David Thompson


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October 21, 2016


Spiny Norman


Judging by the replies, I'm not the only one who was reminded of this.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Frankenstein, 1910

R. Sherman

Survival tip: Steel wool and a nine volt battery is a good emergency fire- starter.


I agree that it was the cough syrup.



Oh, Nice.


Raymond Chandler chats with Ian Fleming, 1958.

Imagine if Raymond Chandler, P.G. Wodehouse, and C. S. Forester all went to the same high school.

Actually, of course, they did.

---There's a project I need to get around to during some ice age or another which I think would be a fascinating literary comparison study.

Consider a pair of quite established mid twentieth century British novelists who wrote rather a number of well received works, and basically do a very detailed compare and contrast of each author's first novel, comparing the writing styles, characterizations, setting, means of descriptions, etc.

In this case, quite specifically, the two novels are J.R.R. Tolkein's famous novel Casino Royale, and The Hobbit, by Ian Fleming.

Hopp Singg

The name is James. James Baggins.



1. He can see his own refection and still thinks it will work.
2. He makes it out of the store.


He can see his own refection and still thinks it will work.

According to this report, the thief’s unusual appearance did attract the attention of security staff, who followed the chap out of the store and to a nearby canal path, where he “dropped the blind, damaging it, before making off.”

So good work all round.


The name is James. James Baggins.


But no---And, as part of the very detailed compare and contrast, all dialogue remains the same . . .

Casino Royale.
In an office building near Regents Park there was a spymaster. Not one of those shiny and chrome filled modern buildings that turn up in the architectural reviews, nor yet some aging pile of wood from before the first World War . . . .

The Hobbit.
A bright morning looking over the green grass is a fine time for a pipe outside in the sun. Bilbo Baggins . . . . . .



How to hug a man:

If he's English, don't, obviously. A handshake will suffice, hugging is for foreigners.


A handshake will suffice, hugging is for foreigners.

If you don’t establish a suitably manly protocol beforehand and instead just rush in freestyle, things can go horribly wrong.

Lancastrian Oik

Comment of the day:

"Show me on the doll where the SJW touched you".


"Show me on the doll where the SJW touched you".

Think about it, just two generations ago some fathers were concerned that letting their sons play with G.I. Joe "dolls" might make them gay. I'm beginning to think they had a point.

Lord Bob

I am going to be honest with you, Hal, I am totally buying what you're selling.

Hopp Singg

I am presuming ephemera threads are where we can offer you grist for the mill, David:


Farnsworth M Muldoon

The first rule.

Speaking abject lack of knowledge and experience, SJW's triggered by camo face paint tweet.

The Army reply: We can see how the tweet may have been misinterpreted, have immediately removed it and apologise for any offence it may have caused.” Yes, let us feed their idiocy.


I am presuming ephemera threads are where we can offer you grist for the mill, David

Given the quality of state provision generally, I’m not sure how much comfort it would bring.

Hopp Singg

Oh, and though the grist in q is tarted up with much colored smoke, it can't help but be clear that undesirable ... whyever might that be? ... single feminists would be the most common recipients, and likely the lobbying force behind the scenes that initiated such a proposal. Best guess, anyway.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...grist for the mill...

Until now, the WHO’s definition of infertility – which it classes as a disability – has been the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex.

So all post-menopausal women are "disabled" ? How about a man identifying as a woman ?

The WHO, like the CDC, were useful when they stuck to things like malaria, now, they just need to put to pasture.


"Warning: This post contains abstract depictions of nudity and may be unsuitable for the workplace"



To-ma-to, to-mah-to ... Conservative, Conservation


Jonathan Haidt on truth vs. social justice: http://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/10/21/one-telos-truth-or-social-justice/

Now that many university presidents have agreed to implement many of the demands, I believe that the conflict between truth and social justice is likely to become unmanageable. Universities will have to choose, and be explicit about their choice, so that potential students and faculty recruits can make an informed choice. Universities that try to honor both will face increasing incoherence and internal conflict.

The full video of his lecture appears below the article.

