T: Republican reform — what can they offer to expand their base and get away from the radicalized right? My first idea is a common sense limit to abortion, getting away from a hard pro-life stance. The evangelicals can squawk all they want, but most of ’em are voting for Trump in 2016. They need get off the cross about abortion if they are willing to support Trump, who was never pro-life until recently. Polls say the majority of the country is actually pro-limits over pro-choice. The planks are the same ones we always see, of course – but we can look forward towards where they need to go, and not so much give lip service to where they have been. Rather than defending crap like clean coal, look towards innovation and dominating the sustainable fuel market.
J: issues-wise, immigration is a big one… the majority of Americans favor a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, they could move away from Trump’s ridiculous hard line and stake out a middle ground with a more limited path than the Democrats propose.
T: I am personally an open borders guy, but I’m not a pol, so there’s probably a reason for that. One of the biggest things – looking from a further distance – is that they have to get away from lying about everything. If they are going to wrestle with immigration, they need to be the ones to own up. The dems aren’t exacfly the most honest assholes in the butt sandwich, either.
J: On trade, they could propose tariffs on limited classes of goods. We really do need to do something about China dumping goods in our markets and making American products uncompetitive. And yes, being honest (with themselves, as well as with the electorate) would be helpful, too. Clinton supported the TPP originally but then opposed the final form, there must have been something that changed during the negotiations that was unfavorable.
T: Oh, Clinton loves the holy SHIT out of the TPP. She’s pretending she doesn’t now, because of Bernie. But I bet she sleeps with a copy of it in between her legs.
J: I guess the question is, is a bad deal better than no deal in this case?
T: My take – subject to better information – is that Hillary would love to have a fully open trade hemisphere, and basically open all over the world.
J: She’s said as much.
T: The US would dominate a wide open trade world.
J: But will the Chinese go for it? will they remove the tariffs and import restrictions they have imposed? I’m guessing not, because that’s how they are supporting their economic expansion, by basically forcing their population to buy domestically produced goods
T: The chinese are choking to death on their manufacturing plants, and they are drowning in debt. I think Pakistan/Bangledesh are, too.
J: They are building huge cities that no one lives in just to maintain the appearance of growth (and to maintain low unemployment)
T: They have so many fucking people that, when they built their new and improved economies and raised the quality of life, they priced themselves out of their own markets both financially and environmentally.
J: There’s a major environmental catastrophe brewing in China.
T: They are literally choking to death. They are like a dive bar that never fixed the smoke eaters, then suddenly got packed with smokers. They love the money, but nobody can breathe – and then everybody left and the smoke stayed behind. Ulus, you know — they are really fucking sick of Chinese food. The lifestyle changes won’t go backwards – they aren’t going to go back to rice and cabbage.
J: Nope, they’ve gotten used to being a first world country and don’t want to go back.
T: China might be a dangerous situation militarily, too – but what can they really desire? They can’t get air from Taiwan. We are going to have to get the hell off the rock soon, or stop making so many healthy babies.
J: China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world COMBINED. They really need to embrace clean coal tech.
T: They need to build several billion solar cells.
J: They do, but they sell them here.
T: If they can build ’em, that’s a start. We only use something like .2 percent of the ambient solar potential.
J: That was one of my friend Larry’s big issues, that Solyndra thing… he thought is was some kind of ripoff, but the fact was that the money went to build a nice shiny solar plant in Arizona. This plant could build solar panels for about $35 a square foot, but the Chinese flooded the market with panels costing $25 a square foot.
T: Who is buying the chinese solar panels and selling them here?
J: Utilities mostly, and solar-power installers.
T: No, I mean what companies? That’s not something small businesses could handle.
J: Utility companies are buying them and building solar arrays all over the place. There’s one here in Bridgeport.
T: Is there some reason why we can’t compete with the price? How can they make ’em and ship ’em over here and beat us that badly? Is China getting a reverse tariff?
J: There is practically no domestic production of solar panels any more, we simply don’t have the facilities to make them. I don’t know if the Chinese government is subsidizing them but I wouldn’t be surprised.
T: Ya know who’s failing us … it’s not just the workers who expect big money for unskilled labor. The Republican business guys are too much in the corporate mode, not in the building mode. They spend all their time in boardrooms. The old robber barons were just as bad, but they understood how to make stuff.
J: Too answerable to heir shareholders, they need to say “OK, we’re not gonna make as much money this year, but we’re gonna spend a billion dollars upgrading our production facilities and do this right”.
