neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
[personal profile] neonvincent
One of today's "On This Day" notifications on Facebook was the first status I wrote on this computer two years ago.  That made me a bit anxious, as my desktops have lasted about two years on average before they either become obsolete or something bad befalls them.  That compounded another anxiety of mine, that I would lose the comments I've saved on my desktop computer that I sometimes recycle for blog posts.  A recent event made that anxiety more acute; the closing of The Archdruid Report and The Well of Galabes, complete with the loss of all my comments there.  I have all of them from January 2015 to the present saved, but all of them from 2013 and 2014, including some that I thought needed re-examination, are all lost.  I don't want that to happen to the rest because of computer failure, so I'm saving them here in reverse chronological order, beginning with the ones from May 2017.  Most are from Kunstler's blog, but there are also comments from Booman Tribune and The Well of Galabes.

My comment on The Sound of One Wing Flapping.

Speaking of "got pension," our host referenced the fictional "Detroit School Bus Drivers’ Pension Fund." To the best of my knowledge, there is no such thing. When the bus drivers for the Detroit Public Schools actually were employees of the Board, they would have paid into the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS), which all the rest of the public school and community college employees in Michigan belong to unless they've opted out for TIAA-CREF or a defined contribution plan like a 401k. Detroit's school buses have been privatized and are run by a consortium of three companies, ABC Student Transportation, Trinity Transportation, and DHT Transportation. I doubt they share a common retirement system unless the still unionized employees are still paying into MPSERS. Too bad the "Detroit School Bus Drivers’ Pension Fund" likely doesn't exist; it should, as the image it evokes is perfect for our author's purpose.

He also told us readers to "enjoy the festivities around the Maypole today." I have some of that on my blog in the form of drum corps maypoles, although the second doubles as a circus tent. Somehow, that's appropriate for the times we live in.

My comment on A Paler Shade of Gray.

"The right to extract profit."

This makes the U.S. sound like the Ferengi from Star Trek with their rules of acquisition. Then again, they were introduced in the first episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" as being like Yankee Traders, so perhaps the comparison is not only apt, but deliberate.

Since we're on the subject of Star Trek and one of my favorite responses to our current situation is to tell people to drink heavily, I have some 'Star Trek' themed drinks for the show's 50th anniversary. If one wishes to drink more, yesterday was Star Wars Day and one can drink to that franchise's 40th anniversary, too. May the Farce be with you!

My comment on A Few Words about Authenticity

I found McCarthy's hypothesis about human origins entertaining, creative, and thought-provoking, but it falls apart on the timing. All the fossil and genetic evidence indicates that the ancestor of humans and chimps plus bonobos diverged between eight and five million years ago. At that time, there is no evidence for members of the genus Sus in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, Sus scrofa does not even show up in Europe until the Pleistocene. From The Evolution of Suidae:

Of the three major episodes of species replacement that took place during the evolutionary history of Suidae, including (a) the disappearance of most non-Suinae (except Babyrousa) during the Miocene/Pliocene boundary, (b) the replacement of all non-Sus species in Eurasia during the Pliocene, and (c) the replacement of most Sus species by S. scrofa during the Pleistocene, the latter is the best documented. Over the course of 1–2 My, S. scrofa colonized the entirety of Eurasia and North Africa and replaced many local species.

The particular species of swine he's calling on to be the other ancestor of humans was not available in Africa for hybridization until after Homo habilis appeared during the earliest Pleistocene, by which time humans are already bipedal tool-users, when several of the putative traits from hybridization have already appeared. That doesn't help his argument, although I suppose he could move up the event and change the primate parent to H. habilis with the cross producing H. erectus.

I was wondering if McCarthy would allow hybridization with one of the sub-Saharan pigs for human ancestry. Instead, he hypothesizes that happening for the origin of the gorilla, which implies a river hog, forest hog, or warthog wouldn't be the other ancestor for humans. At least my objections to the swine-ape origins of humans don't apply to the hybrid origins of gorillas; more conventional ones would suffice. Finally, I was convinced about the case for chimp-gorilla hybrids happening during modern times. At least McCarthy can claim victory on that item.

My comment on Do You, Mr. Jones…?

As our host wrote: "Donald Trump could never be a Franklin Roosevelt or a Lincoln."

A Gray Champion for the Crisis straight out of Strauss and Howe? Steve Bannon may wish that role upon him, but you're right, he can't fill it. Instead, Trump's performance looks like the worst traits of Warren Harding and Richard Nixon in one person (What about U.S. Grant? Sorry, Grant was a drunk while Trump is a teetotaler). That's a combination destined for tragicomic distaster.

"[T]he story assumes that our prime objective is to remain car-dependent at all costs — when one of the main features in the story of our future is the absolute end of car dependency and all its furnishings and accessories. We can’t imagine going there. (How would you, without a car?)"

Even Detroit is starting to realize the folly of car dependency. Last month, the Detroit Free Press described How miscalculation, market trends doomed Palace of Auburn Hills. The article explained how suburbia is declining, not from Peak Oil, but from changes in tastes of the rising generation, which sees the decreasing viability of suburbia in competition with walkable downtown neighborhoods. As a result, all four major sports teams in the city will be in a three block area surrounded by a "20-minute neighborhood" full of shops and bars and served by a streetcar line. The New Urbanists should be thrilled!

My comment to What Kind of Evidence of Collusion Do We Have?

"[W]hen he's not practicing tuba" -- wait, Arthur is a fellow tuba player? I have about the same reaction to that news that I do to Steve Bannon also being a fan of Strauss and Howe's "The Fourth Turning" -- one can't pick one's fellow fans. That written, I now know how to respond to him instead of posting recipes; post videos of tuba performances. I have just the one for tonight, which is the opening night for "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."

A.G. can enjoy that one. As for me, I'd rather watch and listen to Hans Zimmer and Tina Guo in concert.
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