A student at Wellesley then inadvertently bolster's Haidt's assertions: http://thewellesleynews.com/2016/10/05/jonathan-haidts-lecture-underscores-need-for-social-justice-on-college-campuses/

I was shocked to hear these opinions presented at Wellesley, not because they were unusual, but because they so twisted what I have learned in my classes here across many disciplines. I believe that different and controversial opinions should be welcome at Wellesley, and I think it is valuable that the Freedom Project fosters these conversations. However, there is a difference between constructive dialogue and the deliberate presentation of misleading opinions. Haidt advocated for relentless pursuit of truth in universities but seemed to be intentionally disclosing only enough data to support his hypothesis while intentionally excluding the research that has identified unique barriers for women and people of color. Instead of worrying about the scientific results that have proven the worth of social justice, Haidt suggested pursuing truth by reading classic texts by Jesus, Buddha and Dale Carnegie. How telling that he valued archaic writings by men over women’s lived experiences.

Haidt referenced the overwhelming skew towards liberal ideology among college professors as evidence of a stifling social justice hegemony on campuses. Perhaps this disparity simply reflects that many people whose life’s work is to understand the world have come to an evidence-based consensus on the truth — that an orientation toward social justice is necessary to correct the biases and prejudices held by us all.

Not related directly to the presentation above but reeking of social justice tribalism, Emory (they of the chalkening) is hosting racially segregated social events: http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=8287

Hosting programs for specific communities and affinity groups—in this case community members of color—is a practice that has been shown to be beneficial for employees and institutions in many fields including higher education,” he explained, adding that the upcoming event reserved for people of color will help in “creating mechanisms for individuals with shared interests and common goals.


To-ma-to, to-mah-to

However, the question “Why are there so many obnoxiously demented leftist women?” sounds much the same on either side of the Atlantic.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Emory (they of the chalkening) is hosting racially segregated social events...Hosting programs for specific communities and affinity groups—in this case community members of color—is a practice that has been shown to be beneficial for employees...

The truly sad and ironic part here, for those who may not know, is that Emory is in Atlanta, Georgia, as in Sherman's March To The Sea Georgia, and that the city, which is over 50% black, did not reach full desegregation until the 1970s.

I blame this on the carpetbagging damn yankees who have infested Emory and are dragging it to the gutter level of Harvard and Yale.


Dance like nobody's watching.


I am going to be honest with you, Hal, I am totally buying what you're selling.

Thank you! . . . Albeit I rather expect writing progress to keep crawling along for awhile; given that I've been job hunting in a too interesting economy for now exactly a year, and rather need to nail down the steady paycheck before wandering back into the entertaining research.

---My area of the economy is filled with several thousand recently laid off tech company staff, where all the recent coding boot camp graduates all looking for the same jobs are now finding out that an entry level coding job now requires at least one to two years of on the job experience, yes, for entry level, because there are that many recent graduates . . . .

. . . . and because of the great joy of silent firing, regardless of the genuinely really good reasons that result in silent firing, we're all scrambling for the same now extremely minuscule pool of jobs, whether they're coding jobs for those who code, or, as in my case, jobs as a company variety stage manager/waterboy/circus ringmaster, all to keep the bills paid . . . and there's at least one prediction that states that the current bubble will go Bang come this next March . . .

Sooo, that's what's currently on the plate . . . As David has pointed out at least once, the big question is nailing down the admin or related job that will pay for the research, Or, when someone would announce This research idea is bloody wonderful, here's a check/cheque, go get more done, I'm bloody well going to say Yes and then immediately get to work---Yes, statistically, I'm rather more expecting the admin job and that will be perfectly fine: I do event production volunteering as a hobby 'cause it gets me a break from sitting and pounding on a keyboard . . . .

I do get asked questions about computer animation production development, but then I point out that even with the ability to make a movie apiece for each play by Shakespeare---for one possible project---and get that done for very little cost, just the same there is still the recurring issue of keeping the rent paid . . .