T: But we need to deincentivize franchising and corporate welfare. And let them take some tax breaks for building manufacturing facilities on US soil. The green revolution, maybe?
J: Putting a tariff on imported solar panels would kill the market, we need to develop competitive facilities, even if we have to subsidize them. Play the Chinese’s game.
T: Tax incentives to build sustainable fuel businesses, and a cookie for the first asshole to power a car with solar panels that can go 150 miles per hour. Figure a way to let individuals put batteries in a national grid, to help power the electrical grid, and provide a little extra income for the battery owner.
J: I saw something not long ago that I thought was a terrific idea, it was roof shingles that had solar panels built in to them. I think Elon Musk was backing it. They should subsidize the shit out of those.
T: Home depot shingles, 12 bucks a cubic foot but they can be used to power your entire electrical panel. Homeowners can put windmills out, too. Oh, that’s where I saw it!
J: Even if it only supplied 50 percent of your household electrical needs, it would be a game-changer.
T: They have wind farms, but to make them work consistently – not have power surges and drags – they need the national battery network.
J: They need to come up with some kind of national X Prize, $10 million for the biggest improvement in battery tech.
T: We could put big batteries in houses all over the country that are connected to a grid, powered by the wind farms – and solar farms eventually – that provide consistent power that doesn’t ebb and flow. I think the tech is there – what they need is a push for a major change in the infrastructure. We have all this oil, and the rest of the world is just fucked because the prices are low.
J: I’m not sure the tech is there, battery storage is still fairly archaic tech.
T: I dunno — check out recent chem journals, maybe? My chemistry teacher seemed to think they had some serious stuff in the pike.
J: But making even 50 percent of household consumption renewable would put OPEC out of business.
T: Either way, it’s a direction. We can get there with a focus in the correct direction. OPEC out of business would mean World War 3.
J: There might be serious stuff on the way, the incentives are there for the researchers.
T: We need to be inclusive, make this a global initiative. Nationalism is going to inevitably lead to world war three, I think. the only way we prevent it is to build a global economic model and, AND, get the fuck off the rock at a speed fast enough to get us somewhere. I think we’ll have travel fast enough to get to other stars by 2200 – but it’s probably 5-2 against that it will be human technology.
J: I think we can support a lot more population than we now have, but we have to stop this knee-jerk opposition to GMOs and Monsanto. If we can grow twice as much food on the same land, we SHOULD, damn it.
T: I agree HEARTILY. Monsanto does some pretty awesome things, but we are such flat-earthers about it. But we need to be careful not to grow all the way to our limits.
J: Or past them.
T: We are losing trees at a rate that might prevent us from getting enough rain out of the oceans. We can’t just keep cutting them down.
J: I agree with you that the future is going to be off this rock, but that’s for 200 years from now, probably won’t be my problem unless they get serious about extending lifespan. I know Weyerhaeuser plants a tree for every one they cut down, but deforestation is a serious problem worldwide.
T: I doubt much of this will be our problem – by 2040 we’ll be worm food or eating it.
J: Especially in South America, they’re cutting them down like there’s no tomorrow there.
T: Yeah, the fucking cow farmers. We need to do something about the fucking cow farming.
J: It’s a tremendously inefficient way to get protein, but we like our beef.
T: It’s just a massive waste of resources in every direction. New Guinea is even worse – scientists think it’ll be uninhabitable in our lifetimes.
J: I think you get something like twenty times as much food from an acre of corn as you can get from an acre of pasture.
T: That’s another argument for globalization — those ranchers are way behind the times culturally, but they have modern equipment. Like giving AR-15s to retarded kids.
J: We’re going to have to eventually, as a species, come together for the good of all of us and use our resources in the best way possible.
T: Yeah … or the last few of us left are going to have to mop up.
J: “Will the last person off the Earth please turn off the lights?”
T: I’m an optimist, though.
J: I am too… I believe that eventually we’ll do what we need to do.
T: Self-interest, the ultimate aphrodisiac.
J: Yeah, it may take us 50 years but we’ll get there.
January 24, 2019 J: Hey T, day 34 of the shutdown is here. What do you think of all this happy horseshit? T: Another day, another round of rhetoric, but the shifts seem to be going the wrong way for...
January 23, 2019 J: Hey T, did you see that Pelosi told him to go have the State of the Union in a Holiday Inn in north Baltimore for all she cares? T: Those two are funny. Pelosi's doppelganger twin...
