. And some changes are real improvements. It is ridiculous to assume that the first case is broken, the second deserves more than perfunctory attention, and that the third is anything other than the annoyance that it is. Real innovation is worth learning about. Everything else is just a waste of time. -- CAV P.S. Not only am I not picking on Apple, I'm not picking on just software, as witness a moronic gear shifting mechanism I once encountered in a rental car.Link to Original
  13. The risky game was cozying up to Iran by Obama, the EU, et al. A regime which daily makes clear its hostility to the West's freedom, to America and others, is under the Islamist ideology, is belligerently active in foreign countries ... and was/is on its way to creating a nuclear arsenal. "Deal", or no deal. Ingratiating the Iran regime into the international "fold", that was the "sanctioning of evil". Governments pave the way for crony corporates to move in on Iran's resources and markets. Compare with the Russian context, a country ¬already¬ possessing a nuke arsenal and displaying no previous hostility to the West, ideologically or otherwise, which once showed signs of desiring accord with Europe but yet being isolated/sanctioned and targeted for overthrow. Prospects of potentially insane acts by Islamists with nukes terrified westerners into appeasement and diplomacy; Russian leadership, far more realistic and logical and open to negotiation, poses an 'easy' target the West believes they could act tough with. While they arrogantly seem to feel they can reject any diplomacy. With Russia in expected turmoil and political disintegration, the crony corporatists can again do their thing with its resources.
  14. Ultimately the responsibility for the administration falls to Trump , so it doesn’t make a difference whether he made good decisions or had good decision makers in the administration . He ‘lucked out’ because not much was happening on his watch , the only administration in history were the US had little or no influence on what happened internationally. Trump had been making his views on foreign policy and trade fairly public since the late eighties and has stayed fairly consistent on those views and actually tried to implement some of them , he lucked out in that they seemed to work or at least not cause immediate negative effects. He just lucked out lol, that TDS sure blunts reasoning.
  15. He is on Facebook, and if you are also there, you can send him a friend request and perhaps then begin some communication.
  16. Sadly this group appears to be defunct. Is Fred reachable on this site or on another social media site perhaps?
  17. In the area too. A bit late on this, but there does appear to be a local forum for DC now.
  18. @Candida I would like to meet and make a claim on his extensive library, it's still available. Happy to come and meet you for pick up. (I'm in DC area). Sent you a direct message.
  19. Trump did more bad things than just mean tweets. To what extent was this due to Trump? To what extent was it due to restraint applied by his aides, perhaps by making bad orders disappear? To what extent was it due to luck as to what happened internationally on Trump's watch? Trump played a risky game canceling the Iran nuclear agreement. He also cozied up to dictators.
  20. Glad to see the forum is still here. Haven't kept up much with where the movement has gone in the intervening time. Moved abroad and back and got a law degree. Hello again, everybody.
  21. Ever since No-Build came along, been playing Fortnite with friends these days: lingui5t
  22. Hey-- long time no talk. We used to play Halo together on Xbox Live around 2011-12. You told me about the Electric Universe and we had a lot of great chats about Rand. Send me a message sometime.

  23. Rand on selfishness and altruism via Howard Roark. Nietzsche on selfishness, explored by John Richardson in his Nietzsche's Values (2020). (Click on image.)
  24. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rightly -- and generously to a fault -- demands that Russia be removed as a member of the United Nations Security Council for reasons obvious to anyone but a Russian nationalist or Donald Trump. Unfortunately, as the report goes on, it is basically impossible, under UN rules:Zelensky has suggested removing Russia as a Security Council permanent member in the past, but the idea could face long odds. The most straightforward ways of removing Russia from the body would involve either amending the United Nations charter or expelling the country from the UN entirely, both of which would be subject to Russia's veto power. There is no method to overrule a veto. [links removed, bold added]The bovine nonentity dispensing this information, either confessing an incredible degree of laziness or an inability to distinguish the metaphysical from the man-made simply labels this paragraph Contra -- as if that's all there is to it. Just about all that's missing is a clueless and patronizing explanation in all-caps and single-syllable words about how this affront to reason and justice is a feature and not a bug. QED: Russia is forever a veto-holding member of the eternal UN Security Council. There's nothing we can do about it, so we might as well sit back and enjoy it, I guess. I vehemently disagree and recommend that anyone sentient enough to be bothered by this state of affairs visit a good piece at New Ideal on what the Russian emigrant Ayn Rand had to say on the matter of there being a UN that included Russia as a member at all. Within, among many other points, you will find the following quote:Image modified from image by Joowwww, via Wikipedia, public domain.Yes. I do not sanction the grotesque pretense of an organization allegedly devoted to world peace and human rights, which includes Soviet Russia, the worst aggressor and bloodiest butcher in history, as one of its members. The notion of protecting rights, with Soviet Russia among the protectors, is an insult to the concept of rights and to the intelligence of any man who is asked to endorse or sanction such an organization. I do not believe that an individual should cooperate with criminals, and, for all the same reasons, I do not believe that free countries should cooperate with dictatorships. (Playboy Interview: Ayn Rand. Playboy, March 1964.) [bold added]I completely agree. The fact that Russia sits on the Security Council and has veto power is really just icing on the cake. The United Nations has been a farce from Day One and every free country should immediately resign and repudiate this organization of gangsters, thugs, and freeloaders. -- CAVLink to Original
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