In assorted reading, I have been running across calls for a universal basic income, more and more recently, along with additional reasons why and thus back to that silent firing process, but I do expect that would take rather a bit more economic engineering than exists at the moment . . . . I do note that the last sentence will have assorted flinching and hissing and spitting, I also note that given that the Swiss have already had one consideration, well after all, the Swiss certainly are hardly to be taken seriously in issues of economy and banking . . . . . .


Trashy 70s horror films.



Trashy 70s horror films.

Dr Phibes “trashy”? I think you mean classic.


For those with a taste for history and geopolitics, this interview with Victor Davis Hanson may be of interest. It also touches on the rise of identity politics and other dismal effects of the Obama presidency.

Hopp Singg


GAIN (guaranteed annual income) offers far less in the way of kickbacks and graft than the current hodgepodge. It would be far more measurable and transparent, for starters, in both its inputs and its outputs, tougher to steal from.

And if it were adjusted to GDP ... e.g. the recipients' GAIN top-ups could max out when total systemic payments reach 10% of the previous year's GDP ... it might even cause those recipients to prefer/support a free market economy that grows the pie, resulting in even less graft. E.G. bye bye green subsidies, the GAINers want more of that money for themselves. Now they like real growth.

There are known, real probs with GAIN, already well articulated (disincentives to work, for ex), but even before that, as a practical matter, you'd need to convince the ruling class to give up on their graft in order to pull GAIN off properly. Good luck with that.

As for the "economic engineering," that part is already half done. Just redefine your welfare and tax systems a little and poof, GAIN. If you wanna do it right, that is.

Me, if I were to even consider it, I would want certain realities:
... A trial period of a few years, and a referendum required to make it ongoing policy after that, cuz what if it crashes and burns?
... As noted, restricted to a percentage of GDP. Said percentage could only be upped via referendum.
... GAIN would replace, not augment, all other support programs. Why subsidize things if we are already subsidizing people?

And while we're at it, let's replace income tax with a VAT, as in totally replace. If a billionaire makes money but then wants to reinvest it in the country, why punish that? The billionaire would put that money to better econ use than would his cousin in the govt bureaucracy; that's why he's a billionaire and his cousin is not. And if he then wants to splurge on luxuries for himself, hello VAT and hello more GAIN funds. Donald Trump gets his penis gold-plated and the proles cheer.

A man is never so innocently employed as when he is making money.
-- Samuel Johnson

In the meantime, good luck w/your job hunt.


we're all scrambling for the same now extremely minuscule pool of jobs

I'm looking now myself. Difference is I'm not doing it in SF. Either way, jobs are not a static constant. People move on and do other things or start new businesses that create new jobs. Either way, this "silent firing", if my lookup of this term is the one you were using, is rather Malthusian.

As for GAIN, I believe we already have it in the form of the numerous subsidies, etc. No one, aside from the mentally ill and/or drug addicted, goes homeless or hungry in the US or any similar western country. Look at our slums and such. Without incentive to work you have the unrest, callings for even more socialism, etc. I'd like to go into this more deeply but have to go...perhaps later if this spurs further comment.

Hopp Singg

Well, that was sorta my point too: we already have GAIN, we just have a piss poor, hodgepodge implementation of it. Either scrap it or fix it.

I think it could be fixed - cuz if we scrapped all welfare, civil war would begin - and besides, disruptive technology should be welcomed, but if we don't have a backstop then every disruptive tech that comes along will meet opposition concentrated from affected interests, and concentrated interests trump diffuse ones every time in politics.

Better to clean it up to do the job right. It's just that that reduces the payola for the power brokers, who quite prefer it messy.


Can someone explain the "data entry" link? I am not familiar with British money or abbreviations...
Also the "this" link. One looks like Ron Wood, but I don't recognize the other guy.

Chester Draws

New Zealand has a flat VAT with basically no exceptions except rent and interest. It is cheap to run and hard to game.

We have almost no tariffs or subsidies. It is cheap to run and hard to game.

Our income tax is flat too with a low rate for the low earners (17.5%) then 30% for most and maxing at 33%. There are almost no exemptions other than charitable donations.