Rick Ankiel, 0.1. Players with at least 40 home runs and 40 games pitched: Babe Ruth (714, 163) Rick Ankiel (76, 51) Johnny Lindell (72, 55) George Van Haltren (69, 93) Cy Seymour (52, 141) Ruth (93), Seymour (61) and Van...
T: Hey J, did you see this interview with Roger Stone? Stone might be a serious paranoid – he’s always shifting his eyes everywhere like he’s about to jump at a shadow – but he’s glib, intelligent and very much...
George Herbert Walker Bush was the last living GOP president whose service predated the shift in party focus from the middle class to the rural poor. To the end of his life, he presented an image of integrity, honesty and...
The biggest obstacle to the public understanding climate change is that global warming gets all of the attention. The warming aspect is just one aspect of the larger picture. I am not the most qualified climate change analyst, so take...
T: Hey J, did you get to Barnes &Noble yet? J: Not yet, probably tomorrow. T: I can't imagine you out there slogging through the Black Friday crowds, but you are married. J: I'm just married, not stupid. T: I've been...
Robert Robb, who wrote this piece, is not some right wing kook. He's a dammed good columnist. But he's wrong here. Presidents wield power comensurate with their experience and expertise. They need that power to handle their myriad responsibilities....
In My Next Life — Gary Fletcher
When I’m reincarnated,
armed with all my lessons,
and I cannot be pierced,
I will take the lonely highways
and the crowded marketplaces,
I will learn to play an instrument
and learn another language,
and I won’t share anything except my blueness…
Some may think they understand me
even though they do not know me,
and even if they hold me
or even want to scold me
for I recall
the chickens squawking
and the axes chopping
the crowds inside of cars
trudging on the freeway
mostly listening to music
while I gaze about astonished
at all these odd constructions
of things that no one really understands
and I can’t share anything except confusion
and submission and acceptance
and wondering what’s for dinner.
Slack Chat: Fuelings .. nothing more than Fuelings
T: Hey J, did you know “llamba growing” is an anagram for “global warming”?
J: That doesn’t make any sense. What’s a llamba?
T: I’d tell you, but it would offend the Twitter-verse.
J: Why would that stop you?
T: You are right; the Twitter-verse is to being offended what Beeker is to nervous lab assistants.
J: Got one for climate change?
T: Um ….
How about “tea chime clang”?
J: That sounds like a rap group I’m about to characterize with a wildly racist stereotype.
The slack chats are the brainchild of yammering subversives Johnny “Cake” Hunter and Terry “Insert Nickname Here” Vent. It was inevitable that they would combine their two favorite things — yammering and slacking — into an art form. Plus they stole the idea from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.
These guys have been off the grid for decades. I assumed they were still traveling the Pacific Rim, trading inflatable Strom Thurmond dolls to the natives for Polynesian weed, but a cursory google search found them hiding in the witness protection program, where they had been since they testified in the infamous “we can’t believe it’s not butter” truth in advertising scandal that took down Orville Redenbacher.
I think one’s in a cult and the other one sells insurance, but I can never remember which one of these jokers sold his soul to an evil demagogue and which one sells flowers at the airport. They call themselves radical centrists, which (I think) means they hate everybody.
Their voting record is all over the map. Both have, at times, cast ballots for chronic losers in the major parties, third parties and once (allegedly) for a Care Bear. Neither one of them voted for Trump, but they think Ivanka is super hot.
Her name was fake, but the ink-stained wretch in the monogrammed bloomers was real. Let’s face it; she had to be. Her tale fails miserably as a work of fiction. It’s too pat, too perfect. No self-respecting publisher would buy it. Nellie Bly was thrust into poverty at an early age, during a period in […]
I think our current state of evolution might best be described as early adolescence. In my way of thinking the beginning of domestication, with the resulting push towards civilization, symbolizes the time when a child would begin school. The Industrial Revolution symbolizes the beginning of puberty, and our current state of high technology and power […]
I think the reason I am in college now is related to Nietzsche’s principles. I decided that I wanted to do one more hard thing before I got too old; I decided that hard thing was to go back to college. Many of my long-time friends have gradually faded out of my life in the […]
I think life itself is the prize for living. Moments of pleasure, like spending time with family and friends, eating a good meal, seeing a good movie, even something as banal as the satisfaction we feel when we cut off a toenail are small prizes for living. I also think life’s meaning is everywhere, but maybe we […]
How many people does it take to need a government? I see attention as the key. In pairs, each member can give virtually full attention to the other. Nobody is ever more careful to act in the larger interest than someone who feels as if he or she is being watched. The need for governing […]