Excise is high.

Company tax is flat, on profits, though there are some employee levies. Nonetheless small firms don't have to have large finance sections to keep up.

Why you would do otherwise is beyond me.

The US effectively double tax by having a system so complicated it requires professional help. My tax return is 20 minutes work, even with dividends and retirement entries to be made. And the result is a system distorted by exemptions and exceptions.


The US effectively double tax by having a system so complicated it requires professional help.

Bingo. One of the reasons for that is, as the silly expression from the 80's went, don't tax you don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree. But what people, even very educated people, refuse to believe or understand is that taxes are generally passed on, socialized, via the complex system, to those who do the actual work. The idea that you can tax "corporations" or "rich people" and only pull that real value directly from the bottom line is to misunderstand human behavior. Those taxes will ultimately get passed on, either by tighter wages or less reinvestment by the company or a myriad of different ways that are completely untraceable. The more straightforward and transparent the tax system is, the more effective it is.




Boy Dolls

A boyhood friend's sister got a Divorcee Barbie for Christmas. It came with all of Ken's stuff.


Hopp Singg is obviously a terrible capitalist.
Just for a start
VAT is a tax on employemnt so it's really another income tax (who do you think is adding the value?!?).

An capitalist would tax economic rent i.e. the things made artificailly profitable by state action such as location-value of land patents and copyrights

It's basic stuff from Adam Smith on.


One looks like Ron Wood, but I don't recognize the other guy.

Well, yes, Ron Wood, and Wood is in what band with whom?---No, Jagger and the other guitarist are not the guy who has the white hair . . . . . .

I'm reminded of some musical awards event or something quite a few years ago, where a newspaper article reported that masses of musicians had attended the event, such as the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, the Fogarty's, John and Tom, and the Richards, Keith and Little.


VAT is a tax on employemnt so it's really another income tax (who do you think is adding the value?!?).

Exactly. However if you replace income tax entirely, it's better than the convoluted US system. I've never delved too deeply into VAT but it seems to me it would encourage more of a silo economy and likely has other minuses as well. As tax collection goes, to me the ideal system would have taxes at the fewest, most obvious, and transparent points in an nation's economic system. How such is achieved is likely a pipe dream. What disturbs me is that such an angle isn't even discussed in the US anyway. Taxes are presented as either an evil to be avoided as if even the most minimal government can run on air or more as a form of punishment for success and wealth redistribution rather than optimizing gov't income with as minimal negative impact on the economy as possible.

However, the problem we have is not taxes, it's spending. Which is why I'm more SEA Party than TEA Party. Even back in my more keynesian-leaning youth I think I had this problem pegged, thus it bothered me when Reagan and the GOP went all-in on this tax-cutting without addressing spending. While the Laffer curve does have effect, if tax collection due to an improved economy does increase, if you don't cut spending it's all for naught. The bastard just spend what was saved and print/"borrow" even more. You can't starve a beast with so many mouths.


Hal, that doesn't look much like Charlie Watts, so I give up.


Hal, that doesn't look much like Charlie Watts, so I give up.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Never heard of Paul Weller, but then that's what googlemancy is for . . . . so will do some more music history homework in time, and the concept is still extremely cute anyway . . . .

Spiny Norman

thus it bothered me when Reagan and the GOP went all-in on this tax-cutting without addressing spending.

Rebuilding a shrunken and dilapidated US military was a primary objective of his tenure, and that stuff is a bit spendy. However, Reagan also had a hostile Democrat-dominated Congress to deal with, and every one of his proposed budgets were gleefully declared "dead on arrival" by the House leadership. In order to get his military budget approved, compromises had to be made, and those compromises always involved more domestic spending. When he reluctantly agreed to restore some of the earlier tax cuts in 1986 as part of a "bipartisan reform bill", all promises by the Democrat leadership to rein in domestic spending were immediately abandoned.


Hal, thanks! I've heard of Paul Weller, and have one of his songs somewhere, but had no idea what he looked like. I'd never heard of googlemancy, either.

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